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: email@example.com.
Ríos Montt testifying in his defense in Guatemala City, May 2013. Photo: Xeni Jardin.
Late-breaking news from Guatemala City: Impunity reigns in Guatemala tonight.
The Constitutional Court, the highest court in Guatemala (like the US Supreme Court), has just voted to annul the proceedings in the Rios Montt genocide trial from April 19th onward. That was the date on which the trial was temporarily suspended, when defense attorneys initiated a conflict between courts over which judge should oversee the case.
On May 10, Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to 80 years in prison. That verdict and sentence were today thrown out by the Constitutional Court.
Three Constitutional Court judges voted in favor of the annulment. Two voted against. The court today also upheld the not-guilty verdict in the case of Rios Montt's former head of intelligence (the director of the notorious G-2 unit), José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez.
Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post: "Chinese hackers who breached Google’s servers several years ago gained access to a sensitive database with years’ worth of information about U.S. surveillance targets, according to current and former government officials." The hack was reportedly intended to root out the identities of Chinese intel operatives in the US believed to be under surveillance by the US. — Xeni
Microsoft-owned Skype regularly scans the contents of Skype messages for signs of fraud, according to an Ars Technica report, and company managers may log the results indefinitely. If true, that means the belief that Skype offers end-to-end encryption under the communicator's control is false. — Xeni
A powerful tornado struck a suburb of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma over the past few hours. Roofs were torn from buildings, homes leveled, and entire neighborhoods flattened. The number of dead and injured is not yet known.
At least one school was in the tornado's devastation zone in Moore, Oklahoma. Lance West, a reporter for CNN affiliate KFOR, says there were people pulling students from a classroom at an elementary school heavily damaged by the tornado. There were no immediate reports on the condition of the children.
"Our worst fears are becoming realized this afternoon," Bill Bunting, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center, told CNN.
"Even as Apple became the nation’s most profitable technology company, it avoided billions in taxes in the United States and around the world through a web of subsidiaries so complex it spanned continents and surprised experts, a Congressional investigation has found." An extensive investigation in the New York Times today. — Xeni
I first became a fan of his work by way of the great late-'70s, early '80s L.A. punk band X. Manzarek co-produced their four earliest albums, the first of which was one of the very first vinyl punk records I owned.
Below, an excerpt from X: The Unheard Music. Below that, three episodes from a wonderful series of monologues by Manzarek about his life and work by L Studio Presents.
American astronaut Sally Ride monitors control panels from the pilot's chair on the flight deck in 1983. Photo by Apic/Getty Images, via PBS NewsHour.
Tonight, PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien will serve as master of ceremonies in a Kennedy Center gala honoring the life and legacy of astronaut Sally Ride. The tribute will highlight her impact on the space program and her lifelong commitment to promoting youth science literacy.
Trevor Timm at a Freedom of the Press Foundation writes: "Last night, the Washington Post reported on a little known leak case involving former State Department official Stephen Kim. In an alarming new extreme, the Justice Department and FBI finger argue there's "probable cause to believe" Fox News reporter James Rosen "has committed or is committing a violation of [the Espionage Act], as an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" by soliciting information from Kim for a story. While Rosen remains unindicted, the consequences of this argument are breathtaking." Here's the full 44-page Justice Department application for a search warrant of Rosen’s Gmail account. — Xeni
Conservative industrialist and Tea Party godfather David Koch has given $23 million to public television—a very, very good thing, many would argue, because government funding amounts to only around 12% of PBS' operating budget, and the fundraising climate for private sponsorship is grim. PBS is, I'd argue, the last place on television for serious news and investigative documentary filmmaking.
But Koch's backing comes with unambiguous pressure to alter the network's editorial content, and indeed, already has in at least one insance, according to Jane Mayer's piece in The New Yorker.
The story centers around WNET's attempts to placate Koch as it aired Alex Gibney's “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream,” a documentary critical of Koch and other "one-percenters." So critical, it was referred to as "Citizen Koch."
It's with great pride that I debut "Go Loko," the insanely fun new music video I directed for Nicky Da B. Prepare yourself for machine-gun New Orleans Bounce, twerking latex-clad bunnies, intergalactic booty constellations that would make Carl Sagan cry tears of joy, an asstronaut, a possibly demonic hairless cat, and perhaps my greatest invention yet: The Asscam™.
Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, in San Mateo, California! Pesco, Mark and I will all be there, and I'm sure many of you reading Boing Boing will be, too. Mark has been posting some great behind-the-scenes snapshots on his Instagram. And of course, the #makerfaire hashtag is a good way to peek at the flood of tweets, videos, and images attendees and organizers will be sharing today.
• Child sneaks camera into school to document gross food.
• The art of brain hacking.
• Grizzly bear eats video camera.
• 11 year old and his 3D printer.
• HOWTO make glowing Converse.
• Monkey shares lollipop with puppy, then beats him with it.
Woman smacks cop so she can go to jail and quit smoking.
About this video, which shows a Pygmy Marmoset noshing on a macaroni, Meredith Yayanos says: "The tinier the primate, the deeper the Uncanny Valley." I don't know anything about the conditions under which this video was shot, but obviously monkeys belong in their natural habitat, not in someone's home eating macaroni. Still, wow: how amazing and adorable the creature is.