How Hamilton, ON's violent "accountability" councilor intimidated a journalist out of City Hall


Hamilton's the kind of city where half of City Hall says they've been bullied at work, where the "accountability" committee charges you $100 to make a complaint and proposed that it would only investigate if you are never quoted in the press on the matter, and where city policy prohibits linking to its website without written permission. Read the rest

Interview with Serah Ely, creator of the Escape Pod podcast, about her gender transition


Tony from Starshipsofa writes, "This week on StarShipSofa, I interview (MP3) Serah Eley about her remarkable transgender journey from Steve Eley creator of Escape Pod to Serah. We delve into some of the very real issues that Serah has come across, why she gave up Escape Pod and why now she has stepped away altogether from the SF field." Read the rest

Listen: making sense of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a Canadian election perspective

Ep 103 Header

The current Canadaland podcast (MP3) carefully parses out the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership from the perspective of Internet freedom, censorship, free speech, business, and transparency. Read the rest

Listen: a sexy hymn to Ishtar, in the original Babylonian


Doris Prechel reads Ammi-ditāna's incredibly hot hymn to Ištar in Babylonian (MP3) as transcribed by D. O. Edzard. Read the rest

Phone Call from Paul: new literary podcast from Paul Holdengraber, with Neil Gaiman


Paul Holdengraber, host of the New York Public Library's legendary literary interview series, has started a new podcast called "A phone call from Paul," which he has inaugurated with a two-part interview with Neil Gaiman. Read the rest

New podcast on new forms of power in networked societies


Jamie King sez, "The Emergents Podcast, a new show from the creator of STEAL THIS FILM, considers the development of a new form of power inside our networked society. In this pilot episode (MP3), Peter Sunde (The Pirate Bay), Troy Hunt (Have I Been Been Pwned) and network security consultant Ella Saitta consider the Ashley Madison hack, strange 'network collectives' like Impact Team and the 'volatile, unstable, complex and arbitrary' world they're bringing into being." Read the rest

Neil DeGrasse Tyson talks with Edward Snowden


This week on the Startalk podcast, America's best-loved astronomer talks with my favorite whistleblower (MP3). Read the rest

Countersuit: Georgia can't copyright its laws


Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "As many of you may remember, the State of Georgia filed charges against Public Resource complete with a scurrilous and unfounded charge that we engaged in a "strategy of terrorism." I am pleased to announce that we are represented pro bono by Alston and Bird, one of the leading law firms in Georgia. Our legal team filed an answer to the Georgia complaint and we counter-sued, denying their over-the-top characterization as 'bizarre, defamatory and gratuitous allegations.'" Read the rest

Artificial Intelligence, considered: Talking with John Markoff about Machines of Loving Grace


Literary podcaster Rick Kleffer writes, "I must admit that it was too much fun to sit down with John Markoff and talk (MP3) about his book Machines of Loving Grace. Long ago, I booted up a creaking, mothballed version of one of the first Xerox minicomputers equipped with a mouse to extract legacy software for E-mu. Fifteen years later I was at the first Singularity Summit; the book was a trip down many revisions of memory road."

John Markoff’s ‘Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robot’ is a fascinating, character-driven vision of how the recent past created the present and is shaping the near future. The strong and easily understood conflict at the heart of this work gives readers an easy means of grasping the increasingly complicated reality around us. If we do not understand this history, the chances are that we will not have the opportunity to be doomed to repeat it.

Our technological ecology began in two computer labs in Stanford in the early sixties. In one lab, John McCarthy coined the term “Artificial intelligence” with the intention of creating a robot that could think like, move like and replace a human in ten years. On the opposite side of the campus, Douglas Englebart wanted to make it easier for scholars to collaborate using an increasingly vast amount of information. He called it IA, Intelligence Augmentation as a direct response to AI. Thus were born two very different design philosophies that still drive the shape of our technology today – and will continue to do so in the future.

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Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3). Read the rest

When Firms Become Persons and Persons Become Firms: outstanding lecture

UC Berkeley Political Scientist Wendy Brown came to the London School of Economics last week to discuss her book Undoing the Demos, and her lecture (MP3) is literally the best discussion of how and why human rights are being taken away from humans and given to corporations. Read the rest

Neal Stephenson on the story behind Seveneves

Rick Kleffel sends his latest Bookotron podcast: "Neal Stephenson discusses (MP3) the challenges of turning orbital dynamics into pulse-pounding fiction ... and his latest novel Seveneves." (Image: Bob Lee, CC-BY) Read the rest

Kazuo Ishiguro on writing, characters and novels

Rick Kleffel sez, "I spoke with Kazuo Ishiguro about his new book, The Buried Giant, and his means of using the literary toolkit of the fantastic to excavate the human psyche. It proved to be great fun. " Read the rest

Audio from Snowden/Ellsberg panel at HOPEX

Yesterday's HOPEX conference featured a 90 minute dialog between Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. Read the rest

Jo Walton talks science fiction, research, & collaborating with readers

David writes, "I host the literary radio show Between The Covers (KBOO 90.7FM/PDX) and my most recent guest was Jo Walton (MP3), who has been profiled multiple times on Boing Boing. We talk about her most recent book, My Real Children, about why George Eliot even though she preceded the beginnings of science fiction nevertheless has a science fictional mind, about the particularly obstacles women writers of science fiction and fantasy face, about the writing terminology Jo Walton has invented and why, and how she uses her online fan community as a vital resource for research when she writes."

Jo Walton : My Real Children Read the rest

The Hold Steady - “Wait a While” (free MP3)

Why do I love The Hold Steady? Because they’ve been making non-stupid ROCK music for ten years. It’s miraculous that a band can deliver so many songs about heartbreak and drinking with the requisite choruses and bridges and still sound smart. Part of it is that the band has a knack for air-guitar-worthy riffs, but it’s really singer/songwriter Craig Finn’s storytelling that sets The Hold Steady apart. Craig’s also possessed of a unique charisma on stage - check out the band on tour in the U.S and Europe from now through October for an undeniably fun and sweaty time.

The new Hold Steady record is called Teeth Dreams and I’ve been dying to share my favorite song “Wait a While” with you for months. It’s a deceptively simple gem that you’ll want on your summer playlist. I personally would slug nearly any man who called me “little girl,” but somehow Craig Finn can get away with it and even get me to sing along. Download it below.

[soundcloud url="" params="color=ff0000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Read the rest

Buddy - “Weak Currents” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 71

Buddy is an evolving collection of Los Angeles musicians, the singer & songwriter of which is a man named Buddy. Buddy’s songs are full of brilliant turns of phrase and suffused with beauty, longing, and sadness.

In live performance, the band feels like a group of tight friends coming together to support someone they love. Often, six or seven musicians cram onto the stage behind Buddy the singer to become the larger “Buddy” - the greater expression of a man who appears genuinely surprised and grateful that people enjoy his music. Buddy is now on tour with a stripped-down (and equally powerful) version of the band, and you should go check them out in your town.

Buddy has a new album coming out on August 19th called Last Call for the Quiet Life. The sound is lush where his previous work was spare, and it features lots of lovely vocal harmonies. It’s his best work and I’m proud to premiere the first single “Weak Currents” and offer you a free download. Grab it below. You can also pre-order the record on iTunes if you dig it.

[soundcloud url="" params="color=ff1600&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Read the rest

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