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Two Years Later, White House Responds To 'Pardon Edward Snowden' Petition 583 583

An anonymous reader writes: In June of 2013, a petition was posted to Whitehouse.gov demanding that Edward Snowden receive a full pardon for his leaks about the NSA and U.S. surveillance practices. The petition swiftly passed 100,000 signatures — the point at which the White House said it would officially respond to such petitions. For two years, the administration was silent, but now they've finally responded. In short: No, Edward Snowden won't be receiving a pardon.

Lisa Monaco, the President's Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said, "Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it. If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions."

Comment Define "free." (Score 4, Insightful) 654 654

1) I can get anywhere I want with public transportation as it is right now. The problem is that it takes literally four to eight times more time (in my specific circumstances), and my time is far from free.

2) The notion that it's free is, frankly, dishonest and disingenuous. *Somebody* is paying for it, and that somebody is me, in one form or another. Just because the money is not coming directly from your wallet at that instant doesn't mean it's not happening.

3) It ignores subjective value. I often enjoy driving. I don't enjoy being crowded into a bus or tram / trolley. Trains aren't too bad from a comfort standpoint, but still not as fun as driving.


Bumblebees Being Crushed By Climate Change 225 225

sciencehabit writes: As the climate changes, plants and animals are on the move. So far, many are redistributing in a similar pattern: As habitat that was once too cold warms up, species are expanding their ranges toward the poles, whereas boundaries closer to the equator have remained more static. Bumblebees, however, appear to be a disturbing exception, according to a new study (abstract) . A comprehensive look at dozens of species finds that many North American and European bumblebees are failing to "track" warming by colonizing new habitats north of their historic range. Simultaneously, they are disappearing from the southern portions of their range.

Comment It's a sales tool. (Score 5, Insightful) 296 296

You are always selling yourself, your plans, and your ideas, no matter what business environment you are in - self-employed or corporate. Certifications can be a tool for that - and even a vital tool if you're dealing with HR drones that don't understand anything else.

That being said, I have no formal certs and have done extremely well for myself - but I also have very good sales skills. It's the one thing I encourage to everyone that asks me for career advice - learn to sell. It doesn't matter what you do in life, but you will always be selling something (assuming your work is of any sort of significance).

Comment I have a Stir M1 desk (Score 3, Interesting) 340 340

It's a nice desk, fashionable, well-made, holds plenty of weight without complaint. It schedules when I should stand up and sit down, and the "breathe" gentle reminder is effective without being obtrusive.

The biggest downside is that the sensor that detects whether or not you are standing next to it is extremely picky about distance. Apparently I often stand too close and so it doesn't always recognize that I'm there and credit me accordingly. Also, it would be better if it integrated with Apple's HealthKit in addition to their own cloud stuff. Do I really want data about when I'm at my home office desk to even exist, let alone be stored in the cloud? No - that's pretty much a "Let's figure out the best time to burglarize my house" toolkit.


Greece Rejects EU Terms 1307 1307

New submitter Thammuz writes: With almost all ballots counted, Greeks voted overwhelmingly "No" on Sunday in a bailout referendum, defying warnings from the EU that rejecting new austerity terms would set their country on a path out of the euro. Figures published by the interior ministry showed nearly 62% of those whose ballots had been counted voting "No", against 38% voting "Yes". "Today we celebrate the victory of democracy, but tomorrow all together we continue and complete a national effort for exiting this crisis," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address.

Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety 195 195

Zothecula writes: Having a heads-up display constantly feed you information while cruising down the road may make you feel like a jet pilot ready to avoid any potential danger but recent findings suggest otherwise. Studies done at the University of Toronto show that the HUD multi-tasking method of driving a vehicle is dangerous. "Drivers need to divide their attention to deal with this added visual information," said Department of Psychology professor Ian Spence, who led the research. "Not only will drivers have to concentrate on what’s happening on the road around them as they’ve always done, they’ll also have to attend to whatever warning pops up on the windshield in front of them."

Comment Re:Uber has demonstrated contempt for the law (Score 1) 334 334

So what? Have you seen who writes laws? A bunch of vote-leeching sociopaths that span the moral spectrum between used car salespeople and outright pedophiles... Let's just support the whims of every elected bunch of assholes. War, slavery, genocide, hey, gotta do it! It's the law!

Seriously, this is one of the lamest reasons for anything, ever.

Comment Flagrantly anti-consumer (Score 0) 334 334

Let's be honest: in most countries, taxis suck and belong in a forgotten age. They're the epitome of tightly-government-regulated industry: slow, filthy, rude, overpriced - assuming you can get one to actually show up. Uber is fast, clean, polite, and - most importantly - reliable. The whole argument here is that some group of people paid the government a stupid amount of money for the special privilege of shitting all over a captive customer base, therefore throw the Uber guys in jail, take or smash the driver's cars, throw rocks at them, riot, jump up and down, scream and shout, and take Courtney Love hostage (OK, that last one I can get behind).

If some government is going to ban Uber, just go ahead and consider yourself a third-world country. If you're going to start piling stupid inconveniences onto my visit, you might as well go ahead and make me boil my drinking water as well.

Comment Jargon them and sound patiently condescending... (Score 1) 479 479

... like you're dealing with a toddler that you really like because it's yours or its mom is a total MILF or something. No, this is not ordinarily a good way to initiate a conversation with another human being, but in this case it's pretty effective. I've found that in the overwhelming majority of the cases I can get passed up a few levels very quickly.


Signs of Ancient Cells and Proteins Found In Dinosaur Fossils 51 51

sciencehabit writes: The cupboards of the Natural History Museum in London hold spectacular dinosaur fossils, from 15-centimeter, serrated Tyrannosaurus rex teeth to a 4-meter-long hadrosaur tail. Now, researchers are reporting another spectacular find, buried in eight nondescript fossils from the same collection: what appear to be ancient red blood cells and fibers of ancient protein. Using new methods to peer deep inside fossils, the study in this week's issue of Nature Communications backs up previous, controversial reports of such structures in dinosaur bones. It also suggests that soft tissue preservation may be more common than anyone had guessed.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982