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Baldrson (78598) writes "Politico.com reports that: "FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Monday by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator...Researchers from the cyber intelligence company Norse have said their own investigation into the data on the Sony attack doesn’t point to North Korea at all and instead indicates some combination of a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups is at fault." One wonders what Paul Graham has to say about the risk posed by "disgruntled employees" to Fortune 500 firms that follow his advice." Link to Original Source top
Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology
Baldrson (78598) writes "Kitco.com reports that: "Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology... In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology... During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi’s: palladium. Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago." This is controversial to say the least. For example one of the first (1994) Idea Futures claims was that a palladium cold fusion device could produce even a small fraction of that claimed by many researchers over the last quarter century. That claim is presently selling at 2% odds and the judgement deadline is next week." Link to Original Source top
Bezos's Blue Origin Part of Boeing Team Bidding for Taxi to ISS
Baldrson (78598) writes "The WSJ reports that: "The long-secretive space ambitions of Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc., suddenly are about to get a lot more public. Blue Origin LLC, the space-exploration startup Mr. Bezos has been quietly toiling over for years, is part of a team led by Boeing Co. that is expected to soon garner a NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from the international space station, according to people familiar with the matter."" Link to Original Source top
NASA Langley Study On Cold Fusion's Potential in Aviation
Baldrson (78598) writes "Perpetually in-flight "skytrains" with which smaller aircraft would temporarily dock to exchange passengers and cargo, ground-effect flying container ships ala the Hughes Spruce Goose (only bigger and not made of spruce) and vertical takeoff and landing supersonic business jets were among among the aircraft potentials of cold fusion technology presented at NASA Langley's ARMD Seedling Seminar, February 25, 2014 in a study titled "Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft" (Warning: Adobe Connect). One comment heard: "There is a similar initiative in Lockheed/Martin."" Link to Original Source top
Baldrson (78598) writes "The New York Times reports: "An LCA is not an actual H1-B application rather an intent to hire an H1-B worker after an unsuccessful domestic search...Within the top 10 jobs, there are an estimated 134% more candidates nationwide than there were positions requested. Additionally, we found that domestic student enrollment in computer and mathematical graduate programs has grown 88% in the last decade, while foreign student enrollment has dwindled 13%. There does not appear to be a sudden mass shortage of educated domestic workers, rather a handful of outsourcing firms who file a majority of the LCAs and are uninterested in domestic candidates. 82% of the positions requested by the top 20 companies were requested by outsourcing firms."" Link to Original Source top
Forbes Takes a Second Look At Rossi's E-Cat Cold Fusion Device
Baldrson (78598) writes "Forbes technology contributor Mark Gibbs reports that: "I haven’t posted about Rossi and his E-Cat since last August simply because there wasn’t much to report other than more of Rossi’s unsupported and infuriating claims... What everyone wanted was something that Rossi has been promising was about to happen for months: An independent test by third parties who were credible... much to my, and I suspect many other people’s surprise, a report by credible, independent third parties is exactly what we got. Published on May 16, the paper titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device” would appear to deliver what we wanted...And now, the big reveal the authors’ conclusions are (again, the emphasis is mine): ' if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 102 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.'"" Link to Original Source top
Independent Academic Validation of Industrially Useful Cold Fusion Device
Baldrson writes "The UK Guardianvia io9 reports that "A massive and illegal geoengineering project has been detected off Canada’s west coast." An Amerindian tribe in the Pacific NW that depends on salmon contracted to have 100 tonnes of iron sulphate spread across a huge area in order to spur plankton growth. The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits and the Amerindian tribe on an increased salmon harvest. This is inducing mass hysteria among the poltical class." Link to Original Source top
Baldrson writes "From a Notre Dame press release: "In the first study to measure the temporary impact of highly skilled immigrants on native populations, University of Notre Dame EconomistAbigail Wozniak and Fairfield University's Thomas J. Murray — a former Notre Dame graduate student — found that when highly skilled immigrants move to a city or town, the U.S. natives in that area who are also highly skilled tend to move away. However, the study found that the same immigrant group's presence decreases the chances that low-skilled natives would leave." This, of course, contrasts with pundits such as Tim O'Reilly who claim that US skilled workers enjoy greater economic security from skilled immigrants." Link to Original Source top
Baldrson (78598) writes "In this video teams of quadrotors autonomously build cubic structures from modular parts. Imagine these little guys flying to battery recharge stations, dropping off their discharged batteries and picking up freshly charged batteries. That would take only about 10% off their production time. The battery recharge stations themselves could be autonomously and continuously redistributed to the construction frontier. Autonomous crawlers could weld the positioned joints." Link to Original Source top
Baldrson (78598) writes "Business Week reports that: "SpaceX’s Falcon 9 took off on its first test flight at about 2:45 p.m. local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It reached the Earth’s orbit about nine minutes later." This is a victory not only for Elon Musk's team, but for advocates of commercial space transportation." Link to Original Source top
Baldrson writes "I've been following space solar power satellite technology since O'Neill's Stewart Brand days (longer than half of you have been alive) and this is the first time it appears likely to happen in the near future: PowerSat Corporation has filed 2 important patents. One uses the solar array to propel itself from low earth orbit to geostationary orbit. The other one turns a cloud of small geostationary solar power satellites into a huge phased array. The propulsion patent plausibly reduces launch costs by 67%. The satellite cloud microwave phasing patent, however, has a huge hidden benefit that I doubt even Powersat has fully taken into account: industrial learning curve of small launchers. A similar argument has been made before by Autodesk founder, John Walker in "A Rocket A Day keeps the High Costs Away. Basically, if you are going to deploy a system with a large number of repetitions, the total (integral) cost is given by the formula: firstunit*(units^(1-rate))/(1-rate). To replace all fossil fuel baseload generation capacity in the US (250GW) would require 20,000 Falcon 9 HL launches (78Mdollars/15000kg or $5200/kg to geostationary transfer orbit) each of 3 BrightStars (PowerSat's satellite) at nearly 5000kg each. Walk that down down an industrial learning curve at 10% per doubling, the total launch cost of a 250GW cloud would be (1-.67)*1-.67)*5200*3*5000*((200*100)^(1-.1))/(1-.1) = 212G$ or less than a dollar per installed watt of baseload electric generation capacity. Assuming 10% energy loss in transmission to the ground array, each satellite would need to generate around 250GW/(3*5000*200*100)kg/(1-.1) or less than 1kW/kg or 5MW/satellite. At 35% solar conversion efficiency and 1kW/m^2 solar flux most of that would be in a weightless mirror that would have to be about 70m in diameter at 350g/m^2 (5000kg/(5MW/(.35*1kW/m^2))). Weightless mirrors can be very low mass and inexpensive. Looks doable. To pay for the satellite itself let's more than triple the installed cost to $3/W. To understand how big of a deal this is: The other near-term scalable baseload electrical sources are "clean coal" and nuclear power — both of which are, optimistically, at similar capital costs per installed watt." Link to Original Source top
Baldrson writes "Norm Matloff has published a continuation of an earlier study investigating the degree to which H-1b visas have been awarded to talent unavailable in the United States — "the best and the brightest" — as is required by law. Using a market-based analysis derived from salary figures, Matloff concludes: '...the data show dramatically that most foreign workers, the vast majority of whom are from Asia, are in fact not "the best and the brightest."' Moreover, he further concludes that 'Most foreign workers work at or near entry level, described by the Department of Labor in terms akin to apprenticeship. This counters the industry's claim that they hire the workers as key innovators, and again we will see a stark difference between the Asians and Europeans.'" Link to Original Source top
Baldrson writes "News.com reports that: "Risks from cyberattacks are increasing and the consequences are so great that the country needs a "Manhattan Project" for network security, Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said in a keynote on Tuesday at RSA 2008... The government needs the "best and brightest" from Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the private sector to work on creating an advanced warning system to prevent such cyberattacks." I'm sure all reasonable readers of/. are now asking themselves, "Why don't they just bring in a bunch of Indians, Chinese, and Israelis on H-1B visas?"" Link to Original Source
Baldrson writes | more than 8 years ago
Alexander Ratushnyak's most recent (09/10/2006) Hutter Prize program purports a nearly 6% increase in compression of the first 100M of Wikipedia over the prize baseline. I've verified this with my own system running his program.
If this withstands the 30-day comment period then this represents a very good start for the Hutter Prize, which was active for just a month before this entry. Congratulations are premature as yet but I just wanted to share some of the potentially good news with people.
If you have any kind of financial means I really urge you to contribute to this prize fund. It is truly the most crucial technology prize of all due to the fact that it represents a proven sound way of advancing artificial intelligence -- a discipline with the potential to advance all other knowledge.
Baldrson writes | more than 10 years ago
The following article claims that within a year or two the percent of
the US population that is "protestant" will have fallen bellow 50% for
the first time since Jamestown settlers.
I disagree with this assessment if one is going to call "protestant"
those denominations that have been for individual conscience against the
imposition of theocracy -- which is its original foundation.
We in the US have been living in a de facto theocracy
at least since Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is
the first time that protestant leadership capitulated, en masse,
to a government action which violated freedom of association and
hence freedom of religion. (One can easily argue that prior imposition of public education did not so violate the desires of association of the communities in which it was applied, except in principle. School bussing and other follow-ons to the 1954 ruling were clearly taking this theoretic violation to practice in a way that the vast majority disagreed with at that time.) That it was done to the children is
even more in line with historic maneuvers of theocracy. The only
other contender I can think of is the Telecommunications Act of
1934 when monopoly rights to new broadcast technologies were
granted by the government to private concerns -- but that is a
bit more problematic as it merely violated freedom of speech, an
obviously lesser principle than freedom of religion which entails
freedom of speech only to the extent that one is allowed to
declare one's independence -- one's secession -- which may, in turn,
entail expulsion from the fora of one's former order.
Some people say the US died at earlier points in time -- perhaps.
However, the underlying principle of the Declaration of Independence,
that every human has a right to "the separate and equal station to which
the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them" is protestant.
This established the right of secession as the primordial right over all
others -- including the divine right of kings, popes or other
potentates. That is the true origin of protestantism, of freedom of
religion (to choose the social order in which one invests one's life)
and of abolition of slavery.
Such a declaration is anathema to many who otherwise think of themselves
as opposed to political correctness. They're just substituting one
theocracy for another and they have in common, with political
correctness, a slave-making mentality.
July 21, 2004, 12:18AM
Study finds number of Protestants is falling
Soon, less than 50% of Americans will claim the faith
By RICHARD VARA
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
For the first time in U.S. history, the number of Protestants soon will
slip below 50 percent of the nation's population, according to a new survey.
"As early as this year and certainly, if the projections hold, within
the next two years, the majority of American adults will not be
Protestants for the first time since the founding of colonial
Jamestown," said Tom W. Smith, director of the National Opinion Research
Center's General Social Survey.
"We were always at least a majority Protestant country, and that is
about to change."
The survey, which was released Tuesday, has studied various aspects of
American life, including its religious dimension, for 32 years.
From 1972 to 1993, it found that Protestants constituted 63 percent of
the national population. But the total declined to 52 percent in 2002.
The study mirrors results from a recent Harris County survey.
Protestants decreased from 56 percent in 1994 to 34 percent in 2004,
according to the Houston Area Survey directed by Stephen Klineberg, a
Rice University sociology professor.