JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Thousands of first coast drivers are just now getting parking tickets from years ago. Last week, Lisa Crawford received a $63 bill for an unpaid $20 parking ticket - dated September 2011. "It was very frightening because it said it could impound my car, and I look at September and I'm like, oh my God I'm on borrowed time," Crawford said. The notice Crawford received from the City of Jacksonville's collection agency was one of 24,000 sent out in the past few weeks, according to the city's public parking officer Jack Shad. Crawford's bill was a tiny part of $1.6 million in fines the city hadn't reported to the collection agency because they didn't realize they were missing. ... http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/256684/483/City-Misses-16-Million-in-Parking-Tickets-Because-of-Computer-Glitch 16 May 2012
(Sarah Clark) Sarah Clark, 8 May 2012 JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. - Oh, the joys of making a trip to the DMV, or the motor vehicle offices, as they're called in Kansas. Drivers in Johnson County, Kan., were turned away after a computer glitch forced offices to close on Tuesday. A message on the Johnson County government website read: "The Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices located at 782 N. Ridgeview Road in Olathe and 6000 Lamar in Mission are closed due to technical issues with the new MOVRS computer system, Tuesday, May 8." Other offices in Kansas outside of Johnson County remained open. Tuesday was the first day for the new motor vehicle system after a week-long shutdown of all Kansas Vehicle Offices. FOX 4 talked to taxpayers on Tuesday who feel the upgrade is not making it easier to get licenses and registrations. Several people waited for more than two hours on Tuesday as they tried to renew a license or get a car registered. Daniel Corney says he was told he'd have to wait over three hours to register his motorcycle. ... http://fox4kc.com/2012/05/08/computer-glitch-forces-johnson-county-motor-vehicle-offices-to-close/
(Phil Yacuboski) Phil Yacuboski and WBAL-TV, 15 May 2012 Four students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County got a free ride, according to a state audit released Tuesday. "A student received a refund but had not been charged tuition for that semester," said Bruce Myers, legislative auditor. The errors are the result of a computer glitch. The audit, conducted between 2008 and 2011, showed that one student was not charged up to $8,000 in tuition and fees, but that same student also got a financial aid refund of more than $10,000. A second UMBC student got almost $10,000 in financial aid and never had to pay tuition and fees. ... http://wbal.com/article/89941/3/template-story/Computer-Glitch-Gave-Free-Education-To-College-Students
KODIAK, Alaska (AP, 1 May 2012) - A computer glitch has resulted in incomplete totals from data submitted online by Sitka blacktail deer hunters around Alaska, according to state officials. The Kodiak Daily Mirror says that hunter Joseph Mauer of Kodiak was surprised to receive a reminder letter from the state Department of Fish and Game asking that he resubmit his deer hunt totals from last season. Mauer said he had already submitted his data at the end of last season using the department's new online harvest reporting system for deer. ... http://www.necn.com/05/01/12/Computer-glitch-hampers-Alaska-deer-hunt/landing_scitech.html?&apID=d6469ba90f4a405b8fc1feabc1bff07a
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Division of Employment Security website has been down since late Thursday, locking out those who log on to update their benefits. Spokesman Larry Parker said the division's web and phone services were offline as the result of a mainframe problem, but that people could update their files by visiting a local DES office. However, visits and calls to offices in Raleigh, Smithfield, Durham and Cary showed computers there were offline as well. "They said everything was down all across the state," said Kwame Manigault. He was trying to update his banking information at the Raleigh DES office. http://www.wral.com/business/story/11063925/ 4 May 2012
courthouse (Ed Fletcher) Ed Fletcher, 2 May 2012 A snafu with Placer County's automated jury notification system caused a major traffic jam Tuesday morning for the city of Auburn and a major headache for 600 potential jurors who arrived at the county's historic courthouse. The court didn't actually need any jurors Tuesday, but the automated system told all 1,000 potential jurors that the court will need over the entire week that they were all needed at the courthouse Tuesday, said Geoff Brandt, assistant court executive officer for Placer County. ... http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/02/4458649/hundreds-of-potential-jurors-mistakenly.html Computer Glitch Summons Too Many Jurors, NPR, 3 May 2012 In California, the Placer County Courthouse accidentally summoned 1,200 people to jury duty on the same morning. Taking their duty seriously, residents tried to be on time but the traffic jam was too much. http://www.npr.org/2012/05/03/151919620/computer-glitch-summons-too-many-jurors
11 May 2012, *The Star-Ledger* Continuous News Desk http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/05/nj_toddler_on_no_fly_list_was.html FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The 18-month-old 'no-fly-list' toddler from New Jersey who was mistakenly removed from a flight earlier this week has JetBlue officials scrambling this morning to cover their tracks as the story rattles around the globe. ... Officials confirmed an 18-month-old girl was mistakenly pulled off a JetBlue flight before it left Fort Lauderdale because airline employees thought her name was on the U.S. no-fly list. According to the Associated Press, a JetBlue representative told the family their toddler was on the federal list that includes thousands of known or suspected terrorists. On Thursday, JetBlue said a computer glitch caused the confusion and their employees were simply doing their jobs. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says the girl never was flagged by the agency. ...
More reminders with the limits on our ability to avoid risk: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/12/business/at-jpmorgan-chase-a-complex-strategy-that-backfired.html “This strategy 2 and 3 grew so large that it became obvious to other investors who then saw an opportunity to bet against JPMorgan, which they viewed as cornered.'' This is a classic example of hubris in assuming we can triumph over risk by being smart. Even if the financial models themselves are correct the world is constantly reinventing itself around us. This example is especially telling since models themselves can be gamed.
Judge Michel seemed unaware of the depth of the software industry's dissatisfaction with the patent system. He suggested the patent system's critics were relatively marginal figures not representative of the views of the broader technology industry. And he didn't seem to understand the dynamics of the patent arms race currently affecting the software industry. "If software is less dependent on patents, fine then. Let software use patents less as they choose," Michel said. "If other industries are terribly dependent on patents, then let's not wreck the system just because software people are unhappy." http://j.mp/KV8TAp (ars technica via NNSquad) On balance, I'd ditch software patents from the system in a heartbeat.
A long Associated Press story by Greg Risling describes big problems with fraudulent drug prescriptions written on traditional prescription pads. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20609779/prescription-pad-fraud-plays-role-abuse-surge The solution: prescriptions sent by computer. The very last line of the article contains this prophetic quote: "As more (doctors) go electronic I think it will solve some problems but may create some others."
Somini Sengupta, *The New York Times* Blogs, 11 May 2012 How does Facebook use all the words, pictures and clicks of its 901 million users? A group of European college students first raised that question last year. The Irish Data Protection Office, which regulates all of Facebook's European data policies, took it up. On Friday, Facebook shared a bit more. "We're adding more examples and detailed explanations to help you understand our policies," Facebook's new chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, a veteran privacy lawyer in Washington, wrote, in a blog post. Facebook users can give feedback and talk to Ms. Egan on Monday in a video chat. The new explanations, available by clicking on the Help tab on the bottom of the Facebook home page, include one on how cookies work on the site and what information application developers receive when you download an app on the Facebook platform. The explanations also inform users about who can see what kinds of posts on their timelines. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/facebook-shares-more-about-how-it-uses-your-data/
Ernesto, TorrentFreak, 13 May 2012 [via Dave Farber's IP] http://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-funded-startup-aims-to-kill-bittorrent-traffic-120513/ The Russian based Pirate Pay startup is promising the entertainment industry a pirate-free future. With help from Microsoft, the developers have built a system that claims to track and shut down the distribution of copyrighted works on BitTorrent. Their first project, carried out in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, successfully stopped tens of thousands of downloads. Hollywood, software giants and the major music labels see BitTorrent as one of the largest threats to their business. Billions in revenue are lost each year, they claim. But not for long if the Russian based startup Pirate Pay has its way. The company has developed a technology which allows them to attack existing BitTorrent swarms, making it impossible for people to share files. The idea started three years ago when the developers were building a traffic management solution for Internet providers. The technology worked well. It was able to stop BitTorrent traffic if needed, which made the developers realize that they might have built the holy anti-piracy grail. “After creating the prototype, we realized we could more generally prevent files from being downloaded, which meant that the program had great promise in combatting the spread of pirated content,'' Pirate Pay CEO Andrei Klimenko says. ...
<http://www.tvpredictions.com/comcast051512.htm> Swanni, Washington, D.C. (15 May 2012)—Comcast has filed for a patent for a new technology that would force viewers to watch ads even when they try to skip them on their Digital Video Recorders. That's according to an article by FierceCable. The cable operator's move is in sharp contrast to Dish Network's new Auto Hop DVR feature that allows viewers to watch recorded shows on the four major broadcast networks without ever seeing a commercial. Network executives blasted Dish's new feature yesterday, but the satcaster said it wants to "champion" the interests of subscribers, not advertisers or networks.
I'm surprised that this idea made it out of testing and into production. > On the subject of mobile security, new device locking features bring up > an interesting dilemma about how gesture-based "passwords" compare to > standard character passwords. Which is probably not very good, unless > you keep your screen very clean and avoid greasy foods: > > http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57377224-264/reverse-smudge-engineering-foils-android-unlock-security/
Talking Surveillance Cameras Coming to U.S. Streets 'Intellistreets' system now being installed with DHS backing Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars.com, 14 May 2012 Talking surveillance cameras that bark orders at passers-by and can also record conversations are heading for U.S. streets, with manufacturer Illuminating Concepts announcing the progress of its 'Intellistreets' system. http://www.infowars.com/talking-surveillance-cameras-coming-to-u-s-streets/
http://j.mp/JSkhxN (*Network World* via NNSquad) "Vint Cerf once wore a shirt that read "IP on Everything," a wry comment on the versatility of the Internet Protocol he helped invent, a protocol that underlies all Internet communication. Now a University of California Berkeley researcher [R. Stuart Geiger] has put Cerf's maxim to the test, running an IP network over a set of xylophones, played by human participants." Wait until they hit their XSP (Xylophone Service Provider) bandwidth cap and get throttled back to wood blocks. Video of the "Xylophone Internet" in action: http://j.mp/JSp7Lq (YouTube)
Fiat hacks Google Street View to spoof Volkswagen in Sweden. You really have to see the photo to appreciate this. http://jalopnik.com/5910448/fiat-photo-bombs-volkswagen-with-elaborate-street-view-prank [or google "Fiat Trolls Volkswagen via Street View", or perhaps http://maps.google.com/maps?q=volkswagen+sweden&hl=en&ll=59.181714,17.586626&spn=0.00136,0.002097&sll=59.181551,17.586550&layer=c&cid=1362125120364416158&cbp=13,198.44,,1,2.22&cbll=59.181714,17.586626&hq=volkswagen+sweden&t=h&z=19&panoid=ebSs3p7LrFFximxEf76g2g PGN]
Cindy Waxer, *InformationWeek*, 15 May 2012, via ACM TechNews A recent CareerCast.com study ranked software engineer as the top job for 2012 based on five criteria, including salary, stress levels, hiring outlook, physical demands, and work environment. Software engineer ranked higher than doctor, Web developer, computer programmer, and financial planner due to tremendous demand and outstanding salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently found that the median pay for software engineers was $90,530 per year in 2010. In addition, the demand for software engineers is on the rise, with an estimated growth rate of 30 percent between 2010 and 2020. "Over the last few years there's definitely been a 20 percent to 25 percent uptick in salary for software engineers," says Monetate's Tom Janofsky. "I feel like I live in a different economy. We're constantly hiring." Other benefits for software engineers are collaboration, creative thinking, and hands-on experimentation that can support a career in a continuous state of evolution. Software engineers also enjoy a lot of flextime, interesting colleagues, and a collaborative, team-oriented work environment. "A lot of what we do is about failing, doing something wrong, and then going back and looking at the problem again," Janofsky says. http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/careers/240000347
The Patient Privacy Notice situation has been problematic for some while. These agreements, created in order to comply with HIPAA regulations, make it difficult (if not impossible) for the doctor to allow a relative to received or review the patient files, even and especially if the person becomes fully incapacitated, is unmarried (often only a spouse can gain access, hence why there is such a debate over who can be married to whom), and doesn't have a power of attorney or guardianship appointed. I wrote at length about the computer security aspects of the HIPAA legislation back in 2004—see: http://www.notablesoftware.com/Papers/HIPAA.html
On Sunday 13 May 2012 at 06:02, RISKS List Owner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > "Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (non-rechargeable) cells and > batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable), > regardless of quantity, size, or watt hours, "regardless of watt hours"? What about the tiny batteries inside hearing aids? A quick search found various lithium batteries with usual nominal 3 volt rating and a capacity of just 15 mAh: these are used extensively in "blinkies" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinky_%28novelty%29 15 mAh at 3 volts is 0.045 watt hours, or 162 Joules or 40 calories (0.04 food Calories). This is enough energy to raise the temperature of 1Kg of water by 0.04 degrees C, or equivalently to raise the temperature of 10g of water by 4 degrees C. And this is supposed to bring down an airplane? About as likely as being able to do so with a 110 mL tube of toothpaste! STRL Reader in Software Engineering and Royal Society Industry Fellow email@example.com http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/
"...hmm, wonder what's in my ultrasonic tapeless tape measure?" I wonder what's in that musical Mother's Day card you just sent. And, how long before the Dept. of Homeland Security comes to visit?
In RISKS-26.83, a note is forwarded from/via Steve Greenwald about a sailing accident: Perhaps the crew "had the electronic chart zoomed out to a point where the Coronado Islands no longer showed up, and so had no warning that their track would take them straight into a rock". The GPS car navigation systems I've seen all exaggerate the widths of roads to make them clearly visible. Which has its risks, of course. But a zoom function that deemphasizes reefs and islands and uses all of its pixes to show deep blue sea seems worse.
> "Those who control the processes control the declared result. The blank > votes, or refusal to vote, can be overcome just like the elections that > declare 99% support for dictators." Those elections assume everyone is registered and votes. Blank or protest votes are easy to control, but it takes no special knowledge or access, is easy to spot, and rarely escapes notice whenever a US voting district counts a few thousand more votes than it has registered voters. The real problem here is that when a district with say, 300 registered voters, tallies 3,000 votes for the candidate who wins, elections officials are not required to do anything at all except to state that the "computer glitch" was harmless and did not change the results of the election.
(RISKS-26.83) > ... Snapchat allows a person to take and send a picture and control how > long it is visible by the person who receives it, up to 10 seconds. After > that, the picture disappears and can't be seen again. If the person > viewing the picture tries to use an iPhone feature that captures an image > of whatever is on the screen, the sender is notified. If they have a friend nearby during those ten seconds, is it also wiped from the friend's mind? And if the quick-witted friend uses their own phone to snap the screen... Geoff Kuenning firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/
Please report problems with the web pages to the maintainer