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Comment: Re:Our democracy is broken (Score 1) 121

by Gazzonyx (#49554683) Attached to: Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

The problem with that plan is that so many aspects of the way the system is designed give people with money and/or time an advantage that you'd basically have to scrap it.

This is a problem?

Well, it does typically take more than a strongly worded letter. Come to think of it, last time we sent one of those to our king his reaction was much less than accommodating to our requests.

+ - Nobody cares about your code->

Submitted by edA-qa
edA-qa writes: Nobody cares about your code. It was quite a shocking moment when I learned this in my programming career. I would take great care in polishing my code only to find out nobody actually cares. It’s not the code that counts, it’s the product. Knowing that makes you more productive and improves the appreciation of your work.
Link to Original Source

+ - Obama unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans' calls and emails.

They found that while many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap by increasing access to international communications, others including FBI agents, CIA analysts and managers "had difficulty evaluating the precise contribution of the PSP to counterterrorism efforts because it was most often viewed as one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools in these efforts."

Link to Original Source

+ - Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Last month, we are told, the world enjoyed " its hottest March since records began in 1880 ". This year, according to "US government scientists", already bids to outrank 2014 as "the hottest ever". The figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were based, like all the other three official surface temperature records on which the world's scientists and politicians rely, on data compiled from a network of weather stations by NOAA's Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN).

But here there is a puzzle. These temperature records are not the only ones with official status. The other two, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama (UAH), are based on a quite different method of measuring temperature data, by satellites. And these, as they have increasingly done in recent years, give a strikingly different picture. Neither shows last month as anything like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as "the hottest year ever".


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+ - FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: After Friday's news that the Comcast/TWC merger is dead, the Washington Post points out an interesting fact: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who was instrumental in throwing up roadblocks the for the deal, used to be a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry. "Those who predicted Wheeler would favor industry interests 'misunderstood him from the beginning — the notion that because he had represented various industries, he was suddenly in their pocket never made any sense,' said one industry lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he represents clients before the FCC." The "revolving door" between government an industry is often blamed for many of the problems regulating corporations. We were worried about it ourselves when Wheeler was nominated for his job. I guess this goes to show that it depends more on the person than on their previous job.
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Comment: Bad Example, Maybe (Score 2) 605

by Gazzonyx (#49534547) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California
Take it as you will, but second hand smoke might not be the best example. I'm not a huge fan of Penn Gillette, but at the least I thought this was interesting if the facts are accurate - Penn & Teller - Bullshit :: Second Hand Smoke. It feels to have at least a touch of truthiness to it if you can handle Penn for 15 straight minutes (while I appreciate some of the things he has to say, he's not my cup of tea personality wise).

+ - Rand Paul Introduces Bill To Curb Overzealous Prosecutions For Computer Crimes->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation today to better target serious criminals and curb overzealous prosecutions for non-malicious computer and Internet offenses.

The legislation, inspired by the late Internet innovator and activist Aaron Swartz, who faced up to 35 years in prison for an act of civil disobedience, would reform the quarter-century old Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to better reflect computer and internet activities in the digital age. Numerous and recent instances of heavy-handed prosecutions for non-malicious computer crimes have raised serious questions as to how the law treats violations of terms of service, employer agreements and website notices.

“I am proud to join Sen. Wyden and Rep. Lofgren today in offering this bipartisan and bicameral legislation which will reduce overbroad prosecutions and adjust unfair sentencing practices,” Sen. Paul said.

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+ - AMD Publishes New "AMDGPU" Linux Graphics Driver->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: AMD has made available its new AMDGPU Linux graphics driver comprised of a brand new DRM/KMS kernel driver, a new xf86-video-amdgpu X11 driver, and modifications to libdrm and Gallium3D. This new AMDGPU driver is designed for supporting AMD's next-generation hardware with no support differences for currently supported Radeon GPUs. While yet to be released, this new AMDGPU driver is the critical piece to the new unified driver strategy with Catalyst where their high performance proprietary driver will now become limited to being a user-space binary component that uses this open-source kernel driver.
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+ - Baltimore Police say Stingray phone tracking use exceeds 25,000 instances->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Baltimore Police Department is starting to come clean about its use of cell-phone signal interceptors — commonly known as Stingrays — and the numbers are alarming. According to recent court testimony reported by The Baltimore Sun, the city's police have used Stingray devices with a court order more than 25,000 times. It's a massive number, representing an average of nearly nine uses a day for eight years (the BPD acquired the technology in 2007), and it doesn't include any emergency uses of the device, which would have proceeded without a court order.
Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix Is Betting on Exclusive Programming->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: You may have heard of the recent launch of the new Daredevil TV show, and possibly the hit shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. They're all original programming from Netflix — the company that used to mail DVDs to your door. But Netflix has a lot more than just those three shows — it has 320 hours of original programming planned for this year. This article discusses how Netflix is betting big on original, exclusive content, and what that means for the future of television. "Traditionally, television networks needed to stand for something to carve out an audience, he said, whereas the Internet allows brands to mean different things to different people because the service can be personalized for individual viewers. That means that for a conservative Christian family, Netflix should stand for wholesome entertainment, and, for a 20-year-old New York college student, it should be much more on the edge, he said. ... 'We've had 80 years of linear TV, and it’s been amazing, and in its day the fax machine was amazing,' he said. "The next 20 years will be this transformation from linear TV to Internet TV.'"
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+ - New PCIe SSDs load games, apps as fast as old SATA drives

Submitted by crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes: Slashdot has covered a bunch of new PCI Express SSDs over the past month, and for good reason. The latest crop offers much higher sequential and random I/O rates than predecessors based on old-school Serial ATA interfaces. They're also compatible with new protocols, like NVM Express, which reduce overhead and improve scaling under demanding loads. As one might expect, these new PCIe drives destroy the competition in targeted benchmarks, hitting top speeds several times faster than even the best SATA SSDs can muster. The thing is, PCIe SSDs don't load games or common application data any faster than current incumbents—or even consumer-grade SSDs from five years ago. That's very different from the initial transition from mechanical to solid-state storage, where load times improved noticeably for just about everything. Servers and workstations can no doubt take advantage of the extra oomph that PCIe SSDs provide, but desktop users may struggle to find scenarios where PCIe SSDs offer palpable performance improvements over even budget-oriented SATA drives.

+ - Mysterious 'Cold Spot': Fingerprint of Largest Structure in the Universe?-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine writes: At the furthest-most reaches of the observable universe lies one of the most enigmatic mysteries of modern cosmology: the cosmic microwave background (CMB) Cold Spot. Discovered in 2004, this strange feature etched into the primordial echo of the Big Bang has been the focus of many hypotheses — could it be the presence of another universe? Or is it just instrumental error? Now, astronomers may have acquired strong evidence as to the Cold Spot’s origin and, perhaps unsurprisingly, no multiverse hypothesis is required. But it’s not instrumental error either. It could be a vast "supervoid" around 1.8 billion light-years wide that is altering the characteristics of the CMB radiation traveling through it.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Qualifications (Score 3, Funny) 670

by Gazzonyx (#49511295) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on this. I'm a Professional Engineer in Water Resources in Las Vegas. But, I'm not a Hollywood actor, or famous or anything. Maybe we should just defer to our leaders, like Mr. Shatner, to determine what course of action we should take.

I like you; you understand your place in this world. :)
Seriously though, reasonable people that are willing to compromise never get anything done when dealing with people that aren't reasonable and won't compromise.

+ - Is iPhone's Lack of FM Support Increasing Your Chances of Dying in a Disaster?

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: "You may not know it," reports NPR's Emma Bowman, "but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off. The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there." But FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says radio-enabled smartphones could sure come in handy during times of emergency. So, is it irresponsible not to activate the FM chips? And should it's-the-app-way-or-the-highway Apple follow Microsoft's lead and make no-static-at-all FM available on iPhones?

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