Wells Fargo mistakenly forecloses on the wrong house, destroys elderly couple's entire lifetime's worth of possessions

Wells Fargo mistakenly foreclosed on a home that had no mortgage, sending in a crew to steal all and throw out all the elderly homeowners' belongings. Alvin Tjosaas helped his father build the family home in Twentynine Palms, CA when he was a teenager, and the couple raised their own children there. The Wells Fargo crew destroyed their entire lives' accumulation of personal possessions. Wells Fargo says it is "deeply sorry" and that it is "moving quickly to reach out to the family to resolve this unfortunate situation in an attempt to right this wrong."

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Alvin, a retired mason, built the home with his father when he was a teenager.

“I know every inch, every rock…my mom mixed all the cement by hand,” he said...

“My little kids (would) come out here and their dresses were the same color as the wildflowers,” said Alvin...

“When you put your heart into something…it makes me real sad. I’m just glad I have my sweetheart. We’ve been together a long time,” said Alvin.

Owners Lose Possessions After Home Near Twentynine Palms Is Mistakenly Foreclosed (via Reddit)

Internet video's robotic, idiotic copyright cops

On Wired, Geeta Dayal looks at the state of automated copyright enforcement video-bots, the mindless systems that shut down the Hugo awards livestream, took down NASA's own footage of the Curiosity landing, and interrupted the video from the DNC. Dayal examines the legal status and necessity for these bots (dubious); their ability to model copyright's full suite, including fair use (nonexistent); and the business reasons for deploying them (cowardly). She also looks at what's at stake when our ability to communicate with one another is suborned to the profit-maximization strategies of giant copyright holders.

“The companies that are selling these automated takedown systems are really going above and beyond the requirements set for them in the DMCA, and as a result are favoring the interests of a handful of legacy media operators over the free-speech interest of the public,” says Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The notice-and-takedown regime created by the DMCA allows copyright holders to send a written notice to an online hosting service when they find their copyright being violated. The online service can then escape legal liability by taking down the content fairly promptly, and the original poster has the opportunity to dispute the notice and have the content reinstated after two weeks.

But that regime breaks down for livestreaming. For one, if a valid copyright dispute notice is filed by a human, it’s unlikely that a livestream site would take it down before the event ends, nor, under the law, is it actually required to. On the flipside, if a stream is taken down, the user who posted it has no immediate recourse, and the viewership disappears.

The Algorithmic Copyright Cops: Streaming Video’s Robotic Overlords

Beer Slogans Quiz!

Twaggies presents another quiz, which on this occasion shall have you under the counter

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Glenn Greenwald replies to CNN's attempt to discredit story about compromised Bahrain coverage

Yesterday, I blogged Glenn Greenwald's Guardian story about CNN suppressing its own award-winning documentary on human rights abuses in Bahrain, which Greenwald linked to CNNi's commercial relationship with the ruling Bahraini regime. I was quickly contacted by two different PR flacks from CNN with a list of small, picky points it disputed about Greenwald's article, presented as though this constituted a thorough rebuttal. I immediately noticed that CNN's reps didn't dispute that the company had threatened to cut off Amber Lyon's severance payment if she continued to speak out on the issue, so I asked about it.

CNN's reps both told me they couldn't comment on "individual employees," which is awfully convenient. How nice for them that they can prepare and circulate a dossier that disconfirms minor elements of its critics' stories, but that it has some nebulous confidentiality code that prevents it from confirming the most damning claims made by those critics. Given that Lyon is no longer a CNN employee, and that she has divulged this threat, this feels more like an excuse than a reason. I certainly hope that CNN's own investigative journalists wouldn't accept such a pat evasion from the PR flacks that contact them.

Glenn Greenwald has published a thorough rebuttal to CNN's memo:

CNNi has nothing to say about the extensive financial dealings it has with the regime in Bahrain (what the article called "the tidal wave of CNNi's partnerships and associations with the regime in Bahrain, and the hagiography it has broadcast about it"). It has nothing to say about the repellent propaganda it produces for regimes which pay it. It has nothing to say about the Bahrain-praising sources whose vested interests with the regime are undisclosed by CNN. It provides no explanation whatsoever for its refusal to broadcast the iRevolution documentary. It does not deny that it threatened Lyon's severance payments and benefits if she spoke critically about CNNi's refusal. And it steadfastly ignores the concerns and complaints raised by its own long-time employees about its conduct.

In sum, CNNi's response does not deny, or even acknowledge, the crux of the reporting, and simply ignores the vast bulk of the facts revealed about its coverage of, and relationship with, the regime in Bahrain. Indeed, one searches its response in vain for any explanation to the central question which New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asked nine months ago:

Reply to response from CNNi

Shepard Fairey sentenced to probation

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Shepard Fairey was sentenced for two years' probation for tampering with evidence during his copyright battle with the Associated Press. From CNN:

"I accept full responsibility for violating the court's trust by tampering with evidence during my civil case with (The) Associated Press, which, after my admitting to engaging in this conduct, led to this criminal case by the Southern District of New York," Fairey said in a written statement. "I accept the judge's sentence and look forward to finally putting this episode behind me."

Federal prosecutors said Fairey, 42, lied about which AP image of Obama he used as inspiration for the posters, which were stamped with the words "Hope" and "Progress."

"Obama poster artist gets probation for evidence tampering"

US State department employee owes $3.3 million to escaped sex slave

"A Virginia federal judge awarded $3.3 million to a Yemeni woman who was enslaved by a State Department employee and repeatedly raped by that worker's husband." Fortunately for the State Department employee, Linda Howard, she is still employed as an IT manager there, so she will be able to pay the bill off on no time. Here's the complaint.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has a few choice words for a Maryland politician

In case you were wondering how some NFL players feel about marriage equality, Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings, is in support. Vocal support. Very vocal support. He also supports fellow player Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, who recently voiced his own support for marriage equality. Why? Because this November, there is a ballot initiative in the state of Maryland to legalize same-sex marriage, and Ayanbadejo thought his opinion might interest people in the state for whom he plays professional football. Well, one Maryland politician who does not support marriage equality, one Emmett C. Burns Jr., said that an NFL player expressing such an opinion "has no place" in the sport, and that team owners should "inhibit such expressions from [their] employees." Really. A politician -- a defender of the United States Constitution -- told a football team to "inhibit... expressions" by their players -- expressions that are explicitly allowed to be uninhibited by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Kluwe, writing in a guest post on Deadspin, was not pleased with Mr. Burns' request, and he has responded using some delightfully colorful language that may or may not include the word "cockmonster."

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Anthrax's Dan Spitz is now a master watchmaker

Hodinkee's John Reardon has a great profile on and interview with Dan Spitz, former Anthrax guitar hero who quit the music business to become a world-renowned, prize-winning watchmaker who hand-lathes his own replacement parts for antique watch restorations. Reardon quit his gig to spend more time with his family -- he has twin boys who have autism -- and to pursue his lifelong technical passions. He's hand-built his own workbench!

Funny story, actually. I was working as a watchmaker in Geneva and thinking I would never go back to music when Dave Mustaine from Megadeth called me and said “Dude, what are you doing? Stop messing with watches. You need to come back and start writing music again. You are one of the creators of our genre, thrash metal. You need to stop tinkering around with these million dollar toys and get back to music.” This lecture led to the end of my solitary confinement as a watchmaker. I looked down the bench and saw another watchmaker working on a crazy watch but obviously also headbanging. I walked over to him and saw that he was blasting Slayer. He was working on a multiple fly-back, jump hour, chrono, perpetual calendar, moon phase, tourbillon and he’s blasting Slayer! I looked at him and thought, “That’s it, I’m done. I’m going back to music.” In the end, most people in Switzerland are blasting while working on watches, anything from Barbra Streisand to Slayer.

My grandfather was a watchmaker, and I grew up playing with junk movements and parts. It's amazing to hear the story of someone so accomplished -- especially in a second career begun as an adult.

Interview: Meet Dan Spitz, Anthrax Guitarist Turned Master Watchmaker (via Kottke)

Rebel on Rebel: Rebel Wilson interviews a rapper version of herself

Bachelorette star Rebel Wilson did an interview for Bullett with Rebelicious, the British rapper who was hiding inside of her this whole time. I thought you might like to read something like that on a Friday afternoon. Respect. (via Rebel Wilson on Twitter)

Cartoon characters gone bad

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A botched bank robbery. From a men's adventure magazine. (Via X-Ray Delta One)

CC-licensed nerdy feature film breaks Kickstarter record

Ben sez, "Our feature film comedy about roleplaying gamers and collectible card games, The Gamers: Hands of Fate, is just finishing up a very successful campaign on Kickstarter [ed: $384,174 and rising at the time of writing] and we wouldn't be here without Boing Boing. Reading this site taught us how to go directly to the fans, stop worrying about piracy, and embrace a 'dandelion' distribution model. We are now just a few thousand away from becoming the most-funded film on Kickstarter to date, for a movie about gaming that will be released online for free under a Creative Commons license. Thank you for the many years of content and commentary that convinced us to go this direction, rather than getting stuck in Hollywood!" (Thanks, Ben!)

Google celebrates Star Trek's 46th anniversary with an interactive doodle!

Hey, Trekkies: Google has treated us all to a really fun, interactive doodle to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the network premiere of Star Trek! From today until tomorrow -- September 8, the actual air date in 1966 -- you will get to set your cursors to "stun" and maybe mess with a Redshirt (hint: the worried-looking one shaped like an "e") when you visit Google's main page and start clicking your way into a miniature episode featuring characters from the original series. (The hair on the O-Kirk is glorious, I tell you.) StarTrek.com has an interview with the doodle's creator (and Trekkie), Ryan Germick. Live long and prosper, Star Trek!

Celebrating 46 Years with a Google Doodle [StarTrek.com]

Earlimart - “97 Heart Attack” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 36: Earlimart - “97 Heart Attack” (MP3)

Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray make records as Earlimart and also help other artists make theirs. Aaron owns The Ship Recording Studio in LA, which evolved from a group of friends who liked to drink beer and play music to a place where artists from around the globe come to make records.

The studio employs the latest recording technology, but Aaron also likes to toy with old-school techniques.

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Gay war veteran talks to Mitt Romney


[Video Link] First posted in December, I just watched this excellent video of a Vietnam war veteran speaking with Mitt Romney about marriage equality. The vet was undecided about who to vote for before he spoke face-to-face with Romney, and by the end of the conversation he decided Romney's reprehensible homophobia made him unsuitable to be President.

The wet get wetter and the dry get drier

The other day, a reader asked why I call climate change "climate change", instead of "global warming". The short answer is that, from my perspective, climate change does a much better job of giving people an accurate mental picture of what is going on. Global warming sounds like the world is just going to get hotter, and while that's technically true on a global-average-temperature-basis, it doesn't really reflect what's happening locally.

And, frankly, what most people care about is the stuff that happens locally.

Today, Treehugger posted this NOAA video, which does a really good job of explaining one reason why a rising global average temperature can end up creating different climate change outcomes in different places. It's a great 4-minute primer on why "global warming" is more than just warming.

Via Chris Tackett