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Comment Re:The Better Policy (Score 1) 2058

Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, I lived in a rural part of Missouri. Our fire protection services were provided by a nearby town's volunteer fire department. They charged us a $50 annual fee. If you paid the fee they'd fight fires on your property, no questions asked. So far, a lot like Tennessee. The difference was if you didn't pay the fee and your house caught on fire. If you said "yes, please, put out the fire," it was a minimum $300 just to roll a truck. Then, when your insurance agent showed up with a check for the damages, someone from the fire department would be there to collect. And if that wasn't enough they'd put a contractor's lien on your property. From what I gathered, the local courts backed the fire department damn near every time. It's not a pretty situation, but it seemed to work out nicely for everyone involved.


Students Are Always Half Right In Pittsburgh 881

Pittsburgh Public Schools officials have enacted a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work. District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said, the 50 percent minimum gives children a chance to catch up and a reason to keep trying. If a student gets a 20 percent in a class for the first marking period, he or she would need a 100 percent during the second marking period just to squeak through the semester. The district and teachers union issued a joint memo to ensure staff members' compliance with the policy, which was already on the books but enforced only at some schools. At this rate, it won't be long before schools institute double extra credit Mondays and Fridays to ensure students don't take three day weekends.

Password Vulnerability In Firefox 176

Paris The Pirate writes "According to a message posted over the weekend on the Full-Disclosure mailing list, the latest version of Firefox,, contains a password management vulnerability that can allow malicious Web sites to steal user passwords. If you have JavaScript enabled and allow Firefox to remember your passwords, you are at risk from this flaw."

Submission + - Smart camera system counts cards and terrorists (

coondoggie writes: "One doesn't usually associate casino activities with military operations but a smart surveillance camera system is set to cross into both worlds next week. Published reports say Lockheed Martin will announce it is deploying RemoteReality's OmniAlert360 and ThermalVision360 camera system on military ships to detect terrorist attacks from small boats aimed at U.S. Navy ships. One such attack killed 17 May personnel aboard the USS Cole in a Yemen harbor in 2000. The Navy could expand its usage of the system to include protections for cruise ships or cargo ships from such threats.But military applications are not the only places this smart camera system watches over. RemoteReality has a relationship with North American Video to develop a system of enhanced 360-degree cameras for casinos and the gaming industry. The systems can monitor everything from casino security to individual players."

Submission + - FBI Translating 1,000 Wiretap Conversations a Day

An anonymous reader writes: New on the Bad Guys blog: FBI Translating Over 1,000 Wiretap Conversations a Day Spurred by adding hundreds of new linguists and help from allies overseas, the FBI is translating a record 34,000 wiretapped conversations a month, Bureau officials tell the Bad Guys blog. bi_translating_over_1000_wire.htm Long criticized for their lack of language specialists, FBI officials say they are finally catching up to an unprecedented intake of surveillance since 9/11. In the last four years, the Bureau's counterterrorism investigations have netted a windfall of foreign language materials: Over 500,000 hours of audio 5.5 million electronic data files 1.8 million pages of text The growth in FBI electronic surveillance is due largely to counterterrorism and counterintelligence wiretaps. The number of national security wiretaps approved by the secret FISA court jumped by 122 percent from 2001 to 2005, the story notes, while criminal wiretaps have increased by only 19 percent.

Submission + - MPAA Steals Code, Violates Linkware License

MBrichacek writes: "A blogger who wrote his own blogging engine called Forest Blog recently noticed that none other than the MPAA was using his work, and had completely violated his linkware license by removing all links back to the Forest Blog site, and had not credited him in any way. According to Patrick, it isn't something new to find his blogging software being used like this. What he finds really odd is that an organisation whose goal is to "protect" copyrighted creative works has no qualms in, essentially, stealing other people's work."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal SPAM: EFP = USD 30 13

The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it. Far from a sophisticated assembly operation that might require state supervision, all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe. I asked a Pentagon analyst specializing in such devices how much each one would cost to make.

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