Boing Boing 

Outstanding paper on the impact of ebook DRM on readers, writers, publishers and distributors

In last summer's Unlocking the Gates of Alexandria: DRM, Competition and Access to E-Books , Ana Carolina Bittar of the Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo does an outstanding, thorough, and easily understandable job in explaining the ways in which ebook DRM ends up hurting writers, readers and publishers by shifting market power to the ebook vendors like Amazon, Google Play, Apple and B&N.

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GCHQ hacking squad worried about getting sued for copyright violation


The British spy-agency targeted anti-virus software and other common applications in reverse-engineering projects aimed at discovering and weaponizing defects in the code.

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Every 3 years you get to beg the government for the right to treat your property as if you owned it


Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans jailbreaking devices, even for lawful purposes -- meaning that you can't jailbreak your tractor in order to take it to the service-center of your choosing or fix it yourself.

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If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Roomba leaking pix of your home, forever

The game-plan for future Roombas may fit them with cameras that send images of your home to a remote service that identifies obstacles and lets the little robots clean around them -- what could possibly go wrong?

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GM says you don't own your car, you just license it


GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine.

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John Deere: of course you "own" your tractor, but only if you agree to let us rip you off


John Deere freaked out over a a petition to the Copyright Office to let tractor owners break the DRM on their vehicles in order to diagnose and fix them.

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Keurig CEO blames disastrous financials on DRM

Keurig CEO Brian Kelley blamed a 23% drop in sales on his decision to use DRM to stop people from buying their coffee-pods from his competition.

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Drug pump is "most insecure" devices ever seen by researcher

Security researcher Jeremy Richards has called the Hospira Lifecare PCA 3 drug-pump "the least secure IP enabled device" he's examined.

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Legal threat against security researcher claims he violated lock's copyright


Mike Davis from Ioactive found serious flaws in the high-security the Cyberlock locks used by hospitals, airports and critical infrastructure, but when he announced his findings, he got a legal threat that cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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Tell the Copyright Office not to criminalize using unapproved goop in a 3D printer

3D printing giant Stratasys has asked the US Copyright Office to deny a proposal that would legalize jailbreaking your 3D printer in order to use your own feedstock.

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In the 21st century, only corporations get to own property and we're their tenants


In the wake of John Deere's claims that the software in its engines means that its farm equipment is "licensed," not "sold," I talked to the Globe and Mail about what digital locks mean for the idea of property in the 21st century.

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Apollo 11's Michael Collins on the view from space

From a classic FAQ by Michael Collins, command module pilot for Apollo 11, which splashed down 45 years ago today after carrying the first human beings to the moon:

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Inside NASA's rubber room

If a Saturn V rocket had ever exploded on the launchpad, it would have been a catastrophic event. NASA engineers once calculated that the resulting fireball would have been 1048 feet wide and would have hit temperatures as high as 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. In the hopes of not losing astronauts or launch crew to the inferno, NASA tricked out the Apollo launchpad with some safety systems that still exist today, including an underground, rubber-lined bunker that was accessible from the launch platform via a 200-foot twisty slide. (Which almost sounds like fun, until you consider the context.)

Amy Shira Teitel is one of the few people who have been inside the rubber room recently. In the video above, and she shares photos and stories about it in the video above, at her blog, and on Discovery.com.

Video Link

Apollo F-1 engines recovered from Atlantic ocean floor by Bezos Expeditions

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has exciting news out today. Apollo mission F-1 enginges have been recovered from the bottom of the sea.Read the rest

The Shuttle Shokunin, and Kennedy Space Center's 50th anniversary


Discovery launch. Source: NASA.

This past weekend, I accompanied Miles O'Brien to the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center. In attendance were present and past KSC directors, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, astronauts and space heroes of all eras—from Thomas Stafford to Cady Coleman—and many of the so-called "pad rats" who built spacecraft from the Apollo era through the Shuttle era. Miles delivered an amazing speech dedicated to those pad rats.

If you're familiar with traditional Japanese craftsmanship culture or you've seen the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you'll know why he calls them "The Shuttle Shokunin."

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Pink Floyd moon landing space jam, 1969: "Moonhead"

[Video Link]

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my new obsession with early to mid-era Pink Floyd oddities. Following the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong this weekend, the NYT Lede blog points to a special rarity: a moon landing jam session the band recorded at a BBC TV studio during the descent of Apollo 11, the first time human beings ever set foot on another world. David Gilmour in the Guardian:

It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23. The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. Funnily enough I’ve never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube. They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called Moonhead — it’s a nice, atmospheric, spacey 12-bar blues.

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The story of the Apollo 11 moon landing, as told through data (video)

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This data visualization of the Apollo 11 moon mission gathers social and technical data from the 1969 lunar landing in video form. The horizontal axis is an interactive timeline.

The horizontal axis is an interactive timeline. The vertical axis is divided into several sections, each corresponding to a data source. At the top, commentators are present in narratives from Digital Apollo and NASA technical debriefings. Just below are the members of ground control. The middle section is a log-scale graph stretching from Earth (~10E9 ft. away) to the Moon. Utterances from the landing CAPCOM, Duke, the command module pilot, Collins, the mission commander, Armstrong, and the lunar module pilot, Aldrin, are plotted on this graph. The graph is partially overlaid on a composite image of the lunar surface.

More about the data presented, and the story told, at the project's Vimeo page. The project comes from the MIT Laboratory for Automation, Robotics, and Society, and was directed by David Mindell. Via Maria Popova. As noted on Flowing Data, my only disappointment is that they didn't get to the "One small step for [a] man" part!

Additional credits: Visualization Design by Yanni Loukissas, and Francisco Alonso served as Research Assistant.