The Conversation

Technology

On second thought, maybe HealthCare.gov IS at risk from Heartbleed

Apr 19, 2014 10:21 AM PT

It seems like only yesterday that the federal government assured us that none of its big public websites - and especially not HealthCare.gov, the ObamaCare exchange site - were at risk from the Heartbleed security flaw, which can allow hackers to steal passwords and personal data.  

Actually, those assurances came last Friday, April 11, in the form of a blog post from the Department of Homeland Security.  "The government's core citizen-facing websites are not exposed to risks from this cybersecurity threat," we were assured by DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center director Larry Zelvin, as quoted at Nextgov.

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Crime

Mohammed Pedro Whitaker ID'd As KC Highway Shooter

Apr 19, 2014 8:38 AM PT

Authorities have identified the suspect in a string of random Kansas City area highway shootings that occurred between March 18 and April 6, as 27 year old Mohammed Pedro Whitaker. He's been charged with 18 felony counts and is being held under $1 million cash bond.

Whitaker lived in Grandview, which is just south of Kansas City, Mo. and  is a 2004 graduate of Moberly High School. He worked at a medical supply company in Overland Park, Kansas but was on administrative at the time of his arrest.

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Entertainment

Hank Aaron Cleans Up 'KKK' Mess - Let's Take His Word For It

Apr 19, 2014 7:18 AM PT

I grew up in Milwaukee. I saw Hank Aaron play for the Milwaukee Brewers at the old County Stadium. It was a huge honor to have Hammerin' Hank play for us and  I ate more O'Henry candy bars than any kid alive. As bad as my memory is, one thing I will never forget is watching Aaron beat Babe Ruth's home run record on TV.

My God, what a moment.

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Entertainment

The grand-daddy of killer A.I.

Apr 18, 2014 11:18 AM PT

Screen Rant marks the release of the Johnny Depp film "Transcendence" (which, alas, has "stinker" written all over it) with a fine list of killer artificial intelligence from previous movies.  This is a subject dear to my heart, because I'm a lifelong science fiction fan, and also because I've said a number of unkind things to my computer over the years in moments of frustration, and they're really gonna come back to haunt me if A.I. takes over the world.

However, I have to blow the whistle on one tragic exclusion from Screen Rant's Top 10 Killer A.I. list.  Why no love for "Colossus: The Forbin Project" - arguably the original cinematic incarnation of the world-beating intelligent computer?  There were some ornery robots who came before Colossus, but it was really the first one that had ambitions to conquer and/or liquidate all of mankind.  I won't spoil the movie by telling you whether or not it succeeds.  It's well worth watching today, if you can find it, not least for the nostalgia value of seeing what the production designers of 1970 thought an intelligent supercomputer would look like.

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Energy

'Ride Along' Bluray Review: Crushing Disappointment

Apr 18, 2014 11:15 AM PT

Because actors sexually-debasing themselves in nihilistic plotlines is not my idea of funny, I tend to stay as far away as possible from the modern-day Hollywood comedy. Every once in a while something like the first "Hangover" will come along and delight me. But why waste two hours for a few chuckles when a 22-minute "Seinfeld" rerun is guaranteed to put you on the floor?

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Technology

Another Heartbleed attack

Apr 18, 2014 11:00 AM PT

Forbes mentions the Canadian incident in which the Heartbleed online security flaw was employed to loot taxpayer data from the Canadian Revenue Agency, which I wrote about earlier this week, but then adds another confirmed attack on UK parenting website Mumsnet... and this one's even more alarming, because it involved the worst-case Heartbleed scenario, in which a hacker stole the passwords needed to gain administrative access to the entire site:

Another victim of Heartbleed also announced to it’s users that it had been attacked, Mumsnet. The e-mail to users stated “On Thursday 10 April we at Mumsnet HQ became aware of the bug and immediately ran tests to see if the Mumsnet servers were vulnerable. As soon as it became apparent that we were, we applied the fix to close the OpenSSL security hole… However, it seems that users’ data was accessed prior to our applying this fix”. Mumsnet posted an article outlining how the attacker was able to log in as the founder of Mumsnet, Justine Roberts after using Heartbleed to steal her username and password. This demonstrates practically how Heartbleed could cause damage after many of the debates between experts last week.

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Crime

Father Will Burn In Hell After Killing Infant Son

Apr 18, 2014 7:47 AM PT

This story is truly upsetting.

Some  F*&king idiot in Florida suffocated his crying infant son, so that he could play is XBOX.

The father covered the infant's nose and mouth for a few minutes, thinking that it would calm the baby down. Umm yeah, it sure did. The idiot apparently tucked the "lethargic" baby into bed, and he then proceeded to play his video games and watch several episodes of the show "Fringe."

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General

Senate Democrat Backs Marco Rubio's VA Reform Bill, Unions Won't Be Too Happy

Apr 18, 2014 7:36 AM PT

Senator Marco Rubio recently filed his VA Management Accountability Act calls for the Veteran's Administration to provide more "accountability for itself after reports have surfaced about the department’s backlog of disability benefits, and the growing toll of 31 preventable veteran deaths at VA medical facilities around the country, including the hospital in Miami, Florida."

Liberal Democrat Senator and "Big Amigo" to President Obama, broke his silence on the bill by giving  a definitive "Yes" answer when we asked him directly if he would be supporting Rubio's VA reform bill.

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Crime

KC Highway Shootings Suspect In Custody (Video)

Apr 17, 2014 9:05 PM PT

Kansas City commuters are breathing a sigh of relief, tonight. A suspect in the random highway shootings that have put city residents on edge for the past few weeks, is in custody. 

There have been at least 20 random highway shootings across the Kansas City metro since early March. Three people were hit by the gunfire, but no one was killed.

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