Senators kill bill aimed at ending NSA’s mass phone surveillance

Back in May, the US government began to process a bill aimed at reining in the NSA’s powers of surveillance — if Google, Apple and Microsoft are sending group letters, you know it’s an important bill. However, it’s been left on Capitol Hill, rejected by the Senate. It failed a procedural vote, after senior Republicans said it would affect efforts to defend the country from enemies. It fell short of the 60 votes needed, gathering 58 to 42 votes.

via Senators kill bill aimed at ending NSA’s mass phone surveillance

Rand Paul: ‘Deceitful’ Obamacare ‘Henchmen’ Should Return Money Made

Rand Paul: ‘Deceitful’ Obamacare ‘Henchmen’ Should Return Money Made

Gruber referred to “lack of transparency” as key to passing Obamacare at several academic conferences in 2012. He also made explicit reference to the “stupidity of the American voter” as “critical to getting this thing passed.”

Although Obama claims that Gruber was merely “some advisor” who “never worked on our staff,” Gruber is actually an MIT economist who helped create the Obamacare law. The Obama administration had paid Mr. Gruber $380,000 in 2009, cited him several times in hearings and White House blogs, and even dedicated a webpage to his expert analysis. Visitor logs show Gruber meeting repeatedly with senior officials at the White House including one meeting with President Obama.

 

Philae lander sends back first ever image from comet surface

The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has sent back the first ever image from the surface of a comet.

The picture shows the cracked, bumpy surface in monochrome, with one of Philae’s three legs in the bottom left of the frame. It is not yet clear whether the leg in the image is actually touching the surface. What is certain is that Philae is not level, and may be wedged into a pit.

“We’re either looking into a ditch or we are against a wall,” said ESA Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor.

Comets are often described as “dirty snowballs”, irregular blocks of ice covered with dust and rocks, but no human craft has ever reached the surface of one before.

Scientists re-established communications with Philae on Thursday after an anxious overnight wait while its mothership Rosetta, which relays the signals to Earth, dipped below the comet’s horizon.

via Philae lander sends back first ever image from comet surface

Don’t be fooled: Net neutrality is all about cronyism

Unfortunately, big businesses too often think about how the government can help their bottom line instead of what’s best for the little guy. As a result of a well-orchestrated media campaign, the FCC is on the cusp of reclassifying ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act to enact net neutrality so Big Internet doesn’t have to pay its share of traffic. Ultimately, the change would empower the government to regulate the business models of private ISPs, chaining the Internet to one-size-fits all solutions for millions of customers with different needs.

Internet giants love to scaremonger the public into believing that a world without net neutrality would lead to customers being charged different data plans for the amount of internet they use, much like cell phone companies currently do. The problem with this argument is that we already live in this world, and it is largely not the case. Most Internet subscribers pay a monthly fee that entitles them to as much data as they desire, and that will likely not change anytime soon.

via Don’t be fooled: Net neutrality is all about cronyism