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I need someone to build a basic web filter (censorware) for Mac and/or PC that uses as much off-the-shelf code as possible. This filter will be integrated into a product that will be used by parents and school teachers to block out certain objectionable content.  If, like me, the mere idea of censorware leaves a bad taste in your mouth, please don't let that deter you. This project deals with censorship, among other issue, so it won't be used exactly as you think it might be.

This filter should work in the following way:

  1. The administrator downloads and installs the software.
  2. For any non-administrator user, the software cannot be disabled or removed.
  3. Every time an HTTP request is made, the URL should first be securely sent to a remote script (say, http://www.eyebeam.org/filter.php?url=)
  4. This script will securely return a message saying that the page is deemed OK, or that the page is not allowed, along with a description of why the page cannot be loaded.  I will provide this PHP script.
  5. If the failure message is received, the filter should instead return some HTML, including the reason why it was declined.  This page need not be well designed - we will be changing it in the end.

Applicants should have built something like this before.  I am not a security expert, so I am likely leaving out some important security steps.  If you can point them out to me, you will earn major points.

As it says in the project name, I cannot yet say exactly what this is for.  OnCaller will be given credit as the assistant programmer on the project and included in all material where credit is given. A full description of the project will be sent on receipt of application.


Media scholar Henry Jenkins and Babylon 5 creator Joe Straczynski are doing a double-header at MIT on May 22, and it's open to the public. Sounds like a hell of a way to spend an evening.

Previously known best for his role as the creator of the cult science fiction series Babylon 5 and its various spin-off films and series. Straczynski wrote 92 out of the 110 Babylon 5 episodes, notably including an unbroken 59-episode run through all of the third and fourth seasons, and all but one episode of the fifth season.

His early television writing career spans from work on He-Man, She-Ra, and The Real Ghostbusters through to The New Twilight Zone and Murder She Wrote. He followed up Babylon 5 with the science fiction series Jeremiah.

Straczysnki also enjoys continued success as a comic book writer, working on established superhero franchises, such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Supreme Power and Thor, as well as his own original series, such as Rising Stars, Midnight Nation, The Twelve, and The Book of Lost Souls. He is also a journalist, publishing over 500 articles in such periodicals as the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Writer's Digest Magazine, and TIME Inc.

He was one of the first television producers to actively engage his fan community online and has consistently explored the interface between digital media and other storytelling platforms.

2009 Speaker: J. Michael Straczynski

(Thanks, Andrew!)

Mechanisms 101 -  online resources for devices

Here is a great site with resources on various types of mechanisms. There are many great animations, some of which are interactive so you can plug your own numbers into the system and see the results.

Mechanisms 101 has animations and information about: linkages, indexing mechanisms, gears, pumps, couplings, pneumatic systems, electronics, and many miscellaneous mechanical things. You will need the Flash player plug-in for your browser to see most of these great resources.

Here the link to Mechanisms 101.

[ Thanks Steve! ]

I'm no authority on clocks or clockworks, but you just have to love a large skeleton clock with all the exposed metallic mechanical finery. Here is a good example of what I mean. This clock happens to use what is known as a 'chronometer escapement'.

Here is a book on various clock and watch escapements with detailed instructions for making all types of escapements and for locating and correcting problems with them.


Mostly promotional, this “designer QR code” supposedly works just like the regular bar-code looking QR codes that are all over certain parts of the world and with the occasional appearances in the States.

(collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton)

Queen Bohemian Rhapsody Old School Computer Remix

Rotational Moulded Shoe by Ten Bhomer

Ten Bhomer’s ‘Rotational Moulded Shoe’ is an anti-craft exploration that seeks to replace the manual process of shoe-making with a machine. A plastic shank is placed inside a mold with rubber resin, and as the mold is continuously rotated the rubber hardens into a shell akin to the way rubber duckies are made. While seemingly no different from the Puma Injex, these shoes are formally unique and unrelated to traditional paradigms. Perhaps a more worthwhile exploration will be to discover ways to expand traditional craft while producing attractive and cutting-edge designs that are as desirable - but vastly more sustainable - as these futuristic heels.

From the exhibit placard at the London Design Museum:

Trained as a product designer, Ten Bhomer uses her skills to explore and create footwear in an industrial production process as opposed to the traditions of a cobbler. The provesses are informed by both material and applications and resulting in shoes that no longer live within preconceived ideas of what shoes ought to look and feel like. Rotational Moulded Shoe uses rotational moudling as a footwear production process and has been developed for the installation ‘After Hours’ at the Krannert Art mUseum in the US. Rotational moudling is a process in which a negative mould is filled with a small amount of liquid and as the mould starts to rotate, this material solidifies against the inner walls of the mould, forming a shell, a hollow form. As this technique has never been attempted for shoe making in the past, a special rotation moulding machine has also been designed and made to achieve the desired effect.

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Penguins are survival artists that brave the icy Antarctic storms to rear their young on land, where they move rather staidly and at times even somewhat clumsily. They feed mainly on small shrimp-like creatures - krill - which they hunt in the depths of the ocean. The penguins' swimming and diving behaviour has been studied in Antarctica for many years. Using state-of-the-art methods, researchers have succeeded in revealing the secrets of the underwater "flight" of this unusual order of birds.

More after the jump

The bionic penguins are designed as autonomous underwater vehicles that independently orient themselves and navigate through the water basin and develop differentiated, variable behavior patterns in group operation.


I'm always fascinated in the science of biomimicry and robotics. I adore penguins and to see these robots move with such life-like precision is mind blowingly AWEsome. Make sure to watch the video.

Nike Transformers Running Shoes

April 20th, 2009 Tech

Nike Transformers Running Shoes

Be very careful when you buy Nike running shoes in Japan, they could turn out to be robots in disguise…

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