MetaFilter posts by cenoxo.
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The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant , The Atlantic, Kaitlyn Tiffany, July/August 2021 [alternate link]: “Kodak didn’t just teach Americans to take photographs; it taught them what to take photographs of, and it taught them what photographs were for. The Kodak mythology [*], though powerful, was and is easily seen through.” *See Kodak History.
posted on Jun-16-21 at 8:42 AM

The Body’s Most Embarrassing Organ Is an Evolutionary Marvel — And yet we have very little idea where anuses come from., The Atlantic, Katherine J. Wu, 5/18/2021 [alternate archive link]. “...The appearance of the anus was momentous in animal evolution, turning a one-hole digestive sac into an open-ended tunnel. Creatures with an anus could physically segregate the acts of eating and defecating, reducing the risk of sullying a snack with scat; they no longer had to finish processing one meal before ingesting another, allowing their tubelike body to harvest more energy and balloon in size. Nowadays, anuses take many forms...” Don’t miss the ‘death farts’ reference. Although Joseph Pujol’s unique musical talent is not mentioned, Wikipedia has a passable article.
posted on May-22-21 at 7:42 PM

Politician's Zoom Background Can't Hide Fact That He's Actually Driving — Andrew Brenner, a state senator in Ohio, is getting some heat for driving while participating in a Zoom call earlier this week. The Ohio Senate is currently taking up a bill that would create additional penalties for distracted driving and a local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, pointed out the irony of the situation. But local media aren’t discussing perhaps the funniest aspect of this whole minor scandal: Brenner turned on a virtual background to make it appear like he was at home in his office. And he failed miserably., Gizmodo, Matt Novak, 5/6/2021.
posted on May-6-21 at 4:49 AM

The Radio We Could Send to Hell — Silicon carbide radio circuits can take the volcanic heat of Venus., IEEE Spectrum, 4/28/2021. Its average surface temperature is 464 °C, sulfuric acid droplets fill the atmosphere, and its surface pressure is ~90 times Earth’s. Venus is considered Earth’s planetary twin: their size and mass are very close, and perhaps it once had massive oceans (with life) like Earth. But what cataclysm caused Venus to lose its water? Scientists think Earth’s fate may be similar as our climate changes, but to gather more data new Venusian robotic landers and rovers are needed. Can we build them to survive and explore its hostile environment for months or years? We can.
posted on May-2-21 at 4:09 AM

Apple’s Ransomware Mess Is the Future of Online Extortion — This week, hackers stole confidential schematics from a third-party supplier and demanded $50 million not to release them. WIRED, 4/23/2021 [alternate Ars Technica link]: After years of refining their mass data encryption techniques to lock victims out of their own systems, criminal gangs are increasingly focusing on data theft and extortion as the centerpiece of their attacks — and making eye-popping demands in the process. “Our team is negotiating the sale of large quantities of confidential drawings and gigabytes of personal data with several major brands,” REvil [WP] wrote in its post of the stolen data. “We recommend that Apple buy back the available data by May 1.” Related: DOJ Forms Ransomware Task Force as REvil Demands $50M, SDX Central, 4/22/2021.
posted on Apr-24-21 at 8:33 AM

Forbes’ 35th Annual World’s Billionaires List: Facts And Figures 2021 — Despite the pandemic, it was a record-setting year for the world’s wealthiest with a $5 trillion surge in wealth and an unprecedented number of new billionaires. The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755 (660 more than a year ago). Altogether they are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list. Forbes, April 6, 2021.
posted on Apr-6-21 at 9:47 AM

Tom Cruise Isn’t On TikTok: It’s a Shockingly-Realistic DeepfakePetaPixel explains how VFX/AI artist Chris Ume, creator of the real TikTok deeptomcruise account, faked it. Hint: it helps to have a Tom Cruise impersonator.
posted on Mar-9-21 at 6:12 AM

Popular in South America, Europe, and Quebec, Argentine-Spanish cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón (July 17, 1932 - September 30, 2020) — better known as Quino — drew his comic strip Mafalda (a politically/socially aware six year old girl) from 1964 to 1973. There’s an English fan website, and a large gallery of Tejón’s later wordless political cartoons on Imgur [H/T Macwhiskey]. *Before the Calvin Era.
posted on Oct-12-20 at 9:33 AM

First American Woman To Walk In Space Becomes First Woman To Dive To Deepest Spot On Earth — Kathy Sullivan, a former NASA Space Shuttle astronaut and the frst American woman to walk in space back in 1984, just added another record to her illustrious career by becoming the first woman to visit Challenger Deep — the bottom of the Mariana Trench — during a daring expedition last weekend. She's now also the only human to have ever been up in orbital space and down below at maximum ocean depth (SYFY Wire, Jeff Spry, 6/9/2020). More about the DSV (Deep Submergence Vehicle) Limiting Factor TRITON 36000/2 and its ongoing Ring of Fire Expedition to the Mariana Trench (WP) at Caladan Oceanic.
posted on Jun-10-20 at 8:58 AM

[PREVIOUSLY] From the Navy Times, here's the latest news for the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71): • Fired Theodore Roosevelt commander Brett Crozier reassigned to San Diego, 5/5/2020: Capt. Brett Crozier arrived at Naval Air Forces Monday night, officials confirmed. • Carrier Theodore Roosevelt prepares to go back to sea after coronavirus outbreak, 5/5/2020: More than 4,000 crew members went ashore last month...more than 2,000 are back on least 1,000 are still testing positive for the virus and remain on land. • Navy halts daily COVID-19 updates for stricken ships Theodore Roosevelt and Kidd, 5/6/2020: The service announced Thursday they will only announce "significant changes" aboard those ships.
posted on May-7-20 at 8:54 AM

Managers turn to surveillance software, always-on webcams to ensure employees are (really) working from home , Washington Post, Drew Harwell, 4/30/2020 — Always-on webcams, virtual “water coolers,” constant monitoring: Is the tech industry’s new dream for remote work actually a nightmare? With nearly half of office employees working from home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, management tracks their work using: digital avatars in virtual offices; always-on webcams/microphones; productivity stats; monitored web browsing and active work hours; multiple daily check-ins (via email, calls, text messages and Zoom video calls); not-so-optional company happy hours, game nights and lunchtime chats; hidden screen captures; logging of apps used and websites visited; key word flagging; keyboard/mouse usage; unscheduled video conferences; and endless online meetings, meetings, meetings.
posted on May-6-20 at 8:30 AM

How Cornell Disguised Drivers to Gauge the Public's Reaction to Autonomous Vehicles — It may look and smell like a prank, but dressing someone up as a car seat is a serious endeavor. A team from Cornell Tech led a study in which a person was disguised as a car seat while driving through several international cities to gauge the public's reactions to driverless vehicles.
posted on Apr-25-20 at 10:50 AM

Mice have a range of facial expressions, researchers find — Whether it is screwing up your face when sucking a lemon, or smiling while sitting in the sun, humans have a range of facial expressions that reflect how they feel. Now, researchers say, they have found mice do too. “Mice exhibit facial expressions that are specific to the underlying emotions,” said Dr Nadine Gogolla, co-author of the research from Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. She said the findings were important, as they offer researchers new ways to measure the intensity of emotional responses, which could help them probe how emotions arise in the brain. What’s more, she said, the findings show mice have a repertoire of emotions.
posted on Apr-5-20 at 12:04 AM

2019 Ocean Art Underwater Photo CompetitionUnderwater Photography Guide, January 13, 2020: “... winners include dramatic animal behavior, stunning marine life portraits, heart wrenching and uplifting conservation scenes, weird and wonderful blackwater creatures, ocean adventure, and many, many photos that showcase the powerful beauty that is found in our underwater planet. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 78 countries...” [desktop images; previous contest winners in 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010].
posted on Feb-10-20 at 2:58 PM

The Fate of the USS Arizona Band – “On December 7th, 1941, on the coast of Oahu, those stationed at the naval installation of Pearl Harbor were unaware that they would soon become a part of history. Just before 8 AM, their lives were changed forever and many of them became forever engraved in America’s history. Among the 1,177 sailors who perished aboard the USS Arizona during Japan’s attack were a group of 21 notable heroes who were there for one reason – at 8 o’clock that morning, they were scheduled to ring in the morning with the national anthem.” (Photo gallery of Pacific Fleet Band #22 members at
posted on Dec-7-19 at 8:09 PM

Last Survivor of 1937 Hindenburg Disaster Dies at Age 90, TIME, Kathy McCormack/AP, November 16, 2019 — "The last remaining survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, who suffered severe burns to his face, arms and legs before his mother managed to toss him and his brother from the burning airship, has died. Werner Gustav Doehner, the last among 62 passengers and crew who escaped the May 6, 1937, fire, was 90. The fire killed his father, sister and 34 others. He was just 8 years old at the time."
posted on Nov-16-19 at 10:30 PM

The Heir: Ivanka was always Trump’s favorite. But Don Jr. is emerging as his natural successor.The Atlantic, McKay Coppins, October 2019 issue. “...Some of the scion’s schemes pay off. Others prove disastrous. But his signal achievement is forging the Donald Trump persona itself—that high-flying playboy, that self-made man, that larger-than-life titan the tabloids can’t resist. It’s a creation of both father [Fred] and son [Donald], and it will do more for the family business than any casino or skyscraper. Today a photo of Fred sits in the Oval Office, looking out on an empire much vaster and more powerful than even he could have imagined. And while the president writes his chapter in history, the next generation waits in the wings, jockeying for position, feuding over status, knowing only one of them can be the heir.”
posted on Nov-12-19 at 5:20 AM

For your Saturday cartoon enjoyment, here’s Honeyland (1935), one of the MGM Happy Harmonies available on YouTube. More about the Technicolor 10-minute short at WP, and production details at Cartoon Research.
posted on Nov-9-19 at 6:20 AM

Hong Kong’s Halloween masquerade protest: 'It's our freedom to wear masks'Al Jazeera News, Hong Kong, China, 10/31/2019 - Carrie Lam turned Joker. Xi Jinping turned Winnie the Pooh. Other politicians turned devils. On Thursday night, Hong Kong protesters revelled in irreverence as they marched in a city-wide Halloween masquerade, dressing up in defaced masks of unpopular leaders in spite of the city's controversial mask ban. [WaPo report, Reuters pictures, videos].
posted on Nov-1-19 at 6:43 AM

California boat fire to put spotlight on Titanic's legal defense , Reuters, Tom Hals, September 6, 2019 — "The company that owns a scuba dive boat that caught fire and sank off California, killing 34 people, has sought to avoid liability by invoking a 19th-century law [Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 (overview)] that has shielded vessel owners from costly disasters such as the sinking of the Titanic."
posted on Sep-6-19 at 9:26 AM

Doorbell-camera firm Ring [*] has partnered with 400 police forces, extending surveillance reach – The doorbell-camera company Ring has quietly forged video-sharing partnerships with more than 400 police forces across the United States, granting them access to homeowners’ camera footage and a powerful role in what the company calls the nation’s “new neighborhood watch.” Washington Post, Drew Harrell, August 28, 2019. [*Owned by Amazon (founded by Jeff Bezos and also owner of WaPo)]
posted on Aug-28-19 at 10:18 AM

This genius photo experiment shows we are all just sheeple in the consumer matrix — Images from the same exact spot for two hours at a time... Photographer Hans Eijkelboom has spent more than 20 years cataloging the ways that globalized culture manifests through apparel. [From TimeLine by Rian Dundon; related interview (with some NSFW images) at Phaidon]
posted on Aug-24-19 at 12:03 PM

Was E-mail a Mistake? — From The New Yorker, Cal Newport, August 6, 2019: “...With the arrival of practical asynchronous communication, people replaced a significant portion of the interaction that used to unfold in person with on-demand digital messaging, and they haven’t looked back. The Radicati Group, a technology-research firm, now estimates that more than a hundred and twenty-eight billion business e-mails will be sent and received daily in 2019, with the average business user dealing with a hundred and twenty-six messages a day. The domination of asynchronous communication over synchronous collaboration has been so complete that some developers of digital-collaboration tools mock the fact that we ever relied on anything so primitive as in-person meetings.”
posted on Aug-12-19 at 12:59 AM

In zero G, it helps to have a tail – NASA scientists have now published the first detailed study of how mice behave in the NASA Rodent Hardware System, which has housed almost a dozen experiments on the International Space Station since 2014. They found that the rodents engaged in all the typical mouse behaviors, even in the “weightlessness” of the microgravity environment [video at end of article].
posted on Apr-16-19 at 8:10 AM

Numi Intelligent toilet with KOHLER Konnect [Press Release] — Real Life Example (Moments Made Better): In the dark, as you walk up to Numi, the lid will open and treat you to a warm seat; when you walk away, it flushes and closes. Hassle-free for night time trips to the bathroom. Use app or the remote to program personalized presets for different users, and you can use voice to access the preset/profile (in case you misplace the remote). There is probably a difference between you, your spouse, and your children when it comes to washing; this lets you easily program and select personalization using voice and app. Ask Alexa to access your own playlist of songs (if you have Verdera and have Numi set up as an Alexa speaker).
posted on Jan-6-19 at 4:21 PM

Warm Greetings from a Cold Country – Christmas in Antarctica — USN veteran Richard Kontner, accompanied by a well-travelled ukulele, joined Richard Byrd’s 1928 South Pole Expedition and sent ~1500 Christmas cards in 1929 while aboard the The City Of New York anchored near Little America, Antarctica.
posted on Dec-25-18 at 5:18 AM

I read 1,182 emergency room bills this year. Here’s what I learned. — A $5,571 bill to sit in a waiting room, $238 eyedrops, and a $60 ibuprofen tell the story of how emergency room visits are squeezing patients. [Sarah Kliff, Vox 12/18/2018]
posted on Dec-23-18 at 1:55 PM

HOW International Design Awards: 2018 Winner GalleriesBest of ShowAdvertisingAnnual ReportsAppsCoversEditorialIdentityIllustration/PhotographyInfographicsInvitationsKiosks/InteractiveMiscellaneousPackagingPostersSignage & Environmental GraphicsStudentVideoWebsites3D
posted on Dec-20-18 at 6:52 AM

Why Taylor Swift Is Using Facial Recognition at Concerts — Swift’s security team has used the cutting-edge technology at recent shows to keep her safe from stalkers [Rolling Stone, 12/13/2018]. Taylor Swift fans mesmerized by rehearsal clips on a kiosk at her May 18th Rose Bowl show were unaware of one crucial detail: A facial-recognition camera inside the display was taking their photos. The images were being transferred to a Nashville “command post,” where they were cross-referenced with a database of hundreds of the pop star’s known stalkers, according to Mike Downing, chief security officer of Oak View Group, an advisory board for concert venues including Madison Square Garden and the Forum in Los Angeles.
posted on Dec-15-18 at 7:28 AM

Ant-mimicking SE Asian jumping spider Toxeus magnus nurses its babies with nutritious spider ‘milk’ until they reach puberty.
posted on Nov-29-18 at 12:29 PM

Met police driving cars into thieves on mopeds in crime crackdown — To reduce moped crime, London police use tougher tactics including marking spray, remote-controlled spikes to burst bike tyres, and ramming suspects' bikes [The Guardian, 11/24/2018].
posted on Nov-24-18 at 7:38 AM

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites — Initial launch of 4,425 satellites to be followed by 7,518 closer to the ground. [Ars Technica, 11/15/2018]. SpaceX "proposes to add a very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) NGSO [non-geostationary satellite orbit] constellation, consisting of 7,518 satellites operating at altitudes from 335km to 346km," the FCC said in the draft of the order that it approved unanimously today. The newly approved satellites would use frequencies between 37.5 and 42GHz for space-to-Earth transmissions and frequencies between 47.2 and 51.4GHz for Earth-to-space transmissions, the FCC said. More details, WP, Elon Musk on making Starlink (YT).
posted on Nov-15-18 at 11:03 PM

Art galleries at the CGSociety, a networking platform for professional digital artists: Editors' Pick, Featured, Trending, Recent, Hall of Fame. [Some NSFW, and previously (with inactive links)]
posted on Nov-3-18 at 9:07 AM

See the Glorious Winners of the 2018 Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest (Gizmodo's images can be zoomed). Details of the overall 2018 winners are at Royal Museums Greenwich, along with galleries of 2018 sub-category winners. Vote for your favorite image among other entries in the People's Choice Awards 2018, and browse galleries of previous 2017-2009 contests.
posted on Oct-25-18 at 12:04 AM

Joachim Rønneberg, commander of Operation Gunnerside and other Norwegian sabotage raids against German heavy water production during World War II, died October 21, 2018, age 99. He was the last survivor of the real "Heroes of Telemark".
posted on Oct-22-18 at 11:44 AM

Nikon Small World in Motion Annual Winners 2018-2011 — beautiful microscopic movies and digital time-lapse photomicrography. (See also Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition Annual Winners 2017-1975).
posted on Oct-3-18 at 5:11 AM

Interview - Photography legend Joel Meyerowitz: phones killed the sexiness of the street — “In the 60s and 70s you could look at my street photographs and trace lines from the eyes of people connecting with other people’s eyes, setting up these force fields.” Today, what entranced Joel Meyerowitz about the street is all but dead. “Nobody’s looking at each other. Everybody’s glued to their phones.” From The Guardian, March 7, 2018.
posted on Mar-7-18 at 11:25 AM

USAF's Controversial New Plan To Retire B-2 And B-1 Bombers Early Is A Good OneThe flying service is making the right sacrifices to ensure the B-21 Raider gets fielded in large numbers while making the B-52 all it can be. (More at Air Force Magazine.)
posted on Feb-12-18 at 7:30 AM

More U.S. military drones are crashing than ever... Driving the increase was a mysterious surge in mishaps involving the Air Force’s newest and most advanced “hunter-killer” drone, the Reaper, which has become the Pentagon’s favored weapon for conducting surveillance and airstrikes against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other militant groups. From the Washington Post, January 19, 2016.
posted on Jan-19-16 at 7:40 PM

The Japanese women who married the enemy — "American GIs were told not to fraternise with Japanese women, but they did." Within a few years after Imperial Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945 and subsequent occupation, over 30,000 Japanese war brides married American troops and returned to the United States with them (BBC News documentary broadcast schedule).
posted on Aug-17-15 at 5:18 AM

What the collapse of ancient capitals can teach us about the cities of today — Warnings from history: Angkor was a thriving metropolis of 750,000 before a series of mega-monsoons made it unliveable. Can modern flood-threatened cities learn from its downfall?
posted on Feb-17-15 at 3:59 AM

New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers – Kyle Wiens of iFixit vs. the modern family farm tractor.
posted on Feb-12-15 at 4:59 AM

The fantastic animal sculptures of Ellen Jewett.
posted on Oct-26-14 at 10:01 PM

End the Tyranny of 24/7 Email — THIS Labor Day weekend, odds are you’ll peek at your work email on your “day off” — and then feel guilty about it.
posted on Aug-31-14 at 6:26 AM

Francesco Maglia: The Umbrella Maker Of MilanThe Maglia family have been partners with the rain since 1854, when they began producing umbrellas in Milan. Here's our portrait of Francesco Maglia.
posted on Jun-28-14 at 4:27 AM

Chili's Has Installed More Than 45,000 Tablets in Its RestaurantsWhen your server is a screen, you spend more money. Hungry? No human server in sight? With a flick of your wrist, you can instantly order more appetizers and drinks, indulge your whim for Baby Back Ribs, let the kids play games, read the news, pay your check (with a default tip), and get done faster. Be sure to save room for some Cinnamon Molten Cake: doesn't it look tasty?
posted on Jun-21-14 at 3:30 AM

Most expensive rescue in German history as man begins second week trapped 3000 feet underground in cave — It may take rescuers a week to evacuate speleologist Johann Westhauser after he was injured by a rockfall in the depths of Germany's Riesending Cave.
posted on Jun-14-14 at 12:00 PM

Camera Used by Astronauts on Moon "Pulls $940 Gs" at Auction — The history of Hasselblad cameras used (and perhaps abused) during the Apollo moon missions.
posted on Mar-27-14 at 5:00 AM

Ceramic artist Brett Kern creates puffy inflatable dinosaurs (studio views in his anaglyphic 3D Gallery).
posted on Jan-30-14 at 2:52 AM

Cuttlefish: Kings of Camouflage – (SLYT HD 53:26) PBS NOVA, April 2007. Wikipedia article, more images.
posted on Jan-26-14 at 4:50 AM

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