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Canada

Married Woman Claims Facebook Info Sharing Created Dating Profile For Her 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places dept.
jenningsthecat writes A happily married Ontario woman was shocked and dismayed last January to discover that she had an active account with dating site Zoosk.com. Mari Sherkin saw a pop-up ad on Facebook for Zoosk, but wasn't interested, so she "clicked on the X to close it. At least I thought I did." She immediately began to receive messages from would-be Zoosk suitors in her Facebook mailbox. When she had a look on Zoosk she was horrified to find a dating profile with her Facebook picture, name, and postal code. Zoosk denies ever setting up profiles in this way, yet their terms of service explicitly allow them to do it, and there are apparently several Facebook pages with complaints of similar occurrences.
PlayStation (Games)

Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the match-this-price dept.
turkeydance writes People are reportedly creating fake Amazon pages to show fake prices on electronics and other items. In the most heavily publicized cases, Walmart was reportedly duped into selling $400 PlayStation 4 consoles for under $100. From the article: "The company announced on Nov. 13 that it would price-match select online retailers, including Amazon.com. However, any Amazon member with a registered selling account can create authentic looking pages and list items 'for sale' online. Consumers need only take a screen capture of the page and show it to a cashier at checkout in order to request the price match."
Canada

City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-very-polite-injunction dept.
Sebolains writes: The city of Toronto in Ontario, Canada has filed a court injunction on Uber Canada Inc. today that requests for all operations in the city to cease. Uber has been operating there since 2012 without a license from the city, and so officials are concerned that Uber's operations pose a risk to both drivers and riders. How quickly this will happen, we don't know, but the city has asked the courts to be expedient in hearing this application.

Comment: Wonder what planet the 'extra' cocoa comes from (Score 1) 323

by Jesrad (#48400905) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced.

So last year we imported 70 000 tons of cocoa from... outside Earth ? Or are there long-term stocks of cocoa somewhere ? Because if the latter, then getting rid of those stocks year after year and moving to a tighter production chain makes a lot of sense, and fits in the trend of decreasing transaction costs. It could also be a sign that producers expect their cocoa products to sell less well in the future, or raw cocoa to become cheaper. In any case, the claims in TFA make little sense.

Comment: Re:Most severs shouldn't be vulnerable (Score 2) 245

by Jesrad (#48366767) Attached to: ISPs Removing Their Customers' Email Encryption

A well configured server will behave this way on the *submission* port (587) but if the MX port (25) were configured this way then you would be blocking a lot of legitimate email from old servers on the internet that do not support STARTTLS

That's what we do here on the big-gov't email servers. Filtering for non-auth'd relays curbs spam quite cheaply. We already have an answer for ISPs who'd complain about rejection: "Tough."

The Media

What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-will-now-compulsively-check-this-post-for-typos dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Drafts are drafts for a reason. Not only do they tend to contain unpolished writing and unfinished thoughts, they're often filled with little notes we leave ourselves to fill in later. Slate reports on a paper recently published in the journal Ethology that contained an unfortunate self-note that made it into the final, published article, despite layers upon layers of editing, peer review, and proofreading. In the middle of a sentence about shoaling preferences, the note asks, "should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?" When notified of the mistake, the publisher quickly took it down and said they would "investigate" how the line wasn't caught. One of the authors said it wasn't intentional and apologized for the impolite error.

Comment: Re:ENTITLEMENTS, NOT RIGHTS (Score 1) 95

by Jesrad (#48259207) Attached to: Open Consultation Begins On Italy's Internet Bill of Rights

Yes, like someone who loses the right to sell you bottled water because you are entitled to drinkable tap water (for a very low price).

No one is entitled to drinkable tap water. When that ressource comes short, everyone gets rationed. And if you won't pay the bills the tap gets cut off. In fact it's ubiquitous in our countries because it's both cheap and vital to so many. But getting there was, actually, a capitalist initiative: the work of persistent entrepreneurs. So yeah, choosing this example undermines your argument.

Granting everyone a "right to" internet access won't make Internet available to everyone. Developping technical solutions and financing their implementation to allow widespread, cheaper access to the Internet will. Just like with access to water.

Government

Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination 451

Posted by Soulskill
from the after-a-flood-of-complaints dept.
McGruber writes: Back on February 4, "Science Guy" Bill Nye debated Creationist Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Ham. That high-profile debate helped boost support for Ham's $73 million "Ark Encounter" project, allowing Ham to announce on February 25 that a municipal bond offering had raised enough money to begin construction. Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward. Nye said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's ministry, which preaches that the Bible's creation story is a true account, and as a result, "voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest."

In July, the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority unanimously approved $18.25 million worth of tax incentives to keep the ark park afloat. The funds are from a state program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of as much as 25 percent of the investment in the project. Since then, the Ark Park's employment application has became public: "Nestled among the requirements for all job applicants were three troubling obligatory documents: 'Salvation testimony,' 'Creation belief statement,' and a 'Confirmation of your agreement with the AiG statement of faith.' (AiG is Answers in Genesis, Ham's ministry and Ark Encounter's parent company.)"

That caused the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to halt its issuance of tax incentives for the ark park. Bob Stewart, secretary of the cabinet, wrote to Ham that "the Commonwealth does not provide incentives to any company that discriminates on the basis of religion and we will not make any exception for Ark Encounter, LLC." Before funding could proceed, Stewart explained, "the Commonwealth must have the express written assurance from Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring." The ark park has not yet sunk. It is "still pending before the authority" and a date has not yet been set for the meeting where final approval will be considered.

Comment: Long Now does it better (Score 5, Informative) 272

by Jesrad (#48249173) Attached to: A Library For Survival Knowledge

The Long Now Foundation has been covering this issue pretty well, too, with its 'Manual for Civilisation project'. They actually built a place with airtight shelves and started stockpiling actual books, which beats piling PDF files in a webserver anyday in long-term storage and techno-breakup resilience. They even store spores and seeds of all kinds of useful plants, and have a project for preserving animal DNA & eggs too.

Government

Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required 424

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
schwit1 writes: The IRS admits to seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars of private assets, without any proof of illegal activity, merely because there is a law that lets them do it. From the article: "Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up and settle the case for a portion of their money.

'They're going after people who are really not criminals,' said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. 'They're middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.'" The article describes several specific cases, all of which are beyond egregious and are in fact entirely unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights is very clear about this: The federal government cannot take private property without just compensation."
Hardware

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips. 700

Posted by Soulskill
from the playing-dirty dept.
janoc writes It seems that chipmaker FTDI has started an outright war on cloners of their popular USB bridge chips. At first the clones stopped working with the official drivers, and now they are being intentionally bricked, rendering the device useless. The problem? These chips are incredibly popular and used in many consumer products. Are you sure yours doesn't contain a counterfeit one before you plug it in? Hackaday says, "It’s very hard to tell the difference between the real and fake versions by looking at the package, but a look at the silicon reveals vast differences. The new driver for the FT232 exploits these differences, reprogramming it so it won’t work with existing drivers. It’s a bold strategy to cut down on silicon counterfeiters on the part of FTDI. A reasonable company would go after the manufacturers of fake chips, not the consumers who are most likely unaware they have a fake chip." Update: 10/24 02:53 GMT by S : In a series of Twitter posts, FTDI has admitted to doing this.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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