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Comments

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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

McGruber Re:Earthshaking (124 comments)

It's an electrical problem in a single building.

Actually, the complex is four separate builidings connected in a U-shape; the tallest is 24 stories. The complex has its own entry on skyscraperpage.com and is also described in this 6-page PDF by Trane, the air-conditioning company. That PDF includes this description of the buildings in the complex and how it is all designed for 24/7 operation:

The facility, named for the former U.S. Senator from Georgia, is one the largest federal office buildings on the East Coast. It encompasses 1.87 million square feet of space. The structure straddles a busy downtown street. The building is also located atop an underground train tunnel of the Atlanta transit system, MARTA. The building units include the remodeled 1924 department store, Rich's, which was a downtown Atlanta landmark and an Atlanta institution.

Now this renovated six-story building and its beloved clock are a visual cornerstone for the center. Other elements are a 10-story mid-rise section, an eight-story bridge, six stories over Forsyth Street and a 24-story high-rise tower. Adjacent to the building is a 10-story parking garage. Construction of the building was a joint urban redevelopment enterprise of the City of Atlanta and the Federal Government. The design architect for the facility was the California firm of Kohn, Peterson, Fox and Associates. Newcomb & Boyd, a large Atlanta firm, was chosen as the project engineer.

Designed For 24-Hour Operation Southeastern Facility Management, Inc., is contracted by GSA to operate this facility. The system was designed for 24-hour seven days a week operation to accommodate the mission of the various agencies housed in the facility. One or more of the 1,310-ton chillers were to operate, depending on the building load, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. After 6:00 p.m., the 400-ton chiller was to carry all computer rooms and miscellaneous building loads. As a consequence, the facility designers and engineers needed to plan for continuous occupancy. Atlanta has significant cooling loads for much of the year and high humidity as well. The goal of the HVAC system design was to assure complete comfort in the building around the clock, year-round. To achieve this, significant emphasis was placed on humidity control with a central chilled water plant, air handlers for each area and a zone- controlled VAV air delivery system. Building designers also recognized that an important part of the office environment is acoustic performance. For this reason, rigorous sound level standards were set for occupied areas throughout the facility. The air conditioning system efficiency was extremely important due to the 24/7 operation.

2 days ago
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Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

McGruber Re:The article "Jorge Fiasco" wants you to forget (110 comments)

Another article Jorge Carasco would like you to forget: The Seattle Times: City Light leader Jorge Carrasco fell for copper con

Last year, two men claiming to be members of the Cherokee Nation who had traveled from Oklahoma came to Seattle with a simple goal: score some scrap copper.

Dressed in beads and fringed suede, with one wearing a cap that said “Native,” they headed to the offices of Seattle City Light, where they chanced upon its superintendent, Jorge Carrasco, in the lobby. They told him they ran a nonprofit that taught disabled children how to make jewelry and needed some copper wire.

Minutes after meeting them, Carrasco authorized the men to be given some scrap.

But the two were actually con men. Once inside City Light’s secure facilities, they were able to drive off with 20 tons of copper wire and scrap metal worth $120,000.

about two weeks ago
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Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

McGruber The article "Jorge Fiasco" wants you to forget (110 comments)

I RTFA and learned that this is the article that "Jorge Fiasco" (Jorge Carrasco" wants google and everyone else to forget about:

Short Fuse: Jorge Carrasco's Polarizing Tenure at the Top of City Light

I also see that the deal with brand.com has cost Jorge Fiasco a six figure pay raise: The Seattle Times: No pay raise for City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he will not give City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco a pay raise, citing “judgment” issues, including a contract aimed partly at boosting Carrasco’s online image.

Murray made the comments at a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

The Seattle City Council had authorized a pay increase of up to $119,000 for Carrasco, who currently makes $245,000. Murray’s office previously had said he was considering raising Carrasco’s pay by $60,000.

about two weeks ago
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Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

McGruber Re:A legend of OS design (136 comments)

Minix was really the first of its kind; a Unix-like OS that you could run on cheap (relatively speaking at the time) commodity hardware and that you could get the source code for. A lot of the computing we take for granted now comes from Tanenbaum's work.

Truly!

I first learned of Minix by reading about it in Byte magazine. At the time, I was an undergrad at a big US university, a member of the Association of American Universities. The only multitasking computers on the entire campus were a Unix mainframe, a VAX, and a cluster (lab) of Sun workstations that only graduate engineering students could have accounts on. The Unix and VAX machines could be accessed using VT-100 (and later) terminals in computer labs spread out all over the campus. There were also BYOF (Bring Your Own Floppies) computer labs filled with DOS (pre-windows) PCs, and a few labs filled with early Macs, but those labs were mostly used by humanities majors hunting-and-pecking their term papers out.

Booting a multitasking unix-like OS on a personal computer was a huge deal back then.

about three weeks ago
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Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

McGruber UPDATE: 6 Fuselages involved; 5 heavily damaged (187 comments)

According to a photographer that hiked into the scene and posted his photographs, there were 6 (six) 737 fuselages on the train and 5 of those are heavily damaged:

Trainorders.com - Birds in the Water!!!!

The photographer also thinks this derailment will really screw up Boeing's 737 production:

The 737 bodies did remain firmly attached to the flatcars for the most part. The only one to show signs of weakness in mounting was the one with the huge crack around the middle. What is going to hurt Boeing is not only having 6 missing aircraft, but losing the 6 fuselage carrier car sets. I imagine both BNSF and Boeing want those cars sent to the repair shop ASAP!

about three weeks ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

McGruber Re:Seriously? (203 comments)

Why the hell do you think they didn't do this? This is par for the course for news you hear every week from American police.

It seems to me that it would be easy to convince a jury that the Atlanta police actually did this -- the FB post is timestamped, as was the record generated when Baton Bob was actually released on bond.

Back in 2006, the Atlanta police executed a 92-year-old elderly woman, during a "botched" drug raid. They fired 39 shots at her, killing her with the 5 or 6 that hit her. After the shooting, one of the Atlanta officers planted marijuana at the house. Wikipedia: Kathryn Johnston shooting

about a month ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

McGruber Re:News for not nerds, stuff that doesn't matter. (203 comments)

Great post McGruber, thanks for selecting it timothy.

If you don't like the stories you're reading here, then submit a better one!

about a month ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

McGruber Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

you should learn to read SCOTUS specifically said it has to be a closely knit ownership structure with a history of religious beliefs against abortion

just like aereo, this is a narrow ruling

It seems to me that companies owned by Scientology members can now opt-out of health insurance plans that include psychiatric treatments.

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

McGruber Convicted Criminal Yank Barry is Lying Scum (268 comments)

An April 15, 2012 National Post newspaper article by Joe O'Connor:

The world according to Yank: Montrealer with checkered past gets Nobel nod, or does he?

Mr. Barry is never far from the spotlight. He was the focus of a 4,000-word investigative report by the Montreal Gazette in October 1998.

The front page article delved into Global Village Market, a company through which he was selling VitaPro, and one he marketed to potential investors with the help of the motto: “doing well by doing good.”

Mr. Barry’s pitch, backed by some celebrity punch, reportedly sold investors on the notion that the more money the company made the more food he would distribute to the needy.

Celine Dion was one of the celebrities involved. She was led to believe that she was endorsing a humanitarian mission to Africa led by Mr. Ali, and engineered by Yank Barry. She taped a message trumpeting her support for a purely philanthropic cause. Said message, in audiotape form was then, unbeknownst to Ms. Dion, reportedly used by Mr. Barry as part of his promotional material selling investment units in Global Village Market, a for-profit business.

Cracks appeared early in the enterprise. Promises of philanthropy dried up. Investors lost everything and several lodged complaints against Mr. Barry with the Quebec Securities Commission. The securities regulator did not sanction Mr. Barry, though the entire episode lingers as a sore spot for many, including Celine Dion.

Her image still appears on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, a presence that irks Paul-Andre Martel, the Montreal lawyer representing the famous singer and husband, Rene Angelil.

“My clients have absolutely no involvement with Mr. Barry or his organization,” Mr. Martel said. “What we think is that Mr. Barry is using the name and the fame of people that have spent time with Mr. Ali over the years.”

about a month ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

McGruber Re:Federal Govt. outsources most of its IT (465 comments)

any system the IRS has is going to be horrendously old because they pretty much never get funding to upgrade anything.

Here's a Delivery Order (contract) that the Internal Revenue Service used to buy $12.5 million worth of Dell computers from June 23, 2004 to September 30, 2011:

http://government-contracts.fi...

On September 29, 2009, that contract was used to purchase $150,590 worth of "Desktop Replacement Notebooks".... so, back in 2010, the employees now under investigation could have all been using 1-year old Dell laptops running Windows XP or 7.

about a month ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

McGruber Federal Govt. outsources most of its IT (465 comments)

From the AP article:

Investigators from the House Ways and Means Committee interviewed IRS technicians Monday.

The federal IT sector is heavily outsourced -- the investigators should be looking to see which firm(s) provided IT services to the IRS in 2010 and bringing those firms in. There should have been contract documents specifying requirements about backing up email servers.

This part is also laughable:

Lerner’s computer crashed in the summer of 2011, depriving investigators of many of her prior emails. Flax’s computer crashed in December 2011, Camp and Boustany said.

Sorry, but federal government IT standards in 2011 required that PCs run XP or Win-7. Even a Linux and BSD guy like myself knows that XP was reliable enough that it is extremely unlikely that both of their computers crashed with data loss.

I can't find the specific federal IT standard that was in place during 2011, but it did require the use of Windows XP or later. Here's a September 10,2009 article titled: "Federal agencies prepare to make the leap from XP to Windows 7": http://gcn.com/articles/2009/0...

about a month and a half ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

McGruber Re:BSES (169 comments)

Just tossing out a stray thought, but how much value would there be in having maybe one person at a Starbucks with some sort of culinary arts education/training?

That would increase healthcare costs because Starbucks employees trained in culinary arts would need to consume a lot of antidepressants.

about a month and a half ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

McGruber Nothing to see here (169 comments)

It is just a joint marketing ploy between Starbucks and ASU.

about a month and a half ago
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Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

McGruber Proverb (335 comments)

"A fool and his money are soon parted."

(Zuck should have Googled it).

about 2 months ago
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From FCC Head Wheeler, a Yellow Light For Internet Fast Lanes

McGruber Re:From Wikipedia: (149 comments)

A fucking conflict of interest isn't "I used to work for a telephone company, now I work for the FCC!" That's what's known as EXPERIENCE, you fucking imbecile.

Welcome to Slashdot, Mr. Wheeler!

about 2 months ago
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Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner

McGruber Article Summary (74 comments)

Article Summary: Boeing's Vaporware includes a blue interior.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Bad "Buss Duct" causes week-long closure of 5,000 employee Federal Complex

McGruber McGruber writes  |  2 days ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In Atlanta, an electrical problem in a "Buss Duct" has caused the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to be closed for at least a week (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/nunn-federal-building-expected-to-reopen-monday/ngnSZ/). 5,000 federal employees work at the center.

While many might view this as another example of The Infrastructure Crisis (http://www.asce.org/Content.aspx?id=25562) in the USA, it might actually be another example of mismanagement at the complex's landord, the General Service Administration (GSA). The GSA has had many scandals [http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120416/DEPARTMENTS07/204160301/GSA-scandal-Heavy-fallout-expected] and has been the subject of several Congresssional Hearings, including an August 1, 2012 hearing titled "GSA: A Review of Agency Mismanagement and Wasteful Spending — Part 2" (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg75419/html/CHRG-112hhrg75419.htm). That hearing followed an $823,000 GSA employee conference in Las Vegas and a one-day-long $250,000 GSA employee conference in Crystal City, Virginia (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/1/gsa-scandal-widens-dozens-conferences-investigated/?page=all)

The closed Atlanta complex is named for Samuel Augustus "Sam" Nunn, Jr., who served for 24 years as a United States Senator from Georgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn). His daughter is the current Democratic Party nominee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn) for a Georgia Senate seat."

Link to Original Source
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India building Highest Railway Bridge in the World

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about two weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Up in the Mimalayas, Indian engineers have restarted work on the world's highest railway bridge. When completed in 2016, the arch-shaped steel structure will be 359 metres (1,177 feet) high — 35 metres (115 feet) taller than the Eiffel Tower!

The bridge is part of the Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashmir_Railway), a railway line being built to connect the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. When completed, the route will shorten the travel time from Baramulla to Jammu to six-and-a-half hours, almost half the time it currently takes."

Link to Original Source
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Uber Driver flees taxi police with passengers aboard

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about two weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The Washington Post has the news that a Uber driver fled from police with passenger Ryan Simonetti aboard:

As they approached their Uber car, they spotted a D.C. taxi inspector talking to the driver.

Simonetti got into the front seat, and his colleagues got into the back seat. The inspector walked away. Thinking back, Simonetti suspects the inspector was going to check the documents the Uber driver had handed to him. Then, the Uber driver started driving down the street. The inspector turned his lights on and started to follow.

“That cop’s following you. What’s going on?” Simonetti said he asked the driver. He said the driver told him not to worry. “Oh no, he’s not a real cop,” the Uber driver replied. Simonetti said the driver then told them: “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to run this red light.”

The Uber driver then headed for the 9th Street tunnel, got on I-395 and proceeded to race down the highway going “well above the speed limit,” Simonetti said.

The taxi inspector followed.“It was like an episode of ‘Cops,’” Simonetti said.

A spokesman for Uber said the driver in question is no longer with the company."
Link to Original Source

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Senator Al Franken accuses AT+T of 'skirting' net neutrality rules

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In a letter to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission and the Department of Justice, Senator Al Franken warned that letting AT&T acquire Direct TV could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complained that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype: "AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter" of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote."
Link to Original Source
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Senator Al Franken accuses AT&T of 'skirting' net neutrality rules

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In a letter to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission and the Department of Justice, Senator Al Franken warned that letting AT&T acquire Direct TV could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complained that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype: "AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter" of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote."
Link to Original Source
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Train Derailment causes two 737s airplanes to crash into Clark Fork River

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Boeing builds its 737 airplane fuselages in a Wichita, Kansas factory. The fuselages are then shipped on top of railroad flatcars (as shown in this photograph: http://www.railpictures.net/vi... ) to Boeing's Renton, Washington plant where assembly is completed.

Unfortunately, a train carrying two fuselages to Renton derailed approximately 18 miles east of Superior, Montana. The 737s slid down a steep embankment and ended up in the Clark Fork River. (http://newstalkkgvo.com/montana-rail-link-train-derails-near-superior-three-cars-in-clark-fork-river-audio/)

That'll buff right out."

Link to Original Source
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"Evolution = Satan" part of Atlanta Public Schools' Biology Curriculum

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The young journalists at The Southerner (http://thesoutherneronline.com), the student newspaper at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, recently broke the news that creationism and other Christian religious views are incorporated into the Biology curriculum used by the City of Atlanta Public Schools. As the newspaper put it (http://thesoutherneronline.com/frontpage/?p=29658):

A PowerPoint shown to a freshman biology class featured a cartoon depicting dueling castles, one labeled “Creation (Christ)” and the other labeled “Evolution (Satan).” Balloons attached to the evolution castle were labeled euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, divorce, racism and abortion...... The PowerPoint, which has more than 50 slides largely consisting of material about evolution, was downloaded from SharePoint, an APS file-sharing database for teachers. It was uploaded by Mary E. King, a project manager at APS who has also uploaded more than 2,000 other documents. Phone calls and emails to King have not been returned. Tommy Molden, science coordinator for APS, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Students were offended by the cartoon:

“[I] have gay parents, and [the cartoon] said that evolution caused homosexuality and it implied that to be negative, so I was pretty offended by it,” [freshman Seraphina Cooley] said.

Cooley said that another student emailed the administration complaining about the PowerPoint.

Freshman Griffin Ricker, who is also in Jones’ class, said [Biology class teacher Anquinette Jones] got angry with the class when she found out students had notified the administration.

“She had a 10-minute rant,” Ricker said. “She yelled and said, ‘This is on the APS website, and it was certified.’”

In case of slashdotting, the student reporting is also posted on a local newspaper's blog (http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2014/jul/03/evolution-vs-creationism-why-still-issue-grady-or-/)."
Link to Original Source

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Baton Bob Strikes Back (against police that coerced Facebook post from him)

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In June 2013, Atlanta police arrested (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/baton-bob-arrested-following-run-in-with-officer/nYWtd/) costumed street performer "Baton Bob" (wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...) during the middle of a street performance after Baton Bob was allegedly involved in a verbal altercation with mall security guards.

Now, a year later, Baton Bob has filed a federal lawsuit (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional/baton-bob-strikes-back-at-atlanta-police/ngWps/) accusing Atlanta police of violating his constitutional rights, assault, discrimination, privacy violations and identify theft. The slashdot-worthy part of the story is that Atlanta Police allegedly forced Baton Bob to make a pro-police statement on his Facebook page before officers would allow Bob to be released on bond. According to the lawsuit:

At approximately 3:40 p.m., while Plaintiff sat handcuffed and without an attorney, he was told to dictate a public statement to Officer Davis, who then typed and posted the message to the Baton Bob Facebook account. The message read:

“First of all, the atl police officer that responded to the incident thru security has been very respectful and gracious to me even in handcuffs. So, the situation escalated from a complaint from a security officer in the area and for some reason she rolled up on me like she didn’t know who I was and like I had not been there before. For them to call police to come to intervene was not necessary. So, out of it, because of my fury, the Atlanta police officer did not understand the elements of the situation, so he was trying to do his job, respectfully and arrested my ass!!!!!!!!! I’ll be out tomorrow so look out for my show at 14th and Peachtree. So now I’m waiting to be transported so I can sign my own bond and get the hell out of here. I want to verify, that the Atlanta police was respectful to me considering the circumstances. See you when I see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“As promised, Plaintiff was then given a signature bond and released from jail.”

"

Link to Original Source
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber will knock-out taxi industry

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu agree: there will a 15 round fight between Uber and the taxicab industry that currently enjoys regulatory capture, but in the end, Uber will win. Landrieu explaned:

It actually is going to be a 15 round fight. And it's going to take time to work out, hopefully sooner rather than later. But that debate will be held.....But it is a forceful fight, and our city council is full of people on Uber's side, people on the cabs' side, and it's a battle.

Mayor Reed of Atlanta also expressed how politically powerful the taxi cartels can be:

I tell you, Uber's worth more than Sony, but cab drivers can take you out. So you've got to [weigh that]. Get in a cab and they say, 'Well that mayor, he is sorry.' You come to visit Atlanta, they say, 'Well that Mayor Reed is as sorry as the day is long. Let me tell you how sorry he is while I drive you to your hotel. And I want you to know that crime is up.' This guy might knock you out.

I want you to know it can get really real. It's not as easy as it looks.

"

Link to Original Source
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Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, PART II

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 1 month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In December 2013, Slashdot reported (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/12/29/1634239/cracking-atlanta-subways-poorly-encrypted-rfid-smart-cards-is-a-breeze) the arrest of seven metro Atlanta residents for allegedly selling counterfeit MARTA Breeze cards, stored-value smart cards that passengers use as part of an automated fare collection system on Atlanta's subway.

Now, six months later (June 2014), the seven suspects have finally been indicted (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/fraudulent-marta-breeze-card-ring-indicted/ngTdr/).
According to the indictment, the co-conspirators purchased legitimate Breeze cards for $1, then fraudulently placed unlimited or monthly rides on the cards. They then sold the fraudulent cards to MARTA riders for a discounted cash price. Distributors of the fraudulent cards were stationed at several subway stations.

The indictment claims that the ring called their organization the “Underground Railroad"."

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Will ASU Online's Starbucks Baristas Outearn Their Professors? (Yes. Duh!)

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Following up on the recent slashdot story "Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College" (http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/06/16/1927205/starbucks-offers -workers-2-years-of-free-college), Steve Foerster commented that "This is a major PR boost for ASU as well, and considering many adjuncts make less than the baristas they'll be teaching, I doubt ASU is losing money here." (http://chronicle.com/article/In-Deal-With-Starbucks/147181/#comment-1439171567)

Mr. Foerster's comment caused the Chronicle of Higher Education to ask "Is it possible that Starbucks baristas will be better paid than their instructors? (http://chronicle.com/article/Will-ASU-Online-s-Starbucks/147239/)" While the article is behind a paywall, the answer is obvious to anyone who knows how little adjunct professors are paid."
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Kansas City Science Store Resurrects AC Gilbert Chemistry Set, the best-ever toy

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The A. C. Gilbert Company (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...) was once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It manufacturered Erector Sets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_Set), American Flyer toy trains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Flyer), and chemistry sets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemistry_set).

Chemist John Farrell Kuhns (https://www.kickstarter.com/profiles/1742632993/bio) received an AC Gilbert Chemistry set for Christmas 1959, while he was still in grade school. By the time Kuhns was twelve years old he had a home lab set up in my family's basement. Now, more than 50 years later, he still has a home lab.

As an adult, Mr. Kuhns wanted to share these experiences with his daughter, nephews and nieces, and their friends. But he soon discovered that real chemistry sets were no longer available. He wondered how, without real chemistry sets and opportunities for students to learn and explore, where would our future chemists come from?

In 2004, Kuhns and his wife opened their science store, H.M.S. Beagle (http://www.hms-beagle.com/) and last year used Kickstarter to launch a new Heirloom Chemistry set. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1742632993/heirloom-chemistry-set). Kuhns uses a CNC router to cut out his wood cases, which are then hand assembled and finished with the shiny brass hardware and exotic wood inlays. Kuhns also synthesizes, purifies and/or formulates and packages all of the chemicals.

Gary Hanington, professor of physical science at Great Basin College, was another child who was lucky enough to own a Gilbert chemistry set. Hanington wrote about his set in this article (http://elkodaily.com/lifestyles/speaking-of-science-a-c-gilbert-chemistry-sets/article_30dc31c8-c258-11e1-9dfd-001a4bcf887a.html).

Sadly, not everyone sees the educational value of real chemistry sets. The AC Gilbert chemistry sets are #3 on Cracked's "The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Toys" (http://www.cracked.com/article_19481_the-8-most-wildly-irresponsible-vintage-toys_p2.html) and #8 on Complex.com's "The 25 Worst Must-Have Christmas Toys Ever (http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/25-worst-must-have-christmas-toys-ever/gilbert-chemistry-set)"

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Study: Half of US jobs to be replaced by computers, robots & autonomous cars

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The answer to the "Ask Slashdot: Does Your Job Need To Exist?" (http://ask.slashdot.org/story/14/05/10/1953227/ask-slashdot-does-your-job-need-to-exist) is a big "NO!", according to a study from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. They found that half of US jobs could be susceptible to computerisation over the next two decades. (http://www.futuretech.ox.ac.uk/news-release-oxford-martin-school-study-shows-nearly-half-us-jobs-could-be-risk-computerisation).

‘The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?’ report measured the vulnerability of 702 occupations in terms of their likelihood to be replaced by various forms of computerisation, including within robotics, sophisticated data-scanning software or autonomous vehicles. Yhe study found that jobs in transportation, logistics, as well as office and administrative support, are at “high risk” of automation. More surprisingly, occupations within the service industry are also highly susceptible, despite recent job growth in this sector.

“We identified several key bottlenecks currently preventing occupations being automated,” says co-author Dr Michael A. Osborne. “As big data helps to overcome these obstacles, a great number of jobs will be put at risk.”

The full report is available here: http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac...."

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Missing Malaysian 767:Experts unable to replicate satelite company's analysis

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The lynchpin of the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been the pings from the plane to one of Inmarsat’s satellites. The pings are the sole evidence of what happened to the plane after it slipped out of radar contact. Without them, investigators knew only that the plane had enough fuel to travel anywhere within 3,300 miles of the last radar contact—a seventh of the entire globe.

Inmarsat concluded that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, and its analysis has become the canonical text of the Flight 370 search. It’s the bit of data from which all other judgments flow—from the conclusive announcement by Malaysia’s prime minister that the plane has been lost with no survivors, to the black-box search area, to the high confidence in the acoustic signals, to the dismissal by Australian authorities of a survey company’s new claim to have detected plane wreckage.

But scientists and engineers outside of the investigation have been working to verify Inmarsat's analysis and many say that it just doesn’t hold up."

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Absent-minded IT Specialist inadvertently drives onto White House grounds

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "IT Specialist Mathew Goldstein’ was driving his gray Honda Civic along 17th Street NW in Washington, DC when he made a wrong turn and inadvertently followed the motorcade carrying President Obama’s daughters into the secure perimeter for the presidential compound.

Goldstein’s mistaken left turn raised serious questions about how an unauthorized vehicle was able to travel within five feet of the Obama girls’ motorcade and get through two rows of metal security bollards at the checkpoint at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue."

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IBM System/360 joins "Mad Men" television show

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The May 4, 2014 episode of the "Mad Men" introduced a new bad guy character: an IBM System/360 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_System/360).

The computer replaced the "creative lounge" where the show's fictional copywriters spit-balled ideas. Fictional character explained "This machine is intimidating because it contains infinite quantities of information and that's threatening because human existence is finite. But isn't it godlike that we've mastered the infinite? The IBM 360 can count more stars in a day than we can count in a lifetime. ""

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Google celebrates Teacher Appreciation Day by granting Wishlists of 356 Teachers

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper blogger Maureen Downey reports (http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2014/may/06/teacher-appreciation-day-google-atlanta-chooses-fu/) that, to celebration Teacher Appreciation Day, Google Atlanta today flash-funded the classroom requests of every Greater Atlanta teacher on DonorsChoose.org, Google’s $340,000 donation will provide materials for 356 Atlanta teachers and their 38,775 students.

“With two kids in the Atlanta Public School system, I’m inspired daily by the hard work of our local teachers,” said Tom Lowry, head of Google’s Atlanta office. “Today, we’re excited to team up with DonorsChoose.org to say a big thanks to teachers and to support all their classroom projects in the Atlanta area.”"

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High School students google Criminal Justice Teacher, find his criminal record

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Remember the slashdot story about the Nissan Leaf owner who was arrested for stealing 5 cents worth of electricity from his child's school? (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/12/04/1817227/ev-owner-arrested-over-5-cents-worth-of-electricity-from-schools-outlet) Well, the Dekalb County School District (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/) that had him arrested is in the news again after a few DeKalb County High School Technology South (http://www.dhstsouth.dekalb.k12.ga.us/) students googled their teacher.

The students discovered that their CRIMINAL JUSTICE teacher had engaged in a sexual act with a student past. The State of Florida had banned the teacher from teaching in 2009 after he entered a nolo contendre plea to a single count of child abuse. (http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-teacher-resigns-after-past-sexual-accusatio/nfnk8/)

While two wrongs don't make a right, I can't help but think the school district's time would have been better spent keeping child molesters out of the classroom instead of prosecuting a parent for 5 cents worth of electricity."

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Charged with 45 felonies, RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal avoids jail, plans IPO

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In August 2013, Gurbaksh Singh Chaha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurbaksh_Chahal), CEO of online advertising network RadiumOne (http://www.radiumone.com/), was charged with 47 counts of domestic violence. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office alleges that Chahal "hit and kicked" his girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period on August 5, 2013.

Chahal's apartment has a video security system. During their investigation, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) obtained surveillance footage that showed Chahal kicking his then-girlfriend in the head multiple times and attempting to smother her. Two cameras in Chahal's bedroom --one in a tinted glass dome on the bedroom ceiling-- recorded the alleged attack.

SPFD Officer Anh Nguyen testified that the "girlfriend claimed Chahal held his hands over her mouth and nose while telling her he was going to kill her." (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/03/ad-mogul-chahal-court-domestic-violence-charges.html?page=all) Prosecuters also allege that Chahal attacked his girlfriend after learning that she had taken a trip to Las Vegas with another man.

However, on April 2, 2014, a judge ruled that the video obtained from Chahal's apartment could not be used as evidence in his trial. Charhal then accepted a plea bargain and pled guilty to one charge of domestic violence battery and one charge of battery. He was sentenced to three years probation, a 52-week domestic violence training course, and 25 hours of community service.

Chahal has made numerous TV appearances, including a lengthy interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2009, a philanthropic stint on Secret Millionaire and was named America's most eligible bachelor by Extra TV five years ago. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2611943/Millionaire-Tech-CEO-filmed-hitting-kicking-girlfriend-117-times-brutal-30-minute-attack-sentenced-25-hours-community-service.html)

Bloomberg recently reported (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-10/radiumone-said-to-be-preparing-ipo-to-expand-overseas.html) that RadiumOne is in the final stages of preparations for an initial public offering."

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Intuit, maker of Turbotax, lobbies against simplied tax filings

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Or that, under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. Or that the concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe.

Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

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