Launching the UK edition of Rapture of the Nerds TODAY at Forbidden Planet London


Hey, Londoners! I'll be launching the UK edition of Rapture of the Nerds today at 1PM at Forbidden Planet. Although the book is available across the country at finer stores, this will be your only chance to stroke the marvellous 3D printed Space Marine Stross and have your picture taken with it.

Crocheted skeleton with organs

Artist Shanell Papp has a project called "Bawdy," which is about bodies and textiles. The centerpiece is "Lab," a yarn skeleton with a complete set of organs.

Lab (skeleton) (via Making Light)

Skype's IP-leaking security bug creates denial-of-service cottage industry


It's been more than a year since the WSJ reported that Skype leaks its users' IP addresses and locations. Microsoft has done nothing to fix this since, and as Brian Krebs reports, the past year has seen the rise of several tools that let you figure out someone's IP address by searching for him on Skype, then automate launching denial-of-service attacks on that person's home.

In the above screen shot, we can see one such service being used to display the IP address most recently used by the Skype account “mailen_support” (this particular account belongs to the tech support contact for Mailien, a Russian pharmacy spam affiliate program by the same name).

Typically, these Skype resolvers are offered in tandem with “booter” or “stresser” services, online attack tools-for-hire than can be rented to launch denial-of-service attacks (one of these services was used in an attack on this Web site, and on that of Ars Technica last week). The idea being that if you want to knock someone offline but you don’t know their Internet address, you can simply search on Skype to see if they have an account. The resolvers work regardless of any privacy settings the target user may have selected within the Skype program’s configuration panel.

Beyond exposing one’s Internet connection to annoying and disruptive attacks, this vulnerability could allow stalkers or corporate rivals to track the movement of individuals and executives as they travel between cities and states.

Privacy 101: Skype Leaks Your Location

Beautiful booze-trailer for sale


From the Neiman-Marcus gift catalog, a trailer that converts into an elaborate, beautiful bar, and comes with a year's supply of Bulleit bourbon and rye. There are two for sale at $150K each, with 10 percent going to an HIV/AIDS charity.

A chorus of cheers rings out the minute you pull up. Tailgating will never be the same now that your Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Woody-Tailgate Trailer is on the scene. Designed by interior designer Brad Ford, it's impressive on the outside, but what's on the inside truly astounds: sleek leather furnishings and details from Moore & Giles, rich wood finishings (handcrafted from reclaimed Bulleit Bourbon casks), elegant glassware, and a top-notch entertainment system, including a flat-screen TV, Blu-ray Disc™ player, and a state-of-the-art sound system, plus a one-year supply of Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye*. You park, open the hatch, and slide out the bar—cocktails anyone?

Bulleit is delicious bourbon, but I recently bought a bottle of Elmer T Lee Single Barrel and holy cats, is that stuff astounding.

BEST GIFT, BAR NONE! & BULLEIT TO GO (via Neatorama)

Phone wars

Mat Honan has a request: Please Stop Fighting About Your Smartphone. "The phone wars, the platform wars, should be left to people who work for Apple and Samsung and Google and Microsoft and Nokia and BlackBerry. Do you work for Apple? Do you work for Samsung? No? Then shut up." [Wired]

The art and science of beer: a video feature on the "Pope of Foam"

In this video, Charlie The Pope of Foam" Bamforth, the head of Malting and Brewing Science at UC Davis, explains beer-making and reveals how to pick the freshest pint when you're at a pub. "How Beer Saved The World," "Why I Tease Those Wine Guys," and "How Bird Poop Makes A More Aromatic Belgian Beer" are but a few tidbits.

A cybersecurity lobbying boom in DC, as congress considers new laws

Recent actions by Congress and the Obama administration to "protect networks of critical U.S. industries from hackers and cyberspies" have led to an explosive growth opportunity...for lobbyists. Bloomberg reports that there were "513 filings by consultants and companies to press Congress on cybersecurity by the end of 2012, up 85 percent from 2011 and almost three times as many as in 2010."

Shepard Fairey talks about some of his favorite YouTube videos

In a video for Los Angeles MOCA, Shepard Fairey selects some of his favorite clips from YouTube, and talks about videos that have inspired him "including the great graphic designer Saul Bass, and music videos for Rapture by Blondie and Atomic Dog by George Clinton." Video produced and edited by Stephen Pagano and Tom Salvaggio.

A celebration of ‘Paris Is Burning’ with Peaches Christ and Latrice Royale

According to Niall Connolly at Dangerous Minds, "If you have not seen Paris Is Burning, you’re just not doing it right. I’m talking Life, honey."
I’ve written about Paris Is Burning before, and referenced it in my recent ballroom piece for Boing Boing, but the truth is that the impact of this film on gay culture, and by extension culture at large, cannot be overestimated. That a film about underground drag culture and voguing resonated so strongly amongst gays should not be a surprise, but what is surprising is how far its influence has spread in “straight” circles. Its language and imagery are now common parlance, and it won a recent PBS “best documentary” poll by an overwhelming landslide.

Which is why I was so delighted to see Paris Is Burning get recent a Midnight Mass screening in San Francisco, hosted by the queens Peaches Christ and Latrice Royale.

Read: Legendary: A celebration of ‘Paris Is Burning’ with Peaches Christ and Latrice Royale [Dangerous Minds]

And don't miss Niall's earlier feature for Boing Boing on voguing.

Check out Robbie Sweeny's photoset from the Castro Theater event.

National Conference for Media Reform coming to Denver, CO, April 5-7 2013

Josh Stearns writes,

Denver is about to become the epicenter of awesome, when the National Conference for Media Reform comes to town bringing 2,500 coders, journalists, media makers, artists and comedians together to hack the future of tech, media and democracy.

• What other event brings together 3D printers and wearable computers with policy debates about CISPA and slam poetry?

• Where else can you see Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches and Evangeline Lilly from Lost hanging out with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Former White House Tech Advisor Susan Crawford?

• Why in the world would the heads of Upworthy, NARAL, Common Cause and ColorofChange.org be going to Denver?

• What if you could see Brian Stelter of the New York Times talking with Jezebel.com founder Anna Holmes about digital media?

• What if you learned how to code from Catherine Bracy of Code for America and Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code?

The fight for civil liberties, for Internet Freedom, for digital rights is coming to Denver, April 5-7 -- are you?

More links: Latino Tech and Media Activism at the conference, and the Arts, Comedy and Music events taking place there.

Huffington Post reporter "seeks people who have had sex with aliens"

What's of note in this media gossip item is that "15 have responded". If the reporter was filing for Boing Boing, one can assume he'd have a much higher total by now, as many of us have had romantic encounters with extraterrestrials, and it's really not a big deal around here. [romenesko]

NY judge says running a search engine for news is a copyright violation

A NY federal judge handed down a terrible ruling in AP vs Meltwater, which turned on whether providing a search-engine for newswire articles that showed the first sentence or two of the article was fair use. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Corynne McSherry sums up many of the ways in which this judge got it wrong. We can only hope for an appeal and a better ruling.

Second, the court implicitly adopted AP’s dangerous “heart of the work” theory. AP contended that sharing excerpts of a news article must weigh against fair use if those excerpts contain the lede. The court stressed that the lede is “consistently important” and takes “significant journalistic skill to craft.” But that is beside the point – there is no extra protection because something is extra difficult. More important to the fair use analysis is the fact that (1) is primarily factual; and (2) contains precisely the information the user wishes to make known to others. As we explained in our amicus brief, this case illustrates why the heart of the work doctrine does not mesh well with highly factual, published, news articles. When it comes to news articles, an excerpt that is shared will very often be the most “important” aspect of the work – but that importance will derive from the uncopyrightable factual content, not the expression. It is not the “heart of the work,” but a piece of the factual skeleton upon which the expression hangs.

AP v. Meltwater: Disappointing Ruling for News Search

The $500 Million Gardner Museum Heist, an epic art caper infographic

Hilary "chartgirl" Sargent has created another epic infographic, explaining something complicated and interesting: this time, it's the Gardner Museum Heist (background here).

Here's the PDF in full-rez glory.

Check out the latest videos on our Boing Boing Video page

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:


• Slow motion study reveals the shocking effects of gravity upon our body.
• Astounding Beetlejuice roller-coaster made in Minecraft.
• Internet-of-Things answering machine from 1992, with marbles.
• Supercut of all the alternate endings to the Animaniacs theme.
• Kenna gender swapped Link and Zelda sprites on a Zelda ROM.
• Electroluminescent paint: like EL wire you apply with a brush.
• Clueless Texas Congressman can't get how Gmail ads work through his thick, thick skull.

Boing Boing: Video!

Guatemala: In 1982, ex-dictator Rios Montt told this documentary filmmaker, "I Control the Army"

As I've been blogging here on Boing Boing this week, former Guatemalan Army general and de facto dictator Efraín Rios Montt and ex-military intelligence chief Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez are on trial over charges of genocide.

A Guatemalan judge ruled in January that Ríos Montt must stand trial; his lawyer said his defense would be that he wasn't personally on the battlefield and couldn't control what happened there. I've been listening in to the trial via a live audio stream, and their cross-questioning of Ixil Maya witnesses suggests that this remains their plan.

Read the rest