On Wednesday, the CIA released nearly 500,000 files recovered from the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan hideout. According to the CIA's web page
, the files are "temporarily unavailable pending resolution of a technical issue." From Wired
Hailed by researchers and international relations experts as a valuable gesture of transparency, the stash offers a window into the former Al-Qaeda leader's approach and plans, and insight into the terrorist group's global organizational structure, global network, and allies.
It also contains hallmarks of any person who uses the internet: copies of venerable film classics like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Final Fantasy VII, episodes of Tom and Jerry, an IMAX version of Mysteries of Egypt, a download of the Charlie Bit My Finger viral YouTube video, a Mr. Bean episode, and 28 crocheting tutorials—including one for an "iPod Sock."
“It’s like, ‘ooh Osama bin Laden is a Tom and Jerry fan!’ And maybe he is, it’s quite possible. I like Tom and Jerry, too,” says Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the editor of its Long War Journal, which got early access to the trove from the CIA. “But I suspect a lot of the sort of frivolous or the personal stuff was more for his family...."
Other gems include a lot of clip art, a video called "HORSE_DANCE," numerous episodes of a Jackie Chan television show, image files of the Yahoo logo, a few "funny cat" videos, and an image of a cute stuffed animal monkey.
And yes, there was also porn.
A family in DeSoto County, Mississippi, bought a Ring security camera so they could keep an eye on their three young girls in their bedroom. Four days later, they learned that a hacker had broken into the camera and subjected their children to continuous bedroom surveillance, taunting the children through the camera's built-in speaker.
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "A new investigation from Gizmodo just revealed that anyone, anywhere can get geographic coordinates of Ring devices from Amazon’s Neighbors App. Not only can someone find out where users live, they can use footage to track bystanders, locate children, and monitor people going into buildings, like clinics, for […]
Princen Alice created a “password generator” that glues random Welsh-sounding words into a craggy landscape of letters. It’s probably not very good, since it’s three or four dictionary words and a number plus the fallacious ethnocentric belief that unpronouceability to English speakers reflects randomness, but what a delightful mess!
The good news: Software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Camtasia and Final Cut Pro has opened up a ton of possibilities for desktop videographers. On the other hand, their use is so widespread that you have to be an expert in them before you can even think about a career in the field. That’s a requirement […]
There are a lot of high-tech drones and RC planes flooding the market lately, and the innovations are coming so fast on each new iteration, most of them forget one crucial thing: Flying these is supposed to be fun. Here’s an alternative that keeps that ethic firmly in mind: The Moskito Smartphone-Controlled Plane. This thing […]
There are few intellectual exercises better than a good game of chess against a capable opponent, which is why a lot of old hands at the gameplay it online. But there’s still nothing like the tactile thrill of moving a knight into checkmate. (Or sweeping the pieces off dramatically when you lose.) That’s why we’re […]