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+ - Chinese espionage cases in America->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: There have been many cases of Chinese involvement in espionage cases in America

The latest being 6 Chinese nationals, including 3 professors, being charged for economic espionage

( Link at

One interesting aspect of the Reuters news article is that Reuters kept on repeatedly emphasize that the Film Bulk Acoustic Resonator (FBAR) technology, the technology the 6 Chinese nationals allegedly stole from Avago and Skyworks, which is widely used in mobile devices such as cellphones, tablets and GPS devices, has military implications

Another case involved Shirrey Chen, ( Link at
who was arrested and handcuffed by FBI agents in her office at the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, accused of "spying for China"

Are we in a new McCarthyism era?

Link to Original Source

+ - Musk denies berating employee->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: An upcoming on Elon Musk has several claims that Musk has vehemently denied

Musk denied that he ever reprimand a Tesla employee for missing a work event to be at the birth of his child

Musk claims that it is "Total BS and hurtful to claim that I told a guy to miss his child's birth just to attend a company meeting"

Musk reportedly sent an email to the employee, saying: "That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We're changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don't"

In another tweet, ( ) Musk has publicly denied another claim that Musk has once said to a potential investor "My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail"

Musk, who has been married three times and twice to the same woman, with whom he filed for a second divorce in December 2014, talked about finding the time to date. "I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That's why I need to care out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That's kind of the minimum? I don't know"

There are other quotes from the book that Musk has not issued any denial, yet, including:

... from Christie Nicholson, the daughter of an advisor to Musk... "One night he told me, 'If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat. I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal'"

Link to Original Source

+ - Mutation, not Natural Selection, which led to the rise of new species-> 1

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Blair Hedges, a biologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, has proposed a provocative alternative to the natural selection view of evolution

According to Mr. Hedges, Adaptation had little to do with it. It was simply a matter of chance and time

No matter what the life form — plant or animal, insect or mammal — it takes about 2 million years for a new species to form. Random genetic events, not natural selection, play the main role in speciation

This controversial proposal stems from efforts by Hedges and collaborators to build the world’s most comprehensive tree of life — a chart plotting the connections among 50,000 species of Earth’s vast menagerie. Their analysis suggests that speciation is essentially random

Evolutionary biologists find the research effort intriguing, particularly in its size and scope, but they are also somewhat skeptical of the provocative ideas that have emerged. “It’s a huge tour de force” said Arne Mooers, a biologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. “There are lots of interesting claims — the devil will be in the details”

To build the tree, Hedges, his Temple colleague Sudhir Kumar, and their collaborators compiled data from nearly 2,300 published studies, gleaning from each the time when two species diverged from a common ancestor. They used those data to construct a map of relationships among different species, known as a “timetree.” To form a branch, the researchers started with the two species within a closely related taxonomic group that have the most recent common ancestor. Then they added the next closest species, and so on

In a family tree for example, it is akin to starting with siblings, then adding in first cousins and second cousins

Bringing all those branches together results in a comprehensive timetree of life

It will take some time for scientists to sort through the technical details of the paper, which was published in April in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. And while some scientists have been complimentary, others immediately challenged the results, questioning both the accuracy of the tree and the conclusions that Hedges has drawn. “I am very skeptical about inferring patterns of speciation from such a broad overview of the tree of life,” said Chris Jiggins, a biologist at the University of Cambridge in England

“The classic view of evolution is that it happens in fits and starts,” said Michael Benton, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol in England

A change in the environment, such as a rise in temperatures after an ice age, might spark a burst of speciation as organisms adapt to their new surroundings. Alternatively, a single remarkable adaptation such as flight in the ancestors of birds or hair in mammals might trigger a massive expansion of animals with those characteristics

Hedges argues that while such bursts do occur, the vast majority of speciation is more prosaic and evenly timed

To start, two populations become separated, driven apart by geography or other factors. New species emerge every 2 million years, on average, in a metronomic rhythm tapped out by the random nature of genetic mutations. He likens the process to radioactive decay. It’s impossible to predict when an individual radioactive nucleus will decay, but a clump of many atoms will decay at a highly predictable rate known as the material’s half-life

Similarly, mutations strike the genome randomly, but over a long enough time the accumulation of mutations follows a pattern. “There is a kind of speciation clock ticking along” Hedges said

Link to Original Source

+ - Car size meteor exploded over England->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: ASTRONOMERS have caught the moment a meteorite turned into a fireball as powerful as a nuclear explosion just 21 miles above the Earth

Footage of the "car-sized" meteorite burning up in the atmosphere was so good because it was destroyed much lower than the usual 50 to 70 miles up

Experts believe it broke off an asteroid in orbit between Mars and Jupiter and headed towards earth at 100,000mph

The video was recorded by the United Kingdom Meteor Observing Network in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, on Sunday, 26th April, 2015, at around 10.10pm. The huge ‘fireball’ was seen right across the country, and reportedly lit-up much of Ireland and parts of northern England "like daylight" for about five seconds

The blast was so visible that the Irish Coast Guard contacted Astronomy Ireland as they were receiving so many reports of possible distress flares

Astronomy Ireland are appealing to any companies who operate CCTV cameras to check their recordings for Sunday night around 10:10pm to see if they recorded the fireball near the horizon as photographic records like this are extremely valuable

"If you were in space looking down, you would have seen Ireland lit up for a few seconds. People in urban areas with their lights on watching their TVs with windows facing the right direction have reported seeing it"

Additional reports are available from

Link to Original Source

+ - French version of "Patriot Act" becomes law->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Thanks to the cold blooded massacres of the Charlie Hebdo (and other) incidents at the hand of the bloody Islamist savages, where many innocent people were slaughtered, the French legislature passed, by a vote of 438 to 86, in the National Assembly with, 42 abstentions, the "Intelligence Service Bill", a French version of the Patriot Act, which awards the French intelligence a sweeping power to tap and intercept any kind of correspondence, including phone conversations, emails, social media, amongst others

The bill would decree that hosting providers and Internet service providers (from now on referred to as ISP) in France must get equipped with a “black box” that could retain all digital communication of the citizens, at any time

Slashdot carried an article ( ) about the possibilities that ISPs may leave France if the bill is passed. Now that the bill has passed, we will know in a short while if those ISP really pull out of France or not

Link to Original Source

+ - Did dinosaur-killing asteroid trigger largest lava flows on Earth?->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: What is known is that dinosaurs were killed off about 66 million years ago when an asteroid slammed into the ocean off Mexico

What is still unknown is the actual process

A team of geophysicists from the University of California, Berkeley think they have the answer

When that asteroid slammed into planet earth it probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe which in turn contributed to massive scale of devastation everywhere on Earth

The timeline of the most immense eruptions of lava in India which is known as the Deccan Traps fell "uncomfortably close" to when the impact happened

"If you try to explain why the largest impact we know of in the last billion years happened within 100,000 years of these massive lava flows at Deccan ... the chances of that occurring at random are minuscule," said team leader Mark Richards, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science. "It's not a very credible coincidence"

While the Deccan lava flows, which started before the impact but erupted for several hundred thousand years after re-ignition, probably spewed enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and other noxious, climate-modifying gases into the atmosphere

Richards proposed in 1989 that plumes of hot rock, called "plume heads," rise through Earth's mantle every 20-30 million years and generate huge lava flows, called flood basalts, like the Deccan Traps. It struck him as more than coincidence that the last four of the six known mass extinctions of life occurred at the same time as one of these massive eruptions

"Paul Renne's group at Berkeley showed years ago that the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province is associated with the mass extinction at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary 200 million years ago, and the Siberian Traps are associated with the end Permian extinction 250 million years ago, and now we also know that a big volcanic eruption in China called the Emeishan Traps is associated with the end-Guadalupian extinction 260 million years ago," Richards said

"It's inconceivable that the impact could have melted a whole lot of rock away from the impact site itself, but if you had a system that already had magma and you gave it a little extra kick, it could produce a big eruption," said Michael Manga, a professor in the UC Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Science

Similarly, Deccan lava from before the impact is chemically different from that after the impact, indicating a faster rise to the surface after the impact, while the pattern of dikes from which the supercharged lava flowed

"There is a profound break in the style of eruptions and the volume and composition of the eruptions," said Paul Renne, a professor in residence in the UC Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Science and director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center. "The whole question is, 'Is that discontinuity synchronous with the impact?'

Richards, Renne and graduate student Courtney Sprain, along with Deccan volcanology experts Steven Self and Loyc Vanderkluysen, visited India in April 2014 to obtain lava samples for dating, and noticed that there are pronounced weathering surfaces, or terraces, marking the onset of the huge Wai subgroup flows

Geological evidence suggests that these terraces may signal a period of quiescence in Deccan volcanism prior to the Chicxulub impact. Apparently never before noticed, these terraces are part of the western Ghats, a mountain chain named after the Hindu word for "Steps"

"This was an existing massive volcanic system that had been there probably several million years, and the impact gave this thing a shake and it mobilized a huge amount of magma over a short amount of time," Richards said

"The beauty of this theory is that it is very testable, because it predicts that you should have the impact and the beginning of the extinction, and within 100,000 years or so you should have these massive eruptions coming out, which is about how long it might take for the magma to reach the surface"

Link to Original Source

+ - Tweeter account of senior female IS recruiter belongs to someone in Seattle->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: British's Channel 4 has revealed that the tweeter account of the senior female Islamic State recruiter belongs to someone living in Seattle

After Channel 4 has revealed her identity, it is reported that the young female student may have either moved to Saudi Arabia or keeping a low profile inside Denver, Colorado

Tweets from that account reveals that the individual loves American football and enjoys take out food

Why are we continually funding NSA if they do not even know anything about that senior Islamic State recruiter living INSIDE the United States of America?

Furthermore, if that senior female recruiter for Islamic State individual could reside in Seattle for so long without being discovered, and could successfully slip out of the United Sates of America so easily ( to Saudi Arabia ), could it be that that senior female Islamic State recruiter enjoyed inside help from the government of the United States of America all these while?

Why is Obama using NSA to spy on the Christian citizens of America and in the meantime never do anything to curb the terrorist support networks of Islamic States inside the United States of America??

Let us be fully awared that there are still A LOT MORE Islamic State active supporters living inside the United States of America, possibly with some kind of subtle assistance from the Obama Administration

Say *NO* to the White House which supports Islamic Terrorism!!

Link to Original Source

+ - Vast network of salty aquifer found in the Antarctic->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Many view Antarctica as a frozen wasteland. Turns out there are hidden interconnected lakes underneath its dry valleys that could sustain life and shed light on ancient climate change

Using an airborne imaging system for the first time in Antarctica, scientists have discovered a vast network of unfrozen salty groundwater that may support previously unknown microbial life deep under the coldest, driest desert on our planet

The findings, which are published in the journal Nature Communications, may shed light on how Antarctica has responded to climate change

They may even help scientists understand whether similar conditions could exist elsewhere in the solar system, especially beneath the surface of Mars

Jill Mikucki, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, microbiology assistant professor, was part of a team that detected extensive salty groundwater networks in Antarctica using a novel airborne electromagnetic mapping sensor system called SkyTEM

The McMurdo Dry Valleys, situated along the Ross Sea coastline and discovered by polar explorer Robert Scott in 1903, is the largest region in Antarctica not covered by an ice sheet. It consists of an arid expanse of mostly dirt, small rocks and large boulders, dotted with a few frozen lakes

Co-author of the study, Professor Ross Virginia, from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, said: ‘This fantastic new view beneath the surface will help us sort out competing ideas about how the McMurdo Dry Valleys have changed with time and how this history influences what we see today’

The survey, which covered 114 square miles, may have just uncovered the proverbial tip of the iceberg

“It suggests that this ecosystem is extensive and connected. There could be a very, very large subsurface habitable environment throughout the Antarctic regions,” Ross Virginia, an ecosystem ecologist at Dartmouth College, told Discovery News

The researchers believe the newly discovered brines harbor similar microbial communities in the deep, cold dark groundwater. The brines may provide insight on how microbes survive such extreme conditions. They also may provide the basis for future exploration of a subsurface habitat on Mars

Snow appears white because it reflects most visible light that strikes it. Anything that does this means you see the whole spectrum of visible light, which looks white

Other objects appear different colours because they absorb certain wavelengths of visible light but reflect others — a green apple, for instance, reflects only mostly the green wavelength. But, as reported by JSTOR, when snow is deep enough it can actually appear blue. The reason for this is due to ice crystals in the snow, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC)

‘As light waves travel into the snow or ice, the ice grains scatter a large amount of light,’ the NSIDC explains

While most of the light is reflected, there is a very small tendency towards more red light being absorbed than blue

When you see just the surface of a pack of snow, the scattering of the blue light is almost completely impossible to notice

But if you look into a significant amount of snow, about 3.3ft (one metre) or so, more photons emerge towards the blue end of the spectrum than the red end

When snow appears red, though, it is for an entirely different reason. This effect is due to cold-loving, fresh-water algae known as Chlamydomonas nivalis that contain a bright red pigment

Also known as ‘watermelon snow’, it is ‘most common during the summertime in high alpine areas as well as along coastal polar regions’

SkyTEM produced images of Taylor Valley along the Ross Sea that suggest briny sediments exist at subsurface temperatures down to perhaps -68F, which is considered suitable for microbial life. One of the studied areas was lower Taylor Glacier, where the data suggest ancient brine still exists beneath the glacier. That conclusion is supported by the presence of Blood Falls, an iron-rich brine that seeps out of the glacier and hosts an active microbial ecosystem

Scientists’ understanding of Antarctica’s underground environment is changing dramatically as research reveals that subglacial lakes are widespread and that at least half of the areas covered by the ice sheet are akin to wetlands on other continents. But groundwater in the ice-free regions and along the coastal margins remains poorly understood

More links at

Link to Original Source

+ - Could Nepal earth quake be twice as big?->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: On April 25, Nepal was hit with the biggest earthquake in 80 years—but just how big was it?

Amidst the destruction, there was a spat on the issue between the US and China. The US Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors earthquakes worldwide, reported that the Nepal earthquake measured at a magnitude of 7.8. However, the China Earthquakes Network Center (CENC), which hopes to provide a similar service, measured the same earthquake at a magnitude of 8.1

While a difference of 0.3 in the magnitude of the seismic activity may not seem like much, the apparently small differences in magnitudes of earthquakes reported by different agencies around the world are, in real-life, huge. Because if we are to believe the Chinese data, the Nepal earthquake may have been twice in size than if we believe the US data

So who is correct?

There isn’t an independent body that can verify which of the two data points we should believe. Also, the discrepancy may be due to using different parameters in measurement: USGS uses moment magnitude and CENC uses surface-wave magnitude

Link to Original Source

+ - How China flew its first satellite->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: 45 years ago, on April 24, 1970, China joined the "Space Club", when it successfully sent its first satellite, Dongfanghong-1, into orbit with its Long March rocket carries an article detailing the blood, sweat and tears account of what the Chinese scientists had to go through to get their first satellite launched, in spite of all the hardships they had to go through, — which includes been beaten to death by the "Revolutionary Red Guard" and committing suicide rather than endure more brutal treatments

The Chinese versions of the article are available at

Link to Original Source

+ - Russia 1,700 ~~~ America 0->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Russia has evacuated 1,700 of its citizens from Yemen while the total number of United States citizens the government of the United States of America has evacuated from Yemen stands at a perfect ZERO

In fact, Russia has evacuated American citizens from Yemens while the State Department of the United States of America has yet to do anything
Please watch the vids at

and at
and read the news at
and at

Link to Original Source

+ - The creation of Fact-Free-Zone in the modern world->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: This report outlines how the Islamic State is able to create a Fact Free Zone with very little objective reporting coming from areas under the group’s control or areas it is contesting and the way Islamic States has purported the social media services, from Facebook, to Youtube, to Tweeter, to further its course

In this age of ubiquitous information-sharing technology the Islamic State’s media effort is an integral and essential part of its operations, on a par with its military and administrative effort. In this respect it is greatly helped by the decentralized nature of social media (particularly Twitter), which has allowed each of its supporters effectively to create and operate his or her own ministry of information, echoing a standard party line as well as creating and spreading IS’s messaging. In effect, IS is crowdsourcing its own propaganda

However, Islamic States' deliberate targeting, kidnapping, and brutal killing of journalists has resulted in a vacuum in which the job for 'news reporting' falls to the laps of avid supporters of the Islamic State

There is no precedent for this, given the novelty of social media platforms and file-sharing sites, and so, in a counterintuitive move, the group has indeed maximized control of its message by giving up control of its delivery

The importance of social media to the group is evident in the way that pictures of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declaring the Caliphate on July 4, 2014 appeared on Twitter before the video of his full speech was uploaded on YouTube, helping to ensure that it would be carried on most major international news networks

For example, links to the violent hour-long video “Flames of War,” issued by The Islamic State on September 16, 2014 through its official outlet, al Hayat Media, were posted in several places on the widely-used file-sharing site These links were then tweeted out to tens of thousands of online supporters, who then re-tweeted the links, and, importantly, created new pages and links on The video was also uploaded to YouTube on many accounts in order to overcome the inevitable suppression of the video for violating YouTube standards of use. Just one randomly selected page promoting the video among dozens of others, recorded 18,034 views in just seven hours on September 18, 2014, showing the ease, breadth, and speed with which the group is able to spread its message directly to the intended audience. The problems with censoring such a decentralized distribution system were well-illustrated by the two days it took mainstream social media to take notice of what was happening

The crowdsourcing of messages negates the need for a single point of contact. This might leave the group vulnerable to unofficial messages polluting its media stream but it is a small annoyance compared to the gains it reaps

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft infringes other's patents->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: A judge of the International Trade Commission of the United States of America has found that the software giant used InterDigital Inc's technology in its mobile phones without permission

The judge, Theodore Essex, said that Microsoft infringed two wireless cellular patents owned by InterDigital, and that it would not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft devices from being imported into the United States

The ITC has the authority to stop the import of products that it determines infringe a U.S. patent. Companies frequently sue at the ITC to win an import ban and in district court to win damages

InterDigital Executive Vice President Lawrence Shay said the company looks forward to "continued discussion" with Microsoft to license its patents

The case at the ITC is No. 337-613

Link to Original Source

+ - Flushing out suspicious social media activity using Benford's Law->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Benford's Law (See ) refers to the frequency distribution of digits in many types of real-life data in which the digit "1" occurs as the leading digit about 30% of the time

Jennifer Golbeck at the University of Maryland in College Park applied Benford's Law on data of users from five major social networks, and in tweeter only 170 people out of the 21,000 that she investigated had a correlation lower than 0.5

When she investigated further, she discovered that only 2 accounts out of the 170 seem to belong to legitimate users, with the rest (168) are part of a Russian botnet

That’s interesting work that has important implications for social network forensics. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to spot accounts on social networks that are engaged in suspicious activity. Comparing a large number of these against Benford’s law is a quick and simple way to find ones that require further investigation

Of course, this process will not find all suspicious accounts. Any account that grows in the same way as a conventional one would remain hidden and it’s possible that maleficent users could employ simple techniques to make their accounts less identifiable now that this method has been revealed

But for the time being, Benford’s law looks to be a valuable tool in the war against fraud and suspicious activity on social networks. “The applicability of Benford’s Law to social media is a new tool for analyzing user behavior, understanding when and why natural deviations may occur, and ultimately detecting when abnormal forces are at work,” concludes Ms. Golbeck

Link to Original Source

+ - How to make law enforcement much less accountable-> 1

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: According to Google and Facebook, letting the U.S. government unlock encrypted customer data would make law enforcement less accountable

Their comments came a day after the White House cybersecurity czar and the U.S. secretary for homeland security both said encryption was hobbling law enforcement and that the government needed ways around it

Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer said that such tools could also undermine the accountability of law enforcement officials seeking access to private data

Enright added that a lack of transparency in government access to user data is already a problem. “Law enforcement has been overreaching,” he said. “We want to drive as much transparency for law enforcement access as possible”

“The trust of the people that use our services is paramount,” said Erin Egan, of Facebook “Anything antithetical to that we’re not going to be okay with"

Trevor Hughes, CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, believes that most Internet companies would be similarly wary of any program or technology that gave the U.S. government a way to beat encryption

The bad press that has affected companies targeted by NSA surveillance has inspired many to be more stringent in checking that the government requests they receive are valid, Hughes said. And protecting customer privacy has come to be seen as a competitive necessity. “Differentiation based on better privacy and encryption is in the marketplace today, and I think it’s going to increase,” he said

Link to Original Source

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.