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Culture

Jeffrey Tambor quits Transparent following allegations of sexual harassment

Just weeks after Amazon launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the star of its Emmy-winning show Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor has told Deadline that he is not returning next season.

In a statement to the publication, Tambor said that while he was privileged to take part in the show, recent events have made it clear that it “is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”

On November 8th, Deadline reported that Amazon had begun an investigation after a former assistant came forward with allegations, which he called “baseless,” while days later, another actress alleged that the actor made unwanted sexual comments and advances towards her. The departure is another high-profile exit from Amazon…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/19/16677506/jeffrey-tambor-transparent-sexual-harassment-allegations-amazon

Culture

After Roy Moore threatens to sue AL.com, the publisher puts him on notice to preserve all documents for their countersuit

Threatening to sue journalists who paint you in an unflattering light has been a pretty effective tactic for the Trump crowd — hell, Trump’s special advisor Peter Thiel managed to destroy an entire media company in retaliation for their coverage of him, by secretly fronting legal fees for a clownish wrestler who had sex with his friend’s wife — but multiply accused child molestor and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore isn’t very good at it.
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from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2017/11/19/banned-from-the-mall.html

Culture

Trump’s Oklahoma campaign manager, who once introduced an anti-immigrant law to “stop sex trafficking of children,” admits to trafficking young boy for sex

Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey has resigned after pleading guilty to trafficking a teenaged boy for sex; when Shortey was serving as Trump’s Oklahoma campaign manager, he introduced an anti-sanctuary cities bill, claiming that immigrants trafficked their children for sex.
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from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2017/11/19/takes-one-to-know-one.html

Culture

I got a shirt that is supposed to stay clean for months without washing it

Today a high-tech shirt came into my life. The shirt is made by Ably, and you can supposedly wear it for months on end and it will stay clean. Ably’s garments are made with something called Filium, a non-toxic product that makes the material resistant to liquid and odor. I wore the shirt for the first time today, and the way it interacts with water is pretty cool. I purposely flicked a little water on the shirt’s sleeve, and the water just beaded up into droplets and slid right off the shirt at high speed.

I played with the shirt in my sink for a while, watching water droplets roll around the fabric before sliding off. I swear, it’s as fun to play with as it is to wear. But I got a little over-zealous and found that it does get wet if you submerge it into water.

I also experimented with ketchup, squirting a couple of drops onto the shirt. Unbelievably, the ketchup drops, like the water, rolled off the shirt. There was no trace of ketchup to be seen. Unfortunately I then tried Tabasco sauce, and used my finger to help push the tiny drops off of it, which caused the sauce to sink into the material. It took a bit of scrubbing with soap and water to clean off the stain. I wondered if touching the beaded sauce had something to do with it staining the shirt, so I hesitantly sprinkled more Tobasco sauce on the fabric, this time keeping my hands far away from the beaded liquid. This time the sauce rolled off the shirt just like the ketchup and water did. Lesson learned: don’t use your fingers to nudge off a spill – just let it do its thing.

When I first heard about this shirt I was a bit skeptical about its comfort, thinking it would feel too synthetic, but it’s surprisingly very soft and feels like a regular cotton tee. It’s a great shirt to have for travelers or people who are sloppy.

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2017/11/19/i-got-a-shirt-that-is-supposed.html

Culture

Germany bans smartwatches for kids and asks parents to destroy them

Germany’s telecommunication agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, has banned smartwatches for kids, and is asking parents to destroy them. According to Bleeping Computer, (via Gizmodo) the regulators have deemed smartwatches targeted at kids “prohibitive listening devices” and are asking parents to destroy any smartwatches their kids have and advising schools to pay closer attention to kids with them.

Germany is targeting the listening capabilities of smartwatches but strangely didn’t say anything about the European Consumer Organization’s (BEUC) announcement that smartwatches pose a security threat to kids’ privacy. The BEUC warned that GPS-tracking smartwatches could be hacked and attackers could track or spoof the GPS location of kids’…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/11/19/16671428/germany-bans-smartwatches-kids-parents-destruction

Culture

What should truckers call Tesla’s new Semi?

If your idea of trucker life comes from movies like Smokey and the Bandit or Convoy, you’re living in the past. Truckers have swapped their citizen band radios for tablets, smartphones, and apps. But that doesn’t mean they’ve completely abandoned the CB radio lingo of the glory days.

Police officers are still called “Smokey,” Mack trucks are referred to as “Bulldogs,” and ambulances are known as “Band-Aid Buggies.” The lingo has changed since its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s — no one calls each other “good buddy” anymore — but a lot of it is still in use. Which made me curious: once Tesla’s new Semi trucks start hitting the road in earnest in a couple years, what should truckers call them?

Image: Tesla

Elon Musk…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/19/16671184/tesla-semi-truck-2017-cb-radio-lingo-poll

Culture

The strange comfort of At Home With Amy Sedaris

Maybe winter is already taking its toll on you — have you checked? Short days, dry air, too many people in Burlington Coat Factory, all the interesting coffee flavors double in price. These things take a toll on the body.

Luckily, At Home With Amy Sedaris, a new Tuesday night TruTV show of which there are already five episodes available to watch, will help. I promise. Sedaris is best known for her starring role in cult classic in Strangers with Candy, her voice work on BoJack Horseman, her supporting part on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, her famous brother, her fantastic advice column in The Believer, and two books about crafting and cooking. Here, she plays herself, living alone in a house based on her real apartment, cooking and…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/19/16665600/at-home-with-amy-sedaris-watch-trutv-review-web-culture

Culture

The perfect holiday present: a kids’ book that teaches rocket science

To many, rocket science may seem like an impenetrable concept that’s just too difficult to understand, but a new book argues otherwise, aiming to break down the basic concepts behind spaceflight — to children.

The new book is appropriately titled Rocket Science, and it was written by Andrew Rader, an aerospace engineer at SpaceX, as well as an avid author and game designer. The story is complete with easy-to-follow descriptions and graphics of space travel, explaining what is needed to make rocket engines ignite, for instance, as well as how space vehicles explore our Solar System. The idea behind the book, Rader says, is to show kids that this type of science isn’t unreachable.

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/19/16669832/rocket-science-children-book-kickstarter-andrew-rader

Culture

RT @MatthewJDalby: I love these character studies of Neanderthals by the artist Tom Björklund. So rarely are they pictured as if they were real people. See his blog and Facebook for more. https://t.co/TjJzKjTJV9 https://t.co/xs1ToCYlzu https://t.co/EAnbWpgHiD

RT @MatthewJDalby: I love these character studies of Neanderthals by the artist Tom Björklund. So rarely are they pictured as if they were real people.

See his blog and Facebook for more.
https://t.co/TjJzKjTJV9
https://t.co/xs1ToCYlzu https://t.co/EAnbWpgHiD

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
kevin2kelly http://twitter.com/kevin2kelly/status/932248143252598784

Culture

Review: 8bitdo’s Zero is the little bluetooth gamepad that could

8bitdo’s Zero is a wee, well-made and thoroughly wonderful bluetooth game controller. I bought it by accident, thinking I’d found a surprisingly cheap wireless pad, only to learn (to my shrieking amusement) that its low price is caused by its low volume.

It really is tiny, at about 2.75″ long and 1.5″ high. It comes with a keychain ring and is by no means unreasonably large for this purpose:

There’s a D-pad, four buttons under the right thumb, two trigger buttons and, in the middle, a start and select button. A short USB cable is provided for recharging, but it doesn’t function as a USB controller. Just wireless.

It comes in white with a blue or red back; the red one has a vaguely Nintendo-esque stripe across the front, too.

That is not only works but is well-made and durable makes it an absolutely fabulous stocking stuffer for people who play games — especially given that it’s compatible with virtually everything, including Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS. There’s even a remote shutter mode for cameras, though I didn’t test it.

It’s not plain sailing all the way, though. Pairing it with my MacBook was easy, but it took a couple of attempts on my Windows 10 Zotac ZBox. Moreover, it lost its connection twice in a month, requiring unpairing and re-pairing to get working again.

Part of the problem is the inadequate instructions for shifting it between compatibility modes that apply to each system. Use the wrong sequence of presses and it’ll show up as a keyboard instead of a joypad, or as some random zalgo gadget that does nothing except stay rudely paired with your PC.

Oddly, there’s no button 3 in Windows joystick mode. It jumps from 2 to 4. So anything that expects it (e.g. MAME) will need to be configured likewise.

Finally, it is perhaps too small, at least for twitchy arcade play. I tended to find myself holding it like a harmonica to get precise control — but in that position, the triggers are much harder to hit.

At about $17, though, who’s complaining?

PROS: Tiny but well-made; Cheap; Works on everything. Tiny USB cable.
CONS: Too tiny. Finicky Blueooth. Crap instructions. Bluetooth only.

8BITDO Zero Wireless Game Controller for Android/ iOS/ Windows [Amazon]

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2017/11/18/review-8bitdos-zero-is-a-ti.html