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June 2011

  1. President Obama To Hold First Twitter Town Hall

    As a part of the White House 2.0 project, President Obama will be holding the nation's first Twitter Town Hall meeting on July 6th. Responses will come from the, miraculously available, @townhall Twitter account which has been set up for this particular purpose. You and your fellow trolls Americans can troll ask questions through the use of the #AskObama hashtag. Twitter has even whipped up a little webpage to publicize the event, specifying that Obama will answer your questions about the economy and jobs, presumably ignoring the more irrelevant questions that are sure to pop up. This is, after all, the internet.

    President Obama used Facebook for a similar event in the past, and this Twitter Town Hall shows a certain amount of persistent dedication to the whole White House 2.0 project. In addition, just last week Obama started tweeting from his @BarakObama account (someone has to be saving these names for the government). Unfortunately, there have yet to be any tweets about what he ate for dinner or what's on TV, you know, the usual things to tweet about. For as much sense as it makes, it feels weird to see the President on social networking sites, but with 2012 looming, it's a good time to get back in touch with those youth voters. Good luck sir, but I won't be impressed until I start seeing some snarky, real-time Twitter commentary about an awards show. Or some juicy executive branch gossip.

    (via VentureBeat)

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  2. The Best Special Effects Demo Reel of All Time [Video]

    Before you laugh at Martin Gamal's special effects demo reel, keep in mind that even though it looks ridiculous, you probably don't even know how to make special effects. Then you may freely resume laughing about the demo reel, because look at that thing.

    (via The Daily What)

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  3. Guillermo del Torro Assures Us That the Hulk TV Show is Moving Forward

    It's Aliiiiiiiiiiiive!

    Guillermo del Torro sat down with Fear Net recently and dished on the progress of the Hulk TV show. The show, which is in pre-production with ABC right, is a collaboration between del Torro and David Eick, who produced the Battlestar Galalctica reboot. Now del Torro's announcing that they've completed the initial stages of writing for the pilot, and submitted the outline to ABC about a month ago.

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  4. Tech Company Organizational Charts Are Funny

    Created by Bonkers World, this graphic shows what the organizational charts of tech companies Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle would look like. (via Laughing Squid)

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  5. What if The Matrix‘s Sound Effects Were Purely A Capella?

    Almost Totally Excellent

    It would be pretty damn cool, that's what. Guns would be so much more fun if they actually went "pew pew." (Topless Robot via Matt Mulholland)

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  6. Google+ Emphasizes Privacy, but Has Privacy Issues Already

    Google's new social networking attempt Google+, which is currently in an invite-only trial period, is already having some privacy issues. You might say "it's a social network, of course there are privacy issues" and you would be right, but you'd also be ignoring the fact that Google+ marketing tauts Google+ as not having those problems. Privacy issues do kind of come with the territory, but Google's insistence that they don't have to makes this all the more of a shot in the foot.

    So what's the breach? Well, as you probably know, Google+ organizes members and their connections to each other with "Circles." This way you can post something to a specific Circle instead of the world at large. The issue seems to be that when you post something to a Circle, any receiving members can repost it with varying levels of privacy, up to and including "totally public." Alright, so that's a little disconcerting, but you should be able to turn reposting off, right? You can, but only after the post in question has been published -- and you have to do it for each, individual post. Okay, okay, Google+ is only taking its first steps here and what new service doesn't have issues that need to be patched up? The issue is, this crack happens to be running right down the keystone that's holding the whole service together. Hopefully Google can respond swiftly and appropriately without jeopardizing the trust of its many potential users.

    (via FT Tech Hub)

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  7. Sex Doll Inspired Dental Robot Reacts To Pain

    Being afraid of the dentist is a common fear, and even if the site of a dental drill doesn't send shivers down your spine, it's safe to say it's never really an enjoyable experience. The way patients react to dental procedures has a real impact on treatment, so dentists in training need to be prepared for wincing, flinching, and the patients who clamp their jaws shut. Since all things are better when done with robots (right?), researchers in Japan have developed a dental training robot that can sneeze, shake its head, cough, gag, and even close its mouth when feeling a jaw ache. The robot was created by researchers at Japan's Showa University, with help from the country's top sex doll manufacturer Orient Industry. Why sex dolls? To get that lifelike skin, tongue and mouth, of course.

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  8. Seven Underrated (Female) TV Comedy Writers to Watch

    Essay

    The question of women in comedy can at times (read: most of the time) be vaguely ridiculous, and frequently conflated. Are we talking about the actresses, who may have trouble finding well-rounded or non-cliched characters to take on? Are we talking about the writers, who often face writers' rooms that are not exactly equally distributed, nor always welcoming? Both are going up against a world which sporadically bursts into debates over whether women are as funny as their male counterparts, which can seem especially ludicrous in times like these, when television is experiencing a veritable renaissance of funny women showcasing their talents, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey exist as a whole different type of triple threat (writer/actor/producers), and next season’s new series are looking to be largely dominated by female characters and creators. But the question itself played itself out a few dozen posts ago. Bored now. So instead of further "debate," we decided to showcase a few of the talents of women from the writing staffs of some of our favorite TV comedies.

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  9. IBM Creates New Type Of Memory, 100x Faster Than Flash

    Right after coming off its 100th birthday, IBM has come up with a new type of phase-change memory that can read and write a whopping hundred times faster than existing flash memory. With capabilities like that, you might expect it to be expensive, fragile or short, but miraculously enough, this new "instantaneous memory" is reliable for millions of write-cycles, beating flash memory by about three orders of magnitude, and it looks like it will be cheap enough to make its way into use in mobile phones. This amazing little guy was only born recently so, of course, it'll be a while before any make their way into active circulation, but when they do, it will drastically reduce the amount of time we spend staring at mobile device loading animations. About time, too. Several seconds is several seconds too long. (via Engadget)

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  10. South American Women Wage Real-Life, Modern Day Lysistrata Type Sex-Strike for Improved Infrastructure

    Rights of Passage

    According to The Wall Street Journal, a few hundred women in the town of Barbacoas in Colombia, South America are refusing to let their husbands have sex with them until they lobby the local government to make good on a decades old promise to pave a 35 mile stretch of dirt road that is their town's only access to the outside world.
    The unpaved Junin-Barbacoas route normally takes four to six hours, [Lucelly Del Carmen Viveros, the human rights coordinator in the town of Barbacoas] said, but torrential rains over the past year have caused several landslides, making the commute longer--about 10 hours--and more dangerous. "Prices for basic foods in this town are probably the highest in the whole country because of the delivery costs," she said.

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