LEAKED! TPP: the Son of ACTA will oblige America and other countries to throw out privacy, free speech and due process for easier copyright enforcement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the son of ACTA, a secretive copyright and trade treaty being negotiated by the Pacific Rim nations, including the USA and Canada. As with ACTA, the secretive negotiation process means that the treaty's provisions represent an extremist corporate agenda where due process, privacy and free expression are tossed out the window in favor of streamlined copyright enforcement. If this passes, America will have a trade obligation to implement all the worst stuff in SOPA, and then some. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Carolina Rossini and Kurt Opsahl explain:

TPP article 16.3 mandates a system of ISP liability that goes beyond DMCA standards and U.S. case law. In sum, the TPP pushes a framework beyond ACTA[1] and possibly the spirit of the DMCA, since it opens the doors for:

* Three-strikes policies and laws that require Internet intermediaries to terminate their users’ Internet access on repeat allegations of copyright infringement

* Requirements for Internet intermediaries to filter all Internet communications for potentially copyright-infringing material

* ISP obligations to block access to websites that allegedly infringe or facilitate copyright infringement

* Efforts to force intermediaries to disclose the identities of their customers to IP rightsholders on an allegation of copyright infringement.

Incredibly, it gets worse:

If the copyright maximalists have their way, the TPP will include a “side-letter,” an agreement annexed to the TPP to bind the countries to strict procedures enabling copyright owners to insist material are removed from the Internet. This strict notice-and-takedown regime is not new—in 2004, Chile rejected the same proposal in its bi-lateral trade agreement with the United States.

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Canadian border guards stop looking for dope exporters, focus on stolen cars and fissiles

The Canadian Border Service Agency has been ordered to stop hunting for illegal drug exporters and worry instead about catching nuclear material and stolen car smugglers. Lee Berthiaume writes for Postmedia News:

The directive, contained in an internal memo to Canada Border Service Agency managers that was obtained by Postmedia News, is unlikely to make officials in the United States and other countries very happy.

But analysts say that in an age of finite resources, the agency has decided it makes more sense to target areas where it thinks it can make a difference.

The article goes on to quote Eugene Oscapella of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, describing how hard it is to catch dope smuggling, versus big things like cars and radioactive things like uranium.

Border guards told to forget about illegal drug exports (via Reddit) Read the rest

Noodle-slicing robot is a triumph

Cui Runguan, a Beijing inventor and restaurateur, has created a "robot chef" for slicing noodles: it's basically an automated dough-shaving knife encased in a charming retro-robot shell with superfluous blinking eye-lights. Something about the combination appeals, and the enthusiastic diners in the news segment seem to treat the noodles as "hand-cut by a mechanical person" and not as "sliced by an industrial machine."

Robot chefs taking over China's noodle bars (via Kottke) Read the rest

Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012: One Giant Loss for Mankind

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon or any other world beyond Earth, died today. The former test pilot and NASA astronaut recently celebrated his 82nd birthday, and underwent heart surgery just weeks ago.

He commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and radioed back to Earth the historic line, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." He walked on the moon for nearly 3 hours with fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

He died today of complications following his cardiac surgery.

That's one giant loss for mankind. Godspeed, Sir.

Via Miles O'Brien, a statement from Armstrong's family released through their website:

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Water wigs: frozen instants of water dashed on the heads of bald guys

Tim Tadder's "Water Wigs" project is a series of photos of bald guys who allowed buckets of water to be upended over their heads, while a high-speed camera caught the frozen instant in which they appear to be wearing a wig made of water.

We used a laser and sound trigger to capture the right moments for each subject to create just the head of hair that fit best with the face.

We chose to work with triads of colors to create images that are arresting and amusing at the same time. We feel the color helps transform the water into some more and adds greater visual interest.

Water Wigs (via JWZ) Read the rest

New theory on the Jesus fresco retouch

(Via Pete Emslie) Previously Read the rest

Appreciation for "the beautiful white dialect"

A bit of lovely arch irony from the ExoticWhiteGirls Tumblr, on "The beautiful white dialect":

I love how beautiful and simple the exotic white dialect is. Because it has less words and lacks any logical grammar, it just sounds so peaceful, calming, and real. You can just feel the emotion when you listen to them speak. It varies from tribe to tribe, but throughout the white motherland is basically the same. I took a two-week service trip to build a McDonalds with authentic white food and lived with an authentic white family, so I know. It’s so sad that they’ve started using civilized words from modern languages, “cash” and “pajama.” It must be because there’s no concept of cash in white culture. Did you know they have twenty different words for “coffee” but no word for “self-aware?”

Les blanches exotiques Read the rest

Catan Junior for ages six and up

SeenOnTableTop reviews Catan Junior, a streamlined, simplified pirate-themed version of beloved Boing Boing favorite Settlers of Catan aimed at kids six and up. My daughter's just getting to the age where she's willing to play games with rules (without demanding that the rules be changed halfway through to ensure that she wins!), and this looks like a great, parent-friendly alternative to snoozefests like Candyland and its ilk, though it might be a year before she's quite ready for it.

This past week, at GenCon, I got the opportunity to try out Catan Junior and loved it. I has all of the mechanics of Settlers, while being simplified and streamlined for younger players. While my son was younger than their recommended age, I decided to take the chance and picked it up, anyway.

Last night, after our two day drive home, my son and I played our first game. I had to hold his hand a little bit as he learned the rules, but by the end, he was clear on what each turn consisted of, how to trade resources, and how to build his ships and lairs. On his final turn, he was even able to look at a mismatched pile of resources and spin them into a final, winning lair.

Catan Junior - For ages four and up! (via Beth Pratt) Read the rest

Cookie Monster as Batman

Utubelor figured out where your sense of deja vu at Christian Bale's "Batman" voice comes from. [Video Link] Read the rest

Switching to a straight razor

I stared, face lathered up, sweat dripping, hand shaking, into the fogging mirror in my bathroom almost every day for over 2 weeks before I built up the courage to actually put the 4" razor to my face and take a swipe.

The fact that I hadn't shaved on any regular basis for any period in my life because of the bloody mess that inevitably ensued didn't help matters, but mostly I was just afraid of slicing my jugular wide open and being mocked after my death for as the idiot who even attempted this in the first place. I took a deep breath and went for it. Read the rest

Raising money to help Steve Brust and Emma Bull's medical expenses

Two of the greats of science fiction and fantasy literature, Emma Bull (War for the Oaks and many others) and Steven Brust (the Vlad Taltos books and many others) have coincidentally gone for surgery at the same time. Emma had a thyroidectomy on August 8th to investigate a 4 cm nodule on her thyroid. Steve had a defibrillator implanted on Aug 22.

And yeah, neither of them are adequately insured. Because writing is an entrepreneurial, economically marginal arts career, and its practitioners are often not able to buy insurance on the "open" market, especially as they enter middle age. Most of the US writers I know rely on spouses with "straight" jobs for insurance. But Steve isn't married, and Emma is married to another writer, Will Shetterly.

Writer Scott Lynch published a name-your-price novel called Queen of the Iron Sands. He's announced that two thirds of the proceeds from this book will go to Steve and Emma.

He's done this off his own bat, without Emma or Steve asking for it, because they're not the sort of people who ask. But it sure sounds like they could use it.

Update: Steve Brust says,

This is very, very sweet, and I'm tremendously grateful for what Scott and everyone else is doing. But you need to know that, as of a couple of months ago, I DO have health care coverage--after the congestive heart failure, Those Who Decide Things decided I was partially disabled (which I guess is true; it's slowed my work down) and I'm now on MA, which is how I was able to get the surgery.

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