Boing Boing 

Uberdystopian: the surge-priced nightmare future


Paul Ford's short story "One Day, I Will Die on Mars," depicts a chilling, all-too-believable dystopian world where Uber becomes a massive transhuman immortal colony-organism that treats its labor force as its gut-flora, to be continuously measured and perfected or discarded.

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Found Night Valeish poetry: Collection of surreal changelog and patch-note messages

@thestrangelog collects "the strange poetry of changelogs and patch notes," publishing them verbatim ("All byzantine emperors will now have clothes regardless of what DLCs are enabled.").

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New emoji for Unicode 8, including "TACO"


The Unicode Consortium is finalizing its plans for version 8, and 37 new emoji are among the candidates for the final release, including "ZIPPER-MOUTH FACE," "MONEY-MOUTH FACE," "SIGN OF THE HORNS" and "TACO".

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Firefox switches default search from Google to Yahoo


In some ways, it's the inevitable outcome of Google's increased focus on Chrome and Yahoo's increased focus on getting anyone, anywhere to care about it before it runs out of money.

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Secret history of the poop emoji


The 2007 project to bring emoji to Android -- and thence to the Web -- involved an epic battle over the inclusion of the much-loved "pile of poop" emoji, whose significance to the Japanese market was poorly understood by various reactionary elements at Google.

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Free/CC book on transmedia activism


Sasha Costanza-Chock writes, "My book about transmedia organizing is now available for free, Creative Commons licensed download from the MIT Press!"

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Router for gamers lets you filter games by distance

The forthcoming Netduma router has a geofilter that lets you restrict the games you join by distance, so you only play against nearby gamers, eliminating a leading cause of lag.

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Whatsapp integrates Moxie Marlinspike's Textsecure end-to-end crypto


It's the largest-ever deployment of end-to-end crypto, and assuming they didn't add any back-doors or make critical errors, this means that hundreds of millions of users can now communicate without being spied upon by governments, crooks, cops, spies or voyeurs.

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EFF backs new nonprofit free certificate authority "Let's Encrypt"

It will be overseen by Internet Security Research Group with backing from EFF, Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai and others, and will offer free HTTPS certificates to all comers, making it radically easier and cheaper to encrypt the Web and make it resistant to mass surveillance.

Currently, most Internet traffic is unencrypted, meaning most interactions you have with websites leave your accounts vulnerable to eavesdropping by everyone from a minimally competent hacker to the U.S. government. The HTTPS protocol—in contrast to HTTP—encrypts your connection and verifies the authenticity of sites, protecting your data and personal information. EFF has been campaigning successfully for a number of years to spread HTTPS from payment pages and banking sites to email, social networking, and other types of sites. But there are still hundreds of millions of domains that lack this protection.

The new Let's Encrypt project aims to solve that. Let's Encrypt is a new free certificate authority, which will begin issuing server certificates in 2015. Server certificates are the anchor for any website that wants to offer HTTPS and encrypted traffic, proving that the server you are talking to is the server you intended to talk to. But these certificates have historically been expensive, as well as tricky to install and bothersome to update. The Let's Encrypt authority will offer server certificates at zero cost, supported by sophisticated new security protocols. The certificates will have automatic enrollment and renewal, and there will be publicly available records of all certificate issuance and revocation.

Let's Encrypt

New, Free Certificate Authority to Dramatically Increase Encrypted Internet Traffic [EFF]

GOP set up Twitter "numbers stations" to get around Super PAC rules

Super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited funds to support election campaigns, but can't coordinate with those campaigns; this especially means that campaigns can't share expensive private poll data with PACs to help fine tune their campaigns -- which is exactly what Republicans did with their cryptic, unlabelled Twitter accounts that acted as dead-drops with messages like "CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52-->49/476-10s" to let affiliated PACs know what the polls had shown.

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Rightscorp is running out of money


Rightscorp is a business based on the extortion business-model, founded on the idea that your ISP would lock you out of the Web unless you paid Rightscorp the arbitrary sums they decided you owed to them (but who was too scared to defend their business in court) -- but it looks like sleaze isn't as lucrative as they hoped.

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New Firefox has a "Forget" button

It allows you to erase your browser history/cookies for 5 minutes, 2 hours, or 1 day, in case you want your browser to be able to unsee wherever it is that you've blundered into.

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Wikipedia: Deleted articles with freaky titles


"Cambodian scrotum theives," "Dating Rules From My Future Self,"Fake articles and entries in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference books, lists, and directories as well as fictitious places, streets or other intentionally fake insertions in maps," "The Fax Machine Monster of Basildon,"

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Pianist wants bad review taking down under EU "right to be forgotten" rules


In 2010, Dejan Lazic got a mildly critical review in the Washington Post and now he wants it taken down so people who google him won't see it anymore.

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Hundreds of vintage games to play in your browser


The Internet Archive's Internet Arcade resurrects over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s to 1990s for play inside your browser, using the JSMAME emulator.

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100K Hungarians march against Internet tax


When Hungary's government announced a per-megabyte tax on Internet traffic, people were pissed; a week later, 100,000 people took to the streets to let Prime Minister Viktor Orbán know how they felt about the proposal.

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Opsec, Snowden style

Micah Lee, the former EFF staffer whom Edward Snowden reached out to in order to establish secure connections to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, shares the methodology he and Snowden employed to stay secure and secret in the face of overwhelming risk and scrutiny.

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Malware authors use Gmail drafts as dead-drops to talk to bots

Once you've successfully infected your victim's computer with malware, you want to be able to send it orders -- so you spawn an invisible Internet Explorer window, login to an anonymous Gmail account, and check in the Drafts folder for secret orders.

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The Terrible Sea Lion: a social media parable


Wondermark's instant classic "Terrible Sea Lion" strip is getting a fresh lease on life as a perfect parable for the experience of posting about #Gamergate and then being haunted by endlessly persistent entitled jerks.

LISTEN: The post-American Internet, with Schneier, ICANN boss, global academics

Michael writes, "The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Future Tense hosted a panel discussion on post-USA/NSA controlled Internet possibilities. The United States has signalled its willingness to give up its unofficial stewardship role of the Internet. Who should take over, and who will?"

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Who is Gamergate? Analysis of 316K tweets


Waxy took a deep three-day sample of #Gamergate-tagged tweets and did some great analysis to uncover the composition and patterns of participants on both sides of the debate.

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Popehat's #Gamergate rants

Former federal prosecutor, free speech advocate and generally smart dude Ken "Popehat" White has posted "ten short rants" about #Gamergate, which, surprisingly, contain nuance and gloss I haven't yet encountered in the verbiage devoted to the subject elsewhere.

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Which crowdfunded privacy routers are worthy of your trust?


After the spectacular rise and fall of Anonabox, a kickstarted $45 router that was supposed to protect your privacy but had its campaign yanked for not being entirely forthright with backers, a spate of shady, silly, and even serious projects have sprung up to fill the demand that Anonabox's $615,000 Kickstarter near-win demonstrated.

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Blogville, a virtual world where you can read blogs


Philipp writes, "In Blogville, you can read blogs... including Boing Boing! This is part of Manyland, the browser-based MMO universe where you can draw and script anything to build the world."

EFF launches a new version of Surveillance Self-Defense


Hugh from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "We're thrilled to announce the relaunch of Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD), our guide to defending yourself and your friends from digital surveillance by using encryption tools and developing appropriate privacy and security practices. The site launches today in English, Arabic, and Spanish, with more languages coming soon."

Surveillance Self-Defense (Thanks, Hugh!)

The dirty secret of Google's self-driving cars


They've 700,000 miles, but mostly the same few thousand miles, over and over again -- because the cars only work if every single light, piece of street furniture, and other detail is mapped and verified by armies of human and computer analysts, and when anything changes, the mapping needs to be re-created.

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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CAPSLOCK DAY

FINALLY, A HOLIDAY THAT MAKES YOU SHOUT FOR JOY! (VIA METAFILTER)

(IMAGE: INSETO (3), JEAN MARCONI, CC-BY)

Google releases set of beautiful, freely usable icons


They're licensed CC-BY-SA and designed for use in mobile apps and other interactive stuff -- there's 750 in all! It's part of Google's Material Design project.

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When can the police search your computer/phone?


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has updated its indispensable "Know Your Rights" guide for dealing with police search requests for your phone, computer, and other devices.

Know Your Rights [Hanni Fakhoury and Nadia Kayyali/EFF]