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.

Kickstarting an omnibus of seminal punk zine BLT


It's been 25 years since the zine BLT started, the early intersection of punk and and desktop publishing.

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1950s fashion from the cover of Life Magazine, 1914


In 1914, nudity was easy to imagine, but not gentlemen in public without hats.

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Chrysler has to recall its cars due to security vulnerabilities


Chrysler, whose Jeep Cherokees were demonstrated to be vulnerable to Internet-based attacks on their steering and brakes (as well as radios, air conditioning and other systems) has recalled 1.4M cars due to software vulnerabilities.

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Jamaica's new copyright means Jamaicans pay for reggae the rest of the world gets free


Jamaica now has the third-longest copyright term in the world, and the term extension has been imposed retrospectively, all the way back to works created in 1962, the year ska burst on the public scene.

The new term only binds on Jamaicans, meaning that the currently public domain Jamaican works that are going back into copyright will be free for foreigners long before they're free for Jamaicans again, a situation that will apply to all Jamaican works produced from 1962 onward.

Jamaica has also committed to enforcing copyright on foreign works that had entered the public domain in Jamaica, meaning that Jamaicans will have to pay for imports they currently get for free.

If Jamaica hoped that this measure would bring in additional royalties for its musicians from overseas markets, then the tactic that it chose to pursue was doomed to failure from the outset. Foreign users of Jamaican copyrights are not bound by the extended copyright term; only Jamaicans are; but conversely, Jamaicans are now obliged to honor foreign copyrights for the full extended term.1 As opposition spokesperson on culture Olivia Grange put it during debate on the new law, “what will happen is that we will, in fact, be paying out to foreign copyright holders in foreign exchange for the continued use of foreign works in Jamaica, while our own rights holders will only benefit up to the 50, 70 or 80 years that exist in other countries”. So all that this measure has accomplished is that citizens of Jamaica, a developing country, will be paying more money into Hollywood's coffers, while Jamaica's own rich cultural heritage draws in not a penny more in return. Yay?

This measure is so stupid on its face that it is a wonder it passed through parliament at all. But what pains us even more is that it was deemed a trivial enough change to the law that it went unreported in the press until it was already a fait accompli. We could've spotted it earlier, and we're not proud of missing it. But it also came as an unwelcome shock to all the other activists with whom we work, including the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, whose members in Jamaica have suffered a sudden and severe setback to their mission to preserve and disseminate the early written records of newly-independent Jamaica.

Anatomy of a Copyright Coup: Jamaica's Public Domain Plundered [Jeremy Malcolm/EFF]

Georgia sues Carl Malamud, calls publishing state laws "terrorism"

The State of Georgia claims that its statutes are a copyrighted work, and that rogue archivist Carl Malamud and public.resource.org committed an act of piracy by making the laws of Georgia free for all to see and copy.

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Explosion at NIST offices was a meth lab


An explosion last weekend at a National Institute of Standards and Technology lab in Gaithersburg, MD threw a blast-shield 25 feet. Investigators found "pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner, and a recipe for meth" in the wreckage.

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If phones were designed to please their owners, rather than corporations

Your smartphone was designed to deliver as much value as possible to its manufacturer, carrier and OS vendor, leaving behind the smallest amount of value possible while still making it a product that you'd be willing to pay for and use.

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London terror cops forced to admit they're still investigating journos who reported Snowden leaks


London Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad had refused to make any comment on whether they were investigating the reporters who broke the Snowden story for two years, but now a court has ordered them to answer -- and they've copped to it.

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Darth Vibrader: a Vader mannequin made from sex toys

Adult film star Kayla-Jane Danger, SFX guy Todd Devlin and porn producer Seth Beard skinned a mannequin with sex toys, hooker boots and other stuff from a sex shop to create the 7' tall Darth Vibrader, which will adorn the offices of Wood Rocket, an LA-based porn studio.

How .uk came to be (and why it's not .gb)


Matt Locke writes, "It's the 30th anniversary of the .uk domain this week, so here's an oral history of the internet pioneers who made it happen, and how they fought with the US internet gurus to make it .uk, not .gb"

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Kickstarting a volume of feminist bicycle zombie science fiction


Elly writes, "We're running a Kickstarter to try to give the feminist-bicycle-scifi-about-zombies genre a big leg up."

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Universal's agents send Google a censorship demand for "127.0.0.1"


127.0.0.1 is the "loopback" address for your Internet stack, the address you tell your computer to visit when you want it to talk to itself.

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TSA supervisor calls police on teen for videoing his father's pat-down

A 16-year-old boy was prohibited from video-recording his own pat-down at New Orleans airport -- something explicitly allowed by the TSA -- and when he recorded his father's pat-down, the TSA supervisor at his checkpoint called the police on him.

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Fried Jesus: architect of State Fair deep-fried butter


Abel Gonzales Jr was raised by Tex-Mex restaurateurs, and began his career as God of the deep fryer out of necessity, when he was desperate to come up with a dish for the Texas State Fair's Big Tex Choice Award, and all he had was a fryer.

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The People vs Disneyland: tracing the impact of lawsuits on themepark design

The People V. Disneyland: How Lawsuits & Lawyers Transformed the Magic is the latest from David Koenig, who wrote the excellent Mouse Tales books of true confessions from Disneyland staffers.

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When scientists hoard data, no one can tell what works


Peer review and replication are critical to the scientific method, but in medical trials, a combination of pharma company intransigence and scientists' fear of being pilloried for human error means that the raw data that we base life-or-death decisions upon is routinely withheld, meaning that the errors lurk undetected in the data for years -- and sometimes forever.

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