Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone: the photography of Satoru Niwa

Among the recent projects of London/Tokyo-based photojournalist Satoru Niwa is this stunning series of images captured near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, just days after the March 11, 2011 quake, tsunami, and ensuing nuclear disaster.

Above: a policeman wearing protective gear to guard against radiation, 15 miles from the plant, on March 25, 2011. Below, a family's photograph found in the tsunami mud, 5km from the plant in the now-abandoned town of Futaba.

Link to photo gallery: SILENCE/Fukushima.

Related works on his site include this equally powerful series of moonlit photos taken in the tsunami-devastated town of Miyagi, just two weeks after the disaster.

You can follow him on Twitter.

(via Miles O'Brien)

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The FBI file of Steven Paul Jobs

In 1991, the FBI began interviewing Steve Jobs and people he worked with, as the CEO of Next Inc. "began to be considered as a candidate for sensitive, presidential appointments."

Here is Steve Jobs' FBI file, released under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals," reads the FBI summary.

Other elements of note: as a student, he had a 2.65 GPA. There was a bomb threat against him in 1985. There's a passing reference to a "hippie friend" on whose apple orchard the man who would later co-found Apple worked. And there's an excellent specimen of early 1990s FBI fax art, page 129.

You'll be shocked, shocked I say, to learn that Apple has declined to comment on the file's release. More context: WaPo, Wired, LA Times, SF Chron.

(Photo: Jobs beneath a photograph of him and Apple-co founder Steve Wozniak from the early days of Apple during the launch of the iPad in San Francisco, January 27, 2010. REUTERS.) Read the rest

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Monk and Tiger share a meal

Here is the most wonderful photograph you'll ever see of a Buddhist monk sharing food with a tiger. Shot by photographer Wojtek Kalka at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Worth noting: animal rights advocates do not think the temple itself is wonderful, as the afore-linked Wikipedia entry explains, because the big cats there are kept in abusive conditions. (via Bill Gross) Read the rest

Martian watches

CDR sez, "Watches that keep Martian time. Originally for a Mars Mission, now for anyone who needs something useless yet infinitely desirable."

Mars Watches Read the rest

Rudy Rucker, KW Jeter and Jay Lake: free reading in San Francisco this Sat

Rina from San Francisco's SF in SF reading series sez, "Join SF in SF for a very special evening with steampunk innovators K. W. Jeter, Jay Lake, and Rudy Rucker on Saturday, February 11th. Each author will read a selection, followed by Q & A moderated by author Terry Bisson; booksigning and schmoozing follows. Books for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books." (The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor, cash bar and doors open at 6PM, San Francisco). (Thanks, Rina!) Read the rest

Recursive UK petition

A UK e-petition: Public Hanging for those who propose public hanging: "The proposed punishments for some crimes are so horrific that the proper punishment for proposing this punishment is the death penalty..." If you ask me, hanging's too good for 'em. (Thanks, Alex) Read the rest

Shu Sugamata's origami spaceships

Avi sez, "Shu Sugamata has been making origami spaceships since 1977 and has amassed quite a body of gorgeous work."

ORIGAMI SPACESHIPS (Thanks, Avi!) Read the rest

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Canadians speak out en masse against pro-censorship, pro-DRM copyright proposal; government ignores them

Michael Geist sez,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out against proposed copyright reform in recent days that could combine the US DMCA with SOPA to create restrictive digital lock rules along with targeting of legitimate websites and website blocking. Canadians recognize that the bill will have an impact on the legitimate activities of millions, creating barriers to creators, students, journalists, researchers, and the visually impaired. While the government is right when it says there has been wide consultation, the question is whether it has taken the public comments into account and conducted a full analysis of the implications of its current proposal. There is reason to believe that it has not.

When asked about enforcement concerns, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said "enforcing these rights in a given instance, however, is a private legal matter on which the government cannot speculate." This post does some speculating for the Minister, demonstrating how the law will chill freedom of expression and scientific research, jeopardize fair use, and impede competition and innovation.

Canadian Government Has Consulted on Copyright but Won't Consider How Its Law Will Be Enforced Read the rest

The Pirate Bay will fit on a ZIP cartridge

The Pirate Bay is making good on its long-announced plan of moving from hosting a torrent-tracker to hosting "magnet links" that allow BitTorrent file-sharing without a centralized tracker. This will vastly reduce the amount of data that TPB needs to store and serve, so much so that the entire TPB index will only be 90MB -- a file that you could fit onto an original ZIP cartridge.

The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak that one of the advantages of the transition to a “magnet site” is that it requires relatively little bandwidth to host a proxy site. This is needed, because The Pirate Bay is currently blocked in several countries, and more are bound to follow in the months to come.

Without torrents, the Pirate Bay also becomes extremely portable which makes it possible for people to download a personal backup. As we said before, such a copy would easily fit on a thumb drive. Pirate Bay user “allisfine” was intrigued by this idea and decided to find out how small a copy of the torrents site would be.

“I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy,” he told TorrentFreak.

Download a Copy of The Pirate Bay, It’s Only 90 MB Read the rest


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Stop ACTA & TPP: Tell your country's officials: NEVER use secretive trade agreements to meddle with the Internet. Our freedoms depend on it!

Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Virgin Islands British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Colombia Comoros Islands Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote D'ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati South Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Island Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka St. Read the rest

Over 100 NGOs ask WIPO to postpone secretive South Africa meeting

Over 100 NGOs have asked the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization to postpone a summit in South Africa on the grounds that notice of the meeting was not published, the agenda has been set without any transparency, and the speakers all favor a single, narrow view on copyright and patents.

In a letter to the WIPO director general Francis Gurry, more than 100 international NGOs expressed their concern over co-organising the summit in partnership with US, France and Japan which are known for advocating TRIPS plus agendas in developing countries in the interests of their own industries and priorities. For instance these countries are proponents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a plurilateral treaty that is widely criticized for its secret negotiating process and the detrimental impact on public interest issues such as access to medicines, freedom of expression over the internet and access to knowledge.

To make matters worse the Summit is being sponsored by the private sector in particular the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Company etc., that clearly have a strong stake in a pro-IP protection and enforcement agenda. The involvement of the private sector also raises issues of conflict of interests.

Besides, the NGOs said, the summit lacks a development and public interest dimension. The summit concept paper suggests a programme that undermines the spirit of Development Agenda. It is premised on the notion that heightened IP protection and enforcement will deliver development and protect public interest.

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Make: Talk 004 - Steve Lodefink, Broad-Spectrum Hobbyist

Here's the fourth episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I'll interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Steve Lodefink. An inveterate tinkerer and "broad-spectrum hobbyist," Steve just can't say no to a cool project. At 3, he was already reverse-engineering the peanut butter and jelly sandwich: "I figured out where all of the parts were, found a good tool, and built one. I've been doing it ever since." He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons, two cats, five tarantulas, and 24 African cichlids, and thinks that one of life's great pleasures is a really sharp aged cheddar cheese. "I'm a simple man," he says. He looks at life's debris at

I talked to Steve about his Easy Sunburst Guitar, Atomic Ball Clock, Soda Bottle Rocket, and more.

And, at the beginning of the episode, Maker Shed Marc de Vinck describes our new Tiny Wanderer Robot Kit, an autonomous robot with a $2 microcontroller brain.

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U Washington's best-of-breed 3D printing lab shuts down knowledge sharing after administration introduces sweeping patent-grab

Michael sez, "The Open 3DP lab at UW has been doing some amazing things with 3D printing. More amazingly, they have prioritized sharing what they are learning with everyone else in order to make 3D printing better. A change to UW's intellectual property policy has essentially forced them to stop sharing what they are up to with everyone else. That strikes me as shortsighted and a real shame. The folks who run the lab say that the best thing to do is to email Provost Ana Mari Cauce at and tell her to let the lab share again."

The UW lab is the source of some of the most amazing and relevant 3D printing research in the field today. This is an absolute travesty.

Since approximately, October 17, 2011, we’ve been a little bit more guarded about what is going on in our lab and perhaps a little less helpful or open to some of you. We’re sorry. Our University has decided, with no faculty involvement to change our consulting/engagement forms...

This “minor” change in our consulting form has produced a claim of total University ownership of any and all intellectual property (IP) associated activity paid or unpaid (in which one should or might have gotten paid). Thus, if we help you, or offer advice (free consulting), we put you at risk of losing any and all of your IP in the transaction.

Sorry we’re not so Open lately (Thanks, Michael!) Read the rest

Insurer offers discounts to customers running in-car GPS telemetry

Writing in PC Pro, Stewart Mitchell describes a partnership between GPS vendor TomTom and Fair Pay insurance, an auto insurer, to offer discounts to people whose GPS devices report low incidences of sudden stops and unsafe turns. I rather like this idea, the idea that your device could offer testimony on your behalf, but a lot depends on how it is implemented.

On the one hand, TomTom could generate trustworthy readings by completely locking its device so that users can't inspect or modify their operations, which would open up the possibility that your device was recording and transmitting information about your location and movements without your knowledge or permission. On the other hand, TomTom could produce a stats-gathering app whose workings were publicly disclosed, but which used a TPM-style module to verify that it hadn't been modified for the purposes of gathering and signing information that you can pass on to the insurer.

This would give TomTom owners the choice of booting their device into a known, publicly verifiable state that respected their privacy, but also produced statistics that third parties could trust. It would also give TomTom owners the choice of booting into alternative environments that did different things.

"We've dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you're a good driver, we'll believe you and we'll even give you the benefit up front," said Nigel Lombard of Fair Pay Insurance.

“If you think of your insurance as your car's MPG - the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last.

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Tool for finding out what information your apps are leaking

mitmproxy, "an SSL-capable man-in-the-middle proxy," is a useful little free software utility that can sniff the traffic between your computer or mobile device and its servers and determine what data the apps you're running are leaking to the mothership.

mitmproxy is an SSL-capable man-in-the-middle HTTP proxy. It provides a console interface that allows traffic flows to be inspected and edited on the fly.

mitmdump is the command-line version of mitmproxy, with the same functionality but without the frills. Think tcpdump for HTTP.

* Intercept and modify HTTP traffic on the fly * Save HTTP conversations for later replay and analysis * Replay both HTTP clients and servers * Make scripted changes to HTTP traffic using Python * SSL interception certs generated on the fly

mitmproxy (via O'Reilly Radar) Read the rest

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