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House Republicans Roll Out Legislation To Overturn New Net Neutrality Rules 550

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 31 Republican co-sponsors have submitted the Internet Freedom Act (PDF) for consideration in the House. The bill would roll back the recent net neutrality rules made by the FCC. The bill says the rules "shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act." Blackburn claims the FCC's rules will "stifle innovation" and "restrict freedom." The article points out that Blackburn's campaign and leadership PAC has received substantial donations. from Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery 461

First time accepted submitter evidencebase writes "How can an airliner simply disappear, leaving no clues? And why do we have to wait until the black boxes are found to learn what happened to Flight MH370? As this article explains, there's no good reason that flight data needs to go down with the plane, because the technology to stream it to ground, from the moment things start to go wrong, is already on the market. It can be fitted to a commercial airliner for less than $100,000. But the industry has decided that it's not worth the expense. Tell that the the families of passengers on Flight MH370."

Congressman Accepts BitCoin For His US Senate Run 165

SonicSpike writes "U.S. Representative Steve Stockman, a vocal opponent of Federal Reserve policy, told reporters that he wants to promote Bitcoin, whose most fervent evangelists tout as an alternative to fiat currency. To do so, he is now accepting Bitcoin for his Senate campaign against incumbent John Cornyn of Texas. The announcement was made last night at the launch event for the NYC Bitcoin Center, located just up the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Center founder Nick Spanos a real estate developer and Bitcoin enthusiast says the Center itself is still in something of a planning stage, existing more as a statement about Bitcoin itself, though he plans on hosting a hackathon later this month."

Congressional Committee Casts a Harsh Eye On Vaccination Science 858

The Bad Astronomer writes "A recent hearing of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform became a bully pulpit for antivaccination rhetoric when Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) made speeches connecting vaccines to autism — a connection that medical experts have shown does not exist. Although there were actual medical researchers there as witnesses, they were mostly berated by the Congressmen on the panel. Vaccines are one of the most successful medical advancements in human history, having saved hundreds of millions of lives, and after copious studies have been shown to have no connection with autism. Despite this, a vocal antivax lobby exists, including, clearly, members of Congress. In part this is why preventable and potentially fatal diseases like pertussis and measles are once again on the rise."

PETA Condemns Pokemon For Promoting Animal Abuse Screenshot-sm 418

SchrodingerZ writes "PETA, the same group that last November protested Mario for 'wearing fur,' has condemned the Pokémon media franchise and video game series. In light of the recent release of Pokemon Black and White Versions 2, the activist group is protesting that the Pokemon game series 'paints a rosy picture of what amounts to thinly veiled animal abuse.' As many of us know Pokemon is about young children who capture wild animals for the sole purpose of having them battle in non-fatal sparing matches. 'Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods,' says a statement from the group. Ironically within Pokemon B/W 2 there an organization known as Team Plasma , which deals with taking Pokemon and retuning them to the wild. PETA is so up in arms that they have even created an anti-pokemon parody game in which you play as an escaped Pokemon battling your trainer. I recommend trying it, just for the laughs."

Japanese Parliament: Fukushima a Man-Made Disaster 134

Bootsy Collins writes "The predominant narrative of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has been that the accident was caused by a one-in-a-million tsunami, an event so unlikely that TEPCO could not reasonably have been expected to plan for it. However, a Parliamentary inquiry in Japan has concluded that this description is flawed — that the disaster was preventable through a reasonable and justifiable level of preparation, and that initial responses were horribly bungled. The inquiry report points a finger at collusion between industry executives and regulators in Japan as well as 'the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture.' It also raises the question of whether the failed units at Fukushimi Daiichi were already damaged by the earthquake before the tsunami even hit, going so far as to say that 'We cannot rule out the possibility that a small-scale LOCA (loss-of-coolant accident) occurred at the reactor No 1 in particular.' This is an explosive question in quake-prone Japan, appearing in the news just as Japan begins to restart reactors that have been shut down nationwide since the disaster."

'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP 277

dcblogs writes "The City of Takoma Park, Md. this week granted a waiver to its public library to allow it to use some new HP hardware, whose products are otherwise banned under its 'nuclear free zone' ordinance. That law, adopted in 1983 one month after the Cold War-era movie 'The Day After' was aired, prohibits the city from buying equipment from any company connected to U.S. nuclear weapons production. The library bought new Linux-based, x86 systems from a Canadian vendor and didn't realize the vendor was using HP hardware. The hardware arrived in April and was unused until the Takoma Park city council granted it a waiver this week. The city's list of banned contractors was developed in 2004 by a now inactive group, Nuclear Free America, and hasn't been updated since."

Senate Approves 4-Month Delay In Digital TV Switch 438

DJRumpy sends word that the US Senate has voted to delay the switch to digital TV until June. "The transition date would move to June 12 from February 17 under the bill that was fueled by worries that viewers are not technically ready for the Congressionally mandated switch-over. It would also allow consumers with expired coupons, available from the government to offset the cost of a $40 converter box, to request new coupons. The government ran out of coupons earlier this month, and about 2.5 million Americans are on a waiting list for them."

The SUV Is Dethroned 1234

Wired's Autopia blog documents what we all knew was coming: rising gas prices have killed off the SUV. Auto industry watchers had predicted that the gas guzzlers in the "light truck" category would lose the ascendancy by 2010; no one expected their reign to end in a month, in the spring of 2008. Toyota, GM, Ford, and now Nissan have announced they will scale back truck and SUV production and ramp up that of smaller passenger cars. Of course there will always be a market for this class of vehicle, but its days on the top of the sales charts are done. "'All of our previous assumptions on the full-size pickup truck segment are off the table,' Bob Carter, Toyota division sales chief said last week during a conference call with reporters. Translation — we have no idea how low they'll go."

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller