Boing Boing 

Citizenfour: all it's cracked up to be and more

I've been travelling continuously since September, and that means that despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to see Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's storied Edward Snowden documentary -- until last night.

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Happy Public Domain Day: here are the works that copyright extension stole from you in 2015


Jennifer Jenkins writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2015? Under the law that existed until 1978 -- Works from 1958. The films 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' and 'Gigi,' the books 'Our Man in Havana,' 'The Once and Future King,' and 'Things Fall Apart,' the songs 'All I Have to Do Is Dream' and 'Yakety Yak,' and more -- What is entering the public domain this January 1? Not a single published work."

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NSA can wiretap Skype wholesale

Another gem from the latest Der Spiegel NSA leaks: the NSA can listen in on all Skype traffic and read Skype messages, because Microsoft hands over its keys.

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Crypto puzzles and games for kids

Dev Gualtieri's newly published Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16 is a thoughtfully designed introduction to crypto for kids.

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Exclusive Neil Gaiman recording to Comic Book Legal Defense Fund donors


Charles writes, "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is thanking folks who make a donation in any amount before the 12/31 tax deadline with a download of Neil Gaiman's reading Live At the Aladdin. The Fund has used our donors' contributions to protect the freedom to read, including our 2014 annual report and an infographic showcasing how our donations are used."

Gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo at London's South Bank Centre

Mat Ricardo sez, "Completely thrilled to announce that, in what must surely be some kind of administrative error, my one man show 'Showman' will have a three night run at The Purcell Room in London's South Bank Centre on the 19th, 20th & 21st of January."

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Tights with poetry


The View Text Etsy store sells custom tights emblazoned with poetry from the likes of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare (you can also get your own text on a pair). (via Geeky Merch)

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Detailed Snowtrooper armor


A mere $2000 gets you this suit of Imperial Snowtrooper couture armor, suitable for fighting asymmetric warfare on Hoth or chilling at a con.

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Lauren Ipsum: The Phantom Tollbooth meets Young Ladies' Illustrated Primer

Lauren Ipsum is an absolutely brilliant kids’ book about computer science, and it never mentions computer science—it’s a series of witty, charming, and educational parables about the fundamentals that underpin the discipline.

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Livestreams from the Chaos Communications Congress

The 31st Chaos Communications Congress is underway in Hamburg, where some of the most important, entertaining, mind-blowing, and earth-shaking information about computer security and politics will be revealed. Here's the livestream. (via Hacker News)

Difficult questions posed to the NYPL reference desks before the net


In the New York Public Library's Instagram account, Information Architect Morgan Holzer is posting images of 3x5 cards pulled from a shoebox collecting 50 years' worth of weird questions that were posed to the system's reference desks, which were strange and notable enough to warrant addition to the collection.

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Cards Against Humanity buys a private island ("Hawaii 2") & gives it away


Each 250,000 of the CAH Holiday Bullshit subscribers got one square foot of a wooded island in Maine, called Hawaii 2 (nee Birch Island).

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Algorithmically evolved masks that appear as faces to facial-recognition software


Sterling Crispin uses evolutionary algorithms to produce masks that satisfy facial recognition algorithms: "my goal is to show the machine what it’s looking for, to hold a mirror up to the all-seeing eye of the digital-panopticon we live in and let it stare back into its own mind."

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WATCH: insane mashup Xmas special

Kyle sez, "Bumperactive custom sticker shop presents a curated selection of Yuletide media ephemera spanning six decades: The 2014 Holiday BUMPERJAM! Skeletor learns the true meaning of Christmas? Check. Santa vs. The Martians? Check. Nutmeg?! CHECK. When all else is lost and Christmas needs saving, the BUMPERJAM is 100% Guaranteed to change the subject."

MAKE: dollar-store ninja Xmas tree ornaments


Here's a great tutorial for using ribbon, baubles, and googly eyes to honor the Christmas Spirit intrinsic in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with your festive Krampusbush.

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Mel Brooks on the 40th Anniversary of his "greatest film," Young Frankenstein


In a short interview from September, Mel Brooks reflects on the history of Young Frankenstein, which he calls "his greatest movie" (an assessment that's hard to argue with, given how brilliant it was, though the competition is stiff!).

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Clever student uses red/blue masking to double exam cribsheet


Profcyclist told students that they could bring a 3"x5" card to an exam; a clever student wrote overlapping notes in blue and red ink and brought in gels to read them.

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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Hideous $10,000 plastic Christmas tree


Grad writes, "While cruising Amazon looking for some new Christmas tree magic for my family, I ran across what must be the world's most expensive Christmas tree."

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Dollar Store Dungeons!


Rachel sends us "a series of posts about all the cool ways to use dollar store finds in tabletop RPGs. There is an amazing variety of useful things there, from things that could easily work as miniatures, to white boards for sketching maps or tracking initiative, to the cheapest source I've yet found for glass beads."

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Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Doctor Who scarves and skirts


Etsy seller Rooby Lane makes great, nerdy textiles, sporting designs from sf/f TV and movies, like the Lord of the Rings and Marauders' Map map scarves and the Tardis skirt. (via Geeky Merch)

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EFF's copyfighter's crossword


EFF's annual crossword puzzle is a roundup of news stories from the world of digital civil liberties from 2014. Can you get 'em all without googling?

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Outfit a game-designer's toolkit for < $20


Game designer Rick Marazzani did an under-$20 raid on his local dollar store and built himself an incredible game-designer's toolkit with everything he needs to create an infinite variety of games in just as many styles; his reasoning for each piece is an especially telling glimpse of the game-designer's mindset:

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Western fairy tale characters as traditional Korean characters


Korean games illustrator Na Young Wu has an amazing series of illustrations called "Korean Western Fairy Tales," in which she redesigns familiar characters from western fairy tales (including several that have been adapted by Disney) and remakes them as traditional Korean characters.

Na Young Wu is a character illustration artist for games, and in what she calls her "Korean Western Fairy Tale" series, she uses her talents to reimagine familiar characters. Sometimes she uses the color palettes from Disney films, but in other pieces, she focuses on putting her own spin on the stories. You can see more of her Eastern-Western fairy tale illustrations on Twitter—and if you somehow still haven't enough of Frozen, she has her own take on Elsa on her blog.

Western Fairytales Get A Korean Makeover In Gorgeous Illustrations [Lauren Davis/IO9]

LISTEN: Wil Wheaton reads "Information Doesn't Want to Be Free"

I've posted the first chapter (MP3) of Wil Wheaton's reading of my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free (which sports introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer!), which is available as a $15 DRM-free audiobook, sweetened by samples from Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls' "Coin-Operated Boy."

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Gingerbread Enterprise


Blackmarket Bakery sends us, "a gingerbread recreation of the Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek,' created by us and on display at our store in Costa Mesa, CA."

Painted portraits of juggalos


UK born, South African educated painted visited America and produced a series of beautiful portraits of Juggalos.

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Tldrbot: great works of literature in seconds

Tldrbot is the latest bot from Shardcore (previously, previously, previously) that slurps up great novels, algorithmically summarizes them to 1% of their length, then spits out audio files of a synthetic Scottish woman's voice reading those summaries aloud.

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Maker-themed "Few of my favorite things" remix

Legendary maker Becky Sterns is in top form as she waltzes around the Adafruit offices singing about her favorite things in this holiday video.

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Caterpillar cosplay/cyberpunk braces


From Ukrainian leatherworker/fetishwear-purveyor/steampunk/fashion designer Bob Basset, a pair of "Caterpillar" arm braces made from "Natural leather, steel furniture."