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Comment: Councilman, know about the unfair USPS obligation? (Score 1) 439

From the Huffington Post

There are many reasons, but by far the most important is that the Postal Service's losses are largely the product of a congressional mandate imposed on no other public or private enterprise in America. Since 2006, Congress has forced the Postal Service to make enormous annual contributions into a fund for future retiree health benefits, including the $5.5 billion and $5.6 billion mentioned above. In fact, since they began, these payments have accounted for more than 80 percent of the Postal Service's losses.

Comment: Check out SiliconDust's HD Homerun (Score 1) 78

by jrifkin (#43014157) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IPTV Service In the UK?

I have one at my house (US). It's about the size of a pack of cards, and has two ports. The TV Cable goes into the first, your home internet into the second. You can then watch unscrambled TV anywhere on your network. Under Linux, use MythTV or a combination of VLC and SiliconDust's own apps. I bought the cheapest version, about $80, which is limited to unscambled stations and two stations simultaneously. I get about 6 stations.

There's also a version whch accepts a card from the Cable provider which will unscramble the signal and provides three stations simultaneously.

Comment: Here's a good article about gun control and NRA (Score 1) 1862

by jrifkin (#42593439) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

May I recommend this article
      http://www.salon.com/2013/01/14/the_nra_once_supported_gun_control/

The parent says

That's what the second amendment is about. Not self defense, not hunting, not skeet shooting. Protection from tyranny. It's a recognized right for the people to possess the means to revolt should they choose.

Not so, according to the cited article. The second amendment was not intended to let you battle the government, but let you fight with a militia to supprt the government.

The NRA’s first president was a northern Army General, Ambrose Burnside. He was chosen to reflect this civilian-militia mission, as envisioned in the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The understanding of the Amendment at the time concerned having a prepared citizenry to assist in domestic military matters, such as repelling raids on federal arsenals like 1786’s Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts or the British in the War of 1812. Its focus was not asserting individual gun rights as today, but a ready citizenry prepared by target shooting. The NRA accepted $25,000 from New York State to buy a firing range ($500,000 today). For decades, the U.S. military gave surplus guns to the NRA and sponsored shooting contests.

Here's another interesting piece from said article.

The NRA’s fabricated but escalating view of the Second Amendment was ridiculed by former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger—a conservative appointed by President Richard Nixon—in a PBS Newshour interview in 1991, where he called it “one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word ‘fraud’—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Burger would not have imagined that the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008—13 years after he died—led by libertarian activist Justice Antonin Scalia—would enshrine that “fraud” into the highest echelon of American law by decreeing that the Second Amendment included the right to own a gun for self-protection in one’s home.

Comment: When My Password Was Stolen On Sourceforge (Score 4, Interesting) 244

by jrifkin (#41457961) Attached to: Regarding Identity Theft:

About 8 years ago someone had installed a password logger on Sourceforge's ssh server. It stole my password when I ssh'd back to my work computer. About a month or so later the hacker released all the stolen accounts and passwords on a hacker site. That day four different people tried to log into my computer. I say tried because two failed, but two succeeded. The second guy in noticed the first guy already there, so he killed his rival's session and quickly changed my password, which is why the last two couldn't log in. More evidence that there's no honor among thieves. The guy next tried to run a few root exploits, but they failed - I kept my Linux box up to date. Eventually he quit. He left behind no damage other than a few exploit files and a changed password.

My first inkling that something was wrong was when my user login password didn't work. I figured it was a corrupted file, so I just worked around it, logged in as root and gave myself a new password.

About 15 minutes later I read that day's Slashdot, and I read about the Sourceforge hack, and put two and two together. So I went back through my system logs and the ipaudit logs that I had. Then I had a good laugh over the story they told.

Comment: Where's your $50,000? (Score 3, Interesting) 1799

by jrifkin (#37670928) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?
Here's something that just came from Alan Grayson. It seems relevent.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that our Government has handed out $16 trillion to the banks.

Let me repeat that, in case you didn’t hear me the first time. The GAO says that our Government HAS HANDED OUT $16 TRILLION TO THE BANKS.

That little gem appears on Page 131 of GAO Report No. GAO-11-696. A report issued two months ago. A report that somehow seems to have eluded the attention of virtually every network, every major newspaper, and every news show.

How much is $16 trillion? That is an amount equal to more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America. That’s more than every penny that every American earns in a year. That’s an amount equal to almost a third of our national net worth -- the value of every home, car, personal belonging, business, bank account, stock, bond, piece of land, book, tree, chandelier, and everything else anyone owns in America. That’s an amount greater than our entire national debt, accumulated over the course of two centuries.

A $16 trillion stack of dollar bills would reach all the way to the Moon. And back. Twice.

That’s enough to pay for Saturday mail delivery. For the next 5,000 years.

All of that money went from you and me to the banks. And we got nothing. Not even a toaster.

I have been patiently waiting to see whether this disclosure would provoke some kind of reaction. Answer: nope. Everyone seems much more interested in discussing whether or not they like the cut of Perry’s jib.

Whatever a jib may be.

In the next few weeks, I’m going to be writing more about this. But right now, I wanted to keep this really simple. Just give folks something to talk about when they’re standing next to the coffee maker.

The Government gave $16 trillion to the banks. And nobody else is talking about it.

Think about it. Think about what that means.

Comment: Don't forget the 2011 Solar Decathalon (Score 2) 58

by jrifkin (#37586812) Attached to: World Solar Challenge 2011 Starts In Two Weeks

This bears some resemblance to another competition, the 2011 Solar Decathalon, that just finished its week on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Each team designed and built a 900+ square foot energy efficient home over the past two years, and then shipped them to DC to display them for the week.

It was sponsored by the Department of Energy. Nineteen universities participated; 15 from the US and 4 from other countries; Canada, Belgium, New Zealand (the third place winner) and China.

You can see more about it here, http://www.solardecathlon.gov./

Transportation

Solar Car Speed Record Smashed 72

Posted by timothy
from the hats-are-off-to-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes with word from Australia that "There's a new world record for the fastest solar-powered land vehicle: 88 km/h average speed over one kilometre in a lightweight car that uses about the same power as a toaster." As the article goes on to explain, this solar racer, built last year by students from the University of New South Wales, managed to nab that speed record earlier this month on an Australian navy base airstrip.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!

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