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Comment Re:Not a troll, Valve shill (Score 1) 230

Yep. I reached a compromise where I only buy games on Steam once the game and *all* the DLC for it is under $10. Limits my damages somewhat and I'm still so damned backlogged with games I haven't played the fact that the new whiz-bang GTA 27 (or whatever) is outside that range doesn't really matter. I'll get to it eventually. 'course, I'm an antisocial bastard, so the whole multiplayer aspect of gaming really doesn't matter to me one way or the other; I get that's a deal breaker for some, but hey -- you makes your choices, etc.

Comment Re:And all they wanted was a faster horse (Score 1) 732

Indeed. The last time the US had an air-to-air kill that was by a gun instead of a missile was in Vietnam. Guns are effectively a thing of the past in air combat. Like many articles I've read about the F-35 that paper really misses the mark. That being said, I do worry about the ability to churn out a sufficient number aircraft in a protracted conflict -- simple, rugged aircraft still have their place.

Aircraft, especially those that push the envelope like fighters, are going to wear out. Technically advanced combat aircraft costs are so heavily front-loaded due to R&D that you have to crank out large numbers of them for the unit cost to make sense, otherwise you end up with a $1B bomber instead of a plane that costs half that like the B-2. I think the F-35 will be a great fighter (most of the development issues were with the Marine variant, which is immensely more complex than the Air Force and Navy versions) but we probably would've been better served with a more conventional aircraft along with an increased number of F-22s.

Submission Federal Judge Calls BS on Homeland Security's 2008 STEM 'Emergency'

theodp writes: In 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security enacted 'emergency' changes to Optional Practical Training (OPT) to extend the amount of time foreign STEM graduates of US colleges could stay in the country and work ("to alleviate the crisis employers are facing due to the current H-1B visa shortage", as Bill Gates explained it in 2007). More than seven years later, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle has found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the program, and issued a ruling that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers on OPT STEM extensions to return to their home countries early next year. Huvelle has given the government six months to submit the OPT extension rule for proper notice and comment lest it be revoked. From the ruling (pdf): "By failing to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking, the record is largely one-sided, with input only from technology companies that stand to benefit from additional F-1 student employees, who are exempted from various wage taxes. Indeed, the 17-month duration of the STEM extension appears to have been adopted directly from the unanimous suggestions by Microsoft and similar industry groups." Microsoft declared a new crisis in 2012, this time designed to link tech's need for H-1B visas to U.S. children's lack of CS savvy.

Submission Working STEM students may be forced to leave U.S. next year, says court->

dcblogs writes: A federal judge made a ruling this week that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers, many of whom are employed at tech companies on student visas, to return to their home countries early next year. This ruling, released Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to 29 months for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. The OPT program allows someone to work on a student visa. Huvelle could have invalidated the OPT extension immediately but instead gave the government six months, or until to Feb. 12, 2016, to submit the OPT extension rule "for proper notice and comment." Ian Macdonald, an immigration attorney at Greenberg Traurig, said that if the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which overseas immigration, doesn't act to fix the problem before the court's Feb. 12 expiration, the OPT extensions "will be terminated with immediate effect and (the visa holders) will have 60 days to pack up their belongings."
Link to Original Source

Submission Bananas. Extinct. Again? ->

garyoa1 writes: Fifty years ago, we were eating better bananas.

They tasted better, they lasted longer, they were more resilient and didn’t require artificial ripening. They were — simply put — a better fruit, because they belonged to a different species, or cultivar in banana parlance.

It was called Gros Michel and it remained the world’s export banana until 1965.

That year, it was declared commercially extinct due to the Panama disease, a fungal disease that started out from Central America and quickly spread to most of the world’s commercial banana plantations, leaving no other choice but to burn them down.

Link to Original Source

Submission The CIA and The White House Lied about bin Laden's Assassination->

Nicola Hahn writes: The journalist who broke the story of the CIA's MHCHAOS program back in 1974 has just dropped another bombshell in the London Review of Books. According to a retired senior intelligence officer the CIA's narrative about torture playing a key role in the capture of Osama bin Laden is a fabrication fed to the public with the assistance of Hollywood executives (Zero Dark Thirty). Here's an excerpt of assertions:

"That bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false."

This puts the CIA's stance on the torture report in a whole new light. Doesn't it? Also note the role played by the Saudis, and how worried they were that bin Laden might "start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money – lots of it."

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seoras writes: After coming under intense pressure PayPal has closed the account of cloud-storage service Mega. According to the company, SOPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy personally pressured Visa and Mastercard who in turn called on PayPal to terminate the account. Bizarrely, Mega's encryption is being cited as a key problem.... ... What makes the situation more unusual is that PayPal reportedly apologized to Mega for its withdrawal while acknowledging that company’s business is indeed legitimate.
However, PayPal also advised that Mega’s unique selling point – it’s end-to-end-encryption – was a key concern for the processor."

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Submission NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp->

schwit1 writes: The FISA court has again renewed an order allowing the NSA to continue its illegal bulk collection of Americans' phone records, at least until June 1 when it is set to expire in Congress. President Obama pledged to end the controversial program more than a year ago.

The extension is the fifth of its kind since Obama said he would effectively end the Snowden-exposed program as it currently exists during a major policy speech in January 2014. Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they will not act alone to end the program without Congress.

After all the other things he's done against or without congressional approval and he balks at this one?

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Submission The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever-> 1

schwit1 writes: New data shows that the “vanishing” of polar ice is not the result of runaway global warming

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

“How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”

Link to Original Source

Submission Linus Torvalds: Apple's HFS+ is probably the worst file-system ever->

sfcrazy writes: It’s been long since we heard a good rant from Linus Torvalds. Linux doesn't rant much, but when he does he hits the nail and he doesn't mince worlds and this time he targeted Apple's HFS+. Linus says, "The true horrors of HFS+ are not in how it’s not a great filesystem, but in how it’s actively designed to be a bad filesystem by people who thought they had good ideas."
Link to Original Source

Submission Woman charged with wiretapping for filming cops wins $57,000 payout->

mpicpp writes: A local New Hampshire police department agreed Thursday to pay a woman who was arrested and charged with wiretapping $57,000 to settle her civil rights lawsuit. The deal comes a week after a federal appeals court ruled that the public has a "First Amendment" right to film cops.

The plaintiff in the case, Carla Gericke, was arrested on wiretapping allegations in 2010 for filming her friend being pulled over by the Weare Police Department during a late-night traffic stop. Although Gericke was never brought to trial, she sued, alleging that her arrest constituted retaliatory prosecution in breach of her constitutional rights. The department, without admitting wrongdoing, settled Thursday in a move that the woman's attorney speculated would deter future police "retaliation."

The First US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) in Gericke's case last week that she was "exercising a clearly established First Amendment right when she attempted to film the traffic stop in the absence of a police order to stop filming or leave the area."

Link to Original Source

Submission Price for Nevada dad to see state's school files on his kids: $10G->

schwit1 writes: Nevada dad John Eppolito got a bad case of sticker shock when he asked state education officials to see the permanent records of his four children.

He was told it would cost $10,194. Eppolito was concerned about Nevada's recent decision to join a multi-state consortium that shares students’ data. He wanted to know exactly what information had been compiled on his school-age kids. But state officials told him he would have to pay fees and the cost of programming and running a custom report.

“The problem is that I can’t stop them from collecting the data,” Eppolito said. “I just wanted to know what it [collected data] was. It almost seems impossible. Certainly $10,000 is enough reason to prevent a parent from getting the data.”

“This data is for everyone except the parents," Eppolito said. "It’s wrong.”

According to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents have the right to review their kids' records. Small fees are allowed to be issued for records unless they in any way prevent them from obtaining them.

The Nevada Department of Education attempted to justify the hefty price tag for viewing copies of student records in a response to Eppolito.“Because the SAIN system is not designed to create reports that display individual student data in a readable format, the parent was initially told that the requested reports do not exist and cannot be produced,”

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Neutrinos are into physicists.