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Archive for the ‘Unknowns’ Category

AT&T adds extra condition to terms and conditions it imposes upon its broadband users in US: swift cut-off possible for any email that “tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T”

Posted by gasweek on 11 October, 2007

According to John Davidson, AT&T has just added an extra condition to the terms and conditions it imposes upon its broadband users in the US, threatening the very censorship we’re talking about, reported The Australian Financial Review (9/10/2007, p.30).

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Posted in Security, Unknowns, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Water, energy utilities get classified govt computer-modelling to plan for disasters, terror attacks

Posted by gasweek on 10 October, 2007

Banks, telecommunications carriers, energy and water utilities would be given access to classified computer modelling by the government to plan for disasters, wrote Julian Bajkowski in The Australian Financial Review (3/10/2007, p.53).

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Posted in Defence, Security, Unknowns, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

You’ve got no mail: AOL blocks emails containing references to petition circulating in opposition to changes in AOL’s email service

Posted by gasweek on 9 October, 2007

According to John Davidson in The Australian Financial Review (9/10/2007, p.30) last year AOL blocked emails that contained references to a petition that was circulating in opposition to changes in AOL’s email service. (AOL said it was a “glitch”).

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Posted in Security, Unknowns, US, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Eye in the sky: Tiny video cameras, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand attached to tail feathers of 18 crows

Posted by gasweek on 9 October, 2007

Tiny video cameras, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, were attached to the tail feathers of 18 crows. With their lenses pointing out between the legs of the birds, the cameras captured colour footage of the crows foraging for food. The scientists, led by Dr Christian Rutz, from the university’s Depart­ment of Zoology, found that the birds employed a surprisingly wide range of tool materials, including sticks and grass-like stems. One crow used at least three different tools for probing loose material on the ground for about 45 minutes — a foraging technique not observed before, reported The Courier Mail (6/10/2007, p.24).

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Posted in Security, Unknowns, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Facebook, MySpace could become targets of new fed government bill blocking access to overseas sites blacklisted by federal police commissioner; blanket IP bans lack subtlety

Posted by gasweek on 5 October, 2007

Popular networking websites such as Facebook could become inadvertent targets of a new federal government bill blocking access to overseas sites blacklisted by the federal police commissioner, reported The Australian (25/9/2007, p.6). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Defense, Gas, Security, Unknowns, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Oil companies, motor companies and military queue to deny associations with Firepower: claims look flaky

Posted by gasweek on 4 October, 2007

Some of the statements in the document used to drum up interest in Firepower have been questioned in a report in The Sydney Morning Herald (29/9/2007, p. 44).

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Posted in oil, Unknowns, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

ASIC investigation into Firepower fuel-saving products; case listed for hearing on 16 October

Posted by gasweek on 4 October, 2007

In September 1992 an early version of Firepower’s Tim Johnston’s fuel-saving products was the subject of a critical exposé by the New Zealand Auto­mobile Association, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (29/9/2007, p. 44).

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Posted in NZ, Unknowns, Volume 2602 | 1 Comment »

Model planes go mainstream: add a video camera and find powerline breaks, survey wildlife, manage crops

Posted by gasweek on 2 October, 2007

Unmanned aircraft developed for military uses were being considered for civilian government applications, including pinpointing remote area powerline breaks, surveying fish and wildlife, monitoring stock movements, managing crops and fighting bushfires, wrote Christopher Jay in The Australian Financial Review (28/9/2007, p.71).

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Posted in Agriculture, Unknowns, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

Troubling questions surround 9/11 events: lengthy list of inconsistencies, non-sequiturs, technicalities and legal challenges remain unanswered

Posted by gasweek on 2 October, 2007

Robert Fisk is reported in The Australian (27/8/2007, p. 17) as writing in The Independent in Britain: “Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience whom I call the ‘raver’. His – or her – question goes like this. ‘Why, if you believe you’re a free journalist, don’t you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don’t you tell the truth that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don’t you reveal the secrets behind 9/11?'”

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Posted in Afghanistan, Defense, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Security, Unknowns, US, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

New theory explains strange events during 2003 Canberra fires: changes in pressure create shock waves, lead to explosions

Posted by gasweek on 28 September, 2007

The Canberra firestorm that ravaged Australia’s capital in January 2003 surprised everyone, reported New Scientist (4/8/2007, p38). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Gas, Unknowns, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

Prepaid cards a gift to criminals; briefing paper issued by the Australian High Tech Crime Centre and the Australian Institute of Criminology

Posted by gasweek on 28 September, 2007

Christmas shoppers who bought prepaid gift vouchers stored on electronic cards might soon have to queue up for identity checks along with their gift wrapping, after crime experts said the popular new products were a money laundering threat, according to Julian Bajkowski reported in The Australian Financial Review (25/9/2007, p. 35). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Defense, Gas, Security, Unknowns, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

Mo doubt about it: CEO-with-Mo Index (CWM) slumps in recent weeks: moustachioed chief executives dwindling away

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

The slide in the CWM 100 Index began in earn­est when Macarthur Coal founder Ken Talbot, who has a Monash-style mo, departed as the com­pany’s chief executive in June. In late July, Downer EDI chief executive Stephen Gillies, who formerly sported a mo, resigned after the engineering con­cern unveiled yet another profit downgrade. It is unclear if Downer EDI’s troubles were in some way linked to Gillies shaving off his Burt Reynolds-style mo about five years ago. There has even been some instability in smaller companies with moustachioed chief executives, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, (22/9/2007, p.49).

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Posted in Unknowns, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

Mel Gibson forms Catholic Sect: follows antiquated ideology of Catholicism dating back to 16th century

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

Mel Gibson had poured a further $10 million into his controversial sect in the Malibu hills as he oversaw the construction of a 400-seat church to expand his flock of followers, reported The Daily Telegraph (5/9/2007, p. 3).

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Posted in Unknowns, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

Terrorist of the Week: Joseph Stalin; a combination of Tony Soprano and Osama bin Laden

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

Written as a prequel to Sebag Montefiore’s Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, the book “Young Stalin” begins on the fringes of the Russian empire in “the sing-song, wine-flavoured lushness of Georgia”, as un-Russian a world as you could imagine, wrote James Jeffrey in The Australian (22/9/2007, p.11). It is here, in conversation with Stalin’s contemporaries and relatives (the oldest is 109) and strip-mining the riches of the Georgian archives (hitherto overshadowed by the dam-burst of the Russian archives), that Sebag Montefiore has objectively turned back years of Leon Trotsky’s propaganda that painted his rival as a grey blur, a provincial nobody and base thug who inexplicably, almost magically, floated to the top of the Bolshevik ranks.

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Posted in Defense, Security, Unknowns, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

Comedian Stephen Fry gets 20 plus “friend requests” an hour on Facebook; but no stable friendship without confidence, and confidence comes with time

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

According to Heather Brooke, news that the comedian, Stephen Fry has been forced to hire an assistant to manage his online social networking makes one wonder what Aristotle would make of Facebook. The great thinker had a lot to say about friendship that is relevant with the rise of such networking sites. The founding father of the scientific method, Western philosophy and logic would probably have hundreds clamouring to join his Facebook friends list. Perhaps he might even rival Fry’s reported 20-plus friend requests an hour, wrote Brookes in The Australian Financial Review, (22/9/2007, p.35).

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Posted in Unknowns, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

“Black swan” event, lies outside regular expectations, and has an extreme impact

Posted by gasweek on 18 September, 2007

Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book The Black Swan (Random House, 2007) explains how a “black swan” event lies outside regular expectations and has an extreme impact, according to Leon Gettler in The Age (5/9/2007, p.14). Taleb, a former trader who worked in quants – the funds that use complex and sophisticated mathematical algorithms to search for anomalies and non-obvious patterns in markets – is taking a break and working in the sciences of uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts.

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Posted in Risk Assessment, Unknowns, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »