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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe Re:A scientific hypothesis is not a guess (152 comments)

Hypothesis was used in the quote. In fact "theory" doesn't appear at all. So you're arguing against some other statement.

Had you a clue about the scientific process you would know that the word "theory" as it relates to science simply means a well tested version of one or more hypothesis. The words are often used interchangeably though they are technically different mostly in the degree to which they have been substantiated.

Reality doesn't give a crap how words are used.

Engineers and scientists do give a crap how words are used because how they are used matters and affects their work.

You apparently do and are taking umbrage.

"Umbrage"? No. I'm just an engineer correcting someone who is stating something that is incorrect.

yesterday
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

sjbe Big city thinking (382 comments)

Having lived in NY state, according to NY city people, everything past Westchester is irrelevant. Even Albany (state capital for non US people) is a hick town that doesn't matter.

I've seen that too. I'm generalizing of course and have seen plenty of exceptions but NYC dwellers definitely often think their city is all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips when it's really just another city and not actually amazing to the rest of us. I went to college on the east coast and spent plenty of time in NYC and the folks from NYC were among the most parochial people I've ever met. They tended to think of themselves as worldly when they barely knew (or cared about) anything if it didn't exist in NYC. Most of them couldn't drive and those that could generally couldn't drive well. They had tons of preconceived and almost invariably wrong ideas about what life is like elsewhere.

In their mindset, water magically appears from the tap & the 200 miles a aqueduct doesn't need maintenance, nor do the roads stretching 400 miles to the other side of the state.

That's unfortunately not unique to NYC though it seems to be particularly virulent there. Lots of big city folks act like they think all the food, water, power, and stuff they buy appears by magic somehow and is undeserving of their attention. I had a friend a few years back who was living in one of the bigger midwest cities and he was complaining about how there was "nothing to do". I asked him what he wanted to do that wasn't available in some form or fashion but was in NYC? Major league sports? Good shopping? Excellent restaurants? Public transit? Museums? etc. Basically everything he was complaining about was available but just not quite in the same fashion as in NYC. Not that NYC doesn't have great stuff going for it but it's still just another big city with the same amenities available in most big cities.

yesterday
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

sjbe I'm an American (382 comments)

300$ fee if you drive in 3 feet of snow!!! GEEE! Hope these guys never go up north.

If 3 feet of snow is normal where you live then it isn't a big deal. Where I grew up was on the shore of Lake Erie and we got lots of lake effect snow so several feet was nothing unusual for us. Other places 3 feet of snow or even 3 inches is a huge problem. Folks south of the Mason Dixon line rarely get big snowfalls and don't really have the equipment to deal with it adequately due to the cost/benefit ratio. I'm sure you're not really equipped for a month of 100+F days like they get in Texas or Arizona. I'm sure you're not equipped for earthquakes like they are in California. Chances are you don't experience Tornadoes with the frequency they do in Oklahoma. Just because you are used to a particular weather condition doesn't mean everyone else needs to prepare for the same.

A unknow local beer, and my children want to taste it like they do here, I give them the glass... then the waiter tell us that it's completly illegal and we can be arrested for doing that.

It depends on locale but most likely the waiter was misinformed. It is generally legal for a minor to drink alcohol in a private setting and/or under the supervision of a parent or guardian most places in the US. The waiter cannot sell alcohol to anyone under 21 and most likely was just being a little over cautious. If the waiter were to serve alcohol to a minor they can get in hot legal water and lose their job.

I think to myself, what a real land of the free where you government tell you how to raise your children.

Are you seriously going to tell me that there are no laws regarding parenting in Canada? Just because the rules are a bit different south of the border doesn't mean you should start getting all holier-than-thou. I'm quite certain there are Canadian laws those of us south of the 49th parallel would find equally odd.

yesterday
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

sjbe Re:Going to/from a Mac isn't hard (370 comments)

If anything Windows 8 and OSX are the closest. (Start Screen = Application Launcher); and the taskbar and dock continue to converge.

Disagree completely. Windows 8 Metro is closest to iOS if anything. I use Windows 8, Windows 7, XP and OSX daily. OSX's basic interface conventions are far more similar to older versions of Windows than Windows 8 Metro is to older versions of Windows. And since you can't really get rid of Metro satisfactorily without third party help I stand by my statement at least for the time being.

But transitioning form 7 to 8 isn't hard either. It's far easier than transitioning to OSX because once they know how to find and launch a program in 8 it looks exactly the same on 8 as it did on 7.

Except that "find and launch" bit is a pain. Do you have any idea how much time I've had to blow explaining the differences between 7 and 8 to people? 8 is designed for touch screens and not a single desktop or laptop computer we use has or needs a touch screen. The apps are the same but I still have to interact with the file system and other OS features regularly so that doesn't mitigate the problem at all for me.

I agree it needs about 5 - 10 minutes to cleanup its settings to make sense on a default, pin what you need, cleanup the live-tile overload on the start screen, tell it to boot to desktop, and use the desktop versions of the photo viewer, etc so you aren't being thrown into "Modern UI" at random all over the place. Turn off the extra hot-corners, etc.

Which most people I know are never going to do. Maybe you work with more computer literate folks than I do (wouldn't be hard) but I generally see the defaults left at whatever they are. Any system that requires that much clean up is something I have NO interest in using.

But you don't need any third party utilities or anything to make Win8.1 a completely serviceable desktop OS. I'm at this point indifferent which one I'm using.

Personal preferences I guess. I truly cannot stand Windows 8's interface. I find it clumsy, badly designed, and it generally just gets in my way. I'm not the pickiest but it makes even things that should be easy needlessly difficult in my opinion.

yesterday
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

sjbe Command-Option-Escape (370 comments)

You can't even do ctrl-alt-del on a Mac.

The equivalent on a mac is Command-Option-Esc which is identical to pretty much every unix system out there.

Really, the interface is weird and dated.

Right. Apple sells millions of these things thanks to their "weird and dated" interface. Clearly that is a huge problem for them.

yesterday
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

sjbe Re:Going to/from a Mac isn't hard (370 comments)

Oh bullshit.

What an eloquent rebuttal.

I think the Windows 8 interface is ass-tastic too. But I own an MBP (job requirement) as well and the interface is not "a lot closer to Classic Windows" than 8 is.

And I own a MBP, a Mac Mini, a Window 7 laptop, a Windows 8 desktop, etc and I disagree with you. What you or I own means nothing. If you disagree that's fine - but explain why. Something more than "nun-uh" preferably.

The new interface they slapped on Windows 8 IS wildly different from the interface in Windows 7 and earlier. It's arguably more of a change than from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 which was a pretty big change. I have had to train plenty of people at work and home (I run the IT stuff at my work among other roles) on the transition between Macs and Windows boxes as well as between Windows versions and to a person I've had an easier time transitioning people between Windows XP/7 and a Mac than between Windows XP/7 and Windows 8 Metro. The Mac and earlier versions of Windows use similar interface conventions and generally do things in similar ways (mostly). Generally if someone is comfortable in one they can pick up the other pretty easily. With Windows 8 Metro they pitched that and lots of people (myself included) took some time to figure out how things work and to be frankly Metro has more in common with iOS then it does Windows.

yesterday
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

sjbe Going to/from a Mac isn't hard (370 comments)

yeah because learning MAC, an entire new eco system is going to be easier than learning about the incremental (although visually major) update to windows??

The Mac interface is a LOT closer to classic Windows (XP through 7) than Windows 8 is. I've transitioned plenty of people between OSX and Windows XP/Vista/7 in both directions. They're not all that different and transitioning between them isn't hard for most folks. I use both on a daily basis. Windows 8 is a HUGE departure in interface intended to merge touch screen and keyboard/mouse interfaces.

Personally I absolutely loathe Window 8. For me it is the most annoyingly unintuitive OS interface I've used in the last 20 years. Maybe it's fine on a tablet but I absolutely hate using it on a desktop.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe A scientific hypothesis is not a guess (152 comments)

A "scientific hypothesis" does often catch more suggestion of testable, derived predictions, but it's also frequently used in a more general sense, just as "guess" can be used in a more noble sense.

Calling theories that have been tested as much as relativity or quantum mechanics "guesses" is to deny the world in front of you. While they could be shown to be false in some manner tomorrow, the simple fact is that much of the modern world would simply not work if the words "hypothesis" and "guess" were equivalent. The computer you are typing on would not work if quantum mechanics was merely a guess. GPS could not function if relativity were merely a guess, regardless of how noble a sense you use it. We only call them theories instead of facts because we know that they could in principle be proven wrong even though we have no actual expectation that this will happen and huge volumes of evidence in support of these "theories".

Anti-science folk should be ignored.

If you ignore anti-science folks you end up living in a theocracy. Ask the folks living in big parts of the Middle East what that is like. You ignore those who are anti-science at your peril. If the anti-science people are the only ones doing the talking then their ideas will eventually carry the day no matter how absurd them might be when viewed objectively.

We don't need to scheme and manipulate to make sure our presentation of science leaves them on the poorest footing to rebut us, because, unless they are using science, their rebuttal is irrelevant.

Wrong. They don't need to be right for their argument to win the day. Science does not become policy by magic. It requires educating and persuading policy makers, sometimes against their will. Being right is important but not remotely sufficient to ensure that science becomes the basis of policy rather than mysticism and magical thinking.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe Restating for the ignorant (152 comments)

They did not establish any credibility to be undermined, and there was no substantive argument made - they only linked to external sources.

Physics is a pretty big field. You seriously expect someone to spend the time to restate a meaningful amount of here what has already been adequately stated elsewhere?

Last I checked, xkcd is not a reputable source of cosmological authority.

Did you actually read to what was linked? Do you actually understand the formula shown and why it matters? Pretty clear the answer is no.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe Science can look into the past (152 comments)

If you ask me, the paradigm shift should be that science stops trying to answer questions which it obviously can't ever answer.

You don't know what you cannot answer until you try to answer it. Science generally speaking can (theoretically) answer any question which has observable evidence and is falsifiable. What our universe looks like and how it developed are well within the bounds of being observable and falsifiable.

The study of things that happened in the past is called history and it is not a science, no matter how much circumstantial evidence is collected.

I'm sure the scientists who study geology, archaeology, paleontology, astronomy, and numerous other disciplines will be disappointed to hear what they are doing isn't considered science anymore. Oh wait, those ARE sciences. How foolish of you.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe Pot meet kettle (152 comments)

That's pretty cleverly-worded there. You could be a sophomore year co-op student, or a janitor for all we know. You've made an appeal to authority (fallacy) on an incredibly vague claim of authority, and then supported your argument with Internet comics.

And exactly what in his argument was actually wrong? Or are you just being an argumentative dick-head because it amuses you? What about the science did he get wrong?

Weak-ass..

Pot meet kettle...

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

sjbe We're not ignorant (152 comments)

The thing is our knowledge of the universe is so infinitesimally small that really it would be far fairer to call it a guess than a Hypothesis.

What makes you say that? Just because there are things we don't yet know doesn't automatically mean we are wrong about the things we do know. We're perfectly capable of building models that predicatively describe the world around us. If you build a model that accurately describes something and how it will (or did) behave then that is not a guess.

The big bang theory is basically a consensus picture of what we think happened based on the evidence we currently have. Some of the evidence we are extremely confident about. Some less so. And some we know we don't know yet (see dark matter) but know something about what is missing. We are basically saying that given our current observations and physical models, the following (insert theory here) must be true. Every theory is subject to revision based on future observations - some just need more of it that others. Models of what must have happened in the past (geologic, cosmological, archaeologic, etc) often get revised as new evidence is uncovered that must be accounted for in the model.

2 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Re:Hospitals require testing (660 comments)

So pretty much every retail job in the country should be required to be vaccinated?

Ideally yes though I realize that is probably unrealistic.

I'm just trying to clarify what level of "general public" interaction requires this vaccination oversight? Who's going to pay for it? The government or the employer?

Most people are vaccinated already when they are children so the vast majority of the cost is already accounted for. The rest of it is probably pretty much the easiest cost/benefit analysis ever. The cost of the vaccines and program administration would almost certainly be hugely outweighed by the reduced health care costs. I imagine it would be pretty straightforward to do this either with public or private money. Most medical insurance already covers getting vaccines. (vaccines are generally very cheap)

If people shouldn't be forced then how do they work, given that 44% of the jobs in the US are in some form of retail, transportation, education, or healthcare and another ~10-15% are "professional and business services" or "government" that include some sort of regular customer interaction, how are they to have jobs and also choose not to be vaccinated?

Since the point is that they should be vaccinated the answer to your question seems self evident. Furthermore those numbers do not add up to 100% and the percent of loonies who don't get vaccinated is in the single digits.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Re:Hospitals require testing (660 comments)

Personal and/or religious preferences as exemptions.

I don't really give a shit about your personal or religious preferences if it affects public health.

I don't want the government mandating what we stick into our bodies.

The government isn't mandating what you put in your body. It is however telling you that if you want a government funded education then you need to be vaccinated so you do not present a risk to others. You do have the right to opt out but there are (and should be) consequences.

However, with schools, it's best to allow unvaccinated children to attend with the understanding they won't be able to attend in an outbreak.

I could not disagree more. If you want to home school your children or send them to a private school, then that is your right. If they want to attend a public school then they should be vaccinated against common illnesses or provide that they cannot get the vaccine for provable medical conditions. I do not care at all about personal or religious preferences in this matter. Viruses do not notify people ahead of time when there will be an outbreak so by the time there is an outbreak it is already too late. The entire point of vaccines is prevent the outbreak in the first place.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Re:You can decline to be tested (660 comments)

Good luck finding an IT job that doesn't require testing. All of mine have required it so far. I fail to see how I have the right to decline when every fucking employer requires me to get a test done.

Who said you had to work in IT? I have had numerous jobs where no drug test was required and I don't work in IT.

Even McDonalds and all the other shitty retail jobs require it.

That's because a LOT of people fail the drug tests and remember that many of them are working registers and handling cash. Would you trust someone with a drug habit to handle cash or safely work a grill? I hire a lot of temps at my company and I'm not kidding when I tell you over 50% of applicants fail the drug test. Why would I hire that person when I can hire someone who doesn't give me the safety and liability concerns of a drug habit?

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Herd immunity (660 comments)

No vaccine is close to 100% effective.

Demonstrably untrue. Many vaccines are well over 99% effective.

The protection is provides is on the herd level and NOT the individual.

Wrong again. If vaccines did not work on an individual level then there would be no herd immunity. Vaccines don't have to be 100% effective to create herd immunity but they do have to be effective on an individual level in a substantial portion of the population. Herd immunity protects those who cannot (or will not) get vaccinated for whatever reason.

Look up herd immunity to understand how this works.

You first since you clearly have no idea how herd immunity works.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Recreation versus liability (660 comments)

i consider myself a libertarian, but at the same point i believe that what one does on their own time is of no concern to an employer. as such, one should be judged on the merits of their work, not their recreation

I have no quarrel with that. Problem is that I, as an employer (which I am), cannot be certain that your recreational (and probably illegal) drug habit will not present a safety or liability problem for me on the job. I have no problem ethically with an adult getting high on their own time provided it doesn't harm someone else. That last bit is the key though. As an employer I cannot afford to take avoidable risks of people getting harmed. If I don't test for drug use and someone gets injured with drugs as a contributing factor then I have several problems now. First, someone was needlessly injured due to my negligence. Second, there will be a lawsuit that follows and the lawyer is going to ask me "why did you hire someone with a drug problem?" And they will be right and I will lose and very likely have to pay a large settlement. Third, I run a company which operates heavy machinery and someone who is impaired runs a higher than normal risk of getting injured or causing injuries to others.

I cannot make these safety and liability concerns go away just because I want to respect what people do on their own time. Some people probably can manage a drug habit safely and without problems but many more cannot. I genuinely do not care if someone wants to smoke weed or do some other drug on their own time. None of my business. But what IS my business is the risk that potentially presents to me and my employees and I can't waive that away, like it or not.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Waiting until the injury to check for drugs? (660 comments)

forcing someone to prove their innocence by taking a drug test without any reason to assume so (pre employment and random testing) I have no issue with say a truck driver getting in an accident and being administered a test however

So you think it is a better plan to hire a truck driver who is taking substances that impair judgement/performance, wait for an accident which has a good chance of people getting killed, wait for the inevitable lawsuit that will follow asking why you didn't test a drug problem, and only then bother to see if the person was impaired? I don't think you have a future in risk management or insurance. How about you just pee in a cup and we prevent the accident in the first place saving a lot of pain, suffering and money in the process.

If I'm testing you for drugs I'm not assuming you are doing anything but I'm also would be stupid if I didn't confirm that fact. No, your word does not mean anything. People lie all the time. The problem is that I KNOW for a fact that some percentage of people will do drugs and I do not know which ones they are. Literally over half the temps who apply for work at my company fail a drug test. (Yes I can prove it) Many drugs demonstrably impair judgement and/or coordination. Someone who uses recreational drugs also is indirectly telling me something about their mental state and lifestyle which may present a problem for me as an employer.

I run a business that requires operation of dangerous machinery and uses hazardous chemicals. If I didn't check for drug use and someone was injured with drugs as a contributing factor, the very first thing a lawyer will ask in the lawsuit that follows and accident is "why did you hire someone who used drugs?" And they would be right and I would lose. Judgement for the plaintiff... [/gavel] It's no different than doing a background check to find out if someone has a conviction for embezzlement before hiring them for an accounting job. If you want to use drugs there are jobs that will not test you or you can work for yourself.

I genuinely do not care if you want to get high and I'm not making any moral judgment. I also respect the position that you do not want to be tested but understand that doesn't obligate me to hire you. I'm just not willing to take needless risks on your behalf or risk the safety of others so you can get high. That's your problem, don't make it mine.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Re:Free choice != Consequence-free choice (660 comments)

But it's still no defense for armed robbery. "I asked him for his money or his life. He had the free choice and gave me the money voluntarily"....

Way to go straight to the absurd and irrelevant extreme.

So, how much harm is done by a "or else find yourself a new job" depends on the given individual. To some it's only a "...or else switch to another employer" but for some it's "...or else become homeless and die on the street like a dog"

Spare me. Nobody applying for a job at Disney is in a position where they have to get a job there or they will become homeless and die. There are plenty of other jobs out there and even if there aren't (finding work can be hard sometimes) there are other social safety nets for almost everyone. Yes some people are in better circumstances than others. Opportunity is not equal for everyone and never will be. Welcome to the real world. We all make choices that open some doors and close others. If you want to choose to not get a vaccine and you are an adult then that is your choice. But do not expect your decision to come without consequences. Possibly quite serious consequences.

5 days ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

sjbe Re:Pneumonia can be caused by a virus (660 comments)

So? The main reason are bacteria ... the guy claims he has health like an Ox.

While the most common cause is usually bacterial, that doesn't rule out other causes. You claimed quite wrongly that pneumonia is solely caused by bacteria which is demonstrably untrue.

The english wikipedia article is btw. simplifying and misleading,I suggest to google for pneumonia and get your own idea via medical papers/sites what the "science" behind it is.

Since the only thing I'm seeking to establish is that bacteria are not the only cause of pneumonia, the Wikipedia article is as accurate is we need right here and now. If you want to prove that with a different source, knock yourself out but the answer will be the same.

Furthermore I just shouted down the hall to my wife who is a MD and asked her if she thought it was "misleading". She declared it to be fine. Since she is a physician and more informed than you and me put together on this topic, I'll just go ahead trust her opinion if it is all the same to you.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Creationists Editing Darwin's Origin of Species

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Proponents of intelligent design have been distributing an edited version of Darwin's "Origin of Species". The edited version reportedly contains a 50 page introduction written by Ray Comfort favoring creationism. The full original text of the book is included with the new version. Over 1000 copies were allegedly handed out near Washington University in Saint Louis without any notice to or approval from the university. The author reportedly draw connections between Hitler and Darwin so Godwin's Law may need to be invoked."
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XM Sirius Merger approved by DOJ

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "A year after announcing the merger the Justice Department has given the thumbs up to the proposed merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. The FCC still has to give their approval but historically the two organizations rarely contradict each other on proposed mergers. It will be interested to watch if the merger can stop all the red ink from these two money losing companies."
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Ziff Davis Files For Bankruptcy

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Ziff Davis Media Inc., publisher of PC Magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing is reportedly to reorganize the company's capital structure, particularly with regard to subordinated debt. Papers were filed in the US Bankruptcy court in Manhattan. The company's parent Ziff Davis Holdings Inc. also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Full details are available from Bloomberg."
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Lax TSA Website Exposes Traveller's Information

sjbe sjbe writes  |  about 7 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "According to a January 2008 report from the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, from October 2006 through February 2007 traveller's who utilized the TSA website to attempt to remove their name from the No-Fly list risked having sensitive data, including social security numbers, exposed due to poor security practices. The contractor responsible, Desyne Web Services was awarded a no-bid contract to design the website. The TSA's technical lead on the project reportedly had a conflict of interest having been a former employee of Desyne. The security vulnerabilities were pointed out by Chris Soghoian, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana's School of Informatics. The TSA has since taken action to remedy the vulnerabilities but no action was taken to sanction the responsible parties for the vulnerabilities."
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