13 dead in California bar after gunman opens fire (Update: shooter identified)

At least 13 are dead after a gunman opened fire at a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California. The dead include the shooter and a Sheriff's sergeant who tried to stop him.

A man, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 29, entered the Borderline Bar and Grill at 11.20pm, threw smoke grenades into the crowd, then fired dozens of rounds into it, eyewitnesses say. Long was reportedly dressed entirely in black and wearing a mask.

Authorities do not know what his motive was, but Ventury County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters that he has "no reason to beleive there was a link to terrorism" and that the only weapon recovered was a "modified" .45 Glock handgun. The sergeant killed in the attack was a 29-year veteran about to retire, according to wire reports.

Thousand Oaks is an upscale LA exurb listed as one of the safest places to live in America. The Borderline Bar & Grill is described by Google as "a lively spot with Western decor & dancing" hosting country and salsa theme nights.

Pepperdine University in nearby Malibu reports that some of its students were there attending a "student night" event.

Updated at 10 a.m. with the shooters' name and weapon. ABC News says Long was a USMC veteran. Read the rest

The Ghastlygun Tinies: MAD's Edward Gorey satire that takes aim at school shootings

Edward Gorey's "Gashlycrumb Tinies" is a much-beloved, macabre illustrated children's book that is a favorite of remixers of all kinds; but Mad Magazine's Ghastlygun Tinies dials up the "trenchant" knob to 11. Read the rest

Senator Wyden proposes 20 prison sentences for CEOs who lie about data collection and protection

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] (previously) has introduced the Consumer Data Protection Act, which extends personal criminal liability to the CEOs of companies worth more than $1B or who hold data on more than 50,000,000 people who knowingly mislead the FTC in a newly mandated system of annual reports on the steps the company has taken to secure the data. Read the rest

Porch thief caught on camera

You'd think that so-called "porch pirates" would have realized by now that everyone has installed cameras to catch them in the act. But this brazen thief couldn't care less.

Bill Garner writes: "My phone alerted me that my doorbell had detected a visitor. When I pulled up the clip, I saw this pair of thieves! They obviously had it planned..." Read the rest

Public domain scores a huge appeals court victory: the law cannot be copyrighted (UPDATED)

For years we have chronicled the tireless fight of rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) whose Public.Resource.org has devoted itself to publishing the world's laws, for free, where anyone can see and share them. Read the rest

The new Pixel phone has a bizarre, obscure "opt out" arbitration waiver

Binding arbitration is corporate America's favorite dirty trick: to use a product, you are forced to give up your right to sue if the company hurts you, cheats you, or even kills you. Read the rest

US Customs is seizing refurbished Apple batteries and calling them "counterfeits"

Louis Rossman is one of the highest-profile independent Apple repair technicians, famous in part for fixing devices that Apple has declared to have reached their end-of-life, diverting these devices from landfill and keeping them in the hands of the people who paid good money for them. Read the rest

A data-driven look at the devastating efficacy of a far-right judge-education program

More than 40% of US federal judges have attended Manne seminars, a notionally "bipartisan" educational conference presented by a Florida "Law and Economics" institute whose invited ideological allies explained to judges why pollution is good for minorities (polluted neighborhoods are cheaper and therefore affordable by poor people), unions are bad, monopolies are economically efficient, discrimination in punishment is economically efficient, insider trading is economically efficient, and so on. Read the rest

Bodycam footage of murderer being arrested

Police in the small English town of Burnham publicized bodycam video of an arrest they made earlier this year. Owen Pellow, 42, had called emergency services to report that his ex-partner, Lisa Marie Thornton, hurt herself. But they knew from Pellow's weird, shocked demeanor that he had hurt her and arrested him immediately. It's very creepy and unsettling. I can't quite place why it doesn't trigger apprehensions of intoxication, grief and other things you'd normally presume and I figure that's why it's so disturbing. A human wall of fear, regret, evasion and subsided rage that announces what happened as soon as the door opens.

As PC Ryan Dinham informed Pellow that he was arresting him, Pellow repeatedly asked: 'Can we save her life, can we save her life, can we save her life?'

He asked the officer: 'Is she still alive, can we go up? It is not good.'

And PC Dinham replied: 'It is not good, mate.'

Thorton died from 39 stab wounds. Pellow was convicted of murder in May. Read the rest

WestJet Airlines says no to drugs as Canada prepares to decriminalize cannabis

Last month, the Canadian Armed Forces announced its strict but reasonable policy surrounding the use of cannabis by service personnel. With Canada's decriminalization of cannabis nearly upon us, a lot of companies and organizations that deal with dangerous tasks or complicated hardware are following suit. Earlier this week, one of Canada's most popular air carriers, WestJet released its policy for when their employees will be allowed to use cannabis.

The short version of the rules: If you're a WestJet employee doing anything other than riding a phone for the company's customer service line or working at an airport check-in counter, chances are that you won't be allowed near the stuff.

From the CBC:

Spokesperson Morgan Bell said employees were notified of the changes on Tuesday morning.

She said cannabis is being treated differently than alcohol, which is banned for certain staff members within 12 hours of coming on duty.

Bell said WestJet's list of affected positions would be similar to Air Canada's, which includes flight and cabin crew members, flight dispatchers, aircraft maintenance engineers and station attendants.

The new WestJet policy also includes a prohibition on possession or distribution of cannabis on company property while on duty or attending a company social function.

Air Canada, Canada's flag carrier, has pretty much the same policy on dope, which makes me happy. In almost all instances, 12 hours is long enough for the blood alcohol level of most drinkers to dip back down to safe levels. Despite all the criminal bullshit that we've laden cannabis down with over the years, we still know comparatively little about what it does to a user's reflexes or how long it may continue to have an effect on judgement. Read the rest

Virginia towns' trick-or-treat laws threaten over-12s with jail-time

In Chesapeake, VA, trick-or-treaters over 12 face fines of $25-100 and up to six months in jail (under-12s who trick-or-treat after 8PM face fines of $10-100 and up to 30 days in jail). Read the rest

Something Awful receives legal threat over hotlinked image of Hitler fan

Christopher Sadowski is, his lawyers submit, a most accomplished photographer of... Hitler admirer Heath Campbell? The New York-based shooter is threatening to sue the website Something Awful over a photo of the nazi spotted in its forums unless they pay $6750.

The unauthorized use of my client's work threatens my client's livelihood. While Christopher Sadowski,[sic] does have the right to bring a lawsuit for damages, my client is willing to settle this in an amicable way, out of court and without a lawsuit. I was asked to contact you and see if we can negotiate a settlement and save everyone the stress and costs of going to court.

It turns out, however, that the image isn't actually posted on Something Awful. It's hotlinked from another website, Imgur, which is the image's actual host and the one providing the embedding snippet. It's still there. Sadowski's lawyers, Higbee & Associates, haven't figured it out—or maybe they have, but removing the image isn't the business plan.

Rich Kyanka (pictured above) explains:

This garbage dicked law firm generates nearly $5 million a year by encouraging photographers to sign up with their company, then performing a reverse image search for anything matching their client's submitted photos. An automated system then flags the suspected offending site, spits out a super scary legal threat based off a template, and delivers it to the site owner. Upon receiving the notice of possible legal action, many victims freak out and pay these idiots the stated arbitrary amount of cash, under the looming threat of being taken to court for $150,000.

Read the rest

America's cities sue FCC for handing billions in municipal subsidy to wireless carriers

The FCC has ordered American cities to hand discounted access to public resources for 5G access, and to operate a bureaucracy that rubberstamps applications to use city resources without delay. The FCC prices this subsidy at $2 billion. Read the rest

America's super-concentrated telcoms industry unites to sue California over Net Neutrality law

Competition scholar Tim Wu has described how industries over time become more concentrated and less competitive, as executives move sideways from one giant company to another, creating a web of backchannels that lets the companies unite to pursue their industry-wide goals rather than competing with each other to deliver better service at better prices to their customers. Read the rest

Florida man insists he only drank at stop signs

69-year-old Earle Stevens Jr. drove his car "over and over" into another motorist's vehicle at a McDonald's drive-through lane in Vero Beach, Florida. Police pulled him over, noted the smell of alcohol, and asked him about that open bottle of bourbon in the passenger seat, wrapped in brown paper.

When I asked him where he was drinking he stated, "Stop signs." He further explained that he was not drinking while the car was moving and only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals. I asked him again how much had had to drink today and he stated, "Four drinks." This was more than his original statement of three drinks.

Well, he'd been pulled over and the vehicle was stationary. Of course he'd had another!

He blew .15 and was charged with misdemeanor DUI, according to reports. [The Smoking Gun and The Miami Herald] Read the rest

All levels of UK government have been paralysed by Brexit

The British government has been immobilised by Brexit preparations: hundreds of millions of pounds paid by insurers to the government to rebuild from flooding are sitting idle in savings accounts because no one can spare the time to spend them; ministers won't schedule out-of-London meetings because being away during a key vote would endanger the whisper-thin Tory majority; UK workforce productivity has fallen off a cliff while workers struggle to make preparations for the uncertain future; the government is incapable of legislating because the whole calendar is filled with Brexit bills; junior ministers are barely showing up for work because they don't believe they'll have careers after Brexit; the NHS's overriding priority is Brexit preparation -- everything, from top to bottom, is crumbling. Read the rest

California's Net Neutrality bill is now law

Ajit Pai called it "illegal." EFF called it "the strongest Net Neutrality measure in the country." The telecoms companies got their employees to demand that California Governor Jerry Brown veto it. Jerry Brown just signed it. Read the rest

More posts