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Google Knew About Heartbleed and Didn’t Tell the US Government

Google withheld information about the largest Internet security failure in history
US News • Views: 3,056

Tell me again about how much we need to fear our elected government: Google Knew About Heartbleed and Didn’t Tell the Government.

Google knew about a critical flaw in Internet security, but it didn’t alert anyone in the government.

Neel Mehta, a Google engineer, first discovered “Heartbleed”—a bug that undermines the widely used encryption technology OpenSSL—some time in March. A team at the Finnish security firm Codenomicon discovered the flaw around the same time. Google was able to patch most of its services—such as email, search, and YouTube—before the companies publicized the bug on April 7.

The researchers also notified a handful of other companies about the bug before going public. The security firm CloudFlare, for example, said it fixed the flaw on March 31.

But the White House said Friday that no one in the federal government knew about the problem until April. The administration made the statement to deny an earlier Bloomberg report that the National Security Agency had been exploiting Heartbleed for years.

NPR Tiny Desk Concert: A Funny, Smart Set From Courtney Barnett

What exciting things will happen today?
Music • Views: 2,065

YouTube

Courtney Barnett can tell you a story like she’s your best friend — provided your best friend is a funny poet with an Australian accent. Listen to “Avant Gardener,” an autobiographical account of trying to turn a life around through gardening, only to be foiled by a severe allergic reaction. The tale that follows at this Tiny Desk Concert, “History Eraser,” is a ramble in an alcohol-fueled dream state; it features some of the best lyric-writing in music today. Here’s a sample from that song:

“I found an Ezra Pound and made a bet that if I found a cigarette I’d drop it all and marry you. Just then a song comes on: “You can’t always get what you want” — The Rolling Stones, oh, woe is we, the irony! The Stones became the moss and once all inhibitions lost, the hipsters made a mission to the farm. We drove by tractor there, the yellow straw replaced our hair, we laced the dairy river with the cream of sweet vermouth.”

The only downside for a fan like me is that these songs have been kicking around my head for more than a year. As she played them, I found myself hoping for something new, too. And so it was that Barnett graced the Tiny Desk with a brand-new tune, not yet on a record, about a suburb near Melbourne known as Preston; it’s a song about house-hunting that she appropriately calls “Depreston.” The song is thoughtful, acerbic and funny, just like the woman who sings it. —BOB BOILEN

Set List
“Avant Gardener”
“History Eraser”
“Depreston”

Credits
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR

Lunar Eclipse Causes Panic in Strange Tribe of Throwbacks

A sign of the End Times
Wingnuts • Views: 5,506
Image via Shutterstock

The science of a lunar eclipse isn’t complicated and there’s nothing magical about it; one large object (the Earth) passes in front of a light source (the Sun), casting a shadow on another large object (Earth’s moon). You can do the same thing by putting your hand in front of a light source. See that shadow on the wall? That’s an eclipse too.

But there exists a strange tribe of throwbacks for whom seeing a shadow cast across the moon evokes primitive fears and atavistic explanations, a backward, insular, pre-rational group of strange human beings known as World Net Daily: Tens of Millions Watch Heavenly Sign.

All of the science online, the explanations and the details, couldn’t keep even elements of the secular media from asking bluntly, “Does the Bible predict the ‘blood moon’?”

Pastor Mark Biltz, whose “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs” is one of the hottest books in America now, believes that not only are there references for people to see, but they need to be paying attention.

“I believe that the blood moons have great historic and prophetic significance just as they did following 1948 and 1967. In the book of Joel it mentions three times about the sun and the moon going dark and in context it also mentions Divine wrath against all countries that want to divide or part the land of Israel,” he said.

“I believe the moons are like flashing red warning lights at a heavenly intersection saying to Israel as well as the nations they will be crossing heavenly red lines and if they do, they will understand as Pharaoh did on Passover night 3,500 years ago that the Creator backs up what He says.

“Like Pharaoh the leaders and pundits of today will realize when it comes to crossing the red lines of the Creator of the universe he has more than a pen and a phone in his hand.”

That last line about the pen and the phone is a swipe at President Obama, of course, one of those right wing memes that grabs hold of the tribal consciousness like an eclipse of the brain.

(h/t: Right Wing Watch.)

Congressman Tells Black Constituent He’s Not Sure the Civil Rights Act Is Constitutional

Florida. Yoho. Says it all.
Wingnuts • Views: 6,254

YouTube

GAINESVILLE, Florida — Last week, former presidents and dignitaries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which bans many forms of employment discrimination and whites-only lunch counters, among other things. This week, a Republican congressman declared that he’s not sure if the Civil Rights Act is even constitutional.

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), a freshman congressman aligned with the Tea Party, held a town hall Monday evening in Gainesville where he fielded a wide range of questions from constituents. One such voter was Melvin Flournoy, a 57-year-old African American from Gainesville, who asked Yoho whether he believes the Civil Rights Act is constitutional.

The easy answer in this case — “yes” — has the benefit of also being correct. But Yoho found the question surprisingly difficult.

“Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act?” Yoho repeated before giving his reply: “I wish I could answer that 100 percent.” The Florida Republican then went on to strongly imply it may be unconstitutional: “I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.”

More: WATCH: Congressman Tells Black Constituent He’s Not Sure the Civil Rights Act Is Constitutional

Courageous Patriotic Bundy Ranch ‘Militia’ Planned to Use Women as Human Shields

Yes, they went there, and even bragged about it on Fox News
Wingnuts • Views: 12,454

YouTube

The noble, courageous American patriots fighting against tyranny at the Bundy Ranch moronic convergence were planning to use women as human shields.

“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” Mack said in a Fox News clip pulled by The Blaze. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

Smell the bravery.

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 Frank says:

My music makes the mind think -- Time magazine Dec.20/93, page 73