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Submission + - Ransomware may help a grandmother-killer escape justice (thedailybeast.com) 1

craighansen writes: This article from the Daily Beast suggests the possibility that the ransomware attack on DC police cameras may prevent the identification of the killer of 68-year-old Mrs. Vivian Marrow, who appears to have been killed by a stray bullet in when a gunman was chasing another person. At the time, DC police had 123 of 187 surveillance cameras disabled by a ransomware attack, which they were involved in countering without paying the ransom over a four-day period. Reportedly, two 50-year-old persons in Britain and Sweden have been arrested, and are out on bail, in connection with the ransomware attack, but no arrests have been made, nor suspects named, in the Morrow killing.

Submission + - How The IRS Can Empty Your Bank Account Without Warning (zerohedge.com) 2

schwit1 writes: Having just filed his 2016 taxes, a Zero Hedge reader submits the following bizarre story.

On January 20, the reader filed his Federal tax return using Tim Geithner's favorite TurboTax software, which the IRS formally accepted three days later, on January 24. One week later, on January 31, the IRS made an automatic deposit into the reader's bank account, who then used the refund to pay down his credit card debt the very next day.

This is when things turned bizarre, because as our readers writes, just two days later, without warning, on orders of the IRS his bank empties out the bank account handing over its contents to the IRS:

"the IRS emptied our bank account February 3, 2017 for erroneous refund with no notice! (please see attached letter).

The only other thing I could think of was that TurboTax did not work correctly and calculated to large of a refund but the letter from the IRS stated it was a "processing error at the Internal Revenue Service". The refund we received was the same as what TurboTax calculated. I researched the IRS manual about erroneous refunds and could not find anything referring to a "R17" code as stated in the letter.

Called them. Our return was fine. The amount of refund was fine. Not an identity theft problem. Error on their side. According to the person I spoke with they are doing this to a large block of filers. They seemed hesitant to give more info.

He then adds that "in our phone conversation they told me that the return was fine and the refund amount was correct, it was not an over refund issue but some kind of IRS internal error and they would reissue the same refund after receiving the money back. It makes absolutely no sense to me but this is what I was told."

So, as our reader summarizes, "no outstanding taxes. Never been audited. Always file on time. Not a small business, just a normal employee W2, not a structuring issue. Only typical deductions and student loan interest. Scrambling to cancel auto payments and trying to figure out how we will pay mortgage and any payment that will not accept credit card.

Comment I wouldn't mind interesting videos (Score 1) 403

but those that I see fail to impress me.
were it real news for nerds, i would probably take a look at them.
like jandersen says, of today's titles only the MIT fusion reactor project could be interesting, but is certainly no news.

also, i like SOME of the ads. those about new tools to do my hobby and job. not the fluffy stuff.

Communications

Why Open Source Matters For Sensitive Email 73

Jason Baker writes Can you really trust your email provider? And even if you self-host your email server, can you really trust its security if you can't see the code? Over on Opensource.com, Olivier Thierry makes three cases for using open source to power your email solution: The power of numbers, the value of trust, and the importance of leverage.

Comment democratic decisions can not be unpopular (Score 2) 1276

I've been thinking lately about this, as I live in a country where somewhat less thank intellingent beings have been making 'policy' fore some time (Italy)

How can it be that politicians who need/want to be re-voted again next term can make decisions that are _not_ popular for a population?

Politicians will always have to choose options that are as pleasurable as possible for many (so as to be voted again), but this is hardly ever the best option, as mostly any form of government has to take (liberty/money) from all and redistribute/manage it for all.

People, mostly anyone smart and less smart, when presented with different parties' programs will naturally choose the one that pleases them most.

So, what we got is someone ho did away with some unpopular taxes (and was chosen as PM again) only to make financial things for the whole of the country much, much worse.

argh.

Comment absolutely yes (Score 1) 244

I second all those that said YES for networking reasons. If you want to continue working/researching in CS, you should absolutely get in contact with as many people as you can that share interests and physically interact with them in all sorts of ways. Internet is not the only way you know.
As for job opportunities, same thing. it's one big job interview out there.. ;)
Also, don't fill up all your available time when you'll be there, take time to get comfortable with the surroundings, and make some business/contact cards.

Comment Re:News to me (Score 1) 309

nope, here in europe (northern Italy) often text messages arrive hours late. And many events (concerts, demonstrations, feasts, you name it) interfere with sms delivery. It is true that it depends much on the carrier and if the message is being sent between two carriers. vodafone-tim is a bad pair.

that said, I've never seen a pager, too...
my 2€cts

Comment ok upgrading from fluxbuntu (Score 1) 1231

I have a HP compaq nx6110 laptop that was originally a fluxbuntu 8.04 install (y'know, thought it would be slow and all). upgraded to gnome-desktop which to my surprise worked beautifully. upgraded to 9.04 which worked quite perfectly. only had to install f-spot from svn as it was lacking some features. upgraded to karmic. no problem at all! cheers!

Comment Jack Vance (Score 1) 1021

I can't imagine I'm seeing so few refereces to Vance's worlds. Planet of Adventure is just fantastic, and most of his other stories are sublime exercises in the exploration of men's capabilities and particularities. the daemon princes are another fantastic creation. Yet the amount of _science_ fiction is always accurately measured agains the amount of social fiction.

my 2cts

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