Author Archives: binghamboatwright

About binghamboatwright

newshound, tech adventurist, with an interest in anything electricity goes into and out of.

Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’. “Telltale Signs Planted to Incriminate Moscow”

he gauzy allegations of Russia “hacking” the Democrats to elect Donald Trump just got hazier with WikiLeaks’ new revelations about CIA cyber-spying and the capability to pin the blame on others, reports Robert Parry.WikiLeaks’ disclosure of documents revealing CIA cyber-spying capabilities underscores why much more skepticism should have been applied to the U.S. intelligence community’s allegations about Russia “hacking” last year’s American presidential election. It turns out that the CIA maintains a library of foreign malware that could be used to pin the blame for a “hack” on another intelligence service.WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (

That revelation emerged from documents that WikiLeaks published on Tuesday from a CIA archive that WikiLeaks said had apparently been passed around within a community of former U.S. government hackers and contractors before one of them gave WikiLeaks some of the material.The documents revealed that the CIA can capture the content of encrypted Internet and cell-phone messages by grabbing the material in the fraction of a second before the words are put through encryption.Another program called “Weeping Angel” can hack Samsung “smart” TVs with built-in Internet connections, allowing the CIA and British intelligence to covertly use the TVs as listening devices even when they appear to be turned off.

Source: Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’. “Telltale Signs Planted to Incriminate Moscow” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Sources: Paramount’s Chinese Partners Haven’t Paid a Penny of Promised $1 Billion | Hollywood Reporter

Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media are said to have insisted on meeting with Viacom’s CEO amid questions over the studio’s direction.With China blocking money from leaving the country, Paramount Pictures has yet to receive the first payment it had expected from a billion-dollar financing deal with partners Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. And it appears that the Chinese government is not the only roadblock.The Viacom-owned studio’s partners have expressed concerns since Paramount currently has no chairman and has announced a new strategy that relies in part on mining intellectual property from its television network siblings, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. The Chinese partners are said to have told Viacom that no funds will be forthcoming until they meet with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and whomever is appointed to run the studio to get an explanation of the slate strategy going forward.Currently, Bakish is in talks to select a new leadership team, with former Fox film chief Jim Gianopulos and producer Michael De Luca currently favored.

Source: Sources: Paramount’s Chinese Partners Haven’t Paid a Penny of Promised $1 Billion | Hollywood Reporter

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Visa overstays outnumber illegal U.S. border entries 

Among an increasing number of immigration cases in Miami federal court, the ones that stand out are foreign travelers accused of making false statements in their visa applications in an effort to hide previous visits when they overstayed their visas.At least five new cases of visa overstays appeared in court dockets in the last few weeks, coinciding with the publication of a new report that says foreign nationals who remain longer than their visas authorize now outnumber undocumented immigrants who cross the border illegally.The report from the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) in New York says that since 2007 a majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States are the result of visa overstays, not illegal border crossers.“The paper finds that two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 were admitted (after screening) to the United States on non-immigrant (temporary) visas, and then overstayed their period of admission or otherwise violated the terms of their visas — a trend likely to continue,” according to a CMS statement.

Source: Visa overstays outnumber illegal U.S. border entries | Miami Herald

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Yes, having sex makes you better at your job

Newsflash: engaging in an activity like sex that feeds the pleasure and reward centers of your brain helps you feel happier and more motivated the next day.This might shock you, but research shows that having sex generally improves your mood through the next day. And when you feel happier, you tend to be more productive at work and thus more successful. Now there’s even more evidence that funny business can be good for business: Researchers asked 159 married people to take twice-daily surveys about their moods for two weeks and published their findings in the Journal of Management. They found that the positive boost from sexy times lasted about 24 hours, and resulted in employees reporting more satisfaction and engagement at work. The effect even lasted after controlling for overall marital satisfaction, so it wasn’t just that happy married couples were likely to have more sex and, being blissfully wed and all, just happened to also do better at work. And men and women saw the same effect.

Source: Yes, having sex makes you better at your job | Popular Science

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Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work

A burger-flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at a restaurant in California, replacing humans at the grill.Flippy has mastered the art of cooking the perfect burger and has just started work at CaliBurger, a fast-food chain.

The robotic kitchen assistant, which its makers say can be installed in just five minutes, is the brainchild of Miso Robotics.

“Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” said David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.

Source: Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work

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Marines Keep Sharing Women’s Nude Photos in Secret Groups After Getting Busted

New Facebook pages have sprung up to keep spreading photos of naked women, a sign that the scandal engulfing the Corps isn’t going away.


The Facebook group at the heart of a U.S. Marine Corps nude-photo sharing scandal has been busted, but at least two new private groups have sprung up and are defiantly sharing the same.A private Facebook group called Marines United—with more than 30,000 current and former male Marines, U.S. Navy Corpsman, and British Royal Marines—was caught sharing thousands of nude photos of women without their consent. Hundreds or thousands joined chat rooms with links to Dropbox and Google drives filled with videos and images of female Marines, both nude and clothed, as well as Marine wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, and ex-girlfriends. In some cases, dozens of the women were identified by their full names, ranks, and location of duty station.After journalist and former Marine infantryman Thomas Brennan broke the story on March 4, thousands of members exited the group and moderators and admins tightened any restrictions they could find. Almost immediately, posting and sharing of the videos and photos shifted to other groups or sites and resumed, and in some cases even accelerated.

Source: Marines Keep Sharing Women’s Nude Photos in Secret Groups After Getting Busted – The Daily Beast

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Inside the Ring: Drones threatened nuclear facilities

Drone aircraft recently carried out unauthorized intrusions over Air Force and Navy nuclear facilities, and the incidents pose a growing threat, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command disclosed to Congress Wednesday.Gen. John E. Hyten revealed the drone threats in written testimony before the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on nuclear deterrence.“Of recent concern have been the unauthorized flights of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) over Navy and Air Force installations,” Gen. Hyten said. “These intrusions represent a growing threat to the safety and security of nuclear weapons and personnel.”Currently, the Navy and Air Force are planning to deploy counter-unmanned aerial system defenses that Gen. Hyten said will “effectively detect, track and, if necessary, engage small UAS vehicles.”The commander said protecting U.S. nuclear forces and facilities is a top priority.“We are continually assessing threats to ensure our security apparatus is capable of denying unauthorized access or use of nuclear weapons,” he said.

Source: Inside the Ring: Drones threatened nuclear facilities – Washington Times

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Facebook is teaching artificially intelligent computers to predict the future

MARK Zuckerberg’s top artificial intelligence expert has admitted he’s trying to teach computers to predict the future.Yann LeCun,  leader of Facebook’s AI research division, said this terrifying-sounding capability is “a big part of our effort in making progress” in the development of super-smart computers.

He previously worked on the development of technology which could be useful to anyone developing surveillance systems.

LeCun contributed to academic papers exploring the creation of software which would serve as a “key component” in an automated surveillance network.

“We are very interested in the idea that a learning system should be able to predict the future,” he told MIT Technology Review.

“You show it a few frames of video and it tries to predict what’s going to happen next.

“If we can train a system to do this we think we’ll have developed techniques at the root of an unsupervised learning system. That is where, in my opinion, a lot of interesting things are likely to happen.”

Source: Facebook is teaching artificially intelligent computers to predict the future

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New Liberal Kids Coloring Book is Most Insane Thing We’ve Ever Seen

The latest insane offering from the regressive left is a coloring book about menstruation that claims that men get periods too.Newsbusters reported:DC-based artist Cass Clemmer wants to destigmatize periods. But, in the process, she wants to “de-gender” them as well.Growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Clemmer hit puberty in a society that kept mum about menstruation and the biology behind it. Because of her personal experience, she sought to stop that silence, while also shining a light on the “men” who get periods too.To achieve that goal, she created the character “Toni” — a literal tampon with googly eyes — and started posting photos of it to her Instagram account. The project soon developed into a coloring book. Called The Adventures of Toni the Tampon, the book has a full range of feminine product characters, including Marina the Menstrual Cup, Patrice the Pad and Sebastian the Sponge.Apparently, acknowledging the biological reality that only women get periods amounts to excluding those who have mental issues about their gender and have decided to call themselves men despite being biological females.Mashable’s Katie Dupere wrote, “Sebastian the Sponge is a man. And yes, men do get periods.”No, they do not. Biological females get periods — just because a woman pretends to be a man and even gets hormones pumped into her body doesn’t change the basic, scientific fact that she has two X chromosomes and is, in fact, a woman.Leftists claim to love science so much and claim that anyone that doesn’t buy into their ideology regarding, oh say, climate change is somehow a “science denier.” Yet in terms of both climate change and gender, the science doesn’t work in their favor.According to Newsbusters, Clemmer chose a non-gender-specific name for the book’s main character so as to “affirm all menstruators.”“I’d rather help just one genderqueer or trans menstruator feel like they were seen, than sell a thousand copies only to reinforce the boundaries society draws by gendering periods in the first place,” Clemmer told Dupere.

Source: New Liberal Kids Coloring Book is Most Insane Thing We’ve Ever Seen | The Federalist Papers

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You Won’t Believe What Virginia May Allow Hunters to Wear

Virginia is set to join four other states that allow hunters to don blaze pink in addition to the traditional fluorescent orange when they go out hunting.A bill passed the General Assembly in Virginia that will allow hunters to wear the bright pink color if Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs it.When the legislation was introduced in the upper chamber, Senator Richard Stuart said, “This just authorizes some alternative fashions for deer hunters. They’re required to wear blaze orange now. But those that prefer could wear blaze pink.”The Washington Post reported:Four states — Colorado, Louisiana, New York and Wisconsin — now allow hunters to wear fluorescent pink in addition to the traditional orange, said Jennifer Schultz, senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in Montana and Minnesota, though it failed in the latter state just last year. It also was rejected in Illinois and Maine in recent years. Michigan is studying whether “hunter pink” or any other colors would be effective and safe.“I have a 13-year-old daughter who absolutely loves [hunting], probably as much as I do,” said Del. James E. Edmunds II (R-Halifax), who proposed the Virginia bill after hearing of similar legislation in other states. “I think my daughter was intrigued by the thought of blaze pink. It may help the hunting industry. Maybe the attention it’s drawing will, perhaps, recruit more females to the sport.”

Source: You Won’t Believe What Virginia May Allow Hunters to Wear | The Federalist Papers

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The CIA’s guide to the greatest female spies in American history

Back when it was still just Women’s History Week, the CIA decided to commemorate the occasion with a day-long symposium on “the role of women in intelligence,” including a brief history lesson on pivotal female spies.

Among the famous figures featured by the agency are …

Patience Wright, who went by the sweet nickname “The Promethean Modeler” …

Lydia Darragh, who didn’t give a dang …

Source: The CIA’s guide to the greatest female spies in American history

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What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts media, document and other files on the target PC and access to those files is only granted once the attacker’s ransom demands are met.Christoph Scholz | FlickrCurrently, there are two types of ransomware — one which locks certain files on a computer and other which locks the entire system. The latter is mostly found on smartphones.Ransomware has been around for more than a decade now. The first instances of such an attack were found in Russia in 2005 with Trojan GPcoder.Early History: The Russian ConnectThe first known ransomware virus to create trouble on a large scale were developed by Russian organised criminals and came to the fore in 2005 and 2006.

These malware infected PCs in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. One of the strains of malware was called Archievus and another called Troj_Cryzip.A.While the former encrypted the ‘My Documents’ folder, the latter identified and moved certain file types in a PC to a password protected Zip folder, which would only be unlocked when the victim transferred a few hundred dollars to the attacker via E-Gold — electronic currency before Bitcoin.

Source: What is Ransomware and How to Protect Against it

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Banana Phone Blocks Robocalls 

Despite the implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry in the US (and similar programs in other countries), many robocallers still manage to get around the system. Whether they’re operating outside the law somehow (or they simply don’t care about it) there are some ways you can take action to keep these annoying calls from coming through. [Alex] is among those to take matters into his own hands and built a specialty robocall-blocking device.Based on a Raspberry Pi, the “Banana Phone” is able to intercept incoming calls on standard land lines or VoIP phones. After playing a short message, the caller is asked to input a four-digit code. Once the code is correctly entered, the caller is presumed to be human, added to a whitelist, and then the Pi passes them on to the recipient. There are, however, some legitimate robocallers such as emergency services regarding natural disasters or utility companies regarding outages. For these there is a global whitelist that the Pi checks against and forwards these robocalls on to the recipient automatically.

Source: Banana Phone Blocks Robocalls | Hackaday

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The Promised Land of Pigs – A Retirement Home for Pigs Saved from Slaughterhouses 

For the last 22 years, the Promised Land of Pigs, a unique farm in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, has been a haven for hundreds of pigs that would have otherwise been slaughtered and sold piece by piece at a supermarket. Here, they enjoy a peaceful, comfortable existence complete with hugs and weekly massages until the end of their natural lives.The Promised Land of Pigs (Beloofde Varkensland) is a non-profit organization founded by Dafne Westerhof, an activist militating for the humane treatment of farm animals. For over two decades she has saved hundreds of pigs, either by buying them straight from slaughterhouses, or taking them in from breeders who no longer had use for them or had become too attached to them to have them butchered. Whatever the reason, she’s always been more than happy to accept new pigs into her “Lucky Family” (Familie Bofkont) and give them the life she thinks they deserve.

Source: The Promised Land of Pigs – A Retirement Home for Pigs Saved from Slaughterhouses | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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We knew it! Coffee and cocoa cocktail boosts your attention and mood

OIt always seemed like a match made in heaven, but now we have the science to back it up: a mixture of brewed coffee and chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa, can boost both your productivity and your mood.Together, hot chocolate and coffee make you feel better and perform better. Image via Wiki CommonsClarkson University researcher Ali Boolani recently completed a year-long study in which he analyzed the effects of two of the world’s favorite delights. He devised a double-blind study in which some participants got brewed cocoa, others got cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, or a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa (double blind means neither the subjects nor the researchers knew what they got until after the experiment was over). Before the drinks, they were asked to complete some simple tasks such as watching groups of letters float on a screen and noting when an “X” appeared after an “A.” They also did some pretty simple math. After the drink, they were asked to complete tests to evaluate their cognitive skills and mood.

Source: We knew it! Coffee and cocoa cocktail boosts your attention and mood

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Too Much Bacon, Not Enough Nuts Linked to Deaths

(NEWSER) – Gorging on bacon, skimping on nuts? These are among food habits that new research links with deaths from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Overeating or not eating enough of the 10 foods and nutrients contributes to nearly half of US deaths from these causes, the study suggests. “Good” foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains, the AP reports. “Bad” foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna, and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks.

Source: Too Much Bacon, Not Enough Nuts Linked to Deaths

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‘Ghost ships’ in European waters spark terror fears

Hundreds of ships are sailing into European waters after suspicious manoeuvres near terrorist hotspots, prompting fears that they are smuggling people and weapons with impunity.An investigation by The Times has uncovered how cargo ships and other large vessels routinely switch off GPS tracking so they can disappear, falsify their identification or veer off their usual course.Figures compiled by Windward, a maritime data and analytics company, revealed that in January and February 40 ships entered Europe from Libya, close to where Islamic State is operating, after “going dark” by ceasing transmission of their location. Twenty vessels travelled through Syrian or Lebanese waters and made dubious stops for up to six hours before reaching the Continent. This amounts to hundreds of ships a year if…

Source: ‘Ghost ships’ in European waters spark terror fears | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

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Barbra Streisand: Donald Trump is making me fat 

While Donald Trump’s presidency has caused Lena Dunham to shred the pounds, it has had the opposite effect on Barbra Streisand.The ten-time Grammy-award winning singer, who has often rebuked President Trump, said witnessing his presidency was causing her to “gain weight”.Streisand said news stories about the billionaire property developer were making her devour pancakes.”Donald Trump is making me gain weight,” she wrote on Twitter.”I start the day with liquids, but after the morning news, I eat pancakes smothered in maple syrup!”

Source: Barbra Streisand: Donald Trump is making me fat | The Independent

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Commissioner blames ‘those damn chicken nuggets’ for drunk driving arrest 


A Montcalm County commissioner was arrested in December for driving with a blood-alcohol content almost twice the legal limit.

Jeremy Miller, 40, was stopped for speeding and later arrested for operating while intoxicated after a breathalyzer test indicated he had a BAC of 0.14 percent.

Asked if he understood why he was being arrested, Miller told the arresting Greenville Public Safety officer it was “because I was being stupid, those damn chicken nuggets,” according to a police report.

The incident occurred after 3 a.m. Dec. 18 when Miller’s black Yukon was clocked at 58 mph while traveling east on VanDeinse — a 30-mph zone.

In his report, the arresting officer noted he smelled an odor of intoxicants on Miller. The officer said he asked Miller how much he had to drink, to which Miller responded, “I don’t know, it has been a night.”

Source: Commissioner blames ‘those damn chicken nuggets’ for drunk driving arrest |

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How a spam superpower built a list of 1.4 billion emails – and leaked it for all to see

Every time you sign up for a service or website, do you take the time to read through the small print? Probably not. Hardly anyone does, simply because legal documents are boring, and most people aren’t lawyers with the requisite skillset to actually interpret them correctly.But this has been our undoing, as when we press ‘Accept’, we often unwittingly allow the website or service to share our details with their “carefully selected partners.” Who then share it with their “carefully selected partners.” And so on.

It was through this – and several other less-than-kosher methods – that the ostensibly legitimate marketing company, River City Media (RCM), was able to build a list of 1.4 billion email addresses, combined with people’s real names, IP addresses, and physical addresses.

RCM was also responsible for a staggering volume of spam sent. Per their own leaked documentation, they sent out a billion messages each day.

Source: How a spam superpower built a list of 1.4 billion emails – and leaked it for all to see

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Dresden retirement home recreates communist E. Germany to help dementia patients — RT News

A retirement home in Dresden has gone to extreme lengths to help jog the memories of those with dementia, decorating the facility so it resembles the decor of communist East Germany.Alexa Seniors’ Residence has decorated several rooms with 1970s wallpaper and furniture reminiscent of what would have been found in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

But it doesn’t end with furnishings. Residents can even purchase everyday products from the era in an on-site shop. A photo of Erich Honecker, the general secretary of the East Germany communist party, hangs inside the store.

The retro features did not come about easily. The retirement home’s management team committed themselves to scouring flea markets and eBay for communist-era knick-knacks.

Among the treasures they found and purchased were portable cassette players, outdated cookers, and a giant bread-slicer.

Source: Dresden retirement home recreates communist E. Germany to help dementia patients — RT News

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Man Charged With Trying to Kill Mannequin in Homeless Murder Sting

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man has been charged in Las Vegas with using a hammer to try to kill a mannequin that police positioned to resemble a sleeping homeless person in an area where two men had been bludgeoned to death just weeks before.The unusual charge of attempted murder, but of a human decoy, was lodged Tuesday against Shane Allen Schindler at a hearing in which a justice of the peace ordered Schindler to undergo a mental competency evaluation.The 30-year-old Schindler hasn’t been charged in the earlier attacks. He told police following his arrest early Feb. 22 that he knew it was a mannequin he was attacking.

Source: Man Charged With Trying to Kill Mannequin in Homeless Murder Sting | KXNT 840 AM « CBS Las Vegas

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Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW?

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the “Rocky” theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? “Eyes on the Prize,” the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound By Law reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.

download the book here: CSPD Comics | Duke University School of Law

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Theft! A History of Music

A graphic novel laying out a 2000 year long history of musical borrowing from Plato to rap. The comic, by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins and the late Keith Aoki, is available as a handsome 8.5 x 11″ paperback, and for free download under a Creative Commons license.

download the book here






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WikiLeaks: We’ll Work With Software Makers on Zero-Day

When WikiLeaks on Tuesday dumped thousands of files documenting hacking tools used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, many feared WikiLeaks would soon publish a trove of so-called “zero days,” the actual computer code that the CIA uses to exploit previously unknown flaws in a range of software and hardware products used by consumers and businesses. But on Thursday, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange promised that his organization would work with hardware and software vendors to fix the security weaknesses prior to releasing additional details about the flaws.“After considering what we think is the best way to proceed, and hearing these calls from some of the manufacturers, we have decided to work with them to give them exclusive access to additional technical details we have, so that fixes can be developed and pushed out,” Assange said in a press conference put on by his organization. “Once this material is effectively disarmed by us, we will publish additional details about what has been occurring.”

Source: WikiLeaks: We’ll Work With Software Makers on Zero-Days — Krebs on Security

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Legally blind Tasmanian furniture maker invited to exhibit work at international light show 

A Tasmanian furniture maker has been selected to exhibit his work at an international light show in Italy.Duncan Meerding, who lost most of his vision at 18, makes lamps from tree stumps that would usually be treated as waste wood.Mr Meerding’s workshop is full of lamps he is making for a new upmarket hotel in Hobart, some of which he will show at the Euroluce lighting show in Milan in early April.But he is determined that his story of success does not fall into common narratives around disability.”I think the media and the public in general have a real issue with disability in general, where there’s either the ‘hero’ mentality or the ‘poor person’, as in the pity mentality,” Mr Meerding said.”It is part of the journey I’ve been on and without my vision being degenerated when it did, I wouldn’t have designed the designs I have.

Source: Legally blind Tasmanian furniture maker invited to exhibit work at international light show – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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21% of websites still use insecure SHA-1 certificates 

New research from Venafi Labs shows that 21 percent of the world’s websites are still using certificates signed with the vulnerable Secure Hash Algorithm, SHA-1.On February 23, 2017, Google affiliated security researchers announced they cracked the SHA-1 security standard using a collision attack. The incident proved that the deprecated cryptographic secure hash algorithm still used to sign many website digital certificates can be manipulated.Newly issued certificates using the SHA-2 family of hash functions solve these problems, but Venafi Labs’ research shows that many companies have not replaced all their certificates with ones signed by SHA-2. This leaves organizations open to security breaches, compliance problems, and outages that can affect security, availability, reliability and even profits.

Source: 21% of websites still use insecure SHA-1 certificates – Help Net Security

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World’s Tallest Teenager Gets 3-D Printed Shoes For His Size-28 Feet – 

The world’s tallest teenager now has the world’s largest pair of 3-D printed shoes.

Source: World’s Tallest Teenager Gets 3-D Printed Shoes For His Size-28 Feet – All That Is Interesting

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EFF Applauds Amazon For Pushing Back on Request for Echo Data

The number of Internet-enabled sensors in homes across the country is steadily increasing. These sensors are collecting personal information about what’s going on inside the home, and they are doing so in a volume and detail never before possible. The law, of course, has not kept up. There are no rules specifically designed for law enforcement access to data collected from in-home personal assistants or other devices that record what’s going on inside the home, even though the home is considered the heart of Fourth Amendment protection. That’s why it’s critical that companies push back on requests via currently existing rules for data collected via these new in-home devices.[1] EFF applauds Amazon for doing just that—pushing back on a law enforcement request for in-home recordings from its Echo device.The widely-publicized case involves a first-degree murder investigation out of Bentonville, Arkansas. The victim, Victor Collins, was found in November 2015 his friend’s home. The two had been drinking and watching football with a few others at the friend’s home the night before. The friend, James Bates, was charged with first-degree murder. He pled not guilty and is currently awaiting trial.During a search of the defendant’s home in December 2015, police found an Amazon Echo in the kitchen. The police seemed to think that the device—which is “always listening” to its surrounding for its “wake” words, Alexa, Echo, or Amazon—may have recorded what went on inside the home. They seized the device and later served Amazon with a warrant for any “audio recordings, transcribed records, or other text records related to communications and transactions” between the Echo device and Amazon’s servers for a 48-hour period surrounding the incident, along with subscriber and account information. Amazon turned over the defendant’s subscriber information and purchase history, but it refused to turn over any recordings or transcripts.

Source: EFF Applauds Amazon For Pushing Back on Request for Echo Data | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Ohio city says pet pot-bellied pig Olive is not allowed | New Carlisle

A New Carlisle family has less than a month to get rid of their beloved 100-pound pot-bellied pig Olive.City officials recently sent the family a letter telling them pigs of all types are considered livestock and not allowed to live inside city limits.“She’s in our family; she’s like a dog, a cat,” said Misti Hedrick, who added that she plans to start a petition to bring changes to the livestock ban before voters as early as the August ballot. Meanwhile, Hedrick is seeking a temporary home for Olive.

Source: Ohio city says pet pot-bellied pig Olive is not allowed | New Carlisle

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