Global coalition tells Facebook to kill its Real Names policy


The Nameless Coaltion, a global alliance of women's groups, LGBTQ groups, human rights and digital rights groups has asked Facebook to abandon its "Real Names" policy, which puts Facebook users in danger of reprisals including state violence, stalkers, and on-the-job harassment. Read the rest

Air France execs' clothes torn off by protesters after layoff announcement


Protesters angry over proposed layoffs stormed an Air France executive meeting and cornered Director Pierre Plissonnier and Resources Director Xavier Broseta, tearing off the men's jackets and ripping their shirts off, forcing them to scale a fence to get free. Read the rest

Pokemon demands $4000 from broke superfan who organized Pokemon party


Larkin Jones is a hardcore Pokemon fan who loses money every year on his annual Pokemon PAX party; he makes up the shortfall from his wages managing a cafe. This year, Pokémon Company International sued him and told him that even though he'd cancelled this year's party, they'd take everything he had unless he paid them $5,400 in a lump sum (they wouldn't let him pay it in installments). Read the rest

Wyoming's Ag-Gag law makes it a crime to gather evidence of crime


With this year's "ag-gag" law, Wyoming has made it a crime to gather evidence of agricultural wrongdoing, from illegal pollution to animal cruelty, even from public land -- and also prohibits regulators from acting on information gathered in violation of the law. Read the rest

Apple removes Ifixit's repair manuals from App Store


Content-based App Store takedowns aren't just for drone killing anymore: Apple's also removed the Ifixit App, which offers you third-party manuals for fixing things you own, including your Apple products. Read the rest

With Roca Labs smackdown, the FTC slams non-disparagement clauses for the first time


I cheered the news that the Federal Trade Commission was suing Roca Labs, the sleazy "weight-loss" company that sold people industrial food thickeners as "non-surgical gastric bypasses" and made them sign contracts promising not to post about any negative experiences they after trying the scammy, high-priced "treatment." Read the rest

Execspeak singularity: the spectacular bullshit of Blackberry's CEO


It takes a top-notch MBA and years of training to be able to improvise and enunciate statements like this 2010 gem: "I'm going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We've taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It's a causal difference, not just nuance." Read the rest

Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars


VW's diesel firmware detected when it was undergoing emissions testing and changed the engine tuning to produce 1/40 of its normal toxic output, fooling regulators. But though they're the only ones who've been caught using firmware to game emissions testing, they're not the only ones with something to hide. Read the rest

The future of photography, education, sharing, news, privacy and learning (seriously)


Jonathan Worth is a celebrated, successful, internationally recognized award-winning photographer who saw the writing on the wall for his business -- selling pictures to magazines -- when he found himself threatening a young girl for pirating his pictures, and decided there had to be a better way. Read the rest

Dooce quits mommyblogging amid toxic pressure from advertisers


As the supply of publishers went up, advertisers gained leverage they could use to insist on more invasive ads and more unethical editorial practices. Read the rest

UK film industry: our cinemas patrolled by Silence of the Lambs nightvision LARPers


For more than a decade, the UK movie industry makes a big deal out of announcing that audiences at the latest blockbuster movies will be surveilled by bored teenagers who get to LARP Buffalo Bill with greasy night-vision goggles that they'll use to catch camming pirates. Read the rest

The shape of the Internet (according to patent drawings)


The stylized art of patent drawings is instantly recognizable. Before the information age, the drawings were drafter's jewelboxes, designed to make the workings of new mechanical inventions legible to other inventors (and patent examiners). Read the rest

These tech giants just asked US government for more surveillance; call Congress now!


Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Salesforce / Heroku, and a handful of other tech companies just betrayed billions of people's trust. They signed a letter endorsing CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act." Read the rest

How to save online advertising


My latest Guardian column, How to save online advertising, looks at the writing on the wall for ad-blockers and ad-supported publishing, and suggests one way to keep ads viable. Read the rest

It's surprisingly easy to set up a convincing, highly regarded fake online business


Kashmir Hill invented a totally imaginary business -- "Freakin’ Awesome Karaoke Express" or FAKE -- and paid people on Fiverr to follow it on Twitter with thousands of fake accounts, and to flood Yelp and Facebook with positive reviews. Before long, people were calling her and asking her to take their money in exchange for a nonexistent karaoke truck. Read the rest

More posts