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+ - Bullied Student Records Bullies, Gets Hit With Felony Charges For Violation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Here comes another story highlighting the danger of schools "outsourcing" their disciplinary problems to law enforcement. As we've stated before, this does nothing more than turn routine misconduct into criminal behavior, which is a great way to derail a student's future.

A Pennsylvania teen, who claimed to have been bullied constantly (and ignored by school administration), made an audio recording of his tormentors using a school-supplied iPad. He brought this to the school's attention, which duly responded by calling the cops to have him arrested for violating Pennsylvania's wiretapping law. (h/t to Techdirt reader btr1701)

Maybe the future holds better outcomes, but for right now, everyone involved had a chance to stop this from reaching this illogical conclusion, but no one — from the administrators to their legal team to local law enforcement to the presiding judge — was interested in reining this in. In the end, it looks as though an innate desire to punish someone was satisfied every step of the way."

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Comment: Bush 3.0? Not quite. (Score 1) 522

by Futurepower(R) (#46764757) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
Wow! Bush 3.0? Will Australia invade Iraq to make money for Bush 3.0 and his family and friends who have investments in oil and weapons companies?

Will Australia imprison 6 times the percentage of its people as the percentage imprisoned in European countries, partly to make money for those who run prisons under contract?

Who has Australia tortured? Who has Australia kidnapped and taken to other countries?

Is Australia holding people in prison without trial?

Is Australia spending taxpayer money to spy on the entire world?

I'm sympathetic about the degradation, but it isn't quite Bush 3.0.

Quote from a book about George W. Bush: "He was arguably the most disliked president in seven decades."

Comment: IRS: No software! All taxes done online. (Score 1) 382

by Futurepower(R) (#46764625) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings
"... the lowest tax bill possible."

We do both corporate and personal taxes. Paying the least amount in taxes is more being involved with all the complicated issues, not in finding "loopholes". The advertising that tax software companies does is misleading.

If the IRS were guided by technically knowledgeable people, all taxes would be done online.

Libraries would have bootable DVD copies of a version of Linux, allowing even people with malware-infected computers to do their taxes securely. Records could be saved on USB drives, or burned to a DVD from a RAM drive. If there were mistakes in the calculation of taxes, fixing the problem would be the responsibility of the IRS.

Buying tax software would then be completely unnecessary. I dislike how the tax software tries to trick people into paying more and into giving information to the tax software companies. I would like to avoid paying the full price for tax software every year, when there are very full changes in the new versions.

There would be no need for the IRS to supply new DVDs each year, because all calculations would be done by IRS computers. The IRS Linux DVDs would have holograms printed on them; any counterfeit DVDs would cause the same kind of prosecution applied to counterfeit money.

I would love to be director in charge of that effort. I love the U.S., feel really bad about the defects in government, and would like to help the government in a way that benefits everyone.

At present the enormous complexity of dealing with taxes tends to discourage people from starting new businesses.

Comment: IRS: No software! All taxes should be done online. (Score 1) 370

by Futurepower(R) (#46764539) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
If the IRS were run by technically knowledgeable people, all taxes would be done online.

Libraries would have bootable DVD copies of a version of Linux, allowing even people with malware-infected computers to do their taxes securely. Records could be saved on USB drives, or burned to a DVD from a RAM drive. If there were mistakes in the calculation of taxes, fixing the problem would be the responsibility of the IRS.

Buying tax software would then be completely unnecessary. I dislike how the tax software tries to trick people into paying more and into giving information to the tax software companies. I would like to avoid paying the full price for tax software every year, when there are very full changes in the new versions.

There would be no need for the IRS to supply new DVDs each year, because all calculations would be done by IRS computers. The IRS Linux DVDs would have holograms printed on them; any counterfeit DVDs would cause the same kind of prosecution applied to counterfeit money.

I would love to be director in charge of that effort. I love the U.S., feel really bad about the defects in government, and would like to help the government in a way that benefits everyone.

At present the enormous complexity of dealing with taxes tends to discourage people from starting new businesses.

+ - Study Finds U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance', 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"

+ - Now you can get an Office 365 subscription for $6.99 a month 1

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has launched Office 365 Personal, a lower-priced subscription option for users who want to use Office on only one PC. You can even use it on the iPad or a tablet. Office 365 Personal is priced at $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year. Previously, the company offered a package that costed $10 a month or $100 a year for five PCs."

+ - IRS: give us machine-readable tax formulas

Submitted by johndoe42
johndoe42 (179131) writes "Now that tax day is almost over, it's time to ask the IRS to make it less painful. All of the commercial tax software is awful, overpriced, and incompatible with everything else. Some people have tried to do better: OpenTaxSolver and a rather large Excel spreadsheet are tedious manual translations of the IRS's forms. I'm sure that many programmers would try to make much friendlier tax software if they didn't have to deal with translating all of the IRS instructions. Let's petition the IRS to publish computerized formulas so that this can happen."

+ - Please Put OpenSSL Out of Its Misery->

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "Writing for the ACM, Poul-Henning Kamp claims that "OpenSSL must die, for it will never get any better." The reasons being that OpenSSL has become a dumping ground of un-organized contributions. "We need a well-designed API, as simple as possible to make it hard for people to use it incorrectly. And we need multiple independent quality implementations of that API, so that if one turns out to be crap, people can switch to a better one in a matter of hours.""
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+ - What good print media is out there that hasn't already died?

Submitted by guises
guises (2423402) writes "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet though, there seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or your newsletter) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing too while I still have the chance?"

+ - Cold War sneakiness: CIA confirms using Dr. Zhivago as a weapon->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Interesting admission from the Central Intelligence Agency as it confirmed the long-held suspicion that it indeed had a role in publishing the first Russian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago after the book had been banned in the Soviet Union in 1958. The details: April 11th the CIA posted to its public website nearly 100 declassified documents that detail the CIA's role in publishing Boris Pasternak's iconic novel — 1958 Nobel Prize for literature — in Russian which gave people within the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe the opportunity to read the book for the first time."
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+ - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment-> 1

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out."

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+ - System Administrator vs Change Advisory Board 1

Submitted by thundergeek
thundergeek (808819) writes "I am the sole sysadmin for nearly 50 servers (win/linux) across several contracts. Now a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is wanting to manage every patch that will be installed on the OS and approve/disapprove for testing on the development network. Once tested and verified, all changes will then need to be approved for production.

Windows servers aren't always the best for informing admin exactly what is being "patched" on the OS, and the frequency of updates will make my efficiency take a nose dive. Now I'll have to track each KB, RHSA, directives and any other 3rd party updates, submit a lengthy report outlining each patch being applied, and then sit back and wait for approval.

What should I use/do to track what I will be installing? Is there already a product out there that will make my life a little less stressful on the admin side? Does anyone else have to go toe-to-toe with a CAB? How do you handle your patch approval process?"

+ - IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay A Relative's Debt

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Just in time for the April 15 IRS filing deadline comes news from the Washington Post that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds are instead getting letters informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check — sometimes on debts 20 or 30 years old. For example, when Mary Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them. Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. “It was a shock,” says Grice, 58. “What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can’t prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.”

The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, says Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam. The Federal Trade Commission, on its Web site, advises Americans that “family members typically are not obligated to pay the debts of a deceased relative from their own assets.” But Social Security officials say that if children indirectly received assistance from public dollars paid to a parent, the children’s money can be taken, no matter how long ago any overpayment occurred. Many of the taxpayers whose refunds have been taken say they’ve been unable to contest the confiscations because of the cost, because Social Security cannot provide records detailing the original overpayment, and because the citizens, following advice from the IRS to keep financial documents for just three years, had long since trashed their own records. More than 1,200 appeals have been filed on the old cases but only about 10 percent of taxpayers have won those appeals. "The government took the money first and then they sent us the letter," says Brenda Samonds.." We could never get one sentence from them explaining why the money was taken.”"

+ - Phase 1 of TrueCrypt Audit Turns up No Backdoors->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "A initial audit of the popular open source encryption software TrueCrypt turned up fewer than a dozen vulnerabilities, none of which so far point toward a backdoor surreptitiously inserted into the codebase.

A report on the first phase of the audit was released today by iSEC Partners, which was contracted by the Open Crypto Audit Project (OCAP), a grassroots effort that not only conducted a successful fundraising effort to initiate the audit, but raised important questions about the integrity of the software.

The first phase of the audit focused on the TrueCrypt bootloader and Windows kernel driver; architecture and code reviews were performed, as well as penetration tests including fuzzing interfaces, said Kenneth White, senior security engineer at Social & Scientific Systems. The second phase of the audit will look at whether the various encryption cipher suites, random number generators and critical key algorithms have been implemented correctly."

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+ - Climate scientist: Why nuclear power may be the only way to avoid geoengineering->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Tom Wigley is one of the world's top climate scientists, and in this interview he explains his outspoken support for both nuclear energy and research into climate engineering. Wigley was one of the first scientists to break the taboo on public discussion of climate engineering as a possible response to global warming; in a 2006 paper in the journal Science, he proposed a combined geoengineering-mitigation strategy that would address the problem of increasing ocean acidity, as well as the problem of climate change. In this interview, he argues that hat renewable energy alone will not be sufficient to address the climate challenge, because it cannot be scaled up quickly and cheaply enough, and that opposition to nuclear power 'threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.'"
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