When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story — insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century, an Associated Press investigation shows.
Regulators and industry now contend that the 40-year limit was chosen for economic reasons and to satisfy antitrust concerns, not for safety issues. They contend that a nuclear plant has no technical limit on its life.
But an AP review of historical records, along with interviews with engineers who helped develop nuclear power, shows just the opposite: Reactors were made to last only 40 years. Period.
In 1982, D. Clark Gibbs, chairman of the licensing and safety committee of an early industry group, wrote to the NRC that “most nuclear power plants, including those operating, under construction or planned for the future, are designed for a duty cycle which corresponds to a 40-year life.”
And three years later, when Illinois Power Co. sought a license for its Clinton station, utility official D.W. Wilson told the NRC on behalf of his company’s nuclear licensing department that “all safety margins were established with the understanding of the limitations that are imposed by a 40-year design life.”
Weeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllp. I am not a nuclear power alarmist, but shit like this does not help your credibility at all guys. Really. Cut it out.
Also, thumbs up to the Associated Press National Investigative Team for doing actual, real reporting on an issue related to nuclear power.
Mr. Gregorio, 63, a witness to countless fistfights and occasional stabbings erupting from disputes over karaoke singing, did not dare choose one beloved classic: Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way.”
“I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed.”
The authorities do not know exactly how many people have been killed warbling “My Way” in karaoke bars over the years in the Philippines, or how many fatal fights it has fueled. But the news media have recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade and includes them in a subcategory of crime dubbed the “My Way Killings.”
“The Philippines is a very violent society, so karaoke only triggers what already exists here when certain social rules are broken,” said Roland B. Tolentino, a pop culture expert at the University of the Philippines. But even he hedged, noting that the song’s “triumphalist” nature might contribute to the violence.
In Manila, Alisa Escanlar, 33, and her relatives invariably gather before a karaoke machine, but they banned “My Way” after an uncle, listening to a friend sing the song at a bar, became enraged at the laughter coming from the next table. The uncle, who was a police officer, pulled out his revolver, after which the customers at the next table quietly paid their bill and left.
A subset of karaoke bars with G.R.O.’s — short for guest relations officers, a euphemism for female prostitutes — often employ gay men, who are seen as neutral, to defuse the undercurrent of tension among the male patrons. Since the gay men are not considered rivals for the women’s attention — or rivals in singing, which karaoke machines score and rank — they can use humor to forestall macho face-offs among the patrons.
In one such bar in Quezon City, next to Manila, patrons sing karaoke at tables on the first floor and can accompany a G.R.O. upstairs. Fights often break out when customers at one table look at another table “the wrong way,” said Mark Lanada, 20, the manager.
“That’s the biggest source of tension,” Mr. Lanada said. “That’s why every place like this has a gay man like me.”
Oh boy. WNYC’s soundcheck podcast just a feature on “Thriller”, to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of MJ’s death. And they’ve posted quite a gem.
First up is the podcast itself, discussing the genesis of Thriller. One notable bit happens around 6:00, where it’s revealed that Quincy Jones gave recording engineer Bruce Swedien the creative direction “Edgar Allen Poe” when Swedien sat down to do the stereo mix of “Thriller”.
And because all of this wasn’t awesome enough, they threw in an original take of the song “Thriller” was before it was “Thriller”. Apparently the song was originally called “Starlight” and was some kind of love song. (Probably the most unreal part is hearing Michael doing a scratch take, singing only halfway.)
Scott F. Kiesling, writing in the journal American Speech:
The patterns of use for the address term dude are outlined, as are its functions and meanings in interaction. Explanations are provided for its rise in use, particularly among young men, in the early 1980s, and for its continued popularity since then.
Nah nah, for real dude, this paper ain’t a joke — it’s actually quite illuminating as to why we use “dude” and tackles some fascinating sociological / anthropological issues in the process. One of my favorite bits, from the discussion section towards the end:
In perhaps the most well-known scenes in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), a conflict is set up between Spicoli and his history teacher, Mr. Hand. In the first scene Spicoli is late on the first day of class, and in the second he has a pizza delivered to class. Mr. Hand is represented as a demanding, uptight teacher who takes stances that could hardly be further from those Spicoli adopts. Mr. Hand, of course, becomes outraged that Spicoli does not even seem to realize his behavior is unacceptable. From the eyes of a 1980s teenager, the conflict between Spicoli and Mr. Hand is an allegory for competing norms of masculinity and shows how the stances associated with dude are set up in conflict with stances of hard work and other “adult” values. The “slackers” in the film Clerks (1994) are also the opposite of Edley and Wetherell’s “hard, aggressive person single-mindedly driven by the desire for power and status,” but in Clerks, the fun-loving of Spicoli has been replaced by nihilism: more “why bother?” than “who cares?”
Basically after you logged into your account as a Citi customer, the URL contained a code identifying your account. All you had to do was change around the numbers and boom, you were in someone else’s account.
So if the URL was something like citibank.com/user/12345, all you had to do was change it to citibank.com/user/123456 and you had access to all of their account information.
Oh for crying out loud. From the comments:
Well, actually more like when you unlocked your door, every other door on the street unlocked for you too
The Nissan LEAF all-electric car is full of technological firsts. One of which is a GSM cellular connection to the internet for providing voluntary telemetry information to Nissan, new charging stations, competitive driver rankings, and even RSS feeds. This is called Nissan CARWINGS.
Apparently when CARWINGS checks RSS feeds, it sends a bunch of parameters in the query string. Parameters like these:
"lat" and "lon" variables contain the current position of the vehicle, "speed" is the vehicle speed, "car_dir" is the direction of the car, and "lat_dst" and "lon_dst" is your destination configured in your navigation system"
All of these lovely values are being provided to any third party RSS provider you configure: CNN, Fox News, Weather Channel, it doesn’t matter!
On the upside, this post does contain a demo of a cool location-based weather RSS feed, so uh, I guess it’s not all bad news for Nissan. (It’s all bad news for Nissan.)
We need to make sure Democrat challengers face primaries to allow our Republicans time to mount a campaign. The GAB is delaying Democrat elections to give them more time to organize. We need the same! A Democratic primary will push the general election back by one month, so that Senator Hopper can have more time to organize a campaign against his liberal challenger.
Daniel Bice of the Journal Sentinel reviewed the political donations of the two “protest” candidates mentioned in the letters, John Buckstaff and Rol Church, and discovered they both have histories of donating to Republicans. In 2008, Buckstaff even donated money to Sen. Hopper, whom he would face if he won the primary. The pejorative name given to these men by the paper is “fake Democrats.”
Since the plan was outed, Republicans have been disavowing involvement and pointing fingers at colleagues while also claiming there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Emma Roller and Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel wrote a piece yesterday on the current state of affairs.
The campaigns for the Republican senators tried to distance themselves Monday from the plan to run fake Democrats, saying it was orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and the state Republican Party. Fitzgerald has said all the Republicans facing recalls were informed of the plan in advance.
Republican Party spokeswoman Katie McCallum in a statement defended the plan for primaries as a way to give Republicans time to campaign.
"These protest candidates have a right to have their voices heard; they believe it’s ridiculous for Republican senators to be recalled for doing their jobs…," her statement said.
The article also contains estimates from clerks of what the additional costs of the primary elections would be:
Election clerks estimate the cost of a Democratic primary in the districts of the recalled GOP lawmakers as follows: Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez, $86,000; Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, $69,700; Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, $27,000; Sen. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac, $84,200; Sen. Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse, $101,000; and Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon, $60,200.
Those are only partial figures. Two counties in Harsdorf’s district, two counties in Olsen’s district and one county in Kapanke’s district did not provide estimates. The figures also do not include the costs for some of the municipalities within those counties.
The total estimate for the two races mention in the letters is $144,400. If primary elections are forced in all six, the total of all the estimates is $428,100.
This is in a state where today an anti-union bill went into effect. A bill ostensibly passed for budget-balancing purposes.
I’m just going to go ahead and quote the OP in its entirety:
Hi everyone. I am totally devastated today. I just woke up to see a very large chunk of my bitcoin balance gone to the following address:
Transaction date: 6/13/2011 12:52 (EST)
I feel like killing myself now. This get me so f’ing pissed off. If only the wallet file was encrypted on the HD. I do feel like this is my fault somehow for now moving that money to a separate non windows computer. I backed up my wallet.dat file religiously and encrypted it but that does not do me much good when someone or some trojan or something has direct access to my computer somehow.
The transaction sent belongs rightfully to this address: 1J18yk7D353z3gRVcdbS7PV5Q8h5w6oWWG
Block explorer is down so I cannot even see where the funds went.
I tried restoring an earler backup of my wallet but naturally that does not work because the transaction has already been validated.
Needles to say I feel like I have lost faith in bitcoin.
Anyone have any ideas what I can do besides just jump off a bridge?!
Over the course of the thread it emerges that the victim was, allegedly, storing an unencrypted Bitcoin wallet1 on a Windows PC that had a bunch of malware on it, while idling on IRC in Bitcoin related channels. So not only is Bitcoin a tremendously bad idea, it appears that the implementation of it is uh… somewhat irresponsible in its approach to security.
Why would I say something like that? Doesn’t this seem to be his fault? And would an encrypted wallet file — not something supported by the Bitcoin client as far as I can tell — really have helped him? For example, there are a lot of people in the above thread saying that “oh it doesn’t matter if he had it encrypted or not, they could have just gotten his password with a keylogger”.
This all-or-nothing approach to security is an extremely dangerous game to play. When talking about systems security (rather than cryptography or something more abstract), it is an acknowledged fact that there are no perfectly secure systems. Every single computer system ever built has been hacked and exploited. This greatly informs the approach one should take when designing a system with security in mind. Once we discard the idea of security as a binary state, we must instead think of security as a continuum: thus, designing a secure system is a matter of getting to that “secure enough” for for whatever we’re doing with that system. Since Bitcoin is storing what amounts to literal money, that bar is should be pretty high.
With that in mind, let’s examine this situation again:
From the thread, it seems likely that the wallet was hacked via either malware running on his PC or via an exploit in the victim’s IRC client.
Since the wallet was unencrypted, all the attacker had to was copy the wallet to their machine and the execute the transaction.
It’s unclear exactly how the attacker gained access to the machine as of this writing (just after noon on Tuesday) so we don’t have a much more information than that. If the wallet file itself had been encrypted:
The attacker would have tried to copy the wallet and found that it was encrypted.
The attacker would then need to key log or screen scrape which may (I’m not a Windows security expert by any means) require more privilege than simply exploiting an IRC client would provide.
Furthermore, even if the attacker did, technically, have the privilege to perform key logging or screen scraping to obtain the victim’s password, they may not have had the expertise or time or even motivation to do.
I think it should be clear now that it’s a significant bump up in security just to have the Bitcoin wallet secured with a password. Even better would be to have the secured Bitcoin wallet itself stored somewhere the attacker could not easily access it, like on an encrypted volume. Or storing your Bitcoin wallet on a completely separate machine that has very little connection to the outside internet. There are a whole host of other things this guy could have done differently, but even the simplest steps can make a big, big difference — a $500,000 difference.2
Yes, he says he encrypts it in the OP but it emerges later in the thread that he was storing the wallet unencrypted on the Windows PC. ↩
On September 13, 1985, after financial troubles and boardroom maneuvering, Steve Jobs resigned from Apple Computer. Shortly thereafter, he founded NeXT with a few other former Apple employees. At the end of 1996, Apple acquired NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor.
In March 1997, Peter Burrows of BusinessWeek magazine wrote a piece on Jobs’s return. It’s an interesting look at business decisions, politics, and personal relationships from fifteen years ago:
As [then Apple CEO Gil] Amelio hunts for $400 million in expense cuts, he’s following Jobs’ advice by targeting Apple’s advanced research group. Jobs argued hard for cutbacks, saying Apple should use its best brains to build snazzy new Mac products rather than futuristic gee-whiz technologies. Apple managers say Amelio is now considering slashing the advanced R&D group, which spent $30 million last year, by more than 50%. “The whole focus is to get lean, mean teams doing great things again,” says one manager. “That’s the Steve Jobs influence, and that’s good.”
In early February, for example, Jobs sat through a detailed review of an advertising campaign backed by Amelio. He listened intently, then launched into a speech about why advertising was a waste of money given the bad press that still plagues Apple. Amelio still approved the media campaign. “Gil doesn’t take all of Steve’s advice or all of anyone’s advice,” says Fred D. Anderson, Apple’s chief financial officer. “With all due respect, we have some seasoned executives here.” As for Jobs’s popularity at Apple, if Amelio is ruffled, he isn’t showing it. “If the price for getting Apple healthy is involving Steve…I’m O.K. with that. I’m a big boy,” he says.
Besides, Amelio says he’s all for getting tougher himself. He concedes he underestimated the challenge of reining in Apple’s unruly culture. “I didn’t realize it, but people would listen to me, say ‘Gee, that was a nice speech,’ and go do what they wanted,” says Amelio, 54, who came to Apple from National Semiconductor Corp. “This time, I’m going to use the two-by-four approach. I’m going to put this place through the most gut-wrenching change it’s ever had.”
I really liked the introduction:
On the wall of a cubicle in Apple Computer Inc.’s Infinite Loop engineering campus hangs a picture of Steven P. Jobs, the 41-year-old high-tech superstar and legendary Apple co-founder. Above the photograph are the words: “I was here when Steve came back.” In the adjoining cubicle, the same picture is tacked up on the wall with the caption: “He’ll be here when Gil leaves.”
Although the best part of the article is easily this quote:
"People keep trying to suck me in," says Jobs. "They want me to be some kind of Superman. But I have no desire to run Apple Computer. I deny it at every turn, but nobody believes me."
This article was published in March 1997. In July 1997, Jobs would stage a coup to oust Amelio as CEO of Apple, and in September Jobs became the interim CEO.
Note that the title I have given this post is not the same as the title of the article, written by Marcy Gordon of the AP. I have redacted a pun for your protection.
It seemed like an innovative way to buy a beer company: Start an online campaign to purchase the iconic Pabst Brewing Co. and sell shares on Facebook and Twitter to cover the $300 million cost.
Michael Migliozzi II and Brian William Flatow found 5 million people who said they would invest a total of $200 million. But the federal government halted the venture after it informed the two men of one major oversight - they neglected to register the public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a violation of federal law.
By law, public stock offerings must be registered with the SEC before their promoters begin to sell shares. When they register to sell shares in a company, they must provide information about the company’s financial condition and other data to help investors decide whether they should buy in.
Genius! Except for that pesky thing where we live in a country with regulations.
Migliozzi and Flatow spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. And they created the BuyaBeerCompany.com web site, which included a countdown timer showing how much money had been pledged.
Prospective investors were told to hold off sending money until the company had $300 million in pledges. Once they reached that goal, promoters would contact them to collect the money and proceed to buy Pabst. In return, investors would receive a certificate of ownership and beer equal in value to what they had contributed.
The SEC has an entire enforcement unit devoted to Internet surveillance with a staff of more than 200 people. The CyberForce has flagged numerous instances of unregistered securities sales online.
French TV and radio presenters have been banned from mentioning social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on air.
The country’s broadcasting watchdog has ruled that doing so would break guidelines on advertising.
Stations can still talk about services without naming them, it said.
In a ruling, published online, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), said: “Referring viewers or listeners to the page of the social network without mentioning it has the character of information.
"Whereas the referral by naming the social network in question has the character of advertising, contrary to the provisions of Article 9 of the decree of 27 March 1992 forbidding covert advertising."
Crack reporting from the BBC’s Department of Things You Can’t Make Up.
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, announced on the IA blog on Monday that they’ve been working on keeping a physical archive of the books they digitize.
Internet Archive is building a physical archive for the long term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie we are able to attract or acquire. Because we expect day-to-day access to these materials to occur through digital means, the our physical archive is designed for long-term preservation of materials with only occasional, collection-scale retrieval. Because of this, we can create optimized environments for physical preservation and organizational structures that facilitate appropriate access. A seed bank might be conceptually closest to what we have in mind: storing important objects in safe ways to be used for redundancy, authority, and in case of catastrophe.
The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so we do not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve over ten million items is possible, so we have designed a system that will expand to this level. Ten million books is approximately the size of a world-class university library or public library, so we see this as a worthwhile goal. If we are successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that we cannot predict.
The goal is strictly archival, so their storage solution is cardboard boxes in shipping containers. They have pictures!
Based on this success and the increasing availability of physical materials, a production facility leveraging this design will be launched in June of 2011 in Richmond, California. The essence of the design from the book’s point of view is to have several layers of protection, each able to be monitored and periodically inspected:
Books are cataloged, and have acid free paper inserts with information about the book and its location,
Boxes store approximately 40 books with labeling on the outside,
Pallets hold 24 boxes each,
Modified 40′ shipping containers are used as secure and individually controllable environments of 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 30% relative humidity,
Buildings contain shipping containers and environmental systems,
Non-profit organizations own and protect the property and its contents.
Colin’s out networking at WWDC, where by “networking” I mean “badgering Apple engineers and getting drunk,” so I guess it’s just you and me this week. And I can’t think of any better way to get started than with Coco, the Colossal Colon.
“Coco,” as the Colossal Colon® is affectionately known, is a 40-foot long, 4-foot tall oversized model of the human colon that is designed to educate about colorectal cancer and other diseases of the colon. Visitors who crawl through the Colossal Colon will see Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, cancerous and non-cancerous polyps, and various stages of colon cancer.
So that title of this article by Paisley Dodds of the AP is pretty terrible. But only because the actual gist of the story is somehow even better:
Britain’s spy agencies have a new message for terrorists: make cupcakes, not war.
Intelligence agents managed to hack into the extremist Inspire magazine, replacing its bombmaking instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.
The quarterly online magazine, which is sent to websites and email addresses as a pdf file, had offered an original page titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” in one of its editions last year. The magazine’s pages were corrupted, however, and the instructions replaced with the cupcake recipe.
Colin: Basically they should just hire LulzSecurity.
Colin: And other 4chan-related hacking groups.
Colin: “Alright go hack the bad guys instead of sony”
Remember that an acronym is pronounced as a single word, whereas an initialism is pronounced as a series of letters. So when you say “I’ve got an acronym for you, buddy: STFU!”—well, you’re actually working to erode that distinction. It’s not as if one can pronounce the word “stuh-foo” or something. That would sound quite ignorant.
What’s that? You say you want me to “literally” shut my fucking face?