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Submission + - SPAM: NSA's best are 'leaving in big numbers,' insiders say

schwit1 writes: Low morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency's most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part.

"I do hear that people are increasingly leaving in large numbers and it is a combination of things that start with [morale] and there's now much more money on the outside," Alexander said. "I am honestly surprised that some of these people in cyber companies make up to seven figures. That's five times what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes. Right? And these are people that are 32 years old."

"Do the math. [The NSA] has great competition," he said.

The rate at which these cyber-tacticians are exiting public service has increased over the last several years and has gotten considerably worse over the last 12 months, multiple former NSA officials and D.C. area-based cybersecurity employers have told CyberScoop in recent weeks.

"Morale has always been an issue at NSA, with roughly 20 percent of the workforce doing 80 percent of the actual work," a former official told CyberScoop on the condition of anonymity. "NSA is a place where people retire in place. At some point watching this behavior even for motivated people becomes highly demotivating."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Inside Peter Thiel's Genius Factory (

mirandakatz writes: The Thiel Fellowship was created to prove a college degree doesn’t matter. But what began as an attempt to draw teen prodigies to the Valley before they racked up debt at Princeton or Harvard and went into consulting to pay it off has transformed into the most prestigious network for young entrepreneurs in existence—a pedigree that virtually guarantees your ideas will be judged good, investors will take your call, and there will always be another job ahead even better than the one you have. At Backchannel, Jessi Hempel has the definitive look at what the Trump-loving VC's genius factory means in the Valley in 2016.

Submission + - Ancient eclipses show Earth's rotation is slowing (

sciencehabit writes: It’s often said that the heavens run like clockwork. Astronomers can easily predict eclipses, and they can foretell to a fraction of a second when the moon passes in front of a distant star. They can also rewind the clock, and find out when and where these events happened in the past. But a new historical survey of hundreds of eclipses, some dating back to the 8th century B.C.E., finds that they aren’t as predictable as scientists thought. That’s because Earth’s spin is slowing down slightly. Not only that, the study also identifies short-term hiccups in the spin rate that have been missed by cruder models.

Submission + - Scott Adams and "The Non-Expert Problem" ( 18

Layzej writes: It is easy for a non-expert to be swayed by a credible sounding narrative that claims to overthrow a scientific consensus. For a scientist it is generally clear which arguments are valid, but the general public can’t independently evaluate scientific evidence. Scientist Victor Venema provides answers to a number of concerns about climate science raised by cartoonist Scott Adams. His answers are accessible and illuminating, and hopefully helpful to the non-expert who would like to understand the truth behind certain contrarian talking points.

Comment Re:How much does it block your vision when off? (Score 1) 464

Baseball cap
Google Glass

I'm not sure why asking a perfectly simple - and in the light of the above example which shows there is a difference in how Glass and a hat might be positioned, still perfectly reasonable - question (to which I do not have a preconceived notion of what the answer might be) deserved to be met with such a sanctimonious response.

Have you tried Glass? Did you think it blocked your vision less severely than a baseball cap? If so, say so, and I'll be more informed than I was.

With the cap on, looking straight ahead, the bill blocks the top half of the display. The cap itself blocks much more than the GG display which is transparent. At least on me.

Comment Re:Just coat them with plutonium (Score 2) 668

Pole line stolen three different times last year by three differing thieves, several miles total. They all get caught because the scrap yard requires ID and imposes a delay. FYI, when the line goes down, speed is reduced until crews can arrive on the scene. What is needed is education because each successive thief is unknown to the previous one. No Darwin type evolution can take place because the thieves are completely independent of each other.

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