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Submission + - Oregon fines man for writing a complaint email stating "I am an engineer..." (vice.com) 2

pogopop77 writes: In September 2014, Mats Järlström, an electronics engineer living in Beaverton, Oregon, sent an email to the state's engineering board. The email claimed that yellow traffic lights don't last long enough, which "puts the public at risk." "I would like to present these facts for your review and comments," he wrote. This email resulted not with a meeting, but with a threat from The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying stating "ORS 672.020(1) prohibits the practice of engineering in Oregon without registration — at a minimum, your use of the title 'electronics engineer' and the statement 'I'm an engineer' create violations." In January of this year, Järlström was officially fined $500 by the state for the crime of "practicing engineering without being registered."

Submission + - Burger King Won't Take Hint; Alters TV Ad to Evade Google's Block (washingtonpost.com) 1

ewhac writes: Earlier this week, Burger King released a broadcast television ad that opened with an actor saying, "Ok, Google: What is The Whopper?" thereby triggering any Google Home device in hearing range to respond to the injected request with the first line from the Whopper's Wikipedia page. Google very properly responded to the injection attack by fingerprinting the sound sample and blocking it from triggering responses. However, it seems Burger King and/or its ad agency are either unwilling or congenitally incapable of getting the hint, and has released an altered version of the ad to evade Google's block. According to spokesperson Dara Schopp, BK regards the ad as a success, as it has increased the brand's "social conversation" on Twitter by some 300%. It seems that Burger King thinks that malware-laden advertising infesting Web pages is a perfectly wonderful idea (in principle, at least), and taken it to the next level by reaching through your TV speakers and directly messing with your digital devices. You may wish to consider alternate vendors for your burger needs.

Submission + - Investigation Finds Inmates Built Computers, Hid Them In Prison Ceiling (cbs6albany.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The discovery of two working computers hidden in a ceiling at the Marion Correctional Institution prompted an investigation by the state into how inmates got access. In late July, 2015 staff at the prison discovered the computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a training room closet. The computers were also connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's network. Authorities say they were first tipped off to a possible problem in July, when their computer network support team got an alert that a computer "exceeded a daily internet usage threshold." When they checked the login being used, they discovered an employee's credentials were being used on days he wasn't scheduled to work. That's when they tracked down where the connection was coming from and alerted Marion Correctional Institution of a possible problem. Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network.

Submission + - SPAM: Obama vs trump

Retsamilo writes: Trump is much better

Submission + - Police violently drag man from United plane after reportedly overbooked flight (foxnews.com)

Mr.Intel writes: On Sunday, a United Airlines passenger was pulled from his plane seat and dragged off the aircraft — because the airline had overbooked the flight. Several passengers captured the scene and the disturbing footage appears to show that the man was left bleeding from the mouth after his face was smashed against an arm rest during the scuffle. Security are seen wrenching the man from his seat and then dragging him down the aisle and off the plane.

United Airlines gave us this response:

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

Submission + - You Can Install Windows 10 Creators Update Starting Today (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft will officially release Windows 10 Creators Update on April 11, the same day it will retire Windows Vista, but users unwilling to wait that long can install it starting today, April 5, using the Windows 10 Update Assistant. The tool installs Build 15063 of the Windows 10 Insiders Build program, which is set to become the official Windows 10 Creators Update next week.

The Windows 10 Update Assistant, which Microsoft first launched to help users update to Windows 10, has been recently used to upgrade users to the most recent version of Windows 10. The tool is available for download via the Microsoft site, albeit some users reported still getting an older version for download, which don't install Creators Update. The Update Assistant is extremely easy to use and only requires users to click a few buttons.

Submission + - Texas feminist wants to fine men $100 each time they masturbate (cnn.com) 1

mi writes: Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, has proposed a bill that would fine a man $100 each time he masturbates. The bill also imposes a 24-hour waiting period if a guy wants a colonoscopy or a vasectomy, or if he's in the market for some Viagra.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Does The Current Music Market Really Work? 3

dryriver writes: If you go on Youtube and search for talented bands that were big in the 90s or early 2000s you often make a startling discovery: Band X from those days is still making music and they have actually just released a brand new 10 track studio album — except that you haven't heard a thing about it because nobody talks about it anywhere. Band X have shot a cool music video — which MTV isn't playing — for their latest released song. The song isn't bad at all and on Youtube it has... drumroll... a whopping 2 — 3 million views 1 year after it was released. Currently popular music videos have 200+ million views per song by comparison. How does the current music market, which seems to revolve around the same 20 — 30 popular artists, work well if bands that are little older, but still write and perform good material, have no chance at all of getting noticed by anyone currently listening to music? Should a major video hub like Youtube do something to its "suggestion algorithm" and "site design" to give older musical acts a fairer shot at becoming relevant once more?

Submission + - Patriot Missile shoots down $300 quadcopter drone (bbc.co.uk)

maroberts writes: In a stunning display of the capability of Patriot or a demonstration of massive overkill, depending on your point of view, a US ally has used a Patriot missile to successfully shoot down a quadcopter drone, reports BBC News

The party responsible was described by Gen Perkins, a United States General with responsibility for training, as "a very close ally", leaving it up to the general public to guess which of the 12 allies using Patriot batteries would commit such an awesome demonstration of asymmetric warfare.

Submission + - Millions of Smart Meters May Over-Inflate Readings by up to 600% (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Lab tests carried out by Dutch scientists have shown that some of today's "smart" electrical meters may give out false readings that in some cases can be 582% higher than actual energy consumption.The study involved several tests conducted on nine different brands of "smart" meters, also referred to in the industry as "static energy meters." Researchers also used one electromechanical meter for reference. Experiments went on for six months, with individual tests lasting at least one week, and sometimes several weeks. Researchers tried to reproduce regular household energy consumption patterns and connected the smart meters to various power-consuming appliances found in regular homes, such as energy saving light bulbs, heaters, LED bulbs, and dimmers. Test results varied wildly, with some meters reporting errors way above their disclosed range, going from -32% to +582%. The results of the study also matched numbers posted on an online forum by a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about high energy bills.

Researchers blamed all the issues on the design of some smart meters, and, ironically, electrical devices with energy-saving features. The latter devices, researchers say, introduced a large amount of noise in electrical current waveforms, which disrupt the smart meter sensors tasked with recording power consumption. Since the research only covered smart meters commonly installed in Dutch homes, researchers say that around 750,000 smart meters deployed around the Netherlands may be giving out false readings. Worldwide, the numbers of possibly faulty smart meters could be in the millions, if not more.

Submission + - NASA has proposed building an artificial magnetosphere for Mars. (phys.org)

Baron_Yam writes: Apparently it is no longer necessarily science fiction to consider terraforming the red planet in a human lifetime.

  NASA scientists have proposed putting a magnetic shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, diverting sufficient solar wind that the Martian atmosphere would thicken and heat the planet to the point of melting the ice caps and causing what remains of Martian water to pool on the surface. While not enough of a change to allow walking around without a space suit, this would make human exploration of the planet a much easier task.

Submission + - When ISP copyright infringement notifications go wrong

Andy Smith writes: Yesterday I received an email from my ISP telling me that I had illegally downloaded an animated film called Cubo and the Two Strings. I'd never heard of the film and hadn't downloaded it. The accusation came from a government-approved group called Get It Right From a Genuine Site. I contacted that group and was directed to their FAQ. Worryingly, there's no way to correct a false report. The entire FAQ is written from the position that either you, or someone on your network, definitely downloaded what you're accused of downloading. Their advice to avoid any problems with your ISP is simply to not download anything illegally again. But if they can get it wrong once, then surely they can get it wrong again. How widespread is this problem? What safeguards are in place to ensure that people aren't falsely accused? Why has the government allowed this scheme to operate without the accused having some right to defend themselves?

Submission + - Congressional IT Staffers Took $100K from Iraqi Politician

RoccamOccam writes: Three brothers, working as IT staffers for several Democrat congressional representatives took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, according to this report based on court documents.

The trio worked for dozens of representatives, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional emails and other sensitive documents.

Submission + - IMDB Message Boards Gone Forever (imdb.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "The IMDb message boards were disabled on February 20, 2017. This included the Private Message system. IMDb is passionately committed to providing innovative ways for our hundreds of millions of users to engage and communicate with one another. We will continue to enhance our current offerings and launch new features in 2017 and beyond that will help our customers communicate and express themselves in meaningful ways while leveraging emerging technologies and opportunities." Many people who contributed have deleted their accounts, including me after 15 years. May the website die a lonely death.

Submission + - Windows DRM-Protected Files Used to Decloak Tor Browser Users (bleepingcomputer.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Downloading and trying to open Windows DRM-protected multimedia files can deanonymize Tor Browser users and reveal their real IP addresses, security researchers from Hacker House have warned.

On Windows, multimedia files encoded with special Microsoft SDK will automatically open an IE window and access a URL to check the file's license. Since this request is sent outside of the Tor Browser and without user interaction, this can be used to ping law enforcement servers and detect the user's real IP address and other details.

For example, law enforcement could host properly signed DRM-protected files on sites pretending to host child pornography. When a user would try to view the file, the DRM multimedia file would use Internet Explorer to ping a server belonging to the law enforcement agency. The same tactic can also be used to target ISIS militants trying to view propaganda videos, illegal drug and weapons buyers trying to view video product demos, political dissidents viewing news videos, and more. A video of the attack is available here.

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