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Comment This is ridiculous (Score 0) 222

Sure, have a healthy suspicion of anything you hear from the government, but these complaints just don't make sense.

>> These hidden officials also claim that American and British agents were unmasked and had to be rescued, but not a single one is identified

What, so you expect the government to publish the names of former covert agents previously operating in hostile countries? How about their home address while we're at it?

>> There is speculation that Russia and China learned things from obtaining the Snowden files, but how could these officials possibly know that, particularly since other government officials are constantly accusing both countries of successfully hacking sensitive government databases

One of the whole points of an intelligence organisation is to know what the 'enemy' knows and how they got that information. There are loads of ways you can find out how knowledge came about, such as observing coincidental timing (china discovers several things at the same time what were all in unreleased snowden files), asking your source, or obtaining secret documents from your opponent describing how the information was obtained.

Comment For those who don't know what this TSYNC thing is (Score 5, Informative) 46

The linux seccomp feature provides application sandboxing. Chrome uses it to sandbox tabs from each other and native plugins from the rest of the system.

Seccomp is accessed through the seccomp (2) system call. The SECCOMP_FILTER_FLAG_TSYNC flag is an option to seccomp (2) that transparently synchronises the effect of the call across all sandboxed threads.

Comment Re:Can someone who knows about astronomy fill me i (Score 4, Informative) 129

OK I answered my own question with some googling.

The age of the exoplanet is not independently derived, but instead, taken from the age of the host star. This too can be difficult to determine. For isolated stars, there are precious few methods (such as gyrochronology) and they generally have large errors associated with them. Thus, instead of looking for isolated stars, astronomers searching for young exoplanets have tended to focus on clusters which can be dated more easily using the main sequence turn off method.


Comment Re:Functionally, No. (Score 4, Informative) 188

Except that GCHQ is a UK government organisation, and in the UK Sovereign Immunity only protects the monarchy. People can and do sue the government for not adhering to the law, in a process called judicial review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_English_law That said, I don't think any lawsuit would be successful.

Comment I may be missing something, but... (Score 1) 192

TFA states that the $460 million was lost by Knight Capital themselves. If they'd been fined $12M for stealing $460M, I'd be as outraged as the article author, but from where I'm standing it looks like the SEC turned a $460M loss into a $472M loss.

Sure, they're idiots, they've punished themselves amply!

Comment Tell the company what's in it for them (Score 3, Insightful) 167

I recently successfully persuaded the company that I freelance for to open source a core part of their product line. The part we open sourced was essentially the engine that powers several other products. I had a whole page of benefits prepared, but the main one was this:

"Your developers don't seem to realise that the core engine is supposed to be a general purpose platform, almost like an operating system - it needs to be very well documented, and it absolutely can't have any code in it that is specific to one of the applications that runs on it. If you open source it and give it its own website and code repo, your developers will finally understand what it is, and stop dumping application specific code into it when then need to implement a new application-level feature. This will save you time because you won't have to be constantly refactoring application code out of the platform."

Also, "open source is cool, and having an open source product will make it easier hiring new developers" seemed to go down well.

The Internet

Blizzard Previews Revamped Battle.net 188

Blizzard updated the official StarCraft II site today with a preview of how the revamped Battle.net will function. They emphasize the social features, competitive matchmaking system, and the ease of sharing mods and maps. Quoting: "When the legacy Battle.net service introduced support for user-created mods such as DotA, Tower Defense, and many others, these user-created game types became immensely popular. But while Battle.net supported mods at a basic level, integration with tools and the mod community wasn't where it needed to be for a game releasing in 2010. The new Battle.net service will see some major improvements in this area. StarCraft II will include a full-featured content-creation toolkit — the same tools used by the StarCraft II design team to create the single-player campaign. To fully harness the community's mapmaking prowess, Battle.net will introduce a feature called Map Publishing. Map Publishing will let users upload their maps to the service and share them with the rest of the community immediately on the service. This also ties in with the goal of making Battle.net an always-connected experience — you can publish, browse, and download maps directly via the Battle.net client. Finding games based on specific mods will also be much easier with our all-new custom game system, placing the full breadth of the modding community's efforts at your fingertips."

Startup Tests Drugs Aimed at Autism 171

An anonymous reader sends in this link from Technology Review about a startup company testing drugs that may help those with autism-spectrum disorders — even adults. "Seaside Therapeutics, a startup based in Cambridge, MA, is testing two compounds for the treatment of fragile X syndrome, a rare, inherited form of intellectual disability linked to autism. The treatments have emerged from molecular studies of animal models that mirror the genetic mutations seen in humans. Researchers hope that the drugs, which are designed to correct abnormalities at the connections between neurons, will ultimately prove effective in other forms of autism spectrum disorders. ... The company is funded almost entirely by an undisclosed family investment of $60 million, with $6 million from the National Institutes of Health. [A spokesman] says that Seaside has enough funding to take its compounds through clinical testing and approval."

Surgeon Makes Tutorial DVD For Conscious Open-Heart Surgery Screenshot-sm 170

Lanxon writes "Swaroup Anand, 23, from Bangalore, was fully conscious as he underwent open-heart surgery. An epidural to the neck, administered at the city’s Wockhardt Hospital, numbed his body during the procedure. Dr Vivek Jawali pioneered the technique ten years ago and has recently released a tutorial on DVD, which gives a step-by-step guide to the procedure for other surgeons to watch and learn from."

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.