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Comment WTF is this? (Score 3, Informative) 118

...in most parts of the country it is only available from local growers during the cooler weeks at either end of the growing season...

What country is this you speak of? AFAIK broccoli is on the shelves of my local stores pretty much all year. Sure, it's imported from somewhere insanely far away like China or Africa or Tierra del Fuego half the time, but it's there.

Not that I eat it, mind you. It's on the banned list, like Brussels sprouts. As Nicholas Freeling said about British peas, all I can suggest is that it be put into concrete barrels with radioactive waste and the Mafia, and sunk in the ocean.

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"I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed inter-state commerce." -- J Edgar Hoover

The Courts

Whistleblowing IT Director Fired By FL State Attorney 569

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kruidbos, the IT director for the Florida State Attorney's Office who'd spoken up when important cellphone evidence he'd extracted from Trayvon Martin's cellphone was withheld by the state from the defense, was fired by messenger at 7:30 PM Friday, after closing arguments in the Zimmerman case. He was told that he could not be 'trusted to set foot in this office,' and that he was being fired for incompetence. Kruidbos had received a merit pay raise earlier this year. The firing letter also blames him for consulting a lawyer, an obvious sign of evil."
Biotech

A Scientist's Quest For Perfect Broccoli 118

HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "For all the wonders of fresh broccoli, in most parts of the country it is only available from local growers during the cooler weeks at either end of the growing season, nowhere near long enough to become a fixture in grocery stores or kitchens. But now Michael Moss writes in the NY Times that Thomas Bjorkman is out to change all that by creating a new version of the plant that can thrive in hot, steamy summers like those in New York, South Carolina or Iowa and is easy and inexpensive enough to grow in large volumes. And Bjorkman's quest doesn't stop there: His crucifer is also crisp, subtly sweet and utterly tender when eaten fresh-picked and aims to maximize the concentration of glucoraphanin, a mildly toxic compound used by plants to fight insects that in humans may stimulate our bodies' natural chemical defenses to aid in preventing cancer and warding off heart disease. The Eastern Broccoli Project's goal is to create a regional food network for an increasingly important and nutritious vegetable that may serve as a model network for other specialty crops to help shift American attitudes toward fruits and vegetables by increasing their allure and usefulness in cooking, while increasing their nutritional loads. 'If you've had really fresh broccoli, you know it's an entirely different thing,' says Bjorkman, a plant scientist at Cornell University. 'And if the health-policy goal is to vastly increase the consumption of broccoli, then we need a ready supply, at an attractive price.'"
Businesses

Say What? Wading Through the Nonsense In Microsoft's Re-Org Memo 165

curtwoodward writes "Steve Ballmer's attempt to reorganize Microsoft into a more focused company will define his legacy as CEO. So you'd think the wordsmiths in Redmond would take a little time ensuring their message was crystal-clear, right? Not exactly. Ballmer's big, gung-ho memo to Microsofties, posted on the company's website, is chock full of nonsense and corporate executive doublespeak — or, as Ballmer might say, `high-value experiences' that will `involve repartitioning the work' and `drive partners across our integrated strategy and its execution.' Huh?" Honest language in corporate communications is a rare quality. I suspect there's a special language-butchering training course that most C-level executives enthusiastically complete.
Businesses

Say What? Wading Through the Nonsense In Microsoft's Re-Org Memo 165

curtwoodward writes "Steve Ballmer's attempt to reorganize Microsoft into a more focused company will define his legacy as CEO. So you'd think the wordsmiths in Redmond would take a little time ensuring their message was crystal-clear, right? Not exactly. Ballmer's big, gung-ho memo to Microsofties, posted on the company's website, is chock full of nonsense and corporate executive doublespeak — or, as Ballmer might say, `high-value experiences' that will `involve repartitioning the work' and `drive partners across our integrated strategy and its execution.' Huh?" Honest language in corporate communications is a rare quality. I suspect there's a special language-butchering training course that most C-level executives enthusiastically complete.

Comment You don't really want a black hole (Score 1) 284

Actually, you probably don't want an appliance powered by a black hole, because those convert matter into energy via Hawking radiation and the energy output actually ramps UP as the size decreases. A very small black hole, say, 1 kg in weight (a little over 2 pounds) would convert itself into energy in about 84 attoseconds and release the same energy as a 21 megaton nuke or so.

You'd need a pretty big one for it to be stable, and I doubt you really want a vacuum cleaner weighing as much as the Everest :p

On the other hand, if we ever tame one, it would make an awesome source of energy for something that needs a lot more energy. Such as a continent. Or a warp-capable ship. Hmm, the Romulans were up to something.

Of course, it would still be a Tamagochi that blows up with the fury of a supernova if you forget to "feed" it, but, hey, it's all good as long as we call it a warp core breach. Right?

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Romulan singularity warp cores though... I hear the Tal'Shiar are nastier than the NSA and CIA put together ;)

Comment Re:OFFTOPIC: Slashdot Kremlin story just pulled? (Score 2) 192

All American Politicians are leftists. Just a different variety than you think.

They are one of two varieties: Sexual libertines (what passes for the true left in the United States) or fiscal libertines (what passes for the right in the United States).

You can tell the sexual libertines by their rabid defense of the abortion industry and an absolutist right for everybody to the Holy Orgasm.

You can tell the fiscal libertines by their rabid defense of the financial industry and an absolutist right for the rich to control the Holy Grail of Private Property.

But both are liberals, make no mistake.

Japan

Japanese Gov't Accidentally Shares Internal Email Over Google Groups 25

itwbennett writes "An official at Japan's Ministry of the Environment created a Google Group to share email and documents related to Japan's negotiations during a meeting held in Geneva in January, but used the default privacy settings, which left the exchanges wide open. According to Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, over 6,000 items, including private contact information of government officials, was publicly accessible. Michihiru Oi, a ministry official, said the ministry has its own system for creating groups and sharing documents, but it doesn't always function well outside of Japan, sometimes leading to 'poor connections' and a 'bad working environment.'"
Government

E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia 88

New submitter paavo512 writes "Server-side source code used for electronic voting was made fully public by Estonian officials on July 11 (in Estonian). The aim is to encourage more specialists to get involved in the technical analysis of the software. It is hoped that public overview will help to ensure the security of the system. E-voting has been successfully used five times in Estonia since 2007. It facilitates national ID cards which are obligatory for all citizens. In the next municipal elections later this year it is planned to test an experimental feature where the voter can check via a physically separate channel (smart phone) if his or her vote has been registered correctly. The publicized source code is available at GitHub."

Comment Not too surprising (Score 4, Interesting) 213

I have to say, I enjoy Gladwell's books. They're interesting and thought provoking. However, I've noticed a sort of pattern. He gives lots of examples of his theories, and the examples always sound compelling, but whenever I know about the example he's using in detail, his analysis is generally wrong. They're not patently provably wrong, but just wrong enough to make me uneasy and think, "This is a really weak argument here. If I knew about his other examples in detail, would they be equally weak?"

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