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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 79985 times)
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« Reply #6285 on: Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:04am »

LA Times


Red Cross convoy en route to besieged Syrian city
March 2, 2012 | 5:14 am
by Alexandra Sandels

REPORTING FROM BEIRUT -- A supply convoy from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was reported en route Friday to the Syrian city of Homs, carrying humanitarian aid for the battered former rebel enclave of Baba Amr.

The Syrian government said its troops have overrun the former opposition stronghold, where thousands of civilians were said to be stranded without water, food, electricity or proper medical care.

"Seven truckloads of mainly food and other essential items are on their way ... they left Damascus," Red Cross spokeswoman Carla Haddad Mardini said via telephone from Geneva. "They should get to Homs in the coming hour. ... This is a first step forward."

But recent days have seen snow falling in the area of Homs, and bad weather conditions are slowing the pace of the convoy, Mardini said. Red Crescent teams and ambulances were waiting for the convoy in Homs, she said.

Mardini suggested there had been some progress on negotiations about a daily humanitarian cease-fire that the Red Cross has been seeking.

"There have been some positive signs from the Syrian authorities," she said.

On Thursday, government troops pushed out rebels who had been holed up in Baba Amr. The opposition Syrian National Council warned of a "massacre" as opposition fighters withdrew from the area.

The official Syrian news agency said the army "cleansed" the district "from the foreign-backed armed groups of terrorists." The rebels deny they are terrorists, saying they are freedom fighters seeking to oust an authoritarian regime.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/03/red-cross-convoy-en-route-from-damascus-to-enter-battered-homs-rebel-area.html

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« Reply #6286 on: Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:07am »

Wired

Air Force Set to Shoot Down Its Own Giant Spy Blimp
By Noah Shachtman
March 2, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Air Force

After spending more than $140 million, the Air Force is poised to pull the plug on its ambitious project to send a king-sized, all-seeing spy blimp to Afghanistan. Which is a bit of a strange move: Not only is the scheduled first flight of the 370-foot-long “Blue Devil Block 2” airship less than six weeks away, but just yesterday, a top Air Force official bragged to Congress about the blimp’s predecessor, the “Blue Devil Block 1″ program. In other words, the Air Force is set to ground its mega-blimp spy ship before it even gets off the ground — literally.

Not long ago, Blue Devil and its kind were being pushed as the future of aerial surveillance. Instead of a drone’s single sensor, Blue Devil would employ an array of cameras and eavesdropping gear to keep tabs on entire villages for days at a time. And with so much space aboard the airship, racks and racks of processors could process the data generated by those sensors in the sky, easing the burden on intelligence analysts currently overloaded by drones’ video feeds.

Now, that lighter-than-air future could be in jeopardy, thanks to a series of schedule delays, technical complications and, above all, inflated costs. But it’s not just Blue Devil that’s in trouble. The Navy just deflated its MZ-3A blimp. The Army’s Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle airship, which was supposed to be in Afghanistan by now, has run into significant development roadblocks as well. Blimps’ status as the Next Big Thing in high-flying spycraft is in jeopardy.

Yet there have been some encouraging signs for the overall Blue Devil effort. Block 1 of the program — a similar suite of coordinated sensors, mounted on modified executive planes — had became a proven method for shortening insurgent bomb-makers’ lives in Afghanistan. “Warfighter feedback on the situational awareness provided by Blue Devil Block 1 has been overwhelmingly positive,” Steven Walker, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for science and technology, told a Congressional panel (.docx) on Wednesday. “Since December 2010, Blue Devil ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] has been instrumental in identifying a number of high value individuals and improvised explosive device emplacements.”

But the next phase of Blue Devil was ambitious, and with that ambition came complications. Schedules slipped, as the airship’s tail fins came in overweight and subcontractor Rockwell Collins realized that the avionics of an airship were more complex than they had originally thought. The Argus network of spy cameras, which could oversee 64 square kilometers at once, couldn’t be integrated in with the rest of the sensor; the blimp-builders had to settle for an Angel Fire camera pack, which could only look at a mere four square kilometers at a time. Then a giant laser, meant to beam all that surveillance data to the ground, had to be put aside. It couldn’t be custom-built fast enough.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration insisted on certifying the blimp — a process no drone airplane had undergone — since the blimp was optionally-manned, and since it was going to have to fly over the United States, at least in tests. Trying to handle it all was Mav 6, a smallish start-up with major connections — its CEO is the former chief of Air Force intelligence — but no experience in handling a project with so many moving parts. “They were in over their heads,” says a senior Pentagon official. A scheduled October 15, 2011 first flight was pushed back and back again, and is now slated for April 15.

But the real body-blow for the program came when the Air Force’s special intelligence program office, known as “Big Safari,” issued its estimate of how much it was going to cost to fly the blimp in Afghanistan. Mav 6 CEO and retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, who until in 2010 served as the head of Air Force intel, insisted all along that Blue Devil would be dirt-cheap to operate and maintain. Because of all its on-board processing and its lengthy stints in the air, it would cost a fraction of what it would cost to keep an equivalent number of spy drones in the sky, maybe $45 million. But Big Safari had questions about how durable this experimental aircraft would really be, and how vulnerable it might be to insurgent attack during refueling or repair. Their estimated operating costs: $188 million.

Big Safari, which only recently became comfortable with outfitting drones instead of manned planes, was always skeptical of the Blue Devil blimp. The whole project was basically rammed down the Air Force’s collective throat in 2010 by a task force that reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. And as soon as Big Safari got the project, it “promptly proposed wholesale changes to the program — an entirely different platform, continued use of legacy [c]ameras, and different SIGINT [signals intelligence] sensors,” a Senate Armed Services Committee report noted last year. The cost estimate only reinforced that skepticism.

The Air Force insists it hasn’t yet made a formal decision about the fate of the massive blimp. But the service’s budget for next year contains no money to develop or operate the blimp — a telling sign. What’s more, Air Force spokesperson Jennifer Cassidy acknowledged in an email that “as a result of budget and technical challenges, the Air Force authorized a 90-day temporary work stop on the sensor payload integration” — the blimp’s network of cameras and listening devices — until the service “determine(s) the most prudent course of action.” Till then, the Air Force’s plump, floating future remains tethered to the ground.

photos after the jump
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/giant-spy-blimp/

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« Reply #6287 on: Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:13am »

Deadline Hollywood

Broadcasters Ask The Court To Block Aereo, Alleging Copyright Infringement

By DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
Thursday March 1, 2012 @ 7:02pm EST
Tags: Aereo, National Association of Broadcasters

UPDATE, 6:35 PM: Aereo says that it will defend itself against the broadcasters’ suits. “Consumers are legally entitled to access broadcast television via an antenna and they are entitled to record television content for their personal use,” the company says. New technologies have “made access to television easier and better for consumers….Aereo looks forward to its upcoming product launch as well as a prompt resolution of these cases.”

PREVIOUS, 4:02 PM: It didn’t take long for several companies with New York television stations — including PBS, Fox Television, Univision, and WPIX — to challenge the new firm that wants to sell Web streams of the broadcasters’ over-the-air transmissions. (UPDATE: ABC, CBS and NBC Universal also filed a complaint today against Aereo along with a statement: “This service is based on the illegal use of our content. Beyond that, we believe the complaint speaks for itself.”) Aereo said last month that it would launch its $12 a month subscription service in the Big Apple on March 14. In addition to retransmitting TV signals, Aereo — backed in part by Barry Diller — would offer customers the ability to record and watch shows on demand, much like they would with a DVR. But the station owners asked the U.S. District Court in New York to issue an injunction, alleging that the new business “free rides on (the stations’) substantial investment in their broadcasting infrastructure.” The rights that they buy to their content are “the economic foundation upon which the television production and distribution industries rest.” If the court doesn’t act, the plaintiffs say, then Aereo will undermine the stations’ ability to create business opportunities by streaming their content.

National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton says the group “strongly supports” the suit. ”A plaintiffs’ win in this case will ensure the continued availability of (free and diverse) programming to the viewing public.” Prior to today’s action, Aereo said that it was not infringing on broadcasters’ rights: The company has a tiny antenna, about the size of a dime, for each customer. In effect, subscribers rent them to pick up the free, over-the-air signals that they also can receive at home. The argument is similar to the one that Cablevision successfully made in court on behalf of its remote storage DVR.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/broadcasters-ask-the-court-to-block-aereo-alleging-copyright-infringement/#more-238565

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« Reply #6288 on: Mar 2nd, 2012, 5:08pm »

.






Uploaded by TEDtalksDirector on Mar 1, 2012

http://www.ted.com In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate

If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to http://support.ted.com

Category:
Science & Technology

~

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« Reply #6289 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 08:54am »

Now I've heard EVERYTHING! rolleyes


Leave It to Bieber

Bieber Fever may hit space thanks to astronomer Seth Shostak


by Sabrina Maddeaux March 2, 2012

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomer Seth Shostak wants to launch Justin Bieber into suborbital space—something we’ve thought about before, but Shostak’s plan includes bringing him back afterwards.

The idea isn’t to rid the planet of earth-shattering baby daddy scares and people who play mean pranks on Taylor Swift, but rather to promote the commercial spaceflight industry.

And Bieber isn’t the only candidate—Shostak is all for sending a slew of other A-list celebs into space, too. Space tourism won’t be ready to boldly go where no Bieber’s gone before until at least 2013, which gives earthlings some time to debate the moral consequences of exposing the rest of the universe to Bieber Fever.

http://www.torontolife.com/daily/hype/leave-it-to-bieber/2012/03/02/bieber-fever-may-go-to-space/
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« Reply #6290 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:06am »

on Mar 3rd, 2012, 08:54am, Swamprat wrote:
Now I've heard EVERYTHING! rolleyes


Leave It to Bieber

Bieber Fever may hit space thanks to astronomer Seth Shostak


by Sabrina Maddeaux March 2, 2012

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomer Seth Shostak wants to launch Justin Bieber into suborbital space—something we’ve thought about before, but Shostak’s plan includes bringing him back afterwards.

The idea isn’t to rid the planet of earth-shattering baby daddy scares and people who play mean pranks on Taylor Swift, but rather to promote the commercial spaceflight industry.

And Bieber isn’t the only candidate—Shostak is all for sending a slew of other A-list celebs into space, too. Space tourism won’t be ready to boldly go where no Bieber’s gone before until at least 2013, which gives earthlings some time to debate the moral consequences of exposing the rest of the universe to Bieber Fever.

http://www.torontolife.com/daily/hype/leave-it-to-bieber/2012/03/02/bieber-fever-may-go-to-space/


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« Reply #6291 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:09am »

New York Times

March 3, 2012
Deadly Tornadoes Pound the South and the Midwest
By KIM SEVERSON

Residents across the South and Midwest searched for survivors on Saturday after a string of fast-moving tornadoes and severe thunderstorms churned through, leaving at least 30 people dead, hundreds of injured and countless buildings damaged in several states.

The storm systems stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and were so wide that an estimated 34 million people were at risk from severe weather, said Mike Hudson of the National Weather Service regional office in Kansas City, Mo. The large path of the storm made it hard to assess the full extent of the damage. At one point, the storms were coming so fast that as many as 4 million people were within 25 miles of a tornado.

News reports and video on Saturday morning showed rescue workers and homeowners sifting through the debris, searching for victims while also trying to salvage items from the rubble. In Kentucky, the National Guard and State Police searched for an unknown number of missing, according to The Associated Press, and in Indiana, the authorities searched county roads connecting rural communities that officials said “are completely gone.”

More severe thunderstorms were expected across parts of the South on Saturday — the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia and the Carolinas.

Although 17 states were under some kind of weather threat on Friday, the heart of the first wave of storms zeroed in on southern Indiana, northern Alabama and sections of Kentucky and Tennessee. A second round followed and was expected to hit parts of central Mississippi, northern Georgia, southern Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, a part of the country that lost 13 people to tornadoes earlier in the week.

At least 14 deaths were reported in Indiana, 14 in Kentucky and 3 in southern Ohio, according to The A.P. Local officials in several states battled rain and wind throughout the night, trying to determine how many people might have died and assessing damage from the storm.

“It’s pretty chaotic right now,” said Sgt. Noel Houze of the Indiana State Police. He said at least two people had died in the tiny town of Holton, in Ripley County. Like so many communities hit by the storm, power was out, and trees were everywhere. Schoolchildren had already gone home before the storm hit, the authorities said. Three people were reported dead in a nearby county.

“Then the gates of hell opened up,” a dispatcher said.

The culprit was a warm, moist and unseasonable air mass that reached far to the north, where it mixed with colder air, said Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Brooks predicted the day would be perhaps one of the top five for bad weather this year.

On CNN, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who planned to travel to the damaged southern section of the state on Saturday, said rescue workers were desperately searching through rubble in search of anyone trapped, adding, “our people are racing the nightfall.”

The tiny town of Marysville, Ind., less than an hour’s drive north of Louisville, was reported to be nearly flattened.

“We’ve had a few tornadoes come through the area, but this is the worst one we’ve seen,” said Maj. Chuck Adams of the Clark County sheriff’s office, who has lived in the area for 30 years.

The signs that the storms were serious came early. The first warning went up around 9:30 a.m. By about 1:30 p.m., at least 12 tornadoes had touched down in three states. One of them was Alabama, which lost 272 people in one day last April. Dozens of those deaths came in the same rural slice of northern Alabama hit hard on Friday.

Greg Cook and his wife, Brenda Collier, live a couple of miles from where a deadly tornado ripped through in 2011. This year, it was their turn. Their house was destroyed. They were not home at the time, but their Labrador retriever mix, Coco, was. They found the dog wet and shivering in a roofless hallway.

“Those storms last year scared the hell out of everybody,” Mr. Cook said. “This year, everybody was ready. They were scared. They were watching weather on TV, listening to weather on the radio, calling friends and family and telling them where the tornadoes hit.”

Across the Midwest and the South, reports of damage big and small kept pouring in. The Limestone Correctional Facility in northern Alabama took a “direct hit,” an apparent tornado ripping holes in the roofs of two dormitories where 500 inmates lived and knocking down security fences, said Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections. The prison lost power and switched to generators. No one was hurt or escaped, he said.

A marina was destroyed northeast of Chattanooga and at least 20 homes were ripped from their foundations and dozens of people were hurt, county emergency services workers said. Winds tore through Nashville and Knoxville. Hail the size of golf balls, tennis balls and softballs were reported in several states.

Administrators at a hospital in Louisville spent part of the evening trying to find the family of a little girl — blond hair and blue eyes and perhaps as old as 3 — who was found injured in a field in Salem, Ind., apparently carried there by the storm. By 8 p.m., she was identified and her family was on its way to the hospital from Washington County, Ind., a nursing officer said.

At Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, operations were halted for an hour after storm debris littered the runways, a spokeswoman said. A trampoline was found in a tree in Cleveland, Tenn.

Reporting was contributed by Monica Davey, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Robbie Brown and Channing Joseph.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/us/deadly-tornadoes-pound-the-south-and-the-midwest.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #6292 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:17am »

LA Times

In Washington state, Ron Paul has a shot at first win

Republicans caucus and vote in a straw poll Saturday, but a victory by any candidate could be fleeting.
National delegates will be chosen later.

By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
March 2, 2012, 6:15 p.m.
Reporting from Spokane, Wash.

He has the organization. He has the fired-up base. There are just two questions about Ron Paul's performance in Washington state's Republican caucuses.

Can he win? And will it matter?

The congressman from Texas may have a shot at declaring his first victory of the Republican primary season on Saturday when Washington Republicans gather for caucuses at libraries, community centers, Grange halls and restaurants statewide. He came in a strong third in the state's caucuses in 2008, and has energized new followers in the four years since.

But Paul still faces stiff competition from Mitt Romney, who has built a strong organization in the state, and Rick Santorum, who has excited social conservatives. And a win by any of them could be fleeting, because the delegates chosen Saturday are not bound to support a particular candidate.

Still, there was a sense of optimism Friday when Paul spoke to an adoring throng of more than a thousand people at the Spokane Convention Center, his second appearance in eastern Washington in two weeks. "We keep coming back to Washington because we expect to do real well here," he said, in his typically laconic way.

Santorum had campaigned in Spokane the day before, exciting a crowd of several hundred at a Pentecostal church. The two candidates drew strikingly different audiences, perhaps summed up, at the risk of stereotyping, by the much higher percentage of facial hair, hiking boots, tattoos and men wearing earrings at Paul's rally.

Santorum's biggest applause line may have been when he talked about how he, like Ronald Reagan, speaks out about the existence of evil in the world.

Paul's came when a member of the audience stood up during a question-and-answer session to say: "I'm just wondering if you think there's ever a time when it's appropriate to put your party ahead of principles."

"Never," Paul said. The audience leapt to its feet, cheering.

Both groups shared a detestation of President Obama and the view that their candidate was the best man to solve the nation's problems. Santorum supporters were much more likely to say they'd support the GOP candidate even if their favorite lost. In a sampling of Paul supporters, most said they'd sit out the election or write in Paul's name if he were not the nominee in November.

"I am tired of voting against the Democratic incumbent," said Kris Carey, a 65-year-old microbiologist who came from nearby Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to hear Paul speak. "I want to vote my conscience." (Idaho holds its caucuses on Tuesday.)

Michael Quesnell, a 59-year-old retired contractor from Liberty Lake, Wash., said he'd vote for Obama over any of the other Republican candidates, whom he dismissed as "flip-floppers."

All of that matters Saturday only to the degree that the campaigns can turn out voters for the caucuses. It is a daunting task. Washington has had a dual system of primaries and caucuses since 1992, but it dropped the GOP primary this year as a cost-saving measure. Some voters seem confused by the change, and uncertain or unmotivated about voting in a caucus.

"The caucuses are a perfect place for true believers to make their mark, because you really have to care to get up on a Saturday morning and go talk politics with a bunch of strangers," said former state GOP Chairman Dale Foreman, who is the eastern Washington chairman of Romney's campaign. He said he expected Romney to win the caucuses, but not by much.

In a primary election, he said, "Mitt would win overwhelmingly — there's no question about that."

Nonpartisan pollster Stuart Elway made a similar point. "You would expect this to be a Romney state," Elway said. "The only Republicans who get elected here are moderates." But, he said, caucuses attract the most activist voters, which can mean the most committed conservatives. Given that, he said, "There's a lot more potential for a Santorum or even a Paul" victory.

At stake are Washington's 43 delegates to the Republican National Convention. But those won't be chosen on Saturday, when the state GOP will hold a nonbinding straw poll on presidential preference, then select delegates, who won't be bound to candidates, to the state Republican convention. It will be there, in early June, that the party will select its national party delegates.

A recent statewide poll of potential Republican voters showed Santorum with a healthy lead in the state. But Elway, whose firm has not polled on the presidential race, said that poll result had no bearing on the caucuses.

"I don't think it means anything," he said. "At best, 100,000 people may participate in these, and there are 3 million voters here.... It's dedicated party activists or the campaign activists who attend these things, so it's just not reflective of anything beyond that. "

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-washington-caucuses-20120303,0,4074801.story

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« Reply #6293 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:21am »

Wired

New Video Shows Japanese Speech-Jamming Gun in Action
By Geeta Dayal
March 2, 2012 | 9:10 pm
Categories: Current Affairs, sci-fi





Two Japanese researchers recently introduced a prototype for a device they call a SpeechJammer that can literally “jam” someone’s voice — effectively stopping them from talking. Now they’ve released a video of the device in action.

“We have to establish and obey rules for proper turn-taking,” write Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada in their article on the SpeechJammer (PDF). “However, some people tend to lengthen their turns or deliberately disrupt other people when it is their turn … rather than achieve more fruitful discussions.”

The researchers released the video after their paper went viral Thursday, to the authors’ apparent surprise. “Do you know why our project is suddenly becoming hot now?” asked Kurihara in an e-mail exchange with Wired.com.

The design of the device is deceptively simple. It consists of a direction-sensitive microphone and a direction-sensitive speaker, a motherboard, a distance sensor and some relatively straightforward code. The concept is simple, too — it operates on the well-studied principle of delayed auditory feedback. By playing someone’s voice back to them, at a slight delay (around 200 milliseconds), you can jam a person’s speech.

Sonic devices have popped up in pop culture in the past. In sci-fi author J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Sound-Sweep,” published in 1960, a vacuum cleaner called a “sonovac” sweeps up the debris of old sounds. The wily German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen had plans for a “sound swallower,” which would cancel unwanted sounds in the environment using the acoustic principle of destructive interference. And in 1984 German film Decoder, special yellow cassette tapes play “anti-Muzak” that destroys the lulling tones of Muzak, stimulating diners at a fast-food restaurant to throw up en masse and start rioting.

But instead of sci-fi, the Japanese researchers behind the SpeechJammer looked to medical devices used to help people with speech problems. Delayed auditory feedback, or DAF, devices have been used to help stutterers for decades. If a stutterer hears his own voice at a slight delay, stuttering often improves. But if a non-stutterer uses a DAF device designed to help stutterers, he can start stuttering — and the effect is more pronounced if the delay is longer, up to a certain point.

“We utilized DAF to develop a device that can jam remote physically unimpaired people’s speech whether they want it or not,” write the researchers. “[The] device possesses one characteristic that is different from the usual medical DAF device; namely, the microphone and speaker are located distant from the target.”

Being at a distance from the target means it’s possible to aim the device at people who are several feet away — sort of like a TV B-Gone, but for people. Bothered by what someone at a meeting is saying? Point the SpeechJammer at him. Can’t stand your nattering in-laws? Time for the SpeechJammer. In the wrong hands — criminals, for instance, or repressive governments — the device could have potentially sinister applications. For now, it remains a prototype.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/japanese-speech-jamming-gun/

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« Reply #6294 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:28am »

The Wrap

Fall 2012 Pilots: The Complete List
Published: March 02, 2012 @ 6:02 pm
By Tim Molloy

As you read this, dozens of pilots are vying to become full-fledged shows in this fall's TV lineup.

Which deserve a shot? Which don't? Check out TheWrap's comprehensive list of fall 2012 pilots and decide for yourself. And check back daily, because we'll update with casting news, new names behind the camera, and, of course, word on which pilots will make it to air.

Click on the network below to see which pilots it may air in the fall.

ABC: http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-pilots-2012-abc-35877

CBS: http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-pilots-2012-cbs-35886

CW: http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-pilots-2012-cw

Fox: http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-pilots-2012-fox-35849

NBC: http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-pilots-2012-nbc-35880


http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/fall-2012-pilots-complete-list-35930

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« Reply #6295 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 2:50pm »

How long will this lunacy continue? angry


TSA: Hawaii agent made mistake about breast pump

Published March 03, 2012

LIHUE, Hawaii -- The Transportation Security Administration in Hawaii says an agent was wrong to tell a nursing mother she couldn't board an airplane with her breast pump.

The TSA tells KITV the agent at the Kauai airport mistakenly told Amy Strand she could only bring the pump onboard if the bottles contained milk.

She was allowed to board after pumping in a bathroom and showing the full bottles to the agent.

Strand was traveling home to Maui with her 9-month-old daughter Wednesday when her pump raised questions during screening.

She asked for a private place to pump and was told to go to the women's restroom. Strand says the only outlet was next to a sink facing a wall of mirrors, so she had to stand in front of others.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/03/tsa-hawaii-agent-made-mistake-about-breast-pump/?test=latestnews#ixzz1o5ZX7jsM

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« Reply #6296 on: Mar 3rd, 2012, 7:22pm »

on Mar 3rd, 2012, 2:50pm, Swamprat wrote:
How long will this lunacy continue? angry


TSA: Hawaii agent made mistake about breast pump

Published March 03, 2012

LIHUE, Hawaii -- The Transportation Security Administration in Hawaii says an agent was wrong to tell a nursing mother she couldn't board an airplane with her breast pump.

The TSA tells KITV the agent at the Kauai airport mistakenly told Amy Strand she could only bring the pump onboard if the bottles contained milk.

She was allowed to board after pumping in a bathroom and showing the full bottles to the agent.

Strand was traveling home to Maui with her 9-month-old daughter Wednesday when her pump raised questions during screening.

She asked for a private place to pump and was told to go to the women's restroom. Strand says the only outlet was next to a sink facing a wall of mirrors, so she had to stand in front of others.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/03/tsa-hawaii-agent-made-mistake-about-breast-pump/?test=latestnews#ixzz1o5ZX7jsM




It leaves you speechless, it really does!

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« Reply #6297 on: Mar 4th, 2012, 08:05am »

New York Times

March 3, 2012
Fear of Return to ’90s Hardship Fuels Support for Putin
By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

LYUBERTSY, Russia — It takes little more than a half-hour train ride from Moscow and a few hours walking the muddy streets of this raw, working-class suburb to get a sense of why Vladimir V. Putin will almost certainly win Russia’s presidential election on Sunday.

Stepping off the train, you arrive in what residents of the capital call “the rest of Russia.” There are no skyscrapers or 10-lane highways. Instead of heading to trendy sushi bars or coffee shops with free Wi-Fi after work, residents grab a greasy sausage and a beer from a kiosk as they head home, being careful to avoid the child-size potholes in the road.

Interviewed here in recent days, few said they were doing well. But for many here in Lyubertsy and other hardscrabble towns across Russia, any desire to live better is outweighed by a persistent fear of living worse. And there is no guarantee that things will remain on track without Mr. Putin at the helm.

“We will stay in one place or return to the old, terrifying days of the 1990s,” Lyudmila Kisilyova, a 60-year-old pensioner, said when asked what would happen if Mr. Putin lost the election. “There is a huge difference today in comparison with those days. There was no work, there was nothing. The stores were empty, and it was a terrifying time to live.

“I can’t say that everything is great today: Pensions are small, and we’re scared about the future of our children,” she said. “But life is better than in the 1990s.”

It is a sentiment that these days sounds alien in Moscow, where Mr. Putin has faced a challenge from a boisterous, though largely isolated, movement of urban elites whose ambitions and self-regard have outgrown the rigid confines of his rule.

Those elites are not Mr. Putin’s constituents, and he has done little to court them. Rather, he seems keenly aware that his electoral success is linked less to a desire for progress than to a fear of backsliding.

Since announcing in September that he, not Russia’s current president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, would be running in Sunday’s election, he has repeatedly sought to remind Russians of the hardships they suffered in the years before he took power.

“Under the flag of democracy, in the 1990s we received not a modern government, but an opaque fight among clans and numerous semifeudal fiefdoms,” he wrote in an opinion article last month. “We received not a new quality of life, but huge social costs; not a just and free society, but the highhandedness of a self-appointed elite, who openly neglected the interests of simple people.”

In a televised appearance shortly after he announced his return last year, he warned that stability in Russia was hanging by a thread.

“It is enough to take two or three incorrect steps and all that came before could overcome us before we know it,” he said.

This sense of teetering on the edge is particularly acute here in Lyubertsy, a town with 172,000 people, a helicopter factory and the unfortunate distinction of being a birthplace of the Russian mob. In the waning days of the Soviet Union, criminal gangs of amateur bodybuilders called kachki held the city hostage, residents said. On their days off they would take the commuter train into Moscow and pummel the fashionable youth there for sport.

These days, the gangs have been mostly brought to heel, their leaders jailed, dead or, as some locals said, working in government. Stores are filled with affordable clothing, furniture and food, and there are several tidy parks and a modern basketball arena for the Lyubertsy Triumph, whose record this season is 30-14.

Most said they were aware of the recent protests in Moscow. But they had little good to say about them.

“A nuthouse” is how the manager of a women’s clothing store named Angelina described the protests.

Her colleague chimed in, “That’s for people who have free time and don’t have to work for a living.” Both had taken a smoking break and were standing under a large campaign billboard with Mr. Putin’s face and the slogan “A Great Country; a Strong Leader.”

Of about two dozen people interviewed over two days in Lyubertsy, only a handful expressed doubts about Mr. Putin, and most of those said they would vote for him anyway, citing a lack of other options. Most polls indicate that he will win with more than 50 percent of the vote.

That apparently has not prevented some of Mr. Putin’s more zealous supporters from trying to pad his lead. Last month, Olga Klubnichkina, the director of a technical school in Lyubertsy, was recorded threatening her staff with disciplinary measures if they failed to bring in 11 absentee ballots marked for Mr. Putin — their own and 10 from friends and family.

“I think that all understand that our future depends on this,” she said in a recording uploaded by one of the staff members to YouTube. “We need to submit to one commander in chief, like in the army. Someone commands, and like soldiers we follow.”

Several students confirmed that the voice on the recording was that of Ms. Klubnichkina. A woman at the school who bore a stark resemblance to her refused to identify herself or comment on the matter.

Independent election monitors have documented numerous complaints about pressure being placed on voters to cast ballots for Mr. Putin ahead of the election. But all those who spoke to a reporter in Lyubertsy said their votes would be their own.

“For the first time in our lives, the conditions have been created for us, for me, to run my own affairs, to become a different person and not be dependent on anyone,” said Larisa Kirilova, 59.

Ms. Kirilova, who has two Soviet-era college degrees, said she and her family barely had enough food before Mr. Putin came to power in 2000. She now makes a sufficient living selling environmentally safe cookware at a shopping center here — a modest job that she said nevertheless left her “inspired.”

“Why would we trade a robin in our hand for a crane in the sky?”

Anastasia Sadovskaya contributed reporting from Moscow.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/world/europe/in-russia-vote-fear-of-hardship-fuels-putin-support.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #6298 on: Mar 4th, 2012, 08:12am »

Telegraph

Police called as large meteor appears over UK

A mysterious, slow-moving bright light appeared in the night sky above northern Britain on Saturday, trailing bewilderment and wonder in its wake.

By Adam Lusher
1:00AM GMT 04 Mar 2012

Some questioned whether aliens were about to land, with one woman tweeting: “UFO invasion?! Ball of fire flew past my window!” Others called the Police. The most likely explanation, though, was an unusually bright shooting star, or meteor. Thousands of people spotted the chunk – or possibly chunks - of roughly fist-sized space rock burning up while coming through the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 60 or 70 miles or so at about 10pm.

As witnesses took to the internet to report their sightings, Tom Constantine, a self-employed businessmen, asked twitter users: “Did anyone see a shooting star/ball of fire over Knutsford?” David Konstantinou, of Glasgow, tweeted: “Seen a huge meteorite heading south. Huge white tail. Flashed green and red. Amazing sight. Made the hairs on my neck stand up.”

With worried people calling the Police, a Greater Manchester Police officer jokingly tweeted: “Sounds like we are being invaded by martians. Several sightings of a bright orange light over Salford!” Police in south-west Scotland, meanwhile, issued the message: “The large ball of fire in the sky is actually a low level meteor shower.”

The Met Office received dozens of calls within an hour of the light first appearing, and tweeted: "Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite."

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the force had been "inundated" with calls about a bright object in the sky across the west of Scotland.

A Durham Police spokeswoman said a number of calls came in around 9.45pm from concerned members of public who had seen a "bright light or a fire in the sky" and believed it may have been incidents involving an aircraft.

She said: "It has been confirmed with air traffic control that there are no incidents of aircraft in difficult and nothing registered on radar.

"The sightings are believed to be either an asteroid burning out or similar which has been restricted to the upper atmosphere only."

Grampian Police said reports of people seeing a "flare or a bright object with a tail" were received from across the region.

And Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said numerous calls were made about a "large ball of fire in the sky".

The Kielder Observatory also reported the sighting of a "huge fireball" travelling from north to south over Northumberland at 9.41pm.

The Observatory posted on Twitter: "Of 30 years observing the sky #fireball best thing I have ever seen period."

video after the jump
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/nightsky/9121668/Police-called-as-large-meteor-appears-over-UK.html

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« Reply #6299 on: Mar 4th, 2012, 08:15am »

LA Times

Killer collected unemployment checks while in jail, authorities say.
March 3, 2012 | 10:53 pm
by Jack Dolan

A convicted killer who got caught because he’d tattooed a graphic mural of the murder scene on his chest allegedly raked in more than $30,000 in unemployment benefits while he sat in the Los Angeles County jail system, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Anthony Garcia had family and friends cashing his $1,600-per-month government assistance checks while he served time, said Capt. Mike Parker, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His accomplices would then deposit a portion of the money into Garcia’s jail account. They also shared the cash with Garcia’s fellow incarcerated gang members.

Police arrested Garcia’s father, 47-year-old Juan Garcia, and girlfriends 45-year-old Sandra Jaimez and 25-year-old Cynthia Limas on unemployment fraud and related charges on Thursday, Parker said.

“It’s pretty appalling when you think about somebody sitting in jail collecting unemployment,” Parker said.

The Sheriff’s Department photographed Garcia’s tattoo after picking him up for a routine traffic stop. The measure is routine with suspected gang members. Later, a detective investigating a 2004 murder outside a Pico Rivera liquor store was flipping through photos when he was stunned to see the crime scene inked in precise detail across a young man’s pudgy chest.

Parker did not say whether Garcia would face additional charges.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/killer-collected-unemployment-checks-while-in-jail-authorities-say.html

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