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Earth

+ - Billionaires Secretly Fund Vast Climate Denial Network 4

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Suzanne Goldenberg reports that conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120 million to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, helping build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. "We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise," says Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust. Ball's organization assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes with a guarantee of complete anonymity for donors who wished to remain hidden. The money flowed to Washington think tanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore. "The funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny. It's also growing. Budgets for all these different groups are growing," says Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which compiled the data on funding of the anti-climate groups using tax records. "These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable.""
Facebook

+ - Facebook paid no taxes despite record profits-> 2

Submitted by Frosty Piss
Frosty Piss (770223) writes "Despite earning more than $1 billion in profits last year, social media juggernaut Facebook paid zilch when it came to federal and state taxes in 2012. In fact, the website will actually be getting a refund totaling $429 million thanks to a tax reduction for executive stock options. In the coming years, Facebook will continue to get monster tax breaks, totaling about $3 billion. 'The employees cash in stock options, and at that point there is tax deduction for the company,' Robert McIntyre, of watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice, said. 'Because even though it doesn't cost Facebook a nickel, the government treats it as wages and they get a deduction for it. And usually it doesn't wipe out companies whole tax bill, although many companies get big breaks from it.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Nothing new here (Score 1) 270

by waibati (#42810167) Attached to: Blimps To Help Protect Washington DC From Air Attack

There's been an aerostat in the Florida Keys for, what, decades? A plane ran into the cable in 2007 and crashed. Somebody must not have read the NOTAMs.

I'm just surprised it's taken so long to be added to D.C.'s layers of defense. Much better coverage than ground-based radar, and far less expensive than keeping an AWACS or E-2C in the air all the time.

Books

Playing At the World: a Huge New History of Gaming 18

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-off-my-lawn dept.
New submitter disconj writes "Over at Wired, Ethan Gilsdorf interviews Jon Peterson, author of the new book Playing at the World. Gilsdorf calls it 'a must read,' though he cautions it 'is not intended for a general audience. It's a book for geeks, about geeks.' It is apparently an insanely-detailed history of role-playing games and wargames, including everything from Prussian kriegsspiel up to Dungeons & Dragons and the beginning of computer RPGs (but none of that heathen stuff after 1980). Peterson says in the interview that he wanted to write a history of these games 'worthy of the future they are creating.' He apparently spent five years on the project, including unearthing a huge trove of previously-unknown historical documents."
Science

Modeling a White Hole With Your Kitchen Sink 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the fancy-equipment-is-for-wimps dept.
jamie passes along this excerpt from Wired: "That ring of water in your kitchen sink is actually a model white hole. For the first time, scientists have shown experimentally that liquid flowing from a tap embodies the same physics as the time-reversed equivalent of black holes. When a stream of tap water hits the flat surface of the sink, it spreads out into a thin disc bounded by a raised lip, called the hydraulic jump. Physicists’ puzzlement with this jump dates back to Lord Rayleigh in 1914. More recently, physicists have suggested that, if the water waves inside the disc move faster than the waves outside, the jump could serve as an analogue event horizon. Water can approach the ring from outside, but it can’t get in."

When you don't know what you are doing, do it neatly.

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