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Happy Christmas, porch pirates: Bait bomb showers glitter, spritzes fart spray

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Porch pirates beware, a popular YouTube star has discovered the perfect revenge for those who steal parcels off doorsteps and it involves glitter, fart spray, and plenty of humiliation.

Intrepid U.S. engineer Mark Rober, who worked on the design of NASA’s Mars Rover, explained that he witnessed a pair of thieves snatch an Amazon package off of his front doorstep on his security cameras earlier this year.

“If you’ve ever been a situation like this, you just feel violated,” he said in a YouTube video he uploaded on Monday. “I just felt like something needs to be done to take a stand against dishonest punks like this.”

Rober said he showed police footage of the theft, but they told him they were too busy to investigate.

At that point, Rober said he decided to take matters into his own hands.

After six months of designing, planning, and testing his invention, Rober succeeded in building a device, disguised in a box for an Apple HomePod, that would disperse a pound of glitter when opened. But that’s not all.

The package also releases a rancid fart spray and records the unsuspecting recipient’s reactions at every angle thanks to the cameras on four phones installed inside the box.

Rober put the cleverly designed prank box to use by leaving it on the front doorsteps of his and several of his friends’ homes, to see if the thieves would take the bait.

The device appeared to work exactly as planned as the hilarious reactions of different thieves are recorded as they open the box and are showered in glitter and the smell of farts.

“Dude, look at my car,” one man laments to his friend after opening the package in his car. “Oh my God. I don’t know what this is. [It’s] literally like everywhere.”

“Come on, bro,” another thief says to himself after the device explodes glitter all over the passenger seat of his car. “What’s that smell? That s**t stinks.”

Because the thieves were all eager to abandon the package following their surprise, Rober was able to retrieve the device and recover the footage.

“So the moral of the story is: just don’t take other people’s stuff. Not only is not cool, but on the plus side, you’ll never find yourself in this situation,” Rober tells his YouTube audience at the end of the video.

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University of Windsor establishes first Canadian transportation cybersecurity centre

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The University of Windsor will be the site of Canada’s first organization dedicated to countering threats to the connected transportation marketplace.

The SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence will focus on developing the skills, innovations and policy to secure connected and autonomous vehicles.

Researchers will partner with industry, government and community stakeholders.

Co-founding and heading up the centre will be Dr. Mitra Mirhassani of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. Ikjot Saini of the School of Computer Science.

In the past year, the two University of Windsor professors were both recognized as being among Canada’s top talents in the automotive cybersecurity field.

“Hardware and software vulnerabilities could put personal information and vehicle safety in jeopardy,” said Mirhassani.

“Transportation systems are especially susceptible to attacks from malicious actors due to the complexity, implementation costs and lifecycles of equipment and platforms.”

The SHIELD centre is a continuation of the Windsor region’s focus on developing its cybersecurity ecosystem.

The province has already designated the area as the regional tech development centre for cybersecurity and border logistics.

The cybersecurity centre got a further boost this week with the announcement of a memorandum of understanding with the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association (APMA).

APMA and SHIELD will collaborate to develop market-based technologies to meet the needs of producers and consumers and build academic programs to address industry’s evolving requirements.

“We hope that this partnership will help to advance a cybersecurity culture shift in the industry in Canada,” said APMA president Flavio Volpe.

“There is much work to be done to protect our collective interest in advancing this country’s globally competitive automotive sector.”

The centre will also promote the sharing of knowledge among parties to advance standards and enhance policies in the field.

Part of the plan is to offer micro credentialing through the university’s Continuing Education programs.

“We plan to offer consultation and test services to small- and medium-sized Canadian companies that will help them stay up to date,” said Dr. Saini.

“Open-access publications and public webinars will widely share the latest information.”

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Hamilton police charge ‘Hugs Over Masks’ protest organizers in two separate events

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TORONTO — Hamilton, Ont., police say they have charged two organizers of an anti-mask protest group for holding events that allegedly violated public health rules.

Police say the events were held in downtown Hamilton on Jan. 3 and Jan. 10.

The force alleges that 40 people attended first event and 60 attended the second.

Current provincial restrictions limit gatherings to a maximum of 10 people outdoors.

Police say they informed the “Hugs Over Masks” organizers that the planned Jan. 10 gathering would result in charges, but they went ahead with the event.

They say a 27-year-old man and 38-year-old woman are facing charges under the Reopening Ontario Act that carry a minimum fine of $10,000 if convicted.

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Ontario issues stay-at-home order to start Thursday as Ford declares state of emergency

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Premier Doug Ford is declaring another state of emergency, effective immediately, in response to surging COVID-19 infection rates.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Ford announced Ontario is issuing a stay-at-home order, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

It requires people to stay home except for essential activities such as accessing health care or shopping for groceries.

The new measures also include restricting the hours of operation for non-essential retail stores such as hardware stores to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Addressing big box stores, which are allowed to remain open, Ford said an inspection blitz is coming to ensure they are following proper protocols.

“I’m going to come down on them like an 800-pound gorilla,” he said.

Schools in Hamilton, Toronto, York, Peel and Windsor-Essex will not return to in-person learning until Feb. 10.

Other public health regions, including Halton and Niagara, will find out when students can return to class by Jan. 20.

Schools will now require students in grades 1-3 to wear masks and masks will be required outside where physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Child-care centres for non-school aged children will remain open.

The premier announced the restrictions shortly after the province released new projections that show the virus is on track to overwhelm Ontario’s health-care system.

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