Aaron Swartz documentary, The Internet's Own Boy, out today

The Internet's Own Boy, Brian Knappenberger's brilliant documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz, is out in cinemas and through on demand channels today. Read the rest

Publishers offer free/discounted ebooks of the print books you own with Bitlit

Bitlit works with publishers to get you free or discounted access to digital copies of books you own in print: you use the free app (Android/Ios) to take a picture of the book's copyright page with your name printed in ink, and the publisher unlocks a free or discounted ebook version. None of the Big Five publishers participate as yet, but indies like O'Reilly, Berrett-Koehler, Red Wheel Weiser, Other Press, Greystone, Coach House, Triumph, Angry Robot, Chicago Review, Dundurn, and PM Press (publishers of my book The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow) are all in.

(Image: Bookshelf, David Orban, CC-BY) Read the rest

Alligator encounter causes man taking selfie to crash bicycle

Killian, Louisiana. (via Arbroath) Read the rest

Bobby Womack, RIP

Bobby Womack, a legend of soul, died today at age 70. (CNN) Read the rest

Supreme Court ruling creates urgent need for abortion clinic escorts

The Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics, defining an area in which anti-choice protesters may not harass women who visit clinics. An important Metafilter post by Anotherpanacea points up the urgent need for more clinic escorts to help women through the gauntlet (I used to do clinic defense in Toronto's Morgantaler Clinic, which was later bombed by anti-choice terrorists). Read the rest

Doctor Who series 8 trailer

Not a man, a Time Lord. Read the rest

TwentyWonder is a carnival of the mind: 6/28/14 in Los Angeles

TwentyWonder was forged from the explosive alchemy of the Hodgson Brothers’ (Jim Hodgson-Artist, Joel Hodgson MST 3000) early Superball gatherings which began in 1996. SuperBall was the grand shapeshifting expo of art, music, dance, food, comedy, and humanity that would become a template for modern gatherings like TEDx, Mindshare, Everything Is, and even mashups of music and comedy like Festival Supreme. It was a party that began in the backyard of a rented house in Burbank and became an annual event, a Super-Party, a highly-anticipated creative collaboration that drew gifted, industrious people from all over Los Angeles and far beyond. Five years ago, when Jim Hodgson became the director of DSALA (Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles), SuperBall was re-invented, reimagined, and reborn as TwentyWonder. TwentyWonder’s mission is to celebrate the amazing things that happen when people and ideas from many different cultures and disciplines converge.

There are plenty of ways to contribute to the cause at this amazing event. Boing Boing friend Tim Biskup and Ego Killers are drawing caricatures of TwentyWonder guests throughout the night. $20 for a "mean" portrait and $40 for a "sweet" portrait. And with a nod to Willy Wonka, you can buy chocolate TwentyWonder Bars with golden tickets hidden inside. Prizes include tickets to Mexican Masked wrestling or Nine Inch Nails at the Hollywood Bowl. Also: On the website is an opportunity to donate to the Ambassadors Fund which makes it possible with people with Down Syndrome to attend TwentyWonder who would not be able to attend otherwise. Read the rest

A better version of Werewolf

The original game of Werewolf, also known as Mafia, is a party game of bluffing, paranoia, and wild accusations invented (appropriately enough) in Soviet Russia in the 1980s. It pits a small number of Werewolves (who know each others' identities) against a larger group of Villagers who have no information; the Werewolves select a Villager to kill each “night” (while everyone's eyes are closed), and the entire group votes on a player to lynch as a werewolf each “day” until one team or the other prevails. Jon Seagull reviews a much-improved version.

Rainy Day Psychedelia: Seattle’s 1960s Poster Scene About to Get Its Day in the Sun

"Seattle artist Scott McDougall is doing a Kickstarter (through July 15) for a new book called Split Fountain Hieroglyphics: Psychedelic Concert Posters From the Seattle Area, 1966-1969, which will feature some 200 rare examples of Seattle psych," says Ben Marks. Read the rest

Cyber-crooks turn to Bitcoin extortion

Security journalist Brian Krebs documents a string of escalating extortion crimes perpetrated with help from the net, and proposes that the growth of extortion as a tactic preferred over traditional identity theft and botnetting is driven by Bitcoin, which provides a safe way for crooks to get payouts from their victims. Read the rest

Photoshopped ideas of "beauty" around the world

For Ester Honig's Before & After, she used freelance platforms like Fiverr to contract 40 people from 25 countries to make her "beautiful" with Photoshop. (Above right, the work of someone in the Philippines.) Honig's hope was that the resulting images would provide insight into the contractor's "personal and cultural constructs of beauty."

"They are intriguing and insightful in their own right; each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator.

Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more elusive."

Before & After (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Bike commuter super transformer bag full of stuff

Check out all the stuff that Long Now Foundation Director of Operations Laura Welcher brings with her on her daily bike commute in the San Francisco Bay Area. There's an awful lot in her bag, but it makes sense! Read the rest

Gitmo briefing: prisoners use attorneys, media to "discredit the U.S. government"

The us military instructions say that "[Detainees use] media, lawyers and int’l organizations to spread a false message of: mental anguish, inhumane detention conditions, medical mistreatment, abuse."

MPAA targeted subreddit is an overnight sensation

Fulllengthfilms, an obscure subreddit with next to no traffic shot up to more than 300,000 daily visitors after it was targetted for takedown by the MPAA. It is now the fastest-growing subreddit on Reddit. Read the rest

Anatomically-accurate, life-sized chocolate skulls

"Molded from a genuine human skull," and available in four tempting flavors.

Anti-surveillance protesters fly internet freedom blimp over NSA facility in Utah

Standagainstspying.org, a coalition that includes The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and other groups, flew a 135-foot thermal airship over the million-square-foot NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah today. Read the rest

Apple is killing Aperture, and replacing it and iPhoto with new Photos app

A big bummer for professional photographers who use Aperture: Apple will no longer develop Aperture, reports The Loop. At Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, the company introduced a new Photos app for iOS8 that will replace the professional photography application, and eventually, consumer-focused iPhoto.

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture,” said Apple in a statement provided to The Loop. “When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS.”

Read the rest

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