Sunday, August 31, 2014
DigitalGlobe WorldView 3: Sharpest ever commercial satellite images show Madrid Airport, swimming pool.
* Obama and his negotiators plan to update a 1992 agreement in order to avoid a Congressional vote on a new treaty
* The 'politically binding' deal would require the US and other nations to enact new domestic emissions laws
* Republican lawmakers and small, poor nations have already come out against the move
* Reports of the talks emerged just as a UN group released grave warnings about the imminent danger of global warming
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2735354/Obama-sidestep-Congress-signing-international-climate-change-agreement-leaked-United-Nations-report-reveals-severe-irreversible-impacts-global-warming.html#ixzz3C0PX33Ds
* Southwestern United States has fifty percent change of suffering a 'megadrought' that lasts 35 years
* Say California drought is 'a preview of our future'
* Drought could be worst seen for 2,000 years
* Could lead to mass population migration on a scale never before seen in this country
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2736281/California-drought-preview-warn-scientists-Fears-megadrought-35-YEARS-lead-mass-population-migrations-way-southernwest-US.html#ixzz3C0Bj6jgM <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2736281/California-drought-preview-warn-scientists-Fears-megadrought-35-YEARS-lead-mass-population-migrations-way-southernwest-US.html#ixzz3C0Bj6jgM>
Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now | Mail Online
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2738653/Stunning-satellite-images-summer-ice-cap-thicker-covers-1-7million-square-kilometres-MORE-2-years-ago-despite-Al-Gore-s-prediction-ICE-FREE-now.html#ixzz3C0B4r3d5
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action.
"If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month," he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.
"Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East," said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.
The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions.
Lack of action would be "unacceptable" in the face of the phenomenon, King Abdullah said.
"You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street," he said, condemning the "cruelty" of such acts.
"It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: 'Fight terrorism with force, reason and (necessary) speed'."
President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for a global coalition to combat Islamic State fighters' "genocidal agenda".
Writing in the New York Times, Kerry said he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet European counterparts on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales next week, to enlist assistance.
They will then travel on to the Middle East to build support "among the countries that are most directly threatened".
"With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries," Kerry said in Friday's op-ed piece
You can inject one under your skin and no one will ever notice. Using short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, it can transmit your identity as you pass through a security checkpoint or walk into a football stadium.
It can help you buy groceries at Wal-Mart. In a worst-case scenario – if you are kidnapped in a foreign country, for example – it could save your life.
Microchip implants like the ones pet owners use to track their dogs and cats could become commonplace in humans in the next decade. Experts are divided on whether they're appropriate for people, but the implants could offer several advantages. For soldiers and journalists in war zones, an implant could be the difference between life and death. A tracker could also help law enforcement quickly locate a kidnapped child.
"This should be a matter of individual choice, but fighting crime should be much easier using chips," adds sci-fi author Larry Niven, who predicted chip implants in the '70s. Niven said he supports chip implantation for security reasons, provided it is an opt-in measure.
Ramez Naam, who led the early development of Microsoft software projects and is now a popular speaker and author, said he envisions using chip implantation to help monitor the location of people with Alzheimer's disease.
They could be used to track the activities of felons who have been released from prison.
Chips are being used today to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.
"Those same chips have found their way into RFID devices to activate the gas pump from a key ring and for anti-theft devices in cars," said Stu Lipoff, an electrical engineer and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers spokesman.
"There have been people who volunteered to use them for opening the door of an apartment as a personalized ID using your arm. It could be used to track criminals targeted for patrol who might wander into a restricted area."
Possible uses in the future
Implants are normally useful only at short ranges – as you walk through a portal or close to a transponder. So using chip implants to track people would require an infrastructure of transponders scattered around a city that read their identity in public buildings and street corners, Lipoff said.
But consider the possibilities: People could unlock their homes or cars, gain access to a building, pass through an airport and even unlock their laptops without using a phone or watch. A pin code could be used to activate the chip – or to deactivate it to maintain privacy.
They are easy to install and remove, and, because they are implanted under the skin, they are unobtrusive. The chips, which could be the size of a thumbnail, could be injected into an arm or a hand.
If children were chipped, teachers could take attendance in the classroom. Lipoff said that GPS would not work because skin would block the signal, although new Near Field Communication chips like those in current smartphones could work because of their low-power requirement. However, no-one has yet tried to implant NFC chips.
Police could track cars and read data without needing to scan license plates. At a hospital, administrators could locate a doctor without having to rely on a pager. And if you walked into a donut shop, the owner could read your taste preferences (glazed or not glazed) without needing a loyalty card.
But is it ethical?
Like any tech advancement, there are downsides. Concerns about the wrong people accessing personal information and tracking you via the chips have swirled since the FDA approved the first implantable microchip in 2004.
Naam and Pang both cited potential abuses, from hacking into the infrastructure and stealing your identity to invading your privacy and knowing your driving habits. There are questions about how long a felon would have to use a tracking implant. And, an implant, which has to be small and not use battery power -- might not be as secure as a heavily encrypted smartphone.
Troy Dunn, who attempts to locate missing persons on his TNT show "APB with Troy Dunn," said a chip implant would make his job easier, but he is strongly against the practice for most people. "I only support GPS chip monitoring for convicted felons while in prison and on parole; for sex offenders forever; and for children if parents opt in," he says. "I am adamantly against the chipping of anyone else."
Using chip implants to locate abducted children could actually have the opposite effect. Pang says a microchip would make a missing person easier to rescue, but "Kidnappers want ransoms, not dead bodies. The most dangerous time for victims is during rescue attempts or when the kidnappers think the police are closing in."
And beyond the obvious privacy issues, there's something strange about injecting a chip in your body, Lipoff says. Yet pacemakers and other embedded devices are commonly used today. "People might find it a bit unsavory, but if it is not used to track you, and apart from the privacy issues, there are many interesting applications," he says.
At least it's better than having a barcode stitched onto our foreheads.
Friday, August 29, 2014
President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges - The Washington Post
Buried in a Dell computer captured in Syria are lessons for making bubonic plague bombs and missives on using weapons of mass destruction.