Programmer from China may have taken Arizona data home


A potential security breach of everyone in Arizona’s driver’s license database has been kept quiet for seven years, reports ProPublica.

“That really is outrageous,” says Mikel Longman, the former criminal investigations chief at the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “Every Arizona resident who had a driver’s license or state-issued ID card and all that identifying stuff is potentially compromised. That’s a huge breach.”

How did it happen and why didn’t Longman or other Arizona officials know about it? Continue reading


Photos: Malaysia Airlines flights eerily empty


malaysiaflightWhen one of your passenger planes goes missing and another gets shot down by a rebel group, don’t expect to sell a lot of tickets.

Ricardo Goncalves, a business reporter and host on Australia’s SBS World News, tweeted this picture of a recent flight on Malaysia Airlines.

It looks like the company sold about three tickets in coach/biz. You think at the very least the airline would have moved them into First Class as happened here:


Well, at least you don’t have to worry about your plane being diverted because passengers are bickering about reclining the seat, as happened on a United flight to Denver on Sunday.

h/t Mashable


World War II whodunit solved, German historian says


In the 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, a POW camp is run by inept German soldiers. In Mel Brooks’ version of the Lubitsch classic To Be or Not to Be, the Nazis are bumbling evil-doers.

Such blundering Nazis not only existed, they were purposely cast in important roles in a real-life spy mission, according to a book published in Germany by historian Monika Siedentopf.

As a prelude to invasion of the British Isles, Nazi Germany launched an espionage offensive in 1940. But the 12 spies who were slipped into England and Scotland quickly blew their cover, the Guardian reports. A British official at the time blamed it on “their own stupidity.”

For decades, it was a mystery: Why would the Nazis send incompetents on such an important mission? Continue reading


Photo: First American selfie was taken in Pa. in 1839


the_first_selfie_Robert_CorneliusRobert Cornelius of Philadelphia captured his own image in 1839, in the first selfie.

He used a cumbersome camera. It wasn’t until the Kodak came out in 1888 that the snapshot was born.

“A game even emerged called ‘snapshooting,’ a sort of photographic version of tag: You tried to escape while someone raced around trying to catch you on film, Clive Thompson writes.

Read more about how snapshots changed the way we see the world here.

This Just In looked at why smiles are so rare in the oldest photos here.


Report: Terrorists asked U.S. to pay ransom


European governments regularly pay ransom for hostages, notes James Traub in Foreign Policy. And rumors have been rampant that Western companies pay millions when their employees are abducted in war zones.

Now comes word from the New York Times that the terrorists who beheaded American James Foley — and promoted his execution in a gruesome propaganda video — first asked the U.S. for $100 million in exchange for the photographer’s life, according to a Foley family representative and someone once held captive alongside Foley.  Continue reading