German police invaded a surplus Cold War bunker which had been converted to datacenter use over allegations that the operators were collaborating with child pornographers, darknet drug dealers, etc (archived). The German collaboration allegations are at the core of the case, because under German law without active collaboration the service providers are sheltered from liability connected to whatever their customers may or may not be doing. This datacenter operation had been harassed by pseudo-statal organizations including the MPAA and Spamhaus from its inception through its capture. The local police commanders managed to assemble 600 armed conscripts to capture their target.
This past week has seen a small yet very noisy burst of instability inside the USG. Rumours of a "credible" CIA whistleblower report concerning a possible "quid pro quo" during a telephone conversation between democratically elected US President Donald Trump and Ukraine's new leader being supressed. This lead to acting lead Pantsuit Nancy surrendering to demands from more radical sectors of her party to open an impeachment investigation.
After this capitulation a transcript of the phone call was released followed shortly by the whistlblower's report where the CIA agent in question revealed his concerns were all raised by second and third hand recollections. In the time leading up to these released demands to expedite the impeachment proceedings reached a fever pitch before digestion of the actual content of the transcript and complaint revealed this line of prosectuion against Trump is even weaker than the entirely fictional cases Pantsuitists had been spinning since November 2016.
As result the deep concerns expressed by Trump to his Ukranian counterpart concerning former Pantsuitist Vice President Joe Biden's son's business in Ukraine1 has entered the record. Because Nancy surrendered to allow the impeachment investigation to begin over this matter, Nancy has exposed the remains of the crippled DNC to investigations into their actions while Trump remains merely exposed to debate over the meanings of particular utterances.
As is typical of US attempts to leverage office, the sums involved are far smaller for the involved persons on the national stage in the US compared to local politicians in China for reasons of US poverty. ↩
Ongoing anti-corruption investigations in China have apparently lead to the arrest of former Danzou mayor and former Communist Party secretary Zhang Qi (archived, archived). Investigators reportedly found 13.5 tons of gold and a cash stash summing to 268 billion yuan in a concealed basement at the communist's home. At presently advertised exchange rates, these holdings put the recently seized fortune above 38 billion USD and would place Zhang Qi at 19th place on the Forbes rich list above Alibaba's Jack Ma and Tencent's Ma Huateng.
Someone calling themself Axi0mX has unveiled an exploit overcoming "Apple Bootrom" and allowing Apple's iDevices using Apple's A5 through A11 chips to be "jailbroken" or otherwise be put in service of a new master (archived). This exploit reportedly requires physical access to a target device, and patching against the exploit supposedly would require new hardware.
SystemD wrecking artist Lennart Poettering has proposed a substantial reworking of the way Linux handles users which would break many of the ways Linux is actually used under the pretext that the changes would make him feel more comfortable leaving his laptop in a suspended power state (archived).
Most notably Lennart's new user and authentication model would require users to already be logged into a system locally in order to access a shell over ssh. Under the new Lennart login model, if the user isn't locally logged in the authorized_keys file for the user will be encrypted and inaccessible to the system preventing ssh authentication. Typical of Poettering efforts this latest proposal breaks numerous things that work to implement hypothetical mitigations of purely constructed dilemmas, like Poettering's supposed aversion to turning his laptop off.
NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange has begun trading Bitcoin futures from Bakkt yesterday (archived). Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group are also involved in the instrument. The contracts promise physical delivery of Bitcoins, but it remains to be seen how seriously anyone involved in this particular market is going to investigate the sincerity of the delivery claims. This new source of volatility has seen fiat/Bitcoin interfaces reporting substantial volatility with today's manifesting mostly in a downward direction.
This move opens up lessons in Bitcoin prices and inflexibility to a whole new class of trader.
Church elders in the Diocese of Rochester are calling for the elimination of pointed kitchen knives after having made the religious determination that points on knives are obsolete (archived). Never mind the incredible utility of the knife point in kitchens that handle actual food, the religious imperative to preserve all life demands the kitchen workflow be interupted by specialist knick-knacks out of the potential that any particular knife point may end the life of something other than a garlic clove.
Nevermind that nearly every use of the paring knife or fillet knife begins with the point. Nevermind the ridiculous prospect of scoring with the belly of the blade. The state Church of England demands doctrinal sovereignty in your kitchen, and their doctrine says the potential evil of the knife point trumps the active utility of the knife point.
The 1947 Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance appears to be breaking as the US seeks to pull all of the Americas into a Venezuelan War (archived, archived). While the treaty was invoked several times through the Cold War and most recently after 9/11, the American country of Uruguay doesn't seem to see why they should support US military action against Venezuela. Especially if the US wasn't willing to support Argentine military action against Britain in 1982.
It appears that after the US failure in 1982 to love the Americas as much as Americans love Miami, the symbollic "9/11 bad, never forget" invocation was all the cooperation this relic of the fading world order had left.
US Democratic party donor and California regional supernode Ed Buck was arrested late last week (archived). Previously Qntra has covered the suspicious number of Black Lives that ended in Buck's home. Apparently Buck's most recent victim managed to escape and tell. Buck faces a Los Angeles County charge for operating a drug house and a federal charge of methamphetamine distribution leading to death.
Following a series of group attacks in Minneapolis targetting lone white men and carried out by groups of black men whose video footage has "gone viral", Minneapolis police are declining to classify the attacks as hate crimes because the victims were allegedly targeted for their incapacitation rather than their skin color (archived). Twenty arrests have been made and eighteen individuals aged 15 to 27 have been charged. Absent from mainstream discussion on these cases is the fact that if the doctrine advanced by the Minneapolis Police Department came to be accepted as a precedent by the courts the entire hate crime racket in the US would collapse.