2017 EFF Pioneer Award winners: Chelsea Manning, Mike Masnick and Annie Game

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Pioneer Awards, "which recognize leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier." They are whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Techdirt editor Mike Masnick and free expression defender Annie Game. Read the rest

Durham protesters turn themselves in at police station after pulling down Confederate statue

On Monday, anti-racist protesters in Durham, North Carolina pulled down a statue dedicated to the "unknown soldiers" who fought to defend slavery, which was adorned with "a seal engraved with ‘The Confederate States of America’" and the words, "In memory of the boys who wore gray." Read the rest

Hiding malware in boobytrapped replacement screens would undetectably compromise your mobile device

On the one hand, if you let an untrusted stranger install hardware in your electronic device, you're opening yourself up to all kinds of potential mischief; on the other hand, an estimated one in five smartphones has a cracked screen and the easiest, most efficient and cheapest way to get that fixed is to go to your corner repair-shop. Read the rest

Preserving electronics: vermin, leaky batteries, melting rubber, brittle plastics, dribbly capacitors, fungus and dust

Benji Edwards's guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets and roaches make their nests in old gear; and of course, dust gets everywhere. Read the rest

Google researchers reveal automated process for removing watermarks from stock images

Businesses like Adobe Stock use large, visible watermarks to deter copyright infringement; a new paper presented by Google Researchers to the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition shows that these watermarks can be reliably detected and undetectably erased by software. Read the rest

Mafia money-launderer listed his profession as "fraudster" with UK companies register

The UK is one of the easiest places in the world to set up a shady company, which is why accused Mafia money-launderer Antonio "Tonino the Blond" Righi set up his shell company Magnolia Fundaction UK with Britain's Companies House, giving an address in Soho. Read the rest

Transcripts from Martin Shkreli's jury-selection process

Before being convicted of felony securities fraud, smirking cartoon villain pharma-douche-bro Martin Shkreli had to be tried in front of a jury and this presented a unique problem because everyone hates Martin Shkreli, and thus more than 100 jurors were dismissed from the pool during pre-trial questioning. Here are some of the statements that led to those dismissals. Read the rest

Trump's Jewish team-members won't go public on his endorsement of neo-Nazis

Gary D Cohn is director of Trump's National Economic Council; Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury; Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and Ivanka Trump is Trump's daughter, who converted to Judiasm: not one of them has said anything in public about Trump's bizarre rant in which he said that not all the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were bad and some were "very fine people." Read the rest

Steve Bannon calls left-wing reporter out of the blue and unloads on alt-right and GOP

Robert Kuttner is a veteran left-wing reporter who writes for the left-leaning American Prospect; while he was on vacation, Steve Bannon's assistant tracked him down and asked him if he'd talk to Bannon. Read the rest

Homeopathic infant teething products contain dangerous levels of deadly nightshade

Homeolab USA is a Canadian company that makes "homeopathic" remedies for kids; in a warning letter sent to the company earlier this month, the US FTC warned the company that it had discovered dangerous levels of belladonna (AKA deadly nightshade) in its infant teething products, and advised the company that its manufacturing process was putting its customers' safety at risk. Read the rest

Texas Republicans will now require women to carry "rape insurance" if they need abortions

HB 214 signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott [R], bans abortion coverage from all public and private health insurance plans, and mandates that abortion insurance be sold as a separate product to women who are concerned that they'll need an abortion in future due to risks to their lives, unplanned pregnancies, unviable pregnancies, or rape-related pregnancies. Read the rest

Charlottesville white supremacist strips off uniform and insists it's just for lulz

CJ Hunt was at the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville when he spotted this young man in white supremacist uniform (white polo and khakis) running away from counterdemonstrators, then turning abruptly and stripping off while insisting that he was not really a Nazi and had just shown up for fun. Read the rest

Uncanny Japan: a podcast highlighting "all that is weird from old Japan"

Thersa Matsuura was born and raised in the USA but spent the past 25 years -- more than half her life -- living in a small Japanese fishing village with her husband and son. Read the rest

David Byrne: The secret appeal of technology is that it takes away the need to talk to people

Writing in MIT Tech Review, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne points out the secret and, in retrospect, obvious driving force behind tech: it reduces the often awkward and unreliable process of dealing with people, so you can buy music without asking friends for recommendations, take a cab without talking to a dispatcher, buy your groceries without speaking with a clerk, and get your money out of the bank without seeing a teller. Read the rest

Fox and other conservative sites hastily nuke posts urging vehicular murder of left-wing protesters

Last January, the alt-right website Daily Caller ran a post called "Here's A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road," in which drivers endangered the lives of protesters while Ludacris's "Move Bitch" played in the background: the post was syndicated to a Fox websites and many other outposts of the right-wing media. Read the rest

Kids who attend online charters perform like traditional students who miss the whole year

Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes released this study in 2015, comparing the outcomes for students enrolled in online charter schools with comparable students (controlled for grade level, gender, race/ethnicity, free lunch eligibility, English language status, special ed status and historical state achievement test scores) in brick-and-mortar classrooms. Read the rest

Billboards target neutracidal congresscreeps

Josh writes, "This morning Fight for the Future launched crowdfunded billboards targeting members of Congress who have publicly supported FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to gut net neutrality." Read the rest

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