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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 149688 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2925 on: Feb 13th, 2011, 1:08pm »

on Feb 13th, 2011, 11:09am, LoneGunMan wrote:
I have an idea as to why this is happening. The damned bean counters at the networks have screwed the pooch for the last 10 years as to programming and I'll explain how. I just finished watching the complete series 'Babylon 5'! 5 years worth of great programming with 24-26 episodes each year at a given time with summer reruns. Now you have 12-16 episodes if your lucky and half the time preemption of two and three weeks between episodes. You can't build a stable audience this way. Just look for yourselves how much good programming has been screwed with by either, what I have just laid out or, the changing of schedules to either benefit advertisers or some 'psychic idea' that a different night to oppose another networks programming or trying to reach a different audience will help ratings. If you see a show and then have to chase around the network to find it again you just forget about it!
I also don't think they are calculating correctly those of us that watch exclusively by computer.
These networks have no one to blame BUT themselves for their ignorance. There is fun and interesting entertainment out there but they are not backing their own decisions or correcting them.
A great example is the show 'FireFly'! They played games with that show and then canceled. It's now has one of the largest cult followings on Netflix!

Someone needs to educate these network morons. It's either that or their 'Creative Book Keeping' is playing a large role!
Lone



Good morning Lone,

You are right about the programming. You used to be able to watch your favorite shows on the same night every week, at least 21 episodes a season and no bumping for "special programming".

We used to watch "In Plain Sight" but they only have 6 episodes twice a year. So we just wandered off. Couldn't be bothered to sit over the stupid schedule. Babylon 5 was spectacular. If it was on now it would be cancelled in a month.

They ruined Star Trek Enterprise the same way. ALWAYS pre-empted in Arizona for basketball games. It drove us wild!

Hollywood just doesn't give a crap. They are in that mind set of "I got mine, screw you!" Contempt for the audience.

We've been watching the new "Hawaii 5-O" They have a 40 minute storyline. 20 full minutes for commercials. The characters talk so fast I feel like I'm back at my Dad's auction!

Crystal
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« Reply #2926 on: Feb 13th, 2011, 1:10pm »

on Feb 13th, 2011, 11:40am, Swamprat wrote:
Poor Jeff; he just won't give up!!

The Denver Post

Mayoral race swells to 16 with entry of Jeff Peckman.


02/12/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

The field in Denver's mayoral race grew to 16 with an announcement Friday from Jeff Peckman that he would enter the race.

Peckman was the man behind the ballot initiative last year that would have required the city to create the world's first government-sanctioned extraterrestrial-affairs commission. In 2003, he championed the "Safety Through Peace" initiative, which proposed Denver adopt peacefulness programs to lower "society-wide stress."

Read more: Mayoral race swells to 16 with entry of Jeff Peckman. - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17367474#ixzz1DqiWJlT1

cheesy


Hey Swamp!

Well at least he's harmless. grin I'm at the age where I think as long as I'm not hurting anyone, what's crazy anyway?

Crystal
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« Reply #2927 on: Feb 13th, 2011, 3:06pm »

Ancient teeth raise new questions about the origins of modern man

Eight small teeth found in a cave near Rosh Haain, central Israel, are raising big questions about the earliest existence of humans and where we may have originated, says Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam. Part of a team of international researchers led by Dr. Israel Hershovitz of Tel Aviv University, Qaum and his colleagues have been examining the dental discovery and recently published their joint findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Excavated at Qesem cave, a pre-historic site that was uncovered in 2000, the size and shape of the teeth are very similar to those of modern man, Homo sapiens, which have been found at other sites is Israel, such as Oafzeh and Skhul - but they're a lot older than any previously discovered remains.

"The Qesem teeth come from a time period between 200,000 - 400,000 years ago when human remains from the Middle East are very scarce," Quam said. "We have numerous remains of Neandertals and Homo sapiens from more recent times, that is around 60,00 - 150,000 years ago, but fossils from earlier time periods are rare. So these teeth are providing us with some new information about who the earlier occupants of this region were as well as their potential evolutionary relationships with the later fossils from this same region."

The teeth also present new evidence as to where modern man might have originated. Currently, anthropologists believe that modern humans and Neandertals shared a common ancestor who lived in Africa over 700,000 years ago. Some of the descendants of this common ancestor migrated to Europe and developed into Neandertals. Another group stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo sapiens, who later migrated out of the continent. If the remains from Qesem can be linked directly to the Homo sapiens species, it could mean that modern man either originated in what is now Israel or may have migrated from Africa far earlier that is presently accepted.

...

Read more here:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-ancient-teeth-modern.html
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« Reply #2928 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 09:12am »

Hey Phil! Happy Valentine's Day.

Thank you for that article.

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« Reply #2929 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 09:14am »

New York Times

February 13, 2011
Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable
By DAVID STREITFELD

SEATTLE — Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse. Now they wonder if it will ever stop slumping.

The rolling real estate crash that ravaged Florida and the Southwest is delivering a new wave of distress to communities once thought to be immune — economically diversified cities where the boom was relatively restrained.

In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix.

The bubble markets, where builders, buyers and banks ran wild, began falling first, economists say, so they are close to the end of the cycle and in some cases on their way back up. Nearly everyone else still has another season of pain.

“When I go out and talk to people around town, they say, ‘Wow, I thought we were going to have a 12 percent correction and call it a day,’ ” said Stan Humphries, chief economist for the housing site Zillow, which is based in Seattle. “But this thing just keeps on going.”

Seattle is down about 31 percent from its mid-2007 peak and, according to Zillow’s calculations, still has as much as 10 percent to fall. Mr. Humphries estimates the rest of the country will drop a further 5 and 7 percent as last year’s tax credits for home buyers continue to wear off.

“We went into 2010 feeling gangbusters, thanks to Uncle Sam,” Mr. Humphries said. “We ended it feeling penniless, with home values tanking.”

The fact that even a fairly prosperous area like Seattle was ensnared in the downturn shows just how much of a national phenomenon the crash has been. The slump began when the low-quality loans that drove the latter stage of the boom began to go bad, but the resulting recession greatly enlarged the crisis. Many people could not get a mortgage, and others simply gave up the hunt.

Now, though the overall economy seems to be mending, housing remains stubbornly weak. That presents a vexing problem for the Obama administration, which has introduced several initiatives intended to help homeowners, with mixed success.

CoreLogic, a data firm, said last week that American home prices fell 5.5 percent in 2010, back to the recession low of March 2009. New home sales are scraping along the bottom. Mortgage applications are near a 15-year low, boding ill for the rest of the winter.

It has been a long, painful slide. At the peak, a downturn in real estate in Seattle was nearly unthinkable. In September 2006, after prices started falling in many parts of the country but were still increasing here, The Seattle Times noted that the last time prices in the city dropped on a quarterly basis was during the severe recession of 1982.

Two local economists were quoted all but guaranteeing that Seattle was immune “if history is any indication.” A risk index from PMI Mortgage Insurance gave the odds of Seattle prices dropping at a negligible 11 percent.

These days, the mood here is chastened when not downright fatalistic. If a recovery depends on a belief in better times, that seems a long way off.

Those who must sell close their eyes and hope for the best. Those who hope to buy see lower prices but often have lighter wallets, removing any sense of urgency.

Arne Klubberud and Melissa Lee-Klubberud paid $358,000 for a new, 960-square-foot townhouse on trendy Capitol Hill a few weeks after that Seattle Times article was published. Now, with one child and with hopes for more, they need more space. They just put the townhouse on the market for $300,000.

“Obviously, this is not the ideal situation,” said Ms. Lee-Klubberud, a 32-year-old lawyer. They are hoping to take advantage of the sour market to buy at a good price, but first, they must sell for an amount that is acceptable. “Everyone has their limits,” she said. “We have ours.”

On a dark, dank Sunday, a handful of people came to look at the three-level unit. One of them was Katherine Davis, who had just sold her house in the far eastern suburbs. It took 14 months, during which she had to drop the price several times. The equity she had accumulated over the decades disappeared quickly.

“At first, I thought it would be nice to come out of this with $200,000, but I adjusted my expectations,” Ms. Davis said. She ended up with less than half of that. Her goal is to buy a small place in the city, but not yet. “Selfishly, I’m hoping the market continues to drop,” she said.

Increasing numbers of sellers are simply surrendering.

Megan and Ryan Dortch tried to sell their one-bedroom Eastlake condo for $325,000 two years ago. They rejected an offer of $295,000 as inadequate. A year later, they relisted it for $289,000, then $279,000, which was less than they paid. Without a sale at that price, they could not afford to buy a place big enough for them and their new baby.

They have given up on real estate. They are renting out their old apartment at a small loss every month, and living in a rented house. “I don’t expect the market to get better,” said Ms. Dortch, 31, a customer service consultant.

Neither does Gene Burrus, another frustrated seller who became a landlord. “Rent is so cheap it doesn’t make sense to buy now,” he said. He might reconsider if 10 or 15 percent more comes out of the market.

Redfin, a real estate brokerage firm based in Seattle, says foot traffic began picking up in the last several weeks. Mortgage rates are rising, which could nudge those who need to buy to make a deal now for fear rates will rise even more.

But whenever the market finally does pick up, all those accidental landlords will want to unload, putting another burden on the market. “So many sellers are waiting in the shadows,” said Redfin’s chief executive, Glenn Kelman. “The inventory is going to expand and expand and expand. I don’t see any basis for significant price increases.”

While almost every economist is expecting another round of price declines for the next few months, many see a leveling off in the second half of the year. Fiserv, the company that produces the monthly Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, analyzed prices in 375 communities. About three-quarters of them will be stable by December, Fiserv calculates.

“We’re at a period near the bottom but with more volatility than we normally see at this point,” said David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist. “This sort of double dip is unprecedented for housing.”

Maybe that is why belief in a bottom is as elusive now as fears of a top were in 2006.

“We would love to have a house,” said Dan Cunningham, a 41-year-old renter. “I have more than enough for a down payment. I’m preapproved for a loan. But I have to have confidence it’s not going to lose another 20 percent.” He plans to wait until he sees prices rising before making any offers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/business/economy/14dip.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #2930 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 09:17am »


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My Valentine is awake, be back later.

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« Reply #2931 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 11:33am »

The Hill

The Hill Poll: Voters troubled over future of Social Security
By Bernie Becker - 02/14/11 06:11 AM ET

A sizable majority of likely voters is worried about Social Security’s future but much more divided over whether the retirement age for the program should be raised, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill.

Seventy-seven percent of likely voters believe Social Security is in trouble, while just 15 percent believe the program is financially sound.

Still, a plurality – 48 percent – also believed that the Social Security age should not be raised for people born after 1960, who are currently slated to begin receiving full benefits at age 67. Forty percent favored pushing back the retirement age.

Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to support raising the retirement age, the poll found.

Reforms to Social Security and other entitlement programs are being discussed by policymakers struggling to deal with a budget deficit the Congressional Budget Office has estimated will grow to $1.5 trillion this fiscal year. The CBO has also recently reported that Social Security also posted a deficit last year for the first time in years, and CBO has also projected it would do so again this year.

So far, the White House and congressional Republicans have in mostly limited their budget-cutting proposals to non-defense discretionary spending, which accounts for a much smaller piece of the federal budget than entitlement programs.

Even so, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are engaged in something of a back-and-forth over Social Security, with liberals accusing some GOP lawmakers of wanting to privatize and eventually kill off Social Security.

The Hill poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, does suggest there is a political divide over Social Security’s future.

While likely voters generally believed Social Security was not on sound footing, no matter what their gender, race or political beliefs, the question of whether to raise the retirement age broke down more along party lines.

Republicans and conservatives were roughly split over whether to increase the age at which someone can receive full benefits, while Democrats and liberals strongly opposed the idea. Moderate voters also were against raising the Social Security age, though not as strongly as those to their political left.

Voters were also split over whether to allow people to invest the Social Security taxes they pay into personal retirement accounts, an idea that was a linchpin of then-President George W. Bush’s plan to reform the program.

Thirty-six percent of likely voters believe diverting payroll taxes to personal accounts should not be permitted at all, while 37 percent backed being able to invest either 25 percent or 50 percent. Sixteen percent supported the ability to invest three-fourths or all of one’s Social Security taxes.

The poll also found that Democrats (58 percent) were nearly three times likelier to favor not allowing any Social Security taxes to be used in individual accounts than Republicans (20 percent). On the flip side, 48 percent of Republicans backed allowing a quarter or half of payroll taxes to go into personal accounts, as opposed to 25 percent of Democrats.

The poll found more consensus about whether to raise the amount of income that can be taxed for Social Security, an idea that has garnered support from President Obama’s bipartisan debt commission and Senate progressives.

Sixty-seven percent of likely voters backed that idea, with only 23 percent against it. Even a majority of those making more than $100,000 – who would be most affected by this plan – supported the move.

The fiscal commission’s report is becoming a more common topic of discussion on Capitol Hill, with a bipartisan group of senators working to craft legislation based on those recommendations.

In addition to the payroll tax proposal, the debt commission also proposed bumping the retirement age to 69 by around 2075. That idea, however, has been embraced more by Republican lawmakers than Democrats, who say it unfairly penalizes blue-collar workers.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who have led the charge that Republicans are looking to privatize Social Security, have noted that the program is on track to pay out all promised benefits for the next quarter-century and declared that Social Security has not contributed to the current budget problems.

“It’s not in crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said recently on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“This is something that’s perpetuated by people who don’t like government. Social Security is fine,” Reid added. “Are there things we can do to improve Social Security? Of course.”

Republicans have indicated that the White House needs to take the lead on entitlement reform and have said the recent CBO findings on Social Security’s deficit illustrate that the program is in trouble.

“We all know that they’re on an unsustainable path, but let me make it very clear: There will be no entitlement reform without presidential leadership,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said recently. “And to the extent that the president is willing to join with us and discuss how we deal with these long-term unfunded liabilities, I think virtually every Republican is ready to have that discussion.”

http://thehill.com/polls/143773-the-hill-poll-voters-see-trouble-ahead-for-social-security

Crystal
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« Reply #2932 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 11:39am »

Telegraph

Iran protests: police fire tear gas and paintballs at anti-government protesters

Riot police on Monday fired tear gas and shot paintballs at thousands of protesters who turned what they said was a Tehran rally in support of Arab uprisings into an anti-government demonstration.

4:00PM GMT 14 Feb 2011

The clashes broke out at Tehran's prominent Azadi (Freedom) Square when crowds of opposition supporters began chanting "Death to Dictator!" – a slogan used by protesters against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the disputed 2009 presidential election.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas and also shot paintballs at protesters who had gathered despite a ban by authorities.

Websites and witnesses said thousands of opposition supporters had taken to the streets of the capital in support of Arab revolts despite a heavy police deployment.

Iranian authorities had earlier surrounded the house of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to prevent him from attending the rally which regime-backers said was a ploy to stage anti-government protests similar to those which shook the foundations of the Islamic republic in 2009.

While Iran has backed the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the interior ministry in Tehran banned the Monday rally which Mr Mousavi and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi had sought to hold.

Witnesses and websites said the opposition supporters had walked in scattered crowds silently to Azadi Square from several parts of the capital as policemen kept a sharp watch and tried dispersing them.

Riot police on motorbikes armed with shotguns, tear gas, batons, paintball guns and fire extinguishers were deployed in key squares in the capital to prevent the gatherings.

One witness said some demonstrators were chanting "Allahu akbar!" (God is great) as they gathered around alleys near Azadi Square.

Another witness described how one group of demonstrators had walked silently from Imam Hussein Square to Enghelab Square. "They are being silent and trying to keep a low profile," the witness said.

"Some policemen are chasing protesters in order to disperse them," another witness said, adding around 1,000 anti-riot policemen were also deployed in and around Imam Hussein Square.

More police and Basij militiamen took up positions in Haft-e Tir square, a regular site for intense anti-government protests in 2009.

The foreign media has been banned by authorities from on-the-spot reporting of the gatherings.

Police meanwhile stopped Mr Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard from attending the rally as they tried to step out of their house at around 2:45pm (1115 GMT), Mr Mousavi's website Kaleme.com reported.

Kaleme.com said earlier that police had blocked access to Mr Mousavi's house since early on Monday. "From today the police have blocked the alley where their house is located ... There is no possibility of coming and going," it said.

The report said all telephone lines at the house, including the mobile phone connections of Mr Mousavi and his wife, have been severed.

Mr Karroubi himself has been under de facto house arrest for almost a week with his family and relatives barred from visiting him.

The two leaders and their supporters remain steadfast in rejecting Mr Ahmadinejad's presidency, saying the hardliner was re-elected due to massive vote rigging in June 2009.

Their protests in the immediate aftermath of the election brought hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets of Tehran and other cities, shaking the pillars of the Islamic regime and dividing the nation's elite clergy.

Iranian authorities crushed those demonstrations during which scores of people were killed and wounded, and thousands arrested in a crackdown by security forces and members of the feared Basij militia.

Iranian officials, including commanders from the elite military force, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Basij militia had warned the opposition against staging Monday's rally.

Organisers of Tehran's popular Fajr theatre festival cancelled street plays planned for Monday, on concerns over the safety of artists and audiences amid the gatherings, the ISNA news agency said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8323546/Iran-protests-police-fire-tear-gas-and-paintballs-at-anti-government-protesters.html

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« Reply #2933 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 11:42am »

Wired Threat Level

Op-Ed: A Civil Perspective on Cybersecurity
By Jane Holl Lute and Bruce McConnell
February 14, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Op-Ed


Jane Holl Lute is the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. Bruce McConnell is a Senior Counselor at the Department.

How important is cyberspace? It is hardly possible to overstate it. The internet is an engine of immense wealth creation, a force for openness, transparency, innovation and freedom. Without it, generators stop turning, phones fall silent, critical goods sit on loading docks. Without confidence in the integrity of financial data or health information, the economy trembles. Without connectivity, tens of thousands of communities disappear from view; a deployed solider cannot see her daughter’s swim victory, a multiple sclerosis patient is unable to confer with others about the latest medications, and first responders face an unknown chemical spill untethered.

Cyberspace functions as the very endoskeleton of modern life. So it’s no surprise that when bad actors emerge to exploit or threaten it — whether profit-driven criminals, electronic saboteurs or international espionage rings — there’s a temptation to define the threat in the strongest and simplest terms. These days, some observers are pounding out a persistent and mounting drumbeat of war, calling for preparing the battlefield, even saying that the United States is already fully into a “cyberwar,” that it is, in fact, losing.

We disagree. Cyberspace is not a war zone.

Conflict and exploitation are present there, to be sure, but cyberspace is fundamentally a civilian space – a neighborhood, a library, a marketplace, a school yard, a workshop – and a new, exciting age in human experience, exploration and development. Portions of it are part of America’s defense infrastructure, and these are properly protected by soldiers. But the vast majority of cyberspace is civilian space.

We’re not just talking about the internet here. Complicated and vast, cyberspace is a rapidly growing, interconnected array of information and communications technologies (ICT), characterized by distributed ownership, dynamic connectivity, and diverse systems; its shape shifts instantaneously and organically. Though it relies on machines – e.g., servers – that are each physically somewhere, connected by communications technology that spans the globe, cyberspace is a place where geography matters differently, the reach of national law is incomplete, and the role of nation-states in its security is an open question.

Cyberspace is a new domain of human activity, and vital to the American way of life. For Americans to be able to act with confidence in cyberspace, it must be made more secure – an urgent outcome that requires a broadly distributed effort. Government must play an appropriate role, the contours of which society is still defining. Given cyberspace’s overwhelmingly civilian nature, the Department of Homeland Security has an important role to play, and we explore that here.

Cybersecurity Needs a Distributed Approach

No single actor has the capability to secure the largely privately owned virtual world that straddles national boundaries. Nor, for that matter, is such a role desirable. Indeed, considerable cybersecurity expertise exists in every part of the world.

For our part, the United States is fortunate to have tremendous cybersecurity capabilities in private industry as well as across the federal government. By law and policy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has two specific roles in U.S. cybersecurity: to protect the federal executive branch civilian agencies (the “dot-gov”), and to lead the protection of critical cyberspace. And so today, for example, DHS’ National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center is the hub of daily cyberincident management for the U.S. In addition, the Department of Defense, and in particular, the National Security Agency, is a unique national security resource and an essential participant in national, or global, cybersecurity solutions. Other U.S. government agencies also have significant capabilities. For example, U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service have considerable experience and expertise in investigating cybercrimes and in identifying, pursuing, capturing and successfully prosecuting cybercriminals. Moreover, U.S. multinational firms operate global computer networks that are equipped to detect and respond to cyberintrusions and attacks. The combined knowledge of what’s happening on these networks is a resource that can inform all network defenders of the current operational picture.

If the U.S. is to succeed in securing our identities and our information in cyberspace, it must build a system where the distributed nature of cyberspace is used in its own protection. With this perspective, for example, DHS has launched a national campaign – “Stop|Think|Connect” – to cultivate a collective sense of cyber–civic duty. The message begins with a simple wisdom: to ensure cybersecurity for all of us, each of us must play our part. Beginning with individual users, each of us must take the basic steps necessary to maintain our computers and our cyberlives in safety, just as conscientious drivers maintain their currency with driving laws, keep their tires properly inflated, and pay attention to highway conditions. Nearly everyone practices at least some level of cybersecurity, but these measures must also get easier; they are simply too hard right now.

Organizations and enterprises have similar responsibilities. Senior management in each and every office, company and department, whether private or public, must take responsibility for the protection of its own systems and information, by fielding up-to-date security technology, training employees to avoid common vulnerabilities, and reporting cybercrime when it occurs. For its part, the ICT industry must continue to innovate and improve security. Network, software, hardware and related service providers must accept the responsibilities that go with the considerable power they wield in cyberspace. Security must be built in, not added on; products must be shipped with strong security already activated, not disabled or inert; supply chains should be constructed to reduce the risk of product diversion or corruption; and, beyond the ICT industry, critical infrastructure providers must adopt security measures consistent with the threat. The demand for cybersecurity solutions is hardly decreasing; U.S. companies should lead the global market, creating jobs and making money.

Defining the Role for Government

While America is deeply reliant on cyberspace, the health of this critical ecosystem is itself a work in progress. Indeed, tomorrow’s threats and defensive capabilities have probably not yet been invented. Government must engage: to secure government systems, assist the private sector in securing itself, enforce the law, and lay the policy foundation for future success. Where industry lags, policy change can incentivize key actions. Today’s environment does not, for example, adequately incentivize companies to write secure software. This must change.

In addition to taking these kinds of immediate steps, government has a role in the longer-term effort needed to change the structure of the internet and to leverage machines’ very capabilities to enable agile, real-time notification, protection, quarantine, and response, subject to human-directed policies and controls.

Not everyone agrees with this approach. At one end of the spectrum, some say cybersecurity should be left to the market; that government should abstain from taking a stronger role vis-à-vis the private sector, so as not to stifle innovation or hurt U.S. competitiveness. We disagree. The market will not solve all problems. Indeed, in no other field does the market carry such a burden, nor should it be expected to here. At the other end, you have the clarion call to treat cyberspace as a theater in a war. If only it were so simple.

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/dhs-op-ed/

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« Reply #2934 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 11:49am »

Geek Tyrant

New Fan-Made Trailer for The Avengers
14 February 2011
by Venkman


Hey gang! Check out the this great fan-made teaser trailer created by Yoko Higuchi for Marvel's highly anticipated film, The Avengers. The fake trailer below includes footage from the Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and of course the new Captain America: The First Avenger trailers.

Here's a note from the creator of the video:

It's 2011 and two new movies from the Marvel Universe will be released this summer, Captain America and Thor, and 2012 is coming up shortly and the biggest Marvel movie in ages will be created combining Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, and numerous other characters into one big project. This is a movie of the ages and something I am really looking forward in watching and knowing that the director, Joss Whedon, who directed Serenity will probably do a VERY good job on this one. I cannot wait.





http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/2/14/new-fan-made-trailer-for-the-avengers.html

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« Reply #2935 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 12:40pm »

The Jerusalem UFO footage has a life of it's own.

Here's a new twitter account:


Ale Ian
@THEJerusalemUFO The Universe.

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We, your alien overlords, have returned... bitches. Prepare to suck it.
http://www.space.com

http://twitter.com/#!/THEJerusalemUFO


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« Reply #2936 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 3:43pm »

Science.nasa.gov

SDO Sundog Mystery

February 11, 2011: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), best known for cutting-edge images of the sun, has made a discovery right here on Earth.

How ice crystals make sundogs.

"It's a new form of ice halo," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley of England. "We saw it for the first time at the launch of SDO--and it is teaching us new things about how shock waves interact with clouds."

Ice halos are rings and arcs of light that appear in the sky when sunlight shines through ice crystals in the air. A familiar example is the sundog—a rainbow-colored splash often seen to the left or right of the morning sun. Sundogs are formed by plate-shaped ice crystals drifting down from the sky like leaves fluttering from trees.*

Last year, SDO destroyed a sundog—and that's how the new halo was discovered.

SDO lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Feb. 11, 2010—one year ago today. It was a beautiful morning with only a handful of wispy cirrus clouds crisscrossing the wintry-blue sky. As the countdown timer ticked to zero, a sundog formed over the launch pad. Play the movie at the URL shown below, to see what happened next—and don't forget to turn up the volume to hear the reaction of the crowd:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/11feb_sundogmystery/

"The shock waves were amazing, fantastical!" says high school student Amelia Phillips who watched the event alongside friend and photographer Anna Herbst of Bishop, California. "We were shouting and jumping up and down when SDO destroyed the sundog." Movie credit: Anna Herbst.

"When the rocket penetrated the cirrus, shock waves rippled through the cloud and destroyed the alignment of the ice crystals," explains Cowley. "This extinguished the sundog."
The sundog's destruction was understood. The events that followed, however, were not.

"A luminous column of white light appeared next to the Atlas V and followed the rocket up into the sky," says Cowley. "We'd never seen anything like it."

Cowley and colleague Robert Greenler set to work figuring out what the mystery-column was. Somehow, shock waves from the rocket must have scrambled the ice crystals to produce the 'rocket halo.' But how? Computer models of sunlight shining through ice crystals tilted in every possible direction failed to explain the SDO event.

Then came the epiphany: The crystals weren't randomly scrambled, Cowley and Greenler realized. On the contrary, the plate-shaped hexagons were organized by the shock waves as a dancing army of microscopic spinning tops.

Cowley explains their successful model: "The crystals are tilted between 8 and 12 degrees. Then they gyrate so that the main crystal axis describes a conical motion. Toy tops and gyroscopes do it. The earth does it once every 26000 years. The motion is ordered and precise."

According to Cowley and Greenler, spinning and gyrating plate-shaped crystals are responsible for the mystery halo. Credit: L. Cowley.

Bottom line: Blasting a rocket through a cirrus cloud can produce a surprising degree of order. "This could be the start of a new research field—halo dynamics," he adds.

The simulations show that the white column beside SDO was only a fraction of a larger oval that would have appeared if the crystals and shock waves had been more wide-ranging. A picture of the hypothetical complete halo may be found here.
"We'd love to see it again and more completely," says Cowley.

"If you ever get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at a rocket launch," he advises with a laugh, "forget about the rocket! Look out instead for halos."

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

« Last Edit: Feb 14th, 2011, 3:44pm by Swamprat » User IP Logged

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« Reply #2937 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 3:45pm »

The Hill

Gates criticizes GOP for proposed cuts to Defense spending
By John T. Bennett
02/14/11 03:49 PM ET

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday said the House GOP budget for the Pentagon is "disconnected" from operational realities.

Gates said the Pentagon needs $540 billion for fiscal 2011, less than the $548 billion initially sought by the Obama administration but $14 billion more than what House Republicans are offering in a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the year.

Gates told reporters the current funding level is “disconnected from strategic … and operational realities.” The secretary added a reduction of that size would be “disconnected from the real world.”

Pentagon officials have determined “we can get by with a smaller number” of about $540 billion as compared to the original Obama request, Gates said.

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters a continuing resolution already has caused problems, and would continue to do so.

For instance, the Navy was recently unable to purchase a Virginia-class submarine as planned.

What’s more, the military services have ordered bases to suspend contracting, meaning those facilities are doing monthly deals with suppliers “that are inefficient,” Hale said.

The department cannot launch new programs or increase buy rates of needed combat platforms, he added. And “our people suffer,” Hale said, because projects like building new barracks and housing will have to be put off.

“We need the Congress to enact an appropriations” bill, not a yearlong continuing resolution, the comptroller said.

Meanwhile, Gates sent a message to the dozens of new House members who are aligned with the Tea Party and campaigned on massive federal funding cuts: Kill the second F-35 engine program.

DoD officials for years have tried to terminate the alternative engine effort, saying it is not needed. But prime contractors Rolls-Royce and General Electric have rallied enough support in Congress to keep it alive. Pratt & Whitney is building the primary F-35 power plant.

The latest version of the alternative engine clash comes amid a new backdrop: Congress is focused on deep spending cuts to help shrink the massive federal deficit, and some critics of the second F-35 engine call it an earmark.

Gates urged the new members to agree with Pentagon officials that it is “an unnecessary and extravagant expense.”

The secretary announced he has decided to fund the program “on a month-to-month basis” while giving “Congress the opportunity to resolve it.”

The secretary even suggested new members take advantage of House leaders’ rule for the 2011 CR that will allow lawmakes to make amendments about any budget- or deficit-related issue.

He said he hopes the House will debate the program on the floor and “vote on it.”

Rolls and GE said almost immediately after Gates’s comments that they would welcome a House debate on the F-35 engine situation.

“We couldn't agree more — there needs to be a debate on whether to hand a $100 billion monopoly of a single engine supplier whose costs are out of control,” GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said in an e-mailed statement. “There was already a debate before the full House last May, and the House authorized funding for competing [F-35] engines.”

New delays to the development and test schedule of the F-35 mean it will be delivered later, and Kennedy said that means “all combat-capable F-35s procured by the U.S. military and its international allies can be delivered with the choice of either competing engine.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/143957-gates-criticizes-gop-for-proposed-cuts-to-defense-spending

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2938 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 3:47pm »

on Feb 14th, 2011, 09:12am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hey Phil! Happy Valentine's Day.

Thank you for that article.

Crystal

Thank you, Crystal! Happy Valentine's Day to you too!! smiley

And happy Valentine's Day to everyone here at UCB!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2939 on: Feb 14th, 2011, 5:38pm »

on Feb 14th, 2011, 3:43pm, Swamprat wrote:
Science.nasa.gov

SDO Sundog Mystery

February 11, 2011: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), best known for cutting-edge images of the sun, has made a discovery right here on Earth.

How ice crystals make sundogs.

"It's a new form of ice halo," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley of England. "We saw it for the first time at the launch of SDO--and it is teaching us new things about how shock waves interact with clouds."

Ice halos are rings and arcs of light that appear in the sky when sunlight shines through ice crystals in the air. A familiar example is the sundog—a rainbow-colored splash often seen to the left or right of the morning sun. Sundogs are formed by plate-shaped ice crystals drifting down from the sky like leaves fluttering from trees.*


Thanks Swamp.
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