Councillor who voted to close all public toilets gets a ticket for public urination


Last May, Jackie Burns, the deputy leader of the Labour Council in South Lanarkshire in Scotland, voted to close all public toilets as part of the Scottish government's £22 million cost-cutting programme; early last Saturday morning, police issued him a £40 ticket for pissing in public. (via Reddit) Read the rest

A Freedom of Information request for UK Home Secretary Theresa May's metadata


When UK Home Secretary Theresa May introduced the new, sweeping UK spying bill this week, she reiterated her claim that metadata is like an "itemised phone bill" and does not contain anything harmful. Read the rest

Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn sells a memoir, movie about her harassment


Zoe Quinn, sometime Boing Boing and Offworld contributor and object of pants-wetting apoplexy by Gamergate's jerk-squad, has sold a memoir telling her tale of being targeted for one of the Internet's most grotesque and cowardly pile-ons, and had the film-rights snapped up by Pascal Pictures, with rumors that Scarlett Johansson will play Quinn. Read the rest

Tea Party "family values" pol resigns after sending adulterous vid to entire address-book


After sending the sex-video to his entire contact list, Republican Indiana Rep Jud McMillin sent out a mass-text saying that his phone was stolen in Canada and had only just been returned; he asked recipients to "please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received." Read the rest

FTC clobbers Roca Labs, the terrible weight-loss company that banned negative reviews


If you follow my tweets of interesting stories from one year ago, you'll have seen the Roca Labs saga popping up again. Roca sold a "non-surgical gastric bypass" that was mostly made from industrial food-thickeners that were supposed to gunk up your stomach and fill you up. Read the rest

Cox cable: Rightscorp is a mass copyright infringer


Rightscorp is the publicly traded extortion racket that tries to force/bribe ISPs into disconnecting their customers from the Internet unless those customers pay "settlements" for unproven allegations of copyright infringement. Read the rest

3D print your own TSA Travel Sentry keys and open anyone's luggage


Watch this video on The Scene.

The TSA mandates that all checked luggage must be locked with a deliberately flawed lock that can be opened with one of a handful of skeleton keys that are supposed to be kept secret. It's been more than a year since the TSA allowed a newspaper photographer to print a high-rez photo of its universal luggage-lock keys, allowing any moderately skilled locksmith to create her own set. Ars Technica downloaded a set of key STL files from Github, printed them on a consumer 3D printer, and showed that they could gain entry to any luggage.

It's a model for what happens with any kind of law-enforcement/public safety back door: the universal keys leak and there's no way to re-key all those locks out there in the field. The FBI and UK security services are calling for backdoors in all crypto -- the code we use to protect everything from pacemakers to bank accounts. This is as neat an illustration of why that's a bad idea as you could ask for. Read the rest

Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies lose big at the Hugos UPDATED

Cixin Liu's "Three Body Problem" is the first-ever translation to win Best Novel; meanwhile, the uprecedented effort to put together an organized slate of science fiction that appealed to sexist (Sad Puppies) and misogynist/white supremacist (Rabid Puppies) and homophobic (both) orthodoxy to sweep the Hugos was a flop. Read the rest

Iran arms deal prosecution falls apart because of warrantless laptop search

The case against Jae Shik Kim -- a South Korean exec caught selling weapons components to Iran -- has collapsed because the prosecutors abused the rule allowing them to search laptop hard-drives without a warrant when someone is at a "border crossing" (in this case, LAX). Read the rest

Australian court hands copyright trolls their own asses

The studio behind "Dallas Buyers Club" will be able to demand that people caught downloading the movie without permission pay for the cost of a legit download, plus a small surcharge to cover the cost of getting their details through a court. Read the rest

Owner of "Relentlessly Gay" yard raising money to make yard MOAR GHEY

When Baltimore's Julie Baker hung some rainbow-colored solar lights in her yard, a helpful neighbor slipped a charming note through her door chastising her for her "Relentlessly Gay" yard, threatening to call the police unless it came into compliance with the "Christian" neighborhood ethic. Read the rest

Keurig CEO blames disastrous financials on DRM

Keurig CEO Brian Kelley blamed a 23% drop in sales on his decision to use DRM to stop people from buying their coffee-pods from his competition. Read the rest

Sony pirated ebooks on hacking

Pirated copies of two O'Reilly books on hacking, Hacking: The Next Generation and Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld were hosted on Sony's internal servers. Read the rest

Beauty tips for male Lego execs

Hugh writes, "Lego published annoying 'beauty tips' for young girls; Elbe Spurling has a nice response: beauty tips for male Lego executives." Read the rest

Anti-vaxxer ordered to pay EUR100K to winner of "measles aren't real" bet

Stefan Lanka, a "vaccination skeptic" who claims that measles are a psychosomatic condition brought on by "traumatic separations," publicly challenged people to prove that measles was caused by a virus. Read the rest

Rightscorp loses big on extortion racket

Rightcorp, the notorious, publicly traded copyright trolls, have warned investors that they're losing money despite a successful claim of mass extortion against alleged copyright infringers. Read the rest

VA boss caught lying about serving in the Special Forces

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for lying to a veteran about serving in the Special Forces. (via Super Punch) Read the rest

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