The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

"I was – always will be – his mother."

My son, the mass murderer: 'What did I miss?' [The Guardian] In 2006, Charlie Roberts walked into an Amish school in Pennsylvania and killed five young girls. His mother talks about trying to comprehend his actions.

This Is Not Real

This Is Not Porn (.net) (previously here) has been showing "rare, candid, funny, beautiful, strange and awesome celebrity photos" for five years. But now the site has added a category for debunking fake celebrity photos, whether through a frivolous use of photoshop, a malicious use of photoshop, or simply a misidentification. Also, don't miss the collection of gifs.

Eavesdropping on the Hidden World

In March of 2010, programmer Eric Fry discovered a cheap digital tuner from Realtek could be modified to receive more than mere TV and FM Radio. Much more.

For years, Amateur Radio has mired by expensive hardware and a difficult learning curve. However thanks in part to the FCC eliminating the requirement to learn Morse Code as a part of license examination, as well as a new cadre of hardware hackers and tinkerers, Scanning and Ham Radio is enjoying a Renaissance. With the purchase of an inexpensive USB dongle and the addition of a small driver patch, anyone can surf the radio waves using a computer or tablet. Radio operators around the world have added web-controlled receivers to their arsenals of tools, allowing anyone to Listen in. (Previously)

Support for hobbyists new to the field can get up to speed with a variety of guides, user groups, and knowledge repositories. But what can you listen to besides Commercial Broadcasting? The range of modern SDR devices covers broad frequencies including Aviation and Marine tracking, decoding Trunked radio systems, downloading Weather Satellite images, reversing wireless protocols, hunting for Numbers Stations, or even watch the International Space Station broadcast Slow-scan TV.

Side projects include Signal Identification and Frequency Mapping, and many guides exist for help in receiving an Amateur Radio license.
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(Missed First Post month by, well, a lot. I was still inspired to make this small contribution. HI MOM!)

Also, Play Stations, kitty litter, and dinners at Alinea.

Did you buy a gold plated dildo on Black Friday? Are you sure?

If you participated in this year's Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Non-Sale, you helped buy the dildo and a wide variety of other things from Socks to Scotch.

The IKEA Dictionary

The IKEA dictionary explains the origin of over 1200 IKEA product names.

"When you looked down at Earth, did you always know where you were?"

Chris Hadfield meets Randall Munroe - a conversation between the astronaut and the cartoonist.

I'll show you where my shoe fits.

Cabinet Battle #1, explained

The New, Ugly Surge in Violence and Threats Against Abortion Providers

The deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is part of a disturbing trend.

Three people were shot dead and nine injured Friday at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the first time since 2009 that anyone has been killed in an incident linked to activity at an abortion clinic. The attack comes amid an exponential increase in threats and violence against abortion providers since the release of a series of viral—and widely debunked—videos.

Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun Evangelical Christians: Anti-abortion rhetoric is not hard to find in the city where the 'fortress-like' Planned Parenthood centre is the subject of regular protests
The building has been likened to a fortress by anti-abortion campaigners and Friday's attacks revealed that it is equipped with "safe rooms" for staff to shelter in the event of such an event. It also has an extensive security camera system.
While the attack remained ongoing, anti-abortion supporters took to Twitter to celebrate. And as the standoff continued on the ground, CNN brought on Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who previously compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp, to share his opinion on the attack.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains released a statement on the "developing situation," saying in part:
"We don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don't yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust."
Some quick facts about the shooter (identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, from North Carolina), the shooting (Dear reportedly brought "devices" such as propane tanks to the scene), and the officer who died in the attack (Garrett Swasey, 44, also a volunteer pastor and former figure skating champion).

Neural net describes video in real time

Is this scary or awesome or what?

3 immature techs: digital comps, transistors, and large-scale programs

No Damned Computer is Going to Tell Me What to Do! - The Story of the Naval Tactical Data System, By David L. Boslaugh, Capt USN, Retired

It was 1962. Some of the prospective commanding officers of the new guided missile frigates, now on the building ways, had found out that the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) was going to be built into their new ship, and it did not set well with them. Some of them came in to our project office to let us know first hand that no damned computer was going to tell them what to do. For sure, no damned computer was going to fire their nuclear tipped guided missiles. They would take their new ship to sea, but they would not turn on our damned system with its new fangled electronic brain.
We would try to explain to them that the new digital system, the first digitized weapon system in the US Navy, was designed to be an aid to their judgment in task force anti-air battle management, and would never, on its own, fire their weapons. We didn't mention to them that if they refused to use the system, they would probably be instantly removed from their commands and maybe court martialed because the highest levels of Navy management wanted the new digital computer-driven system in the fleet as soon as possible, and for good reason.

Heathcliff, it's me-- Cathy...

300 Kate Bush Impersonators Pay Tribute to the Wuthering Heights Video. There is an instructional dance video, if you'd like to recreate this at home. And the original, for your reference. (Open Culture has the backstory.)

Funky Friday

"Don't Push Your Luck" is the newest release from L.A. funk and soul band, Orgone. More tracks over at Soundcloud.