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Blue_Tires's Journal
Blue_Tires's Journal
October 31, 2014

Glenn Greenwald to Be Awarded the 2014 Lanny Friedlander Prize From Reason Magazine

The Lanny Friedlander Prize honors an individual or group who has created a publication, medium, or distribution platform that vastly expands human freedom by increasing our ability to express ourselves, engage in debate, and generate new ways of understanding the power of “Free Minds and Free Markets." Journalist Glenn Greenwald will be the recipient of the 2014 Prize. It was first awarded in 2013, to Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto, the co-founders of Wired magazine.

The award is named for Lanny Friedlander (1947-2011), who founded Reason magazine in 1968 as a 20-year-old college student at Boston University. An admirer of the Austrian School of economics, Ayn Rand, and Swiss typography, he was agitated by the violent campus atmosphere of the day and the equally brutal response of the authorities. He intended Reason to act as a sort of libertarian conversation pit, where members of that fledgling movement could share news and commentary while building a community. The first issue of the magazine included this mission statement:

“When REASON speaks of poverty, racism, the draft, the war, student power, politics, and other vital issues, it shall be reasons, not slogans, it gives for conclusions... Proof, not belligerent assertion. Logic, not legends. Coherence, not contradictions. This is our promise: This is the reason for REASON.”

Friedlander, a talented graphic artist who went on to work with Massimo Vignelli, sold the magazine to contributors Robert W. Poole, Manny Klausner, and Tibor Machan in 1971.


This just gets better and better...

In case anyone is wondering, it's Koch money that keeps Reason propped up...

October 30, 2014

Ferguson police chief says he won't resign

The embattled police chief of Ferguson, Mo., said he's not stepping down amid reports that he will be forced out by city officials seeking to reform the department.

Police Chief Thomas Jackson refuted the news of his departure through Twitter late Tuesday, asserting that he "has not resigned. He has not been told to resign. He has not been fired. If he leaves, it will be his choice alone."

Citing government officials with knowledge of the plan, CNN reported that Thomas would step down in the next week and the city would ask the St. Louis County police chief to assume control of the local police force.

Yet Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III played down the proposal.

"People have been saying that for months, I mean for him to step down," Knowles told CNN. "But we've stood by him this entire time. So there is no change on that."

Michael Brown Jr., who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, in a Facebook photo dated March 26.Big'mike Jr Brown via FacebookMichael Brown Jr., who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, in a Facebook photo dated March 26.

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. in a violent confrontation on Aug. 9 that sparked months of unrest in the Missouri city.


October 30, 2014

The Problem With That Catcalling Video

On Tuesday, Slate and everyone else posted a video of a woman who is harassed more than 100 times by men as she walks around New York City for 10 hours. More specifically, it’s a video of a young white woman who is harassed by mostly black and Latino men as she walks around New York City for 10 hours. The one dude who turns around and says, “Nice,” is white, but the guys who do the most egregious things—like the one who harangues her, “Somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful! You should say thank you more,” or the one who follows her down the street too closely for five whole minutes—are not.

This doesn’t mean that the video doesn’t still effectively make its point: that a woman can’t walk down the street lost in her own thoughts, that men feel totally free to demand her attention and get annoyed when she doesn’t respond, that a woman can’t be at ease in public spaces in the same way a man can. But the video also unintentionally makes another point: that harassers are mostly black and Latino, and hanging out on the streets in midday in clothes that suggest they are not on their lunch break. As Roxane Gay tweeted, “The racial politics of the video are fucked up. Like, she didn’t walk through any white neighborhoods?”

The video is a collaboration between Hollaback, an anti-street harassment organization, and the marketing agency Rob Bliss Creative. At the end they claim the woman experienced 100-plus incidents of harassment “involving people of all backgrounds.” Since that obviously doesn’t show up in the video, Bliss addressed it in a post. He wrote, “We got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera,” or was ruined by a siren or other noise. The final product, he writes, “is not a perfect representation of everything that happened.” That may be true but if you find yourself editing out all the catcalling white guys, maybe you should try another take.

This is not the first time Bliss has been called out for race blindness. In a video to promote Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was criticized for making a city that’s a third minority and a quarter poor look like it was filled with people who have “been reincarnated from those peppy family-style 1970s musical acts from Disney World or Knott’s Berry Farm,” as a local blogger wrote.


EDIT: and this piece raises even more questions: http://jezebel.com/christine-quinn-cant-be-anti-street-harassment-but-pro-1172794405

October 29, 2014

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Completes Initial Assessment after Orbital Launch Mishap

The Wallops Incident Response Team completed today an initial assessment of Wallops Island, Virginia, following the catastrophic failure of Orbital Science Corp.’s Antares rocket shortly after liftoff at 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28, from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The initial assessment is a cursory look; it will take many more weeks to further understand and analyze the full extent of the effects of the event. A number of support buildings in the immediate area have broken windows and imploded doors. A sounding rocket launcher adjacent to the pad, and buildings nearest the pad, suffered the most severe damage.

At Pad 0A the initial assessment showed damage to the transporter erector launcher and lightning suppression rods, as well as debris around the pad.

The Wallops team also met with a group of state and local officials, including the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Marine Police, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Wallops environmental team also is conducting assessments at the site. Preliminary observations are that the environmental effects of the launch failure were largely contained within the southern third of Wallops Island, in the area immediately adjacent to the pad. Immediately after the incident, the Wallops’ industrial hygienist collected air samples at the Wallops mainland area, the Highway 175 causeway, and on Chincoteague Island. No hazardous substances were detected at the sampled locations.

Additional air, soil and water samples will be collected from the incident area as well as at control sites for comparative analysis.

The Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resources Commission reported today they have not observed any obvious signs of water pollution, such as oil sheens. Furthermore, initial assessments have not revealed any obvious impacts to fish or wildlife resources. The Incident Response Team continues to monitor and assess.

Following the initial assessment, the response team will open the area of Wallops Island, north of the island flagpole opposite of the launch pad location, to allow the U.S. Navy to return back to work.

Anyone who finds debris or damage to their property in the vicinity of the launch mishap is cautioned to stay away from it and call the Incident Response Team at 757-824-1295.

Further updates on the situation and the progress of the ongoing investigation will be available at:

October 29, 2014

Total recoil? Gun simulator targets army and sofa warriors

Two American technology entrepreneurs have developed a gun simulator for the military that could be a hit for video gamers - but will it weigh on their consciences?

Kyle Monti and Martin Holly don't usually do technology showcase events. They are more used to military conventions.

"Those guys want all the gory details," says Mr Monti.

"They want to make sure the product is as realistic as possible for military simulation.

"Otherwise people use one [a weapon] for real in the field and they freeze."

Mr Monti and Mr Holly are at a showcase event for emerging virtual reality products in London.

Their visit was almost delayed when Her Majesty's Customs took a long, careful look at their invention: The Striker Virtual Recoil (VR) simulation gun.

It is a fake gun that is designed to kick just like a real one, and they are showing it off as part of a virtual reality computer game, shooting people.

"It was originally designed for the military," says Mr Monti, chief scientific officer at Dekka Technologies, the name of the two entrepreneurs' company.


I'll confess -- From a gaming standpoint I'm intrigued a little...

October 29, 2014

Earliest police report from Ferguson is released and conflicts with Darren Wilson's testimony leaks

On October 21, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released the official autopsy results for Mike Brown. Accompanying the autopsy was an analysis and commentary from forensic scientist Dr. Judy Melinek. Her commentary actually made more news than the results of autopsy itself.
Tucked away inside of the full autopsy report is an initial statement of Darren Wilson's perspective as told by Detective Patrick J. Hokamp of the St. Louis County Police Department. It is the first known statement from a detective who was actually on the scene soon after the shooting and appears to have been given to the medical examiner soon after the shooting. What's most surprising isn't necessarily what is included in this statement, but some glaring omissions when compared up against recent statements purported to be from Darren Wilson's testimony to the grand jury.

Below you will find the statement from Detective Hokamp from the scene of the shooting and Darren Wilson's alleged testimony recounting what took place.

Here is the initial report Detective Hokamp provided about the confrontation and shooting death of Mike Brown at the hands of Darren Wilson. It can be found on Page 2 of the official autopsy report:

The deceased and another individual were walking down the middle of Canfield. Officer D. Wilson (DSN-609), of the Ferguson Police Department observed the two individuals, he requested that they get out of the roadway.
The deceased became belligerent towards Officer Wilson. As Officer Wilson exited out of his patrol vehicle the deceased pushed his door shut and began to struggle with Officer Wilson, during the struggle the officers weapon was un-holstered. The weapon discharged during the struggle.

The deceased then ran down the roadway. Officer Wilson then began to chase the deceased. As he was giving chase to the deceased, the deceased turned around and ran towards Officer Wilson. Officer Wilson had his service weapon drawn, as the deceased began to run towards him, he discharged his service weapon several times.


October 29, 2014

Investigator in Prostitution Scandal Quits (U.S. Secret Service)

Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal quietly resigned in August after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to current and former department officials.

Sheriff’s deputies in Broward County, Fla., saw David Nieland, the investigator, entering and leaving a building they had under surveillance as part of a prostitution investigation, according to officials briefed on the investigation. They later interviewed a prostitute who identified Mr. Nieland in a photograph and said he had paid her for sex.

Mr. Nieland resigned after he refused to answer a series of questions from the Department of Homeland Security inspector general about the incident, the officials said.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general said in a statement that he could confirm only that Mr. Nieland resigned in August. But the spokesman added that department officials “became aware in early May of this year of an incident in Florida that involved one of our employees.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/us/politics/investigator-in-secret-service-prostitution-scandal-resigns-after-being-implicated-in-own-incident.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

In all seriousness: What in fuck's name is going on in the SS? Does anybody there know how to perform their duties in a professional manner?
October 28, 2014

MORE stories Snow-wald keep ignoring, Part II

Vladimir Putin Employs An Army Of Skilled Hackers, Report Finds

Some of the most sophisticated hackers in the world may be taking orders from one of the U.S. government's biggest adversaries: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A new report released Tuesday by the security firm FireEye said it has uncovered evidence of "long-standing, focused operations that indicated a government sponsor -- specifically a government based in Moscow.”

The researchers said several clues suggest the Russian government is behind a widespread hacking campaign with victims around the world. For one, the hackers have spied on several targets of high interest to the Russian government, including several Eastern European governments, NATO and the country of Georgia, the report said. The hackers also likely come from Russia because they used computer code that contained Russian words and operated during Moscow working hours, according to the report.

To attack their victims, the hackers used spear-phishing, a common tactic in which hackers send emails that appear legitimate and mention specific topics that lure victims into clicking on links and attachments. Once victims clicked on them, their computers were infected with software that allowed the hackers to snoop on their activities.

Russia has long been home to skilled cybercriminals who steal credit cards to drain funds from Americans’ bank accounts. But the new report indicates that not all Russian hackers are motivated solely by money, and instead some are using their hacking skills to help the Russian government collect sensitive information on their adversaries.



Russian hackers target Nato, military secrets

Russian hackers backed by Moscow have been carrying out a long-running cyber espionage campaign targeting key organizations like NATO to uncover military and government secrets, a report out on Tuesday claimed.

For at least seven years, a Russian hacking group known as APT28 has targeted "insider information related to governments, militaries and security organisations that would likely benefit the Russian government", cybersecurity company FireEye said.

Read More› These countries are the biggest cyberattack targets

"The activity that we profile in this paper appears to be the work of a skilled team of developers and operators collecting intelligence on defence and geopolitical issues – intelligence that would only be useful to a government," FireEye said in its report on Russian cyberespionage operations.



(Yes, in case anyone was wondering, I'm probably going to make this a regular series -- I've got about 2,000 links bookmarked that I have to start dumping)
October 27, 2014

Women of the Early 1900s Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches

Women looking to work, vote and marry whomever they wanted turned the Halloween icon into a powerful symbol

Not unlike today, women's magazines in the early 20th century dictated how Halloween should be celebrated. They showed what decorations you ought to have and how to throw a memorable party. But the holiday itself was very different. There was no trick-or-treating and decidedly less fright and gore.

"It is not meant to be super scary," says Daniel Gifford. "It is meant to be a party for women in which they think about courtship, love and romance. They invite mixed-sex crowds to these parties so they can do things like bob for apples, where faces come very close to each other."

In fact, while goblins and bats figure in to popular depictions, so does Cupid.

Gifford works at the National Museum of American History and is an expert on American holidays. He has collected and studied hundreds of postcards that circulated among women at this time, and, when it comes to the Halloween-themed ones, he is particularly interested in illustrations of witches.

For centuries, the archetype of the hag with a hooked nose, warts, scraggly hair and a cauldron has pervaded art and literature. Think of the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth with their bubbling "eye of newt, and toe of frog" potion and the villains the Brothers Grimm created in "Snow White," "Hansel and Gretel" and "Sleeping Beauty." But, Gifford has found that artists, between 1905 and 1915, tended to portray witches as beautiful sorceresses with blushed cheeks and ample curves.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/early-20th-century-women-rallied-behind-beautiful-wartless-witches-180953134/#tbzAZFofyqd08EBU.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
October 27, 2014

Puppy in Boston Police Department Bulletproof Vest Melts Internet

A photo of a budding member of the Boston Police Department’s K-9 force sent a shockwave of ‘awws’ across the Internet Monday.

The photo, which was posted to Reddit, is from Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, a non-profit that helps provide bulletproof vests, essential equipment, training, and purchase of dogs for police and law enforcement K-9 programs throughout the state.

“As K-9s are trained to give up their lives to protect their partners and all of us, we believe it is every bit as important to protect them,” according to www.mavestadog.org.


What a beautiful nose!

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