A few weeks ago Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was mispronouncing "Bitcoin" as "Bitcom," but he's grown far more familiar with the digital currency after being accused of inventing it in a Newsweek cover story. The 64-year-old California man is now the owner of 48 bitcoins, or more than $23,000, after an online fundraiser to help him "with medical bills his family is facing, any legal bills they may incur, or anything else." On Tuesday Nakamoto appeared in a video with Andreas M. Antonopoulos, who organized the drive, to thank the Bitcoin community. "I want to hug you, this 2,000 of you, who donated. I'm very happy, each one gives me a tick in my heart."
While the debate over whether video games cause violent behavior rages on, gaming did prove dangerous for one Long Island teen. As Rafael Castillo, 17, played Call of Duty on Tuesday afternoon, more than 70 emergency responders swarmed his Long Beach home in response to a reported hostage situation. Someone claiming to be Castillo called the local police station via Skype and said, "I just killed my mother and I might shoot more people." In reality Maria Castillo was completely fine, at least until she spotted officers on her lawn with guns drawn, screaming "Go! Go! Get out!" Her other son, 21-year-old Jose Castillo, arrived home from lunch to find helicopters circling and fire trucks outside his home. "I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn’t know what was going on," Jose said. "Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed. I said 'how is that possible if she’s right there and I’m right here?'"
A small green parrot named Truman went missing near Brooklyn's 16th Avenue and 75th Street on Monday, and his owner would very much appreciate it if everyone kept an eye out for him. "He's so friendly and not people shy. He'd probably just land on your shoulder and if you put out your finger, he'd go to it," said Michael Sazhin, who has performed on The Late Show, America's Got Talent, and Steve Harvey with Truman's colleague, Kili. Truman generally chills backstage in his capacity as an understudy.
The official common Twitter phenomenon, but tend to be played more for giggles ("trolling," some call it) than to make a coherent political statement. With #myNYPD, however, a harsh pattern emerged right away.Twitter account made an attempt at social media outreach today only to get promptly torn to shreds by users resisting the PR push. Hijacked hashtags are a
Afroduck (a.k.a. Adam Tang) has had a suspended license ever since the NYPD discovered that he was the daredevil who recorded himself doing a lap of Manhattan in 24 minutes. Not being very respectful of rules, he went for a drive anyway earlier this month and got caught. Thanks to a tough judge, someone now has to pay a bail of $25,000 bond (or $15,000 cash) before Afroduck can return to his adventures.
The average age of the Supreme Court justices is old. As such, their familiarity with technology varies. For instance, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is 59, is pretty savvy. During today's arguments in the Aereo case — read Kevin Roose's explainer here — she mentioned that she owns a Roku streaming device, which works with Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. Justice Antonin Scalia, 78, on the other hand, is still figuring out how premium cable works.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that cops spotted Florida State Representative Dane Eagle running a red light on Monday. It was 2 a.m. and Eagle was coming from a Taco Bell, so it's not so surprising that the officers who pulled him over noted that there was a "strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath and his eyes were bloodshot and watery." After the 30-year-old Republican "stumbled" when he got out of his car, told the police that his vehicle only smelled like liquor because he'd used it to ferry his friends from a bar earlier, and declined a field sobriety test, he was taken to jail. But by Monday afternoon, the lawmaker was in good enough shape to ask Congress for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. Eagle, who has endorsed a bill that would require any elected or appointed official who refused a drug test to be fired, issued a statement acknowledging his arrest but declining to discuss it. All in a day's work for a Florida man.
One of the nice things about losing a presidential election? You're allowed to use your vast wealth to help out your (allegedly) corrupt buddies. To that end, the Washington Post reports that Mitt Romney has given $10,000 to former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's legal defense fund. As you might recall, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, got themselves into some trouble earlier this year, when it was revealed that they had accepted a wide array of fancy gifts (and money) from a sketchy Virginia businessman named Jonnie Williams. The couple is set to go on trial in July for over a dozen federal charges of bribery and fraud, which is expensive.
According to several reports, Simon Ostrovsky, an American video journalist working for Vice in Ukraine, has been "taken" by a pro-Russia militia in the eastern town of Slavyansk. Russian news outlet Gazeta says that the situation was first announced by Slavyansk's self-appointed "people's mayor," Vyacheslav Ponomarev, during a press conference. Somewhat confusingly, Ponomarev went on to say that, "Nobody abducted [Ostrovsky], nobody is holding him hostage, he's with us now in at the SBU, preparing material and working," but statements from Vice and reporters in Slavyansk seem to indicate that he's being held against his will.
Fifty years ago today, the 1964 World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows. It was a sometimes-charming, sometimes-crass showcase at which hundreds of countries and corporations each showed off their next big thing, usually with a product introduction or cultural demonstration. Some were future game-changers. The others … were not. See ten that didn't quite work out, and five that did, below. (The quotes in the descriptions come from promotional material for the Fair.)