Microsoft sues US government for the right to tell you when the feds are reading your email

“We appreciate that there are times when secrecy around a government warrant is needed,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Thursday. “But based on the many secrecy orders we have received, we question whether these orders are grounded in specific facts that truly demand secrecy. To the contrary, it appears that the issuance of secrecy orders has become too routine.” Read the rest

The story of Traceroute, about a Leitnerd's quest

Johannes Grenzfurthner talks about Traceroute: On the Road with a Leitnerd(*)
(*) Leitnerd is a wordplay referring to the German term Leitkultur.

Just look at this banana chestburster shoop

Just look at it. Read the rest

Conversations with John Lydon, then and now

In September 2015, Piers Morgan interviewed John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) for a one hour special. Lydon was smart, funny, and very entertaining.

He was entertaining when Tom Snyder interviewed him in 1980, but in an entirely different way:

Someone with more editing skills than me should make a video of the old and new Lydon having conversation with himself.

Read the rest

How British journalists talk about people they're not allowed to talk about

The "super-injunction" (previously) is a weird feature of English and Welsh law through which the very wealthy can hire bulldog lawyers to get judges to pass an order prohibiting any newspaper or journalist from disclosing true facts about them, on pain of jail-time. Read the rest

Brussels terrorists kept their plans in an unencrypted folder called "TARGET"

Remember how, in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Brussels last month, authorities all over the world declared that the world was critically endangered by cryptography, insisting that crazy, far-reaching crypto-bans were necessary to prevent another attack? Read the rest

From the makers of Scrivener: Save 40% on Scapple, the project management cyber whiteboard

From the makers of the innovative word processing-task management program Scrivener, Scapple is unlike any software you’ve ever used. Got a project you’re noodling over? Just start jotting down notes on Scapple’s freeform, type-anywhere canvas...and before too long, your assignment begins to take form.  You’ll start adding arrows and connections, tying one thought to another in a broadening portrait of a project heading toward completion. You can move items independently or in groups, highlighting and reorganizing as you go. Watch as your seemingly unconnected ideas begin weaving themselves into a unified, cohesive mosaic.

You can even allow your mind-mapping adventure to begin including images and graphics, all easily shareable not only within your project frame, but with others you invite into a collaborative process. It’s jazz for the cyber age...let information morph and shape itself into whatever form you think and feel.

Try out Scapple now at 40% off its regular price. Choose a Mac or PC version, install and let your ideas run wild.

AND DON’T FORGET...you can also pick up Scrivener 2 and take your writing assignments to the next level as well -- right now, it’s 50% off in both Mac (Scrivener 2) and Windows (Scrivener) formats. Read the rest

Serious, pointing people are always better with budgies

If you need any proof, look no further than this thread on b3ta's Add an animal challenge. Read the rest

Ron Wyden vows to filibuster anti-cryptography bill

Senators Richard Burr [R-NC] and Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] finally introduced their long-rumored anti-crypto bill, which will ban US companies from making products with working cryptography, mandating that US-made products have some way to decrypt information without the user's permission. Read the rest

Great deal on laser landscape projector ($(removed))

I enjoy setting up Christmas lights outside our house during the holidays I've been wanting to get a laser landscape projector for a while. They project sparkling colored dots and your house, trees, and bushes without having to string up lights. The effect is really cool. I just found this good deal on Amazon. If you use code USSR8Q9U, you can get it for $(removed), instead of $(removed) Read the rest

Paramount wants to kill a fan-film by claiming copyright on the Klingon language

The crowdfunded, critically successful fan-film Prelude to Axanar has been in Paramount's cross-hairs since late last year, when the studio filed suit against the film's producers. Read the rest

216 "untranslatable" emotional words from non-English languages

University of East London pysch professor Tim Lomas has assembled a list of words referring to emotional states from the world's languages that have no correlate in English. Read the rest

Home – A quirky ode to the many structures we live in across the world

See more sample pages from this book at Wink.

Home, the quirky triumphant solo debut of Carson Ellis, might look oddly familiar. You’re not mistaken – you’ve seen this charmingly wholesome artwork before. And it’s not because it looks as if it fell out of a Wes Anderson movie set and into your lap. Carson Ellis is the illustrator for children’s classics like Lemony Snickett and The Benedict Society. She’s also well known for her artwork in Wildwood, a children’s fantasy novel written by her husband, Colin Meloy, the lead singer for the Decemberists. You’ll recognize Carson’s contributions on the band’s album covers and merchandise, full of blossoming colors and quaint patterns.

Home is an ode to the many structures across the world that we dwell in, from the messy riotous nest of a sparrow to the peaked roof of the artist's own humble abode. Carson gives a nod not only to the cheerful graffiti and clustered bricks of urban sprawl but also the domed turrets of white marbled eastern palaces and the cozy cottages of the countryside. She indulges in the silly and the fantastic at every turn, with houses fashioned out of shoes that spill mischievous children across the yard or the Spartan spatial quiet of a lunar landscape. Peculiar characters people her pages; knights in armor astride seahorses, a Norse god in a winged, gold helmet, and a Slovakian duchess peeking grimly from beneath her hat while anchoring twins in her iron grasp. The final page is a culmination of the detailed illustrations that have preceded it, with an element from each scene included as a component of the artist’s own studio. Read the rest

Marc Bolan of T. Rex hosted a glam rock TV music show in the 1970s, and it was awesome

I didn't know glam rock icon Marc Bolan hosted a music TV show in the 1970s. It was called simply MARC, and judging from this sixth (and final) episode, it was terrific. Read the rest

New York public employees union will vote on pulling out of hedge funds

The New York City’s Employees Retirement System has $51B in assets, $1.5B of which is lodged with hedge funds -- but maybe for not much longer. Read the rest

Panama's public prosecutor says he can't find any evidence of Mossack-Fonseca's lawbreaking

Following Tuesday's raid on disgraced offshore incorporation lawfirm Mossack-Fonseca, Panama's public prosecutor has announced that he can't find any evidence of wrongdoing in the firm's files. Read the rest

Amazing hi-def video of beetles, larvae, and maggots eating fish

Watch nature's little recyclers completely hollow out two fish in this beautifully-shot timelapse video from BBC.

[via] Read the rest

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