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Posted by Cheryl Eddy

American Horror Story returns to Los Angeles and sets up camp at the Hotel Cortez, which boasts a lushly restored art-deco lobby and a super-swanky penthouse—but ordinary guest rooms reek of recent death and nasty surprises.


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Posted by Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Alissa Walker to io9

A tuxedo, a martini, and a gun. Good looks, charm, and always so impossibly cool. That’s James Bond. Also James Bond: a dude who totally abuses his license to kill and offs a lot of people in his movies. Auralnauts did their always fun kill count and showed all the deaths that all the James Bond have caused.


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Posted by Mark Walton

Specs at a glance
OS Android TV (Android 5-based)
CPU Nvidia Tegra X1, 8-core 64-bit ARM CPU (4x A57 2MB L2, 4x A53 512KB L2)
GPU NVIDIA Maxwell 256-core GPU
Storage 16GB (plus microSD expansion)
Networking 802.11ac, 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet
Case Size 25mm × 210mm x 120mm
Connectivity 2X USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 micro USB port, HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP 2.2, infrared
Starting price £149.99 ($199) with Shield controller. Stand is £24.99 ($29.99), remote is £39.99 ($49.99)

The Nvidia Shield is almost certainly more important to Google than it is to Nvidia. After the failure of Google TV—in part thanks to its lacklustre UI and poor developer support—its follow-up Android TV needed to do better. Unfortunately, that hasn't quite happened. Sure, Google's own Nexus Player is fine piece of hardware, and Razer's Forge TV has its charms, but neither sport the flagship specs, nor the feature set of Nvidia's sleek black box. There's no doubt that the Shield is the best Android TV device money can buy, but like all Android TV devices, it comes with a few compromises.

But let's start with the good stuff. Where the Nexus Player sported an odd, if largely inoffensive hockey puck design, the Shield is a thing of beauty. It's slightly bigger in terms of footprint than your typical smart TV box at 25mm in height, 210mm in length, and 120mm in depth, but its sleek design made up of sharp angles and a subtle LED light strip just looks darn cool. The mix of glossy and matt plastics helps with the aesthetics too, although, like seemingly all consumer electronics these days, it's a magnet for fingerprints. Fortunately, with the Shield placed under a TV, you likely won't be handling it all that often.

The Shield can be positioned horizontally or vertically, but it's a wee bit wobbly in its vertical position unless you purchase a separate stand for a substantial £24.99. One word of advice if you do take the plunge, though: Nvidia has used some sort of black magic to create what might just be the stickiest rubber coating in existence and applied it to the bottom of the stand. More often than not it simply wouldn't budge from the surface it was on when I needed to move it, and I ended up having to pry it up with a fish slice.

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Oct. 9th, 2015 11:57 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)
[personal profile] laura_seabrook
Revised Colouring by Laura Seabrook, on Flickr

Something I worked on today, for Real Life Trips. The original was traced in and coloured in Illustrator. The revised uses my original line work in Clip Studio Paint and has been coloured and tones in that.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Thinking about Nanwrimo? But not up to a full novel?

"write a story in fewer than 5000 words set in a pos­sible future shaped by cli­mate change. ... Kim Stanley Robinson will be judging entries with the grand-prize win­ner get­ting $1,000. "


Dead­line is January 15, 2016

The Irregular Home Screen

Oct. 9th, 2015 12:00 am
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Posted by Eric Ravenscraft

Today’s home screen design keeps it clean with simple cards displaying your agenda, the time and weather, and a few handy shortcuts to key apps.


[syndicated profile] arstechnica_main_feed

Posted by Cyrus Farivar

(credit: Davide D'Amico)

On Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that requires police get a warrant to use a stingray during investigations. The devices, which are also known as cell-site simulators, are usually used to locate a phone but can also in some cases intercept calls and text messages.

The law, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, imposes other sweeping new requirements to enhance digital privacy, and imposes a warrant requirement before police can access nearly any type of digital data produced by or contained within a device or service.

"Governor Brown just signed a law that says ‘no’ to warrantless government snooping in our digital information. This is a landmark win for digital privacy and all Californians," Nicole Ozer, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of California ACLU, said in a statement. "We hope this is a model for the rest of the nation in protecting our digital privacy rights."

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Posted by timothy

Mark Wilson writes: With Apple embracing ad blocking and the likes of AdBlock Plus proving more popular than ever, content blocking is making the headlines at the moment. There are many sides to the debate about blocking ads — revenue for sites, privacy concerns for visitors, speeding up page loads times (Google even allows for the display of ads with its AMP Project), and so on — but there are no signs that it is going to go away. Getting in on the action, Mozilla has set out what it believes are some reasonable principles for content blocking that will benefit everyone involved. Three cornerstones have been devised with a view to ensuring that content providers and content consumers get a fair deal, and you can help to shape how they develop.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Posted by Chelsey B. Coombs on Gizmodo, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

Microsoft is making a big splash with its latest gear, the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. These pricey products are designed to compete directly with Apple’s traditional hegemony on premium gadgets. But just how well do these latest offerings measure up against Apple?


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Posted by timothy

The EFF reports a spot of bright news from California: Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act. CalECPA, says the organization, "protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user's geographical location. These protections apply not only to your devices, but to online services that store your data. Only two other states have so far offered these protections: Maine and Utah." The ACLU provides a fact sheet (PDF) about what the bill entails, which says: SB 178 will ensure that, in most cases, the police must obtain a warrant from a judge before accessing a person's private information, including data from personal electronic devices, email, digital documents, text messages, and location information. The bill also includes thoughtful exceptions to ensure that law enforcement can continue to effectively and efficiently protect public safety in emergency situations. Notice and enforcement provisions in the bill provide proper transparency and judicial oversight to ensure that the law is followed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Posted by samzenpus

MojoKid writes: There's no doubt that Dell's new XPS 13 notebook, when it debuted earlier this year, was very well received. Dell managed to cram a 13.3-inch 3200x1800 QHD+ display into a 12-inch carbon fiber composite frame. Dell has now brought that same InfinityEdge display technology to its larger XPS 15, which the company boasts has the same footprint as a 14-inch notebook. But Dell didn't just stay the course with the QHD+ resolution from the smaller XPS 13; the company instead is offering an optional UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD panel with 8 million pixels and 282 pixels per inch (PPI). The 350-nit display allows for 170-degree viewing angles and has 100 percent minimum Adobe RGB color. Dell also beefed up the XPS 15's internals, giving it sixth generation Intel Core processors (Skylake), support for up to 16GB of memory and storage options that top out with a 1TB SSD. Graphics duties are handled by either integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 or a powerful GeForce GTX 960M processor that is paired with 2GB GDDR5 memory. And all of this squeaks in at under 4 pounds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

goodbyebird: Buffy: Faith lies in a hospital bed, looking at her own hand. (BtVS keep sinking a little deeper)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
Just saw the latest Jessica Jones teaser, and she's reminding me of a grown-up Faith Lehane like whoa. And it's not like the other promos couldn't be stripped for parts as well, if one were in need of external source for a vid at some point ;)


I'm SO EXCITED. Imma just focus on Netflix stuff from now on, the movies can shove off. Just like they shoved off the Capt Marvel movie to make room for more fucking Ant-Man. I guess I can let Carol's new default costume in Marvel Heroes cheer me up. It's the comics one and she's super butch yay.

In other tv news, I'm giving Blindspot one more episode to give me something interesting, and then I'm gone. I'll mourn the hair and the face and the good lighting, but by the gods the writing is dull and makes no sense, it's increasingly iffy on race, and the main dude must have been given the job based solely on Not Only Is He White And Looks Like He Goes To The Gym, Green Eyes Too OMG!. Blargh. Buuut now I have an open slot for Quantico, and if tumblr is to be believed, it has a female lead and is pretty awesome!
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Posted by Harry Enten

Having a conservative track record isn’t everything in the Republican Party. Just ask Donald Trump, who doesn’t have one. Or Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who does. McCarthy decided today not to run for speaker of the House after supposedly having the edge. He faced opposition from the Freedom Caucus, a group of House Republicans who have pushed for a more confrontational approach with Democrats.

McCarthy is in the middle of the House GOP ideologically. Of course, because the GOP as a whole has gotten much more conservative in recent years, that means McCarthy is quite conservative too. But the resistance to electing him speaker wasn’t just about ideology; McCarthy represents a Republican establishment less willing to threaten a government shutdown or refuse to raise the debt ceiling to achieve legislative goals. The split within the party is largely a disagreement over tactics.

The Freedom Caucus1 isn’t composed exclusively of far-right Republicans; many members sit squarely in the GOP’s ideological mainstream. You can see this in the following chart, which shows Freedom Caucus members according to two metrics:

  1. How conservative are they? This is measured by the “first dimension” of DW-Nominate, an algorithm that rates members of Congress on a liberal-conservative scale based on their votes in Congress.
  2. How establishment are they? This is measured by the “second dimension” of DW-Nominate. The second dimension has measured different things over time. Today, the authors of the DW-Nominate system argue that it correlates best with the establishment vs. outsider dynamic.

Clearly, the members of the Freedom Caucus are on the more conservative side of the Republican Party. Notice, however, that its members also tend to be toward the bottom (or anti-establishment) portion of the chart. In fact, the correlation between Freedom Caucus membership and the two different dimensions are nearly equal — in other words, being in the Freedom Caucus is just as much about being anti-establishment as it is about being conservative.

We saw this in action during the speakership vote at the beginning of the year. Again, more conservative Republicans were more likely to vote against Speaker John Boehner, but Republicans with higher anti-establishment scores (toward the bottom of the chart) were also more likely to vote against him.


The importance of “outsiderness” in the GOP has been evident for a few years. We saw it in votes on the debt ceiling in 2011, the fiscal cliff in 2013, and the budget battles of the last month. As the political scientists who maintain the DW-Nominate system have pointed out about the second dimension: “Although Congress is nearly one-dimensional liberal-conservative, enough stress has built up to clearly divide the Republican Party on many issues.”

If all this sounds familiar, it might be because it’s also playing out in the Republican primary for president. Ben Carson and Trump don’t rank as highly conservative in our ideological rankings as most other 2016 candidates. Nor do they rank as super conservative in the minds of Republican voters. Yet, Trump and Carson currently rank first and second, respectively, in polls of the GOP race. Why? Carson and Trump are outsiders. In FiveThirtyEight’s graphical view of the GOP race, Carson and Trump are far, far away from the establishment.


Neither Carson nor Trump has ever held elected office. Carson is a soft-spoken, nice guy who doesn’t get entangled playing politics. Trump is the exact opposite: fighting everyone under the sun. Typical politicians are a little bit of each.

The normal rules of politics seem to apply less to the Republican Party each passing day. Carson and Trump’s tenure atop the polls is evidence of that. Boehner came to realize it. And McCarthy apparently figured that out too.


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Tim Chevalier

October 2015

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