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+ - Obama aims to ax moon mission->

Submitted by
DreamingReal
DreamingReal writes "To quote Jim Lovell, "we just lost the moon". White House insiders and NASA officials are saying the Obama Administration is planning on killing the Constellation program:

"When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon. There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all."

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Comment: Re:So, does this mean foreign corporations can too (Score 1) 1070

by DreamingReal (#30854668) Attached to: Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits

Stolen from a great post above, but see below. As Justice Stevens points out in his dissenting argument, the answer is a resounding "Yes".

But [Justice] Stevens and the dissenters said the majority was ignoring the long-understood rule that the government could limit election money from corporations, unions and others, such as foreign governments. "Under today's decision, multinational corporations controlled by foreign governments" would have the same rights as Americans to spend money to tilt U.S. elections. "Corporations are not human beings. They can't vote and can't run for office," Stevens said, and should be subject to restrictions under the election laws.

Comment: Re:God, please let this be true. (Score 1) 1093

by DreamingReal (#25999583) Attached to: Prescription Handguns For the Elderly and Disabled

Maybe in your snide haze, you missed the fact that those restrictive laws had virtually no effect on gun violence. Chicago's gun laws have been on the books since the early 80's and we just had one of the deadliest summers in a decade due to gun violence. Just like the War on Drugs, let's keep doing the same thing even though it's proven not to work. I agree with one of the other grandchildren posts in this thread: societal causes lead to violence, not guns. Given that over half of households in the country have at least one firearm in the house but deaths due to guns totaled only 16,000 or so, the prevalence of guns is obviously not the problem. Australia is a entirely different society and gun ownership was not ingrained in their history as deeply as ours, so stop comparing apples and oranges. I'm comparing American cities that have vastly different gun laws and vastly different rates of gun violence.

But I love how people how don't own guns immediately blame the tool instead of the perpetrator. Proper respect for guns comes from use. Most people who do not own guns have never held one, to say nothing of actually ever shooting one. They typically react uncomfortably, if not with outright alarm, when in their presence. All they know of firearms they learn from TV and movies. They never acknowledge these prejudices when it comes to discussion about gun laws. To quote a saying I've seen over the years, it's as if the illiterate were dictating what you can and cannot read.

Comment: Re:God, please let this be true. (Score 1) 1093

by DreamingReal (#25990115) Attached to: Prescription Handguns For the Elderly and Disabled

I must be completely out of my head then, because I'm a self-described "liberal" who strongly supports the 2nd Amendment. I own a gun, precisely because Illinois (and Chicago in particular) have much stricter gun laws than the rest of the country. Coincidentally, we have higher murder rates and crimes in which a gun is used than the rest of the country too. The city with the highest murder rate (typically by firearms) is Washington D.C., which has a total ban on any firearms ownership. Seeing a trend?

And btw, martial arts as self-defense against a firearm is only realistic in the movies.

Privacy

Speculation On Large-Scale Phone Location Snooping 234

Posted by kdawson
from the what-may-be dept.
An anonymous reader recommends a speculative blog entry by Chris Soghoian up on CNet. Soghoian makes a convincing case that the NSA could be using loopholes in the law to gather real-time location information on the mobile phones of millions of people. There is no hard evidence that this is happening, but the blog post sheds light on the dense undergrowth of companies populating the wireless space that could be easy pickings for a National Security Letter with a gag order attached. "While these household names of the telecom industry [AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint] almost certainly helped the government to illegally snoop on their customers, statements by a number of legal experts suggest that collaboration with the NSA may run far deeper into the wireless phone industry. With over 3,000 wireless companies operating in the United States, the majority of industry-aided snooping likely occurs under the radar, with the dirty work being handled by companies that most consumers have never heard of."
Movies

You, Too, Could Be Batman In 10 To 12 Years 493

Posted by kdawson
from the but-the-pay-is-lousy dept.
jmcbain tips a fascinating interview in Scientific American with a professor of kinesiology and neuroscience (and a 26-year practitioner of Chito-Ryu karate-do). The question was, how much training would it take for a normal person to become Batman? The professor says: "You could train somebody to be a tremendous athlete and to have a significant martial arts background, and also to use some of the gear that he has, which requires a lot of physical prowess... In terms of the physical skills to be able to defend himself against all these opponents all the time, I would benchmark that at 10 to 12 years." The problem is, even after that amount of training, no one could remain on top of their game for more than a few years. And "Batman can't really afford to lose. Losing means death — or at least not being able to be Batman anymore."
Google

Patriot Act Haunts Google Service 277

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the patriot-act-so-good-at-making-friends dept.
The Globe and Mail has an interesting piece taking a look at Google's latest headache, the US Government. Many people are suddenly deciding to spurn Google's services and applications because it opens up potential avenues of surveillance. "Some other organizations are banning Google's innovative tools outright to avoid the prospect of U.S. spooks combing through their data. Security experts say many firms are only just starting to realize the risks they assume by embracing Web-based collaborative tools hosted by a U.S. company, a problem even more acute in Canada where federal privacy rules are at odds with U.S. security measures."
Media

Blu-ray BD+ Cracked 521

Posted by kdawson
from the bigger-they-come dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In July 2007, Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group (BD+ Standards Board) declared: 'BD+, unlike AACS which suffered a partial hack last year, won't likely be breached for 10 years.' Only eight months have passed since that bold statement, and Slysoft has done it again. According to the press release, the latest version of their flagship product AnyDVD HD can automatically remove BD+ protection and allows you to back-up any Blu-ray title on the market."
The Courts

FBI Posts Fake Hyperlinks To Trap Downloaders of Illegal Porn 767

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-thought-getting-a-shock-site-link-was-bad dept.
mytrip brings us a story from news.com about an FBI operation in which agents posted hyperlinks which advertised child pornography, recorded the IP addresses of people who clicked the links, and then tracked them down and raided their homes. The article contains a fairly detailed description of how the operation progressed, and it raises questions about the legality and reliability of getting people to click "unlawful" hyperlinks. Quoting: "With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids. The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements. While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant."
Privacy

Americans Don't Care About Domestic Spying ? 485

Posted by Zonk
from the you're-blocking-the-view-of-the-big-game dept.
S1mmo+61 writes "Salon is analyzing a Time Magazine article today, a piece that essentially claims Americans do not care about the domestic spying. The analysis of the Time magazine piece (which is longer than the article itself) is interesting, if only as a quick history of domestic spying in the last eight years. 'Time claims that "nobody cares" about the Government's increased spying powers and that "polling consistently supports that conclusion." They don't cite a single poll because that assertion is blatantly false. Just this weekend, a new poll released by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University proves that exactly the opposite is true. That poll shows that the percentage of Americans who believe the Federal Government is "very secretive" has doubled in the last two years alone (to 44%)'"
Government

Democrats Propose Commission To Investigate Spying 302

Posted by kdawson
from the no-immunity-for-you dept.
metalman writes "Wired has a story on a proposal by House Democrats to 'establish a national commission — similar to the 9/11 Commission... to find out — and publish — what exactly the nation's spies were up to during their five-year warrantless, domestic surveillance program.' The draft bill would also preserve the requirement of court orders and remove 'retroactive immunity for telecom companies.' (We've discussed various government wiretaps, phone companies, and privacy violations before.) But it seems unlikely that such an alternative on phone immunity would pass both the House and Senate, let alone survive a Presidential veto."
Education

New Science Standards Approved in Florida 891

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the thinking-of-the-voters-not-the-children dept.
anonymous_echidna writes "Florida has voted to accept the new K-12 science curriculum standards amidst a storm of controversy around the teaching of evolution, which had up until now been the scientific concept that dare not speak its name. There was a compromise made at the last minute, which was to call evolution a 'scientific theory', rather than a fact. While some lament that the change displays the woeful ignorance of science and scientific terminology, the good news is that the new curriculum emphasizes teaching the meaning of scientific terms and the scientific method in earlier grades."

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