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Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

Slashdot -

coondoggie writes: If what we know as advanced life exists anywhere other than Earth, then perhaps they are dirtying their atmosphere as much as we are. We could use such pollution components to perhaps more easily spot such planets. That's the basis of new research published this week by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They say that if we could spot the fingerprints of certain pollutants under ideal conditions (PDF), it would offer a new approach in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








KDE 5 Delivers New Linux Desktop Environment

LXer -

Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

Slashdot -

Advocatus Diaboli sends this report: The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither "concrete facts" nor "irrefutable evidence" to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. ...The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing individuals on a watchlist. "All executive departments and agencies," the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism Center. It sets a low standard—"reasonable suspicion"—for placing names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing, or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on "Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria"—even the title is hard to digest—the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little clarity.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Israel has right to completely destroy Gaza, right-wing rabbi says

RT -

Lior wrote that during any war where the Jewish people deem themselves to be under attack, they are legally allowed to fight back against the nation from which the attack came from.

“Therefore, in a time of war, the attacked nation is permitted to punish the enemy population with whatever measures it deems proper, like blocking supplies or electricity. It may bomb the entire area based on the judgment of the war minister and not wantonly put soldiers at risk,” he wrote, adding that “deterrent measures to exterminate the enemy” are allowed, Haaretz reported.

However, his comments did not go unnoticed from those who disagree with his views. After his ruling was published, Mertz Zahava Gal-On, head of a left-wing Israeli party, asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to launch an investigation.

“Rabbi Dov Lior’s racist comments long ago lost the protection of the right to free expression. These remarks follow his racist comments through the years, among them his many comments before the murder of [Yitzhak] Rabin and support for Baruch Goldstein,” Gal-On wrote to Weinstein. Goldstein was the man who gunned down 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron in 1994.

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza over the past 15 days has so far resulted in the deaths of more than 600 Palestinians, many of them women and children, with more than 4,500 wounded.

In comparison, around 30 Israelis have been killed in the war, although Hamas puts the figure at 40.
Lior is a staunch supporter of the settlement movement; he believes that all land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean belongs to the Jewish race, and that Palestinians have no right to live there.

"All of those who believe in the Torah know that this land was promised solely to these people. There is no room for another national entity in this place. There has never been a state belonging to another people here. It belongs exclusively to the Jewish people," Lior wrote, as quoted by Deutsche Welle.

Lior was the spiritual teacher of Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Amir was opposed to Rabin’s signing of the Oslo peace accords.

Lior was arrested and questioned in 2011 for endorsing a book sanctioning the killing of non-Jews.

Display tech could make eyeglasses unnecessary (when viewing a screen)

Liliputing -

Researchers are developing a new display technology that could let folks who wear glasses see a screen clearly without wearing their spectacles. The technology uses your eyeglass prescription to adjust a filter in front of the display so that you see a sharp image even if you’re normally blind as a bat (or blinder, since […]

Display tech could make eyeglasses unnecessary (when viewing a screen) is a post from: Liliputing

‘Concrete facts are not necessary’ - Obama administration makes blacklisting air passengers easier than ever

RT -

The 166-page document, the “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” suggests that the US government relies on “a secret process that requires neither ‘concrete facts’ nor ‘irrefutable evidence’ to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist,” journalists Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux wrote this week.

According to an excerpt of the lengthy but unclassified document, the guideline was “developed to help standardize the watchlisting community’s nomination and screening process,” which federal agencies implement when encountering persons that officials may believe are linked to terroristic activity.

The document suggests that those officials have a wide breadth with regards to evaluating suspects, however, and that one White House official even has the power to unilaterally place “entire categories” of people onto lists that may bar those individuals from traveling by air. The Obama administration, the journalists claim, “quietly approved a substantial expansion” of the list last year, allowing more individuals to be targeted than before with less evidence than before.

Elsewhere, the document contains verbiage which reveals that individuals may be targeted by the feds and placed on such lists without the government relying on any evidence to support claims that those persons present a serious risk.

“In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit,” one excerpt reads.

In another part of the document, the journalists write, “uncorroborated” social media postings are considered fair game when it comes to deciding whether or not to place a person on such a watchlist.

“Single source information,” the guidelines state, “including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted … the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”

Furthermore, in other instances federal agents may elect to nominate someone to be placed on a watchlist due to the contents of their pockets at the time of being searched, according to the report, and specifically requests that “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards)” by analyzed by officials.

Responding to The Intercept ahead of Wednesday’s publication, Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberty’s National Security Project said that “Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future.”

“On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.” Shamsi said. “These criteria should never have been kept secret.”

And although the document is not classified as top-secret, US Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in an affidavit, according to The Intercept, that the Watchinglist Guidance “contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”

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