The gift economy at the heart of open source

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With the 18th O'Reilly Open Source convention approaching, Tim O'Reilly has written a stirring editorial on the value that inspires him about FLOSS: "to create more value than you capture." Read the rest

R2-D2 derby

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You know, for your Star Wars/Mary Poppins mashup theme wedding! $550 from Etsy seller The Blonde Swan, who makes them to order, and will also do you a BB-8 bowler (same price) if that's your thing. (via Geeks Are Sexy) Read the rest

Musical salute to mechanical keyboards

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The latest Pseudorandom installment features Limor "Lady Ada" Fried and Collin Cunningham extolling the virtues of mechanical keyboards for 40 fascinating minutes:

The climax of this is the video at the top of this post in which a musical number is backed with an all-mechanical-keyboard rhythm section. Read the rest

Kickstarting Tak, a new Cheapass Game based on Patrick Rothfuss's "Wise Man's Fear"

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Carol from Cheapass Games writes, "About a year ago, James Ernest started working with Patrick Rothfuss to make the game Tak a reality. Tak features in Patrick's novel, The Wise Man's Fear." Read the rest

Something New: frank, comedic, romantic memoir of a wedding in comic form

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Lucy Knisley is a favorite around these parts, a comics creator whose funny, insightful, acerbic and disarmingly frank memoirs in graphic novel form have won her accolades and admiration from across the field. With her latest book, Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride, Knisley invites us into her wedding, her love life, her relationship with her mother, and an adventure that's one part Martha Stewart, one part French farce comedy.

John Oliver and the cast of Sesame Street on lead poisoning

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In light of Flint lead catastrophe, John Oliver gets the cast of Sesame Street to update their 20-year-old segment warning kids to steer clear of lead paint, making it over into an economic parable about moral hazard and aligning incentives. (via Rolling Stone) Read the rest

Supreme Court sends Authors Guild packing, won't hear Google Books case

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The Authors Guild has been trying to get a court to shut down Google's book-scanning/book-search program for more than a decade. Read the rest

The saga of Ian Bogost's pressure-washer

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Beginning in July 2014 and continuing to April 2015, someone (possibly Ian Bogost) maintained an obsessive Tumblr site about whether Ian Bogost, an eminent and brilliant video games critic and editor of a spectacular series on everyday objects, would buy a pressure washer, and if so, which one. Read the rest

Advanced parenting with a child who loves garage doors

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Artist Kiersten Essenpreis has a kid who loves garage doors and she isn't shy about encouraging their passion. Read the rest

Edward Snowden provides vocals on a beautiful new Jean-Michel Jarre composition

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Jarre tapped the whistleblower for vocals on "Exit," a track from Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise, a new electronic music album that drops in three weeks. Read the rest

Listen: thought experiments about who or what has a mind

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Rick Kleffel sends us his latest podcast (MP3), "A conversation with one of the authors of a wonderful and strange book; science-fiction thought experiments ('robot versus baby') informed by social psychology experiments of fascinating design, part ethics, philosophy, neuroscience, the minds of god and the dead and machines... authentically mind-boggling. And Fun!" Read the rest

From beyond the grave, Terry Pratchett orders Neil Gaiman to adapt Good Omens for TV

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After several false starts, including one that involved Terry Gilliam and a groat, Neil Gaiman has announced that he will personally adapt he and Terry Pratchett's oustanding, comedic apocalypse novel Good Omens as a six-part TV series. Read the rest

Classic paper on economic models is secretly a masterclass in thinking, talking, writing and convincing

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Hal Varian, now Google's chief economist, wrote "How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time," a classic paper, in 1994 while teaching at UC Berkeley (he's still an emeritus there). Read the rest

Before and After Mexico: a Bruce Sterling story about the eco-pocalypse

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Bruce Sterling's announced the first-ever English publication of his story for 25 minutos en el futuro. Nueva ciencia ficción norteamericana, a Spanish-language sf anthology of translated works by anglophone writers whose work is largely unknown in Mexico. Read the rest

Just look at this banana chestburster shoop

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Just look at it. Read the rest

Serious, pointing people are always better with budgies

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If you need any proof, look no further than this thread on b3ta's Add an animal challenge. Read the rest

216 "untranslatable" emotional words from non-English languages

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University of East London pysch professor Tim Lomas has assembled a list of words referring to emotional states from the world's languages that have no correlate in English. Read the rest

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