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Rogue ad hits New York Times site The New York Times' Web site is grappling with problems created by an "unauthorized advertisement," but it is unknown how the ads managed to appear on the site and whether the site had been compromised.
The rogue ad warns readers that their computer may be infected with a virus and redirects them to a site that purports to offer antivirus software, according to a note posted to the newspaper's Media & Advertising section:
Some NYTimes.com readers have seen a pop-up box warning them about a virus and directing them to a site that claims to offer antivirus software. We believe this was generated by an unauthorized advertisement and are working to prevent the problem from recurring. If you see such a warning, we suggest that you not click on it. Instead, quit and restart your Web browser. (CNet News)
Drudge Report accused of serving malware, again For the second time in less than six months, visitors to the Drudge Report say they got malware in addition to the Web site's usual sensational headlines.
Matt Drudge denied that his site was infecting visitors, however it's likely that the malware is coming from ads delivered by a third-party ad network and not the site itself.
"I can personally vouch for disinfecting my mom's desktop yesterday after visiting this Web page, even taking a screenshot after beginning remedial steps to address the attempted infection," a CNET reader wrote in an e-mail early on Tuesday. "I'm an IT professional in South Carolina so I know and understand the technology involved."
The screenshot the reader provided to CNET shows a pop-up warning the viewer that the system is infected with malware and looks like a typical fake antivirus warning that criminals use to scare people into paying for software they don't need.
The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did not know exactly where on the site his mother had clicked before the fake warning appeared. (CNet News)
Microsoft: Keep internet healthy by isolating infected PCs Computers infected with malware should be disconnected from the internet to prevent them posing a risk to the rest of the online community, a top security executive at Microsoft has urged. - In a paper delivered to the ISSE 2010 computer security conference in Berlin on Wednesday, Scott Charney, Microsoft's vice president of Trustworthy Computing, proposed the move as part of a re-think of global IT cybersecurity along public-health lines. Quarantining infected PCs would help prevent malware from spreading and could help battle botnets, he said.
"If a device is known to be a danger to the internet, the user should be notified and the device should be cleaned before it is allowed unfettered access to the internet, minimising the risk of the infected device contaminating other devices," Charney said. (ZD Net)
Microsoft's PC Quarantine Plan A plan by Microsoft Security Chief Scott Charney would place infected or unsecured PCs in an Internet isolation ward. And block users from Internet access.
How might this work? Let's try this potential scenario.
Hello this is your ISP. We regret to inform you that your system has been quarantined and will not be allowed to access the Internet. We have detected that your system may be infected with malware and that you are not running the approved and certified security software to protect your system. Please remove the malware and update your security software (how you can do this without an Internet connection is your problem). Sorry about any important emails, business opportunities, emergency notices and VOIP-based phone calls that you are now missing. Have a nice day. (Information Week)
Poland Says “No” to H1N1 Vaccine Of the world’s 193 recognized sovereign states, only Poland refused the H1N1 vaccine because of safety fears and distrust of the pharmaceutical companies producing the injections. The decision by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Health Minister Ewa Kopacz had broad public support, even though Poland has reported 145 deaths from H1N1 flu as of mid-January. Poles saw the vaccine rejection as a praiseworthy act of defiance against pharmaceutical manufacturers, a sentiment bolstered by a growing anti-vaccine movement.
“We are making this decision only in the interest of the Polish patient and the taxpayer,” Tusk said. “We will not take part because it’s not honest and it’s not safe for the patient.” The anti-vaccine movement claims that the H1N1 inoculation is untested or contains unsafe ingredients, such as the preservative thimerosal. The World Health Organization disagrees and points out that more than 150 million people in 40 nations have been vaccinated and suffered no abnormal or dangerous reactions. (Alter Group)
India halt vaccine programmes after the deaths of four children Vaccine programmes grind to a halt in India once more, when four children died after they received the measles vaccination in Lucknow. The four children were reported to have fainted soon after they were vaccinated and witnesses reported seeing the children's eyes roll back as they began to have seizures. All of the children were under the age of two years of age, with the youngest being just six months. Sadly the children died before medical aid workers could reach them.
As news of the deaths spread, immunization drives in 41 villages have been halted until further investigations have taken place.
The Indian Express stated in their article 4 children die within minutes of vaccination - www.indianexpress.com that-
"The immunisation programme was being conducted as part of the government's Jachha Bachha Suraksha Abhiyan launched on August 15. Minutes after vaccination, the children started gasping for breath." (Blitz)
Devices detonated at Discovery gunman's home A gunman who burst into the Discovery Communications headquarters with explosive devices strapped to his body and took three people hostage on Wednesday was armed with starter pistols, Montgomery County Police said Thursday.
The two weapons in gunman James J. Lee's possession were starter pistols, and not handguns as police previously thought, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Starter pistols are incapable of firing bullets.
Authorities also found four explosive devices during a search of Lee's home in the 2500 block of Kimberly Street in Wheaton on Thursday morning. Those devices were successfully detonated. (WTOP)
James J Lee Manifesto: The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY: 1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!! ... (James J Lee)
Will the media call the Silver Spring/Discovery Channel gunman an environmental terrorist? In Silver Spring, Maryland a gunman has entered the headquarters of the popular cable network the Discovery Channel and taken at least one hostage. The gunman appears to have been protesting the cable channel for sometime, and has left behind an internet manifesto dedicated to pushing a radical environmental and anti-population growth philosophy. In the manifesto, he demands: “The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY.” (Washington Examiner)
Group Attacks Google Privacy, Schmidt with Times Square Ad Just in time for the holiday weekend, a California-based consumer group has purchased space on a Times Square jumbotron to display a video that attacks Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and his company's privacy policies.
The effort is part of Consumer Watchdog's "Don't Track Me" campaign, which is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would create a list of consumers who do not want Internet companies tracking their online activities – much like the "do not call" list bans unsolicited telemarketing calls.
"We're satirizing Schmidt in the most highly-trafficked public square in the nation to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights," Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said in a statement. (PC Mag)
Worries about US data on Iraqis: Privacy advocates, those scanned fear misuse if files shared Over the past seven years, US soldiers in Iraq have used sweeping wartime powers to collect fingerprints, iris scans, and even DNA from ordinary people and suspected insurgents, an effort that has helped the Pentagon amass one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of biometric information collected during a war.
As the war draws down, however, the collection of so much personal information has raised questions about how data gathered during wartime should be used during times of peace, and with whom that information should be shared. - Nearly 7 percent of Iraq’s 29 million people are cataloged — their names, facial scans, and often other details about them, such as whether they were considered a friend or foe. Now, US officials are debating about how much of the powerful data should be shared with Iraq and how much Iraq’s own troubled security forces should be encouraged to continue collecting information.
Some Iraqis fear that the transfer of data to their government could create a “hit list’’ of Iraqis who worked with the US military or a tool for settling ethnic or sectarian scores.
“Those people, they trusted the US government and worked with them,’’ said Naseer Nouri, 52, who helps run an organization to assist Iraqi refugees in adjusting to life in the United States. - Today, the Pentagon’s database, which is kept separate from the FBI files, contains information on some 4 million people from around the world, about 40 percent of whom are Iraqis. Officials would not divulge from where the rest of the information was gathered.
US forces started collecting fingerprints in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, as part of interrogations of agents of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The US military also helped computerize Iraq’s fingerprint files from Hussein’s era. US soldiers reportedly collected fingerprints and DNA samples from 80,000 detainees in their custody. (It is not clear how those samples have been used.) (Boston Globe)
Did market manipulation cause Wall Street ‘flash crash?’ The Securities and Exchange Commission is keeping a close eye on a stock market practice that may violate rules against market manipulation, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The practice, called quote stuffing, happens when stock exchanges are flooded and, at times, clogged by huge numbers of buy and sell orders orders that are ultimately cancelled.
Regulators are trying to determine if traders are using rapid-fire computerized trading systems to cause the inundation by design, purposefully gumming up the exchanges and giving traders an information advantage on small price movements in stocks.
The Journal reported that the SEC is investigating whether quote stuffing may have been one of the causes of the May 6 flash crash, when the Dow briefly plunged 1,000 points in a matter of minutes.
To get an idea of the volume of quotes produced by high-speed, computerized trading, consider this: During the day of the flash crash, there were hundreds of times that a single stock had over 1,000 quotes from one exchange in a single second, according to Nanex, a ticker of quotes and trades. (The Raw Story)
Texas probing Google over search results The attorney general of the US state of Texas has opened an inquiry into whether Internet giant Google manipulates search results.
Google disclosed the antitrust probe in a blog post late Friday following a report by technology website SearchEngineLand.com on the investigation by the Texas authorities.
“We recognize that as Google grows, we’re going to face more questions about how our business works,” Google’s deputy general counsel Don Harrison said. (Agence France-Presse)
No defence left against double-dip recession, says Nouriel Roubini The United States, Japan and large parts of Europe have exhausted their policy arsenal, leaving them defenceless against a double-dip recession as recovery slows to ‘stall speed’. - “The US has run out of bullets,” said Nouriel Roubini, professor at New York University, and one of a caste of luminaries with grim forecasts at the annual Ambrosetti conference on Lake Como.
“More quantitative easing (bond purchases) by the Federal Reserve is not going to make any difference. Treasury yields are already down to 2.5pc yet credit spreads are widening again. Monetary policy can boost liquidity but it can’t deal with solvency problems,” he told Europe’s policy elite.
Dr Roubini said the US growth rate was likely to fall below 1pc in the second half of the year, despite the biggest stimulus in history: a cut in interest rates from 5pc to zero, a budget deficit of 10pc of GDP, and $3 trillion to shore up the financial system.
The anaemic pace compares with rates of 4pc-6pc at this stage of recovery in normal post-war recoveries.
“We have reached stall speed. Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession. With interbank spreads rising, you can get a vicious circle like 2008-2009,” he said, describing a self-feeding process as the real economy and the credit system hurt each other.
“There is a 40pc chance of double-dip recession in the US, and worse in Japan. Even if it is not technically a recession it will feel like it,” he added. (London Telegraph)
I am happy that truth has come out: Pachauri Cleared of financial wrongdoing, R K Pachauri, who heads the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, is weighing reforms put forth by a UN-ordered probe.
You have emerged unscathed out of the accusations about your role as chairman of the IPCC... - Anything in the UN probe report you completely or partly disagree with?
They have talked about quantifying uncertainties. To some extent, we are doing that, though not perfectly. But the issue is that in some cases, you really don't have a quantitative base by which you can attach a probability or a level of uncertainty that defines things in quantitative terms. And there, let's not take away the importance of expert judgment. And that is something the report has missed or at least not pointed out. (Times of India)
The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”, Part I As the 9th anniversary of 9/11 nears, and the war on terror continues to be waged and grows in ferocity and geography, it seems all the more imperative to return to the events of that fateful September morning and re-examine the reasons for war and the nature of the stated culprit, Al-Qaeda.
The events of 9/11 pervade the American and indeed the world imagination as an historical myth. The events of that day and those leading up to it remain largely unknown and little understood by the general public, apart from the disturbing images repeated ad nauseam in the media. The facts and troubled truths of that day are lost in the folklore of the 9/11 myth: that the largest attack carried out on American ground was orchestrated by 19 Muslims armed with box cutters and urged on by religious fundamentalism, all under the direction of Osama bin Laden, the leader of a global terrorist network called al-Qaeda, based out of a cave in Afghanistan.
The myth sweeps aside the facts and complex nature of terror, al-Qaeda, the American empire and literally defies the laws of physics. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The greatest enemy of the truth is not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.”
This three-part series on “The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda” examines the geopolitical historical origins and nature of what we today know as al-Qaeda, which is in fact an Anglo-American intelligence network of terrorist assets used to advance American and NATO imperial objectives in various regions around the world.
Part 1 examines the origins of the intelligence network known as the Safari Club, which financed and organized an international conglomerate of terrorists, the CIA’s role in the global drug trade, the emergence of the Taliban and the origins of al-Qaeda. (Global Research)
House GOP leaders: 9/11 first responders aid bill 'a massive new entitlement program' House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), would provide medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at ground zero, bolster treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on Sept. 11 and reopen a compensation fund to provide for the economic loss of victims.
And it’s all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats said.
But according to Republicans, it’s a job-killing growth of government that would create a new entitlement and waste taxpayer dollars. (Politico)
Airway Injury Plaguing 9/11 First Responders New research suggests that airway injuries account for the asthma that has afflicted many New York City Fire Department rescue workers who were exposed to dust from the World Trade Center collapse.
The dust appears to be causing symptoms similar to those seen in decades past in miners exposed to toxins, said Dr. Michael D. Weiden, a New York City fire department medical officer and lead author of the new study on the lung problems of the 9/11 rescue workers.
“You usually think people get an injury and they heal,” he said. “In this case, they continued to have symptoms and present for medical attention for a long time after a relatively brief exposure. It shows that the irritation caused ongoing inflammation which affected the airways of these people.”
Experts estimate that as many as 40,000 people breathed noxious pollution, including dust, in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Protective masks weren’t always immediately available for first responders. (Health.com)
BP Thugs Threatening Independent Scientists That Have Found Corexit And Oil In BP Gulf Oil Spill Waters I just received a phone call from a member of Testings The Waters a citizen’s initiative to push for independent BP Gulf Oil Spill water testing who told me some alarming news.
He pointed me over to a WKRG news report about independent water tests confirming that Corexit is being found in washing up in Orange Beach Alabama waters. - If tests results are true, the absorbent boom being brought to Margaret Longs house on Cotton Bayou may already be too late.
“My chemist found the corexit,” she yells to a neighbor. She first got suspicious when she saw something in the water she had never seen before. She even took photographs, “Some times it’s about the size of a half dollar. Some times it streams along and its like floating sand.”
When the opportunity arose she took some samples. “It was floating in the water. A boat goes by making a bigger wake than its suppose to and it came over the seawall and I had puddles of water along here.”
She got samples and sent them to chemist Bob Naman in Mobile whose tests results show 13 point 3 parts per million of the chemical dispersant corexit. (Alexander Higgins)
'It's as if a Nuclear Apocalypse has Gone Off in the Gulf' There are a few new, developing BP-related stories that should greatly disturb any American who values openness and transparency in their democracy.
First, a chemist named Bob Naman claims samples he received from Orange Beach Alabama waters tested positive for the dangerous neurotoxin pesticide 2-butoxyethanol, the main ingredient of Corexit 9527A. The government has been claiming they discontinued the use of that version of Corexit in the Gulf. Now, Naman says he's worried because BP called him and "threatened him."
Next, Dr. Nyman of Louisiana State University, who began comparative tests early May to determine the impact of oil and the impact of Corexit laced oil on maritime life, says, while marine life may recover quickly from oil exposure, the same cannot be said about exposure to Corexit. (Huffington Post)
BP spill: White House says oil has gone, but Gulf's fishermen are not so sure Counsellors and lawyers are busier than seafarers in Louisiana, as some experts warn that fishing industry will never recover - High tide, and the remains of a late summer storm, and it is hard to tell on this strip of land between the Mississippi and the marsh where land ends and water begins. It was here – in the most southerly reaches of Louisiana on terrain that is slowly sliding into the sea – that oil from BP's Macondo well first started coming ashore, about a week after the 20 April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. Eleven men were killed when the drilling platform blew up.
And it is here where local people will take the most convincing that the worst of the oil spill is behind them and that recovery is under way.
Barack Obama's point man on the spill, the US Coast Guard's former commander, Thad Allen, said at the weekend that the well no longer posed any threat to the Gulf. Crews will begin the last few remaining operations needed to abandon the well this week.
People here live and die by the water. On a fine day the docks in Venice empty out, with seaworthy boats and able-bodied crew off to look for oil contamination, at sea and in the marsh grass.
No one, it seems, believes the assurances from the White House or government scientists that the oil is largely gone. And no one really believes BP when oil company executives say they will stay in Louisiana for the long haul. (London Guardian)
The Right Comparison Between Recoveries The Wall Street Journal ran a graph this weekend claiming, “The private sector is adding jobs … but the recovery is slower than in past cycles.” In fact, even though it is not fast enough, the rate of job growth is actually faster now than was the case at comparable points of the past two recoveries.
How did the Wall Street Journal get it wrong? The problem is that their graph indexes job growth to the start of the recession, not the start of the recovery. The economy stopped contracting at the end of the second quarter last year and has since expanded for four straight quarters. So June 2009 is a reasonable date to pick for the start of the recovery, although the “official” date has not yet been set by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Private sector job growth started six months after GDP started expanding in the current recovery. By contrast, in the 2001 recovery private sector job growth did not begin until 22 months after the official NBER end date of the recession, and in the 1991 recovery job growth did not start until 12 months after the official NBER end date of the recession. (White House)
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request No. 2009USMS13697, Subject: Images To John Verdi, Esq. of the Electronic Privacy Information Center - In response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and the litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pertaining thereto, the Marshals Service has completed a supplemental search for records relating to the component of your request seeking "All unfiltered or unoscured images captured using Whole Body Imaging technology." (Department of Justice)
Secretary Napolitano Announces Additional Recovery Act-Funded Advanced Imaging Technology Deployments Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the deployment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded advanced imaging technology (AIT) to 28 additional airports nationwide - strengthening security at airports throughout the nation while creating local jobs.
"As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to* best protect the traveling public and detect terrorism threats, we continue to deploy state-of-the-art advanced imaging technology across the country," said Secretary Napolitano. "The rapid deployment of this critical technology, made possible by Recovery Act funds, will strengthen security at even more airports nationwide."
"The deployment of advanced imaging technology demonstrates TSA's ongoing commitment to stay ahead of evolving threats to aviation security and protect the traveling public," said TSA Administrator John Pistole. - ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and the General Services Administration (GSA). Of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $734 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $266 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies. (Department of Homeland Security)
"Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon." Firemen evacuated the area as they prepared for the collapse of Building Seven. "We heard a Mayday for everybody to get out of the building [140 West] -- no, I'm sorry, an urgent, three urgents, and we came out of the building [before 4 p.m.]. ... We were then positioned on Vesey Street between North End and the West Side Highway because there was an imminent collapse on 7 World Trade, and it did collapse." [Brian Fitzpatrick, Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]
"It's blowin' boy." ... "Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon." ... "The building is about to blow up, move it back." ... "Here we are walking back. There's a building, about to blow up..."
When buildings such as WTC 7 are demolished the collapse is initiated by an explosion in the central area of the basement. This causes the building to collapse in on itself and minimizes damage to surrounding structures (CNN)
Carpenter Marlene Cruz Survives Explosions in WTC Basement On September 12, 2001, Peter Jennings interviews Marlene Cruz, a carpenter injured in one of the pre-collapse explosions in the sub-basement level B of the WTC North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane's point of impact at floors 93 to 98. She was the first casualty of 9/11 admitted at Bellevue Hospital. Cruz is a living witness whose testimony proves that pre-planted explosives were used to weaken the foundations of the towers as part of a well-planned controlled demolition. This clip was taken from original, unedited archive footage of ABC's broadcast on 9/12. (ABC)
New William Rodriguez support story Anthony Saltalamacia was with Rodriguez on the basement. First time after 6 years , they meet and his recollection taped. Part of the upcoming video by Mr. Rodriguez
9/11: Molten Metal at Ground Zero Firefighters accounts of flowing molten metal at ground zero, "like a foundry." According to the official version of events, molten metal would be impossible. The main person in charge of the NIST report on the collapse of the Twin Towers has stated that he is "not aware" of there being molten metal.
Letter to Bennie G. Thompson Chairman Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives, from Gale D. Rossides, Acting Administrator of the TSA Thank you for your letter of January 21, 2010, regarding the privacy concerns that the Committee on Homeland Security has raised about the capability of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to store, print, record, and export images.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is committed to providing world class security while preserving privacy in our security programs. The AIT program meets this commitment through TSA's screening protocol that ensures complete anonymity for passengers undergoing AIT scans. TSA has not deviated from these operational protocols, which were first published in a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) in January 2008 before any devices in the AIT pilot went' into operation. That PIA, and every PIA update since, states, "[w]hile the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image, the image storage functions will be disabled by the manufacturer before the devices are placed in an airport and will not have the capability to be activated by operators." (Transportation Security Administration)
Airport `Naked Image' Scanners May Get Privacy Upgrades Holli Powell, a Phoenix medical- software consultant who flies every week, says she avoids getting into airport security lines that end at what she calls a humiliating full-body scanner.
“Those scanners, I feel, are above and beyond,” Powell, 35, said in an interview. They generate “nearly naked images.”
The concerns of travelers such as Powell, which led privacy advocates to sue the government, may soon be eased. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. and OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan, makers of the scanners for U.S. airports, are delivering software upgrades that show a generic figure rather than an actual image of a passenger’s body parts. The new display would mark sections of a person’s body that need to be checked. (Bloomberg)
Who Ignored the Facts About the Electric Car? by Dave Barthmuss. The film EV Confidential: Who Killed the Electric Car? showcased the intense passion for GM's out-of-production EV1 electric vehicle. I understand why. It was great technology for its day, a great concept and a great car. GM was and is proud to have brought the electric vehicle concept as far as it did and further than any other electric vehicle project attempted by any other automaker around the globe. Sadly, despite the substantial investment of money and the enthusiastic fervor of a relatively small number of EV1 drivers - including the filmmaker - the EV1 proved far from a viable commercial success.
But the story for GM does not end with the final credits on the movie. I've been the person who has spent the last few years answering the questions of why GM discontinued the program. Although I have not seen the movie or received an advanced DVD as others have from the film's producers, I can tell you that based on what I have heard there may be some information that the movie did not tell its viewers. The good news for electric car enthusiasts is that although the EV1 program did not continue, both the technology and the GM engineers who developed it did. In fact, the technology is very much alive, has been improved and carried forward into the next generation of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles that are either on the road, in development or just coming off the production line. (General Motors)
6 OPEC Nations Agree To Reduce Their Oil Prices Saudi Arabia said today that it and five other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had agreed to a reduction in the price of Saudi Light crude, which determines the price that other OPEC members charge for their oil. The Saudi Arabian oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, warned the other seven members of OPEC that if they did not accept the planned price cut -believed to be $4 a barrel - the six stood ready to slash prices further. If the OPEC nations, which produce about a third of the world's oil, fail to coordinate their prices, recent reductions by Britain, Norway and Nigeria could set off a price war, aggravating economic uncertainty and jeopardizing bank loans to the poorer oil exporters. (New York Times)
A road trip to the White House to reinstall Jimmy Carter's dream It’s been almost a generation since solar panels President Carter installed on the White House roof were removed during renovations. Now, a group of climate activists armed with one of the original panels are on a road trip to the White House to get President Obama to put them back up.
UPDATE, 9/11, from Bill McKibben: "I just walked out of a disappointing meeting with the White House: they refused to accept the Carter solar panel we came to Washington to deliver and said that they would continue their "deliberative process" to discuss putting solar panels back on the White House roof." - The panels, which were used to heat water for the White House staff eating area, were a symbol of a new solar strategy that Carter said was going to "move our nation toward true energy security and abundant, readily available energy supplies."
But in 1986, President Ronald Reagan took the solar panels down when the White House roof was being repaired. They were never reinstalled.
In 1990, the panels were retrieved from government storage and brought to the environmentally-minded Unity College about an hour southeast of Bangor, Maine. There, with help from Academy Award winning actress Glenn Close, the panels were refurbished and used to heat water in the cafeteria until 2005. (Boston Globe)
2003 State of the Union speech
Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished citizens, and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.
You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform domestic programs vital to our country and we have the opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared and we will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people. In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can be confident. In a whirlwind of change, and hope, and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is strong. - Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce more energy at home. I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest.
I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our environment and our economy. Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step, and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined. In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about, not through endless lawsuits or command and control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I am proposing 1.2 billion dollars in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom -- so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. Join me in this important innovation -- to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country -- the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there is power -- wonder-working power -- in the goodness, and idealism, and faith of the American people. (George W Bush)
State of California Air Resources Board -- STAFF REPORT: INITIAL STATEMENT OF RULEMAKING -- PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSENGER CARS AND LIGHT-DUTY TRUCKS The Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations, adopted by the California Air Resources Board (“ARB” or “Board”) in 1990, are a critical element of California’s plan to meet federal and state health-based ambient air quality standards. The zero- emission vehicle (ZEV) requirement is an integral part of the LEV program and is intended to secure increasing air quality benefits for California over the long-term. Under the ZEV regulation, beginning in 1998 two percent of the vehicles produced and delivered for sale in California by the seven largest auto manufacturers must be ZEVs. That percentage increases to five percent in 2001 and ten percent in 2003.
When the ZEV requirement was adopted the Board acknowledged that many ZEV-related issues, including questions regarding the cost of developing the technology necessary to produce ZEVs and the marketability of these new vehicles, would have to be addressed prior to the 1998 implementation date. The Board committed to biennial reviews of the LEV program, including the ZEV requirement, to provide a forum for answering these questions. Thus as the Board took this bold step forward, there was a clear recognition that it might be necessary to make interim course adjustments to find the best and surest track to the ultimate destination -- cleaner air for California.
The proposal in this report is the result of the third biennial review of the LEV program. In preparation for this review, the ARB held a series of public forums during 1995 to solicit comments on virtually all aspects of the ZEV requirement, and retained an independent panel of experts to report on the readiness of electric vehicle battery technology for the 1998 model year implementation.
Based on the results of the review process, the staff proposes amendments to the LEV regulations to eliminate the percentage ZEV requirements through the 2002 model year. This proposal is intended to preserve, not abandon the ZEV program. In fact several manufacturers have indicated that they will introduce ZEVs for sale in California by 1998. By suspending the percentage requirements for five years, staff seeks to capitalize on these efforts and ensure the successful launch of a sustainable ZEV market that will provide air quality benefits in California through 2010 and beyond. The current ten percent ZEV production requirement in the 2003 model year would remain unchanged. Staff has concluded that this action will not have a long- term adverse economic impact on California.
The staff further recommends the ARB enter into memoranda of agreement, or MOAs, with each of the seven major automakers subject to pre-2003 ZEV requirements. The MOAs formalize the automakers’ enforceable commitments to introduce low-emission vehicles nationwide in 2001, three years earlier than could be required under federal law. The emission reductions associated with this commitment will offset the emission reductions associated with the 1998-2002 ZEV requirements plus a premium, ensuring California’s commitments under the state implementation plan.
The MOAs also formalize the manufacturers commitment to participate in a Technology Development Partnership. Under the MOAs the automakers will carry out demonstration projects designed to validate advanced technology batteries consistent with the recommendations of the battery panel and will continue funding of ZEV- related technology research and development. (California Air Resources Board)
Nissan R'nessa is a station wagon manufactured by Nissan from 1997 to 2001. According to Nissan, the name derives from "packaging renaissance for versatile, spacious comfort on wheels."
It was produced by Nissan from October 1997 to July 2001, and competed with the Toyota Opa and the Honda Avancier. Powering the 2WD models was the SR20DE engine, The X and G models with a 4WD specification were fitted with the KA24DE engine. The GT Turbo model came with the SR20DET engine and was AWD.
 Nissan Altra
The R'nessa was also equipped with a magnet neodymium 62 kW electric motor and run on lithium ion batteries manufactured by Sony and used for testing in California, and had a range of 230 km (140 mi) between a charging interval of 5 hours, and a charge-discharge cycle over 1,000 times. The batteries were installed beneath the floor.
The Nissan Altra was an electric car produced by Nissan Motors between 1998 and 2002. The Nissan Altra was introduced at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on 29 December 1997. Nissan described the Altra as a combination of a sedan, SUV, and minivan. It was mainly used as a fleet vehicle for companies such as electric utilities. Only about 200 vehicles were ever produced. It used the bodystyle of the Nissan R'nessa.
Technologically, the Altra was significant as being the first production electric vehicle to use a lithium-ion battery (li-ion) battery. Nissan called this a third-generation battery (after lead acid and nickel metal hydride) and chose li-ion primarily for its power density. It was managed by a passive system, ensuring the batteries never reach charge levels outside their recommended zones. The Altra had a permanent magnet synchronous motor, controlled by a 32-bit reduced instruction set computer computer processor. It had other more typical features, such as keyless entry, power mirrors and windows, a 4-wheel anti-lock braking system, and regenerative braking. According to Nissan, the Altra had a maximum range of 120 miles (190 km). The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the 2000 version had an adjusted mileage (miles per equivalent of a gasoline gallon) of 117 mpg-US (2.01 L/100 km; 141 mpg-imp) the city, and 130 mpg-US (1.8 L/100 km; 160 mpg-imp) on the highway. (Wikipedia)
Ford Ranger EV is a battery electric vehicle produced by Ford Motor Company. It was produced starting in the 1998 model year through 2002 and is no longer in production. It is built upon a light truck chassis used in the Ford Ranger. A few vehicles with lead-acid batteries were sold, but most units were leased for fleet use. A few persistent and interested private parties were able to obtain leases over a period of three to five years. All leases were terminated in 2003-04, and the vehicles were recalled. (Wikipedia)
Toyota RAV4 EV was an all-electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV produced by Toyota. It was leased from 1997 to 2003, and at the lessees request, many units were sold after the vehicle was discontinued. As of 2010 there are 800 units still in use. In July 2010 Toyota announced that is working together with Tesla Motors to develop a second generation RAV4 EV, and the companies expect the vehicle to be mass produced by 2012.
The first fleet version of the RAV4 EV became available on a limited basis in 1997. In 2001 it was possible for businesses, cities or utilities to lease one or two of these cars. Toyota then actually sold or leased 328 RAV4 EVs to the general public in 2003, at which time the program was terminated despite waiting lists of prospective customers.
The RAV4 EV closely resembles the regular internal combustion engine (ICE) version-without a tailpipe-and has a governed top speed of 78 mph (~126 km/h) with a range of 100 to 120 miles (160 to 190 km). The 95 amp-hour NiMH battery pack has a capacity of 27 kWh, charges inductively and has proven to be surprisingly durable. Some RAV4 EVs have achieved over 150,000 miles (240,000 km) on the original battery pack. It was also one of the few vehicles with a single speed automatic transmission at that time.
Besides the batteries, controller and motor, the remaining systems in the RAV4 EV are comparable to the gas-powered RAV4, such as power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, tire wear and suspension components except for the power sources involved. The power brakes use an electric pump to provide vacuum instead of deriving vacuum from the engine manifold while the power steering and air conditioning systems use electric motors instead of mechanical energy delivered by fan belts. The passenger compartment heater is electrical. (Wikipedia)
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