Canada's National Post pretends fair dealing doesn't exist, presents you with bill to copy a single word

Michael Geist sez, "If someone wants to post a quote from Selley or anything else written by the National Post, they are now presented with pop-up box seeking a licence that starts at $150 for the Internet posting of 100 words with an extra fee of 50 cents for each additional word (the price is cut in half for non-profits). For example, in yesterday's Full Pundit, Selley quotes John Graham in the Globe on the death of Chavez:"

"Illiteracy has all but disappeared. Education and free health care are almost universally available. Improving the quality of life for millions at the bottom levels of society is no small achievement. He also imparted to these millions a sense of dignity about themselves and pride in their leader's often bombastic rhetoric."

"If you try to highlight the text to cut and paste it, you are presented with a pop-up request to purchase a licence if you plan to post the article to a website, intranet or a blog. The fee would be $150. In other words, the National Post is seeking payment for text in an article that was itself copied from the Globe. Of course, it is not just Selley's work as many articles quote from other articles or sources (for example, this Post article on Taylor Swift is primarily quotes from Vanity Fair. If you highlight a chunk of text, the licence message pops up).

"None of this requires a licence or payment. In fact, the amount of copying is often so insubstantial that a fair dealing analysis is not even needed. Read the rest

Science of hair testing for drugs questioned in Boston cop case; cocaine blamed on cookies, donuts

Six police officers in Boston who were fired after testing positive for cocaine use will be reinstated, with back pay, now that a state board has struck down the science of hair testing for drugs as 
unreliable. The ruling could have broad impact on drug testing for city workers, and other populations routinely subjected to a form of drug screening in which snips of hair are analyzed for tell-tale traces of illegal substances.

The Boston Herald reports that the firings of four other ex-cops were upheld by the commission. Some gave elaborate and innovative excuses for their positive tests. One told the commission his test was a false positive...

because he brushed white powder off the seat of his cruiser, which he “assumed was confectionery powder from doughnuts.” He also said he lived in a townhouse that shared a heating vent with neighbors who were crack smokers, records state.

Another told commissioners he had a “habit of putting drugs ... from suspects in his pocket where he also kept cookies to eat.”

More: Cops’ firing for drugs reversed [Boston Herald, HT: @Liam_ODonoghue] Read the rest

Videos from - a kids' project sharing site is a site and app that encourages kids to make things. It also lets them share their projects and earn achievement badges. They've just released a few new videos that show some of the kids who are on the site. Read the rest

Bureaucrats of the world

Dutch photographer Jan Banning's book "Bureaucratics" is a collection of amazing photos of bureaucrats on five continents, each posed at his or her desk, in her or his office, with notes about rank and salary. Pictured above, "India bureau typeroom," Bihar. Below, Sheriff of Crockett County, TX.

The photography has a conceptual, typological approach reminding of August Sander’s ‘Menschen des 20 Jahrhunderts’ (‘People of the Twentieth Century’). Each subject is posed behind his or her desk. The photos all have a square format (fitting the subject), are shot from the same height (that of the client), with the desk – its front or side photographed parallel to the horizontal edges of the frame – serving as a bulwark protecting the representative of rule and regulation against the individual citizen, the warm-blooded exception. They are full of telling details that sometimes reveal the way the state proclaims its power or the bureaucrat’s rank and function, sometimes of a more private character and are accompanied by information such as name, age, function and salary. Though there is a high degree of humour and absurdity in these photos, they also show compassion with the inhabitants of the state’s paper labyrinth.

Bureaucratics (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Very bad ways to wake up

Pretty sure nobody died, but not positive.

Star Wars trio to reprise roles in Disney/Lucasfilm "Episode VII"

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek published today, George Lucas more or less spilled the beans: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will reprise their roles as Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in the new "Star Wars" film. All three had signed on for the forthcoming "Episode VII" project before Lucasfilm's $4 billion purchase by Disney.

"We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison — or were pretty much in the final stages of negotiation," said Lucas. "Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do."


Fisher had confirmed her reprisal in an earlier interview. Read the rest

Interview with Aśka, designer of Wikileaks "hourglass" logo

Who designed the WikiLeaks logo? According to this Metahaven interview, a designer named Aśka. She created the WikiLeaks hourglass in 2006, and her story is most interesting.

MH: How did the idea for the hourglass emerge?

A: I made the logo in 2006, so it’s hard for me to remember what I was thinking about at the time I made it. I’m sure it would have been a completely intuitive response to the brief. I can see from my sketches that it was pretty much one of the first things that came to my mind. I was very interested in the idea of transformation that Julian’s website was aiming to achieve. Changing the world may seem like a romantic notion, but it’s also exactly what needs to happen for each new generation to supersede the old. So I guess the hourglass is exactly that—a transformation in time. And the best thing about it is that once the last drop falls, you can turn it around and start again.

Read the rest

Short film about Ralph Baer, the “Father of Video Games”

PBS Digital Studios profiled Ralph Baer, the “Father of Video Games”

Ralph Baer’s inventing career began following a two-year service in the military during World War II. Returning home from Europe, he went to school on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a B.S. in Television Engineering. In 1955, he joined an electronics firm called Sanders Associates, which did work for the military. Still there in 1966, he began work on an electronic box that would allow people to play games on their televisions. The working invention was later licensed as the Magnavox Odyssey and became the first home console system for video gaming in 1972. Last year he celebrated his 90th birthday – the same year the Odyssey turned 40. Here he talks about those early days of video game history and why now, at 90 years old, he's still inventing.
Read the rest

Watch the latest Boing Boing-curated videos in our video archive!

We've gathered fresh video for you to surf and enjoy on the Boing Boing video page. The latest finds for your viewing pleasure include:

• Beach House video for "Wishes" directed by Eric Wareheim featuring Ray Wise. • Are cats fooled by optical illusions? • Postal Service band auditions from 2002. • Cyriak's Cobweb welcomes you to the land of Nope. • Politely refusing to talk to DHS checkpoints. • Vortex smoke rings created with 3D printed wings. • The makers of Dove have taken their 'Real Beauty' campaign against P-shopped models into the realm of hacktivism.

Boing Boing: Video! Read the rest

Amazing opportunity to meet the designer of Disneyland's Monorail, Autopia, and Flying Saucers

LA architecture historian Chris Nichols says: "I am hosting an evening with Disney legend Bob Gurr next Wednesday at the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Bob designed the Monorail, Autopia, Flying Saucers, and all the ride vehicles at Disneyland starting in 1954 and is a really inspiring designer and super-cool guy. It's a small room and we're almost full, so please click on the ticket link below if you can come. I look forward to seeing you there."

Bob Gurr is a Disney pioneer who began working on Disneyland the year before it opened. He imagineered the original Monorail, Autopia and many iconic ride vehicles for all of the Disney parks. On March 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, he will discuss his memorable theme park and movie creations, including Disney's animatronic Abraham Lincoln, Universal's King Kong, concepts for the Jurassic Park dinosaurs and robots for the 1998 production of Godzilla. In addition, he will autograph his book, Design: Just For Fun. Disney fans won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear Mr. Gurr share memories from his legendary career. This evening is sure to be a sell-out, so book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Evening @ the Barn: Bob Gurr - Disney Imagineering Pioneer Read the rest

Coffitivity: ambient "coffee shop" sound to plug into for enhanced creativity

"Our team has delivered the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop, which means when your workspace just isn't quite cutting it, we've got you covered." Coffitivity promises "Enough noise to work" for those who are wired to experience increased productivity with some ambient noise around them. There's some science behind it. (HT: @SaraMynott) Read the rest

Beach House video starring Ray Wise

The new Beach House video for "Wishes" was directed by Eric Wareheim and features Ray Wise.

1970 ad: "A waste of mail... and female."

This ad was published in the year I was born, 1970. It's funny how unapologetically sexist so much marketing was, back then. These plastic plates "won't get tired or confused" like a dumb old woman always does, and they get the job done "for a fraction of her paycheck," which was of course a fraction of *your* paycheck, if you were a guy. 1970 wasn't that long ago.

From the photostream of "SenseiAlan." Read the rest

Lady talking on telephone, 1913

"A bit of gossip." Scanned and shared on Flickr by Alan Mays, whose photo stream is full of wonderful old ads and ephemera from the 20th and 19th century US.

Previously: "Our lady of telephones." Read the rest

Are cats fooled by optical illusions?

You can help! Try tricking your cat with this same illusion for the edification of the Internet.

Some kinds of DNA ancestry tests are basically astrology

If you want to learn about your family tree, you're probably better off doing the work of compiling history than getting a $500 DNA test. Read the rest

Slow motion videos of various animals capturing prey

The Chinese Giant Salamander is mesmerizing. Read the rest

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