First time accepted submitter georgeaperkins writes "A man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own premium-rate phone number. So far he's made £300 profit following a £10+VAT initial investment. The premium rate regulator has 'strongly discouraged' the practice, as it violates the code of practice. Nevertheless, the novel idea is sure to resonate with everyone worn down by mindless cold calling!"
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An anonymous reader writes "Eddie Castillo is the first American to successfully have his government-issued photo identification taken while wearing a colander, though DPS officials are reportedly planning to follow up with Castillo in order to 'rectify' the situation. Others have tried unsuccessfully, and Castillo told KLBK that he was surprised at his victory, which he called a 'political and religious milestone for all atheists everywhere.'" Two years ago Niko Alm won the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head although Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive.
hypnosec writes "The Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) has been updated today to include some of the widely used tech words like Bitcoin, BYOD, Phablet, Selfie, and Twerking among others. Some of the other common tech words which have found a place in the dictionary are 'click and connect', 'digital detox', 'FOMO', 'geek chic', 'hackerspace', 'Internet of Things', 'MOOC', 'selfie', and 'TL;DR'."
dryriver writes "People fantasizing about a Beatles comeback tour might yet see their dream come true, all thanks to Dr. Michael Zuk. This dentist is the proud owner of one of John Lennon's teeth, and hopes to use it to clone the musician. By the looks of it, Dr. Michael Zuk came in possession of the tooth in 2011. At that time, he purchased the molar at an auction organized in the United Kingdom, and paid about $30,000 (€22,424) for it. According to The Inquisitr, the dentist is now working alongside scientists in the United States, who are helping him figure out a way to extract DNA from the tooth without damaging it in the process. This DNA would serve to bring back John Lennon. Apparently, Dr. Michael Zuk hopes that his project will snowball into a scientific and pop-cultural revolution. 'To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing. I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope,' the dentist reportedly commented on the importance of his work."
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon's just created a new web page where they're officially acknowledging fake reviews posted by their customers — and they've even selected their own favorites . ('I was very disappointed to have my uranium confiscated at the airport. It was a gift for my son for his birthday. Also, I'm in prison now, so that's not good either...') On the front page of Amazon, in big orange letters, Amazon posted 'You guys are really funny.'And then — next to a funny picture of a rubber horse head mask — Amazon's linked to a list of some of the very best satirical reviews their customers have submitted over the years, noting fondly that 'occasionally customer creativity goes off the charts in the best possible way...'"
coolnumbr12 tipped us to a tale of a contest gone wrong at LG's G2 release event. Quoting El Reg: "The PR boffins at LG decided it would be a good idea to release 100 helium-filled balloons, each carrying a voucher entitling the recipient to claim their 950,000 won ($852.54) smartphone. It then took to social media to promote the event, inviting people to witness the balloons' release and encouraging them to grab one of the vouchers. But what must have sounded like a good idea in the marketing meeting quickly dissolved into chaos. People aren’t stupid. They figured out that the only way to get the voucher was to burst the balloons, and they showed up equipped to do so with BB guns, knives on sticks, and other tools." In the ensuing carnage, 20 people were injured. Whoops.
fangmcgee writes "The end may not be nigh, but with vicious storms, severe flooding, and rising temperatures becoming the new normal, the apocalypse might be closer than we think. In the case of a cataclysmic event that could displace thousands, if not millions, of people, the availability of emergency shelter becomes a pressing concern. Here are 10 'wearable shelters' that serve as protective all-weather garments in the day and insulating dwellings at night."
NobleSavage writes "We all knew it was just a matter of time. With the rush to put more and more appliances on-line Japanese toilet-maker Satis, one of Japan's largest commode companies, has finally networked the toilet. Just as you would have predicted, the information security company Trustwave Holdings has published an advisory regarding Satis-brand toilets. According to Trustwave, every Satis toilet has the same hard-coded Bluetooth PIN, which means any person using the 'My Satis' [Android] application can control any Satis toilet."
Zothecula writes "With some help from a robotic fish, scientists have discovered that zebrafish are much like humans in at least one way – they get reckless when they get drunk. OK, 'drunk' might not be technically accurate, but when exposed to alcohol, the fish show no fear of a robotic version of one of their natural predators, the Indian leaf fish. When they're "sober," they avoid the thing like crazy. The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies."
laejoh writes "An aeroplane enthusiast has taken his obsession a step further than most after using his son's bedroom to build a Boeing 737 flight simulator that exactly mimics the real thing. Laurent Aigon, 40, from Lacanau in France, has spent the last five years collecting and buying components from around the world with best friend and fellow enthusiast (obviously) Jean-Paul Dupuy. The pair spent thousands of euros on internet orders for bits and pieces to construct the simulator – which is so realistic that the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport asked him to give a lecture on his achievement. Mr Aigon has since schooled himself in all the procedures for take off and landing and says he is able to fly his 'plane' just like a real-life pilot."
Okian Warrior writes in about a package of heroin that found its way to the door of Brian Krebs. "'Fans' of [security researcher Brian Krebs] have shown their affection in some curious ways. One called in a phony hostage situation that resulted in a dozen heavily armed police surrounding my home. Another opened a $20,000 new line of credit in my name. Others sent more than $1,000 in bogus PayPal donations from hacked accounts. Still more admirers paid my cable bill for the next three years using stolen credit cards. Malware authors have even used my name and likeness to peddle their wares. But the most recent attempt to embarrass and fluster this author easily takes the cake as the most elaborate: Earlier this month, the administrator of an exclusive cybercrime forum hatched and executed a plan to purchase heroin, have it mailed to my home, and then spoof a phone call from one of my neighbors alerting the local police. Thankfully, I had already established a presence on his forum and was able to monitor the scam in real time and alert my local police well in advance of the delivery."
hackingbear writes "BBC reports that India's army spent six months watching 'Chinese spy drones' violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus. Between last August and February, Indian troops had already documented 329 sightings of unidentified objects over a lake in the border region next to China. India accused the objects being Chinese spy drones. The incident even escalated to a military build-up and a stand-off at border between the two countries. Residents of the solar system are glad that India does not possess the capability to shoot down such high altitude objects."
NF6X writes "CBS station KPIX reports that somebody has been installing counterfeit traffic signs on California bay area freeways, warning motorists of drone-based speed enforcement. They are professionally-made reflective metal signs of comparable style and quality to official traffic signs, and in some cases are even mounted with tamper-resistant hardware. The signs show the familiar silhouette of an MQ-1 Predator drone launching a weapon. According to KPIX, California Highway Patrol denies that they operate any drones, and states that the signs are fake."
itwbennett writes "Baltimore this week became the first city to hop on the open data bandwagon with the launch of the Baltimore Decoded website. The site makes the city's charter and codes more accessible to the public and will eventually include information on court decisions, legislative tracking and city technical standards (e.g., building regulations, zoning restrictions, fire codes). The site also offers a RESTful, JSON-based API for accessing the data. ITworld's Phil Johnson dug in and found these lesser-known Baltimore codes: You can't hold more than 1 yard sale every 6 months, you can't tie a horse to a tree, and you can't have fruit on a wharf. What you do with this information is up to you."
solareagle writes "Pennsylvania resident Chris Reynolds got quite a shock when he opened his most recent PayPal statement — it said he had a $92,233,720,368,547,800 balance in his account. 'I'm just feeling like a million bucks,' Reynolds told the [Philadelphia] Daily News yesterday. 'At first I thought that I owed quadrillions. It was quite a big surprise.' When asked what he would do with the money, he said, 'I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price.' The Daily News speculates that the astronomical balance may be related to PayPal's new Galactic initiative, announced last month, to expand its business beyond Earth." He should have quickly minted a new coin.
pacopico writes "A former Ford executive has taken his unique brand of factory training to the public. According to Businessweek, Hossein Nivi has set up a new company called Pendaran that forces people to endure a week-long, manic training simulation that's meant to produce safer, better workers. The participants — lots of people from the tech and military fields — get yelled at by actors while they try to assemble things like golf carts and airplanes in a simulation that mixes virtual tasks on computers with real world tasks. After their spirits get broken, the workers actually start functioning as a well-oiled team. It sounds both awesome and bizarre."
sciencehabit writes "The newest source of battery power for your cell phone is both cheap and abundant. Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not quite portable enough to come in handy during a marathon pub crawl. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team's waste-fueled EcoBot. And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call."
garymortimer writes "German tabloid newspaper The Bild has unearthed new video from a herons eye view of a 2010 taxi accident in Afghanistan. According to Bild a junior officer put the Heron into auto start and then was unable to stop it. The incident occurred at Mazar-i-Sharif on Mar. 17, 2010 Watch the ground crew get out of the way quick!"
coolnumbr12 writes "Chris Sevier, a 36-year-old man from Tennessee, got so addicted to porn videos that his wife took his children and left him. Now he has sued Apple saying the company failed to install any filter in its devices to prevent his addiction. In a 50-page complaint, Sevier calls Apple a 'silent poisoner' responsible for the proliferation of 'arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives.' Sevier is seeking damages from Apple, but said he we will drop the lawsuit if Apple agrees to sell devices with a 'safe mode.'"
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "Stanley Coren reports that a number of new television stations are providing programming specifically designed for dogs and while many people report that their dogs completely ignore what is visible on television, with modern resolution and quicker imaging, more dogs have become potential television viewers. The increase in dog viewership is primarily attributed to the way the dog's eye works. The image on a standard television screen is updated 60 times per second and since a human's flicker fusion frequency is only 55 Hz, the image appears continuous and the gradually changing images give us the illusion of movement. However dogs can discern flickers at up to 80 Hz so with the increased availability of high-resolution digital screens that are refreshed at a much higher rate, the images are less likely to appear to be flickering to the canine eye. Presentation factors are also an issue. Dogs are most likely to respond to images that have been captured at the eye level of a dog with a low camera angle where there are moving things like animals or birds. But even if that requirement is fulfilled, most dogs do not watch television because the TV is normally placed at a comfortable eye level for human beings and dogs do tend not to scan upward, and therefore do not notice the TV images. All of which brings us to DogTV, the first cable network to deliver 24-hour programming for dogs that lets you flip on the channel while you go out for the day as your pet is stimulated, entertained and relaxed. 'If the dog wasn't enjoying it, he would find something else to do, like nibble on the end of a sofa,' says veterinarian Ann E. Hohenhaus."