Friday, August 10, 2012

Mini-Drone Can Watch Neighbors From Above

Domestic Spying: Mini-Drone Can Watch Neighbors From Above -- CBS News

WASHINGTON (CBS) – Your neighbors’ fences are no longer tall enough.

While President Obama takes flak for the US’s use of unmanned drone attacks abroad, there is a smaller, smartphone-controlled drone hovering above urban rooftops and suburban backyards: The Parrot AR Drone 2.0.

The Parrot AR Drone 2.0, listed on Amazon just below $300, is the best way to live out one’s fantasy of being a spy. The miniature drone is controlled through your iPhone or iPad and features multiple sensors, including a hi-definition front-facing 720-pixel camera and a vertical camera looking straight down from the bottom of the miniature quadricopter (four propellers).

Read more

My Comment: I can see these drones being used FOBs in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Cyber Virus Detected That Targets Middle Eastern Bank Accounts

Code from the Gauss virus, a new cyberweapon that attacks bank accounts. CNN

Virus Seeking Bank Data Is Tied To Attack On Iran -- New York Times

A security firm said Thursday that it had discovered what it believed was the fourth state-sponsored computer virus to surface in the Middle East in the last three years, apparently aimed at computers in Lebanon.

The firm, Kaspersky Lab, said that the virus appeared to have been written by the same programmers who created Flame, the data-mining computer virus that was found to be spying on computers in Iran in May, and that it might be linked to Stuxnet, the virus that disrupted uranium enrichment work in Iran in 2010.

Read more ....

More News On A New Cyber Virus That Targets Bank Accounts

Nation-sponsored malware with Stuxnet ties has mystery warhead -- Ars Technica
Flame and Stuxnet Cousin Targets Lebanese Bank Customers, Carries Mysterious Payload -- Wired
Kaspersky Lab Says It Has Found Another State-Sponsored Computer Virus -- NPR
Newly discovered malware linked to Stuxnet, Flame -- Washington Post
Virus found in Mideast can spy on bank transactions -- Reuters
Nation-backed surveillance malware monitors Middle East bank accounts -- Computer World
Cyberweapon targets Middle East bank accounts -- CNN Money
Stuxnet-like spy virus Gauss hits Middle East banks -- The Guardian
Meet the ‘Gauss’ Virus, Stuxnet and Flame’s New Cousin -- Mashable Tech

My Comment: It looks like someone is monitoring Middle Eastern financial transactions and transfers of money .... and probably for a long time. To build and conduct such a surveillance operation will require huge amounts of money and personnel .... only a handful of countries could do this .... correction .... only 3 or 4 countries can. (U.S., Israel, Russia, and China). My money is on the U.S. and Israel working together on this one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Fracking And Geothermal Energy Revolution

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Fracking And A Geothermal Energy Revolution -- Energy Tomorrow

In the news: Projects are advancing that use hydraulic fracturing to crack “hot rocks” thousands of feet below the earth’s surface and turn them into geothermal energy-producing zones. Some say it could start a revolution in electricity generation.

Certainly, this map from the Energy Department’s National Renewals Lab, posted on the EnerGeo Politics blog, suggests there’s lots of hot-rock energy beneath the United States – especially in the West:

Read more ....

My Comment:
A very useful and informative map.

Monday, August 6, 2012

World's Biggest Purpose-Built Yacht Carrier

Dockwise's new Yacht Express carrier is launched.

Dockwise Debuts The World's Biggest Purpose-Built Yacht Carrier -- Gizmag

"The majority of yachts do not have the range to reach many of the world's inviting cruising areas and international playgrounds," reads the company's vision statement, but this need no longer be a limitation. Yacht owners simply sail their craft into the massive semi-submersible Yacht Express, where they are securely attached. The owners can then rendezvous with the yacht at its destination, or accompany their craft aboard the carrier in five-star luxury.

Read more ....

My Comment: Owning a yacht is becoming a global social and economic trend .... a development that I am sure will give this ship a considerable amount of business.

Ocean Wave Energy The Next Big Thing

Stefan Siegel, president and chief technology officer of Atargis Energy Corporation, talks about the 1:10 scale model of a cycloidal wave energy converter that the company is testing in the wave basin at Texas A&M Offshore Technology Research Center Monday, July 16, 2012, in College Station. Hydrofoil blades on the underwater device rotate to extract energy from waves. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Melissa Phillip / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

Scientists Seek Next Wave In Power Generation -- Fuel Fix

Aerospace engineers are working to make ocean wave energy the nation’s newest source of green power by applying the physics of wind turbines to the sea.

Former U.S. Air Force Academy scientists took over Texas A&M University’s wave tank recently to test the idea that if air can produce affordable electricity, so can ocean water.

Read more ....

My Comment:
It is still years away from any possible development.

Mars Explorer Curiosity Successfully Lands On Mars - A News Roundup

Mars Landing Went 'Flawlessly,' Scientists Say -- CNN

(CNN) -- NASA's rover Curiosity successfully carried out a highly challenging landing on Mars early Monday, transmitting images back to Earth after traveling hundreds of millions of miles through space to explore the red planet.

Scientists praised the landing Monday.

"This is a stunning achievement. The engineering went flawlessly," said Scott Hubbard, who was the first Mars program director at NASA headquarters, and is currently a consulting professor at Stanford University.

The 10 science instruments aboard Curiosity are in "perfect health," and testing and calibration are under way, NASA said Monday.

More News On The Successful Mars Landing Of NASA's Curiosity

NASA’s Curiosity rover lands on Mars after 352-million mile journey -- Washington Post
Mars rover Curiosity lands, NASA releases new image: ‘The surface mission of Curiosity has now begun’ -- Washington Post
Safely on Mars, NASA rover Curiosity gets busy -- Computer World
Next on Mars: 400 scientists on an alien road trip -- AFP
Curiosity rover beams back first photo from Martian surface -- Christian Science Monitor
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity makes history (A Google+ hangout) -- L.A. Times
NASA photographs split second when Curiosity enters Mars airspace -- FOX News
Photos illustrate Mars rover's precise landing -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Mars Rover FAQs: What's Next -- PC World
Mars Rover Landing a Success—What Happens Now? -- National Geographic
Curiosity opening Martian frontier? -- Meg Urry, CNN

My Comment:
A job well done.

Hiroshima Marks The 67th Anniversary Of The World's First Atomic Attack

Japan Marks Hiroshima Bombing Amid Anti-Nuclear Calls -- BBC

Japan is marking the 67th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in an annual ceremony.

Tens of thousands of people attended the event, amid growing anti-nuclear sentiment and protests in the country.

A bell marked the start of a one-minute silence at 08:15 local time (23:15 GMT) when the US bomber Enola Gay dropped the bomb that killed 140,000 people.

Mayor Kazumi Matsui called for a nuclear-free world at the event at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Read more ....

More News On The Hiroshima Anniversary Of The First Atomic Attack

Hiroshima marks 67th anniversary of A-bomb attack -- AJC/AP
Japan marks Hiroshima A-Bomb anniversary with anti-nuclear call -- The Telegraph
Nuclear fears focus attention on 67th Hiroshima anniversary -- Haaretz
Harry Truman's grandson arrives in Japan for Hiroshima visit -- The Telegraph
Grandson of President Truman lays wreath for Hiroshima dead -- The Guardian
Target Nagasaki: the men who dropped the second bomb -- The Telegraph