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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Manifesto Manifesto: a recipe for manifestae

Manifesto Manifesto: a recipe for manifestae: "

The Manifesto Manifesto is a recipe for writing manifesti. I tried to follow it for 'bananas,' but it just didn't sing. Can you do better?

(via Futurismic)


Clock powered by dead flies

Clock powered by dead flies: "

[video link]

This prototype clock, designed by James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, is powered by dead flies. A conveyor of fly paper catches the insects and then drops them into a microbial fuel cell where they become feedstock for bacteria to consume. As the bacteria munch on the dead flies (or most any organic matter), the chemical energy is converted to electrical energy. The same technology powers the sewage-eating robot I posted about last year and also appears in the video above. (via Daily Grail)



CamelCamelCamel: "CamelCamelCamel.png This site allows you to track price history and has price drop and price watch alerts. Ever since I discovered it a few weeks ago, I've looked at it before I bought anything on Amazon just to make sure I was at or near a historical low. The price charts are intuitive, and allow you to see highs and lows for the past year, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month. You can set your tracker to include just, 3rd party sellers, or Used. The best part? It's absolutely free.

If you need something immediately, there's not a whole lot this can do for you. But, for example, I've had my eye on the MEElectronics M9P headphones. It's currently $15. Hopping on CamelCamelCamel, I can see that historically, it has run at about $23 until early December, took a dive to $15, a dip all the way down to $10 earlier this month, then popped back up to $15. I don't want to pay 50% more than what it was a few weeks ago, so I'll set up the Tracker to notify me by e-mail when it gets back down to $10.


While I've found some bugs, such as hours-behind updating, and while I wish it incorporated shipping costs, it's still allowed me to save cash. More than that, I learned a long time ago I get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing I got a great deal.

CamelCamelCamel give me the data I need. If used car salesmen could hand you data-rich, neutral third-party charts like this every time they told you you were getting a steal, it'd go a long way to negating that sleazy image.

Alas, we can only dream, as it only covers and Newegg, BestBuy, BackCountry and through sister-sites.

-- Doug Wong


Don't forget to comment over at Cool Tools. And remember to submit a tool!


Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states

Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states: "For reasons unknown, Microsoft has changed the settings on Hotmail to disable HTTPS for users in several countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Hotmail users in those countries can now be readily spied upon by ISPs and their governments. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good perspective:

Microsoft debuted the always-use-HTTPS feature for Hotmail in December of 2010, in order to give users the option of always encrypting their webmail traffic and protecting their sensitive communications from malicious hackers using tools such as Firesheep, and hostile governments eavesdropping on journalists and activists. For Microsoft to take such an enormous step backwards-- undermining the security of Hotmail users in countries where freedom of expression is under attack and secure communication is especially important--is deeply disturbing. We hope that this counterproductive and potentially dangerous move is merely an error that Microsoft will swiftly correct.

The good news is that the fix is very easy. Hotmail users in the affected countries can turn the always-use-HTTPS feature back on by changing the country in their profile to any of the countries in which this feature has not been disabled, such as the United States, Germany, France, Israel, or Turkey. Hotmail users who browse the web with Firefox may force the use of HTTPS by default--while using any Hotmail location setting--by installing the HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plug-in.

Microsoft Shuts off HTTPS in Hotmail for Over a Dozen Countries


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Incredible video of Aurora Borealis

Incredible video of Aurora Borealis: "

Norwegian landscape photographer Terje Sorgjerd spent one week around Kirkenes and the Norway-Russia border, in -25 Celsius temperature, to make this magnificent time-lapse video of the Aurora Borealis.


"Tsuchinoko" by Gaka (dir., rakudasan / music video)

"Tsuchinoko" by Gaka (dir., rakudasan / music video): "

[Video Link]

Boing Boing reader Ayahiko, who is a member of a visual design team in Japan called rakudasan, writes in with word of this cool music video they created for a band called Gaka:

Gaka is a unique 16-piece band working in Japan and growing more and more popular. Now, as you know, we are in a critical situation here in Japan after the earthquake.

But we think that one thing we can do now is to get more positive attention for Japan and Japanese creativity. We need positive news to get energetic power, because we are showered with negative news.

This music video is called pantomime music video created with a help of
performer called maimuima. Theme of this song is man powered techno music, so we decided to use pantomime to make fun of man-powered expression.

We shot with a fixed camera and angle. Performer themselves' movement change angles, speed and distance. Without using wire and CG, we succeeded shooting action scenes.

Rakudasan does VJ in an unique style called Surrealistic Synchronization. It is the style that we select unrelated movie with music, but this makes unique and unusual togetherness and atmosphere in clubs. Gaka's jam music and pantomime are not related, but we combined them to create this music video. This is our style.


Gaka (家) Official Website

Performer: maimuima 

Director: rakuda-san (らくださん) 

Photographer: Atsuhiro Shirahata

Special thanks to Yusuke Nomiyama

Editor's note: As an aside, note that the video was created and published on March 3. The theme of running/escape evidenced in the first portion of the video was not a reaction to the March 11 disaster, though it does sort of strike a resonant chord now, in hindsight.