Daily Archives: February 23, 2012

Galactic Views (24)


Chandra Finds Fastest Wind From Stellar-Mass Black Hole
NASA – This artist’s impression shows a binary system containing a stellar-mass black hole called IGR J17091-3624, or IGR J17091 for short. The strong gravity of the black hole, on the left, is pulling gas away from a companion star on the right. This gas forms a disk of hot gas around the black hole, and the wind is driven off this disk.

New observations with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory clocked the fastest wind ever seen blowing off a disk around this stellar-mass black hole. Stellar-mass black holes are born when extremely massive stars collapse and typically weigh between five and 10 times the mass of the Sun.

The record-breaking wind is moving about twenty million miles per hour, or about three percent the speed of light. This is nearly ten times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole, and matches some of the fastest winds generated by supermassive black holes, objects millions or billions of times more massive.

Another unanticipated finding is that the wind, which comes from a disk of gas surrounding the black hole, may be carrying away much more material than the black hole is capturing.

The high speed for the wind was estimated from a spectrum made by Chandra in 2011. A spectrum shows how intense the X-rays are at different energies. Ions emit and absorb distinct features in spectra, which allow scientists to monitor them and their behavior. A Chandra spectrum of iron ions made two months earlier showed no evidence of the high-speed wind, meaning the wind likely turns on and off over time. Image Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Restore America’s Promise: More Jobs, Less Debt, Smaller Government

Team Romney – Faster growth creates the jobs and generates the incomes to fund the aspirations of American families, the opportunities of American businesses, and the priorities of America as a nation.

“The right way forward is a flatter, fairer, simpler tax system that generates the revenue we need to fund a smaller government that is restrained to its historical size,” said Romney. “My plan sends signals of stability to business leaders and investors around the world, conveys a process for accomplishing these goals, and draws on my leadership skills and real-world experience to integrate and implement a comprehensive economic policy.”

Part One: Jumpstart Pro-Growth Changes In Individual Taxation

  • Make Permanent, Across-The-Board 20 Percent Cut In Marginal Rates
  • Promote Savings And Investment For The American People
  • Abolish The Death Tax
  • Repeal The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Part Two: Make The Corporate Tax System Globally Competitive

  • Cut The Corporate Rate To 25 Percent
  • Strengthen And Make Permanent The R&D Tax Credit
  • Switch To A Territorial Tax System
  • Repeal The Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Mitt Romney’s Fiscal Policy Proposals

  • Cuts Programs That America Cannot Afford
  • Sends To The States Programs That They Can Implement Better
  • Improves Efficiency And Effectiveness

Social Security: For younger generations, gradually raise the retirement age and index the growth in benefits for higher-income retirees to inflation instead of wages.

Medicare: For younger generations, create a premium support system that gives each senior the freedom to choose among competing private plans and traditional fee-for-service Medicare. more> http://is.gd/Bf4zwk

A Way Out Of The Current Crisis? Equities

By Clem Chambers – The credit bubble that burst so disastrously in 2007/2008 was set off during the post dotcom era in an attempt by government to soften the blow of the dotcom debacle.

In the aftermath big government grew back by financing itself with false GDP growth through inflated public sector spending and by artificially pumping up tax receipts by facilitating a credit explosion.

The resulting credit crunch switched off the flood of new taxable money and fiscal budgets fell apart. In desperation governments have returned to their old ways of fighting with market forces to try and bend them to the needs of the state. more> http://is.gd/LscnYh

Smart solutions for more quality of life

Siemens – In the SmartSenior research project, 28 partner companies and organizations from research and industry will be cooperating under the leadership of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs). The project began in 2009: In nine sub-projects, innovations were developed for integrating communication and services, including assistance in case of emergencies, household safety solutions, systems for social networking, and a telemedicine service center, among others.

In spring 2012 a three-month-long field test will begin. It is to show whether the technology fits together and whether it is accepted by the users: 35 existing apartments in Potsdam, Germany, will be equipped with a fast Internet connection, the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Home Gateway as a data hub, and with room sensors. more> http://is.gd/1Z7vBy

Rethinking our Approach to Cybersecurity

By Brendan Hannigan – More often than not, companies are focusing on very narrow,siloed ways of securing their organization–for example, simply focusing on firewalls, database or application security. The issue with this approach is that there is no way of coordinating and communicating between the silos.

Whether it be a botnet installed on a laptop, an advanced persistent threat, or even their own employee willfully or negligently exposing confidential data, these threats can often be prevented by leveraging Security Intelligence:

  1. Threat Detection
  2. Government Regulations and Compliance
  3. Operational Efficiency

The old ways of securing a company no longer work. more>


CONGRESS WATCH CBO’s Estimates of ARRA’s Economic Impact, CBO Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from October 2011 Through December 2011, CBO


CONGRESS WATCH Camp’s Conference Committee Successfully Extends Payroll Tax Holiday, Reforms Unemployment & Prevents Cuts to Medicare Doctors, US Congress Dave Camp tells Treasury Secretary Geithner thanks, but no thanks on 2013 budget proposal, Kathryn Lynch-Morin, MLive.com Camp: A Government … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH Issues in Depth, US Congress