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Comment Re:Space elevator coming next? (Score 2) 159

You're thinking of carbon nanotubes, not graphene. Graphene is a layer of carbon only a few atoms thick, which (like carbon nanotubes) is electrically conductive, and (unlike carbon nanotubes) is also transparent. So if they can iron out the manufacturing issues, they can create transparent panels (like glass) that are electrically conduct. This has all kinds of useful applications for display panels (transparent ipads, anyone?), windows that function as TVs, monitors, solar energy collectors, etc.

Comment Re:totally misrepresents the Wen Ho Lee case (Score 1) 215

"Restricted Data is always classified. RD is a category of classified information, and can be of any classification level" - Are you just making this up? "Restricted" (a classification level no longer used) was equivalent to ''Sensitive but Unclassified' or 'For Official Use Only' - it does not require a separate hardened computer system, nor cryptographically secure storage.

I have to question which government labs you've worked at, because they don't all deal in classified information. - I worked at the Army Research Laboratory and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Both deal in classified material (but I did not)

And, supposedly having worked at a government lab and knowing how all of this works, you would also know that even if some classified piece of information is in the public domain, someone with a clearance and knowledge of that information is not allowed to confirm the truth of said information, nor are they allowed to handle it however they feel. It's true that 'it's already out there' is not a legal defense to disseminating classified material (yet - there are a number of people who have suggested adding such a caveat into the law), but it does dramatically undercut the government's claims against Wen Ho Lee that his activities hurt national security.

Comment Re:totally misrepresents the Wen Ho Lee case (Score 1) 215

"I'm also struggling to comprehend how the case could have "fallen apart", because they found classified information in his house and his unclassified computer" - (A) The material they found was classified as 'restricted', not 'secret'. Having worked in multiple government laborities, I can tell you that restricted in this sense means confidential but not classified (in the same sense that social security numbers and other personal information are not to be made public) (B) Another LANL physicist, John Ricther, testified that "99 percent" of what they found in Lee's house was already in the public domain.

Comment Re:Hack Job (Score 2) 215

"He never once describes the scientific culture that is the subject" - actually, he does, by saying several times that such a separate culture does not exist: "Pete Nanos ran his lab into the ground by insisting on the existence of a distinctive culture that was largely an artifact of his own imagination... Second, the organizational dysfunction at Los Alamos has been misdiagnosed as a problem of culture; it is more likely a problem of structure."

Comment Re:Barack Obama (Score 2) 343

"Given that the civil liberties you speak about really comes from the legislative branch of Government and not the Executive" - that's wrong both philosophically and realistically. In the philosophy of law, civil liberties originate in natural law and are codified in the Constitution. That's the essential difference between a right and a privilege - a privilege can be revoked, a right cannot. It is your right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process, and the Constition says as much.

Now where Obama is concerned, during the 2008 campaign criticized the Bush administration for holding people without trial indefinitely and torturing them. But once elected, within weeks of taking office he secretely promised Bush administration officials that they would not be investigated by the Justice department (which is part of the executive branch). He said he would close Guantanamo Bay (which he could do with an executive order) and didn't. His administration done more to prosecutive whisteblowers than any previous administration (by far). And now he claims the right to have the military (also in the executive branch) kill an American citizen without due process just because he says they are involved in terrorism. Even Bush would never have done that.

So no, he absolutely does not deserve a free pass.

Comment Barack Obama (Score 2) 343

Obama's rhetoric on civil liberties during the 2008 campaign was spot on. Given how horrible his actual civil liberties track record has been - "Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States" is how Jonathan Turley described him in a recent LA Times opo-ed - I'd like to hear him or one of his spokespeople try to defend his record on this matter.

Comment Identity of the subject (Score 1) 175

It took me all of 5 minutes to figure out the identity of the woman. There are very, very few women who live to be 115, and Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of them. Since 2006, only three women have died at the age of 115. The BBC article says the women entered assisted living at the age of 105. I tried cross referencing that with their Wikipedia biographies, and bam - "She lived on her own until 1999 when she was 105 years old, and resided at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles until her death." The identify of the woman is Gertrude Baines.

Comment Re:DOE projects (Score 3, Informative) 89

The DOE categorizes their supercomputers into capacity machines and capability machines.

The capacity machines are the work horses - time-shared between lots of users doing a variety of applications (including material science, life science, nuclear simulation, etc). The spend pretty much their entire lives near maximum utilization.

The capability machines are the really big ones (Jaguar, Road Runner, etc) that are big enough to permit applications that are too large (require too much RAM or have absurdly long running times) to run on most systems. (Capability machines are also quite difficult to administer because none of the software they run has ever been tested at those scales)

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