British artist Damien Hirst, best known for dissecting sheep, pickling sharks, and encrusting skulls with diamonds, is releasing an ABC book. Filled with his life's work, Damien Hirst ABC is a fresh take on the traditional learning aid that utilizes photographs of Hirst's as alphabetic instructions. In the book, "L" is accompanied by an image of the 1994 piece Away from the Flock, which was a lamb placed in a vat of formaldehyde; "D" is for Diamond, 2007's For the Love of God, a diamond-encrusted skull that sold for over $80 million; and "A" is for Anatomy, represented by Hymn, the 20-feet tall anatomical cross-section that launched Hirst's carrer.
Each entry also plays on the artist's love of typography — the "A" page is printed in the Albertus typeface, "B" is in Baskerville, and so on. Damien Hirst ABC will be released October 15th. You can read a full interview with the artist over at the Guardian.
A federal grand jury this week indicted 13 members of the "hacktivist" group Anonymous on charges of orchestrating a series of cyberattacks across the globe. As Reuters reports, the 13 suspects were allegedly involved with Anonymous' "Operation Payback" scheme, originally launched in 2010 as retaliation for the shutdown of the Pirate Bay file sharing site. The operation also included distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against credit card companies and financial institutions that refused to process payments for WikiLeaks.
The names of the 13 suspects have not been released, though they live in 13 different US states and range in age from 21 to 65. A grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia indicted them Thursday on charges of conspiring to intentionally damage protected computers. According to the indictment, the group launched attacks from September 2010 to January 2011, using software known as Low Orbit Ion Cannon to carry out their DDoS attacks. Companies affected by the attack include Bank of America, Visa, and MasterCard, as well as the Library of Congress, US Copyright Office, and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
A British court last year convicted four members of Anonymous on charges of conspiring to attack major financial sites and trade organizations as part of Operation Payback. According to the court, their attacks cost British music trade groups an estimated $5.6 million.
The Delaware brewery Dogfish Head has created a beer made with genuine lunar meteorites. Mostly made up of minerals and salts, the meteorites are crushed into dust before being steeped into the mixture during the fermentation process. The resulting brew is apparently akin to an earthy ale.
The brewery got the moon rock from ILC Dover, a company that aids NASA in designing and developing spacesuits. The final product of the brewing process is "Celest-jewel-ale," a five-percent ABV ale created to celebrate September's fall equinox. Sold exclusively at the brewery's pub in Reheboth Beach, Delaware, it's a one-batch brew; once it sells out, the opportunity to taste the moon beer will be gone.
Rockstar Games has provided an update on the fixes it's putting in place for its Grand Theft Auto Online server issues. The multiplayer mode launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 earlier this week to slow load times and the inability to access Grand Theft Auto Online at all for some. "For PlayStation 3 users, a PlayStation Network server issue was detected that was limiting the amount of possible concurrent users," says a Rockstar Games spokesperson. This was preventing players from accessing the online mode and has now been resolved.
Although an update is live for PlayStation 3 users, the company is also planning to release a similar patch for Xbox 360 players "as soon as possible today." The GTA Online maker is also working to address an issue that stops players across both consoles from completing the first tutorial mission. "Many players have been able to get through this with repeated retries, and we are working on unblocking this for everyone as soon as possible," says a spokesperson. Rockstar has also disabled the option to purchase GTA$ cash packs until everyone has access to GTA Online and it's stable. The company promises that "all of these initial technical issues will be ironed out as soon as we can."
"I'm the original voice of Siri." That's the quote CNN attributes to Susan Bennett, a voice talent that says her voice was used for Apple's virtual assistant. "I wasn't sure that I wanted the notoriety," Bennett tells CNN, explaining her delay in coming forward, "and I also wasn't sure where I stood legally." In fact, it was The Verge's article on synthesized speech that prompted her to come forward.
CNN notes that the article, which looks at how synthetic voices are created, led some to believe Allison Dufty, a voice talent who was recorded at the same GM Voices Atlanta facility as Bennett, was the voice of Siri. "I was conservative about it for a long time... then this Verge video came out... and it seems like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time."
Bennett says the Siri voice was recorded in 2005 at GM Voices on behalf of ScanSoft, a software company that was working on an undisclosed project. Apple did not confirm Bennett's story, but an audio-forensics expert says he is "100 percent certain" she is the voice, and Bennett's lawyer, who cannot confirm the details of confidential contracts, notes he's had "substantial negotiations" with "parties along the economic food chain" regarding hiring Bennett as the voice of Siri. You can read the full story on Bennett over at CNN.
They say everybody gets their fifteen minutes of fame, perhaps that’s the same for vegetables? If so, kale is certainly having its day. Kale chips, kale smoothies, kale salads, kale is everywhere! It’s the spinach of the 80s, in kale form. Personally, I couldn’t be more pleased. We love our greens here—collard, kale, spinach, beet, chard. Anything that encourages people to cook with and eat more of these fabulously good-for-you and good tasting greens is alright by me. Scrambled eggs, for example, are great with sautéed onions and kale. Stir in some shredded cheese and seasonings, perfection!
For the last three years or so, I’ve had the privilege of regularly cooking with Hank Shaw, a man of great enthusiasm, knowledge, and creativity in the kitchen. Hank has authored over 70 recipes here on Simply Recipes, and has contributed his expertise to hundreds more, while maintaining his own, James Beard Award winning, website, Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook. If you like what you’ve seen here on the site over the last few years, very likely Hank had a hand in it. This why I couldn’t be more pleased to tell you about Hank’s latest creation, Duck, Duck, Goose, a cookbook dedicated to the preparation of domestic and wild duck and goose.