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Laser Fusion's Brightest Hope 115

First time accepted submitter szotz writes "The National Ignition Facility has one foot in national defense and another in the future of commercial energy generation. That makes understanding the basic justification for the facility, which boasts the world's most powerful laser system, more than a little tricky. This article in IEEE Spectrum looks at NIF's recent missed deadline, what scientists think it will take for the facility to live up to its middle name, and all of the controversy and uncertainty that comes from a project that aspires to jumpstart commercial fusion energy but that also does a lot of classified work. NIF's national defense work is often glossed over in the press. This article pulls in some more detail and, in some cases, some very serious criticism. Physicist Richard Garwin, one of the designers of the hydrogen bomb, doesn't mince words. When it comes to nuclear weapons, he says in the article, '[NIF] has no relevance at all to primaries. It doesn't do a good job of mimicking validates the codes in regions that are not relevant to nuclear weapons.'"
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Comment City of Los Angeles Still Uses Floppies (Score 4, Interesting) 558

I recently had a shocking meeting in the office of some folks from the Recreation and Parks Department, and was disturbed to see that the computers they were using not only were running Windows 95, but which had only 3.5" drives. The presence of several disks laying out on the desk of one employee and a disk storage unit on the desk were definite indications of daily use. Oh, and the highly paid, union protected, pension equipped employee was an excellent multitasker. He was able to both play solitaire during the entire meeting and give his full attention to the important business of doing his job. If you were wondering why one of the world's biggest cities is approaching total failure, there's a few reasons for you.

Comment Re:Use the opportunity properly (Score 1) 504

If you're going on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this then why waste the time doing internet stuff that you can do for the rest of your life.

Use the opportunity wisely. Soak up the new experiences. DOn't be one of those fools that travel halfway around the world to sit in a McDonalds or an internet cafe.

Forget about the internet, email, wikipedia etc.They'll all still be there when you're done.

I couldn't agree more. This is an opportunity to use your time differently than you do outside the program. That experience is what you'll learn more about both yourself and the world from.

Comment T60p (Score 1) 479

I've been using a T60p for about 8 months now, and the thing's a tank. I'm pretty sure it's available with a solid state hard drive now too. A bit overpowered for the traveler, but the perfect thing if you want to edit video or photos on the go, while equipped with a tank of a laptop with astounding battery time.

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