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Social Networks

Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Astroturfing Program 153

Posted by timothy
from the you're-putin-me-on dept.
gotfork writes "Quoting The Guardian: 'A pro-Kremlin group runs a network of internet trolls, seeks to buy flattering coverage of Vladimir Putin and hatches plans to discredit opposition activists and media, according to private emails allegedly hacked by a group calling itself the Russian arm of Anonymous.' While a similar program has operated in China for a long time, and some commentators have suggested that a similar program exists in Russia, this is the first confirmation."
Earth

US Approves Two New Nuclear Reactors 596

Posted by timothy
from the blue-moon-rising dept.
JoeRobe writes "For the first time in 30 years, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved licenses to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia. These are the first licenses to be issued since the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. The pair of facilities will cost $14 billion and produce 2.2 GW of power (able to power ~1 million homes). They will be Westinghouse AP1000 designs, which are the newest reactors approved by the NRC. These models passively cool their fuel rods using condensation and gravity, rather than electricity, preventing the possibility of another Fukushima Daiichi-type meltdown due to loss of power to cooling water pumps." Adds Unknown Lamer: "Expected to begin operation in 2016 or 2017, the pair of new AP1000 reactors will produce around 2GW of power for the southeast. This is the first of the new combined construction and operating licenses ever issued by the NRC; hopefully this bodes well for the many other pending applications."
Government

FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field 337

Posted by timothy
from the are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Bloomberg reports that the FBI has released a decades-old file it kept on Steve Jobs, the deceased Apple co-founder, after a background check for a possible appointment by former President George H. W. Bush conducting interviews with unnamed associates of Jobs to judge his character, drug use and potential prejudices. 'Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals,' according to the materials. Several people commented 'concerning past drug use on the part of Mr. Jobs,' according to the file including marijuana, hashish and LSD during the period 1970 – 1974. The file also noted that Jobs was not a member of the communist party."
Businesses

Proposed Law Would Give DHS Power Over Privately Owned IT Infrastructure 300

Posted by timothy
from the for-great-justice dept.
CelticWhisper writes "H.R. 3674, the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act (PRECISE Act), would allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to require improved security practices from those businesses managing systems whose disruption could prove detrimental to critical life-sustaining or national-security initiatives." As the article points out, this is just "one of 30 or so such bills currently percolating on the Hill."
Privacy

Yes We Can (Profile You): a Brief Primer On Campaigns and Political Data 48

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-vote-is-one-cell-in-a-database dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the Stanford Law Review Online, Professor Daniel Kreiss discusses 'the history of political data, focusing on the recent proliferation in voter data and development of new voter-modeling techniques,' and how 'these data practices undermine privacy and democratic practice, even as they increase participation and voter turnout.' He writes: 'Underlying all of this is a vast data infrastructure that has made targeted online advertising and marketing possible, and has contributed to a revival of field campaigning over the last decade. Online advertising and field campaigning rely on voter modeling based on hundreds of data points culled from surveys, public records, and commercial information sources such as credit histories. This data details the location, demographics, political affiliations, social networks, behavior, and interests of citizens.'"
Republicans

How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA 857

Posted by timothy
from the two-party-narrative dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Strengthening intellectual property enforcement has been a bipartisan issue for the past 25 years, but Stewart Baker writes in the Hollywood Reporter that when the fight went from the committees to the floor and Wikipedia went down, the Democratic and Republican parties reacted very differently to SOPA. 'Despite widespread opposition to SOPA from bloggers on the left, Democrats in Congress (and the administration) were reluctant to oppose the bill outright,' writes Baker. 'The MPAA was not shy about reminding them that Hollywood has been a reliable source of funding for Democratic candidates, and that it would not tolerate defections.' That very public message from the MPAA also reached another audience — Tea Party conservatives. Most of them had never given a second thought to intellectual property enforcement, but many had drawn support from conservative bloggers and they began to ask why they should risk the ire of their internet supporters to rescue an industry that was happily advertising how much it hated them." (Read on, below.)
Democrats

Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games 312

Posted by timothy
from the fourkiller-sounds-violent-and-unhinged dept.
dotarray writes "According to an Oklahoma politician, video games help cause many problems affecting the youth of today, but they can also help solve those same problems. Representative William Fourkiller, a Democrat, has proposed a 1% tax on every video game sold which has a Teen, Mature or Adults Only rating. He explains that half of the money would go towards helping to get kids playing outside, while the other half would be placed into a bullying prevention fund."
Piracy

Slovenian Ambassador Regrets Signing ACTA Agreement 149

Posted by timothy
from the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time dept.
metacell writes "Slovenia's ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovek Zorko, writes: 'I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children.'"
Republicans

Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Posted by Soulskill
from the suddenly-the-primaries-become-clear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"
Music

Eye of Tiger Composer Sues Gingrich To Stop Campaign From Using Song 452

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-the-thrill-of-the-fight dept.
First time accepted submitter Joe_Dragon writes "The composer of the Survivor hit Eye of the Tiger has sued Newt Gingrich to stop the Republican presidential candidate from using the Rocky III anthem at campaign events. The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Chicago by Rude Music Inc., the Palatine-based music publishing company owned by Frank Sullivan, who, with Jim Peterik, composed the song and copyrighted it in 1982. The lawsuit states that as early as 2009, Gingrich has entered rallies and public events to the pulsing guitar riffs of the song. In a lengthy section of the five-page complaint, Rude's attorneys point out that Gingrich is well aware of copyright laws, noting he is listed as author or co-author of more than 40 published works and has earned between $500,000 to $1 million from Gingrich Productions, a company that sells his written work, documentaries and audio books. It also notes Gingrich's criticism of the 'Stop Online Piracy Act' during a recent debate in South Carolina, where Gingrich suggested the law was unnecessary because 'We have a patent office, we have copyright law. If a company finds it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue.' The suit asks for an injunction to prevent Gingrich from using the song, as well as damages and attorneys' fees to be determined by the court."
Government

Maine Senator Wants Independent Study of TSA's Body Scanners 335

Posted by timothy
from the but-first-this-delicious-barium dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the top Republican on the homeland security committee, plans to introduce a bill that would require a new health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers nationwide. If the bill becomes law, TSA would be required to choose an 'independent laboratory' to measure the radiation emitted by a scanner currently in use at an airport checkpoint and use the data to produce a peer-reviewed study, to be submitted to Congress, based on its findings. The study would also evaluate the safety mechanisms on the machine and determine 'whether there are any biological signs of cellular damage caused by the scans.' Many Slashdotters are or have been involved in science. Is this a credible experimental protocol? Is it reasonable to expect an organization accused of jeopardizing the health and safety of hundreds of millions of air travelers to pick a truly unbiased lab? Would any lab chosen deliver a critical report and risk future funding? Should the public trust a study of radiology and human health designed by a US Senator whose highest degree is a bachelor's degree in government?"
Advertising

Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad 242

Posted by timothy
from the folsom-v-marsh dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mitt Romney's campaign is airing an ad that is basically 30 seconds lifted from an NBC News broadcast and NBC is trying to stop them from using the ad. I found it interesting that the Romney campaign is invoking fair use to defend the ad. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said 'we believe it falls within fair use. We didn't take the entire broadcast; we just took the first 30 seconds.'"
EU

Thousands Take To the Streets To Protest ACTA 217

Posted by timothy
from the where-to-find-fawkes-masks-in-bulk? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to spread in cities across Europe. The protests began in Poland, where thousands have taken to the streets and opposition politicians have worn Guy Fawkes masks in protest against the country signing the agreement last week. The scenes from Poland and France are remarkable, demonstrating the widespread anger over the decision to join ACTA. A full rundown of protest plans can be found here."
Moon

Lunar Base Foe Romney Endorsed By Lunar Base Supporters 318

Posted by timothy
from the let's-just-howl-at-each-other-instead dept.
MarkWhittington writes "Mitt Romney has infamously suggested that the idea of lunar colonies is 'zany' and has ridiculed Newt Gingrich's idea of building a lunar base by 2020. However Romney has been endorsed by a group of aerospace heavyweights, including Apollo moonwalker Gene Cernan and former NASA administrator Mike Griffin, many of whom have previously supported the idea of lunar bases."

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