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linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Job interviews missed, work and wedding plans disrupted, children unable to fly home with their adoptive parents. All this disruption is due to a outage involving the passport and visa processing database at the U.S. State Department. The problems have been ongoing since July 19 and the best estimate for repair is "soon."" top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "San Francisco Bay Area commuters awoke this morning to the news that BART, the major regional transit system which carries hundreds of thousands of daily riders, was entirely shut down due to a computer failure. Commuters stood stranded at stations and traffic backed up as residents took to the roads. The system has returned to service and BART says the outage resulted from a botched software upgrade." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "NSA's new Utah data-center has been sufferering numerous power-surges that have caused as much as $100,000 damage per event. The root cause is "not yet sufficiently understood" but may is suspected to relate to the site's "inability to simultaneously run computers and keep them cool." Frustrating the analysis and repair are "incomplete information about the design of the electrical system" and the fact that "regular quality controls in design and construction were bypassed in an effort to fast track the Utah project."" top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Two teens are behind bars after drugging the milkshakes they gave to the parents of one of the kids. The parents were suspicious after waking groggy the next day though they drank only a quarter of the shake so they used a home drug-test on the remaining drink. The teens hatched the plot to evade their 10-pm Internet curfew." Link to Original Source top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "After mowing down a motorcycling couple while distracted by texting, Kyle Best received a slap on the wrist. The couple's attorney then sued girlfriend Shannon Colonna for sending him messages when he was driving arguing that while she was not physically present, she was "electronically present." In good news for anyone who sends server-status, account-alerts or originates a call, text or email of any type that could be received by a mobile device the judge dismissed the plantiff's claims against the woman." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Actor Dick Tufeld died this week at age 85. Tufeld started as the announcer in "Space Patrol" and voiced characters in several "Simpsons" episodes but was best known as the voice of The Robot in "Lost in Space" making "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" a household phrase." Link to Original Source top
Mythbusters misses target, hits house with cannonb
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "A Mythbusters experiment went seriously wrong today when the team missed the intended target and fired a cannonball through a nearby home. After missing the target, the projectile took some "unfortunate bounces", ripped through the front door of and out the opposite wall of an East Dublin home waking the sleeping residents then bounced across a 4-lane road before smashing into a minivan that had just been parked." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Nobel winning physicist Norman Ramseydied Saturday at age 96. It was Ramsey's research that led to the atomic clock which moved mankind beyond astronomical observations and mechanical timepieces and provided the accuracy necessary for physicists to test the theory of relativity and engineers to develop the global positioning system. The same research led to development of magnetic-resonance imaging.
Ramsey also helped create Brookhaven National Laboratory where he served as the first Chairman of its Physics Department and was instrumental in the founding of Fermilab." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "It's used in Java. It's used in nearly every flavor of UNIX/Linux. In PostgreSQL, Oracle and other databases. Several RFCs refer to it. But where does the timezone database come from? I never gave it much thought but would have assumed that it was under the purview of some standards body somewhere. It's not. Since the inception of the database Arthur David Olson has maintained the database, coordinated the mailing list and volunteers and provided a release platform and now he is retiring. IANA is developing a transition strategy. Jon Udell has an interesting literary appreciation of the timezone database." Link to Original Source top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Diane Campbell, who is disabled, on a fixed income, and has no credit-cards saved enough to buy an iPad. But when she took her cash to the local Apple store they refused to sell one to her. It turns out that Apple policies prohibit cash purchases of iPads. Even the involvement of the media consumer advocates hasn't swayed Apple." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "In a filing (PDF) with the FCC, AT&T seeks to unburden itself of continued support of the public switch telephone network by recommending that, as it did with analog TV, the FCC also set a firm date to terminate POTS. In the document they recommend that "...perhaps the single most important feature of Commission action at this time is the establishment of a firm deadline at which point the transition will be complete..." They also claim that, "Phaseout of circuit-switched POTS service and the PSTN is essential to achieving universal access to broadband"." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Francis Rogallo, inventor of the flexible wing that spawned sports from hang-gliding to kite-boarding died September 1 at age 97. Rogallo is considered the father of popular personal flight and flew hang-gliders himself until he was 80. I remember building and flying my first Rogallo wing out of irrigation pipe, conduit, plastic sheeting and double-stick tape back in the mid 1970s. It is amazing both that the high-school hang-gliding club allowed this and that I'm still alive afterward suffering only a hairline arm fracture during my time flying." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "In the latest example of the Streisand Effect, Chicago apartment management company Horizon Realty Group has sued a Twitter user for a post regarding alleged mold in her apartment. Predictably, this has generated publicity reaching far beyond the poster's original 15 followers. Explaining their actions, Horizon spokesman Jeffrey Michael stated, "We're a sue-first, ask-questions-later kind of an organization." Later, in an official press release (PDF) regarding the "Twitter Controversy", Horizon apologized for what they claim was a "tongue in cheek" statement." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "In 1801, Robert Patterson, a mathematics professor at the University of Pennsylvania sent President Jefferson a letter containing a message coded in what he called a nearly flawless cipher. The puzzle intrigued mathematician and cryptanalyst Lawren Smithline who has now solved the cipher and published his results over 200 years after the letter was originally sent." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Janina Valiente was robbed by a purse snatcher while waiting for a bus in San Francisco. But she remembered that she had recently downloaded Google Latitude as a joke so she and her sisters could "stalk each other". Using a bystander's phone, she called her sister who told her the phone was at Fell and Ashbury which is exactly where police located and arrested the robber." top
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "Security researcher Jack Loius, who had discovered several serious security flaws in TCP software was killed in a fire on the ides of March dealing a blow to efforts to repair the problem. Although he kept good notes and had communicated with a number of vendors, he died before fixes could be created and prior to completing research on a number of additional vulnerabilities. Much of the work has been taken over by Louis' friend and long-time colleague Robert E. Lee. The flaws have been around for a long time and would allow a low-bandwidth "sockstress" attack to knock large machines off the net."