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Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

We’re Watching You: Surveillance Expansion In the Land of the Free is Unprecedented In Human History

September 15, 2011 1 comment

shtfplan

Have you ever heard of a Yottabyte? To put this number into perspective consider the size of a terabyte, which is about the size of a typical modern hard drive. It can hold roughly 100 high definition DVD’s.

A yottabyte is 1,099,511,627,776 terabytes – or over 1 trillion terabytes of information.

This is important because according to a recent report from Politico, the National Security Agency (NSA), which is the security apparatus responsible for monitoring electronic communications across the globe, is building a new data warehousing center in Utah at the cost of $2 billion dollars. It will be housed in a one million square foot complex and be capable of storing at least one yottabyte of data.

We pointed out the various ways that the U.S. government is monitoring Read more…

Supersize Dust Storms Could Become Southwest Norm

July 13, 2011 1 comment

wired

The massive dust storm that engulfed Phoenix last week was unusual for the 20th century, but could become more common in the 21st.

The storm resulted from thunderstorm-cooled air plummeting into the ground like mist pouring from an open freezer, only exponentially more powerful. Combine those winds with extremely dry conditions, and the result was a wall of dust 100 miles wide and 5,000 feet high.

Dust storms are common in the U.S. southwest, but not storms this big. No formal records are kept, but meteorologists said it was the largest such storm in at least 30 years. It was on par with storms seen in China’s Gobi desert and Australia. Some commentators invoked the apocalyptic storms of the 1930’s Dust Bowl.

 

As dry as it’s been in the southwest this year, with precipitation 50 percent below mid-20th century levels, there’s reason to think that extra-dry conditions will Read more…

Water shortages in the West: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’

June 14, 2011 Comments off

coloradoindependent

An extraordinary set of circumstances produced the Colorado River Compact of 1922. The question now is whether the compact and other laws and treaties collectively called the Law of the River are sufficiently resilient to prevent teeth-barring among the seven states of the basin in circumstances that during the 21st century may be even more extraordinary.

For the most part, speakers at a recent conference sponsored by the University of Colorado Natural Resources Law Center agreed that there’s no need to start over even if future circumstances will require states of the Southwest to “bend the hell out of it,” in the words of law professor Douglas Kenney.

Kenney, director of the law school’s Western Water Policy Program, last winter released the first part of a several-tiered study of challenges to administration of the river. Obscured by drought that had left Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, reduced to its lowest level since 1938, demand had quietly crept up and overtaken supply during the last decade, he said.

Despite occasional wet years such as the current one, climate-change projections foresee significantly hotter temperatures and perhaps a 9 percent decline in water volume during coming decades, according to the newest study issued this spring by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

DeBecque Canyon on the Colorado River near Palisade (Best)

Some people believe earlier spring, warmer temperatures, and the extended drought of the last decade are harbingersof Read more…

China Prepares To Launch Gold ETFs As Utah Becomes First State To Make Gold And Silver Legal Tender

May 23, 2011 Comments off

zerohedge

Following Friday’s news that China has now surpassed India as the world’s largest buyer of gold, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the country is trying to capitalize on the popular interest in the precious metal by transferring the trading infrastructure away from US to domestic capital markets. First, it recently launched a 1 kilo gold futures contract on the HK Merc in an obvious attempt to undermine the Comex monopoly in the space, and next it seems that China has the GLD plain in its sights, as it plans to start exchange-traded funds, tapping rising demand in China, the world’s biggest investment market for the precious metal. Often blamed for the recent volatility in the price of gold, precious metal ETFs have been primarily an instrument available to those with access to the US market. That appears to be ending, and with an entire nation suffering from gold fever (as inflation continues to be goalseeked by the China politburo above expectations in what appears to be a programmed attempt by the Chinese central planners to push its population into gold hoarding) and about to be offered a simple way of investing in (paper) gold, it is likely that the price of gold (and soon thereafter all other commodities) will see unprecedented spikes in price in either direction as millions more are given direct exposure to trading the non-dilutable currency equivalent.

From Bloomberg:

“There are some complexities, as the central bank is in charge of gold management, while we still need to go through the procedures for launching new exchange products,” Wang Zhe, chairman of the bourse, said at a Shanghai forum. There is no timetable and the exchange is working with regulators on the plan, Wang said. China is the world’s largest gold producer and second-largest in overall consumption.

China doesn’t have gold ETFs and investors usually choose to buy physical gold, or invest through contracts traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the Read more…

What is THIS? OMG! — frequency or PARTICLE projection at NEXRAD station

May 11, 2011 4 comments
Categories: Strange Events Tags: , , ,

Salt Lake City goes wallet-free with Isis

April 11, 2011 Comments off

theregister

Trial run for national rollout

Operator consortium Isis has selected Salt Lake City as its flagship deployment to show the rest of the USA what NFC can do for them.

The plan will see Salt Lake City’s public transport system accepting pay-by-wave from a mobile phone by the middle of next year. Retailers have also been encouraged to adopt Near Field Communications technology at the point of sale, as Salt Lake City strives to become The Place You Can Leave Your Wallet At Home.

Isis was set up less than six months ago: a consortium of US network operators including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. The consortium is dedicated to ensuring that electronic payments based on NFC keep their secure element in the SIM – under the control of the network operator, not the handset manufacturer or bank-card supplier – by promoting the technology and business models associated with it.

In Salt Lake City, that involves working with the Utah Transit Authority to convert all the buses and trains to accept NFC payments, as well as flooding the area with NFC handsets and SIM chips.

“I would like to express our excitement that the Salt Lake City area has been chosen to lead the roll-out of Isis mobile payments,” said Mayor Ralph Becker’s canned statement, though looking a little closer it becomes obvious why Salt Lake was chosen to lead the US into contactless payments.

The Utah Transit Authority already uses proximity payment cards, deployed in 2009, so adding NFC functionality to public transport is a matter of software not hardware, and while the City might be the capital of Utah it has a population somewhat smaller than Northampton, so presents a nicely sized area for experimentation rather than a sprawling metropolis where deployment would be more challenging.

But the transition to electronic payments isn’t going to happen overnight, and it’s good to see Isis doing something practical, and with a reasonably aggressive timetable. It will be interesting to see how the locals take to paying by wave.

Radiation in US rainwater likely from Japan

March 28, 2011 Comments off

thejakartapost

 

Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that the radioactive isotope iodine-131 found in the sample – one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country – has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

Nevada, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington state have also reported tiny amounts of radiation from the Japan Read more…