"However the disease finally got to her and she fell fatally ill. In the Sick Bay as she breathed her last, she was surrounded by Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Mr. Scott, all weeping unashamedly at the loss of her beautiful youth and youthful beauty, intelligence, capability and all around niceness. Even to this day her birthday is a national holiday of the Enterprise."
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Hey, man. You know tech. You know entrepreneurs. I say put together a business plan for a monitoring service that third parties with gas stations to provide customer-facing monitoring. Build the hardware, bond it with the credit card companies and roll that shit out.
Don't look at it that way. It's an interesting insight into the economics of credit card numbers. I mean, you've probably been hit with one of these at least once. Maybe many times.
Li'l story: I stayed at a really shitty hotel in Flagstaff once. And, on my way out of town, my bank called me to verify whether or not I was actually in Flagstaff as I was gassing up. I said "why yes I am, thanks very much" and got on the bike. It wasn't until I was balancing my Quicken a month later that I discovered some choad had bought a thousand dollars worth of shit in Tokyo, Japan over the four days following that phone call. Important take-aways:
1) Once I'd verified my presence in Flagstaff, my bank's credit protection agency had zero fucks to give about what happened next. They washed their hands of the matter.
2) The gas station has no fiduciary responsibility for those thousand dollars worth of chargebacks in Japan.
3) The establishments up and down the island of Hokkaido have no legal recourse against some random-ass gas station in Flagstaff, Arizona.
4) In order for me to not be responsible for that money (which is possible because of Visa), I had to file a police report... in Culver City, CA, with detectives that were not only utterly powerless to do anything, but utterly, drearily acclimated to the tedious mundanity of this quixotic task.
5) Icing on the cake? My bank is in Anchorage.
The victims here are the Japanese businesses that got taken to the tune of thousands of dollars but have to eat it because their arrangement with Visa is "you get to eat thousands of dollars because we say so." And, I mean, SparkFun cobbled together an app that scans for these things. If Visa (or Chevron, or Exxon, or Amex, or Experian, or...) gave the first fuck, they could deploy six-month-battery sniffers to every gas station in America that sits there and looks for bluetooth, NFC or cellular transmitters that don't move for more than an hour. You could log this shit with off-the-shelf hardware. This ain't American-Embassy-in-Moscow level shit:
- Years ago it took someone with knowledge and skills to build a credit card skimmer. Now criminals are buying these off the shelf with very little knowledge and slapping them together. It’s basic user design theory: when your customer is not so smart make it idiot proof so they don’t contact you for support. The designers of this skimmer were smart, it’s better to make these devices easy to connect to than to add a layer of security. What’s the worst that could happen? The device is detected and removed from the pump. Meanwhile, 10 more have been deployed for a total cost of $100.
I would not be surprised at all to discover that you buy these skimmers the same place you sell the numbers. Purchase a handful, sneak them onto pumps you can get to, harvest the numbers and sell them in bulk. If you can sell credit card numbers for $5 each off a device you bought for $10, you need three of them before you're in the black.
- Note that this record is 113 characters. Let’s say a record is 256 bytes. With 16Mbit of flash storage that’s 2MB or approximately 7,800 credit card records that could be stored on a device. Yikes.
On the units we were given we found on average 24 records per device. This seems low. I’m not sure where these devices were located but one would expect at least 24 credit card users per day. This may indicate the perpetrator was regularly visiting the pumps and harvesting the records on a daily basis.
This is ID theft as Farmville. And it is made possible by our modern credit ecosystem.
I am now officially subscribed to this fantasy.
Speaking as a former acoustical consultant that has worked with both infrasound and ultrasound on a professional level, allow me to admit that I am fucking baffled as to WTF is going on at the Cuban embassy. My efforts to investigate the mechanics of what's going on have been thwarted before they could even begin.
I have no idea what the hell people are talking about. I'm halfway expecting a low-key study to reveal that it was black mold all along and the Cubans let leak something about a "sonic weapon" so it would look like they're cooler than we think, rather than lamer.
Not to say I refuse to believe the Cubans were capable of this. I just am at a total loss to explain what or how they were doing.
- Here's an alternate headline: "New study shows college kids have fragile minds and an ignorance of the Constitution."
Agreed. It's a Brookings study paid for by the Koch brothers. If you click through to the Brookings page you see this:
- I plan to publish a detailed analysis of the results in an academic paper, but given the long time delays associated with academic publishing, and the timeliness of the topic, I believe it is important to get some of the key results out into the public sphere immediately.
"I'd like to get a bunch of scare quotes and talking points out there before anybody has a chance to analyze the data."
Here's an interesting factoid:
- The survey results presented here have been weighted with respect to gender to adjust for the reported 57 percent/43 percent gender split among college students; by contrast, 70 percent (1,040 of the 1,500) of the survey respondents identified as female.
- Of the 1,500 respondents, 697 identified a Democrats, 261 as Republicans, and 431 as Independents. Another 111 respondents stated “Don’t Know” when asked to state their political affiliation.
I reckon we'll see that these weren't study participants who were selected... these were study participants who volunteered to answer.
Note that we have no idea how many questions were asked. We have no idea what data has been discarded. We know they were asked this, though:
- If you had to choose one of the options below, which do you think it is more important for colleges to do?
Option 1: create a positive learning environment for all students by prohibiting certain speech or expression of viewpoints that are offensive or biased against certain groups of people
Option 2: create an open learning environment where students are exposed to all types of speech and viewpoints, even if it means allowing speech that is offensive or biased against certain groups of people?
When were they asked?
- Here is some more detailed information regarding the survey: This web survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at U.S. four-year colleges and universities was conducted between August 17 and August 31, 2017.
So... between four days and two weeks after Charlottesville.
Awright, Brookings - how many sociologically relevant conclusions can you draw about a self-reported web survey about hate speech while we were all collectively condeming the president for not condemning mutherfucking nazis?
This is effectively a Facebook poll dressed up as an academic study, and the Washington Post should know better.
rends shirt, tears hair
Look - Voir dire is a community process. A full jury and a full alternate jury sit during voir dire and they get to hear what's excused and what isn't. Which means if you're standing next to someone who says "I think Martin Shkreli is a douchebag" and then hear "you're excused" you hear
- if I say Martin Shkreli is a douchebag i don't have to sit through a lengthy media trial where I'm not allowed to surf the internet or read the papers or talk about this with my husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/priest/fantasy football league for weeks and weeks and weeks.
Jury duty is a pain in the ass. Jury duty for a week is a royal pain in the ass. Jury duty for six fuckin' weeks? That is a life hardship. OJ's jury was sequestered for 8 months.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say there were four complimentary desires here:
- the defense, that wanted a change of venue
- the prosecution, that wanted the defense to waive a jury trial
- the judge, who wasn't about to grant a change of venue
- the jurors, who were staring down the barrel of a lengthy and public jury trial that wouldn't even garner them enough fame for a book deal
So what we're left with are the 200 lazy excuses of everyone who had a life who got out of the way for the eighteen who didn't.
E. Fuller Torrey makes the point in Surviving Schizophrenia that a schizophrenic in New York without insurance will come out ahead financially if she purchases a first class ticket to Madrid, stays at a 4-star hotel for a week and buys all her meds for the year while she's there instead of buying her drugs in New York.
That's our world.
Ugh that is bullshit.
Use the app. It's mucho better. Although they occasionally have server-side bullshit.
If you look at it with dry eyes, the US involvement in Vietnam created a decades-long "problem" for China, while our involvement in the Middle East created a decades-long "problem" for Europe.
From a "great game" standpoint, kicking over an anthill next to the picnic blankets of the other two world powers is certainly a strategy.
For that matter, everybody letting a half million Muslims spill into Bangladesh is kinda like watching the fire ants run around before India spreads their blanket.