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Religious violence, abuse growing: world study

August 10, 2011 Comments off

afp

WASHINGTON — Religious-linked violence and abuse rose around the world between 2006 and 2009, with Christians and Muslims the most common targets, according to a private US study released Tuesday.

“Over the three-year period studied, incidents of either government or social harassment were reported against Christians in 130 countries (66 percent) and against Muslims in 117 countries (59 percent),” said the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life study.

In 2009, governments in 101 nations, more than half the globe, used at least some measure of force against religious groups. A year earlier only 91 nations had done so, the report said.

As of 2009, more than 2.2 billion people, or nearly a third of the world’s population of 6.9 billion, lived in countries where religious restrictions had risen substantially since Read more…

Solar Storms Building Toward Peak in 2013, NASA Predicts

August 10, 2011 Comments off

space

Major Solar Flare of August 9, 2011
This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the X6.9 solar flare of Aug. 9, 2011 near the western limb (right edge) of the sun.
CREDIT: NASA/SDO/Weather.com

Solar flares like the huge one that erupted on the sun early today (Aug. 9) will only become more common as our sun nears its maximum level of activity in 2013, scientists say.

Tuesday’s flare was the most powerful sun storm since 2006, and was rated an X6.9 on the three-class scale for solar storms (X-Class is strongest, with M-Class in the middle and C-Class being the weakest).

Flares such as this one could become the norm soon, though, as our sun’s 11-year cycle of magnetic Read more…

Report: Global smart card shipments will overtake mag-stripe by 2015

August 10, 2011 Comments off

atmmarketplace

Smart card shipments, which include contactless payment cards, EMV and non-EMV payment cards, will reach one billion during 2011, according to a recently released report from ABI Research, a market intelligence company specializing in global connectivity and emerging technology.

SBI Cards, a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE Capital, has announced that is has migrated to the EMV platform for the majority of its new customers and cards. It is the first credit card company in India to do so.

“The launch of the EMV chip-based cards for over 85 percent of our new cards will help our customers with greater security features and also help us launch more relevant offers for our customers. We will move to EMV for 100 percent of all new customers and cards within a few weeks,” said Kadambi Narahari, CEO, SBI Cards.

ABI Research forecasts that smart card shipments will overtake mag-stripe card shipments by 2015. Smart cards are being endorsed over mag-stripe cards, especially in developing countries, because of the enhanced security and widespread adoption.

“The entire banking population worldwide is Read more…

Silver Update 8/8/11 – Game Changer (Video)

August 10, 2011 Comments off

Ethnic Unrest Flares in China

August 10, 2011 Comments off

the-diplomat

Violence in Xinjiang late last month has once again focused attention on the ethnic unrest in one of China’s largest provinces, where the Muslim Uighur ethnic group forms 41.5 percent of the total population.

The latest incident took place in Kashgar, the province’s second largest city, where Uighurs make up 80 percent of the population. On July 31, a group set fire to a restaurant in the city and attacked bystanders with knives, killing eight people and injuring more than a dozen more. City police shot dead four suspects at the scene, while two others were reportedly killed two days later.

This incident comes on the heels of violence that took place on July 30 in Kashgar, where two men hijacked a truck after killing its owner and proceeded to mow down pedestrians before attacking passersby with knives. Six people were killed in the incident and Read more…

Do Violent Video Games Really Make Us Violent?

August 10, 2011 Comments off

nanopatentsandinnovations

Bang Bang you’re… fine?

Psychologists reveal how you really feel about video games

Two lecturers at the University of Huddersfield have uncovered new research that contradicts a wide stream of consciousness in the media.

Drs Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson, who both lecture in Psychology, have revealed how playing a sporting video game is more emotionally evocative than a violent one.

Comparing brain activity from participating gamers, the team compiled data for the differing genres of video game to see how certain events in the game stimulate the player.

As Simon explains, the idea for the experiment derived from greatly over-exaggerated media scoops, suggesting violence is stimulated by aggressive video games:

“There was an assumption among reports that because a game Read more…

Powerful Solar Flare Could Have Caused Serious Damage: Earth ‘Lucked Out’

August 10, 2011 Comments off

ibtimes

The sun unleashed its most powerful solar flare in four years Tuesday — an eruption that could have had serious consequences on Earth if it had taken place on the side of the sun facing the planet.

“We lucked out because the site of the eruption at the sun was not facing the Earth, so we will probably feel no ill effects,” Joe Kunches, a space scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, told MSNBC.

So far, it appears that any consequence felt on the Earth will not cause human injury. A minor proton storm currently on the Earth’s surface could affect satellites in high-altitude orbits, and radiation briefly disrupted Read more…