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Government

Submission + - Border wall is bypassing the well connected (texasobserver.org)

MazzThePianoman writes: "Remember those stories not so long ago about people being sued by the government for use of their land on the border to build the border wall? It turns out that some are not getting sued and there is a reason why. The Texas Observer investigated and found that Homeland Security won't say why the border wall is bypassing the wealthy and politically connected. "Holes in the Wall" http://www.texasobserver.org/article.php?aid=2688"
Education

Submission + - Communicating good science to the masses (arstechnica.com)

Bombadil writes: One of the challenges for both reporters and scientists is how to teach the public to differentiate between 'good' and 'bad science. 'Part of the problem is with readers and viewers, who like to have concrete numbers to hang on to but rarely care enough to explore how those numbers are generated. On the production side, a lot of the unexpected statistics get played as human interest stories, drawing someone other than a qualified science reporter.' Scientists also need to be more clear to politicians when they're talking about science and when they're talking policy, according to the David Goldston, the former staff director of the House Committee on Science. 'Most members of Congress like science and want to be informed. Scientists, however, have a lot to learn about reaching them on their terms... As he put it, policy is acting despite residual scientific uncertainties, and the most reasonable action can't be determined scientifically, so it needs to be made clear when someone drifts into personal opinion. The science has to be conveyed in clear terms that make sense to a nonscientific audience.'
Microsoft

Submission + - Creative Capitalism Gets Microsoft $528M Tax Break (crosscut.com) 5

NewsCloud writes: "Microsoft makes products in Washington but records software sales to PC makers and high-volume customers through an operation in Nevada, where there is no corporate tax. So Washington has missed out on more than half a billion in taxes; revenue it could use for badly needed infrastructure needs — such as the needed replacement of the 520 bridge which connects Seattle ... to Microsoft. Reported by Slashdot in 2004, the numbers have increased with the company's growth to approx. $76M in savings last year alone. The author questions the legality of the practice given Microsoft's 35,500+ employees and 11.2 million square feet of real estate in Washington state."
Government

EPA Asserts Executive Privilege In CA Emissions Case 390

Brad Eleven writes "The AP reports that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invoked executive privilege to justify withholding information in its response to a lawsuit. The state of California is challenging the agency's decision to block their attempt to curb the emissions from new cars and trucks. In response, the EPA has delivered documents requested by the Freedom of Information Act for the discovery phase of the lawsuit — but the documents are heavily redacted. That is, the agency has revealed that it did spend many hours meeting to discuss the issue, but refuses to divulge the details or the outcomes of the meetings. Among the examples cited, 16 pages of a 43-page Powerpoint presentation are completely blank except for the page titles. An EPA spokesperson used language similar to other recent claims of executive privilege, citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"
Businesses

Investors, "Beware" of Record Companies

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Motley Fool investment Web site warns investors to beware of 'Sony, BMG, Warner Music Group, Vivendi Universal, and EMI.' In an article entitled 'We're All Thieves to the RIAA,' a Motley Fool columnist, referring to the RIAA's pronouncement in early December in Atlantic v. Howell, that the copies which Mr. Howell had ripped from his CDs to MP3s in a shared files folder on his computer were 'unauthorized,' writer Alyce Lomax said 'a good sign of a dying industry that investors might want to avoid is when it would rather litigate than innovate, signaling a potential destroyer of value.'"
Censorship

Submission + - Graph shows fraud in Russain elections (livejournal.com)

gaika writes: "The graph in the best traditions of Edward Tufte shows how the voting was rigged in Russian parlament elections. Initially some regions were showing higher than 100% attendance, but later on everything was corrected, or way too much corrected, as the correlation between winning party's vote and attendance now stands at 90%. I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient."
United States

Submission + - Feds make poor kids pay for IT screwup it caused

netbuzz writes: "The government's grant-filing system goes on the fritz for a few days and causes a missed deadline — 46 minutes late — by an education support program that helps poor kids get into college. You might think that under the circumstances the application would be accepted anyway. Think again. The Department of Education says the rules are the rules and it doesn't matter who caused the delay. The 40-year-old support program may not survive.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21454"
Democrats

Submission + - Democrats Cave on Spying, telecom immunity (washingtonpost.com)

EllisDees writes: "From the Washington Post:

"Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources."

Just why did we vote these jokers into office again?"

Slashdot.org

Journal Journal: Firehose Interaction: Missing One Thing 2

It would be nice if a firehose submission would automatically minimize after a vote is placed.

Hopefully this shows up in the firehose. But, it is not meant to be a story!
I like the new feel, its just missing that one little touch.

I tend to expand a submission, read the content, place my vote, then minimize the submission before moving on to the next one.
Music

Submission + - Webcasters call bunk on SoundExchange DRM ploy (arstechnica.com)

RadioFan writes: "The settlement between webcasters and SoundExchange is starting to come apart at the seams, because everyone is realizing that SoundExchange wants to force DRM on Net Radio. DiMA, one of the largest Net Radio lobbyists, has fired back at Sound Exchange, calling them out for leveraging high royalty fees to push through DRM requirements that they failed to obtain in Congress via broadcast flag and anti-recording legislation. Was this whole thing a ruse to get DRM on net radio?"
Power

Submission + - Eating beef 'is less green than driving' (telegraph.co.uk) 5

hhlost writes: "'Japanese scientists used a range of data to calculate the environmental impact of a single purchase of beef.' They concluded that '2.2lb of beef is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions which have the same effect as the carbon dioxide released by an ordinary car travelling at 50 miles per hour for 155 miles, a journey lasting three hours. The amount of energy consumed would light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days.'"

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