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NASA Launches Four Spacecraft To Study Earth-Sun Magnetism 21

An anonymous reader writes: Late Thursday NASA used an Atlas rocket to put four new, identical spacecraft into orbit. "The quartet of observatories is being placed into an oblong orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles into the magnetosphere — nearly halfway to the moon at one point. They will fly in pyramid formation, between 6 miles and 250 miles apart, to provide 3-D views of magnetic reconnection on the smallest of scales. Magnetic reconnection is what happens when magnetic fields like those around Earth and the sun come together, break apart, then come together again, releasing vast energy. This repeated process drives the aurora, as well as solar storms that can disrupt communications and power on Earth. Data from this two-year mission should help scientists better understand so-called space weather."

Senator: 'Plenty' of Domestic Surveillance We Still Don't Know About 107

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent interview, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has complained about the Obama administration's failure to shut down the NSA's bulk collection of phone metadata. This program and most other programs we've heard of were disclosed by Edward Snowden. But Snowden couldn't tell us everything. When asked if there were further domestic surveillance programs about which the public knows nothing, Senator Wyden said, "Yeah, there's plenty of stuff." The ones he knows about are classified, so he couldn't elaborate. "Even in cases where the public has been informed of government practices, Wyden warned the government still collects far too much information on millions of citizens with virtually no accountability."

Comment Kinda.... (Score 1) 93

"Banking is protected by law, any lost money will be reimbursed."

The controlling federal laws are the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)( (15 U.S.C. 1693 et seq.). If you report an ATM or debit card missing before someone uses it, the EFTA says you are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions.

However, unlike credit cards, if someone makes unauthorized use of your debit or ATM card and if you do not learn of the transactions and report them after 2 business days but less than 60 calendar days after your statement is sent to you, you are liable for $500. After 60 days, “All the money taken from your ATM/debit card account, and possibly more; for example, money in accounts linked to your debit account.”

"Cars and houses have insurance."

Yes, but there are deductibles to pay, hundreds if not thousands of dollars before the insurance company begins to reimburse the insured.

Civilians do not understand what /. readers know: internet security is illusory. That's why we have encryption. It's not that they don't have "a bloody clue." They are not computer literate, don't know what an IP address is and couldn't tell you why a denial of service attack is bad.

Civilians have been told the internet is a safe place to buy things, send images by email and store payment data and the like. They believe it. Those people did what are in retrospect foolish things, merely because believed what they were told.

The only way to never see yourself naked on the internet is to never take nude photos. Period. After that, it's just a matter of percentage of chance. Not fair or right, but true.

Comment Sure. Say this when you are 74. (Score 1) 478

It's easy to say things like this when you are 40 or 50 or 60. I'm 50 and this sounds quite logical to me.

Of course, at age 21 I never thought I'd see 30.

When you are still alive at 74 and feeling ok, the instinct to survive doesn't allow for anything other than "keep going." No higher level thinking kicks in and says "Right. It's all down hill from here. Fuck it."

You will want to see one more sunset, see your great-grandchildren, smile at one more memory.

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is 63, he has 12 years left. Talk to me in 11, Doc.

Comment Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP (Score 1) 93

Which they don't follow. There's ALL sorts of games you can play with revenue recognition alone.

Anyone here want to rely on Chinese accounting practices? http://www.chinaaccountingblog...

There are no securities laws in China similar to those in the US that require transparency so investors know what they are buying.

Hell, this will be a great IPO, just flip it on the first day. Make your profit and watch it crash.

And now to illustrate: the classic accountant's joke.

There once was a business owner who was interviewing people for a division manager position. He decided to select the individual that could answer the question "how much is 2+2?"

The engineer pulled out his slide rule and shuffled it back and forth, and finally announced, "It lies between 3.98 and 4.02".
The mathematician said, "In two hours I can demonstrate it equals 4 with the following short proof."
The physicist declared, "It's in the magnitude of 1x101."
The logician paused for a long while and then said, "This problem is solvable."
The social worker said, "I don't know the answer, but I a glad that we discussed this important question.
The attorney stated, "In the case of Svenson vs. the State, 2+2 was declared to be 4."
The trader asked, "Are you buying or selling?"
The accountant looked at the business owner, then got out of his chair, went to see if anyone was listening at the door and pulled the drapes. Then he returned to the business owner, leaned across the desk and said in a low voice, "What would you like it to be?"

User Journal

Journal Journal: It's surprising to me how vicious atheists on /. are....

I mentioned my faith as a thing that guided me and there was a maelstrom of haters. WTF? If you don't have a religion, you don't hear me trying to convert you. I don't give a Parson's fart if you do. And I don't really care what you think about me. It's just amazing that atheists want to spend so much energy to mock other people.

Kinda fucked up, really.

Comment Just $300,000 more over a lifetime? (Score 1) 281

New York University is now $42,000 a year tuition for liberal arts 4 year undergrad. Add $13,000 for housing, $4,000 for meal plan and food, and $1,000 for books and supplies and you are at around $60,000 per year undergrad at NYU, or $240,000 for a 4 year liberal arts degree. This is for a school that ranks 32d nationwide in universities. (

Tuition: (
Housing: (
Meal plan: (
Books: (

US News and World ( reports over a graduates lifetime, that degree really only adds $300,000 extra salary as a direct result of a degree. Why would you give up the opportunity cost of earning for 4 years at a job as well as $240,000 to get $300,000?

Because the jobs you get for the rest of your life are not the ones where you ask "Paper or plastic?" Not the back breaking, "working for the Man" bullshit jobs that you get without a degree. Instead of jobs, graduates get careers: with health insurance, vacation and promotions. Quality of life is better.

I am quite happy with what I got. I still talk with people from school. It was hard, but I feel I got my money's worth.

Comment Causal Nexus (Score 1) 281

Is it that people do better because they went to college or that people who are willing to delay gratification, work hard, broaden themselves intellectually, converse with smart people who also become successful and build a network of successful people?

The kind of person willing to shoulder debt and phone it in will never win. Just because you attended a college and got a degree doesn't mean it did anything for you.

College is an opportunity to intern, find mentors, meet peer groups and try things you might want to do for a living. It's also a place to expand beyond the modalities of your earlier life. A Liberal Arts degree requires subjects that allow a person to appreciate the world in a better perspective.

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1, Interesting) 154

I'm not sure what country you're from, but in America, morals are for suckers and poor people.

You are wrong.

I am an American, I am far from poor and I am no man's fool. I live by the moral compass taught to me by my parents, my church and my conscience and I have done very well in my 50 years on Earth.

The most precious commodity is the ability to sleep at night.

Comment Re: Elitist America... er . No. Not this one. (Score 1) 187

At the outset, let's look at the moral of the story: You can't trust spies or spy agencies. Especially not the way the Senator has consistently told us we should trust the NSA.
This is not a case where it's ok that Senator Feinstein got hoist by her own petard for info on her own computers. This is a case of her feeling the same overreaching by an intelligence agency she says doesn't and won't happen every day with the NSA. But it's the American people who are getting fucked here, not Diane F.
We went over this in another post.
The "CIA computers" were part of a document production system provided by the CIA pursuant to a Senate Committee subpoena. It contained CIA documents responsive to the Senate subpoena in electronic form instead of paper copies. The document depository was run by private contractors. That's not really that unusual.
Apparently, when the CIA found out they had turned over to the Senate Committee a CIA draft report that was particularly harmful to the CIA's position, the draft report "disappeared" from the computerised document depository. The senior Senator from California believes the CIA caused it to disappear.
It's like erasing portions of White House tapes that had been subpoenaed a la Nixon. Just because it was done by the CIA doesn't mean it was spying, merely criminal tampering with a federal investigation. That's all.
Don't cheer that the asshat Senator got screwed by the CIA. It was us that got screwed by the CIA.

Comment Re:CIA searched the CIA's own computers? (Score 2) 242

You're right. And talk about the Fourth Amendment is entirely inappropriate in this context.

Correct. She got it wrong here: this is not a 4th Amendment fact set.

Just like she gets it wrong when she says it does NOT abridge one's 4th Amendment rights to have wholesale recording of citizen's phone data.

She calls it like she sees it; whichever is politically expedient at the time.

I do not like her, Sam-I-Am.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.