Boing Boing 

Gallery of drug paraphernalia from 1970s men's magazine

wee03-viHere are some scans of neat-looking drug paraphernalia from a 1970s issue of Oui magazine. Link (via PCL Linkdump)

CBS News: Bush's top ten flip flops

Personally, I think flip-flopping is a sign of intelligence and shows a willingness to learn. But since the Republicans think flip-flopping is worse than torturing people or invading countries that don't pose a threat, here are President Bush's top ten flip flops.
President Bush: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories."(May 29, 2003)

President Bush: "I recognize we didn't find the stockpiles [of weapons] we all thought were there." (Sept. 9, 2004)


Penn Jillette's "Sock" references collected

Penn Jillette, half of the magnificent magic/comedy duo Penn and Teller, has recently published a first novel called Sock, told from the PoV of a sock-monkey. The book is chock-a-block with pop culture references, especially song lyrics, and David has undertaken to catalogue them on this site. Link (Thanks, David!)

Asimov's magazine on ebooks

My pal and teacher James Patrick Kelly is a Hugo-award-winning sf writer who does a column about the Internet for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine -- this month's, about ebooks, is very good indeed (especially given the generally dismal approach of the sf field to electronic text).
should say here that I have long been one of those saurians who disliked reading for pleasure from a computer screen. But a couple of months ago, for reasons too boring to mention, I popped for a personal digital assistant (PDA) , mostly to keep track of appointments and addresses when I was away from my desk. As it happened, shortly after I made the buy, I went to Florida to attend the International Conference on the Fantastic and to soak up some rays. On a whim, I loaded some ebooks into my new gadget. By the time I got off the plane in Fort Lauderdale I’d fallen in love with my PDA as a reading device. Yes, the screen is smallish but I can change the font at will. Maybe it isn’t exactly ideal for the beach because direct light washes out the backlit screen, but my days of sunbathing are over and this thing is made in the shade. Often as not it’s my book of choice for bedtime reading. And if my wife wants to turn in, we can douse all the lights and I can read from that cheerily lit screen.

Scans of GOP "Bible to be banned" scare-literature

Kyle sez, "I called the Arkansas Kerry headquarters and managed to get some scans of the GOP flier that's making the rounds, declaring that the Bible will be BANNED if the liberals win. Same-sex marriage, of course, will be ALLOWED. Thought folks might like to actually see the pics that everyone's talking about -- I haven't seen 'em anywhere else yet." Link (Thanks, Kyle!)

Update: Luke sez, Washington Blogger/journalist Steve Clemons had a better scan of the 'Liberals Will Ban the Bible' GOP scare-flyer last week. Clemons's scan is bigger and has the front and back of the flyer (which includes another BANNED Bible)."

Can suing customers save the record companies?

Fred von Lohmann's op-ed asks the music question: "Is Suing Your Customers a Good Idea?"
Unfortunately, the evidence thus far suggests that the RIAA litigation campaign has had little, if any, effect on P2P file-sharing. Companies like Big Champagne and BayTSP that track the online P2P population have found that the number of U.S. file-sharers continues to grow. The global file-sharing population, moreover, is skyrocketing. A survey of Internet users undertaken by the Pew Internet and American Life Project did show a marked decline in file-sharing in the months following the highly-publicized first rounds of RIAA lawsuits, but Pew's follow-up reports have documented a rebound in the months since.

In the face of evidence suggesting that the lawsuits have been ineffective at curbing P2P music-swapping, the RIAA responded that "lawsuits are an important part of the larger strategy to educate file-sharers about the law." Well, the "education by lawsuit" of American music fans is also off to a rocky start. Awareness of copyright law is certainly up. For example, an April 2004 survey revealed that 88 percent of children between 8 and 18 years of age understood that P2P music-downloading is illegal. Unfortunately, the survey also discovered that 56 percent of the children surveyed continue to download music anyway. So while many music fans are aware of the "stick" of lawsuits, they seem relatively unintimidated by it.

Link (Thanks, Fred!)

Internet bubble's blessings

An interesting rumination on what the Internet stock-bubble got right:
The aspect of the Internet Bubble that the press seemed most taken with was the youth of some of the startup founders. This too is a trend that will last. There is a huge standard deviation among 26 year olds. Some are fit only for entry level jobs, but others are ready to rule the world if they can find someone to handle the paperwork for them.

A 26 year old may not be very good at managing people or dealing with the SEC. Those require experience. But those are also commodities, which can be handed off to some lieutenant. The most important quality in a CEO is his vision for the company's future. What will they build next? And in that department, there are 26 year olds who can compete with anyone.

Link (via EvHead)

Geniuses of the year

The MacArthur Foundation has announced this year's winners of the "Genius" grant for $250k $500k for outstanding achievment in the field of outstandingness. Pretty amazing cross-section of artists, scientists and thinkers here:
Marine Roboticist building multiple, miniature, autonomous underwater vehicles that mimic the behavior of schooling fish...

High School Debating Coach changing the landscape of opportunities within urban schools...

Inventor cobbling sophisticated, life-enhancing devices from inexpensive materials for people in areas with little access to technology and even fewer resources to obtain it.

Link (via Kottke)

WiFi walled-gardens suck

Mike sez,
This overview from Techdirt covers the disturbing practice taken by some providers of free WiFi hotspots: restrictive content filtering. In my book, Wi-Fi Toys, I discussed how network operators can build a free Wi-Fi hotspot and share their Internet connection with a wildly useful free program called Nocat.

Unfortnuately, hotspot gateways like Nocat can also give owners the ability to block sites and restrict surfing to a "€œwalled garden" of accepted destinations. The walled garden idea was meant to give site owners the ability to create a sort of free preview of the Internet where you can perhaps check the weather, read the iHop menu, the local paper, or other casual internet destinations without having to register or sign on to the network.

I suggest people log off and take their business elsewhere.

Link (Thanks, Mike!)

ACLU and EFF strike down part of PATRIOT Act

EFF has helped the ACLU overturn one of the worst elements of the USA PATRIOT Act, the "National Security Letters," which were secret warrants that the Justice Department could write for itself without judicial oversight and then bind the recipients to indefinite silence. That's right: secret, no-oversight warrants with perpetual gag-orders. The ACLU brought suit against the DoJ on this one, and we filed briefs on their side, and today, a federal court struck down this part of PATRIOT as unconstitutional. BooYAH.
"Today's ruling is an important victory for the Bill of Rights, and a critical step toward reigning in the unconstitutional reach of the Patriot Act," said Kurt Opsahl, EFF staff attorney. "The Court recognized that judicial oversight and the freedom to discuss our government's activities both online and offline are fundamental safeguards to civil liberties, and should not be thrown aside."

Cory's DRM talk in French

"Botoxsmile" has done a "quick and dirty" translation of my Microsoft DRM talk into French. Link

Anti-Bush shirts for kids

lowecaseteeLowercase Tee sells funny anti-Bush T-shirts for kids. Perfect for watching the upcoming fake debates. (According to this story in the LA Times, President Bush's handlers wanted the auditorium temperature to be 70, in order to make John Kerry break out in a sweat.) Link

Lore on new Star Wars game

Lore "Brunching Shuttlecocks" Sjöberg reviews Star Wars: Battlefront, a new shooter-game, in today's Wired News. Nutshell: it's more cool than it is fun, with lots of opportunities for Star Wars truefen to blow away Jar Jar and get down with their lucas-envy, but not a lot of gameplay.
You can look up at towering AT-ATs or look down from them as you blast the rebels to smithereens, evil cackle optional. You can zoom through the trees of Endor's moon on a speeder bike, see your buddies get pulled into a Sarlacc pit, and dogfight above Bespin. More cynical fans will welcome the ability to give Ewoks and Gungans a good spanking, blaster-style. Not only are the arenas exciting enough to pull you in, they even manage to make the prequels look good.

Free iPod for Air France business class passengers

Fly first business from the US to Europe, get a free iPod Mini.
Air France is offering customers of its "l'Espace Affaires" business class service an opportunity to get a free iPod mini; all they have to do is purchase a ticket from now to Nov. 15, 2004. Tickets must originate from any Air France U.S. gateway for travel to any European destination, and travel must be completed by Jan. 15, 2005. Additional restrictions apply. Once travel is completed, passengers mail their information to an Air France address, and the airline then sends them an iPod mini within six to ten weeks.
Link (via Engadget)

Best French sf you never read

Kirk McElhearn has translated and posted two chapters from Pierre Bordage's novel The Warriors of Silence. Bordage is one of the best-selling non-English-language sf writers in the world, with 20 novels to his credit, widely translated into languages other than English. McElhearn hopes that in posting these chapters, he'll stir interest in the US and UK for Bordage's work:
On the planet Two-Seasons, a rumor kept returning, as often as the rain, suggesting that the wet season was coming to its end.

Slumped in a chair so old and dusty that the light of its tubes merged with the half-light of the agency, Tixu Oty, originally from the planet Orange, watched the heavy drops fall with the look of a divine cow contemplating an antique rocket train.

During the five, maybe six standard years that he had been on Two-Seasons, Tixu Oty had slowly changed into a shaggy, lifeless mass, soaked through with alcohol and boredom. A sickening stench oozed from his crumpled uniform, which had once been light green, and its pungency was reminiscent of the giant river lizards of the rainy season.

Link (Thanks, Kirk!)

IPAC: a PAC for IP issues

My pal Ren is starting a political action committee to pressure lawmakers into doing the right thing on copyright, trademark and patent issues:
Most of today's legislators think very little about intellectual property. When they do, it is often at the behest of an entertainment industry lobbyist. As a result, America's intellectual property policy has become a one-way ratchet of expanding entitlements for rights holders. The public's rights to use and benefit from intellectual property have steadily declined in the last century, and the forces behind that decline grow more powerful every day.

Yet in recent years, the public's awareness of these changes has sharply increased. Much of that increase can be attributed to the work of people like you. This awareness is vital, and IPac hopes to provide an outlet for it in the electoral system. IPac is dedicated to supporting candidates who will fight for balanced intellectual property policy. Specifically, we intend to:

* Fund the campaigns of elected officials who support IPac's principles
* Publish voter guides to help citizens make informed choices about their elected officials based on their handling of IP and technology issues
* Fund issue-based advertising
* Encourage legislation that aligns with IPac's principles


Catalogue of the Kleptones' samples

Waxy has undertaken a collaborative project to identify and catalogue all the samples in the Kleptones' brilliant new illegal mashup album, A Night at the Hip-Hopera. He's done such a good job that he's managed to source samples that the Kleptones themselves had lost track of the origins of, according to this email interview Boogah undertook with Eric Kleptone ("They even pin-pointed samples that we couldn't remember where they'd come from. My hat comes off to those guys.")
15 - Break.mp3
- Queen, "I Want to Break Free"
- Aaliyah w/Timbaland, "Try Again" (intro sample)
- Beastie Boys, "Shake Your Rump"
- Beastie Boys, "Body Movin'"
- Beastie Boys, "Alive"

Yes Men pranksters documentary trailer

The Onion's AV Club has the trailer for a new documentary on legenday political pranksters The Yes Men, who pull stunts like impersonating officials with the WTO and show up at international trade conferences and propose a "market for human rights abuses" and "auctioning votes to the highest bidder." The doc looks fantastic -- can't wait for it to open here in London! Link

Apple owns up to 15" Pbk display bug

I blew through three screens on Apple's original 15" Aluminum G4 Powerbooks, which were prone to a design flaw that caused huge, distracting white blobs to appear on the screen. Apple insisted that there was no such design flaw and offered no official replacement beyond their warranty service (which replaced bad displays with new bad displays with the same flaws!).

Finally, Apple has admitted to shipping a lemon, and has extended the warranty period for people who want to get their bum displays replaced:

Users have been complaining about the issue since last fall, launching online petitions and other efforts designed to get the Mac maker to address the problem.

In October, Apple said people with the problem should contact its AppleCare service, but the company had been handling problems case by case under its standard warranty. In December the company posted more information to its support Web site, an Apple representative said.

"Last year we advised customers whose 15-inch PowerBook G4 displays exhibited faint white spots to contact AppleCare," Apple said in a statement. "To ensure that our customers are well taken care of, we are extending the repair period on these systems to two years from the original date of purchase."

Link (Thanks, Riana!)

Uncovered: War in Iraq torrents under CC license

Gary sez, "In a follow-up to the release of interviews from Outfoxed under a Creative Commons License, Robert Greenwald has also agreed to release the interviews from Uncovered: The War on Iraq." Get your torrents here: Link (Thanks, Gary!)

Vintage Disney hotel logos as vector art

Michael found some retro Disney World hotel matchbooks with the crumbling original logos for the Polynesian Village and Contemporary Resort hotels in all their 1970s avacodo-and-harvest-gold glory. Inspired, he reproduced them in Illustrator as vector-art files, which are now online on his site for you to download and render out at arbitrarily high resolutions -- I'm thinking of a wall-sized mural of the Poly logo. Link (Thanks, Michael!)

ShmooCon: new hackercon in DC this Feb

ShmooCon is the first conference put on by the high-larious hacker clade The Shmoo Group, who brought you such fun projects as the HackerBot and the WiFi sniper rifle. Coming next February 4-6 to DC's Wardman Park Marriott Hotel.
"Break It!" - a track dedicated to the demonstration of techniques, software, and devices devised with only one purpose in mind--technology exploitation. You will bear witness to some of the most devious minds, source code, and gadgets on the planet that focus their energies on breaking the technology we mindless sheep keep on buying. Baaaaa.

"Build It!" - a track that showcases inventive software & hardware solutions--from distributed computing or stealth p2p networks to miniature form-factor community wireless network node hardware or robotics even. Let loose your inner geek, and feel free to gawk. With all the neat stuff, it's important to take notes--that way we all have evidence to shoot down some sleazeball patents 5 years from now.

"BoF It!" - a track that promotes the open discussion of critical information security issues in a "birds of a feather" format. From lightning open source code audits or wireless insecurity discussion panels to DRM rants or anonymity & privacy strategies--it's down and dirty, with plenty of controversy for folks who like hashing it out with fellow hackers. Feel free to throw your Shmooball here, but no fisticuffs, please. Settle your differences at Hack-or-Halo in the evening, instead.


Wired: South Park's Puppet Regime

In this month's issue of Wired Magazine: an item I wrote about the forthcoming film Team America, due in theaters next month.
While the rest of Hollywood obsesses over the next CG blockbuster, the creators of South Park are playing with puppets. For their latest film, Team America: World Police, Matt Stone and Trey Parker eschew computer graphics for wooden dummies and WYSIWYG garage geekery. "I hate what CG has done to movies," says Stone. "Filmmakers too often substitute technology for a good story. There's something so much more exhilarating about watching stuff that's real."

Real 22-inch-tall marionettes are what you get in this $20 million send-up of bloated action epics. Due in theaters October 15, Team America tracks a special task force that must save the world from terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction. The film stars 90 puppets, including knock-offs of John Kerry, Michael Moore, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong II.

Puppeteers manhandle wires and rods to move the characters using the same supermarionation technique employed in the '60s cult TV series Thunderbirds. But Stone calls his method "supercrappynation" because the wires remain visible and sophisticated articulation is replaced by jerky verité.


Disneyland history travelling exhibit

There's an upcoming touring exhibit on the creation of Disneyland -- I really hope I get to see this!
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, will research and develop a traveling exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. The exhibit will be created by The Henry Ford in association with Walt Disney Imagineering and The Walt Disney Company.

In an unprecedented agreement, Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative design organization behind Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will loan The Henry Ford up to 500 pieces of original artwork, models, construction drawings, ride vehicles and media materials relating to the architecture and design of Disneyland.

Link (via The Disney Blog)

E-Voting activist meeting: San Fran, Oct 12

BayFF -- a Bay Area discussion group for civil liberties issues -- is having an important meeting on Tuesday, Oct 12 at 7PM in the 111 Minna Gallery to discuss E-Voting:
Democracy is government by the people, and the right to vote is critical to determining what each of us wants of our government. Nearly one quarter of American voters - more than 35 million people - will exercise that right using electronic voting (e-voting) terminals in this election. Unfortunately, due to equipment that has been hastily developed and poorly tested, your right to vote is in greater jeopardy than ever before. There are widespread reports of voting terminal failures, and growing concern about the (in)security of these machines is fueling fierce debate over how to ensure the integrity of our elections. EFF is working to ensure that votes are verifiable and to train poll workers about what to do when the machines fail. Come listen to our team leaders talk about the latest developments, and share your thoughts on how we can make sure that every vote is counted.

Free Software, circa 1889

Former BB guestblogger Johannes Grenzfurthner of Austrian art collective Monochrom says:
"Leo Findeisen, a member of Monochrom, wrote an interesting text and we published it on our server. He compares the 'old codes' of natural languages to the 'new codes' of today, which are programming languages. To help us understand the mechanisms through which new codes originate, grow and thrive (or do not), he examines the history of two natural languages that developed through an open source mechanism: Volapük and Esperanto."
Called "Some Code to Die For," the dense-but-engaging essay is available in English, German, and, of course, Esperanto. Link

Where to find malware on a Windows box

Here's a good guide to all the places in a Windows installation that a worm or virus can hide itself.
2. REGISTRY. Windows executes all instructions in the "Run" section of the Windows Registry. Items in the "Run" section (and in other parts of the Registry listed below) can be programs or files that programs open (documents), as explained in No. 1 above.

3. REGISTRY. Windows executes all instructions in the "RunServices" section of the Registry.

4. REGISTRY. Windows executes all instructions in the "RunOnce" part of the Registry.

Link (via Red Ferret Journal)

Worst jobs in history, via Baldric

Tony Robinson, who played Baldric on Black Adder, is doing a new TV show called "The Worst Jobs in History" in which he undertakes to perform history's vilest tasks every week.
And there's no more powerful alkaline solution than two-week old human urine – and it's free!

I tell you, after two weeks it doesn't smell like wee, it smells like burying your nose in uncooked liver.

For the show I used our crew member's wee – and the job involves dancing around in it bare foot for two hours per length of cloth.

Link (Thanks, Mark!)

Angry judge berates lawyers in opinion

A Texas judge has handed down an high-larious, scathing opinion in which he lambastes the attorneys before him for squabbling like children:
The Court simply wants to scream to these lawyers, “Get a life” or “Do you have any other cases?” or “When is the last time you registered for anger management classes?”

Neither the world’s problems nor this case will be determined by an answer to a counterclaim which is four days late, even with the approval of the presiding judge.

If the lawyers in this case do not change, immediately, their manner of practice and start conducting themselves as competent to practice in the federal court, the court will contemplate and may enter an order requiring the parties to obtain new counsel. In the event it is not clear from the above discussion, the Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. SIGNED this 21st day of July 2004.

Link,/a> (via Making Light)

3D printer art

EscherBelvedere6RealComputer scientist Gershon Elber of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology used 3D printers to create marvelous physical models of MC Escher's artwork. 3D printers, like those from Z Corporation, squirt out powdered plastic and binder layer-by-layer based on a CAD model. Link (via Reality Carnival)

UC Berkeley computer scientist Carlo Séquin also uses 3D printers to produce beautiful abstract sculptures. Link