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California Mayors Demand Surveillance Cams On Crime-Ridden Highways

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An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: The 28 shootings along a 10-mile stretch of San Francisco-area highway over the past six months have led mayors of the adjacent cities to declare that these "murderous activities" have reached "crisis proportions." Four people have been killed and dozens injured. These five mayors want California Gov. Jerry Brown to fund surveillance cameras along all the on and off ramps of Interstate 80 and Highway 4 along the cities of El Cerrito, Hercules, Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole.

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Echosim.io: try Amazon Echo in a browser

Boing Boing -

Amazon has released Echosim.io, a browser based emulator of its Alexa Voice Service flagship unit, Echo.

I've been playing with various voice service apps, trying to decide if they are at all approaching usefulness, and Amazon's seems the most able to do things. I am entertained by the idea of having something around the kitchen to reorder frequently re-ordered things, and play some music or podcasts. While this simulator isn't an always on option, and requires you press and hold a 'button' to make it work, it does show you good, or bad, Alexa is at answering your requests!

It'll be nice when these voice assistants are more integrated.

Echosim.io

Mark Zuckerberg Is Dictator Of Facebook Nation; There's No Democracy Online: The Pirate Bay Founder

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Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is the "dictator" of "the biggest nation in the world," says Peter Sunde, co-founder of the controversial website The Pirate Bay. Sunde, who appeared at The Next Web conference on Friday, added that there is "no democracy" online. From a CNBC report: "People in the tech industry have a lot of responsibilities but they never really discuss these things... Facebook is the biggest nation in the world and we have a dictator, if you look at it from a democracy standpoint, Mark Zuckerberg is a dictator. I did not elect him. He sets the rules," Sunde said. "And really you can't opt out of Facebook. I'm not on Facebook but there are a lot of drawbacks in my offline world. No party invitations, no updates from my friends, people stop talking to you, because you're not on Facebook. So it has real life implications."

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Recursive video gaming: Destiny in Minecraft

Boing Boing -

A minecrafter, infered5, has decided to recreate all of Bungie's Destiny, inside of Minecraft. It is pretty amazing!

Kotaku shares the story:

Some Minecraft players like to build houses, or castles, or mazes full of monsters. Others prefer to recreate the entirety of Destiny.

Player infered5's pet project is to remake all of Bungie’s space dress-up sim in the blocky world of Minecraft, and he’s done a pretty good job so far. Check out this footage for a quick tour through Minecraft’s version of the Tower and even some of the Cosmodrome:

“We have the Cosmodrome built from the Steppes to the Divide, through the breach and through the Devils Lair, nothing Mothyards and beyond is made,” infered5 told me. “The Moon was made with worldpainter as a proof of concept, but has no underground areas. Very bland. The Cosmodrome was built by hand and has much more detail. The Tower and Reef are built in their entireties.”

7 pack of cheap micro-usb cables, because I keep losing them

Boing Boing -

So many of my devices want micro-USB to charge, and somehow the cables keep disappearing. This pack of 7, at $1.85 per cable, should keep me going for a while.

I am not sure if the dogs are chewing them, the housekeepers are stealing them, or my daughter and her friends are weaving a complex web of micro-USB cables in the basement, but earlier this week I found, once again, that I was completely unable to charge my motorcycle helmet's headset, any of my portable batteries, or my kindle. MY KINDLE!!!!!!

This pack of 7 cables comes in assorted sizes, from 1 foot to 6 feet reach, and should last me a few months, at the very least.

Micro USB Cable, COCOCAT [7-Pack]Premium Micro Charging Cable High Speed USB 2.0 A Male to Micro B 2.0 A Male to Micro B Sync and Charging Cables via Amazon

Controversial Surveillance Firm Blue Coat Was Granted a Powerful Encryption Certificate

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Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard (edited for clarity): A controversial surveillance company called Blue Coat Systems -- whose products have been detected in Iran and Sudan -- was recently issued a powerful encryption certificate by Symantec. The certificate, and the authority that comes with it, could allow Blue Coat Systems to more easily snoop on encrypted traffic. But Symantec downplayed concern from the security community. Blue Coat, which sells web-monitoring software, was granted the power in September last year, but it was only widely noticed this week. The company's devices are used by both government and commercial customers for keeping tabs on networks or conducting surveillance. In Syria, the technology has been used to censor web sites and monitor the communications of dissidents, activists and journalists.Blue Coat assures that it is not going to utilize the certificates to snoop on us. The Register reports: We asked Blue Coat how it planned to use its new powers -- and we were assured that its intermediate certificate was only used for internal testing and that the certificate is no longer in use. "Symantec has reviewed the intermediate CA issued to Blue Coat and determined it was used appropriately," the two firms said in a statement. "Consistent with their protocols, Symantec maintained full control of the private key and Blue Coat never had access to it. Blue Coat has confirmed it was used for internal testing and has since been discontinued. Therefore, rumors of misuse are unfounded."

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The NSA's Delightfully D&D-inspired Guide To the Internet

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"The NSA has a well-earned reputation for being one of the tougher agencies to get records out of, making those rare FOIA wins all the sweeter..." according to Muckrock.com, and "the fact that the records in question just so happen to be absolutely insane are just icing on the cake...." v3rgEz writes: In 2007, two NSA employees put together "Untangling the Web," the agency's official guide to scouring the World Wide Web. The 651-page guide cites Borges, Freud, and Ovid -- and that's just in the preface. MuckRock obtained a copy of the guide under an NSA Freedom of Information request, and has a write up of all the guide's amazing best parts. They're calling it "the weirdest thing you'll read today".

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