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Submission + - Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution 2

ziggy_az writes: Michael Lacey, the executive editor of Village Voice Media, and Jim Larkin, the CEO of the Phoenix-based chain, were both arrested on Thursday, the very same day their story was published in the Phoenix New Times. The New Times is a free, weekly alternative paper. "It is just without precedent," Lacey said. "This isn't us overreacting." The grand jury subpoenas in question demand "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present." Additionally, they want "Hit counts for each page..." regarding specific articles criticizing Sheriff Joe Arpaio as well as "The Internet Protocol" addresses of any and all visitors to each page...". Fair warning to the Phoenix New Times readership: Joe's gang may come-a-looking for you.

Feed Engadget: FCC fast-tracking 700MHz open-access rule changes under intense Verizon lobbying (

Filed under: Cellphones, Misc. Gadgets

Prepare to feel your carrier-hate well from within. Remember Verizon Wireless' lawsuit against the FCC claiming that the 700MHz open-access auction rule -- the rule enabling the likes of Google, Apple, and others to take home a slice of the spectrum pie -- "violates the US Constitution?" Well, according to "industry sources," FCC chairman Kevin Martin is "aggressively pushing" for revisions to the 700MHz open-access rule in response to Verizon Wireless' lobbying efforts. However, having been met with an internal FCC "backlash" last week, Martin is said to be preparing a "declaratory ruling" in an effort to fast-track support for VZW's claim outside of the normal public-comment process. Insiders worry that Martin is caving to VZW pressure as the auction expected to generate some $15 billion in FCC fun-money draws near. Man, nothing says free market capitalism like a little protectionist bullying -- "can we sue you now."

[Via Phonescoop]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Cyber Attack Test Destroys Power Plant Generator ( 1

Somegeek writes: CNN has revealed that there was a test performed in March 2007 where the Department of Homeland Security evaluated what a cyber attack could do against a power plant. The attackers in the classified test were able to take control of the plant's control software and modify the settings of a large generator to the point where it self-destructed. The story relates that until then, they had always believed that the worst that could happen was that attackers would be able to turn something off. An economist looked at a scenario where a third of the US was without power for three months due to destroyed power plant equipment and put a price tag on the massive attack at 700 billion dollars.

They have been working on fixing the vulnerabilities that they found at power plants across the country, but how many other plant control systems need to be fixed? Is it possible to look at severing all computer connections between plant control systems and all other networks and expect them to still function?

United States

Submission + - Boeing virtual fence: $30 billion failure (

He who cares writes: The Department of Homeland Security "virtual fence" project, being built by Boeing, is in big, big trouble. The virtual fence is a high-tech network of cameras, lighting, sensors, and technology designed to intercept illegal border crossings.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The government's plans for monitoring as much as 6,000 miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders hinge on towers such as these working properly. If they prove ineffective, officials could be forced to spend billions of dollars for more traditional security measures, such as fences and more officers. The Homeland Security Department currently estimates that the virtual fence will cost about $8 billion through 2013, although the agency's inspector general wrote last November that the cost could balloon to $30 billion.

From Nation Institute:

At Congressional hearings, Boeing vice president and SBInet program manager, Jerry McElwee, took heat from Congressman William Lacy Clay who demanded information about the ballooning costs and the extension of the contract period. "You bid on these contracts and then you come back and say, 'Oh we need more time. It costs more than twice as much.' Are you gaming the taxpayers here? Or gaming DHS?" the Missouri Democrat asked.

This failure has the potential to eventually rival the UK National Health Service disaster, known affectionately as the "greatest IT disaster in history." It also brings back memories of the Airbus failure, in which multiple project segments failed to work when brought together as a finished unit. The level of planning and coordination required to complete a project like this on time and budget almost defies human capability. Why don't they break it down into smaller, simpler components, increasing the likelihood the thing can actually be built?

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall