5:22 PM, February 1st, 2012


The NYT’s At War blog has been trying to identify a type of cluster bomb found in Libya. A few of you asked for more photographs to help your efforts, so we have put three more here. These come from the Joint Mine Action Coordination Team in Libya, and are of submunitions that had not undergone the weathering of those we photographed in November in Mizdah. If they can help, we are happy to share them.

We’d like to think that there were readily accessible on-line resources to help civilians run down this kind of information when weapons like these turn up near their homes.  But though there are many resources, most have gaps. We (and several others who took this on) have looked at many of the available materials. None of us found a clear match.

That said, these weapons should be fairly easy to identify to specialists in government service, as there are governments that have built international munitions databases and restricted websites for their EOD techs and intelligence services. Unfortunately, though these materials are underwritten by taxpayers and contain information that could be vital to civilians working in conflicts or in post-conflict environments, these sites are largely walled off from civilians — and even from many members of government service who have security clearances. On Twitter, @brettfriedman, a U.S. Marine officer, seems to have bumped into a few of these walls this afternoon. A short while ago he tweeted: “Most of the websites I’m trying to access to research  mystery submunition are blocked by US Cyber Command. Thanks, dicks.”

Of course there are other ways. Before the post went live, I was talking with the blog’s editor, Jeff Delviscio, and we agreed that we might get lucky and have a reader solve this at a snap. Here is why: The specialists we showed the photographs to are just like anyone else — they are guided by their own experiences. What this means is that if these submunitions had not been seen, or at least seen widely, in the conflicts where they had worked then the pictures might not register with them. But there could well be a reader who has seen these same items repeatedly in other wars, or (just as likely) a reader who had attended the right arms shows over the years and would recognize the submunitions from the kiosks and displays. Such a reader might even have sales brochures.  

This was our hope. That, or that a determined Googler would find a site or a pdf document that we had missed or skimmed while working on this little side project and doing everything else, and would make us eat crow. That would be welcome, too.

This entry on the Internet’s to do list is pretty badass. Any experts out there?

Reblogged from THE GUN.
5:18 PM, February 1st, 2012

Letter from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, in social network’s IPO filing



Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.

At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.

Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones — the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they’re thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.

There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.

Read More

Dripping with idealism the Winklevi probably never considered.

Read More

(Source: sec.gov)

Reblogged from ShortFormBlog
12:39 PM, February 1st, 2012
People never would’ve thought that Facebook could’ve made it on its own, but now people are saying to themselves that Facebook could theoretically be a multibillion-dollar company.
Steven Levy,  Newsweek June 25, 2007 (via nwkarchivist)
Reblogged from Newsweek Archivist
8:56 AM, February 1st, 2012

Google Politics & Elections gives a breakdown of the questions asked during last night’s Google+ hangout with President Barack Obama.
Obama “sat down” with five voters during the virtual interview, also fielding questions other participants could submit via Google or YouTube. More than 133,000 were submitted, according to the White House. 
About 35 percent of questions regarded jobs and the economy, with government reform and foreign policy making up 24 and 20 percent of questions, respectively.
By David Uberti 


Google Politics & Elections gives a breakdown of the questions asked during last night’s Google+ hangout with President Barack Obama.

Obama “sat down” with five voters during the virtual interview, also fielding questions other participants could submit via Google or YouTube. More than 133,000 were submitted, according to the White House. 

About 35 percent of questions regarded jobs and the economy, with government reform and foreign policy making up 24 and 20 percent of questions, respectively.

By David Uberti 

Reblogged from National Journal
4:19 PM, January 31st, 2012




Lindsey, Greg, Josh and I made this. If you’re ever wondering if you should make a “shit _____ say” video, just visit HasAnyoneSaidThisShit.com to see if your concept already been made into a video.

(Spoiler: It has.)

This is important.

8:11 PM, January 24th, 2012
Reblogged from The Longest Week
10:25 AM, January 20th, 2012
In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday that the vote on PIPA (a controversial—and highly unpopular—online piracy bill) had been postponed. Talking Points Memo is reporting that SOPA, the House’s version of the bill, has likewise been postponed. (“Recent events.” LOL.)
2:10 PM, January 19th, 2012




Behold! What the Stop SOPA blackout managed to accomplish in 24 hours.

High five, internet.


Reblogged from
8:03 PM, January 18th, 2012


This Is Important, You Should Watch It of the Day: Salman Khan offers the most succinct and straightforward rundown of how the language in SOPA’s current iteration leaves wide open the possibility that, despite its ostensible intention to block foreign sites trafficking in pirated content, completely legal websites operating inside the United States could easily be labeled “enablers” of “U.S. property theft” and subjected to crippling sanctions that would effectively shut them down.

(Worried? Do something.)


We don’t usually reblog The Daily What because we figure you’ve seen it, but this is a really solid presentation on SOPA/PIPA and why the bills are important. 

Reblogged from The Daily What
6:12 PM, January 18th, 2012

More Politicians Withdraw Support of PIPA and SOPA

More politicians have retracted their support of either or both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) since Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) and Rep. Lee Terry (R-NB NE), two co-sponsors of SOPA, did so yesterday and this morning

Also one of our intrepid Tumblrers went down to the offices of New York Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to report on the "emergency meet" of New York tech scene. They are both cosponsors of PIPA.

Talking Points Memo reports that Senator John Boozman (R-AK AR), an original cosponsor of the bill, has also withdrawn support for PIPA, posting a note to his Facebook page this afternoon, writing:

I can say, with all honesty, that the feedback I received from Arkansans has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the Senate bill (S.968, the PROTECT IP Act) in its current form. That is why I am announcing today that I intend to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.

Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mark Rubio (R-FL), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), also cosponsors of PIPA, posted their withdrawals to either Facebook or Twitter today as well. Additionally Senators Jeff Markey (D-OR) and Allen West (R-FL) condemned the bill on Twitter. Not to be outdone, Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Mike Honda (D-CA) blacked out their websites in support.

[via TPM]

See also: Buzzfeed’s 50 Best Statements By Members Of Congress Against SOPA/PIPA

UPDATE: List of PIPA’s 40 cosponsors (guess where I found it)

1:25 PM, January 18th, 2012
After Wikipedia blackrout, somewhere, a student today is doing original research and getting his/her facts straight. Perish the thought.
Jonathan Lamy, RIAA’s Senior Vice President of Communications, regarding Wikipedia’s blackout in protest of SOPA and PIPA. He later deleted the tweet. (via officialssay)
11:35 AM, January 18th, 2012
What we’re looking for is a diversity of responses. We need some people to shut down. We need some people to freak somebody out.
That’s Ben Huh, overseer of “popular Seattle-based network of cat-heavy comedy blogs known as Cheezburger,” on today’s protests of two anti-piracy bills. We’ve got more over on the Newsweek Tumblr
9:57 AM, January 18th, 2012

Frontpage: Jan 18th

  1. Websites Go Dark to Protest Piracy Bills: Wikipedia and several other websites have gone dark in protest of two Internet piracy bills—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act. The tech industry argues that the laws will effectively censor the Internet by making companies liable for displaying links to sites that host illegal copies of a film. 
  2. Shipwreck Search Put on Hold Again: Search and rescue has been suspended again at the Costa Condordia site. 24 are still missing. 
  3. Rivals Attack Romney on Tax RateMitt Romney may wait till April to release his tax returns, but his comment that his tax rate is “probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything” is enough for critics to start with. 
  4. Obama Campaigners Want Super PAC: Some aides worry that Obama’s super PC, Priorities USA Action, hasn’t raised enough money. Obamas’ raised $5 mil to Romney’s $12 in the first half of last year. Dick Harpootlian, a member of the Obama campaign’s national finance committee, notes, “He’s flat-out opposed to it.” But, pointing to Romney’s organization, he says that opposition is “dangerous.” “We can’t unilaterally disarm.”
  5. Report: FBI to Arrest 2 for Insider TradingSources told Reuters Wednesday that the FBI will make several more arrests as part of a crackdown on insider trading. 

Photo: The web sites on Wednesday of, clockwise from top left, Google, Mozilla, Wired and Wikipedia. (via NYTimes)

Read more cheats

A speedy, smart summary of news and must-reads from across the web and around the Tumblrverse, brought to you by The Daily Beast.