cold fjord writes "The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is currently holding hearings being webcast today on the expanding IRS scandal previously covered. From the story: "Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that singled out conservative groups, is expected to invoke the Fifth Amendment Wednesday when she appears before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Fox News has learned. That means Lerner, head of the exempt organizations division, probably won’t answer any questions on what she knew about IRS agents going after Tea Party-related groups. That also means she probably won’t say why she sat on the information for so long before it became public. . . Since the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the IRS scandal and the House committee indicated it would question Lerner about why she provided incomplete information to the committee at least four times last year, Taylor wrote that his client would be invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. . ."
Note: Just heard the 5th Amendment privilege being invoked. The witness was dismissed — now there is controversy on the committee — now she is being questioned again — and dismissed again. Lawyers are consulting."Link to Original Source
gbrumfiel writes "Last week, Google and NASA announced a partnership to buy a new quantum computer from Canadian firm D-Wave Systems. But NPR news reports that many scientists are still questioning whether new machine really is quantum. Long-time critic and computer scientist Scott Aaronson has a long post detailing the current state of affairs. At issue is whether the 512 quantum bits at the processor's core are "entangled" together. Measuring that entanglement directly destroys it, so D-Wave has had a hard time convincing skeptics. As with all things quantum mechanical, the devil is in the details.
Still it may not matter: D-Wave's machine appears to be far faster at solving certain kinds of problems, regardless of how it works."Link to Original Source
Nerval's Lobster writes "Location is everything when choosing the site of a data center. Firms such as Microsoft and Google and Facebook spend a lot of time looking into the costs of land, power, regulation and taxes before placing their respective data centers in a particular place. Sometimes, that local tax bill comes into play in a big way. Just ask the National Security Agency (NSA), which learned it faces a multimillion-dollar annual state tax on the power consumed by its new data center in Camp Williams, south of Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune obtained a series of email exchanges between the feds and the state, with the NSA protesting a $2.4 million tax on its annual power expenditure, pegged at about $40 million. Harvey Davis, director of installations and logistics for the NSA, sent a letter (subsequently quoted by the newspaper) to state officials that made the logistics argument: “Long-term stability in the utility rates was a major factor in Utah being selected as our site for our $1.5bn construction at Camp Williams. HP325 [the new law] runs counter to what we expected.”"Link to Original Source
kkleiner writes "Even though facial recognition software has only become available in recent years, the degree of sophistication is ramping up sharply. Now, startup IMRSV has released Cara, a data analytics package for facial recognition or 'perceptive computing platform' that can be used with webcams or smartphone cameras. Not only does it identify physical features such as gender and age, but behaviors like glances and how much attention is being paid to a camera, which is of great interest to advertisers."Link to Original Source
girlmad writes "Despite moves by government to get Google, Amazon and Apple to admit they make sales in the UK and US, and therefore should pay tax on these earnings, this article argues these are empty threats and that any taxes paid will get returned to the tech giants in government grants and subsidies. Tough luck to the small firms out there."Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "In a decision that's almost certainly going to result in this issue heading up to the Supreme Court, the Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that police can't search your phone when they arrest you without a warrant. That's contrary to most courts' previous findings in these kinds of cases where judges have allowed warantless searches through cell phones."Link to Original Source
cphilo writes "Scientists in China have developed a method to print flexible electronic circuits on paper using liquid metal ink, which paves the way for a simple, low-cost method for printing paper electronics."Link to Original Source
cylonlover writes "Given the low costs and extensive applications that could be possible with flexible paper circuit boards, we've seen many ideas for their production, from printing with silver ink to embedding chips within paper. Now, however, scientists have developed an elegant method for selectively changing the very nature of the paper itself into conductive graphite. Unlike polymer-based flexible circuits, these paper circuits are, ironically, able to withstand the high temperatures generally used in the production of electronics."Link to Original Source
AchilleTalon writes "As the US continues to grapple with the idea of letting drones fly through the country's airspace, our neighbors to the north have reported a new milestone for unmanned aerial technology: the first life saved using a drone. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the province of Saskatchewan announced yesterday that they successfully used the small Draganflyer X4-ES helicopter drone to locate and treat an injured man whose car had flipped over in a remote, wooded area in near-freezing temperatures. Zenon Dragan, president and founder of the Draganfly company that makes the drone, said in a statement: "to our knowledge, this is the first time that a life may have been saved with the use of a sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial System) helicopter.""Link to Original Source
Zothecula writes "If you work with machinery, engines or appliances of any type, then you’ve likely experienced the frustration of hearing a troublesome noise coming from somewhere, but not being able to pinpoint where. If only you could just grab a camera, and take a picture that showed you the noise’s location. Well, soon you should be able to do so, as that’s just what the SeeSV-S205 sound camera does."Link to Original Source
lxrocks writes "Tax authorities in the U.S., Britain, and Australia today announced they are working with a gigantic cache of leaked data that may be the beginnings of one of the largest tax investigations in history.
The secret records are believed to include those obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that lay bare the individuals behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore hideaways."Link to Original Source
symbolset writes "Published today in the journal Cell and reported by WBUR radio in this interview Drs Richard Lee and Amy Wagers have isolated GDF-11 as a negative regulator of age-associated cardiac hypertrophy. Through a type of transfusion called parabiotic or "shared circulation" in mice — one old and sick, the other young and well — they managed to reverse this age-associated heart disease. From there isolated an active agent GDF-11 present in the younger mouse but absent in the older which reverses the condition when administered directly. They are also using the agent to restore other aged/diseased tissues and organs. Human applications are expected within six years.
Since the basis for the treatment is ordinary sharing of blood between an older ill, and younger healthy patient, someone is likely to start offering the transfusion treatment somewhere in the world, soon, to those with the means to find a young and healthy volunteer. It may be time to have the discussion of the consequences of drastically prolonging human life."Link to Original Source
Noiser writes "The Israeli pop singer Aya Korem published her new song "Computer Engineer" as a website that shows translation to the Perl programming language along with the lyrics. Perl is quite a good match, given that the Perl community has a long tradition of publishing "Perl poetry", and this song proves that this tradition is very much alive. No Flash is required to view the website, so if you are an HTML5 geek, have no worries."
Freshly Exhumed writes "In an unprecedented action, a United States Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles. After a string of failings that the group's deputy commander said stemmed from "rot" within the ranks, the suspensions followed a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, that resulted in a "D" grade for the team tested on its mastery of the Minuteman III missile launch operations system. The 17 are being assigned to intensive retraining courses of 60 to 90 days, according to Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an Air Force spokesman."
gannebraemorr writes "The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don't need a search warrant to review Americans' e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal. Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they're not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail."Link to Original Source