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+ - When Snowden speaks, future lawyers (and judges) listen->

Submitted by TheRealHocusLocus
TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes "We are witness to an historic 'first': an individual charged with espionage and actively sought by the United States government has been (virtually) invited to speak at Harvard Law School, with applause. HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig conducted the hour-long interview last Monday with a list of questions by himself and his students.

Some interesting jumps are Snowden's assertion that mass domestic intercept is an 'unreasonable seizure' under the 4th Amendment, it also violates 'natural rights' that cannot be voted away even by the majority, a claim that broad surveillance detracts from the ability to monitor specific targets such as the Boston Marathon bombers, calls out Congress for not holding Clapper accountable for misstatements, and laments that contractors are exempt from whistleblower protection though they do swear an oath to defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. These points have been brought up before. But what may be most interesting to these students is Snowden's suggestion that a defendant under the Espionage act be permitted to present an argument before a jury that the act was committed "in the public interest". Could this pure-judicial move help ensure a fair trial for whistleblowers whose testimony reveals Constitutional violation?

Professor Lessig wraps up the interview by asking Snowden, Hoodies or Suits? “Hoodies all the way. I hope in the next generation we don't even have suits anymore, they're just gone forever.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - The threat of right-wing acts of terrorism is real->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Charles Blair explores the controversy and subsequent squashing of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Environment Threat Analysis, which documented the rising threat of US far-right extremism and terror attacks, and the possibility that returning veterans would be recruited by these extremist groups for weapons and planning expertise. Now considered "prophetic," the document created such an outcry from conservatives that the DHS repressed the report. 'The report’s demise was an unfortunate loss for all levels of law enforcement. Since its release, credible plots and attacks by violent extremists have surged. As the report forewarned, responsibility for the vast majority of these events lies with far-right individual extremists and extreme groups.' Blair states that despite a wave of plots since the muzzling of the report, DHS remains reluctant to address the growing threat."
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+ - The FCC Was Hacked After John Oliver Called for Net Neutrality Trolls->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "When HBO host John Oliver called for Internet trolls to deluge the Federal Communications Commission with comments about net neutrality, he may not have expected for the FCC's site to get shut down. That, however, is exactly what happened, but it wasn’t because Oliver’s viewers overwhelmed the site with public comments, as was widely reported. In fact, shortly after Oliver’s 13-minute rant last Sunday, the FCC’s website was compromised by attackers who effectively shut down the site’s commenting system using a database Denial of Service attack, the FCC confirmed to Motherboard on Tuesday."
Link to Original Source

+ - Project Un1c0rn Wants to Be the Google for Lazy Security Flaws ->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Following broad security scares like that caused by the Heartbleed bug, it can be frustratingly difficult to find out if a site you use often still has gaping flaws. But a little known community of software developers is trying to change that, by creating a searchable, public index of websites with known security issues. Think of Project Un1c0rn as a Google for site security. Launched on May 15th, the site's creators say that so far it has indexed 59,000 websites and counting. The goal, according to its founders, is to document open leaks caused by the Heartbleed bug, as well as "access to users' databases" in Mongo DB and MySQL. According to the developers, those three types of vulnerabilities are most widespread because they rely on commonly used tools. For example, Mongo databases are used by popular sites like LinkedIn, Expedia, and SourceForge, while MySQL powers applications such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, and are even used by Twitter, Google and Facebook."
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+ - Tesla makes improvements to Model S

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a lull between product launches Tesla intends to keep making improvements to the Model S according to Elon Musk. Tesla will automatically push software to the Model S fleet that will help the car learn the driver's habits and offer directions to avoid traffic jams. 'This year, Tesla is offering only the single model, the Model S that is EPA rated at up to 265 miles on a single charge, the most of any electric car. The company's next model won't come until next year, when the delayed Model X crossover goes on sale. Musk says the holdup has centered on making sure its signature design element, gullwing doors to make it easier to get in the rear, works properly and is leak-proof. "Getting the door right is extremely difficult," he says.'"

Comment: Re:Scumbags, the lot of them. (Score 1) 178

Democracies fail because at base they are simply two wolves and one sheep voting on what's for dinner. The founders fully understood this which is why they created a republic. Eventually the Democrats showed up and became a force for "democracy" which is de-facto what we now have. We now have a democratic polity that votes to keep the good times rollin which means that with more wolves than sheep eventually you run out of sheep. Then the cannibalism starts which is very near where we are now.

I'm so glad that I am old and not that far from death so I can just sit back comfortably like a wolf and watch the chaos unfold in a splendid spectacle as the various interest groups fight over the few remaining productive scraps while the debt continues to mount. The really BIG wolves hold those debts and eventually they will battle it out for domination. This assumes that there doesn't come a new world revolution but that probably won't come until the last of the BIG wolves have died out, civilization is completely crushed and ground down to ashes. Without the abundance of natural resources the previous great civilization took advantage of, it will be very difficult for any new civilization to make much of itself.

Yes. Interesting times we live in. Very interesting times indeed.


+ - Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""The government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined," writes The Telegraph's Katherine Rushton. "Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check. It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation. Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders, but it is up to governments to push back. As things stand, Google — and to a lesser extent, Facebook — are in danger of becoming the architects of the law." Schmidt, by the way, is apparently interested in influencing at least two current hot-button White House issues. Joined by execs from Apple, Oracle, and Facebook, the Google Chairman asserted in a March letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S.; the Obama administration on Friday extended the review period on the pipeline, perhaps until after the Nov. 4 congressional elections. And as a "Major Contributor" to Mark Zuckerberg's PAC, Schmidt is also helping to shape public opinion on the White House's call for immigration reform; just launched new attack ads (videos) and a petition aimed at immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King. In Dave Eggers' The Circle, politicians who impede the company execs' agenda are immediately brought down. But that's fiction, right?"

Comment: Be careful what you wish for... (Score 1) 535

by Paleolibertarian (#46157709) Attached to: US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

I have heard numerous arguments for so called "Net Neutrality" over the years but think about it. Do you really want the government forcing telecoms to treat ALL web traffic the same? Would that mean the lowliest customer gets the same bandwidth as the greatest? Just how much do you want to socialize the internet? Sure it seems like a small imposition, just to make sure they open all ports and don't throttle any. But eventually there will be special internet channels that come from the government at higher speed. Just so big-brother's face (or your J. Random Politician) can make sure everyone has unfettered access to official government sources.

Given the antics of the NSA and your favorite monolithic internet company collecting your data, allowing the government even more control over the internet seems a bit foolhardy.

Eventually it will work out so that even in small markets there will be more than one ISP. Pressure from consumers is already putting the brakes on some more monopolistic legislation in Kansas A lot of people now have the choice to go to another ISP if they find some ports being blocked or "shaped" (doublespeak for throttled). When enough people switch, the offending ISP gets the message that they shouldn't be doing that.

If the government forces net neutrality then there will be less need for competition and less competition means worse service in the long run. It's much better in the rodeo than the stockyards.

+ - New Sugar-Based Battery May Have 10 Times Energy Of Lithium

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a working sugar-powered fuel cell with energy density greater than current lithium-ion batteries. We know sugar (aka glucose) is a great source of energy in living things — it's energy-dense and easy to process. (Humans produce .75 kilocalories of food energy per gram during aerobic respiration.) This newly-developed battery is similarly productive, with a storage density of 596 amp-hours per kilo — an order of magnitude more than lithium-ion batteries used in consumer tech today. Key issues to solve before this is ready for prime time: Is it stable and consistent? How big of a battery could this power? (gadgets or say, cars?). Lastly, is it a good thing to turn sugar into an energy source? Mass-commercialization of a sugar-based battery could lead to rising food costs."

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.