Monday, March 8, 2021

Not everyone pays the most attention to AM radio

To some, talk is talk and fuzzy signals are exactly that. Still, it’d be odd if the same broadcast looped continuously for eight years without anyone noticing, but it’s not impossible. As it turns out, that very scenario took place up until recently in Washington D.C. where an AM radio station had been broadcasting the same traffic report since 2013, and nobody seems to know why. A security researcher and chair of computer science and law at Georgetown University pointed out on his twitter that in certain parts of D.C., people could tune-in to 1650 kHz and be greeted by a looped recording. The message, which read off the call sign WQOQ613 and warned listeners to avoid the 14th Street bridges, had been repeating since at least January 21, 2013, the day of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. But that was more than eight years ago. After notifying the FCC, the hunt began because the location of the transmitter wasn’t documented. A team set off with a Radio Direction Finder (RDF), a device with a unidirectional antenna meant to help find the source of a radio signal, and began the hunt and by the following afternoon, the signal finally stopped broadcasting across the D.C. airwaves. (The Drive)


Florida man speeds at 100 mph, told officers he had “business” at the Ritz-Carlton

A 24-year-old Florida man was arrested after speeding through a crash site and telling officers he did so because he had “business” at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Police officers were handling the site of a serious crash on Tamiami Trail, which resulted in a power line coming down. Suddenly, a BMW traveling 100 mph in a 45 mph zone appeared and sped around a barricade of cones and a marked patrol car with emergency lights activated. Authorities were able to catch up to the car and pulled it over. Officers found the driver with a baggie of white powder in plain sight, which later tested positive for cocaine. Officers noted he was only wearing an undershirt, boxer-briefs, and one sock. He was placed in a patrol vehicle and had trouble responding to officers. He would also grunt sexual noises when officers would walk by him. While reading the man his Miranda Rights, he became sarcastic with authorities and saying “this is how we’re doing this?” When the officer asked him if he understood what was going on, the man remained silent for 17 seconds until the officer asked him if he had any questions. The man sarcastically responded, “I thought you wanted me to remain silent.” He then told the officer he wanted to speak with a female officer. The officer questioned further about why he was speeding, the man told the officer he was leaving his house to go to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and said he had “business to do.” The man was later taken to the Sarasota County Jail. The driver was arrested and faces multiple charges of aggravated assault on an officer, possession of cocaine; drug equipment possession, and DUI. (Orlando Sentinel)


The U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

The number could signal an employment rebound after 306,000 jobs were lost in December and 166,000 were created in January. The vast majority of the jobs created last month are in the leisure and hospitality sectors after businesses reopened their doors following a slowdown in the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases. The unemployment rate is now at 6.2%, down from 6.3% in January. By the end of last month, there were 8.5 million fewer people holding jobs than a year ago. According to the Census Bureau, around 10 million mothers of school-age children were not actively working in January, 1.4 million more than a year ago. (United States Bureau Of Labor Statistics)


US era FedEx will renew its entire fleet with electric vehicles

US cargo and logistics giant FedEx aims to be “carbon neutral” by 2040. The delivery giant, which plans to focus on issues such as sustainable energy and carbon zeroing in the upcoming period, will also renew its fleet with electric vehicles. The company announced that it will invest Two Billion Dollars in the first place. According to the announcement made under the plan to renew the entire fleet with electric vehicles, all FedEx vehicles will be 100 percent electric by 2040. This seems like a very long-term plan, but it is not easy to convert tens of thousands of vehicles to electric in the short term. Because according to 2020 data, FedEx has nearly 80 thousand vehicles in its fleet. According to the company’s statement, the transition to electricity will be a gradual process. For example, by 2025, 50 percent of FedEx Express global vehicle purchases will consist of electric vehicles. In 5 years, that is, in 2030, all newly purchased vehicles will be electrified. In this process, expired internal combustion engine vehicles will also be replaced with zero-emission vehicles. FedEx will be one of General Motors’ first customers in the transition to electricity. (Aron Boss)



Woman Sues Samsung For $1.8M After Getting C-Section To Remove Phone Stuck Inside Her Vagina For 4 Days

A 39-year-old woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico is suing Samsung for $1.8 million after her phone got stuck in her vagina and she had to go to the emergency as she wasn’t able to retrieve it for 96 hours. She claims that after the incident, she was rushed to the University Hospital of New Mexico. There she was operated in a C-section that cost her $1,168,00 in medical bills, adding that she suffered severe psychological stress from the entire ordeal. The woman said that she had inserted her phone in her private area because of a bet she made with her friends, but once the phone went in, there was no coming out. The situation was made even worse when the phone vibrated inside her. “I wanted to see how it would feel to put my cell phone on vibration mode inside of me, just for fun, but it soon turned out to be a nightmare,” she told the judge in tears. Although the case is still pending, her lawyer has high hopes of getting justice while saying that Samsung’s lack of directions pertaining to the insertion of its products into the human body makes for a strong case against the company. “Samsung is definitely at fault here as they offer no warning about the dangers and potential risks during the insertion of their products inside their clients male or female body cavities or genitals”, according to her lawyer. Although Samsung hasn’t officially revealed a word on this issue, it is being reported that the company is considering an out-of-court settlement for the issue. (Folks Paper)


Goodwill donor in Texas accidentally leaves $5,000 in jacket, gets it back weeks later

A man in Texas has been reunited with an envelope containing $5,000 after his wife accidentally donated the cash to Goodwill inside the pocket of an old jacket. The man first realized their mistake in early February, according to the store manager of the Goodwill in Hurst, Texas. “About three weeks ago, we had a customer that had come in and said his wife had accidentally donated $5,000 in cash,” the manager said. “We roughly get donated anywhere from 50 to 2300 donations a day, so when the customer had come in, I explained to him that we had to go and sort through bag-per-bag.” Weeks later, the sorters still hadn’t found the money. Icy weather even forced the store to close for a few days, hampering their efforts, but upon returning to work last week, an employee ran up to the front of the store with the envelope in hand. The Goodwill team in Hurst later returned the cash to the donors, but the manager was also rewarded with a bonus, as well as a commendation. (Fox News)


South Carolina Senate votes to revive firing squad as method of execution

South Carolina senators voted to bring back the firing squad as a method of execution, providing a second alternative should the state be unable to execute condemned inmates via lethal injection. The bipartisan measure was proposed as an amendment to an execution bill that would make the electric chair the default method of execution amid a nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs. The Senate’s approval of the bill in a 32-11 vote essentially ends a forced 10-year moratorium on executions due to the supply shortage. South Carolina is one of 28 states where capital punishment remains legal. (The State)


This is the fastest random-number generator ever built

Researchers have built the fastest random-number generator ever made, using a simple laser. It exploits fluctuations in the intensity of light to generate randomness, a coveted resource in applications such as data encryption and scientific simulations, and could lead to devices that are small enough to fit on a single computer chip. True randomness is surprisingly difficult to come by. Algorithms in conventional computers can produce sequences of numbers that seem random at first, but over time these tend to display patterns. This makes them at least partially predictable, and therefore vulnerable to being decoded. To make encryption safer, researchers have turned to quantum mechanics, where the laws of physics guarantee that the results of certain measurements, such as when a radioactive atom decays, are genuinely random. A popular way to tap into quantum randomness is to exploit fluctuations in how photons are emitted by the materials used in lasers. Typical laser devices are designed to minimize these fluctuations to produce light of steady intensity: they make the light waves bounce around inside the material to force its atoms to emit more and more photons in sync with each other. Laser generates quantum randomness at a rate of 250 trillion bits per second, and could lead to devices small enough to fit on a single chip. (Nature)


Walker ‘stunned’ to see ship hovering high above sea

There are only so many polite words that come to mind when one spots a ship apparently hovering above the ocean during a stroll along the English coastline. The man who captured the extraordinary sight on camera said he was “stunned” when he noticed a giant tanker floating above the water as he looked out to sea from a hamlet near Falmouth in Cornwall, England. The effect is an example of an optical illusion known as a superior mirage. Such illusions are reasonably common in the Arctic but can also happen in UK winters when the atmospheric conditions are right, though they are very rare. The illusion is caused by a meteorological phenomenon called a temperature inversion. Normally, the air temperature drops with increasing altitude, making mountaintops colder than the foothills. But in a temperature inversion, warm air sits on top of a band of colder air, playing havoc with our visual perception. The inversion in Cornwall was caused by chilly air lying over the relatively cold sea with warmer air above. Because cold air is denser than warm air, it has a higher refractive index. In the case of the “hovering ship”, this means light rays coming from the ship are bent downwards as it passes through the colder air, to observers on the shoreline. This makes the ship appear in a higher position than it really is, in this instance, above the sea surface. (The Guardian)


After a year of relief, robocalls are back up to pre-pandemic levels

Americans received more than 4.6 billion robocalls in February, up 15% compared to January, according to new data from YouMail, a robocall-prevention service that tracks robocall traffic across the United States. About 159.1 million robocalls were placed each day last month. This marked the highest monthly robocall volume since February 2020, notably right before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States hard. So far, 2021 is on pace to reach 51.5 billion robocalls, a big jump from 2020 (45.9 billion). Americans received 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019, up 22% from the year before. (CNN)


The oldest known wild bird on Earth, a Laysan albatross that is at least 70, has had a chick

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that an egg laid by the bird, Wisdom, hatched on February 1 at Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Researchers first identified Wisdom in 1956. Laysan albatrosses typically only live a few decades, but Wisdom is the oldest bird of this kind ever recorded. The chick’s father is a bird named Akeakamai, Wisdom’s mate since 2012. Wisdom is thought to have outlived her other partners, since albatrosses typically mate for life. Wisdom has had at least 40 other chicks. (BBC)


A Texas school district has scrapped an assignment that required female students to act in a subservient manner to men to reflect medieval codes of chivalry

A Texas school district has pulled an assignment on chivalry that prompted widespread outrage after images of the lesson circulated online. Some parents complained about the English assignment, which included rules on how female students at Shallowater High School outside Lubbock should conduct themselves around their male classmates. The lesson called for them to dress in “a feminine manner to please the men” and to “address all men respectfully by title, with a lowered head and curtsy.” It instructed them to “never criticize a male,” “initiate a conversation” or “whine.” It directed them to “walk behind men or walk daintily, as if their feet were bound.” And they were told to cook, clean and “obey any reasonable request of a male. If not sure if it is considered reasonable, ladies can check with their teachers.” The teacher said students could continue the actions at home. Bonus points were offered for every adult signature proving they “were worthy of the honor by the gentlemen.” Shallowater Independent School District Superintendent said the “assignment has been reviewed, and despite its historical context, it does not reflect our district and community values.” (NBC News)


Alabama woman accused of stealing neighbor’s goat, dyeing it blue

An Alabama woman was arrested on accusations that she stole a neighbor’s baby goat and painted the animal blue, according to authorities. The 34-year-old woman of Gulf Shores, Alabama was charged with cruelty to animals and second-degree theft of property. The theft charge is a felony. Sheriff’s deputies said that the woman is accused of removing the goat from a neighbor’s yard and taking it to her uncle’s home, where she was visiting, to show her child. While the animal was in her possession, she decided to paint it blue and then posted the photos online. Authorities said the goat’s owner found it missing and called another neighbor asking if they’d seen it. The neighbor showed the owner the photos on social media. The owner called the sheriff’s office. The woman said that the incident began as a prank on her cousin, who had recently gotten a new baby goat. She was booked into the Baldwin County Jail and released the same day after posting $1,000 bail. (Fox 10)


Monday Clamps Down On Us With:

  • Fun Facts About Names Day (Monday of First Full Week)
  • Day for Women’s Rights & International Peace
  • Girls Write Now Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • International Working Women’s Day
  • Oregon Day
  • Proofreading Day
  • Peanut Cluster Day
  • Retro Video Game Day
  • The Bikini Bottom Free (Crabcakes) Day
  • Volunteers of America Day