By timothy from Slashdot's yes-that's-the-plural department
NASA, notes Ars Technica, has just produced a bumper crop of applicants for the coveted job of astronaut. 18,300 would-be astronauts applied to be part of the 2017 hiring class. It would be good to keep a backup job in mind, though:
NASA's astronaut applications have surged even as its flight opportunities have fallen by about 90 percent. Back in the early 2000s during the peak of the space shuttle program, NASA had more than 150 active astronauts. That's because the shuttle, with six to seven launches a year, afforded 40 to 50 annual flights into space. The number of active astronauts is now about one-third of that peak due to the shuttle's retirement in 2011.
With no Shuttle, and only one real destination (the International Space Station), those 18,300 astronauts will be whittled down to 8-14 candidates.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's underground-bunker department
cold fjord writes: Nick Gillespie at Reason is heading to The Free State Project's annual Liberty Forum being held this weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire. One of the highlights and a big draw this year is the keynote address by Edward Snowden via the Internet. Nick Gillespie will be interviewing Edward Snowden. Snowden is also scheduled to answer questions from participants submitted ahead of time. There are already reported to be 2,000 Free State Project members in the state, and reports from Brian Doherty indicate they are already effecting change: "Over 1,900 Free Staters already are there and we've reported here at Reason on some of what they're already accomplished, from getting 15 of their brethren in the state House, challenging anti-ridehail laws, fighting in court for outre religious liberty, winning legal battles over taping cops, being mocked by Colbert for heroically paying off people's parking meters, hosting cool anything goes festivals for libertarians, nullifying pot juries, and inducing occasional pants-wetting absurd paranoia in local statists."Read Replies (0)
By yaelk from Slashdot's another-security-breach department
chicksdaddy writes: You would think that the "damages" caused by massive online thefts, like those leveled against Target, Home Depot and Anthem Healthcare are self evident. But companies are arguing hard that they can't be sued for damages resulting from data breaches, because the "victims" can't show that they were harmed by the theft. That was the case back in June, when lawyers for Home Depot filed a motion to have a case linked to the compromise at that company dropped. The case was brought by customers whose data was stolen in the attack, but Home Depot's attorneys argued that those customers couldn't prove that they were harmed by the theft of their credit card information. Now a judge in San Francisco has dealt a blow to would-be defendants in a case against Anthem. In an opinion released on Sunday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that the loss of personal information in the breach of Anthem constitutes harm under New York's General Business Law. The ruling rejected arguments from Anthem and its lawyers that no direct harm resulted from the breach, which was first disclosed in February 2015. In her decision in the Anthem case, Koh reasoned that the theft of personal identification information is harm to consumers in itself, regardless of whether any subsequent misuse of it can be proven. Allegations of a "concrete and imminent threat of future harm" are enough to establish an injury and standing in the early stages of a breach suit, she said.Read Replies (0)