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United States

Navy Guilty of Illegally Broad Online Searches: Child Porn Conviction Overturned 279

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-too-far dept.
An anonymous reader writes In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that Navy investigators regularly run illegally broad online surveillance operations that cross the line of military enforcement and civilian law. The findings overturned the conviction of Michael Dreyer for distributing child pornography. The illegal material was found by NCIS agent Steve Logan searching for "any computers located in Washington state sharing known child pornography on the Gnutella file-sharing network." The ruling reads in part: "Agent Logan's search did not meet the required limitation. He surveyed the entire state of Washington for computers sharing child pornography. His initial search was not limited to United States military or government computers, and, as the government acknowledged, Agent Logan had no idea whether the computers searched belonged to someone with any "affiliation with the military at all." Instead, it was his "standard practice to monitor all computers in a geographic area," here, every computer in the state of Washington. The record here demonstrates that Agent Logan and other NCIS agents routinely carry out broad surveillance activities that violate the restrictions on military enforcement of civilian law. Agent Logan testified that it was his standard practice to "monitor any computer IP address within a specific geographic location," not just those "specific to US military only, or US government computers." He did not try to isolate military service members within a geographic area. He appeared to believe that these overly broad investigations were permissible, because he was a "U.S. federal agent" and so could investigate violations of either the Uniform Code of Military Justice or federal law."
Education

Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round? 421

Posted by timothy
from the home-schooling-never-stops dept.
Around the world, American schools' long summer break is viewed as an anomaly, and the long summer seems to be getting shorter. While most American primary and secondary schools used to start after Labor Day, more and more of them now open sometime in August (and that's not counting the ones that have gone to a year-round schedule). Some of my younger relatives started a new school year last week (in Indiana), while Baltimore schools start later this month. Both Seattle and Portland's kids have until after Labor Day (with start dates of the 3rd and 4th of September, respectively). The 4th is also the start date for students in New York City's public schools, the country's largest district. Colleges more often start in September, but some get a jump start in August, especially with required seminars or orientation programs for new students. Whether you're in school, out of school, or back in school by proxy (packing lunches or paying tuition), what time does (or did) your school-year start? Would you prefer that your local public schools run all year round, if they're of the long-summer variety? (And conversely, if your local schools give short shrift to summer, whether that's in the U.S. or anywhere else, do you think that's a good idea?)
The Military

Military Electronics That Shatter Into Dust On Command 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the poof-it's-gone dept.
First time accepted submitter MAE Keller writes "Two U.S. companies are joining a military research program to develop sensitive electronic components able to self-destruct on command to keep them out of the hands of potential adversaries who would attempt to counterfeit them for their own use. From the article: 'Last Friday DARPA awarded a $2.1 million contract to PARC, and a $3.5 million contract to IBM for the VAPR program, which seeks to develop transient electronics that can physically disappear in a controlled, triggerable manner.'"

Comment: Scientific computing (Score 1) 262

by Fruit (#45781273) Attached to: Linux x32 ABI Not Catching Wind

Desktops aren't the intended audience for x32. This stuff is for very specific scientific compute jobs that are pointer intensive (i.e., graphs etc). You won't see GNOME/KDE/whatever packages for this architecture.

The popularity of this arch won't manifest itself in general purpose software packages: most computation will be in one-off custom programs that are never released. That doesn't mean this architecture isn't popular, it just means you're using the wrong metric.

Comment: Re:Sister company (Score 1) 178

This is true- but it is also important to remember that any nonprofit that chooses this approach has to be able to demonstrate that the for-profit entity is tied into the mission and program of the organization in a substantive way- not just an unconnected business which provides revenue.The risk is running afoul of 'unrelated business income tax', and possibly cause a loss of the federal 501(c)(3) exempt status.

Comment: Nonprofits use more than grants for sustainability (Score 1) 178

Anyone who thinks grants have anything more than a minimal role in nonprofit sustainability does not understand how noprofit businesses work, unless they are supported by a unit of government as an agent for the provision of human services, like Chicago Area Project which gets the bulk of its revenue from state grants.

Nonprofits generally earn the preponderance of their revenue on a continuing basis from donations by individuals and/or organizations/businesses. They work to develop large networks of interested donors by having a properly constituted board of directors- meaning that board members designated as 'money people', whose primary purpose on the board is to assist in fundraising, must meet annual donation requirements- either directly from that board member's pocket, or through the network of pockets that board member is able to access. The combination of a good set of 'money' board members, a savvy development director, events, charged services, grants, and systematic/consistently applied overhead costs all lead to sustainability. Schools and hospitals have an additional tool- they can actually earn the bulk of their revenue from investment income, which other nonprofits are not allowed to do.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken

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