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Submission + - Giant Snails Invade Florida! (

Edgewood_Dirk writes: First spotted in 2011, Giant African Land Snails have migrated to Florida, and are causing massive agricultural and social problems in the state. Hugely destructive to crops, the creatures themselves are dangerous, in that they are able to gnaw through stucco and plastics, will eat almost any organic material, their shells are hard enough to pop tires on the freeway and become shrapnel when run over by lawnmowers. Over a thousand are caught each week in Miami-Dade County and their numbers are only growing as more come out of hibernation. They also carry a form of rat lungworm which can cause meningitis in humans, although no human cases have been reported yet.

Submission + - California Councilman Wants a Tax on Email ( 1

Edgewood_Dirk writes: In yet another story that highlights the lack of understanding of technology that plagues America's politicians, a California councilman is pushing for a "bit tax" on email. Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak is pushing for a tax on emails to raise federal revenue and possibly save the local post office in his district. Christ Edwards, an economist with the Cato Institute, disputes this idea, saying "The government doesn't need any more tax money. That's not the problem. The American government is spending more than ever."

Submission + - FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban ( 1

Edgewood_Dirk writes: In response to the White House petition, the FCC will be investigating the viability and possible harm of the ban on cell-phone unlocking. Gregory Ferenstein met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at a TechCrunch CrunchGov event Wednesday, where the Chairman said "...ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns..."

Submission + - Man Swallowed by Sinkhole Under His House (

Edgewood_Dirk writes: A man was missing early Friday after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa and his brother says the man screamed for help before he disappeared.
The 36-year-old man's brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash around 11 p.m. Thursday, then heard his brother screaming for help.

'When he got there, there was no bedroom left,' Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico said. 'There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up.'


Submission + - Spontaneous Human Combustion (

Edgewood_Dirk writes: In a bizarre death Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, a 66-year old man was found dead of apparent spontaneous human combustion. He was found in the kitchen and initially misidentified as a pile of burning trash, with no other fire damage around him or elsewhere in the home. Authorities describe him as a man with a history of heavy drinking and smoking, which are factors common to many alleged cases of SHC.

Check the full article at:

Submission + - San Diego Drops Red-Light Cameras (

gannebraemorr writes: "From "San Diego on Friday became the latest in a cadre of California cities turning their backs on red-light cameras — aloof intersection sentries that have prompted $490 tickets to be mailed to 20,000 motorists per year here. Mayor Bob Filner announced his decision to take down the city’s 21 cameras at a news conference set at the most prolific intersection for the tickets, North Harbor Drive and West Grape Street, near San Diego International Airport. A crew went to work immediately taking down 'photo enforced' signs throughout the city. 'Seems to me that such a program can only be justified if there are demonstrable facts that prove that they raise the safety awareness and decrease accidents in our city,' Filner said of the cameras. 'The data, in fact, does not really prove it.'"

I have to say I'm a bit surprised that my city is voluntarily shedding potentially $9.8M in revenue after objectively evaluating a program. I wonder how much a system would cost that could switch my light from green to red if it detected a vehicle approaching from a red-lit direction at dangerous speeds."

Comment Apple vs. serious technology (Score 1) 1

Sure, there are endless apps on the App Store that can do almost any task you want to accomplish. But how many of that multitude are genuinely useful tools? To a lot of computer savvy people, MS vs. Apple has always been about serious computing vs fluff. It's the old joke: Do you own a Mac? No, I own a computer. Maybe Steve, besides just not wanting to share the profit stream, doesn't want to muddy the Office name further than it is by offering it among the "apps".

Submission + - Bank of America System Down - Debit Cards and Online Banking affected ( 1

Edgewood_Dirk writes: From the article:
'Bank of America’s online banking system has crashed, with reports coming in that BOA debit cards are also not functioning.
Not surprisingly, the reports indicate BOA systems are having no difficulties receiving cash...naturally it’s all outgoing funds that are the problem. '

Of course they are.

Submission + - Giant Squid Caught on Film (

Edgewood_Dirk writes: "From the Article: "Scientists and broadcasters have captured footage of an elusive giant squid, up to eight meters (26 feet) long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.""

Submission + - UN targeted by Chinese Cyberattack (

Edgewood_Dirk writes: "The world's most extensive case of cyber-espionage, including attacks on U.S. government and U.N. computers, is set to be revealed Wednesday by online security firm McAfee, and analysts are speculating that China is behind the attacks.

The spying was dubbed "Operation Shady RAT," or "remote access tool" by McAfee — and it led to a massive loss of information that poses a huge economic threat, wrote vice president of threat research Dmitri Alperovitch

"What is happening to all this data—by now reaching petabytes as a whole—is still largely an open question," Alperovitch wrote on a blog detailing the threat. "However, if even a fraction of it is used to build better competing products or beat a competitor at a key negotiation (due to having stolen the other team’s playbook), the loss represents a massive economic threat.""

Comment Re:FUBAR = Normal (Score 1) 147

Firstly, yes, condescension from a sailor to a Marine. Very funny. Why don't you just go back to driving the boat for us? Secondly, the main point I was trying to get across was how slow the US military is to adopt new policies and procedures outside of their normal scope of operations. Primarily in that while yes, we have network technicians, and guys who can do a little packet sniffing, most of their duties are in support of intelligence operations. The gathering and exploitation of data, not overt actions such as electronic attack. Jamming all the WiFi in a town is not the same thing as hacking into the bad guy's machine and stealing his internetz. It'll be a long time before the rank and file have honest to God white hats in uniform. Just so it's more clear that I'm not talking out of my ass, here, I'm a 2671, Middle East Cryptologic Linguist. I'm an intelligence operator who speaks Arabic.

Comment FUBAR = Normal (Score 4, Informative) 147

I'm a currently-serving active duty Marine, and the fact that we're not ready for cyberwarfare is symptomatic of our way of doing things. The problem with the US military changing its ways of doing anything is that if there isn't a group of people already trained for the purpose of that new thing, its not gonna get done. Every Marine/sailor/soldier/airman/coastie has a specific job designation when they join up. They may do certain things outside of their scope at times, but "innovation" isn't commonplace or encouraged. It will be years if not a decade or more before an entirely new MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is created and a training program implemented for the single purpose of creating "cyber-soldiers". Until that happens, the military will rely on other assets within the federal services, or contractors.

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