The Ring Of Fire: Of Pirates, Popcorn Time And Dynamic Pricing

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tv At 36,007 feet up in the air, somewhere between Alaska and Russia, with the Aleutian Islands someplace below us, my child and I are sharing a blissful moment.
My one-year-old is sleeping peacefully and I finally have an opportunity to catch up on Game of Thrones. I’m four episodes behind, and I need to see what happened in that trial by combat. Read More

Nathan Fillion to make cameo in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Mal is going back to space this summer — though he unfortunately won’t be aboard the Firefly. Nathan Fillion will appear in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn revealed this weekend on Twitter. The role is extremely brief, says Gunn, who said on Twitter that the Firefly and Castle star has a “a very small fun cameo he did as a favor to me.” Fillion had previously teased that he’d make it into the film’s credits, and rumors intensified this week after a report from Latino Review claimed Fillion would have a more substantial role in the film as Nova. Gunn put those rumors to bed once and for all by confirming that Fillion’s involvement is limited to a cameo. Fillion previously worked with Gunn in 2006’s Sliver and Super…

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Strange possible origin of giant, abandoned Chinese metal Marilyn Monroe statue

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You may have heard about the 8m-tall, abandoned metal statue of Marilyn Monroe that is quietly resting in a Chinese scrapheap after a brief tenure in front of a mall in Guigang, China. But as Jillian Steinhauer points out, the weird juxtaposition of Giant Metal Marilyn amid the garbage is only the tip of the weird — far stranger are the possible connections to the another, American metal Marilyn, who currently lives at the New Jersey sculpture park Grounds for Sculpture.

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The Term Sheet Mating Dance

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termsheet-dance There is no word more sacred and yet over-used than “term sheet” in the entrepreneurial circle. Often, the pursuit of the mythical VC term sheet has blinded entrepreneurs from the real goal of building a business – revenue, customers, users, engagement, and retention. Securing a term sheet is about more than money, more than survival. It’s validation. It’s the… Read More

Project Loon: Google’s quest to bring internet to the world with a fleet of balloons

See the original posting on The Verge

For many, internet access is a vital resource. However, vast, rural swaths of the world have no broadband internet access. One of Google’s latest “moonshot” projects seeks to fill that gap with balloons. Called Project Loon, the plan is incredibly ambitious: it calls for a large network of “towers” in the sky that receive internet access from antennas on the ground in one location and beam internet down to rural homes below. Google has many challenges to overcome before Loon becomes a reality, but the team says it hopes to have a functioning service online by summer 2015. We’ll be covering the company’s progress here — stay tuned for all the updates.

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Snapchat’s “Our Story” Is A Genius, Collaborative Reinvention Of The Livestream


EDC Live What does it feel like to be a massive music festival? Nothing like a glossy livestream of the mainstage. Much more like Snapchat’s new Our Story feature, a curated channel of user submitted photos of videos from all around a big event. I was there last night at Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival, an 140,000-person dance music festival where Snapchat piloted Our Story. I can vouch that… Read More

Alopecia baldness cured with arthritis drug

Boing Boing

In Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Oral Tofacitinib Reverses Alopecia Universalis in a Patient with Plaque Psoriasis [PDF], a paper in Nature’s Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Yale researchers Brittany G Craiglow and Brett A. King document an extremely successful trial in treating total baldness due to alopecia with the rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib citrate. The 25 year old patient, who had both plaque psoriasis and alopecia, grew a full head of hair, as well as eyelashes, eyebrows and armpit hair, and reported no undesirable side effects.

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Will Google Enter The Insurance Industry?

shutterstock_169895795 When it comes to collecting and organizing information, Google is well on its way to establishing its hegemony through the registration of 6 billion daily unique searches and indexing of over 50 billion web pages (2013). What remains to be seen is how this information is being made universally accessible and at what price. One of the industries that has particular advantage of access to the… Read More

Watch a Texas lawman’s pathetic scramble for a reason not to record him

In this video, shot in April by “Ex-Cop Law Student,” Gray County Sheriff’s Deputy Stokes tries every conceivable tactic to illegally intimidate a citizen who is peacefully recording him without interfering. Deputy Stokes invents imaginary laws, tries repeatedly to seize the camera, illegally orders the citizen to stop recording, demands identity papers without justification. When all else fairs, the Deputy declares that if the citizen journalist doesn’t comply, “I’ll just make stuff up” to make him stop.

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Ten years ago, SpaceShipOne completed the first private flight into space

Ten years ago today, SpaceShipOne and pilot Mike Melvill blasted just past the Earth’s atmosphere into space, marking beginning of commercial spaceflight. The Paul Allen-funded project successfully became the first privately-financed human spaceflight, and after its success it seemed that commercial space travel was just around the corner. However, after just a couple more flights later in 2004, the SpaceShipOne was retired. There hasn’t been another commercial, suborbital human spaceflight since.

That failure certainly isn’t for lack of trying, however. Richard Branson’s quest to open space travel to all has seen hundreds of millions of dollars sunk into the SpaceShipTwo project, a space vessel that builds off of its predecessor. If…

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Encrypted To The Last Drop

JC_Dark Net Roasters_Photo2 But not everything on the dark web can kill you or bring you down. One established drug vendor has recently branched out to sell old fashioned coffee, which they say they procure directly from farmers, roast themselves, and describe in loving language that wouldn’t be out of place in an organic grocery store. Welcome to the nicer side of the dark web, where things look more like Whole… Read More

Google May Buy Video Search Startup Baarzo

baarzo Google has been in talks to acquire video search startup Baarzo, according to sources with knowledge of the company. However, those sources were less clear about whether the companies had reached a final agreement. (One suggested that the deal had closed, the other was noncommittal.) The companies both declined to comment, Google offering its standard note: “We don’t comment on… Read More

Blogging History: GCHQ taps undersea fiber; Tehran uprising; Supremes say you have to identify yourself to cops

One year ago today

Brit spies GCHQ harvest all undersea cable comms, all UK calls and data, share with 850,000+ NSA spooks and contractors: The GCHQ program, called Tempora, stores all submarine cable traffic and all domestic traffic (Internet packets and recordings of phone-calls) for 30 days, using NSA tools to sort and search it; the quid-pro-quo being that the NSA gets to access this data, too.

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Greenhouse: browser plugin that automatically annotates politicians’ names with their funders

Greenhouse is a browser plugin created by Nicholas Rubin, a 16-year-old programmer. It seeks out the names of elected US officials on any web-page you load in your browser and adds a pop-up link to their names listing the major donors to their campaigns. It uses 2012 election-cycle data drawn from Opensecrets‘s repository.

I’ve long suggested something like this as a way of improving political coverage. Indeed, you could imagine it going both ways — any time the name of a company or individual who had made some big campaign contributions shows up in a webpage, you get a list of their political beneficiaries. Ideally, this would be an open framework to which data from any political race could be added.

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Samsung will reportedly reveal Android Wear smartwatch at Google I/O

According to CNET, Samsung will debut a new smartwatch running Android Wear, Google’s new OS designed specifically for wearables, at next week’s I/O event. Sources familiar with developments say that the company is working on at least two devices, one running a Qualcomm chipset and another using Samsung’s own chips, though it’s currently unclear which one will be revealed on the 25th.

Google announced Android Wear earlier this year, stating that the OS is designed to get “real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.” Shortly after the announcement, LG and Motorola revealed their plans for new smartwatches running the OS. Both companies are expected to launch their devices next week. Samsung…

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