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Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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#VRWC Twitter feed:
Starting next year, the UN will control your domain names and ip addresses.
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.
Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.
The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.
"We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan," Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement.
Ah yes, "the global Internet community." Including, say, Russia, where cutting off pro-Ukraine websites is just another day at the office? Or China, where censoring the internet is mandatory, and ruthless? And don't forget Obama's Mohammedan brothers, they're just itching to decree defamation of Islam as a capital offense, and they'll deep-six your website faster than you can say "bacon."
Then, with the U.N. involved, can a global internet tax be far behind?
U.S. oversight of the internet may not be perfect. But it's a heckuva lot better than any of the alternatives. Or do you like the idea of North Korea having a say in what you can post?
This move cannot stand. Obama cannot be permitted to jettison the greatest tool for freedom and liberty since the printing press. Tyrants worldwide would jump at the chance to censor and control the web. Because free speech is antithetical to dictatorship, and the internet is the last bastion of free speech left. Maybe some of you are too young to remember when information was jealously guarded and rarely disseminated. I'm not.
Think too of the innovation that would be stifled by an EU-type bureaucracy, with their idiotic "right to be forgotten" and bizarre "tracking cookie" regulations. Nevermind the Brits and their obsession with white-listing web sites, all to protect "children" from viewing pornography of course.
It's just a short step from all that into a ban on "unsavory" or "extremist" web sites. I've been called "extreme." How long do you think this blog might last after the Euroweenies get their hands on the keys to the net?
The internet is a uniquely American invention, because no other nation's
culture embodies freedom and liberty the way ours does. Only Americans can
ensure that the internet remains free. Congress must act, now. Jimmy
Carter giving away the Panama Canal was a disaster, but that's nothing
compared to the catastrophe of Barack Obama giving away the internet.
Yesterday's conspiracy theory is today's Homeland Security reality.
The LED light bulbs in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport are spying on you. Yes, the light bulbs.
Whether or not you pay any attention to the lighting overhead, the lighting may be paying close attention to you.
There are cases when a LED light can spy by covertly listening and then send that audio over 300 meters away to the eavesdropper. But this time, it is the LED fixtures that are the "backbone" of a new surveillance system scrutinizing and recording us. The New York Times reported that 171 LED fixtures inside Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport are "watching" us.
Using an array of sensors and eight video cameras around the terminal, the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the appropriate staff.
It's not the "green" side of saving energy by automatically turning the lights off and on that has the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey excited and "already talking about expanding it to other terminals and buildings." Instead, the excitement comes from the mountains of data captured by sensors and analyzed by software about "the habits of ordinary citizens."
As LED lighting becomes more ubiquitous, so does the government's capability for surveillance. And because they're programmable, the spy technology is built-in to every Philips Hue bulb ever manufactured.
This is why we can't have incandescent light bulbs. "Saving energy" is just a distraction. The capability to spy on us and mine all that data is the Real Prize.
Let's get real. The light fixtures and LEDs at Newark Airport are not about saving energy … it's about watching us, analyzing data about us and storing it for who knows how long. As Justin Brookman from the Center for Democracy and Technology told the Times, "There are some people in the commercial space who say, 'Oh, big data — well, let's collect everything, keep it around forever, we'll pay for somebody to think about security later.'"
The irony is they're doing this at an aiport named "Liberty."
The danger is that pretty soon they'll be doing it in your living room.
And before you call me crazy, it isn't paranoia when
the government really is out to get you.
In The Beginning God created Adam and Eve. Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg added 50 some-odd variants, because, diversity!
You don't have to be just male or female on Facebook anymore. The social media giant is adding a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them.
Really? Only three "preferred pronouns?" C'mon, you guys can do better than that!
Facebook said the changes, shared with The Associated Press before the launch on Thursday, initially cover the company's 159 million monthly users in the U.S. and are aimed at giving people more choices in how they describe themselves, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.
Curiously missing from the list is "confused."
Masen Davis, executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, said it may be hard for some people to understand the importance of having the ability to select from multiple genders online. But he said many transgender people will be thrilled with the change.
"We applaud Facebook for making it possible for people to be their authentic selves online," he said.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Now, as a private company, Facebook is of course free to implement whatever features they like. And if letting someone pretend he/she/it is an "authentic" non-binary pangender transexual radfem activist, well it's obviously just another way to increase the value of Zuck's stock options.
My concern is that Facebook hasn't gone far enough. All 50+ of their gender-bender monikers still exist on a male — female continuum. There is a box for "bigender," but not one for tri, quad, or penta-gender. Labels exist for women becoming men, or men transforming into women. You can be a "transgender person," which is apparently disjoint from those of you who are "transexual persons." Not to worry though, FB has plenty of combinations in between.
Which is all well and good.
I mean, if you're going to entertain 50 fictions, why not throw in a few more?
Introducing the internet-connected toothbrush.
Brush smarter. That's the message from the makers of what is billed as the world's first Internet-connected toothbrush.
Unveiled Sunday at a preview event for the Consumer Electronics Show, the device from French-based startup Kolibree aims "to reinvent oral care," according to co-founder Loic Cessot.
"The technology in the industry has not evolved for years," Cessot told AFP.
"The idea is not to brush stronger, but smarter."
The Kolibree toothbrush includes a sensor which detects how much tartar is being removed in a brushing. It also records brushing activity so users can maintain a consistent cleaning each time.
The device conveys the information wirelessly to a smartphone app -- a particularly useful aid for parents who want to monitor the teeth cleaning efforts of small children, according to Cessot.
The app, which is open for developers to add on other programs, aims to increase motivation and make the experience more fun, said Cessot.
If you go to bed without brushing your teeth does it tell your phone to nag you mercilessly like your dentist would? Or does it just rat you out to your dentist via email? And do your Facebook friends really need to know how often you brush your teeth?
I suppose if you don't score at least a 90 your friends will mock you. At least my friends would.
Frankly, it seems a little bit silly to me. But what do you expect from something invented in France?
So listen. If we're gonna internet-enable various home-health and grooming appliances, let's go all the way. Embed a camera in a nose-hair trimmer. C'mon, you know it'd be a huge hit, especially if the video is live-streamed to YouTube.
Just please, no internet toilets.
But trust them, they're "loath" to do it, honest.
Law-enforcement officials in the U.S. are expanding the use of tools routinely used by computer hackers to gather information on suspects, bringing the criminal wiretap into the cyber age.
The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google's Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.
The bureau typically uses hacking in cases involving organized crime, child pornography or counterterrorism, a former U.S. official said. It is loath to use these tools when investigating hackers, out of fear the suspect will discover and publicize the technique, the person said.
Big Brother was a piker compared to Barack Obama.
There is no way these techniques aren't being widely deployed in pursuit of Dear
Leader's enemies. And in case you haven't been paying attention, his enemies
Today's Star-Ledger featured a front page story: Smile! Your car's on camera — and it's destinations are being logged daily.
Of course they didn't post it to their web site. So I found a version at CNN:
Police around the United States are recording the license plates of passing drivers and storing the information for years with little privacy protection, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.
The information potentially allows authorities to track the movements of everyone who drives a car.
The ACLU documented the police surveillance after reviewing 26,000 pages of material gathered through public records requests to almost 600 local and state police departments in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
Police are gathering the vehicle information with surveillance technology called automatic license plate readers, and it's being stored -- sometimes indefinitely -- with few or no privacy protections, the ACLU said.
"The documents paint a startling picture of a technology deployed with too few rules that is becoming a tool for mass routine location tracking and surveillance," the ACLU said in a written statement.
The license plate readers alert police to an automobile associated with an investigation, "but such instances account for a tiny fraction of license plate scans, and too many police departments are storing millions of records about innocent drivers," the ACLU said.
To astute WyBlog readers this doesn't come as any surprise. I broke this privacy violation back in January of 2008. It's nice of the ACLU to finally notice.
Sadly though, even I didn't envision the extent to which the technology could be employed.
The growing collection of data allows police to create "a single, high-resolution image of our lives," and the constant monitoring "can chill the exercise of our cherished rights to free speech and association," the group said.
"If not properly secured, license plate reader databases open the door to abusive tracking, enabling anyone with access to pry into the lives of his boss, his ex-wife, or his romantic, political, or workplace rivals," the ACLU said.
The NSA is reading your email.
The IRS is tracking your credit cards.
The EPA is spying on your dog house.
The Post Office is scanning your mail.
Privacy is an illusion.
So godammmit, let's fight back. Instapundit posted an excellent suggestion:
Since there is no expectation of privacy while in public, and it is obvious it is legal to record the police (and by extension all other government officials) I believe a proper citizen response to the license plate imbroglio would be to ask people to install private scanners, and upload info collected to a central database, where the movements of all manner of government vehicles may be permanently tracked, stored and downloaded to drivers. That way the location of every government-owned vehicle would be known, and in real time. This will no doubt reduce crime statistics, such as speeding, to which the authorities couldn.t object. We'd be able to quantify trips to Dunk'n Donuts or the local adult store. Let's do it for the children!
Yes! Let's do it!
I have some expertise in database creation. And I have access to a shitload of storage, all connected to servers I personally control. Yeah, they're VMS, but that's probably a plus given that the Feds pwn Microsoft. If you guys want to help me build this database, I'll host it.
They're tracking us, let's see how happy they are when we start
tracking them. My guess is "not very happy," but that's OK. More
than a dozen of my neighbors are lawyers, and I've got 'em all on speed dial.
Life without AdBlock Plus is a never-ending gauntlet of pop-ups, pop-unders, flashing widgets, and autoplay annoyances. It's arguably the best Firefox extension ever created. With it the web is usable. Without it you're bombarded by hucksters 24x7.
And now it's gone and sold out.
AdBlock Plus, a popular browser extension, blocks most pop-up, video and banner ads. But according to a German news site, Google, which controls the largest online advertising network, has paid the makers of the software not to weed out some of its ads.
AdBlock Plus seems to have been quietly changing its model from blocking all ads to policing which ads are "annoying" and which are "acceptable." The larger ad networks have been funding its policing efforts by paying its German parent company, Eyeo, not to filter out some of their "nonintrusive" ads, including Google's AdWords.
AdBlock Plus. The ad blocker that doesn't actually block ads. Making the web
suck more since 2013.
It's the beginning of the end for plain old telephone service (POTS). Hurricane Sandy wiped out all the copper telephone wires in Mantoloking, New Jersey, and now Verizon has decided it won't bother to replace them.
Cell phones are the presumed alternative. Or a gizmo Verizon calls "Voice Link" which turns your home phone into a cell phone.
But the box doesn't work with remote medical monitoring devices, home alarm systems or faxes. It can't accept collect calls or connect callers with an operator when they dial 0. It also can't be used with dial-up modems, credit-card machines or international calling cards.
Other than that, it's just like your old phone. Uh huh.
I sympathize with Verizon. Replacing all those copper wires is costly. And with Comcast already laying coaxial cable and providing phone service, there is a viable alternative. The demand for POTS is decreasing every year. Like the party lines of old, its time has definitely passed.
Heck, the federal Universal Service Fund, which used to subsidize POTS lines in hard-to-serve areas, has already switched gears. They pass out Obamaphones now.
But technologically any true replacement for POTS needs to provide equivalent service. And that means supporting modem tones for things like fax machines, credit card terminals, alarm systems, and emergency medical devices. Verizon has the necessary capacity; their 4G LTE network regularly provides data speeds in excess of 10 mbps. So piggybacking a 56K modem signal ought to be a piece of cake. The cellular network can route 911, so presumably it can route 0 to an operator service and calling cards to the long distance company of your choice too.
Their FiOS gear handles all that stuff seamlessly, so there's no reason the Voice Link gizmo can't do it either.
Well, there is one reason. Marketing. A Voice Link box that supported those features might cut into FiOS revenues.
The knee-jerk reaction to all this is, of course, a call for government regulation. Force Verizon to rewire the POTS lines! Feh. I'm no fan of government interference in the free market. I see the demise of POTS as an opportunity for an enterprising young engineer to develop a Voice Link replacement box. One that offers all the features of POTS. And has more than a few hours of battery life too.
Beat Verizon at their own game. That's the American way.
How much does the Obama Administration hate Apple?
First they accused the company of being tax cheats.
And now they've issued an import ban against the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
A U.S. trade agency on Tuesday issued a ban on imports of Apple's iPhone 4 and a variant of the iPad 2 after finding the devices violate a patent held by South Korean rival Samsung Electronics.
Because the devices are assembled in China, the import ban would end Apple's ability to sell them in the U.S.
However, President Barack Obama has 60 days to invalidate Tuesday's order from the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. Obama is against import bans on the basis of the type of patent at issue in the Samsung case. On Tuesday, the White House issued a recommendation to Congress that it limit the ITC's ability to impose import bans in these cases.
So Obama might overrule his own trade commission.
Say, if Apple decides to cough up some extra taxes? Or repatriate their offshore assets?
Because this looks a lot like a squeeze play to me. You know, hardball,
the Chicago way.
Imagine charging your cell phone in 20 seconds.
So far, the energy-storage device has powered only an LED light, but it has the potential to do much more.
The future certainly looks bright for 18-year-old Eesha Khare, who pocketed a $50,000 prize for the Young Scientist award from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz., for her tiny and possibly revolutionary device.
Khare sees the device as potentially powering car batteries, cellphones or any electronics that could use a rechargeable battery.
"My cellphone always dies," Khare explained to NBC San Francisco, when asked what inspired her invention.
The supercapacitor, she explains on CBS San Francisco, is "basically an energy source device that can hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume."
Even cooler, Google is interested in licensing her technology. Their first
app ought to be a supercapacitor-powered DeLorean! Just be sure keep it under
88 mph and everything should be OK…
If you're one of the other 3 BlackBerry users out there, don't upgrade the Twitter app to V220.127.116.11 on BB 7.1.
I repeat: Do. Not. Upgrade. Twitter.
I did. And it erased every email in my inbox. Three Gmail accounts and my BIS email — gone. Hundreds of messages, lost forever.
But in their stead I now have 2 copies of every Twitter DM I've ever received, so there's that.
If this is any indication of the quality control RIM put into BlackBerry 10,
well let's just say my quandary over whether or not I should switch to Android
has worked itself out.
If you aren't encrypting your email, the IRS is probably reading it right now.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people's emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents.
In a 2009 handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users "do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of General Counsel reiterated the policy.
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, government officials only need a subpoena, issued without a judge's approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.
The deck is stacked against you. "Privacy" is an illusion.
In 2010, a federal appeals court ruled that police violated a man's constitutional rights when they read his emails without a warrant.
Despite the court decision, U.S. v. Warshak, the IRS kept its email search policy unchanged in a March 2011 update to its employee manual.
In an October 2011 memo an IRS attorney explained that the Warshak decision only applies in the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
If you live in one of the 46 other states, you're fair game for the revenuers. Because there's no such thing as due process when you're dealing with the IRS. You're guilty until proven innocent. And the government is holding all the cards. Rights? You don't have any rights where the income tax is concerned.
Oh, don't forget, they're snooping on your Facebook page too.
For those of you who are old enough to remember Freedom, prior to 1913 the government managed quite nicely without an income tax. They built roads, conducted diplomacy, fought wars, delivered the mail, and balanced their budget. What they did not do was transfer wealth from the productive to the unproductive.
The IRS changed all that. They've got what it takes to take what you've got.
Then Congress gives it to slackers, who of course vote to re-elect
their benefactors. And if you protest, you're the one being unreasonable.
What will happend to broadcast TV if they stop actually broadcasting? We may soon find out.
News Corp.'s Fox network will go off the air and become a cable channel if U.S. courts don't stop Internet start-up Aereo Inc. from retransmitting shows like "The Simpsons" without permission, said Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey.
Fox and its affiliate stations would stop broadcasting and serve only pay-TV customers to protect the billions of dollars spent annually on programs, along with advertising revenue and hard-won fees from pay-TV systems, Carey told TV executives today in Las Vegas. A U.S. appeals court last week rejected broadcasters' pleas to shut down Barry Diller's Aereo.
Carey is threatening to upend traditional broadcast TV to counter the peril posed by Aereo, a company backed by Diller, the former Fox network founder. If CBS, NBC and ABC follow, it would and mark an end to television as it's been known since "The Honeymooners" aired in the 1950s. Fox and other networks are evaluating what to do next after the appeals court ruling.
"We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content," Carey said. "This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that's our only recourse."
There is so much wrong with that last statement that I don't know where to start. Aereo isn't "stealing" anything. The essence of broadcast TV is the ability to actually receive a broadcast. Aereo merely moves the antenna to a location where the signal is good, vs trying to pull in the new digital TV signals with rabbit ears in your living room. Yes, it's a bizarre technical solution to a silly legal problem, but it's really no different from how TV signals were delivered for decades before cable.
And their "hard-won fees from pay TV systems" are only on the table because of those broadcast signals. It's the FCC's "must carry" rule — cable and satellite systems are required to retransmit broadasters' programming and to compensate them accordingly. That's not true for pure cable channels which have to compete on price and content.
How many people would willingly pay to watch the crap put out by Fox and the other networks? As the "Zero TV" movement gains steam my hunch would be "not as many as they'd think."
Good luck Fox. I hope you think this one through. Maybe you could embrace
innovation instead of trying to maintain your anachronistic 1950s business
model. Try leading instead of hindering. You might even make some
money in the process.
Think that only your friends care about the pictures you post to Facebook? Guess again. The IRS could be snooping on you.
You have until April 15th to file a return - and the IRS will be collecting a lot more than just taxes this year.
According to several reports, the agency will also be collecting personal information from sites like Facebook and Twitter.
It says the effort is to catch people trying to beat the system, but some say it goes too far.
Attorney Kristen Mathews warns to be careful with what you say on social media platforms.
Take those warnings seriously.
Your whole life is on Facebook. The new car. That 12 day cruise up the Nile with 8 friends. Dinners at fancy restaurants. The IRS sees it all, and then asks, whaddaya mean you're only reporting $25,000 in income this year?
Or, much more likely, conservatives who regularly criticize Dear Leader will find themselves subjected to enhanced scrutiny. You know, guys like me. We could start being hauled in for proctological audits. All it takes is for them to scour social media sites and the next thing we know we're on a list.
I'm not being paranoid either. He "joked" about doing just that back in 2009. And then Tea Party groups were coincidentally audited in record numbers.
So watch what you post online, and always remember the IRS motto: "We've got
what it takes to take what you've got." Now you'll have to excuse me as I
go double-check my friends list.
If you buy a CD, or a DVD, or a book you can offload it a garage sale whenever you're done with it. But according to a District Court judge, iTunes downloads are yours forever.
Capitol Records has won a court ruling against a store that sells "used" digital song files.
ReDigi infringed Capitol's copyright by allowing users to buy and sell tracks originally bought on Apple's iTunes store, said District Judge Richard Sullivan. The decision is a set-back to the idea of a used digital marketplace, similar to that for physical goods like CDs or books.
The service, which started in October 2011, allows people to buy and sell tracks for as little as $0.49 and takes a cut from each sale. The site says it gives 20 percent from each sale back to the original artist.
It also monitors its users computers to ensure they have not kept hold of any songs they have sold on.
But Judge Sullivan ruled that ReDigi "infringes Capitol's reproduction rights" because, crucially, a new unauthorized copy of the file is made when a sale takes place.
ReDigi denies that claim and instead says it "migrates" the same file between users.
Our copyright laws suck. That new "unauthorized" copy nonsense is a distinction without a difference. Otherwise you'd have to buy a new "copy" of every song whenever you switched to a new iPod or iPhone.
The company's planned roll-out to Europe now looks to be in serious doubt after some scathing comments. The Manhattan judge labelled its business model "fundamentally flawed" and said the "first sale" principle, which lets people sell on copyrighted works, does not yet apply to the digital world.
If this ruling stands, the repudiation of "first sale" doctrine within the digital world is a huge blow to property rights. You may have bought a copy of that song, but you don't really own it. You're merely renting. Nevermind that it's the same price as a physical copy (a fact that is especially true for digital books).
Did I mention that
our copyright laws suck?
I'm a BlackBerry holdout. And I'm a Chase customer. I use the Chase BB Mobile App. A lot.
Alas, according to an email I received today, after April 21st I won't be able to use that app anymore.
We want you to be aware of a change. Starting April 21st, we'll no longer offer the Chase Mobile® App for BlackBerry devices. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
Yeah, like Chase actually cares they're inconveniencing me.
But you'd think BlackBerry would care. They're supposed to be working their
butts off to regain market share. Losing a big name like Chase seems like
something they'd want to avoid.
I hate Bill Gates. And Windoze. And my laptop.
I'm "Cookie Dad" for Sophie's Girl Scout troop. Tonight is the last night to enter orders. So here I am, updating my troop spreadsheet, when Poof!, my laptop reboots.
"Installing Windows Updates", it says.
Like that's supposed to make me feel better.
"Do not unplug or turn off your PC."
How about if I plug 120 Volts directly into Bill Gates' genitals? Because there's no excuse for him wiping out my work.
Yeah, I suppose there's some setting, somewhere, that'll turn off his heavy-handed hijacking. But why is it up to me to tell him to get stuffed? Didn't I pay for this lump of iron? Shouldn't I be in charge of what it does?
VMS would never do this to ne.
When is a kilogram not a kilogram? When it puts on weight while hanging out in the lab!
The kilogram may need to go on a diet. The international standard, a cylinder-shaped hunk of metal that defines the fundamental unit of mass, has gained tens of micrograms in weight from surface contamination, according to a new study.
As a result, each country that has one of these standard masses has a slightly different definition of the kilogram, which could throw off science experiments that require very precise weight measurements or international trade in highly restricted items that are restricted by weight, such as radioactive materials.
From the Stuff That Makes You Go Hmmm Once You Find Out About It File — there are about 40 of these platinum-iridium cylinders, which were created in 1875, and distributed to countries who signed on to the Convention of the Meter. The problem is, over time the cylinders became slightly different due to disparities in how they're handled and cleaned.
To clean them, a skilled technician will rub the cylinders with chamois leather dipped in alcohol. But because every country cleans their kilograms differently and at different times, each kilogram in the world is off by a different, unknown amount.
To solve the cleaning problem scientists developed a nifty new gadget that uses ozone and ultraviolet light to really get those cylinders shiny and bright. It also has the added bonus of providing a uniform cleaning procedure, so the fundamental unit of mass could soon be more consistent.
Long-term though the world needs to get away from defining the kilogram based on what is essentially a glorified beer can. What happens if the cleaning guy drops it? You can't really order a new one from Amazon...
One possibility is to use a fundamental law of nature instead. A precision electromagnetic device could be created to produce a uniform amount of force, from which mass can then be calculated. Of course adopting such a procedure will entail years of international negotiations so we're pretty much stuck for now.
So… The next time your scale says you've packed on a few pounds, you
can probably get away with blaming it on "inconsistencies" in the international
definition of a kilogram. I mean, if Real Scientists say they aren't sure, how
can that el-cheapo bathroom scale possibly be right!
The Obama Administration needs to know what you're doing and saying on the bus.
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.
It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.
Remember when the civil libertarians went berserk because George Bush tried to peek at a few library records? Yet Dear Leader clearly wants to follow our every move, and there's nary a peep.
No doubt he'll be adding the bus surveillance tapes to our permanent record. Oh, you didn't know that Eric Holder has a dossier on every man, woman, and child in the United States?
Because the Fourth Amendment only matters when a Republican says he's trying to catch terrorists! (Democrats give F-16s to the terrorists, but I digress...)
So what's next in Gulag America? Mandatory RFID chips, implanted at birth?
Yeah, I know, don't give 'em any ideas. But remember,
they're already putting them into our cars.
The two main satellites used to predict hurricanes and storm tracks are expected to fail in 2016. NASA has, of course, know this for years.
Their replacements might launch in 2017. Maybe. If red tape, department infighting, and budget issues don't delay them further.
These satellites are quickly moving toward the end of their lifespan and their replacements, part of the forthcoming Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), won't be launched until 2017, at the earliest.
In the last year, two federal government assessments, along with a third conducted by a team of outside experts, questioned the program's $12.9 billion price tag and offered a scathing review of the project's management, describing it as a bureaucratic logjam that drove up costs and pushed back launch dates.
Well, to be fair, NASA is pre-occupied with Muslim Outreach. Those guys, they need all the help they can get with building rockets. And Obama is determined to give it to them too. It's Smart Diplomacy, and trust him, you don't really need to understand it.
Maybe when the Muslims perfect their rockets we can send them on a manned mission to the sun. Don't worry, they'll land at night!
As for the sad state of our weather forecasting satellites, well, whatcha gonna do? Our Dear Leader can't ride herd on every dysfunctional bureaucratic behemoth, can he? He's got vacationing to do! And free contraceptives to pass out! Meanwhile, Steve Chu, who's supposed to pay attention to this stuff, is merrily playing Santa Claus to the green energy dreamer brigades. They've got money to burn!