With the full-scale rollout of Japan’s cigarette vending machine age-verification system just around the corner, a Sankei Sports news reporter has confirmed the existence of a minor flaw: magazine photos can be used to fool the age-verification cameras on some machines.
When the reporter went to check out the new age-verifying machines after they were introduced in the Osaka area in June, he soon discovered that the machines equipped with face-recognition cameras would let him buy cigarettes when he held up a 15-centimeter (6-in) wide magazine photo of a man who looked to be in his 50s.
Two Hawaii 18-year-olds claim a Navy recruiting officer promised them they would be able to get a free, four-year college education before going off to sea. But Cory Miyasato and Joseph Mauga Jr. soon found out they would be going off to boot camp and then full-time active duty, scrubbing and painting ships.
“The full-ride scholarship really interested me,” said Miyasato, an honor student. “I am a very trusting person. I thought the U.S. government would be truthful to me.”
An honor student, and believing the U.S. government would be truthful to him.
Wow. Just, wow.
An eight-year-old boy has sparked an unlikely outcry in Sweden after failing to invite two of his classmates to his birthday party.
The boy’s school says he has violated the children’s rights and has complained to the Swedish Parliament.
The school, in Lund, southern Sweden, argues that if invitations are handed out on school premises then it must ensure there is no discrimination.
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have rejected findings from U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran has halted a clandestine effort to build a nuclear bomb and “do not want to leave Iran in place with a nuclear program,” Hersh said.
“They believe that their mission is to make sure that before they get out of office next year, either Iran is attacked or it stops its weapons program,” Hersh said.
And since evidence for the “stops its weapons program” option is rejected outright, that leaves….
it all sounds so familiar… wasn’t there some other country that started with “ir” or “ira” that didn’t have any WMD either? Whatever happened to that?
WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?
MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.
I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices is compounded by the fact that he is clueless about what to do about it.
he Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) appears to have launched an initiative against comments on Internet sites that are critical of the multicultural society. The OM is among other things focusing on the popular website GeenStijl.nl.
GeenStijl received a written request this week to report to a police station in Amsterdam, without further information on what it was about. GeenStijl’s editors reported they were told that 14 comments on its website were punishable offences. These were contributions from visitors to the site in 2006.
GeenStijl is astonished at the move. It says it is actually very active in removing unacceptable comments. GeenStijl has three staff members for this. The site says its archives contain 11 million comments. If 14 reactions are inadmissible, this is a margin of error of 0.00001 percent, according to the site.
GeenStijl is challenging the OM to prosecute it. The site writes: “You bunch of amateurs, go and be deeply ashamed and then go and catch real crooks, instead of creating a climate in which webloggers and cartoonists are declared outlaws. As far as we are concerned, bring this case before the judge, be sure that you will lose it.”
Those of you that watch The Colbert Report are aware of the John McCain Green Screen Challenge. McCain gave a speech that even Fox commentators felt boring, so Stephen Colbert kindly offered his help. Senator McCain was good enough to have his speech in front of a green backdrop, making it perfect to spice up using chroma key. The show has made available the raw materials for download, so if you’re handy with video editing, you can replace the green screen behind McCain with something more exciting (links below). Here are some of the better ones.
Fifty artists who recorded Prince covers in honor of His Purpleness’ 50th birthday June 7 have been slapped with a lawsuit by the short-tempered star. His lawyers now demand that all copies of the tribute be destroyed. Shockadelica had reached No. 8 on Norway’s album charts and received several popular reviews by the Norwegian press.
It’s perfectly legal to record and sell cover songs of someone else’s material, so long as you pay the compulsory licensing fee of about 10 cents per song. To sell their five-disc set of 81 Prince cover songs, they would have to remit around $8 per unit sold to Prince, under a compulsory mechanical license.
Norway’s C C Records distributed 5,000 of the box sets starting earlier this month, plus digital versions, and claim that no one made any money from the project. As a result, they didn’t think they owed Prince anything except maybe a free copy.
C C Records owner and Prince fan Christer Falck contacted the Purple One’s people to try to send one to Prince, and that’s when the trouble began, according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (re-reported in Daily Swarm), one of many publications to post positive reviews of the collection.
For now, all 81 songs can be previewed free on C C Records’ website, and some are also available on MySpace in streamable medley form.
When this giveaway first began, there were 5,000 copies of the compilation in circulation. Thanks to Prince’s lawsuit and the publicity it will generate, we expect that number to balloon significantly in the coming weeks.
The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information — like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits — about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The potential agreement, as outlined in an internal report obtained by The New York Times, would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials, who have clashed with the European Union over demands for personal data. Europe generally has more stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer such information.
Negotiators, who have been meeting since February 2007, have largely agreed on draft language for 12 major issues central to a “binding international agreement,” the report said. The pact would make clear that it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice versa.
But the two sides are still at odds on several other matters, including whether European citizens should be able to sue the United States government over its handling of their personal data, the report said.
So now the US can engage in industrial espionage without having to worry about being sued for it, and my own government gives away data to be sold to the highest bidder and doesn’t get anything in return for it.
When can we start executing politicians for this immense disservice to the people who voted for them?
For example, the two sides have agreed that information that reveals race, religion, political opinion, health or “sexual life” may not be used by a government “unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards.” But the accord does not spell out what would be considered an appropriate safeguard, suggesting that each government may decide for itself whether it is complying with the rule.
In other words, they can do whatever the fuck they want with the data. And they know it, or they wouldn’t keep it a secret like this:
The Bush administration and the European Commission have not publicized their talks, but they referred to their progress in a little-noticed paragraph deep in a joint statement after a summit meeting between President Bush and European leaders in Slovenia this month.
Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have named themselves as co-sponsors of S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage “shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.”
Now here’s a good question for you: before you click the link above, make a guess which two Senators….
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who was arrested June 11, 2007 on charges of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport terminal, is co-sponsoring the amendment along with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). In July of 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of a prostitution firm owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, commonly known as The DC Madam.
If you want their pictures, you’ll find them in the dictionary, next to the definition of “hypocrisy”.
if your cell phone’s web browser is called “Browser”, then I guarantee you it sucks.
De 27-jarige S. Robinson uit Ede is veroordeeld tot twee jaar cel. Robinson deed zich voor als modellenscout en kreeg minderjarige meisjes zo ver om “ontuchtige handelingen” te verrichten voor de webcam. Ook heeft hij seks gehad met enkele van hen gehad.
Diezelfde dag, voor dezelfde rechtbank:
De rechtbank in Arnhem heeft een 45-jarige ex-politieagent uit Bennekom vrijdag een werkstraf van 200 uur opgelegd voor verkrachting van een 14-jarig meisje in de zomer van 2006. De straf is gelijk aan de eis van de officier van justitie.
Brussels bureaucrats have stopped a grocer from selling a batch of kiwi fruits – because EU rules say they are a millimetre too small.
Market trader Tim Down must now pay £100 to dump the 5,000 perfectly edible fruits which have failed size and weight standards brought in under European regulations.
Government inspectors also warned Mr Down, 53, from Bristol, that he faces a £5,000 fine if he tries to give them away.
UKIP’s Nigel Farage said: “This is the sort of insane regulation that does the EU immense harm.”
No shit, sherlock. How about we take a cucumber, and shove it up these eurocrats’ ass?
But we’ll have to make sure it’s a proper cucumber first, right?
EU regulations just for cucumbers are bizarrely complete. They can be studied on the EU’s website which warns, “This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.”
Class I fruit must be nigh on perfect, but the good news about Class II is that “straight and slightly crooked cucumbers” may have minor blemishes (as listed), but the bad news is that “crooked cucumbers are allowed only if they have no more than slight defects in colouring and have no defects or deformation other than crookedness. Slightly crooked cucumbers may have a maximum height of the arc of 20 mm per 10 cm of length of the cucumber. Crooked cucumbers may have a greater arc and must be packed separately.”
So the next time you see a cucumber that is both crooked AND has an unsightly blemish, you may want to call the police, or as I suspect, you will decide for yourself whether or not to buy it.
And the politicians wonder why we’re skeptical about the so-called European Constitution….
Three out of four Americans, including large numbers of Republicans, blame President Bush’s economic policies for making the country worse off during the last eight years, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released Wednesday, reflecting a sharp increase in public pessimism during the last year.
Nine percent of respondents said the country’s economic condition had improved since Bush became president, compared with 75% who said conditions had worsened. Among Republicans, 42% said the country was worse off, while 26% said it was about the same, and 22% thought economic conditions had improved.
And yet between 45 and 50% will vote for McCain, for a continuation of these policies. With minimum overlap, that would mean that 25-30% of the voters think continuing the economic decline is a great idea.
Who are these fucking morons?
But the increase in child protection measures is so great it is “poisoning” relationships between the generations, according to respected sociologist Professor Frank Furedi.
In a report for think tank Civitas, he said the use of criminal records bureau checks to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults has created an atmosphere of suspicion.
Professor Furedi said most adults now think twice before telling off children who were misbehaving, or helping children in distress for fear of the consequences.
He said that the need for the checks had transformed parents “in the regulatory and public imagination into potential child abusers, barred from any contact with children until the database gives them the green light”.
He said: “When parents feel in need of official reassurance that other parents have passed the paedophile test before they even start on the pleasantries, something has gone badly wrong in our communities.
CONYERS: Could the President order a suspect buried alive?
YOO: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I’ve ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive…
CONYERS: I didn’t ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked if you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.
YOO: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don’t think a President — no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.
CONYERS: I think we understand the games that are being played.
Indeed. Deny, avoid, stall, delay.
Five years after the hit film that endeared the clownfish to audiences the world over, Nemo is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
The lovable tropical species, immortalized in the smash Pixar movie Finding Nemo, is facing extinction in many parts of the world because of soaring demand from the pet trade, according to marine biologists.
When the Supreme Court issued its recent Guantanamo ruling, hysteria overcame some administration supporters. “One of the worst decisions in the history of the country,” declared Senator John McCain. Americans will “almost certainly” die as prisoners “return to the kill,” wrote a furious Justice Antonin Scalia.
Frightened they surely are, for they have redeployed the “weapons-of-mass-destruction” marketing team. This time we are told that 30 former Guantanamo prisoners have “returned to the fight.” (If that is true, why did President Bush release them? No judge released them. But let that pass.)
It is a serious allegation, so the lawyers looked into it. It turns out that clients of our firm, who were sent to Albania in 2006, were two of the 30. What fight had they returned to? Abu Bakker Qassim had published an op-ed in The New York Times. Adel Abdul Hakim had given an interview. These press statements were deemed hostile by the Department of Defense.
Surely the Pentagon was joking? They weren’t.
So I can’t speak for the other 28, if indeed there are another 28, but for the two men I do know about, giving hostile interviews constituted “returning to the fight.”
DEREK STOFFEL, CBC HOST: Mr. Willett, what’s your client’s reaction to this ruling? (the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that detainees held at Guantánamo Bay have the right to habeas corpus and can thus challenge their detention in civilian courts.)
SABIN WILLETT (PARHAT’S LAWYER): Boy what a great question that is because my client doesn’t know about this ruling because I’m not allowed to tell him. He’s sitting in solitary confinement today. He has no idea what’s happened as far as I know.
I used to think of us Americans, Mr. Chairman, as broad-shouldered, able to admit mistakes and put them right, but my government thinks we are a small people, so panicked by real enemies that we lock up imaginary ones. Forever.
When did we become such a small people?
Testimony of Sabin Willett about his client, a Uighur prisoner in his 7th year at Guantanamo who has never been charged with anything, never will be and, in fact, has been cleared for release for years.
”Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States,”
– Dick Cheney, October 1986.
A rifle club located inside a Scarborough community centre and a gun club at Union Station will now have to find a space to lease on private property in order to operate. Toronto Mayor David Miller said he supports the plan because of recent crimes that were committed using stolen legal guns.
“In a day when you can’t bring a large tube of toothpaste on a plane how can you allow guns to wander through Union Station, the biggest transit hub in Canada?” he asked his colleagues on city council.
Allow me to steal some remarks from Bruce Schneier’s weblog:
“We can allow guns to wander in Union Station only if they are less than three ounces.”
“In a day when a gun club can share space with the biggest transit hub in Canada and no one gets killed from it, how come I can’t bring a large tube of toothpaste on an airplane?”
“Under Miller’s premise, that anything more dangerous than toothpaste shouldn’t be allowed in a public area like a transit hub, can we expect to ban cups of hot coffee (scalding, slip-and-fall), ballpoint pens (pointy), bottles of cologne (flammable aerosol), and cigarette lighters (flammable liquid)?”
“It’s revealing that Barack Obama has now been forced to expand the states on his map because he’s so weak in traditional Democratic targets such as West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida, not to mention his ongoing problems in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Looks like McCain has inherited the Bubble that W. lives in… Let’s see – McCain is doing badly in the polss in traditional R states like Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Main, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Florida is he’s polling pretty much tied.
While Obama currently leads McCain in six Bush states — NM, CO, IA, IN, OH, ad VA, McCain doesn’t lead Obama in a single Kerry state.
Sonny Landham carved out a tough-guy reputation in a series of big-screen roles, from roughing up Sylvester Stallone to getting tossed out a window by Carl Weathers. He pulls no punches in his newest role: Libertarian challenger to a man known for political toughness, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Now 67 and living in northeastern Kentucky, the man who played Billy Bear in “48 Hours” and was killed by an alien in “Predator” admits his action-movie days are behind him. “I think I’m having wild action when I take two aspirin with my hot chocolate at night,” he quipped.
Don’t laugh too hard: both Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura were in Predator as well…