Lily Allen's anti-piracy rant has made her notorious among copyfighters, who have subjected her site and her words to close scrutiny, discovering that Allen's website is chock-a-block with infringing scans of newspaper articles, infringing mix-tapes (even the rant she posted was lifted from Techdirt). Her all-caps responses ("I THINK ITS QUITE OVIOUS THAT I WASNT TRYING TO PASS OF THOSE WORDS AS MY OWN , HERE IS A LINK TO THE WEBSIITE I ACQUIRED THE PIECE FROM.") are the kind of nutty, defensive shouty words that chum the water online.
It's tempting to count coup here and write Allen off as a hypocrite, but there's a more important story here. Allen just hasn't thought this through. Copyright is problematic for everyone: musicians, fans, bloggers. The absence of clear affirmative rights to make personal copies, to share with your friends, to copy for the purposes of discussion and commentary (as opposed to the fuzzy and difficult-to-interpret fair use guidelines, which have been further confused by the entertainment industry's bold attempts to convince us all that they don't matter and can't be relied upon) means that we're all in a state of constant infringement.
A law that no one understands and no one abides by is no law at all. Parts of copyright -- the right to regulate how commercial licenses with industrial entities work -- are really important to me and to all working artists. But if we continue to try to expand copyright to cover everything, every interaction that involves a copy (which is every interaction these days), then the broad consensus that copyright is nonsense will continue to grow, and we'll lose the good stuff as well as the ridiculous stuff. Read the rest
David "Everything is Miscellaneous/Small Pieces Loosely Joined" Weinberger sez, "I've started a series of video interviews with FCC Broadband Strategy folks (and others) about the process and its progress. The first is with Blair Levin, director of the initiative. He explains the value of broadband; confirms that broadband means access to the open, neutral network; defends the impartiality of the initiative's process; and talks about the causes of the U.S.'s low ranking when it comes to broadband access, prices, and speeds."
He's also posted interviews with Sascha Meinrath on mesh networking, and Clay Shirky on why freedom ought to be a part of the infrastructure.
(Thanks, David!) Read the rest
Mike Thompson's "Blood Lamp" is a single-use lantern that draws its energy from a drop of your blood, making you consider the cost of energy in a uniquely personal way.
For the lamp to work one breaks the top off, dissolves the tablet, and uses their own blood to power a simple light. By creating a lamp that can only be used once, the user must consider when light is needed the most, forcing them to rethink how wasteful they are with energy, and how precious it is.
(via Cribcandy)Previously: Scary art-cameras made from human remains, HIV+ blood and tragic ... Read the rest
Sneakey is a project from Benjamin Laxton, Kai Wang, and Stefan Savage at the UCSD vision lab that has shown that it is possible to duplicate keys from photos taken at a distance and/or an angle. They've published a paper and are offering to release their code if there is "sufficient interest."
The access control provided by a physical lock is based on the assumption that the information content of the corresponding key is private --- that duplication should require either possession of the key or a priori knowledge of how it was cut. However, the ever-increasing capabilities and prevalence of digital imaging technologies present a fundamental challenge to this privacy assumption. Using modest imaging equipment and standard computer vision algorithms, we demonstrate the effectiveness of physical key teleduplication --- extracting a key's complete and precise bitting code at a distance via optical decoding and then cutting precise duplicates. We describe our prototype system, Sneakey, and evaluate its effectiveness, in both laboratory and real-world settings, using the most popular residential key types in the U.S.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)Previously: Biometric door locks are cool, plus Schneier likes 'em - Boing Boing Working handcuff keys printed on a 3D printer - Boing Boing Read the rest
As part of the ongoing serialization of my forthcoming novel MAKERS, Tor.com has commissioned Idiots' Books to produce 81 CC-licensed, interlocking illustrations, one for each installment. Periodically, Tor is adding these to a little Flash-toy that lets you rotate and realign the images like tiles (each has edge-elements that matches up with the others). They've just put up the 5X5 grid, which I'm finding addictively fun.
David and I love the 1979 movie Over the Edge, about youth run wild in a suburban cultural wasteland. The (out-of-print) soundtrack is terrific, and so were the kids in the movie (most were not professional actors).
On the 30th anniversary of the movie, Mike Sacks of Vice magazine put together an oral history of the movie with comments from 20 members of the cast and crew.
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Jonathan Kaplan (director): I was only 30 when I was hired to do Over the Edge, but I had some unique experience, which helped. I had studied with Martin Scorsese when I was younger. And I had been the director of an infamous Sex Pistols movie called Who Killed Bambi?
What I took away from that experience was the spark and the truth that I saw in the punk aesthetic. And I saw that same spark and truth in the Over the Edge script. I thought, These kids are American punks. They’re not as articulate as the English punks, but they’re also in a rage.
With that in mind, I decided to attack Over the Edge from a punk angle: keep it simple. No fancy camera moves, visual effects, nothing fancy. I remember when I first saw Super Fly. There were boom shadows, badly shot scenes, and mistakes. But there was a simplicity and an authenticity to it that I really appreciated.
When it came time to cast Over the Edge, we tried to go for that same authenticity.
Bassam Tariq resides in New York City. He is the co-author of the blog 30 Mosques which celebrated the NYC mosques during the blessed Islamic month of Ramadan
Iqbal Hussain is a controversial painter based in Pakistan. Not controversial in the Western sense - he's no Dash Snow or Andres Serrano - Iqbal showcases a side of Pakistan that many Pakistani's would rather not acknowledge.
I'm no expert on Hussain's work, so I'll quote excerpts from a fine article on All Things Pakistan written by Pervaiz Munir Alvi.
Read the rest
Iqbal's women are not nude or semi-naked or involved in some illicit acts as their profession might suggest. They are mostly some unknown and unremarkable women of modest looks and appearance.
Aman Ali, a BoingBoing guest blogger, is the co-author of 30 Mosques, a Ramadan adventure taking him to a different mosque in New York City every day for a month.
Leaders from around the world are meeting in New York City this week for the United Nations summit, and nothing could be more entertaining than residents in a ritzy NYC suburb protesting Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi staying in a tent on Donald Trump's estate.
My co-workers and I today were trying to figure out who Gadhafi looks like. I won by saying he looked like Mickey Rourke, but in second place was pro-wrestling legend Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.
Can you guys think of any other Gadhafi look-alikes? Read the rest
Alex sez, "In a first for Orbit, we're serializing the abridged audio edition of Transition by Iain M. Banks as a podcast., starting today. For free. New chapters launched Tuesday and Friday. This is the abridged edition -- the full book is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook editions today. The Independent says: 'TRANSITION is a book that makes you think, one that makes you look at the world around you in a different light, and it's also a properly thrilling read. If only more contemporary fiction was like it.'"
I'm a huge fan of Banks's thrillers; I like them even better than his science fiction.