Boing Boing 

Bridging gongkai and free/open source


Bunnie Huang and his team have set out to fully reverse-engineer and document a cheap Chinese Mediatek MT6260. mobile-phone board -- licensed in the complex, informal regime of "gongkai," through which lots of theoretically confidential information is published, but some critical pieces are withheld.

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Beautiful Japanese Firefox OS phone in a transparent case

Al sends us the Fx0, a "beautiful mid-range phone running Firefox OS announced in Japan today by KDDI, one of Japan's largest mobile phone companies."

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Gnupg needs your support!

Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG, the free/open version of PGP) relies on donations to pay developers to keep the project alive and viable; as one of its millions of users, I am grateful and indebted to the people who keep it alive and that's why I've just donated to the project.

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Crypto-Santa: use onion routing to anonymize gifts at your Xmas party

Dmytri writes, "Add a crypto wrinkle to your Kris Kringle! Make your Secret Santa even more secret with the magic of Onion Wrapping!"

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Crowdfunding a USB-stick-sized, GNU/Linux-ready computer

A reader writes, "The USB Armory is full-blown computer (800MHz ARM® processor, 512MB RAM) in a tiny form factor (65mm x 19mm x 6mm USB stick) designed from the ground up with information security applications in mind."

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Museums and the future history of the information age

Last spring, I gave the keynote address at the Museums and the Web conference in Florence, Italy, speaking in the glorious confines of the big room at the Palazzo Vecchio; the organizers were kind enough to put my talk online. It was very well-received at the time and lots of people have since asked where they could get it -- and here it is!

New Firefox has no-plugin video-conferencing


Firefox Hello (a Webrtc implmentation) has debuted in the just-released v.34 of the browser, allowing users to conduct peer-to-peer video-chats without any plugins -- just create a chat, send the URL to your friend and start talking.

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Crowdfunding Jolla, a GNU/Linux-powered high-spec tablet

It runs an OS called Sailfish that can use Android apps as well its own native apps, and was created by a team with a bunch of senior Nokia refugees on it.

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Whatsapp integrates Moxie Marlinspike's Textsecure end-to-end crypto


It's the largest-ever deployment of end-to-end crypto, and assuming they didn't add any back-doors or make critical errors, this means that hundreds of millions of users can now communicate without being spied upon by governments, crooks, cops, spies or voyeurs.

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Beautiful, easy animations of equations

Max writes, "I made a small 'web-thing' that renders a 100x100 square of colored pixels based on an equation input by the user. You can use it to explore mathematics, or just enjoy the pretty colors. All creations are easily share-able by copying the URL."

Petition to Indian gov't for open publication of standards


Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez, "Namaste! Public.Resource.Org respectfully submitted a Petition to the Honorable Ministry of the Government India charged with oversight over the Bureau of Indian Standards. In addition to hardcopy, we have placed the petition on our site and on the Internet Archive."

The purpose of the petition is to ask that all Indian Standards, government documents of great import and value, be freely made available so that the youth may be educated, the professions may be practiced, and the public safety protected. This is in reference to the almost 19,000 Indian Standards that Public Resource has posted on our site.

We are very pleased that the petition includes signed affidavits from many prominent figures, including Sushant Sinha (who developed as a gift to his country the beautiful Indian Kanoon legal search service), Swaraj Paul Barooah (who is an eminent legal expert and runs the Spicy IP blog). They are joined by eminent engineers, as well as Sri Sam Pitroda (former India Chief Technology Officer and Cabinet Minister) and Dr. Vinton G. Cerf (an Internet engineer).

Code Swaraj! We are hopeful the Hon'ble Ministry will consider our points.

Petition to the Honorable Ministry

(Thanks, Carl)

Tor Browser goes 4.0

The 4.0 version of the secure, anonymized, private browser disables SSL3 (in deference to the POODLE attack) and uses new transports that are intended to defeat the Great Firewall of China and other extremely restrictive firewalls.

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Darkmatter: a secure Paranoid Android version that hides from attackers

Stock Android phones with the Darkmatter OS use encrypted storage, OS-level app controls, and secure messaging by default, but if the phone thinks it's under attack, it dismounts all the encrypted stuff and reboots as a stock Android phone with no obvious hints that its owner has anything hidden on it.

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Dronecode: Open, community-maintained firmware for UAVs


Dronecode started as 3D Robotics' free/open codebase for UAVs, and it has grown to the point where it has flown off on its own, with a formal, community-run board and an ambitious roadmap for the future.

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$35 Firefox OS smartphone - back to the drawing board


Ron Amadeo's review of the much-heralded Cloud FX phone, a $35 smartphone for the "rest of the world," paints a gloomy picture of a poorly thought through first outing.

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Kickstarting Matchstick, a Firefox-powered Chromecast killer


Built on Firefox OS, the Matchstick is free software and open source hardware -- anything in your Firefox browser-window can be "flinged" into your HDMI TV; it's an incredible $12 for one stick.

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Open source hardware pumpkin-puppet

David writes, "A year ago I pledged to make a fully interactive version of my augmented jack-O-lantern, Gourdy; I've finally gotten around to doing it, and I'm releasing him free for anyone to use.

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Localizing an operating system for a language with no high-tech vocabulary

When Senegalese Mozillan Ibrahima Sarr translated Firefox OS into Fulah, he had to coin an entire technological vocabulary, so "crash" became "hookii" (a cow falling over but not dying).

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Jacob Appelbaum on Americans' false belief that the NSA isn't targeting them

Al Billings writes, "Jacob Appelbaum discusses the fallacy of Americans thinking that they won't be targeted, passive and active surveillance methods, AI and human analyst systems working together, satellite networks, deep packet inspection & injection, military contractors getting special access to surveillance programs, proprietary vs open source software, OTR messaging, hoarding exploits for self-gain."

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Firefox's new start page is a gateway drug to awesome Web literacy


The Mozilla Foundation -- who make Firefox -- have been doing some really cool things with Firefox's "start page" (the blank screen you get when you open a new browser tab or window), but this is the coolest: an interactive doodle that invites you to learn to code in the simplest, least-intimidating, most fun way possible.

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Citizen Maths: open, free math education for adults


Seb writes, "Citizen Maths is a new CC-BY licensed open online maths course produced in the UK for adults and college students who want to improve their grasp of maths at what in the UK is known as Level 2 (the level that 16 year old school leavers are expected to reach, though many do not)."

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Adversarial Compatibility: hidden escape hatch rescues us from imprisonment through our stuff


My latest Guardian column, Adapting gadgets to our needs is the secret pivot on which technology turns, explains the hidden economics of stuff, and how different rules can trap you in your own past, or give you a better future.

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EFF unveils secure, sharing-friendly, privacy-minded router OS

As promised, the Open Wireless Movement's new sharing-friendly, privacy-minded router operating system was unveiled at HOPE X in New York last weekend.

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Snowden will develop pro-privacy crypto tools

He made the announcement at the HOPEX conference in New York this past weekend, calling on other attendees to join him in a project to "improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day."

(via /.)

(Image: SHH, Liz Welsh, CC-BY)

Open source plasmids: just add bacteria and reproduce at will


John Schloendorn is distributing "open source" plasmids, giving away proteins that normally cost biotech startups thousands of dollars per milligram, ready to be inserted into bacteria and reproduced at will, without any royalties.

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Simplify Email: advanced filtering for any IMAP email

Jeff Reifman's posted a video explaining more about his next-generation IMAP-filtering email project, Simplify Email.

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Massive guide to new Raspberry Pi B+


There's a new Raspberry Pi model out, the B+, and the nice folks at Adafruit have delivered a massive guide to working with the technology (just in time!).

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Twitterbots that tweet anonymous Wikipedia edits from Parliament, Congress

The @parliamentedits account tweets anonymous edits to Wikipedia made from the UK parliament's IP block, and thanks to an open codebase, it's being adapted to watch other legislatures, including the US Congress.

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IRS says free software projects can't be nonprofits

In a disturbing precedent, the Yorba Foundation, which makes apps for GNU/Linux, has had its nonprofit status application rejected by the IRS because some of projects may benefit for-profit entities.

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Open Wireless Movement's router OS will let you securely share your Internet with the world

Open Wireless Movement, a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Mozilla, Free Press and others, will reveal its sharing-friendly wifi router firmware at the HOPE X conference in NYC next month. The openwireless operating system allows you to portion out some of your bandwidth to share freely with your neighbors and passersby, while providing a high degree of security and privacy for your own communications.


The Open Wireless Movement's goals are to both encourage the neighborliness that you get from sharing in your community, and undermining the idea that an IP address can be used to identify a person, establishing a global system of anonymous Internet connectivity. The project includes an excellent FAQ on the myths and facts about your legal liability for things that other people do with your network.

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