Articles, Page 23 of 200
The recent release of US diplomatic cables spanning from 1966 through 2010 by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks has spun some interesting news. Almost immediately upon their scheduled release, the website was subjected to a DDoS hammering away at 10Gbps. But many documents were released to mainstream news outlets for screening in advance of the public which has revealed various stories, confirmed suspicions but generally just aired dirty laundry.
- There was a story of an American escaping from Iran with drug smugglers via horseback.
- There was affirmation the Secretary of State ordered diplomats to engage in intelligence gathering to include everything from photos, biographies to even biometric information.
What was the most boring day ever in history? There may be many yawners over time, but 12 April 1954 has been marked by the True Knowledge search program as the most boring day ever since 1900. The system cross linked a variety of criteria about international events, newspaper headlines, significant births, etc. to determine a particular date’s significance.
I have nothing to reference here but mt own opinion.
The Navy has sent The USS Washington carrier battle group to exercise in Korean waters as a sabre rattling exercise with the ROK.
This seems to me to be an appropriate way of warning the DPRK until I consider the risk and benefit involved.
The DPRK has submarines operating in the area.
Other Navys that are allowed to exercise submarines with the USN carrier battle groups play a game of getting periscope pictures of the carrier’s propellers. The RAN has some of these photos on the walls of its wardrooms, and I am sure the Brits do too.
The body scanners that privacy activists have protested for so many years are now in use full force across the United States. Additionally, controversial with pat-downs for those opting out have raised much concern after stories of inappropriateness have circulated the news. There was allegedly going to be a great protest of the procedure with national opt-out day coinciding with Thanksgiving travel to make a statement. Many perceive the day as a bust with little to no travel disruptions reported and a statistically insignificant number of people participating.
The Korean War never officially ended, it has merely been in a perpetual state of ceasefire owing to the 1953 armistice. Despite numerous skirmishes over the years, Tuesday’s artillery shelling of Yeonpyeong Island was the first time the two Koreas exchanged artillery fire since the armistice.1 North Korea fired an estimated 100 artillery rounds at the island killing Korean marines and wounding civilians to which South Korea responded with 80 artillery shots of its own.2 Despite the response, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is challenged to not let such an affront against his country go quietly. North Korea has always saber rattled about the annual exercises conducted by South Korea (for decades) but this time, in conjunction with their artillery barrage, are declaring Korea is on the brink of war.
For the government’s budget to come under control, there are a lot of proposals on the table. One recent proposal is a five year freeze on the DoD budget (not including overseas operations) which will cut programs like the F-35, V-22, Virginia Class submarines and ballistic missile defense. Another source of cost savings being postulated is cutting the military force, reducing their pay, ceasing COLA increases for military retirees and raising copays for TRICARE medical treatment. Panelists argue that military personnel pay raises have been ahead of their counterparts in the civilian sector in recent years.
Scientists are always on the lookout for new, uncatalogued animal species. A new lizard named Leiolepis Ngovantrii has been discovered in rural Vietnam. The creature was “discovered” when scientist Ngo Van Tri called a colleague in to examine them because all the lizards appeared to be female. Later testing confirmed the lizards were all female and were reproducing perfect clones of themselves through parthenogenesis. The tests were delayed because despite the shop owner’s promise to keep some lizards for the researchers, “the owner wound up getting drunk, and grilled them all up for his patrons… so when we got there, there was nothing left.” That is correct, the uncatalogued lizards were catalogued on the Vietnamese menu where the locals routinely ate them.
It appears the newly-elected Senators are rocking the boat already – and not with Democrats. Conservatives are having a hard time agreeing on if they should ban earmarks. (They’re actually calling it an earmark “moratorium.” Let’s see how many times we can work that word in this year. It’s like 2010’s theme…)
This video on Fox features a panel with a number of opinions: On one hand, earmarks are seen as secret ways to slide “pet projects” through legislation. On the other, they’re a means of making sure someone actually representing an area has a say in how money (that would go to that area anyway) is spent.
It wasn’t too long ago that Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered a speech (transcript) to Duke University students focusing on a call to service. While praising ROTC students, Gates alluded to what seemed to be an increasingly small population of people serving their country, “We’ve had so few fighting our wars for so long. How long can these brave and broad young shoulders bear the burden that we as a military, a government and a society continue to place on them?” In a nutshell, military service is something for other people to do. One of the problems is that as a volunteer military, servicemembers are becoming a niche segment of the population rather than drawing equally across the nation. Some fear that means the armed forces may slowly become less and less in touch with those they are defending.
Wouldn’t it be handy to boost intellectual capacity with a bit of brain overclocking? Oxford University scientists have discovered that a little bit of electric current across the parietal lobe can have a dramatic effect in improving numerical processing performance. Prior studies involved magnetism but Dr. Cohen Kadosh’s latest research applied a one milliamp current to volunteers as they performed substitution puzzles. It was interesting to note that current direction mattered, either producing an improvement over the control group or giving the subjects the abilities of a six-year old. “We are not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks, but we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings and are now looking into the underlying brain changes.” Perhaps with the proper study, scientists can un-retard people. On the other hand, there are those arguing that most math is completely irrelevant to the general population.
NetFlix has been around for well more than a decade. Long ago, the service evolved past just a disc rental service into media streaming. Now, reports indicate streaming NetFlix data accounts for 20% of all US network activity during the 8pm – 10pm prime time window.
Today a person said to me, “If you’re on Facebook, you’re narcissistic.”
I asked, “How so?”
She said, “Because I read the study in the Huffington Post.”
That little conversation is the inspiration behind this blog.
There are a ton of current studies attempting to link Facebook and narcissism. For instance, a 2009 poll of a thousand or so college students at San Diego State University found that, “57 percent believe that their generation uses social networking sites for self promotion and attention seeking….”
Then (and boy did I have fun with this one) there was a study I read about (via the Huffington Post) that was conducted by York University psychologist Soraya Mehdizadeh. She concludes that narcissistic users who have low self esteem spend the most time on Facebook. Now, normally, I don’t go to the Huffington Post for any sort of scientific regurgitation and that has to do with a once-upon-a-time meeting with its health and wellness editor. I wasn’t impressed with the way they conglomerate information off the web, and I’ll just leave it at that.
Looking for something creative to do with your iPhone? Try constructing a serial port from about $80 worth of parts. The device is wired up from a pin-out expander board designed to allow hobbyists to access the iPhone through the dock port where it’s been discovered the appropriate pins exist to support a serial device.
Some people say the US Intelligence Community is too large and wields too much unchecked power. At the same time, others argue that it’s still not big enough and is massively hamstrung from effectively collecting against America’s adversaries. Regardless of your stance, Americans are privy to the total intelligence budget for the third time learning $80 billion was spent on the nation’s spying affairs in 2010. The previous two revelations in the total intelligence budget were figures in the mid-$20 billion ballparks released in 1997 and 1998. This number includes $53 billion for non-military intelligence which has nearly doubled since the 9-11 attacks led to mammoth growth in the community (largely with contractors). Many senators are now pushing for reducing these expenditures by drawing back on the number of contractors employed who compose a large portion of the estimated 100K employee workforce. More information on America’s intelligence posture can be found in Washington Posts Top Secret America expose.