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+ - How The Internet Of Things Could Aid Disaster Response->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "While the Internet has made communications easier, that ease had made us very dependent on the Internet for communications — and, when disaster strikes, power and infrastructure outages tend to shut down those communications networks when we need them most. But now researchers are examining how the so-called "Internet of Things" — the proliferating array of Internet-communicating devices in our lives — can transmit emergency messages via ad-hoc networks even when the Internet backbone in a region is inoperable."
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Comment: Microsoft and OS/2 . . . ? (Score 1) 126

That didn't work out too well.

Hmmm . . . but then again . . . didn't Apple and IBM try to collaborate on something called Taligent and Kaleida . . . ?

Well, those two never managed to see the light of day. I believe Taligent is often used as an example of a "Death March" project. It ran for over seven years, but at any point in time during the project, it was only planned as a two year project.

+ - Apple and IBM announce partnership to bring iOS + Cloud services to enterprises

Submitted by jmcbain
jmcbain (1233044) writes "According to an article on Recode, Apple and IBM have announced a major partnership to bring mobile services to enterprise customers. "The deal calls for IBM and Apple to develop more than 100 industry-specific applications that will run on the iPhone and iPad. Apple will add a new class of service to its AppleCare program and support aimed at enterprise customers. IBM will also begin to sell iPhones and iPads to its corporate customers and will devote more than 100,000 people, including consultants and software developers, to the effort. Enterprise applications will in many cases run on IBM’s cloud infrastructure or on private clouds that it has built for its customers. Data for those applications will co-exist with personal data like photos and personal email that will run on Apple’s iCloud and other cloud services.""

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47459313) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

If any American receives a request under a Patriot act subpoena they not only will have to hand over the information but if they tell you they handed it over they could do lots of hard time.

So even if asked in a court, under oath, they would be forced to deny it? Wouldn't that be forcing them to commit perjury? Or does the Patriot Act maybe have a "get out of jail free" card for perjury? The Patriot Act sounds like a carte blanche for a Gestapo or Stasi.

So I understand that a Patriot act subpoena can force you to hand over information, even if that would force you to commit a crime by breaking data privacy and security laws in a foreign country where the data and you reside. Now, what else can these National Security Letters tell you to do, besides handing over data? In the case of an ISP, they were forced to allow NSA technicians to install bugging devices in their data center. So, apparently, the National Security Letter can force you to do more than just hand over data.

Where are the limits to the National Security Letters defined? If two folks turn up on your doorstep with FBI IDs, they could be Mulder and Scully, or they could be the Supernatural boys. I'm assuming that they actually give you a physical document, that you could give to a lawyer to check. But how can a lawyer know if the request is within any limits of any law? Up until know, it still seems that a National Security Letter can turn an ordinary American citizen into a spy or a criminal.

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47458619) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

The Patriot act.

. . . but you said earlier:

We don't know the scope

This is starting to sound rather Kafkaesque . . . specifically, "Before the Law".

The limits are in the law

How do you know that? What proof do you have? Maybe limit number one states, "There are no limits!"

So trying to summarize where we are this far, if I am a customer in a foreign country, and I hire a company as a contractor that has any business at all in the US, the US government could at any time request that company to break the laws of my country, if a court makes a decision based on the Patriot Act Law, the contents and limits of this law being totally unknown to me.

Is that at least a correct summary?

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47457977) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

The major rulings by the courts are that the legal justification for the drone strikes cannot be classified so high that the courts can't review the memos.

Which courts? An open one? Or a secret one? And is the judge independent? Or a stooge? Is there a functioning system of "checks and balances", like the one US kids used to learn about in school?

We don't know the scope but they have never indicated the scope would be anything like that broad.

They never indicated very much at all . . . until it was exposed by Snowden. Given the current track record of the US government right now, assuming the worst is quite justified as to the scope.

They've said much the opposite: terrorism related suspects who present a high level of threat in countries where the government can't or won't control the territory... That's far from anyone, anywhere.

Not at all. The US government can, will and does call anyone they want a terrorist. And if they tell France to arrest a terrorist suspect, and France refuses, the US can claim that the French "government can't or won't control their territory".

National Security letter's scope is defined by law.

Now we're getting close to the interesting part of this topic . . . which law? And what are the limits? A National Security letter can tell you that you have to let a bunch of spooks into your data center to install bugging devices. Can it tell you to set a trap for your best friend, because the government thinks he is a terrorist? Can it tell you that you must cooperate with the government agencies, as they plan to murder him?

Comment: Re:Who couldn't see this coming? (Score 5, Insightful) 300

IBM did this repeatedly, and is still doing it, as large corporations regularly have to sift their work force and reset priorities, UNLESS they are consistently evaluating their strategies, have truly strategic planning that looks beyond the horizon, and work from a position of true knowledge of their business and performance. Microsoft is regularly accused of failed strategy and poor performance. And they can certainly be accused of being too big to be well managed, especially in the eyes of the minions who live with the decisions.

In the early '90s, when IBM nearly burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp, Lou Gerstner came in as a new CEO, and also oversaw massive layoffs, which helped it get back on track. However, a lot of people he let go were top executives, who were "yes men" to the old CEO, John Akers.

It would do Microsoft a world of good if it got rid of their Ballmer retinue who are still holding key positions in Microsoft. Just letting go a bunch of minions is not going to cut at the root of the problems at Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by PolygamousRanchKid (#47456887) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Rephrase this in terms of the actual laws and actual courts

Ah, but the secret courts are actual courts. The US government has admitted that it uses them to rubber stamp those National Security Letters, which are court decisions forcing companies to give the government access to whatever data they want. As you have previously noted, any US company must comply with whatever instructions are stated in these court judgements, wherever they are in the world.

The US courts have already decided that it is legal for the government to order US citizens to be killed by drones. And the US government has also clearly stated that they will kill anyone, anywhere, in the world they want. However, not each and every person in the world that the US government wants to kill is easily targeted by a drone. So the US government may need the assistance of a US company with a presence in a foreign country to get at their target.

Let's say Obama wants to kill German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A drone strike would be messy, but maybe she will be having lunch with an executive of Hewlett-Packard. What must Hewlett-Packard do, when they are delivered one of these National Security Letter court decisions, and a small vial of Polonium, and the letter contains clear instructions on what their executive is supposed to do with the vial at the lunch?

It seems like this combination of National Security Letters and requiring US companies to follow US court decisions anywhere in the world . . . has turned a lot of ordinary folks into potential assassins.

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 0) 749

They are ordering their corporations (people under USA law) to obey an order of a USA court and possibly disobey the orders of a foreign government . . . But ultimately yes: the USA government has the right to tell a USA corporation to violate the laws of another country.

So . . . ultimately . . . a secret USA government court could order Exxon to release a cloud of poison gas over its refinery in Rotterdam, because the secret court thinks that their are terrorists there, and has decided for a death penalty? And Exxon would need to comply, as long as the court said so?

So, if a US citizen is ordered by a secret court to kill someone, and they don't do it, then they will be held in contempt of court . . . ? (And held secretly, to boot!)

We used to think that the US government didn't just wander haphazardly around ordering people to be killed . . . but nowadays . . . it seems like anything goes.

And all those American tourists wandering around outside . . . they could all be potential killers! Getting killed is a very terrifying experience, to that would make them terrorists!

Maybe we should think about putting American tourists on the no-fly list . . . ?

+ - Home Depot Begins Retail Store Pilot Program To Sell MakerBot 3-D Printers

Submitted by ClockEndGooner
ClockEndGooner (1323377) writes "Looking for a 3-D printer to help you out with a home project or two? If you're in one of the 12 pilot program areas here in the U.S., stop into Home Depot to take a look at and purchase a MakerBot 3-D Replicator printer. "MakerBot printers have been available on Home Depot's website for about a month, and sales have exceeded expectations, said Mr. Pettis. The stores will put up specially-designed kiosks where shoppers can see the machines in 3-D action. Trained MakerBot retail staff will also be on-site for the indefinite future in order to put the machines through their paces.""

+ - Israel's Iron Dome rocket defense system is high-tech. So is the PR campaign->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "It isn't as if real analysis of Israel's "Iron Dome" isn't available, but invariably, whenever Israel has a skirmish the media is filled with glowing reports of how well the system works, and we always find out months later that the numbers were exaggerated. John Mecklin at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists looks at the coverage of Iron Dome in the recent exchanges between Israel and Hamas and finds the pattern is repeating itself. However, 'Ted Postol, an MIT-based missile defense expert and frequent Bulletin contributor, provided a dose of context to the Iron Dome coverage in a National Public Radio interview Wednesday. "We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all,"' Includes a good explanation of the differences between Iron Dome (a 'rocket defense system') and missile defense systems pushed by the US."
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With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?