LOVEINT: NSA spooks illegally stalking their romantic interests: LOVEINT is the NSA practice of stalking people you are romantically interested in, using the enormous, illegal spy apparatus that captures huge amounts of Americans' (and foreigners') Internet traffic. It is so widespread that it has its own slangy spook-name.
Highlights of the Inspector General's torture report: These are the atrocities whose architects and perpetrators Obama has refused to prosecute: threatening to murder a suspect's wife and children, threatening to rape a detainee's female relatives in front of him, beating prisoners, simulated execution, threats of execution, hanging suspects by their arms until interrogators believed their shoulders had dislocated, stepping on ankle-shackles to cause severe pain and injury. The IG reports that these detainees came into custody on the basis of "assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence" (e.g., random accusations from untrustworthy sources, such as grudge-bearing neighbors who turned them in for cash bounties), and the Obama administration has announced that it will continue the CIA's program of "extraordinary rendition" (kidnapping suspects and sending abroad to be tortured in other countries).
Appreciation for a forgotten typewriter: Examining my Olympia again, I'm struck by how powerfully its form and image embody and express the idea of writing, as does almost any typewriter.
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 […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]