Articles, Page 16 of 204
Transient Global Amnesia is defined as “a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can’t be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or stroke.” It’s now giving men everywhere the excuse to forget her name in the morning simply by claiming the sex was mind blowing. Medical experts acknowledge that truly fantastic sex may actually induce the condition but still disagree as to the reason. Some hypothesize it’s just the right amount of blood flow transference for just the right amount of time to cause an amnesia effect from the encounter lasting upwards of 24 hours.
Last year, Stuxnet unveiled itself as one of the most sophisticated and targeted pieces of malware with its penchant for Iranian nuclear centrifuges. It was only a matter of time before variants came out, whether from the original authors or from criminals harvesting techniques. Symantec identified a variation using components of Stuxnet’s code and techniques running around Europe they’ve dubbed Duqu, based on a string of DQ characters found within. Duqu seems to be an information gathering tool allowing interactive remote access, keylogging and other data snarfing abilities while embedding itself as a driver using stolen certificates. This particular one differs from Stuxnet in that it seems to have no code specific to SCADA systems nor does it self-replicate.
As the Occupy Wall Street folks beat their drum about representing 99% of America … there is a definite 1% of America that doesn’t match any other group. What will this spell for the future of politics 20 years from now? In decades leading up to now, there has always been a decent representation amongst politicians that had prior military service. It’s increasingly unlikely that civilian leadership of the country will have any idea what military service means.
California’s Kennedy High School recently killed off a controversial program of academic performance segregation. The program was intended to offer incentives and rewards to students scoring above and significantly above baseline test standards. These students were given gold and platinum cards and were allowed to use special fast-access lines in places like the cafeteria. Meanwhile, all the regular and under-achieving students were given white cards and used slower lines, etc. Naturally, the not-haves were complaining about being called out, identified and segregated.
Physicists are always creating the darndest things. In the past few days, a video created at the Tel Aviv University demonstrates the flux pinning effect that’s now being called quantum locking. This differs from typical demonstrations in that it’s not simply magnetic levitation. As can be seen in the video, the suspended object is locked into place regardless of it’s orientation or the orientation of it’s reference point. It works similar to the Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect but differs in that the suspended object is intentionally super thin to allow magnetic flux-tubes through the object instead of repelling them. The superconducting material then “locks” into place within the magnetic field.
It would appear that lawmakers just find the military easy to push around. As yet another source for recouping the $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, VA benefits have been proposed for the chopping block. In the bipartisan words of congressional veterans’ committees, “We believe no constituency better understands the challenge America faces, and no constituency is better suited to, again, lead by example by putting country first.” Currently, no specific cuts have been proposed but the committee supported themselves by citing prior cuts to the VA from previous budget showdowns.
Two legends of the computing age have passed recently. Shortly after Apple’s Steve Jobs passed away, the legendary Dennis Ritchie has died as well. Ritchie created the C language, which essentially is at the core of everything today, and was the co-developer of the first UNIX operating system which in some permutation exists in nearly all operating systems today.
Anybody having issues with the upgrade to iOS 5 and the Apple iCloud?
Thus far, I’ve noticed most of my music files no longer play properly in the renamed Music app. The player just sits at 0:00 while indicating that it’s playing or it just skips through tracks before hanging like that. I’ve noticed it seems to have no problem with iTunes purchased, DRM-crippled music. In various Google searches, this problem has been reported by others in addition to various issues regarding cloud syncing causing duplications and other problems with contacts, the calendar, etc.
So the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iran walk into a bar …
The latest international scuff between these countries involves the FBI’s discovery of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington DC. At the center of it all is a 56 year old Iranian-American named Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, a Quds Force member. Supposedly, Arbabsiar was to solicit a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the plot. He just happened to make contact with an informant to the DEA. The United States has begun engaging the international community for increased sanctions and political isolation with 100 diplomats invited to the State Department for a full briefing on the details along with briefings to the United Nations from the State Department, Justice Department and CIA. However, many pundits and experts are already declaring the whole situation laughably absurd as Iran denies the entire incident. Analysts can’t fathom Arbabsiar, a used car salesmen from Texas, as a probable agent nor do they believe Mexican drug cartels want to get involved with heat from the Global War on Terror.
Music I purchased in the third quarter of 2011:
- August Burns Red – Leveler
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl
- Centro-Matic – Candidate Waltz
- City and Colour – Little Hell
- Crime in Stereo – Selective Wreckage
- Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys
- Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime
- High on Fire – Death Is this Communion
- Human Abstract, The – Digital Veil
The unmanned Predator drones flying over Afghanistan have proven themselves to be formidable weapons and intelligence gathering platforms. Recently, it’s come to light that the UAV ground control stations (GCS) seem to be infected with a key logger. Some believe the virus made its way onto the GCSs via removable flash drives despite a DoD ban on the practice. Despite following removal instructions from the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky, the key logging software keeps reappearing on the GCS. It hasn’t yet been traced to a point of origin and a damage assessment is allegedly underway. To add insult to injury, the 24th Air Force, responsible for network security, learned about the infection by reading the story on the Internet as opposed to internal reporting channels.
Not too long ago, researchers at Cern were puzzled over measurements showing neutrinos traveling faster than light speed. In a nutshell, the team was measuring the time it took for neutrinos to traverse 732km from Cern to Gran Sasso through solid rock using OPERA. They were perplexed to find the neutrinos arriving 60 nanoseconds too early and repeated experimentation continued to produce the same result. Not being able to figure out the anomaly, the community at large was queried looking for fault with the experiment to which many physicists have already responded. The prevailing debate now rests with clock synchronization and whether relativity itself was affecting their ability to time the neutrinos properly.
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley are improving the science behind mind-reading. Much like reverse engineering an encryption algorithm using both the cipher and plaintext, their machine begins with a known library of images and attempts to map brain activity to them. Subjects were shown video from YouTube movie trailers (roughly 18 million seconds known to the machine) while an fMRI mapped their brain activity. Their algorithm then attempts to correlate those activities to particular shapes, colors and movements to recreate video of what a subject is thinking about. “You’re reconstructing a movie that they saw using other movies that they didn’t actually see,” says neuroscientist Jack Gallant, to which he caveats, “We’re trying to understand how the brain works … We’re not trying to build a brain-decoding device.” [Be sure to watch the embedded video]