THE

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Britain dispatches advanced warship to Persian Gulf

In World News on January 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm

By Haaretz

The Royal Navy is sending its most advanced warship to the Persian Gulf, in a deployment intended to send a message to Iran following its threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, the Daily Telegraph reported.

According to the report, the HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, will depart Portsmouth next Wednesday and has been equipped with new technology that will enable it to intercept any Iranian missile. It also reportedly possesses the world’s most sophisticated naval radar.

Earlier this week, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond warned Iran against blocking the strait.

On Friday, Iran announced it will carry out more military exercises in the strait. Iran recently completed a 10-day drill in the strategic waterway.

Western countries have readied plans to use strategic oil stocks to replace almost all Gulf oil lost if Iran blocks the waterway, Reuters reported, citing…

Full article…

Scientists create cloaking device that ‘hides’ whole events – making time itself disappear

In Big Brother, Tech on January 6, 2012 at 6:56 am

By Rob Waugh

Most of the human race don’t have any problem making time disappear – but scientists have cracked a very hi-tech way of doing exactly that.

Scientists have developed a ‘temporal cloaking’ device that can hide events from view.

The demonstration ‘hid’ events for 40 trillionths of a second – or 40 picoseconds – by speeding up and slowing down different parts of a light beam.

The different parts of the light beam were then put back together, so that any observers could not detect what happened during the ‘hidden’ time.

The information is simply not there to be read or reconstructed.

So far, the technique only works on periods of 0.00012 of a second – so the police can probably rest easy, as evildoers would have to move far faster than human beings ever could to ‘conceal’ their actions.

Instead, the ‘hidden’ fractions of a second could be used for ultra-secure communications.

The scientists think that the technique could even be combined with recent advances in optical ‘cloaking’ – to hide an event in both space and time.

Full article…

Mom kills armed intruder with shotgun

In Americas, Big Brother, World News on January 6, 2012 at 6:54 am

By Mac Slavo

9-1-1 Operator Gives Her the OK To Shoot.

While foreign politicians at the United Nations debate the merits of allowing American citizens to own firearms, yet another example of the absolute necessity of the right to bear arms in a free society emerges from Oklahoma, where an 18 year old mom and widow who lost her husband on Christmas Day was at home with her young son on New Year’s eve.

McKinley told ABC News Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO that she quickly got her 12 gauge, went into her bedroom and got a pistol, put the bottle in the baby’s mouth and called 911.

“I’ve got two guns in my hand — is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?” the young mother asked the 911 dispatcher. “I’m here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?”

The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to…

Full article…

US Army unveils 1.8 gigapixel camera helicopter drone

In Americas, Tech on January 6, 2012 at 6:54 am

By BBC

The army said the technology promised “an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground”.

A statement added that three of the sensor-equipped drones were due to go into service in Afghanistan in either May or June.

Boeing built the first drones, but other firms can bid to manufacture others.

“These aircraft will deploy for up to one full year as a way to harness lessons learned and funnel them into a program of record,” said Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Munster, product manager at the US Army’s Unmanned Aerial System Modernization unit.

Big eyes

The A160 Hummingbird systems are capable of vertical take-off, meaning access to a runway is not necessary.

The army also confirmed that they have hovering capabilities – something its existing unmanned aircaft lack.

Test flights will be carried out in Arizona at the start of the year before they are shipped to…

Full article…

Obama signs into law indefinite detention of Americans without trial

In Americas, Big Brother on January 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

By AllGov

He waited until New Year’s Eve to do it…but he did it. While expressing “serious reservations” about the bill, President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve signed legislation that cements into law two highly controversial tenets of the war on terror: indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without charge, and the jailing of American citizens without trial. It also takes terrorism-related cases out of the hands of the FBI and the civilian court system and hands them over to the military.

Obama approved the bill (known as the National Defense Authorization Act), but at the same time, in a signing statement, claimed his administration would not allow the military to detain Americans indefinitely.

Civil libertarians were nonetheless outraged by Obama’s approval of the legislation. They claim that Obama is taking a “Trust me; I won’t do it” position. However, even if he does refrain from abusing the law, there is no guarantee that future presidents won’t imprison Americans and others indefinitely without trial or even without charge.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), called Obama’s action “a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law. Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today.”

David Gespass, president of the National Lawyers Guild, called it…

U.S. says will continue to deploy warships in Persian Gulf despite Iranian threats

In Americas, World News on January 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

By Haaretz

The United States will continue to deploy its warships in the Gulf, a defense spokesman said on Tuesday after Iran threatened to take action if the U.S. Navy moves an aircraft carrier into the Gulf.

“These are regularly scheduled movements and in accordance with our long-standing commitments to the security and stability of the region and in support of ongoing operations,” Commander Bill Speaks said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.

“The U.S. Navy operates under international maritime conventions to maintain a constant state of high vigilance in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in waterways critical to global commerce,” he said.

When asked later Tuesday if the U.S. intends to send naval reinforcements to the Gulf in response to Iranian talk of closing the Strait of Hormuz, Pentagon spokesperson George Little did not answer directly but said, “No one in this government seeks confrontation over the Strait of Hormuz. It’s important to lower the temperature.”

Also referring to Iranian threats on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. saw “these threats from Tehran as just increasing evidence that the international pressure is beginning to bite.”

“They are feeling increasingly isolated and they are trying to divert the attention of their own public from the difficulties inside Iran, including the economic difficulties as a result of sanctions,” Nuland told a…

Full article…

Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship

In Tech, World News on January 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

By BBC

The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.

The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.

Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.

Hobbyists have already put a few small satellites into orbit – usually only for brief periods of time – but tracking the devices has proved difficult for low-budget projects.

The hacker activist Nick Farr first put out calls for people to contribute to the project in August. He said that the increasing threat of internet censorship had motivated the project.

“The first goal is an uncensorable internet in space. Let’s take the internet out of the control of terrestrial entities,” Mr Farr said.

Beyond balloons

He cited the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in the United States as an example of the kind of threat facing online freedom. If passed, the act would allow for some sites to be blocked on copyright grounds.

Whereas past space missions have almost all been the preserve of national agencies and large…

Full article…