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December 2, 2014
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  • Top Level Telecommunications: The US Classification System
     
    Top level telecommunications often involve information that has to be kept secret. To ensure that, governments have systems to protect sensitive information by classifying it, which is best known from document markings like “Top Secret”. Here we’ll explain the classification system of the United States, which is far more complex than most people think, also because it’s one of the world’s biggest secrecy systems. In 2012 almost 5 million (!) people in the US had a clearance for access to classified information.* The deeper parts of this classification system are classified, but some new details and codewords have been revealed in documents from the recent Snowden-leaks.

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November 30, 2014
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  • Pride's Purge | an irreverent look at UK politics
     
    A private members’ bill which would have protected Britain’s 9 million tenants from revenge evictions by callous landlords was stopped by just two Tory MPs today – despite the fact their own party supposedly supported the bill. Christopher Chope – Tory MP for Christchurch – and Philip Davies – Tory MP for Shipley – both talked for over an hour during the debate in order to make sure the bill ran out of time

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November 28, 2014
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  • Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress
     
    A little more than half a century after [the ruling on the unconstitutionality of separate public schools for black and white students affirming African Americans’ rights as citizens], the election of Obama gave hope to the country and the world that a new racial climate had emerged in America, or that it would. But such audacious hopes would be short-lived. A rash of voter-suppression legislation, a series of unfathomable Supreme Court decisions, the rise of stand-your-ground laws and continuing police brutality make clear that Obama’s election and reelection have unleashed yet another wave of fear and anger.
  • Complex life may be possible in only 10% of all galaxies
     
    “The universe may be a lonelier place than previously thought. Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a pair of astrophysicists argues. Everywhere else, stellar explosions known as gamma ray bursts would regularly wipe out any life forms more elaborate than microbes. The detonations also kept the universe lifeless for billions of years after the big bang, the researchers say.” c/o warren ellis

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November 27, 2014
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  • Public Enemy Reveal Origins of Name, Crosshairs Logo
     
    Hardly a big reveal – I remember them talking about the logo back in the early 90’s, but tragically still apt:
     
    “The crosshairs logo symbolized the black man in America,” he says. “A lot of people thought it was a state trooper because of the hat, but the hat is one of the ones that Run-DMC wore. The B-Boy stance and the silhouette was more like the black man on the target.”

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