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Comment Re: Yay for "zero tolerance" (Score 1) 591

Honor role students are facing jail time for truancy for god sakes.

Living in Texas, but not having been educated here, I'd like to perhaps call your attention to two grammatical errors in one sentence. "Honor roll" and "for God's sake" Now you can see where the problem with Texas education arise. The teachers and principals were raised in Texas.

Comment Re:Pathetic (Score 2) 196

By this, I assume you mean that once someone has taken a wrong course, they should not try to correct once they realize their mistake? I think I have a job for you piloting huge oil tankers... There is not, in my reading any attempt to hide, it's short and sweet. "Our new guy made a mistake, I made a mistake, and we're sorry." The part about the new guy, is perhaps a bit of smole and mirrors, so I'm thinking they should name him and put him in public pillory. (NOT)

Submission + - NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The Guardian reports that the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department and according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their "Rolodexes" so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems. The NSA memo dated October 2006 that was obtained by the Guardian suggests that such surveillance was not isolated, as the agency routinely monitors the phone numbers of world leaders – and even asks for the assistance of other US officials to do so. However the memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced "little reportable intelligence". At the daily briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney again refused to answer repeated questions about whether the US had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls in the past although he previously issued a statement that said the US "is not monitoring and will not monitor" the German chancellor's communications. But that failed to quell the row, as officials in Berlin quickly pointed out that the US did not deny monitoring the phone in the past. "The [NSA] revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries," said Carney, "and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels."

Submission + - Citizen eavesdrops on former NSA director Michael Hayden's phone call ( 1

McGruber writes: The Washington Post has the news ( that former head of the NSA Michael Hayden took a call while on the Acela train between D.C. and Boston. Hayden was talking to a journalist "on background", which means the reporter that Hayden was talking to is not allowed to cite Hayden by name.

Unfortunately for Hayden, another train passenger overhead the call and live-tweeted it.

Submission + - Avast, me hearties! Antigua to legally pirate US copyrighted works ( 1

Mark Gibbs writes: Shiver me timbers: Antigua and Barbuda’s “WTO Remedies Implementation Committee”, is said to be recommending the establishment by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda of a statutory body to own, manage and operate the ultimate platform to be created for the monetisation or other exploitation of the suspension of American intellectual property rights authorised earlier this year by the WTO ... Additionally, an announcement regarding the opening of tenders for private sector participation in the operating of the platform should be announced shortly. Arghhh ... matey!

Submission + - 87-Year-Old World War II Veteran takes on the TSA (

McGruber writes: Orlando Sentinel columnist Lauren Ritchie has written (,0,2675395.column) about how Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints handle her father Sam, an 87-year-old who has a propensity to question authority in a quiet way, and make his target feel stupid.

Sam points to the signs that the TSA posts stating that those above the age of 75 don't have to take off their shoes for screening. Maybe the TSA thinks all old people wear floppy tennies, but Sam's favorite pair have metal. So every time Sam goes through the screening, an alarm goes off, and an officer makes him remove his shoes. And every time he feels compelled to test the TSA. Sometimes, Sam spots them a few points by warning them ahead of time that his shoes have metal.... it got to be a ritual for a while, ending with him throwing his hands up and remarking to the TSA person: "Hey, something's not right here."

Sam also refuses to let TSA separate him from his wallet; he is convinced that it will disappear from the moving belt or that someone will pick it up on the other side if he can't get there quickly enough. His wallet stays buttoned securely into his back pocket. His daughter doesn't even want to know how much money is in his wallet because he never got the memo that America has become a cashless society.

Admittedly, the TSA is right in a way — Sam does know a little bit about planes being used as flying bombs. He was aboard the U.S.S. Idaho battleship during a massive attack on Okinawa on April 11, 1945, when six Japanese kamikazes took aim and dived toward the decks. Anti-aircraft fire took out five of them, but the last one slammed into the port side of the Idaho. The battleship, a veteran of landing after landing in the Pacific, sailed to Guam for repairs and was back in Okinawa four weeks later. Sam still was aboard when she steamed triumphantly into Tokyo Bay on Aug. 27, 1945, and anchored there during the signing of the World War II surrender.

Submission + - Why did dinosaurs grow to giant sizes, while mammals remained relatively small? (

benonemusic writes: A new study in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that dinosaurs reached gigantic proportions relative to mammals because of differences in their cartilage, making their joints squishier and able to sustain greater amounts of force. Other factors contributed to dinosaurs' larger sizes, including their lighter, air-sac-filled skeletons, and some researchers point out that the sizes of some dinosaurs and mammals were approximately equal, so anatomical differences between cartilage in dinosaurs and mammals may not directly explain why some dinosaurs grew to larger sizes.

Submission + - Amazon Hits 109,800 Employees, Passes Microsoft's Headcount

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon today released its Q3 2013 earnings report. Among all the financial figures was a very big one: the Seattle-based company now employs 109,800 people around the world as of September 30, 2013. According to this Microsoft page, the company has 100,518 employees worldwide as of September 30, 2013.

Submission + - Fighting Paralysis With Electricity (

the_newsbeagle writes: In spinal cord injuries, the brain's commands can't reach the lower body — so in a ground-breaking experiment at the University of Louisville, researchers are providing artificial commands via electrodes implanted in the spine. The first paralyzed people to try out the tech have already been able to stand on their own, and have regained some bowel and sexual function. A video that accompanies the article also shows paralyzed rats that were able to walk again with this kind of electrical stimulation.

Submission + - Hack turns Belkin baby monitor into iPhone-controlled bugging device (

An anonymous reader writes: It turns a wireless baby monitor made by Belkin into a stealthy bugging device that can be accessed by someone in your front yard... or halfway around the world. The WeMo baby monitor allows any iOS device on your network to connect to it and listen in without a password. If that's not bad enough, when an iPhone has connected once on the local network it can later tune into the monitor from anywhere in the world.

Security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani is calling attention to another potential hole that's more subtle: the same mechanism that authorizes an iPhone that connects to a WeMo even once can be abused by malware to give virtually any Internet-connected device remote bugging capabilities. The upshot of this finding: it's trivial for any computer that is already infected to obtain the credentials to tap the audio feed of a WeMo baby monitor connected to the same home network.

Hack turns Belkin baby monitor into iPhone-controlled bugging device
The "Internet of things" may make life richer, but it can also allow new attacks.

by Dan Goodin — Oct 23 2013, 9:21am PDT

Nitesh Dhanjani
There's a reason Internet-connected thermostats, televisions, and other everyday appliances are growing increasingly popular. In an age when smartphones are nearly ubiquitous, people can crank up the heat, record TV programs, and check home-security systems without getting off the couch or leaving the little league game that's gone into extra innings.

But there's a flip side to the convenience. Just as Internet connections give new capabilities to the people using the devices, they also create new opportunities for stalkers, thieves, and hackers. A case in point: in August, Ars described how smartphone-controlled lighting systems from Philips could be commandeered by malicious websites to cause persistent blackouts. Now, the same researcher behind that hack has devised a new proof-of-concept attack. It turns a wireless baby monitor made by Belkin into a stealthy bugging device that can be accessed by someone in your front yard... or halfway around the world.

The WeMo brand monitor is simple to use. Connect it to a home Wi-Fi network and access it just once over the same network with an iPhone or iPad app Belkin makes available for free. The device will then have unfettered access to all audio picked up by the pint-sized device. Access to your home Wi-Fi network isn't necessary for the app to work after initial setup; all conversations within earshot of the monitor can be tapped as long as the iPhone or iPad has an Internet connection. The ease of connecting is no doubt intended to be one of the selling points of the WeMo monitor. But its lack of password authentication can just as easily be viewed as a liability since it exposes users to surreptitious monitoring by baby sitters, former spouses, or anyone else who even once manages to get on the home network. The only way to be sure that the device is locked down is to continually check the monitor's settings panel to ensure no unrecognized devices are connected to it.

Letting one-time access be the sole determinant for authenticating a device is likely to strike many readers as an obvious weakness. But independent security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani is calling attention to another potential hole that's more subtle: the same mechanism that authorizes an iPhone that connects to a WeMo even once can be abused by malware to give virtually any Internet-connected device remote bugging capabilities. The upshot of this finding: it's trivial for any computer that is already infected to obtain the credentials to tap the audio feed of a WeMo baby monitor connected to the same home network.

Reconsidering the Perimeter Security Argument (WeMo Baby Monitor)
Dhanjani also uncovered weaknesses in two other Belkin products. The WeMo switch, which allows people to turn electric devices on and off with a smartphone, also grants permanent permissions to any device that gains one-time access. The Belkin Wi-Fi NetCam, by contrast, requires a password to access video feeds, even by users on the same Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, Belkin developers have undone this good deed with a fatal flaw. The password is transmitted in plaintext to a server at the IP address, once again making it trivial for machines already infected with malware to retrieve the password and tap in to the video feed. This abuse scenario opens up the possibility of a whole new wave of remote snooping that exploits webcams, microphones, and other Internet-connected devices.

Submission + - Hacktivist Creates Early Warning Missile Alert System for Syrian Civilians (

cold fjord writes: This sounds useful. Interview By the BBC: "Like many Syrians who fled the war Dishad Othman has been watching it unfold from a far, but wanted to help civilians on the ground. He has decided to put his military training and computer programming skills into use and has now set up an early warning system that can alert people in Syria when a ballistic missile is coming their way. Mr Othman told the BBC's World Service how he came up with the idea. " More from The Atlantic:
Meet the Hacktivist Who Wants to Warn Syrians About Incoming Missiles

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