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2018-07-20T00:46:44.246Z
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Aarran Lee Wright, 36, a married man and father of two young children, says his sex-robot can be switched to "family mode," for G-rated playtime with the kids.

From the NY Post:

Wright revealed that his children, aged three and five, play with Samantha and watch TV alongside her. And his wife said: “I am not worried she will replace me. She is just someone there like a family member.”

Now a group of professors have slammed the idea of a family-friendly sex robot as “damaging” for kids.

“Children will imitate machines if brought up by them,” Kathleen Richardson, professor of ethics and culture of robots and AI at De Montfort University, told New Statesmen.

“A daughter is going to grow up and think maybe this happened because Mommy wasn’t beautiful enough – am I?

“They’ll learn that women only have certain uses. Then they start to use that as a template for how they interact intimately with others – this is profoundly damaging.”

NSFW video: Image: HAVC pipes by F. Javier Ballester/Shutterstock

It's an accomplishment to find and photograph a lynx: they want little to do with humans and make an effort to keep themselves to themselves. It's an even bigger accomplishment to not only find a lynx to photograph, but to also spend enough time with it that it comes to see you as a hunting buddy.

Grammar might be dead, but Schoolhouse Rock! isn't (thanks to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert!).

This latest episode of Schoolhouse Rock! teaches us all about the use of double negatives so that we can speak just like the US president.

Double negative what's your function? A desperate way to not side with the Russians. Double negative how's that function? Confusin' the people with sentence construction...

David Frum, the conservative Republican senior editor at The Atlantic, says it has become clear that Trump has been bribed or blackmailed into becoming a Russian puppet, and that the "United States faces a national-security emergency."

From The Atlantic:

The reasons for Trump’s striking behavior—whether he was bribed or blackmailed or something else—remain to be ascertained. That he has publicly refused to defend his country’s independent electoral process—and did so jointly with the foreign dictator who perverted that process—is video-recorded fact.

And it’s a fact that has to be seen in the larger context of his actions in office: denouncing the European Union as a “foe,” threatening to break up nato, wrecking the U.S.-led world trading system, intervening in both U.K. and German politics in support of extremist and pro-Russian forces, and continually refusing to act to protect the integrity of U.S. voting systems—it all adds up to a political indictment, whether or not it quite qualifies as a criminal one.

A criminal mastermind in Vancouver, Washington thought that he'd help himself to the bounty of – I dunno, locks? doors? finger puzzles? – goods that an escape room business had on hand. He ended up, you guessed it, trapped in an escape room and unable to break free. In a fit of panic and defeat, he called 911 for help.

Our technology-centric society is making people miserable, says Don Norman, cognitive scientist and author of the classic book on human-centric design, The Design of Everyday Things. The technology we use expects us to behave like machines, he says, and when we fail, we get all the blame.

From Fast Company:

As a result, we require people to do tedious, repetitive tasks, to be alert for long periods, ready to respond at a moment’s notice: all things people are bad at doing. When the inevitable errors and accidents occur, people are blamed for “human error.” The view is so prevalent that many times the people involved blame themselves, saying things like “I knew better” or “I should have paid more attention,” not recognizing that the demands of the technology made these errors inevitable.

...

Just think about your life today, obeying the dictates of technology–waking up to alarm clocks (even if disguised as music or news); spending hours every day fixing, patching, rebooting, inventing work-arounds; answering the constant barrage of emails, tweets, text messages, and instant this and that; being fearful of falling for some new scam or phishing attack; constantly upgrading everything; and having to remember an unwieldly number of passwords and personal inane questions for security, such as the name of your least-liked friend in fourth grade. We are serving the wrong masters.

We need to switch from a...

President Trump plans to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, DC for yet another one-on-one meeting in the fall. Under fire for shady shenanagins around Russia and Putin, Trump is doubling down on the crazy, like he always does.

(more…)

The house at Klump Ave. and Dilling St. in Studio City, also known as the Brady Bunch house, has been put on the market for $1.885 million.

LA Times:

The Brady Bunch house, a Traditional-style residence near the Colfax Meadows neighborhood, was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family’s abode. That included the show’s opening and closing scenes as well as numerous interludes to denote the time of day. Interior scenes for “The Brady Bunch” were filmed in studio.

Violet and George McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom house in 1973 for $61,000, records show. The series ran from September 1969 to March 1974 before moving into reruns in syndication.

Ernie Carswell, a Douglas Elliman agent who is listing the property, said the split-level house has been updated and upgraded but retains almost the exact interior decor from that era, though the layout does not resemble the TV show home.

The article reports that Carswell is expecting many lookie-loos and to thwart the masses, he will not be holding any open houses. Interested buyers will need to book an appointment to see the "never-ending attraction." There's also a chance that its new owners will tear it down as it "sits in an area that has been ripe for tear-downs and new development." Caswell says the sellers would prefer to sell it to someone who will preserve it. -----

So, I have a funny story about this...

A former nude model and “Bond girl” exchanged sexual messages via Twitter with the online persona now believed to be an unknown number of Russian spies who are accused of attacking the 2016 US elections, the UK tabloid Sun Online posted today.

They're really awful and I don't want to link to them, but this is too rich, you guys. Motherboard has a more credible piece up, you should read that one, too.

In today's garbage interview, Robbin Young told The Sun she "fell madly in love" with Twitter user Guccifer 2.0, and sent him photographs of her breasts and exchanged sexually explicit messages with him or them. Excerpt:

She was left stunned last week after the US government announced it had indicted 12 Russian spies who they believe ran the Guccifer 2.0 account, hacked into Democratic party computers and leaked stolen documents in a bid to interfere with the 2016 election result. In an exclusive interview, Robbin, 63, told Sun Online: "I thought he was one Romanian man and I fell in love with him - now to be told it could have been 12 Russian spies running that account - I'm shocked. "If this is all true it's like I've had Twitter sex with 12 Russian hackers."
Robbin Young once starred with ​007 Roger Moore in 'For Your Eyes Only.' Guccifer is no Roger Moore. Get a load of this shit.
In one message he wrote: "Wow u r...

Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai received a $100 iPhone X from China and marveled at how convincing the top-to-bottom, software-to-hardware bootleggery is. iOS is recreated down to the pixel as an Android skin; only the sluggish performance, on-screen keyboard give the game away. Even many of the apps are nearly perfect, though once they run into the bad ones, it's immediately clear what is at hand. And how very bad some of them are...

Evans also found “plenty of evidence” of a “wide range of backdoors,” perhaps written by several developers. The fake Safari app uses custom libraries that open a backdoor and allow hackers to run code on the phone remotely. Last year, Google removed 500 apps that had more than 100 million downloads combined from the Play Store because they included one of those libraries.

The fake iPhone also includes two more potential backdoors. One is the notorious ADUPS, a service made by a Chinese company that provides over-the-air firmware updates that is widely considered to be a backdoor. The other is an app called LovelyFont that looks like an “invasive backdoor” that has almost all permissions and potentially leaks data, such as the phone’s IMEI, MAC, and serial number, to a remote server, according to Evans.

Do not log into anything on a bootleg smartphone.

How weird is it that this needed to happen.

(more…)

Greg Harlow made the pre-dawn trek to the perfect vantage point and captured this lovely misty rainbow at Yosemite Falls. (more…)

A scuba diver in shallow water was surprised to see what looked like a "ghostly apparition" coming toward her. It turned out to be a rare albino stingray. (more…)

“All the big loud housey songs came from the idea of ‘I want to create the same song over and over again’,” Rosenfeld said, “Except that I’ve created each one in a different location, or a different mindset. And just purely based on that, they all turned out unique in their own way.”

The album, Excursions, is out in september; you can get the Minecraft soundtrack on vinyl for $45 at Amazon.

Austin's Michael-Scott Earle, last seen around these parts when he filed a trademark on the phrase "Dragon Slayer" for use in fantasy novel trademarks, has found a new depth to plumb: he's filed a trademark on book covers "one or more human or partially human figures underneath, at least one of the figures holding a weapon; and an author's name underneath the figures; wherein the title/series and author's name are depicted in the same or similar coloring." (more…)

Walmart has been whining about Amazon drinking what it considers to be its milkshake for some time. Sucking cash out of the pockets of the same low-income earners that you pay just enough to keep alive is a seriously competitive business. With Amazon's online shopping dominance in North America has left Walmart’s brick-and-mortar empire only capable of making Scrooge McDuck money when it’s really Jeff Bezos money that they’re after. In an effort to top off their coffers, Walmart’s been pushing, hard, into catching up to Amazon in the area of online sales. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Microsoft that’ll ensure that Walmart’s online shopping experience is faster, more secure and a lot more reliable. Maybe it’ll help! If not, plopping out yet another online video streaming service to compete against Amazon Prime video and, perhaps you’ve heard of it, a little thing called Netflix, will totally help them to make the crazy-hunting-man-because-he’s-the-most-dangerous-game cash that they’re so horny for. From The Information (subscription required):
Discussions are still ongoing, and the retailer may eventually decide against offering a service. But Walmart executives believe their customers, particularly in the middle of America, would be interested in a lower-cost option than what is currently available, the person said. Netflix and Amazon are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., one of...

When Bernie Sanders made a bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 2016 with a pledge of "Medicare For All," the party establishment (coffers fattened with money from the health insurance industry) claimed that the policy was a nonstarter that would never find popular support. (more…)

When Hang Do Thi Duc published her work on the privacy implications of payment processor Venmo's "public-by-default" directory of payments, she did not release her dataset out of respect for the privacy of the Venmo users whose personal lives were on display in the data. (more…)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGBPn9arfVo

The E-meter is a quack device used by Scientologists in a religious ritual called "auditing" in which changes in skin potential are said to indicate past traumas (including traumas from past lives) being re-experienced and cleared from your psyche. (more…)

London's property market continues its implosion, brought on by a combination of tightening capital controls (much of the market exists to help offshore criminals launder their money), Brexit, and a long-overdue correction to a wildly inflated market. (more…)