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George W Bush Made Retroactive NSA 'Fix' After Hospital Room Showdown 258

circletimessquare writes: New details have emerged about the 2004 conflict between George W. Bush and his Attorney General, John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized when he forcefully disagreed with the president's authorization of the NSA's sweeping new collection powers after 9/11. The New York Times has discovered that the conflict was about a retroactive alteration of the President's wording on the legal theory by which the NSA is allowed to siphon up metadata on all Americans, not just certain targets or classes of targets, such as suspected terrorists. 'Mr. Bush, for the first time, explicitly said that his authorizations were "displacing" specific federal statutes, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and criminal wiretapping laws... the president had "made an interpretation of law concerning his authorities" and that the Justice Department could not act in contradiction of Mr. Bush's determinations.' The president faced a severe backlash from the Justice Department, including a threat of mass resignation.

Twitter Sued For Scanning Direct Messages 80

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Twittter is facing a new possible class action suit that accuses the company of violating user privacy. The lawsuit states that the company has been "systematically intercepting, reading, and altering" direct messages, most likely a reference to Twitter's long-standing practice of automatically shortening and redirecting any in-message links. The practice could be used to monitor or redirect any URLs included in a direct message, although it's generally seen as a benign extension of the company's broader link-shortening systems. In a statement to USA Today, Twitter, to nobody's surprise, insisted that the allegations are "meritless."

Google Partnering With Indian Railways To Provide Wi-Fi Hotspots 26

An anonymous reader writes: Google and Indian Railways have partnered together for 'Project Nilgiri' which aims to set up more than 400 Wi-fi hotspots. IBTimes reports: "Internet access will be free for passengers after the system verifies a user's mobile number with a one-time password sent by text message. However, only the first 30 minutes of usage will be on high-speed Internet, Telecom Talk reported. The telecom industry news site has also posted a screen grab — that shows the service is being provided by Google — of the portal into which passengers have to enter the one-time access code."

How To Fix Twitter 97

An anonymous reader writes: Dustin Curtis succinctly breaks down Twitter's biggest problems, and how they can be fixed. Some of the problems are technological — they way they've decided to handle multimedia objects is arbitrary and annoying, and their inclusion of third-party modules is inconsistent and behind the times. Other problems are more central to what Twitter is about: "[F]or normal users, Twitter feels too much like a one-way broadcast system. ... Twitter responses are difficult to read on the website–with that weird accordion expansion UI that only shows 5 responses and makes it impossible to follow a coherent conversation."

The biggest problem is in Twitter's utility for browsing real-time information, which should be its strength: "When I open Twitter during a major debate in the U.S., or when a bomb has exploded in Bangkok, there should be a huge f@$%&#g banner at the top that says 'follow this breaking event.' It shouldn't just search for a hashtag–it should use intelligent algorithms to show me all of the relevant content about that event.

Comment Gravitational slingshot (Score 1) 99

So basically, it is a gravitational slingshot, but more complex due to the use of a line. I am really curious to what the amount of energy does to the asteroids and comets' own trajectory, and if it literally fires back at us. If you take speed out of an asteroid, a somewhat circular orbit around the sun could become an elliptical one the interferes with Earth's orbit.

Congressional Testimony: A Surprising Consensus On Climate 370

Lasrick writes: Many legislators regularly deny that there is a scientific consensus, or even broad scientific support, for government action to address climate change. Researchers recently assessed the content of congressional testimony related to either global warming or climate change from 1969 to 2007. For each piece of testimony, they recorded several characteristics about how the testimony discussed climate. For instance, noting whether the testimony indicated that global warming or climate change was happening and whether any climate change was attributable (in part) to anthropogenic sources. The results: Testimony to Congress—even under Republican reign—reflects the scientific consensus that humans are changing our planet's climate.
United States

US Weighs Sanctioning Russia As Well As China In Cyber Attacks 78

New submitter lvbees7 writes with news that U.S. officials have warned that the government may impose sanctions against Russia and China following cyber attacks to commercial targets. According to the Reuters story: The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no final decision had been made on imposing sanctions, which could strain relations with Russia further and, if they came soon, cast a pall over a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September. The Washington Post first reported the Obama administration was considering sanctioning Chinese targets, possibly within the next few weeks, and said that individuals and firms from other nations could also be targeted. It did not mention Russia.

Magnet-Steered Nano-Fish Could Deliver Drugs and Sweep Body Toxins 37

dkatana writes: David Warner writes on InformationWeek how "nanoengineers" from UC San Diego have created microscopic fish powered by hydrogen peroxide that use magnets to steer themselves. "The "fish" are powerful enough to swim through your bloodstream, removing toxins or bringing medicine directly to crucial parts of your body, as cells in your blood stream do. Given enough time, the fish could be used to deliver drugs directly to cancer tumors or parts of your body that are too fragile for surgery."

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.