Cartoonist Kayfabe: Wizard Magazine issue 17, January 1993

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Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg continue down the 1990s comic book speculation rabbit hole to discuss Wizard 17 from January 1993. In this issue:

• Brutes and Babes: Bart Sears on Cover design including Hip Hop Family Tree, Street Angel, and X-Men: Grand Design
• Valiant gets the spotlight
• Fabian Nicieza writing and editing a lot of books
• Tom Palmer’s X-mas recommendations
• Dave Sim passes the halfway point of Cerebus and reflects on Image, Wizard, self-publishing, the direct market, and Jack Kirby’s revolutionary work at the dawn of the Marvel Universe
• Roy Thomas adapts Francis Ford Copolla’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Topps and Mike Mignola
• Batman is sad
• Wizard puts out a call for homemade fanzines!!!

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Kickstart your mad science with this Raspberry Pi boot camp

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If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ Starter Kit & Course Bundle is a good bet.

Put together with the curious newbie in mind, this package includes the essentials: A Raspberry Pi 3B+ board, plus TF card and 37 sensor modules. What you do with it from there is virtually limitless, but the three online courses give you some good jumping off points. The first lesson lets you build a retro gaming system from scratch, and from there you can explore how your kit can interact with Amazon Alexa to voice-control nearly anything in your house.

It’s a ton of hacks for STEM’s new favorite resource, currently on sale for nearly 70% off the list price. Pick up the Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ Starter Kit & Course Bundle for $139.99 today. Read the rest

San Francisco! Come see me and Richard Kadrey in Berkeley on Monday with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Portland/Ft Vancouver, Seattle & Anaheim!

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I’ve had a fabulous weekend at Chicago’s C2E2 festival as part of my Radicalized book-tour, and now I’m heading to San Francisco for an appearance on Monday night at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey. Then it’s on to The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then the Seattle Public Library and finally a weekend of events at Wondercon in Anaheim. Come on out! (Image: Nikola Danaylov, CC-BY-SA)

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Talking Radicalized on CBC’s Day 6, with Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail

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This morning, CBC’s flagship weekend programme Day Six aired its latest episode (MP3), a conversation between host Brent Bambury, me, and Tim Maughan, the author of an outstanding debut novel called Infinite Detail. (Image: Jason Vermes/CBC)

It’s often said that sci-fi’s role is to project the future, but Doctorow is skeptical of that perspective.

“What we’re doing is kidding ourselves that we’re projecting a future; I think that at best, we’re reflecting the present,” he told Bambury.

“As an activist, I have to think that the future is not predictable. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to get out of bed. The future changes based on what we do.”

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This super organized luggage has compartments for everything

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Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you.

We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full that it practically becomes a black hole. That practice becomes almost effortless with the Genius Pack, which not only boasts a separate compartment for dirty clothes but an air valve to vacuum-seal the contents. And that’s only for starters: This thing has labeled, tidy spaces for chargers, socks, toiletries – even an umbrella. If you still need more room, an accordion-like zipper space expands it by 25%, and you can tote your jacket or personal bag outside with a handy strap. Made of high-strength nylon, it’s sturdy enough to handle whatever you stuff into it, and the 360-degree spinning wheels are a nice touch.

Right now, you can pick up the Genius Pack G4 Carry-On Spinner Case for $179 – a full 39% off the MSRP. Read the rest “This super organized luggage has compartments for everything”

Can you guess the meaning of these Droodles?

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One day in the early 1970s, while looking for Dennis the Menace paperbacks at a used bookstore in Boulder, Colorado, I discovered a copy of a book of “droodles,” which were simple yet mysterious line drawings that became clear when you read the caption. Droodles where the creation of an American humorist named Roger Price, who wrote for MAD and Playboy, had his own TV shows, and worked with folks like Bob Hope and Carl Reiner. He was also the co-creator of the wildly popular Mad-Libs books. I became a huge fan and tracked down as many of his humor books as I could find.

Years later, when I started going out with Carla while we were attending Colorado State University, she showed me a letter that her mother’s friend had mailed her. It was typed and had funny, simple line drawings on it. I looked at the return address. The name of the sender was Roger Price. I was astonished. She opened her desk drawer and showed me a stack of letters he’d written her, all with funny Droodlesque drawings in them.

When we moved to Los Angeles she introduced me to Roger. He was in his late ’60s at the time, and was very interested and supportive of the fact that Carla and I were launching a zine (bOING bOING). Roger had done the same with a magazine called Grump. We saw Roger often, and he was always funny and curious about what we were working on, and gave us a lot of useful advice about writing. Read the rest “Can you guess the meaning of these Droodles?”

Human and opossum are best friends

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Meet “Kika my opossum,” says IMGURian overlordzelli.

“I am a huge sucker for yawning animals. She’s very excited for outside cuddles”

“For years I thought my spirit animal was a cat but now I’m realizing I’m basically just a trash cat like Kika.”

“I love her so much.”

I agree with what this one commenter points out:

“Opossums can’t contract rabies and they eat ticks. My favorite trash cat.”

OverlordZelli:

She’s actually a rescue. We found her mom dead after falling out of a tree during a big storm. And yes dead dead. Punctured from the fall and everything. There were nine babies we took in while we tried to find a rehabilitator. Apparently they all moved away but after calling them they instructed us what to do. Eight died. Kika is all that’s left. They had metabolic bone disease. We had received local farm fresh eggs and gave them their first egg. Seven died from salmonella because apparently local farm gave us bad eggs. And by bad I mean the next egg we cracked for breakfast had a fully developed dead baby chicken. I can’t trust local farms after that. Zuka was caught by a coyote we think one night. She liked using the cat door. Kika has really bad arthritis so she can’t be released. She has zero chance of survival. Opossums don’t live all that long so I make it my motto to give her all sorts of foods to try while she has the luxury.

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Online privacy tips for 2019

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Keith Axline at The Tools We Need, writes that if you haven’t already, switch to Firefox and install Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, Decentraleyes, CanvasBlocker and Smart Referrer. Use 1.1.1.1 as your DNS and change your default search engine. He explains why: A Few Simple Steps to Vastly Increase Your Privacy Online. Read the rest “Online privacy tips for 2019”

Stop robocalls and phone scams with this top-rated app

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Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example of the recent rise in call-filtering apps is Call Control, which has been racking up kudos from NBC News and Fox Business – as well as consumers on the App Store and Google Play.

Not only does this app feature a list of automatically blocked numbers from a CommunityIQ database, but the enhanced caller ID detailed information so you can distinguish between genuine government entities and the scammers that pose as them. Easily block numbers, look up unknown numbers with reverse lookup, even set “quiet hours” that silence your phone from all calls during a designated time. It’s a simple and reliable way to take back your number.

Right now, a one-year subscription to Call Control Premium is 33% off at $19.99. Read the rest “Stop robocalls and phone scams with this top-rated app”

Chicago! I’m at C2E2 this weekend with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: San Francisco, Portland/Ft Vancouver, Seattle & Anaheim!

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Last night’s book tour event in Toronto was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who came! I just checked in for my flight to Chicago for a weekend’s worth of appearances at C2E2, and then on Monday I’ll be at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey, then The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then the Seattle Public Library and finally a weekend of events at Wondercon in Anaheim. Come on out! (Image: @codepoet127)

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Deep Space 9 remastered with deep learning

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Star Trek‘s original series and TNG were shot on film, allowing them to be rescanned for high-definition broadcast. Star Trek: Deep Space 9, however, was shot on video at standard definition: there’s no further detail to recover for HD broadcasts. Machine learning to the rescue! CaptRobau writes:

I will go into greater detail about my process in a future blog post, but it took me about two days to get everything extracted, upscaled and put it back together in a way that was pleasing. This resulted only in the first five minutes of the episode being done (the episode recap, the opening scene, and the intro). Still pretty good time for a mid-to-high end PC with software that isn’t just available to professionals.

The result left me pretty awestruck. It looked better than I had hoped. No weird issues or anything. It looked pretty much like an HD version of DS9. Since (moving) pictures are worth more than a thousand words, here are two comparison videos that show off the improvement I was able to get with this machine learning based upscaling technique.

Below, the intro at 4K. CBS, hire this man! (Or license his code!) “Imagine what a real team could do, with more powerful equipment, custom trained neural networks … and access to the original SD files instead of a DVDRip like me.”

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Watch these dogs with floofy fluff-butts bravely tunnel in snow

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This very good doggo is either hunting something special, or clearing a path for his human, or who knows? Either way, the dog is obviously a submarine.

When you thought you were adopting a dog, but instead got a subwoofer.

And below, meet Yukon.

“He is named after Yukon Cornelius and he, too, is still searching for that elusive peppermint mine!”

May I present, Yukon. Destroyer of Worlds.

[Link, via Reddit user blue_bomber697]

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Kindle edition of Neuromancer at steep discount

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The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

I read William Gibson’s Neuromancer for the first time in 1985. I bought a copy at the San Francisco State University bookstore (Carla was attending college there and I was working at Memorex/Burrough in nearby Santa Clara as a mechanical engineer) after we went to a talk by Timothy Leary and he raved about it.

It’s probably safe to say that without Neuromancer, Carla and I might not have ever started the bOING bOING zine in 1987, because the novel was hugely influential on the way we thought about technology and society.

Neuromancer is on sale on Amazon in the Kindle edition for a very low price right now. Get it before the price goes back up. Read the rest “Kindle edition of Neuromancer at steep discount”

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