The New Yorker Launches Strongbox, a Project Developed by Aaron Swartz

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Aaron Swartz speaking at a protest against SOPA and PIPA bills in New York City.
Phillip Stearns via Compfight cc
It's at once terribly exciting and infinitely sad: This morning, the New Yorker announced the arrival of Strongbox, a new tool for receiving sensitive documents and messages from readers. Commissioned by Kevin Poulsen, the investigations editor at Wired, Strongbox was one of the projects that Aaron Swartz had developed before he committed suicide in January.

Swartz and Poulsen met in 2006, when Swartz, along with the other co-founders of Reddit, sold the online platform to Condé Nast and took root in a conference room at Wired's headquarters. Swartz wrote a piece for Poulsen about Kahle v. Gonzales, one of Lawrence Lessig's legal battles in the larger fight for copyright freedom, after which Poulsen asked Swartz to develop a secure-submission tool.


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"The Hippest Street Artist Since Banksy" Installs Himself in Times Square

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Emily Gogolak
Times Square was wickedly crowded today, nothing out of the ordinary. But there were more faces in the crowd that usual. Hundreds of black and white posters of peoples faces were pasted all over the corner of 47th Street and 7th Avenue. It looked pretty damn extraordinary.

The spectacle was the brainchild of JR, the French street artist or "photograffeur" as he likes to be called. Touted as "the hippest street artist since Banksy" or sometimes even the Henri Cartier-Bresson of this century, the 30-year-old Parisian, known simply by his two-letter moniker, has been making headlines and raising eyebrows worldwide for his larger-than-life public photo projects. From revolutionary Tunisia and the favelas of Brazil, to the streets of Karachi and the factories industrial Shanghai, to the Israeli-Palestinian border and the Juarez-El Paso border, his work knows no bounds.

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CHARTS: Mayoral Candidates' Incomes, Minus John Catsimatidis

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Johnny Vulkan via Compfight cc
Several of New York City's mayoral hopefuls released their tax returns or reported their 2012 income this week to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Below is a quick breakdown of what the candidates made in 2012 by sector, though the figures for Sal Albanese, Anthony Weiner (who hasn't formally announced his candidacy), and Adolfo Carrión Jr. are actually total household income, including spouses' earnings.

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The Mayor Warns Us Of NYC's Carbon Emissions... With Balls!


It's no doubt that we New Yorkers live in a fumed-out city; just take a gander over to Broadway in Midtown around 4pm on a weekday and you'll find it difficult to look beyond the cloudy exhausts coming from the thousands of taxicabs that clog the streets. Some may say it's an essential part of New York's grittiness (really?) while others may argue the urban sprawl offsets the sheer amount of carbon we're letting loose in the environment.

Or, if you're Mayor Bloomberg, you may see it as a huge, huge problem.

This little informercial seen above came from the Hozziner's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. It's based off a September 2011 study conducted by the Office entitled "PlaNYC, Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions: September 2011." And has enough balls to get you worried about just exactly how much we New Yorkers are unknowingly screwing with Mother Nature.


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The Leap Second Will Destroy Your Social Media

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And we were scared of a measly heat wave.

At midnight Saturday, while the ConEd officials were facing off against its workers, the Earth's timekeepers (they exist!) held back the world's atomic time for exactly one second to keep it in line with the planet's rotation. 

The Network TIme Protocol (NTP), a software that numerous Internet services use to keep up with that atomic time, was unable to comprehend the extra second. Crashing ensued in a situation very similar to Y2K, except this time it actually happened.

But this time around, there were a bit more victims than the Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest - all of which are back up and functioning - casualties on Friday night. Andre Tartas of New York Magazine listed the various services we lost (but will not forget) for an hour or so: Reddit, Gizmodo, Gawker, 4Chan (ironic?), LinkedIn, Foursquare, Linux (that's still used?), Yelp, Meetup and Pirate Bay (also ironic).

That's too many sites for us to crack who-cares-if-it's-down jokes about.
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Mysterious 'One-Night Stand' Signs Linked to Real Man! We Talk to Him!

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Last week, the Voice brought you news that a New York man, reportedly in search of a one-night stand, was posting these arrangement-seeking signs around the city.

We wanted to know whether his proposed dutch-dating/casual sex setup (meaning: "McDonald's, Wendy's, Popeyes, Subway," etc., for "females only") was real or a joke.

So we called the guy -- and he called us back!

How did that conversation go?

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Dinosaurs in NYC! U.S. Government Seizes T-Rex Remains From Florida Man

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Sometimes, on a beautiful Saturday, we find a story like this that makes the day even better.

This past week, the head paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History, Mark Norell, noticed a small auction with a listing that should have probably not been there. The auction item was a 11-million-year-old skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataar - a creature from the Cretaceous Period that was discovered for the first time in the Gobi Desert by the Soviets in the 1940s.

 It is 8 feet tall, 24 feet long and somehow found itself in the hands of a Florida man who described himself as a "commercial paleontologist," similar to the guy who thought Jurassic Park was a good idea.

Norell notified the U.S. government of his finding and, when an anonymous bidder bought the skeleton for a $1.052 million, authorities swept in and put the transaction on hold. Now, the remains of "Ty" - the dinosaur's clever nickname - are being held in crates in some unknown Queens locations. It will soon be shipped back to its home in Mongolia - a move praised by the country's President, Elbegdorj Tsakshia. Eric Prokopki told authorities that he obtained the specimen in a legal manner but that opinion runs in contrast to the opinions of several professional paleontologists who examined the remains this week.

Yeah, so that's what happening right now in New York City.
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New York Man Seeks One-Night Stand (Maybe?)

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A natural Casanova?


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So What Is The Origin of The Term 'Nanny State,' Anyway?

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been lambasted for turning New York City into a "nanny state" because of his mandates against transfats, outdoor smoking, fun, and now, supersized sodas.

And if that creepy Bloomberg-meets-Mrs. Doubtfire ad didn't completely freak you out, you might have reacted to continued use of the term with curiosity.

Because we're total word nerds, we wondered: So what's the origin of the term 'nanny state,' anyway?

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Fox News Producer Will Keep His Job After Hilariously Biased Anti-Obama Video

It is political and comedic dogma now that Fox News is the opposite of a "fair and balanced" network. Their opinionators are stacked with conservative voices (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck - remember him?) and any attempt they have made at portraying a leftist voice has failed miserably (Where in the world is Alan Colmes?).

So it was surprising that this video was received so wildly by those in the media who know how things work on Roger Ailes's network. Ed Schultz of MSNBC said that the ad more or less confirms that Fox News is an "arm of the Republican Party." Noted but that's a little harsh.

What has made it an interesting story, though, is that it almost cost producer Chris White, the man behind the video, his job. Keyword: almost.

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