XIAM007

Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grizzly kills man at Yellowstone National Park, first fatal mauling since 1986 -

Grizzly kills man at Yellowstone National Park, first fatal mauling since 1986 - 




Yellowstone National Park officials say a grizzly bear has killed a hiker in the park’s backcountry — the first fatal bear mauling in the park since 1986.
Park spokesman Al Nash says it appears the man and his wife surprised a female grizzly and her cubs Wednesday morning
Nash says investigators have been interviewing the woman about the bear attack, which took place close to Canyon Village, near the middle of the park. He says authorities aren’t prepared to release the man’s name, age or hometown and likely won’t release more details until Thursday.
Nash says park officials haven’t taken any action against the bear.

White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not - an astonishing 75% of continuing staffers got raises -

White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not - an astonishing 75% of continuing staffers got raises - 


 The White House released its annual salary report last week, and as usual, it's nice to work for Barack Obama: Most staffers who were there for more than a year got a salary bump. A bigger one than you did.
The last time we checked in on White House salaries, we found that an astonishing 75% of continuing staffers got raises from 2009 to 2010—a huge number given the fact that, according to compensation experts, most companies had skipped routine raises that year in reaction to the economic crisis that the White House was busy failing to solve. This time around—from 2010 to 2011—the ratio is a little less dramatic. Of the 270 White House staffers who have been there for more than a year, 146—or 54%—received raises. The average salary increase was 8%. If you look at only staffers who got raises, the average increase was twice that.


That's a much bigger raise than the average white-collar worker got. According to a survey conducted last year by the human resources consulting firm Mercer, most firms were projecting a 3% increase in base pay for executives. White House workers did nearly three times as well. Overall, it should be noted, the White House's salary budget contracted slightly, from $38.8 million to $37.1 million, largely because the number of staffers fell. The average salary also dropped from $82,721, or 65% above the median household income, to $81,765—or 65% above the median household income.


White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not
http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2011/07/0706_whchart.jpg


Read more - http://gawker.com/5818310

Casey Anthony defense attorney Cheney Mason was giving reporters the middle finger at a celebration after the verdict -

Casey Anthony defense attorney Cheney Mason was giving reporters the middle finger at a celebration after the verdict -



Casey Anthony defense attorney Cheney Mason was caught giving reporters the middle finger at a celebration event after the verdict was reached.

Billion-pixel camera to snap Milky Way pics - so accurate would measure thumbnails of a person on the Moon from Earth -

Billion-pixel camera to snap Milky Way pics - so accurate would measure thumbnails of a person on the Moon from Earth - 


The European Space Agency says it has completed what it calls the largest digital camera ever built for a space mission - a one billion pixel array camera that will help create a three-dimensional picture of the Milky Way Galaxy.


Set to be launched onboard the ESA's galaxy-mapping Gaia mission in 2013, the digital camera was "mosaicked together from 106 separate electronic detectors."  ESA says that Gaia's measurements will be so accurate that, if it were on Earth, it could measure the thumbnails of a person on the Moon.


According to the ESA, the camera was developed by e2v Technologies of Chelmsford, UK and uses rectangular detectors a little smaller than a credit card, each one measuring 4.7x6 cm but thinner than a human hair. The completed mosaic is arranged in seven rows of charge coupled devices (CCDs). The main array comprises 102 detectors dedicated to star detection. Four others check the image quality of each telescope and the stability of the 106.5ยบ angle between the two telescopes that Gaia uses to obtain stereo views of stars.


The 0.5x1.0 m mosaic was assembled at the Toulouse facility of Gaia prime contractor Astrium France.  Technicians spent much of May carefully fitting together each CCD package on the support structure, leaving only a 1 mm gap between them.


According to ESA, the Gaia satellite will operate at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometers behind the earth, when looking from the sun.  "As the spinning Gaia's two telescopes sweep across the sky, the images of stars in each field of view will move across the focal plane array, divided into four fields variously dedicated to star mapping, position and motion, color and intensity and spectrometry," the space agency stated.


Read more - http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/billion-pixel-camera-set-snap-milky-way-shots

South Korea to host the 2018 Winter Olympics - If they can host the Olympics, can't they afford their own defense? -

South Korea to host the 2018 Winter Olympics - If they can host the Olympics, can't they afford their own defense? - 




Pyeongchang of South Korea won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday with a crushing victory in the vote by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over rivals Munich of Germany and France's Annecy.


IOC President Jacques Rogge announced Pyeongchang's victory at the IOC's session in Durban after just one round of voting.


Pyeongchang polled 63 votes to 25 for Munich and a mere seven for Annecy, a totally unexpected margin of victory.


It will be the first time a Korean city has staged the Winter Games and only the third time it will have been held in Asia.


"This is one of the happiest days for our country, our people and millions of youth dreaming of winter sport," Pyeongchang bid chief Cho Yang-ho told Reuters seconds after the announcement. "We have been waiting a long time for this."


The Pyeongchang delegation in Durban cheered and chanted "Korea, Korea" after Rogge announced the verdict.


Read more - http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/06/us-olympics-idUSTRE7652BR20110706

7 rules for effective NCAA cheating - Cheating for Dummies: Your guide to smarter NCAA rule-breaking -

7 rules for effective NCAA cheating - Cheating for Dummies: Your guide to smarter NCAA rule-breaking - 


This isn't rocket science, people. The NCAA has what amounts to subpoena power over current athletes and current university employees. That's it. The NCAA's rules don't apply to anyone else. That opens an almost infinite array of cheating opportunities completely undetectable by the NCAA's enforcement cops. If you get caught cheating, you got caught because you're incredibly stupid.
So, as a public service to dishonest coaches everywhere, I'm offering these seven simple rules that will guarantee your clandestine activities will never rise above the level of message-board wives tale. Just think of it as NCAA Cheating for Dummies.

1. Always pay cash

This should seem simple enough. Cash is mostly untraceable. As long as it isn't deposited in unusually large quantities into the account of a player or a player's parent, the NCAA will not find it. Paper trails lead to trouble. When Oregon coach Chip Kelly agreed to pay Lyles for a bogus scouting service, Kelly probably didn't know that every University of Oregon transaction is published on the state of Oregon's website. He knows now. So don't use checks, wire transfers, gift certificates or any other form of currency. Don't even make anonymous donations to a handler's 501(c)3 charitable foundation, even though I know you basketball cheaters do this all the time. Simply use some of that green paper with Ben Franklin's face on it, and the NCAA will be none the wiser as long as you follow my other rules.

2. Nothing in writing

No major college football or basketball coach should have an e-mail address. If he does, he should never use it. That way, when a do-gooder such as former Ohio State player Chris Cicero sends an e-mail about the star quarterback and star receiver trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos, the head coach can be completely honest when he tells the NCAA: "I never saw that." If Tressel had ignored his e-mail during his Ohio State tenure, he'd still have a job. This rule applies to players, too. If an agent gives one of your players a South Beach shopping spree or a VIP night at some club that charges $12 for a Bud Light, make sure your players know better than to narrate in real time the receipt of impermissible benefits on Twitter or Facebook.

3. Everyone gets paid

Keep the circle tight, and pay everyone in the circle. Why did Alabama get caught buying Albert Means from his high school coach? Because an assistant who was part of the scheme didn't get his cut and ran to a newspaper. Why did USC get savaged by the Committee on Infractions? Because Bush was too greedy to pay Lloyd Lake the $300,000 he owed him, and the geniuses in charge at Heritage Hall decided that instead of passing the hat among the boosters and paying the man, they'd take their chances with the NCAA. Millions of dollars, 30 lost scholarships and two lost bowl games later, any able-bodied student at USC has a chance of cracking the Trojans' depth chart this season. Why did Lyles flip on Oregon and spill his guts to Yahoo! Sports? Because he was supposed to get another $25,000, and Oregon didn't pay. Always, always, always pay everyone. Which brings us to rule No. 4.

4. Always pay cash

I really can't stress this enough. If you deal with middlemen, one probably will blackmail you at some point. If you've followed these rules, you can blackmail him right back. The average street agent isn't going to report thousands in cash payments on his Form 1040. The NCAA can't subpoena a street agent's bank records and major purchase history, but the IRS can. Remind your middleman that while you may lose your job, you'll take him down with you with a strategically placed call to the 202 area code. An IRS investigation would allow the NCAA to piggyback and obtain public records to use against the street agent, so on top of the threat of fines and jail time, the street agent's business would dry up as other coaches shy away from another scandal waiting to happen. Besides, you won't be in hock to the middleman forever. The NCAA's statute of limitations is only four years.

5. Plausible deniability is your greatest ally

Butch Davis' name doesn't appear in the NCAA's notice of allegations against North Carolina despite what appears to be widespread corruption in the football program. That's because Davis -- as far as we know -- built enough walls to keep himself from getting tarred. Young assistants, remember this and you'll go far. The head coach never meets the money guy. He never meets the handler. He never meets the agent runners. All business is conducted through assistants and lower-level employees. That way, no one can count phone calls between the coach and the handler on phone lines whose records are public because of state open records laws. We know exactly how many times Tressel corresponded with Terrelle Pryor's handler, Ted Sarniak, and we know exactly how many times Oregon's Kelly called or texted Lyles. Head coaches, whatever you do, DON'T SEND THE HANDLER A HANDWRITTEN NOTE THANKING HIM FOR "ORCHESTRATING" SOMETHING. I'm looking at you, Chip Kelly. Follow this rule, and you can escape a scandal by sacrificing an assistant or an athletic department employee. Just remember the sacrificial lambs always must get paid. How do you pay the sacrificial lamb? See rule Nos. 1 and 4.

6. Use a burner

Coaches, the NCAA knows about your bat phone. (Your wife probably does, too.) This is the personal phone you use when you want to get around the NCAA's worthless rule against texting recruits. If you get called to the carpet by the enforcement staff, they'll request the records for your work phone and your bat phone. That's why you need third, fourth, fifth and sixth phones. If you must violate Rule No. 5, take a lesson from The Wire and employ a disposable, untraceable-by-the-NCAA prepaid phone to call your favorite bagman, handler or fixer. To make sure this phone isn't traceable, see rule No. 7.

7. Always pay cash

Because who the hell pays a street agent with a university-issued check? That's like -- paying a street agent with a university-issued check.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/07/05/cheating-for-dummies/index.html#ixzz1RK4dx4A8

Army’s $2.7 billion cloud computing system does not work - and may be doing more harm than good -

Army’s $2.7 billion cloud computing system does not work - and may be doing more harm than good - 


The U.S. Army's $2.7 billion dollar cloud based computer supposed to be helping troops in Afghanistan and Iraq doesn't work and may be doing more harm than good.
Several analysts told Politico that the system "...has hurt, rather than helped, efforts to fight insurgents because it doesn’t work properly"
Designed by Northrop Grumman to relay real-time intelligence to commanders from multiple sources; the system known as DCGS-A is meant to enable a battlefield officer to search for an insurgent by collecting and relaying data from multiple sources.
Instead, analysts say the system is unable to perform "simple analytical tasks," has trouble finding reports, and the mapping software is incompatible with the search software.
According to a former Army intelligence officer, "You couldn't share the data." And sharing data is what the computer was designed to do.
The system is also known for going off-line and frequently crashing.
The analysts, who asked their names not be used say it couldn't be any worse.
“Almost any commercial solution out there would be better,” the first said. And the second added: “It doesn’t work. It’s not providing the capabilities that they need.”
If intelligence analysts and commanders had a system that worked, he said, “I can’t comprehend the amount of success that would have happened here or could have happened here.”