DDoSers sell attacks for $5 on Fivver

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Many years ago, EFF co-founder John Gilmore and I were discussing the prevalence of botnets, which are commonly used to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that overwhelm websites with floods of traffic; John said that if the botnets were really on the rise at the reported rate, we should expect to see a massive crash in the price of DDoS services, following simple supply/demand logic. Read the rest

Pastejacking: using malicious javascript to insert sneaky text into pasted terminal commands

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When a computer stops behaving, the solution often involves looking up an obscure command and pasting it into the terminal -- even experienced administrators and programmers aren't immune to this, because remembering the exact syntax for commands you use once every couple years is a choresome task. Read the rest

US Gov't survey: Half of Americans reluctant to shop online due to privacy & security fears

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A study by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration found that half of American Internet users are "deterred" from engaging in online transactions because of fears over privacy and security breaches. Read the rest

FBI Director: viral videos make cops afraid to do their jobs

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FBI Director James Comey told reporters that "viral video effect" (which is his latest term for what used to be called the "Ferguson effect") is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video. Read the rest

Open letter to from EFF to members of the W3C Advisory Committee

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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has made a sea-change: now, in addition to making open web standards that anyone can implement, they're creating a video DRM standard designed to prevent people from implementing it unless they have permission from the big movie and TV companies, by invoking the notorious Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its international equivalents. Read the rest

Firefox Test Pilot: help determine the browser's product roadmap

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Test Pilot, a new Firefox plugin from Mozilla, lets you try out features that the company is thinking of launching, contributing both telemetry and explicit feedback that they'll use to plan the product roadmap. Read the rest

Social Justice Kittens: the postcards

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Chloe from Portland's Reading Frenzy writes, "Six of our favorite Social Justice Kittens are back in postcard form! Next up: MRA Puppies! Postcards by Sean Tejaratchi/LiarTownUSA (previously) published by Show & Tell Press!" Read the rest

Chinese censorship: arbitrary rule changes are a form of powerful intermittent reinforcement

China's Internet censors are capricious and impossible to predict -- but this isn't because China's censors are incompetent, rather, they're tapping into one of the most powerful forms of conditioning, the uncertainty born of intermittent reinforcement. Read the rest

Archives of pioneering "Internet Talk Radio"

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Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "In 1993, I started a radio station on the Internet, engaging in activities that later became known as podcasting and webcasting. I'm pleased to say that I've finished uploaded the archive of Internet Talk Radio to the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Astounding, visionary video about hypertext from 1976

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Brett Bobley writes, "'Hypertext: an Educational Experiment in English and Computer Science at Brown University' is an amazing documentary film from 1976 made by Brown University computer scientist Andries 'Andy' van Dam." Read the rest

Inside a Supreme Court case on cheerleader uniforms, a profound question about copyright

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Copyright protects creative expression, but not utilitarian forms: that's why the silkscreened art on your t-shirt is copyrightable, but the t-shirt's design itself is not. Read the rest

Bellwether: Connie Willis's classic, hilarious novel about the science of trendiness

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It's been nearly 20 years since the publication of Bellwether, Connie Willis's comic novel about scientists caught in the turmoil of bureaucratic fads. I had very fond memories of this book, though I hadn't read it in more than a decade, so I gave the DRM-free audiobook a whirl, and fell in love with it all over again. Read the rest

The gift economy at the heart of open source

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With the 18th O'Reilly Open Source convention approaching, Tim O'Reilly has written a stirring editorial on the value that inspires him about FLOSS: "to create more value than you capture." Read the rest

Saying the Internet makes librarians obsolete is like saying the plague makes doctors obsolete

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Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
The plague of Athens. Line engraving by J. Fittler after M. Sweerts.
1811 By: Michael Sweertsafter: James FittlerPublished: 1811

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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Kindle Unlimited is being flooded with 3,000-page garbage books that suck money out of the system

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Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service allows subscribers to download as many books as they want, and then pays writers based on the number of their pages that readers have read. Read the rest

The future of trollbots

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Hugh writes, "In a post-Tay world, where we've proved the Internet can train a bot to be a plausible shitposter, what's the future of politics, hate, and mob rule? Read the rest

China's Internet censors order ban on video of toddler threatening brutal cops

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China's Internet censors have ordered the country's social media companies to block further sharing of a viral video that shows a toddler threatening members of the notorious urban management police squad with a long pole, telling them to leave his grandmother alone. Read the rest

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