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Submission + - A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone (theverge.com)

mspohr writes: "Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn’t supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar’s phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn’t know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device.
The officer also presented Bikkannavar with a document titled “Inspection of Electronic Devices” and explained that CBP had authority to search his phone. Bikkannavar did not want to hand over the device, because it was given to him by JPL and is technically NASA property. He even showed the officer the JPL barcode on the back of phone. Nonetheless, CBP asked for the phone and the access PIN. “I was cautiously telling him I wasn’t allowed to give it out, because I didn’t want to seem like I was not cooperating,” says Bikkannavar. “I told him I’m not really allowed to give the passcode; I have to protect access. But he insisted they had the authority to search it.”
Courts have upheld customs agents' power to manually search devices at the border, but any searches made solely on the basis of race or national origin are still illegal. More importantly, travelers are not legally required to unlock their devices, although agents can detain them for significant periods of time if they do not. “In each incident that I’ve seen, the subjects have been shown a Blue Paper that says CBP has legal authority to search phones at the border, which gives them the impression that they’re obligated to unlock the phone, which isn’t true,” Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of CAIR Florida, told The Verge. “They’re not obligated to unlock the phone.”

Comment Re:Headline is misleading. (Score 1) 75

Actually, it's pretty brilliant marketing by Tostitos. They've decided to NOT advertise during the Super Bowl (TM), but instead came up with this gimmick. Hell, by the time the Big Game is actually on-the-air, you've already bought the Tottitos (or whatever). So they've come up with this drinking game/Uber tie-in instead.

Comment Re: 99% likely a math error, but... (Score 0, Flamebait) 139

Indeed. When I'm debugging a program and feed it new data and something completely unexpected (and obviously off-the-wall) comes out the other side, I always ask myself "Wait, what am I assuming?".
This is what drives me absolutely batshit about modern cosmology:

1) The speed of light is constant, everywhere and everywhen.
2) The gravitational constant is the same, everywhere and everywhen.
3) The shape of space is uniformly flat, everywhere and everywhen.
4) Please don't get me started about standard candles.
5) Or cosmological inflation.
6) Or the (luminiferous) aether. Sorry, the Higgs field/particle/whatever.

new data

Therefore: Dark Matter!!! Dark Energy!!! QED!

Picture a boulder embedded on a steep hillside. We say it wants to roll downhill, but it really wants to fall to the center of the earth, it's just the shape of its local space that constrains it to roll downhill. Now picture a pebble sitting on top of the boulder. It's attracted to the center of the earth, but also (yes, yes, weakly) gravitationally attracted to the center of the boulder. It wants to roll down (two!) hills. Actually, it's also attracted to the Sun, and Jupiter, and the Milky Way black hole, and Andromeda; a zillion other force vectors get simplifyingly assumed away. And we're in the position of being an ant sitting on top of the pebble, making local observations and universal assumptions.

To my way of thinking, modern cosmology has posited a spherical cow of uniform density, and is baffled about where milk comes from.

Comment Re:Contrast this with the incoming administration (Score 1, Interesting) 333

Well, the green energy doesn't contribute ongoing greenhouse gasses the way coal/oil/natural gas do, and of course, methane (natural gas) is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, so watch those wellhead and pipeline leaks! Meanwhile, the efficiency of PV solar panels has been getting steadily better. Yes, storage for wind and solar is currently an issue. And last time I looked, coal and natural gas generators needed transmission lines, too, so let's call that a wash, eh?

Comment Re:But we have Trump now (Score 5, Funny) 210

"Obama was doing spying, a lot of spying, and it's been a disaster. We're gonna do spying, they'll be so much spying, you'll be saying "Can we stop some of the spying, just for a change of pace?", but no, we're gonna keep spying, wonderful spying, the best spying you've ever seen"...

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The bogosity meter just pegged.