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Comment No Court Review (Score 4, Informative) 202

In that case, our government seems to be sending a mixed message by adding the internet kill-switch back into proposed legislation...

Sensationalist headlines aside, care to point out where the aforementioned bill says anything about shutting down communications? From my reading its about isolating the networks on which high value infrastructure is located, not shutting down anyone's communication. More reading, less rhetoric please.

What you don't seem to get that is that "isolating the networks" is exactly how you shut down communications. How else would you do it, besides pulling the plug entirely?

Also, the other important piece here is that according to the blll, Judicial Review is explicitly denied

A company that objects to being subject to the emergency regulations is permitted to appeal to DHS secretary Janet Napolitano. But her decision is final and courts are explicitly prohibited from reviewing it.

So if anything can be declared "critical infrastructure" and isolated without benefit of the courts, any communication can be shut down. The attempt to avoid judicial review is on page 403 of the bill, if you care to read it yourself.

Comment Scientists are seriously pursuing it (Score 5, Informative) 815

until no one else could replicate the results. ... but otherwise no one seriously (or rather, no serious scientist) chases that particular dream anymore.

This is simply not true. There are many scientists who were able to get similar results -- Navy researchers got a paper published in Naturwissenschaften in 2007, and reported further significant results in 2009 .

As a matter of fact, the American Chemical Society hosted a 2-day conference on the subject at their 239th meeting last year in San Francisco.

"Years ago, many scientists were afraid to speak about 'cold fusion' to a mainstream audience," said Jan Marwan, Ph.D., the internationally known expert who organized the symposium. Marwan heads the research firm, Dr. Marwan Chemie in Berlin, Germany. Entitled "New Energy Technology," the symposium will include nearly 50 presentations describing the latest discoveries on the topic. ...

"The field is now experiencing a rebirth in research efforts and interest, with evidence suggesting that cold fusion may be a reality." Marwan said. He noted, for instance, that the number of presentations on the topic at ACS National Meetings has quadrupled since 2007.

What happened is that to avoid the seemingly near-religious 'skepticism' displayed yourself and others, the actual scientists working on the subject had to refer to their results as "anomalous heat" and refer to the field as "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions" (LENR) to avoid controversy.

So while you are busy deciding if anyone is replicating the results or if the field is worth looking into, a great deal of serious scientific effort has gone into the field for the last 20 years.


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 Of course they are going to say that. (Score 5, Informative) 398

If you google 'Unisys', the first result is an article saying that Profit Tanks at Unisys Corporation

Apparently their year-over-year profits are down 54%, to $21 million from over $50 million a year ago, and their Technology sector revenue declined 31%. Apparently this is driven by a lack of demand for their ClearPath server line.

So by pumping this 'intenet kill switch' idea, it may be that they expect to be first in line to implement it, and get some handsome profits from the taxpayer pie in the bargain.

This is about as believable as Bill Gates and other tech leaders trumpeting that there were not enough skilled US IT workers a few years back. Sure there were, just not at the immigrant prices that Gates and others wanted to pay. Here's a video from a recruiter seminar instructing recruiters on how not to find qualified American applicants for jobs while putting in the legally required advertisements. Look for the speaker stating at about 1:44 into the video that "our goal here is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker".

Of course corporations are going to release self-serving announcements like this -- it's just fulfilling their legal mandate to act in the best interests of their shareholders. In other news, the sky is blue.

Comment Re:Kennedy's folly and sad legacy (Score 1) 617

The people who are outraged over Citizens United never found the time to complain when the for-profit New York Times was endorsing political candidates. /quot

Nice attempt at raising a false equivalency argument.

Newspapers have always provided news and opinion in America, and many have argued that this is a vital role in a democracy. Publishing the New York Times or any other newspaper, or even broadcasting Fox News was never illegal, so bringing them up is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.

What was illegal was the use of general treasury union or corporate funds to purchase advertisements 30 days before an election. That's quite different from a journalism company pursuing the normal course of their business.


UK Teen Banned From US Over Obscene Obama Email 555

British teenager Luke Angel has been banned from the US for sending an email to the White House calling President Obama an obscenity. The 17-year-old says he was drunk when he sent the mail and doesn't understand what the big deal is. "I don't remember exactly what I wrote as I was drunk. But I think I called Barack Obama a p***k. It was silly -- the sort of thing you do when you're a teenager and have had a few," he said. The FBI contacted local police who in turn confronted Luke and let him know that the US Department of Homeland Security didn't think his email was funny. "The police came and took my picture and told me I was banned from America forever. I don't really care but my parents aren't very happy," Angel said.

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally 703

jamie writes "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent 'Restoring Honor' event. The would-be rally has been dubbed 'Restoring Truthiness' and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own Colbert Nation.'"

How a Key Enzyme Repairs Sun-Damaged DNA 97

BraveHeart writes "Researchers have long known that mammals, including humans, lack a key enzyme — one possessed by most of the animal kingdom and even plants — that reverses severe sun damage. For the first time, researchers have witnessed how this enzyme works at the atomic level to repair sun-damaged DNA. 'Normal sunscreen lotions convert UV light to heat, or reflect it away from our skin. A sunscreen containing photolyase could potentially heal some of the damage from UV rays that get through.'"
Open Source

Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs 133

An anonymous reader writes "In my job all of our multifunction copiers scan to PDF but many of our users want and expect those PDFs to be text searchable. I looked around for software that would create text searchable pdfs but most are very expensive and I couldn't find any that were open source (free). I did find some open source packages like CuneiForm and Exactimage that could in theory do the job, but they were hard to install and difficult to set up and use over a network. Then I stumbled upon WatchOCR. This is a Live CD distro that can easily create a server on your network that provides an OCR service using watched folders. Now all my scanners scan to a watched folder, WatchOCR picks up those files and OCRs them, and then spits them out into another folder. It uses CuneiForm and ExactImage but it is all configured and ready to deploy. It can even be remotely managed via the Web interface. Hope this proves helpful to someone else who has this same situation."

First Halophile Potatoes Harvested 117

Razgorov Prikazka writes "A Dutch-based company from Groningen is trying to create a potato race that is able to survive in a saline environment. The first test-batch was just harvested (English translation of Dutch original) on the island Texel and seem to be in good shape. The company states that rising sea-levels will create a demand for halophile crops. I do wonder if one still has to put salt on ones potatoes when they are grown in salt water."

New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill 226

eDarwin writes "Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill. Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they 'walk' along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling."

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs" 571

formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.

Stem Cells Curing Burn-Induced Blindness 54

mcgrew writes "The AP (via Yahoo) is reporting that Italian researchers can now cure blindness caused by chemical burns using the patient's own stem cells. 'The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.' Previously, this kind of injury needed either a corneal transplant or stem cells from someone else, both of which are plagued by problems with tissue rejection. Unfortunately, this only works for damaged corneas — so far."

New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again 258

Nintendo has tried to block homebrew during firmware updates in the past, often unsuccessfully. Now, as it rolls out version 4.3 of the Wii System Menu, stopping homebrew modifications once again seems to be its primary goal. From Nintendo's support site: "Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files." Since it's hard to bill that as an upgrade, they vaguely add, "In addition, there are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance."

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