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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.

What are the odds CENTCOM really was hacked by ISIS? Next to zero.

cent

Jacob Siegel at the Daily Beast approaches yesterday's "ISIS hacks the social media accounts of U.S. Central Command" with appropriate and informed skepticism. "The chances it was actually ISIS? Somewhere near zero."

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Fried egg bandit baffles UK coppers

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VICE wins with this item: "A fried egg has baffled police on the Isles of Scilly in Great Britain. How? By appearing at the crime scene of what seems, at first glance, like a standard shed break-in."

They found it on the Isles of Scilly Police Facebook page, which offers this:

Somebody has forced open the door to the Football Club shed at the playing field next to the school. It is fairly evident that this was done sometime over Tuesday evening and most probably to get a football out for a kick around. Regrettably however the door was damaged in the process as can be seen in the picture with the bottom of the door split. There are few clues as to how this came to happen other than a fried egg was left at the scene.

I will be attending school tomorrow to ask at assembly if anyone knows anything about this. We are just looking for the person responsible to own up and this can all be dealt with quite amicably which is the request of the shed owners.

In case you missed any of the salient points above I'll summarise:

- Low key investigation with amicable resolution if admitted.

- A fried egg was left at the scene.

Could the crime have been committed by... poachers? The police are combing the scene, seeking for-hen-sic evidence.

[photo: Isles of Scilly Police Facebook page]

Watch this four-finned underwater robot swim like a cuttlefish through an ocean forest

"By copying the undulating swimming skills of cuttlefish, a low-key underwater robot is able to tackle obstacles in its way."

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Paris: Comedian who made joke on Facebook investigated for “defending terrorism”

French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, also known as just ''Dieudonne'', attends a news conference at the ''Theatre de la Main d'or'' in Paris January 11, 2014. [Reuters]


French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, aka "Dieudonne," attends a news conference in Paris January 11, 2014. [Reuters]

French comedian Dieudonne.


French comedian Dieudonne.

France, land of free speech: The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday it has opened an investigation on comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, after he posted a joke to Facebook.

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'Piglet,' a creepy 'found' video from Memory Hole

If you enjoy this sort of high weirdness, you may want to subscribe to their YouTube channel.

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Watch this baby bulldog get his bed back from cat who keeps stealing it

Pixel, a 10-week-old french bulldog, wrangles his bed back from the cat, who keeps stealing it--even though she has her own.

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Gentleman with 94 iPhones strapped to his body caught at Chinese border

Photo: Sina News.


Photo: Sina News.

An entrepreneurial fellow from Hong Kong tried to cross over the Chinese border with 94 iPhones strapped to his person. He failed to do so.

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The new 'Avengers' trailer is pretty sick. Is it May yet?

Marvel's second "Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer" looks pretty great.

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Obama to press for new law encouraging companies to share hacker threat data with government

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his visit to Pellissippi State College in Knoxville, Tennessee, January 9, 2015. Photo: Reuters


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his visit to Pellissippi State College in Knoxville, Tennessee, January 9, 2015. Photo: Reuters

President Obama is expected to announce new legislation on Tuesday that would shield businesses from lawsuits when they share data on cyberattack threats with the government. After the recent high-profile attack on Sony, which the administration blames on the government of North Korea, and other high-profile breaches at major retailers and financial firms, the push for new laws isn't surprising. Underscoring the hacker hype that leads up to this: Monday's "hack" of CENTCOM, in which ISIS or someone acting like them managed to deface the U.S. military command's Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The news spoilers were first leaked Monday on the White House blog. A fact sheet followed with some details.

Obama's Personal Data Notification and Protection Act would require American companies that have been hacked to inform affected customers within 30 days. The Student Data Privacy Act would ban technology firms from profiting from data gathered from tech tools used by students.

"Obama is intent on capitalizing on the heightened sense of urgency to improve the security of the nation’s networks, officials said" to the Washington Post.

Snip:

The legislation is part of a broader package, to be sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, that includes measures to help protect consumers and students against ­cyberattacks and to give law enforcement greater authority to combat cybercrime.

The provision’s goal is to “enshrine in law liability protection for the private sector for them to share specific information — cyberthreat indicators — with the government,” the official said.

The EFF isn't buying it:

“We think the current information-sharing regime is adequate,” said Mark Jaycox, legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group. “More companies need to use it, but the idea of broad legal immunity isn’t needed right now.”

The president is also expected to use his annual State of the Union speech on January 20 to address internet-related issues.

Read more: "Obama to propose legislation to protect firms that share cyberthreat data" [Washington Post]

"Obama to Call for Laws Covering Data Hacking and Student Privacy" [New York Times]

The 9-month Vine

This was one of the most-watched Vines of 2014, at 25 million loops--and it's a good one.

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Photo: Adorable tiny baby's foot is adorable, tiny

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"My son's foot in my hand," shared by Alexandros Maragos in our Flickr Pool.

#CharlieHebdo irony: Zuckerberg champions free speech while Facebook actively censors

 Mark Zuckerberg in 2013. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


Mark Zuckerberg in 2013. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

"When Mark Zuckerberg praised Charlie Hebdo and free speech, Facebook users cried hypocrisy, pointing to a post by a Pakistani actor that had been censored," writes Alex Hern at the Guardian.

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Keysweeper: creepy keystroke logger camouflaged as USB charger

keysweeper

Keysweeper is a super-creepy keystroke logger disguised as a USB wall charger that piggybacks on GSM networks.

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Paris #JeSuisCharlie protest crowd reacts to John Lennon's 'Imagine'

"I live in Paris, next to the center of the march. Yesterday, we put music on our window, especially peace songs. Watch as the crowd sings along and then applauds for Imagine by John Lennon."

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30 shockingly amazing linkbait phrases Buzzfeed uses to get you to click on stuff

bJW46AcFrom Max Woolf. You won't believe what happens next! [thanks, Dean]

US military social media hacked by ISIS supporters, or someone acting like them

The hacked Twitter page of the U.S. Central Command. (Twitter screenshot)


The hacked Twitter page of the U.S. Central Command. (Twitter screenshot)

Social media accounts for CENTCOM, the U.S. military’s Central Command, appeared to have been taken over today. CENTCOM's Twitter and YouTube accounts posted threatening messages to American troops.

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Meet some of the defenders of the free press who were at the Paris #CharlieHebdo rally

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Here's a collection of tweets by Daniel Wickham profiling how hypocritical various world leaders who attended Sunday's solidarity rally in Paris really are, when it comes to freedom of the press.

[HT: @tometty]

Caturday

3962861198_49b3754888_b (1) "Miaow," a photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by DASc0tt.

The civilized response to Charlie Hebdo attacks: more surveillance

NSA headquarters, photographed by Trevor Paglen, via HRW.


NSA headquarters, photographed by Trevor Paglen, via HRW.

"As politicians drape themselves in the flag of free speech and freedom of the press in response to the tragic murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists," writes Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm at the Guardian, "they’ve also quickly moved to stifle the same rights they claim to love.

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Report: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack

Past covers of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.


Past covers of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Jeremy Scahill at The Intercept reports that a source within al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula "has provided The Intercept with a full statement claiming responsibility for the attack against the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris."

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Watch SpaceX attempt new, historic Falcon 9 launch this Saturday, 4:47 a.m. ET

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are seen in the horizontal position ahead of a planned Jan. 10, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.


SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are seen in the horizontal position ahead of a planned Jan. 10, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA says SpaceX will target Saturday for the launch of its next space station resupply mission from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida.

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Report: Charlize Theron negotiated pay equal to male co-star after leaked Sony Hack emails

Charlize Theron is not having this bullshit.


Charlize Theron is not having this bullshit.

The Sony Pictures emails leaked last month shed light on a time-honored practice in Hollywood: paying women less than men.

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After Charlie Hebdo attack, let's not sacrifice more civil liberties

Charlie Hebdo editor "Charb," killed in the terrorist attack.


Charlie Hebdo editor "Charb," killed in the terrorist attack.

"Murder is the ultimate form of censorship," write Sophia Cope and Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But we must all be on guard for lawmakers who may use the grief and fear that followed the barbaric attack on Charlie Hebdo as an excuse to ram new, draconian anti-terror laws down our throats.

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Could these X-Ray vans give New Yorkers cancer? Judge orders NYPD to release info on secret program.

The Z Backscatter Van can scan while driving alongside a line of vehicles or while parked as they pass by. (American Science and Engineering Inc.)


The Z Backscatter Van can scan while driving alongside a line of vehicles or while parked. (American Science and Engineering Inc.)

Could these vehicles give NYC residents cancer? The New York Police Department has a secretive program that uses unmarked vans with X-ray machines designed to detect bombs. The machines emit ionizing radiation, which could increase the risk of cancer in people nearby. ProPublica tried to find out more about the vans, but the NYPD refused to answer for three years.

ProPublica's Michael Grabell reports that a judge has finally ordered the NYPD to release records related to the secret program.

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Cartoonist Joe Sacco on satire, and Charlie Hebdo

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Joe Sacco produced one of the most poignant and nuanced takes on the Charlie Hebdo killings, and on satire.

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Man freed from prison after 9 years when FOIA requests reveal FBI hid documents

Eric Taylor McDavid, before he went to jail. He looks very different now.


Eric Taylor McDavid, before he went to jail. He looks very different now.

Eric McDavid, a convicted ‘eco-terrorist’ who spent 9 years in jail, has been freed after Freedom of Information Act requests revealed documents that suggest the FBI hid evidence from his defense attorneys.

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Torture of Saudi blogger sentenced to 10 years and 1,000 lashes begins

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. Image via Facebook.


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. Image via Facebook.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah for "insulting Islam" on the internet. His sentence began on Friday.

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Nigeria: Hundreds, possibly thousands, killed in Boko Haram massacre

boko

Hundreds of bodies, "too many to count" according to the AP, are strewn in the bush in Nigeria after a mass killing by Islamic extremists. Some estimates place the number of dead at over 2,000.

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Totally fabulous kid raps about transgender acceptance

"We all deserve freedom, love, and respect."

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Support the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's new project investigating the CIA torture report

Reuters/Shane T. McCoy


Reuters/Shane T. McCoy

Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit that counts Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and John Perry Barlow among its board members (and me) is launching our first crowd-funding campaign of 2015—in support of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s new reporting project on the Senate’s recently-released report on CIA torture.

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