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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127720 times)
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« Reply #5610 on: Nov 28th, 2011, 11:50am »

History channel

Brad Meltzer's Decoded - New Episodes
Wednesdays at 10/9c

UFO

Premiere Date: 11/30/2011

What if I told you the government had proof of alien life but was actively covering it up? Millions of Americans believe in UFOs, but the government vehemently denies any alien encounters, from the infamous Roswell incident to the ultra-secretive military base known as Area 51. Finally, members of top military and aviation organizations break their silence to reveal exactly what the government knows about alien life, and what they stand to gain by lying about it.
TVPG

http://www.history.com/shows/brad-meltzers-decoded/episodes

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« Reply #5611 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 09:02am »






Published on Nov 28, 2011 by CBS

Swiss pilot Yves Rossy's latest stunt is a spectacular formation flight alongside two Albatross jets over the Swiss Alps.

Category:
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« Reply #5612 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 09:05am »

The Hill

US officials in flurry of meetings amid threats that euro is on brink of collapse

By Peter Schroeder
11/28/11 08:26 PM ET

A flurry of meetings between European Union officials and principals of the U.S. government came on the heels of fresh warnings Monday that the European debt crisis threatens to spark a global recession.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and senators from both parties met with officials from Brussels to discuss the evolving crisis, signaling a level of engagement that is a shift from the low-key approach Congress has adopted on the matter.

President Obama, whose reelection hinges in part on an upswing in the economy, said the U.S. was “very actively engaged” with European officials and stood “ready to do its part” to avert the crisis, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among the administration officials involved in the discussions.

While U.S. markets surged Monday on the strength of holiday shopping, a sense of urgency to the bilateral talks was strengthened by a pair of gloomy reports.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) slashed its expectations for global economic growth, saying Europe’s debt woes threatened to throw the entire world into another recession.

Separately, Moody’s Investors Service warned the situation was worsening for all European nations, leaving the EU’s monetary union on the brink of falling apart.

The annual U.S.-EU summit is typically a routine affair, but the circumstances surrounding Monday’s meetings lent a heightened atmosphere to the event.

The OECD, an international economic group based in Paris, warned that the world’s economy had “deteriorated significantly,” due primarily to the growing problems in Europe.

If those sovereign debt problems are not dealt with soon, the looming $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts in the U.S., triggered by the deficit supercommittee’s failure to reach a deal, “could tip the [U.S.] economy into a recession,” the OECD said.

A worst-case scenario would have “highly devastating outcomes” for the global economy, especially the U.S., which would see “marked declines” in economic activity, the OECD said.

U.S. and European officials acknowledged in a joint statement that the global economy had entered “a new and difficult phase,” but welcomed European efforts to stifle the debt crisis, as well as American attempts to get its fiscal house in order.

While Europe’s debt crisis took center stage, Obama and the EU officials also covered other ground, from global trade to non-economic matters such as Iran’s nuclear program and climate change.

But both the OECD and Moody’s noted that Europe’s challenges are inherently political, and on both sides of the Atlantic, politicians have struggled to compromise over new taxes and entitlement cuts that might help relieve long-term fiscal problems.

Late Monday afternoon, the Fitch credit rating agency announced it was downgrading its outlook on the U.S. AAA credit rating to negative, a reminder of the debt problems U.S. policymakers so far have been unable to fix.

Fitch said that if lawmakers adopt a “credible, medium-term deficit-reduction plan” sometime in 2013, it would relieve “downward pressure” on the nation’s credit rating. But if no such reforms come about, and the nation’s economy takes a turn for the worse, the likely result would be another downgrade for the U.S.’s once-sterling credit reputation.

The White House has consistently pressed European leaders to take strong, decisive action on its debt crisis, like the U.S. did during the financial crisis of 2008. Earlier in the day Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney emphasized that Europe has the “resources and capacity” to deal with its problems, and it was a matter of finding the “force and decisiveness” to do so.

This tone from the U.S. has at times backfired in Europe, where policymakers think the U.S. should be focused on its own budget problems.

The meetings come amid growing concern that the U.S. economy, now finally back on relatively solid footing, could see itself dragged down by foreign problems.

For months, the stock market has hung on the latest headlines out of Europe, though stocks surged Monday on the back of reports from retailers that consumers spent a record amount over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

This has driven hopes that consumer spending — which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy — will be robust during the crucial holiday season.

Such a turnaround would be a boon for Obama, who faces 9 percent unemployment.

Reports that Germany and France were looking to exert more control over the debt crisis, coupled with rumors that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was weighing a plan to bail out Italy, helped buoy the stock surge.

But unless Europe finds a solution to its debt problems, experts expect it to act as an anchor on the world’s economy for years.

The OECD said in its latest report that the U.S. economy will grow at a rate of less than 3 percent through 2013, while the nation’s unemployment will drop less than half a percentage point, to 8.6 percent, during that same timeframe.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/195793-flurry-of-meetings-amid-threats-that-euro-is-on-brink-of-collapse

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« Reply #5613 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 09:12am »

Science Daily

New Technique Puts Chemistry Breakthroughs On the Fast Track

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2011)

Scientists can now take that "a-ha" moment to go with a method Princeton University researchers developed -- and successfully tested -- to speed up the chances of an unexpected yet groundbreaking chemical discovery.

The researchers report this month in the journal Science a technique to accomplish "accelerated serendipity" by using robotics to perform more than 1,000 chemical reactions a day with molecules never before combined. In a single day of trials, the Princeton researchers discovered a shortcut for producing pharmaceutical-like compounds that shaves weeks off the traditional process, the researchers report.

The basis of the research was to combine new technology with a unique, rapid-reaction approach that could allow chemists to explore unheard-of and potentially important chemical combinations without devoting years to the pursuit, explained senior researcher and co-author David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Princeton and chair of the department. MacMillan worked with lead author Andrew McNally, a research associate in MacMillan's lab, and Princeton graduate student and co-author Christopher Prier.

"This is a very different way of approaching how we come up with valuable chemical reactions," MacMillan said.

"Our process is designed specifically for serendipity to occur. The molecules that should be combined are those for which the result is unknown," he said. "In our lab, we used this technique to make new findings in a much more routine and rapid fashion, and we show that if you have enough events involved, serendipity won't be rare. In fact, you can enable it to happen on almost a daily basis."

The MacMillan lab's technique does more than just expedite the discovery process -- the researchers actually developed a unique framework for creating new materials or finding better ways of producing existing ones, said Stephen Buchwald, a professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"This is a particularly brilliant approach," said Buchwald, who is familiar with the work but had no role in it.

"Usually, one takes molecules that one thinks will react and tries to figure out the best way to achieve that reaction," he said. "This team took molecules for which there was no obvious reaction between them and looked for 'accidental' reactivity. This approach could be useful for any field that requires new types of matter or a more efficient means of synthesizing known compounds."

Illustrating that principle, the Princeton researchers combined two molecules with no history of reacting to generate the type of chemical functionality found in eight of the world's top 100 pharmaceuticals, MacMillan said. The reaction involved a nitrogen-based molecule known as an amine that has a hydrogen and carbon pair, and a circle of atoms stabilized by their bonds known as an aromatic ring.

The result was a carbon-nitrogen molecule with an aromatic ring, a building block of many amine-based pharmaceuticals, explained MacMillan. This class of drugs mimics natural amine molecules in the body and includes medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and antidepressants. In drug development, chemists "tweak" organic molecules to enhance their ability to bind with and disrupt enzymes in a biological system, which is how pharmaceuticals basically operate, MacMillan said. A molecule with an aromatic ring has increased reactivity and makes the tweaking process much easier, he said, but attaching the aromatic ring is a process in itself that typically involves two to three weeks of successive chemical reactions.

The reaction MacMillan and his team found provides a quick way around that.

"We quickly realized that any pharmaceutical research chemist could immediately take these very simple components and, via a reaction no one had known about, start assembling molecules with an adjacent aromatic ring rapidly," MacMillan said.

"Instead of having to construct these important molecules circuitously using lots of different chemistry over a period of days if not weeks, we can now do it immediately in the space of one chemical reaction in one day."

Buchwald said that the rapid production of this molecule is as surprising as it is significant.

"The way these types of molecules -- alpha aryl amines -- were produced in this project is highly efficient, and no person could truthfully say that they would have predicted this reaction," Buchwald said. "This group was able to take a reaction that no one knew was possible and make it practical and useful in a very short time. This really speaks to the power of their overall method."

MacMillan conceived of accelerated serendipity after reflecting on his doctoral work at the University of California-Irvine during the 1990s. His work there hinged on two unforeseen yet important reactions that occurred in the span of six years, he said. When envisioning the project reported in Science, MacMillan calculated that if, in a single day, he ran the equivalent of one reaction per day for three years -- nearly 1,100 reactions -- the odds favored a new discovery, he said.

The Princeton team began running reactions once a day using a high-throughput, automated reaction accelerator in Princeton's Merck Center for Catalysis, combining on a one-to-one ratio molecules with no reported affect on each other.

Central to the process is a technique developed in MacMillan's lab and reported in Science in 2008 to synthesize chemical reactions using a low-power light source, such as a household light bulb. Known as photoredox catalysis, the reaction takes place when inorganic catalysts absorb light particles from the light source then pass an electron onto the organic molecules, which creates, or synthesizes, a new compound.

For the latest work, MacMillan and his team carried out this process on the molecules before each reaction cycle. Because the use of photoredox catalysts in organic-compound synthesis is relatively new -- it has been typically used by chemists and in industry for processes such as energy storage and hydrogen production -- it has not been as thoroughly explored as the more common method of using catalysts derived from metals such as nickel, gold and copper, MacMillan said. Thus, he said, elements with no history of reacting with each other could possibly produce results under this different approach.

"If one wanted to find new reactions, it would have to be done in a completely new area of chemistry research where the chances of finding something completely unknown are probably higher than continuing in an area that has been studied for the past 50 years," MacMillan said.

The Princeton researchers produced numerous new reactions, but "new" does not necessarily equal interesting or important, MacMillan said. They analyzed and experimented with each new reaction for its potential application, a process that revealed the nitrogen-carbon molecule with the aromatic ring.

An important feature of the Princeton researchers' molecule -- like any important discovery -- is that its application extends beyond the material itself, MacMillan said. He and his colleagues have begun mining the very process that created the molecule for indications that other novel reactions can be brought about.

"If we found this was one really valuable reaction, we wondered what others exist that we just don't know about," MacMillan said.

"Another very valuable aspect of the molecule we created is that once we understood how it happened, it set us up to design other completely new reactions based upon our understanding of what happened initially," he said. "Now, we're applying similar techniques broadly, finding new reactions continually and determining which ones are important.

"To us that really proved the point of why you want serendipitous findings," MacMillan said. "They present new knowledge, and based upon that new knowledge you can invent."

The research was published Nov. 25 in Science and was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and gifts from Merck, Amgen, Abbott and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111128121551.htm

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« Reply #5614 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 09:16am »

Bloomberg News

Iran Nuclear Sabotage Suspected After Reports of Blasts at Atomic Centers

By Ladane Nasseri - Nov 29, 2011

Reports of a blast in the province of Isfahan, home to one of Iran’s atomic facilities, adds to a series of unexplained incidents that have raised suspicions of sabotage against the country’s nuclear program.

An explosion was heard in Isfahan at 2:40 p.m. yesterday and an investigation is underway, the state-run Fars news agency said. Authorities later played down the report. Gholamreza Ansari, head of the province’s judiciary, said he had heard the “blast-like sound” and it didn’t seem to be important. Mohammad-Mehdi Ismaeli, a deputy to Isfahan’s governor, said reports of a powerful explosion were unfounded. “Maybe somebody’s water heater exploded,” he told Mehr news agency.

Still, coming after the deaths of several people linked to Iran’s nuclear program, and amid increased pressure on Iran from the U.S. and its allies, which accuse the Islamic republic of seeking to develop atomic weapons, the incident has strengthened the argument that sabotage is involved.

“While it’s impossible to confirm, recent events in Iran raise suspicions,” said Gala Riani, a Middle East analyst at London-based forecaster IHS Global Insight. It’s possible that “foreign powers would want to carry out clandestine activity to sabotage Iran’s nuclear and military progress,” she said. “Diplomacy doesn’t seem to work and military strikes isn’t something anyone really wants to carry out.”

Uranium Pellets
The central province of Isfahan hosts a nuclear fuel plant, which produces uranium pellets to feed a reactor. Iran says its efforts to develop nuclear technology are aimed at securing energy for its growing population of about 75 million.

A Nov. 12 explosion at a military base west of Tehran killed at least 17 people, state media reported. The blast took place as military personnel were transporting munitions and killed Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam, director of the Revolutionary Guards’ Jihad Self-Sufficiency Organization, Fars said.

Last year, malicious software known as Stuxnet affected some of the country’s computer systems and several centrifuges used in its uranium-enrichment program, Iranian officials have said. Several scientists and officials linked to the nuclear and missile programs have been the target of attacks in the last two years.

Researcher Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was shot dead outside his Tehran home in 2010. Majid Shahriari, a scientist involved in Iran’s nuclear program, died in a Tehran bombing in November that year. A second blast in the capital on the same day injured Fereydoun Abasi, a physicist who was linked to the program in a 2007 UN resolution imposing sanctions.

‘All Options’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in November last year that Iran should know “all options are on the table” to halt its nuclear program. Two weeks ago, Netanyahu called for an international campaign to stop Iran after an International Atomic Energy Agency report suggested that the country had worked on building a nuclear bomb.

This month the U.S, U.K. and Canada tightened punitive measures against Iran, adding to four rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions by targeting the country’s oil industry and its central bank. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet Dec. 1 to discuss measures against Iran.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-29/iran-nuclear-sabotage-suspected-after-reports-of-blasts-at-atomic-centers.html

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« Reply #5615 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 3:20pm »

Hackers Can Set Your HP Printer On Fire

Reuters
11/29/11

Columbia researcher shows how an HP printer could be hacked and potentially set on fire.

HP is investigating a claim that essentially any LaserJet the company made before 2009 -- about 100 million have been sold since 1984 -- could be remotely instructed to catch fire, according to a report on MSNBC.com.

Researchers at Columbia University, under a series of government and industry grants, have shown that the printers can be remotely controlled by hackers over the Internet, allowing them to not only steal information but even cause physical damage.

In one demonstration, Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo and colleague Ang Cui showed how a hijacked system could be sent commands that would overheat the printer’s fuser, causing the paper to brown, smoke, and sometimes even catch fire.

Researchers believe the vulnerability could have widespread implications. “The research on this is crystal clear,” Stolfo told MSNBC.com. “These devices are completely open and available to be exploited.”

Every time a printer accepts a job, it checks for software updates. Since LaserJet printers manufactured before 2009 don’t verify the source of the update, nefarious hackers can easily intercept these requests and implant their own “updates” -- a flaw that left security experts aghast.

“First of all, why the hell doesn't HP have a signature or certificate indicating that new firmware is real firmware from HP?” said Mikko Hypponen, head of research at security firm F-Secure, when told of the flaw.

“Printers have been a weak spot for many corporate networks,” Hypponen told MSNBC.com. “Many people don’t realize that a printer is just another computer on a network with exactly the same problems and, if compromised, the same impact.”

HP said Monday that it is investigating the reports but couldn’t confirm the claims, said Keith Moore, chief technologist for HP’s printer division. “Until we verify the security issue, it is difficult to comment,” Moore told MSNBC.com.


http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/29/hackers-can-set-your-hp-printer-on-fire-researchers-demonstrate/
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« Reply #5616 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 3:24pm »

on Nov 29th, 2011, 3:20pm, Swamprat wrote:
Hackers Can Set Your HP Printer On Fire

Reuters
11/29/11

Columbia researcher shows how an HP printer could be hacked and potentially set on fire.

HP is investigating a claim that essentially any LaserJet the company made before 2009 -- about 100 million have been sold since 1984 -- could be remotely instructed to catch fire, according to a report on MSNBC.com.

Researchers at Columbia University, under a series of government and industry grants, have shown that the printers can be remotely controlled by hackers over the Internet, allowing them to not only steal information but even cause physical damage.

In one demonstration, Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo and colleague Ang Cui showed how a hijacked system could be sent commands that would overheat the printer’s fuser, causing the paper to brown, smoke, and sometimes even catch fire.

Researchers believe the vulnerability could have widespread implications. “The research on this is crystal clear,” Stolfo told MSNBC.com. “These devices are completely open and available to be exploited.”

Every time a printer accepts a job, it checks for software updates. Since LaserJet printers manufactured before 2009 don’t verify the source of the update, nefarious hackers can easily intercept these requests and implant their own “updates” -- a flaw that left security experts aghast.

“First of all, why the hell doesn't HP have a signature or certificate indicating that new firmware is real firmware from HP?” said Mikko Hypponen, head of research at security firm F-Secure, when told of the flaw.

“Printers have been a weak spot for many corporate networks,” Hypponen told MSNBC.com. “Many people don’t realize that a printer is just another computer on a network with exactly the same problems and, if compromised, the same impact.”

HP said Monday that it is investigating the reports but couldn’t confirm the claims, said Keith Moore, chief technologist for HP’s printer division. “Until we verify the security issue, it is difficult to comment,” Moore told MSNBC.com.


http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/29/hackers-can-set-your-hp-printer-on-fire-researchers-demonstrate/



Holy crap on a cracker!
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« Reply #5617 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 3:36pm »

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Uploaded by jeremyintvland on Nov 12, 2011

From THE 50th UFO/ET PARANORMAL AND METAPHYSICAL CONGRESS!
An interview dedicated to www.cincypararadio.com "INSIDE THE PARANORMAL" and the hosts DAVE and TERESA!

Category:
People & Blogs

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« Reply #5618 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 3:50pm »

First Annual Women’s UFO Symposium

The Women's UFO Symposium brings together leading women in UFO research, documentation and related information.

The first annual Symposium will be held at the Somervell County Expo Center and Texas Amphitheater in Glen Rose, Texas on May 19-20, 2012.

The event will be hosted by Tracie Austin Peters, producer and host of "Let's Talk...Paranormal" radio and TV talk show.

Symposium Details

Symposium admission includes all speaker presentations, which will run from 9am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

A Meet & Greet with conference presenters will be held Friday evening, May 18, and a Texas Bar-B-Que will be held Saturday evening, May 19.

Symposium registrants may purchase admission to these events separately. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

Registration Information

Print and mail our Registration Form, with payment, today!

Pricing:

• $75 per person for registration received before April 1
• $90 per person for registration received April 1-May 19

Limited spots available. Register now.

Online registration begins December 19

Event Highlights

* Special Award to ANGELIA JOINER - This event is near the Stephenville, TX Sightings
* First Time Keynote Speech by KIM ARNOLD (Daughter of Kenneth Arnold)
* James Carman will screen his film THE HIDDEN HAND, winner of the 2011 EBE Film Festival Award for Best UFO Feature Film

For more information: expo@StarworksUSA.com or 303-415-3900

http://starworksusa.com/

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« Reply #5619 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 7:22pm »

Technorati.com


Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption

Author: madeline bernstein
Published: November 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted.

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture. On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.

Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter houses was non-existent. This worked because the horse meat cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version did not. The conference committee charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result is that it is now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.

Notwithstanding that 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers that will bear the costs!

Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be killed for human consumption per year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.

During these trying times, is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Americans need to eat horses?

http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/obama-legalizes-horse-slaughter-for-human/#ixzz1f9CgoPUs

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« Reply #5620 on: Nov 29th, 2011, 8:55pm »

HP Refutes Reports That Printers Can Be Remotely Set on Fire

Published November 29, 2011
FoxNews.com

HP on Tuesday vigorously denied reports that LaserJet printers made before 2009 -- about 100 million have been sold since 1984 -- can be remotely instructed to catch fire.

Reports based on research by a team of Columbia University computer science professors, claimed that HP's laser printers can be sent new software and even remotely controlled over the Internet. This could allow hackers not only to steal information but ultimately to cause physical damage and even fires, according to an MSNBC.com story.

HP called such reports "sensational and inaccurate."

"Someone had taken apart our printer to see if they could 'cook' something," Keith Moore, chief technologist for HP's printer division, told FoxNews.com. "Frankly they were unsuccessful."

"Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false."

Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo, one of the researcher who informed HP of the security flaw, said his team was able to brown a piece of paper -- but never burn anything. They conducted the test with one type of HP LaserJet.

MSNBC.com reported that the researchers believe other printers might be used as fire starters Stolfo told FoxNews.com that's not quite true.
"Might it be possible? There are larger printers with more power, with higher voltage, that we haven't tested," he said, noting other models and manufacturers simply haven't been tested.

Stolfo and colleague Ang Cui showed how a hijacked system could be sent commands that would overheat the printer’s fuser, causing paper in the printer to brown, smoke, and potentially even catch fire.

HP said that a hardware element called a "thermal breaker" would prevent the fuser from causing a fire, however -- and said this breaker cannot be overcome by a firmware change. Other printers may have a similar system, Stolfo said.

"I would presume … they probably have the same thermal switch. But it hasn't been tested so I can't say one way or the other," he told FoxNews.com.

"Frankly they're very expensive, and I didn't want to buy a printer just to succeed in burning it."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/29/hackers-can-set-your-hp-printer-on-fire-researchers-demonstrate/?test=faces#ixzz1f9YJxIWX
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« Reply #5621 on: Nov 30th, 2011, 08:20am »

Medal of Honor Recipient Sues Defense Contractor

Published November 29, 2011
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO – A U.S. Marine given the nation's highest award for valor is suing a defense contractor that he says ridiculed his Medal of Honor, called him mentally unstable and suggested he had a drinking problem, thereby costing him a job.

Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor in September, two years after the young corporal saved 36 lives during a six-hour ambush in Afghanistan. He the third living recipient of the award for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. After the medal was approved, President Barack Obama waited to call until Meyer's lunch break because the 23-year-old worried about taking a call on the job.

In a defamation lawsuit filed in Texas, Meyer alleges that his former employer, BAE Systems OASYS Inc., ruined his chances at landing a new job by telling a prospective employer that he was a poor worker during a three-month stint earlier this year.

A BAE Systems manager said Meyer "was mentally unstable, that Sgt. Meyer was not performing BAE tasks assigned and that Sgt. Meyer had a problem related to drinking in a social setting," according to the lawsuit.

Meyer was working construction in his home state of Kentucky when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. In September 2009, Meyer was just 21 when, defying orders from his commanders, he charged five times in a Humvee into heavy gunfire and provided cover for his team, allowing many to escape likely death. He killed at least eight Taliban insurgents.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, BAE hired Meyer in March but the relationship quickly soured. Meyer said he became dismayed in April upon learning that BAE had pursued sales of weapons systems to Pakistan, and sent an email to his supervisor expressing his disapproval.
Meyer wrote that it was "disturbing" how U.S. troops were being issued outdated equipment when better, advanced thermal optic scopes were being offered to Pakistan.

"We are simply taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving to guys that are known to stab us in the back," Meyer wrote in the email, according to the lawsuit.


Roehrkasse, the BAE spokesman, said it is the State Department and not BAE that makes the decision on which defense-related products can be exported.

"In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," Roehrkasse said.

Meyer claims his supervisor began berating and belittling him after sending the email, at one point allegedly taunting him about his Medal of Honor by calling it Meyer's "pending star status." That supervisor, Bobby McCreight, is also named in the lawsuit and is still employed by BAE. Roehrkasse said McCreight is a former decorated Marine sniper.

Meyer resigned from BAE in May. He then tried obtaining a job at a former employer, San Diego-based Ausgar Technologies, but the lawsuit claims the opportunity fell through after McCreight characterized Meyer as a poor employee during a conversation with a manager who had to approve new hires.

"Bottom line, it was determined that ... you were not recommended to be placed back on the team due to being mentally unstable and no performing on OASYS tasks assigned," according to an email from an Ausgar manager included in the lawsuit.

Valerie Ellis, an administrator at Ausgar, said the company had no comment when reached Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/29/medal-honor-recipient-sues-defense-contractor/?test=latestnews#ixzz1fCIkAOT1
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« Reply #5622 on: Nov 30th, 2011, 08:34am »

"Roehrkasse, the BAE spokesman, said it is the State Department and not BAE that makes the decision on which defense-related products can be exported.

"In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," Roehrkasse said."



Thanks for this article Swamprat, and a good mornin' to you.

Crystal
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« Reply #5623 on: Nov 30th, 2011, 1:33pm »

LA Times

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, seeks more time outside hospital

November 30, 2011 | 10:05 am

A federal hearing began Wednesday morning on whether John Hinckley Jr., who shot and wounded President Reagan in 1981, will be allowed to spend more time outside the mental hospital where he is being held.

The hearing began promptly at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District Court for the District of Columbia, said a court spokeswoman in a telephone interview. The proceedings are expected to take days but will end no later than next Friday, she said.

A jury decided that Hinckley was insane when he shot Reagan outside a Washington hotel. Reagan recovered and served two full terms as president before he died in 2004.

Hinckley said he did the shooting to show his feelings for actress Jodie Foster.

Presidential press secretary James Brady was shot and permanently disabled in the shooting and went on to become one of the nation’s leading voices against gun violence. A Secret Service agent and a police officer were also wounded.

Hinckley has been living in St. Elizabeths Hospital, a psychiatric facility operated by the District of Columbia’s Department of Mental Health. The current proceeding, at the request of the hospital, is to ask the judge to allow Hinckley to have extended visits outside the facility with the idea of eventually living near his 85-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Va.

Hinckley already has had several outside visits for as long as 10 days. Friedman, who has approved more visits for Hinckley in the past, is being asked to allow visits of 17 to 24 days.

“There is no evidence of him being dangerous, not a little bit, not marginal evidence,” Hinckley’s attorney Barry Levine said in October. He added government claims to the contrary are “shameful fear-mongering without any factual basis.”

Government lawyers, however, oppose the extension, arguing there are questions about the potential danger from Hinckley.

“The proposal fails to adequately address the risks presented by Hinckley's clinical record, which reveals the persistence of several behaviors that universally have been recognized as risk factors for Hinckley's future violence,” lawyers argued in their court papers. “The hospital's motion should be denied.”

Among those expected to testify are Hinckley’s relatives and doctors.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/11/john-hinckley-who-shot-reagan-seeks-longer-visits-away-from-hospital.html#start

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« Reply #5624 on: Nov 30th, 2011, 1:35pm »

Reuters

Central banks act as euro zone crisis rages

By Robin Emmott and Kirsten Donovan
BRUSSELS/LONDON | Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:12pm EST

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - The world's major central banks acted jointly on Wednesday to provide cheaper dollar funding to European banks facing a credit crunch as the euro zone's debt crisis drove EU ministers to urge more IMF help to avert financial disaster.

The emergency move by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the central banks of Japan, Britain, Canada and Switzerland recalled coordinated action to stabilize global markets in the 2008 financial crisis after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

In Italy, now the focal point of the euro debt crisis, the Treasury started emergency cash tenders for banks which have been squeezed particularly hard as Rome's borrowing costs have soared towards 8 percent, a level seen as unaffordable in the long term.

The euro and European shares surged on the central bank action, which came after euro zone finance ministers agreed to ramp up the firepower of their bailout fund but acknowledged they may have to turn to the International Monetary Fund for more help.

In a policy shift by Europe's main paymaster, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Germany was open to increasing the IMF's resources through bilateral loans or more special drawing rights, reversing the stance Berlin took earlier this month at the Cannes G20 summit.

The new openness to a bigger IMF role came as Germany presses its EU partners to agree next week on treaty changes to create coercive powers to make euro zone countries change their budgets if they breach EU deficit and debt rules.

"The economic and monetary union will either have to be completed through much deeper integration or we will have to accept a gradual disintegration of over half a century of European integration," Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told the European Parliament.

Two years into Europe's debt crisis, investors are fleeing the euro zone bond market, European banks are dumping government debt, south European banks are bleeding deposits and a recession looms, fuelling doubts about the survival of the single currency.

Euro zone leaders have agreed belatedly on one half-measure after another but have failed to restore confidence and some analysts now see a December 9 Brussels summit as a make-or-break moment for the euro.

Finance ministers agreed on Tuesday night on detailed plans to leverage the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSF), but could not say by how much because of rapidly worsening market conditions, prompting them to look to the IMF.

"We are now looking at a true financial crisis -- that is a broad-based disruption in financial markets," Christian Noyer, France's central bank governor and a governing council member of the European Central Bank, told a conference in Singapore.

Italian and Spanish bond yields resumed their inexorable climb towards unsustainable levels on Wednesday, as markets assessed the rescue fund boost as inadequate, but fell back on news of the central banks' joint action.

"It must also be remembered that the EFSF is already funding at very wide levels (high borrowing costs) over Germany, struggled in its last auction to raise the required funds and would have its rating put under severe pressure by any rating downgrade of France," Rabobank strategists said in a note.

"This must call into question any plans related to the EFSF. It is yesterday's solution and the market has simply moved on."

IMF TO MATCH?

The 17-nation Eurogroup adopted detailed plans to insure the first 20-30 percent of new bond issues for countries having funding difficulties and to create co-investment funds to attract foreign investors to buy euro zone government bonds.

Both schemes would be operational by January with about 250 billion euros from the euro zone's EFSF bailout fund available to leverage after funding a second rescue program for Greece, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said.

The aim was for the IMF to match and support the new firepower of the EFSF, Juncker told a news conference.

But with China and other major sovereign funds cautious about investing more in euro zone debt, EFSF chief Klaus Regling said he did not expect investors to commit major amounts to the leveraging options in the next days or weeks, and he could not put a figure on the final size of the leveraged fund.

"It is really not possible to give one number for leveraging because it is a process. We will not give out 100 billion next month, we will need money as we go along," Regling said.

Most analysts agree that only more radical measures such as massive intervention by the ECB to buy government bonds directly or indirectly can staunch the crisis.

The prospects of drawing the IMF more deeply into supporting the euro zone are uncertain. Several big economies are skeptical of European calls for more resources for the global lender.

The United States, Japan and other Asian states are hesitant to chip in unless Europe commits to first use its own resources to fix the problem and peripheral euro zone states map out more concrete steps on fiscal and economic reforms.

"Nobody wants to spend money on something they doubt would work," a G20 official said.

"That goes not only for Europe but for any other country outside Europe. The threshold for seeking IMF help is quite high. Those seeking help need to be willing to give up some of their jurisdiction on fiscal policy and willing to undergo painful reform. Mere pledges and speeches won't do."

MONTI DENIES IMF BID

New Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he had received a very positive reaction from the euro zone ministers to his fiscal plans, although he was told to take extra deficit cutting measures beyond an austerity plan already adopted to meet its balanced budget promise in 2013.

He also said he had met the head of the IMF's European department on Wednesday but Italy had not considered taking help from the Fund.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Italian and IMF officials have held preliminary discussions on some form of financial support for Rome, although no decision has been taken, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Italian bond yields are now above the levels at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal were forced to apply for EU/IMF bailouts, and Rome has a wall of issuance due from late January to roll over maturing debt.

The Eurogroup ministers agreed to release their portion of an 8 billion euro aid payment to Greece, the sixth installment of 110 billion euros of EU/IMF loans agreed last year and necessary to help Athens stave off the immediate threat of default.

Juncker said the money would be released by mid-December, once the IMF signs off on its portion early next month.

G20 leaders promised this month to boost the global lender's warchest. However, another G20 source said policymakers had made no progress since then in efforts to boost IMF resources, which at current levels may not be sufficient to overcome the crisis.

EU sources said one option being explored is for euro system central banks to lend to the IMF so it can in turn lend to Italy and Spain while applying IMF borrowing conditions.

With Germany opposed to the idea of the ECB providing liquidity to the EFSF or acting as a lender of last resort, the euro zone needs a way of calming markets and fast.

The ECB shows no sign yet of responding to widespread calls to massively increase its bond-buying although EU officials said it may have to shift, even if the EFSF gained IMF help.

A Reuters poll of economists showed a 40 percent chance of the ECB stepping up purchases with freshly printed money within six months, something it has opposed so far.

The poll forecast a 60 percent chance of an ECB rate cut to 1.0 percent next week and a big majority of economists said they expect the central bank to announce new long-term liquidity tenders to help keep banks afloat at its next meeting on Dec 8.

(Additional reporting by Marius Zaharia in London, Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin, Robin Emmott and John O'Donnell in Brussels, Saeed Azhar and Kevin Lim in Singapore; Writing by Paul Taylor/Mike Peacock; Editing by Janet McBride/Ruth Pitchford)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/us-eurozone-idUSTRE7AR0P320111130

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