How standardizing DRM will make us all less secure

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After decades of fighting for open Web standards that let anyone implement software to receive and render online data, the World Wide Web Consortium changed course and created EME, a DRM system that locks up video in formats that can only be played back with the sender's blessing, and which also gives media giants the power to threaten and sue security researchers who discover bugs in their code. Read the rest

Pay What You Want for the Pentester and Ethical Hacker Bundle

White hat hackers get paid to find holes in their own employers’ online systems, and plug those holes before they become serious security risks. It’s a job that pays handsomely...mostly because few job candidates, even experienced IT professionals, have the skills to scamper over firewalls and infiltrate the deepest recesses of a battle-tested network. But you can begin your new career as a computer security specialist with this complete Pentesting & Ethical Hacking course bundle---and pay whatever price you’d like.

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Excellent advice for generating and maintaining your passwords

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It's World Password Day and you can celebrate it by fixing your crappy passwords. Read the rest

MEP tours the farcical viewing conditions for the TTIP text

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On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU. Read the rest

Star Wars tiki mugs from Mos Eisley Kon-Tiki Bar

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Thinkgeek is accepting pre-orders for six upcoming 14 oz Star Wars tiki mugs, standing 6.5"-7.5" tall, with contrast-glazed interiors. Read the rest

Craig Wright backs off Satoshi proof offer, wipes blog

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Aussie entrepreneur Craig Wright backed off from his offer to produce more evidence that he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. He's also wiped his website, except for a final, rather ominous message.

The BBC reports that he regards himself as the victim of false allegations after security researchers revealed his earlier "proof" was no such thing.

Craig Wright had pledged to move some of the virtual currency from one of its early address blocks, an act many believe can only be done by the tech's creator.

This would have addressed complaints that earlier evidence he had published online was misleading. Dr Wright said that he was "sorry".

"I believed that I could put years of anonymity and hiding behind me," he blogged.

"But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

"When the rumours began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this."

This doesn't prove that he isn't Satoshi. But the evidence being requested would be no big deal were he the real Satoshi, as he claims, and wanted to convince people of it, which he does. It's all very odd. At this point, he looks like Uri Geller smiling helplessly in front of Johnny Carson, explaining that he can't bend the spoons because something bad is in the air. Read the rest

Hilary Clinton campaign ad: mashup of Republicans bashing Trump

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With the release of a pair of anti-Trump ads, the Clinton campaign has begun to fight a war on two fronts. Read the rest

Amid education funding emergency, Washington State gives Boeing, Microsoft $1B in tax breaks

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Jeff writes, "Combined, Washington State is providing Microsoft and Boeing $1 billion annually in tax breaks. Cumulatively, Microsoft's state tax has saved its shareholders $8.6 billion in costs. While the company quietly surpassed $1 trillion in all time revenue, its home state faces emergencies in education funding, homelessness, heroin addiction and escalating crime." Read the rest

Alligator visits human home, tries to ring doorbell, flops over adorably

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Alligator sightings are pretty common in South Carolina's Lowcountry region around this time of year. But a genuine gentleman alligator whose momma raised him to ring the doorbell when he comes a-callin on a human neighbor--well, that's just downright precious.

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The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?

The U.S. 'Sea Hunter' unmanned ship, a DARPA project.

The U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now testing a new unmanned drone warship.

The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States.

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Social Justice Kittens: the postcards

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Chloe from Portland's Reading Frenzy writes, "Six of our favorite Social Justice Kittens are back in postcard form! Next up: MRA Puppies! Postcards by Sean Tejaratchi/LiarTownUSA (previously) published by Show & Tell Press!" Read the rest

LISTEN: Timbertops, a rare children's album from 1974

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When I was a wee lad, the first LP I owned was Timbertops, a children's "concept album" released by The Buttercups in 1974. I was captivated by the premise—a young girl is visited by all sorts of peculiar anthropomorphic characters in her treehouse— and by the music, which was already dated (it was by then the mid-80s) but full of fun and very catchy.

If you tried to find MP3s or the band online, you wouldn't have had much luck before today. But for a couple of UK library references, it's as if it never existed. And the band (not to be confused with the new The Buttercups) never did another record. I still have no idea who the singer is! The writers were Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, one of the great songwriting partnerships you've never heard of. My best guess is that it was a quick, one-off stab at the kids' music market that came to nothing.

Anyway, I finally remembered it and spent ages tracking down an LP, digitizing it and uploading it all to YouTube, no copyright intended. It was really something to reacquaint myself with the cast, and I'm pleased to report that the creators mostly avoided stereotypes and other crutches oft-found in similar stuff from the era (Note: mafia frogs Ricky and Rocky are vaguely coded Italian; Welsh witch Myfanwy is depicted as a gypsy, and then there's MacGregor, a gruff Scottish terrier with a plaid beret.)

It's true that Timbertops might be a bit too kiddie for most grown-ups. Read the rest

Walt Whitman — patriotic poet, gay iconoclast, shrewd marketing ploy, or all three?

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About four months ago, cigar boxes, matchbooks, and coffee tins bearing the name and likeness of 19th-century poet Walt Whitman began appearing on the Show & Tell section of Collectors Weekly. Turns out, as Lisa Hix learned when she spoke to Ed Centeno, who posted the items from his personal collection, Whitman's name and bearded visage were once used to sell everything from tobacco products and booze to apple sauce. For the record, Whitman did not smoke, and as the son of an alcoholic father, he argued on behalf of Temperance causes. Presumably, Whitman ate apple sauce, but marketers never asked his permission to to sell stuff when he was alive (1819-1892), nor was Whitman ever compensated for the use of his good name.

All this advertising attention to Whitman is curious since, in general, poets don't make good marketing tools. The Whitman name is particularly problematic. While some people are inspired by his steadfast support of the Union cause during the Civil War, imperiling his own health to work as a nurse in a Washington, D.C., Army hospital, others see him as a very early champion of gay identity, as well as a hell of an erotic writer. Being patriotic and gay are obviously not incompatible, but the latter often gives those who would make money off the former pause.

Here's a snip:

During the Gilded Age, new industrial technology, particularly in chromolithography and tin-stamping, caused an explosion in product branding and advertising with colorful product labels, tin boxes, and tin signs.

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Angelina Jolie on a secret hunger strike to call attention to Syrian refugees, and other tabloid stunners

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[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]

Pictures never lie, do they?

So there’s no arguing with the graphic video footage that the National Enquirer’s latest edition offers showing singer Prince’s last moments dying in an elevator at his Minnesota mansion, and of a suicidal O.J. Simpson trying to hang himself in his prison cell.

Dramatic images indeed - if the video actually existed, and if the Enquirer had it. Which it doesn’t.

But somehow that doesn’t stop the from littering its cover with photos of Prince sprawled lifeless on an elevator floor, and of prison guards cutting O.J. down from his hand-crafted noose (apparently an impromptu concoction of towels, sheets and old shirts like you might find at a Maker Faire run by Dr Kevorkian.)

Beneath the blazing “World Exclusive” headlines you have to look really closely to find the hidden words: “Photo Recreation” on these pictures. And it’s far from certain that they are recreating video that even exists. Prince had video surveillance at his home studio, but were there cameras in his elevator, and did they film his demise? Prison CCTV cameras may cover hallways, but rarely peer into individual cells. Read the rest

Kasich quits Republican race

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A day after Cruz threw in the towel, John Kasich follows suit. Trump is not officially the Republican nominee--the Republican convention this summer is when he will be anointed (or somehow shivved) by the party--but this leaves him without a campaigning rival.
Mr Kasich's announcement clears Mr Trump's path, although he was never a significant threat and only won his home state. Earlier on Wednesday, he had released a Star-Wars themed advert describing himself as the "only hope" against Donald Trump.
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Trees "eating" things

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My new favorite subreddit is r/TreesSuckingOnThings, a growing collection of photos of trees growing slowly to encase and envelope signs, railings, motorcycles and other things attached or adjacent to them.

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The Planet Remade: frank, clear-eyed book on geoengineering, climate disaster, & humanity's future

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Since its publication in late 2015, science writer Oliver Morton's The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World has swept many "best book" (best science book, best business book, best nonfiction book) and with good reason: though it weighs in at a hefty 440 pages and covers a broad scientific, political and technological territory, few science books are more important, timely and beautifully written.

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