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Google Plans to Show Ads Through Your Thermostat and Car

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 22:10 by Desiato in category: Google, News


According to a December letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which became public on Tuesday, Google hopes to put ads “on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”

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  1. Well, I guess I will have to do without refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few devices.

  2. Are you opposed to Google or advertising?

  3. Weren’t we just talking about how hard it is to get staff who aren’t stoners?

  4. @rob: advertising.

  5. John, some strategically placed electrical tape will take care of those ads. 🙂

  6. How will I be able to read adds on the car’s dashboard when I’m on the phone all the time?

  7. @chas: Ah, good point! Clearly, this is a cunning plan to encourage acceptance of the self-driving car – provided by the Big G.

As Feared: House Guts USA Freedom Act, Every Civil Liberties Organization Pulls Their Support

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 18:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


As we feared would happen, the House, under pressure from the White House, has completely watered down the USA FREEDOM Act. After a long (and, we’ve heard, contentious) battle among the different players, the bill that’s moving to the floor tomorrow is even less useful than the already weakened version that passed out of both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Following the revelation of the new version of the bill late Tuesday, basically every civil liberties organization pulled their support for the bill.

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  1. I’ve lost track of the plot. Who are the good guys, again?

  2. There are no good guys anymore…

FBI chief says anti-marijuana policy hinders the hiring of cyber experts

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 17:07 by Paul Jay in category: batshitinsane, Do you feel safer yet?


James Comey, the FBI director, says the bureau’s no-tolerance marijuana policy is hindering the hiring of cyber-security experts. Coney added that he is “grappling” with possibly changing the practice.

The director’s comments come one day after five members of the Chinese military were indicted in the US on allegations of hacking into major US corporations and stealing trade secrets

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey told a New York City Bar Association meeting Tuesday.

The bureau, which is seeking to employ as many as 2,000 new recruits this year, is prohibited from hiring those who have used marijuana the previous years.

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  1. Come on James, I want to smoke weed during the interview!

  2. It sounds like an episode of “Get Smart”.

Jean-Marie Le Pen voit dans le virus Ebola un moyen de réduire l’immigration

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 14:43 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane


A 85 ans, Jean-Marie Le Pen ne changera pas. En marge de ce qui était peut-être son dernier meeting de campagne, mardi soir, à Marseille, le président d’honneur du FN a jugé que “Monseigneur Ebola peut régler en trois mois” la question de “l’explosion démographique”.

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  1. Il va bientôt mourir…

A Rather Embarrassing Night for Psychic Sally in Middlesbrough

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 12:37 by John Sinteur in category: News


For those who don’t know, psychic Sally Morgan is a British television and stage artist who claims to have (you guessed it…) psychic abilities. She believes that she inherited her abilities from her Grandmother who was affectionately known locally as the witch of Fulham. She has been the star of her own show and has an extensive list of clients including celebrities and royalty, and is currently on the road showing off her psychic abilities.

Sally came to Middlesbrough on Friday night and her show started off very well. Even though she was getting the vast majority of what she was saying wrong the audience did not seem to mind and seemed to be having a good time. The point at which the audience became disillusioned with the performance was quite specific. One aspect of the show is that audience members can submit photographs of dead loved ones, in the hope that Sally will select theirs, and give a psychic reading from it. Sally pulled out of a box on stage one of these pictures. She held the picture up to the camera and it was projected on the large screen behind her. The picture was of a middle-aged woman and by the clothes she was wearing and the quality of the image, I guessed it was taken some time in the 1990s. Sally immediately began to get communications from beyond the grave from a man holding a baby named Annabel……or was it Becky. Noticing that no one in the audience was responding, Sally asked the person who submitted the photo to stand up. A rather small chunky woman at the centre of the hall stood up and Sally once again began to get messages from the afterlife. She was informed that this man and baby were somehow linked to the lady in the picture. However the woman in the audience (who was now also projected behind Sally) disagreed and started to look increasingly confused as, presumably, nothing Sally was saying made any sense to her. Sally then decided to flat out ask her if the woman in the picture had any children who passed and, when informed that that she hadn’t, responded by saying “I will leave that then”.

Sally then became in direct contact with the woman in the photo who began to tell her that there was a lot of confusion around her death and that she felt it was very very quick. She later went on to say that the day Wednesday has a specific link to her death and that she either died on a Wednesday or was taken ill that day. As the woman in the audience was not responding to any thing Sally was saying, she decided to ask how the woman in the photo was related to her. It turns out the woman in the audience got the whole concept of submitting a picture of someone you wanted to talk to from the afterlife completely wrong – and for some unknown reason submitted a younger picture of herself.

The hall erupted in laughter, which quickly changed into disapproving mumbles that lasted the rest of the night. No matter how hard Sally tried, she was unable to get the audience back, who were becoming increasingly disgruntled with the number of ‘misses’ she was getting.

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  1. You would think she could have seen that coming.

The pre-play vulnerability in Chip and PIN

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 11:48 by John Sinteur in category: Security


When a Chip and PIN transaction is performed, the terminal requests that the card produces an authentication code for the transaction. Part of this transaction is a number that is supposed to be random, so as to stop an authentication code being generated in advance. However, there are two ways in which the protection can by bypassed: the first requires that the Chip and PIN terminal has a poorly designed random generation (which we have observed in the wild); the second requires that the Chip and PIN terminal or its communications back to the bank can be tampered with (which again, we have observed in the wild).

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Bounden on Android delayed: we need your help

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 11:14 by John Sinteur in category: Google


In the Vine above are 7 devices all running the same compass app (ironically named Steady Compass) on Android. Yet, all compasses indicate that North is somewhere else. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with electromagnetic fields confusing the compass; it has everything to do with the diversity of hardware inside these devices.

We have been developing Bounden for Android alongside its development on iOS, and have tested the game on a number of devices. It was only a week ago that we started expanding our list of test devices, after we quickly discovered that:

a) some devices had ‘broken’ gyroscopes that didn’t work on all axis,

b) that some devices were faking gyroscopes by mixing and matching the accelerometer data with compass data, or

c) that some devices did not have a gyroscope at all.

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Pennsylvania’s Gay Marriage Ban Is Struck Down

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalized the practice throughout the Northeast and sent couples racing to pick up licenses.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one couple’s teenage daughters — courageous for challenging the constitutionality of the ban passed by lawmakers in 1996.

“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” the judge wrote.

Here’s the opinion.

For richer, for poorer
The plaintiff couples share their resources and support each other financially[…]

In sickness and in health
The plaintiff couples have supported each other through illness and medical emergencies[…]

For better, for worse
The plaintiff couples have shared in life’s joys[…]

Until death do us part
The plaintiff couples demonstrate an intention to live out their lives together.

Plaintiff Maureen Hennessey and her partner of 29 years, Mary Beth McIntyre, present a powerful example. When Mary Beth was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer, Maureen left her job to care for her and to help run Mary Beth’s business until her death. Towards the end of her life, Mary Beth required Maureen’s help to get out of bed and to the bathroom, and to assist in self-care and administer medications. They were married in Massachusetts after Mary Beth fell ill, but because Pennsylvania does not recognize their marriage, the line for “surviving spouse” was left blank and Mary Beth was identified as “never married” on her death certificate. Maureen was listed as the “informant.”

Wishing to have their relationships recognized for what they are in the state they call home, and by doing so to transcend the pain, uncertainty, and injustice visited by the Marriage Laws, Plaintiffs brought this suit…

…The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees…we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them to the ash heap of history.

Now that the institution of marriage is destroyed and all morality abandoned, any stats on how many people have married their dogs during the past year? 100,000? 500,000?

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  1. None probably. I guess that means the dogs aren’t ready to commit.

If David Lynch directed ‘Return of the Jedi’

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 10:12 by John Sinteur in category: News


Here’s a short excerpt from an interview David Lynch did with MTV in the 80s addressing the Return of the Jedi rumors:

MTV: Is it true you almost directed “Return of the Jedi”? How close did you come?

Lynch: Not close at all. I had a meeting with George [Lucas]. I like George. It was his thing. I said, “You should direct this. It’s your thing! It’s not my thing.”

MTV: Did he flat-out offer it to you at the time?

Lynch: Yeah!

MTV: But you immediately declined.

Lynch: I called him the next day.

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Hungary and the End of Politics

Posted on May 21st, 2014 at 9:37 by John Sinteur in category: News


Orbán combined Germany’s much-criticized rules for drawing electoral districts with Britain’s highly disproportionate first-past-the-post rules for constituency elections, and topped it off with the widely used d’Hondt system for deriving proportional representation from party-list votes, a system that marginalizes small parties and bulks up plurality ones. The 2014 Hungarian system also allowed for blatant gerrymandering, an unusual new system of vote aggregation, and double and even triple standards in the way that different categories of citizens were treated (see my “Hungary, An Election in Question” and “Legal but Not Fair” for details). Those who supported the government found it easy to register and vote from abroad, while those who opposed it had to contend with red tape and misleading instructions circulated by new Fidesz-installed election officials. Unless the allied opposition had garnered at least 6 percent more votes than Fidesz, it could not have won even a bare majority of the parliamentary seats. All told, the election system had been altered to turn a bare plurality into a bare supermajority—hence Orbán’s apparent landslide.

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