Nate Anderson's long Ars Technica piece on RATters — men who use "Remote Administration Tools" to spy on others, mostly women, via their laptop cameras, and to plunder their computers for files and passwords — is a must-read. Anderson lays out the way that online communities like Hack Forums provide expertise, tools, and, most importantly, validation for the men who participate in this "game." — Read the rest
Joe Clark has started a project to dissect William Gibson's new novel, "Pattern Recognition," one chapter at a time.
Ratter offers a brief history of skateboards made of reactions to their ever-increasing popularity from contemporary newspapers.
Here's the most stupid/brilliant, from The Evening Independent in Masillon, Ohio, in 1975.
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"About a decade ago, someone nailed roller skates to a plank, called it a skateboard and made a fortune from the Hula Hoop-rivaling craze that resulted."
In what he calls "an Experiment in Controlled Digression," Mark Dery touches on xenogastronomy, ortolan, Edible Dormouse, Victor Hugo's fondness for rat pâté, rat-baiting as a betting sport in Victorian times, the rat as New York's unofficial mascot, Luis Buñuel's pet rat, scientific research into such pressing questions as whether rats laugh, and whether rats will inherit the Earth as a result of climate change, Dracula's dominion over rats, and of course the (cryptozoological myth? well-documented phenomenon?) of the Rat King.
Australian Simon Gittany murdered his girlfriend, Lisa Harnum, after an abusive relationship that involved his surveillance of her electronic communications using off-the-shelf spyware marketed for purposes ranging from keeping your kids safe to spotting dishonest employees. As Rachel Olding writes in The Age, surveillance technology is increasingly a factor in domestic violence, offering abusive partners new, thoroughgoing ways of invading their spouses' privacy and controlling them. — Read the rest
“It’s still flying?” This is a question I and many of my fellow space enthusiasts have been hearing a lot lately. As the space shuttle program comes to an end, public excitement around space travel seems to be rekindled. Attention sparked up again as people heard that Space Shuttle Atlantis was preparing to launch for the last time, marking the end of the space shuttle program. But for one young person, that interest had never faded, and witnessing the shuttle's final flight became an imperative, a very personal hope and dream. That person was me.
Steve Jobs offers a $100 store credit consolation prize to early iPhone adopters who got boned by yesterday's $200 price cut announcement: Link. Here's some iRage from angry customers on the Apple boards: Link.
(image above) — Tech/fashion designer Angel Chang recently presented a new collection inspired by a visit to the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. — Read the rest
In yesterday's Washington Post, Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution, writes about the popularity of drugs like Adderall and Provigil to increase focus and wakefulness during academically stressful times. From the article:
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"I'm a varsity athlete in crew," says Katharine Malone, a George Washington University junior.
Big shout-out to all of our friends and readers in the path of Hurricane Katrina today, including often-BB-cited bloggers Susannah Breslin and Jonno of New Orleans (update: we've since learned that both are safe).
We hope you're all out of harm's way whenever you read this. — Read the rest