Is American invention at risk?

Comedian, commercial director and documentarian Jordan Brady hosts a great podcast on commercial filmmaking called Respect The Process. He recently interviewed Ryan Berman, Chief Creative Officer for San Diego ad agency I.D.E.A. The interview is a smart casual conversation between old colleagues about the modern advertising agency, the challenges of staying forward-thinking, and keeping your team fresh and energized.

Late in the podcast (14m30s), the talk turns to Berman's own documentary film on the current state of U.S. patent law, Inventing To Nowhere, which recently screened at SXSW. Though Berman is quick to point out this was a sponsored project for The Innovation Alliance, a tech-industry lobbying group, it is not branded content. The doc is an impassioned plea for inventor protection under whatever patent reform comes from congress.

The Innovation Alliance website features a petition declaring:

...we oppose efforts by some multinational companies in Washington, DC to weaken patents and make it harder for inventors and start-ups like us to live out our dream of creating something and calling it our own. With our ideas, willingness to take risks, and hard work, we have just as much right to succeed as they have.
On a lighter note: also check out the hilarious PSA Brady directed, Scooter The Neutered Cat which he made for animal protection group Read the rest

Understanding American football helps us understand America

Radiolab can always be depended on for an interesting take on questions you never even knew you had. Their story on American Football is no exception. Read the rest

Why we like fried chicken and vinyl

This week Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about the gadget approach to making good fried chicken and an affordable, retro-inspired solution to experiencing vinyl.

This week's best gadgets

This week Mark and Jason compare tea makers and Xeni talks about her Hario Japanese coffee products.

Gadgets 022: RGB LED Lightbulb, KontrolFreek joystick extender, Photive 5 Port Multi-USB Charger

This week Mark, Xeni and Jason recap their holidays and current favorite gadgets — a remote controlled color changing light bulb, Xbox joystick extender, and a multi-USB charger.

Who Wars: Star Wars and Doctor Who in one podcast

After seeing my post here on Boing Boing that featured my giant Ewok Village diorama, the folks at the Who Wars podcast reached out to interview me about it—just one part of the latest episode. Read the rest

LISTEN: Native Jefferson shoes, Fit Flops and Bell Bullitt Motorcycle Helmet

This week, Mark, Xeni and Jason talk about their favorite wearables, Native Jefferson shoes, Fit Flops and the Bell Bullitt Motorcycle Helmet.

The new Kindle Voyage and the best portable scanner

This week, Mark, Xeni and Jason talk about their new gadgets for archival scanning and e-reading.

Gadgets Giveaway: DaVinci Ascent Vaporizer!

This week, Mark and Xeni discuss their dueling carry-on bag picks and other travel faves, as well as this week's gadget giveaway — the Ascent Vaporizer by DaVinci. Enter to win by Nov. 17!

Paolo Bacigalupi and AS King on writing

Rick Kleffel writes, "I spoke with Paolo Bacigalupi (MP3) and A. S. (Amy) King (MP3 about SF, YA and comparing their different methods of composition (MP3) with predictably entertaining and smart results." Read the rest

Gadgets 018: Stovetop espresso maker, Seinfeld trick calendar generator, speed reading and more

This week, Mark is joined by Dean Putney to discuss the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker and Coleman Water Carrier, as well as share their favorite gadgets to inspire productivity.

Gadgets: 3-in-1 multi-cooker, magician's card press, iPhone 6 Plus

Listen to Mark, Xeni and Jason talk about what's cooking with their favorite gadgets in and out of the kitchen.

LISTEN: Travel gadgets for your next trip

This week, Xeni, Mark and Jason talk TSA-friendly backpacks, aromatherapy to help you sleep, and two travel must-haves for your phablet and vehicle batteries.

Podcast: How to Talk to Your Children About Mass Surveillance

Here's a reading (MP3) of a my latest Locus column, How to Talk to Your Children About Mass Surveillance, in which I describe the way that I've explained the Snowden affair to my six-year-old: Read the rest

Podcast: Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart

Here's a reading (MP3) of a my latest Guardian column, Firefox's adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart, a close analysis of the terrible news that Mozilla has opted to add closed source DRM to its flagship Firefox browser:

The decision to produce systems that treat internet users as untrusted adversaries to be controlled by their computers was clearly taken out of a sense of desperation and inevitability.

It’s clear that Mozilla plans to do everything it can to mitigate the harms from its DRM strategy and to attempt to reverse the trend that brought it to this pass.

Like many of Mozilla’s longtime supporters, I hold it to a high standard. It is not a for-profit. It’s a social enterprise with a mission to empower and free its users.

I understand that Apple, Microsoft and Google are for-profit entities that have demonstrated repeatedly that their profitability trumps their customers’ rights, and I fault them for this. But it’s not unreasonable to hold mission-driven nonprofits to a higher standard than their commercial counterparts.

Mozilla says it’s doing everything it can to reduce the harm from what it sees as an inevitable decision. As a Mozilla supporter, contributor and user, I want it to do more.

Mastering by John Taylor Williams:

John Taylor Williams is a audiovisual and multimedia producer based in Washington, DC and the co-host of the Living Proof Brew Cast. Hear him wax poetic over a pint or two of beer by visiting In his free time he makes "Beer Jewelry" and "Odd Musical Furniture." He often "meditates while reading cookbooks."

MP3 Read the rest

Interview with Lucius Shepard

Science fiction radio-host and podcaster Rick Kleffel writes, "Lucius Shepard was one of my guiding lights for reading; he worked in all the spaces I loved best. Here's a link to my one conversation with him [MP3], back in 2005. He'll be missed very much; and remembered every time we read his work." (Thanks, Rick!)

Lucius died last week. It was far too soon, and he is very much missed. Read the rest

Podcast: What happens with digital rights management in the real world?

Here's a reading (MP3) of a recent Guardian column, What happens with digital rights management in the real world where I attempt to explain the technological realpolitik of DRM, which has nothing much to do with copyright, and everything to do with Internet security. Read the rest

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