Boing Boing 

Kodachrome home-movie of a Long Beach fast food joint in 1952

Archivist Rick Prelinger sez, "I'm sure Beany's Hamburgers weren't the healthiest food, but this eight-minute home movie from Prelinger Archives takes us inside a fast-food joint from the Korean War era. Filmed in Long Beach, California right across from the Circle Drive-In, this film shows cooks, customers and classic cars in loving detail."

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Hundreds of vintage games to play in your browser


The Internet Archive's Internet Arcade resurrects over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s to 1990s for play inside your browser, using the JSMAME emulator.

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Viewmaster reels for the old D&D cartoon show

Matt writes, "I found these old Dungeons & Dragons TV-show View-Master reels on Internet Archive and made a slide show, complete with the 'ka-chunk' noise the old View-Master toy made."

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Internet Archive uploads more than 14 million public domain images to Flickr


Kalev Leetaru programatically recovered all the images that were discarded by the OCR program that digitizes the millions of public domain books scanned by the Archive; these were cropped, cleaned up, and uploaded to Flickr with the text that appears before and after them, and links to see their whole scanned page.

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Internet Archive looking for software to extract political ads from TV archives


With election season coming up, the Internet Archive is looking to publish collections of political ads from earlier US campaigns. They have a massive archive of digitized US TV footage, along with searchable full-text closed captions. Now they're hoping someone can point them to some software to auto-extract the political ads from the corpus.

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To do in San Francisco tonight: Internet Archive's Ethics in Tech comedy night


Lisa Rein writes, "The Internet Archive is hosting its first ever 'Ethics in Tech' event this Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30pm. (Show starts promptly at 7:00 pm.) Political Comedian Will Durst will be on a panel with the EFF's Legal Director, Cindy Cohn Frontier Foundation and the Internet Archive's own Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle. Inder Comar, from WitnessIraq.com, and Janet Weil, from CodePink.org, will also be speaking."

Learn about how to protect your Fourth Amendment rights and other constitutional rights and freedoms while attempting to see the lighter side of these very serious issues. Tickets are still available here (Proceeds will be donated to the following organizations, based on a selection process from ticketholders: Veterans For Peace, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Archive, WitnessIraq.com, EthicsInTech, SF99Percent.org, and CodePink.)

NSA Comedy Tour with Will Durst! A Night of Comedy, Ethics & Tech!

Donations to the Internet Archive matched 3-to-1

A reader writes, "You've heard about the fire that destroyed one of the thirty-two scanning centers last month. But here's what you may not have heard: the good news. An incredibly generous anonymous donor is helping the Internet Archive rebuild -- and grow -- by matching every donation made before 2014 three-to-one. That means your $50 donation results in a $200 contribution. They are raising $1,000,000 before the end of the year to fund more machines and five petabytes -- that's five thousand terabytes! -- of storage."

Archive of Warren Publishing's Comics-Code-beating transgressive magazines


The Internet Archive has a marvellous trove of scanned work from Warren Publishing, the maverick house behind such classic magazines as Creepy. The introduction of the Comics Code, following Fredeic Wertham's scientific fraud purporting to show a link between comics and crime, gutted comics for half a century. But Warren Publishing avoided the Comics Code altogether by changing formats and publishing as a magazine, bringing us such classics as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Eerie, and Help! magazine (which employed Gloria Steinem!). Here's the Wikipedia summary of Warren's amazing run:

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Archive.org's scanning center destroyed by fire


Rick Prelinger writes, "Early this morning a fire whose origin is still unknown destroyed the book, film and microfilm scanning center located next door to Internet Archive's office in San Francisco's Richmond District."

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Aaron Swartz celebration/hackathon kickoff, Nov 8


Lisa Rein writes, "Noisebridge and the Internet Archive are hosting a big event on Nov 8 (1830h-2100h) to celebrate Aaron Swartz’s life and accomplishments, and kick off an international series of hackathons that will be taking place all over the world in his honor, during what would have been his 27th birthday weekend, November 8-10, 2013. (Confirmed locations include, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Berlin, Boston, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Houston, Kathmandu, Magdeburg, New York, Santiago, Chile, Seattle and San Francisco.)"

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Mel Blanc's radio show: 40+ free, downloadable episodes

Zack writes, "In 1947, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner and other beloved cartoon characters had his own radio show spinning out of his appearances on Jack Benny's program, where he played a fix-it shop owner. More than 40 episodes are available to legally download for free on this page."

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Spooky fan-video for TMBG's 'Darlings of Lumberland' made with public domain assets

Craig sez, "This is an unofficial music video for 'The Darlings of Lumberland' by They Might Be Giants, from their 16th album 'Nanobots' (2013). It was created using both famous and obscure silent horror films found on Archive.org, and photos from the vintage photo site Retronaut. TMBG is giving away a free MP3 of 'Darlings.'

TMBG - The Darlings of Lumberland (a Halloween music video) - from Nanobots (2013) (Thanks, Craig!)

RADIO: a technical book my grandmother wrote when she was 17


In 1940, my grandmother graduated from the Central High School of Commerce in Toronto. As a condition of graduating, she had to write a book-length thesis project, and hers was called "RADIO," and was a history of radio to date, with emphasis on its applications to business. My grandmother pulled this out at a family gathering last year, and I passed it on to Bobby Glushko, who was working with Hathi Trust at the time on a book-scanning project (he's since landed a plum gig at the University of Toronto), and he arranged to have the book scanned and uploaded to the Internet Archive under a CC-BY-SA license. I think it's a fascinating read, especially considering my grandmother wrote it when she was 17 years old.

Radio (1940)

What would it cost to store all of America's phone calls?

The Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle has done the math on building a data-center that could hold all of America's voice-calls, and concluded that this it wouldn't quite fit within the $20M price-tag reported for Prism, though it's not far off.

These estimates show only $27M in capital cost, and $2M in electricity and take less than 5,000 square feet of space to store and process all US phonecalls made in a year.   The NSA seems to be spending $1.7 billion on a 100k square foot datacenter that could easily handle this and much much more.    Therefore, money and technology would not hold back such a project– it would be held back if someone did not have the opportunity or will.

Another study concluded about 4x my data estimates others have suggested the data could be compressed 10:1, and the power bill would be lower in Utah.  

Here's a shared spreadsheet with Kahle's calculations.

Cost to Store All US Phonecalls Made in a Year in Cloud Storage so it could be Datamined

Illustrated guide to insanity, 1883


"Types of insanity, an illustrated guide in the physical diagnosis of mental disease" from 1883 is not just a frightening look at the inhumane treatment of people with mental health problems in the 19th century, it's also full of sensitive charcoal portraits of inmates in various asylums, along with their tragic personal histories: "X______ has been melancholic for some years, and the disease is drifting into dementia."

Types of insanity, an illustrated guide in the physical diagnosis of mental disease [with manuscript notes] (1883) (via Retronaut)

Copying is Not Theft, the Barbershop edition

Aaron Wolf's released a jim-dandy Barbershop Quartet arrangement of Nina Paley's song "Copying is Not Theft."

The song is licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 (as is my entire website). This means I have full legal right to do anything I want with it as long as I credit Nina and I license my version the same way. Lots of people have already made tons of variations of the song from jazz to punk rock versions.

Copying Is Not Theft: Barbershop Arrangement pt2 (Thanks, Peter!)

Aaron Swartz memorial in San Francisco at the Internet Archive on Thu

Carl Malamud sez, "If you are in the Bay Area, please come to the Internet Archive Thursday evening for a memorial honoring Aaron Swartz. The program will be streamed on the net."

Aaron Swartz's friends and colleagues at the Internet Archive will be holding a memorial gathering for him on January 24 from 7PM onward at the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco 94118, in the Presidio.

Aaron Swartz digital archive

Brewster Kahle, Carl Malamud, and Aaron Swartz's other radical archivist friends have put together an open repository for peoples' electronic Aaron Swartz files. Brewster writes,

"The Web team of the Internet Archive have been archiving all the aaronsw sites they are finding. But, Carl suggested we make a way for people to store digital archives related to him: email, photos, code, etc... It might be the first crowd-sourced Personal Digital Archive, or a digital memorial collection."

Welcome to The Aaron Swartz Collection

1895 catalog of Louisville bordellos


David sez, "The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of union civil war veterans, held its annual encampment in Louisville in 1895. This 'Sporting Guide' advertises the various houses of ill repute wishing to "entertain" the visitors coming to town for the event."

G.A.R. souvenir sporting guide (Thanks, David!)

Charles Babbage's dissected brain


A paper in a 1909 edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London described the dissection of Charles Babbage's brain. The whole article is on the Internet Archive, from which the Public Domain Review has plucked it.

Babbage himself decided that he wanted his brain to be donated to science upon his death. In a letter accompanying the donation, his son Henry wrote:

I have no objection…to the idea of preserving the brain…Please therefore do what you consider best…[T]he brain should be known as his, and disposed of in any manner which you consider most conducive to the advancement of human knowledge and the good of the human race.

Half of Babbage’s brain is preserved at the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the other half is on display in the Science Museum in London.

The Brain of Charles Babbage (1909)

Get a copy of the Web

Want 80 terabytes of web-crawl? The Internet Archive will give you a copy of (an appreciable slice of) the Web, for research purposes: "we would like to experiment with offering access to one of our crawls from 2011 with about 80 terabytes of WARC files containing captures of about 2.7 billion URIs. The files contain text content and any media that we were able to capture, including images, flash, videos, etc."

Designer room interiors of 1946


How to Be a Retronaut picks out the best of a 1946 portfolio of designer room interiors from the Internet Archive. Above, a room I would live in in a heartbeat. Right, a swell kitchen.

Portfolio of Room Interiors, 1946

Publishing America's for-pay, private laws - legal piracy

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,

On March 15, Boing Boing kindly allowed me to use this august forum to serve notice on 7 government officials and 10 of the CEOs of the $1-billion/year industry of standards people. The issue was privately-developed public safety standards that were incorporated into U.S. law, but only available by paying big bucks. We asked the government and the standards people to send us their comments by May 1 as to why the law shouldn't be available for all to read.

There have been no such comments received, so today we're making available for public inspection 317 legally-mandated documents, most of why have been previously unavailable on the net. To properly document this open source release, Tim O'Reilly, Jennifer Pahlka, and the 2012 Code for America fellows joined me in an Internet town hall.

Although Public.Resource.Org received no comments from the standards people, this doesn't mean they haven't circled the wagons. Tuesday [today], the Department of Commerce is hosting the CEOs of the biggest standards bodies in a big standards summit. We asked to participate as did a number of other public interest groups, but we didn't make the cut.

Although all these Standards Development Organizations are non-profits, they do quite well for themselves. In fact, the 5 nonprofit CEOs attending this meeting (which is conveniently not webcast and isn't taking questions or comments from the net), the average salary is $633,061. The standards people claim they need the money, but I don't think they need nearly as much as they're making and, in any case, you can't have a democracy if the citizens don't know what the law is. I hope everybody can take a few minutes to look at these standards and make your voice known here on Boing Boing or directly to your government. (This isn't just a U.S. issue, by the way, and we're now preparing a release of public safety standards for other countries.)

If you're interested in other links, you might consider:

* One Man's Quest to Make Information Free (Bloomberg Business)
* Making Laws More Public (On the Media)
* Why building codes should be open

Free archive of for-pay laws

Hidden camera records FBI returning snatched anonymous remailer server

Riseup, a "progressive Internet organization" that operates an anonymous remailer had its servers seized by the FBI without notice two weeks ago. They installed a little CCTV camera after the seizure. On Wednesday, that camera recorded footage of the FBI putting the servers back.

On April 18, 2012, a Riseup server located in MF/PL's colocation cabinet and managed by ECN, a progressive provider in Italy, was seized by the FBI. MF/PL found out about the seizure when Riseup reported that there was no response from the server. Technologists visited the server location and found that the machine had been removed.

The FBI is investigating bomb threats being made to facilities and people at the University of Pittsburgh and believed that one of the servers used to email these threats was an anonymous email server operated by ECN. "These servers have no logs or traces of who used them," MF/PL Director Jamie McClelland said. "Nothing useful could be gotten from this seizure but there is a concrete outcome: the seizure disrupted May First's work and disrupted the communications of hundreds of people who lawfully use that server for email and website services everyday."

Anonymous email servers keep no records of their users and are frequently used by activists, organizers and information sources world-wide.

FBI returns Riseup server to May First/People Link cabinet (Thanks, Jacob!)

HG Wells's "Tono-Bungay," a memoir about quack remedies, as a free audiobook

A reader writes, "Librivox [ed: a trove of free, volunteer-read audio adaptations of public domain books] has released the audio version of Tono-Bungay the classic semi-autobiographical novel by H. G. Wells." From Wikipedia:

Tono-Bungay is a realist semi-autobiographical novel. It is narrated by George Ponderevo, a science student who is drafted in to help with the promotion of Tono-Bungay, a harmful stimulant disguised as a miraculous cure-all, the creation of his uncle Edward. The quack remedy Tono-Bungay seems to have been based upon the patent medicines Carter's Little Liver Pills and Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People.... As the tonic prospers, George experiences a swift rise in social status, elevating him to riches and opportunities that he had never imagined, nor indeed desired. The novel displays Edward's social climbing satirically, and also George's discomfort at rising in social class. The hero's personal life is narrated with unusual frankness for an Edwardian novel.... The empire eventually overextends itself and then collapses. George tries unsuccessfully to save his uncle and eventually ends up designing battleships for the highest bidder. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Tono-Bungay

(Image: Frisbee)

Slouching is for suckers

A 1953 Centron Corporation educational film explains how poor posture is the root of all social misery, poor health, and general malaise. And that's one to grow on.

Here is what you’ll learn today, fellow computer users: slouching is the reason no one talks to you at parties, even if you’re a perfectly attractive and friendly person, and the key to good posture is exercise, rest, and good shoes. Though we will tell you one thing: If your reflection in the mirror is mocking you because of your posture, you might have bigger problems than slouching.

1950s Educational Film Explains: Slouching Is For Terrible People [Video]

Fan video for Jonathan Coulton's "Down Today" made from public domain ballooning footage

Craig sez, "This is a music video I've edited for the song 'Down Today' by Jonathan Coulton (from his 2011 album, 'Artificial Heart,' produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants) using footage from public domain films mostly found on Archive.org. 'No! No! A Thousand Times No!! - a 1935 Fleischer Studio animated short film, starring Betty Boop, 'Voyage à Travers l'Impossible' (The Impossible Voyage) (1904) directed by Georges Méliès, 'Le Voyage Dans la Lune' (A Trip to the Moon) (1902) directed by Georges Méliès, 'Le Dirigeable Fantastique ou le Cauchemar d'un Inventeur' (The Inventor Crazybrains and his Wonderful Airship) (1905) directed by Georges Méliès, L.T.A. History of Balloons (1944). More music videos I've edited for songs from Jonathan Coulton's excellent 'Artificial Heart' album. Stream or buy the album 'Artificial Heart' at Jonathan Coulton's website.

Jonathan Coulton - "Down Today" unofficial music video (Thanks, Craig!)

Trove of free, public domain HD video

Rick Prelinger sez,

I'm delighted to let everyone know about our newest Internet Archive collection which, for want of a cooler title, we're calling 35mm Stock Footage. Digitized from 35mm original negatives and release prints dating back to the first decade of the 20th century, these unedited sequences were shot for feature films but never used. Studio librarians saved them for use in future productions, and now you can download and use them yourself in a variety of formats, including 720p HD, absolutely free. As far as I know, this is Internet Archive's first all-HD collection.

In the first wave of materials: a trip across the George Washington Bridge in the late 1940s, a snake slithering on rainy ground, aerials of Hollywood studios, 1940s Southern California hotrodders, stunt flying, miniature airplanes crashing, the Staten Island Ferry in the 1930s, and much more. Much of the footage is "process plates" -- film shot for the rear-projection screens you see out of car, taxi and train windows in old movies.

We've also digitized HD versions of newsreels and short subjects from the 1920s and 1930s, and there are even French "primitive-era" silent films dating back as far as 1905. Please get lost in this collection, make your own movies with it (please upload them to Internet Archive if you can!), and keep watching for more.

Welcome to 35mm Stock Footage

Amateur color film of San Francisco, 1955

Rick Prelinger sez, "Here's a little holiday gift from Prelinger Archives. It's the work of accomplished amateur filmmaker (and expert tinkerer) Tullio Pellegrini, who combined a 16mm Bell & Howell Cinemascope lens with the wonders of Kodachrome and made this homage to the city of San Francisco. You'll see Playland, our oceanside amusement park which was closed in 1972, very rare footage of the SkyTram (an extinct ride over Seal Rocks and Sutro Baths), and a brakescreeching ride down the Crookedest Street in the World. Happy Holidays!"

San Francisco 1955 in Cinemascope, captured by amateur filmmaker