Daily Archives: April 9, 2013

Views from the Solar System (117)

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Great Sandy Desert, Australiapar
NASA – In northwest Australia, the Great Sandy Desert holds great geological interest as a zone of active sand dune movement. While a variety of dune forms appear across the region, this astronaut photograph features numerous linear dunes (about 25 meters high) separated in a roughly regular fashion (0.5 to 1.5 kilometers apart). The dunes are aligned to the prevailing winds that generated them, which typically blow from east to west. Where linear dunes converge, dune confluences point downwind. When you fly over such dune fields’e2’80rdblquote either in an airplane or the International Space Station’e2’80rdblquote the fire scars stand out. Where thin vegetation has been burned, the dunes appear red from the underlying sand; dunes appear darker where the vegetation remains.par
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Astronaut photograph ISS035-E-9454 was acquired on March 25, 2013, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 400 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 35 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed.

Legos On The Plant Floor?

By Joel Hans – It’s absolutely the new reality for Silicon Valley companies. Anything less, and engineers won’t apply, and that’e2’80’99s a real problem, because anyone with know-how in that world is aware that engineers can’t be hired fast enough. Bubble or not, things are growing faster than ever.

These Silicon Valley employers doesn’t care why an employee stayed two hours later after their regular hours ‘e2’80rdblquote even if all they did was drink free microbrews and played ping pong the entire time. By keeping them in the office, there’s a higher chance they’ll contribute more around those break periods, and the bevy of benefits tend to push employees into coming back on the weekends, when they will inevitably continue to work beyond their 40 hours.

It’s a pretty brilliant scheme, but it’s a bit too far on the Stockholm syndrome side of things for my comfort. more>

Karl Marx’s Russian Error Contains A Lesson For Liberal Democracies

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A People’e2’80’99s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924, Author: Orlando Figes.par
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By Tim Reuter – ‘e2’80’9cA spectre is haunting Europe ‘e2’80rdblquote the spectre of communism.’e2’80’9dpar
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So begins The Communist Manifesto. ‘c2~Yet, it is unlikely that Marx foresaw backwards Russia succumbing to revolution rather than capitalist Britain.’c2~ But, Marx’e2’80’99s error contains a lesson for liberal democracies.’c2~ Russia’e2’80’99s great tragedy reveals the importance of civil society and respect for the rights of others to maintaining a free society.par
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The onset of modernity exacerbated old divisions. A ‘e2’80’9cfossilized autocracy’e2’80’9d refused to grant political concessions to a society ‘e2’80’9crapidly becoming more educated, urban, and complex.’e2’80’9d Autocracy partly depended on a strategy of divide and rule; countryside vs. cities, peasants vs. gentry, workers vs. middle class, reactionaries vs. reformers, etc. But such a strategy, while it weakened potential challengers to autocratic government, was fatally counterproductive. It hampered the development of public and private organizations that could combat societal problems, and prevent a focusing of public anger on the government when it failed. more> http://tinyurl.com/cwj69ct

Working with the HTML5 canvas

By Dan Carr – The HTML5 canvas is an interesting feature of this increasingly widespread web standard. With it you can draw dynamic content to any web page and add features like drawing tools, animation and graphic effects, and interactivity to your websites.par
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The HTML5 canvas is an invisible 2D grid that you can use to draw graphics and animations (See diagram). Any number of canvases can be added to an HTML page using the <canvas> tag.par
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The canvas tag itself is very simple. It defines an invisible resolution-dependent coordinate space at a given width and height. The coordinates run along two axes (x and y) starting at 0, 0 in the upper left corner. more> http://tinyurl.com/bptjsfo

Protecting against cyber-attacks

By Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) – The threat to our critical infrastructure, national security and economic prosperity was laid out in a February report by Mandiant, a respected U.S. computer security firm. An elite unit of Chinese hackers affiliated with China’e2’80’99s People Liberation Army, the report concluded, is likely behind a wave of attacks on U.S. government and business computer systems.par
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If you’e2’80’99re a business owner, listen to our top cyber-experts, who say there are only two kinds of businesses: those that have been hacked, and those that don’e2’80’99t know they’e2’80’99ve been hacked. If you’e2’80’99re a consumer, know there’e2’80’99s a third group: those who know they’e2’80’99ve been hacked and won’e2’80’99t admit it. more> http://tinyurl.com/c4cp6azpar
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CONGRESS WATCHpar par Rep. Lipinski Announces Congressional Art Competition, US Congress par par Congressional Art Competition, US Congress par par Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Applications, US Congress par par

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CONGRESS WATCHpar par Senator Mark Begich’s photostream, flickr par par Coffee With Senator Begich, US Senate par par

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CONGRESS WATCHpar par Editorial: A reason to show off, amarillo.com par par Officials: No furloughs for Bell or Pantex, Jim McBride, amarillo.com par par Rep Mac Thornberry and Chairman Buck McKeon visit Bell Helicopter and Pantex in Amarillo, YouTube [VIDEO … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCHpar par Foundation for Growth: Restoring the Promise of American Opportunity (pdf), US Senate par par Murray, Ryan break bread first, federal budget stalemate later, Rob Hotakainen, Olympian par par Sen. Murray hosts roundtable on sequester with Fairchild families, … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCHpar par Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the national labor participation rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1979, ConstantContact par par