Algorithmic guilt: defendants must be able to inspect source code in forensic devices


Some day, you may be the defendant in a criminal trial that turns on whether the software in a forensic device reached a reliable conclusion about a DNA test or other piece of evidence. Wouldn't you like to have your own experts check the source code on that device? Read the rest

100 bold ideas the BBC can use to fight back


With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector. Read the rest

The Open Source Party


Jon Lebkowsky writes, "Just as Open Source provided an free-as-in-freedom alternative to proprietary software, an Open Source Party can provide a free alternative to proprietary politics. Read the rest

The sad truth about your computer


Another XKCD bullseye for Randall Munroe. It's all just a tangle of things you put in to fix the things that you put in to fix the things. As the tooltip says: Read the rest

Dear Internet of Things: human beings are not things

My new Locus column is What If People Were Sensors, Not Things to be Sensed? Read the rest

Platform Cooperativism: a worker-owned Uber for everything

Nathan Schneider writes, "The seeds are being planted for a new kind of online economy. For all the wonders the Internet brings us, it is dominated by an economics of monopoly, extraction, and surveillance." Read the rest

Windows 10 EULA: Microsoft can killswitch your unauthorized hardware and pirate games

When you click through the Windows 10 "agreement," you agree to let Microsoft subject your games and hardware to authenticity tests and to shut down anything it doesn't like the looks of. Read the rest

Stephen Hawking's speech synthesizer now free/open software

Intel has released ACAT (assistive context-aware toolkit) under an Apache license in the hopes that people will improve it -- it only runs on Windows XP or better at the moment, and has a limited range of input-sensors. Read the rest

Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM

The Matchstick, a Firefox-OS-based Chromecast-style device, kickstarted on the promise of bringing open, user-rights-respecting video to our homes -- then they decided to add DRM. Read the rest

The Tor Project is hiring a new executive director

So, an EFF activist gig isn't for you and neither is deputy director of the Free Software Foundation: how about executive director of the Tor Project, which maintains The Onion Router, a crucial piece of anonymity and privacy technology? Read the rest

The Free Software Foundation is hiring a deputy director!

If working as an EFF activist isn't your thing, perhaps helping to run the Free Software Foundation in Boston will be more to your liking? Read the rest

Texas Instruments graphic calclulator boots Android

It's only Android 1.6, but still, that's impressive! Naturally, the sourcefiles are on Github. Read the rest

Chrome update turns browsers into covert listening tools

The default behavior of hotword, a new, black-box module in Chrome (and its free/open cousin, Chromium) causes it to silently switch on your computer's microphone and send whatever it hears to Google. Read the rest

Apex: final Nexus book merges the drug war with transhumanism

Ramez Naam's Nexus trilogy has concluded with a huge, thrilling, globe-spanning book called Apex that nailed it.

The microbes on your phone are different from the microbes on your shoes

But the microbes on your shoes are similar to the microbes on everyone else's shoes and the microbes on your phone are similar to the microbes on everyone else's phone. Read the rest

8-bit photo gun made from a Game Boy and a thermal printer

Stick a thermal printer, a Game Boy and a camera into an Arduino-controlled gizmo and you've got ::vtol::'s 8-bit instant photo gun. Read the rest

Demystifying copyright licensing and 3D printing

It's more complicated than it seems: the functional elements of a 3D print can't be copyrighted, but they may be blended with decorative elements that can be; what's more, if we err on the side of caution by "open licensing" stuff that isn't even copyrighted, the effort to open up copyright ends up normalizing the application of copyright to new subjects. Read the rest

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