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Report from Trustycon: like RSA, but without the corruption


Seth Rosenblatt reports from Trustycon, the conference formed as a protest against, and alternative to the RSA security conference. RSA's event is the flagship event in the security industry, but the news that RSA had accepted $10M from the NSA to sabotage its own products so that spies could break into the systems of RSA customers led high profile speakers like Mikko Hypponen to cancel their appearances at the event.

Trustycon sold out, raised $20,000 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and, most importantly, got key members of the security industry to come to grips with the question of improving network security in an age when spy agencies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to undermine it.

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UC Berkeley gets its first Wikipedian in Residence

UC Berkeley has just appointed its first Wikipedian in Residence: Kevin Gorman, who has been a Wikipedia editor since he was a Berkeley undergraduate. Though some 50 cultural institutions -- libraries, museums and archives -- have Wikipedians in Residence, Gorman is the first to serve at an academic institution. His own work focuses on improving gender diversity and cultural diversity in Wikipedia editing, and he's assisting professors in crafting assignments that have students using and improving Wikipedia as part of their class-work.

When I was teaching at USC, I assigned my students to help improve Wikipedia articles by sourcing and footnoting facts in articles related to our lectures, and reviewed their contributions and the ensuing discussion in the articles' Talk pages as part of our weekly classes. It was a very satisfying exercise, especially as it ensured that the work of my students served some wider scholarly and social purpose, as opposed to term papers and exercises that no one -- not me, not the students -- would ever want to read after they were graded.

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Comic explains problems with Oakland's Domain Awareness Center surveillance plan


Hugh sez, "What's wrong with Oakland's proposed Domain Awareness Center? This new comic by Susie Cagle lays out the issues."

The Testing Ground for the New Surveillance (Thanks, Hugh!)

Fogcon: cozy, Wiscon-style San Francisco science fiction convention

Keyan sez, "FOGcon is a literary speculative fiction convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now in its 4th year, it's big enough to be fun, still small enough not to overwhelm. This year, the theme is Secrets, and the Guests of Honor are Seanan McGuire, Tim Powers, and the late James Tiptree, Jr. It's on March 7-9, 2014."

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Continued efforts to acknowledge Emperor Norton's bridge


twitter.com/@sfslim

While 'officials' have named the span for Willie Brown, efforts continue to recognize Emperor Norton's bridge as his own.

This in from SF Weekly:

Late Monday night, a group of unidentified artists installed a large sign at the Bay Bridge onramp at Fifth Street, commemorating Joshua A. Norton, not Willie L. Brown. Norton was a famed 19th Century San Francisco eccentric, known for his many, many proclamations, notably the one where he declared himself Emperor of the United States, and later tacked on "Protector of Mexico" to his title. In addition, Norton is best-known for his many decrees about bridges and tunnels that he had hoped to build, connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

S.F. Artists Snub Willie Brown, Install Rogue Sign Naming New Bay Bridge After Emperor Norton via SF Weekly

SF tomorrow: "Experimental Films for Kids"

Tomorrow (Saturday 1/25), San Francisco's Exploratorium is hosting an "Experimental Films for Kids" program. Films to be screened include Hans Richter's Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928), Jodie Mack's Rad Plaid (2010), and Stan Brackhage's Mothlight (1963), seen above, which the director made sans camera by collaging moth wings, flowers, and grass between strips of film splicing tape . Start 'em young! "Exploratorium: Saturday Cinema: Experimental Films for Kids" (Thanks, Kelly Sparks!)

Last Tales of the City book on sale today

As noted, today is the on-sale date for The Days of Anna Madrigal, the final installment in Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin's addictive long-running series about bohemian life in San Francisco.

Boycott RSA, attend Trustycon instead!


Several high-profile speakers have bailed on RSA's annual security conference over the revelation that the company sabotaged its products at the behest of the NSA. There's even a petition to get Stephen Colbert to cancel his keynote.

Now, there's an alternative conference that will run at the Metreon down the street from RSA's show. It's called Trustycon, and will feature Mikko Hypponen, Chris Palmer, and others. The conference is being run by EFF and Defcon, with sponsorship from Cloudflare and Microsoft.

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Help restore the Doggie Diner Heads!

Boingboingheads

The Doggie Diner heads, icons of San Francisco's underground culture, are in desperate need of restoration. For twenty years, John Law -- pictured above with the Boing Boing crew and Adam Savage -- has cared for these lovely puppies that are now pushing 50. He and his co-conspirators have tirelessly driven them around the region to the overwhelming delight of young and old. For free. John is now seeking donations to restore them to their former glory. Please support the Doggie Diner Makeover at Kickstarter if you can! Here's what John has to say:

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New (and final) Tales of the City book to be published

What a thrill it is to learn that there is a new Tales of the City novel coming out -- and what a crushing disappointment to discover that it will be the last one.

The Days of Anna Madrigal, the ninth and final volume of Armistead Maupin's series (begun in 1978 as a newspaper serial), will be published on January 21. It tells the story of Anna Madrigal -- the transgendered, dope-growing, meddling, lovable landlady of 28 Barbary Lane -- visiting Burning Man for the first time, at 92 years of age.

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Rat trapped on an escalator

This poor rat got stuck on the escalator at the Civic Center BART Station, and there's something infinitely poignant about its treadmill race. Maybe it's the busker playing "And I Love Her" on a Erhu (or maybe a Kokyū?) in the background.

Rat Descending an Endless Staircase (via JWZ)

To do in San Francisco tonight: Internet Archive's Ethics in Tech comedy night


Lisa Rein writes, "The Internet Archive is hosting its first ever 'Ethics in Tech' event this Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30pm. (Show starts promptly at 7:00 pm.) Political Comedian Will Durst will be on a panel with the EFF's Legal Director, Cindy Cohn Frontier Foundation and the Internet Archive's own Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle. Inder Comar, from WitnessIraq.com, and Janet Weil, from CodePink.org, will also be speaking."

Learn about how to protect your Fourth Amendment rights and other constitutional rights and freedoms while attempting to see the lighter side of these very serious issues. Tickets are still available here (Proceeds will be donated to the following organizations, based on a selection process from ticketholders: Veterans For Peace, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Archive, WitnessIraq.com, EthicsInTech, SF99Percent.org, and CodePink.)

NSA Comedy Tour with Will Durst! A Night of Comedy, Ethics & Tech!

Santa the Hutt: grotesque photo-op Santa


The Betabrand retail store in San Francisco's Mission district now sports a grotesque window display of Santa Claus, entitled Santa the Hutt. Chris from BetaBrand writes, "Our aim: To poke fun at holiday excess and explore anti-Santa sentiment. Our achievement: Over a thousand people have taken holiday photos at our Valencia Street store since rolling him out last week. "

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Saturday in SF: Dissident Futures Festival (with Pesco)

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San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is presenting a fascinating art exhibition titled Dissident Futures, showcasing artists exploring the unknown of tomorrow. The contributors include quite a few provocative artists we've previously featured on Boing Boing including Trevor Paglen, Paul Laffoley, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and many others. The exhibition runs until February 2, 2014 but this Saturday there's a special "Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival" from noon to 9pm at YBCA. It's free with RSVP! The day includes music, performances, a mini Maker Faire, and artists booth by Fantastic Futures, Takehrito Etani, Young Gifted and Black, and my colleagues at Institute for the Future (IFTF)! There are also a number of presentations and panels including a session that I'll be moderating with IFTF exec director Marina Gorbis and our Institute for the Future Fellows. And of course you can check out the full exhibit! I hope to see you there! More details and RSVP info here: "Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival"

Homlessness and technological literacy: the Tenderloin Technology Lab


Wired profiles Darrell Pugh, a formerly homeless man who teaches people who have no homes or are otherwise in economically precarious position how to use networks and computers, at the Tenderloin Technology Lab in San Francisco. It's an amazing story and draws an important connection between technological literacy and the ability to live a full life in modern society. Pugh's own perspective on this ("Educating myself and passing what I know onto other people so they can try, that’s all part of what I think we need to do. We shouldn’t hold back our knowledge from each other. We should share it so we’re all better.") is fantastic.

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San Francisco City Hall hears horrifying tales of cops' hostility to cyclists

Dozens of cyclists attended a hearing on police hostility to cyclists at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors last week. They told stories of undercover cops threatening to beat them up after cutting them off on their bikes; of cops refusing to take action against drivers who had attempted or threatened vehicular homicide; and of a systematic refusal to investigate cases where cyclists were injured or killed by drivers.

Before the inevitable, victim-blaming round of "but cyclists are so aggressive and horrible," please read this (tl;dr: statistical analysis of cyclist behavior does not bear out the caricature of the lunatic rider, who is significantly less common -- and less dangerous -- than the lunatic driver cohort).

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Arse Elektronika: sex and tech in San Francisco


Johannes from Monochrom writes, "Hard to believe, but Arse Elektronika is in its 7th year! The annual festival about sex and technology will start Thursday in San Francisco - with talks, machines, games, workshops and performances!"

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Cory in San Francisco next week for SFPL's One City/One Book events


As I've mentioned before, my novel Little Brother is the San Francisco Public Library's pick for its first One City/One Book citywide book-club. They're already in the middle of the three months' worth of events, from debates to robotics and crypto workshops to movie screenings (and much more), and I'm gearing up to head to San Francisco for several days' worth of school visits and other presentations.

If you'd like to catch me while I'm there, your best bet is my evening presentation with Nico Sell at the SFPL main branch (100 Larkin Street) at 6PM on Oct 2. I'm also doing a presentation at Borderlands Books (866 Valencia St) on Oct 3 from 12:30-1330h. I hope to see you there!

SF: Saturday event for new science fiction 'zine Pravic

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NewImageI recently posted about Pravic, an excellent new science fiction 'zine edited by David "Total Dick-Head" Gill and Nathaniel K. Miller. The second issue features fiction by Rudy Rucker, Robert Onopa, and others while the hot-off-the-copier third issue includes work by Mike Buckley, John Biggs, Carl Fuerst, Ian Kappos, and Gill, along with a transcribed conversation about Futurama. To celebrate, they're hosting a Pravic SF Extravaganza this Saturday, June 15, at San Francisco's Brainwash Cafe. Gill, Ben Loory, David Gill, Suhail Rafidi, and Ian Kappos will read and have a panel discussion. There'll also be special surprise guests, trivia contests, and live music from Wizard Master and Feral Luggage. The festivities start at 7pm. Support the SF 'zine scene! Pravic SF Extravaganza and Issue Three Release Party

Today: SFMOMA's farewell procession, co-presented by Boing Boing

This is it, folks. Today at 6PM the SFMOMA closes to begin its three year long expansion. It'll be reborn sometime in 2016 clad in shining armor, engulfing the rest of its current city block. Get in your last run through the current exhibits, explore a new corner of the building before it changes.

Join me and David at the museum at 5:30 for the farewell procession. Local artist Desiree Holman is curating the procession, which recasts the Young American Patriots fife and drum core and Dance Sanctuary dancers as docents for the future. You're encouraged to come in your best future time traveler costume, and Teri Sage from TS I Love You Hats will be helping everyone make awesome tin foil future hats as well.

This will be my 56th visit to the museum. For the last year and a half I've been coming almost every week, writing software, meeting friends and making new ones on the rooftop sculpture garden. It's been a great pleasure to learn so much about art, people and myself. While it's painful to have to be away for so long, I have great faith that the museum's future will be spectacular. Come celebrate that with us.

SFMOMA Countdown Celebration: May 30 - June 2
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Building a better Bay Bridge

San Francisco will get a new Bay Bridge this summer. The New York Daily News has an interesting story about that bridge's creation — and the earthquake-resistant engineering behind it.

Rudy Rucker art show at Borderlands in San Francisco


Happy mutant, cyberpunk, and painter Rudy Rucker is hanging a show of his art at Borderlands Cafe and Science Fiction Bookstore in San Francisco's Mission district. Another great reason to visit an amazing store -- he's kicking it off with a reading this Saturday, Jan 12:

I’ll be hanging a show of my paintings in the Borderlands Books café with a reception on Friday, Jan 11, 5-7 pm. And I’ll give a reading and Q&A session for my novel Turing & Burroughs: A Beatnik SF Novel on Saturday, Jan 12, at 3 pm—you can visit with the paintings then as well.

Art Show & Reading At Borderlands Books (Thanks, Benjamin Wilson!)

San Francisco nudists revolt

Reuters: "Two dozen pro-nudity activists wearing little but their righteous indignation assembled on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday to protest a proposed municipal ban on public nakedness."

Six-eyed reveler wows Folsom Street Fair

From Carolyne Zinko's SF Gate story and slideshow from San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair (a kink/fetish event), this fantastic mask on an unidentified "reveler." I want to wear something like this on an everyday basis.

50 shades of fetish at Folsom St. Fair (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: downsized, cropped thumbnail from a larger photo by Carolyne Zinko)

Singularity Summit San Francisco, Oct 13/14

Eric sez, "The Singularity Summit 2012, exploring 'Minds and Machines' and 'Emerging Technologies and Science' will be taking place October 13 - 14 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco. The Singularity Summit is the premier event on cutting-edge technologies including robotics, regenerative medicine, artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfacing and more.

Join some of the most brilliant minds in the world for discussions on the most revolutionary technological advancements on the horizon. Speakers include inventor, entrepreneur and author Ray Kurzweil, Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman, professor and author Steven Pinker, professor and author Temple Grandin, science fiction author Vernor Vinge, and many more."

The Singularity Summit | October 13-14, San Francisco (Thanks, Eric!)

BART escalators caked in human poo

So much human excrement was drawn into one San Francisco subway escalator that a HAZMAT team was required after it ground to a poo-glued halt. Will Kane in SFGate:

While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not. Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves. All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART's escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.

Sequel to my "General Purpose Computation" talk coming up in Vegas, San Francisco


I've written a sequel to my talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computing, called "The Coming Civil War Over General-Purpose Computing," which I'll be delivering twice this summer: first on July 28 at DEFCON in Las Vegas, and then on July 31 in San Francisco at a Long Now Foundation SALT talk, jointly presented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As far as I know, both talks will be online, along with slides (a rarity for me -- I normally hate doing slides, but I had a good time with it this time around).

Urban Fantasy this Saturday at the SF in SF reading series

Fantasy writers Steven Boyett and Bruce McAllister will read from their contributions to the new Peter Beagle-edited The Urban Fantasy Anthology at this weekend's free SF in SF reading series, at San Francisco's Variety Preview Room Theatre (The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor, 582 Market Street @ 2nd and Montgomery), kicking off at 6PM. No charge, but the organizers do ask for donations for the Variety Children's Charity of Northern California.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel

These people in San Francisco probably had more fun than you on Passover/Easter weekend. BB reader Bhautik Joshi shares his photographs from "Bring Your Own Big Wheel 2012" in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, and explains the idea behind it—

For the uninitiated, the gag is really simple:

- large group of adults in costumes assemble with a variety of wheeled, childrens toys (Group A)
- large group of spectators gather (Group B)
- Group A races down windy Vermont St as fast as they can, leaving a trail of noise and awesomeness in their path
- Group B cheer like maniacs


What's the story behind this fellow's costume, I wonder? Perhaps one of you can fill us in, in the comments. View the full photo set here. Here's Joshi's website.