By timothy from Slashdot's where-liddy-was-wrong department
, no slouch himself in bringing to public awareness documents that reveal uncomfortable facts about government operations
, says that "Edward Snowden is the greatest patriot whistleblower of our time." Ellsberg says, in an editorial at The Guardian pointed out by reader ABEND (15913)
, that Snowden cannot receive a fair trial
without reform of the Espionage Act. According to Ellsberg, "Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, not just for months like Chelsea Manning but for the rest of his sentence, and probably the rest of his life. His legal adviser, Ben Wizner, told me that he estimates Snowden's chance of being allowed out on bail as zero. (I was out on bond, speaking against the Vietnam war, the whole 23 months I was under indictment). More importantly, the current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing. Legal scholars have strongly argued that the US supreme court – which has never yet addressed the constitutionality of applying the Espionage Act to leaks to the American public – should find the use of it overbroad and unconstitutional in the absence of a public interest defense. The Espionage Act, as applied to whistleblowers, violates the First Amendment, is what they're saying. As I know from my own case, even Snowden's own testimony on the stand would be gagged by government objections and the (arguably unconstitutional) nature of his charges. That was my own experience in court, as the first American to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act – or any other statute – for giving information to the American people."
Ellsberg rejects the distinction made by John Kerry in praising Ellsberg's own whistleblowing as patriotic, but Snowden's as cowardly and traitorous.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's news-for-nerds department
New submitter Bodhammer (559311)
writes "German researchers looked at the brains of 64 men between the ages of 21 and 45 and found that one brain region (the striatum, linked to reward processing), was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, and that a specific part of the same region is also less activated when exposed to more pornography."
While it's tempting to cast blame, "the study doesn't confirm whether watching porn causes the changes, or whether people with a certain brain type are inherently more apt to tune into X-rated content." The study's abstract is available
; the paper itself is pay-walled.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-your-canary-needs-a-canary department
writes "I use Truecrypt, but recently someone pointed me to the SourceForge page of Truecrypt that says it's out of business. I found the message weird, but now there's an explanation: Truecrypt has received a letter from the NSA."
Anyone with a firmer source (or who can debunk the claim), please chime in below; considering the fate of LavaBit
, it sure sounds plausible. PCWorld lists some alternative software
, for Windows users in particular, but do you believe that Microsoft's BitLocker is more secure?Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's beats-audio-without-an-apple-logo department
PC Mag reports that an upcoming laptop from HP (one that was prematurely announced in April
, and now official
) has decent-to-good specs — under 4 pounds, battery life more than 8 hours, Tegra processor, and a 1928x1080 touch screen — but an unusual operating system, at least for a laptop. The SlateBook 14 will run Android, rather than Windows (or ChromeOS, for that matter), which helps keep it relatively cheap, at $400. According to the article, Android is "a lot cheaper for HP to implement in a laptop; ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more." Ars Technica's mention in April
includes a screenshot taken from a video (note: video itself appears to be disabled) which shows the keyboard layout and which reveals some Android-specific changes.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-would-have-been-huge-and-square-I-guess department
writes "Back in 2011, then-Google VP and now-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer brainstormed with BMW to sketch out an idea she had for self-driving 'little bubbles' that could ease office commutes. Here's Mayer's pitch from a BMW film short: 'All I really need is a little bubble that drives itself and when it runs into something, it doesn't hurt that much...and...you know, like it doesn't actually take up that much fuel because it's so lightweight and it's good for the environment for that reason.' So, with Google's newly-built, steering wheel-less self-driving car being described as a 'tiny bubble-car', one wonders if Google CEO Larry Page's "Tiny Bubble Car" has its roots in Mayer's 'Little Bubble Car,' especially considering the striking similarity of Mayer's concept car sketch and Google's built vehicle."
Seems to me there's been plenty of concept art
(as well as actual tiny bubble-like cars
, even if they generallly have had steering wheels) for car designers to draw on.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's orange-groves-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see department
After Seattleites objected
to the local police department's plan to deploy unmanned aircraft
, that plan was withdrawn
. Now, it seems, Seattle has found a willing recipient
for some of the drones that it no longer has use for: the Los Angeles Police Department. From the linked article: "The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities. In making the announcement, however, department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public. If they're used at all, the remotely controlled aircraft will be called on only for "narrow and prescribed uses" that will be made clear to the public, the statement said."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's high-priority department
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Sunde was arrested today in a police raid in southern Sweden. The Pirate Bay co-founder was wanted by Interpol as he had yet to serve prison time for his involvement with the site. Sunde's arrest comes exactly eight years after the police raided the Pirate Bay servers, which marked the start of the criminal prosecution against the site's founders."
From the article: "While details are scarce at the moment, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reports that the arrest has been confirmed by the Swedish authorities.
According to Peter Althin, Sunde’s lawyer, the news means that his client will most likely be sent to prison to serve his 8-month sentence.
Sunde’s prison sentence was made final in 2012 after Sweden’s Supreme Court announced its decision not to grant leave to appeal in the long-running criminal case against the founders of The Pirate Bay."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's yes-please department
, SpaceX has unveiled its design for a 7-passenger space capsule
, intended for carrying astronauts to the International Station or other missions. Writes the L.A. Times: "SpaceX's Dragon V2 spacecraft looks like a sleek, modern-day version of the Apollo capsules that astronauts used in trips to the moon in the 1960s. Those capsules splashed down in the ocean and couldn't be reused. SpaceX builds its Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets in a vast complex in Hawthorne, where fuselage sections for Boeing's 747 jumbo jets once were built. The company is expanding its complex, near Los Angeles International Airport, and has more than 3,000 employees."
NBC News offers more pictures and description of what conditions aboard the Dragon would be like
, while astronaut Chris Hadfield says that for all its good points, the Dragon won't eliminate the need for international cooperation in space
: "The United States cannot fly to the Space Station without Russia, and Russia can't fly to the Space Station without the United States. It's a wonderful thing to have. If you look at the whole life of the Space Station, think of all the tumult, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the devaluation of the Ruble in 1998, and other countries backing out of it, the Columbia accident, which would have left us completely helpless if we hadn't had the international commitment. It's easy to have a one-month attention span, but that's just not how you build spaceships, or how you explore the rest of the universe."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's named-larry-ellison department
:Rambo Tribble (1273454)
writes "The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll."Read Replies (0)