Doc Ruby (173196) writes "Rick Perry's Texas government censored a scientific report the state commissioned that showed human activity pushed climate change to raise sea levels recently in Galveston Bay:
Top environmental officials under Perry have gutted a recent report on sea level rise in Galveston Bay, removing all mentions of climate change. For the past decade, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is run by Perry political appointees, including famed global warming denier Bryan Shaw, has contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center to produce regular reports on the state of the Bay. But when HARC submitted its most recent State of the Bay publication to the commission earlier this year, officials decided they couldn't accept a report that said climate change is caused by human activity and is causing the sea level to rise. Top officials at the commission proceeded to edit the paper to censor its references to human-induced climate change or future projections on how much the bay will rise.
TCEQ even deleted a reference to the fact that the bay is currently rising by 3 millimeters a year—five times faster than the long-term average.
HARC refused to allow Texas to publish the censored report, saying "It would not have said anything."" Link to Original Source
Doc Ruby (173196) writes "Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in MD, USA announced they've disrupted the means by which HIV stops the immune system from attacking it, after the HIV has stolen a cholesterol membrane from the immune system first responders:
Scientists say they have found a way to disarm the AIDS virus in research that could lead to a vaccine. Researchers have discovered that if they eliminate a cholesterol membrane surrounding the virus, HIV cannot disrupt communication among disease-fighting cells and the immune system returns to normal. [...] 'By stealing cholesterol from the envelope of the virus, we can neutralize the subversion,' said Graham. 'We’ve broken the code; we can shut down the type of interference that HIV is having on the immune system.'
Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections. We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.
Here is some information on how to find voting machine technician positions:
Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you'll find the positions advertised by your local county.
In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will need thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.
[...]info on when the FBI learned to wiretap VOIP calls, how number portability messed with FBI taps, and a moment of candor from an FBI technician about how the FBI's wiretapping software could work with the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program.
For instance, the FBI accidentally listened in on one innocent American phone conversations due to a hack a phone company used to let people take port their phone numbers from one cell provider to another. At issue is a workaround used by CDMA providers, where a carrier assigns an alias number to a ported number in order to speed up switching at a user's usual calling area. The workaround has the unfortunate side effect of occasionally reporting the alias — which could actually be a real person's number — instead of the real caller to the FBI's wiretapping software.
In the FBI's own words, "due to misinformation in the call records, the unrelated subscriber was temporarily included in the investigation" and "this error has recently misled a few FBI investigations.
Secondly, in one message thread (.pdf) about moving offices in Manhattan and wiretapping the traditional wireline phone service in March 2006 [three months after the warrantless wiretapping story broke], one FBI employee who works for the FBI's Operational Technology Division asks if the NSA still does warrantless wiretaps and suggests how the FBI's equipment could be configured to deal with the lack of court orders...
The outrage at these revelations is downright libertarian, and geeky, too. Looks like the rest of the blogosphere is finally turning into Slashdot. Will that transformation affect Congress, as its membership (including the House) heads into a "change" election in November?" top
Intel has developed a test chip for software defined radio that can handle WiFi, WiMAX and DVB-H digital TV in one chip.
This kind of chip would allow equipment to access the WiFi network in the home, automatically handover to a WiMAX network when you leave the house and also access digital TV on the move, all through one chip.
It's also a proof that the entire class of SW radios that could also possibly converge CDMA, GSM and various other radio networks for opportunistic handoffs by a single device, a "universal radio" that could converge all wireless device types into a single device that can use content formerly locked into a single radio type." top
In short, it is increasingly evident that the major US TelCos enabled the surveillance of every single domestic communication, or cannot prove that they did not. So in light of the possibility that The Program monitored the communication of every American with a phone or a web connection, this means that nearly all Americans may have standing to participate in a lawsuit should any plaintiff achieve success in showing standing and damages from the program.
Such a liability could break AT&T and any other telcos bearing it. This analysis also explains recent DoJ filings taking AT&T's position against Network Neutrality. This "private/public partnership" might have done irreparable damage to everyone plugged into the switchboard." top
At a May subcommittee hearing, Wholley testified that he broke the disks in pieces and threw them away, shortly after the agency chief of staff collected all known recordings of the meeting. Griffin had called the meeting to discuss an IG group investigation that found the appearance of a lack of independence in Inspector General Robert Cobb's close relationship with the administrator. The investigation did not find evidence of an actual lack of independence.
"Wholley's knowing destruction of sensitive records in his possession was a great detriment to our committees' investigations,"
The lawmakers rejected Wholley's argument that the recordings were not yet government records when he destroyed them
Computer-generated projections of the soon-to-be completed, heavily fortified compound were posted on the Web site of the Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural firm that was contracted to design the massive facility in the Iraqi capital.
"We work very hard to ensure the safety and security of our employees overseas," said Gonzalo Gallegos, a [State] department spokesman. "This kind of information out in the public domain detracts from that effort."
"In terms of commenting whether they're accurate, obviously we wouldn't be commenting on that because we don't want people to know whether they're accurate or not for security reasons," [Dan Sreebny, a spokesman for the embassy in Baghdad] said.
Turns out that, since that system was effectively useless, the FBI was either tracking the use of NSLs via (no, seriously) 3x5 index cards or entering them into a totally separate database. This database was supposedly connected to nothing, and each use of an NSL had to be entered manually using a straining process of filling out a dozen fields. Apparently, filling out a dozen fields in a special database was too strenuous (especially when it came to violating fundamental rights of citizens of the country), so the NSLs weren't well recorded — and therefore, the use of them was underreported to Congress.
Doc Ruby (173196) writes "Welsh activists have released after an 8 year court battle a Russian study that shows increased cancer linked to eating Genetically Modified potatoes, supporting independent research by Arpad Pusztai:
Alan Simpson, a Labour MP and green campaigner, said: "These trials should be stopped. The research backs up the work of Arpad Pusztai and it shows that he was the victim of a smear campaign by the biotech industry. There has been a cover-up over these findings and the Government should not be a party to that."
Mr Simpson said the findings, which showed that lab rats developed tumours, were released by anti-GM campaigners in Wales. Dr Pusztai and a colleague used potatoes that had been genetically modified to produce a protein, lectin. They found cell damage in the rats' stomachs, and in parts of their intestines.
While the trials have flaws, those methodological defects seem to downplay an actually higher risk of cancer:
Half of the rats in the trial died, and results were taken from those that survived, in breach of normal scientific practice.
How can we better experience this world of ours at the cross roads of human impacts and climate change? How can we best communicate these experiences, particularly in light of the major changes Earth now faces, as one world? How can we most compellingly understand and communicate those experiences and processes? What 3D experiences or 3D tools can you share that might encourage the opportunity for a better world? If you think you can do this in a way that demonstrates how people can more easily and effectively communicate, YOU COULD WIN BIG!
Winners will be flown, with all expenses paid, from around the world to San Francisco for the June 5th to June 9th symposium. Six (6) finalists will receive their awards and prize packages at the Gala Awards Dinner on June 7th on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Contest sponsors, including Google, ESRI, and NASA will be attending the awards ceremonies for the International Symposium for Digital Earth awards dinner. Winners will be afforded the unique opportunity to interview with these industry giants for potential employment opportunities.
Runners-up will receive outstanding recognition by the International Society of Digital Earth, and the major geobrowser leaders; ESRI, GeoFusion, Google, and the NASA World Wind team.
Looks like the geeks really will inherit the Earth." top
Eli Lilly encouraged primary care physicians to use Zyprexa, a powerful drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in patients who did not have either condition, according to internal Lilly marketing materials.
Producers of technology who promote the ease of infringing on copyrights can be sued for inducing copyright infringement committed by their users.
Grokster was shown to have "promoted" infringing use, even though it never publicly promoted such use. Only internal documents demonstrating some Grokster execs told others that their business model depended on substantial infringing use were shown as evidence of promotion.
If such a weak standard of promotion defines copyright infringement, could Eli Lilly's explicit, public promotion make it liable for abusing prescriptions of its drug products?" top
Doc Ruby (173196) writes "Om Malik reports at GigaOm that Skype yesterday fired practically all its global "business development" execs in a major reorganization, a "recentralization of marketing". The new firings follow a steady trend of other firings there. Are "bizdev" staff the highest evolved marketing types, whose performance is measured only in frequency of getting fired? Or has marketing just proven once again that it's superior to any new age competitive job title?
More seriously, does this reorg say more about the de/evolution of Skype, once the biggest P2P phone network, into merely a voice feature of eBay? Or more about the evolution of the VoIP biz?" top
X.Org Foundation is chartered to develop and execute effective strategies that provide worldwide stewardship of the X Window System technology and standards. The X.Org Foundation has an open membership, and a Board of Directors which is elected from the membership.
The election counted under 100 voting members. The X Window System underlies most Linux, Mac, and most Unix (and other) desktops, used by millions of people worldwide. The Foundation needs more members to contribute the project, and to help elect leaders. If you have time and good sense to help, please join and participate." top
Doc Ruby (173196) writes "As reported at GigaOM, 'Infinera has bonded 10 parallel 10 Gb/s channels into one logical flow while maintaining packet ordering at the receiver', bridging 100Gbps ethernet over 10 10Gbps optical WAN links:
Infinera, a San Jose, Calif.-based start-up, along with University of California, Santa Cruz, Internet2 and Level3 Communications, today demonstrated a 100 gigabit/second Ethernet connection that could carry data over a 4000 kilometer fiber network. The trial took place at the Super Computing Show in Tampa, Florida.
The experimental system was set up between Tampa, Florida and Houston, Texas, and back again. A 100 GbE signal was spliced into ten 10 Gb/s streams using an Infinera-proposed specification for 100GbE across multiple links. The splicing of the signal is based on a packet-reordering algorithm developed at the University of California at Santa Cruz. This algorithm preserves packet order even as individual flows are striped across multiple wavelengths.
[A]bout 14 months ago we wrote about the 10 GB/s network4 that connected the University of California, San Diego and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center over a dedicated optical path. [...] [Infinera co-founder and CTO Drew Perkins] said that the trial today shows that you can build scalable systems that can achieve higher speeds.
With most data we prosume now large multimedia objects/streams, mostly networked, we're all going to want our share of these 100Gbps networks. The current network retailers, mainly cable and DSL dealers, still haven't brought even 10Mbps to most homes, though they're now bringing Fiber to the Premises to some rich/lucky customers. Are they laying fiber that will bring them to Tbps, or will that stuff clog the way to getting these speeds ourselves?" top
Diebold Election Systems Inc. expressed alarm and state election officials contacted the FBI yesterday after a former legislator received an anonymous package containing what appears to be the computer code that ran Maryland's polls in 2004. [...] The availability of the code — the written instructions that tell the machines what to do — is important because some computer scientists worry that the machines are vulnerable to malicious and virtually undetectable vote-switching software. An examination of the instructions would enable technology experts to identify flaws, but Diebold says the code is proprietary and does not allow public scrutiny of it.
Maryland's primary elections last month were ruined by procedural and tech problems. Maryland used Diebold machines, even though its Republican governor "lost faith" in them as early as February this year, with 6 months to do something before Maryland relied on them in their elections.
The Diebold code was secret, and used at least in 2002 even though illegally uncertified even by private analysts under nondisclosure. Now that it's being "opened by force", the first concern from Diebold, the government, and the media is that it could be further exploited by crackers. What if the voting software were open from the beginning, so its security relied only on hard secrets (like passwords and keys), not mere obscurity, which can be destroyed by "leaks" like the one reported by the Sun? The system's reliability would be known, and probably more secure after thorough public review. How much damage does secret sourcecode employed in public service have to cause before we require it to be opened before we buy it, before we base our government on it?"
1. v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT.
2. n. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that they have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll." Compare kook.
3. n. [Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike corners.
Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also Troll-O-Meter.
The use of 'troll' in any of these senses is a live metaphor that readily produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not infrequently sees the warning "Do not feed the troll" as part of a followup to troll postings."
Here in NYC, the police, fire, EMT and every other emergency responder under the Sun has carved out their own protocols and equipment for communications, few of which interoperate. Even after the WTC collapse, which cost so many lives (including NYC's Finest and Bravest), the "brass" are defending their communications "silos" from interoperability at the cost of efficiency. Reliability is paramount, so the leaders don't trust "foreign" tech, especially if it's fairly new, and outside their traditional operations.
In NYC, we stay on top by picking winners. Whose municipal communications have recently been revamped in the public interest, which NYC could use as a model? Where can I find a good example of transcending organizational barriers, especially in the area of "wireless" (digital and analog radio) networks? I am due to deliver such info to the Mayor and City Council during 2004Q1-2, so Slashdotters have an opportunity to really make a difference here.