After years of insisting that DRM in HTML wouldn't block open source implementations, Google says it won't support open source implementations

The bitter, yearslong debate at the World Wide Web Consortium over a proposal to standardize DRM for web browsers included frequent assurances by the pro-DRM side (notably Google, whose Widevine DRM was in line to be the principal beneficiary) that this wouldn't affect the ability of free/open source authors to implement the standard. Read the rest

Video from the Radicalized launch with Julia Angwin at The Strand

Last week's NYC book launch for Radicalized took the form of a fantastic conversation with the journalist Julia Angwin; the Strand folks were kind enough to video it and they've posted it to Youtube. Julia is incredibly smart and a wonderful interviewer, and we had some great Q&A as well. Read the rest

This superb Straight Outta Compton/Brexit mashup is so good it nearly alleviated my Brexit anxiety for a fraction of an instant

As Theresa May continues to pilot the United Kingdom toward a catastrophic, epochal collision with the Brexit iceberg -- even as her ministers are busy slashing every available lifeboat -- Politics Joe have released a flat-out brilliant video casting the PM and her Minister for Ghastly Cosplay Jacob Rees-Mogg (that is, "Snoop Mogg") as the stars of a very Brexit version of Straight Outta Compton. Read the rest

Trump's FCC relies on telcos to self-police anti-robocall measures and they're planning on gutting existing regs, so John Oliver is robocalling the whole FCC every 90 minutes

Every 90 minutes, the office phones of all five FCC Commissioners rings and John Oliver's voice comes out of it, demanding that they take action on robocalls, reversing FCC Chairman (and former Verizon exec) Ajit Pai's policy of relying on carriers to self-police their anti-robocall measures, and heading off his plan to gut the existing, weak protections. Read the rest

Former Archbishop of Canterbury cheers on students who are walking out to demand action on climate change

Months of student strikes have roiled the UK as pupils across the country have refused to go to class while demanding action on climate change, inspired by Swedish student Greta Thunberg's one-person strike at the Swedish Parliament. Read the rest

Brianna Wu announces her 2020 Congressional bid for MA-8

Frank Wu writes, "Today Brianna Wu, progressive Democrat and cybersecurity expert, is launching her 2020 bid for US Congress in MA-8! She has a brand new video, in which she introduces herself, and talks about being disowned by her family when she came out as queer. She also talks about the alt-right hate group Gamergate, founding her software development firm, and progressive policies she supports. Simultaneously, Brianna has re-designed her website, which outlines her platform, accepts donations, and allows supporters to volunteer. 'It’s time to be bold,' Brianna says." Read the rest

Goodwill is on track to be the world's largest provider of MOOCs

Goodwill Industries, purveyors of thrift-stores, are currently the second largest provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and on track to become the leader, through their GCF Global Online Portal, which provides free courses in English, Spanish and Portuguese with an emphasis on job skills: "reading, math and understanding money and personal finance to computer, email and Internet basics to digital skills and mastering widely-used tools such as Microsoft Office and QuickBooks," which then dovetail into a job-placement service the charity runs. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Bunnie Huang's tour-de-force explanation of how hardware implants and supply chain hacks work

Last October, Bloomberg published a blockbuster story claiming that some of the largest tech companies in the world, as well as sensitive US government and military systems, had been attacked through minute hardware implants that had been inserted at a subcontractor facility during the manufacture of servers from the world's leading server company, Supermicro. Read the rest

Speakout Tech: a call for tech worker whistleblowers

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "It seems like every day we learn more about the creepy things big tech companies are doing with our personal data. But so much is still shrouded in secrecy. That's why we're launching a new campaign calling on employees of Silicon Valley companies to blow the whistle on unethical uses of technology. And poetically, we're crowdfunding and using Facebook's own microtargeting system to target video ads directly at employees of the biggest tech companies. We need to show people who work in tech that we'll have their back if they stand up for what's right. Check out the video and please share! Read the rest

Beyond "more copyright": how do we improve artists' lives and livelihoods through policy?

Last year while I was on tour in Australia with my novel Walkaway, I sat down for an interview with legal scholar Rebecca Giblin (previously), whose Authors' Interest project studies how we would craft copyright (and other policies) if we wanted to benefit creators, rather than enriching corporations; we talked about the power and limits of copyright to benefit authors, and how other policies, like antitrust, are crucial to getting authors their fair share. Read the rest

An "e-ink typewriter" that can only do one thing

Lucian's SPUDwriter (Single Purpose User Device) was designed to help him focus on creative writing after a long day of staring at a screen in his engineering job: it uses an e-ink screen and a keyboard, and only outputs via SD card or thermal printer.

As a person who does all of their engineering work on or adjacent to a computer, the idea of coming home and spending even MORE time on the computer for creative writing isn’t super appealing. So I made an e-paper typewriter – no browser, no games, just you and your word count. It has a character LCD at the bottom for the current line you’re typing, to make up for how slow E-paper updates, and when you’re finished you can save your file to an SD card or print it all out with the internal thermal receipt printer for redline editing. I call it the SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device), hopefully the first of a couple of SPUDs. It’s built on MBED and the STM32F401 Cortex M4.

The SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device) for creating writing made with E-paper, MBED, and STM32F401 Cortex M4 [Adafruit]

(Thanks, PT!)

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Freedom EV: free/open replacement firmware for your electric vehicle -- including a Tesla

Freedom EV is a free/open software stack intended to replace the software in your electric vehicle, it's been tested on a Tesla Model X and should work on a Model S, if you can get root. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a suitcase that becomes a closet

Every year or two, I embark on a round of crazy book-tour travel where I change cities every day for weeks on end (35 cities in 45 days on two continents in 2017!), and I'm on a perennial quest for a piece of luggage that is fuss-free: I want to stumble exhausted into my room, late at night, and in a few seconds access everything I need to go to sleep and then get out the next morning. Read the rest

AOC's latest Congressional "lightning round game" is the best video CSPAN has ever aired

The Democrats have started hearings on HR1, a comprehensive anti-corruption and voting rights bill, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets to participate, which is great news for all of us. Read the rest

Father of Parkland victim responds to Louis CK's jokes with a "standup set" of his own

Louis CK is in disgrace in so many ways, and while comedians have often found humor in shocking and sorrowful current events, the combination of CK's lack of credibility and the extraordinary tastelessness of his jokes about the activism of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting are a bridge too far. Read the rest

To do: attend a Youtube town hall and learn how to join the Right to Repair movement

With the Right to Repair movement surging around the world, now is the perfect moment to check out the Right to Repair Youtube town halls, which will help you get involved with your local policymakers to ensure that you can fix your stuff! (via Motherboard) Read the rest

Glossary of Broken Dreams: now available to stream!

Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My film 'Glossary of Broken Dreams' (which is getting more and more relevant, given all the political turmoil currently around) (previously) is finally available on Vimeo on Demand (buying and renting). Read the rest

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