[Plura-list] Muppet Hamilton; EFF celebrates its 30th (!) birthday with a full day of livestreams; Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Thu Jul 9 10:24:52 EDT 2020

Today's links

* Muppet Hamilton: Bork bork bork

* EFF celebrates its 30th (!) birthday with a full day of livestreams:
July 10!

* Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley: A graphic memoir for young adults.

* Cops are buying breach data: Why get a warrant when there are hackers?

* Rock dust vs climate change: Some good (preliminary) news about carbon

* This day in history: 2015, 2019

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


🏜 Muppet Hamilton

Sometimes you hear about a piece of online comedy and think, "Well,
that's a one-note gag. Sounds OK, but there's no way I'll sit through
the whole thing."

That's how I felt about Ricky Downes III's "Hamilton Act 1 but it's


Then I listened to it.

It turns out that *really* committing to the bit is the difference
between a one-note joke and a jaw-dropping 1:12:27 of absolutely
stunning, freakishly good, howl-with-laughterness.

If you doubt it, I challenge you to listen to the Swedish Chef as Samuel
Seabury in "Farmer Refuted." At first, you'll be like, "No, he doesn't
just go bork-bork-bork the whole time, does he?" and then it's like, "O.
M. F. G. He actually did it."



Alexander Hamilton - Kermit the Frog
Aaron Burr - The Great Gonzo
Eliza Schuyler - Miss Piggy
Marquis de LaFozette - Fozzie Bear
George Washington - Sam the Eagle
Angelica Schuyler - Camilla the Chicken
John Laurens - Beaker
Hercules Mulligan - Rowlf the Dog
King George III - Animal
Peggy Schuyler - Janice
Samuel Seabury - The Swedish Chef
Charles Lee - Elmo
Congressional Delegates - Floyd and Zoot
Crazy Patriot - Crazy Harry
Statler and Waldorf - Themselves

Downes has promised to release Act II on Jul 31 to coincide with the
Muppets debut on Disney+.


🏜 EFF celebrates its 30th (!) birthday with a full day of livestreams

It's incredible to think that EFF is now 30 years old (likewise
incredible to think that I've been to the 15th, 20th, and 25th birthday

Normally, we'd be having a blowout, maybe at the DNA Lounge, but of
course, it's a livestream instead, this Friday from 3-10PM Pacific.


In some ways, that's only fitting - after all, this is the year when we
went from having debates over whether everything we do involves the
internet to the rock-solid, terrifying certainty that everything we do
REQUIRES the internet.

There's never been a moment when EFF's work was more urgent, and there's
never been a time when the org was better prepared to do the work. When
I first got involved, EFF was 6 people working from home after getting
evicted during the dotcom bubble (I gave 'em office space!).

Now we're up to nearly 100 people, and we bought our building (thanks,
Humble Bundle!) and will never face eviction again.

We've really grown and grown up, and this Friday's blowout is a real

It kicks off at 3PM with "the premiere of a year-long series of
interactive Fireside Chats about the past, present and future of online
rights... special guests including digital freedom luminaries, figures
from EFF history, and even the pets that make up the net's backbone."

From 6PM on, it's "a special virtual edition of our annual Tech Trivia
where you can play along with a panel of special guests as we explore
the fascinating minutiae of digital security, online rights, and
Internet culture" (I'll be on this one!).



🏜 Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

Graphic novelist Lucy Knisley's memoirs are classics of the field -
drawn with the straightforward lines and character designs of Raina
Telgemeier, told with the wrenching pathos, nuance, comedy and
complexity of Lynda Barry.

In Stepping Stones, her first foray into YA literature, Knisley
fictionalizes her own girlhood, when, following her parents' divorce,
she and her mother moved from NYC to a remote farm, accompanied by her
mother's tone-deaf, bossy boyfriend.


Jen - the protagonist - is struggling with all of this: the divorce, the
dislocation, farm life, interpersonal struggles with her mom's
boyfriend. Then, to top it off, her mom's boyfriends' two daughters
start visiting on weekends, forcing her to deal with stepsisters, too.

But for all the humiliation, bitter fight, and alienation, there is
tenderness, friendship, accomplishment, beauty and wonder - adversity
met and overcome, triumphs seized, and, in the end, a wonderful, warm

I read this in four nights to my 12 year old and fought with her about
it - first because she didn't want me to stop, then because she sneakily
read the whole thing the next morning and insisted she didn't need to
hear it, and then because she didn't want me to stop again.

I was delighted to discover that this is the first volume in a planned
series. I can't wait for future volumes.


🏜 Cops are buying breach data

Nominally, Spycloud is in the business of helping businesses and
individuals prevent account takeovers, but the company has a
side-hustle: they collect huge amounts of stolen data that hackers have
obtained and sell it to cops.


This isn't just breach data that floats around on the public internet -
Spycloud boasts that it uses "sock puppets, alternate personas" to
infiltrate private hacker forums and obtain data, and what's more, it
uses cracking tools to turn encrypted hashes back into plaintext.

What do cops need breach data for? Well, if they want to do something
like associating an IP address with an identity, they would normally
have to get a warrant and request the data from an ISP.

But by buying stolen data from Spycloud, cops can violate this oversight
mechanism and act outside the law, with impunity, in the shadows, so
that wrongdoing, overreach, malicious activity and corruption can go


🏜 Rock dust vs climate change

Do you need some good news? Me too.

Here's some good news! A paper in Nature claims that spreading basalt
dust on fields will both rejuvenate degraded soil AND suck billions of
tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.




🏜 This day in history

#5yrsago A segway/strandbeest that's powered by a hand-drill

#5yrsago Pirate MEP's copyright reforms voted in by Europarl with "Right
of Panorama" intact

#5yrsago RIP, Caspar Bowden, tireless, brilliant, effective UK privacy

#5yrsago What horrible things did we learn about Hacking Team today?

#1yrago There's a particle accelerator in the Louvre's basement

#1yrago Podcast: Steering with the Windshield Wipers

#1yrago AI is like a magic trick: amazing until it goes wrong, then
revealed as a cheap and brittle effect

#1yrago Zoom has slow-walked a fix for a bug that allows randos to take
over your Mac's camera

#1yrago Hong Kong's beleaguered chief exec says the extradition bill is
"dead" but won't make it official

#1yrago Judge rules that EFF's DRM lawsuit can proceed!


🏜 Colophon

Today's top sources: Metafilter (https://www.metafilter.com/), Slashdot
(https://slashdot.org/), House of Secrets (https://twitter.com/hos_burbank).

Currently writing:

* My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and
reconciliation. Yesterday's progress: 521 words (36013 total).

Currently reading: Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 09)

Upcoming appearances:

* In Conversation with Hank Green, Jul 10,

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

Latest book:

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

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.

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

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