U.S. Terror alert raised after Google DNS outage

Posted by Matthew on Sunday May 8, 2005 @12:32PM

from the trigger-affect dept.

US

Matthew writes: The Department of Homeland Security raised the current threat level to Orange after Google became unavailable for a period of 15 minutes late Saturday afternoon, resulting in nationwide spasm of looting and civil disorder.

“While apparently the result of a mistake in DNS settings, the Google outage underscores how vulnerable some of our national infrastructure remains. Much work is left to be done to secure our communities, homes, and search engines from the terrorist threat.” said DoHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.

“I want to assure everyone that the outage was a simple error, not the result of a security related incident. Please return any merchandise you may have stolen in the last fifteen minutes, try to put out those tire fires, and unload your firearms. Civilization has not ended.”

Voting machines reach new heights of misbehavior

Posted by Michael on Friday October 1, 2004 @04:52PM

from the almost-entirely-true dept.

US

Michael writes: Diebold’s touch-screen voting machines, slated for use in the 2004 election, have been recently criticized for being insecure and for not keeping up with their paperwork, and more recently for being outsmarted by a monkey. Now the machines’ behavior has apparently taken a turn for the worse. According to the Associated Press, Diebold voting machines have been spotted hanging around in bars and on street corners in Maryland, apparently up to no good.

Although the machines are already being investigated for fraud in California, the government of Maryland and the US government have declined to comment on the situation. A State Department spokesman would only say that the machines “are entitled to a fair trial before we judge them.”

EA Sports To Sue A-Rod Over Trade

Posted by Matthew on Friday February 20, 2004 @11:33PM

from the we-have-no-sports dept.

US

Mearzuh writes: In yet another of the frivolous lawsuit attempts that seem to be trendy these days, EA Sports decided to sue baseball superstar Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez.

According to the prosecuting lawyers, the basis of this lawsuit lies on the fact that A-Rod is trading teams by the dozens, making it very hard for companies like EA Games, who profit off of sportsmen like A-Rod, to keep up with the constant changes.

A-Rod went from the Seattle Mariners to the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees within a four year period, and computer art designers who worked on A-Rod’s character in “MVP Baseball 2004” had worked very hard on making him look good in his Texas uniform – before he traded to the Yankees. Now the game must be postponed because the makers need time to switch A-Rod’s uniform again.

“We cannot have players change their teams at will,” said an attorney of EA Sports, “without having them consult the computer gaming industry to advise them of their change.”

Darpa unveils stupid ideas futures market

Posted by Matthew on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:36PM

from the No-futures-here dept.

US

Mathew writes: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the pentagon think tank that came up with the Internet and the smart part of smart bombs, has unveiled a new futures market designed to detect which of its projects might be so politically incorrect that their exposure would cause damage to the agency.

Adm. John Poindexter explains: “Basically, we’ve put up a website where we detail each of our projects in detail. Then, interested parties from the media, politicians, policy experts, and crackpots can purchase shares of each idea, buying if they like the idea and selling if they don’t. Then, we simply stop budgeting the ideas that crash in the futures market, and fund the ones that do well.”

Bush administration denies Santa U.S. over flight clearance

Posted by Matthew on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:09PM

from the high-insecurity dept.

US

Matthew writes: White house spokesman Ari Fliescher has indicated that the administration will not approve Santa Claus’s request for unrestricted over flight of the United States on December 25th.

“This is not a happy day for us, or anyone else. Unfortunately, Mr. Claus has not provided the required documentation required by newly enacted security protocols for over flight. Also, he has indicated that he will be visiting countries on the state supported terrorism list. We know that Mr. Claus wouldn’t knowingly attack the United States, but there are numerous problems with his current application.”

“We don’t have clearances and identity information for the Elves, and they’ve refused to be interviewed outside the North Pole. We know that some of the reindeer were born in countries in the former Eastern Bloc. North Korea shares a word with North Pole. The President has decided that it’s just too risky for the American people, and requiring parents to purchase presents might be just the economic stimulus we need.”

Immigrants enter US using Microsoft Passports

Posted by Michael on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:48AM

from the are-Honda-Passports-next? dept.

US

Michael writes: The US Immigration Department reported yesterday that it had apprehended several men who entered the United States illegally by using Microsoft .NET Passports. While the details are not clear, border guards apparently thought the passports appeared legitimate. “Microsoft will issue these passports to just about anyone,” said an Immigration official, “and we want to make it clear that they are not valid international passports.”

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer says the company is shocked that this could happen. “While .NET Passports provide single sign-in and express purchasing in a secure and private way, they are not intended to allow entrance into any territory,” said Ballmer. “But we’d be happy to discuss this with the US Government as a future option.”

FBI to relax Cyber Crimes Unit hiring guidelines

Posted by Matthew on Tuesday September 3, 2002 @09:30PM

from the unknown dept.

US

Matthew writes: After hiring the Gartner Group to help determine why the FBI is unable to attract significant talent to their cyber crimes unit, a clear picture of the problem has emerged: No geeks actually meet FBI hiring criteria. Not one. Anywhere.
This internal memo, obtained by exclusive anonymous SlashNOT sources, summarizes Gartner’s analysis and proposes changes that would be required to attract qualified candidates:

Current RequirementProposed Requirement
Weight limit of 5kg/cm of heightcan get to work in a private vehicle
Marijuana usage of less than 15 times totalwill adhere to indoor smoking regulations
Hair no longer than 1″ above collarHair no longer than 1″ above floor
Ability to carry M16 through obstacle courseAbility to carry 64oz Beverage through Pentagon
Ability to pass physical fitness testAbility to complete Quake III Arena
5 years minimum field workaccompany field agent on drive-a-geek-around day
No Felony convictionsat least one felony conviction
Four year accredited degreeRead four O’Reilly titles
The FBI has not directly commented on the proposed requirements.

Congress to stem Greenhouses

Posted by Matthew on Friday August 23, 2002 @05:57PM

from the unknown dept.

US

Submission by Cpt. Tako

The NYTimes (free registration, blah blah blah) is reporting that Congress has finally passed legislation to limit greenhouses. “We realized we were never going to stem the tide of greenhouse gasses
unless we stemmed the tide of greenhouses themselves. We’re now working to
encourage our major trading partners to reduce the number of greenhouses
they build, and also to look for other tides to stem.”