Monday, July 31, 2017

"Teen Titans Go!'s Four-Night 'The Night Begins To Shine' Event Gets a Soundtrack Featuring Cee-Lo Green"

CB:

“The Night Begins to Shine” is an original song by the band B.E.R., which Telepictures Music welcomed to its library back in 2005, but it wasn’t until nearly 10 years later that the song made it big when it played in the Teen Titans Go! episode “Slumber Party,” which opens with Cyborg lip-syncing to it.

The song made another appearance in the “40%, 40%, 20%” episode which aired the following season.

Disney villain cup hangers



Don't know where the most reasonable place to buy these will be. Amazon has various series at a premium.

In other toy news, the Mafex Harvey Dent figure with regular and burned heads is available for preorder:

"Tianjin National Games mascot torn down after netizens mock it for being so incredibly ugly"

"On Thursday, a leafy representation of the game's mascot, Jinwa (Tianjin's baby'), appeared outside a city sports stadium, only to mocked mercilessly by Chinese netizens"

"Uzbekistan Reveals That Ex-Leader’s Daughter Is in Custody"

NYT:

Ms. Karimova disappeared from public view in 2014, and was convicted the next year of extortion and embezzlement charges, but until Friday’s announcement the Uzbek authorities had not commented on her status. The prosecutors said that Ms. Karimova was currently in custody, and that she was facing additional criminal charges. They did not specify the location or conditions of her detention.

Ms. Karimova, 45, was once one of the most influential public figures in Uzbekistan, second only to her father, Islam Karimov, the authoritarian leader of the Central Asian country from 1989, when it was still a Soviet republic, until his death last year.

Often appearing at odds with her country’s ultraconservative culture, Ms. Karimova actively promoted herself as an international pop star and designer, performing under the stage name Googoosha

"Fog Blamed For Power Outage That Affected Thousands In SF Richmond District"

CBS:

The outage was first reported around 9:30 a.m. in the city’s Richmond District and initially affected some 4,600 homes and businesses.

A power pole at California St. and 16th Avenue had caught fire. A PG&E worker at the scene told KPIX that condensation from fog, possibly mixed with dirt and grime, likely caused an electrical arc.

"Defensive tackle says he and other black teammates had trouble renting homes when they relocated from San Diego"

TU:

While Mebane researched neighborhoods, he didn’t give much thought to the racial makeup of Irvine, a city of just over 250,000 people located 42 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The Asian population in Irvine last year increased to 45 percent, surpassing whites for the first time and making the city “the largest city in the continental United States with an Asian plurality.”

Black residents of Irvine? They’re virtually nonexistent. Yet, even if Mebane had known the African-American population in Irvine was 1.8 percent, he wouldn’t have been concerned. He was a football player with multiple multimillion-dollar contracts behind him.

“For us,” Mebane said, “it was just find the right place where we would be comfortable.”

"John Popper From Blues Traveler Will Not Stop Posting Aerial Pictures of My House"

TDB:

Rutherford, a Kentucky resident who works in social services, has been the target of a weeks-long targeted harassment campaign propagated entirely by John Popper, singer of the ’90s hit “The Hook.”

He doesn’t know how to make it stop, and Twitter doesn’t seem to want to help.

“It’s one of these things where it’s like, I kind of wish it hadn’t happened, but I understand how funny it sounds,” said Rutherford.

...

Rutherford said he believed tensions had cooled when he congratulated Popper on becoming a father in 2015.

The Blues Traveler star became more hostile recently, however, when a bot that posts random segments of Rutherford’s previous tweets created a nonsense sentence that happened to have Popper’s name in it.

Rutherford’s bot, which tweets under the name @assbott, gained notoriety in the summer of 2016

"Officials in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday publicly doubted the credibility of three police officers and announced that 34 criminal cases would be dropped"

"More than 70 cases were still under review."

Relatedly, the Maryland flag is a symbol of Confederacy.

"The world’s skinniest skyscraper might never get finished"

NYP:

The 82-story skyscraper has risen fewer than 20 stories and is $50 million over budget — “apparently attributable in part to egregious oversights like neglecting to budget for construction cranes,” according to a new lawsuit by a major investor.

...

The suit is another to hit Billionaire’s Row.

In late June a second luxury condo at neighboring 157 W. 57th St., known as One57, was slated to be sold in a foreclosure auction. ​

"The man in charge of Kenya's computerised voting system has been found dead just days before the 8 August elections"

BBC:

"There was no doubt he was tortured and murdered"

...

Mr Msando had only been on the job for two months, having taken over after his predecessor was suspended for refusing to cooperate with an audit firm which was cleaning the voters' register.
Also:
Musando was one of the few people with knowledge on the whereabouts of the servers at IEBC.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Game of Thrones busts

"Ethereum miners are renting Boeing 747s to ship graphics cards and AMD shares are soaring"

qz:

Crypto miners—in particular those mining ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market valuation behind bitcoin—have been in the crypto equivalent of a gold rush since early this year. They are racing to take advantage of ethereum’s exploding price by adding more processing power to their mines. Some of them are even resorting to leasing Boeing 747s to fly the increasingly scarce graphics processors from AMD and Nvidia directly to their ethereum mines so they can be plugged in to the network as quickly as possible.

“Time is critical, very critical,” in mining, Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, a major ethereum miner, told Quartz. “For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity.”

Up for grabs is a supply of roughly 36,000 units of new ether, the digital token associated with ethereum, per day. At current prices of around $200 per ether, that translates to $7.2 million worth of ether that miners compete for each day.

Tiny waterslide

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"You should see the elevators at Microsoft's big London office. No buttons in them."

EG:

I raced in, bound for the fifth floor, and realised after an awkward pause that this elevator was only going to the second floor. An elevator that only goes to the second door? It turned out that it was only going to the second floor because the person who called it was only going to the second floor. He was stood over by the window wondering what I was up to. Welcome to the future, where you can crash someone's elevator party.

What I should have done, of course, is wait in the elevator bay and use a small panel in the centre of the space to select my floor of choice. An elevator would then be assigned to me, and once inside, it would take me, and only me, to the floor I wanted. Valet service. I did not expect to find this in an elevator.

"Your elevators are very confusing," I suggested when I finally got to Microsoft. But it turns out that the man I was meeting did not agree. They're amazing, he explained.

...

I mention this only because it was mildly concerning. What does a futuristic elevator do? It confuses you, until you adapt to it, at which point every other elevator on the planet becomes inferior, and, over time, every other elevator becomes confusing in its own primitive way. And I mention this only because the man I was meeting at Microsoft has a fascinating job, working on a team that is reimagining MS Paint for the modern era. But wait: a man who spends enough time around fancy valet-service elevators? What are they going to do to MS Paint?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Last Jedi action figure photos

Not spoilers as far as I can tell.

"73 of college football's worst uniforms ever"

Don't worry, it's not a slideshow.

"Satellites Reveal Secret U.S. Bases Emerging in the Desert"

TDB:

Now we’ve located what appear to be another two new bases—one in Jordan near the border with Syria, and another a short distance across the same border in southern Syria. The two airstrips could support drones, helicopters, and special operations airplanes.

On July 8, 2017, the Already Happened Twitter account, which bills itself as “independent media,” pointed out satellite imagery from June 2017 that appears to show a small airstrip in southern Syria a few miles from the trinational border where Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet.

AMC is developing a show based on The Ballad Of Black Tom

Says Deadline. (Recommended back in December.)

"Nine of Northern Europe’s 10 poorest regions — including West Wales, Cornwall and Lancashire — are in Britain."

"The prosperity we do have is highly dependent on our trade with Europe."

Nightmare fuel

Seriously.

Also, hail this week in Istanbul:

Moonraker and Tron Legacy-themed rides created in Planet Coaster



The Rock and Mark Zuckerberg (and Brett Ratner)

Dwayne, remember that time in #Japan when we ran into #MarkZuckerberg and he got in your face about your social media skills? Well, I want you to know eventhough you had that #Israeli Mossad agent behind you and your big bald headed #Cuban wing man close by @hhgarcia41 I had your back no matter what! I was ready to go as soon as you gave me the signal. I wasn't going to let @zuck step to my boy without him and his crew understanding what was about to go down! Dwayne, You are a true #Baller!! A real artist. A tough guy with a soft heart. A great entertainer. A good son, father and family man. A man who brings out the best in others and an all around great spirit. Thanks for your inspiration and friendship always! Love u brother! Huge Congrats tonight on @ballershbo season 3! @hbo @joeyjuice1 @davidkatzenberg #Ballers
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"Muslim Franchisee Sues KFC Over Religious-Claims Policy"

CN:

A KFC franchisee who sells halal chicken to the Chicago-area Muslim community filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the fried chicken giant’s policy prohibiting franchisees from making religious claims about its food.

Afzal Lokhandwala, owner of eight Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Illinois, sued KFC Corporation in Chicago federal court, arguing enforcement of the policy would force him to close four of his restaurants, which sell halal chicken that is permissible according to Islamic law.

“For 14 years, KFCC has permitted and helped plaintiffs to sell halal poultry products to KFC customers,” the complaint states

Friday, July 28, 2017

"Using a cheap robot, a team of hackers has cracked open a leading-brand combination safe, live on stage in Las Vegas"

BBC:

A spokeswoman for SentrySafe could not be reached on Friday.

But speaking to Wired magazine earlier this month, when the team demonstrated its method on a smaller safe, a spokeswoman for the safe maker said: "In this environment, the product accomplished what it was designed to do.

“[It] would be realistically very difficult, if not impossible, for the average person to replicate in the field.”

From Cara Delevingne's Wikipedia page

W:

Her godfather is Condé Nast executive Nicholas Coleridge and her godmother is actress Joan Collins. Delevingne's maternal grandfather was publishing executive and English Heritage chairman Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the nephew of magazine publisher Sir Edward George Warris Hulton and the grandson of newspaper proprietor Sir Edward Hulton, 1st Baronet. Her paternal great-grandfather was the Canadian-born British politician Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood, and her maternal grandmother Janie Sheffield was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Through one of her maternal great-great-grandfathers, Sir Lionel Lawson Faudel-Phillips, 3rd Baronet, Delevingne descends from the Anglo-Jewish Faudel-Phillips baronets; two of her ancestors on that line served as Lord Mayor of London

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress"

"under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive any environmental regulations that would normally impede construction in a sensitive wildlife area"

"Prosecution of white-collar crime is at a twenty-year low"

NY:

In the summer of 2012, a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate released a report so brimming with international intrigue that it read like an airport paperback. Senate investigators had spent a year looking into the London-based banking group HSBC, and discovered that it was awash in skulduggery. According to the three-hundred-and-thirty-four-page report, the bank had laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels, and violated sanctions by covertly doing business with pariah states. HSBC had helped a Saudi bank with links to Al Qaeda transfer money into the United States. Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, which is responsible for tens of thousands of murders, deposited so much drug money in the bank that the cartel designed special cash boxes to fit HSBC’s teller windows. On a law-enforcement wiretap, one drug lord extolled the bank as “the place to launder money.

...

This regime, in which corporate executives have essentially been granted immunity, is relatively new. After the savings-and-loan crisis of the nineteen-eighties, prosecutors convicted nearly nine hundred people, and the chief executives of several banks went to jail. When Rudy Giuliani was the top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, he liked to march financiers off the trading floor in handcuffs. If the rules applied to mobsters like Fat Tony Salerno, Giuliani once observed, they should apply “to big shots at Goldman Sachs, too.” As recently as 2006, when Enron imploded, such titans as Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were convicted of conspiracy and fraud.

Something has changed in the past decade, however, and federal prosecutions of white-collar crime are now at a twenty-year low.

"Foxconn could get up to $200 million in cash a year from [Wisconsin] residents for up to 15 years"

JSO:

To lure Foxconn Technology Group to Wisconsin, state residents will have to do more than just forgo taxes from the Taiwanese electronics giant. They will have to pay cash — writing checks for up to $200 million a year.

...

David J. Ward, an economist who has studied foreign investment in Wisconsin, backs the deal and says the state is lucky to have the chance to accept it.

"Procter & Gamble Co. said that its move to cut more than $100 million in digital marketing spend in the June quarter had little impact on its business"

WSJ:

The company about a year ago said that it would move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, after finding that ultra-niche targeting compromises reach and has limited effectiveness

...

The cuts echo marketing executives’ mounting concerns around the efficacy of digital advertising and the growing perception that they are wasting money on digital ads that never reach their intended audience
Relatedly:
page owners without expensive video production capabilities have come up with a sneaky way to create videos that aren't really videos — and they're absolutely killing it in the [Facebook] News Feed.

The secret? Take a static image and turn it into a video!

This "video" has generated more than 11 million views on Facebook since being posted roughly three weeks ago. It's a meme that has been turned into a 35-second video by...showing a static image of the meme for 35 seconds.

Jade lion-style xenomorph figurines



4-LOM commission

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The new Pikmin Amiibo is available

$12.99 shipped at Amazon.

Kumail Nanjiani is an orc in the new Lord of the Rings game



He's bad at insults. Relatedly, I have discovered that the dungeons and dragons adventures from the Harmontown podcasts (where I first heard Kumail) are available here and here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jared Leto as Bloodshot

Teen Titans Go, The Night Begins to Shine special event swag



"The Jamaican lottery scam, and others like it around the world, show no signs of stopping"

Vice:

Globalization has connected economies across the world, but it has also benefitted criminals that borrow and adapt the techniques used by outsourced industries like telemarketing. The Jamaican lottery scam that ensnared Schmeets is just one example. Indian call center operators posing as IRS agents were recently busted for fleecing 15,000 Americans out of more than $300 million. Altogether, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 1 million complaints about fake debt collectors and imposters last year.

Jamaicans specialize in the lottery scam. Here’s how it works: Fraudsters trick victims into paying taxes and fees they say are needed to claim a nonexistent jackpot. The scammers work in teams, using internet calling services to mimic familiar U.S. area codes, and they may pose as the IRS, the Nevada Gaming Commission, or the Federal Reserve, in addition to the FBI. The targets tend to be retirees over 80 who live alone.

It’s impossible to say exactly how much money is lost to the lottery scam. Official guesses have ranged from $120 million a year to as much as $1 billion, according to one estimate cited by the Justice Department. That means it could be nearly half as much Jamaica’s tourism industry, which is worth about $2 billion annually.

...

gangs that once fought for control of the drug trade now kill each other for access to lead lists, which include names and phone numbers for would-be victims

"Denver's Main Library Is Now A Hub For Crime And Drug Abuse"

9News:

in the first four months of this year, emergency dispatchers received 44 calls for overdoses at the Denver Public Library’s central branch, located at 10 W. 14th Ave. There were no such calls in that category during the same time frame last year.

Calls about fights and assaults were 350 percent over this same time last year, and 911 calls about trespassing or “unwanted persons” increased 783 percent

...

Reporter Jeremy Jojola spent three days undercover at the library

...

part of the reason the library is experiencing an increase in crime and overdoses is because more people are being moved off the streets due to the city’s urban camping ban, or so-called “homeless sweeps.”

"One hundred percent of Burgundy snails you buy in France are picked in Central Europe"

NPR:

These buttery and garlicky Burgundy snails, or escargots de Bourgogne, are a classic French delicacy; yet they aren't French any more. Every snail prepared by the employees at Croque Bourgogne comes from Hungary. In fact, all companies that sell this shelled delicacy in France import it from elsewhere in Europe.

...

Sometimes, companies go all the way to Ukraine to get these much wanted snails

"The percentage of black leaders at JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs is falling even as the U.S. workforce gets more diverse"

BB:

Black diversity is also going backward for all U.S. employees at JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America Corp., where the percentage of black workers slipped to 13.1 percent from 15.2 percent in 2012. All three lag the active U.S. workforce, which was 14.8 percent black in 2015, the most recent year for which nationwide data is available.

...

There’s no single explanation for what’s happened

"Teens Explain Their Obsession With Sarahah, Summer’s Hottest Anonymous-Gossip App"

NYM:

“It seems like a way for teens to continue the drama and say things about people without revealing their identity"

...

This is where Snapchat comes in — it’s a Sarahah distribution platform. Kids will embed their Sarahah link into a snap in their Snap Story — in layman’s terms, they’ll post the link where all their Snapchat followers can access it — where friends, or anybody if their account is public, can click it and anonymously comment. (Snap, which only recently began allowing links in Stories, did not respond to Select All’s request for comment regarding Sarahah.)

The next step, of course, is to screenshot all the complimentary comments you’ve received — or all the cruel ones — and upload those images to your Snap Story as a humble brag. (Comments are only visible to the recipient unless they choose to share.) “A lot of people are screenshotting the anonymous messages and putting them on their Snapchat Story for everyone to see,” said June, a 17-year-old from Ohio. “The messages are usually either really nice or really mean.”

"Massive chrome sculpture on stilts in Cathedraltown neighbourhood caught many residents by surprise"

TS:

“I think it’s actually kind of disturbing looking. I come from a Christian background and this is actually one of the worst things you can do, is to raise a calf; it’s facing the cathedral. Who’s going to want to buy the house, there’s very little to admire,”

...

Ho said he believed the statue belonged in another location but that the donor insisted on the current location and council agreed.

"Twitter lost 2 million users in the U.S. last quarter"

"Twitter's stock closed down 14 percent to $16.84 a share."

Star Wars Forces of Destiny figures available for preorder

Two different Leias, two Reys, Jyn, Sabine. Brand new 1/12 scale deluxe figures by 1000Toys, too.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Figurines by Amanda Visell

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"Divers seek [Falcons receiver] Julio Jones' lost treasure in Lake Lanier"

"The superstar of the Atlanta Falcons lost his diamond earring while jet skiing. That was when he apparently hit a boat wake and was tossed into the water. He came back up, but his earring, worth more than $100,000 didn't."

Disney's augmented reality"Magic Bench" (this would be great for horror)

"To cast the children in the film, [Angelina] Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship"

VF:

In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie says. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.” Jolie then tears up. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”

That authentic connection to pain was awakened in everyone involved, says Jolie

"Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops"

Pol:

House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico.

But an internal House Republican fight over transgender troops was threatening to blow up the bill. And House GOP insiders feared they might not have the votes to pass the legislation because defense hawks wanted a ban on Pentagon-funded sex reassignment operations — something GOP leaders wouldn’t give them.

They turned to Trump, who didn’t hesitate. In the flash of a tweet, he announced that transgender troops would be banned altogether.

"Players Attempt to Draw Their Team's Logo at Big Ten Media Days"

"Their attempts, as well as those from the 40 other players in attendance, are presented below without further comment."

"Even more disturbing, said Lisa, was the environment of sheer terror that the drones created in small Afghan communities"

Ars:

in more traditional scenarios, planes fly overhead only to drop ordinance. But armed drones can circle overhead for many hours, leaving the people below in constant fear for their lives. She compared the endless circling to walking through town while carrying large machine guns, pointing them at people randomly. It felt to her like a terrorist tactic.

She also said that she'd signed up for the military to work for her country, not for corporations. A big part of the push for drones is coming from military contractors like Raytheon, which stand to profit from the adoption of their machines. Lisa said it became obvious to her while in the military that corporate interests were guiding military decisions.

When she left the military, Lisa got two commendations for her work. One said that she'd affected the lives of more than 100,000 Afghanis with her work, and the other said she'd killed hundreds.

Nightmare fuel

Our world today.

"This Is What Happens When A College Football Fixer Goes Rogue"

DS:

If you had asked me when I was a student at the University of Florida who is Huntley Johnson, my answer would have been this: The guy who represents all the football players. Football players exist in the bizarre NCAA unreality where those in power refuse to pay their most necessary workers a living wage but somehow they still land the best defense lawyer in town every time. Johnson was and is a very good defense lawyer and a Florida alum; the popular photo of him shows a pile of Gators caps in his office.

That’s the expected narrative. What’s happened lately is different; Johnson has turned his investigative prowess on his alma matter itself.

"Flagstar Bank was ordered to pay $37.5 million in damages to mortgage customers and in fines ... for mishandling requests for loan modifications and, in some cases, illegally foreclosing on homes"

That's from the Detroit News in 2014. Today's news is "The Detroit Pistons and Flagstar Bank announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that Flagstar is the team's jersey ad sponsor.

Two $1.99 books picked up from my wishlist:

Rogues:

A thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors—including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin!

...

Featuring all-new stories by

Joe Abercrombie • Daniel Abraham • David W. Ball • Paul Cornell • Bradley Denton • Phyllis Eisenstein • Gillian Flynn • Neil Gaiman • Matthew Hughes • Joe R. Lansdale • Scott Lynch • Garth Nix • Cherie Priest • Patrick Rothfuss • Steven Saylor • Michael Swanwick • Lisa Tuttle • Carrie Vaughn • Walter Jon Williams • Connie Willis
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction):
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD • WINNER OF THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

Named ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by more than a dozen publications, including The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle

"Inside The Weird World Of EVE Online's Corpse Collectors"

Kotaku:

There exists a small fraction of the EVE player base that chooses to take part in the trade of virtual human bodies. The frozen remains left behind in the wake of massive space battles is useless in the game, but can still fetch a pretty penny on the open market—depending on whose body it is.

...

Most corpse connoisseurs I spoke to weren’t particularly introspective about their choice of hobby, saying they pack their ships with human cargo for “sport” or “the lulz.” But some offered more compelling explanations.

“Well, besides collecting ‘for fun’, I grew up playing Diablo 2, with the ear system,” said one. “Where when you killed a player in PVP, their named ear would drop, and I used to PVP all the time, so the ears would be my trophies in my stash.” When this player picked up EVE, he carried that habit over. “Call it a reminder to myself to stay somewhat humble and calm in PVP, and to remind myself that everybody dies,” he said.

Some players keep a few corpses around as reminders of major victories. Some just hoard all the bodies they can find.

...

His collecting habits would also cause other sorts of trouble for the fleet. “I have had situations where after a long fleet I might have 20+ corpses in cargo, and then for whatever reason I lose my ship in a fight, the corpses pop out of the wreck as individual items in space,” he said.

This sudden flooding of the battlefield with dozens of corpses causes other player’s overviews to be suddenly flooded with bodies

Tiffany Haddish, Milkshake Duck

"I don't care, I'll drink the juice. I'll drink the juice. I'll take a nap. I don't give a damn. [laughs]"

"An Atlanta United supporter is suing the parent company of the website Deadspin for libel"

Based on an already edited article?

Hot Toys Gladiator Hulk (Thor Ragnarok) available for preorder

At the BBTS. The Marvel Legends Thor Ragnarok figures are already in stock.

"Coca-Cola announced that it will cease distribution of Coke Zero in the United States beginning in August"

"Coke Zero Is Gone Because We Live in a Grim Dystopia in Which Nothing Good Can Exist"

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thor Ragnarok Marvel Legends series available for preorder

Build-a-figure gladiator Hulk, Jane Foster Thor, Ares, Cate Blanchett, and more.

Excellent article about being a professional female soccer player

N+1:

IN MY DREAM I am in a wheelchair. I am on the sidelines asking why I can’t play, trying to stand and run as my coaches and peers urge me back toward the chair. I show them how I can walk and run in place. So why aren’t I allowed on the field?

"Hampton Creek is losing about $4 million a month, according to the people. Absent additional funding, the startup is projected to run out of money within six months"

Bloomberg:

The dismissal of these three executives came while the employees were on a business trip in Majorca, Spain. During their weekend break, Tetrick created a ruse, said one of the people. Tetrick told the three to cancel their flights to a meeting in Germany. Instead, Tetrick instructed, they would pitch a wealthy venture capitalist who happened to be in Majorca on Monday afternoon, the person said.

Tetrick asked the executives to book a conference room at a Majorcan hotel and video conference him into the investor pitch. But when the three executives patched Tetrick into the meeting, they were surprised to see him sitting with a member of Hampton Creek’s human resources department. Moments later the supposed potential investor arrived. The man introduced himself as an agent who had been hired by Tetrick, the person said. He was there to serve the executives their termination documents and take their company laptops, the person said.

Upon learning of the firings, the directors called an emergency board meeting in which some members demanded Tetrick reverse his action. But it was too late. Tetrick had already shared details of the discharge with a journalist from the Guardian.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Augmented Reality Mario Kart





Hado Kart.

The deluxe Patrón x Guillermo del Toro set is available for preorder



$475. And not remotely the most expensive item on the page.

New alternative mascot for the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team



Las Vegas Reyes de Plata.

Captain Marvel to receive $20.8 million in tax breaks from California

"Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito said, 'Our headquarters and postproduction facilities are in California, so it’s very exciting to be able to film ‘Captain Marvel’ here in our home state thanks to this California tax credit.'"

"Roomba's Next Big Step Is Selling Maps of Your Home to the Highest Bidder"

"Spatial mapping could improve audio performance by taking advantage of the room’s acoustics. Do you have a large room that’s practically empty? Targeted furniture ads might be quite effective."

"key allies objected that an independent Bosnia would be 'unnatural' as the only Muslim nation in Europe"

NYT from 2009:

Clinton said U.S. allies in Europe blocked proposals to adjust or remove the embargo. They justified their opposition on plausible humanitarian grounds, arguing that more arms would only fuel the bloodshed, but privately, said the president, key allies objected that an independent Bosnia would be "unnatural" as the only Muslim nation in Europe. He said they favored the embargo precisely because it locked in Bosnia's disadvantage. . . . He said President François Mitterrand of France had been especially blunt in saying that Bosnia did not belong, and that British officials also spoke of a painful but realistic restoration of Christian Europe.
Via.

"Please help save Snopes.com!"

GoFundMe:

We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.

Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.

"Overnight inside a Polar Bear’s Den"



"the Safari Lodge of Zoo de la Flèche, a 14-hectare zoo that opened in 1946 in the Loire Valley of France. Two years ago, the park ventured into the world of luxury hospitality when it began expanding the enclosures of their polar bears, grizzlies, wild tigers and wolves, so that guests could spend the night."

"Microsoft Paint to be killed off after 32 years"

TG:

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, released in April, Microsoft introduced the new Paint 3D, which is installed alongside traditional Paint and features 3D image making tools as well as some basic 2D image editing. But it is not an update to original Paint and doesn’t behave like it.

Now Microsoft has announced that, alongside Outlook Express, Reader app and Reading list, Microsoft Paint has been signalled for death having been added to the “features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update” list.
Via.

Bearded ("Hot") Street Fighter V Ryu SDCC 2017 Exclusive action figure available for preorder

At the BBTS. Also available for preorder, Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 Ultimate Freddy Krueger Figure and Horror Plushies Series 1.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"Rise and fall of General Manas: Thailand's top trafficker"

AFP:

Around the time of the money transfers, Manas served as a top commander of Thailand's southern security arm.

His job was to enforce its controversial "push-back" policy -- which meant turning around boats of stateless Rohingya who were trying to flee persecution in Myanmar.

But he used this position to do just the opposite, according to last week's verdict, which exposed a matrix of collusion between state officials and businessmen who profited from trafficking.

Witnesses said Manas instructed officers to force back a boat of 265 Rohingya in 2012 -- only to covertly re-route the ship to shore and truck the human cargo south to the jungle prisons.

"Diver survives 60 hours trapped in an underwater cave"

WaPo:

Gracia was trapped in that underwater cave for 60 hours, not knowing whether his diving partner, who he had sent to get help, even made it out of the maze below the Spanish island of Mallorca.

...

Gracia, 54, and his diving partner, Guillem Mascaró, left a rope that day, according to the BBC. But something ended up severing it, leaving them lost and with a dwindling amount of air in their oxygen tanks.

"Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property"

WaPo:

U.S. appeals court judges have ruled inconsistently on whether federal law protects religious groups from eminent domain in such cases. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, which covers Delaware, New Jersey and the part of Pennsylvania where the nuns reside, has yet to issue a ruling on the matter. Legal observers say a case could make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lego Batman Movie blu-ray + digital download is $9.99 right now

At Amazon.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mysterio, Lizard, Gwenpool Marvel Legends



Lots of Marvel Legends reveals.

The Youtube/Disney guy is no longer a Disney guy

"I have outgrown the channel."

Thor Ragnarok trailer and poster



Lego buildings





"The camp promotes itself as a sleepaway experience for 'rising social media creators'"

TV:

This is the inaugural year for SocialStar Creator Camp, an offshoot of an actor camp that takes place every summer near LA. It’s three days of intensive influencer workshops focusing on monetization, branding, and the basics of shooting and editing video, all aimed at kids in their early teens to mid-20s. At first, the idea sounds like the recipe for a reality TV show. You’d expect to see kids clinging to their phones like a lifeline, or parading around filming everything. The reality was a group of surprisingly business-minded teens with an eye on their futures.

Ready Player One arg site?

JoinTheQuest.

John Hammond’s amber cane replica



Jurassic Park replica for sale.

Glass bottom pool

From my wishlist, Patricia Highsmith's Deep Water is $1.99 today

At Amazon.

Ready Player One trailer

"A subsequent investigation by the Thai Department of Special Investigations uncovered a lifestyle of what appeared to be mind-blowing decadence"

BBC:

After a succession of scandals, people are openly talking about a crisis of Buddhism in Thailand. Numbers of ordained monks have been falling steeply in recent years, and many smaller village temples are unable to support themselves financially.

The body which is supposed to govern the Buddhist clergy is the Supreme Sangha Council, but this comprises a group of very elderly monks, and until this year had not had a properly functioning Supreme Patriarch for more than a decade. It has proved ineffective.

...

The government has now introduced a law requiring temples, which collectively accumulate $3-4bn (£2-3bn) in donations every year, to publicise their financial records. It is also talking about introducing a new, digital ID card for monks to ensure those tainted by malpractice cannot be ordained again.

...

Wirapol fled to the US. It took four years for the Thai authorities to secure his extradition

Excellent podcast: 30 for 30's "A Queen Of Sorts"

About a heist.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Trailer

Gwenpool, Rex, and The Joker



Marvel Legends, Star Wars, ThreeA.

The just-revealed Blade Runner Spinners by NECA are available for preorder

3" and 6" versions.

"A GIF Of A Storm Was Watched More Than 22 Million Times On Facebook Live"

BF:

On Thursday, a Facebook page called Newsfeed began broadcasting what appeared to be a live video of a huge electrical storm.

...

Just one small problem, however: It wasn't a "live" video at all, but a five-second GIF that kept on repeating itself.

...

BuzzFeed News has contacted Facebook for comment.

Trailer for Triple Threat



"A judge on Thursday declared as unconstitutional a local Wisconsin ordinance mandating that the makers of augmented reality games get special use permits"

AT:

The maker of Texas Rope 'Em—an augmented reality game with features like Pokemon Go—sued Milwaukee County after it adopted an AR ordinance in February in the wake of the Pokemon Go craze. Because some of its parks were overrun by a deluge of players, the county began requiring AR makers to get a permit before their apps could be used in county parks.

The permitting process also demanded that developers perform the impossible: estimate crowd size, event dates, and the times when mobile gamers would be playing inside county parks. The permits, which cost as much as $1,000, also required that developers describe plans for garbage collection, bathroom use, on-site security, and medical services.

Games Workshop is trying out blind-bagged Space Marines



In Japan.

"Less than a month into his new job, White House press secretary Sean Spicer needed to keep his food and drink cold. He wanted a mini-fridge"

WSJ:

He dispatched a top aide to a nearby executive office building where junior research employees are crammed into a room, surviving on Lean Cuisine frozen lunches. Mr. Spicer wants your icebox, the aide said, according to people familiar with the incident. They refused to give it up.

So Mr. Spicer waited until sundown—after his young staffers had left—to take matters into his own hands. He was spotted by a fellow White House official lugging the icebox down the White House driveway after 8 p.m.

From the very start, Mr. Spicer faced myriad challenges in his role as President Donald Trump’s chief spokesman

"The one area where Trump has been wildly successful"

WaPo:

Trump is on pace to more than double the number of federal judges nominated by any president in his first year.

...

Moreover, Trump’s picks are astoundingly young.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"around 84% of today’s elite [in China] are direct descendants of the elite from pre-1949"

LARoB:

One attempt to redress the balance was the dating show Feichang Wurao, or “If You Are the One,” which ran two special episodes dedicated to finding love for migrant workers, who often have trouble in the search for partners. This well-meaning but misguided attempt backfired, since none of the female workers were willing to date a male migrant worker; all aspired to a partner who could elevate them into what they perceived to be a more middle-class existence.

Tiffany Haddish Took Will & Jada Pinkett Smith on a Groupon Swamp Tour

Toys based on Pan's Labyrinth coming from NECA (and other toy reveals)



Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection. Other toy reveals include MOTU, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Marvel Legends:

"Why Japan’s first lady was probably not snubbing President Trump"

"Several interviewed by The Post said they had never heard Abe speak English and speculated that she would not feel comfortable having more than a simple conversation."

"O.J. Simpson made [more than $600,000 from NFL pension in prison"

"that money is now his to spend and can't be touched by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman, who won a civil judgment against Simpson in February 1997 that, including interest, is now worth more than $40 million."

Also, predicting the future:

"Burundi Teens Missing After Robotics Competition in D.C. Seen Crossing Into Canada"

AP:

Oscar Niyiragira, chairman of the United Burundian-American Community Association Inc., was not at all surprised to hear that some of the teens were heading to Canada. He had no direct knowledge of their situation, but assumed they were seeking asylum, and many in the community feel the odds are better in Canada, especially now that the Trump administration has taken a harsh stance on immigration.

N. K. Jemisin's excellent The Fifth Season is on sale today

$2.99 at Amazon.

SDCC-exclusive and newly-revealed toys available for preorder



SDCC exclusives including the A-Force Marvel Legends set, brand new DC collectibles including Gotham City Garage Supergirl, the just-revealed Lord of the Rings vinyl figures, and various jaegers from the new Pacific Rim film.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Those reports on Google funding academic research may be 99% nonsense — but we should talk about that 1%"

Medium:

So let’s talk a bit about the Google Transparency Project. Its parent organization, the Campaign for Accountability, has only existed for about two years (lengthy Wikipedia entry notwithstanding), and therefore hasn’t had to file IRS Form 990 yet, the main way that non-profits disclose their funding and other financial records to the government and to the public. In fact, the Campaign’s only known funder is Oracle, which has been waging a well-documented legal and media relations battle against Google for years.

...

Again, the Campaign for Accountability’s only known funder is Oracle, and as I tweeted earlier this week, academics are just collateral damage in the Oracle/Google wars. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the GTP report and the first set of stories based on it went up just in time for the Net Neutrality Day of Action. Support for net neutrality is one of the few major policy differences between Google and many other ICT companies. I strongly suspect that part of the goal here is to undermine policy research and advocacy that support net neutrality.

"FYI... theatres are being told The Dark Tower is 94mins, not 95mins"

Potential spoiler (if true):
...
...
...
...
...

Worse still, given that the whole point of this film is to harvest the built-in Stephen King Fanbase dollars, the film ends on what one person familiar with the project called, “what might be the worst studio-dictated happy ending since Brazil” and one that seems diabolically calculated to infuriate King fans with a giant middle finger to the entire Dark Tower concept.

Kylo Ren/MUSCLE figure



Available at HealyMade.

"Suspicious betting patterns have raised concerns that three matches in this year’s Wimbledon tournament may have been fixed"

"The news about Wimbledon was released in the integrity unit’s quarterly briefing report, which mentioned a total of 53 matches, including one at the French Open."

I wish Funko would do a kickstarter for some of Kibooki's less marketable designs

A post shared by Kibooki (@kibookied) on


A post shared by Kibooki (@kibookied) on


A post shared by Kibooki (@kibookied) on


A post shared by Kibooki (@kibookied) on


A post shared by Kibooki (@kibookied) on


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More on that Disney/Youtube star hated by his neighbors in Los Angeles

A summary by a Redditor.

Commissions by Simon Roy (Prophet) start at $100

Mail order, estimated turnaround of 30 days.

Shade the Changing Girl print by Tula Lotay



"Meniscus repair is only one commonly performed orthopedic surgery that has failed to produce better results than a sham surgery"

538:

a bizarre research technique called sham surgery. In these fake operations, patients are led to believe that they are having a real surgical procedure — they’re taken through all the regular pre- and post- surgical rituals, from fasting to anesthesia to incisions made in their skin to look like the genuine operation occurred — but the doctor does not actually perform the surgery. If the patient is awake during the “procedure,” the doctor mimics the sounds and sensations of the true surgery, and the patient may be shown a video of someone else’s procedure as if it were his own.

...

Weirdly enough, surgery’s invasiveness may explain some of its potency. Studies have shown that invasive procedures produce a stronger placebo effect than non-invasive ones, said researcher Jonas Bloch Thorlund of the University of Southern Denmark. A pill can provoke a placebo effect, but an injection produces an even stronger one. Cutting into someone appears to be more powerful still.