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Submission + - Lawmakers of both parties voice doubts about NSA surveillance programs (

anontoworld writes: Washington Post: Cole said the programs are legal and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He also said the programs “achieved the right balance” between protecting Americans’ safety and their privacy.

“Both programs are conducted under laws passed by Congress,” Cole said.

The 11 judges on the secret FISA court that approves surveillance “are far from rubber stamps,” he said. “They don’t sign off until they are satisfied that we have met all statutory and constitutional requirements.”

But some lawmakers were not swayed by Cole’s explanation.

Submission + - Rethinking the wetsuit (

symbolset writes: Apparently Australians have come up with the brilliant idea that if you don't want to be eaten by a shark it's best to not go swimming in shark infested waters in a seal costume.

Submission + - Some 13 years after the DeCSS case, Congressional IT endorses VLC (

robp writes: After a link to VLC showed up in one of HBO's DMCA takedown requests, I recalled how often I've linked to VLC in my own copy, and how often I've seen that app noted across traditional-media outlets--even though you could make the same arguments against linking to it that Judge Kaplan bought in 2000. Now, though, even the House's own IT department not only links to this CSS-circumventing app but endorses it. Question is, what led to this enlightenment?

Comment Re:eternal life: "can" does not mean "should" (Score 4, Insightful) 375

On the other hand, people in their 20s often pick up and go somewhere they know nobody, where the culture is very different and they have to pick up a whole new set of assumptions. It's called "college".

I think people in general are far more resilient than you give credit for, especially with the benefit of what would likely be advanced counselling methods.

Perhaps it's not to your liking, that's fine. Some people are more embedded in their world than others. I think I would manage fine, a whole new world to learn would be fascinating! Besides, you could likely still make the decision at that time that you didn't want to continue, no need to make it *now*!

Input Devices

The Mice That Didn't Make It 202

Harry writes "For every blockbuster of the mouse world (such as Microsoft and Logitech's big sellers) there have been countless mice that flopped, or never made it to market. Mice shaped like pyramids; mice shaped like Mickey; mice that doubled as numeric keypads or phones. Even one that sat on your steering wheel. I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples."

Comment Re:Simply solved (Score 1, Interesting) 333

I didn't say there was no iron at the core of the sun, only that there wasn't a great deal of it, at least in comparison.

And to quote the article linked, ''If secular variation is caused by the ocean flow, the entire concept of the dynamo operating in the Earth's core is called into question: there exists no other evidence of hydrodynamic flow in the core.''

So the only evidence of flowing iron at the earth's core causing the earth's magnetic field is ... the existence of the earth's magnetic field itself. That's a bit circular, isn't it?

Comment Re:Simply solved (Score 2, Insightful) 333

The sun doesn't appear to have much in the way of flowing iron at its core either. Does that mean that it can't have a magnetic field?

Essentially the theory stands at : flows of conductive fluid ( salt water, iron, plasma ) can generate magnetic fields. We have no evidence that there is flowing iron in the earth's core, but we have rather a lot of flowing salt water. Hmmm...

Comment Martin Gardner's column in Scientific American (Score 5, Informative) 630

was full of the sort of stuff that's fascinating to inquiring minds. I read one of his collections many moons ago and was enthralled! Not common to find a math book that could be called a "page turner"

Link is to a CD-ROM of all his books

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