Steven Levy, author of Hackers and one of the best tech writers in the field (previously), has profiled Carl Malamud (previously), the prolific, tireless freedom fighter who has risked everything to publish the world's laws on the internet, even those claimed to be owned by "nonprofit" standards organizations whose million-dollar execs say that you should have to pay to read the law.
Malamud is being sued for his trouble, and he's not budging on the principle that laws that aren't published aren't laws. Levy's profile digs into Malamud's (admittedly arcane) fights, but also his background, including his contributions to the invention of podcasting, and his early family life. It's a wonderful profile of one of my heroes.
The whole thing is confusing. And in the middle of it is Malamud. At the breakfast of the Pennsylvania Bar, over institutional scrambled eggs and crumbly pastries, the attorneys listen politely as Malamud explains that standards are the law, and rips into the idea of copy-protected “read-only” access as satisfying the public’s need to know.
“I’m trying to understand,” says one of the lawyers. “Are you supporting or opposing 112?”
Malamud walks the group through his objections once more. As the discussion progresses, Malamud’s key point finally sinks in: a law isn’t a law unless it’s public. It’s so simple that even a lawyer can find it self evident. As Malamud leaves to pitch the Texas delegation, the Pennsylvania chair tells him, “You blew my mind.”
A welcome compliment. But Carl Malamud has been blowing minds for a very long time.
Carl Malamud Has Standards [Steven Levy/Backchannel]
Rocky Bergen creates gorgeous, downloadable papercraft models of retro PCs, from the Commodore 64 to the Apple ][+ to the Amstrad, with different screens to print celebrating classic 8-bit games, and accessories like tiny floppies in tiny paper sleeves. As Waxy points out, these would make stunning Christmas ornaments.
Frustratingly, this video has no data about the identity of the incredible genius featured therein. Who is she?
Spoonflower's gorgeous selection of Haunted Mansion patterns can be printed on demand on wallpaper, giftwrap, or fabric: from the green strips of the maids' uniforms to the purple and black stripes of the butler's vests, to motifs picked up from the characters and decor (tightrope walker girl's floral print, hitchhiking ghosts, Leota's seance room), the […]
When it comes to tech, smaller is better, and these items fit the bill both in terms of size and price. We’ve rounded up our favorite stocking-ready gadgets, most of which are already on sale – and you can take an additional 15% off any of them with the special code MERRY15. iPM 3-in-1 Fast […]
So you’ve got a good eye for pictures? We’ve got a good eye for deals. And this holiday, there are some solid deals out there for photographers. Check out some of our favorite recent discounts on gear, software, and e-learning for photogs of any experience. Gadgets RevolCam: The Multi-Lens Photo Revolution for Smartphones This […]
Take a scroll through any app marketplace and you’ll see that the doors are wide open for any game these days – and any game developer. Like any creation, virtual or analog, it all starts with an idea. And if you’ve got one of those, the Complete Unity Game Developer Bundle can walk you the […]