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Submission + - Why No Jail Time for 'Cramming'? (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Last week the FCC announced it was proposing $11.7 million in penalties against four companies that 'that appear to have unlawfully billed tens of thousands of consumers for unauthorized charges.' But blogger Chris Nerney wants to know why no one's going to jail for what amounts to stealing from unwitting customers. 'If the feds really want to get serious about protecting consumers from being ripped off, we should start seeing some CEOs doing hard time,' says Nerney."

Submission + - Computer glitch disables control of traffic lights (myfoxdc.com)

pjslagle writes: Because of a computer glitch, Montgomery County, MD officials lost control over their traffic management system. From DC Fox News, "A computer glitch that occurred on Tuesday after the evening rush hour actually started the issue, causing traffic lights in the county not to switch to rush-hour timing for the morning drive. As a result, many drivers were significantly delayed on their way to work Wednesday and again on Wednesday night"
"Officials say all traffic signals in the county are functioning on regular, or non-rush hour, timing. That means traffic congestion is much worse than normal, and drivers were the ones paying the price in their nightly commute."
“The county says a host of engineers are adjusting the timing of the signals on the busiest roadways by hand, and they're hoping to make the repairs in a timely fashion.The computer that failed dates back to the 1970s, and Montgomery County officials have already begun a six-year, $35 million overhaul of their traffic management system, which includes replacing all traffic signal hardware and upgrading the complex computer system. “ “
My usual ten minute commute took well over an hour” says Joan Nally of Bethesda, MD. “Traffic wasn’t moving at all”


Whistleblower Claims NSA Spied On Everyone, Targeted Media 717

JCWDenton writes "Former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice, who helped expose the NSA's warrantless wiretapping in December 2005, has now come forward with even more startling allegations. Tice told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday that the programs that spied on Americans were not only much broader than previously acknowledged but specifically targeted journalists."

Black Hole At Center of Milky Way Confirmed 392

Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting that a German team has confirmed the existence of a Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way. Astronomers tracked the movement of 28 stars circling the center of the Milky Way, using the 3.5m New Technology Telescope and the 8.2m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Both are operated by the European Southern Observatory (Eso). The black hole is four million times heavier than our Sun, according to the paper in The Astrophysical Journal. According to Dr Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit."

When Teachers Are Obstacles To Linux In Education 1589

jamie found this blog post up on the HeliOS Project, which brings Linux to school kids in Austin, TX. It makes very clear some of the obstacles that free software faces in the classroom. It seems a teacher came upon a student demonstrating Linux to other kids and handing out LiveCDs. The teacher confiscated the CDs and wrote an angry email to HeliOS's founder, Ken Starks: "Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. ... This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older version of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them..." Starks pens an eloquent reply, which contains a factoid I have not seen mentioned before: "The fact that you seem to believe that Microsoft is the end all and be-all is actually funny in a sad sort of way. Then again, being a good NEA member, you would spout the Union line. Microsoft has pumped tens of millions of dollars into your union. Of course you are going to 'recommend' Microsoft Windows."

Feds Block EFF Look at Google/DoJ Contacts 79

netbuzz writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to know all there is to know about contacts between Google and a Justice Department official involved in a highly charged 2006 government-snooping dispute that ensnared the search giant. That DoJ official, Jane Horvath, was subsequently hired by Google last year as senior privacy counsel. The DoJ has refused for six months to release public information about the matter being requested by EFF."

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