Hackers stole 101,000 taxpayers' logins/passwords from the IRS

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out

Amazingly, this is an improvement on last year, when hackers took 300,000 taxpayers' records from the IRS. Read the rest

American Sikh actor Waris Ahluwalia barred from US-bound flight because he refused to remove his turban


It's usually OK to wear a piece of fabric on your head, provided it's got a shape that doesn't frighten other domesticated primates. Unfortunately for Waris Ahluwalia, an Indian-American actor and designer, the piece of fabric on his head was in the shape of a turban, a shape that triggers acute panic in certain homo sapiens. As a result, Ahluwalia was prevented from boarding an Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to New York.

"This morning in Mexico City I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight to NYC because of my turban," he wrote on Instgram.

From The Guardian:

For Sikhs, wearing a turban symbolises commitment to the faith.

“[Taking the turban off] is not something that I would do in public,” Ahluwalia told the New York Daily News. “That’s akin to asking someone to take off their clothes.”

This morning in Mexico City I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight to NYC because of my turban. #FearisanOpportunitytoEducate #humanrights #dignity #lovenotfear

A photo posted by Waris Ahluwalia (@houseofwaris) on Feb 8, 2016 at 5:58am PST

Aeromexico made the following statement on their website:

Aeromexico is a global airline that has operations in countries around the world, which recognizes and is proud of the diversity of its passengers. Every day we work to ensure strict compliance with the highest safety standards, while we respect and value the culture and beliefs of our customers.

We apologize to Mr. Waris Ahluwalia for the bad experience he had with one of our security elements in addressing your flight to New York in the Mexico City International Airport.

Read the rest

NYPD arrest man for crashing drone into the Empire State Building


Seems the charges are "reckless endangerment and aviation in and over the city."


A New Jersey man was arrested on Thursday after a drone he was flying crashed into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City, police said.

The 29-year-old man was taken into custody after a small aircraft he was piloting struck the iconic building before coming to rest on the 35th floor on Thursday evening, the New York City Police Department said.

The man asked building security personnel for his drone back after they retrieved it, but instead they called authorities, a police spokesman said.

Read the rest

Error 53: Apple remotely bricks phones to punish customers for getting independent repairs


Iphone 6s that have been repaired by independent service centers are bricking themselves, seemingly permanently, with a cryptic message about "Error 53." Read the rest

#Blizzard2016: Big-ass winter storm hits East Coast with big snow predicted

People buy seafood at the Wharf as snow begins to fall in DC, Jan 22 2016. REUTERS

Washington, D.C., and New York City are under blizzard watches, and states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery winter storm now slamming the U.S. East Coast with snow.

A large winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic on Jan. 22 and 23 in a Jan. 20, 2016 NASA photo.

The storm threatens to dump nearly 3 feet of snow on the Middle Atlantic region, and slammed into Washington, D.C. this afternoon, threatening our nation's capital with record accumulations. The storm is now moving up the East Coast and causing all sorts of problems in New York, and throughout the region.

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Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection: 20 hours' worth of rarities, 12 books' worth of history

The Legacy Collection plunders the deepest depths of the Disney sound archive to collect, with unprecedented completeness, the audio histories of 11 classic animated films from each era of the Disney Studios, from Lady and the Tramp and Aristocats to Little Mermaid and the Lion King to Toy Story and Wreck-It Ralph, with one more CD devoted just to Disneyland. Each disc contains the full score of a film from opening to closing credits, unreleased rarities, and bonus material. Then there's the books.

Sepp Blatter banned from FIFA for 8 years


Hilariously corrupt soccer governing body FIFA has finally made a scapegoat of suspended president Sepp Blatter, banning him from the organization for 8 years. He is defiant, reports CNN, demanding to know what he was banned for.

It's for all the corruption, silly!

Blatter said he was being treated like a "punching ball" and maintained he was still the FIFA President and "a man of principles."

"I'm really sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I am still somewhere a punching ball," the 79-year-old said at a press conference at FIFA's former headquarters at Sonnenberg, Zurich.

"I'm sorry for me for, how I'm tainted in this world of humanitarian qualities," Blatter added.

Actor Tim Roth, who starred as Blatter in a gloriously mistimed and largely FIFA-funded biopic, said the film is awful and that he only did it to put his kids through college. United Passions is lowest-grossing film in U.S. history to receive a general release, according to Wikipedia. Read the rest

Look at this footage of the streets in Tokyo after WWII


Record producer and DJ Boogie Belgique assembled this crisp black-and-white footage of post-WWII Tokyo. The clips "take us for a ride down a shopping street in the Shinbashi district, past market stalls in Shibuya, alongside the river, and even into areas meant exclusively for the occupying American forces," says Colin Marshall at Open Culture.

I've been to Tokyo a half a dozen times and the city shown here is unrecognizable to me.

Rocket News 24 has a lot of interesting speculation about the footage (commenters say the film is second unit footage for the movie Tokyo Joe, which came out in November of 1949).

Some things you don’t typically see in modern-day Tokyo: people walking around in geta sandals, military personnel being transported around in trucks, and streets that aren’t completely filled with cars.

One thing that hasn’t changed: salarymen. One thing that has changed: their hats are much less badass nowadays.

Read the rest

Army decides to stop putting soldiers' Social Security numbers on their dog tags


In a major policy change that sounds like a Very Good Idea, the U.S. Army announced today that dog tags will no longer include the Social Security numbers of the soldier wearing them. SSNs have been part of this identification system for over 40 years.

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Unelectable Lindsey Graham throws caution to the wind


Now that Lindsey Graham is totally unelectable, he's decided to drop out of the "say the craziest thing I can think of" race and started a new one: the race to say things that are obviously true to everyone who's not trying to win the Tea Party, low-information-voter, religious fundamentalist vote. Read the rest

LAX to build terminal exclusively for celebrities and generic, boring rich people


Movie stars, pro athletes, and rich people will no longer have to suffer the company of their lessers at Los Angeles international airport. For about $1,500 to $1,800 the elite will be dropped off behind closed doors, away from aggressive paparazzi and slack-jawed gawkers. They'll be whisked through security check points and greeted by security personnel trained to pay proper respect to their betters. Instead of dining at Sbarro and Wetzels Pretzels like the schlubs in the dingy terminals, they'll nibble on gourmet meals prepared by dedicated catering teams. Once it's time to jet off to Biarritz and St Bart's, they'll be whisked by car to the waiting plane.

The Guardian has more:

The Los Angeles Suite is modelled on the Windsor Suite at London’s Heathrow, which was once reserved for the royal family and visiting heads of state and diplomatic visits but opened up to those with big wallets in 2008 after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) cut its funding. Now access is available for anyone for a minimum of £2,000.

The Heathrow VIP service offers personal shoppers to go out and brave the mayhem of duty free on behalf of guests and promises to take a firm approach with paparazzi. “Should we be aware of paparazzi at the airport or surrounding public areas, the airport team will request they cease and move on,” it says in its frequently asked questions.


Anton_Ivanov / Read the rest

Cop who unplugged his cam before killing a 19-year-old girl is rehired

Screen-Shot-2015-11-12-at-3.16.59-PM (1)

Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear was ordered to wear a body-camera after many of the city's residents complained about their encounters with him. Afterward, he routinely failed to plug in the camera. His camera was not running when he shot and killed a 19-year-old girl in 2014. Read the rest

The DoJ won't let anyone in the Executive Branch read the CIA Torture Report


The Senate's 6,700 page, $40M report on the CIA's participation in torture has apparently never been read by a single member of the Executive Branch of the US Government, because the Department of Justice has ordered them all to stay away from it. Read the rest

Killer cops charged with murder thanks to bodycam footage


Two Louisiana cops who killed a 6-year-old boy have been charged with murder after bodycam footage showed that his father had his hands up when they opened fire.

Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, were also charged with attempted murder after firing upon a vehicle at what Louisana State Police described as "the conclusion of a pursuit."

Jeremy Mardis was shot five times, according to the Avoyelles Parish coroner's office, and his father, Chris Few, was also critically injured.

Police have not yet released the footage.

The head of the Louisiana State Police earlier said that video of the shooting is one of the most disturbing things he's ever seen, CBS News' David Begnaud reported.

"This was not a threatening situation for the police," Mark Jeansonne, the attorney for Chris Few, told the Associated Press after a closed hearing for the marshals.

Few remained hospitalized, and he was unable to attend the family's funeral for his son, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.

Questions are also swirling about the claim of a pursuit, with CBS's Bergnaud describing the answers he's receiving as the strangest he's received in 15 years of reporting.

"That is one question I've been trying to ask for three days, and the answers I've been getting are some of the most bizarre I've ever gotten," Bergnaud said. "There was no warrant, there was no 911 call… there was nothing to indicate why these 2 officers moonlighting as deputy marshals at the time would have pulled over his man. Nothing to indicate why they would have turned on their lights in Marksville and pursued him down the dead-end road that led to the shooting."

Huffington Post reports that at least 18 rounds were fired into the vehicle. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning publishes a 129-page surveillance reform bill from her cell in Leavenworth


Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Imprisoned Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning has written a groundbreaking bill to reform the U.S. government's unpopular mass surveillance programs, starting by abolishing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court." Read the rest

Blackmail: Manila airport security's "bullet scam"


Filipino politicians have decried an alleged blackmail scheme by Manila airport security officers, who are said to drop bullets into passengers' luggage and then demand cash payouts to stay out of jail. Read the rest

Gorgeous book of paper airplanes collected by anthropologist Harry Smith


h Brian writes, "Avant-garde film maker and producer of the highly influential Anthology of American Folk Music series Harry Smith was also an avid collector of folk art. This book compiles some 251 paper airplanes Smith collected from off the streets of New York City, along with the date and location at which they were recovered. It's a really beautiful collection." Read the rest

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