I'll be returning to SXSW Interactive this March for the first time in more than five years, to interview Pulitzer-winning journalist Barton Gellman, who is one of the journalists who's been entrusted with some of the Snowden NSA leaks. We're doing a presentation called "Snowden 2.0: A Field Report From the NSA Archives," which follows an address by Glenn Greenwald. We're speaking on March 10 -- I hope to see you!
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Several high-profile speakers have bailed on RSA's annual security conference over the revelation that the company sabotaged its products at the behest of the NSA. There's even a petition to get Stephen Colbert to cancel his keynote.
Now, there's an alternative conference that will run at the Metreon down the street from RSA's show. It's called Trustycon, and will feature Mikko Hypponen, Chris Palmer, and others. The conference is being run by EFF and Defcon, with sponsorship from Cloudflare and Microsoft.
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Carla sez, "There are two upcoming ways for designers and coders to put a little good out into the world. First, you can land a job that lets you spend your time making positive social change. On February 6 join WebVisions at Essence in London
for short presentations from Essence Digital, Buddy App, PaveGen, Streetbank, and Sidekick Studios. Learn different ways that you can turn your vocation into a force for good. Second, be a part of WebVisions' Hackathon for Social Good on February 8
. Held at Fjord London, programmers and designers will spend the day working collaboratively to build programs and applications that benefit local nonprofits."
Rudy Rucker -- science fiction writer, mathematician, painter, hoopy frood -- has a new art show going up at San Francisco's Borderlands Books tonight, and there's a reception from 5:30 to 7:30PM. The show includes work by Vernon Head, who makes gorgeous, weird assemblage sculptures that perfectly complement Rucker's work.
Art Show, Reading, & Reception: Borderlands, Jan 17
Spencer Chen did an A/B test on the efficacy of "booth babes" at a big trade-show, staffing a booth in one part of the floor with scantily clad models, and another with older women recruited for their people skills, dressed in professional attire.
The results were clear for Chen: the "grandmas" generated far more sales-leads and conversions than the "babes." What's more, the kind of attendees the "babes" attracted were less valuable to Chen's companies: rather than roping in executives with purchase-decision power, they brought in young "IT nubs" who just wanted to get their pictures taken with models in sexy outfits.
Importantly, Chen's point isn't just that booth-babes turn off women at trade shows, but that they also turn off men, and he says he has the data to prove it.
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Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 magazine
writes, "The HOPE X conference (July 18-20, New York City) is now accepting Bitcoin
for preregistration. It's believed this is the first time in North America that any conference (other than a couple of Bitcoin conferences) has accepted the digital currency. Quite a few people have been requesting this for a while - and a hacker conference is exactly the kind of place where such experiments should be tried out. In addition to allowing people to preregister with a minimum of identifying information, it also presents attendees and non-attendees alike with a way of making new projects at the conference possible by donating additional bitcoins if desired. It will be most interesting to see if this method of payment is embraced by HOPE X attendees."
Mat Ricardo writes, "Very happy to announce that my new one man show 'Showman' is running for a week in London's West End as part of the London International Mime Festival. I've been a fan (and customer) of the Mime Fest for more than a decade, so I'm really happy to be involved this year - in spite of not being a mime artist, and having a show that sees me talk pretty much from beginning to end!"
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On Monday October 21, 2013, rock-poster artist Alan Forbes was standing outside a bar in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco, minding his own business, when someone coldcocked him, completely out of the blue. The only thing taken was his cell phone, but Forbes’s assailant left him with two skull fractures, migraines, and enough damage to his right eye that he’s eventually going to need glasses.
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Following on the revelation that RSA broke its own technology to help the NSA
, and RSA's craptastic non-denial
, F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen has pulled out of RSA's upcoming conference
in San Francisco. As a foreigner, he opposes NSA's mission to spy on foreigners like him. (via Interesting People
Lisa Rein writes, "The Internet Archive is hosting its first ever 'Ethics in Tech' event
this Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30pm. (Show starts promptly at 7:00
pm.) Political Comedian Will Durst will be on a panel with the EFF's Legal
Director, Cindy Cohn Frontier Foundation and the Internet Archive's own
Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle. Inder Comar, from WitnessIraq.com, and
Janet Weil, from CodePink.org, will also be speaking."
Learn about how to protect your Fourth Amendment rights and other
constitutional rights and freedoms while attempting to see the lighter
side of these very serious issues. Tickets are still available here (Proceeds will be donated to the following
organizations, based on a selection process from ticketholders: Veterans
For Peace, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Archive,
WitnessIraq.com, EthicsInTech, SF99Percent.org, and CodePink.)
NSA Comedy Tour with Will Durst! A Night of Comedy, Ethics & Tech!
James writes, "Following on Eben Moglen's mind-warping series of talks about life after Snowden
, the Software Freedom Law Center
has invited Bruce Schneier to join Eben for a conversation informed by Bruce's own analysis of the leaked documents
. Bruce is one of the smartest thinkers around when it comes to understanding how security and surveillance operate in the real world. And he is unsurpassed at presenting complicated security concepts even to people who lack his expertise. Between Moglen's sophisticated thoughts and Bruce's grounded approach, we're sure to learn a lot about where we stand and what we can do next!"
Jo from English Pen
writes, "Thanks to Edward Snowden's leaks about the secret surveillance of all our communications by intelligence services in the UK and US, privacy is one of the biggest stories of the day. None of us can be sure now that our emails or phone calls are ever confidential, so this is something we should all be worried about. At English PEN there's a discussion next Wednesday 11 December at 630pm
, with some experts on the subject and it should be a lively debate - with writer Alan Judd, former MI6 director for operations Nigel Inkster and Ian Brown, director of the Oxford Internet Institute. It's chaired by English PEN's director Jo Glanville at the Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA."
Do you have a favorite tool that you’d like to let other people know about? Then come to the first Cool Tools Show & Tell Worldwide Meetup on December 4, 2013! Bring your favorite tool (hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful) and be prepared to talk about it and (if feasible) demonstrate it to other cool tools enthusiasts.
To lead a local Cool Tools Show & Tell, visit the Meetup page and enter the name of the city or zip code of where you would like to host a meetup into the field in the upper right corner. Then, click on the community of your choice and RSVP.
If you are not yet a member of Meetup.com, you’ll be given the opportunity to sign up for a free account. Once you’ve joined your community and RSVP’d for the Cool Tools Worldwide Meetup date on Dec. 4, you can suggest a location for the event and begin inviting your friends.
Share on Facebook or Twitter or use your community URL (example: http://www.meetup.com/Cool-Tools/Boulder/) to invite local friends via email. Otherwise, use http://www.meetup.com/cool-tools to spread the word to people around the world. Please consider videotaping your local meetup and uploading the videos for others to see. We will post links on the Cool Tools website.
Bonus! If you are in the United States would like to lead a local meetup and are able to host at least 10 other people, we would like to send you a complimentary copy of Kevin Kelly’s new book: Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities.
Ed writes, "The Betrayers' Banquet is an experimental dining experience from London, where guests play the iterated prisoner's dilemma to win a better or worse meal.
Each of the 48 participants is served eight different courses over two hours; two starters, four mains and two desserts. While all dishes are edible, their allure differs considerably between the top and the bottom of the table; those at the top will enjoy a fine dining experience to match any in London, while those at the bottom will grapple with pickled walnuts, chicken's feet soup, lumpy gruel, and worse."
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Cullen writes, "There is is a special screening this Sunday 11/17 at 5PM Eastern by Demand Progress of Terms And Conditions May Apply, a New York TImes Critic's Pick documentary about how governments and corporations are tracking your every online move. The first 3000 people to visit the online screening can watch the film for free. Afterward, there will be a Reddit AMA that focuses on the issues raised by the film, including how to rein in the NSA's surveillance. The film's director, Cullen Hoback, will be joined by several privacy experts including the ACLU's Ben Wizner, who's responsible for coordinating Edward Snowden's legal defense in the US."