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Submission + - Federal Prosecutors actually prosecuting H1-B Fraud (ap.org)

McGruber writes: The Associated Press is reporting (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8fb0819e3b6543788237f32070f73974/business-owner-2-firms-face-visa-fraud-charges) that Federal Prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against a part-owner of two information technology firms and an employee for fraudulently using the H-1B program.

Prosecutors said the conspirators falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary. They said the workers were only paid when placed at a third-party client and the defendants sometimes generated false payroll records. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and obstruct justice and conspiracy to harbor aliens. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Submission + - Oldest-ever proteins extracted from 3.8-million-year-old ostrich shells (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Scientists have smashed through another time barrier in their search for ancient proteins from fossilized teeth and bones, adding to growing excitement about the promise of using proteins to study extinct animals and humans that lived more than 1 million years ago. Until now, the oldest sequenced proteins are largely acknowledged to come from a 700,000-year-old horse in Canada’s Yukon territory, despite claims of extraction from much older dinosaurs. Now geneticists report that they have extracted proteins from 3.8-million-year-old ostrich egg shells in Laetoli, Tanzania, and from the 1.7-million-year-old tooth enamel of several extinct animals in Dmanisi, Georgia. The teeth, buried at the fossil site that houses the earliest hominin remains outside Africa, came from extinct horses, rhinos, and deer. One team has also extracted proteins from 3.8-million-year-old ostrich eggshells from the site of some of the world’s earliest human footprints.

Submission + - Norwegian Oil Fund Asked to Consdier if Facebook is Unetical 2

polemistes writes: During the last few weeks there has been an uproar (this is in English) in Norwegian media about Facebook censorship. It started with writer Tom Egeland posting the iconic 1972 photo of Kim Phuc, running from a napalm bomb. Facebook decided that the nudity in the photo could be offensive, so they deleted it. When Egeland posted to criticise the censorship, the whole post was deleted. A major internet news site wrote about it, and the editor shared his article on Facebook, and was blocked for 24 hours. Now the Norwegian Press Association has asked the ethics committee of the Norwegain Oil Fund, who has invested about $1.6 billion in Facebook, to consider whether Facebook is acting unethically. If they are found to do so, the fund will have to withdraw their investments, because its strict ethical code. As a side-note:The google-translated article also censors the photo.

Comment Actually Powered by the Ejecta... (Score 1) 248

... of the trillions of endless assertions on the internet which neither create any nor meet any equal and opposite force, since they have no causal effect on reality. To resolve this discrepancy of pent-up psychodimensional energy, the universe has willed into existence such a drive tapping into a transdimensional energy portal releasing the pent-up energy of those assertions, thereby preventing a massive buildup which would eventually cause such a huge catastrophic explosion so as to render reality as we know it utterly destroyed.

Ah, the Universe.

Submission + - Hiding Commands in AAAA DNS Records for Covert Command and Control Channels (sans.edu)

UnderAttack writes: DNS makes for a great command and control channel. Pretty much all systems are able to reach the global DNS infrastructure via recursive name servers. The other advantage of DNS is that any operating system includes tools to perform DNS lookups on the command line. To exfiltrate data, a simple "A" record lookup for a hostname can be used like 4111111111111111.evilexample.com to exfiltrate a credit card number. But to send commands back to the system, many covert channels use "TXT" records, which are much less common and easily detected or blocked.

The script prevented here uses a simple bash script to instead encode commands in AAAA records, and use them to send command back to the compromised systems. AAAA records hold 16 bytes per record, and due to them being displayed in hex, are easily decoded with tools like xxd.

Submission + - Bitcoin Not Money, Rules Miami Judge In Dismissing Laundering Charges (miamiherald.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin does not actually qualify as money, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Monday in throwing out criminal charges against a Miami Beach man charged with illegally selling the virtual currency. The defendant, Michell Espinoza, was charged with illegally selling and laundering $1,500 worth of Bitcoins to undercover detectives who told him they wanted to use the money to buy stolen credit-card numbers. But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler ruled that Bitcoin was not backed by any government or bank, and was not “tangible wealth” and “cannot be hidden under a mattress like cash and gold bars.” “The court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it the equivalent of money,” Pooler wrote in an eight-page order. The judge also wrote that Florida law – which says someone can be charged with money laundering if they engage in a financial transaction that will “promote” illegal activity – is way too vague to apply to Bitcoin. “This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” she wrote.

Submission + - SPAM: Use Hypnotism to Make Your Kids Behave?

kheldan writes: Apparently someone thinks hypnotizing kids to make them do their homework, chores, and otherwise 'behave' is a good idea. Lisa Machenberg, a professional hypnotist, has been using this on over 1000 kids in the last 23 years. “I hypnotize my children and my husband to do things for my benefit all the time,” she says.

But hypnosis can have serious side effects, including tiredness, crisis of identity, insomnia, irritability, fears, panic attacks, deficit of attention, distorted sense of self, confusion, sexually abberant behaviors, unexpected trance-like state, delusional thinking, depression, dizziness, syncope, fearfulness, feelings of guilt, histrionic reactions, impaired memory, nausea, obsessions, changes in personality.

Panacea, or child abuse? You be the judge.

Submission + - Pending bill would kill a big H-1B loophole (computerworld.com)

ErichTheRed writes: This isn't perfect, but it is the first attempt I've seen at removing the "body shop" loophole in the H-1B visa system. A bill has been introduced in Congress that would raise the minimum wage for an H-1B holder from $60K to $100K, and place limits on the body shop companies that employ mostly H-1B holders in a pass-through arrangement. Whether it's enough to stop the direct replacement of workers, or whether it will just accelerate offshoring, remains to be seen. But, I think removing the most blatant and most abused loopholes in the rules is a good start.

Submission + - Supreme Court SHuts Down Wiley in International Copyright Case (arstechnica.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: In 2013, the Supreme Court heard Kirtsaeng, a copyright case brought by the publisher Wiley, who argued that legal books became illegal when brought into America, because their copyright licenses were nation-specific. The implications of Wiley's theory were nuts: companies could place arbitrary limits on the use of anything manufactured abroad and use copyright law to enforce them. Thankfully, the Supreme Court rejected Wiley's theory. But that wasn't the end of it. Kirtsaeng's lawyers spent more than $2M on the case, and two courts said that they were not entitled to recover their fees from Wiley — sending the message to future defendants in bogus copyright suits that even if they won, they'd lose.

Submission + - Drug-test the Rich - Not the Poor - to Qualify for Tax Benefits (theguardian.com)

Press2ToContinue writes: "The (tax) benefits we give to poor people are so limited compared to what we give to the top 1%” of taxpayers, Congresswoman Gwen Moore says, “It’s a drop in the bucket.” Many states implement drug-testing programs to qualify for benefit programs so that states feel they are not wasting the value they dole out.

However, seven states who implemented drug testing for tax benefit program recipients spent $1m on drug testing from the inception of their programs through 2014. But the average rate of drug use among those recipients has been far below the national average – around 1% overall, compared with 9.4% in the general population – meaning there’s been little cost savings from the drug testing program. Why? “Probably because they can’t afford it,” say Moore.

“We might really save some money by drug-testing folks on Wall Street, who might have a little cocaine before they get their deal done,” she said, and proposes a bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000.

“We spend $81bn on everything – everything – that you could consider a poverty program,” she explained. But just by taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, a bit of the tax code far more likely to benefit the rich than the poor, “that’s a $93bn expenditure. Just capital gains,” she added. Why not drug-test the rich to ensure they won't waste their tax benefits?

She is “sick and tired of the criminalization of poverty”. And, she added: “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”

Submission + - Online Loans Made in China Using Nude Pictures as Collateral

HughPickens.com writes: There is more than one way to get a student loan in China as People's Daily Online reports that many Chinese university students use their nude pictures as IOUs on online lending platforms, putting themselves at the risks of having everybody – including their parents – see them naked. Borrowers are also required to upload pictures of their ID cards and report their family information, including their address and cell phone numbers. "The nude photos will be made public if the borrowers fail to repay their debts with interest," an insider was quoted as saying. The credit varies based on the borrower’s education background. Usually an undergraduate student can receive 15,000 yuan ($2,277) in credit, while those studying at famous universities as well as doctorate students can receive even larger loans. Snapshots of threatening collection messages have also gone viral, with a photo of a female borrower and a message reading how the lender would send the photo and her naked video footage to her family members if she could not pay back her 10,000 yuan borrowed on an annual interest rate of 24 percent within a week. “Naked IOUs started long ago. Not only university students but many others also borrowed money with nude pictures,” says insider surnamed Zhang. Zuo Shenggao from Jingshi Law Firm says that nude photos are actually invalid as collateral in terms of laws. "Nude photos are not property. It is in the category of reputation rights," says Shenggao. "If anyone threatens to publish the photos online, they will violate the clients' reputation. At the same time, they are also spreading pornographic material. Both are illegal and they will commit double offence,"

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