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+ - Wells Fargo refuses to honor 30-year old CD because they can't find it->

Submitted by BUL2294
BUL2294 (1081735) writes "The Consumerist and KPHO-TV Phoenix are reporting the story of a widow who attempted to cash a Certificate of Deposit (CD) at Wells Fargo that had been issued to her late husband for just over $18,000 in 1984. She has been battling with them since 2009, after finding the CD among other paperwork, and a decision in the court case is expected in January. The CD was issued by First Interstate bank, which merged with Norwest, which was bought by Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has no record of the CD, but the physical document itself mentions that it has to be surrendered to receive payment, or could have been paid out by signing an indemnity form--which they also do not have. In addition, there's a fight over whether the CD is worth $60,000 or $400,000, as the CD was self-renewing and was issued when interest rates were 10.9%.

Ultimately, this is a case of data getting lost within 30-years worth of mergers and system changes. Both the existence of this instrument and its terms are probably on some long-lost tape that may no longer be readable, or paper copies were shredded years ago. That being said, we entrust that our banks and regulators can dig up such historical information... So what happens when they can't? As was evidenced during the US mortgage crisis, banks are terrible at appropriate document retention, so how could they prove what was paid out and when? More importantly, how much of banks' historical / legacy accounts are complete guesses?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Possible orphan black hole lies just 90 million light-years from Earth->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "An unusual object about 90 million light-years from Earth might be a supermassive black hole kicked out of its home galaxy during a collision with another galaxy, a new study suggests. If so, it’s the first evictee to be confirmed as such by astronomers. The object, dubbed SDSS1133, lies about 2600 light-years from the center of a dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 177 (both of which lie within the bowl of the Big Dipper, a familiar star pattern in the constellation Ursa Major). SDSS1133 has brightened substantially over the past 2 years but has been spotted in images taken by various instruments during the past 63 years, hinting that the object—whose brightest features measure less than 40 light-years across—probably isn’t a recently exploded supernova. Recent observations of Markarian 177 reveal specific areas of intense star formation, possible signs of a recent galactic collision that expelled SDSS1133 from the parent galaxy where it once resided."
Link to Original Source

+ - Blow On Money to Tell If It Is Counterfeit

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Scientific American reports that simply breathing on money could soon reveal if it's the real deal or counterfeit thanks to a photonic crystal ink developed by Ling Bai and Zhongze Gu and colleagues at Southeast University in Nanjing, China that can produce unique color changing patterns on surfaces with an inkjet printer system which would be extremely hard for fraudsters to reproduce. The ink mimics the way Tmesisternus isabellae – a species of longhorn beetle – reversibly switches its color from gold to red according to the humidity in its environment. The color shift is caused by the adsorption of water vapor in their hardened front wings, which alters the thickness and average refractive index of their multilayered scales. To emulate this, the team made their photonic crystal ink using mesoporous silica nanoparticles, which have a large surface area and strong vapor adsorption capabilities that can be precisely controlled. The complicated and reversible multicolor shifts of mesoporous CPC patterns are favorable for immediate recognition by naked eyes but hard to copy. "We think the ink's multiple security features may be useful for antifraud applications," says Bai, "however we think the technology could be more useful for fabricating multiple functional sensor arrays, which we are now working towards.""

+ - Google rents world's biggest digital billboard in Times Square->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google has become the first company to rent to the world's largest and most expensive digital billboard in Times Square, New York.

The billboard is eight stories high and is estimated to cost $2.5m (£1.6m) to hire for four weeks.

The screen, which is the size of a football field, is mounted on the side of the Marriot Marquis hotel.

Around 300,000 pedestrians are estimated to pass by the billboard every day.

Times Square's brightly-lit billboards are some of the most iconic and well-known outdoor advertising spaces.

The new billboard was turned on on Tuesday evening and will show a nature-inspired digital art piece for a week until Google's adverts begin running.

Hundreds of tourists watched as the screen was turned on.

The screen is also connected to cameras, allowing for interactive content.

The US tech giant is reported to have hired the screen until January 2015."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I'm not sure why all the cynicism... (Score 4, Insightful) 252

by zazenation (#42126945) Attached to: Anthropologist Spends Three Years Living With Hackers

What's not to be cynical about?

" ... I was blown away by how culturally deep it was."

Sure. Correct the flawed stereotypes with more subjective flawed stereotypes by a naive observer.

She was correcting her engrained 'Revenge of the Nerds' stereotype of hackers with an equally arrogant attitude, similar to those of parents who visit a zoo, point to the gorillas and say to their children -- "Hey little Johnny, look at the big monkeys! (while tapping the glass under the sign that says DON"T TAP ON GLASS) Look, at those hands and fingers -- They're just like ours!" -- concluding with huge collective swigs from their BIG GULP clones.

She seems to be aiming to take the logical, thoughtful, democratic behavior hackers exhibit -- which should be the vanguard for all human interaction -- and bending it into an amusing sidebar for WIRED as to the hackers "unusual" habits. All for a chance to get her name in print for some future book jacket blurb regarding "... her insightful and seminal work as she risked her name, sanity and possibly even her life as she descend into the seamy hacker underworld to collect research data..."

This is all much like the gorilla inwardly cringing whenever he's called a monkey.

YMMV

Robotics

+ - Drones for Peace $100 journalist UAV->

Submitted by
garymortimer
garymortimer writes "DronesForPeace provides the key capabilities of a surveillance drone at a world changing price; $100 drones distributed in bulk by journalists to crowdsource the video coverage of a natural or political disaster.

DronesForPeace proliferates aerial video in the same way cell phone cameras provided the story on the ground in recent events like the Arab spring.

Like a robotic carrier pigeon, we carry the footage miles away from the conflict to those who can spread the message."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What if your phone is stolen? (Score 2, Insightful) 194

by zazenation (#39422633) Attached to: Will Mobile Wallets Replace Their Traditional Counterparts?

I have only one word to respond to that ---

Human Engineering

(It's two words actually, but it sounds much more dramatic to say one word...)

How easy would it be to watch Barbie or Kelly type in their PIN number at the gas station, a shoe store or the Clinique counter. Phones are popular theft items to begin with.

Comment: Re:Not this time: (Score 1) 261

by zazenation (#37864396) Attached to: Hackers Briefly Controlled US Government Satellites

Source: http://www.synonyms.net/synonym/surrender

surrender, yielding, capitulation, giving up, resignation, fall, forsaking, concession, surrender, resignation, conceding

Depending on your point of view these can apply as well: Withdraw, fall back, retreat.

So what does that say about English speaking countries?

You forgot ---

"Yes, dear"
and its variant
"OK, honey"

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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