Help the homeless hero who reported a NJ bomb

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Lee Parker and Ivan White found and reported a bomb allegedly planted by Ahmad Khan Rahami in Elizabeth, New Jersey. You can thank them by supporting the local homeless program. Read the rest

Here's what you need to know about Twitter's new character limit update

Reuters

Twitter has been struggling to attract new users and retain existing ones. In a long-awaited update for the social network, Twitter announced today that video, still images, animated GIFs, polls, and quotes will no longer apply to the 140-character limit for tweets.

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Muckrock and Motherboard launch $2,000 Thiel Fellowship to FOIA the crap out of Peter Thiel

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Muckrock today announced a $1,000 grant for projects to increase public understanding of noted Donald Trump supporter and anti-Gawker-lawsuit-funder Peter Thiel. Motherboard matched the Muckrock reporting grant funds, and now the grant is $2,000.

Apply to MuckRock’s Thiel Fellowship here.

“Applications are on a rolling basis with the first deadline of October 1, 2016. Applicants should email the following to info@muckrock.com with the subject line'MuckRock Thiel Fellowship,'” says the announcement.

From Muckrock's Michael Morisy:

Peter Thiel - co-founder of both PayPal and Palantir and an early Facebook investor - has profoundly reshaped industry after industry and, ultimately, remade the world to fit his radical vision of the future. Unfortunately, despite his impact in industries ranging from digital payments and mass government surveillance to radical life extension and seasteading, the media has done relatively little reporting on the details of his companies, often leaving the public in the dark on his contributions to society.

But maybe you can change that.

With MuckRock’s Thiel Fellowship, we want to help journalists and researchers better understand this pivotal figure’s work and share what they learn with the world.

MuckRock is offering a grant of 250 requests (a $1,000 value), plus our invaluable FOIA expertise, to between one and three inaugural Thiel Fellows who propose projects that help the public better understand organizations or areas of research and public policy connected with Thiel. Even better, Motherboard has agreed to double that, providing an additional $1,000 to fund FOIA request fees, research, potential stipends, or other related costs of the fellowship.

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Chill out with the Current Conditions channel

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Current condition (via Mefi) is a website lurking in the airwaves and wires somewhere between teletext, those high-number cable channels that just play music and weather, and where the planes were in 19A0 or so. Read the rest

Oppps.ru: patient zero in Russia's fake news epidemic

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Donald Trump did not slam the International Paralympic Committee's decision to bar Russian athletes from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, and the BBC never quoted him as saying, "The decision to bar Russian Paralympics athletes was made by complete retards. These people are the real cripples." But virtually every news outlet in Russia ran a story saying both things were true, after Oppps.ru (The Optimist) ran a completely false story to that effect. Read the rest

Trump and Mexico president Peña Nieto talk about a wall, but not about who pays

Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto arrive for a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a quick trip to Mexico today to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, against the objections of many citizens of Mexico, who have been insulted by Trump pretty much every day of the campaign, for more than a year.

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White House orders Russia hack investigation, Congress wants to know if Trump is involved

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Anonymous U.S. intelligence sources cited by NBC News say the White House has ordered a special intelligence task force to look into Russia's recent hacks of various Democratic political organizations.

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Unprotected database exposes off-grid energy users in Guatemala, South Africa

Two of the leaked identification cards -- on the left, a South African ID, and a Guatemalan ID on the right. (Image: leaked database, via ZDnet)

An unprotected Kingo Solar database with the personal data and photos for thousands of off-the-grid electricity customers was accessible for months, reports Zack Whittaker at ZDnet. “Thousands of remote villagers in Guatemala and South Africa are living off the grid, but their personal information isn't,” he writes.

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Laughing Stanford rapist Brock Turner to be released after only 3 months in jail

Brock Turner. Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
Brock Turner is scheduled to be getting out of jail this week, three months early.

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No shooting at Los Angeles International Airport #LAX, false alarm confirmed by LAPD

A TSA check baggage X-ray machine is seen in terminal 4 at LAX, May 2, 2011. REUTERS

Around 9pm local time here in Los Angeles, reports began popping up of a shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport, LAX. Within about 30 minutes, LAPD confirmed that there had been no shooting, no victims, and the emergency was called off. Read the rest

Colombia and Farc rebels reach historic peace agreement ending 5-decade war

Two colombian soldiers patrol in front at a truck burned by rebels of
the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Cisneros, 80 kms
west from Cali, Valle del Cauca province March 6, 2002. REUTERS/Juan B. Diaz

After half a century of war, the Colombian government and Farc rebels say they have reached a historic peace agreement. The two sides have been meeting in Havana, Cuba since November 2012. Both signed a bilateral ceasefire in June, which was needed before a final agreement could be reached. An estimated 220,000 people have died in the decades-long conflict, and millions have been displaced.

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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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