Hiring My Cat as a Software Developer

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Meet Samson. Samson is a cat, more specifically a Faelis Feline. You can see a picture of Samson below. Since it seems to be popular to work from home these days, I figured I’d hire my cat as a software developer. That way, I can lay around in my hammock, enjoying the sun, while my cat does all the heavy lifting. Whenever it’s time to pay salary, all I need to do is to open a box a Whiskas, and voila! Salary paid!

The idea came from the following logical chain of arguments.

Take a virtual visit to Napa – with very real sips of wine

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For wine lovers around the world, it’s all about discovery. Once they get a taste for the grape, oenophiles are rarely satisfied with even the most carefully curated, go-to vintages. There’s always a hunt for the next great pairing, the thrill of uncorking a bold new Tempranillo or sublime Moscato.

That feeling is a jones that winemakers in general – and wine clubs in particular – are happy to feed. But while online wine-of-the-month clubs have made discovering new wines a lot easier, many feel there’s been something lost in terms of the personal touch; that sense of place and adventure that began many wine lovers’ journey in the first place.

Enter Wine Access, a growing portal to the wine world that offers not just convenience but a more curated approach. At a time when a trip to Napa is out of the question, and wineries sit closed for the foreseeable future, why not bring the experience to your home?

The online wine shop is based in the heart of downtown Napa, and even within that insular wine hub, the founders have some deep connections. (Their Head of Wine, Vanessa Conlin, came to the job after heading up sales and marketing for several high-profile estates including Arietta Wines.) Wine Access leverages those connections to get their members access to some rare and award-winning picks like Estate Argyros’ Assyrtiko Santorini, a Grecian white that elevates any shellfish meal to a life-changing experience.

But Wine Access doesn’t randomly push these wines onto its subscribers, however, well-selected they may be. Read the rest

This app lets musicians remotely jam out on loops in real time

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Image: Endlesss

Collaborative music-making app Endlesss is now available for iOS. The app’s been in beta for quite a long time, so newcomers will find that there’s already a community using Endlesss and sharing and discussing projects on the software’s dedicated Discord server.

Even though Endlesss is a music-making app, it’s not really meant for making complete songs. It’s a collaborative “virtual musical hangout with a live chat room” that lets multiple users build and change loops of music in real time. Just select a project and start tapping out drum patterns and melodies to change up someone’s loop. You can make stuff just for yourself, but the social aspect is encouraged.

Open loops where anyone can remix layers on the fly sounds like a recipe…

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Wyze firmware update lets you turn its security cameras into webcams

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Image: Wyze

Smart home gadget maker Wyze has released a firmware update and set of instructions for turning its low-cost security camera into a working webcam at a time when proper webcams from brands like Logitech are increasingly hard to find.

The update, which was released roughly an hour ago on Wyze’s support website, involves manually installing firmware onto your Wyze camera that will temporarily turn it into a webcam, after which it will no longer connect to the Wyze app and function normally. However, Wyze says you can reverse the process to restore security camera access to the device and have it function normally again.

The instructions say you’ll need a Wyze Cam v2, a…

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Cory Doctorow reads the author’s note from his third Little Brother book, Attack Surface

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From Cory’s awesome Pluralistic website, a post about the latest episode of his podcast, in which he reads the author’s note from Attack Surface, his third Little Brother book.

My latest podcast is a reading of the author’s note from “Attack Surface” — the third Little Brother book, which comes out on Oct 12.


I recorded this for the audiobook edition of Attack Suface, which I’ve been recording all last week with Amber Benson and the Cassandra de Cuir from Skyboat Media.


If you like what you hear, please consider pre-ordering the book — it’s a scary time to have a book in the production pipeline!

Here’s the MP3:


And here’s the podcast feed:


Read the rest

What Steve Forte can do with a pack of cards borders the unbelievable

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When watching a magician perform some card tricks, it’s a legitimate question to ask: “Would you be able to cheat at a card game?” Most performers will smirk and wink, implying they could. Truth is: they probably can’t. Sleight-of-hand with cards for conjuring and entertainment purposes is one thing; gambling techniques to cheat at cards is a whole other story. Sometimes these two domains overlap, in that liminal zone of the so called “gambling demonstrations.” However, the gamblers’ “real work” entails a very different skillset from that of a magician—while true gambling techniques are among the most fascinating and difficult to master.

The gambling expert

In the realm of gambling techniques with cards, one name immediately commands undivided admiration and respect. That name is Steve Forte. It’s no hyperbole to say that what Forte can do with a pack of cards borders the unbelievable; his skillful handling is the closest thing to perfection in terms of technique. Here is a taste of his smooth and classy dexterity:

Steve Forte’s career spans over 40 years within the gambling industry. After dealing all casino games and serving in all casino executive capacities, he shifted gears to a spectacularly successful career as a professional high-stakes Black Jack and Poker player; shifting gears again, he later became a top consultant in the casino security field. To dig deeper into Forte’s adventurous and shapeshifting life, the go-to place is the enduring profile penned by R. Paul Wilson for the October 2005 issue of Genii Magazine. Read the rest

A virtual fireside chat with Erik Davis, Dennis McKenna, and the premiere of a never-released Terence McKenna lecture at Esalen Institute, 1989

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Boing Boing pal Erik Davis will be joining Dennis McKenna (Terence’s brother) on April 3rd for an online screening and virtual chat centered on a previously unseen lecture that Terence McKenna delivered at Esalen Institute in 1989.

From Erik’s monthly newsletter.

This Friday, at 5:30 PST, I will be participating in a TRIBUTE TO TERENCE MCKENNA hosted by Dennis McKenna and our mutual friends at Psychedelic Seminars. Terence died twenty years ago, and over the next few weekends, Dennis will be hanging out with some of T’s wonderful friends, like Eduardo Luna, Bruce Damer, and Rupert Sheldrake.

On Friday we will be streaming a recently discovered hour-long film of Terence shot at Esalen in 1989. After the showing, Dennis and I will have a chat—the first in-depth conversation we have had since the publication of High Weirdness.

You can sign-up for the screening and chat here. You can find more info on the whole series here.

And if you’re looking for something provocative and mind-bending to read while you’re cowering in your invisible zombie apocalypse hidey hole, check out Erik’s wonderful new tome, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

[H/t Laurie Fox]

Image: Promotional art Read the rest

Movie advertising is now just making Zoom backgrounds

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Movie posters and billboards are useless right now, so marketing teams all seem to have landed on the same solution: Zoom backgrounds.

Yesterday, Pixar tweeted out backgrounds for Toy Story, Cars, and Up. The Twitter accounts for the Top Gun sequel, the Spongebob movie, and the Quiet Place sequel offered their own Zoom backgrounds. And CBS and Starz got in on the move too, offering up backgrounds for Young Sheldon, Big Brother, and a bunch of sitcoms I’ve never heard of.

Your mileage will vary depending on what kind of event you’re joining.

Meeting with your boss? Probably don’t pull up in a fighter jet.

You’ll also want to avoid looking like you’re in imminent danger or very clearly trying to promote a movie that might,…

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These toys and games can keep the kids busy while you’re all trapped inside

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These toys and games can keep the kids busy while you’re all trapped inside.

As rough as all this time cooped up inside the house is on us adults, it’s even worse for kids. All that borderline maniacal energy along with an unquenchable thirst for stimulation and attention make home sequestration like a life sentence for them. Unfortunately, they have no problem taking out all that pent-up disappointment and boredom on you, the unwitting adult who must take the rap for a worldwide pandemic.

These are difficult times and we all have to do what we must to survive. We wouldn’t normally endorse this, but under our current conditions…bribe them. Tell the kids that if they can be good for a day, or just through your workday or heck, even for a few hours, you’ll get ‘em one of the cool toys and games we’ve assembled here.

Everything here is on sale. They won’t care. You will. And peace will still reign in your household. For now. But for today, it’s all we’ve got…

Video games

Every kid loves video games — and this is a good time to plant some of the old-school retro gaming love you had when you were a kid.

From the folks at 8BitDo, both the Gbros. Wireless Adapter for Nintendo Switch ($14.95; originally $19.99) and the SN30 Bluetooth Gamepad ($23.95; originally $29.99) gives you the retro-style gaming controller that’s compatible with all the latest gaming systems. Whether your kids have a Switch or play games on Windows, Android, macOS or Steam-based platforms, these Bluetooth-connected devices will take you all right back to the 90s and 2000s…even Read the rest

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been remastered and is out today

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Image: Activision

After years of speculation, a remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s single-player campaign is finally here, bringing an enhanced version of one of the most iconic FPS games of the late 2000s onto modern hardware.

The enhanced version of Modern Warfare 2 only includes the single-player campaign. The remastered version adds high-definition visuals and audio improvements to the original story from 2009, according to a blog post by Activision. The game is available digitally on PS4 for $19.99 and will be a timed exclusive until April 30th, when it launches on PC and Xbox One, though preorders are currently not available at this time.

PS4 owners who…

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A new Humble Bundle offers tons of great games to raise money to fight COVID-19

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Team Cherry

If you’ve been wanting to support organizations that are helping to supply those fighting on the front lines against the novel coronavirus, the latest Humble Bundle is a good opportunity to do just that. You can pay anything you want, but you’ll need to pay $30 in order to get the full bounty of PC games available (DRM-free or Steam keys), as well as several ebooks and digital comics (available in several formats), and some software.

That $30 gets you a bunch of top games, including Into The Breach, Hollow Knight, Undertale, Wizard of Legend, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, The Witness, Superhot, Killing Floor 2, Jackbox Party Pack 2, Tropico 4, and several other titles. The ebooks cover a range of topics like mindfulness and coping,…

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Outstanding, free, and far-out music stream from Aquarium Drunkard

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Aquarium Drunkard is an incredible audio hub of reviews, podcasts, features, interviews, and sessions sure to please all crate diggers, outré musicologists, fringe culture fanatics, and deep music geeks. Their genre-bending curation spans jazz, folk, garage, psych, experimental, and every other niche of music to present oft-unheard gems from across time. As the creators say, Aquarium Drunkard is “for heads, by heads.” In author Erik Davis‘s own excellent newsletter, he shares word that Aquarium Drunkard has now launched a free online radio stream, Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard. Tune in and turn on. Erik writes:

I have been in love with Aquarium Drunkard’s mailing list, streams, and musical curation chops since I stumbled across a three-part collection of rare 70s Jesus Freak music they posted years ago. Given that millions of us are now stuck at home, addictively trawling newsfeeds while trying to stay sane, the AQ kids just launched Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard, a wonderful 24/7 radio stream of joy, verve, and reflection. Admittedly, I find my own sensibility uncannily mirrored in RFAQ’s mix of scruffy indy, ladyfolk, 90s basement tapes, spiritual jazz, weird country, and deep deep 70s. But I am particularly enjoying the intimacy, wit, and kindness of the selections, segues, and overall vibe. These days we should all be paying close attention to the collective process of meaning-making. This means ignoring the algos and opening up to playlists, personal recommendations, and DJs. Tune in!

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NBA.FM will try to simulate the 2020 season as if everything is fine

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Like every other sports league, the NBA is paused right now. However, the fact that there aren’t any actual games airing hasn’t stopped some people from wondering how the rest of the season would play out.

So online stunt collective MSCHF is launching NBA.FM, a new simulation that will broadcast hyperrealistic audio gameplay from the remaining games on the NBA’s 2020 calendar. MSCHF has partnered with official broadcasters to provide commentary on the game as if it were actually happening, and the broadcasts will feature exclusive interviews with players like the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Boston Celtics’ Grant Williams, and Sacramento Kings’ Harrison Barnes among others.

“We saw how devastated fans are and how people are stuck at…

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