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

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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

US Senate passes CISA, a very bad spying bill dressed up as a cybersecurity bill


CISA won't make you and I any more secure, and it threatens what's left of our online privacy. The very helpful sounding “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” will definitely help the government, though: it'll make it a lot easier for technology companies to share your personal data with the government, and everyone knows that this data never ends up in the wrong hands, so you're fine.

The gaping privacy flaws in CISA didn't stop the Senate from passing it by a wide margin today: 74 to 21. CISA now goes to a conference committee between House and Senate.

Here's the EFF's take, by Mark Jaycox:

CISA passed the Senate today in a 74-21 vote. The bill is fundamentally flawed due to its broad immunity clauses, vague definitions, and aggressive spying authorities. The bill now moves to a conference committee despite its inability to address problems that caused recent highly publicized computer data breaches, like unencrypted files, poor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links.

The conference committee between the House of Representatives and the Senate will determine the bill's final language. But no amount of changes in conference could fix the fact that CISA doesn't address the real cybersecurity problems that caused computer data breaches like Target and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Read the rest

Army dudes in yoga poses: now an article of commerce

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Yoga Joes started life as a wonderful, weird Kickstarter to produce a set of nine "Green Army Men" in yoga poses; having raised over $100K in direct sales at $20/set ($10 for military personnel) Brogamats is now selling them in retail channels at a $28 premium, for all nine: "headstand, meditation pose, cobra pose, warrior one, warrior two, child's pose, tree pose, crow pose, and downward-facing dog." (via Canopy) Read the rest

Help wanted: anti-terrorism intern for Disney


The job-posting has expired, so presumably The Walt Disney Company found an enthusiastic team player with "superior writing and research skills" and "effective use of the open source and the internet resources" with international experience and a BA in International Relations, Political Science, Global Security Studies, National Security or Regional/Cultural/Area Studies. Read the rest

Incredible winners of "Small World" microscope photography competition


This is the eye of a honey bee peppered with dandelion pollen, magnified at 120x.

The image, by Ralph Grimm, won Nikon's Small World 2015 Photomicrography Competition.

“In a way I feel as though this gives us a glimpse of the world through the eye of a bee,” says Grimm. “It’s a subject of great sculptural beauty, but also a warning- that we should stay connected to our planet, listen to the little creatures like bees, and find a way to protect the earth that we all call home.”

Below, the second, third, fourth, and fifth place winners.

Kristen Earle, Gabriel Billings, KC Huang & Justin Sonnenburg's "Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota (63x):"

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz's "Intake of a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), a freshwater carnivorous plant (100x):"

Daniel H. Miller & Ethan S. Sokol's "Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid (100x):"

Dr. Giorgio Seano & Dr. Rakesh J. Jain's "Live imaging of perfused vasculature in a mouse brain with glioblastoma:"

Read the rest

Volkswagen CEO: Dieselgate caused by Lynndie England "rogue engineers"; execs blameless


Remember Lynndie England, the 21-year-old low-ranking Army Specialist who, along with ten other low-ranking Army personnel, was determined to be responsible for years of systematic torture in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, thus letting the entire Army chain of command off the hook for any wrongdoing in one of the worst scandals of the unbelievably scandalous Iraq War? Read the rest

Botwars vs ad-tech: the origin story of universal surveillance on the Internet


Maciej Cegłowski's posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet's problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called "What Happens Next Will Amaze You." Read the rest

After OPM hack, CIA pulls agents from Beijing for their safety


22 million Americans' most compromising data (from fingerprints to criminal records to identities of family and lovers) was breached in the Office of Personnel Management hack, presumably by hackers working for the Chinese government. Read the rest

Playful, pacifist IEDs


Sculptor Petros Eftstathiadiadis makes these "pacifist bombs" as a commentary on the Greek political/economic situation, constructing them from materials chosen to seem absurd, playful and harmless. Despite that, a few of these look somewhat alarming to me, possibly because of Eftstathiadiadis's (admirable) lack of knowledge about antipersonnel weaponry -- the soap immediately makes me think of jellied gasoline, for example. Read the rest

Wired's recent “native ad” for Volkswagen vanishes as emissions scandal worsens


Volkswagen's sponsored content may be disappearing around the internet, but the stink about their emissions scandal ain't going anywhere just yet.

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Why biometrics suck, the Office of Personnel Management edition


The nation-state hackers who stole 5.6 million+ records of US government employees (cough China cough) also took 5.6 million+ fingerprints. But it's no problem: those people can just get new fingerprints and revoke their old ones right? Read the rest

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