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Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Anti-Aging is a Fraud Magnet (170 comments)

My skin cream is not only anti-aging, but it can also be used to power my home cold fusion power generators!

The next version will also be able to do teleportation via quantum entanglement.

I challenge any Slashdotter to come up with a better product than that!

2 days ago
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The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

PolygamousRanchKid Re:'it is out of stock now; try to ask next year.' (110 comments)

And academic leftists wonder why Communism collapsed...

The former East Germany (DDR), was proof that the Communist system sucks.

If you take a nation full of Germans, and manage to make a poor country out of it . . . the system sucks!

3 days ago
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3D Printer?

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Fnord! (171 comments)

Until I can use it to print appropriately rubbery silicone materials...

I was thinking more of printing a Cherry 2000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

This is definitely Slashdot "Nudes for nerds, Shit that splatters". In the end the anti-hero decides for the real woman, and not the "perfect" woman robot.

If you are a real geek, watch this film together with your girlfriend over the holidays.

Oh, I think there might be a contradiction in the last sentence . . .

4 days ago
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Attorney General Won't Force New York Times Reporter To Reveal Source

PolygamousRanchKid Re:My biggest fear (55 comments)

My biggest fear is that Iran attacks us with nuclear weapons.... and the POTUS surrenders.

If that happened . . . Obama's crew would blame it on Bush and the CIA.

I am really seriously wondering about what his strategy is right now. He seems to be burning bridges, and pushing both Democrats and Republicans further apart from each other. I used to think that Hilary Clinton was the shoo-in candidate to be the next President of the US.

Now, I am not so sure. Obama seems to want to leave her with a scorched Earth policy to deal with.

5 days ago
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Sony Reportedly Is Using Cyber-Attacks To Keep Leaked Files From Spreading

PolygamousRanchKid Re:No real evidence... (186 comments)

Corporate sponsored hacking is frowned upon. Prove me wrong.

If you have the cash, these guys will take care of the job for you: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/files/I...

about a week ago
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Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Single-pixel what? (81 comments)

I just cannot wrap my head around how these single-pixel cameras work.

Well, the camera only has a single pixel . . . but . . . they bounce the light off an "array of digital micro-mirrors". And they re-arrange the "array of digital micro-mirrors" and take a new shot 500 times. So just think of them as just taking 500 random pixels samples from the whole picture, and number crunching it, to smooth it out. Note, this is an over-simplification.

Bonus points if you explain why a chicken breast was involved.

The summary mentioned the "candle in the crotch" crew, but TFA also mentioned that the same method was used to detect breast cancer by so-called Victorian "doctors". I think they were just up to the old "hot wax on the boobs" shenanigans, that is featured in finer Internet porn Web sites these days.

So I guess they will try to tout this as a method for detecting breast cancer. Or that is what they will tell their wives, when they get caught with the neighbors' pubescent Girl Scout Cookie selling daughters with their Girl Scout shirts off.

about three weeks ago
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Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Google votes to break up the EU (237 comments)

Actually, it's well within Google's power to break up the EU. The EU is creaking and buckling at its seams in several places. Google would just need to give it a few gentle pushes in the right directions.

For instance, the UK already has one foot out of the EU with its UKIP anti-EU political party, which is eating away at the UK Tories base on the right. Google just needs to dish up the right stories when people in the UK google. Like, the story about how the EU parliament wants to create an EU standard for breakfast: One cup of muddy coffee, and a mushy half-baked croissant. Baked beans before noon will be banned. Bacon and eggs, as well, since they exploit farm animals: the chicken participated, but the pig was committed. If UK folks are constantly bombarded by stories like that when they google, they will all vote "out" in the upcoming UK-in-the-EU referendum.

The economies of the southern EU countries are basket cases, and the northern countries are sick and tired of working hard and paying exorbitant EU taxes to finance those lazy southern folks, who spend their whole day farting around in cafes drinking tiny cups of coffee. Google could put a few drops of napalm on that fire. First Italy. Google could kill the Pope, and reveal a scandalous relationship between the Catholic Church, the Mafia, and the Italian government, and that the whole Italian economy is really just a Ponzi scheme, and that Italy is bankrupt, and needs a mega-Greek bailout. Google could hire Amanda Knox to take out the Pope. She's tanned, rested and ready.

Google could upset Greece's fragile economic recovery, by posting a false story about the Greeks staging a general strike that paralyzes their country. Oh, wait. They did do that. Let Ms. Palin and I get back to you on Greece.

Spain's economy is also on the ropes. So how can Google finish it off? Hmmm . . . a long time back . . . we had this nasty Spanish Flu. Now we have Ebola. Simple. Google can spread rumors of Spanish Ebola Flu that is carried by visitors from Spain. That ought to shut down Spain's economy really fast.

The backbone of the EU is the uneasy France/Germany alliance. But the French are tired of having to do what Germany tells them to do, and the Germans are tired of paying for the French to take early retirement. So Google could post two other stories. First to pay for French early retirement, German citizens will now be required to continue working after their death. In other words, in Germany, you will be allowed to retire two years after your death. That, to finance the folks in France who retire at 45. The second article will detail that, obviously, the French are not listening and doing what the Germans tell them to do. To assist that, all French households will be required to quarter for free vacationing Germans in France. This will provide an informal mechanism for Germans to tell the French what they think what they need to do at the breakfast table. Float these two stories for a bit, and the Germans and the French will love each other like two cats shaken up in a pillow case. End of EU.

So how can Google rattle the EU relationship with the Scandinavian folks? Hmmm . . . let's start with the Norwegians. They are richer than you or I will ever be. They made butt-loads of cash with North Sea oil. But instead of squandering it away in useless Gulf State building projects, the Norwegians invested all their cash very wisely, so generations from now, the folks in Norway will be enjoying the fruits of those investments. Because they did very well for themselves, this is a perfect opportunity Google to foment envy and greed in other EU countries. Oh, and the Norwegians are kinda sorta weird when it comes to festive meals. While Americans like to stuff a turkey in the oven, the Norwegian version is a wee bit different. They stick a pike in the ground in the backyard, and skewer a sheep's head on it. Then they take a blow torch to the head. Medieval-like. Finished. Dinner is served. The eyeballs supposedly taste really good. I wouldn't know. Maybe if Google posted disinformation stating that they blow torched a whole live sheep, other EU countries would get squeamish. Or scared to death of the Norwegians.

Now them Swedes, next door, they put rotten fish in soup cans. The gas generated from the purification process swells the can until it takes the form of a grapefruit. But there is a better way to get the rest of the EU folks riled up against the Swedes. Google should feature a poll: "Who has a Billy bookshelf?" Then, the next week: "Who has another fucking Billy bookshelf?" . . . and then: "Who has another god-damned fucking Billy fucking bookshelf?" People in other EU countries will realize how much time that have spent navigating labyrinths of plastic kitchen crap, which nobody wants, because nobody needs. Sweden gets the boot out of the EU for crimes against humanity, and making me look at spaghetti tongs, instead of a football game, on a Saturday afternoon.

So, yeah, Google . . . don't let that EU parliament annoy you: They are over-payed and under-worked. And that's the one semi-serious statement in this post.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Better Question (116 comments)

A .22 with birdshot.

That way, you won't hurt anyone or damage anything when you miss.

about three weeks ago
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LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

PolygamousRanchKid Re:In a word: Good (338 comments)

We need to educate the people without jobs to fill the ones that exist

You can't educate people beyond their intelligence.

about three weeks ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

PolygamousRanchKid Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (454 comments)

horses on the roads

Wow! And I thought the roadkill here was bad!

Tip the veal, try the waitress . . .

about three weeks ago
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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

PolygamousRanchKid Additional advice for foreign students in the US (186 comments)

Find a partner and make a baby fast! Your child will be automatically a US citizen. That will child will be your ticket to legal residency in a few years, if you want it later.

That was the key to one part of the plan that was announced: If you have a child who is a US citizen, you won't be deported.

about a month ago
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CERN Releases LHC Data

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Nuclear weapons? (42 comments)

Yes.

However, the nuclear weapon would need an LHC for it to work. Which would be hard to deliver on a plane or missile payload.

about a month ago
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Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Texas representative? (57 comments)

Actually, given that Texas has a lot of space industry in Houston, and high tech industry in Austin, and would benefit from more space exploration . . . that is exactly what I would expect from a Texas representative.

about a month ago
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UNSW Has Collected an Estimated $100,000 In Piracy Fines Since 2008

PolygamousRanchKid Re:$480 fines? (98 comments)

"I think a $640K fine should be enough to gut every student." -- Bill Gates

about a month ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Here we go again (226 comments)

I don’t recall seeing boot camps for Electrical Engineers or boot Camps for Medical Doctors.

. . . maybe that would be a good idea? Why do you need to go to a dentist . . . ? All you need is a Black & Decker drill from Lowe's and a can of spacthel . . . right?

My teeth are kinda sorta important to me, and I would like for them to be handled by a professional.

Oh? Computer systems that are handling my money . . . ? Ditto!

about a month ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

PolygamousRanchKid Breast-feeding . . . *what* ? (246 comments)

I mean, a picture of a black woman or a white woman breast-feeding her baby wouldn't interest me.

A picture of a black woman or a white woman simultaneously breast-feeding both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton would interest me. That would be a hoot and a half.

Quotes from the romp . . .

"I did NOT suckle on that woman!"

"Who said anything about breast milk costing $4 a gallon?"

I've tried to offend both major political parties in the US with this post. I could try to also offend the Libertarians, Greens, or Tea Party folks . . . but there don't seem to be enough breasts to go around!

about a month ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

PolygamousRanchKid Re:Swedish video games tagged 'sexist' (642 comments)

Hmm, that might not be a deterrent to sales...

Yep! Porn is rather sexist, and still seems to do very good business on the Internet.

I could imagine that game developers might see this as a challenge . . . who can get the highest sexism score on their games?

about a month ago
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Machine Learning Used To Predict Military Suicides

PolygamousRanchKid Has anyone thought, that these sucidees are right? (74 comments)

When I look at the world today . . . I see Obama threatening to use dictatorial powers . . . which will cause the Republicans in Congress to shut the government down . . . while ISIS is making a mighty romp . . . and no Muslim countries seemed to be concerned about that . . . Putin, is, while just being Putin.

And, and and more and. I'm trying hard do decide why I am not committing suicide myself.

Oh, I need to teach a class at TU Darmstadt in a couple of weeks, and need to create a presentation. Never mind.

about a month ago
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3D Printed Art Smaller Than an Ant's Forehead

PolygamousRanchKid Wacky units . . . (35 comments)

Well, I have heard of Hogsheads as a unit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

But an ant's forehead . . . how many Libraries of Congress or size of Wales is that . . . ?

Maybe they meant "aunt" instead of "ant" . . . ? I don't know about youse guys, but if someone tried to print something in 3D on my aunt's forehead, they would be in for more trouble than they expected . . .

about a month ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

PolygamousRanchKid Re:stupid germans (419 comments)

will the stupid germans pick up their transrapid stuff where they left it now ?

Actually, the cruel joke here is that the German rail drivers have been striking now. Which is an important lesson . . . if a train *can* go that fast . . . it doesn't mean anything if something else prevents it from doing that.

Also, serious info for serious Slashdotters here . . . the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, has a PhD in Physics. Can any other country boast a top political leader who has a STEM leader . . . ?

She has a tough job . . . a scientist turned politician! But that is the message here . . . it is not about technology, but politics.

about a month ago

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White House 3-D prints Obama presidential portrait

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about two weeks ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Because 2-D art is so passé, the White House – along with the Smithsonian Institution – has captured and printed the first ever 3-D portrait of President Obama.

A video released by the White House late Tuesday shows what looks like a futuristic photo-booth. Actually, it’s a “mobile light stage,” which includes “50 custom-built LED lights, eight high-resolution sports photography cameras, and an additional six wider-angle cameras,” Paul Debevec of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies explains in the video.

But the project isn’t just about experimenting with 3-D printing technology. Tom Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy says “it’s also part of a broader trend, and that is the third industrial revolution,” which Kalil describes as “the combination of the digital world and the physical world.”"

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Medieval Times: Congress Suggests Moat to Protect White House

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a month ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Acting Secret Service director Joseph Clancy on Wednesday faced a number of tough questions from the House Judiciary Committee about the fence jumper who made it deep into the White House. But along with the tough questions, Clancy fielded a couple eyebrow raising suggestions on how to better protect the president’s home.

“Would a moat, water six feet around, be kind of attractive and effective?” Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked with trepidation.

What is likely to happen, though, is that the 7 foot 6-inch fence currently circling the White House gets heightened, Clancy said. Renderings of the new fence are expected in the next few months.

Until then, the Secret Service is relying on a low-tech solution.

“We have a bike rack there now, which we know is not going to prevent someone from jumping the fence, but it’s going to allow us to have a little more time to react,” Clancy said.

C'mon Slashdotters . . . surely we have wackier ideas than a moat . . . ?"

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CNN Election Commentators: Microsoft Surface Is Great for Hiding Our iPads!

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a month and a half ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Hold on to your seats, Ladies and Gentlemen, a first for Slashdot . . . a tech story from . . . *gasp* . . . TMZ!

CNN just got busted in the biggest political cover-up, and it has nothing to do with Benghazi or the IRS — instead it's all about ... TABLETS!!! Last night CNN's Election coverage experts were given Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets to use. It was reportedly part of a product placement deal ... and competing devices — like the iPad — were supposed to be no where in sight.

Not everyone got that memo ... because Jake Tapper and Ana Navarro were caught on camera using the Surface Pros as shields to cover up their iPads ... which they were clearly still using.

With 100% of precincts reporting, we are prepared to call this race ... for the iPad.

A Microsoft spokesperson was "unable" to comment on the apparent CNN gaffe.

The photos from the live coverage are a hoot and a half . . ."

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Obama acknowledged that even foolproof plans don't work

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "President Barack Obama said Wednesday his administration will respond to new Ebola cases "in a much more aggressive way," taking charge of the issue after a second Texas health care worker was diagnosed with the disease.

Aggressive? What's he going to do? Throw some gang signs at it, and yell, "You think you bad, mutha fuckah?"

Obama scrapped plans to attend Democratic fund-raisers in New Jersey and Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon so that he could huddle with Cabinet members and officials who are leading the administration's Ebola response. Afterward, the President sought to tamp down fears of of an outbreak of the disease within the United States — saying that he shook hands with, hugged and kissed nurses who'd treated an American doctor who contracted Ebola in Africa, and felt safe.

"Welcome to your new promotion, Mr. President Biden!"

Obama acknowledged that even foolproof plans don't work when local health care providers don't know how to carry them out — and said his administration will make sure "certain local hospitals that may not have that experience are walked through that process as carefully as possible."

Oops!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have "SWAT teams" ready to send to hospitals where future cases are discovered, he said.

I think we need "Whack-a-Mole" teams, at the rate this seems to be spreading . . . "

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Congressman Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Ones

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 5 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Rep. Curt Clawson, a freshman Republican congressman from Florida, mistook two senior U.S. officials for representatives of the Indian government during a House hearing on Friday.

“I am familiar with your country, I love your country,” Clawson said to Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, addressing fellow U.S. citizens who hold high-ranking positions in the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively.

After a lingering silence, Clawson smiles slowly. Kumar appears to grin, while Biswal echoes Clawson’s sentiment, informing him it should probably be directed to the Indian government. It’s unclear whether Clawson realized his error."

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Test a Personal Drone Detection System for $500

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 6 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "While there are non-lethal uses for drones, the high-flying devices have sparked some privacy concerns, especially as federal officials move to loosen restrictions on their use. As a result, a Portland, Oregon company has taken matters into its own hands with a new a Kickstarter campaign for a Personal Drone Detection System.

The team at Domestic Drone Countermeasures (DDC) has been working for more than a year to produce hardware that detects drones and, ultimately, deters them from recording you and your surroundings.The Basic Personal Drone Detection System is comprised of three boxes, which together create a mesh grid network that triangulates moving transmitters—like drones. If a rogue transmitter flies into range, the system sounds an alarm or sends a message to your mobile device.

Don't worry: The system won't fire any shots at the flying devices; it will simply announce their presence to you (at home or on the go)."

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To reduce the health risk of barbecuing meat, just add beer

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 8 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Grilling meat gives it great flavour. This taste, though, comes at a price, since the process creates molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which damage DNA and thus increase the eater’s chances of developing colon cancer. But a group of researchers led by Isabel Ferreira of the University of Porto, in Portugal, think they have found a way around the problem. When barbecuing meat, they suggest, you should add beer.

The PAHs created by grilling form from molecules called free radicals which, in turn, form from fat and protein in the intense heat of this type of cooking. One way of stopping PAH-formation, then, might be to apply chemicals called antioxidants that mop up free radicals. And beer is rich in these, in the shape of melanoidins, which form when barley is roasted."

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Obama to unveil new manufacturing institutes in Chicago, Detroit

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 10 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "President Obama plans to announce on Tuesday the opening of two new manufacturing institutes in the Chicago and Detroit areas as part of a larger plan to use public-private partnerships to advance his agenda despite opposition from Republicans in Congress. Several federal agencies will join forces with companies and universities to run the institutes, which will be devoted to bridging the gap between applied research and product development, according to an administration official familiar with the plans.

Each institute will function as a “teaching factory,” the official said, and will provide training for workers while also helping companies get the expertise and equipment they need to offer new products and manufacturing processes. The government will put up $140 million to match the more than $140 million promised by the private sector leaders involved with each project, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss the plans before the official announcement next week. The federal government will devote $70 million to each of the two institutes.

The selection of Chicago to host a new institute drew praise from elected officials who have lobbying for it for months."

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Fatwa forbids Muslims from traveling to Mars

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 10 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "The Khaleej Times of Dubai reports that a fatwa committee has forbidden Muslims from taking a one-way trip to the Red Planet. At the moment, there is no technology available that would allow for a return trip from Mars, so it is truly a one-way ticket for the colonists, who may also become reality TV stars in the process. The committee of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the United Arab Emirates that issued the fatwa against such a journey doesn't have anything against space exploration,Elon Musk's Mars visions, or anything like that. Rather, the religious leaders argue that making the trip would be tantamount to committing suicide, which all religions tend to frown upon.

Professor Farooq Hamada, who presided over the committee, explained, "Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful." Hundreds of Saudis and other Arabs have applied to Mars One, and the committee suspects some may be interested in the trip "for escaping punishment or standing before Almighty Allah for judgment," according to the Khaleej Times.

The committee stood firm in its belief that this approach would be a waste of time and one very long trip: "This is an absolutely baseless and unacceptable belief because not even an atom falls outside the purview of Allah, the Creator of everything.""

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US blames Russia for leak of undiplomatic language from top official

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about 10 months ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "America's new top diplomat for Europe seems to have been caught being decidedly undiplomatic about her EU allies in a phone call apparently intercepted and leaked by Russia. "Fuck the EU," Victoria Nuland apparently says in a recent phone call with the US ambassador to Kiev, Geoff Pyatt, as they discuss the next moves to try to resolve the crisis in Ukraine amid weeks of pro-democracy protests which have rocked the country. The call appears to have been intercepted and released on YouTube, accompanied by Russian captions of the private and candid conversation.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that if the Russians were responsible for listening to, recording and posting a private diplomatic telephone conversation, it would be "a new low in Russian tradecraft."

So . . . Russians spooks are spying on US diplomats . . . which you would expect them to do. But American spooks are spying on Americans citizens . . . and the State Department has the gall to call the Russians "low" . . . ?"

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It's icebreakers . . . all the way down . . .

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "A U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker left Australia for Antarctica on Sunday to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard two icebreakers trapped in pack ice near the frozen continent's eastern edge, officials said. The 399-foot cutter, the Polar Star, is responding to a Jan. 3 request from Australia, Russia and China to assist the Russian and Chinese ships because "there is sufficient concern that the vessels may not be able to free themselves from the ice," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre, which oversaw the rescue, said the Polar Star, the Coast Guard's only active heavy polar icebreaker, would take about seven days to reach Commonwealth Bay, depending on weather. Under international conventions observed by most countries, ships' crews are obliged to take part in such rescues and the owners carry the costs."

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France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Should YouTube subsidize le cinéma français? France’s audiovisual regulator thinks so. In a report this week, the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) says that video-sharing websites should be subject to a tax that helps finance the production of French films and TV shows. Although the CSA report says that videos posted online by private individuals should not be subject to taxation, it contends that video-sharing sites increasingly have become “professional” content providers.

Separately, France is considering a tax on smartphones, tablets, and other devices as another source of revenue for cultural subsidies. The proposed tax would raise an estimated €86 million annually that would be used to finance the “cultural industries’ digital transition,” France’s Culture Ministry said at the time."

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GM's CEO rejects repaying Feds for bailout losses

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  1 year,2 days

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "The General Motors bailout may have cost the government $10 billion, but GM CEO Dan Akerson rejects any suggestion that the company should compensate for the losses. He says Treasury officials took the same risk assumed by anyone who purchases stock.

Akerson said that GM repaid all the debt issued by the government beginning in December 2008 when George W. Bush was still president and extending into the first year of Barack Obama's presidency. He added that it was the Treasury's decision — though one he clearly supported — to take an ownership stake in the form of company shares.

Asked whether GM should pay the difference between the amount the government provided the company and the return from the sale of the shares, Akerson said the "die was cast" by Treasury when it decided to take shares. For GM to make up for any shortfall could result in lawsuits from other shareholders."

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Thousands of Germans threatened with €250 fines for streaming porn

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  1 year,7 days

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Thousands of German users that have used a porn website to stream shows have received threatening letters from a local law firm demanding €250 ($344) per certain watched clips, Chip.de reports. Apparently, a Swiss-based firm that owns the content hosted by porn site Redtube has tasked a law firm with collecting fines for each of its shows that was streamed online in the region. The law firm has apparently received a go ahead from a local court, and as many as ten thousand warnings may have been set to users, for porn shows watched in August.

However, the court in Cologne may have issued a wrong verdict, German online publication Stern says, allowing the lawyers of U+C to go forward and ask ISPs to disclose names and addresses associated with the IPs which allegedly streamed the porn shows.

More importantly, it’s unclear how their IPs were actually shared with the law firm sending out the warnings in the first place, but their privacy has clearly been violated in some sort of way. Chip.de suggests that these users may have been targeted with malware that harvested their IP addresses in order to be later used in such legal proceedings."

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U.S. Accuses Germany of Causing Instability

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "As punishment for Germany's NSA spying complaints . . . ?

The United States Treasury singled out Germany for criticism in a report released on Wednesday that said Berlin’s reliance on exports was holding back its struggling partners in the European Union. The document, the Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, outlines the practices of America’s top trading partners over the first half of 2013, concluding that none “met the standard of manipulating the rate of exchange between their currency and the United States dollar” in order to gain an unfair trade advantage.

Yet Germany was a focus of particular — and unusual — scolding from the Obama administration, which said that Berlin’s “anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing” and hurt its ailing European Union partners. For decades, Germany’s manufacturers have produced more than its residents demand, sending more of its relatively low-cost goods into the international market than what it imports.

Yeah, all those damn low-cost Porsches, BMWs and Mercedes!

Germany’s policies have also driven export surpluses in the European Union as a whole, to the detriment of the United States and other major exporters, Mr. Kirkegaard said. He said he doubted that German officials “will pay the least attention to this finger-pointing.”"

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Elop Favored by Gamblers as Microsoft's Next Chief Executive

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "A gambling website’s favorite as Microsoft Corp.’s next chief executive officer is Stephen Elop, the Nokia CEO who has presided over a 62 percent decline in market value. Elop, a former Microsoft executive, has 5-to-1 odds to be hired as Steve Ballmer’s replacement, according to Ladbrokes, the U.K.-based gambling operator. He leads a pool including internal candidates Kevin Turner and Julie Larson-Green and outsiders like Apple CEO Tim Cook — a 100-to-1 dark horse.

The betting house says Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, is the second-favorite contender for the CEO job at 6-to-1, followed by Andreessen Horowitz board partner Steve Sinofsky and Larson-Green, at 8-to-1. Tony Bates, Satya Nadella, Qi Lu and Terry Myerson are the leading internal choices to replace Ballmer, people with knowledge of the matter said. All four have odds between 10-to-1 and 14-to-1 on Ladbrokes. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings offers a 16-to-1 shot for gamblers betting on Microsoft’s expansion in entertainment.

Feeling a bit riskier? Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, T-Mobile USA Inc. CEO John Legere and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey are 40-to-1 long shots. Then there’s Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and the world’s richest person — and a 50-to-1 bet."

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Un-un-pentium on your Periodic Table of the Elements?

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Researchers at Sweden’s Lund University have announced that they’ve been able to confirm the existence of element 115 on the periodic table. This research team isn’t the first to create element 115, which is currently known as ununpentium. The first claim that ununpentium had been synthesized in a lab was by a joint group of Russian and American researchers, who believed that they created it in their lab in 2004.

The Lund research team created ununpentium by bombarding americium(!?!?!) , which has 95 protons, with calcium, which has 20 protons. The bombardment created elements with 115 protons. The atoms were so unstable, however, that they decayed almost instantly. So to demonstrate that they had created element 115, the scientists had to actually measure the photons released by the atoms decay and confirmed that it matched what physics predicts would be the decay pattern for ununpentium."

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Will Obamacare destroy jobs?

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "More than one in ten firms surveyed by Mercer, a consultancy—and one in five retail and hospitality companies—say they will cut workers’ hours because of Obamacare. A hundred part-timers can flip as many burgers as 50 full-timers, and the former will soon be much cheaper. Opinions are furiously divided as to whether the unintended harm caused by health reform will outweigh its benefits. Republicans, who have always hated the whole package, howl that it will destroy jobs. Nonsense, say Democrats; it will promote growth and boost employment. Since the law has so many moving parts, it is hard to predict who is right. But there is a risk that a lot of workers will be hurt.

Obamacare includes a tax on generous health plans, starting in 2018, which is making some employers reconsider lush benefits. Unions, which fought for them, are livid. At the other extreme, some low-paid workers may want their employers to drop insurance, so they can receive subsidies on the exchanges.

More worrying, though, is the possibility that Obamacare may kill jobs. In 2010 the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that it would shrink employment by 0.5%. The law’s many provisions would pull in opposite directions. Some would raise employment, the CBO predicted. For example, by expanding Medicaid (health care for the poor) to those with higher incomes, Obamacare would remove a disincentive to work. People who might have turned down extra work for fear of losing their Medicaid would now take it, ran the argument.

Other provisions would reduce employment. Partly, this would be because employers will cut jobs and hours to avoid being subject to the law. But mostly, the CBO thinks it would be because people will choose to work less. Obamacare’s subsidies will boost the finances of poor workers; they may therefore work fewer hours.

When the final diagnosis is done, Obamacare may have nasty side-effects."

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Obama seeks new system for rating colleges

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Targeting the soaring cost of higher education, President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a broad new government rating system for colleges that would judge schools on their affordability and perhaps be used to allocate federal financial aid. But the proposed overhaul faced immediate skepticism from college leaders who worry the rankings could cost their institutions millions of dollars, as well as from congressional Republicans wary of deepening the government’s role in higher education.

For colleges and universities, millions of federal aid dollars could be on the line if schools are downgraded under the government rating system. There has been little consensus among policymakers on how to curb college costs. While Obama’s proposal could give colleges an incentive to slow increases, it could also add massive reporting requirements that could be a burden on schools already struggling to make ends meet.

The new rating system does not require congressional approval, and the White House is aiming to have it set up before the 2015 school year. But Obama does need support from Congress in order to use the ratings as a basis for parceling out federal financial aid. In addition to tuition, schools will also be rated on average student loan debt, graduation rates and the average earnings of graduates. Under Obama’s proposal, students attending highly rated schools could receive larger grants and more affordable loans.

The president is also seeking legislation to give colleges a ‘‘bonus’’ based on the number of students they graduate who received Pell Grants. The goal is to encourage colleges to enroll and graduate low- and moderate-income students.

I guess I'll apply to the college that the government tells me to . . ."

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Gang of Feral Cats Attacks Woman, Dog in France

PolygamousRanchKid PolygamousRanchKid writes  |  about a year ago

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "A gang of feral cats in France attacked a woman and her poodle, forcing both victims to seek medical attention for their injuries. The cat-attack occurred Sunday (July 21) near the city of Belfort in eastern France. The 31-year-old woman was walking her dog near a wooded area when six felines set upon her, knocking her to the ground, The Independent reports.

Josette Galliot, the mother of the victim, said, "The cats jumped on my daughter and managed to knock her over. They bit her on the leg and on her arms. They even pierced an artery."

Veterinary specialist Valerie Dramard believes the cats were protecting their territory from the poodle, and the woman simply got in the way. "Cats are not new zombies of the apocalypse," Dramard said reassuringly. "They are just very territorial and unfriendly with unknown species."

Yeah, right . . . it has begun . . ."

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