Every year I find a few gifts for friends and family at the Muir Beach Quilters' Holiday Arts Fair. A number of local crafters and artists show off their stuff at this fair and it is always good fun. If you feel like driving up the coast this weekend, be sure to check it out! — Jason
Five years ago today Facebook and the Social Dynamics of Privacy: Adding “friendYouDontLike” to a controlled vocabulary will not make it socially complete; there’s still “friendYouDidntUsedToLike.” As long as there are social nuances that aren’t captured in the rules of the network (i.e., always), the network will be unable to prevent them from sparking privacy blowups.
Ten years ago today Sega's Crazy Taxi patent suit against EA is crazy: Avi Bar Zeev, former Imagineer who invented a Crazy Taxi video game while at Disney, weighs in on a patent dispute between Sega (which hired a Disney exec who'd seen Avi's idea and which quickly produced and patented a Crazy Taxi game) and EA (which has its own Crazy Taxi game).
Jo from English Pen writes, "Thanks to Edward Snowden's leaks about the secret surveillance of all our communications by intelligence services in the UK and US, privacy is one of the biggest stories of the day. None of us can be sure now that our emails or phone calls are ever confidential, so this is something we should all be worried about. At English PEN there's a discussion next Wednesday 11 December at 630pm, with some experts on the subject and it should be a lively debate - with writer Alan Judd, former MI6 director for operations Nigel Inkster and Ian Brown, director of the Oxford Internet Institute. It's chaired by English PEN's director Jo Glanville at the Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA."
Michael sez, "Apparently medieval Russian schoolroooms used birch bark for things like writing practice. Erik Kwakkel, medieval book historian at Leiden University, Netherlands, has some charming photos of stick-figure illustrations on bark by kids who, like kids everywhere, got a bit bored with the lesson and started doodling in the margins. There are links to more images (and an interesting scholarly article) at the bottom of the post."
The Astak Neos Touchscreen Smart Display looks like a very large iPad, but it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a backstand, and must be kept plugged into a wall outlet. It's got a USB port, a webcam, an SD card slot, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth network. I set my review unit on a shelf over the kitchen sink, and it's been in heavy use ever since.
Details are emerging about Stardust, a piece of malicious software that targets point-of-sale credit-card processing machines. Stardust has reportedly compromised over 20,000 PoS machines and turned them into a easy-to-control botnet. The malware's masters can monitor the botnet in realtime and issue fine-grained commands to its components, harvesting a titanic volume of payment card details.
K sez, "Many holiday gifts are trojan horses that will spy on their recipients, prevent them from doing what they want with their device, or maybe even block access to their favorite books or music. Thankfully, the Free Software Foundation is proud to introduce a map through this minefield: the 2013 Giving Guide. The Giving Guide features gifts that will not only make your recipients jump for joy; these gifts will also protect their freedom."
Liz writes, "In the spirit of Charles Dickens, bestselling author Elizabeth Hand is donating all royalties from the new e-book edition of her holiday classic, Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol, to Autism Speaks in memory of Anne Marie Murphy, a high school classmate killed in the Newtown shootings. A finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Hand's modern carol recasts the original with a Joey Ramone wannabe, the ghost of a beloved childhood TV show, and the redemption of a father estranged from his autistic child. Reviewers call it 'a delight' and 'absolutely perfect reading.' 'There are people who reread 'Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol' every year, and that makes me happier than almost anything.' -Clarkesworld."
Jean MacDonald was formerly best known for her role as a software marketing and public-relations guru for a major Macintosh software developer, but her work to create App Camp for Girls has eclipsed that. Jean and her colleagues raised over $100,000 on Indiegogo to fund an initial two sessions of a week each in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, and the next step is national. Jean talks about the particular challenges of bootstrapping a non-profit from zero through crowdfunding, and the group's efforts in navigating their way to the next steps.
This episode is sponsored by Stack! Get a delightful, carefully selected current issue of a different English-language print magazine from around the world delivered to your mailbox each month. Use code DISRUPT13 for $5 off a three-month subscription or $20 off a year's wonderful arrivals. Visit Stack to subscribe.
Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things using foul language. In this episode, they discuss Arya VIII and Jaime VI chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Also covered: Gendry's ignorance, Railroad getting women into bed, the new Boing Boing readers, Aenys Frey, Ivan's review of Square Inc's cafeteria, Lannister ambition, Jaime dream interpretation, Brienne's poor record as a bodyguard, Vargo, and the Kingthlayer.
The very fact that you are reading this sentence, contemplating whether you want to listen to this podcast, means that you are living out a fantasy from a previous generation's cyberpunk novel.
However you made it here, however you got these words into your brain, you did so by diving through data streams first cooked up by delirious engineers downing late-night coffees, wandering deep within rows of data tape unspooling from jerky, spinning platters.
We've been dreaming of this life for a long time, since before the vacuum tubes and punchcards of the '40s, and now that we are here, some people are worried that the tech will, at best, make us lazy, and at worst make us stupid.