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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 147806 times)
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« Reply #7890 on: Jan 14th, 2013, 09:45am »

Scientific American

10 Technologies that Turned Our Head: 2013 CES in Pictures [Slide Show]

Scientific American’s trip to this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show turned up some oddities

By Larry Greenemeier

Amidst the onslaught of tablets, smart-phone accessories, ultra high-definition televisions and 3-D printers on display at last week’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a handful of gadgets and technologies caught Scientific American’s attention.

Some of these fall in the popular categories mentioned above, while others promise to push the boundaries of other domains, such as electric-powered transportation. Still others, like Brothers’ touchscreen embroidery machine, stood out for their ability to symbolically marry the Industrial Revolution with the digital revolution currently underway. And then there were OhMiBod’s app-controlled personal massagers …

slideshow after the jump:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=ces-2013-gadgets-of-interest

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« Reply #7891 on: Jan 14th, 2013, 09:48am »

Blastr.com

Jurassic Park 4 is happening after all: here's when we'll see it

By Don Kaye
9:14AM on Jan 14, 2013

After years of rumors, hints and speculation, Jurassic Park 4 finally has a release date. So when will it come out, and who will direct it?

First things first: The Wrap reported that Universal announced a June 13, 2014, release date on Friday for the fourth entry in the dinosaurs-in-the-modern-world franchise, which will be filmed and released in 3D (naturally). That's the good news for fans who have been waiting since 2001 for the trilogy to expand into a tetralogy.

The bad news is that the release date is almost exactly 17 months from now, and a director for the movie has yet to be chosen. Not that anyone really expected him to, but Steven Spielberg won't be getting behind the camera for this one, although he will co-produce it with Frank Marshall.

Spielberg directed the first two but left Jurassic Park III in the hands of Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger). The first movie is a classic; the second and third, not so much. But all three have combined to make nearly $2 billion worldwide—with an April 5 release planned for a 3D conversion of the original—so it's no surprise that Universal wants another one.

Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who penned last year's outstanding Rise of the Planet of the Apes, have just turned in the script for Jurassic Park 4. Producer Kathleen Kennedy (who's since moved on to become head of Lucasfilm) said a few months back that finding the right story was the biggest challenge in making the picture (hey, they could always go back to this idea if all else fails).

So, the bottom line on Jurassic Park 4: a just-finished script, no director, no cast, but a release date a little under a year and a half from now. Feeling optimistic about this one?

http://blastr.com/2013/01/jurassic-park-4-is-happen.php

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« Reply #7892 on: Jan 15th, 2013, 09:59am »

Reuters

Explosions at Syria's Aleppo university kills 15: group

BEIRUT | Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:46am EST

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 15 people were killed and dozens wounded in two explosions that rocked the University of Aleppo in Syria's second largest city on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

State television said there had been one explosion at the university, which lies in the government-controlled area, describing it as a "terrorist attack".

Rebels have used car bombs and suicide attacks in fighting government forces and attacking government-controlled areas.

Fighting between rebels and government forces has reached a stalemate in Aleppo and left the city divided. Rebels say they control more than half the province.

State television footage showed at least one body lying on the street and several cars burning.

The second explosion reported by the Observatory, a British-based opposition monitoring group, may have been caused by a burning car, but there was no independent confirmation.

One of the university buildings was damaged. The state news agency said the explosion occurred on the first day of exams.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Alison Williams)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/15/us-syria-crisis-explosion-idUSBRE90E0I920130115

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« Reply #7893 on: Jan 15th, 2013, 10:01am »

Science Daily

Scientists Find 'Bipolar' Marine Bacteria, Refuting 'Everything Is Everywhere' Idea

Jan. 14, 2013

— In another blow to the "Everything is Everywhere" tenet of bacterial distribution in the ocean, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have found "bipolar" species of bacteria that occur in the Arctic and Antarctic, but nowhere else.

And, surprisingly, they found even fewer bipolar species than would turn up by chance if marine bacteria were randomly distributed everywhere. "That suggests that there are forces that are limiting the dispersal of bacteria in the ocean," says Linda Amaral-Zettler, a scientist in the MBL's Bay Paul Center and faculty member in the Brown-MBL Partnership.

The discovery is reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Our study shows that marine bacteria are not just homogenous populations in the ocean. They are more selective than that. Different bacteria prefer certain temperatures, levels of nutrients, light and salinity, " Amaral-Zettler says. "Understanding their distribution is really important because bacteria play crucial roles in the ocean ecosystem services we rely upon, such as providing food stocks, and in climate. As our environment changes, and temperatures become warmer, we have to pay attention to shifts in bacterial distributions, as well as those in animals and plants."

The study is one of many born from the gigantic database on marine microbes created during the International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM), a part of the Census of Marine Life. It also contains data from MIRADA-LTERS (Microbial Inventory Research Across Diverse Aquatic Long-Term Ecological Research Sites).

Over a six-year period (2004 to 2010), ICoMM scientists from many nations collected water samples and, crucially, related environmental data from a broad range of marine ecosystems, from open ocean to undersea volcanoes, densely populated coastlines to polar seas. MIRADA-LTERS also contributed to the census.

"One of the exciting things about ICoMM and MIRADA is that they gave us our first opportunity to even think about microbial biogeography (distributions) in a global way," Amaral-Zettler says. "Before, many people thought microbes distribute everywhere, so we don't have to worry if some disappear locally. But we are finding that, no, there is a biogeography of very small organisms, and there may be consequences to that."

Rather than buttressing what is known as the Baas-Becking tenet in microbial ecology ("Everything is everywhere, but the environment selects,") the present study suggests "dispersal limitation plays an important role in marine bacterial distributions before environmental selection makes a difference," the authors write.

What the barriers to dispersal of marine microbes may be is under investigation. A 2011 study issuing from ICoMM data found bacterial assemblages correlating to different water masses in the ocean (Agogué et al, Mol. Ecol. 20: 258-74, 2010). "We think the water masses themselves may be potential barriers to microbial dispersal," Amaral-Zettler says. "The ocean currents that occur on the equator may be physical and in some cases geochemical barriers that limit the distribution of certain types of bacteria." This means a warming climate, which affects ocean temperature, salinity, pH levels, and circulation patterns, can significantly impact marine microbial distributions.

Mitchell Sogin, director of the MBL's Bay Paul Center, is a co-author of the present study. Sogin co-directed ICoMM; Amaral-Zettler was the project's program manager. Amaral-Zettler also led MIRADA-LTERS, which conducted a biodiversity survey across all 13 of the U.S. National Science Foundation's aquatic Long-Term Ecological Research sites.

Bacteria and other microbes are essential catalysts for all of the chemical reactions that shape planetary change and habitability, such as cycling of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, iron, and manganese through the environment. As an ICoMM summary states, "Marine microbes regulate the composition of the atmosphere, influence climate, recycle nutrients, and decompose pollutants. Without microbes, multicellular animals on Earth would not have evolved or persisted over the past 500 million years."

The lead author of the present PNAS study is Woo Jun Sul, a postdoctoral scientist in the Bay Paul Center. Hugh Ducklow, director of the Palmer Station Long-Term Ecological Research site in Antarctica and former director of the MBL Ecosystems Center, provided the water samples from Antarctica. Thomas A. Oliver of University of Hawaii provided modeling analysis.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114153424.htm

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« Reply #7894 on: Jan 15th, 2013, 10:05am »

Seattle Times

Originally published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:32 AM

NY seals 1st state gun laws since Newtown massacre

By MICHAEL GORMLEY
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. —

New York lawmakers agreed to pass the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, calling for a stricter assault weapons ban and provisions to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.

"This is a scourge on society," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday night, six days after making gun control a centerpiece of his agenda in his State of the State address. The bipartisan effort was fueled by the Newtown tragedy that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. "At what point do you say, `No more innocent loss of life'?"

The measure also calls for restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns. It is expected to pass Tuesday.

"This is not about taking anyone's rights away," said Sen. Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat. "It's about a safe society ... today we are setting the mark for the rest of the county to do what's right."

Under current state law, assault weapons are defined by having two "military rifle" features, such as folding stock, muzzle flash suppressor or bayonet mount. The proposal would reduce that to one feature, including the popular pistol grip. The language specifically targeted the military-style rifle used in the Newtown shootings.

Current owners of those guns will have to register them.

Private sales of assault weapons to someone other than an immediate family would be subject to a background check through a dealer. New Yorkers also would be barred from buying assault weapons over the Internet, and failing to safely store a weapon could lead to a misdemeanor charge.

Ammunition magazines would be restricted to seven bullets, from the current 10, and current owners of higher-capacity magazines would have a year to sell them out of state. An owner caught at home with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.

Stores that sell ammunition will have to register with the state, run background checks on buyers of bullets and keep an electronic database of bullet sales.

In another provision, a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally would be required to report it to a mental health director who would have to notify the state. A patient's gun could be taken from him or her.

The legislation also increases sentences for gun crimes including the shooting of a first responder that Cuomo called the "Webster provision." Last month in the western New York town of Webster, two firefighters were killed after responding to a fire set by the shooter, who eventually killed himself.

The measure passed the Senate 43-18 on the strength of support from Democrats, many of whom previously sponsored bills that were once blocked by Republicans. The Democrat-led Assembly gaveled out before midnight and planned to take the issue up at 10 a.m. Tuesday. It is expected to pass easily.

The governor confirmed the proposal, previously worked out in closed session, also would mandate a police registry of assault weapons, grandfathering in assault weapons already in private hands.

It was agreed upon exactly a month since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

"It is well-balanced, it protects the Second Amendment," said Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos of Long Island.

Cuomo said he wanted quick action to avoid a run on assault weapons and ammunition. He estimates there are already about 1 million assault weapons in New York state.

Republican Sen. Greg Ball called that political opportunism in a rare criticism of the popular and powerful governor seen by his supporters as a possible candidate for president in 2016.

"We haven't saved any lives tonight, except one: the political life of a governor who wants to be president," said Ball who represents part of the Hudson Valley. "We have taken an entire category of firearms that are currently legal that are in the homes of law-abiding, tax paying citizens. ... We are now turning those law-abiding citizens into criminals."

In the gun debate, one concern for New York is its major gun manufacturer upstate.

Remington Arms Co. makes the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle that was used in the Connecticut shootings and again on Christmas Eve when the two firefighters were slain in Webster. The two-century-old Remington factory in Ilion in central New York employs 1,000 workers in a Republican Senate district.

The bill was the first test of the new coalition in control of the Senate, which has long been run by Republicans opposed to gun control measures. The chamber is now in the hands of Republicans and five breakaway Democrats led by Klein, an arrangement expected to result in more progressive legislation.

Former Republican Sen. Michael Balboni said that for legislators from the more conservative upstate region of New York, gun control "has the intensity of the gay marriage issue." In 2011, three of four Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for same-sex marriage ended up losing their jobs because of their votes.


AP Writer Michael Virtanen contributed to this report from Albany.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2020134373_apusguncontrolny.html

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« Reply #7895 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 09:12am »

on Jan 13th, 2013, 3:26pm, philliman wrote:
Is that the explanation?

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I laugh every time I see this, thanks Phil.

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« Reply #7896 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 09:14am »

Reuters

Somali Islamists say French hostage sentenced to death

By Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU | Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:08am EST

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali militants linked to al Qaeda said on Wednesday they had sentenced a French agent to death after a failed attempt by French armed forces to rescue him at the weekend.

It was unclear whether the rebels were saying they had already killed Denis Allex, held hostage in Somalia since 2009. France said it had heard nothing since the military raid to alter its belief that he was killed during the rescue operation.

Al Shabaab said in a statement their decision to kill Allex was unanimous and followed three years of what it called "exhaustive attempts at negotiations" over his release.

The militants put up fierce resistance when French commandos flew into southern Somalia by helicopter under cover of darkness early on Saturday to try to free Allex.

Two of the commandos died in the raid.

"With the rescue attempt ... France has voluntarily signed Allex's death warrant," al Shabaab said in an emailed statement that was also posted on the group's official Twitter handle.

"It is the government of France ... which must bear full responsibility for the death of Allex," it said.

On Wednesday, Edouard Guillard, chief of staff for the French armed forces, told Europe 1 Radio there had been nothing since the raid to suggest Allex was alive and the rebels were engaged in "media manipulation."

"We think he is likely dead," Guillard said.

French President Francois Hollande, in a speech to the press later on Wednesday, said he took responsibility for the failed rescue operation of Allex, calling it "heavy with consequences."

"It involved the death, the assassination, of the hostage and two soldiers were taken," Hollande said. "I fully stand by this operation. Because it's also a message we're sending. France cannot accept that its nationals be taken."

"ABOMINABLE CONDITIONS"

Allex was one of two officers from the DGSE intelligence agency kidnapped by al Shabaab in Mogadishu in July 2009. His colleague, Marc Aubriere, escaped a month later but Allex had been held ever since in what Hollande on Wednesday called "abominable conditions".

In October, the militants uploaded a video of Allex pleading with Hollande to negotiate his release and save his life. Hollande said at the time the government was seeking to start talks with any party to facilitate his release.

After Allex's abduction, al Shabaab issued a series of demands including an end to French support for the Somali government and a withdrawal of the 17,600-strong African peacekeeping force propping up the U.N.-backed administration.

"Efforts were repeatedly hampered as the DGSE proved to be unreasonably apathetic and willfully uncooperative," the rebels said.

Al Shabaab wants to impose their strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, across the Horn of Africa state, though it has lost significant territory in southern and central Somalia in the face of an offensive by African troops.

The rebel group, which formally merged with al Qaeda in February last year, is known to mete out beheadings and amputations and has banned music and football in areas under its control.

(Additional reporting by Richard Lough in Nairobi and Alexandria Sage in Paris; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-somalia-hostage-idUSBRE90F0W220130116

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« Reply #7897 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 09:20am »

Telegraph

There is “no prospect” of an independent Scotland joining the euro, Alex Salmond has said.

By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
9:20AM GMT 16 Jan 2013

Mr Salmond, the First Minister, insisted that an independent Scotland could negotiate over its future EU membership without committing to joining the single currency.

Scotland will hold a referendum on independence in 2014 and Mr Salmond said the country would then begin negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

He said that an independent Scotland could then end up becoming a member of the EU, while the rest of the UK exits following a potential referendum.

However the Scottish National Party leader made clear that an independent Scotland would not immediately join the euro.

“Currently, for the foreseeable future, there is no prospect of an independent Scotland being a member of the euro,” Mr Salmond said.

“What there is every prospect of is that oil-rich, fishing-rich, renewable energy-rich Scotland will certainly be wanted in the European Union.

“And it’s also the case that a country that wants to be a part of the European Union is more likely to end up as part of the European Union.”

Mr Salmond insisted that Scotland would negotiate on membership of the EU while still part of the UK.

“"There’s no argument in the question because this is a negotiation that will take place after the constitutional referendum of 2014, of course Scotland will still be a member of the UK and therefore, by definition, negotiating from within the European Union,” Mr Salmond said.

“Negotiations will take place following the referendum, but that is before Scotland becomes independent and negotiations will take place therefore, by definition, from within the European Union, that point is unarguable.”

José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, last year indicated that an independent Scotland would have to apply for EU membership from scratch.

“The idea that oil-rich, fishing-rich, renewable energy-rich Scotland will not be wanted as part of the European Union is simply incredible,” Mr Salmond added.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9805197/Alex-Salmond-No-prospect-of-an-independent-Scotland-joining-the-euro.html

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« Reply #7898 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 09:23am »

Wired

The Best of CES 2013
By Gadget Lab Staff
01.16.13, 6:30 AM

There was a time when you could expect the greatest gear in every product category to roll out at CES. The best laptops. The best TVs. The best mobile phones. But that time has passed us by. Production cycles are faster. Companies do their own things. CES is not the same show it once was.

The lion's share of new laptop releases came out shortly after Windows 8 shipped in October. Most of the new phones we'll see for the year will be announced next month at Mobile World Congress. Apple and Microsoft and Google and Amazon make their own news, at their own events, in their own time.

Some have argued this means CES 2013 was a disappointment, or that the show has lost its way. Maybe so. But the fact is there was still a heck of a lot of wondrous new gadgetry to see at CES. Some of it is stuff that isn't even shipping yet. In fact, some of our favorite things were the wildest and the least likely to actually see production this year.

If you want to know what this year's CES was about, it was about the end, and the beginning. It's the end of the era of Microsoft and Sony. It's the beginning of the rise of Chinese companies like Hisense, Huawei, Haier, and TCL. It's the year that some of the best products came out of startups, and even Kickstarter. This is the CES of the future, and we love it. And here are a few of our favorite things.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/01/the-best-of-ces-2013/?pid=4334&viewall=true

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« Reply #7899 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 11:44am »

on Jan 16th, 2013, 09:12am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
I laugh every time I see this, thanks Phil.

Crystal



So that's where Chem-Trails really come from!!! I knew there was a logical explanation for them!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7900 on: Jan 16th, 2013, 1:58pm »

Re 7093 above.

...Mr Salmond insisted that Scotland would negotiate on membership of the EU while still part of the UK.

“"There’s no argument in the question because this is a negotiation that will take place after the constitutional referendum of 2014, of course Scotland will still be a member of the UK and therefore, by definition, negotiating from within the European Union,” Mr Salmond said...


It is highly unlikely that Westminster would fall for that one. Or The EU Commission come to that.

He wants to negotiate from a position of strength on something that he would then wish to use as an independent country. ?

Also, Scotland already has it's own currency. This would, I assume, become tradeable against all to others.

I honestly don't think Scotland can exist as a viable seperate country. It is too small.

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« Reply #7901 on: Jan 17th, 2013, 10:03am »

My computer croaked, got another one and we are setting it up. I'll be back later to post.

Good morning Lone and HAL cheesy

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« Reply #7902 on: Jan 17th, 2013, 11:14am »

Morning M'lady,

Good luck with the new computer!

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« Reply #7903 on: Jan 17th, 2013, 8:23pm »

on Jan 17th, 2013, 11:14am, LoneGunMan wrote:
Morning M'lady,

Good luck with the new computer!

Lone


Thanks Lone,

It's up and running.

Crystal
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« Reply #7904 on: Jan 18th, 2013, 09:57am »

Reuters

Sixty foreigners still caught in Sahara hostage crisis

By Lamine Chikhi
ALGIERS | Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:38am EST

(Reuters) - About 60 foreigners were still being held hostage or missing inside a gas plant on Friday after Algerian forces stormed the desert complex to free hundreds of captives taken by Islamist militants, who threatened to attack other energy installations.

The attack, which plunged capitals around the world into crisis mode, is a serious escalation of unrest in northwestern Africa, where French forces have been in Mali since last week fighting an Islamist takeover of Timbuktu and other towns.

"We are still dealing with a fluid and dangerous situation where a part of the terrorist threat has been eliminated in one part of the site, but there still remains a threat in another part," British Prime Minister David Cameron told his parliament.

A local Algerian source said 60 foreigners were still in the facility and some were being held hostage, but it was unclear how many and how many might be in hiding elsewhere in the sprawling compound. It was also not known whether some might have been killed and the bodies not found.

Those still unaccounted for included 10 from Japan, eight Norwegians and a number of Britons put by Cameron at "less than 30". Washington has said a number of Americans were among the hostages, without giving details, and the local source said a U.S. aircraft landed nearby on Friday.

As Western leaders clamored for news of their nationals, several expressed anger they had not been consulted by the Algerian government about its decision to storm the facility.

Algeria's state news agency said earlier more than half of 132 foreign hostages were freed and that the army had rescued 650 hostages, 573 of whom were Algerians.

"(The army) is still trying to achieve a ‘peaceful outcome' before neutralizing the terrorist group that is holed up in the (facility) and freeing a group of hostages that is still being held," it said, quoting a security source.

Thirty hostages, including several Westerners, were killed during Thursday's assault, the source said, along with at least 18 of their captors, who said they had taken the site as retaliation for French intervention against Islamists in neighboring Mali.

(Additional reporting by Ali Abdelatti in Cairo, Eamonn Mallie in Belfast, Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, Mohammed Abbas in London and Padraic Halpin and Conor Humprhies in Dublin; Writing by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/18/us-sahara-crisis-idUSBRE90F1JJ20130118

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