‘A Salt Lake City mortgage company employee allegedly got drunk, opened fired on his firm’s computer server with a .45-caliber automatic, and then told police someone had stolen his gun and caused the damage. [..]
However, investigators allege that Campbell had been drinking that night at the Twilight Concert in Pioneer Park with a co-worker and had returned to his office afterward and shot the server.
A probable cause statement alleges that Campbell told police he had been “mugged, assaulted with his own firearm and drugged” by a mystery assailant.
However, acquaintances of Campbell reportedly told police he had earlier been drunk, was armed and had threatened to shoot the computer and maybe himself.’
‘Every scientist dreams of a world without ethics. Whenever a scientist sees a set of twins, he or she secretly wonders what would happen if you surgically swapped their faces. They already have a chamber set up to harness the power of their screams as they gradually realize what has happened. Every day, ethics barely prevent experiments like this from being carried out.
But what if we didn’t have these ethics? When Nazi doctors were let loose during WWII, the incredible rate of their discoveries were matched only by the inadequacy of words to atone for them. They might have been monsters, but without them, we never would have discovered the yield elasticity of the elderly, or learned what part of a prisoner’s tongue detects the taste of angel meat.
The Sims 3 is computer game based on these Nazi scientists that offers us a world of moral ambiguity, free to perform psychological experiments away from the leering eye of ethics. Which is exactly what I did. Here are the results of my findings.’
‘The four co-founders of website The Pirate Bay have been found guilty of assisting the distribution of illegal content online by a Swedish court today and have been sentenced to a year in jail and a $3.6m (£2.4m) fine.
Charges against the site, which allows web users to access music, movies and TV shows without paying for them and claimed 22 million users during February, were brought by a consortium of media, film and music companies led by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
A Stockholm court found the four defendants guilty of making 33 specific files accessible for illegal sharing through The Pirate Bay, which means they will have to pay compensation to 17 different music and media companies including Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, Warner, MGM and 20th Century Fox.
All four have pledged to appeal against the decision though the process may take several years.’
‘The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access.
Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to force this filter into your home.’
There are contact details for the fool behind this nonsense. If you’re annoy by all this, you should let them know.
‘A 43-year-old Japanese woman whose sudden divorce in a virtual game world made her so angry that she killed her online husband’s digital persona has been arrested on suspicion of hacking, police said Thursday.
The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game “Maple Story” to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.
“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.
The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.’
I’ve been playing with an artificial intelligence bot lately. It sits in IRC all day long, learns how to use words, and then pretends to be a person. It’s not very clever yet.
To give you an idea of how intelligent it is, today I’ve had the most sensible conversation with it that it’s ever had:
<moonbuggy> moonb0rg, what do you think about donkeys?
<moonb0rg> fucking donkeys?
<moonbuggy> moonb0rg, well, donkeys in general.
<moonb0rg> its all about donkeys digressin
<moonbuggy> moonb0rg, you think donkeys often digress?
<moonb0rg> sir, you fuck donkeys
‘Police in Somerset County are trying to figure out how a radio tower went missing in Windber. Police say a group of people had a very thorough plan to get all 120 feet of steel and copper down from the old Windber radio tower.
Police believe the thieves threw cables over the guidelines of the tower and yanked it down with a truck. Police also found cut bolts and torch marks on nearby grass. Police say the tower had to be cut into small pieces in order to get it out of the wooded area, but they can’t figure out how they did it without anybody noticing.
“There’s probably a half a dozen routes that come in and out of that area. At least 20 four-wheelers and ATV riders go through there a day,” said Paint Township Police Chief Rick Skiles.
The thieves also got away with a 300-pound Penelec transformer full of copper.’
‘Hackers have broken into one of the computer networks of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
A group calling itself the Greek Security Team left a rogue webpage describing the technicians responsible for computer security at the giant atom smasher as “schoolkids” — but reassuring scientists that they did not want to disrupt the experiment.
The hackers gained access to a website open to other scientists on Wednesday as the LHC passed its first test, sending its protons off on their dizzying journey through time and space, close to the speed of light.
The work of the scientists was not derailed and insiders scoffed at claims that the hackers were “one step away” from the systems controlling the experiment itself. [..]‘
‘Meet Gordon, probably the world’s first robot controlled exclusively by living brain tissue.
Created from cultured rat neurons, Gordon’s primitive grey matter was designed at the UK’s University of Reading by scientists who unveiled the neuron-powered machine yesterday.
Their groundbreaking experiments explore the vanishing boundary between natural and artificial intelligence, and could shed light on the basic building blocks of memory and learning, a lead researcher said.
“The purpose is to figure out how memories are stored in a biological brain,” said Kevin Warwick, a professor at the University of Reading and one of the robot’s principle architects.’
‘A lawsuit filed Monday in California seeks class action status alleging that Apple denied technical staffers required overtime pay and meal compensation in violation of state law.
Filed in the US District Court for Southern California, the complaint claims that many Apple employees are routinely subjected to working conditions resembling indentured servitude.
Lead plaintiff David Walsh was employed by Apple as a network engineer from 1995 until 2007. His complaint says he was often required to work more than 40 hours per week, miss meals, and spend his evenings and even entire weekends on call without any overtime pay or meal compensation. He fielded technical support calls that often came after 11 pm.’
‘Up to 30 partygoers at an outdoor rave have been partially blinded by a laser light show.
Health officials confirmed 12 cases of laser-blindness from the event, with reports suggesting up to 17 more.
Some of those affected have lost up to 80 per cent of their vision.
Guests at the Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, Russia, began seeking medical help days after the show, complaining of vision problems.
Lasers like these were erected inside giant tents at the Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, Russia, after heavy rain. Up to 30 ravers suffered permanent damage to their vision.
Heavy rain had forced organisers of the event, which took place on July 5 in the town 50 miles outside Moscow, to put up tents for the all-night dance party.
The lasers, which are designed to illuminate the sky, were reflected by the canopy into the eyes of the ravers, burning their retinas.’
‘A new Texas law requires every computer repair technician to obtain a private investigator’s license, according to a lawsuit filed in Austin. Violators can face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail, as well as a $10,000 civil penalty.
Unlicensed computer shops will have to close down until they obtain a private investigator’s license.
A private investigator’s license can be obtained by acquiring a criminal justice degree or by getting a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator. [..]
In the Austin American-Statesman, State Rep. Joe Driver, (R-Garland) explains the intent of the law, and claims it does not place such restrictions on most computer shops.’
‘I’m sitting in a fast-food restaurant outside Boston that, because of a nondisclosure agreement I had to sign, I am not allowed to name. I’m waiting to visit Apollo Diamond, a company about as secretive as a Soviet-era spy agency. Its address isn’t published. The public relations staff wouldn’t give me directions. Instead, an Apollo representative picks me up at this exurban strip mall and drives me in her black luxury car whose make I am not allowed to name along roads that I am not allowed to describe as twisty, not that they necessarily were.
“This is a virtual diamond mine,” says Apollo CEO Bryant Linares when I arrive at the company’s secret location, where diamonds are made. “If we were in Africa, we’d have barbed wire, security guards and watch towers. We can’t do that in Massachusetts.” Apollo’s directors worry about theft, corporate spies and their own safety. When Linares was at a diamond conference a few years ago, he says, a man he declines to describe slipped behind him as he was walking out of a hotel meeting room and said someone from a natural diamond company just might put a bullet in his head. “It was a scary moment,” Linares recalls.’
‘ Two teenagers who say they hijacked Comcast’s Web portal on Thursday also say they expect to be arrested for their actions.
“I wish I was a minor right now because this is going to be really bad,” 19-year-old “Defiant” told Wired’s Kevin Poulsen, who managed to get a one-hour phone interview with Defiant and his 18-year-old cohort “EBK.”
“I slept in my clothes, because the last time they came, I was in my underwear with my dong hanging out and shit,” Defiant said of a past raid.
On Thursday, Comcast’s portal was defaced, leaving some e-mail subscribers without service. On the site, the hackers referenced their group: “KRYOGENICS Defiant and EBK RoXed Comcast.”‘
‘Automatic car features are supposed to make life easier for motorists, but they may be leaving some people without the know-how to do things the old-fashioned way. That’s what happened to a driver in Utah County who became trapped inside her own car.
A woman called Orem police Friday afternoon needing help because her battery died and she was locked inside her car.
When police arrived, they found the woman sitting in the car, unable to get herself out. She couldn’t hear the officers instructions through the rolled-up windows so she motioned to them to call her on her cell phone, according to police.
Once officers were able to talk to the woman on the phone, they were able to tell her how to manually operate the slide lock mechanism on the inside door panel to open the door and free herself.
“I’m just glad she had a cell phone to call for help,” an officer said.’
‘[..] Largent fulfilled the pop-culture dream that was popularized in such movies as Office Space and Superman 3 – stealing a large sum of money, $50,000 to be exact, a few pennies at a time.
Largent used a massive fraud scheme to trick Google Checkout and online brokers like E-trade and Schwab to send him the sum, a few cents at a time. The fraud was made possible by a common practice relatively unknown to the general public. When users open up accounts with these sites, the site sends a tiny payment from a few cents to a few dollars to the user. The payment is meant to verify that the user has access to the account and that it’s active.
By opening 58,000 such accounts, Largent funneled money through the channels into a few private bank accounts. Largent raked in $8,000 from Google’s Checkout alone.’
‘A bullied office worker has been awarded £5,000 after her boss raised his right buttock from his chair and broke wind in her direction.
Humiliated mother-of-three Theresa Bailey, 43, was the only woman on a sales team where “laddish” behaviour made her life a misery, and continued despite complains to senior managers.
After she objected to sexist banter a beach ball was thrown at her head – and when she had problems working her computer was ordered to wear a badge saying “I’m simple”.
Now an employment tribunal has ruled that Mrs Bailey was sexually discriminated against while working for direct marketing firm Selectabase, in Deal, Kent, and awarded her £5,146.’
‘A group in Santa Fe says the city is discriminating against them because they say that they’re allergic to the wireless Internet signal. And now they want Wi-Fi banned from public buildings.
Arthur Firstenberg says he is highly sensitive to certain types of electric fields, including wireless Internet and cell phones.
“I get chest pain and it doesn’t go away right away,” he said.
Firstenberg and dozens of other electro-sensitive people in Santa Fe claim that putting up Wi-Fi in public places is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.’
(367kB and 3.8meg Flash videos)
see it here »
‘An Oregon couple received a frightening phone call from their son in Afghanistan when he inadvertently called home during battle.
Stephen Phillips and other soldiers in his Army MP company were battling insurgents when his phone was pressed against his Humvee. It redialed and called his parents in the small Oregon town of Otis.
Sandie Petee, Phillips’ mother, and her husband, Jeff Petee, weren’t home at the time of the call. They returned home to find a three-minute voice mail on their answering machine. [..]
They heard shooting, swearing and shouted pleas for more ammunition on the phone call from their son.
“They were pinned down and apparently his barrel was overheating,” said Jeff Petee. “It’s something a parent really doesn’t want to hear. It’s a heck of a message to get from your son in Afghanistan.”‘
(1.8meg Flash video)
see it here »
‘alright, i got a computer that used to be networked onto a server with classlinks in school or whatever., well i got it home thinking i could reformat the hard drive, yeah…no. they set up a password on the computer so when i go to the utility options or whatever, and it has a password as soon as it opens. and to let you know nothing boots. i tried installing XP but im almost 100% sure that that password is blockin the coputer from accessing it, bc when i go to install XP it says no mass storgae device found. So how do i over ride this password. i changed the RAM and switched out the hard drives, then i took out that little battery for 10 min or so..no luck, Somone please help me.’
‘Researchers at HP Labs have built the first working prototypes of an important new electronic component that may lead to instant-on PCs as well as analog computers that process information the way the human brain does.
The new component is called a memristor, or memory resistor. Up until today, the circuit element had only been described in a series of mathematical equations written by Leon Chua, who in 1971 was an engineering student studying non-linear circuits. Chua knew the circuit element should exist — he even accurately outlined its properties and how it would work. Unfortunately, neither he nor the rest of the engineering community could come up with a physical manifestation that matched his mathematical expression.
Thirty-seven years later, a group of scientists from HP Labs has finally built real working memristors, thus adding a fourth basic circuit element to electrical circuit theory, one that will join the three better-known ones: the capacitor, resistor and the inductor.’
‘Just a few weeks back there was a spirited debate over the ethics of deploying war robots in Iraq. Themachine gun carrying remote-controlled killing machines, TALON SWORDS robots, produced by the Army, were among the various robotic soldiers being experimentally deployed in Iraq.
Their deployment lead a major anti-landmine nonprofit organization to campaign against the deployment of the machines. The protests were fueled by a discussion with a leading roboticist, Chris Elliot, who proposed that increasingly intelligent robots might be capable of committing war crimes. [..]
Hot on the tails of his speech, it was revealed on Thursday that the Army will recall the controversial TALON SWORDS robots, with the possibility of pulling the plug on the armed robot deployment program.
Why the sudden withdraw? It turns out the insurgent-slayer decided to attempt a rebellion against its human masters. The Army reported that the robot apparently took a liking to point its barrel at friendlies, stating, “the gun started moving when it was not intended to move.”‘
<Ich> I’ve discovered that people on IRC don’t get offended or riled up by racism
<Ich> nor politically incorrect jokes
<Ich> nor feminism, nazism,
<Ich> nor goatse, or even tubgirl
<Ich> not even jokes about 9/11 get a rise out of anybody
<Ich> but as soon as I tell somebody that macs are better than PC’s, things get ugly
‘Apple deceptively marketed its new 20-inch iMac in a way that grossly inflated the capabilities of its monitor, which is vastly inferior to the previous generation it replaced, according to a federal class action lawsuit filed today by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP.
According to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose, Apple is deceiving consumers by concealing that the new 20-inch iMac monitors are inferior to the previous generation’s and those of the new 24-inch iMac. In addition, the monitors are incapable of displaying “millions of colors,” despite Apple’s marketing claims.
Apple’s newest iMac – an “all-in-one” desktop computer that combines the monitor into the same case as the CPU – was unveiled in August 2007.’
Apparently Creative sound cards barely work in Windows vista, and Creative won’t make drivers for them.
“If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make.”
Some clever fellow has been writing his own drivers that have make the cards work as they should, but creative aren’t happy about it. Intellectual property and all that.
What follows is many forum pages worth of people telling Creative they’re stupid and claiming they’re never buying a Creative sound card again.
“My god, you guys got some balls on you, either that or you’r all bordeline mad.”
‘Less than a week after losing in the latest U.S. spectrum auction, Google Inc. has started pitching its plan to use TV “white space” — unlicensed and unused airwaves — to provide wireless Internet.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission released by Google on Monday, the Internet search giant pressed the government to open up the white space for unlicensed use in hopes of enabling more widespread, affordable Internet access over the airwaves.
“As Google has pointed out previously, the vast majority of viable spectrum in this country simply goes unused, or else is grossly underutilized,” Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington telecom and media lawyer, wrote in the letter. “Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow.”
Google said the white space, located between channels 2 and 51 on TV sets that aren’t hooked up to satellite or cable services, offer a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans.”
In addition, opening up the spectrum would “enable much-needed competition to the incumbent broadband service providers,” Whitt wrote.’
‘Boston Dynamics just released a new video of the Big Dog on ice and snow, and also demoing its walking gait.’
(7.9meg Flash video)
see it here »
‘An 81-year-old man has used an intricate suicide machine to shoot himself remotely, after downloading the plans from the internet.
The Gold Coast man, who lived alone, left notes of his plans and thoughts as he struggled to come to terms with demands by interstate relatives that he move out his home and into care, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
He spent hours searching the internet for a way to kill himself, downloaded what he needed and then built a complex machine that would remotely fire a gun. [..]
The machine was attached to a .22 semi-automatic pistol loaded with four bullets.
It was able to fire multiple shots into the man’s head after he activated it.’