- Columnist Dan Savage asks the entirely reasonable question, “Why are people horrified at Gawker for outing one cheating dude, yet gleeful over hackers outing 37 million of them?”
- After Hieu Minh Ngo was convicted of a massive series of identity thefts, a class-action suit has been instituted against credit bureau Experian, which is accused of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act, among a variety of other things. The plaintiffs want to force Experian to contact anyone who may have been affected by Ngo’s activities, to offer them a full year of free credit monitoring, to disgorge any profits Experian may have realized from Ngo’s scheme and to establish a fund to reimburse people affected by Ngo’s activities.
- AshleyMadison CEO Noel Biderman made an effort to pitch Robert Scoble on how incredibly serious they were about security. You’d think they might’ve considered encrypting their databases.
- A possible breach at PNI Digital Media, providers of a widely-used online photo management platform, has had the effect of causing CVS, Rite-Aid, CostCo and a number of others to shut down their photo-processing services.
- The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against putative identity-protection firm Lifelock, for lying about its services, a charge it has faced in the past. Additionally, the FTC has charged that LifeLock failed to implement a meaningful security program (STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE!), falsely claimed that it offered consumers protection comparable with that of major financial institutions with regard to their own data, and had failed to meet the record-keeping requirements of the company’s $12 million, 2010 settlement with the Commission and 35 states’ attorneys general.
- Singapore is testing water quality with GPS-equipped robot swans.
- In the latest death-rattle from Google’s “social ghost town”, Google+ photos is being quietly shut down.
- Would you get your cellphone service from a guy who begs for money four times a year, even when he doesn’t actually need it? If so, you’re in luck: Wikipedia founder Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales is starting up an MVNO.
- Interested in getting started using Linux? Look no further than Linux Mint, v17.2 is now out. I’ve been a very happy Mint user for several years now, myself.
- Do your Twitter profile and timeline pages look different to you somehow? Twitter yanked your ability to wallpaper those pages without bothering to mention it to you.
Drones, Drones, Drones
- In the first FAA-approved delivery-by-drone, a drone built by Australia’s Flirtey flew thirty-five miles in nine minutes through Wise County, Virginia to deliver medical supplies to a rural clinic.
- A Lufthansa passenger jet flying from Munich to Warsaw reportedly had a very close call with a drone about five klicks south of the airport in Poland. Someone’s gonna get hurt if you bozos don’t wise up.
- Speaking of REALLY BAD IDEAS, a video of a custom-built drone with a semiautomatic handgun attached went viral the other day; the Feds are looking into the matter. Apparently, flying artillery around breaks no laws in Connecticut. Why? Unclear.
Society & Culture
- If you talk with your co-workers about your salaries at Google — discovering all sorts of untoward things in the process, evidently — your manager will give you a hard time about it, in spite of the fact that doing so is completely illegal in California.
- Breitbart chucklehead and Donald Trump impersonator Milo Yiannopoulos doesn’t believe women should be involved in tech. No one’s got time for that kind of stupid, especially not Margaret Hamilton, who led software development for the moon landing and coined the term “software engineering”.
- Speaking of “Breitbart chuckleheads”, editor Ben Shapiro has filed assault charges against transgender reporter Zoey Tur after she put her hand on his neck and called him a “little man”. Why so serious, Ben? Feeling…inadequate…?
- A young iOS developer hurls herself to her death from a 20th-floor rooftop bar in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. Other patrons, attending a “corporate event”, are unperturbed and just keep on drinking.
- A study by researchers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Florida has found that the worse a guy is at games the more likely he is to make negative comments toward women gamers. U JELLY BRO?
- Remember how people used to “run away to the Big City” to make their fortune? Got a median income? Here are all the big cities you can’t afford to live in, and when they became unaffordable. San Francisco crossed that line in 1982.
- A 6-foot 4-inch 260 pound South Carolina construction worker has been arrested for slapping a waitress (on whom he had 120 pounds and 13 inches) when she took issue with his racially harassing a black family while they were trying to have dinner. Reportedly, he was under the impression that the family “didn’t mind” being abused.
- Been bitten by a rattlesnake? Expect an enormous hospital bill. ObamaCare has improved things, but the American health care system is very broken.
Other Stuff (and #CannibalismInTheNews!)
Relatedly, Dan Simmons’ book The Terror is a terrific fantasy novelization of the privations and demise of John Franklin and his two ships full of hapless, doomed explorers.
Missed yesterday’s Festival of Links? Check it out here.