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Submission + - Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law? (theregister.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: The host of the first presidential debate on Monday night, Hofstra University in New York, may have broken the law and could be in line for a huge fine.

Reporters at the event were appalled to find that among the heavily marked-up items they were offered – $150 to rent a lamp, anyone? – was a $200 charge for a "secure wireless internet connection."

Worse than the clear effort to price-gouge people trying to file stories, however, was the fact that the university decided that only its wireless access points were allowed to be used, and even sent someone around with a Wi-Fi signal detector apparently threatening to throw out anyone who was using an "unauthorized" access point.

That action – effectively shutting down people's ability to use their own internet connection in order to force them to use a paid-for service – was ruled illegal in 2014 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a landmark ruling against Marriott Hotels.

Submission + - Passengers in Uber's self-driving cars waived right to sue for injury or death (theguardian.com)

schwit1 writes: Anyone requesting an Uber ride in a 12-sq mile area in the center of Pittsburgh might now be randomly allocated a self-driving Ford Fusion rather than a human-operated vehicle.

But passengers riding in Uber’s computer-controlled cars today might be surprised at just how experimental the technology is. According to documents obtained by the Guardian under public records laws, until as recently as June anyone not employed by Uber riding in one of its autonomous vehicles (AVs) had to sign a legal document waiving the company of any liability for their injury or death.

Submission + - California Enacts Law Requiring IMDb to Remove Actor Ages on Request (hollywoodreporter.com)

schwit1 writes: California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation that requires certain entertainment sites, such as IMDb, to remove – or not post in the first place – an actor’s age or birthday upon request.

The law, which becomes effective January 1, applies to database sites that allow paid subscribers to post resumes, headshots or other information for prospective employers. Only a paying subscriber can make a removal or non-publication request. Although the legislation may be most critical for actors, it applies to all entertainment job categories.

The purpose of the law is to prevent age discrimination. How soon will it get struck down for violating free speech?

Submission + - Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal (politico.com)

schwit1 writes: President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday. The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”

In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was shown an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, but the longtime Clinton aide did not recognize the name of the sender.

"Once informed that the sender's name is believed to be pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: 'How is this not classified?'" the report says. "Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president's use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email."

Submission + - Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses (theregister.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of Cybersecurity, looked at the frequency and cost of IT security failures in US businesses and found that the cost of a break-in is much lower than thought – typically around $200,000 per case. With top-shelf security systems costing a lot more than that, not beefing up security looks in some ways like a smart business decision.

"I've spent my life in security and everyone expects firms to invest more and more," the report's author Sasha Romanosky told The Reg. "But maybe firms are making rational investments and we shouldn't begrudge firms for taking these actions. We all do the same thing, we minimize our costs."

Submission + - SPAM: McDonalds Hires Foreign H-1Bs, Fires 70 American Accounting Staff

schwit1 writes: The H-1B outsourcing in the nation’s heartland showcases the growing corporate use of foreign H-1B workers to replace American white-collar professionals, and it comes after companies have used waves of legal and illegal migrants to slash blue-collar jobs and wages in Ohio and around the country.

Also, the 70 Ohio jobs that McDonalds outsourced to lower wage foreign graduates are not Silicon Valley technology and software jobs — they’re white-collar accounting jobs performed by graduates from mainstream business schools. That outsourcing of mainstream business jobs spotlights the growing movement of foreign workers into all corners of the nation’s white-collar professional economy.

White-collar outsourcing “is not just a Silicon Valley thing anymore, it is happening all over” the country, said Steve Camarota, head of research at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Nationwide, the foreign population of white-collar temporary workers, dubbed “guest-workers,” now exceeds 800,000, including roughly 650,000 H-1B workers on multi-year visas.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: Wearable activity monitors can count your steps and track your movements, but they don’t, apparently, help you lose weight. In fact, you might lose more weight without them.

The fascinating finding comes from a study published today in JAMA that found dieting adults who wore activity monitors for 18 months lost significantly fewer pounds over that time than those who did not.

The results suggest that activity monitors may not change our behavior in the way we expected, and raise interesting questions about the tangled relationships between exercise, eating, our willpower and our waistlines.

Submission + - SPAM: Without language teachers, high schools are resorting to Rosetta Stone

schwit1 writes: With just a few weeks to go before the start of school, Madison Area Memorial High School Principal Jessica Ward faced a dilemma: Classes were about to start, and the school didn’t have a foreign language teacher.

She contacted nearby universities and the Department of Education and posted the job online, but no one applied, even as five other open teaching positions were filled.

“It was coming down to the wire and school was starting,” Ward said. “Students were already scheduled for foreign language, and we can’t just not offer it.”

The school district had earmarked money for the position, so the guidance counselor and superintendent started researching other options, ultimately putting the money toward the computer program Rosetta Stone to take the place of a full-time French and Spanish teacher.

The teachers' union better hope this doesn't work too well.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Leaked Colin Powell Email Confirms Israel Has "200 Nukes All Targeted On Tehran" (zerohedge.com)

schwit1 writes: While the media has been mostly obsessing over the recently leaked Colin Powell emails that discuss either Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, or Donald Trump, a just as important, from a geopolitical perspective, email was revealed by the DCLeaks website, in which the former Secretary of State admits that Israel as 200 nuclear weapons "all targeted" at Iran, so Iran can't use one even if "they finally make one." Powell's assessment of Iran's nuclear capacity comes two weeks after it was revealed that the Obama administration had granted Iran "Secret" nuclear deal exemptions, despite claiming otherwise.

More importantly, however, the email to Jeffrey Leeds, Powell's business associate and major Democratic donor, finally provided the admission that Israel had nuclear weapons, something the biggest US ally in the Middle East has carefully avoided confirming or denying for years, in a policy dubbed "nuclear ambiguity."

Submission + - Court rules EPA violated privacy of farmers and ranchers (northernag.net)

schwit1 writes: A federal appeals court has ruled that the EPA violated the privacy rights of farmers and ranchers when it provided environmental groups their personal information.

I find it interesting that the federal bureaucracy is often very quick to redact vast amounts of information demanded of them due to investigations of their corruption and abuse of power, but here they hand over the private confidential information of farmer and ranchers to their political enemies, without a second thought. You’d almost think they were working in league with these environmental groups.

Submission + - Charles Bolden poo-poos private space (arstechnica.com)

schwit1 writes: In remarks at a conference yesterday NASA administrator Charles Bolden expressed his distrust and lack of confidence in the ability of private companies to build large heavy lift rockets.

“If you talk about launch vehicles, we believe our responsibility to the nation is to take care of things that normal people cannot do, or don’t want to do, like large launch vehicles,” Bolden said. “I’m not a big fan of commercial investment in large launch vehicles just yet.”

Despite the demonstrable efforts by both SpaceX and Blue Origin, Bolden nonetheless said that “normal people” cannot, or do not want to, develop large launch vehicles. What the administrator appears to be asserting here is that NASA is more special, or better, than those in the private sector when it comes to building rockets.

The article at the link notes the strangeness of Bolden’s remarks, especially since NASA itself has failed, despite repeated efforts, to build its own new rocket since the 1970s. The author also notes the high cost of SLS, though the numbers he cites — $13 billion to develop and build SLS — is actually about half the real cost, which will be about $25 billion to build two SLS rockets.

Bolden here illustrates the old way of doing things. He will be gone soon, however, and a new way will replace him, private, competitive, innovative, and fast moving, everything that NASA has not been in the past four decades.

Submission + - L.A. sheriff uses robot to snatch rifle from barricaded suspect, end standoff (latimes.com)

schwit1 writes: An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday.

Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff's Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.

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