All astronauts have big dreams, but Franklin Chang Díaz’s dreams are huge. As a college student, as a 25-year astronaut and as an entrepreneur, his single animating intention has always been to build—and fly—a rocketship to Mars. “Of course I wanted to be an astronaut, and of course I want to be able to fly in this,” he says of his plasma-thrust rocket. “I mean, I just can’t imagine not flying in a rocket I would build.” And now he’s close. In four years Chang Díaz will deploy his technology for the first time in space, when his company, aided by up to $100 million in private funding, plans to test a small rocket on the International Space Station. If this rocket, most commonly known by its loose acronym, Vasimr, for Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, proves itself worthy, he has an aggressive timetable for constructing increasingly bigger plasma-thrust space vehicles.
The eyes of the world currently rest upon the democratic reformation occurring in the Arab Republic of Egypt. As you very well know, these unfolding events are not to your strategic or political advantage. In contrast to your administration, we, the members of Anonymous, stand in support of the Egyptian revolution. We ask that you do the same. We ask that you immediately cut off all military and political aid to the Regime of Hosni Mubarak. We ask that you lend your support to the people of Egypt during this fight against tyranny (a course of action that would be supported by the supposed platform of freedom, liberty and democracy you claim to stand on).
While your administration has been hesitant to acknowledge the acts of a murderous dictator in an attempt to protect American interests, the people in Egypt have been decisive in their struggle for freedom.
You have provided funding and tools of suppression to an autocratic regime, helping it strip its citizens of their basic human rights. We hope that you do not expect the citizens of Egypt to support your interests after such detestable actions. While exercising their Universal Human Right to protest as declared by the United Nations in 1948, the Egyptian people found themselves assaulted by tear gas canisters labeled “Made in USA.” You cannot expect the people of Egypt to respect your country when you are contributing to their oppression.
The people of Egypt have spoken, and Mubarak’s dictatorship will be ousted. It is time now to re-evaluate your interests in Egypt. Will you continue to support tyranny, or vindicate yourselves and fight for the people? Your nation knows better than most; it is the people who ultimately decide the fate of a nation. Does your government not follow the philosophy of public sovereignty? Power is always with the people.
"A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability." — Robert F. Kennedy
We are Anonymous We are legion We do not forgive We do not forget Expect us
‘We have developed micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels. Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification. The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles.’
Dr H: My apologies for the delay in sending this to you. I thought I sent this message earlier but it appears I only saved it as a draft. I am regretful to inform you I do not wish to continue my research. The reason for this is that after doing much studying on the topic of economics, I have…
Cable companies are also worried, said Burman, that they will lose more subscribers than they will gain by granting access to Al Jazeera. The Canadian experience, he said, should put those fears to rest. In Canada, national regulators can require cable companies to provide certain channels and Al Jazeera ran a successful campaign to encourage Canadians to push the government to intervene. There has been extremely little negative reaction over the past year as Canadians have been able to view the channel and decide for themselves. “We had a completely different process and result here in Canada — a grassroots campaign that was overwhelmingly successful,” said Avi Lewis, the former host of Al Jazeera’s Frontline USA. (He now freelances for Al Jazeera while working on a documentary project with his wife, Naomi Klein.)
Despite such unpleasant tidings, however, he remained essentially optimistic about America’s long-term prospects. Xenophobia was on the rise, but Huntington continued to stick with the longstanding liberal line that immigration and diversity were positive and that there was no ethnic group that an open and dynamic America could not absorb. Rather than an ethnic state, he wrote in 1981, the United States was an ideological state based on an “American Creed” of liberty and justice for all. Where ordinarily one might expect such a belief system to weaken over time, the opposite was more likely. “The more culturally pluralistic the nation becomes,” he declared, “the more essential the political values of the Creed become in defining what it is that Americans have in common.” Diversity, in other words, was a source of strength. The more America’s population mirrored that of the world at large, the more ideologically united it would become.
This was also what the ruling elite wanted to hear. Yet a dozen years later, just as the United States was celebrating its final victory over the Soviet Union, Huntington’s thinking took an unexpected turn. Despite America’s unparalleled triumph, he argued in “The Clash of Civilizations?,” an article in Foreign Affairs that he later expanded into a bestselling book of the same title (minus the question mark), it would not get its long-awaited opportunity to remake the world in its image. On the contrary, the United States would find itself embroiled in a series of global conflicts pitting a secular West against an Islamic Middle East, a Hindu South Asia, an Orthodox Russia and so on. The epic contest between capitalism and socialism, in Huntington’s view, thus turned out to have been an epiphenomenon masking the real struggle among the followers of Jesus, Mohammed, Vishnu et al. Now that the cold war was out of the way, the struggle of some seven, eight or nine regional civilizations (Huntington was vague as to the exact number) was once again coming to the fore. Instead of advancing into the twenty-first century, the world, as he saw it, was returning to the eleventh.
This was grim, but, as things have turned out, not entirely inaccurate. The world is more fractious since the demise of the cold war system, and post-9/11 a growing portion of the conflict is transpiring along “civilizational” lines. Osama bin Laden has declared war on Crusaders and Jews, while the President, according to an unnamed family member quoted in Peter and Rochelle Schweizer’s new book, The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty, believes that “we the Christians” must “strike back with more force and more ferocity than they will ever know.” One might argue that Huntington’s argument is more than a bit self-serving, since Muslim fundamentalists, Christian Zionists and others sympathetic to his point of view are acting in concert, more or less, to see to it that his prophecy comes true. Still, there’s no question that his influence has been growing.
Now Huntington is back with a vision that is even bleaker. In Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, he narrows his focus from the civilization to the state. His former confidence concerning America’s ability to carry on as a purely ideological entity has vanished; he now believes that it can survive only as an “Anglo-Protestant” state dedicated to the matrix of religious, cultural and political beliefs that the original settlers brought over from England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is not arguing that everyone who is less than 100 percent WASP should pick up and leave. But he contends that if Americans want their country to hold together in the coming decades, they must rededicate themselves not only to a set of founding political beliefs but to a founding culture.
In most cases, social network analysis today is limited to discovering friend connections, community leaders and outlines, influential people and personal friend recommendations using a static or snap-shot method. The authors say that if new factors could be taken into consideration, specifically changes across time and space, this could help social network analysis better understand why, when and how we are “friends” with people.
These time and space findings are particularly valuable for businesses and software developers, for example on the career networking site LinkedIn. Most people use the site to see who in their network knows and might endorse whom, but human resources professionals might cross-reference and checking a person’s contacts by their work history to discern if a specific contact was established at one timeframe versus another.
Shekhar and Oliver say this points to the need for “a central role for computation and computational models, not only to scale up to the large and growing data volumes, but also to address new spatio-temporal social questions related to change, trends, duration, mobility and travel.”
The Swedish ISP, hosts Wikileaks, has, according to TorrentFreak, announced that it will run all customer traffic through an encrypted VPN service. This means that logging what their users get up to will be impossible for now and will prevent law enforcement agencies from being able to retrieve information on users’ activities.
As political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt….
‘While pharma and water treatment professionals routinely deny the existence of prescription drugs in public waterways and drinking water — easy to do when they are not tested for anyway! — Mary Buzby director of environmental technology for pharma giant Merck was a little more candid in 2007. “There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms,” she remarked at a conference in 2007, says the AP. And if we need a second opinion from the antibiotics found in Tucson drinking water, sex hormones in San Francisco drinking water and seizure and anxiety meds in Southern California drinking water, there’s the animals themselves.’
This is plainly not the case in relation to the US Government. The Obama Adminstration, which began with such high hopes of a genuine change from the Bush years, frequently appears indistinguishable from its predecessor in its casual attitude toward the rule of law in matters large-scale and small. For example, it has:
declined to investigate Bush Administration officials who oversaw the illegal (need it be said) torture of non-US citizens;
itself overseen the torture of a US citizen, Gulet Mohamed, in Kuwait;
killed hundreds of civilian through its use of drones to undertake extra-judicial killings of alleged Taliban figures in Pakistan;
its draconian aviation security agency has tried – and, fortunately, failed – to prosecute Americans exercising their most basic rights at airports;
it has pursued and harassed a Wikileaks associate, net activist Jacob Greenbaum, subjecting him to extensive searches at airports and taking electronic equipment from him (usually known as theft, but apparently OK when US federal officials do it).
it has even, as part of its so-far fruitless efforts to find a way to prosecute Wikileaks, issued a subpoena directed at an MP of another country.
As with the previous administration, for the Obama Administration, extra-legal and illegal actions are not merely an accidental consequence of the implementation of otherwise legal policy, but a deliberate choice. This is all the more the case when it is reinforced by political support for, and extensive funding of, the illegal actions of client state dictators like Hosni Mubarak, who has only finally come under American pressure this weekend when the brutal and illegal nature of his regime could no longer be hidden (including, of course, with a timely release of Wikileaks cables relating to Egypt).
That changes the moral, if not strict legal, equation when it comes to the rule of law and those choosing to protest against it.
Freenet is free software which lets you anonymously share files, browse and publish “freesites” (web sites accessible only through Freenet) and chat on forums, without fear of censorship. Freenet is decentralised to make it less vulnerable to attack, and if used in “darknet” mode, where users only connect to their friends, is very difficult to detect.
Annoyed by adverts? Troubled by tracking? Bothered by banners? Install Adblock Plus now to regain control of the internet and change the way that you view the web. You can also choose from over forty filter subscriptions to automatically configure the add-on for purposes ranging from removing online advertising to blocking all known malware domains.
The Warwick researchers hit on a surprisingly simple and highly effective method of adding a range of different types of additional armour to the polymer based vesicles. One of those armour types was a highly regular packed layer of microscopic polystyrene balls. This configuration meant the researchers could design a vesicle which had an additional and precise permeable reinforced barrier for drug release, as a result of the crystalline-like ordered structure of the polystyrene balls.
The researchers also succeeded in using the same technique to add a gelatine-like polymer to provide a “stealth” armour to shield vesicles from unwanted attention from the body’s immune system while it slowly released its drug treatment. This particular coating (a poly((ethyl acrylate)-co-(methacrylic acid)) hydrogel) absorbs so much surrounding water into its outer structure that it may be able to fool the body’s defence mechanism into believing it is in fact just water
In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
For decades it seemed that the US was able to keep its authoritarian allies propped up more or less indefinitely, but the simmering unrest combined with crumbling economies across the region have combined to produce a region-wide phenomenon, where every US-backed dictator appears at risk.
Two weeks ago, iHackerNews.com (a creation of Ronnie Roller) made available a Hacker News related dataset via bittorrent. For those of you unfamiliar with Hacker News, it’s a portal for developers to discuss relevant items of interest run by Paul Graham’s Y Combinator. Hacker News may not be considered representative of developers broadly, but it is generally well trafficked by alpha geek types, and thus conclusions drawn from it have predictive value.
Using a new version of the holographic principle, a constant term was introduced, which conduces to the description of the standard cosmological LCDM model, and unifies under the same concept the dark matter and dark energy phenomena. The obtained model improves the results of previously considered holographic models based on local quantities. The inclusion of constant term is interpreted as a natural first approximation for the infrared cutoff which is associated with the vacuum energy, and the additional terms guarantee an appropriate evolutionary scenario that fits the astrophysical observations. The model allows to reproduce the standard LCDM model without explicitly introducing matter content, and using only geometrical quantities. It is also obtained that the model may describe the dark energy beyond the standard LCDM.
The answer is no. You have only a “right to privacy,” and in 1965, when that right first came into being, anyone who wasn’t married missed the boat. Privacy rights are more inclusive now, but they’re still only tangential to sex; they’re more akin to a cone of silence than an affirmative right to sexual activity.
The right to privacy was recognized only after a legal challenge to an asinine Connecticut law about condom use. Unitl the mid 1960s, a gent could tell his pharmacist that he wanted to protect himself from any nasty down-there diseases his girl might have, but he couldn’t let on if he also wanted to protect her from pregnancy. The first was A-OK but the second could land him in the slammer