Becky Hogge is the former executive director of the UK Open Rights Group, but she left us a few years back to write; she says,
When I left the Open Rights Group a couple of years ago to concentrate on writing, my dream was to bring geek issues like online free speech, privacy and copyright reform to a mainstream audience with a book that was cool, accessible and fun. By a stroke of luck, the year I picked to write the book, 2010, was the year WikiLeaks took hacker culture to the top of the global news agenda. The book that resulted was published last week, "Barefoot into Cyberspace", and interweaves an insider's take on the drama of 2010 with a mix of personal reflections and conversations with key figures in the community like Stewart Brand, Boing Boing's own Cory Doctorow, Ethan Zuckerman and Rop Gonggrijp.
This is not just another WikiLeaks book. It sets out to ask a specific set of questions that I took with me when I left digital rights campaigning. Will the internet make us more free? Or will the flood of information that courses across its networks only serve to enslave us to powerful interests that are emerging online? And how will the institutions of the old world -- politics, the media, corporations -- affect the utopians' dream for a new world populated not by passive consumers but by active participants?
You can buy the book on Amazon in Kindle and print formats, and it's also available as a free download, licensed CC-BY-SA. The illustrations, which riff off John Tenniel's original (now public domain) drawings for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, were conceived and executed by Christopher Scally, a friend from ORG days and before who also conceived the artwork for ORG's anti-database state protest in Parliament Square some years ago, which Boing Boing reported on at the time.
The book is intentionally pulpy and open-ended, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. It turns out this made it a bad fit for commercial publishers, so I got together with a group of friends and we flash published the book ourselves. Despite the lack of commercial interest, it doesn't seem to have had a bad reactions from readers so far, if the first few days are anything to go by.
Barefoot Into Cyberspace
Over the coming weeks and months, I intend to post more about the flash-publishing process, as well as share some of the raw materials that went into making the book. I've already posted the transcript of the interview I conducted with Julian Assange in 2009 at the Chaos Communications Congress, back when he was still a relatively unknown figure. Next up I'm hoping to post some short audio snippets from the interview I did with Cory in 2010.
We’ve followed Annalee Newitz’s career here for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I’m pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, “Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee’s well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that’s accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart.” I’m three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.
Nintendo’s nostalgic instant sellout NES Classic (still available from scalpers) only comes with 30 games and no way to add more: but it only took two months from the announcement date for intrepid hackers to jailbreak the device and come up with a way to load your favorite ROMs, using a USB cable and a PC.
The $38 Millennium Falcon wall clock is handmade to order from plywood, birch and MDF by Hamstercheeks in Nottingham, UK, who uses a laser-cutter to turn orders around in 2-5 business days (the clock itself is an AA-powered quartz sweep movement). (via Geekymerch)
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