U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors
|5:49:19 PM, Sunday, June 12, 2011|
"The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.
The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”
Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet.
The American effort, revealed in dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.
Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe..."
UK Spies Hack al-Qaida, Replace Bomb Info With Cupcake Recipes
|1:34:48 AM, Saturday, June 11, 2011|
"British spies hacked into an al-Qaida website to replace instructions on how to build a bomb with recipes for making cupcakes, newspapers reported on Friday.
The cyber offensive took place last year when the English language magazine called Inspire, aimed at Muslims in the West, was launched by supporters of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
British intelligence officers based at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the state eavesdropping service, attacked the 67-page magazine, leaving most of it garbled, British newspapers said.
Instead of being able to read how to "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," readers were greeted with computer code which actually contained recipes from The Best Cupcakes in America, published by U.S. chat show host Ellen DeGeneres.
The Washington Post reported that the British action followed a dispute between the CIA and the newly formed U.S. Cyber Command.
The cyber unit had wanted to block the al Qaeda magazine but the CIA, which had countered such an attack would expose sources and intelligence methods, won the debate and declined to allow an attack on Inspire..."
Ice Kayaking in Alaska
|12:11:26 AM, Saturday, June 11, 2011|
-- Time to get a true white water kayak and drive to Alaska!!!
Voyager Probes Discover Bubbles at Solar System’s Edge
|11:56:09 PM, Friday, June 10, 2011|
"The Voyager missions have yielded many surprising discoveries about our solar system and, despite being 9 billion miles away from Earth, the data continues to pour in. Now, scientists at NASA are saying that they have made sense of some surprising readings from the spacecraft over the past few years. Their data indicates that the edge of the solar system is a frothy stew of magnetic bubbles.
For years it was assumed that the heliosheath, the outer limit of our sun’s magnetic field and the boarder of galactic space, was composed of graceful arcs of magnetic energy that curved back toward the sun. The reality is far less neat and tidy. Instead of arcs, the magnetic field is broken into a membrane of distinct bubbles, each about 100 million miles wide. The whole mix is also apparently writhing around, its movement being compared to bubbles from a jacuzzi jet.
Don’t worry, if none of this makes any sense, there’s a soothing and explanatory video at the end of this post. With pictures!
While it was a surprising discovery, scientists believe they understand how this bubbly barrier came to be. Because the sun’s spin has wobble to it, its magnetic field is twisted into ripples. At the edge of the solar system, those ripples bunch together and eventually split into massive magnetic bubbles.
With a working hypothesis about the nature of the bubbles, the next question is how this discovery changes our understanding of the solar system’s interaction with the rest of the galaxy. For instance, our solar system is constantly bombarded with high-energy cosmic rays spewed out from other celestial bodies. The sun’s magnetic field helps to deflect most of these away from us, but how the rays interact with the bubbles is still unknown..."
Rat Infestation on Australian Farms
|9:49:36 PM, Friday, June 10, 2011|
Eminem - I'm On Everything
|12:24:56 AM, Friday, June 10, 2011|
The First Globular Cluster Outside of Our Galaxy
|12:24:36 AM, Friday, June 10, 2011|
""This nebula had such a resemblance to a comet in its form and brightness that I endeavored to find others, so that astronomers would not confuse these same nebulae with comets just beginning to shine." -Charles Messier
Astronomers have been scouring the skies for new discoveries since long before the invention of the telescope. Why, just with the naked eye and some dark skies, anyone can discover about 6,000 stars, five major planets, the Milky Way, and the occasional very faint nebula.
And of course, if you're very fortunate and very diligent, you could have been among the first to discover whenever a new comet brightened and suddenly appeared! By time comets get relatively close to the Sun, their tails become bright and extended, and often easily visible to the naked eye.
But the telescope changed everything. Because now, for the first time, you could discover a comet when it was still very faint. When it was, in fact, still invisible to the naked eye, but where a careful observer would notice an object where there previously was none. Something, perhaps, like 2004's Comet Machholz..."
NATO Chief Rasmussen Grilled LIVE on RT Over Libya Assault
|12:02:17 AM, Friday, June 10, 2011|
Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Antennae
|11:16:53 PM, Thursday, June 09, 2011|
-- "Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies collided. But the stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, don't collide in the course of the ponderous event, lasting hundreds of millions of years. Instead, their large clouds of molecular gas and dust do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the center of the cosmic wreckage. Spanning about 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view also reveals new star clusters and matter flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal forces. Of course, the suggestive visual appearance of the extended arcing structures gives the galaxy pair its popular name - The Antennae. "
BMW 1M - Walls
|11:01:53 PM, Thursday, June 09, 2011|
Underwater Spider Spins Itself an Aqualung
|5:12:46 PM, Thursday, June 09, 2011|
"In the ponds of northern Europe lives a tiny brown spider with a bubble on its back. The 10-millimeter-long Argyroneta aquatica is the only spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater. But just like land spiders, it needs oxygen to breathe. So every so often, it leaves its underwater web home to visit the surface and brings back a bubble of air that sticks to its hairy abdomen. It deposits the bubble into a little silk air tank spun for the purpose. This "diving bell," researchers have now found, is not just a repository. It's actually a gill that sucks oxygen from the water, allowing the spider to stay under for up to 24 hours.
Fascinated by the water spider ever since he read about it as a boy, physiologist Roger Seymour of the University of Adelaide in Australia decided to study it "out of sheer curiosity more than anything else." So he traveled to Berlin to meet with physiologist Stefan Hetz of Humboldt University in Germany. The pair spent a summer collecting spiders, putting them in tanks, and watching them spin their silvery nets and fill them with air bubbles.
The researchers decided to try out a new technology: a tiny fiber-optic oxygen sensor called an optode. Only 15 micrometers in diameter, the optode was small enough not to rupture the diving bell when the researchers poked it through the webby membrane and measured how gases move across the bell's surface. The bell, they found, functions like a gill: As the spider removes oxygen from the bell by breathing it in, more oxygen flows in to take its place. This gives the spider a constant oxygen supply without requiring it to venture to the surface often. But after about 24 hours, water pressure on the silk begins to collapse the bell, so the spider makes a break for the surface to grab another bubble. The optode also showed that the spider consumes surprisingly little oxygen over the course of its trips back to the bell to grab a breath of air..."
Rihanna - Man Down
|2:10:38 AM, Thursday, June 09, 2011|
-- Not a Rihanna fan, but heard this song on the radio today and liked it enough to look it up.
Boy Catches His First Fish
|12:18:10 AM, Thursday, June 09, 2011|
Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007 – Anthony Weiner
|11:57:18 PM, Wednesday, June 08, 2011|
Anthony Weiner Sponsored Internet Sexual Predators Legislation.
In the interest of protecting the children, U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (Pervert – N.Y.), sponsored the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007 a.k.a. KIDS Act of 2007. The text of the legislation is below.
But here’s a great quote from the Weiner about his interest in stopping Internet predators.
“Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.” – Anthony Weiner
At first, Congressman Weiner accused others of the crime of hacking his Twitter account to tweet a special “weiner” pic of him in his undies. Instead of calling in the FBI to pursue the alleged crime, Anthony Weiner then relabeled the event as a “prank.”
After denials and evasions for a week, Congressman Anthony Weiner was forced by additional lewd photos to admit he’s been trolling for cybersex relationships for years and has engaged in them with at least six women.
And Anthony Weiner doesn’t know if any of his communications have been with minors either. If so, would he qualify as the same type of Internet sexual predator he’s pontificating against in legislation and related press releases?
Of course, now that he’s said he’s sorry (that he got caught), Weiner considers this to be a resume enhancer and refuses to resign from office. Perhaps he will continue with his plans to run for New York City Mayor.
I won’t pretend to be the moral police. But then again, neither should Anthony Weiner..."
-- I think every possible Weiner joke has been made by now, so I'll just leave this at ironic and hilarious.
Two New Elements Added to Periodic Table
|11:33:20 PM, Wednesday, June 08, 2011|
"NEW YORK (AP) — They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but they've gained immortality in chemistry: Two new elements have been added to the periodic table.
The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. They're called elements 114 and 116 for now — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.
You're not likely to run into any of this stuff. Scientists make them in labs by smashing atoms of other elements together to create the new ones.
"Our experiments last for many weeks, and typically, we make an atom every week or so," said chemist Ken Moody of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who's part of the discovery team.
In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in just a fraction of a second, Moody said.
Both elements were discovered by a collaboration of scientists from Livermore and Russia. They made them by smashing calcium ions into atoms of plutonium or another element, curium. The official recognition, announced last week, cites experiments done in 2004 and 2006.
In the periodic table, the number of an element refers to the number of protons in the nucleus of an individual atom. Leading the list is hydrogen (H) with one. Sodium (Na) has 11, Iron (Fe) has 26, and silver (Ag) has 47..."
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