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+ - UK Pirate Party Slams Theresa May's Plans For Static IPs->

Submitted by Carly Page
Carly Page (3529197) writes "The UK Pirate Party has unveiled plans proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May that could force ISPs to assign fixed IP addresses to individual users and machines, thus allowing authorities to identify with more certainty those responsible for cyber crimes.

Loz Kaye, Pirate Party UK leader said: "It's extraordinary that the Home Office did not consult [the] industry about these plans. To me it shows they don't care whether they will work or not. They are just interested in headlines.

"It's clear that the Liberal Democrats have completely lost the plot on mass surveillance. To suggest this is necessarily the end of this issue is fatuous. Just look what happened with DRIP.""

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+ - Harvard Scientists Say It's Time to Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "Harvard has long been home to one of the fiercest advocates for climate engineering. This week, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences published a research announcement headlined “Adjusting Earth’s Thermostat, With Caution.” That might read as oxymoronic—intentionally altering the planet’s climate has rarely been considered a cautious enterprise—but it fairly accurately reflects the thrust of three new studies published by the Royal Society, all focused on exploring the controversial field of geoengineering."

+ - scientists discover diamond nanothreads->

Submitted by sokol815
sokol815 (3909113) writes "Penn State University scientists discovered diamond nanothreads can be created from benzene when compressed. The compression brings the benzene molecules into a highly reactive state. It was expected that the molecules would create a non-ordered glass-like material, but due to the slow speed of decompression used, the benzene molecules ordered themselves into a naturally repeating crystal. The experiment took place at room-temperature. Early results indicate that these nanothreads are stronger than previously produced carbon nanotubes, and may have applications throughout the engineering industry."
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+ - Gas Prices Are Too Damn Low 2

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Pat Garofalo writes in an op-ed in US News & World Report that with the recent drop in oil prices, there's something policymakers can do that will offset at least some of the negative effects of the currently low prices, while also removing a constant thorn in the side of American transportation and infrastructure policy: Raise the gas tax. The current 18.4 cent per gallon gas tax has not been raised since 1993, making it about 11 cents per gallon today, in constant dollars. Plus, as fuel efficiency has gotten better and Americans have started driving less, the tax has naturally raised less revenue anyway. And that's a problem because the tax fills the Highway Trust Fund, which is, not to put too fine a point on it, broke so that in recent years Congress has had to patch it time and time again to fill the gap. According to the Tax Policy Center's Howard Gleckman, if Congress doesn't make a move, "it will fumble one of those rare opportunities when the economic and policy stars align almost perfectly." The increase can be phased in slowly, a few cents per month, perhaps, so that the price of gas doesn't jump overnight. When prices eventually do creep back up thanks to economic factors, hopefully the tax will hardly be noticed.

Consumers are already starting to buy the sort of gas-guzzling vehicles, including Hummers, that had been going out of style as gas prices rose; that's bad for both the environment and consumers, because gas prices are inevitably going to increase again. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, taxes last year, even before the current drop in prices, made up 12 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline, down from 28 percent in 2000. And compared to other developed countries, US gas taxes are pretty much a joke. While we're at it, an even better idea, as a recent report from the Urban Institute makes clear, would be indexing the gas tax to inflation, so this problem doesn't consistently arise. "The status quo simply isn't sustainable, from an infrastructure or environmental perspective," concludes Garofalo. "So raise the gas tax now; someday down the line, it will look like a brilliant move.""

+ - U.S. Navy Deploys Its First Laser Weapon in the Persian Gulf ->

Submitted by Beck_Neard
Beck_Neard (3612467) writes "FTA: "The U.S. Navy has deployed on a command ship in the Persian Gulf its first laser weapon capable of destroying a target.

"The amphibious transport ship USS Ponce has been patrolling with a prototype 30-kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System since late August, according to officials. The laser is mounted facing the bow, and can be fired in several modes — from a dazzling warning flash to a destructive beam — and can set a drone or small boat on fire.""

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+ - Drone sightings up dramatically->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The government is getting near-daily reports — and sometimes two or three a day — of drones flying near airplanes and helicopters or close to airports without permission, federal and industry officials tell The Associated Press. It's a sharp increase from just two years ago when such reports were still unusual.

Many of the reports are filed with the Federal Aviation Administration by airline pilots. But other pilots, airport officials and local authorities often file reports as well, said the officials, who agreed to discuss the matter only on the condition that they not be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Michael Toscano, president of a drone industry trade group, said FAA officials also have verified the increase to him.

While many of the reports are unconfirmed, raising the possibility that pilots may have mistaken a bird or another plane in the distance for a drone, the officials said other reports appear to be credible."

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