McDonald's 1987 fashion catalog is a horrorshow

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The Smile Makers 88 was sent to McDonald's franchise managers in 1987, filled with garments they could buy for themselves, their families, and their workers. It. Is. Terrible. Read the rest

Beyond "solutionism": what role can technology play in solving deep social problems

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Ethan Zuckerman -- formerly of Global Voices, now at the MIT Center for Civic Media -- has spent his career trying to find thoughtful, effective ways to use technology as a lever to make positive social change (previously), but that means that he also spends a lot of time in the company of people making dumb, high-profile, destructive suggestions for using technology to "solve" problems in ways that make them much worse. Read the rest

Donald Trump's annotated Walk of Fame star: MUTE

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Photographer unknown, spotted on Sunset Boulevard. Read the rest

Australian educational contractor warns of wifi, vaccination danger to "gifted" kids' "extra neurological connections"

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Wise Ones, an Australian "gifted" education programme offers students who test into it vaccination exemption forms, and advises them to avoid wifi, because they say that "gifted children" have "extra neurological connections" that make them vulnerable to "extra sensitivities to food or chemicals." Read the rest

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Pete notes, "What is scary is how easy it was to make." (Thanks, Pete Smith!) Read the rest

US Customs and Border Protection wants to ask for your "online presence" at the border

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The week, the US CBP published a notice in the Federal Register proposing a change to the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record paperwork that visitors to the US fill out when they cross the border, in which they announce plans to ask travellers to "please enter information associated with your online presence." Read the rest

Stasi radio monitoring department, hard at work, 1980s

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Here's a small gallery of the East German secret police's 26th Division, hard at work during the 1980s. Read the rest

Apps help women bypass states' barriers to contraception

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In many states in America, legislatures have erected punitive, vindictive barriers for women seeking contraception, requiring them to get prescriptions for safe, widely taken medications. Read the rest

Crowd boos Boris "Leave" Johnson as he leaves his home

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Old Etonian and former London Mayor Boris Johnson -- a kind of English Trump figure -- campaigned heavily for the Leave side in Brexit, making it a proxy war for his struggle to discredit his old school rival David Cameron and wrest control of the Tory party for his faction. Read the rest

The blacker a city is, the more it fines its residents (especially black ones)

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In the aftermath of the Ferguson uprising, much ink was spilled on the reliance of the predominantly black city on fines from its residents to pay its bills -- and on the use of what amounted to debtors' prisons that locked up those who wouldn't or couldn't pay the constant stream of fines and scared the rest into begging and borrowing to pay their own fines. Read the rest

The demographics of Brexit

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The Brexit vote wasn't mere xenophobia, it was self-destructive lashing out by people whom the political classes had written off for a generation. Read the rest

The morning after the Brexit vote, Nigel Farage admits money for the NHS was a lie

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In the runup to the Brexit vote, the "Leave" campaign repeatedly argued that the National Health Service could receive £350m/week in funds diverted from the money supposedly remitted by the UK to the EU (in reality, that number is radioactively false). Read the rest

Limited-edition tee: Home Cooking is Killing Restaurants

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Epic copyfighter fashion snark from Techdirt: $20, cheap! Read the rest

Student journalists: 5 days left to win a badge to NYC's Hackers on Planet Earth!

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If you're a student journalist and want to attend HOPE XI, the Eleventh Hackers on Planet Earth conference (July 22-24, NYC) you can win free admission (and an interview with me!) by submitting an article about any of the topics come up at HOPE conferences! Get writing! Read the rest

How to protect the future web from its founders' own frailty

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Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive's Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies -- and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.

Oculus quietly drops DRM from its VR systems

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In May, Facebook division Oculus broke its longstanding promise not to use DRM to limit its customers' choices, deploying a system that prevented Oculus customers from porting the software they'd purchased to run on non-Oculus hardware. Read the rest

More than 30 people burned during Tony Robbins "motivational" firewalk

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Bleach-toothed motivational speaker Tony Robbins charged between $650 and $3000 for tickets to his 3.5 day Unleash the Power Within seminar outside Dallas, Texas, where participants are taught to walk on hot coals. Read the rest

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