Friday February 15th, 2019

Houston no-knock warrant fraudulently obtained

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HPD WARRANT: Informant didn't buy drugs from suspects killed in police shootout. Two people inside the house were killed when they shot at intruders who were police officers in a no- knock raid. Police officers who'd lied to obtain the no-knock warrant.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A confidential informant didn't buy drugs at the southeast Houston home where an investigation turned into a deadly shootout with police last month, according to a new search warrant.

That contradicts information used to get the no-knock search warrant, which said that a confidential informant bought heroin at the house the day before the drug raid. The raid happened on Jan. 28.

Cue the HPD union in 3... 2...

I want the ability to break when my

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I want the ability to break when my breakpoint *isn't* hit.

(Right now: Why is my transient popover being closed?)

Russian disinfo & Vaccines

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American Journal of Public Health: Weaponized Health Communication: Twitter Bots and Russian Trolls Amplify the Vaccine Debate.

Results. Compared with average users, Russian trolls (χ2(1) = 102.0; P < .001), sophisticated bots (χ2(1) = 28.6; P < .001), and “content polluters” (χ2(1) = 7.0; P < .001) tweeted about vaccination at higher rates. Whereas content polluters posted more antivaccine content (χ2(1) = 11.18; P < .001), Russian trolls amplified both sides. Unidentifiable accounts were more polarized (χ2(1) = 12.1; P < .001) and antivaccine (χ2(1) = 35.9; P < .001). Analysis of the Russian troll hashtag showed that its messages were more political and divisive.

DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304567

PMID: 30138075

Detained for speaking Spanish

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In a just world, CPB Agent Paul O'Neal would be up on kidnapping charges: Two U.S. citizens claim in lawsuit that feds detained them for speaking Spanish:

“Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” the agent says in the video, which the ACLU has released.

The women allege that the agent then detained them for 45 minutes instead of letting them go when they identified themselves as U.S. citizens. Cody Wofsy, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the unlawful detention amounts to a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s bar on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Border Patrol Detained Me for Speaking Spanish in Montana. Then My Town Turned Against Me. By Ana Suda, Certified Nurse Assistant and ACLU plaintiff

Who was Smithsen?

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RT Asperger's Are Us @AspergersAreUs:

When I tell people I used to have a time machine a lot of them ask why I didn't kill Hitler and I explain that my time machine broke shortly after I murdered Smithsen and when they ask who Smithsen was I always say "you're welcome"

Thursday February 14th, 2019

Royal Navy goes for families

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Somehow I missed this back in 2013: 'Our wives and sweethearts' Naval toast rewritten:

Naval officers will no longer raise their glasses to "Our wives and sweethearts" - typically met with the unofficial reply "May they never meet".

Instead, they will say "Our families", following an instruction by the Second Sea Lord Vice- Admiral David Steel.

Northern California Winter

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So on Monday, some of the office conversation revolved around a garage remodel in my boss's neighborhood which seemed excessively robust, involving various upgrades to the support and bracing. I commented that it had been a couple of years, but I remember when we had a wet rainy winter and there were houses in southern Marin sliding off houses, and if I was rebuilding a garage in his neighborhood I'd want it pretty darned beefy.

Anyway, this is a block or so up from his house. We're having a real actual California winter here. Marin storm havoc: Sausalito mudslide, broad flooding, outages.

I'm not sure it's possible to build a structure that beefy, however.

My drive over to Novato on Monday to call may be interesting: Levee breached near Highway 37 in Novato as rains pound North Bay

New York stands firm

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Everyone's reporting on this Amazon thing as though it's some sort of big decision, and it is, but by New York to not subsidize Amazon. Here's the relevant bit: "There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams."

So, basically, this is all Amazon spinning "New York has decided to not shovel money at us, and we're gonna continue to do business there anyway". Kudos to NYC for standing tall and not falling for the extortion.

Amazon — Update on plans for New York City headquarters

Trees aren't supposed to bend like that

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Trees aren't supposed to bend like that

Starbucks coffee & color blindness

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Whatever it says about understanding of America's racial politics, "I don't see color" explains a lot about how Starbucks roasts coffee...

Howard Schultz said he’s colorblind. That suggests a deep ignorance about America’s race problems.

Hat tip to Anil Dash on the coffee joke

It is a truth universally acknowledged

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a can cat in possession of spare time must be in want of a box.

Wednesday February 13th, 2019

Queer Rom-Coms

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Saved for those evenings when we're thinking "we need a brain-dead movie": 8 queer romantic comedy movies that Gail Carriger loves.

Hard to capture just how much flow

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Hard to capture just how much flow there is right now on the normally tidal Petaluma River

Perhaps there are more

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Guy who pulled Nike merchandise from his store as a protest against Colin Kaepernick is closing his store:

He also cancelled an autograph session with Brandon Marshall at his store back in 2016, to protest Marshall’s decision to kneel during the anthem.

“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” said Martin.

Tesla autosteer increases crash rates

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In 2017, the feds said Tesla Autopilot cut crashes 40%—that was bogus

But now NHTSA's full data set is available, and, if anything, it appears to contradict Musk's claims. The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate. But when QCS focused on 5,714 vehicles whose data didn't suffer from these problems, it found that the activation of Autosteer actually increased crash rates by 59 percent.

Lexipol overview

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Police Policy for Sale: Lexipol, a private for-profit company, has quietly become one of the most powerful voices in law enforcement policymaking in the country.

The policy was written by Lexipol, a California-based company that says it provides policies for approximately 3,400 police, fire, and correctional agencies in 35 states. It has grown rapidly over the last 15 years and saturated California, where its clients include more than 90 percent of law enforcement agencies. It’s impossible to know just how far Lexipol’s reach has spread as the company declines to provide a list of clients, saying that it is proprietary information. But according to an analysis published last year in the Texas Law Review, “although there are other private, nonprofit, and government entities that draft police policies, Lexipol is now a dominant force in police policymaking across the country.”

Via @TheAppeal

Foiled by icy conditions

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Fleeing Waterville bank robber slips, spills money, gun in front of special agent, police say

He ran across four lanes of traffic on Main Street and into the Ming Lee restaurant parking lot, slipped on the ice and found himself face-to-face with a special agent for the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Task Force who just happened to be parked in the right place at the right time.

Friendly fire isn't.

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YAGGWAG: New York City Detective Killed by ‘Friendly Fire’ During Queens Robbery:

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill called the death of the detective an “absolutely tragic case of friendly fire,” and said it was later discovered the suspect was carrying a fake gun. A sergeant was also wounded in the police fusillade.

Nuns faking death

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Archive shows medieval nun faked her own death to escape convent

A marginal note written in Latin and buried deep within one of the 16 heavy registers used by to record the business of the archbishops of York between 1304 and 1405 first alerted archivists to the adventures of the runaway nun. “To warn Joan of Leeds, lately nun of the house of St Clement by York, that she should return to her house,” runs the note written by archbishop William Melton and dated to 1318.

Of course maybe she was just trying to avoid getting raped by priests: Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery

Today in prioritizing cars over people

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Today in prioritizing cars over people, I'm walking to work in the road because the water flowing across the sidewalks is deep enough to soak my shoes.

Tuesday February 12th, 2019

NIMBY makes way

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Art space NIMBY’s last days in Oakland: Arts incubator makes way for pot grow . Sooooo... our land use policies make it reasonable for the art space to relocate to rural Lassen county to make way for agriculture in downtown Oakland?

Sunk Cost Fallacy

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Gavin Newsom calls SF-to-LA high-speed rail unrealistic, pushes for route from Bakersfield to Merced

"Abandoning the high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions and billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises... and lawsuits to show for it," Newsom added, explaining he wouldn't want to send the $3.5 billion in federal money the project has been granted back to the Trump administration.

Property Rights

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Huh, I thought all the patents from this project had come through, but apparently 10,197,888 is yet another patent with my name on it. Go me!

Monday February 11th, 2019

Oh geez, that screen on the two Mastodon instances that I use that looked like an unconfigured server that made me think both had abandoned service? That was actually some sort of welcome new user intro screen. More Mastodon UI fail.

a little turn on the catwalk

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Right Said Fred singer finally able to wear his shirt after sexiness reduction procedure:

“It was a difficult time for me,” said the considerably less sexy singer.

“I couldn’t travel to either Milan, New York or Japan, which was a problem, because I was a model, you know what I mean?”

It's a multi-function printer

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It's a multi-function printer, and it does reproductions, so I guess that makes Greta a copy cat?

Sunday February 10th, 2019

Me and my vulva

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Me and my vulva: 100 women reveal all:

First it was breasts, then penises – now photographer Laura Dodsworth has taken portraits of 100 vulvas. She tells Liv Little why. Below: eight women’s stories

full size box of tissues doesn't fit

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A full size box of tissues doesn't fit here, and the store we were at didn't have the half-size boxes, so....

Insys opposing cannabis

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Friday February 8th, 2019

Bezos and Blackmail

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Holy shit: Jeff Bezos: No thank you Mr. Pecker.

In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

AMI, or American Media, is the company behind the National Enquirer. The National Enquirer is apparently trying to influence the Washington Post's coverage of AMI and the Enquirer over David Pecker's immunity deal with the Department of Justice and AMI's coverage of Donald Trump.

Spain's Stolen Babies

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Because I saw something about the Catholic Church being complicit in kidnapping 300,000 babies,I dug a little bit. Wow. Spain's stolen babies and the families who lived a lie:

Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.

The practice of removing children from parents deemed "undesirable" and placing them with "approved" families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.

Doctor on trial over Spain 'stolen babies' scandal

In Doctor's Trial, Spanish Advocates Seek Reckoning For Decades Of 'Stolen Babies':

Stolen babies scandal haunts Spain

Thursday February 7th, 2019


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Harry Potter and the Fourth Wall

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J.K. Rowling Reveals That You, The Reader, Were Gay All Along

“You can’t just make hundreds of millions of people gay for SJW clout,” wrote one user on Twitter. “I loved this story because I deeply identified with Harry, a young boy living in a closet trying to figure out how to use his wand and now you’ve muddled it all up with this sexual orientation retcon.”

Tracked by Do Not Track

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Red Lipstick

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Huh. Re-evaluating my perspective on makeup: Red Lipstick Sent A Strong Message At The State Of The Union

In fact, red lipstick has a history of landing on the lips of some of the most politically-effective women of the 20th century. Famous suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman trumpeted wearing red lipstick as an emblem of women's emancipation, and even wore it to the 1912 New York City Suffragette March.

On men and sex

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Wednesday February 6th, 2019

Shooting the Messenger

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Researcher Assaulted By A Vendor After Disclosing A Vulnerability:

Following a serious vulnerability disclosure affecting casinos globally, an executive of casino technology vendor Atrient has assaulted the security researcher who disclosed the vulnerability at the ICE conference in London. This is the story of a vulnerability disclosure gone bad, one involving the FBI, a vendor with a global customer base of casinos and a severe security vulnerability which has gone unresolved for four months without being properly addressed.

RT it's a dry heat @conlific Replying to @WeldPond:

Well, that doesn't play into casino/mob stereotypes at all...

Skia and convexity

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Google Project Zero: The Curious Case of Convexity Confusion., in which a bug in the Skia graphics library (used by all the major web browser) is deeply explored.

little company while I hang out on the

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A little company while I hang out on the dock at the turning basin

Pretty sure most of Apple's resources

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Pretty sure most of Apple's resources these days are going into two stealth-mode teams: One dedicated to removing useful documentation from the web, the other to introducing weird state bugs into Cocoa.

Huygens sympathy

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Mind my Picasso… superyacht owners struggle to protect art, which I'm linking to only because of JWZ's observation:

Funny side note: due to Huygens sympathy, two guillotines on the deck of a superyacht will eventually synchronize!

Fact Checking

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USS Fitzgerald

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Harrowing reading, especially in the context of wondering what the fuck we're spending all of these military dollars on: ProPublica on the USS Fitzgerald destroyer crash

Tuesday February 5th, 2019

ICE kidnapping US citizens

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ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship:

Since 2012, ICE has released from its custody more than 1,480 people after investigating their citizenship claims, according to agency figures. And a Times review of Department of Justice records and interviews with immigration attorneys uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the country’s immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention.

Arctic Blast

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Californians Brace For Deadly 50-Degree Cold Front

CALIFORNIA—The rest of the nation may be battling bitter cold, but they have no idea what the poor people in California are about to face: weather in the mid-50s, with a chance of something strange called "rain."

Abstinence-Only meta-analysis

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Meta-Analysis Over Almost 20 Years Has Declared Its Verdict on Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

In 2008 alone, for instance, conservative states received more than $71 million in abstinence funding, and the authors say this translates to 1,080 extra adolescent births than would have otherwise been the case.

This suggests that abstinence funding "may not simply be an ineffective policy but may also have perverse effects in these states."

What's the incentive?

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South Carolina cops give up on any pretense of not being a gang: SC cops defend keeping cash they seize: 'What's the incentive' otherwise?

Snow across the valley

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Snow across the valley, the arctic blast has come to Petaluma

When the web page preview and the tweet

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When the web page preview and the tweet disagree

Coworkers are trying to debug a flash

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Coworkers are trying to debug "a flash of grey". Took me a moment to realize that wasn't a Dead track.