Bodhammer writes: The current minimums in sunspot activity may be leading to a new ice age such as what occured in the 17th century says Shrinivas Aundhkar, the director of Mahatma Gandhi Mission, Centre for Astronomy and Space Technology in this story in the http://timesofindia.indiatimes...
"The Sun, our energy source, goes through phases of violent (maximum phase) and quiet (minimum phase) activity every 11 years, which is called one solar cycle. The effects of minimum activity of a solar cycle are seen for about a year. However, it has been revealed that the minimum activity was seen for more than four years in the recently concluded solar cycle. Thus, it was the longest and quietest minimum phase in the past 100 years," the scientist said.
Maybe this will give humans enough time to address issues such as deforestation and carbon emissions.
Bodhammer writes: PayPal is restricting payments to and from Geneva based ProtonMail. ProtonMail offers end-to-end encryption of email.
“When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whether ProtonMail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails, the statement read.
“We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ It seems PayPal is trying to come up with ANY excuse they can to prevent us from receiving funds,” ProtonMail said.
Time to close that PayPal account?
Bodhammer writes: "German researchers looked at the brains of 64 men between the ages of 21 and 45 and found that one brain region (the striatum, linked to reward processing), was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, and that a specific part of the same region is also less activated when exposed to more pornography."
Real Genius Quote "[Mitch Taylor speaking through the microphone so that Kent hears voices in his head] Mitch: And from now on, stop playing with yourself. Kent: It *is* God."
Bodhammer writes: The Washington Examiner is reporting that the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are building a massive database to hold all of Americans mortgage and financial information.
"But under the April register notice, the database expansion means it will include a host of data points, including a mortgage owner’s name, address, Social Security number, all credit card and other loan information and account balances.
The database will also encompass a mortgage holder’s entire credit history, including delinquent payments, late payments, minimum payments, high account balances and credit scores, according to the notice.
The two agencies will also assemble “household demographic data,” including racial and ethnic data, gender, marital status, religion, education, employment history, military status, household composition, the number of wage earners and a family’s total wealth and assets."
What could go wrong? They have done so well with Heathcare.gov...
Bodhammer writes: Pacific Northwest Nation Labs has developed a new technology that turns algae to crude in an hour. This press release http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=1029 describes process and the partner they have selected for the pilot plant. The process is efficient and produces crude oil which can be traditionally refined, clean water, gas which can be burned or cleaned to make LNG, and nutrients that can go back into the process. Is this the end of the Peak Oil threat?
Bodhammer writes: I'm a hardware tinkerer and have come up with product for home brewing. I would like to commercialize the idea. I could go the conventional route of self-funding, borrowing from friends & family, SBA loan, etc, or go the crowdfunding route. I think I need about $75-100k to get manufacturing, trademarks, circuit boards, and molds made. I would appreciate the opinions of this community on the pro's and con's of the funding options for a startup tech small business.
Bodhammer writes: Even though a Federal Appeals Court said the FCC did not have the authority to regulate the internet, those clever folks in the Obama Administration have chosen to "reclassify" the internet under rules written for Ma Bell in the 1930's. I'm sure it will be better than health care, autos, and Fannie & Freddie — I mean, what could go wrong? Have a read here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704370704575228152292941636.html
Bodhammer writes: I've been feeling the urge to play with tech that is not directly related to computers and electronics. Metalworking has caught my eye after doing some research on Stirling engines. I've been thinking about getting a cheap Chinese milling machine and lathe after reading sites like The Little Machine Shop, Varmint Al's, and Mini-Lathe.
Anyone have some tips on getting into the hobby? Should I take some classes at the local VoTec or just go for it?