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Comment Re:Trending political procedures... (Score 1) 314

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm already paying sales tax, gas tax, property tax and other taxes to pay for roads. Personally I'm fine with that. Nothing wrong with using taxes to maintain infrastructure.

I'm more worried about what other uses the data is being used for. I find the idea of faceless individuals continually knowing everywhere I'm going sort of creepy and worrying from a civil liberty standpoint.

Of course the obvious solution is to put your EZPass in a Faraday cage of some sort when you're not using it for tolling. Or ride a bike, which is healthier for you and less amenable to tolling or tracking.

Comment Re:Work it into the commute. (Score 4, Insightful) 635

Yup - I have a similar story. Was at 277 - dropped down to 177. Now I'm a little above 200 - but I've been reasonably stable for years.

Before you can say "I can't do it!", keep in mind you probably can if you wan't to. Here are some common objections I

  • Do it every day - start at one day a week - maybe go up to three - or even five if you can manage it
  • I'll be sweaty and stinky! I personally have a shower at work - but even without, if you are clean in the morning and change from biking clothes to work clothes while dabbing on some deoderant, a little clean sweat is not very fragrant.
  • It's too far! So don't do it all the way. I know plenty of people who will drive part of the way, then hop on their bike and do the rest. That way you can tailor the ride to your time, fitness, etc. I even know some people who drive to work one way - bike back, then bike to work the next morning - then drive home.

If you don't want to do it, just say so - there's no sin in that. But don't come up with bogus reasons why it's a terrible thing you can't do and noone else should.


A Hacker's Audacious Plan To Rule the Underground 313

An anonymous reader writes "Wired has the inside story of Max Butler, a former white hat hacker who joined the underground following a jail stint for hacking the Pentagon. His most ambitious hack was a hostile takeover of the major underground carding boards where stolen credit card and identity data are bought and sold. The attack made his own site, CardersMarket, the largest crime forum in the world, with 6,000 users. But it also made the feds determined to catch him, since one of the sites he hacked,, was secretly a sting operation run by the FBI."

Comment Re:Easy to work around, ride a bike (Score 1) 563

Unfortunately biking isn't an option for everyone. I think I once heard the average commute for an American citizen was 30 miles (60 miles round trip). That's a lot of biking every day, and not every workplace has a shower or something to freshen up after such a long trek.

I just went and looked at various sources and it looks like 16 miles was the national average for a one-way commute. Which is honestly too much for most people. On the other hand, if the average is 16, that means there are a large number of people who are closer. If I recall correctly approximately 25% of people are within 5 miles of their work. Five miles is doable by just about anyone. Not to mention many people can do multimodal commutes (i.e. drive to a park and ride and then bike from there, or bus/bike, or train/bike). There are lots of alternatives if you think about the issue some.

I know a lot of people that live way too far to bike the commute, mostly because they have kids and either want to live somewhere with a good school system or because they work in a shady area.

Plus you have to consider that some settings aren't very bike-friendly.

In my experience people blow these issues up because what they really want is an excuse not to bike. People resist change, it's *so* easy to get in the car and turn the key. It's hard to change your habits and lifestyle and start using the bike more.

Making biking easier doesn't work, making driving harder does. As gas prices go up and traffic gets worse, I see more cyclists on the road.

Feed More Flight Than Fancy?->

Scientists have turned a textbook example of sexual selection on its head and shown that females may be more astute at choosing a mate than previously thought. New research shows that differences in the lengths of the long tail feathers possessed by male barn swallows are an example of natural selection, not sexual selection.
Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Submission IRS to go after eBay sellers

prostoalex writes: "Fed up with numerous violations of tax law by individuals and businesses selling goods on eBay, Amazon Marketplace,, etc., IRS is pushing Congress to make online marketplaces responsible for reporting the sales information to the tax man, in order to prevent under-reporting of the income. eBay's "own statistics suggest that there are 1.3 million people around the world who make their primary or secondary source of income through eBay, with just over 700,000 in the United States", says."

Submission Panel: US Faces Change As Climate Warms

YonathanBegopa writes: Chicago and Los Angeles will likely to face increasing heat waves. Severe storm surges could hit New York and Boston. And cities that rely on melting snow for water may run into serious shortages. These are some of the findings about North America in a report by hundreds of scientists that try to explain how global warming is changing life on Earth. The scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of their findings on global warming last Friday and outlined details of the report focusing on various regions on Tuesday.
The Internet

Submission Presidential Candidate Uses YouTube

Aaron Wilson writes: "U.S. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney kicks off YouTube's "You Choose Spotlight" by posting an informal video of himself. In the clip he calls for feedback videos from the YouTube community. "What do you believe is America's single greatest challenge?" Mitt says, "And what would you do to address it?" While the YouTube community shoots back with mixed responses regarding political issues, there is general enthusiasm about a presidential candidate embracing the Internet community at large."

Feed Lorne Michaels Wishes NBC Would Put More Of SNL On YouTube->

Just as Viacom employee Jon Stewart appears to believe his bosses are making a mistake in taking Viacom content off of YouTube, it looks like NBC employee and Saturday Night Live creator and producer, Lorne Michaels can't understand NBC's position on YouTube (found via GoogleWatch). The interview of Michaels is especially interesting, because it was a Saturday Night Live clip of the infamous "Lazy Sunday" music video that is often credited with putting YouTube on the map. At the same time, however, almost everyone admitted that it did wonders in revitalizing SNL's reputation (as well as boosting Andy Samberg's reputation to new heights). Yet, NBC's lawyers shot it down, limiting the benefit to SNL. It appears that Michaels understands that, and says he wishes they could put more of the show on YouTube: "YouTube has been great for us." He also understands the promotional aspect of YouTube: "I think it's simple for me. If the work is good, I want the most number of people to see it -- period. Anything that leads to that would be my objective." As for NBC's new deal with News Corp to distribute videos: "I think it should be clear, I don't quite understand what NBC is doing with Fox." Apparently, the lawyers and decision makers at these entertainment companies never bothered to talk to those who actually understand what the audience wants. When your decisions are driven less by pleasing your audience and more out of some kind of fear of changing business models, you know your strategy is doomed.
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US Government IT Security 'Outstandingly Mediocre' 86

mrneutron2004 writes wrote with a link to an article on The Register, discussing an annual IT security report card handed out to the federal government. The results this year were mixed. The good news is that they graded higher than last year. The bad news? They still just rate a C-". Individual departments did better than others, but overall the results were quite poor. "Although overall security procedures improved the Department of Defense (DoD) recorded a failing F grade. Meanwhile the Department of Veterans Affairs - whose loss of laptops containing veterans' confidential data triggered a huge security breach - failed to submit a report. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, another agency that has trouble keeping track of its PCs, flunked."

Should Schools Block Sites Like Wikipedia? 545

Londovir asks: "Recently, our school board made the decision to block Wikipedia from our school district's WAN system. This was a complete block — there aren't even provisions in place for teachers or administrators to input a password to bypass the restriction. The reason given was that Wikipedia (being user created and edited) did not represent a credible or reliable source of information for schools. Should we block sites such as Wikipedia because students may be exposed to misinformation, or should we encourage sites such as Wikipedia as an outlet for students to investigate and determine the validity of the information?"
The Internet

New Law Lets Data Centers Hide Power Usage 208

1sockchuck writes "Just days after Google announced that it may build a huge data center in the state, Oklahoma's governor has signed a bill into law that will effectively exempt the largest customers of municipal power companies from public disclosure of how much power they are using. Officials of the state's power industry say the measure is not a 'Google Law' but was sought 'on behalf of large-volume electric users that might be considering a move to Oklahoma.' Others acknowledge that data center operators were among those seeking the law, apparently arguing that the details of their enormous power usage are a trade secret. Google recently acquired 800 acres in Pryor, Oklahoma for possible development as a data center, and is reportedly seeking up to 15 megawatts of power for the facility."

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen