Watch President Obama become the first U.S. president to visit Laos

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The White House released a video of Barack Obama making history as the first U.S. president to visit Laos. Reflecting on his visit, Obama explains: Read the rest

President Obama pledges $4 billion for computer science education in schools

President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. REUTERS

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama this week pledged $4 billion in federal funding for computer science education in schools throughout the nation.

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President Obama's final State of the Union address

President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. REUTERS

President Barack Obama tonight gave the final State of the Union Address of his final presidential term. Here is the full text of those remarks.

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Obama commutes sentences of 95 prisoners and pardons two

President Obama holds his end of 2015 news conference at the White House, Dec. 18, 2015.    REUTERS

President Barack Obama today announced he has commuted the sentences of 95 federal prisoners, and granted two prisoners pardons. Most of them are nonviolent drug offenders.

This is the most he has done at one time, and more than doubles the number of clemency orders he has granted since taking office. His signature today sets free 40 prisoners who are serving life sentences.

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Right to Encrypt is under fire in America. Savecrypto.org is fighting for your crypto rights.

SAVECRYPTO.ORG

The Intercept just published an amazing article by Jim Bamford yesterday talking about how the NSA exploited a backdoor in Vodafone to spy on Greek politicians and journalists during the 2004 Olympics.

Bamford is an American author and journalist best known for his writing about United States intelligence agencies, and in particular the National Security Agency.

In a meticulous investigation, Bamford reports at the Intercept that the NSA was behind the notorious, legendary “Athens Affair”. After the 2004 Olympics, the Greek government discovered that an unknown attacker had hacked into Vodafone’s “lawful intercept” system, the phone company’s method of wiretapping voice calls. The attacker spied on phone calls of the president and other Greek politicians and journalists before the hack was found out.

Freedom of the Press Foundation director Trevor Timm wrote for the Guardian about why this is exactly why encryption backdoors are so dangerous.

What are encryption backdoors? For non-techie readers, basically these are ways the government can unencrypt your "locked" communications if they decide they want to see your private material for any secret reason.

And in related news, rumor has it the White House is nearing a decision on whether to embrace the right to encryption for American citizens, or join the FBI in calling for backdoors.

Dozens of civil liberties groups, including Freedom of the Press Foundation, launched this site and petition today that feeds into the White House petition system: savecrypto.org.

If you care about this issue, right now is the time to take action. Read the rest

Salmon splooges on President Obama's shoes

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Awkward.

Obama snubs NYC's Waldorf Astoria hotel over China bugging fears, scream tabloids

President Obama. WABC, July 17, 2015.

President Obama. WABC, July 17, 2015.

Most fears about bugs in New York City hotels involve the kind that live in beds. Today, another type of hotel bug is in the news. Read the rest

Op-ed in PA paper calls for Obama's execution, then apologizes when readers complain

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It wasn't until readers showed outrage that a Pennsylvania newspaper realized its wrongdoing. Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: What Will Be the Biggest Political Story of 2032?

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter.

Further: JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's proud and mighty INNER HIVE to support the comic and receive untold BENEFITS and PRIVILEGES! Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Barackman, The Dark Knight vs. Bane Capital!

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter. Further: JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's proud and mighty INNER HIVE and receive untold BENEFITS and PRIVILEGES! Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Li'l Barack Has a Playdate

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TOM THE DANCING BUG: Obama Sparks Creationism Controversy With "Evolution" of His Gay Marriage Position

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"$9.99 every six months to support one of my all-time favorite comics. Boom, done." -John Gruber, Daring Fireball, INNER HIVE member since four weeks ago Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: What Mischief Does Li'l Mitt Get Into This Time?

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"My only argument with Ruben B. here is his apologetic tone for asking you to pay money for early access to his very good comics —- that is to say, something that YOU LIKE AND WANT.  DO NOT APOLOGIZE, RUBEN." -John Hodgman, INNER HIVE member since two weeks ago Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Medical Marijuana - Gateway Drug!

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Baraklava Obama

Boing Boing pal Joe Sabia, a storyteller and video director who collaborates with us to produce Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America, sends this snapshot from Istanbul. He's in Turkey for an international storyteller's convention.

"While visiting a hip Baklava spot in Istanbul," says Joe, "This chef proudly walked out exhibiting his political creation: Barack Obama made completely from baklava."

As an aside: looks like the chef used the same Associated Press photo as reference material that got Shepard Fairey in so much trouble. Can you barter for photo licensing with tasty sweets? Read the rest

Shepard Fairey pleads guilty over "Hope" court case

No more hope. LA-based street artist Shepard Fairey today entered a guilty plea in his criminal case with the Associated Press. He's facing a maximum sentence of six months in prison. The criminal case concerns not the intellectual property dispute itself, but charges of "criminal contempt for destroying documents, manufacturing evidence and other misconduct" in the civil case, which was settled out of court with AP. Read the rest