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Submission + - Another EPA wastewater spill in Colorado

schwit1 writes: EPA workers have caused another wastewater spill in Colorado.

According to the Denver Post, an EPA mine crew working Thursday at the Standard Mine in the mountains near Crested Butte, triggered another spill of some 2,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby mountain creek. Supporting Tipton's remarks to Watchdog Arena, the Denver Post report states that the EPA had failed to release a report about the incident at the time of its writing.

Unlike the Gold King Mine, where on Aug. 5, an EPA mine crew exploring possible clean-up options, blew out a structural plug in the mine releasing over 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River, the Standard Mine is an EPA-designated superfund site, where the federal agency has been directing ongoing clean-up efforts.

According to a the Washington Times regarding this latest spill, Tipton's spokesman, Josh Green, said that locals in the Crested Butte area confirmed the spill. Watchdog Arena spoke directly with Tipton Thursday afternoon who claimed, "They are reporting that the spill consisted of "gray water," and was not toxic. But the definition of gray water does not preclude the presence of possible toxic substances."

It doesn't matter that this spill is smaller and at a superfund site. If a private landowner screwed up like this, and didn't report it, as required by the EPA, the EPA would move in faster than the speed of light to take everything they owned and to put them in prison.

Submission + - Chaos Computer Club Claims It Can Reproduce Fingerprints From People's Photos 1

An anonymous reader writes: Chaos Computer Club, Europe’s largest association of hackers, claims it can reproduce your fingerprints from a couple of photos that show your fingers. At the 31st annual Chaos Computer Club convention in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Krissler, also known by his alias "Starbug," explained how he copied the thumbprint of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Because these fingerprints can be used for biometric authentication, Starbug believes that after his talk, "politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public."

Submission + - Russia goes after TOR's privacy; announces 4 million Roubles bounty (

hypnosec writes: Government of Russia has announced a 4 million Roubles (~£65,000) bounty to anyone who develops a technology to identify users of TOR – an anonymising network capable of encrypting user data and hiding the identity of its users. The bounty has been announced by Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) in the form of a tender titled “Perform research, code ‘TOR’ (Navy)”. The public description of the project has been removed now and it only reads "cipher 'TOR' (Navy)". The ministry has said in the tender that it is looking for experts and researchers to “study the possibility of obtaining technical information about users and users equipment on the Tor anonymous network.”

Submission + - Chinese State Media Declares iPhone A Threat To National Security (

MojoKid writes: When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forth last year with US government spying secrets, it didn't take long to realize that some of the information revealed could bring on serious repercussions — not just for the US government, but also for US-based companies. The latest to feel the hit? None other than Apple, and in a region the company has been working hard to increase market share: China. China, via state media, has today declared that Apple's iPhone is a threat to national security — all because of its thorough tracking capabilities. It has the ability to keep track of user locations, and to the country, this could potentially reveal "state secrets" somehow. It's being noted that the iPhone will continue to track the user to some extent even if the overall feature is disabled. China's iPhone ousting comes hot on the heels of Russia's industry and trade deeming AMD and Intel processors to be untrustworthy. The nation will instead be building its own ARM-based "Baikal" processor.

Submission + - Time Warner Parting Itself Out

gavron writes: We all know about TW Cable being acquired by Comcast (subject to regulatory approval) but news from today is that their non-cable business is being purchased by Level3 for almost 6 BILLION dollars. .

What used to be the former "largest media and distribution company ever" (AOL Time Waner) is now nothing more than a garage of pieces being parceled off to the first available bidder. This might be good for consumers, but recently Time Warner (and Comcast) won awards for consumer hatred.

Submission + - Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident explained by modern science? (

swellconvivialguy writes: Fifty-five years ago today, nine young Russians died under suspicious circumstances during a winter hiking trip in the Ural mountains. Despite an exhaustive investigation and the recovery of the group’s journals and photographs, the deaths remained unexplained, blamed on “an unknown compelling force.” Now American film and television producer Donnie Eichar believes he has solved the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Working in conjunction with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, CO, Eichar developed a theory that the hikers died because they panicked in the face of infrasound produced by a Kármán vortex street.

Submission + - Who makes the best disk drives? ( 1

Hamsterdan writes: Backblaze, which open sourced their Storage Pod a few years ago, is now giving drive failure rates. They currently have over 27,000 consumer grade drives spinning in Backblaze storage pods.

Almost 13,000 each are Seagate and Hitachi drives, almost 3000 Western Digital drives and a too small for statistical reporting smattering of Toshiba and Samsung drives.

One cool thing: Backblaze buys drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest drives that will work. Their workload is almost hundred percent write. Because they spread the incoming writes over several drives their workload isn't very performance intensive either.

Submission + - AMC theatres call FBI to arrest a Google Glass user (

An anonymous reader writes: A Google Glass user is interrogated without legal counsel for a couple of hours under suspicion that he may have been recording a film in the AMC movie theater. Although the matter could have been cleared in minutes, federal agents insisted on interrogating the user for hours. So long for our constitutional freedoms.

Submission + - Canadian government trucking generations of scientific data to the dump (

sandbagger writes: Canada's scientific libraries are literally being taken to the dump. The norther nation's scientific community has been up in arms over the holidays as local scientific libraries and records offices were closed and their shelves — some of which contained century old data — emptied into dumpsters. Stephen Harper's Tory government is claiming that the documents have been digitized. Where the Hell do we protest?

Submission + - Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs 4

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Lauran Neergaard writes at the Christian Science Monitor that doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills because over time the poor wind up seeking treatment in doctors' offices or hospitals as a result. "If you're interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition," says Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center, who founded the Children's HealthWatch pediatric research institute. "People don't make the hunger-health connection." Food stamps feed 1 in 7 Americans and cost almost $80 billion a year, twice what it cost five years ago. The doctors' lobbying effort comes as Congress is working on a compromise farm bill that's certain to include food stamp cuts. Republicans want heftier reductions than do Democrats in yet another partisan battle over the government's role in helping poor Americans. Conservatives say the program spiraled out of control as the economy struggled and the costs are not sustainable. However research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that a cut of $2 billion a year in food stamps could trigger in an increase of $15 billion in medical costs (PDF) for over the next decade. Other research shows children from food-insecure families are 30 percent more likely to have been hospitalized for a range of illnesses. "Food is medicine," says Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, who has led the Democrats' defense of the food stamp program. "Critics focus almost exclusively on how much we spend, and I wish they understood that if we did this better, we could save a lot more money in health care costs."

Submission + - USA Today names Edward Snowden tech person of the year (

An anonymous reader writes: "In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the American people, through their elected representatives in Washington, chose to exchange a significant amount of freedom for safety. But until a lone information-technology contractor named Edward Snowden leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents to the media this summer, we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered. Now that we do, our nation can have a healthy debate — out in the open, as a democracy should debate — about how good a bargain we got in that exchange.

For facilitating that debate, at great risk to his own personal liberty, Snowden is this column's technology person of the year for 2013."

Submission + - France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Should YouTube subsidize le cinéma français? France’s audiovisual regulator thinks so. In a report this week, the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) says that video-sharing websites should be subject to a tax that helps finance the production of French films and TV shows. Although the CSA report says that videos posted online by private individuals should not be subject to taxation, it contends that video-sharing sites increasingly have become “professional” content providers.

Separately, France is considering a tax on smartphones, tablets, and other devices as another source of revenue for cultural subsidies. The proposed tax would raise an estimated €86 million annually that would be used to finance the “cultural industries’ digital transition,” France’s Culture Ministry said at the time.

Submission + - Facebook is Dead and Buried: Survey (

retroworks writes: A study of how teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried”, but that the network is morphing into a tool for keeping in touch with older family members

Submission + - Why Don't Open Source Databases Use GPUs? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A recent paper from Georgia Tech describes a system than can run the complete TPC-H benchmark suite on an NVIDIA Titan card, at a 7x speedup over a commercial database running on a 32-core Amazon EC2 node, and a 68x speedup over a single core Xeon. A previous story described an MIT project that achieved similar speedups.

There has been a steady trickle of work on GPU-accelerated database systems for several years, but it doesn't seem like any code has made it into Open Source databases like MonetDB, MySQL, CouchDB, etc. Why not? Many queries that I write are simpler than TPC-H, so what's holding them back?

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing