M. Patrick McCormick

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Feinstein's CIA Outrage Splits Senate

The Senate was a chamber divided in reaction to Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein's diatribe against the CIA for allegedly hacking into Senate computers.<p>A no-nonsense Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to speak at length and publicly for the first …

The three most powerful people in Italy’s parliament … are not members of parliament

Matteo Renzi is to be sworn in with his new government this weekend, becoming the youngest prime minister in the history of Italy.<p>The 39-year-old’s fast climb to power started on Jan. 18 in a controversial meeting with Silvio Berlusconi and then-premier Enrico Letta to discuss electoral reforms. …

Europe

Kids With ADHD Can Train Their Brains, Study Finds

Kids with ADHD may be able to learn better focus through a computer game that trains the brain to pay attention, a new study suggests.<p>The game was part of a neurofeedback system that used bicycle helmets wired to measure brain waves and gave immediate feedback when kids were paying attention, …

The Brain

Are Australia's banks too big to fail?

In December last year Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the terms of reference for a review into the financial system to be headed by David Murray. The inquiry has long been in the gestation. Joe Hockey first mooted the proposal in a speech in October 2010. At the time it was seen as a call to give …

Facebook Is About to Lose 80% of Its Users, Study Says

Facebook’s growth will eventually come to a quick end, much like an infectious disease that spreads rapidly and suddenly dies, say Princeton …

How Companies Trick You into Thinking You’re Buying a Premium Product

Even as middle class consumers are tightening their budgets, companies are finding ways to tout “everyday luxury” products—from food to shampoo—that …

24 Best New Color Combinations for 2018

Is dusty rose and charcoal grey not the happiest palette for spring?<p>If you mastered the blue-and-white palette long ago and are ready for the next crop of bold, fabulous, and truly inspiring color pairings, get excited: We asked our go-to designers which pairs they love the most, when someone's …

Interior Design

NSA phone surveillance program likely unconstitutional, federal judge rules

A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution, in the most significant legal setback for the agency since the publication of the first surveillance disclosures by the …

Security prediction for 2014: It will get worse

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you probably saw this coming. Multiple indicators suggest that, bad as this year has been for Internet security, 2014 will be worse. Much worse.<p>At least that’s the opinion of Steve Wexler, a journalist specializing in corporate technology and the leading …

Computer security: Reducing risks of malware infections

Installing computer security software, updating applications regularly and making sure not to open emails from unknown senders are just a few …

How feds use one “seed” and 3 “hops” to spy on nearly everyone

The U.S. government has tried to reassure critics of its massive phone surveillance program by pointing to “minimization” procedures that are …

One Small Step for Privacy, One Giant Leap Against Surveillance

Deltaprintr: a quick, tall 3D printer for under $700 (video)

The trio behind the Deltaprintr launched their project with a noble enough goal: creating a 3D printer that was cheap enough so as to actually be affordable for college students like themselves. The result comes in $685, preassembled. Not too shabby, so far as these things go. And with the project …

Oculus VR Now has a Publishing Arm to Help Develop Games

The Oculus Rift is a landmark piece of technology, representing the first truly immersive, consumer-friendly virtual reality headset. Oculus VR has been commended for its vision, but the problem until now has been the games. Until the Oculus Rift is out on store shelves and boasting a large install …

Here are Facebook’s 9 top open-source projects from 2013

Facebook and open-source software go together like Jay-Z and Beyoncé — you just can’t have one without the other.<p>And if Blue Ivy is the product of the latter union, then we must draw parallels between that royal child and Facebook’s React, Rebound, HipHop, and other open-source babies.<p>As Facebook …

Occupy Democrats

What Happens When an Agnostic Follows the Bible Literally for One Year?

The prophetic AJ Jacobs, who wrote the inspiring “My Outsourced Life” for Esquire back in 2005, has gone prophetic.<p>A huge fan of radical lifestyle …

NSA program stopped no terror attacks, says White House panel member

A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks.<p>“It was, ‘Huh, hello? What are we doing here?’” said Geoffrey Stone, …

Milk & Cookie Cliff in House GOP Hands

Milk could hit $8 a gallon if there’s no breakthrough in Farm Bill negotiations, and it won’t just be dairy products spiking in price -- cookies and …

The Biggest Social Network No One Is Talking About: Gamers

The NSA is spying on gamers for the same reason it wants to spy on your Facebook account. It's a clear map of your relationships.<p>The easy reaction to today's revelation in the Guardian that the National Security Agency spied on major games and gaming networks is amusement. Yes, it's innately …

Codecademy Releases Its First Educational App, A.K.A. My New Subway Time Killer

Although I write a lot about apps and Internet stuff, I never really learned to code.<p>I threw the “really” in there to soften the blow, but the fact is, I straight up don’t know how to do it. I started learning at one point in middle school, but my high school didn’t push CS, and by college I spent …

Debate On Wage And Wealth Gap Heats Up; Solutions Elusive

The national debate about income equality and low-wage labor ramped up this week as fast-food workers across the country rallied for better pay and President Obama assailed the nation's growing income gap as the "defining challenge of our time."<p>Meanwhile, an $11.50 minimum wage bill was approved in …

Weather wars: who should be allowed to engineer our climate?

“The big thing nuclear weapons did wasn't all the details,” says Harvard climate scientist David Keith. “The really big thing is, they changed what it means to be a nation-state.” It’s on his mind because as the next century unfolds, Keith expects it to happen again.<p>Scientists usually shy away from …

A 3-D Printer That Uses the Sun to Create Glass Objects Out of Sand

Marcus Kayser's Solar Sinter project turns the desert's resources into bowls<p>When design student Markus Kayser wanted to test his sun-powered, sand-fed 3-D printer, he knew the gray skies outside his London apartment wouldn't do. So he shipped the 200-plus-pound contraption to Cairo, Egypt, flew …

DocTrackr's New Chrome Extension Remotely Monitors PDF Attachments

docTrackr, a service for managing permissions on documents you send out, has released a Chrome extension for Gmail that lets users lock down PDFs they send and even remotely revoke access to them.<p>The new extension adds a “Secure with docTrackr” option in Gmail’s Compose window. When you’re ready to …

Microsoft labels US government a ‘persistent threat' in plan to cut off NSA spying

Microsoft is unveiling an aggressive plan today to combat government surveillance. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, says the software giant shares the concerns of its own customers about government surveillance of the internet, and is planning to address them with improved encryption, legal …

Income Inequality Is The 'Challenge Of Our Time,' Obama Says

President Obama tried Wednesday to turn the conversation back to the economy, calling the growing income gap the "defining challenge of our time."<p>"Some of you may have seen just last week the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length," Obama said. "How can it be, he wrote, that it's not a …