| Tuesday October 21st 2014

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Netflix Splits DVD and Streaming Businesses… Creates Qwikster For DVDs

Quickster NetflixHe’s recognizing that DVD is antiquated and streaming is where we are heading. Once Qwikster fails and it will, studios will have no viable other option than to offer their new release movies via streaming and Netflix then will be able to create a new streaming tier that will cost more $$ and include new release movies.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just dropped a bombshell. In the wake of a rapid decline in Netflix’s stock price last week, Hastings is taking a bold step by separating the DVD and video streaming services. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand. That’s right: the new business (streaming) will keep the existing name.

Customers can still subscribe to both, but the two sites will not be integrated anymore. Qwikster will also now offer video game rentals through the mail, a long-requested service. With this move, Hastings is reaffirming his long-held belief that streaming is the future of Netflix and the future of entertainment, and Wall Street can judge its progress by how well the streaming business is doing on its own. Separating the businesses will also force customers to make a choice, and it is obvious which choice Hastings wants them to make (hint: it starts with an “N”). Earlier today, I wrote a post beseeching Hastings not to listen to Wall Street after his stock got hammered. You’ve got to give him credit for moving fast in the direction where he thinks the greatest opportunity lies.

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As if solving a Rubik’s cube wasn’t enough…

Rubiks cube mosaic

To be fair, solving one side of a Rubik’s cube is pretty trivial… Although also to be fair that is a really expensive way to make a mosaic.

The Mystery of Wrinkly-When-Wet Fingers, Solved

Now my question is why in the world is theses scientist concern with this topic to pull themselves away from real concerns. Are these people being governmentally funded?wrinkly fingers

Mystery of the century, you guys. No, the millenium. All times. A new paper in the journal Brain, Behavior and Evolution has a new answer to the eternal question: why do our fingers and toes get all wrinkly after bathtime? The answer: traction.

The old solution is that wrinkling is simply the result of your fingers and toes absorbing water after a long period of being submerged. But there are problems with this! First: why is it only our fingers and toes that get wrinkly? Second: why is this such an unusual trait among mammals (only humans and macaques get wrinkly)? Third: why, if this is a simple tale of osmosis, do our fingers and toes cease to wrinkle when nerves to them are cut?

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Brotherly Love

Zahra’s Paradise: A graphic novel about Iranian uprising is a story and a history

Zahras ParadiseZahra’s Paradise, a new book from FirstSecond, collects in one volume the serialized (and brilliant) webcomic, written by two pseudonymous Iranian dissidents. It’s the gripping story of a Medhi, a young man kidnapped by Iran’s secret police during the election-season demonstrations of 2009, and it is a heart-rending tale of loss, hope, technology, revolution, politics, bravery and resilience. Told form the point of view of Medhi’s blogger brother (who has previously been arrested for publishing political material), it features an in-the-round look at the power and limits of technology to effect revolution. Its cast includes bloggers, secret policemen, brave copy-shop/Internet cafe owners, influence peddlers, disgraced bourgeois, broken prisoners and a family devastated by loss.

And while Zahra’s Paradise is an informative (if fictionalized) account of the Iranian election uprising and a vivid condemnation of the stern, joyless Khomeniest version of Islam, it is also a fantastic story, a graphic novel that races to its conclusion. The webcomic was serialized in 12 languages (including Farsi and Arabic) and the print edition is available in a dozen countries from today.

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Ron Paul on healthcare @ CNN Tampa Debate

Allow people to practice what they want?!? this guy’s crazy… We don’t know what we want!

“Wi-Fi refugees” shelter in West Virginia mountains

WiFiThe BBC reports on the phenomenon of people who claim to have been made sick by wi-fi and mobile phones, and now seek refuge in Green Bank, West Virginia. This town is situated in the US Radio Quiet Zone, where there is no wireless allowed within a 13,000 square mile range to prevent interference with a number of major radio telescopes. Some of those “listening points” are part of the US government’s spy network.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication.

“It’s a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,” she says. “You become a technological leper because you can’t be around people.

“It’s not that you would be contagious to them – it’s what they’re carrying that is harmful to you.”

Ms Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment.

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World’s Greatest Drag Race

Bash Shortcuts For Maximum Productivity

It may or may not surprise you to know that the bash shell has a very rich array of convenient shortcuts that can make your life, working with the command line, a whole lot easier. This ability to edit the command line using shortcuts is provided by the GNU Readline library. TuxThis library is used by many other *nix application besides bash, so learning some of these shortcuts will not only allow you to zip around bash commands with absurd ease, but can also make you more proficient in using a variety of other *nix applications that use Readline. I don’t want to get into Readline too deeply so I’ll just mention one more thing. By default Readline uses emacs key bindings, although it can be configured to use the vi editing mode, I however prefer to learn the default behavior of most applications (I find it makes my life easier not having to constantly customize stuff). If you’re familiar with emacsthen many of these shortcuts will not be new to you…

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Zippos of the Vietnam War

Vietnam War era ZippoAir & Space has a gallery of Zippo lighters sold during the Vietnam War at PX stores and customized for US soldiers by village artisans. From Air & Space…

“Snoopy the Flying Ace replaced Bugs Bunny of World War II nose art fame as the most popular cartoon character of the conflict,” writes (Sherry Buchanan, author of Vietnam Zippos). “The beloved delusional beagle first crawled on top of his doghouse and cursed his imaginary enemy the Red Baron in October 1965, just as President Lyndon B. Johnson increased U.S. combat troops from 3,500 Marines in March to close to 200,000 by December. “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron,” by the Royal Guardsmen, climbed to the top of the American Forces Vietnam Network charts in 1968 as GIs sought comfort in the wake of the Tet Offensive in the beagle’s ability to defeat his nemesis, the Red Baron—read the Viet Cong—in the song’s final chorus: Snoopy fired once / And he fired twice / And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight.”

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Kernel module for advanced rick rolling

rick rollThis is kind of the nuclear option for rick-rolling. Then again, whoever it was let you load a kernel module.

They had it coming.

kernelroll

sys_basher

Ubuntu Linux: A very friendly circle of friendsCliff notes: If you have a mysterious problem with a Linux box, try bashing your system with sys_basher…

In desperation, I asked for help. Eric McCartney over at Prominic took some pity on me and started looking at the system. After doing all the usual swaps and tests, there were no obvious issues.

Finally, Eric loaded up a neat little program called sys_basher, which exercises all the elements of the system…hard. It puts the machine under a strong load and if something can’t handle the load, it’ll die. Quickly.

As it turned out, the problem was a hard drive. The weird thing is, we hadn’t allocated the hard drive in the Linux environment yet. It was simply plugged in, awaiting configuration. But, when that hard drive was plugged in, sys_basher would take the system down almost instantly. When the hard drive was unplugged, the system would run rock solid.

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“Rude” gestalt optical illusions

rude gestalt optical illusions

Look closely. This isn’t your dad’s rabbit-duck illusion.

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Default password on hotel safe

The fellow in this video shows how he opened a safe by entering a default password of 000000.

New Ron Paul Ad: Trust

Google+ App for BlackBerry

Google Plus for BlackBerry applications are now available on BlackBerry App World. Google + , the more the application is ready to use on your BlackBerry, and you can download Google applications and the BlackBerry BlackBerry App World.

Google Plus Blackberry Application

Google applications are free and BlackBerry App World. So you can google with BlackBerry Messenger, plus social security and enforcement is both more and Google to integrate BlackBerry Messenger enjoy the same phone number.

Download Google Plus Application for BlackBerry 

No problems were noted in the initial testing of Google + as well as applications for Blackberry. You can also google BlackBerry uninterrupted service to the BlackBerry Messenger and Google and the BlackBerry enjoy.

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Shoes-on flight in sight

Janet NapolitanoAir travelers will eventually be able to keep their shoes on to pass through security, but the restrictions on carrying liquids on board are likely to remain in place for some time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a POLITICO Playbook breakfast Tuesday.

“We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen,” Napolitano told Mike Allen during a morning forum at the Newseum. “I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”

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Federal Court: Recording cops an unambiguous first amendment right

When Simon Glik recorded Suffolk County police doing something they shouldn’t, he was threatened and ultimately arrested by a crackpot cop who boasted, “I’ve been doing this for thirty years and there’s nothing you can hold over my head.” The result of his legal troubles? A federal court ruling that videotaping police is an unambiguous and constitutionally protected right.

Two AI chatBots attempt to have a conversation with each other

Cornell Creative Machines Lab wanted to see what would happen if two Cleverbot AI ChatBots had a conversation with each other.

I think I’ve just seen the beginning of the end.

Perceptions

Perceptions

I am a sysadmin, and I approve this message.

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