[UPDATED] Google disables Baltimore officials' Gmail accounts created during ransomware recovery

[UPDATE 5/23/19. 2:44pm PT: a Google spokesperson contacted me with the following statement: "We have restored access to the Gmail accounts for the Baltimore city officials. Our automated security systems disabled the accounts due to the bulk creation of multiple consumer Gmail accounts from the same network." An anonymous source told me that the accounts were disabled when Google detected bulk account creation, which is "highly correlated to spammy and fraudulent behavior."]

"Gmail accounts created by Baltimore officials as a workaround while the city recovers from the ransomware attack have been disabled because Google considers them business accounts that should be paid for," reports Ian Duncan of The Baltimore Sun. As my IFTF colleague Dylan Hendricks pointed out on Twitter, this is an "amazing signal about the massive security vulnerabilities of technology-based bureaucracies."

From The Baltimore Sun:

Mona Rock, a spokeswoman for the Health Department, said she logged in Thursday morning and can see old messages but not send or receive old or new ones. She said there was no notice showing why the account wasn’t working.

The ransomware struck on May 7, locking up city records and shutting down baltimorecity.gov email addresses. The hackers behind the attack demanded payment in the digital currency bitcoin to turn over the keys to the files.

The mayor’s office has said it could take months to recover. In the meantime, many officials have been using Gmail accounts along to communicate.

Read the rest

Good deal on braided 6-foot lightning cable

Aukey has a good deal on its MFi-certified 6' braided Lightning cable. To get the deal, click the coupon check box on the product page and use Amazon promo code WKX3ZTCR at checkout. Read the rest

Imaginary pitch meeting for the final season of Game of Thrones

This is one of Screen Rant's best "Pitch Meeting" episodes ever. Now I don't want to and don't need to see the final season of Game of Thrones. [Contains spoilers.] Read the rest

German policeman shames photo taking rubberneckers at a fatal crash scene

This German police officer doesn't take kindly to drivers who slow down to photograph a fatal crash.

Image: YouTube

[via Digg] Read the rest

Clothes company accused of being a pyramid scheme

LuLaRoe, a multi-billion dollar maker of garishly patterned garments, has been hit with multiple lawsuits for being a pyramid scheme. Vice has a 30-minute documentary about the company. Read the rest

An excerpt from Seth's graphic novel masterpiece, Clyde Fans

It took Canadian cartoonist Seth twenty years to complete his graphic novel Clyde Fans, and it was worth the wait. Seth is one of the greatest living cartoonists, and I've been a fan of his work since 1985, when he drew Mister X (after Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez stopped working on it).

Clyde Fans appeared in serial form in Seth's comic Palookaville, published by Drawn & Quarterly. The entire anthology runs 488 pages, and each panel is gorgeous.

From the book description:

Twenty years in the making, Clyde Fans peels back the optimism of mid-twentieth century capitalism. Legendary Canadian cartoonist Seth lovingly shows the rituals, hopes, and delusions of a middle-class that has long ceased to exist in North America—garrulous men in wool suits extolling the virtues of the wares to taciturn shopkeepers with an eye on the door. Much like the myth of an ever-growing economy, the Clyde Fans family unit is a fraud—the patriarch has abandoned the business to mismatched sons, one who strives to keep the business afloat and the other who retreats into the arms of the remaining parent.

Abe and Simon Matchcard are brothers, the second generation struggling to save their archaic family business of selling oscillating fans in a world switching to air conditioning. At Clyde Fans’ center is Simon, who flirts with becoming a salesman as a last-ditch effort to leave the protective walls of the family home, but is ultimately unable to escape Abe’s critical voice in his head. As the business crumbles so does any remaining relationship between the two men, both of whom choose very different life paths but still end up utterly unhappy.

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Woman in stolen RV leads police on a wild high-speed chase in California

A woman allegedly stole a recreational vehicle in Los Angeles County and caused at least six accidents and three hospitalizations while police chased after her.

The driver, Julie Ann Rainbird (52) of Winnetka was arrested and has been charged with "evading a police officer causing injury or death" and is being held on $100,000 bail.

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Asymmetric warfare: someone is pulling emergency brakes on NYC subway cars

Modern metropolises are teeming with police and national guards at the ready. They are well-equipped for dealing with riots, hostage situations, and the like. But they can't do much against people who wage asymmetric warfare. One person (or maybe a few people) were able to shut down London Gatwick Airport during the busy holiday season last year by flying drones near the runway. "The reports caused major disruption," says Wikipedia, "affecting approximately 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights."

Now Jalopnik reports that someone is pulling the emergency brakes on subway cars, which is "destroying subway commutes."

This person has an established M.O., the source said, and Jalopnik confirmed this by reviewing internal incident reports. There are at least three so far.

The suspect disrupts service primarily on the 2 and 5 lines from Flatbush Avenue in central Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan. He climbs aboard the rear of the train as it departs a station, unlocks the safety chains, somehow gets into the rear cab, and triggers the emergency brakes. Then, he disappears, most likely through the subway tunnels and out an emergency exit.

Despite striking on average once a week for several months, the person has not been caught.

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These people on a remote Japanese island enjoy eating a poisonous plant

Amami Ōshima is a small Japanese island a little north of Okinawa. A plant called cycad grows in abundance there. It's poisonous unless it is properly prepared by drying and fermenting it. This video shows you the process and has interviews with people who explain why they revere the cycad plant.

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Video: "My first acid trip was with strangers in Cambodia"

This is an excellent animated true story narrated by a woman who talks about the first time she took LSD, which was with strangers in a Cambodian beach town.

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This USB rechargeable electric-arc lighter is on sale today

Use code 5MJTEWZF and get this electric-arc lighter at a healthy discount on Amazon. It's much better than butane firestarters for lighting candles or starting barbecues because it has a built-in USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Read the rest

Explainer video - how an integrated circuit works

Windell Oskay of Evil Mad Scientist was at Maker Faire Bay Area again this year and this time he and Lenore Edman made large models of integrated circuits to show how they worked. In this video Windell walks the viewer through the process of a dual 2-input NOR gate made by Fairchild Semiconductor in the late 1960s. Read the rest

Reductress takes on abortion ban with caustic satirical stories

Recent headlines from satirical articles published at Reductress:

I Believe God Gave Us All Free Will — Except Pregnant Woman

Senator Says the Only Acceptable Way to Kill a Fetus Is With a Gun"

"Life Is Sacred, That’s Why This Nonviable Fetus Should Stay Inside Me So We Can Both Die

Life Begins the Second a Girl’s Uncle Decides on Incest

Vice interviewed Reductress co-founders and editors Sarah Pappalardo and Beth Newell about their approach to covering extreme anti-abortion legislation:

What does humor add to this conversation that straight news reporting can’t?

Pappalardo: Satire allows us to zero in on the hypocrisies built into the pro-life movement and the political strategies they’ve employed. It’s a way to shed light on less-talked-about subjects [...] and hopefully make people feel a little less alone right now. And they aren’t: Pro-choice people are in the overwhelming majority right now. Nothing that happened or will happen in the Supreme Court was achieved democratically.

Newell: We’re able to push the logic of these bills further, which helps to highlight their absurdity. I think we all get a little too used to certain talking points, even when we disagree with them. This is a nice affirmation to ourselves of how incredibly flawed they are.

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Epic twitter thread from a guy who became an accidental heroin smuggler

Even if Shane Morris's Elmore Leonard-esque story, about accidentally transporting a brick of heroin and then ripping off the dealers who owned it, has been embellished, I can almost guarantee Hollywood is in a bidding war for the movie rights.

Thread by @IamShaneMorris: "Y'all wanna hear a story about the time I accidentally transported a brick of heroin from Los Angeles to Seattle? I bet. Alright, let's do t […]"

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A former FBI spy catcher shows how to read body language

Joe Navarro was a body language expert for the FBI. His job was to catch spies. In this Wired video, he shares some tips. He also busts some myths. For instance, a lot of people think that crossed arms are a blocking behavior. Navarro says, "That's just nonsense."

Navarro has written a number of books about body language and interrogation techniques, including What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People.

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This nearly flush mount car charger has USB and USB-C ports

More mobile devices are requiring USB-C charging, and this Aukey car charger has one, along with a normal USB port. It barely sticks out of a car's 9-volt charging port, to the point that some people on Amazon have complained that it's not easy to remove. You can get it at a discounted price by using the code U6AJHIUX. Read the rest

Sugru moldable glue on sale

I always travel with a pack of Sugru, because it is great for repairing things like broken zippers, frayed cables, and cracked plastic parts. It's like silly putty that dries into hard rubber. Amazon has the black-colored Sugru on sale today. Read the rest

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