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.

Free PDF: Advanced Quantum Thermodynamics (is a subject I know very little about)"


Dave Ng writes, "My new book is Advanced Quantum Thermodynamics (is a subject I know very little about) collecting my science humor and creative non-fiction: great for the 'hipster that doesn't get science' but who wants to look like the 'hipster that gets Advanced Quantum Thermodynamics'"

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Kickstarting a new edition of Lord of the Fries


The classic Cheapass Game is getting a second life, with a brand-new second deck, thanks to you and Kickstarter!

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Backchannel: computers can talk to each other with heat

A paper by Ben Gurion University researchers to be presented at a Tel Aviv security conference demonstrates "Bitwhisper," a covert communications channel that allows computers to exchange data by varying their temperature, which can be detected by target machines within 40cm.

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Nagra IV-L: the pinnacle of tape recorder UI


A design classic from 1968, with all the dials, knobs, switches and buttons you could possibly need.

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Demystifying copyright licensing and 3D printing


It's more complicated than it seems: the functional elements of a 3D print can't be copyrighted, but they may be blended with decorative elements that can be; what's more, if we err on the side of caution by "open licensing" stuff that isn't even copyrighted, the effort to open up copyright ends up normalizing the application of copyright to new subjects.

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Auctioning art from an MC Frontalot video for EFF

Artist Chad Essey sez, "I'm auctioning some animation frames from the music video for Shudders I created for MC Frontalot's Question Bedtime album, with proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

Chocolate megalodon teeth for the Easter Dinoshark


Cast from a real fossil dino-shark tooth, available in milk, dark and white chocolate, just in time for Easter. (via Bruce Sterling)

Hacking a laser-cutter to play real-world Space Invaders

Martin sez, "I just completed my silliest projects to date: while running the risk of turning my laser cutter into a giant fire ball I actually succeeded in turning it into a real world version of the Space Invaders game."

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Taxonomy of theme park narrative gimmicks


Foxxfur has published "The Theme Park Trope List," a first approximation attempt to summarize the narrative gimmicks used in theme park attractions to move the action along, for example, "the book report ride," which "shows exactly the same events which occurred in the source film in the same order."

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Automating remote BIOS attacks


Legbacore's upcoming "digital voodoo" presentation will reveal an automated means of discovering BIOS defects that are vulnerable to remote attacks, meaning that your computer can be compromised below the level of the OS by attackers who do not have physical access to it.

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Windows 10 announcement: certified hardware can lock out competing OSes


Microsoft has announced a relaxation of its "Secure Boot" guidelines for OEMs, allowing companies to sell computers pre-loaded with Windows 10 that will refuse to boot any non-Microsoft OS.

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Plane safety cards, explained


(moar)

Gamer jewelry


New Zealand jeweler Charlie Meaden's OG gamer pieces include these shiny game-controller earrings and the Space Invaders ring, both available in gold or silver. (via Geeky Merch)

Suspicious people, American Airlines edition


Covertly snapped last night at the AA baggage office in Memphis, after they lost my luggage:

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Transparency, New Jersey style


Efrem writes, "The Jersey Journal is doing some good work during Sunshine Week, trying to publish the pay information of every public employee in the county. The results have been hilariously depressing. To whit:"

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Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

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The 1982 JC Penney Christmas Catalog


631 lovingly scanned pages for your perusal; may I draw your attention to the electronic toys, including Little Professor at $15, Speak and Spell digital at $62, Coleco Frogger at $60, Merlin at $31.50, Simon at $32, Pocket Dungeons and Dragons at $20 and Electronic Battleship at $40 (multiply by 2.42 to adjust for inflation).

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Icelandic Pirates soar: citizenship for Snowden?

The Icelandic Pirate Party is out-polling all the country's other parties, with 24% of the population backing them.

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Brute-force iPhone password guesser can bypass Apple's 10-guess lockout

The IP Box costs less than £200 and can guess all possible four-digit passwords in 111 hours.

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Star Trek sushi set


The beams of blue spacewarp light on Thinkgeek's $35 Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Sushi Set detach from the Enterprise's nacelles to form chopsticks, while the saucer section unscrews to form a soy sauce dish. (via Geeky Merch)

Burning Man temple to heal Ireland's Troubles, IRL and in Minecraft


David Best, who builds the enormous, gorgeous temples at Burning Man each year, created "Temple" in London/derry, where survivors of the Troubles have left memorials to their dead in advance of the temple being burned on Mar 21.

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Kickstarting a documentary about the San Diego underground scene

Noah Swartz writes, "Last night I got a chance to see a screening of It's Gonna Blow, a documentary about the underground scene in San Diego directed and produced by Bill Perrine."

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Terry Pratchett's advice to booksellers


From A Slip of the Keyboard, Pratchett's very sensible advice to booksellers on care and feeding of touring authors.

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Interpenetrated coin art


Robert Wechsler makes sculptures by notching and connecting coins to one another to great effect, thanks to the familiarity of the materials and the seeming impossibility of their arrangement.

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J. Edgar Hoover palled around with a suspected commie spy


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Few American officials could even come close to the legendary paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover, but that didn't stop the notorious FBI chief from striking up a close friendship with Samuel Dickstein, House Committee on Un-American Activities founder, Supreme Court Justice -- and suspected Russian spy."

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Girl-friendly middle-grades science fiction anthology

Corie Weaver, co-editor of the Young Explorer's Adventure Guide a middle grade reader featuring diverse protagonists, sez: "31 percent of children's books have central female characters, and even fewer feature main characters of color."

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Clinton's sensitive email was passed through a third-party spam filtering service


It's been years since the spam wars were at the front of the debate, but all the salient points from then remain salient today: when you let unaccountable third parties see your mail and decide which messages you can see, the potential for mischief is unlimited.

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DRM for woo: "light therapy" mask's LED only works 30 times


The Illumask LEDs only fire for 30 15-minute sessions, despite being rated for 30,000 hours, thanks to a patented system.

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Canadian court hands a gimme to copyright trolls


Michael Geist writes, "Canada's Federal Court has issued its ruling on the costs in the Voltage-TekSavvy case, a case involving the demand for the names and address of thousands of TekSavvy subscribers by Voltage on copyright infringement grounds. Last year, the court opened the door to TekSavvy disclosing the names and addresses, but also established new safeguards against copyright trolling in Canada. The decision required Voltage to pay TekSavvy's costs and builds in court oversight over any demand letters sent by Voltage."

The issue of costs required another hearing with very different views of the costs associated with the case. TekSavvy claimed costs of $346,480.68 (mainly legal fees and technical costs associated with complying with the order), while Voltage argued the actual costs should be $884. The court disagreed with both sides, settling on costs of $21,557.50 or roughly $11 per subscriber name and address. The decision unpacks all the cost claims, but the key finding was that costs related to the initial motion over whether there should be disclosure of subscriber information was separate from the costs of abiding by the order the court ultimately issued. The motion judge did not address costs at the time and the court now says it is too late to address them.

With TekSavvy now bearing all of those motion costs (in addition to costs associated with informing customers), the decision sends a warning signal to ISPs that getting involved in these cases can lead to significant costs that won't be recouped. That is a bad message for privacy. So is the likely outcome for future cases (should they arise) with subscribers left with fewer notices and information from their ISP given the costs involved and the court's decision to not compensate for those costs.

Defending Privacy Doesn’t Pay: Federal Court Issues Ruling in Voltage – TekSavvy Costs [Michael Geist]