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Come ask me questions on IO9!

I'm doing a live Q&A on IO9 about my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free at 1PM eastern/10AM Pacific today -- come on along!

Director Lexi Alexander explains why she sides with pirates

The actor, writer, producer, director, and martial artist Lexi Alexander drew fire for a cracking blog post explaining why she support copyright reform; even better than the post is her interview with Torrentfreak, where she explains what brought her to write it:

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Whatsapp integrates Moxie Marlinspike's Textsecure end-to-end crypto


It's the largest-ever deployment of end-to-end crypto, and assuming they didn't add any back-doors or make critical errors, this means that hundreds of millions of users can now communicate without being spied upon by governments, crooks, cops, spies or voyeurs.

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What "the worst ride in Disney World" teaches us about media strategy


Foxxfurr's latest article on Disney theme park history is yet another amazing and insightful read that uses the tenth anniversary of Stitch's Great Escape ("the worst ride in Disney World") as a jumping-off point to show how the history of theme-parks, animation, the elusive 5-12 year old boy market, and the entertainment business all influenced one another.

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Band releases unplayable glass-master disc with entire catalog


Claire from the band Yacht sends us their newest project, Where Does This Disco?: "Among other things, it's a clear unplayable CD (without foil) containing our entire musical catalogue. It's also a microsite built to explain what it's like to be a band trying to design and sell physical media in an age where compact discs are both obsolete and still somehow ubiquitous."

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Rightscorp is running out of money


Rightscorp is a business based on the extortion business-model, founded on the idea that your ISP would lock you out of the Web unless you paid Rightscorp the arbitrary sums they decided you owed to them (but who was too scared to defend their business in court) -- but it looks like sleaze isn't as lucrative as they hoped.

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Amazon and Hachette kiss and make up

After nearly a year of Amazon (the largest bookseller on earth) refusing to sell books from one of the largest publishers on earth, they've finally made peace.

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PSA: Escaping from Gogo's roach-motel business model

Last month, during my many-city book tour, I signed up for Gogo's in-flight wifi service. Today I discovered that it's much harder to get shut of it.

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Ambulance takes comatose, insured woman to "wrong" hospital, drives her to bankruptcy, too


If 29 year old Megan Rothbauer had been taken three more blocks to Madison, WI's, Meriter Hospital when she had a freak heart attack, she'd have owed $1500, but since the comatose woman was brought to St Mary's Hospital, which Blue Cross Blue Shield won't deal with, she owes $50K and is facing bankruptcy.

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Amanda Palmer's Art of Asking: art for the crowdfunding age


Amanda Palmer's new book Art of Asking is a moving and insightful memoir of her life performing music while making personal connections with her fans; I wrote a long, in-depth review of it for The New Statesman.

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Obama tells the FCC to class the Internet (including mobile!) as a "utility"

It's a surprise move in the net neutrality debate, coming on the heels of a sellout proposal from cable-lobbyist-turned-cable-regulator Chairman Tom Wheeler that would have let the carriers continue to screw Americans out of access to the services they want to use if those services hadn't paid large-enough bribes for "premium carriage."

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PSA: UK small businesses, don't get ripped off by BT's "PC Security" scam


I cancelled my small business BT account last year when they endorsed the Tory Internet censorship plan -- and to my surprise, they kept sending me bills, but that wasn't nearly so surprising as what I discovered next: a seven-year-long overbilling ripoff that took most of a year to untangle.

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Network as though it was the first days of a better nation

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Martha Lane Fox, founder of lastminute.com and UK Champion for Digital Inclusion, talks about the promise of an Internet-enabled fairer world. -Cory

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How love and integrity made Welcome to Night Vale a massive success

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Jeffrey Cranor, co-writer of the amazing Welcome to Night Vale, shares the secret of his success. -Cory

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Neil Gaiman: How I learned to stop worrying and love the duplicator machines

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Neil Gaiman, author of the just-published Hansel and Gretel (with Lorenzo Mattotti), has granted kind permission to reproduce his introduction to Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free. -Cory

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Amanda Palmer: why fans choose to pay artists they love

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Amanda Palmer, author of the just-published Art of Asking, has granted kind permission to reproduce her introduction to Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free. -Cory

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Molly Crabapple's 15 rules for creative success in the Internet age

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Molly Crabapple presents her 15 iron laws of creativity. -Cory Doctorow

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How Rupert Murdoch could compete with Amazon Video and Netflix

He says major media companies should run their own streaming services, and if you're running your own service, you can do it your way, so why not ditch DRM?

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Hungary cancels proposed Internet tax in the face of mass opposition


After 100,000 Hungarians took to the street in opposition to a per-megabyte tax on their Internet usage, the autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban (whose election was characterized by outside observers as "free but not fair") was forced into a rare climbdown.

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Pizzeria asks judge to find rival's flavor to be trademark-infringing


New York Pizzeria claimed that Gina's Italian Kitchen -- founded by an ousted exec -- violated its trademark by creating a pizza that tasted the same as its own pie. The judge wasn't buying it.

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How to kickstart your indie band's album


Beloved nerd troubadours The Doubleclicks, fresh off their successful, oversubscribed, $80,000 Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a new album, offer some incredibly sensible advice on making a go of it with crowdfunded support for your art.

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Every artist's "how I made it" talk, ever

Darius Kazemi's XOXO talk, in which he explains how he became a successful lottery player, is a brilliant send-up of the "how I succeeded as an artist" talk.

Kazemi's point is that most people who set out to earn a creative living fail, and that the thing that distinguishes the successes from the failures is a combination of luck (winning the lottery) and persistence (buying a lot of lottery tickets). This is a hugely important and vastly underappreciated point -- you can try and try and try and never succeed, through no fault of your own (but the more you try, the more chances at success you have).

(via Metafilter)

Mickey Kilowatt


Spotted yesterday in Seattle: the logo for Zapp Electronics, the love-child of Reddy Kilowatt and a certain mouse.

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, in 20 minutes

Piketty's bestselling economics book is seismic, a vital infusion of data into the ideological debate over economics -- but it's also 700 pages long.

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Hungary's Internet tax arouses mass opposition

The economically precarious country has a remarkably low rate of corporate tax, and makes up the difference with high, regressive consumption taxes, including the one of the highest rates of VAT in Europe.

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What's financialism, and how is it destroying your life?

As businesses start retaining and investing larger cash-reserves, they're turning into banks. Banks, meanwhile, need to find another line of work: they become asset traders. Meanwhile, your wages have been stagnant for decades, which means that in order to survive, you must become a debtor.

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"Hive" (middle class colony collapse)


Jud Turner writes, "'Hive (middle class colony collapse)' is the latest in my series of sculptures depicting hallucinatory factory scenes, and ponders the loss of bees and an ever-shrinking middle class, both likely results of modern industrial methods and monopoly capitalism."

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American businesses devour themselves to enrich the 1%


A Goldman Sachs report on stock buybacks shows a suspicious clustering in the fourth quarter, just when management bonuses are being calculated.

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Schadenburgerfreude

McDonald's earnings are down 30%. The company has bet everything on its Monopoly promotion. Or maybe McRib will help.

Anti-corporatist protesters seize town hall, citing Magna Carta

Joly sez, "On October 10 2014 UK activists, concerned about EU-US TTIP and EU-Canada CETA agreements that could make it possible for corporations to sue governments for banning fracking, invoked Article 61 of the Magna Carta to temporarily seize control of Glastonbury Town Hall. They claim that the 1215 Magna Carta's Article 61 - the Lawful Rebellion clause, which some say was later was later revoked in 1297, was validated by 25 Barons in 2001. A full video, including negotiations with the police, is posted on Youtube."