Now you, too, can intercept calls to the FBI and Secret Service

“Earlier this week, Bryan Seely, a network engineer and one-time Marine, played me recordings of two phone calls. The calls were placed by unwitting citizens to the FBI office in San Francisco and to the Secret Service in Washington, D.C. Neither the callers nor the FBI or Secret Service personnel who answered the phone realized that Seely was secretly recording them. He used Google Maps to do it.

“Yesterday, Gizmodo reported on how easy it was for Seely to spam Google Maps with fake listings. Seely has revealed to Valleywag a more troubling way to exploit the Google’s laissez-faire attitude toward verification—loopholes the international search megalith has known about for at least four years.”

Hat tip to MrMild

via How a Hacker Intercepted FBI and Secret Service Calls With Google Maps.

UK snoops on porn webcams — doesn’t even pay for the jollies

“Spooks in the UK secretly monitoring Yahoo webcam streams from around the world discovered that many people liked to share photos of their bodies, a new report says. . . . [T]he fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”

Can’t find enough free porn on the Web? Then join Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters. And since the NSA shares data with their British counterparts, an NSA gig will probably serve just as well.

UK spies: People get naked on their webcams | New York Post.

The Supreme Court Holds You Don’t Get To Hire A Lawyer If The Government Thinks Your Money Came From A Crime

The government can seek to have someone accused of a federal crime forfeit any money they made from the alleged crime. The government just has to show that there’s probable cause to think the person committed a crime and that the money came from that crime.

But, according to Kaley v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court this week, the government can get that forfeiture order before there’s a trial finding you guilty. And you don’t get a hearing either because a grand jury indictment is sufficient to demonstrate “probable cause.”

And you don’t get to challenge the finding of the grand jury, you don’t have the right to present evidence to the grand jury, cross-examine witnesses who testify before the grand jury, or argue that what they’ve heard does not support the conclusion that you’ve been involved in a crime.

In other words, once you’re indicted by a federal grand jury, it sucks to be you.

via The Supreme Court Holds You Don’t Get To Hire A Lawyer If The Government Thinks Your Money Came From A Crime « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.

(PS: If you want a little surprise, read who wrote the dissent.)

Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not

An anonymous author at The Economist claims that much published scientific research is irreproducible.

The idea that the same experiments always get the same results, no matter who performs them, is one of the cornerstones of science’s claim to objective truth. If a systematic campaign of replication does not lead to the same results, then either the original research is flawed . . . or the replications are.

Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab | The Economist.

American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization

Explaining that the costs of the service have grown too high in recent years, American Airlines announced Tuesday that it will no longer offer free cabin pressurization to passengers starting March 15. “Unfortunately, to stay competitive as a legacy carrier in today’s air travel market, it no longer makes economic sense for us to provide breathable air at altitude,” said American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, noting that despite the cutbacks, air pressurization would still be available to first- and business-class travelers as well as those willing to pay an additional fee. “While we regret any altitude sickness, blood problems, dimmed vision, or hyperventilation that may result from air pressure less than a third normal levels, we remind our customers that such effects will diminish as soon as the aircraft descends below 10,000 feet.” Parker added that the company is also planning to discontinue complimentary landing gear on flights under four hours.

via American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

Republicans to Discontinue Use of E-Mail, Effective Immediately

This just in from reporter Andy Borowitz:

Citing the scandals embroiling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Republican Governors Association today ordered its members to discontinue the use of e-mail, “effective immediately.”

According to a memo sent to all Republican governors, “Any plots, schemes, conspiracies, or violations of campaign-finance laws should be conducted using pay phones or easily disposable cell phones such as the ones used on ‘The Wire.’ ” The governors were instructed to read the memo once and then either burn or eat it.

Republicans to Discontinue Use of E-Mail : The New Yorker.

Ted Nugent in characteristic rant


“I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.”

via Ted Nugent, pre-campaign trail: Obama’s a ‘subhuman mongrel’ – Washington Times.

Plan Would Base The Boss’ Salary On The Janitor’s

A bunch of students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland have proposed a radical idea: raise the lowest employee salary  to $30,000 and then pay the college president ten times that much.

According to the students, St. Mary’s pay ratio was 1:13 for the 2012-2013 year, — far more equitable than corporate America. Among the 500 largest U.S. companies, the average pay ratio is a whopping 1:354 — up 1,000% since 1950, when it was 1:20.

While not sure of the solution, your Bitemaster is certain that the growing gap between haves and have-nots is bad for America.

Groundbreaking Plan Would Base The Boss’ Salary On The Janitor’s.

I think this means that Verizon is going to screw us even better

I just read this really interesting article that I only partially understand. I think the point is that Verizon is killing off conventional phone service, DSL, and FiOS in favor of the more profitable LTE technology, which provides cellular service to both mobile phones and fixed locations like homes and offices.

It’s not good news, since we’re going to be squeezed on the other side by the combination of Comcast and Time Warner.

I can’t wait to learn how my user experience will be enhanced.

Op-ed: Verizon willfully driving DSL users into the arms of cable | Ars Technica.

Liberals can’t write a decent headline

So the Bitemaster was perusing the home page of the Fiscal Policy Institute, home to a bunch of liberal economists. Some of the headlines there were:

  • Examining the Final Report of the Pataki/McCall Commission
  • New Report Examines Shale Drilling Impact
  • Immigration Reform 2013-14: Will Comprehensive Reform Bring More Jobs for Americans?


Now compare some headlines from the American Enterprise Institute:

  • Potholed U.S. roads are a creation of Washington
  • How Obamacare kills jobs
  • Still exceptional: Liberals want to evade the responsibilities of American exceptionalism

Now those are some hot headlines!