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United States

US Now Produces More Oil and Gas Than Russia and Saudi Arabia 416

Posted by samzenpus
from the black-gold dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Claudia Assis writes that the US will end 2013 as the world's largest producer of petroleum and natural gas, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia with the Energy Information Administration estimating that combined US petroleum and gas production this year will hit 50 quadrillion British thermal units, or 25 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, outproducing Russia by 5 quadrillion Btu. Most of the new oil was coming from the western states. Oil production in Texas has more than doubled since 2010. In North Dakota, it has tripled, and Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah have also shown steep rises in oil production over the same three years, according to EIA data. Tapping shale rock for oil and gas has fueled the US boom, while Russia has struggled to keep up its output. 'This is a remarkable turn of events,' says Adam Sieminski, head of the US Energy Information Administration. 'This is a new era of thinking about market conditions, and opportunities created by these conditions, that you wouldn't in a million years have dreamed about.' But even optimists in the US concede that the shale boom's longevity could hinge on commodity prices, government regulations and public support, the last of which could be problematic. A poll last month by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that opposition to increased use of fracking rose to 49% from 38% in the previous six months. 'It is not a supply question anymore,' says Ken Hersh. 'It is about demand and the cost of production. Those are the two drivers."'"
Education

California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum 356

Posted by timothy
from the if-I-can-control-the-textbooks dept.
New submitter newbie_fantod writes "Ignoring the fact that the surest way to get a child to do something is to tell them not to, the RIAA and MPAA have developed an anti-piracy curriculum for kindergarten through grade 6. The pilot project is scheduled for testing in California schools later this year." Mitch Stoltz, an EFF attorney, isn't impressed: “It suggests, falsely, that ideas are property and that building on others’ ideas always requires permission,” Stoltz says. “The overriding message of this curriculum is that students’ time should be consumed not in creating but in worrying about their impact on corporate profits.”
Privacy

France To Open Preliminary Investigation About PRISM Program 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-to-the-bottom-of-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Paris' prosecutor office opened a preliminary investigation after a complaint by two human rights associations who hope to determine the roles played by companies in the PRISM program. Two million communications (phone calls, SMS and mails) are said to have been intercepted in France by U.S. agencies."
Earth

How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action 530

Posted by Soulskill
from the never-put-off-until-tomorrow-what-you-can-ignore-completely dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Cass R. Sunstein writes at Bloomberg that an understanding of human psychology — specifically, what human beings fear and what they do not — helps to explain why nations haven't insisted on more significant emissions reductions even as scientists warn that if the world continues on its current course, we will face exceedingly serious losses and threats including a significant rise in sea levels by century's end. First, people tend to be especially focused on risks or hazards that have an identifiable perpetrator, and for that reason produce outrage. 'Warmer temperatures are a product not of any particular human being or group, but the interaction between nature and countless decisions by countless people. There are no obvious devils or demons — no individuals who intend to create the harms associated with climate change.' The second obstacle is that people tend to evaluate risks by way of 'the availability heuristic,' which leads them to assess the probability of harm by asking whether a readily available example comes to mind. For example, an act of terrorism is likely to be both available and salient, and hence makes people fear that another such event will occur. A recent crime or accident can activate attention and significantly inflate people's assessment of risk. Finally, human beings are far more attentive to immediate threats than to long-term ones. They may neglect the future, seeing it as a kind of foreign country, one they may not ever visit. For this reason, they might fail to save for retirement, or they might engage in risk-taking behavior such as smoking or unhealthy eating that will harm their future selves. 'All the obstacles are daunting skepticism about the science, economic self-interest, and the difficulties of designing cost-effective approaches and obtaining an international agreement,' concludes Sunstein, 'But the world is unlikely to make much progress on climate change until the barrier of human psychology is squarely addressed.'"
The Military

US Forces Ready To Strike Syria If Ordered 918

Posted by timothy
from the peace-in-our-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press reports that 'U.S. forces are now ready to act on any order by President Barack Obama to strike Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. The U.S. Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea positioned within range of targets inside Syria, as well as U.S. warplanes in the region, Hagel said in an interview with BBC television during his visit to the southeast Asian nation of Brunei. Hagel also predicted that U.S. intelligence agencies would soon conclude that last week's deadly attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb was a chemical attack by Bashar Assad's government.'" The New York Times has an informative map of the sites of the chemical attacks.
Graphics

X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status 208

Posted by timothy
from the swimming-in-the-fine-print dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The X.Org Foundation, which drives the X.Org Server projects, Mesa, and Wayland open-source programs, had its tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS. It turns out the X.Org Foundation had put in quite a lot of work to become a non-profit organization, with guidance from the Software Freedom Law Center. They got in trouble after failing to routinely file their taxes on time. There's also been a host of other X.Org accounting errors in recent years. There was also the recent news of the IRS going after open-source projects, too."
Google

Google Claims ChromeCast Local Streaming Only Broken Because of SDK Changes 82

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the uh-huh dept.
sfcrazy writes "You may be familiar with the story that a ChromeCast update disabled the playback of local content, but Google has confirmed that it will allow every kind of content. Google Statement: 'We're excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It's still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available.' So no need to fear!"

Comment: Slanted views (Score 0) 366

Typical Hollywood slant on the state of the world. Always blame the rich, but they leave out themselves, for the problems of the world. None of this could happen if the government was not involved so blame the corrupt policies coming from our governments, yes that includes your lord and savior Obama. Can’t wait for the name calling to begin.
Government

Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the moving-at-the-speed-of-government dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from a Reuters report: "The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare: allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1. The missed deadlines have pushed the government's decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general said in a report. As a result, experts say, the exchanges might open with security flaws or, possibly but less likely, be delayed.'They've removed their margin for error,' said Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology. 'There is huge pressure to get (the exchanges) up and running on time, but if there is a security incident they are done. It would be a complete disaster from a PR viewpoint.' The most likely serious security breach would be identity theft, in which a hacker steals the social security numbers and other information people provide when signing up for insurance."
Crime

Administration Seeks To Make Unauthorized Streaming A Felony 398

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the share-your-way-to-jail dept.
wabrandsma writes "From the Washington Post: 'You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony. As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.'"
United States

DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the can-of-worms dept.
Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters is reporting on a secret effort by the Drug Enforcement Agency to collect data from wiretaps, informants, and other sources. Considered most troubling is a systematic campaign to hide this program from the courts, denying defendants their right to know how evidence against them was obtained. This agenda targets U.S. citizens directly, as it is mainly focused on drug trafficking. From the article: 'Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges. The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.'"
Government

Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash 284

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the business-as-usual dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA's phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 'no' voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 'yes' voters."
Government

NSA Still Funded To Spy On US Phone Records 362

Posted by timothy
from the good-day-to-donate-to-the-eff dept.
Reader turp182 notes that the Amash Amendment (#100) to HR 2397 (DOD appropriations bill) failed to pass the House of Representatives, meaning it will not be added to the appropriations bill. turp182 writes "The amendment would have specifically defunded the bulk collection of American phone records." Americans can see how their representatives voted here.
United States

US Spies Have "Security Agreements" With Foreign Telecoms 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-see-what-you-got-there dept.
McGruber writes "The Washington Post is reporting the existence of 'Team Telecom', lawyers from the FBI and the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, who ensure that Global Crossing and other foreign-owned telecoms, quickly and confidentially fulfill the USA's surveillance requests. Team Telecom leverages the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve cable licenses. The security agreement for Global Crossing, whose fiber-optic network connected 27 nations and four continents, required the company to have a 'Network Operations Center' on U.S. soil that could be visited by government officials with 30 minutes of warning. Surveillance requests, meanwhile, had to be handled by U.S. citizens screened by the government and sworn to secrecy — in many cases prohibiting information from being shared even with the company's executives and directors. A spokesman for Level 3 Communications declined to comment for the Washington Post's article."

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