Billionaire Peter Thiel secretly funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker (Report)

Peter Thiel [Reuters]
Why would billionaire Peter Thiel want to bankrupt Gawker? That's the question circulating today, after Forbes reported that Thiel secretly backed Hulk Hogan's high-profile lawsuit against Nick Denton's publishing empire.

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Smart-meter vendor says that if we know how their system works, the terrorists will win

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Phil Mocek filed a public records request to find out how Seattle's new smart meters -- supplied by Landis and Gyr -- will work. As Mocek writes, these meters are based on "unspecified and unverifiable sensors that monitor activity inside of private property and can communicate collected information in real-time to unspecified machines in remote locations, the workings of which are obscured from ratepayers, with interfaces used by [the city] that require specialized equipment and are thus completely unavailable to ratepayers for personal use or monitoring and verification of information communicated, is already shrouded in secrecy and seemingly proceeding despite repeated voicing of public concern and complete lack of public justification of expense." Read the rest

NRA threatens Iran with 'swamp folks' and 'gator' wrestlers in dis track

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) tells the "ayatollahs of Iran" to "listen up" to a new ultra-nationalist dis track featuring country music has-been Charlie Daniels.

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NASA telescopes spot clues for how Giant Black Holes formed so quickly

NASA Illustration of evidence that the direct collapse of a gas cloud produced supermassive black holes in the early Universe.
NASA today announced that astronomers studying data from NASA’s Great Observatories have found the best evidence yet for “cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.”

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EFF is hiring a software engineer!

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Forget "disrupting" some industry -- work at EFF and you can write code to make a better future for everyone! Read the rest

The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

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When you desire meaning, when you want things to line up, when looking for something specific, you tend to notice patterns everywhere, which leads you to ask the question, “What are the odds?” Usually, the odds are actually pretty good.

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Charity: “Give to the neediest on Red Nose Day”

On Thursday May 26, Red Nose Day will return for the second year. It’s all about giving to children to fight hunger, sickness, and homelessness.

In the video above, the most famous magician in the world, David Copperfield, has his own magical way of asking you to get involved.

There’s going to be a two-hour TV show on NBC that evening at 9 p.m. eastern time, 8 p.m. central time, brought to you by the folks who put together Comic Relief. The biggest stars in America are going to come together for your donations.

Learn more about it here, and see what even the smallest donations can do. Read the rest

The first volume of Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the tech world

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Injection by Warren Ellis (author), Jordie Bellaire (illustrator) and Declan Shalvey (illustrator) Image Comics 2015, 120 pages, 6.4 x 10 x 0.4 inches $7 Buy a copy on Amazon

Science meets folklore. It’s a theme that is pervasive throughout literature, from Frankenstein to Dracula to The Dragon Riders of Pern. And like its predecessors, the first volume of Injection also poses the question, what if these two things aren’t as different as we’d like to believe?

Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the modern century, combining the folklore used by its predecessors with new computers and communication systems. The story jumps backwards and forwards in time, telling the chronicle of five brilliant people with different backgrounds who came together and built an artificial consciousness to “make the 21st century more interesting.” As anyone who has seen The Matrix or Terminator films could tell you, this creation doesn’t do what the team was hoping it would. But instead of being straight science fiction, the novel joins science with the fantastic. The creation begins mimicking folklore, and the solution to defeating it seems to lie just as much in magic as it does in science.

The artwork is classically rendered graphic novel illustration, reminding me of the Hellboy series, or Sandman. What strikes me as the most interesting part of the pictures is the range of color used in them; the palette moves from dark greys and greens to brilliant oranges and reds, and some of the scenes are done in such a surreal manner you feel as though you’ve been transported to another plane altogether (which, truth be told, might just be the case). Read the rest

Fantastic psychedelic video for Kraftwerk's Autobahn (1979)

In 1979, Roger Mainwood, just out of the Royal College of Art, created this wonderfully trippy animation for Kraftwerk's "Autobahn." It was a commission from the band's record company but Kraftwerk had no input on the film, and Mainwood says he's unsure if they even saw it. The fan site KraftwerkOnline tracked down Mainwood and interviewed him about the film:

I've never actually had to explain in words exactly what it was all about. There was a lot of what you might call "psychedelic pop" imagery around at the time that to be honest never had a great deal of actual "meaning" to it at all, and I guess I was tapping into that. Thinking back to my thought processes at that time, I remember wanting to specifically not have conventional cars in the film. I wanted a sense of a repetitive journey, and alienation, which I took to be what the music was about,............hence the solitary futuristic figure, protected by large goggles, moving through and trying to connect with the journey he is taking. The automobile "monsters" are deliberately threatening ( I have never been a big fan of cars or motorways ! ) and when our "hero" tries to make human contact (with different coloured clones of himself) he can never do it. In the end he realises he is making the repetitive and circular journey alone but strides forward purposefully at the end as he did in the beginning . All of which sounds rather pretentious..........but I was a young thing in those days !

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Judge OKs potentially lethal lawsuit against the world's largest banks

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The biggest banks in the world have admitted to rigging LIBOR, a key interest rate that determines the value of trillions of dollars' worth of assets -- they paid billions in fines as a result. Read the rest

ChicoBags - reusable cloth bag packs into tiny bundle

I've been keeping a ChicoBag in my travel kit for about ten years. It's small enough that I could almost hide it in my fist. But when opened, it's large enough to carry a laptop and charger, or a beach towel and sunscreen, or a fair amount of groceries. It's made of polyester and can carry a lot of weight without bursting at the seams. It has handles. I've used it countless times. The bag has a sewn on pouch, so you can stuff the bag into the pouch, ouroboros-style. A four-pack costs $20 on Amazon. Read the rest

After the precariat, the unnecessariat: the humans who are superfluous to corporations

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The heroin epidemic in America has a death-toll comparable to the AIDS epidemic at its peak, but this time, there's no movement coalescing to argue for the lives of the economically sidelined, financially ruined dying thousands -- while the AIDS epidemic affected a real community of mutual support, the heroin epidemic specifically strikes down people whose communities are already gone. Read the rest

As mobile carriers ramp up bribery program, Internet coalition says no to "zero rating"

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"Zero rating" is a widely practiced business among mobile carriers: they solicit bribes from Internet companies in return for their services being exempted from the carriers' data-caps -- products from companies that pay the bribes can be used for free, while a billing meter ticks for every bit downloaded from their competitors. Read the rest

Grieving mom says 'dirty' police detective stole dead son's money after heroin overdose

Paul "Rodney" DePotter with his mother Penny DePotter.
A police detective in Rock Falls, Illinois has been arrested for stealing more than $1,700 in cash found on the body of a man who died of a heroin overdose. Detective Sgt. Veronica Jaramillo, 43, was taken into police custody on May 17, 2016 by Illinois State Police and charged with theft and official misconduct.

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Philippines' new "dictator" will give a hero's burial to Ferdinand Marcos

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Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Philippines: he ran on a promise to be a "dictator" and endorsed execution by vigilante death-squad as a way of combating crime; now he's announced that he will give a hero's burial to the embalmed corpse of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who committed mass-scale human rights abuses and embezzled $10B from the national treasury. Read the rest

Judge handcuffs public defender for speaking out in court

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen -- who is fighting a contested election this year -- put deputy public defender Zohra Bakhtary in handcuffs and made her sit with the criminals in the dock while he sentenced her client, who was unrepresented for the duration of the event. Read the rest

Nobel laureate spots Turkish banknote error

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The Turkish five lira note, issued in 2009, has a DNA helix. But Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar noticed that the note "shows a left-handed Z-DNA helix winding from left to right, when it should be the other way round." What Sancar doesn't know is that the monetary systems of the world are controlled by the lizard people, whose DNA is exactly like that depicted on the banknote. Read the rest

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