On Wednesday, the Legislative Committee of the European Union narrowly voted to keep the two most controversial internet censorship and surveillance proposals in European history in the upcoming revision to the Copyright Directive -- as soon as July Fourth, the whole European Parliament could vote to make this the law of 28 EU member-states. Read the rest
For several years, I've been honored to volunteer on the advisory board of Simply Secure (previously) a nonprofit consultancy that does open research on usability in cryptographic privacy tools and consults with firms to help make their tools more broadly usable and accessible, especially for vulnerable groups who are often left out of consideration when secure tools are being designed.
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Garnet Hertz is the designer/scholar/provocateur behind the amazing Disobedient Electronics project ("Building electronic objects can be an effective form of social argument or political protest"); though he is normally based at British Colombia's Emily Carr University, he's currently touring Europe with the Disobedient Electronics book on a Disobedient Electronics protest tour, with stops in London, Southampton, the Hague, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Madiera. Read the rest
On Wednesday, heavily armed and armored Berlin police carried out a series of raids, arresting four suspects in the theft of a $3.9m, 220lb manhole-cover-sized gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in March. Read the rest
After yesterday's Trumpian vow to burn down the Earth and all who live there, Germany's Greenpeace office responded by projecting the above image onto the US embassy. Read the rest
Yesterday morning, Matthias Kirschner opted out of the "voluntary" full-body scanners at Berlin's Schönefeld, and discovered that "voluntary" means that "if you don't do it, they will barrack you endlessly about your choice, punitively repeatedly perform the same searches over and over, and attempt to delay you so you almost miss your flight." Read the rest
Reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the German government's outrageous investigation.
Oliver Bienkowski, a guerrilla "light-graffiti" artist, splashed a projection of a caricature of Barack Obama's face on the side of the US embassy in Berlin, along with the phrase, "NSA IN DA HOUSE." Read the rest
A reader writes, "Just after sunrise on June 5, the NK Projekt in Berlin is leading a massive whistle-blowing session to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Edward Snowden's own whistle blowing activities."
(Image: I want you to blow the whistle, Mike, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest
Jonathan Lethem and Lars Eidinger star in Lars and Jonathan: A Berlin Friendship , a short, paranoid, quirky film made for Transmediale's Snowden-leak-commemorating Magical Secrecy Tour. Read the rest
Sandra writes, "What started as a 'class reunion' of bloggers, Internet activists, and researchers has become Europe's largest and most prominent conference on the future of our society and all things digital: re:publica, the Berlin based conference will happen again on 6-8 May 2014." Read the rest
Artists Selena Savić and Nikola Korać are continuing their excellent work on Unpleasant Design witha €20 workshop in Berlin on November 12 (tomorrow!). "Unpleasant Design" is Savić and Korać's name for design elements that are intended to be unpleasant for human beings in order to control their behaviour (for example, park benches with rigid handles that make it impossible to lie down). Read the rest
Activists in Berlin have created a game called Camover where they move through public spaces in disguise, smashing CCTV cameras, recording the act and uploading it to YouTube for points.
Dark Roasted Blend has a beautiful gallery of Spreepark PlanterWald (originally called Kulturpark Planterwald) a Soviet-era abandoned themepark in central Berlin, which is gracefully rotting away. This is a Boing Boing/Cory Doctorow trifecta: abandoned themeparks, Soviet kitsch, and urban exploration. Yes, please!
When it opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Planterwald, it was the "only constant entertainment park in the GDR, and the only such park in either East or West Berlin". However, the Berlin Senate did not seem to have provided for enough parking space... which is quite silly, all things considered. Plus, the forest around the park was deemed to be doomed from the impact of visiting crowds. In any case, the socialist and then private owners were left with a bunch of debt and the place got suspended in limbo... But the story does not end there (read on).
Surreal Abandoned Amusement Park in Berlin [Avi Abrams/Dark Roasted Blend]
(via Kadrey) Read the rest
"Book Forest" is an outdoor, public bookcase in Berlin, designed to allow BookCrossing users to drop books they're done with so that others can take them in and read them. The "forest" is made from hollowed out logs with protective clear doors.
Within the program ‚Research for Sustainable Forestry’ promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research the cross section project ‘Bi-FONA-Wald’ is carried out by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. It takes place in Berlin/Brandenburg. The Book Forest is part of the overall project ‚Modellregion Berliner Wald und Holz’.
The Book Forest contributes to sustainable vocational education and deals with the value chain forest-wood-book. It was developed and realised by BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. as an interdisciplinary, project orientated cooperation of apprentices of forestry, carpentry, cabinetmaking, media design, printing and bookselling.
(via Bookshelf) Read the rest
The German town of Mittenwalde loaned the city of Berlin 11,200 guilders 540 years ago, when Mittenwalde was a seat of power. Berlin has never repaid the debt. With interest, and adjusted for inflation, the note (which has been authenticated) is worth trillions of euros, and Mittenwalde wants it back.
Town historian Vera Schmidt found the centuries-old debt slip in the archive, where it had been filed in 1963. Though the seal is missing from the document, Schmidt told Reuters that she was certain the slip was still valid.
"In 1893 there was a debate in which the document was examined and the writing was determined to be authentic," Schmidt said.
Schmidt and Mittenwalde's Mayor Uwe Pfeiffer have tried to ask Berlin for their money back. Such requests have been made every 50 years or so since 1820 but always to no avail.
540-year-old debt. Trillions owed. But will German village get repaid? Read the rest
On Behance, art director Bjoern Ewers shows off the gorgeous macro-photo ads he produced for the Berlin Philharmonic, which depict the insides of instruments as airy atria (or, as Colossal has it, "vast and spacious, almost as if you could walk around inside them.")
ART DIRECTION: INSTRUMENTS FROM INSIDE
(via Colossal) Read the rest