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

L0004078 The plague of Athens. Line engraving by J. Fittler after M.
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

Tiny South Pacific island to lose free/universal Internet lifeline

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The way most of the world knows about Niue, a 100 square mile island in the south Pacific with a population of about 1,100, is because of its country-code top-level domain (CCTLD), which is the ubiquitous .nu. Read the rest

How British journalists talk about people they're not allowed to talk about

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The "super-injunction" (previously) is a weird feature of English and Welsh law through which the very wealthy can hire bulldog lawyers to get judges to pass an order prohibiting any newspaper or journalist from disclosing true facts about them, on pain of jail-time. Read the rest

Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

Cellule du quartier d'isolement de la prison Jacques-Cartier de Rennes (France), à travers le judas.

According to a new offender manual from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners whose families maintain a social media presence to call attention to their incarceration will be liable to harsh punishment, including up to 45 days in solitary, loss of privileges, and extra work duty. Read the rest

Facebook morphs into a clickhole, at the expense of personal sharing

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Surveillance capitalism continues to astound and confound: as Facebook has turned into the traffic-factory life-support for ad-supported media -- and as Facebook profits from those companies by charging for "access" to their own followers -- the amount of personal sharing on Facebook is dropping off sharply. Read the rest

The UK government's voice-over-IP standard is designed to be backdoored

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GCHQ, the UK's spy agency, designed a security protocol for voice-calling called MIKEY-SAKKE and announced that they'll only certify VoIP systems as secure if they use MIKEY-SAKKE, and it's being marketed as "government-grade security." Read the rest

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