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Pomera heads to English-speaking world with new e-ink folding pocket typewriter

The first Pomera designed for English use looks like the e-ink typewriter I‘ve always wanted, and even has a cleverly-folding full-size keyboard so the whole thing fits in a pocket. Two AA batteries will power it for 20 hours of continuous use, the simple operating system also has a calender and spreadsheet, and there‘ll be an SD card slot (and QR-code reading app) for transferring files. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2132003

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A hard look at the wastefulness of "proof of work," the idea at the core of the blockchain

David Gerard is a technically minded, sharp-witted, scathing critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; his criticism is long, comprehensive and multipartite, but of particular interest is is critique of "proof of work" (an idea that is central to the blockchain, but which many cryptographers are skeptical of). (more)

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Charlie Stross on the "soft genocide" of eugenics-tainted, alt-right climate dystopia

Right now, the eugenics-happy alt-right are also climate deniers; but climate denial has a short half-life -- its undeniability will only grow, as the world gets hotter, more dangerous, drier, wetter, colder, stormier, more becalmed -- more uninhabitable. (more)

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Epic Bill Gates e-mail rant from 2003

In 2003 Bill Gates tried to download Microsoft Movie Maker from Microsoft.com. His confusing, frustrating, futile experience prompted him to write a terrifically scorching email to the managers in charge of the project. It starts off pretty mild, with just a hint of the brutally funny sarcasm to come. ("I typed in movie maker. Nothing. So I gave up and sent mail to Amir saying where is this Moviemaker download? Does it exist? So they told me tha

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How do pinball machine solenoids work?

Solenoids are common electromechanical devices. They‘re used in pinball machines to make the ball shoot away when they hit a bumper. If you‘ve ever have the opportunity to touch an energized pinball bumper, you will immediately gain an appreciation for its explosive power. In this video, famous hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth takes apart a pinball machine solenoid to show how it works. [via Hackaday] Image: Youtube screenshot

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Beloved Kura Toga mechanical pencil on sale for 4.90

Available as an add-on item on Amazon, this Kuru Toga pencil has a cool feature that rotates the lead incrementally every time you press it down on paper. That way, the tip stays nicely rounded. Here‘s a video of the spring-loaded clutch mechanism in action: https://youtu.be/VjQ68v0ZAnU The pencil also has a metal sleeve that protects the lead, sliding into the pencil as the lead gets shorter. The sleeve retracts completely so you can lug

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Can you solve the wizard standoff riddle?

Math 4 Love founder Dan Finkel writes: You‘ve been chosen as a champion to represent your wizarding house in a deadly duel against two rival magic schools. Your opponents are a powerful sorcerer who wields a wand that can turn people into fish, and a powerful enchantress who wields a wand that turns people into statues. Can you choose a wand and devise a strategy that ensures you will win the duel? (TEDEd)

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Toronto cops eat drugs, freak out, and charged with Attempting to Obstruct Justice

If you‘re a cop who calls for backup to save you from drug-induced hallucinations, you‘re going to have a bad year. This past January, Toronto Police Service Constable Vittorio Dominelli and his partner, whose name has yet to be released, were on duty when, allegedly, they decided to chow down on some marijuana-laced edibles.Apparently, they snatched up the Scooby snacks during a raid on a pot dispensary. It is here that Toronto rad

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Andy Warhol‘s Interview magazine shuts down after 49 years

In 1969 Andy Warhol and John Wilcock launched Interview, "The Crystal Ball of Pop." True to its name, the magazine ran interviews of artists, actors, musicians, and celebrities. From The New York Times: Ezra Marcus, an associate editor at the magazine, said by email that the staff was notified in an all-hands meeting earlier in the morning that Interview, which was founded in 1969, was closing and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Phone calls

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Young girl shocks parents with hilarious answer to why people get married

When parents ask their daughters why Prince Harry is getting married, the younger of the two says, "Harry is getting married because they want to get married." But when asked what you do when you get married, the younger girl is stumped. That‘s when her older sister jumps in with a hand gesture that could be interpreted as crude. She points her index finger with one hand and sticks it into a circle made with the other hand. "Don‘t

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Bringing DNA testing to the Loch Ness Monster mystery

For more than a century there have been reports of a strange sea "monster" living in Loch Ness yet hard evidence is, er, lacking. Now, evolutionary biologist Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago is hoping that DNA testing could perhaps shed some light on what people claim is Nessie. For two weeks, Gemmell and his team will collect skin and scale samples from Loch Ness and compare those DNA sequences against known animals. Here‘s what Ge

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Boring company makes "the world‘s most boring billboard" and promises to keep it up for 12 years

Sioo:x Wood Protection is a boring company. That doesn‘t mean its products aren‘t important. It‘s just hard to jump up and down with glee over wood protection. Nevertheless, the "world‘s most boring billboard" that Sioo:x installed in Malm, Sweden is pretty cool. It‘s a triple sided outdoor display made of wood that‘s been treated with preservative. The billboard will remain outdoors for 12 years as a way to

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A robot found the "holy grail of shipwrecks" containing billions of dollars in cargo

In 1708, British ships sunk a Spanish galleon called the San Jos that contained a cargo of gold, silver, and emeralds believed to be now valued at billions of dollars. Now it‘s been revealed that in 2015, a robot found this "holy grail of shipwrecks" off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. The efforts were led by Maritime Archaeology Consultants with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists using an autonomous underwater vehicle named

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US consulate worker in China injured by mysterious sonic attack

Remember when 15 US government workers in Cuba got sick from some kind of unknown "sonic attack" a couple of years ago? Well, today it was reported that a US consulate staffer in China was the victim of a ‘medically similar‘ attack. Via Reuters: The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation. ‘The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI),‘ the embassy said. The St

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Madman attacks car and passenger with a sledgehammer

An irate gentleman wearing shorts and a lime green shirt was caught on a security camera attacking an SUV and then a passenger with a sledgehammer. He followed the SUV into a parking lot, and when the SUV stops, the enraged man jumps out with a sledgehammer in his hand, which he uses to whack at the driver‘s window. The SUV starts to drive away, when someone on the passenger side falls out. The SUV keeps going while the passenger l

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How stalking is romanticized in movies

This episode of Pop Culture Detective is called Stalking for Love, and explores the movie trope about "nice guys" who relentlessly stalk and harass women they are obsessed with. It‘s remarkable how frequently this trope appears in movies. Stalking For Love is a popular media trope where invasive stalker-like behavior is presented as an endearing or harmless part of romantic courtship. The hero will often go to extraordinary lengths to c

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Mindbendingly cool Mexican psychedelic music from 1981

I‘m familiar with the psych music scene that emerged in the 1960s-1970s in Latin American countries like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, thanks to fantastic reissues of rare LPs on labels like Luaka Bop, Goma Gringa, Now Again, and Mr Bongo. Now, the esteemed diggers at Mr Bongo have brought us a stunningly spacey psych record from Mexico: Luis Prez‘s "Ipan In Xiktli Metztli, Mxico Mgico Csmico, El Ombligo de la Luna." In the 1970s, P

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Adam Savage at Maker Faire: the importance of sharing

Adam Savage gives a talk every year at Maker Faire. It‘s one of the highlights at the Bay Area event. This year, Adam talked about why sharing is such an important part of the maker movement. I‘m here to defend sharing as a vital aspect of maker culture that is intrinsic to the underlying ethos of what it means to be a maker, and by extension, a human being. Some people don‘t want to share I once attended a gallery show

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Plane flying from Austin TX to Honduras crashes and breaks in half, and everyone survives

A private plane carrying at least six US passengers from Austin, TX crashed on the small runway at Toncontin airport in Honduras‘s capital, Tegucigalpa. The plane split in half, but miraculously nobody was seriously injured. According to the BBC: The Gulfstream G200 aircraft was on a private flight from Austin, Texas, when it skidded off the runway and into a ditch at Toncontin International Airport. Surrounded by mountains and with a

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The Computer History Museum just published the sourcecode for Eudora

Eudora -- first released in 1988 -- was the first industrial-strength email client designed to run on personal computers like IBM PC and the Macintosh; though there are still die-hard users of the program, the last version was published in 2016. (more)

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Working replica of Snake Plissken‘s Lifeclock countdown timer watch from Escape From New York

The Lifeclock One: Snake Edition is a 300 licensed replica of the countdown timer watch worn by Snake Plissken in Escape From New York: it‘s very cool looking and faithful to the original prop, but regrettably, the designers have added in a bunch of "smart-watch" features (Bluetooth, an app, text-message and app notifications from your phone) that raise the price, create needless attack surface, and add complexity. (more)

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For the first time in nearly 40 years, there‘s a new Parliament album!

George Clinton, explaining why Medicaid Fraud Dogg was being released under the Parliament banner, rather than Funkadelic: "Because the last album was (2014‘s) Funkadelic First Ya Gotta Shake The Gate. It‘s Parliament‘s turn." (more)

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The company that made Grenfell Tower‘s flammable, poisonous insulation used dangerous lies to make hundreds of sales

Celotex convinced the owners of Grenfell Tower and hundreds of other buildings in the UK to insulate with their RS5000 insulation product -- a product that had never passed safety tests. The company claimed it was safe for use because a different version of RS5000 (one that used much more flame-retardant) had been through the tests. (more)

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These mini cinder blocks let you build your own desk gear

The workday is long, and inevitably, you‘re going to find yourself needing to take a break from the daily grind. With Mini Materials Miniature Cinder Blocks, you can take some time for yourself and decompress by turning your desk into a miniature construction site. They‘re available today in the Boing Boing Store for 22.49. https://www.youtube.com/embed/8KGN2W-EXSk Handmade out of real cement, these 1:12-scale mini cinder blocks mak

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