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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 128723 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #3030 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:18am »

Wired Danger Room

Pentagon Looks to Militarize the Cloud
By Spencer Ackerman
February 22, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: DarpaWatch


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Photo: U.S. Air Force


Store tactical military data on distributed servers, accessible through networked computers or mobile devices? Ask most officers about cloud computing and they’ll look at you patronizingly and say: Yes, Google Docs is nice, but it’s not secure enough for our secrets. (I write from experience.) But Darpa’s new budget shows that it wants the military all the way up into the cloud, and plans to set up mobile wireless hotspots so troops can reach the cloud from the most connectivity-forsaken places.

Appropriately, the goal of getting big data files to troops on the move in the middle of nowhere is, well, distributed between two new programs from the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers. Cloud to the Edge looks to essentially ape Google’s tools (other than search) to create a military cloud. And Mobile Hot Spots wants to carry connectivity anywhere troops need to share those big data files.

Wherever the military goes, it brings bandwidth with it. But it’s easier to set up networks around big bases than it is to have them follow troops in the field, especially if those troops have to send or receive large data packets, like video from drones overhead. Some companies are combating the problem by mounting cell towers under the bellies of drones, beaming connectivity below.

Mobile Hot Spots is Darpa’s way to even out what it calls the “100-1000x mismatch of data needs and available network capacity.” Starting out with a $10 million request to Congress, it looks to “create high-capacity and secure wireless technologies by exploiting advances in high-frequency and new security paradigms using RF, millimeter wave (MMW) and/or optical transmission.” If approved, it’ll spend its first year of life developing hardware and network architecture for the mission. And it’s considering going the under-drone route, proposing to “explore hardware, software, and waveform options to include unmanned aerial systems, soldiers, and mobile platforms connected into network topologies.”

Then there’s the place where the data carried over those networks will reside. Cloud to the Edge has no problem distributing that around through the ether. Unlike Mobile Hot Spots, it’s not even asking for money yet — perhaps because what it’s proposing is so ambitious it first needs to see about feasibility. Not only will it store data in “distributed servers and advanced networking and information database technologies,” it seeks to minimize human interaction in retrieving the data, “autonomously seek[ing] out relevant information and mov[ing] it to where it is needed in a timely and assured manner.”

The budget proposal doesn’t give any hint about how it’ll do that yet, proposing for now just to study “information flow patterns through the regional and localized network” and write software for “distributed data dissemination.”

Neither does Darpa explain how to keep its Cloud secure. Instead, it flips the security question back around, asserting that the “current centralized or regional storage and dissemination of information presents security, reliability, and capacity challenges in identifying and getting relevant information to users at the edge.”

At a time when Special Operations Forces are turning to Android-powered tablets to read their data in the middle of nowhere, Darpa looks to be focused on setting up the supporting infrastructure that lets U.S. troops access more information in more remote areas. It might not be Google Docs. But it’s something.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/pentagon-cloud/

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« Reply #3031 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:27am »

Telegraph

Alien life and UFOs: 10 top 'believers'

NASA research has found that half of all stars in the universe have Earth-like planets orbiting around them, raising fresh hopes of finding alien life.


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7:30AM GMT 21 Feb 2011

Numerous public figures from eminent scientists to politicians have stated their belief in the existence of alien life forms and UFOs.

Here we take a look at some of the most notable claims:

1. Professor Stephen Hawking

Last year, the revered physicist and cosmologist suggested that extraterrestrials almost certainly exist but that humans should be taking steps to avoid them rather than seek them out.

He said: “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.

“I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

2. Lord Rees

The astronomer royal last year said he believed aliens could well exist and warned that they might prove to be beyond human understanding.

“I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive,” he said. “Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains,” he said.

3. Lachezar Filipov

Bulgarian government scientists from the country's Space Research Institute claimed two years ago that they were already in contact with extraterrestrial life.

They claimed that experts were trying to decipher a complex set of symbols sent to them, after posing aliens a list of 30 questions.

Mr Filipov deputy director of the Space Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, revealed that the centre's researchers were analysing 150 crop circles from around the world, which they believe answer the questions.

"Aliens are currently all around us, and are watching us all the time," Mr Filipov said.

"They are not hostile towards us, rather, they want to help us but we have not grown enough in order to establish direct contact with them."

4. Edgar Mitchell

The former NASA astronaut claimed in 2009 that alien life exists but that the US government was covering up the evidence.

Mr Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, made the claims in a talk to the fifth annual X-Conference – a meeting of those who believe in UFOs and other life forms.

He also said he had attempted to investigate the 1947 'Roswell Incident', which some believe was the crash-landing of a UFO, but had been thwarted by military authorities.

He said: "We're not alone. Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. ... We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there.

"I urge those who are doubtful: Read the books, read the lore, start to understand what has really been going on. Because there really is no doubt we are being visited.

"The universe that we live in is much more wondrous, exciting, complex and far-reaching than we were ever able to know up to this point in time."

5. Jimmy Carter

The US President from 1976 to 1980, promised while on the campaign trail that he would make public all documents on UFOs if elected. He said: "I don't laugh at people any more when they say they've seen UFOs. I've seen one myself."

6. General Douglas MacArthur

The Korean and Second World War soldier, said in 1955 that "the next war will be an interplanetary war. The nations of the earth must someday make a common front against attack by people from other planets. The politics of the future will be cosmic, or interplanetary".

7. Monsignor Corrado Balducci

The Vatican theologian, said: "Extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon. The Vatican is receiving much information about extraterrestrials and their contacts with humans from its embassies in various countries, such as Mexico, Chile and Venezuela."

8. Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding

The Second World War RAF Fighter commander during the Battle of Britain once said of UFOs: "I am convinced that these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured by any nations on earth."

9. Ronald Reagan

The US President from 1980 to 1988, claimed he had seen a UFO himself. He said: "I looked out the window and saw this white light. It was zigzagging around. I went up to the pilot and said, 'Have you ever seen anything like that?' He was shocked and he said, 'nope.' And I said to him: 'Let's follow it!' We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens. When I got off the plane I told Nancy all about it."

10. Mikhail Gorbachev

The USSR's last head of state: "The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8337299/Alien-life-and-UFOs-10-top-believers.html

Crystal
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purr
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..you talkin' to me...YOU TALKIN' TO ME..??!


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« Reply #3032 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 11:56am »

on Feb 19th, 2011, 10:15am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hi Purr!
Crystal


Hi Crystal!! How are you today...

Responding to the top 10 believers article, in your Reply # 3031. Reading I feel like a command to my common sense is issued: Switch ON. Doesn't it make perfect sense if people who can be expected to be in the know like Air Chief Marshalls and (former) heads of state say that UFOs are real, and scientists claim aliens are a likely reality, that the simple conclusion must be that UFOs and Aliens exist?


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Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.

-RONALD REAGAN
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« Reply #3033 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 2:21pm »

on Feb 22nd, 2011, 11:56am, purr wrote:
Hi Crystal!! How are you today...

Responding to the top 10 believers article, in your Reply # 3031. Reading I feel like a command to my common sense is issued: Switch ON. Doesn't it make perfect sense if people who can be expected to be in the know like Air Chief Marshalls and (former) heads of state say that UFOs are real, and scientists claim aliens are a likely reality, that the simple conclusion must be that UFOs and Aliens exist?


purr


Hi Purr,

I'm doing very well today. Glorious weather, until tomorrow. UGH!

I agree with you, if these people are saying that they believe in alien life forms why is it so difficult to get people past that "giggle factor" and start researching the phenomenon in a big way?

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« Reply #3034 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 2:27pm »

Sending up prayers for Christchurch.
Crystal

The Atlantic
Earthquake in New Zealand

At 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island, near the country's second-largest city, Christchurch. It is an aftershock of a massive, deeper earthquake that hit New Zealand last September, and has already caused more damage, injuries, and fatalities than the earlier quake. Hundreds of structures in Christchurch have now been severely damaged or collapsed completely. At the moment, at least 65 deaths have been confirmed, hundreds have been injured, and many are still missing. Below are images from New Zealand late yesterday, more will be added as they come in today. [31 photos so far]
Feb 22, 2011


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A group of people travel with Glacier Explorers to see one of the many icebergs that caved into Tasman Lake as a result of the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, February 22, 2011.
(AP Photo/NZPA, Denis Callesen)


photo gallery after the jump
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/02/earthquake-in-new-zealand/100013/

~

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« Reply #3035 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:11pm »

Some drones are smaller than others..... laugh

http://www.wimp.com/nanohummingbird/
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« Reply #3036 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:44pm »

on Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:11pm, Swamprat wrote:
Some drones are smaller than others..... laugh

http://www.wimp.com/nanohummingbird/


Hey Swamprat!

I would love to tease the dogs with that hummingbird. grin

Crystal
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« Reply #3037 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:50pm »

Wired Threat Level

Feds Appeal Warrantless-Wiretapping Defeat
By David Kravets
February 22, 2011 | 4:14 pm
Categories: Surveillance, politics


The Obama administration is appealing the first — and likely only — lawsuit resulting in a ruling against the National Security Agency’s secret warrantless-surveillance program adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

A San Francisco federal judge in December awarded $20,400 each to two American lawyers illegally wiretapped by the George W. Bush administration, and granted their attorneys $2.5 million for the costs of litigating the case for more than four years.

Although U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had called it “unlawful surveillance,” he went soft on the government because the authorities, the judge said, believed they were protecting the country in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Walker did not declare the administration’s so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program unconstitutional, and he declined to issue punitive damages to punish the government for wiretapping in the country without warrants. Instead, the judge granted the two spied-upon lawyers for the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation charity $100 a day for each of the 204 days their telephone calls were wiretapped beginning in February 2004, an amount they sought. In addition, they requested about $200,000 each in punitive damages, and the same amount to be awarded to the charity — all of which was denied.

The government lodged what is known as a notice of appeal (.pdf) http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2011/02/Al-Haramain_Nt-of-Appeal-2011-02-18.pdf
with the judge’s court late Friday. The government has about three months to file its opening brief with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“That’s when we’ll know for sure what they are challenging,” Jon Eisenberg, counsel for the Al-Haramain attorneys, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Under Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, which The New York Times disclosed in December 2005, the NSA was eavesdropping on Americans’ telephone calls without warrants if the government believed the person on the other end was overseas and associated with terrorism. Congress, with the vote of then-Sen. Barack Obama, subsequently authorized such warrantless spying in the summer of 2008.

As part of that program, the NSA in 2004 was intercepting the telephone communications of Al-Haramain lawyers Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, who worked for an Oregon branch of the charity. The plaintiffs learned of the eavesdropping after the government mistakenly sent them records.

Both the Bush and the Obama administrations declared those records state secrets, so the documents were removed from the case. Walker allowed the case to proceed, based on other evidence of eavesdropping.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/feds-appealing-wiretap-defeat/


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« Reply #3038 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:53pm »






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« Reply #3039 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 6:03pm »

Well, if the hummingbird isn't enough, try the fish.......


Fox News

CIA Reveals Its James Bond-Worthy Spy Gadgets


Published February 22, 2011

Did U.S. secret agents really use robotic catfish to spy?
Or hide cameras in makeup compacts? Or hide secret documents in cigarette packs, or even false coins? Yes. And the CIA has just unveiled the pictures that prove it.

In a world where Russian femme fatales become international brands and that iconic martini-sipping spy has made a resurgent reboot -- thank you, Daniel Craig -- it seems only fitting that the notoriously secretive Central Intelligence Agency is giving the world an insider’s look at some of its wackier exploits.

Last week, the U.S. spy organization launched a complete overhaul to its cia.gov website, including new pages on YouTube and Flickr containing historical Agency videos and picture galleries.

“The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the agency available to more people, more easily,” director Leon Panetta said in a statement. “The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.”

In terms of pure coolness, however, the new Flickr pictures take the cake -- including a never-before-seen gallery of special-agent supergadgets.

Some of the items featured are your run-of-the-mill spy gear -- hidden cameras, devices to secretly extract letters from envelopes, and codebreaking machines -- while others range from the bizarre to the spectacular.

The agency has also revealed a penchant for robotics.
There's “Charlie,” for example, an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) shaped like a fish that the agency used to study aquatic robot technology. Controlled via radio, it contained built-in ballast and propulsion systems allowing it to covertly travel underwater.

Another is the dragonfly "Insectothopter,"one of the first micro spy drones of its times. Both gadgets were developed by the CIA’s Office of Research and Development in the 1970s. “It was an initiative to explore the concept of intelligence collection by miniaturized platforms,” according to the site.

Whether or not these devices were used in actual missions is unknown, but with the technological gains we’ve made in the past few decades, you can only wonder the kind of super toys the agency now have at its disposal.

James Bond would be duly impressed.

For slide show, see: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/22/new-cia-websites-reveal-secret-agent-gadgets/#ixzz1EjeBuFKD
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« Reply #3040 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 6:29pm »

Wow! The CIA has been busy. "Charlie" would certainly liven up things around here.
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« Reply #3041 on: Feb 22nd, 2011, 7:12pm »






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« Reply #3042 on: Feb 23rd, 2011, 08:37am »

New York Times

February 23, 2011
Italy Says Death Toll in Libya Likely More Than 1,000
By RACHEL DONADIO


ROME — Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Wednesday said the death toll from days of unrest in Libya was likely more than 1,000, and worried that violence there could spark Islamic extremism.

Noting that the situation was chaotic, Mr. Frattini told reporters in Rome that he believed estimates that more than 1,000 Libyan civilians had been killed in the clashes with security forces and government supporters “appear to be true.”

Later, addressing the Italian parliament on Wednesday morning, Mr. Frattini added that he was concerned about a rise in “Islamic radicalism” and “the rise of an Islamic emirate” in Eastern Libya, including the Cyrenaica region, which he said was “no longer under the Libyan government’s control.”

“This radical Islamism worries us because it is only a few hundred kilometers from the European Union,” Mr. Frattini said, adding that, “nothing can justify the violent killing of hundreds of innocent civilians.”

Estimates on the death toll in Libya have been difficult to pin down. Human Rights Watch has confirmed roughly 300 deaths in the week-long uprising, but has noted its estimate is conservative because of the difficulty of gathering information from morgues and hospitals during due to intermittent phone service and a near Internet blackout.

Mr. Frattini’s remarks on Libya were the Italian government’s strongest to date. In recent days, critics had called on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to use his close ties with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to pressure him to stop the violence in Libya.

Italy has longstanding ties with Libya, which supplies much of its natural gas. In 2008, under Mr. Berlusconi, the two countries signed an accord in which Italy pledged $5 billion over 20 years in exchange for Libya’s help blocking the flow of illegal immigrants toward Europe and granting favorable treatment for Italian companies seeking to do business in Libya.

But the treaty also includes a clause that critics say could compromise Italy’s role as a key member of NATO in the event of an international intervention against Libya.

The treaty states: “Italy will not use or will not permit the use of its own territories in any hostile act against Libya and Libya will not use, nor permit the use of its own territories in any hostile act against Italy.”

It also states that both countries “should abstain from any form of direct or indirect interference in the internal or external affairs which fall under the jurisdiction of either side, in keeping with the spirit of good neighbors.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/world/europe/24italy.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #3043 on: Feb 23rd, 2011, 08:44am »

LA Times

Mexico's Calderon not so happy with U.S. drug war cooperation
February 22, 2011 | 5:31 pm


In unusually candid comments, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has criticized U.S. agencies for failing to do their part in the fight against powerful drug cartels.

Calderon said that while Presidents Bush and Obama have been cooperative, the "institutional cooperation" has been "notoriously insufficient."

He said the U.S., which is sending $1.4 billion in training, equipment and other drug war aid, had failed to curb drug consumption or the flow of weapons into Mexico.

The comments came in an extensive interview with the Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, published Tuesday. Here's the complete interview in Spanish: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/746815.html
along with various video and audio components.

Calderon, who enjoys pretty consistent public support from Washington, said recent revelations from highly critical leaked diplomatic cables have hurt and distorted the relationship. He said U.S. diplomats "pour lots of cream on their tacos," an expression meaning they tend to exaggerate.

"They always want to raise their own agendas before their bosses, and they've done a lot of damage with the stories they tell," Calderon said.

-- Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laplaza/2011/02/mexicos-calderon-not-so-happy-with-us-drug-war-cooperation.html

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« Reply #3044 on: Feb 23rd, 2011, 08:49am »

Wired

Feb. 23, 1942: Invasion! They’re Coming!
By Tony Long
February 23, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Warfare and Military


1942: A Japanese long-range submarine surfaces off the California coast and uses its 5½-inch deck gun to shell an oil refinery near Santa Barbara.

The attack, which lasted about 20 minutes, caused little damage to the Ellwood refinery. But it helped to stoke fears, which had existed since the raid on Pearl Harbor 10 weeks earlier, that the Japanese might be preparing a full-scale invasion of the West Coast.

In Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle, the Japanese not only plan a U.S. invasion, they carry it off. In reality, though, the Imperial High Command envisioned nothing of the sort, lacking both the military capacity and a strategic reason for invasion.

Cmdr. Nishino Kozo, skipper of the I-17, was familiar with the Ellwood refinery, having docked there as the captain of an oil tanker before the war. A Parade magazine article in 1982 suggested that Kozo staged the raid on his own initiative, in retaliation for a slight he suffered during a prewar visit to Ellwood.


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Some World War II Japanese submarines were so big, they carried airplanes.


Whether Kozo took the opportunity to settle an old score is unknown. He never said. (The I-17 was on combat patrol along the Pacific Coast. Five days after shelling the refinery, Kozo torpedoed an American tanker off Cape Mendocino.)

Kozo’s gunnery display scared the bejesus out of the already skittish Americans. On the night following I-17’s shelling of the refinery, trigger-happy anti-aircraft gunners in Los Angeles lit up the night sky with tracer ammunition for a couple of hours after spotting some UFOs. The refinery shelling, in any event, showed the extent to which submarine technology had advanced since World War I.

The I-17 was a B1-class submarine: 350 feet long, with 2,200 tons surface displacement, and by far the largest combat sub to see service during World War II. By comparison, Germany’s largest long-range combat U-boat, the IXD, was 70 feet shorter and displaced barely 1,600 tons when surfaced.

A generation earlier, World War I subs were smaller, carried fewer torpedoes and had a much more limited range.

Kozo was able to take advantage of the fact that American coastal defenses were poorly organized in early 1942. German U-boat commanders on the East Coast were discovering the same thing, with devastating effect on Allied shipping.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/02/0223japanese-sub-shells-santa-barbara/

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