August 29, 2008

McCain's VP Wants Creationism Taught in School

In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."


"It's unfortunate McCain would pick someone who shares those particular anti-science views, but it's not a surprise," said Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Lousiana University philosophy professor and prominent critic of creationist science. "She's a choice that pleases the religious right. And the religious right has been the chief force against teaching evolution."


According to Fordham Institute science education expert Lawrence Lerner, Palin's nomination is less worrisome in terms of education than the broad relationship of science and government.

It seems to me Sarah Palin was chosen for her looks. Let's face it, McCain is, well, "weathered," and I'm sure having a "trophy VP" will help change the view of his "attractiveness" to Joe Public.

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August 25, 2008

Uncle Sam Wants Your Brain

Drugs that make soldiers want to fight. Robots linked directly to their controllers' brains. Lie-detecting scans administered to terrorist suspects as they cross U.S. borders.

These are just a few of the military uses imagined for cognitive science -- and if it's not yet certain whether the technologies will work, the military is certainly taking them very seriously.


One potential use involves making soldiers want to fight. Conversely, "How can we disrupt the enemy’s motivation to fight? [...] How can we make people trust us more? What if we could help the brain to remove fear or pain? Is there a way to make the enemy obey our commands?"


"I think most reasonable people, if they imagine a world in which all sides have figured out how to control brains, they'd rather not go there," he said. "Most rational human beings would believe that if we could have a world where nobody does military neuroscience, we'll all be better off. But for some people in the Pentagon, it's too delicious to ignore."

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August 23, 2008

Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

That's probably okay with Barack Obama: Biden likely got the nod because of his foreign policy knowledge.

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August 21, 2008

New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers

The senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. It was signed by Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

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McCain unsure how many houses he owns

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

Yeah. He can relate to me and my needs. He has no idea what the needs of the average American family are.

Rich people should not lead. They rarely can fathom budgets, economic difficulty, or fiscal responsibility.

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August 13, 2008

Rep. Bachmann: Planet's Been Saved Already

“[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she’s just trying to save the planet,” Bachmann said. “We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet — we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.”

They're both whacked.

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August 12, 2008

U.S. Broadband Speeds Too Darn Slow; Adoption Hits 7-Year Low

The bad news: Broadband adoption slipped to a seven-year low last quarter. The worse news: It could take a century for the United States to catch up to broadband speeds in Japan, given the rate at which services are improving here.


The trade group says the average U.S. internet speed was 2.3-megabits per second, up just .4 mbps from last year. Japan, by contrast, boasts average net speeds of roughly 63-mbps range.

Think about that. 63-mbps!

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Bigfoot Body Found Will Shock the World

DNA evidence and photo evidence of the creature will be presented in a press conference on Friday, August 15th from 12 Noon to 1:00pm at the Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto at 4290 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California, 94306. The press conference will not be open to the public. It will only be open to credentialed members of the press.
Here are some of the vital statistics on the “Bigfoot” body:

Check out the stats and read the rest of the news release.

A big surprise on gas

But perception is not reality where gas prices are concerned. By June of this year, disposable income had risen by an average of $1,627 per person over last year's figures, according to the Department of Commerce, while the average person's real expenditures on gasoline increased by about $490. Our incomes are still outpacing gasoline price increases. The problem is that our incomes aren't outpacing the increase in gas prices lumped together with increases in everything else -- air conditioning, food, etc. Our homes, meanwhile, are losing value.

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August 10, 2008

Science close to unveiling invisible man

INVISIBILITY devices, long the realm of science fiction and fantasy, have moved closer after scientists engineered a material that can bend visible light around objects.

The breakthrough could lead to systems for rendering anything from people to large objects, such as tanks and ships, invisible to the eye – although this is still years off.

But it's coming...

Read more, and think about how this technology will be abused.

August 8, 2008

Fingerprint test tells much more than identity

With a new analytical technique, a fingerprint can reveal much more than the identity of a person. It can also identify what the person has been touching — drugs, explosives or poisons, for example.


As it becomes cheaper and more widely available, the Desi technology has potential ethical implications, Cooks said. Instead of drug tests, a company could surreptitiously check for illegal drug use of its employees by analyzing computer keyboards after the employees have gone home, for instance.

Ah, the future looks so bright, doesn't it? Just think how this can be abused.

Read more, and wear gloves more often.

August 2, 2008

Gary McKinnon: Hacking Away At Truth and the Failings of the Disclosure Community?

McKinnon not only found the odd gem of significant exopolitical data, he also found that the US’s military and intelligence electronic networks were, to understate it, vastly insecure.


It’s unfortunate that a UK citizen with [whatever your moral views on his activities] humanitarian intent should now be facing a 60 year jail term when possibly more threatening actors are still free behind their respective computer screens.


It’s worth remembering that McKinnon spent numerous hours online trawling these networks and finding mostly regular material – it was his obsessive nature on the embargoed UFO issue that pushed him onwards. By the time of his arrest, Gary had found two items that have been endlessly debated in the field ever since. First was a list of ‘non-terrestrial officers’ and second was a spreadsheet detailing ‘fleet-to-fleet transfers’.

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'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.


Sunlight has the greatest potential of any power source to solve the world's energy problems, said Nocera. In one hour, enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet's energy needs for one year.

Read the rest.

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

You only think you're free.

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