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Submission + - NSA's best are 'leaving in big numbers,' insiders say (cyberscoop.com)

schwit1 writes: Low morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency's most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part.

"I do hear that people are increasingly leaving in large numbers and it is a combination of things that start with [morale] and there's now much more money on the outside," Alexander said. "I am honestly surprised that some of these people in cyber companies make up to seven figures. That's five times what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes. Right? And these are people that are 32 years old."

"Do the math. [The NSA] has great competition," he said.

The rate at which these cyber-tacticians are exiting public service has increased over the last several years and has gotten considerably worse over the last 12 months, multiple former NSA officials and D.C. area-based cybersecurity employers have told CyberScoop in recent weeks.

"Morale has always been an issue at NSA, with roughly 20 percent of the workforce doing 80 percent of the actual work," a former official told CyberScoop on the condition of anonymity. "NSA is a place where people retire in place. At some point watching this behavior even for motivated people becomes highly demotivating."

Comment Re:Thinner (Score 2) 329

I think the real reason the phones keep getting thinner is that the components keep getting smaller and while a larger battery could be added, this would add to the weight of the device, which is what I think manufacturers really want to minimize.

Apparently not. It is now known that the note 7 exploded because the battery had no slack space for expansion. That 0.5mm of open space wouldn't have weighed much. Better rigidity of the phone wouldn't add much weight either.

Comment Re:Better be ready to be beat up when layed off wo (Score 1) 531

One thing we do know, the less survival stress people feel and the more other things they can do, the less kids they tend to have. That has proven out in the U.S. and Europe. Knowing that come what may, money for the basics will arrive next Monday and continue to arrive month after month is sure a big stress reliever.

Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

Comment Re:Better be ready to be beat up when layed off wo (Score 1) 531

Providing for yourself and your family used to include establishing a foundation of some sort. Turning a plot of land into a farm, for example. These days, it's not even debt service often enough. No matter how many times you pay the rent, the rent will come due again and the amount can only go up. No amount of faithful service will produce a pension (even people who supposedly have a pension plan may find it gone before they retire) or even a genuine effort to not downsize you. Fully half of the American workforce has no retirement to look forward to, only a day when they will no longer be able to go to work. Stocking shelves, sweeping floors or fixing cars will not have any lasting effect on anything. Even physicians have become interchangeable. THE family doctor does not exist anymore.

Only a few can afford to start a business and even fewer can afford a second try at it.

Sorry to be a downer, but that's the current economic conditions.

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