government

Portland adds Hydroelectric Water Pipes

Portland adds Hydroelectric Water Pipes

The city of Portland is known to be progressive, and their latest venture into hydroelectricity is no exception. The eco-friendly city is adopting the latest technology, LucidPipe from Lucid Energy, to harness the power of the city's existing water line. Installed last December and financed privatedly by Harbourton Alternative Energy, the 200-kW LucidPipe system replaces a only a portion of the conventional water pipeline.

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Google voices opposition to court-blessed remote hacking

Google voices opposition to court-blessed remote hacking

The Internet has definitely changed the legal landscape by blurring the boundaries of geophysical territories. It has made the world both a smaller and bigger place, and the law is having a bit of trouble trying to catch up. Sometimes, in scrambling to adjust to the times, governments overreact and try to claim overarching powers. Such might be the case with the proposed amendment to the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, which could allow the government to remotely access computers even in other countries.

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Ecuadorian government adopts virtual money

Ecuadorian government adopts virtual money

To get things straight immediately, Ecuador isn't making Bitcoin its official currency. In fact, the cryptocurrency, which is just one form of such digital currency, is banned in the country. Instead, Ecuador will be implementing its own electronic money system, formally known as "Sistema de Dinero Electrónico". The digital payment system, according to government officials, will simply be an addition to its own US dollar-based physical money system, but some experts seem to think that the move might have other motives as well.

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NASA White House budget up (and down)

NASA White House budget up (and down)

Even with a $500-million-dollar boost compared to last year's total, NASA is only being provided with a potential 0.46% of the Federal Budget. While you'll hear many hearty claps and hoorays at the targets for this budget, this would be another in a long line of drops in percentage-of-total for the federal budget for NASA. The last time NASA received any amount over 1% of the total federal budget was back in 1993. Not that NASA could use the money for anything important like saving humans from an extinction level event, or anything like that.

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US Army open sources security code to fight cyber attacks

US Army open sources security code to fight cyber attacks

The US Army recently posted a security code to GitHub with a goal of open-sourcing it to better understand when they come under cyber attack. Called Dshell, the code has been used for the past five years to analyze attacks on Department of Defense networks. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) believes that the kind of cyber attacks launched on the government can be similar to those on the general public. Thus, they hope to get feedback from non-government users to better understand and prevent future attacks.

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Reddit’s first Transparency Report shows few data requests

Reddit’s first Transparency Report shows few data requests

Because it's January, companies have been dropping their latest transparency reports detailing government data requests from the second half of 2014 -- we saw Dropbox's earlier this morning, for example. Reddit, being the massively popular website that it is, is no doubt hit with data requests, but as its first-ever Transparency Report shows, they're relatively few and far between. Despite having 174 million or so regular visitors, the site was the recipient of only 55 user data requests in 2014.

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Dropbox Transparency Report for latter 2014 adds more details

Dropbox Transparency Report for latter 2014 adds more details

Dropbox is one of many companies that provides regular transparency reports, something it started doing a few years ago with a steadily increasing number of details. The cloud storage company has released its report for the second half of 2014 (July to December), and with it likewise comes an increase in details, the most notable of which is the inclusion of data on government data requests that come from outside of the US, making it more relevant for non-US users.

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FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

Marriott may have dropped its WiFi-blocking efforts, but that doesn't mean the FCC has forgotten about its petition and the WiFi-blocking habits of some other companies. In a warning issued today as an "FCC Enforcement Advisory", the agency made it clear that it is not acceptable to jam others' WiFi hotspots regardless of whether you're an individual or a company, and it specifically pointed toward hotels as an example. In addition, the FCC called hotspot-jamming actions a "disturbing trend" that must stop.

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DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

A national database of vehicles is quietly being created by the Department of Justice to help track drivers in the United States. The program has been tipped by both government documents and US officials, and is said to be done in secret with the DEA running the matter. The database is being put to use for numerous reasons, according to the sources, though it was originally created for seizing cars and other possessions in relation to the trafficking of drugs.

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Facebook ordered to censor pages or face ban in Turkey

Facebook ordered to censor pages or face ban in Turkey

Turkey has a long track record of trying to censor social media over political and religious reasons. Earlier this month, Twitter received the nation's focus when it demanded that an account belonging to an opposition newspaper be censored, otherwise the site would be banned. Now the nation has turned its attention to Facebook with similar threats and demands, this time with a requirement that the social network block certain pages considered to be offensive, otherwise the site will also be blocked.

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