San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy bookstore is saved!

With just days to go before it would have to close its doors forever, San Diego's beloved science fiction bookstore Mysterious Galaxy has found a new location and new owners: Jenni Marchisotto and Matthew Berger have bought the store and will run it at its new home, 3555 Rosecrans St. Suite #107 San Diego, CA 92110. Read the rest

McKinsey's internal mythology compares management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits"

Consulting giant McKinsey is embroiled is a string of scandals, from the revelation thatit designed ICE's gulags to the news that it charged New York $27.5m for a fraudulent (and worse-than-useless) violence reduction program for Rikers Island, to the news that it charges US governments $3m/year for advice from fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced 23-year-olds. Read the rest

Lawmaker admits not independently researching lobbyist's claim that ectopic fetuses could be reimplanted in the uterus, blames medical journals

Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation that would see women and doctors charged with murder if they did not re-implant fetuses from ectopic pregnancies in women's uteruses, a procedure that does not exist and is impossible. Read the rest

Private equity looters startled to be called out by name in Taylor Swift award-acceptance speech

Taylor Swift has been embroiled in a terrible dispute with Scooter Braun, who acquired Swift's former label for $300m, delivering him control over Swift's first six albums. Swift says that Braun had bullied and tormented her for years, and that the owner of her original label, Scott Borchetta, had sold the label to him in order to punish Swift. Read the rest

AI Now's annual report: stop doing "emotion detection"; stop "socially sensitive" facial recognition; make AI research diverse and representative -- and more

Every year, the AI Now Institute (previously) publishes a deep, thoughtful, important overview of where AI research is and the ethical gaps in AI's use, and makes a list of a dozen urgent recommendations for the industry, the research community, and regulators and governments. Read the rest

Radicalized is one of the Wall Street Journal's top sf books of 2019!

Radicalized, my collection of four novellas, is one of the Wall Street Journal's picks for best sf books of 2019! My thanks to Tom Shippey, who listed it alongside of David Walton's Three Laws Lethal, Daniel Suarez's Delta-v, Erin Craig's House of Salt and Sorrows and Michael Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Mother! Read the rest

Large, diverse coalition of civil society groups tell the US, UK and Australian governments not to ban working encryption

Facebook's decision to default to end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger prompted the governments of the UK, the USA and Australia to write to Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to delay implementation of the move, warning him that adding working encryption by default would make it harder for spies and cops to do their jobs. Read the rest

Workers at Spin, Ford's e-scooter company, have unionized in San Francisco

Spin is a short-hire/e-scooter company -- one of those firms like Bird and Lime that fill city streets with future-ewaste vehicles that block wheelchairs. It's owned by Ford. Read the rest

Nulledcast: a podcast where hackers play live audio of themselves breaking into Ring cameras and tormenting their owners

Nulledcast is a realtime podcast streamed on a Discord channel for the hacking forum Nulled: the hosts break into Ring and Nest cameras in realtime, blare sirens at the owners, then torment them with insults and racist slurs, livestreaming their responses to hundreds of listeners. Read the rest

LA police union will not defend cop accused of sexual assault on a corpse

Finally, a police union has identified a form of misconduct it will not defend: necrophilia. Read the rest

Abbott Labs kills free tool that lets you own the blood-sugar data from your glucose monitor, saying it violates copyright law

Abbott Labs makes a continuous glucose monitor -- used by people with diabetes to monitor their blood-sugar levels -- called (ironically, as you'll see below) the Freestyle Libre. Read the rest

Teespring removes Techdirt's "Copying is Not Theft" tees for copyright infringement, and won't discuss the matter any further

As pranksters target skeezy t-shirt sellers that mine Twitter for replies containing "I want that on a t-shirt" and then put the original Tweet on a t-shirt and shame online t-shirt sellers for underpolicing copyright, let's not lose sight of what happens when they overpolice copyright. Read the rest

The three biggest Chinese business scams that target foreign firms

Just in time for the holidays, the China Law Blog (previously) rounds up the three most common scams in China that target foreign firms: "Come to China and celebrate our deal" (foreign business person concludes a deal, goes to China, and is roped into paying for a banquet, gifts for the Chinese company boss, and filing fees -- there is no deal); "New bank account" (foreign business is told that an existing supplier has changed banks, wires payments to a fraudster); "Fake company" (a fraudster offers to register copyrights/trademarks/patents in China and just disappears with the cash -- or strings along the mark for ever-larger sums, concluding with fake evidence of registration that leaves the target company vulnerable to future counterfeiting). Read the rest

A Wechat-based "mobile court" presided over by a chatbot has handled 3m legal procedures since March

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court has just released a report on a "mobile court" pilot program that's been running since March to manage procedures in civil legal disputes through the Wechat social media platform, through which litigants are prompted by an AI chatbot "judge" (with a judicial avatar) to state their cases; the evidence is entered into the blockchain. Read the rest

Facebook promised to provide academics data to study disinformation, but their foot-dragging has endangered the whole project

Social Science One is an academic consortium that was created to conduct "independent scientific research into potentially consequential phenomena such as online disinformation, polarization, and echo chambers" after the Big Tech platforms made changes to their policies that made this kind of research effectively impossible without cooperation from the platforms themselves. Read the rest

DJ Riko is back with the 18th annual Merry Mixmas mashup album!

We love DJ Rijo's annual Merry Mixmas albums, and for the 18th consecutive year, the legendary mashup DJ has released an album-length mashup of Christmas rarities (MP3), just in time for your holiday parties! Read the rest

Family puts Ring camera in children's room, discovers that hacker is watching their kids 24/7, taunting them through the speaker

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. Read the rest

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