I ran across this article in the Economist which answered a question that had been nagging me; why are cell phones banned on airplanes during flight?
The usual reason given is that the transmitters might interfere with the aircraft's avionics. "Both Airbus and Boeing have bombarded their aircraft with electromagnetic radiation at frequencies and power levels used by mobile phones, only to come away empty handed." There goes my plan to use my cell phone as a last ditch weapon against hijackers.
The real reason? Cell phone towers.
Cell phone networks assume that, at any given moment, a mobile phone is within range of only one or two nearby towers. Each tower uses a set of channels different from those allocated to the towers closest to it, but the same as other towers further away. This allows each channel to be reused to carry calls from multiple users.
But a cell phone operating in an aircraft flying overhead might be within reach of any number of towers using the same channels. Compounding this is that an airborne phone would be moving too fast across the sky for the ground-based network to respond.
Following up on Red October the large-scale cyber-espionage infestation reported by Kaspersky
malware, The H Security says that the command and control systems behind the apparently five-year-old digital spying ring has began closing down.
The campaign was not limited to laptops and desktops, but also stole data from mobile phones connected to those computers, with special tools for iPhones and Nokia smartphones.
The dark genii
didn't only rely on a typical backdoor program, but also made use of an unusual arsenal, including plugins for Adobe's Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Office that anti-virus programs rarely detected. The plugins waited for the document to be opened and then decrypted and executed the malicious code.
According to Strategy Page, Kaspersky called the malware Red October because it appeared to be written by Russians. Kaspersky has close ties to the Russian government so this would tend to discount Russian intelligence service involvement.
Perhaps it was a criminal organization selling stolen secrets to the highest bidder.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
SPECTRE lives -- Go after George Soros Ernst Stavro Blofeld, immediately!
The pound risks losing the 'safe-haven' status it has enjoyed among international investors as doubts grow over Britain's future in the European Union, one of the world's largest currency traders has warned.
Sterling has fallen more than 2pc against the dollar and 3pc against the euro already this year, marking a departure from 2012 when it was one of the most stable major currencies.
Prime Minister David Cameron is under intense pressure from Conservative MPs to renegotiate Britain's 40-year old membership of the EU, as the 17 countries that use the euro move towards closer political union.
In a major speech expected this week, Mr Cameron is expected to stress that he would prefer Britain stays in the EU but will raise the prospect of the country exiting without significant changes.
The Coalition government has been at pains to stress that political stability has been an attractive asset in the UK since the financial crisis even as the economy struggles to recover. The fear in foreign-exchange markets is that even if Britain remains in the EU, uncertainty over its role and a potential renegotiation of its membership could extend into next year.
A weakening in the pound may be welcomed by the government and the Bank of England, which are hoping that a weaker currency will help drive the country's exports this year. However, authorities will not want to see concern over the uncertainty surrounding Britain's future in EU trigger a sell-off in UK government bonds. Such a move would force up the Treasury's borrowing costs even as the recovery remains fragile.
[Libya Herald] The Comgressional Committee of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs met with the Saudi Ambassador, Muhammed Al-Ali, on Wednesday to discuss improving relations between the two countries in the field of Islamic Affairs.
During the meeting Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... presented a gift of 10,000 copies of the Koran to the Libyan people.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Libya Herald] The siege of Ghadames reported by its local council yesterday, Saturday, is being carried out by border guards from Zintan according to a senior member of Ghadames Shura Council.
Speaking by phone today from the border town, the official said there had been festivities between the guards and Ghadames revolutionaries but there had been no serious injuries. The Zintanis, he claimed, were refusing to allow anyone in or out of the town and had yesterday managed to close the airport. However, there's no worse danger than telling a mother her baby is ugly... a flight to Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... had finally left this morning, Sunday, he said. There were no problems in the town itself, he stressed.
Town leaders had complained to the government, the official told the Libya Herald. "We have informed the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior and the Prime Minister's Office," he explained. However, denial ain't just a river in Egypt... he was unsure whether that would have any effect. "Probably this will be solved socially with Zintan," he added. A team of Zintani officials were due to arrive in Ghadames today, he said.
He said he did not know why the hard boyz had taken action. There had been a number in Ghadames for the past year and a half, controlling the nearby border. But numbers had "signignificantly" increased in the recent weeks, he added.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Dawn] The Frontier Corps, Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... , tossed in the calaboose You have the right to remain silent... on Saturday night three senior coppers of the CID for their alleged involvement in a case of kidnapping for ransom.
Official sources said an FC team raided CID police office in Quetta and arrested SP Tariq Manzoor, DSPs Qutab and Bilal and five other personnel.
The senior coppers were alleged to have kidnapped Abdul Qudoos from Dalbandin, the district headquarters of Chagai, on Jan 16. They then contacted the family of the kidnapped man and demanded Rs5 million for his release. Later, they agreed to release the man on payment of Rs2.5 million.
The family contacted FC officials and informed them about the incident.
On the advice of FC officials, the family put special marks on the currency notes for identification and later paid the same to the kidnappers in Sariab area of the city.
The police officials were traced after they used the currency notes and were arrested by the FC. FC personnel started a search for other members of the gang.
A special investigation team has been interrogating the suspects.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Dawn] The health authorities in Mohmand Agency ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... postponed the scheduled polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... campaign starting from Jan 21 to cope with the measles outbreak which claimed lives of three more children in Haleemzai tehsil on Saturday.
On the directives of political agent Amir Ali Khan, the health authorities have started taking urgent steps to arrest the measles epidemic, which has so far killed over a dozen children and affected scores of others in last two weeks in the militancy-plagued Mohmand tribal region.
Residents said that the children who died of measles on Saturday included one-year-old daughter of Tahir Mohammad of Babikhel, five-year-old daughter of Wali Mohmmad and two-year-old daughter of Nasim Khan of Barokhel, while several others seriously affected children had been hospitalised.
They said that scores of children were affected as the measles broke out in various villages of Haleemzai, sub-district of Mohmand Agency. The residents complained that lack of medicines and other facilities at the health centres caused the deaths.
Anti-measles vaccination campaign has been launched in the agency headquarters' hospital in Ghalanai, which was inaugurated by agency surgeon Dr Dawood.
The surgeon said that over 40 teams had been sent to the affected areas in Haleemzai to administer anti-measles vaccine to children in the age bracket of nine months to 10 years.
Dr Dawood claimed that so far over 10,000 children had been vaccinated in different localities of the tribal agency.
He said that in this connection anti-polio campaign scheduled to be started from Jan 21 had been postponed for the time being so as to focus on protecting maximum children from measles.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Dawn] Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood three sons have joined the Pakistain Peoples Party (PPP), DawnNews reported.
Syed Mustafa Mehmood an MNA, Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood an MPA and Ali Mehmood have all joined the PPP.
During a gathering in Rahim Yar Khan, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's former prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics could be awe-inspiring ... made the announcement, in which he also said that the three brothers will work for the welfare of the masses.
He said that holding free and fair elections is the prerogative of the PPP.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[An Nahar] Kachin ethnic minority rebels in war-torn northern Myanmar accused the military of launching a fresh attack Sunday, just days after a ceasefire pledge by the country's reformist government.
The festivities came despite a new offer by President Thein Sein of peace talks to end Myanmar's last active civil war, which has marred widespread optimism about the regime's dramatic political reforms.
"They're still fighting," said James Lum Dau, the Thailand-based front man for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
He said the military was battling to retake control of a strategically important hilltop just several kilometers away from the KIA headquarters in Laiza, and was using artillery shells and ground forces.
"They want to take all their artillery on the hilltop and then they will immediately do something to occupy Laiza," he said.
Witnesses reported seeing hundreds of government troops involved in the operation.
The government announced on Friday that it would end a military offensive against the Kachin rebels with effect from Saturday morning, but within hours the KIA reported coming under fire again.
The government pledge came amid growing international concern about the use of air strikes in the conflict, although there have been no reports of further air raids since its ceasefire vow.
The Kachin rebels have not announced any ceasefire of their own, saying the regime is just trying to deflect international criticism. They say any negotiations should also address their demands for greater political rights.
In a speech to local civil society groups in Yangon on Sunday, Thein Sein said the military was trying to be patient with the rebels. He said his government was ready to hold peace talks with the Kachin.
"The Laiza headquarters of the KIO/KIA is within just an arm's reach of our government's army. But I already commanded the army not to wipe out the headquarters of the KIO/KIA. This is evidence that our government army wants genuine peace," the former general said.
"Based on international experience, it usually takes decades to build peace. During that time, festivities often flare up and down. But we will solve the problem at the table without betraying the grinding of the peace processor," he added.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Kachin state since June 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the KIA broke down.
Now, there's a headline you don't see every day.
[An Nahar] One person was killed and five others were maimed on Sunday in an kaboom at a banana fermentation plant in the southern city of Sidon, state-run National News Agency reported.
Future TV said that three Lebanese citizens, a Syrian and an Egyptian national were maimed in the blast in Sidon's Hasba area.
It identified the Lebanese nationals as Samer al-Zaatari, Hassan Ghaddar, and Ashraf Khalifeh.
The kaboom was caused by a chemical reaction at the plant, it revealed.
The National News Agency identified the person killed as Yahya al-Sayyad and the maimed as Ibrahim Abdul Rahman Othman, Samer al-Zaatari, Hassan Ghaddar, Deeb al-Nammar and Ashraf Khalifeh.
Future TV said that five nearby establishments were damaged in the kaboom.
[India Express] Rahul Gandhi may like his appointment as Congress vice-president to be seen as the rise of youth and a harbinger of change in the party. However, at the AICC meeting on Sunday at least, it was hard to spot either. Another political dynast, from an even less distinguished lineage than the Bhutto boy.
In their speeches, Youth Congress as well as NSUI leaders showed unmistakable continuity in the culture of sycophancy in the ruling party.
Youth Congress as well as NSUI leaders showed unmistakable continuity in the culture of sycophancy in the ruling party
Some even outmatched party veterans, promising to shed their blood to match the sweat of "desh ke yuvaon ki dhadkan (the heart-throb of the youth)" Rahul Gandhi. Others promised that for him, "jawani luta denge (sacrifice their youth)".
It was Uttar Pradesh PCC chief Nirmal Khatri, a Rahul appointee, who set the tone, exhorting Congress president Sonia Gandhi to "hand over your powers" to Rahul to ensure timely and quick decisions. Next speaker Amarinder Singh Raja, a Youth Congress leader from Punjab, followed it up saying, "A new revolution will come in the country under Rahul Gandhi."
[AFP] A man who pointed a gas pistol at the head of Bulgaria's Turkish minority party while he was speaking at a party conference will face hooliganism and death threat charges, prosecutors in Sofia said Sunday.
Police identified the attacker as 25-year-old Oktay Enimehmedov, an ethnic Turk from the eastern city of Burgas, who targeted Ahmed Dogan while he was addressing a conference of his liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) party on Saturday.
Deputy chief prosecutor Borislav Sarafov said Enimehmedov faces up to five years in prison on the grave hooliganism charge and up to six years on the death threat charge.
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In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England's factories would grind to a standstill.
In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was "little or no chance" of oil being discovered in California.
In 1891, it said the same thing about Kansas and Texas. (See Osterfeld, David. Prosperity Versus Planning : How Government Stifles Economic Growth. New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.)
In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.
1944 federal government review predicted that by now the US would have exhausted its reserves of 21 of 41 commodities it examined. Among them were tin, nickel, zinc, lead and manganese.
In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight.
In 1952 the US President's Materials Policy Commission concluded that by the mid-1970s copper production in the US could not exceed 800,000 tons and that lead production would be at most 300,000 tons per year. They get better...
I couldn't find this one in the cited article:
28 March 2007
"At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained," Bernanke said in prepared testimony to Congress' Joint Economic Committee.
MOSCOW -- Russia has prepared the Guantanamo list of U.S. officials who will be denied entry visas, officials in Moscow said Friday, the latest apparent retaliation for a U.S. law imposing sanctions on Russians over the death of an activist lawyer.
The difference, of course, is that few Americans want to go to Russia...
Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the foreign relations committee in the lower house of parliament, said Friday the list as drafted last month initially included 11 U.S. officials involved in running the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and other sites allegedly used by the U.S. and its allies as secret prisons to hold terrorism suspects. The list was expanded this month to 60 people, he said.
Not a problem, comrades citizens, our banned officials will stay home, and their replacements will communicate with your officials by Skype...
Among U.S. officials added to the list were judges, investigators, justice ministry officials and special services agents who were involved in Russian citizens Viktor Bouts and Konstantin Yaroshenkos legal prosecution and sentencing to long terms of imprisonment, he said.
Sorry Mr. Holder, but that ski vacation to Norilsk is on hold...
Pushkov also said that the list included members of Congress and American citizens allegedly guilty of the maltreatment and death of Russian orphans they adopted, as well as judges who passed wrong rulings on those cases and psychiatrists who asserted that those children had inborn defects and serious development deviations which caused their deaths.
Given the corruption on the Russian side of these adoptions the ban is something that should be welcomed...
The list may be expanded to include other U.S. officials, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
The U.S. measure -- the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which was signed into law by President Obama last month -- imposed visa restrictions and froze the U.S. bank accounts of Russian officials involved in the death of Magnitsky. The lawyer blew the whistle on a multimillion-dollar tax scam allegedly carried out by Russian officials and police officers. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009 while awaiting trial, allegedly the victim of torture.
Russia already responded to the U.S. law by banning adoption of Russian orphans by American couples as of Jan. 1. In the last two decades, Americans have adopted over 60,000 orphans from Russia. There are still about 600,000 orphans in Russia, more than 120,000 of them eligible for adoption, officials said. Russian families adopt about 7,000 orphans a year.
The corruption in the process has been horrific, and some of the orphans pushed into gullible, foolish and sometimes dishonest American couples have had myriad medical and psychologic problems. The money has been too sweet for Russian orphanage directors and their masters to ignore, so it persists.
The adoption ban triggered protests in Russia. On Sunday, thousands of people walked through downtown Moscow in what they called "The March Against Scoundrels."
They're not protesting their own sons-of-bitches, they're protesting ours...
Moscow was going a bit far in its retaliation against the United States, said Lilia Shevtsova, senior researcher with Moscow Carnegie Center.
The Kremlin publicly admitted in the past that at least some of Russian inmates held in Guantanamo were really involved in terrorism, Shevtsova said in an interview. If they go like this they will soon impose visa restrictions on U.S. officials involved in the liquidation of Osama bin Laden.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.