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Clues Sought for Sea Star Die-Off

December 18, 2013 Comments off

scientificamerican.com

Dermasterias imbricata: Biologists are searching for the cause of a mysterious and unprecedented die-off of sea stars along the Pacific coast of North America. Image: Ed Bierman/Flickr

 

In their waterproof orange overalls, Hannah Perlkin and Emily Tucker look like commercial fishermen or storm-ready sailors. But they are biologists on their way to tide pools along a remote stretch of northern California coast. There they are searching for the cause of a mysterious and unprecedented die-off of sea stars along North America’s Pacific shores.

The syndrome took marine scientists by surprise this summer, when sick and dying sea stars — also known as starfish — appeared in a host of locations between Alaska and southern California. Predatory species were the first to succumb, but now the mysterious ailment is appearing in species once thought to be resistant to its effects.

The progression is predictable: white lesions appear on an animal and become infected. Within hours or days the sea star becomes limp, and its arms may fall off. Necrosis Read more…

Federal researchers detect 18 unregulated chemicals in U.S. drinking water

December 18, 2013 Comments off

naturalnews.com

(http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org)Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency recently analyzed treated and untreated water samples from 25 U.S. water utilities who participated voluntarily. They detected 21 contaminants, mostly in low concentrations at parts per trillion, in treated drinking water from at least nine of the tested facilities.

18 of the chemicals detected are not regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, so utilities are not required to monitor them or limit the amount in drinking water. The researchers found 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and Read more…

Facebook can see what users type even if status is not posted

December 18, 2013 Comments off

latimes.com

Facebook

Facebook said tracking users’ activity even if they decide not to post a status or comment falls within the company’s terms of service. (Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / December 9, 2013)

By Salvador Rodriguez

Facebook has said that it is within its terms of service to see what users are typing even when the status or comment is never posted on the social network.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company confirmed that it can track users’ unpublished posts after two Facebook researchers disclosed that they had tracked the activity of about 5 million random Facebook users in the U.S. and England.

The researchers’ study looked at how often these users censored themselves while typing posts and comments on Facebook. If users typed more than five characters, the content was tracked. It was considered to be self-censored if it was not published within 10 minutes of being typed.

Facebook said the study did not track the exact words and letters that users typed, but whether or not they typed something. The methodology for the study also kept the Read more…

NSA’s goal is elimination of individual privacy worldwide – Greenwald to EU

December 18, 2013 Comments off

rt.com

Glenn Greenwald (Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino)Glenn Greenwald (Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino)

The NSA’s ultimate goal is to destroy individual privacy worldwide, working with its UK sidekick GCHQ, journalist Glenn Greenwald warned an EU inquiry, adding that they were far ahead of their rivals in their “ability to destroy privacy.”

Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist renowned for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks, criticized EU governments’ muted response to the revelations about the NSA’s mass espionage. Most governments reacted with “apathy and indifference” to reports that ordinary citizens were being spied upon, Greenwald said, pointing out that EU politicians only took action when they discovered that they themselves were being targeted.

“I think western governments have inculcated people to accept that privacy does not really have much value,” said Greenwald, adding it was “to get populations accustomed to violations of their privacy.”

Greenwald testified before the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs via a video link, contributing to an inquiry into the NSA’s surveillance on Read more…

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‘Soft’ biometrics is the new way to monitor people

December 18, 2013 Comments off

newscientist.com

CAMERAS are strewn around our environment, catching glimpses of our faces everywhere we go, yet even the best facial recognition technology still has a hard time picking us out of the crowd.

So the US government’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has called for a new approach. The agency announced a contest on 8 November, challenging teams of the country’s top researchers to revolutionise how machines recognise people. Those entering the competition already know that conventional facial recognition won’t cut it.

The usual approach to identifying people is to sift through camera footage frame by frame, find a few that offer the best chance of an ID, and then attempt to match them to a database of known images. Ideally, this will mean the subject is Read more…

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Crazy! China Showing A “Mushroom Cloud” Over Europe/Russia in Rover Pictures!

December 18, 2013 Comments off
Categories: China, Europe Tags: ,

2013 Breaks Record for Volcanic Eruptions

December 18, 2013 Comments off

thetrumpet.com

(gnuckx )A brand new island created by volcanic explosion is quickly growing and will likely remain a fixture of the Pacific landscape, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said on Thursday. The island was formed from lava that cooled and hardened above sea level after a large underwater volcano began erupting in late November.

While it is quite rare for new islands to spring up out of the sea, instances of major volcanic eruptions—especially for 2013—are becoming commonplace. In fact, 2013 will go down in history as the year with the most volcanic eruptions since record keeping began.

As of mid-December, the number of volcanic eruption for the year was at 83, according to calculations by Alvin Conway, author of The Extinction Protocol. Considering that the average is between 50 and 60 per year, this represents a significant increase. This number does not even include undersea volcanoes like the Read more…

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