My keynote from the O'Reilly Security Conference: "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned"

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Here's the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month's O'Reilly Security Conference in New York, "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned." Read the rest

Canada's music lobby admits WIPO Internet Treaty drafters were "just guessing"

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Michael Geist writes, "The global music industry has spent two decades lobbying for restrictive DMCA-style restrictions on digital locks. These so-called "anti-circumvention rules" have been actively opposed by many groups, but the copyright lobby claims that they are needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Now the head of the RIAA in Canada admits that the treaty drafters were just guessing and that they guessed wrong." Read the rest

Beyond Bad Lip Reading: the Auralnauts' astounding Star Wars remixes

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The Auralnauts' wildly successful Star Wars remixes have gone from strength to strength, combining bad lip reading, South Park-ish raunchy humor, and massive dance-parties accompanied by some seriously rockin' tunes. Read the rest

Bad Lip Reading Empire Strikes Back: the funky seagull mix

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Yoda's never been so funky as he is in this amazing 4-minute music video for "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)," a masterpiece from the Bad Lip Reading project, whose virtuosity is so great that "lip reading" a puppet doesn't even seem like a cheat. (via Waxy) Read the rest

Ceramic figurines in leather BDSM masks

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Richard Ankrom's "Figurines" series mix "found ceramic objects, synthetic rubber, zipper (studs, buckles, etc.)" (via JWZ) Read the rest

Car Wars: a dystopian science fiction story about the nightmare of self-driving cars

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Melbourne's Deakin University commissioned me to write a science fiction story about the design and regulation of self-driving cars, inspired by my essay about the misapplication of the "Trolley Problem" to autonomous vehicles. Read the rest

"Bring Back Weird Epcot" and other unofficial retro Disney World tees

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Foxxfur, proprietress of the outstanding Passport to Dreams Old and New Disney themepark design critique blog (previously) has opened a t-shirt store featuring designs celebrating the lost, lamented design-flourishes that lurked in the corners of early Walt Disney World: the crowning glory of the store is this Bring Back Weird Epcot tee that really tells it like it is. Read the rest

Barnes & Noble's releasing a $50 Android tablet that does all the things Amazon won't let Kindles do

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Chris Meadows writes, "Barnes & Noble is coming out with a $50 Nook Android tablet, with hardware specs similar to Amazon's $50 Fire. The kicker is, this new Nook tablet will run plain-vanilla Android 6.0 Marshmallow and include the full suite of Google Play apps--unlike the Fire, which only permits installation of those apps Amazon deems suitable. Will this be enough to rescue the ailing Nook brand?" Read the rest

Anish Kapoor banned from using world's pinkest pink in retaliation for hoarding the blackest black

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Anish Kapoor -- last seen in these parts when he apparently insisted that it was illegal for people in Chicago to take pictures in their public park if they captured a sculpture that had been donated to the city -- got a nanotech company called Nanosystems to promise him the exclusive right to paint with their Vantablack pigment, which uses carbon nanotubes to absorb 99.96% of visible light. Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda and family visit an Austrian meadow and re-enact The Sound of Music

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A unicorn chaser for an American week of purgatory (don't think about The Postman, don't think about The Postman, don't think about The Postman). Read the rest

A lightbulb worm could take over every smart light in a city in minutes

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Researchers from Dalhousie University (Canada) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) have published a working paper detailing a proof-of-concept attack on smart lightbulbs that allows them to wirelessly take over the bulbs from up to 400m, write a new operating system to them, and then cause the infected bulbs to spread the attack to all the vulnerable bulbs in reach, until an entire city is infected. Read the rest

CBC threatens podcast app makers, argues that RSS readers violate copyright

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publishes several excellent podcasts, notably the As It Happens feed; like every podcast in the world, these podcasts are available via any podcast app in the same way that all web pages can be fetched with all web browsers -- this being the entire point of podcasts. Read the rest

Canadians are getting "blackmailed" by US copyright trolls

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Copyright trolls like LA-based CEG TEK are exploiting Canada's "notice-and-notice" copyright system to force ISPs to pass on extortion letters to their customers, threatening them with dire consequences unless they pay hundreds of dollars to settle unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement. Read the rest

Dr Seuss estate has crushed a kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek mashup

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An all-star team of comics and science fiction people -- impressario Glenn Hauman, writer David "Tribbles" Gerrold, and illustrator Ty Templeton -- had their kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek parody "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go" unceremoniously shut down when the Seuss estate's notorious attack-lawyers threatened legal action, without any regard for the clear fair use at play. Read the rest

Samsung abuses copyright to censor satirical exploding phone Grand Theft Auto mod

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Samsung's got problems: its Galaxy Note devices are bursting into flames, and have been banned from the skies. Read the rest

When the FCC asked about unlocking set-top boxes, the Copyright Office ran to the MPAA

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It's been more than 20 years since Congress told the FCC that it should do something about the cable and satellite companies' monopolies over set-top boxes (American households spend more than $200/year to rent these cheap, power-hungry, insecure, badly designed, trailing edge, feature-starved boxes), but it wasn't until this year that the FCC announced its Unlock the Box order and asked for comments. Read the rest

TED talk about remixes and appropriating made by remixing and appropriating TED talks about remixing and appropriating

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Paul Fuog pieced this together out of 15 TED talks: it's pretty great, except what's with the low-energy narration? It's not very TED-like. Read the rest

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