Donald Trump still loves torture

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The New York Times indulged a bit of wishful thinking last week when it reported on Trump's surprise that his likely secretary of defense Marine Corps General James Mattis thought torture didn't work, suggesting that this meant that Trump would abandon his campaign promise to torture the shit out of anyone he didn't like, because if it's good enough for ISIS, it's good enough for Trump. Read the rest

A deep dive into kratom, the herb that helps with opioid withdrawal

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Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions -- it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions from members of Congress. Read the rest

Sanders and Warren issue joint statement slamming Trump's new finance industry alligator for his private DC swamp

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Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: "During the campaign, Donald Trump told the American people that he was going to change Washington by taking on Wall Street. Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury scretary, Steve Mnuchin, is just another Wall Street insider. That is not the type of change that Donald Trump promised to bring to Washington – that is hypocrisy at its worst. After his bank pocketed billions in taxpayer dollars from the bailout, Mnuchin moved on to make a fortune running another bank that aggressively foreclosed on families still reeling from the crisis. This pick makes clear that Donald Trump wants to cater to the same Wall Street executives that have hurt working families time and again." (Images: Bernie Sanders, AFGE/CC-BY; Elizabeth Warren, Tim Pierce/CC-BY) Read the rest

Trumpism in Gambia: "marbles" election sparks internet shutdown

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Deji writes, "Gambia is a small country but this story is pretty crazy. The president, who is seeking his 6th term, is using Trump rhetoric surrounding the 'rigging of elections.' People are voting by using marbles. Meanwhile, opposition activists and journalists have been arrested -- and the government STILL shut off the internet. It seems the president has lost his marbles." Read the rest

Behold, the short-lived, wonderful 19th century Waverley Type-Writer

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Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, "I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show." Read the rest

UK reports of webcam blackmail (sextortion, RATting, etc) more than double in 2016

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So far 864 people in the UK have reported instances of "webcam blackmail" to police in 2016, more than double the number of reported incidents in 2015. Read the rest

The hacker who took over San Francisco's Muni got hacked

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Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Light Rail system (the Muni) had to stop charging passengers to ride because a ransomware hacker had taken over its network and encrypted the drives of all of its servers. Read the rest

Virtual toilets reveal the souls of video-game companies

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People need toilets, or the poop starts piling up, so video games that are supposed to simulate human environments need toilets to attain willing suspension of disbelief. Read the rest

Projecting leaked NSA docs on the side of AT&T's windowless NYC spy-center

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Earlier this month, Henrik Moltke helped report the extent to which the massive, windowless, bombproof AT&T tower at 33 Thomas Street was implicated in illegal NSA surveillance of US and international communications, revealing that the tower was almost certainly the site referred to as TITANPOINTE in Snowden docs. Read the rest

The Internet Archive is putting a Trump-resistant mirror of the web in Canada

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The Internet Archive is augmenting its existing mirrors -- one in San Francisco, one in Amsterdam, one at the Library of Alexandria (that is: San Andreas fault, below sea level, military dictatorship) -- with a copy in Canada, on the premise that "lots of copies keep stuff safe." Read the rest

Good Comic Book Legal Defense Fund gear for #GivingTuesday

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Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund writes, "CBLDF is raising money to prepare for a busy 2017 this #GivingTuesday by offering exclusive Comics Are For Everybody merchandise created by Jordie Bellaire (@woahjordie) and Steven Finch (@fonografiks). Comics should be an art form that welcomes and encourages all voices and viewpoints. CBLDF's efforts to protect the First Amendment are essential in creating a climate ensuring that remains the case." Read the rest

NTP: the rebirth of ailing, failing core network infrastructure

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Network Time Protocol is how the computers you depend on know what time it is (this is critical to network operations, cryptography, and many other critical functions); NTP software was, until recently, stored in a proprietary format on a computer that no one had the password for (and which had not been updated in a decade), and maintained almost entirely by one person. Read the rest

The Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock designed a shoe whose profits will go to Planned Parenthood

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Vegan shoe company Keep's $97 Ramos midtop sneaker was designed by Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and will ship in February, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, a vital woman's health organization under sustained assault from Republicans, who use lies about the rare abortions the organization performs to enrage and focus its low-information base, without any regard for the millions of women who rely on PP for basic health services (and the much smaller number who use PP for abortion). Read the rest

As North Dakota governor orders "emergency evacuation" at Standing Rock, Water Protectors ask court for an injunction

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Jack Dalrymple, the Republican governor of North Dakota, has ordered an "emergency evacuation" on the unceded treaty lands owned by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, where protesters have endured potentially lethal, unconstitutional violence from law enforcement, including the use of water cannons as antipersonnel weapons in subzero temperatures and the use of tear-gas cannisters as projectiles fired into crowds of protesters. Read the rest

Uber is running scared of Juno, a NYC competitor that's kicking its ass

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Juno is a "driver-friendly" rideshare service that competes with Uber by paying its drivers more and giving drivers the ability to pick up a fare, get them to install the Juno app, and give them a discount. Read the rest

Trump is apparently still terrified about financial conflicts so now he's tweeting about flag-burning and CNN

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Last weekend, the New York Times published an outstanding, meticulously reported investigative story about Trump's financial conflicts of interest -- the sorts of things that could lead to forced divestiture, impeachment, or worse, triggering a tweetstorm from the president-elect about an imaginary, millions-strong cohort of fraudulent voters. Read the rest

Normal: Warren Ellis's story of futurists driven mad by staring into the abyss of tomorrow

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Last summer, Warren Ellis serialized a novel, "Normal," as a series of four novellas; today, they're collected in a single, short book that mainlines a month's worth of terrifying futuristic fiction in one go.

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