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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!) Cory

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. Cory

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. Cory

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. Cory

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!) Cory

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

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

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

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!)

Free Steven Gould/Laura Mixon reading in San Francisco this Saturday

Rina writes, "Join SF in SF as they begin their 8th year of presenting science fiction authors and films in the Bay Area, this Saturday, January 19th. Steven Gould, author of JUMPER, and the new sequel, IMPULSE, will be joined by his wife, Laura J. Mixon, author of ASTROPILOTS and the the Avatar's Dance trilogy. Each author will read a selection, followed by Q & A moderated by author Terry Bisson. Book signing and schmoozing in the lounge after; books for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books."

The SF in SF events are as good as they get, and Steve and Laura are two of the best writers and nicest people you could hope to meet. This is going to be GREAT. Plus, holysmokesasequeltoJUMPER!

And We’re Back: Steven Gould & Laura Mixon (Thanks, Rina!)