Monday, September 1, 275760

Random Disclaimer: This is a blog.

9/23/14 EDIT: For in-depth video game information for various obscure RPGs, check out my gaming blog at

5/29/12 EDIT: I've just created a new blog exclusively for ponies and pony-related news, WITHOUT the stressful news articles on this blog.  It's no Equestria Daily, nor will it ever be, but it's still a pony blog. Feel free to check it out if you please...

This blog contains some controversial posts concerning certain political issues and depressing news stories. If you find some of the content on my blog too controversial for your liking, or you're simply interested in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, go to That is my DailyMotion channel, which is filled with (almost) every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic so far. If a new episode of MLP:FiM comes on, expect to see it on there within a few hours, unless I lose Internet access or my computer dies out on me, which tends to happen on occasion. It might help to take the edge off from hearing or seeing too much stressful stuff (i.e. some of the posts on my blog), and you may walk away with the realization that not ALL things pertaining to My Little Pony suck. In fact, in the case of FiM, it's AWESOME.

BTW, since DailyMotion absolutely ADORES putting ads all over the place, often ruining perfectly good videos by placing ads at the beginning, end, and occasionally, even the MIDDLE of many videos, please consider installing Adblock Plus for maximum pony enjoyment. DailyMotion can be a great deal better and more enjoyable than YouTube, but only if you use Adblock to get around the horribly annoying ads.

If you're interested in MLP:FiM, but you don't want to go to DailyMotion, either because of the annoying random ads or because the videos play slower there than on other sites, there are dozens, if not hundreds of channels on YouTube that have the entire first and second seasons uploaded to their channels, and they're all ad-free, too. I was planning on creating another YouTube channel to upload pony videos to, but it wouldn't allow me to upload videos past 15 minutes unless I gave a mobile phone number, and I don't have a mobile phone, and I'm NOT breaking these videos into parts.

If you're into ponies, but don't particularly feel like watching a pony episode at this point in time for some reason, or don't have the time to, there are still plenty of adorable pony pictures you can look at... I'll post a few links to pony image dumps immediately below.

Pony image dumps:
If ponies aren't your thing, I understand. At any rate, I cannot stress enough that there are PLENTY of depressing pieces of news and controversial opinions about certain subjects on here. But if you can get past this disclaimer, you might find that this blog is fairly interesting and informative. I do my best to post interesting articles from various news sources, many of which provide a glimpse into the harsh realities of the world. Some of them may be easily accessed by searching your favorite news site or clicking on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, etc, whereas some other news stories are less known for various reasons.

BTW, I've noticed a few people have been searching for "Rainbow Dash Attack", basically a ponified version of the popular Adult Swim Flash game "Robot Unicorn Attack". If you want to play "Rainbow Dash Attack", follow the link below.

If you just want to play the original version, Robot Unicorn Attack, feel free to follow this link...

Sunday, August 31, 275760

Comprehensive list of 400+ Pastebin alternatives

NOTE: I'm not sure how many of these still work.
Paste Mirrors
001 (DEFUNCT, redirects to some sketchy-looking sites)
008 (Requires sign-in)
017 (DEFUNCT, redirects to some sketchy looking sites that may contain malware)
039 [404]
045 (DEFUNCT, site bought and changed to a blog of some sort)
048 [404]
057 (No pastes, DEFUNCT)
066 [404]
070 [404]
076 [404]
083 [404]
085 [404]
087 [404]
088 (DEFUNCT?)
089 [404]
100 [404'd]
120 [404'd]
142 [404]
148 (DEFUNCT) 
173 [404]
211 [404]
212 [404]
213 [404]
218 [404]
226 [404]
229 [404]
241 [404]
259 [404]
262 [404]
265 [404]
269 [404]
325 [404'd]
328 [404'd]
336 [404'd]
337 [404'd]
339 [404'd]
366 [defunct]
391 [defunct]
404 [defunct]

Saturday, December 31, 275555

A veritable encyclopedia of important links, including search engines, Pastebins, proxies, alternative news sources, etc.

Alternative Search Engines
009  (google)
011  (file search)
012  (library search engine)
019  (file search)
020 (free books)
021  (file search)
022 (file search)
025 (hide my ass)

Friday, January 3, 275000

A Comprehensive List of Suicide Crisis Hotlines across America

If you are feeling suicidal for any reason, please don't throw your life away. Instead, talk with someone you're close to or contact your local suicide hotline. Here is a comprehensive list of all the suicide hotlines across all 50 states.

 Information taken from . If you need more detailed information on the subject of suicide and how to deal with it, please go to the URL and check out any of the links on the left side of it. If you or a loved one or friend is expressing suicidal ideations or behavior, contact the hotline on the list that is nearest to you immediately. 

To find a particular suicide hotline or hotlines in your area, press Ctrl+F, and either type in your state of residence or the name of said hotline.

Thursday, November 30, 200000

List of Shelters for Domestic Abuse Victims

This list is designed to help victims of abuse escape their abusers and start building toward a better future for themselves. A very important part of this is leaving the abusers. In many situations it is extremely difficult to just up and leave these situations for a multitude of reasons. But there are safe places you can go. Provided in this document is a list of Shelters in ALL US states. You don't have to be a victim any longer. You have a voice and you deserve to use it. You deserve better. (For quick reference to your state hit Ctrl+F and simply type in your state)

Thursday, March 6, 2025

CISA 2.0 (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act) Frequently Asked Questions

What is CISA?

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. love their acronyms. “CISA” is the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).

CISA is a bad bill. It would risk user privacy by encouraging companies to transfer private information. It also creates new risks by enabling the use of countermeasures or “hack backs,” which endanger the integrity of the internet and further risk exposure of private information. Yet, the bill seems to be a high priority for some members of Congress and we may see a floor vote within the next few months.

What does CISA do?

CISA’s primary mechanism is to facilitate the transfer of “cyber threat indicators,” which are defined broadly enough to include private information such as email content or personal identities.1 CISA even protects companies that transfer “cyber threat indicators” that other privacy laws would have protected.2 It also ensures that companies that pass on information will be protected against court action — liability limits that disincentivize companies from adequately protecting user privacy.
In addition, the bill does little to allow users to enforce their rights even when companies violate the few privacy protections found in the bill. Knowing when rights have been violated would pose its own challenge. CISA’s transparency provisions wouldn’t allow us to know the full impact on users (in fact, it exempts this information from disclosure under federal open government laws).

How can we stop CISA?

First off, you sign our petition.

Then, you can call or write your senators, particularly Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein, to express your concerns. You can also reach out to your local representative to let them know cybersecurity legislation should protect your rights.

Do they really need my personal information?

No, they don’t. Security experts have made clear that personal information need not be shared in order for us to maintain our cybersecurity. Alex Stamos, the Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo! recently said that while information sharing is easy to discuss, it doesn’t fall into the top ten most effective things the government can do to protect users. Even if companies attempt to go beyond CISA’s requirements and remove private information, advanced analytics might still be used on the “cyber threat indicators” to gain access to identities.

What would companies be able to do with personal information after it is collected?

The bill does little to ensure companies would strip private information before passing “cyber threat indicators" to other companies and the government. CISA requires companies to review “cyber threat indicators” and remove what is known to be private at the time of transfer, however a company would not have to remove information it suspects to be private — or which may be used in conjunction with other information that can identify a user.3

But won’t CISA make the internet more secure?

CISA may actually make the internet less secure.

The bill contains a provision enabling the deployment of countermeasures, also referred to as “hack backs,” which enable a company to take action in response to threats to their network.4 While the bill enables countermeasures to protect the rights of a network owner, owners are only prohibited from intentionally destroying other systems. If they perceive that they are acting based on their rights, and they end up causing damage to other systems, they may not be liable. For instance, a malicious hacker may use a botnet, causing companies to use countermeasures that affect innocent users with no knowledge or intent to participate.

Will the National Security Agency (NSA) be involved?
CISA requires the direct transfer of “cyber threat indicators” to every appropriate agency, including the NSA. That would give the NSA immediate access to massive new datasets, even as Congress has so far failed to pass reforms in the wake of revelations about NSA surveillance.5

Is CISA already a law? Who’s behind it?

No. A draft of the bill was recently circulated to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by Chairman Burr. As of March 4, 2015, the bill has not yet been formally introduced. Vice Chairman Feinstein introduced a version of the bill last year, though it never made it to a vote by the full Senate. While this is the second iteration of CISA, there have been a number of information sharing bills floated around Congress, in this and previous sessions.

How does President Obama feel about the bill?

While President Obama twice threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a similar bill from the House of Representatives, he never made the same threat against CISA, probably because it never made it to a Senate vote. The president did recently introduce his own legislative proposal, which, while not good, is not as bad as CISA.

But now that Sony and Anthem have been victims of high-profile hacks, and President Obama has hosted his own cybersecurity summit, there’s a lot of pressure on him to sign effective cybersecurity legislation. That legislation should not be CISA. President Obama should stand by his past opposition to CISPA and reject the similarly awful CISA.

Here is a letter from Access and a number of other privacy groups urging President Obama to pledge to veto the previous version of CISA.

How do other experts feel about the bill?

Access recently co-signed a joint letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee urging a rejection of the bill. It was signed by dozens of leading digital rights groups, academics, and technologists. You can read the letter here.

What are the alternatives to information sharing legislation?

The government should pass legislation that promotes proper digital hygiene, such as the use two-factor authentication and indicators of phishing attacks, and encourages companies to do the same. It could encourage the integration of digital security into education curriculums, so that students know how to protect themselves and learn about career opportunities. The government could also implement a federal bug bounty program to encourage individuals to find and report bugs.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Child porn sting nabs elementary teacher, Disney employees

An undercover child pornography bust has led to the arrests of eight men, three of whom stand out. 
One man was a housekeeper at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, another was a cook on Disney’s BoardWalk and a third was a school teacher.

Two of the men worked at locations around Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Angel Rivera-Maldonado, 44, worked in housekeeping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge while Kevin Nazzaro, 52, was a cook at Big River Grille and Brewing Works on Disney’s BoardWalk.

Disney has yet to comment on the status of these men’s employment, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Polk County sheriff’s deputies also caught a man whose alleged crimes and occupation were in even more direct conflict. Juan Berrios, 64, faces 35 counts of possession of child pornography and is a first-grade teacher.

Detectives received tips that the Palmetto Elementary School teacher was uploading child pornography depicting children between the ages of three and six. However, after detectives seized his home computers, they discovered pornography with children less than a year old, WFLA reported.

The Polk County School Board has suspended Berrios without pay.

In a statement emailed to WFTS, Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd said, “We are taking swift action and cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation… I will recommend that his employment be terminated at the July 26th meeting of the Polk County School Board.

Police Step Up Arrests For 'Threatening' Social Media Posts In The Wake Of The Dallas Shooting

In a move that's sure to only increase the nation's respect for law enforcement, police departments have been arresting people for "threatening" social media posts. This activity follows the tragedy in Dallas, where five police officers were killed by a man armed with a rifle. Naomi LaChance of The Intercept has more details.
Four men in Detroit were arrested over the past week for posts on social media that the police chief called threatening. One tweet that led to an arrest said that Micah Johnson, the man who shot police officers in Dallas last week, was a hero. None of the men have been named, nor have they been charged.
Four more arrests have occurred elsewhere:
Last weekend in Connecticut, police arrested Kurt Vanzuuk after a tip for posts on Facebook that identified Johnson as a hero and called for police to be killed. He was charged with inciting injury to persons or property.
An Illinois woman, Jenesis Reynolds, was arrested for writing in a Facebook post that she would shoot an officer who would pull her over. “I have no problem shooting a cop for simple traffic stop cuz they’d have no problem doing it to me,” she wrote, according to the police investigation. She was charged with disorderly conduct.
In New Jersey, Rolando Medina was arrested and charged with cyber harassment. He allegedly posted on an unidentified form of social media that he would destroy local police headquarters. In Louisiana, Kemonte Gilmore was arrested for an online video where he allegedly threatened a police officer. He was charged with public intimidation.
Arresting people for speech is problematic, especially when the content of the communications doesn't rise to the level of a "true threat." The Supreme Court's Elonis decision says this distinction is important. It's not enough for a person or persons to subjectively view the communication as threatening. It needs to be viewed through the "reasonable person" lens.

In these cases, perception appears to be everything. In the wake of the Dallas shooting, it's entirely normal for police officers to view the world a little differently. But this altered view -- one that's likely to be less skewed as time goes on -- can't be allowed to override the First Amendment and deprive individuals of their freedom to speak, not to mention their actual freedom.

And just as certainly as law enforcement officers and officials are likely to view certain acts of blowhardiness as threatening in the immediate aftermath of a shooting targeting police officers, certain citizens are likely to vent their frustration and anger in particularly stupid ways, but without the intention or ability to carry out the perceived threat. Caution should be exercised on both sides of the interaction. However, those with the power to arrest, detain, and charge citizens for stupidity should be the more cautious of the two parties -- simply because they still hold the power, despite recent events.

Those in power should also take care to carry this out with some sort of consistency, if that's the route they're choosing to take. It can't just be deployed against a bunch of nobodies who mouthed off about their contempt for law enforcement. If this is how it's going to be handled, those who speak with the same rhetoric in defense of law enforcement need to be held accountable. Former congressional rep Joe Walsh tweeted out that this was now "war on Obama" after the Dallas shootings and yet no one showed up at his door to arrest him for threatening the President. It's bad enough that power is being misused to silence criticism of law enforcement violence. It's even worse when this power is deployed in a hypocritical fashion.

Good Samaritans Thwart Alleged Sexual Assault in New London, Connecticut

New London — Police on Wednesday arrested a city man for allegedly grabbing a woman on the street and dragging her behind a stairwell at a downtown parking garage while trying to pull down her pants.

When the woman screamed for help, several witnesses jumped in to pull the man off her and one man held him down until police arrived, according to a police report obtained by The Day.

Police arrested 36-year-old Germaine N. Carter of 54 Mountain Ave. in connection with the attack.
He appeared in New London Superior Court on Thursday to face charges of attempted first-degree sexual assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, third-degree assault and breach of peace.

He remained held on a court-ordered $125,000 bond.

Carter has numerous previous local convictions that include burglary, larceny, trespassing and violation of a protective order.

Police were called to the area of Union Street at Masonic Street about 7 a.m. for a report of a man assaulting a female.

Police arrived to find an unidentified 38-year-old man holding Carter down and telling him not to move.

The 26-year-old female was visibly shaken with dirt on her chest, neck and arms but declined medical treatment, eventually leaving the scene and telling police “she just wanted to go on with her day,” according to the police report.

In her statement to police, the woman said she arrived at 7 a.m. to Engaging Heaven Church at 66 Union St. for breakfast.

She was standing outside near the stairs of the parking garage opposite the post office smoking when she claims Carter, without warning, started swinging his fists like he was going to punch her, according to the police report.

She said she had seen Carter before but did not really know him.

The woman said Carter took one of her hands and placed it near his crotch before grabbing both her arms and dragging her behind the stairs to the wall of the parking garage, according to the report.

She said Carter then grabbed her by the throat with one hand while attempting to pull down her sweatpants with the other.

She was screaming for help when witnesses intervened, pulling Carter off her.

One unidentified witness told police he was waiting in line for breakfast when he heard a woman scream “help me” from the parking garage. He said he also heard someone else yelling for people to come and help. He ran toward the parking garage.

The witness told police Carter was attempting to run when he got there and he “swept Carter’s leg with his foot and tripped him,” according to police. Carter fell and the witness held him down.

A second witness said he was with Carter and another man waiting for the church to open for breakfast when at one point he saw Carter making a jerking motion near his crotch and pointing toward the woman.

That witness said Carter grabbed the woman and had pinned her against a cement post and a railing while he tried to punch and push away those who were trying to help her.

The incident was captured on a surveillance camera at the parking garage, which was taken as evidence.

Carter is due to appear again in court Aug. 4.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Marine Veterans Playing 'Pokemon Go' Help Catch Attempted Murder Suspect

Two Marine Corps veterans playing "Pokemon Go" in Fullerton, California, helped nab a man wanted for attempted murder and other crimes, police said.

Friends Seth Ortega and Javier Soch were playing the wildly popular mobile app game in a park near Wilshire and Pomona avenues Tuesday morning when they noticed a man acting suspiciously toward a woman and her three children, they said.

"It was just out of place, just didn't seem like he fit in with the group with the mom and her kids," Soch said.

Ortega and Soch said they watched as the suspect walked away and approached another mother with her two children.
When he started touching the young boy on the playground, Ortega and bystander Keith Sanders decided to act.

"At this point I'm already running across the street," Ortega said. "I jump over a park bench, Keith is coming from the parking structure next to the park. We're yelling at the suspect to get away."

They kept an eye on the man until officers arrived and arrested him on suspicion of child annoyance. He was identified by the Fullerton Police Department as 39-year-old Jacob Kells.

Fullerton police discovered the Kells was wanted for multiple offenses, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held at the Orange County Jail awaiting transfer to Monterey County.

No one was hurt. It wasn't immediately clear if Kells had an attorney.

Pokemon Go Hysteria Again Highlights How Media Is Happy To Be Gullible And Wrong -- If It Means More Ad Eyeballs

If you spend any time online, you've by now noticed that the internet this week belched forth a tidal wave of incessant chatter over Pokemon Go, Nintendo's new augmented reality game involving scrambling around real-world locations to "catch" collectible, virtual beasts with your phone. The game is by any standard a smashing success, boosting Nintendo's market cap by an estimated $9 billion in two days with the app rocketing to the top of both major app stores. The phenomenon is, frankly, pretty amazing.

As with any massive phenomenon involving tech many people don't really understand (augmented reality in this case), the news wires immediately lit up with all manner of hysteria over the game's impact on the real world, with much of this impact wholly imagined as sites rushed to pursue search trends and ad eyeballs. The media being, well, the media, one hoax website was able to get countless news outlets to parrot all manner of fake stories about Pokemon Go, from claims that brothers were killing brothers to reports that major traffic accidents were being caused by players running out into the middle of traffic to collect creatures that technically don't exist.

An ouroboros of phantoms chasing phantoms.

The media also stumbled all over itself to pounce on claims that the Pokemon Go app was a privacy nightmare, busily reading your e-mail and digging through an ocean of personal data that would any second now be in the hands of nefarious hackers. Most of these reports had to be subsequently walked back with updates after analysts actually bothered to study the app and reporters started (gasp) actually asking questions about just what the app was really doing:
"But in a call with Gizmodo, Reeve backtracked his claims, saying he wasn’t “100 percent sure” his blog post was true. On the call, Reeve also admitted that he had never built an application that uses Google account permissions, and had never tested the claims he makes in the post.

Cybersecurity expert and CEO of Trail of Bits Dan Guido has also cast serious doubt on Reeve’s claim, saying Google tech support told him “full account access” does not mean a third party can read or send or send email, access your files or anything else Reeve claimed. It means Niantic can only read biographical information like email address and phone number."
While the app did appear to be asking for broader Google account permissions than was necessary (on iOS and less frequently on Android), both Google and app-maker Niantic issued a statement noting this was a bug they're busy fixing and that no personal information had actually been accessed:
"We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account. However, Pokémon Go only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your user ID and e-mail address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected. Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google account information, in line with the data we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon Go or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon Go's permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon Go needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves."
And while a bug that gives broader permissions than necessary is bad, it was far from the "hacker's dream" and "privacy trainwreck" portrayed by dozens upon dozens of different outlets. Meanwhile, most of the data being collected is a fraction of the data being hoovered up and sold daily by your wireless carrier, something routinely forgotten by those laboring under the illusion that privacy in the cellular era still actually exists.

None of this is to say that many of the stories bubbling up amidst the Pokemon Go chaos aren't incredibly interesting. Watching police having to remind players that the laws of the state (and of reality) still apply while playing the game has proven pretty fascinating. Interesting too are conversations about whether African Americans and Muslim Americans will have a decidedly different and potentially unpleasant experience playing the game in the land of shoot first, think later law enforcement. But the most interesting story remains the meta narrative of a press so focused on profitability and being first that it couldn't give a flying Aerodactyl about actually being right.

Man Who Doxxed Dozens Of People, Engaged In Nineteen 'Swattings', Nets Only One Year In Prison

The treatment of all things "cyber" by the government is incredibly inconsistent. Give someone a password so they can deface a website for 40 minutes and it's two years in jail. Doxx, SWAT, and cyberstalk multiple people and the best the court can do is two years minus time served. The end result is one year in prison for Mir Islam, who doxxed multiple celebrities and politicians, as well as called in fake threats that resulted in the swatting of at least nineteen people, including security researcher Brian Krebs, who uncovered Islam's doxxing tactics.

Krebs' investigation of Islam and his abuse of free credit report services to obtain personal information on a variety of public figures led to the following:
Peeved that I’d outed his methods for doxing public officials, Islam helped orchestrate my swatting the very next day. Within the span of 45 minutes, came under a sustained denial-of-service attack which briefly knocked my site offline.
At the same time, my hosting provider received a phony letter from the FBI stating my site was hosting illegal content and needed to be taken offline. And, then there was the swatting which occurred minutes after that phony communique was sent.
Nearly a dozen heavily-armed officers responded to the call, forcing me out of my home at gunpoint and putting me in handcuffs before the officer in charge realized it was all a hoax.
The response to the hoax call on Krebs' residence was, by comparison, minimal. Islam also called in a fake active shooter report at the University of Arizona campus. This was apparently in retaliation to a cheerleader's failure to realize Islam's cyberstalking was just another way of saying "I love you."
A woman representing an anonymous “Victim #3” of Islam’s was appearing in lieu of a cheerleader at the University of Arizona that Islam admitted to cyberstalking for several months. When the victim stopped responding to Islam’s overtures, he phoned in an active shooter threat to the local police there that a crazed gunman was on the loose at the University of Arizona campus.
According to Robert Sommerfeld, police commander for the University of Arizona, that 2013 swatting incident involved 54 responding officers, all of whom were prevented from responding to a real emergency as they moved from building to building and room to room at the university, searching for a fictitious assailant. Sommerfeld estimates that Islam’s stunt cost local responders almost $40,000, and virtually brought the business district surrounding the university to a standstill for the better part of the day.
Worse, some of Islam's swatting efforts and cyberstalking occurred while he was "cooperating" with federal prosecutors following his arrest for attempting to sell stolen credit cards to undercover agents.
Federal prosecutors wanted to see Islam jailed for nearly four years -- towards the upper reaches of the mandatory sentencing guidelines. Instead, the judge handed down a sentence of two years. Islam has been in federal custody since July 2015 and that time is being credited towards his sentence, meaning it will only be another year at the most before Islam is free again.

The credit for time served makes sense and the departure from the upper limits of the guidelines is something I would be extremely hesitant to suggest is a bad thing. Prosecutors wanted a much longer sentence, and the allegations here would seem to justify a lengthier imprisonment for Islam.

The problem with the government's fear of anything cyber-related is that the default mode for prosecutors is almost always the upper reaches of the sentencing guidelines, even when the severity of the criminal activity doesn't appear to warrant this sort of punitive sentencing. The government sought a longer sentence for Matthew Keys' minimal participation in a 40-minute headline alteration at a news website. Someone who endangered lives of dozens of people by sending heavily-armed law enforcement officers after them -- in addition to doxxing a large number of public figures and participating in multiple cyberstalkings -- was apparently only deemed dangerous enough to warrant a 46-month sentence, as compared to the 60 months sought in the Keys case.

Then there's this:
Judge Moss, in explaining his brief deliberation on arriving at Islam’s two-year (attenuated) sentence, said he hoped to send a message to others who would endeavor to engage in swatting attacks.
Swatting has the potential to kill people, something clearly not reflected by the "severity" of this sentence.

As Brian Krebs points out, it does send a message, although certainly not the one the judge intended. It says you can endanger the lives of others without seriously affecting your own freedom. It also sends the message that the government -- as a whole -- will remain incoherent and inconsistent in its handling of cybercrime.

Comcast Expands Usage Caps, Still Pretending This Is A Neccessary Trial Where Consumer Opinion Matters

As we've noted for some time, Comcast continues to expand the company's usage cap "trial" into more and more markets. As a clever, lumbering monopoly, Comcast executives believe if they move slowly enough -- consumers won't realize they're the frog in the boiling pot metaphor. But as we've noted time and time again, Comcast usage caps are utterly indefensible price hikes on uncompetitive markets, with the potential for anti-competitive abuse (since Comcast's exempting its own services from the cap).

This is all dressed up as a "trial" where consumer feedback matters to prop up the flimsy narrative that Comcast is just conducting "creative price experimentation."

Last week, Comcast quietly notified customers that the company's caps are expanding once again, this time into Chicago and other parts of Illinois, as well as portions of Indiana and Michigan. Comcast recently raised its cap from 300 GB to one terabyte in response to signals from the FCC that the agency might finally wake up to the problems usage caps create. And while that's certainly an improvement, it doesn't change the fact that usage caps on fixed-line networks are little more than an assault on captive, uncompetitive markets.

To sell customers on the exciting idea of paying more money for the exact same (or less) service, a notice sent to Comcast users last week informs them they're lucky to now be included in the "terabyte internet experience," as if this is some kind of glorious reward being doled out to only the company's most valued customers. The company also tries to shine up its decision to start charging users $50 more per month if they want to avoid the cap as an act of altruistic convenience, and tries to make the caps seem generous by measuring them in terms of gaming hours and photos:
"We know customers want a carefree online experience that doesn't require them to think about their data usage plan, and we offer a plan that does just that...What can you do with a terabyte? Stream about 700 hours of HD video, play more than 12,000 hours of online games, or download 600,000 high-res photos in a month."
How generous. You can also check your email account 8 billion times under our totally unnecessary restrictions. As we've long noted, caps are solely about protecting legacy TV revenues from Internet video, while creating new ways (zero rating) to distort the level playing field. And as AT&T and Verizon give up on unwanted DSL customers and cable's broadband monopoly grows in many areas, this incredible "experience" will be headed in your direction sooner than you probably realize.

Pokemon Go Takes State of Connecticut By Storm, Players Flock To Public Landmarks

WEST HARTFORD – Add catching Pokemon to the list of errands Kyle Goguen now takes care of during his lunch break.

The 24-year-old from Manchester was one of many playing Pokemon Go, the new mobile game that has taken the country by storm, in Blue Back Square Tuesday afternoon. Players collect and train the fictional monsters, which are displayed in real-life settings through use of the phone's camera and augmented reality technology.

"It's absolutely insane," Goguen said of the game's popularity. He said there were 20 to 30 people gathered outside the library on Main Street in Manchester Monday night, all trying to capture the same rare Pokemon. "People were riding up on bikes, coming up on scooters. I think it's great for the community. I'm talking to people I've never talked to in my life."

The game works like this: Players open the app on their smart device and see a map with outlines of the real-life locations of streets, buildings, parks and bodies of water. GPS technology tracks a player's real-life movement and moves the player's avatar on the 3-D map.

As the player walks, different Pokemon can be found in random locations. When near a Pokemon, the mobile device will vibrate and the character pops up. The player then has to "throw" Pokeballs at the character in order to catch and collect them.
Players can go to different landmarks, highlighted on the map, which are considered Pokestops or gyms. The landmarks are typically businesses, civic buildings, pieces of art or parks. A Pokestop allows players to refill on supplies that can be used in the game to catch or enhance the characters and gyms are where one player can battle another using their collected Pokemon. Players choose one of three teams, and players from the three teams vie for control of the gyms through battles.

So capturing gyms, gathering supplies and broadening your collection of Pokemon requires visits to many real-life locations. Unlike most video games, where a player sits on the couch staring at a screen, it encourages them to get out and explore their communities.

"You can't just sit at home and do it," said Michael Majewski, a 14-year-old who was circling Blue Back Square with his friends, fueling up at Pokestops and battling for control of the Noah Webster statue there that has been designated a gym. "You get to have your own adventures and chase Pokemon with your friends."

That mix of new and old technology has been a boon for Nintendo Co., the Japanese videogame maker whose characters are featured in the smash success. Shares soared more than 25 percent on foreign markets and the company's market value shot up more than $7 billion.

Ken Bowen, an assistant professor of digital media and design at UConn, credited part of that success to the community that has quickly sprung up around the game.

"The really interesting thing about this is the augmented reality part but also just the exploration, and the kind of collaborative excitement there is about Pokemon," he said. "Pokemon is a collection game, but there's someone you want to show your collection to. There's a lot of meta discussion: Where are the best Pokemon? How do you catch them? Where do you go?"

The Connecticut section of the online forum reddit is full of discussions about Pokestops and gyms across the state. In Hartford, there are gyms near the riverfront, the Connecticut Science Center, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Hartford Stage. Manchester gyms include town hall, the Shoppes at Buckland Hills and Manchester Community College.

In New Britain, Mayor Erin Stewart helped put together maps showing where Pokestops and gyms are located.

"The Pokemon Go game has brought a multitude of residents — particularly our youth — out of their homes and into our parks, into our downtown and onto our sidewalks," she said in an email.

"Participants are passing along the routes of our historic walking tour loops, learning about city lore and landmarks, and visiting local businesses along the way. We decided to capitalize on this gaming fad and partnered with a resident (and Board of Education member, Nick Mercier) to develop maps for specific areas of the city where 'Pokemon' are located. It's brought a lot of positive attention to our city and more importantly it has invited residents to explore their community in a new way."

But the game has also led to a host of real-world injuries and some macabre discoveries. On at least one occasion, a player found a dead body while hunting for the creatures. Some players have become so consumed with the app they lose track of their surroundings and trip and fall or worse. And the nature of the game can also lead to loitering or groups gathering at all hours outside closed businesses or in otherwise empty public spaces.

"We're watching and understanding the national incidents," said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley. "We have not had anything as of yet, thankfully. We just ask everyone to be careful when they're using their apps and be aware of their surroundings."

AAA on Tuesday urged drivers not to try to capture Pokemon while behind the wheel.

"It is illegal in Connecticut to have your phone in your hand while behind the wheel — and for good reason" said Amy Parmenter, a spokeswoman for the group. "Pokemon Go is designed for walkers. If you're driving, don't play."

A key question for the viability of the game, which is free to download but offers in-app purchases for a small fee, is whether it will survive beyond the surge of interest and curiosity that has taken hold since it was launched last week.

"It's addicting," said Andrea Van Orsouw, a 24-year-old from Manchester who stopped to play for a bit after finishing her shift at Barnes and Noble "But I think there's a burnout factor. I could see myself getting tired of it within a week."

4 arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana burglary, plot to use stolen guns to kill cops

Antonio Thomas, 17, Trashone Coats, 23, and Malik Bridgewater, 20. © Baton Rouge Police Department

‘Spice’ drug mass overdose: 33 people hospitalized in NYC after smoking synthetic marijuana

On Tuesday night, 33 people in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood were hospitalized after consuming Spice, or synthetic marijuana. Witnesses describe the scene looking like something out of a zombie movie.

The synthetic marijuana drug known as Spice, or K2, was responsible for the overdose of 33 “barely conscious” people in Brooklyn on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported. Some were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Brooklyn local Patricia Cardozo told DNAinfo that the affected “couldn't keep going. They were urinating, vomiting.

Rafael Perez was working at a nearby barbershop and told DNAinfo, “I saw two people smoking for 
maybe 15 minutes. Then they fell to the floor.

While K2 and Spice are advertised as being an alternative to marijuana, the effects are significantly more severe. The city’s Health Department has warned that using the drug can lead to confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, vomiting, seizures, kidney failure and reduced blood supply to the heart.

It was a scene out of 'The Walking Dead.' People were stumbling all over the place,” Brian Arthur, another witness, told DNAinfo.

The drug was outlawed in October 2015 after the New York City council voted to fine stores selling the product anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000, with the possibility of shutting the business down and revoking its tobacco license.

However, it is believed that two small corner stores, or bodegas, were responsible for selling in the Bed-Stuy and Bushwick border. The Big Boy Deli and Dream Burner Tobacco Shop, both close to the Myrtle-Broadway train stop, both had a history for selling the K2, with one of them spraying leaves with chemicals and selling the product in store.

Dream Burner was shut down by police on Wednesday, the Daily News reported.

One of the issues with the drug is that its effects are incredibly inconsistent. The New York City Health Department wrote: “Since the chemicals found in K2 vary from packet to packet, and potency can differ even within one packet, the effects of K2 are unpredictable. People who use K2 may feel fine one time, and become extremely sick the next.

While the effects vary, they are rarely good.

It could be a bad batch, but show me a good batch,” a police source told the Daily News.

Allegedly, the people involved with the mass overdose were too out of it to be interviewed by the police.

Concern over the drug has spread to the top of New York’s chain of command, with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both expressing concern.

Cuomo compared the overdoses to the spread of heroin and crack cocaine in the late 1980s. One resident expressed similar sentiments in a video he took of the scene, saying, “I remember when dope used to be that way, dope used to have people like that.

Cuomo acknowledged the current drug crisis across New York State.

Between synthetic marijuana, between opioids and heroin we have a real crisis on our hands,” he said. “It is a law enforcement crisis, no doubt, but it's also an education crisis, a family crisis and it's a treatment crisis.”

Mayor de Blasio responded to the mass overdose by announcing a larger scale crackdown on the sale of synthetic marijuana.

You're going to be seeing very rigorous enforcement very quickly,” he told reporters, going on to say, “We're going to shut down any stores that are doing this.

He also highlighted the issues that are relatively unique to synthetic marijuana, a drug that some may assume is harmless or undergoes some type of quality control, due to the commercial sale of it.

All drugs should be approached with great suspicion,” the mayor told reporters, “but this one changes all the time, in some ways very, very dangerous ways. So I want to particularly urge parents talk to your young people.

If you're selling this drug we have the ability to shut your store down. We will literally take away your livelihood. So I hope that is a clear enough warning that, yes, help is on the way to any neighborhood afflicted,” de Blasio said.

The area where the incident took place sits right on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, where local residents complain that help is not coming fast enough.

Being this is an isolated block, they smoke their K2 here and we over here chase them out of here,” a local told New York 1, adding, “They sit on the side of the fence, they smoke their K2, they get their little seizures, they pass out.

A former nurse at a Brooklyn hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, told RT that K2 users brought to the emergency room would behave like “demons.” The nurse said that the users have a reputation for attacking caregivers, including one who was bit on the neck by a K2 overdose patient. The nurse described that scene as “a bloodbath.

Microsoft wins federal appeal over warrants for data held outside US
 Warrants issued by US authorities do not apply to electronic data, such as emails, held on servers outside the country, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, handing a big victory to Microsoft.

The Stored Communications Act “does not authorize courts to issue and enforce against U.S.‐based service providers warrants for the seizure of customer e‐mail content that is stored exclusively on foreign servers,” the three-judge panel of the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The “presumption against extraterritorial application of United States statutes is strong and binding,” the panel concluded.

A magistrate judge issued a warrant in 2014 for the emails of a Microsoft customer suspected in drug trafficking. The Redmond-based company provided all the information that was stored inside the US, but balked at touching the data it maintained on servers in Ireland.

The government argued that Microsoft had to “deliver records, physical objects, and other materials” no matter where they were located, so long as they were subject to the company’s custody and control, according to court documents.

Circuit judges Susan L. Carney and Gerard E. Lynch and District Judge Victor A. Bolden disagreed, ruling that Congress did not intend the warrant provisions of the law to apply outside the US.

The Stored Communications Act, passed in 1986, focused on “providing basic safeguards for the privacy of domestic users,” the judges argued, and employed the term “warrant” accordingly, without abandoning the instrument’s territorial limitations and constitutional requirements.

Interpreting “warrant” to require Microsoft or any other service provider to retrieve materials beyond US borders would “require us to disregard the presumption against extraterritoriality that the Supreme Court re‐stated and emphasized,” the judges wrote.

At the heart of the case was the free email account service, offered by Microsoft since 1997 and currently called While the name of the customer whose emails were subject to the federal warrant has been redacted for privacy reasons, court documents show the address ending in

The content of users’ emails, “along with a variety of non‐content information related to the account and to the account’s e‐mail traffic,” is stored on a network of servers around the world, Microsoft told the court. Locating such data centers in Ireland helps reduce network latency to users in Europe, the company explained.

Connecticut TV meteorologist charged with possessing child porn

  This photo provided by Connecticut State Police, shows Justin Goldstein. State police say Goldstein, of Hamden, Conn., was arrested Wednesday, July 13, 2016, charged with promoting a minor in an obscene performance and possession of child pornography. Police say they launched an investigation in June after video files of suspected child pornography were downloaded from the internet account belonging to Goldstein. (Connecticut State Police via AP)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A local TV meteorologist in Connecticut has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography.

State police say 33-year-old Justin Goldstein of WTNH-TV in New Haven was arrested Wednesday.

He's also charged with promoting a minor in an obscene performance.

Police say an investigation began last month after video files of suspected child porn were downloaded from Goldstein's internet account. Federal, state and local authorities say they found child porn on computers and other devices seized at Goldstein's home in Hamden.

The 33-year-old Goldstein is free on $200,000 bond pending a July 26 court date.

WTNH has suspended Goldstein over the charges. His biography no longer appears on the station's website, and his social media accounts have been shut down.
It's unclear whether Goldstein has a lawyer.