Google Reader Shared Items 2011-04-07

  • 260LBS>179LBS. Don't give up.

    Shared by DanielDeboer


  • How to steal like an artist

    That’s the title of a talk given by Austin Kleon on how to do good creative work. Most of it is of the no-nonsense “don’t worry and just work” variety of which I am a big fan.

    9. Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.

    As Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

    I’m a boring guy with a 9-5 job who lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife and his dog.

    That whole romantic image of the bohemian artist doing drugs and running around and sleeping with everyone is played out. It’s for the superhuman and the people who want to die young.

    The thing is: art takes a lot of energy to make. You don’t have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.

    (via ?bryce)

    Tags: Austin Kleon   how to   lists

  • Apple gets go-ahead to move against unauthorized accessory makers

    A federal judge has ruled that Apple’s lawsuit against a group of California companies selling unauthorized accessories for iPods, iPhones, and iPads can continue. The group of four companies, led by eForCity, tried to have the lawsuit dismissed on procedural grounds, but US District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ordered the lawsuit to proceed.

    In July, Apple sued a group of seven companies that make and/or sell unauthorized accessories designed to work with its various iDevices. Apple has a specific licensing and certification program for businesses that want to offer such accessories, known as the MFi Program. To avoid paying the licensing fees, the seven companies skirted the program and made accessories without Apple's blessing. Apple claimed that by doing so, the companies are culpable for patent infringement—as the company has numerous patents on its 30-pin dock connector and cable—as well as trademark infringement and unfair competition.

    "These products are frequently advertised and sold in a manner that falsely and unfairly implies affiliation with Apple and infringes Apple’s valuable intellectual property," Apple said in its original complaint. "Many are of inferior quality and reliability, raising significant concerns over compatibility with, and damage to, Apple’s products."

    Two of the companies in the suit ended up settling, while a third was dropped from the case by Apple when it failed to respond to the lawsuit. The four remaining companies tried to argue that the suit lacked merit because Apple didn’t identify the specific patent claims that its products infringed. Judge Fogel noted in his order denying the motion to dismiss that stating such specific claims is not required to file the suit, and aren’t due until after case management has been determined.

    Judge Fogel did give a small win to eForCity, however—he granted its motion to strike a quote from an angry eForCity customer from Apple's original complaint. Apple used the quote, which claimed an eForCity iPod cable was "garbage," to reinforce its claim that eForCity products were inferior. eForCity argued the quote was not essential to the claims for relief, and Apple did not oppose the motion.

    It’s unclear if eForCity has any viable defense with the case headed to trial. It may try and fight the patent claims, but given the costs involved in such a case, it’s more likely to settle. In a similar instance last year, Apple applied legal pressure on Sanho Corporation, which produced a popular line of HyperMac extended batteries for Apple notebooks that used patented MagSafe connectors. Sanho expunged the MagSafe connectors from its products, hoping to avoid costly litigation.

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  • Maryland man glued to Wal-Mart toilet
    Police in Maryland are on the hunt for the perpetrator of what appears to be an April Fools’ prank that left a man glued to a toilet at a Wal-Mart store.

  • Typescreen

    Shared by DanielDeboer

    Worst/best idea ever!


  • Swords and battle-axes pushpins

    Nuop’s Medieval Weapon Push Pins are a great way to liven up the office notice-board with a little medieval flair. They’re the perfect way to butch up those passive-aggressive Comic Sans notes reminding people to turn down their cellphone ringers and wash out their coffee mugs.

    Medieval Weapon Push Pins

    (via Super Punch)

  • Yeah, something like this.

    Shared by DanielDeboer

    So true!

    Yeah, something like this.

  • Color-Coded Secret! How To Tell When Bread Was Baked

    Shared by DanielDeboer

    Does it work like this in Canada?

    2011-04-06-BreadTag2.jpgEver wonder when that loaf of bread sitting on the grocery shelf was actually baked? Here’s how you can tell at a glance.

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  • Look at this guy.
  • Agricultural Extortion and Terrorism

    Single bottles of wine from La Romanée-Conti, the legendary vineyard of Burgundy, sell for upwards of $10,000. In 2010 the owner received a threat, the vineyard would be poisoned unless the owner paid one million euro. When the owner didn’t pay a map was delivered that identified several vines that had already been poisoned by drill and syringe. The French don’t want to talk about this and for good reason, agricultural extortion is very easy and they fear copycats.

    I have thought about this issue on and off for many years beginning with the Chilean grape scare of 1989. In that scare an anonymous caller to the US Embassy in Chile announced that Chilean fruit had been injected with cyanide. The FDA found two grapes with evidence of cyanide poisoning. Exports of fruit from Chile were temporarily banned, millions of pounds of fruit were destroyed and the Chilean fruit industry lost millions of dollars.  Many people now think the call was a hoax and the FDA evidence mistaken but either way the point was demonstrated, it’s easy to create millions of dollars worth of damage.

    A few other lesser known cases are even more concerning. In 1996, for example, the police were tipped off that liquid fat at a Wisconsin rendering plant had been contaminated doing some $250 million dollars worth of damage. The criminal probably would never have been caught had not more threatening letters and further contamination followed. Eventually a competitor was charged with the crime.

    It would be easy to do billions of dollars worth of damage to crops and animals with little risk of being caught. As the Chilean case indicates, even a hoax can damage. Fortunately, criminals usually aren’t very smart. The vine poisoner mentioned earlier, for example, was caught trying to collect the money. A little bit of economics would have taught him that you can make lots of money from agricultural extortion without ever having to collect from the victim (and no, I am not saying how although it won’t be a mystery to most readers of this blog). Of course, a terrorist doesn’t even have to collect damages to succeed–just a bit of mad cow or corn rust and we are in trouble (and those aren’t even the biggest threats.)

    I worry that this one of those dangers that is so threatening we are afraid to worry about it.

  • Beautiful Dance Moves


    Beautiful Dance Moves