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Mass Extinctions from Global Warming? 348

uncleO writes "The current issue of Scientific American has an interesting article, Impact from the Deep, about the possible causes for the five major global extinctions. It contends that only the most recent one was caused by a 'dinosaur killer' asteroid impact. Evidence suggests that the others were caused by 'great bubbles of toxic H2S gas erupting into the atmosphere' from the oceans due to anoxia." From the article: "The so-called thermal extinction at the end of the Paleocene began when atmospheric CO2 was just under 1,000 parts per million (ppm). At the end of the Triassic, CO2 was just above 1,000 ppm. Today with CO2 around 385 ppm...climbing at an annual rate of 2 ppm...to 3 ppm, levels could approach 900 ppm by the end of the next century."

U.S. Government Crippled by Sex, Gaming Sites 283

BobB writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior's inspector general has released a report that says department employees are wasting their taxpayer-funded work time going to prohibited web sites. Some of these sites relate to sex, computer games, gambling and auctions. The study found that almost $2 billion a year in productivity was being lost to these 'excessive indulgences.'" From the article: "Computer-use logs revealed more than 4,732 entries relating to sexually explicit Web sites and gambling sites. Some computers accessed sex sites for 30 to 60 minutes during the test period. More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction sites."

The Fine Print On Wiretapping Review 151

notarus writes "Congress' new bill to 'force' the wiretapping program to be reviewed by FISA has some very doublespeak provisions. One nice line: 'Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the constitutional authority of the President to collect intelligence with respect to foreign powers and agents of foreign powers.'"

Increased Bandwidth Irrelevant? 366

halbert writes "ArsTechnica has a story about AT&T COO Randall Stephenson telling folks that there is 'no discernable difference' between AT&T's 1.5 Mbps service and Comcast's 6 Mbps, because the backbone is slowing everything down. The main argument from the article is that fiber to the home is not necessary. How about letting the consumer decide that?" From the article: "This is a direct response to the criticism that AT&T has suffered for deploying a fiber optic network that reaches only to the local node, not directly into a customer's home--which means that the 'last mile' connection is still copper wire. Verizon, by contrast, is deploying fiber directly into the home, making for much higher speeds. AT&T argues that its model is cheaper, faster to deploy, and just as capable as Verizon's, which currently uses much of its massive bandwidth to distribute RF TV channels."

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