Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson have donated $500,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to endow the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents," which will be occupied by an attorney tasked with hunting down and destroying crappy patents that have been recklessly granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office to unscrupulous "inventors" who claim to have invented things that were obvious and/or already extant; and to pay for activists to fight for substantive patent reform:
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Cuban's $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney. The rest of EFF's seasoned intellectual property team includes Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, and Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. The team is also assisted by EFF fellows Michael Barclay and Jason Schultz.
Persson's separate donation of $250,000 cements EFF's ability to tackle the systemic problems with software patents. With a blend of lawyers, technologists, and activists, EFF will push for reform in the courts, through activism campaigns, and by educating the public and politicians about what is wrong with software patents and what needs to change.
"Temporary fixes aren't good enough – we need deep and meaningful reform to protect software development and keep it as free and democratic as possible," said Persson, creator of the popular videogame Minecraft. "New games and other technological tools come from improving on old things and making them better – an iterative process that the current patent environment could shut down entirely.
My friend Bob Knetzger, who is a toy inventor and does amazing preliminary sketches of his creations, came across some hand-drawn plans for a prosthetic limb. He says:
While on my usual lunchtime walk last summer I saw this piece of paper on the ground and picked it up.
I love this drawing, obviously done by a young maker.
I don't know who [the kid] is but I like how s/he shows the tools and material needed for this project: wood, saw, glue and pensile (sic).
Draw the shape on the wood, then cut it out with the saw and glue it to the kid, replacing the missing hand!
I'll bet the person who drew this plays Minecraft! Read the rest
The Kickstarter-funded documentary about Minecraft and its creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, debuts on Saturday, December 22 on Xbox Live.
Recently-added bugfixes—and player ingenuity!—led to a selection of
This adorable Makie doll went to MineCon, a Minecraft convention in Paris, with its owner MoggyMoo and her son, a Minecraft enthusiast. In honour of the occasion, Moggymoo knit a tiny custom Minecraft creeper jumper for it to wear.
Meena is going to MineCon
(Disclosure: My wife is the founder of MakieLab)
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Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide
, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.
I've got one of Jane's Christmas presents taken care of.
Minecraft Creeper Premium Zip-up Youth Hoodie
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"It’s a magnificent piece of Minecraft merchandise."
Pre-order now for $21. Get it for now for $15! (Via WTC) Read the rest
Matt sez, "Here's a link for the Herobrine costume I made for my son. After a bunch of requests, I put up the PDF files and instructions to make your own. It was a huge hit with the kids at his school. Even bigger than when we went as Finn and the Ice King last year!"
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CaptainSparklez's "Minecraft Style" is a spot-on perfect "Gangnam Style" parody featuring all the eight-bit tropes and memes we love from Minecraft, scaled up in glorious jaggievision. Love the "sexy piggies."
The Biomes O'Plenty Minecraft mod adds wild varieties of landscape to the blocky exploration and building game: wastelands, craggy outcroppings, hazy savannah, ominous woodlands, orchards, and much else besides. [via RPS] Read the rest
Ben Purdy created this incredibly fun "real life Minecraft" game, which was set up and relentlessly thrashed at XOXOfest in Portland.
I would like to, in no sarcastic manner what-so-ever, officially dedicate this to all the people who commented on my original minecraft block video and accused me of faking it via green screens, after effects, black screens, blue screen, gray screens, etc. Looking forward to comments that the whole thing is staged and all those people are actors that are just pretending to hit the blocks.
I can assure you he does not lie, as I gave it a good thorough pounding myself. The textures are in fact projected onto the boxes; the implement is a foam pixel-art pickaxe. [via YouTube] Read the rest
I have fallen in love with a building, hundreds of people, a MakerBot, a portable toilet trailer, food trucks, and two men each named Andy. Is it possible to fall in love with a conference? If so, I have. The organizers named the conference XOXO for hugs and kisses. This was presented without hipster irony or marketing-speak. They meant it. They delivered.
Jeff sez, "Some gamers need a Railgun, others choose an M1A1, most seem to desire an Energy Sword...but what we need is a pickaxe! That's right, our current favorite diversion from lab work is Minecraft. We didn't want the fun to stop on the screen, so we created giant, 3-D, papercraft Minecraft terrains on our walls and show you how to build your own."
Build 3-D Papercraft Minecraft Terrains
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A wild array of new features arrived today for Minecraft
, the all-conquering digital RPG Lego addiction vortex: trading with villagers, bonus chests in new worlds, and countless new map features and block types are in the list. Most interesting of all, though, is the new (and definitively alpha) "adventure mode", which makes it far harder to move or destroy blocks—an essential tool for map-sharing storytellers. [RPS] Read the rest