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US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

schwit1 Re:E-4 replacement - when? (291 comments)

Since the mission is just fly circles around North America they don't need 4 engines. The 777X should suffice.

2 days ago
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CIA source of NY Times reporter James Risen convicted on circumstial evidence

schwit1 It's all about power (2 comments)

The people in power want to maintain their position and status. If it came out that they knew and did nothing about it that would jeopardize their position. If one of them betrays the principles of the accrual of money and power, the others betray him.

4 days ago
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Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

schwit1 The idea of "with your permission" is a joke (228 comments)

The advertising and government snoop won't really ASK for permission. It will be a Hobson's choice. Refuse to give permission and your devices stop working or you wind up on a watch list or worse.

about a week ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

schwit1 Re:its a tough subject (663 comments)

That's it, let unelected government officials decide. We'll have the Jenny McCarthy's on one side and government thugs on the other. What could go wrong?

about a week ago
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NSA Prepares For Future Techno-Battles By Plotting Network Takedowns

schwit1 Re:Leak-value is worthless (81 comments)

No doubt. This was the legitimate NSA mission before they were corrupted into domestic operations.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

schwit1 Maybe it's tax code complexity and not greed (450 comments)

Tax preparers discover that Obamacare adds so much paperwork to their work it isn’t worth it to do it.

About two-thirds of the way through the morning I questioned the whole process. I stated that if someone walked into to my office who was receiving the [Obamacare subsidy] that I would not accept them as a client. The cost of preparing the paperwork to get them properly qualified to receive the benefit would exceed anything I could reasonably charge them. The instructor, a fine fellow from Iowa, stated he unfortunately had to agree with me. So now tax preparers will have to decide whether to accept clients based on our health care system — just like doctors.

There’s lot more. Read the whole thing.

about three weeks ago
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Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

schwit1 Speaking with? (103 comments)

WTF. How about 'SPEAKING' to the law's abusers in the same manner they spoke, using threats of $150,000 fines.

about three weeks ago
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US Slaps Sanctions On North Korea After Sony Cyberattack

schwit1 FBI evidence is laughable (231 comments)

http://marcrogers.org/2014/12/...

"So in conclusion, there is NOTHING here that directly implicates the North Koreans. In fact, what we have is one single set of evidence that has been stretched out into 3 separate sections, each section being cited as evidence that the other section is clear proof of North Korean involvement. As soon as you discredit one of these pieces of evidence, the whole house of cards will come tumbling down."

about a month ago
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WikiLeaks Claims Employee's Google Mail, Metadata Seized By US Government

schwit1 US email provider for sensitive communications? (53 comments)

Unless you are General Patreaus and his mistress.

Aren't there better providers in the EU that offer a bit more privacy? If you don't want to roll your own.

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz sure 22-year-old programmer for telling the truth

schwit1 1st amendment does not apply (1 comments)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Bill of Rights is about limiting government. They do not limit individuals, corporations, unions, charities, etc.

about a month ago
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Kim Dotcom's Mega Again Announces Encrypted Browser-Based Chat Service

schwit1 Will it be open source? (40 comments)

http://www.spiegel.de/internat...

"Experts agree it is far more difficult for intelligence agencies to manipulate open source software programs than many of the closed systems developed by companies like Apple and Microsoft. Since anyone can view free and open source software, it becomes difficult to insert secret back doors without it being noticed."

about a month ago
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Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices

schwit1 Re:How about mandatory felony sentences instead? (420 comments)

"How about make bars (& liquor stores) responsible, period."

Because that's not how a free society works, period. No one if forcing me to buy or consume the hooch.

about a month ago
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First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January

schwit1 Why the 1st model starts at -800? (65 comments)

Boeing did the same thing starting at 787-8.

Hopefully the A350 can make up for the anemic A380 sales.

about a month ago
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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

schwit1 This is nothing but appeasement (435 comments)

What has changed in Cuba after the announcement?

Cuban citizens are still not permitted to speak or read freely or do anything freely without the fear of imprisonment or even death. Cuba is no closer to becoming a democracy and you have to wonder if this move will embolden other tyrants to take Americans hostage in order to win concessions.

U.S. policy towards Cuba was codified into law under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform Act of 2000. The policy changes announced by the President are an overreach of his executive powers under the law. The official legislative history of the law clarifies that the President has power to tighten economic sanctions, but not to ease them beyond the baseline set on March 1, 1996.

BTW, Gross was an aid worker. He was traded for 3 convicted spies. It looks like Obama didn't learn anything from the Bergdahl trade.

about a month and a half ago
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Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

schwit1 Re:What? (440 comments)

Because anyone that attempts this gets audited by the IRS or a rectal exam by the DOJ.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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'Anonymized' credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  2 days ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies "anonymized" the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of MIT, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people.

"We are showing that the privacy we are told that we have isn't real," study co-author Alex "Sandy" Pentland of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an email."

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Why was "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?" accepted by 17 medical journals

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  3 days ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "As a medical researcher at Harvard, Mark Shrime gets a very special kind of spam in his inbox: every day, he receives at least one request from an open-access medical journal promising to publish his research if he would only pay $500.

"You block one of them with your spam filter and immediately another one pops up," Shrime, an MD who is pursuing a PhD in health policy, tells me.

These emails are annoying, for sure, but Shrime was worried that there might be bigger issues at stake: What exactly are these journals publishing and who is taking these journals to be credible sources of medical information?

Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish an article. So he made one up."

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U.S. spies on millions of cars

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  4 days ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter."

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Mysterious radio signal from space caught live

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  5 days ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Astronomers in Australia have picked up an “alien” radio signal from space for the first time as it occurred. The signal, or radio “burst”, was discovered on May 15, 2014, though it’s just being reported by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “The burst was identified within 10 seconds of its occurrence,” said Emily Petroff, a doctoral student from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology. “The importance of the discovery was recognized very quickly and we were all working very excitedly to contact other astronomers and telescopes around the world to look at the location of the burst.”

Emerging from an unknown source, these bursts are bright flashes of radio waves that emit as much energy in a few milliseconds as the sun does in 24 hours. “The first fast radio burst was discovered in 2007,” Petroff tells FoxNews.com, “and up until our discovery there were 8 more found in old or archival data.” While researchers use telescopes in Hawaii, India, Germany, Chile, California, and the California Islands to search for bursts, it is the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Eastern Australia that is the first to catch one as its happening.

The cause of these mysterious signals remains unknown, with possible theories ranging from black holes to alien communication. However, UFO hunters shouldn’t get too excited. According to Petroff, “We're confident that they're coming from natural sources, that is to say it's probably not aliens, but we haven't solved the case completely. The two most promising theories at the moment are that these bursts could be produced either by a star producing a highly energetic flare, or from a neutron star collapsing to make a black hole. Both of these things would be from sources in far-away galaxies just reaching us from billions of light years away.”"

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Government and Insurance Mosquito Drones Will Extract Your DNA

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about a week ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Harvard Professor Margo Seltzer warned that miniature mosquito drones will one day forcibly extract your DNA on behalf of the government and insurance companies as she told elitists at the World Economic Forum in Davos that privacy was dead.

Seltzer went on to predict that in the near future, mosquito-sized robots would perpetually monitor individuals as well as collecting DNA and biometric information for governments and corporations.

“It’s not whether this is going to happen, it’s already happening,” said Seltzer on the issue of pervasive surveillance. “We live in a surveillance state today.”"

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Psychiatrists say non-conformity is a mental illness

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Modern psychiatry has become a hotbed of corruption, particularly the kind that seeks to demonize and declare mentally ill anyone who deviates from what is regarded as the norm. This is abundantly evident in the latest installment of the industry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, which dubs people who do not conform to what those in charge declare to be normal as mentally insane."
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Holder's end to federal property seizure greatly exaggerated

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "A few days ago there was a /. story titled Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture. A close look at Eric Holder’s announcement on Friday that he was ending the use of federal law to seize private property turns out to be greatly exaggerated.

Holder’s order applies only to “adoption,” which happens when a state or local agency seizes property on its own and then asks the Justice Department to pursue forfeiture under federal law. “Over the last six years,” the DOJ says in the press release announcing Holder’s new policy, “adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.” By comparison, the program’s reports to Congress indicate that “equitable sharing” payments to state and local agencies accounted for about 22 percent of total deposits during those six years. That means adoptions, which the DOJ says represented about 3 percent of deposits, accounted for less than 14 percent of equitable sharing. In other words, something like 86 percent of the loot that state and local law enforcement agencies receive through federal forfeitures will be unaffected by Holder’s new policy.

The story also notes how the press, especially the Washington Post which led with this story, teamed up with Holder to overstate the impact Holder’s order would have."

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Japanese Nobel laureate blasts his country's treatment of inventors

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The Japanese Nobel winner who helped invent blue LEDs, then abandoned Japan for the U.S. because his country's culture and patent law did not favor him as an inventor, has blasted Japan in an interview for considering further legislation that would do more harm to inventors.

In the early 2000s, Nakamura had a falling out with his employer and, it seemed, all of Japan. Relying on a clause in Japan's patent law, article 35, that assigns patents to individual inventors, he took the unprecedented step of suing his former employer for a share of the profits his invention was generating. He eventually agreed to a court-mediated $8 million settlement, moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and became an American citizen. During this period he bitterly complained about Japan's treatment of inventors, the country's educational system and its legal procedures.

..."Before my lawsuit, [Nakamura said] the typical compensation fee [to inventors for assigning patents rights] was a special bonus of about $10,000. But after my litigation, all companies changed [their approach]. The best companies pay a few percent of the royalties or licensing fee [to the inventors]. One big pharmaceutical company pays $10 million or $20 million. The problem is now the Japanese government wants to eliminate patent law article 35 and give all patent rights to the company. If the Japanese government changes the patent law it means basically there would no compensation [for inventors]. In that case I recommend that Japanese employees go abroad."

There is a similar problem with copyright law in the U.S., where changes in the law in the 1970s and 1990s has made it almost impossible for copyrights to ever expire. The changes favor the corporations rather than the individual who might actually create the work."
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Two Earth-sized planets could be hiding in our solar system

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The Solar System has at least two more planets waiting to be discovered beyond the orbit of Pluto, Spanish and British astronomers say. In a study published in the latest issue of the British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers propose that "at least two" planets lie beyond Pluto.

Their calculations are based on the unusual orbital behaviour of very distant space rocks called extreme trans-Neptunian objects, or ETNOs. In theory, ETNOs should be dispersed in a band some 150 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun.

ETNOs should also be more or less on the same orbital plane as the Solar System planets. But observations of about a dozen ETNOs have suggested a quite different picture, the study says. If correct, they imply that ETNOs are scattered much more widely, at between 150 and 525 AU, and with an orbital inclination of about 20 degrees. To explain this anomaly, the study suggests some very large objects — planets — must be in the neighbourhood and their gravitational force is bossing the much smaller ETNOs around.

"This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution" of the ETNOs, said Carlos de la Fuente Marcos of the Complutense University of Madrid.

"The exact number is uncertain, given that the data we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our Solar System," the Spanish scientific news agency Sinc quoted him as saying."

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Why will no one answer the obvious, massive question about TTIP?

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "When a government proposes to abandon one of the fundamental principles of justice, there had better be a powerful reason. Equality before the law is not ditched lightly. Surely? Well read this and judge for yourself.

The UK government, like that of the US and 13 other EU members(1), wants to set up a separate judicial system, exclusively for the use of corporations. While the rest of us must take our chances in the courts, corporations across the EU and US will be allowed to sue governments before a tribunal of corporate lawyers. They will be able to challenge the laws they don’t like, and seek massive compensation if these are deemed to affect their “future anticipated profits”.

I’m talking about the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its provisions for “investor state dispute settlement”. If this sounds incomprehensible, that’s mission accomplished: public understanding is lethal to this attempted corporate coup."

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UFO Watchers Accuse NASA of Cutting Live Stream After Alien Sighting...

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "UFO watchers complain NASA has been cutting its live feed of the International Space Station just when it keeps getting goodmeaning as soon as a strange object appearsreports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The alien-hunting website Disclose.TV claims Toby Lundh spotted an unidentified flying object just outside the station while he was monitoring the feed on January 6th.

But after taking several screen shots, Lundh told the site the feed was mysteriously interrupted.

According to Lundh’s text messages, he has found that there are “always some UFOs showing up” and that NASA always cuts the feed when the objects appear.

Back in October a pair of UFO hunters saw a strange object near the station during a spacewalk."

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Carnivorous pitcher plant "out-thinks" insects

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about two weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "A carnivorous pitcher plant is changing its behavior in response to natural weather fluctuations, allowing it to give up its prey in order to capture more.

The pitcher plant, which has liquid-filled leaves shaped like funnels, has the ability to allow some of its prey, such as ants, to escape by “switching off” its trap."

The first ant reports back to the other ants that it found a large batch of sweet nectar, causing a large contingent of ants to descend upon it. If the trap captures the first ant, it won’t be able to capture many more ants later."

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A close look at Russia's next generation space station modules

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The competiton heats up: Anthony Zak’s a detailed report of the design and development of the next generation space station modules Russia intends to dock at ISS has this interesting tidbit:

In addition to expanding the ISS, Russian developers viewed the NEM module as the basis for future Russian efforts to send humans beyond the Earth orbit. Thanks to its multi-function design, life support and power-supply capability, one or a whole cluster of such vehicles could provide habitation quarters and laboratories for a station at the so-called Lagrange points, which were considered as a staging ground for the exploration of the Moon, asteroids and Mars.

In case of an international agreement on the construction of a manned outpost in the Lagrange point, the NEM-based laboratory could constitute the Russian contribution into the effort. The NEM-based outpost could be serviced and staffed by the crews of US-European Orion spacecraft and by Russia’s next-generation spacecraft, PTK NP. Simularly, the NEM module, possibly in combination with other hardware, could serve as an outpost in the orbit around the Moon. Also in 2014, plans were hatched to make the NEM-based laboratory a part of the post-ISS Russian space station, VShOS, in the high-inclination orbit.

The Russians have always understood that a space station is nothing more than a prototype of an interplanetary spaceship. They are therefore simply carrying through with the same engineering research they did on their earlier Salyut and Mir stations, developing a vessel that can keep humans alive on long trips to other planets.

This approach makes a lot more sense than NASA’s SLS/Orion project, which does not give us what we need to make long interplanetary voyages, and costs a lot more."

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Georgia police declare war on okra

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "We’re here to help you: Heavily armed police raided the home of a retired Atlanta citizen because a helicopter inspection — without a warrant — spotted some plants in his backyard that they thought were marijuana.

The plants were okra, a classic southern side dish.

And police wonder why many people today are suspicious of them. What the hell are they doing, flying over people’s homes and snooping into their backyards?"

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Twitter account for US Central Command hacked, filled with pro-ISIS messages

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command appears to have been hacked, and is carrying messages promoting the Islamic State — including one that says, "AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS."

Another page shows what appears to be an image from a computer web cam in a military facility. An accompanying tweet says, "ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.

DOH!"

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Fears of man-made global warming exaggerated

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Two of three scientists at a session on climate change and society at the Indian Science Congress on Tuesday felt fears of man-made global warming were greatly exaggerated. Their presence at the conference was particularly significant in light of the current 'development-versus-environment' debates.

"While I agree that glaciers are melting because of global warming, if this is because of man, then what was the reason for the melting of the glaciers in the Gondwana period long before man arrived on the planet?" asked Dhruv Sen Singh, Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, University of Lucknow."

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EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App for iOS

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Today we launched a new app that will make it easier for people to take action on digital rights issues using their phone. The app allows folks to connect to our action center quickly and easily, using a variety of mobile devices.

Sadly, though, we had to leave out Apple devices and the folks who use them. Why? Because we could not agree to the outrageous terms in Apple’s Developer Agreement and Apple’s DRM requirements."

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Study casts doubt on mammoth-killing cosmic impact

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "Rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. The study, of soil from Syria, is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period."
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FBI says search warrants not needed to use "stingrays" in public places

schwit1 schwit1 writes  |  about three weeks ago

schwit1 (797399) writes "The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places. Nicknamed "stingrays," the devices are decoy cell towers that capture locations and identities of mobile phone users and can intercept calls and texts.

The FBI made its position known during private briefings with staff members of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). In response, the two lawmakers wrote Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson, maintaining they were "concerned about whether the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have adequately considered the privacy interests" of Americans.

According to the letter, which was released last week:

For example, we understand that the FBI’s new policy requires FBI agents to obtain a search warrant whenever a cell-site simulator is used as part of a FBI investigation or operation, unless one of several exceptions apply, including (among others): (1) cases that pose an imminent danger to public safety, (2) cases that involve a fugitive, or (3) cases in which the technology is used in public places or other locations at which the FBI deems there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

"

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