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Submission + - Reddit Mob Strikes Back at Auto-Warranty Calls (

powerlord writes: Most of us have gotten those annoying telemarketing calls that "The warranty on your car is about to expire!". This was even more annoying for Michael Silveira, a 22 year old who doesn't even own a car. He, along with a flash mob on Reddit, proceeded to perform a real world DDoS on Auto One, an Irvine, CA company that hired one or more of the telemarketing firms. According to the Wall Street Journal article, "The Reddit user posted two phone numbers for Auto One. "Please call them 20, 30, hell, 50 times a day," this person wrote. "It's what I did and finally the guy said, 'Look, we will take your number off our list just please stop calling here!'" The Reddit user didn't respond to an interview request. ... campaigners eventually figured out how to gain access to Auto One's voice-mail system. They began work on a virtual map to extensions 300 through 490 on the system, and digging through saved messages for more information on the company." Mr. Silveira's contribution? He left voice-mail messages that contained nothing but a recording of Rick Astley's 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Scientists Discover Cows Point North Screenshot-sm 558

Dr Sabine Begall and colleagues from the University of Duisburg-Essen have discovered that cows tend to point north. The researchers studied deer in the Czech Republic and looked at thousands of images of cattle on Google Earth. The animals tended to face north when eating or resting. "We conclude that the magnetic field is the only common and most likely factor responsible for the observed alignment," the scientists wrote in an article. I guess cows will become the must-have item for long-distance hikers now. Having an edible compass would come in handy if you get lost.

California Can't Perform Pay Cut Because of COBOL 1139

beezzie writes "Last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered a pay cut, to minimum wage of $6.55/hr, for 200,000 state workers — because a state budget hadn't been approved yet. The state controller, who has opposed the pay cut on principle and legal grounds, now says the pay cut isn't even feasible because the state's payroll systems are so antiquated. He says it would take six months to go to minimum wage, and nine months more to restore salaries once a budget is passed. The system is based on COBOL, according to the Sacramento Bee, and the state hasn't yet found the funds or resources, in ten years of trying, to upgrade it." The article quotes a consultant on how hard it is to find COBOL programmers; he says you usually have to draw them out of retirement. Problem is, if there were any such folks on the employment rolls in California, Gov. Schwarzenegger fired them all last week, too.

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