In an era when we’ve all got GPS in our pockets, OnStar in our cars and the NSA tracking anyone, anywhere, it is still possible-although rare-for an airliner to seemingly vanish.
That appears to be what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Friday night. As of Monday, search and rescue teams from nine countries including the United States had not found any trace of the Boeing 777-200 or the 239 people aboard. There are many theories about what went wrong, but the airline, Boeing and investigators in Malaysia have so far refused to speculate or offer any insights.
Whatever happened, it happened quickly, aviation experts said, and catastrophically. The fact it happened over the ocean-presumably the South China Sea, but possibly the Gulf of Thailand-means it could be months or years before we know exactly what went wrong. The ocean is a very big place, and finding clues will be slow. It took investigators two years to recover the black box data recorder from Air France Flight 447, which went down over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
“The simple hard truth is it’s very difficult to find things in the water,” said retired Col. J. Joseph, a former Marine Corps pilot and aviation consultant.
An amazing historic fortune to be had
Ship Model, note the old pre propeller side wheel propulsion design.
It carried one of the largest cargoes of gold ever lost at sea, so much so that it was nicknamed the “Ship of Gold.” And now Odyssey Marine Exploration has been given court approval to recover what it can from the SS Central America.
In 1857, the SS Central America shipwrecked 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina because of a hurricane, killing more than 550 people and taking it with an estimated 14,000 kilos of gold. According to Odyssey Marine, experts believe it still holds a commercial shipment of gold valued at $93,000 in 1857, as well as passenger gold valued in 1857 at between $250,000 and $1.28 million.
Spokeswoman Liz Shows declined to say how much that would be by today’s value, but added, “It will be higher than the melt value because of the shipwreck premium.”
An Ohio court granted Odyssey Marine exclusive salvage rights to the shipwreck, the fate of which had been tied up in a long-running legal battle. A company statement said the shipwreck site was discovered in 1987 at a depth of approximately 2,200 meters (7,200 feet). Less than 5 percent of the site was investigated at that time, but an extensive collection of gold coins, bullion, and raw gold was found.
Federal prosecutors in Texas have moved to drop all but one of the 12 fraud charges against Barrett Brown, a writer charged with crimes that involved data stolen by a member of Anonymous.
In a motion to dismiss (.PDF), the government today offered no reason for the move. Brown still faces a single charge of possession of stolen credit card numbers with intent to defraud, and a separate indictment for threatening an FBI agent.
The move comes a day after Brown’s defense attorneys filed a 48-page motion to dismiss the charges against him, on grounds that the government failed to substantiate that Brown had committed a crime. It also comes just as the Electronic Frontier Foundation was preparing to file an amicus brief next Monday on behalf of several journalism groups that have expressed support for Brown.
Brown, whose prosecution threatened to become a First Amendment test case, was charged with 12 counts centered around a link he posted in a chat room that pointed to a file containing data stolen from the intelligence firm Stratfor, or Strategic Forecasting. The data, stolen by Jeremy Hammond, a member of the loosely affiliated Anonymous collective, included company emails as well as credit card numbers belonging to subscribers of Stratfor’s service.
For discussion. I really disagree but I’d rather I’d rather hear from our community first. If interested anyway. My perspective might be changed by those who grew up with internet 2.0 and up.
I once worked with Steven Spielberg on the development of Minority Report, derived from the short story by Philip K. Dick featuring a future society that uses surveillance to arrest criminals before they commit a crime. I have to admit I thought Dick’s idea of “pre-crime” to be unrealistic back then. I don’t anymore.
Most likely, 50 years from now ubiquitous monitoring and surveillance will be the norm. The internet is a tracking machine. It is engineered to track. We will ceaselessly self-track and be tracked by the greater network, corporations, and governments. Everything that can be measured is already tracked, and all that was previously unmeasureable is becoming quantified, digitized, and trackable.
If today’s social media has taught us anything about ourselves as a species it is that the human impulse to share trumps the human impulse for privacy.
The remedy for over-secrecy is to think in terms of coveillance, so that we make tracking and monitoring as symmetrical — and transparent — as possible. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specific boundaries set and enforced. A massively surveilled world is not a world I would design (or even desire), but massive surveillance is coming either way because that is the bias of digital technology and we might as well surveil well and civilly.
The more that scientists stare at it, the more a strange signal from the center of the Milky Way galaxy appears to be the result of dark matter annihilation. If confirmed, it would be the first direct evidence for dark matter ever seen.
Dark matter is a mysterious, invisible substance making up roughly 85 percent of all matter in the universe. It floats throughout our galaxy, but is more concentrated at its center. There, a dark matter particle can meet another dark matter particle flying through space. If they crash into one another, they will annihilate each other (dark matter is its own antiparticle) and give off gamma rays.
To search for a dark matter signal, astronomers use NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope to map the gamma radiation throughout the galaxy. Then, they try to account for all known sources of light within this map. They plot the location of gas and dust that could be emitting radiation and subtract that signal from their gamma-ray map. Then they determine where all the stars are and subtract out that light, and so on for every object that might be emitting radiation. Once all those sources are gone, there remains a tiny excess of gamma radiation in the data that no known process can account for.
“The more we scrutinize it, the more it looks like dark matter,” said astrophysicist Dan Hooper of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, co-author of a paper that appeared Feb. 26 on arXiv, a website that hosts scientific papers that have yet to go through peer-review.
The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn’t enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents.
I’m one of the people the Obama administration charged with criminal espionage, one of those whose lives were torn apart by being accused, essentially, of betraying his country. The president and the attorney general have used the Espionage Act against more people than all other administrations combined, but not against real traitors and spies. The law has been applied selectively, often against whistle-blowers and others who expose illegal, corrupt government actions.
After I blew the whistle on the CIA’s waterboarding torture program in 2007, I was the subject of a years-long FBI investigation. In 2012, the Justice Department charged me with “disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities.” I had revealed no more than others who were never charged, about activities — that the CIA had a program to kill or capture Al Qaeda members — that were hardly secret.
PHOTOS: From the Fed to GM, 5 top-tier women trying to fix man-made messes
Eventually the espionage charges were dropped and I pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: confirming the name of a former CIA colleague, a name that was never made public. I am serving a 30-month sentence.
Go entrepreneurs! Wow, this holds up and I promise you somehow I will find funding for a drone that can fly at least my GoPro’s and preferably my DSLR. *rubs hands in that slightly maniacal style*
I can make really good use of something like that. Aerial would add just what I need to step up and get those paid gigs for my little growing media company.
One of the judges of the National Transportation Safety Board (the NTSB) ruled yesterday that the FAA has no authority to regulate drones, striking down a six-year-old ban on commercial drones and saving a Swiss drone operator $10,000 that the FAA was trying to fine him.
The battle began in 2011 when drone pilot Raphael Pirker was issued a $10,000 fine for flying a styrofoam drone around the University of Virgina to capture footage for a commercial he was shooting for the university’s medical school.
As far as the FAA is concerned, commercial drone flight has been illegal since 2007; however, according to the court papers, they never actually created an enforceable rule. All they did was issue a policy statement.
Russian troops on Friday stormed a Ukranian military base 5 kilometers from the Ukranian city Sevastopol, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimean peninsula. No shots have been fired.
The two sides were reportedly in the middle of negotiating the Ukraninian soldiers’ terms of surrender, when the pro-Russian Crimean militia started assaulting the journalists who were reporting from the area.
According to early reports, members of a pro-Russia militia used a truck to break though the gate of the base. The truck got stuck at the gate, and Russia soldiers climbed over it. Some 70 Ukrainian troops were said to still be holding out in the bunkers. Russians troops who broke through the perimeter demanded the Ukrainian soldiers surrender.
A Ukrainian military official, Vladislav Seleznyov, told Reuters by telephone that the armed men took over the base without any shooting and that no one was hurt. Another Ukrainian official told Reuters at the post that he was now mediating between the Ukrainian forces and the armed group inside, and that no arms had been seized.
Original title is way overblown so I quote it here—
It’s about to get a lot harder to escape from malaria
On to the good content-
The researchers found that that the average altitude of malaria cases shifted to higher elevations in warmer years and back to lower elevations in cooler years. Did Pascual expect to find this link? “Yes,” she tells io9, “but I never thought the signal would be this clear.”
That signal is relevant to epidemiologists faced with confronting malaria as effectively as possible in the coming decades. “We know there some regions of the world that will be more sensitive to climate change and variability that others,” Pascual says; “highlands, the edges of deserts, coastal regions, and so forth.” These are areas where climate plays a limiting role, be it in the distribution of animals, plant life, sea levels or disease, she explains - factors that underscore the need for localized intervention.
Consider, for example, that populations in regions like Antioquia and Debre Zeit currently lack protective immunity to malaria. This makes them more vulnerable to the disease. And yet, the fact that these high-risk populations currently exist at the fringes of malaria’s altitudinal range could make them easier to protect - at least for the time being - than those in highly endemic, lower-elevation regions.
“In my opinion,” says Pascual, we need to deal with [Malaria] regionally, not globally.” By understanding climate’s effect on malaria incidence at the local level, she reasons, epidemiologists can be more effective in alleviating the disease’s global burden.
In the study, children sat down individually with an examiner who introduced them to the two characters, each of whom had a cup filled with an unknown quantity of items. Children were told that each character’s cup would “magically” add more items to a pile of objects already sitting on a table. But children were not allowed to see the number of objects in either cup: they only saw the pile before it was added to, and after, so they had to infer approximately how many objects Gator’s cup and Cheetah’s cup contained.
At the end, the examiner pretended that she had mixed up the cups, and asked the children — after showing them what was in one of the cups - to help her figure out whose cup it was. The majority of the children knew whose cup it was, a finding that revealed for the researchers that the pint-sized participants had been solving for a missing quantity, which is the essence of doing basic algebra.
“What was in the cup was the x and y variable, and children nailed it,” said Feigenson, director of Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development. “Gator’s cup was the x variable and Cheetah’s cup was the y variable. We found out that young children are very, very good at this. It appears that they are harnessing their gut level number sense to solve this task.”
If this kind of basic algebraic reasoning is so simple and natural for 4, 5 and 6-year-olds, the question remains why it is so difficult for teens and others.