Lawquake! Judge rules that explaining jailbreaking isn't illegal


A federal judge in New York has ruled that telling people where to get DRM-removal software isn't against the law -- it's a huge shift in the case-law around DRM, and it's an important step in the right direction.

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The creator of those great 1960s kooky car and monster models

If you’re a fan of 1960s lowbrow culture you know his art, but you might not know his name or his story. This large full-color book is crammed with the fabulous Weird-Oh art of Bill Campbell.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was probably more famous for his Rat Fink character and wild custom cars, but Bill Campbell had just as big an influence in the kids’ world of models and toys – and according to this book, was actually first! The history of Hawk models is explored from early plane kits to their breakout Weird-Ohs models: “car-icky-tures” of kooky characters in crazy vehicles like Digger, the Way Out Dragster.

Campbell went on to create whole weird worlds of sports figures as well as his spin-offs Silly Surfers and The Frantics. The book features reproductions of sample tooling photos, early sketches, renderings and illustrations, package art, fine art paintings, and sculpted dioramas. Did you know there even was an all-CGI TV show of the Weird-Ohs in 1999? And get a load of the sketches and plans for models that weren’t produced: the Weird-ohs that never were. I also enjoyed reading about Campbell’s adventures in “Mad Men” era advertising (like getting stiffed by the Keebler elves!). Just like with your old Weird-oh models, your mom won’t like this new book, either – but you will!

See sample pages from A Weird-Oh World: The Art of Bill Campbell at Wink

BOOK: Incredible LEGO Technic: Cars, Trucks, Robots & More!

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Pawel "Sariel" Kmiec's Incredible LEGO Technic: Cars, Trucks, Robots & More! is an inspiring gallery of amazing LEGO creations. Using the Technic system, and years of experience, Kmiec's work is stunning.

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The high cost of being poor

An excerpt from Linda Tirado's 2014 book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America lays out some of the ways that being poor costs more than having a comfortable income -- it's more than having to pay for high daily rents in a motel because you can't afford first-and-last.

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Bill Gates: the best books I read in 2014

Philanthropist Bill Gates recommends five favorite books he read this year.

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High court rules that English/Welsh prisoners should be allowed to read books


Tory justice secretary Chris Grayling enacted a ban on sending reading material for prisoners as a way of throwing red meat to his base, who bay for maximum cruelty to "bad people" -- but a high court judge agreed with English PEN and the John Howard society and struck down the ban.

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Brian Krebs's "Spam Nation"

In Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, Brian Krebs offers a fascinating look at the mass-scale cybercrime that underpins the spam in your inbox and provides an inside peek at a violent fight among its principle players. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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The 10 best adventure novels from 1965

Joshua Glenn shows why 1965 was a very good year for science fiction, comic books, and spy novels.

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Custom literary matchboxes for chasing away poo-gas


From Burlington, VT's Dippy Lulu, Literary Lites are custom-made matchboxes that look like Penguin classics, with punny, poop-oriented titles, intended for use in the bathroom to light after particularly stinky Number Twos. They come in six, color-coded sets of three match-boxes each.

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Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague

In Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague, “Ray” recounts his brave, quixotic, tragicomic adventures as an experimental AIDS drug smuggler who funded his operation by selling weed out of his New York apartment, during the early years of the “gay plague.” It’s a strangely fitting subject for a graphic novel, and Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli graphic novel make it work as a history book that’ll make you laugh and cry. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair

SS Taylor and Katherine Roy’s adventurous YA series continues in a second volume that gets everything right: it’s a steampunked alternate history story that’s full of intrigue and light-touch, thoughtful critique of imperialism and colonialism, a story that lets you love your pith helmet while still questioning all that it stands for. Cory Doctorow (who loved book one) reviews the second Expeditioners book.

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Be terrified: new Grimm's Fairy Tales book

It's no secret that the Disney-fied versions of fairy tales that we grew up with in modern times pale in comparison to the originals, told by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm.

The originals were often dark and gruesome cautionary tales that taught children about the dangers of the world. Now, for the first time, an English translation of the first edition of the original tales as told by the Brothers Grimm has been published by Princeton University Press. Even the cover of this book is scary!

Leatherbound Nicola Tesla hollow book/safe


The Hollow Book Company (previously) has expanded its line of hollow book-safes (some with matching whisky flasks!), including this fabulous leatherbound Nicola Tesla book-safe. (via Geeky Merch)

El Deafo: moving, fresh YA comic-book memoir about growing up deaf

Cece Bell’s young adult graphic novel El Deafo is a beautiful, sweet, moving and funny memoir about growing up deaf. Take one part Ernie Pook’s Comeek and two parts of Peanuts, mix thoroughly, and add some indefinable secret ingredients, and you’ll get El Deafo, which Cory Doctorow thoroughly enjoyed.

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Papercraft R2-D2 dreidel


The downloadable PDF pattern for making your own droidel comes from Bonnie Burton's excellent Star Wars Craft Book.