Four sets of identical twins pull an epic NYC subway car time-machine prank

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Improv Everywhere (previously) keeps on bringing the hits, but seriously, this one takes the cake. Read the rest

Tor Books is hiring two editorial assistants

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My publisher, Tor Books -- the largest sf/f publisher in the world, a division of Macmillan -- is hiring two editorial assistants, one to work for my editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden (as well as editors Miriam Weinberg and Jen Gunnels) and the other to work for Liz Gorinsky and on Seven Seas, a manga imprint. (via Making Light) Read the rest

Fellowships for "Robin Hood" hackers to help poor people get access to the law

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New York City's Robin Hood Labs at Blue Ridge Laboratories have opening for paid fellowships to develop apps and technologies to give low-income people legal assistance in civil proceedings, like evictions, debt collection, and immigration procedures. Read the rest

Gorgeous new covers for 100 great public domain books

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The New York Public Library's spectacular Digital Public Library challenged designers to create new covers for some of the public domain's greatest books, which had been previously doomed to an undeserved dullness thanks to the auto-generated covers that book-scanning projects stuck them with. Read the rest

Panorama: the largest photo ever made of NYC

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Jeffrey Martin writes, "Here is the largest photo ever made of NYC (more than 200,000 pixels wide). Shot handheld from the top of the Empire State Building with a 135mm lens and a 50MP fullframe SLR."

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NYPD wants to make "resisting arrest" into a felony

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It's no secret that "resisting arrest" is the go-to excuse for violence committed against suspects by corrupt cops -- it's practically a running gag. Read the rest

Politician given green-light to name developer's new streets with synonyms for greed and deceit

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A New York State Supreme Court judge has confirmed that Staten Island Borough President James Oddo can name three streets in a new property development with words that imply greediness and deceitfulness on the part of the developers. Read the rest

There's a secret "black site" in New York where terrorism suspects are tortured for years at a time

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Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center has a special wing, 10-South, in which terrorism suspects who have been kidnapped from foreign territories are imprisoned and tortured in secret, before being given secret trials and lengthy sentences. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Astro Noise: indispensable book and gallery show about mass surveillance

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Laura Poitras is the Macarthur-winning, Oscar-winning documentarian who made Citizenfour. Her life has been dogged by government surveillance and harassment, and she has had to become a paranoid OPSEC ninja just to survive. Read the rest

Teaching students at a Co-Op City public school to make pollution-fighting robots

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NYU associate professor Natalie Jeremijenko brought her Feral Robot Dogs project to twenty-nine of our gifted and special-needs students at New York City's PS 153.

#Blizzard2016: Big-ass winter storm hits East Coast with big snow predicted

People buy seafood at the Wharf as snow begins to fall in DC, Jan 22 2016. REUTERS

Washington, D.C., and New York City are under blizzard watches, and states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery winter storm now slamming the U.S. East Coast with snow.

A large winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic on Jan. 22 and 23 in a Jan. 20, 2016 NASA photo.

The storm threatens to dump nearly 3 feet of snow on the Middle Atlantic region, and slammed into Washington, D.C. this afternoon, threatening our nation's capital with record accumulations. The storm is now moving up the East Coast and causing all sorts of problems in New York, and throughout the region.

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US Treasury Dept wants to know which offshore crimelords are buying all those NYC and Miami penthouses

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It's an open secret that the world's luxury property boom is being driven by crooked rich people in the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa who have looted their homelands and want to stash the money out of reach of any new dictators who might come along and change which oligarchs are favored and which are not. Read the rest

NYC to assign civilian to monitor NYPD counterterrorism

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An independent civilian appointed by New York's mayor will monitor counterterrorism activities of the New York Police Department, the New York Times reports that lawyers said in court documents Thursday. The news comes as those lawyers attempt to settle two lawsuits about the NYPD's surveillance of Muslims after 9/11.

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New York Public Library does the public domain right

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The New York Public Library is aggressively digitizing the public domain works in its collections, adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to each of the hundreds of thousands of assets, providing an API, offering residencies to remixers who do interesting things with the collection, and offering all those assets in high-rez with "No permission required. No restrictions on use." Read the rest

Help identify the science fiction legends in these thrift-scored pix of the 1956 Worldcon

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Cate writes, "I came across a collection of snapshots at a thrift store and recognized the historic nature of the photos, which documented the 14th World Science Fiction Convention. I purchased the photos from a thrift store in Santa Barbara, California on December 31, 2015. I am looking for help to identify attendees featured in the photos." Read the rest

Cybercrime 3.0: stealing whole houses

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Articles in the UK and US press describe fraudsters who used public document registries to steal entire houses, using forged documents to list the houses for sale, transferring title to them, and disappearing (or attempting to) with a lot of money in their pockets.

Donald Trump picked business adviser convicted in “major Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme”

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The Associated Press reports today that GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump asked a man who was once involved in a major Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme to be a senior business adviser to the Trump real-estate empire.

His name is Felix Sater. You can follow him on Twitter.

AP reports that Sater pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the Genovese and Bonanno mafia families.

Five years before his financial crime conviction, Sater got a year in prison in 1993 for stabbing a man’s face with a broken margarita glass.

From the AP's report:

Portions of Trump's relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater's criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name. When Sater's criminal past and Mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.

But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump's own office in New York's Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records. Trump said during an AP interview on Wednesday that he recalled only bare details of Sater.

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