HOPE X call for participation now open

Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 Magazine writes, "The call for participation at HOPE X in New York City is now open. There is room for over 100 talks and panels, dozens of workshops, and all kinds of creative artwork with hacker overtones. This is expected to be one of the largest conferences dealing with hacking, whistleblowing, social change, surveillance, and new technology ever presented in the United States. There will be no government agency recruiters, no commercial exploitation, and no shortage of controversy. The doors are now open for imaginative ideas at this very crucial point in hacker (and human) history. HOPE X takes place July 18-20, 2014 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City." Cory 1

2600's HOPE X conference accepts Bitcoin signups

Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 magazine writes, "The HOPE X conference (July 18-20, New York City) is now accepting Bitcoin for preregistration. It's believed this is the first time in North America that any conference (other than a couple of Bitcoin conferences) has accepted the digital currency. Quite a few people have been requesting this for a while - and a hacker conference is exactly the kind of place where such experiments should be tried out. In addition to allowing people to preregister with a minimum of identifying information, it also presents attendees and non-attendees alike with a way of making new projects at the conference possible by donating additional bitcoins if desired. It will be most interesting to see if this method of payment is embraced by HOPE X attendees." Cory 5

Impromptu sax battle on the MTA

When a sax player stepped onto this MTA car and started playing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," he inspired one of the passengers to whip out his own sax and join in. What followed was a jam session/sax battle that is a delight to watch.

SAX BATTLE IN NYC SUBWAY (original duh...) (via Reddit)

TSA confiscates photographer's blower because it could be filled with gunpowder and used as a missile


In a photography forum, Surapon recounts the sad story of how the TSA took away his Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster, a blower for removing dust from equipment, at an airport in New York.

According to him, he was on his way back to North Carolina from Greece when the TSA flagged his camera-case for manual inspection. The TSA agent reportedly produced the rocket-shaped blower, and then he and a colleague grimly pronounced the dangers of this object, should it be filled with gunpowder and then launched like a rocket through the cockpit.

Since then, Surapon assiduously sliced the decorative fins off his blowers, and has had no further trouble from the TSA.

My New and Improve GIOTTOS Blower-for safety. (Thanks, Visionrouge!)

NYC think-tank devoted to critical analysis of Big Data seeks fellows

Outstanding social scientist danah boyd has founded a new thinktank (or "think/do-tank") called The Data & Society Research Institute, based in New York City, and devoted to critical analysis of big data, and "social, technical, ethical, legal, and policy issues that are emerging because of data-centric technological development." It's well-funded, with an exciting mission, and they're hiring.

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Bruce Schneier and Eben Moglen, Dec 12, Columbia U/NYC

James writes, "Following on Eben Moglen's mind-warping series of talks about life after Snowden, the Software Freedom Law Center has invited Bruce Schneier to join Eben for a conversation informed by Bruce's own analysis of the leaked documents. Bruce is one of the smartest thinkers around when it comes to understanding how security and surveillance operate in the real world. And he is unsurpassed at presenting complicated security concepts even to people who lack his expertise. Between Moglen's sophisticated thoughts and Bruce's grounded approach, we're sure to learn a lot about where we stand and what we can do next!" Cory 3

NYPD shoot at unarmed man, hit bystanders, charge man for making them shoot


It's the most heartwarming NYC Christmas story since Miracle on 34th Street: the NYPD shot at a mentally disturbed, unarmed man who was lurching through traffic in Times Square. They ended up wounding a bunch of bystanders. So the DA charged the disturbed man with a felony because his conduct resulted in police officers shooting passersby. He faces 25 years in prison. The officers have been placed on "administrative leave," but their names are withheld because it might be hard on them, being known as the cops who were forced to shoot those bystanders by the unarmed man who was lurching through traffic in a state of mental breakdown.

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Rooster-faced warriors of 16th century Germany


16th century German soldiery sure understood how to strike terror into their enemies' hearts: the rooster-headed armored visor (ca 1530) must have been a sight to behold. Now on display at the Met in NYC (Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Bequest of Bashford Dean, 1928)

Close Helmet with Mask Visor (via Neatorama)

Video: NYPD try to stop skateboard race down Broadway

Despite a court order banning it in 2012, this year's Broadway Bomb skateboard street-race down Manhattan's iconic boulevard still attracted a huge number of participants. This video -- Yakety Sax and all -- shows some of NYC's finest doing...something...with the traffic and the skateboarders and whatnot, with a large amount of comical bumbling and not much else.

Broadway Bomb - Benny Hill Style - 2013 (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

HOPE X announced, more 2600 archives online

Emmanuel from 2600 Magazine sez, "HOPE X (the tenth Hackers On Planet Earth conference) is set for July 18-20, 2014 at the not-to-be-torn-down Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. More details at http://xxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx/ and - for those who have the .xxx domain blocked - http://x.hope.net. Speaker submissions will be opening soon, along with preregistration and other ways to participate."

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Man accused of stealing 37 doormats from Manhattan banks


Here's a sad profile of William Footman, an inmate at Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward who is believed to be behind at least 37 robberies in which the doormats were stolen from banks. Footman admits to some of these, but says that the rest weren't him; he claims to have worked at a rug factory, to have a wife and 15 daughters, and to have made ends meet by selling stolen bank doormats to bodegas. But there's a clear impression that he's a fabulist, possibly delusional, and that he's really in a bad place, despite the weirdness of his crimes.

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Welcome to Fear City: a guide to scare tourists away from NYC


Islandersa1 has scanned Welcome to Fear City, an amazing, never-distributed 1970s flier aimed at scaring the pants off of tourists in NYC, produced by the police union, who were looking for more funding. (via Super Punch)

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Can has data-optimized cheeseburger? Yes.

Here's an Ignite talk by Hilary Mason, chief scientist at Bitly, explaining how she scraped data from multiple sources to create a service that locates NYC's most optimal cheeseburger, using an algorithm that balances out price, proximity, and sentiment analysis from various review sites. As Mason points out, this isn't about cheeseburgers, really: it's about the power (and limits) of cross-referenced data.

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How the Strand sells print books to ebook readers


Avi Solomon snapped this pic of the window display at NYC bookstore The Strand lauding the virtues of their "Real books priced lower than ebooks," including the fact that you can read them during take-off and landing.

Real Books... (via Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

Fundraiser: Campaign to name street for George Carlin vs Catholic church Carlin attended as a boy

The campaign to rename West 121st St in NYC for George Carlin has nearly succeeded, but is being blocked by a single vote -- and faces opposition from his boyhood Catholic church and school. A fundraiser at the Gotham Comedy Club tomorrow night will feature an all-star standup cast to raise money to support the cause. (via Reddit) Cory 2