Do engineers make good terrorists?

According to two sociologists at Oxford University, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog, the mindset of a professional terrorist and the mindset of a professional engineer are so similar in makeup that there is a strong correlation between being an engineer and being a member of a terrorist group (paper downloadable from here). Their research states that members of the Islamist movement of Muslim culture show a disproportionately high number of doctors, engineers, and practitioners of other scientific fields. Their paper also makes the claim that engineers in particular tend to gravitate toward violent groups, but it isn't so much being …

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Were they looking for terrorists or a Grateful Dead concert?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is so hot to uncover dastardly plots of domestic terrorism in this country that, for at time at least, they were mining such fields of data as who bought what from middle eastern grocery stores to determine who might be a religious extremist and terrorist. Yep - they thought sales of falafel might help them generate the results that they're pressured to produce for the people on high. Thankfully, common sense prevailed (did they hire a four year old to check their logic or something?) and they spiked the plan in 2006. The article makes a …

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Homeland Security discovers SCADA vulnerabilities.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) protocols are protocols that connect computers to various pieces of machinery, such as automatic valves in water treatment plants, lathes and drills in automated machine shops, and other semi-autonomous hardware in such a way that it acts the way big plants do in the movies. The idea is that you can remotely control various functions of the equipment so that you don't need an engineer on site all the time, they can run things remotely from a computer terminal. There's just one problem: Most SCADA protocols weren't meant to run across the public Net …

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US government mines even more personal information than previously suspected.

Ever since 9/11, the US government has been an informational vacuum cleaner that sucks up information on just about everyone in this country, or who happens to enter or leave the country (as some people with laptops have discovered). What they do with it and where they put it all is a matter of some speculation; suffice it to say that the network attached storage system companies are making a killing selling RAID systems to them... at any rate, it's come to light that they're mining more than just terrorism-related information to generate profiles on people. In fact, there …

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Death and distruction! Fear and loathing! Ketchup is a vegetable... but go on with your lives, as if we didn't say anything.

Fnords about as the FBI announces that terrorists might be getting jobs as bus drivers because foreigners, some with ties to extremist groups, are getting licenses to do so. They also say that they have no information whatsoever about a plot, and so we have nothing to fear.

Which is it, guys? Should we start driving our kids to school because They are getting bus drivers' licenses, or should we "go on with our lives"?

The world of campaign donations has just gotten a lot smaller, and a little more scary.

One Abdul Tawala ibn Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, is a noted donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and has given in excess of $15kus in donations to the Committee since the year 2002. In fact, he was named a member of "the Inner Circle" of the committee because he's been so monetarily helpful, and was named Businessman of the Year by the state of New York two years in a row. The thing is, he's now up on charges of terrorism and giving financial aid to terrorists because it's come out that he also donated around $152kus …

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