Italy on the verge of the stupidest censorship law in European history

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After a string of high-profile cyberbullying and revenge-porn incidents, the Italian Chamber of Deputies has put forward a bill that will do nothing to prevent these abuses, and everything to allow for rampant, unaccountable censorship of the Italian internet, without rule of law or penalty for abuse.

Artist installs rooms beneath Milan's sewer entrances

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Biancoshock, an artist in Milan, created these "Borderlife" installations that appear to be underground rooms beneath the city's sewer-entrances, as a way of calling attention to homelessness, especially in Bucharest, where 600 people are living in the sewer tunnels. Read the rest

Saudi embassy hired mafiosi to smuggle Turkish PM Erdoğan's son out of Italy ahead of money laundering charges

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Italian police spokesman Lt. Colonel Domenico Grimaldi says that Bilal Erdoğan was able to jump bail on money laundering charges because the Saudi embassy paid the mafia to help get him clear, assisting them with fraudulent diplomatic papers and a Saudi prince disguise. Read the rest

Call for submissions: SHARE electronic art festival, curated by Bruce Sterling

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The ninth Share Festival, held in Turin, Italy in May 2016, awards a "Share Prize" for best electronic art on the festival's theme of "House Guests," which raises a series of questions about everyday living and the Internet of Things, inspired by Casa Jasmina, a human-centered model IoT home: Read the rest

Nude statues at Rome museum covered to not embarrass Iranian president

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Classical nude statues at Italy's Capitoline Museum were covered up this week in anticipation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit. Some politicians and art critics called out the stupidity. From The Telegraph:

The president’s aides were also reportedly anxious that he not be photographed too close to a giant bronze statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback.

The Iranians objected to what one Italian newspaper delicately described as “the attributes” or genitalia of the huge horse, which dates from the second century AD.

Read the rest

Replica weapons made from thousands of cut and stacked post-its

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Rome-based sculptor Marco Ecroli's "Army" project turns stacks of patiently cut, colorful post-it notes into full-sized three-dimensional replica weapons: a Colt six-shooter ("i Love Ammerica"), a machine-gun ("Tenere Lontano dalla Portata dei Bambini") , a hand-grenade ("Bomba non Bomba") , and a katana ("Daily Samurai"). He's also made a full-sized post-it car ("The Sheep Stand Far From The Rainbow"). Read the rest

Walk through the incredible installation inside the Japan pavillion at Venice Biennale

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Last spring, we went to Venice to celebrate my wife's birthday and took a boat to the Biennale, which was pretty disappointing, with one notable exception: 'The Key in the Hand,' Chiharu Shiota's installation at the Japan pavilion, which took our breath away.

Read the rest

Ukrainian botmaster who tried to frame Brian Krebs extradited to US

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When security-researcher/hornet-nest-kicker Brian Krebs outed Sergey "Flycracker" Vovnenko as administrator of a darknet crime site and botmaster of a 13,000-PC-strong botnet used to attack sites and launder stolen data, Vovnenko allegedly masterminded a plot to frame Krebs by mailing him heroin. Read the rest

My Stolen Life

My handbag was stolen two months ago. It happened in seconds in a mall in Turin, Italy. I never saw the thief, and neither did my husband, sitting two meters from the scene of the crime a fast food Japanese restaurant.

How is such criminal skill even possible? There was almost nobody around. Now, after two months, I do vaguely remember though a nice young woman, sitting with a child, next to my table. Was it she who grabbed my bag off the back of a chair and escaped with it?

A week later, I read that a gang of four women, convicted of serial handbag thefts in Italy, was finally put behind the bars. Even though found guilty several times, they were always released from custody because they had either small children or were pregnant. So maybe they relied on the handbags of other women to feed their numerous children?!

But that would be a topic for a novel, and not what I want to write about. I will focus on this accident from a different angle. Because it can only be compared to an accident, a personal disaster, as if a truck ran over me. No use asking, was it my fault? Should I blame myself for leaving my chair to order a second beer to go with my sushi? And why on earth did I center my earthly life inside one rather small handbag? Why did I visit a shopping mall taking with me all of my traveling documents, credit cards, checkbook, USB backup, health insurance card, Iphone, address book, prescriptions, etc. Read the rest

WATCH: 1000 rockers cover Foo Fighters' Learn to Fly to bring band to town

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Fans wanted the Foo Fighters to come to Cesena, Italy, so they made this amazing cover of 1000 musicians rocking out to "Learn to Fly." Read the rest

Check whether Hacking Team demoed cyberweapons for your local cops

Michael from Muckrock sez, "Turns out death squads aren't the only agencies buying Hacking Squad's controversial spyware. Town from Miami Shores, FL to Eugene, OR appeared on a list of US agencies that received demonstrations from the hacked surveillance vendor. MuckRock has mapped out who was on the lists, and is working to FOIA what these towns actually bought, if anything. Check and see if your city is on the map." Read the rest

Exotic eyeball jewelry and housewares

Stefano Prima is not content to make rings and stalks sporting everyday taxidermy eyeballs -- rather, his pieces sport fanciful reptile irises, vertical goat-slits, terrifying basilisk pupils and even square pupils. Read the rest

May Day in Italy

The people who hit the streets in Italy's major streets on the first of May wanted to celebrate the day of labor. They also wanted to express their worries about unemployment (which is now 43 percent among young people). Their credo: more work for everybody, less work per person. Read the rest

Drowned in the Mediterranean: Libyan refugees tell their stories

James Bridle writes: "There's huge debate in the UK about the deaths of people in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, but we rarely see or hear the people themselves." Read the rest

Blocked Italian toilet leads to thousands of years of buried history

A restaurateur in Lecce, Italy dug up the plumbing for his perennially blocked toilets and discovered thousands of years' worth of tunnels beneath the building, including a Messapian tomb. Read the rest

Italy's Hacking Team allegedly sold Ethiopia's despots cyberweapons used to attack journalists

Ethopia's despotic regime has become the world's first "turnkey surveillance state," thanks to technology sold to it by western companies, including, it seems, Italy's Hacking Team, whose RCS spyware product is implicated in an attack on exiled, US-based journalists reporting on government corruption. Read the rest

Museums and the future history of the information age

Last spring, I gave the keynote address at the Museums and the Web conference in Florence, Italy, speaking in the glorious confines of the big room at the Palazzo Vecchio; the organizers were kind enough to put my talk online. It was very well-received at the time and lots of people have since asked where they could get it -- and here it is! Read the rest

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