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NSA issues letter of ‘reassurance’ directing employees to share it with friends, family and co-workers

Think all these stories about the NSA’s surveillance overreach and abuses are getting to the folks there? Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake has the details on a letter the NSA has given to all of its employees and contractors, which it tells them they can…  …

Stephen Hawking: Brain could exist outside body but ‘conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark’

At premiere of film about his life, physicist says it’s theoretically possible to copy brain on to computer to provide life after death Stephen Hawking has said he believes brains could exist independently of the body, but that the idea of a conventional afterlife is a fairy tale. Speaking at…

New Tesla patent: 400-mile battery pack using metal-air & lithium-ion batteries

New Tesla Patent: 400-Mile Battery Pack Using Metal-Air & Lithium-Ion Batteries (via Clean Technica) Tesla Motors is exclusively an electric car maker, with Elon Musk expressing disdain for cars like the Chevy Volt and BMW i3, which pack gas-powered range-extenders. But Tesla may be working on a different…  …

Bangladesh garment workers demand $100 a month minimum wage

Thousands of Bangladesh garment workers blocked roads and attacked factories outside the capital Dhaka on Saturday demanding a $100 minimum monthly wage. The workers, many carrying sticks, walked off the job in dozens of garment factories, which make apparel for the world’s top retailers such as Walmart, and protested for…

Chamber of Commerce unenthusiastic about proposed EPA plan to limit carbon emissions at new power plants

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed Friday to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, in a bid to implement President Barack Obama’s plan to fight climate change. The move marks the “first milestone” of a major part of the Climate Action Plan announced in June by the US…

The car of the future will be made from seawater

Hey, maybe we can drink our way out of this mess after all. ARPA-E, the Energy Department’s cutting-edge technology funding branch, has just released grants totaling $66 million for transformative automotive and energy projects, and among the goodies…  …

New FBI director James Comey defends Obama’s surveillance program

The FBI’s new director says he supports the government’s electronic surveillance program as a useful, “legal” tool, even though he opposed eavesdropping activities under ex-president George W. Bush. Two weeks after taking over at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey said in an interview with AFP and several other…

Richmond, CA mayor considers using ‘Eminent Domain’ to prevent banks from foreclosing on residents’ homes

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, a former teacher and member of the Green Party, is on a crusade to stop foreclosures she says have devastated her working-class, predominantly minority community.;  …

Stephen King slams ‘Twilight’ franchise as ‘tweenage porn’

Bestselling horror novelist dismisses Stephenie Meyer series and 50 Shades phenomenon, but praises JK Rowling Stephen King, the prolific and best-selling patriarch of the horror novel, has used a rare interview to express disdain for modern pretenders to his title, dismissing the Twilight franchise as “tweenager porn” and calling The…

China will negotiate on nationalized islands if Japan admits they’re in dispute

China said Friday that it was ready to talk to Japan over an increasingly heated maritime row, but only if Tokyo declares the islands to be disputed. Foreign Minister Wang Yi faced questions about ties with the U.S. ally during a visit to Washington, where he called for mutual respect…

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