After Snowden, The NSA Faces Recruitment Challenge – GEOFF BRUMFIEL MARCH 31, 2015 4:58 AM ET

Not many students have the cutting-edge cybersecurity skills the NSA needs, recruiters say. And these days industry is paying top dollar for talent.

Not many students have the cutting-edge cybersecurity skills the NSA needs, recruiters say. And these days industry is paying top dollar for talent. Brooks Kraft/Corbis

Daniel Swann is exactly the type of person the National Security Agency (NSA) would love to have working for it. A fourth-year concurrent bachelors-masters student at Johns Hopkins University, the 22-year-old has a bright future in cybersecurity.

And growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, not far from the NSA’s headquarters, Swann thought he might work at the agency, which intercepts phone calls, emails and other so-called “signals intelligence” from U.S. adversaries.

“When I was a senior in high school I thought I would end up working for a defense contractor or the NSA itself,” says Swann. Then, in 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked a treasure-trove of top-secret documents. They showed that the agency’s programs to collect intelligence were far more sweeping than Americans realized.

After Snowden’s revelations, Swann’s thinking changed. The NSA’s tactics, which include retaining data from American citizens, raise too many questions in his mind: “I can’t see myself working there,” he says, “partially because of these moral reasons.”

This year, the NSA needs to find 1,600 new recruits. Hundreds of them must come from highly specialized fields like computer science and mathematics. So far, it says, the agency has been successful. But with its popularity down, and pay from wealthy Silicon Valley companies way up, agency officials concede that recruitment is a worry. If enough students follow Daniel Swann, then one of the world’s most powerful spy agencies could lose its edge.

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Cruz MIA at Armed Services hearings – By Austin Wright 3/31/15 5:41 AM EDT Updated 3/31/15 5:41 AM EDT

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks about energy at the Heritage Action for America 2014 Conservative Policy Summit at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Ted Cruz thunders about what he calls a “fundamentally unserious” U.S. defense policy, but when he had a chance to weigh in during Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, he rarely showed up.

Cruz, who announced last week he’s running for president, has the committee’s worst attendance record — by far.

The Texas Republican attended just three of the panel’s 16 public hearings so far this year, according to a POLITICO review of transcripts from full committee hearings. The average committee member attended 13 of the 16 hearings, and Cruz is the only one of the panel’s 26 members with an attendance rate below 50 percent.

Cruz missed opportunities to cross-examine the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and was absent from a session on the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay — despite being a leading opponent of President Barack Obama’s decision to swap five Taliban commanders at Guantanamo for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The freshman senator also missed opportunities to cross-examine officials about the effects of across-the-board spending cuts on military readiness and the appropriate levels of compensation for the troops.

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Bernie Sanders says he will run for president if he can ‘do it well’ – by Ned Resnikoff March 31, 2015 1:15AM ET

Socialist senator and rumored 2016 candidate says he is still deciding whether to enter Democratic race

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SAN FRANCISCO — Speaking to a packed crowd of supporters on Monday evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said he was still mulling entering the 2016 presidential contest, but would only do so if he thought he could “put together millions of people who are prepared to work really hard to take on the big money interests.”

Sanders has openly discussed his potential candidacy for months, and even paid a visit to the crucial primary state of Iowa earlier this year. But in recent weeks he has begun to sound more reluctant about jumping into the race, in large part because of doubts over whether he could raise the money necessary to run a credible campaign. During Monday’s speaking event, Sanders indicated that he was concerned a poor showing would undermine political support for left-wing economic policies.

“It has to be done well,” said the Senate’s one self-identified democratic socialist said during a public event at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, the oldest public affairs forum in the United States. “Because if it’s not done well, then people will say, ‘Oh, income and wealth inequality; if you didn’t do very well in your campaign, then no one believes in that.’”

But if the senator is leaning against running, he gave no indication on Monday. Instead he turned the question on the audience, asking how many people in the crowd wanted him to run for president and would be willing to volunteer for his campaign if he did.

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The 100 Most Trustworthy Companies In America – Kathryn Dill Forbes Staff 3/30/2015 @ 2:36PM

“Authenticity” is a concept that’s been much discussed of late as the best way to earn and retain loyal customers, but when it comes to the care and keeping of shareholders, “trustworthy” is still the name of the game.

Since 2007, GMI Ratings, now a part of MSCI ESG Research, has produced an annual list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America (no list was published in 2011.) As the country spun towards the financial crisis and one-time giants like Enron and WorldCom cratered, James Kaplan , then-director of GMI, grew weary of the vagaries of discussing corporate wrongdoing, much of which, he felt, could be signaled by particular behaviors long before disaster struck.

Kaplan created the company’s AGR rating system, which is still used to build this list, to not only identify nefarious behavior but to spotlight companies that abstained.


The brushed-titanium ProdecoTech Titanio 29er weighs less than 33 lbs. and has a battery disguised as a water bottle. PRODECOTECH

Titanium bikes are really expensive, and many of them actually expect you to do all the pedaling yourself. The  ProdecoTech Titanio 29er won’t save you any money, but this pedal-assist electric bike will save you some energy.

Most electric bikes are made explicitly for rolling on pavement, but this is a real trail-ready 29er, complete with a brushed-titanium frame, a traditional mountain bike drivetrain, and disc brakes.

Looking at the photo, you may be thinking, “OK, it’s an electric bike, so where the hell is the battery pack?” Well, you see that water bottle? That’s actually the a 33V/9.3Ah battery, which is rated for up to 30 miles per charge and kicks the bike up to a top speed of 18mph. The motor is a front-wheel 250W rig that offers five levels of motorized assist giddy-up. Max output is 420 watts—more than enough to get you up and over your local muur.

The rest of the specs: Mavic TN 319 29er rims are dressed with Continental Race King 29×2 tires, there’s a 10-speed SRAM XO drivetrain on the back, a RockShox SID AIR PushLoc fork on the front, and Avid Elixir XO disc brakes. A Gyes leather saddle is also standard.

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