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Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  

Online anti-harassment task force launched

Zoe Quinn, a game developer frequently targeted by Gamergate and other internet trolls, launched Crash Override, an anti-harassment site that will help victims get in touch with law enforcement, legal/threat monitoring and counseling services. Quinn and Lifschitz, who are currently funding the initiative themselves, hope that Crash Override will fill an important gap for people targeted by online abuse. As Quinn knows first-hand, it’s often difficult to find good advice about how to protect yourself from online harassment or know where to turn, especially when the responses from both Internet platforms and law enforcement tend to be either inadequate or nonexistent.

Play Zork on Twitter

Play classic adventure game Zork simply by tweeting at @zorkplay, by Tom Printy and John Biggs. You'll need patience and a map... zork-1-map

Cuban cigar ban over

BBC: New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba are to take effect on Friday, US officials say.

Marriot backs down on WiFi blocking

Glenn Fleishman: "They haven't withdrawn the petition, but they have backed way off publicly and in a follow-up FCC comment on their petition."

No Action Figures Please

This is a dramatic reading of "a memo sent from Scott Dadich to all WIRED employees in San Francisco, obtained by The Awl."
We all treasure our photos of loved ones. Mementos of personal accomplishment. I encourage you to proudly display a few small items at your desk because our workspace reflects who we are. It reflects our values. But how we treat our workplace is a manifestation of how seriously we take our work. When we stop caring for our shared spaces, we demonstrate a lack of respect for the space and for each other. When you leave stains on countertops, it’s disgusting for your colleagues and embarrassing for visitors.

How housewives configured with PERCEPTION ANALYZERS decide what music gets on the radio

Medium reposts Wired's 2008 article about the numbing levels of technical polish used to optimize pop music recordings.

Read the rest

Takedown archive Chilling Effects removes self from search engines

At copyright holders' behest, reports TorrentFreak: "strange coming from an organization that was founded to offer more transparency."

Snowmen are anti-Islamic, promote lust

A cleric in Saudi Arabia has forbidden the building of snowmen: "It is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism."

Egyptian men acquitted on "debauchery" charges

A group of men arrested at a bathhouse in Egypt, for the benefit of TV reporters filming the raid, have been acquitted in a sensational trial.
The case became known throughout Egypt because a television broadcaster named Mona Iraqi was filming when police dragged them naked from the bathhouse on Dec. 7. Iraqi claimed to have tipped police off to sexual activities inside the bathhouse, and she featured it in a program purporting to tell, “the whole story of the dens for spreading AIDS in Egypt,” on the three nights following the raid. This is the first time a trial court has ever acquitted men accused of homosexuality in a high-profile case, according to human rights activists in Cairo. Tarek el-Awady, one of the defense lawyers, said this was a huge boost for the rule of law in Egypt. Egyptian courts routinely make convictions based on police testimony even when evidence is flimsy, and this was proof that at least some courts are unwilling to rubber stamp their actions.

Gentleman has poo at bus stop

CCTV footage from the United Kingdom captured a man removing his trousers and having a poo in the cool glow of a bus stop: "Some people just don't respect the public transport service."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to publish Mycroft Holmes novel

N.B.A. All-Star Abdul-Jabbar has been a Sherlock fan for 40 years, reports the NYT's Alexandra Alter.

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Corrupt cop caught after driving Ferrari to work

_80128122_dodgy-cop-and-his-car Protip for bent officers: don't drive to your day job in $250,000 cars.

Ch Insp Martin Brennan said [Osman] Iqbal's "greed had been his downfall". The crooked policeman's double life as a gangster was unveiled as a result of his decision to drive the Ferrari to Kings Heath police station. Officers discovered Iqbal, from Ward End, had bank accounts for two non-existent businesses that were being used to launder "hundreds of thousands of pounds" from brothels in the Covent Garden and Marylebone areas of London.

Recall Goodfellas:

We See a new pink caddy convertible. The sticker is still 
in the window.

  FAT LOUIE
Is that beautiful? I got it for 
Dolores.

  JIMMY
(whispering angrily)
You fucking nuts? Didn't I say not 
to go buy anything for a while? 
You got a fucking car?

  FAT LOUIE
Don't get excited. It's okay. My 
mother bought it for us. It's a 
wedding present. It's in her name.

  JIMMY
You're crazy. The bulls are across 
the street. They're watching 
everything we do.

Punk band solves art crime

The BBC: "Members of punk band Stereo Fire Empire have found and returned a $250,000 (£166,000) painting hours after it was stolen from a New Orleans gallery."

Fourth-graders "plot teacher's death"

The nine- and ten-year-olds were overheard by others, ultimately foiling their "plan" to "put antibiotics around the classroom," where their allergic teacher might come into contact with them. The histrionic, terrorists-in-our-midst coverage of silly childrens' bullshit—"Another student seemed to indicate the plan to poison the teacher started with yet another student"—is the most dangerous thing about this.

Fox anchor wonders how we can identify bad guys if we don't know their skin color

Read the rest

Vegas-area brothel booms during CES

Nellie Bowles on the Unofficial Brothel of CES, which has mastered social media: "While it’s legal for the women to work at Sheri’s, it’s illegal to advertise... Many area brothels have been resistant to social media, which involves letting go of some brand control as the sex workers cultivate personal voices independent of the house."

Intel earmarks $300m for workplace diversity

Bravo, Intel! The chipmaker, after being spooked by adolescent misogynists into dropping ads at websites critical of gamer culture, is atoning in style: a $300m drive to support women and minorities in tech. Nick Wingfield:
Intel, which was caught off guard by the ensuing controversy over its actions, eventually resumed advertising on the site. Mr. Krzanich said he used the incident as an opportunity to think more deeply about the broader issue of diversity in the tech industry. The issue resonated with him personally. “I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” he said. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”

Man wearing "I have drugs" shirt arrested for having drugs

Florida. [WFTV]

Bigfoot family filmed

ht_arizona_sasquatch_float_lb_150105_16x9_992 ABC News: "Arizona Department of Transportation posted this photo of a street Facebook, Jan. 1, 2015, with the caption: 'We might have spotted a family of sasquatches on SR 260 near Heber this afternoon.'"

Councilman Kirby Delauter thinks journalists can't use his name without permission

Some communities don't pay much attention to who they elect. Check out this imbecile in Frederick County, Maryland, who threatened local journo Bethany Rodgers for using his name without permission.

Delauter

Here's the story he didn't want to be named in: Shreve raises staffing, parking concerns. Yes, it's incredibly dull! It's about parking spaces. Just the thing to humiliate yourself over, for the entertainment of an audience of millions.

Screenshot via.

Disco clam lures prey with toxic snot

The fleshy lips of Ctenoides ales "flash like a mirror ball" as it stalks the Indo-Pacific seabed. [via]

Former Reddit manager seeks caring and resourceful assholes

Erik Martin, Reddit's longtime general manager, recently left the site after years with the hardest job on the net ("appeasing a crowd that at some point got too big.") His new gig is helping everyday people deal with corporate bullshit.

The zen of building gaming PCs

This year, I'd like to write a lot more game reviews, so the task is upon me: build or buy a new gaming PC. Wasim Salman's article about "the ups and downs of building and owning computers that are more powerful than they need to be" has made me think I should probably just grab an Alienware Alpha and stop worrying.

Nearly 20 Percent of Dark-Web Visits Relate to Subjects Other Than Pedophilia, Study Finds

Wired: "Over 80 Percent Of Dark-Web Visits Relate to Pedophilia, Study Finds"

"Wheeled" dolphin looks like penis

"Yeah. That looks like a dolphin on wheels." [via]

Toddler shoots, kills woman in Walmart

In an Idaho Walmart, a 2-year old reached into a woman's purse, grabbed her concealed firearm, then shot and killed her.

Bizarre glitches in Mortal Kombat

This 30-minute compilation, created by gamers, is a lesson in how far one can go into the cracks of an already-batshit classic game in search of the deeply bizarre. [vis Digg]

"Anon" vs Iggy Azalea

After aiming a series of nasty remarks at a black artist, rapper Iggy Azalea was threatened with the release of a sex tape by Anonymous. But when it's just a random online creep with no established connection to hacking, activism or anything else associated with the amorphous collective, who is "Anonymous"?

United Airlines leaves caged dog in rain

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Remember: to airlines, your pet is nothing more than luggage

Microsoft developing new lightweight browser

It's called "Spartan," alleges ZDNet. "Microsoft may show off Spartan on January 21... But my sources also aren't sure if Spartan will be functional enough for inclusion in the Windows 10 January Technical Preview."