Julian Assange wants to hire the Google engineer who got fired for writing the anti-diversity manifesto (GOOG, GOOGL)

Julian Assange

On Monday Google fired an engineer who wrote a now infamous memo against diversity that went viral within the company, was published by the press and has been the cause of non-stop talk ever since.

But the engineer, James Damore, needn’t worry about a job if he needs one.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has publicly offered to bring him on board:

As you might expect, Assange argued that the guy had a right to express an opinion, however unpopular.

However, Assange went even further and appeared to defend the ex-Google engineer’s controversial views by tweeting and linking to various bits of content that seem to be about scientists backing up the engineer’s claims. To recap: the engineer basically argued that many traits generally considered sexist stereotypes are in fact basic attributes baked into human biology. The engineer also equated his belief system with being a member of the political right.

Later, after the controversy began, the engineer revised his memo to say that the world is misrepresenting his ideas, “I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes,” he wrote, and said that he’s heard from a lot of Googlers that agreed with him but are afraid to say so for fear of getting fired. (Here’s the full copy of the memo.)

It’s also worth noting that Assange has a history with Google. In between his defense of the engineer on Tuesday, Assange also fired off a tweet that plugged his book which includes a chapter on Google. Assange believes that Google had a “special relationship” with Hillary Clinton. 

The memo enrapt and enraged so many people inside Google and outside that Google CEO Sundar Pichai cut his family vacation short to come back and calm his employees down.

SEE ALSO: The Google employee who wrote the anti-diversity manifesto was fired after CEO Sundar Pichai called it ‘not OK’

SEE ALSO: Inside the world of Silicon Valley’s ‘coasters’ — the millionaire engineers who get paid gobs of money and barely work

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Criminal Minds' Adam Rodriguez Drops a Major Clue About the Hunt for Scratch – TV Guide

Will Season 13 be the lucky year the BAU finally catches Mr. Scratch on Criminal Minds?

The unsub has been at large since breaking out of prison in the Season 11 finale and has been one step ahead of the BAU since, targeting their family members and luring them into a trap in the Season 12 finale that culminated in a multiple SUV pileup. Showrunner Erica Messertold TV Guide in May that she had not yet decided if Scratch (Bodhi Elfman) will be caught in Season 13, but now that the show’s back in production, it sounds like she has landed on something.

“I think we’re gonna get our hands on Mr. Scratch,” Adam Rodriguez teased when TV Guide caught up with the cast at CBS’ Television Critics Association summer press tour party. “Maybe.”

Criminal Minds: Here’s the Scandalous Reason Simmons Is Joining the BAU

It’s not as innocuous of a quote as it seems, because “in a couple of months, you’ll see that was a great pun,” Paget Brewster added.

Hands, huh? Does someone choke him? Does the BAU bust out their own shadow monster with talon hands? (Since Matthew Gray Gubler played the Scratch clawed shadow monster, that should be easy.) Do they draw him out with Jewel on repeat?

Yes, the last one. That’s totally how they’ll do it.

Season 13 of Criminal Minds premieres Wednesday at 10/9c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)

Additional reporting by Lindsay MacDonald

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British model Chloe Ayling's lawyer slams claims she was in on kidnapping, but acknowledges 'doubts' – Fox News

The lawyer for a British model allegedly abducted by “Black Death” kidnappers who intended to sell her to a buyer in the Middle East, hit back Monday over supposed holes in the 20-year-old beauty’s story — but acknowledged the woman left police with “understandable doubts.”

Chloe Ayling said she was lured to Italy with the promise of a photo shoot, then drugged, stuffed into a suitcase, transported to an isolated farmhouse and held, at times in handcuffs, for almost a week.

The model told police the “terrifying experience” ended when her captor, who had threatened to hold her for ransom or advertise her as a sex slave on the criminal “dark web,” decided instead to drop her off at the British consulate in Milan. Italian police have arrested a suspect in the bizarre series of events: a 30-year-old Polish man who claimed to be a paid killer.

Since the story first broke, it has emerged that Ayling went shopping for groceries and shoes with her captor, raising questions about the degree of coercion she was under, The Guardian reported.

In her deposition to police obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press, Ayling broke down in tears when confronted by investigators with a witness who said she had gone to buy shoes with the alleged kidnapper.

The 20-year-old model initially said she was held at a remote farmhouse for six days without ever leaving, but on the second day of questioning, she was confronted with witness testimony that said she and the main suspect had bought shoes for her the day before her release.

Ayling told investigators that she couldn’t give a “reasonable explanation” about why she had omitted the shoe shopping, but said she considered the alleged kidnapper to be her best chance at freedom, according to the deposition obtained by the AP.

Her lawyer acknowledged Monday that aspects of the case seem bizarre. Francesco Pesce told the AP that investigators initially had “more than understandable doubts” about the model’s story.

BRITISH MODEL SPEAKS OUT AFTER KIDNAPPING — ALLEGEDLY BY MAN WHO WANTED TO AUCTION HER ON THE WEB

In a separate interview with the Guardian, Pesce said Ayling was scared to offer any resistance to her abductor’s wishes, fearing there were other members of the gang who may have come after her.

“There were legitimate doubts [about her story] at the start, which were surpassed,” Pesce told the Guardian. “What Chloe told police during 10 hours, it wasn’t easy on her. If the police were convinced [of the story] after that, then I am convinced. What also would be his [the abductor’s] motive [to collaborate]? Twenty years in jail?”

Pesce said the model initially had her wrists and ankles tied, but was later unbound and taken shopping. The lawyer added she had repeated her story multiple times, to police and before a judge.

“I heard people doubting her and implying that she was somehow involved in this case, that she was somehow involved in this because it was too easy an escape and that I really can’t believe, that people think that about Chole Ayling,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “She was subjected to a tremendous ordeal and she suffered so much.” 

Pesce described suggestions that Ayling may have been somehow in on the kidnap as “evil.”

Pesce, Ayling’s agent Phil Green, and Milan police have all given broadly the same account of the sensational events, that the model was to be sold for sex in the Middle East, Sky News reported.

The model — whose nascent career includes topless shoots for British tabloid newspapers — went to Milan on July 11 for a photo shoot at what her agent, Phil Green, said was “a recognized studio in the city center.”

BRIT MODEL ALMOST SOLD ONLINE AS SEX SLAVE RENEWS CONGRESS’ PUSH TO TAKE ON INTERNET GIANTS

When she got there, her lawyer said, a man grabbed her by the neck while another injected her with a dose of the anesthetic Ketamine that was “strong enough to knock her to the ground.”

“Then she was stuffed in a black sports bag, like she was an object, and then transported over winding, unpaved roads for more than two hours…bound hand and foot and with tape across her mouth,” Pesce said.

Milan police said Ayling was taken to a rural house near Turin, in northern Italy, where she was kept handcuffed to a wooden dresser.

They said the suspect in custody, Lukasz Pawel Herba, advertised her “sale” online, while at the same time demanding $300,000 ransom from her agent. Authorities said they have no evidence a ransom was paid.

Then, on July 17, Ayling was dropped off at the British consulate in Milan. The next day, police arrested Herba, a Polish citizen with British residency.

Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi said Herba described himself as a “paid killer” for a mercenary organization. Others have suggested he is a fantasist.

Herba told investigators he was drawn into the kidnap scheme unwittingly and did it to raise money to treat his leukemia, according to a a police deposition obtained by the AP. Herba said he was hired by a group of Romanians to rent properties around Europe to store garments they were selling, which paid 500,000 pounds ($650,000).

Herba said he later met the model in Paris where he posed as a photographer and she had come for a job, but when he discovered the Romanians intended to kidnap her he backed out. He said the Romanians later kidnapped her independently, and that he came to aid her after seeing her on a deep-web auction site.

According to Italian media reports, Ayling said she was released when her captor discovered she had a small child. He said abducting a mother was against the “rules” of his shadowy criminal organization.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said British police were working with Italian authorities and searched a house in central England linked to Herba.

On Sunday — almost three weeks after she says she was released — Ayling returned to Britain.

Green said Italian police held Ayling’s passport and wouldn’t let her leave the country until she gave evidence at a pre-trial hearing and visited the crime scene with detectives last week.

“I’ve been through a terrifying experience,” Ayling told reporters on the doorstep of her home in south London on Sunday. “I’ve feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.”

This has not been the model’s first brush with horrifying incident. Earlier this year, Ayling was reportedly caught up in a terror attack on the famed Champs-Elysee’s in Paris where a police officer was killed. 

Ayling had just arrived in the French capital and was walking on the street nearby when the incident unfolded, her agent told The Daily Star. The paper reported that model was told to get off the street and went back to her hotel to call her mother to tell her she was safe.

“She did not know exactly what had happened, until turning on the internet on her phone – there she saw the news about the suspected terrorist attack in the center of Paris,” Green told the Daily Star. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The guy responsible for making passwords such a pain now says he was wrong

passwords are like pants

If you’ve ever wracked your brain trying to think up a password with the requisite mix of numbers, exclamation marks and other special characters, we’ve got news for you:

You’re doing it wrong. 

Mind you, it’s not your fault. Security best-practice guidelines going back more than a decade have recommended resetting passwords every 90 days and creating cryptic strings of characters, rather than easy-to-remember words, as the ideal password strategy. 

But according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, the person responsible for this has had a change of mind.  

“Much of what I did I now regret,” Bill Burr, the 72-year-old author of the annoyingly familiar password rules, told The Wall Street Journal

Burr’s guidelines — first published in 2003 — suggested that to optimize security, passwords must be reset every 90 days, and contain a mix of an uppercase letter, number, and special character. Most passwords, by necessity, look something like this: Password1!. 

Burr told the Journal that most people make the same, predictable changes — such as switching from a 1 to a 2 — which makes it easy for hackers to guess. 

Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology has set new guidelines. Passwords should be long and easy-to-remember, and only need to be changed when there is sign of a breach. Long pass phrases work better because they can be super long and still easy to memorize.

While Burr’s candor is refreshing — considering all of the frustrating password reset emails he’s inadvertently responsible for — he’s not the first person to discredit the 2003 guidelines.

Last August, the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, Lorrie Cranor, busted the myth, telling a security conference essentially the same thing: periodic changes make passwords less secure. 

Long live the universal password! 

SEE ALSO: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg helps bring extended bereavement leave to her late husband’s company

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Lawyer who suggested 'Breaking Bad' method to launder cash has conviction upheld by appeals court – ABA Journal

Criminal Justice

Actor Bob Odenkirk, who played lawyer Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad”/WikimediaCommons

A federal appeals court has upheld the money-laundering conviction of a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer who suggested a technique employed by fictional lawyer Saul Goodman on the television show Breaking Bad.

Following Goodman’s lead, lawyer Matthew King suggesting setting up a sham corporation to launder drug proceeds, according to the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “This did not end well,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote (PDF).

King was convicted of two counts of money laundering and one count of attempted money laundering. He was sentenced to 44 months in prison.

King had fallen on hard times when he approached Marcus Terry, a man he believed to be a drug dealer, and offered to launder money for him, Sutton wrote. “As fortune would have it,” Sutton wrote, “Terry was posing as a drug dealer (he was a confidential informant in truth), and he told police about King’s offer.”

In meetings arranged by police, Terry wore a wire. King said he could set up a sham corporation, as he had seen on Breaking Bad, or he could launder money through his IOLTA account by providing fictitious legal services for Terry. They decided on the IOLTA approach.

Sutton began his opinion this way: “A sting operation blends fiction with non-fiction. The undercover officer feigns an offer to commit a crime and the individual accepts the offer, converting an offer to commit a crime based on untruths into a crime based on a true desire to violate the law. Sometimes, as it happens, the resulting crime blends nonfiction with fiction. In this instance, Matthew King, a lawyer, agreed to commit a real crime (by laundering the supposed proceeds of nonexistent drug sales) and offered to do so on the basis of a money-laundering technique observed on a fictional TV show (by imitating Saul Goodman, a lawyer character on Breaking Bad, who set up a sham corporation to launder drug proceeds).”

King had claimed introduction of the taped conversations violated the confrontation clause, and the trial judge improperly allowed the prosecution to ask about a prior arrest for cocaine possession.

The appeals court found no confrontation clause violation because the recordings were introduced to show that the laundered money was represented to be unlawful drug proceeds, rather than to prove that the statements were true.

The appeals court agreed the court should not have allowed the evidence of King’s prior cocaine arrest, but said the error was harmless.

Hat tip to How Appealing and Law360.


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