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Cowboys playoff tracker: How loss to Broncos affects Cowboys' playoff chances
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Seven major esports teams are uniting to form a new league to specifically address issues like player compensation and stability.
The Professional Esports Association was created by seven North American franchises: Team SoloMid, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG Esports and CompLexity Gaming. Its owner-operated structure mirrors those of the NBA, NFL and MLB.
The first league to come out of PEA will be in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive starting in January 2017. No details have been announced about the structure of the tournament or the participation of other teams.
Instead of relying on prize pools, sponsorships and outside revenue, revenue for players (and even casters) will be based on how much the league profits.
“PEA players and casters will receive 50 percent of profits from the league”
“PEA players and casters will receive 50 percent of profits from the league,” PEA commissioner Jason Katz said in a conference call.
There will also be opportunities for retirement and healthcare benefits as well as access to assistance in investment planning.
“We want to extend their careers as much as possible and provide for them to the extent that it’s reasonable,” Katz said.
“The [current] esports revenue model is simply broken,” Team SoloMid CEO Andy Dinh said in the conference call.
He said teams currently make money by creating content, either by streaming or making YouTube videos around the games they play, which takes away from time practicing and playing.
“It’s time for leagues to share the rewards and strategic decisions with the players,” Dinh said in a statement, “The best way for team organizations to do that is for us to do it ourselves.”
Currently, PEA has only announced plans for the CS:GO league and haven’t said anything about introducing leagues in other games.
“Those conversations are certainly taking place,” Katz said, but they aren’t announcing anything currently.
As for how the PEA league fits into the already-cluttered CS:GO competitive calendar, Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne said they are being very mindful of as they work up a schedule and format.
“It’s something that we’re really sensitive to because players are partners in this,” Etienne said in the conference call.
All major decisions within the organization will be decided by the board (comprised of team owners), the commissioner and player representatives.
“Players historically have little or no say in league format,” Katz said. “The PEA, however, will give players a strong voice in every major league decision. They’ll have seats in our Rules Committee, which will govern all aspects of competition, from game rules to prize distribution to match format to scheduling to player eligibility.”
Additionally, there will be a Grievances Committee where player reps can take any complaints or issues from players for response and action from the league.
Players typically have to air their grievances on Twitter or through petitions, which aren’t always addressed by league operators.Continue reading
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Cowboys News: Can Denver's run defense stop âDaylight Runnerâ Ezekiel Elliott?
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Cuban said the NFL is making a mistake by valuing television money over the convenience of fans who are used to planning for their NFL teams to play on Sundays with occasional Monday night games. He compared it to the decline in popularity of "Who …
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Cowboys thoroughly thrashed by Broncos, 42-17
Blogging The Boys (blog)
It didn't take long for very high hopes to come crashing down for the Dallas Cowboys. They went into Mile High Stadium to get absolutely outclassed in just about every aspect of the game as they lost to the Denver Broncos by a score of 42-17. And to be …
Sabans Power Rangers was go-go at the box office this weekend. The reboot of the long-running childrens show, which first received the big-screen treatment in 1995, took in a better-than-expected $40 million. Thats $2 million more than its predecessor earned during its entire run in theaters.
Power Rangers generated major buzz on the internet when the films trailer dropped in October, showcasing a more thoughtful take on the cheesy cult program about a Saved by the Bell-like troupe fighting off evil just in time for gym. Elizabeth Banks keeps its camp underpinnings alive as Rita Repulsa, an extraterrestrialwitch hunting for gold, but the 2017 edition attempts to ground itself in the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. These kids arent all right.
Kimberly (Naomi Scott) is a recovering high-school bully, while Jason (Dacre Montgomery) is on house arrest. Zack (Ludi Lin) lives in a trailer park with his sick mother, and Billy (RJ Cyler, a standout) has Aspergers, which has made him an outcast at Angel Grove High.
Focusing on its characters shared traumas often makes Power Rangers feel like an extended session of group therapy, but one moment stands out as small but groundbreaking. Trini (Becky G) confesses to her fellow Rangers that she doesnt like her parents involved in her relationships. Boyfriend problems? Zack asks, pausing before he cautiously adds: Girlfriend problems? Trini, not the chatty type, claims she doesnt like labeling.
Whats notable is that the reveal has generated almost no backlash, despite news that Russian distributors would be slapping an 18+ rating on the film for violating its gay propaganda laws. (One executive even called Power Rangers fascist ideology.) Arguably the films overtures to queer audiences are a big reason behind its surprise success. LGBT audiences are hungry for greater inclusion, and news that Power Rangers would feature the first queer superhero helped get butts in seats. Wireds Angela Watercutter claimed that headlines about the films gay moment got her to line up on Thursday for a movie she would have otherwise had no interest in. (Full disclosure: This writer bought an opening-night ticket right along with her.)
Power Rangers blockbuster opening is a testament to something that should have already been obvious by now: Movies with LGBT characters make money. In recent years, Hollywood has largely shut out queer viewers in a quest to make as many superhero movies as possible starring white, straight men named Chris, but the recent success of inclusive cinema shows that major revenue is being left on the table. LGBT audiences are here, were queer, and were willing to pay to see ourselves on-screen.
Beauty and the Beast broke box-office records this month following reports that the film would feature Disneys first exclusively gay moment. In the 1991 cartoon on which the movie is based, Le Fou—a dim-witted villager in desperate need of dental care—is Gastons sidekick. Hes a buffoon, someone youre supposed to laugh at. The remake, though, gives the character a makeover: Le Fou, as played by Frozens Josh Gad, is hopelessly in love with his pectorally gifted best friend (Luke Evans) but doesnt realize it. He goes on a journey of awakening when he realizes that his BFF is a violent narcissist who literally sucks eggs.
Le Fou doesnt quite have his big coming out, but in the films final moments, he gets his man. During a grand ball, Le Fou is paired up with a male dancing partner. The viewer is left to fill in the rest.
Russia, true to form, threatened to ban Beauty and the Beast in protest of Le Fous sexuality, and a drive-in theater in Alabama declined to screen it. Christian leaders further have urged a boycott of Disney. Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham (son to Billy) posted on Facebook that the Mouse House is attempting to normalize and push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of… children. An online petition has called for the studio to stop promoting a harmful sexual political agenda. A mommy blogger even cancelled her trip to Disney World over two seconds of dancing.
The conservative protest, which amounted to free publicity, had the opposite intended effect.
Beauty and the Beast outperformed even its most optimistic expectations to gross $228 million during its first seven days in theaters. The films record-smashing run ranks as the sixth-best opening week of all time, ahead of cultural phenomenons like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight Rises. Beauty and the Beast doesnt appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The film earned an estimated $88 million during its second weekend, down just 49percent from the previous frame. Thats a better sophomore weekend than The Dark Knight.
Even more impressively, Beauty and the Beast has already raked in $690 million worldwide, performing well in countries that are less than friendly to LGBT people. Lithuania has an anti-LGBT propaganda law similar to Russias, and homosexual acts remain illegal in India decades after British colonists introduced them. The film opened at No. 1 both nations anyway.
Despite the restricted rating, Beauty and the Beast also topped the charts in Russia.
These numbers are a reminder that the public has come a long way when it comes to the acceptance of LGBT people. Pew Research polls from 2016 showed that just 28percent of Americans felt that homosexuality was immoral and should be openly discouraged—with even conservatives showing high numbers of LGBT support. Fifty-five percent of moderate Republicans claimed to support marriage equality, while 71percent said that LGBT people should be accepted in society. Support of same-sex unions among all U.S. citizens ticked up 20 percentage points from 2006, when just 35 percentof the public opposed equal marriage.
Many countries are still catching up when it comes to LGBT tolerance, but that didnt keep them from screening the film. Pew polls from 2013 showed that 86 percent of Malaysians felt society shouldnt support homosexuality, but Beauty and the Beast will debut there later this month. The countrys censorship board initially asked for cuts, but Disney refused.
A Variety report from Brent Lang argued that studios have hesitated about putting LGBT characters in major tentpoles because of fear about alienating foreign audiences, and this has shown in recent years. A 2016 report from GLAAD found that the number of queer and transgender characters in studio films had flatlined in recent years—with 17.5percent percent of major releases featuring LGBT characters. A majority of these appearances were relatively minor, with queer people receiving just seconds of screentime. Even worse, movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings and Horrible Bosses 2 depicted the LGBT community in a mocking or defamatory manner.
Hashtag campaigns like #GiveElsaAGirlfriend and #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend have lobbied to amend this erasure by portraying same-sex relationships in a positive light, and studios should listen. If executives arent moved by Disneys victory over censorship in Malaysia and Russia, the bottom line speaks for itself.
The most recent survey from Gallup showed that there are 10 million LGBT people living in the United States, a population which boasts a massive buying power. In 2017, the average movie ticket price is $8.65. A single admission to Power Rangers in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicagocities with larger-than-average LGBT populationswill likely set you back more than 15 bucks. If every queer or transgender person in America purchased a ticket to see Trini question her sexuality, thats at least $86 million in additional revenue. A movie that might have grossed $100 million domestically without an LGBT character could make almost twice that.
That measure might appear optimistic, but its not. A 2016 report found that the LGBT community boasts a yearly disposable income of nearly $1 trillion, and thats just in the U.S.
Two decades ago, popular comedies like The Birdcage and In & Out proved that queer audiences would turn out in droves to see their lives and stories represented on-screen. Mike Nichols 1997 comedy starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple pretending to be straight to impress their soon-to-be daughter-in-laws conservative parents (Dianne Wiest and Gene Hackman) grossed $124 million domestically. The Birdcage even took in more than $60 million abroad.
LGBT movies have struggled at the box office in the decades since, but a major reason for that is because studios have largely stopped making them. In the past decade, just two movies with a queer lead have played in more than 2,000 locations: Brno and The Imitation Game. Despite massive acclaim for indies like Moonlight, Carol, and The Kids Are All Right, most of America didnt have the chance to see them during their theatrical runs.
Queer viewers are unlikely to see a mid-budget renaissance of the kind that produced studio hits like Philadelphia, The Crying Game, and To Wong Foo, but executives should take greater chances on LGBT inclusivity in the kinds of movies they are making. The demand is certainly there. Last year, Ryan Reynolds voiced his support for giving Wade Wilson, who is portrayed as pansexual in the original comics, a male love interest in Deadpool 2. The response wasnt reactionary pearl-clutching—it was applause.
Its perhaps a sign of the times that after Power Rangers debuted, audiences werent outraged that Trini was reimagined as a queer Latina. They were disappointed that the movie didnt do more. BuzzFeeds Alison Wilmore argued that the seconds of screentime devoted to the Trinis sexuality wereincredibly unsatisfactory. Referring to Disneys history of villains who are coded as queer, Wilmore writes that the token visibility offered to audiences in Power Rangers and Beauty and the Beastdoesn’tdo right by them.
LGBT audiences are hungry for more. Is Hollywood ready to give it to them?
President Donald Trump may call education the “civil rights issue of our time,” but just weeks before he was elected, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization strongly rejected the very type of schools he loves to champion.
In October, the NAACP voted on a controversial resolution calling for a moratorium on the growth of charter schools, which exist in 43 states. Over six decades after the organization fought to eliminate school segregation through the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, leaders said charter schools were perpetuating the very same segregation they fought so hard to stop. Not only that, but charter schools also divert resources away from traditional public school systems.
Charter school activists opposed the move. So did some of the very people the NAACP seeks to serve, like the hundreds of thousands of black families that choose charter schools for their children every year.
The controversial stance threw the nation’s oldest civil rights organization into the spotlight during a time when they were fighting for relevancy. In the months since, a task force of a dozen NAACP leaders has traveled the country, listening to both charter school advocates and opponents, parents and teachers, about what steps the organization should take next.
Next month the NAACP will release a report detailing what the task force found. HuffPost, through conversations with several task force leaders, received a glimpse into what these findings might look like.
After spending time in seven cities, NAACP Task Force on Quality Education chair Alice Huffman says she is more convinced than ever that the call for a moratorium was the correct decision. The election of Trump, and his subsequent appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has given the issue specific urgency. DeVos, a notorious champion of school choice, would like to see more charter schools, and her department’s proposed budget has put funding behind them.
“Nobody is convinced … after going all across the country, that the moratorium was wrong,” said Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP. “My mind wasn’t as made up as it is now.”
Not all task force members were necessarily committed to the idea of a moratorium before setting out on their nationwide listening tour. What they heard in cities like Detroit and New Orleans convinced them to stick with it. Gloria Sweet-Love, a task force member, has a grandson currently attending a charter school, and she calls it “wonderful.” She highlights Tennessee’s charter school system as a national bright spot.
But she emerged from the travel with a critical conviction: “Charters won’t fix what’s wrong with public education,” said Sweet-Love, the president of the Tennessee NAACP state conference.
Sweet-Love is no stranger to the harms of educational inequity. As a child growing up in western Tennessee, she attended all-black schools, where “new” textbooks arrived only after the white students from a nearby school had used them for years and finally decided to get rid of them. In science class, they didn’t even have beakers to conduct experiments.
Many decades after her high school graduation in 1965, schools in America are no longer legally segregated. But Sweet-Love still sees black children ― both in charters and outside them ― getting the short end of the educational stick. Charters, she says, often exacerbate many of these issues.
“We have seen charters that work well, but we still contend what we said in the beginning. All of them should be accountable and transparent, they ought to be able to help all children, including children with disabilities and children with discipline problems,” said Sweet-Love.
Charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, were popularized during the 1990s. They were born out of the idea that operating outside the traditional public school system ― a system filled with powerful teachers unions and layers of thick bureaucratic red tape ― could allow them to act as labs of innovation that share ideas with the traditional system.
In reality, said Huffman, that’s not what happened.
“There’s no mechanism for feeding ideas back into public school. That experiment has failed and nobody even contends that it exists, so it’s a myth,” she said.
Charters won’t fix what’s wrong with public education. Gloria Sweet-Love, president of Tennessee NAACP state conference
But charter school leaders contend that restricting charter schools won’t fix what’s wrong with public education, and will only succeed in cutting off access to high-performing schools. These leaders, like Shavar Jeffries, also see themselves on the forefront of a civil rights issue. As a former civil rights attorney, Jeffries spent time working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and now heads the group Democrats for Education Reform.
Jeffries told HuffPost that he would like to see the NAACP pass a moratorium on all failing schools, regardless of the type.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing for us is the quality of the services being delivered. And if any particular provider is providing high quality services to our young people, particularly our most vulnerable, we will push any advocates of children to support that,” said Jeffries.
But NAACP leaders point to evidence showing that charter schools are more racially segregated than their traditional counterparts, and have higher suspension rates. NAACP critics say these schools cherry-pick the best students, leaving behind students with special needs, while draining resources from the traditional system. They complain charter schools are not subject to the same accountability or transparency measures as normal schools. And while most charter schools have nonprofit status, some are for-profit or virtual, designed to make money over providing enrichment.
On the flip side, studies show that these schools provide small but meaningful academic benefits, especially for disadvantaged students. Proponents cite surveys showing that African-American parents are strongly supportive of charter schools. They say these schools give low-income parents the luxury of choice, a comfort often reserved for affluent families. Many of the problems perpetuated by charter schools ― like racial segregation ― are also major failures of the traditional public school system.
Still, if you only listen to the words of the leaders from both camps, it can be difficult to distinguish between the goals of some groups that fight for charter schools and those that fight against them. Both employ civil rights rhetoric to further their aims. They both say they are singularly dedicated to lifting the prospects of low-income black and brown children who have suffered in white supremacist school systems.
But they starkly diverge on the means to achieve this end.
“Kids don’t have time to wait while adults argue,” said Ron Rice, senior director for government relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “If schools are working and they’re public, then we should be embracing them, and we should not be fighting about the details about the delivery system. It’s just that simple.”
Huffman told HuffPost she hopes to make the release of the task force’s report one of the centerpieces of the NAACP annual convention in late July. Then, she hopes to inspire a national campaign of actions against charter schools.
She says she plans on taking a page from the playbook of the Koch brothers, conservative billionaires who donate heavily to political causes. “We put some initiatives out across the country that everybody can work on,” said Huffman. “We’ll have people there for every state.”
How do you become a millionaire? Here are 7 ways to end up with $1 million.
Instead of pursuing your hobby for fun, make real cash from it. Grant Sabatier, founder of the Millennial Money blog, gave Mic an example of a college student who turned his love of dogs into a business that brings in $200,000 a year. âI met Adam a few …
Blogging The Boys (blog)
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Austin Bryant, DE Clemson
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Blogging The Boys will begin taking a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. We'll try to do this on a Friday night or Saturday morning so you can pay attention to that player in their next game if you should …
A mother who falsely claimed a Primark security guard snatched her baby from her while she was breastfeeding has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Caroline Starmer’s lies made national headlines, but she was charged by police after Primark checked the CCTV from the Leicester store.
The 28-year-old admitted intending to pervert the course of justice at a previous court hearing.
She was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Starmer, of Marshall Street, Leicester, made the false allegation on the Facebook page of a campaign group called Free to Feed, which supports breastfeeding in public.
She was interviewed by the Leicester Mercury and the story was then picked up by the national press.
Starmer’s defence said she lied because an unnamed friend persuaded her to do it to make money.
Judge Simon Hammond said she had avoided jail “by a whisker”.
“She has done a gross disservice to the many mothers who are breastfeeding and rely on shops and other public facilities to allow them to breastfeed their babies in privacy and dignity,” he said.
“This is a very serious case of perverting the course of justice. What the defendant did was carefully planned and orchestrated for financial gain.”
The court heard that Starmer visited the Primark store on 13 July with her twins, then aged nine months.
She went to the children’s clothing section where she sat and started to breastfeed one baby, paid for her shopping and left the store.
That same day, Starmer phoned her husband and said that while she had been feeding, a security guard had told her to stop and “ripped the baby from her breast”.
She repeated these false claims on Facebook and to the press.
The Facebook post was shared more than 5,000 times and the story featured in news bulletins as far afield as Japan and New Zealand, prosecutor Tina Dempster told the court.
When Starmer repeated the allegation to police she said the security guard in question was Asian.
Leicester Crown Court heard there was only one Asian security guard on duty in the store that day and the allegations caused him “great stress and upset” until he was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
Primark reviewed the CCTV footage and spoke to the security guards who had been on duty, and they found no evidence that Starmer had even been approached by anyone.
The company said in a statement: “The company wishes to thank its staff for their patience and understanding through this process.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to confirm that Primark will continue to work hard to ensure that all of our customers have a comfortable and enjoyable experience in our stores.
“This of course includes breastfeeding mothers, who remain welcome, as ever, at Primark.”
The court heard Starmer has had 17 miscarriages and suffers from mental health issues.
She had previously made a similar allegation on Facebook about a leisure centre in Leicester.
However, Leicester City Council told the BBC that a breastfeeding mother would never be asked to leave any of its premises.
Janine Smith, chief crown prosecutor for CPS East Midlands, said: “To make an allegation that someone has committed a criminal offence is a very serious matter.
“In fabricating this story and pursuing a false criminal allegation, Caroline Starmer caused a great deal of distress to those implicated by her lies.”Continue reading
Growing consensus within Obama administration is that Russians infiltrated DNC but there is less certainty that Vladimir Putins government is responsible
The emerging consensus within the Obama administration is that Russian hackers successfully infiltrated the data networks of the Democratic National Committee, the Guardian has learned, although there is less certainty that the Russian government is definitively responsible for the attack.
A senior administration official said indications in the code used to execute the data breach points to Russian culprits. That assessment matches the preliminary conclusions from a recent series of cybersecurity firms that have analyzed the hack.
The official, who was not cleared to discuss an attack that has roiled US politics and relations with Moscow, could not unequivocally attribute the attack to a Russian state actor.
But the operating theory and animating belief inside the administration is that the attack, which led to tens thousands of internal DNC emails spilling onto the internet ahead of the Democrats presidential nominating convention, enraging Bernie Sanders supporters by suggesting bias against him among party staff and leading to the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was Russian in origin.
Neither the White House nor the office of the director of national intelligence would confirm a New York Times article late Tuesday reporting that US intelligence agencies consider Vladimir Putins government to be responsible for the attack on the DNC. Queries to the FBI, which Barack Obama has now placed in charge of responding to cyber threats, were not immediately returned.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that the FBI believes the Russian government to be behind the DNC hack. The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating the breach.
The self-proclaimed source for scores of DNC emails published by WikiLeaks, known as Guccifer 2.0, is not a single operator but Russian cybercriminals designated Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear by investigators who have invaded the White House and the Bundestag between them, according to leading cybersecurity firms.
Security firm ThreatConnect issued a comprehensive report on Tuesday using their own data and data from previous reports by rivals CrowdStrike, Mandiant and Fidelis.
Crowdstrike associates Fancy Bear with other Russian intrusions, notably one into the German Bundestag in May and another into French television network TV5 Monde. Cozy Bear has dug into the state department the joint chiefs, and the White House, said CrowdStrike, which analyzed those hacks.
Weve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well, wrote CrowdStrikes Dmitri Alperovitch. In fact, our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis.
Alperovitch told the Christian Science Monitor earlier in July he had high-level confidence that Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear represented Russian spy agencies. Alpertovitch said he believed with what he called medium level confidence that Fancy Bear represented Russias Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Russias largest intelligence agency. He had low level confidence that Cozy Bear was the work of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
The new ThreatConnect report suggests that the person who has been giving interviews under the name Guccifer 2.0 to the press isnt a hacker at all.
In June, Guccifer contacted Vocativ writer Kevin Collier through Twitter to offer a story about the DNC leaks, insisting on encryption; Collier said the story he received by email was so offbeat he asked Guccifer what good it could possibly be. I find it interesting was the only reply.
Collier also said there was something else odd about the email: it had come from a French AOL service so insecure that it included the senders IP address in the email.
Its baffling, Collier said. Hes either an amateur, made a huge mistake, or this is part of an incredibly intricate disinformation campaign. Since the going theory of the DNC hack is that it was perpetrated by Russian government groups that then passed this information to propagandists or professional trolls to spread, my best guess is it was just a rookie mistake.
The sender had used a proxy, but the proxy masking Guccifers location was Russian.
Guccifer 2.0 had always claimed to be Romanian like the original Guccifer, imprisoned hacker Marcel Lazr Lehel, but the 2.0 version had regularly communicated with journalists in Russian. When Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai asked Guccifer 2.0 to speak Romanian, the few sentences that came back were filled with mistakes.
Then there was the way Guccifer claimed to have attacked the DNC with a zero-day hack into a software called Votebuilder used by the DNC. A zero-day hack finds a vulnerability in the software that was previously unknown to the target.
A backdoor into Votebuilder would only be valuable to someone attacking the DNC; most black-market activity focuses on exploitation of widely used software that can be used on multiple targets to make money until it is discovered and closed down.
Toni Gidwani, director of research operations for ThreatConnect, said: There are much easier ways to get in.
Another security company, Secureworks, found what may be the culprit: a fake Google login page targeting the Clinton campaign.
Gidwani said the various mistakes and inconsistencies indicate to ThreatConnect that a lot of the decisions around the hack appear to have been arrived at by committee with varying degrees of knowledge about hacking.
It would suggest to us that the operators of the Guccifer 2.0 persona were not the actors who breached the DNC, she said. Youre looking at the operations guys who dont have the same technical credibility as these very sophisticated actors who exploited these networks. Youve got a lot of cooks in this kitchen here, not just one actor.Continue reading