Archive for March 26th, 2010

26
Mar
10

6.2-magnitude quake strikes Chile

NEWS
6.2-magnitude quake strikes Chile

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth

••• Chile has been hit by yet another earthquake on Friday, 375 miles to the north of the country’s capital, Santiago.

The epicentre was some 50 miles south west of the city of Copiapo, at a depth of 140 miles. Its effects were felt as far away as Santiago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck a few minutes before noon (10:52 a.m. local time). There have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

A deadly 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile on Feb. 27, killing 425 people and leaving 500,000 others homeless. It was the fifth strongest on record since 1900 and as expected has produced hundreds of aftershocks, mostly minor ones but also including two of 6.9 magnitude.

Share

26
Mar
10

Google says 1,100 communities are vying for its broadband network

NEWS
Google says 1,100 communities are vying for its broadband network

Friday, March 26, 2010

••• More than 1,100 communities across (and more than 194,000 responses from individuals) the United States have expressed their interests to be the test sites of Google Inc.’s ultra high-speed broadband networks, the U.S. Internet company said on Friday.

Google announced in February that it plans to test broadband networks in one or more trial locations in the United States, claiming that the networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans are using today.

The company has set March 26 as the deadline for local governments in the country to submit information on their interests to join the Google network trials and about existing facilities and resources in their communities.

Over 1,100 communities have responded by Friday morning, hours before the submission deadline, according to Google.

The enthusiasm by local governments to bring ultra high-speed broadband networks to their communities clearly showed that ” people across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access,” Google noted in a blog posting.

“We’ve seen cities rename themselves, great YouTube videos, public rallies and hundreds of grassroots Facebook groups come to life, all with the goal of bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities,” Google said.

And that proved Google’s point: That Americans are clamoring for faster Internet access.

Antics to draw Google’s attention included the mayor of Duluth, Minn., who jumped into the icy waters of Lake Superior, and the mayor of Topeka, Kan., who renamed the city Google for the month of March. Rancho Cucamonga even got a Web makeover as Rancho Googlemonga. Closer to Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, folks in Palo Alto boogied to the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in front of City Hall.

“We’re not going to be able to build in every interested community,” said Google, which plans to reach up to 500,000 people with the experiment. “Wherever we decide to build, we hope to learn lessons that will help improve Internet access everywhere. After all, you shouldn’t have to jump into frozen lakes and shark tanks to get ultra high-speed broadband.”

The company said it will announce target community or communities of the network trials by the end of the year.

26
Mar
10

President Obama Announces the New START Treaty

NEWS
President Obama Announces the New START Treaty

Friday, March 26, 2010

Climaxing months of hard negotiations, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed today to sharp cuts in the nuclear arsenals of both nations in the most comprehensive arms control treaty in two decades. “We have turned words into action,” Obama declared.

The completion of this agreement gives Obama his biggest foreign policy achievement just days after his biggest domestic accomplishment: winning approval of his health care overhaul.

Obama said the pact, to be signed on April 8 in Prague, was part of his effort to reset relations with Russia and a step toward “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

The agreement would require both sides to reduce their arsenals of long-range nuclear weapons by about a third, from 2,200 now to 1,550 each. The pact, replacing and expanding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991, which expired in December, was a significant gesture toward improved US-Russian relations that have been badly frayed.

The reductions would still leave both sides with immense arsenals – and the ability to easily annihilate each other.

“In many ways, nuclear weapons represent both the darkest days of the Cold War, and the most troubling threats of our time,” Obama said at the White House. “Today, we have taken another step forward in leaving behind the legacy of the 20th century while building a more secure future for our children.”

In Russia, Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova told the Interfax news agency, “This treaty reflects the balance of interests of both nations.”

A Kremlin statement said, “The new treaty stipulates that strategic arms will be based exclusively on the territories of each of the nations.”

Both sides would have seven years after the treaty’s ratification to carry out the approximately 30 per cent reduction in long-range nuclear warheads. The agreement also calls for cutting by about half the missiles and bombers that carry the weapons to their targets.

“We have turned words into action. We have made progress that is clear and concrete. And we have demonstrated the importance of American leadership – and American partnership – on behalf of our own security, and the world’s,” Obama said.
Though the agreement must still be ratified by the Senate and both houses of the Russian Parliament before it takes effect, Obama and Medvedev plan to sign it next month in Prague, the city where last April, Obama delivered his signature speech on arms control.

For his administration, a major value of the treaty is in setting the stage for potential further successes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, standing with Defence Secretary Robert Gates alongside Obama, noted next month’s international meeting of leaders on nuclear proliferation being hosted by the president in Washington, focused on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to terrorists and rogue states.

“We come with more credibility, Russia comes with more credibility, having negotiated this treaty,” she said.

Ratification in the Senate will require 67 votes, two thirds of the Senate, meaning Obama will need support from Republicans. Some Republican senators had previously expressed concerns about concessions being made by U.S. negotiators.

Clinton, asked whether approval could be achieved given the recent fierce partisan battles and close votes over health care, said it could.

“National security has always produced large bipartisan majorities, and I see no reason why this should be any different,” she said. “I believe that a vast majority of the Senate, at the end of the day, will see that this is in America’s interest. And it goes way beyond politics.”

In Russia, the treaty goes first to the State Duma, the lower house, and then to the Federation Council.

Speaking in the White House briefing room, Obama said the treaty by the globe’s two largest nuclear powers would “send a clear signal that we intend to lead” the rest of the world in reducing the nuclear threat.

Clinton noted that the U.S. and Russia still possess more than 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons. “We do not need such large arsenals to protect our nation,” she said.

She emphasized the verification mechanism in the treaty, a key demand of the US that was resisted by Russia and was one of the sticking points that delayed completion of the deal. It will “reduce the chance for misunderstandings and miscalculations,” she told reporters.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that by helping to build trust “this treaty enhances our ability to do that which we have been charged to do – protect and defend the citizens of the United States.”

He said U.S. commanders around the world “stand solidly behind the treaty.”

Gates cautioned the treaty – and an accompanying review of nuclear posture – will require more spending to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal. At the same time, the defense secretary called it an “important milestone” in consigning Cold War nightmares to the past.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband welcomed the “historic” agreement.

He said the U.K. was committed to a world free from nuclear weapons and “stands ready” to take part in a future multilateral disarmament process.

He said: “As the Prime Minister told President (Barack) Obama when they spoke yesterday, the U.K. welcomes this agreement which is an important further step towards a world free from nuclear weapons.

“The international community must now seize the opportunity this creates for the 2010 NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Review Conference and beyond.

“That means continued efforts by all states possessing nuclear weapons to work towards their total elimination.

“It means concerted action from the international community to tackle countries like North Korea and Iran which seek to develop nuclear weapons in breach of their treaty commitments.

“And it means the safe expansion of nuclear power.”

The new treaty will also set out new verification procedures that are considered less cumbersome and expensive than those in Start.

Share

26
Mar
10

Doctors remove boy’s extra fingers, toes

NEWS
Doctors remove boy’s extra fingers, toes

Friday, March 26, 2010

••• Li Jinpeng, a 6-year-old boy born with 15 fingers and 16 toes, is happy he will soon be able to wear a normal pair of shoes.

Doctors at the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, Liaoning province, successfully removed Li’s additional fingers and toes in a surgical operation that lasted more than five hours on Tuesday.

Before the surgery, Li, the son of migrant workers from Heilongjiang province, was believed to be the world record holder for having the maximum number of fingers and toes.

He is not the least bit sad at losing the record to two Indians, Pranamya Menaria and Devendra Harne, who each have 12 fingers and 13 toes.

Li was happier to hear doctors tell him he would be able to eat with chopsticks in a few months’ time.

Tian Lijie, director of microsurgery at the Shengjing Hospital, who led the surgical team, said the operation, which started at 10 am and ended at 3:20 pm, went well and Li now has 10 fingers and 10 toes.

“The functions (of the boy’s fingers) will not be affected and he will be able to live a normal life,” Tian told China Daily on Wednesday.

Explaining the surgical procedure, Tian said: “It just took a few hours to trim the neurovascular bundles and the surgery was completed with microvessel clamps.”

The doctor said Li had survived the critical stage and is now in a stable condition.

“His dressing will be changed in three days and he will be able to go back home in a week,” Tian said, adding, “His rehabilitation training will begin in a month, when he will be able to do basic hand movements like pinch and grip.”

According to Tian, the cause of Li’s deformity could be several factors like “genetic, genetic mutation, or problems during pregnancy”, but doctors do not know for sure.

However, Li’s parents, who work in Yingkou, Liaoning province, said no one from their families had ever had such a problem.

“We were obviously stunned when Li was born with all those fingers and toes. I was crying the whole day after the delivery,” Li’s mother, Liu Lichun told local media.

Liu added she was embarrassed to take her son outdoors, because so many people would look at him strangely or make comments about his deformity.

Liu said she and her husband took Li, who had seven fingers on his left hand, eight on his right and eight toes on each foot, to several doctors, all of whom advised them to wait until he grew a little older before having surgery.

The couple now cannot wait to enroll Li in school.

“We didn’t let him go to school before out of pity,” said Li’s father.

Prior to the surgery, Li told reporters: “I want to wear a pair of normal shoes, too, but they pinch my toes.”

He said he had always worn slippers to give his extra-broad feet some space to breathe.

He also could not hold a pencil normally. He used to hold it between the second and third finger of his right hand.

“My friends treat me differently at kindergarten. They call me a monster. They beat me and scratch me,” Li said before his surgery.

Now things are different. And Li knows it.
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China)
Share

26
Mar
10

Victorinox launches secure data storage devices

NEWS
Victorinox launches secure data storage devices

Friday, March 26, 2010

Available next month, Victorinox is releasing their new USB Drive Swiss Army Knives. Appropriately called the Victorinox Secure Pro, they will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models. Using Victorianox’s proprietary Schnuffi Platform Single Chip Technology, the drives are virtually un-hackable. As an extra security precaution, there’s also a fingerprint scanner.
To make things difficult, there are actually 3 versions of this product. The one I mentioned above is the Secure Pro which has the USB drive, blade, scissors, nail file, and ballpoint pen. Where’d the toothpick go? The more exclusive one is called the Presentation Master Edition which adds remote Bluetooth access and a laser pointer. The final version is called the Flight-Safe Edition (either the Master or Secure Pro) and it comes without the blade, so you can get it through airport security and such. I would think you’d need to ditch the scissors and nail file too, effectively making it an entirely different product.

They’re available in April.

Founded in 1884, Victorinox Swiss Army is Your Companion for Life on the Road. Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Victorinox, A.G., is the exclusive United States, Canadian and Caribbean marketer of Victorinox Swiss Army knives, forged and stamped cutlery, fragrances and LED lighting products; and Victorinox Swiss Army timepieces. It sells apparel throughout the world under the Victorinox trademark and has flagship retail stores in New York, London, Tokyo and Geneva. Under license from Victorinox A.G., the Company sublicenses the Victorinox trademark and the famous Victorinox Cross and Shield to selected manufacturers and distributors of fine products including Victorinox Travel Gear. The company Web site is located at http://www.swissarmy.com. Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. is based in Monroe, CT. “Victorinox”, the famous Victorinox Cross and Shield, and “Swiss Army” are trademarks owned by Victorinox AG and its affiliates and are registered in many countries.

Share




Calendar

March 2010
M T W T F S S
    Apr »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers

© Copyright 2010 Dominic Stoughton. All Rights reserved.

Dominic Stoughton's Blog