Internet Curiosities

After the precariat, the unnecessariat: the humans who are superfluous to corporations

Boing Boing -

The heroin epidemic in America has a death-toll comparable to the AIDS epidemic at its peak, but this time, there's no movement coalescing to argue for the lives of the economically sidelined, financially ruined dying thousands -- while the AIDS epidemic affected a real community of mutual support, the heroin epidemic specifically strikes down people whose communities are already gone. (more…)

Phillipines' new "dictator" will give a hero's burial to Ferdinand Marcos

Boing Boing -

Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Phillipines: he ran on a promise to be a "dictator" and endorsed execution by vigilante death-squad as a way of combating crime; now he's announced that he will give a hero's burial to the embalmed corpse of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who committed mass-scale human rights abuses and embezzled $10B from the national treasury. (more…)

Beware of Fake USB Chargers that Wirelessly Record Everything You Type, FBI warns

The Hacker News -

Last year, a white hat hacker developed a cheap Arduino-based device that looked and functioned just like a generic USB mobile charger, but covertly logged, decrypted and reported back all keystrokes from Microsoft wireless keyboards. Dubbed KeySweeper, the device included a web-based tool for live keystroke monitoring and was capable of sending SMS alerts for typed keystrokes, usernames, or

US Marshals send wrong woman to jail, where she was strip searched and shackled

Boing Boing -

When a team of "vested up and gunned up" U.S. Marshals in Tennessee apprehended Tracy Hinson and began interrogating her about selling 10 Xanax tablets in 2012, she gave them answers that made it clear they had the wrong woman. The marshal in charge told Hinton he needed to make a call.

"After he went and made a call, he came back and told me that he had to do what the paper said he had to. He asked if I ever lived in Mt. Pleasant, and I said no," said Hinson. "They took me to the Dyer County Jail and I was fully processed there, and that included being shackled and strip searched. They said they were holding me until Lawrence County could come and pick me up that night."

From State Gazette:

Unfortunately for Hinson, officials from Lawrence County didn't arrive until late on Saturday, a full day after being arrested. During the time of being incarcerated, a frightened Hinson said she tried to think of how she was in the predicament, but she simply could come up with nothing.

...

Once Hinson arrived at the Lawrence County Jail, with a $5,000 bond, her husband Kenny was not far behind and was able to arrange for her to be bonded out of jail at 11:40 p.m. on Saturday night. The cost was $536 for the bail bondsman, something Hinson hopes at the very least to recoup, along with an apology from the law enforcement agency.

The U.S. Marshal's Office in Jackson issued the following statement: "The West Tennessee U.S. Marshals arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant out of Lawrence County. During transport, the U.S. Marshals discovered the arrest was made due to a clerical error made by the local agency (Lawrence County). The person was misidentified and all charges were dismissed."

Optography: retrieving a dead person's last sight from their retina

Boing Boing -

Could you recover a murder victim's last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit's dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images on the right come from rabbits who stared at two different windows. The left shows just nerves and blood vessels.) From Smithsonian:

The College of Optometrists in the U.K. reports that police photographed the eye of a murdered man in April 1877, "only partly aware of what optography involved," and that investigators on the trail of Jack the Ripper may have considered a proposal to use the technique.

Faith in optography was misplaced, however, as Kühne's experiments showed that only simple, high-contrast surroundings were able to produce interpretable optograms, Douglas J. Lanska writes in Progress in Brain Research. Furthermore, the retina needs to be removed very quickly from the recently deceased.

"How Forensic Scientists Once Tried to "See" a Dead Person's Last Sight"

Sanders donors flock to Tim Canova's campaign against DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Boing Boing -

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the establishment candidate's establishment candidate: she co-sponsored SOPA, blocked reform of loan-sharking payday lenders, voted against marijuana law reform, called for the prosecution of SOPA, and chaired Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign. She's served six terms in office and never had to face a primary challenger, until now. (more…)

Real time face capture lets you control famous faces

Boing Boing -

Researchers at Stanford have developed face-capture technology that can alter pre-recorded videos in real-time on low cost computers. In other words, you can make George W Bush or Donald Trump appear intelligent.

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target. The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination. We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

Google Trust API plans to replace your Passwords with Trust Score

The Hacker News -

The importance of increasing online security around personal information has risen due to the increase in cyber attacks and data breaches over recent years. I find it hilarious people are still choosing terrible passwords to protect their online accounts. The massive LinkedIn hack is the latest in the example that proves people are absolutely awful at picking passwords. The data breach

Plagiarism detection app vs Russia's elites: 1-2 fake PhDs discovered every day

Boing Boing -

Dissernet, a leaderless collective of Russian scientists and journalists scrapes the doctoral dissertations of Russian elites -- who have been attaining advanced degrees at an unprecedented rate -- runs them through plagiarism detection software to flag probable frauds for human review, and publishes the names of officials who've been caught cheating, one or two every day. (more…)

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