Former CIA director: secure US elections with open-source voting machines

Former CIA director R. James Woolsey and legendary free software creator Brian "bash" Fox took to the New York Times's op-ed page to explain that proprietary software and voting machines don't mix, because unless anyone who wants to can audit the software that powers the nation's elections, exploitable bugs will lurk in them, ready to be used by bad guys to screw up the vote-count. Read the rest

Kickstarting a "libre" recording of all of Bach's fugues

Robert Douglass writes, "You have graciously covered the Open Goldberg Variations and the Open Well-Tempered Clavier projects on Boing Boing in the past, and it has resulted in these works being the most discoverable and obtainable examples of Bach's work on the internet (reading Wikipedia? You'll find these recordings. Searching Google or YouTube because you're curious about Bach? You'll find these recordings. Both recordings have also received lavish critical praise from the classical music industry's leading reviewers, eg Gramophone magazine." Read the rest

Crowdfunded by listeners, EFF perma-kills a bogus podcasting patent

Five years ago, a patent troll called "Personal Audio" started demanding money from podcasters, claiming that their patent on mailing cassette tapes of people reading magazines (a ridiculous patent on its face) also covered podcasting. Read the rest

Securing the IoT: a tele-dildo controlled through the Tor network

Security researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis wanted to demonstrate that the horrific stories of insecure networked sex-toys (and other Internet of Things devices) was the result of manufacturers' negligence, not the intrinsic limitations of information security. Read the rest

Establishment Dems worried they'll get primaried if they don't back single-payer healthcare

The establishment wing of the Democratic Party has spent decades receiving dump-trucks full of money from the insurance industry and then, totally coincidentally, explaining that the time isn't right for single-payer for completely unrelated reasons. Read the rest

Oil industry is running out of employees, because millennials

The oil industry is mired in a recruiting crisis because its workforce is aging out and millennials don't want to work for an industry that is destroying the planet they were hoping to live on. Read the rest

Desperate last-ditch attempt to save the right to sue abusive nursing homes

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services barred nursing homes from forcing their residents into accepting binding arbitration agreements, insisting that nursing homes that engaged in neglect, physical or sexual abuse should be subject to legal consequences: but then the Trump administration killed the rule, giving a sweet gift to the giant nursing-home lobby and the Chamber of Commerce. Read the rest

Toronto's amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian

It's been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the "Spaced Out Library," the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril -- that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Read the rest

Real-estate speculators bought the road and sidewalk in a gated wealthy San Francisco enclave

Presidio Terrace is a "block-long, private oval street lined by 35 megamillion-dollar mansions" dating to 1905, where the homeowners are obliged to pay the city $14/year for property tax on their sidewalk, road and traffic islands. Read the rest

"Adversarial perturbations" reliably trick AIs about what kind of road-sign they're seeing

An "adversarial perturbation" is a change to a physical object that is deliberately designed to fool a machine-learning system into mistaking it for something else. Read the rest

Anti-heckler judo for the amateur magician

Andy at The Jerx (previously) describes a surprisingly effective tactic for putting a heckler in his place during the performance of a magic trick. Read the rest

Just look at these complicated, fragile independent New York banana supply-chains

Just look at them. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) (Photo: cropped from a picture by Vincent Tullo for the New York Times) Read the rest

CBS launched an official fan-film-academy for people who want to make Star Trek videos

In 2016, CBS/Paramount brought a lawsuit against Axanar, a very successful group of fan-film producers who'd crowdfunding more than $1M to make a kick-ass Star Trek video. Read the rest

Amazon is the poster child for everything wrong with post-Reagan anti-trust enforcement

Last January, a 28-year-old law student named Lina Khan published a 24,000-word article in the Yale Law Journal unpicking a half-century's shifts in anti-trust law in America, using Amazon as a poster child for how something had gone very, very wrong -- and, unexpectedly, this law student's longread on one of the most technical and abstract areas of law has become the centerpiece of a raging debate in law and economics circles. Read the rest

A new, dubious "smart" cryptocurrency for prostitution

"Lust" is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services. Read the rest

Walkaway is a finalist for the Dragon Awards and is #1 on Locus's hardcover bestseller list

Dragon Con's Dragon Award ballot was just published and I'm delighted to learn that my novel Walkaway is a finalist in the "Best Apocalyptic Novel" category, along with Daniel Humphreys' A Place Outside the Wild, Omar El Akkad's American War, Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz's Codename: Unsub, N.K. Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate, Rick Heinz's The Seventh Age: Dawn, and J.F. Holmes's ZK: Falling. Read the rest

Toronto's insane real-estate bubble is finally bursting

Toronto's crazy-insane property prices stayed high even through the 2008 crash and its aftermath, but sales volumes of houses of all types plummeted by 40.4% for July 2017-vs-July 2016, new listings are up by 5% over the same period -- and the average selling price has fallen by 19% since April. Read the rest

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