Category: WTF

Japanese burger-freaks have a chance to smell like a Whopper

For hamburger aficionados who want the smell even when they can’t get a bite, Burger King is putting the scent into a limited-edition fragrance.

Burger King said…that the Whopper grilled beef burger-scented cologne will be sold only on April 1, and only in Japan.

Sounds too good to be true? It’s not an April Fools’ Day joke, though the company chose the date deliberately.

The limited “Flame Grilled” fragrance can be purchased at 5,000 yen (about $40), including the burger. There will be only 1,000 of them.

Burger King is hoping the scent will seduce new fans for their burgers. I know it certainly would have the opposite effect on me. And I love hamburgers.

14-year-old shows up auto industry security

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A 14-year-old boy may have forever changed the way the auto industry views cyber security.

He was part of a group of high-school and college students that joined professional engineers, policy-makers and white-hat security experts for a five-day camp last July that addressed car-hacking threats…

With some help from the assembled experts, he was supposed to attempt a remote infiltration of a car, a process that some of the nation’s top security experts say can take weeks or months of intricate planning. The student, though, eschewed any guidance. One night, he went to Radio Shack, spent $14 on parts and stayed up late into the night building his own circuit board.

The next morning, he used his homemade device to hack into the car of a major automaker. Camp leaders and automaker representatives were dumbfounded. “They said, ‘There’s no way he should be able to do that,'” Brown said Tuesday, recounting the previously undisclosed incident at a seminar on the industry’s readiness to handle cyber threats. “It was mind-blowing.”

Windshield wipers turned on and off. Doors locked and unlocked. The remote start feature engaged. The student even got the car’s lights to flash on and off, set to the beat from songs on his iPhone. Though they wouldn’t divulge the student’s name or the brand of the affected car, representatives from both Delphi and Battelle, the nonprofit that ran the CyberAuto Challenge event, confirmed the details…

It was a pivot moment,” said Dr. Anuja Sonalker, lead scientist and program manager at Battelle. “For the automakers participating, they realized, ‘Huh, the barrier to entry was far lower than we thought.’ You don’t have to be an engineer. You can be a kid with $14.”

She described the breach as more of a nuisance attack, and emphasized that, in this case, no critical safety functions, like steering, braking or acceleration, were compromised. But the incident underscored just how vulnerable cars have become.

None of this is geek news. Nor is is there any surprise to this display of auto industry leaders’ ignorance of the vulnerability of their tech, the sophisticated toolkits of hardware and software available to even kid-level hackers.

European manufacturers experienced something similar a few years back and revised their engineering designs to match reality. Some more successfully than others, some less so. Why American corporate leaders didn’t pay attention and learn speaks to how parochial, insular, most Americans are. Another part of that corporate [and political] personality is native to imperial populations. If you have the most power you think you must also know best how to do anything.

In fact, reality, especially when much of your culture is well past its peak, contradicts that belief.

Canadian airport provides really low cost aid to returning travelers

A Nova Scotia airport is offering travelers parked in the long-term lot shovels to dig their cars out of the 35 inches of snow that fell on the area this week.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokeswoman Ashley Gallant said the airport is providing shovels for travelers returning from vacation to find their vehicles have been buried in snow.

Gallant said the snow has led to a lack of parking spaces, as many of the vacant spots have yet to be plowed.

Not how I would handle it; but, better than nothing. And it ain’t my airport, anyway.

Blue Bell issues ice cream recall – 3 die!

The deaths of three patients who contracted food poisoning while in the hospital for other conditions have been linked to a venerable favorite of the south – Blue Bell ice cream.

A household name in parts of America, Blue Bell issued the first product recall in its 108-year history on Friday. The company also shut down one of its production lines as the government warned consumers to clear their freezers of a number of ice cream bars and cookies made by the Texan firm.

Five adults who were patients at the same hospital in Wichita, Kansas, contracted listeriosis from the listeria bacteria sometimes found in food. Three subsequently died.

Federal and state investigators are looking into the deaths; the investigation could expand beyond the hospital and Kansas to include other deaths where listeria may have been a factor and was linked to eating tainted versions of the popular brand of ice cream…

Four of the five patients for whom dietary information was available to investigators were shown to have consumed milkshakes at the hospital, which had been made with a single serving of a Blue Bell ice cream product called Scoops.

The listeria strain obtained from those four patients was linked, after laboratory testing, to tainted Blue Bell products examined in South Carolina and Texas this year…

The ice cream product eaten by all five has been traced to one of the production lines at Blue Bell headquarters in Brenham, Texas, where the machinery was immediately taken off line.

The chief executive of the Brenham creamery, Paul Kruse, said contamination of the ice cream could only have taken place at the point of production.

The company has removed a list of products from shelves and the CDC has called on the public to destroy any they have in their freezer, as the products have a shelf life of up to two years.

Blue Bell doesn’t make anything we consume in our family – we don’t especially eat ice cream; but, there are beaucoup places where the brand is so well established consumption is as much a tradition as a matter of taste.

RTFA for a listing of the kinds of ice cream products from Blue Bell that should be taken from your freezer and destroyed if you have any of them.

Are diabetics dumb enough to share pen devices and [sometimes] needles

The FDA is adding a warning label on diabetes pen devices, making clear that the pens are intended for single patient use only and shouldn’t be shared, even if the needle is changed.

In an announcement on their website last week, the agency said they are trying to reduce the risk of serious infections from the sharing of multidose pens. They will require that pens and packaging with multiple doses of insulin or other injectable diabetes medicines carry a warning label stating “For single patient use only.”

The FDA will also add warnings in the prescribing information and to the patient Medication Guides, Patient Package Inserts, and Instructions for Use. There are several different brands of the pens on the market, including exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza), pramlintide acetate (Symlin), insulin detemir (Levemir), and insulin glargine (Lantus).

Pen cartridges usually contain enough insulin for several doses. After a patient uses the pen, blood might be on the pen even when the needle is changed, said the FDA.

The FDA saw signs as early as 2008, when the Institute of Safe Medication Practices brought up the issue, that bloodborne pathogens could be shared with pens designed for one patient only. In 2009, a U.S. Army facility announced that more than 2,000 patients were infected with a pathogen when pens were shared, leading to the FDA issuing an alert.

And in 2013, the Veterans Health Administration notified 716 patients that they might have been exposed because the devices were shared…

C’mon, folks. A little sensible hygiene goes a long way. Injectable medication has always carried the risk of bloodborne infection when devices are shared. Not rocket science.

Latest gun nut / Darwin Award candidate


What every well-dressed Republican woman [supposedly] needs

St Joseph Police say bodybuilder and Republican town official accidentally fires her own weapon while fitting her bra holster…

“She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon,” St Joseph public safety director Mark Clapp told the Gazette about the woman, Christina Bond.

Bond reportedly shot herself in the eye on New Year’s Day, and had to be airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital. Her full autopsy hasn’t been released.

Gun accessories such as bra and purse holsters, designed for women, have grown in popularity over the last few years. Many businesses now cater specifically to female gun owners.

Did you think the combination of paranoia and stupidity was exclusive to men?

Bond was a delegate for St Joseph Township, in south-west Michigan. Bond was also a bodybuilder, winning the Miss Michigan Figure Overall Championship in 2013, and volunteered at the ministry at Berrien County jail.

Konfederacy Klavern Kartoon bigotry in Roswell newspaper – once again

Remember this? : “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”

Someone should remind the Roswell Daily Record what it means to be New Mexican.

The newspaper made famous for publishing the story of a purported UFO crash in 1947 is becoming infamous in the 21st century for publishing the most racist editorial cartoon of the week – again.

02-15-15-keith-bell-cartoon

Here’s the message from the editorial page of the Daily Record to readers:

“Roswell signage suggestions… to clear up any confusion about where some people should go.”

Those “some people” appear to be Chaves County’s estimated 35,676 Hispanic residents (see the US Census data here for that) that are told to go “811 miles west” to the “Cesar Chavez home and national monument” and the county’s 1,711 African-American residents who are told to go 1,272 miles east to the “Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home and national historic site.”

The scumbags running the newspaper don’t respond to direct pressure on their bigotry. Never have. The ProgressnowNM folks have a link to a petition directed to advertisers instead. Nothing wrong with hitting bigots where their hearts are located – in the wallet.

They also offer a brief history of racist activity in the Daily Record.

Fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia – State of Emergency declared

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A train derailment Monday afternoon in West Virginia caused multiple explosions and a massive fire, and the CSX-owned train is leaking crude oil into the Kanawha River…

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency about 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Nearly three hours after that declaration, the fire was still burning, and 1,000 people had been evacuated, according to Lawrence Messina, the state’s public safety spokesman…

At least one home near the derailment in Fayette County caught fire and was destroyed, Messina said.

The derailment happened about 1:20 p.m. Eastern time as the 109-car train carrying Bakken crude oil was going from North Dakota to Yorktown, Va., Messina said. As many as 15 train cars were involved in the derailment and fire…

Crude oil from at least one of the rail cars is leaking into the Kanawha River, Messina said.

West Virginia American Water shut down its Montgomery treatment plant because the facility draws water from an area near the incident…

The plant will not be reopened until it is confirmed the water is safe, it said.

“Oil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free. Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts.”

― Ryszard Kapuściński, Shah of Shahs

Bullet-proof fashion store opens in Eindhoven

A company selling “fashionable” bullet-proof clothing has opened its first store in the Netherlands.

Residents of Eindhoven can now stock up on the classic bullet-proof vest, but also suits, leather jackets and even ties, the Omroep Brabant website reports. The shop sells a Colombian brand of armoured clothing that is designed to look just like normal outfits, with vests thin enough to wear underneath a T-shirt. The clothes are mainly aimed at people who might feel at risk in their jobs, such as jewellers and staff at petrol stations, says company spokesman Staas de Wijs. They’re not meant to appeal to criminals, he adds.

The group that owns the shop, Panamera, says there’s been an increased interest in the products since the Paris terror attacks in January. “After Paris, 150 more people have already asked for information,” CEO Yavuz Yilmaz tells the Eindhovens Dagblad website. He won’t give away anything specific about who’s buying the items, but says the past weeks have seen “a lot of enquiries from Belgium and France as a result of current developments”. Anyone interested in making their wardrobe bullet-proof might need to save up, however. According to Omroep Brabant, the cheapest item costs 2,400 euros (= $2,700).

Eeoough! That can do as much damage as a small-calibre bullet. At least to your wallet.