Boing Boing 

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. -CoryRead the rest

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 Read the rest

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 Read the rest

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. -CoryRead the rest

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 DoctorowRead the rest

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."

Comcast not welcome in Worcester, Mass thanks to bad customer service

The City Council told its manager not to transfer the town's cable license from Charter to Comcast (Comcast is in the process of borging Charter and assimilating its customers).

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Nebraska state senator's bill would make churches pay property tax

Ernie Chambers, a long-serving, African-American state senator, has proposed a bill that would strike the word "religious" from the list of groups that are property-tax-exempt.

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If you think you've anonymized a data set, you're probably wrong

Using some clever computing, Atockar took the NYC Taxicab Dataset and not only calculated the annual income of every hack in New York, but also figured out who goes to strip clubs, what celebrities' home addresses were, and how they tipped.

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How Microsoft hacked trademark law to let it secretly seize whole businesses

The company expanded the "ex parte temporary restraining order" so it could stage one-sided, sealed proceedings to take away rival businesses' domains, sometimes knocking thousands of legit servers offline.

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RIP, SFBG

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has ceased publication after 48 years of yeoman service to the Bay Area. It will be sorely missed.

One weird legal trick that makes patent trolls cry

The Judicial Conference of the US has approved the elimination of Rule 84, a court procedure designed to help small patent-holders streamline their lawsuits, but which has been weaponized by patent trolls, who use it to indiscriminately file lawsuits on a mass scale in the hopes of bullying quick settlements out of their victims.

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