Citizen Journalists Prove 'Pee-Deflecting' Walls Don't Work

The urine-repellent coating at our two testing sites did not repel streams of piss. It may be that our jets of urine were not sharply angled enough. Or the walls could have lost their reflective effectiveness because of age, though they were coated in July and the paint distributor said they should last about a year.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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If you watch only one commercial starring a shitting unicorn puppet today...

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Exercising my Vague Caution

Blonde Marina-looking bimbo just told me that my sticker campaign is "a Federal crime" and "disrespectful" and that "the board is taking action".

I'd say they're "appropriately disrespectful", actually.

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Oh great, it's Fleet Week again.

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iOS ad blockers

Dear Lazyweb: I understand that iOS ad blockers are a thing that now exists. Which one sucks least?

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Verizon Has Quietly Made Its Tracking 'Supercookies' a Lot More Powerful

It's 2015 and you still have good reasons to despise AOL:

Earlier this year, Verizon was roundly criticized and sued for using "super cookies" that tracked its customers around the internet for advertising purposes regardless of whether or not they had deleted standard tracking cookies. So, naturally, it's making the trackers stronger and more persistent than ever. [...]

Earlier this year, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL and all the companies it owns, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget. That takeover was incredibly important because AOL does most of its business these days as an advertising company.

AOL's advertising network serves ads on roughly 40 percent of the web, according to ProPublica. Verizon knows its customers' home addresses, the type of cell phones they own, the number of people on a given phone plan, and customer financial information. That information can be used by AOL and Verizon to target you much more carefully, which equals better (more expensive) ads.

"The Relevant Mobile Advertising program uses your postal and email addresses, certain information about your Verizon products and services (such as device type), and information we obtain from other companies (such as gender, age range, and interests). The separate Verizon Selects program uses this same information plus additional information about your use of Verizon services including mobile Web browsing, app and feature usage and location of your device. The AOL Advertising Network uses information collected when you use AOL services and visit third-party websites where AOL provides advertising services (such as Web browsing, app usage, and location), as well as information that AOL obtains from third-party partners and advertisers."

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VEC9 is the first vector arcade game to be released in 30 years, the only true 3d vector arcade game to be released besides Star Wars -- and the only one to let you smash capitalist aggression for the glory or Mother Russia.

The monitor originally started with a Craigslist whim -- and ended with a custom designed, FPGA based vector video card, a gunner's control from an M1 Tank, a separate monochrome HUD, an air raid siren, and a fully functional ruble acceptor. It uses a salvaged Asteroids monitor. It trades color and speed for essentially infinite resolution and (monochrome) brightness.

Nuclear-powered laser-armed bombers are stationed in orbit, their pilots cryogenically frozen to mask their heat signature. The iron curtain falls. Thirty years later, the last forgotten Soviet radio beacons sputter to a halt. Unable to re-establish contact with the non-existent Soviet Command, Station VEC9 has no choice but to assume that the USSR has been destroyed by capitalist deceit and nuclear fire.

VEC9's mission: to avenge Mother Russia, to punish imperialist aggression, and to destroy tyranny and the American way of life for the safety of the Communist world.

Previously, previously, previously.

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The Public-Private Surveillance Partnership

Schneier on Security:

Today in the US there's a massive but invisible industry that records the movements of cars around the country. Cameras mounted on cars and tow trucks capture license places along with date/time/location information, and companies use that data to find cars that are scheduled for repossession. One company, Vigilant Solutions, claims to collect 70 million scans in the US every month. The companies that engage in this business routinely share that data with the police, giving the police a steady stream of surveillance information on innocent people that they could not legally collect on their own. And the companies are already looking for other profit streams, selling that surveillance data to anyone else who thinks they have a need for it. [...]

Last year, the US Department of Commerce tried to prevail upon industry representatives and privacy organizations to write a voluntary code of conduct for companies using facial recognition technologies. After 16 months of negotiations, all of the consumer-focused privacy organizations pulled out of the process because industry representatives were unable to agree on any limitations on something as basic as nonconsensual facial recognition. [...]

Don't expect to have access to this technology for yourself anytime soon. This is not facial recognition for all. It's just for those who can either demand or pay for access to the required technologies -- most importantly, the tagged photo databases. And while we can easily imagine how this might be misused in a totalitarian country, there are dangers in free societies as well. Without meaningful regulation, we're moving into a world where governments and corporations will be able to identify people both in real time and backwards in time, remotely and in secret, without consent or recourse.

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Florida Senate candidate admits to sacrificing goat, drinking its blood

Augustus Sol Invictus, Libertarian:

"I did sacrifice a goat. I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans," he said. "I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness ... Yes, I drank the goat's blood."

He says he was expelled from Ordo Templi Orientis for political reasons unrelated to goat shenanigans. So there's that.

Previously, previously, previously.

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An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar

Vijith Assar:

As a thought experiment, let's examine in extremely close detail a set of iterative changes that can be made to a single simple grammatical structure, turning it from a statement taken at face value into one loaded with unrealized implication. This makes for rich writing which rewards -- or even demands -- close scrutiny. [...]

The verb is still concrete, but it shouldn't be. In fact, the verb can be removed completely: convert it into a present participle adjective, and then use that participle as a modifier for a broad, general-purpose noun. In this example we'll use "incident" to at least acknowledge that the events took place along a common timeline, but even that much is still an unnecessary concession to specificity -- we could just as easily substitute "thing," which is so broad that unpacking it will command the reader's complete attention.

In addition, there is still a distinction between the subject and object which can be further erased. Both subject and object were "involved" in the proceedings, simply because both are present in the sentence. That new verb can apply to both nouns, making them equal and indistinguishable partners.

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