As Senate hearings heat up, Warner calls FBI nomination ‘an effort to distract’ the public

As Senate hearings heat up, Warner calls FBI nomination ‘an effort to distract’ the publicWarner made the comments on CBS’ “This Morning” after Trump tweeted that he would be nominating former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray to replace James Comey as head of the bureau. The Virginia Democrat is the top Democrat on the committee that is hearing testimony from National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers Wednesday, and ousted FBI Director James Comey Thursday.



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Trump calls on Congress to probe his evidence-free claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

Trump calls on Congress to probe his evidence-free claim that Obama wiretapped Trump TowerTrump listens to questions from reporters at Trump Tower in January. A day after accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones before the election, President Trump called on Congress to investigate his claim, for which he has cited no evidence. White House press secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement on Sunday saying that “reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” and that Trump is asking Congress to investigate.



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Trump doubles down on Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ attack after Native American woman calls him ‘offensive’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, at the Rimrock Auto Arena, in Billings, Mont., Thursday, May 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)You tell me,” Trump asked. The woman replied that she was offended, and Trump quickly repeated the phrase. “Oh, oh really — oh, I’m sorry about that,“ Trump said before turning to a reporter who had asked about Warren, immediately using the term again.



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Bill Gates Calls On the US Government To Invest More In Research and Development

An anonymous reader cites an article on Fortune: On Monday, Bill Gates attempted a commendable feat: to get politicians to focus on something other than the current election cycle and its partisan bickering. In an op-ed published by Reuters, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft called on the United States to spur technological innovation by increasing its investment in research and development. “Government funding for our world-class research institutions produces the new technologies that American entrepreneurs take to market,” he wrote. But while other nations like South Korea and China have drastically upped their R and D spending, the United States’ has “essentially flatlined.” He said that the rest of the world’s commitment to research and development is great, “but if the United States is going to maintain its leading role, it needs to up its game.” His call for more government-sponsored R&D also comes as corporations pull back on their commitment to discovery and innovation. With more government investment, he said, U.S. scientists could completely eradicate polio and further decrease the number of deaths from malaria. More funding could also “develop the technologies that will power the world — while also fighting climate change, promoting energy independence, and providing affordable energy for the 1.3 billion poor people who don’t have it today.”

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Calls For Funding NASA Commercial Crew Grow

MarkWhittington writes: As summer starts to give way to fall and the end of the current fiscal year draws nigh, demands that NASA’s commercial crew program be fully funded are being heard with greater frequency and urgency. Astronaut Scott Kelly took time off from his year-long sojourn on the International Space Station to entreat Congress to pony up. IO9 was a little more caustic, stating “Dammit, Congress: Just Buy NASA its Own Space Taxi, Already.” Monday, Slate became the latest media outlet to take up the cause The situation is depressingly familiar to those who have followed the fortunes of the space program since the Apollo moon landings. When President Obama started the commercial crew program in 2010, NASA estimated that it would take a certain amount of money to get government funded and commercially operated spacecraft running by 2015. Then the space agency would no longer be dependent on Russia for rides to the International Space Station. Congress has decided to allocate less money than NASA feels it needed for commercial crew. This situation is not unusual, as Congress often does this to space projects. However, the politics surrounding the creation of the commercial crew program, which featured the abrupt cancellation of the Constellation space exploration program, has exacerbated the conflict between NASA’s will and Congress’ won’t. President Obama did not consult Congress when he cancelled President Bush’s return to the moon program. Congress has displeased ever since.

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Federal Judge Calls BS On Homeland Security’s 2008 STEM ‘Emergency’

theodp writes: In 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security enacted ’emergency’ changes to Optional Practical Training (OPT) to extend the amount of time foreign STEM graduates of US colleges could stay in the country and work (“to alleviate the crisis employers are facing due to the current H-1B visa shortage”, as Bill Gates explained it in 2007). More than seven years later, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle has found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the program, and issued a ruling that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers on OPT STEM extensions to return to their home countries early next year. Huvelle has given the government six months to submit the OPT extension rule for proper notice and comment lest it be revoked. From the ruling (pdf): “By failing to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking, the record is largely one-sided, with input only from technology companies that stand to benefit from additional F-1 student employees, who are exempted from various wage taxes. Indeed, the 17-month duration of the STEM extension appears to have been adopted directly from the unanimous suggestions by Microsoft and similar industry groups.” Microsoft declared a new crisis in 2012, this time designed to link tech’s need for H-1B visas to U.S. children’s lack of CS savvy.

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Apple Testing Service That Allows Siri to Answer Calls and Transcribe Voicemail

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is reportedly testing a new feature which would allow Siri to answer your calls and then transcribe the voicemails as text messages. The iCloud service would then send users the text of that transcribed voicemail. Apple employees are testing a voicemail service currently and a public release isn’t expected until sometime in 2016 in iOS10.

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US Court: ‘Pocket-Dialed’ Calls Are Not Private

itwbennett writes: In a case of a pocket-dialed call, a conscientious secretary, and sensitive personnel issues, a federal appeals court in Ohio has ruled pocket-dialers shouldn’t have any expectation of privacy. ‘Under the plain-view doctrine, if a homeowner neglects to cover a window with drapes, he would lose his reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to a viewer looking into the window from outside of his property,’ the court said. The same applies to pocket-dialed calls, according to the court. If a person doesn’t take reasonable steps to keep their call private, their communications are not protected by the Wiretap Act.

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