Wednesday, January 31, 2024

10 minutes of slick techno-weirdness in the extended trailer for Death Stranding 2

New video game Humble Bundle

Killer sharks, Ghostbusters and other "high-octane action." Steam scores displayed.

Today's news and jokes

Super 7's o-ring style G.I. Joe figures are up for preorder

At the BBTS along with a bunch of other new Super 7 preorders.

Invasive ants dramatically altered lion hunting patterns in Kenya

Native ants that protect the whistling thorn tree (by "swarming up the nostrils of African bush elephants") are being overwhelmed by invasive "big-headed ants." That's allowed elephants to destroy undefended thorn trees at a high rate. Such trees are a favored hiding place of lions, allowing them to effectively hunt zebras,  So the lions started hunting buffalo instead:

“We don’t know what’s going to happen going forward,” says ... a wildlife ecologist at UW and lead author of the new study. “It’s very difficult for lions to kill buffalo. It’s a lot of energy compared to [hunting] zebra, and sometimes buffalos kill lions when they’re fighting.”

Other experts wonder whether buffalo numbers will decline if lions continue to hunt them, or whether plant communities and wildfire patterns will change as grazing zebras face less hunting pressure. 

Cyberpunk-looking excavator

@chrisxia0 I like big things and I cannot lie #ces2024 #techtok ♬ original sound - Chris Xia | All Things Tech

And speaking of cyberpunk:

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Check out the Chancery Daily account on Threads if you want the TLDR on today's ruling about Musk's compensation package

Post by @chancerydaily
View on Threads

Purchasable digital player packs for EA's soccer game apparently accidentally included one of the most valuable cards in the game

Buying a pack of baseball cards in the hopes of getting something rare is a form of gambling, but at least it's easy to audit a company's claim of what sort of cards are included in every box. With digital cards? 

Dot Esports:

An 86-plus overall player pick SBC in EA FC 24 unintentionally gifted Team of The Year Lionel Messi cards to an absurd number of users—and community members want answers. 


EA Sports is being flamed by players after the recently released 86+ TOTY Leagues Player Pick SBC had a bug that allowed EA FC 24 players to pack a Messi TOTY card practically for free. Considering it is one of the best cards in the game, many in the community have been saving up packs and coins for months to obtain it. Now that it was given away so easily, there has been a public outrage against the developer.

Furthermore, this is not even the first time during the ongoing promo that there have been bugs and glitches in the game. 

New G.I. Joe Classified preorders up

Not sure if these were exclusives somewhere else, but Firefly and Tunnel Rat up at the BBTS.

Today's news and jokes

Cyborg eyeball made out of Lego

Vaguely disturbing packaging for honey

Monday, January 29, 2024

Three books on my wishlist just went on sale for $2.99 or less

The Guest by Emma Cline is $1.99: 

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Slate, Time Out, Chicago Public Library, Electric Lit, Bookreporter

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada is $1.99:

One of The Guardian’s “Top 10 Locked Room Mysteries”

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth is $2.99:

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Winner of the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award * Bronze Medal, Arthur Ross Book Award (Council on Foreign Relations)

"Written in the hot, propulsive prose of a spy thriller" (The New York Times)

Monkey Man poster

Make the second gen of Apple's virtual reality googles look like this

Macross: Do You Remember Love? DX Chogokin VT-1 Super Ostrich Exclusive up for preorder

Prepare for sticker shock, but FWIW, the preorder for Guld's fighter from Macross Plus sold out quick.

From the ashes of Mondo rises Mutant

A vinyl soundtrack and some store merch already available.

Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah’s production shingle SpectreVision is partnering with former co-founders of the pop culture collectibles company Mondo to launch Mutant, a new art and collectibles venture.
Future Mutant releases will feature the work of Aaron Horkey, Nicolas Delort, Matt Taylor, Deb Lee, Phantom City Creative, Rory Kurtz, Matthew Woodson, Greg Ruth, Francesco Francavilla, Teagan White, Daniel Danger, Murugiah, We Buy Your Kids, and Ken Taylor, among others. Following the company’s launch with the twin foundations of posters and vinyl, Mutant plans to expand into new collectibles categories including original Sofubi vinyl figures, pop-up galleries with original, fine artwork, and design services that give studios and filmmakers creative opportunities that aren’t necessarily tethered to specific films, such as a composer’s side project or fine art piece.

Today's news and jokes

Logos for the Greenville Yard Gnomes


Dentist office furniture gashapon

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Today's news and jokes

Footage of the young Beastie Boys when they were a punk bank

"Beastie Boys were formed out of members of experimental hardcore punk band The Young Aborigines, which was formed in 1979, with Diamond on drums, Jeremy Shatan on bass guitar, John Berry on guitar, and Kate Schellenbach later joining on percussion"

I wish Apple still made a Nano in this form factor

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Artist looking for commissions

S.H.Figuarts Kira Yamato Compass Pilot Suit Version with Birdy up for preorder

at Entertainment Earth.

Here's this week's newsletter, with music picks, and last chance to sign up to win stickers this month

So far I've sent stickers to England, Australia, and Oregon. You can read all the weekly newsletters here.

Today's news and jokes

This week's best custom action figures, Warhammer 40k miniatures, and other hobby creations

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Sexually explicit AI-generated images of Taylor Swift went viral on Twitter after being created with a Microsoft AI generator and shared in a Telegram group dedicated to the practice

(Has there ever been a study as to how much Google owed its success to making non-consensual images easily discoverable in Image search?)

 404 Media:

The Telegram group recommends that members use Microsoft’s AI image generator called Designer, and users often share prompts to help others circumvent the protections Microsoft has put in place. For example, 404 Media’s testing found that Designer will not generate an image of “Jennifer Aniston,” but we were able to generate suggestive images of the actress by using the phrase “ jennifer ‘actor’ aniston.” Prior to the Swift AI images going viral on Twitter, a user in the Telegram group recommended that members use the phrase “Taylor ‘singer’ Swift” to generate images. 404 Media was unable to recreate the type of images that were posted to Twitter, but we found that Microsoft’s Designer would not generate images of “Taylor Swift,” but did generate images of “Taylor ‘singer’ Swift.”

Related, and speaking of Google, the NY Times explores how "obituary pirates" flood search results with factually-erroneous, LLM-generated obituaries after a teenager died in an unfortunate accident:

In the hours after his death, friends and family scrambled to find out more about [the teen]’s death. Few details were available — no obituary, no news stories.

But as people searched Google for information, someone on the other side of the world was searching for exactly the kinds of reverberations that [his] death had caused.

[A]n internet marketer in India, knew nothing about [the teen]. But suddenly, enough people were searching for “[that name]” to push his name up a list of trending Google search topics that [the marketer] was monitoring as part of a digital moneymaking scheme.

To [the marketer], the rising interest meant that an audience for online content that did not yet exist was growing rapidly before his eyes. He was poised to deliver it.


Today's news and jokes

Good deals on the Magneto and Storm Mafex figures

Deals include 25% off Magneto, and 45% off Storm in the daily sale.

Galen Marek/Starkiller custom action figure