Spotted at the Contemporary Craft Fair, the amazing teapots of Rylatt of Wales: improbably shaped ceramics with metallic, dark glazes. I wheedled my wife into getting me one for my upcoming birthday, and it is destined to be a favorite and a source of joy around my office. Read the rest
Solidwool is a company from Devon, England that mixes traditional Devon wool with bioresins to make a wool-based, fiberglass-like composite that can be use in furniture construction. I've just seen some of their midcentury modern Hembury Chairs at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey-Tracey, and they're really beautiful, swirling with abstract fibers and pleasingly smooth and solid. They're finely built, comfortable, and extremely handsome.
Hembury Chair Read the rest
Thinkgeek sells a line of Star Wars loungers (Boba Fett, Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, $70 each) made of 60% cotton/40% polyester blend -- they're basically Star Wars kigurumis, with two front pockets and a drawstring hood. Stylish loungewear for the Star Wars geek in your life! Read the rest
Boing Boing suggests that you buy these things for your father, paternal figure, manly individual, or person of ironically inappropriate gender or familial status for Father's Day.
Carl Malamud sez, "This 1966 military film on good style in sending Morse Code is a real hoot. 38k views on YouTube and another 3.6k on the Internet Archive. This video was made possible by a crowd-sourcing appeal on Boing Boing in 2009 (and in the case of this particular DVD, a donation by Mary Neff ... thanks Mary!)"
INTERNATIONAL MORSE CODE, HAND SENDING Read the rest
London's property bubble has got people energetically expanding their property, digging out sub-basements -- and the insane bubblenomics of London housebuilding are such that it's cheaper to just bury the digger and abandon it than to retrieve it. London's accumulating a substrate of entombed earthmoving machinery. Read the rest
David Weinberger's Would a Google car sacrifice you for the sake of the many? explores many philosophical conundra regarding self-driving cars, including the possibility that the rich and powerful might literally buy their way into the fast-lane. This is the premise of my 2005 story "Human Readable," which appears in my collection With a Little Help (there's also a spectacular audio edition, read by Spider Robinson). Read the rest
Dystopia Tracker collects the "predictions"* of science fictional dystopias and examines the ways in which they've come true. You can add your own, or suggest ways in which they've come to pass.
*Science fiction doesn't really predict anything except the present. Even sf writers who think they're predicting the future are (like all of us) so mired in the technological fears and hopes of the day that their work ends up telling you more about that than any future.
Dystopia Tracker Read the rest
One year ago today
Another Top Secret leak: Obama's cyber-war hit-list: Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian have published details of another Top Secret US surveillance/security document. This one is a presidential order from Obama to his top spies directing them to draw up a hit-list of "cyber war" targets to be attacked by American military hacking operations.
Five years ago today
More hard data on the impact of free/pirated downloads on book-sales: Brian F. O'Leary has posted slides updating his quantitative research on the effect of "piracy" and/or free giveaways on book-sales, done independently using data from O'Reilly and Random House (the largest tech publisher and general publisher in the world, respectively).
Ten years ago today
Broadcast Treaty negotiations (day 2/3): We've just wrapped up the second day of Broadcast Treaty negotations at the UN in Geneva, and once again, two colleagues and I took really extensive notes on the proceeding. Brazil and India gave amazing testimony today, and I was able to address the UN on DRM -- it was screamingly cool.
Read the rest
Serbia has been battered by two storms: first there were mass floods; then a wave of terrifying Internet censorship, which has included denial-of-service attacks, arrests over Facebook discussions of the flood casualties, and ISPs mysteriously shuttering websites critical of the government. We're proud to present an open letter from BlogOpen-BlogClosed
, announcing a netcast strategy conference on Tuesday, June 10
at 1PM CET.
John Biggs presents a vignette from the world of Mytro, his new young-adult novel about a secret train system that can take you anywhere in the world. [5m read time]