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After Today, Google Officially Becomes Alphabet

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:55

Goodbye Google, and hello Alphabet. Sort of.

The post After Today, Google Officially Becomes Alphabet appeared first on WIRED.

This Might Be the First Craigslist Ad to Win a Pulitzer

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:51

Rain, a ballgown, and the world's most heartbreaking Missed Connection from 1972.

The post This Might Be the First Craigslist Ad to Win a Pulitzer appeared first on WIRED.

EFF Urges California Supreme Court to Hear a Bad Rap Lyrics Case

EFF Breaking News - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:50

Artistic expression can take many forms, whether it’s comedic, dramatic, or even violent. According to a California Court of Appeals opinion, if you choose to artistically express yourself in a violent or threatening manner—let’s say in song lyrics—you could be criminally prosecuted by the State of California even if you never intended anyone to perceive your message as an actual threat.

EFF has signed onto an amicus letter by the ACLU of Southern California that asks the California Supreme Court to revisit the lower court’s decision in People v. Murillo. Legions of artists will risk prosecution under this ruling for artistic speech that they did not intend to be threatening. As a result, they might self-censor, and our artistic palette will be less richly colored because of it.

As explained in the letter, the Court should hear the case for two specific reasons.

First, in considering what constitutes “threatening speech,” the lower court failed to include protections required both by the First Amendment and the general precepts of criminal law when it held that the criminal statute requires only a general intent to communicate rather than a specific intent to threaten. The specific threat statute at issue has not been specifically interpreted in these respects, and the Court should step in to provide clarity.

Second, the lower court disregarded the context of the lyrics when making a point that a reasonable listener would understand the lyrics as a threat. In a previous case, In re George T., the California Supreme Court threw out a criminal threat conviction, under a different threat statute, where the supposed threat was contained in a poem. In George T, the Court found the poetic context of the supposed threat to be critical. As the Court explained, art is subjective by nature, but the Court of Appeals in Murillo used only the objective standard that a reasonable person could construe an artistic work to be a threat.

For above-stated reasons, we ask that the Court grant the defendant’s petition for review, and establish a clear and protective standard for when artistic speech may be criminalized, in order to undo the chilling effect of the lower court’s opinion.

Files:  people_v._murillo_amicus_letter.pdfRelated Issues: Free Speech
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Is iOS 9 Making Your iPhone Boil?

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:41

Some users are complaining that after upgrading their older-generation iPhones, the devices are running a bit hot. This is related to the battery being overworked, of course, but while some people might be willing to put up with low power, a hot-to-the-touch iPhone is arguably harder to deal with. All iOS 9 has done is […]

The post Is iOS 9 Making Your iPhone Boil? appeared first on WIRED.

Emails, Not Emojis, Reveal Clinton’s Real Personality

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:30

There's a difference between being authentic and being "authentic."

The post Emails, Not Emojis, Reveal Clinton’s Real Personality appeared first on WIRED.

Scottrade Alerts 4.6 Million Brokerage Customers of Breach

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:29

The St. Louis-based brokerage firm Scottrade has been hit by a breach.

The post Scottrade Alerts 4.6 Million Brokerage Customers of Breach appeared first on WIRED.

Meet Shahid Buttar: Helping EFF Fight for Digital Rights in Your Hometown

EFF Breaking News - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:24


EFF is pleased to welcome Shahid Buttar to the activism team, where he will direct EFF's work supporting grassroots and student advocacy. Shahid is a constitutional lawyer focused on the intersection of community organizing and policy reform as a lever to shift legal norms. He comes to EFF with deep roots in communities across the country organizing in various ways to combat mass surveillance.

Shahid’s skills and experience will enhance EFF’s outreach efforts, helping us inspire supporters in local communities across the country. He’ll also serve as a resource for grassroots organizations and student groups looking for ways to defend and assert their rights.

EFF is especially interested in nurturing local and college student groups focusing on technology policy. We hope to encourage, help, and connect with groups that want to host surveillance discussion groups, or crypto-parties at local hacker spaces, or advocate for open access rules on campuses, or any number of actions. However your community takes action, if you’re interested in working with EFF on a local event in your area, email Shahid at shahid@eff.org.

Shahid’s experience makes him ideally suited to strategically expand EFF’s outreach efforts. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and spent a semester working as Larry Lessig’s teaching assistant for constitutional law. Directly out of law school, he went into private practice, where he organized a 2004 lawsuit seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in New York state and represented the campaign finance reform community in a successful appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Shahid’s heart has always been in advocacy. He left private practice to build the communications team at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. He went on to found the program to combat racial & religious profiling at Muslim Advocates, where he launched a FOIA case seeking a still secret FBI policy governing the undercover infiltration of organizing and activist groups.

From 2009 to 2015, Shahid led the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) as Executive Director. His work at BORDC included advising local, state, and federal policymakers, journalists, and grassroots organizers about civil liberties and civil rights issues encompassing mass surveillance, targeted surveillance, and law enforcement profiling according to race, religion, and national origin.

Shahid has been a powerful voice for accountable government, transparency, and justice. His comments have appeared in news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, Agence-France Presse, Huffington Post, and Democracy Now!. In February 2015, video of his arrest in the U.S. Senate went viral after he posed uncomfortable questions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in which Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified.

As an organizer, Shahid focuses on connecting people across diverse ideologies and identities, based on their shared concerns about how national security and law enforcement agencies erode civil liberties and the rule of law. He has been active in the peace, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter movements on both coasts and in the Midwest.

Outside his work with EFF, Shahid’s commentary often explores novel arguments supporting social movements. For instance, he has publicly criticized police militarization as both constitutionally offensive, as well as rooted in CIA corruption. His previous publications include national security and foreign policy recommendations, as well as articles exploring the intersection of antitrust principles and tax policy.

Creatively, Shahid DJs and produces electronic music, kicks rhymes, and writes poetry in what he describes as his “spare time.” His work as an artist has taken him around the world, and before audiences as large as 50,000. He’s been making music, building communities, and fighting for justice for 20 years while based in Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington DC.

We are very excited to have him at EFF!

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Huge Tolls on a Mountain Road Could Help Fix Our Highways

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:14

To ease traffic on a mountain highway, Colorado's adding an express toll lane that could cost drivers more than $2 a mile.

The post Huge Tolls on a Mountain Road Could Help Fix Our Highways appeared first on WIRED.

Game|Life Podcast: Shilling at the Tokyo Game Show With a Huge Airship

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 21:07

Matt quizzes Chris on what he saw at Tokyo Game Show, and Nintendo comes up again anyway.

The post Game|Life Podcast: Shilling at the Tokyo Game Show With a Huge Airship appeared first on WIRED.

After he threatened massacre on Yik Yak, Virginia Tech ex-student pleads guilty

Ars Technica - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:55

(credit: Yik Yak)

A former Virginia Tech student who posted a violent threat on Yik Yak has now taken a plea deal to avoid further jail time.

Back in April 2015, Ki Ung "Eddie" Moon posted to the notoriously anonymous social network, "another 4.16 moment is going to happen tomorrow. Just a warning." That date, April 16, refers to the shooting massacre that happened at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 when 33 people were killed.

Not long after, Moon turned himself in to the police, where he initially faced criminal charges of harassment using a computer. According to the Roanoke Times, that charge was changed to disorderly conduct as part of an agreement with local prosecutors.

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Hands-On With the World’s First Flexible Wearable

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:55

A flexible electronics company called Polyera wants to change the way you relate to digital media, with a device it calls the Wove Band.

The post Hands-On With the World’s First Flexible Wearable appeared first on WIRED.

Footage Surfaces of Canceled South Park Videogame

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:55

The South Park game, which would have been for the original Xbox, was in development by Buzz Monkey Software.

The post Footage Surfaces of Canceled South Park Videogame appeared first on WIRED.

The Martian is in theaters today. Check out our review and interview with Matt Damon

Ars Technica - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:46

This isn't Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars—no bazaars or Martian princesses. Just an empty, depthless waste of dirt and rock. (credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

Long-awaited by fans of Andy Weir's novel, Ridley Scott's film adaptation of The Martian opens today in theaters in the US. On the fence about checking it out tonight or this weekend? Maybe we can help you make up your mind.

The Martian brings science, largely unchanged, from book to screen

From Lee Hutchinson's review:

Movie adaptations from books—especially beloved books—can be frightening things. Reading is a deeply personal act, where we take in words and build worlds inside of our minds where only we can experience them. Seeing a movie based on a book is almost like going on a blind date with someone you’ve known intimately through letters but never actually seen. That first meeting isn’t always a good one, because when beheld with your for-real eyes and ears, the person you see and hear isn’t necessarily going to be anything like the version of the person you thought you knew.


Director Ridley Scott chose to go in a slightly different way with the film. So much of the book relies on the audience having access to Watney’s internal monologue (because so much of the book is composed of Watney’s journal writings), and heavy narration in movies is a dramatic device that rarely works. So, we get to hear Watney’s thoughts via video logs that he keeps—but we also get to see Watney in a way that we can’t in the novel.

Ars talks with Matt Damon on being astronaut Mark Watney in The Martian

Damon talks space, science, growing potatoes on set, and the infamous potato fertilization scene:

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Absurd Creatures: The Caterpillar That Freaks Out if You Yell at It

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:45

In the rainforests of Peru there lurks a caterpillar that doesn’t appreciate people yelling at it.

The post Absurd Creatures: The Caterpillar That Freaks Out if You Yell at It appeared first on WIRED.

The Scooter Moves in This Video Put Justin Bieber to Shame

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:43

This "What Do You Mean?" clip is pretty sick. Your move, Biebs.

The post The Scooter Moves in This Video Put Justin Bieber to Shame appeared first on WIRED.

New Pics Show Charon at its Brightest and Most Beautiful

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:36

NASA released the highest-res images of Charon yet and hot dang are they gorgeous.

The post New Pics Show Charon at its Brightest and Most Beautiful appeared first on WIRED.

Sprint continues decline, plans job cuts and cost cuts of $2.5 billion

Ars Technica - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:27

(credit: Sprint)

Sprint's place among the big four US wireless carriers continues to be a precarious one, with news reports saying the company now aims to reduce its number of employees and cut between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in costs over the next six months.

A memo from Sprint management to staff said there will be a hiring freeze and "job reductions," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sprint announced days ago that it will skip a major auction of low-band spectrum, a decision that could push the company further behind its rivals. Sprint has licenses to more spectrum than any other carrier, but AT&T and Verizon control a large majority of low-band spectrum, which is ideal for providing coverage over long distances and indoors. T-Mobile says it intends to buy enough low-band spectrum to cover the entire nation; Sprint says it can improve coverage with its existing spectrum by increasing the number of cell towers.

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Trust Us: Go See The Martian This Weekend

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:18

Director Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's fan-favorite novel is out now. Should you see it? Oh, most definitely.

The post Trust Us: Go See The Martian This Weekend appeared first on WIRED.

The Nobel Committee Hasn’t Always Picked the Right Winners

Wired - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:10

Over its 114 year history, the Nobel Prize has been given to some bad science, and some bad scientists.

The post The Nobel Committee Hasn’t Always Picked the Right Winners appeared first on WIRED.

Pluto’s moon Charon shows fractured surface, signs of recent activity

Ars Technica - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 20:10

The latest photos to come beaming down from New Horizons aren't focused on Pluto; instead, they target the dwarf planet's largest moon, Charon. Charon is the largest moon relative to its planet in the entire Solar System, but that still means it's quite small, at about 1,200 kilometers across. So it's even less likely than Pluto to have retained enough heat to be geologically active.

And that's not just Ars saying that. Ross Beyer of NASA Ames Research Center was quoted in a statement as saying, “We thought the probability of seeing such interesting features on this satellite of a world at the far edge of our Solar System was low.”

Enhanced color images of Pluto and Charon show that the bodies are quite distinctive despite their proximity.

3 more images in gallery

But Charon had a number of significant surprises in store. Chief among them: a canyon/fracture system that stretches across the entire face of the moon and presumably extends to the far side. That means it's easily in excess of 1,200km long. NASA says that makes the system over four times as long as the Grand Canyon, and it's twice as deep in spots. "It looks like the entire crust of Charon has been split open,” said John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute.

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