Lego Moleskine notebooks

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I already have a lifetime supply of notebooks, but I'll be buying these Lego Moleskines just in case there's a mortality cure coming down the pipes.

Buy Lego Moleskines on Amazon.com

Twitter, partnering with Chillingeffects.org, publishes a year's worth of DMCA takedown notices (all 4,410 of them)

From an article by Jake Brodkin at Ars Technica:

"Twitter has taken the unusual step of making DMCA takedown notices public, in partnership with Chilling Effects, a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several universities. The site shows 4,410 cease and desist notices dating back to November 2010."

Here's the database on Chillingeffects.org. (Twitter's effort to expand partnership with Chilling Effects on this issue and the "country-specific censorship" policy is, IMO, most laudable.)

Nada Surf - "Waiting For Something" (MP3 download)


Sound it Out # 15: Nada Surf "Waiting for Something"

Nada Surf has been playing intelligent and catchy guitar-based rock music for two decades. Their records are lush and beautifully written, and the constant sense of wonder and optimism throughout is a joy for this cynic to discover every time. Nada Surf always makes me believe that everything is going to be all right.

The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy is Nada Surf's new record and it came out Tuesday. The songwriting covers lots of introspective themes about the passing of time without even a hint of sullenness or pomposity. 'Waiting for Something" is a fine example of Nada Surf at their best and may well stick in your head for the foreseeable future. It's been in mine for days.

EFF: "What Does Twitter’s Country-by-Country Takedown System Mean for Freedom of Expression?"

An explainer from Eva Galperin at the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Twitter's "country-based tweet takedown" news.

The key point here, which has been missing in much of the initial coverage, is that the policy announcement is specifically related to the company's global expansion: Twitter is opening offices in more countries around the world. A US-based company doesn't "have to" censor speech according to any other country's laws, but the scenario is quite different for a company opening offices and placing employees within foreign borders. Snip:

Until now, when Twitter has taken down content, it has had to do so globally. So for example, if Twitter had received a court order to take down a tweet that is defamatory to Ataturk--which is illegal under Turkish law--the only way it could comply would be to take it down for everybody. Now Twitter has the capability to take down the tweet for people with IP addresses that indicate that they are in Turkey and leave it up everywhere else. Right now, we can expect Twitter to comply with court orders from countries where they have offices and employees, a list that includes the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, and soon Germany.

Twitter's increasing need to remove content comes as a byproduct of its growth into new countries, with different laws that they must follow or risk that their local employees will be arrested or held in contempt, or similar sanctions. By opening offices and moving employees into other countries, Twitter increases the risks to its commitment to freedom of expression. Like all companies (and all people) Twitter is bound by the laws of the countries in which it operates, which results both in more laws to comply with and also laws that inevitably contradict one another. Twitter could have reduced its need to be the instrument of government censorship by keeping its assets and personnel within the borders of the United States, where legal protections exist like CDA 230 and the DMCA safe harbors (which do require takedowns but also give a path, albeit a lousy one, for republication).

Read more at EFF.org.

Best practices for fair use in libraries

Pat Aufderheide sez,

When is it OK for me to put copyrighted material on e-reserves for students?

I've got an ancient VHS and the company that made it is defunct. Can I copy it to DVD for a prof's class?

A student's thesis analyzes advertisements and includes some of them. Can I put the thesis in our digital institutional repository?

Academic and research librarians can employ their fair use rights to make such decisions, and now they have a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use to help them decide what's appropriate. Librarians developed this code under the aegis of the Association of Research Libraries and with funding from the Mellon Foundation in sessions over the course of two years, in locations around the country. Legal scholar Peter Jaszi (Washington College of Law, American University) and communication scholar Patricia Aufderheide, who have facilitated several codes of best practices in fair use, also participated.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (Thanks, Pat!)

Video for "Brothers," by The War on Drugs


[Video Link] Amy Seidenwurm says: "'Brothers' by The War on Drugs was possibly my favorite song of 2011. They just released a supremely creepy video for it."

Trailer for Ethos: the truth about the U.S. Government and its corrupt system


[Video Link] Sounds like this documentary explores the same kind of mass psychological manipulation that Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays invented to convince Americans that it was a good idea to get involved in World War One, as well as convince women that they'd become socially powerful if they smoked cigarettes.

Directed by filmmaker Pete McGrain and hosted by Academy Award nominated actor and activist Woody Harrelson, Ethos: A Time for Change, explains how our country is controlled by some very wealthy families and not our chosen government. These families control the main pillars of our society which include; politics, corporations, banks and the media. The United States is framed as a democracy, suggesting that we the people govern our country and elect our officials, but the truth of that matter is that a democracy does not exist. Rather, the nation was designed to be a polyarchy, one that is ruled by many, those many being the key families. By structuring the country this way, it was premeditated that ultimately it would not matter who is in office because the people campaigning would be controlled and influenced by those controlling the money.

Those featured in the film include renowned historians such as Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Dissent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media), Chalmers Johnson (Blowback: The Sorrows of Empire), Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States), the CEO’s of massive corporations such as Goodyear and Interface, as well as filmmaker Michael Moore.

Buy Ethos: A Time for Change on Amazon.com

Klaus Schulze, live Moog madness from 1977

Klaus Schulze pilots his Moog spaceship through the composition "For Barry Graves" live in 1977. The track can be found on "La Vie Electronique Vol. 5." The Klaus Schulze La Vie Electronique series, which started in 2009, are reissues of The Ultimate Edition, a CD box set from 2000 that contained a staggering 50 discs, which is arguably more epic synthesis than anyone should or could possibly endure. (via WFMU)

Here's the utterly inconsequential recording that resulted in NZ PM John Key ordering raids on the free press

Juha Saarinen sez,

2Johns2Cups by goldenturkey

New Zealand media were raided by police last November just before the general election, after the incumbent centre-right Prime Minister John Key made a criminal complaint over a recording of a conversation in a cafe between him and far right-wing politician John Banks during a staged media event. The country's biggest broadcasters and newspaper were raided by police, who requested unpublished material and sources for interviews as well as the recording itself. Radio New Zealand covered the "Teapot Tapes" scandal and was raided too even though it didn't have a copy of the recording.

The recording has now leaked out onto the Internet. It reveals little of consequence, but police are continuing the investigation and are seeking witnesses who were in the cafe at the time. Police are also warning people that disclosing private conversations unlawfully intercepted can be punished by up to two years' in jail. PM Key is aware the recording is now online, but has told National Business Review that he won't seek to remove it from YouTube and other sites.

Meanwhile, Bradley Ambrose, the cameraman who recorded the conversation - accidentally he says - has been issued with a NZ$14,000 demand for legal costs by the NZ government. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for up to two years. Ambrose had given a copy of the recording to the New Zealand Herald who in turn asked Key for permission to publish it. Before this week's Internet leak, the recording has never been made public.

Key's National party won the election.

(Thanks, Juha!)

LA airport security scare caused by TSA mistaking insulin pump for gun

At Los Angeles International airport early this morning, TSA screeners mistook a woman's insulin pump for a gun. Screening and boarding at Terminal 4 were delayed as airport authorities searched for a woman they thought had a weapon.

Those racist, crazy 1990s Ron Paul newsletters? He signed off on every single one, associates say

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product...He would proof it." Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Ron Paul’s company and former supporter of the Texas congressman, in the Washington Post today about those wacky racist newsletters previously mentioned here on Boing Boing.

The Great Hall of Hams

A worker checks in a special room where the Parma hams are hung to dry in Langhirano near Parma. Prosciutto di Parma can only be produced in a very restricted area of 29 sq km (11.2 sq mile) around the town of Parma in the region of Emilia Romagna, just north of Tuscany. Around 10 million hams are sold every year, of which about 2 million are exported, mainly to France, the United States and Germany, which each consume about 400,000 a year. (REUTERS, file photo from 2009)

Art Spiegelman exhibition in Angouleme, France


[Video Link] Short video of Maus creator Art Spiegelman getting a hero's welcome in France, where a museum in Angouleme is exhibiting a retrospective of his work.

(Via Potrzebie)

Anti-aging mouthpiece

Screen Shot 2012-01-27 At 12.02.31 Pm "This easy-to-use beauty and skincare product was developed by an ordinary housewife. Chikako Hirama was simply concerned about her own age and wanted an easy way to combat those telltale lines. Just try the yellow or pink Pupeko daily using such techniques as puffing out your cheeks or sucking them in while breathing through the mouthpiece. Then you can try it while keeping your head upright to give your neck and other muscles further exercise training."

(Via Book of Joe)

RePress: a WordPress plugin for proxying around national firewalls


RePress is a new WordPress plugin that turns any WordPress site into a proxy that can be used to circumvent national firewalls, including the systems used in The Netherlands, Italy, Finland and other countries where The Pirate Bay is blocked.

The plugin is developed by the hosting company Greenhost and allows everyone with a WordPress blog to start a proxy for sites that are censored elsewhere in the world. As an example, Greenhost have setup a Pirate Bay and Wikileaks proxy.

“By adding this plug-in to your WordPress website it will start functioning as a proxy and uncensor any blocked website you’d like,” Greenhost explains. “The only thing you’ll need is a WordPress website and the ability to install new plug-ins. After that you can maintain a list of websites you’d like to keep open freely available on the web.”

WordPress Plugin Unblocks Censored Sites, Including The Pirate Bay