Baybrook Remodelers' cack-handed SEO genius wants our unflattering coverage removed from the net

Remember Baybrook Remodelers, Ken Carney's Connecticut-based construction company who bully and sue disgruntled customers who leave negative reviews on Yelp and other sites? Well, now they've hired an SEO creep called Todd Ramos, who is hassling Techdirt to try and get their post about Baybrook taken down.

Ramos's campaign tactics include smearing Baybrook's victim (referring to her over and and over again as a "crazy woman"), and inventing imaginary conversations with Boing Boing in which we are said to be considering removing our own coverage. For the record, we are not. He also claims that we were hired by Baybrook's victim to post uncomplimentary things about Baybrook (we were not). And he claims to have "600 bloggers and 20000 blog as ranging in pr 4 to 7" through which he will smear Techdirt if they don't remove the post.

The most cack-handed part of this whole thing is that its founder, Mike Masnick actually coined the term "The Streisand Effect" to describe the knock-on publicity that arises from censorship attempts, because the attempt at censorship is often more newsworthy than the information that is under dispute. Read the rest

GOP set up phishing sites to trick Democrats into donating to the NRCC

At least 16 fraudulent sites attributed to the National Republican Congressional Committee have been discovered. These sites, whose domains are the names of Democratic candidates, use large type and photos that make them appear to be fundraisers for those candidates, though the small-print text makes it clear that these are actually sites set up opposing their apparent candidates. The NRCC claims these are all fair game and blame Democrats for not registered their candidates' names as for campaign sites. But when there's a site at AnnKirkpatrick.com, with the words ANN KIRKPATRICK FOR CONGRESS and a DONATE button beneath it, and when that DONATE button sends money to Ann Kirkpatrick's GOP rival, the intent to deceive is pretty clear. Read the rest

Pussy Riot's Amnesty International press conference

Joly sez, "The good folks at Tom Tom Magazine captured Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina talk about the importance of Pussy Riot's collective structure, being influenced by punk and Riot Grrrl, and a Russia without Putin. February 5th, 2014. Skip to 7:00 for when they start talking. The video begins with Flaming Lips frontman, Wayne Coyne, speaking off camera."

Pussy Riot Amnesty International Press Conference at Barclay's

(Thanks, Joly!) Read the rest

Flash fiction contest judged by Kim Stanley Robinson and Gates McFadden

Stephanie sez, "At the national radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge, we've joined with Mars Trilogy author Kim Stanley Robinson and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Gates McFadden for a national science fiction writing contest. Robinson chooses the winners; McFadden and her Los Angeles-based theater company dramatizes them for the radio. The contest ends March 1; the top three entries will air on TTBOOK in April."

3 Minute Futures - Flash Fiction Contest

(Thanks, Stephanie!)

(Image: CoolB and Gates McFadden, CoolB/Wikimedia Commons, GFDL; Kim Stanley Robinson at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, Szymon Sokół/Wikimedia Commons, GFDL) Read the rest

Russian Olympic official to reporters: stop complaining about hotels or we'll release CCTV footage of you in the bathroom

Dmitry Kozak, Russia's Olympian deputy prime minister warned a Wall Street Journal reporter that he would release hidden-camera footage of journalists in their hotel bathrooms if they continued to complain about the substandard hotels in Sochi.

Just a reminder for anyone thinking of travelling to Sochi after the Olympics for a spot of tourism: according to Russia's deputy prime-minister, the hotel bathrooms have surveillance cameras that watch you in the shower. Read the rest

Squid, cuttlefish, trilobite and Cthulhu jewelry

Etsy seller Noadi sells some beautiful, deep-sea-themed polymer clay jewelry. Above, her Deep Space Squid Necklace; below the jump, a trilobite and a gilded steampunk cuttlefish. Read the rest

White Queen series giveaway

Enter Boing Boing's giveaway to own a copy of the Starz Original mini-series, The White Queen, the riveting portrayal of one of the most dramatic and turbulent times in English history told uniquely through the perspective of three relentless women as they scheme, manipulate and seduce their way onto the English throne.

To enter the giveway of The White Queen on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD now from Anchor Bay Entertainment, head over to this post on Boing Boing's Facebook page. Read the rest

RiYL podcast 039: Generation Hex author Jason Louv

Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

When the next generation finds itself knee-deep in an occult revival, who better to call that Jason Louv. My two-time former roommate swung by New York City a while back to teach the kids in Bushwick a thing or two about magic. Louv has written a number books on the subject, including 2005's Generation Hex for Disinfo. His most recent volume, Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future, explores his newfound fascination with the genetically modified organisms of Monsanto.

This episode of RiYL is brought to you by:

Squarespace: the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off go to Squarespace.com and use the offer code RIYL.

Shari's Berries: Get giant freshly dipped strawberries starting at $19.99 (over a 40% savings), or double the berries for just $10 more. Use the code “like” when you order.

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Crime Jazz: noir-ish music from '50s television and film crime dramas

A friend recently turned me on to "Crime Jazz," the two-volume soundtrack collection from Rhino featuring ominous, jazzy theme music from 1950s TV shows and movies in which very bad people do very bad things. It'd be great music for a cocktail party where you serve themed drinks and dress up with fake shotgun wounds, or one of those dinner theater parties where there's a crime, and everyone has to try and solve it. I love driving around Los Angeles with this CD blaring from my rolled-down windows.

The website PopCult has a great collection of covers from LPs of that era, and a little musical history: Read the rest

Free Music Week: Get all the songs now

In case you missed it, we’re at the end of our semi-bi-yearly Free Music Week. Nine exceptional artists offered up a free download and I think they make a great playlist as a group. If you missed any of it, you can still grab the songs through the weekend. They’re all here.

Please support the musicians you love (and their art) by buying music and going to live shows. It’s a mitzvah. Read the rest

Verdict in Chicago NATO 3 trial: guilty of mob action and arson, but not terrorism

The so-called NATO 3 were convicted today of two counts of mob action, but not the more serious charges of terrorism," reports the Chicago Tribune. "Jurors deliberated nearly eight hours before reaching the verdict for Brent Betterly, 25, Jared Chase, 29, and Brian Church, 22." In the course of the trial, the jury literally got to decide what constituted terrorism.

The issue before the jury has rarely been so divergent: Did three out-of-state men who came to Chicago in the days before the NATO summit in 2012 want to violently bring about an anarchist revolution or were they just loud-mouthed simpletons who liked to brag?

Read the rest

Paperback of Sailor Twain announced, read a 14-page excerpt

I reviewed Sailor Twain, Mark Siegel's amazing graphic novel about the mermaid of the Hudson River, back when it came out in 2012. The paperback has just been announced, slated for publication on March 4. Tor.com has a 14-page excerpt from the book up today. Here's my original review: Read the rest

Guilty plea in Fox News leak case shows why Espionage Act prosecutions are unfair to reporters' sources

Former State Department official Stephen Kim announced today he will plead guilty to leaking classified information to Fox News journalist James Rosen and will serve 13 months in jail.

The case sparked controversy last year when it was revealed the Justice Department named Rosen a “co-conspirator” in court documents for essentially doing his job as a journalist. But a largely ignored ruling in Kim’s case may have far broader impact on how sources interact with journalists in the future. Read the rest

'One Ad to Rule Them All," advertising reimagined in J.R.R Tolkien's voice

Valerio Amaro, a student at Miami Ad School Berlin, created some very funny images at this tumblr. "I have two passions in life: advertising and The Lord of the Rings," she says. "I wanted to find a way to combine them, so i asked myself, 'What would happen if J.R.R Tolkien worked in advertising?'" [HT: Mark Dery] Read the rest

Russian police choir performs "Get Lucky"

The most fabulous thing so far at the Winter Olympics. Previously. Read the rest

The War on Drugs - “Red Eyes” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 69: The War on Drugs - “Red Eyes” (free MP3)

It’s a rare rainy day here in LA, and I can’t imagine any song sounding better right now than “Red Eyes”, the new song from The War on Drugs.

Adam Granduciel is the creative force behind The War on Drugs, and he’s been joined by an ever-changing group of collaborators throughout the band’s 11-year history. The current line-up has been stable through two years of touring and the recording of the new album Lost in the Dream. The result is a cohesive group of beautiful and atmospheric pop songs that are perfect for inclement weather.

Download “Red Eyes” below and pre-order Lost in the Dream once you’re hooked. Get started here: Read the rest

Apple yanks last remaining bitcoin wallet

Above, a gentleman who was unhappy with Apple's decision to remove the Blockchain bitcoin wallet from the iTunes App Store shot holes through his iPhone with a rifle.

• Boing Boing presents a guest op-ed from the the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain, a Bitcoin wallet app recently removed from Apple's App Store.

On Wednesday February 5th, Apple yanked Blockchain, the last remaining bitcoin wallet from the App Store without notice, firmly establishing iOS as the bitcoin-hostile mobile operating system. In a terse email to the app’s developers, Apple cited an “unresolved issue”, without any further explanation. While Blockchain’s developers scrambled to get clarification, it appears the unresolved issue is that the application is a bitcoin wallet, something that cannot be “resolved.” Blockchain was the last of the bitcoin wallets, the others yanked months ago by Apple’s innovation gatekeepers.

Meanwhile, across the mobile market divide, Google’s Android OS is quite bitcoin friendly. More than a hundred bitcoin related apps, including a dozen different wallets, compete for attention in a crowded market. Clearly, Apple’s “unresolved issue” is not related to bitcoin’s legality, which has been firmly established in the US and almost all other jurisdictions. Presumably, Google’s lawyers arrived at the same conclusion as US law enforcement agencies and the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States, that the use of bitcoin is perfectly legal.

So if legality is not the problem, what is? Read the rest

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