Google and YouTube executives ignored warnings on toxic video content, now we're all paying the price

The epic battle inside YouTube over content moderation and recommendation algorithms is detailed brilliantly in a damning new report from Mark Bergen at Bloomberg News. 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

Walt Disney's Frozen Head: a science fiction movie secretly shot at Walt Disney World

Filmmaker Benjamin Lancaster spent four years secretly shooting a science fiction movie called "The Further Adventures of Walt's Frozen Head," working with actors Daniel Cooksley and Ron Schneider to make a movie about a WDW cast-member who discovers the (urban)-legendary frozen head of Walt Disney, kicking off a series of adventures around the park. The movie premieres online later today. This is (at least) the second time someone has secretly shot a movie at Walt Disney World. (Thanks, Hugh!) 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

Cartoonist Kayfabe is Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg's new YouTube channel

Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg are well known to readers of Boing Boing, as we had the honor of publishing Ed's epic comic history Hip Hop Family Tree and Jim's brilliant Street Angel. Now they've launched a YouTube channel, Cartoonist Kayfabe, which you should subscribe to right away.

Ed writes:

Jim Rugg and I created this channel as an avenue for us to add a little meaty and sincere comics talk out there on Youtube and it really seems to be catching on as each episode goes live. Lots of show-and-tell is peppered throughout the episodes too.

We've been doing a series of episodes using the 1990's speculator rag, Wizard Magazine, as a way to discuss the era that inspired us to become cartoonists in the first place.

...

More interviews are on the horizon as we get our skype recordings to work perfectly:

I enjoyed this deep-dive on Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo:

Cartoonist Kayfabe [YouTube] 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

YouTube is disabling all comments on videos of young children

“YouTube is disabling all comments on videos featuring young children as it attempts to head off an organised ring of paedophiles who were using its site to trade clips of young girls in states of undress,” says the Guardian's Alex Hern. 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

Youtube ignored repeated reports about explicit suicide instructions spliced into cartoons on Youtube Kids

[TW: Suicide]

A griefer has been reportedly splicing video of himself giving explicit instructions for committing suicide into animated videos on Youtube Kids; he lets the video run for several minutes before breaking in to say "Kids, remember, cut this way for attention, and this way for results"; despite "hundreds of reports" of this in the comments for the videos, they stayed online for several months until members of the Pedimom community (run by pediatrician/mother Free N Hess) made a concerted effort to report the videos. Read the rest

AT&T becomes latest YouTube advertiser to pull ads over pedophile problem

"Until Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind, we are removing all advertising from YouTube," an AT&T spokesperson told CNBC.

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!)

Read the rest

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

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

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