Just look at these bananails.

Just look at them. (Thanks, Sean!) Read the rest

UK visitors wait 2.5 hours to get through immigration at Heathrow

Official UK government statistics reveal that on 30 days in July the Border Force agency at Heathrow failed to meet its target of processing visitors within 45 minutes; on July 5, visitors had to wait 2.5 hours. Read the rest

Hackers find exploitable vulnerabilities in Amazon Echo, turn one into a listening device

At Defcon, Tencent's Wu HuiYu and Qian Wenxiang presented Breaking Smart Speakers: We are Listening to You, detailing their work in successfully exploiting an Amazon Alexa speaker, albeit in a very difficult-to-achieve fashion. Read the rest

EU resolution aims to comprehensively limit "planned obsolescence"

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the European Commission (the EU's civil service) to craft rules that will severely limit planned obsolescence in electronics by forcing manufacturers to design products to facilitate repair by third parties, extend first-part warranties, warrant and support software, label products with an estimate of their overall life-expectancy, and publicly track and disclose how long products last in the field before breaking down. Read the rest

The eminently hackable police bodycam

Josh Mitchell's Defcon presentation analyzes the security of five popular brands of police bodycams (Vievu, Patrol Eyes, Fire Cam, Digital Ally, and CeeSc) and reveals that they are universally terrible, though the Digital Ally models are the least bad of the batch, as Wired's Lily Hay Newman reports. Read the rest

Interview with a cryptocurrency scammer

Adam Guerbuez is a cryptocurrency evangelist whose Youtube channel is full of videos promoting cryptocurrency trading; when he got a Twitter message from a scammer promising to send him free Ethereum coins, he asked the scammer if they could talk about the scam. Read the rest

Put words between buns!

Courtesy of Ian Bogost (previously): a meme generator that puts words between buns!

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Talking the hard questions of privacy and freedom with the Yale Privacy Lab podcast

This week, I sat down for an hour-long interview with the Yale Privacy Lab's Sean O'Brien (MP3); Sean is a frequent Boing Boing contributor and I was honored that he invited me to be his guest on the very first episode of the Lab's new podcast. Read the rest

Stylistic analysis can de-anonymize code, even compiled code

A presentation today at Defcon from Drexel computer science prof Rachel Greenstadt and GWU computer sicence prof Aylin Caliskan builds on the pair's earlier work in identifying the authors of software and shows that they can, with a high degree of accuracy, identify the anonymous author of software, whether in source-code or binary form. Read the rest

Burbankers! There's a Save Magnolia Park meeting on August 13th at Geeky Tees

The parade of evictions and rent hikes in Burbank's lovely, independent-dominated Magnolia Park retail district is up for debate: the Save Magnolia Park coalition is having a public meeting on Aug 13th at Geeky Tees (2120 W Magnolia Blvd) at 7PM (alas, I'll be in Edinburgh, but I'm there in spirit!). Read the rest

The EPA's own staff are aghast that Trump is bringing back asbestos

The Trump administration's plan to bring back asbestos is right in line with Trumpist ideology that any science that interferes with profits is a hoax (Trump claims that the asbestos-cancer link is a conspiracy to help the mafia make money on asbestos removal contracts), and the fact that the leading Russian asbestos company (which has ties to Putin) put Trump's face on their packaging is just an extra too-shitty-to-be-true detail for all of us to ponder as we die of mesothelioma in a few years. Read the rest

Reminder: your state may be purging you from its voter rolls

Matt "Metafilter" Haughey got a postcard from his home state of Oregon informing him that he'd been purged from his voter roll because his signature has drifted too much since he first signed up to vote, 15 years ago. He has to go through a bureaucratic process to re-register to vote. Read the rest

TSA: the fact that our secret surveillance program hasn't caught anyone means it's working

Late last month, the Boston Globe published a blockbuster scoop revealing the existence of "Quiet Skies," a secret TSA program that sent Air Marshals out to shadow travelers who were not on any watchlist and had committed to crime, on flimsy pretenses like "This person once visited Turkey." Read the rest

American Conservative laments market concentration and private property as bad for free expression

For years, the big social media platforms have used their market dominance to decide who could speak and on what terms: they forced drag queens and trans people to use their "real" names; kicked Black Lives Matter activists off their platforms; and allowed autocratic rulers to force opposition activists to expose themselves to arrest and torture as a condition of using their platforms. Read the rest

Missouri voters kill the state's anti-union law with a massively successful ballot initiative

Many of today's "red" states have historically had strong trade union movements -- think of Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin -- but after Citizens United opened the floodgates to dark money from the super-rich in state politics, the states saw their legislatures fill up with ideologue Republicans who passed anti-union laws designed to weaken labor and allow employers to pay their workers less, cut their benefits, fire them more easily, and subject them to less safe, less dignified working conditions. Read the rest

Kickstarting new Aquabats albums and TV shows!

The wonderful Aquabats, nearly killed when the network they'd signed with went out of business, are back, and they want to produce a new TV special episode of Super Show! with a new album to go with it. Read the rest

Come see me at the Edinburgh Festival and/or Worldcon!

I'm heading to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival where I'm appearing with the wonderful Ada Palmer on August 12th at 845PM (we're talking about the apocalypse, science fiction and hopefulness); from there, I'm heading to the 76th World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California, where I'll be doing a bunch of panels, signings and a reading. Read the rest

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