VnutZ's Articles, Page 4 of 66
In the beginning of the modern Olympic games, athletes were required to be amateurs. That requirement extended beyond the sport they competed in and included any form of payment for athletic performance. Jim Thorpe’s performance in the 1912 Olympics exemplified this rule. However, as time went on, nations began suspecting one another of seeding the games with state professionals or other less-than-amateur entries. The United States truly bit the professional athlete bullet with the 1992 Dream Team that effectively changed the face of Olympic basketball. Now, nearly every athlete of dominance has some form of professional affiliation or monetary sponsorship and the games are inundated with advertisements and endorsements.
By now, it’s likely that you already know about the Aurora, CO shootings during the Batman: Dark Knight Rises premier. One crazed gunman managed to kill 12 and injure 59 using an AR-15, shotgun and dual .40 handguns. The weapons were purchased legally as Colorado is not one of the difficult states for acquiring firearms (for law-abiding citizens that is).
Already, people are questioning whether or not stricter gun control is the answer or whether more citizens with privately concealed firearms could have defended themselves. With regards to self defense, a concealed carry permit is relatively easy to obtain in Colorado and the state supports both Castle Doctrine and stand-your-ground. Only days ago in Florida, a senior citizen with a concealed firearm shot two thugs holding up an Internet cafe at gunpoint adding credence that a trained and armed society can often take care of itself [see the security footage embedded below]. Naturally, there are two sides to the coin and many admit that in the crowded, dark and smoky theater, it would have been difficult for a person to defend themselves without injuring others in the process.
Awhile back, American Jeep enthusiasts were underwhelmed when only the Liberty was given a 2.8L diesel. The engine was short lived because the 2007 restrictions on diesel fuel took effect that most engines where incapable of meeting. Needless to say, excitement for a diesel engine in a Jeep (that people actually wanted) has never faded away and the auto industry’s tumble in 2009 crippled the crate diesel engine swap for the Wrangler TJ series.
It looks like the wait may finally be over as Chrysler has announced the 2013 Grand Cherokee will have a 3.0L diesel as an option. Production of the diesel for the Cherokee (along with the Durango and the rebirth of the Viper) is expected to also create more than 1000 jobs in the Detroit factories. The overseas markets have long enjoyed diesel options; 90% of Cherokees in Europe are diesel powered. If the overseas market engines perform similarly in the United States (after meeting the 2007 requirements), the Cherokees are expected to get more than 33mpg.
Not long after President Obama was elected, many Americans began a mad scramble to purchase firearms and ammunition with the expectation he was going to crack down hard on the gun control. Thus far, that particular lane of legislation has remained relatively quiet from the White House. An interesting political twist in the foreign policy arena may finally bring that flag to bear. The United Nations is hammering away at the Arms Trade Treaty, a measure designed on its face to control the availability of weapons to crime syndicates and terrorists. However, the small arms covered by the treaty and the notion of a global firearm registry extend bureaucratic implications towards private gun ownership in the United States (if ratified). There are further large scale implications as well in ratifying the treaty such that nation states would be in violation for providing arms and defenses to other countries or factions (such as Taiwan) faced with less than nobly intended foreign neighbors. But by and large, as the world’s preeminent clearinghouse for private firearm ownership, Americans are concerned with how foreign pressure may impact their present legal right to own – especially when Iran is given an important role in policing the practical application of the treaty.
Physicists have been messing around with the standard model since the 1970s by slamming particles into one another to discern the basic building blocks of the universe. While the model described the particles quite well, there was no evidence beyond theoretical prediction about the bosons that influenced the forces between them. The Higgs Boson in particular was of interest to physicists and is often referred to as the God Particle for its theorized purpose in providing mass. This property is, of course, critical for allowing atoms to form and ultimately for “us” to exist, hence the name. The Higgs Boson was actually found in December of 2011 but to avoid an embarrassing declaration of science (faster than light neutrinos?), researchers held onto the news until a definitive five-sigma level of confidence was attained. The discovery was made possible by smashing particles repeatedly in the CERN supercollider revealing evidence of the Higgs Boson with a mass equaling 125 gigaelectron volts (GeV) — about 125 times the mass of a proton. Be prepared for the resurgence of the physics nerd as they steal the cash, chicks and cocaine from the more mainstream geeks and rappers, as according to Princeton physicists – “It’s a triumphant day for fundamental physics. Now some fun begins.”
The stereotypical hacker tends to lurk solo in the dark like a dirty mushroom. But a Chinese malware author broke the mold recently by interacting with AVG researchers. As the anti-virus reverse engineers were investigating a suspected piece of malware within a virtual machine, a window popped up on their system from the hacker. In Chinese, he basically interrogated them asking why they were poking around in his program – which of course was designed to steal screenshots and keystrokes of its victims playing Diablo III in hopes of hijacking their accounts.
Perhaps saying he “called out” Nvidia is being too nice as his exact quote was, NVIDIA, FUCK YOU. Apparently, Linus has been criticizing Nvidia and AMD lately for their poor support the open source development community. The entire matter apparently came to a head during a Q&A session [YouTube] where he proclaimed them the single worst company Linux developers ever had to deal with and concluded with his … less than positive salutation.
Everybody in the security world these days is talking about Flame, the monstrously fat piece of malware found all throughout the Middle East (centered around the remarkably uninfected Israel). For those unaware, Flame weighs in at over 20 megabytes and is composed of numerous functional modules giving it all sorts of capabilities like listening through microphones, activating video, bluesnarfing, etc. None of that was particularly impressive and its sheer size and presence of human readable strings screamed of amateurish development. What did pique researcher’s interest was a unique adaptation of cryptographic hash collisions in order to fool Windows operating systems into trusting a fraudulent windows update server. Researchers are claiming Flame was clearly associated with world class mathematicians in order to rapidly produce MD5 collisions for use. The malware itself is already beginning to shutdown across the world but the code is already under scrutiny. Too bad the White House leaked they were behind Stuxnet and Duqu because reverse engineers are already finding shared code from zero-day exploits within Flame found only in those tools.
Zombie attacks don’t really happen, right? Well, in Florida just the other day a policeman shot to death a naked man eating the face off his victim on an offramp. As if that weren’t odd enough, he actually had to shoot the naked man several times because he kept feeding despite the gunshot wounds.
It’s been a week since FaceBook’s IPO and nobody is happy. The first issue was obviously the NASDAQ failure to open on time and properly handle the trades. FaceBook itself is facing a class action lawsuit over alleged insider trading (really? already?) with high value customers having a priority on purchases. Lastly, the investors themselves are angered over the significant drop in price since the IPO as poor media coverage and public relations have soured everyone on FaceBook’s commitment to shareholders.
Google Drive went live less than a month ago after years of speculation. There are a bunch of nifty features, but they won’t seem very significant to Google Docs who have been using them for awhile. But in order to benefit from Google Drive, a user must install Google’s software to synchronize local files with their cloud storage.
That said, WTF does the client software need to eat up 52MB of RAM to just sit there? For that matter, DropBox uses a mere 22MB of RAM to perform the same task. That’s still pretty bloated for the job but is more than 50% smaller than Google’s software.
Congressional representative Michele Bachman was recently granted a Switzerland citizenship. She calls the matter a non-story … but is it? Is it not disturbing that political leaders of the United States could theoretically have legal duties or binding interests to foreign lands? It is especially disturbing considering that upon becoming a congressional representative that a full clearance is granted (to anything and all compartments). When a large matter of national security falls into the “NOFORN” category, what kind of precedent is she setting for maintaining classified information? (Not that congress isn’t the source of nearly all leaks …)
Until the early 20th century, human babies survived on breastmilk (it may have been from a wet nurse, but it was still breastmilk). With the invention of baby formula, mothers in America largely trended away from breastfeeding relying instead upon the derived product to handle their baby’s nutritional needs. Around the 70s, the trend slowly began to reverse itself back to actual breastfeeding. Oddly enough, the social norm had changed definitively such that a woman breastfeeding her baby became something she did entirely privately, as if Americans couldn’t handle the image. The trend seems to have shifted yet again, with helicopter parents growing truly extreme in recent years. The latest Time magazine feature story (subscription required) highlights that not only has breastfeeding made a return, but mothers are continuing the process as their children grow through the toddler years.
How much is FaceBook worth? Investors are about to find out when the social media company goes public on the 18th. Indications are the stock will be offered between $28-$35 a share up front and enough shares are on the table to put the FaceBook’s value at nearly $100 billion. It’s principle owners stand to make a killing by selling their own stock options as part of the initial offering with estimates that founder Mark Zuckerburg could be sitting on $1 billion in cash that day. A mere eight years ago, Google went public with pre-IPO estimates predicting $2.7 billion to be raised worth of stock sales. Is FaceBook overpriced or can investors bank on another meteoric chance to “get in early?”