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Solar flaring warning issued

May 31, 2011 Comments off

news24

article image

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about June 4th. . Credit: SDO/AIA.

Cape Town – The Space Weather Centre has warned that the sun is undergoing some instability, which has implications for electronic communications.

“There is a very active area on the sun as rotated onto the invisible solar disc. This active area has got the potential for more flaring for the next five to six days,” space weather forecaster Kobus Olckers of the Space Weather Warning Centre at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory told News24.

He said that communications and electronic systems might be affected.

“The internet could be a little slower for the next week or so and especially long distance communications.”

Polar routes

Scientists recognize three major Read more…

Crime-Fighting Armored Glove

May 31, 2011 Comments off

popsci

The Armor Sleeve Defuses confrontations and prevents potentially violent situations John B. Carnett

A robber is cornered in a dead-end alley. He turns to face the police officer pursuing him, ready to fight. He pauses. The officer’s left forearm is encased in ballistic nylon, and half a million volts arc menacingly between electrodes on his wrist. A green laser target lands on the robber’s chest. He puts his hands up; it’s a fight he can’t win.

For police and corrections officers, preventing and defusing confrontations can save lives, and that’s the premise behind the BodyGuard. Equipped with a highvoltage stunner, video camera, laser pointer and flashlight, the armor sleeve is intended to prevent violent situations. The invention was designed by David Brown, a cameraman, editor and producer who makes a living filming musical acts such as Rage Against the Machine and Snoop Dogg, as well as behindthe-scenes movie footage for the actor Kevin Costner, a friend and BodyGuard investor.
Brown developed the concept for the device one evening in 2004, when he and some friends were discussing a recent mountain lion attack in a nearby Orange County park that had left one cyclist dead and Read more…

Oil spill, explosion hit crippled Japan nuclear plant

May 31, 2011 Comments off

klewtv

Oil spill, explosion hit crippled Japan nuclear plantInternational Atomic Energy Agency fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman inspects Reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, May 27, 2011. (AP Photo/IAEA)

 

TOKYO (AP) – An oil spill and a small explosion have caused limited damage – but no further radiation leaks – at the crippled nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, the plant operator said Tuesday.

Workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant found an oil spill in the sea near reactors five and six, which were in shutdown when the earthquake and tsunami struck March 11, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The spill was contained by an oil fence, TEPCO spokesman Taichi Okazaki said.

The explosion workers heard at reactor four was Read more…

North Korea’s new weapon: the hovercraft

May 31, 2011 Comments off

guardian

Marines Land In Kuwait

North Korea plans a fleet of 60 attack hovercraft

Think of the great machines of war, and the hovercraft is perhaps not the first that springs to mind. But Kim Jong-il has clearly done his homework on military history, because North Korea is in the process of building a naval hovercraft base 30 miles off the South Korean coast. The hangar-shaped buildings spotted across the international waters will house 60 “attack hovercraft”, to be used for “infiltration attacks and landing”.

While the first air-cushion vehicle was built in 1915, the modern hovercraft was the work of Sir Christopher Cockerell, who had the idea that boats could be made to float on a cushion of air, reducing water drag. He built several prototypes in the 1950s, but no branch of the military was interested. He eventually received funding and in 1958 produced the SR.N1, the world’s first passenger hovercraft. Military hovercraft went Read more…

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Qualify as Acts of War

May 31, 2011 Comments off
mashableThe Pentagon has finished drafting its first official “computer sabotage strategy,” determining that online cyber attacks from another country can constitute an act of war, enabling the U.S. to retaliate with military force.

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” a military official told The Wall Street Journal by way of example.

The formal strategy underlines a rising need to systematically respond to attacks on the computer systems of the U.S. and other countries. In 2009, a strain of the Microsoft Windows computer virus Stuxnex, which some believe originated from Israel with U.S. help, damaged Iran’s nuclear facilities. More recently, Google was the victim of cyber attacks that allegedly originated in China, an affair the the White House became involved in.

The 30-page document, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, is also likely to spark debates about a number of unaddressed issues, including whether the U.S. can truly determine the origin of an attack and when a cyber attack is serious enough to constitute an act of war, the WSJ notes.

Afghanistan’s Karzai Demands End to Airstrikes on Houses

May 31, 2011 Comments off

voanews

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is warning NATO forces in his country that he will no longer allow them to target houses with airstrikes.  The warning follows an airstrike Afghan officials say killed 14 people Saturday, including women and children, in Helmand Province.

Karzai said his demand for NATO to stop airstrikes that kill Afghan civilians is his “last warning.” But he would not clarify what actions the Kabul government would take if the bombings continue.

He said he would be bringing up the issue when he next meets with NATO commanders.

In the past, the Read more…

Drought worsens fears of inflation

May 31, 2011 Comments off

peopledaily.com

A rare drought that has wreaked havoc in central and southern China is expected to send grain prices soaring as experts predict the worst disaster of its kind in 50 years could offset the government’s efforts to curb inflation and threaten its annual CPI target of 4 percent.

Five provinces in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River – Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu, a major grain-producing region – have suffered the most serious drought in decades.

The drought had affected 34.8 million people, over one million livestock, and 3.7 million hectares of farmland as of Friday, causing direct economic losses of 14.9 billion yuan ($2.3 billion), the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

As farmers struggled to find new water sources for their crops, many fishing boats found themselves grounded as the river and lakes shrank, and residents in the region found the prices of vegetables, rice and aquatic products rising.

“Prices of some fruit and vegetables have increased to 6 yuan per kilogram on Tuesday from 3.6 yuan last week,” Jin Zhengsheng, 50, a resident of Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, told the Global Times.

Huang Xianyin, 41, a villager from Xinjian county, Jiangxi Province, also noticed the hikes.

“It’s not only vegetables. Read more…

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