Melania leads low-effort battle against the cyber bullies

Slovenian immigrant and reluctant First Lady of the United States Melania Trump is gearing up her long awaited battle against cyberbullying. She's going to hold a meeting where no one expects her to actively do anything. This meeting will be with the leadership of several social media giants, good people to not do much about online bullying with.

Yesterday her husband fired the Secretary of State via a tweet. Looks like she has her work cut out for her.

Via NBC News:

Mrs. Trump plans to ask the tech companies about what efforts they're making to tackle online trolls, bots and other malicious content. They added that they don't expect her to be involved in drafting any potential policy proposals.

Of course, the meeting — if it happens — has the potential to draw attention to calls for Mrs. Trump to end cyberbullying in her own home, starting with getting the president to tone down his tweets.

During a lunch with spouses of governors visiting the White House last month, the first lady called on everyone to practice "positive habits with social media and technology."

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CCTV-studded, teargas-shooting, water-cannon-ed riot-control killdozer

Are you an urban police force thinking about how to control your fellow humans? Look no farther! Your pals at Bozena have an all-new RIOT system, a crowd-control killdozer for all your protest-suppressing needs! Read the rest

My first Enigma machine: Mattel once sold a Barbie typewriter with built-in crypto capabilities

Slovenia's Maheno corporation manufactured a series of Barbie-branded and white label typewriters for kids, with a hidden feature that allowed their owners to use them to produce messages encrypted with a simple substitution cipher. Read the rest

PIFcamp: Slovenian art+technology in nature hackercamp

Most hacker camps feature seminars, experimentation, and collaborative hands-on making—but very few integrate their natural environment as well as PIFcamp did.  Located in the lush mountainous beauty of Slovenia's national park, intense making was interspersed with walks, hikes and swims.  A prototype time-lapse camera documented the edible-food tour.  Once back at camp, plants that had been collected were chemically deconstructed in a makeshift bathroom biotech lab.  Experimental sounds were recorded as electric wires strung through wood heated it to a crackle.  Lynne Bruning has been working on speakers made from living plants.  So many other projects that I missed, but it's definitely on my calendar for next year!

Makery has a great report, and the official website has lots of pictures, too, and eventually should have more information on the projects.

Photos copyright 2015 by Katja Goljat, CC BY-ND Read the rest

Slovenia's ambassador apologizes to her children and her nation for signing ACTA, calls for mass demonstrations in Ljubljana tomorrow

After Helena Drnovsek Zorko, Slovenia's ambassador to Japan, signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, she was deluged with emails from Slovenians criticizing her for signing onto the agreement, which encourages widespread network censorship and creates criminal penalties for copyright infringement. The ambassador read the agreement more closely and decided she agreed with the critics, and wrote an open letter of apology to her country for signing them up to the treaty.

The ambassador calls on Slovenians to converge on Ljubljana tomorrow, Saturday, Feb 4, to protest ACTA.

I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children. I allowed myself a period of civic complacency, for a short time I unplugged myself from media reports from Slovenia, I took a break from Avaaz and its inflation of petitions, quite simply I allowed myself a rest. In my defence, I want to add that I very much needed this rest and that I am still having trouble gaining enough energy for the upcoming dragon year. At the same time, I am tackling a workload that increased, not lessened, with the advent of the current year. All in line with a motto that has become familiar to us all, likely not only diplomats: less for more.

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