Latest stories - Cory Doctorow

1 Hour Ago   It's been years since the major pharma companies agreed to participate in the Registry of All Trials, meaning that they'd end the practice of only reporting on trials whose outcomes they were pleased with, leaving about half of all trials unreported-on.

1 Hour Ago   This credit-card skimmer was removed from a New York gas pump; it uses components scavenged from a cellular phone and a T-Mobile SIM to send the credit card details it harvests to its owners, who can retrieve them from anywhere in the world.

1 Hour Ago   The Queensland Police have asked the Australian Parliament to give them the right to covertly install malicious software on your home devices in order to conduct mass surveillance during times of "national emergency" (more…)

23 Hours Ago   In Paper Girls, the celebrated comics creator Brian K Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man, etc) teams up with Cliff Chiang to tell a story that's like an all-girl Stranger Things, with time-travel.

23 Hours Ago   "Escaping Prison with Dungeons & Dragons" is a moving, 10-minute documentary about prisoners who used tabletop role-playing games to survive their incarceration. (more…)

Yesterday   Your Roomba vacuum cleaner collects data about the size and geometry of your home as it cleans and transmits that data back to Irobot, Roomba's parent company -- and now the company says it wants to sell that data to companies like Apple and Google.

Yesterday   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiwYsYNh3ao Bruce Sterling: *THEY DON’T LOOK countercultural cliche-dramatic, they don’t have beatnik berets or bongos. You wouldn’t look at them twice in New York City, but there’s still something subtly off about them.

Yesterday   China's Xinjiang province is home to the Uyghur ethnic/religious minority, whose fights for self-determination have been brutally and repeatedly crushed by the Chinese state: now, people in Xinjiang are being required to install mobile spyware on their devices.

Yesterday   A strategy memo circulated around the time of a Koch network retreat sets out a five-part plan to pressure the Trump regime to lower corporate taxes and pass other policies favorable to corporate elites and the investor class.

Yesterday   Brian H writes, "Cartoonist Mike Diana is the first artist in the US to receive a criminal conviction for artistic obscenity. Here he recounts (MP3) the trial that barred him from drawing for three years and has made it impossible for him to return to Florida nearly 25 years later." (more…)

Yesterday   The American "productivity paradox": technology keeps marching, but the amount of profit generated by the average worker's average hour is stagnant. (more…)

Yesterday   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCubFBrxIxE There's a wealth of found-comedy in watching this gang of armed, helmeted robbers try in vain to smash the glass in this Malaysian jewelry store in Jalan Besar, Sungai Buloh: the hammers bounce off the fantastically tough glass, whose resilience is positively otherworldly, while the otherwise beautifully choreographed robbery (which includes some pretty snazzy outfits!) founders.

2 Days Ago   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F5G_fqo-yM Ladder lockdown is a metal tray with super-grippy patches on its underside; set it down on any surface (including ice!) and then set your ladder's feet in the tray and cinch it in place and the ladder won't "kick out" and injure you and your loved ones.

2 Days Ago   Machine learning companies are making big bucks selling opaque, secretive sentencing algorithm tools to America's court systems: the vendors of these systems claim that they are too sophisticated to explain, and use that opacity to dismiss critics who say the algorithms oversentence black and poor people.

2 Days Ago   You know all those health industry lobbyists who say that the American healthcare industry will go broke if it has to take care of the health of Americans?

2 Days Ago   Trump wants to dismantle America's labor, environmental and safety regulations, but to do so, he needs to hold hearings, post notices, collect feedback and go through the whole long, cautious process of changing agency rules for the EPA and others.

2 Days Ago   Chuck Schumer is trying to reconcile the neoliberal and left wing factions in the Democratic party by offering a slate of policies that are supposed to appeal to both sides: some ($15 minimum wage) are solid, but one recommendation is so face-palmingly dumb that it's almost impossible to believe they made the cut.

2 Days Ago   Defcon, the hacker and security conference, is coming to Caesar's Palace this weekend (I'm speaking!), and that means that the hotel needs to start thinking hard about the security of its systems, likely to be targeted both in earnest (by people who want to spy on attendees) and in jest (by attendees who want to prank their fellows by announcing that they've compromised everyone's systems).

2 Days Ago   Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) continues his run of collaborations on small, gorgeous kinetic sculptures and fidget toys with the "Netsuke Hybrid Vessel Bead," a collaboration with Revolve Makers.

2 Days Ago   In the 1990s, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Daimler and other German auto-makers formed a secret pact to price-fix a diesel emissions control substance called AdBlue, according to Der Spiegel, who cites memos from those meetings that VW and Daimler have sent to German competition enforcers.

2 Days Ago   The Swedish Transportstyrelsen (Transport Agency) botched its outsourcing to IBM, uploading its records to IBM's cloud and then emailing cleartext copies to marketing managers, unvetted IBM employees in the Czech Republic and others.

2 Days Ago   The UK -- like most countries -- excludes "inactive workers" (students, new parents, people who don't want a job) from its unemployment figures, but "inactive" is such a slippery concept that it can paper over huge cracks in the labor market.

2 Days Ago   People flying home from San Diego Comic-Con yesterday got a rude surprise when they spotted signs at the United check-in warning them not to put comics in their checked bags -- and most assumed it was the TSA's doing, a reasonable assumption given that the agency has been repeatedly trialling programs to search passengers' literature for exploding words for some months.

3 Days Ago   Protests are boiling over across Poland after the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) passed legislation that would allow the government to force the country's judges, all the way up to the Supreme Court, to retire, allowing them to appoint new, party-friendly judges in their place.

3 Days Ago   The Chinese government's wish-list for AI researchers is pretty ambitious: "Breakthroughs should be made in basic theories of AI, such as big data intelligence, multimedia aware computing, human-machine hybrid intelligence, swarm intelligence and automated decision-making." (more…)

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