UK government proposes issuing Britons with unique porn-viewing ID numbers

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The UK government says it wants to stop people under 18 from looking at pornography, and so it's going to make all the porn sites operating in Britain collect some kind of age-verification in order to make this happen, on pain of being blocked by the UK's Great Firewall. Read the rest

Joi Ito interviews Barack Obama for Wired: machine learning, neurodiversity, basic research and Star Trek

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Joi Ito (previously) -- director of MIT Media Lab, former Creative Commons chief, investor, entrepreneur, and happy mutant -- interviewed Barack Obama for a special, Obama-edited issue of Wired. Read the rest

If you bail on Yahoo Mail, forget about having your email forwarded

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A week after the revelations that Yahoo illegally allowed American spies to access all Yahoo users' email (possibly via a dangerous rootkit), and two weeks after admitting that 500,000,000 Yahoo Mail users' passwords were leaked years previously, possibly to a "state actor," the company has disabled email forwarding for Yahoo Mail users. Read the rest

How to: Criticize technology

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Sara writes, "This new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University explores the current state of technology criticism and argues to recognize a wider range of contributors and approaches to the popular critical discourse about technology. The report also advocates for a more constructive approach to technology criticism that fosters conversation and poses alternative visions for a more inclusive technological society. Following this constructive approach, the project offers resources including an extensive reading list and a practical style guide for better technology writing." Read the rest

Shadow Regulation: the secret laws that giant corporations cook up in back rooms

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The winner-take-all economy has turned virtually every industry into a cartel (four record labels, two cable companies, two phone operating systems, etc) who operate without fear of competition regulation, allowing representatives of a few companies to gather in closed-door meetings to cook up operating agreements that end up having the force of law. Read the rest

Racist trolls moot using "google" as a euphemism for the n-word

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Google is downranking websites that use pejorative, racist terms like n*gger, so the awful people of 4chan and /pol/ are replacing that word with "google." Read the rest

Making Conversation: 59 lively and delightful essays from Teresa Nielsen Hayden

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It's been more than 20 years since the publication of Making Book, Teresa Nielsen Hayden's collection of essays, mostly drawn from the pre-online days of fanzines and letters columns; this year, in honor of Teresa's stint as Fan Guest of Honor at Midamericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, NESFA Press has published a second volume: Making Conversation, a collection of essays drawn from the online world on subjects as varied as moderation and trolling, cooking, hamster-rearing, fanfic, narcolepsy, the engineering marvels of the IBM Selectric, and more.

A powerful attacker is systematically calibrating an internet-killing tool

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Someone -- possibly the government of China -- has launched a series of probing attacks on the internet's most critical infrastructure, using carefully titrated doses of denial-of-service to precisely calibrate a tool for shutting down the whole net. Read the rest

Steven Levy profiles Carl Malamud, Boing Boing's favorite rogue archivist

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Steven Levy, author of Hackers and one of the best tech writers in the field (previously), has profiled Carl Malamud (previously), the prolific, tireless freedom fighter who has risked everything to publish the world's laws on the internet, even those claimed to be owned by "nonprofit" standards organizations whose million-dollar execs say that you should have to pay to read the law. Read the rest

Why Facebook's "It's too hard" excuse for Vietnam war photo takedown is bullshit

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On Friday, Facebook started deleting posts containing "The Terror of War," Nick Ut's photo depicting a young Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm attack on her village; Facebook approach this photo with a scorched earth (ahem) policy, even deleting it when it was posted by the Prime Minister of Norway. Read the rest

European court rules that making a link can be copyright infringement

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The EU Court of Justice's ruling in GS Media BV v. Sanoma held that any commercial site that linked to a document that infringed copyright is presumed to be a party to the infringement, meaning that if you have a Google ad on your personal page and you link to something that turns out to be incorrectly licensed, you are potentially on the hook for enormous monetary damages. Read the rest

As social media centralized, blogging's core infrastructure has withered

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When "social media" meant "blogs," there were many tools, services and protocols that comprised an infrastructure for federated, open, loosely joined interaction: the rise of the social giants has killed off much of this infrastructure, all but erasing it from our memories. Read the rest

48 hours later, Adblock Plus beats Facebook's adblocker-blocker

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On August 9, Facebook announced that it had defeated adblockers; on August 11, Adblock Plus announced that it had defeated Facebook. Read the rest

International Olympic Committee bans GIFs

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They've "expressly prohibited" turning anything from the Olympics into "animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines." Read the rest

A profile of Moxie Marlinspike: the seagoing anarchist cryptographer who brought private messaging to millions

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Andy Greenberg's colorful and nuanced profile of Moxie Marlinspike offers some insight into the young, talented cryptographer whose tool, Signal, is now part of both Whatsapp and (shortly) Allo -- an anarchist who walked away from $1M in Twitter payouts after a near-death experience and decided, instead, to build free and open tools to give the entire world the power to keep secrets from the police. Read the rest

Instagram announces anti-harassment tools, overtaking Twitter

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Twitter's openness is its strength, and also its weakness: the ease with which new accounts can be created makes it into an amazing tool for free expression, and also a perfect venue for vicious harassment (see also); but Instagram (a division of Facebook, the home of the walled garden) has announced a suite of anti-harassment tools that seem like they'd be compatible with Twitter, raising the obvious question: why hasn't Twitter already deployed them? Read the rest

Chinese kids brawl with KFC customers as South China Sea online patriotism campaign spills onto the streets

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In the wake of the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling that China had been stealing islands in the South China, the Xi Jinping administration's propaganda machine went into overdrive to whip up patriotic sentiment in China, with a massive wave of anti-American and anti-Japanese sentiment. Read the rest

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