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Submission + - The Cost of US Security

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Atlantic reports that as we mark Osama bin Laden's death, what's striking is how much he cost our nation and how little we've gained from our fight against him. By conservative estimates, bin Laden cost the United States at least $3 trillion over the past 15 years, counting the disruptions he wrought on the domestic economy, the wars and heightened security triggered by the terrorist attacks he engineered, and the direct efforts to hunt him down. "What do we have to show for that tab," ask Tim Fernholz and Jim Tankersley. "Two wars that continue to occupy 150,000 troops and tie up a quarter of our defense budget; a bloated homeland-security apparatus that has at times pushed the bounds of civil liberty; soaring oil prices partially attributable to the global war on bin Laden's terrorist network; and a chunk of our mounting national debt." In 2004 bin Laden explicitly compared the US fight to the Afghan incursion that helped bankrupt the Soviet Union during the Cold War. "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy," said bin Laden adding that that every dollar spent by al-Qaida in attacking the US has cost Washington $1m in economic fallout and military spending. Considering that we've spent one-fifth of a year's gross domestic product--more than the entire 2008 budget of the United States government--responding to his 2001 attacks, he may have been onto something."

Submission + - Green Card Lottery Results Voided Due to Error (

omnibit writes: The State Department has issued an apology claiming that due to a computer error, all results from the 2012 Diversity Immigrant "green card" lottery have now been voided. U.S. law requires that Diversity Immigrant visas be made available through a strictly random process. A computer programming error resulted in a selection that was not truly random. Each year, up to 55,000 people receive a green card through the lottery. A new draw will be conducted by July 15, 2011.

Comment Preventing sleep deprivation? (Score 1) 332

This sounds all roses and sweetness but the reality is, surgery involves volatile hours. Some degree of predictability may be known, for example weekend nights probably have a greater probability of road accidents, but for the most part, surgeons have to perform at a moment's notice to save lives.

Whilst you could simply employ more staff to ensure there's a healthy buffer of refreshed and well slept surgeons, I'd hazard a guess this is far more costly than most hospitals could afford or would want to cut into profits.

Declaring sleep deprivation might make some academic journal tingle inside, but how will that affect lives? You get a disclaimer and a law suit potentially sidelined. But the patient then must wait for a suitable surgeon to perform. In many locations, that simply might not be an option.


Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!

Comment Re:Another fine investment decision... (Score 2) 125

Are Twitter at any point going to get a revenue stream?

Yes. They're now selling promoted tweets for up to $100,000. Engagement rates were significantly higher than what was seen on Google's sponsored links, though that's likely due to its novelty. With enough promoted tweets however, you could start to see some serious cash rolling in.

Submission + - Wikileaks: Shell Corporation runs Nigeria

Maxo-Texas writes: The Guardian's analysis of wikileaks documents has revealed that Shell Corporation has inserted employees into every aspect of the Nigerian government and basically runs the company. In what is a view into our corporate controlled future, while the country has billions of dollars in oil income, 70% of the population lives below the poverty line.

"The company's top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew "everything that was being done in those ministries". She boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations."

Comment Re:Wow surprising (Score 5, Insightful) 212

Er what? I think you misread what the CEO was saying (assuming the article you don't cite mentions it). Netflix was saying that third-party content providers were not essential to its success. At the end of the day, Netflix has the subscriber base and the cash rolling in to negotiate with whomever they want. It doesn't matter if they go direct or via some third-party route.

At the end of the day, it's in the studios' or brokers' best interest to receive large slabs of money because content providers can double dip as much as they want. First the air it on TV (money), host it on their sites (more money), make it available to iTunes and other pay-per-view services (the dollars continue to flow), then sign up as many streaming services as those companies can afford (ooooh, they're getting richer) before releasing to DVD and syndication.

Direct or indirect - Netflix doesn't care because someone will agree to those handsome checks.

Submission + - Euro Phone Carrier Want Data fees from Apple et al ( 1

omnibit writes: Content providers like Apple, Google and Facebook have been told they need to pitch in to help pay for the billions of dollars of network investments needed for their bandwidth-hogging services, European phone operators say. “Service providers are flooding networks with no incentive” to cut costs, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said last month. “It’s necessary to put in place a system of payments by service providers as a function of their use.”

Submission + - The Top Silver Geekiversaries of 2010 (

itwbennett writes: 1985 was an excellent year to be a geek — although you may not have realized it then. The Amiga computer celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The first .com domain was registered. And 'Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution' hit bookstores. 1985 was also the year Back to the Future was released, AOL started innundating us with free trial disks, and the Nintendo Entertainment System launched in New York City. And, of course, there was Windows 1.0.

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