Boing Boing 

Sparkle Labs' Amy Parness on "pink girly engineering kits"

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I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with "pink girly engineering kits." From Medium:

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Greece says NO


The people of Greece have rejected the debt-finance terms offered by the "troika" (European Central Bank, IMF, European Commission), which would have required the country to slash its social services as a condition of continued loans to support the debt that previous governments amassed in the runup to the 2008 crisis.

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Hey, kids, let's play militarized police force!


The Pentagon's 1033 program makes sure that every Barney Fife has his own rocket launcher, and Playmobil is right there with him.

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Why we're still talking about Terminator and the Matrix


My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science.

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July 4: Rumblefish claims to own US Navy rendition of "America the Beautiful"

Adafruit Industries has been stripped of revenues from its Youtube channel after Rumblefish -- a notorious music-rights agency -- claimed to own the copyright on a public domain, taxpayer-funded rendition of "America the Beautiful."

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Flashmob choir interrupts TTIP congress

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a secret EU/US trade agreement that "puts the right to profit above all other rights," in the words of one MEP.

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Fracketeering: Life in a capitalist sci-fi horror story

Fracking is the perfect metaphor for the service-charge, extraction oriented economy: "suck up a sky’s worth of valuable gas through a massive crack pipe, then pack up and lumber off to fracture and steal someone else’s underground treasure."

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Call for papers: Copycamp in Warsaw


Marta from the Modern Poland Foundation writes, "we've announced an open call for speakers at the 4th International CopyCamp Conference (November 4, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland) focused around the impacts of copyright on the social changes around the world."

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McKinney, TX wants $79K to retreive emails of the cop who tackled bikini-clad teen


McKinney is Texas's worst-ranked city for open records requests, and says that it will have to hire a programmer to write entirely new code to search its old, "unsearchable" email system for the emails of Officer Eric Casebolt, who made headlines by tackling a young black girl in a bikini at a pool party and threatening her with his gun.

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Do we really need this call?


Jessamyn West is a freelancer, and that means that she has to talk on the phone to earn her crust. This sucks.

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On Big Data's shrinking returns


In my new Guardian column, I point out that the big-data-driven surveillance business model is on the rocks.

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Superweapons in the hyperpalatability wars

Foods containing mixtures of salt, fat, sugar and starch are "hyperpalatable" and induce strong, habitual compulsions to consume; the most successful high-calorie dishes are engineered to deliver staggering loads of all four, singly and in combination.

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How quickly can you turn a meme into an object and back into a meme?


Rev Dan Catt has been experimenting with "flip-flops" since 2012, taking a popular digital image, getting a physical thing made from it, turning that into a new popular digital image -- but the Google "Inceptionism" image-processing shirt was a world-beater.

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App for subscribing to a network of clean NYC bathrooms

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For $25/month, you can soon have access to a network of guaranteed clean bathrooms in New York City through a new app called Looie. The service launches in July with seven bathrooms at cafes and restaurants in TriBeCa.

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Chrome update turns browsers into covert listening tools


The default behavior of hotword, a new, black-box module in Chrome (and its free/open cousin, Chromium) causes it to silently switch on your computer's microphone and send whatever it hears to Google.

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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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Glassdoor's Fifty Highest Rated CEOs are (drumroll) all men!

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The Top 50 winners of Glassdoor's 2015 Employees’ Choice Awards for the Highest Rated CEOs at large companies are all men. So what about the Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs at Small & Medium Companies? Yep, all dudes there too.

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