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Submission + - BBC views US counterterrorism center

An anonymous reader writes: After months of requests, permission was granted to visit one of America's newest and most secret establishments: the National Counterterrorism Center, the NCTC. It is a nondescript building, but inside is the beating heart of America's counter-terrorism nerve centre. "This is where we maintain a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operational watch in the counter-terrorism intelligence community and monitor situational awareness in the world of CT [counter-terrorism]," says Vice Admiral Don Loren, one of the watch officers in the Operations Room. But up on the wall is a giant plasma screen showing every plane approaching the United States. "Right now, you're looking at the Eastern Seaboard air corridor, and we use that to monitor events of special interest and to keep an eye should there be any reports of what we call no-fly activity," Vice Adm Loren says. When it was set up two years ago, they brought in the "imagineers" from Hollywood — experts on sharing information. One of the boards showing air traffic movements The movements of every plane approaching the US are monitored The data flow here is enormous: more than 6,000 reports come through every day from satellite, electronic and human intelligence sources. When an incident happens, a "terror line" is created to pass the information to everyone who needs it. Central to all this is the Briefing Room, where screens rise up like something out of a James Bond film. This is the nerve centre of the US-led global "war on terror". It is here in this room, three times a day, every day, that America's specialists in counter-terrorism gather to share information.

An Early Warning System For Earthquakes 147

Iphtashu Fitz writes "Would 15 seconds be enough warning time to prepare for an earthquake? It certainly wouldn't be long enough to evacuate from where you live, but it may be just long enough to get out of a building or brace yourself in a doorframe or under a solid desk. Italian scientists may have discovered a way to measure the initial shockwave of an earthquake two seconds after it starts, and from it predict the extent of the destructive secondary wave that will follow. It typically takes twenty seconds for the secondary wave to spread 40 miles, so sensors that can transmit warnings at the speed of light may provide just enough warning before a major quake for people to brace themselves. Even more importantly, such a warning could allow for utilities like gas companies to close safety valves, preventing potential fires or explosions in the aftermath of the quake."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Richest 2% own 'half the wealth'

gollum123 writes: "BBC reports The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6211250.stm ). The report, from the World Institute for Development Economics Research at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world's population own barely 1% of global wealth. It deals with all countries in the world — either actual data or estimates based on statistical analysis — and it deals with wealth, where most previous research has looked at income. What they mean by wealth in this study is what people own, less what they owe — their debts. The assets include land, buildings, animals and financial assets. The study also finds that inequality is sharper in wealth than in annual income. In less developed nations, land and farm assets are more important, reflecting the greater importance of agriculture in those economies. In contrast, some citizens of the rich countries have more debt than assets — making them, the report says, among the poorest in the world in terms of household wealth."

Submission + - Depression Types And Flavors

medic2424 writes: "Depression has to be one of the most famous medical problems out there today. It is the most known mental health disorder and I am sure you know someone who had or has depression. Depression strikes in different forms, it comes in different flavors and different types; depression is simply a very unpredictable and difficult disorder, but like I have said before, very treatable. Knowing which type of depression you are going through is a key when it comes to treatment, so I will share with you the different types of depression with some information on each class. To read the complete information, go to www.happy-mind.blogspot.com"

Submission + - Paris as European open source HQ?

android01 writes: French entrepreneurs are trying to promote Paris as the "Open Source Valley" for Europe just like Silicon Valley is for technology. The initiative has been pioneered by Alexandre Zapolsky (http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=20043&he d=Parlez-Vous+Linux%3f+), CEO of a French open source company that recently bagged a contract from the French government to implement open source within the Ministry of Finance. The French government is already on the forefront of implementing Linux and OpenOffice.org and having less dependence on proprietary companies. Mr. Zapolsky was in Silicon Valley early last month to promote this initiative to open source companies in the Valley and convince them to set up their offices near Paris.

Feed Rants: Say Goodbye, Firefly (wired.com)

Readers blast the Goodbye Weapon, the state of mobile technology, and the death of science fiction in Hollywood. Plus: Links to our most commented-upon blog posts.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Richest 2% own half the world

kop writes: "The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute.
The survey is based on data for the year 2000. The authors say a more recent year would have involved more gaps in the data. As it is, many figures — especially for developing countries — have had to be estimated.

Nonetheless, the authors say it is the most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken.


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