Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

Eric Lundgren is an environmental hero, whose California business diverts literal tons of e-waste from landfills, refurbishes it, and puts it in the hands of people who can make good use of it. Read the rest

Reverse-engineering Whatsapp, to let us talk to our friends without Facebook's oversight

The lifecycle of technology is fundamentally parasitic: successful technologies are ones that colonize their predecessors, devour them, and burst out of their limiting skins to and grow into new, more ambitious tools -- until they, too, are colonized by a more-evolved successor. Read the rest

Governing a decentralized internet without votes

When we think of democracy, we generally think of voting: the people are polled, the people decide. But voting is zero-sum: it has winners and losers. Read the rest

TAILS: Snowden's favorite anonymous, secure OS goes 1.0

TAILS -- The Amnesiac Incognito Live System -- is a highly secure operating system intended to be booted from an external USB stick without leaving behind any trace of your activity on either your computer or the drive. Read the rest

Kickstarting Openworm: a cellular-level-up simulated worm

Wagner James Au writes, "Openworm, the open source collaborative project to construct an artificial life form from the cellular level, now has a Kickstarter so supporters can back the project and also get a copy of the worm itself, Wormsim, to put on their browser and even tweak the code. Read the rest

Band releases album as Linux kernel module

Cycles Per Instruction by netcat

A band called netcat (also the name of a popular networking tool) has released its new album, Cycles Per Instruction, in a number of formats, including a world first: the album can be compiled as a Linux kernel module. Read the rest

Blender Foundation needs more help to crowdfund the world's first fully open source animated feature

Julius writes, "With people like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backing them up, the Blender Foundation's first full feature length film looks like one of those things that's just bound to happen by itself. Read the rest

Sony issues fraudulent takedown for Blender's open source movie

Alex writes, "This is a very good example of copyright abuse. The official Blender Foundation copy of Sintel on Youtube is currently blocked because Sony apparently claimed copyright over it. Read the rest

Crowdfunding Novena, the fully open/transparent laptop project

Remember Bunnie Huang's fully open laptop? Bunnie and Sean "xobs" Cross prototyped a machine he called the "Novena" in which every component, down to the BIOS, was fully documented, licensed under FLOSS licenses, and was totally modifiable by its owner. Read the rest

MMO that lets players run servers and change the rules

A group of developers who worked on Ultima Online, one of the earliest successful MMOs, are creating a game called Shards Online over which players will have enormous control. Read the rest

Arduino-powered Etch-a-Sketch clock

Dodgey99 built an Arduino-powered Etch-a-Sketch clock, in which a pair of stepper motors painstakingly draw out the current time. It's got a very low refresh rate, though: the limits of the motors and the Etch-a-Sketch means that it takes more than a minute to display the time, and it needs a couple of minutes' rest between each number. Read the rest

Michigan's Penguicon will focus on crypto and privacy this year

Scott sez, "Privacy and security has been a huge problem since the Snowden revelations, and midwest SF/open source software convention Penguicon [ed: near Detroit!] wants to be part of the solution. Read the rest

Jake Appelbaum reads his Homeland afterword, with bonus Atari Teenage Riot vocoder mix

Two of my friends contributed afterwords to my novel Homeland: Aaron Swartz and Jacob Appelbaum. In this outtake from the independently produced Homeland audiobook (which you can get for the next week exclusively through the Humble Ebook Bundle), Jake reads his afterword at The Hellish Vortex Studio in Berlin, where he is in exile after several harrowing adventures at the US border. Read the rest

Loomio: democratic decision-making tool inspired by Occupy

Here's a good writeup of Loomio, a collective decision-making tool that is raising funds to add features, stability and polish to its free/open source codebase. Read the rest

Firefox OS and the unserved billions of the developing world

Last month, I wrote about the announcement of the $25 Firefox OS smartphone, aimed at developing world users who have never owned a smartphone and can't afford a high-end mobile device. Read the rest

Get a wee degree in free from RIT

The Rochester Institute of Technology has announced America's "first minor in free and open source software and free culture." (Thanks, Stephen!) Read the rest

Massive security flaw in GNU/Linux crypto code

A major, critical security flaw in a key cryptographic program used by most flavors of GNU/Linux as well as other free/open operating systems has been reported. Read the rest

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