Continued terrorist paranoia causes yet another ridiculous story:
A pile of jelly1 left by a road in Germany caused a major security alert after it was mistaken for toxic waste.
A large area near the town of Halle was cordoned off after a “flabby red, orange and green substance” was found by the road, Reuters reported.
Fire officers in protective suits spent two hours inspecting the substance before concluding it was jelly.
Years ago, someone would have just cleaned up the mess. Today, we call in firemen in HAZMAT suits.
1 “Jelly” in Europe is Jell-O in America. What Americans call “jelly,” Europeans call “jam.”
Posted on October 10, 2006 at 1:28 PM •
You can’t make this stuff up:
Electronic spy ‘bugs’ have been secretly planted in hundreds of thousands of household wheelie bins.
The gadgets – mostly installed by companies based in Germany – transmit information about the contents of the bins to a central database which then keeps records on the waste disposal habits of each individual address.
Already some 500,000 bins in council districts across England have been fitted with the bugs – with nearly all areas expected to follow suit within the next couple of years.
Until now, the majority of bins have been altered without the knowledge of their owners. In many cases, councils which ordered the installation of the devices did not even debate the proposals publicly.
The official reason for the bugs is to ‘improve efficiency’ and settle disputes between neighbours over wheelie-bin ownership. But experts say the technology is actually intended to enable councils to impose fines on householders who exceed limits on the amount of non-recyclable waste they put out. New powers for councils to do this are expected to be introduced by the Government shortly.
Posted on September 25, 2006 at 1:35 PM •
The Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, or Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, is Germany’s equivalent of the NSA. They have an English-language website that has a number of English-language security publications.
Posted on May 17, 2006 at 12:21 PM •
I can’t make this stuff up:
A child porn offender in Germany turned himself in to the police after mistaking an email he received from a computer worm for an official warning that he was under investigation….
Seems like the e-mail was actually from a worm, and not a sting operation by the police. But who knows?
Posted on December 23, 2005 at 3:30 PM •
The Minister of the Interior of Bavaria requested that the industry produces web content filtering on “instructions on how to build a bomb.” These pages, he claims, are “a very dangerous security problem.” He hopes filters like those for parental filtering can solve this problem.
I think he’s trying to solve the wrong problem.
Posted on September 28, 2005 at 4:29 PM •
CallABike offers bicycles to rent in several German cities. You register with the company, find a bike parked somewhere, and phone the company for an unlock key. You enter the key, use the bike, then park it wherever you want and lock it. The bike displays a code, and you phone the company once again, telling them this code. Thereafter, the bike is available for the next person to use it. You get charged for the time between unlock and lock.
Now read this site, from a group of hackers who claim to have changed the code in 10% of all the bikes in Berlin, which they now can use for free.
Posted on February 21, 2005 at 8:00 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.