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+ - As the Snowden leaks began, there was "fear and panic" in Congress->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It was late evening on June 5 two years ago in a muggy Washington D.C., when the first Edward Snowden story broke. About fifteen minutes after the story went live, Sen. Ron Wyden received a call on his cell phone. "I can't tell you what you want me to tell you!," he told the caller."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Israel got a lot of heat for much lesser offens (Score 4, Informative) 340

by boa (#49189883) Attached to: Quebecker Faces Jail For Not Giving Up Phone Password To Canadian Officials

"I don't know how it works in the US, but the Canadian government cannot refuse a Canadian citizen entry into the country. That's a very good thing."

The right to return is part of UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
http://www.un.org/en/documents...

Comment: Re:spying is a drug (Score 1) 87

by boa (#49157491) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

"Even Aristotle said that a democracy naturally degenerates into despotism. The United States is simply repeating the past, though one must say in a much faster tempo than its predecessors."

ITYM Rosseau, not Aristotle.

"When the State is dissolved, the abuse of government, whatever it is, bears the common name of anarchy. To distinguish, democracy degenerates into ochlocracy, and aristocracy into oligarchy; and I would add that royalty degenerates into tyranny; but this last word is ambiguous and needs explanation."
http://files.libertyfund.org/p...

Comment: Re:Again... (Score 1) 278

by boa (#48688369) Attached to: Snowden Documents Show How Well NSA Codebreakers Can Pry

"Since world wide harddrive storage being created is about 40 exabytes per year and the Internet has about 50 exabytes of traffic per month, I would still say you're crazy to think that all traffic is recorded."

I'm not claiming that they record everything, but want to point out that half of the 50 exabytes are generated by Netflix and youtube. IOW, no need to store it, or at least not store it more than once.

Also, it should be safe to assume that lots of internet traffic is redundant (web sites serving the same page over and over again), so
a neat combination of compression and a hash file system should reduce storage requirements quite a lot.

+ - Scientific explanation of why men wasted together->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Men seem to like getting drunk together more than women do and now a group of boffins think they know why

Smiles are contagious in a group of men sitting around drinking alcohol, according to a study announced Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. This suggests that booze serves as a social lubricant for men, making them more sensitive to social behaviors, like smiling, and freeing them to connect with one another in a way that a soda can’t

Lest that strike you as laughably obvious, consider this: the effect does not hold if there are any women in the group, according to the study authors

A site note of the research points to the fact that genuine smiles are perfectly contagious among sober women, just not sober men

The authors don’t posit a guess as to why the presence of a woman keeps drunk men from catching smiles from one another, except to say that booze seems to disrupt "processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person’s smile""

Link to Original Source
Censorship

China Blanks Nobel Peace Prize Searches 326

Posted by Soulskill
from the par-for-the-course dept.
1 a bee writes "CNN is reporting that China is attempting to block all communication regarding Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Even texting is affected: 'Text-messaging on mobile phones is not immune from censors, either. A Shanghai-based netizen, @littley, tweeted his unfortunate experience: "My SIM card just got de-activated, turning my iPhone to an iPod touch after I texted my dad about Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize."' Might as well add Slashdot to the censored list." Further coverage is available from NBC.
Space

Black Hole Emits a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Gas Bubble 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the reminds-me-of-a-buddy-of-mine dept.
PhrostyMcByte writes "12 million light-years away, in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. (Abstract available at Nature.) The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."

Comment: Re:Honestly, I hope the US (Score 1) 378

by boa (#32489920) Attached to: Where Will Your Next Gadget Be Made?

"Just as I'd suspect anyone from another country would prefer their country to be the country of assembly for their next gadget."

I live in Norway, but still would like my next gadget to be made in the USA. Why? I like you guys and a lot of US stuff is of excellent quality.

Too bad the good stuff is hard to get here in europe. You're not really into exporting stuff anymore, are you? ;-)

Media

H.264 and VP8 Compared 337

Posted by timothy
from the one-has-4-chars-and-a-dot dept.
TheReal_sabret00the writes with a snippet from StreamingMedia.com: "VP8 is now free, but if the quality is substandard, who cares? Well, it turns out that the quality isn't substandard, so that's not an issue, but neither is it twice the quality of H.264 at half the bandwidth. See for yourself."
Television

Is the 4th Yellow Pixel of Sharp Quattron Hype? 511

Posted by timothy
from the hi-fi-jumprope dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "Sharp Aquos brand televisions are making a big deal about their Quattron technology of adding a 4th yellow pixel to their RGB sets. While you can read a glowing review of it here, the engineer in me is skeptical because of how all the source material for this set is produced in 3-color RGB. I also know how just making a picture brighter and saturating the colors a bit can make it more appealing to many viewers over a more accurate rendition – so much for side-by-side comparisons. And I laugh at how you are supposed to see the advantages of 4-color technology in ads on your 3-color sets at home as you watch their commercials. It sounds more like hype to extract a higher profit margin than the next great advance in home television. So is it real?"

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 192

by boa (#32141172) Attached to: Choice of Programming Language Doesn't Matter For Security

"It’s unprofessional and inefficient. And very error-prone for no reason at all."

There are many good reasons for choosing C over C++, Java or other languages. The most obvious reason is that C is the only language available for the target platform. Performance requirements (both size and speed) are also good reasons for choosing C.

Image

4G iPhone Misplacer Invited To Germany For Beer 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the beer-makes-things-better dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."

"I think Michael is like litmus paper - he's always trying to learn." -- Elizabeth Taylor, absurd non-sequitir about Michael Jackson

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