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Agenda: Technology: The Obama-Biden Plan Barack Obama and Joe Biden understand the immense transformative power of technology and innovation and how they can improve the lives of Americans. They will work to ensure the full and free exchange of information through an open Internet and use technology to create a more transparent and connected democracy. They will encourage the deployment of modern communications infrastructure to improve America's competitiveness and employ technology to solve our nation's most pressing problems -- including improving clean energy, healthcare costs, and public safety. (White House)
Building Implosion In the controlled demolition industry, building implosion is the strategic placing of explosive material and timing of its detonation so that a structure collapses on itself in a matter of seconds, minimizing the physical damage to its immediate surroundings. Despite its terminology, building implosion also includes the controlled demolition of other structures, such as bridges, smokestacks, towers, and tunnels. (Wikipedia)
Corexit 9500 In response to public pressure, the EPA and Nalco released the list of the six ingredients in Corexit 9500, revealing constituents including sorbitan, butanedioic acid, and petroleum distillates. Corexit EC9500A is made mainly of hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, propylene glycol and a proprietary organic sulfonate. Environmentalists also pressured Nalco to reveal to the public what concentrations of each chemical are in the product; Nalco considers that information to be a trade secret, but has shared it with the EPA. Propylene glycol is a chemical commonly used as a solvent or moisturizer in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and is of relatively low toxicity. An organic sulfonate (or organic sulfonic acid salt) is a synthetic chemical detergent, that acts as a surfactant to emulsify oil and allow its dispersion into water. The identity of the sulfonate used in both forms of Corexit was disclosed to the EPA in June 2010, as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
The relative toxicity of Corexit and other dispersants are difficult to determine due to a scarcity of scientific data. The manufacturer's safety data sheet states "No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product," and later concludes "The potential human hazard is: Low." (Wikipedia)
Greenhouse gases ...are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The main greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In our solar system, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth's surface would be on average about 33 °C (59 °F) colder than at present.
The burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of the Industrial revolution has substantially increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (Wikipedia)
History of the Income Tax in the United States The nation had few taxes in its early history. From 1791 to 1802, the United States government was supported by internal taxes on distilled spirits, carriages, refined sugar, tobacco and snuff, property sold at auction, corporate bonds, and slaves. The high cost of the War of 1812 brought about the nation's first sales taxes on gold, silverware, jewelry, and watches. In 1817, however, Congress did away with all internal taxes, relying on tariffs on imported goods to provide sufficient funds for running the government. (Tax Foundation)
History of the Internet The concept of data communication - transmitting data between two different places, connected via some kind of electromagnetic medium, such as radio or an electrical wire - actually predates the introduction of the first computers. Such communication systems were typically limited to point to point communication between two end devices. Telegraph systems and telex machines can be considered early precursors of this kind of communication. The earlier computers used the technology available at the time to allow communication between the central processing unit and remote terminals. As the technology evolved new systems were devised to allow communication over longer distances (for terminals) or with higher speed (for interconnection of local devices) that were necessary for the mainframe computer model. Using these technologies it was possible to exchange data (such as files) between remote computers. However, the point to point communication model was limited, as it did not allow for direct communication between any two arbitrary systems; a physical link was necessary. The technology was also deemed as inherently unsafe for strategic and military use, because there were no alternative paths for the communication in case of an enemy attack.
As a response, several research programs started to explore and articulate principles of communications between physically separate systems, leading to the development of the packet switching model of digital networking. These research efforts included those of the laboratories of Vinton G. Cerf at Stanford University, Donald Davies (NPL), Paul Baran (RAND Corporation), and Leonard Kleinrock at MIT and at UCLA. The research led to the development of several packet-switched networking solutions in the late 1960s and 1970s, including ARPANET, Telenet, and the X.25 protocols. Additionally, public access and hobbyist networking systems grew in popularity, including unix-to-unix copy (UUCP) and FidoNet. They were however still disjointed separate networks, served only by limited gateways between networks. This led to the application of packet switching to develop a protocol for internetworking, where multiple different networks could be joined together into a super-framework of networks. By defining a simple common network system, the Internet Protocol Suite, the concept of the network could be separated from its physical implementation. This spread of internetworking began to form into the idea of a global network that would be called the Internet, based on standardized protocols officially implemented in 1982. Adoption and interconnection occurred quickly across the advanced telecommunication networks of the western world, and then began to penetrate into the rest of the world as it became the de-facto international standard for the global network. However, the disparity of growth between advanced nations and the third-world countries led to a digital divide that is still a concern today.
Following commercialization and introduction of privately run Internet service providers in the 1980s, and the Internet's expansion for popular use in the 1990s, the Internet has had a drastic impact on culture and commerce. This includes the rise of near instant communication by electronic mail (e-mail), text based discussion forums, and the World Wide Web. Investor speculation in new markets provided by these innovations would also lead to the inflation and subsequent collapse of the Dot-com bubble. But despite this, the Internet continues to grow, driven by commerce, greater amounts of online information and knowledge and social networking known as Web 2.0. (Wikipedia)
Internet2 is an advanced not-for-profit networking consortium led by members from the research and education communities, industry, and government.
In 2009, Internet2 member rolls included over 200 higher education institutions, over 40 members from industry, over 30 research and education network and connector organizations, and over 50 affiliate members.
Internet2 operates the Internet2 Network, a next-generation Internet Protocol and optical network that delivers production network services to meet the high-performance demands of research and education, and provides a secure network testing and research environment. In late 2007, Internet2 began operating its newest dynamic circuit network, the Internet2 DCN, an advanced technology that allows user-based allocation of high-capacity data circuits over the fiber-optic network.
The Internet2 Network, through its regional network and connector members, connects over 60,000 U.S. educational, research, government and "community anchor" institutions, from primary and secondary schools to community colleges and universities, public libraries and museums to health care organizations.
The Internet2 community is actively engaged in developing and deploying emerging network technologies beyond the scope of single institutions and critical to the future of the Internet. These technologies include large-scale network performance measurement and management tools, simple and secure identity and access management tools and advanced capabilities such as the on-demand creation and scheduling of high-bandwidth, high-performance circuits.
Internet2 is member led and member focused, with an open governance structure and process. Members serve on several advisory councils, collaborate in a variety of working groups and special interest groups gather at spring and fall member meetings, and are encouraged to participate in the strategic planning process. (Wikipedia)
Internet2 home page About: Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies.
By bringing research and academia together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community, Internet2 promotes collaboration and innovation that has a fundamental impact on the future of the Internet. (Internet2)
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence. In the intelligence community (IC), the term "open" refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or classified sources); it is not related to open-source software or public intelligence. (Wikipedia)
Ownership Chart: The Big Six The U.S. media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these giant companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. Here is information about the largest U.S. media firms. (FreePress.net)
Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 (S. 3480) is a bill introduced in the United States Senate by Joe Lieberman (Independent Democrat, Connecticut), Susan Collins (Republican Party, Maine), and Tom Carper (Democratic Party, Delaware) on June 10, 2010. The purpose of the bill is to increase security in cyberspace and prevent attacks which could disable infrastructure such as telecommunications or disrupt the nation's economy. Collins has stated that "we cannot afford to wait for a 'cyber 9/11'. The legislation would create an Office of Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications. ".
"Kill switch" Controversy
Senator Lieberman has been criticized for giving the President the power to use a "kill switch" which would shut off the Internet. He has called these accusations "total misinformation" and said that "the government should never take over the Internet". Lieberman further inflamed skeptics when he cited China's similar policy in a backfired attempt to show the policy's normalcy. However, the bill would allow the President to enact "emergency measures" in the case of a large scale cyber attack. The original bill granted the US President the authority to shut down part of the internet indefinitely, but in a later amendment the maximum time for which the President could control the network was reduced to 120 days. After this period, the networks will have to be brought up, unless Congress approves an extension. (Wikipedia)
PROTECTING CYBERSPACE AS A NATIONAL ASSET ACT OF 2010 Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Chairman Joe Lieberman, Ranking Member Susan Collins, Senator Carper - Section 101: This section establishes an Office of Cyberspace Policy within the Executive Office of the President (EOP). The Office will be responsible for developing a national strategy to increase the security and resiliency of cyberspace as well as oversee, coordinate, and integrate all policies and activities of the federal government related to ensuring the security and resiliency of cyberspace. - Section 242: This section establishes a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC or the Center) within the Department of Homeland Security. The Center will be headed by a Director appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Director will report directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security and serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary on cybersecurity and communications matters. The Director will regularly advise the President on the enforcement of policies pertaining to the security of federal government networks. The Center will have at least two Deputy Directors: one responsible for coordination with the Office of Infrastructure Protection and one responsible for coordination with the Intelligence Community. The Center will also have detailees from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Commerce as well as the intelligence community and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Center will also benefit from a full-time Chief Privacy Officer who will report to the Director. (US Congress)
Responses to Littlefield: The Wizard of Oz Since Littlefield's article first appeared in American Quarterly in 1964, many history teachers have no doubt used his observations to help their students learn about Populism. Oddly enough, however, Littlefield's article generated little journalistic or scholarly interest in the years following its initial publication. Littlefield was not, by the way, the first analyst to suggest that Baum may have been commenting on contemporary politics in his Oz stories. In 1957, Russell B. Nye made mention of the satire in Baum's Oz books. He emphasized, however, that Baum's intention was to amuse his readers and not to criticize. Still, Nye suggested that in Baum's sequel The Marvelous Land of Oz, "General Jinjur's army of girls armed with hatpins, satirizes the suffragette movement, a reference too sophisticated for his child readers to identify." Rather than a political allegory, Nye regarded Oz as Baum's utopian vision of America, a land free from disease and poverty, and where selfless people live not only in harmony with nature, but with technology as well.
In his 1971 book The Winning of the Midwest, Richard Jensen outlined Littlefield's interpretation of The Wizard of Oz and he added a couple of refinements to it. Surprisingly, Littlefield had not considered what Toto symbolized. Jensen asserted that, "Dorothy's frisky dog Toto represents the teetotaling Prohibitionists in the silverite coalition." Jensen also pointed out that "Oz" is the abbreviation for ounce, which is the standard unit of measure for both silver and gold.
Gore Vidal mentioned Littlefield's article as an aside in his essay "The Oz Books," which appeared in The New York Review of Books in 1977. He called Littlefield's interpretation "elaborate" and questioned whether Baum had intended to write a political allegory. Despite his public support for Bryan in the 1896 and 1900 elections, Vidal regarded Baum as an apolitical writer. Vidal did point out, however, that Baum had "very definite ideas about the way the world should be." (Turn On Me, Dead Man)
Robert Rubin Economic record and the 2008 global financial crisis - Rubin's assistance to Citigroup's lobbying efforts were successful in getting the Glass-Steagall Act repealed in October 1999. (Wikipedia)
Saint John Hunt The true story of notorious American spy and Watergate Conspirator E. Howard Hunt and his son, Saint John Hunt. Including startling new information about Watergate and the J.F.K. assassination with photos, documents and the handwritten memos by E. Howard Hunt from his famous death bed "last confession." (Saint John Hunt)
Snap Scouts: Crowd Sourcing Crime Prevention
Want to earn tons of cool badges and prizes while competing with you friends to see who can be the best American? Download the SnapScouts app for your Android phone (iPhone app coming soon) and get started patrolling your neighborhood.
It's up to you to keep America safe! If you see something suspicious, Snap it! If you see someone who doesn't belong, Snap it! Not sure if someone or something is suspicious? Snap it anyway!
Play with your friends and family to see who can get the best prizes. Join the SnapScouts today! - SnapScout Features:
* Colorful interface and sounds makes reporting a potential crime fun and easy!
* Submit reports anonymously to stay safe and secure!
* Help law enforcement collect evidence in real-time!
* Collect a variety of awards and badges to compare with friends!
* Makes civic duty and community fun!
* Coming soon: Multi-crime tagging to catch more crimes at once!
Stop the Internet Blacklist! (Petition) Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)
This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you'd expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you're not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill quickly -- and Senators say they haven't heard much in the way of objections! That's why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist. (Demand Progress)
Suspicious Activity & Behaviors Indicators: Homeland Security
It is important to the Dallas Police Department that citizens are alert, vigilant and report suspicious activity. The importance is as critical today as it was immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. We ask citizens to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity. A quick accurate description of events can make a big difference in both Criminal and Terrorism related investigations.
Possible Indicators of Suspicious behavior or Terrorist Activities:
* Unusual or extended interest in public utilities, large public gatherings, transportation centers, government buildings and other possible terrorist targets.
* Unusual requests for information, particularly about security or procedures for at-risk buildings.
* May try to have a “cover story” or appear ‘normal’ in their behavior such as portraying a student or tourist
* Identity Documents may be in various names
* May carry and use large amounts of cash
* Unusual rentals, purchases, deliveries, or thefts, particularly of poisonous or flammable chemicals, explosives, weapons or vehicles (including planes or boats).
* Multiple sightings of the same suspicious person, vehicle, or activity. (Dallas Police Department)
Taylor lawyer suspects a cover-up Sandra Berchtold, an FBI spokeswoman in Detroit, and a Department of Justice representative in Washington, D.C., both declined to comment. Haskell is the only known passenger to provide an account of Abdulmutallab being helped by a second man. Haskell's wife, Lori Haskell, said she was distracted by the couple's card game. (Free Press)
The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism by Henry M. Littlefield - On the deserts of North Africa in 1941 two tough Australian brigades went into battle singing:
Have you heard of the wonderful wizard,
The wonderful Wizard of Oz,
And he is a wonderful wizard,
If ever a wizard there was.
It was a song they had brought with them from Australia and would soon spread to England. Forever afterward it reminded Winston Churchill of those "buoyant days." Churchill's nostalgia is only one symptom of the world-wide delight found in an American fairy tale about a little girl and her odyssey in the strange land of Oz. The song he reflects upon came from a classic 1939 Hollywood production of the story, which introduced millions of people not only to the land of Oz, but to a talented young lady named Judy Garland as well.
Ever since its publication in 1900 Lyman Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been immensely popular, providing the basis for a profitable musical comedy, three movies, and a number of plays. It is an indigenous creation, curiously warm and touching, although no one really knows why. For despite wholehearted acceptance by generations of readers, Baum's tale has been accorded neither critical acclaim, nor extended critical examination. Interested scholars, such as Russel B. Nye and Martin Gardiner, look upon The Wizard of Oz as the first in a long and delightful series of Oz stories, and understandably base their appreciation of Baum's talent on the totality of his works.
The Wizard of Oz is an entity unto itself, however, and was not originally written with a sequel in mind. Baum informed his readers in 1904 that he has produced The Marvelous Land of Oz reluctantly and only in answer to well over a thousand letters demanding that he creation another Oz tale. His original effort remains unique and to some degree separate from the books which follow. But its uniqueness does not rest alone on its peculiar and transcendent popularity. (Henry M. Littlefield)
TipSoft SMS TipSoft SMS is a Text-a-Tip application which allows tipsters to anonymously submit information to our participating law enforcement agencies, schools, universities and corporations. Many of these agencies are utilizing this application through their Crime Stoppers Program which is an excellent deployment choice, although not required. This secure application allows the tipster and the investigator to have two-way dialog while keeping the tipster's identity completely anonymous.
Short Message Service (SMS), often called text messaging, is a means of sending short messages to and from mobile phones. Want tipsters to send tips to you as text messages from their cell phones? If so, contact us.
TipSoft SMS is seamlessly integrated within our TipSoft Online web application and as a mobile application that runs securely on many PDA devices. All modules allow for the simple and secure reception and response to tips via text message. (TipSoft)
Two Million Strong for Net Neutrality (Petition)
This is a crucial time in the fight for Net Neutrality. The FCC is pursuing new Net Neutrality rules; Congress is weighing legislation; and President Obama wants Net Neutrality to become the law of the land.
More than 1.9 million people have already urged Congress and the FCC to stand with the public and pass strong Net Neutrality protections. If we can reach 2 million people, we will send a resounding message that Washington can't ignore.
Urge Congress and the FCC to support Net Neutrality. (SaveTheInternet.com)
True sustainability needs an ethical revolution Obsessed with technology, we have overlooked something critical that lurks in our institutionalised notion of sustainability - Technology increases our ability to exploit the environment and the efficiency of exploitation. But it does not determine how we ought to exercise that ability and efficiency. In the 1970s, technology and economic incentives led to more efficient home heating and insulation in America. What did we do with that ability? Use less energy? No. We built bigger houses, because we could heat bigger houses more affordably.
Society is a ship whose engine is technology and rudder is ethics; history bears plenty of witness to the wrecks caused by technologies that developed ahead of ethics. There is no reason to think sustainability is any different. Technology is important, but not as important as understanding how sustainability is first and foremost a relationship: a relationship with the environment; a relationship where ethics (or a lack of attention to ethics) is the predominant influence on how we exploit nature. (The Ecologist)
Airline industry trapped in nosedive Does The Threat Of Terrorism Affect Your Plans? - Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese told the 7.30 Report this week the scanner trials had been "somewhat successful" and the Government was open to introducing them. (Adelaide Now)
Is security worth a revealing look? "I'm on an airplane every three or four days; I want that plane to be as safe and secure as possible," Chaffetz said. However, he added, "I don't think anybody needs to see my 8-year-old naked in order to secure that airplane." (Star Tribune)
Obama could expedite full body scans in U.S. Investors bid up the stocks of imaging companies like American Science and Engineering, OSI Systems, and ICx Technologies Inc between 10 percent and 26 percent on Monday and Tuesday, the first two trading days after the incident. (National Post)
Scanner debate follows terror attack The possibility of increased use as the terror threat continues has affected the stocks of the companies who make the devices. Some smaller companies such as ICX Technologies and OSI Systems, worth only a few hundred million dollars to begin with, rose 10 percent or more on Monday. Larger players like Smiths Group and L-3 Communications have also benefited, with their machinery already in trials in airports around the world. (Xinhuanet)
Second airport arrest unrelated to attack Federal officials did take a second person into custody at Detroit Metropolitan Airport shortly after an attempted bombing incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the passenger who got handcuffed was off a different flight, and the incident was not related, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said today. (The Detroit News)
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