A(nother) Lego Turing machine

    Making a Turing machine is a kind of nerd rite of passage, like manually editing your X11 settings or building a two-second time-machine. As far back as 2005, we were chronicling the adventures of Lego Turing-machine builders (the state of the art advanced rather a lot by 2012), as well as the ongoing effort to attain Turing completeness in wood and also baked goods. Read the rest

    Terminator bookends and tankard

    The bookends ($79) are the clear winner here, but the robot hand tankard ($58) is pretty sweet too; they're made of painted resin (with a stainless steel insert in the tankard), pre-order now for July shipping. (via Geekologie) Read the rest

    Fellowships to fund work on a "Human-Centric Internet"

    Edgeryders -- "a company living in symbiosis with an online community of thousands of hackers, activists, radical thinkers and doers, and others who want to make a difference" -- is offering up to EUR10,000 bursaries (along with travel subsidies) for fellows who are contributing to its work on an "Human-Centric Internet." The deadline to apply is May 30. Read the rest

    Los Angeles! Come see me at Exposition Park library tonight talking about Big Tech, monopolies, mind control and the right of technological self-determination

    From 6PM-730PM tonight (Thursday, May 23), I'm presenting at the Exposition Park Library (Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library, 3900 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90062) on the problems of Big Tech and how the problems of monopolization (in tech and every other industry) is supercharged by the commercial surveillance industry -- and what we can do about it. It's part of the LA Public Library's "Book to Action" program and it's free to attend -- I hope to see you there! Read the rest

    Dancing in the dark at Kathe Koja's DARK FACTORY

    [Kathe Koja is one of my favorite writers (actually, she's two of my favorite writers!) and her latest project, am immersive, mixed-reality dance club, is so unbelievably cool that I jumped at the chance to give her a platform to tell you about it. Don't miss her Patreon! -Cory]

    Stories need an audience to be fully alive. I write novels (Christopher Wild, The Cipher, Under the Poppy, Buddha Boy, among others) and write and produce immersive events and readings (The Art of Darkness, Glitter King, Night School, ALI<E, among others), and when I work I’m always considering that audience, its shared energy and engagement with the story I’m working to tell: otherwise it’s just words in a row, props in a room. Read the rest

    Rogess: chess with roguelike combat

    Roguelike games (previously) are "a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character" (Wikipedia). Read the rest

    Bernie Sanders' "Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education" will desegregate schools, defund charters, pay teachers, end the school-to-prison pipeline

    Bernie Sanders has released A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education, a detailed and bold suite of public education reforms reminiscent of the kinds of policy planks being laid down regularly by rival candidate Elizabeth Warren (I'm a donor to both Sanders' and Warren's campaigns). Read the rest

    Wil Wheaton's "Dead Trees Give No Shelter": terrifying tale, beautifully told

    Wil Wheaton's 2017 standalone novelette Dead Trees Give No Shelter is a beautiful, spooky horror story in the vein of Stranger Things, following Jay Turner as he returns to the small Ohio town where his baby brother was murdered, 20 years before, to witness the execution of his killer. Read the rest

    Sleuthing from public sources to figure out how the Hateful Eight leaker was caught

    In 2014, Quentin Tarantino sued Gawker for publishing a link to a leaked pre-release screener of his movie "The Hateful Eight." The ensuing court-case revealed that the screeners Tarantino's company had released had some forensic "traitor tracing" features to enable them to track down the identities of people who leaked copies. Read the rest

    Lent: Jo Walton's new novel is Dante's Groundhog Day

    I love Hugo and Nebula-Award winner Jo Walton's science fiction and fantasy novels (previously) and that's why it was such a treat to inaugurate my new gig as an LA Times book reviewer with a review of her latest novel, Lent, a fictionalized retelling of the live of Savonarola, who reformed the Florentine church in the 1490s, opposing a corrupt Pope, who martyred him (except in Walton's book, and unbeknownst to Savonarola himself, Savonarola is a demon who is sent back to Hell when he is martyred, then returned to 1492 Florence to start over again). Read the rest

    Luna: Moon Rising, in which Ian McDonald brings the trilogy to an astounding, intricate, exciting and satisfying climax

    Back in 2015, the incomparable Ian McDonald (previously) published Luna: New Moon, a kind of cross between Dallas and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, with warring clans scheme and fighting on a libertopian lunar colony where the only law is private contracts and you're charged for the very air you breathe; McDonald raised the stakes to impossible heights with the 2017 sequel Luna: Wolf Moon, and now, with the final volume, Luna: Moon Rising, McDonald proves that he despite the wild gyrations of his massive cast of characters and their intricate schemes, he never lost control. Read the rest

    LA! Come see me this Saturday at the Nebula Awards Conference, and next Thursday at Exposition Park Library!

    This Saturday, May 18, I'll be appearing at the Nebula Awards Conference, at the Marriott Warner Center in Woodland Hills: I'll be participating in the 1:30PM mass signing in the Grand Ballroom and then I'll be on the "Megatrends for the Near Future" panel at 4PM in A/B Salon. Read the rest

    The Training Commission: an email newsletter from the future, after a civil war and digital blackout

    "The Training Commission" is Ingrid Burrington and Brendan C Byrne's serialized science fiction tale, taking the form of an email newsletter that lets you eavesdrop on the correspondence between the story's principal characters: it's set after a civil war ("the Shitstorm"), sparked by misbehaving and easily abused machine-learning systems, and which was resolved after a protracted and catastrophic digital blackout. Read the rest

    Co-founder of Facebook calls for breakup of Facebook

    Chris Hughes co-founded Facebook with Mark Zukerberg, and describes Zuckerberg in warm terms as a friend, but in a long op-ed for the New York Times, Hughes calls for the breakup of Facebook and identifies Zuckerberg's shortsighted prioritization of "clicks" instead of "security and civility" for the platform's toxicity, blaming the company's unusual share structure (which gives Zuckerberg an absolute veto over all matters of company policy despite holding a minority of its shares) for a situation in which Zuckerberg is surrounded by yes-men who never check his worst impulses. Read the rest

    Houston! I'm at Comicpalooza all weekend!

    I'm one of the guests of honor at this weekend's Comicpalooza festival in Houston, Texas: in addition to my keynote and signing, you can catch me at panels on copyright, robots and AI, cyberpunk, copyright (again!). Read the rest

    Kickstarting "The Inverter," a backwards watch with a beautiful, exposed movement

    The Inverter is a kickstarted, sub-$500, 34mm automatic mechanical watch built around Citizen's Miyota Calibre 9000 movement, augmented with a custom module that makes the watch run backwards, so that it can be mounted so that the movement is exposed (beneath a sapphire crystal), with the back of the watch becoming its "face." Read the rest

    Why "collapse" (not "rot") is the way to think about software problems

    For decades, programmers have talked about the tendency of software to become less reliable over time as "rot," but Konrad Hinsen makes a compelling case that the right metaphor is "collapse," because the reason software degrades is that the ground underneath it (hardware, operating systems, libraries, programming languages) has shifted, like the earth moving under your house. Read the rest

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