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You're Stealing it Wrong: 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles

Computer historian Jason Scott recently gave a talk at Defcon 18 about the history of software piracy. Now, you wouldn't normally sit down to think about software piracy, but Scott has, and managed to put together an hour-long presentation on the subject. It's well worth a look, and not just for computer nerds -- Scott starts with some digital ephemera (including the previously linked 1929 LOL Cat and Chicago Gang Business Cards), then sets into the core of his talk on the history of piracy, the history of anti-piracy, and battles amongst the pirate groups. Have you ever pirated a piece of software? Are you interested in history? Are you cool with hearing a few f-bombs? Okay, then this talk is for you. Here's Scott's description of the talk:

Historian Jason Scott walks through the many-years story of software piracy and touches on the tired debates before going into a completely different direction - the interesting, informative, hilarious and occasionally obscene world of inter-pirate-group battles. A multi-media extravaganza of threats, CSI-level accusations and evidence trails, decades of insider lingo, and demonstrations of how the more things change, the more they still have to keep their ratios up.

Warning: brief nudity at one point late in the video. But I guarantee that if you've watched the talk for long enough to see the single nude frame, you won't be bothered by it.

You're Stealing it Wrong: 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles from Jason Scott on Vimeo.

(Via Waxy.org.)

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Volkswagen Introduces Electric Version of Classic Microbus
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Volkswagen

Following the success of the compact Volkswagen Beetle, German automaker Volkswagen expanded its line in 1950 with the release of the Type 2. Customers preferred a less clinical name, opting to call it the camper, the bus, or the transporter. Able to tote mass quantities of counter-culture protesters, the Volkswagen bus became a symbol in antiwar movements of the 1960s before disappearing to the scrap heap of expired popular culture.

Recently, the company has doubled down on claims it would be revisiting it as a smaller vehicle. At a recent presentation at a Pebble Beach charity car expo, Volkswagen announced the bus—previously identified as the I.D. Buzz—would be returning in 2022 as a fully electric and consolidated version of the classic.

A look at the interior of the Volkswagen Microbus
Volkswagen

CEO Herbert Diess said that prototype versions of the vehicle on display at recent trade shows led to encouraging feedback that convinced the company to move forward. The I.D. Buzz is expected to have 369 horsepower, a considerable boost from the 25 of the original, and might implement self-driving elements. The concept car—which may or may not make it to roads with all of the same features—has a retractable wheel and movable seats when autonomy is engaged. The future of cars is looking more and more like a portable living room.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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Live Smarter
This Smart Fridge Camera Will Warn You When Your Food Is Going Bad
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iStock

Food waste costs us a whole lot, both in terms of money and environmental impact. The USDA estimates that American families could each save about $1500 a year if they just ate all the food they bought. Sure, you could eat ice cream made of food waste from your local farmers market, but a more effective solution would be to cut back on the amount of food you personally waste every week.

A smart fridge can help, and you don’t have to buy an entirely new appliance to get one, according to Inhabitat. Smarter’s FridgeCam turns any refrigerator into a smart appliance, and all for just $127. Smarter, a British company that also makes smart teakettles and coffeemakers that hook up to your phone, designed the wireless FridgeCam to fit into any fridge.

A product shot shows a circular white smart camera against a white background.
Smarter

Once installed, you can peer inside your fridge from your phone, no matter where you are. (Which saves energy, too.) You can set the app to ping you when it senses you’re near a convenience store or grocery store to remind you to pick something up, or you can set it to autopopulate an online shopping cart of necessities.

In addition to letting you see your food with your own eyes, the camera tracks expiration dates in order to remind you when it's time to buy more milk and what food needs to be eaten ASAP. The Smarter Chef feature even suggests recipes based on what you have at home, including the stuff that you’ll need to throw out if you don’t use it up soon.

It’s unclear exactly how the camera tracks expiration dates, since presumably it might be hard for a camera to see an expiration date listed on the bottom of a jar, for instance. You might have to scan or input them yourself. Either way, a single camera that costs less than $200 is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new fridge. A futuristic kitchen just became a whole lot more affordable.

The FridgeCam is available for pre-order here.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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