Hardware hackers building interactive gadgets based on the Arduino microcontrollers are finding that a recent driver update that Microsoft deployed over Windows Update has bricked some of their hardware, leaving it inaccessible to most software both on Windows and Linux. This came to us via hardware hacking site Hack A Day.
The driver in question is for a line of USB-to-serial chips designed by Scottish firm FTDI. FTDI’s chips are incredibly popular in this space, as just about every microcontroller and embedded device out there can communicate over a serial port. But this popularity has a downside; there’s a vast number of knock-off chips in the wild that appear to be made by FTDI, but in fact aren’t.
FTDI develops drivers for its chips. The drivers can be obtained directly from FTDI, or they can be downloaded by Windows automatically, through Windows Update. This latter feature is a great convenience for most people, as it enables plug-and-play operation.
Bullied Teen Lands in Hospital After Being Beaten, School Presses Charges - Against Bullied Teen - the New Civil Rights Movement
Almost six weeks after his brutal beating, while still recovering from a traumatic brain injury, Eric Martin walked into a Virginia courtroom last week to face two assault charges. Verbally abused, harassed and bullied since the first grade in an obviously failing school system, this kid is the poster child for “brave.” Eric has decided to fight these charges, and fight them is exactly what our team is prepared to do. The judge has set a trial date for November 21.
Since the attack, Eric is still under a doctor’s care and is making progress. However, the long term effects of the injuries to his head and brain remain unclear. He and his family are taking things one day at a time, and are very grateful for all the cards and letters they have received from all over the world. These have indeed been a great source of inspiration and validation for Eric.
All Eyes on Kansas: The Battle for Marriage Equality Boils Over, Putting Conservatives on the Defensive
“This is about the whole anti-gay industry in the state,” said Witt, who has seen many discriminatory bills like that one surface in the legislature. The field general of the Kansas equality movement won the day, as Pilcher-Cook’s bill died right there—but not the long struggle for statewide acceptance, inclusion and equal rights. That was made clear just 24 hours later.
One day after the surrogacy bill circus died down, across the sprawling capitol in Topeka, Republican Lance Kinzer, the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs chair, abruptly decided to take up another anti-LGBT bill, one that quickly gained national attention and could have had even broader discriminatory repercussions.
“The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld a $7,000 fine against a Christian photographer for politely refusing to take pictures of a same-sex ‘commitment ceremony.’ A baker in Colorado is being forced to undergo ‘sensitivity training’ and bake cakes for gay ‘weddings,’ in violation of his religious beliefs,” Kobach’s mailer read. “Our 1st Amendment religious freedoms have never been in greater danger.”It was called a “religious freedom” bill, and would have allowed any state or private employee to refuse to do business with anyone who offended that employee’s religious beliefs. The concept wasn’t new. The bill had been introduced for several years but never got out of committee. But in 2012, GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and like-minded right-wing Republicans led a purge ousting moderate Republican incumbents. They were beaten in low-turnout primaries, in what one local politico called “the night of the long knives.” Only a few hundred votes, equal to a few evangelical congregations voting en masse, ousted the incumbents.
n 2010, Scott Roeder was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller. But that doesn’t mean he’s given up his hobby of threatening abortion providers. Roeder is now in a court battle with the Kansas Department of Corrections, arguing that they violated his freedom of speech rights when they disciplined him for making threats against Julie Burkhart, the woman who reopened an abortion clinic in the Wichita location where Tiller’s clinic used to be. Roeder got “45 days in disciplinary segregation with no outside communication,” reports the Topeka Capital-Journal, for comments he made during a phone call with David Leach of the radical anti-choice group Army of God.
Leach posted a recording of the phone interview on YouTube in 2013, which RH Reality Check reported on at the time. Here’s Roeder:
It is a little bit death-defying for someone to walk back in there… and reopen a murder mill where a man was stopped. It’s almost like putting a target on your back, saying, “Well, let’s see if you can shoot ME!” I have to go back to what Pastor Mike Bray said: If 100 abortionists were shot, they would probably go out of business. I think eight have been shot, so we’ve got 92 to go. Maybe she’ll be number nine. I don’t know, but she’s kind of painting a target on her.
It has long been my contention that most of the people who commit acts of terror are mentally or socially maladjusted. This doesn’t meant that it’s not terror, but this author makes a good point when he states it’s not really true jihad.
The tragic death on Monday of Canadian Forces Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, run over by a recently “radicalized” 25-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, was not an act of terror as much as it was an indictment of our ineffectiveness in dealing with mental illness.
Martin Couture-Rouleau, who up until two years ago was a normal pseudo-Catholic Québécois kid, a recent father struggling to keep his new pressure-washing business afloat, changed seemingly overnight into someone obsessed with the illuminati and conspiracy theories, one friend told La Presse.
It was in that period he converted to Islam and underwent such a significant personality change that it was his own father who reported him to the RCMP as a possible threat. Put on a federal watch list, he was prevented from carrying out his plan to travel to Turkey when he was arrested last summer and had his passport taken away.
His alienation from family and friends became even more pronounced in the past year. “People turned away from him, thinking he was crazy,” a friend told La Presse. His wife had also recently taken steps to gain sole custody of their child because of the changes in Couture-Rouleau’s behaviour.
No, Kirk Cameron totally approves of Halloween, and he thinks that Christians should actually be throwing the “biggest party on the block” because Halloween is their holiday and it is time to take it back from the pagans who just straight up stoled it from them. You see, for far too long, silly historians (who are clearly in the pocket of Big Wicca) have been claiming that both Christmas and Halloween have their roots in ancient pagan holidays. Cameron asserts that no-both holidays were 100% definitely invented by Christians. Which, um, they were not, but whatever. There’s not much point in arguing with Kirk Cameron.
Via The Christian Post:
“The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve,” the actor told The Christian Post. “If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That’s all tied in to Halloween.”
Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews hurled stones and slashed the tires of buses bearing ads promoting female worship at a key Jerusalem holy site, Israeli police said Tuesday.
The attack, which happened on Monday night in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, underscores the still simmering tensions in Israel over religious extremists who want to separate the sexes in public spaces.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police units were dispatched to quell the violence in Mea Shearim where about 50 men slashed tires and pelted the buses with stones.
The ads were posted by the group Women of the Wall, which seeks to achieve gender equality at the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray. The advertisements showed girls and women wearing prayer shawls and holding a Torah scroll — rituals seen by many Orthodox Jews as reserved for men only.
The disappearance of several top officials from North Korean state media in recent weeks has prompted fears Kim Jong-un has ordered another “extensive purge” during his period away from the spotlight.
Kim vanished from public view for 40 days, sparking rumours of illness, power struggles in Pyongyang and even a coup. Now, speculation is growing that the leader may have instead used this time to oversee another major purge, after executing his uncle and other officials last year.
Would you be surprised if I told you that someone was lying for Jesus again?
Don and Evelyn Knapp of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are civil rights pioneers - if you believe the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Religious Right’s most visible legal arm filed a lawsuit against the city last Friday on behalf of the Knapps, who are ordained ministers in the Four Square Gospel church and run The Hitching Post wedding chapel. In a statement, the ADF referred to the chapel as a “religious ministry” and claimed that the Knapps had run afoul of Coeur d’Alene’s anti-discrimination ordinance by refusing to perform same-sex weddings.
“Months before voter-approved protections for marriage were struck down in Idaho, city officials warned Donald and Evelyn privately and publicly that if those laws were struck down, a city nondiscrimination ordinance would require them to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies in their privately owned chapel, or they would face the consequences,” the group asserted, and added, “On October 17, 2014, the Knapps respectfully declined such a ceremony and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.”
It didn’t take the Religious Right long to respond to this alleged injustice. At Herman Cain’s website, Dan Calabrese branded the situation as “fascism” and claimed that Idaho authorities are actually threatening to jail the couple.
“If you are risking jail, not because you did anything to anyone, but because you refused someone else’s demand that you provide a service that is anathema to your faith - then we have a new civil rights crisis in this nation, and homosexuals are not the ones with the problem at all,” Calabrese wrote.
But there’s a bit more to the story than jack-booted government authorities and a persecuted pair of ministers. In fact, the Coeur d’Alene Press reports that there may be some problems with the ADF’s account. For starters, the newspaper says the Knapps have never actually been asked to perform a same-sex wedding; nor have they been threatened with arrest.
City officials did note they have privately communicated with the Knapps about the anti-discrimination ordinance, and informed the couple that if they did not register the chapel as a non-profit religious corporation, they could be subject to a fine and possible jail time if they violated the ordinance. They city’s argument seems to be that the chapel, as a profit-making business, is expected to adhere to public accommodation laws.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, thermal paper store receipts, and dental composites. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties, and exposure of fetuses, infants, children or adults to the chemical has been shown to cause numerous abnormalities, including cancer, as well as reproductive, immune and brain-behavior problems in rodents. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that daily exposure to very low concentrations of BPA by pregnant females also can cause fetal abnormalities in primates.
Thermal Paper Cash Register Receipts Account for High Bisphenol a (BPA) Levels in Humans — ScienceDaily
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri is providing the first data that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.
“BPA first was developed by a biochemist and tested as an artificial estrogen supplement,” said Frederick vom Saal, Curators Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “As an endocrine disrupting chemical, BPA has been demonstrated to alter signaling mechanisms involving estrogen and other hormones. Store and fast food receipts, airline tickets, ATM receipts and other thermal papers all use massive amounts of BPA on the surface of the paper as a print developer. The problem is, we as consumers have hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens on our hands that drastically alter the absorption rate of the BPA found on these receipts.”