Techdirt is in the throes of a two-part revelation: 1. the US government's works are public domain and can be freely commercialized, and; 2. many of the weird things that spy agencies make can be turned into ironic, cool, and sometimes fun and/or beautiful objects of commerce.
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Government Attic used the Freedom of Information Act to force the NSA to cough up its "old security posters from the 1950s and 1960s"; after two years' delay, the NSA finally delivered 139 pages' worth of gorgeous, weird, revealingly paranoid internal materials, produced by an incredibly prolific internal security office who constantly refreshed their poster designs (presumably to keep them from disappearing into the background), all funded with US public money and thus in the public domain for your remixing pleasure (a few dozen of my favorites below!).
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A man in Elyria, OH was walking home at 5:26am Saturday morning when he got spooked. Someone - or something – was following him. When he noticed it was a pig, he freaked out and called the police.
Of course the cops thought he was either really drunk or hallucinating. But he wasn't. The frightened gentleman just didn't like being followed by a pig.
The police ended up returning the animal, whose name is Zoey, back to its owner.
Phew. Close call. But the man survived the frightful morning without a scratch and lived to tell about it.
Image: North Ridgeville Police Department Read the rest
Charlie Stross's longrunning Merchant Princes
series are a sneaky, brilliant techno-economic thought experiment disguised as heroic fantasy, and with Empire Games
, the first book of the second phase of the series, Stross throws in a heavy dose of the noirest spycraft, an experiment in dieselpunk Leninism and War on Terror paranoia.
Doug Dunlop's 11 year old, Lego-obsessed son is a frequent customer at the Lego store in Calgary's Chinook Mall, where he spends his odd-job savings on new materials -- until this week, when the Lego store management had the mall's security take him into custody. Read the rest
Hillary Rosner is a fantastic environmental reporter — the sort that digs facts and stories more than outrage-bait and blind activism. She's currently pregnant and, like all pregnant ladies, is finding herself subject to a deluge of warnings and "helpful" advice. When you're pregnant, there is always somebody who wants to let you know what you're doing wrong, why you're being irresponsible, and how you've totally ruined your kid's life already.
But in the midst of this, Rosner noticed something really fascinating: When it feels like the world is conspiring to make you terrified and guilty, it's sometimes easier to just tune out the world rather than investigate which claims are true and which aren't. Read the rest