My NPR colleague JJ Sutherland recently filed this story about how a quiet Detroit suburb took on a giant military contractor in a legal battle that involved a massive arms deal, British fighter jets, a Saudi prince and billions of dollars in payments to a longtime ambassador to the United States.
Harper Woods, Mich., has filed a lawsuit against a massive defense contractor, BAE Systems, over allegations that the company funneled payments to a member of the Saudi royal family.
In the process, this small city has become a central player in an investigation that spans continents, involves accusations of corruption on an unimaginable scale, and has players ranging from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to a substitute teacher.
Pictured above, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, the man Harper Woods, Mich., alleges BAE Systems paid $2 billion over a period of about 20 years to win a fighter-jet contract.
Link to text overview and audio, and documents related to a corporate ethics investigation of BAE.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]