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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Monday Morning News

Posted by on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Snowden: A hero in America, and now in Azeroth, Edward Snowden has disclosed a new trove of documents showing the NSA has been spying on players using World of Warcraft and Second Life. "Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels," reports ProPublica.

Snow Den? "A search is on in the mountains of rural northwestern Nevada for a couple and four children who went to play in the snow Sunday and haven't returned."

Snow Then? Maybe around Seattle this evening.

When Not Complicit, Outraged: AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo tells federal government to cut back on snooping.

Is This Literally Buying an Election? A hand recount, requested by the losing side, of course, will begin today on SeaTac's $15 minimum wage measure that voters passed by a 73-vote margin. Here's background on King County Elections' recount process, which explains the cost is $0.25 for each of the 6,003 ballot cast.

Blow Hard, Says the Seattle City Council: They're considering bill that would protect whistle-blowers in city government, in part by handing the cases over to the city's ethics commission.

To Be an Undercover Agent: Officers consider a busting a "snuggle-parlor":

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin's ultra-liberal capital city is a place where just about anything goes, from street parties to naked bike rides. But city officials say a business is pushing even Madison's boundaries by offering, of all things, hugs.

For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers.

Snugglers contend touching helps relieve stress. But Madison officials suspect the business is a front for prostitution and, if it's not, fear snuggling could lead to sexual assault. Not buying the message that the business is all warm and fuzzy, police have talked openly about conducting a sting operation at the business, and city attorneys are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.

A new ordinance to regulate snuggling!


Comments (21) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Hey Dominic - a family might be dead, frozen to death in the fucking wilderness. Is a pun really appropriate?
Posted by johnjjeeves on December 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 2
@1) I was holding out hope that they made a place to survive. It was supposed to be hopeful, crossing my fingers, not mean. Sorry if it came off that way.
Posted by Dominic Holden on December 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM · Report this
seatackled 3
Hey Dominic - a government might be spying on its citizens and manipulating everyone's lives for the worse, homeless people might die of exposure to the cold, and drivers might get into fatal accidents on slick roads. Are puns really appropriate?
Posted by seatackled on December 9, 2013 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 4
@3) I was holding out hope that they would start tracking me on Grindr, not just gamers, and that Seattle would become a balmy paradise. Sorry if it came off wrong.
Posted by Dominic Holden on December 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 5
"holding out hope?"

Dominic, Hold-in hope.
Posted by dnt trust me on December 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Need a hug Dominic?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on December 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 7
@6) I'll pay you $60, bro.
Posted by Dominic Holden on December 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
I've got to hand it to the NSA spooks who persuaded management to pay them to play WoW. That's some good work.
Posted by shabadoo on December 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM · Report this
care bear 9
That pun is beautiful.
Posted by care bear on December 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 10
Hey Dominic,
Meet me on Grindr and I'll hug you for free!
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
treacle 11
When liberal cities create ordinances to regulate snuggling, you know we have entered dark times indeed, friend.
Posted by treacle on December 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
raindrop 12
To really test the operation, a very obese, smelly, grizzly, Monarch Vodka saturated, bad toothed, undercover agent should get a snuggle for the suggested retail price. If refused, bust them.
Posted by raindrop on December 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Madison, Wisconsin must surely be a paradise, if the city fathers are so bereft of civic troubles that they need to focus their legislative efforts on a "snuggling parlor." I'm glad they've filled all the potholes, kept all the streets swept and the rubbish picked up regularly, retimed all the traffic signals to expedite traffic, cured the downtown parking problems, upgraded their water filtration plant, inspected all the restaurants and supermarkets, made sure all their residents are immunized and safely housed, hired enough social workers to look in on all seniors, children, and the unemployed periodically, converted all the city vehicles to zero-emissions, and made sure all residents have access to well-equipped libraries, parks and playgrounds. Now, having done all that, they have time to concentrate on imaginary problems. Well done.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this

I'm just trying to imagine what a Guild comprised exclusively of NSA employees would look like.
Posted by COMTE on December 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 15
Start raising money for the SLOG legal defense fund...

If websites are subject to liability for failing to remove third-party content whenever someone objects, they will be subject to the ‘heckler’s veto,’ giving anyone who complains unfettered power to censor speech,” according to briefs filed Nov. 19 by lawyers for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Gawker and BuzzFeed, among others.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
I am curious if $60/hr would be paying for snuggling from U of Wisconsin college cuties or a "professional" who happened to look like Paul Giamatti.
Posted by ChefJoe on December 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
venomlash 17
@15: You are the dumbest motherfucker on the planet.
Posted by venomlash on December 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
seatackled 18
Maybe he's just lonely.
Posted by seatackled on December 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
@16: I'd pay $60 an hour for Paul Giamatti.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Sandiai 20
@19, I was going to say! One could do worse than a Paul Giamatti snuggle.

Posted by Sandiai on December 10, 2013 at 2:24 AM · Report this
Sandiai 21
Also, paying NSA employess to find terrorists on Second Life? Hahahahhahhh. Ohhhh my, hahahahahaha. (wiping eyes). Do the analysts also frequent the Brony sites, or the thousands of sex or gambling sites? I mean where else are you going to find terrorists? Do they shop for clothes for their avatars (If they don't, they'll stand out very distinctly)? Are taxpayers paying for their virtual clothing and the "scripts" needed to animate their avatars to make them look more "natural." Who is watching the watchers, anyway, as they spend their days at the office playing video games? I guess I can see if they followed a real lead, or followed the money into SL from the real world. Aside from situations like that, how high has the payoff been, since to me it sounds like they're spending a lot of money in trolling* other players who are presumed innocent. Presumably.…

A terrorist who wanted to be anonymous would have meetings with other terrorists in transient locations and use voice, not text, so that the meeting is never recorded. Then they can change their avatar after the meeting, by cancelling that account and starting another. And if there is no credit card on file (you really don't need money to do most things), they are anonymous to Second Life as a real person. Simple steps which I'm sure nefarious people are well aware of.

I want to know where the NSA employees go to find terrorists in SL among the 50,000 players online at each given moment. Do the analysts "observe" worshippers at the many mosques throughout SL? Do they join the Arabs playing Parchcheesi at popular Arabic SL sites and start asking leading questions (giggling)?…

*old definition of "trolling," more similar to trawling.

Posted by Sandiai on December 10, 2013 at 8:12 AM · Report this

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