Google steps up to defend fair use, will fund Youtubers' legal defenses


After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims. Read the rest

Celebrate Media Literacy week all-year round with these fabulous resources

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Gus writes, "November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it's only ten years old... and this is the first year it's been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy initiatives (even South Africa before the fall of apartheid!) [pdf]. But why shouldn't it become a tradition? It makes a great lead-in to Buy Nothing Day at the end of November." Read the rest

Alan Moore on Lovecraft and the 20th Century


The Wizard of Northampton in dialog with John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, describing HP Lovecraft's curious, twisted grasp of the awful anxieties of 20th century America, and how this created the racist, horror-flecked prose that resonates even today. (via m1k3y) Read the rest

Reverse trick-or-treating


It's when you carry a frame and door to someone else's door, while dressed as someone who's staying at home and giving out candy; you interpose your door between you and their door, ring the bell, and when they answer, they're confronted with your door, with a PLEASE KNOCK sign. They knock, you open up, and offer them candy. Trick-airity ensues. (via Reddit) Read the rest

Helen & Graham Linehan's Amnesty video damns Ireland's barbaric abortion laws


In 2004, Helen Linehan terminated a pregnancy she had conceived with her husband, IT Crowd/Father Ted creator Graham Linehan, after discovering that the fetus had acrania and could not survive for more than an hour after the birth. As sad as the occasion was, the pair were more traumatised when the moved to Ireland shortly after and discovered that if Helen had had her abortion there, she'd have faced 16 years in prison. Read the rest

Kickstarting tick-the-box greeting cards for unusual occasions and nuanced sentiments


The always-brilliant David Malki ! of Wondermark writes "I love greeting cards, but what if you need one for a super unusual occasion, or have a very nuanced sentiment you want to convey? The answer: Tick-the-option greeting cards, made in the Wondermark style! They're so utilitarian, I like to think if you keep a few on hand, you'll be prepared for ANYTHING that comes up." Read the rest

Nerd heroes read "There's a Zombie in My Treehouse"


Len Peralta writes, "Ken Plume, John Robinson and I have been releasing different celebrity readings of our book There's A Zombie In My Treehouse just in time for Halloween. We've been releasing one track a day for the past week and a half up until Halloween. Some of the readers include Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants/Adventure Time), Billy West (Futurama), Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and the whole cast of MST3K. Upcoming celebrity readers include The Venture Brothers Doc Hammer and Jackson Public, John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton. It's a fun read and listen for Halloween." Read the rest

Pirates are the best customers: just sell good stuff at a reasonable price in a timely fashion


Alex from Copy-Me writes, "We've just released its fourth episode, called 'Pirates Are The Best Customers' - which talks about piracy and artists." Read the rest

Youtube's pay TV service makes video-creators a deal they literally can't refuse


As part of the launch of Youtube Red, the company's new porny-sounding ad-free pay TV service, top creators are being told that they must allow their work into the paywalled/ad free zone, or be excluded from Youtube altogether. Noncommercial Youtube creators get a choice (for now). Apparently, the punishment for making Youtube into a success is losing the right to choose how to make money off your stuff. Read the rest

Sony licensed stock footage, then branded its creator a pirate for using it himself


Mitch Martinez licensed a stock footage clip to a Sony music label to use in a video; when the company proceeded to file a Youtube copyright complaint against him and refused to take his calls, he filed a copyright claim against them, told them he was cancelling their license to his footage, and threatened to make them re-edit the music video, removing his footage from it. Read the rest

WATCH: I thought the future would be cooler


Claire sends us the video for "YACHT's 'I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler', possibly the first pop music video to include Soylent, self-balancing scooters, humans being walked on leashes by drones, fake Tinder, a 'Wheely Boy' telepresence performance, and...Bohemian Rhapsody with vape pens." Read the rest

Kickstarting an indie film adaptation of China Mieville's "Familiar"


Jason writes, "An indie film company here in Denver called Mythos is crowdfunding an adaptation of China Mieville's short story 'Familiar' with full cooperation from Mieville himself (he's even contributing to some of the rewards). The Kickstarter campaign ends on November 15." Read the rest

Astounding showpiece table full of hidden compartments nested in hidden compartments


Custom furniture maker Craig Thibodeau created this showpiece "Automaton Table" to illustrate all the different ways that he can hide secret compartments in the pieces he builds. Read the rest

Kickstarting a tough, flexible first responder axe carved from AR400 armor plate

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Peter writes, "We spent the summer doing user-centered design (researching, designing, prototyping and building) around fire-fighting - specifically rural and volunteer first-responder fire fighters." Read the rest

MAKE: an open hardware, 3D printed cellphone photo-studio


Paolo Kiefe writes, "I love 3D printing and the maker movement. I thought that you might like this design from an open hardware project called #3DBenchy that aims to create more public awareness for applied 3D printing. This is a photo-studio that makes it easy to hold a smartphone to consistently take photos and videos of objects." Read the rest

This 3D-printed, portable railgun fires slugs at 560 miles per hour


David Wirth 3D printed a 20lb railgun that fires copper-plated tungsten slugs with 1,800 joules of energy, firing them at 560mph, with so much force that they vaporize on contact with a steel-backed target. Read the rest

John Oliver on the Canadian election: NAILED IT!


Just in time for election day, the best show on late-night TV reports on the decade-long reign of error from Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, and finishes on a note of surreal triumph. Read the rest

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