Report: AT&T Assisted NSA in Spying on Internet Traffic

New York Times report released Saturday revealed that the communications giant AT&T provided assistance to the National Security Administration. The two spied on American citizens by getting access to emails and other private forms of communication over the past decade.

“AT&T has given the N.S.A. access, through several methods covered under different legal rules, to billions of emails as they have flowed across its domestic networks, ” reports The New York Times.

Documents from 2003-13 also reveal that surveillance equipment was installed in 17 different AT&T Internet hubs. That means that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was right. Snowden uncovered that the NSA was monitoring the United Nations Internet traffic at the AT&T New York headquarters between 2011-13. However, his leaks did not connect AT&T with the NSA.

The New York Times and Pro Publica have reviewed the documents granted to them by Snowden.

According to Reuters reporter Will Dunham, “AT&T started in 2011 to provide the NSA more than 1.1 billion domestic cellphone calling records daily after ‘a push to get this flow operational prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11,’ referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the Times reported.”

The only response so far from AT&T comes by way of Reuters. The communications company’s spokesman Brad Burns told the news organization that AT&T does not release information unless a person’s life is in danger.

Customers are concerned that their Fourth Amendment rights have been violated; the United States is concerned that state secrets will become public, and AT&T is still relatively quiet on the matter.

5 Actors Who Would Be a Perfect Fit to Play Miles Morales in the Upcoming Spider-Man Film

Earlier this year, Marvel Studios and Sony reached a deal that would allow Marvel to produce a Spider-Man film. This newfound hope sent the Internet into a frenzy with the idea that Peter Parker would be set aside for the first Black and Hispanic Spider-Man Miles Morales. Marvel cast young actor Tom Holland in the role of Peter Parker, continuing a long line of white Spider-Men; even though there have been many people — male, female, Black and Hispanic — who have taken up the mantle. If there is a Miles Morales Spider-Man film, here are some actors who should portray him.


Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino 

Actor and rapper Donald Glover is the only person on the list who has portrayed Miles Morales to date. In the current Disney XD animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, Glover was Morales during the Spider-verse event fighting alongside Peter Parker to bring down an inter-dimensional threat. He gained a cult following as Troy Barnes in the show Community (2009-14), which is his most famous acting role to date. Glover has the acting chops and comedic range for the role.  He will be in the upcoming Ridley Scott film The Martian (2015).

Marvel Introduces New Comic ‘Moon Girl’ Featuring an Afro-Brazilian Character

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will be the latest title added to an all new relaunch of Marvel Comics titles later this fall. This relaunch will feature more diverse titles and characters to make the Marvel Universe more inclusive for readers of all backgrounds.

The creative team will consist of longtime comic artist Amy Reeder and writer Brandon Montclare on writing duty and artist Natacha Bustos. This new title is based off of a 1978 series created by legendary comics writer and artist, Jack Kirby, where a caveman called Moon Boy and a red scaled dinosaur called Devil Dinosaur had strange adventures.


Moon_Girl__Devil_Dinosaur_Bustos_Design_SketchesThe updated version will star Lunella Lafayette as Moon Girl, a tween super genius who struggles to fit in with people her own age.

When asked about diversity in comics in a Entertainment Weekly profile, artist Natacha Bustos said it’s been disappointing.

“I myself have come up against this dilemma (I’m half Afro-Brazilian and half Chilean besides being Spanish) of finding few or no cultural references, especially in Spain, a country where there is isn’t any community comparable to the African-American community in the states,” she says. “You end up ironing out your differences and you need to work hard on this aspect to be able to continue maturing as a person.”

Lafayette will be an Inhuman with a hidden gene that has yet to be triggered. One element of the plot will be focused on her trying to control her potential problem.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will be out on shelves this fall.

Black Panther Is Revealed in New Set Photo from ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Earlier this week, set photos leaked from the 2016 Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War revealed Black Panther in costume. The character has been in the press all year primarily because of the prospect of Ava DuVernay directing his solo film. Du Vernay turned down the job a month back.

Currently, the next Captain America film is shooting in Berlin, Germany. From previously released set photos, Wakanda will be a major setting in the film where Captain America, the Falcon, and Black Widow will be at large. These newly released photos confirms that Black Panther may be in the center of the action.


Black Panther is seen here on a harness preparing for a stunt scene.

On the set of Captain America, Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther Featuring: Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan Where: Berlin, Germany When: 12 Aug 2015

This may be part of a battle scene that requires Black Panther to scale a wall.

On the set of Captain America, Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther Featuring: Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan Where: Berlin, Germany When: 12 Aug 2015

This could be a stunt double or Chadwick Boseman in costume.

Captain America: Civil War is slated for release on May 6, 2016.

6 Amazing Facts About the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson

Celebrating the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson

(Aug. 14, 1914 – June 07, 1995)

The Beginning 

Branson was a physicist and chemist who was responsible for discovering the alpha-helix protein structure in biological systems. He was educated at Virginia State College in 1936 where he earned a bachelor’s in physics. After graduating, Branson went on to the University of Cincinnati to obtain his Ph.D. in physics. He studied under the direction of Boris Padowski in 1939 who was a confidant of Albert Einstein. Branson and Padowski wrote the research paper On the Quantization of Mass in 1940.

This Evolution in Robotics Is Making Terminator-Style Robots a Possibility in the Very Near Future 

MIT robotics students have created a robot that can imitate human reflexes.

According to the project team member Albert Wang at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, “[The team] decided that connecting the robot to a human operator was the easiest way to incorporate the kind of intelligence we need. It would take a computer a long time and a lot of programming to come to the quick conclusions that humans come to almost instantaneously through good instincts.”

Hermes is similar to the jaegers from the 2013 film Pacific Rim where pilots were connected to machines physically and mentally in order to operate the large humanoid-battle robots for combat. This tech is also reminiscent of anime fighting robots in Mobile Suit Gundam.

The setup is simple enough. A person wears an exoskeleton of wires and motors as a sensor suit. The suit makes Hermes balance and move very similarly to a person.

“An example is walking, which is just a process of falling and catching yourself. That’s something that feels effortless to us, but it’s challenging to program into a robot to do it both dynamically and efficiently,” says team member Joao Ramos.

Hermes will be part of the 2015 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency robotics competition.

The robot could be used to help people build houses, perform surgery or even give the elderly newfound strength. MIT released a video showing the robot’s capabilities for the public. Take a look below:

10 Black Comic Book Characters We Can’t Wait See Get Their Own Films

Revenger.1.prev2_-600x928Revenger (Independent) 

From writer and artist Charles Sanford Forsman, Revenger is about a woman that takes the cases of the downtrodden and helps them seek revenge. For comic book fans that enjoy tough female leads and some violence, this is a cool title to check out.

watsonWatson and Holmes (Independent) 

This series was created by comic writer Karl Bollers and artist Rick Leonardi. Watson and Holmes takes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective series and transports John Watson and Sherlock Holmes to Harlem.

This Scientist Thoughts on How Human Cells Can Be Repaired Like Cars To Achieve Immortality Demands Your Attention

Scientist Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer at SENS Research Foundation, believes that people can cheat death and live forever.

De Grey is a University of Cambridge-educated biomedical gerontologist who has researched and written three books about aging: “The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging” (1999), “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence: Why Genuine Control of Aging May Be Foreseeable” (2004) and “Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime” (with Michael Rae) (2008).

His work has gained the attention of the larger scientific community because it is extremely controversial. He wants to use stem cells to repair old and dying cells like one repairs a car or leaky faucet. He believes that if dying cells are repaired with stem cells people can live longer. The whole idea is simple really. People in the modern world have cured most infectious diseases and the real cause of death is simply living. The cells will eventually wear down and then people will die.

Another aspect of his work revolves around moving away from the need of pharmaceuticals.

According to de Grey, “we will not cure cancer this way. We will not cure Alzheimer’s this way. The incentive structure for modern pharmaceuticals perpetuates this because it can be done reasonably quickly, sold for a lot of money and because people are desperate for anything.”

Controversy aside, de Grey wants people to live longer without dependence on medication and corporate exploitation. To some that is a great thing, but to others, he is playing God.

“We are talking about a world in which quality will confer quantity, in which you will live longer because you are living better. That’s the critical thing here,” says de Grey.

Leaked ‘Warcraft’ Trailer: What Google and Legendary Pictures Have Planned Will Blow Your Mind

As the San Diego Comic Con starts to take off, there is already surprising news coming from Legendary Pictures and Google.

The production studio and tech giant are teaming up to bring director Duncan Jones’ Warcraft to virtual reality. However, there are a few caveats. The VR footage does not include footage of the film. Also the viewing experience is not similar to “traditional” virtual reality viewings.


“The scene is viewable only through Google Cardboard, a headset made of — you guessed it — corrugated paper that cradles a user’s smartphone, letting them peer through a pair of cheap lenses for no-frills VR experiences. Called The Skies of Azeroth, the short interactive scene puts viewers on the back of a flying eagle as it traverses a detailed fantasy city called Stormwind,” reports Nick Statt for


Legendary Pictures started this partnership during 2013’s promotion of Guillermo del Toro’s  Pacific Rim and there will also be a Crimson Peak VR experience at the con.

According to Legendary vice president of theatrical strategy Barnaby Legg, “VR is a very nascent medium, and I think all of us in the entertainment business are dipping our toe in and kind of seeing where it goes. Our view at the moment is that we feel we’re in the experience business, and as we learned last year VR is an amazing way of expanding the universe of our films and really immerse our audiences.”


In regards to Warcraft, the companies have yet to release a teaser online, a trailer, and there are very few promotional stills out there. The film will bring to life the fantasy and sci-fi world of Azeroth on June 10, 2016. So the DIY VR sets are the first in a year’s worth of promotional buildup.

5 Facts About the First Black Female Physician, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Cinemax’s The Knick shows the bloody and brutal history of 19th and early 20th century medicine in this country in graphic fashion. Algernon Edwards, portrayed by Andre Holland, is the first Black doctor at the New York knickerbocker hospital during a time of extreme lynching and post-reconstruction racism. He faces segregation, bureaucracy and an inhumane level of  social immobility but he continues to push through.

Now imagine if it was a Black woman making a name for herself in the 1800s as a medical doctor. You’d be accurate if you were imagining Rebecca Lee Crumpler— the first Black physician in America and the first Black woman to earn a medical degree.

g1_u60509_rebecca_crumplerHer Early Life

There is very little information about Crumpler (1831-1895). Documents and photos of her life have been lost to time except for a journal she kept.

Crumpler wanted to enter the medical field but had few opportunities. In the 19th century, being a nurse required little education and was a stepping stone for Black people. Before becoming a doctor, she worked as a nurse, starting in 1852. In order to find work, Crumpler  moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked for the next eight years.