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Comment Re:whose payroll is the scientist on? It matters (Score 4, Informative) 514

That is true, but without understanding what the GAO report was covering it can be a bit misleading. Here is a bit of a graphic summary. http://www.gao.gov/key_issues/...

First it is important to note the 106B was over like a 20 year period. It is also important to note, that 106B wasn't all for science (in fact only the minority of it was). That number was the full amount they could attribute towards any are of work on climate change. In the above link the break it down into science, technology, and international assistance. So this covers FAR more than what one would first think of if they were told 106B went to climate change research. Research into clean coal? That would be counted. Nuclear, that would be counted. Research into better batteries for electric cars, that is counted. Research in to solar/wind, that is counted.

You can dig into the reports further to get a more detailed understanding. The point is simply saying climate change got 106B may sound like "oh my god climate researchers are getting rich!!!!". However, when you understand what the report really covers (long period of time and only a small portion goes to what you'd normally thing of as climate research) it does change the perspective a bit.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 213

If they come from a company retained pool, that company retained pool would be an asset on the companies balance sheet. So taking it from there lowers the company's value by 76M. The stock options are a tax dodge, but that isn't what Oracle's owners are complaining about. They are complaining about his compensation being too high. I don't think they are too worried about the exact structure of that compensation. Either way it takes from their value.

Comment Re:Moar tin foil! (Score 2) 178

I have gotten incredibly sick of the tin foil hat brigade putting the NSA into every one of their conspiracy theories

If at this point, you still believe the NSA collecting private data is tin foil hat territory, I'm not sure exactly how to proceed. However, I'll assume you didn't actually mean that for purposes of the rest of the post.

Obviously you are concerned about your data being intercepted and stolen. Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you?

OK, this statement really points that you aren't involved in information security (at least in a serious capacity anyway). Do you really guarantee you can hide from Anonymous or even script kiddies 100% of the time if they really want you? If you answer yes, then again we know you aren't involved in information security. So since the answer is no, what is your solution? Do you simply throw your hands in the air and say screw it? I cannot guarantee to stop them anyway, so lets just toss our firewall and anti-virus in the trash? No of course not. Heck even your sarcastic comment about a physically secured facility, in a faraday cage, with no internet access cannot promise the information will be secure. A simple warrant, guys with guns, breaking down your door and taking the server easily gets around that.

Information security is about risk mitigation. What can you reasonably and responsibly do to ensure the security of your client information? It isn't about guaranteeing 100% security as that is simply not possible (NSA or not). So there standard industry best practices to mitigate against risks even though that doesn't completely remove all risks. Such things include encryption, firewalls, anti-virus, IPS, DLP, etc, etc. Even if you do all of those things and more, that cannot promise 100% safety, but it does represent you doing your best to protect your clients data and not just tossing your hands in the air and saying screw it.

This NSA (I use that as they are the largest, but mean it to encompass every alphabet agency from every country) threat isn't new obviously, but the scope and visibility of it is obviously much more obvious than ever. Thus responsible IT professionals will be talking about how best to responsibly do their jobs in this regard for quite some time. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it is a good thing. New best practices on how to combat and mitigate these risks will come from such discussions. There will never be a 100% fix, but these discussions will lead to solutions that help. Those of us who take our clients information security serious obviously love these discussions. I'm sorry for you (really more for your clients) if you don't want to hear about this, but it isn't going anywhere.


New Real Life Laser-Rifle Cuts Through Metal Like a Blowtorch 143

dryriver writes "We've seen real laser guns before pulling off tricks like starting small fires, or popping black balloons. That's cool, sure, but it's got nothing—on this handheld laser rifle. Developed by TWI this laser-cutter was initially designed for use by robots, but a few recent tweaks including a pistol-grip and a trigger made it into a human-sized rifle. It is designed specifically with nuclear decommission in mind, specifically chopping up huge pieces of metal infrastructure into bite-sized bits that are easily disposed of. And while it's definitely suited for that, it has some short-comings compared typical rifles. That range is pretty low, for instance, and it's not exactly mobile."

Engineers Aim To Make Cleaner-Burning Cookstoves For Developing World 147

vinces99 writes in with news about a new cookstove design for developing countries. "About 3 billion people, or 42 percent of the world's population, rely on burning materials such as wood, animal dung or coal in stoves for cooking and heating their homes. Often these stoves are crudely designed, and poor ventilation and damp wood can create a smoky, hazardous indoor environment day after day. A recent study in The Lancet estimates that 3.5 million people die each year as a result of indoor air pollution from open fires or rudimentary stoves in their homes. More than 900,000 people die from pneumonia alone, which has been linked to indoor air pollution. University of Washington engineers hope to make a dent in these numbers by designing a cookstove that meets a stringent set of emission and efficiency standards while still being affordable and attractive to families who cook over a flame each day. The team has received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent."

Comment Re:Your Fingerprint isn't ever stored in flash (Score 1) 303

To be clear, I don't think Apple sharing my fingerprint is the biggest problem here. I'd never use it simply because my finger print is already known or easily knowable by so many people/entities. My properly strong passwords are not.

Comment Re:Your Fingerprint isn't ever stored in flash (Score 5, Insightful) 303

Apple touts the fact that the fingerprint is never sent over the network as a feature but in reality it can't send it over the network even if it wants to

So the data exists on the phone. The phone is connected to a network. But it is physically impossible for that data to be sent over the network? Not sure how that would work.

Comment Re:just FUD IMHO (Score 1) 303

Certainly not FUD. A valid concern even if you personally don't think it is an issue. I personally am not worried about it != FUD.

If you want better security on your phone your best bet is stop using a 4 digit numerical passcode or incredibly simply swipe gestures and choose a properly strong/long password. My knowledge of biometrics is limited to enterprise system we had years ago which was horribly unreliable (often wouldn't allow the proper person access and would allow unauthorized people access on what seemed a random basis). I'm sure things have improved a lot since then, but still most studies you read on such systems don't leave you with much confidence.

Their best use seems to be in a 2 factor authentication scheme, but certainly not a replacement for a proper strong password.


How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business 617

David Gerard writes "Here in the future, musicians and record companies complain they can't make a living any more. The problem isn't piracy — it's competition. There is too much music and too many musicians, and the amateurs are often good enough for the public. This is healthy for culture, not so much for aesthetics, and terrible for musicians. There are bands who would have trouble playing a police siren in tune, who download a cracked copy of Cubase — you know how much musicians pirate their software, VSTs and sample packs, right? — and tap in every note. There are people like me who do this. A two-hundred-quid laptop with LMMS and I suddenly have better studio equipment than I could have hired for $100/hour thirty years ago. You can do better with a proper engineer in a proper studio, but you don’t have to. And whenever quality competes with convenience, convenience wins every time. You can protest that your music is a finely-prepared steak cooked by sheer genius, and be quite correct in this, and you have trouble paying for your kitchen, your restaurant, your cow."

Intel Shows 14nm Broadwell Consuming 30% Less Power Than 22nm Haswell 88

MojoKid writes "Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, while on stage, at IDF this week snuck in some additional information about Broadwell, the 14nm follow up to Haswell that was mentioned during Brian Krzanich's opening day keynote. In a quick demo, Kirk showed a couple of systems running the Cinebench multi-threaded benchmark side-by-side. One of the systems featured a Haswell-Y processor, the other a Broadwell-Y. The benchmark results weren't revealed, but during the Cinebench run, power was being monitored on both systems and it showed the Broadwell-Y rig consuming roughly 30% less power than Haswell-Y and running fully loaded at under 5 watts. Without knowing clocks and performance levels, we can't draw many conclusion from the power numbers shown, but they do hint at Broadwell-Y's relative health, even at this early stage of the game."

Cisco Can't Shield Customers From Patent Suits, Court Rules 111

netbuzz writes "A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court ruling that Cisco lacks the necessary standing to seek dismissal of patent infringement lawsuits against some of its biggest customers – wireless network providers and enterprises – being brought by TR Labs, a Canadian research consortium. The appeals court agreed with TR Labs' that its patent infringement claims are rightfully against the users of telecommunications equipment – be it made by Cisco, Juniper, Ciena or others – and not the manufacturers. 'In fact, all of the claims and all of the patents are directed at a communications network, not the particular switching nodes that are manufactured by Cisco and the other companies that are subject of our claims,' an attorney for TR Labs told the court. The court made no judgment relative to the patents themselves or the infringement claims."

Your Brain Waves Are a Password: How Your Next Car Will Check You're Not a Thief 169

cartechboy writes "And you thought stealing cars was hard today? You're facing locks, kill switches, LoJacks, OnStar, and more. But there's worse on the way: Engineers at Japan's Tottori University have developed a prototype theft-prevention system that uses brain waves to identify drivers. That's right: The system samples your brain waves, stores them--and actually shuts down the car if the driver's EEG signals don't match what's on file. It also busts drunk and sleepy drivers, because their brain waves differ from those when you're fully awake and totally sober. One non-Tron downside: If you want to drive, you have to wear a scary-looking set of sensors on your skull so the car can constantly reads your brainwaves."

Comment Re:The author is either a shill or a pawn of Googl (Score 2) 332

An ISP's stance on net neutrality basically comes down to their view on the market. If I go to an ISP looking for access to the internet and their goal is to provide me the best internet access for my money, then they support net neutrality. Alternatively, if a customer paying you for internet access if viewed as a commodity to sell to large corporations, then net neutrality is a horrible injustice. I do applaud you for openly stating your company's position. No matter how much I hope your position fails, I do appreciate your open admission of it.


Interview With Professor Potrykus, Inventor of Golden Rice 400

crabel writes "According to WHO, 127 millions of pre-school children worldwide suffer from vitamin A deficiency, causing some 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness every year. This deficiency is responsible for 600,000 deaths among children under the age of 5. Golden Rice might be a solution to this problem. The only problem? It's GMO. In an interview inventor Potrykus, now close to 80 years old, answers questions about the current state of approval, which might happen in the next couple of months."

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.