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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)

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.)

Breaded Cats

The Breaded Cats (or Breading Cats, or Cat Breading) website has been making the rounds for some weeks now. Like a fine wine, or a cat, but not a loaf of bread, it seems to improve with age.

Cat Breading How To:

1) Take a piece of bread

2) Cut a hole approximately 1 inch larger than your cat's head. This trips some people up. Remember: the bread has to fit around not just the cat's head, but it's ears, too.

3) Gently place the bread around your cat's head.

Warning: NSFGF (Not safe for the gluten-free).

(via Sean Bonner and many others)

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)

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

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!) Cory

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) Cory

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!)

The hidden beauty of the bottom of toy cars

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At Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky's interest in the bottoms of toy cars borders on the Nicholson Bakeresque.

The bottoms of toy cars are fascinating because it's a revealing insight into the mind of the toy designer. Generally, you don't really have to do anything at all, but most toy cars have at least some attempt made to have some measure of detail or accuracy. On many models, there is a genuine attempt to get the mechanicals shown below as accurate as possible, and often the results are quite good. You can see corrugated oil pans, suspension arms, mufflers, differentials, driveshafts, and more. It's clear the designer actually looked at the original car.

Other times, even if the body is accurate, the bottom can be this sort of collage of parts the designer knows should be there– most often propshaft and some kind of exhaust– but the locations and sizes are placed with a certain casual whimsy. I like these as well, as they give a nice view of what someone who may not know much about cars thinks a car underside should look like.

The Hidden Beauty Of The Bottom Of Toy Cars

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

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

KILL ACTA

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

For European users, this form will email every MEP with a known email address.
Fight For The Future may contact you about future campaigns. We will never share your email with anyone. Privacy Policy


Tiffiniy from Fight for the Future sez,

Together, we beat SOPA in a huge victory for internet freedom. But this Saturday, internet freedom protests are breaking out in over 200 cities across Europe. Why?

Because the companies behind SOPA are using international trade agreements as a backdoor to pass SOPA-style laws

SOPA's supporters are pushing two agreements: ACTA and TPP1. ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders. Sound familiar? That's right, ACTA is from the same playbook as SOPA, but global. Plus it didn't even have to pass through Congress2.

TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt. Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.3

Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a secretive backdoor track that--even though it creates new laws--is miles removed from democracy. Trade negotiators are unelected and unaccountable, so these agreements have been very hard for internet rights groups to stop.

But now the tide is turning. Fueled by the movement to stop SOPA, anti-ACTA protests are breaking out across the EU, which hasn't ratified ACTA. The protests are having an impact: leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have backtracked on ACTA.4 Now a massive round of street protests in over 200 cities is planned for this Saturday February 11th.

We're planning an online protest this Saturday to support the protests in the streets. Why? Because together we can drive millions of emails to key decision makers--and start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA.

Can you take part? Click here to get the code to run on your site!

We just built an ACTA & TPP contact tool, and it's not just a petition. It's code for your site that figures out the visitor's country and lets them email all their Members of European Parliament--the politicians who will be voting on ACTA in June--or the trade negotiators behind TPP. This direct contact between voters and their officials, driven by websites of all sizes, was instrumental in the fight against SOPA.

Kill ACTA

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. This distorted approach has no historical or empirical basis and has been clearly rejected by the Development Agenda process. Important development issues such as the different levels of development, the importance of flexibilities (e.g. LDC transition periods, exceptions and limitations e.g. parallel importation, compulsory licensing,) in meeting developmental objectives, examining and addressing the impact of IP on critical public interests issues such as access to affordable medicines, and access to knowledge, appear to be disregarded.

Over 100 international NGOs ask WIPO to postpone forthcoming IP Summit in South Africa

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

Atomic-Clock-1

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 finkbuilt.com.

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.



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 provost@uw.edu 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!)