Board Logo
« Stuff & Nonsense »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
Jul 27th, 2017, 11:48pm


Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

*Totally FREE 24/7 Access *Your Nickname and Avatar *Private Messages

*Join today and be a part of one of the largest UFO sites on the Net.


« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 ... 266 267 268 269 270  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 95100 times)
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4005 on: May 17th, 2011, 07:58am »

Wired Threat Level

New Yorker Sheds New Light on NSA’s Warrantless Wiretapping and Data Mining
By Kim Zetter
May 16, 2011 | 5:37 pm |
Categories: Crime, NSA, Surveillance


User Image
Image: NSA.gov


New details about the NSA’s post–Sept. 11 domestic surveillance programs have emerged in a stunning New Yorker article about NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who faces trial next month for allegedly leaking information about waste and mismanagement at the agency.

The article provides new insight into the warrantless surveillance program exposed by The New York Times in December 2005, including how top officials at the intelligence agency viewed the program. Former NSA Director Michael Hayden, in 2002, reportedly urged a congressional staffer who was concerned about the legality of the program to keep quiet about it, telling her that she could “yell and scream” about the program once the inevitable leaks about it occurred.

Asked why the NSA didn’t employ privacy protections in its program, Hayden reportedly told the staffer, “We didn’t need them. We had the power,” and admitted the government was not getting warrants for the domestic surveillance.

The New Yorker also spoke with a former head of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, or SARC, who invented software codenamed ThinThread that is believed to have been adapted by the NSA for the warrantless surveillance. The program had privacy protections built into it, but the official says he believes the NSA rejiggered the program to remove those protections, so that it could collect data on everyone, including people in the United States.

Thomas Drake, the focus of the article, is facing trial next month on charges that he violated the Espionage Act by retaining classified information. Ironically, he’s not being charged for leaking classified information about the warrantless wiretapping program itself. Instead, the charges are based on five documents government investigators found in Drake’s basement and e-mail archive that prosecutors say contain classified information.

The documents discuss another data-mining program dubbed Trailblazer that was deemed a failure and canceled before it was implemented. Drake allegedly provided information about waste and mismanagement of the Trailblazer program to a reporter at the Baltimore Sun in 2006 and 2007, but he maintains that he gave the reporter no classified information and disputes that the documents found in his possession contain classified material.

Drake, who left the NSA in 2008 and now works at an Apple Store outside Washington, D.C., is facing a possible sentence of 35 years if convicted. The government’s decision to prosecute him is now resulting in further information about the NSA’s illegal surveillance being exposed, as the New Yorker article shows.

Drake was a linguist and military crypto expert who had been an NSA contractor when he began a new staff job with the agency on the fateful morning of September 11, 2001, in the agency’s Signals Intelligence Directorate.

As a contractor, Drake had become familiar with a data-mining program codenamed ThinThread, that had been tested within the NSA and could be deployed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other regions where terrorism was prevalent. After 9/11, the program seemed ideal to address the suddenly urgent need to track down terrorist targets.

The program was created in the late ’90s by Bill Binney, a mathematician and head of the NSA’s SARC unit. It was designed to trap, map and mine vast amounts of data in real time to pick out relevant and suspicions communications, rather than requiring the data to be stored and sifted later. The New Yorker details it:

As Binney imagined it, ThinThread would correlate data from financial transactions, travel records, Web searches,GPS equipment, and any other “attributes” that an analyst might find useful in pinpointing “the bad guys.” By 2000, Binney, using fibre optics, had set up a computer network that could chart relationships among people in real time. It also turned the N.S.A.’s data-collection paradigm upside down. Instead of vacuuming up information around the world and then sending it all back to headquarters for analysis, ThinThread processed information as it was collected—discarding useless information on the spot and avoiding the overload problem that plagued centralized systems. Binney says, “The beauty of it is that it was open-ended, so it could keep expanding.”

The program was “nearly perfect” except for one thing. It swooped up the data of Americans as well as foreigners and continued to intercept foreign communications as they traversed U.S.-based switches and networks. This violated U.S. law, which forbids the collection of domestic communication without a probable-cause warrant.

To solve this problem, Binney added privacy controls and an “anonymizing feature” to encrypt all American communications that ThinThread processed. The system would flag patterns that looked suspicious, which authorities could then use to obtain a warrant and decrypt the information.

ThinThread was ready to deploy in early 2001, but the NSA’s lawyers determined it violated Americans’ privacy, and NSA director Michael Hayden scrapped it. In its place, Hayden focused funding on a different program, codenamed Trailblazer, which the NSA contracted with outside defense companies, like SAIC, to produce.

That system ran into numerous problems and cost overruns, yet continued with Hayden’s support. Hayden’s deputy director and his chief of signals-intelligence programs worked at various times for SAIC, which received several Trailblazer contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2006, after eating up some $1.2 billion, Trailblazer was finally deemed a flop and killed.

But in the meantime, just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, rumors began circulating within the NSA that the agency, with the approval of the White House, was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by conducting domestic surveillance. On Oct. 4, 2001, President Bush authorized the policy, which was operational by Oct. 6.

Drake said strange things began happening inside the NSA, with equipment suddenly being moved, and people who worked on FISA warrants being re-assigned. Drake saw this as a tipoff that the conventional legal surveillance process was being circumvented.

Binney, who wasn’t involved directly in the post-9/11 surveillance program, was certain that the rumored surveillance must be using components of the ThinThread program he helped design, but with the privacy protections now stripped out of it.

“It was my brainchild,” he told The New Yorker. “But they removed the protections, the anonymization process. When you remove that, you can target anyone.”

NSA people who were apprised of the program told him, “Can you believe they’re doing this? They’re getting billing records on U.S. citizens! They’re putting pen registers on everyone in the country!”

Drake heard from colleagues that the surveillance involved special “arrangements” that were being made with telecom and credit card companies to collect data on customers. Drake says he tried to raise concerns about the legality of the program with the NSA’s general counsel but was told not to worry about it, that it was legal and none of his business.

“The mantra was ‘Get the data!’” he told The New Yorker.

He discussed the issue with Maureen Baginski, his superior at the NSA and the third-highest-ranking official in the agency. She reportedly told him presciently that she feared the NSA would be “haunted” by the surveillance program. She left the agency in 2003 in part because she was uncomfortable with the program, The New Yorker reports.

Drake also confided in Diane Roark, a staff member on the House Intelligence Committee. She wrote a series of memos in February 2002 warning of the potential legal violations and gave them to Intelligence Committee staffers who worked for committee chairman Porter Goss and Democratic minority Whip Nancy Pelosi. But nothing happened.

Instead, Roark drew the wrath of Hayden who pleaded with her to stop agitating against the program and seemed to suggest to Roark he had assurances that the Supreme Court would back the program. The New Yorker:

He conceded that the policy would leak at some point, and told her that when it did she could “yell and scream” as much as she wished. Meanwhile, he wanted to give the program more time. She asked Hayden why the N.S.A. had chosen not to include privacy protections for Americans. She says that he “kept not answering. Finally, he mumbled, and looked down, and said, ‘We didn’t need them. We had the power.’ He didn’t even look me in the eye. I was flabbergasted.” She asked him directly if the government was getting warrants for domestic surveillance, and he admitted that it was not.

Roark tried to contact Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist but got no response. When she contacted a judge on the FISA court to express concern that the NSA and government were doing an end-run around the court, she was referred to the Justice Department, which had approved the surveillance program in the first place.

“This was such a Catch-22,” Roark told The New Yorker. “There was no one to go to.”

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/new-yorker-on-thomas-drake/

Crystal

edit to add:

Link to New Yorker article below
« Last Edit: May 17th, 2011, 08:05am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4006 on: May 17th, 2011, 08:03am »

The New Yorker


The Secret Sharer
Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?
by Jane Mayer
May 23, 2011


n June 13th, a fifty-four-year-old former government employee named Thomas Drake is scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Baltimore, where he will face some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen. A former senior executive at the National Security Agency, the government’s electronic-espionage service, he is accused, in essence, of being an enemy of the state. According to a ten-count indictment delivered against him in April, 2010, Drake violated the Espionage Act—the 1917 statute that was used to convict Aldrich Ames, the C.I.A. officer who, in the eighties and nineties, sold U.S. intelligence to the K.G.B., enabling the Kremlin to assassinate informants.

In 2007, the indictment says, Drake willfully retained top-secret defense documents that he had sworn an oath to protect, sneaking them out of the intelligence agency’s headquarters, at Fort Meade, Maryland, and taking them home, for the purpose of “unauthorized disclosure.” The aim of this scheme, the indictment says, was to leak government secrets to an unnamed newspaper reporter, who is identifiable as Siobhan Gorman, of the Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote a prize-winning series of articles for the Sun about financial waste, bureaucratic dysfunction, and dubious legal practices in N.S.A. counterterrorism programs. Drake is also charged with obstructing justice and lying to federal law-enforcement agents. If he is convicted on all counts, he could receive a prison term of thirty-five years.

The government argues that Drake recklessly endangered the lives of American servicemen. “This is not an issue of benign documents,” William M. Welch II, the senior litigation counsel who is prosecuting the case, argued at a hearing in March, 2010. The N.S.A., he went on, collects “intelligence for the soldier in the field. So when individuals go out and they harm that ability, our intelligence goes dark and our soldier in the field gets harmed.”

Top officials at the Justice Department describe such leak prosecutions as almost obligatory. Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General who supervises the department’s criminal division, told me, “You don’t get to break the law and disclose classified information just because you want to.” He added, “Politics should play no role in it whatsoever.”

When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks—more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined. The Drake case is one of two that Obama’s Justice Department has carried over from the Bush years.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative political scientist at the Hudson Institute, who, in his book “Necessary Secrets” (2010), argues for more stringent protection of classified information, says, “Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history—even more so than Nixon.”


more after the jump
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_mayer

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4007 on: May 17th, 2011, 08:11am »

Geeky Gadgets

The World’s Smallest 3D Printer
By Julian Horsey on Tuesday 17th May 2011
Design, Technology News


User Image


A team at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have created a mini 3D printer roughly the size of a milk carton to try and bring 3D printing to the masses and make it possible for people at home to be able to print 3D objects.

The Vienna University of Technology, 3D printer is much smaller, lighter and cheaper than current 3D-printers, and has been designed to work with blueprints which would be downloaded from the Internet allowing people to print 3D objects easily. The prototype of the 3D printer weighs just 1.5 kilograms, and cost around €1,200 or $1,700 to make.

This method is not designed for large-scale production of bulk articles – for that, there are cheaper alternatives. The great advantage of additive manufacturing is the fact that is offers the possibility to produce taylor-made, individually adjusted items.

The printer’s resolution is excellent: The individual layers hardened by the light beams are just a twentieth of a millimetre thick. Therefore, the printer can be used for applications which require extraordinary precision.

Unfortunately no information on retail pricing or worldwide availability has been released as yet, but as soon as it becomes available we will let you know. More information about the 3D printer is available from the Vienna University of Technology website: http://www.tuwien.ac.at/news/news_detail/article/7009//EN/

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/the-world%e2%80%99s-smallest-3d-printer-17-05-2011/#more-81475

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3958
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4008 on: May 17th, 2011, 09:03am »

As Government Bans Regular Light Bulbs, LED Replacements Will Cost $50 Each

Published May 17, 2011

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.

Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.

The new bulbs will also be expensive — about $50 each — so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.

The technology in traditional "incandescent" bulbs is more than a century old. Such bulbs waste most of the electricity that feeds them, turning it into heat. The 100-watt bulb, in particular, produces so much heat that it's used in Hasbro's Easy-Bake Oven.

To encourage energy efficiency, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012.

Conventional light bulbs don't meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start apply to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014. Since January, California has already banned stores from restocking 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.
Compact fluorescents are the most obvious replacement, but they have drawbacks. They contain a small amount of toxic mercury vapor, which is released if they break or are improperly thrown away. They last longer than traditional bulbs but not as long as LEDs. Brighter models are bulky and may not fit in existing fixtures.

LEDs are efficient, durable and produced in great quantities, but they're still expensive. An LED bulb can contain a dozen light-emitting diodes, or tiny semiconductor chips, which cost about $1 each.

The big problem with LEDs is that although they don't produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, the heat they do create shortens the lifespan and reduces the efficiency of the chips. Cramming a dozen chips together in a tight bulb-shaped package that fits in today's lamps and sockets makes the heat problem worse. The brighter the bulb, the bigger the problem is.

The most powerful pear-shaped LED bulbs in stores today — the kind that fits existing lamps — produce light equivalent to a 60-watt bulb, though there are more powerful ones for directional or flood lighting.

Osram Sylvania, a unit of Germany's Siemens AG, said it has overcome the heat problem and will be showing a pear-shaped 100-watt-equivalent LED bulb this week. It doesn't have a firm launch date, but it usually shows products about a year before they hit store shelves.

Before the 100-watters, there will be 75-watters on the shelves this year. Osram Sylvania will be selling them at Lowe's starting in July. Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world's biggest lighting maker, will have them in stores late this year for $40 to $45.

However, 60-watt bulbs are the big prize, since they're the most common. There are 425 million incandescent light bulbs in the 60-watt range in use in the U.S. today, said Zia Eftekhar, the head of Philips' North American lighting division. The energy savings that could be realized by replacing them with 10-watt LED bulbs is staggering.

Philips has been selling a 60-watt-equivalent bulb at Home Depot since December that's quite similar to the one submitted to the contest. But it's slightly dimmer, consumes 2 watts too much power and costs $40, whereas the L Prize target is $22. Sylvania sells a similar LED bulb at Lowe's, also for $40.

However, LED prices are coming down quickly. The DoE expects a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb to cost $10 by 2015, putting them within striking range of the price of a compact fluorescent bulb.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/17/government-bans-regular-light-bulbs-led-replacements-cost-50/#ixzz1McIRluYD
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4009 on: May 17th, 2011, 12:29pm »

on May 17th, 2011, 09:03am, Swamprat wrote:
As Government Bans Regular Light Bulbs, LED Replacements Will Cost $50 Each

Published May 17, 2011

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.

The big problem with LEDs is that although they don't produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, the heat they do create shortens the lifespan and reduces the efficiency of the chips. Cramming a dozen chips together in a tight bulb-shaped package that fits in today's lamps and sockets makes the heat problem worse. The brighter the bulb, the bigger the problem is.

The most powerful pear-shaped LED bulbs in stores today — the kind that fits existing lamps — produce light equivalent to a 60-watt bulb, though there are more powerful ones for directional or flood lighting.

Philips has been selling a 60-watt-equivalent bulb at Home Depot since December that's quite similar to the one submitted to the contest. But it's slightly dimmer, consumes 2 watts too much power and costs $40, whereas the L Prize target is $22. Sylvania sells a similar LED bulb at Lowe's, also for $40.

However, LED prices are coming down quickly. The DoE expects a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb to cost $10 by 2015, putting them within striking range of the price of a compact fluorescent bulb.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/17/government-bans-regular-light-bulbs-led-replacements-cost-50/#ixzz1McIRluYD




Shut the front door!

grin
Just goofing with you Swamp.

I get the Vancouver B.C. news and I saw something about some of the new lightbulbs starting fires.

Crystal

« Last Edit: May 17th, 2011, 12:32pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3958
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4010 on: May 17th, 2011, 3:55pm »

Exclusive: Inside Area 51, the Secret Birthplace of the U2 Spy Plane

Published May 17, 2011

FoxNews.com

The crash of a disc-shaped aircraft in Roswell New Mexico, in July 1947 kicked off UFO speculation worldwide. In fact, the disc was a Russia spy plane, reveals Annie Jacobson in the new book "Area 51."

In her new book "AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base," which goes on sale May 17, Annie Jacobsen offers for the first time an inside look at the history of America's top secret military base. It is the first book based on interviews with the scientist, pilots, and engineers -- 74 in total -- who for the first time reveal what really went on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear reactions to building super-secret supersonic jets to pursuing the war on terror.

Jacobsen, a contributing editor and investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times Magazine, interviewed the former Area 51 employees in 2008 and 2009, shortly after the CIA declassified much of the work they had done, including countless pages of redacted memos and declassified reports. Area 51 is still officially a military secret, unmentioned by name, Jacobsen notes.

In this exclusive excerpt, Jacobsen reveals some of the wild research that went on in the 1970s at Area 51 -- where the military built the U-2 spy plane, rather than harboring crashed UFOs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ANNIE JACOBSEN is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and an investigative reporter whose work has also appeared in the National Review and the Dallas Morning News. Her two-part series “The Road to Area 51” in the Los Angeles Times Magazine broke online reader records and remained the “most popular/most emailed” story for ten consecutive days.

Read more and see slide show: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/17/book-excerpt-area-51-uncensored-history-americas-secret-military-base/#ixzz1Me0grVVq
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4011 on: May 17th, 2011, 5:18pm »

"Exclusive: Inside Area 51, the Secret Birthplace of the U2 Spy Plane"

Great article. Thanks Swamprat.

Crystal

User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4012 on: May 17th, 2011, 5:20pm »

New York Times

May 17, 2011
Pakistan and NATO Trade Fire Near Afghan Border
By SALMAN MASOOD

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani ground troops opened fire on two NATO helicopters that crossed into Pakistan’s airspace from Afghanistan early Tuesday morning, the Pakistani Army said in a statement. In the firefight that followed, two Pakistani soldiers were wounded, it said.

The clash provided another irritant to the already sour relationship between the United States and Pakistan in the wake of the May 2 Navy Seal raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan, heightening American mistrust of Pakistan and inflaming Pakistani sensitivities over sovereignty.

The exchange of fire on Tuesday took place at Admi Kot Post in the North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, an area that American officials have long regarded as a haven used by militants to attack coalition forces inside Afghanistan. NATO officials said they were looking into the incident, and could not immediately confirm whether the helicopters had indeed entered Pakistan’s airspace.

Pakistani military officials said the NATO helicopters came about 400 yards into Pakistani territory. The Pakistani Army “lodged a strong protest and demanded a flag meeting,” it said in a statement, referring to a meeting between officials from Pakistan and NATO on the border. Last September, Pakistan shut down the land route through Pakistan that NATO uses to supply its forces in Afghanistan for more than a week after two Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed in a similar border clash.

However galling the current clash may be to Pakistani military officials, it was not clear that they would take similar action this time, as both sides may also be seeking to pull relations back from the brink. On Monday, Senator John Kerry met with top civilian and military leaders in Pakistan in an effort to smooth ties.

Lawmakers in both countries have responded with outrage since the Bin Laden raid. In the United States Congress, calls are rising to cut or suspend aid the billions of dollars a year in aid that flow to Pakistan since Bin Laden was killed by American commandos in Abbottabad, a small city about 70 miles from the capital that is home to a top military academy.

For their part, Pakistani officials were furious that they were given no advance notice of the raid, such is the distrust between the two countries. In a closed session of Parliament last week, Pakistani lawmakers urged the government to revisit relations with the United States, warning that Pakistan might sever supply lines to Afghanistan if there were further unilateral incursions.

Despite the anger on both sides, however, the Americans would like to maintain Pakistani cooperation as they try to wind down the war in Afghanistan, and Pakistan would like to keep aid flowing from the United States, which has amounted to more than $20 billion in the last decade.

The clash on the border came as Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, traveled to Beijing. Analysts said that visit was meant to signal to the United States that Pakistan saw China as an alternative source of security and economic aid.

In a possible sign that cooperation had not collapsed completely, the Pakistani Army announced on Tuesday that a senior operative of Al Qaeda, Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, alias Abu Sohaib al-Makki, had been arrested by Pakistani security agencies from the southern port city of Karachi.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, the spokesman for the Pakistani Army, said that Mr. Makki was of Yemeni origin and that he was working directly under Al Qaeda along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

“More details are coming in as he is investigated,” General Abbas said by telephone. He declined to provide more details on the circumstances or the exact timing of the arrest.

It was not immediately clear if the arrest involved joint United States-Pakistan cooperation. But it seemed to be a result of the increased American pressure on the Pakistani government and its main spy organization, Inter-Services Intelligence, to produce results in the effort to root out extremism and militancy.

During his visit on Monday, Senator Kerry said that the government had recommitted to finding more ways to work together against terrorism and in intelligence sharing. But he stressed that “our progress in the days ahead will be measured by actions, not by words.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/world/asia/18pakistan.html?_r=1&hp

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4013 on: May 17th, 2011, 5:54pm »

I thought this was really clever.
Crystal


Modern Chicken Coop in Urban Seattle
By Preston on May. 17, 2011
Topics: Modern design


User Image


Check out this lively, modern chicken coop by Nicole Starnes Taylor of MAKE Design Studio. Taylor designed it for three chickens and their owners in urban Seattle.

With a screen floor and castors, the mobile hen house fertilizes the underlying ground. Also, the coop has a hinged door for easy access and can be used as a chicken tractor if need be.
Taylor built the 15 square-foot coop with salvaged framing lumber.

more photos after the jump
http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/05/modern-chicken-coop-make-design-studio.html

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Swamprat
Gold Member
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 3958
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4014 on: May 17th, 2011, 9:08pm »

ScienceDaily
First Habitable Exoplanet? Climate Simulation Reveals New Candidate That Could Support Earth-Like Life


ScienceDaily (May 16, 2011) — The planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581, one of the closest stars to the Sun in the galaxy, has been the subject of several studies aiming to detect the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Two candidates have already been discarded, but a third planet, Gliese 581d, can be considered the first confirmed exoplanet that could support Earth-like life. This is the conclusion of a team of scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (CNRS, UPMC, ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique) in Paris, France, whose study is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Although it is likely to be a rocky planet, it has a mass at least seven times that of Earth, and is estimated to be about twice its size. At first glance, Gliese 581d is a pretty poor candidate in the hunt for life: it receives less than a third of the stellar energy Earth does and may be tidally locked, with a permanent day and night side. After its discovery, it was generally believed that any atmosphere thick enough to keep the planet warm would become cold enough on the night side to freeze out entirely, ruining any prospects for a habitable climate.

To test whether this intuition was correct, Wordsworth and colleagues developed a new kind of computer model capable of accurately simulating possible exoplanet climates. To their surprise, they found that with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere -- a likely scenario on such a large planet -- the climate of Gliese 581d is not only stable against collapse, but warm enough to have oceans, clouds and rainfall.

Furthermore, the 3D circulation simulations showed that the daylight heating was efficiently redistributed across the planet by the atmosphere, preventing atmospheric collapse on the night side or at the poles.

Scientists are particularly excited by the fact that at 20 light years from Earth, Gliese 581d is one of our closest galactic neighbours. For now, this is of limited use for budding interstellar colonists -- the furthest-travelled human-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, would still take over 300,000 years to arrive there.

If Gliese 581d does turn out to be habitable, it would still be a pretty strange place to visit -- the denser air and thick clouds would keep the surface in a perpetual murky red twilight, and its large mass means that surface gravity would be around double that on Earth. But the diversity of planetary climates in the galaxy is likely to be far wider than the few examples we are used to from the Solar System. In the long run, the most important implication of these results may be the idea that life-supporting planets do not in fact need to be particularly like Earth at all.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516080124.htm
User IP Logged

"Let's see what's over there."
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4015 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:26am »

Good morning Swamprat.

Our Universe just keeps getting more exciting every day. Thank you for that article.

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4016 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:30am »

LA Times

State lawmakers weigh anti-piracy bill to allow warrantless searches of CD and DVD makers

The Recording Industry Assn. of America is pushing the legislation, which wants to give law enforcement officials the power to enter manufacturing plants without notice or court orders. But U.S. constitutional law scholars say the proposal may violate the 4th Amendment.

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
8:54 PM PDT, May 17, 2011
Reporting from Sacramento

Frustrated for years by rampant piracy, the recording industry is pushing California's lawmakers to approve legislation that would allow warrantless searches of companies that press copies of compact discs and DVDs.

The Recording Industry Assn. of America, in effect, wants to give law enforcement officials the power to enter manufacturing plants without notice or court orders to check that discs are legitimate and carry legally required identification marks.

The proposal by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) is raising questions among U.S. constitutional law scholars as it quietly moves through the Legislature.

"I can understand why this makes people nervous," said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. "We have the 4th Amendment that generally requires probable cause [for a search]. This is a huge exception."

But the RIAA, which went on a well-publicized campaign eight years ago to sue individuals who shared music illegally online, argued that piracy has devastated the industry and nothing else has worked to stem the illegal activity.

Net sales of CDs fell 82% in the last decade, while the number of copies shipped dropped 76%, according to the RIAA. Sales and rentals of movie discs last year declined 19% from a peak of $20.2 billion in 2006, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry-funded advocacy group.

To be sure, other factors have caused sales to fall. In recent years, for instance, music downloads and video streaming have taken the biggest bite out of disc sales. But piracy continues to cause financial losses.

"Last year in California, we seized about 820,000 pirated music discs," said Marcus Cohen, the RIAA's director of anti-piracy investigations for the West Coast. "Nine out of 10 of them come from replicator plants … and the replication capital of the country is California."

He estimated that about 70 sophisticated replicator plants in the state — more than a third of them in the Los Angeles area — use state-of-the-art optical reading equipment to produce up to 85% of the counterfeit CDs nationwide.

The plants typically have contracts to copy discs with educational, religious and promotional content, as well as CDs and DVDs for the industry, but many also make counterfeit music discs on the side, Cohen said.

Illegal, high-quality copies account for as much as three-quarters of Latino music CDs sold, according to a recent analysis by the state Senate Public Safety Committee, citing RIAA data. And in 2005 alone, the industry lost nearly $3.6 billion to music and movie disc piracy, according to a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

"Fraudulent CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California's role as a global leader in music and film," Padilla said. "They steal revenue from artists, retailers and our entertainment sector.

The legislation, SB 550, would give police the power to make sure that replicators comply with existing laws and would hit scofflaws with steep fines of up to $250,000 for a repeat offense.

To date, the measure has sailed through two state Senate committees, one unanimously and one by a 5-2 vote. Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) said he voted no because of "constitutional concerns." The bill goes to a final committee hearing Monday, then to the Senate floor. If it passes, it goes to the Assembly.

Key support comes from the industry, business groups and the city of Los Angeles.

The American Civil Liberties Union questioned the constitutionality of the bill but so far has not opposed the measure because it said the bill appeared to be narrowly drawn.

The RIAA argued that courts had carved out 4th Amendment exceptions already. So far, it said, warrantless searches have been allowed at such businesses as automobile junkyards and repair shops, mines, gun and liquor stores, nursing homes, massage parlors, pawn shops and wholesale fish dealers.

The common trait, the trade group contended, was that the businesses were in "closely regulated" industries in which "the pervasiveness and regularity of the government's regulation reduces the owner's expectation of privacy in his business records."

CD and DVD manufacturing plants by their nature qualify as closely regulated and should be subject to limited, warrantless searches, Cohen said.

"We're literally talking about walking into a plant, walking up to the line and ensuring that, indeed, the discs are in compliance," he said. "I don't think the scope of the search is something a regulator needs to be worried about."

But the focus in allowing warrantless searches of businesses generally is to protect the health and safety of workers, consumers or the public, Stanford Law School professor Robert Weisberg said.

"It strikes me as very unusual, and it may be unconstitutional … when the harm is an economic problem and faced by a single industry," he said.

Courts are wary of giving such unbridled power to law enforcement, Loyola's Levenson said.

"The recording industry really wants this and may be able to persuade legislators to have some sort of inspection scheme," she said. "But the Legislature has to be careful that it puts together one that won't be subject to constitutional challenge."

A key legal element missing in the Padilla legislation is a standard for suspecting that counterfeiting is occurring, said Robert Fellmeth, a former prosecutor who now is executive director of the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego.

"If I were in the Legislature, I would say I want some kind of reasonable suspicion," Fellmeth said. "I would not want simply to leave an open door for the police."

Some executives at companies that legally replicate CDs and DVDs also don't like the idea of police suddenly swooping into their businesses even though they comply with state law by stamping each disc with a special identification marker that allows the tracking of copyright violations.

California already has enough laws to crack down on CD and DVD pirates without resorting to "unlawful search and seizure," said Dave Michelsen, general manager of CD Video Manufacturing Inc. in Santa Ana.

In recent years, the Legislature and three governors have approved half a dozen laws increasing criminal and civil penalties for counterfeiting and making it easier to prosecute piracy cases.

"They are welcome to come to our facility any time, 24 hours a day, if they ever thought we were doing anything illegal," Michelsen said. "We're pretty open with [the RIAA]. But I don't want to have a law that says our premises could be invaded any time without a warrant."


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-piracy-searches-20110518,0,961223.story

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4017 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:34am »

Telegraph

Christian group predicts 'terrific earthquake' on Judgment Day

Say goodbye to your loved ones, repent your sins and enjoy your last few days on earth because, if a US Christian group is to be believed, the world will end this Saturday.

By Daniel Bird
10:25AM BST 18 May 2011

Howard Camping, a minister and the president of US conservative group Family Radio, has started a campaign proclaiming that Judgment Day will happen on May 21 2011.

Billboards advertising our impending doom boldly claim that the "Bible guarantees" destruction this weekend.

Mr Camping said that the beginning of the end will start with an earthquake, and that while believers will be instantly raptured, those dismissive of his claims will face five months of misery on Earth before the end of the world in October.

He said: "On May 21, there's going to be a terrific earthquake way, way greater than anything else the Earth has ever experienced and that will be the beginning of Judgment Day.

"The rest of the world will know instantly that Judgment Day has begun because all of the earthquake sensors will pick that up instantly."

Mr Camping said that he determined May 21 as the Day of Judgment after calculating various dates from past biblical events, starting with the great flood, that he believed, happened in 4990 BC.

It is not the first time that the minister has made an apocalyptic prediction. He has previously claimed the world would end in 1994, but puts this error down to a miscalculation.

While some people may decide to spend what could be their last day with family or friends, Mr Camping said he will be watching the destruction unfold and praying for non-believers.

video after the jump
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8520361/Christian-group-predicts-terrific-earthquake-on-Judgment-Day.html

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4018 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:50am »

New York Times

May 17, 2011
Atop I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and STEVEN ERLANGER

Considered the Socialist party’s leading candidate for president of France, Mr. Strauss-Kahn identified three threats to his aspirations in an interview with the newspaper Libération, held on April 28 but published only this week. “Money, women and my Jewishness,” he said. “Yes, I like women,” he went on. “So what?”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn added, “For years they’ve been talking about photos of giant orgies, but I’ve never seen anything come out.”

Today, Mr. Strauss-Kahn sits in a jail cell on Rikers Island in New York, his reputation — and any political ambitions — perhaps irreparably tarnished by his arrest on charges of attempted rape of a hotel maid in Manhattan last weekend.

It is a humbling comedown for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose rise on the world stage has been marked by contradictions.

As managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington since late 2007, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has returned the agency to relevance by helping engineer a $1 trillion bailout for Europe — but only after an initial humiliation when he was reprimanded for a brief affair in 2008 with a subordinate.

A prominent Socialist, he has held powerful positions in previous French governments despite his wealth, lavish lifestyle and his reputation as a womanizer.

A man with an impressive intellect, great charm and restless energy, his flaws have been accepted because of his accomplishments. “Even the chatter about women was discounted enormously by everyone around him,” said Steven C. Clemons, director of the American Strategy program at the New America Foundation who first met Mr. Strauss-Kahn in 1998 and was impressed by his strong personality.

“I don’t think there was a conspiracy of silence,” Mr. Clemons said. “The discussion I always heard about him was he’s one of the titans, that he’s such an extraordinarily different person, that rules don’t apply to him in the same way.”

One former I.M.F. official said that, had Mr. Strauss-Kahn been a less senior person, he might been fired or at least “sent to Siberia” because of the affair with his underling. He survived an investigation, in part, this person said, because the culture at the I.M.F. dictated “no rules” for the managing director and because there was little appetite to rid the agency of a charismatic and effective leader when an international financial crisis looming.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn arrived at the I.M.F. at what would be an opportune time for him and the agency, which had become an international organization with little clout since the Southeast Asia financial crisis in the mid 1990s. A former finance minister for France, he had a deep knowledge of international economics and was on a first-name basis with most of Europe’s top leadership.

He played a pivotal role as Europe’s debt crisis deepened last May, and leaders were deadlocked over what to do. In midnight phone calls, Mr. Strauss-Kahn pressed them to take action. Quickly, he urged, before things got worse. His insistence helped overcome their hesitance, and they agreed to a set up a $1 trillion rescue package to help Greece and other troubled countries, with the I.M.F. contributing to the bailout fund. And as countries like Germany pushed for harder austerity terms, he was vocal in saying that could backfire by slowing economic growth too much — which seems to be the case in Greece today.

“The only real strength of the I.M.F. is the ruthlessness of truth-telling,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn said at the time.

“Early on, the Europeans were in complete denial. I think his main accomplishment will go down as persuading them that they had to deal with Greece before it was too late. And he did that not by bullying them, not by banging the table, but much more by coaxing and persuading them,” said Simon Johnson, who was the I.M.F.’s chief economist from March 2007 to August 2008.

It was a seminal triumph for the I.M.F. and a moment to savor for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who was already winning plaudits after the inauspicious start resulting from the affair.

He had a reputation as a skilled, hands-on and tough-minded manager who did not shy from making tough decisions. He cut the I.M.F.’s staff by 400 to reduce costs. But he still managed to command the loyalty of his staff, by engaging them on their own terms, and by delving into the details of their highly technical research, according to several current and former fund employees. Traveling constantly, Mr. Strauss-Kahn is known to carry two BlackBerrys with him — one encrypted and the other not — to stay in constant touch. Those on the receiving end say his messages often come adorned with two smiley faces.

“For a guy who was so flamboyant, he found a way to get things done, to save the institution by working behind the scenes,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He is effective at maneuvering in very, very high circles — which is really not at all an easy thing to do.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his third wife, the American-born French journalist Anne Sinclair, have kept a surprisingly low profile in Washington, despite their prominence in France.

Ms. Sinclair, who inherited a fortune from her grandfather, an art merchant who had exclusive contracts with Matisse and Picasso, was a famous television interviewer in France, a kind of Barbara Walters, before moving to Washington with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

They live in a 5-bedroom, 5-bath brick home in fashionable Georgetown; the house, bought in 2007 for $4 million, is in her name, real estate records show. They own two apartments in France, one that cost 4 million euros ($5.7 million) that was bought with cash, and a penthouse bought by Ms. Sinclair in 1990 for 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million), the year before they married. They also own a century riad, or private house, in Marrakesh, Morocco, bought for 500,000 euros ($706,000) in 2000.

The couple’s wealth enabled them to live well beyond his I.M.F. salary of about $442,000 — tax-free, as are salaries for many employees at international agencies — and an expense allowance of $79,120, according to the 2010 I.M.F. annual report. His marriage to Ms. Sinclair and their lifestyle have led to Mr. Strauss-Kahn being called a caviar socialist, a term used in France, an image that was reinforced recently with the publication of a photo of him stepping into a Porsche in Paris.

For all their connections, the couple does not often turn up at A-list parties in Washington or mingle with the city’s political elite. “I’ve never met them, I don’t know anything about them and I can’t find anybody who has met them,” said Sally Quinn, the Georgetown doyenne and wife of the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. “It’s weird; we’ve always known the head of the I.M.F. before.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn has managed to rise to the corridors of power in France even though he did not graduate from the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration — he failed the entrance examination — though he later taught there after graduating from another French university. He met his first wife in high school in Monaco and married her when he was 18. They had three children before divorcing. In 1986, he married his second wife, who had given birth to their only child a year earlier. He and Ms. Sinclair have no children together.

Ms. Sinclair has supported Mr. Strauss-Kahn through all his reported indiscretions since their marriage in 1991. Tristane Banon, a journalist and writer, publicly claimed in 2007 that Mr. Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2002, when she was 22. Aurélie Filipetti, a respected Socialist parliamentarian in France, said in 2008 that she had been groped by Mr. Strauss-Kahn and would “forever make sure” she was never “alone in a room with him.”

In their 2006 book “Sexus Politicus” on the sexual behavior of politicians, the French journalists Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois devoted an entire chapter to Mr. Strauss-Kahn under the heading, “The DSK Affair.” They cite the case of a young journalist who tells the authors she had met Mr. Strauss-Kahn when she was researching a book on the professional failure of leaders. “He was so forward in his manner and inappropriate that she was on the point of lodging a complaint,” they wrote. They added that “his art of seduction which can reach obsessiveness has no equal besides his intellect.”

After Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s brief affair with a Hungarian economist at the I.M.F. in early 2008 came to light, he was allowed to stay after an investigation found that he had not abused the power of his office. Still, he was chastised for inappropriate behavior and apologized.

The I.M.F. maintains a more permissive stance toward sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates than other multinational organizations. Its ethics policy states that such relationships “do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.” The World Bank, by contrast, says such a relationship is “a de facto conflict of interest.”

When — even if — Mr. Strauss-Kahn will ever return to his expansive high-ceilinged office on the 12th floor of the I.M.F. building in Washington is not clear. The office has a reception area, a comfortable couch in a sitting area, a conference room and a bathroom. “It exuded power,” said one former IMF official.

All of which is a far remove from his cell in Rikers Island, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been ordered to stay pending trial. His lawyers are fighting for his release on the $1 million bail posted by his wife, arguing that he suffers from sleep apnea and that he should not be considered a flight risk.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/business/global/18fund.html?_r=1&hp

Crystal

edit for spacing
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2011, 07:51am by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
WingsofCrystal
Global Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 11817
xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4019 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:54am »

Defense News

U.S. Slaps Sanction On Iranian State-Owned Bank
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
18 May 2011 07:19

WASHINGTON - The United States froze the assets of an Iranian state-owned bank on May 17 for its alleged help with Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

The Iranian government used Bank of Industry and Mine "to evade U.S. and international sanctions against Iranian financial institutions involved in facilitating transactions in support of Iran's proliferation activities," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Treasury accused BIM of providing financial services to Bank Mellat and Europaisch Iranische Handelsbank (EIH), two Iranian banks it had previously designated in connection with Iran's nuclear program.

"Iran has a well-established practice of migrating illicit financial activities from one bank to another to facilitate transactions for sanctioned banks," said David Cohen, the Treasury's acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

The U.S. and other countries suspect Iran is using the program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists it is aimed at civilian energy production.

The sanction was imposed May 17 under an executive order aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, cutting them off from the U.S. financial and commercial systems.

BIM is the 21st Iranian state-owned bank hit by U.S. sanctions.

The Treasury action came after U.S. lawmakers unveiled legislation in the House of Representatives on May 16 to tighten economic sanctions on Iran.

The new measure, backed by key Republicans and Democrats, notably aims to toughen punitive measures against entities that invest in Iran's energy sector or provide the Islamic republic with gasoline.

And it steps up sanctions on top Iranian officials - from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei down to senior military commanders and paramilitary forces - found to have violated human rights.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6541904&c=AME&s=TOP

Crystal
User IP Logged

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkrUG3OrPc
Pages: 1 ... 266 267 268 269 270  ...  1070 Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Become a member of the UFO Casebook Forum today and join our more than 18,000 members.

Visit the UFO Casebook Web Site

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls