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Comments

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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

mi What exactly is the news here? (52 comments)

So, he says, you should make sure you buy new hardware only when necessary, not just because of the "Ooh... shiny!" factor"

What's new about this advice? Was it not as useful and applicable 50, 100, and 1000 years ago?

1 hour ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

Employing a Marxist theory of capitalism to refute socialism? Fascinating.

Yes, employing an opponent's own theory to prove him wrong is, usually, the most reliable way to deliver defeat in detail to him. Because, although all of us may have different views on life, the views must be self-consistent to be respectable.

1 hour ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

mi Re:Here we go... (346 comments)

- The ad says, you offer a quest, said Halfelf to the Mayor. But it does not explain, what sort of quest. Could you clarify?
- It is really simple - shrugged the Mayor. See that hill? There is a goblin on top of it with a grenade-launcher. Periodically he begins shooting at the town. That's, basically, the problem...
- Ok, understood. We must kill the goblin...
- Oh, no! Mayor's eyes widened and he started waving his hands. He can must not be killed under any circumstances!
- Why? - asked Gnome? He is a goblin!
- That's just it! If we kill him, the world community will say, it was genocide and we are all racists.
- So what? Let them whatever...
- ... And send in troops, - gloomily added the Mayor.
- Khm... - thought Halfelf aloud - So, this shithead shoots at you from a grenade-launcher, and you tolerate it and would not hit back?
- Right, admitted the Mayor. Otherwise, we'll be called "aggressors".
- Alright, how about, perhaps, not kill him, but push him out some place far?
- From his hill? Impossible! Then they'll call us "occupiers".
- Catch him and take the grenade-launcher away?
- "Expropriators".
- Lock him up together with the weapon?.. Ok, Ok, don't answer, - quickly added Halfelf, when the Mayor started opening his mouth. - I understand. An interesting case indeed.
- So, what do you want from us? - asked the Princess? Can't kill him, can't disarm him, can't be chased away either — what's left? Counsel him? That's not what we do...
- Oh, no... For counseling we would've called for a psychiatrist. But then, by the way, the world community would've accused us of applying psychological pressure.
- And defiling the ancient traditions, - added Gnome, nodding his head. - Shooting at people from a grenade-launcher is part of goblins' traditional pastimes!
- Yes, yes - said the Mayor, - no you understand.
- So, what do you want from us? - asked the Princess again?
- Deliver a parcel to him, - sighed the Mayor.
- To whom? The goblin?
- Yeah. You see, up there on the hill, there is not much food. In about an hour he'll get hungry, announce a cease-fire and begin negotiations. He does that every day. Demands food, wine, weapons, sometimes other things. And then, we eats his full, proclaims, that the negotiations are at a dead-end and he is forced to resume fire. The world community is very sympathetic — they consider him very principled.
- And if you decline to bring him food?..
- Then they'll say, that...
- Ok, ok, we get it, - Poluelf waved his hands. So, why do you need us — why not send your own?
- We have — none came back...
- What? Did goblin kill them all?
- He claims, he did not.
- Huh?..
- And the world community believes him.
- Erm...
- Then they'll accuse us of provocations. You see, it is he, the goblin, who demonstrates peaceful initiative. It is his gesture of good will. If anything went wrong, it can only be our fault. It is obvious... But you are foreigners, maybe, he will not touch you.
- Ok, - summarized Halfelf. - If we shred the political wrappings, we must take the parcel from the customer and deliver it to client, right? A usual mail-quest. And everything else is your own problem. Right?
- Right, - confirmed the Mayor, - agreed?
- One question, - Princess raised her hand. You are so afraid, that the world community will call you "aggressors", "militarists", and worse — what are they calling you now?
- "Idiots," - answered the Mayor with sadness.

1 hour ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

mi Re:Here we go... (346 comments)

Seriously? Twitter? Even if your link really lead to an accusation of a strike on hospital (which it does not), would it have been credible? How about a more reliable source? Oh, sorry, you can't use that, because that page begins with Israel's explanation: "The Israeli military said it had targeted a cache of anti-tank missiles in the hospital's "immediate vicinity".

And we know very well, from sources both impartial and even those biased towards the Arabs, that Hamas does use such civilian buildings for weapons-caches.

2 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

Enron. Bernie Madoff.

Duly punished by bankruptcy and prison time.

Asset Backed Paper Commodities.

The only lies exposed by that fiasco is that of the mortgage applicants lying on their loan-applications. Most of those folks have never been to Wall Street.

High Frequency Theft.

No lies there. In other words, fail.

I don't believe that socialism (or capitalism) inherently create more cheating.

I simply believe that once people believe the system is unfair

Your two paragraphs contradict each other. Socialism — with it promise of equal results, rather than opportunity — is unfair, hence, it would create more cheating. Having grown up in the USSR, I still carry the notion, that cheating the government is perfectly Ok (as long as you can get away with it, of course). Because the government was a repressive beast, that cheated its citizenry on everything... My person may be anecdotal evidence, but the Economist's article puts more solid statistics behind it.

2 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

Fascism was the one from Italy, remember? It was the nazis with the gas chambers.

While not all Fascists were Nazis, all Nazis were Fascists. And, whenever your kind uses the term "fascists" to denounce someone, they never bother with the fine distinctions between Hitler, Mussolini and Franco — instead attributing the very worst features of all of them to whatever/whoever it is they are denouncing. Hence my question: Where are the gas chambers? And until you can present anything remotely similar, using the term is not called for. Mildly speaking.

The fascists were content with torture chambers, executions and shipping the "undesirables" to other countries to do the dirtiest work.

Oh, if that's, what's bothering you, then Eastern Germany (and the rest of USSR-dominated regimes) were far more "fascist" than the US ever was. Because they were using these methods not on (very) special occasions, but routinely and on massive scale.

2 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

Is it that capitalism you are talking about?

You must've tried to make some point there, but I don't get it. Could you try again, perhaps?

3 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

And, really, the same thing happens on Wall Street.

Citation needed.

Capitalism leads to cheating and malfeasance just as well.

According to TFA, it does indeed. But far less than Socialism.

5 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Cheating the government is Ok (460 comments)

From experience; I would be willing to bet that ANYONE living with scarcity threatening day to day living is willing to cheat, lie, con, finagle and it can get so bad that you steal, mug, burgle,injure and could possibly kill, dependent on circumstances.

From my experience — growing up in the USSR — it was perfectly Ok and morally acceptable to cheat the government. Because the repressive beast cheated the citizens far worse — when it was not outright killing them.

Sadly, modern Western government — hell-bent on income redistribution (known affectionately as "spreading the wealth around") — increasingly arouse the same sentiment...

5 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

How about automating virtually all production, as is rapidly beginning to happen?

It is beginning to happen, you'd observe, in Capitalist countries. Socialism, which was, officially, the first step towards that post-scarcity nirvana of Communism, would never have been able to achieve it.

And if you don't come up with some way for the other 99 men to earn a living you're going to have some serious social problems.

That same Capitalism, where everybody is not just allowed, but encouraged to do whatever other people are willing to pay for, will solve that problem. Whether it is creating entertainment, or growing healthier foods, or designing fancier gadgets — as long as people are allowed to profit from their ideas (rather than be told "You didn't build that!"), we are fine.

Spread the remaining jobs across 4-10 times as many people and everyone on the planet has the option of living a life of leisure where no-one has to work more than a few hours a week to provide for everyone, freeing everyone to focus their energy on art, philosophy, family, or even just recreation.

Unless some tyrant somewhere manages to drum-up some old butt-hurts of some reasonably powerful nation to divert those riches to war... Starting by invading his small neighbors and annexing provinces, for example...

5 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

American fascism

Fascism, huh? So, where are the gas-chambers?

5 hours ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

mi Re:let me correct that for you. (460 comments)

no socialism [...] that was fascism with a tiny bit of communism-appearence thrown in.

Hair-splitting... Both are Collectivist ideologies valuing the Collective over the Individual. Eastern Europe — under Soviet domination — simply went (was taken rather) further down that road banning all private ownership of the means of production, whereas the countries you listed retained some measure of private enterprises.

5 hours ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

mi OMG! Competition?! (228 comments)

Will Comcast catch up to Verizon?

Wow, I wonder, if my fellow citizens of the command-and-control persuasion still think, the government mandating the higher speeds would've been more effective in delivering the bandwidth to consumers...

yesterday
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

mi Re:Lies and damn lies (502 comments)

There are as many liars in Washington DC as there are in Moscow.

Except American media is, decidedly, not controlled by American government. DC's liars may be lying to us and each other, but other liars stand ready to catch them at it.

Not in Moscow — where anti-government speech is non-existent.

2 days ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

mi Re:Thinking of algorithms... (236 comments)

Programming has no fuzzy, no irony, no humor.

That is only true, when you are programming (today's) machines

When you are giving instructions to (programming) a human — or anything/anyone else with intelligence (artificial or otherwise) — humor may become available as a construct both for the instructions of the programmer and messages from programmed.

My argument was and remains: algorithms are the most important part of programming. Before you need to put in writing (or even verbalize it), you need to consider all (or most) of the possibilities. Block schemes are language agnostic...

3 days ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

mi Thinking of algorithms... (236 comments)

Before you can start formulating them — in any language, even in a spoken one — you need to think through the decision-trees and handling of exceptions and errors.

A "Hello world" program — in any programming language (except, maybe, the assembly) — is vastly simpler than a list of errands you may get from your spouse on a weekend. Heck, a single errand of shopping may be more complex:

  • Buy two pounds of X, if it is fresh, otherwise buy only 1 pound and another pound of Y.
  • Honey, what if they are all out of Y — should I get two pounds of X regardless of freshness or not buy it at all?
  • Reboot...

3 days ago
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FTC To Trap Robocallers With Open Source Software

mi Was anyone sent to prison? (123 comments)

'Rachel From Cardholder Services,' was a large robocall scam the agency took out in 2012

Sure, the "Rachel" didn't kill anyone. Probably. But with the number of calls placed, the overall damage — even if spread among millions of people — certainly exceeded that of a serious bodily injury or even death of one person.

Was any of the scammers sent to prison? I mean, I'd recommend impalement, but prison would've been good enough. Did it happen?

3 days ago
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Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

mi The way I fought my ticket... (228 comments)

By appealing and not agreeing to "settle" with the prosecution — in fact, I did not even want to "talk to them" other than during a hearing and in judge's presence. This made it necessary for the actual officer, who (supposedly) reviewed the ticket before it was issued, to appear in court — which he didn't do. Maybe, I was just "lucky" at that and, maybe, Chicago would've allowed the prosecution to avoid presenting the officer for testimony, but...

The automatic cameras allow for issuing a massive number of tickets — because human police don't need to do much work. If more people appealed — thus necessitating the human policemen's presence in court for each such ticket, maybe, they wouldn't be such a valuable proposition for the local authorities.

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

mi Lies and damn lies (502 comments)

That Russia's officialdom is lying is a given. What is truly troublesome is that the vast majority of citizenry not only accept these lies, but are passionately spreading them around. Decades ago this phenomenon was blamed on the "Iron Curtain" — which no longer exists. Though Russian ISPs are blocking certain sites, most of the Internet is perfectly accessible to Russians. But they choose to believe the TV instead — and independent TV-channels no longer broadcast in Russian Federation.

It would seem, neither the Iron Curtain nor even the Great Firewall are necessary — as long as the government controls the media, whatever foreigner enemies, spies, and subversives may say on the Internet will be derided and discarded.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about 5 months ago

mi (197448) writes "The "greenness" of a building is measured as EUIs — the higher the number, the more energy the structure is consuming relative to its size. Environmentally-aware construction is supposed to have the LEED-certification by U.S. Green Building Council (a private environment-protection group).

Washington, DC was the first city to mandate LEED-certifications for all new construction in 2010. Today the city-wide average EUI for LEED-certified buildings is 205, whereas the non-certified buildings average 199..."

Link to Original Source
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Lenders look at social media to check on loan-applicants

mi mi writes  |  about 6 months ago

mi (197448) writes "We know about Human Resources departments checking job-applicants online. Well, the lenders are catching up too. Writes Wall Street Journal:

Lending companies are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.

Myself having neither Facebook, nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn accounts, I am wondering, if I am at a disadvantage — these are the people, who already consider imperfect credit history to be better, than no credit history at all..."
Link to Original Source

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Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates

mi mi writes  |  about 9 months ago

mi (197448) writes "Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions."

Link to Original Source
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NASDAQ shut down earlier today and is struggling to get up

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "The NASDAQ exchange has abruptly halted all trading in early afternoon today, August 22, 2013. At the time of this writing (15:32) they remain down despite the earlier promises to reopen at 14:45, 15:10, 15:25...

The nature of the problem remains a mystery and may turn out to be anything — from a varmint chewing through some critical wire to the decision to switch to Microsoft back in 2005."
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Companies in China learn to bypass government's firewall

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "According to the article in South China Morning Post, it is common for corporations in the country to reach out to the "real" Internet by using their own lines out to Hong-Kong. Recently, some luxury hotels started offering the access to guests. Of course, some sort of "communications with the local government" have taken place before this apparent violation of the country's federal law was attempted.

I, for one, can't wait for these folks to start getting a bigger say on how the Internet operates."

Link to Original Source
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Computer keeps sending cops to the same house

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002

Police have tried to remove the address from their databases for years, but it keeps popping up... This is the scariest part of the government collecting personal data — they can't expunge it, even if they sincerely try to... And if they are even a bit insincere, they can always explain keeping it by a "computer glitch"."
Link to Original Source

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Leak of Congress' ethics-investigators documents

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "A document describing investigations of the House Ethics committee was accidentally leaked through peer-to-peer software running on a PC of a "junior employee" working from home. Although the employee was quickly fired, the embarrassing details are now well known.
At the time of this typing, no mention of the documents on WikiLeaks. Not yet..."

Link to Original Source
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Nigeria shuts down scam websites

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Nigeria's anti-corruption police said Friday they had shut down some 800 scam websites and busted 18 syndicates of email fraudsters in a drive to curb cyber-crime the country is notorious for. 18 arrests were made. Maybe, the amount of "From the Desk of Dr. Foo Bar" e-mails will drop for a while."
Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism-detection software find Shakespeare

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Software intended to help essay-graders to detect plagiarism was used to attribute — with high probability — a hitherto unattributed play (The Reign of Edward III) to Shakespeare. It seems, the work was co-authored by Shakespeare and another playwright of the time, Thomas Kyd."
Link to Original Source
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White House admits harvesting e-mail addresses

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "After people appeared on Fox News complaining, White House admitted to not be using the Confirmed Opt-In (a.k.a. Double Opt-In) for adding new addresses to their list of subscribers.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered the classic spammer-defenses: "we hope they were not too inconvenienced," — and: "we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail."

I still remember — in the 1990ies — spammers covering themselves up with something like: "Under Bill S.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress, this letter can not be considered spam..." Now, the most technologically-advanced Administration is sanctioning the spammer's other excuse: "What's the big deal? Just press 'Delete'!""
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Palin's e-mail account broken into

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "A private e-mail account of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was broken into and detailed screen-shots published. The publishing site defends the stunningly unethical action with: "It's newsworthy and we will not be taking it down!""
Link to Original Source
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Craigslist forced to reveal a seller's identity

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts has won a judgment compelling CraigsList to reveal the identity of "Daniel", who tried to sell two tickets to the Oscar-ceremony recently. The plaintiff's argument against such sales is scary and can be taken very far very quickly: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security".

The CraigList's handling of the case may be even scarier, however — instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the user's privacy, as we expect Google, Yahoo, and AOL, and even credit-card issuers to do, CraigsList simply did not show up in court and lost by default."

Link to Original Source
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Fugitive sues C.C.-issuer for aiding his capture

mi mi writes  |  about 6 years ago

mi writes "A short article describes attempts by a disbarred lawyer, who pleaded guilty of statutory rape, to sue American Express for violating its pledge "to withhold customer information from third parties". It seems, the man was captured when police obtained information about where his credit card was used.

His crime is repulsive to most, so there will be little sympathy, but the legal implications are interesting. Was AmEx compelled to disclose the information by the authorities, or did it volunteer the information? In the latter case, what will the company do, if the next suspect-on-the-run is accused of, say, copyright violations, or threats against President, or terrorism — will it consider the magnitude of the accusations and the available evidence, or always cooperate with the police?"

Link to Original Source
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France to outlaw "inciting thinness"

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! and others report, that "encouraging severe weight loss" may soon become a crime in France. The National Assembly has already approved the bill. The law would punish "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree with prison time and/or fines, even though the doctors still say, the link between anorexia and media images "remains hazy"."
Link to Original Source
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French gendarmes switching to Linux

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "French paramilitary police will be switching their 70000 desktop computers to Ubuntu "every time they have to replace a desktop". The move is expected to affect 5000-8000 machines in the first year alone. The cost of the OS is cited as only the third of factors:

The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost.
They started migrating away from Microsoft by switching to alternative office and web-browsing software first."

Link to Original Source
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Chinese dissident taken from house- to real arrest

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP article on the recent arrest of Hu Jia on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power".

Gross violations of Human Rights by Chinese government are nothing new. What's special about this case, is that the victim has spent 223 days under house arrest by the time he was taken away from his home (and newborn daughter). Despite the house arrest, he was able to continue his work, including participating remotely in a European Parliament hearing..."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon fights off a federal customer-list subpoena

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "While prosecuting a tax-evasion case against a used-book seller, federal prosecutors contacted Amazon requesting identities of his customers, so that some of them can become witnesses. The company refused to divulge the customers' identities and the judge agreed:

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."


The Feds eventually withdrew the subpoena."

Link to Original Source
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Hurricane-research UAV to be tested on Noel

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "USA Today is reporting on an unmanned aircraft developed to research hurricanes being sent into Noel. It should reach the eye of the storm at around 10pm tonight, November 2nd. The whole flight is expected to take about 20 hours:

"Unmanned flights at very low altitude are important since they give us unique insights and continuous observations in a region of the storm where the ocean's energy is directly transferred to the atmosphere just above. Attempting this type of research flight with our hurricane hunter aircraft would risk the lives of our crew and scientists," said Joe Cione, hurricane researcher at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, and project manager for the Aerosonde field study.
"

Link to Original Source
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"Home-made" helicopter in Nigeria

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! carries an article describing a helicopter, that a Nigerian physics undergraduate has put together from various parts: Honda Civic's 133hp engine, seats from an old Toyota, and parts of a Boeing 747, which crashed nearby some years ago. The thing has already been flown several times.

If a 24 year old student can do it — while also repairing electronics to supplement his income — where is my flying car?"

Link to Original Source

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