Britons' Internet access bills will soar to pay for Snoopers Charter

The UK government has budgeted £175m/year to bribe ISPs to magically divide their customers' "data" and "metadata" and store a year's worth of the latter. This isn't even close to the real cost of creating and maintaining the massive storehouses of highly sensitive data on every Briton, and so ISPs are warning government and the public to expect much higher broadband rates in the future in order to recoup the cost of mass surveillance. Read the rest

Notorious B.I.G. calms down crying baby: “Don't worry, Biggie's coming back.”

An internet classic from 2011. “Don't worry honey, Biggie's coming back.” Read the rest

How big offshoring companies pwned the H-1B process, screwing workers and businesses

Giant multinational offshoring firms have figured out how to game the H1-B system, flooding the application queue with thousands of requests the instant the process opens each year. It's transformed the H1-B Visa category from a lifeline for companies who need to bring in critical foreign talent into a way to shut down whole departments in the USA and replace them with lower-cost overseas workers who are exploited far from home. Read the rest

Plane crashes into man's home. He's alive because he'd just left to buy Hot Pockets.

A hankering for Hot Pockets saved the life of a man whose apartment was hit by a small plane. Jason Bartley, a 38-year-old factory, worker lost everything in the fiery crash--except his own life.

Nine people were killed.

There's a GoFundMe to help Jason get into a new home, and replace some of what's possible to replace. “Jason had no renter's insurance and is literally left with nothing,” his friends write.

The NTSB is investigating the crash.

From Ohio.com:

Jason Bartley’s spur-of-the-moment purchase of a pizza Hot Pocket and a breakfast Hot Pocket kept him away from his apartment a few minutes longer than he had planned — the apartment that was destroyed in the inferno that erupted during the plane crash that killed nine people Tuesday on the eastern edge of Akron. Precisely 39 minutes before the crash, he had been in the apartment, noodling around on his computer, trying to arrange a vacation to Miami the week after Christmas.

He realized that would take a considerable amount of time, and he wanted to get to the bank before it closed and run some other errands.

The clock read 2:14 as he tossed on a lightweight jacket and headed for the car. He stopped first at Chase Bank on Canton Road, then at the Giant Eagle next door.

Hustling to get home, he noted the time on his car radio: 2:45. Bartley decided to stop at Dollar General for that night’s dinner and the next morning’s breakfast.

Read the rest

This woman made an alarm clock that slaps her in the face

Simone Giertz says, "I built an alarm clock that wakes me up in the morning by slapping me in the face with a rubber arm. I picked apart a clock, wired it to an Arduino UNO and controlled a 165 rpm brushless DC motor through a relay."

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Make: Humble Bundle: name your price for books for makers

The latest Humble Ebook Bundle features Make: books from "Planes, Gliders, and Paper Rockets" to "Bicycle Projects" to the "Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments" -- 17 titles in all, with more to come. Name your price and get $200+ worth of ebooks, with charitable donations to the Maker Ed projects. Read the rest

Did the FBI pay Carnegie Mellon $1 million to identify and attack Tor users?

Documents published by Vice News: Motherboard and further reporting by Wired News suggest that a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University who canceled their scheduled 2015 BlackHat talk identified Tor hidden servers and visitors, and turned that data over to the FBI.

No matter who the researchers and which institution, it sounds like a serious ethical breach.

First, from VICE, a report which didn't name CMU but revealed that a U.S. University helped the FBI bust Silk Road 2, and suspects in child pornography cases:

An academic institution has been providing information to the FBI that led to the identification of criminal suspects on the dark web, according to court documents reviewed by Motherboard. Those suspects include a staff member of the now-defunct Silk Road 2.0 drug marketplace, and a man charged with possession of child pornography.

It raises questions about the role that academics are playing in the continued crackdown on dark web crime, as well as the fairness of the trials of each suspect, as crucial discovery evidence has allegedly been withheld from both defendants.

Here's a screenshot of the relevant portion of one of the court Documents that Motherboard/Vice News published:

Later today, a followup from Wired about discussion that points the finger directly at CMU:

The Tor Project on Wednesday afternoon sent WIRED a statement from its director Roger Dingledine directly accusing Carnegie Mellon of providing its Tor-breaking research in secret to the FBI in exchange for a payment of “at least $1 million.” And while Carnegie Mellon’s attack had been rumored to have been used in takedowns of dark web drug markets that used Tor’s “hidden service” features to obscure their servers and administrators, Dingledine writes that the researchers’ dragnet was larger, affecting innocent users, too.

Read the rest

Try this graveyard simulator and imagine your own epitaph

Matthew Ritter's interest in epitaphs began in junior high, when a history book displayed the haunting message on the grave of an ancient Roman: "What I am you soon shall be." He started writing epitaphs of his own in the margins of his notebooks, summing up the imaginary lives of imaginary people in a few concise lines.

14 Hours Productions recently released Welcome to Boon Hill, a "graveyard simulator" where Ritter finally got a chance to put those skills to work. The game is exactly what it sounds like, and little else; your character arrives at a 16-bit graveyard called Boon Hill and wanders around at their leisure, reading the messages carved into over two thousand graves. There are no surprises, no jump scares, nothing to collect or achieve, except perhaps insight into your own mortality.

The game is also partly inspired by Spoon River Anthology, a poetry collection that tells the story of a fictional small town through the verses on the epitaphs of its inhabitants. While Welcome to Boon Hill isn't quite so cohesive, the graves you read feel a little bit like creative prompts that can start to form a larger picture in your mind. Sometimes their message is concise: how someone died and when, a life in two bullet points. Other times they suggest a much richer story, or offer some sort of takeaway: a moral or a cautionary tale to guide the living away from their mistakes.

And then, of course, there are the graves memorializing people who aren't much older than you—maybe they're even younger. Read the rest

Cibele and the end of an era for internet lovers

Nina Freeman's heartbreaking, intimate new game about young love in an online game points to fast-disappearing strangeness in virtual spaces.

Fear and Loathing on the "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" graphic novel tour

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Book Signing Tour with Troy Little - Day 1 from IDW Publishing on Vimeo.

Troy Little, creator of the graphic novel adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has been keeping a diary of his book signing tour. Here's the latest installments:

Check out the previous installment. Read the rest

66% discount for Boing Boing readers on the documentary, Our Magic

Our Magic from R. Paul Wilson on Vimeo.

The documentary Our Magic by filmmaker R. Paul Wilson lifts the curtain behind which magicians have worked for a century and a half. Our Magic, however, does not explain how tricks work — that’s not the real point of magic. How magicians work, how their childhood experiences feed into what makes them seek such a specialized field of endeavor, is the real secret. Watch Wilson’s award-winning short film The Magic Box to get a taste of not only his talent as a filmmaker, but what makes magicians tick.

Few people who love magic do not feel the well of emotion which The Magic Box (above video) evokes. But why? What makes a grown man (or woman) teary-eyed by watching a short film about something so seemingly inconsequential as a magic trick? The documentary Our Magic answers that question, and does so in an entertaining and artistic manner. Most of the world’s best magicians participated in the project, and with the help of Kickstarter, R. Paul Wilson has created a unique piece of cinema.

Happily, Our Magic is now available via Vimeo on Demand either to rent or download and own. The price is startlingly low, and readers of Boing Boing can get a 66% discount by entering the code “BoingBoing” in the appropriate spot. Read the rest

Hack of 70M prisoner phone calls is biggest attorney-client privilege breach in US history

An important story out today confirms that SecureDrop, the open source whistleblower leak system originally programmed by Aaron Swartz and maintained by Freedom of the Press Foundation, works. Read the rest

25% of people shot to death by LA police were unarmed. No cops were prosecuted.

Between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2014, Los Angeles County district attorney records show at least 375 people were shot by on-duty officers. No officers have been prosecuted for any of those shootings.

About one in four of those people were unarmed.

Law enforcement officers in LA fatally shot Black people at triple the rate of White and Latino people, relative to population.

That's the lede from Southern California Public Radio KPCC's important, interactive investigative report on “officer-involved shootings” in LA, and there's a lot more to be upset about in those numbers, too.

Read the rest

America’s plague of real-life vampires, and more hard-hitting tabloid news this week

[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]

“Hitler escaped” in a secret tunnel and fled to Argentina, "there really are vampires among us,” and Robert Wagner is “going to jail” for killing Natalie Wood.

It’s another fact-free fest in this week's soaring supermarket tabloids and scintillating celebrity magazines.

Frank Sinatra is this week’s punching bag. Ol’ Blue Eyes was a “cocaine gang overlord” according to the National Enquirer (which makes me view ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ in a completely new light) and “asked mob to whack Woody” Allen after the director cheated on Mia Farrow, according to the Globe.

So good to have a week when the tabloids aren’t giving us breaking news about who Sinatra was sleeping with 60 years ago.

Fortunately investigative journalism is still alive and kicking at Us magazine, with the startling revelations that Selena Gomez wore it best, TV’s ‘Minority Report’ actress Meagan Good carries Post-it notes, green tea and a miniature teddy bear in her handbag, and the stars are just like us: they exercise together, indulge in ice cream, and volunteer for charity (the latter proving that Us mag considers former president Jimmy Carter “a star.”)

Hitler’s escape and America’s plague of real-life vampires come courtesy of the National Examiner, whose reporters never met a conspiracy they didn’t like. Read the rest

A Book of Surrealist Games

Hilarious and silly, A Book of Surrealist Games is a fantastic introduction to the surrealist mind-set. In addition to just being fun to peruse, this collection of written, visual and verbal games is great for exercising your mind, and staying creative.

In addition to the games, this oddly organized book is packed with poems, illustrations and stories. While a bit dated, it is a wonderfully nostalgic tour of the spirit of surrealism.

Some of the game directions are vague, and the images may not be the best, but I've had a lot of fun with this book over the years. Exquisite Corpse is one I'd expect to see our Boing Boing forums make good use of.

A Book of Surrealist Games by Alastair Brotchie Read the rest

Watch this gentleman cut a hole in a Porsche roof to try and steal it

London's Metropolitan Police released a video today showing a man trying to steal a convertible red Porsche. Read the rest

This trippy 1971 government-endorsed Alice in Wonderland anti-drug film makes drugs look fun

"Oh! Oh wow! Everythings's different. Even me!" Read the rest

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