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Submission + - Chicago lost Olympics due to US passport control?

An anonymous reader writes: Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics (which went to Rio de Janiero instead), and it's looking very likely that US border procedures were one of the main factors which knocked Chicago out of the race:

Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicagoâ(TM)s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be "a rather harrowing experience." ... The exchange underscores what tourism officials here have been saying for years about the sometimes rigorous entry process for foreigners, which they see as a deterrent to tourism.


Submission + - Canadian Minister Lies On Net Surveillance Claims

An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government has introduced Internet surveillance legislation that requires ISPs to disclose customer information without a warrant. Peter Van Loan, the Minister in charge, claims that a Vancouver kidnapping earlier this year shows the need for these powers. I did some digging and shows this to be a lie — the Vancouver police acknowledge that the case did not involve an ISP request and the suspect is now in custody.

Submission + - Habitable Planet Discovery Expected "Anytime Now" ( 2

bughunter writes: "Planet hunters from NASA, Harvard University and the University of Colorado are collaborating on an effort to find Earthlike planets orbiting other stars. David Latham, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is quoted at saying, "It could happen almost any time now. We now have the technological capability to identify Earth-like planets around the smallest stars." Using the COROT and HARPS observatories, they expect to soon find our first candidates for extrasolar colonization. Now all we need is a Bussard Ramjet and a few volunteers."

Submission + - Jack Thompson sues Facebook for $40M ( 2

angry tapir writes: "Jack Thompson has sued Facebook for US$40 million, saying that the social networking site harmed him by not removing angry postings made by Facebook gamers. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thompson is best know for bringing suit against Grand Theft Auto's Take Two Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Wal-Mart, arguing that the game caused violent behavior."

Comment Define Narrow (Score 1) 630

So what is the effective arc of this weapon, exactly? It's hard to tell from just videos of course, but it seemed to me that there was no "narrow" to be had based on the reactions of the "crowd". Never minding horizontal arc, how about the vertical? I saw some second story apartments in the video; here's to hoping no one's cat or dog got brain fried because of this.

Submission + - UK musicians back 'three-strikes' rule for illegal (

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian has a piece on a couple of UK-based music industry lobby groups (the Featured Artists' Coalition and UK Music) showing their support for the government's proposed 'technical measures' to tackle illegal file sharing. It's all pretty standard fare, but the final quotation is precious:

"BT is clinging on to an old business model which is supported by illegal downloading. That's not only unfair to artists and creators, but penalises BT's many customers who use the internet legally," [Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI] said.


Submission + - AT&T calls Google a hypocrite on Net neutralit ( 1

NotBornYesterday writes: "AT&T is accusing Google of being a hypocrite when it comes to Net neutrality because it blocks certain phone calls on its Google Voice service. "By openly flaunting the call-blocking prohibition that applies to its competitors, Google is acting in a manner inconsistent with the spirit, if not the letter, of the FCC's fourth principle contained in its Internet Policy Statement," Robert Quinn, AT&T's senior vice president focusing on federal regulation, said in a statement.

Google blocks certain calls to avoid high costs due to a practice known as traffic pumping. Rural carriers can charge connection fees that are about 100 times higher than the rates that large local phone companies can charge. In traffic pumping, they share this revenue with adult chat services, conference-calling centers, party lines, and others that are able to attract lots of incoming phone calls to their networks.

Google responded by saying that the rules AT&T refers to don't apply to Google Voice for several reasons. Google Voice is a software application that offers a service on top of the existing telco infrastructure, it is a free service, and it is not intended to be a replacement for traditional telephone service. In fact, the service requires that users have a landline phone or a wireless phone."


Math Indicates Pollster Is Forging Results 319

An anonymous reader writes "Nate Silver suggests the political pollster Strategic Vision is 'cooking the books. And whoever is doing so is doing a pretty sloppy job.' Silver crunched five years worth of their polling data, and found their reported results followed a suspicious pattern which traditionally suggests fraud. The five-year distribution of the numbers 'is not random. It's not close to random.' The polling firm had already been reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research for failing to disclose their methodology, though the firm argues they did comply with the organization's request. Their response to Silver's accusation? 'We have a call in to our attorney on this and fully intend to take action that will vindicate us.'"

Submission + - Ants vs. Worms: Computer Security Mimics Nature (

An anonymous reader writes: In the never-ending battle to protect computer networks from intruders, security experts are deploying a new defense modeled after one of nature's hardiest creatures — the ant. Unlike traditional security devices, which are static, these "digital ants" wander through computer networks looking for threats, such as "computer worms" — self-replicating programs designed to steal information or facilitate unauthorized use of machines. When a digital ant detects a threat, it doesn't take long for an army of ants to converge at that location, drawing the attention of human operators who step in to investigate.

Comment Delicious irony (Score 1) 154

My vote was for social entrepreneurship; my filter words were "petty magnates".

I was disappointed by a number of the options, primarily because they would essentially establish more NGOs that relied, ultimately, on governmental action to make a difference (better tax structure, genocide awareness, etc); the same governments who have shown time and time again that they simply will not react to these problems, no matter how blatant the evidence. I chose social entrepreneurship because it is an outwardly distributed system. Rather than collect distributed resources and narrowing them towards a single focus, it will hopefully take a singular resource and deliver it into the hands of the many. Call it socialism if you want; I call it pragmatism.


NASA's Space Plans Take Another Hit 12

coondoggie writes "The folks at the Government Accountability Office have not been all that kind to NASA in recent years, and today they issued another damning report on the future of the manned space flight program. NASA is still struggling to develop a solid business case — including firm requirements, mature technologies, a knowledge-based acquisition strategy, a realistic cost estimate, and sufficient funding and time — needed to justify moving the Constellation program, which includes the two main spaceflight components, the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, forward into the implementation phase, the GAO stated."

Google Project 10^100 Reaches Voting Phase 154

An anonymous reader writes "In autumn last year, Google announced Project 10 to the 100, through which it aimed to commit $10 million to implement the best philanthropic idea. The project was suspended indefinitely after receiving more than 150,000 submissions. Google has now announced sixteen finalists — each of which was inspired by many individual submissions — and issued a call for votes. The voting deadline is October 8 and the Project 10^100 advisory board will then select up to five ideas to be implemented."

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