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.

Tights with poetry


The View Text Etsy store sells custom tights emblazoned with poetry from the likes of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare (you can also get your own text on a pair). (via Geeky Merch)

Read the rest

Bridging gongkai and free/open source


Bunnie Huang and his team have set out to fully reverse-engineer and document a cheap Chinese Mediatek MT6260. mobile-phone board -- licensed in the complex, informal regime of "gongkai," through which lots of theoretically confidential information is published, but some critical pieces are withheld.

Read the rest

New NSA leaks: does crypto still work?


Matthew Green's got an excellent postmortem on the huge dump of NSA docs Der Spiegel last weekend.

Read the rest

United and Orbitz sue Skiplagged, a service you should totally use

Skiplagged finds cheap one-way fares by surfacing weird airline pricing strategies, like pricing a NY-SFO-Lake Tahoe flight cheaper than an NY-SFO flight, so you book all the way through to Tahoe, debark at SFO, and walk away from the final leg.

Read the rest

Detailed Snowtrooper armor


A mere $2000 gets you this suit of Imperial Snowtrooper couture armor, suitable for fighting asymmetric warfare on Hoth or chilling at a con.

Read the rest

Lauren Ipsum: The Phantom Tollbooth meets Young Ladies' Illustrated Primer

Lauren Ipsum is an absolutely brilliant kids’ book about computer science, and it never mentions computer science—it’s a series of witty, charming, and educational parables about the fundamentals that underpin the discipline.

Read the rest

Fingerprints can be reproduced from photos of your hands

A presentation by Starbug at the 31st Chaos Communications Congress (previously) demonstrated a technique for deriving fingerprints from a couple of photographs of your hands. Starbug's proof of concept was a copy of the fingerprints of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Read the rest

Embroidered anatomical notebooks


Chara from Athens, Greece operates an amazing Etsy store full of hand-embroidered notebooks featuring anatomical, natural and historical themes: the circulatory system, the heart, a spider, Leonardo da Vinci's Apostle James, blood circulation of the head and many more. (via Geeky Merch)

Read the rest

Livestreams from the Chaos Communications Congress

The 31st Chaos Communications Congress is underway in Hamburg, where some of the most important, entertaining, mind-blowing, and earth-shaking information about computer security and politics will be revealed. Here's the livestream. (via Hacker News)

3D printed prosthetic leg


William Root's "Exo-Prosthetic" is a 3D printed artificial leg made from laser-sintered titanium, which uses a 3D scan of the wearer's truncated limb for fit, and a 3D scan of the intact limb for form.

Read the rest

Sony pirated K-pop anthem in The Interview

Yoon Mi Rae is set to sue Sony over the inclusion of her song "Touch Love" in The Interview, which, she says, Sony failed to license for the film.

Read the rest

Kickstarting a US show of pieces by Japanese weavers with autism


Gabrielle writes, "Saori weaving is the perfect craft for happy mutants. You can't make a mistake and all variation is considered part of the personal expression."

Read the rest

Difficult questions posed to the NYPL reference desks before the net


In the New York Public Library's Instagram account, Information Architect Morgan Holzer is posting images of 3x5 cards pulled from a shoebox collecting 50 years' worth of weird questions that were posed to the system's reference desks, which were strange and notable enough to warrant addition to the collection.

Read the rest

NSA dumps incriminating documents on Christmas Eve


At 1:30pm on Christmas Eve, the NSA dumped a huge cache of documents on its website in response to a long-fought ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, including documents that reveal criminal wrongdoing.

Read the rest

War on General Purpose Computers is the difference between utopia and dystopia


My Wired op-ed, How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm, warns that we've learned the wrong lesson from the DRM wars: we've legitimized the idea that we can and should design computers to disobey their owners and hide their operations from them in order to solve our problems (and that we should protect this design decision by making it a felony to disclose flaws in devices, lest these flaws be used to jailbreak them).

Read the rest

Algorithmic cruelty


With its special end-of-year message, Facebook wants to show you, over and over, what your year "looked like"; in Eric Meyer's case, the photo was of his daughter, who died this year: "For those of us who lived through the death of loved ones, or spent extended time in the hospital, or were hit by divorce or losing a job or any one of a hundred crises, we might not want another look at this past year."

Read the rest

Why "smart cities" should be an Internet of People, not Things


Adam Greenfield proves again that he's one of the best writers and thinkers on "smart cities," explaining how the top-down, expensive, tech-centered approach produces unlivable corporate dystopias in which people are just another "thing" to be shuffled around -- and showing that there's an alternative, low-tech, high-touch, human-centered version of the smart city that makes resilient, thriving communities.

Read the rest

How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote "Remains of the Day" in 4 weeks

In 1987, motivated by anxiety over his inability to produce a followup novel to his earlier sucesses, Ishiguru made a deal with his wife Lorna: he would write every day from 9h-2230h, with brief meal-breaks, 6 days a week: four weeks later, he finished Remains of the Day.

Read the rest

Jesus Christ was an asylum seeker


Across the rich world, this decade has seen the rise of increasingly fierce anti-immigrant sentiment, much of it from self-identified Christians -- as you recount the Christmas story this year, remember that Mary and Joseph fled religious persecution and sought asylum in a rich country, which took them in.

Read the rest

Beautiful Japanese Firefox OS phone in a transparent case

Al sends us the Fx0, a "beautiful mid-range phone running Firefox OS announced in Japan today by KDDI, one of Japan's largest mobile phone companies."

Read the rest

The best deleted political tweets from 2014


Nicko sez, With 2014 coming to close, it's that time of year to curl up by the fire and enjoy the biggest Twitter regrets from US politicians. They're all saved in Politwoops and the midterm elections meant it was extra busy." -

Infectious disease squeeze-balls, full of buboes

The coolest gross-out toy under our tree this year is the $5 infectious disease ball, a squeeze-ball wrapped in mesh that erupts into disquieting, vividly colored buboes when you squeeze it.

Read the rest

Why you're so busy


The Economist's feature on time-poverty is an absolute must-read, explaining the multi-factorial nature of the modern time crunch, which combines the equivalence of time and money (leading to leisure hours that are as crammed as possible in order to maximize their value), the precarity of the American workplace (meaning that affluent workers work longer hours), and the pace of electronically mediated communications (which makes any kind of refractory pause feel like a wasteful and dull eternity).

Read the rest

15-20% of Xmas gifts are crap


"The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," published in American Economic Review (Joel Waldfogel, UMN) estimates that "on average, the waste attributable to poorly chosen seasonal gifts was between 15 and 20 per cent of the purchase price of the gift" ($10B/year in the US alone!).

Read the rest

Pfizer threatens pharmacists, doctors if they take its name in vain


Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use.

Read the rest

Jailbreaking your cat litter: welcome to the Internet of Feudal Things


Jorge loves his Catgenie automated cat-litter tray, but doesn't love spending $350/year on "Sanisolution" (perfumed gunk that makes the litter stick to his cats' feet and gets tracked all over his apartment), but he discovered that the manufacturer uses DRM to stop him from filling the empty Sanisolution reservoir with water.

Read the rest

Help improve diverse accessibility for PDX's Open Source Bridge conference


Sumana writes, "Open Source Bridge is already a leader among tech conferences in diversity-friendliness -- OSB featured a strong code of conduct, accessibility, well-labelled food for all needs, and cheap & free admissions before they became de rigeur, and in 2014 boasted a gender-balanced slate of speakers."

Read the rest

Star Wars and Bat-signal crayons


Crayontastik melts down "reputable brand crayons" and recasts them in new forms, like this Star Wars set and these Bat-signal crayons.

Read the rest

Fox affiliate fakes "kill a cop" protester chant

Baltimore's WBFF -- a Fox affiliate -- edited protests of an anti-police-violence protest to make it sound like the protesters were chanting "kill a cop."

Read the rest

Scientology Christmas gifts


The Scientology Christmas catalog is pretty much what you'd expect, if you're familiar with the cult: enormously expensive (as in, "mortgage your house and embezzle from your employer") sets of books and DVDs/CDs, as well as crude, tarted up skin galvanometers ("e-meters") that are the holy relics of the faith.

Read the rest