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Privacy

Submission + - $1B of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless (wordpress.com)

TheNextCorner writes: "This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort."

Submission + - A Nude Awakening — TSA and privacy (oudaily.com)

DIplomatic writes: The Oklahoma Daily has a terrific, well-written editorial about the current state of airport security. Though the subject has overly-commented on, this article is well worth the read.

          The risk of a terrorist attack is so infinitesimal and its impact so relatively insignificant that it doesn’t make rational sense to accept the suspension of liberty for the sake of avoiding a statistical anomaly.
          There's no purpose in security if it debases the very life it intends to protect, yet the forced choice one has to make between privacy and travel does just that. If you want to travel, you have a choice between low-tech fondling or high-tech pornography; the choice, therefore, to relegate your fundamental rights in exchange for a plane ticket. Not only does this paradigm presume that one'(TM)s right to privacy is variable contingent on the government's discretion and only respected in places that the government doesn't care to look — but it also ignores that the fundamental right to travel has consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court.
          If we have both the right to privacy and the right to travel, then TSA's newest procedures cannot conceivably be considered legal. The TSAâ½Â's regulations blatantly compromise the former at the expense of the latter, and as time goes on we will soon forget what it meant to have those rights.

Businesses

Submission + - Undercover Boss role opens Airline CEO's eyes (usatoday.com)

suraj.sun writes: Undercover Boss' role opens Republic Airways CEO's eyes:

He went from head honcho of an airline company to the guy dumping the lavatory waste from the aircraft. It all happened when Republic Airways Holdings' Chairman, President and CEO Bryan Bedford disguised himself to work undercover on the front lines with employees at his Indianapolis-based company. He did it for an episode of the TV series "Undercover Boss" that will air at 9 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

He said he learned all sorts of things but perhaps most important, he learned what he was doing wrong as a boss. "What was eye-opening, the most noticeable thing was just the disconnect and (poor) communication between the management team and front-line employees," Bedford said.

While working in different roles for the company — including cleaning aircraft, checking baggage, dumping aircraft toilets and standing at the ticket counter — he asked fellow employees why they didn't take their complaints to management to implore change. The same response came time and time again: "No, I've talked to management about this stuff, and they never listen," Bedford said.

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-10-16-undercover-boss_N.htm

Microsoft

Submission + - What Microsoft must do to save its mobile business (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: Microsoft has tossed out its mobile management team (without admitting so), but is that enough to make Microsoft matter in mobile? InfoWorld's Galen Gruman argues that a lot more is needed than a management change if Microsoft hopes to have a future in the emerging mobile world. In his blog, he lays out a tough 5-point prescription for Microsoft to get back in the game. For starters, Microsoft has to get out of the mindset that it's OK to ship crap that it might fix later on.

Submission + - Slashdot just got trolled (slashdot.org) 1

davecb writes: The posting "INTERPOL Granted Diplomatic Immunity In the US" is the diametrically opposite to the article it describes, which points out that Interpol *didn't* get granted diplomatic immunity. You probably should say something like "Update: this is the opposite of what the referenced article says".

--dave

Earth

Submission + - Evolution Fails More Often than it Succeeds

Hugh Pickens writes: "Olivia Judson writes in the NY Times about the illusion that evolution is more powerful than it is because we keep studying evolutionary rescues, not evolutionary failures and are misled by laboratory experiments on the resilience of species. "Whether a population can evolve to cope with new circumstances depends on how much underlying genetic variation there is: do any individuals in the population have the genes to cope, even barely, with the new environment, or not?" writes Judson. "If not, everybody dies, and it's game over." Judson posits a population of algae living for generations in a comfy freshwater pool where due to a ghastly accident the pool becomes super-salty. Will the algae evolve and survive? "If the population immediately goes extinct, you have no experiment (at least, not one you can publish)." Judson adds that where no previous capacity exists, evolving a brand new trait can be a slow and haphazard affair and writes that in one noted case it took bacteria 31,000 generations to evolve the capacity to process an alternative food source. "If most organisms have to wait 31,000 generations to evolve a useful new trait they will probably go extinct first. Worse, many natural populations are shrinking fast, further reducing their evolutionary potential. In short, we can expect that if the environment continues to change as rapidly as it is at the moment many creatures will fail to meet their evolve-by dates.""
Privacy

Submission + - /. Reader On Murderous Rampage 1

airos4 writes: "/. reader Airos4 went on a murderous rampage today using a rubber chicken and three small grapes. When asked for his motivation he replied "Every friggin story on the intertubes today is some hack trying to be funny, and you know what? It just isn't. The fourteenth joke about how the next game is going to be Muzak Hero or The Pirate Bay was 'just kidding' just isn't." During the rampage CmdrTaco fought valiantly using Iphone-fu, but was brought down by a Blackberry to the temple. Finally a large whale fell from suspiciously suborbital speeds, crushing Airos4. A small potted plant offered only the comment "Oh no, not again.""
Music

Submission + - I Fought the iPod and the iPod Won

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times has a good review of a new book, Appetite for Self Destruction, by music insider Steve Knopper who says that the music industry has largely been responsible for its own demise and that with even a little foresight, record companies could have adapted to the Internet's new realities and thrived. Knopper traces the death of the music industry to the elimination of the single. "It got young people out of the habit of regularly visiting record stores and forced them to buy an entire CD to get the one song they craved." In the short term this was good business practice but in the long term it built up animosity and when Napster and other music-sharing Web sites showed up, the single came back with a vengeance. Then instead of striking a deal with a service that had more than 26 million users, labels sued, forcing it to close as users simply splintered, fleeing to many other file-sharing sites. "That was the last chance," Knopper writes, "for the record industry as we know it to stave off certain ruin." The release of the iPod was the coup de grâce as Apple became America's biggest music retailer while music executives watched, apoplectic and helpless. "Apple had basically taken over the entire music business," writes Knopper. Among music companies there's always the hope that if they wait Apple's near monopoly on music sales will be broken by other devices and services, allowing the labels to bargain for a better cut on song sales. But that could be a long wait."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft issued workaround for Zune problems 1

UnknowingFool writes: As a followup to the Zune New Year's Eve meltdown, Microsoft has issued a workaround for what some users have correctly guessed was bug caused by a leap year: Basically let the Zune drain the batteries and restart it after noon on January 1, 2009. Many sites are reporting that Microsoft has "fixed" the issue, but technically all Microsoft has done is to ask users to wait out the conditions which caused the bug. Until a software patch comes out, Zunes will suffer the same problem again in four years.
Programming

Submission + - Hardware is Cheap, Programmers are Expensive (magheap.com)

Sportsqs writes: Given the rapid advance of Moore's Law, when does it make sense to throw hardware at a programming problem? As a general rule, I'd say almost always.
Consider the average programmer salary here in the US:
You probably have several of these programmer guys or gals on staff. I can't speak to how much your servers may cost, or how many of them you may need. Or, maybe you don't need any — perhaps all your code executes on your users' hardware, which is an entirely different scenario. Obviously, situations vary. But even the most rudimentary math will tell you that it'd take a massive hardware outlay to equal the yearly costs of even a modest five person programming team.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Why Facebook needs a government bailout (idg.com.au) 1

Hippo the Hippo writes: It's all doom and gloom on the economic front. The latest corporate giant to suffer the effects of the US recession is social-networking site Facebook. According to Valleywag Facebook has lost $13.7 imaginary dollars in value (based on how much Microsoft paid for a stake last year). PC World explains why the US government needs to step in and bail out Facebook before it's too late.

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