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Crunch, an impressive new PNG compression tool for macOS

Crunch is a macOS tool for lossy PNG image file optimization. It combines selective bit depth, color type, and color palette reduction with zopfli DEFLATE compression algorithm encoding using embedded versions of the pngquant and zopflipng PNG optimization tools.

The example images are impressive. Obviously, you won’t want to use this on your archival or source images. I did a quick test on a few of sites at work, and was able to take some PNGs w/ transparent backgrounds down from 1.5mb to 130kb. That’s a greater than 10x reduction in size. Jimminy.

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S L O W G R A M

Pay me $5 and I’ll print and mail you a copy of any picture you like on 4 x 6-inch glossy photo paper.

SLOWGRAM refuses to scale up or optimize.

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Vice Sports: The Forgotten Story of the First Black Female Wrestlers

An excellent, necessary, article:

Women’s wrestling was still riding high in the early 1950s and women across the country saw Burke, and no doubt her income, and wanted to follow suit—including a trio of sisters living in Columbus, Ohio. Babs Wingo was the first of the three to start training as a professional wrestler, followed by Ethel Johnson. Johnson reveals in the upcoming documentary Lady Wrestler, directed by Chris Bournea, that the two would take judo and gymnastics classes at the Columbus YMCA on top of their pro wrestling training and strength training.

Women’s wrestling, especially black women’s wrestling, is one of the least-covered topics in the genre. We can fix that. More of this please.

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GrayKey: The little box that unlocks iPhones

Thomas Reed, for MalwareBytes:

Two iPhones can be connected at one time, and are connected for about two minutes. After that, they are disconnected from the device, but are not yet cracked. Some time later, the phones will display a black screen with the passcode, among other information. The exact length of time varies, taking about two hours in the observations of our source. It can take up to three days or longer for six-digit passcodes, according to Grayshift documents, and the time needed for longer passphrases is not mentioned. Even disabled phones can be unlocked, according to Grayshift.

Nothing is safe. Encrypt and delete constantly.

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Facebook’s Surveillance Machine

Zeynep Tufekc, for the New York Times:

Mr. Grewal is right: This wasn’t a breach in the technical sense. It is something even more troubling: an all-too-natural consequence of Facebook’s business model, which involves having people go to the site for social interaction, only to be quietly subjected to an enormous level of surveillance. The results of that surveillance are used to fuel a sophisticated and opaque system for narrowly targeting advertisements and other wares to Facebook’s users.

People are finally starting to catch on that Facebook’s value proposition (“Tell us everything about you, all the time, so we can help get dictators elected around the world”) is pretty weak.

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Cambridge Analytica’s Ad Targeting Is the Reason Facebook Exists

Thousands of third party apps were designed solely to obtain and sell your data. It’s no surprise that the data ended up being used again on Facebook, one of the biggest advertising platforms on Earth.

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The Eleanor Rigby Battle Theme

Single Link Twitter Post of the day. A skillful mash-up of the classic Pokemon battle theme and the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby. Includes a video of the MIDI notes being played. (via @joshmillard)

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Facebook Quietly Hid Webpages Bragging of Ability to Influence Elections

Sam Biddle for The Intercept:

When Mark Zuckerberg was asked if Facebook had influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the founder and CEO dismissed the notion that the site even had such power as “crazy.” It was a disingenuous remark. Facebook’s website had an entire section devoted to touting the “success stories” of political campaigns that used the social network to influence electoral outcomes. That page, however, is now gone, even as the 2018 congressional primaries get underway.

‘ol Zuck just can’t stop lying.

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Layout Land: CSS Grid

Jen Simmons is doing a great job of introducing the core concepts of CSS Grid with this video series on Layout Land. These videos have been a huge help to me getting up to speed on the state of the tech. Highly recommended.

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Haunted Floating Eye Release 2 is Now Available

The Love2d game jam is over, but I’m not finished with Haunted Floating Eye yet.

Release 2 dropped on Saturday, and is now available for download. I wrote a little about the release.

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How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled

An enraging story from Michael Smith and Polly Mosendz, for Bloomberg:

Taurus sold almost a million handguns that can potentially fire without anyone pulling the trigger. The government won’t fix the problem. The NRA is silent.

Gun manufacturers have long held an unassailable position in American business and politics. They need to be reminded that they aren’t above the law… and we can start by making them follow the same goddamn rules as everyone else.

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Female Fandom and Figures in Mystery Science Theater 3000

A really cool article from poplurker about MST3k, which is an all-time favorite of mine, and the women behind the jokes, the fandom, and more.

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Reddit, Tumblr will fight for net neutrality with protests this week

The Verge on the internet-wide #OneMoreVote protest scheduled for tomorrow. I will be participating, too.

Let’s give Ajit Pai the worst week of his shitheaded life.

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The Great Stink

Laurie Penny has some advice for men in the current cultural moment, and it is good advice. This passage, near the end, caught me right where it was aimed:

Suck it up and let go. Let go of your resentment at women’s lack of patience, let go of your wounded pride, let go of your useless shame, and let go of the idea of being a “good guy.” “Good” is not a thing you are, it’s a thing you do, or don’t do. The world is not neatly divided into good and bad men. It never was, and we need to let go of the idea that it ever was, so that we can finally be better to one another, finally learn to deal with our shit like grown-ups in this strange new cityscape we’re crawling through together, trying to find our way to the light. That’s the only way we’re going to move from a place of holding abusers to account, into a future where abuse is less likely to happen.

Suck it up and let go.

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New Game: Haunted Floating Eye

Created for LÖVE Jam 2018, my latest game is called Haunted Floating Eye. It’s something like a tower (lair) defense game, mixed with cruelty, base building and ennui. The jam has ended, but voting is open for the next 12 days. I’d really appreciate it you tried it out, and voted on the on the game jam page.

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New Video I Worked On: 3D Scanning Best Practices

My colleagues at Occipital and I put together this tutorial video for customers of our Canvas home scanning application. I wrote the script and did the voiceover. My co-worker Karla Estrada shot, edited, and starred.

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KDE Bug Executes Arbitrary Code Based on Name of Thumb Drive

This is one of the dumbest and most dangerous bugs I’ve ever heard of. From the KDE security list:

When a vfat thumbdrive which contains “ or $() in its volume label is plugged and mounted trough the device notifier, it’s interpreted as a shell command, leaving a possibility of arbitrary commands execution. an example of offending volume label is “$(touch b)” which will create a file called b in the home folder.

It’s jaw-dropping.

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Just in case you’re using Mailgun with Mediawiki…

The docs don’t cover this, but the steps in this post got it working for me:

  1. Install composer apt-get install composer
  2. Run composer update from the extensions/Mailgun folder
  3. Run php maintainence/rebuildLocalizationCache.php from the main mediawiki folder.

Running your own services get you into all sorts of fun trouble like this.

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Lanetix Inc Fires Workers for Attempt to Unionize

You can add Lanetix Inc, the developer of a subpar CRM, to the list of wannabe union-busters. They’re also now on the shitlist of every decent engineer in the world. We don’t forget this shit.

The union alleged in the complaint, which was filed with the NLRB Jan. 29, that the company threatened the software engineers after they began discussing unionizing in an internal instant messaging group. Lanetix later terminated “all engineers and senior engineers in retaliation for demanding recognition,” CWA said.

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City Pop Radio

Van Paugam has been putting out these awesome mixtapes of 1980s Japanese City Pop, and now there’s a 24/7 streaming channel. It’s hard to argue with that pitch:

Travel back in time through the haze of memories that aren’t your own, and melodies frozen in a particular place in history.