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Comment: Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (Score 3, Interesting) 56

by WhiplashII (#48942277) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable

Another Star Wars reader: it actually explains this in one of the books by Stackpole - The Emperor created the so-called "death stars" for rapid mineral extraction from planet sized objects. It was only meant for peaceful uses, until Rebel Terrorists took the first one and blew up Alderaan; the Emperor then had that one destroyed. The second one was almost taken over by the Rebel Terrorists and the Emperor ordered it destroyed, at the cost of his own life.

It must be true, it was in a museum on Coruscant.

Comment: Re:The IRS could shut down??? (Score 2, Insightful) 253

by WhiplashII (#48875333) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

I don't think anyone can make a serious argument that problems with their ability to function are desirable.

OK, here is the argument:

1) The IRS audits certain classes of people a LOT. (I've been audited almost every year for the last 5 years)
2) Normally, they don't find anything worth mentioning. But the taxpayer still had to pay for the audit.
3) So the taxpayer is out several thousand dollars, the "people" gained nothing
4) Repeated across 10 million audits, on average the "people" are gaining FAR less than is being spent by taxpayers on audits

This is a dead-weight loss to our society caused by the IRS auditing too many people. If this was a corporation, they would only audit enough to find most of the cheats - IE, to the cost effective point. But since this is government, instead they hire auditors until they run out of budget money, and audit as many people as possible regardless of actual culpability.

If the IRS lost the ability to do 90% of it's current efforts, it would be better for society.

Comment: Re:One has to wonder (Score 2, Insightful) 253

by WhiplashII (#48875173) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

I'm sorry - if you (as the head of the IRS) allow the IRS to be politicized on your watch, then you will not be funded by the next Congress. It doesn't matter if you think it hasn't been politicized if enough people disagree with you. If the IRS wanted to continue as an organization, they needed to avoid even a hint of partisanship.

It doesn't take a genius here...

+ - U.S. Links North Korea to Sony Hacking->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Speaking off the record, senior intelligence officials have told the New York Times, CNN, and other news agencies that North Korea was "centrally involved" in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

It is not known how the US government has determined that North Korea is the culprit, though it is known that the NSA has in the past penetrated North Korean computer systems.

Analysis of code shows it used knowledge of Sony's Windows network to spread and wreak havoc.

Previous analysis of the malware that brought down Sony Pictures' network showed that there were marked similarities to the tools used in last year's cyber-attack on South Korean media companies and the 2012 "Shamoon" attack on Saudi Aramco. While there was speculation that the "DarkSeoul" attack in South Korea was somehow connected to the North Korean regime, a firm link was never published."

Link to Original Source

+ - Over 9,000 PCs in Australia infected by TorrentLocker ransomware->

Submitted by River Tam
River Tam (3926677) writes "Cybercriminals behind the TorrenLocker malware may have earned as much as $585,000 over several months from 39,000 PC infections worldwide, of which over 9,000 were from Australia. If you're a Windows user in Australia who's had their files encrypted by hackers after visiting a bogus Australia Post website, chances are you were infected by TorrentLocker and may have contributed to the tens of thousands of dollars likely to have come from Australia due to this digital shakedown racket."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Proposes to Warn People About non-SSL web sites

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "The proposal was made by the Google developers working on the search firm's Chrome browser. The proposal to mark HTTP connections as non-secure was made in a message posted to the Chrome development website by Google engineers working on the firm's browser. If implemented, the developers wrote, the change would mean that a warning would pop-up when people visited a site that used only HTTP to notify them that such a connection "provides no data security". Currently only about 33% of websites use HTTPS, according to statistics gathered by the Trustworthy Internet Movement which monitors the way sites use more secure browsing technologies. In addition, since September Google has prioritised HTTPS sites in its search rankings."

+ - Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson as Chief Futurist->

Submitted by giulioprisco
giulioprisco (2448064) writes "Magic Leap, a secretive Florida augmented reality startup that raised $542 million in October, hired renowned science fiction writer Neal Stephenson as its “Chief Futurist.” Stephenson offers hints at the company’s technology and philosophy: "Magic Leap is bringing physics, biology, code, and design together to build a system that is going to blow doors open for people who create things." According to the Magic Leap website, their Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal technology permits generating images indistinguishable from real objects."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Yes (Score 1) 720

by lymond01 (#48543097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

You would need to get a little lucky and also have the chance to explain what's changed since your crimes. Find a smaller company where you can talk with someone who won't dismiss you because they have 200 other job candidates without your issue.

But remember that IT work generally revolves around security. And this makes it a job where trust is paramount. Convince an employer that your past was due to youthful exuberance and not a character flaw (you'll want to provide examples of other's trust in you), you will likely do fine.

Comment: Re: Who cares... (Score 1) 346

I don't mean to undermine your arguments, but what in God's name or otherwise are you talking about? It's like everything you said had this demeanor of factuality when none of it is true. Very Colbert of you. Not sure whether to applaud an epic troll or kick myself for responding at all.

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

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