I’ve been tracking the progress of my Burma protest meme. In just under one week it has spread to almost 17,000 web pages and it continues to grow. (For the latest number, click here). It’s great to see the blogosphere pick this up, and I’m glad to be able to do something to help raise awareness of this important human rights issue.… Read More
The nation of Myanamar (Burma) is currently ruled by a repressive and corrupt military dictatorship. Past attempts to bring about democracy have met with violent crackdowns by the government, usually against unarmed civilians. In one past incident, approximately 3000 protesters were killed by the military.… Read More
This is a really great invention — a hand held water bottle that can purify a year’s worth of water. It removes not only parasites and bacteria, but also viruses. It was just announced recently at a defense industry tradeshow and was a big hit among military commanders who need a better way to get water to their troops.… Read More
A security researcher has figured out a novel way to compromise the security of messages traveling in the Tor anonymizer network. Messages in the Tor network are encrypted as they travel from node to node to their final destination. But the last node has to decrypt the messages before it can deliver them to their final destination on the Internet.… Read More
Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:
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During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.
His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.
This article in the Atlantic Monthly presents the best analysis I’ve seen of the strategic situation on the Korean penninsula, and various US options (and potential mistakes to avoid). It’s really a fascinating read, and quite educational, for anyone concerned about what might happen in that arena.… Read More
OK this is a clip from Fox News, which is not normally a source that I consider to be factual or trustworthy — but it cerrtainly is an interesting story. The video clip profiles an inventor who has developed a novel method of converting water to useful fuel.… Read More
Wow — this page has some fabulous photos of devices for locating things using sound. Think radar, only much louder…
US military researchers are working on devices that augment human sensory perception, through the tongue:
… Read More
By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other
equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite
soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.
This is a very interesting scenario showing how China could potentially trounce US forces in a single, calculated strike. While it doesn’t consider the option that US would retaliate nonconventially, shifting the game to a new playing field, it certainly makes a compelling case for China winning in a conventional conflict in their territorial waters at least.… Read More
A radical new form of propulsion is being researched that may enable travel from Earth to Mars in 3 hours, and travel to nearby stars in just 80 days. The system is based on a novel quantum theory termed Heim quantum
theory (HQT).… Read More
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.
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The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.
This just in…
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NASA has outlined what it could do, and in what time frame, in case a
quarter-mile-wide asteroid named Apophis is on a course to slam into
Earth in the year 2036. The timetable was released by the B612
Foundation, a group that is pressing NASA and other government agencies
to do more to head off threats from near-Earth objects.
The Russian air force has invented a next-generation stealth technology based on surrounding the aircraft with a plasma shield that completely disperses radar waves. This technology offers significant benefits over existing stealth technology and also enables higher-performance aircraft since the shape no longer has to be altered to achieve stealth.… Read More
I’ve been following the drama of the stranded Russian mini-sub. One of the main problems is that they have limited oxygen, which doesn’t give the rescue team much time to retrieve the sub. This got me thinking and I came up with a simple idea that could make all submarines safer: Every submarine should have an external valve hookup so that pressurized air can be pumped into the cabin from an external source.… Read More
This article is very interesting not only because it provides an unusually detailed scenario of what would happen if a nuke was detonated in the Washington DC area, but also because it provides counter-intuitive guidance for how to survive such a situation, as well as information about new medical treatments for helping both first-responders and victims to combat radiation sickness.… Read More
A recent article on Boing Boing reports the most recent round of Chinese cyberattacks on the Tibetan government in exile.
China has increasingly aimed its sophisticated cyberwar teams at the low-tech, peace-loving Tibetans. I know dozens of Tibetan lamas and their staffs and they all use PC’s — and none of them know anything about viruses, firewalls, trojan horses, etc.… Read More
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have proposed a new approach to making objects invisible, by tuning special materials such that they cancel the scattering of light. The technology has a few drawbacks — it only works for specific wavelengths of light at various scales — but it’s a start.… Read More
by Nova Spivack, Minding the Planet, http://www.mindingtheplanet.net
This news article reports that the FBI is investigating a situation in which mobsters deliberately contaminated their drug money with a virus in order to deter in-house theft by members of their organization. Several years ago, during the days of collective paranoia following 9-11, I started thinking about how to combat potential terrorist threats — and one of the threats I came up with was precisely this threat of contaminated money.… Read More
Here is a fascinating article about DARPA’s "high risk, high payoff" quest to develop an exotic new Hafnium bomb — a new kind of weapon that emits huge amounts of gamma rays from a very small package. This thing packs the bang of a conventional nuke in a package as small as a hand grenade — and the gamma ray burst that results can penetrate deep into bunkers and through thick materials.… Read More
Disclaimer: I try to keep this blog non-political. I am essentially a political centrist — I tend to judge each politician, plan and party on its merits rather than by any rigid ideology or party-line. I generally find most politicans, political plans and political parties to be less intelligent and less long-term-oriented than I would wish them to be.… Read More
This article by a former NSA/NSC and Reagan-administration official adds further credence to the “October Surprise” theory that the White House may initiate a pre-election attack on Iran. It’s interesting because of the source, who is presumably both more reliable and more connected and “in-the-know” than the usual rumor sources on the Web.… Read More