FCC approves net neutrality rules, reclassifies broadband as a utility

(from engadget.com)

It’s a good day for proponents of an open internet: The Federal Communications Commission just approved its long-awaited network neutrality plan, which reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II public utility and gives the agency more regulatory power in the process. And unlike the FCC’s last stab at net neutrality in 2010, today’s new rules also apply to mobile broadband. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler laid out the basic gist of the plan earlier this month — it’ll ban things like paid prioritization, a tactic some ISPs used to get additional fees from bandwidth-heavy companies like Netflix, as well as the slowdown of “lawful content.” But now Wheeler’s vision is more than just rhetoric; it’s something the FCC can actively enforce.

(keep reading at engadget.com)

ACLU seeks to force Kansas to allow gay marriages via federal court order

Or: Suck it, Brownback

(from ljworld.com)

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to order Kansas to allow same-sex couples to wed while the group’s lawsuit against the state constitution’s gay-marriage ban is under review.

The group argued in its filing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, that it is likely to prevail in the lawsuit. It also said denying the right to marry even for a short period will do irreparable harm to the two lesbian couples represented by the ACLU in the case. The group wants to immediately block the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban.

Kansas voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2005 to preserve a longstanding policy against gay marriage — and to deny same-sex couples any “rights and incidents” associated with marriage. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve gay marriage bans, including Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same federal appeals court circuit as Kansas.

Doug Bonney, the legal director of the ACLU’s Kansas chapter, said federal appeals court rulings against the Oklahoma and Utah gay-marriage bans are precedents that doom Kansas’ prohibition.

(keep reading at ljworld.com)

JPMorgan Chase loses 76 Million Family’s personal information

(from nytimes.com)

A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses, a tally that dwarfs previous estimates by the bank and puts the intrusion among the largest ever.

The details of the breach — disclosed in a securities filing on Thursday — emerge at a time when consumer confidence in the digital operations of corporate America has already been shaken. Target, Home Depot and a number of other retailers have sustained major data breaches. Last year, the information of 40 million cardholders and 70 million others were compromised at Target, while an attack at Home Depot in September affected 56 million cards.

But unlike retailers, JPMorgan, as the largest bank in the nation, has financial information in its computer systems that goes beyond customers’ credit card details and potentially includes more sensitive data.

(keep reading at nytimes.com)

———-

Fuck the banks.  Let those fucking things BURN.

David Byrne – Heaven lyrics

Everyone is trying to get to the bar.
The name of the bar, the bar is called Heaven.
The band in Heaven plays my favorite song.
They play it once again, they play it all night long.

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

There is a party, everyone is there.
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time.
Its hard to imagine that nothing at all
Could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

When this kiss is over it will start again.
It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same.
It’s hard to imagine that nothing at all
Could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

Heaven is a place where nothing every happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing every happens.

CEO of Bitcoin Officially Bans China

(from coindesk.com)

Following rumours of China’s plans toban bank transfers to bitcoin exchanges, the CEO of Bitcoin™ has decided to ban China.

The decision was unanimously approved by Bitcoin’s shareholders, the Bitcoin Board of Directors, HaCkerz4BITZ and the Bitcoin Steering Board.

As of 8th April, bitcoin transfers to and from the Glorious People’s Republic of China will no longer by supported by the Bitcoin Network™. The decision will not affect the Republic of China (Taiwan) – unless it gets invaded in the meantime. It is unclear whether or not it will apply to Hong Kong, which is sort of part of China, but really it isn’t – you know?

(keep reading at coindesk.com)

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

(from npr.org)

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they’ve had a breakthrough in producing fusion power with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work, and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they’ve produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. “We’ve gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel,” he says.

Strictly speaking, while more energy came from fusion than went into the hydrogen fuel, only about 1 percent of the laser’s energy ever reached the fuel. Useful levels of fusion are still a long way off. “They didn’t get more fusion power out than they put in with the laser,” says Steve Cowley, the head of a huge fusion experiment in the U.K. called the Joint European Torus, or JET.

The laser is known as the National Ignition Facility, or NIF. Constructed at a cost of more than $3 billion, it consists of 192 beams that take up the length of three football fields. For a brief moment, the beams can focus 500 trillion watts of power — more power than is being used in that same time across the entire United States — onto a target about the width of a No. 2 pencil.

The goal is fusion. Fusion is a process where hydrogen atoms are squeezed together to make helium atoms. When that happens, a lot of energy comes out. It could mean the answer to the world’s energy problems, but fusion is really, really hard to do. Hurricane says that each time they try, it feels like they’re taking a test.

(keep reading at npr.org)