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Submission + - US Government Employees Banned from Sharing Publicly Funded Science (popsci.com) 1

Layzej writes: Popular Science reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now barred from communicating with the public and The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees from sharing the results of its taxpayer-funded research with the broader public.
The memo outlining these new rules has not been made public, but the ban reportedly includes everything from summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets. Scientists are still able to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, but they are unable to talk about that research without prior consent from their agency.
This is not the first time that public science has been hamstrung by a gag order. To this day, the quantity of oil spewed into the ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill remains something of a mystery. Many of the scientists who worked on the spill were hired by BP and barred from speaking on it. But gag orders—while always troublesome—have usually been limited to one specific issue. Right now, the EPA and USDA have been forbidden to speak about all of their scientific research. It means that many of the kinds of stories we now cover will never see the light of day.

Submission + - SPAM: Trump lie tracker

dkegel writes: There are several fact-checkers out there, but there wasn't a site that listed the Trump administration's lies chronologically... so I started one:

[spam URL stripped]

Submission + - Trump Appoints Neutrality Opponent Ajit Pai to Lead FCC (nbcnews.com)

bsharma writes: President Donald Trump promoted a critic of net neutrality on Monday to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the agency responsible for enforcing those regulations.

In a statement, Ajit Pai, a telecommunications lawyer whom President Barack Obama appointed to a Republican seat the FCC in 2012, said he was looking forward to working with his colleagues, thew Trump administration and Congress "to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."

Comment But renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels (Score 5, Insightful) 294

How much business sense does it make to invest in cheaper and cleaner energy instead of expensive tax-subsidized pollution-heavy energy that can't exist without taxpayer subsidized mining leases on public lands and non-accounting of pollution costs?

I mean Big Government demands we do the worst possible most expensive fossil fuel version!

If we don't Fill The Swamp with massive tax subsidies for old Soviet-style fossil fuels, we might become independent of the Middle East!

And then what excuse will we have to start foreign wars to make billionaires richer at the cost of American blood and treasure?

Submission + - Kowtowing to #PresidentTweety? Not so much (mercurynews.com)

shanen writes: Reality is SO inconvenient? The public facade (what they call the tatemae in Japanese) is that (many companies and) IBM wants to "work with" Trump to make GREAT profits again. In that IBM used to have great profits, you can see why.

The reality is that IBM is involved in a different kind of business transition. To compete they need to get rid of all those pesky career employees. More jobs? Maybe, but poorly paid and MUCH more transient. This story is about one of the inevitably awkward results...

Submission + - Backers Accuse 3D Printer Kickstarter of Faking Prints

PrintBetter writes: With just 3 days to go, backers are pulling out of Next Dynamics' NexD1 Kickstarter amidst fears the creator exaggerated progress on their prototype and tried to pass off prints purchased from Shapeways as their own.

Billed as the "first Multimaterial & Electronics 3D Printer", the Berlin company's campaign was a darling of Kickstarter. It carried their "Projects We Love" endorsement and publications like TechCrunch, 3DPrint.com and Make magazine praised its ability to mix up to six plastic and conductive resins in a single print.

But as pledges grew to over half a million euros, backers started to sense the impressive claims didn't add up. One of them paid a visit to the company and was unable to witness a full print. Doubts emerged around surface textures, how CAD files were obtained for popular models they printed whose designs were never publicly released, and suspicious timing of Shapeways sales reported by the owners of the designs. Backers became increasingly wary as the company missed its own deadlines for showing off sample prints and hosting PR events, and one of the original team members quietly disappeared from the campaign.

The company maintains it's working to print new samples and debunk the allegations, while undecided backers are holding their breath hoping for something substantial to materialize before the clock runs out.

Comment This is why America can't have nice things (Score 1) 158

Mostly reminds me of my experiences as a volunteer trying to support the public-use computers in the Austin Public Library. That was almost 30 years ago, way before we had anything like network access problems. Basically I wound up just wiping the systems every time I visited and restoring them as well as I could to their "legal" condition. The big problem in those days was just pirated software, especially an expensive CAD package, but the big threats these days are keyloggers intercepting passwords used for email and data stored in the network...

That reminds me of a much more recent fiasco involving Amazon and a public library in Indiana. Someone created a fake Amazon account in my name and validated the email address using some kind of bug in the Android app. Amazon never volunteered any meaningful details, but I'm believing the name and email address were just a dictionary attack. However, this thing went on for a year and a half before Amazon finally stopped it. One aspect of the scam obviously involved borrowing electronic books from a public library. If that was the only thing going on, then I'm only offended by the association of my name with some rather execrable books, but I think there must have been a money trail, too, or it wouldn't have gone on for so long... (Did you know you can escalate to jeff@ when you get desperate enough? At least it seemed to work in my LONG case, though the two-step solution was obvious in my FIRST contact with Amazon's customer so-called service.)

Historical trivia. Always want to close with a constructive suggestion, but it's hard to come up with one... Follow the money and break the criminals' economic models is kind of obvious, isn't it? Easy to say, but hard to do, even if the criminals are just ingenious fools.

Comment Re:#PresidentTweety RULZ Fake News Nation! (Score 1) 1548

Wouldn't be the first time I was fooled, and it's always hard to make predictions, especially about the future (as the joke goes). I deliberately tried for more specific predictions than I made about Dubya early in 2001, but the more specific, the less likely they will be fulfilled. As regards those three predictions, you may notice that the premises are actually quite conservative and safe, but the conclusions could easily get derailed in a number of ways.

Just to focus on the first prediction, as regards the premise we know that Trump has promised to put pressure on foreign countries and has already said a number of provocative things to and about China. Though he lies a lot, I think he is mostly sort of sincere on hating his business adversaries. Now will China decide this represents an opportunity to get Taiwan back? Hard to say, and if so, will they decide that a military approach is feasible? Again hard to say, but if they are leaning that way, then creating the diversion in North Korea is obvious... It should also be obvious that the Chinese dictators would love to scapegoat Trump for their own economic mistakes and real world limitations, but the devil is in the details, as they say.

I actually sort of agree with you about "improve [the] lives of Americans", but NOT the way you probably meant it. I think he is going to make certain rich people much richer and they will think that is improving their lives, even though they already have far more money than they will ever use. Your other quasi-prediction of "unnecessary conflict" seems basically meaningless, since he is already creating plenty of conflict, but it must be "necessary", eh?

Hey, does the stock market need to have any relationship to reality or is the entire value just a matter of #PresidentTweety's opinions?

Submission + - Open-source oriented RISELab emerges at UC Berkeley to make apps smarter, secure (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: UC Berkeley on Monday launched a five-year research collaborative dubbed RISELab https://rise.cs.berkeley.edu/ that will focus on enabling apps and machines that can interact with the environment around them securely and in real-time. The RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution) is backed by a slew of big name tech and financial firms: Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare. RISELab succeeds AMPLab, which spawned Apache Spark, among other open source projects
Businesses

Foxconn Considers $7 Billion Screen Factory In US, Which Could Create Up To 50,000 Jobs (arstechnica.com) 365

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing company best known for its partnership with Apple, has said that it is mulling a $7 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing that could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says the company is talking with the state of Pennsylvania among others about getting the land and electricity subsidies it would need to build a factory. "If U.S. state governments are willing to provide these terms, and we calculate and it is cheaper than shipping from China or Japan, then why wouldn't Sharp build a factory in the U.S.?" said Gou. The factory would build flat-panel screens under the Sharp name -- Foxconn bought Sharp around this time last year for $5.1 billion. Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu hinted in October of 2016 that U.S. manufacturing could be a possibility for Sharp, and he also indicated that Apple could begin using OLED display panels in future iPhones. Apple currently uses OLED in the Apple Watch and in the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, but otherwise it hasn't pushed to adopt the technology as some Android phone manufacturers have.

Submission + - Apple Manufacturer Foxconn Considers $7 Billion Screen Factory In US (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing company best known for its partnership with Apple, has said that it is mulling a $7 billion investment in US manufacturing that could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says the company is talking with the state of Pennsylvania among others about getting the land and electricity subsidies it would need to build a factory. “If US state governments are willing to provide these terms, and we calculate and it is cheaper than shipping from China or Japan, then why wouldn’t Sharp build a factory in the US?" said Gou. The factory would build flat-panel screens under the Sharp name—Foxconn bought Sharp around this time last year for $5.1 billion. Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu hinted in October of 2016 that US manufacturing could be a possibility for Sharp, and he also indicated that Apple could begin using OLED display panels in future iPhones. Apple currently uses OLED in the Apple Watch and in the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, but otherwise it hasn't pushed to adopt the technology as some Android phone manufacturers have.

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