Boing Boing 

Canada's spies surveil the whole world's downloads


A newly released Snowden leak jointly published by the CBC and The Intercept documents Canada's Communications Security Establishment's LEVITATION program, which spies on 15 million downloads from P2P, file lockers, and popular file distribution sites.

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License Expired: an unauthorized James Bond anthology

Now that the James Bond novels and character have entered the public domain in most of the world (but not the USA), David Nickle and Madeline Ashby teamed up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine.

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WATCH: Trailer for Haphead, crowdfunded indie cyberpunk series about pro gamers

In one week, Toronto's Postopian Pictures -- the people who brought us Ghosts With Shit Jobs and many other delights -- will premiere their crowdfunded cyberpunk series Haphead (previously):

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Canadian politics 2014: the terrible Tory shenanigans leading to up to the election


Dave writes, "Could this be the last year that this is required? Canada will see an election in 2015. This year brought us temporary foreign workers, refugee abuse, unwanted changes to election laws, and much much more."

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Highly specialized tattoos


Link: the artist is Eric Brunning of Vancouver's Adorned (via JWZ)

Tucows launching "mini-Google-fiber" to compete with Comcast


Tucows, who own two of the best Internet-infrastructure companies I know of (Hover, a domain registrar; and Ting, a mobile phone provider) have announced their own super-high-speed fiber-optic ISP in Charlottesville, Virginia, where it will compete with one of the worst infrastructure companies in the world: Comcast.

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A terrible restaurant for Canadian bankers called America


It's in Toronto's Trump hotel, main courses are $45, and it sounds fucking awful.

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Youtube nukes 7 hours' worth of science symposium audio due to background music during lunch break

Yannick writes, "We live-streamed our second annual Canadian conference of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a day of speeches, with a very interesting panel discussion."

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Leaked docs detail Big Oil and Big PR's plans for a opinion-manipulation platform


The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.

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Why I wrote fiction about a Rob Ford-inspired mad mayor who settles grudges with knife fights

David Nickle is a horror writer and a working journalist who covered Toronto City Hall during the Rob Ford years, an era in which the two professions effectively merged. Here, Nickle explains the events that led to his new short story collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles, which includes a tale of a larger-than-life mayor who settles interpersonal friction with, well, knife-fights.

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Snow, a film about a love affair between a girl and her neighbourhood

Snow is a new indie feature film set in Toronto, adapted from Benjamin Rivers's graphic novel of the same name, about a love affair between a young woman and her neighbourhood of Queen Street West, which is being transformed by development.

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On Parliament Hill, an attack on Canada itself

This much we know: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was a soldier who took a solemn vow to uphold Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to uphold the values that make Canada Canada. We don’t know what values Michael Zehaf-Bibeau espoused, why he took his gun to Parliament Hill. And it does not matter.

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Canadian MPs improvised spears to fight off shooter while PM Harper hid in the closet

Thirteen of the fifteen flagpoles in the Conservative caucus room were snapped off and turned into spears by Members of Parliament who positioned themselves around the door to ambush the Parliament Hill shooter, while Prime Minister Harper was shoved in a closet.

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Fallen Toronto: a calendar of Toronto's bleak sfnal future


Jim Munroe writes, "We've put our science fiction visions of Toronto's future together in a 2015 calendar called FALLEN TORONTO as a new Kickstarter reward for backing our neo-noir sci-fi webseries HAPHEAD. If you live here you can shiver in nameless dread all the year round, and if you live elsewhere you can revel in schadenfreude at the fall of our socialist den of iniquity."

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Canadian government threatens bird watchers for writing concerned letter about bee die-off


Dave writes, "A birdwatching group sent a letter to two federal cabinet ministers citing concerns over the effects of certain chemicals on the life of bees. Shortly thereafter, they received a threatening letter from Revenue Canada telling them to stop with the political actions."

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BC Pastafarian fights for right to wear colander in Driver's License photo

Obi Canuel is an ordained Pastafarian minister from British Columbia who's fighting for the right to wear his religious headgear -- a pasta colander -- in his driver's license photo.

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Keurig sued for anti-competitive K-cup tactics

Chris sez, "Club Coffee, maker of K-Cup compatible pods, has taken Keurig to court in Ontario, alleging anti-competitive behaviour, including telling retailers that they can't even talk to Club Coffee, let alone carry its products."

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Homeland wins Copper Cylinder award for best Canadian YA sf novel


The Copper Cylinder Prize, voted on by members of the Sunburst Award Society awarded best YA novel to Homeland; best adult novel went to Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars.

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Drone flythrough of Toronto's magnificently renovated reference library

Ab writes, "Toronto Reference Library (TRL) recently completed a multi-year revitalization project (to spotlight the new changes in the Reference Library, we also flew a mini drone around TRL to get a bird's eye view of what's new): the library is celebrating the completion of this project with an event on Friday, Sept. 19."

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Toronto Mayoral Race: an endorsement for Olivia Chow

Like many Torontonians, I have been disheartened with the quality of city government, which has been sliding into a right-wing, populist doldrums ever since the amalgamation of the city with its suburban neighbours under Mike Harris, back in 1998; finally, though, there's a candidate for mayor that I can really get behind: Olivia Chow.

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CBC warns Canadians: US cops will pull you over and steal your money

62,000 US drivers have been pulled over and had their cash seized by small-town American cops in the past 13 years, under civil forfeiture laws that let them declare anyone to be a probable terrorist and/or drug dealer and take their money without charge or evidence; the only way to get it back is to hire a lawyer and return, over and over again, to the tiny town you were passing through when you were robbed at badgepoint.

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Stephen Harper sells Canada: China can secretly sue to repeal Canadian laws


Under the terms of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, approved by PM Harper on Friday, China can sue Canada in secret tribunals to repeal national and provincial laws that interfere with Chinese investments, including laws limiting construction of the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

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Behind the scenes look at Canada's Harper government gagging scientists

Dave writes, "A request to interview a government scientist about his discoveries on 'Rock Snot' (algae) results in hundreds of e-mails, discussions of allowed talking points and, in the end, no approval for interview. Why? Perhaps because the source of the rock snot might be climate change?"

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What. Did. You. Feed. That. GODDAMNED. CABBAGE?!


The normally unflappage Barbara Frum interviews a British farmer responsible for a prizewinning cabbage; but the man is both drunk and deaf (and manifestly filled with the spirit of mischief).

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Canadian PM steals site of memorial for political rival's father

Stephen Harper has snatched land long designated for a building to be named for Pierre Trudeau (father of Justin Trudeau, leader of the rival Liberal Party), and redesignated it to host a Stalinesque statue memorializing 'victims of Communism.'

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Canadian gov't economists insist that stats on collapsing middle class mean just the opposite


Dave sez, "Last year, Employment and Social Development Canada put together a report suggesting that the Canadian middle class has seen wage stagnation and is experiencing record levels of debt; Finance Canada felt that this 'appears to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings' so they made a new report -- that says the opposite, while looking at the same data."

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Canada's anti-counterfeiting bill stalled by US demand for removal of humanitarian safeguards

Michael Geist writes, "Last year, the Canadian government trumpeted anti-counterfeiting legislation as a key priority. The bill raced through the legislative process in the winter and following some minor modifications after committee hearings, seemed set to pass through the House of Commons. Yet after committee approval, the bill suddenly stalled with little movement throughout the spring. Why did a legislative priority with all-party approval seemingly grind to a halt?"

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Canadian government orders scientists not to disclose extent of polar melting


Stephen Harper's petro-Tories have a well-earned reputation for suppressing inconvenient environmental science, but they attained new Stalinist lows when their ministers prohibited Canadian Ice Services from disclosing their government-funded research on the rapid loss of Arctic ice.

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Canada's On Spec magazine crowdfunding after grant is cut

On Spec, Canada's leading science fiction magazine, faces closure after its Canada Council grant was abruptly, unfairly cancelled. They're raising funds to keep going.

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Ontario police's Big Data assigns secret guilt to people looking for jobs, crossing borders


There are no effective legal limits on when and to whom police can disclose unproven charges against you, 911 calls involving mental health incidents, and similar sensitive and prejudicial information; people have been denied employment, been turned back at the US border and suffered many other harms because Ontario cops send this stuff far and wide.

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