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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 10743 times)
hyundisonata
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7620 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 02:46am »

Decided to stick my nose where it wasn’t wanted lol and took a wander out to watch the loggers, I did notice the arm has a small spotlight that points towards the cutter. I waited until it was near dark and could see no lights and that was close up so from a distance you would see nothing and yes they did not work late so someone is telling porkies to hush this one up. As for Bufora they are either useless at investigating or have deliberately buried this one, makes you wonder?
This is the machine used. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5nmc8e as you will notice the terrain is rough and the trees grouped tight, then the cutter; even at full stretch is no where near the height of the trees.
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« Reply #7621 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 03:32am »

Popped down to a friend to find this video and you can clearly see no plantation is close along with the simple fact no felling is in the view, the pines are up at the top of the hill and a section in front of the hill has been removed some time back not recently.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmK67aitWy0
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7622 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:24am »

on Nov 15th, 2012, 03:32am, hyundisonata wrote:
Popped down to a friend to find this video and you can clearly see no plantation is close along with the simple fact no felling is in the view, the pines are up at the top of the hill and a section in front of the hill has been removed some time back not recently.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmK67aitWy0



Good morning Hyundisonata,

Curiouser and curiouser!

Crystal

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« Reply #7623 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:28am »

Reuters

Jobless claims surge in wake of superstorm Sandy

By Jason Lange
Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:10am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Superstorm Sandy drove new claims for jobless benefits to a 1-1/2 year high last week, a sign the deadly storm could hold back economic growth by leaving tens of thousands of people temporarily out of work.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 78,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, the Labor Department said. That was the highest level since April 2011 and well above the median forecast in a Reuters poll. It was also the biggest one-week increase in new claims since 2005.

"Stepping back from the storm distortions, the economy is growing at about 2 percent," said Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. "We will likely see a step back in job growth ... because of Sandy. The economy is just muddling along."

An analyst from the Labor Department said several states from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast reported large increases in claims due to Sandy, a mammoth storm that slammed into the East Coast in late October.

The storm left millions of homes and businesses without electricity, shut down public transportation and caused widespread damage in costal communities. However, the economic impact of the storm is likely to be temporary.

Economists expect the storm could shave as much as half a percentage point from economic growth in the last three months of the year, but should be made up early next year.

Retail sales data on Wednesday pointed to a softening in U.S. consumer spending early in the fourth quarter as Sandy slammed the brakes on automobile purchases last month.

The four-week moving average for jobless claims, which smoothes out volatility, rose 11,750 to 383,750. Economists generally think a reading below 400,000 points to an increase in employment.

Dow and S&P index futures turned negative after the data, while U.S. Treasury debt cut early price losses. The dollar pared losses against the euro and pared gains against the yen.

MODEST INFLATION

A separate report showed consumer prices edged higher last month as the cost of shelter jumped by the most in over four years, while gasoline prices fell.

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1 percent last month, in line with analysts' expectations, data from the Labor Department showed.

The data pointed to only modest inflation pressures that appear unlikely to derail the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to keep interest rates low for an extended period.

"I wouldn't say that core CPI is worrying at all," said David Sloan, an economist at 4Cast in New York.

Prices for shelter, which include rent, rose 0.3 percent during the month, the most since 2008, and accounted for over half of the overall increase in the CPI. That could be a hopeful sign for the economy if it is because landlords felt they have more leverage to raise rents. Rents for primary residences rose 0.4 percent.

Gasoline prices fell 0.6 percent in October after climbing 7 percent the prior month. That was the first drop in gasoline prices since June. Higher costs at the pump have forced many American consumers to cut back on other spending.

A measure of underlying inflation was relatively muted. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, increased 0.2 percent.

In the 12 months to October overall consumer prices increased 2.2 percent, up a tenth of a point from September's reading. Core prices rose 2 percent in the year through October.

Most economists don't see inflation threatening the economy in the short or long term.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York state showed that activity slowed in November for a fourth straight month, the New York Federal Reserve said.

Despite the decline, new orders rose, the first positive reading for the forward-looking component index since June.

The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.


(Reporting by Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Chris Reese and Edward Krudy in New York; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/us-usa-economy-idUSBRE8AD11I20121115

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« Reply #7624 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:32am »

Der Spiegel

14 November 2012

Beyond Regulators' Grasp
How Shadow Banks Rule the World

By Martin Hesse and Anne Seith

In the financial world, there is a narrow divide between heaven and hell. Frenchman Loïc Féry realized this when he was 33. He was a rising star in the banking world, managing the trade in complex loan packages for an investment bank. According to his business card, he was the bank's "global head of credit markets." But then one of his employees gambled away about €250 million ($317 million), and suddenly Féry was without a job.

That was in 2007. A number of investment bankers experienced a similarly precipitous fall in the turbulent years of the financial crisis. But, like Féry, many reappeared before long and became more successful than ever, in the world of the so-called shadow banks. These are companies that engage in business similar to that of ordinary banks, but without being subject to the same strict regulation.

Féry launched a hedge fund in London. These notorious investment firms collect money from customers and speculate with a wide range of securities. Today Féry makes the kinds of investments that are too risky for his former colleagues. He lends the money of his customers to companies whose creditworthiness isn't good enough to qualify for loans from ordinary banks, and he also buys especially risky loan packages from lenders. As a result, he is able to achieve double-digit returns in the midst of a crisis.

But the Frenchman, who has become so successful that he was able to buy a first-division football club, FC Lorient, insists that companies like his make "a positive contribution to the real economy," because they manage risks professionally.

Growing Concern About Lack of Regulation

But banks, regulators, politicians and economists are worried about the parallel universe that has developed beyond the major banks. Until the 2007 financial crisis, shadow banks grew at a pace similar to that of ordinary financial institutions. Hedge funds, special-purpose entities and money market funds benefited from the low interest rates offered by central banks. Banks increasingly used outside companies to handle all the deals that were too risky for them, so that they wouldn't appear on their books. In this manner, shadow banks and regular banks collaborated to build a castle in the air made up of loans.

Within a few years, the volume of financial transactions in the world of shadow banks grew from $27 trillion to $60 trillion today. Now regulators finally want to clamp down and set up a regulatory framework that has so far been conspicuous by its absence for this sector.

After the financial crisis of 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that there could be no "blind spots" on the map of financial market regulation. But while more and more laws were passed to control banks, regulation of the shadow banks is only just beginning.

The man who is supposed to bring about the necessary change works in an office tower far away from major financial centers. When Svein Andresen broods over how he can best go about taming the wild masters of money, he sees the Black Forest through his office window. The level-headed Norwegian is the secretary general of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which is housed at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, the umbrella organization of the world's central banks.

The FSB is intended to avert a repeat of disasters like the 2008 crisis. "For years, governments and regulatory agencies paid too little attention to financial institutions outside the world of banking," says Andresen. Now he wants to bring order to the chaotic world of shadow banks. But it's a slow process.

Scant Information Poses Dilemma

In a few days, Andresen and his colleagues will present their proposals for new laws which they hope will be enacted worldwide. But then the political discussions will begin anew, and it will take until at least September 2013 before the new rules are in place.

At the moment, very little is known about many of the shadow companies. Precisely because they remained largely unregulated for so long, there is no government agency that could order them to provide information. "It's a classic chicken-and-egg problem," says Andresen. Without regulation there can be no data, and without data there can be no regulation.

Even the question of who should handle data collection in the future has triggered a dispute between politicians and regulators. It isn't easy to bring together opinions from the 20 countries whose governments meet regularly at the G-20 summits of leading industrial and emerging economies. To get the mammoth problem under control, FSB staff members have compiled a "world map of shadow banks," as Andresen calls the puzzle-like project.

Fifty different types of companies have been identified, and the FSB now intends to focus on the roughly 10 most common types. Regulators suspect that these companies alone have assets totalling $20 trillion.

But the more detailed the research is, the more difficult it gets. For instance, Germany's financial regulator BaFin called for the broad documentation and regulation of hedge funds, only to be blocked by Great Britain and the United States -- not surprisingly, given that many of these funds are headquartered in London and New York. Now only hedge funds that engage in real credit transactions will be subject to greater scrutiny in the future, a group that makes up less than a third of the industry.

Hedge fund manager Féry's business would likely be included. The Frenchman vehemently rejects being branded a reckless gambler, and he is not entirely wrong.

Shadow Banks Have Benefits

Unlike other hedge funds, says Féry, he works without outside credit. If money is lost, he explains, "only our reputation as manager and our end investors -- who know the risk we are taking -- are affected."

Even a regulator quietly admits that the most dangerous loan packages, which Féry buys from banks, among others, are in better hands at a hedge fund, because the deposits of bank customers are not being put at risk. "Those are the good sides of the shadow banking system." Féry also believes that small- and mid-sized companies in particular depend on his services because the banking crisis has forced them to "struggle for financing."

Using similar arguments, lobbyists from other areas of finance have already managed to keep their customers largely out of the discussion. For example, the FSB is not treating so-called private equity firms as shadow banks yet. Their classic business consists of borrowing money from banks and taking over companies, and then burdening those companies with the debt.

That doesn't threaten the stability of the entire financial system. However giants like the Blackstone Group, founded by billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, have long since turned into asset management companies, investing in almost anything available on the financial markets.

Paul Schott Stevens, too, would prefer to keep his clientele away from the scrutiny of regulatory authorities. The 59-year-old descendant of a family of butchers from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg is the top representative of an industry that is as powerful as it is obscure. He is the president of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), which represents money market funds.

The funds collect money from conservative investors, including pension funds, insurance companies and ordinary savers. This money is lent for very short periods -- weeks or months at the most -- to banks, municipalities or companies. The lending takes the form of purchases of short-term bonds.

Most money market funds, which control almost $5 trillion in investment capital, are headquartered in the United States. In 2008, they put the fear of God into regulators and politicians when one of the companies, the $62 billion Primary Reserve Fund, bought up large quantities of short-term debt securities from Lehman Brothers. After the investment bank went bankrupt, the fund had to be liquidated.

The Illusion of Security

It came as a shock to customers in the industry because money market funds had long been viewed as a safe investment, precisely because, on the surface, they are often very similar to banks. They even issue credit cards and checkbooks in the United States.

When it became clear that security is an illusion, the one thing happened that regulators in the financial world fear most: Investors went into a panic and emptied their accounts. The government was forced to issue a guarantee for the money market funds. If it hadn't done so, it is quite possible that the next worldwide financial quake would have been triggered. This is because the industry is a major financier of banks, including European banks.

US money market funds sent the financial world into turmoil once again in 2011, when they withdrew billions of euros from French banks that had become the subject of market speculation in the euro crisis. This time it was the international central banks that came to the rescue, providing the banks with a fresh injection of dollars. French banks, in particular, were dependent on the steady flow of short-term capital from the money market funds. In many cases, the banks would turn around and relend the money for long-term purposes, such as aircraft leases.

Regulator Andresen wants to put a stop to such events. "If the money market funds run into problems, they immediately transfer the risks to the banks -- and vice-versa," he says.

more after the jump:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/concern-over-lack-of-regulation-of-shadow-financial-institutions-a-866763.html

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« Reply #7625 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:43am »

New York Daily News


Buggin Out! Strange objects darting over Denver skies has residents and aviation experts stymied

One possible explanation is insects… not little green men, says UFO author.

By Christine Roberts
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 12:06 PM


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A local television station is trying to identify a mystery object that has been soaring above the Denver sky for the past several months.




Strange objects shooting across the Denver sky have left a local television station and an aviation expert mystified.

KDVR-TV first caught wind of the mystery when a man brought the station a video clip of the bizarre, flying objects soaring above the Denver metro area.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the UFOs appeared multiple times a week, usually between noon and 1 p.m.

"The strangest part is that they are flying too fast to see with the naked eye,” said KDVR reporter Heidi Hemmat.

The station invited one of its photojournalists, Noah Skinner, to test the man’s claims. Skinner set up a video camera in the exact same spot where the man captured his images and let the tape roll just after noon.

The resulting video confirmed the existence of the unidentifiable, speeding objects, prompting KDVR to seek the opinion of Steve Cowell, a former commercial pilot and Federal Aviation Administration prevention counselor.

“That is not an airplane, that is not a helicopter, those are not birds,” said Cowell. “I can’t identify it.”

Cowell, who maintained that the objects weren’t bugs either, said that the UFOs could just be debris carried by atmospheric winds.

The station also contacted the FAA and NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, both of which confirmed that there had been no unusual air activity documented.

An explanation that Cowell dismissed, however, could be the solution to the mystery, says one author.

Robert Sheaffer, author of “UFO Sightings,” suggests that the objects are probably just bugs.

“The 'UFOs' appear at least several times a week [for months], we are told, usually around noon to 1 PM,” Sheaffer writes on his blog. “Most flying insects become more active during the warmest part of the day.”

video after the jump:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/strange-objects-darting-denver-skies-residents-experts-stymied-article-1.1201851#ixzz2CIoWraRO

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« Reply #7626 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:47am »

Wired

The New York Times Is Wrong: Strong Passwords Can’t Save Us
By Mat Honan
11.15.12 6:30 AM

On Nov. 7, The New York Times ran a story called “How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away.” Written by Silicon Valley correspondent Nicole Perlroth, the piece reigned over the paper’s Most Emailed List for a full week, and for a good reason: It’s properly freaked out about just how vulnerable we all are to hackers.

But by focusing on the password, it tries to prop up the unsustainable heart of our moldering security system — and it implicitly blames the victim for problems that big corporations let fester for selfish reasons. As I argue in my new cover story for Wired, the only solution is to kill the password entirely.

Much of the advice the Times offers up is quite good. No, you should not re-use passwords or use dictionary words as passwords. And, yes, your passwords should be long and complicated. Pass phrases are great! And security questions? You should never answer them honestly. (Just ask David Pogue.)

But the Times goes much further, advocating methods that no consumer should reasonably be expected to follow. To wit:

For sensitive accounts, [security expert] Mr. Grossman says that instead of a passphrase, he will randomly jam on his keyboard, intermittently hitting the Shift and Alt keys, and copy the result into a text file which he stores on an encrypted, password-protected USB drive. “That way, if someone puts a gun to my head and demands to know my password, I can honestly say I don’t know it.”

And:

Do not store your passwords in your in-box or on your desktop. If malware infects your computer, you’re toast. Mr. Grossman stores his password file on an encrypted USB drive for which he has a long, complex password that he has memorized. He copies and pastes those passwords into accounts so that, in the event an attacker installs keystroke logging software on his computer, they cannot record the keystrokes to his password.

And:

Under the section headed “A Password Manager? Maybe” (The triumph of Carly Rae Jepsen!) we learn about the dangers of using password-management software like 1Password or LastPass:

Mr. Grossman said he did not trust the software because he didn’t write it.

Truly, words of wisdom for us all: We really should all should be writing our own password-management programs.

* * *

Yes, you are quite vulnerable to being hacked, and no matter what The New York Times tells you, passwords aren’t the solution; they are the very problem. The idea that you can devise passwords to keep hackers away is quaint and preposterous. It is an outdated, old-fashioned notion akin to protecting a city with a wall.

But in the age of Google, and Facebook, and Spokeo, social engineering has never been easier. There is a treasure trove of data about all of us, scattered across the internet, that can be easily used to gain password resets. Which means all of those precautions can be easily undone with the right phone call, or an errant click on a mobile browser, where the URL is often hidden to save screen real estate, or in any manner of other ways, on service to service. Hey, look, yesterday it was Skype. Tomorrow, maybe it will be your bank.

The real problem with passwords isn’t reuse or cracking. These are mere symptoms of a larger disease. Think of our password problem as being like polio.

Prior to 1900, polio was never a devastating pandemic. Though it has been with us since the dawn of civilization (like passwords!) its transmission wasn’t enough of a problem to cause large-scale epidemics. But as we entered the 20th century, a confluence of factors (larger populations living in cities with sewage treatment and without as much childhood exposure to the disease that created lowered overall immunity) created a new threat, and polio went from occasional outbreak, to epidemic, to pandemic. True, there were precautions individuals could take, but they were ineffective at stopping or slowing outbreaks. You couldn’t even protect yourself without taking extreme measures, like total isolation. It took the work of society and institutions to eradicate it in the developed world — not only to create vaccines but to get those vaccines into widespread circulation.

Like polio, the password problem is also an old problem and a new problem at the same time. Passwords have been cracked since they were invented, but until recently it wasn’t an issue that had widespread implications for most people. Today, however — for a variety of reasons I detail in my story for Wired‘s December issue — the problem has reached epidemic, if not pandemic, proportions. Yet instead of a systemic, universal vaccination, The New York Times is basically advocating that you go live in a cabin deep in the woods.

More importantly, the advice in this story makes the same mistake journalists make again and again, which is to put account security onus on the individual. But as individuals we are, for the most part, pretty powerless. This is Microsoft and Apple and Google and AT&T and Verizon and Bank of America and PayPal and Amazon’s job. And there’s a sure way to get their attention.

Here is a better idea than keeping an encrypted USB disk of passwords taped securely to the underside of your genitals: If a service does not offer you adequate protection, don’t use it. Want to know how to protect your password from hackers? Quit using insecure products.

For vital services — like your primary e-mail, or online banking account — you should demand at a minimum a second factor of authentication. That’s typically something you have like a code sent to your phone, or an app, or a token. If you can’t get that protection from the service you entrust with your vital data, don’t use it. I’ll say it again, because it is so important: If you are using e-mail or banking services from a provider that does not offer that second layer of protection in addition to the password, stop now. Today. Archive and delete all your messages. Transfer your money. Close your account. Seriously. Not kidding. Do it right now.

Good security is going to require tradeoffs. We’re going to have to get used to the notion that we either need to give up some of our privacy, or ease of access in order to achieve it. There’s just no other way.

The criminals — be they 15-year-old sociopaths or organized criminals — are coming for you. And your passwords won’t protect you. Even if you keep them on an encrypted USB stick.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/11/why-no-password-is-safe-from-hackers/

Crystal

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« Reply #7627 on: Nov 15th, 2012, 08:55am »



Please be an angel



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http://www.soldiersangels.org/



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« Reply #7628 on: Nov 16th, 2012, 09:27am »

Reuters

Investigators probe deadly train crash at Texas parade for veterans

By Matthew Walder
Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:35am EST

MIDLAND, Texas (Reuters) - Safety investigators descended on the West Texas oil town of Midland on Friday to search the wreckage of a freight train collision that killed four people on a parade float carrying U.S. military veterans and their spouses.

At least 16 people also were injured during the parade on Thursday afternoon, which was supposed to have kicked off a weekend of events, including a banquet and a hunting expedition, to honor wounded veterans.

The National Safety Transportation Board said it was looking into the crash and had sent investigators to the scene.

"Our team is in route," NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman said on NBC's "Today" show on Friday. "We want to make sure that we can identify what happened and why it happened so we can prevent things like this from happening in the future."

Two of the victims died at the scene and two at a Midland hospital, police have said.

One of those hospitalized was in critical condition on Friday, a hospital spokesman said. Another was airlifted to a medical facility in Lubbock on Thursday, police said. Four others were in stable condition and 10 were treated and released, according to police.

The tragedy happened as two flatbed trailers carrying veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, some who suffered major injuries in combat, attempted to cross railroad tracks during the "Hunt for Heroes" parade.

"The first flatbed crossed the train tracks completely. The second did not make it across before being struck by the train," a police statement said.

Veterans and their spouses tried to jump off the trailers to escape the collision. There were 26 people on the float that was hit by the Union Pacific train including a dozen veterans, a dozen spouses and two escorts.

"It's hard to look at. It's a very tragic event, very unfortunate," Midland Police Chief Price Robinson said from the site of the accident on Thursday.

A Union Pacific Corp spokesman referred all questions to the NTSB.

Many of the 25 West Texas veterans being honored served multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to biographies posted on a website created by event organizers. They were described as having been shot on the battlefield or wounded by improvised explosive devices.

Some described suffering traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their deployments, the biographies said.

The Pentagon said in a statement that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is traveling in Asia, "was deeply saddened by news of the tragic accident."

Authorities did not immediately release the names of those injured or killed.

A Facebook page for Show of Support, which organized the "Hunt for Heroes" event, was filled with condolences on Friday morning.

"My thoughts & prayers go out to my fellow Veterans & their families & the whole community in Midland. This is such a tragic accident. So sad," said one message, posted by Jeff A. Bingham.

Others raised questions about the dangers posed by the parade route. "Taking them across those tracks in that manner and by NOT ENSURING their safety by ensuring traffic would NOT STOP was unnecessarily placing them in harm's way," posted Mitchell R. Mace.


(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Mary Slosson and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Bill Trott)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-usa-texas-crash-idUSBRE8AF01O20121116

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« Reply #7629 on: Nov 16th, 2012, 09:33am »

Mail Online


Local news crew sets out to debunk amateur UFO film... and ends up confirming it

A UFO spotter made the film from a hilltop in Denver, Colorado

He said the phenomenon happened twice a week between noon and 1pm

Fox-affiliated TV station KDVR sent their own cameraman to disprove it

But he returned with footage that appeared exactly the same

Even an aviation expert says he cannot identify the sightings

North American Aerospace Defense Command, who has base in the area denies knowledge

By Matt Blake
PUBLISHED: 11:23 EST, 15 November 2012
UPDATED: 07:06 EST, 16 November 2012


When a UFO spotter sent a local news team his film of mysterious spacecraft whizzing above Denver, Colorado, they sent their own cameraman out to prove it was a hoax.

But after a few hours of filming from the exact same spot, the team captured footage that, far from debunking the strange sighting, appears to confirm it.

The city's Fox-affiliated TV station KDVR have no explanation, even after drafting in an aviation expert in a final bid to disprove the phenomenon.

But after reviewing the footage, Steve Cowell told the team: 'That is not an airplane, that is not a helicopter, those are not birds, I can't identify it.'

The original video, sent by a man who refused to be identified, seems to show a series of dark objects flying at high speed in and out of clouds.

He said they appeared between noon and 1pm at least two or three times a week and fly so fast they can barely be seen by the naked eye. Instead he had to slow the film down to catch a real glimpse.

'You can see them coming in real fast and then they do a little whoop-dee-doop,' he told the channel.
In a bid to verify the film, KDVR enlisted the help of former pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention advisor Mr Cowell.

But he told them he knew of no aircraft that flies that fast.

photos, video and more after the jump:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233478/Local-news-crew-sets-debunk-UFO-film--ends-confirming-it.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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« Reply #7630 on: Nov 16th, 2012, 09:39am »

Wired

Russia’s Stealth Fighter Could Match U.S. Jets, Analyst Says
By David Axe
11.16.126:30 AM



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The first Sukhoi T-50 on a test flight.
Photo: Sukhoi



Russia’s T-50 stealth fighter prototype, the first radar-evading warplane outside the U.S. when it debuted in January 2010, is slightly less stealthy than the American F-22 and about equal to the smaller F-35. But in several other respects the new warplane from the Russian Sukhoi design bureau is actually superior to the American models.

That’s the surprising conclusion of the first-ever public scientific analysis of the T-50′s Radar Cross-Section (RCS), completed this week by Dr. Carlo Kopp, an analyst with the independent think tank Air Power Australia.

“The shaping of the T-50 is inferior to that of the F-22 Raptor,” Kopp writes in his dense, jargon-heavy report. But the F-35 and T-50, he adds, exhibit “similar … RCS behavior.”

But Kopp’s assessment of the T-50 comes with caveats. Quite a few of them, actually. To match the stealthiness of the Lockheed Martin F-35 — to say nothing of the company’s F-22 — Sukhoi’s engineers will have to, among other changes, modify the T-50′s engines to a less obtrusive fitting and add a layer of radar-absorbing material to the plane’s skin.

With the revised engines and skin, the T-50′s “specular RCS performance will satisfy the Very Low Observable (VLO) requirement that strong specular returns are absent in the nose sector angular domain,” Kopp writes. Translated into plain English, Kopp’s saying that an optimized version of the Russian jet could be very, very difficult to detect by most radars as it’s bearing down on them.

Major refinements are standard practice as stealth prototypes go through development, it’s worth noting. The F-22 and the F-35 underwent big design changes as each was developed over 15 years or more. The T-50, only four of which have been built, has been flying for just under three years and isn’t scheduled to enter frontline service until 2016 at the earliest. There’s time for the Russians to finesse the design, just as the Chinese are doing with their stealth planes.

Granted, by 2016 the Americans could possess hundreds of combat-ready F-35s plus the roughly 180 F-22s already in service. The T-50 could make up for its lateness with impressive performance that in some ways exceeds even the F-22′s vaunted capabilities.

One Russian advantage is what Kopp calls “extreme plus agility” — a consequence of the T-50′s “advanced aerodynamic design, exceptional thrust/weight ratio performance and three dimensional thrust vectoring integrated with an advanced digital flight control system.”

The second advantage: “exceptional combat persistence, the result of an unusually large 25,000-pound internal fuel load,” Kopp writes. The T-50 could keep flying and fighting long after the F-22 and F-35 have run out of gas.

Moreover, the T-50 will dodge certain radars better than others, according to Kopp — and U.S. sensors are among the worst at detecting the T-50′s unique shape, he contends. Kopp’s breakdown of T-50 RCS by radar type shows Chinese “counter-VLO radars,” specifically designed to spot American stealth planes, detecting the T-50 best.

The next best sensors to use against the Russian fighter is the UHF radar aboard the U.S. Navy’s E-2 early-warning planes. American fighter radars, including those aboard the F-22 and F-35, are of middling effectiveness against the T-50, Kopp asserts.

“No fundamental obstacles exist in the shaping design of the T-50 prototype which might preclude its development into a genuine Very Low Observable design,” Kopp concludes.

In other words: Watch out, America! You’re now only one of three countries with a truly radar-evading warplane in the air.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/11/russia-stealth/

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« Reply #7631 on: Nov 16th, 2012, 09:52am »

Washington Post

Paula Broadwell’s drive and resilience hit obstacles

By Greg Jaffe and Anne Gearan
Published: November 15

Paula Broadwell was a rising star who seemed destined for a sparkling career in foreign policy. A West Point graduate who excelled in triathlons, she was pursuing a doctorate at Harvard University and had found a mentor in Gen. David H. Petraeus, an iconic U.S. military leader.

But in 2007, Broadwell was asked to leave the doctoral program at Harvard, where she had met Petraeus a year earlier, because her coursework did not meet the university’s demanding standards, according to people familiar with what happened there.

What Broadwell did next was a signature feature of her resilience and drive — and what detractors say is her tendency to overstate her credentials.

Broadwell eventually leveraged her unfinished dissertation into a best-selling biography of Petraeus, a project that gave her almost unlimited access to the general when he commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan and later when he was director of the CIA. That access led to the extramarital affair that ­upended Petraeus’s career and shined a bright light on Broadwell’s.

A few months after leaving Harvard in 2008, Broadwell began a full-bore effort to remake herself as a highly visible player in Washington’s insular foreign policy community. At the time, she and her husband, a radiologist, were raising toddlers and preparing to move to Charlotte, where he was setting up his practice.

In the summer of 2009, Broadwell told several prominent experts on counterinsurgency warfare that she had been asked by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the newly installed commander in Afghanistan, to assemble a team of first-tier academics and experts to conduct an outside evaluation of McChrystal’s highly anticipated review of his war strategy.

She pressed experts in Washington and Cambridge, Mass., to join the panel and lobbied senior U.S. military officials in Kabul to back her fledgling “red team” effort, military jargon for an outsider evaluation. The prospective team held a couple of meetings, according to one person who was involved.

But senior military officials who were on McChrystal’s staff said Broadwell was not asked to spearhead an evaluation. The officials, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Broadwell and Petraeus, said her attempt to assemble a red-team review panel was rejected after McChrystal’s aides decided that her experience, her connections and her academic credentials were too thin.

“She was trying to pull together something way over her head,” said Mark R. Jacobson, a former deputy NATO senior civilian representative in Afghanistan whom Broadwell approached to serve on the team. Jacobson said he admired Broadwell’s pluck. “It was the kind of move you make in Washington when you are trying to make a name,” he said.

Others who had been approached to be part of the group said they questioned her assurances that she had the backing of top military officials. In a 2010 interview on a Web site focused on leadership, Broadwell was still saying that McChrystal had asked her to assemble the leadership team.

Broadwell, 40, has not responded to e-mail and telephone messages since the Petraeus scandal broke last week. Her attorney, Robert F. Muse, did not respond to a request for comment on the specific information in this article. Harvard declined to comment on Broadwell’s time there.

Going to Afghanistan

Broadwell eventually found her way to Afghanistan. In June 2010, President Obama removed McChrystal as commander because of comments his aides made to a journalist. The president turned to Petraeus to replace him.

Throughout his career, Petraeus had developed a reputation as an intensely competitive and ­talented officer who sometimes came off as desperate for praise. He could be a generous mentor to junior officers, but he often alienated his peers with his determination to win every prize and award, no matter how insignificant. The general’s staff officers said that Broadwell played to Petraeus’s ego.

Petraeus, 60, has told friends in recent days that he admired Broadwell’s “combination of intellect and physical prowess,” said retired Col. Peter Mansoor. “She looks like a female version of him in some respects,” Mansoor said.

Broadwell stayed in touch with Petraeus as part of her research. She visited him at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, where he served as commander before being assigned to Afghanistan.

When Petraeus moved to Kabul, Broadwell began making regular trips to the war zone. By then, she had decided to turn her academic research into a book about Petraeus, and her access to him helped her win a six-figure book deal — and a way into the elite foreign policy circles in Washington.

Broadwell was born in Bismarck, N.D. As a high school student there, she dreamed of a career as a globe-trotting diplomat. She was homecoming queen in 1990, and she excelled in track, basketball and orchestra. “God has given me all of these gifts to use to the best of my ability,” she said in a yearbook entry.

She was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy, graduated in 1995, and served five years as an active-duty intelligence officer in Europe and South Korea. She remained an active-duty officer until 2000, when she transferred to the Army Reserve and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Some of her classmates and other reservists, who later spent time fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, complained that Broadwell was being treated as a counterinsurgency expert without ever having been deployed to a combat zone.

Others praised her for using her contacts and tireless energy to help other women navigate the male-dominated world of foreign policy and balance family with work.

In e-mails to friends, she talked about the strains of her frequent trips to Afghanistan. “The only way I can survive is because of my awesome husband and my mother,” she wrote in 2011. “Everybody is getting tired of it and I have a serious sleep deficit, but I’m having a blast! No complaints.”

Meeting at Harvard

Broadwell first met Petraeus in 2006 when she was a 33-year-old student at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She was invited to a small-group discussion with the general, who had recently completed his second tour of Iraq and was rewriting the Army’s guide to fighting guerrilla wars.

“I introduced myself to then-Lt. Gen. Petraeus and told him about my research interests,” she would write in her book, “All In: The Education of Gen. David Petraeus.” She said the general handed her his business card and offered to put her in touch with other researchers working on similar issues. “I later discovered that he was famous for this type of mentoring and networking, especially with aspiring soldiers-scholars,” she wrote.

While pursuing her doctorate at Harvard, Broadwell decided to write her dissertation on military leadership, which would include a long case study on Petraeus. After several e-mail exchanges, Petraeus, an avid runner, invited her to discuss her project during a run along the Potomac River.

When she was later asked to leave Harvard’s doctoral program, Broadwell completed a master’s degree there in 2008 and then picked up her doctoral studies at King’s College London.

In Washington, she became a frequent television guest and speaker at conferences sponsored by some of Washington’s most prestigious foreign policy think tanks.

Broadwell’s “contribution was based on a close relationship with and close observation of Petraeus in Afghanistan. That was her currency and what drew the attention of the Washington policy community,” said John A. Nagl, a Petraeus loyalist and former president of the Center for a New American Security. “It was a very unique story. . . . She had begun to transcend the Petraeus relationship and was being sought out on her own as a smart, attractive and poised speaker.”

She wrote combat dispatches on Foreign Policy magazine’s Web site and made frequent appearances at think tank events as an expert on counterinsurgency, Petraeus and the Afghan war.

“The level of access she got with the level of experience she had was exactly the sort of thing that makes people in Washington jealous,” said Jacobson, the NATO deputy, who worked with Broadwell in Afghanistan and Washington. “She had an opportunity that many in Washington dream of. She was playing with the big boys and girls.”

A ‘higher standard’

Broadwell’s book was published in January 2012, and she launched a big publicity tour that included an appearance on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” In speeches and interviews touting the book and her life, she talked about her access to Petraeus and her accomplishments. The New York Times and Inspired Women Magazine reported after interviews with Broadwell that she was ranked No. 1 overall in fitness in her class at West Point.

more after the jump:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/paula-broadwells-drive-and-resilience-hit-obstacles/2012/11/15/bf5989a2-2e94-11e2-89d4-040c9330702a_story.html?hpid=z2

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« Reply #7632 on: Nov 17th, 2012, 11:24am »

Reuters

Obama departs for Asia, to make historic stop in Myanmar

Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:04am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama departed on Saturday for a three-country swing through Asia, using his first foreign trip since winning re-election to emphasize his administration's focus on the region.

Obama will make stops in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. The highlight of the trip is likely to be the historic stop in Myanmar, a former pariah state. The White House hopes his visit will push the country to lock in democratic reforms.

The president's tour may be overshadowed, however, by violence in the Middle East and concerns about tax and spending talks with lawmakers back home.

Obama is scheduled to return to Washington early Wednesday morning.


(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/17/us-usa-obama-asia-idUSBRE8AG09C20121117

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« Reply #7633 on: Nov 17th, 2012, 11:28am »







Published on Jul 12, 2012 by WarmDish

Watch More Full Movies - http://www.youtube.com/warmdish

Thelma Jordon, late one night, shows up in the office of married Assistant DA Cleve Marshall. Before Cleve can stop himself, he and Thelma are involved in an illicit affair. But Thelma is a mysterious woman, and Cleve can't help wondering if she is hiding something. Thelma has a plan up her sleeve that will ruin Corey if his love for her and his own weakness win out. Thelma has a heart and a conscience. She comes to love Cleve, and has concern for his life and his future. Despite her wish that her life could be different, she realizes that she belongs in a lawless world.

Director:
Robert Siodmak


Stars:
Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey and Paul Kelly

Category:
Film & Animation

~

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« Reply #7634 on: Nov 17th, 2012, 5:26pm »

SpaceView Amateur Network

This organization is setting up a network of amateur astronomers to detect space debris that is endangering satellites.

View the video on their website.

http://www.spaceviewnetwork.com/

Reference THIS thread for an article on the on-going government efforts which SpaceView intends to supplement.

http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=space&action=display&num=1331339531
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