Boing Boing 

Chris Christie denounces "civil liberties extremists"

Because the framers of the Constitution didn't really mean it -- after all, it's not like America had any enemies in 1776.

America's terrible trains are an ideological triumph

America's trains suck on purpose: "Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow."

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Stephen Harper extended music copyright to please US record industry lobbyist


Michael Geist writes, "The Canadian government's decision to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in the budget may have taken most copyright observers by surprise, but not the music industry."

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US Passport Agency contractors harvested Americans' data for identity theft


Chloe McClendon worked for a State Department contractor, and conspired with two others to steal the identities of passport applicants by photographing their applications while processing them.

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Smart Grid consortium rolled its own crypto, which is always, always a bad idea


When you make up your own crypto, it's only secure against people stupider than you, and there are lots of people smarter than the designers of the Open Smart Grid Protocol, who rolled their own (terrible) crypto rather than availing themselves of the numerous, excellent, free public cryptographic protocols.

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Senators demand CIA boss admit he lied about hacking torture committee

It's one thing for the CIA to hack the Senate committee investigating Bush-era torture, but then director John Brennan told a bald-faced lie, under oath, to the Senate Intelligence Committee (his bosses!) about it.

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House Republicans hold hearing on politics in science, don't invite any scientists

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Hereditary Republican Congressjerk who leads Transport Committee admits sleeping with airline lobbyist

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster [R-PA] admits that he's having an affair with Shelley Rubino, vice president for global government affairs for Airlines for America, but swears that's not why he gave her industry so many awesome legislative gifts.

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NSA declares war on general purpose computers


NSA director Michael S Rogers says his agency wants "front doors" to all cryptography used in the USA, so that no one can have secrets it can't spy on -- but what he really means is that he wants to be in charge of which software can run on any general purpose computer.

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Exploding the Phone: the untold, epic story of the phone phreaks

Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone does for the phone phreaks what Steven Levy's Hackers did for computer pioneers, capturing the anarchic move-fast-break-stuff pioneers who went to war against Ma Bell. Read the rest

Stephen King versus Maine's lying governor


Maine's Tea Party Governor Paul LePage (R) has doubled down on his lie that Stephen King left Maine to avoid paying income tax; King is a proud taxpayer who views "taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much."

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What it's like to teach evolution at the University of Kentucky


James Krupa has taught University of Kentucky non-science majors their required biology course for 20 years, and he views the job as a mission, to undo the cowardice or squeamishness or lack of rigor that leads Kentucky's children to arrive at university never having learned the foundations of evolution, on which the whole edifice of biology rests.

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Top homeland security Congressjerk only just heard about crypto, and he doesn't like it


Rep John Carter [R-TX] chairs Homeland Security Appropriations and sits on Defense subcommittees, but he only found out that encryption exists when FBI Director James Comey gave bizarre congressional testimony about the coming Bad Times if we're allowed to know about math.

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Welfare encourages entrepreneurship


Conservatives wring their hands at the "moral hazard" of letting people earn without working, but clever, long-running empirical research projects show that people who fear starvation and medical bankruptcy don't quit their jobs and start new business.

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If Indiana legalizes homophobic discrimination, Gen Con's leaving Indianapolis

The chair of the 57,000 attendee conference has written to Indiana governor Mike Pence to say that the conference will pull out of the state if a bill passes that lets businesses discriminate against LGBT people if their religion tells them to be hateful fucks.

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Suspicious people, American Airlines edition


Covertly snapped last night at the AA baggage office in Memphis, after they lost my luggage:

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Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

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