Downvoting considered harmful

A study [PDF] published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a "downvote" button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters.

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Bruce Sterling's "The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things"

It's a new long-form essay in the tradition of Sterling's must-read, groundbreaking 2005 book Shaping Things, a critical perspective on what it means to have a house full of "smart" stuff that answers to giant corporations and the states that exert leverage over them.

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Hacker puppets answer your questions about the net

Gus writes, "Two of us who help produce the Hackers On Planet Earth conference and the Off The Hook radio show are starting a new season of The Media Show, our media/digital literacy show; we'd love to invite Boing Boing readers to participate in the crowdfunding and questions for our next season."

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Feds wanted to fine Yahoo $250K/day for fighting PRISM


We've known since the start that Yahoo fought the NSA's Prism surveillance program tooth-and-nail; but as unsealed court docs show, the Feds made the process into a harrowing ordeal, and sweet-talked gullible judges into dropping the hammer on Y.

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#InternetSlowdown jams Congress's switchboard

Yesterday's net-wide campaign for Net Neutrality put through more than 1,000 calls per minute to Congress!

How to get rid of annoying website "lightbox" blocks


You know those websites that dim themselves out and make you click through a "lightbox" that stops you from reading until you look at an ad, join a mailing list, or stand on one foot while whistling "The Stars and Stripes Forever" -- all you need is a little web-fu and you can make them go away.

How to view 'locked' content on websites.

(via Reddit)

Meet the anti-Net Neutrality arms dealers who love network discrimination

IBM, Cisco, Intel, and Sandvine make huge bank selling ISPs the networking gear needed to discriminate against online services that haven't paid bribes for access to the "fast lane" -- but it's totally a coincidence that they've told the US government to make sure that the FCC doesn't ban the corrupt practice.

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Tabnapping: a new phishing attack [2010]

Aza Raskin's Tabnapping is a proof-of-concept for a fiendish attack: a tab that waits until you're not watching, then turns itself into a convincing Google login screen that you assume you must have opened.

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Starred review in Kirkus for INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT TO BE FREE, Cory's next book


My next book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, comes out in November, but the reviews have just started to come in. Kirkus gave it a stellar review. Many thanks to @neilhimself and @amandapalmer for their wonderful introductions!

In his best-selling novel Ready Player One, Ernest Cline predicted that decades from now, Doctorow (Homeland, 2013, etc.) should share the presidency of the Internet with actor Wil Wheaton. Consider this manifesto to be Doctorow’s qualifications for the job.

The author provides a guide to the operation of the Internet that not only makes sense, but is also written for general readers. Using straightforward language and clear analogies, Doctorow breaks down the complex issues and tangled arguments surrounding technology, commerce, copyright, intellectual property, crowd funding, privacy and value—not to mention the tricky situation of becoming “Internet Famous.” Following a characteristically thoughtful introduction by novelist Neil Gaiman, rock star Amanda Palmer offers a blunt summary of today’s world: “We are a new generation of artists, makers, supporters, and consumers who believe that the old system through which we exchanged content and money is dead. Not dying: dead.” So the primary thesis of the book becomes a question of, where do we go from here? Identifying the Web’s constituents as creators, investors, intermediaries and audiences is just the first smart move. Doctorow also files his forthright, tactically savvy arguments under three “laws,” the most important of which has been well-broadcast: “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won’t give you the key, that lock isn’t there for your benefit.”

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Nate Anderson's "The Internet Police" -- now in paperback

I reviewed it when it was released in August 2013, calling it "brisk, eminently readable, and important history of the relationship between law, law enforcement, and the net, and as you'd expect, it's excellent" ($13 for the paperback)

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NYPD's remedial Twitter school for cops

New York's Finest need to be taught not to tweet jokes about murders they're attending, racist remarks and other difficult-to-discern no-go areas for social media.

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W3C hosting a "Web We Want Magna Carta" drafting session at Internet Governance Forum


The Web I want doesn't have DRM in its standards, because the Web I want doesn't believe it's legitimate to design computers so that strangers over a network can give your computer orders that you aren't allowed to know about or override.

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Sept 10 is Internet Slowdown day: save the net from Cable Company Fuckery!


Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "If you woke up tomorrow, and your Internet looked like this, what would you do?"

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Addendum to the modified Maslow Hierarchy


You're likely familiar with the modified Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with the giant WIFI added to the bottom; now comes Sam Wiss's important addendum.

Snappy response to sexist harrasser


Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu is a game developer and a frequent writer about gender issues in tech. As such, she frequently receives harassing, unpleasant emails. She got pissed off and wrote an awesome response to one here."

I got a harassing email today, and decided to respond with this letter. (Thanks, Frank!)