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Submission + - Conspiracy Theorists Think Government Planted 'Fake Snow' In US (

An anonymous reader writes: Are the secrets of the "National Weather Agency" about to be revealed due to a "Snowden" leak? The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, "This week's wild weather across the south of the U.S. has raised a controversial question online: was it just a light snow, or a nefarious government conspiracy? It was definitely just snow. But the last few days have seen scores of videos like this from skeptics who claim the snowflakes aren't the real deal. — "I have a sample of 'snow' ... leaving the snow unmelted." (Via YouTube / sugar magnolia) — The conspiracy reasoning goes like this: the snow is unusual in Georgia and other southeast areas and doesn't melt when burned. Therefore, it must be fake snow, distributed by the government, as a diversion from big government tyranny: (Via YouTube / Div9neImages) — "You're being distracted from all fronts, you're preoccupied. They're up here signing bills, the government, to pretty much take away more of your rights and freedoms." (Via YouTube / Occult Sin)"" — More at Popular Science

Submission + - The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer (

An anonymous reader writes: Software developer Advi Grimm posts about the trend throughout the industry of companies demanding that job applicants be 'passionate' about programming when hiring into ordinary development jobs. Grimm says, 'I love code. I dream of code. I enjoy code. I find writing high quality code deeply satisfying. I feel the same way about helping others write code they can feel proud of. But do I feel 'strong and barely controllable emotion' about code? Honestly? No. ... I think some of the people writing these job ads are well-meaning. Maybe most of them. I think when they write “passionate” they mean “motivated.” No slackers. No one who is a drag on the team. But sometimes I worry that it’s code for we want to exploit your lack of boundaries. Maybe it’s fanciful on my part, but there’s a faintly Orwellian whiff to the language of these job ads: excuse me comrade, I couldn't help but notice that man over there is not chanting the team slogan with sincere revolutionary conviction.' Is it realistic for employers to expect us to be passionate about software we're hired to build? If they're looking for the head of a major product, then maybe it's warranted — but for everybody, even the grunts?

Edward Snowden Says NSA Engages In Industrial Espionage 212

Maow writes "Edward Snowden has been interviewed by a German TV network and stated that the NSA is involved in industrial espionage, which is outside the range of national security. He claims that Siemens is a prime example of a target for the data collection. I doubt this would surprise AirBus or other companies, but it shall remain to be seen what measures global industries take (if any) to prevent their internal secrets from falling into NSA's — and presumably American competitors' — hands." AirBus is a good example of a company that has experienced spying from both sides.

Submission + - Winamp shutting down as of December 20, 2013 (

Cid Highwind writes: If you want to download the latest version of Winamp, better do it soon. According to a new banner on the download page, AOL will be pulling the plug on the iconic llama-whipping music player in a month.

" and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release.
Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years."


US Wary of Allowing Russian Electronic Monitoring Stations Inside US 232

cold fjord writes "The New York Times reports, '... the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from Snowden. Instead, this menace may come in the form of a ... dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States. ... the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing ... the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen ... monitor stations, on United States soil ... These monitor stations, the Russians contend, would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of Moscow's version of the Global Positioning System ... The Russian effort is part of a larger global race by several countries ... to perfect their own global positioning systems and challenge the dominance of the American GPS. For the State Department, permitting Russia to build the stations would help mend the Obama administration's relationship with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin ... But the C.I.A. and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow's satellite-steered weapons. The stations, they believe, could also give the Russians an opening to snoop on the United States within its borders. ... administration officials have delayed a final decision until the Russians provide more information and until the American agencies sort out their differences.'"

Submission + - Lawyer blame iOS devices for his sexual inadequacy. Wants money now. (

mwessel writes: Tennessee lawyer Chris Sevier has blamed the easy access to porn on his iPhone for his inability to distinguish fantasy sex form real women. He claims that the iPhone should have warned him that real women do not writhe and reel in ecstasy when met with his lawyerly moves in the sack.
From the suit:
“The Plaintiff could no longer tell the difference between Internet pornography and tangible intercourse due to the content he accessed through the Apple products, which failed to provide him with warnings of the dangers of online pornography whatsoever.The Plaintiff began desiring younger, more beautiful girls featured in porn videos than his wife, who was no longer 21.”


Robotic Kiosk Stores Digital Copies of Physical Keys 192

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Daily News reports that a startup company in Manhattan is putting robotic key copying machines in 7-Eleven stores. The machines can automatically create physical copies of common apartment and office keys. What's more interesting is that they allow users to save digital copies of their keys, which can later be created when the original is lost or the user is locked out of their home."

Comment Re:What's in it for him? (Score 5, Funny) 216

So, being quite cynical about such things, in what way would a proof of this conjecture allow him to make more money?

Philanthropy and advancing science are good, but my first thoughts is that if someone can prove this he stands to make massive amounts of money.

You know the old jokes about rich people paying bums on the street to fight for their own amusement? Well, extend that to mathematicians.

Comment Re:My solution for fixing Windows 8 (Score 1) 578

Sigh I miss the days when AOL gave a free Floppy Disk every day on your doorstep. That way you just take it Re-Format it and you have extra storage. When they went to CD's it was a sad day for me. They could have at least made them on CD-R so I can burn a new partition on it to store stuff.

I tried that theory, too, but after a while it became clear that either AOL used low-quality crappy floppies or the USPS didn't care much about them in transit (or both), given I kept getting bad sectors out of them when I reformatted them.

Comment Re:Free Advice (Score 1) 181

a friend of mine had a car in his driveway .

Can someone randomly tow something _from your driveway_? Street I can see...besides, here things on the street have to be insured.

There's the part in the story where the neighbor impersonated the rightful owner to call a municipal towing service to his house to haul the temporarily-gutted VW Bug away. That is, under normal circumstances, yes, you CAN call a service to tow something from your driveway (say, if the vehicle was otherwise unmovable but you wanted to be rid of it), but this asshole neighbor went ahead with straight-up fraud to get someone else's property towed.

Submission + - Hidden Recordings Reveal Cheating Poker Software CEO (

An anonymous reader writes: While 5 years have passed since Black Friday ended Internet Poker in the US, new recordings have revealed that Ultimate Bet's corruption went all the way to the top. Using a "God Mode" cheat, some players and executives could see the hole cards of other players on the Ultimate Bet System. The owner of Ultimate Bet used the cheat to steal upwards of $16 million from various famous poker players including Mike Matusow and Ben Affleck.

The CEO was also involved and still works in internet gaming as a founder of Iovention, a fraud prevention company. His new company assisted with the launch of the online poker in Nevada this month. Since these recordings came to light, his services are no longer wanted.

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