Boing Boing 

Cory Doctorow

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

Spontaneous jam: USMC & HS marching band, Mardi Gras

Matt sends, "video I caught of a spontaneous jam session that happened in front of me at Mardi Gras 2015: A USMC band and a bunch of high school band members met in the streets and suddenly launched into 'St. James Infirmary.'"

VPNs: which ones value your privacy?

Torrentfreak has published its annual survey of privacy-oriented VPN services, digging into each one's technical, legal and business practices to see how seriously they take the business of protecting your privacy.

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First-hand reports of torture from Homan Square, Chicago PD's "black site"


In the wake of last week's revelations about Homan Square, the off-the-books "black site" where Chicago PD disappear prisoners for violent, aggressive interrogation, four of the site's victims have come forward to describe the highly racialized human rights abuses at the secret site.

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Ad-hoc museums of a failing utopia: the store windows of the last days of the USSR

Photographer David Hlynsky — American born, Canadian residing, child of Eastern European emigres — took over 8,000 street photos of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, East Germany and Russia, documenting the last days of ideological anti-consumer shopping, now anthologized in an amazing book.

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Your voice-to-text speech is recorded and sent to strangers


Redditor Fallenmyst just started a job at Walk N'talk Technologies, where she listens to randomly sampled speech-to-text recordings from our mobile phones, correcting machine conversions.

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ACT NOW! Congress wants to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Congress is about to introduce a bill that will let the US Trade Representative lock America into the provisions of the secretly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, without substantial debate or scrutiny -- including criminal sanctions -- jail! -- for downloading TV shows.

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Kansas Senate wants to imprison teachers who assign books it dislikes

Under Kansas Senate Bill 56, which passed 26-14 this week, school teachers who give students "harmful material" can be criminally prosecuted.

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Mass surveillance hip-hop from the director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Shahid Buttar -- the rapper who created the amazing NSA vs USA track/video -- is also a constitutional lawyer who serves as executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

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Kathy Sierra's BADASS: how to make your users into successes


Kathy Sierra, the brilliant and storied user experience expert, has a new book, Badass: Making Users Awesome, which is aimed at teaching you to "craft a strategy for creating successful users."

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Internet-fired elections and the politics of business as usual


I've got a new Guardian column, Internet-era politics means safe seats are a thing of the past, which analyzes the trajectory of Internet-fuelled election campaigning since Howard Dean, and takes hope in the launch of I'll Vote Green If You Do.

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Cuddly log-pillows

Just in time for the Twin Peaks revival, a microbead-filled, photorealistic plush log pillow, which comes in "birch," "log" and "platanus" (and is glowingly reviewed by hundreds of satisfied customers).

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Companies should never try to intercept their users' encrypted traffic

Lenovo's disgraceful use of Superfish to compromise its users' security is just the tip of the iceberg: everywhere we look, companies have decided that it's a good idea to sneakily subvert their users' encryption.

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Personal technology is political


Dan Gillmor, who was the San Jose Mercury News's leading tech columnist during the dotcom years, and was one of the first reporters to go Mac, has switched over to using all free/open source software: Ubuntu GNU/Linux on a Thinkpad, Cyanogenmod on an Android phone.

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Nerdcore Net Neutrality rap

Nerdcore rapper Dan Bull recorded this Net Neutrality rap today and crowdsourced an excellent video for it in three hours, with the help of his Twitter friends.

World War 3 Illustrated: prescient outrage from the dawn of the Piketty apocalypse

The Reagan era kicked off a project to dismantle social mobility and equitable justice began. This trenchant, angry, gorgeous graphic zine launched in response.

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Awesome, nerdy, bookish, fannish skirts, bags, scarves and stuff


Rooby on the Isle of Wight turns nerdy fabric prints into garments and accessories: Death Star, Walking Dead BEWARE OF ZOMBIES signs, Incredible Hulk blow-up, Rocky Horror, Heroes of Star Wars, antique book-spines, and the first chapter of Harry Potter (which, sadly, is no longer available as a dress).

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Emma Thompson on tax-strike until HSBC tax evaders are jailed


The actor and her husband, Greg Wise, have vowed to withhold their tax until the UK tax authorities begin to imprison the tax-cheats who were revealed to be using HSBC's Swiss money-laundry, even if it means going to jail themselves.

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VA boss caught lying about serving in the Special Forces

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for lying to a veteran about serving in the Special Forces. (via Super Punch)

Tactical cutlery


The Buck 941 Travelmate Kit Chocolate Paperstone Knife is a tactical spreading knife with a clip-on multispork.

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Nerdy status-badges for kids


Isiah Saxon made a set of amazing badges for DIY, a program to teach kids skills.

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UK Tory MP says astrology would improve NHS health outcomes

David Tredinnick, the Tory MP for Bosworth, Leicestershire, claims that astrology could improve health outcomes for the NHS, is bitter that he had to pay parliament back £755 for his expensed astrology software, says he helps other MPs with astrological advice, and says astrology skeptics are "racially prejudiced." (via /.)

Kickstarting Keybiner: a multitool caribiner that also holds your keys


It's a bottle opener, multidriver, wrench-set, and comes in brass, stainless, blackened or anodized aluminum, and it holds up to 14 keys, as well as a USB stick.

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Lego slippers


They're $12.50/pair from Thinkgeek: one size, red or blue, 3X2 only, and have thick enough soles to cushion even the most violent Lego/bare-foot impact. (via Geeky Merch)

Grim meathook future, Singapore style


Charlie Stross's "Different Cluetrain" is a set of theses describing the future we live in, where capitalism not only doesn't need democracy -- it actually works better where democracy is set aside in favor of a kind of authoritarian, investor-friendly state.

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8-bit gamer duvet cover


Pixel Nostalgia ($100): also available as a rug, print, tee or tote.

(via Crazy Abalone)

I have journeyed to the soul of chocolate and I bring you good tidings

Cold brewed coffee is a revelation of complex, bittersweet, intense flavor. Cold-brewed chocolate? Even better. (Holy. Crap.)

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Billboards tell the stories of professionals who can't afford London anymore


The London is Changing project collects the personal stories of professional people who are leaving the city because it has been remade as a playground for the global rich.

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The science of vaccine denial

The only real scientific mystery about vaccines is why so many people buy into the deadly pseudoscience of vaccine denial and put their kids -- and yours -- at risk of catching ancient, vanquished, deadly diseases.

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Don't argue about vaccination with Rob Schneider if you value your sanity

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez made the mistake of returning actor Rob Schneider's deranged anti-vaxx phonecalls and lived to tell the tale: "That is 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back arguing that vaccines don't cause autism with Deuce Bigalow, male gigolo."

Yahoo's security boss faces down NSA director over crypto ban


During Monday's Cybersecurity for a New America conference in DC, Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos stood up and had an intense verbal showdown with NSA director Mike Rogers about the NSA's plan to ban working crypto, in which the nation's top spook fumfuhed and fumbled to explain how this idea isn't totally insane.

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