3 February 2023
[truecrime] A Crime Beyond Belief
…A bizarre true crime story about a string of connected home invasions, kidnappings and rapes in California. ‘Not sleeping much, Muller obsessively watched Batman movies and became entranced by the Dark Knight, who uses his intellect and high-tech gizmos to impose nocturnal vigilante justice. “He began to think of himself as a Batman type of person who was fighting evil, which to Mr. Muller was the 1%’ers,” Nelson wrote. Wearing a wetsuit to resemble the character, Muller said he had plotted a kidnapping for ransom to procure money from those he perceived as “evil wealthy people” in order to give it to the poor, an act he believed was “morally justified.”’
6 February 2023
[aircrash] Call of the Void: Seven years on, what do we know about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370?
… A deep dive into the loss of MH370
. ‘It was only on the evening of March 8th that Malaysia Airlines’ engineering department, which monitors satellite communications, provided the CEO with an astonishing update. Although the plane stopped sending data at 01:21, it continued to acknowledge transmissions from the satellite for a further seven hours. This suggested an unprecedented possibility: that the plane didn’t crash into the South China Sea; rather, it continued flying throughout the night and into the morning. At the time that the wreckage search began, the plane may well have still been in the air!’
7 February 2023
[apple] Why Are All Apple Products Photographed at 9:41 a.m.? An Apple Insider Reveals the Answer
… ‘But why 9:41? Turns out it was a carefully made choice. Also, it wasn’t the original choice. Earlier on, Apple products were apparently photographed with a time of 9:42 a.m. What is this craziness?’
10 February 2023
[crime] The $30 Million Lottery Scam
… The story of a huge, out of control gambling addiction / lottery scam / Ponzi Scheme that keeps excalating. ‘Vitto checked the winning numbers and discovered that he’d won $10,000. “That’s freaking unbelievable!” he said. When he raced back to the office, Gjonaj confessed that he had 2,000 winning tickets. He had won $10 million. Vitto told me Gjonaj gave him $100,000, and asked for his help. They sat up all night drinking Red Bulls and stapling lottery tickets to forms. Their laughter echoed around the empty office: “We’re rich!” “We sat down and he said, ‘I want to show you what’s going on,’” Vitto recalled. Gjonaj drew out his grid and explained how he picked his numbers. Vitto knew it wasn’t possible to game the lottery like this, but he kept quiet. He was grateful for the money and a stable job. “Don’t try to wrap your head around it. He had no system,” Vitto told me.’
14 February 2023
[valentines] Happy Valentine’s Day from Facebook. Here’s a Photo of You and Your Ex
… ‘We at Facebook love celebrating the moments and people you’ve worked really hard to forget. So now that you’re here, please enjoy this picture of you and your ex-boyfriend from five years ago. You really loved that wine bar. Look at how happy you were.’
15 February 2023
[life] Taliban Bureaucrats Hate Working Online All Day, ‘Miss the Days of Jihad’
… Please note that this is not an Onion headline. ‘The real test and challenge was not during the jihad. Rather, it’s now. At that time, it was simple, but now things are much more complicated. We are tested by cars, positions, wealth and women. Many of our mujahedin, God forbid, have fallen into these seemingly sweet, but actually bitter traps.’
21 February 2023
[tech] New Tech Bingo Card
… ‘What if everything was Finance?’
24 February 2023
[disaster] Fight the Ship – Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by its Own Navy
… A long read on the collision of US Destroyer and a Container Ship near Japan.
On the Fitzgerald, the list of maintenance jobs ran into the hundreds. Most of them were minor: a request for new coolant for a refrigeration unit, another for a certain type of washer.
But a dozen or so were considered more serious. They included problems with the ship’s primary navigation system. It was the oldest such system among destroyers based in Japan. It was running on Windows 2000, even though other ships had been upgraded. It could not display information from the AIS.
The broken email system had a “major impact” on the ship’s day-to-day operations. Microsoft Outlook did not work. Nor could commanders communicate over a classified email system. The ship’s entire network was suffering. Officers could not access sailors’ work profiles, order parts or even keep track of new repair requests.
Technicians were constantly fixing the SPS-73, the other main navigational radar on the Fitzgerald. Sometimes, the radar would show the destroyer heading the wrong way. At other times, it simply locked up and would have to be shut down. The SPS-73’s antenna was nearing the end of its life, and had been scheduled for replacement in April. But the maintenance had been delayed when the Fitzgerald was assigned to patrol North Korea.
A third radar, used for warfare, was slow to acquire targets, but technicians had installed a temporary fix that became permanent. “Problem known since 2012. Declared hopeless,” read notes attached to the repair report.
27 February 2023
[games] Curry with the GOAT: Jeff Minter on 40 years operating on the far side
… Interview with Jeff Minter on his long history as a game creator. ‘ That’s the thing about being a proper game designer – you can set out and no matter what goes on, you encounter hardship but you know you’ve made this journey a million times before, you know you can make it to the other side, you know the day will dawn where you’ll find that one thing that works and you’ve just got to fucking stick to it. I get frustrated with people saying they started making this game and the moment an obstacle comes up they throw their arms up and say I’m not going to do this anymore. The number one skill in making a game is completion! Bring the thing through – make the thing! ‘