Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Phitsawat: a Thai soap that serves authoritarianism"


Thai soap operas play a crucial social role in constructing political ideas of nationalism, Buddhism and morality. This mechanism, however, is not a stagnant process. The recent airing of a nationalistic soap has shown how Thai soaps adapt to changing political contexts.


it is clear that the intention is to highlight Akhara’s suspicion of elected politicians. In this way, the conversation reflects current debates in Thai politics over the junta-backed organic laws governing the political party system. The military appointed lawmakers have proposed that new laws should contain severe punishments for politicians involved in corruption cases. There has also been a proposal to give the Election Commission of Thailand more power to ban politicians and order re-elections

"Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof discovers that printing a picture of a flatscreen TV on their bike boxes reduces delivery damages by 70-80 per cent"

"For some reason, bicycles in big cardboard boxes have a tendency to get dropped, bashed or crushed by delivery companies"

"The governor of California signed a bill into law today that will make it illegal for entertainment websites like IMDB to post the ages of actors if that actor requests the information to be taken down"

"the bill will not apply to news outlets, but is aimed at subscription entertainment sites where hiring decisions are made"

"Shanghai Restaurant Wins Michelin Star, Closes Down Day Later"

"Residents expressed . . . their disappointment that local authorities had neglected the issue for months. They also didn’t understand how an unlicensed restaurant could have received a Michelin star in the first place."

I enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

It's about a boarding school for teens who went through portals to magical lands, were forcibly ejected back into our world, and desperately want to find the doorway that will take them back to the only place they truly belong (because their parents sure can't accept the way they were changed by the experience).

The worlds the children fell into vary dramatically and are classified on logic-nonsense and moral-immoral axes.  It's fun to consider how worlds like Wonderland, or Pinhead's realm, or Dracula/Frankenstein's villages (or our own world) would be classified. Available at Amazon.

Fone Bone vinyl figure available for preorder

Supposedly coming out this month.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Maquettes for Henry Selick's Shadow King

A photo posted by Damon Bard (@damonbard) on

A photo posted by Damon Bard (@damonbard) on

A photo posted by Damon Bard (@damonbard) on

A photo posted by Damon Bard (@damonbard) on

"It’s getting harder to use the iPhone without using TouchID"

"Of course, none of this would be a problem if I were using TouchID."

"To understand Charlotte’s rage, you have to understand its roads"


When time came to build the country’s interstate highways, the engineers who consulted local politicians on where they should pave found a swift answer: the Brooklyns and McCrorey Heightses of many American cities were split apart, torn down, and dismantled in the name of transportation progress.

The black doctors and university professors who lived in McCrorey Heights used to be able to walk to work at Johnson C Smith University while their kids walked to school at Biddleville Elementary, down a street lined with black-owned businesses.

“A new expressway went through in the 1960s, wiped out a street of houses, wiped out the school, wiped out the businesses,” said Hanchett. “Economic segregation was already coming into focus. But the interstates created moats.”

When the road projects scattered black Charlotte, it wasn’t like people could just transplant their communities wholesale and start over en masse. Some were left behind in half-communities bottled in by roads.

TMNT vinyl figures by Kidrobot

Available for preorder.

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Why the silencing of KrebsOnSecurity opens a troubling chapter for the ‘Net"


Until recently, a DDoS attack in excess of 600Gb was nearly impossible for all but the most sophisticated and powerful actors to carry out.


the attacks against KrebsOnSecurity harness so-called Internet-of-things devices—think home routers, webcams, digital video recorders, and other everyday appliances that have Internet capabilities built into them. Manufacturers design these devices to be as inexpensive and easy-to-use as possible. Consumers often have little technical skill. As a result, the devices frequently come with bug-ridden firmware that never gets updated and easy-to-guess login credentials that never get changed. Their lax security and always-connected status makes the devices easy to remotely commandeer by people who turn them into digital cannons that spray the Internet with shrapnel. On Thursday, security firm Symantec cataloged 11 different families of IoT malware that do just that.

"Leaked video shows Snapchat's new glasses"


Apparently called "Spectacles," the glasses appear to have a small camera on their frame — similar to the prototype Business Insider first noticed that CEO Evan Spiegel had been wearing in public about a year ago.

At the beginning of the video, a ring around the camera flashes lights, apparently to signal it is recording. The rest of the video weaves through images people might want to record, like a kid's birthday party, before it closes on a shot of grandparents watching the film on their phones.