Today’s post is brought to you by:
Last summer, the world’s top software-security experts were panicked by the discovery of a drone-like computer virus, radically different from and far more sophisticated than any they’d seen. The race was on to figure out its payload, its purpose, and who was behind it. As the world now knows, the Stuxnet worm appears to have attacked Iran’s nuclear program. And, as Michael Joseph Gross reports, while its source remains something of a mystery, Stuxnet is the new face of 21st-century warfare: invisible, anonymous, and devastating.
Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and C.E.O. of Kaspersky Lab—a Moscow-based computer-security company and an early investigator of Stuxnet—photographed on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, near the Kremlin.
All over Europe, smartphones rang in the middle of the night. Rolling over in bed, blinking open their eyes, civilians reached for the little devices and, in the moment of answering, were effectively drafted as soldiers. They shook themselves awake as they listened to hushed descriptions of a looming threat. Over the next few days and nights, in mid-July of last year, the ranks of these sudden draftees grew, as software analysts and experts in industrial-control systems gathered in makeshift war rooms in assorted NATO countries. Government officials at the highest levels monitored their work. They faced a crisis which did not yet have a name, but which seemed, at first, to have the potential to bring industrial society to a halt.
A self-replicating computer virus, called a worm, was making its way through thousands of computers around the world, searching for small gray plastic boxes called programmable-logic controllers—tiny computers about the size of a pack of crayons, which regulate the machinery in factories, power plants, and construction and engineering projects. These controllers, or P.L.C.’s, perform the critical scut work of modern life. They open and shut valves in water pipes, speed and slow the spinning of uranium centrifuges, mete out the dollop of cream in each Oreo cookie, and time the change of traffic lights from red to green.
This guy is still around spouting his racist venom. Only in America.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan1 said Jews and Zionists are “trying to push the US into war” and are a cover for Satan, at the group’s annual meeting near Chicago on Tuesday.
“President Obama2,” Farrakhan said, “if you allow the Zionists to push you, to mount a military offensive against Gaddafi and you go in and kill him and his sons as you did with Saddam Hussein and his sons, I’m warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem among themselves.” Farrakhan called Muammar Gaddafi3 “my brother” and “my friend.”
Farrakhan and Obama’s old Pastor for 20 years Rev. Wright are CLOSE FRIENDS. So, if you voted for Obama…you voted for Farrakhan.(I have no way of knowing if this is true or not).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unhealthy Sleep-Related Behaviors “An estimated 50-70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders. Sleep difficulties, some of which are preventable, are associated with chronic diseases, mental disorders, health-risk behaviors, limitations of daily functioning, injury, and mortality. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. To assess unhealthy sleep-related behaviors, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2009. The results indicated that 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day, and 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving in the preceding 30 days.”
Today we feature a picture of William T. Anderson. Mr. Anderson was one of Quantrill’s raiders, and was a fairly important member of the group. He participated in the Raid on Lawrence Kansas. After the raid, his family was rounded up and imprisoned. They were housed in a three story building in town, and the building collapsed, killing his sister, and crippling another sister.
In 1864 he had a dispute with William Clark Quantrill, so he started his own raiding group. He was killed in an ambush in 1864, and his head was cut off and put on display on a telegraph pole in Richmond Missouri.
ALL your friends praise a film you just watched. Instead of admitting how dull you found it, you agree. We all sometimes mute our own beliefs like this, but it seems there is more to this than a little white lie. Conforming to others’ views can cause a real shift in your own opinion.
That’s the conclusion of Jamil Zaki at Harvard University and colleagues, who asked men to rate how attractive they found a series of photos of women’s faces. The men were then given the average rating for each photo, said to be determined by a previous group. In reality, these ratings were randomly generated by a computer. Thirty minutes later, the participants reassessed the same photos while having their brains scanned using fMRI.
As expected, the men’s ratings changed to match the consensus scores more closely. However, Zaki’s team found that if the participant decided a woman was more attractive than they first thought, there was a spike of activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens; if they decided she was not as pretty, activity decreased in these areas.
Previous research has shown that the higher the activity in these brain regions, the more a person values a certain stimulus. In other words, the researchers argue, the participants were not just modifying their appraisals for the sake of appearances: the so-called average results had genuinely changed their opinion of the photos. The work will appear in Psychological Science.
Rumbler, N.Y.P.D. Siren, Is Widely Heard or Felt
Joe Bader tried setting the two tones of his invention four notes apart on the musical scale, but the result sounded like music, not a siren. Same thing when he played around with a five-note interval. But when he set the two tones apart by two octaves and gave the siren a test run outside the Florida Highway Patrol headquarters in Tallahassee, the effect was so attention-grabbing that people came streaming out of the building to see what the strange sound, with its unfamiliar vibrations, could possibly be.
Which was precisely what Mr. Bader, a vice president at the security firm Federal Signal Corporation, was going for: a siren that would make people sit up and take notice — even people accustomed to hearing sirens all the time. Even people wearing ear buds or talking on the phone. Even people insulated from street noise by a layer of glass and steel. Even New Yorkers.
Rumblers, as Mr. Bader called his invention, achieve their striking effect with a low-frequency tone, in the range of 180 to 360 hertz (between the 33rd and the 46th key on a standard piano keyboard), which penetrates hard surfaces like car doors and windows better than a high tone does. When it is paired with the wail of a standard siren, the effect is hard to ignore — like the combination of a bagpipe’s high chanter and low drone, or perhaps like a train whistle and the caboose that moves that whistle through space.
Criticism of Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi’s Fatwa Permitting Killing of Libyan Leader Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi
Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, recently issued a fatwa on Al-Jazeera TV permitting the killing of Libyan ruler Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi.
In response to this fatwa…
“China is a stable society. Something like the Jasmine Revolution would not happen in China,” explained the officer. Dozens of journalists have been called in this week to meet with China’s Public Security Bureau and I was one of them, sitting in a room as officials videotaped the entire session.
To the officers’ shock – and then satisfaction – I agreed wholeheartedly. I’ve posted on this website why a revolution is not likely to happen in China (you can read it here).
But finishing up my meeting with these police officers, it was clear to me that this anonymous group calling for Jasmine Revolution protests in China is, in its own way, winning.
So far, they’ve shown themselves to be nothing but a few people with a computer and a website.
Yet, they have managed to turn China’s security apparatus topsy turvy.
Canadian Mounties salute as the funeral procession rolls by after the funeral service for fallen Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Detroit, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. Terry was killed during a gun battle with bandits near the Arizona border with Mexico. Terry was part of a team of agents tracking the organized gang Dec. 14 in a canyon just north of Mexico. Four bandits were arrested. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, John T. Greilick)
U.S. gun-tracing operation let firearms into criminal hands (Los Angeles Times):
A federal operation that allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass into the hands of suspected gun smugglers so they could be traced to the higher echelons of Mexican drug cartels has lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which have been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent in December.
The investigation, known as Operation Fast and Furious, was conducted even though U.S. authorities suspected that some of the weapons might be used in crimes, according to a variety of federal agents who voiced anguished objections to the operation.
Many of the weapons have spread across the most violence-torn states in Mexico, with at least 195 linked to some form of crime or law enforcement action, according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity and The Times.
Originally posted 2011-03-04 10:43:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter