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.
Read the rest
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.
Read the rest
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
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."
Read the rest
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
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!)
, 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.
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.
Read the rest
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:
Read the rest
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.
Read the rest
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
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!
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. "
Read the rest
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"