Sunday Slaughter | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Sunday Slaughter

  • IT WAS just after midday in San Diego, California, when the disruption started. In the tower at the airport, air-traffic controllers peered at their monitors only to find that their system for tracking incoming planes was malfunctioning. At the Naval Medical Center, emergency pagers used for summoning doctors stopped working. Chaos threatened in the busy harbour, too, after the traffic-management system used for guiding boats failed. On the streets, people reaching for their cellphones found they had no signal and bank customers trying to withdraw cash from local ATMs were refused. Problems persisted for another 2 hours.

    It took three days to find an explanation for this mysterious event in January 2007. Two navy ships in the San Diego harbour had been conducting a training exercise. To test procedures when communications were lost, technicians jammed radio signals. Unwittingly, they also blocked radio signals from GPS satellites across a swathe of the city.

  • The leader of a Satanic sex cult is facing a lengthy jail sentence after being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and child abuse.

    Colin Batley, 48, exercised absolute control over his sect in a seaside cul-de-sac – abusing and exploiting helpless children as ‘sex toys’ for more than a decade.

    He was found guilty yesterday of 35 sex offences against children and young adults. Yet social services were alerted to Batley’s child abuse in 2002 – and took no action.

  • The moral of the story is this: just because you have it, doesn’t mean you can handle it. Find out what you can safely spend or borrow, far away from the margin of worry. Talk to a financial adviser and identify where your danger zone is (Holt Renfrew, anyone?), before you blindly wander into it and can’t find a way back out. As the story of Ms. Kluge goes to show, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

    And babe, even a billionaire can go broke.

  • “One can sum up all of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking in two sentences from page 297, where author Christopher Hadnagy writes ‘tools are an important aspect of social engineering, but they do not make the social engineer. A tool alone is useless; but the knowledge of how to leverage and utilize that tool is invaluable.’ Far too many people think that information security and data protection is simply about running tools, without understanding how to use them. In this tremendous book, Hadnagy shows how crucial the human element is within information security.”
  • What a bunch of garbage!

    An elderly Manhattan woman living on Social Security was slapped with a $100 ticket — for throwing away a newspaper in a city trash can.

    Delia Gluckin, 80, tossed the paper, which was in a white plastic shopping bag, in a bin right outside her Inwood apartment building Saturday morning and was immediately ambushed by a Department of Sanitation agent wielding a handheld computerized ticket book.

    “I was walking to take the subway downtown and dropped it in a trash can, and this lady in a blue uniform ran up to me,” Gluckin told The Post.
    “I thought she was going to ask for directions. She said, ‘You just dropped garbage in there,’ ” according to Gluckin.

    “I said, ‘I didn’t, it was just a newspaper,’ and I offered to take it out,” said Gluckin, who had bought the Post at a deli and then tossed it after reading it.

    Sanit cop Kathy Castro wrote Gluckin the summons for putting “improper refuse” in a city litter basket.

  • There are more than 2,000 ground robots fighting alongside flesh-and-blood forces in Afghanistan, according to Lt. Col. Dave Thompson, the Marine Corps’ top robot-handler. If his figures are right, it means one in 50 U.S. troops in Afghanistan isn’t even a human being. And America’s swelling ranks of groundbot warriors are being used in new, unexpected, life-saving ways.
  • Three hours after I gave my name and e-mail address to Michael Fertik, the CEO of Reputation.com, he called me back and read my Social Security number to me. “We had it a couple of hours ago,” he said. “I was just too busy to call.”

    In the past few months, I have been told many more-interesting facts about myself than my Social Security number. I’ve gathered a bit of the vast amount of data that’s being collected both online and off by companies in stealth — taken from the websites I look at, the stuff I buy, my Facebook photos, my warranty cards, my customer-reward cards, the songs I listen to online, surveys I was guilted into filling out and magazines I subscribe to.

  • The now-trendy concept of Big Data usually implies ever-growing hordes of data, including unstructured info posted on Facebook and Twitter, and ways of gleaning intelligence from all of it to create business opportunities. The concept, however, also carries with it risks for anyone opening up about themselves on the Internet and raises questions about who exactly owns all this data.
  • Explicit cartoons, films and books have been cleared for use to teach sex education to schoolchildren as young as five.

    A disturbing dossier exposes a wide range of graphic resources recommended for primary school lessons.

    The shocking material – promoted by local councils and even the BBC – teaches youngsters about adult language and sexual intercourse.

  • Most male mammals wield a penis covered with spines made of keratin, the same material that forms fingernails, to sweep out competitors’ sperm and irritate a female into ovulating. You can add humans’ lack of penile spines to the list of ways we are misfits among primates, along with our absence of tails and fur. Even chimpanzees, our closest relatives, have penile spines. A new study suggests that this feature disappeared due to a chunk of DNA that went missing after our evolutionary divergence from chimps. The researchers have identified another DNA deletion that may have contributed to humans’ bigger brains.
  • “I call it ‘guybrows,’ ” Mr. Gafni said. “I don’t create an arch for men. You want to take the weight out of it and groom the brow, but you don’t want it to look ‘done.’ Sometimes I even leave a couple stray hairs so it looks less done, and I would never do that for women.”
  • He’s the man with the (82) Julia Roberts tattoos. Yes, you read that right. The New York Post says a 56-year-old Mexican man has inked the “Pretty Woman” on his arms, his back and chest. All of his Julia’s are taken from movie scenes and feature the actress in a variety of moods—“smiling and waving, pouting, looking serious and sitting in a chair.”
  • German hacker [Patrick Priebe] recently constructed a laser pulse gun that looks so good, it could have easily come off a Hollywood movie set. Its sleek white and black exterior adds intrigue, but offers little warning as to how powerful the gun actually is.

    Fitted with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, it fires off a 1 MW blast of infrared light once the capacitors have fully charged. The duration of the laser pulse is somewhere near 100ns, so he was unable to catch it on camera, but its effects are easily visible in whatever medium he has fired upon. The laser can burst balloons, shoot through plastic, and even blow a hole right through a razor blade.

  • When pop stars Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Nelly Furtado and 50 Cent recently said they’d renounced millions of dollars they’d received for performing for members of Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi’s family, they drew attention to a growing and controversial cultural phenomenon: celebrity artists being hired by rich, powerful and sometimes disreputable clients to play at private or semi-private functions.
  • But their most interesting attack focused on the car stereo. By adding extra code to a digital music file, they were able to turn a song burned to CD into a Trojan horse. When played on the car’s stereo, this song could alter the firmware of the car’s stereo system, giving attackers an entry point to change other components on the car. This type of attack could be spread on file-sharing networks without arousing suspicion, they believe. “It’s hard to think of something more innocuous than a song,” said Stefan Savage, a professor at the University of California.
  • Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia say venom from a spider native to Central and South America gives people four-hour erections, and could possibly cure some of the worst cases of impotence – cases not even Viagra could adequately treat.
  • All-out war remains a fairly unlikely scenario, but should the clock ever strike midnight we may well discover, finally, whether or not the internet really could survive a nuclear conflict.

    If it could, then a handful of datacenters dotted around the world would likely to be all that remains of the multi-billion-pound hosting industry.

    These secretive, high-security sites, tunnelled out of mountains or housed behind the blast-proof doors of one-time Nato bunkers, are home to the planet’s most secure hosting providers.

  • “If an extraterrestrial spaceship ever lands on Earth, I bet you that it is 99.9999999 percent likely that what exits that ship will be synthetic in nature,” said Michael Dyer, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles (appropriately enough).

    In civilizations advanced enough to travel between the stars, it is quite likely that machines have supplanted their biological creators, some scientists argue. Automatons — unlike animals — could withstand the hazards to living tissue and the strain on social fabrics posed by a long interstellar voyage.

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