Readings: Foxing Bullshit, Funding Exposure, Eli Wallach

Quotes in quotation marks, comments by me in italics.

MediaMatters: Fox Contributor:”It’s Just Not Fair” To Hold Fox News Accountable For Conspiracy Theories Pushed On-Air

Engadget: Teenager builds browser plugin to show you where politicians get their funding

LA Times: Eli Wallach dies at 98Wallach was one of the first actors I could readily identify as a child, due to my passion for Sergio Leone westerns. This picture via this isn’t happiness.


Readings: Detroit Water Woes, London Austerity Protest, Oculus Rift is my dream surfboard

Quotes in quotation marks, comments by me in italics.

Metro Times: Protesters decry Detroit residential water shutoffsDetroit beginning a process to shut off water service to forty percent or more of its citizens, ignoring the fact that access to safe water is a fundamental human right. This is how a nation collapses: not with a bang but with a whimper. Particularly when it purposely creates an urban area much more susceptible to disease without any standing infrastructure to fight it.

And that’s of course not to mention that they’re cutting off people who owe $150 or more, while commercial customers owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Guardian: Tens of thousands march in London against coalition’s austerity measures – “An estimated 50,000 people marched from the BBC’s New Broadcasting House in central London to Westminster.” – Given the size, yesterday’s march seems ridiculously underreported.

Quartz: Virtual reality headset Oculus Rift meets the Bloomberg terminalA glimpse of how I would engage with the internet if I could.

Readings: Democracy or Prom, Las Vegas Shooters, Turing Test

As always, quotes in quotation marks, comments by me in italics.

Boston Globe: Newton student penalized for democracy notes in China – “Newton North High School senior Henry DeGroot was visiting a school outside Beijing on a semester abroad this year when he decided to have some fun and also make a point by writing prodemocracy messages in the notebook of a Chinese student.” – So the choice is, adhere to democratic principles or go to prom. That’s a pretty screwed-up message to send.

TPM: Neighbors: Las Vegas Shooters Bragged About Taking Part In Bundy Standoff – ‘”They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine,” he said.’ – Bragged about it, but I’m guessing the pair weren’t functional enough to maintain membership in any well-defined organization. Details sketchy right now so worth watching, and as much as I want to paint typical militias with the same brush these two seem much more like the spurned radical/reactionary type.

Verge: Computer passes Turing Test for first time by convincing judges it is a 13-year-old boyMethodological issues aside, to conclude that computer passed the Turing Test you must first believe that thirteen-year-olds are humans.

Conveniently Missing from the Lexicon

It is amazing to see that, once again, white perpetrators with a history of political extremism commit an ideologically-charged shooting and are not labeled terrorists. Twice in recent weeks; first Elliott Rodger, and now Las Vegas shooters Jerad and Amanda Miller. The lengths that media goes to in order to refuse to apply that label to Caucasians stretches beyond the intellectual and into the realm of spiritual beliefs. Including white people as terrorists strikes some nerve at the most fundamental level of our civic religion. As the tenets of that religion stray increasingly far from reality we seem to react in the same way as any other faith: we refuse to talk about it.

Readings: Stem Cell Retractions, Stingray Popularity, Carding Tomfoolery

Quotes in quotation marks, comments by me in italics.

Ars Technica: Papers behind stem cell breakthrough likely to be retracted – “Early this year, researchers reported what appeared to be an incredibly simple procedure that could convert nearly any type of cell into a stem cell. But an apparent moment of triumph represented by these two papers quickly turned sour as many researchers reported difficulty reproducing the procedure, and the high-profile results drew attention to one of the lead authors’ past brushes with research misconduct.” – That’s a shame, really excited a few different circles of mine. Probably time again to have that worldwide discussion on how the current scientific climate encourages this kind of thing by making researchers desperate for funding.

Ars Technica: How Florida cops went door to door with fake cell device to find one man – “Such searches are common; Corbitt said he had personally used the equipment “200 or more times” and that it worked with “100 percent” accuracy.” – Amazing that police have deployed a fake cell phone tower to try and track folks down ‘hundreds of times’ while violating the privacy of whoever happened to be in the area.

Krebs: Peek Inside a Professional Carding Shop – “People often ask if I worry about shopping online. These days, I worry more about shopping in main street stores. McDumpals is just one dumps shop, and it adds many new bases each week. There are dozens of card shops just like this one in the underground (some more exclusive than others), all selling bases from unique, compromised merchants.” – Fascinating look inside an underground site selling stolen credit cards.