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September 20, 2013

Brazilian hacktivist protesting NSA hits NASA instead

  • The Plan A Brazilian hacktivist vandalized 13 U.S. government websites last week, posting messages condemning the NSA for, amongst other things, secretly monitoring the Brazilian president’s phone conversations. (Sample message: Stop spy on us! The Brazilian population do not support your attitude!”)
  • The Backfire "BMPoCWe," the hacker responsible, actually hacked NASA’s websites, not the NSA’s. Whoops.

An understandable mistake, especially if English isn’t your first language. It also bears mentioning that NASA’s website is notoriously easy to hack, so there’s the possibility this wasn’t a mistake at all, but simply the hitting of an easy target. NASA officials say no sensitive data was compromised. source

17:57 // 11 months ago
September 16, 2013
19:57 // 11 months ago
September 13, 2013

Evidence Thursday the 12th is better than Friday the 13th, United Airlines edition

  • good news For a couple of hours yesterday, consumers buying tickets on United Airlines’ website received tickets for insanely low prices—$5 each, which implies that the passengers received the tickets for the price of a federal security fee set on every ticket. In other words, they were free tickets. One guy managed to score six tickets from Chicago to Los Angeles for $60.
  • better news Rather than screwing over the customers who received the improbable prices, United will honor the ticket prices. “United has reviewed the error that occurred yesterday and decided that, based on these specific circumstances, we will honor the tickets,” the airline said in a statement. They aren’t saying how many people got the insane deals. source
20:22 // 11 months ago
September 10, 2013

Lawyer, police give conflicting accounts of whether Zimmerman armed during domestic dispute

  • Yesterday Cable news and social media flared at reports that George Zimmerman, acquitted two months ago for the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, had been detained by police following an alleged domestic incident between himself, his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman, and her father. A released 911 call revealed the allegations in play — that Zimmerman punched his father-in-law, smashed an iPad (which may have contained video evidence of the incident), and threatened his wife while keeping his hand placed over his gun.
  • Today With the damaged iPad awaiting attempts to retrieve any consequential evidence, the last 24 hours have brought drastic changes to the contours of the case — both his wife and father-in-law have declined to press charges, and the Lake Mary Police Department says they found no evidence Zimmerman had his gun, though they didn’t search his vehicle, which Shellie Zimmerman claimed he was sitting inside at the time of her call. Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara (who won’t represent Zimmerman further, beyond a currently outstanding case), on the other hand, claimed Zimmerman did have his gun. Said Lake Mary Police officer Zach Hudson: “As of right now, a gun is not part of the equation.” source
19:56 // 11 months ago

Major changes coming to the Dow Jones Industrial Average before the end of September

  • In Goldman Sachs, Visa and Nike have been added to the Dow Jones industrial average, replacing several poorly performing companies from the exclusive group of 30 publicly-owned corporations. The new Dow Jones additions are also expected to diversify one of the most-commonly used gauges of the U.S. stock market.
  • Out To make room for the new arrivals, Alcoa, Hewlett-Packard and Bank of America have been removed from the Dow, following consistently slumping stock performances from each. The changes are set to take effect on September 23, and represent the largest alteration of the Dow Jones line-up in roughly a decade. source
14:12 // 11 months ago
September 9, 2013

Egyptian military confirms plans to battle militants in Sinai desert

  • Last Week Islamic militants, with ties to groups stationed in uncontrolled areas of the northern Sinai desert, attempted to bomb a car carrying interim Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim while he was traveling through the Cairo. Ibrahim survived, but dozens were injured in the attack.
  • This Week Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced plans for a full-scale offensive aimed at exerting government control over the entirety of the Sinai. The decision follows not only last week’s suicide bombing, but numerous kidnappings and killings which followed the deposing of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. source
15:14 // 11 months ago
September 7, 2013

Buckingham Palace broken into for first time in more than 30 years

  • 1982 A 30-year-old man manages to get inside Queen Elizabeth’s chambers, where the queen spends a few minutes talking to the man before finally calling security.
  • 2013 A couple of attempted burglars, apparently unaware of Buckhingham Palace’s famous security, attempt to jump the fence at the palace. One gets inside an area that’s generally open to the public during the day before he’s caught. The Royal Family wasn’t home, but the fact there was an attempted incident at all is creating a major security review. source
10:49 // 11 months ago
August 31, 2013

No, Nelson Mandela didn’t leave the hospital today

  • report South African icon Nelson Mandela, who has been in the hospital since June, was said to have left the hospital Saturday based on reports from some media outlets, including CNN.
  • denial Soon after, these reports were denied, with South African President Jacob Zuma’s government saying this: “Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition. At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions.” Mandela, who is 95, has been suffering from serious health issues for most of the last year, with details on his current status limited. source
10:07 // 11 months ago
August 29, 2013

Stunning sentence in rape case leaves student’s mother, community in shock

  • 2010 A 16-year-old student from Billings, Montana killed herself, just days before her 17th birthday, while police were investigating a man accused of having sex with the young girl when she was only 14. Stacy Dean Rambold initially avoided charges, by agreeing to attend a sex-offender treatment program and avoid unsupervised contact with minors, but was arrested after being discharged for having unsupervised contact with underage family members.
  • 2013 Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced the young girl’s rapist to 15 years in prison, only to suspend all but 31 days of the sentence and give the newly convicted sex offender a one day credit for time served. When justifying his decision, he claimed that he believed the now deceased victim was “just as much in control” of the situation, later adding that “It was horrible enough as it is just given her age, but it wasn’t this forcible beat-up rape.” source
16:15 // 11 months ago
August 28, 2013

The depressing evolution of the “Cory Booker might be gay” meme

  • Monday “People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful, because I want to challenge people on their homophobia,” Booker told the Washington Post. “I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it.’”
  • Tuesday “It’s kind of weird. As a guy, I personally like being a guy,” Booker’s Republican Senate opponent, Steve Lonegan, stated in the kind of comment you want to never read again. “I don’t know if you saw the stories last year. They’ve been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o’clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure.”
  • Wednesday Newly besieged by questions on the issue because his opponent is a jerk, Booker said this: “I don’t intend to answer. It should not matter. That was my point.”
20:23 // 11 months ago