Boing Boing 

Inviting all Eco-Futurists to Bioneers, Oct 17-19/Marin, with Kim Stanley Robinson


Josh writes, "Boing Boing readers and Eco-Futurists are invited to the 25th Annual Bioneers Summit Conference in Marin, CA, October 17-19. Enter BOING4BIONEERS at check out for an exclusive 25% discount!"

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San Francisco's best flaming booze

Are you in San Francisco? Do you want to drink something that's on fire? Here are (purportedly) the best flaming drinks in the area. Shown above, the $36 volcano, sold at Smuggler's Cove: "pineapples, limes, and passion fruits, but it gets spiked with a healthy dose of reserve rum and Maraschino liqueur."

Porno for Cocktail Pyros: S.F.'s Best Flaming Drinks [The Dapper Diner/SF Weekly]

(via JWZ)

How techies can be part of the solution in San Francisco


The brewing class-war in the Bay Area between tech companies and people who aren't inside the bubble (and are finding themselves priced out of their hometown), has produced almost no useful discourse. Anil Dash has some "stupid simple" suggestions for tech workers in San Francisco who want to move the conversation forward and do something constructive to make themselves part of the solution to San Francisco's problems:

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Ukraine government sends text to protesters: "Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance"


Ukraine's dictatorship is revelling in its new, self-appointed dictatorial powers. The million-plus participants in the latest round of protests received a text-message from the government reading Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.

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Petition: kill the Oakland "Domain Awareness Center" spy-program


Eddan sez, "The Oakland City Council is in the final stretch of approving the funding of the Domain Awareness Center to be built in Oakland. Though there has been a great deal of public outcry at the City Council itself, it just keeps going forward especially because they're now trying to pitch this as a crime-fighting law enforcement tool. Which is especially important to be on the right side of in Oakland during a City Council/Mayor election year. The Public Safety Committee to meet Jan. 28 is made up of most of the City Council members that are most skeptical and least supportive of the way this Department of Homeland Security new gadget funding is dangled before a resource-poor and embattled police department."

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Rudy Rucker reads in San Francisco TONIGHT


Rudy Rucker -- science fiction writer, mathematician, painter, hoopy frood -- has a new art show going up at San Francisco's Borderlands Books tonight, and there's a reception from 5:30 to 7:30PM. The show includes work by Vernon Head, who makes gorgeous, weird assemblage sculptures that perfectly complement Rucker's work.




Art Show, Reading, & Reception: Borderlands, Jan 17

Hypponen pulls out of RSA Conference over NSA backdoor

Following on the revelation that RSA broke its own technology to help the NSA, and RSA's craptastic non-denial, F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen has pulled out of RSA's upcoming conference in San Francisco. As a foreigner, he opposes NSA's mission to spy on foreigners like him. (via Interesting People)

Live in a San Francisco Ikea bunk-bed in a mass hacker dormitory for a mere $1k/mo


Here's a Craigslist ad for a "hub for entrepreneurs" where you can be barracked in one of dozens of bunk-beds ranked in rows for a mere $999/month. But you also get access to plenty of whiteboards and brainstorm areas, and will no longer have to endure the misery of "hop[ping] from coffee shop to coffee shop" as you seek to launch your tech business.

When I moved to San Francisco in the late nineties, I lived in half an illegal sublet for about $2K/month, and that was a deal by the standards of the day. But I had it better than the guy paying $800/month for the Sears shed in the back-yard -- I got a toilet!

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Auctioning a conceptual copy of Banksy's thrifted "Banality of the Banality of Evil" to benefit 826 Valencia


A San Francisco artist commissioned a Chinese artist to make a copy of "The Banality of the Banality of Evil" -- a painting that Banksy thrifted, added a Nazi to, and shop-dropped back into the thrift store. The copy, called "The Banality Of The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil," is now being auctioned to support 826 Valencia, a literacy for kids program in San Francisco.

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Aaron Swartz celebration/hackathon kickoff, Nov 8


Lisa Rein writes, "Noisebridge and the Internet Archive are hosting a big event on Nov 8 (1830h-2100h) to celebrate Aaron Swartz’s life and accomplishments, and kick off an international series of hackathons that will be taking place all over the world in his honor, during what would have been his 27th birthday weekend, November 8-10, 2013. (Confirmed locations include, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Berlin, Boston, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Houston, Kathmandu, Magdeburg, New York, Santiago, Chile, Seattle and San Francisco.)"

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Kickstarting Hacker Scouts' hackerspace for kids

Samantha Cook sez, "Hacker Scouts, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland CA, has launched a Kickstarter to fund a new hackerspace designed for kids and their families. Due to the increase in demand for their programs, Hacker Scouts is working with local partners to build a space that is practical and exciting where they can run classes and workshops, support outreach programs to Oakland's diverse community, and continue to prototype programs and activities that they release open source to the global community. Hacker Scouts has been successfully bringing STEAM Education and real, relevant skill building for over a year and have grown from one program in Oakland to over 30 programs all over the US. In order to continue the high level of individualized learning and mentorship, they need a space that matches their growth. Please support Hacker Scouts by donating and/or sharing this project. More information can be found on the Hacker Scouts website and on our Kickstarter page."

Hacker Scouts got written up here recently when the Boy Scouts of America threatened to sue them over the use of the word "scouts" in their name.

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Little Brother bus-ads in San Francisco


How cool is this? My novel, Little Brother, is the San Francisco Public Library's "One City One Book pick for 2013, which means that it's the book for the annual "citywide book-club." The library is advertising the initiative with bus-shelter, bus- and coffee-sleeve-ads all over town, and the librarians just tweeted me this pic of the first ads going up in situ.

Holy.

Awesome.

There's a whole ton of events, from screenings of movies like Sneakers, Source Code and Existenz to a "LED Robot Plushie Workshop + Little Brother Book Discussion" and Lego robotics workshops, and I'm doing a public event in conversation with Wickr/DEFCON's Nico Sell, at the Main Library's Koret Auditorium on Oct 2. I'm totally, utterly thrilled!

We are live around town!

Nick Mamatas & Greg Bossert at SF in SF this Saturday

This week's SF in SF (science fiction in San Francisco) reading series features Nick Mamatas & Greg Bossert. I reviewed Mamatas's excellent, acerbic novel Sensation back in 2011. The event's set for Sat, Sept 14, and doors open at 6PM. As always, Terry "They're Made of Meat" Bisson will emcee, and as always, admission is free, though they ask for a $10 donation to Variety Children's Charity.

Little Brother-themed team scavenger hunt coming to San Francisco!

My novel Little Brother is the "One City One Book" pick for the San Francisco Public Library this year; and in its honor, they've put together an amazing city-wide scavenger hunt called "Rogue Agent." It features fiendish puzzles and awesome clues, and kicks off on September 14. It's a team-sport, so start thinking about your teammates now; I'll be at the SFPL at the end of September to read from the book and talk about it.

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SF in SF presents Nalo Hopkinson, Madeleine Robins & Deborah J. Ross

The next installment of the San Francisco Science Fiction reading series promises to be an especially great one, given the guests. Turn up this Saturday at 6PM, bring a donation for Variety Children's Charity, hear readings, drink drinks, buy books, enjoy yourself.

777 from Korea crash-lands at SFO

An Asiana Airlines 777 from Seoul, Korea crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport last night. Two were killed, ten were critically injured, 181 others were taken to hospital.

David Eun, whose Twitter biography includes "frequent flier," was aboard the plane and tweeted a photo of the wreck as he was evacuated.

This Reddit thread contains a lot of great, breaking information, including audio from the SFO air traffic control during and after the crash, and eyewitness accounts from SFO and from diverted fliers who were landed elsewhere (SFO is closed until further notice).

It's not clear what caused the crash. Forbes has some early analysis of the debris field based on aerial photos. A prominent theory cited in several news reports is that the tail of the 777 caught the seawall and ripped free (this also suggests that the two fatalities were flight attendants in the rear jumpseats). Update: An Asiana Airlines rep has confirmed that the two dead were passengers; specifically, teenagers from China.

Saturday in SF: Cliff Winnig, Heather McDougal, and Cassie Alexander

Next on San Francisco's excellent "SF in SF" science fiction reading series: Cliff Winnig, Heather McDougal, and Cassie Alexander will present their work in an evening emceed by Terry Bisson. I'm especially excited as Heather is a former student of mine and this is the occasion of the publication of her debut novel! It's on this Saturday, starts at 7 (doors open at 6) and it's free (donations accepted for Variety Children's Charities). (Thanks, Rina!)

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED & time travel lecture in San Francisco

This coming Saturday, the SF in SF reading series is presenting the movie SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, followed by special guest Prof. Ken Wharton talking about "the logic - and illogic - of time travel." Tix are $25, proceeds benefit Variety Children's Charity of N. CA and Wonderfest.

Life in a chocolate factory versus life in a startup


Elaine Wherry took a break from working in San Francisco high-tech startups to work at Dandelion Chocolate, the chocolate maker/cafe that her husband co-founded. She calls her tenure at the chocolate factory her life as "an oompa loompa," and in a fascinating post, she writes about the differences and similarities between working in data-driven startups and in physical, retail-based hard-goods business. It's a wonderful study in contrasts.


For loops are a veritable miracle — At the chocolate factory, something breaks every single flippin’ day. Each morning I gave my evil eye to the roasters, melangers, temperers, wrapping machine, dishwasher, or anything with a screw, fuse, gear, glue, belt, or oil level and asked, “Okay, which one of you little buggers is going today?”

In comparison, code brings tears to my eyes. If that for loop worked yesterday, then barring catastrophic hardware failures or someone checking in code they shouldn’t, it’ll likely work today. That type of, “if you don’t touch it, it’ll keep working” certainty seems divine. I’ve always loved the Web but I have renewed appreciation for redundancy, unit testing, and monitoring now.

what i learned as an oompa loompa (via O'Reilly Radar)

San Francisco science fiction reading with Mary Robinette Kowal & Rick Klaw

The next installment of San Francisco's SF in SF science fiction reading series features a couple of heavy hitters: Mary Robinette Kowal & Rick Klaw. It's Saturday, April 20; doors open at 6PM.

Heather Gold's "I Look like An Egg, but I Identify as a Cookie" interactive baking comedy comes to the East Bay (free tix!)


Years and years ago, I saw Heather Gold's innovative, interactive baking comedy "I Look like An Egg, but I Identify As A Cookie" in San Francisco. It was fabulous. Now it's about to have its debut in the East Bay:


While baking chocolate chip cookies with the audience and special guests (Bakesale Betty), Gold combines heterosexuality (DRY), lesbianism (WET), and the Left (MIX). "Cookie" is a story of first kisses, rugby drama, Mrs C's secret honeycake recipe and slow dancing to Air Supply. Gold transforms the coming out story, making mincemeat of the identities that keep us from our whole selves and each other. "Cookie" is a show of sweet and simple truths.

Heather's making two pairs of tickets available, all you need to do is tweet you favorite secret ingredient with #eggcookie and she'll get in touch. Oh, and here's a great post Heather made explaining why she uses CC licenses in her performances.

I LOOK LIKE AN EGG, BUT I IDENTIFY AS A COOKIE

Save Noisebridge!

A reader writes, "Noisebridge, San Francisco's Hackerspace, is having some hard times, so we're throwing an epic benefit and party this Saturday, to include eclectic performers, interactive art, a raffle and more! For more details, if any BBers want to put on demos or ideas share them.

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair this weekend


Hugh D'Andrade sez, "The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair takes place this weekend in San Francisco! I'll will be one of the speakers -- I am giving a slideshow all about the series of posters I have created for the Anarchist Bookfair over the last 10 years, called 'Anarchist Bookfair Artist: How I Tried and Failed to Solve the Anarchist Image Problem' on Sunday at 1pm. Here's my Flickr set of these 10 posters, each available for high-res download on a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license! And if you like, my Etsy shop, where I have these for sale."

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair

To do in San Francisco: evening with Seanan McGuire, Amber Benson, and Sarah Kuhn

The next installment in the smashing SF in SF free San Francisco reading series is an event with Seanan McGuire, Amber Benson, and Sarah Kuhn, this Saturday. Doors open at 6, and it's free, though a donation to Variety Children's Charity is requested. (Thanks, Rina!)

Matt Richtel & Sophie Littlefield read in San Francisco tomorrow

Matt Richtel & Sophie Littlefield are the next guests at the wonderful SF in SF free science fiction reading series in San Francisco, it's tomorrow at 6PM (details). (Thanks, Rina!)

Cory's last night in San Francisco tonight!

Tonight's my last night in San Francisco on my Homeland tour. I'll be at Borderlands books at 7PM. Tomorrow I'll be at the Leonardo in Salt Lake City; and on Sunday I'll be at Changing Hands in Tempe, AZ. Come on down (and thanks to everyone who came by the Booksmith last night!).

Cory in San Francisco tonight and tomorrow

I'm still revving up my tour for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother, and tonight I'll be at Booksmith in San Francisco. I'm lucky enough to get two days in SFO and tomorrow I'll be at Borderlands, before I head to Salt Lake City for an appearance at The Leonardo on Saturday. From there, it's off to Tempe, AZ for a gig at Changing Hands on Sunday, and then off to many more cities (here's the list). Last night's event in Portland at the Beaverton Powell's was amazing, with more than a hundred lovely folks in attendance, a lively Q&A and the swell atmosphere of one of the world's great bookstores.

Cory in Portland today, San Francisco tomorrow!

Last night, I kicked off the tour for Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) with an amazing event at the Seattle Public Library, and now I'm hitting the road! I'll be in Portland tonight, at the Powell's in Beaverton at 7PM. Tomorrow I hit San Francisco with a stop at Booksmith on the 7th, then another at Borderlands on the 8th. From there, I'm off to Salt Lake City's Leonardo museum for an event on Feb 9. There's 22 cities in all -- here's the list!

Cory in Seattle tomorrow, then PDX and SFO, for Homeland tour


Correction: The Borderlands event is on Feb 7, not Feb 8.

As this post goes live, I am on a plane from London to Seattle to kick off the tour for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother. My first stop is tomorrow (Feb 5) night, at the Seattle Public Library, and then I head to Portland for Feb 6, where I'll be at Powell's in Beaverton. Then it's off to San Francisco, where I'll be at Booksmith on Feb 7, and Borderlands on Feb 8.

There's a lot more cities on this US tour, mostly in the warm spots (we're trying to minimize weather delays, because the schedule is so tight). And though it's not on the calendar yet, I'll be Lawrence, KS on Feb 28 at the Kansas Union's Alderson Auditorium at 7:30 and in Toronto on Mar 1 for a presentation at the Merril Collection at 7PM.

If you're wondering what the book's all about, The Oregonian ran an interview with me this weekend about the book:

A couple of years ago, it occurred to me that the emergency had become permanent. Declaring war on an abstract noun like "terror" meant that we would forever be on a war footing, where any dissent was characterized as treason, where justice was rough and unaccountable, where the relationship of the state to its citizens would grow ever more militarized.

But this permanent emergency didn't have any visible battlefront -- it was a series of largely invisible crises in the form of brutal prosecutorial overreach, police crackdowns, ubiquitous surveillance, merciless debt-hounding and repossession.

I wanted to write a story that helped kids see this invisible, all-powerful crisis unfolding around them, and helped them see that it didn't have to be that way, that they could push back.

I've heard from thousands and thousands of kids who were influenced by "Little Brother," kids for whom it was an inspiration to become makers, programmers and activists. I wanted to reach these kids again, and their little sisters and brothers, and show them that the fight goes on and it needs them.

Noisebridge hackerspace explains fair use to Dreamworks


Dreamworks is producing a sensationalized, awful movie about Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Some of the action involves the Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco that Wikileaks's Jacob Appelbaum helped to found, so Dreamworks wrote to them asking for permission to use their logo. Noisebridge collectively penned a letter back explaining fair use and free speech to the representatives from Big Content who'd come a-knockin':

From your description, it should be clear to anyone watching your film that you're just using the image to talk about Noisebridge, not claim you are Noisebridge or that Noisebridge supports your film*.

Given this, Noisebridge as a community believes you have the free speech right to use such imagery without having to ask permission -- especially those who you might be implicitly criticising or commenting upon. Such a right is encoded in the existing nature of trademark and copyright with the idea of fair use.

Sadly, knowledge of such rights have been eroded over the years by the repeated claims of copyright maximalists, who would have you believe that you must beg to refer to us in your film -- or even that you would be beholden to us if, for instance, you parodied our disrespectful attitude to your concerns with the following image, which includes both of our identifying marks, the Noisebridge(TM) circuit, and the Unicorn Pissing A Rainbow(TM).

Such a position is lunacy and a genuine threat to free speech and the first amendment. You should exercise all of your fair use rights freely and without fear.

So we say tell your friends at DreamWorks to publish (or print, or produce) and be damned. Tell them we fully support them in their brave stand. You can say with confidence that the only conditions under which Noisebridge would sue them and their partners to the maximum damages entitled to us by law would be if it turned out that hackers like us were completely hypocritical nihilists out only for our own egotistical ends.

Given that you were so nice as to ask us, we can't imagine you think that of us.

DreamworksReply (Thanks, Danny!)