The reviews are in for artist Mitch O’Connell’s Trump “They Live” billboards

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For the last few years, artist Mitch O’Connell (not Mitch McConnell) has been erecting billboards depicting Trump as one of the aliens in the classic science fiction movie They Live. Whenever he post an announcement to Facebook, angry people weigh in with their opinion, which Mitch happily uses to promote his projects. I laugh every time I read them.

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Only $250 away from another They Live billboard (see the 10th pic)! Contribute at https://gf.me/u/ymbyf6 And for your reading pleasure, here are some fan letters from lovers of the very first billboard, way back in 2016… #trumpbillboard #theylive #gofundme #obey #vote #election2020

A post shared by Mitch O’Connell (@mitchoconnellart) on Aug 6, 2020 at 5:09am PDT

 

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As we fundraiser for another They Live billboard (see last image), let’s revisit the thoughts and prayers of previous billboard fans. These are the folks you’re going to thrill with every new billboard we put up, so contribute today! 🙂 #trump #theylive #trumpbillboard #gofundme #obey #2020election #vote

A post shared by Mitch O’Connell (@mitchoconnellart) on Aug 5, 2020 at 9:43am PDT

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Monkey unboxes a new water bottle, consults user manual

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Curious George unboxing a water bottle. from r/funny

George the monkey is curious about his new water bottle.  In this video you can see George remove a large metal water bottle from a cardboard box, unsuccessfully attempt to unscrew the lid, refer to the user manual (upside down), successfully unscrew the lid, peer into the bottle and sniff it, screw the lid back onto the bottle and immediately unscrew, and consult the user manual again.

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The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is Samsung’s big promise that it can fix its foldable future

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Image: Samsung

Samsung’s first look at the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2 during its Unpacked event seemed to spend more time focusing on how the new model fixes the flaws of the original rather than emphasizing whatever will make the foldable flagship great. In putting so much effort into convincing customers that this time it got things right, Samsung revealed just how badly it needs foldable phones to work.

At the end of the event, Samsung Electronics global executive SVP Federico Casalegno said that “going forward, 5G and foldables will be the major pillars of Samsung’s future.” For that to happen, they can’t be fragile.

In a world where first-generation products are often plagued by issues — be it poor battery on the first LTE phones, oversized video…

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QAnon as a collaborative, investigative alternate reality game

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QAnon is like an alternate reality game (ARG), says ARG designer Adrian Hon. Charlie Warzel of The New York Times interviewed Hon about the parallels between a conspiracy theory and alternate reality games. Hon had a number of interesting insights about QAnon:

“It’s a collaborative fiction built on wild speculation that hardens into reality.”
“Many people feel alienated and left behind by the world. There’s something about QAnon like ARGs that reward and involve people for being who they are. They create a community that lets people show off their “research” skills and those people become incredibly valuable to the community.”
“A lot of it is about a lack of trust. But also a lack of comfort with ambiguity. In reality, the answer to most hard questions is, ‘It’s complicated.’ But people want definitive answers. Many of these theories provide that feeling for people. When really everyone needs to be a bit more comfortable with ambiguity.”
“What concerns me is that right now it is quite easy for bad actors to see what has worked with QAnon and try to copy it. There’s a playbook now. Any groups can hijack it. It wouldn’t take a lot to try and replicate it.”
“You can make projects and build community that harnesses that positively. The same way bad actors can look at QAnon and find a playbook, so can good actors. We can find similar ways to motivate alienated people in a more constructive way. At least I hope so.” Read the rest

Sony’s new 1000XM4 headphones have improved noise cancellation and can pair with two devices at once

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Image: Sony

Sony has just announced the long-awaited followup to its popular WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling headphones. The brand new WH-1000XM4 headphones look exactly the same, but feature improved noise cancellation and, finally, the option to simultaneously pair with two devices at once over Bluetooth. They go up for preorder today for $349.99 and will start shipping in mid-August.

The 1000XM4s use the same Q1N processor for noise cancellation, but Sony says it has added a new Bluetooth audio system on a chip that analyzes music and surrounding ambient noise 700 times per second. Combined with a tweaked algorithm, this makes the 1000XM4s better at hushing voices and mid-frequency everyday ambient sound.

In terms of audio quality, the 1000XM4s…

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Visiting Popeye’s village in Malta

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In 1980, Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall starred in Popeye, a live action musical comedy about the great sailor. Trailer below. The film is set in the fictional town of Sweethaven which was actually a wonderfully elaborate set built near the village of Mellie?a on the Mediterranean island of Malta. Fifty years later, Sweethaven still stands and has become a popular tourist attraction. The Popeye Village even hosts weddings, birthday parties, school tours, and corporate team building experiences. Make sure you eat your spinach.

(via r/TIL)
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The best part of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is its screen

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus.

Yesterday, Samsung announced a boatload of new products, including the latest version of its popular Note smartphone and the next folding phone in its portfolio. Also in the mix was the new Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus, the company’s latest high-end Android tablets designed to go blow-for-blow with the iPad Pro.

As expected, the Tab S7 duo stack the spec sheet, at least as far as Android devices go. They have everything from 5G to 120Hz displays to quad-speaker systems. But they also cost a stack, starting at $649.99 for the 11-inch Tab S7 and $849.99 for the 12.4-inch S7 Plus. Adding Samsung’s keyboard folio case to the mix tacks on another $199.99 (11-inch) or $229.99 (12.4-inch) to the tally, meaning you can easily spend over a grand on…

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Star Trek: Lower Decks hasn’t found its comedic edge yet

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Turning Star Trek into an animated comedy for adults is, honestly, a genius idea. If you’re not super into the franchise, it’s easy to assume Star Trek is stodgy and self-serious, the sci-fi show for people who like thinking more than fun. Actually watch Star Trek, and you’ll find all sorts of quirky idiosyncrasies and plenty of comedy because Star Trek is really just about meeting people who are different than you, and sometimes that has very funny results. This makes CBS All Access series Star Trek: Lower Decks great idea — but it also, strangely, feels stale because Rick and Morty has already beaten it at its own game.

At first glance, the comparison doesn’t seem apt, but that’s only because Lower Decks delights in Trek minutiae. The…

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Amazon’s Echo Flex is getting a new smart clock accessory

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Amazon is expanding its lineup of Echo Flex accessories with a new Smart Clock attachment, which plugs into the USB port on the bottom of the smart speaker, adding a display to view the current time or how much time is left on a timer.

The smart clock attachment costs $14.99 (the same price as the existing motion detector and nightlight accessories), and it features a built-in sensor to automatically adjust the brightness during the day. It’s designed to work seamlessly with the Echo Flex. Simply plug it in, and it’ll automatically display the current time (based on whatever time zone you’re in) and display any timers you set through regular Alexa commands.

The main downside is that the Echo Flex only supports a single accessory at…

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Nick Cave: writer’s block is actually a “category error”

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At Nick Cave’s “The Red Hand Files,” the musician/poet/screenwriter responded to a fan who asked, “What do you do when the lyrics just aren’t coming?” In short, Cave’s answer is to wait patiently. But his full reply is quite beautiful and inspiring. From The Red Hand Files:

The idea of lyrics ‘not coming’ is basically a category error. What we are talking about is not a period of ‘not coming’ but a period of ‘not arriving’. The lyrics are always coming. They are always pending. They are always on their way toward us. But often they must journey a great distance and over vast stretches of time to get there. They advance through the rugged terrains of lived experience, battling to arrive at the end of our pen. In time, they emerge, leaping free of the unknown — from memory or, more thrillingly, from the predictive part of our minds that exists on the far side of the lived moment. It has been a long and arduous journey, and our waiting much anguished[…]

Our task is to remain patient and vigilant and to not lose heart — for we are the destination.

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