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United Nations reminds members including U.S. to not bomb hospitals and kill doctors please

Burnt vehicles in front of a hospital hit by airstrikes in rebel-held Aleppo. Reuters

The United Nations Security Council recently passed a resolution reminding members that intentional attacks on medical facilities are war crimes.

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Community college evicts daycare center to make room for Goldman Sachs

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Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo -- a former venture capitalist who invested state funds with hedge funds during her tenure as state treasurer -- invited Goldman Sachs to set up a partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island, then kicked out the college's daycare center to make room for Goldman staffers to work. Read the rest

That hospital we bombed in Afghanistan in 2015? Not a war crime, says Pentagon

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U.S. forces bombed a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Afghanistan last year, destroying it and killing and injuring scores of medical personnel and patients. But the air strike didn't amount to a war crime because it was caused by "unintentional human errors, process errors, and equipment failures," and “other factors,” U.S. military authorities said today.

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Riot Control Robot Unveiled in China Looks Ominously Like a 'Doctor Who' Dalek, May In Fact Be One

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“China's first intelligent security robot debuts in Chongqing,” reads the headline in the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People's Daily. The riot control robot has a name, “AnBot,” and it's freaking everyone out even more than your regular garden variety riot control robots because the damn thing looks like a Dalek from Doctor Who. And nothing good comes from a Dalek.

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Hackers take $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank by pwning its $10 second-hand routers

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The central bank of Bangladesh lost $81M in a digital heist whose perpetrators have not been caught, thanks in large part to the bank's decision to run its computers without a firewall, and to run networking with second-hand cheapie routers it sourced for $10 each. Read the rest

Why is Congress so clueless about tech? Because they fired all their experts 20 years ago

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It's been 21 years since the Republican Congress zeroed out the $20M budget of the Office of Technology Assessment, a casualty of Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" that deprived Congress of its principal source of technological expertise. Read the rest

Chinese opsec funnies: your foreign boyfriend is a western spy!

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In this Chinese government comic book, women are warned that mysterious foreign strangers who pitch woo at them are secretly Western spies trying to get at their government secrets. Read the rest

Convincing machine-generated Shakespearean sonnets on-demand

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Tristan Miller and Dave Morice created a website that produces highly-authentic Shakespearean sonnets. The trick: rather than randomly-generated Markov gobbledygook that evokes the flavor while crudely hitting the meter, each generated sonnet reuses whole lines from the body of Shakespeare's poetic work. The results are more convincing, at the cost of more commonplace repetition.

Writes Miller: "unlike some other poetry generators, this one ensures that the poems have the correct rhythm, rhyme scheme, and grammar. Dave first published the method for generating the poems back in 1991, but this is the first time it's been implemented on the Web." Read the rest

America's teachers are being trained in a harsh interrogation technique that produces false confessions

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The Reid Technique is the go-to method for coercing false confessions in America's police interrogation rooms, and now it's being taught to America's schoolteachers, just as schools are using "zero-tolerance" policies and on-site cops to re-characterize school discipline problems as criminal matters, creating a school-to-prison pipeline. Read the rest

CIA borrowed school bus for training, left explosive material on board while bus carried kids

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CIA personnel left “explosive training material” under the hood of a Loudoun County, Virginia school bus after performing training exercises using the school bus last week. That very same bus was then used to shuttle elementary and high school students to and from school on the following Monday and Tuesday with that explosive material still inside the engine compartment.

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Chelsea Manning gets the US Army to cough up its "insider threat" training docs

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Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning writes, "I filed my Freedom of Information Act request in 2014 for Training Material related to the Insider Threat Program. I had almost forgoten about it, when the package arrived in the mail. In it was this slideshow." Read the rest

Tiny satellite that spews out tinier sensors onto moon's surface

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In the late 2020s, NASA plans to send a probe to Jupiter's moon Europa to determine if there's oceanic life beneath its crust. Before then, Draper Laboratory hopes that its novel sensor system of CubeSats, satellites smaller than a shoebox, and postage-stamp size sensors, called ChipSats, could be the basis of a complementary $10 million mission to inform the big 2020 effort, expected to cost $2 billion. Draper's idea is that CubeSats could be delivered to Europa's orbit to identify areas on the moon with the thinnest ice. As data comes in about what's below, the CubeSats would then dump hundreds of the tiny ChipSats onto the moon's surface. Those ChipSats would then identify the best location for the later NASA probe to penetrate the surface. (Insert requisite "2010: Odyssey Two" reference here.) From Draper Laboratory, developers of the system:

Initial indications suggest that (ChipSats') small size and lack of moving parts may make them highly capable of surviving impact on a planetary surface without any dedicated protection system, (Draper researcher Brett) Streetman said. The low cost of ChipSats would enable scientists to use a large batch, reducing the consequences of losing some upon impact, he said.

Additionally, this capability could provide a quick-response solution for researchers who study events on Earth that are difficult to predict, and thus difficult to reach quickly with personnel and in-situ sensors, such as volcanic eruptions and algae blooms, said John West, who leads advanced concepts and technology development in Draper’s space systems group.

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Family: police high-fived after tasering our handcuffed relative to death

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Chase Alan Sherman experienced a psychiatric episode after taking the drug spice, that prompted his family to call the police and an ambulance. When sheriff's deputies from Coweta County, GA arrived, they subdued him by kneeling on his chest and, according to the family, handcuffed him, and then two deputies repeated tasered him until he went into "medical distress" and died. Read the rest

Disgruntled IS defector dumps full details of tens of thousands of jihadis

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Abu Hamed is a former Free Syrian Army fighter who defected to ISIS, where he served in their internal security forces; after a split with the organization, he stole a thumb-drive containing the induction questionnaires and personnel files of over 22,000 jihadi fighters who travelled from 51 countries to fight with ISIS. He has turned the files over to Sky News correspondent Stuart Ramsay. Read the rest

What a serious keysigning ceremony looks like

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In his excellent technical explainer about the Iphone decryption order, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Joseph Bonneau discusses the actual process of cryptographically signing a new release of a major piece of Internet infrastructure like IOS. Read the rest

Here are all of North Korea's new official slogans

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No less than 375 new slogans have been approved for use by authorities in North Korea, the backward hermit kingdom often-lampooned for its use of old-timey Communist-style wooden-language. Read the rest

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

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

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