Carl Malamud says:
Public.Resource.Org has published 701 technical standards for the Republic of India. These government-produced documents cover everything cover a vast array of topics important to the people of India, including fascinating topics such as specifications for spices and condiments (tamarind pulp, cloves, fenugreek, curry powder). You'll also find safety specifications for bicycles, codes of practice for fire brigades, water testing methods, and codes of hygiene for food hawkers.
We are relying on India's Right to Information Act of 2005, one of the world's strongest freedom of information laws and one that makes clear that the works of government are owned by the people not the bureaucracies. At stake in publishing these technical standards is an important principle advanced by U.S. Justice Stephen Breyer: "if a law isn't public, it isn't a law." In today's technical world, our most important laws are these technical specifications, yet all over the world these standards are locked up behind pay walls. The legal principle that in a democracy citizens must be able to know the law if one that spans the world. Since May, Public.Resource.Org has been publishing technical standards required by law for the United States and we have received no protests, complaints, or takedown notices from any of the Standards Development Organizations (SDOs).
Coming up next are public safety standards for Africa. We will also be adding the National Building Code and National Electrical Code to the Indian collection. Own your government: read the manual, read the laws.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]