Unsuccessful hack targeted New York Times in Moscow, FBI blames Russia

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U.S. officials are investigating online security attacks that targeted reporters at The New York Times in Moscow. A U.S. official said Tuesday that the Times was among various U.S. news organizations targeted. CNN was first to report the story, and the Times has since confirmed and corrected some details.

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Some questions for those who are cheering Gawker's demise

Illo: Rob Beschizza
Gawker.com, the pioneering and controversial media blog, officially died yesterday. It was killed by billionaire Peter Thiel in his successful quest to bankrupt Gawker Media Group through a series of lawsuits he funded – most notably wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publication of a portion of his sex tape four years ago. Read the rest

Halt and Catch Fire: The Most Relevant Show on Television is Set in the 80s

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With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it's drama you crave, but the Hillary v. Trump show is driving you to near-suicide, then the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire is your new best friend. Returning for its third season on Tuesday, August 23rd with a two-hour premiere, you'll still get your fix of intriguing plot twists, flawed personalities, and high stakes, but without the partisan tantrums and pre-apocalyptic anxiety.

What the Hell is this Show About?

The show's title refers to the computing term (HCF), "Halt and Catch Fire," an early technical command that sends a computer into race condition, forcing all instructions to compete for superiority at once. Control of the computer could not be regained. The namesake series takes place in the personal computing boom of the 80s, when IBM was dictator, and before "website" was a word. Though HCF is categorized as a "workplace drama," you could say the same thing about Breaking Bad, and you'd be completely missing the point--and the thrill--of both shows.

To "break bad" is a colloquialism used in the American South meaning to challenge authority. Breaking Bad and HCF have three important things in common: obscure, nondescript titles that run the risk of losing potential viewers who need their plot summaries spoon-fed and hashtagged, a committed, forward-thinking home on AMC Networks, and the consistently visionary TV producer Melissa Bernstein. Read the rest

Roger Ailes is Donald Trump's new campaign advisor, reports say. Oh, what a pair.

Trump (L) and Ailes (R)

Former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, kicked out last month over sexual harassment charges, has been advising GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump, as the self-described billionaire candidate prepares for the fall presidential debates.

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TV news pioneer John McLaughlin dies at 89

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John McLaughlin has died, at 89. The host of a long-running political TV chat show was once a Jesuit priest, and also wrote speeches for President Richard M. Nixon. He was a conservative provocateur with a “pugnacious style” on his political chat show, and sometimes interrupted his guests or yelled “Wronnng!” in response to their commentary. Read the rest

#RightToRecord: DOJ must investigate arrests of citizens who document police killings

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Editor's Note: The International Documentary Association has released a petition that asks the Department of Justice to investigate the arrests of citizen journalists who videotape police killings of citizens in marginalized communities. Boing Boing asked documentary filmmakers Laura Poitras and David Felix Sutcliffe to share with our readers why the fight to protect the rights of these amateur documentarians matters so much for all of us.—Xeni Jardin

Citizen journalists are reporting from the frontline of police violence in the United States. Using camera phones, they recorded the final moments of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner. In each case, the police retaliated by arresting those citizens - either in the immediate aftermath of the killings, or within 24 hours of the deaths being ruled homicides by medical examiners.

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Trump reboot: ditch populism, adopt Republican platform, say Clinton is the crazy one

Illo: Rob Beschizza

Donald Trump, sinking lately in the polls, is to "reboot" his campaign, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Part of the issue for the New York businessman is that he has run his campaign much like his family business, with his grown children as his top counselors and surrogates. That has meant he hasn’t developed a strong connective tissue to party stalwarts and activists that can sustain a candidate through difficult times. Reports of Republicans leaving the party, lining up behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or even backing Mrs. Clinton gained momentum last week, after the nominee criticized the parents of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.

This means he's going to be more of a good ol' Republican: less talk of China and returning jobs to the heartland, more talk of freeing banks from regulation and "strengthening intellectual property protections" and other exciting policies sure to delight the Trumpkin base.

Trump will take direct aim at the Clintons and Obama, pointing to Detroit as an example of their failed economic policies. He will argue that their “record-breaking pace of new regulations, tax increases, restrictions on private-energy production and one-sided trade deals” have hurt Detroit and other cities, according to excerpts of his remarks shared with Bloomberg Politics. He will call Obama’s Clinton-backed regulations a “lead-weight on the economy, an anchor dragging us down.” And he will say that Americans “need to hit the pause buttons on these regulations so our businesses can reinvest in the economy.”

After all, the GOP is still his to lead, whatever their paper scruples used to be. Read the rest

An update on Chelsea Manning's health, from her legal team

Chelsea Manning
Today, Chelsea Manning spoke with her attorneys for the first time since her hospitalization last week. Attorneys Chase Strangio, Vincent Ward and Nancy Hollander released the following statement on the imprisoned whistleblower's behalf.

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#Dallas shooting: 11 police officers shot, 5 killed, 1 civilian injured. 2 shooters made bomb threat.

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GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING. Reports broke at roughly 10pm ET tonight that shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas, where people gathered to protest the recent police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Multiple police officers and peaceful protesters were shot from "elevated positions," with series of controlled bursts, 6 shots at a time, audible on footage. Dallas police report that 2 snipers opened fire and shot 11 officers. Five officers are reported to have died from their injuries. At least one person who was not a police officer is said to have been injured.

Two sniper suspects have been apprehended, Dallas Police reported around 1AM ET. There may be more suspects.

The Dallas Police Chief says some of officers were shot in the back, and that the suspects "intended to injure and kill as many law officers as they could." Police say the suspects threatened to place a bomb in downtown Dallas.

At the time of this post, no confirmed information on identity or motive of shooters. Early reports on mass shootings tend to include errors, inaccuracies, bias, and speculation.

Here are early tweets about the mass shooting, including raw video that contains graphic content.

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Leaked FBI documents reveal secret rules for spying on journalists with National Security Letters

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Today, The Intercept published leaked documents that contain the FBI’s secret rules for targeting journalists and sources with National Security Letters (NSLs)—the controversial and unconstitutional warrantless tool the FBI uses to conduct surveillance without any court supervision whatsoever.

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Dozens of news orgs demand DOJ release its secret rules for targeting journalists with secret National Security Letters

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Freedom of the Press Foundation recently filed a huge brief in the organization's case demanding that the Justice Department release its secret rules for targeting journalists with National Security Letters. And in related news, a coalition of 37 news organizations - including the New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, Buzzfeed, and tons more - filed an amicus brief in support of the Freedom of the Press Foundation case, demanding that the Department of Justice do the same.

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Vaccine-caused illness cured by hidden TV cameras

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After receiving a flu shot, Desiree Jennings could only walk backwards and spoke with a funny accent. But the "rare disease" triggered by the sinister vaccine was, fortunately, transient.

Inside Edition secretly taped her for weeks and "it looks like you made a complete recovery!" [via r/videos]

A dubstep remix:

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The time the BBC News reported that "there is no news"

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I suppose no news was good news on April 18, 1930. At 6:30pm during the regularly scheduled news bulletin slot, the BBC News announcer turned on the mic and said:

"Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news."

Piano music followed.

(BBC News History via r/todayilearned) Read the rest

Elon Musk Says Humans Will Go To Mars by 2024

Elon Musk (Reuters / Stephen Lam)

In my weekly segment on KCRW's “Press Play” news program with host Madeleine Brand, we listen to Elon Musk wax poetic about artificial intelligence and whether life might be a dream--and his plans to send humans to Mars by 2025.

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Disney movies head exclusively to Netflix starting in September

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“Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar,” Netflix announced today in a blog post. The blockbuster Netflix/Disney deal from 2012 goes into effect this fall.

From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar. And we’re excited to be bringing you new and exclusive Netflix Original movies including Mascots from the master of low-key comedy Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and War Machine, from acclaimed Australian director David Michod and starring Brad Pitt, in the serio-comic tale of the U.S. military adventure in Afghanistan.

Get Ready for Summer on Netflix US [netflix.com]

Disney and Netflix giveth, and they taketh away. In the long list of titles Netflix will be adding and removing next month, one noticeable loss is some really great ‘90s Disney movies. From E Online:

Hercules, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hunchback of Notre Dame II (actually from 2002) will all be gone off Netflix in June. Hercules, an underrated classic if you ask us, will no longer be available come June 1. On the plus side, you still have time to enjoy the Hunchback of Notre Dame series and Mulan until June 24. Not every Disney animated movie will be off Netflix next month, so this situation could be worse. Tarzan, Robin Hood, Lilo & Stitch and Emperor's New Groove will still be around for your viewing pleasure.

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EgyptAir says Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo 'disappeared from radar'

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An Egypt Air flight from Paris to Cairo went off radar Wednesday night, a tweet from the airline reported.

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Owners watch their home burn via indoor security camera connected to iPhone

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This home was burned to the ground in the Fort McMurray wildfire. The owners watched their living room go up in smoke via a security camera feed sent to their iPhone. Read the rest

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