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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.

Caturday

"Spike with the 56mm," a photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Benjamin G. Levy. "Spike obliges me while I test out the 56mm lens on the Fuji." Share your photos with us, if you'd like to maybe see 'em on the blog.

Tech companies could force NSA reform if they wanted to. Why haven't they?


President Obama at meeting with executives from leading tech companies at the White House in Washington December 17, 2013. Pictured are (L-R): Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Obama, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Pictured are (L-R): Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Obama, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque.

In a Guardian op-ed, Trevor Timm writes:

The CEOs of the major tech companies came out of the gate swinging 10 months ago, complaining loudly about how NSA surveillance has been destroying privacy and ruining their business. They still are. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently called the US a "threat" to the Internet, and Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, called some of the NSA tactics "outrageous" and potentially "illegal". They and their fellow Silicon Valley powerhouses – from Yahoo to Dropbox and Microsoft and Apple and more – formed a coalition calling for surveillance reform and had conversations with the White House. But for all their talk, the public has come away empty handed.

Read: Silicon Valley could force NSA reform, tomorrow. What's taking so long? [The Guardian. Trevor is executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, of which I am a proud board member.]

Appeals court overturns conviction of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer in iPad hacking case


Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, in 2012. Photo: pinguino.

Notorious hacker and troll weev was released from prison this evening. A federal appeals court today overturned his conviction in a case of significance for all security researchers.

Weev exposed a security flaw in AT&T's website and obtained the personal data of more than 100,000 iPad users. He was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Today's ruling says prosecutors did not have the right to charge him in a state where none of the alleged crimes occurred.

Read the rest

Boing Boing video collaborator Joe Sabia developing web video show for revamped CNN Headline News

Exciting news for Boing Boing pal and frequent Boing Boing video on Virgin America collaborator Joe Sabia: He's getting his very own show on CNN HLN! "Beyond the Like" is described as a half-hour series that "curates viral video moments and explores how the individuals behind extraordinary projects have made their mark online." CNN Headline News is revamping as a news channel for "the social media generation." And in related news, CNN is retooling under new boss Jeff Zucker.

LA Sheriffs launch crowdsourced crowd control: LEEDIR, a surveillance app that uses your photos and videos



A monitor displaying videos and photos uploaded to LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository) on April 10, 2014. The app that allows civilians to upload material to law enforcement after a disaster or emergency. Erika Aguilar, KPCC

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department today unveiled a software program that allows US law enforcement agencies who adopt it to solicit and gather videos and photos of "emergency events" from the public.

Under the leadership of disgraced former LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, the department is said to have conceptualized the web service and smartphone app, which was built by Citizen Global with Amazon. It's called LEEDIR, an acronym for Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository. Citizen Global brands it as "public safety through crowdsourcing."

In today's announcement, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and the Boston Marathon bombings were mentioned as scenarios in which LEEDIR could help law enforcement respond to disasters or large-scale public security threats. One might also imagine large citizen protests like Occupy Wall Street being the focus of such crowdsourced surveillance.

Read the rest

Dropbox responds to "Drop Dropbox" campaign after Condoleezza Rice joins board

Nothing to see here, move along, says Dropbox. Xeni 27

White Rabbit

shoop: XJ

US to Angela Merkel: no, you can't see your NSA file but we promise we aren't spying on you anymore


Photo: Reuters

The US is refusing to allow German chancellor Angela Merkel to see her NSA file, or obtain any answers to questions from Germany about US surveillance activities involving the European leader's communications. She is due to visit Washington and meet Barack Obama in three weeks. It will be her first visit to the American capital since documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the NSA had been spying on her phone. theguardian.com.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras enter the US for first time since Snowden leaks

A first since they began reporting on the material leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, landing in the United States. There have been concerns that the US might detain them if they entered the country.

(Disclosure: I'm on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation with all three)

Wal-Mart to launch price war on "Expensive Organic Food"

Wal-Mart "has struck a deal with Wild Oats to launch 100 mostly organic products that will be priced 25% cheaper than national brands." [WSJ] Xeni 96

Flashing your headlights to tip off other drivers to cops now officially free speech in Oregon

In Oregon, a judge has ruled that a truck driver who flashed his headlights to warn another truck driver that Old Smokey had them ears on and was hot on the trail is totally free speech.

"The citation was clearly given to punish the Defendant for that expression," the judge wrote. "The government certainly can and should enforce the traffic laws for the safety of all drivers on the road. However, the government cannot enforce the traffic laws, or any other laws, to punish drivers for their expressive conduct."

The state of vintage contemporary hipster fashion in Africa, according to a Namibian style guru

This is Africa interviews Namibian designer and trendsetter Loux the Vintage Guru on contemporary African fashion trends that involve "black hipsters in tweed jackets and round spectacles, trilby hats, Oversize coats," and a wide array of vintage style. A wonderful interview with some really knockout photos, and a mini-documentary on African "sapeurs." [Photos: Harness Hamese and Lukas Amakali for This is Africa]

Awesomely bad Bollywood musical number and Kraftwerk ripoff: 'Yoga' (1983)

Where to begin. This is my kind of yoga. Video Link. From the 1983 film HAADSAA. [HT: Carl Hamm]

LA sheriffs shoot, kill Tosh.0 production assistant who was helping friends attacked by man with knife


At left, John Winkler, who was shot to death by a Sheriff's Deputy in West Hollywood on Monday. At right, Alexander McDonald, the suspect charged in the case with holding Winkler's friends against their will and attacking them with a knife.

In West Hollywood on Monday, 30 year old aspiring television production worker John Winkler was mistaken for a stabbing suspect, and shot to death by a deputy as he fled an apartment where friends were being held against their will and attacked by a knife-wielding man. From the Los Angeles Times, on Winkler's death:
In fact, he was one of three hostages being held inside an apartment by a man with a knife. Winkler was shot in the chest when he rushed out of the apartment with one of the other victims, sheriff's officials said in a statement.

“The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out,” the statement said. “He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim. Both ran directly at the deputies.”

Three deputies fired at Winkler. He was shot once and died at a local hospital. The other victim was also shot in the leg, officials said.

"Winkler moved to West Hollywood from Washington state six months ago to pursue a career in entertainment," reports the Times. He had recently landed a temporary contract gig as aproduction assistant on the Comedy Central web-clip show Tosh.0.

Steve Jurvetson scores a Mercury spacesuit at auction

"Whoa, I just won a Mercury space suit," says Steve Jurvetson, VC, photographer, and space history collector. "The iconic silver wardrobe of our dreams and the first American astronauts. Still a bit in speechless awe."

Our Pesco wrote about this very auction, here on Boing Boing earlier this week.