That's wild, you can't even see all the new listening devices.
That's wild, you can't even see all the new listening devices.
CNN equated the briefing to a Supreme Court argument -- an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned.
Hennessy has been a Washington-based courtroom sketch artist for decades. He has covered a wide range of cases, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, terror suspect trials, and Guantanamo Bay detainee hearings. He worked for CNN at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Hennessy's presence highlighted the significant change in White House access that has taken place recently. Press secretaries for Democratic and Republican presidents have held on-camera briefings on a regular basis for the past quarter century. But the Trump White House has been cutting back on the frequency and the length of on-camera briefings.
What's amazing is how angry conservatives are about CNN doing this. I'd call them snowflakes, but they've already melted into salty little puddles. Read the rest
Yesterday's anonymously sourced New York Times story is the most detailed picture yet of the bizarre, brooding nightmarescape that is the Trump White House: it's not just the cut-throat power games (and Steve Bannon tricking Trump into helping him stage a coup); it's a big, complicated government building whose knowledgeable core has been purged, leaving the new administration literally in the dark. Read the rest
Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer inaugurated his first day on the job by telling easily falsifiable lies about the relative sizes of the Trump inauguration crowds and those of the Obama administration. Read the rest
Every year Chief White House photographer Pete Souza rounds up his best photos, and this year’s collection is especially poignant as it’s the last one of the Obama administration. Souza was looking for “behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady.” The whole collection is available over on Medium and a few of my favorites are below:
In The Competition Initiative and Hidden Fees, the White House's National Economic Council documents the widespread use of deceptive "service charges" that businesses levy, allowing them to advertise prices that are wildly divergent from what you'll actually pay -- think of the $30, unavoidable "resort fees" added to a hotel bill; the $25 "processing fees" added to concert tickets, the random fees added to telecom bills, etc, all adding up to billions transferred away from American shoppers to big business. Read the rest
In a set of photos posted to his Instagram, White House photographer Pete Souza detailed a snowman-related prank the staff pulled on President Obama. Here's a photo of the snowmen in question:
In a later photo Souza writes:
Sometimes you gotta have fun. For the past three weeks, there have been four snowmen on display in the Rose Garden (see photo in earlier post). We’ve been joking that we should move the snowmen a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed. Then we realized the snowmen were too heavy to easily lift. But finally this morning before the President came to the office, some helpful staff—I won't say who—moved all the snowmen so each one was peeking through a different window into the Oval. This photo was taken this afternoon as the President signed end-of-the-year bills.
Read the rest
Sometimes you gotta have fun. For the past three weeks, there have been four snowmen on display in the Rose Garden (see photo in earlier post). We've been joking that we should move the snowmen a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed. Then we realized the snowmen were too heavy to easily lift. But finally this morning before the President came to the office, some helpful staff--I won't say who--moved all the snowmen so each one was peeking through a different window into the Oval.
Read the rest
When the photo of a Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkey beach appeared in his newsfeed, Jason Wu was getting restless. It was September of last year, and he’d just left his job as a product manager at Facebook’s Silicon Valley HQ—in some ways, exactly the kind of job he’d wanted back as a UC Berkeley computer science student. But at 29, having been ensconced in cush startup culture of T-shirt swag and free meals surrounding the challenging technical work, he was starting to mull a new question: “To what end?” Considering the options, he didn’t want to join one of the many mobile app companies proliferating in the valley that solved the problems of the same wealthy young people who make them.
Several years ago, a new apartment building went up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Washington DC. That's a few miles from the better known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, aka the White House. A car lot was previously on the apartment building property, then registered as 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, but the developers thought it would be a hoot to petition for the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE address. They got it. From WTPO:
Read the rest
Residents say they often get funny looks or disbelief when they have to give their address or hand over their driver’s licenses. Carlos Gutierrez, 39, and other residents said they get asked: “You live at the White House?”
The address has produced headaches for some residents. One early resident of the building, Daniel Perry, 36, said Amazon.com initially wouldn’t take orders to the address, though that’s since been sorted out. Another resident said even now, she sometimes has difficulty ordering online. A recent order for a pair of summer sandals required calling the company, she said.
Residents have to make sure that anyone sending them mail puts the all-important “SE” after the address. The correct zip code — 20003 — is also key. The White House’s ZIP code is 20500.
A goof means the mail might eventually get to the correct recipient, but because the president’s mail gets extra security screening, any resident’s mail with an incomplete address could be significantly delayed.
Mail mix-ups happen the other way, too. Errant letters for the first family arrive at the building every so often and sit unopened by the residents’ mailboxes until the U.S.
In 2009, President Obama pledged to "restore science to its rightful place." He said, "We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and improve education in math and science."
Today, the White House released an Impact Report listing 100 things that Obama has made happen with the support of many people across research, policy, education, and, yes, maker culture. Here's the full Impact Report. A few examples from the list:
Read the rest
• Prioritized and encouraged broad participation in STEM education. The President’s Educate to Innovate campaign, launched in November 2009, has resulted in more than $1 billion in private investment to improve K-12 STEM education. The Nation is on track to meet the President’s January 2011 State of the Union goal to put 100,000 additional excellent STEM teachers in America’s classrooms by 2021. The President has helped showcase to students—including through events such as the White House Science Fair—that science, math, engineering, and computer programming are deeply compelling subjects that can help solve problems locally and globally.
• Fostered a nation of makers. The President hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire; highlighted the growing importance of additive manufacturing by being the first President to be 3D scanned for his Presidential bust; and led a call to action resulting in commitments to create more than 1,000 maker spaces around the country.
In a new Tested.com video, Adam Savage celebrates the upcoming National Week of Making that the White House is hosting again this year. To kick off his week in the sort of unique way that only Adam Savage can, he has been asking his social media followers to tag pictures of their personal workspaces, the happy places where they go to create something from nothing.
In the video above, he shows off a number of these wonderfully diverse shops (see a few below) and talks passionately about the joys of making and how we should all yield to the hands-on imperative.
The National Week of Making kicks off on Friday and includes the second annual National Maker Faire, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the UDC-Van Ness campus in the District of Columbia. This is one of Maker Media's full-blown flagship events, joining the long-running Maker Faire Bay Area and World Maker Faire in New York. Unlike those events, the National Maker Faire is free to the public.
You can find out more about the National Week of Making and how to get involved on the event's official website.
Our man in the White House, Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, alerts us to the Administration's celebration of Back To The Future Day that includes:
* The release of President Obama's updated Strategy for American Innovation
* Tom's post on the White House blog about the power of imagination, titled "Science Fiction to Science Fact"
* A series of online conversations with scientists and innovators about the future! Read the rest
The Intercept just published an amazing article by Jim Bamford yesterday talking about how the NSA exploited a backdoor in Vodafone to spy on Greek politicians and journalists during the 2004 Olympics.
In a meticulous investigation, Bamford reports at the Intercept that the NSA was behind the notorious, legendary “Athens Affair”. After the 2004 Olympics, the Greek government discovered that an unknown attacker had hacked into Vodafone’s “lawful intercept” system, the phone company’s method of wiretapping voice calls. The attacker spied on phone calls of the president and other Greek politicians and journalists before the hack was found out.
Freedom of the Press Foundation director Trevor Timm wrote for the Guardian about why this is exactly why encryption backdoors are so dangerous.
What are encryption backdoors? For non-techie readers, basically these are ways the government can unencrypt your "locked" communications if they decide they want to see your private material for any secret reason.
And in related news, rumor has it the White House is nearing a decision on whether to embrace the right to encryption for American citizens, or join the FBI in calling for backdoors.
Dozens of civil liberties groups, including Freedom of the Press Foundation, launched this site and petition today that feeds into the White House petition system: savecrypto.org.
If you care about this issue, right now is the time to take action. Read the rest
He'll serve under the brilliant Megan Smith, the CTO. Read the rest