Articles, Page 18 of 204
DARPA, the advanced research nerds of the military are set to push the envelope again with the second flight of their FALCON HTV-2. The first one flew in April of 2010 and while successful in many of its experiments, it did crash into the ocean after engaging its safety mechanisms due to a detected fault. The second flight, scheduled for 10 August 2011, features many improvements over the first and is expected to validate hypersonic technology flying at 13,000 miles per hour (roughly Mach 20).
In the dark hours on 6 August, an American CH-47 Chinook went down in the Wardak province of Afghanistan. The crash hails as the single largest loss of American life during offensive operations to date. All told, 30 passengers and crew died including Navy Seals, Aghan commandos, US Air Force personnel, a dog handler, a civilian interpreter and the crew. Confirmations have come from DoD that 17 of the Seals were from the famed Team 6 responsible for bin Laden’s death, though they weren’t necessarily the same Seals. Although the Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for downing the Chinook with an RPG, an official investigation is underway to determine if that was indeed the actual cause.
While the latest Christian flame war has been proceeding on ON I was contacted several times by the same scam group attempting to hack my computer. It was the usual heavy south Asian accent informing me that my computer was severely infested with viruses and was infecting many others in my vicinity. The transparency of this scam does not seem to have dawned on them yet, and they seem to have no way of crossing off a number after it has been called. It appears that everyone in the scam call center is going through the same list.
Two decades ago, the coolest thing you could do with a printer was make long banners. A decade later, printing photographs at home became easy. The current bleeding edge of printing involves 3D manufacturing and even electronics. University of Southampton engineers have taken 3D manufacturing printing to yet another level by printing a complete UAV that can be assembled in minutes and flown over 100mph. The method is called laser sintering where various pieces of nylon plastic can be cut and fused together through a laser printer. The end vehicle is over 2m in size and took only a week to design and “print”.
Dmitri Alperovitch, Vice President of McAfee’s Threat Research division, released a whitepaper detailing the activity of an intrusion set known as Shady RAT (pdf) spanning half a decade across the globe. McAfee researchers were able to obtain five years of implant activity logs from a C2 server whereupon they could analyze actions against 70+ global targets. Without pointing the finger at China, the origin was implied between the lines. Despite including government and defense contractors, the Shady RAT activity spanned such a broad reach of industry as to reveal the foreign actors intent to literally collect everything. Dmitri highlighted the targets even included anti-doping agencies and the Olympic Committee coincidentally during the last Summer Olympics, further evidencing the usage of the same intrusion tools for all susceptible targets.
I received en email from Energy Nation earlier this week urging me to take action against the new Environmental Protection Agency ozone standards. Doing a quick search shows they aren’t the only ones upset at the proposed legislation – and it’s possible they’re justifiably concerned. My point, though, isn’t to get into that. Instead, I want to gripe about their approach.
CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations have regulated the fuel consumption of American vehicles since 1975. In 2009, President Obama had raised the bar on automotive manufacturers to achieve an average of 35.5mpg across their product lines by 2016. His latest announcement brings that requirement even higher. Beginning in 2017, each model year will be required to achieve a 5% increase over prior years until reaching a peak of 54.5mpg by 2025. Environmentalists were pushing for a 60mpg requirement while manufacturers countered their top selling pick-up trucks would need a longer development cycle to reach that goal. Ultimately, the 54.5mpg concession is predicted to cut America’s current oil dependency in half.
AptiQuant is a company that gives pyschometric assessments to employers about their applicants. They recently combed through their data for over 100K of their users to break down browser choice by measured IQ. It was found that users bound to IE6-9 were scraping IQs in the 80s (which rates as dullness and is barely above borderline deficiency). Middle of the road IQs were using Firefox, Chrome and Safari while the geniuses utilized Opera or Camino.
There are those who believe the key to time travel is being able to exceed the speed of light. Unfortunately for them, Professor Shengwang Du from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has proven such a feat is impossible.
“The results add to our understanding of how a single photon moves. They also confirm the upper bound on how fast information travels with light,” said Prof Du. “By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon. Our findings will also likely have potential applications by giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information.”
I recently purchased a CrashPlan+ plan and blogged about why I picked CrashPlan in favor of several other options. I’m curious what others are doing. More specifically, do you have unique needs that a service provider or application must offer before you would consider it?
While Americans understand and tolerate the political brinksmanship that is at the heart of this debt crisis, the rest of the world is suffering, and is increasingly becoming angry with the USA.
We are even hurting our friends. Our faithful ally, Australia, for example has had $50 billion wiped of the value of its stock market and its dollar has been forced up to 10% above the $US thereby devastating its export revenues. China, which holds US$1.16 trillion in US debt is really pissed off. This follows on top of the Wall street-caused GFC which greatly devalued the investments of millions of people outside of the USA. They lost life savings and retirement funds because of greedy uncontrolled Americans, and there is no escaping that fact.
Written under the pseudonym “Mr. Y” by two members of JCS Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s staff, Navy Captain Wayne Porter and Marine Colonel Mark Mykleby, “A National Strategic Narrative” attempts to describe a long-term vision and defining purpose for the United States, to update and replace the narrative of the last 60 years which was crafted in the context of the Cold War. The thesis is that our national priorities and resources should be committed in accordance with a clear vision of the direction America is headed, to ensure future prosperity and security, bounded by enduring values. Further, that the U.S. should move away from the current threat-based, reactive outlook to a more proactive stance focused on opportunities and interdependence.
It did not take long for the conspiracy theorists to come out on this one.
Probably the usual blame the Jews crap, but it did make me think about the potential for it to happen here.
Many Europeans, like many Americans are concerned about the influx of Islamic people and the long term effect that this may have on their safety and security.
Given that most terrorism has come from followers of Islam, in my opinion these fears really do have a validity that cannot be denied. Importing the Jihad is questionable policy. However, these fears are certainly cancelled out by acts such as this that bring on suffering equal to the worst that the Islamic fanatics are ever likely to do.
A somewhat recent study by the University of California-Davis computer science department takes a different spin on the perceived shortage of Americans in the technological workforce. They assess that America’s lackluster representation in quantity is not due to a diminishing number of skilled Americans but rather a glut of imported talent from overseas. The situation may still lend itself toward a smaller pool of American tech workers in the future, however, as diminished demand for them will inherently drive students towards other fields. After all, the question is often asked whether paying continuously inflating tuition prices or even attending elite colleges is worth the effort anymore.