Blogging History: Hacked, Internet-hating MP goes mad; Dead goat video-game; Digging into the 9/11 report

One year ago today
Technologically illiterate MP who masterminded UK porn blocker gets hacked, threatens reporter for writing about it: Claire Perry is the UK Tory MP who architected David Cameron's idiotic national porno firewall plan. Her website was hacked and defaced with pornographic gross-out/shock images. When Guido Fawkes, a reporter and blogger, wrote about it on his website, Perry took to Twitter to accuse him of "sponsoring" the hack, and publicly announced that she would be speaking to his editor at the Sun (Fawkes has a column with the tabloid) to punish him for writing about her embarrassment.

Five years ago today
Dead Goat Polo Arcade Game: Ulak-Tartysh, for those of you not familiar with carcass-based sports, is essentially polo played with the headless body of a dead goat. It's popular in Central Asia, and especially in Kyrgyzstan, which is where this fascinating game hails from. This one appears to have been built in 1983, at some state-run electronics factory in the city of Mailuu-Suu. The coin slots say "15 Kopeks," but I think at that time all the USSR satellite states used that denomination.

Ten years ago today
9/11 commission report: much of what we knew was wrong: The commission's report found that the hijackers had repeatedly broken the law in entering the United States, that Mr. bin Laden may have micromanaged the attacks but did not pay for them, that intelligence agencies had considered the threat of suicide hijackings, and that Mr. Bush received an August 2001 briefing on evidence of continuing domestic terrorist threats from Al Qaeda.

Blogging History: Cruelty to 14yo pro-choice activist; CSS is Awesome mug; Secret Swing trip

One year ago today
14-year-old girl who was called a "whore" for her pro-Choice sign expresses disappointment in adult world: She was protesting Texas's misogynist, retrograde anti-Choice law. Afterward, a number of self-identified Christian opponents of abortion heaped the vilest, cruelest abuse on her, calling her a "whore" and worse.

Five years ago today
Awesome CSS IS AWESOME mug.

Ten years ago today
Secret Swing visit report: After reading the earlier entry here on Toronto's Secret Swing, an art installation in which a playground swing has been hung in a narrow downtown graffiti alley, Chris sought it out and went for a ride and shot some good pix of it in action.

Blogging History: Expiring 3DP patents; Cat burglar in my street; 9/11 commission report published

One year ago today
Get ready for the big bang as 3D printing patents expire: The key patents covering a 3D printing technique called "laser sintering" are set to expire in the next year or two -- there are a bunch of them, so they'll trickle out -- and this will radically reduce the price of printing and printers.

Five years ago today
Cat burglar falls off three-storey building across from my bedroom window: At 5AM today -- about an hour ago -- just as my alarm went off, someone in the street below started shouting CALL POLICE! CALL POLICE! I grabbed my phone and went to the window, and saw a man in the street, shouting and looking up at the third-story roof of the office building across the street.

Ten years ago today
9/11 commission report: How to get a copy online or in hard copy: The U.S. Government Printing Office offers hard copy, if you prefer.

Blogging History: Black Lagoon biker tee; Injection moulding secrets; Ukraine's secret WWII caves

One year ago today
Creature from the Black Lagoon as outlaw biker tee: Ben Von Strawn's "The Creatcha" tees, which sport a version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon in biker drag and a coal-scuttle helmet.

Five years ago today
Secrets of the injection moulder: Fascinating post on the IDSA Materials and Processes blog about the things you can learn about injection moulding from studying the "ejection marks" on the surface of plastic objects.

Ten years ago today
Ukranian cave system that hid Jews from Nazis for nearly a year: Incredible National Geographic piece on the exploration of the Priest's Grotto, a cave system in the Ukraine where 38 Jews hid from the Nazis for nearly a year.

Blogging History: ISS Toolbox; Governator v "Girlie Men"

One year ago today
Toolbox on the International Space Station: British ISS astronaut Tim Peake has a Flickr gallery of pics of the drawers on an ISS toolchest, each an obsessive, knolled marvel of foam cutouts and the everyday life of a spaceperson.

Ten years ago today
Governator calls foes "girlie men" who should be "terminated": California's AGW (Actor-Governor-whatever) derided his opponents in a speech this weekend as "girlie men," and asked his supporters to "terminate" them at polls in November if they fail to approve his >$103 billion budget.

Blogging History: Airport valets search cars for TSA; Pepper-spray ATMs; Scanned Alice manuscripts

One year ago today
TSA orders airport valets to search parked cars: My prediction: the TSA will erect a sign at the valet drop-off saying, "By valet parking, you agree that we can search your car." And that will be the end of it. Because in the 21st century, posting a notice of your unreasonable conduct is the same as getting consent for it.

Five years ago today
ATMs that spray attackers with pepper-spray: The idea is that spray incapacitates you while the cops come out. Unfortunately, they've also been known to incapacitate the poor bastards who install them by randomly firing capsaicin at them.

Ten years ago today
Alice in Wonderland precursor manuscripts scanned and posted: A Dutch university student has scanned in an original manuscript for Alice's Adventures Underground, Lewis Carroll's precursor to Alice in Wonderland.

Blogging History: Tax avoidance topologies; RIP, Cronkite; Free North Korean webmail

One year ago today
Maps of corporate tax-avoidance hairballs: OpenCorporates has a data-visualization tool for peering into the corporate tax-evasion structures of big corporations -- subsidiaries nested like Russian dolls made from Klein bottles.

Five years ago today
Walter Cronkite, RIP: Walter Cronkite, the broadcast news legend who spoke the words "And now we have two Americans on the moon" 40 years ago this week died in New York today at age 92.

Ten years ago today
North Korea offers free email on new gov website: I discovered that the North Korean government is actually letting people sign up for free web based email accounts. Their web page actually claims that they have an advanced IT industry, but somehow after experiencing it's fruit, I am left doubtful.

Blogging History: DHS not allowed to look at Snowden leaks; Starbucks garbage Tie Fighter; Worldcon v DNC

One year ago today
DHS to employees: reading newspaper coverage of Snowden's NSA leaks is "classified data spillage": The US Department of Homeland Security is warning its employees that they can be punished for opening up this Washington Post article, which includes a classified slide (above) illustrating how the National Security Agency spies on communications.

Five years ago today
TIE Fighter made from Starbucks detritus: Wired contributing photographer Dan Winters made this TIE Fighter from Starbucks junk -- cups, stirrers, sleeves and such.

Ten years ago today
Differences between WorldCon and DNC: This year's World Science Fiction Convention is in Boston, and accordingly, the URL for the con is boston2004.com. By a funny coincidence, the Democratic National Convention is also in Boston, and its URL is boston04.com. The inevitable confusion is quite humorous -- the organisers of the WorldCon have compiled a list of ways in which the WorldCon is unlike the DNC.

Blogging History: Great empires, animated; Wannabe amputees; Child-rape at Abu Ghraib

One year ago today
Animated maps of great empires: Vince Miklos collects GIFs of Empires, from the Roman to Soviet.

Five years ago today
Video about wannabee amputee: ABC Catalyst posted a fascinating short documentary about an man who purposefully destroyed his leg with dry ice so that a physician would have no choice but to cut it off.

Ten years ago today
Hersh: children raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has videos: This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling.

Blogging History: Porno deco Soviet alphabet; Can State Dept use Firefox?; "Blog" before weblogs

One year ago today
Porno art-deco Soviet alphabet: The book encouraged adult literacy through erotic drawings of figures in various acts of copulation.

Five years ago today
State Department apparat asks Clinton to let him use Firefox: I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn't use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don't understand why State can't use it. It's a much safer program. Thank you. (Applause.)

Ten years ago today
Before weblogs, "blog" was a kind of cocktail at sf cons: You should be aware that Blog was originally devised by British fans in the 1950s. There were two versions. A Liverpool fan named Peter Hamilton came up with the recipe for Blog Mark I, which consisted of "a brandy and egg flip base, to which was added black currant puree, Alka Seltzer, and Beechan's Powder. It effervesced." A second, simplified version (Blog Mark II) was produced by hotel barmen at the first Kettering Eastercon (1955) and consisted of "a half-pint of cider and a measure of rum."

Blogging History: Texan war on women; RIP Charles Brown; Backyard coaster

One year ago today
Texas passes draconian law limiting women's health care options: The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the strengthened regulations for the structures and doctors will protect women’s health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions and will force most of them to shut their doors.

Five years ago today
RIP, Charles Brown of Locus Magazine, one of science fiction's grand old men: I read Locus from the time I was old enough to see over the counter at Bakka, the science fiction bookstore where I later worked, and for some years now I have been a columnist with the magazine. Charles's obsessive, affectionate fascination with the field and all its readers, writers, fans and critics made him one of the most beloved figures in it, a sort of Forry Ackerman minus the id.

Ten years ago today
Backyard Coaster: The Blue Flash is a roller coaster that John Ivers constructed in his rural Indiana backyard.

Blogging History: Snowden's Russian asylum statement; Swearing helps with pain

One year ago today
Edward Snowden's statement on seeking asylum in Russia, as published by Wikileaks: Hello, My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

Five years ago today
Swearing mitigates pain: Some experimental evidence to suggest that swearing makes pain less traumatic, though the mechanism by which is does this shit is unclear.

Blogging History: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's hoover design; Bureaucracy-fu explains crappy airport food; MCM casemods

One year ago today
After torture, and between Harry Potter novels, CIA allowed KSM to design a vacuum cleaner: Would the spy agency allow Mohammed, who had earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering, to design a vacuum cleaner?

Five years ago today
Talking to bureaucracies considered as a corporate fitness factor: Seth Godin eloquently describes the fitness factor that makes a restaurant suited to getting placement in an airport: they have to be run by corporations whose primary skill is dealing with bureaucracies.

Ten years ago today
Casemods from classic industrial designs: "Bootleg Objects" is a casemod project that starts with design classics like this 1973 Bang & Olafsen tape-deck, Technics turntables, etc, and builds PCs and displays into them ("In the series of the Bootleg Objects, the BO.02 is a representative of the era of the music cassette.

Blogging History: Manning defense rests; Pages Toronto to close; DMCA vs tape-drives

One year ago today
US vs. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning: defense rests, Manning won't testify, Wikileaks gets respect: Xen traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland to observe the trial of Army PFC. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native has admitted to providing Wikileaks with more than 700,000 leaked documents, which included battle reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department diplomatic cables, and military videos from combat zones.

Five years ago today
Pages Books in Toronto to close: Toronto's Pages bookstore, one of my favorites in the world, is set to close after a rent-hike left it unable to remain in its 30 year Queen Street location.

Ten years ago today
DMCA says you can't fix your own tape-drive: My cow-orker Jason Schultz reports on a breaking new DMCA horripilation: a court has ordered a company to stop fixing tape-drives because in so doing, it makes unauthorized access of a copyrighted "Maintenance Code."

Blogging History: Genius graphic novel Murdoch reporters hacked thousands in UK

One year ago today
GENIUS: beautiful graphic novel about inspiration, Einstein, and self-doubt: Genius is a new graphic novel written by Steven T Seagle and drawn by Teddy Kristiansen and it's not really like any other graphic novels I've read. In a very good way.

Five years ago today
Rupert Murdoch reporters in the UK illegally hacked thousands of peoples' data: British journalists working for Murdoch papers have been on a crime spree, hiring private eyes to illegally hack into the voicemail and data of thousands of people, including " tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills"; Murdoch has paid out over £1M so far to hush it up.