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Submission + - Your tax dollars at work: TSA confiscates 5-year-old's Buzz Lightyear toy (

schwit1 writes: Levi Zilka, 5, was beyond excited when his uncle bought him a Buzz Lightyear toy during his first trip to Disney World. However, his excitement was soon diminished when the TSA threw his precious toy in the trash at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida.

"They said it looks too much like a gun," said Zilka, "and you can't bring guns on the plane."

"We understand that things are scary out there right now but taking a toy from a five year old doesn't enhance national security," said Zilka's father, David. Even though Zilka began "bawling ... tears streaming down his face, crying," the TSA adhered to their requirement for "realistic replicas of firearms to be checked."

Submission + - Barbecue pit stolen from funeral

cjcaswell writes: Castroville, Texas – Of all the things to do at a funeral – steal the Barbecue? Take this person to the gallows. According to a KENS/CBS report, a barbecue pit with brisket (blood pressure rising) was stolen from a funeral service. Might I add the brisket was still cooking?

Submission + - Canadian Government Recall Website issues recall for DeLorean DMC-12

time_lords_almanac writes: Even government organizations can take a quick break from their duties to celebrate Back To The Future Day. Healthy Canadians, the official Canadian government website for issuing recall alerts, has today issued a recall for a "a certain DMC-12 car converted into a time machine", warning it may not travel through time-correctly when exceeding 88 miles per hour (141.6 km/h, of course).

Submission + - 3 Tesla Autopilot Fails (

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla drivers are posting videos of near-misses in Autopilot. In one clip, the Tesla S veers from its lane. There is no oncoming traffic, so nothing happens. But then another car comes and there’s a near head-on collision. Here’s the driver’s explanation:

“My car apparently thought the oncoming car was supposed to be followed, and suddenly veered to the left, crossing the double-yellow road divider line right into its path. Shortly after that, another car was coming in my car’s direction from the opposite side of the road. I admit I started to ignore the warning to keep my hands on the wheel so that I could record the moment to share with friends. That’s when all hell broke loose.”

Submission + - Bank's severance deal requires IT workers to be on call for two years ( 3

dcblogs writes: SunTrust Banks in Atlanta is laying off about 100 IT workers as it moves work offshore. But this layoff is unusual for what it is asking of the soon-to-be displaced workers: The bank's severance agreement requires terminated employees to remain available for two years to provide help if needed, including in-person assistance, and to do so without compensation. Many of the affected IT employees, who are now training their replacements, have years of experience and provide the highest levels of technical support. The proof of their ability may be in the severance requirement, which gives the bank a way to tap their expertise long after their departure. The bank's severance includes a "continuing cooperation" clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to "make myself reasonably available" to SunTrust "regarding matters in which I have been involved in the course of my employment with SunTrust and/or about which I have knowledge as a result of my employment at SunTrust."

Submission + - CIA Director's personal AOL account hacked (

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI and Secret Service are investigating reports that non-government personal accounts associated with CIA Director John Brennan as well as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson were hacked, law enforcement officials told CNN

Submission + - Amazon's "obsession with dinosaur sex" shaped CloudFlare's censorship stance (

An anonymous reader writes: CloudFlare's CEO was referring to how the bookseller and online retail giant banned so-called "monster erotica," a genre of fan-fiction revolving around fantasy-based fictional encounters with mythical or extinct creatures (including dinosaurs), which was for a time sold on its online bookstore.

His somewhat grandiose point was simple enough. Should a company decide who its customers should be, or determine who is a good guy and who is a bad guy?

Submission + - Her Car Broke Down And She Needed Help (

Om Gea writes: If you drove past someone pulled over to the side of the road, would you stop to help them? YouTuber Prank Baaz believed that people would be more likely to help a stranded female than a stranded male, so he created an experiment. He pretended his car had broken down and spent 30 minutes under the hood of the car attempting to repair it. In those 30 minutes, no one stopped to help him. He then disguised himself as a female in the same situation–and literally stopped traffic. However, most of the people who pulled over for the lady in distress didn't actually help–they stopped to stare and take pictures!

Submission + - Breathing Beijing's Air is The Equivalent of Smoking Almost 40 Cigarettes a Day (

iONiUM writes: From the economist: "Pollution is sky-high everywhere in China. Some 83% of Chinese are exposed to air that, in America, would be deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency either to be unhealthy or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Almost half the population of China experiences levels of PM2.5 that are above America’s highest threshold. That is even worse than the satellite data had suggested."

They go on to say "Berkeley Earth’s scientific director, Richard Muller, says breathing Beijing’s air is the equivalent of smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day and calculates that air pollution causes 1.6m deaths a year in China, or 17% of the total. A previous estimate, based on a study of pollution in the Huai river basin (which lies between the Yellow and Yangzi rivers), put the toll at 1.2m deaths a year—still high."

Submission + - Plastic straw lodged inside turtle's nostril removed by biologists [Graphic] (

hypnosec writes: A plastic straw measuring roughly 10-12 cm, which was lodged inside one of the nostrils of an endangered turtle, has been removed by a team of researchers providing yet another example of how dangerous plastic can be. The straw was lodged inside one of the nostrils of an Olive Ridley turtle. The video shows how the team of marine biologists removed the straw using a pair of pliers on a Swiss army knife while the turtle was wincing in pain and bleeding.

Submission + - Documents reveal details behind AT&T-NSA partnership

An anonymous reader writes: According to newly disclosed NSA documents, in 2003 AT&T led the way on a new collection capability that the NSA said amounted to a "'live' presence on the global net" and forwarded 400 billion Internet metadata records in one of its first months of operation. The documents cover a 10-year period from 2003-2013 and show that the company even gave the NSA technical assistance, revealing its own employees took part in the spying. Ars reports: "The cooperation involved a variety of classified programs that span decades, in one case more than 15 years before the September 11 terrorist attacks. In addition to providing the NSA with access to billions of e-mails flowing across its domestic networks, AT&T helped wiretap all Internet communications at the United Nations headquarters, which is, or at least was, an AT&T customer, according to the article, which was jointly reported and written by reporters from The New York Times and ProPublica. The article, which relied on NSA documents leaked by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, said that AT&T competitor Verizon participated in some of the same activities, but on a much smaller scale. One NSA document reminded officials to be polite when visiting AT&T sites since the arrangement was a 'partnership, not a contractual relationship.'"

Submission + - Senator Ted Cruz believes that Kirk is a Republican while Picard is a Democrat ( 1

McGruber writes: Republican presidential candidate and Trekker Ted Cruz claimed in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that "It is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.”

Cruz also stated a strong preference for Kirk: "Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind."

William Shanter responded via Twitter: "Star Trek wasn't political. I'm not political; I can't even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly"

Submission + - HP conversion to corporate hell complete as R&D dress code enforced. 1

An anonymous reader writes: HP was once known as a research ant technology giant, a company founded in a garage by a pair of engineers and dominated by researchers. Whilst a part of that lives on in Agilent any hope for the rest of the company has now died with the announcement that HP R&D will have to dress in business "smart casual" with T-shirts, baseball caps, short skirts, low cut dresses and sportsware all being banned.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington