When 17-year-old George Hotz became the world’s first hacker to crack AT&T’s lock on the iPhone in 2007, the companies officially ignored him while scrambling to fix the bugs his work exposed. When he later reverse engineered the Playstation 3, Sony sued him and settled only after he agreed to never hack another Sony product.
When Hotz dismantled the defenses of Google’s Chrome operating system earlier this year, by contrast, the company paid him a $150,000 reward for helping fix the flaws he’d uncovered. Two months later Chris Evans, a Google security engineer, followed up by email with an offer: How would Hotz like to join an elite team of full-time hackers paid to hunt security vulnerabilities in every popular piece of software that touches the internet?
Today Google plans to publicly reveal that team, known as Project Zero, a group of top Google security researchers with the sole mission of tracking down and neutering the most insidious security flaws in the world’s software. Those secret hackable bugs, known in the security industry as “zero-day” vulnerabilities, are exploited by criminals, state-sponsored hackers and intelligence agencies in their spying operations. By tasking its researchers to drag them into the light, Google hopes to get those spy-friendly flaws fixed. And Project Zero’s hackers won’t be exposing bugs only in Google’s products. They’ll be given free rein to attack any software whose zero-days can be dug up and demonstrated with the aim of pressuring other companies to better protect Google’s users.
MORE: Meet ‘Project Zero,’ Google’s Secret Team of Bug-Hunting Hackers
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As the firestorm of outrage behind radio personality Anthony Cumia’s recent racist rant on Twitter and his subsequent firing from SiriusXM radio has appropriately found it’s way onto everyone’s front page, I was surprised that a lot of hois past incidents highlighted involve radio stunts. Anthony and his on-air partner Opie have gotten in trouble before for typical shock jock promotional antics, like encouraging fans to have sex in the most public and taboo of places (a church is what forced them into temporary unemployment there) and reporting a local politician died, even though he hadn’t, confusing his own family. Those are hacky and questionably offensive, but honestly, that’s what shock radio is. You decide whether you want to listen with your dial.
Now Gawker has done a great job (you can read that here) chronicling a lot of what I’ve found on my own, but I think after some research, it goes a bit deeper. As Anthony continues to claim his Twitter statements, which he’s now erased completely, were about his “assaulters,” not black people in general, I have come to the conclusion that since 2008 he had been (somewhat) secretly sending his listeners to a despicable supremacist website called N*ggermania.com. The website is even more disgusting than it’s own domain name. Every post is worse than the next, comparing black people to animals and the mentally challenged, with most threads ending with fantasized violence against the whole race. Anthony had been regularly mentioning the website on his satellite radio show, subtly calling it “that other website,” “N-mania.com” or “Blackmania.com,” especially during Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign. It even made the show’s sidekick Jim Norton once call it “Anthony’s homepage.” These mentions, mixed in with overtly racist incidents, like when Anthony called a caller who was an Obama supporter “a (sound effect) lover” or when he went on a 47-minute tirade about eugenics or when he supported George Zimmerman and cited black-on-black crime that were word for word found on N*ggermania.com, give you a pretty clear picture of what Anthony Cumia is.
To further support Anthony’s secret support of N*ggermania.com, he is seen browsing their homepage during the opening of his at-home UStream after show, Live From The Compound.
On this show, free from even satellite radio’s confines, the n-word was thrown around frequently and his true racist views were regularly expressed. As if you needed more support, here are user posts from the site’s message board detailing the relationship between Anthony and the website, including many who were sent there from his mentions.
The way shock radio works mostly, is that each personality gets fired, then over time, their behavior is forgotten and they find another job. As Anthony continues to shape his defense, claiming that nothing he said was racist, and that he himself was the victim, I hope any future employer can look a bit closer at what was really happening, even if it was below the surface.
Richard Brody remembers the great record producer Alan Douglas, who died on Saturday at the age of eighty-one: http://nyr.kr/1l2c40s
“Douglas’s live recordings have a stark, harsh dryness that captures the intimate physicality of performance: the breath in the saxophone, the vibration of a reed, the drummer’s contact of wood on skins and metal rims, the plucking of a string bass and the resonations of its body. Until reading about Douglas now, after his death, I had never realized that he was responsible for these recordings, but their family resemblance in the tone of their musical voice is distinctive; it’s one of the sounds of the era.”
Alan Douglas (right) with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus during the recording of the album “Money Jungle.” Photograph by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty.
Jelani Cobb remembers the actress Ruby Dee: http://nyr.kr/1lhW2to
“Dee, along with Ossie Davis, her husband of fifty-seven years, was an actor—in both meanings of the word—during the civil-rights movement. She was in the generation of artists, few of whom remain among us, whose work served as a brief for the ideal of racial equality, and who formed part of the cultural front of the era.”
Above: Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, and their children, in 1966. Photograph by Bruce Davidson/Magnum.