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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

SternisheFan Antique laws are to blame (106 comments)

This whole criminalization debacle was started by paper magnate William Randolph Hearst and his buddies to keep hemp from competing with their product. Why U.S. citizens are still jailed for pot in this day and age is idiotic, we aren't living in the 1930's anymore, are we?

(From Wiki) - Regulations and restrictions on the sale of cannabis sativa as a drug began as early as 1860 (see Legal history of cannabis in the United States). The head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), Harry J. Anslinger, argued that, in the 1930s, the FBN had noticed an increase of reports of people smoking marijuana. He had also, in 1935, received support from president Franklin D. Roosevelt for adoption of the Uniform State Narcotic Act, state laws that included regulations of cannabis. The total production of hemp fiber in the United States had in 1933 decreased to around 500 tons/year. Cultivation of hemp began to increase in 1934 and 1935 but production remained at very low volume compared with other fibers.

Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family. The same parties have argued that with the invention of the decorticator, hemp had become a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry. These parties argue that Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont family's new synthetic fiber, nylon, a fiber that was competing with hemp. In 1916, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created a paper, USDA Bulletin No. 404 "Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material", in which they concluded that paper from the woody inner portion of the hemp stem broken into pieces, so called hemp hurds, was "favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood". Dewey and Merrill believed that hemp hurds were a suitable source for paper production. However, later research does not confirm this. The concentration of cellulose in hemp hurds is only between 32% and 38% (not 77%, a number often repeated by Jack Herer and others on the Internet). Manufacture of paper with hemp as a raw material has shown that hemp lacks the qualities needed to become a major competitor to the traditional paper industry, which still uses wood or waste paper as raw material. In 2003, 95% of the hemp hurds in the EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5% were used as building material.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

40 minutes ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

SternisheFan Re:Texas theater running "TA" (198 comments)

Did you read the headline?

"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

And from your link:

Update: On Thursday, multiple theaters, including the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas/Fort Worth, stated that screenings of Team America have been canceled.

I would guess not. (posted from a phone on a work break) I thought Texas was supposed to be a state that had balls. Guess not.

yesterday
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

SternisheFan Re:Texas theater running "TA" (198 comments)

Related news from The Telegraph (I know...)

Sony hack: Obama considers 'proportional response' against North Korea

The White House calls the hacking of the Sony studio a "serious national security matter," while Hollywood stars compare cancellation of The Interview to Neville Chamberlain's'appeasement of Adolf Hitler and a second film called Pyongyang is also pulled.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...

yesterday
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

SternisheFan Re:Who cares (81 comments)

1. Mythbusters (and others) have already tested this in real life (not a computer program) and said they could have survived. 2. They could have survived, but they didn't survive. Unless they lived out the rest of their lives in isolation; we would have heard something from them.

No bodies were ever found, which is evidence of them making it to land. Life on Alcatraz is something you'd avoid going back to at all costs, including learning to live a low key, law abiding life.

yesterday
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US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

SternisheFan Re:Sad to say (176 comments)

What reason could North Korea possible have to deny hacking Sony if they did it?

To keep the Sony bombs away?

It could've been the NSA, we don't know for sure.

yesterday
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

SternisheFan Re: First amendment? (249 comments)

Your post references many good points that the public at large was not aware of before. The people behind the revelations, the hackers, may always be anonymous. I do not pretend to have all the answers. My point related to what I would do morally if I had access to data that didn't belong to me. However, the question seems to be : If I was given personal/company data that showed a serious crime was comitted, am I responsible to report the alledged crime?

3 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

SternisheFan Re:interesting? (249 comments)

Disregard, I meant to reply to the post below. :^/ Sigh, /. needs a 5 minute edit button.

3 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

SternisheFan Re:interesting? (249 comments)

Nothing too earth shattering, so far. What has been leaked so far shows that some Sony employees have derogatory feelings towards people of other races, and that Angelina Jolie acts like a spoiled brat. Stay tuned though, I'm sure there's more to come (munches popcorn)....

3 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

SternisheFan Re:Streisand Effect Initiated. (249 comments)

Nothing too earth shattering, so far. What has been leaked so far shows that some Sony employees have derogatory feelings towards people of other races, and that Angelina Jolie acts like a spoiled brat. Stay tuned though, I'm sure there's more to come (munches popcorn)....

3 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

SternisheFan Re: First amendment? (249 comments)

Legality aside, what would be the "moral" thing to do. The data was taken 'wrongfully', and belongs to Sony. So, morally it seems the correct thing to do would be destroy the data.

Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

3 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

SternisheFan Re:To hell with taxis... (295 comments)

It seems rates do vary depending on the area. As another person here has noted, some type of unifying app may ultimately be the answer. One that lists all (uniformly insured/regulated) cars in your area, prices, feedback on the driver, that all cab services can opt in on.

4 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

SternisheFan Re: So basically.. (295 comments)

Health insurance is not covered by any cab company that I'm aware of. Drivers are considered 'independent contractors', thus responsible for all taxes. I don't know where you are from, AC, but that's not how it works in the real world.

4 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

SternisheFan Re:To hell with taxis... (295 comments)

I am all for taking Uber if you're happy with their prices/service. Some cab services have had certain areas mostly for themselves and charge high since they know customers haven't another option. Competition is good for the consumer, make the others realize that their customers have options, they'll need to improve or fade away.

4 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

SternisheFan Re:Finally some HONESTY (295 comments)

Ah, but you are paying a premium for that private Uber car service. Do you expect that level of service at cheaper cost from a normal cab service?

4 days ago

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NASA Satellite's 1st CO2 Maps of Earth Revealed

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  1 hour ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "This past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming.

Today (Dec. 18), scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2.

OCO-2 only started collecting its first scientifically useful information at the end of September, but the initial results "are quite amazing," said Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

In a news briefing at the 47th annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Eldering and her colleagues showed a map of the globe that uses about 600,000 data points taken by OCO-2 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 17. It shows hotspots of carbon dioxide over northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil.

These carbon spikes could be explained by agricultural fires and land clearing — practices that are widespread during spring in the Southern Hemisphere, OCO-2 scientists said.

The satellite has a grading spectrometer to measure carbon dioxide levels with a precision of about 1 part per million, or ppm. (Today's carbon concentration, 400 ppm, is the highest in at least 800,000 years. This number means there are 400 molecules of carbon dioxide in the air per every million air molecules. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon concentration was thought to be about 280 ppm.)"

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Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  yesterday

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing state-legalized marijuana from Colorado is improperly spilling across state lines.

The suit invokes the federal government's right to regulate both drugs and interstate commerce, and says Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has been "particularly burdensome" to police agencies on the other side of the state line.

In June, USA TODAY highlighted the flow of marijuana from Colorado into small towns across Nebraska: felony drug arrests in Chappell, Neb., just 7 miles north of the Colorado border have skyrocketed 400% in three years.

"In passing and enforcing Amendment 64, the state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems," says the lawsuit. "The Constitution and the federal anti-drug laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local pro-drug policies and licensed distribution schemes throughout the country which conflict with federal laws.""

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Coolpad's backdoor installs apps and tracks customers without their knowledge

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  yesterday

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "(from ComputerWorld)

Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has built an extensive "backdoor" into its Android devices that can track users, serve them unwanted advertisements and install unauthorized apps, a U.S. security firm alleged today.

In a research paper released today, Palo Alto Networks detailed its investigation of the backdoor, which it dubbed "CoolReaper."

"Coolpad has built a backdoor that goes beyond the usual data collection," said Ryan Olson, director of intelligence at Palo Alto's Unit 42. "This is way beyond what one malicious insider could have done."

Coolpad, which sells smartphones under several brand names — including Halo, also called Danzen — is one of China's largest ODMs (original device manufacturers). According to IDC, it ranked fifth in China in the third quarter, with 8.4% of the market, and has expanded sales outside of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan to Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Western Europe.

Tipped off by a string of complaints from Coolpad smartphone users in China and Taiwan — who griped about seeing advertisements pop up and apps suddenly appear — Palo Alto dug into the ROM updates that Coolpad offered on its support site and found widespread evidence of CoolReaper.

Of the 77 ROMs that Palo Alto examined, 64 contained CoolReaper, including 41 hosted by Coolpad and signed with its own digital certificate.

Other evidence that Coolpad was the creator of the backdoor, said Olson, included the malware's command-and-control servers — which were registered to domains belonging to the Chinese company and used, in fact, for its public cloud — and an administrative console that other researchers had found last month because of a vulnerability in Coolpad's backend control system. The console confirmed CoolReaper's functionality.

CoolReaper has a host of components that allow Coolpad to download updates and apps to devices, start services and uninstall apps, dial phone numbers and send texts, and more — all without user knowledge, much less authorization.

So far, the backdoor has been used to serve up unsolicited ads and install apps without user approval, said Olson, who speculated that both were being done for financial reasons. Coolpad may be getting a per-app-install fee, for example."

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NYC lawmaker wants to ban drones except for cops with warrants

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  yesterday

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "On Wednesday Councilman Dan Garodnick introduced a bill to the New York City council seeking to ban all use of drones except those operated by police officers who obtain warrants. A second, parallel bill introduced by councilman Paul Vallone would place more stringent restrictions on drone use but stop short of banning drones for hobbyists and companies altogether. Both bills have been passed to the city's committee on public safety.

An all-out ban on drones within the metropolis would be a quite wide-reaching step, especially as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) seems poised to adopt more permissive rules, with respect to commercial interests in particular. Earlier this year, the FAA formally granted six Hollywood companies exemptions to drone ban rules. A couple of months later, the FAA granted similar exemptions for construction site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.

Despite the FAA's tentative steps towards drone regulation, pilots of planes and helicopters have reported increased sightings of drones in their airspace, and several near-collisions. 12 incidents of dangerous encounters between drones and planes in the New York and Newark areas have been reported in recent months. In addition, in 2011, a man was fined $10,000 by the FAA for flying a remote-controlled plane recklessly through New York City. However, the National Transportation Safety Board struck down that fine. (ArsTechnica article....)"

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Ralph H. Baer, a father of video gaming, dies at 92

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about two weeks ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "At the dawn of the television age in 1951, a young engineer named Ralph Baer approached executives at an electronics firm and suggested the radical idea of offering games on the bulky TV boxes.

“And of course,” he said, “I got the regular reaction: ‘Who needs this?’ And nothing happened.”

It took another 15 years before Mr. Baer, who died Dec. 6 at 92, developed a prototype that would make him the widely acknowledged father of video games. His design helped lay the groundwork for an industry that transformed the role of the television set and generated tens of billions of dollars last year.

Mr. Baer “saw that there was this interesting device sitting in millions of American homes — but it was a one-way instrument,” said Arthur P. Molella, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. “He said, ‘Maybe there’s some way we can interact with this thing.’”"

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Apple accused of deleting songs from iPods without users' knowledge

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about two weeks ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "During in-court proceedings of Apple's iPod/iTunes antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday, plaintiffs' lawyers claimed Apple surreptitiously deleted songs not purchased through the iTunes Music Store from users' iPods.

Attorney Patrick Coughlin, representing a class of individuals and businesses, said Apple intentionally wiped songs downloaded from competing services when users performed a sync with their iTunes library, reports The Wall Street Journal.

As explained by the publication, users attempting to sync an iPod with an iTunes library containing music from a rival service, such as RealNetworks, would see an ambiguous error message without prompting them to perform a factory reset. After restoring the device, users would find all non-iTunes music had disappeared.

"You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up" the iTunes library, Coughlin said.

It is unclear if iTunes or iPod encountered a legitimate problem, though Coughlin seems to be intimating Apple manufactured the error message as part of a supposed gambit to stop customers from using their iPod to play back music from stores other than iTunes.

For its part, Apple said the system was a safety measure installed to protect users. In testimony, Apple security director Augustin Farrugia said additional detail about the error's nature was not necessary because, "We don't need to give users too much information," and "We don't want to confuse users." He went on to say that Apple was "very paranoid" in its protection of iTunes, a sentiment echoed in an executive email penned by Steve Jobs in 2004. .."

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Android "Not Compatible" Malware "maturing"

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Mobile malware reaches new heights

By Cory Bennett — 11/20/14 04:58 PM EST
Cyber criminals are reaching a level of sophistication when targeting smartphones previously only seen in desktop computer attacks.

Mobile security research firm Lookout revealed findings on Thursday showing hackers can now effectively turn Android phones into so-called botnets, a compromised device that can be used to communicate with other infected devices for nefarious purposes.

The company estimates between 4 million and 4.5 million phones in the U.S. have been turned into botnets this year as a result.
For years, cybersecurity experts knew malware targeting smartphones was a growing threat as the Internet-connected devices became more ubiquitous.

Lookout thinks this malware shows the threat has finally taken a dangerous jump.

The malware has been getting onto smartphones by first infecting a legitimate website. When users visit that website from their phone, they unwittingly download the malicious code.

This particular strategy is “one of the first times hacked websites were used at a large scale to specifically target and infect mobile devices,” said Tim Strazzere, Lookout’s lead research and response engineer, in a blog post.

The malware behind it, dubbed NotCompatible, was initially “compelling threat” when the company started tracking it two years ago, Strazzere explained. But NotCompatible has evolved.

The newest iteration “set a new bar for mobile malware sophistication and operational complexity,” Strazzere said. “This malware is a prime example of how mobile malware complexity is advancing and is borrowing technical tactics already seen in PC malware.”

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers sees mobile hacking as a Top 3 concern in 2015.

“The greatest growth these days” in cyberattacks “is not in the corporate fixed, large-network structures,” he testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

“We are all turning to mobile digital devices as vehicles to enhance our productivity,” Rogers added.

That makes those devices a desirable target for hackers.

Lookout said the hackers behind the malware are renting out the infected devices to criminals who then conduct large-scale scams — from buying up tickets in bulk to sending out more spam.

“We expect more of this type of sophistication in mobile malware,” Strazzere said. “Mobile malware maturity is here.”"

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US Justice Department Used Fake Cell Towers In Planes To Track Criminals

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "US Justice Department Used Fake Cell Towers In Planes To Track Criminals
By Tyler Lee on 11/13/2014

There is a lot of concern regarding privacy at the moment, especially in the wake of the Snowden reports which revealed that for the past few years, the government has been spying on its citizens. A recent study also revealed that a vast majority of adults feel like they have no control over their personal information anymore.
Well if all of that bothers you, then this might bother you even more. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors), it has been revealed that the United States Justice Department has been using fake cell towers installed in airplanes to acquire cellphone data that is used to track criminals. Apparently this is a program that has been in place since 2007 and uses Cessna airplanes (not the commercial plans, thankfully) to operate out of at least five metropolitan area airports.
These planes have been outfitted with a “dirtbox” that is meant to replicate cellular towers, thus tricking cellphones into reporting information to them, which in turn is used to help track individuals who are under investigation. Given that non-criminals’ data can be captured in the process as well, there are some who are questioning the legality of the practice as well as raising concerns about the safeguarding of the information that they have captured in the process."

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Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Discovering a new type of bacteria or virus or, hell, even a mammal at this point isn't exactly news. It happens all the time, and there are tens of millions of species out there that aren't described. Scientists can at least place newly discovered life into specific categories, but that's because they've been using the same methods of finding it for decades.

New microbes are often discovered by doing what's known as environmental sampling, in which all the DNA and RNA from, say, a soil sample or an ocean sample is amplified and replicated so that it can be sequenced, and then researchers try to separate it out into species as best as they can.

http://motherboard.vice.com/en..."

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Long-term study finds zero link between violence in video games and real life

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The first long-term study has been completed on the link between the consumption of violent media and real-life violent acts, and has found... there is none. In fact, the only possible trend that cropped up over the last century was that an increased consumption of violent video games correlated to a decrease in youth violence.

The results have been published in the Journal of Communication. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcom.12129/full"

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The Internet Archive launches its arcade: Classic games in a browser

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month and a half ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Today, The Internet Archive launched The Internet Arcade, a free, emulated, browser-compatible collection comprising arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Of course, while some games in the archive have been effectively abandoned and even forgotten, others are still popular and actively exploited by their creators, such as games in the Pac-Man franchise. Games from well-known companies such as Capcom, Konami, Namco, Taito, and Sega appear in the list, among many others — around 900, in total.

Archivist Jason Scott writes about the process of getting the Arcade up and running on his personal blog. He explains its purpose like this: "... my hope is that a handful, a probably tiny percentage [of players], will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing, and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts.""

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Fossil fuels should be 'phased out by 2100' says IPCC

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month and a half ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The IPCC says fossil fuels — without carbon capture — should be "phased out" by 2100
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

Europe 'will fail to protect climate'
Climate impacts 'overwhelming' — UN
UN '95% sure' humans cause warming
The unrestricted use of fossil fuels must end soon if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

That's one of the key messages in a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC outlines an approach that could see most of the world's electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2050.

Fossil fuels, without carbon capture and storage (CCS), would be phased out "almost entirely" by 2100.

The short Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

If we can't develop carbon capture we will have to stop using fossil fuels if we want to stop dangerous climate change”

Prof Myles Allen
IPCC
The report says the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" impacts without effective action on carbon.

"It's very clear from the report that fossil fuels have had their day," said Prof Arthur Petersen from UCL and a member of the Dutch government's team in Copenhagen.

"Of course it is up to politicians to decide which risks they want to take with climate change, so it is not policy prescriptive in saying that these reductions should take place, but it is absolutely clear that the reductions should take place if you want to limit (temperature increases) to 2C."

Rapid phase out
For electricity production, this would mean a rapid move away from coal and into renewables and other low carbon forms, including nuclear.

The report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.

In the longer term the report states "fossil fuel power generation without CCS is phased out almost entirely by 2100".

Three previous reports from the IPCC, issued over the past 13 months, have outlined the causes, the impacts and the potential solutions to climate change.

The Synthesis boils these three into one, with the intention of informing politicians engaged in attempts to deliver a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015.

It re-states many familiar positions:

Warming is "unequivocal" and the human influence on climate is clear
Since the 1950s the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia
The period from 1983 to 2012, it says, was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years
Warming impacts are already being seen around the globe, in the acidification of the oceans, the melting of arctic ice and poorer crop yields in many parts
Without concerted action on carbon, temperatures will increase over the coming decades and could be almost 5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century
Politicians have agreed that a rise of 2C is the threshold of danger. In this report the IPCC authors outline a number of routes to keep to that level by the end of the century.

Countries will need to adapt rapidly, but almost all scenarios see near zero emissions by 2100.

"We can't afford to burn all the fossil fuels we have without dealing with the waste product which is CO2 and without dumping it in the atmosphere," said Prof Myles Allen from Oxford University, and a member of the IPCC core writing team.

"If we can't develop carbon capture we will have to stop using fossil fuels if we want to stop dangerous climate change, that is a very clear message that comes out of the IPCC reports."

The clarity of the language over the future of coal, oil, and gas was welcomed by campaigners.

"What they have said is that we must get to zero emissions, and that's new," said Samantha Smith from WWF.

"The second thing is they said that it is affordable, it is not going to cripple economies."

Saudi concerns
In their discussions on fossil fuels, there was a fierce battle over a chart that showed how much the electricity sector needed to curb its carbon.

According to one observer, "the Saudis went ballistic" over its inclusion.

Another significant fight was over the inclusion of text about Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It quickly became a standoff between those who want the focus to be on cutting emissions against those who think the right to develop economies must come first.

An unlikely alliance between Bolivia and Saudi Arabia ultimately saw the section dropped entirely from the underlying report.

"There was a box in the draft, and in the end that box wasn't included in the underlying report," said Prof Petersen.

"History will tell us whether it was wise or not, there are lessons to be learned here."

Some of those attending said they believed that that tackling climate change and sustainable development went hand in hand.

"Different countries come to different perspectives" said Prof Jim Skea from Imperial College and a review editor of the report.

"But from the science perspective, we need them both. We need to walk and chew gum at the same time."

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattmcgrathbbc."

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Pope says evolution doesn't mean there's no God

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "In an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope explains that God is not some sort of wizard.

by Chris Matyszczyk CNET @ChrisMatyszczyk October 27, 2014 10:56 AM PDT

The pope says evolution is valid, as long as God is the beginning.

Arguments around creation and evolution sometimes seem too similar to "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"

Science and religion get placed on either side of a spectrum, with a section in the middle for those who'd like to hedge their bets.

On Monday, the pope outlined his belief with respect to God and evolution. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis insisted that there was no reason to believe that God and evolution were somehow incompatible.

It's just, he suggested, that God came first.

He said, according to Breitbart's translation: "Evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." Though God is, he said, no wizard, he's still at the heart of all things, because he's the creator of all things.

The pope explained that God "created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one, so that they could arrive at their fulfillment," according to the translation.

The pope's views differ radically from those of some eminent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking. Hawking recently made it clear that he dismisses the idea of God. He said: "Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation.""

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UK Gun Owners Now Subject To Surprise Warrantless Firearm Storage Inspections

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "A new firearm policy from the United Kingdom Home Office, put in force on October 15, has accelerated the once-proud nation’s devolution into a police state. The Home Office’s October 2014 “Guide on Firearms Licensing Law” adds a new rule allowing for police to conduct warrantless surprise inspections of a gun owner’s firearm storage practices. As bad as that is, what’s far worse is that the President of the United States cites England’s gun control policies as a model for America to follow."
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Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer.

In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumours, without killing normal cells or themselves.

Researchers said the next stage was to test the procedure in humans.

A stem cell expert said this was "the future" of cancer treatment.Dr Khalid Shah, lead author and director of the molecular neurotherapy and imaging lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said the results were very positive.

"After doing all of the molecular analysis and imaging to track the inhibition of protein synthesis within brain tumours, we do see the toxins kill the cancer cells."

He added: "Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don't work as well in solid tumours because the cancers aren't as accessible and the toxins have a short half-life."

But genetically engineering stem cells has changed all that, he said.

"Now, we have toxin-resistant stem cells that can make and release cancer-killing drugs."

This study shows you can attack solid tumours by putting mini pharmacies inside the patient...”

Prof Chris Mason
University College London
Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, said: "This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies."

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World's First Airborne Wind Turbine to Bring Renewable Energy and WiFi to Alaska

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Wind turbines have become airborne! An enormous helium-filled wind turbine will soon float over the city of Fairbanks, Alaska to produce enough electricity for more than a dozen families living off the grid. Designed and built by MIT startup Altaeros Energies, the turbine known as BAT-Buoyant Airborne Turbine will hover at an altitude of 1,000 feet for 18 months, catching air currents that are five to eight times more powerful than winds on the ground."
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Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "BY KIM ZETTER 10.17.14 | 3:31 PM |

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

The American Civil Liberties Union calls the Florida ruling “a resounding defense” of the public’s right to privacy."

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Germ-zapping robot could support war against Ebola (w/ Video)

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "...Xenex is a company that produces a germ-zapping robot that could be a beneficial support in fighting potential risks of contamination in hospital settings and address sterilizing spaces contaminated by Ebola. A video from the company explains what the machine does in general: the Xenex technology utilized is all about ultraviolet light, produced by the sun in three types, UV-A, -B and -C. The A and B types cause suntans and burns, but C is filtered by the ozone layer around the earth. As it does not occur in nature, bacteria and viruses have no defense against it. When germs are exposed to UV-C, the light kills the germs. The Xenex machine, once producing this light in a hospital room, can in five minutes drastically reduce germs in the room. The user stays outside the room; with prolonged exposure, UV-C could damage the eyes; the robot must always be run in an empty room. For additional safety, an orange cone stays outside of the room, as well as caution signs for the door. Inside the room, there is a gray cone that watches out for motion. Should motion be detected, the gray cone will turn the device off. The device is run when the room is empty after the patient is discharged and terminal cleaned. The xenon bulb —the Xenex robot utilizes pulsed xenon to create UVC light—will pulse for five minutes, disinfecting the area around the device. UV-C light cannot go through glass, walls or windows."
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Robot Arm Will Install New Earth-Facing Cameras On The Space Station

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 3 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Canada’s robotic Canadarm2 will install the next two Urthecast cameras on the International Space Station, removing the need for astronauts to go outside to do the work themselves, the company announced today (Sept. 30).

Urthecast plans to place two Earth-facing cameras on the United States side of the station (on Node 3) to add to the two they already have on the Russian Zvezda module. Technical problems with the cameras forced the Russians to do an extra spacewalk to complete the work earlier this year."

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iOS 8.0.1 update disabling cellular and TouchID

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 3 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Update: Some users are reporting that the update is disabling cell service and TouchID buttons on some phones. I can confirm that this happened on my AT&T iPhone 6, though a Verizon iPhone 5 still seems to be getting service just fine. For now we recommend holding off—do not download and install this update yet.

Update 2: Apple has pulled the 8.0.1 update. Affected iPhone 6 users are allegedly being told by Apple support to try restoring their phones with iTunes.

Update 3: On our iPhone 6, restoring through iTunes has re-installed iOS 8.0 and it appears to be working normally. This process erases your data from the phone, but it appears to be the best way to get back up and running as of this writing."

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