A way-too-early preview of the 2020 San Francisco Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has an extensive offseason agenda.He must hire a general manager, replace Bruce Bochy and continue to bring change to the organization’s front office. All of those processes will consume Zaidi’s time, but his greatest challenge is improving the Giants’ on-field product.The Giants wrapped up the 2019 season Sunday with their third consecutive losing record. Their top prospects aren’t quite ready to make a …last_img read more

Geology Roundup

first_imgWonders under the sea highlight this roundup of recent geology news.  Speaking of seas, the Dead Sea also made headlines, as well as data on the question of whether earthquakes are increasing. Ocean floor lava flow:  A fresh lava flow five meters thick covering 10 million square meters was discovered off the Oregon coast.  That’s just one of several surprises found by a seafloor mapping robot reported by PhysOrg, which said the device “has had a busy year. It documented a huge lava flow from a three-month-old volcanic eruption off the Oregon coast; it charted mysterious three-kilometer-wide scour marks on the seafloor off Northern California; and it unearthed data that challenge existing theories about one of the largest offshore faults in Central California. Volcanoes into the abyss:  Can you imagine a volcano falling into a huge chasm?  That’s what the BBC News reported is happening to seamounts near New Zealand.  An accompanying animation from sonar data shows mountains poised on the edge of a huge crack in the Pacific plate, drawing them in at 6cm per year. Dead Sea fluctuations:  The Dead Sea is apparently a remnant of a once much-larger lake that engulfed the Sea of Galilee to the north, yet also shrunk to near dryness in the past.  That’s what the BBC News reported about drill cores interpreted by geologists to represent large climate fluctuations in the past, including the “coming and going of ice ages.”  Live Science asked, “Could the Dead Sea completely vanish?”  Apparently so, since it has happened before. Earthquakes on the rise?  The recent spate of major earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey and elsewhere might make one think earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity, but that’s not the case, according to two teams of geologists who reported their statistical analyses at the American Geophysical Union.  The pattern of major quakes is indistinguishable from randomness, and one major quake does not appear able to trigger others at remote distances.  Story at Live Science. Snowflake puzzle solved:  Atmospheric science is not geology, but overlaps it somewhat.  Snowflakes do fall to the ground and contribute to erosion.  A seasonally-appropriate subject was reported by both PhysOrg and BBC News, along with pretty pictures by snowflake photography wizard Kenneth Libbrecht.  He figured out why snowflakes are flat – razor thin, in fact.  If interested in hearing how they grow faster at the edges, read the articles.  It’s worth a click to the BBC article just for the beauty of the photo.  What crystal designer could outdo this? These stories are offered to pique your interest, in hopes some readers will investigate them further and evaluate their claims.  For those who want to think outside the secular billions-of-years box, Dr. Tasman Walker (BA Earth Science, PhD Mechanical Engineering), a writer for Creation Ministries International, maintains a Biblical Geology Blog with news of interest, informative and attractively presented.(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

What if Operation Anonymous Attacked City Infrastructures & Power Grids?

first_imgDid Google Hand a Wikileaks Volunteer’s Gmail Data to the U.S. Government? [Updated] This month’s online struggles between Wikileaks supporters participating in the ephemeral group called Anonymous and international corporations like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, who have stopped allowing their customers to donate money to Wikileaks, have brought electronic disruptions like Distributed Denials of Service (DDOS) to the forefront of peoples’ minds all over the world.DDOS attacks happen daily, but these politically motivated instances are easy to imagine becoming more common in the future. What happens, though, when the network of the future is made up not just of websites to block, but infrastructure like power grids and traffic management systems? Smart grid and Internet of Things networks of the future would be a very different context in which to consider actions like Anonymous’ online mischief making.This series on data security and privacy is brought to you by IBM. Find out more about how IBM is creating a Smarter Planet. Painting a Picture of a Possible FutureBefore considering the implications of these changes, let’s first make explicit two assumptions.First, what we think of today as the offline world is going to become far more networked in the future. Homes and offices will communicate much more closely with utility providers regarding power and water consumption, so that resources can be managed more rationally and customers can be provided analytics and other services towards that end. Numerous devices inside our homes will likely become network-enabled as well. The refrigerator that emails us when it’s on the fritz seems most likely and the tennis racquet that posts your matches and scores to the Web seems possible.What does that mean for a future when cities are dependent on smart grids? Will angry vigilante groups be able to recruit people with the technical skills to perform sophisticated disruptions of those networks? Or will they have to rely on brute force attacks like the DDOS attacks they are best known for using in the case of the group known as Anonymous?Second, protest groups like Anonymous are likely to try to take actions against this, that and any other thing that its members believe could provide leverage for their political agenda. Just as likely will be counter-attacks by people on the opposite side of the political spectrum.In December 2010, it’s been (judging from the three arrests we’ve seen so far) Swedish teenagers battling probably American ex-military hacker counter-activists over the accessibility of websites. In the future that may become a battle over traffic lights on city streets in Stockholm and New York City.Questions That Will Come UpA few things to ponder, perhaps now while there’s still time until these sorts of struggles start to emerge.Does this vision of the future move the line between civil disobedience and terrorism?The actions of Anonymous against the websites of financial institutions were controversial, but not without sympathy from observers around the world. While some people clearly understood them as acts of unaccountable angry people rampaging in the shadows (basically acts of digital terrorism), not everyone sees it that way. Others understand the actions as digital sit-ins, doing no permanent damage – just temporarily blocking access as a form of protest. Something akin to what hippies used to do to protest wars and nuclear facilities – if not admirable, then annoying to some but hardly nefarious.Presumably that changes if the protesters are blocking access to a city’s power delivery, or management of its traffic. If you accept the philosophical framework above, how would electronic disruption in an age of the world more networked change the political palatability of such actions?Where does society draw the line between networked security and overbearing surveillance?Privacy and the Internet of Things is a huge topic that’s barely been touched on – at all. That’s cause for serious concern. What will the best practices be for maintaining security across a more-fully networked world, while still preserving strong civil liberties? Where is the line between smart system monitoring and analytics on one hand – and illegal search and seizure on the other? WikiLeaks Coverage From ReadWriteWeb:Wikileaks Lets Loose “Global Intelligence Files” from Stratfor Emails One Year After Cablegate Began, WikiLeaks’ Operations Still Handicapped Having Ended the Iraq War, Wikileaks Runs Out of Money Related Posts WikiLeaks May Move Servers to International Waters to Avoid Shutdown Weekly Wrap-up: Wikileaks, Google Plus, Facebook and More… Wikileaks Takes Down the Head of Al JazeeraThose questions will need to be tackled and until they are – things are likely to be both creepy and frustrating.What will vigilantes be capable of in a networked world?Last week some members of Anonymous decided that the DDOS attacks they were carrying out weren’t making a big enough impact, and put out a call for a new effort. Called “Operation Leakspin,” these would-be organizers asked Anonymous participants to stop doing DDOS attacks and instead focus their energy on analyzing the diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks. Operation Leakspin called on participants to find details and scandals in the cables that the mainstream media wasn’t finding or reporting on.Are the participants in the DDOS capable of doing better sleuthing through years of high-context diplomatic documents than specialists in these matters at the New York Times and Guardian? I asked that question of security researcher Sean-Paul Correll of Panda Labs, who has been documenting the work of Anonymous for months. He said the group believed they were capable of recruiting sympathizers with nearly any skill set and outfitting them with the capacity to act on the Internet anonymously. If that proves to be untrue in the case of Leakspin, Correll says, the group will simply decide on another tactic and resume recruiting for that.What does that mean for a future when cities are dependent on smart grids? Will angry vigilante groups be able to recruit people with the technical skills to perform sophisticated disruptions of those networks? Or will they have to rely on brute force attacks like the DDOS attacks they are best known for using in the case of the group known as Anonymous? What kinds of disruption will non-specialists be able to foist on these networks and how will network providers be able to protect themselves while still preserving the civil liberties of their users?These are just three big questions that are brought to mind by the rise of politically motivated anonymous vigilante disruption of the online networks we use today. Tomorrow is fast approaching and it would behoove us to consider these questions before it arrives.Photo by wonsak Tags:#IBM#Internet of Things#Sponsors#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Twitter, WikiLeaks and the Troubling New Implications For Online Privacy A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Work Begins on Rome Gully

first_imgRepair work has started on sections of the Rome Gully, which is adjacent to communities along the Lyndhurst Road/Rousseau Road corridor, in Kingston, in an effort to ensure the safety of residents and motorists in the area. The work, which commenced on October 31, include: cleaning of the gully; repacking, and extensive repair of existing damage. The gully suffered significant erosion prior to, and consequent on the passage of Hurricane Sandy on October 24, which unleashed torrential rains which caused heavy flooding in the channel. Speaking to journalists on November 1, following a tour of the area, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan, informed that the work forms part of emergency repairs in order to maintain the structure. “There is a house that is in danger right now and we are trying to make sure that we save that house (along with several others). Additionally, the invert under the bridge is also damaged,” he said. The State Minister added that the repairs are expected to yield significant benefits for both communities and adjoining areas. Regarding the cost of the work, Mr. Azan said he was unable to give a specific figure, as the initial estimate had to be revised in light of additional damage that was sustained during the Hurricane’s passage. In the meantime, the State Minister noted that ongoing maintenance of the gullies across the island is critical in ensuring that the structures are safe. “It is something that we have to put (forward), as part of overall plan to maintain the gullies, not only the big ones but the small drains as well,” he added. For his part, Corporate Communications Manager, National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw, said the work is critical “as the bridge which spans the gully along Rousseau Road is in danger of collapsing, as the inverts under the bridge have been significantly eroded.”last_img read more

Deleting Highway of Tears emails a slap in the face to families

first_imgAPTN National NewsA report by the British Columbia privacy commissioner shows that senior government officials were deleting emails about the Highway of Tears.That has a coalition of missing and murdered women groups demanding accountability.APTN’s Tina House has the story.last_img

Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo named Fisheries and Oceans minister

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA – Hunter Tootoo, the former Nunavut speaker of the legislator, was named minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, ensuring an Inuk will again sit in the federal cabinet Wednesday.Tootoo is the second Inuk MP to hold a cabinet position – he beat out former MP Leona Aglukkaq who held several cabinet positions under the former Stephen Harper government.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet were sworn in Wednesday morning at Rideau Hall that included throat singing by two Inuk girls from Ottawa.The #SwearingIn of PM @JustinTrudeau is highlighted with throat singing by two #Ottawa Inuit girls. #PM23 pic.twitter.com/wkxUXtwzKv— OSGG / BSGG (@RideauHall) November 4, 2015There was speculation that Tootoo would be named to Trudeau’s cabinet prior to Wednesday.Many people took to social media to congratulate Tootoo, who is related to NHL hockey player Jordin Tootoo.Congrats @HunterTootoo new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard #cdnpoli #nupoli— ITK (@ITK_CanadaInuit) November 4, 2015Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed attended the swearing-in ceremony and said in an interview with APTN National News “it is a proud day for Inuit” and that he spoke to Tootoo shortly after he was sworn in as a minister.“This is a portfolio he holds that is quite near and dear to the hearts of the Inuit,” said Natan, adding he’ll be meeting formally with Tootoo soon. “He knows formal meetings are coming and there will be very difficult things (language and suicide prevention) I’ll be asking of him and I think he is ready for that.”The ITK is the national Inuit organization that represents nearly 60,000 Inuit.Other Aboriginal leaders like Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde also congratulated Tootoo and Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak who tweeted:Very happy/hopeful that we now have an Indigenous Fisheries and Oceans Minister. Congratulations Hunter Tootoo— Sheila North Wilson (@shenorthwilson) November 4, 2015Others included former APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin.HUNTER TOOTOO is the DFO Minster! We have an Inuk in charge of Fisheries and Oceans! And the Coast Guard too! #CantEven!— Ossie Michelin (@Osmich) November 4, 2015last_img read more

Cree teens court fight for braces leads to noninsured health benefits policy

first_img(An x-ray of Josey Willier’s teeth which her doctor said needed braces to alleviate chronic teeth and jaw pain.)Editor’s Note: In the story about Josey Willier’s braces, APTN News reported that her braces cost $8,000. APTN was contacted by the office of Jane Philpott, minister of Indigenous Services to say that the braces, originally paid for by the family, only cost $6,000. The federal government did spend $100,000 in legal fees arguing in court that the braces should not be covered under the non-insured health benefits program.Melissa RidgenAPTN NewsIt was a three-year court battle of David versus Goliath proportions and the victory will have rippling effects for other kids covered by Health Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefits program.Josey Willier, from Sucker Creek First Nation in Alberta, was just 13 when she suffered crippling chronic pain from the position of her teeth and jaw.Her physician said braces were medically necessary but government doctors – who never examined the girl – denied they were needed.So  NIHB refused to cover the $8,000 treatment.The family took the government to court and rather than paying for the braces, the federal government spent $100,000 arguing why Canada should not pay.The case was settled this week.“We’ve been working with them steadily over the last few months to reach an agreement,” said Josey’s mother Stacey Shiner.“My mindset was I wouldn’t settle until they changed their policy so this doesn’t happen to other children.”The deal, terms of which weren’t disclosed, came at the 11th hour this week, just ahead of when the Federal Court of Appeal was to decide on the matter.“This is a huge step forward,” said Shiner. “It used to be a checked-box scenario of what was required but it leaves so many grey areas. Pain and discomfort are now factors.”A statement released by the family mentioned Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, who was an ally during the court battle.Blackstock said her agency will be watching to ensure the new orthodontic policy complies with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders on Jordan’s Principle.According to a statement released by Jane Philpott, minister of Indigenous Services, the department will be updating its non-insured health benefits by June 15 to include more health services for First Nation and Inuit children.“I am pleased a settlement agreement has been reached relating to orthodontic coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program,” said Philpott in the statement released Tuesday evening.“I am confident that the services Indigenous Services Canada provides are contributing to better oral health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit. The orthodontic coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program is comprehensive and based on clinical evidence.”During the court fight, Josey’s parents paid out of pocket for the braces. She’s had them off now for about a year.mridgen@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

The Vegan Trainer to step up his presence in fitness marketplace

first_imgTay SweatPR HandoutTay Sweat has worked with more than 4,000 clients and helped them in losing weight, keeping fit and living a healthier lifestyle through The Vegan Trainer. He is now step up his presence in fitness marketplace.The Nashville native who holds a variety of certifications ranging from being NASM Certified in personal training/CPT, Holistic Nutrition, as well as serving as a weight loss specialist, iridology/science of reading the body, and corrective exercise specialist is one of the most sought-after fitness experts in the field.Tay Sweat said, “I love helping new, as well as my steady clientele find the way to lose the weight they want to shed and show them how to keep it off once they do. Expanding my fitness plan and training more people about a positive, healthy lifestyle is an exciting next chapter for me and them!”Tay Sweat was initially not aware about healthy lifestyles since he was an overweight teenager who had no clue about how carbs, fats and proteins were not the greatest diet. Instead, he said he was eating simply for survival.With his bad eating habits came diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and bad skin discoloration, as well as eczema when he was 15 years old. Knowing his life needed a change, Sweat started to study health and nutrition. When he was 21, Sweat decided to follow a plant-based vegan diet and over the years he has been teaching others how to follow a vegan diet for a better life like the one found. Within 3 years of research, he was able to drop 120 pounds by healthy eating and fasting.That’s when Tay Sweat decided to take his newly found knowledge and became a health professional. He also participated in a mentorship and guidance from a few well-known Eastern doctors. They helped him achieve multiple certifications and degrees he now possesses.Sweat now serves clients around the world from Australia, Japan, the UK, Canada and across the United States, and has a collective of more than 100,000 pounds of lost.The Vegan Trainer said, he is looking forward to training others and leading them on the path to a healthier lifestyle where they not only feel but also look terrific, as he expands his presence in the fitness industry.The Vegan Trainer has over 115,000 followers on Instagram, 50,000 on Facebook, 10,000 on YouTube, and till date has worked with more than 4,000 clients. For those who are serious about losing weight, keeping fit and living a healthier lifestyle, The Vegan Trainer is stepping up his presence in the fitness marketplace even more.last_img read more

Microsoft to launch Election 2012 hub on Xbox 360

first_imgIf there’s anyone who likes watching a grueling competition between two formidable foes unfold, it’s gamers. So for Xbox 360 owners, Microsoft is planning to unveil a digital destination where users can keep up-to-date with the final months of the presidential campaign, participate in interactive polls, and show their support for candidates without turning off their game console.The Election 2012 hub on Xbox Live will provide users with campaign updates syndicated in real-time from NBCNews.com. It will also offer a whole slate of video features, ranging from live coverage of debates and national conventions, to public service announcements about the importance of voting and what issues are at stake for the next four years.Town hall meetings in local cities will also be streamed through the new Xbox Live channel, which is set to make its formal introduction next week ahead of the Republican National Convention.Interactive polls will be provided by YouGov, a youth-centric destination for presidential election polling and coverage. The entire concept is to turn the campaign process from a passive medium for viewers to something in which users can be active participants.“We want to provide our passionate Xbox LIVE community with a great way to experience the election process with TV that makes them participants and not just viewers. This is a great example of how our Xbox capabilities are making the promise of interactive television a reality,” said Microsoft’s corporate VP Marc Whitten in a statement.This is the latest step in two big emerging trends. One is the expansion of video game consoles into other facets of media. The fact that an Xbox device is being integrated into the election process is something that probably would have seemed like an alien idea seven or eight years ago.The other is the social/connected aspect of politics. There is perhaps no better example of the explosive impact on social media than its interaction with public policy. It is an obvious and very real extension of democracy as we know it, and as more devices have the capacity to connect users together, politics will be a natural part of that process. It might not be time for a presidential debate via Xbox Live, but that is the kind of direction into which society is heading.via Microsoft’s press releaselast_img read more