Florida Governor says the FBI told him how the Russians hacked Florida voting machines, but swore him to secrecy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says that after the Mueller Report was published, the FBI came to him to explain its conclusion that at least two Florida county's voting machines were hacked by Russians during the 2016 election, but that they swore him to secrecy so he can't reveal which counties and which machines were hacked. Read the rest

Warren says no to Fox News town hall -- it's a "hate-for-profit racket"

Senator Elizabeth Warren didn't accept an invitation to a Fox News town hall because she says the company is  “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

From The Washington Post:

“I’ve done 57 media avails and 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since January,” she wrote. “Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet. But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass.”

Image: Faux News T-shirt on Amazon. Read the rest

Verizon "trying to sell Tumblr"

Yahoo bought Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1bn, then Verizon acquired Yahoo. Now Verizon, after purging Tumblr of adult material and watching its traffic plunge as a result, is trying to sell whatever's left.

The process is still on-going, and it's unclear whether it will result in a sale or what price Verizon is hoping to get for the web site, according to the report which cites anonymous sources.

Read the rest

Facebook just deplatformed a bunch of "dangerous" trolls - Milo, Jones, Farrakhan

Facebook just announced it has permanently banned a number of “dangerous" alt-right and anti-Semitic trolls, including Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer.

From CNN:

Facebook had removed the accounts, fan pages, and groups affiliated with these individuals after it reevaluated the content that they had posted previously, or had reexamined their activities outside of Facebook, the company said. The removal also pertains to at least one of the organizations run by these people, Jones’ Infowars.

“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today,” Facebook said in a statement.

Read the rest

The Joker trailer released

So serious.

I can't find a legit upload on YouTube, so expect the embed above to vanish. Here's the official Tweet:

I'm warming to it; naturalism is truly the an antidote to the last one, and he's such a good actor. Read the rest

Watch: the premiere of Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot

"The Comedian" is the first episode of Jordan Peele's long awaited, hotly anticipated reboot of "The Twilight Zone." Peele's reboot is perfect, absolutely faithful to Rod Serling's love of complexity, comeuppance, and ambiguity. Love this. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Martin Shkreli placed in solitary confinement

Martin Shkreli, infamous for hiking the prices of life-saving drugs and jailed on unrelated fraud charges, is in solitary confinement. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was running businessess from inside using a contraband phone.

One source close to Shkreli’s legal team said the fraudster was in the special housing unit (SHU) a week and a half after the article was published on March 7, but the source had not received an update on his status. But according to Justin Liverman, a fellow inmate and ex-member of notorious hacker crew Crackas With Attitude, Shkreli was indeed put in solitary and was still there as of Sunday. “Martin is in the SHU,” Liverman told Forbes.

According to the Journal, Shkreli was operating his business, Phoenixus AG, via a cellphone. The company appears to be a reincarnation of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, which jacked up the prices of rare drugs to the fury of patients, doctors and insurers. In one of the worst examples, Turing increased the cost of a pill for patients with HIV/AIDS from $13.50 to $750.

Read the rest

Michael Avenatti charged with attempting to extort Nike for $20 million

Details are sketchy at this point, but The New York Times reports federal prosecutors in New York have charged attorney Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels, with attempting to force Nike to pay him $20 million by threatening to damage the company's reputation on his social media accounts.

From The New York Times:

In court documents filed Monday, prosecutors in the United States District for the Southern District of New York said that Avenatti and a client, a former A.A.U. basketball coach, said they had evidence that Nike employees had funneled money to recruits in exchange for their commitments to college teams sponsored by Nike and that they would release them in order to damage Nike’s reputation and market capitalization unless Nike paid them at least $22.5 million.

Image: JStone/Shutterstock Read the rest

The wasabi you think you're eating isn't wasabi

Real wasabi, Wasabia japonica, is apparently one of the most expensive vegetables to grow. That green stuff you're eating? Ground horseradish, Chinese mustard, and, you guessed it, green food coloring. Yum.

According to The Atlantic, "Worldwide, experts believe that this imposter combination masquerades as wasabi about 99% of the time."

Above, meet Shigeo Iida, 75, whose family has grown real wasabi for eight generations.

(via NextDraft)

image: HK 北角 North Point 和田 Wada Japanese Restaurant 放題 Buffet dinner 山葵 green Wasabi Mar-2013 Read the rest

Texas judge told a jury that God personally told him that a sex trafficking defendant should be acquitted

Texas district judge Jack Robison told a jury that his god told him to tell a jury to acquit a sex trafficking defendant. The jury was not persuaded and found Gloria Romero Perez guilty. The Texas Judicial Commission issued a warning to Judge Robinson but took no further action against him.

From CNN:

Robison testified before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct last month, and the commission released its warning on February 20.

The court documents show that Robison furnished letters from medical professionals to the judicial conduct panel, which concluded that Robison was not currently suffering from a mental illness.

The doctors determined Robison's actions were driven by delirium, a "temporary, episodic medical condition," according to the court papers. The doctors argued Robison's "fitness for duty" was not impaired.

Image: CNN Read the rest

2001: A Space Odyssey presented as a children's read-along book

This is the audio track from a 1984 children's read-along book adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The person who posted this to Reddit said, "If the abstract themes of this deep sci-fi classic escaped you watching the film, wait till you hear it crammed into 15 minutes for kids!" Here are photos of the pages from the book. Read the rest

Russian sailor, possibly inebriated, smashes cargo ship into South Korean bridge

The Yonhap News Agency reports that a 6,000 ton cargo ship under the command of a drunk Russian captain ran into the Gwangan Bridge in Busan today before "turning back to head in the opposite direction."

The lower part of the bridge sustained damage, but no injuries were reported.

The captain had a blood alcohol content of 0.086 percent. The legal limit is 0.03 percent.

"Authorities were also trying to determine why the ship was heading toward the bridge in the first place, when it should have been going in the opposite direction," reports the paper.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Insistent not-a-racist GOP Rep. Mark Meadows displays his racism

North Carolina's Rep. Mark Meadows was aghast that Rep. Rashida Tlaib found his parading HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, before congress as prop, to be racist. He insisted he is not a racist.

There is plenty of video of displaying Meadows smugly spreading racist "birther" theories about President Obama.

TPM:

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was very indignant Thursday when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused him of using HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, as a prop to counter Michael Cohen’s accusations of racism.

He retorted loudly, saying that her implication was racist and citing black people in his life.

Unfortunately for the self-righteous congressman, videos have surfaced since the fracas that show him espousing the thoroughly debunked “birther” theory about President Barack Obama.

Read the rest

Watch Spike Jonze commercial for weed retailer

Director Spike Jonze presents the history of the US's racist/classist war on marijuana in this commercial for MedMen, a cannabis retailer with shops in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Read the rest

Supreme Court rules against "excessive" police seizures and sales of property

Philly.com:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court's opinion in favor of Tyson Timbs, of Marion, Indiana. Police seized Timbs' $40,000 Land Rover when they arrested him for selling about $400 worth of heroin.

Reading a summary of her opinion in the courtroom, Ginsburg noted that governments employ fines "out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence" because fines are a source of revenue. The 85-year-old justice missed arguments last month following lung cancer surgery, but returned to the bench on Tuesday.

The Times:

Civil forfeiture is a popular way to raise revenue, and its use has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars “excessive fines,” limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states.

There's an element of insanity to it all: it's so difficult to believe that police are allowed to seize and sell people's property that it was correspondingly difficult to get people to accept that it is a widespread practice, rather than some kind of swivel-eyed libertarian conspiracy theory.

Virtually every faction in American politics was firmly against it: the left, liberals, libertarians, movement conservatives, even Trumpkins. In fact, the only person I ever met who sincerely defended civil forfeiture was a self-described "moderate", a centrist. Read the rest

Phonetically consistent English

English is a dragon of a language, dozing atop an enormous mountain of phonemes. What if they were all melted down and minted into something more consistent? And then we tried to speak it? The results sound a bit like a Welsh accent. [YouTube] Read the rest

Man follows porch package thieves, follows them, and gets them arrested

This guy has a lot of security cameras, and he put them to good use to make a mini-documentary about tracking down a porch pirate. First, we see a black-and-white security camera view of a young woman walking up his driveway. The scene switches to a doorbell camera, where we see her walk to the door and leave with a package. It cuts back to the driveway cam to show her walking away with the purloined item.

Then we get a wonderful interior shot of our hero splayed shirtless on his living room couch. His wife comes in a pokes him in the back and lets him know that the security cam identified a person. He springs into action, runs to his pick up truck, and turns on his dash cam. He finds the thief (and a male accomplice with respectable sideburns) and calls the cops. In short order, the porch pirates are in the arms of justice.

Image: Thomas Penafiel/YouTube Read the rest

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