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iPods and portable USB drives remain key threats for data security; self-auditing software walks the line between security and privacy

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

Speaking in Sydney last week ahead of a conference conducted by Computer Sciences Corporation, Workshare chief executive Joe Fantuzzi said that providing a path into an internal network could be as easy as sending someone a Microsoft Word document, according to Joshua Gliddon, reported The Australian Financial Review (25/9/2007, p. 36). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Security, Uncategorized, Volume 2601 | Leave a Comment »

Dunning-Kruger effect: those with low levels of skill generally overestimate their competence while skilled people almost invariably underestimate

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

The reason the idiot you work for had no idea how bad he was at his job might be due to the Dunning-Kruger effect – almost without fail, those with low levels of skill overestimated their competence, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (22/9/2007, p. 47). Read the rest of this entry »

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Secret ingredient in tank fuel-pill – mothballs – raises $10m to $100m from 1200 investors for naphthalene additive

Posted by gasweek on 15 September, 2007

Investigations by the Herald have led to three inquiries into Firepower, which is estimated to have raised between $10 million and $100 million from about 1200 investors, including many sports stars. Now independent university test carried out for theThe Sydney Morning Herald reveal what goes into the Firepower Pill. One of the secret ingredients in a fuel pill that has helped underpin multi-million-dollar sponsorships in three sporting codes was revealed – and it’s the same compound used in mothballs, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (8/8/2007, p. 1).
Firepower Cartoon
Firepower a sponsor of major sporting codes: The pills, which promise to improve fuel consumption and reduce harmful emissions when added to a tank of fuel, are marketed by Firepower, sponsor of the Sydney Kings basketball team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league team and the Western Force rugby union team in Perth.

Naphthalene compound the main ingredient: One of the main ingredients in the Western Force-branded pill is a naphthalene compound, a toxin with the familiar smell once found in sock drawers. Naphthalene mothballs have been used in car enthusiasts as a homemade octane booster for decades.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 8/8/2007, p. 1

Posted in Cartoon, Fuel, Petrol, Uncategorized, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

Asian Brown Cloud as much to blame for warming in the Himalayas over past half century as GHG; biofuel cooking, biomass burning contributes to dark sooty mass

Posted by gasweek on 15 September, 2007

In a study released by the British journal Nature, the investigators said the so-called Asian Brown Cloud was as much to blame as greenhouse gases for the warming observed in the Himalayas over the past half century, reported The Canberra Times (2/8/2007, p.3).

Glaciers melt now, but droughts loom later: Rapid melting among the 46,000 glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, the third-largest ice mass on the planet, was already causing downstream flooding. But long-term worries focus more on the danger of drought, as the glaciers shrink. The report triggered an appeal from UN Environment Program chief Achim Steiner, who urged the international community “to ever greater action” on tackling climate change.

UAVs monitor Cloud from above: Researchers led by Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, used an innovative technique to explore the Asian Brown Cloud. The plume sprawls across South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia and the northern Indian Ocean. It spews from tailpipes, factory chimneys and power plants, forests or fields that were being burned for agriculture, and wood and dung which are burned for fuel. Professor Ramanathan’s team used three unmanned aircraft fitted with 15 instruments to monitor temperature, clouds, humidity and aerosols. The remote-controlled craft carried out 18 missions in March 2006, flying in a vertical stack over the Indian Ocean. The planes flew simultaneously through the Brown Cloud at heights of 500m, 1500m and 3000m.

Cloud exacerbates solar heating, melts mountain ice: They discovered that the cloud boosted the effect of solar heating on the air around it by nearly 50 per cent because its particles are soot, which is black and thus absorbs sunlight. The simulation estimated that, since 1950, South Asia’s atmosphere has warmed by 0.25C per decade at altitudes ranging from 2000m to 5000m above sea level – the height where thousands of Himalayan glaciers are located. As much as half of this warming could be attributed to the effects of brown clouds, Professor Ramanathan said.

Biomass burning produces Cloud: Roughly 60 per cent of the soot in South Asia comes from biofuel cooking and biomass burning, which could be eased by helping the rural poor get bottled gas or solar cookers, he said.

The Canberra Times, 2/8/2007, p. 3

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