The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a sweeping, secret global treaty that sets out many corporatist policies by which countries surrender their national interest and sovereignty in favor of corporations, who get to violate local regulations and rules and sue countries that try to enforce them. A lot of the opposition to TPP has centered on its insane copyright provisions (leaked TPP drafts have included things like mandatory border-searches of laptops and phones for pirated music and movies; as well as "three-strikes" rules like the failed French HADOPI system, whereby whole families would be disconnected from the Internet if their router was linked to unsubstantiated claims of piracy). But increasingly, the participating countries are growing nervous with the whole premise of TPP.
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"Look at games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Dungeons and Dragons, or the original Final Fantasy. In those games, gold is the money, and you often get gold not by doing an honest day's work, but by running around and beating people up and taking their gold. In other words, the entire world of modern fantasy role-playing is a subtle joke on gold's unsuitability as a medium of exchange." -Noah Smith (via Making Light) Read the rest
Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI) is a former FBI spook turned Congressman. In addition to being an authoritarian creep (he was one of CISPA's co-sponsors) who hates Internet users (he dismissed CISPA's millions of vociferous opponents as "14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet") and loves warrantless NSA spying -- he's also apparently a coward, whose staffers reportedly say that criticizing him on the Internet is defamation. According to a Michigan reporter, they told the press that Rogers could sue Techdirt's Mike Masnick for "defamation" for closely and critically covering his policies. As Masnick says, it's "unbecoming of an elected official to try to chill the free speech of those who criticize his statements and actions with implied threats of lawsuits to silence their public participation." Read the rest
A team from Oxford University has launched a $75,000 Kickstarter to go into production on a point-and-shoot 3D scanner called Fuel3D that will retail for about $1000 (though there are a limited number of $750 beta-run devices). The scanner uses a calibrated pair of cameras and some on-board software to produce 3D images suitable for post-processing, animation and 3D printing. The team started off developing this for medical imaging, and has some experience in this sort of manufacturing, but as with all Kickstarters, there are no guarantees that you'll ever get anything if you stump up for a pre-order -- caveat emptor. Read the rest
...then downloading music without listening to it isn't piracy Read the rest
Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers (paywall link), a new paper published in Mechatronics, examines the cost of common household objects and calculates the projected return-on-investment for a household that buys a 3D printer and makes their own everyday objects, using open design files from sites like Thingiverse, rather than buying them in shops. The researchers concluded that a family could quickly -- in less than "a few years" -- recoup the cost of the printer if they printed their everyday objects. I suspect that the real value of 3D printers isn't simply replacing household objects, but rather, in ushering in new ways of relating to objects -- the same way that email and VoIP don't simple substitute for phone calls, but rather enable entirely different kinds of communications. Read the rest
The above image is an x-ray of an experimental space suit from 1968. This x-ray and others are on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum as part of "Suited for Space," a special exhibit about the history of astronaut outerwear. (via National Geographic) Read the rest
emojitracker shows "realtime emoji use on twitter." So much love and prayer. (Thanks, Sarah Smith!) Read the rest
What were Stanley Kubrick's favorite films? The British Film Institute synthesizes various sources into an annotated list and essay. Here are just a few of his picks:
* The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1921)
* Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
* Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
* The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
* Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1976)
* Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989)
* White Men Can't Jump (Ron Shelton, 1992)
"Stanley Kubrick, cinephile" Read the rest
Congressional Republicans are fighting Obama's plan to put a base on the moon and use it to launch an asteroid-capture program which would give NASA some practice in deflecting future asteroid-strikes -- as well as setting the stage for more ambitious missions, such as one to Mars. This whole kerfuffle was predicted by the Onion, two years ago, in a story called "Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth." Read the rest
Want to joins us for Boing Boing: Ingenuity on August 18 in San Francisco? It's free but tickets are very limited. Of course, we have a handful of tickets to give away! Here's how to win the first round of our giveaway.
From Quirk Books: a collection of shooped Ben and Jerry's flavors inspired by great books.
Keep Cool this National Ice Cream Month with Book-Inspired Flavors!
(via Reddit) Read the rest
Tim sez, "Famous Class is putting out on as a flexidisc spiral notebook of singles recorded live at Death By Audio.The cover is designed by Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt (along with art from Matt Leines, Perry Lubin) and features music from Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Metz, Eric Copeland, Future Islands, Tim Harrington (Les Savy Fav) and many others. A really unique format for a series of 7"s this thing turned out awesome, it's crazy in concept as it will pretty much be a book you play on your record player." Read the rest
Noted perjuror and NSA Director Keith Alexander appeared onstage at the Black Hat security conference today, where he was heckled by audience members, notably a 30-year-old security consultant named Jon McCoy, who shouted things like "Freedom!" and "Bullshit!" and then got into some more substantive points. Read the rest
The AT-SP Steampunk Walker desk lamp is for sale in WWWorks's Etsy store, and ships from Budapest. Its legs are jointed, as is its brass boiler. It's 35cm tall, and sells for $1,250. Read the rest
In London today, members of the UK Border Agency were stopping people of color at various tube stations and demanding that they show identity papers. Several eyewitnesses confirmed that the patrol officers were singling out brown people, that they were intimidating in demeanor, and that they threatened to arrest passers-by who asked what was going on. At least one officer is reported to have removed his badge number. This comes as the UKBA began to blitz London's neighbourhoods with vans threatening undocumented migrants with arrest and deportation and exhorting them to turn themselves in. Read the rest
My novel Little Brother is the "One City One Book" pick for the San Francisco Public Library this year; and in its honor, they've put together an amazing city-wide scavenger hunt called "Rogue Agent." It features fiendish puzzles and awesome clues, and kicks off on September 14. It's a team-sport, so start thinking about your teammates now; I'll be at the SFPL at the end of September to read from the book and talk about it. Read the rest