Incentives matter: the Mr Market LOOOOOVES death squads

In 1970, Chile elected Salvador Allende, a socialist, to office; he instituted sweeping reforms aimed at ending the corrupt rule of a small, monied, brutal elite; in 1973, the dictator Augusto Pinochet led a US-backed military coup that involved horrific torture and mass executions of political enemies. Read the rest

In 60 seconds, security researchers can clone the master hotel-room keys for 140,000 hotels in 160 countries

The Vingcard Vision locks are RFID-based hotel locks; at this week's Infiltrate conference in Miami, Tomi Tuominen and Timo Hirvonen from F-Secure will present a method for combining a $300 Proxmark RFID tool with any discarded key from a given hotel to derive the master keys that allow them to unlock every room in the hotel, a process that takes less than 60 seconds. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders' New Deal: ending involuntary unemployment with guaranteed $15/hour infrastructure jobs

Bernie Sanders has a plan to solve America's wage stagnation and its long-neglected infrastructure: tax the super-rich and massively profitable corporations, then use the money to fix the multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure overhand left behind by decades of neglect, and hire Americans at $15/hour, plus full healthcare, to do the work. Read the rest

Prof says he'll grade students on a curve, so they organize a boycott of the exams and all get As

Johns Hopkins Computer Science prof Professor Peter Fröhlich grades his students on a curve: the highest score on the final gets an A and everyone else is graded accordingly. Read the rest

Cops shoot man, then interrupt his funeral to press his corpse's finger to his Iphone

Linus F. Phillip was 30 years old when Largo, Florida cops shot him when he drove his car away from a gas-station where he had been stopped by police. Read the rest

The problem isn't that Facebook is creepy, it's that it's creepy AND HUGE

Writing in Wired, Rep David N. Cicilline [D-RI], the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary’s Antitrust Subcommittee; and Terrell McSweeny, outgoing Democratic commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission write about the real problem with Facebook: it's a creepy, surveillant company that's also really, really big. Read the rest

Thanks to streaming, recording industry revenues are back up to pre-internet levels, but musicians are poorer than ever

Since the days of Napster, record labels have recruited recording artists as allies in their fight against unauthorized music services, arguing that what was good for capital was also good for labor. Read the rest

It's 2018, and Google just proposed an instant messaging tool with no encryption

It's 2018, five years after Edward Snowden's documents revealed the scope of US and allied mass surveillance; after a string of revelations about creepy private-sector cyber-arms-dealers who sell spying tools to stalkers, criminals, and autocratic governments, Google has proposed "Chat," a new Android standard for instant messaging with no encryption and hence zero protection against snooping. Read the rest

A handheld version of Oregon Trail!

The Oregon Trail Handheld Game is a Target exclusive at $25, but for $29.20 you can get resold/new ones with Prime -- it's a straight port of the Apple ][+ game with a specialized keypad, about the size of a G1 Gameboy. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

Gorgeous, betentacled machined sculpture from Chris Bathgate: the BU 622411311751

Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) is taking a break from small fidget toys and has returned to large format work with the BU 622411311751, which has a distinctly cthuloid/tentacly aspect. Read the rest

ISO rejects the NSA's IoT crypto standard, believing it to be backdoored

For three years, International Standards Organization has been wrangling over which cryptographic algorithms will be incorporated into a standard for interoperability in "Internet of Things" gadgets; at issue has been the NSA's insistence that "Simon" and "Speck" would be the standard block cipher algorithms in these devices. Read the rest

Colorado Senate Republicans introduce legislation to fire, imprison striking teachers

SB18-264 -- AKA the Prohibit Public School Teacher Strikes Bill -- was introduced by Colorado Senator Bob Gardner [R-12/303-866-4880/@senbobgardner] and Representative Paul Lundeen [R-19/303-866-2924/@paul_lundeen]; it allows school districts to seek court injunctions banning public school teachers from striking, so that they can be held in contempt should they withdraw their labor, and be imprisoned for contempt. Read the rest

IoT Inspector: Princeton releases a tool to snoop on home IoT devices and figure out what they're doing

IoT Inspector is a new tool from Princeton's computer science department; it snoops on the traffic from home IoT devices and performs analysis to determine who they phone home to, whether they use encryption, and what kinds of data they may be leaking. Read the rest

Kickstarting a playable version of the CIA's previously secret training card-game

When Freedom of Information Act enthusiast Douglas Palmer used public records requests to explore the games that the CIA uses to train its analysts, he laid the groundwork for republishing these games for general use. Read the rest

The used cars that Europe sends to Nigeria are filled with illegal, toxic e-waste

EU and Nigerian law both ban the export of e-waste to Nigeria, but a new study jointly authored by scholars from UN University and the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa found that exported used cars represent a smuggler's bonanza for the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Read the rest

The BBC finally admits that MI5 secretly vetted its employees, an open secret for generations

My wife -- whose father is a TV director who'd worked for the BBC -- learned as a little girl that the British spy agency MI5 secretly vetted people who applied for work at the BBC and denoted possible subversives by putting a doodle of a Christmas tree on their personnel files; people who were thus blacklisted were discriminated against within the Beeb. Read the rest

Tonight in LA: Cory at the Last Bookstore (then Chapel Hill, Boston, Chicago, Waterloo, Phoenix, Santa Fe, San Jose...)

Tonight at 7PM, I'll be appearing on a panel at the Last Bookstore in downtown LA, with the title "Truth to Power: Genre Fiction in Post-Fact America," alongside of Gretchen McNeil, Jennifer Brody, Christina Cigala, Bobby Goldstein, CB Lee, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Kate Maruyama and Samuel Sattin. Read the rest

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