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Submission + - 70% Of Banks Say Their Employees Committed Fraud (darkreading.com)

yahoi writes: The financial crisis appears to be exacerbating fraud by bank employees: a new survey found that 70 percent of financial institutions say that in the last 12 months they have experienced a case of data theft by one of their workers. Meanwhile, most banks don't want to talk about the insider threat problem and remain in denial, says a former Wachovia Bank executive who handled insider fraud incidents at the bank and has co-authored a new book called Insidious — How Trusted Employees Steal Millions and Why It's So Hard for Banks to Stop Them that investigates several real-world insider fraud cases at banks.

Submission + - G20 Protesters Arrested for Using Twitter (pittsburghlive.com) 1

xappax writes: Two hackers set up a real-time "information clearinghouse" system during the recent protests of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. The system used custom software combined with Twitter to allow them to receive and send instant updates on what was happening during the protests, such as food servings, changes in schedule, and police activity on the streets.
They have both been arrested for "criminal use of a communication facility", and one had his home in Queens raided by FBI anti-terrorism agents.
Is using Twitter to aggregate publicly available information a crime?


Submission + - Dear Lily- A letter to artists against filesharing (youtube.com)

Ronald Dumsfeld writes: Dan Bull makes the perfect musical argument aimed at famous artists who stand up on the label's side, and end up taking down their anti-filesharing blog for doing what she's saying is so wrong.

Dear Lily Allan,
Remember when you pretended, Lily, that you were truly independent, Lily? Faking like you made it all alone but you were legally with Regal, part of Parlophone — oh yes.


Submission + - The Green Guy with an Identity Crisis (linuxslate.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From an article at Linuxslate.com: The Green Guy with an Identity Crisis — Google's little green mascot of the Android Operating System could be much healthier than he is. Trent Reznor of NIN's fame summed it up perfectly: "Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone." I believe it's not too late. Google needs a new name for their Mobile OS. At the very least they need a significant TV and Web advertising campaign to explain the term Android and it's benefits. Manufactures also need some competence in the marketing department. The Little Green Guy deserves a better life. He deserves to have an identity.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 630

There is a place for playing the "passive victims of police violence", and that strategy has worked at certain times in the past and sometimes still in the present. But I ask: did you see any significant coverage of passive victims of police violence in the corporate media? Because there were a lot of such victims. I mean a lot: uninvolved college kids just trying to get around their campus being beaten, sprayed with chem weapons, tackled and arrested, and they just took it. They wandered around helplessly, being abused by police, pleading for them to stop.

Where was that coverage? It's largely a myth that passive victims of police violence are mediagenic. We think of such things as the perfect story, the perfect thing to arouse public sympathy, mostly because we were raised on the powerful images of the civil rights movement. But it happens all the time these days and nobody hears about it, let alone cares.

People like you say that the reason is that we're not getting passively abused enough, but we've been doing this for decades now. At what point do we look at the old strategies and say "this isn't working anymore"? At what point do we straighten our backs and have enough self-respect to defend ourselves when attacked?

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 630

Oh, it happens. The ACLU or NLG brings lawsuits during/after many major protests like this. And sometimes they even win (years later). I've actually heard of more cases where people successfully sue for damages than where people successfully convict cops on criminal charges.

A cynic might say this is because criminal charges actually have a significant negative impact on the police department and would force them to change their policies, wheras civil damages are just a minor inconvenience.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 630

...and then the courts say "Yes, what the police did was illegal. They must now pay $X in damages and say they're sorry." And so the police department gets some money from the city government, or dips into its "lawsuit slush fund" (public tax dollars, either way) and hands out the dough, a bullshit apology statement, and then turns around and buys more weapons for the next protest.

Large summits like the G20 have a security budget, and you can often see a significant amount of money factored in for "legal settlements and costs". This is money they set aside in advance for the fines and damages they know will have to pay for violating people's rights.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 630

"Black bloc" anarchists originally developed as a response to police violence against peaceful demonstrations. Activists got tired of their people getting attacked all the time, and so they organized their own group of black-clad militants who were prepared to protect the crowd with barricades, shields, and physical force.

These so-called hooligans have been responsible for keeping less-organized protesters safe from brutal police many, many times. Of course, it doesn't work out that way, some groups of militant anarchists have had negative effects as well. But it's not as simple as just disassociating from anyone who has the courage to stand up against the cops.

Comment Re:Agents provocateurs (Score 2, Informative) 630

While agent provocateurs are a very real phenomenon, and have been used to discredit political dissidents in the US countless times, you can't chalk everything up to them.

There are genuine, honest activists out there who sabotage storefronts, recruitment centers, police stations, etc during demonstrations. They do it because it's the only way to get the attention of the public and authorities. If it weren't for their actions, we wouldn't even be having conversations about whether the G20 summit and the policies of G20 countries are fucked up or not. Condemn them all you want, if you need, but they started a conversation that badly needs to be started about the path our nation and the global elite is going down.

Comment Re:Borlaug's invention only delayed a problem. (Score 1) 227

That article just blames all other problems on population. Global warming? Wouldn't be happening if there were fewer people. Famine? That amount of food would be plenty for fewer people. Warfare, environmental devastation? Fewer people!

We've been destroying the environment, starving, and killing each other for generations. These are not new problems, and they're not created by overpopulation. Certainly the more people there are, the more of all these things happen - but the solution is to fix the problems, not create less people.

I even agree that having less people is a desirable thing, but it's not the root of all our problems. Acting as though it is will just distract us from addressing the real issues of concern here. Unfortunately, those issues are more political and nuanced than just "people should stop breeding!".

Comment Re:Fortunately Population Growth Rate is Slowing (Score 1) 227

...and yet people are still starving and/or dying of poverty-related illnesses in droves. All this overflowing prosperity and we still can't (or won't) share the benefit with those who are dying from lack of it.

Ever think that maybe it's not the number of people on earth that's the problem, it's just the particular ones who happen to have the most power?

Comment Re:Mod parent down, spurious data... (Score 1) 853

You're right that my perspective is a very US-centric one - I can't really speak to what's appropriate for a country like France, since so much of their infrastructure is already nuclear. In general, I think any country that hasn't already sunk huge amounts of money into nuclear would be foolish to start doing so now, because that money could be spent better on other tech.

I'm unclear on why (a) it is an "either / or" with nuclear power to you

I wish it weren't, I wish we had a blank check to do whatever it takes to kill coal, but unfortunately that's not how the US government seems to be approaching things. There's a limited amount of money available for non-coal subsidies, and the nuclear industry is getting /far/ more than its share of it. A cynic would say that it's because the same energy tycoons who've been burning coal all this time are now having their lobbyists draw up proposals for nuclear plants in an effort to keep the government cheese flowing and their business model undisrupted for as long as possible. The problem is that businessmen and politicians are presenting (and funding, respectively) nuclear power like it's the central solution to our problems, when in reality it has a peripherally supporting role at best.

So that might explain where I'm coming from better - you thought I was arguing in favor of coal when I pointed out problems with nuclear, but really my concern is to combat the overly enthusiastic way that nuclear is being embraced over sustainable tech in the US.

and (b) why you think nuclear power has such a longer lead in time than renewable.

I guess it's just a function of the complexity of the technology, and perhaps the safety precautions necessary. A solar or wind farm can be set up and operating at peak production quite quickly, whereas building a nuclear reactor and getting it online is a very long-term proposition. I'm sure that the time could be shortened by eliminating or weakening safety and environmental red tape, but I'd hope we're all against that.

let's also clear up exactly what we mean by subsidies here. That money is primarily going into R&D.

Again, not in the US. Energy companies (most of whom are running coal plants) are seeking government funding for the construction and operation of nuclear plants. Maybe they have a position on it, but I've never heard environmental groups like Greenpeace object to funding nuclear R&D, just the building of new nuke plants.

If you are arguing in favor of solar power in place of nuclear, then you'll find no argument from me as far as you are able to provide solar power to me. But if you can't provide me enough power from renwables, then I want the shortfall made up in nuclear power until you can,

Engineers concerned with energy efficiency sometimes talk about the "low hanging fruit". Basically, we need to start by optimizing the things that provide the most optimization with the least cost, and then move on to whatever is the next "lowest hanging fruit". Right now, solar power during the day and wind power during wind is really, really low hanging fruit. When it's day, a solar plant really does provide almost free energy, and similarly for a wind farm when there's wind. Granted these technologies aren't the full solution, but they're very clearly the most effective place to start. Once we're getting as much energy as possible out of renewables, then it makes sense to look at how to optimize the remainder of our coal use, with nuclear or what-have-you. But until we've tackled that low hanging fruit, devoting so much resources to other optimizations is inefficient. And in some cases, it's being used as deliberate misdirection by business people to distract us from the sustainable solutions which can severely cripple their coal-based business model right now.

Comment Re:Mod parent down, spurious data... (Score 1) 853

You're absolutely right that there's more to the energy issue than carbon emissions - it's too bad people focus on the CO2 problem without considering the other political consequences of energy use. However, when we talk about coal, it doesn't have much to do with nasty dictatorships, because almost all coal is domestic. Oil is a different story of course, since we can't produce enough to fuel all our vehicles. And come to think of it, I'm not sure whether we can produce enough uranium domestically either, so that could end with us still dependent on bad regimes...do you know?

I'm not really up for playing the citation game, if you trust that I'm not making things up, you can (and probably ought to) do the research yourself. If you think I'm completely fabricating this argument you can ignore me.

The bottom line is that we're both right. A fully operational nuclear plant can produce power more efficiently than a coal plant. But that's not the only thing to consider. We're both agreed that nuclear plants can only work with huge government subsidy, so the question is one of opportunity cost: if the government has to pay to build our coal alternatives, should we be putting that money into tech that won't be online for a decade? Because that means an entire decade of continued dependence on coal. And even once they're online, it's not like nuclear is free energy, just somewhat more efficient than coal. Fuel still needs to be mined, transported, processed, and then disposed of safely, all of which are very energy intensive.

Sustainable technologies can start making a very significant dent in coal use within a year or two. And yes, I know that solar power alone can't completely replace coal. But sustainable power in general can make a /huge/ reduction in coal use and it can do it soon, when we need it.

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