During video testimony to the Council of Europe, whistleblower Edward Snowden reiterated that the NSA targets human rights groups, including those in the USA, for surveillance. It uses its Xkeyscore technology to "fingerprint" communications from these groups and targets them for deep surveillance. Groups that have been targeted in this way include UNICEF and many others.
Scott Siskind was the quasi-anonymous author of Slate Star Codex, a rationalist blog that burned brightly at the place where erudition and reaction meet. He inaugurates his new venue, Astral Codex Ten, with an essay about how his efforts to avoid media exposure only Streisanded him more completely, costing him his job. I left my… READ THE REST
Facebook will move its U.K. users into user agreements under U.S. law, swapping Europe's strict privacy rules for the lax ones it enjoys in California. This will allow the company more leeway to track how Britons use the service and to package that information for advertisers and security services. "Facebook has had to make changes… READ THE REST
I have a group chat with some high school friends, who were recently talking about the COVID Alert CT App, a new voluntary state-sponsored COVID contact tracing option. Here's how it works, according to the Hartford Courant: The app uses Bluetooth to detect when another person with the same app comes within 6 feet. Your… READ THE REST
If you aren't up to speed on the intricacies of knives and knife production, then a Thai Moon Knife might look more like a weapon than a kitchen utensil. With a wide blade that visually looks more like a cleaver than a traditional food preparing knife, it's the product of more than 200 years of… READ THE REST
When the new flagship phone of the Android universe, the Samsung S21, rolls out on Jan. 29, it'll be the latest smartphone leap forward, yet still part of a curious trend that doesn't make any buyers happy. Just like the iPhone 12 when it debuted last year, the S21 will be hitting store shelves without… READ THE REST
It's just a water bottle, right? Wrong. A decade ago, most of us loved the convenience of bottled water. Now, a plastic water bottle has undergone a public perception metamorphosis. What was once the height of ease and simplicity is now basically viewed as a detriment to the environment. READ THE REST