Google DRM for Email can be disabled by ticking a few boxes in Firefox

Last week, I linked to a critique of Google's new "confidential mode" for Gmail and Google Docs, which purports to allow you to send people documents without letting them print, copy or forward them. Read the rest

How markets plundered Free Software's best stuff and used it to create freedom for companies, not people

Bejamin "Mako" Hill (previously) is a free software developer, activist and academic with a long history of shrewd critical insights into the ways that free software, free culture and the wider world interact with each other. Read the rest

Frozen Rat Kidney Shipping Container: The incredibly bounty of the NIH's 3D printables repository

The National Institutes of Health maintain a 3D Print Exchange, a kind of miniature Thingiverse for open-licensed, 3D printable objects for teaching and practicing public health. Read the rest

The Open Revolution: the vital struggle of open vs closed, free vs unfree

Rufus Pollock’s new book The Open Revolution: rewriting the rules of the information age, reimagines ownership in a digital age and its implications from the power of tech monopolies to control how we think and vote , to unaffordable medicines, to growing inequality. Get the book and find out more at openrevolution.net. - Cory

Zip Slip: a sneaky way to install malware using zip and other packing utilities

Packing files into archives like zips, tars, jars, wars, cpios, apks, rars and 7zs is a common way to keep important files and filesystem structures together when sharing them; it's also a source of potentially dangerous malware attacks. Read the rest

Count your bees with a Raspberry Pi and machine learning

Sure, you worry about your bees, what with colony collapse disorder, but they're hard to count! Read the rest

The Computer History Museum just published the sourcecode for Eudora

Eudora -- first released in 1988 -- was the first industrial-strength email client designed to run on personal computers like IBM PC and the Macintosh; though there are still die-hard users of the program, the last version was published in 2006. Read the rest

Bite-Sized Linux: a zine collecting awesome *nix tutorial webtoons

Julia Evans's Twitter feed is a treasure trove of her Bite-Size Linux comics that explain core concepts in Unix system use and administration in friendly, accessible graphic form. Read the rest

A LaTeX mod to draw coffee cup rings on your technical papers

LaTeX is the venerable, gold-standard layout package favored for scholarly papers, especially technical papers; back in 2009, Hanno Rein released LaTeX Coffee Stains, an extension to draw a variety of coffee-cup rings on your paper; the code has been improved by community contributions over the years and is very robust and full-featured! (via Evil Mad Scientist Labs) Read the rest

Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

Eric Lundgren is an environmental hero, whose California business diverts literal tons of e-waste from landfills, refurbishes it, and puts it in the hands of people who can make good use of it. Read the rest

Reverse-engineering Whatsapp, to let us talk to our friends without Facebook's oversight

The lifecycle of technology is fundamentally parasitic: successful technologies are ones that colonize their predecessors, devour them, and burst out of their limiting skins to and grow into new, more ambitious tools -- until they, too, are colonized by a more-evolved successor. Read the rest

Governing a decentralized internet without votes

When we think of democracy, we generally think of voting: the people are polled, the people decide. But voting is zero-sum: it has winners and losers. There are other models of governance that can make claim to democratic legitimacy that produce wins for everyone. Read the rest

Machine learning projects for kids

Dale Lane's Machine Learning for Kids project uses extensions to the popular Scratch programming environment to teach the basics of machine learning to children. Read the rest

A proposal to stop 3D printers from making guns is a perfect parable of everything wrong with information security

Many people worry that 3D printers will usher in an epidemic of untraceable "ghost guns," particularly guns that might evade some notional future gun control regime that emerges out of the current movement to put sensible, minimal curbs on guns, particularly anti-personnel guns. Read the rest

Google launches "plus codes": open geocodes for locations that don't have street addresses

In much of the world, addresses are difficult to convey because they refer to locations on unnamed streets, in unnumbered buildings, in unincorporated townships, sometimes in disputed national boundaries (I have often corresponded with people in rural Costa Rica whose addresses were "So-and-so, Road Without Name, 300m west of the bus stop, village, nearest town, region"). Read the rest

The new VLC: Chromecast support, network browsing, 4K playback and adaptive streaming

VLC 3.0 is out and the world's greatest video-playback app includes many long-awaited features, including stable Chromecast support, native support for browsing LAN drives to find your videos, and adaptive streaming to improve playback. Read the rest

After industry adopts open video standards, MPEG founder says the end is nigh

Leonardo Chiariglione is founder and chairman of the International Standards Organization's Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG), whose standards have dominated video playback since the earliest days; MPEG's primary rival is the Alliance for Open Media, an ascendant open standards body that requires that members promise not to enforce patents that overlap with its standards, meaning that anyone can play back AOM video without paying rent to MPEG members. Read the rest

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