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Submission + - Microbes to Make You Thin (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: What makes some people slender and others full-figured? It's not quite as simple as calories in and calories out. Besides diet and genetics, the community of microbes that lives inside us may be partially responsible for what we weigh. New research on twins suggests that lean people harbor bacteria that their obese counterparts don't have. And, given the chance, those bacteria may be able to prevent weight gain in others.

Submission + - NRA Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA (thehill.com)

cold fjord writes: The Hill reports, "The National Rifle Association joined the American Civil Liberties Union's lawsuit on Wednesday to end the government's massive phone record collection program. In a brief filed in federal court, the NRA argues that the National Security Agency's database of phone records amounts to a "national gun registry." "It would be absurd to think that the Congress would adopt and maintain a web of statutes intended to protect against the creation of a national gun registry, while simultaneously authorizing the FBI and the NSA to gather records that could effectively create just such a registry," the group writes. ... In its filing, the gun-rights group claims that the NSA's database would allow the government to identify and track gun owners based on whether they've called gun stores, shooting ranges or the NRA. "Under the government’s reading of Section 215, the government could simply demand the periodic submission of all firearms dealers’ transaction records, then centralize them in a database indexed by the buyers’ names for later searching," the NRA writes."

Submission + - TSA is officially allowed to lie to you in order to cover itself

zoan2013 writes: Blogger Johnathan Corbett reports that the remaining claims of his lawsuit against the TSA were dismissed on Tuesday with US District Judge Joan A Lenard basically saying the TSA doesn't have to tell the truth in TSA-related FOIA requests. (Full dismissal order here) Judge Lenard also refused to allow the 19 previously dismissed charges to be appealed while the rest were being decided. Corbett is now appealing to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and is considering filing a complaint of judicial misconduct against Lenard.

Submission + - CEO of National Black Chamber of Congress says America's Internet is the Best (newsok.com)

dywolf writes: Harry Alford, the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Congress in Washington, D.C., wrote into The Oklahoman newspaper to rebut a previous letter to the editor decrying the stat of America's Internet. He tells tell us not to fear, that America's Internet is the best in the world. Apparently "85% of Americans enjoy 100MBps internet, blowing away Europe where only 50 percent of households can access even one-third of that speed". And not only is our system the envy of the world, thanks to the deregulations of the Clinton Era telecommunications reforms, but Europe's internet access is a complete failure due to overregulation. The letter can be found here: http://newsok.com/free-market-system-worked-for-americas-internet/article/3879006

Submission + - Amazon hiring more than a 100 who can get top secret clearances (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Amazon has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top secret clearance, which includes a U.S. government administered polygraph examination. It needs software developers, operations managers and cloud support engineers, among others. Amazon's hiring effort includes an invitation-only recruiting event for systems support engineers at its Herndon, Va., facility on Sept. 24 and 25. Amazon is fighting to win a contract to build a private cloud for the CIA. The project is being rebid after IBM filed a protest. In a recent federal lawsuit challenging the rebid, Amazon took a shot at IBM, describing the company as "a traditional fixed IT infrastructure provider and late entrant to the cloud computing market." Among the things IBM says in response, is that the government didn't look at Amazon's outage record. An analyst firm, Ptak Noel & Associates, concluded, in a report about the dispute, that CIA officials "too casually brush off Amazon's outages" in evaluating the proposals.

Submission + - Mystery Alignment of Planetary Nebulae Discovered (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: Astronomers have discovered something weird in the Milky Way's galactic bulge — a population of planetary nebula are all mysteriously pointing in the same direction. They noticed the mysterious alignment in the long axes of bipolar planetary nebulae. "This really is a surprising find and, if it holds true, a very important one," said Bryan Rees of the University of Manchester, co-author of the paper to appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "Many of these ghostly butterflies appear to have their long axes aligned along the plane of our galaxy." The team of astronomers, who used data from Hubble and the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope (NTT) to survey 130 nebulae, posit that powerful magnetic fields may be behind the phenomenon.

Submission + - Xbox One Set To Launch On November 22

Dave Knott writes: Microsoft announced today that its upcoming Xbox One console will launch later this year on November 22 in 13 territories, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. This is exactly one week after the announced street date for Sony's PlayStation 4, ending speculation about whether Microsoft would try to launch ahead of their closest rival's next-generation console. It is also notably the same day that the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, a date which Microsoft had called "a special day in Xbox history."

Submission + - Google Earth black out areas? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I was having a random look over different areas of desert using Google Earth after hearing about the patterns in the Chinese desert. For some reason I ended up in the Mongolian desert near Darkhan. Can anyone explain why, on near full zoom, there is a "blackout" area at these co-ordinates: 46.652052,109.496596 ? Not only here but if you zoom out a little, you can see a number of these black dots and getting a closer look they are sections which have been blacked out. I would, initially, have put these down as small lakes but the one I've given co-ordinates for isn't just a "blob", there definitely appears to be something to it's shape. If you move to the North East of this area, you'll also note a section which appears to have no updated aerial photography for a considerable amount of time in comparison to the area around.
Can anyone shed light on this stuff for me?

Submission + - Newest YouTube user to fight a takedown is copyright guru Lawrence Lessig (arstechnica.com)

onehitwonder writes: Lawrence Lessig has teamed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Liberation Music, which recently demanded that YouTube take down a lecture Lessig had posted that features clips from the song "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix (on Liberation Music's label). Liberation claimed copyright infringement as the reason it demanded the takedown, but in his countersuit, Lessig is claiming Liberation's "overly aggressive takedown violates the DMCA and that it should be made to pay damages," according to Ars Technica.

Submission + - Censorship Doesn't Just Stifle Speech — It Can Spread Disease (wired.com)

Lasrick writes: Maryn McKenna at Wired explores fears of a pandemic of MERS after October's hajj to Saudi Arabia, the annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holy sites: 'The reason is MERS: Middle East respiratory syndrome, a disease that has been simmering in the region for months. The virus is new, recorded in humans for the first time in mid-2012. It is dire, having killed more than half of those who contracted it. And it is mysterious, far more so than it should be—because Saudi Arabia, where the majority of cases have clustered, has been tight-lipped about the disease’s spread, responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome.'

Submission + - 21 Year Old Bank of America Merrill Lynch Intern Dies "From Overwork" (theguardian.com)

dryriver writes: Calls have been made for an overhaul of the long-hours culture among young staff working for banks in the City of London after the death of a "dedicated" German student who had won a sought-after placement at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Moritz Erhardt, 21, had won a place as a summer intern at the London city offices of the US bank and was nearing the end of his placement when he was found dead in the shower at his temporary accommodation in east London by ambulance services on 15 August. Merrill Lynch did not comment on the length of Erhardt's working hours, and also declined to comment on whether interns – who are understood to be paid £45,000 pro rata – are routinely made to work longer than 12-hour days. A fellow intern at the bank described the aspiring student as a "superstar", adding: "He worked very hard and was very focused. We typically work 15 hours a day or more and you would not find a harder worker than him." He told the Evening Standard: "He seemed a lovely guy and was very popular with everyone. He was tipped for greatness."

Submission + - Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews (beyond-black-friday.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon's just created a new web page where they're officially acknowledging fake reviews posted by their customers — and they've even selected their own favorites. ("I was very disappointed to have my uranium confiscated at the airport. It was a gift for my son for his birthday. Also, I’m in prison now, so that’s not good either...") On the front page of Amazon, in big orange letters, Amazon posted "You guys are really funny." And then — next to a funny picture of a rubber horse head mask — Amazon's linked to a list of some of the very best satirical reviews their customers have submitted over the years, noting fondly that "occasionally customer creativity goes off the charts in the best possible way..."

Submission + - When is it ok to not give notice? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Here in the U.S., "being professional" means giving at least two week's notice when leaving a job. Is this an outmoded notion? We've all heard stories about (or perhaps experienced) a quick escort to the parking lot upon giving the normal notice, and I've never heard of a company giving a two week notice to an employee that's being laid off or fired.
A generation ago, providing a lengthy notice was required to get a glowing reference, but these days does a reference hold water any more?
Once you're reached the point where you know it's time to leave, under what circumstances would you just up and walk out or give only a short notice?

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