A volunteer for Wikileaks was detained by officials Thursday while entering the country at Newark International Airport.
Jacob Appelbaum, noted for his work with the Tor online security project, was searched and "interrogated" for three hours before being released, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous.
Wikileaks, a clearing house for information submitted by whistleblowers, released a trove of "War Logs" last Sunday relating to the conflict in Afghanistan. Appelbaum delivered a keynote speech at the recent HOPE conference in Wikileaks chief Julian Assange's place, and gave an interview to Boing Boing about the content of the logs.
According to the source, Appelbaum was stopped by customs officials and spoken to for at least three hours by a team that included a U.S. Army investigator. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning was named last week as a possible Wikileaks source in relation to the classified logs.
Appelbaum's interviewers demanded that he decrypt his laptop and other computer equipment, the source said. After his refusal to do so, they confiscated it, including three cellphones. The laptop was returned, apparently because it contained no storage drive that investigators could examine. He was also asked about his role in Wikileaks and informed that he was under surveillance.
The FBI also asked to speak to Appelbaum earlier today in Las Vegas after his talk at the annual DEFCON hacker conference. Mr. Appelbaum, the source said, had an attorney present who declined the request on his behalf.
Appelbaum, reached Saturday afternoon, said he was unable to comment.
Update: CNET has more details of the detainment.
The New York Times reports that Army investigators expanding their inquiry into the Wikileaks document dump to include "friends and associates" who may have aided suspected leaker, Pfc. Bradley Manning. "Two civilians interviewed in recent weeks by the Army's criminal division said that investigators were focusing in part on a group of Private Manning's friends and acquaintances in Cambridge, Mass. Investigators, the civilians said, apparently believed that the friends, who include students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University, might have connections to WikiLeaks, which made the documents public."
When you show a naked little girl running away from a burning village, that is honesty. If you show that same little girl and say "this is what happens if we leave Vietnam", that is proganda, and it's a lie.
We're thrilled that everyone seems to be digging our new Submitterator! (More about the launch here.) Every day, folks are submitting a slew of wonderful links. Thank you! In fact, I browse it as if it's a group blog edited by a bunch of my most interesting friends that I haven't yet met. For those of you who missed the announcement earlier this week, the Submitterator is essentially a public submissions form. Every link you submit is shared with everyone else visiting the page. Vote 'em up or vote 'em down. We're keeping a keen eye on the Submitterator for front door posts and also getting a kick out of the stuff that doesn't end up here on the blog. We hope you are too! Got a link to share? Please submit to the Submitterator!
The Anti-Defamation League has announced its opposition to the building of an Islamic community center (or mosque, as CNN and others put it) in Manhattan, near ground zero. It accepts that the builders have every right to do so, but believes that they should not because its presence there will cause offense and pain.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain --unnecessarily -- and that is not right.
Perhaps the Anti-Defamation League could produce some helpful maps to delineate the areas in our cities where Muslims may live, work and pray without causing more pain.
The original statement was linked to here by others, but it's not currently available. Via CNN. Discussion: Tablet, Wonkette, and TPM.
According to the Weather Channel, this is the country's largest hail stone. It's 8 inches in diameter and weights approximately 2 pounds. It fell in Vivian, South Dakota, during a hailstorm that apparently left damage like that seen in the image above right. "Record breaking hail"
"empty home on Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis" by Andrew Ciscel via CC
OK, so I'm not an economist. But as a venture investor in early-stage medical and technology companies I read the usual financial articles that come across my screen and I see the same statistics everybody is seeing. I listen to Obama and I watch the TV shows where pundits argue with Congressmen about the wisdom of this or that particular tax or stimulus measure to restart our sick economy. I have nothing to say about this, no statistics of my own and no fancy theory, so instead of taking sides in this particular debate I keep looking for the things that are missing.
This Saturday in San Francisco, the largest bicycle-powered music festival in the world takes place in Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow and throughout the city. Bike powered? Think Gilligan's Island. In Golden Gate Park, more than a dozen bands will play through a 2000 watt pedal-powered audio system and a variety of crazy party caravans will travel through the streets during the day and night. All of the infrastructure for the event is haulable via bicycle and no cars or trucks will be involved in staging the festival. My family will be attending, and we're especially excited to see our favorite San Francisco singer/songwriter Diana Gameros. We first heard Diana perform solo at Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, a very old and excellent tiny restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District. At Roosevelt's, Diana mostly performs traditional Latin music but in her own modern, soulful, and passionate style. Diana's original music is enchanting indie pop infused with her strong Latin heritage. Check out Diana and her band at noon on Saturday or on her MySpace page. Diana's tune "Para Papa," listenable in her MySpace player, is one of my favorites.
I've posted previously about the Webb Gallery, an immensely interesting gallery in Waxahachie, Texas that specializes in outsider art and the artifacts of secret societies, and overflows with an incredible (dis)array of curiosities, from tramp art to circus sideshow banners. I discovered Webb Gallery and met the delightful proprietor, Bruce Webb, last year when he sold me an artwork by William S. Burroughs who had exhibited at the gallery right before his death. The Texas art site Glasstire has published Christina Patoski's photo tour of the Webb Gallery and Bruce and Julie Webb's equally odd living space above. Glass Houses 21: Julie and Bruce Webb
Via Submitterator, BB pal Marilyn Terrell shares with us the above photo of a magnificent elephant crossing a road between stone cottages in Scotland. Huh? This image is from Translocation, a new book by photographer George Logan, depicting African animals shooped into Logan's home of Scotland: a cheetah running beside a loch, water buffalo and celtic cross tombstones, and the like. National Geographic has a gallery of the photos. From NatGeo:
Logan, a gold medal winner at the Association of Photographers Awards, traveled to such locations as South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Botswana to photograph his subjects in their natural habitats before combining them with shots of his native Scotland, including the Isle of Skye. The idea for the book was inspired by Logan's own childhood fantasies of exotic animals being part of his familiar surroundings.
Last weekend*, I joined around 90,000 of my closest friends at the Twin Cities Flugtag in St. Paul. If you aren't familiar, Flugtag is an event that tests out the skyworthiness of home-built flying contraptions. For the most part, there's more of an emphasis on art and comedy than on effective engineering. Teams design their flying machines (and costumed skits) around a theme, they perform for the audience, and then push their craft off an elevated runway and (usually) directly into a major body of water below.
It's entertaining. I had a good time watching giant purple narwhals (narwhals!) and open caskets piloted by zombies crash into the Mississippi River. But what really made Flugtag post-worthy is the moment captured in the video above.
My husband called this before the flying even started. Walking around the "hangar" area, looking at the crafts before the show, he spotted what looked like an anorexic WW2 bomber on stilts. It wasn't the most elaborate craft. Or the most hilarious. But it was going to fly further than anything else, Baker predicted. Unlike some home-built aircraft, this thing actually had an airfoil.
Later, we found out that it also had controllable flaps. And a for-real-real pilot&mdashMajor Trouble, her band of Dirty Dixie drag queens took care of the entertainment portion—at the controls.
We'd already watched six or seven contraptions utterly fail to fly. We'd gotten used to a routine. The team pushes off. The team goes straight down. It is hard to describe the utter elation that swept the crowd when Major Trouble's plane came back up**. And flew. Really, truly flew. For a second, we all forgot that jet planes existed. For a second, we were all back at Kitty Hawk, in 1903, witnessing a previously unimagined miracle.
Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies flew 207 feet before ditching in the Mississippi. They broke—by 12 feet—a Flugtag flying record that had stood for 10 years. Everything happens in the Midwest. You are missing out.
*I meant to post this Monday. Somehow, I forgot. Whoops.
**Another thing it is hard to describe: The frustration that rippled through the crowd every time the RedBull announcers referred to the Mississippi River as "the ocean". This happened repeatedly. Guys, we get it, you're used to staging these things on the coast. But there's a freaking opposite bank, right over there. And the people on that side are rolling their eyes at you, too.
The good news: You're less likely to injure yourself while working out with Wii Fit than while working out at the gym. The bad news: The Wii is safer because you are doing less. "People tend to burn twice as many calories per minute doing an actual activity than when doing the same activity on the Wii."