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Submission + - Drug-test the Rich - Not the Poor - to Qualify for Tax Benefits (

Press2ToContinue writes: "The (tax) benefits we give to poor people are so limited compared to what we give to the top 1%” of taxpayers, Congresswoman Gwen Moore says, “It’s a drop in the bucket.” Many states implement drug-testing programs to qualify for benefit programs so that states feel they are not wasting the value they dole out.

However, seven states who implemented drug testing for tax benefit program recipients spent $1m on drug testing from the inception of their programs through 2014. But the average rate of drug use among those recipients has been far below the national average – around 1% overall, compared with 9.4% in the general population – meaning there’s been little cost savings from the drug testing program. Why? “Probably because they can’t afford it,” say Moore.

“We might really save some money by drug-testing folks on Wall Street, who might have a little cocaine before they get their deal done,” she said, and proposes a bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000.

“We spend $81bn on everything – everything – that you could consider a poverty program,” she explained. But just by taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, a bit of the tax code far more likely to benefit the rich than the poor, “that’s a $93bn expenditure. Just capital gains,” she added. Why not drug-test the rich to ensure they won't waste their tax benefits?

She is “sick and tired of the criminalization of poverty”. And, she added: “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”

Submission + - Install Asterisk to Defeat Telemarketer's Harassment Calls

An anonymous reader writes: The relentless telemarketer's calls really upset me. The Do Not Call blocking does not work. Government does not seem to have better way to help us either. They just keep calling and calling, multiple times a day, sometimes waking me up at night. The recent really annoying one comes from "Free 3-in-1 Wireless Security System", using various Caller IDs, including (715) 304-0676, (682) 205-2766, (570) 867-8743, (904) 245-1611, (612) 314-9242, etc, calling me day and nights. My cell phone, with earlier version of Android and can't be upgraded, does not support number blocking functionality. And that's company's phone, for on-call production support, must be turned on 24 hours a day.

As a counter measure, I install Asterisk in my home Raspberry Pi, and set up a SIP trunking with a SIP service provider. That uses my money but it's not too much and I don't care to spend that. Using shell script, I randomly setup an outgoing caller ID for each call, and schedule a cron job to run every few minutes to automatically call one of any of my received telemarketing numbers. Once the call is pickup, wait 10 seconds and hang up. That is, I am using robot calls to defeat robot or human calls.

Please thank me if you receive fewer spam calls lately. And if you can do something similar as above, that will be even better. Together, we will defeat the harassment calls!

Submission + - The Tech Behind the Handheld Screwdriver; Choose, but Choose Wisely (

szczys writes: Fasteners are all around us and most of the time people are making bad choices on the tool used to turn them, the fastener itself, or both. Flat head, Phillips, Robertson, Pozidriv, or other, there is a tool for each screw interface. Spend a bit of time learning about the technology of screws and screwdrivers, apply that next time you reach for a tool, and you will no longer be on the receiving end of broken bits, ruined screw heads, and dented drywall.

Submission + - Asteroid discovered orbiting Earth

Frosty Piss writes: A small asteroid has been found circling Earth. Scientists say it looks like the asteroid, named 2016 HO3, has been out there for about 50 years. Calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come. Scientists think the asteroid is between 120 and 300 feet (37 to 91 meters) in diameter, and NASA says it never gets closer than 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) from Earth. It was found on April 27, 2016 by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii. So how do we miss a 300 foot object that has been orbiting the Earth for around 50 years? Probably the same way we've missed all the flying saucers!

Submission + - Newfound Asteroid Is 'Quasi-Moon' of Earth (

schwit1 writes: The newly discovered asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun in such a way that the space rock never strays too far from Earth, making it a "quasi-satellite" of our planet, scientists say.

"Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come."


Submission + - Photon-transistors exchange data between photons (

gregor-e writes: Scientist from the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen and from Harvard University have come up with a way for photons to exchange data. Normally, photons pass right by each other without interacting. What these guys have done is establish a means of transferring information from one photon to another by using a single atom intermediary. This provides a step toward practical quantum computation, by allowing the signals to be purely optical in nature.

Submission + - Amtrak Reservation System Fails Nationwide (

xrsblu writes: "Amtrak's ARROW ticketing system has suffered an as-yet-unexplained nationwide failure, beginning Saturday afternoon and persisting through the time of this submission. Customers are unable to make reservations or purchase tickets online, via phone operator, or in person at a ticket window. Train status updates are also unavailable. Amtrak has not issued a press release and their website makes no mention of the system failure, until one attempts to make a reservation whereby a standard "system maintenance" error appears."

Submission + - Google revoking DRM permissions on bought videos! 1

DoofusOfDeath writes: A few months ago I purchased a great Discovery Channel video from Google's downloadable video service. Sure I can't media-shift it, but I was willing to trade away some fair-use rights so my kids could see the video. I paid cash, they give me the video. End of story, right?

Wrong. Today I got this email (see below). It just goes to show that with DRM, there's little limit to the evil that can be done to you:


As a valued Google user, we're contacting you with some important information about the videos you've purchased or rented from Google Video. In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective August 15, 2007.

To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $20. Your bonus expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here: The minimum purchase amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and tax.

After August 15, 2007, you will no longer be able to view your purchased or rented videos.

If you have further questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your continued support.


The Google Video Team

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

AT&T To Offer TV Over Phone Lines 303

ppadala writes "AT&T is upgrading their phone lines to offer video programmes over phone line. The service, called U-verse TV will be available in parts of Southern California communities initially. Channel lineups will be similar to traditional cable and dish offerings. AT&T is insisting that, 'This offering is on par with those of its cable rivals. But AT&T claims that it offers customers more for their money, including fast channel changing, video-on-demand, three set-top boxes, a digital video recorder, a picture-in-picture feature that allows viewers to surf channels without switching channels and an interactive program guide.'"

Submission + - Identification through Reverse DNS?

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently noticed that the reverse DNS name given to my IP from my ISP contains my mac address. It seems to me that regardless of IP address/dhcp logs that this could serve as a permanent unique identifier for a person. How many other ISPs do this? Are we clearing our google cookies periodically for nothing? Is this a privacy hole that should be closed up? I can see the ISPs internally being able to recognize their clients uniquely, but to the rest of the Internet is it a security violation for people to be tracked by an unchanging hostname?

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