Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Geek Shit Wednesday, Vol. XV

Anonymous Hacks, Releases Personal Details Of Arizona Cops

It's gotten personal with online hacktivism group Anonymous, as they have now attacked the private e-mail accounts of thousands of Arizona law enforcement officers and put out a data dump of personal information on the cops.  Why?  In order to protest the racist-- and I don't disagree with that-- policies of law enforcement in the Grand Canyon State.

Last week, they said in a statement titled "Chinga La Migra":

"Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarassing [sic] personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal
their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust 'war on drugs'.

Then, today, the dump hit the interwebz in "Chinga La Migra, Communique Dos":

"In this second bulletin, we're dumping booty pirated from a dozen Arizona police officer's personal email accounts looking specifically for humiliating dirt. This leak has names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, social security numbers, online dating account info, voicemails, chat logs, and seductive girlfriend pictures belonging to a dozen Arizona police officers. We found more internal police reports, cops forwarding racist chain emails, k9 drug unit cops who use percocets, and a convicted sex offender who was part of FOP Maricopa Lodge Five."

I'm generally a fan of Anonymous, so I was surprised when I felt a bit icky about this.  I felt the same way when Julian Assange threatened to release personal details of intelligence operatives.  To be frank, this sort of thing places people's lives at risk.  I'll definitely be watching this story unfold.

(Thanks to Robbie at Mount Vernon Wireless for the tip)

Drug Resistant E. Coli Traced To Antibiotics Use In Chicken Farms

Bad news for chicken farmers, as cultures of E. Coli found in humans appear to have developed drug resistant genes also found in chickens given antibiotics as part of their diet in large-scale farms.  The CDC's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases published a paper with some startling similarities between the genotypes of the compared bacteria.  

"In each set of samples, they were looking at the E. coli to see whether they harbored genes for the type of resistance known as ESBL, for 'extended-spectrum beta-lactamase,' an enzyme that denatures a category of drugs used for serious infections that occur mostly in hospitals. When the extended-spectrum beta-lactams no longer work, only a few last-resort drugs are left. (Back in the 1980s, the most common genes for ESBL wereblaTEM or blaSHV, but in the past 10 or so years there has been a rapid global increase in the occurrence of a different ESBL gene, blaCTX-M.)

"Here’s what they found:
  • Out of 876 patients tested by rectal swab—because E. coli is a gut bacterium, carried in and spread by feces—45 (5 percent) harbored ESBL genes.
  • Out of 31 blood cultures in the hospitals’ labs, 23 (74 percent) contained ESBL genes.
  • Out of 262 meat samples, 79 (30 percent) harbored an ESBL gene. Broken down by type of meat, there was ESBL in 80 percent of the chicken samples, 5 percent of the beef, 2 percent of the pork, and 9 percent of ground or otherwise mixed meat.
The business of mass-farming animals for their meat is just kind of generally kind of gross anyway, but now we are starting to see that there is considerable risk in some farming methods.  

OMG! 50,000 Piece Lego Barad-Dur Is Too Awesome For Words

So I'm not going to say many, other than "Sweet Saruman's Socks, that's cool!"

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