LBN – Special Report – Monday, July 17th, 2017

In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Feltenreceived an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time.  Manufacturers like Diebold touted the touch-screens, known as direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, as secure and more convenient than their paper-based predecessors. Computer experts were skeptical, since any computer can be vulnerable to viruses and malware, but it was hard to get a hold of a touch-screen voting machine to test it. The manufacturers were so secretive about how the technology worked that they often required election officials to sign non-disclosure agreements preventing them from bringing in outside experts who could assess the machines.  Felten was intrigued enough that he sent his 25-year-old computer science graduate student, Alex Halderman, on a mission to retrieve the AccuVote TS from a trenchcoat-clad man in an alleyway near New York’s Times Square. Felten’s team then spent the summer working in secrecy in an unmarked room in the basement of a building to reverse-engineer the machine. In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus. That was more than a decade ago, but Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS. The state is one of five ― the others are Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on DREs for voting. Ten other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines that leave no paper trail. Many use a newer version of the AccuVote known as the TSX ― even though computer scientists have demonstrated that machine, too, is vulnerable to hacking.

*Border Patrol Union Chief Praises ‘Miraculous’ Drop in Illegal Immigration Under Trump: 
The significant downturn in the number of illegal border crossers between the U.S. and Mexico is “nothing short of miraculous,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said on C-SPAN Monday. “As far as the Trumpadministration’s efforts on immigration, this is something they campaigned heavily on,” he said. “At six months, where we are on meeting those promises, we are seeing nothing short of miraculous. If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it has caused a number of illegal border crossings to go down. We have never seen such a drop that we currently have.” “There’s a vibe, there’s an energy in the Border Patrol that’s never been there before in 20 years that I’ve been in the patrol,” Judd added in a separate Fox News interview
*Parents: R. Kelly Holding Our Daughters in Sex-Obsessed, Abusive ‘Cult’

A bombshell BuzzFeed News report quotes several sets of parents claiming their daughters are being held against their will in a sex-obsessed, abusive “cult” by legendary R&B singerR. Kelly. Three former members of Kelly’s entourage also spoke to the outlet, confirming the parents’ claims of the singer’s cult-like and predatory behavior—one is quoted as saying “[Kelly] is a master at mind control…. He is a puppet master.” According to parents and the former crew members, Kelly: keeps a collection of young women at his homes in Atlanta and Chicago; replaces their cell phones with ones specifically used to communicate with him; requires they call him “daddy” and ask permission to leave their residence; films their sexual encounters with him; and punishes them verbally and physically when they break his “rules” such as appearing remotely flirtatious towards other men. The daughter of one set of parents have attempted to contact their child—now 21 years old—for two years but have been rebuffed by her claims that she is in a consenting relationship and is not being held against her will.

*Reality Reasserts Itself in Summer TV With Record 11 New Shows: 
The volume of scripted TV may be at an all-time high, but you’d never know it from the Big Four’s summer schedules, with 11 new reality shows set to debut this summer — up from four last year. That reverses a trend launched by CBS’ scripted summer hit Under the Dome in 2013. One reason is money: Scripted programming is less and less financially appealing in the off-months. Hence it accounts for only about 20 percent of Big Four originals airing this summer. “When you have a hit reality show, you can scale [it],” says NBC Entertainment president of program planning, strategy and research Jeff Bader. “World of Dance can be like Ninja Warrior and America’s Got Talent and expand to many more hours. That’s not easy with scripted.”


*70-Year-Old Home Depot Worker Fired for Confronting Shoplifters

A 70-year-old veteran lost his Home Depot job in Texas after confronting three shoplifters trying to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of tools from the store. Jim Tinney said he acted instinctively when he threw a paint roller extension at the feet of one of the three suspects in an effort to stop them from making off with tool sets last month at the Pearland store, KTRK reports. “In the Army, they train you to do things like that,” Tinney told the station. “I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet.” The suspects dodged the obstacle and got away. About two weeks later, Tinney, who thought the incident was behind him, learned that his altruistic actions would cost him his job. Tinney admitted to the station that company representatives were clear during training sessions not to confront suspected shoplifters. Tinney said he understood the policy, but still thinks the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. “I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” he told the ABC affiliate. “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Grossing $151.5 million, Guns N’ Roses’ “Not In This Lifetime” tour leads the list of top tours during the first six months of 2017, according to the mid-year report from live entertainment trade Pollstar. The concert industry pulled in an estimated $1.97 billion worldwide so far this year. U2’s “The Joshua Tree” anniversary trek came in second with $118.1 million, which was good enough to land them at the head of the class for North America, where music tour grosses were up 11% for a record of $1.64 billion.   ***Former LA Weekly publisher Michael Sigman is out with his History of the Music Biz Volume 2.


Award-winning family law attorney and mediator —- Mark Baer —-  

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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Laura Nyro Poverty Train Monterey Pop Festival —–

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Martin Landau, the tall, intense, sometimes mischievously sinister actor best known for his role in the television series “Mission: Impossible” and his Oscar-winning portrayal of Bela Lugosi in the film “Ed Wood,” died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his publicist.   ***George A. Romero, a horror visionary who created the modern zombie genre with his 1968 cult film, “Night of the Living Dead,” which has influenced generations of horror enthusiasts, died on Sunday in Toronto. He was 77. His death came after “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” his family said in a statement.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings —– .