How to fix copyright in two easy steps (and one hard one)

My new Locus column, A New Deal for Copyright, summarizes the argument in my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and proposes a set of policy changes we could make that would help artists make money in the Internet age while decoupling copyright from Internet surveillance and censorship. Read the rest

Check out the weird cosplay motorcycle stunts of India’s elite Border Security Force

“Mr. Oranv will be the one wearing a plastic peacock on his head.”

GOP senator who boasted about her family's self-reliance received $460K in federal subsidies

Iowa Republican senator Joni Ernst gave her party's official response to the State of the Union address by boasting self-righteously about her humble origins and how her self-reliant, heartland-state family pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, but conveniently failed to mention that her family's farm was the beneficiary of nearly half a million dollars in federal subsidies. Read the rest

The Soviet space dogs who took giant leaps for mankind

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "Lisa Hix has just written a very cool piece about Laika, Belka, Strelka, and the other canine cosmonauts who paved the way for Russian Yuri Gagarin's maiden orbit of the Earth in 1961. With interviews and images supplied by the author and publisher of Soviet Space Dogs, Lisa's story answers questions about how these animals were selected for training, how they relieved themselves in space, and what sort of welcome they could expect if they returned safely to Earth (not all did)."

Dogs had a history of scientific experimentation in the USSR. Petrovich Pavlov had used them to great effect in his studies of the reflex system. Despite this, apes were initially considered as they more closely resemble man in many ways. Dr. Oleg Gazenko, one of the leading scientists of the space program, even visited the circus to observe the famous monkey handler Capellini, who convinced him that monkeys were, in fact, problematic. They required intense training and numerous vaccines and were emotionally unstable. (Cats did not tolerate flight conditions; that was later proved by French missions in 1963.) The decision was made: Dogs would be the first cosmonauts.

Read the rest

Radical Brownies: girls of color push social justice, not cookies

Oakland's troop of Radical Brownies are girls of color, aged 8-12, who learn about the Black Panthers and Brown Berets, and who campaign for body-acceptance and an end to police violence. Read the rest

Celebrate Skymall's demise by watching this classic David Cross standup

Skymall filed for bankruptcy today, and will be missed by many--including comedians.

“We Should All Step Back from Security Journalism” after Barrett Brown. “I’ll Go First.“

The federal government's case against Barrett Brown creates a very real chilling effect for other journalists who, like Brown, produce work that deals with hacking and hacktivists. Read the rest

Modern ancient jewelry by Heather Roblin

Timeless pieces hand-made from precious metals. Do want.

This week's best gadgets

This week Mark and Jason compare tea makers and Xeni talks about her Hario Japanese coffee products.

GIF: Airport

From “Un gif dans ta gueule.” Read the rest

American student arrested for Arabic flash cards in airport after TSA freaked out settles lawsuit

America is safe once again for people who like to study foreign languages and read books on foreign policy in airports.

Hiker who finished first free ascent of Dawn Wall on Yosemite's El Capitan did it missing a finger

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson recently became the first rock climbers to complete a free ascent of The Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite. Read the rest

“The Road to Superintelligence,” meaty long-read on future of artificial intelligence

“What’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future,” writes Tim Urban.

The Je Suis Charlie Humble Bundle

Name your price for six titles, including the Wil Wheaton audiobook of my novel Homeland, all money goes to benefit the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Read the rest

Ancient speed-shooting archery technique revived by amazing LARPer whose videos will blow your mind

Watching live-action roleplayer Lars Andersen practice this unusual method of archery is utterly amazing.

Japanese Twitter users mercilessly mock ISIS with memes

The terror organization this week released a video showing two Japanese citizens held captive.

History of the World in 1,000 Objects

History of the World in 1000 Objects opens up with a simple stone handax for cutting and digging made around 1.65-million years ago and ends, 999 artifacts later, with satellites and smart phones. Read the rest

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