World might be heading towards Ice Age

CANBERRA: Scientists have warned that the world might once again be heading towards an Ice Age, with global warming approaching a possible end.

Evidence in support of this theory has come from pictures obtained from the US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, which showed no spots on the sun, thus determining that sunspot activity has not resumed after hitting an 11-year low in March last year.

A sunspot is a region on the sun that is cooler than the rest and appears dark.

Some scientists believe a strong solar magnetic field, when there is plenty of sunspot activity, protects the earth from cosmic rays, cutting cloud formation, but that when the field is weak – during low sunspot activity – the rays can penetrate into the lower atmosphere and cloud cover increases, cooling the surface.

According to Australian astronaut and geophysicist Phil Chapman, this might have caused the world to cool quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C.

Read moreWorld might be heading towards Ice Age

UN official: Biodiversity loss could hurts medical research

The world risks losing new medical treatments for osteoporosis, cancer and other human ailments if it does not act quickly to conserve the planet’s biodiversity, a senior United Nations environmental official said Wednesday.

Earth’s organisms offer a variety of naturally made chemical compounds with which scientists could develop new medicines, but are under threat of extinction, said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.

“We must do something about what is happening to biodiversity,” Steiner told reporters. “We must help society understand how much we already depend on diversity of life to run our economies, our lives, but more importantly, what are we losing in terms of future potential.”

Read moreUN official: Biodiversity loss could hurts medical research

Credit Crisis Turning into Credit Armageddon

While most investors are focused on the latest stock market rally, hidden from view is a monumental change that few recognize and fewer understand: Unprecedented amounts of old debts are coming due in America, and many are not getting refinanced.

Even worse, borrowers are going into default, lenders are taking huge losses, and outstanding loans are turning to dust.

The numbers are large; the government’s response is equally massive. So before you look at one more stock quote or any other news item, I think it behooves you to understand what this means and what to do about it …

New Evidence of A Credit Crack-Up

Until recently, economists have had only anecdotal evidence of credit troubles.

They knew that individual banks were taking losses. They knew that many banks were tightening their lending standards. And they realized that there were hiccups in the credit markets.

So they called it the “credit crunch” — essentially a slowdown in the pace of new credit growth.

But we didn’t buy that. Earlier this year, we warned that America’s credit woes involved much more than just a slowdown. We wrote that it was actually a credit crack-up — an outright contraction of credit the likes of which had never been witnessed in our lifetime.

Wall Street scoffed. No one had seen anything like this happen before, and almost everyone assumed that it would not happen now.

They were wrong.

Indeed, three new official reports are now telling us, point blank, that the credit crack-up is already beginning!

Read moreCredit Crisis Turning into Credit Armageddon

Environment head not liable for 9/11 assurances

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot be held liable for assurances she gave about air safety following the September 11 attacks in New York, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Christine Todd Whitman led the agency at the time of the attacks and was sued by people who lived and worked in lower Manhattan who accused her of statements that “falsely represented … that the air in and around lower Manhattan was safe to breathe.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that Whitman was faced with conflicting information about dangers posed by the dust and that she had passed on assurances that came from the White House.

While the judges understood the concern that the agency’s performance was “flawed,” they said that “legal remedies are not always available for every instance of arguably deficient governmental performance.”

The court also noted that Congress has set aside a process to compensate victims of the attacks.

“A bare allegation that the head of a government agency, guided by a relevant White House office, knew that her statements were false and ‘knowingly’ issued false press releases is not plausible in the absence of some supporting facts,” the decision said.

Rescue workers and others who spent time near the disaster site have reported a variety of respiratory ailments that they believe came from breathing the ash and dust caused by the collapse of the Twin Towers.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Daniel Trotta and David Storey)

Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:39pm EDT

Source: Reuters

Gore Used CG Video To Hype Climate Crisis

Al Gore’s widely discredited film “An Inconvenient Truth” that falsely hypes the threat of global warming has now been further discredited. ABC News has discovered that Gore used computer generated footage in his documentary that was taken from the 2004 natural disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow” to fraudulently emphasize the global warming threat. If global warming is such a dire threat to us, why would Gore need to use computer generated footage in the documentary to justify his point? The bottom line is that Gore’s film is based off of lies in order to scare the public into believing that man made carbon emissions are the cause of all of the planet’s environmental problems. Gore ignores scientific data that indicates solar activity is the real cause for planetary warming. Mars and other planets have also experienced rising temperatures the same time that warming has been reported on Earth. So unless man is on other planets emitting carbon, it is clear that solar activity is the cause for the planetary warming. Gore also ignores the fact that this past winter saw record snowfalls and record low temperatures in various parts of the world which indicate that this warming cycle might be coming to an end. Gore’s theories simply don’t add up, but that doesn’t stop him from attempting to recruit a green army of 10 million useful idiots to help him push this agenda. Instead of tackling real environmental problems like chemicals being dumped in oceans, the disappearance of the bees, genetically modified foods, the mixing of human and animal DNA and chemicals being sprayed in the air, Gore would prefer to tackle a problem that isn’t real. This makes Gore a phony environmentalist and he has positioned himself to profit greatly off of this scam. Gore is nothing more than a propagandist who is hyping this phony doomsday scenario so the global elite can justify implementing a planetary carbon tax which will be used to enslave humanity.

The following blurb is taken from ABC News.

Al Gore’s “traveling global warming show,” the award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” includes a long flyover shot of majestic Antarctic ice shelves. But this shot was first seen in the 2004 blockbuster “The Day After Tomorrow.” Sculpted from Styrofoam and later scanned into a computer, the ice shelf “flyover” looks real.

Karen Goulekas, the special effects supervisor for “The Day After Tomorrow” said the shot is a digital image. She was glad Al Gore used it in the documentary since “It is one hell of a shot.” Both movies use the shot to convincingly portray global warming, but it is left to the audience to decide if this created image can both entertain and educate us about our changing planet.

This is blatant fraud on the part of Gore and more proof that his film is nothing more than propaganda designed to misdirect people’s legitimate environmental concerns towards something that helps their goal of a global carbon tax. It is entirely dishonest for Gore to be using computer generated video footage in a documentary that is supposed to be based off of facts. Gore is using this footage to exaggerate his phony claims.

Read moreGore Used CG Video To Hype Climate Crisis

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.

“Where’s the rice?” an engineer from Palo Alto, Calif., Yajun Liu, said. “You should be able to buy something like rice. This is ridiculous.”

Read moreFood Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

In lean times, biotech grains are less taboo

A farmer harvests soy beans on the outskirts of Gualeguaychu, north of Buenos Aires.(Andres Stapff/Reuters)

Soaring food prices and global grain shortages are bringing new pressures on governments, food companies and consumers to relax their longstanding resistance to genetically engineered crops.

In Japan and South Korea, some manufacturers for the first time have begun buying genetically engineered corn for use in soft drinks, snacks and other foods. Until now, to avoid consumer backlash, the companies have paid extra to buy conventionally grown corn. But with prices having tripled in two years, it has become too expensive to be so finicky.

“We cannot afford it,” said a corn buyer at Kato Kagaku, a Japanese maker of corn starch and corn syrup.

In the United States, wheat growers and marketers, once hesitant about adopting biotechnology because they feared losing export sales, are now warming to it as a way to bolster supplies. Genetically modified crops contain genes from other organisms to make the plants resistance to insects, herbicides or disease. Opponents continue to worry that such crops have not been studied enough and that they might pose risks to health and the environment.

(Genetically modified crops have been studied long enough to know that GM food weakens the immune system within days, increases the cancer risk dramatically etc. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreIn lean times, biotech grains are less taboo

Pentagon chief seeks more drones in Iraq

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. military needs more drones and equipment to collect intelligence and conduct surveillance in Iraq despite a big boost in those capabilities since 2001, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday.

But Gates said he has hit resistance inside the Pentagon and indicated that the Air Force’s desire to use pilots for its missions has kept the Defense Department from employing more effective and lower cost unmanned aircraft.

“I’ve been wrestling for months to get more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets into the theater,” Gates told officers at the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base.

“Because people were stuck in old ways of doing business, it’s been like pulling teeth,” he said. “While we’ve doubled this capability in recent months, it is still not good enough.”

Gates said he formed a task force last week to quickly find new ways to get those capabilities to Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the group’s findings may force the Air Force to replace pilots with unmanned aircraft on some missions.

Read morePentagon chief seeks more drones in Iraq

Army doubled felony waivers for recruits in year of Iraq surge

The Army doubled the number of waivers it issued to allow convicted felons to enlist between 2006 and 2007, while felony waivers issued to Marine recruits increased by nearly 70 percent, according to newly released numbers from the Pentagon.

The House Oversight Committee released the Department of Defense statistics Monday, and requested more explanation for the increase in criminals who have been allowed into the military’s ranks. The Army issued 511 waivers in 2007, compared to 249 in 2006. The Marine Corps issued 350 waivers last year compared to 208 the year before.

According to the new data, the Army and Marines have allowed recruits who have been convicted of assault with a dangerous weapn, burglary, drug abuse, sexual assault; in a few instances recruits were cleared to join after convinctions on terrorism or bomb-threat related charges.

Read moreArmy doubled felony waivers for recruits in year of Iraq surge

Engineer Charged In Giving Israeli Consulate Nuclear Weapons Documents

MyFoxNY.com — New York — A U.S. Army mechanical engineer has been arrested on charges that he slipped classified documents about nuclear weapons to an employee of the Israeli Consulate.

The arrest of Ben-ami Kadish is being detailed Tuesday by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and FBI officials.

A criminal complaint says the activities occurred from 1979through 1985. Kadish worked at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research,Development and Engineering Center in Dover, N.J.

The complaint says Kadish took home classified documents several times, and the Israeli government worker photographed them in Kadish’s basement.

The documents included information about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet, and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system.

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008, 11:35 AM EDT

Source: Fox

Surgeons give hope to blind with successful bionic eye operations

Surgeons have carried out the first operations in Britain using a pioneering “bionic eye” that could in future help to restore the sight of the blind.

Two successful operations to implant the artificial electronic device into the eyes of two blind patients were conducted last week at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, it emerged today.

The device — the first of its kind in the world — incorporates a video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses.

This is linked to an artificial retina, which transmits moving images along the optic nerve to the brain, and enables a patient to discriminate rudimentary images of motion, light and dark.

The operations at Moorfields were conducted as part of an international clinical trial of the technology, known as the Argus II retinal implant, which has already proved successful in restoring rudimentary vision to blind patients with common causes of sight loss such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa.

Read moreSurgeons give hope to blind with successful bionic eye operations

PENTAGON CAMPAIGN: Retired officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage from inside the TV and radio networks


A PENTAGON CAMPAIGN
Retired officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage
from inside the TV and radio networks.

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Correction Appended

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Read morePENTAGON CAMPAIGN: Retired officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage
from inside the TV and radio networks

New anti-terrorism rules allow US to spy on British motorists

Routine journeys carried out by millions of British motorists can be monitored by authorities in the United States and other enforcement agencies across the world under anti-terrorism rules introduced discreetly by Jacqui Smith.

The discovery that images of cars captured on road-side cameras, and “personal data” derived from them, including number plates, can be sent overseas, has angered MPs and civil liberties groups concerned by the increasing use of “Big Brother” surveillance tactics.


Images captured by road-side cameras will be made available to foreign authorities
Images of private cars, as well as registration numbers, could be sent outside to countries such as the USA

Yesterday, politicians and civil liberties groups accused the Home Secretary of keeping the plans to export pictures secret from Parliament when she announced last year that British anti-terrorism police could access “real time” images from cameras used in the running of London’s congestion charge.

A statement by Miss Smith to Parliament on July 17, 2007, detailing the exemptions for police from the 1998 Data Protection Act, did not mention other changes that would permit material to be sent outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to the authorities in the US and elsewhere.

Her permission to do so was hidden away in an earlier “special certificate” signed by the Home Secretary on July 4.

The certificate specifically sets out the level of data that can be sent to enforcement authorities outside the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) by anti-terrorist officers from the Metropolitan Police. It says:

“The certificate relates to the processing of the images taken by the camera, personal data derived from the images, including vehicle registration mark, date, time and camera location.”
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A spokesman for Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, confirmed that the certificate had been worded so that the images of private cars, as well as registration numbers, could be sent outside to countries such as the USA.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police have been given the right to view in “real time” any CCTV images from cameras that are meant to be enforcing the congestion charge.

Sources said that officers would access the cameras on behalf of overseas authorities if they were informed about a terrorism threat in the UK or elsewhere. They would then share the images, which can be held for five years before being destroyed, if necessary.

Last night, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “This confirms that this Government is happy to hand over potentially huge amounts of information on British citizens under the catch-all pretext of ‘national security’.”

Civil liberties campaigners said they were appalled that images of innocent people’s journeys could end up in the hands of the British police, let alone foreign investigators.

They feared that it was a move towards the US-style system of “data mining” – in which powerful computers sifted millions of pieces of information as they tried to build patterns of behaviour and match them to material about suspects.

Gus Hosein, who runs Privacy International, said he was making a complaint to the information commissioner having obtained a copy of the certificate.

However, the Home Office defended the powers in the certificate, which was signed specifically for the purposes of counter terrorism and national security.

A spokesman declined to say how many times images had been sent from London to other countries.

However, he added: “We would like to reassure the public that robust controls have been put in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, the information.”

By Toby Helm and Christopher Hope
Last Updated: 3:06am BST 21/04/2008

Source: Telegraph

The Police Disguises Cameras As Fire Hydrants

It’s like something dreamed up by East Germany’s Stasi.

In Florida, Sheriff Sgt. Ken Sonier “watches those who don’t want to be seen,” according to News-Press. Of course, in a healthy, non-brainwashed society most us would not take kindly to being watched, no matter the reason, but in the post-9/11 world far too many of us have bought into the idea we are somehow obliged to surrender our privacy in order to combat the terrorists, never mind we don’t have a good idea who the terrorists are. Fox News now tells us they have blond hair and blue eyes.

Sonier and the Lee County cops are busy installing “custom-made cameras” in fire hydrants, on exit signs in apartment buildings, and metal underneath cars. “Citizens don’t know what we do,” bragged Lee County Sheriff Lt. Gary Desrosiers of the Technical Investigations Unit. “And that’s a good thing.” It was presumably a good thing in East Germany, too, or so the fascist control freaks who once ran that country no doubt believed.

“The annual budget for the TIU is about $10 million, but that includes salaries and maintenance on all the department’s cell phones, laptops and equipment. Most of the equipment purchased is with federal grants.” More specifically, Department of Homeland Security grants.

“In Cape Coral, police accepted a $50,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase a Video Detective. It is capable of recording audio, video and stills from blocks away and can clean up images and sound recordings turned in as evidence. Now grainy footage of a bank robbery suspect becomes as clear as a yearbook photo.”

Read moreThe Police Disguises Cameras As Fire Hydrants

Pilotless surveillance aircraft are being trialled across Britain

Nicked by PC Drone, robot spy in the sky
Pilotless surveillance aircraft are being trialled across Britain, heralding a new era in the policing of our roads, writes Mark Harris

Speeding tickets from the sky might sound like science fiction, but the robot spy-plane technology that is used in the war on terror in Afghanistan may soon be coming to British roads.

Under a government-funded scheme, a new generation of pilotless drones could be patrolling motorways within the next five years. Although they will initially use cameras to record and monitor accidents and provide traffic-flow data, they have the potential to spot speeding offences and identify reckless or uninsured drivers.

Read morePilotless surveillance aircraft are being trialled across Britain

Bank of America Net Income Falls 77% on Writedowns

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Bank of America Corp., the second- largest U.S. bank, said profit dropped for a third straight quarter as the company set aside $6.01 billion for bad loans.

First-quarter net income declined 77 percent to $1.21 billion from $5.26 billion a year earlier, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said today in a statement. The results fell short of analysts’ estimates and sent the bank’s stock down 2.5 percent in New York trading.

Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis scaled back a January forecast of 20 percent earnings growth this year after reporting the two worst quarters since he took over in 2001. Lewis said he now expects “sequential profit improvement” for the rest of 2008. The bank’s consumer unit, which contributed more than 60 percent of operating income in 2007, faces a nationwide jump in unpaid debt and the highest unemployment rate since 2005.

“The first quarter was much worse than our expectations three months ago,” Lewis said on a conference call. “It’s too early to strike up the band and say that happy days are here again.”

Read moreBank of America Net Income Falls 77% on Writedowns

Lasers used to make female flies act like males

Scientists have used a laser to control a female fly’s mind and make it sing “love songs” which are only ever sung by males. The ground-breaking research, which suggests the difference between the sexes may be much subtler than thought, was conducted using radical new technology which allows scientists to turn individual brain cells on and off by shining a light on them.

The research is predominantly the work of Gero Miesenböck, an Austrian scientist formerly of Yale University who has recently moved to Oxford. Nicknamed “Lord of the Flies” by contemporaries, Professor Miesenböck specialises in controlling fly movements by genetically modifying certain brain cells to make them sensitive to light.

This is the first time an animal’s sexual behaviour has been modified by such “mind control” techniques.

Read moreLasers used to make female flies act like males

Unleashing the Bugs of War

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, that secretive band of Pentagon geeks that searches obsessively for the next big thing in the technology of warfare, is 50 years old. To celebrate, DARPA invited Vice President Dick Cheney, a former Defense Secretary well aware of the Agency’s capabilities, to help blow out the candles. “This agency brought forth the Saturn 5 rocket, surveillance satellites, the Internet, stealth technology, guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision and the body armor that’s in use today,” Cheney told 1,700 DARPA workers and friends who gathered at a Washington hotel to mark the occasion. “Thank heaven for DARPA.”

Created in the panicky wake of the Soviets’ launching of Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, DARPA’s mission, Cheney said, is “to make sure that America is never again caught off guard.” So, the Agency does the basic research that may be decades away from battlefield applications. It doesn’t develop new weapons, as much as it pioneers the technologies that will make tomorrow’s weapons better.

So what’s hot at DARPA right now? Bugs. The creepy, crawly flying kind. The Agency’s Microsystems Technology Office is hard at work on HI-MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical System), raising real insects filled with electronic circuitry, which could be guided using GPS technology to specific targets via electrical impulses sent to their muscles. These half-bug, half-chip creations — DARPA calls them “insect cyborgs” — would be ideal for surveillance missions, the agency says in a brief description on its website.

Read moreUnleashing the Bugs of War

State busybodies want to pry into your bedroom secrets

Government inspectors are to ask us intimate questions about our sex lives, it was revealed.

More than half a million people every year will be asked about their past and present sexual partners, contraception and how long couples have lived together before marriage.

The 2,000 questions are part of the Integrated Household Survey, and the responses will be logged with respondents’ names and addresses.

Civil servants insist that the sensitive personal information will be made anonymous once the files arrive at the Office of National Statistics, where they will then be held on a secure server.

But campaigners last night branded the survey “intrusive” and another example of Labour’s “surveillance state”.

The survey will cost £3.5 million to carry out each year and will see inspectors randomly visit up to 200,000 homes to question each occupant.

They will ask 35 questions on contraception alone, covering vasectomies, the pill and if respondents have ever used the “morning after” pill.

Other intimate questions include the exact dates when previous relationships ended, precise monthly earnings and details of any second jobs or bonuses.

Investigators will also ask about the health of any children in the household.

One insensitive question asks: “Have you ever had a baby – even one who lived for a short time?”

Interviewers are then told: “Exclude: Any stillborn; include: Any who lived for a short time.”

Read moreState busybodies want to pry into your bedroom secrets

Energy producers in driving seat at Rome talks

ROME: Consumer countries and international oil firms keen to gain greater access to the world’s energy resources are likely to walk away empty-handed from talks with producer nations in Rome.

Record high oil, which struck $117 a barrel on Friday, has helped to drive up the profits of oil majors, but it has also increased the spending power of national oil companies and made them ever more reluctant to grant access to their resources.

“The relative positions of international energy companies and national energy companies are changing — and not in our favour,” Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Italian oil and gas company Eni said in a speech at the opening of the International Energy Forum (IEF).

OPEC member Venezuela, under President Hugo Chavez, has spearheaded a global trend towards resource-holders seeking to maximise their returns from their energy wealth.

International firms have found themselves faced with tougher terms and shut out of the best energy territory.

During the 1970s, the international oil companies controlled nearly three-quarters of global oil reserves and 80 percent of production, Scaroni said.

Now, they control 6 percent of oil and 20 percent of gas reserves, and 24 percent of oil and 35 percent of gas production, he said. National oil companies hold the rest.

Read moreEnergy producers in driving seat at Rome talks

Rearming America

The military’s plan to regrow body parts.

The regeneration of lost body parts has just moved from science fiction to U.S. military policy.

Yesterday the Department of Defense announced the creation of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which will go by the happy acronym AFIRM. According to DOD’s news service, AFIRM will “harness stem cell research and technology … to reconstruct new skin, muscles and tendons, and even ears, noses and fingers.” The government is budgeting $250 million in public and private money for the project’s first five years. NIH and three universities will be on the team.

The people who brought you the Internet are about to bring you replacement fingers.

If you’ve been following Human Nature for the past three years, you know that tissue regeneration is well underway. The military has been working on regrowing lost body parts using extracellular matrices. Scientists in labs have grown blood vessels, livers, bladders, breast implants, and meat. This year they announced the production of beating, disembodied rat hearts. At yesterday’s press conference, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker explained that our bodies systematically generate liver cells and bone marrow and that this ability can be redirected through “the right kind of stimulation.”

Read moreRearming America

British dealers supply arms to Iran

Customs probe reveals sanctions-busting sales of arms, missile technology and nuclear components


Soldiers of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards march during an annual military parade to mark Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty

Investigators have identified a number of British arms dealers trading with Tehran, triggering alarm among government officials who fear Iran’s nuclear programme may be receiving significant support from UK sources.

The probe by customs officers suggests that at least seven Britons have been defying sanctions by supplying the Iranian air force, its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, and even the country’s controversial nuclear ambitions.

Read moreBritish dealers supply arms to Iran

Earth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever

Earth gives off a relentless hum of countless notes completely imperceptible to the human ear, like a giant, exceptionally quiet symphony, but the origin of this sound remains a mystery.

Now unexpected powerful tunes have been discovered in this hum. These new findings could shed light on the source of this enigma.

The planet emanates a constant rumble far below the limits of human hearing, even when the ground isn’t shaking from an earthquake. (It does not cause the ringing in the ear linked with tinnitus.) This sound, first discovered a decade ago, is one that only scientific instruments – seismometers – can detect. Researchers call it Earth’s hum.

Read moreEarth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever

Holographic storage ships next month!


Even since astronaut Dave Bowman disconnected the HAL 9000’s holographic memory in 2001: A Space Odyssey techies have been wondering when we could buy real holographic storage. Now we know: May, 2008.

Promising super-high density and excellent media flaw resistance, holographic storage has been an ever-receeding technology for years. You can buy nifty 3D skull and crossbones holograms – technically a form of storage – but no one had figured out how to turn a lab project into a product. Until now.

Read moreHolographic storage ships next month!