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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127029 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #1695 on: Oct 29th, 2010, 08:52am »

Wired

My Kid’s Going to Mars!
By GeekMom Blog
October 29, 2010 | 8:15 am | Categories: GeekMom

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Photo: NASA


The next time you want to brag about your geek kid to a friend or neighbor, try this one, “Oh yeah? Well, my kid’s name will be on Mars next year!” And you won’t be stretching the truth.

While digging around on the NASA website for materials for my son’s classroom, we stumbled upon this neat opportunity. NASA is sending a Science Laboratory rover to Mars next year and on board will be a microchip, imprinted with names of children from all over the world.

Not only can your geek kid sign up to have their name fly to the red planet, they can print out an official certificate that proves the fact.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/10/my-kids-going-to-mars/

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« Reply #1696 on: Oct 29th, 2010, 08:56am »


Please be an angel

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www.soldiersangels.org


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« Reply #1697 on: Oct 29th, 2010, 09:27am »

AOL News

UK Schools Hold UFO Crash Drills

Lee Speigel Contributor

(Oct. 28) -- When Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang "Teach Your Children," do you think they meant to instruct students on how to properly investigate UFO crashes?

Well, that seems to be a trend in some U.K. schools where UFO drills have been periodically staged over the past two years, according to Dateline Zero.

In a typical drill, a UFO crash incident is created, and police arrive to show 8- to 10-year-old pupils how to handle such a scenario, which includes gathering "wreckage," and the students are encouraged to share and write about the experience.

Schools throughout the U.K. are sparking children's imaginations and literacy skills by staging UFO crash drills.
The SoCal Martial Law Alerts website reports that Victoria Shepherd, a teacher at the Sandford Primary School in the United Kingdom, was the organizer of a recent UFO exercise.

"The children didn't know what was going on," Shepherd said. "As they approached the crash site, we could see how amazed and perplexed they were. It was a fantastic first reaction."

Shepherd said police "helped the children secure the scene and talked about what to do in an emergency, how they gathered evidence and how to interview witnesses."

The ET crash drills, which have taken place since 2008, have been jointly organized by schools and law enforcement agencies.

Interesting curriculum choice to use a UFO crash as a tool to spark children's imaginations and help improve their reading and writing skills.

Police constable Gary Densham, who took part in one of the staged UFO crashes last year at the Lanchester Endowed Parochial Primary, said, "The older pupils were asking questions about the crash site, like whether it was safe, but the younger children were convinced they'd seen the crash happen. Their imaginations were brilliant."

http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/uk-schools-hold-ufo-crash-drills/19691533?test=latestnews
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« Reply #1698 on: Oct 29th, 2010, 10:28am »

on Oct 29th, 2010, 09:27am, Swamprat wrote:
AOL News

UK Schools Hold UFO Crash Drills

Lee Speigel Contributor

(Oct. 28) -- When Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang "Teach Your Children," do you think they meant to instruct students on how to properly investigate UFO crashes?

Well, that seems to be a trend in some U.K. schools where UFO drills have been periodically staged over the past two years, according to Dateline Zero.

In a typical drill, a UFO crash incident is created, and police arrive to show 8- to 10-year-old pupils how to handle such a scenario, which includes gathering "wreckage," and the students are encouraged to share and write about the experience.

Schools throughout the U.K. are sparking children's imaginations and literacy skills by staging UFO crash drills.
The SoCal Martial Law Alerts website reports that Victoria Shepherd, a teacher at the Sandford Primary School in the United Kingdom, was the organizer of a recent UFO exercise.

"The children didn't know what was going on," Shepherd said. "As they approached the crash site, we could see how amazed and perplexed they were. It was a fantastic first reaction."

Shepherd said police "helped the children secure the scene and talked about what to do in an emergency, how they gathered evidence and how to interview witnesses."

The ET crash drills, which have taken place since 2008, have been jointly organized by schools and law enforcement agencies.

Interesting curriculum choice to use a UFO crash as a tool to spark children's imaginations and help improve their reading and writing skills.

Police constable Gary Densham, who took part in one of the staged UFO crashes last year at the Lanchester Endowed Parochial Primary, said, "The older pupils were asking questions about the crash site, like whether it was safe, but the younger children were convinced they'd seen the crash happen. Their imaginations were brilliant."

http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/uk-schools-hold-ufo-crash-drills/19691533?test=latestnews


WOW!
I sure didn't see that one coming.
Thanks Swamprat. And a good Friday morning to you.
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« Reply #1699 on: Oct 29th, 2010, 2:06pm »

Air & Space
Is NASA Covering Up the 100-Year Starship?
By John Brandon

Published October 29, 2010
FoxNews.com


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A NASA official may have made a 35-million-mile slip of the tongue.

The director of NASA's Ames Research Center in California casually let slip mention of the 100-Year Starship recently, a new program funded by the super-secret government agency, DARPA. In a talk at San Francisco's Long Conversation conference, Simon “Pete” Worden said DARPA has $1M to spend, plus another $100,000 from NASA itself, for the program, which will initially develop a new kind of propulsion engine that will take us to Mars or beyond.

There's only one problem: The astronauts won't come back.

The 100-year ship would leave Earth with the intention of colonizing a planet, but it would likely be a one-way trip because of the time it takes to travel 35 million miles. That’s a daunting prospect, partly because of the ethical dilemma, and partly because it may be the only recourse.

"What psychological challenges should we anticipate in those who volunteer in good faith and with great courage, yet find themselves confronting misgivings or loneliness or feelings of rage or beset with mental illness?" asked Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.

There's one other bizarre aspect to the plan: Humans would have to be “adapted” to the alien world, Worden said, instead of figuring out a way to make the planet more hospitable to them.

“The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds,” Worden said during his talk. “Twenty years ago you whispered that in dark bars and got fired.” (Worden actually was fired, he confessed during the talk, under the Bush administration.)

Since that revelation, hundreds of news reports about the program have theorized that the substantial budget indicates the Hundred Year Starship is a dramatic shift for the stalled space program, not just a research project; others suggest it is a serious attempt to find a way to Mars. And NASA? The space agency seems to be dodging all questions.

FoxNews.com first contacted NASA’s Ames Research Center last week and scheduled a call with Worden for Monday. The call was postponed to Wednesday. Late Wednesday the space agency postponed again, before finally canceling the interview, citing Worden’s busy schedule.

After a week and a half, DARPA issued a press release announcing the program -- but conveying no more information than in Worden's initial speech.

But what is the Hundred Year Starship? Some experts argue that any program that suggests putting humans into space for their entire life, or for multiple generations, is doomed from the start, since many people react negatively to the idea of leaving the planet and never returning. Others are more supportive, saying it is the only way to settle a space colony.

New exploration
Speculation about colonization takes many forms, and some of the freshest ideas sound a bit peculiar. Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, who wrote in the Journal of Cosmology recently, suggest sending four astronauts on a one-way mission who “establish their presence” and do not come back. The suggestion is to send supplies to them occasionally, but the risks are similar to what Columbus undertook to explore the new world. (That analogy is a bit suspect, however: Columbus was most famous for actually returning.)

Les Johnson, a well-respected science author, spoke to FoxNews.com and agreed with the plan: a one-way, hundred-year mission may be the only way to get to Mars or other planets.

The main issue has to do with a basic physics conundrum. In order to travel the great distance to Mars (about 35 million miles), a starship would need a tremendous amount of fuel. Yet fuel adds more weight -- in fact, every pound you add to a ship requires 4 pounds of fuel. The more fuel you add, the more you need simply to move the ship's bulk, making it impossible to go one-way to Mars, much less roundtrip.

Johnson said the only solution is a longer mission using some form of propulsion that has not even been invented yet, or is still untested. One is a massive solar sail, which captures energy from the sun. Another is a fusion reactor that generates power without any on-board fuel.

Dr. Chris DePree, who heads the Bradley Observatory, also helped fill in some gaps on a 100-year mission to another planet. “It seems like the only realistic way forward, if we really want to colonize the solar system, is to have one-way trips,” DePree told FoxNews.com. “It might be that technology improves, and the grandchildren of those first Martian colonists return to Earth.”

He also explained what “adapting humans” means: The suggestion sounds absurd, but science may actually have more luck developing new breathing apparatuses or using chemical injections to make humans able to live on a foreign world than developing technology for "terraforming" a planet.

As to the question of a one-way mission, DePree says the idea is not as hush-hush as you might expect. NASA doesn't intend for a suicide mission, he said, but rather is debating the idea that an astronaut may live out his or her natural life on another planet and never return to Earth. Johnson said there are astronauts who have already volunteered for one-way missions before, and it's not a ludicrous proposition.

Swirling controversy
Even with these explanations, there is still wild speculation about the program. Worden mentioned the idea of working with third-parties to help fund future missions. He said Larry Page, the Google founder, asked how much it would cost to fund the mission (the answer: about $10 billion). This begs the question: is NASA ready to leverage its work by enlisting private enterprises?

Some scientists have wondered how the 100-Year Starship would deal with the effects of long-term space travel. Johnson said that even after spending a few months in space, the wear and tear starts to show -- astronauts who have visited the Space Station often cannot walk for a few days. Johnson said muscle mass starts to decline and bone density decreases after prolonged periods in outer space.

Short of an official news release, one that spells out exactly how the starship program will proceed, many assume that the program is just in an early stage. Johnson said the funding level of just $1.1M sounds like it is simply for research.

Worden may have slipped by revealing the program, but -- as evidenced by NASA’s lack of cooperation -- it may be too early for any new revelations.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/29/nasa-cover-up-hundred-year-starship/

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« Reply #1700 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 08:35am »

New York Times

October 30, 2010
Plot Said to Have ‘Hallmarks of Al Qaeda’
By SCOTT SHANE

WASHINGTON — Two packages containing explosives, shipped from Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago, were intercepted in Britain and Dubai, setting off a broad terrorism scare after details emerged on Friday. . Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Homeland Security, said on Saturday morning that the plot “has the hallmarks of Al Qaeda.”

On Friday, President Obama said that the explosives represented a “credible terrorist threat” to the United States. In television interviews the following morning, Ms. Napolitano went a step further. “I think we would agree with that, that it does contain all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda and in particular Al Qaeda A.P.,” she said, referring to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The discovery of the explosives packed in toner cartridges for computer printers, based on a tip from Saudi intelligence officials, began an urgent hunt for other suspicious packages in the United States and other countries.

Ms. Napolitano and the police in Dubai on Saturday confirmed that the bomb discovered in its country in cargo from Yemen bound for the United States contained the explosive PETN, the same chemical explosive in the bomb sewn into the underwear of the Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit last Dec. 25. That plot, too, was hatched in Yemen, a country that is regarded as one of the most significant fronts in the battle with extremists.

According to the Associated Press, the Dubai police said that tests showed the printer cartridge also contained lead azide, an explosive compound that can be used in bomb detonators. British forensic officials on Saturday were examining the device found in their country, Reuters reported.

The Dubai police said that they were tipped off to the device by a call from abroad but did not name the country. The police said that the tip warned of the possibility of an explosive device hidden in postal packages onboard a FedEx flight originating from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to Dubai, according to a statement released by the official state news agency WAM and reported by The Associated Press.

“The plot style carries features similar to previous attacks carried out by terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda,” the Dubai police said in its statement.

The white powder explosives discovered in Dubai were in the printer’s ink cartridge and were rigged to an electric circuit.

“The parcel was prepared in a professional way where a closed electrical circuit was connected to a mobile phone SIM card hidden inside the printer,” the Dubai police said, according to Reuters.

On Saturday morning, the high-level COBRA committee that oversees Britain’s response to terrorist threats met for a second time in 24 hours at the Home Office in London, led by the home secretary, Theresa May, and also involving Commander John Yates, who heads counter-terrorist operations at Scotland Yard.

In her Saturday statement, Ms. May, the home secretary, said the COBRA committee would be reviewing measures to tighten security at airline cargo centers across Britain. The statements released by the Dubai police followed information given by American officials on Friday, when Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, had said that the packages seized in Britain and Dubai contained PETN. Ms. Harman, who was briefed by John S. Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, also said that both packages contained computer printer cartridges filled with the explosive, with one using a cellphone as a detonator and the other a timer.

President Obama had been briefed on developments starting at 10:35 p.m. on Thursday.

“The events of the past 24 hours underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism,” Mr. Obama said in a brief statement to reporters at the White House on Friday afternoon. He praised the work of intelligence and counterterrorism officials in foiling the plot.

“The American people should be confident that we will not waver in our resolve to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to root out violent extremism in all its forms,” the president said.

News of the terrorist plot came as Mr. Obama was barreling into the last four days of campaigning before midterm elections on Tuesday, and White House officials appeared determined to project the appearance of a commander in chief who was on top of the developments.

Intelligence officials in Saudi Arabia tipped off the United States to the plot to ship explosives from Sana, the Yemeni capital, American officials said. Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen, closely monitors militants there, who have plotted against the Saudi monarchy and sent a suicide bomber last year in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Saudi counterterrorism chief.

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York and the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, whose office was briefed on the episode, said the tip about the explosives was precise. “We knew what we were looking for, and we knew where to look,” he said.

Mr. King, who has often been a critic of the administration and intelligence agencies that have at times missed warning signs of attacks, said, “So far everything has worked the right way.”

John O. Brennan, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, said that the packages containing explosives, which he compared in size to a “breadbox,” were undergoing forensic analysis and that the inquiry was at an early stage. He said investigators did not yet know how the explosives were intended to be activated.

He said the search for additional explosives was continuing. “We don’t want to presume we know the bounds of this plot, so we are looking at all packages,” Mr. Brennan said.

The latest plot underscored once again the threat from Yemen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the branch of the terrorism network based there. Mr. Brennan called it “the most active operational franchise of Al Qaeda.”

Indeed, Yemen, once little known to most Americans, has been the source of some of the most dramatic terrorism attempts of recent years. American intelligence officials have said that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical cleric now hiding in Yemen, played a direct role in the Christmas Day airliner plot, and he has publicly called for more attacks on the United States.

In addition, an Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, a year ago had exchanged e-mails with Mr. Awlaki beforehand. Mr. Awlaki’s lectures and sermons have been linked to more than a dozen terrorist investigations in the United States, Britain and Canada, and Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May, cited Mr. Awlaki as an inspiration.

Yemeni raids and American missile strikes have repeatedly targeted Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since December, and early this year Mr. Awlaki became the first American citizen to be placed on the Central Intelligence Agency’s list of suspected terrorists to be captured or killed. So far no evidence has been made public linking Mr. Awlaki to the latest plot.

A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, Mohammed Albasha, said Yemen’s government “launched a full-scale investigation” and was working closely with the United States and other countries to assess the episode.

Mr. Brennan, who spoke early Friday with the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, said Yemen’s cooperation in the fight against terrorism had steadily improved. “We’re working very closely with them, and we have found that they are courageous partners,” he said.

Mr. Brennan also praised the Saudis, saying, “Their quick action was responsible for preventing what might have been major terrorist attacks with significant loss of life.”

The plot unfolded in dramatic fashion on international television, with scenes of security teams surrounding cargo planes in several countries, military fighters accompanying a passenger plane into New York and a grim-faced president and his aides, many of whom had spent a sleepless night.

One of the packages was found aboard a U.P.S. cargo plane at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England, officials said. A second, similar package was removed from a FedEx flight in Dubai, they said.

Neither company has flights into or out of Yemen, but they offer shipping from Yemen and contract with other companies to move freight from there to hubs in Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Cargo planes were moved to secure areas of airports in Philadelphia and Newark for searches, and a United Parcel Service truck in Brooklyn was stopped and inspected. No additional explosives had been discovered by late Friday.

The episode is likely to reignite a long-running debate over the screening of freight aboard cargo planes. Only a small percentage of such freight is currently screened, though in 2007 Congress directed the Transportation Security Administration to screen all cargo carried on passenger flights starting this year.

Administration officials said they had no reason to believe the Chicago addresses were connected to Mr. Obama’s plans to be in Chicago on Saturday night. They said the decision to have the president speak publicly about the plot was made partly because of confusing and contradictory reports on television on Friday.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/world/31terror.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #1701 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 08:43am »

New York Times

October 29, 2010
U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents
By ANDREW POLLACK

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.

The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice late Friday in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

“We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,” the brief said.

It is not clear if the position in the legal brief, which appears to have been the result of discussions among various government agencies, will be put into effect by the Patent Office.

If it were, it is likely to draw protests from some biotechnology companies that say such patents are vital to the development of diagnostic tests, drugs and the emerging field of personalized medicine, in which drugs are tailored for individual patients based on their genes.

“It’s major when the United States, in a filing, reverses decades of policies on an issue that everyone has been focused on for so long,” said Edward Reines, a patent attorney who represents biotechnology companies.

The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial and emotional one. Opponents say that genes are products of nature, not inventions, and should be the common heritage of mankind. They say that locking up basic genetic information in patents actually impedes medical progress. Proponents say genes isolated from the body are chemicals that are different from those found in the body and therefore are eligible for patents.

The Patent and Trademark Office has sided with the proponents and has issued thousands of patents on genes of various organisms, including on an estimated 20 percent of human genes.

But in its brief, the government said it now believed that the mere isolation of a gene, without further alteration or manipulation, does not change its nature.

“The chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and it is no less a product of nature when that structure is ‘isolated’ from its natural environment than are cotton fibers that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth,” the brief said.

However, the government suggested such a change would have limited impact on the biotechnology industry because man-made manipulations of DNA, like methods to create genetically modified crops or gene therapies, could still be patented. Dr. James P. Evans, a professor of genetics and medicine at the University of North Carolina, who headed a government advisory task force on gene patents, called the government’s brief “a bit of a landmark, kind of a line in the sand.”

He said that although gene patents had been issued for decades, the patentability of genes had never been examined in court.

That changed when the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation organized various individuals, medical researchers and societies to file a lawsuit challenging patents held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation. The patents cover two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and the over $3,000 analysis Myriad performs on the genes to see if women carry mutations that predispose them to breast and ovarian cancers.

In a surprise ruling in March, Judge Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled the patents invalid. He said that genes were important for the information they convey, and in that sense, an isolated gene was not really different from a gene in the body. The government said that that ruling prompted it to re-evaluate its policy.

Myriad and the University of Utah have appealed.

Saying that the questions in the case were “of great importance to the national economy, to medical science and to the public health,” the Justice Department filed an amicus brief that sided with neither party. While the government took the plaintiffs’ side on the issue of isolated DNA, it sided with Myriad on patentability of manipulated DNA.

Myriad and the plaintiffs did not comment on the government’s brief by deadline for this article.

Mr. Reines, the attorney, who is with the firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges and is not involved in the main part of the Myriad case, said he thought the Patent Office opposed the new position but was overruled by other agencies. A hint is that no lawyer from the Patent Office was listed on the brief.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/30/business/30drug.html?ref=science

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« Reply #1702 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 08:51am »

Wired

Oct. 30, 1938: ‘War of the Worlds’ Induces Panic
By Jenna Wortham
October 30, 2008 | 11:48 am | Categories: comedy, sci-fi

Orson Welles, master of early radio.
Long before Ashton Kutcher began punking celebrities, a talented young actor with a wicked sense of humor pulled off one of the biggest pranks in American history.

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Oct. 30, 2008, marked the 70th anniversary of Orson Welles’ legendary radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," which sparked a nationwide panic, causing many Americans to believe an actual Martian invasion was under way.

Directed and narrated by Welles, the hour-long broadcast aired Oct. 30, 1938, as a Halloween-themed episode of CBS’ radio series, Mercury Theatre on the Air.

The performance was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi novel The War of the Worlds, and was delivered in such a ways as to simulate a live news report of a Martian invasion.


The faux newscast (audio embedded below) included accounts of a meteorite landing in New
Jersey, followed by descriptions of tentacled aliens emerging from spaceships, brandishing and firing weapons at humans. The broadcast caused some people to flee their homes, and telephone lines flooded with listeners trying to determine the validity of the Martian invasion.

The spectacle catapulted Welles to instant fame (and perhaps some notoriety) and is considered to have established modern radio as an artistic medium.

To commemorate the historic broadcast, students at Ball State University planned a re-creation of it Oct. 30, 2008, on Indiana Public Radio — but with a clearly stated preamble designed to prevent the kind of chaos that erupted long ago.

The original, uninterrupted broadcast is available in its entirety online: http://www.radioheardhere.com/waroftheworlds

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2008/10/orson-welles-st/

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« Reply #1703 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 08:56am »

Wired Danger Room

Real Men Use Android: Special Forces Favor Google Phone
By Spencer Ackerman October 29, 2010 | 9:48 am | Categories: Gadgets and Gear


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The Army is 20 years and a half-billion dollars into a star-crossed effort to build custom communications and digital-mapping gadgets for its soldiers. Special Operations Command, on the other hand, is taking a simpler approach: They’re planning to use Android phones.

Last week, the SOCOM asked coders to create a suite of applications for keeping commandos linked up while they’re out on missions. The software should include chat functions, file transfers, video display and “multi-touch whiteboarding aka John Madden tool.”

SOCOM calls it the Tactical Situational Awareness Application Suite, or TactSA, and it has to work in low-connectivity areas — the middle-of-nowhere places you’d expect to send the military’s most elite troops. It’s got to be peer-to-peer, encrypted “at the application level” and able to recover from “network outages and substantial packet loss.”

But rather than go the Army route and custom-build hardware, SOCOM is happy to use off-the-shelf gadgetry. It’s the software that interests them more. “Due to the shift in commercial hardware to mobile, battery powered systems,” the solicitation reads, TactSA has to work on “lighter devices that utilize the Android operating system.” Special Operations Forces currently have video, mapping and other data tools that run on Windows platforms, but the command is guessing that’s not where the mobile market is going.

A different option for TactSA would be to wait until the military works out the hardware and picks out an operating system. As Danger Room reported yesterday, the Army will award a contract next spring for Nett Warrior, a seven-pound bundle of wearable computers and radios. But even if the prototypes designed by competing defense contractors Raytheon, General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins work as planned, it’ll be years until Nett Warrior is out in the field.

Similarly, the Army hopes to trickle out a handful of soldier-developed apps for smartphones over a year or so. But with special forces operating at an intense pace in places like Afghanistan, that’s not time the elite troops have.

One benefit of using Android-run devices is that Android keeps its source code open. If special operators find that the TactSA functions don’t quite meet their needs, they could conceivably design their own.

James Patrick, a young special-ops veteran, learned in Afghanistan that it can be hard for analysts to sift through a sea of incident reports to find precisely the data they need to plan a mission. So, he and some of his special-operations friends started the Texas firm Aptus Technologies to develop the Threat Action Program, a data-mining app that displays search terms in a word cloud for analysts to parse.

“You can target anti-social acts, like ‘kidnap’ or ‘ambush’,” he says, showing off his cloud for Danger Room at the Association of the U.S. Army conference, and see what associated terms in select areas or involving select people pop out. “It focuses an analyst’s attention.”

Vendors have until December 15 to bid on TactSA. It might not hurt to ask special operators themselves what they most need the development to accomplish.

Photo: U.S. Army Special Operations Command

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/special-forces-want-android-apps-for-warzone-john-maddens/#ixzz13qmBo3F5

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« Reply #1704 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 09:00am »

Wired

Sour on Syfy, Caprica Fans Launch Apple Uprising
By Hugh Hart October 29, 2010 | 3:27 pm | Categories: sci-fi, television


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Angry viewers brought Jericho back on the air in 2007 by sending 20 tons of peanuts to CBS headquarters. Now distraught fans of Caprica are urging fellow loyalists to deluge Syfy execs with apples to protest the series’ Wednesday cancellation.

The low-rated Battlestar Galactica prequel attracted about 1.3 million viewers when it returned for its Season 1.5 debut earlier this month. Among those who continued to tune in for the dark series was Rosemary Medrano, instigator of the Save Caprica campaign to keep the show on the air. After the show was canceled, Medrano came up with the apple stunt.

“The apple is iconic to us Caprica fans,” Medrano wrote on her blog. “It is on basically every piece of advertising Syfy made. Buy a bag and mail them out to Steve Burke, Mark Stern and whomever else you can reach! Include a note with the STO symbol on it. I’m going to start preparing my packages tomorrow. Updates and pictures to come.”

A backlash over Caprica’s cancellation is brewing on other fronts as well. The fan-fueled Operation Airlock Facebook page urges “an organized boycott of the SyFy network and their sponsors for the cancellation of Caprica.” Meanwhile, series actors Sasha Roiz and Alessandra Torresani have been using Twitter to rally the troops, citing a mention on CBS’ Big Bang Theory and hyping the ý#savecaprica tag.

“There’s been some serious mobilizing,” Roiz tweeted late Thursday. “Beware the #CapricaArmy.”

“#apples #operationairlock #savecaprica #syfy #cylonarmy #capricaarmy bitches beware!!!!” chimed in Torresani.

While the viral uprising offers Caprica cultists a chance to vent, odds are slim that Syfy will have a change of heart. A Syfy spokesman told Wired.com that the network axed Caprica with reluctance.

“A decision like this is never an easy one and, believe me, we will miss this show as much as the fans,” the rep said. “As [programming head] Mark [Stern] said, we love the [Battlestar Galactica] franchise, which is why we are looking to continue the story with Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.”

The Caprica brouhaha raises a larger issue addressed by many Save Caprica campaigners: For a network bearing the name Syfy, there seems to be precious little hard-core science fiction on the channel.

Save Caprica champion Michael Ilasi, editor of RedEyeRogue, told Wired.com in an e-mail that “the problem with the Syfy channel is it’s really not about sci-fi. It’s mostly B movies and horror films and bad sci-fi television shows and wrestling and ghost-hunting. Whatever sells.”

Lacking Battlestar Galactica’s lightning-in-a-bottle storytelling chemistry, Caprica failed to capture a broad-enough audience to satisfy the Syfy braintrust. Here’s hoping Blood & Chrome proves more successful at reintroducing serious science fiction to the Syfy network.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/10/caprica-apples/

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« Reply #1705 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 09:02am »




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« Reply #1706 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 09:43am »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 09:02am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
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on Aug 14th, 2007, 2:39pm, DrDil wrote:
Quite a while ago now I posted a video on YouTube with the title,

“Ghost Caught On Camera, Proof At Last! (N.B.Quite Upsetting)”

I included this description,

“Very recently the directors of a commercial for a well known (multi-national) car company were astonished when viewing their recently created advert as there appeared to be a ghost car following the real car!!

Personally I find this piece of footage amazing, you can definitely see an ominous black shadow following the car as it appears from behind the second set of trees.

You have to watch the clip very closely......”


It’s quite an old clip, and the majority of you will have already seen it, if so, I apologize.




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« Reply #1707 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 09:53am »

Ha ha, Dr Dil! Speaking of your shorts, here is an appropriate news bulletin.....

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Welcome to the Future: Tubeless Toilet Paper

By Loren Grush
Published October 29, 2010

FoxNews.com

Life is full of many frustrations, but none so great as getting that last piece of toilet paper off of the cardboard tube. Now the Kimberly-Clarke Corporation, the global producer of paper-based products, may have the solution that will rid people of their toilet paper struggles.

Monday marks the launch of Kimberly-Clark’s new Scott Natural Tube-Free toilet paper. Just as the name asserts, the rolls come void of those pesky cardboard tubes while still being able to fit on the average toilet paper holder. Next week, the tubeless "TP" will be sold in roughly 200 Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs in the Northeast. Such an initiative ultimately raises the question: Why hasn’t this been done before?

“The idea has been around for quite some time,” said Doug Daniels, brand manger for Scott brand. “The tube doesn’t really serve any consumer purpose. But we’ve had a breakthrough in our technology that’s finally allowed us to do this.”

For now, the process of taking out the tube remains a mystery, as Kimberly-Clarke won’t reveal its ground-breaking technology. Daniels says they’re keeping tight-lipped, since they might use the process for future products. But more importantly, he maintains that no cardboard tube means every single piece of toilet paper will be usable, without those last few sheets getting stuck to the roll.

And the benefits aren’t just in favor of the consumer

Kimberly-Clarke estimates that the U.S. alone disposes of 17 billion cardboard tubes from bathroom tissue, equating to 160 million pounds of waste. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly the weight of 250 Boeing 747s and enough tubes to circle the earth’s equator 40 times. Daniels says that this marriage of consumer and ecological advantages will pave the way for the success of the tubeless initiative.

“We looked at those products that help us to preserve our environment, and we saw that consumers aren’t willing to trade off to go green,” asserted Daniels. “So that’s really the beauty of what we’re doing here. To the consumer, there are no compromises. They’re still getting a high-quality product, and the impact of their purchase is still significant to the environment.”

And so far, Daniels says user feedback has been nothing but positive.

“When you put it into people’s hands, it really puts a smile on their face,” joked Daniels. “People will seriously tell us, ‘I never thought I’d be this excited about a roll of bathroom tissue.’”

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/29/welcome-future-tubeless-toilet-paper/


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1708 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 09:54am »

Lol DrDil laugh laugh That video looks familiar to me....without viewing it, if its the one I think it is they had to peel me off the ceiling the first time I watched it..... rofl laugh laugh

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« Reply #1709 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 1:59pm »

Dr. Dil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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