One of my mottoes is that the important thing about tech isn't what it does, it's who it does it to, and who it does it for; this is especially important in discussions of "smart city" tech, which can easily be turned to systems of population-scale surveillance, control and oppression.
Read the rest
The official story of the Trump administration's family separation policy is that it came about as a result of "zero tolerance" in which every person who could be charged with a crime would be, and that meant that parents were arrested too, and since the parents were going to jail, their kids had to be held somewhere.
Read the rest
Many of the world's most iconic movies have problematic themes or plots, but the romanticization of kidnapping and false imprisonment ranks among the worst. Read the rest
I watched this bizarre video a couple of times and couldn't figure out what's going on. I think Folderpirate on Reddit has the best theory:
The guy on the bike was in on it. It was a carjacking/kidnapping targeting the first car.
Guy on bike stops traffic by trying to cross in front of mark.
Mark stops. Argument ensues as cyclist smacks car/yells/is obnoxious/wont move out of way.
Mark gets out of car while it's running.
Two kidnapper cars come up, grab the mark and his passenger, and steal their car.
Also, the guy filming is in on it as well. He's filming this to mail it to whomever they are going to try and get money from.
There seems to be a bit more going on. Are the guys in white caps bodyguards? The car that stopped for the bike looks expensive, so maybe it belongs to an oligarch's kid who has two white-capped face-pushing goons to clear the way for him? Whatever happened, it was well planned and smoothly executed, like a scene from a thriller. Read the rest
David and I love Blank on Blank, a video series that animates recorded interviews with notable people. It's produced by PBS Digital Studios, and the latest one is a 1982 interview with kidnapping victim Patty Hearst, who served time in prison for being forced to take part in a bank robbery by her captors, the psychotic Symbionese Liberation Army.
Read the rest
In 1964, a baby was stolen from a Chicago hospital. The FBI later determined that a baby, found in New Jersey, was the missing boy and gave him back to his parents. Now, DNA evidence shows that the man raised as Paul Fronczak isn't actually the same person as the kidnapped baby called Paul Fronczak. It's a heartbreaking story for Fronczak and his family, with some important lessons about the history and future of forensics. Read the rest
"An Englishman who mysteriously vanished on holiday more than a decade ago has been reunited with his family after he was discovered allegedly working as a slave on a Welsh farm for the last 13 years." [NY Daily News] Read the rest
Mexican drug cartels, notably the Zetas, kidnap skilled radio engineers and force them to build out elaborate communications networks.