NSA kremlinology: spooks outsourced lawbreaking to AT&T

Last weekend's bombshell report on AT&T's enthusiastic cooperation with NSA mass surveillance revealed that the NSA categorized many of its most egregious spying programs as "Partner [AT&T] Controlled." Read the rest

Massive Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World

They're the largest-ever single-themed expansion of a Disney theme park in 60 years, but they're still a fundamentally conservative approach to the Star Wars franchise. Read the rest

AT&T was the NSA's enthusiastic top surveillance partner

All the phone companies helped the NSA commit mass surveillance, but the agency singled out Ma Bell as "highly collaborative" with an "extreme willingness to help." Read the rest

Transgenic mouse company pays academics who cite them in papers

Cyagen also makes stem cells and other bio-research materials: they'll pay academics $100 in vouchers per citation, multiplied by the impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published. Read the rest

Australian court hands copyright trolls their own asses

The studio behind "Dallas Buyers Club" will be able to demand that people caught downloading the movie without permission pay for the cost of a legit download, plus a small surcharge to cover the cost of getting their details through a court. Read the rest

Lenovo preloaded laptops with reformat-resistant perpetual crapware

The company abused the Windows installer's anti-theft mechanism, which reads the firmware for executables at install-time, embedding a ton of crappy, insecure shovelware that would be added to your computer every time you reinstalled the OS. Read the rest

Rightscorp teams up with lawyers to mass-sue people who ignore blackmail letters

The publicly traded company warned investors that its plan of sending "invoices" to people its sloppy piracy-bots fingered as pirates wasn't working out so well, so now they've found a law firm that'll file bullshit lawsuits against "repeat offenders." Read the rest

US lobbying for TPP to lock up clinical trial data

Copyright only extends to creative works, not facts, meaning that clinical trial data (and other data sources) are in the public domain as soon as they're published -- unless governments create special "sui generis" rights to scientific research data. Read the rest

Google shakes its structure up with Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai becomes Google CEO

Image: @darth
Google, the core search business that started it all, will have a new CEO: Sundar Pichai.

Chinese mega-manufacturers set up factories in India

Foxconn is opening a $5B facility in Maharashtra; Huawei just got a green-light for a networking gear factory; Xiaomi already runs a phone assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh that will announcing new products today. Read the rest

Apple and Amazon spend big bucks to keep Cook and Bezos out of harm's way


Apple spends nearly $700,000 to protect Tim Cook, Read the rest

Universal Music's anti-piracy ads reached new heights of crazypants gore

Saatchi & Saatchi Sao Paulo designed these grotesque ads for Universal Music, in which bloody gobbets of rock-n-roller are captioned with "Stop Destroying the Band You Like: Say No to Music Piracy." Read the rest

David Byrne explains the streaming music ripoff

Artists are taking home pennies for millions of plays and no one -- not the labels, not the distributors, and not the streaming companies -- will disclose the way that streaming music royalties are calculated. Read the rest

Parenting and the Internet: the smarter, missing third way

My new Guardian column, What is missing from the kids’ internet? discusses three different approaches to teaching kids information literacy: firewall-based abstinence education; trust/relationship-based education, and a third way, which is the proven champion of the offline world. Read the rest

Idaho court strikes down anti-whistleblower "ag-gag" law

Many agriculture-heavy states have passed laws criminalizing recording videos of animal cruelty and illegal workplace and food hygiene practices, but one judge in Idaho isn't having any of it. Read the rest

What happened when we got subpoenaed over our Tor exit node

We've run a Tor exit-node for years. In June, we got the nightmare Tor operator scenario: a federal subpoena (don't worry, it ended surprisingly well!)

Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM

The Matchstick, a Firefox-OS-based Chromecast-style device, kickstarted on the promise of bringing open, user-rights-respecting video to our homes -- then they decided to add DRM. Read the rest

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