Boing Boing 

The book thieves of 1990s London


In the 1990s, London was home to notorious book-thieves who stole to order for the shops of Charing Cross road, who paid a fraction of cover-price for them -- meaning that each thief would have to steal £50,000/year worth of books (and often stole more).

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Help the UK Pirate Party write its 2015 election manifesto

A reader writes: "The UK Pirate Party is launching their 2015 crowdsourced policy platform for their manifesto leading to the 2015 general election."

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Internet-fired elections and the politics of business as usual


I've got a new Guardian column, Internet-era politics means safe seats are a thing of the past, which analyzes the trajectory of Internet-fuelled election campaigning since Howard Dean, and takes hope in the launch of I'll Vote Green If You Do.

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Awesome, nerdy, bookish, fannish skirts, bags, scarves and stuff


Rooby on the Isle of Wight turns nerdy fabric prints into garments and accessories: Death Star, Walking Dead BEWARE OF ZOMBIES signs, Incredible Hulk blow-up, Rocky Horror, Heroes of Star Wars, antique book-spines, and the first chapter of Harry Potter (which, sadly, is no longer available as a dress).

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Emma Thompson on tax-strike until HSBC tax evaders are jailed


The actor and her husband, Greg Wise, have vowed to withhold their tax until the UK tax authorities begin to imprison the tax-cheats who were revealed to be using HSBC's Swiss money-laundry, even if it means going to jail themselves.

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UK Tory MP says astrology would improve NHS health outcomes

David Tredinnick, the Tory MP for Bosworth, Leicestershire, claims that astrology could improve health outcomes for the NHS, is bitter that he had to pay parliament back £755 for his expensed astrology software, says he helps other MPs with astrological advice, and says astrology skeptics are "racially prejudiced." (via /.)

Billboards tell the stories of professionals who can't afford London anymore


The London is Changing project collects the personal stories of professional people who are leaving the city because it has been remade as a playground for the global rich.

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Telegraph's lead political writer resigns because of censorship of criticism of advertisers, especially HSBC

Peter Osborne was the head political writer at the Telegraph, a rock-ribbed conservative paper owned by the shadowy Barclay brothers; he quit after seeing the paper soft-pedal and downplay scandals involving its major advertisers, and broke his silence once he learned that the paper had squashed stories of illegal tax-avoidance schemes run by HSBC.

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Nathan Barley: old comedy turned out to be a documentary about our future

When Charlie "Black Mirror" Brooker came up with his trustafarian new media parody Nathan Barley for TV Go Home, no one suspected the character would last this long -- or be so relevant.

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Scots! Here's your chance to kill Scotland's national ID database


Ed from the Open Rights Group sez, "The Scottish Government has plans to create a national identity database and we have to stop it."

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Rebel Bass: Star Wars guitars with Millennium Falcon bodies


Doni Guitars of Coventry, England, has created a pair of amazing, Star-Wars-themed guitars based around vintage model Millennium Falcons, with new blue LED lights: a six-string Strat and a "Rebel Bass -- they also make custom flight cases for them.

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I like big books and I cannot lie embroidery


NiamhyStitches sells a variety of decorative embroidery, including this I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie hoop, which sells for $23.48. (via Geeky Merch)

Anyone who makes you choose between privacy and security wants you to have neither

An excellent op-ed from the Open Rights Group: "When ORG defends privacy, we are fighting to protect people from abuses of power that leave them vulnerable."

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Alan Turing's lost notes discovered as crumpled insulation in Bletchley Park huts


After the war ended, Churchill ordered all of Bletchley's work -- the computers, the notebooks -- destroyed, but some of Alan Turing's notes were discovered between the walls of Hut 6 during a recent renovation, and are now on display at Bletchley Park.

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Shameless: rogue Lords sneak Snooper's Charter back in AGAIN

Last Friday, four rogue Lords copy/pasted the repeatedly defeated "Snooper's Charter" spying bill into a pending bill as an amendment, only to withdraw it on Monday after the Lords were bombarded by an aghast public -- and now, incredibly, these Lords have reintroduced the same language as a new amendment.

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Disembodied facial-feature candles


London-based Uncanny Art Shop makes realistic-looking candles containing disembodied facial features, some contorted in agonized rictii: there's a male mouth, two female mouths and a pair of ears on a featureless head.

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Snooper's Charter is dead: let's hammer a stake through its heart and fill its mouth with garlic

We killed the dreadful Snooper's Charter last week, again, for the third or fourth time, depending on how you count -- now how do we keep it from rising from the grave again and terrorizing Britain with the threat of total, ubiquitous, uncontrolled state spying?

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Great Firewall of Cameron blocks sex-abuse charities


UK Prime Minister David Cameron demanded that ISPs opt their customers into "adult content" filters (and now Sky is opting in everyone whose account predates this announcement), ignoring all the people who correctly predicted that these filters would block important sites.

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Britons: we have three days to kill the new Snooper's Charter

The all-pervasive spying bill that was struck down in 2012 is back.

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London cop who repeatedly kicked, beat woman who wouldn't leave her child's sickbed cleared

Officer Warren Luke was cleared of the charge of "actual bodily harm" after he admitted to causing more than 40 injuries to a woman who wouldn't leave the hospital bedside of her seven year old daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

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I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That

Over the past decade, pharma-fighting Dr Ben Goldacre has written more than 500,000 words of fearlessly combative science journalism.

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The Knowledge: London cabbies' multi-year, grueling training


If you want to drive a black cab in London -- the only cars that passengers can hail from the kerb -- you have to pass "The Knowledge," an unbelievably tough exam that tests you on your minute knowledge of every street, landmark, hotel, restaurant, hospital, church, stadium, airline office, club, police station, court, and tourist destination within six miles of Charing Cross station.

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Freedom of speech is now compulsory


A timely reminder from Scarfolk town council.

What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry

David Cameron says there should be no “means of communication” which “we cannot read” — and no doubt many in his party will agree with him, politically. But if they understood the technology, they would be shocked to their boots.

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MP wants to ban email disclaimers


Tory International Development Minister Alan Duncan wants to get rid of long email disclaimers, but only secondarily because they're ridiculous: primarily, he's worried about the "forests' worth of paper" wasted by bizarre people from the past (e.g. lawyers) who print all their email.

London: the dead-eyed banker psycho dream

PSYCHO

"Its protagonist lives in a world of almost continual night, with the hungry eyes and dead affect of an Ayn Rand wet dream: his world is constituted of chrome, glass, a palette of white-to-taupe, a spatter-pattern rug and one book, a single book, on graphic design" - Piercepenniless on the Redrow London property development promo video.

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UK government tells nursery workers to turn in potential terrorist toddlers


They'll have to report 3-year-olds who are "at risk of radicalisation," according to a consultation document that the Home Office is pushing to turn into legislation.

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Pfizer threatens pharmacists, doctors if they take its name in vain


Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use.

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UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate


Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

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Barbaric, backwards ancestor worship


The fetishization of "correct" English -- which is to say, white, wealthy English -- is in direct opposition to everything that makes English such a glorious drunkard's debauch of a language.

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