I wonder... could we force them to keep metametadata? Y'know, summaries of what fields were copied out of what databases of what companies on what days? That way, we could still have a snowball's chance at proving that individual customers had their privacy impinged. Of course, this is all rhetoric: no, we can't force them to keep anything, and no, we wouldn't have a snowball's chance at proving shit against the fed. Fun idea, though, having a government that behaves responsibly.
There's also one single plant that's leading California's water consumption and it's one that's not generally cultivated for humans: alfalfa. Grown on over a million acres in California, alfalfa sucks up more water than any other crop in the state. And it has one primary destination: cattle. 'If Californians were eating all the beef they produced, one might write off alfalfa's water footprint as the cost of nurturing local food systems. But that's not what's happening. Californians are sending their alfalfa, and thus their water, to Asia.' Alfalfa growers are now exporting some 100 billion gallons of water a year from this drought-ridden region to the other side of the world in the form of alfalfa.
Beef eaters are already paying more. Water-starved ranches are devoid of natural grasses that cattle need to fatten up so ranchers have been buying supplemental feed at escalating prices or thinning their herds to stretch their feed dollars. But McWilliams says that in the case of agriculture and drought, there's a clear and accessible actions most citizens can take: Changing one's diet to replace 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers results in a 30 percent reduction in an individual's food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian reduces that water footprint by almost 60 percent. 'It's seductive to think that we can continue along our carnivorous route, even in this era of climate instability. The environmental impact of cattle in California, however, reminds us how mistaken this idea is coming to seem.'"
An Anonymous reader also wrote in that "Outgoing National Security Agency boss General Keith Alexander says reporters lack the ability to properly analyze the NSA's broad surveillance powers and that forthcoming responses to the spying revelations may include 'media leaks legislation.' 'I think we are going to make headway over the next few weeks on media leaks. I am an optimist. I think if we make the right steps on the media leaks legislation, then cyber legislation will be a lot easier,' Alexander said."
If I get tenure, I'll get to put my name to my opinions. If I'm a tenth as cranky and outspoken as Doron Zeilberger, I'll be satisfied.
I wish modern mathematicians believed the math that they prove day after day for undergrads. If they did, this wouldn't be controversial.
1) Verify the proof that the verification algorithm works.
2) Obtain several independent simple, portable implementations of said verification.
3) Run said implementations on proof certificate on a variety of hardware.
Trust the math, and where it comes to the hardware and software, trust but verify. Too long to check without aid of a computer? Sure, I'll buy that. But you'd have to be an idiot to want to check this proof without a computer. Why is this news? (actually, the result in discrepancy theory is wonderful, and I'm very happy to see it here on Slashdot... but massive computer proofs are truly nothing new)