Boing Boing 

Tor and Bitlit offer discounted ebooks to print-book owners


Peter writes, "Macmillan has partnered with ebook bundling start-up BitLit to offer readers who own a print edition of Tor/Forge titles the opportunity to download a DRM free ebook edition using the free BitLit app (available for Ios/Android)."

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Remember when Gerber tried to market "baby food for teens?"


(Noluck_boston/Vintage Ads)

FBI replies to Stingray Freedom of Information request with 5,000 blank pages


The Stingray -- a fake cellphone tower that gathers identity/location information on everyone who passes it -- is the worst-kept secret in law enforcement, but that doesn't stop feds from going to absurd lengths to pretend they don't use them.

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Disrupting Richard Scarry

Updating Richard Scarry's beloved Busy Town for Silicon Valley corpthink been done before, but never with the depth and persistence of the Welcome to Business Town Tumblr. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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Stupid patent for the ages: "Changing order quantities"

The USPTO granted a notorious patent troll a patent on allowing customers to change quantities after they place their initial order.

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Lego store detains 11 year old customer, accuses his father of being an unfit parent

Doug Dunlop's 11 year old, Lego-obsessed son is a frequent customer at the Lego store in Calgary's Chinook Mall, where he spends his odd-job savings on new materials -- until this week, when the Lego store management had the mall's security take him into custody.

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Crowdfunded 3D printer shipments withheld to backers who complained about lateness


Cobblebot's crowdfunded 3D printers were supposed to ship in October, but many backers have yet to get theirs, including the "super early" backers -- and it turns out this is on purpose, as Cobblebot is deliberately withholding shipments from customers who complained online, citing a nebulous Texas defamation statute that bans statements regarding "dishonesty, fraud, rascality, or general depravity."

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British austerity: a failed experiment abandoned by the rest of the world


Writing in the Guardian, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman analyses the last five years of British austerity, using other developed nations in the EU and elsewhere as a benchmark for the growth we could have had -- it's not a pretty picture.

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How a tweet caused Twitter's stock to slump

ROA-twitter

Twitter's stock dropped $8bn in a single day, all thanks to a tweet.

Investors were rattled by the early disclosure of unexpectedly low revenues, exposed before the close of trading by Selerity, a service that scours the web looking for investment information.

"We inadvertently released an early version of [Twitter's] earnings," Nasdaq admitted to the BBC. "We are investigating the root cause."

Normally, the results would be posted after the close of trading to allow for the news to be digested. But the results had been posted—through not yet officially publicized—on an investor relations page operated by the stock exchange.

"Selerity, who provided the initial tweets with our results, informed us that earnings release was available on our Investor Relations site before the close of market," said Twitter executive Krista Bessinger. "Nasdaq hosts and manages our IR website, and we explicitly instructed them not to release our results until after the market close and only upon our specific instructions, which is consistent with prior quarters.

Selerity was quick to disclose the source to douse early suspicions of a hack or insider shenanigans.

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The poor financial results, far short of expectations, gave Twitter its second-worst trading day since it went public in 2013, reported the Wall Street Journal. By the end of the day, the stock price was about $40, down 6 percent.

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, traders started getting a range of where the stock should open based off of buy and sell orders that were coming in while the stock was halted, said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at brokerage firm Meridian Equity Partners.

“There was a lot of noise and energy,” Corpina said. “Everyone was yelling out their buy and sell orders. Everyone was asking for price indications.”

Trading resumed at 3:47 p.m. ET with the stock at $40.45. Shares closed down 18% to $42.27, the second lowest drop in the company’s short history as a public company.

Twitter is the second big tech firm to be nailed by Selerity's algorithmic newsgathering: in 2011, Microsoft posted results early to a public but unlinked web-page that was quickly exposed by the startup.

The New York Times's Vindu Goel writes that Twitter is particularly vulnerable, because revenues were considered the company's "one bright spot" amid intense competition and other bad news.

Couples counsellor who assigns Ikea furniture assembly calls Liatorp "The Divorcemaker"

It's one thing to ask fighting couples to cooperate on assembling semi-disposable flat-pack furniture from a bullying, tax-dodging mega-corp, but the bedrawered, empanelled Liatorp is a bridge too far.

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FBI's crypto backdoor plans require them to win the war on general purpose computing


The FBI wants backdoors in all your crypto, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron made backdoors an election promise, but as Stanford lawyer/computer scientist Jonathan Mayer writes, there's no way to effectively backdoor modern platforms without abolishing the whole idea of computers as we know them, replacing them with an imaginary and totalitarian computing ecosystem that does not exist and probably never will.

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Portraits of e-waste pickers in Ghana


German photographer Kevin McElvaney shot portraits of the itinerant pickers who work on Agbogbloshie, the toxic e-waste dump outside of Accra, Ghana.

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Getting rid of EU territorial restrictions is good for minority languages and creators


German Pirate MEP Julia Reda's copyright report calls for an end to geoblocking within the EU market, which is inarguably required to create a single digital market. If a European can buy something in one EU member state, she should be able to buy it in the other member-states, too.

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DROKK! 2000AD goes DRM-free


All of 2000AD's comics, including their flagship Judge Dredd comic, are now DRM-free in all apps and forms!

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Marissa Mayer makes 1,100 Yahooers jobless, calls it a "remix"


Why would a CEO be so tone-deaf as to call a mass-firing a "remix?" Because the only audience that matters today are shareholders, not the public.

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Canadian Big Content spokesjerk says the public domain is against the public interest

Michael Geist writes, "On World Book and Copyright Day, it is worth noting how Graham Henderson, the President of Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) characterized the government's decision to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings and performances:"

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Canada's music copyright extension will cost Canadians millions

Michael Geist writes, "Randy Bachman found himself embroiled in a public fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year when Harper used his song 'Takin' Care of Business' as a theme song for a major speech. Bachman said he probably would not have granted permission to use the song, since 'I don't think he's taking care of business for the right people or the right reasons.'"

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