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Submission + - NYC Spent $69M on Special Ed Software That Cost $75M in Labor Judgments (observer.com)

BradyDale writes: One in seven students in NYC schools are in special education, each of whom has lots of individualized service goals each year to help them achieve an appropriate education. That's tough to keep track of, so in 2008 NYC schools procured services to build software to help track it.
The poorly designed software has made matters worse. So far, it has earned $75M in labor arbitration settlements over time teacher's wasted wrestling with the system outside of school.
Now, the city's public advocate has sued to find out if students get the services the law entitles them to.

Submission + - SPAM: 'Clock Boy' Loses Defamation Court Case 1

kenh writes: Ahmed, the clock boy, from Texas had his day in court, and lost. His father sued Fox News, Glenn Beck, the mayor of Irving, and others for defamation... but when the hudge asked if any of the defendants said anything that was false, Ahmed's father's lawyer had to admit he had no examples of false statements by any of the defendants. During the lengthy hearing, Judge Moore pressed Mohamedâ(TM)s lawyer, Fort Worth attorney Susan Hutchison, to provide any facts that would suggest that Hanson and the other defendants had said anything false or defamatory about Mohamed or his son during the television broadcasts. After spending a painfully embarrassing 15 minutes flipping through reams of paper, Mohamedâ(TM)s lawyer was unable to provide any such evidence.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Creepy Website IknowWhatYouDownload Makes Your Torrenting History Open To All (iknowwhatyoudownload.com) 2

dryriver writes: The highly invasive and possibly Russian owned and operated website http://iknowwhatyoudownload.co... immediately shows the bittorent download history for your IP address when you land on it. What's more, it also shows the torrenting history of any specific IP address you enter, and also of IP addresses similar to your's, so you can see what others near you — perhaps the nice neighbours in the house next door — have downloaded when they thought nobody was looking. Upon clicking on somebody else's IP link in my range, for example, I found that the person had downloaded a tremendous amount of Porn content of a certain rather embarrassing type in what they thought was the privacy of their own home. The website highlights XXX content in bright red on its download list, a feature that appears explicitly designed to embarrass people who torrent porn. There is also a nasty little "Track Downloads" feature that lets you send a "trick URL" to somebody else. When they click on the URL — thinking its something cool on Facebook, Twitter or the general internet — THEY see what they URL promised, but YOU get sent their entire torrenting history, including anything embarrassing or otherwise compromising content they may have downloaded in private. A website this malicious and invasive can only have been built by the big content producers to deter people from downloading piratedcontent methinks. The website appears to offer an API, customized download reports and more to interested parties in the hopes of generating big cash from making other people's torrenting activities public. I wonder how long it takes before some teenager commits suicide or similar because his school friends sent him a "trick URL" from this site that outed him/her as downloading gay porn or similar.

Submission + - Steam is down (steamstat.us) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The entire Steam domain seems to be down for everyone. The websites and Steam clients won't connect. No word from Steam on Twitter or Reddit about the outage.

Submission + - It's not you, Slashdot, it's me. 5

BuckB writes: When I was a young man, I read Slashdot in order to amaze my friends with useful facts. It was even my homepage for awhile. Sure, there was time when I cheated and went to cnet or wired. With Slashdot, I could count on high quality debate on controversial topics, even though I knew in my heart that most of the readers were Apple fans, while I am a closeted Microsofterian. Now the stories are mainly non-tech — no, that's the real reason — the stories are now mainly fake or click-bait or alarmist, and the discussions are completely uninformed, insulting, to the point of being indistinguishable from an MSNBC forum.

I'll still remember you fondly. And I'll check back now and then. You'll do fine without me, find more people who enjoy insulting contributions and upvoting rumors and gossip. But maybe, just maybe, you'll think back to when you were a leader and attracted the kinds of people like me.

Submission + - Vendor disables user's software for negative review, demands retraction

Submission + - Copyright Troll Lawyers Charged with Major Fraud and Extortion (startribune.com)

BcNexus writes: No strangers to the front page of ./ for their trouble with the court, two lawyers from the USA state of Minnesota have been charged with conspiracy, fraud and more in connection with their years-long copyright trolling campaign. They allegedly would upload their own pornographic materials to the web, threaten their victims with expensive copyright infringement suits for downloading the porn, and then offer to settle with them for an average of $4,000 each.

Submission + - SPAM: Malls should just name their public Wi-Fi networks "Danger" and be done with it.

schwit1 writes: Evan Robertson won his school science fair this year by proving just how thoughtless people can be on public Wi-Fi networks.

Evan, now 11, programmed fake Wi-Fi portals and took them to food courts shopping centers across the Austin, Texas, area and waited to see how many agreed to some pretty outrageous conditions. For the love of free internet access, they'd have to give their OK for the Wi-Fi owner to do things like "reading and responding to your emails, monitoring of input and/or output, and 'bricking' of your device."

More than half of the shoppers shown these terms accepted them.

Attention holiday shoppers: public Wi-Fi networks are dangerous, especially during the Christmas season when so many people in one spot make for easy pickings, says Don Duncan, a security engineer with NuData Security.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - 37% of Detroit, Michigan, voting machines report more registered votes then cast

Mashiki writes: 37% of Detroit, MI., voting machines reporting more votes then cast after a recount. Detroit went heavily towards Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Voting irregularities have spurred plans by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office Elections Director Chris Thomas to investigate state wide for other voting irregularities following the recount which was stopped. State officials are planning to investigate 20 Detroit precincts where voter boxes opened during the recount showed fewer ballots then counted by optical readers. In total nearly 60% of Detroit precincts had vastly different voter totals, with more votes cast then actual ballots in voter boxes. At this time there is no idea how many votes have been added to totals in Detroit.

Submission + - Can jet engines clean up Delhi's foul air? (bbc.co.uk)

Chrisq writes: Sometime next year, if all goes well, a retired jet engine will be mounted on a flatbed trailer and taken to a coal-fired power plant in Delhi.
With the exhaust nozzle pointed at the sky, the engine will be placed near the smokestack and turned on.
As the engine roars to life, it will generate a nozzle speed of 400 metres per second (1,440km/h; 900mph), which is more or less the speed of sound.
The exhaust will create powerful updrafts that will, to put it simply, blast the emissions from the plant to higher altitudes, above a meteorological phenomenon called temperature inversion, where a layer of cold air is held in place by a warmer "lid" trapping smog.
The jet exhaust will act as a "virtual chimney", drawing in and transporting the smog, which makes Delhi's air some of the most toxic in the world. A single jet engine can deal with emissions from a 1,000 megawatt power plant.

Submission + - God Speed John Glenn, Dead at 95 (foxnews.com)

bobbied writes: John Glenn, the all-American astronaut and senator who rocketed into history on flights 36 years apart as the first American to orbit the Earth and the oldest person in space, died Thursday, Dec. 8 at age 95.

Submission + - Changed Profile on Kindle Fire to "daddy", Amazon Seller Account Got Suspended 1

imthelag writes: An Amazon seller who runs an Amazon business wound up getting suspended from Amazon because he changed the name on his son's Kindle Fire. Similar to selecting a profile on a Netflix-capable device, the seller wanted to have his own profile on the Kindle. He changed the name on his profile to "Baba" which according to him "essentially means daddy in our language". Three days later, Amazon suspended his selling account. They requested documentation, including government identification, to verify his name is "Baba". You can see on the Amazon forums(amazon.com) that he did not change anything on his seller account. His inventory is now tied up and he has no recourse, as the outsourced support does not understand the situation. If you rely on Amazon for income, you may want to hold off on purchasing a Kindle, as for some reason Amazon considers your profile name on a Kindle to be your legal name on your selling account.

Submission + - FOIA confirms existence of real-life X-Files that FBI previously denied existed (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: A Freedom of Information Act request for FBI files on a figure at the center of dozens of 20th century conspiracy theories reveals a rare glimpse into the Bureau's real-life "X-Files" — which the agency had long maintained don't exist. And while there's no evidence yet of Mulder or Scully, the files do include a story of flying saucers and secret assassins stranger than anything on the show.

Submission + - Fidel Castro is Dead (nytimes.com) 2

Striek writes: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90.

His death was announced by Cuban state television.

In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

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