Listen: Hacker Anthropologist Biella Coleman on the free software movement and big business

BWalker_TOE_Logo_iTunes_1400px

Gabriella Coleman, the anthropologist whose first book, Coding Freedom, explained hacking culture better than any book before or since; and whose second book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, told the inside story of Anonymous with technical and social brilliance, appeared on the Theory of Everything podcast (MP3) to discuss the ways that free software hackers and the more business-friendly open source world have fought, reconciled and fought again. Read the rest

Interview with teen botmaster whose lawyerbots are saving people millions

board-158973_960_720

Joshua Browder, the teenaged botmaster whose Do Not Pay bot is helping drivers save millions by challenging NYC and London parking tickets and assisting UK homeless people who are applying for benefits, sat down for a chat on the O'Reilly Bots Podcast (MP3). Read the rest

Podcast: How we'll kill all the DRM in the world, forever

I'm keynoting the O'Reilly Security Conference in New York in Oct/Nov, so I stopped by the O'Reilly Security Podcast (MP3) to explain EFF's Apollo 1201 project, which aims to kill all the DRM in the world within a decade. Read the rest

Kevin "Kids in the Hall" McDonald has a podcast

Kevin-McDonald-Square.png

Tavie writes, "Kevin McDonald of the classic Canadian sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall has just launched a brand-new podcast, 'Kevin McDonald's Kevin McDonald Show.'" It's an old-fashioned variety show with interviews, sketches, and musical guests." Read the rest

David Cameron's swan song (ringtone edition)

CnGKS2HUcAAKG8p

If you, like me, heard former UK Prime Minister David Cameron's post-abdication accidentally captured odd tune and self-affirmation and thought, "That's my next ringtone," then here you go.

(Image: ITV) Read the rest

Unpleasant Design: design that bullies its users

camdens

Selena Savić and Gordan Savicic (previously) have published Unpleasant Design, their long-awaited book on "design that bullies its users" -- that is, devices, street furniture, tools and products designed to control humans. Read the rest

Debullshitifying the Brexit numbers

800px-Union_Jack_and_the_european_flag

On the BBC's More or Less podcast (previously), Tim Harford and his team carefully unpick the numerical claims made by both sides in the UK/EU referendum debate. Read the rest

O'Reilly Hardware Podcast on the risks to the open Web and the future of the Internet of Things

apollo-1201-pic

I appeared on the O'Reilly Hardware Podcast this week (MP3, talking about the way that DRM has crept into all our smart devices, which compromises privacy, security and competition. Read the rest

Spike Lee interviews Bernie Sanders: Vermont, Trump, Clinton, guns and Brooklyn

animation

The Hollywood Reporter arranged for a sit-down between Bernie Sanders and Spike Lee (who recently spoke for Sanders at a rally in the South Bronx) and the two talked (MP3) about the lay of the electoral land. Read the rest

Listen: Bruce Sterling's "Black Swan (a cyberpunk story)"

cover

Bruce Sterling's 2010 short story Black Swan (a cyberpunk story) comes to life in a fine reading by Paul Cram (MP3) on the Starshipsofa podcast. Read the rest

Alice Isn't Dead: a new podcast from the Welcome to Night Vale creators

Print

Alice Isn't Dead, a new podcast from the Welcome to Night Vale crew, debuts tomorrow -- get a sneak peak with this teaser (MP3), then subscribe. Read the rest

People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction: a podcast with Nalo Hopkinson and friends

NaloHopkinson-563977665-582x437

Science fiction titan Nalo Hopkinson appears in this week's Geek Guide to the Galaxy podcast, talking about race, diversity, and sf. Read the rest

Listen: a new podcast about science fiction and spectacular meals

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x957

Writer/editor Scott Edelman is legendary in science fiction circles for organizing outings from conventions to spectacular, out-of-the-way restaurants where the food is cheap and mind-blowing (I've eaten some very memorable dim sum with him in Philly, for example). Read the rest

Podcast: the only way to get evidence-based policy is to embrace ambiguity in science

thumb65

In the 2015 Sense About Science lecture (MP3), Tracey Brown discusses the worst casualty of politicization of science, from fluoride to climate change -- the truth. Read the rest

Podcast: How Amazon is holding Hachette hostage

Here's a reading (MP3) of my latest Guardian column, How Amazon is holding Hachette hostage, which examines how Hachette's insistence on DRM for their ebooks has taken away all their negotiating leverage with Amazon, resulting in Amazon pulling Hachette's books from its catalog in the course of a dispute over discounting:

Under US law (the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and its global counterparts (such as the EUCD), only the company that put the DRM on a copyrighted work can remove it. Although you can learn how to remove Amazon's DRM with literally a single, three-word search, it is nevertheless illegal to do so, unless you're Amazon. So while it's technical child's play to release a Hachette app that converts your Kindle library to work with Apple's Ibooks or Google's Play Store, such a move is illegal.

It is an own-goal masterstroke. It is precisely because Hachette has been so successful in selling its ebooks through Amazon that it can't afford to walk away from the retailer. By allowing Amazon to put a lock on its products whose key only Amazon possessed, Hachette has allowed Amazon to utterly usurp its relationship with its customers. The law of DRM means that neither the writer who created a book, nor the publisher who invested in it, gets to control its digital destiny: the lion's share of copyright control goes to the ebook retailer whose sole contribution to the book was running it through a formatting script that locked it up with Amazon's DRM.

Read the rest

Podcast: News from the future for Wired UK

Here's a reading (MP3) of a short story I wrote for the July, 2014 issue of Wired UK in the form of a news dispatch from the year 2024 -- specifically, a parliamentary sketch from a raucous Prime Minister's Question Time where a desperate issue of computer security rears its head: Read the rest

American juvenile incarceration: destroying a generation to feed the prison system

Wil Wheaton writes, "Today's Fresh Air (MP3) is just heartbreaking. It's an interview about the juvenile 'justice' system in America with Nell Bernstein, author of Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, and how prison is just destroying young lives in the name of giving prison workers jobs. No. Seriously. It's infuriating, and it dovetails perfectly with your review of Matt Taibbi's new book."

Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison

'Burning Down The House' Makes The Case Against Juvenile Incarceration (Thanks, Wil!) Read the rest

More posts