[Plura-list] Europe's interop coalition; Scarfolk beermats; Miami cop owns illegal mansion nightclub

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Mon Jul 6 11:01:08 EDT 2020

Today's links

* New podcast: Part nine of my reading of Someone Comes to Town, Someone
Leaves Town.

* Europe's interop coalition: DSA + Interop = Competition.

* Scarfolk beermats: Ministers' Stout Hubris and more.

* Miami cop owns illegal mansion nightclub: For some reason, the cops
didn't prevent the nightly Lamborghini races.

* Video and transcript of my OII talk: If you missed last week's "What
Big Tech does to discourse, and the forgotten tech tool that can make
tech less big."

* Shower temperature vs handle position: You're not imagining it.

* This day in history: 2005, 2010, 2015, 2019

* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming appearances, current writing
projects, current reading


🧔🏿 New podcast

The latest instalment of my podcast is live! It's part nine of my
serialized reading of my 2006 novel "Someone Comes to Town, Someone
Leaves Town," a book Gene Wolfe called "a glorious book unlike any book
you've ever read."


Here's the MP3:


Here's the previous instalments:


Here's the podcast feed:



🧔🏿 Europe's interop coalition

Last week, EFF published its principles for interoperability in the #EU,
timed for the debates over the new Digital Services Act, the first major
update to internet regulation in a generation.


It's a call for new rules that would allow EU firms - and coops,
nonprofits and tinkerers - to plug new products into the dominant,
US-based Big Tech platforms so Europeans can enjoy technological self
determination: the right to decide what tech you use and how you use it.

These principles include:

I. A general interoperability obligation

II. Delegatability

III. Limits to commercialization of data

IV. Privacy

V: Security

VI. Documentation and nondiscrimination

Now, a coalition of EU civil society orgs, entrepreneurs and SMEs have
sent a joint letter to the EU Commission setting out a plan to embody
these principles in new regulations.


Here's the letter:


"No longer confronted with the binary choice of either staying on
dominant platforms that do not serve their needs or losing access to
their social network, users will be able to choose freely the tools that
best respect their privacy, security, or accessibility preferences.
Interoperability rules will also be crucial to ensure a dynamic market
in which new entrants and innovative business models will have a fair
shot to convince users of their value. "


🧔🏿 Scarfolk beermats

The amazing thing about Scarfolk is how trenchant and darkly comic it
manages to be, across so many different modes. This week, it's beer-mats
that commemorate the UK's inadequate response to the pandemic and the
recklessnesss of its top officials.


To say nothing of the idiocy of re-opening bars where we expect people
to lower their inhibitions and impair their judgement while
simultaneously observing good pandemic countermeasures.

From "International Laughing Stock Lager" to "10 Downing Street Double
Standard" ("Downing It!"), the Scarfolk mats are compact satirical
masterpieces - so perfect that you could actually imagine someone from
the Real Ale world producing them.


🧔🏿 Miami cop owns illegal mansion nightclub

Neighbors on 89th St in Miami-Dade spent weeks complaining that a $2m
mansion on their street has been turned into an unlicensed nightclub
where hundreds of revelers are bused in, and, after paying a
cover-charge to a bouncer, party all night in close quarters.

Neighbors whose windows overlook the mansion's pool and gardens say
they've witnessed porno shoots and orgies, and, despite regular calls to
local police, the parties went on and on and on. Even the nightly
Lamborghini racing didn't trigger law enforcement.

The mansion is owned by an LLC - and, thanks to sleuthing by WSVN's
Brian Entin, we know that LLC is owned by a "Miami-Dade Police officer
and a retired Miami-Dade officer"


Entin interviewed the property manager, who claimed the neighbors were
just whining, and insisted that the Airbnb listing for the property
stipulated "no parties."

"Miami-Dade Police tell 7News they are aware that an officer and former
officer own the house."


🧔🏿 Video and transcript of my OII talk

Last week, I was delighted to give an online lecture and Q&A; for the
Oxford Internet Institute entitled "What Big Tech does to discourse, and
the forgotten tech tool that can make tech less big;" hosted by human
rights lawyer Ravi Naik.


Now, the Institute has put the talk online for anyone who missed the


And, thanks to Matt Arnold, we have a fulltext transcript:


Here's the talk precis:

It’s uncontroversial to say that our discourse is polarized, angry and
unproductive – and to say that Big Tech is to blame. But what is Big
Tech’s role in distorting discourse? Is it the use of machine learning
and surveillance data to manipulate people at scale? Or is it just plain
old monopolism, dressed up in a bunch of AI snakeoil repurposed from the
ad-tech industry’s self-serving brags about how good it is at convincing

The answer matters, because machine-learning mind-control rays are an
existential threat to human agency, while monopolies can be dismantled
using competition law — and what’s more, there’s a tried-and-true
competition tactics that is uniquely suited to dismantling tech
monopolies. Adversarial interoperability turns tech’s market power on
its head, allowing new market entrants to use incumbents’ own scale
against them.


🧔🏿 Shower temperature vs handle position

If you've ever scalded yourself after making a minor adjustment to your
shower-faucet, you may have been tempted to believe that there was
something perverse and evil about the whole system.

You were right.


As Redditor BRENNEJM's "Shower Temperature Compared to Handle Position"
graph shows, the relationship between the two is hard to predict and tune.

POLBATHIC (adj.) Gifted with ability to manipulate taps using only the

Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, "The Meaning of Liff."


🧔🏿 This day in history

#15yrsago Gibson on remix culture https://www.wired.com/2005/07/gibson-3/

#10yrsago Canadian musician-turned-MP challenges minister on new
copyright law https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2010/07/angus-letter-to-moore/

#10yrsago Parenting makes you miserable, but you think it makes you

#10yrsago W00t! sends Associated Press a bill for quoting its blog

#10yrsago GOP senate candidate uses copyright in attempt to censor
reprinting her previous campaign positions

#5yrsago Sandman Slim: Killing Pretty

#5yrsago Borges's widow threatens remixer with prison

#1yrago UK ISP Association, spies, censorship organsation jointly
condemn Mozilla for supporting secure DNS because it breaks UK internet
censorship rules

#1yrago Autonomous vehicles fooled by drones that project
too-quick-for-humans road-signs https://arxiv.org/pdf/1906.09765.pdf

#1yrago National Parks Service publishes hi-rez scans of Heinrich
Berann's iconic, panoramic paintings of America's parks

#1yrago Crisis for Bolsonaro's justice minister Sergio Moro after leaks
reveal that he targeted Lula for political prosecution

#1yrago The reporter on the NYT's Bernie Sanders beat consistently fails
to identify her sources as corporate lobbyists

#1yrago After Istanbul voters rejected Turkish strongman Erdogan, he
made them vote again -- and lost by the biggest landslide in 35 years

#1yrago Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for trafficking
dozens of young girls for sex

#1yrago Britain's US ambassador: Trump is "insecure, incompetent, inept"


🧔🏿 Colophon

Today's top sources: Fipi Lele, Naked Capitalism

Currently writing:

* My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and
reconciliation. Friday's progress: 535 words (34486 total).

Currently reading: Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 08)

Upcoming appearances:

* In Conversation with Hank Green, Jul 10,

"Working as Intended: Surveillance Capitalism is not a Rogue
Capitalism," Jul 21,

Upcoming books: "Poesy the Monster Slayer" (Jul 2020), a picture book
about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Pre-order here:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed
copy here:

"Attack Surface": The third Little Brother book, Oct 20, 2020.

"Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new
introduction by Edward Snowden:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies

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*When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla* -Joey "Accordion Guy"

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