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TSA Agent Arrested at LAX He had just gotten off duty and was behaving erratically, saying, "I am god, I’m in charge." Meanwhile, a TSA Internal Affairs investigation turned up evidence of LAX TSA agents using drugs at an after-hours party. (NBC)
The Anti-Terror Portfolio (ASEI, OSIS, FLIR, ICXT, HXL, AIR, ORB) Following the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day, various counterterrorism initiatives are in talks from Washington to Wall Street. We already covered the potential impact airport delays could have on airline stocks, but there are some companies that could benefit from increased demand amid tightened homeland security. (Ticker Spy)
How full-body scanners work For now, the process is an optional alternative to a traditional pat-down at airports across the country, including Reagan National and BWI. These are the two types of full-body imaging technology in use or on the way: (Washington Post)
Group slams Chertoff on scanner promotion Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines - In the summer, TSA purchased 150 more machines from Rapiscan with $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. (Boston Globe)
"ZBV": Z Backscatter Van Mobile Screening System A breakthrough in X-ray detection technology, AS&E's Z Backscatter Van (ZBV) is a low-cost, extremely maneuverable screening system built into a commercially available delivery van. The ZBV allows for immediate deployment in response to security threats, and its high throughput capability facilitates rapid inspections. The system's unique "drive-by" capability allows one or two operators to conduct X-ray imaging of suspect vehicles and objects while the ZBV drives past.
The ZBV can also be operated in stationary mode* by parking the system and producing X-ray images of vehicles as they pass by. Screening can also be accomplished remotely while the system is parked. Remote operation allows scanning to be done safely, even in dangerous environments, while maintaining low-profile operation. The system is unobtrusive, as it maintains the outward appearance of an ordinary van.
The ZBV employs AS&E's patented Z Backscatter technology, which reveals contraband that transmission X-rays miss - such as explosives and plastic weapons - and provides photo-like imaging for rapid analysis. The ZBV is also capable of identifying low levels of radioactivity from both gamma rays and neutrons with optional Radioactive Threat Detection (RTD) technology. The ZBV is ideal for counterterrorism applications, as it can detect dirty bombs and nuclear WMD, in addition to conventional explosives.
The ZBV also combats crimes of smuggling at ports and borders, such as trade fraud. Trade fraud is the deliberate misrepresentation of legal goods to avoid paying duties. The ZBV's photo-like imaging clearly shows whether or not the contents of a vehicle or container match the description on the manifest.
The Z Backscatter Van is used in port and border security, force protection, urban surveillance, and other critical security applications. The system is maneuverable, mobile and affordable. Simply put, the ZBV is faster, more effective, and less expensive than any mobile X-ray screening solution in the marketplace today. (American Science & Engineering)
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)
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