Blogging History: LA water sommelier; Fiji Water's brutal military backers; No-fly for Ted Kennedy

One year
The water sommelier of Los Angeles: Martin Riese is the water sommelier at Ray's and Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Five years
Brutal military dictatorship that backs Fiji Water: Fiji Water isn't just devastating to the environment of Fiji, the planet that endures the cost of shipping it, and the environments of the places where it is consumed. It is also the product of a brutal military regime that monitors all outgoing Internet traffic from the island for criticisms of the water business and immediately arrests people who transmit them, bringing them in for intensive questioning and the occasional prison-rape threat, as journalist Anna Lenzer discovered.

Ten years
Senator Kennedy on "no-fly" list: Senator Ted Kennedy says he was denied boarding on three shuttle flights in one month, because he's on the federal "no-fly" list of terrorist suspects.

Blogging History: GCHQ performs laptop exorcism at Guardian; Graphic novel for Afghan voters; Docs helped Gitmo torturers

One year
UK intel officials enter Guardian offices, destroy hard drives with Snowden docs: The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, explains that he is now forced to work on stories about the US National Security Administration from New York City, because UK intelligence officials went into the Guardian's headquarters and destroyed hard drives that had copies of some of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Five years
Afghanistan: graphic novel voting guides for today's presidential elections: BB reader Jeannine (@j9drost) tweets, "My brother helped illustrate a 25-page Afghan election manual. More civic education materials here."

Ten years
Medical professionals complicit in Abu Ghraib torture, says bioethicist: Dr. Stephen Miles wrote a scathing editorial for UK medical journal The Lancet which says that U.S. military medical personnel were complicit in detainee torture incidents that took place in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to the University of Minnesota bioethicist, "The US military medical system failed to protect detainees' human rights, sometimes collaborated with interrogators or abusive guards, and failed to properly report injuries or deaths caused by beatings." Based on data gleaned from government documents, he details cases of alleged abuse participation by medical personnel, and calls for a formal inquiry.

Blogging History: Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow; Michael Jackson's FBI file; Stealth Lynndie-ing

One year
UK officials detain Glenn Greenwald's partner at Heathrow, question him about Snowden interviews, steal all his gadgets & data: Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda was detained at Heathrow Airport under an anti-terrorism law that allows the cops to hold terrorism suspects and question them for nine hours without a lawyer. He was held for exactly nine hours, and questioned -- but not about terrorism.

Five years
Michael Jackson's FBI file consists of about 600 pages: I expected the agency would reply saying they didn't locate any such records, or that there were only a handful on pages on the late entertainer. I was wrong. A letter from the FBI yesterday informs me they've located close to 600 pages on him.

Ten years
Stealth Lynndie-ing: In this warped variant of stealth disco, you strike the cigarette-dangling-from-mouth, finger-points-at-exposed-prisoner-genitalia pose made famous by Pfc. Lynndie England in Abu Ghraib torture photos.

Blogging History: Student debt destroying a generation; Adding weight to gadgets for gravitas; Mexican cops get chipped

One year
Student debt and tuition hikes: destroying the lives of America's children: Matt Taibbi takes a long, in-depth look at the scandal of student loans and tuition hikes, a two-headed parasite sucking America's working class and middle class dry as they plunge their children into a lifetime of ballooning debt in the vain hope of a better, college-educated future.

Five years
Gizmo with a weight added for extra heft: The IDSA Materials and Process Selection Blog discovered a surprise inside a Pinnacle Video Transfer gadget: a weight seemingly added for the sole purpose of making the device heavier and less "cheap"-feeling.

Ten years
Mexican cops get themselves chipped: The government of Mexico is RFID-tagging police in order to combat record high levels of kidnapping and disappearances. About 170 officers are said to have been subcutaneously tagged in their arms with microchips about the size of a rice grain of rice. The chip grants them access to a crime database and becomes a tracking tool in case they're kidnapped.

Blogging History: Dutch ebooks, now with more surveillance!

One year
Dutch ebook sellers promise to spy on everyone's reading habits, share them with "anti-piracy" group: What I totally failed to anticipate was that booksellers and publishers would use watermarking as a rubric for tracking and sharing information about everything that everyone is reading. In the Netherlands, ebook sellers have announced that they will retain full reading records on their customers for at least two years, and will share that information with an "anti-piracy" group called BREIN (a group that already has the power to order Dutch ISPs to censor the Internet, without due process or judicial oversight; and who, ironically, were caught ripping off musicians for their anti-piracy ads).

Blogging History: NSA audit shows 1000s of privacy violations; RECAP for US law launches; Wiretapping the Web

One year
Internal audit shows NSA often breaks privacy rules, made thousands of violations a year: In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a “large number” of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a “quality assurance” review that was not distributed to the NSA’s oversight staff.

Five years
RECAP, a Firefox plugin that frees US caselaw one page at a time: Earlier this year, 20 million pages of the U.S. Federal Court's PACER database were downloaded, audited for privacy violations, and submitted as evidence to the Judicial Conference, the policy-making body of the courts. That incident led to a Senate investigation, clean-up by 30 district courts, and PACER now requires each lawyer to click at each login that they understand their privacy requirements.

Ten years
Wiretapping the Web: [T]wo recent legal developments have raised further fears among Web privacy advocates in the United States. In one case, the Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 last week to prohibit businesses from offering broadband or Internet phone service unless they provide Uncle Sam with backdoors for wiretapping access. And in a separate decision last month, a federal appeals court decided that e-mail and other electronic communications are not protected under a strict reading of wiretap laws. Taken together, these decisions may make it both legally and technologically easier to wiretap Internet communications, some legal experts told NEWSWEEK. "All the trends are toward easier to tap," says Kevin Bankston, an attorney at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Blogging History: Where Twitter spam-accounts come from

One year
Where Twitter spam-accounts come from: The spammers were using cheap overseas labor to solve Twitter's CAPTCHAs, registering the new accounts with automatically created email boxes from Hotmail and Mail.ru, and spreading the registrations out across a range of IP addresses, courtesy of massive botnets of infected computers.

Blogging History: Aaronsw's Secret Service files; SF writers' nests; Olympics panopticon

One year
First 100 pages of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files: After a long wrangle, and no thanks to MIT, the Secret Service has begun to honor the court order that requires it to release Aaron Swartz's files.

Five years
Photos of science fiction writers' nests: Subculture photographer Kyle Cassidy has a great new project: "Where I Write: Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers in Their Creative Spaces."

Ten years
Big Brother goes to the Olympics: US$312 million surveillance system installed for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Blogging History: Banks stole $trillions worth of houses; MPAA wants your house kicked offline; Olympic brand-whoring low

One year
Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions' worth of houses: Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $95,000,000. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by "securitizing" mortgages -- turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income -- and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going?

Five years
Movie industry wants the right to take your house off the net without full judicial review: The motion-picture industry has spoken out against a New Zealand proposal to allow them to disconnect entire households from the Internet if one member is accused of copyright infringement; they want to be able to disconnect your Internet connection without giving you a chance to defend yourself in front of a judge because that would be "time consuming." Instead, they would like to be lord high executioner for your network connection, with the power to shut you out of the benefits of the network (freedom of speech, assembly and the press; access to school, health, family, work and government) without having to prove it in a real court of law.

Ten years
Olympic brand-whoring attains new, shameful low: Penalties for buying the wrong product range from confiscation of your goods to being forced to wear your t-shirt logo-side-in. The worst of it is the steaming craopla from the IOC official who says "We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen." Oh, rilly? Or what? They won't sponsor the Olympics anymore?

Blogging History: Lavabit founder stops using email; Neal Stephenson's Orth Hugo speech; NY-NJ ferry cop harasses man for reading D&D book

One year ago
Lavabit founder has stopped using email: "If you knew what I know, you might not use it either": Levison’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, who is based in Northern Virginia — the court district where Levison needed representation — added that it’s “ridiculous” that Levison has to so carefully parse what he says about the government inquiry. “In America, we’re not supposed to have to worry about watching our words like this when we’re talking to the press,” Binnall said.

Five years ago
Stephenson's Orth-speak Hugo acceptance speech: Here's the Orth text of Neal Stephenson's acceptance speech for the Hugo Award for Anathem, snapped at the pre-award reception before we both discovered that our books had been beaten by Gaiman's kick-ass Graveyard Book.

Ten years ago
D&D book reader on ferry hassled by security morons: Thanks to the RNC, there are mandatory bag searches happening on the NJ-NY Ferry. This fellow first got hassled with a re-search for carrying The Player's Guide to Faerun a D&D book, and then the next day, security tried to confiscate his copy of Exalted: The Abyssals as 'inappropriate.'

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.