Meet the ‘Cannibal Cop’ and Other Fascinating News on the Web

January 14, 2014

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  1. Cannibal Cop

    “Plenty of aspects of criminal cases involve at least some discussion of how much of a danger the accused poses to society: Judges issue warrants and set bail and sentences all based on some element of prognostication. But what made the case against Valle unique, according to his lawyers, was that absolutely everything the government was using as evidence that he was dangerous was based on his thoughts.” It’s worth reading about the trial of the former police officer known as the Cannibal Cop. His story provides a glimpse into the world of the dark web (disturbing, but worth being aware of), and a look at how technology increases the possibility that we’ll be putting people on trial for what’s going on in their heads.

  2. Et Tu, Senate?

    The Obama administration is working towards cementing a nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, the president’s own party might help the Senate add new sanctions that could completely unravel the deal.

    “Surprise conciliation can go horribly awry if it is not reciprocated or perceived as an admission of weakness.” The Atlantic’s Nicholas Wright and Karim Sadjadpour on what neuroscience can teach us about making a deal with Iran.

  3. Cracking Open the Nest Egg

    I’m convinced that Google bought Nest Labs to enable journalists to publish theories why Google bought Nest Labs. Everyone seems to have one. The NYT explains that both companies want to understand you. Slate suggests it’s all about getting a solid foothold in the soon to explode Internet of things. The Atlantic theorizes that Google bought Nest because it is, at its core, a robotics company. Wired concludes that it’s about “what you can create when you take all the smarts of the smartphone and build them into everything else.” John Gruber makes the point that it’s all about the hardware: “Google’s Nest acquisition has very little to do with selling thermostats and smoke detectors in particular. Instead, it’s about Google having the ability to do consumer hardware right, in general.” Quartz supports that assertion with its list of the 100 Apple employees Google just acquired by buying Nest. Here’s my take: For $3.2 billion, it better be all of the above. And one other thing to note. When the deal was first announced, nearly every early adopter in my Twitter stream brought up the issue of privacy. That’s not the knee-jerk reaction Google (or any big Internet player) wants when they announce a deal.

  4. Shifting Out of Neutral

    A federal appeals court has “opened the way for broadband providers to charge content companies for faster speeds, striking down federal rules that had required equal treatment of Internet traffic.” Net neutrality could be a thing of the past.

  5. Motion is Lotion

    Do you have chronic back pain? Have you tried treatments and even surgeries that only made the problem worse? Here’s a new strategy that is helping some people deal with the issue: They are exercising until they no longer feel the pain.

    + WaPo: Ten nutrients that can lift your spirits.

  6. Still in the Black(fish)

    Over the past several months, there’s been a lot of buzz about Blackfish, a documentary (worth seeing) that chronicles several deaths related to a killer whales in captivity at SeaWorld. So what impact did the bad publicity have on the bottom line? SeaWorld just posted record profits.

  7. Most Influential Maps

    Where do we live? How did we spread around the planet? What happens if the polar ice caps completely melt? WaPo examines these questions and more with a list of forty
    maps that explain the world

  8. Omaha or Bust

    A judge has delayed the NFL’s concussion deal with former players due to a concern that the $675 million compensation fund doesn’t provide enough money for those suffering from the after-effects of a career on the gridiron.

    + This time of year, it’s troubling that these negative realities of football are juxtaposed with the wild enthusiasm connected to the playoffs (it’s enough to drive one to scream “Omaha” 44 times). If you happen to be a football fan, this is a great time of year to be reading Greg Easterbrook.

    + Football has its contradictions. And, of course, baseball has its own. Here are 8 excerpts that explain the Alex Rodriguez doping scandal, and five things to know about the Alex Rodriguez lawsuit. If A-Rod has this much stamina in his fight against MLB, he must be on something.

  9. Product Placement

    If you’re Samsung, how do you get big celebrities to carry around your smartphones? Hint: You give them away. Here’s what it feels like to be white gloved. (If you’re a newsletter writer, you’re lucky if you get rubber gloved…)

    + in 2013, nearly a fifth of thefts in NYC involved an Apple device.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    “The egging incident marks the latest clash between the pop star and his neighbors, who have accused him of throwing loud parties and speeding through the neighborhood.” Justin Bieber has been detained and his home is being searched in connection with a felony egging case. (At his age, at least he doesn’t have to worry about the cholesterol.)

    + Paying at the pump: The government overpays for everything. Even penis pumps.

    + Zach Galifianakis to star in FX comedy from Louis C.K. (Seriously, what more could you people want?)

    + French President Francois Hollande is embroiled in a steamy and increasingly public affair. So his approval numbers are going up.

    + The beginning of the end: Artisanal Toast.