Rotolight sends fraudulent takedown notice to censor unfavorable review

Den Lennie posted a video to Vimeo that compared the Rotolight Anova to a competing product, the Kino Flo Celeb, and found the Rotolight product inferior. Rotolight responded by filing a perjurious, fraudulent DMCA takedown notice with Vimeo (who, to its shame, honored it), claiming that the review violated Rotolight's trademark. This is pure copyfraud: first, because the DMCA is only available as a remedy for copyright infringement (not trademark infringement) and second, because product reviews are not trademark infringements, full stop.

Using a Copyright Infringement claim to shut down the opposition

(Thanks, Dave!) Read the rest

Where Sugru comes from - factory tour

Andrew Sleigh of MAKE profiled inventor Jane ni Dhulchaointigh (I call her "Jane") about one of my favorite things, Sugru. I just used some of this versatile air-cure rubber to reinforce the corners of my iPad.

Sugru, the self-setting rubber that can be used to hack, mod or fix almost anything, can be found in many a maker’s toolbox. Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, who invented it, is well-known to makers in the UK and further afield. The story she tells of Sugru’s development over the last 10 years is an inspiring one of struggle and perseverance. So when she offered me a tour of their factory in Hackney, I jumped at the chance to find out more about how it’s made, and where it came from.

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh: Where Sugru Comes From Read the rest

Sombear: "Love You In The Dark"

"Love You In The Dark" is the gorgeous soulful electro-pop debut LP from Sombear, aka Brad Heal of the Minneapolis band Now, Now. The title track above is a real burner. The LP is available on the Trans-Records label, operated by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla who has been something of a mentor for Heal. And you can feel it. Sombear: Love You In The Dark (via Nick Harmer) Read the rest

Cockpit porn

Photographer Lyle Jansma captured 360º views of dozens of airplane cockpits, from a 747 to a World War II P51 Mustang. You can pan and zoom to your heart's content with the ACI Cockpit360º App for iOS or at Air & Space, "Cockpit360º: The Virtual Photography of Lyle Jansma" Read the rest

MIT report on Aaron Swartz's prosecution is out, and it's a "whitewash"

MIT's report on its involvement in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz (PDF) has been published. The report does not apportion any blame to the university for Swartz's prosecution, stating the the university operated as a "neutral party."

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Aaron's partner, vigorously disputes the report's findings, calling it a whitewash, pointing out that MIT provided significant aid to the federal prosecutors who chased Aaron over downloading technical aritcles (which he was entitled to see) from its network, but refused to supply the same documents to the defense team, who desperately needed them. This makes MIT's claim of "neutrality" ring false.

Further, Larry Lessig has posted some preliminary thoughts on MIT's position, pointing out that it turned on a question of authorized or unauthorized access, and that the report says MIT never told the prosecutors that Aaron's access was "unauthorized," suggesting that the prosecutors knew they had no case. Read the rest

Blindfolded boxing

Following the 1939 craze for underwater boxing, a dark new spin on the sweet science took the country by storm: Blindfolded Mens Boxing. (via Weird Universe) Read the rest

The Coffinmaker, a mini-documentary

Marcus Daly of Vashon Island, Washington, is a carpenter who specializes in handcrafted wooden coffins. One of his design principles is that the coffin needs to be easily carried. "The Coffinmaker" (via the Smithsonian In Motion Video Contest) Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Notes from DEFCON Kids; Antique carved birds with steampunk makeovers; SF vacancies of 2003

One year ago today Notes from DEFCON and DEFCON Kids: I brought my whole family -- wife, daughter, and parents -- and the kid got to do some lockpicking workshops at DEFCON Kids, the astoundingly bad-ass kids' computer literacy program run alongside the main event.

Five years ago today

Antique carved birds as steampunk treasures: Jim Mullan's "reconfigured" antique decoy-birds have been painted and modded to make them into steampunk delights.

Ten years ago today

SF vacancies according to Craigslist: The folks at Craigslist produce a chart showing the trends in apartment listings in the Bay Area. Read the rest

Nemo's rescue needs your help

The organization that rescued my dog Nemo is under a lot of financial pressure. A number of very needy dogs have come along in a very short period of time. The video above details just some of their current hard-luck cases. They've started an Indiegogo project to find some help. Read the rest

The man who lives in a roach motel

Meet Kyle Kandilian, a 20-year-old University of Michigan-Dearborn student who raises tens of thousands of cockroaches, in his apartment, for fun and profit. Depending on the species, Kandilian's roaches can be had for as little as a dime a dozen, or as much as $200 for a very special individual bug. He's using the money to help pay for college. Read the rest

A view of the stars — anytime, anywhere

Never Ending Night is a project aimed at making a live feed of the starry night sky available online 24 hours a day. It's art — imagine a world where everyone can see the same patch of sky from the same perspective — influenced and facilitated by science. And you can help fund it. Read the rest

Surveillance State Repeal Act: repealing the PATRIOT Act and some of FISA

Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a bill called the "Surveillance State Repeal Act" that repeals the PATRIOT Act and much of FISA (though it leaves some pretty terrible parts of FISA intact). It's only 8 pages long, but it has the potential to do a lot of good. Read the rest

The best track on Random Access Memories, reconsidered

Drew Daniel on that song from Daft Punk's latest album, Random Access Memories. The song of the summer is, of course, Doin' it Right.

Out of the entire take-it-or-leave-it, hour-long Daft Punk musical extravaganza, I think “Doin’ It Right” travels lightest, and for that reason, it survives transplantation outside of its host environment with the greatest ease. And for that reason, “Doin’ It Right” has been one of the songs of my summer, while many worthy other songs from this album have not.

Get Lucky, he said, is merely "Ye Olde Disco Museum, all wonderfully fussy period details nailed perfectly into place by a crack team of professionals. ... doomed to circle office party disco hell from here on out as punishment for its success." Read the rest

On the stupidity of the Great Firewall of Cameron: podcast

In honor of the UK's Great Firewall of Cameron, the Prime Minister's autocratic decree that ISPs must censor their subscribers' connections by default, I've recorded my 2012 Guardian column There's no way to stop children viewing porn in Starbucks, which set out all the reasons that this is a stupid idea the last time it came up, in the Lords. I've put it in my podcast feed. Read the rest

You can go wading in the lake at the North Pole

Last week, Dean told you about the lake at the North Pole, a pool of melted ice captured on camera by the North Pole Environmental Observatory webcams.

At Climate Central, Andrew Freedman provides some really fascinating context that illustrates the changing nature of, well, nature ... and draws a big, heavy underline on how difficult it can be to make assumptions about what is and what isn't an effect of climate change. Arctic sea ice is melting in concert with rising global average temperatures, but (contrary to the knee-jerk assumption I made about this story) the lake at the North Pole may or may not have anything to do with that. In fact, little pools have been forming at the North Pole in summer for as long as we've been paying attention. They don't actually represent the total melting of ice, but rather a layer of slushy water that forms on top of solidly frozen ice — usually, you could wade out through them and never get more than waist-deep.

What's more, the picture above wasn't taken at the North Pole. That's because the North Pole Elemental Observatory — which sits on mobile ice — has moved far from the actual North Pole since its launch. So, there probably is a lake (more of a pond, really) at the North Pole, but it might not be caused by climate change. While this lake, which isn't at the North Pole, could well be part of the melting sea ice that climate change does cause. Read the rest

A giant electromagnet's cross-country road trip

A 50-foot wide, doughnut-shaped electromagnet recently completed a journey from New York to Illinois. It went most of the way by barge — down the Eastern seaboard and then up the Mississippi River before hitting the road for the last 26 miles, shutting down multiple lanes as it crept along over the course of three nights. Livescience has pictures from this incredible journey. Read the rest

Food aid doesn't work because the primary goal isn't aid

At Nautilus, Jonathan Katz applies a systems-level perspective to the problem of food aid. Every year, the United States spends billions (although much less than it used to) sending shipments of food to countries where people are going hungry. The problem: That aid doesn't solve their hunger as a long-term thing, it just creates a stop-gap measure — and we do it in a way that costs more than it would likely cost to support programs that actually help those people change their lives. Why? Katz argues that it's because food aid evolved more for the benefit of American companies than the long-term benefit of feeding people. Read the rest

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