DNA Lounge: Wherein it gets a little messy.

Yesterday at the AIDS Emergency Fund Benefit I learned about a fetish with which I was previously unfamiliar: "piss puppy". This is where a guy in a piss-stained jock strap pretends to be a non-housebroken puppy and pees everywhere, and his partner hits him with a rolled up newspaper and yells "No!"

I learned about this because the guy tried to pee off the balcony and onto the people below.

Later that night, at Bootie, Arlo told me: "Someone re-inflated the pirate. They picked up a flat pirate off of a nightclub floor and put their mouth on it." I said, "Well it is Folsom Street Fair. It might not be the dirtiest thing they've blown this weekend." *

(Those pirates never last the night, by the way. They buy them from China in lots of a thousand.)

And shortly thereafter, as pictured, all of our toilets exploded. It was backing up everywhere, the floor was a lake, oh the humanity. I was having PTSD flashbacks to Chocolate Syrup Wrestling.

And that was only yesterday. Once more unto the breach...


Why we believe Apple

From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Subject: Re: [Cryptography] new wiretap resistance in iOS 8?
To: cryptography@metzdowd.com

And why do we believe them?

  • Because we can read the source code and the protocol descriptions ourselves, and determine just how secure they are?

  • Because they're a big company and big companies never lie?

  • Because they've implemented it in proprietary binary software, and proprietary crypto is always stronger than the company claims it to be?

  • Because they can't covertly send your device updated software that would change all these promises, for a targeted individual, or on a mass basis?

  • Because you will never agree to upgrade the software on your device, ever, no matter how often they send you updates?

  • Because this first release of their encryption software has no security bugs, so you will never need to upgrade it to retain your privacy?

  • Because if a future update INSERTS privacy or security bugs, we will surely be able to distinguish these updates from future updates that FIX privacy or security bugs?

  • Because if they change their mind and decide to lessen our privacy for their convenience, or by secret government edict, they will be sure to let us know?

  • Because they have worked hard for years to prevent you from upgrading the software that runs on their devices so that YOU can choose it and control it instead of them?

  • Because the US export control bureacracy would never try to stop Apple from selling secure mass market proprietary encryption products across the border?

  • Because the countries that wouldn't let Blackberry sell phones that communicate securely with your own corporate servers, will of course let Apple sell whatever high security non-tappable devices it wants to?

  • Because we're apple fanboys and the company can do no wrong?

  • Because they want to help the terrorists win?

  • Because NSA made them mad once, therefore they are on the side of the public against NSA?

  • Because it's always better to wiretap people after you convince them that they are perfectly secure, so they'll spill all their best secrets?

There must be some other reason, I'm just having trouble thinking of it.


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DNA Lounge: Wherein our Robot Overlords have been captured on video!

John finished editing the video of the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge! It looks amazing! Here's the full video, and some stills:

It's about 45 minutes long. If you want to skip around, here are the sections:

The winners were:

Thanks for everyone who participated! It was great fun.

There's also some video coverage over at reason.com.

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Polygonal tumors

It's leaking again. Is this a teratomahedron?

Maybe it's a dialysis machine for a lego kidney.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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How the Curta Works

"Nine's complement arithmetic can be implemented in hardware by inverting the cogs on the step drum. Herzstark cleverly realized that a single step drum can be used to implement both normal addition and nine's complement addition by interleaving the normal and inverted cogs and moving the step drum up or down slightly to switch between them. [...] An additional row of ten teeth is added to the step drum to implement one plus the nine's complement of zero."

Previously, previously.

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I have ported XScreenSaver to YouTube

Well, kinda. I made them all able to record MP4s of themselves, then uploaded a two minute HD clip of each. That's a lot of videos! The XScreenSaver screenshots page links to the videos, and there's a playlist.


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Downfracking the Mandelbrot

William Wood:

Downfracking had opened universe after universe of ever-more-pure resources. The farther downfractal you traveled, the simpler the universe and the more you tended to slide backwards along the time axis. Each fractal was a perfect copy, from a distance, but simpler, and because they were simpler, those resources had fewer contaminants. Water had less impurities. Diamonds, less inclusions. Hell even the shit smelled like roses--well, not really, but that was the joke they all laughed at even though it wasn't funny anymore.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Today in robotentacle news

Just like Stretch Armstrong, it has concentrated acid for blood.

Its beefed up size allows it to support a battery pack that keeps it going for up to 2 hours and an electrically powered air compressor system that drives its pneumatic motion.

In experiments, Tolley's robot was able to walk through a snowstorm with temperatures reaching -9 °C, withstand flames for 20 seconds, resist water and acids as well as having its limbs driven over by a car.

Previously, previously, previously.

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Power of Optics

Previously, previously.

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The Church of Robotron

Only 70 years until the Robotrons conclude that the human race is inefficient and must be destroyed. Only the mutant produced by a genetic engineering error can save us now!

The Church of Robotron is a mobile training facility that uses hazardous environments, religious indoctrination, and emotional triggers to promote the development of the skills necessary to survive in a hostile post-human environment. We hope to use our field installation to educate and indoctrinate people about the robot uprising in progress. We know that superior machines exist, we know that they have already decided that the human race must be destroyed, and we know that the only way to convey this knowledge is with a visceral and even spiritual ordeal. The savior of our species must be identified and trained; the tragic sacrifice of legions of subjects is the burden that we must shoulder, lightened only by the willingness with which they volunteer for their grisly testing. Please, read our literature, attend a sermon or two, tell your friends, and when the time comes, report to an orientation session. Survivors will earn the exaltation of a grateful humanity. The mightiest will experience the glory of the leaderboard and receive useful items. Thank you, it is only with your selfless dedication that hope survives.

Previously, previously, previously.

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