It’s ridiculously easy to get weapons past TSA’s x-ray body scanners. By Andy Greenberg at Wired.
“These machines were [originally] tested in secret, presumably without this kind of adversarial mindset, thinking about how an attacker would adapt to the techniques being used,” says Halderman, who along with the other researchers will present the research at the Usenix Security Conference Thursday. “They might stop a naive attacker. But someone who applied just a bit of cleverness to the problem would be able to bypass them. And if they had access to a machine to test their attacks, they could render their ability to detect contraband virtually useless.”
A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson. By Lyle Jeremy Rubin atThe Nation.
What we’re seeing here is a gaggle of cops wearing more elite killing gear than your average squad leader leading a foot patrol through the most hostile sands or hills of Afghanistan. They are equipped with Kevlar helmets, assault-friendly gas masks, combat gloves and knee pads (all four of them), woodland Marine Pattern utility trousers, tactical body armor vests, about 120 to 180 rounds for each shooter, semiautomatic pistols attached to their thighs, disposable handcuff restraints hanging from their vests, close-quarter-battle receivers for their M4 carbine rifles and Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights. In other words, they’re itching for a fight. A big one.
Ferguson visits a diner. By Matt Zoller Seitz. h/t Digg
The boy asked his mother, “So I should just put my hands in the air?”
“Yes,” his mother said. “Just put your hands in the air.”
“If I put my hands in the air, will the police not shoot?” he asked.
“Probably not, but you can’t be sure. Some people say you should just kneel or lie down, don’t ask questions, just get down on the ground.”
“If I lie down on the ground, they won’t shoot?”
“Probably,” she said.
Some of the best photos from the best photographer at Ferguson are here. Joe Coscarelli interviews Scott Olson, at New York Magazine.
“When I took that picture, I didn’t realize how heavily armed those police were. You don’t look at the details of it; you just shoot and move. When I was editing I said to myself, ‘Holy shit.’”
ISIS is so big and so nasty it’s making allies out of enemies. By George Packer at The New Yorker.
The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham controls … an area the size of Jordan. The self-proclaimed caliphate stretches from the newly conquered towns along the Syrian-Turkish border, through its de-facto capital of Raqqa, in northern Syria, across the obliterated Iraqi border into Mosul, Tikrit, and Falluja, down to the farming towns south of Baghdad—roughly a third of the territory of both countries. It is exploiting almost every oil and gas field in Syria; it has seized Iraq’s largest refinery, in Baiji, and its biggest dam, north of Mosul, which provides water and electricity for much of the country and could, if destroyed, submerge Baghdad. ISIS funds its operations by selling oil and electricity, emptying captured banks, and extorting money through kidnappings and “taxation.” Its highly skilled army fights with billions of dollars’ worth of stolen American- and Russian-made armored vehicles and heavy weapons. According to Janine Davidson, a former Pentagon official, “ISIS now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations.”
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