US Cyber Command: War In World’s Fifth Battlespace

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On May 21 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the activation of the Pentagon’s first computer command. And the world’s first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation.

U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), initially approved on June 23, 2009, attained the status of what the Pentagon calls initial operations capability eleven months afterward. It is to be fully operational later this year.

CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA). The head of the NSA and the related Central Security Service is Keith Alexander, U.S. Army lieutenant general on the morning of May 21 but promoted to four-star general before the formal launching of Cyber Command later in the day so as to become its commander.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander for his new position on May 7. In written testimony presented to Congress earlier, he stated that in addition to the defense of computer systems and networks, “the cyber command would be prepared to wage offensive operations as well….” [1] Two days before his confirmation the Associated Press reported that Alexander “said the U.S. is determined to lead the global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies.” [2] The conjunction “and” would serve the purpose better than “or.”

The day Alexander assumed his new command Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn “called the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md., today a milestone in the United States being able to conduct full-spectrum operations in a new domain,” adding that the “cyber domain…is as important as the land, sea, air and space domains to the U.S. military, and protecting military networks is crucial to the Defense Department’s success on the battlefield.” [3]

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Japan to Launch Solar-Sail-Powered Spacecraft

Japan will launch the world’s first spacecraft tomorrow drawing its energy from a huge solar-powered sail.

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The craft will be launched aboard an H-IIA rocket before unfurling its ultra-thin membrane ‘sail’ half the thickness of a human hair once it is in space Photo: BLOOMBERG

Ikaros – which stands for Interplanetary Kite-Craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun – works on the same principle as a yacht, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

It will be launched from the island of Tanegashima aboard an H-IIA rocket before unfurling its ultra-thin membrane “sail” – half the thickness of a human hair – once it is in space.

Solar particles emitted by the sun will hit the 66ft sail to propel it through space towards Venus. Photons bounce off thousands of tiny mirrors to push it through the resistance-free environment.

And as the force acts continuously, a solar sail will eventually be able to reach speeds that are up to ten times greater than any rocket powered by conventional chemicals.

The 307kg craft also has engines that draw their energy from solar cells on the craft and act as a “hybrid” engine, primarily for steering it on its mission.

Yuichi Tsuda, deputy manager for the project, said: “We believe Ikaros will take six months to reach Venus, which we will use to test the craft and its responses, but after that we want it continue to fly for as long and as far as possible.”

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Russian Scientists Prove Genetically Modified Foods are Harmful, Suggest Ban on GM Foods

See also:

Bayer AG admits GMO contamination out of control

Monsanto: GM-Corn Harvest of 82,000 Hectares in South Africa Fails


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Russia has started the annual Days of Defence against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans, which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GM organisms. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya, which was found with great difficulty in Serbia because 95 percent of soya in the world is transgenic.

Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov has this to say. “We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always,” says Alexei Surov. “We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs,” Dr. Alexei Surov said.

Another surprise was discovered by scientists in hamsters of the third generation. Hair grew in the mouth of the animals that took part in the experiment. It’s unclear why this happened. The researchers cannot understand why a programme of destruction is launched when animals take GMO foodstuffs. They say that this can be neutralized only by stopping to eat these foods. Consequently, scientists suggest imposing a ban on the use of GM foods until they are tested for their bio-security. The results of Russian scientists coincide with those of their colleagues from France and Austria. For one, when scientist proved that GM maize was harmful for mammals, France banned immediately its production and sale. The scientists who carried out the experiment say that it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions about the health hazards of the GMO. They insist that there is a need to carry out comprehensive research. They suggest implementing the project, “Safety Gene Technology” at the innovation centre, “Skolkovo” which is being set up near Moscow.

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Apocalypse Bunker Mentality: The Ultimate Underground Shelter

Come the end of the world, you might like to sit it out in style. All you need is money and a few DIY skills…

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Prepared for the end of the world: model of the living quarters in a Vivos underground bunker. Photograph: Terra Vivos/Barcroft USA

Abandon any notion of surviving the apocalypse by doing anything as boringly obvious as running for the highest hill, or eating cockroaches. The American firm Vivos is now offering you the chance to meet global catastrophe (caused by terrorism, tsunami, earthquake, volcano, pole shift, Iran, “social anarchy”, solar flare – a staggering list of potential world-murderers are considered) in style.

Vivos is building 20 underground “assurance of life” resorts across the US, capable of sustaining up to 4,000 people for a year when the earth no longer can. The cost? A little over £32,000 a head, plus a demeaning-sounding screening test that determines whether you are able to offer meaningful contribution to the continuation of the human race. Company literature posits, gently, that “Vivos may prove to be the next Genesis”, and they are understandably reluctant to flub the responsibility.

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Hyperfast missile to strike anywhere on Earth within an hour wins President Obama’s support

HAUNTED by the memory of a lost opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden before he attacked the World Trade Center in New York, US military planners have won President Barack Obama’s support for a new generation of high-speed weapons that are intended to strike anywhere on Earth within an hour.

Obama’s interest in Prompt Global Strike (PGS), a nonnuclear weapons programme, has alarmed China and Russia and complicated nuclear arms reduction negotiations.

White House officials confirmed last week that the president, who won the Nobel peace prize last year, is considering the deployment of a new class of hypersonic guided missiles that can reach their targets at speeds of Mach 5 — about 3,600mph.

That is nearly seven times faster than the 550mph Tomahawk cruise missiles that arrived too late to kill Bin Laden at an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 1998.

“The ability to attack a wide range of targets at intercontinental range, promptly and without resort to nuclear weapons, is of central importance to US national security,” said Daniel Goure, a defence analyst at the Lexington Institute in Virginia.

The White House has requested almost $250m in congressional funding next year for research into hypersonic technologies, some of which harness the shock waves generated by a fast-moving missile to increase its speed further.

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New Speed Surveillance Cameras Trap Motorists From Space

A new type of speed cameras which can use satellites to measure average speed over long distances are being tested in Britain.

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Satellites could track motorists from space if trials prove successful Photo: AFP

The cameras, which combine number plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver, are similar to those used in roadworks.

The AA said it believed the new system could cover a network of streets as opposed to a straight line, and was “probably geared up to zones in residential areas.”

The Home Office is testing the cameras at two sites, one in Southwark, London, and the other A374 between Antony and Torpoint in Cornwall.

The ‘SpeedSpike’ system, which calculates average speed between any two points in the network, has been developed by PIPS Technology Ltd, an American-owned company with a base in Hampshire.

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US Army Tests Flying Robo-Sniper (‘Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System’)

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(Photo: U.S. Army)

Stopping the pirates of Somalia hasn’t been easy. But when the navies of the world have repelled or killed the hijackers, it’s often involved three elements: helicopters, drones and trained snipers. The U.S. Army is working on a weapon which combines all three.

It’s called the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System. It mounts a powerful rifle onto highly stabilized turret, and fixes the package on board a Vigilante unmanned helicopter. I describe the system in this month’s Popular Mechanics.

The system is intended for the urban battlefield – an eye in the sky that can stare down concrete canyons, and blink out targets with extreme precision. Attempting to return fire against the ARSS is liable to be a near-suicidal act: ARSS is described as being able to fire seven to 10 aimed shots per minute, and it’s unlikely to miss.

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Samsung Warns of Health Risks of 3D Television

Samsung has issued a warning about the health risks of watching 3D television.

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Samsung has warned elderly people, children and pregnant women to exercise caution when watching 3D TV

The world’s largest electronics firm has highlighted potential dangers the technology poses to pregnant women, the elderly, children and people with serious medical conditions.

The Korean manufacturer, whose 3D sets will hit British stores in the coming days, warned of an array of side effects viewers could suffer.

The devices could trigger epileptic fits or cause ailments ranging from altered vision and dizziness to nausea, cramps, convulsions and involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching, it said.

Those who have been deprived of sleep or who have been drinking alcohol are also advised to avoid watching 3D television.

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DARPA Spills Details on its Plans for the ‘Transformer TX’ Flying Car

The Pentagon agency hopes to have a $43 million VTOL SUV in the air by 2015

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Transformer Car Oh hi DARPA, you called?

DARPA didn’t reveal much at first about its “Transformer TX” program aimed at developing a flying car for the military. But now the full proposal has been published, and shows that the Pentagon agency hopes to get a prototype airborne by 2015, The Register reports.

The mad scientists want a vertical-takeoff vehicle that handles like an off-road-capable SUV on the ground, and can cruise like a light single-engine aircraft at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.

Size limits for the design come to about two nose-to-tail Hummers, The Register calculates. That’s roomy enough for four fully-equipped troops, or one stretcher and one medic.

DARPA also wants its dream vehicle to have the ability to cover 250 miles before filling up on gas. It suggests incorporating technologies such as a hybrid electric drive, adaptive wing structures, or ducted tilt-rotor fans similar to what the Avatar gunships use.

The flying car marvel should also be able to do its own unmanned operations, like any other good robotic helicopter or vehicle in the U.S. military’s service. And flight controls should allow for any enlisted man or woman capable of driving a Humvee to pilot the vehicle.

Read moreDARPA Spills Details on its Plans for the ‘Transformer TX’ Flying Car

New Zealand: Human DNA To Be Injected Into Goats, Cows, And Sheep

“It is a concerted plan to transform New Zealand towards GE-based, GE-animals economy.”


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Scientists have been given permission to put human genes into goats, sheep and cows for the next 20 years, to see if the animals will produce human proteins in their milk.

But people will not be pouring the genetically modified milk on their Weetbix just yet – the milk will be discarded.

AgResearch won Environmental Risk Management Authority approval to allow a handful of scientists to breed and keep genetically-modified animals at the Ruakura research facility, near Hamilton.

The work will begin with genetically modified cows, and could be expanded to genetically modified goats within the next year.

There are no immediate plans to genetically modify sheep at Ruakura.

Simon Terry, of environmental consultancy the Sustainability Council, welcomed conditions making it clear the milk could not be made for commercial sale but he was concerned the 20-year time limit was three times as long as the last GM experiment at the facility.

Read moreNew Zealand: Human DNA To Be Injected Into Goats, Cows, And Sheep