The Haunted Mansion Ghost Post wins a Themed Entertainment Award!

When I wrote about the Haunted Mansion loot crates ("Ghost Post") last March, what I couldn't say was that I was the writer on the project, penning the radio scripts, newspapers, letters, and associated gubbins and scraps that went along with the three boxes of custom-made props and merch, tying them together into a series of puzzles that the boxes' 999 owners solved together over the internet. Read the rest

John Scalzi on the ups and downs of book tours

John Scalzi's on tour with his new novel, The Collapsing Empire: he's posted a list of ten things every touring author knows, and very few other people ever get to see. Read the rest

The Humble Unicorn Bundle, get great, DRM-free fantasy novels, support environmental causes

Steven Boyett writes, "Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that's me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, by Patricia McKillip." Read the rest

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law's prohibition on bypassing copyright locks. Read the rest

This Earth Day, join the Global March for Science

All over the world, people who believe in science, facts, and reality are marching for action on climate change, against a backdrop of overt (Trump) and insidious (Trudeau) climate-change denial, which puts the future of our species and its habitat in grave peril. Read the rest

United's CEO just lost out on the Chairmanship of United's board

When United CEO Oscar Munoz lied about Dr David Dao, slandering the passenger that was beaten unconscious as a direct result of his employees enacting the policies he put in place, he was acting in the knowledge that he would shortly be elevated to the Chairmanship of United's board of directors. Read the rest

Portland hotel magnate withdraws overt Trump donation, funnels $1M through front companies instead

Gordon Sondland owns Provenance Hotels, with four PDX properties -- the Lucia, deLuxe, Sentinel and Westin. After he was outed as being the host for a Trump event last summer, he pulled out, saying that he'd broken with Trump over his racist anti-Muslim rhetoric. Read the rest

A gorgeous book-trailer for Walkaway

Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009, drops in four days, and today, my US publisher Tor Boooks unveiled a gorgeous, stylish book-trailer for the novel, created by Jaye Rochon from Circle of Seven. Read the rest

A look inside the shady world of Flexispy, makers of "stalkerware" for jealous spouses

Motherboard's Joseph Cox continues his excellent reporting on Flexispy, a company that make "stalkerware" marketed to jealous spouses through a network of shady affiliates who feature dudes beating up their "cheating girlfriends" after catching them by sneaking spyware onto their devices. Read the rest

Walkaway Q&A: great debut novels, collections, and favorites

With less than a week to go until the debut of Walkaway, my next novel for adults, Portland's Powell's Bookstore has run a long Q&A with me about the book, my writing habits, my favorite reads, and many other subjects. Read the rest

Universal punchcard-based Turing machine implemented in Powerpoint animations

Tom Wildenhain developed a Turing-complete punchcard-driven universal machine that is embodied entirely in Powerpoint Animations and can execute any arbitrary code (albeit very slowly) and presented it at CMU's SIGBOVIK 2017 conference to great hilarity. Read the rest

Canada upholds net neutrality, bans zero-rating

In Canada's hyper-concentrated and vertically integrated telcoms sector, data caps are a normal part of life; and where there are data-caps, there is cable company fuckery in the form of ""zero rating" -- when your telcom sells you to online service providers, taking bribes not to count their service against your cap. Read the rest

Indie feminist technology magazine "The Recompiler" needs $3000 to get to year three

Sumana writes, "The Recompiler is a feminist technology magazine launched in 2015. Their goal is to help people learn about technology in a fun, playful way, and highlight a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They're running a fundraiser right now, asking for $3,000 in subscriptions, book orders, contributions and ads, to publish the seventh issue on time and sail into its third year, and they've made $2236 so far. And for every $500 raised, podcast host Christie Koehler will record a dramatic reading of a tongue-twister." Read the rest

Indian Army ties down a captured Kashmiri man to Jeep to deter rock-throwers

The partition of India and Pakistan divided the region of Kashmir, cuing up decades of protest, military action, and fighting which has claimed 70,000 lives, including protesters killed by the Indian Army. Read the rest

Bake: a Piescraper that towers over the dessert-table

Pie-hacking baker Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (AKA @thePieous) writes, "I've been experimenting with pushing the boundaries of pie design for just over a year now, but my big white whale - how to make pies 'tall' - had always eluded me... until today. Meet my new invention: Piescrapers! What is a Piescraper? Essentially a pie that is built 'up' using a series of engineering and baking tricks to enhance structural integrity and make tall pies stable, and delicious!" Read the rest

To do in SF this Saturday: reading by Pat Murphy, Jewelle Gomez & Madeleine Robins

The latest installment in the ever-excellent SF-in-SF series returns to San Francisco's American Bookbinders Museum (366 Clementin) this Saturday, with Pat Murphy, Jewelle Gomez & Madeleine Robins; doors open at 5:30 and admission is $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Read the rest

In 1965, CIA agents were fired for staging a "free for all" food-fight in the cafeteria

The wording of the memo, dated 15 Sept 1965, suggests that this wasn't the first time it had happened and not even the first time the CIA had to fire agents for food-fighting. Read the rest

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