Jay Porter owned a San Diego restaurant called The Linkery where tipping was not allowed; instead, a flat 18 percent service-charge is added to each bill, and that charge is divided among the servers, bus-people, and kitchen-staff. In a six-part series, Porter sets out the case for his experiment and reports on the result, covering the bad gender dynamics, motivation and microeconomics, and a comparison with a tip-friendly restaurant he also owns. It's a compelling tale about economic fairness versus locked-in dysfunctional conventions. He summarized his findings in an easily digested article for Slate.
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The MPAA, RIAA, and America's major ISPs have teamed up to produce a stilted, propagandistic copyright curriculum for California's public schools. The material does not mention fair use at all (it's not "age appropriate," apparently) and suggests that you may not build on others' ideas without explicit permission, something that is both legally and morally nonsensical. Here's the sixth grade curriculum [PDF], here's grade five [PDF], and here's grade two [PDF], and grade one [PDF]. The plan is to roll this out across America.
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As I've mentioned before, my novel Little Brother is the San Francisco Public Library's pick for its first One City/One Book citywide book-club. They're already in the middle of the three months' worth of events, from debates to robotics and crypto workshops to movie screenings (and much more), and I'm gearing up to head to San Francisco for several days' worth of school visits and other presentations.
If you'd like to catch me while I'm there, your best bet is my evening presentation with Nico Sell at the SFPL main branch (100 Larkin Street) at 6PM on Oct 2. I'm also doing a presentation at Borderlands Books (866 Valencia St) on Oct 3 from 12:30-1330h. I hope to see you there!
Kent Brewster made some careful notes and analysis of the Atherton, CA police-blotter, which tells the story of the arrests in one of America's three most expensive places to live. He found that when it came to traffic stops, 175 out of 182 drivers had Hispanic surnames.
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When Jeff Olson used chalk to draw an octopus whose tentacles were full of money, and to write "No thanks, big banks," and "Shame on Bank of America," on a San Diego sidewalk, Bank of America complained to the Republican City Atty. Jan Goldsmith. Goldsmith threw the book at him, charging him with misdemeanor vandalism and threatening him with 13 years in prison for writing in water-soluble chalk. Goldsmith was not swayed by the mayor's disapproval of this course of action -- Mayor Bob Filner said it was "stupid" and a "waste of money" -- and pressed on.
Yesterday, a jury acquitted Olson on all charges. The #chalkgate tag is full of congratulatory messages and photos of supportive chalking.
San Diego jury finds protester not guilty in chalk-vandalism case
Spocko sez, "What are the current rules for filming police in the state of California?
This man seems to believes that he should be arrested for filming the police and offers himself up for arrest after clearly holding his phone up to film them.
He places his dog in his car and is arrested. While handcuffed and being led away, the dog jumps out of the car to go to the man. The police see the dog as attacking them and when it doesn't stop, shoot the dog several times.
Would this had happened if the man (and the police) knew the law about filming police in public in California?"
Warning: Video contains violence and language
Hawthorne, Ca Police Kill Dog(1)
sez, "The good folks at SaveCannabis.org need your help naming the 2014 Cannabis Legalization Act. The Act itself has been open source written (the full text can be seen and modified
) and is aiming to be the most tightly-crafted, airtight act possible.
Finding the right name is crucial, too.
I like 'Cannabis & Hemp Freedom Act of 2014," since it contains the correct and underused names for the plant and combines them with 'Freedom,' something for which I think a lot of Americans would like the chance to vote YES."
Back in May, Mark wrote about a Kickstarter project to fund a mobile app that will help you locate the hidden entrances to Malibu's public beaches, which the local rich and famous people have done everything they can to obscure (including putting up illegal fake signs that falsely declare passage to be trespassing).
The Kickstarter was fully funded and the app is out, and the public is finding its way to Malibu's public beaches, which is great news -- unless you're one of those people who's spent decades treating a public beach as your own private patch. Local residents are pissed:
“I don’t think it’s a snobby thing. It’s like letting someone into your backyard. You’re paying for the beach house and the property you own is technically the beach in front of your house,” said Emma Ravdin.
Battle Over Access To Malibu Beaches Goes High-Tech With New App [CBS]
Form and Landscape is a stupendous collection of photos documenting the electrification of Los Angeles, culled from ConEd's archives (Edison International underwrote the exhibition). The pictures are presented with fascinating articles in Spanish and English, and are curated by William Deverell and Greg Hise.
The documentary record tells a story of better living, improvement, and uplift all made possible through the power of electricity or “white gold,” the company’s term of art for its product. Boosters spoke fervently about the opportunity a regular supply of electricity created and the benefit it would provide a mass of people for whom ready access to white gold meant extended hours of productive labor, enhanced quality of their leisure hours, and greater safety while traveling in and about the company’s service area by foot, by mass transit, or by automobile. It is a story of private enterprise elevating individual and collective wellbeing and in doing so contributing toward the public good by taking the smoke out of manufacturing; by making the labor of workers, both wage-earners and domestic, more efficient; by increasing safety and deterring crime; by improving health.
About the Project — FORM and LANDSCAPE
(via The Guardian Art and Design)
(Image, above: "Commercial Lighting Doug White (No date)")
I've included some of my favorites below:
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This terrifying Ronald McDonald/Joker mashup cosplayer was snapped at San Jose's FanimeCon 2013 by David Ngo.
The University of California, San Diego and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation are launching a major center to better understand, enhance and enact the gift of human imagination.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke created extraordinary visions of the future that continue to provide insight into the human condition. He transformed our lives by developing the ideas of GPS and satellite communication. We are inspired by this legacy and want to continue it by focusing on Sir Arthur's greatest gift: imagination.
We will bring together thinkers and doers in the arts and information technology, in neuroscience, cognitive science and the physical sciences to help us understand the nature of imagination and to build tools and develop methods that will extend imagination.
We have developed our initial approach with a cross-disciplinary team of some of UCSD's world famous scientists, artists and scholars, linking them with a group of award-winning science fiction authors birthed at UCSD.
Uh, birthed? As in, born in the university hospital? I honestly have no idea what they mean here. Maybe "berthed" (sleeping on campus)? Or maybe metaphorically "birthed" by graduating from UCSD?
Center for Human Imagination
Sacramento's Etta Lopez apparently waited outside the Sacramento County Jail for a cop to emerge and then slapped him, so that she could be thrown into jail. She wanted to go to jail because she believed it would help her give up smoking.
According to deputies, Lopez knew she'd immediately be arrested, and slapped a cop to kick a habit. Lopez allegedly admitted she sat in front of the county jail for hours intent on assaulting an officer to get arrested and be put in jail, where she would be forced to stop smoking cigarettes.
"There's easier ways to stop smoking besides hitting a cop," Roger Spearman, a neighbour, said. The neighbour Lopez says she does smoke a lot, and they used to smoke together. "I have not heard of something like that before," Kimberly Bankston-Lee with the anti-smoking group Breathe California said. "If it led somebody to doing something like that to quit, that lets us know in the community that we have a real problem."
Woman accused of slapping police officer so she could be jailed and forced to stop smoking [Arbroath]
(via Dan Hon)
Ape Lad sez, "I've got a shirt for sale on woot tonight. It depicts a former governor of California being stalked by a nine-foot-tall, fishnet clad, metal faced hunter with dreadlocks, in a style I hope comes somewhere near the cross hatched wonderfulness of Edward Gorey."
P is for Prey
(Thanks, Ape Lad!)
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes,
Assemblyman Brian Nestande of California has introduced Assembly Bill 292, which would open source the California Code of Regulations (including the Building Codes). The summary reads:
"This bill would provide that the full text of the California Code of Regulations shall bear an open access creative commons attribution license, allowing any individual, at no cost, to use, distribute, and create derivative works based on the material for either commercial or noncommercial purposes."
Public.Resource.Org has bulk data for the CCR and the public safety codes (known as Title 24) online, but this would all be way easier if we didn't have to double-key the building codes every 3 years and jump on the West CD-ROM every 2 months to extract the data. This move would lead to tremendous innovation, just like we've seen when the Federal Register went open source in bulk.
The bill sponsor, Assemblyman Nestande, has a long background in public policy and IP. He was campaign manager for Sonny Bono's successful 1994 congressional campaign.
An act to amend Section 11344 of the Government Code, relating to the California Code of Regulations.
I'm teaching the Clarion Science Fiction Writing Workshop this summer at UCSD La Jolla -- it's an amazing writing program (I'm also a graduate), and the early application deadline is coming up:
Applications for the 2013 Clarion Workshop are now open and will remain open until March 1, 2013. If you've been thinking about applying, now's the time. On February 15th, the application fee will increase from $50 to $65. Just our way of encouraging applicants to finish sooner rather than later. We've got a wonderful faculty anxious to share the secrets of great writing with a new class of wonderful students, one of whom might be you! Let Andy Duncan, Nalo Hopkinson, Cory Doctorow, Robert Crais, Karen Joy Fowler, and Kelly Link give you the rocket fuel to power your career.
If you're accepted, we'll do our best to make it possible for you to attend. Thanks to Clarion's friends and supporters, there is scholarship money for those who need it. In addition to general scholarships, there are special grants for students of color, students age 40 and older, students who are affiliated with Michigan State University, and students who are affiliated with UCSD.
Clarion Writers' Workshop
at UC San Diego