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+ - The federal government wants to know what you are saying

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "What could go wrong? The federal government is spending almost a million dollars to make it possible to track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online. The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.” The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

"

+ - The DOT wants to know where you are 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "What could go wrong? The DOT has proposed that all new cars be required to broadcast their location and speed.

They claim that this data could be used to provide drivers with a warning if their vehicle might be getting too close to another vehicle. It will also be necessary to make driverless cars more reliable.

I wonder what other uses this information could have."

+ - Senator wants all US cops to wear video cameras->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Ferguson teen's shooting death may dramatically expand the surveillance society.

Claire McCaskill, the Democratic senator from Missouri, says police departments nationwide should require their officers to wear body cameras in order to qualify for the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding they receive each year.

McCaskill's comments come in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting death of Michael Brown and is one of a myriad of calls in the episode's aftermath for police officers to wear video cams.

"Everywhere I go, people now have cameras," McCaskill said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with voters in her home state. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

The lawmaker did not offer legislation to support her words.

McCaskill, however, is not alone in her thinking. Last week, an online petition asking the White House to require all police departments to wear lapel cameras hit 100,000 signatures. The Obama administration has promised to publicly address petitions reaching 100,000 signatures."

Link to Original Source

+ - Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of Criminally Adjusted Global Warming->

Submitted by marcgvky
marcgvky (949079) writes "The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been caught red-handed manipulating temperature data to show "global warming" where none actually exists.

At Amberley, Queensland, for example, the data at a weather station showing 1 degree Celsius cooling per century was "homogenized" (adjusted) by the Bureau so that it instead showed a 2.5 degrees warming per century."

Link to Original Source

+ - Cooking the climate numbers in Australia 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A comparison of the raw climate data with the adjusted numbers released by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology shows that the adjustments have routinely turned the trends from cooling to warming.

This is the same finding that Steven Goddard and others in the U.S. found when they did the same comparison of NASA and NOAA numbers. In every case the adjustments either cooled the past or warmed the present in order to accentuate the appearance of a warming trend, sometimes in complete contradiction of numbers that had been accepted by scientists for decades.

So, does this mean the climate isn’t warming? No. What it means is we haven’t the slightest idea what’s happening, since the data has now been corrupted so badly that it is almost meaningless."

+ - Soyuz puts two satellites in wrong orbit

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A Russian-made Soyuz rocket launched from French Guiana for Arianespace has placed two European Galileo GPS satellites into the wrong orbit.

Russianspaceweb suggests that the problem was caused by the rocket’s Russian Fregat upper stage. (Scroll down about halfway to read their report on this launch.)

Multiple independent sources analyzing the situation suggested that the Fregat upper stage had fired its engine for the right duration, however the stage’s orientation in space during the second or both maneuvers had probably been wrong. According to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a veteran space historian, the Fregat’s angular orientation error during engine firing could reach as much as 145 degrees.

This failure is a triple whammy. It hits both Arianespace and Russia since the Soyuz was part of a partnership between the two. It also hits Europe’s Galileo GPS satellite, which after many years of development was beginning to move towards full operation."

+ - Air Force requests info for new engine

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Corporate welfare: The Air Force on Thursday issued a request for information from industry for the replacement of the Russian-made engines used by ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket.

Companies are being asked to respond by Sept. 19 to 35 questions. Among them: “What solution would you recommend to replace the capability currently provided by the RD-180 engine?” Air Force officials have told Congress they only have a broad idea of how to replace the RD-180. Estimates of the investment in money and time necessary to field an American-built alternative vary widely. Congress, meanwhile, is preparing bills that would fund a full-scale engine development program starting next year; the White House is advocating a more deliberate approach that begins with an examination of applicable technologies.

In the request for information, the Air Force says it is open to a variety of options including an RD-180 facsimile, a new design, and alternative configurations featuring multiple engines, and even a brand new rocket. The Air Force is also trying to decide on the best acquisition approach. Options include a traditional acquisition or a shared investment as part of a public-private partnership. [emphasis mine]

The Atlas 5 is built by Lockheed Martin. This is really their problem, not the Air Force or ULA. In addition, the Air Force has other options, both from Boeing’s Delta rocket family as well as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. For the government to fund this new engine is nothing more than corporate welfare, at a time when the federal government is swimming in debt and is essentially bankrupt."

+ - NASA's Space Launch System searches for a mission

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Managers of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) are searching for a mission that they can propose and convince Congress to fund.

Any honest read of this article will conclude that this very expensive rocket system is an absurd waste of money. It has no mission now, and will never get one considering the cost. Instead, NASA will spend billions to fly two test flights, both unmanned, and then the money will run out."

+ - Arianespace and ESA sign contract for three launches

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract on Thursday for the Ariane 5 rocket to launch 12 more of Europe’s Galileo GPS satellites on three launches.

This contract is a perfect example of European pork. Europe’s Galileo system might provide competition to the U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass systems, but I am not sure what additional capabilities it provides that will convince GPS users to switch to it. Instead, building it provides European jobs, while using the Ariane 5 rocket to launch it gives that increasingly uncompetitive rocket some work to do. In fact, this situation really reminds me of the U.S. launch market in the 1990s, when Boeing and Lockheed Martin decided that, rather than compete with Russia and ESA for the launch market, they instead decided to rely entirely on U.S. government contracts, since those contracts didn’t really demand that they reduce their costs significantly to compete.

Europe now appears to be heading down that same road."

+ - Two additional Russian rocket engines arrive in the U.S.

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Despite tensions over the Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane on Wednesday delivered two more Russian rocket engines to Alabama for their refurbishment and use in ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket.

This delivery gives ULA some additional breathing room. It the additional deliveries scheduled for later this year and early in 2015 happen, they will have even more breathing room for more Atlas 5 launches. Even so, their dependence on Russian engines is something that limits the company’s competitiveness in the emerging aggressive launch market."

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