The NSA makes Watergate break-in look like kindergarten
Sep15

The NSA makes Watergate break-in look like kindergarten

The NSA and the British agency GCHQ have broken into Deutsche Telekom, according to der Spiegal. Their goal? Map the Internet. The initiative is called Treasure Map: [E]very single end device that is connected to the Internet somewhere in the world — every smartphone, tablet and computer — is to be made visible. The article continues: Because Netcologne is a regional provider, it would seem highly likely that the NSA or...

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Hurricane and earthquake hammer Baja Peninsula
Sep15

Hurricane and earthquake hammer Baja Peninsula

Hurricane Odile hit near Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula Sunday night. It was followed by a 5.3 earthquake further north, near San Felipe, Baja California, according to the WeatherChannel. Never seen the arch like this #cabo #cabosanlucas #baja #odile #hurricane #cat4 by landsendcharters pic.twitter.com/jM7v0avqQ5 — Los Cabos Mexico (@CabosNews) September 14, 2014 BREAKING: Hurricane #Odile has officially made landfall, the...

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Net Neutrality comments due Monday {!important}
Sep14

Net Neutrality comments due Monday {!important}

You may have noticed a spinning-wheel-of-death atop your browser last week while visiting Etsy, Kickstarter, Netflix, Reddit, Tumbler or any number of sites around the Internet. The web site owners were raising awareness of something known as network neutrality (which should really be called network discrimination). Comments on an FCC proposal to regulate how website and email traffic moves around the Internet within the United States...

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What justice? US attorneys go after conservative author
Sep12

What justice? US attorneys go after conservative author

Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10- to 16-month prison sentence for conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who has pled guilty to violating campaign finance law. D’Souza, 53, admitted in May to illegally reimbursing two “straw donors” who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the...

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History lesson: ‘so help me God’ did not come from the U.S. founders
Sep11

History lesson: ‘so help me God’ did not come from the U.S. founders

Neither did “one nation under God.” Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, has weighed in on the case of the U.S. Air Force sergeant who has been told he can’t re-enlist because he refuses to pledge “so help me God” as he swears to uphold the Constitution. According to Fischer: Military service should be reserved for genuine Americans – and genuine Americans, like the Founders, believe...

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Google accounts source of the latest “credential dump”
Sep11

Google accounts source of the latest “credential dump”

Ten years ago, Google launched gmail. Two years ago, gmail became the world’s largest email service. Today there are more than 425 million monthly users … and we learned that as many as 5 million accounts were leaked on a Russian website (along with passwords that may or may not be associated with the account). That’s about 1% of Google’s publicly announced accounts. And according to Google, less than 2% of...

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Full D.C. Court to revisit decision defunding ObamaCare (ACA) subsidies
Sep04

Full D.C. Court to revisit decision defunding ObamaCare (ACA) subsidies

The full D.C. appellate court will revisit a July ruling made by three of its judges (2-1) that defunded portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka ObamaCare). On July 22, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that federal exchanges could not issue tax subsidies to offset the cost health insurance. The decision overturned the lower court ruling. The same day, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled that...

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Rebuttal: The Dilemma Facing Social Conservatives
Sep02

Rebuttal: The Dilemma Facing Social Conservatives

At the risk of further promoting an absurd op-ed, I’m compelled to fashion my rebuttal into a TMV post, a rebuttal that I posted as a comment to a subsequent post but which is currently being held for moderation. And for the nth time, I’m struck by how many words it takes to provide evidence to counter sweeping generalizations. A follow up to my recent reflections on women and politics, this time focused on the shrill...

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Media erroneously put Siri on trial, which reveals deep personal tech footprints
Sep02

Media erroneously put Siri on trial, which reveals deep personal tech footprints

Although there were some outrageous (and false) claims made about technology in the Gainesville, Florida murder trial of Pedro Bravo this summer, there are also some byproducts of how we use our personal technology that should give us pause. The infamous erroneous claim Detective: Murder suspect asked Siri how to hide body http://t.co/PdR9F2CZEq pic.twitter.com/AhrlhCTtFW — WPXI (@WPXI) August 12, 2014 The claim in this tweet...

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Law enforcement officers in Washington state using cell tower simulator to sweep up data
Aug27

Law enforcement officers in Washington state using cell tower simulator to sweep up data

For the past six years, the Tacoma, WA Police Department has used “controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away,” according to the Tacoma News Tribune. One of the more chilling aspects of this story: Tacoma has a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI. Given that agreement, I suppose this is not surprising: Earlier this month,...

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Dear MSM: this was no accident, it was incompetence
Aug25

Dear MSM: this was no accident, it was incompetence

“We got a complaint of a vehicle matching your description and your license plate, waving a gun out the window.” Here’s the problem. The car identified by dispatch: “It’s going to be a beige or tan colored Toyota…” The car the Forney TX cops pulled over: red Nissan Maxima. There’s more: Dispatch: “Do you have a license plate on the Toyota?” Caller: “We can’t catch up with it....

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Law enforcement actions against journalists in Ferguson
Aug19

Law enforcement actions against journalists in Ferguson

On Saturday, August 10 at 12:01 p.m., 28-year-old Darren Wilson confronted 18-year-old Michael Brown. According to press reports, Brown was walking down the middle of a street; Wilson was in his police car. Reports conflict as to what happened next, but three minutes later Brown was dead, his body riddled from at least six gun shots. At Storify, I’ve begun chronicling reports of law enforcement officers arresting and harassing...

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Making sense of Ferguson
Aug18

Making sense of Ferguson

We’re on day eight since Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, MO. Sunday, a former New York forensic examiner reported that Brown had been shot at least six times, twice in the head. “In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times,’ ” said Dr. Baden, who retired from the state police in 2011. “Right now there is...

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The White House launches a digital consulting service for agencies, but what about culture change?
Aug12

The White House launches a digital consulting service for agencies, but what about culture change?

In announcing the new U.S. Digital Service (USDS), Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel told the Washington Post: “Think of this as [a team of] management consultants that helps you understand your gaps.” The Playbook is a next step for the digital president and a response to the HealthCare.gov disaster. There were gaping holes – not just gaps – related to both project management and testing in the...

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Comedy, substance abuse and depression: reflecting on Robin Williams’ life and death
Aug11

Comedy, substance abuse and depression: reflecting on Robin Williams’ life and death

I learned about Robin Williams, 63, the old-fashioned way. My husband walked in the house and announced, “The world is a sadder place today.” “Mom and dad just heard on the TV. Robin Williams has died.” From devastation to disbelief, colleagues and admirers of Robin Williams reflect on his death: http://t.co/zIRXOWMUqn — The Associated Press (@AP) August 12, 2014 A quick search of Twitter confirmed the...

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It’s not warming. It’s dying.
Aug08

It’s not warming. It’s dying.

According to Dezeen magazine, graphic designer Milton Glaser has launched an awareness campaign centered on global warming. Glaser created the iconic “I love NY” logo as well as a Smithsonian-featured ’60s image of Bob Dylan. “There is no more significant issue on earth than its survival,” Glaser told Dezeen. “The questions is, ‘how can anyone not be involved?’” In case you missed it:...

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Congress sides with consumers on cellphone unlocking bill
Jul28

Congress sides with consumers on cellphone unlocking bill

Almost eight years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office gave cellphone owners the right to unlock their cellphones. It had been illegal since the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which banned the “circumvention” of any copy protection mechanisms (Section 1201). This did not, however, mean that carriers honored the ruling. AT&T, for example, has been a notable laggard with regards to the iPhone. From April 2012 :...

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Political reporting and the statehouse: a disturbing report from Pew Research
Jul22

Political reporting and the statehouse: a disturbing report from Pew Research

It’s well-known that digital disruption has wrecked havoc on the nation’s newsrooms. What’s less documented is how that disruption has played out on specific types of news and in specific geographic areas. Pew Research Center has analyzed number of full-time reporters covering state politics in every state. Using population as the relational variable, they’ve identified which states have a high...

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White House press secretary criticizes anonymous sources, yet scheduled anonymous chat
Jul21

White House press secretary criticizes anonymous sources, yet scheduled anonymous chat

If you live in a glass house … be careful of the stones you throw .@PressSec condemns anonymous sources. Just arriving in email: White House invitation to reporters for call with anonymous admin officials. — Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) July 21, 2014 In the daily briefing Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest criticized a story that relied on anonymous critics of the Administration. An unnamed female reporter...

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Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors
Jul19

Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors

Updated and re-ordered, Saturday 2:00 p.m. Pacific Blood-letting in Redmond On Thursday, Microsoft told us they were laying off 14% of their full-time (blue badge) global workforce. Then Friday, an oh-by-the-way. Our contractors and vendors? Effective July 1, those folks are  limited to 18 months of access to Microsoft buildings and network. Then they have to take a six month minimum break. Wouldn’t you like to be a vendor...

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