vigilantism

The 404 1,251: Where we find the cipher in the sound (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Did 4chan just find the Boston Marathon bomber?.

- 4chan's Boston bombing Google Doc culls photos, speculation, and accusations.

- Internet tough guys and girls already pointing fingers at the Middle East. Response: "Please don't let it be a Muslim."

- Beating conspiracy theorists at their own game.

- Using Microsoft Photosynth to recreate a panoramic photo of the bombsite.

- Encode hidden messages in your Facebook pics with "Secretbook" extension.

- Demonic portraits and other evils lurking beneath waves of musical spectrograms.… Read more

Mysterious superhero surfaces, strikes fear into hearts of no one

Many of us here at CNET harbor dreams of leading secret lives as masked superheroes, protecting the public from evildoers. A nagging feeling some would call "common sense" prevents us from living the dream. Luckily, we can all rest easy knowing that our streets are now protected by a motley crew of pseudo-heroes known as The Allegiance.

The team owes its Internet notoriety to a short profile that a Cincinnati local news station aired on one of its members, intimidatingly named Shadow Hare--check out his MySpace page. A 21-year-old man (I'll believe it when I see it) … Read more

Commit adultery in China, Web vigilantes will hunt you

A man cheats on his wife and after learning of the affair the woman leaps from her 24th-floor balcony. Before committing suicide, the wife blames her husband and his mistress for her death in a blog post.

The woman was a 31-year-old Beijing resident who has since become the face of what the Chinese call "human flesh search engines." The term is used to describe cybermobs banding together online to hunt down people who have committed perceived wrongdoings.

There's a fascinating story about these Web vigilantes from Beijing-based freelance journalist Chris O'Brien at Forbes.com. He … Read more