Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Russians Steal 1.2 Billion Passwords from 17 People

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password

Russian ID thieves devastated 17 people worldwide by stealing 1.2 billion of their passwords.

(2014-08-07) — Russian identity thieves reportedly stole 1.2 billion passwords from 420,000 websites, jeopardizing the privacy and financial well-being of up to 17 individuals worldwide.

International law enforcement authorities called the crime “devastating,” because like most people, “these 17 victims have more passwords than they can count, and no system for keeping track of them.”

Once the perpetrators are in custody, an attorney for the victims said he’s hopeful that “authorities will let them question the Russians from time to time in order to secure login credentials — especially for those sites and apps that you access only once or twice a year, but that make you create an entire user profile to find out whether it’s going to rain today, or at what temperature pork should be cooked in a convection oven.”

Approximately 1.1 billion of the stolen passwords merely provide access to one-time-usage email accounts set up to sell something on Craigslist — accounts with names like 2003PlymouthNeedsWork@gmail.com.

Authorities say the vast majority of the passwords on the Russian hard drives consist of utterly-random character sequences like ’1234567′ or ‘password.’

Fortunately for the victims, the attorney said, “The Russians did not manage to acquire all of their passwords, so they can still post pictures of food and cat videos to Facebook and Instagram, retaining at least a modicum of their human dignity.”

 

 

Obama’s EPA Mandates Homes Powered by Friction

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bicycle generator

“The future is friction,” President Obama said today as he endorsed new EPA regulations shutting down all other types of power and heat generation.


(2014-07-29) — Warning that the economic cost of global warming in the U.S. could soon mount to $150 billion per year, President Barack Obama today announced a new array of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that would, among other things, require U.S. homes to be powered and heated by friction alone.

“We know that fossil fuel emissions will soon incinerate the planet, and could reduce Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S. by up to 3.1 percent,” Obama said. “We also know that wind power slaughters birds, solar and water power clutter the landscape and disturb wildlife, batteries contain corrosive chemicals–and are often not included anyway — and nuclear power creates tsunamis, as we saw in Fukushima, Japan, not so long ago. America’s last best hope is friction.”

“As long as I’m in this White House,” President Obama said, “the future is friction.”

Under the new rules from the EPA, the power industry would have up to 90 days to make the transition to friction generators after disabling existing power plants at the end of August.

Americans unwilling to wait 90 days could create their own friction at home, using simple hand cranks, bicycles, political discussions or visits from the in-laws.

Holder: Gays Deserve Equal Treatment from IRS, NSA

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AG Eric Holder said the Justice Dept. will ensure that homosexual couples aren't overlooked by the IRS and NSA.

AG Eric Holder said the Justice Dept. will ensure that homosexuals aren’t overlooked by the IRS and NSA.

(2014-02-10) — Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that from now on the Justice Department will make sure that the federal government treats homosexual couples the same as heterosexuals, ensuring equally-vigorous IRS scrutiny for their political groups, generous NSA eavesdropping on personal communications, and proactive government exclusion of their viewpoints from the public schools.

“I’ve grown concerned recently that gay people are not receiving the kind of attention they should from the federal government,” said Holder. “We don’t know for a fact that government policy excludes gay people, but the seriousness of the allegation is sufficient to merit additional funding and staffing to ensure that both civil rights and civil constraints are equally applicable to all.”

The Attorney General said federal recognition of gay marriages is the keystone in an “equitable-compliance” regimen.

“Once we register gay marriages in our database,” Holder said. “we can make sure that heterosexuals aren’t being favored with more IRS audits, for example. And gay people should also know that the NSA listens to their concerns, as well as to other details of their lives. Your federal government is there for you.”

An unnamed spokesman for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community praised Holder’s “long overdue” statement, noting that without an explicit mandate, government agencies may have inadvertently neglected to give the same level of attention to LGBT persons as it has to people still clinging to what he/she called “legacy sexual identity” (LSI).

“It’s an issue of fairness and compliance,” the spokesman said. “We simply want to ensure that the government doesn’t discriminate in its delivery of comprehensive monitoring and aggressive regulation just because of who you love.”

Christie: Nominate Me or I’ll Shut Down the Internet

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Chris Christie threatens to throttle the internet if denied the GOP presidential nomination

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came out swinging at politicians and pundits who think the trafficgate scandal means “blood in the water” that might end his presidential hopes. Here Christie demonstrates how he’ll “squeeze the internet pipeline like a garden hose” if the RNC denies him the nomination.

(2014-01-09) — As political enemies worked to link New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with a move by his top aides to shut down traffic as political revenge on a small town Democratic mayor, a combative Christie held a news conference today to announce he would be the Republican presidential nominee, or internet users would have to “go back to measuring signal speeds in baud per second.”

“You think it was ugly when a couple of access lanes got closed near the bridge to New York City,” the pugnacious presumptive presidential hopeful snarled, “wait until it takes three hours to post your selfie.”

The allegations that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich got punished with four days of traffic disruptions for his refusal to endorse Christie’s re-election last year appeared to shatter the governor’s reputation as prickly-but-honest — a man above partisan politics.

Within hours of the Bergen Record’s revelation of snarky emails between a Christie staffer and a political appointee, politicians and pundits, smelling blood in the water, lined up at microphones to herald the end of the Christie integrity myth.

“It’s not that people expect better behavior from politicians,” said one unnamed political consultant, “It’s that they can’t stand a hypocrite. That’s why I advise my clients to avoid establishing a track record of plain speaking and honorable behavior. It’s much easier to surprise them with occasional honesty and integrity, than to maintain admirable character over the long haul.”

FCC May Allow In-Flight Phone Calls, Pepper Spray

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Pepper-spray smart phone.

In a major advance for human liberty, the FCC may lift its ban on in-flight cell phone calls, and the prohibition on the in-flight use of pepper spray.

(2013-11-23) — The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said this week that the agency may lift the ban on cell phone usage by passengers during airline flights, as well as the prohibition against the use of pepper-spray.

“There’s no technical reason why you can’t make a phone call during a flight,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, “and, likewise, there’s no reason we should limit your right to enjoy a quiet flight by saying that you can’t use pepper spray on those who choose to make in-flight calls. These two freedoms go hand-in-hand.”

At the Commission’s December meeting, it will consider a proposal to allow passengers to fully complete the digestive process without the inconvenience of leaving their assigned seats.

‘Selfie’ Top Word in 2013, Oxford Drops ‘Dictionary’

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The Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary named ‘selfie’ the 2013 word of the year, while dropping its entry for the word ‘dictionary’ to “free up space for stuff people actually use,” according to the publisher.


(2013-11-19) — The publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary announced today that ‘selfie’ is the 2013 word of the year just hours before announcing that its next edition would not include an entry for the word ‘dictionary’, which has fallen into disuse.

“There’s no point to including a definition of the word ‘dictionary’ at a time when people care neither for precision in spelling nor for accuracy in usage, and when they’re bereft of intellectual curiosity about etymology,” said an unnamed spokesman for Oxford. “We briefly mulled a truncated definition like ‘dictionary: ask your grandparents,’ but so many grandparents still don’t have Twitter accounts.”

The term ‘selfie’ skyrocketed in colloquial usage thanks to ubiquitous cellphone cameras, and to the difficulty of mounting a mirror bracket to one’s skull.

Health Care Website Fails Despite Amish Beta Success

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(2013-10-07) — The failure of the new ObamaCare health insurance exchange website came as “a bolt from the blue” to the IT staff in the Obama administration, especially because the system had been thoroughly beta-tested for nearly a year among the Amish community in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania. HealthCare.gov servers buckled under traffic five times greater than the maximum anticipated volume.

“We were firing on all cylinders during the prototype stage,” said an unnamed IT staffer at HealthCare.gov. “Page-load times were measured in minutes rather than the current hours, and that was after heavy local TV promotion soliciting Amish beta customers.”

The crew that coded Amish.HealthCare.gov said the telephone hotline was “practically silent” turning the trial period, meaning that virtually no problems were reported with the system.

“We thought we were, as NASA says, ‘Go at throttle up.’” the source said. “The fact that people now report they can’t login after dozens of attempts for almost a week is a real mystery to us.”

A White House spokesman said the president is “focused like a laser” on solving the problem.

“We just posted an invitation to our Amish beta-tester forum,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney, “We’re asking for volunteers to fly from Lancaster down to D.C. later today to do a focus group so we can get to the bottom of this.”

Obama Defends NSA Program Tracking Social ‘Selfies’

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One of many billions of selfies in the NSA databaseOfficials say this is one of many billions of ‘selfies’ capture by the NSA’s recently-revealed Homeland Defense Selfie Database. Experts cautioned that Americans shouldn’t draw conclusions from isolated images, nor should people be concerned about violations of their right to privacy, because the government is protecting that.

President Obama today said unspecified terror attacks may have been thwarted by a recently-revealed NSA program to track every photographic self-portrait by Americans shot with a handheld camera phone and uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet.

The existence of the secret NSA-HDSD (Homeland Defense Selfie Database) emerged over the weekend, and the trove is said to contain hundreds of billions of arm’s-length shots, bathroom mirror shots, and even “inadvertent selfies” snapped by people trying to take pictures through car windows.

NSA officials would not comment on the program, nor confirm reports from an unnamed leaker that even ephemeral SnapChat pictures are swept up in its dragnet.

“Terrorists are at their core, narcissists,” Obama said. “They want to make a big name for themselves posthumously, and many of them can’t resist snapping a selfie standing in front of their intended targets…you know, throwing a gang sign or making the classic kissy face or pouty face.”

The White House assured the American public that the program is reviewed every 90 days by a FISA Court judge, and that selfies by innocent non-combatants are “disposed of in a timely manner for the most part.”

Obama: $2B Won’t Kill Every Oil Job, But It’s a Start

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Obama thanks federal researcher for his devotion to killing petroleum jobs

President Obama thanks a federal researcher who’s working to eliminate every last job in the petroleum industry. However, since job-killing research is funded by oil-drilling leases, it’s crucial that the industry keep growing until such jobs are completely eradicated.

President Obama Friday pressed Congress to spend $2 billion on his dream to eliminate hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of jobs in the petroleum industry. However, he acknowledged that federal research on such job-killing will cost much more, and unfortunately, many oil industry workers could remain employed for years to come.

“In a down economy like this,” Obama said, “it’s difficult to get enough funding to kill as many jobs as we would like. But $2 billion is a start, and is sure to move many people out of the filthy petroleum business and onto the government entitlement payroll where they won’t do near as much to contribute to global climate change.”

The president said years of federal funding on job-killing research has “led us to the precipice of a major breakthrough that would rapidly eliminate entire industries that have created America’s embarrassing prosperity.”

An unnamed spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget explained that the president’s plan pays for eliminating jobs in the petroleum industry through federal oil and gas leases on off-shore drilling, “so it’s important that the industry remain vibrant until it’s completely gone.”

Facebook Redesign Mimics Newspaper, Delivered Daily

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that the social site’s new interface will look more like a newspaper, in response to user nostalgia over the papers they no longer subscribe to at home.

“Not only will it look like a newspaper,” said Zuckerberg, “but starting next week, Facebook will be delivered to you once each day.”

The young billionaire predicted that daily Facebook delivery would increase GDP in the U.S. and other nations by up to 11 percent, since the current 24/7 non-stop streaming interface is “an addictive, soul-sapping time-suck that kills worker productivity.”

Zuckerberg said users of the Facebook mobile app — for iDevices and Android — will soon get “the most realistic newspaper experience ever” when the firm rolls out its “virtual ink” version, with type that actually rubs off on your fingers when you swipe the screen.

Facebook to Mimic Newspaper

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said people miss the newspapers they cancelled years ago, so he’s changing the social site’s interface to be more “Victorian.”