Volkswagen's internal Dieselgate probe stuck because the company used code-words for its cheat software

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The internal Volkswagen investigators who are trying to figure out who knew what, when, about the company's illegal, lethal practice of programming its cars to cheat on emissions tests say they've been slowed down because the company assigned dozens of secret code-names to the software, such as "acoustic software." 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

UK Chancellor exempts families of "Politically Exposed Persons" from money laundering scrutiny

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George Osborne, the Tory chancellor of David Cameron's UK government, has amended the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill to exempt the families of "Politically Exposed Persons" -- Members of Parliament and other elites -- from money laundering investigations. Read the rest

Colorado school district wants to arm security staff with military-style rifles

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Richard Payne, director of Douglas County School District security, spent $12,000 on 10 Bushmaster semi-automatic long rifles that will be given to the district's in-school security guards. Read the rest

Kickstarting Tak, a new Cheapass Game based on Patrick Rothfuss's "Wise Man's Fear"

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Carol from Cheapass Games writes, "About a year ago, James Ernest started working with Patrick Rothfuss to make the game Tak a reality. Tak features in Patrick's novel, The Wise Man's Fear." Read the rest

Unseen Magic: tricks that make you want to perform

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Patrick Kun's Unseen Magic videos compile 5-10 second clips of beautifully executed magic tricks that combine manual dexterity with fabulous showmanship. Read the rest

Podcast explains the corrosive effects of tax havens

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Nicholas Shaxon, author of Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens (previously) appeared on The Foreign Desk podcast (MP3) this week to discuss the nature of tax havens, how they hollow out both their host countries and the countries whence their hidden riches comes. Read the rest

How to vote in the New York Democratic primary (please share!)

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The New York State Democratic primary is a "closed primary" that excludes anyone who isn't a registered Democrat from casting a ballot. Many people say they are registered Democrat but have been purged from the list, or had their affiliations changed to Republican or Independent. Some have posted images of what they say are forged signatures on voter registration cards. Read the rest

Ben and Jerry arrested at Democracy Spring demonstration in DC

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Thousand of people have pledged to face arrest at the Democracy Spring demonstrations in DC, whose mission is to eliminate the corrupting influence of big money on politics. Read the rest

Corporate opposition to LGBTQ discrimination laws shows the GOP alliance has shattered

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Since the late 1970s, the American conservative movement has been an uneasy -- and unstoppable -- alliance of big-business-friendly finance boosters and poor, evangelical Christians whose major issues were things like gay marriage, abortion, and forcing women into "traditional" gender roles, not taxation and "small government." Read the rest

Competing construction companies stage a bulldozer fight in a busy street

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In this video, we see a rare bulldozer duel between construction rivals in Xingtang county, Hebei province. Read the rest

Carrot sharpeners, a mere $3.77

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Why would you sharpen a carrot, I hear you asking? At $3.77, why wouldn't you? Read the rest

Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report: racism, corruption, and a "broken system"

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Chicago's Police Department are notorious: the force maintains a "black site" where prisoners are secretly held under fake names and tortured, uses political shenanigans to suppress information about corruption, sabotages their own dashcams, secretly operates illegal mass-surveillance equipment (bought with asset forfeiture money, natch), forces out internal investigators who do their jobs conscientiously, and don't get me started on the evils of the Illinois prison system! Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: 2016's first Ignite event, 4/26

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Brady Forrest writes, "Ignite SF's first event of 2016 is on 4/26. We've got lots of great speakers. Eva Galperin (EFF) is going to talk about the FBI, Apple & your iPhone. Renee Diresta is going to dive into conspiracy theories and how algorithms influence policy." Read the rest

Something New: frank, comedic, romantic memoir of a wedding in comic form

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Lucy Knisley is a favorite around these parts, a comics creator whose funny, insightful, acerbic and disarmingly frank memoirs in graphic novel form have won her accolades and admiration from across the field. With her latest book, Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride, Knisley invites us into her wedding, her love life, her relationship with her mother, and an adventure that's one part Martha Stewart, one part French farce comedy.

Bernie Sanders' secret weapon: indie rockers

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How do you get millennials to pack the house at your campaign rallies? Easy: all you have to do is win the hearts and minds of the nation's hottest indie rockers and they'll volunteer to be your opening act. Read the rest

No, tax-havens aren't good for society (duh)

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As the Panama Papers story unfolds and we learn more about the systematic world-scale corruption of offshore tax-havens, the usual suspects have mounted a charm-offensive top defend anonymous offshore bank accounts as critical to democracy and a check against the rise of fascism (no, really). Read the rest

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