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Submission + - $12.9B aircraft carrier 'struggles with jets taking off and landing' (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: The USS Gerald R. Ford, is not ready for combat, DOD says. The 'supercarrier' is the most expensive Navy warship ever built and is due to be commissioned this year. The ship delivery is scheduled for November, more than two years late of its original date of September 2014. A government memo says 'poor or unknown reliability issues' are behind the latest roll out problems with the ship.

There are two other ships in the Ford class: the USS John F. Kennedy and a new USS Enterprise — expected to be commissioned in 2020 and 2025 respectively. The total cost for the three vessels is estimated to be more than $43 billion.

Submission + - "The Hillary Leaks" - Wikileaks Releases 19,252 Previously Unseen DNC Emails (zerohedge.com)

schwit1 writes: The state department's release of Hillary emails may be over, but that of Wikileaks is just starting.

Moments ago, Julian Assange's whistleblower organization released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the Democratic National Committee. This is part one of their new Hillary Leaks series, Wikileaks said in press release. To wit:

Today, Friday 22 July 2016 at 10:30am EDT, WikiLeaks releases 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee — part one of our new Hillary Leaks series. The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails). The emails cover the period from January last year until 25 May this year.

The emails released Friday cover a period from January 2015 to May 2016. They purportedly come from the accounts of seven key DNC staffers, listed above: Andrew Wright, Jordon Kaplan, Scott Comer, Luis Miranda, Robert Stowe, Daniel Parrish and Allen Zachary.

A quick scan of the emails focus on Bernie Sanders and dealing with the fallout of many Democrats opposing Hillary Clinton and calling the system “rigged.” Many of the emails exchanged between top DNC officials are simply the text of news articles concerning how establishment democrats can “deal” with the insurgent left-winger.

Submission + - Almost Half of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct

schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013.

Of the total allegations filed, 90.8 percent were against TSA officers, while 4.8 percent were filed against managers or administrators. Of the areas of misconduct, “Attendance & Leave” sees the highest number of offenders, while “Failure to Follow Instructions,” “Screening & Security,” “Neglect of Duty,” and “Disruptive Behavior” round out the top five.

It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior.

Submission + - Milo Yiannopoulos Permanently Suspended from Twitter

Raenex writes: Breitbart writer and conservative provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, was permanently suspended from Twitter amid a dust-up with Ghostbusters (2016) actress Leslie Jones. Trolls had been harassing Jones with racist tweets after the movie's opening, prompting agitated responses from Jones. Milo entered the fray with, "If at first you don't succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim" and "EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS". After some back and forth, Milo was eventually blocked by Jones and banned by Twitter after CEO Jack Dorsey became involved.

While outlets such as TechCrunch signaled their approval, Milo summed up his banning with the following: "Twitter is intent on protecting free speech, as long as you are a Hollywood actress who bravely tweets about white people, or a New York globalist advocating for violence against Donald Trump. They’ve made it clear that being gay and conservative doesn’t get me past the velvet rope into their free speech club, which is looking more and more like the same liberal echo chamber the mainstream media turned into decades ago."

Submission + - Tax Breaks Cost More Than Discretionary Spending In 2015 (dailycaller.com)

schwit1 writes: Congress spent more on tax breaks than on discretionary spending in 2015, according to a blog post by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Tax expenditures — incentives meant to prompt or discourage particular actions by individuals, families, foundations or businesses — cost $1.2 trillion in 2015, compared with $1.1 trillion for discretionary spending.

The incentives can include credits against taxes owed, deductions, shelters, exclusions, exemptions, deferrals and preferential rates.

Submission + - EPA's gasoline efficiency tests are garbage

schwit1 writes: The tests the EPA uses to establish the fuel efficiency of cars are unreliable, and likely provide no valid information at all about the fuel efficiency of the cars tested.

The law requiring cars to meet these fuel efficiency tests was written in the 1970s, and specifically sets standards based on the technology then. Worse,

[T]he EPA doesn’t know exactly how its CAFE testing correlates with actual results, because it has never done a comprehensive study of real-world fuel economy. Nor does anyone else. The best available data comes from consumers who report it to the DOT—hardly a scientific sampling.

Other than that, everything is fine. Companies are forced to spend billions on this regulation, the costs of which they immediately pass on to consumers, all based on fantasy and a badly-written law. Gee, I’m sure glad we never tried this with healthcare!

Submission + - France extends state of emergency, adds new search and digital seizure powers (lemonde.fr)

monkeyzoo writes: The French Parliament is in the process Tuesday and Wednesday of voting for a new extension of the government's emergency powers following the truck attack in Nice, France. The measure is fully expected to pass easily, and the only doubt seems to be about for how long it will be extended (http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2512902&language=en).

In addition to the existing emergency powers to perform house arrests, searches, and weapons confiscations without judicial authorization, this new draft of the bill adds new digital seizure powers as well. It allows (original in French): "the administrative authority to copy all electronic data [such as on computers and telephones] which it has been able to access in the course of a search." (http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2016/07/18/etat-d-urgence-le-texte-de-prolongation-permettra-d-exploiter-les-donnees-informatiques_4971501_1653578.html) Previously, these provisions had been rejected in State of Emergency measures after the Constitutional Court had expressed reservations on this activity.

Also added in this draft are additional warrantless search powers to perform "follow on" searches if an initial search indicates possible terror-related activitiy in another place.

Submission + - 100 Kepler exoplanet candidates confirmed

schwit1 writes: Astronomers have confirmed another 100 of Kepler’s more than 3,000 candidate exoplanets.

One of the most interesting set of planets discovered in this study is a system of four potentially rocky planets, between 20 and 50 percent larger than Earth, orbiting a star less than half the size and with less light output than the Sun. Their orbital periods range from five-and-a-half to 24 days, and two of them may experience radiation levels from their star comparable to those on Earth.

Despite their tight orbits—closer than Mercury’s orbit around the sun—the possibility that life could arise on a planet around such a star cannot be ruled out, according to Crossfield.

Because the host star of this as well as many of these other confirmed exoplanets are red dwarf stars, the possibility of life is reduced because the star and its system is likely to have a less rich mix of elements compared to our yellow G-type Sun.

Submission + - How Obama sold us the Iran deal (nytimes.com)

mi writes: Maybe, it is not just Vladimir Putin, who uses an army of online trolls to push his agenda. The New York Times piece — already dissected by Weekly Standard — details, among other things, that, as the officials were officially concluding, what has already been agreed upon with the Iranians, a "war room" in Washington dealt with reporters and lawmakers, selling the deal to the American public:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he [Ben Rhodes, the main seller of the deal -mi] admitted, when asked to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

Of course, Slashdot-readers — the supposedly sophisticated lot of nerds — didn't escape the government-architected brainwashing either...

Submission + - India's Al Gore: HAARP Caused Global Warming (dailycaller.com)

schwit1 writes: “The US has developed a type of weapon called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP). It strikes the upper atmosphere with a focussed and steerable electromagnetic beam,” Anil Madhav Dave, India’s Environmental Minister, told Business Standard Monday. “HAARP is an advanced model of a super powerful ionospheric heater which may cause the globe to warm and have global warming effect.”

India is the world’s fastest growing, and third largest, emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2014, India got 59 percent of its electricity from coal, and Indian leaders are ramping up the country’s coal production by opening a new mine every month. The country appears set to literally double down on coal by doubling production and building 87,122 megawatts of new coal power capacity. Even with that level of coal use, it is estimated that 400 million Indians, 31 percent of the population, lack access to electricity.

Submission + - First image released from MeerKAT radio telescope (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: Even operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity, South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope showed off its phenomenal power Saturday, revealing 1,300 galaxies in a tiny corner of the universe where only 70 were known before.

The image released Saturday was the first from MeerKAT, where 16 dishes were formally commissioned the same day.

MeerKAT's full contingent of 64 receptors will be integrated next year into a multi-nation Square Kilometer Array (SKA) which is is set to become the world's most powerful radio telescope.

Submission + - China hacked the FDIC - and US officials covered it up, report says (cnn.com)

schwit1 writes: China's spies hacked into computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 2010 until 2013 — and American government officials tried to cover it up, according to a Congressional report.

It presents the FDIC's bank regulators as technologically inept — and deceitful.

According to congressional investigators, the Chinese government hacked into 12 computers and 10 backroom servers at the FDIC, including the incredibly sensitive personal computers of the agency's top officials: the FDIC chairman, his chief of staff, and the general counsel.

When congressional investigators tried to review the FDIC's cybersecurity policy, the agency hid the hack, according to the report.

Investigators cited several insiders who knew about how the agency responded. For example, one of the FDIC's top lawyers told employees not to discuss the hacks via email — so the emails wouldn't become official government records.

"Intentionally avoiding audits sounds unethical if not illegal,"

Submission + - Court: US government can't make Microsoft reveal cloud data (ap.org)

schwit1 writes: A federal appeals court delivered a victory to U.S. companies housing customer data overseas, ruling Thursday that prosecutors cannot force Microsoft to reveal content from a customer's email account stored in Ireland.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a lower court order finding the company in civil contempt for not handing over the data.

Microsoft offers storage through its "public cloud," which places data from over 1 billion customers and over 20 million businesses on servers in over 40 countries, the court noted.

The appeals court said Congress passed the Stored Communications Act in 1986 to protect user privacy when new technology causes service providers to store electronic communications for customers. It said Congress expressed concern then that technology developments could erode the privacy interest Americans traditionally enjoyed in records and communications.

"Neither explicitly nor implicitly does the statute envision the application of its warrant provisions overseas," the appeals court said in a decision written by Judge Susan L. Carney. "We see no reason to believe that Congress intended to jettison the centuries of law requiring the issuance and performance of warrants in specified, domestic locations, or to replace the traditional warrant with a novel instrument of international application."

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