Intermission: Lightness

More “nonstandard” parkour for your inspirational pleasure.

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Mobile Carriers Gladly Give Your Data to the Cops, But Not to You

847992535 9915965547 450x299 Mobile Carriers Gladly Give Your Data to the Cops, But Not to You

This thing tells the cops where I’ve been and who I’ve been talking to! (img by Braden Kowitz)

tl;dr The headline says it all.


The nation’s major mobile carriers have amassed a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers that they share with police and advertisers — but keep hidden from the consumers themselves.

The major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, store who you texted, the content of texts and locational tracking information such as cell-site data, which identifies the cell tower to which a customer was connected at the beginning of a call and at the end of the call. Different companies hold your data for different times. Sprint hoards information the longest, according to a Justice Department survey, keeping your call records for an average of 18-24 months.

But, according to a survey by Pro Publica, the major carriers won’t disclose the data to their customers, for a host of reasons — nonsensical ones at best. But they will gladly hand it over to the authorities, even without warrants.

The survey comes as the government is increasingly looking to use cell-site data to bolster prosecutions in the aftermath of a Supreme Court ruling that said the government must obtain a warrant to affix a GPS device to track a vehicle’s every move.

Read the rest.

You’ve heard this before, but we’re going to keep reminding you because it’s easy to forget. If you want privacy, you’re probably going to have to go analog. And don’t talk about your illegal exploits online.

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Go the fuck outside and play

417586634 72442be20c 450x337 Go the fuck outside and play

Key elements: outside and… actually, nothing else. (img by Erich Ferdinand)

Kids who do play outside are less likely to get sick, to be stressed or become aggressive, and are more adaptable to life’s unpredictable turns, [dude] said. Since his book came out, things have gotten worse.

Dude coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder. You won’t find this one in the DSM, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it real. I see kids almost daily who have no idea how to play outside. Put them in a park with highly climbable trees and they’ll reach for their Nintendo DS or iPod Touch or Kindle and play games or read books about dudes who climb trees. It usually takes some effort to teach them that they, too, can climb trees.

So help me out. If you’re a parent, send your kid outside to play. For several hours at a time. Analog play devices allowed, but nothing digital.

If you aren’t a parent: go outside and play yourself. Wander around the park. Jump on things. Climb something. Draw something with an actual pen and paper.

Do, Features, Play » 3 Comments

LARPing for the sane

3682531348 f243066262 450x337 LARPing for the sane

Lesson 1: You don’t have to dress like this to LARP. (img by Bastian)

I’ve never LARPed, at least not in the sense of running around in the woods tossing beanbags at people and yelling “magic missile!”. But I’ve definitely played roles in the day to day. Chances are, you have, too. In real life, you’re a hard partying gamer, but when you go to a job interview, you’re a pressed and articulate person seeking the opportunity to leverage synergistic paradigms.

Or you happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the wrong (or right) time and hid behind your camera while interesting shit went down. And because you were hiding behind your camera and just happened to be wearing a vest full of pockets, people assumed you were press. Or you were wearing an unfortunately colored polo shirt at Best Buy and people started asking you for help.

Here’s a great perspective on LARPing in reality:

Of the best experiences I’ve had with live-action roleplaying, only two are from actual larps. The others are from larplike real-world situations in which I have found myself adopting a role, usually accidentally. Drawing on these experiences, I’m going to present here a concept I call real-world larping. To understand the concept of real-world larping, one has to accept for now that the essential point in live-action games is the experience, and not roleplaying as such. There’s a wonderful word in Finnish, eläytyminen, which roughly means immersion in a character, a situation or a work of art. For roleplaying experiences where I immerse myself in a character, eläydyn, I play tabletop. To experience living through nuclear holocaust, I play live action. In this latter case, the character is, for me, a mere provider of context for the overall experience. This means that live-action roleplaying may be likened to any situation where I adopt a role to provide context in an unfamiliar situation. At the core of such situations lie unfamiliar social contexts that force the assumption of such a role. If these situations are clearly defined departures from routine life, they may be highly larplike.

Next time you’re bored at home with nothing to do, don a persona (makeup not required!) and go pull a stunt.

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Want to see an engine rebuild without all the grease and sweat and bloody knuckles?

As a gear head I try to keep close tabs on what is, and what is not within my skill level. I’m fascinated by engine rebuilds; but having done one (with lots of hand holding) I doubt I’ll attempt another. That doesn’t keep me from marveling at others who dig into the oily bowels of their dream car (or their work car). I can truly empathize with that sinking feeling, “maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.” that comes just after passing the point of no return.

Features, Know, Make » No Comments