Soldiers that consider themselves part of the many religious traditions that make up what we call modern Heathenry have had the option since 2013 to have their military tombstone marked with a Hammer of Thor, instead of the traditional Christian crosses and Stars of David that most often adorn the stone markers. Read the rest
Alexander Kott is chief of the Network Science Division at the Army Research Laboratory; in a new paper, he rounds up several years' worth of papers that he wrote or co-authored, along with some essays and articles by others, on what an "Internet of Battle Things" will look like. Read the rest
From a Washington Post profile of trans servicemen and women:
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More than two years after the repeal of the law that barred gay men and lesbians from serving in the military openly, transgender service members can still be dismissed from the force without question, the result of a decades-old policy that dates back to an era when gender nonconformity was widely seen as a mental illness....
Debris sightings have drawn attention to a particular region, but choppy seas and rough waters deny a conclusive discovery. The TPL-25 is a military underwater microphone that could improve our chances of finding the flight data recorder, the "black box" that holds Flight 370's secrets. Read the rest
Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "The government often makes itself more accessible to businesses than the general public. For Sunshine Week, we compiled this guide to using FedBizOpps to keep an eye on surveillance technology contracts."
Fedbizopps is a weird, revealing window into the world of creepy surveillance, arms, and technology contractors who build and maintain the most oppressive and unethical parts of the apparatus of the US government. Read the rest
In a disturbing ruling for democracy, a lower court in United Kingdom announced today that the detainment of journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda was lawful under the Terrorism Act, despite the fact that the UK government knew Miranda never was a terrorist. Read the rest
Jesselyn Radack, an attorney who represents NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was detained and interrogated while transiting customs at Heathrow airport in London. Read the rest
The Intercept, the "fearless, adversarial journalism" venture launched by Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, launched with a big boom today.
Lead story on the site right now, which is https by default (and straining under launch day load at the moment) explores "The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Read the rest
Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "Seven years ago, the U.S. Army launched the SGT STAR program, which uses a virtual recruiter (an AI chatbot) to talk to potential soldiers. Read the rest
Mike from Mother Jones sez, "Josh Harkinson writes about the upcoming sentencing of Megan Rice, an elderly nun and Plowshares activist who broke into the Y-12 enriched uranium facility with two fellow aging activists. Read the rest
The UK Ministry of Defense has introduced by-laws in the vicinity of bases in the UK, making it a detainable offense to take pictures or make any image of any person or thing; to graze livestock; or to fail to clean up your dog's turds. Read the rest
Ex-CIA agent Philip Giraldi takes a stab at explaining how his fellow retired spooks -- Democrat and Republican -- can be so comfortable with a president who has given himself the power to order assassinations and a regime where the constitution has been effectively suspended. Read the rest
Archivist Rick Prelinger sez, "The U.S. Department of Defense has entered into a contract with T3 Media to get its gigantic still and moving image collection digitized at no cost to the government. Read the rest
A long, infographic-laden Mother Jones explainer tries to make sense of the US's insanely gigantic military budget, which dwarfs all US spending save Social Security. Read the rest
James Bridle has released a CC-licensed DIY Drone Shadows handbook (PDF), which explains, in detail, how to make accurate drone-shadow street art in your town/neighborhood. It's part of a larger project around Dirty Wars, a documentary on drone warfare currently touring the UK. Read the rest
Over on Long Forgotten (a Haunted Mansion blog that is so fantastically great that every post is a cause for celebration), there's a new post about suits of armor and haunted houses that reveals (among other things) that the helmet of the famous armor by the Haunted Mansion's infinite corridor was originally an ornamental piece worn by Martin Luther's archenemy Albrecht von Brandenburg, the indulgence-flogging Archbishop of Mainz. Read the rest
Christine Fox, the former mathematician at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar who inspired Kelly McGillis's character in Top Gun, has become the first female Deputy Secretary of Defense, the number two role at the Pentagon. Read the rest