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Submission + - The Smog to Fog Challenge: Settling the High-Speed Rail vs. Hyperloop Debate (xconomy.com)

waderoush writes: Elon Musk thinks California should kill its $68 billion high-speed rail project and build his $7.5 billion Hyperloop instead. It's a false choice. We should pursue all promising new options for efficient mass transit, and let the chips fall where they may; if it turns out after a few years that Musk's system is truly faster and cheaper, there will still be time to pull the plug on high-speed rail. But why not make things interesting? Today Xconomy proposes a competition in the grand tradition of the Longitude Prize, the Orteig Prize, and the X Prizes: the $10 billion Smog to Fog Challenge. The money, to be donated by big corporations, would go to the first organization that delivers a live human from Los Angeles to San Francisco, over a fixed ground route, in 3 hours or less. Such a prize would incentivize both publicly and privately funded innovation in high-speed transit — and show that we haven't lost the will to think big.

Submission + - Experiences and Realities of an Homesourced IT worker (blogspot.com)

toygeek writes: Some companies have small corporate offices with a few desks and some basic staff, and the balance of their staff works from home. I have worked for two companies that have home-sourced their staffing. I wish to take you through my journey in working from home in the IT world and share some facts that I've accumulated along the way.

Submission + - Prosecutors charge man with child porn in encryption case

jsrjsr writes: Remember the software engineer accused of possessing child pornography who was refusing to decrypt his hard drives? He was having some success in court, but it sounds like the FBI was able to decrypt some images without his cooperation. Here is an update from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A West Allis man who has been fighting federal prosecutors' efforts to make him decrypt computer drives seized from his home as part of a child pornography investigation was arrested Tuesday...

Submission + - Google: Gmail users have no expectation of privacy (cbsnews.com)

PatPending writes: FTFA: Google has made it clear that people who send or receive email via Gmail should not expect their messages to remain private.

In a 39-page motion filed in June to have a class-action data-mining lawsuit dismissed, the Web giant cites Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 Supreme Court decision that upheld the collection of electronic communications without a warrant.

"Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.'"

Submission + - Practical mathematics for programmers? 1

Dimwit writes: The best part about programming is that I can decide that I want a new text editor or a new video game or a new multiprotocol router, and I can write it, and when I'm done, I have a new text editor or video game or multiprotocol router. Mathematics has never been that way for me — I never sit and think "I sure would like to find the area under a curve!" and then come up with a way to do it. So what's a good path for the practical programmer to take towards mathematics? One with goals and problems to solve that aren't the same old boring word problems?

Submission + - Rare 388-Year-Old Bonsai Tree Survived Hiroshima Atomic Blast (ibtimes.com) 1

Rebecka writes: According to a report from TwistedSifter.com, one in particular, a rare Japanese White Pine from Miyajima is not only 388-years-old, but also reportedly survived the Hiroshima blast in Japan on Aug. 6, 1945. The bonsai, currently on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United State National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., has been deemed a “Hiroshima Survivor.”

The bonsai which was originally created in 1625 and owned by the late Masaru Yamaki, a bonsai master and longtime member of the Japanese bonsai community, was reportedly caring for the specific tree among others the day of the Hiroshima bombing. According to the National Bonsai Foundation the tree survived even after the bomb exploding less than two miles from their family hom

Submission + - Google StreetView Goes Inside the Doctor's Tardis (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: One of London's blue police telephone boxes is still standing outside Earl's Court tube station. Google's StreetView has gone inside and found that it is in fact the Tardis from Doctor Who. Full marks for a good Easter Egg, though disappointingly visitors emerge in the same time and place they entered the machine.

Submission + - Kryptos sculpture solved (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It took eight years after artist Jim Sanborn unveiled his cryptographic sculpture at the CIA’s headquarters for someone to succeed at cracking Kryptos’s enigmatic messages.

Wikipedia has even tracked its progress — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptos

Submission + - US Gov Sued Over Massive Data Breach / 4th Amendment Violation (washingtontimes.com)

cold fjord writes: They had a warrant, they just took a few things that that warrant didn't permit (allegedly). According to the report, IRS agents: . . threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing . . medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over,” . . ." More: "A healthcare provider has sued the Internal Revenue Service and 15 of its agents, charging they wrongfully seized 60 million medical records from 10 million Americans. . . the agency violated the Fourth Amendment in 2011, when agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee – and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges. The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said, ..." More here.

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