HOAX: 15 year old gamer sentenced to 25 years for terrorism for "swatting" rival

Sorry, this story turned out to be a hoax. Read the rest

16 year old Canadian arrested for over 30 "swattings"

A 16-year-old Canadian male has been arrested for calling in over 30 "swattings," bomb threats and other hoax calls to emergency services in North America. The young man is alleged to be the operator of @ProbablyOnion on Twitter, which had previously advertised swattings (sending SWAT teams to your enemies' homes by reporting phony hostage-takings there, advising police that someone matching your victim's description is on the scene, armed and out of control) as a service, and had bragged of swatting computer crime journalism Brian Krebs twice. Krebs had previously caught a kid who swatted him, and outed him to his father -- this may have made him a target for other swatters. Read the rest

Cyber-crooks mail heroin to Brian Krebs

Brian Krebs is a security expert and investigative journalist who has published numerous ground-breaking stories about the online criminal underground, much to the consternation of the criminal underground. Krebs has been the victim of much harassment, including a dangerous SWATting (where someone called a SWAT team to Krebs's door, having told them that an armed gunman was inside).

Most recently, a Russian crook called Flycracker crowdfunded the purchase of a gram of heroin on the Silk Road, which he mailed to Krebs, having first called the cops to alert them that Krebs was a narcotics trafficker. Luckily for Krebs, he lurks in the same forums in which this was planned, and knew of it in advance and tipped off the local cops and the FBI. Read the rest

Dalai Lama receives human rights award from Amnesty International

[iPhone snapshot above: Xeni Jardin; illustration inset, Shepard Fairey.]

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was in Long Beach, California this morning to accept the inaugural edition of a "Shine a Light on Human Rights" award from Amnesty International. My notes from the event follow.

He accepted the award with characteristic humility and good humor, saying, "I am just a single monk; no more, no less," later adding for the Amnesty volunteers and human rights advocates assembled, "Your work is good. Please continue."

Addressing the crowd before the spiritual leader spoke, Amnesty International's U.S. executive director Larry Cox said the award honored the fact that he has "tirelessly and peacefully defended the rights of people everywhere" for over 50 years. This month will also mark the 50th anniversary of the human rights organization's own founding.

The Dalai Lama took questions from Amnesty volunteers for more than an hour, and spoke of the imperative to protect those who are engaged in human rights work, as well as the need for freedom of information and expression in Tibet, China, and around the world.

Speaking through a translator, he described a Tibetan concept of generosity that encompasses not only material goods or comfort to those in need, "but also protection from fear."

"Individuals in some ways have more power than governments; the individuals, the artists, the activists who are compelled to change society—we must protect them."

Despite the white stubble he pointed to on his shaved head, the 76-year-old monk said he was optimistic that he would witness Tibetan "reunion" and peace with China in his lifetime. Read the rest

Rent-a-white-guy for your Chinese business meeting

Chinese entrepreneurs are renting random white guys to pretend to be visiting businessmen, and to lend an aura of general Being Connected to the West to business meetings, conferences and receptions:

And so I became a fake businessman in China, an often lucrative gig for underworked expatriates here. One friend, an American who works in film, was paid to represent a Canadian company and give a speech espousing a low-carbon future. Another was flown to Shanghai to act as a seasonal-gifts buyer. Recruiting fake businessmen is one way to create the image--particularly, the image of connection--that Chinese companies crave. My Chinese-language tutor, at first aghast about how much we were getting paid, put it this way: "Having foreigners in nice suits gives the company face..."

For the next few days, we sat in the office swatting flies and reading magazines, purportedly high-level employees of a U.S. company that, I later discovered, didn't really exist. We were so important, in fact, that two of the guys were hired to stay for eight months (to be fair, they actually then received quality-control training).

"Lots happening," Ken told me. "We need people for a week every month. It'll be better next time, too. We'll have new offices." He paused before adding: "Bring a computer. You can watch movies all day."

Rent a White Guy

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Books by people who have raised apes in their homes

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

As mentioned earlier, I collect books by people who have raised apes or monkeys in their homes, so, as a service to Boing Boing readers, I thought I'd review them for you.

Toto and I: A Gorilla in the Family, by A Maria Hoyt (1941)

A charming memoir by an eccentric heiress who brought Toto home after her husband, working for the Museum of Natural History in New York, shot Toto's mother on the hunt for a specimen. Despite marrying a mommy killer, Hoyt goes to the wall to help young Toto, even moving to Cuba to accommodate her charge. There are lots of choice anecdotes in this book but my favorite involve sleep training the gorilla. Like many children, Toto insisted on sleeping with her parents. Caregiver Thomas and Toto slept in separate beds in Toto's room; each night over the course of month, Tomas moved his bed farther and farther away from Toto until he was actually out of her room. (Incidentally, this is essentially the same method recommended by the Sleep Lady.) Before Toto was weaned from cosleeping, however, she "punished" Tomas by locking him in her bedroom:

[Toto] slammed the door after him, deftly locking it from the playroom side. Since the windows were heavily barred, Tomas was now securely confined with Toto, his jailer, dancing in triumphant joy in the other room....

Read the rest

Boing Boing on GOOD - Dahomey Diary: Notes from Benin (Xeni)

Boing Boing is collaborating with GOOD Magazine on a series of features written by BB editors. The latest installment in that series is a collection of excerpts from a journal I kept during a recent trip to West Africa. Longer form video and audio features are planned for future release through Boing Boing Video. Here's a snip, there's more, along with more stills from video (like the image above) at the GOOD link, too.

A Bariba settlement near Kouandé, in the far north near Nigeria.

Our car pulls as close to the center compound as the dirt path allows. We open car doors, step out into dust, through grass thatch gates. A crowd of women are dancing, drums and high trills. We landed mid-ceremony. We’re here to pay respects to a healer-queen. A few steps inside her hut, bags of blackeyed peas, flour, and hard candy are stacked like cash along mud walls–payment, tribute, from villagers. We’re seated on the ground, swatting clouds of flies, awaiting her audience.

This is the part I’ll remember forever: One by one, young girls file in, after the ceremony. White mud dots on their faces, scar lines carved in dark brown skin, constellations of scars and stars, ancestor ghost signs. They call out like birds as they step inside. The healer calls back, a long vowel.





Again and again, then quiet. The girls lie down before her, stretched out on their sides, heads bowed into the floor, awaiting a tap from her on the left shoulder.

Read the rest

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets, we bopped to the tunes of an album written on the Nintendo DS ("Music to Make Love To Your Old Pleasure Model By...") and introduced BBG's newest mascot, Humbert Humbird, to his own vacuuming robotic steed.

That accomplished, Beschizza wondered about whether electric cars would be good in Zombie Apocalypses and fluttered his hands around his head, squeeing with excitement, over Commodore's new PDA and Britain's Pay-As-You-Go iPhone plan.

Rumors abounded: that Dell's gorgeous, whore red netbook, the Mini-Inspiron, would launch tomorrow. That Apple would unveil new iPods and MacBooks on September 9th.

Robotic jellyfish, they floated around, swatting flies. Japanese retro scooters were declared whateverpunk! An alarm clock that never stopped glowing until themonuclear reactions occur.

And this Space Invaders keyboard was pretty swank.

Link Read the rest

Fix the FCC or die

David sez, "Susan Crawford urges the US to stop pussyfooting around and do what needs to be done: Restructure the Internet carriers so they allow competition, and separate the carriers of bits from the suppliers of content and services. This is how you get Net Neutrality that works."

Many Americans don’t have a choice of highspeed providers, and, as Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Free Press, Media Access Project, and U.S. Public Interest Group recently told the FCC, “Americans pay 10 to 20 times as much [as people do in other countries] for far less service.” The duopoly is something like Shamu and Godzilla on hire for televised wrestling – giant beasts gently swatting at one another for the cameras. They aren’t competing, these giants. There is a clear failure in the market for highspeed internet access in this country...

Many other countries have taken a hard look at their communications policy and have understood that communications and economic growth are tightly intertwined. Economic growth is driven by new ideas creating ever-newer goods and services and new ways of making a living. We have never had an interactive communications platform like the internet before – it’s capable of producing enormously diverse ideas (in the form of new niches, new roles, and new understandings of information) and allowing them to be disseminated on a large scale. Universal highspeed access to the internet could trigger crucial economic growth that would benefit U.S. society as a whole.


(Thanks, David!) Read the rest

Fly swatter map of Milan

This fly swatter is patterned with a street map of Milan, Italy. Charles & Marie sells them for $15 in a variety of colors, but apparently they're sold out at the moment. Link (Thanks, Lindsay Tiemeyer!)

Previously on BB: • Electrified mosquito-swatting tennis-racket Link • Secrets of the Venus Fly Trap Link Read the rest

Electric fly-swatter rackets aerosolize germs over a 6' radius -- UPDATED

Before scoring one of the electrified mosquito-swatting tennis-rackets I blogged yesterday, consider this research that shows that swatting a mosquito or a fly with one of these aerosolizes the viruses it its guts and shit-particles on its carapace over a radius of six feet. See update below!

When the houseflies hit the traps, their bodies literally exploded, Urban said. However, the electronic zap did not destroy all the viruses that had attached to the insect's body. As it turns out, microbes on the fly's surface were far more dangerous than any they had ingested. Overall, approximately one virus out of every 4,000 on a fly's surface was spread by electrocution, and virus was spread an average of 6 feet. Only about 1 in 1,000,000 of the viruses inside the fly were released upon electrocution, although they also spewed out as far as 6 feet, the study showed. "This is potentially significant since flies moving about on filth such as feces are most likely to become surface contaminated," he said

However, many of you sickos wrote to me to tell me how useful this thing is as an S&M sex-toy. Though presumably not after it's been used to render bugs into fine, infectious mist.


(Thanks, Dan!)

Update: Lolanose sez, "The link regarding spewed fly guts and viruses is about those backyard zappers -- not the racquet-like swatters. The latter merely electrocute the offending insect, not vaporize it. Germs aren't spread -- but of course you may want to pick up the little critter and dispose of it." Read the rest

Electrified mosquito-swatting tennis-racket

This is a rechargable electrified tennis-racket for swatting flies and mosquitos: "Just press on the switch and a live electric current flows through the inner mesh and the moment a mosquito, bug or fly comes touches it, it gets a electric shock and gets zapped. Just wave it around and get hold of undetected bugs and pests."


(Thanks, Quick Online Tips!)

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