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No more worries about "peak oil"?

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A new scientific discovery that takes algae and turns it into crude oil in minutes rather than millions of years could be the end of constant worries over “peak oil.”

Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced that they have created a process that takes an enriched stew of algae and turns it into crude oil which, in turn, can be made into a usable bio-fuel. The development was announced in a recent issue of the journal Algal Research.

Genifuel Corp., a biofuels company from Utah, has licensed the technology and is attempting to utilize the process on a larger, industrial scale.

In a , PNNL described, “In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae is pumped into the front end of a chemical reactor. Once the system is up and running, out comes crude oil in less than an hour, along with water and a byproduct stream of material containing phosphorus that can be recycled to grow more algae.”

Read the full story at .

NSA and the Police State

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Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information.  A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.

Massive security hole found in Obamacare site software

The release is looking more and more like amature hour.  :

Yet another reason to in the knowledge that the government is forcing people into this system under penalty of law:

Until the Department of Health fixed the security hole last week, anyone could easily reset your Healthcare.gov password without your knowledge and potentially hijack your account.

The glitch was discovered last week by Ben Simo, a software tester in Arizona. Simo found that gaining access to people’s accounts was frighteningly simple. You could have:

IT experts question architecture of Obamacare website

Sounds like poor planning and execution to me.  Any site that is constructed in such a way as to attack itself is fundamentally designed wrong.  From :

Five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters, however, say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contributed to the problems.

For instance, when a user tries to create an account on HealthCare.gov, which serves insurance exchanges in 36 states, it prompts the computer to load an unusually large amount of files and software, overwhelming the browser, experts said.

If they are right, then just bringing more servers online, as officials say they are doing, will not fix the site.

"Adding capacity sounds great until you realize that if you didn't design it right that won't help," said Bill Curtis, chief scientist at CAST, a software quality analysis firm, and director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality. "The architecture of the software may limit how much you can add on to it. I suspect they'll have to reconfigure a lot of it."

...

"They set up the website in such a way that too many requests to the server arrived at the same time," Hancock said.

Game of Drones

FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software

The domestic surveilance broadens.  I guess the FBI didn't want the NSA to have all the fun.  Seen at :

The U.S. government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install eavesdropping technology deep inside companies' internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts.

FBI officials have been sparring with carriers, a process that has on occasion included threats of contempt of court, in a bid to deploy government-provided software capable of intercepting and analyzing entire communications streams. The FBI's legal position during these discussions is that the software's real-time is authorized under the .

Attempts by the FBI to install what it internally refers to as "port reader" software, which have not been previously disclosed, were described to CNET in interviews over the last few weeks. One former government official said the software used to be known internally as the "harvesting program."

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Microsoft helped defeat encryption for NSA on Outlook, SkyDrive, Skype

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I’d call this another reason to go Mac, except that Apple also cooperated with NSA in accessing customer activities.  ?

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the , which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

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