Canada's election, in which Justin Trudeau's chickens come home to roost

Justin Trudeau is not your woke bae, he's just Joe Biden with abs: there's no policy so progressive that JT won't endorse it, provided that he never has to do anything to make good on that endorsement, which is how JT ended up being complicit in the #MuslimBan, making Canada's Patriot Act much worse, bailing out the Transcanada pipeline so in service to Alberta's filthy, planet-destroying tar sands, abandoning his promises for indigenous reconciliation, rescuing the giant Saudi arms deal, caving to Trump on NAFTA 2.0, and putting partisanship ahead of justice to get a corrupt, giant engineering company off the hook, throwing his indigenous Attorney General under the bus in order to preserve his relationship with a giant party donor. Read the rest

Onetravel sucks at dark patterns

Security research Ophir Harpaz was trying to book a flight using Onetravel; as she browsed available itineraries, she couldn't help but notice a prominent warning that "39 people are looking at this flight" (this is a cheap gimmick, one of the many "dark patterns" that once lured naive internet users to making rash decisions, but whose efficacy has since regressed to the mean). Read the rest

Part two of my novella "Martian Chronicles" on Escape Pod: who cleans the toilets in libertopia?

Last week, the Escape Pod podcast published part one of a reading of my YA novella "Martian Chronicles," which I wrote for Jonathan Strahan's Life on Mars anthology: it's a story about libertarian spacesteaders who move to Mars to escape "whiners" and other undesirables, only to discover that the colonists that preceded them expect them to clean the toilets when they arrive. Read the rest

"Martian Chronicles": Escape Pod releases a reading of my YA story about rich sociopaths colonizing Mars

Back in 2011, I wrote a young adult novella called "Martian Chronicles," which I podcasted as it was in progress; it's a story about the second wave of wealthy colonists lifting off from climate-wracked, inequality-riven Earth to live in a libertarian utopia on Mars. Read the rest

After the passage of the EU Copyright Directive, Google nukes Google News France

The passage of the EU's Copyright Directive last March marked the most controversial rulemaking process in EU history, with lawmakers squeaking a narrow victory that relied on confused MEPs pushing the wrong button. Read the rest

Elsevier: "It's illegal to Sci-Hub." Also Elsevier: "We link to Sci-Hub all the time."

Yesterday, I wrote about science publishing profiteer Elsevier's legal threats against Citationsy, in which the company claimed that the mere act of linking to Sci-Hub (an illegal open-access portal) was itself illegal. Read the rest

Cisco's failure to heed whistleblower's warning about security defects in video surveillance software costs the company $8.6m in fines

In 2008, a security researcher named James Glenn warned Cisco that its video surveillance software had a defect that made it vulnerable to a trivial-to-exploit attack; for four years afterward, the company continued to sell this software to schools, airports, hospitals, state/local governments, the US military, FEMA, the Secret Service and police departments without mitigating the defect or warning their customers that internet-connected randos could undetectably peer through their security cameras, unlock their doors, disable their alarms, and delete footage. Read the rest

Irish islamaphobe condemns Halal grocery as evidence of creeping islamification, is subsequently forcefully reminded of the global proliferation of Irish pubs

If racist Gemma O'Doherty (banned from Youtube for hate speech) thinks that the Halal grocer in her Irish town is cause for alarm, how does she suppose people in every city and town in every country in the world feel about their Irish pubs? Read the rest

Trade war: Hasbro is shifting manufacturing to Vietnam and India, drawing down production in China

Thanks to Trump's tariffs and saber-rattling, Hasbro is investing in factories in Vietnam and India, de-emphasizing its China operations: the world's biggest toymaker insists that the initiative -- which will cut China's share of its manufacturing from two-thirds to one-half -- is about "spreading our footprint and adding new geographies for production." Read the rest

#Rickyrenuncia: Bowing to popular pressure, Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello has resigned

After weeks of mass demonstrations touched off by the publication of a trove of leaked chats and evidence of mass corruption by Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism, Ricardo Rossello has done what he swore he would not: resigned. Read the rest

E-scooter companies are desperate for repo men to stop impounding their vehicles

E-scooter companies like Bird and Lime have sued Scootscoop -- a self-financed startup that tickets and impounds e-scooters that have been abandoned on private property -- claiming that the repo men are violating the same traffic laws that the same companies also say don't apply to scooters, a belief that is their basis for filling the sidewalks, streets, lawns and alleys of every city with e-waste that blocks wheelchairs, strollers and pedestrians. Read the rest

Florida property-tax auction winner didn't realize he was bidding on a 12"-wide strip between two houses

A combination of hubris (failing to heed the stern warnings that bidders should only participate if they know what they're doing), cryptic annotations and confusing illustrations resulted in a bidder buying a 12" wide, 100' long strip between two properties in Broward County, Florida -- an odd parcel that had been formerly owned by the developer, who folded and stopped paying tax on it, sending it to the auction. Read the rest

Couture fashion company Vetements is selling an unauthorized €800 Pirate Bay hoodie

Vetements claims its clothes -- like this £291 unauthorized DHL tee -- cost so much because they use special factories and really good materials. Read the rest

Notorious forum for account-thieves hacked, login and messages stolen and dumped

OG Users is a forum for people who steal login credentials for online services, mostly to sell desirable login-names for popular services like Instagram; it attained notoriety when Motherboard's Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai linked the forum to an epidemic of SIM-swapping attacks; a few months later, the Reply All podcast devoted an episode to the forum. Read the rest

Discovering whether your Iphone has been hacked is nearly impossible thanks to Apple's walled garden

This week, we learned that the notorious Israeli cyber-arms-dealer NSO Group had figured out how hijack your Iphone or Android phone by placing a simple Whatsapp call, an attack that would work even if you don't answer the call. Read the rest

Vulnerabilities in GPS fleet-tracking tools let attackers track and immobilize cars en masse

Itrack and Protrack are commercial devices for tracking fleets of commercial vehicles; they can be configured to allow for remote killswitching of the cars' engines, presumably as a theft-prevention measure. Read the rest

Heiress "Instagram influencer" whose parents are accused of paying a $500K bribe to get her into USC has trademark application rejected for punctuation errors

Olivia Jade Giannulli is the millionaire heiress of actor Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to the University of Southern California to secure her admission; Jade's university career was bound up with her other career as an "Instagram influencer," with sponsor deals for the decor in her dorm room and other collegiate trappings. Read the rest

More posts