Archive for January 24, 2012


January 24, 2012 1 comment


Map showing earthquakes

Study says humans now use the internet as our main ‘memory’ – instead of our heads

January 24, 2012 Comments off

Helping hand? Harvard researchers found that we now use the internet to remember 'for us' - and decide not to store facts if we think we can Google them later

The Internet is becoming our main source of memory instead of our own brains, a study has concluded.

In the age of Google, our minds are adapting so that we are experts at knowing where to find information even though we don’t recall what it is.

The researchers found that when we want to know something we use the Internet as an ‘external memory’ just as computers use an external hard drive.

Nowadays we are so reliant on our smart phones and laptops that we go into ‘withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately’.

And such is our dependence that having our Internet connection severed is growing ‘more and more like losing a friend’.

Researchers from Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbia University in the U.S. carried out four tests to check their theory.

They involved giving test participants a trivia quiz and then seeing whether they recognised Read more…

Monsanto: ‘There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans’

January 24, 2012 2 comments

(NaturalNews) There is a growing body of scientific evidence which proves that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are inherently different from natural organisms, including the way the body processes them, as well as how the immune system responds to them. But Monsanto, the largest purveyor of GMOs in the world, believes that GMOs are no different than natural organisms, and that GMO testing is both needless and valueless.

In the Why aren’t you running human clinical trials on GM crops? section of Monsanto’s Food Safety page, the biotechnology giant explains its opinion that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to natural organisms. According to Monsanto, since concentrations of proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrient factors vary among natural crops, as well as among natural and GM crops, then these differences are automatically unimportant in light of GMO safety.

Furthermore, Monsanto claims that its injection of foreign Read more…

Swan River Trust searches for cause of fish deaths

January 24, 2012 1 comment

dead fish

MYSTERY:Swan River Trust is investigating the deaths of thousands of fish in the upper reaches of the river. Picture: Richard Hatherly Source: PerthNow

AUTHORITIES are investigating the deaths of thousands of fish in the Swan River.

River users reported finding about 5000 dead fish in the upper reaches of the river during the weekend.

Swan River Trust river systems manager Mark Cugley said officers were investigating the extent of the kill and what had caused it.

“The Trust was notified by the public on the weekend that a number of fish were seen floating in the water between Middle Swan bridge and the Ellen Brook confluence,” Mr Cugley said.

“Most of the fish appear to be juvenile black bream with the remainder being trumpeter.”

Mr Cugley said monitoring results had shown there were Read more…

Homeland Security Wants to Spy on 4 Square Miles at Once

January 24, 2012 1 comment

It’s not just for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars anymore. The Department of Homeland Security is interested in a camera package that can peek in on almost four square miles of (constitutionally protected) American territory for long, long stretches of time.

Homeland Security doesn’t have a particular system in mind. Right now, it’s just soliciting “industry feedback” on what a formal call for such a “Wide Area Surveillance System” might look like. But it’s the latest indication of how powerful military surveillance technology, developed to find foreign insurgents and terrorists, is migrating to the home front.

The Department of Homeland Security says it’s interested in a system that can see between five to 10 square kilometers — that’s between two and four square miles, roughly the size of Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood — in its “persistent mode.” By “persistent,” it means the cameras should stare at the area in question for an unspecified number of hours to collect what the military likes to call “pattern of life” data — that is, what “normal” activity looks like for a given area. Persistence typically depends on Read more…

IBM Thinks Minds Will Control Machines Within 5 Years

January 24, 2012 Comments off

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Japan's Honda Research Institute and precision-equipment manufacturer Shimadzu demonstrated a mind-boggling technology that lets humans control a robot through thought alone -- thus taking pesky button-pressing, voice commands and remote controls out of the equation. 2009

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

Controlling a device with your mind. Powering your home with the energy of your own activities. These are two of the developments that experts at IBM think will become reality within the next five years.

The technology company has released its latest “5 in 5” report. The experts think people will soon be able to control many electronic devices simply by using their minds. Scientists at IBM and other companies are researching ways to do this in a field of science known as bioinformatics.

They say people will soon have a way to just think about calling or e-mailing someone in order to make it happen. Bernie Meyerson is IBM’s vice president of innovation.

BERNIE MEYERSON: “[It’s a] simple ability to command a system to do something for you without actually doing or saying anything, literally thinking and having something happen as a result that’s accurate. Something with really deep capability so that a person, for instance, a quadriplegic, a paraplegic can actually utilize brainwaves to make things happen and basically run their own lives independently.”

Another prediction is a way for people to Read more…

Categories: Coming Events, Technology Tags: ,

Why Have There Been So Many Earthquakes Recently?

January 24, 2012 1 comment

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I think most people – certainly myself – get that grim “what, another one?” feeling when you first hear news that there has been a big earthquake.

But is it justified? In other words, have we recently been experiencing an increased rate of earthquakes? This from Beroza (2012),

For a nearly 40-y period after the February of 1965 M 8.7 Rat Islands, Alaska earthquake, the world did not experience a single great earthquake; however, in the 7 y since late December of 2004, there have been a barrage of five great earthquakes. These earthquakes include the 2004 M 9.1 Sumatra, Indonesia earthquake; the 2005 M 8.7 Nias, Indonesa earthquake; the 2007 M 8.5 Bengkulu, Indonesia earthquake; the 2010 M 8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake; and the Read more…

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Red Spotlights to Mark ‘Precrime’ Suspects

January 24, 2012 Comments off

East Orange, New Jersey to beam suspects of future criminal activity with flashy, hi-tech police surveillance equipment

Aaron Dykes

In a glowing review of the rising prevalence of high-tech big brother surveillance gadgets in police force use, the Associated Press reports that East Orange, New Jersey plans to cut crime by highlighting suspects with a red-beamed spotlight– before any crime is committed– a “pre-crime” deterrent to be mounted on nearby street lights or other fixtures.

Alternative Video Link.

According to the report, police officers monitor hundreds of video feeds from across the city and opt to Read more…

America’s Emerging Military Posture

January 24, 2012 Comments off

After a decade marked by two long wars, massive increases in military spending, and a ballooning deficit, it is no surprise that the Obama administration plans a $450 billion Pentagon budget reduction over the next decade, equal to approximately 5% of its budget. However, as a result of the automatic cuts that may arise from a congressional failure to reach a timely agreement on the amount to be cut, the reduction could actually reach $1 trillion, or approximately 12% of the military’s budget.

While the size, manner, and effect of these cuts is difficult to ascertain at this juncture, there can be little doubt that there will be significant reductions to the US defense budget over the coming decade. The US military will see a relative decline in strength as emerging powers — most notably China and India — continue to build up their militaries. An absolute decline in the defense budget, combined with a relative decline in comparative military strength vis-à-vis some emerging powers, will force the US to revaluate its military posture.

There is considerable debate about how much these defense cuts will impact the Read more…