« | Home | Recent Comments | Categories |

Justin Bieber apologises for posting Tokyo war shrine photograph

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 at 15:20 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


He’s apparently trying really hard to beat Rob Ford in the Canadian Goodwill Ambassador of the Year contest. Starting a war beats beating your wife any day.

Write a comment


  1. Who’s offended? China or Japan? I’m not sure. Are the other countries offended by the Presidential Libraries?

The NYPD just figured out the perfect way to publicize its own worst moments on Twitter

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


A little before 3pm New York time this afternoon, the NYPD tweeted out a seemingly innocuous three sentences, asking people to share photos taken with NYPD members and include the hashtag #myNYPD.


The good news is that that hashtag is now trending. The bad news is that it’s trending.

While a few people shared the sorts of pictures the NYPD was hoping for, the thousands who think much less highly of the department—including the Occupy Wall Street movement—responded with cheeky, stark, and even gory photos of apparent police brutality.

Write a comment

Teen urinates in Ortland drinking water

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 at 17:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


A 19-year-old man was caught on camera urinating in a reservoir that holds Ortland’s drinking water on Wednesday, according to city officials.

Since then, the city has been draining 38 million gallons of water from Reservoir 5 at Mount Tabor Park in southeast Ortland.

see what I did there?

Write a comment


  1. The enormous amount of dilution makes the city’s actions in draining the reservoir ridiculous. Unless, of course, if they believe in homeopathy!

  2. Homeopathy indeed! In any case, this is just plain nuts! How many birds, rabbits, squirrels, and such piss in the reservoir every day? Volume-wise this teen’s output is just a “piss in the bucket”!

  3. The city is actually Portland, Oregon:
    At least it rains so much there that the reservoir will be refilled before long.

  4. Who’s taking the piss?

  5. I see it but I don’t get it.

  6. There is no P in ortland

  7. Ah. Except there is.

  8. You should know that Portland has been involved in a long running fight over the open reservoirs. The city is replacing them with underground tanks, even though all science indicates that open reservoirs are really cleaner and safer. Teenagers and other idiots have been peeing in these reservoirs probably since they were created more than 100 years ago, but it has only become an issue since they city decided to change them.

    This is what happens when contractors take over your government.




    Portland Oregon is in a rain forest, but they pay more for water than Phoenix, Arizona!

    In the future fresh clean water will be more expensive than oil.

Watch A Congressman Who’s Had It Tell A Leader Of The War On Drugs Exactly What He Needs To Hear

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 at 13:51 by Paul Jay in category: News


Well 4/20 came and went, and it seemed like the world didn’t burn down (even if it burned). Seeing the success of decriminalization in Colorado and Washington state, as well as the destructiveness of the War on Drugs, a lot of people would like to say a thing or two to the drug czars in charge. Watch Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) do exactly that and then some.

The highlights of his mic drop:

And the whole smackdown:

Write a comment


  1. Thanks for this Paul. It’s high time.

Audio Effects from Old cartoons (WarnerBros)

Posted on April 21st, 2014 at 11:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

I think I’ve found my new ringtone

Write a comment


  1. That’s da awesumz! How do you extract a fileformat you can use out of that?

  2. Use one of the websites that will extract the audio (mp3) from the YouTube video, then use an audio editing app (e.g. Audacity, good & free & open source) to copy the snippet you want into its own sound file. In Audacity, you then “export” the file to MP3.

    I did something similar to get my own custom ringtone, which is a v.42bis modem sync. Just for fun, I added at the beginning a rapid series of touch tones to simulate the modem dialing, and I used my own phone number. Again, Audacity makes this easy-ish to do (if you’re familiar with audio editing).

  3. zomg! Those poor flattened animals!

Wingsuit pilots fly at 125mph under bridge on side of mountain

Posted on April 20th, 2014 at 16:36 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation’

Posted on April 19th, 2014 at 15:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


In an uncompromising and wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, his first public remarks since he was linked to the program in 2007, James Mitchell was dismissive of a Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture in which he features, and which is currently at the heart of an intense row between legislators and the agency.

The committee’s report found that the interrogation techniques devised by Mitchell, a retired air force psychologist, were far more brutal than disclosed at the time, and did not yield useful intelligence. These included waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation for days at a time, confinement in a box and being slammed into walls.

But Mitchell, who was reported to have personally waterboarded accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains unrepentant. “The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”

You want some hindsight? How about this?


In 1947, the U.S. charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for waterboarding a U.S. civilian. Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Write a comment


  1. The only surprise would be if he were to repent.

Evenly distribute the future: Issuing more bio-survival tickets

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 21:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


VC for the people – “It’s just that people who have options are much more likely to actually find success than people who don’t.”
also btw…

-The Economic Case for a Universal Basic Income
-Could We Afford a Universal Basic Income?
-A Universal Basic Income: Conservative, Progressive, and Libertarian Perspectives

Write a comment


  1. I don’t know what to do with that barrage of links, but the “VC for the people” post is quite interesting. It’d be even more interesting if it had some models with numbers.

Java: Real or Not?

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 20:34 by John Sinteur in category: News


One of these classes is real. Two are made up.

Pick the one that’s not made up!

Write a comment

2048 – Iron man mode

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 17:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

Stellar fusion in 2048 style

Write a comment


  1. This truly adds new elements to the game!

  2. It doesn’t seem to work on Linux/Firefox v24.4.0

New Study Outlines Water World Theory of Life’s Origins

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 16:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


A new study from researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and the Icy Worlds team at NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis — called “submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life” — the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture.

Write a comment

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to find Google alarming

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 13:34 by Paul Jay in category: News, Privacy


There is a quote from you in this context that concerns me. In 2009 you said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” The essence of freedom is precisely the fact that I am not obliged to disclose everything that I am doing, that I have a right to confidentiality and, yes, even to secrets; that I am able to determine for myself what I wish to disclose about myself. The individual right to this is what makes a democracy. Only dictatorships want transparent citizens instead of a free press.

Against this background, it greatly concerns me that Google – which has just announced the acquisition of drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace – has been seen for some time as being behind a number of planned enormous ships and floating working environments that can cruise and operate in the open ocean. What is the reason for this development? You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to find this alarming.

Historically, monopolies have never survived in the long term. Either they have failed as a result of their complacency, which breeds its own success, or they have been weakened by competition – both unlikely scenarios in Google’s case. Or they have been restricted by political initiatives.

Another way would be voluntary self-restraint on the part of the winner. Is it really smart to wait until the first serious politician demands the breakup of Google? Or even worse – until the people refuse to follow?

Write a comment

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

Posted on April 18th, 2014 at 8:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


On Thursday, I questioned Russia’s involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: “Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals’ communications?”

I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden’s question and mine here.)

Clapper’s lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we’ll get to them soon – but it was not the president’s suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

Write a comment


  1. Kinda rich for Snowden to call anyone out for skipping out on accountability.

£130,000 poorer in fees, Nigel Evans admits regret for past support of legal aid cuts

Posted on April 17th, 2014 at 14:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


Nigel Evans, who is £130,000 out of pocket after being cleared of sexual assault, has said he regretted his previous support for cutting legal aid.

The Ribble Valley MP had previously condemned the rising cost of legal aid and admitted he would probably have voted for the last round of cuts in 2011 had he not been Deputy Speaker at the time.

He said he was stunned to learn he would have to pay his legal fees even if he was acquitted – plus value added tax. Mr Evans, whose life savings have been wiped out, has pledged to campaign on the issue after his return to the Commons.


“It’s only when you go through these sorts of trauma that you see the first-hand consequences of that,” he told ITV News.

Write a comment


  1. The British public don’t seem to mind their politicians getting wasted and chasing interns, even if they are gay. Progress of a kind, I suppose.

Social Studies

Posted on April 17th, 2014 at 13:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


From Benoni Lanctot’s Chinese and English Phrase Book (1867), phrases for English-speaking employers of Chinese-Americans:

  • Can you get me a good boy?
  • He wants $8.00 per month.
  • He ought to be satisfied with $6.00.
  • When I find him useful, I will give him more.
  • I think he is very stupid.
  • Do you know how to count?
  • If you want to go out, you must ask me.
  • Come at seven every morning.
  • Go home at eight every night.
  • This lamp is not clean.
  • See that the money is weighed.
  • If there is any thing short, I will make him pay the difference.
  • Take this plate away.
  • Change this napkin.
  • Did you prepare any toast?
  • The tea is too strong.
  • Make me a pigeon pie.
  • Get a bottle of beer.
  • Please carve that capon.
  • Tell the cook to roast it better next time.
  • This wine glass is not clean.
  • The cook is very strange.
  • Sometimes he spoils the dishes.
  • Tell the cook to fry some pancakes.
  • Don’t burn them.
  • He did very bad last time.
  • I want to cut his wages.
  • This tea is very bad.
  • Get out of the way.
  • Don’t speak with me.
  • Who gives you permission?
  • Don’t be lazy.
  • You ought not to do so.
  • Pick this up.
  • This is nothing to you.
  • He is fit for nothing.
  • That belongs to me.
  • Carry it up stairs.
  • You ought to be contented.

Phrases for Chinese speakers:

  • Good morning sir.
  • When shall I begin?
  • I beg your pardon.
  • Lunch is on the table, sir.
  • I beg you to consider again.
  • It is my duty.
  • Sir, what will you have for dinner to-day?
  • You must excuse me.
  • You must not strike me.

Write a comment


  1. Ah, those were good old days.
    War in China.
    Foreign dogs profiteering.

A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross

Posted on April 17th, 2014 at 12:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


What is the probability, given that Ross painted a happy tree, that he then painted a friend for that tree?

Write a comment


  1. It is this kind of thoughtful analysis that makes sense of art, this study reminds me of the work of Ursus Wehrli, some examples of his work can be seen on: http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/ursus-wehrli

Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.

Posted on April 17th, 2014 at 12:26 by John Sinteur in category: News


Recently declassified documents reveal new details about Project AZORIAN: a brazen, $800-million CIA initiative to covertly salvage a Soviet nuclear submarine in plain sight of the entire world.

The story begins in March 1968, when a Soviet Golf II submarine — carrying nuclear ballistic missiles tipped with four-megaton warheads and a seventy-person crew — suffered an internal explosion while on a routine patrol mission and sank in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,900 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii. The Soviets undertook a massive, two-month search, but never found the wreckage. However, the unusual Soviet naval activity prompted the U.S. to begin its own search for the sunken vessel, which was found in August 1968.

The submarine, if recovered, would be a treasure trove for the intelligence community. Not only could U.S. officials examine the design of Soviet nuclear warheads, they could obtain cryptographic equipment that would allow them to decipher Soviet naval codes. And so began Project AZORIAN. The U.S. intelligence community commissioned Howard Hughes to construct a massive vessel — dubbed the Hughes Glomar Explorer (HGE) — to recover the sub. The ensuing salvage operation, which began in 1974, was only a partial success; the U.S. was planning to embark on a second attempt when, in 1975, the story was leaked to the press, and the operation was canceled.

Write a comment


Posted on April 16th, 2014 at 20:23 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


To my credit, I only got 5/13…eww!

Write a comment

The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars – because it hurts their ‘quality of life’

Posted on April 16th, 2014 at 13:26 by John Sinteur in category: News


Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.

This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws.

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

Write a comment

NSA Director Can’t Stop Wife From Reading E-Mails

Posted on April 16th, 2014 at 11:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


Just days after assuming his new post as Director of the National Security Agency, Central Security Service and U.S. Cyber Command, Adm. Mike Rogers was overheard complaining about massive privacy violations, as he’s been unable to stop his wife from going through his e-mails.

The four-star admiral — a specialist in cryptology and cyber warfare — said that despite routinely changing his password, clearing his browser cache, and implementing other routine security measures, his wife was still somehow able to see the most intimate details of his life with just the click of a button.

“I swear, every few hours I’m getting a phone call [from Dana] asking me why I started subscribing to updates from the new Captain America movie, or got a Google calendar alert about lunch with [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper when I’m supposed to be taking her to the Mall to see the cherry blossoms,” Rogers was heard saying, according to a highly-placed source at the Rogers’ home.

“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘nosy,’ but seriously, can’t I have just one private conversation around here?”

Write a comment

Watch the youth of today struggle to figure out how to work a Sony Walkman

Posted on April 16th, 2014 at 11:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment


  1. Well, technology may have changed but kids are just as snarky as they ever were.

Muppet Christ Superstar

Posted on April 16th, 2014 at 8:59 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

13-year-old boy known for giving succumbs to brain cancer

Posted on April 15th, 2014 at 21:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


People across San Diego are mourning the death of 13-year-old Jose Montaño. The South Bay student died Sunday morning after battling a rare form of brain cancer for three years.

“It’s been almost like a movie, like surreal, pinch me, I think I’m asleep,” said his father, Jose Montaño Sr., from their home near Imperial Beach on Monday evening.

Jose touched the community with his selfless acts. Two years ago, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he had a playground built for his school.

When he was undergoing chemotherapy, he walked around Rady Children’s Hospital with a wagon, giving out snacks to patients and their families.

“We always say, you know, help others and love thy neighbor and all those things, but he was just natural. He was just born that way,” said Montaño.

Suddenly it’s dusty in here…

Write a comment


Posted on April 15th, 2014 at 20:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


A routine inventory at the prestigious French research body Institut Pasteur in Paris revealed it has lost some 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus.

Write a comment

In U.S., right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists

Posted on April 15th, 2014 at 12:23 by John Sinteur in category: News


On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler” after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now let’s do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting “Heil Hitler” after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar.” Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.

Peter Bergen

Yet the death toll in the shootings in Kansas is similar to that of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, where three people were killed and the suspects later killed a police officer as they tried to evade capture. (Many more, of course, were also wounded in the Boston attacks; 16 men, women and children lost limbs.)

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11.

Write a comment


  1. If you’re not going to include 9/11, al-Qaeda killings have been statistically small in number both before and since. If it wasn’t for that one day, al-Qaeda is downright benevolent.

Espionage & Good Faith in Treaty Negotiations: East Timor v Australia

Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 23:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


In April last year, East Timor instituted arbitral proceedings against Australia at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (‘PCA’) in relation to a dispute arising under the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (‘CMATS Treaty’). Timor Leste (as East Timor is formally known) alleges that the CMATS Treaty is invalid because Australia engaged in espionage in the course of negotiating the Treaty. As noted by Matthew Happold in an earlier EJIL:talk! post, Timor Leste has also initiated proceedings against Australia the International Court of Justice in respect of the seizure of documents by Australian authorities from the offices of the Australian lawyer who is acting for Timor Leste in the PCA arbitration. Indeed, the ICJ is holding hearings, this week, on Timor Leste’s request for provisional measures that will require Australia to give up to the custody of the Court all documents and data seized by Australia pending disposal of the ICJ case and to give assurances that ‘it will not intercept or cause or request the interception of communications between Timor-Leste and its legal advisers’.

The details of the arbitration before the PCA have not been made public, so it is difficult to form any clear assessment of the precise international law issues that arise.  However, from public statements and media reports, it seems that Timor Leste is alleging that the CMATS is invalid because “Australia did not conduct the CMATS negotiations in 2004 in good faith by engaging in espionage”.  According to the lawyer for Timor Leste, during the negotiations for the CMATS Treaty, Australian intelligence services inserted listening devices into the wall of Timor-Leste’s negotiating room under the guise of an Australian aid program concerning renovation and construction of cabinet offices. The lawyer for Timor-Leste has likened the behaviour of the Australian intelligence services to insider trading. The PCA case is particularly interesting as it might be the first case in which a state seeks invalidity of a treaty on the ground that the other treaty party acted fraudulently in the negotiation of the treaty. The case raises the question whether states not only have an obligation to negotiate treaties in good faith but whether breach of the obligation to negotiate in good faith amounts to a ground for invalidity of a treaty.

So, any country looking for an out in any treaty with the USA, the NSA behavior is an easy way…

Write a comment

Pull-it Surprise

Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 23:37 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Washington Post won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, including the prestigious public-service medal for a series of stories that exposed the National Security Agency’s massive global surveillance programs.

A team of 28 Post journalists, led by reporter Barton Gellman, shared the public-service award with the British-based Guardian newspaper, which also reported extensively about the NSA’s secret programs. Both Gellman and Glenn Greenwald, then the Guardian’s lead reporter on the NSA pieces, based their articles on classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who has fled to exile in Russia, lending a controversial edge to this year’s awards.

Write a comment

How Mathematicians Used A Pump-Action Shotgun to Estimate Pi

Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 22:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilisation has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of π and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do?

If ever you find yourself in this situation, you’ll be glad of the work of Vincent Dumoulin and Félix Thouin at the Université de Montréal in Canada. These guys have worked out how to calculate an approximate value of π using the distribution of pellets from a Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun, which they assume would be widely available in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Write a comment


  1. “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and…a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about….And it was an hand breadth thick….”

    — First Kings, chapter 7, verses 23 and 26

  2. Give these guys an Ignobel!


Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 21:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


Write a comment

A-bomb museum is open a mere 12 hours each year

Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 21:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


It’s a rather unusual museum.

All it has on display is a few pebbles of glass, a chunk of concrete about the size of a milking stool and a dilapidated, abandoned ranch house.

This museum is open to the public only 12 hours a year – 6 in spring; 6 in autumn. Admission is free, if you’re willing to drive out into New Mexico’s vast, barren and beautiful Jornada del Muerta Desert.

It’s called Trinity Site. It made a lasting impact on our entire world. It’s where the first Atomic Bomb was detonated.

The pebbles of glass on display used to be sand pebbles, but were baked into glass when sucked up into the massive fire ball that lit up this dark desert at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945.

Visitors are permitted at this earth-shattering site between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October. There’s no guide, no speeches, no ceremony, but some photos hang on the steel mesh fence topped with barbed wire circling ground zero.

A military security guard will issue you an information pamphlet after checking your photo identification 27 kilometres from the site.

Write a comment

« Older Entries