One of the books I took on holidays with me was Wallace Wang's "Steal This File Sharing Book," just published by No Starch Press. It's a great, thorough, easy-to-read guide to all the different ways to acquire files over the Internet, from sharing by email and IRC to getting the most out of multiprotocol P2P tools to seeking out and using ratio-based leet warez boards.
This is unquestionably the best book on the subject that I've read. It strikes the perfect balance between factual -- "Here is what is available, here is the law, here is the means by which you can download, here is how to minimize your legal risk" -- and philosophical -- "Here is a breakdown of music industry sales, here is Harlan Ellison's opinion on bookwarez, here's what crackers have to say about zero-day warez trading, here's the dumbass laws that have been proposed to allow rights-holders to remotely shut down your computer via secret kill-switches, isn't that crazy?"
Wang is an accomplished tech writer and a stand-up comic, so Steal This File Sharing Book is both funny and lucid. It assumes almost no technical knowledge and it walks the reader through everything from file-compression protocols to anonymizing proxies to the notorious cross-stitch-pattern-trading underground.
If you want to figure out how to file-share safely, avoid spyware, not get busted, and learn about the morality and ethics as presented by all sides of the file-sharing debate, this is the book for you.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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