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+ - Tom Coburn slams International Space Station, other NASA programs as wasteful->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, has released his 2014 “Wastebook” of what he regards as wasteful spending. Tucked inside the examples of monkey gambling studies and Swedish massages for rabbits, are several NASA programs the senator finds off-putting.

One example is a full-throated attack against the International Space Station, a facility that was started by President Ronald Reagan and has been in full operation for the past several years. “ISS is one of the greatest achievements in manned spaceflight. It is also the ‘single most expensive object ever created.’ And some scientists question if the space station’s out of this world costs can continue to be justified.” Coburn strongly implies that the ISS be immediately scrapped, and the money spent on what he regards as more productive research."

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+ - 6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed in Ukraine

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."
Maybe this is what Putin has been after."

Comment: Re:Good job, India! (Score 0) 85

by mi (#48176675) Attached to: India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

It is not Islam-specific. The equivocal attitude the US displayed during the Kargil conflict — when India was clearly the injured party — is not entirely unlike the attitude displayed this year towards Ukraine (where what few Muslims reside, all strongly resent the invader).

Though Obama (as Clinton back in 1999) talks the talk of supporting the invaded victim, the US would only help with "non-lethal" supplies — and only after a significant delay.

+ - Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "BY KIM ZETTER 10.17.14 | 3:31 PM |

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

The American Civil Liberties Union calls the Florida ruling “a resounding defense” of the public’s right to privacy."

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Comment: Re:And he is, probably, right (Score 1) 284

by mi (#48172437) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

I don't think Apple or Google making phone encryption suck so criminals can find and abuse the law enforcement backdoor would improve public safety.

If it were to suck so badly, yes. But it does not have to...

That said, the paranoid cynic in me suspects, it is — and will be — recoverable already. And the government simply wants us to believe otherwise...

Comment: Re:And he is, probably, right (Score 1) 284

by mi (#48164579) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

You should be careful about uncritically accepting the way a culture likes to present itself

That's the point. We like to present ourselves as Individuals — and that's why concerns for personal privacy ought to trump those of collective safety, however valid the latter might be.

That we don't always act the way — a significant part of the population thinks, they can force others to be as (and even more) charitable as they are, for example — but that's of no account. Not in this conversation...

Comment: Re:those who would trade freedom for security... (Score 1) 284

by mi (#48164521) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

In the full quote — in all its different permutations — the given up freedom (liberty) must be essential and the security gained — temporary. With such qualifiers, it becomes a little less obvious, does not it? For example, if the security gained is permanent (as long as device-makers cooperate with authorities), is it worth an essential liberty? Franklin didn't leave any guidance for such case...

I'll take my chance and live life, rather than cower in some hole.

Fortunately, no one — certainly not the FBI — are forcing you into "some hole". Excluded middle much?

That said, I like your spirit, because I too prefer the Individual over Collective...

Comment: Uber, AirBnB are in the same boat (Score 1) 292

by mi (#48163563) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

it is just car dealer lobbyist having a stronger voice (and bigger overall wallet) than Tesla

A variety of new businesses offer a new way of doing things — to the chagrin of the incumbents already profiting from the old way.

Nice to see Tesla having full support of /., which Uber and other taxi-replacements, for some reason, do not get...

Comment: And he is, probably, right (Score 4, Insightful) 284

by mi (#48163161) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

His blitz continues today with a speech that says encryption will hurt public safety.

I suspect, he is right — it will hurt public safety.

But it will improve individual privacy and America has always valued the cantankerous Individual above the glorious Collective, that other cultures prefer...

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 247

by mi (#48151635) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

As an added bonus, they can start having babies when they're 45!

The effects on the babies (and mothers) be damned...

Seriously, this is a half-measure. If we really want to help women stay in the workforce, we ought to develop incubators. Facebook and Apple may have the monies to fund the necessary research and pilot programs.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.