One year ago today
Brit spies GCHQ harvest all undersea cable comms, all UK calls and data, share with 850,000+ NSA spooks and contractors: The GCHQ program, called Tempora, stores all submarine cable traffic and all domestic traffic (Internet packets and recordings of phone-calls) for 30 days, using NSA tools to sort and search it; the quid-pro-quo being that the NSA gets to access this data, too. The program is reportedly staffed by 300 GCHQ spies and 250 NSA spies, and the data produced by the taps is made available to 850,000 NSA employees and contractors. This is all carried out under the rubric of RIPA, the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, a UK electronic spying law passed by Tony Blair's Labour government.
Five years ago today
Roger Cohen in Tehran: "I don't know where this uprising is leading": The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. "I swear to God," he shouted at the protesters facing him, "I have children, I have a wife, I don't want to beat people. Please go home."
Ten years ago today
You are now required to give your name to police when asked to: Remember the Nevada Cowboy who was arrested for not showing his ID to the cops? He took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. He lost, in a 5-4 decision.
One year Coins painted as fictional characters: Andre Levy, a designer in Frankfurt, likes to paint coins. Five years Britain seeks ban on glass pint-glasses to prevent bar-brawl injuries: The British Home Office is looking for proposals to make it harder to attack people with pint-glasses, including a mandate that all pint sleeves be made […]
One year Soviet plane-spotting head-gear: Drakegoodman scanned this 1917-ish photo of Soviet planespotters in exotic headgear; according to a commenter, the binox are focused at infinity “so that when you found the source of the sound by turning your head, you could see the aircraft creating that sound.” Five years Ralph Lauren opens new outlet […]
One year Better way to organize kids’ clothing departments: Ever since our daughter’s birth, my wife Alice and I have found ourselves shopping the “boys” section of the department stores for things like pyjamas and tees and rubber boots, this being the only way to get stuff that isn’t pink, covered in glitter, hypersexualized (you […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]