Canadian spy agency releases its top anti-malware tool as free software.

The Canadian Communications Security Establishment -- the most secretive of Canada's spy agencies -- has released the sourcecode for Assemblyline, a "Swiss Army Knife for malware analysis" that rolls up several malware analysis tools into a single unit, which can scan files for known malware and also assign a score to files indicating the likeliness that the file has a previously unseen form of malware. Read the rest

Drawn and Quarterly's incredible Montreal book store

This summer in Montreal I stopped by the Drawn & Quarterly book store on 211 Bernard St. Visiting the store was one of the highlights of my trip to Montreal, and it is definitely worth checking out.

Drawn & Quarterly has published comics by some of my favorite authors, such as Dan Clowes. They also carry many awesome books and comics at the store from other publishers. I had a lot of fun looking through some books of R. Crumb's art. The store has a lively atmosphere and often hosts events.

On the store's site, you can find out about upcoming events at the bookstore.

I interviewed Alyssa who works at the bookstore. She told me the store has been open since 2007. Each of the staff members has a section of books that they have chosen for the store. The events that take place at the bookstore are often author readings, and book, poetry, and comic book launches. There's a stage and chairs in the back of the store for these events. These events happen often and the store is one of the most popular places in Montreal to attend a book launch.

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Canadian Parliament cancels plan to legalize drunk canoeing

Proposed Canadian legislation to legalise operating watercraft "propelled exclusively by means of muscular power" has been canceled, after the Canadian Safe Boating Council convinced the legislation's author, Liberal MP Colin Fraser, that "it would send the wrong message to the public to exclude drunk canoeing." Read the rest

Canadian pipeline project dies, leaving Canada's filthy tar sands with nowhere to go

Canada's filthy tar sands are the world's most carbon-intensive petroleum source, and in the boom years, they flooded the country with so much filthy money that the country spent a decade making war on science and trashing democratic fundamentals in a bid to sustain the tar-sands bubble. Read the rest

Vancouver housing co-op rescinds family's apartment because unborn child is a girl

Kristjan Gottfried and Michelle Hurtig were first the waiting list for Vancouver's Marina Housing Co-operative, a nonprofit when the volunteer co-chair of the admissions board told them that their new home couldn't be confirmed until they found out the sex of their unborn baby. When they found out they were having a girl, they were refused a place to live. Read the rest

Survey: Canadians are increasingly denying science, climate and vaccines

43% of Canadians believe "science is a matter of opinion," 47% think the science of global warming is "unclear"; 24% of Canadian millennials are anti-vaxxers, all according to a Leger survey of 1,514 Canadians. Read the rest

Justin Trudeau promised reconciliation with indigenous peoples of Canada, but has not delivered

Halfway into his term, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shows every sign of breaking his much-vaunted promises to repair relations between the Canadian governments and the indigenous peoples of Canada: from the pipelines he's forcing through their sovereign territories to the endless and opaque reshuffling of the ministry that is supposed to carry on the "nation to nation" negotiations to make reparations and establish a new relationship to the ongoing, catastrophic discrimination against indigenous children in the child welfare system. Read the rest

Canada's Mounties use a 6-year-old "interim policy" to justify warrantless mass surveillance

In 2016, Motherboard used public records requests to receive 3,000 pages of documents from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detailing the federal police agency's longstanding secret use of IMSI Catchers (AKA "Stingrays" -- the fake cellular towers that silently capture data on every cellphone user in range). Read the rest

British Columbia government forces Vancouver dad to end his kids' free-range city bus rides to school

For the past two years, Adrian Crook's four eldest kids (aged 7-11) have ridden Vancouver's public transit to school together, traveling as a group from the bus stop in front of his condo to the bus stop in front of their school. Read the rest

Calgary airport regrets converting disabled parking spaces into "Lexus only" parking spaces

The Calgary airport authority has apologised for a botched marketing campaign in which it sold Lexus on the idea of designating some of its parking places as "Lexus only" and then, unbeknownst to the car company, used disabled parking spots for the purpose (presumably, they were luxuriously spacious). Read the rest

Homeopathic infant teething products contain dangerous levels of deadly nightshade

Homeolab USA is a Canadian company that makes "homeopathic" remedies for kids; in a warning letter sent to the company earlier this month, the US FTC warned the company that it had discovered dangerous levels of belladonna (AKA deadly nightshade) in its infant teething products, and advised the company that its manufacturing process was putting its customers' safety at risk. Read the rest

Toronto's amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian

It's been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the "Spaced Out Library," the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril -- that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Read the rest

Toronto's insane real-estate bubble is finally bursting

Toronto's crazy-insane property prices stayed high even through the 2008 crash and its aftermath, but sales volumes of houses of all types plummeted by 40.4% for July 2017-vs-July 2016, new listings are up by 5% over the same period -- and the average selling price has fallen by 19% since April. Read the rest

Uptight Ottawa Catholics outraged that Archbishop allowed giant robot spider on cathedral roof

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast has apologised to local parishioners who took offense at the brief presence of a giant robotic spider on the cathedral roof, placed there by the La Machine theatre troupe, who stage massive street productions involving robots and puppets (like the Sultan's Elephant and this amazing Jules Verne-inspired show). Read the rest

City claims building park stairs too pricey, later tears out free stairs built by a resident

Retiree Adi Astl just wanted some stairs down a well-trod embankment in his local park. The city told him it would cost between $65,000 and $150,000, so he and a homeless guy built a nice set of stairs for about $550. Astl was then informed he violated municipal code section 608, and the stairs were ordered removed.

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Berlin SWAT raids yield arrests in theft of manhole-sized gold coin

On Wednesday, heavily armed and armored Berlin police carried out a series of raids, arresting four suspects in the theft of a $3.9m, 220lb manhole-cover-sized gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in March. Read the rest

Canadian entertainment industry begs Chinese courts to censor its movies

The Supreme Court of Canada just handed down a controversial ruling in which it ordered Google to block links to a page that was deemed illegal in Canada for every Google user, everywhere in the world -- asserting that the Supreme Court of Canada's jurisdiction extends to the end of the earth. Read the rest

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