Curses! The birth of the bleep and modern American censorship
The Enlightenment sages who wrote the First Amendment into the US Constitution in 1791 created the most secure legal foundation for a real democracy in history thus far. By refusing to grant...
Raise the Crime Rate
From 1980 to 2007, the number of prisoners held in the United States quadrupled to 2.3 million, with an additional 5 million on probation or parole. What Ayn Rand once called the “freest, noblest country in the history of the world” is now the most incarcerated,and the second-most incarcerated count...
"After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women."
This is from 2012, but wow.Posted on 2013-08-31T21:26:05+0000
How Two Newspaper Reporters Helped Free an Innocent Man
Daniel Taylor didn't commit murder — and the author, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, proved it in The Chicago Tribune. But it took the justice system more than a decade to catch up.
"A check showed that, in fact, Daniel had been arrested for fighting in a park that night at about 6:45 p.m., and jail records showed he was released about 10 p.m. and the murders occurred at 8:43 p.m."
But he went to jail for 20 years.Posted on 2013-08-31T11:26:36+0000
What Colour are your bits? - Ansuz - mskala's home page
There's a classic adventure game called Paranoia which is set in an extremely repressive Utopian futuristic world run by The Computer, who is Your Friend. Looking at a recent LawMeme posting and related discussion, it occurred to me that the concept of colour-coded security clearances in Paranoia p...
Rejection, tragedy and billions of dollars - The story of FIFA
The biggest video game franchise in the world almost never happened. We jump back in time 20 years to unearth the true story of the first FIFA
"For this first game EA had to go without [licensing]. And so the dev team decided to put themselves in the game. Matt Webster went upfront for England. Joey Della-Savia was in the Italian squad. Assistant producer Marc Aubanel became a striker for French team."Posted on 2013-08-18T14:14:31+0000
Inman Twins, Doris Duke Heirs: The Poorest Rich Kids in the World | Culture News | Rolling Stone
Why did the heirs to one of the largest fortunes in America grow up horribly neglected and abused?
Of Wizards and Magical Machines
People want things to be cheaper and easier and faster than they are. That doesn't seem very extraordinary, does it? I mean, it's not really news. In fact, the opposite would be news--if people wan...
These articles [about developer shortages] are greatly amusing to me, partly because I have this romantic notion of characterizing my fruitless search for a $1.50 car as a “car shortage” and being called for comment by NYT reporters.Posted on 2013-08-18T12:25:43+0000
Has Carl June Found a Key to Fighting Cancer?
Walter Keller had nearly lost his battle with leukemia when he went to Penn's Carl June and his group of researchers for a radical new cancer treatment. What happened next may change medicine forever.
The College-Loan Scandal: Matt Taibbi on the Ripping Off of Young America | Politics News |...
The federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education - saddling a generation with crushing debts and inflating a bubble that could bring down the economy
"We're doing the worst thing people can do: lying to our young. Nobody, not even this president, who was swept to victory in large part by the raw enthusiasm of college kids, has the stones to tell the truth: that a lot of them will end up being pawns in a predatory con game designed to extract the equivalent of home-mortgage commitment from 17-year-olds dreaming of impossible careers as nautical archaeologists or orchestra conductors."Posted on 2013-08-16T17:19:08+0000
Freakonomics » Should Tipping Be Banned? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
Our latest podcast is called “Should Tipping Be Banned?” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
"Because Lynn has largely built his career around tipping, it came as a bit of a surprise when Stephen Dubner asked him what he would change about the practice:
LYNN: You know, I think I would outlaw it."Posted on 2013-08-10T12:27:13+0000
Are you having trouble writing tech-savvy dialogue for your latest screenplay? Worry not! at the press of a button, we'll provide you with the highest quality, Hollywood-grade technical jargon! Repeat as necessary to generate pages upon pages of techno-babble for the nerdy characters in your script:
BBC - Blogs - Adam Curtis - BUGGER
BUGGER The recent revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden were fascinating. But they - and all the reactions to them - had one enormous assumption at their heart. That the spies know what they are doing. But when you look at the history of MI5 the astonishing thing is they never seem to kno...
This was so long that even I almost gave up, but man is it amazing.
"The recent revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden were fascinating. But they - and all the reactions to them - had one enormous assumption at their heart.
That the spies know what they are doing."Posted on 2013-08-09T17:47:44+0000
Death of a ballplayer: Billy Dillon was about to sign a contract with the Detroit Tigers -- then...
Billy Dillon was about to sign a contract with the Detroit Tigers -- then he was wrongly convicted of murder and spent the next 27 years of his life in maximum security prison. Now he's free, and looking for his mission.
So why, then? Why did they go after Billy Dillon? Their own selfishness? Just to make themselves look good and keep their jobs?
"Not even that," Dillon says. "It was society's selfishness. They wanted a killer. They wanted the people they hired to do anything to get him."Posted on 2013-08-08T16:31:06+0000
Slashdot founder Rob Malda on why there won’t be another Hacker News
Rob Malda, the founder of Slashdot and now an employee at WaPo Labs, weighs in on the future of news and why nerds distrust authority.
What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part I: Why Small Choices Count
Integrity. It’s a quality every man worth his salt aspires to. It encompasses many of the best and most admirable traits in a man: honesty, uprightness, t
"What this means is that if you want to maintain your integrity, the best thing you can do is to never take that first dishonest step. No matter how small and inconsequential a choice may seem at the time, it may start you down a path that tarnishes your moral compass, leads you to commit more serious misdeeds, and causes you to compromise your fundamental principles."
Definitely looking forward to the next few parts in the series.Posted on 2013-08-07T16:27:27+0000
Schneier on Security: Restoring Trust in Government and the Internet
In July 2012, responding to allegations that the video-chat service Skype -- owned by Microsoft -- was changing its protocols to make it possible for the government to eavesdrop on users, Corporate Vice President Mark Gillett took to the company's blog to deny it.
"Since the Snowden documents became public, I have been receiving e-mails from people seeking advice on whom to trust. As a security and privacy expert, I'm expected to know which companies protect their users' privacy and which encryption programs the NSA can't break. The truth is, I have no idea. No one outside the classified government world does. I tell people that they have no choice but to decide whom they trust and to then trust them as a matter of faith. It's a lousy answer, but until our government starts down the path of regaining our trust, it's the only thing we can do."Posted on 2013-08-07T16:08:07+0000
One Second on the Internet
A visual display of the data being uploaded every second.
Sarah Stillman: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture
The basic principle behind asset forfeiture is appealing. It enables authorities to confiscate cash or property obtained through illicit means, and, in many states, funnel the proceeds directly into the fight against crime. But the system has also given rise to corruption and violations of civil lib...
Really long, equally horrifying.
"It involved, in Guillory’s analysis, “a government entity that enjoys the benefit of most doubts, and a D.A. who enjoyed the most gold-plated kind of immunity there is: absolute prosecutorial immunity.” That was why, he thinks, authorities in Tenaha had managed to keep their dirty work largely obscured from public view—“shitting in high cotton,” he calls it."Posted on 2013-08-05T20:54:58+0000
Xerox scanners/photocopiers randomly alter numbers in scanned documents · D. Kriesel
In this article I present in which way scanners / copiers of the Xerox WorkCentre Line randomly alter written numbers in pages that are scanned. This is not an OCR problem (as we switched off OCR on purpose), it is a lot worse – patches of the pixel data are randomly replaced in a very subtle and da...
The Factoring Dead: Preparing for the Cryptopocalypse
A talk at Black Hat USA 2013 discussing recent advances in academic research that imperils two critical algorithms upon which Internet trust rests: RSA and Diff
Sprites mods - Hard disk hacking - Intro
Apart from this article, I also gave a talk at OHM2013 about this subject. As soon as the video recordings made at that time are available, I'll link there.
Michael Lewis: Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?
With Sergey Aleynikov in prison for lifting computer code from Goldman Sachs, Michael Lewis convenes a private “jury” to determine what he actually did wrong.
Scientific Breakthrough Lets SnappyCam App Take 20 Full-Res Photos Per Second | TechCrunch
Your standard iPhone camera app is actually pretty slow, taking just three to six photos per second at 8 megapixels each. But with SnappyCam 3.0 you can shoot 20 full-resolution photos per second thanks to a breakthrough in discrete cosine transform JPG science by its inventor. 20 frames per secon..