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3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession Screenshot-sm 804

theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

Porn Virus Blackmails Victims Over "Copyright Violation" 222

FishRep writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A new type of malware infects PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal. The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime. Website Yomiuri claims that 5,500 people have so far admitted to being infected. The virus, known as Kenzero, is being monitored by web security firm Trend Micro in Japan. Masquerading as a game installation screen, it requests the PC owner's personal details. It then takes screengrabs of the user's web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an e-mail or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1,500 yen (£10) to 'settle your violation of copyright law' and remove the webpage."

Maybe the Aliens Are Addicted To Computer Games 496

Hugh Pickens writes "Geoffrey Miller has an interesting hypothesis in Seed Magazine that explains Fermi's Paradox — why 40 years of intensive searching for extraterrestrial intelligence have yielded nothing: no radio signals, no credible spacecraft sightings, no close encounters of any kind. All the aliens are busy playing computer games. The aliens 'forget to send radio signals or colonize space because they're too busy with runaway consumerism and virtual-reality narcissism,' writes Miller. He says the fundamental problem is that an evolved mind must pay attention to indirect cues of biological fitness, rather than tracking fitness itself, and that although evolution favors brains that tend to maximize fitness (as measured by numbers of great-grandkids), no brain has capacity enough to do so under every possible circumstance. 'The result is that we don't seek reproductive success directly; we seek tasty foods that have tended to promote survival, and luscious mates who have tended to produce bright, healthy babies. The modern result? Fast food and pornography,' writes Miller. 'Once they turn inwards to chase their shiny pennies of pleasure, they lose the cosmic plot.' Miller adds that most bright alien species probably go extinct gradually, allocating more time and resources to their pleasures, and less to their children, until they eventually die out." Who here doesn't think a TNG-style Holodeck would lead to the downfall of our civilization?

Wikipedia Explains Today's Global Outage 153

gnujoshua writes "The Wikimedia Tech Blog has a post explaining why many users were unable to reach Wikimedia sites due to DNS resolution failure. The article states, 'Due to an overheating problem in our European data center many of our servers turned off to protect themselves. As this impacted all Wikipedia and other projects access from European users, we were forced to move all user traffic to our Florida cluster, for which we have a standard quick failover procedure in place, that changes our DNS entries. However, shortly after we did this failover switch, it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally. This problem was quickly resolved, but unfortunately it may take up to an hour before access is restored for everyone, due to caching effects."

UK Space Agency Launched 125

krou writes "Today saw the launch of the new UK Space Agency (UKSA), which will officially come into being on the 1st of April. Its stated goal is to lead to more coherency in space policy, and better decision making, by gradually assuming control over the various budgets and management functions of various government departments and science funding councils. Lord Drayson, the minister for science and innovation, said that 'People in the UK are not aware of just how good Britain is both at space research and in terms of our space industry; [a space agency] is going to make people more aware of that. But in practical terms, it's going to make the decision-making by government in all aspects of space policy much more joined up, better co-ordinated — a single point within government which has responsibility for making sure that we get everything in alignment such that the space research we do, the space industry that we're building, fulfils its true potential.' The government also announced that it is adding £24m to the £16m put up by business to create an International Space Innovation Centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire."

HTC Android Phones Found With Malware Pre-Installed 158

Trailrunner7 writes "Security researchers have found that Vodafone, one of the world's larger wireless providers, is distributing some HTC phones with malware pre-installed on them. The phone, HTC's Magic, runs the Google Android mobile operating system, and is one of the more popular handsets right now. A researcher at Panda Software received one of the handsets recently, and upon attaching it to her PC, found that the phone was pre-loaded with the Mariposa bot client. Mariposa has been in the news of late thanks to some arrests connected to the operation of the botnet."

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.