Day: July 12, 2016

Empirical proof that Terms of Service are "the biggest lie on the Internet"

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In The Biggest Lie on the Internet: Ignoring the Privacy Policies and Terms of Service Policies of Social Networking Services, a working paper by a pair of university communications professors, students were asked to try out a new social networking site as beta-testers; in reality they were being evaluated to see whether they reviewed the site’s terms of service and privacy policy in any detail.

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Frustrated pranksters change sign for accuracy

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I am unsurprised to find long time friend of Boing Boing, Howard Rheingold is in part responsible for changing this street sign. I pass it all the time.

Via the Marin IJ:

Three Tam Valley pranksters fed up with the tooth-grinding, serenity-shaking, bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 1 took matters into their own hands this weekend.

They changed the “Welcome to Tamalpais Valley” sign near the Holiday Inn Express to “Welcome to Traffic Jam Valley” on Friday afternoon, getting approving thumbs-ups and cheers from the host of motorists inching westward past the sign on congested Highway 1.

“We put it up to improve the quality of public information in a reversible and non-destructive way,” said Howard Rheingold, a 68-year-old Tam Valley resident and former editor of the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog.

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Beloved sports coach ignored sexual abuse of children

Jerry Sandusky, L, and Joe Paterno, R.  [Reuters]

Court documents show that famed Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno knew that convicted child molester, and former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing children, Paterno turned a blind eye as he had football games to lose.

The college has taken down a statue of Paterno, but a library remains named in his honor.

The then-14-year-old victim told Paterno that the assistant coach — who was convicted in 2012 of molesting 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in state prison — touched him while attending a football camp at the university, penetrating his rectum with his finger as he showered, the Washington Post reports.

John Doe 150, according to the newly unsealed court documents, testified that he told Paterno of the sexual assault and the coach ignored his complaint.

“Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?’” the victim’s lawyer asked him in 2014, according to the Washington Post.

“Specifically. Yes … I was shocked, disappointed, offended,” the man replied. “I was insulted… I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?”

(NY Daily News)

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Bernie Sanders concedes Democratic race, endorses Hillary Clinton

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Talking Points Memo:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gave an impassioned speech endorsing Hillary Clinton on Tuesday at a joint rally in New Hampshire, saying “she must become our next president.”

Sanders officially conceded the race, saying Clinton fairly “won the Democratic nominating process” with far more pledged …

“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here today,” he concluded, as they embraced one another.

Bernie’s participation was successful beyond expectations and had serious, positive results that counterbalance all the Trump bullshit. He forced Hillary to a more progressive manifesto—and hopefully convinced her for good that the smarmy centrism that comes naturally to mainstream Democrats is cooked. Cheers, Bernie!

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Road rage attacker could avoid jail by proving she is an "expert knitter"

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A road-raging Scotswoman who tailed her victim for miles before hauling open her door and punching her in the face could avoid imprisonment if she can prove she can knit.

Amanda McCabe told the judge that her apparent pursuit was “a simple coincidence, as she was a “keen knitter” and planned to visit a specialist wool shop,” reports Mark Mackay of The Courier.

On hearing that, Sheriff Rafferty laid down a challenge – one that he said could be the difference between liberty and prison.

He told McCabe she would return to court on December 14 with “multiple knitted items” capable of being sold in a charity shop and raising money for good causes.

Put on the spot, she claimed she could knit a jumper in two-to-three-days at a cost of £6 to £7.

It seems odd that having a legitimate reason to be in the area would make any difference as to sentencing over boxing in and physically attacking another driver. But the Courier is quite clear: “sentence was deferred until December for her to be of good behaviour and to produce the knitted items requested by the court” and she will avoid prison if she can “prove she is an expert knitter.”

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Make pizza at home? You want a baking steel

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I like crispy, Neapolitan-style pizza. The single biggest improvement to my pizza and bread baking, in the last year, has been the addition of a baking steel.

Pizza should be crispy on the bottom, but chewey, with great hole structure just above, and poofy edge crust sporting a few charred bubbles! My pizza stone got me close, but I was never really getting restaurant quality pizza at home.

The trick to getting your crust that perfect, I found, wasn’t just making great dough and rolling it out well. It is not even so much about an exact temperature, but a question of heat transference. Stone holds a lot of heat, and but steel holds more and conducts it far, far faster. A crispy bottomed, well risen crust is formed by the rapid vaporization of water in the dough. The faster and more evenly that happens, the better. You want bubbles and holes? You need a baking steel.

Clearly one should use a metal surface, rather than stone. The baking steel is a 15″ x 15″ square of seasoned carbon steel. It is 1/4″ thick and weighs in at 15 lbs. You were wondering where it stored all that heat? In mass. My oven rack takes the weight just fine, and the plate heats up quickly.

Slide your pizza on to the steel with your peel, and bake for about 1/2 the time you would on a stone! The increased heat transfer cooks the pizza much quicker than on a stone! I find the crust comes out perfectly in about 4 1/2 minutes, I used to bake at 500F for about 8-9 minutes.

I still use my old pizza stone. I keep it on my 2nd rack and place it about 4″ above the baking steel. This creates a nice radiant heat source directly above the baking pizza, and helps char the taller crust bubbles. I get pretty close to a wood-fired pizza.

The carbon steel comes pre-seasoned, and you reseason it just like cast iron, naturally I love it.

The recipe for dough I use is here.

Dough-Joe® Pizza Steel Baking Sheet–The Samurai™–15″ x 15″ x 1/4″ via Amazon

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Vandals wage war on San Francisco 'Little Free Library'

Photo: Peter Kupfe

Residents of an awfully tony neighborhood in San Francisco, California can’t keep their Little Free Library open. Of all the asshole things to do, some vandals keep destroying it!

The idea is to encourage neighborhood interaction, but the Little Free Library at Noe and 15th streets has become an exercise in frustration.

“It’s really just been one thing after another,” said Peter Kupfer, another resident. “It was vandalized. It was knocked down. Someone set fire to it. It was knocked apart and in pieces on the street. It was stolen completely, so a neighbor donated a cabinet, which we had painted and refinished.”

Last week, though, was the topper. The sponsors had bolted the Little Free Library to the sidewalk with metal braces.

“And they just ripped it out of the pavement,” Kupfer said.

(SF Chronicle)

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Meet your robot gardener

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The FarmBot Genesis is an open-source robot gardener for home food production. You design your mini-farm with their app and then the Raspberry Pi-powered robot handles the rest, from planting to watering, weeding to harvesting. The FarmBot Genesis sounds like the evolutionary descendant of Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana’s groundbreaking 1994 telerobotic artwork, the TeleGarden:

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FarmBot Genesis:

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The mystery of our 12-hour delay: the Mirage Expedition

Numerous tiny islands seem to float outside Sabang harbor on the island of We, which is just off the northernmost tip of Sumatra.

Previously: Investigating the Great Earthquake of 2012

This year for the 4th of July, I varied my routine ever so slightly by spending the day aboard the R/V Marion Dufresne outside of Sabang harbor on the island of We, which is just north of the tip of Sumatra. For more than 12 hours, from roughly 11 in the morning to almost half past 11 at night, we waited and waited, and waited some more, as the local Indonesian immigration and port officials did whatever it was they needed to do to release eight of their fellow citizens into our care. As you can see, I took a few snapshots of the little islands that fringe the marginally larger island of We, but we were not permitted to go ashore.

The following morning, the mystery of our delay was partially explained. As I understand it, the local Sabang authorities had wanted to send our new passengers’ passports to Jakarta for approval, which would have delayed our expedition by days. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, the passports were returned, and we were allowed to proceed south.

Most of the new members of our crew are Indonesian students studying geophysics and other sciences related to our survey of a seismically active section of the Wharton Basin, which is 3 kilometers below the surface of the Indian Ocean. Also aboard are a couple of Indonesian scientists, as well as an Indonesian security officer, who’s a captain in the Indonesian Navy and has been empowered to approve any changes to the expedition plan that’s already been approved by the Indonesian government. Should a question about that arise in the Wharton Basin, at least his answer will be a simple “yes” or “no,” with no need to trouble anyone in Sumatra for confirmation.

To follow the progress of MIRAGE, visit the EOS blog. #MIRAGEcruise

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Woman so deep in prayer that she drove right into a house

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A woman in Okaloosa County, Florida was so deep in prayer that she blew through a stop sign and drove right into a house. You can’t really blame her though. According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, she was so immersed in praying that she had closed her eyes and couldn’t have seen the stop sign or the house.

Police cited the 28-year-old for reckless driving and property damage. Thank God nobody was injured.

(NWFDailyNews)

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Rose McGowan's trippy, frenetic new video for Yoko Ono song

Punk-as-fuck sorceress Rose McGowan directed this hyperdelic video for Yoko Ono’s “Catman,” a Miike Snow remix/remake of a track from Ono’s 1973 album Approximately Infinite Universe. This version is included on Ono’s latest album, Yes, I’m A Witch Too.

“Yoko Ono has been an ardent supporter of women and modern dance for years and so I wanted to thank her for that,” McGowan says. “Casting women dancers over 60, including one with cancer, was my way of showing that vitality doesn’t die with age. I used color overlays to create my own visual beat. Very proud to be in Ono world, it’s an important one.”

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