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+ - Bruce Schneier Kicked Off TSA Hearing Witness List->

Submitted by
Mr_Perl writes: "From Bruce's blog: "I was supposed to testify today about the TSA in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was informally invited a couple of weeks ago, and formally invited last Tuesday. On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program. But it's pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress."
Link to Original Source

Slashdot Asks: Whom Do You Want To Ask About 2012's U.S. Elections? 343

Posted by timothy
from the only-365-more-shopping-days dept.
For the next year, it will be hard to escape the political season already in full swing in the U.S., as candidates aim for the American presidency (and many other elected positions). There will be plenty of soundbites and choreographed photo-ops to go around. Candidates will read speeches from TelePrompters, and staffers will mail out policy statements calculated to inspire political fealty to one candidate or another — finding unscripted answers from most of the candidates is going to be tough. Slashdot interviews, by contrast, give you the chance to do something that interviews in more conventional media usually don't: the chance to ask the questions you'd actually like to have answered, and to see the whole answer as provided. But there's a hitch: we need to know which candidates or other figures we should attempt to track down for a Slashdot interview. So please help narrow the field, by suggesting (with as much contact information as possible, as well as your reasoning) the people you'd like to hear from. It doesn't need to be one of the candidates, either: if you know of a pollster, a campaign technical advisor, an economist (or even a politicians's webmaster, say) who should be on our list, make the case in the comments below. And if you represent or are affiliated with a particular campaign, that's fine — but please say so. We'll do our best to find a number of your favorites in the year to come.

Comment: (Score 1) 55

by Mr_Perl (#37548626) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Open Product Review Website?

I used to believe too, but lately I've discovered that their review process is highly biased in favor of the product manufacturer. For example if you sell a product that is fraudulent, and have your company's employees all buy one and leave a glowing review, you'll have a solid five stars. Should anyone post a review that contains an unusual abundance of critical wording (they seem to have an algorithm for this) you will find that it's automatically rejected.

For a current example of this, have a good look at the reviews (note that most positive reviewers also reviewed with five stars all the manufacturer's other products too) for a product called neumactil, which claims to be as effecitve as an asthma inhaler. It's actually a cream with inert ingredients, propped up by a "research paper" that is essentially unscientific gibberish. Hopefully nobody will actually believe it, but since so many trust Amazon's review system implicitly, some will be bound to suffer.

Should you agree that it's not a legit product, go ahead and try to leave a critical review. Odds are good that it will be auto-rejected until you load it up with positive hyperbole.


+ - Linux Journal Goes Surprise-Digital->

Submitted by
Mr_Perl writes: "Linux Journal sent out an email to subscribers today announcing that they are going 100% digital. Subscribers signed on for a paper version of the journal, and now have been switched to an electronic version, apparently at the exact same subscription rate. No news yet on why they did it, and no sign of any offers to reimburse unused subscriptions for subscribers who are disappointed."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Factory farming should stop, really (Score 1) 298

by Mr_Perl (#36279786) Attached to: FDA Sued To Stop Antibiotic Abuse On Factory Farms

You'd think people ate nothing but chicken, or possibly meat, by your argument.

I'll give you a utilitarian argument that does make sense, however:

It's a well accepted fact that you can feed far more people on grain than meat. Meat is a very wasteful way to get nutrition because of all the grain that it requires, which could be used as nutrition for many more people.

Assuming the price of chicken (one of the least inefficient meats) were to go up, demand will decline, and as a consequence of simple economics, since the price increase is caused by a situation not advantageous to the producer, production of chicken would decline. Obviously at that point the supply of grain available for human consumption would increase, with lowering in price being a primary consequence of that.

So the net effect would be the complete opposite: an increase in affordable alternative nutrition for the population. And incidentally, a decrease in the costs of treating diseases introduced into the food supply may also provide a utilitarian benefit.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".