Throw Your Money at These Bizarre Thanksgiving Crowfunding Campaigns

Not as innocent as it seems. (Kickstarter)

Thanksgiving is all about remembering the things in life you’re grateful for, and also about eating an ungodly amount of food. But besides all the turkey, stuffing, and sentimental speeches about how much you love your dear, wonderful family, you know what Thanksgiving is also about? Some really weird Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, apparently.

For your entertainment — and perhaps your confusion and disgust, depending on the project — here are some fascinating Thanksgiving-themed crowdfunding campaigns. Read More

Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Could This Holograph Projector Be the Next Great Indiegogo Scam?

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.16.42 AM

Take a quick browse through successful crowdfunded projects, and you feel like you’re getting a glimpse of the future. Oculus VR. Rocketskates. Hoverboards. It’s Star Wars, Back to the Future and every other futuristic fantasy come true. But every once in a while, that glimpse ends up being a total mirage.

On Indiegogo, a campaign called Bleen has raised some red flags among its backers who are starting to think that the bleary claims made by its elusive founders are starting to sound like total bullshit. Bleen is a projector that creates 3D holographic movie displays and comes in the shape of a small egg, the design of which is meant to evoke the sculpture of Jeff Koons and the “neogeometrical abstractions” of a Sarah Morris painting. Read More

Legal Matters

Groupon Concedes Defeat in Battle to Use GNOME Foundation’s Name

It doesn't even look like a good product. (Groupon)

After numerous conversations and a threat of legal action from the GNOME Foundation, Groupon has finally decided to find a new name for the goofy-looking tablet-based platform for merchants it launched in May.

“Groupon has agreed to change its Gnome product name to resolve the GNOME Foundation’s concerns,” a joint announcement said. “Groupon is now abandoning all of its 28 pending trademark applications. The parties are working together on a mutually acceptable solution, a process that has already begun.” Read More

Expert Thoughts

Social Media Buzz Can (Kind of) Predict Box Office Success

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.21.58 PM

Twitter has analyzed a whole mess of data about what people are saying there about movies to see what it says about what movies are going to be popular at the box office.

Among the interesting data points in the post are that, according to Twitter, people have somewhere around 200,000 movie-related conversations daily.

Now here’s where it gets interesting: According to the data the movies generating the most tweets in October were Annabelle, Gone Girl, Dracula Untold, The Judge and Fury. But here’s the top five movies from October: Read More

Planet Google

Google Signs 60-Year Lease on NASA Air Base to Research Space Exploration and Aviation

The framework of Hangar One. (Wikipedia)

Today in existential crises, Google has just signed a long-term lease on an old Navy air base so they can research space exploration and aviation until we’re all dead. Fun!

The company has signed a 60-year, $1.16 billion lease for an 1,000-acre site on the NASA-owned Moffett Field Naval Air Station. The site, located on the San Francisco Peninsula, reportedly features a golf course, three hangars, and a working air field that Sergey Brin and Larry Page already casually use to land their private jets. Read More


Tor Foundation Can’t Figure Out How Police Took Down Silk Road 2.0

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.45.00 PM

At a time when online privacy seems all but impossible, one refuge we’ve had for browsing the Internet anonymously has been Tor, the browser thats keeps your identity and location hidden. But with every passing week, it’s becoming harder to trust that Tor is perfectly secure—especially considering that not even the Tor Project can be sure of their security anymore.

Last week, European police bragged that an international sting — now called Operation Onymous — pulled down over 400 deep web services and put 17 people behind bars. In response, Tor put out this explanation on their blog of how these services were found and shut down: Read More

The Future Will See You Now

Have This Artificially Intelligent Travel Agent Book Your Next Vacation


Just when we were all convinced that travel agents had become obsolete did we find out they’ve actually just gotten a hi-tech revamp for the next century.

A link on Reddit tipped us off this morning to Dobby, a service claiming to be an artificially intelligent travel agent that will take care of all of your flight accommodations for you. Simply send Dobby an email telling him where and when you want to go, and he’ll reply with three itineraries in five minutes or less. All that’s left for you to do is choose. Read More

Walled Garden

Apple’s New Security Settings Are Designed To Scare You Into Paying Up

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.00.46 PM

Recently, this writer was sick of being about two Mac OS updates behind and decided to snag himself the free Yosemite upgrade. Then, the first time I went to install a new app that wasn’t right from the app store, I was hit with an unfamiliar message.

I was told that I was not authorized to open certain apps on my own computer — that in order to install them, I’d need to manually override my Mac’s security settings. Which apps are perfectly okay? The ones that you buy through Apple and the vendors it “identifies.” This is the new default standard for Mac users. Read More