Study finds strong evidence for discriminatory intent behind voter ID laws
State legislators who support voter ID laws are motivated in no small part by racial bias, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The study finds strong evidence that "discriminatory intent underlies legislative support for voter identification laws." [more inside]
Minnesota Birdsong: An interactive poster
Cute interface with birdsong content provided by the always amazing Corn
ell Lab of Ornithology.
Passweird - Passwords too gross to steal.
This website will create for you a password that is not only secure*, but is also so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it. *ish, but probably not. Don't use these for real.
Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom
to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
The Physics of Light and Rendering
is a talk given at QuakeCon 2013 by John Carmack, co-creator of Doom, Quake, and many other games at id Software and beyond. It provides a detailed but surprisingly understandable history of 3D rendering techniques, their advantages and tradeoffs, and how they have been used in games and movies. (SLYT, 1:32:01, via
Lead programmer John Carmack is clearly the main reason behind the technical superiority of Id's games.... When the contractor Id hired to do the network drivers for Doom didn't come through, Carmack matter-of-factly wrote a network driver and had it up and running the next day.
Monsters from the Id: The Making of Doom
[Project] specialist John Romero ... plays the latest beta making his own sound effects with his mouth to compensate for the game sound effects that haven't been added in yet.
(reprinted from Game Developer
magazine issue #1, January, 1994.)
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania
and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws.
to a nonproblem
] [more inside]
Bethesda marks the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D
-- the pioneer 3D first person shooter -- by releasing a free-to-play browser version
of the game. Blow some Nazis away with the director's commentary from John Carmack
running in the background, or go old-school and drench the walls in blood and gore. (Unless you live in Germany where the game is illegal.) Via
. [more inside]
is series of platform games from the early 1990s, whence the Dopefish
. People who grew up with DOS games will find gameplay videos
quite nostalgic. Over the period 2006-2011, modders released a new Keen trilogy called The Universe Is Toast
Gameplay is a novel mix of eerily familiar
and the flat-out weird
id Software have released the source code to Doom 3
under the terms of the General Public License
. [more inside]
Massive Biometric Project Gives Crores of Indians an ID: Aadhaar faces titanic physical and technical challenges: reaching millions of illiterate Indians who have never seen a computer, persuading them to have their irises scanned, ensuring that their information is accurate, and safeguarding the resulting ocean of data. This is India, after all—a country notorious for corruption and for failing to complete major public projects. And the whole idea horrifies civil libertarians. But if Aadhaar’s organizers pull it off, the initiative could boost the fortunes of India’s poorest citizens and turbocharge the already booming national economy. [more inside]
The Producer Cites Religious Controversy.
The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies
. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation
") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
FRONTLINE: Ghana - Digital Dumping Ground On the outskirts of Ghana's biggest city sits a smoldering wasteland, a slum carved into the banks of the Korle Lagoon, one of the most polluted bodies of water on earth. The locals call it Sodom and Gomorrah.
One of the biggest fallouts? Identity Theft
iD Software has been acquired by ZeniMax media. (Reports here
, and many other places.) John Romero, the co-founder of the company, had some initial concerns
but seems to have cheered up
. No doubt a wide variety of retrospectives, histories, opinions and flames will rise from this most infamously-independent of game studios joining forces/merging/being swallowed by another, younger one. (ZeniMax
was founded in 1999, iD
in 1991.) With iD releasing games with years-long gaps between them, younger readers might not have grown up playing this company's output, but if you've ever run down a hallway with a gun bouncing earnestly before you
and looking through a heads-up display, iD has touched your life too. Masters of Doom
is an excellent history of the company in book form, assuming you still read.
Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America"
decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
. (via) [more inside]
A visit to id Software, 1993.
A must watch for anyone who's ever played Doom.
Prepare to feel old: Quake III Arena
came out nearly ten years ago. Prepare to feel young again: Quake Live
can be played in your browser for free. The long-anticipated
beta opened to the public yesterday. John Carmack says that
they hope to be improving and polishing the game for the next decade. [more inside]
is a 3D adventure game with arcade-style elements. It was programmed for computers running
DOS Flash 10
. Here's the plot: your character is a Space Marine on the planet Mars, who uses guns his fist, and even a chainsaw to kill monsters from another dimension.
"You cannot overestimate how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down.
", argues psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, part of a growing "non-material neuroscience
" movement, an approach that evokes Cartesian dualism
- the belief that the mind is not linked to the body, taking on the qualities of a soul
. However growing the movement might be, others argue
that the end of materialism is far from nigh. (via
(youtube), the Roller Toaster
, the water-less washing machine
, the sculptures
of Gwon Osong, a crucifix-shaped mp3 player
... some of the people and things found on CubeMe
, a blog about "wonderful stuff".
The design challenge.
After some work on genetic algorithms
was accused of having 'frontloaded' solutions, Dave Thomas issued the challenge - human design vs his mutating code to find Steiner Trees^
. If the answer is frontloaded, it should be derivable. And now the results are in
Science is better:
An enormous scientific study has conclusively demonstrated that "diet had no effect" on rates of women getting cancer or heart disease. Because the study investigated the efficacy of overall low fat diets
, rather than the more recently developed hypothesis that saturated fats are the only pernicious kind
, some leading medical researchers accept these findings but still think there MAY be a direct link between certain diets and major health problems in women, but (and here's the money shot) "if they did a study like that and it was negative, then I'd have to give up my cherished hypotheses for data." Now that, my friends, is a heartwarming example of one of the pinnacles of human creativity, the scientific method, which is under so much attack these days. . .
Tired of standing in line at the airport? Worried that you might share a name with a known terrorist or subversive on the TSA's mysterious no-fly lists? Relax. Get fingerprinted and/or iris scanned. And pay $79.95 a year to become a Registered Traveler
, and fly Clear
in the fast lane. (And note how quickly conceptual art projects
become indistinguishable from reality
.) Meanwhile, the Feds settle an ACLU lawsuit
over the no-fly lists... while revealing no information about them. [Lists recently discussed here
Don't mess with Kansas.
Professor at the University of Kansas decides to offer this course
, is beaten by unknown assailants, withdraws the course. Add "no sense of humor" to what's the matter with Kansas? [more inside]
Newsfilter: Vatican rejects Intelligent Design.
The Vatican has stated that Intelligent Design is not, in their opinion, science and they do not support it. Their announcement is a part of the effort to end the "mutual prejudice"
between science and evolution.
Why "Intelligent Design" Isn't.
The New Yorker
takes an informative look at the "factual" basis for so-called "Intelligent Design"
theory, while an all too infrequent victory
is won in Georgia.
How "Real ID" Act will affect you
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service.
How strongly do you believe in your candidate, or hate the other? Would you purposely vote twice
? How do you feel about a federal voter id card
? And would you have a problem with indelible ink
I feel safer already!
A US requirement for foreign visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed is being expanded to include citizens from America's closest allies, starting September 30th.
"Feminism" isn't the problem
, it's Woman's Super Ego that's the problem. "...there comes a time in every relationship when a woman has to be tender and empathetic. If she can't or won't do that, it doesn't matter if she has the face of Helen of Troy with George Eliot's mind."
Muslim woman to challenge ban on veil in driver's license photo
Another example of how the fundamental structure of American society is built upon Christian monothestic values. Should she be accomodated and if so what does that do to the relevance of picture IDs? Further, what if it's against someone's religion to even have their picture taken at all
Oppose a National ID card
, this article tells the many reasons and abuses of freedom that will take place.
No more false IDs on Metafilter! Now researchers in Italy have developed a program that can spot enough subtle differences between two authors' works to attribute authorship.
XP demonstrates "Intelligent design."
You mean they didn't evolve it with genetic algorithms
? Boy, I could swear the past versions were composed of randomly generated code fragments. (Do read the original article
Larry my man, you tell 'em!
If this article doesn't make you puke, then September 11th was someone's birthday and they did ATTEND their party. Er....the subject matter of the article is Smart Cards.
Okay, you are now officially allowed to be scared. Larry Ellison is not only calling for a national ID card, he wants it to be Oracle-based
Gephardt wants Congress to consider a national ID card.
As far as I can see, no bills have been introduced yet. The following quote from Gephardt makes it sound as though he has this in mind for everyone, not just foreigners in the US on Visas: "What kind of identity cards would we make citizens and others carry? Would they carry more information?"
Apple is apparently tidying up their corporate image
even more while riding the wave of Jobs. They'll be eliminating the 'computer' part of the company name and will standardize on a series of 3D-ish solid color logos. The logos themselves, look as if they were stamped out of jello if you ask me. The next question is, of course, how long until Apple gets feeling retro about their identity, and starts using the old rainbow logo again. Anyone remember their 70's corporate typeface? Motter Tektura