Monday, April 30, 2012











Beerbulance - Stay Calm, Beer is Here. 


 

If you're experiencing a beermergency, don't dawdle. Tweet #beerbulance to @redbrickbrewing, and we'll dispatch our lead-footed Beerbulance drivers. Remember to include your emergency and to geo-tag your tweet. And stay calm. 
Beer is near











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Google cars 'meant to collect internet info'

 

Google has admitted that it deliberately took people's internet surfing information with cars it sent round Germany taking pictures for its Street-View service.

An investigation by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) showed that a Google worker had written a computer programme so the cars would collect information about people’s internet surfing activities.

He thought that the information could be used to improve internet search algorithms, according to the FCC report released by Google at the weekend.


The car-mounted cameras used to create Google Street-View registered the location of wireless LAN stations to enable exact location finding – but between 2008 and 2010 they also picked up raw data from the internet connections.


The revelation has created a storm of protest internationally, particularly in Germany where sensitivity over privacy is high and many used the option forced upon Google to have their house pixellated on the final digital map.


Initially Google said it had been a mistake and that only tiny pieces of data had been collected – but now the FCC report shows that a software developer not only did it deliberately, but that emails and other complete data had been collected.


The report begs the question of how a single member of staff could have turned such a controversial idea into practice without the alarm being raised in the company. He is said to have informed at least one superior – and sent an email to the whole Street-View team telling them of his plan.




 
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McDonald’s Lures Country’s Best and Brightest By Offering a Free Small Fries for Job Applicants

 

Good news for anyone who’s out of money and food!  From now until May 13th anyone in Japan who applies for a job and gets an interview at McDonalds will receive a complimentary small order of fries…
Okay, by now you’ve probably recovered from the shock of this amazing news.  According to their recent banner ad which reads “Let’s get started. McCrew: Until 5/13 all interviewees will receive a present of a free small fries.” this is no joke.
Like I was, you may be in denial that such a fantastic offer exists. That’s why I had to call my local Mickey D’s myself to confirm the news.
“Absolutely we are having the free small fry campaign.  However, we can’t confirm that all franchises in Japan are participating or not.”
(some McDonald’s employee)
It’s a stunning move that has rocked the fast food industry to its very foundation.  Employment analysts are predicting a massive influx of Rhodes scholars drawn in by those undeniably delicious salty snacks in the smallest portion designated by McDonald’s typically served to children under 5.
McDonald’s also seems brashly unconcerned that job candidates may leverage the free fries for a more highly paid position in a Burger King drive-through.  
Worse yet, some dishonest candidates may travel to McDonald’s; fill out and submit an application form; wait several days for a call to set up and interview; wait for the interview; then go through the hour long interview where they receive their free order of fries.  As they walk out of the interview clutching their golden brown present in the palm of only one hand they think to themselves “Suckers! I never wanted to work there. I just wanted this dollar worth of fries! Hahaha!”
Of course people on the internet have chimed in with their negative comments like “Is McDonald’s seriously going through with this campaign? Are they stupid?” and “A small fries? They could at least offer a medium.”  But when it comes to smart business decisions, who are you going to trust; some strangers on the internet or a multinational corporation who earned $27 billion last year?
Not everyone on the internet was negative about the move however.  One commenter wrote “I WUSH I wud eatin dose fraiZ write now Imma aply 2day!!!1!”





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Social Networking Online Protection Act introduced in Congress

 

A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would fine employers up to $10,000 for attempting to force workers into giving up their social media passwords.
Representatives Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) recently introduced the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) in response to growing concern over what some are convinced is an increasingly widespread practice.
There is vague evidence to support the claim that the practice has occurred outside of its most notable case—that of police officer Robert Collins, who's currently backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Yet, policymakers have been working since March to stop the disturbing trend before it has a chance to spread.
Two senators, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), have been in the process of drafting a bill similar to SNOPA since late March but have yet to do so.
In March, members of congress in both California, Illinois, and Maryland introduced bills that would outlaw the practice in each state. Maryland’s ban took effect in April.
SNOPA would prevent workplaces, colleges, universities, and schools from seeking out employee, job applicant, or student passwords. Those who violate the rule would face a $10,000 civil penalty, The Hill reported.
"We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private," Engel said in a statement to the The Hill. "No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education.”






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Saturday, April 28, 2012











Best job ever? Police officers will be forced to review porn films

 

A new law in Simi Valley, California, will require all porn producers to submit unedited copies of their adult films to the police to make sure condoms are being used. 

 

The city of Simi Valley has passed a new law that is aimed at keeping adult film productions from entering the municipality.
The city council passed the law at a meeting Monday night.
Beginning in May, all film productions must use condoms at all times.
The law does have an exemption when filming for “personal use.”
The new ordinance stems from a similar measure passed by the City of Los Angeles in January.
Many adult films are made in Chatsworth, near LA County’s border with Simi Valley. The council feared those productions would simply move a few miles west, into Simi Valley.


 









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Russia to Raise Liquor Tax to 20% by 2015

 

Russia may raise tariffs on hard liquor to about 20 percent a liter by 2015, according to a draft tax document that the Finance Ministry issued on Saturday.
Excise on anhydrous ethanol will be increased to 600 rubles ($20) per liter, the document said. One liter of anhydrous ethanol is used to produce about five half-liter bottles of vodka.
Excise duties on anhydrous ethanol rose from January 2012 by over 9 percent from 231 rubles to 254 rubles a liter of spirits and from July 1 will rise to 300 rubles. From thereon, duties will rise to 400 rubles from 2013 and 500 rubles by 2014.
Growth in duties on beer will slow by 2015, compared to the last three years, but will reach 20 rubles a liter by 2015.
Excise on cigarettes should rise to 960 rubles per thousand cigarettes plus 9 percent of estimated maximum retail value, but no less than 1,250 rubles per thousand cigarettes in 2015.
Excise on cigarettes is currently 360 rubles per thousand plus 7.5 percent of maximum retail value, and should rise to 550 rubles plus eight percent in 2013 and 800 rubles plus 8.5 percent in 2014.





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Churchkey Can Co. Craft Beer Brewery Brings Back Flat Top Steel Cans

 

Justin Hawkins and Adrian Grenier (who starred in HBO’s Entourage) co-founded Churchkey Can Co., a craft brewing startup company that has brought back beer in flat-top steel cans. The cans require the use of a church key to open them, just like they did 50 years ago. According to the Churchkey Can Co. website, the beer itself is a pilsner recipe crafted by homebrewers Lucas Jones and Sean Burke and is currently being sold in the Pacific Northwest.








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Workers protest at Foxconn plant in China

A Foxconn worker looks out from the company logo outside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in the southern Guangdong province May 27, 2010.





Workers at a Chinese factory owned by Foxconn, Apple Inc's main manufacturer, threatened to jump off the roof of a building in a protest over wages just a month after the two firms announced a landmark agreement on improving working conditions.
The protest happened in the central city of Wuhan at one of Foxconn's plants. The company employ some 1.2 million workers in China assembling iPhones and iPads, among other products.
It involved some 200 workers, the Hong-Kong based activist group Information Centre for Human Rights said.
A spokesman for Hon Hai Precision Industry, the listed unit of the Foxconn group, said the protest concerned workplace adjustments and involved workers new to the plant. He said it was not a strike.
"The dispute has already been settled after some negotiations involving the human resources and legal departments as well as the local government," the Taipei-based spokesman, Simon Tsing, said.
Foxconn, China's largest private-sector employer, and Apple agreed to tackle violations of working conditions and improve working environments.
The deal was agreed almost two years after a series of worker suicides at Foxconn plants focused attention on conditions at Chinese factories and sparked criticism Apple's products were built on the backs of mistreated Chinese workers.
On Tuesday, Apple reported that its fiscal second-quarter net income almost doubled after a jump in iPhone sales, blowing past financial market expectations.
Tsing declined to say how many employees were involved in the latest dispute. He said no-one had actually jumped off any building.
The Information Centre for Human Rights said one of the complaints of the workers was that they earned less in Wuhan than they had in their previous jobs. They returned to work after police intervened, it said.
Global protests against Apple swelled after reports spread in 2010 of a string of suicides at Foxconn's plants in southern China. Apple agreed to an investigation by the independent Fair Labor Association to stem criticism that its products were built in sweatshop-like conditions.
Although Apple and Foxconn agreed to lift workers' salaries, wages have been rising quickly. The 159 million migrant workforce saw an average salary increase in 2011 of 21.2 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said.





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Foxconn Brazil workers reportedly threaten strike over working conditions
 
Factory workers at a Foxconn plant in Jundiaí, Brazil are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water and have threatened to strike unless the issues are resolved by May 3.

According to a report by Brazil's Tech Guru (Google Translation), over 2,500 Foxconn employees have complained about conditions at the factory. Workers reportedly met last Monday to raise the concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them.

Problems at the factory have been exacerbated by the recent hiring of more than a thousand employees. Foxconn was said not to have increased its transport infrastructure with the new hires. The company reportedly had to hire water trucks to bring in water for its employees.


A representative for the employees was optimistic that an amicable solution could be reached with Foxconn without resorting to a strike.


The report did not specifically mention whether the workers involved are serving on production lines for Apple's iPhone or iPad. iPhone 4 units
produced in Brazil reached the market last February, while Apple is said to have received approval to begin selling iPad 2 units that have been manufactured in the country.

In January, it was reported that Brazilian officials were claiming Foxconn had plans to build five additional factories in the country to help produce Apple devices. Each of the new facilities would reportedly staff approximately 1,000 workers. However, Foxconn called the report "pure speculation."

Though Apple has identified Brazil as a key growth region, CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that the company is not planning to build retail stores there in the "near future."





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Newark Airport Terminal Evacuated Over Unchecked Baby

 

The week of little children posing a threat to the travelers of the world concludes with this story about how officials evacuated and temporarily shut down an entire terminal at Newark International Airport because a baby didn't receive a second screening.
The NY Daily News reports that mom and child had set off an alert when they passed through a metal detector at the Terminal C checkpoint together. Mom handed baby off to dad, who had already been cleared, and then went through again on her own.
It wasn't until after the family had moved on toward their gate that TSA screeners realized, oops, they had not re-checked the wee one.
"Per protocol, TSA notified Port Authority Police of the situation and pointed out that this was a low-risk situation and indicated that TSA officers were looking for the family in the terminal," the TSA said in a statement to the Daily News, which reports that it was the Port Authority's decision to close the terminal and not the TSA's.
Alas, the family was never found, and the Port Authority reopened the terminal, figuring that the flight was already up in the air.
The TSA has been feeling the heat following incidents of possibly overzealous screening involving a hug-happy 4-year-old and a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy. Not to mention those screeners at LAX who were busted on charges of taking bribes to let drug smugglers sneak their wares through security.





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AnonTune will be much more than a music sharing site
To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy


As a haiku, it's lovely. As a Privacy Policy, it's fair warning. Welcome to AnonTune.
With EtherSec and OpEpoch, Anonymous sought to remake religion. With AnonPlus, it aims to rule the social Web. And with AnonTune, it is hoping to take over where Napster, Tomahawk, and YouTube leave off, making the music online easily searchable and playable by anyone, anywhere, whether the music companies like it or not.
Provided, of course, you let them run just a little bit of code on your computer. Oh, and pick a username and register. And let them track you with Google Analytics. Hey, it's Anonymous: what could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters they've gotten someone annoyed enough to DDOS (distributed denial-of-service attack) them within a few days of their public launch, according to the person answering the site’s official email, who declined to be identified. But, as with most internet drama, the attack was all over quickly enough, and the site seems to have stabilized.
It's easy enough to use, and they've handily provided demos (take your pick: classical, pop, or top 100—which oddly enough looks like Oldies for Lefties).
The admin walked us through the procedure for creating a playlist step by step, and it's nothing a typical Facebook user couldn't handle. You create a login and register, then search for the songs you want by artist or song title. You can create any number of different playlists. There’s also a function to upload your iPod songs, which might just cross some of those copyright lines AnonTune didn’t want to get into.
So far, so easy.
Although he admitted that it’s essential for the social aspect of the site, our source himself disparaged user registration, saying:
“We can't exactly call our website AnonTune without providing the users a part in the Anonymous collective. It is also my personal philosophy that registration sucks. It takes too much time, you give away too much personal information, it's a pain in the butt and I'm sure I'm not the only one on the team who thinks this. Registration is a restriction and it inhibits openness of our network and music. I should also clarify that the crude player/user page won't be the only way Anontune will provide access to music in the future. Indeed, it's important for the social-side that we are building but there is much more potential than just through the user page.”
The software searches the entire Internet (not just the Web: torrents, FTP, peer-to-peer networks and more that Google doesn't reach) to find shared music files that fit the descriptions you've provided. The site itself doesn't host the files, it just finds them and serves them up in a little window.
When Geek.com called the developers out on the security risks, they responded by posting a point-by-point refutation in Pastebin, in classic Anon style. Essentially, Anonymous argues that there would be no point in injuring the users, at least not to the point where they become useless. But as Google, Facebook, and many other for-profit sites could tell you, users will take significant hits to their privacy and security before becoming useless to you (ie leaving).
Even so, downloading software of unknown origin is always a risk; the risk is, however, open sourced. If you have the skills, you can analyze the risk for yourself. If you're so inclined, you can publicize your analysis and gain the thanks of a grateful (and non-code-savvy) public. If you're truly security-conscious, you can use virtual machine software to isolate that part of your computer running AnonTune and quarantine it from the rest of your hard drive. But if you were that techie, you'd probably just read the code in the first place.
The larger, more sinister, risk is that if AnonTune can see into IRCs, FTPs, P2P networks and everything else on the internet in its quest for music, then there is no corner of the digital realm which is safe from its eyes, provided it has enough users sending it on enough missions to enough nooks and crannies of cyberia.
If it’s only looking for a heavy metal Rickroll, fine. But a tool that powerful would be any spy service’s holy grail, and would, if hacked or used nefariously, be almost unnoticeable as it went about mapping everything of interest to its masters, just as long as it continued to serve up Miley Cyrus or Gwar as requested by the unsuspecting users.
In the meantime, Anonymous is hoping because it doesn't host any music, it will avoid the fate of previous music sharing sites. “Technically, users aren't collecting music nor are they downloading it. It is just text, remember that,” said our source, who went on to outline the way in which it is different from current, Web-only search engines.
“The music engine has the potential to access content across the internet in real-time on the client-side and not just the Web (which is a small part of the Internet.) This makes it vastly different to current proposals, especially considering these capabilities have traditionally only been a part of desktop applications.”
The new site is obviously bound to be attacked by the music industry, but our source cautions us not to vilify the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), digital music sharing's greatest foe.
“Let's also not paint the RIAA as the bad guy here. It's true we don't agree with their business model but we're still willing to strike a balance between open music and profit for artists and content providers.”
So, does this mean a tip jar for musicians? What kind of balance are we talking about?
“Use your common sense,” was the reply.
The Pastebin document hinted at t-shirt marketing and advertising, and ultimately concluded, “Anontune is about the music, not the money. Play to the last note and leave no regrets.”
But AnonTune may be looking to do more to provide a sustainable model for musicians. A White Paper the site released provided a detailed, and ambitious, plan for compensation at some point in the future. “...if all songs were easily accessible and centralized on one user-friendly platform ... it would become insanely popular. More popular than perhaps YouTube or even Facebook (if done right), and musical consumption would become centralized. Then it will be possible to monetize this consumption.”
Is the plan, then, to put the other middlemen out of business and create a profit-driven, legal music sharing site? Oh, it's so much more.
Vague but ambitious plans for the future? Oh yes, they can haz. Our source explained:
“The music engine is only a part of the project. This is a hugely ambitious project with several goals and what you mentioned is just one of them. I would hate for people to assume that is the extent of the project. That would be to deny our vision.”
This, from a bunch of guys who are alternately DDOSing the CIA, struggling to keep their own site up, and running from arrest.
Who is really behind AnonTune?
“We're just your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman,” said our source.
The website provides for nine different languages, heavily stacked towards Europe and the Americas: English, French, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Portugese, and Brazilian Portugese. It’s safe to guess an insignificant number of those Spideys speak Mandarin, Japanese, or Urdu.
Given the challenges, the ambitious goals, and the protean nature of Anonymous, where will AnonTune be in five years?
“It will be a cross between Facebook, Limewire, Google, iTunes music store, Anon messaging, and academic music research all with a new twist.”
That's assuming it makes it through the next six months.





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Kuwaitis to rally in support of online
censorship


Kuwait Islamists are calling for a massive march in support of stricter monitoring of Web communities, such as Twitter. The push comes in the wake of new attacks on the relatives and companions of the prophet Muhammad.

The call to action was apparently spurred by tweets targeting Aisha, the wife of prophet Muhammad. Security agencies are looking for the person behind those tweets.
Those urging citizens to take part in a mass rally Sunday include several members of parliament.
“It seems that some people have not really drawn lessons from what happened to those who insult the prophet or his family or his companions,” MPs Waleed Al Tabtabai and Musallam Al Barrak said, according to Gulf News. “We need a strong mobilization to address this matter. The interior minister has been requested to take action against those who posted the abusive remarks.”
The country has arrested and jailed a number of individuals who were deemed to have insulted Muhammad, his relatives, and his companions on Twitter and YouTube. Lawmakers in Kuwait are pushing for an amendment to the penal code that may make insulting Muhammad or God punishable by death.
Kuwait monitors print media, television, and books, reviewing materials before granting exhibitors and publishers licenses to operate in the country. There is little public outcry about the censorship, however, because uncensored materials are readily available online, wrote Alwatan Daily, an English-language newspaper published in Kuwait since 2008.
Kuwait does not yet have the legal capacity to censor electronic media, nor does it have specific laws for prosecution. Instead, the criminal code has been used to bring slander or libel charges for Twitter comments.
Information Minister Shaikh Muhammad Al Mubarak Al Sabah said earlier this week that the government plans to introduce laws later this year that will let agencies regulate online media and Web communities. The reason for this is to “safeguard the cohesiveness of the population and society.”








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Street closed after 14th birthday party goes viral

 

A 14-year-old boy has 50,000 guests signed up to attend his birthday party near the central town of Clermont-Ferrand after his event page went viral on Facebook.


"I’m going to lock up the house. There’ll be no party," the father of a 14-year-old Benjamin said after news of the party started to spread.
"My son is not organising a party, I want that to be perfectly clear."
Benjamin wanted to organise a party with a few friends at his grandmother’s home in the village of Chamali√®res near Clermont-Ferrand to celebrate his birthday, French public radio France Info reports. One of his friends organised a secret event on facebook, which allows guests to invite up to sixty other facebook friends. 
The secret event however went viral and facebook users started relaying the invitation until 50,000 had signed up to attend Benjamin’s party on May 11th. 
Benjamin’s father has cancelled the party and lodged a complaint for impersonation.
The police have taken the Facebook invitation seriously and say they are considering blocking the street where Benjamin’s grandmother lives. They are also considering deploying a police unit on the evening of the cancelled party. 






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Austrian teenagers are world champions in binge drinking

 

Shocking news for Austria: According to a study by the British science journal "The Lancet" are young people in Austria, the uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages on a worldwide number one.

Only Irish and American adolescents (10-24 years) move accordingly on par with local teenagers in the area of ​​hazardous alcohol consumption - in other words: On average, more than five alcoholic drinks per day consumed. As for the smoking of marijuana, for the Austrians are little more reserved. Here are the leaders in the U.S., Spain and France.

The study also showed that typical diseases of affluence such as obesity and drug abuse among children and adolescents become increasingly prevalent in poorer countries. The rich industrialized nations are faced with a long non-communicable diseases such as the effects of alcohol and cigarette consumption as a result of lack of exercise, says the study. Since then the phenomenon to grab more and more about countries with low and middle-income countries.

Adolescents are particularly at risk

Improper diet with too much fat, sugar and salt, the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs endangers the health of more and more young people, the researchers warned. Not least is responsible for the marketing strategy of the food and tobacco industry, which increasingly aimed at teenagers.
In view of the scientists had children and young people between ten and 24 years - a group of world 1.8 billion people. This population group is exposed to numerous risks - such as fatal road accidents, suicide, unwanted pregnancies or infections as a result of the AIDS disease.
Among the poorer countries of the South African study found that the most affected. The mortality rate was there in male children and adolescents eight times higher than in rich countries, in girls and young women as much as 30 times higher. Among the 27 richest countries in the world, the USA has the highest mortality rate in the population in question. This lead the researchers mainly due to the high number of violent crimes and traffic accidents. In second and third place New Zealand and Portugal.






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Thursday, April 26, 2012










Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

 

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that's not even the worst part.
The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government's power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.
Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for "cybersecurity" or "national security" purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.
Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government's power.
Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.
There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.




HRPT-112-HR3523HR4628











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Strip for Bitcoins
 
The economy of Internet porn has become entirely self-contained. Girls and guys are now stripping naked for a digital currency known as Bitcoins.
Say hello to r/GirlsGoneBitCoin, a new NSFW subreddit, or section, on the social news site Reddit.
Bitcoins are a form of encrypted virtual currency whose value fluctuates depending on demand. The digital cash is currently worth $5 per coin according to Buzzfeed. Because of the anonymous nature of the currency, Bitcoins are typically used for drugs, guns, and now, nudes.
The subreddit was created at the end of March, and promoted itself by awarding bitcoins to the first 10 women who participated. Thanks, in part, to that promotion, r/GirlsGoneBitcoin has grown to a modest 700 subscribers.
Girls post photos of their exposed parts, along with their Bitcoin addresses scrawled in marker on their bodies, hoping that redditors will shower them with tips.
Given that porn is free and abundant on the Internet, have any Bitcoins changed virtual wallets for said nude pics?
According to the ‘thank you” posts in the subreddit, yes.
One woman purchased fishnets and heels with her tipped Bitcoins, then posted an NSFW picture wearing them as thanks. Another woman asked for Bitcoins to buy a sextoy. Redditors obliged, and she soon also posted an NSFW image of the purchase, with the message to her benefactors: “Thank you.”
LadyBytes, the first woman to participate, has so far received 35 transactions in just under a month.
Julian702, who launched the promotional thread that helped the subreddit grow, wrote that his project had “stimulated” the “Bitcoin economy.”






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Nude bike rider booked for failing to wear a helmet in Romania!

A nude bike rider in Constanta (Romania) got away with just a warning for not wearing a helmet. Seems like that public nudity (or indecent exposure) is not a crime in Romania. And yes, we are not complaining!
They're the kind of bumpers that could be a serious safety hazard for other pop-eyed road users.

But when this nude pillion passenger was stopped by traffic police in
Constanta, Romania, the only thing she was pinched for was for not wearing a helmet.

These pictures - taken by other motorists clearly impressed by her boot-y - were taken after she obeyed the police warning and put her crash-hat back on.

And her ample bodywork - now to be found on Facebook - could teach any motorist a thing or two about dangerous curves.

"The officer was a traffic cop and the only traffic offence she'd committed was in not wearing a helmet," explained one witness.

"So he gave her a warning and a ticket and told her and her companion to ride on," they added.









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Micro Focus seeks $10 million from Australian police for pirated software
 
It’s a riddle for the age of Internet copyright infringement: Who prosecutes software pirates when cops pirate software?
U.K. software company Micro Focus has accused the New South Wales, Australia, police department of not only pirated their software for the past decade, but also refusing to settle once caught. Instead, the company claims, police pirated different Mirco Focus software to replace it.
Micro Focus is reportedly seeking at least $10 million in damages.
The alleged scandal came to the software company’s attention in Aug. 2010, when someone in the police Ombudsman’s office asked a Micro Focus employee for help with ViewNow software, a program used to manage a massive database of police records. The Micro Focus employee was aware of the limited number of ViewNow licenses purchased by NSW police, however, and that it didn’t extend to the Ombudsman’s office.
An Australian Federal Court later ruled against the Ombudsman’s office claims that they should be exempt from paying for the software license.
A Micro Focus employee reportedly claimed that in response to reminding a police officer that the NSW department had only paid for 6,500 licenses, the officer responded “Oh, fuck. We’ve rolled out 16,000 devices.”
The company previously settled a similar case involving both the Department of Correctives and the Police Integrity commissioner.
"When someone pirates your software, you think who am I going to call, the police?" asked Bruce Craig, the managing director of Micro Focus Australasian.
"In this case, they're the pirates."
Craig claims that upon learning about the lawsuit, the police began uninstalling Micro Focus software. He claims that the NSW police installed a pirated applet by the software company NetManage in ViewNow’s place.
NetManage was acquired by Micro Focus in 2008.
The police, however, say they at least didn’t pirate the NetManage software.
“NSW Police denies these fresh claims in relation to the NetManage Applet and will vigorously contest the matter," the police said in a statement.






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Why 

‘the sex life of the screwworm’ deserves taxpayer dollars 

Stuart is a 1 ½ year old male Guinea Pig.
 (SOURCE: LO CO ANIMAL SHELTER)


Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) believes it is time the sex life of the screwworm got its due.

On Wednesday afternoon, Cooper rose to the defense of taxpayer-funded research into dog urine, guinea pig eardrums and, yes, the reproductive habits of the parasitic flies known as screwworms--all federally supported studies that have inspired major scientific breakthroughs. Together with two House Republicans and a coalition of major science associations, Cooper has created the first annual Golden Goose Awards to honor federally funded research “whose work may once have been viewed as unusual, odd, or obscure, but has produced important discoveries benefiting society in significant ways.”
Federally-funded research of dog urine ultimately gave scientists and understanding of the effect of hormones on the human kidney, which in turn has been helpful for diabetes patients. A study called “Acoustic Trauma in the Guinea Pig” resulted in treatment of early hearing loss in infants. And that randy screwworm study? It helped researchers control the population of a deadly parasite that targets cattle--costing the government $250,000 but ultimately saving the cattle industry more than $20 billion, according to Cooper’s office.
Cooper says that his original inspiration for the Golden Goose Award was the long-running “Golden Fleece Awards” that the late Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) bestowed upon the most wasteful government spending, beginning in 1975. More recently, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has taken up that mantle. In a report last year on the National Science Foundation, Coburn blasted frivolous-sounding research that received federal funding, including one study that put shrimp on miniature treadmills and another that asked smokers to mail in their toenail clippings.
Cooper himself can’t be accused of being a free-spending liberal:As a member of the Blue Dog Caucus that sponsored the Simpson-Bowles plan on the House floor, his own deficit reduction proposals have garnered praise from prominent fiscal conservatives. The two House Republicans who helped him unveil the Golden Goose Awards--named after Aesop’s fable of “the goose that laid the golden egg”-- also voted for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) most recent budget. But the congressmen stress that federal money spent on basic scientific research is well worth the upfront investment.
“When we invest in science, we also invest in jobs. Research and development is a key part to any healthy economy,” said Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) at Wednesday’s press conference. “It’s critical, and the federal government has an important role to play,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.), who described how injecting horses with snake venom might “seem peculiar” but led to the discovery of the first anti-venom.
The group also wants their colleagues--and the broader public--to understand that investing in science means that the research failures are part of the process, as well. “There has never been a scientific project with guaranteed success...a single breakthrough can counter a thousand failures,” says Cooper.
The congressmen point out that funding basic science research has a long history of bipartisan support. House Speaker, Newt Gingrich helped double the budget of the National Institutes of Health in the 1990s, for instance. But the recent draconian rounds of budget cuts have repeatedly threatened funding for basic research at the NIH, National Science Foundation, and other major federal bodies.
So far, Congress has mostly spared basic science research funding, even increasing it slightly at the NIH and NSF for 2012. But Cooper warns that cuts could still be looming: at a recent Defense committee hearing, lawmakers were considering a $50 million cut to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for 2013, according to the Tennessee Democrat--part of the defense budget sequester that will start kicking in at the end of 2012.
“We are absolutely concerned--they need to be smart and strategic about cuts,” said Gene Irisari, a lobbyist for Texas Instruments who’s been working the Hill to fend off spending reductions for research.
So while it may be premature to tout the benefits of studying “sweaty tree frogs” on the Hill — a research subject that Cooper says would have “gotten me laughed out of Congress” — you never know how it will look in 20 years. “We create what every previous generation would have described as magic,” he concludes.






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Egypt Considers Allowing Men to Have Sex with Their Dead Wives’ Bodies

The parliamentary attacks on women’s rights has drawn great criticism from women’s organizations in Egypt.

Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.

The appeal came in a message sent by Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, addressing the woes of Egyptian women, especially after the popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.


She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death.
According to Egyptian columnist Amro Abdul Samea in al-Ahram, Talawi’s message included an appeal to parliament to avoid the controversial legislations that rid women of their rights of getting education and employment, under alleged religious interpretations.

“Talawi tried to underline in her message that marginalizing and undermining the status of women in future development plans would undoubtedly negatively affect the country’s human development, simply because women represent half the population,” Abdul Samea said in his article.


The controversy about a husband having sex with his dead wife came about after a Moroccan cleric spoke about the issue in May 2011.


Zamzami Abdul Bari said that marriage remains valid even after death adding that a woman also too had the same right to engage in sex with her dead husband.


Two years ago, Zamzami incited further controversy in Morocco when he said it was permissible for pregnant women to drink alcohol.


But it seems his view on partners having sex with their deceased partners has found its way to Egypt one year on.


Egyptian prominent journalist and TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty on Tuesday referred to Abdul Samea’s article in his daily show on Egyptian ON TV and criticized the whole notion of “permitting a husband to have sex with his wife after her death under a so-called ‘Farewell Intercourse’ draft law.”


“This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni? This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?”


Many members of the newly-elected, and majority Islamist parliament, have been accused of launching attacks against women’s rights in the country.


They wish to cancel many, if not most, of the laws that promote women’s rights, most notably a law that allows a wife to obtain a divorce without obstructions from her partner. The implementation of the Islamic right to divorce law, also known as the Khula, ended years of hardship and legal battles women would have to endure when trying to obtain a divorce.


Egyptian law grants men the right to terminate a marriage, but grants women the opportunity to end an unhappy or abusive marriages without the obstruction of their partner. Prior to the implementation of the Khula over a decade ago, it could take 10 to 15 years for a woman to be granted a divorce by the courts.


Islamist members of Egyptian parliament, however, accuse these laws of “aiming to destroy families” and have said it was passed to please the former first lady of the fallen regime, Suzanne Mubarak, who devoted much of her attention to the issues of granting the women all her rights.


The parliamentary attacks on women’s rights has drawn great criticism from women’s organizations, who dismissed the calls and accused the MPs of wishing to destroy the little gains Egyptian women attained after long years of organized struggle.






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Facebook Comments Reportedly Trigger Large Female Fight

More than 30 women brawled in the street, all reportedly over Facebook posts.

“I saw the girls yelling and pushing each other and one girl tried to push them apart,” one witness said of the fight in Del Paso Heights on Sunday.
“People shouldn’t be posting their business on Facebook,” said another woman.
It happened on Grand Avenue and Clay Street when police responded to reports of a large fight with women swinging fists and baseball bats. All suspects had fled by the time officers arrived.
“Two people really sustained major injuries,” Sacramento Police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said. “Those two people were reportedly hit with bats and they went to the hospital requiring stitches.”
Police say one of the women in the group broke a glass candleholder from a nearby memorial and used it as a weapon before heading into the convenience store.
“Two of the women came in here and bought drinks,” Patricia Brandon said. “They looked angry and tired, I guess from fighting.”
This time it was a mob of women fighting over Facebook, but business owners nearby say witnessing violence is nothing new.
“Around here? It happens a lot,” Brandon said. “It doesn’t surprise me.”

 








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