Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

Palm Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on Palm Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jul 222015

For the islands in Lebanon see Palm Islands Nature Reserve

Palm Islands are two artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, on the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As at November 2014, only Palm Jumeirah has been completed. This island takes the form of a palm tree, topped by a crescent. When complete, Palm Jebel Ali will take a similar shape; both islands will be host to a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment centres and will add a total of 520kilometres of non-public beaches to the city of Dubai. The creation of the Palm Jumeirah began in June 2001. Shortly after, the Palm Jebel Ali was announced and reclamation work began. A third island was planned and construction started, but this project was later remodelled and renamed to Deira Island.

The Palm Islands are artificial islands constructed from sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf by the Belgian company, Jan De Nul and the Dutch company, Van Oord. The sand is sprayed from dredging ships, guided by a Global Positioning System, onto the required area. The spraying process is known as rainbowing because of the rainbow-like arcs produced in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah contains over seven million tons of rock; each rock was placed individually by a crane, its position signed off by a diver, and given a Global Positioning System coordinate.[citation needed]

The Jan De Nul Group started working on the Palm Jebel Ali in 2001 and had finished by the end of 2006. The reclamation project for the Palm Jebel Ali includes the creation of a four-kilometer-long peninsula, protected by a 200-meter-wide, seventeen-kilometer long circular breakwater. There are 210,000,000cubic meters of rock, sand and limestone that were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali entrance channel dredging work). There are approximately 10,000,000cubic meters of rocks in the Slope Protection Works.

The Palm Jumeirah ( Coordinates: 250628N 550815E / 25.10778N 55.13750E / 25.10778; 55.13750 ) consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11kilometer-long breakwater. The island itself is five kilometers by five kilometers. It adds 78kilometers to the Dubai coastline.

Residents began moving into Palm Jumeirah properties at the end of 2006, five years after land reclamation began.

A Monorail opened in 2009, but is not connected to other public transport.

The Palm Jebel Ali began construction in October 2002 and was expected to be completed in mid-2008.[1][2]

The construction of the Palm Islands has had a significant impact on the surrounding environment, resulting in changes to area wildlife, coastal erosion, alongshore sediment transport and wave patterns. Sediment stirred up by construction has suffocated and injured local marine fauna and reduced the amount of sunlight which filters down to seashore vegetation. Variations in alongshore sediment transport have resulted in changes in erosion patterns along the UAE coast, which has also been exacerbated by altered wave patterns as the waters of the Gulf attempt to move around the new obstruction of the islands. [3][4]

Dubai’s megaprojects have become a favorite cause of environmentalists. Greenpeace has criticized the Palm Islands for lack of sustainability, and, a site dedicated to rain forest conservation, has attacked Dubai’s artificial islands aggressively, stating that:

Read more from the original source:
Palm Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Posted by at 7:55 pm  Tagged with:

Kovalam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Beaches  Comments Off on Kovalam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jul 222015

Kovalam is a beach town by the Arabian Sea in Thiruvananthapuram city, Kerala, India, located around 16km from the city center.[1]

Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees.

Kovalam first received attention when the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore constructed her beach resort, Halcyon Castle, here towards the end of the 1920s. Thereafter the place was brought to the public eye by her nephew the Maharaja of Travancore.[2] The European guests of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies on their way to Ceylon in the Hippie Trail. This exodus started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India.[3]

Kovalam has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17km coastline, the three together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach

Detour past Kovalam junction to land on Samudra Beach which is to the north of Ashoka Beach. One has the option to walk along the sea-wall too.The sight of the waves lashing on the rocks below is awesome. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.[6]

The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India.[citation needed] However topless bathing is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts. Visitors frequent these two beaches. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn’t have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and Monazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May. Ashoka beach is also the part of Kovalam beach.

There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.

Kovalam was among the most prominent tourist spots in India during the hippy era. It still has a high status among tourists, who arrive mostly from Europe and Israel.[citation needed] Kovalam is finding a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and recuperation and regeneration resorts which provide a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments for tourists.[7]

Kovalam assembly constituency is part of Trivandrum (Lok Sabha constituency).[8] The assembly constituency of Kovalam is represented by Jameela Prakasham of Janatha Dal. She defeated the sitting MLA Adv. George Mercier.[9][10]

Hawwah beach (Eves beach)

Read more:
Kovalam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free …

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free …
Jun 202015

Libertarianism in the United States is a movement promoting individual liberty and minimized government.[1][2] The Libertarian Party, asserts the following to be core beliefs of libertarianism:

Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.[3][4]

Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 17%- 23% of the US electorate.[5] This includes members of the Republican Party (especially Libertarian Republicans), Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, and Independents.

In the 1950s many with classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as “libertarian.”[6] Academics as well as proponents of the free market perspectives note that free-market libertarianism has spread beyond the U.S. since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties[7][8] and that libertarianism is increasingly viewed worldwide as a free market position.[9][10] However, libertarian socialist intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Colin Ward, and others argue that the term “libertarianism” is considered a synonym for social anarchism by the international community and that the United States is unique in widely associating it with free market ideology.[11][12][13]

Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s libertarian-oriented challenge to authority had a major impact on the libertarian movement,[14] through his book The Conscience of a Conservative and his run for president in 1964.[15] Goldwater’s speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[16]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarchist libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum[17][18] and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance.[19]

The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[20] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, Jr., in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to divorce libertarianism from the freedom movement. He wrote: “The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded.”[21]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[22] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[23]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[24] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, “Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia.”[25]

Texas congressman Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the Republican Party presidential nomination were largely libertarian. Paul is affiliated with the libertarian-leaning Republican Liberty Caucus and founded the Campaign for Liberty, a libertarian-leaning membership and lobbying organization.

Original post:
Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free …

 Posted by at 7:40 pm  Tagged with:

Bugs in Tor network used in attacks against underground markets

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Bugs in Tor network used in attacks against underground markets
Apr 032015

Too many onion circuits can spoil the server, thanks to a Tor hidden service vulnerability.

Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock

The operator of an underground marketplace hosted within the Tor network has reported a flaw in Tor that he claims is being used for an ongoing denial of service attack on the site.

The problem, which is similar to one reported by another hidden site operator in December on the Tor mailing list, allows attackers to conduct a denial of service attack against hidden sites by creating a large number of simultaneous connections, or “circuits,” via Tor, overwhelming the hidden service’s ability to respond.

The problem is still under review, but it appears to be related to abuse of the “introduce” message in the Tor Hidden Services protocol, which is used to negotiate the connection between the client and the hidden server. By sending multiple “introduce” requests to the same hidden service, an attacker could make the targeted server create multiple circuits (paths over the Tor network used for the session), eating the server’s available CPU and network resources and making it inaccessible to users.

An individual associated with Middle Earth, one of the hidden sites targeted by the denial of service attacks, posted to reddit’s “darknet markets” subreddit earlier this week to apologize for the long downtime associated with the attack. Using the reddit account name MEMGandalf, he claimed “Middle Earth and Agora are the focus of the most serious attack TOR has ever seen.” He additionally reported that Middle Earth’s operator had reported the flaw to Tor. (The bug report was opened under the name “alberto.”) The attack raised the server’s processor load to 100 percent utilization.

While the problem has been reproduced by at least one Tor developer, short-term fixes proposed to prevent the attacks have, thus far, not panned out. A number of long-term fixes have been proposed that require substantial changes to Tor’s Hidden Services Protocol implementation, including the use of dedicated bridges to connect larger hidden sites to Tor (part of Tor’s Proposal 188, first put forward in 2012 by Tor co-founder and developer Roger Dingledine in June 2012).

There was also a number of Tor client-related security patches pushed out this weeklargely triggered by a critical “safety hazard” alert from Mozilla for Firefox, Firefox Extended Support Release, and the Thunderbird mail client. Both the Tor Browser Bundle and Tails live-bootable operating system were updated to fix problems in the Mozilla browser engine used across all the projects. Because of problems in how the browser engine handled memory safety, “we presume that with enough effort at least some of these (flaws) could be exploited to run arbitrary code,” the Mozilla team noted in the alert.

The Tor Browser Bundle and the Tor browser in Tails both use Firefox ESR as their code base. In theory, the flaws could be exploited to run script within a browser session that could be used to launch an attack against the browser by loading code to memory outside the browser’s context. Now that the flaw has been made public, Tor and the Tails project are urging users to update their software as soon as possible.

The latest Tails release also fixes more problems in OpenSSL, the open-source crypto kit that was the source of last year’s Heartbleed bug. A set of problems in OpenSSL that could have caused memory corruption and software crashes found in the Debian distribution of Linux were patched in mid-March; Tails is based on Debian, and these fixes were rolled into the latest bootable distribution.

Go here to see the original:
Bugs in Tor network used in attacks against underground markets

NATO Chief Dismisses Latest Russian Allegations as More Propaganda

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO Chief Dismisses Latest Russian Allegations as More Propaganda
Mar 272015

The head of NATO is dismissing the latest allegations by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who accused the West of trying to undermine his rule and destabilize his country.

Its just another example of the type of propaganda that Russia is doing in many different frameworks, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told VOA during an interview in Washington.

The truth is what NATO does is a response to the aggressive actions we have seen by Russia in Ukraine, he said. We are doing that in a defensive and proportionate way, totally in line with all our international obligations.

Stoltenberg also called on Russia to lower tensions by meeting its obligations under the February Minsk Agreement, which he insisted was still the best basis for finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine despite numerous violations.

The NATO Secretary General also criticized Russia for holding what he described as a pattern of snap military exercises, increasing tensions across Europe.

For us it is important to avoid situations, misunderstandings, accidents that spiral out of control, Stoltenberg said. And a large number of snap exercises is not contributing to stability.

Earlier Thursday, Putin told top security officials with Russias Federal Security Service (FSB) it was imperative to counter Western efforts to weaken Russia.

The situation will change for the better not because we will always be giving in, bending, or talking baby talk with someone, Mr. Putin said.

Russia and Ukraine signed the Minsk Agreement in February following months of fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Still, a NATO military official told VOA earlier this week that Russian troops, including special forces, continue to operate in Eastern Ukraine.

Read more:
NATO Chief Dismisses Latest Russian Allegations as More Propaganda

 Posted by at 12:51 am  Tagged with:

Auckland to consider banning smoking on beaches, outdoor cafes

 Beaches  Comments Off on Auckland to consider banning smoking on beaches, outdoor cafes
Feb 262015

sondyaustin / Flickr

The majority of public submissions called for a ban on lighting up in outdoor eating areas, such as Vulcan Lane.

Auckland Council is to consider making pavement dining and public places such as beaches smokefree sooner than expected, after a large number of submissions from the public.

The council has already declared playgrounds and transport centres smokefree, and from the middle of this year other shared spaces such as plazas will also have the no smoking signs up.

The decision to speed up the next phase of its smokefree policy review follows hearings into the new Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw, coming into effect on July 1.

Even though smokefree dining is not part of the bylaw, the majority of submissions on it called for a ban on lighting up in outdoor eating areas.

Of 1412 submissions, 1354 were from organisations such as the Cancer Society, Auckland Regional Public Health and many individuals concerned about the issue.

As a result the council has agreed to start a review of its smokefree policy this year, instead of next year as originally planned.

The review will look at whether a bylaw is the best way of managing smokefree public places.

The hearings panel on the trading bylaw felt the passion of submitters on the topic, chair Denise Krum said.

Here is the original post:
Auckland to consider banning smoking on beaches, outdoor cafes

 Posted by at 10:42 am  Tagged with:

Bronze bust of Margaret Thatcher unveiled in Port Stanley

 Islands  Comments Off on Bronze bust of Margaret Thatcher unveiled in Port Stanley
Jan 112015

January 10 is celebrated locally as the ‘Margaret Thatcher Day’, and despite heavy rain, a large number of locals turned out to mark the unveiling of the bronze bust, concluding a day of activities dedicated to the late leader.

The final decision was to commission local sculptor, Steve Massam, to create the bronze bust.

Local sculptor Steve Masson was commissioned to make the sculpture which cost around 40,000 and stands eight foot high on a stone plinth

According to local media reports, the statue took two months and 50 kilograms of clay to create.

The bust stands on a stone plinth and bears a brass plaque with a quotation from a speech Thatcher made during her visit to the Falklands in 1983.

It reads: “They are few in number, but they have the right to live in peace, to choose their own way of life and determine their own allegiance.”

The cluster of islands 8-thousand miles from Britain was home to 1,800 people in 1982 when Argentina attempted to take back the archipelago which had been under British rule for 150 years.

Thatcher dispatched a British task force and defeated Argentina in a brief but bloody war on land and at sea.

Argentina still claims sovereignty over the islands.

Go here to read the rest:
Bronze bust of Margaret Thatcher unveiled in Port Stanley

 Posted by at 10:43 am  Tagged with:

Senators question need to rein in NSA surveillance

 NSA  Comments Off on Senators question need to rein in NSA surveillance
Dec 202014

Senators question need to rein in NSA surveillance Share This The U.S. Congress would endanger the nation’s security by passing even watered-down legislation to limit the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic phone records, several U.S. senators said Thursday.

The U.S. Congress would endanger the nation’s security by passing even watered-down legislation to limit the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic phone records, several U.S. senators said Thursday.

Several members of the Senate Intelligence Committee voiced opposition to the USA Freedom Act, a bill aimed at reining in NSA bulk collection of telephone and other records, even though many civil liberties groups and technology companies have questioned whether the bill would work as its sponsors originally envisioned.

With the USA Freedom Act, Congress is “compromising to please a skeptical and frequently misinformed public” that’s mistakenly worried about NSA surveillance, Senator Dan Coats, an Indiana Republican, said during a hearing on the House bill, taking place one year after the first leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published.

The USA Freedom Act would ban what the NSA and the U.S. Department of Justice consider “bulk” collection of phone and business records, said James Cole, deputy attorney general at the DOJ. But Cole parsed the definition of “bulk” collection.

Quoting a House Intelligence Committee report on the USA Freedom Act, Cole said, “Bulk collection means indiscriminate acquisition. It does not mean the acquisition of a large number of communication records.” Therefore, the House bill would allow the NSA collection of large numbers of records, if that collection were approved by the U.S. surveillance court.

An amended definition of what records the bill allows the NSA to collect gives the agency wide latitude, said Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat. The version of the USA Freedom Act that passed the House “is not the true reform I’ve demanded, and many other Americans have demanded, for years,” he said.

The House bill is “vague enough to still allow the collection of mass information,” Udall said. “The NSA has shown time and time again it will seize on any wiggle room in the law, and there’s plenty of that in this bill.”

The NSA phone records program helps protect national security, several senators argued, even though critics have found that many of the examples of investigations given to justify the program have only a limited connection to it.

Nevertheless, the Senate should “step back” and reconsider whether to pass the USA Freedom Act, said Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican.

Excerpt from:
Senators question need to rein in NSA surveillance

 Posted by at 1:49 pm  Tagged with:

NATO commander says Russia still braced for incursion into Ukraine

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO commander says Russia still braced for incursion into Ukraine
Nov 262014

Published November 26, 2014

U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)(The Associated Press)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, greets U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Mykola Lazarenko, Pool)(The Associated Press)

U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)(The Associated Press)

U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)(The Associated Press)

KIEV, Ukraine NATO’s top commander says Russia still has enough troops stationed on Ukraine’s border to mount a major incursion, and that it is using its military might to affect political developments inside Ukraine.

U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove said Tuesday that a large number of Russian troops are also active inside Ukraine, training and advising separatist rebels.

Moscow has routinely denied it played any direct role in the conflict in Ukraine, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

Ukraine has received multiple pledges of military support from Western nations, although the United States has so far stopped short of promising to provide any lethal equipment.

Breedlove said the focus of foreign assistance would be on helping increase the capability of Ukraine’s armed forces through interaction with U.S. and European command.

Read more here:
NATO commander says Russia still braced for incursion into Ukraine

 Posted by at 3:51 pm  Tagged with:

Tonga embraces low cost methods for beach restoration

 Beaches  Comments Off on Tonga embraces low cost methods for beach restoration
Nov 262014

Talihau community in Tonga embraces natural, low cost methods for beach restoration

An innovative set of techniques developed specifically for the strengthening and rehabilitation of beaches in the Pacific island region have been put to the test in Vava’u, Tonga.

This approach to coastal erosion has been developed over the past two years as part of the coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation project which is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and funded by the Australian Government under its International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI).

The beach rehabilitation guidelines and practical interventions – developed over the past two years and tested in Samoa, Vanuatu and Kiribati – are designed to limit and, where possible, stop continued erosion on affected beaches in the region and put in place strategies to try to reverse damage that has already taken place. Such rehabilitation can strengthen coastal resilience to the impacts associated with sea level rise.

Crucially, the techniques are designed to be cheap, achievable and easily managed by local communities in both the short and long term. Dr Joanna Ellison, an expert on coastal geomorphology from the University of Tasmania and a long-term collaborator with SPREP on coastal issues, helped to devise the techniques following extensive research and testing in North Tarawa, Kiribati. She explains:

“Everybody knows that erosion is a problem on a lot of Pacific island beaches, but what many people don’t know is that there are many low cost, natural ways to make beaches stronger. Often, people put a lot of pressure on beaches without realising. By recognising and reducing this pressure we can work together to get sediment to come back to the beach and stay there.”

The value and importance of community support was aptly demonstrated during the recent application of these tactics at Talihau Paradise Beach in Vava’u. Representatives from all levels of government joined forces with members of the community to protect the quite seriously degraded Talihau Paradise Beach from further erosion.

Town Officer, Siaosi, observed that in the 33 years he has lived at Talihau he has witnessed a large number of changes to the beach:

“Just ten years ago there were a lot of trees and the sea level was far away from the shoreline. Now you can see that things are very different. It is not only the natural activities that cause this erosion, but the human activities too.”

SPREP’s Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Officer, Mr Paul Anderson, said that an assessment of the beach confirmed Siaosi’s suspicion that human impacts were having a grave effect on the condition of the beach. In the 100 metres long stretch of beach, Mr Anderson observed only six mature trees and no evidence of new growth – a classic sign of degradation caused by trampling from humans and animals. He explains:

Read the original post:
Tonga embraces low cost methods for beach restoration

 Posted by at 3:42 pm  Tagged with:

NEC wins Solomon Islands microwave backhaul contract

 Islands  Comments Off on NEC wins Solomon Islands microwave backhaul contract
Nov 132014

NEC Australia is set to deploy microwave radio technology in three of the largest provinces of the Solomon Island Territory to boost mobile and fixed line broadband capacity. Solomon Telekom Company Limited (STCL), the major full service carrier of the Solomon Islands and branded as Our Telekom, has selected NEC Australias iPasolink IP microwave transmission technology as the core of a major network upgrade that will support over 100 base stations in the territory and extend the reach of their domestic fixed network services.

The microwave backhaul deployment will significantly improve fixed line and mobile broadband speeds across three key provinces. The deal was won through a competitive tender.

NEC will also provide ongoing training and design services to Our Telekom engineers and deliver a state of the art network management platform. Our Telekom chief operating officer, Keir Preedy, said the company was committed to connecting and delivering better fixed line and mobile broadband services to consumers, schools and businesses throughout the Solomon Islands, no matter how remote they were. “This project is a key investment to grow the reach of broadband services and allow greater participation in the dramatic speed and latency benefits that will come with the future submarine cable. NEC Australia demonstrated that the network could be deployed within a tight schedule and budget, he said. Further to proposing the best technical solution with highest transmit power hence the smallest antenna size to meet our unique weather and tower loading conditions, we valued NEC’s high level of competence in providing network design and training for our engineers that will ensure we have the skills to maintain the network in future.” Our Telekom will initially deploy the NEC solution in three main provinces of the Solomon Islands, with plans for future expansion to other provinces.

The systems will boost capacity to base stations in Malaita Province, one of the largest regions in the territory; Honiara Province, the Solomon Islands capital on Guadalcanal Island; and Western Province, which encompasses several islands. In Malaita, it will supply and install backhaul links with an initial 500 Mbps capacity that is upgradeable to 1Gbps with software license, and a large number of last mile links that will initially deliver 50-100Mbps and connect to its existing and new base stations. NEC Australia group manager, social infrastructure, David Cooke, said the technology would be at the heart of fixed line and mobile services in the Solomon Islands.

“We believe our proposal, supported by NECs class leading high capacity iPASOLINK microwave radios, offers Our Telekom the best opportunity to achieve a cost-effective and rapid deployment,” he said. NECs microwave solutions will be central to Our Telekoms operations over the next ten years and will provide terrestrial fixed network capacity to carry low latency IP services for future submarine or satellite systems connecting the Solomon Islands to the rest of the world.

Tags Solomon Telekom Company Limitedmicrowave radio technologysocial infrastructureNEC Australia group managerOur Telekom chief operating officerKeir PreedyDavid Cooke

More about IslandNECSolomon

The rest is here:
NEC wins Solomon Islands microwave backhaul contract

 Posted by at 1:44 pm  Tagged with:

UPDATE: Fears new bathing water standards could scare tourists off

 Beaches  Comments Off on UPDATE: Fears new bathing water standards could scare tourists off
Nov 092014

Castle Cove beach, which is one of seven Dorset beaches DEFRA say would fail new water quality standards

BASIC: Castle Cove Beach in Portland Harbour

First published in News by Liz Jackson

SEVEN Dorset beaches would fail basic bathing water quality standards under new standards being implemented in 2015, new research from DEFRA shows. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs released a report entitled 2014 Compliance Report For Bathing Waters In England, which reveals a number of Dorset beaches would fail the new stricter standards on bath-ing water quality. These are: Castle Cove beach and Sandsfoot Castle beach in Portland Harbour, Seatown beach near Bridport, Church Cliff Beach and Front Beach in Lyme Regis, and Highcliffe Castle beach and Avon Beach in Christchurch. Cllr Ian Bruce, Weymouth and Portland Borough Councils briefholder for community facilities, said that he would be interested to know how the beaches were monitored as things like currents and flooding can have a significant bearing on results. He said he would not like to see stricter standards putting off people from the boroughs beaches if the water was still safe to swim in. Cllr Bruce said: Its a strange situation if people have been perfectly safe and we have not had any problems then somebody comes and says we are going to keep tightening the standard. Clearly we do want to make sure everything is safe but we dont want to scare people off going to a particular beach. The results also show that Lyme Regiss Church Cliff Beach has failed current mandatory standards for bathing water, which comes after a previous pass result in 2013. Bathing waters are defined as beaches, lakes or ponds that are used by a large number of bathers and have been designated under the bathing waters directive. From 2015 a revised bathing waters directive will be issued, using stricter standards. These are effectively the same standards DEFRA has used to decide if the beaches would fail, which they have called guideline compliance for the transition period between the old directive and the new directive. The report says 84.5 per cent of South West beaches would pass the new standards, putting the seven Dorset beaches in the regions bottom 15.5 percent. It would also put them in the bottom fifth (19.3 percent) of beaches across England. In addition, DEFRA has said on its website that it is surveying the number of users of Church Cliff Beach in Lyme Regis. The beach is one of 12 across the country that will be surveyed, and if the number of bathers using the beach is considered to be low, DEFRA will consult whether to remove the beach altogether from their list of bathing waters. The full report can be viewed at:

Continued here:
UPDATE: Fears new bathing water standards could scare tourists off

 Posted by at 6:42 pm  Tagged with:

NATO says Russian jets, bombers circle Europe in unusual incidents

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO says Russian jets, bombers circle Europe in unusual incidents
Oct 302014

MOSCOW NATO said Wednesday that it had intercepted a large number of Russian aircraft flying close to European airspace in the past two days, in an unusual series of incidents that brought Russian bombers as far afield as Portugal.

The aircraft at least 19 in all offered reminders of Russian air power at a time of the worst relations between the West and Russia since the Cold War. Russian military aircraft have significantly increased their activity in Europe since the conflict in Ukraine began earlier this year, with NATO scrambling to intercept aircraft more than 100 times in 2014. But a NATO official said the scale of the latest incidents was the most provocative this year.

Over the Atlantic Ocean and the North, Black and Baltic seas, Russian bombers, fighter jets and tanker aircraft were detected flying in international airspace, NATO said. There were no incursions into national airspace, a violation of sovereignty that would have significantly amplified the seriousness of the four incidents, three of which took place on Wednesday.

Were raising it as an unusual level of activity, said Lt. Col. Jay Janzen, a spokesman for NATOs military command in Mons, Belgium. The flights weve seen in the last 24 hours, the size of those flights and some of the flight plans are definitely unusual.

U.S. officials regard the flights as a show of force by the Putin government. Its concerning because its moving in the wrong direction, said one U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the air activity publicly. Its not helping to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. Its not helping to improve relations between NATO and Russia. Its not helping anybody.

Smaller-scale incidents have also increased this year, approximately tripling from the same period in 2013, Janzen said.

In at least one of the four incidents, the aircraft had switched off their transponders and had not filed flight plans with civilian air traffic controllers. That means that civilian air traffic control cannot track them, potentially creating a risk for civilian planes.

That incident took place around 3:00 a.m. in Western Europe on Wednesday, when four Tu-95 long-range strategic nuclear bombers and four Il-78 tanker aircraft flew over the Norwegian Sea. Norwegian F-16 fighter jets scrambled to intercept them. Six of the planes returned to Russia, but two of the bombers skirted the Norwegian coast, flew past Britain sending Typhoon fighter jets to scramble in response and then finally looped west of Spain and Portugal, attracting Portuguese F-16s. Then the two bombers appeared to return to Russia, Janzen said.

The Tu-95 bombers are not commonly seen close to Europe, Janzen said. Nor are the MiG-31 fighter jets that were intercepted along with other aircraft above the Baltic Sea in two separate incidents Tuesday and Wednesday. It was not immediately clear whether the two incidents above the Baltic represented the same group of seven planes entering and departing a Russian military base at Kaliningrad.

There was no immediate reaction from the Russian government.

Read the original here:
NATO says Russian jets, bombers circle Europe in unusual incidents

 Posted by at 1:51 am  Tagged with:

Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes

 NATO  Comments Off on Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes
Oct 302014

A Norwegian F-16 shadows a Russian air force Tupolev Tu-95 in a photograph released by the Norwegian air force. Photograph: Norwegian air force/EPA

Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine.

In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon.

These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space, the alliance said.

A spokesman stressed there had been no violation of Nato air space, unlike a week earlier when a Russian spy plane briefly crossed Estonias border. But so many sorties in one day was unusual compared with recent years.

In the biggest exercise four Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, the 1950s equivalent of the US B-52, flew out over the Norwegian Sea in the early hours of Wednesday, accompanied by four refuelling tanker aircraft.

Norwegian F-16s tracked the formation, which eventually broke up, with six planes heading back toward Russia and two Tu-95s flying on south over the North Sea where they were intercepted by British Typhoons. Portuguese F-16s later tracked them in the Atlantic before they turned for home.

A Norwegian military spokesman said: We see Russian aircraft near our air space on a regular basis but what was unusual is that it was a large number of aircraft and pushed further south than we normally see.

In a second incident two Tu-95s accompanied by two fighter jets were being tracked by Turkish aircraft over the Black Sea on Wednesday afternoon, while flights of seven Russian warplanes were monitored on Tuesday and Wednesday over the Baltic Sea.

On Tuesday German and Danish planes were involved in tracking them as well as aircraft from non-Nato states Sweden and Finland. On Wednesday Portuguese F-16s posted in the Baltic intercepted a similar group of fighters and fighter-bombers.

See original here:
Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes

 Posted by at 1:51 am  Tagged with:

Bitcoin Weekly 2014 October 22: Gavin Andresen Reddit AMA, Bitcoin community vs. NYDFS BitLicense, and more

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin Weekly 2014 October 22: Gavin Andresen Reddit AMA, Bitcoin community vs. NYDFS BitLicense, and more
Oct 232014

The current trends in the Bitcoin show that while progress is slow, its constantly building momentum. Last week, Andreas Antonopoulos went before the Canadian Senate and gave an amazing 2 hour talk, this week Gavin Andresen went to Reddit and gave amazing answers.

The public comments period for the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) regulatory proposal BitLicense have ended and numerous heavyweights in the Bitcoin community and Internet free-speech have weighed in including BitPay, Coinbase, Reddit, the Internet Archive, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Gavin Andresen, notably the best-known Bitcoin Core developer and Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). AMAs are a proud tradition on Reddit that allow experts, celebrities, politicians, etc. a chance to speak their mind to a multitude of people and have their thoughts recorded.

As of writing, Andresens AMA has reached 931 comments and he has actively participated in a large number of threads.

When asked what would be needed for Andresen to believe Bitcoin is established, he replied, We need regulatory clarity, ease of use, and no-single-point-of-failure security. The world is still waking up to Bitcoin and its effectsalthough business is slowly tuning inits going to be more regulatory questions like New Yorks infamous Bitlicense.

On the subject of the increasing value of individual Bitcoins (currently at $388) he showed a favor for speaking more often of Bits, or millionths of a Bitcoin. A Bit, as a result, would be $0.000388 approximately, meaning 100 Bits would be about 4 cents.

Apparently, he changed his name from Bell (his birth surname) to Andresen because his wife did not want to be known as Michele Bell.

Overall, reading Andresens responses to questions shows a solid foundation of a programmer who is passionate about Bitcoin. He sounds forthright, thoughtful, and knowledgeable and at the same time extremely sanguine about the future of Bitcoin itself.

If this sparks a readers interest, many could do worse than to peruse the comments in the AMA and pick out Andresens responses. CoinDesk has also picked out what they feel are the 12 best answers from his AMA.

See more here:
Bitcoin Weekly 2014 October 22: Gavin Andresen Reddit AMA, Bitcoin community vs. NYDFS BitLicense, and more

 Posted by at 6:48 am  Tagged with:

Internet turned into giant surveillance platform by NSA

 NSA  Comments Off on Internet turned into giant surveillance platform by NSA
Oct 062014

Revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden of large-scale surveillance by the NSA showed that we were living in a golden age of surveillance,Bruce Schneier said. Photograph: Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of The Guardian/Handout via Reuters

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has turned the internet into a giant surveillance platform, a leading security specialist has said.

Bruce Schneier, who has written extensively on digital security and privacy, told an audience in Dublin tonight that the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden of large-scale surveillance by the NSA showed that we were living in a golden age of surveillance.

In a lecture for the human rights group Front Line Defenders, Mr Schneier said the NSAs role changed completely after the 9/11 attacks, when US intelligence agencies were given an impossible mission: never again. The only way to ensure something doesnt happen is to know everything that is happening, he said.

This desire to collect everything coincided with changes in technology, notably the spread of smartphones, the rise of cloud storage and the fact that it became cheaper for individuals to store data and thereby leave deeper digital footprints for the state to pursue. The NSA has turned the internet into a giant surveillance platform, he said.

It did this largely by piggybacking on corporate capabilities, and in an environment where the public largely acquiesced. If the government said you have to carry a tracking device with you 24/7, we would never agree to that. Every morning we put a cellphone in our pocket, which tracks us 24/7. If you were told, every time you make a new friend, you have to inform the police, you would laugh. But you do that on Facebook.

Mr Schneier warned that by making the internet less secure, states were making it easier for criminals and hackers to compromise systems using similar methods. And while the US was in a privileged position, as a hub for internet communications and home to a large number of technology firms, similar things were being done in countries such as China and Russia. We have to make a choice here. We have built an insecure internet. We have enabled everyone to spy… We have broken the fabric of trust on the net.

Human rights organisations feared that nothing could be done to counteract state surveillance, but this wasnt true, Mr Schneier said. There is a lot that can be done, technically, to make ourselves safer from all attackers, all eavesdroppers. But this is a political problem, because we are building an infrastructure where surveillance is possible. We need everyone to realise that a secure internet is in everyones interest.

See more here:
Internet turned into giant surveillance platform by NSA

SEO Checklist for New Websites – Search Engine Optimization – Video

 SEO  Comments Off on SEO Checklist for New Websites – Search Engine Optimization – Video
Mar 212014

SEO Checklist for New Websites – Search Engine Optimization
Over 50 PR5+ Backlinks FOR FREE: There are a large number of companies that adopt a fast and unethical approach to SEO known as Black H…

By: Max Anderson – SEO .

Originally posted here:
SEO Checklist for New Websites – Search Engine Optimization – Video

 Posted by at 8:42 pm  Tagged with:

86 multinationals on ATO 'high risk' tax hitlist

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on 86 multinationals on ATO 'high risk' tax hitlist
Mar 172014

Under the microscope: 86 multinationals are being investigated by the ATO. Photo: Andrew Quilty

A special unit within the Australian Taxation Office is looking into the affairs of 86 ‘high risk’ multinationals with operations in Australia, as part of its efforts to stop companies shifting profits overseas to avoid tax.

ATO deputy commissioner Mark Konza told The Australian Financial Review that 233 companies initially flagged for review had been narrowed down to 86 “high-risk” cases, which may result in audits down the track.

“We have identified an initial 86 cases where we will review structures and arrangements to see if they represent an inappropriate shifting of profits outside of Australia,” Mr Konza said.

The ATO program is believed to have a team of about 100 staff across the country.


The companies identified cannot be named but are operating in Australia, with significant cross-border transactions. The four-year program to address “international structuring and profit-shifting” comes amid the global fight to stop multinationals, such as Apple, Google and Amazon, shifting profits to avoid tax.

An investigation earlier this month found Apple shifted an estimated $8.9 billion in untaxed profits to Ireland over the past decade, despite earning $26.7 billion through sales of its products in Australia over the same period. Ireland is a low-tax jurisdiction but not a tax haven.

“We are focusing on a large number of companies that have undertaken international restructures,” Mr Konza said. “This work is supported by additional funding from the government [in the May budget].” The then treasurer, Wayne Swan, had announced an extra $109.1 million for the ATO to look into areas such as marketing hubs that facilitate profit-shifting.

The ATO is concerned about companies using complex structures to shift profits through tax havens. It is also looking at multinationals using “thin capitalisation” the loading debt into high-tax countries and profits to low-tax.

86 multinationals on ATO 'high risk' tax hitlist

Beaches in danger of losing Blue Flag status

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beaches in danger of losing Blue Flag status
Mar 172014

Beaches in danger of losing Blue Flag status

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A number of the countrys best known beaches are expected to lose their Blue Flag status as a result of the devastation caused by recent storms.

Kilkee: Blue flag beach

By Dan Buckley

There are serious concerns for some candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches that have been devastated by the recent storms particularly where infrastructure such as access roads, car parks and other amenities have been destroyed, said Annabel FitzGerald, manager of An Taisces coastal programmes.

These are among the 32 imperative criteria required to achieve Blue Flag status. The application deadline for applying for Blue Flag status was last December, before the worst of the storms hit.

Starting next week, we will be visiting a large number of beaches and it is likely that a number of them will have to have their applications for Blue Flag status withdrawn, said Ms FitzGerald.

This is the first time we have to do this but these storms are unprecedented. Every year there are some issues raised with one or two beaches, but never to this extent.

While she was reluctant to name any beach likely to lose its flag, she said she had written to local authorities nationwide, asking them to fill out a register of infrastructural damage.

Here is the original post:
Beaches in danger of losing Blue Flag status

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism