Between Syria, Turkey and the G8, it's hard to keep track of popular resistance to oligarchy and corruption, but please don't forget São Paulo, where the police are treating public anti-corruption demonstrations with all the bedwetting cowardice of a tinpot dictatorship. Here's
Feridos no protesto em São Paulo, a multilingual tumblr devoted to covering the protests, and above, an excellent video from Change Brazil explaining what's at stake.
Barricades at Nisantasi, at 4:50AM Sunday
Poiu is in Turkey; he writes: " Since yesterday evening, everything has worsened. Unfortunately it is not really covered by local media, the consequence of that being that it gets a lot less international attention than it should. People are gassed here non stop, in all central Istanbul areas. Tens of thousands of people are out in the streets.
The only two channels who cover the street events are ULUSAL KANAL CANLI YAYINI and artı bir tv. You should check them out just to get an idea of the scale and the drama."
Meanwhile, there's a lot of astounding stuff in the Occupy Gezi Pics Tumblr.
Read the rest
Here's a photo from Jacob Riis's 1890 classic "How the Other Half Lives," "an early publication... documenting squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s." It shows "Bandit’s Roost, at 59½ Mulberry Street (Mulberry Bend), was the most crime-ridden, dangerous part of all New York City."
Those guys are clearly total bad-asses.
How the Other Half Lives is in the public domain; you can download the full book, listen to a free audio edition at Librivox, and choose from among several editions in print.
Bandit’s Roost (1888)
Turkish police used extreme force to eject the protesters from Taksim Square yesterday. Egemen Bağış, Turkey's representative in the EU, gave a televised address in which he said, "[The police] will intervene against anybody who tries to enter Taksim Square, [treating them] as a terrorist."
Everyone who enters Taksim Square will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister
(Image: "People crossing Bosphprous Bridge (normally closed to pedesterians) headed for Taksim square"
Ve halk kopruyu gecti/ @marjinal_hatun)
It's Father's Day and time for my annual re-posting of Groucho Marx singing the greatest song dedicated to that occasion of all time. Happy F-day to all the dads out there -- especially my own dad and my brother Neil; to Mark and Pesco and Jason, and to your own old man. This morning, I was serenaded with this selfsame song, given a box of my favorite chocolates, taken for a slap-up breakfast and a swim, and given a deluxe card with a World's Best Dad badge. Popular Mechanics interviewed a bunch of people about their fathers; including me:
My dad was really good at making me think everything through. The scientific method is a totally counterintuitive thing because it begins by saying: You can't trust your memory or your senses. You have to measure things empirically and write them down because otherwise everything you remember and everything you know is colored by your biases and experiences and hopes and aspirations. And essentially your brain lies to you all the time. This is a very hard thing to get a 5-year-old to understand.
One thing my dad was quite good about was giving me enough rope to hang myself and leaving me alone in front of a computer. When we got an Apple II Plus in 1979 there was virtually no software on it. Basically, we got two floppy disks' worth of demos, none of them super exciting. I remember there was a simulator for running a lemonade stand and a Mad Libs program. But there were magazines like Byte that had thousands of lines of BASIC, which you could type into a computer and use it to make programs—that is, if you could type thousands of lines without making a typo (not easy for a 9-year-old.) He provided me with the technology and handed me an issue of Byte and he turned me loose.
Bonus track: Everybody Works In Our House (Except My Old Man)
Unlocking the Truth is an an awesome heavy metal band made up of 12-year-old schoolkids who've been playing together since they were five. They totally, utterly rock.
Videos - Unlocking the Truth
Microsoft's new XBox One will ship with region-locks that divide the world; yours will only work if it connects to the DRM server from one of 21 selected countries. The countries include some, but not all, EU nations, which is almost certainly illegal under the EU's strict common market rules. Here's hoping that Redmond gets a punitive fine big enough to clobber the program and scare the shit out of any other company contemplating similar idiocy.
Notably this "region coding" splits up the EU - most countries are in but some are out - and it also excludes Poland, the development home of The Witcher game series, a title Microsoft touted in its E3 launch presentation. Yes, that's right, the developers of this Xbox launch title will not be able to play the game they developed. I generally find it wise to assume that Microsoft are not stupid, but whatever their plan is, it's eluding me here. Sony was quick to announce that its competitive product, the PS4, would not be region-locked.
MSFT to Region-Lock Xbox One on Launch [Alan Wexelblat/Copyfight]
I got tired of people savvying me about the revelations of NSA surveillance and asking why anyone would care about secret, intrusive spying, so I wrote a new Guardian column about it, "The NSA's Prism: why we should care."
We're bad at privacy because the consequences of privacy disclosures are separated by a lot of time and space from the disclosures themselves. It's like trying to get good at cricket by swinging the bat, closing your eyes before you see where the ball is headed, and then being told, months later, somewhere else, where the ball went. So of course we're bad at privacy: almost all our privacy disclosures do no harm, and some of them cause grotesque harm, but when this happens, it happens so far away from the disclosure that we can't learn from it.
You should care about privacy because privacy isn't secrecy. I know what you do in the toilet, but that doesn't mean you don't want to close the door when you go in the stall.
You should care about privacy because if the data says you've done something wrong, then the person reading the data will interpret everything else you do through that light. Naked Citizens, a short, free documentary, documents several horrifying cases of police being told by computers that someone might be up to something suspicious, and thereafter interpreting everything they learn about that suspect as evidence of wrongdoing. For example, when a computer programmer named David Mery entered a tube station wearing a jacket in warm weather, an algorithm monitoring the CCTV brought him to the attention of a human operator as someone suspicious. When Mery let a train go by without boarding, the operator decided it was alarming behaviour. The police arrested him, searched him, asked him to explain every scrap of paper in his flat. A doodle consisting of random scribbles was characterised as a map of the tube station. Though he was never convicted of a crime, Mery is still on file as a potential terrorist eight years later, and can't get a visa to travel abroad. Once a computer ascribes suspiciousness to someone, everything else in that person's life becomes sinister and inexplicable.
The NSA's Prism: why we should care
Spocko sez, "In this commercial for a cell phone screen protector product, a quadcopter flies up to some fruit, sodas and a cell phones and shoots them with a remote controlled handgun.
The company, Clearplex, has many videos of it's screen protector products being shot at, so this one is a natural, although creepy, extension of that series.
The video is edited so it's hard to know how accurate the quad-copter is, but consider how apparently easy creating this one was,what's the next step?"
Drone vs Phone: Samsung Galaxy S IV - GunDrone
Joly sez, "On March 4-5 2013 the Internet Society's North America Bureau webcast the Freedom to Connect 2013 conference in Washington DC. One keynote speaker was Glenn Greenwald, who has recently come to international attention as the journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story. In his hour long speech, he talks about Aaron Swartz, the imbalance of justice, the growth of the surveillance state, the nature of power in the digital age, and its implications for Internet freedom. There are a couple of small glitches in the recording, for which we apologize."
VIDEO: Glenn Greenwald keynote at Freedom to Connect 2013 #f2c #netfreedom #prism
McDonald's Singapore is selling a "Durian Crunch McFlurry" that combines soft-serve ice-cream with everyone's favorite stinkily delicious T-Rex-testicle-looking fruit. It sells for S$2.80 or about USD2.23. Singapore sports many spectacular shave-ice dessert places that combine durian with things like kidney beans, sweet corn and candied fruit (serving durian cold suppresses some of the eye-watering perfume), and I'd have one of those over anything McHorrible's produces any day.
Our newest McFlurry from McDonald's
(via Super Punch)
This wonderful porthole-made-of-books is part of the design for the John W. Doull Bookseller store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and warrants a side-trip all on its own.
John W. Doull Bookseller
(via That Book Smell)
Celia Moase Photography)
KayLynn-Syrin's Tank Girl cosplay is just about the greatest bringing-to-life of one of my fave comic characters I've ever seen.
A mysterious and magnificent book-lined staircase, provenance unknown. Do you know where this is?
Thanks to sleuthy commenters, who suggest that the photo depicts this staircase
, at Australia's Deakin University Library
, possibly taken by RuthC and for sale here
29 October, 2012
(via That Book Smell)
A leaked memo apparently sets out the NSA's "talking points" to its defenders in government who are discussing the situation with the press and critics. Mike Masnick at TechDirt has a point-by-point rebuttal of what is, overall, a very weak document. It's almost as though the NSA has grown accustomed to getting its own way by sneaking around behind America's back and doing whatever it wants, rather than by setting out its case with compelling logic:
The news articles have been discussing what purports to be a classified, lawfully-authorized order that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) issued under an Act of Congress – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Under this Act, the FISA Court authorized a collection of business records. There is no secret program involved here – it is strictly authorized by a U.S. statute.
"There is no secret program here"? Bullshit. Why, then, have so many people, both in the Congress and the public been shocked at the extent to which the NSA is snarfing up data? This is a secret program, enabled by a secret interpretation of the FISA Amendments Act, by the FISA Court, which the DOJ and the NSA insist the public is not allowed to know. Yes, it's a secret program. Saying otherwise is simply lying.
Leaked: NSA's Talking Points Defending NSA Surveillance