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+ - As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Submitted by (3830033) writes "After rising rapidly for decades, the number of people behind bars peaked at 1.62 Million in 2009, has been mostly falling ever since down, and many justice experts believe the incarceration rate will continue on a downward trajectory for many years. New York, for example, saw an 8.8% decline in federal and state inmates, and California, saw a 20.6% drop. Now the WSJ reports on an awkward byproduct of the declining U.S. inmate population: empty or under-utilized prisons and jails that must be cared for but can’t be easily sold or repurposed. New York state has closed 17 prisons and juvenile-justice facilities since 2011, following the rollback of the 1970s-era Rockefeller drug laws, which mandated lengthy sentences for low-level offenders. So far, the state has found buyers for 10 of them, at prices that range from less than $250,000 to about $8 million for a facility in Staten Island, often a fraction of what they cost to build. “There’s a prisoner shortage,” says Mike Arismendez, city manager for Littlefield, Texas, home of an empty five-building complex that sleeps 383 inmates and comes with a gym, maintenence shed, armory, and parking lot . “Everybody finds it hard to believe.”

The incarceration rate is declining largely because crime has fallen significantly in the past generation. In addition, many states have relaxed harsh sentencing laws passed during the tough-on-crime 1980s and 1990s, and have backed rehabilitation programs, resulting in fewer low-level offenders being locked up. States from Michigan to New Jersey have changed parole processes, leading more prisoners to leave earlier. On a federal level, the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed to reduce sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Before 2010, the U.S. prison population increased every year for 30 years, from 307,276 in 1978 to a high of 1,615,487 in 2009. “This is the beginning of the end of mass incarceration,” says Natasha Frost. "People don’t care so much about crime, and it’s less of a political focus.""

+ - Journalists Route Around White House Press Office

Submitted by Tailhook
Tailhook (98486) writes "Pool reports written by White House correspondents are distributed to news organizations via the White House Press Office. Reporters have alleged that the Obama White House exploits its role as distributor to `demand changes in pool reports' and has used this power to `steer coverage in a more favorable direction.' Now a group of 90 print journalists has begun privately distributing their work through Google Groups, independent of the Press Office. Their intent is to `create an independent pool-reporting system for print and online recipients.'"

+ - Chemical weapons found in Iraq were covered up by the US

Submitted by mr_mischief
mr_mischief (456295) writes "Multiple sources report that the US found remnants of WMD programs, namely chemical weapons, in Iraq after all. Many US soldiers were injured by them, in fact.

Why the cover-up, when so many people were making it a point to say there were no WMD? Was it to keep morale up? Was it out of embarrassment that many of these weapons were developed with Western help? Was it because these were older weapons not actively being produced? Maybe it's because the US troops did not follow international protocols to secure and properly dispose of the weapons.

Well, whatever the reason, it's a bad thing. If there are any of these caches under ISIL control it could be a very bad thing."

+ - Ebola Test Is Positive in Second Texas Health Worker->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The authorities in Texas reported on Wednesday that a second health care worker involved in the treatment of a patient who died of the Ebola virus had tested positive for the disease after developing a fever.

The worker, who was not identified by name, had been “among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola,” a statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services said."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Apples and Oranges (Score 1) 427

1. Apple has a less than 15% market share... they may be very influential, but I hardly doubt that anything that they do could be construed to be abuse of market share.

15% market share of mobile phones? Really? I guess I expected their penetration in phones was much greater than that of their computer (desktop/laptop/tablet) market.

+ - How Techies Should Pick A City To Live In->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "You've just graduated from college with a technical degree, and you're more mobile than you've ever been in your life or ever will be again. How do you decide where to settle? If you're trying to advance your technical career, you might want to try working through the checklist offered by Fred Shilmover. Shilmover is the CEO of a cloud-based company but his guidelines could apply to anyone in a technical field. (He picked Boston, by the way.)"
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+ - New Brunswick election in question after Voting Machine Fiasco->

Submitted by Dr Caleb
Dr Caleb (121505) writes "

"The New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives say they won't accept Monday's election result until all ballots are counted by hand."

Elections New Brunswick used 713 vote tabulation machines in the election, which had been expected to speed up the process of counting the ballots. This was the first provincial election to use them. However, problems emerged within two hours of polls closing, as manual counts were not matching up with electronic counts. For at least 90 minutes, Elections New Brunswick stopped transmitting updated results. "Michael Quinn, the chief electoral officer, said in a statement Monday night that some of his staff noted some of the results being entered manually were not getting replaced properly with results being uploaded from the tabulators."

There have also been reports on TV and Radio that some of the memory cards from the machines are missing and unaccounted for. They had been removed from some machines that were not transmitting the data to the central servers, so the memory cards were to be physically taken there and entered into the records. Reports also say some machines were not certified properly."

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Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 1) 937

by Atrox Canis (#47901595) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

I reached the conclusion there is no god some 20 years ago. Until reading your post, I was unaware of the existence of atheist websites or atheist discussion forums. I've not actually engaged in a discussion with another atheist in all these years. I saw no reason to seek these things. I'm not trying to make fun of you or denigrate your comments. I guess the point I'm driving to is that of course, there will be groups of atheists that meet in various ways to discuss whatever they feel a need to discuss. I just never had that need.

I've never really felt like there is anything missing from my life. I'm married with 5 kids and 6 grand kids. My wife and I both still work and we do things in the community to help out when we can. We both vote and hold strong opinions regarding society. I'm pro-life because I am bothered by the idea of so much lost potential and I'm anti-illegal immigration because I am bothered by the knowledge that the immigrants are being turned into indentured servants. Well over 20% of our income goes to help others. Some of those people we help are family, some are friends and a few are strangers.

My wife recently told me that she too has come to the point where she no longer believes in a god. I've never tried to convince her that my lack of belief was superior because that always felt too much like proselytizing. Anyway, tl;dr kicks in here I suppose and again, I'm not trying to pick nits. It just seems somewhat incongruous that atheists would feel the need to get together in any way other than the normal social interaction that comes from being part of a larger community.

In any case, good wishes for success with whatever you choose to believe of not believe.

Comment: Re:Easy solution (Score 0) 348

by Atrox Canis (#47874461) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

Yep. Welcome to democracy, where the government screws 49% to get the approval of 51%.

You forgot poor Republicans, who proudly screw themselves over because the rich ones tell them Democrats are going to take their guns and religion away.

And don't forget the poor Democrats, who proudly screw themselves over because the rich ones tell them Republicans are going to force them to carry guns and god.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile in the real world... (Score 1) 427

by Atrox Canis (#47861803) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

There are millions of scientists involved in this worldwide.

Perhaps there are millions of scientists but are they ALL working on AGW research? I think not.

the ONLY climate "scientists" who get rich from their research and live high on the hog are those in the employ of the fossil fuel industries.Speaking of motivations...lets look at the fossil fuel industries. unlike those "lying AGW scientists", they actually do receive tons of money from the government. hundreds of billions a year. and they make even more in profits selling their product. and they spend billions in lobbying every year.

We might need a couple of citations here. I know there are billions of dollars involved but I rather suspect that the fossil fuel industry scientists are not getting "billions a year"

If you tone down the rhetoric just a bit, or restate your premise to be a bit more precise, you might gain some credibility.

Just trying to help.

+ - Did Sundance Vacations Forge A Court Order To Suppress Online Criticism?->

Submitted by IonOtter
IonOtter (629215) writes "Matt Haughey, founder of MetaFilter, has challenged a Cease & Desist letter from Sundance Vacations, a seller of time-shares with a reputation for aggressive sales tactics and suppression of criticism. Only this time, it seems that the plaintiff may have forged court documents ordering Mr. Haughey, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines to remove any and all mentions of the links and posts in question. Legal blog, Popehat has picked this up as well, prompting Ken White to wryly note, "...Sundance Vacations is about to learn about the Streisand Effect." The story is gaining traction, and being picked up by Boing-Boing, as well as hitting the first page of search results on Google."
Link to Original Source

Comment: What the hell, why not? (Score 2) 167

by Atrox Canis (#47794223) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Waze for traffic and navigation. Nice combination of social and mapping. I just turn it on without routing on my work commute. I get fairly accurate road hazard and speed trap info and people actually thank me for reports that I post.

Audible for ebooks. Subscription service but it means you can get recent publications of decent books (one a month for the subscription) or more if you are willing to buy additional credits.

Airbnb for finding some cool places to stay while traveling

Flighthero for tracking airplanes that are enroute. I recently flew back to DFW from LA. A friend of mine gifted me with a few hours of inflight WiFi so I used it to track the plane I was in just for shits and giggles.

WeatherTap for... weather

iCitizen for political information

BillGuard syncs with your bank account and gives you decent warnings about unauthorized transactions

HBOGO and Showtime has one too. If you have HBO as one of your premium channels, you can stream anything HBO to your device

ZocDoc handy for finding a doctor or specialist near you

IMDB because I can never remember the name of that actor, you know, the one that was in Space Truckers and had a great scene in True Romance with that other actor, you know, the one that was so ugly. He was in Prophecy with what's her name.

Or, just take the time to go looking for an app every time you come across a situation or issue that could be aided by access to your augmented cloud memory.

+ - The downside of police having cameras 3

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Why do we object to people wearing Google Glass but call for police to be equiped with cameras? True wearing a camera would make it more difficult for officers to lie (unless the camera accidentaly breaks). But just as Google Glass picks up everything — so would a police offier's camera. Do we want that?"

Comment: What if it's a triple whammy (Score 0) 194

by Atrox Canis (#47664663) Attached to: Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

The NSA approaches ES and convinces him to participate in a long-term project. Snowden "escapes" with tonnes of documents. He takes them to China. Then he takes them to Russia. The Russians and Chinese help convince the world he is a credible source. ES then starts releasing major BS aimed at convincing the Russians and Chinese that Uncle Sam still carries the biggest stick on the planet.

ZOMG!11!1!!!!, NSA can haz major counter-attacking AI monstermindbotswithzombiegoodness.



Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long