An update from Chelsea Manning's support team on her ongoing incarceration

[[Chelsea Manning's support team sends us this update on Chelsea Manning and her courageous fight against Grand Juries, which has seen her imprisoned for months, effectively in solitary, a situation that the UN Rapporteur on Torture has deemed to be a form of torture. Our hearts are with Chelsea. -Cory]]

We wanted to let everyone know about the new website that just went up at ReleaseChelsea.com, where people can learn more about Chelsea Manning's current situation. Read the rest

Remembering the Awhatukee House of the Future, a "shining home of dreams" that became a $3 tourist trap

In 1979, construction concluded on the Awhatukee House of the Future, a $1.2m model home in the new Phoenix suburb of Ahwatukee Village, co-built with input from Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Associated Architects and equipped with 10 networked Motorola processors that retailed for $30,000. Read the rest

Pranking French Stewart with dolls, which he is afraid of

Burbank librarian Sarah McKinley Oakes (previously) also nannies for a six year old whose parents are French Stewart -- from Third Rock from the Sun -- and the actor Vanessa Claire Smith. Smith and Oakes have a friendly, normal relationship, but when it comes to French Stewart, things are awesomely weird. Read the rest

I'm the Author Guest of Honor at Baycon 2020, May 22-25!

Baycon is a large, regional science fiction convention that's been serving the Bay Area for 38 years; I attended several times when I lived in San Francisco and this year I was tickled to be invited to attend as Author Guest of Honor. The event is May 22-25 (Memorial Day Weekend) at the San Mateo Airport San Francisco Marriott (at Hwy 92 & 101 in San Mateo, CA). The convention is one of the best regional cons I've ever attended, with an outstanding mix of fannish activities (boffer swords! flint-knapping! multiple warring Klingon clades!), literary panels, and panels on tech, politics and other subjects salient to the Bay Area. I'm so pleased to be invited and I'm looking forward to seeing you there! Read the rest

The Catholic Church broke its promise to publish a list of "credibly accused" abuser priests, so Propublica did it for them

In 2019 the Pennsylvania Attorney General published a 900-page grand jury report on sexual predators in the Catholic Church and the coverups the church and its official had undertaken; at the time, the church promised to end the coverup and engage in truth and reconciliation with the parishoners who'd been preyed upon by clergy. Read the rest

Ajit Pai promised that killing net neutrality would spur network investment, but instead Comcast cut spending by 10.5%

When Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used fraud and skullduggery to kill net neutrality, he promised that clearing away the allegedly burdensome regulation of delivering the data your customers request would finally spur investment in America's worst-of-bread, ancient network infrastructure. Read the rest

The "ops lessons we all learn the hard way"

Network administration prof and infrastructure security architect Jan Schaumann has compiled a list of 88 "ops lessons we all learn the hard way" (e.g.: "Any sufficiently successful product launch is indistinguishable from a DDoS; any sufficiently advanced user indistinguishable from an attacker.") Read the rest

After ransomware took Baltimore hostage, Maryland introduces legislation that bans disclosing the bugs ransomware exploits

Last spring, a Baltimore underwent a grinding, long-term government shutdown after the city's systems were hijacked by ransomware. This was exacerbated by massive administrative incompetence: the city had not allocated funds for improved security, training or cyberinsurance, despite having had its emergency services network taken over by ransomware the previous hear, and five city CIOs had departed in the previous four years either through firings or forced resignations. Read the rest

What happens when you steadily ramp up the speed at which you listen to podcasts

Human speech averages 150 words/minute, but human thoughts run more like 400 words per minute. Steve Rousseau decided to try "podfasting" (listening to podcasts at faster-than-normal speed) at progressively higher speeds to see whether he could consume more of the internet-mattress-subsidized high-quality audio bubble as he could before that bubble burst. Read the rest

RIP, Jason Polan, who tried to draw every single person in New York City

12 years ago, I covered the launch of artist Jason Polan's project to sketch every single person in New York City (he'd previously sketched every work of art in the MOMA). Read the rest

"The Art of Computer Designing": stark, beautiful black-and-white images from 1993

Osamu Sato is a talented polymath artist from Japan, known for his psychedelic video game scores and his pioneering work on computer graphics. Read the rest

A vase ringed with razor-sharp knives

Machinist-sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) has unveiled his latest: a vase ringed with razor-sharp knives ("an object that mischievously demands that it be appreciated for more than its precarious utility"). Read the rest

"A piece of shit": Government report on Wells Fargo corruption shows top executives' direct complicity in millions of acts of fraud

Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency handed down stiff penalties for John Stumpf (previously) who was CEO of Wells Fargo during its scandal-haunted decade, during which time it stole from rich people, poor people, veterans, active-service military personnel, homeowners, small businesses, etc, as well as 2,000,000 ordinary customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names in order to bleed them of transaction fees, sometimes at the expense of their good credit and even their financial solvency. Under the deal, Stumpf will have to pay $17.5m in fines and cannot ever work in finance again (don't worry, he's still a multi-multi-multi millionaire). Read the rest

Podcast: The case for ... cities that aren't dystopian surveillance states

For my latest podcast, I read my Guardian Cities column, "The case for ... cities that aren't dystopian surveillance states," which was the last piece ever commissioned for the section. Read the rest

Listen: loudspeakers broadcast corona virus closure messages to the empty streets of Shanghai Disneyland

Deutsche Welle's footage of the empty entrance plaza of Shanghai Disneyland as the PA system broadcasts a message that the park is "temporarily closed" for "prevention and control of the disease outbreak" is indeed "straight out of a Hollywood horror movie," as the caption says. Read the rest

Amazon threatened to fire two tech workers who spoke about climate and Amazon's business, then 357 more workers joined them

Last October, two Amazon employees -- Maren Costa (UX designer) and Jamie Kowalski (software engineer) spoke on the record to the Washington Post about their employer's complicity in the climate crisis, including the provision of cloud computing services to energy company in search of new sources of fossil fuels. Read the rest

Climate denial has destroyed the libertarian movement

Leading libertarian intellectuals are now disavowing the label (Tyler Cowan says he's now a "State Capacity Libertarian") thanks to the total failure of libertarianism to cope with climate change. Read the rest

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