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Submission + - Bruce Schneier Kicked Off TSA Hearing Witness List (

Mr_Perl writes: "From Bruce's blog: "I was supposed to testify today about the TSA in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was informally invited a couple of weeks ago, and formally invited last Tuesday. On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program. But it's pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress."

Comment (Score 1) 55

I used to believe too, but lately I've discovered that their review process is highly biased in favor of the product manufacturer. For example if you sell a product that is fraudulent, and have your company's employees all buy one and leave a glowing review, you'll have a solid five stars. Should anyone post a review that contains an unusual abundance of critical wording (they seem to have an algorithm for this) you will find that it's automatically rejected.

For a current example of this, have a good look at the reviews (note that most positive reviewers also reviewed with five stars all the manufacturer's other products too) for a product called neumactil, which claims to be as effecitve as an asthma inhaler. It's actually a cream with inert ingredients, propped up by a "research paper" that is essentially unscientific gibberish. Hopefully nobody will actually believe it, but since so many trust Amazon's review system implicitly, some will be bound to suffer.

Should you agree that it's not a legit product, go ahead and try to leave a critical review. Odds are good that it will be auto-rejected until you load it up with positive hyperbole.

Comment Re:Very Old News (Score 1) 394

Agreed that it's old news. I checked a few online retailers, like amazon, after reading this and primatene is selling out. Good marketing ploy at least by some clever person.

I buy non-cfc albuterol, and it's not 3x as expensive as the OTC stuff these guys are hawking. It's actually a little cheaper.


Submission + - Linux Journal Goes Surprise-Digital (

Mr_Perl writes: "Linux Journal sent out an email to subscribers today announcing that they are going 100% digital. Subscribers signed on for a paper version of the journal, and now have been switched to an electronic version, apparently at the exact same subscription rate. No news yet on why they did it, and no sign of any offers to reimburse unused subscriptions for subscribers who are disappointed."

Comment Re:Factory farming should stop, really (Score 1) 298

You'd think people ate nothing but chicken, or possibly meat, by your argument.

I'll give you a utilitarian argument that does make sense, however:

It's a well accepted fact that you can feed far more people on grain than meat. Meat is a very wasteful way to get nutrition because of all the grain that it requires, which could be used as nutrition for many more people.

Assuming the price of chicken (one of the least inefficient meats) were to go up, demand will decline, and as a consequence of simple economics, since the price increase is caused by a situation not advantageous to the producer, production of chicken would decline. Obviously at that point the supply of grain available for human consumption would increase, with lowering in price being a primary consequence of that.

So the net effect would be the complete opposite: an increase in affordable alternative nutrition for the population. And incidentally, a decrease in the costs of treating diseases introduced into the food supply may also provide a utilitarian benefit.

Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"

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