Executive Producers: Grande Duke Steven Pelsmaekers, Andrew Blackburn, Thomas Borowski, Sir Mark Wilson
Associate Executive Producer: Liudmyla Bogush-Dhand
Art By: Sir Effigy
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Scary. Insane. Ridiculous. Invasive. Wrong. The Washington Post reports that the FBI has had the ability to secretly activate a computer’s camera “without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording” for years now. What in the hell is going on? What kind of world do we live in?
Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division, told the Post that that sort of creepy spy laptop recording is “mainly” used in terrorism cases or the “most serious” of criminal investigations. That doesn’t really make it less crazy (or any better) since the very idea of the FBI being able to watch you through your computer is absolutely disturbing.
Take the advice of a dumb blonde, put a piece of tape over the LED and it never happened.
The grand-prize winner of the Obamacare “young invincibles” video contest is a rendition of “Price Tag” by Jessie J and performed by 26-year-old Erin McDonald.
McDonald’s lyrics call on young people to purchase insurance and to enjoy the security of being covered when unexpected health issues arise.
“Don’t need a lot of money, to stay young and healthy, we just want to make it more fair with affordable health care,” she sings. “Affordable Care Act, don’t worry about the price tag.”
No? How about these Fratboys?
Look at the bright side, you wont have to leave (much) of a tip, if any.
Score one for the machines. On Tuesday, Applebee’s announced plans to install a tablet at every table in its 1,860 restaurants across the United States. Customers will be able to use the devices to order food, pay the bill, and ignore their dining companions by playing video games.
Chili’s unveiled basically the same plan three months ago. But that doesn’t mean Applebee’s hasn’t been plotting this move for years. In fact, Applebee’s was the name that came up when my former Slate colleague Annie Lowrey first wrote about the tablets-for-restaurants idea in April 2011. Her story focused on Palo Alto-based startup E La Carte, which is in fact Applebee’s partner on the just-announced deal. Chili’s opted for a rival vendor, Ziosk. Applebee’s went light on details in announcing the terms of its deal.
Of course these businesses are saying they won’t use the tablets to replace employees. Announcing layoffs along with the tablet move would be begging for a backlash. The fact is, if the tablets work, they’ll make the ordering process more efficient and cut the amount of human labor that these restaurants require. At that point, do you suppose they’ll keep the extra waiters around out of charity
Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, not that I disagree, as long as it’s understood that this will be the inevitable result. Ah, who am I kidding, it was probably inevitable regardless.
Could you imagine cops in New York or Chicago doing this? They’d be busting a gut laughing if they were to read this. You just can’t make this shit up.
One Saturday in November, Kaveh Kamooneh drove his Nissan Leaf to Chamblee Middle School, where his 11-year-old son was playing tennis. Kamooneh had taken the liberty of charging the electric car with an exterior outlet at the school. Within minutes of plugging in the car, he says a Chamblee police officer appeared.
“He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school,” Kamooneh said.
Kamooneh says he had charged his car for 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel’s worth of juice. Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, says the estimate of 5 cents is accurate.
And as if that weren’t crazy enough:
Ford said Chamblee Police did so without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity.
Found by Brother Uncle Don
An Alabama law firm is disassociating itself from a racist commercial released by a Florida company that claims the law firm provided the script.
Vice reported on Monday that Definitive Television has blamed McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. for the copy used for the ad, in which a white man portraying an “Asian” caricature complains about an insurance company “messing [him] over” and that “Confucius” led him to the firm’s website.
But the attorneys denied any connection to the commerical on the firm’s Facebook page on Nov. 25, writing, “McCutcheon and Hamner’s You Tube Channel has been hacked. Hamner also released a statement to the legal affairs blog Above The Law, saying Definitive Television refused to honor a cease-and-desist letter, as well as a request that Definitive owner Jim DeBerry “disclose the party that allowed my partner and I to be portrayed in such a negative and misleading light.”
For his part, DeBerry — who plays “Mr. Wong Fong Su” in the commercial — has defended the ad on Twitter, where he has argued, “I’m not a racist, I’m a member of the NAACP who has black relatives.” In his own statement to Above The Law, DeBerry denies his company tampered with the firm’s YouTube page, saying, “We run a production company that creates ‘Cheesy B-Rate Commercials.’ We have never had any involvement with McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C’s Youtube Account.”
They say there’s no bad publicity.
“When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn’t appear to have happened this time,” said David Kennedy, a so-called “white hat” hacker who tests online security by breaching websites. He testified on Capitol Hill about the flaws of HealthCare.gov last week.
“It’s really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn’t built into it,” said Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec. “We’re talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw the implementation of the website, the components used to build the site are compliant with standards set by Federal security authorities.
“The privacy and security of consumers’ personal information are a top priority for us. Security testing happens on an ongoing basis using industry best practices to appropriately safeguard consumers’ personal information,” said the spokesperson.
Another online security expert—who spoke at last week’s House hearing and then on CNBC—said the federal Obamacare website needs to be shut down and rebuilt from scratch. Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations said: “There’s not a plan to fix this that meets the sniff test of being reasonable.”
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Immigration legislation can’t even voted on because of the Republicans, yet a disabled tourist from that hotbed of terrorism, Canada, can’t come in (worse, just passing through) because of a past bout of depression. Just giving thanks for what a great country we live in that we should be protected so well!
Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she’d paid about $6,000. But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent with the Department of Homeland Security killed that dream when he denied her entry.
“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,” said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.
The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get “medical clearance” and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist “would not suffice.”
At the time, Richardson said, she was so shocked and devastated by what was going on, she wasn’t thinking about how U.S. authorities could access her supposedly private medical information.
“It doesn’t happen often,” said Denver International Airport spokesperson Stacey Stegman last Wednesday afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. as she was being interviewed in the baggage claim area.
But police have now confirmed that simultaneous to that interview an unidentified woman stole a bag that was sitting nearby, looted it, and then abandoned it at a different airport location. Sgt. Rick Stager of the Denver Police Department’s airport unit said, “I just wanted to confirm that there was indeed a theft of a bag belonging to Thomas Prehn just a carousel or two away from where you were filming. The bag was rifled through and then dumped in another location in the airport.
“We have video of the suspect stealing the bag off of the carousel and walking away with the bag,” Stager said. DIA officials concede the number of actual bag thefts might be higher as most passengers who lose a bag will simply report it to their airline, hoping for reimbursement.
She must’ve been a Lone Wolf….HOOOOOWL!
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