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Comments

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Privacy Lawsuits Over NSA Spying Force Retention of Metadata

SonicSpike Ron Paul and Rand Paul (59 comments)

Ron Paul and Rand Paul would've prevented it. Also Senator Mike Lee, and Representatives Justin Amash and Thomas Massie. Maybe Rep Dennis Kucinich too, but I'm not completely sure about his civil liberties record.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA's Greatest Challenges In 2014

SonicSpike Re:Privatise it (97 comments)

Firefighting can be profitable. There are many security services that are profitable. There are many private land use areas (think parks) that are profitable. Plowing the streets is profitable (I have a friend who makes good money doing it), teaching is profitable, toll roads are profitable.

Not sure what world you're living in.

about 4 months ago
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Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch

SonicSpike Re:Federal Communication Commision (252 comments)

No, federal law only trumps state law IF the federal law is actually valid (in line with the Constitution).

about 4 months ago
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Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands

SonicSpike Re:*sigh* (175 comments)

This is what happens when the government is in charge of protection.

about 4 months ago
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Overstock.com Plans To Accept Bitcoin

SonicSpike Re:Guesses as to end effect? (202 comments)

The value of the dollar has lost close to 98% since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 and took us off the gold standard. That's not exactly "stable" and it punishes people who save their money plus it hurts the poor because price inflation increases faster than their wages do making their buying power less and less.

And the reason governments took their currencies off of the precious metal standards was so that they could inflate (tax) their citizens. People get up in arms when a new tax is raised, however when their currency is devalued by the wholesale printing of money by their government, they are not as quick to understand the reasoning behind it. Governments have inflated and devalued their currencies forever, even the Roman Empire did it by reducing the amount of precious metals in their coins.

Search for "Austrian Economics" if you want to understand more about this subject.

about 4 months ago
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Overstock.com Plans To Accept Bitcoin

SonicSpike Re:But how much will it cost? (202 comments)

Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) aren't real money either in case you haven't noticed. The difference between BTC and USD? One is centrally controlled by the government, the other is peer-to-peer.

about 4 months ago
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Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry

SonicSpike Re:This is going to be an epic fight (261 comments)

Rent-seeking is just the opposite of free market capitalism. And the only reason these corporations have a monopoly / cartel, is because the government grants them one. This is called corporatism, or maybe even fascism.

If the government didn't intervene in the marketplace these monopolies / cartels wouldn't exist, or if they did, it would be short lived.

Study Austrian economics sometime: http://www.mises.org/

about 4 months ago
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CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

SonicSpike Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (504 comments)

No, CBS's existence is based upon a government-granted monopoly via the FCC. They are not about to anger the feds, it would be bad for business, since the federal government has the ability to take them OUT of business if they should so choose to do so.

This is why government shouldn't be allowed to set up cartels or monopolies.

about 4 months ago
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How the NSA Is Harming America's Economy

SonicSpike It's the government, not the corporations at fault (330 comments)

The corporations are strong armed into doing this sort of thing on behalf of the government. If they dont comply or try to fight it, then they are found in violation of some law or regulation, saddled with court cases and punitive fines, or maybe even completely taken out of business. In some cases the government will get their competitor to do it. In the case of the telcos, their entire existence is at the whim of the government, so it's unlikely they would ever fight.

The government is the bully here. They really are the mafia.

about 5 months ago
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ATF Tests Show 3D Printed Guns Can Explode

SonicSpike Re:Entirely Appropriate (233 comments)

Have you never heard of the Underwriters Laboratory?

about 5 months ago
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Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose 'Internet Kill Switch'

SonicSpike Re:DHS Kill Switch? (228 comments)

Egypt tried this, and it only made things worse for the government because people left their computers and actually went outside to join the protest instead of watching it on the Net.

about 5 months ago
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How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix

SonicSpike Re:Blockbuster died... (385 comments)

They lied to you.

When I was in undergrad, working at Blockbuster was my part-time job. It was quite fun actually, but anyway, management can remove fines if they want, it's real easy to do.

about 5 months ago
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Music Industry Issues Take Down Notices to 50 Major Lyrics Sites

SonicSpike Re:Suicide? (281 comments)

It would have to have an expiration date on it because artists are with different labels, publishers, management, etc.

Also labels make essentially nothing on concerts. But you're right overall, the way to make money in the music industry is through live shows.

It's simple economics.

As supply approaches infinity, cost approaches zero. Therefore recorded music is essentially worthless, from a pure economics standpoint. The industry, through the government's copyright law, has tried to maintain an artificial monopoly on supply, however technology has made that law / business model obsolete.

At a concert though, there is true scarcity, because in most cases only a finite amount of people can fit inside the venue. Not to mention an artist is usually only in any particular city once or twice a year at best. Since scarcity exists, then price doesn't have to be zero.

Yes, I am an audio engineer who designs and implements large scale concert sound systems.

about 5 months ago
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How Silicon Valley Helped the NSA

SonicSpike Re:Vote with your feet (163 comments)

yeah, last time I checked the NSA's reach was worldwide. And US courts have upheld the 3rd party doctrine where any information a 3rd party has about you (phone records for instance), is not subject to the same Constitutional protection as your personal effects are.

about 5 months ago
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The Case Against Gmail

SonicSpike Re:Best decision i took in my online life.. (435 comments)

I did that too until my registrar www.DirectNIC.com started getting blacklisted.... all of the sudden I wasn't receiving e-mails because of it since the relay at the registrar level wasn't able to forward e-mails to my ISP client grrr

about 6 months ago
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Verizon Ordered To Provide All Customer Data To NSA

SonicSpike Re:Shocking! (609 comments)

And with who's money would the government pay for it?

about 10 months ago
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US Senate Passes Internet Tax Bill 69 To 27

SonicSpike Re:bollocks (678 comments)

I didn't sign any social contract.

about a year ago
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Rand Paul Launches a Filibuster Against Drone Strikes On US Soil

SonicSpike Re:The enemy of my enemy (693 comments)

Uh no, check his voting record, he's just like his dad, Ron, who didn't care about leadership or Party at all. He votes in accordance with the Constitution.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Congressman Introduces A Bill Declaring Bitcoin A Currency, Not Property

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about a week ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Congressman Steve Stockman of the 36th District of Texas is embracing digital currency. He made himself known in the Bitcoin space at the end of last year when he began accepting Bitcoin donations for a Senate campaign.

Last night at the New York City Bitcoin Center, Representative Stockman brought a copy of a bill he’s planning to introduce to the 113th Congress (second session) on the topic of virtual currencies.

Entitled “To change the tax status of virtual currencies from property to currency”, the bill (formally called the Virtual Currency Tax Reform Act) seeks to change how the Internal Revenue Service and other authoritative agencies in the United States views virtual currencies.

As you may recall, the IRS released guidance not long ago indicating that Bitcoin and other virtual currency users classify their holdings as property as opposed to currency. For users, this has become rather problematic primarily because by the rules, users would have to keep track of all of their transactions and calculate gains/losses at the end of the year..."

Link to Original Source
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Congressman Introduces Bill Declaring Bitcoin A Currency, Not Property

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about a week ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Congressman Steve Stockman of the 36th District of Texas is embracing digital currency. He made himself known in the Bitcoin space at the end of last year when he began accepting Bitcoin donations for a Senate campaign.

Last night at the New York City Bitcoin Center, Representative Stockman brought a copy of a bill he’s planning to introduce to the 113th Congress (second session) on the topic of virtual currencies.

Entitled “To change the tax status of virtual currencies from property to currency”, the bill (formally called the Virtual Currency Tax Reform Act) seeks to change how the Internal Revenue Service and other authoritative agencies in the United States views virtual currencies.

As you may recall, the IRS released guidance not long ago indicating that bitcoin and other virtual currency users classify their holdings as property as opposed to currency. For users, this has become rather problematic primarily because by the rules, users would have to keep track of all of their transactions and calculate gains/losses at the end of the year."
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Is Bitcoin the Key to Digital Copyright?

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Bitcoin’s technology could help solve one of the gnarliest problems of 21st Century copyright. If you buy a book at Barnes and Noble, you are free to give it away to a friend after you’ve read it, or sell it to a used book store. But you can’t if you buy that same book for your Kindle or iPad. To lend, sell, or give away a digital copy of a digital book or song is copyright infringement.

The Bitcoin network allows one to transfer tokens called bitcoins, and to date these tokens have been used to represent money. But there’s no reason they could not represent a particular instance of a song or a book or a movie.

Particular music files could be associated with a particular user’s public Bitcoin addresses and encrypted in such a way that the user’s corresponding private key is needed to play the songs. Selling, lending, or giving away a song or a book would be as simple as sending it to someone else’s public address. At that point, only recipient’s private keys can unlock the file. And this would all be cryptographically provable, without requiring trust.

An astute reader will have noticed that this would essentially be a kind of universal digital rights management (DRM) scheme, and that’s certainly the case. But unlike traditional DRM, the system would not rely on central corporate authority, but on a decentralized network that is quickly emerging as a new standard Internet protocol. Alternatively, no DRM can be employed and the blockchain can simply serve as registry to legitimate transfers."

Link to Original Source
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Industry claims "6 strikes" piracy warning system is working

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "A national effort to crack down on Internet piracy through a "six strikes" system is seeing success, according to the program’s director.

Privacy advocates and online free speech groups expressed concerns at the February 2013 launch of theCopyright Alert System, a voluntary agreement between the entertainment industry and major Internet providers that aims to reduce online piracy through peer-to-peer networks by sending warnings to users.

The goal of the system, Lesser said, is simply to educate subscribers when copyright infringement is happening.

“It’s a non-punitive system” that is “intended to be education-based,” Lesser told The Hill in an interview.

Through the system, participating Internet providers — AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon — send notices to subscribers who share copyrighted content through peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent.

The notices escalate if infringement continues up to six notices; the first notice alerts the subscriber that infringement is happening while the fifth and sixth come with “mitigation measures,” such as temporarily slowed Internet speeds.

While it has been dubbed the “six strikes” system, the Copyright Alert System stops interacting with users, even if their accounts continue to share infringing material, after the sixth notice."

Link to Original Source
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Federal wood burning rule prompts rural backlash

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "This is a follow-up to what was previously reported here on SlashDot: http://news.slashdot.org/story...

________________

A federal proposal to clean up the smoke wafting from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers who fear it could close the damper on one of the oldest ways of warming homes on cold winter days.

Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed from the smokestacks of new residential wood-powered heaters.

Wood-burning stoves are a staple in rural homes in many states, a cheap heating source for low-income residents and others wanting to lessen their reliance on gas or electric furnaces. Outdoor models often cost several thousand dollars, but indoor stoves can cost as little as a few hundred dollars and sometimes double as fashionable centerpieces in homes.

Some manufacturers contend the EPA's proposed standards are so stringent that the higher production costs would either force them out of business or raise prices so high that many consumers could no longer afford their products."

Link to Original Source
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Company uses drone to inspect structural integrity of building; FAA takes issue

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Owners of the drone used to inspect the McClung warehouses in Knoxville, TN may have broken federal aviation regulations.

The federal government currently prohibits the use of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, for commercial purposes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

“The way we look at it, if it’s a profit making enterprise, it’s commercial,” said Les Dorr, FAA spokesman. “You can’t fly an unmanned commercial aircraft by claiming you are following the model aircraft guidelines,” Dorr said.

Leslie Noel, marketing director for Kentucky-based Donan Engineering, said Wednesday the company only got permission to fly the drone from the property owner, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation."

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Can infrared LEDs thwart traffic cameras?

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "IR emitters (such as what's at the end of your remote control) will show up on camera even if they are not visible to the naked eye.

Could this be applied to traffic / red light / speed cameras?

For example, if you were to put a bunch of IR LEDs around your license plate to light it up, could you wash out the image enough to prevent a good capture by a traffic camera?"
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Feds Want Cars To Be Able To Talk To Each Other

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Officials are moving to require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets them warn each other when they're plunging toward peril.

The action, still a couple of years off, has "game-changing potential" to cut crashes, deaths and injuries, officials said Monday.

A radio beacon would continually transmit a vehicle's position, heading, speed and other information. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles, and a vehicle's computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems may automatically brake to avoid an accident if manufacturers choose to include that option.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been working with automakers on the technology for the past decade, estimates vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don't involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration decided to announce its intention to require the technology in new vehicles in order to "send a strong signal to the (automotive industry) that we believe the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology."

Government officials declined to give an estimate for how much the technology would increase the price of a new car, but the transportation society estimate it would cost about $100 to $200 per vehicle. Automakers are enthusiastic about vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but feel there are important technical, security and privacy questions that need to be worked out first, said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers."

Link to Original Source
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FDA approves pill camera to screen colon

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 2 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "U.S. regulators have cleared a bite-size camera to help screen patients who have trouble with colonoscopies.

The ingestible pill camera from Given Imaging is designed to help doctors spot polyps and other early signs of colon cancer. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the device for patients who have had trouble with the cringe-inducing colonoscopy procedure, which involves probing the large intestine with a tiny camera embedded in a four-foot long, flexible tube.

The Israeli company's technology, developed from missile defense systems, uses a battery-powered camera to take high-speed photos as it slowly winds its way through the intestinal tract over eight hours. The images are transmitted to a recording device worn around the patient's waist and later reviewed by a doctor."

Link to Original Source
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Supercomputer models one second of human brain activity

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 3 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "The most accurate simulation of the human brain to date has been carried out in a Japanese supercomputer, with a single second’s worth of activity from just one per cent of the complex organ taking one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers 40 minutes to calculate.

Researchers used the K computer in Japan, currently the fourth most powerful in the world, to simulate human brain activity. The computer has 705,024 processor cores and 1.4 million GB of RAM, but still took 40 minutes to crunch the data for just one second of brain activity.

The project, a joint enterprise between Japanese research group RIKEN, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, an interdisciplinary research center based in Germany, was the largest neuronal network simulation to date.

It used the open-source Neural Simulation Technology (NEST) tool to replicate a network consisting of 1.73 billion nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses."

Link to Original Source
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Congressman Seeks Support for Bitcoin

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Congressman Steven Stockman of Texas appeared at the New Year’s Eve bash at the New York City Bitcoin Center and announced acceptance of Bitcoin for his upcoming Senate campaign, but perhaps more interestingly, his desire to put together a bill in support of Bitcoin.

The representative is seeking support of a clear-cut bill that is designed to keep federal, state, and local government from interfering with Bitcoin and the Bitcoin economy, according to Charles Peralo, a director of new business at the NYC Bitcoin Center and was in attendance at the New Year’s Eve event.

“Stockman understands the revolutionary value to bitcoin,” said Peralo to newsBTC. “What Stockman sees is anti-inflation practices, the cheapest possible transactions on the web, [and] a cheap and quick way to act as a medium of exchange between other currencies and also many other things yet to be discovered.”

“He’s not asking for the promotion of bitcoin. He’s also not asking [that] the government gets behind bitcoin. He’s just seeking sensible legislation to make it so the government will not attack bitcoin. So this way it can grow naturally without the fear of a government ban.”"

Link to Original Source
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Congressman Accepts BitCoin For His US Senate Run

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "US Representative Steve Stockman, a vocal opponent of Federal Reserve policy, told reporters that he wants to promote Bitcoin, whose most fervent evangelists tout as an alternative to fiat currency.

To do so, he is now accepting Bitcoin for his Senate campaign against incumbent John Cornyn of Texas.

The announcement was made last night at the launch event for the NYC Bitcoin Center, located just up the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Center founder Nick Spanos a real estate developer and Bitcoin enthusiast says the Center itself is still in something of a planning stage, existing more as a statement about Bitcoin itself, though he plans on hosting a "hackathon" later this month."

Link to Original Source
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Red Light Camera Controversy Drives Mayoral Race In Florida:

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "In Apopka, FL where John Land has served a record 61 years as mayor, two of the candidates lined up to oppose the city's most iconic politician have one thing in common: They hate red-light cameras.

Political newcomers Glen Chancy and Edwin Radcliff III want to bring the cameras down.

No other municipality in Central Florida has made as much money with red-light cameras in the past two years than Apopka. The city levied a total of $3.6 million in red-light fines from 22 cameras during fiscal years 2012 and 2013, about $200,000 more than second-place Orlando did during the same time span.

The city keeps $75 from each $158 fine collected; the state gets the other $83, including $13 that is diverted to trust funds that help fund trauma and brain-and-spinal-cord injury centers.

"Nobody likes robo-enforcement," said Chancy, co-founder of http://www.banthecams.org/ a grassroots Apopka group organized to combat red-light cameras. "They ticket people for doing things a police officer never would."

Though red-light camera critics often protest the devices at Apopka City Council meetings, Land has endorsed the traffic sentinels since 2005, when the city became the first in Central Florida to put them up. "They save lives, first and foremost it's that," the mayor said of his support.

"They make us safer," Land said"

Link to Original Source
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Overstock.com plans to become first big online retailer to accept Bitcoin

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Overstock plans to become the first big U.S. online retailer to accept Bitcoin, as Patrick Byrne, the company's libertarian chief executive, warms to the virtual currency as a refuge from government control.

Mr Byrne told the Financial Times that Overstock planned to start accepting Bitcoin next year – possibly by the end of the second quarter – a decision that he said was driven mainly by his own political philosophy.

"I think a healthy monetary system at the end of the day isn't an upside down pyramid based on the whim of a government official, but is based on something that they can't control," Mr Byrne said."

Link to Original Source
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Two researchers send a text message using vodka

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Two researchers at York University have worked out a way to communicate between two points using vodka evaporated into the air. They used their system to message the lyrics of “O Canada” between two points, leading them to conclude that in times of need, when there is no cellular reception, it would be possible to text-message using this system.

The authors of the paper, published Thursday, used specific concentration levels of the vodka to represent bits 1 and 0. They wafted the “message” across 12 feet in the lab to the receiving unit, which read out the message as it detected the concentration of vodka in the air rising or falling over time.

The process sounds slow and short-range, but the researchers suggest that it could work for closed environments that don’t have the benefit of a cellular or Wi-Fi signal. They cite the example of the clogged London sewer system as one where robots could have been deployed below ground and have relayed their findings via the molecular communication system.

A third researcher quoted by Eurekalert further suggests that similar systems of molecular communication could be “used to communicate on the nanoscale,” when scientists are, for instance, trying to target drugs or cancer cells inside a human body."

Link to Original Source
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FBI Owns the World's Biggest Bitcoin Wallet

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "In September, the FBI shut down the Silk Road online drug marketplace, and it started seizing bitcoins belonging to the Dread Pirate Roberts — the operator of the illicit online marketplace, who they say is an American man named Ross Ulbricht.

The seizure sparked an ongoing public discussion about the future of Bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency, but it had an unforeseen side-effect: It made the FBI the holder of the world’s biggest Bitcoin wallet.

The FBI now controls more than 144,000 bitcoins that reside at a bitcoin address that consolidates much of the seized Silk Road bitcoins. Those 144,000 bitcoins are worth close to $100 million at Tuesday’s exchange rates. Another address, containing Silk Road funds seized earlier by the FBI, contains nearly 30,000 bitcoins ($20 million).

That doesn’t make the FBI the world’s largest bitcoin holder. This honor is thought to belong to bitcoin’s shadowy inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, who is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins in the currency’s early days. His stash is spread across many wallets. But it does put the federal agency ahead of the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who in July said that they’d cornered about 1 percent of all bitcoins (there are 12 million bitcoins in circulation).

In the fun house world of bitcoin tracking, it’s hard to say anything for certain. But it is safe to say that there are new players in the Bitcoin world — although not as many people are buying bitcoins as one might guess from all of the media attention."

Link to Original Source
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Senator Rand Paul Plots NSA Class-Action Lawsuit Options

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "After months of consideration, Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), is moving closer to filing a lawsuit in federal court against National Security Agency surveillance programs.

A senior Paul staffer says U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon's Monday decision that NSA opponents have standing to sue over the bulk collection of phone records makes Paul "much more likely" to file his own lawsuit.

The senior staffer, who spoke with U.S. News on background, says hundreds of thousands of people volunteered online as possible plaintiffs after Paul first floated the idea of a class-action lawsuit in June.

If Paul does file a lawsuit it would be the fourth major legal attack against the NSA's bulk collection and five-year storage of American phone records. "As of now the senator is in the process of finding the best lawyer to file the [possible] suit [and] is still accepting more plaintiffs for the case," Paul spokeswoman Eleanor May said."

Link to Original Source
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Red Light Camera Use Declined in 2013 For The First Time

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "2013 may be a turning point for red-light cameras across the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit largely funded by auto insurance companies, this year is the first time in nearly two decades that the number of American cities with red-light cameras has fallen—the systems were installed in 509 communities as of November 2013.

While a single-year drop may not ultimately mean much, legislators across the country are increasingly agitated about the cameras. Bills are also pending in Florida and Ohio that would ban the devices entirely. A state representative in Iowa has also twice introduced legislation to ban RLCs (he was not successful). Part of this backlash has to do with the (sometimes accurate) perception that RLCs are a moneymaking scheme, pure and simple."

Link to Original Source
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US Light Bulb Ban Set To Take Effect

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Light bulb manufacturers will cease making traditional 40 and 60-watt light bulbs — the most popular in the country — at the start of 2014.

This comes after the controversial phasing out of incandescent 75 and 100-watt light bulbs at the beginning of 2013.

In their place will be halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents — which are just regular incandescents that have the filament wrapped in gas. All are significantly more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but offer significant energy and costs savings over the long run. (Some specialty incandescents — such as three-way bulbs — will still be available.)

The end of old light bulbs will likely anger some consumers that are already faced with higher prices for a variety of goods. But it will also tick off tea party activists since the ban is the result of the final phase of government-mandated efficiency standards.

The rules were signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. They are designed to address gross inefficiencies with old light bulbs — only 10% of the energy they use is converted into light, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has a handy fact sheet about the changes. The rest is wasted as heat.

But the rules have drawn fire from a number of circles — mainly conservatives and libertarians who are unhappy about the government telling people what light bulbs they can use. They argue that if the new ones really are so good, people will buy them on their own without being forced to do so."

Link to Original Source
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Senator files bill prohibiting phone calls on planes

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  about 4 months ago

SonicSpike (242293) writes "U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander today filed legislation to prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial flights.

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing today on a potential rule change, having recently eased restrictions on the use of other wireless devices during flights.

"When you stop and think about what we hear now in airport lobbies — babbling about last night's love life, next week's schedule, arguments with spouses — it's not hard to see why the FCC shouldn't allow cell phone conversations on airplanes," Alexander said in a news release. "The solution is simple: text messages, yes; conversations, no.""

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Wilma Most Intense on Record!

SonicSpike SonicSpike writes  |  more than 7 years ago According to the Weather Channel, at 882mb Hurricane Wilma is now the most intense hurricane on record in the Atlanic Basin. From TFA "Wilma, after undergoing a stunning intensification overnight, is now a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane packing sustained winds of 175 mph". According to CNN's interview with Max Mayfield, director of the NHC "Hurricane Wilma, now a Category 5 storm in the western Caribbean, has the potential to cause loss of life in Florida comparable to that of Katrina" he told CNN in an interview this morning. If Wilma is a Category 4 storm at landfall, storm surge could be 15 to 20 feet, even 25 feet up into the bays and the rivers," Mayfield said. Evacuations of Monroe County, and the Florida Keys, is already underway.

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