Why Does Russia Want to Shut Down GMail?

Russia is, as we all know, currently in the process of getting over this whole “democracy” thing and getting back to being the oppressive brutal regime it once was before Stalin died and things went all wussy. And with that comes seemingly insane ideas that make sense once you understand the evil behind them. And will Maine be overrun with amputee greasers? Learn the answers in Uproxx News!

The Oppression Will Continue Until Morale Improves

First up, Russia. As fanfic readers and lovers of whiny poetry may know, LiveJournal has suffered several distributed denial of service attacks over the last few week. Of course, it could also be because of high traffic…yeah, no, definitely not. It’s a DDoS attack.

Why? While in the US it’s largely a repository of Harry/Draco mpreg and relentless white-people-problems political “honest dialogue”, in Russia it’s a major blogging platform and one of the few places to actually get unbiased news reporting. Russia has this odd problem of journalists and other writers being critical of the government getting murdered, so the fact that you can sign up for an LJ anonymously, and that it’s out of Russia’s political and espionage reach, is greatly useful to people who don’t want to become martyrs because they think Putin’s a douche.

Anyway, needless to say, the Kremlin is not a fan of transparency or being shown up for being a bunch of bullies, so LJ takes a lot of abuse. But this is so bad Putin’s ventriloquist dummy, excuse us, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who actually has an LJ, made a big show of calling out the company and demanding that law enforcement investigate.

So the KGB, er, FSB investigated, and came back with this totally awesome solution: block Skype, GMail and Hotmail, which is what these rogue hackers that nobody can seem to actually trace were, like, totally using to coordinate their efforts, even though nobody can trace them. Like, completely totally.

What? Those services are heavily used by those trying to get some actual democracy and transparency going in Russia?  And this block would kick in ahead of elections?  That’s just a total coincidence.

Even Putin realized just how blatant and stupid this recommendation actually was, and torpedoed it out of hand, but you kind of have to admire the stones it takes to suggest the solution to your country having its freedom of speech oppressed is to oppress it even more. Human rights do not work that way, FSB! Good night!

One-Armed Stabbing Just Got Easier

Meanwhile, while Russia is trying to ban major websites, Maine is reversing a law that was stupid even when it was enacted, and will no doubt get controversial governor Paul LePage in even more hot water.

The law concerns switchblades. Switchblades are banned in most of the United States not because they’re somehow more dangerous than other knives used for stabbing people, but because back in the ’50s everybody was really, really scared of juvenile delinquents. Seriously. That’s why they were enacted.

So Maine, having decided that we’re well past being scared of guys in pompadours and black leather jackets (i.e. aging hipsters), is legalizing the switchblade…for one-armed people.

The logic is that a switchblade is quicker to open than another type of knife in case of an emergency, but geez, guys, you’ve got a governor so crazy he had the nerve to cost the state $60,000 because he didn’t like a mural. Just pull the trigger and go all the way.


  • LiveJournal the subject of DDoS attacks, for some reason (PC Mag)
  • FSB decides to end Internet oppression by oppressing the Internet. Lolwhut? (Business Area)
  • Maine about to be overrun by one-armed juvenile delinquents. Or nobody will care and life will go on. (CBS)



  • In other Maine amputee news, a boy who was born with no hands or upper arms has won a penmanship contest and inspired the contest to create a new category for disabled penpeople. This is not a joke. He won two switchblades. That was one. (Daily Mail)
  • Meanwhile, a Maine import is making an unwelcome arrival in Alaska. A sea squirt known as “rock vomit”, which kills pretty much everything it doesn’t eat, has been turning up in Alaska harbor. Maybe they can scrape it off with some switchblades? (MSNBC)



  • There are 387,500 amputees in the United States, 91% of whom have lost a leg, so no spring-loaded stabby thing for them! (Hewlett Packard, of all places)
  • There are at least 300,000 active Russian LJs. That’s a lot of Harry Potter fanart and arguments over whether Lucas was right to reedit the trilogy. (Wired)