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Submission + - The Feds' Font Flip-Flop (

McGruber writes: Citylab has the news that the U.S. Federal Highway Administration is revoking its 2004 approval of the "Clearview" font for road signs.

Clearview was made to improve upon its predecessor, a 1940s font called Highway Gothic. Certain letters appeared to pose visibility problems, especially those with tight interstices (or internal spacing)—namely lowercase e, a, and s. At night, any of these reflective letters might appear to be a lowercase o in the glare of headlights. By opening up these letterforms, and mixing lowercase and uppercase styles, Clearview aimed to improve how these reflective highway signs read.

Now, just 12 years later, the FHWA is reversing itself: “After more than a decade of analysis, we learned—among other things—that Clearview actually compromises the legibility of signs in negative-contrast color orientations, such as those with black letters on white or yellow backgrounds like Speed Limit and Warning signs,” said Doug Hecox, a FHWA spokesperson, in an email.

The FHWA has not yet provided any research on Clearview that disproves the early claims about the font’s benefits. But there is at least one factor that clearly distinguishes it from Highway Gothic: cost. Jurisdictions that adopt Clearview must purchase a standard license for type, a one-time charge of between $175 (for one font) and $795 (for the full 13-font typeface family) and up, depending on the number of workstations.

Comment Re:It was the first standard for video? (Score 1) 406



When szczys said "video" szczys meant porn. VGA was the first standard that allowed users to watch downloaded porn that was as good as what they could watch on videotapes.

CGA, EGA, MDA and Hercules couldn't equal a videotape.... and PCs didn't come equipped with NTSC, PAL or SECAM.

Comment Re:Why not "Cooking for All"? (Score 2) 246

When I was in school, home ec was not an elective. It was mandatory and you spend half a year cooking and half a year sewing with finance and budgeting in both. I believe this was in 7th or 8th grade though. You only took it one year.

Home Ec and Shop were mandatory classes for everyone back when I was in 7th and 8th grade, in a public school in NY State. One class period (of the day) was devoted to these classes -- 1/2 of the year was for shop, the other half for home-ec. In seventh grade, we learned sewing and woodwork; eighth grade was cooking and metalwork.

We sewed aprons and chef hats in seventh grade; the home-ec teacher stored what we made, then we wore them in 8th grade cooking classes.

I didn't really appreciate mandatory home-ec classes until I was in my 30s, when I was meeting women online -- I'd offer to cook for second dates if she brought the wine.

Submission + - TSA hiring unpaid social media experts to run its @ASKTSA twitter account (

McGruber writes: Nextgov has this surreal news: The Transportation Security Administration is looking for private sector social media mavens willing to take a leave of absence from their job to help boost the TSA's Twitter account, @AskTSA. ( The successful candidates would spend at least six months on loan to the TSA, working as unpaid social media customer service senior advisers.

According to the actual "Loaned Executive Notice" posted on the DHS website (, the hiring "is in direct support of the Federal Government’s efforts to promote travel and tourism to the United States (U.S.), and is a part of broader DHS efforts to improve the travel experience for commercial aviation travelers." Good luck with that.

Comment Re:2016: President Trump elected in landslide (Score 1) 239

I remember the 1984 election, when Ronald Reagan won 49 states; Mondale won Minnesota and the District of Columbia. That was an electoral college landslide: Reagan ended up with 525 Electoral Votes while Mondale had 13.

Reagan and Richard Nixon are the only candidates who carried 49 of the 50 states. Maybe Trump will be the third?

Submission + - Arrested Nigerian Email Scammer facing 30-years in Prison (

McGruber writes: Amechi Colvis Amuegbunam, 28, a Nigerian man living in the U.S. on a student visa, faces federal wire fraud charges in connection with a sophisticated email phishing scam targeting businesses. He was arrested in Baltimore and charged with scamming 17 North Texas companies out of more than $600,000 using the technique. If convicted, Amuegbunam faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Submission + - IT Worker Scapegoated & Fired after Georgia released Voters Personal Data (

McGruber writes: On November 17, two Georgia women filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp had released the Social Security numbers, birthdates, Drivers License numbers and other private information of all registered voters in Georgia (

After the lawsuit was filed, Secretary Kemp posted an official notice of the breach on his website ( as required by Georgia state law.

Secretary Kemp also sent a private letter to Georgia lawmakers describing how the breach happened. In the letter, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp said his office learned of the foul-up on Nov. 13 — four days before any public acknowledgement of the problem. In that private letter to Georgia lawmakers, Kemp also stated that he fired the IT worker who had inadvertently added the personal data including Social Security numbers and birth dates to the public statewide voter file. (

Now that fired IT worker, longtime state programmer Gary Cooley, has told the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper that he did not actually have the security access necessary to add millions of Social Security numbers and birth dates to the data file that was released to the public ( While Cooley does acknowledge a role in the gaffe, he also outlined a more complicated series of missteps and miscommunication both within Kemp's office and with PCC Technology Group, an outside vendor tasked with managing voter data for the state.

Submission + - Museum of Political Corruption planned for New York, the Most Corrupt State ( 1

McGruber writes: In Albany, NY, Bruce Roter has secured approval to build the Museum of Political Corruption (, dedicated to the state's long history of scandal. In the last decade alone, more than 30 state officeholders have either been accused or convicted of wrongdoing. On Monday, the former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was found guilty of taking nearly 4 million dollars in bribes and kickbacks. He was convicted on charges of conspiracy, fraud and extortion. The former Senate majority leader continues to face separate corruption charges in court.

"I tell people, quite frankly, I want to institutionalize corruption," Roter says. "I want to put it in this museum. I want it to be laughed at, and I want people to learn about it." (

New York leads the list of states Americans view as having the most political corruption, according to a poll by New Jersey's Monmouth University. (

Submission + - Pwned Barbies Spying on Children? Toytalk CEO downplays hacking reports (

McGruber writes: Earlier this year Mattel unveiled "Hello Barbie" (, a $74.99 wi-fi equipped interactive doll. Users press a button on Barbie's belt to start a conversation and the recorded audio is processed over the internet so that the doll can respond appropriately. The doll also remembers the user’s likes and dislikes.

Now Security Researcher Matt Jakubowski claims that he has managed to hack the Hello Barbie system to extract wi-fi network names, account IDs and MP3 files, which could be used to track down someone’s home. “You can take that information and find out a person’s house or business. It’s just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want,” Jakubowski warned.

Mattel partnered with ToyTalk to develop "Hello Barbie". ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob said: “An enthusiastic researcher has reported finding some device data and called that a hack. While the path that the researcher used to find that data is not obvious and not user-friendly, it is important to note that all that information was already directly available to Hello Barbie customers through the Hello Barbie Companion App. No user data, no Barbie content, and no major security or privacy protections have been compromised to our knowledge.”

A petition by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asking Mattel to drop the doll has already been signed by over 6,000 people.

NOTE: The original reporting of this hack appears to have been this NBC-Chicago newscast:

Submission + - Georgia gives personal data of 6 million voters to Georgia GunOwner Magazine ( 1

McGruber writes: A class action lawsuit alleges that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office released the personal identifying information of Georgia voters to twelve organizations, "including statewide political parties, news media organizations and Georgia GunOwner Magazine".

According to Kemp, his office shares "voter registration data every month with news media and political parties that have requested it as required by Georgia law. Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution independently confirmed the inclusion of the personal data in the October file. The AJC did so by accessing the October data disc, looking up information for an AJC staffer and confirming his Social Security number and driver’s license information was included. The AJC has returned its copy of the disc to the state.

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