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Submission + - Intelligence Official Says He Was Fired For Not Lying To Congress (

An anonymous reader writes: We knew this already, but we are only being told what the NSA wants us to know and no defections from the Official Spin are allowed.

As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online — a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:

A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.

Submission + - Server Sky - internet and computation in orbit (

mbone writes: Even if SpaceX and other companies can drastically lower the cost of going to orbit, what are we going to do once we get there? Since the 1970's, NASA has been searching for commercial applications for space, such as making crystals or medicines in zero-gravity, but, except for communications and navigation, space as yet barely figures into commerce, largely because it is expensive to send materials there, and expensive to send finished products back. Now there is Server Sky, which is trying to build on the realization that information is the cheapest product to send to and from space, and that "traditional data centers consume almost 3% of US electrical power, and this fraction is growing rapidly. Server arrays in orbit can grow to virtually unlimited computation power, communicate with the whole world, pay for themselves with electricity savings, and greatly reduce pollution and resource usage in the biosphere." What do slashdotters (who tend to be interested in computation) think? Is there money to be made in putting the cloud above the clouds?

Comment Better Idea... (Score 1) 524

How about we are treated as if we were as important as the marketing department? I mean, without us, there would be no product to market, correct? So how about we are treated as humans instead of code-cranking-machines who do not need food, sleep, or free time on the weekends. That would be a nice, huge change.

Submission + - Big advance in hydrogen production could change alt energy landscape (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Virginia Tech say they've had a genuine breakthrough in alternative energy production that could shake up the world's energy structure. Specifically, they've hit on a way to derive large amounts of hydrogen from any plant source. The method uses renewable natural resources, releases almost no greenhouse gasses, and needs no costly or heavy metals. The key is using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large quantity of hydrogen that previously was attainable only in theory.

Submission + - Scientists inject ozone into packaging to make food last longer (

An anonymous reader writes: Improving the shelf life of fresh, packaged food would cut down on waste considerably, and a group of scientists working out of the University of Glasgow think they have a solution — inject packaged food with ozone.

A retractable device is placed against the plastic (or glass) packaging, which turns some of the oxygen inside into ozone. It then remains in this form for a couple of hours and kills any bacteria/mold/fungi it encounters before reverting back to oxygen.

The end result is packaged food with a lot less bacteria contained within it and a treatment that has no impact on its taste. In real terms, it means the food gains at least an extra 24 hours of shelf life

Comment Re:FSM (Score 1) 763

I remember when the door-to-door creationists showed up in my neighborhood. Knocking in doors and handing out pamphlets about how evolution is the antithesis or religion, blah blah blah, science is evil, blah blah blah.

Of course the entire conversation starts with "What church do you go to?" Seeing that I was at my mother's house, a Catholic (in name only, pretty much agnostic), I replied with that and they ran away anyways.

Bonus points: The Catholic excuse works pretty well with Jehovah's Witnesses too.

Comment Start them young! (Score 1) 2

When I was about 8 my mom bought me a fake "laptop" with a ~4-5 inch LED screen that taught me my first programming language - Basic. When I was 9 I made a website for my 4th grade class. Definitely a BIG impact!!!! I've since passed the still working laptop on to my cousin's (also a software developer like me) son who took to it like a fish to water. My nephew is obsessed with video games and I keep trying to get him into stuff like ALICE or other child/teen computer science programs. My niece, nephews and little cousins all know how to use Linux because that's all they get on Aunt Cait's computers :)

Comment Re:but.. (Score 1) 226

More like, "hey we found these fossils and foot prints and droppings and DNA in a dead, mummified mosquito, this must mean there's dinosaurs! but since no human was alive back then, we can only say that with 99.999% certainty"

Or, "there must be some force that is keeping us on this planet, let's call it gravity!! we can see it act upon matter and we can drop things, but we can't see gravity itself, so we have to call it a theory."

Comment Re:Religious fundamentalism (Score 0) 734

If I had mod points, they would all be yours.

This pretty much lays it out exactly; at least from my point of view of a Democrat - to - Liberal Libertarian convert. (Yes, we exist. No, we don't like big government.)

I have many coworkers from Europe and when they come to visit - they are somewhat shell shocked. They see America as this pinnacle of light in Democracy and Freedom and Free Enterprise and Equality Under Law.... and I have to give them the truth, as it pains me to see them that ignorant of it.

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