by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 22nd 2016 1:01pm
private internet access
from the the-super-early-holiday-sale dept
Though several of our Teespring offerings have been hits, none have quite matched the popularity of the original: Nerd Harder. But that was before we started experimenting with products beyond mere t-shirts, and so as part of our super-early holiday gear sale we've added options for hoodies for $35, mugs for $14 and stickers for $4 in black, gray and navy blue. So even if you already snagged a t-shirt the last time, it might be time to nerd even harder with some new gear. If you didn't — well, t-shirts are still available too.
by Leigh Beadon
Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 9:00am
from the cwf+rtb dept
Happy long weekend, Techdirters! We've got two big offers on the go — one that, like the summertime, is coming to an end, and one that just got started. As long-time readers know, we have a philosophy here called CwF+RtB: we connect with fans and then try to give them a reason to buy, and we owe a big thanks to all the fans who keep proving that it's a damn good philosophy indeed. We've actually been experimenting with some expansions to our traditional on-site advertising recently, but we've never much liked that world (thus our failure to follow most of the media's lead in getting angry about ad blockers, instead offering the ability to turn off ads on Techdirt if you so choose) and, unsurprisingly, we ran into plenty of problems right away: deceptive and clickbait-ish ads, technical problems that interfered with the site for some people, and the fact that both we and our readers have the well-trained ad-blindness of any internet native. So we quickly shut down those new programs, because we'd much rather focus on direct offers like these that give our readers a chance to support Techdirt and get something good in return.
First, I'm sure you've seen our latest line of t-shirts, hoodies and other gear: Copying Is Not Theft. It's the one that's been riling people up way more than we expected on Twitter and our Facebook page. Their ire over the message is matched only by the desire to buy the gear that said ire seems to inspire in others — which is a fancy way of saying that a lot of you snatched up a t-shirt after realizing just how controversial it was.
But, if you haven't gotten yours yet, time is running out! The Copying Is Not Theft campaign closes on Monday at 8:00pm PDT, and we won't be taking reservations after it ends (the shirt will come back some day, but we aren't setting a date and it might be a while). So hurry up and place your order before it's too late!
Next, we've got a brand new deal for Techdirt readers. I probably don't need to tell anyone reading this how important a VPN is if you're concerned about your privacy and security online, and that's why we've teamed up with Private Internet Access (one of the most popular and highest rated VPN providers out there) to offer a one-year subscription to the Techdirt Crystal Ball for free when you sign up for a VPN account.
The Techdirt Crystal Ball is a special members-only feature that lets you read, share and comment on upcoming Techdirt posts before they go public on the front page of the blog, giving you a glimpse into our internal editorial queue and letting you get the jump on the conversation:
Normally Crystal Ball access costs $15/year via our Insider Shop, but you can get a full year for free: just use our special affiliate link to sign up with Private Internet Access. We won't auto-renew the Crystal Ball subscription or force you to cancel to avoid being charged — after the year is up, it will expire automatically.
Once again, happy long weekend everyone! Thanks for checking out these offers and helping us grow our CwF+RtB philosophy instead of tangling with crappy ad networks. All the profit from these and everything we sell goes to supporting (and expanding!) our ongoing reporting — we couldn't do it without you.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 1st 2016 9:29am
from the join-us dept
We're more than a bit concerned about the direction copyright reform may be moving in, especially after the leaked European draft, and thus this Greenhouse Salon will be a gathering to not just discuss issues related to copyright reform, but to actively strategize on how best to both respond to the efforts that are currently underway, and take a much more long-term view on how to really reform copyright in a much more useful way -- one that isn't anti-public and anti-innovation, but which recognizes that there are ways to build policies that align the interests of content creators, the public and innovators together. The event, in partnership with Automattic (creators of Wordpress) and sponsored by Pinterest, will be held on September 12th at 6pm in San Francisco. It's what we consider a working event, where everyone will be expected to participate in discussion groups. The event is invite only (and we've already invited a bunch of great people to take part), but we're now opening it up for others to request an invite as well. We'll do our best to accommodate requests for invites, while maintaining our goal of keeping the overall attendance at a manageable number to ensure that the group can actually function and accomplish things, and to involve people who have something productive to contribute to the overall discussion.
If you're interested, please fill out the form to request an invite. We'll be having more Greenhouse Salons on other topics (and probably in other locations) in future months, so stay tuned...
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 28th 2016 1:11pm
from the don't-miss-it dept
And here's the important part: since we're doing this as a Teespring campaign, they're only available until August 1st and then the campaign ends (if there's enough demand, campaigns may reopen in the future, but there's no guarantee...). So get yours now.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 30th 2016 12:47pm
from the don't-miss-out dept
And, then, of course, we also have our second t-shirt campaign running as well, for our Home Cooking is Killing Restaurants parody of the old "hold taping is killing music" campaign. People seem to really like that shirt as well (and we also have it in hoodie version). That campaign is running through this coming Tuesday, but might as well buy both shirts in one shot.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 26th 2016 12:55pm
from the a-short-read... dept
Nerd Harder T-shirt.
In case you missed our original post, this T-shirt is a response to the increasing number of claims we've seen lately from non-tech people assuming that technology can do anything if those smart people out in Silicon Valley just put their minds to it. We've seen the FBI claim that if we just worked harder at it, we could build backdoored encryption that doesn't undermine encryption. And then we saw the copyright industry claim that if Silicon Valley can build a self-driving car, clearly it can build a system to block infringing material without destroying fair use. Computer security expert Matt Blaze rebutted this idea beautifully once by saying it's the equivalent of "we put a man on the moon, why can't we put a man on the sun?" demonstrating the fact that non-tech people don't seem to even remotely understand the relative differences between the things they're suggesting.
Julian Sanchez coined the term "nerd harder" as a short hand for this, and we thought that while it makes for terrible policy, it's a catchy T-shirt slogan. And a nice way to support Techdirt while getting a cool T-shirt at the same time.
It's only available until this Sunday, so don't miss out.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 24th 2016 10:39am
from the some-good-quotes! dept
If not, then perhaps some of what people who are already supporting us have had to say? Over on Beacon, many of the people backing our campaign have also left their comments on why they're supporting us, and it's quite a worthwhile read. I hope you'll take the time to skim through the comments there, but here are a few:
"So much misinformation and bad analogies about the idea of encryption leads to people changing the debate in dishonest ways. Mike has shown keen insight in getting it right and keying in on the heart of the matter." -Stephen MarshThere are many more comments as well, and I hope that you'll check them out... and support our campaign. Thanks!
"I am happy to support this project as I have seen what Techdirt was able to create with the Net Neutrality Battle project here on Beacon. I think having a similar style in reporting about encryption is hugely important for the future of the internet and all our digital devices which seem to have an ever increasing effect on our lives." - Christian Gelinek
"This is a complex and contentious topic, and I trust the team at Techdirt to help bring clarity to the discussion. Techdirt’s ability to cut through the BS and FUD is always welcome, too!" - Per Dutton
"Techdirt is one of the best journalism outlets I’ve ever seen for digital rights, free speech, and tech literacy. I’m a huge fan, and I’m eager to support it growing and reaching even more people." - Jon Jones
"Almost every story you write about matters. But even more importantly it is time to start taking our rights back from those who would give us 'safety and security.'" - Jason Meyer
"I'm fairly new to Techdirt, but already very much appreciate the types of issues you cover, the extent you cover them, and the insight/analysis you provide. Thank you." - Kevin T. McIntyre
"This topic sorely needs clarity and the kind of journalistic integrity that Techdirt consistently delivers on these kinds of issues." - Deb Nicholson
"Techdirt does crucial, substantive reporting on a number of issues and we should all support their work." - Charlie Hale
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 22nd 2016 9:34am
from the in-case-you-were-wondering dept
We've seen so much confusion and misinformation going around, that I thought it might be useful to create a short "explainer video" that shows why this is such a big deal, and why everyone should be supporting Apple, in this case, against the Justice Department (and against any legislation that requires backdoors). Please check it out and share it.
This is the kind of thing we'd like to do a lot more of, but it takes a fair bit of time to get ready. If you like this and would like to see us do more videos like this, please support our crowdfunding campaign that ends this week...
by Barry Eisler
Wed, Mar 9th 2016 12:38pm
from the if-he-says-it,-you-should-do-it... dept
When I want to quickly and thoroughly understand an emerging topic in intellectual property, privacy, or governmental overreach—whether as a concerned citizen, or as a novelist researching a story, or both—my first stop is Techdirt. It's not just that their coverage of these topics is so original and insightful—though it always is. It's also that their worldview is so refreshingly nonpartisan, by which I mean they not only don't care, but actually seem not to be aware, of what political, financial, or corporate interests their truth-telling might offend.
The government's current attempt to dragoon Apple into subverting the encryption that keeps its users' data private is a premier example. There is no more important issue facing our information-age society than encryption. If encryption is strong, we can have the same feeling of security about our online lives—what we say, who we associate with, where we go, what we're thinking, etc.—that we do in our physical lives.
If, on the other hand, the government succeeds in forcing Apple to weaken the mechanisms by which its customers keep their communications and information private, those new weaknesses will be exploitable not just by the American government, but also by America's adversaries—including online criminal groups and hackers. And we will have accepted a precedent by which the government can force a private company to divert its engineering efforts to government-ordered ends (pause for a moment to marvel that people who self-identify as "small government" conservatives actually want this to happen). It's hard to know which would be worse—the process, or the outcome.
In short: there's only one thing that might redress the increasing imbalance between what the government knows about us and what we know about the government: ubiquitous strong encryption. Laws are what the government shall not do. Encryption is what the government cannot do.
This is why the government is currently going to such drastic lengths to try to render encryption impotent. And naturally, it's relying on fear and ignorance to help get the job done.
I know of no better weapon against that fear and ignorance than Techdirt—a critical resource for clear thinking, accurate information, and evidence-based arguments fatal to propaganda. I hope you'll join me in supporting their ongoing efforts. After all, the various politicians all scrambling to become president aren't going to help us solve this mess. In fact, as Techdirt itself has chronicled, they're a huge part of the problem.