Brian sez, "At the beginning of the month, Boing Boing reported on Mayday PAC, the super PAC started by Lawrence Lessig which intended to raise $1M in 30 days via a kickstarter-like crowdfunding, to fight for fundamental reform in the way candidates for Congress and members of Congress raised money for their elections.
Day 12 is just starting, and they're just shy of 90% of their goal. What's more interesting, however, is the story of the 'tech heroes.' On the second day of the launch, the architecture behind the site (a basic WordPress installation on a LAMP stack) simply couldn't scale to meet the massive demand. As if that wasn't bad enough, the stress sent the site administrator, literally, to the hospital.
That was when volunteers who had been following @lessig and @MayOneUS on Twitter offered to come together and design a better solution based on Google App Engine. Congregating in #MayOne on the Freenode IRC network, the volunteers, led by Aaron Lifshin, and dubbed the 'Tech First Responders,' solved the performance problems and 'saved' the site.
'There was a groundswell of support and generosity that was overwhelming. It was impossible to coordinate and take in all of the help and advice that so many people offered. So there are many who will be missed out in the mention. Many who came to offer, support, comfort, words of wisdom, who waited to see if a job would be found for them,' said Lifshin.
MayOne.us - Kickstart corruption reform, save our democracy
Libretaxi is an open source project that lets anyone become a rideshare driver in less than a minute; it has more than 20,000 users worldwide, and is maintained by Roman Pushkin, who started the project in December 2016 and is now planning to quit his job and work on it full time.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually “license” them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors’ software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]