Kittenman writes: After reading in the local press of yet another 80-year-old being fooled out of his money by some phone scammers, I've contacted the local 'Grey Power' and offered to give a talk on how to keep safe from phishing, phone scams, attempts to install malware... This has been accepted (me and my big mouth). I've some thoughts on what to present — of course — but I wonder what other slashdotters would choose?
Kittenman writes: The BBC and several domestic NZ sources are covering the latest revelations raised by Kim Dotcom, who is funding a political party in NZ as it heads to a general election on the 20th. Dotcom flew in a US journalist, Glenn Greenwald, and arranged for satellite links to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, in their respective hideouts, at a 'disclosure' presentation in Auckland.
The NZ Prime Minister (John Key) has denied all claims. No-one making the claims can actually come up with a plausible reason why the NZ government would want to spy on its citizens.
Kittenman writes: The BBC (and several other sources) are carrying the news that the Canadian government has found the sunken remains of one of Sir John Franklin's ships (either the Erebus, or the Terror), that went missing in the 1840s, causing sensation in Victorian London. Sir John and his entire crew were never seen alive again, The search for traces of the expedition went for over ten years in the 19th century, partly led by Sir John's widow. The discovery has been called the biggest archaeological event since the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb.
Kittenman writes: With the net already awash with comments about Thor's sex-change, another revelation: Archie Andrews is scheduled to die in the very near future. Rolling Stone (and other sources) cover the comic characters upcoming demise. What will Veronica and Betty do? Will this cause a resurgence in Archie (and Jughead's) single, "Sugar Sugar"? Stay tuned.
Kittenman writes: The BBC is carrying information on a type of contraception (funded in part by Bill Gates) that takes the form of a microchip, inserted under the skin. The chip releases contraceptive hormones to the body until wirelessly advised not to do so, This 'Brave New World' has several interesting applications and issues associated with it. What about hackers? Could 'they' implant a chip into a child at birth and then suppress children being born, until the employment opportunities improve — or a war needs more troops? The chip will be available from 2018. This correspondent will watch the issues with interest.
Kittenman writes: Phil Plaitt in Slate is covering discovery of a new solar system object, known as VP113 (for now). The object is in a highly-elliptical orbit, currently at about 80 AU... and that's its nearest point to the sun (perihelion). The furthest point is some 6 times that — putting it well into the Oort cloud.
Kittenman writes: The BBC is reporting that the US and UK spy agencies 'patrol' online games (such as 'World of Warcraft' and 'Second Life') to keep an eye on terrorist communications. The NSA "allegedly warned that such online games could allow intelligence targets to hide in plain sight". The same group have extracted WoW account data, attempting to link it to Islamic extremism.
Certainly a potential for data mining here — but keep an eye on that next elf you meet... it could really be a spook.
Kittenman writes: Donald Miller Jr of Ohio was declared legally dead in 1994, eight years after disappearing. He resurfaced in 2005, needing to regain his Social security number. His wife battled the case to declare him alive, as she was unable to repay the social security benefits she had received. The judge declared the man still dead, as there is only a three-year period to reverse the original ruling.
“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” the judge said.
Kittenman writes: The BBC is carrying footage of a London house that allows members of the public to scale walls, stand on windows, and other superhero stuff, all without any bite from a radioactive spider.
Kittenman writes: Fox news covered a police chase on JoDon Romero, live from a chopper, following his (alleged) theft of a car at gunpoint. Unwittingly (we hope) they also covered his suicide — broadcast live to his wife and three children, along with all other viewers.
The widow is suing fox for unspecified damages, claiming 'emotional distress'. Pity that off switch was too far away.
Kittenman writes: Tweaktown are carrying news reported elsewhere; that Apple are under scrutiny for escaping some US$44billion (that's a billion, as per Carl Sagan) of taxes, between 2009 and 2012. CEO Tim Cook appeared/will appear before a Senate investigation on Tuesday.
Apple's testimony states that Apple 'pays all it's required taxes, both in this country and abroad' and that they do no use 'tax gimmicks'.
Kittenman writes: A Smithsonian recording of the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone had been deemed too fragile to play or try to listen to, for 138 years. Modern technology has caught up, however, and scientists made ultra-high definition images of the disks, allowing the depth and contours of the wiggles and grooves to be accurately measured — and bring the voice back to life, without ever touching the recording physically.
Kittenman writes: The BBC magazine pages have an article on human trust of robots. The article cites a poll (done on facebook so certainly well-sourced) over the 'best face' design for a robot that would be trusted. But we still distrust them — because (tfa states) they look unwell (or like corpses) and do not behave as expected.
So would you trust a robot? How about one with the "trusting face"?
Kittenman writes: The BBC is reporting that Abbottabad — the place where OBL was found and killed by US Special forces — is to build an amusement park. The new park will not be near the site (now demolished) but will feature mini-golf, water sports and rock cllimbing. Possibly to help time pass for future terrorists otherwise at a loss of how to fill their days?
Kittenman writes: Rick Champagne, a 56 year old company owner from Arizona has bought the original "Batmobile" (dating back to Burt Ward and the '60s) for US$4.2 million. He's quoted as saying it "was a dream come true".