They're not (usually) going to sniff your internet traffic... They'll more likely look at browser history and file contents, and usually in the "normal" places for the usual file extensions. Running an alternate operating system renders the issue moot.
1) Download and install VMware Player
2) Download and install the Linux distro of your choice, with a small disk so it doesn't waste too much space.
3) Enjoy all the surfing you want.
Yeah, you said it was probably locked down, I know. But maybe this is something you can ask about? This is what I do, but I usually carry my own personal laptop.
1) Download your favorite distro's "live" CD
2) Boot it up and have a good time.
You should be able to do that at least, right? You can save files/configurations to a stick.
1) Download your favorite distro
2) Write it to a stick with LiLi USB Creator (Windows) or one if the million such apps on Linux, such as usb_creator.
3) Boot that up and rock on.
Yeah, Dropbox. Great product for the money, and it supports Linux, Mac, Windows, and Unix. It requires no thought on your part as files are automatically uploaded and synced to your other computer whenever they are created or updated. You can retrieve old copies of files too, which is handy when you clobber one accidentally. It supports syncing of TrueCrypt volumes. And it's free up to 2 GB. You can get additional free space (up to 8GB IIRC) if you send invites to your friends and colleagues.
Security is an issue, however. They encrypt the files on their servers, but the key is not stored particularly securely on your local servers, workstations, and laptops. I don't worry because I encrypt sensitive files myself. I use TrueCrypt for the most part, but you can use encrypted zip files.
Flamebait? Hardly. It's dead on. US space policy has been a mess since the day after Apollo 11. Before then, we had a clear mission. That mission was to land on the moon, and do it before the Soviets. We accomplished that mission. The next mission was to establish a space station, a moon base, and a cheaper way to get to them both. The shuttle could have been significantly cheaper but contractors, congress, and NASA itself got in the way. (Reusable SRBs? Really? How much did we "save" reusing them?) And there was no more sense of mission like there was before Apollo 11. Public apathy too.
So, in my humble opinion, not flamebait.
Because of stupid NASA planning, true. But only partly. NASA contractors overinflated project costs whenever possible to build their stake. And congress couldn't keep their stinking fingers out of the pie, constantly micro-managing NASA spending. It was, and still is, a mess. I watched it for 15 years at JSC in Houston before I could no longer stand it.
Dropbox, like any and every other internet entity, is subject to the laws of their land, and therefore must provide data when requested by valid court order. As for Dropbox having access to my data, again, this is not a surprise considering my first point.
Personally, the utility of Dropbox is worth the risk. However, it is incumbent on me to be careful what data I put on Dropbox, and in what format. When I put sensitive data on Dropbox, it has been encrypted. Since I am sharing files on multiple computers I really don't want this data accessible anyway.
I recommend Dropbox, Mozy, Carbonite and all the others to family and friends because it is painless file backup. I also warn them that data backed up to the cloud is accessible by people we hope are moral and altruistic. I warn them that they may not be.
So pardon me for saying big effin' deal...
I was working at the old IBM facility at JSC in Houston, as an operator on a mainframe server that housed a database called SED that tracked every part on every shuttle. My manager walked in and told me what happened, and told me to lock the mainframe down until instructed otherwise. Some of the engineers were trying to run some tests on some shuttle computers, and were miffed that they couldn't get in until I told them why.
I wasn't allowed to leave the computer room for another two hours, but when I did, the cafeteria was full of crying people watching the news coverage on several TVs which were brought in to watch launches on. To a person, all of the engineers were worried that it was a software fault because they wrote the code. So the tears and horrified looks were very fearful.
It was a creepily similar feeling when 9/11 happened... everyone sitting around the TV feeling totally helpless.
More to the point on the SRBs:
All but the last section was reused. The bottom part with the cone on it was newly manufactured each time. The section right above it had the lower truss on it which attached to the external tank, and took a tremendous amount of torque at very high temperatures--enough that it was pulled a little out of round.
So the new, perfectly round bottom section was mated to a slightly out of round section. Want to guess where the fatal leak happened? Yeah, the joint between those two sections, and the side closest to the ET. If you look at some of the footage of the Challenger right before it blows up, you can see from the smoke trail that the cone is gimballing (looks like a "Z" pattern) to correct for the gases coming out of the leak.
This never got corrected in later flights. They still reuse the top four sections. There's now two rings, and they don't fly below freezing any more, but the design flaw is still there.
All to pass out "gravy" to more constituencies. At increased costs.
I don't disagree with you, but if the democrats had put up a candidate that was at ALL appealing, I wouldn't have repeated my first mistake. I mean really... Kerry? So many better choices back then than him.
I actually met GWB before he held any office, back in his drinking days. Even then, even at his worst, he was a man of sincerity and integrity. I've met other congressmen and senators and to a one, they all care deeply about their constituency. Unfortunately, you can't be sincere, stand on principle, or have integrity and be a successful politician.
And while voting for one candidate over another may be a mistake, it's really not stupid per se. It's always a "lesser of two evils" decision. My mistake, like most of my fellow citizens, is believing anything that comes out of their mouths. Not that they are not sincere or that they don't care because they do. But the system is set up such that they will be ostracized and won't get elected unless they compromise their principles. Don't believe me? You watch the voting records of any on the holier-than-thou Tea Party members. NOT ONE of them will stand on principles. Everyone of them will vote the party line.
I'm afraid we are going to see the most stagnant congress in the history of the United States.
Obama's net neutrality pledge was one of the reasons I voted for him after voting for Republican presidential candidates for so many years. (That, and attempting to right the wrong of voting for dubya--twice.) It is now clear to me that they are ALL a bunch of lying hypocrites. And that I'm just not as smart as I thought I was...
That's it--we have now reached the critical mass of human stupidity. There's just no hope for us any more.
You're kidding, right? The mechanical, aeronautical, electrical and civil engineers not certified? Not only were they all engineers, they were the best of the best, the cream of the crop. A lot of guys wanted to be NASA engineers, and most of them were not hired. This is not a good comparison.
The system was down for backups from 5am to 10am last Saturday.