(Image: Spider_and_Jeanne_Robinson.jpg, Wikimedia Commons/C. A. Bridges; Creative Commons ShareAlike)
MDs ask patients to assign copyright in any web-posting that mentions their care, to simplify censorship
Medical Justice, who came up with this ridiculous scheme, also seriously misrepresents Wikipedia's position on anonymous editing.
David sez, "I thought you might be interested in this fantastic article about Toronto punk darlings, Fucked Up, playing a free show at the Toronto Reference Library last night. I love the quote in the article, 'Fucked Up admit to getting most of their album artwork from the Reference library and give props to its "solid microfiche collection".'"
When I was 14 years old, I "de-enrolled" myself from the high-school I'd started out at, stopped going to classes, and took the subway to Metro Ref every day, burying myself in a dozen subjects (and yes, seriously raiding the microfiche). It really warms my heart to see these pics.
Fucked Up Make Some Mosh at the Reference Library (Thanks, David J!)
Update, 2pm PT: HOW TO HELP, after the jump. Above, this photo just posted to the Guatemalan Government's Flickr feed shows a spontaneous sinkhole ("hundimiento") 20 meters deep and 15 wide that appeared today in Zone 2 of Guatemala City, after overwhelming saturation of rains from tropical storm Agatha.Read the rest
...[McDonald's] spokesperson Mr. Lu said the store "doesn't explicitly allow it, but doesn't explicitly disallow it." But for all the stores in the Tianyaoqiao Lu area, KFC has the most serious McRefugee problem. "Because there's sofas there, [McDonalds] only has hard stools. In the winter, people will even bring their blankets and bedrolls into the restaurant."A similar phenomenon exists in Japan's internet cafes and fast food joints, too. I once met an internet cafe refugee in Tokyo; he used to wait tables at a bar but was having trouble finding work and didn't want to go home to his parents', so he spent most of his evenings sleeping in internet cafe booths or riding around the Yamanote train line.
< This is a loosely connected group. Every night after 10pm, they gradually gather here. All they have is a backpack or a canvas bag, or sometimes nothing at all. They usually sit at the farthest booth from the ordering station, and never order a drink. To entertain themselves, they bring kung fu novels, financial or educational books, and leftover newspapers from other customers. After midnight, they are scattered around every corner of the restaurant. Some in the sofaed partitions, using their books or newspapers as pillows, leaning over tables or even using rows of seats as beds.
In the news today, worldwide controversy around an Israeli commando attack on a "Free Gaza Movement" flotilla carrying aid supplies to the blockaded Gaza strip. NYT story here. Varying reports on how many were killed: 10 according to Israel, and 19 or more according to the activists and some news organizations. Some 600 people were aboard the flotilla including a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor. The attacked ship was some 100km (70 miles) off the coast, in international waters. Above, video of the event.
Analysis and reactions around the web: The Wikinews article is interesting, in part for the clash of perceptions from those who condemn and those who support the actions of Israel's military. This Jerusalem Post article touches on the resulting PR and media offensive out of Israel, and the government's rationalization for what it maintains was a justified and defensive event (and pointed to ties with Turkey and alleged "Islamist" groups). More reading: "Why the Gaza boat deaths are a huge deal," Blake Hounshell in Foreign Policy. Condemnation from South African Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. "A Lesson in Information Operations," Center for a New American Security. Ha'aretz: "Israel Lost at Sea." Top Israeli official when Gaza blockade was imposed several years ago: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet."
(some links via @ggreenwald @ethanz @NickKristof @seanbonner)
Defendant Google, through its "Google Maps" service provided Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg with walking directions that led her out onto Deer valley Drive, a.k.a. State Route 224, a rural highway with no sidewalks, and a roadway that exhibits motor vehicles traveling at high speeds, that is not reasonably safe for pedestrians.
The Defendant Google expects uses of the walking map site to rely on the accuracy of the walking directions given....
As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google's careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Laren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle...
Woman Follows Google Maps "Walking" Directions, Gets Hit, Sues [SearchEngineLand via Fortune]
Update: Danny Sullivan, who discovered and covered the story, has an interesting follow-up about how mainstream news outlets avoided mentioning his scoop in its own rewritten coverage. I've replaced our link to Fortune with a link to his original item. -- Rob
Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks.org, a Web site that “collect[s] documents and imagery that governments and other institutions regard as confidential and publish[es] them.” He is profiled by Raffi Khatchadourian in the June 7, 2010 issue of The New Yorker.
Assange is an international trafficker, of sorts. He and his colleagues collect documents and imagery that governments and other institutions regard as confidential and publish them on a Web site called WikiLeaks.org. Since it went online, three and a half years ago, the site has published an extensive catalogue of secret material, ranging from the Standard Operating Procedures at Camp Delta, in Guantánamo Bay, and the “Climategate” e-mails from the University of East Anglia, in England, to the contents of Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo account. The catalogue is especially remarkable because WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home. He travels from country to country, staying with supporters, or friends of friends–as he once put it to me, “I’m living in airports these days.” He is the operation’s prime mover, and it is fair to say that WikiLeaks exists wherever he does. At the same time, hundreds of volunteers from around the world help maintain the Web site’s complicated infrastructure; many participate in small ways, and between three and five people dedicate themselves to it full time. Key members are known only by initials–M, for instance–even deep within WikiLeaks, where communications are conducted by encrypted online chat services. The secretiveness stems from the belief that a populist intelligence operation with virtually no resources, designed to publicize information that powerful institutions do not want public, will have serious adversaries.Julian Assange profiled in New Yorker
Photo by New Media Days / Peter Erichsen licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License.
- Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to keynote 2600's HOPE conference ...
- Wikileaks and the 9/11 intercepts: Julian Assange interviewed by ...
- Wikileaks founder's passport confiscated
- Iraq: Wikileaks video of US military killing journalists
- wikileaks reveals secret blacklist behind proposed great firewall ...
Confessions gained through torture are thought to be common in China, though rights advocates and defense lawyers say such mistreatment gains public notice only when a defendant dies in custody. In some recent cases, jailhouse deaths have spurred protests and alarmed the authorities, who are eager to maintain social stability.Of course, the passing of such a law doesn't necessarily mean that the new rules will be properly implemented, but it's a start.
In a rare admission of the problem, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, which carries out investigations and prosecutions, issued a report in 2003 acknowledging that what it characterized as forced confessions had led to the deaths of 460 people and serious injuries for 117 others.
The stakes are high in China, which puts to death more people than all other countries combined. The government does not release figures on executions, but Amnesty International estimates the number exceeded 1,700 last year.
Beep-it is a handbuilt optical theremin designed by Michael Una.Beep-it optical theremin
It outputs a squarewave whose pitch is controlled by the amount of light striking a photoresistor. A single button turns it on or off.
It has a 1/4" out jack for connecting to audio equipment like amplifiers, filters, recording, etc.
Olivier sez, "Last week end, we gently hacked the Parisian subway, modifying the global UI of the subway train by trying to add a swing... it was a semi-fail but at the end an EPIC WIN"
Here's Margaret Thatcher at the 1990 Conservative Party conference making fun of the Liberal Democrats' new mascot (a parrot), by performing the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch.
The ironies are, of course, glorious. First, because the Tories and the LibDems have just formed the government of the UK. But second, because the Tories voted heavily in favour of the Digital Economy Act, which takes as its premise that this sort of cultural use of creative material is theft and should be vigorously punished (except, presumably, when the villainous Ms Thatcher does it).
Zack sez, "William M. Gaines, publisher of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, WEIRD SCIENCE and MAD appears on the game show TO TELL THE TRUTH. This video links to a number of other classic TO TELL THE TRUTH appearances by some oddballs, including con man Frank Abagnale Jr. (in a scene later recreated for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN)."
- William M. Gaines was the
- New Yorker on the 1950s comic book panic
- Make Magazine visits MAD Magazine
- MAD About Star Wars: more than your average MAD anthology - Boing ...
- Mad Magazine's War on Bush collection
- Mad Magazine on Sarah Palin
- MAD on the bailout: Smells Like Greed Spirit
- 1954 MAD compares movie version of book
- MAD Magazine cover explorer -- guaranteed clicktrance
Along the way, you'll be reminded that today's debates have historical roots in controversies over computer hacking, phone phreaking, home taping, and ultimately the 1920s patent-law rebellions against AT&T. This is history every interested copy-fighter, patent reformer, and netizen needs to know. Prof. Johns ends his book by describing the unique thing about our current historical moment: the rise of what he calls an "intellectual property defense industry":
As piracy has grown and diversified, so a counterindustry has emerged, dedicated to combating it. The coherence and scope of this industry are relatively new and remarkable. In previous centuries, particular groups or industries mounted efforts against piracy; but they did not generally regard them as fronts in one common cause. Now they do. ... So the first implication is that we need to appreciate the historical significance of this industry of antipiracy policing and apprehend its consequences, at every social level. The second implication follows from that. Measures adopted against piracy can sometimes impinge on other, equally valued, aspects of society. Indeed, it is possible that they must do so, given the nature of the task. When that happens, however, they can trigger deeply felt reactions. The result is a crisis, with the potential to create a moment of genuine transformation.
If that's right (and I think it is), then opposing the "intellectual property defense industry" is not the same thing as opposing "intellectual property." Rather, it is about insisting on values like civil liberties, privacy, and autonomy, and not allowing antipiracy enforcement to trample them.
- Pirate history podcast from Tank Riot
- Ashcroft declares "most aggressive assault" on piracy in US ...
- Anti-piracy enforcers claiming to represent Microsoft used to shut ...
- Mick Jagger talks downloading and piracy on 40th anniversary of ...
- More hard data on the impact of free/pirated downloads on book ...
- Copyright documentary from Australian radio
Highlights from Maker Faire 2010, filmed and produced by Kent Weakley. Music courtesy of Andy Graham.
"Even in death, as we can see on Twitter today, the joke of being Gary Coleman is what the world sees first." Blogger and author Richard Rushfield has posted a thoughtful—neither maudlin nor mocking—remembrance of child star Gary Coleman, who died yesterday. Rushfield attended a Los Angeles area school with Coleman in the mid-1980s.
Of all the bad hands people have been dealt in life, of the people who I have known up close, compared to the starving in Mongolia, Gary had as about a rotten combination as anything I'd seen. I won't give the details, but there was very much a horrifying tragedy about his life, a desperation that I think at age 16, was too big for us his classmates to comprehend or take in.Gary as I knew him (Rushfield Babylon)
This was a kid who had been shoved on stage before he knew what the stage was; who had been farmed out by his parents to a network that used this child and his instant catch phrase as their trained seal while entirely depriving him of the life of a normal child. At this phase, Strokes had moved from NBC to squeeze once last season's worth of blood out of it on ABC. We didn't know then how the parents were systematically pillaging the fortunes their son was bringing in, but I do recall a sorta uncomfortable feeling about his father coming to pick him up in a massive, I believe Rolls Royce every day. And then there were his health problems which kept him in more pain than any of us knew and ultimately forced him to drop out before graduation.
But despite all this, there was this sense of some incredibly energetic mind trying to do things, striving, searching for his way, as all teenagers are, but with far fewer guideposts. On one end of the spectrum was the day he came to school dressed in an elaborate and impressive astronaut's uniform. On the other end, he was writing screenplays - something back then that teenagers didn't really do - which he carried around in his briefcase, spinning plans for a writing/directing career.
Given all that he had to deal with, its not surprising that he was never able to find the way through all the clutter of his life, the baggage of being Gary Coleman, to live out his dreams. How many of us after all do, with far less clinging onto us.
Last week I did a quick, fun interview with ABC News in New York, outside one of the bigger Apple Stores. We talked For the Win, the iPad, and copyright reform. The ABC folks were good enough to put the video online and make an embed available, too.
The Sunlight Foundation has announced the winners in its Design for America contest, where the public were invited find cool things to do with the US government's open data feeds. They had 72 entries, all extremely clever and provocative.
The transformation of complex process into great imagery was also something we hoped for here at Sunlight. The "How A Bill Becomes a Law" category didn't disappoint. Every entry in this category was amazing. The one that won in the end was the one that combined beauty with complexity. It's beautiful, and too big to embed on this blog. But check out the whole thing. It's amazing.The Design for America Winners (Thanks, Nicko!)
- Ask the Government Printing Office to release the US Constitution ...
- International Amateur Scanning League will rescue our video ...
- My OpenCongress: track every bill and lawmaker in Congress - Boing ...
- Your chance to mark up the Wall Street bailout bill
- Visualizing how a dirty Congresscritter turned campaign ...
mouse (Thanks, Dana!)
In this smashing video, students and faculty from the University of Washington's Information School perform a Lady Gaga remix ("Catalog") with enormous humor, verve, and grace. Librarians are so goddamned awesome. Seriously.
Librarians Do Gaga (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
- Video: Lady Gaga before she became famous
- Mark Dery on Lady Gaga
- Lady Gaga trash mosaic portrait, Jason Mecier
- Lady Gaga: "not dumb" or "not not dumb?"
- Librarian fined $500 for saying nice things about his daughter's ...
- Radical Militant Librarian tee
- High school librarian: why books are a hard sell
- Librarian's video about installing Ubuntu on library PCs
I'm in. I'm writing 1,000 words a day, five days a week, on Pirate Cinema, the YA novel I've got due next Christmas. You can pledge to support me and my $500 fundraising goal for Clarion. Clarion helped make me into a better writer -- and it's done the same for hundreds of others. Fundraising is an increasingly important part of Clarion's viability. With major cutbacks from our host organization -- the bankrupt UC system -- it's fundraise or die.
I hope that you'll participate in the Clarion Write-a-Thon, either as a writer or a donor (or both!).
(Disclosure: I am proud to volunteer as a board-member for The Clarion Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity that supports the Clarion workshop at UCSD)
- Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard!
- Laptop theft at Clarion West sf workshop -- donations needed ...
- Instructor rosters for Clarion and Clarion West science fiction ...
- Seattle's Clarion West issues funds-matching challenge to support ...
- Kate Wilhelm's must-read writerly advice/history of ...
- Clarion West laptops all replaced
These fantastic Mars Attacks wall graphics are in the Makers Market / Boing Boing Bazaar. I have Card # 21 (Prize Captive) on my office wall now (child included for size reference). The graphics come in your choice of sizes ranging from 1-foot to 6-feet in length.
LTL PRINTS has been working with Topps for the last six months, and we have launched giant wall graphics featuring a number of their classic brands, including Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, and Hollywood Zombies, along with several collections of sportscard wrapper wall graphics (Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey, from the 1950s to the present). Our most recent wall graphics launch with Topps, Mars Attacks, is my personal favorite. Originally released in 1962, the Mars Attacks trading cards were drawn by renowned comic book artists Wally Wood and Bob Powell, and painted by legendary pulp artist Norman Saunders. Kids loved them, but the cards prompted parental concerns due to the sensational storyline and over-the-top graphics.
After LTL PRINTS had launched over 500 Wacky Packages wall graphics and received some pretty nice feedback from our customers, we asked Topps if there was any chance that we could launch the same sort of thing for Mars Attacks. They said YES, and went into their archives and re-scanned the master versions of each of the 55 cards in the original trading card series.
LTL PRINTS is currently working with artists, designers, and brands from around the world to bring their 'content' to empty walls globally, and over the last 6 months we have launched hundreds of premium wall graphic collections (e.g. Popeye, Betty Boop, Dilbert, Peanuts). We are working with digital designers like Susan Kare and Yiying Lu, legendary aerosol and street artists like Vulcan and Chor Boogie, and painters like Casey O'Connell. Next week, LTL PRINTS launches a new KIDS WALL GRAPHICS catalog that features giant wall art from Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, giant dinosaurs from the Natural History Musuem, panoramic wall murals of animals in the wild, and Paddington Bear. And our next major consumer launches include Marilyn Monroe and Star Trek wall graphic collections. Simply: LTL PRINTS is working to create a new medium for creative expression. Our goal is to bring amazing content to empty walls around the world.
If you want a giant vinyl sticker of a football helmet, big clip-art flowers, or almost-lifesize cutouts of the latest boy band, there are loads of companies out there offering these sorts of wall graphics. And they are selling tens of millions of dollars worth of these big vinyl stickers each year. LTL PRINTS is taking a slightly different approach. Rather than using vinyl, we are printing on a premium material that is called 'self-adhesive repositionable fabric paper', and will stick to almost any surface (walls, windows, even ceilings), and can be removed and re-hung 100 times without leaving a mark or damaging your walls. By combining this new material and production with the worlds greatest content, we are attempting to literally create a new medium for creative expression.
The Pomona College student who was detained by airport security after they found Arabic flashcards in his carry-on luggage was originally pulled aside for questioning because of Screening Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT), a pseudo-scientific program that's supposed to teach TSA employees how to identify deceptive or hostile behavior in travelers.
Or, rather, SPOT is supposed to help pick out people who are trying to hide their cruel intentions. The pushy, cranky guy behind you in line who's yelling at his kid = no. Sneaky terrorists trying to look innocent = yes.
The problem, of course, is that there's no evidence this system works any better than a lie detector. Which, just to be perfectly clear, means it doesn't work.
"Simply put, people (including professional lie-catchers with extensive experience of assessing veracity) would achieve similar hit rates if they flipped a coin," noted a 2007 report1 from a committee of credibility-assessment experts who reviewed research on portal screening. "No scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behaviour, including intent," declares a 2008 report prepared by the JASON defence advisory group.
The TSA does track statistics. From the SPOT programme's first phase, from January 2006 through to November 2009, according to the agency, behaviour-detection officers referred more than 232,000 people for secondary screening, which involves closer inspection of bags and testing for explosives. The agency notes that the vast majority of those subjected to that extra inspection continued on their travels with no further delays. But 1,710 were arrested, which the TSA cites as evidence for the programme's effectiveness. Critics, however, note that these statistics mean that fewer than 1% of the referrals actually lead to an arrest, and those arrests are overwhelmingly for criminal activities, such as outstanding warrants, completely unrelated to terrorism.
I'm in favor of reasonable security measures at airports. But, from my perspective, a big part of defining "reasonable" is providing objective evidence that the measure actually does any good.
Love this: Two and a half years ago, a high school freshman called up a cell biologist and asked him to "give her a try in his lab.' This month, Raina Jain of Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, won the International BioGENEius Challenge—a sort-of mega science fair—with a project to test which type of surfaces are best for growing the precursor cells that could one day be used to create bone implants.
Kudos to Dr. Matthias Falk, of Lehigh University, for giving Jain that proverbial try. I wish more high schoolers had the opportunity to poke their noses around laboratories and learn about the things they think are cool in a way that allows them to go as far as their brains can reach. This is just simply something you can't get in a high school class that has to teach the basics to everybody.
The fact that Jain's folks are a doctor and a materials scientist probably helped a lot on cluing her into potential opportunities. It's not something that would have ever occurred to me as a possibility when I was that age. Hopefully, this post will inspire other young brains to reach out to older ones—and vice versa.
Image provided by Flickr user x_ray_delta_one
Ardipithecus ramidus—the skeletal proto-human also known as Ardi—was discovered almost 18 years ago. The first scientific reporters were published last year. And now, other researchers are coming forward to challenge the way Ardi's discoverers interpreted the evidence about her habitat and place in the human family tree. But here's the kicker—these challenges aren't a scandal. In fact, this is the normal way that science, of all sorts, happens. I point this out, because I think it's a basic fact that the public doesn't really understand, and that we—the science reporters—often forget to clarify. Science works because scientists disagree. They challenge each other's ideas, find better ways to interpreting the data and eventually come to conclusions that bring us closer to truth. (Story via Cort Sims)