Are your deposits quietly funding fossil fuels? Not with this new type of account.

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with banks. Okay, it’s actually probably more like a tolerate-hate relationship. We understand their role in holding and securing our money so we don’t have to stuff it in a mattress somewhere. But we don’t trust the bank not to gouge us on fees whenever they can. And we certainly don’t trust MegaCorp X to be a responsible steward of our funds to make the world a better place.

For example, the four biggest global backers of fossil fuels are all U.S banks1.. So if you have money with any of those institutions, you’re tacitly endorsing those practices, whether you agree with them or not.

If that doesn’t sit well with you, you may want to consider an alternative, like Aspiration’s Spend and Save account.

Aspiration isn’t a bank. They’re a hybrid check and save cash management account that offers you an alternative to traditional banking services and protections of one of those institutions, but with a conscience you can feel good about backing.

When you open an Aspiration Spend and Save account and deposit money, you get a debit card linked to your new FDIC-insured2 cash accounts with all the buying power of a financial/cash account — but you decide how much their services should cost you. Their policy is that they trust customers to “Pay What is Fair,” even if that means zero on their basic monthly banking services. 

Of course, if fair to you is $7 a month for their Aspiration Plus service, you get features like up to 1.00% APY interest3 on your savings and no fees at over 55,000+ free in-network Allpoint ATMs, and carbon offsets for when you drive. Read the rest

Disrupt 2020 early-bird savings extended until next week

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Even the hard-charging world of early-stage startups has its share of procrastinators, lollygaggers, slow-pokes, wafflers and last-minute decision makers. If that’s your demographic, today is your lucky day. You now have an extra week (courtesy of Saint Expeditus, the patron saint of procrastinators), to score early-bird savings to Disrupt 2020, which takes place September 14-18. […]

Making arrowheads, knives, and stone tools out of slate

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I found this video absolutely mesmerizing. It in, a primitive tech enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest fashions some beautiful and lethal- and effective-looking arrowheads, knives, and tools using ground and polished slate.

As he points out in the lengthy video description, he doesn’t have access to the more superior, knappable flint in his area, so he learned the technique for grinding and polishing slate which has been used by indigenous people in that area and around the world for ages. It is astounding what you can make with a piece of slate, water and grinding sand, and a world of patience and time.

Trigger warning: A skinned chicken was shot through with arrows and cut up with slate knives in the making of this video.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Get access to nearly 300,000 professionally-produced audio clips for all your projects

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If you’ve ever worked on a video project or engineered a podcast and thought you’d make your own sound effects… how’d that go for ya?  We assume it was a bigger undertaking than you’d probably bargained for.

From using stalks of celery to replicate breaking tree limbs to frying bacon to reproduce the sound of rain, foley artists are just that — artists. And it’s no small feat to properly create, record, and mix all that sound into a realistic, balanced soundscape.

Instead of going DIY, you can leave all of your sound effect worries up to the professionals with a one-year subscription to Soundsnap Stock Audio and Sounds.

Soundsnap is 0ne of the most popular sound effects library online, offering more than 280,000 separate sound clips for unlimited downloading. That’s an archive more than twice as large as almost all the other major sfx options available. With clients like Disney, HBO, CBS, Pixar, and more using Soundsnap, you can feel confident they’ll have what you’re looking for.

And these are not lukewarm, poorly recorded files recorded off YouTube. All of Soundsnap’s audio is recorded by professional sound designers and engineers, including a collection of working Hollywood pros responsible for working on films like “The Dark Knight,” “Tron Legacy,” “Baby Driver” and more. 

All it takes is a quick spin through Soundsnap’s library to understand the scope of their offerings. If your work needs a crack of thunder, they’ve got over 800 different variations to choose from. If you need the sounds of a restaurant to create ambiance in your production, there are over 650 to try. Read the rest

This devastating video encapsulates the Trump/GOP horror show in 3 minutes

See the original posting on Boing Boing

A Boing Boing reader said this video by Juice Media is better than what The Lincoln Project is doing. I agree — it’s scarier and more entertaining than the Lincoln Project’s videos. However, I think Juice Media’s videos and the Lincoln Project videos are geared toward different audiences. The video above is designed to convert unlikely voters into Biden voters, while the Lincoln Project videos are for an audience of one, with a goal to demoralize and destabilize him.

Juice media is an Australian organization, and here’s what they had to say about this video:

We’ve had so many Americans begging us to make an Honest Government Ad for their government. So we decided to give it a go. I hope we did your shit government justice. It almost makes ours feel benign by comparison. Despite the levity, we’re genuinely concerned about what’s happening in your country and we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe. I hope this doesn’t come across as “FoReIgN InTeRfeReNcE!” If it does, well… let’s call it even… the US Government has been interfering with our shit here ever since 1975, when it helped to oust our Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. But on a more serious note: even though we’re all the way down here in Australia, the result of this election will impact everyone on earth. In terms of climate action alone, this could be the most important election of our lifetimes. So I figure it’s one of those all hands on deck, let’s lend a hand to our friends in the USA – kind of thing.

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Cosplay at a 1966 Science Fiction Convention

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What’s not to love about this gallery of images from the 1966 World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland, OH? The cameras may have acquired color and the cosplay may have become a bit more sophisticated, but the spirit of the players seems to have remained unchanged.

These images were taken by the late photographer, and sci-fi mega-fan, Jay Kay Klein. You can see the massive collection of Klein’s photos and papers of science fiction fandom on the Calisphere website.

Image: Composite of images from the Jay Kay Klein collection, via Cosplay Central Read the rest

The Royal Brew Nitro Coffee Maker is the at-home java game-changer you’ve been looking for

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Always looking to put a new spin on a cup of joe, infusing your coffee with a blast of nitrogen produces a thicker, more full-bodied, naturally creamy, frothy variation on java that has been picking up steam with fans for the past decade.

 Of course, most of us don’t have nitrogen injectors just lying around, so if we want our burst of nitro-fueled beans, we have to head over to a coffe shop and plunk down $4 or $5 a cup.

Fortunately, the Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Machine and Dispenser offers perfect cold brew with all the nitro effects done right from your own kitchen or office.

By injecting those nitrogen gas bubbles, the coffee takes on a smoother, sweeter, foam-like texture that many often compare to the taste of a thick beer like Guinness Stout. The Royal Brew was the original home nitro system based on dispensers used for stouts, creating a special gas blend and pressurized faucet valve to produce the iced, rich, heady brew on your own.

Just add your coffee, shake well, inject nitro cartridges, then put it back in the fridge for about 90 minutes and you’re all set — just tap your keg and serve.

In addition to the 64 oz. keg and nitrogen holders, the whole system also comes with its own carry bag so you can take it anywhere.

Regular coffee gets diluted with water, milk, and sugar, which also cuts down on your beverage’s caffeine potency. But nitro brewing makes the coffee so tasty it eliminates the need for additives like cream or sugar. Read the rest

Eight hours of rain and the “Blade Runner Blues” is the soundtrack we need, here in the cyberpunk now

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I posted this on Adafruit yesterday, but I’ve been digging it so much, I wanted to share it here on Boing Boing, too. This is eight hours of “perpetual rain” and Vangelis’ “Blade Runner Blues,” taken from the soundtrack to the film.

It’s gorgeous and relaxing music to work to, sleep to, or continuously wafting through the rooms and hallways of your under-quarantine hab unit.

The channel this video is from has dozens of other ambient Blade Runner offerings (“’I’ve seen things …’ – Tears in Rain ambiance (1 hour),” “The ambient sounds of the city, 2019,” “Deckard’s apartment sounds (12 hours),” and many more.)

Image: YouTube Read the rest

V for Vendetta knew our future would be a bleak one

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo illustration by William Joel / The Verge

The Verge is a place where you can consider the future. So are movies. In Yesterday’s Future, we revisit a movie about the future and consider the things it tells us about today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

The movie: V for Vendetta (2006) directed by James McTeigue

The future: In V for Vendetta, a lot has gone wrong very quickly, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much to be done about it. The film is set in 2020, and London is now under the authoritarian rule of the fascist High Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt), the leader of the extremely Nazi-looking Norsefire party.

The parallels to real-world 2020 are alarming: the “St. Mary’s virus” has unleashed a pandemic on the world, crippling the United States (which doesn’t really factor into the…

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PLAN C LIVE: Educational Kits

See the original posting on Makezine

Kits enable making. They are especially good for beginners and young makers.  They are also a convenience for parents who want to encourage children to start making but don’t have time to track down tools and supplies. The number of kits and the different types of kits by and for […]

Read more on MAKE

The post PLAN C LIVE: Educational Kits appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Man with no fingers on one hand is making his own mechanical prosthetic hand, and it’s incredible

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Three years ago, Ian Davis was diagnosed with a cancer that weakens the bones. Shortly after, the engineer had an accident in his machine shop that resulted in physicians amputating four fingers on his dominant hand.

“When I was still in the hospital I started designing a prosthetic hand,” Davis told KOBI News last year. “It was kind of my day job. That’s what I used to maintain my sanity.”

Davis’s work-in-progress is an elegant feat of engineering. Coincidentally though, this isn’t new maker territory for him. Long before he lost his fingers; he built a prosthetic arm as a high school science project.

You can follow the project’s development on Davis’s YouTube channel and Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Out in the wild, figuring out different hand gestures.

A post shared by Ian Davis (@acmeworksfab) on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:52pm PDT

View this post on Instagram

After many weeks of designing and prototyping, I finally have the splay feature pretty well dialed! There were points during this process that I was getting concerned I was chasing a frivolous function, but after using it for half a day so far, I have no doubt that it was completely worth the time and effort.

A post shared by Ian Davis (@acmeworksfab) on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:52am PDT

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Netflix is letting people watch things faster or slower with new playback speed controls

See the original posting on The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is letting people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new playback controls.

Netflix will allow anyone on an Android mobile device to stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching. Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.

Subscribers must opt in to use the playback speeds with every single title they want to watch; it won’t just remain active when you pick something else to watch. This prevents…

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A survival guide for living in The Simulation

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It’s Sunday. You wake up after a very pleasant sleep. You feel good. You decide to check your email. You have one new email in your inbox; and what d’you know, it’s from Elon Musk! It contains clear evidence that your entire universe is a simulation; and the words ‘Don’t show this to anyone’.

Your whole reality is simulated – everything you know, everyone you love, and even yourself are all an intricate collection of ones and zeros! What now?

In this entertaining essay in Philosophy Now, Harry Whitnall provides a “survival guide to life in the simulation.” His first piece of advice: “[T]o maximize your chances of survival, perhaps you should not show anyone the simulation proof, while frequently considering the possibility of one day telling everyone.

[via The Browser] Read the rest

Read more books by using the downtime feature on your iPhone’s screen time settings

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In this essay titled “How I Read Two Books a Week,” Anthony Draper offers “surprising and practical steps you can take now to read more.” My favorite tip is using the downtime feature on your iPhone’s screen time settings.

I’ve also adjusted some of my daily habits to further encourage reading. I turned on the downtime feature on my iPhone’s screen time settings so that all of my apps lock after 10 p.m. — with the exception of the Books app, Wildfulness (nature noises), and the clock (to set my alarm for the morning).

Usually, I’d spend around 30 minutes (or more) watching YouTube in bed before I went to sleep. I saw that as an easy area to convert to reading time. The downtime feature prevents me from just pulling down on the home screen and accessing my Siri suggested apps (my iPhone knows I use YouTube every night, so it’s always right there) because once the downtime schedule hits, YouTube no longer shows up on that menu.

I often get stuck scrolling Flipboard for an hour or longer before falling asleep at night. I’m might try the downtime feature to limit my phone to WaniKani and the Kindle App.

Image: Jumpstory / CC0 Read the rest

R Sikoryak’s latest project is a word-for-word adaptation of the U.S. Constitution

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Cartoonist R. Sikoryak’s talent for mimicking other cartoonists, from Krazy Kat‘s George Herriman to Nancy‘s Ernie Bushmiiler, is uncanny. He has a new book out, called Constitution Illustrated, published by Drawn & Quarterly and I have been marveling at the illustrations. The publisher kindly gave me permission to run some samples so you can see the versatility of Sikoryak’s work.

A gifted pastiche and parody artist as well as a New Yorker cartoonist, R. Sikoryak’s perhaps best known for his widely lauded graphic novel adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions agreement, where each page referenced a different classic comic. It is a triumph of cartooning, one that demonstrated the power of the comics medium to make the unreadable into a text the average reader could engage with. While the Constitution is hardly so dense, Sikoryak transforms it by interpreting it within 100 years of American pop culture icons, all dressed in period attire, naturally!

The 13th Amendment is brought to life by Billy Graham’s classic 1973 comic book cover for Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, drawn by one of the few Black cartoonists in the Marvel bullpen. The Boondock Saints explain the Fourth Amendment preventing seizure. Earlier on, Cathy reminds us that money drawn from the treasury must be appropriately accounted for publically. And it’s pretty satisfying to see the cast of Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For assemble in Section 4, as the Constitution lays out what meetings of Congress look like.

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