Boing Boing 

Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

Document reveals that U.S. military knows force-feeding Gitmo detainees violates medical ethics

Photo: Jason Leopold.


Photo: Jason Leopold.

VICE News FOIA'd the first disclosure by the US government that force-feeding war-on-terror detainees who are capable of making informed decisions about their own health is a violation of medical ethics and international law.

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This Bulldog can really sing

He may sing better than the humans on each side.

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Babies going through tunnels in cars reminds us of that scene from “2001”

That look of wonder on their pudgy little baby faces.

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We can't stop watching this oddly satisfying water force field

How does this work? Because fluid dynamics. Why is it so mesmerizing? Because magic.

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Cat and horse are best friends, and like to snuggle

You need this right now.

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How to make a laser-guided blowgun that shoots nail darts for less than $3

YouTube HOWTO guy Grant Thompson offers a swift little tutorial on how to make a surprisingly powerful laser assisted blowgun for under $3.

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Hair that looks like pixel-art: #xpresionpixel

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From the creative group X-Presion, #xpresionpixel: a hair coloring technique that creates a pixelated effect.

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When Nancy Grace rants against weed, she is the best crazy lady

The best thing to do is get really high, then watch this video of Nancy Grace going Full Nancy Grace against marijuana. #Pot2Blame?

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Google: We fought gag orders in U.S. Wikileaks query so we could tell Wikileaks about secret warrants

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One of Google's attorneys says the tech giant fought all gag orders from the government that prevented it from telling users their e-mails or other data were being sought by the U.S. in a long-running investigation of WikiLeaks.

Google claims to have challenged the government's secrecy orders on the search warrants from the start, and was only permitted by law to notify users when those orders were partly lifted, according to Perkins Coie partner Albert Gidari.

“From January 2011 to the present, Google has continued to fight to lift the gag orders on any legal process it has received on WikiLeaks,” he told the Washington Post. Perkins Coie's policy is to challenge all gag orders with indefinite time periods.

From the Washington Post report:

The tech firm’s challenges date to January 2011 and include an attempt to overturn gag orders accompanying search warrants issued in March 2012 for the e-mails of three WikiLeaks staff members, the attorney, Albert Gidari, said in an interview.

Google’s long battle to inform its customers about the warrants and court orders has been fought largely in secret because of the court-imposed gags, hampering its effort to counter the impression that it has not stood up for users’ privacy, Gidari said.

In the latest instance, the three WikiLeaks staff members revealed this week that Google notified them on Dec. 23 that their e-mails were the subject of search warrants — almost three years after the broad warrants were issued by a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

“We are astonished and disturbed that Google waited over two and a half years to notify its subscribers,” Michael Ratner, an attorney for the staff members, wrote in a letter Monday to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

"Google says it fought gag orders in WikiLeaks investigation" [washingtonpost.com via @FreedomofPress]

TV weather guy keeps his cool when temperatures on map show up freakishly high

One of the cardinal rules of live television is that you've gotta be able to roll with whatever happens.

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Nevermind what Silicon Valley thinks of women, what the hell is Newsweek thinking?

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Here is the cover of the new print edition of Newsweek.

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“Man can’t change climate,” only God can, says Senate chair of Environment & Public Works

For some very depressing reasons, this video clip from a recent U.S. Senate hearing is going viral. Senator James Inhofe believes the climate may be changing but that it has absolutely nothing to do with human activity like burning fossil fuels, because The Lord.

“Climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will,” Inhofe told the Senate last week.

"There's archeological evidence of that. There's biblical evidence of that. There's historic evidence of that."

"The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful, they can change climate. Man can't change climate."

Sen. Inhofe chairs the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

Comcast changes customer's name on bill to “Asshole Brown”

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Oh dear.

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How to leak news safely in the age of total digital surveillance

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A solid roundup of advice from Micah F. Lee for sources in the age of digital surveillance: here's how to leak to The Intercept, as safely as possible. Micah's a former EFF-er, currently of First Look Media (publishers of The Intercept), and he is also a board member of Freedom of the Press Foundation.

This publication was created in part as a platform for journalism arising from unauthorized disclosures by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Our founders and editors are strongly committed to publishing stories based on leaked material when that material is newsworthy and serves the public interest. So ever since The Intercept launched, our staff has tried to put the best technology in place to protect our sources. Our website has been protected with HTTPS encryption from the beginning. All of our journalists publish their PGP keys on their staff profiles so that readers can send them encrypted email. And we’ve been running a SecureDrop server, an open source whistleblower submission system, to make it simpler and more secure for anonymous sources to get in touch with us.

But caution is still advised to those who want to communicate with us without exposing their real-world identities.

What not to do, what to worry about, and how to actually go about leaking to the press when you don't want your real-world identity revealed. Good advice for the next Edward Snowden, who may be you.

"HOW TO LEAK TO THE INTERCEPT" [firstlook.org]

Despite Sen. Burr's scheming, the ACLU's still fighting to get the entire Senate torture report released

U.S. Army Military Police escort a detainee to his cell during in-processing to the temporary detention facility at Camp X-Ray in Naval Base Guantanamo Bay (Reuters)


U.S. Army Military Police escort a detainee to his cell during in-processing to the temporary detention facility at Camp X-Ray in Naval Base Guantanamo Bay (Reuters)

Josh Bell of the American Civil Liberties Union tells Boing Boing,

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Video of what it was like at a massive underground UK rave in 1994

New Year's Eve 1994, the Strictly Underground Rave, held at London's Wembley Stadium. Some 10,000 people attended.

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Red pandas get very excited about apples

These red pandas at a Japanese zoo are very, very interested in the apples and grapes their caretaker has brought them.

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Drone captures pod of dolphins surfing in unison

“Huge pods of bottlenose dolphins cruise the shoreline and surf the crystal clear turquoise waves.”

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Pet lizard greets man happily, like a dog would

This video is tripping me out hard.

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This drone's-eye video of Ireland's western coast is lovely.

“When land meets sea and nature and beauty collide, the result is a varied and majestic coastline, unique to the West of Ireland.”

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Fark founder and Boing Boing friend Drew Curtis is running for governor of Kentucky

We love Drew Curtis, and we love Fark.com.


We love Drew Curtis, and we love Fark.com.

If Drew Curtis of Fark wins the Kentucky governor's race, all of us at Boing Boing have agreed that we will move there.

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If you're a CIA employee it's ok to torture people, but talk to a reporter? Go to jail.

Jeffrey Sterling.


Jeffrey Sterling.

Dan Froomkin at The Intercept on the fate of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of espionage this week for talking to New York Times Reporter James Risen:

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Dumbass White House drone-crasher was drunk National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee

The drone that landed on the White House's South Lawn.  Photo: Secret Service


The drone that landed on the White House's South Lawn. Photo: Secret Service

So much derp here, we don't even know where to begin.

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Facebook censoring images of Tibetan monks who are self-immolating to protest China

Ethnic Tibetan women pray around the Labrang Monastery ahead of the Tibetan New Year which starts on Wednesday in Xiahe county

The nonprofit group International Campaign for Tibet will today deliver a petition to Facebook headquarters demanding that the company not censor images of Tibetan monks’ self-immolation.

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NASA's Dawn spacecraft captures clearest-ever image of “dwarf planet” Ceres

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NASA today announced that its Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever captured of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 km) from Ceres on Jan. 25, 2015. They represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become our first probe to visit a dwarf planet.

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GIFs of great black and white photographs morphing into color

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Classic images we know in black and white, transforming into color before our eyes.

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This Horse Raised By Spheres

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A beautiful and weird interactive art site.

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Barrett Brown: “If anyone needs me, I'll be in prison.”

Barrett Brown. Photo: Nikki Loehr.


Barrett Brown. Photo: Nikki Loehr.

“In addition to improvising a few extra lines in the course of my allocution that were not present in the written version, I didn’t deliver the line 'I think your Honor can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time,” writes Barrett Brown in an open letter to an editor at Dallas Magazine. Brown is a native of Texas, and his sentencing took place last week in a Dallas courtroom.

“I took that out because, by the time I delivered the allocution, it had become painfully obvious that he could do no such thing,” Brown writes.

“Frankly, I am not going to lie in court unless I am getting paid whatever these FBI agents are getting paid.”

Barrett Brown has been in prison since September 2012. On January 22, the security journalist was sentenced to a total of 63 months in prison, and ordered to pay $890,000 in "restitution."

"The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: If Anyone Needs Me, I’ll Be in Prison" [D magazine]

Previously on Boing Boing: "Barrett Brown’s sentence is unjust, but it may become the norm for journalists"

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Drone crashes at White House, exposing security weakness. This is why we can't have nice UAVs.

Quadcopter that crashed on the White House lawn. Photo via US Secret Service, via Jim Acosta's Twitter.


Quadcopter that crashed on the White House lawn. Photo via US Secret Service, via Jim Acosta's Twitter.

A recreational quadcopter flew over the White House lawn on Monday, exposing a security weakness at the compound that the Secret Service has spent years and many of our dollars studying--without arriving at a solution.

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Video proves this cat to be insane

Insane, or insanely cute? 7 pounds of adorable.

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