“Smart Meters” May Invade Privacy – EFF

Filed under:Bill of Rights,Culture War,Science,Technology — posted by 3wire on 3/22/2010 @ 6:17 pm

From:  Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF IS DEMANDING BETTER PRIVACY PROTECTIONS FOR ENERGY CUSTOMERS RECEIVING “SMART METERS,” new devices that measure your home’s energy use in unprecedented detail. Energy usage data, measured moment by moment, allows the reconstruction of a household’s activities:

when people wake up, when they come home, when they go on vacation, and maybe even when they take a hot bath. Without strong protections, this information can and will be secured by civil litigants (like divorce lawyers or insurance companies), criminals, law enforcement, and more. The states and the federal government should ensure that energy customers get the protection they deserve at their homes — where privacy rights should be strongest.

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Cuddly Polar Bears

Filed under:Culture War,Science — posted by 3wire on 2/28/2010 @ 7:16 pm

More fun facts about those lovable Coke-sharing Ursus of the north. This from the Discovery show Survivorman.

Pond Inlet, on the northern reaches of Baffin Island, is one of the most challenging landscapes on the planet. More than 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it’s surrounded by grinding, ever-shifting flows of sea ice where polar bears roam in search of meat. It’s mid-May and the polar bear threat is extreme, so Les is forbidden from venturing out onto the ice without a rifle for protection.

Why can’t he just arm himself with a Sierra Club membership card and a case of delicious soda.

Polar Bears Are So Cute

Filed under:Culture War,Science — posted by 3wire on 1/1/2010 @ 4:29 pm

A male polar bear carries the head of a polar bear cub it killed and cannibalized

But wait, there’s a reason for this horrible act. Can you guess?  That’s right,  “climate change”.

Climate change has turned some polar bears into cannibals as global warming melts their Arctic ice hunting grounds, reducing the polar bear population, according to a U.S.-led global scientific study on the impacts of climate change.

Climate change turned this peaceful, lovable, cuddly creature into a cannibal. And its humanity’s fault. Its your fault, your SUV driving, thermostat cranking, meat eating, Fox News watching fault. Merry Christmas.

More from: MS-NBC

Global Warming Used as Catalyst for “Global Governance”

Filed under:Culture War,Science — posted by Maverick on 7/13/2009 @ 6:05 pm

According to Climate Depot, while speaking at Oxford on July 7th, 2009, Al Gore says that changes in global warming awareness will be driven by “global governance.”

See, I thought all the right-wing lunatics saying that a world government is coming were just crazy conspiracy theorists. Apparently, they were just crazy accurate. Oh, and I also thought that only Republicans used fear and impending doom to scare the populous into swallowing their radical legislation. Huh. It would seem I have a lot to learn about politics.

What’s in a name?

Filed under:Science,Technology — posted by Maverick on 4/15/2009 @ 5:16 am

According to The Huffington Post, a Japanese company called Cyberdyne has just built a working human exoskeleton called “HAL” that assists the wearer in movement and strength.

Apparently no one in Japan watches any American science fiction movies because that company has to have chosen the worst possible names… Cyberdyne and HAL? Wow.

More evidence that Video Games can improve health

Filed under:Gaming,Science — posted by Maverick on 3/30/2009 @ 6:14 am

According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, playing games can improve your vision.

Far from being harmful to eyesight, as some had feared, action games such as Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, or Left 4 Dead provide excellent training for what eye doctors call contrast sensitivity, the study found.

Contrast sensitivity is the ability to notice tiny changes in shades of grey against a uniform background, and is critical to everyday activities such as night driving and reading. It often degrades with age.

The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, reveal a previously unsuspected adaptability in the brain, and could open the way to new therapies, the researchers said.

What I love is that the study pointed out that only action/shooter games affect this improvement. What has Jack Thompson to say now?

Southwest Tests In-flight WiFi

Filed under:Science,Technology — posted by 3wire on 2/11/2009 @ 5:23 pm

From: Wired

Southwest customers over the next few months onboard the Wi-Fi enabled aircrafts will be offered on board instruction sheets on how to log on. And it will be free during the test period. Cellular technology will not work with the Wi-Fi service, says Southwest.

SWA

Wing Suit Base Jumping

Filed under:General,Science,Technology — posted by 3wire on 1/13/2009 @ 5:52 pm

Scary Cool


wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

End to Global Warming?

Filed under:General,Science — posted by 3wire on 10/1/2008 @ 11:28 pm

Sunspot activity is at a 50-year low.

From: SpaceWeather.com

“There is also the matter of solar irradiance,” adds Pesnell. “Researchers are now seeing the dimmest sun in their records. The change is small, just a fraction of a percent, but significant. Questions about effects on climate are natural if the sun continues to dim.”

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SpaceX Achieves Orbit

Filed under:Science,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 9/29/2008 @ 2:15 pm

The first private company has successfully launched a rocket and achieved orbital velocity. The company is called SpaceX, which was started by the founder of PayPal. This along with the suborbital flights of SpaceShipOne and the creation of Virgin Galactic could signal the beginning of a new era in space flight.
I am usually on top of events like this, but I did not know about the launch until after it occurred. I fault the regular news media for failing to let lay people know what is actually going on in the world, besides how many bombs went off in Iraq.

Science Is Awesome

Filed under:Science,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 9/7/2008 @ 8:51 pm

For something a little more on the lighter side, here is something that is just plain cool.

Via Wired:

The sun is a HOT ball of gas.

Filed under:Science — posted by Q Ball on 9/1/2008 @ 5:28 pm

A new study out today states that the sun failed to produce a single sunspot in the past month for the first time in a century. This combined with the fact that the sun is in a hot period right now may have something to do with the warming of the earth. The universe is a vast and complicated system with everything affecting everything else. To say that we know for sure that carbon-dioxide is the only thing responsible for the warming of the earth is hubris. Change is the only constant in the universe.

Global Climate Change

Filed under:Our Money,Science,Technology — posted by 3wire on 6/24/2008 @ 4:40 pm

“To assume that [climate change] is a problem is to assume that the state of earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change.”

NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin, May 30, 2007 interview

Phoenix Lands On Mars

Filed under:Culture War,Our Money,Science,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 5/27/2008 @ 3:59 pm

The Phoenix Lander touched down on Mars on Sunday after 9 months in space. Its mission is to study the arctic soil for signs of water.

Via Wired:

Phoenix

Top 5 Things I Learned From Videogames

Filed under:Gaming,Science — posted by Maverick on 5/17/2008 @ 2:42 am

From 1up.com,

Gamers have to get good at mapping things in their heads, remembering landmarks, and just generally orienting themselves. It’s more than I gained from Boy Scouts, anyway, which mostly taught me how to get bored making a bird feeder before getting kicked out for not having proper respect for power tools.

The future of media storage.

Filed under:Science,Technology — posted by Maverick on 4/11/2008 @ 2:19 pm

From TimesOnline:

In a paper published in the current issue of Science, a team at the company’s research centre in San Jose, California, said that devices which use the new technology would require much less power, would run on a single battery charge for “weeks at a time”, and would last for decades.

So-called ‘racetrack’ memory uses the ‘spin’ of an electron to store data, and can operate far more quickly than regular hard drives.

Crazy Liquid

Filed under:Science — posted by Q Ball on 3/3/2008 @ 3:46 pm

I find this fascinating, via the Technology Liberation Front:



Honeybees Disappearing by the Billions

Filed under:General,Science — posted by 3wire on 2/18/2008 @ 12:38 pm

From: Celsias.com

The phenomenon is recent, dating back to autumn, when beekeepers along the east coast of the US started to notice the die-offs. It was given the name of fall dwindle disease, but now it has been renamed to reflect better its dramatic nature, and is known as colony collapse disorder.

It is swift in its effect. Over the course of a week the majority of the bees in an affected colony will flee the hive and disappear, going off to die elsewhere. The few remaining insects are then found to be enormously diseased – they have a “tremendous pathogen load”, the scientists say. But why? No one yet knows.

… the few bees left inside the hive were carrying “a tremendous number of pathogens” – virtually every known bee virus could be detected in the insects, she said, and some bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees’ immune systems were being suppressed in some way.

“It may be that the honeybee has become the victim of these insecticides that are meant for other pests,” he said. “If we don’t figure this out real quick, it’s going to wipe out our food supply.”

Just a few miles down the sunlit road, it is easy to find farmers prepared to agree with his gloomy assessment.

Whole Article

Glenn Beck Surgery

Filed under:Science — posted by Q Ball on 1/4/2008 @ 3:15 pm

I had not heard that there was something wrong with Glenn Beck, but apparently he had surgery during the past week and things did not go well. He has posted a video online explaining what happened and how it has changed him.

Enviroment Beat

Filed under:Our Money,Science,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 12/1/2007 @ 1:48 am

CBS has put out a job listing for a new reporter to cover the environment, without any knowledge of the subject as a requirement.
Check here for the posting.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace