Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades

Was it a coverup?

In 2012, the FBI began an investigation into their hair and fiber lab after being alerted to flawed forensic evidence involving microscopic hair matches which may have led to the convictions of hundreds of potentially innocent people.

It seems that so many problems were uncovered in the lab’s findings that the Bureau decided to halt the review in August of 2013. Now the Department of Justice has stepped in and directed that the reviews of problem cases be resumed.

Kudos to Michael E. Horowitz, Justice Department Inspector General, and whistleblower Fred Whitehurst.

Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades – The Washington Post.

AirBNB drives up evictions; activists fight back

Here’s the Warning Sign Activists Stick On Illegally Converted Airbnbs.

San Francisco landlords are illegally evicting tenants so they can get the higher rents afforded by AirBNB customers. In response, protesters from a medley of organizations are posting signs outside the doors of so-called vacation rentals.

See also Damning Analysis Shows Airbnb’s Impact on San Francisco Housing

Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling

The Satanic Temple has launched a campaign seeking a religious exemption from certain anti-abortion laws that attempt to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy. In light of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, the group says they have deeply held beliefs about bodily autonomy and scientific accuracy, and those beliefs are violated by state-level “informed consent” laws that rely on misleading information about abortion risks.

Normally, we think atheists and satanists are dicks. But apparently the Satanic Temple once held a rally in support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for approving a bill that allows prayer in public schools, saying they’re glad the new policy will allow children to pray to Satan. Ouch!

via Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling | ThinkProgress.

RT.COM, the Russian propaganda outlet, joins the chorus of “America is an oligarchy”

Perspectives on Politics, an academic journal, is planning to publish a paper on whether elites, interest groups or average citizens exert the most influence on American policy.

The paper is too long for the Bitemaster to comprehend (that’s why he relies so heavily on Fox “News”) but apparently it concludes that wealthy Americans have the most influence on government policy, while the rest of us schlubs have next to no influence.

This is not good news for those of us who actually like democracy, but was cause for widespread snickering over at RT.COM.

via ​Oligarchy, not democracy: Americans have ‘near-zero’ input on policy – report — RT USA.

Our apologies to The New York Times

Longtime reader of Biteme.me know that we aren’t big fans of The New York Times. The Times’ accuracy is vastly overrated, its readers are often too lazy to think for themselves, and there are no comics.

But sometimes The Gray Lady surprises.

A recent example is the devastating exposé of NY Governor Cuomo’s meddling with the ethics commission he appointed to investigate corruption in state government. In it, The Times laid out in great detail the governor’s lies, how he bullied the commission to make sure they stayed away from his contributors, and how he disbanded the commission as soon as he thought he could get away with it.

Kudos to The Times for telling this sordid tale.

Cuomo’s Office Hobbled Ethics Inquiries by Moreland Commission – NYTimes.com.

Apple can read your “private” data from your iPhone

Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has revealed that personal data including text messages, contact lists and photos can be extracted from iPhones by Apple Inc employees, through previously unpublicized techniques. Now that Zdziarski has let the cat out of the bag, Apple has admitted that he’s right.

via Apple May Be Spying On You Through Your iPhone.

Is Donald Rumsfeld an alien lizard who eats Mexican babies?

Apparently Wikipedia administrators recently blocked computers at the U.S. House of Representatives from editing the cybercyclopedia because House employees were engaging in “disruptive editing.”

For example, someone changed the biography of former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to describe him as an “alien lizard who eats Mexican babies.” What part is not accurate? That he’s an alien? That he’s a lizard? Or that he eats Mexican babies?

Inquiring minds want to know.

via Wikipedia Blocks U.S. House Computers Over ‘Disruptive Editing’.

Ukrainian Carding King ‘Maksik’ Was Lured to Arrest

The Bitemaster was surfing around the Web when he came across this article from 2010:

Ukrainian Carding King ‘Maksik’ Was Lured to Arrest | Threat Level | WIRED.

In short, Maksym Yastremskiy, a Ukrainian who is alleged to have sold millions of dollars worth of stolen credit and debit card information, was caught following a “sneak-and-peek” search of his laptop while he was traveling through Dubai.

Fans of BITEME well know that we don’t like government — or Google, for that matter — snooping through people’s stuff. But how the hell do we catch the big time thieves without some serious privacy invasion?

On another note, the article notes that 143 million credit and debit card records were stolen in 2009. With numbers that high, how will the credit card companies survive? Perhaps by getting us to switch to debit cards, which have less protection against loss or fraud.

Famous Nude Statues Have Naughty Bits Pixelated — Now Safe for For Facebook!

Apparently, German photographer Peter Kaaden had a picture of a naked statue from the Louvre yanked from Facebook, so he’s now created a whole series of pictures of nude statues, each with their erogenous zones carefully redacted. Click the link to see. Don’t worry — they’re Safe for Work!

Artist Hilariously Censors The Louvre’s Nude Statues For Facebook (SFW!).