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Submission + - Senators Push to Preserve N.S.A. Phone Surveillance (

cold fjord writes: The New York times reports that the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Vice Chairman, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), are moving a bill forward that would “change but preserve” the controversial NSA phone log program. Senator Feinstein believes the program is legal, but wants to improve public confidence. The bill would reduce the time the logs could be kept, require public reports on how often it is used, and require FISA court review of the numbers searched. The bill would require Senate confirmation of the NSA director. It would also give the NSA a one week grace period in applying for permission from a court to continue surveillance of someone that travels from overseas to the United States. The situation created by someone traveling from overseas to the United States has been the source of the largest number of incidents in the US in which NSA's surveillance rules were not properly complied with. The rival bill offered by Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Udall (D-CO) which imposes tougher restrictions is considered less likely to pass. More at The New York Times.

Submission + - Technology and Kansas City drivers (

An anonymous reader writes: Kansas and Missouri have made texting while driving illegal, however it does not seem that this law is working. This article talks about reasons why. They give some great facts about new aps that may be able to help. Hoping that after reading this article people will become more mindful of what they are doing while driving.

Submission + - Recording of Recently Shut Down Telemarketers in Action (

An anonymous reader writes: Just yesterday, the FTC, in conjunction with other government agencies, shut down an international telemarketing scam. A recent video has surfaced showing them in action, trying to scam one of the principals of a Canadian web start-up. Watch the scammers lie through their teeth to convince their "victim" that they need to buy a lifetime subscription to their anti-virus product.
The Military

Submission + - Iran Upcoming Launch: Fajr satellite (

Harperdog writes: "Nice article at the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding Iran's Fajr satellite (Dawn satellite), which was supposed to first launch in October, 2011. The head of Iran's Space agency clalims: that the Fajr satellite represents a “remarkable breakthrough” for Iran’s space technology, marking the transition of Iran’s satellite technology from research orbiters to practical and operational satellites.: Interesting read"
The Internet

Submission + - Murdoch squares off with Obama over online piracy (

microphage writes: "The gathering storm over online piracy legislation being debated in the US Congress has sucked two more heavy hitters into the fray, with the Obama administration and Rupert Murdoch lining up on opposite sides of the argument.

'We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet," said three of Obama's top technology advisers in a statement. The authors said manipulating the DNS by forcing service providers to block access to pirating sites could damage cybersecurity by driving users to much more unscrupulous servers`.


Submission + - New aptosid Fork, siduction 11.1 Released (

Thinkcloud writes: On the last day of 2011, Ferdinand Thommes announced the release of siduction 11.1. siduction is based on Debian Unstable and ships in versions featuring KDE, LXDE, or Xfce. siduction was born from the desire to continue a Debian unstable distribution in a more user / community-friendly way.

Submission + - Nintendo, Sony, and EA Drop Their Support of SOPA (

An anonymous reader writes: In an interesting turn of events, it would appear that Nintendo, Sony, and Electronic Arts have quietly dropped their support for the now infamous internet censoring legislation making it’s way through Congressional Committee...

Submission + - Attack Tool Released for WPS Setup Flaw (

Trailrunner7 writes: Just a day after security researcher Stefan Viehbock released details of a vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) standard that enables attackers to recover the router PIN, a security firm has published an open-source tool capable of exploiting the vulnerability. The tool, known as Reaver, has the ability to find the WPS PIN on a given router and then recover the WPA passphrase for the router, as well.

Researchers at Tactical Network Solutions in Maryland on Wednesday released a tool called Reaver that implements an attack on the WPS vulnerability. The company released the tool as an open-source project on Google Code, but also is selling a more advanced commercial version.


Submission + - A 40-year-old puzzle of superstring theory solved ( 1

astronasty writes: "This pretty much seems too good to be true. The potential breakthroughs that they say this could lead to wraps up a HELL of a lot of longstanding problems in physics and cosmology. I'm suspicious that this is found thus far only on PhysOrg. Then again PhysOrg is pretty quick with their news."

Submission + - Thorium lasers: Plausible for nuclear cars (

thecarchik writes: An inventor and entrepreneur, recently revealed that his Massachusetts-based R&D firm, Laser Power Systems (LPS), is working on a turbine/electric generator system that is powered by “an accelerator-driven thorium-based laser.”

The thorium laser does not produce a beam of coherent light like conventional lasers, but instead merely heats up and gives off energy.
Thorium, a silvery-white metal, is a mildly radioactive element (with an atomic weight of 90) that is as abundant as lead. It is present in large quantities in India and is a much-touted stand-in for uranium in nuclear reactors because its fission is not self-sustaining, a type of reaction called “sub-critical.”

Thorium could be used as car fuel. The idea has energized the small but active thorium community, which holds that it is the answer to our clean energy needs because it could, effectively, power a car forever. The new technology “would be totally emissions-free,” Stevens said, “with no need for recharging.”

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania