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Comment: Re:Not really a surprise.... (Score 4, Funny) 162

No, a surprise would be throwing US agents in jail.

They can't do that to "legal" agents. "Legal" agents are US Embassy employees recognized by the host government as diplomats with immunity. "Legal" agents usually have some silly, trivial sounding titles, like, "The Under-Secretary for Cultural Exchange". But their real job is gathering intelligence, and the host country knows that and tolerates it. These folks are quite easy to spot: Just look for someone who is obviously way to intelligent and clever for his job. Like someone with a Ph.D. in international affairs from Harvard and Yale who is doing clerical work at the embassy.

Lots of intelligence work is actually quite boring, and not the James Bond stuff that you expect. The agents collect and assess political sentiment and economic developments and trends in that country. The CIA gives the President of the US a short briefing every morning for breakfast, and informs him if something is amiss somewhere in the world that needs his immediate attention. During this meeting the President also instructs them which areas he thinks need their "special attention".

This is definitely regular international diplomacy stuff.

When countries who aren't quite on the most friendliest of terms get in a huff, like Russia and the US . . . they will take turns tossing out some of each others' small fry "legals" described above.

The occasional persona non grata happens.

The CIA Station Chief is not an occasional persona. That's usually taboo among allies. Russia knows who the CIA Station Chief is in Moscow. But they do not toss him out. The US knows who the SVR Resident is in Washington, as well . . . and leave him alone.

Tossing out the CIA Station Chief is a serious diplomatic escalation, which is why it is getting so much press coverage.

Oh, here's an interesting Pro-Tip: If a foreign diplomat wants to hand you a piece of paper with an explanation of why their country just did something very nasty . . . you don't touch it. You instruct him to read it out loud. If you put your hands on it, his country will report that you "accepted" the explanation. If you don't, you will only hear in the news that the diplomat "read out load" or "recited" the explanation. This is the next thing that you will hear about this, as the professional diplomats from Germany and the US try to paper over the cracks left by the spooks.

Comment: Why is Obama doing this . . . ? (Score 3, Interesting) 162

When the Germans discovered that the NSA had bugged Angela Merkel's phone, Obama kinda sorta said, "sorry", and it looked like the whole matter would have been forgotten. I would have thought that Obama would have told his spooks to lay off for a while. But instead, it seems that he has racketed up the spying on Germany.

Can someone tell me what Obama is trying to achieve by this? I mean, there must be some purpose behind all this. I just can't figure it out.

+ - Alleged Hooker and Heroin Kill a Key Google exec on his Yacht in Santa Cruz->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Authorities allege model, makeup artist, and self-described "hustler" Alix Catherine Tichelman initially met 51-year-old Google executive Forrest Hayes of Santa Cruz and other Silicon Valley executives at for sexual encounters that fetched $1,000 or more. Last November 22, Tichelman met Hayes in-person on his white, 50-foot yacht, "Escape," in the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor. She brought heroin and needles into the yacht's cabin where she injected Hayes, causing him to overdose, said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark.

It has recently become known that a security camera in the cabin showed her pack drugs and syringes into her purse, clean off a table and draw a window blind. When she stepped over Hayes' lifeless body to drink from a glass of wine, she left behind a fingerprint on the glass, which helped investigators to identify her, Clark said. The yacht's captain found Hayes dead the next morning.

Santa Cruz police said they continued to probe Tichelman's possible involvement in another suspicious death out of state, but they declined to elaborate.

Hayes joined Apple in 2005 and worked there for several years, according to a brief profile on the business networking website LinkedIn. He started working for Mountain View-based Google about a year ago and joined its secretive "X" division, which is responsible for what the company likes to call "moon shot" projects including self-driving cars and the computer headset known as Glass.

"Seeking Arrangement," is a website that aims to connect "sugar daddies" and "sugar babies." suggesting, "Financial Stability: Unpaid bills no longer have to be a concern.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:If whales are engineers... (Score 4, Funny) 63

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47394289) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

Beavers are the Koch Brothers. They directly cause global warming by cutting down trees that safely sequester greenhouse gases. When they eat and digest the trees, the greenhouse gases are released again as beaver flatulence.

Beavers build dams blocking our natural beautiful rivers, which make our own hydroelectric facilities less efficient. This makes us more dependent on Big Coal, and forces us to build a nuke In Your Backyard.

Beavers build low-cost sub prime mortgage McMansions, which will cause another Savings & Loan bailout crisis recession.

Beaver rhymes with Bieber, and The Bieber is ripped to his tits on cough sirup most of the time.

Save the whales, nuke The Bieber.

+ - New Snowden leak: Of 160,000 intercepted messages, only 10% from offical targets-> 5

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or âoeminimized,â more than 65,000 such references to protect Americansâ(TM) privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents."

Link to Original Source

+ - IEEE Spectrum Ranks The Top Programming Languages->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Working with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos, we at IEEE Spectrum have published an app that ranks the popularity of dozens of programming languages. Because different fields have different interests (what's popular with programmers writing embedded code versus what's hot with web developers isn't going to be identical) we tried to make the ranking system as transparent as possible—you can use our presets or you can go in and create your own customized ranking by adjusting the individual weightings of the various data sources we mined.--Stephen "FTC obDisclosure" Cass."
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Comment: Re:Wait a minute! (Score 1) 74

Spying on your enemies makes sense, they are after all your enemies.

Spying on your allies makes sense to a degree

. . . if you spy on your allies enough . . . you can make them your enemies.

. . . and if you spy on your own citizens enough . . . read "The Open Society and its Enemies"

+ - German intelligence employee arrested on suspicion of spying for US on Bundestag->

Submitted by Plumpaquatsch
Plumpaquatsch (2701653) writes "Deutsche Welle report:"A member of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has been detained for possibly spying for the US. The 31-year-old is suspected of giving a US spy agency information about a parliamentary inquiry of NSA activities. During questioning, the suspect reportedly told investigators that he had gathered information on an investigative committee from Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. The panel is conducting an inquiry into NSA surveillance on German officials and citizens; yesterday an ex-staffer told it the NSA was 'totalitarian' mass collector of data."
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Comment: Lauch cheaper than the film Gravity . . . ? (Score 1) 85

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47367121) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

the Prime Minister of India noted that the launch was cheaper than Hollywood film Gravity.

That seems like a wacky comparison to me.

Ok, but maybe Gravity made more money than their launch?

Or, maybe they didn't actually do the launch, but just faked it in a film, like those folks who claim that the Apollo landings were fake films made by Stanley Kubrick in Area 51 . . . ?

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.