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Comment Complete Hogwash (Score 1) 218

If the weather cannot be accurately predicted 100% of the time for three days in advance, why would anyone believe they can predict it based on some trending for the next 50 years? Or maybe this is perhaps generated by some political agenda to get a government grant..? Follow the money. This happens far more than people might suspect.

Next up from the university: predicting earthquakes and stock market indexes for the years 2041-2060!

Comment Powers of Congress?! (Score 1) 52

Where does it say in the constitution that congress is responsible for being a consumer or even privacy watchdog? Isn't that the responsibility of the FTC Bereau of Consumer Protection, CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), the newly created Department of Consumer Protection or the CPSC (Consumer Protection Safety Commission)? See below for links.. these are separate organizations of government.

I think the congressional hearings are far, far too used. I watch as ignorant senators call up Goldman Sachs or Toyota and grill them on practices and safety. Meanwhile, they can't pass a budget for the bloated, ignorant government to run on. Senators act like royalty, yet they're the ones trading on insider information and often the ones who caused the problem with restrictive laws or regulations in the first place.

The gut instinct of all of us, when we see an article like this,l is to say, "My privacy is important!" and to be a little thankful for the government to be the oversight when we feel powerless, *yet* its the government who is tapping out phones, e-mails and electronic communication illegally. Am I the only one who recognizes how bad things have become??!

-- Ragetech

Links: - FTC - CFPB - Department of Consumer Protection - CPSC

Comment Leverage vs. Lock-In (Score 1) 1

In dealing with a lot of these vendors for a very large company myself, I have to say this isn't a single-year change for them. A lot of these vendors probably have their hands deep in the pockets of some of these agencies, and will be reticent to change the model. They'll say they will work with them, however behind the scenes they'll just be strategizing on how to get the exact same cash flows from them.

At the same time, the government is operating from a position with no leverage. Engineering out some of these solutions may take many years and itself comes with a large expense, hence the "lock-in".

The *only* way the CIA will pay less is if they introduce a truly competitive threat. Although they may openly bid on solutions to get the best price, they only way they can actually do this is to start growing their own solutions using Open Source and hire good people. And I can tell you, at the government salary scales I've seen that's going to be a real challenge.

Good luck, "Gus"!

Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Bluetooth Headset Confirmed! (

mac.man25 writes: "Apple seems to have goofed on their site again about some unreleased hardware, the Apple iPhone page has lots of info about the iphone including a new bluetooth headset. I also chatted with an Apple rep about the new device, and he all but confirmed it. Check out the transcript of the chat and a screen shot of the iPhone Page."

Submission + - Liquid Puddles on Mars? (

An anonymous reader writes: It seems hard to believe, but physicist Ron Levin claims that the Opportunity rover found puddles on Mars filled with a clear substance (possibly water or ice). That is to say, he is suggesting that water CURRENTLY exists on the surface of Mars. Could this possibly be consistent with the laws of physics, previous Mars survey mission photos, or previous Matrian spectroscopy? Is this just totally crazy? Judge for yourself. Details here.

Submission + - Apple Making Money Internationally More So Than US

kobe_2104 writes: "Is Apple making more money through the international exchange markets than what many people are lead to believe? A recent example was used to see if Apple updated their prices in local countries based on the current exchange rates between those countries and the US. A MacBook Pro with the following additional extras was used a the example: 160Gb 7200RPM HDD, 17" High Res Glossy Widescreen Display. Pricing this on the US Apple Store shows the price as being $3049 US. Pricing this on the AUS Apple Store shows the price as being $4368.99 AU. Using the $0.8436 AU to US conversion rate at the time of writing this, one could buy the MacBook Pro in the US for $3614 AUS. Why is there a $750 difference in price between the two countries? One would think the prices can't be THAT far apart because of shipping costs, especially considering China is a closer relation of Australia than it is the US. Does Apple have a reason for this and are other countries experiencing the same discrepancy in prices compared to the US? This certainly looks like a money grab by Apple based on fluctuating exchange rates which would "advantage" Apple, especially in Australia."

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