Was NSA Hacked? Leak from 'Shadow Brokers' suggests so, Russian intelligence suspected

As our Cory Doctorow reported previously, a previously unheard of hacker group calling themselves The Shadow Brokers announced this week it had stolen a trove of ready-to-use cyber weapons from The Equation Group (previously), an advanced cyberweapons dealer believed to be operating on behalf of, or within, the NSA.

The Shadow Brokers are auctioning the weaponized malware off to the highest bidder. Read the rest

Florida student, 19, kills older couple and eats man's face off while “grunting and growling”

We don't know what may have caused a young Florida man to commit a gruesome attack late Monday night. We do know how the victims died. It was gruesome. The details that follow may be disturbing. Read the rest

Roger Ailes is Donald Trump's new campaign advisor, reports say. Oh, what a pair.

Former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, kicked out last month over sexual harassment charges, has been advising GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump, as the self-described billionaire candidate prepares for the fall presidential debates. Read the rest

TV news pioneer John McLaughlin dies at 89

John McLaughlin has died, at 89. The host of a long-running political TV chat show was once a Jesuit priest, and also wrote speeches for President Richard M. Nixon. He was a conservative provocateur with a “pugnacious style” on his political chat show, and sometimes interrupted his guests or yelled “Wronnng!” in response to their commentary. Read the rest

Things I miss: Vent Windows

By the late 1980s an automotive feature that I love, colloquially known as Vent Windows, or Wing Windows, or Bat Wings had largely been phased out. Read the rest

Kill Rock Stars president explains why the radio plays the same songs over and over

Gus the hacker puppeteer writes, "Many of us hoped the Internet would disrupt the music industry along with all other media industries, giving more power -- and more pay -- to musicians and songwriters. And yet, somehow the amount musicians get paid each time their songs stream is a tiny fraction of a cent." Read the rest

Trump advisor says you will bow before Trump

Omarosa, an advisor to the Republican presidential candidate, says his critics will "have to bow down to President Trump." Noted. Read the rest

Univision to buy Gawker for $135m

Univision won the auction for Gawker Media with a $135m bid, reports Peter Kafka.

... the auction is a disappointing conclusion for Gawker Media owner Nick Denton, who founded the company in 2002. Last year, as rival media companies like Vice, BuzzFeed and Vox Media (which owns this site) were raising money at increasingly high valuations, Denton was arguing that his company was worth $250 million or more.

The price was depressed by the circumstances of the sale: a $140m award against it after publishing a Hulk Hogan sex tape and losing the subsequent lawsuit, which was secretly funded by vengeful billionaire Peter Thiel. Though experts generally expect Gawker to prevail on appeal, it was forced into bankruptcy by the penalty and the only other bidder was Ziff Davis, at $90m.

This weds Gawker to The Onion and Fusion in the Univision website stable; The Onion is very much its own thing, but Fusion's web presence is quite similar to Gawker itself and one wonders will it blend? Read the rest

This fly drowned in my candle

I'll have to ask the waiter for another. Read the rest

What Pennywise looks like in the new remake of Stephen King's IT

Entertainment Weekly has the scoop. Nice tutu.

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How Zzyzx Road got its name

Having driven the LA to Vegas route more times than I can recall, I've often marveled at the Zzyzx Road sign. I'd been told the name was intentionally chosen to ensure it the last spot on a list of US road names. Seems there is a little truth in that...

Road Trippers shares:

Zzyzx (AKA Camp Soda and Soda Springs) is located at the end of Zzyzx Road, a 4.5-mile-long rural road off Interstate 15, in San Bernadino County, California. The unicorporated community is also located within Mojave National Preserve. In its former life, it was the the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa. What makes Zzyzx, California such a weird and wonderful place is that it was founded by a crackpot preacher who stuck his middle finger up at the government when he named the town with the last letters of the alphabet.

So, who the heck came up with that crazy name?!

Well, that's where things get a little weird. Curtis Howe Springer was one of those old-timey radio evangelists, way back in the day. However, he wasn't actually a minister of any kind. He was born in 1896 in Birmingham, Alabama, and spent much of his early life convincing people he was a doctor. He proclaimed himself to be the "last of the old-time medicine men", but the American Medical Association disagreed. They proclaimed him "King of the Quacks" in 1969.

Throughout his life Curtis also claimed to be a boxing teacher in the U.S. Army, the "Dean of Greer College" (a defunct/bankrupt school in Chicago), he was a rabble-rouser during Prohibition (he was in favor of it, and railed against "Demon Rum").

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Saturday in San Francisco: free 20th Street Block Party with killer live music!

This Saturday (8/20), our friends at Noise Pop and their co-conspirators are throwing their big annual music and food festival in San Francisco's Mission District! The 20th Street Block Party will feature an eclectic mix of musical performances across three stages include Miami Horror, Chicano Batman, Boulevards, Nico Yaryan, Hazel English, Spooky Mansion, Mandeline Kenney, La Gente, Dos Four, and DJ Krazy. Also making the scene will be Rocket Dog Adoption Zoo, the San Francisco Lowrider Council, and Community Music Center's Instrument Petting Zoo. Alabama Street becomes Art Row and ArtSpan and Workshop SF are offering workshops, crafts, and community art projects for all ages. Plus, of course, plenty of food and drinks (artisanal and otherwise).

My whole family looks forward to the 20th Street Block Party every year! The whole shebang is free with a suggested donation of $5-$10 to benefit the Mission Language & Vocational School. Or you can drop $95 for a VIP "Headliner Experience" ticket including green room.

20th Street Block Party Read the rest

Zeusray multifunction battery pack with jump starter

When you drive a Volkswagen Vanagon you get used to woefully inadequate charging systems. I've been carrying this Zeusray battery pack with jumpstarter for an added sense of security.

I have several portable jumpstarting power solutions for my various vehicles. The Wagan Powerdome I was carrying in the VW broke the positive clamp trying to squeeze into an odd space on an old motorcycle, and I was looking for something versatile, yet small to stash in the van. I was also tired of the Wagan sliding around the cargo compartment on windy roads.

Price and performance wise, I'm thrilled with the Zeusray! My Vanagon's battery was drained and I was easily able to start it on the first try. I charged it back up via the AC adaptor in the van as I drove around and fit it easily in the clothes closet. I've also charged the iPhone off it and the USB port works just fine.

Only thing I'll miss from the Wagan is the tire inflator, which saved my butt in Baja a few years ago, but I'm already looking at some tiny replacements. I'm far happier with a smaller package, and lighter battery.

The Antigravity XP-1 I reviewed is currently in my second car. It is still going strong. It is about the same size, physically, and 2x the price. I could have moved it over, but wanted one in each car.

Zeusray 12000mah Multi function Portable power bank, USB 5V/2A , 12V 400A jump starter for automobile ,DV 12V,16V,19V output via Amazon Read the rest

Ted Koppel schools Bill O'Reilly for his 20 years of dumbing down journalism

In this beautiful exchange, former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel lets Fox News host Bill O'Reilly have it with both barrels. Feels great to watch!

Read the rest

People being stabbed in medieval art and lovin' it

Medieval manuscripts were the imageboards of their day, full of murderous rabbits and lewd butts, a new (to me) subgenre is "people who don't seem to mind that they've just been stabbed" -- perhaps the origin of the Black Knight? Read the rest

Snowden explains the Shadow Brokers/Equation Group/NSA hack

The news that a group of anonymous hackers claimed to have stolen some of the NSA's most secret, valuable weaponized vulnerabilities and were auctioning them off for bitcoin triggered an epic tweetstorm from Edward Snowden, who sets out his hypothesis for how the exploits were captured and what relation that has to the revelations he made when he blew the whistle on illegal NSA spying in 2013. Read the rest

Excellent $5 metal pistol grip nozzle

Last month I added this garden hose bib extender to my outdoor faucet. It's held up so far. I also bought this $5 metal pistol grip nozzle on Amazon, which allows me to select the kind of water stream I need, from a wide cone to a high-pressure jet, by squeezing the handle. Releasing the handle shuts off the water completely. Read the rest

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