Austrian Anarchy writes: Glenn Reynolds has the story on the current state of food desert affairs: "VIDEO: A Driving Tour of a West Knoxville “Food Desert.” UPDATE: You know, this kind of verification (or de-verification) of what the government tells us — what the spy satellite guys call “ground truthing” — could be interesting in all sorts of fields." The video he mentions shows the USDA food desert map, with a zoom to a Google map of the same spots, followed by in-car drive-by video of numerous grocers (including Trader Joe's and Target) throughout a "food desert" in a prosperous area of town.
Austrian Anarchy writes: The US government has been enforcing an RF "Quiet Zone" in West Virginia for over 50 years. From NPR: There are no physical signs you've entered the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that covers the eastern half of West Virginia. But the silence gives you a signal. Somewhere around the Virginia-West Virginia state line, the periodic buzzes and pings of our smartphones stopped.
Austrian Anarchy writes: Via Reason and Wired: Mike Caldwell ran a business called Casascius that printed physical tokens with a bitcoin digital key on it, key hidden behind a tamper proof strip. He's charge you $50 worth of bitcoin to print a key of a bitcoin you sent him via computer on this token. Cool stuff--a good friend of mine found one sitting unnoticed in her tip jar from an event at which she sold her artisan lamps from 2011 and was naturally delighted given the nearly 1000x increase in value of a bitcoin since then.
So, you're making something fun, useful, interesting, harmless---naturally the federal government is very concerned and wants to hobble you.
Just before Thanksgiving, [Caldwell] received a letter from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, the arm of the Treasury Department that dictates how the nation’s anti-money-laundering and financial crime regulations are interpreted. According to FINCEN, Caldwell needs to rethink his business. “They considered my activity to be money transmitting,” Caldwell says. And if you want to transmit money, you must first jump through a lot of state and federal regulatory hoops Caldwell hasn’t jumped through.
Austrian Anarchy writes: The October, 2013 edition of Reason Magazine reports:"The ZXX font is designed to be difficult for machines to read. Former National Security Agency contractor Sang Mun created the font as a response to increasing government incursions on privacy. “I have become dedicated to researching ways to ‘articulate our unfreedom’ and to continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society,” he explained after releasing the font online in June." The article is missing a link to the project page.
Austrian Anarchy writes: NBC Reports that "For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere — but no longer.
A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.
The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.
The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified." Not exactly "Scoop," at least not that they are admitting yet.