Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Buffett Blasts Tax System

Buffett Blasts Tax System

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner....Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Telus Backs Away

Telus Backs Away From BCE

TORONTO/VANCOUVER - Telus Corp. said Tuesday it will not make an offer for Canadian telecom rival BCE Inc., while one of the buyout consortiums scrutinizing BCE's books confirmed it had submitted a bid.Late on Tuesday, a source in the bidding group led by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board and which includes U.S. private-equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. said the consortium had entered a bid to buy BCE.As well, a spokesman for U.S.-based Cerberus Capital Management said it will also make a bid for BCE, Canada's biggest telecom company.

IBM Supercomputer

Supercomputer Steps Up The Pace

The world's fastest commercial supercomputer has been launched by computer giant IBM. Blue Gene/P is three times more potent than the current fastest machine, BlueGene/L, also built by IBM. The latest number cruncher is capable of operating at so called "petaflop" speeds - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. Approximately 100,000 times more powerful than a PC, the first machine has been bought by the US government.

Military Intervention To Stop Iran

Bolton: I'm 'very worried' for Israel
Sanctions and diplomacy have failed and it may be too late for internal opposition to oust the Islamist regime, leaving only military intervention to stop Iran's drive to nuclear weapons, the US's former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CIA Releases Top Secret Documents

CIA Rleases 70s Era Spying Documents

WASHINGTON — The CIA released hundreds of pages of internal reports Tuesday on agency misconduct that triggered a scandal in the mid-1970s over domestic spying. The documents detail assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, the testing of mind- and behaviour-altering drugs like LSD on unwitting citizens, wiretapping of U.S. journalists, spying on civil rights and anti-Vietnam war protesters, opening mail between the United States and the Soviet Union and China, break-ins at the homes of ex-CIA employees and others.

Injuries In War

U.S. struggles With Breadth, Depth Of War Injuries
More than 800 of them have lost an arm, a leg, fingers or toes. More than 100 are blind. Dozens need tubes and machines to keep them alive. Hundreds are disfigured by burns, and thousands have brain injuries and mangled minds.These are America's war wounded, a toll that has received less attention than the 3,500 troops killed in Iraq. Depending on how you count them, they number between 35,000 and 53,000.More of them are coming home, with injuries of a scope and magnitude the government did not predict and is now struggling to treat.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Visa IPO

Visa Plans To Sell 51% Of Company In IPO

NEW YORK — Visa, the biggest credit card network in the U.S., on Friday took its first official step toward becoming a public company, outlining to federal regulators how it proposes to restructure and combine its global operations.

Oil Nears $70

Oil Up On Iran Enrichment, Nigerian strike
NEW YORK (AP) Oil and gasoline futures rose Friday on concerns about Iran‘s nuclear capabilities and on news that talks to end a general strike in Nigeria had failed.


Dassault project jet fighter 'Neuron', presented at the 47th Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Friday June 22, 2007. The Neuron is a stealth aircraft without a pilot whose first flight will take place in 2011 .

Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot

This undated computer-generated image provided by Vecna Technologies, Inc., shows the Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot. Engineers at the College Park, Md.,-based company developed the six-foot-tall, 380-pound, human-shaped robot, known as the BEAR, to carry wounded soldiers from dangerous battlefields with forklift-like arms.

Atlantis, 7 Astronauts Return to Earth

Shuttle Atlantis Crew Returns Home After Successful Mission

EDWARDS, Calif., - The space shuttle Atlantis and its crew are home after completing a 14-day journey of more than 5.8 million miles in space. Atlantis' STS-117 mission successfully increased the power capability of the International Space Station, preparing for the future delivery of European and Japanese laboratories.

Residents Of Dubai's Palm-Shaped

Meet The First Resident Of Dubai's Palm-Shaped Man-Made Island
Four years ago there was nothing here but unbroken sea. Now there's Andrew Dukes and his luxury mansion - sitting on a palm-shaped, man-made island - the first of about 100 houses to open here. "I got exactly what I paid for and I'm very happy with it," said Dukes, 43, a tanned Englishman who just moved into his colossal home on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai's greatest-yet construction project.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Telus/Bell Merger

Telus Enters Race For Bell Canada Buyout

Telus Corp. and Bell Canada Inc., the target of several privatization bids in the past few months, said they have been discussing a merger that would be an "all-Canadian solution." As first reported on, Vancouver-based Telus plans to make a cash-and-stock bid for its Eastern Canadian counterpart. Both companies separately confirmed the talks late Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Volunteers For Mars Simulation

Volunteers Sought For Mars Test

The European Space Agency (Esa) is seeking volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank. They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow. Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of many minutes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gene Screening

Gene Screening 'Safe' For Babies
Carrying out checks on embryos for genetic disorders incurs no more risk than standard IVF, researchers suggest. The latest study from Brussels' Free University looked at the outcomes of 583 children born after preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). There have been safety questions over this procedure because it is relatively new and involves removing a cell from an embryo at around three days old. The work was presented at a European Society of Human Genetics meeting.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Two Hour Flight From Sydney To London A Reality

Supersonic Jet Engine Reaches Mach 10 During Testing
Scramjet Could Make Two Hour Flight From Sydney To London A Reality
Scientists from Australia's Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) successfully launched one of the world's fastest air-breathing engine experiments in the Australian outback Friday.
The scramjet engine experiment reached speeds of up to Mach 10 -- ten times the speed of sound. Scramjets are air-breathing supersonic combustion ramjet engines that could make it possible for a two hour flight from Sydney to London, according to the DSTO.

Internal Combustion Engines Obsolete By 2007

Water Seeps Into Vault Holding Buried Car
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Workers unearthing the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried under the city's courthouse lawn were dealt an early setback Wednesday, as several feet of water were found in the concrete vault The two-door hardtop, buried in 1957 to celebrate Oklahoma's 50 years of statehood, is set to be lifted out of the 12-foot-by-20-foot time capsule....

The vault was briefly opened Wednesday so hazardous materials crews could inspect the 10 gallons of gasoline and motor oil cans that had been placed in the time capsule in case internal combustion engines became obsolete by 2007.

Hidden Talent

AT&T Anti-piracy Efforts

AT&T Anti-Piracy Effort Raises Privacy Concerns

LOS ANGELES — In a break with other Internet service providers, AT&T Inc. will work with Hollywood studios and recording labels to devise technology that identifies offshore content pirates who use its network to upload illegal copies of movies and music. Although details remain sketchy, the effort worries privacy advocates, who fear the San Antonio-based company could become a beat cop, monitoring which Web sites customers visit and what computer files they share.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

China Overtaking US, Africa Left Behind

China Overtaking US For Fast Internet Access

Almost 300 million people worldwide are now accessing the internet using fast broadband connections, fuelling the growth of social networking services such as MySpace and generating thousands of hours of video through websites such as YouTube. There are more than 1.1 billion of the world's estimated 6.6 billion people online and almost a third of them are now accessing the internet on high-speed lines. According to the internet consultancy Point Topic, 298 million people had broadband at the end of March and that is already estimated to have shot over 300 million. The statistics, however, paint a picture of a divided digital world.

Canadians Not Saving Enough For Retirement

Canadians Not Saving Enough For Retirement

OTTAWA -- The majority of Canadians may be confident that they have enough money to retire comfortably, but a new study suggests that many need to sharply increase their annual savings or continue working past age 65 to avoid financial hardship. According to a study by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries released Thursday, only one in three Canadians expecting to retire in 2030 is saving at levels required to meet basic household expenses in retirement.

Canadian Interest Rates On The Rise

Interest Rates Set To Heat Up As Loonie Soars This Summer
Canadians should expect interest rates to creep up this summer, in spite of the high-flying dollar. Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said yesterday higher rates would come soon, but suggested the case for sustained rate increases is not so clear-cut, mainly because of the soaring loonie. Inflation and economic growth have both been stronger than the central bank anticipated, Mr. Dodge said, but at the same time the currency is also surprisingly robust.

Another Round Of Mortgage Rate Hikes
Mortgage rates are rising for the fourth time in four weeks as the cost of borrowed money increases. RBC Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal announced Wednesday they would be boosting their mortgage rates by up to a fifth of a percentage point. Other banks followed Thursday with hikes of their own. As of Friday, a five-year closed mortgage at all major banks will carry a posted rate of 7.44 per cent — an increase of 0.15 percentage points.

Globalization And Product Saftey

Along with globalization comes the benefit of cheap products produced overseas. Many consumer safety groups are raising concerns saying not enough is being done to prevent unsafe products from reaching stores. This spring hundreds of pets across the United States died from eating melamine-tainted pet food. The food came from a Chinese supplier. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has just recalled 1.5 million "Thomas & Friends" toys because the paint on the products contain traces of lead. The trains were manufactured in China. Colgate recently found counterfeit Colgate toothpaste across 4 American States which contain traces of anti-freeze. The knock off Colgate toothpaste has been traced back to a supplier in China. Globalization has brought us cheaper products but more needs to be done to prevent unsafe products from reaching our stores.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tourists Into Space

Planned Jet To Take Tourists Into Space
PARIS - European aerospace company EADS on Wednesday unveiled a model of a jet designed to take tourists into space, rocketing paying passengers to weightlessness at more than 62 miles above the Earth.

EADS Astrium said it hoped the space jet - which looks much like a conventional aircraft although it is outfitted with rocket engines - will be operational by next year, with the first flight scheduled for 2012. Tickets are expected to cost $199,000-$265,000, said the company, which displayed a full-scale model in Paris.

Not Enough Names

Too many people, not enough names
BEIJING — He Danhong, a teacher in southern China, was acutely embarrassed to discover that one of her students had the same name as hers. Every day, when she read the roll call in her class, the teacher had to shout out her own name, and her students burst into laughter. Confusion over names is a common problem in China, where the vast majority of people share a mere 100 surnames. There are just too many Wangs and too many Zhangs in the world's most populous country.

Mars Ocean

Mars Probably Once Had A Huge Ocean
UC Berkeley geophycists are providing strong evidence that Mars once had an ocean. Naysayers have argued that what appear to be ancient coastlines near the North Pole are too warped to be true seashores. The researchers claim, however, that this anomaly resulted from the tilt of Mars' spin axis 2 to 3 billion years ago, possibly because the weight of surface water made the planet tip like a weighted top.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Iran Arming Taliban

Iran arming Taliban, increasingly isolated: U.S.
PARIS (Reuters) - Iran is arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Tuesday, accusing Tehran of fuelling insurrection around the Middle East and misjudging the international mood.

Paying a brief visit to France, Burns warned Iran that it would face increasingly tough sanctions if it refused to negotiate over its nuclear ambitions in the "next week or two".

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom

Our Perception of Beauty

Campaign For Real Beauty

Intel Price Cuts

Intel Tells Customers It Will Slash Chip Prices

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, plans to slash the price of some processors over the next three months to regain market share from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

The company will cut prices of its Core 2 Quad processor by 50 percent on July 22, according to an Intel document given to clients. The chips, introduced in November to run servers and the most expensive personal computers, sell for $530 each, according to Santa Clara, California-based Intel's Web site.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Royal Navy's Super-Submarine

Astute nuclear sub rolled out
She is four years late and a massive £900million over-budget.
But when the Royal Navy's super-sub HMS Astute finally arrived, she made for an awesome sight.
More complex than the space shuttle, and able to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing, the 7,400-ton monster is the largest and deadliest hunter-killer submarine ever built.

Lieberman Suggests Strikes Over Iran

Lieberman suggests strikes over Iran
Sen. Joe Lieberman says the United States should be prepared to take "aggressive military action" against Iran in response to its purported killings of U.S. troops inside Iraq.

"I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," the Connecticut independent said during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation." "And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Distribution Of Wealth

Many individuals living in wealthy societies are very unaware of the concentration of wealth within their nation and around the world. According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University, 90 percent of the worlds wealth is held within North American, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The study found that an adult with $2,200 of assets would be classified within the top half of the global wealth table, while those with $61,000 were in the top ten percent.

Membership to the top 1 percent of the world wealthiest group would require an individual to have more than $500,000 in assets, around 37 million have a membership.

The millionaires and billionaires club continues to grow globally reaching record highs. Meanwhile, the middle and lower classes have seen increasing debt, fewer pay raises, and less benefits. Statistics indicate that while individuals with 1-5 million dollars in assets is increasing, the wealthiest individuals with 5 million dollars or more is growing even faster. Being the richest nation in the world, the United States is home to an estimated 7.5 millionaires among 302 million people. Several surveys have shown a large portion of the recent increase of wealth has been due to stocks, real estate, and mutual funds.

As debt levels continue to rise due to the average individual trying to live beyond their financial means, we will continue to see an increase of overall wealth to those individuals at the top. The access to easy credit and low interest rates can blind oneself of their true financial status as interest compounds, hidden fees add up, and the national savings rate nears zero. Wealthy individuals who are invested in financial institutions and other sectors of our consumer drive economy will truly prosper. As the rich get richer many others will just get by making nickel and dime.

The American Ruling Class

The World Distribution of Household Wealth

Atlantis Docks With International Space Station

Shuttle docks successfully
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- Atlantis docked with the international space station Sunday, as engineers continued to review photographs of a section of peeled-back thermal blanket on the space shuttle. Atlantis commander Rick Sturckow eased the shuttle into the space station's docking port. Latches fastened the shuttle and orbiting space lab together at 3:36 p.m. EDT. The shuttle's two-day chase of the space station ended about 210 miles above southeastern Australia.


Friday, June 8, 2007

Microsoft Photosynth

Microsoft Live Labs Homepage
Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that will change forever the way you think about digital photos.

Micosoft Surface

Microsoft unveils table computer
Microsoft has unveiled a new touch-sensitive coffee table-shaped computer called "Surface". Designed to do away with the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard, users can instead use their fingers to operate the computer.

Real Life X-Man

ROOSEVELT PARK, Mich. -- Liam Hoekstra was hanging upside down by his feet when he performed an inverted sit-up, his shirt falling away to expose rippled abdominal muscles. It was a display of raw power one might expect to see from an Olympic gymnast. Liam is 19 months old.

Wireless Power

Researchers from MIT were able to light a 60watt light bulb wirelessly from a distance of about 2 meters. If the MIT scientists have their way, in a few-year's time we will all be charging our cellular phones, MP3 players and laptops using wireless technology without ever worrying about running out of power.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D dramatically cuts cancer risk: study
A landmark new study is raising the tantalizing spectre that a simple and cheap vitamin supplement may offer a highly effective way of preventing cancer.


Blastoff of Atlantis at 7:38 p.m. Friday on a mission to continue construction of the international space station.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Embassy Of An Empire

The largest, most heavily fortified, and most expensive embassy in the world is being built right now in Iraq beside the Tigris river. The amount of 592 million dollars has been set aside for the project but original estimates range around the 1 billion dollar mark. The embassy will be situated on 104 acres of land which is equivalent to 80 football fields.

What is truly amazing about this project is it will be entirely self sufficient. The embassy will not rely on the Iraqi public utilities infrastructure. The embassy will have its own water, power and waste-water treatment plant. It will be completely cut off from the outside world. It is estimated that the embassy may employ over 5,000 people. The compound will contain apartment housing, restaurants, gyms, pools, a school, a theater and a firehouse. The embassy is set to open in September and is currently the only large scale US funded construction project that is on schedule in Iraq.

Corporatization Of Our Media

Rupert Murdock has offered 5 billion dollars in cash or $60 a share for the Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal . The Deal represents an overall premium of 65% to the stock price. The stock (DJ) has seen its ups and downs in the last few years. The Bancroft family which controls roughly 62 percent of the shareholders vote says it opposes the takeover. Members of the company's union have released a statement also opposing the deal.

Some may wonder why anybody in their right mind would not take a 65% premium for their business? Rupert Murdock owns the media global empire he built called News Corp. Mr. Murdock owns 20th Century Fox, Myspace, Fox News and many other media organizations. The primary reason so many are opposed to this takeover is that many don't trust Mr. Murdoch to preserve the Wall Streets Journals reputation and integrity. This is due to the reputation of FoxNews which uses its media resources to control, edit and distort the news for a political agenda. The second richest man in the world, Warren Buffet, put it best "I think Rupert would acknowledge that part of his interest in the Wall Street Journal goes beyond economics". As ours mainstream news becomes reported by fewer and fewer organizations and into the control of larger and larger corporations, one begins to question the validity and integrity of the news that is primarily driven by economics and politics.


I Robot

Japan and South Korea are leading the way in robotic research.The South Korean's plan to have robots watch their kids, take care of the elderly, and do basic household chores by 2020.

Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University in Japan has created a robot named Repliee (shown in picture). Back in 2005 during the World Expo in Japan the robot was able to speak, blink, and appeared to breathe.

Google Street View

Well Google's new street view option seems to stirring up some controversy. It seems that Google has caught people urinating in public, jumping security fences and various other daily activities. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) "Google Street View technology has been an intrusion of privacy to many people captured in their pictures". The ability to see your home from a satellite and now the ability to see pictures from street level makes you wonder whats next? The next logical step would be able to see everything live!

Google's street views have privacy advocates crying "Don't be Evil"