They say that academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low. Well, welcome to the next level.

Zen Magnets, a maker of neodymium magnet toys, has been under assault by the much larger and better distributed Buckyballs, maker of a nearly identical toy. After Zen Magnets listed a couple of eBay auctions with a set of Buckyballs and a set of their own, asking customers to decide which was of higher quality, Buckyballs replied with a legal threat. Zen Magnets countered with an open video response, in which they presented the voicemail from Buckyballs and demonstrated their claims of quality through repeatable, factual tests, providing quantitative data to back up their assertions. Soon after, Buckyballs CEO Jake Bronstein got the video taken down from YouTube via a DMCA takedown, despite the fact that the only elements not made by Zen Magnets are the voicemail he left and some images of himself, which are low-resolution and publicly available online. Zen Magnets has decided to file a counter-takedown notice — not effective yet apparently, since the video is still marked as taken down. Mirror:

There is some serious OCD in that video. Also, that dude talks just like the principal on Daria: "Hello students of Lawwwwwwwwwndale High."

I have a set of Buckyballs. They aren't as much fun as you'd think. It's hard to build anything other than a pyramid or a tube.

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The XX

You know, when I first discovered Massive Attack in the early 90s, I used to proclaim that those guys were going to be the next Pixies -- the band that seems very niche at the time, and not apparently that successful, but then every single person who bought the album was going to start a band, and in fifteen years everyone was going to sound like them.

Then trip-hop suddenly just vanished, and its angry cousin drum-and-bass suddenly just vanished, and I thought, well, I sure called that wrong.

And now here we are, sixteen years later, and I just saw a show with 2,800 other people by a band whose singer sounds exactly like Tricky and whose entire album is basically a cover of the song Protection.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

They put on a good show. But as expected, Warpaint was the reason to go.

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Zola Jesus

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evercookie - go ahead, be evil.

virtually irrevocable persistent cookies

evercookie is a javascript API available that produces extremely persistent cookies in a browser. Its goal is to identify a client even after they've removed standard cookies, Flash cookies (Local Shared Objects or LSOs), and others.

evercookie accomplishes this by storing the cookie data in several types of storage mechanisms that are available on the local browser. Additionally, if evercookie has found the user has removed any of the types of cookies in question, it recreates them using each mechanism available.

Specifically, when creating a new cookie, it uses the following storage mechanisms when available:

  • Standard HTTP Cookies
  • Local Shared Objects (Flash Cookies)
  • Storing cookies in RGB values of auto-generated, force-cached
  • PNGs using HTML5 Canvas tag to read pixels (cookies) back out
  • Storing cookies in and reading out Web History
  • Storing cookies in HTTP ETags
  • Internet Explorer userData storage
  • HTML5 Session Storage
  • HTML5 Local Storage
  • HTML5 Global Storage
  • HTML5 Database Storage via SQLite

Previously, previously.

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Today in Joust news

Anna Held-Riding an Ostrich c1905-1917

Previously, previously.


Beer distributors oppose pot legalization

Beer distributors oppose Prop. 19

On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors trade association gave $10,000 to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.

"Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear," Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in statement. "Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition. Their mission is to drive people to drink."

You stay classy, beer distributors.



Danger! Fatties are contagious!

Western surge in obesity may have been caused by a virus

Researchers have discovered new evidence for an illness they have called "infectobesity" -- obesity that is transmitted from person to person, much like an infection. The agent thought to be responsible is a strain of adenovirus, versions of which cause the common cold. It has already been labelled the "fat bug". [...]

Children carrying the virus weighed on average almost 50lb more than those who were not. Among the obese children, who accounted for half the total, those with the virus weighed on average 35lb more than the rest. [...]

Laboratory studies showed the virus infects immature fat cells, prompting them to proliferate and grow more quickly.

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The Guy with a Hole in his Head

"We believe that the size of the hole doesn't matter. Of course he would say that, he's got one of these little ones."

Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video (search), please mail me so that I can update this post.
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Express elevator to hell, going down

This keeps getting takedowns, so who knows how long this copy will last...

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