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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Boing Boing's InsaneJournal:

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    Friday, December 9th, 2016
    6:49 pm
    The best dystopian fiction you'll ever read


    Russian science fiction authors Boris and Arkady Strugatsky created worlds and shared stories so fantastic, so well imagined, and so terrifyingly believable their work may create an existential crisis in even the most solidly confident individual. It has long been a challenge to find their work in English but a translation of The Doomed City, long considered their magnum opus, is finally available."


    6:02 pm
    California just launched a "Digital Service" based on the amazing UK Government Digital Service


    Since 2011, the UK's Government Digital Service has radically transformed the way Britons interact with their government, streamlining bureaucratic processes, opening up data, and making APIs available for community groups and commercial players -- alas, the GDS has become a political football in Westminster and has hemorrhaged talent, becoming a sad reminder of a once-glorious dream of government delivered humanely, with the public in mind. (more…)

    5:22 pm
    Judge Reinhold arrested at Dallas airport for refusing a second TSA screening


    Actor Judge Reinhold was flying out of Dallas Love Field on Thursday and his bag set off an "alarm" on a TSA scanner, so security personnel demanded to pat Reinhold down; Reinhold objected that he'd already passed through the naked scanner and didn't believe he should have to get a government-mandated genital massage as well. Police were called and he was arrested. (more…)

    5:32 pm
    Working, thumbnail-sized papercraft single-stroke engine

    Aliaksei Zholner's Youtube account features various small, clever papercraft engines that he's made over the years, but the latest one, measuring a mere 18 x 13 x 22 mm, is the daintiest, most lovely one yet, and well worth the long hiatus since Zholner's previous outing. (more…)

    5:53 pm
    Apple's tax-dodging offshore billions are sunk into Treasury Bills that pay out using Americans' tax


    Apple -- which is one of the multinational poster children for tax dodging, along with Google, Amazon, Ikea and others -- has billions of dollars "offshore" and in theory they can't bring that money into the USA without paying tax on it; but thanks to some fancy accounting, much of that money is sunk into US Treasury Bills (floated by the government Apple is starving through tax evasion), and the US taxpayers pay Apple, about $600M so far. (more…)

    5:07 pm
    The Mirai worm is gnawing its way through the Internet of Things and will not stop


    The Mirai worm made its way into information security lore in September, when it was identified as the source of the punishing flood of junk traffic launched against Brian Krebs in retaliation for his investigative reporting about a couple of petty Israeli criminals; subsequent analysis showed Mirai to be amateurish and clumsy, and despite this, it went on to infect devices all over the world, gaining virulence as it hybridized with other Internet of Things worms, endangering entire countries, growing by leaps and bounds, helped along by negligent engineering practices at major companies like Sony. (more…)

    4:36 pm
    'Star Wars Rebels' Ghost may be in 'Rogue One'

    Fans looking for tie-ins between the various Star Wars properties spotted a ship that looks an awful like the Lothal rebels "Ghost" at :07.

    4:05 pm
    Charitable Giving Guide 2016


    Here's a guide to the charities the Boingers support in our own annual giving. Please add the causes and charities you give to in the forums!

    Planned Parenthood
    Because we deserve health care, including reproductive, gender, and sexual health care. Because access to birth control and safe abortion is a human right. Because Trump's regime wants to destroy all of this. XJ

    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Ever since its landmark 1992 lawsuit over civilian access to strong cryptography, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been fighting governments around the world in the fight over whether the internet is a tool for dialog and innovation around the world, or a nightmarish system for control and censorship. Trump just inherited the surveillance infrastructure that GW Bush built and Obama operationalized it -- a surveillance apparatus that EFF is already suing to end. There has never been more EFF moment than this one. CD

    Creative Commons
    Creative Commons is best known as a tool for sharing-friendly artists, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Since the beginngin, and all over the world, CC has provided governments, agencies, research and scholarly institutions and NGOs with the tools to easily share across borders and the bewildering array of copyright laws. We can't beat trumpism without collaboration tools, and that includes legal tools. —CD

    Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia)
    If "post-truth" is the 2016's word of the year, then Wikipedia's moment has arrived. For 15 years, Wikipedia has been figuring out how to negotiate truth among diverse and even warring points of view. It's not always pretty and it's not always nice, but no one's yet found a better way to let ideas bash against each other until something everyone agrees upon emerges. —CD

    Human Rights Data Analysis Group
    For more than twenty-five years, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) has held heads of state accountable for human rights violations, and they'll continue in the United States under our new President. They analyze data collected by human rights workers using cutting-edge methods from computer science and statistics. Those scientific results bring clarity to human rights violence and support the fight for justice. We have challenging times ahead of us to hold our president-elect accountable-- recall that during the campaign, President-elect Trump promised to order US forces to commit torture, and to bomb the families of suspected insurgents. Both actions would be war crimes. We will continue to stand for justice for the victims of human rights violations. Facts do matter. And all leaders, around the world, must to be held to account for their actions.

    Institute for the Future
    There are no facts about the future, only fictions. As we've learned in this election, nothing is certain about tomorrow. But even as our attention is captured by the present, we can begin to write the story to come. A place to start is the Institute for the Future's Future for Good fellowship. Institute for the Future, where Mark and David are researchers, is a 50-year-old nonprofit that helps the public think about the future to make better decisions in the present. The Fellowship directly supports inspiring social innovators who are working to make tomorrow a better place. You can help too. Make a donation of $100 and youll receive our new limited edition Future Now zine and a custom enamel pin that Mark designed!

    The National Wildlife Federation
    National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. Now's the time: the shortlist for our new Secretary of the Interior is reportedly Sarah Palin and Forrest Lucas, an "advocate of trophy hunting and puppy mills ... who never met a case of animal exploitation he wouldnt defend."  RB

    The Marine Mammal Center
    When seals, sea lion, or many other sea going pals need help, if they get lucky, they may be taken to The Marine Mammal Center, a veterinary hospital just for them. Thousands of heartbreakingly cute, but very wild, animals are rescued, rehabilitated and released on an annual basis. I'm a volunteer. In addition to the hundreds of highly trained volunteers that make the hospital run, the center always needs cash for fish and medicine. JW

    The Southern Poverty Law Center & the Anti-Defamation League
    The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defemation League fight hate, teach tolerance, and help secure justice, and fair treatment for all. "There is no 'them' and 'us.' There is only us." --Greg Boyle —JW

    Facing History and Ourselves Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational group that helps young people study issues around racism, antisemitism, and prejudice in history, from the Holocaust to today's immigrant experiences to the killing fields of Cambodia. Their aim is to teach young people "to think critically, to empathize, to recognize moral choices, to make their voices heard, we put in their hands the possibility--and the responsibility--to do the serious work demanded of us all as citizens." —DP

    Free Software Foundation/Defective By Design
    The Free Software Foundation's principled litigation, license creation and campaigning is fierce, uncompromising and has changed the world. You interact with code that they made possible a million times a day, and they never stop working to make sure that the code stays free. —CD

    Free Software Foundation Europe
    Software has eaten the world, and software freedom is increasingly synonymous with human freedom. In Europe, far-right parties and authoritarians are inheriting a constellation of gadgets and devices that are "defective by design," built to allow corporations spy on and control their owners -- and those thugs are contemplating how they can use those companies' extraordinary powers to put whole populations under their thumbs. Free softwar in Europe, free software everywhere! —CD

    The Internet Archive: In an era where the control of information has been weaponized, the Internet Archive's mission -- universal access to all human knowledge -- is a revolutionary manifesto. The Archive isn't screwing around: they're siting a copy of their data in Canada to resist trumpian grabs and spying. —CD

    Open Rights Group
    For Britons, 2016 was the year of Brexit, and while we were all fighting about Brexit, Theresa May's Tory government passed the most intrusive surveillance bill in the history of modern democracies. It's a longstanding joke that the gnomes of Westminster Village think that Nineteen Eighty-Four was a manual for statecraft, but the joke is getting less funny by the second. ORG is a decade old: spunky, going though a timely growth spurt, and badly needed. CD

    Amnesty International
    I just looked up Amnesty's founding principles and found tears rolling down my cheeks: "Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the worlds people, will our work be done." 2016 is a year when these values need our support more than ever. —CD

    On November 9, ACLU changed its homepage to a picture of Trump superimposed with the words SEE YOU IN COURT. ACLU's deep bench of kick-ass lawyers has been lately augmented by a much-needed group of freedom-fighting technologists, welded into the fighting force we'll need for the next four years and beyond: from voter suppression to free speech, the ACLU is key to the fight. —CD

    With the UK plunging into surveillance dystopia where human rights are an afterthought and racial profiling is becoming official doctrine, it needs Liberty, an organisation with 80+ years' track record fighting for human rights in many incarnations of the British project. The Tories ran on a platform of repealing the Human Rights Act: when the government is officially anti "human rights," you need someone like Liberty to take the "pro" side. —CD

    826 National
    Born in San Franciscos Mission District in the back room of a pirate supply store, 826 National teaches young people the art and magic of creative writing through classes, DIY publishing projects, in-school programs, and drop-in tutoring at seven centers around the US. And its all free for the kids. Help open more 826 locations around the country! DP

    Fight for the Future
    Some of the Internet's savviest, hard-working-est activists. Fight for the Future is in all the Internet fights, kicking ass on Net Neutrality -- a fight that's back on in 2017, thanks Trump -- mass surveillance and justice for Chelsea Manning.

    Demand Progress
    Aaron Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, and as you'd expect from that history, they're relentless in reinventing the activist playbook for the 21st century.

    Software in the public interest -- it's a damned good idea. MySociety produces software like Pledgebank ("I will risk arrest by refusing to register for a UK ID card if 100,000 other Britons will also do it") and TheyWorkForYou (every word and deed by every Member of Parliament). It's plumbing for activists and community organizers. —CD

    3:49 pm
    Woman Kyrgyz singer records amazing version of a traditionally male-voiced poem

    Gulzada Ryskulova's musical version of the Manas epic -- a folkloric tale usually recited by Kyrgyz men -- is nothing short of amazing, as is the tale itself, which was preserved through furtive oral tradition during the Soviet era, in which it was suppressed. (more…)

    3:39 pm
    Interviewing for Amazon: a literal Orwellian experience


    Shivan, a computer science student in Montreal, applied for a job at Amazon; the second round interview was conducted remotely by a proctor from an online service called Proctor U who insisted that Shivan install a remote-access trojan on his computer that let the proctor completely control his machine; then he was made to use the camera on his laptop to give the proctor a view of his room and all the things in it (with the proctor barking orders at him to shift his belonging around to give a better view. (more…)

    3:10 pm
    Jazz accompaniment to funny internet videos

    Publio Delgado provides jazz guitar accompaniment to an advertisement for Jones Big ASS Truck Rental & Storage: "In my yard, I don't care!"

    Here's the original, which now seems naked and bereft of wonder:

    See also Publio's accompaniment to a lady's unwise attempt to eat a hot pepper raw:

    Best, though, is his accompaniment to The Cat That Says No:

    2:45 pm
    Company town + Internet of Things + Drones = total surveillance of remote mine workers


    Rio Tinto is a giant UK/Australian mining corporation that operates many facilities in Australia's remotest reaches, where there is no housing for workers, so the company ends up building "company towns" where their laborers live, closing the loop between home and worklife, and putting them both under control of a corporation; now the company is flirting with the kind of "smart city" technology that has been tried elsewhere, but generally in places where the residents are citizens, not employees, and the governing law is created by a legislature, not a non-negotiable employment contract. (more…)

    1:33 pm
    Uri Shapira's beautiful formations of crystals and algae

    159X111 at 300dpi

    Israeli artist Uri Shapira creates beautiful photos and timelapse videos of chemical reactions and algae growth, generating beautiful patterns that seem otherworldly. (more…)
    1:33 pm
    Vintage CB radio trolling from 1969

    "What's your handle, creep?" "Don't tell us to move to another channel!" "You sound like you're dying... why don't you go ahead and drop dead!" Trolling was alive and well on CB radios in the 1960s, as these vintage South Philly conversations from 1969 prove. (more…)

    1:53 pm
    A guide to fire safety in industrial spaces


    Following the tragic fire in an Oakland warehouse space called Ghost Ship, engineer and designer Gui Cavalcanti put together a guide to help ensure that unconventional homes, studios, and galleries are as safe as possible. Cavalcantis article acknowledges that people generally use these types of spaces because they cant afford more conventional real estate. And his guide centers on small, inexpensive changes that can save lives. Here's an excerpt:

    Make sure your exit infrastructure is fire-safe. News reports indicate that the Ghost Ship fire was exacerbated by the fact that an improvised stairwell was made of pallets. For the record, people often construct bonfires out of pallets. They are not sound building material, they are not fire-resistant in any way, and they should not have been serving as exit infrastructure between the first and second floor. Ive seen many pieces of improvised infrastructure in the spaces Ive visited; second floors that are served by home-built wooden ladders, wooden lofts that serve as mezzanines, catwalks made of old building materials, you name it. All of these examples can be extremely hazardous in a fire or other hazardous situation. Theyre cool, theyre edgy, theyre creative, but they can also be fundamentally unsafe. Make sure you have safe exit paths (that are marked and made of fire-safe materials) to all of your spaces, even if you also have decorative walkways and paths. Ladders, poles, ropes and other features are not safe exits.

    You can read the full piece over on Medium.

    1:54 pm
    The Hateful Eight's homage to The Thing: shots compared

    KINO demonstrates ways in which Tarantino's The Hateful Eight pays homage to John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing. (more…)

    1:54 pm
    Feminist Frequency celebrates the brilliant life of Ada Lovelace

    As part of her Ordinary Women series, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency examines the impressive achievement of Ada Lovelace, the mother of computer programming.

    You can also watch the Ordinary Women profiles on Ching Shih and Ida B. Wells:
    2:13 pm
    Creepy Mall Santas


    Distractify has thirty mall santas to be on the lookout for. There's plenty of listicle filler here, but would you just look at those vintage masked bastards. There's even a website dedicated to creepy santas. [via MeFi, which has even more]


    2:32 pm
    Hater's guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalogue


    Drew Magary offers The 2016 Haters Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.

    I was on the Jersey Turnpike when I saw it. I was driving my family to New York for Thanksgiving and there, along the shittiest stretch of road in the shittiest state in America, I saw the Williams-Sonoma fulfillment center: a vast hangar that seemed to stretch a mile long, with shipping containers lined up along the side, like piglets feeding on a series of artisanal teats.

    He picked the perfect catalog for this sort of thing and the perfect presentation, so I'm just going to snag Jim Cooke's perfect "eat shit" illustration to go with it.

    The only thing I ever bought from Williams-Sonoma was a fancy $100 Breville electric kettle whose LED light and rubber seal failed three months in, right after the take-it-back-for-a-refund point was passed. I made this Venn diagram to satisfy my lust for revenge but never published it. sonoma

    12:52 pm
    Amazing pop art purses that look like real food


    I recently stumbled across Dutch designer Rommy Kuperus work and I cant get enough of it. Her purses and accessories look good enough to eat (literally), and theres a really great sense of humor to her work:

    medium_img_3083 medium_img_6989 il_570xn-1041190305_debl medium_img_3807-01 medium_img_9989 small_img_9905b-01 il_570xn-816309844_ah4h il_570xn-1020462211_azuc medium_img_7357h-01f large_img_1492-1024x664 il_570xn-1143684507_b8b0

    You can find more photos or make a purchase on her Etsy shop, Rommydebommy.

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