A team of British neuroscientists has confirmed what IT atheists have known for years – that the brains of Jobsian cult members respond to the sight of Apple products in much the same way that religious believers respond to religious imagery.
The sex scandal surrounding the head of the International Monetary Fund has thrust the organization into the media’s glare. Yet, the man behind the scandal is far less relevant to trashing global economic well-being than is the institution itself.
Regardless of who takes over for the IMF’s disgraced leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), it’s unlikely he or she will bring about a philosophical shift in the IMF’s MO. For the IMF doesn’t care what caused devastating financial hardship to its current “focus” countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal, nor what deal is struck in return for its aid. Saving the superpower notion of Europe and the euro as a pan-European currency by bailing out (read: lending money in return for “austerity measures” and holding fire sales of national companies) is a goal bigger than DSK.
On April 2, 1998 Steve Wilson & Jane Akre filed a landmark lawsuit using ‘whistle blowers protection’ to seek compensation for being fired for refusing to distort the news. The link below is a ten-minute video of the two FOX NEWS reporters, who, in the late 1990′s uncovered that most of the milk in the US and across some parts of the world is unfit to drink. They were fired for attempting to inform people of the of the health risks posed by the use of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) developed and manufactured by the Monsanto Corporation.
The Court dismissed the whistle blowers protection, citing there was no law to force the news to state the truth.
How frequently do news organizations insist their reporters ‘slant’ the story in favor of the special interests that may threaten to sue or cancel advertising? How many news organizations have been pressured not to tell the truth by those who stand to profit most from continued use of rBGH?
Apparently the U.S. Constitution no longer applies when it comes to battling music and movie piracy.
Consider California legislation already passed by two state Senate committees. It allows law enforcement to enter optical-disc plants and seize disc-stamping equipment, and pirated movie and music discs without a court warrant.
“The crime of illegal mass reproduction of music and movies is a serious problem. Last year alone, more than 820,000 illegal discs were seized by law enforcement authorities in California,” state Sen. Alex Padilla, a Los Angeles–area Democrat and author of the legislation, said in a statement. “Fraudulent CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California’s role as a global leader in music and film. They steal revenue from artists, retailers,and our entertainment sector.”
From the good-for-google dept
While there have been a a couple of politicians speaking out against the very questionablePROTECT IP Act, we hadn’t heard much from various companies that would be seriously impacted by the law. Thankfully, they’re starting to speak up, starting with Google. Eric Schmidt warned that passing PROTECT IP would set a “disastrous precedent” for free speech, and that Google would fight against it passing, and suggested the company would fight the law in court if it did pass:
“I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems,” he said. “So, ‘let’s whack off the DNS’. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say ‘I don’t like free speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’ — that country would be China.
“It doesn’t seem right. I would be very, very careful about that stuff. If [the UK government] do it the wrong way it could have disastrous precedent setting in other areas.”
Astronomers, including a NASA-funded team member, have discovered a new class of Jupiter-sized planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star. The team believes these lone worlds were probably ejected from developing planetary systems.
The discovery is based on a joint Japan-New Zealand survey that scanned the center of the Milky Way galaxy during 2006 and 2007, revealing evidence for up to 10 free-floating planets roughly the mass of Jupiter. The isolated orbs, also known as orphan planets, are difficult to spot, and had gone undetected until now. The newfound planets are located at an average approximate distance of 10,000 to 20,000 light-years from Earth.
"Although free-floating planets have been predicted, they finally have been detected, holding major implications for planetary formation and evolution models," said Mario Perez, exoplanet program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
The discovery indicates there are many more free-floating Jupiter-mass planets that can’t be seen. The team estimates there are about twice as many of them as stars. In addition, these worlds are thought to be at least as common as planets that orbit stars. This would add up to hundreds of billions of lone planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone.
Today, Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies present the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening.
They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.
At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up.
Owners of Android smartphones are being warned to avoid public WiFi networks after researchers found a security flaw that could affect the vast majority of devices based on Google’s software.
A trio of researchers at Ulm University in Germany found that it was “quite easy” for hackers to intercept data from Google’s photo-sharing, calendar and contacts applications, as well as potentially other Google services such as Gmail, using a flaw that affects 99 per cent of all Android devices.
KPN is under fire in the Netherlands for using deep packet inspection to figure out who’s using WhatsApp.
At some point in the near future somebody is going to build a handset that uses Tor for everything network related…
Is that a shark swimming by?
A five-year study commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops to provide a definitive answer to what caused the church’s sexual abuse crisis has concluded that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality were to blame.
Instead, the report says, the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s.
Scratch “woodstock” from the list of things to blame for the abuse.
At some point the church is going to run out of outside things to blame, but if history is any indication, that will take a few centuries.