Bill Cosby loses appeal, will face sexual assault charge

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Bill Cosby's attempt to avoid facing a sexual assault charge was ended Monday by a Pennsylvania appeals court. The entertainer, who claimed that an old deal with prosecutors not to charge him in the 2004 case should be honored, will now be criminally prosecuted.

Cosby, 78, is facing trial over a 2004 encounter at his home with a then Temple University employee who says she was drugged and molested by the comedian. Cosby says they engaged in consensual sex acts.

Former prosecutor Bruce Castor has said he promised he would never prosecute Cosby and urged him to testify in the woman’s 2005 civil lawsuit. The release of that testimony last year led a new prosecutor to arrest him. In the lengthy deposition, the long married Cosby acknowledged a series of affairs and said he had gotten quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce. Cosby has not yet entered a plea in the criminal case, and remains free on $1m bail posted after his 30 December arrest.

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A Burglar's Guide to the City: burglary as architectural criticism

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For years, Geoff Manaugh has entertained and fascinated us with his BLDGBLOG, and now he's even better at full-length, with A Burglar's Guide to the City (previously), a multidisciplinary, eclectic, voraciously readable book that views architecture, built environments, and cities themselves through the lens of breaking-and-entering.

Hackers take $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank by pwning its $10 second-hand routers

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The central bank of Bangladesh lost $81M in a digital heist whose perpetrators have not been caught, thanks in large part to the bank's decision to run its computers without a firewall, and to run networking with second-hand cheapie routers it sourced for $10 each. Read the rest

NYPD cops charged with felonies after beating up mailman

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Two NYPD detectives who beat up a uniformed U.S. Postal Service mail carrier were charged with felony assault in Queens wednesday. Angelo J. Pampena, 31, and Robert A. Carbone, 29, were also charged with perjury after CCTV footage of the incident demonstrated that they had lied in their official reports of the arrest.

Mailman Karim Baker's harassment by NYPD began after giving street directions to a stranger who later killed two officers, reports the New York Times. But the October 2015 incident went beyond the usual stop and search, leaving Baker disabled.

Mr. Brown and Mr. Subin said the detectives approached Mr. Baker as he left work on Oct. 21, 2015, in Corona, Queens. Mr. Subin said the encounter was captured on surveillance video from a building across the street, and had been paired with audio from a 911 call from Mr. Baker’s cellphone that recorded what occurred.

Mr. Subin said the officers had asked to see his client’s identification and when he asked why he was being stopped, the officers told him he was parked too close to a fire hydrant. Mr. Baker then called 911 to ask for help, but he dropped the phone when the officers began pummeling him, Mr. Subin said.

The district attorney said Mr. Baker was seated in his car when the detectives punched and kicked him multiple times in the face and body and dragged him from the vehicle. Mr. Baker sustained spinal fractures and a knee injury and has not been able to return to work, Mr.

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Volkswagen's internal Dieselgate probe stuck because the company used code-words for its cheat software

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The internal Volkswagen investigators who are trying to figure out who knew what, when, about the company's illegal, lethal practice of programming its cars to cheat on emissions tests say they've been slowed down because the company assigned dozens of secret code-names to the software, such as "acoustic software." Read the rest

Chinese opsec funnies: your foreign boyfriend is a western spy!

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In this Chinese government comic book, women are warned that mysterious foreign strangers who pitch woo at them are secretly Western spies trying to get at their government secrets. Read the rest

Four years later, Popehat's favorite con-artist is indicted

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More than four years ago, I blogged about how former federal prosecutor Ken White had tracked down a con-artist who sent a fake invoice to his firm. Now, finally, the scammer has been indicted. Read the rest

Black Americans killed at about 20x the rate of Europeans

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Black Americans Are Killed At 12 Times The Rate Of People In Other Developed Countries, writes Nate Silver. And the ratio gets worse when you compare to other western democracies such as the United Kingdom and Germany. America's often tagged with a much higher homicide rate than similar nations; it's a difference that would become modest were the killing of black people to stop.

Extending on an analysis by the academic Kieran Healy, I calculated the rate of U.S. homicide deaths by racial group, based on the CDC WONDER data.3 From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year. Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.

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Tax investigators and bill collectors use Rich Kids of Instagram to uncover oligarchs' hidden millions

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One of the perks of being insanely wealthy is you can hide your money, so when you rip people off or hide your taxes or divorce your spouse, your victims can't figure out how to get their due. Read the rest

The international art market is a money laundry whose details are in the Panama Papers

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If you've got $50M you need to hide, and want to be able to move around invisibly, what better way than to buy a painting through a secret, numbered offshore account, stick it in a vault in Basel, whence you can liquidate it, retrieve it, and move it on a moment's notice. Read the rest

Why the rise of ransomware attacks should worry you

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Sean Gallagher does an excellent job of running down the economics and technology behind the rise and rise of ransomware attacks: ransomware has become a surefire way to turn a buck on virtually any network intrusion, and network intrusions themselves are trivial if you don't especially care whose networks you break into. Read the rest

The price of stealing an identity is crashing, with no bottom in sight

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The sharp increase in known, unpatched vulnerabilities in the tools we use to access the Internet has caused the price of exploits is falling through the floor. Read the rest

After biggest bribery scandal in history, police raids and investigations

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It's been two days since the first article detailing the contents of a trove of leaked emails from Unaoil, an obscure family company from Monaco that was revealed to be the fixers in a global web of bribery in corruption that helped the biggest blue-chip companies on earth loot the oil-fields of some of the world's most vulnerable, poor, and war-torn nations. Read the rest

President Obama issues 61 sentence commutations, only 10,000 more to go

Obama with formerly incarcerated individuals who received commutations from his and previous administrations. March 30, 2016, DC.  With him, former inmates Romana Brant (L) and Phillip Emmert. REUTERS

Today, President Obama met with Americans who have received commutations on prison sentences during his presidency, and under previous administrations. Today, Obama commuted the sentences of 61 more people who were convicted of federal drug and firearm crimes. More than than a third of them were serving life in prison.

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As criminal justice reform looms, private prison companies get into immigration detention, halfway houses, electronic monitoring, mental health

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Nixon's War on Drugs, Reagan's three strikes rules, and Clinton's "superpredator" crime bill turned America into history's greatest imprisoner, a carceral state where a racially biased justice system was made worse with every passing day, thanks to the campaign contributions and lobbying by the private prison industry, led by Corrections Corporation of America. Read the rest

Ransomware gets a lot faster by encrypting the master file table instead of the filesystem

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In just a few short years, ransomware -- malware that encrypts all the files on the computer and then charges you for a key to restore them -- has gone from a clever literary device for technothrillers to a cottage industry to an epidemic to a public menace. Read the rest

Security-conscious darkweb crime marketplaces institute world-leading authentication practices

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If you are a seller on Alphabay -- a darkweb site that sells "drugs, stolen data and hacking tools," you'll have to use two-factor authentication (based on PGP/GPG) for all your logins. Read the rest

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