Telephone Pole Jesus Died For Your Landline Abandoning Sins

By Seth Abramovitch
Jul 28, 2011 5:40 AM



Colorado native Don Taylor, who describes himself as “a nonreligious individual,” was stopped dead in his tracks when he stumbled upon this divine apparition on his daily routine. Yes, a creeping vine on a telephone pole had taken on the unmistakable form of a crucified Jesus Christ. Local authorities warn potential pilgrimage-makers not to climb the pole to kiss or embrace Telephone Pole Jesus, however, lest they want to receive a 765,000-volt message of peace and love from their Leafy Savior. [7News, photo via Don Taylor’s Facebook]

via Telephone Pole Jesus Died For Your Landline Abandoning Sins.

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High court forces BT to block file-sharing website | Technology |

Rally in Stockholm, Sweden, in support of file...
Image via Wikipedia

Mark Sweney and Josh Halliday, Thursday 28 July 2011 10.58 BST

Warner Bros studios in Hollywood. Film studios have won a landmark UK high court ruling that forces BT to block access to file-sharing website Newzbin2. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/AP

Hollywood film studios won a landmark UK high court ruling on Thursday forcing BT to block access to an illegal file-sharing website accused of operating “on a grand scale”.

The Motion Picture Association, the trade body whose members include Warner Bros, Fox, Disney and Paramount Pictures, has been granted an order requiring BT — the UK’s biggest internet service provider — to block its customers’ access to the website Newzbin2.

Thursday’s verdict will be viewed by the creative industries as a landmark that could set a precedent for the widespread blocking of illegal filesharing websites by ISPs, helping to stem the flow of digital piracy in the UK.

“In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes,” said Justice Arnold in his ruling at the high court in London.

“[BT] knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2,” Arnold added.

BT had argued that forcing it to ban its 6 million UK customers from accessing a website would usher in a new wave of online censorship.

However, the creative industries claim website blocking could save them hundreds of millions of pounds in illegal downloads.

The MPA said that Newzbin2 makes unlawful copies of television programmes and films, and receives in excess of £1m a year from its 700,000 users.

“This ruling from Justice Arnold is a victory for millions of people working in the UK creative industries and demonstrates that the law of the land must apply online,” said Chris Marcich, MPA managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “This court action was never an attack on ISPs, but we do need their cooperation to deal with the Newzbin site, which continually tries to evade the law and judicial sanction.”

The film industry’s fight to block Newzbin stretches back to March last year, when the high court ordered the site to take down all of its pirated material and pay damages to the studios.

The three men behind the Newzbin Ltd – Chris Elsworth, Thomas Hurst and Lee Skillen – sold all of their shares in the company to David Harris shortly before the trial. Newzbin Ltd went into administration shortly after the ruling and avoided the huge payouts.

Months later a clone site appeared operating anonymously from Sweden. Rights holders said they had no choice but to force BT to block UK users’ access to the website, saying all other legal avenues had been exhausted.

Simon Milner, director of group industry policy at BT, said the latest judgment means rights holders will now have to prove in court that a website infringes copyright before it is blocked.

Milner added that the judgment puts the Digital Economy Act voluntary blocking scheme, drawn up at industry roundtable meetings earlier this year with Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, in an uncertain position.

“[The judgment] is actually helpful and we welcome it because it clarifies a complex area of law and shows that rights holders can use the copyright laws in this country. It means they have to prove a site is infringing before [a] court and get a court order,” he said.

Milner declined to reveal how much it will cost ISPs such as BT to block infringing websites.

via High court forces BT to block file-sharing website | Technology |

Enhanced by Zemanta | One click to your favorite app | One click to your favorite app.

What is

Once upon a time, you were forced to awkwardly mark and copy text from one location and paste the text to the (hopefully correct) other location. Pictures to be uploaded had to be located and selected with the internet-browser’s file-dialog. An unwieldy, time-consuming and frequently irritating waste of time. And if the text was in another language, it had to be marked up, copied, and passed through translation-software, before being inserted in its final destination. Now, this can all happen much faster and easier. The advantages of are obvious. Text, images, videos, and other documents which are selected can be sent to other applications with a single click. And the programs can even handle the selection automatically. You might say, transforms everything in your computer into a hyperlink.

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Thermochromic Urinal Makes Peeing Fun » Geeky Gadgets

Alright, cat’s out of the bag. The truth is we’ve always enjoyed drawing stuff with pee. A gross use of body fluid, yes, but creativity has no bounds. Such a mindset likely produced the Thermochromic Urinal pictured below. There’s scant detail about who made it or where it’s used. Judging by the photographic evidence, however, it does take a fresh approach to the concept of a urinal. As its name suggests, the Thermochromic Urinal is a heat sensitive wall that registers the temperature of the urine on its surface. It’s nutty, but also looks like fun. And a work of art. Since the pee graphic is done in bright orange, the Thermochromic Urinal presents a rare opportunity for pee artists to scrawl their names with whizz. Amazing.

via Thermochromic Urinal Makes Peeing Fun » Geeky Gadgets.

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The Odd, Dual-Screen gScreen Laptop Is Actually Shipping | TechCrunch

The Odd, Dual-Screen gScreen Laptop Is Actually Shipping | TechCrunch.
by John Biggs


A few years ago I met a stockbroker who was telling me that someone should make a laptop with two screens so he could trade while on vacation. While I was slightly disturbed by his dedication to capitalism, I’m proud to say that his dream has been fulfilled.

We first talked about the gScreen Spacebook a few years ago and now the Alaskan company is actually going to start shipping their massive, two-inch-thick laptop to the masses. The screens are each 17 inches and the laptop is fairly standard with optical drive, three USB ports, and GeForce GTS 250M GPU. It starts at $2,400 for an Intel Core i5-560M although there’s some kind of 50% off pre-order price right now, bringing it down to $1,200.

If you need a dual screen like the aforementioned stockbroker, this may be your easiest choice. However, I’d recommend hiring a Sherpa to carry this around for you because this thing looks like a monster.

Product Page

via ThisIsMyNext

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Alphas’ Heroes Score With Slightly Above-Average Skills | Underwire |

Alphas’ Heroes Score With Slightly Above-Average Skills | Underwire |

Early in Syfy’s new series Alphas, ringleader Lee Rosen (played by David Strathairn) explains that one of his crime-fighters can hypnotize strangers on the spot by altering neural connections in others’ brains. When a sci-fi show’s characters carpet-bomb the dialog with $50 technical terms, it’s a sure sign the showrunners will reference some actual science amid the shoot’em-up plot twists.

Co-created by Zak Penn, who wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, Alphas draws from the familiar “exceptional misfits” formula mastered by Marvel Comics mutants and NBC’s dysfunctional crew of canceled Heroes.

The appealing difference: These so-called alphas can’t fly, burst into flames or turn themselves into ice. Instead, they stretch the normalcy bell curve by only a few fairly credible increments. Like Fringe, the show looks like it will use weird science as a jumping-off point for its crime-busting adventurers.

Here’s how Alphas’s not-so-super heroes roll:

So-called synesthete Rachel Pirzad (Azita Ghanizada) does not actually blend sensory signals, by for example, hearing sounds in response to visual motion, as ascribed to those who experience synethesia. Instead, Rachel possesses heightened senses that enable her to see evidence with near-microscopic clarity or hear conversations in distant rooms.


It could happen. As documented in HBO’s Bobby Fischer Against the World, the chess genius became so focused on his game that he claimed to hear the tiny motors whirring in TV cameras and demanded that they be shut off so he could concentrate.

Influencer Nina Theroux (Laura Mennell) bends people to her will by altering the chemistry in their brains. Granted, Theroux works her magic in record time, and with the enhancement of echo-coated thought waves, but her monomaniacal focus serves as the basic modus operandus used through the ages by con artists, cult leaders, car salesman and other charismatic types.

Cameron Hicks (Warren Christie) is described as hyperkinetic, although that condition is conventionally defined as an acute state of restlessness. More to the point, Hicks possesses exceptional visual acuity and muscle control harnessed by the motor-skill portion of his brain. Hollywood stuntmen and Cirque du Soleil performers boast a similar degree of coordination.

The Alphas storyline kicks into action when Hicks suffers from a lethal variation of aphasia, a neurological disorder characterized by difficulty in processing language. Implanted with a lesion that throws his brain chemistry out of whack, Hicks misinterprets every piece of spoken or written input as telling him it’s “time to kill.”

Hyperadrenal powerhouse Bill Harken (Malik Yoba) can trigger his fight-or-flight response at will. Showrunners introduce his ability to turn on the adrenalin when Harkin moves a car with his bare hands because someone’s blocking his parking space. Urban legends, buttressed by news reports, suggest that sometimes freaked-out parents lift cars to save trapped children. In Alphas, there’s no baby trapped beneath the vehicle, as described in urban legend, but the he-man gets enough of a surge to lift the vehicle out of his way.

The big exception to Alphas‘ this-could-almost-happen rule is Gary Bell (Ryan Cartwright). He’s an autistic “transducer” who can read electromagnetic wavelengths with mind power alone. Hacking into cellphone signals and Wi-Fi frequencies without any hardware, he’s an invaluable member of the Defense Department’s secret unit. But believable? Nope

For all the neurological citations, Alphas remains cable TV, not brain surgery. The pilot episode storyline, directed by Lost producer Jack Bender, adheres in the end to third-act conventions: chase scene/gun fight/damsel in distress. Still, the series sports enough actual science and decent acting to merit further viewing.

Think of Alphas as the prime time equivalent of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the way it explores the thin line separating gift from illness.

Alphas premieres Monday at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central on Syfy.


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YouTube – ‪Quadrocopter Ball Juggling, ETH Zurich‬‏

Quadrocopter Ball Juggling, ETH Zurich

via YouTube – ‪Quadrocopter Ball Juggling, ETH Zurich‬‏.

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iPhone SLR Mount Brings Out the Best in Your iPhone’s Camera | Technology News – TechNewscast

iPhone SLR Mount Brings Out the Best in Your iPhone’s Camera | Technology News – TechNewscast.

Do you have a bunch of SLR-compatible lenses lying around, with no way to attach them to your iPhone? Grieve no more: Photojojo’s iPhone SLR Mount lets you (almost) turn your iPhone into a full-fledged DSLR.

The device’s function is simple: it’s a special iPhone case (together with an UV filter and SLR adapter) to which you can attach a variety of photo lenses – telephoto, wide angle, macro or fixed-fifty – which should greatly increase the quality of photos taken with your phone.

It comes with certain caveats: for example, your images will be upside down, due to the fact that SLR cameras have a mirror inside them which flips the image right-side up – something that iPhone obviously doesn’t have.

We’re also sure that the entire thing will look like a gross overkill to many, but we can imagine a couple of uses for it: if nothing else, it’ll surely make you a star at the next photo convention.

The iPhone 4 version of the mount costs $249, while the iPhone 3 variant will set you back $190.

For more iPhone photography-related accessories, check out this list.

[Photojojo via Engadget]

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These Expression-Reading Glasses Reveal How Deeply Awkward You Truly Are – Gizmodo

These Expression-Reading Glasses Reveal How Deeply Awkward You Truly Are.



Alyssa Bereznak — It’s impossible to avoid awful people. They sit next to you on the subway and talk about toothpaste for 15 minutes, even as you wince, deliberately and obnoxiously. These glasses might help these people realize just how awkward they are.

These “social x-ray specs,” as creator Rosalind Picard calls them, can identify six of the most important human facial expressions: thinking, agreeing, concentrating, interested and—most importantly—confused and disagreeing. A rice grain-sized camera in the glasses tracks 24 points on the face of the person with whom you’re speaking. Then software developed by Picard swiftly analyzes that person’s facial movement, comparing it to a database of known human expressions. Once the glasses have categorized your conversation partner’s emotions, they’ll discreetly announce it in your ears.

So if you’re talking about the amazing synergy of your workplace or your “awesome” History Channel DVD collection, the glasses will say “confused” or “disagreeing”—code for shut the hell up.

All you advanced conversationalists shouldn’t get too excited. The glasses can only correctly identify 64 percent of expressions—just 10 percent more than your average non-social-specs-wearing Joe. There’s that, and the fact that no normal person (especially all those weird, shifty people you meet on public transit or in the damp corners of bars) would ever want to hear an ongoing public critique of their conversation as they’re having it.

But hey, if Picard can lose the flashing light and make her prototype into some marketable augmented-reality glasses, these might just be the closest thing to a sixth sense for those unfortunate people. [Good via New Scientist; Photo credit: Shutterstock]

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The Phone Scam, Disconnected – Kate Russell

Yesterday I got an email from my step mother saying that a nice gentleman from an Indian call centre had phoned to tell her that her computer had been infected with a virus. He claimed:

“many viruses have arrived in computers when recently there was a breakdown in the broadband system in your (and other) areas”

He said his name was Mark Daniels (unusual name for someone with a heavy Indian accent calling from India) and that he was a senior technician from the company, London Technical Department, based at 124 Baker Street, London. He said his ID number was 11275.

He claimed that his company has a “super computer” that monitors the IP addresses of all the millions of people connected to the Internet (what!?), and when someone becomes infected with a malware virus there is a “little red blinking light” against their IP address that informs them of the infection! To further validate his claims (as my father was naturally quite suspicious because he has me for a daughter!) he directed my step mother to some locations on her computer that threw up some (in her words) “errors and warnings amongst all the items in blue with information ticks”.

Read the rest and listen to the recorded phone call here >> Kate Russell’s posterous – BBC Click’s website diva!.

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