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

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 [email protected]@aptnnewslast_img read more