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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 1 declined, 2 accepted (3 total, 66.67% accepted)

Government

+ - SSN overlap with Micronesia haunts NH woman

Submitted by stevel
stevel (64802) writes "Holly Ramer, who lives in Concord, NH, has never been to the Federated States of Micronesia, but debt collectors dun her mercilessly for unpaid loans taken out by a small business owner in that Pacific island nation. Why? Micronesia and other countries in the region have their own Social Security Administrations which gave out numbers to residents applying for US disaster relief loans. The catch is that the Micronesian SSNs have fewer digits than the nine-digit US version, and when credit bureaus entered these into their database, they padded them out with zeros on the front. These numbers then matched innocent US citizens with SSNs beginning with zeroes, as many in northern New England do. The credit bureaus say to call the Social Security Adminustration, the SSA says call the credit bureaus, the FTC says they can't help, and nobody is taking responsibility for the confusion."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Netbook run machine rolls 1.3 million dice a day

Submitted by stevel
stevel (64802) writes "The owner of games site GamesByEmail.com created Dice-O-Matic, "a machine that can belch a continuous river of dice down a spiraling ramp, then elevate, photograph, process and upload almost a million and a half rolls to the server a day.

"The Dice-O-Matic is 7 feet tall, 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep. It has an aluminum frame covered with Plexiglas panels. A 6x4 inch square Plexiglas tube runs vertically up the middle almost the entire height. Inside this tube a bucket elevator carries dice from a hopper at the bottom, past a camera, and tosses them onto a ramp at the top. The ramp spirals down between the tube and the outer walls. The camera and synchronizing disk are near the top, the computer, relay board, elevator motor and power supplies are at the bottom."

While not called out in the article, the pictures clearly show a Dell Mini 9 running the show (and performing the optical recognition of the dice values.) No, it's not running Linux..."

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