Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MSNBC/AP: Scientists says alien life could already be on Earth

Scientist: Alien life could already be on Earth

Variant life forms — most likely tiny microbes — could be under our noses

By Raphael G. Satter

The Associated Press


LONDON - For the past 50 years, scientists have scoured the skies for radio signals from beyond our planet, hoping for some sign of extraterrestrial life. But one physicist says there's no reason alien life couldn't already be lurking among us — or maybe even in us.

Paul Davies, an award-winning Arizona State University physicist known for his popular science writing said Tuesday that life may have developed on Earth not once but several times.

Davies said the variant life forms — most likely tiny microbes — could still be hanging around "right under our noses — or even in our noses."

"How do we know all life on Earth descended from a single origin?" he told a conference at London's prestigious Royal Society, which serves as Britain's academy of sciences. "We've just scratched the surface of the microbial world."

The idea that alien micro-organisms could be hiding out here on Earth has been discussed for a while, according to Jill Tarter, the director of the U.S. SETI project, which listens for signals from civilizations based around distant stars.

She said several of the scientists involved in the project were interested in pursuing the notion, which Davies earlier laid out in a 2007 article published in Scientific American in which he asked: "Are aliens among us?"

So far, there's no answer. And ever finding one would be fraught with difficulties, as Davies himself acknowledged.

Unusual organisms abound — including chemical-eating bacteria which hide out deep in the ocean and organisms that thrive in boiling-hot springs — but that doesn't mean they're different life forms entirely.

"How weird do they have to be suggest a second genesis as opposed to just an obscure branch of the family tree?" he said. Davies suggested that the only way to prove an organism wasn't "life as we know it" was if it were built using exotic elements which no other form of life had.

Such organisms have yet to be found. Davies also noted that less than 1 percent of all the world's bacteria had been comprehensively studied — leaving plenty of time to find unusual organisms.

"You cannot tell just by looking that a microbe has some radically different inner chemistry," he said.

Davies' call for alien-hunting scientists to look to their own backyards came as one of the pioneers of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence told the conference the job of finding proof of alien life in outer space may be more difficult than previously thought.

Frank Drake, who conducted the first organized search for alien radio signals in 1960, said that the Earth — which used to pump out a loud mess of radio waves, television signals and other radiation — has been steadily getting quieter as its communications technology improves.

Drake cited the switch from analogue to digital television — which uses a far weaker signal — and the fact that much more communications traffic is now relayed by satellites and fiber optic cables, limiting its leakage into outer space.

"Very soon we will become very undetectable," he said. If similar processes were taking place in other technologically advanced societies, then the search for them "will be much more difficult than we imagined."

But Drake said scientists at SETI were excited by the possibility of using lasers to send super-bright flashes of light into space for a tiny fraction of a second. The flashes could theoretically be seen up by an advanced civilization up to 1,000 light years away, and Tarter said infrared versions of the devices could possibly send beams even further.

But Drake noted that the interstellar equivalent to turning a flashlight on and off only works if a prospective alien civilization wants to get in touch to begin with.

"For this to work ... There has to be altruism in the universe," he said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35083220/ns/technology_and_science-science/?GT1=43001

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© 2010 MSNBC.com

Monday, January 25, 2010

itsme: SILENCE: A FORM OF VIOLENCE OR JUST SHYNESS?

It's been a long long time since I posted my own post. My schedule has been very hectic and a lot, really, is going on with my life and the world! However, I am still going to have my blog up for a few YEARS before I grow old and marry.

My topic for this week on itsme is SILENCE. Every one describes me that I'm silent, and he/she is also wondering what is wrong with me!

If you're reading to this post right now, thanks! Your visit was just added to Google Analytics! :)

Totally random, sorry.

But returning back to the topic, I want to clarify this to show you a little bit of myself. I know I'm getting personal again, but I got to do it!

Silence is defined as "relative or lacking of audible sound." On other cases, psychologically, it is often performed if something violently is going on (or let's define it as form of indirect violence), or diffidence. Well, I am either of those, sometimes. But most of the time, I don't really talk because of shyness. You might call it "social phobia," but I don't think so; I often find myself chatting with schoolmates on Facebook! My silence has no purpose; but it really looks rather confusing, i know. I try and I am trying to be as loud as I can, remove my accent so that they'll understand me, and befriend others and talk to them! [That is one of my New Years Resolutions, BTW]

I am not a Mandelan fan, but I want to be President someday :]


-Josh

THE ROOT: How Barack Obama is Paving the Way for a Palin Presidency

How Barack Obama Is Paving the Way for a Palin Presidency


It does not take a pollster, partisan or psychic to see a harbinger of things to come in Massachusetts voters’ choice of a Republican to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. If Barack Obama’s next three years in the White House are anything like his first, he will surely be a one-term president.
And for black America, that’s the good news.

Because if history is any guide, the truly awful news is that the smart money is on Sarah Palin to replace Obama in the White House.

Foreshadowing a Palin presidency is a perfect, gathering storm of economics, politics and tribalism, which is not to suggest that Obama is an innocent bystander in his reversal of fortune. It is certainly true that he inherited a capsized economy. But his administration has done little to right the ship. And no president can survive double-digit unemployment and 30,000 foreclosures a month for long.
“But what about Ronald Reagan,” the skeptics are no doubt asking now, “who was saddled with a deep recession in his first term, yet bounced back to win reelection in a landslide?” The difference is epic: Reagan’s poor-performing economy was stalled; Obama’s is broken, and despite all the sanguine media talk of a recovery, the crisis shows no signs of abating anytime soon.

Even before the recession hit, there were more maids, cashiers and waitresses in the United States than factory workers, and, when inflation is accounted for, workers have not had a raise in almost 40 years. The trillions of taxpayer dollars showered on Wall Street has produced record profits and fat bonuses, but has done nothing to loosen clogged credit lines. Lending in October of last year was down nearly 15 percent from the previous year—and the White House refuses to launch a New Deal-like jobs program, or provide any substantive relief to borrowers who are in over their head on mortgages, student loans or credit cards.
According to a recent Bloomberg News poll, only 8 percent of consumers say they plan to spend more in 2010, and with the circulation of cash slowing to a snail’s pace, you don’t need Paul Krugman to answer this question: If nobody’s lending, and nobody’s spending, how does your economy grow?
It doesn’t.

In fact, the economic crisis that is most comparable to the current situation is not the Great Depression, or the 1981 slowdown, but Japan’s decade-long recession that began with the bust of its real-estate bubble in the early ‘90s.

A protracted stagnation will likely produce competing responses from voters in 2012, both of them bad for Obama. Polls show that African Americans continue to overwhelmingly support the president even though the unemployment rate for blacks is nearly twice the national average. That won’t change much, if at all, in the next three years. But will the laid–off African-American workers, who have exhausted their jobless benefits, turn out to vote in Gary, Ind., Detroit, Cleveland, Philly and Tampa with the same enthusiasm, and in the same numbers, as they did in 2008? Black New Yorkers certainly didn’t turn out last year for Bill Thompson, the African-American Democratic mayoral nominee, who lost narrowly to Michael Bloomberg, the Republican incumbent. Voter turnout was the city’s lowest in almost a century.

Conversely, while the economic climate is likely to leave the country’s most reliably liberal voting bloc demoralized and disengaged from an electoral process, this same dispossession has historically energized white, conservatives—particularly when cast in a racial hue. Consider the post-Reconstruction era, or the post-civil rights era, or even South Africa’s Afrikaners who responded to a fiscal crisis by electing the National Party which introduced apartheid in 1948. Today, you can see a populist, scattershot backlash, emerging in the form of the Republican-led “tea-bag” protests, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson’s heckling of Obama and the rock-star sized crowds generated by Palin’s book tour.

In a Dec. 20 interview with NBC’s Meet The Press, Markos Moulitsas, founder of the liberal blog, the Daily Kos, said that his own polling showed that 86 percent of Republican voters plan on casting ballots in the 2010 midterm elections, compared to 56 percent of Democrats, and 32 percent of African Americans.
On the same show, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell said: “There’s an anger out there, and I have not seen it since my very first campaign which was George Wallace. There is an angry subtext because of economic dislocation.”

Like the defiant, segregationist Alabama governor, Palin, the former Alaska governor, speaks the language of the white Southern and suburban voters who fear that the American way of life is under attack from an out-of-touch, Godless, effete and multiracial big-city crowd. With her folksy charisma and parochial values, Palin is the latest in a long line of demagogues —from post-Reconstruction governors in the Deep South to Father Coughlin in the ‘30s, from Reagan to Lou Dobbs—who’ve emerged to redeem, or reclaim, the land from Northern carpetbaggers and uppity Negroes.

According to a December Gallup poll, 44 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Palin, an increase of 4 percentage points from October, and narrowing the gap with Obama, whose favorability rating dropped 20 percentage points since his inauguration, to 49 percent.

As the Massachusetts election demonstrates, the problem is not, as much of the media alleges, that Obama and the Democrats have overreached. They haven’t gone far enough. Scott Brown, the Republican candidate in last week’s Massachusetts election, tellingly, made health care “reform” the focus of his triumphant campaign, traveling the state in an old, GM pickup truck, arguing, quite accurately, that the Senate health care plan would cost Americans more money, not less. According to one exit poll, Obama voters who opted for the Republican candidate Scott Brown in Tuesday’s election, said, by a margin of 3-to-2, that the Senate health care proposal “doesn’t go far enough.” Eight of 10 voters in the state continue to want a public option.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Jon Jeter is the author of Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People (WW Norton) and the co-author of A Day Late and A Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama’s “PostRacial America” (John Wiley and Sons).

NEWSWEEK: The Trouble with Barack

The Trouble With Barack


Obama is accused of being too radical, but he's been governing from the middle for a year. So why all the anger? Because he's leading with his head, not his heart.

By Jon Meacham
NEWSWEEK

Published Jan 22, 2010

From the magazine issue dated Feb 1, 2010

First, a bit of personal history. I am a Southerner, a churchgoer, and a swing voter in presidential elections. I believe America is a center-right nation. I am at work on a biography of George H.W. Bush. I pay plenty of taxes already, thanks, and I have no automatic faith in government's capacity to solve problems. I share these details to make clear that I am not a reflexive lefty. Far from it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I SUPPORT IT!

Yes, I support gay marriage. Even though if I do not support it, every men, as well as women, has the right to be married to each other. There is the Constitution that provides the source for the rights of men and women:

Amendment 14, Section 1 states that All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

That clearly states it. Gay marriage shouldn't be even controlled by the state. In the same matter, gay marriage doesn't even break the laws of the Constitution. Basically, ANY state do not have the right to choose whom it will grant rights, privileges and freedoms. This is discrimination, and that would involve another amendment section:

Amendment 19 states that The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, along with the other laws and amendments, I believe there is a sentence that states that a state has some other rights and privileges that are not specifically listed but preserved to the state. I am not sure, though, that this would prevent our support and petition not to ban gay marriage.

Some may say, "Gays have the right to marry just as everyone else—a right to marry someone of the opposite gender."  Similar arguments were made in the days of miscegenation in the 1950’s and 1960’s:  "Blacks have the right to marry just as whites do—the right to marry someone of their own race."  Such a stance is clearly a form of hypocrisy and oppression, and has no place in the America our forebears envisioned, and contradicts the very basis of the repeal of the miscegenation laws.  Albeit slowly, Americans have striven over the years since Brown vs. the Board of Education to uphold that ruling socially; separate but equal is not equal.  In our societal efforts to make this ruling a social and legal reality, we have made tremendous strides to end all forms of discrimination, finally recognizing our fellow man and woman’s rights as unalienable regardless of creed, religion, race, gender, and even sexual orientation.
Regardless how one attempts to argue in favor of banning same-sex marriage, our Constitution is clear that doing so is illegal, even to the point of disallowing our own Congress to revise the Constitution so that it might contradict itself.  The time has come.  Same-sex couples have existed throughout history.  From the Alexandrian Empire to Greece to Rome to America today, gay couples continue to forge out the best lives they can.  I know my partner and I do.  And one day, we hope soon, we will be allowed to marry, so that we may enjoy the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities far too many couples already take for granted.  After this fight for that which we should already have, we could never, ever take our marriage for granted.  Let us celebrate, for this is the land of the free… and soon we will all be free to marry whomever with we fall in love.

In the other hand, we could enforce gay rights through petitioning [in Amendment 1-] but still may require the vote of the people.


In conclusion, I say, in my opinion that it is my right, whether with or without religious beliefs, to be what I am--maybe because I choose to or I am destined to. And by the way, Christians, like me, don't have the source to all God's plans or planned plans


And one more--I just support gay marriage; I am not saying I'm gay, but if you want to call me gay, that'd be fine; I'd rather be a Boo Radley!


Sources you might want to read:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh, is your password '12345'? Thanks!


From Imperva, through CBC
Link source:http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/01/21/consumer-passwords.html



A California company has found that computer users consistently choose weak passwords, with the most common one being 123456.

The second-most common password is 12345, followed by 123456789.


And the fourth most common password is "password."

You can see where this is going. The report by California internet security firm Imperva concludes
many people choose passwords that could be easily hacked, and they've
been making bad password choices for nearly two decades.


The firm compiled the report after getting access to 32 million
passwords that had been posted briefly to the internet in a major
security breach in December. A hacker posted them to the internet after
hacking into Rockyou.com, an internet ad company with links to
Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites.


"The data provides a unique glimpse into the way that users select
passwords and an opportunity to evaluate the true strength of passwords
as a security mechanism," Amichai Shulman, Imperva's chief technology
officer, said in a news release Thursday. "Never before has there been
such a high volume of real-world passwords to examine."


Of 32 million passwords, more than 290,000 were 12345, the report
found. Twenty per cent of the passwords were common names and slang or
easily remembered number combinations.

This is all fertile ground for hackers, the report said.



"To quantify the issue, the combination of poor passwords and
automated attacks means that in just 110 attempts, a hacker will
typically gain access to one new account in every second, or a mere 17
minutes to break into 1,000 accounts."


The authors cited several studies dating back to 1990 showing that
when people picked passwords, they generally cared more about being
able to remember them than about security.
 
An internet search by CBC News turned up even earlier studies of
poor password choice. A 1979 study of Unix users found most passwords
were just four letters or numbers long.


In 2006, an examination of 34,000 MySpace passwords found that 65
per cent contained eight characters or less. Among the most common
passwords for MySpace: abc123 and password.

"This means that the users, if allowed to, will choose very weak
passwords even for sites that hold their most private data," the
Imperva report concluded.


Imperva's analysis found that about 30 per cent of users chose
passwords of fewer than seven characters. Nearly 50 per cent of people
used names, slang words, dictionary words or trivial passwords —
consecutive digits, adjacent keyboard keys and so on.


Imperva recommends that passwords contain a minimum of eight
characters. They should include a mix of four different types of
characters: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special
characters such as !@#$%^&*.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Get Your Pants on the Ground!

'Blazing ring' eclipse races across Africa, Asia




THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (AFP) – A solar eclipse that reduced the sun to a blazing ring surrounding a sombre disk plunged millions of people in Africa and Asia into an eerie semi-darkness on Friday.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fw: Re: Mind benders, Very Neat!









Cool Mind Stuff





















Pretty Cool




Don't ask me!   I don't know how it's done!!  



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blogging Tips!


From Mextena, by Jijo Sunny
Here is a New Year gift for my lovely readers. This Ultimate list of Top 100 Blogging tips will Surely help you out. Make sure you read it twice or thrice until you make use of it to the maximum.


    I bet you that you have not utilized these tips yet. Am I right? So it’s time to workout! Best of Luck.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Nexus is here!

    The first Google Phone was released yesterday!

    The phone is considered to be a match with Iphone which is already very apparent due to its look and details. The phones's dimensions is 4.68" by 2.35". It weighs 4.69 oz..or approximately 53 pennies.

    Could this phone beat rival Iphone? Talking of which, can Google top over Mac? Well, we'll see about that!


    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    How my system works

    This is my education system if you wanna know, kinda long, but expect longer than this by the end of the month!



    Comment forms are working now!

    The comment form is working now! The problem with the comment form was the Translate plugin, which is said to be a very known bug. It is currently being repaired by the plugin developer. The plugin was automatically disabled by IntenseDebate, and now, voila! It's working now! I wonder why I even turned on that plugin!

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Comment forms

    Hello there, the comment forms are not working for the previous posts, and I have already disabled them. This is due, I think, to some XML errors over IntenseDebate's code and the post-footer codes. But anyway, the comment system is available to future posts--that is to be hoped.

    Thank you very much.

    Josh ;)

    A New Tower, A New Record



    Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, was named as the new world's tallest tower. This was revealed and inaugurated today in Dubai.

    Photo on the right shows two men as they walk in front of the tower on the tower's inauguration eve. From WSJ.

    This tower is said to embody Dubai's goals for the next years.

    Happy Birthday, Sir Isaac!


    It seems to be some kind of blind trick, but I just saw Google's 'falling apple' logo now, while I have been awake wandering around since midnight!

    But anyway, the gravitational force today caught my eye. And today, the Google UK and main Google celebrates Sir Isaac Newton's birthday. I won't be too long on researching for now, but let me tell you a secret...I'm a fan of Newton!

    Oh, it's 2:10 already. Time to got to bed! Good night! I mean...Good morning!

    Vote me for....Worst Blog of All Time?

    Haha. Just for fun guys. My blog's not really the worst blog of all time, is it? But, get me an honor. Vote me for the Worst Blog of All Time! Also on categories of: Best Blog About Stuff,Best Blog of All Time, and Best Hobby Blog.

    Click any of the images below and vote for me!

          

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Pacman beats Mario on Most Recognized Video Game Character


    From Yahoo! Videogames

    Who's the most recognizable character in video games? Nintendo legend Mario? Helmeted Halo lead Master Chief? Football legend John Madden? No -- according to the 2010 Gamers' Edition of the Guinness book of world records, ever-hungry retro icon Pac-Man edges the win.
    Among the other nuggets of gaming trivia revealed by the 2010 edition: the biggest-selling video game of all time (Wii Sports, at over 43 million), the largest collection of Pokemon merchandise -- 12,113 unique items, in the collection of one Lisa Courtney -- and the most popular puzzle game of the century: Bejeweled. Naturally.
    It also lists the world record for the longest time spent playing a massively-multiplayer online game: Sara Lhadi, who spent the equivalent of 700 days playing Runescape between November '04 and October '09. That works out to over 9 hours a day. Now that's commitment...or insanity. Or both. Probably both.

    Review: Watch-Movies-Online

    Watch-Movies-Online.tv

    http://watch-movies-online.tv

    Review: If you want to watch free movies, this is the best one for you! Watch-Movies-Online.net provides the best sources for the recent and old movies. You will find here rare movies foreign and US. This website doesn't require any registration, or anything. If you would like to comment, registration is required.

    The movies are mostly DivX, which is a web player with really high definition, but sometimes irritating. In the other hand though, DivX files can also be downloaded and will be saved as .avi. Sometimes when you click the download button, the movie always play to your browser, which is really  not your choice, so I recommend right-clicking the "Download" button, and click "Save link as...".

    You can always find which source is working and not working by looking at the bottom of the source. Some movies don't have any source or have poor sources, so I recommend watching on Youtube by searching in "[movie name] part 1". It is the trick!

    Example


    Fascinating facts:
    • Movies released recently are uploaded to this website at least within 24 hours!
    • Old classics are here too, uploaded in high definitions, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, and It's a Wonderful Life.
    • Over its existence of three years, it was never reported and blocked by FCC or any court. Who doesn't like movies!

    May I warning you that this site gradually changes URL address.

    I don't really like to tell this but it's no joke, no advertisements, no pop-ups. All clean.

    Review Summary
    Pros:
    • Clean, No advertisements, no spammage, no pop-ups
    • Lots of sources
    • Free
    • Commentary sections available, which tell you which is good and which is bad from users
    • Old, classic movies!
    • Ratings!
    • Movies updated/uploaded the day after release, or even before release in the US!

    Cons
    • Seldom unsourced or unreliable
    • Comments might trick you into watching the best movie you would've ever seen!
    • No cons, really

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Post-op Surgery Care

    Post-op Surgery Care

    Hey guys. I am better now, and haven't felt a little hurt today. I am not sure if I am now fully recovered or not. It takes actually about 2 weeks to recover and I was just ending the second on Tuesday. I will get a check up before that though. On Tuesday also is back to school! I am very excited to be back in school and start out new things.

    So for the record, here is a timeline of my week and a half post surgery care.

    December 22- Surgery Day. I assume you have read my introduction to this post. If not, click here.

    December 23- Day 1. I woke up really late. My throat was so dry. I didn't eat anything except puddings that day, and spent the day on my laptop.

    December 24- I let myself eat mash potatoes. Not lots. Popsicles and ice chips were also served. I think that was too early for Day 2. It didn't hurt, but I was sick of eating cold foods and water!

    December 25- Day 3, I started eating mac and cheese. I am a law-abiding person, but I think I broke a rule by this one. But it didn't hurt.

    December 26- Day 4 I can see a lot of white scabs in the spot where my tonsils use to be. The area that surround my uvula seemed to be infected and I wanted to go to the doctor. But I didn't. I presumed it was normal just to calm myself.

    December 27- Day 5...uhmmm...I had a grand meal of fried rice with veggies and those soft meats. I don't know what they are so don't ask me. My throat hurt a little after home, and my ear also began to hurt.

    December 28- My ear hurt more! I suppose it was just part of the recovery process though. I ignored it. This day I began to eat ice cream--that I didn't eat on the first 5 days of surgery.

    December 29- That morning, I had a soft film on my mouth that usually forms when you eat dairy after tonsillectomy. There were also some black spots on my scabs. I swallowed harder and harder but I couldn't get off of it. It's already gone now. More ear pains.

    December 30- Wednesday. Oh, God! I had the biggest meal ever. I ate a whole plate of beef and broccoli, fried rice with it, 2 siomais, 1 buchi, jellyfish salad, and I forgot I ate a fortune cookie!  Gosh, I was awfully full! I didn't realize that. But when I went home, I had 124 pounds. Still.

    December 31- Yesterday. Of course, we had media noche (midnight meal) so there were a lot of food to be eaten. We had spaghetti, bread pudding, egg rolls, fried rice, fruit salad, and buchis.
    We stayed at home as we were expecting some snowstorm which didn't came. We had a nice New Years eve though.

    HAPPY 2010!

    Today, feeling much better. I feel like there's no more pain. I can swallow normally, no ear pains when drinking, and everything's so normal. But still expecting some changes to that.

    It's like I had a really fast recovery! Let me finish the whole box of ice cream I bought. Oh, I have some more popsicles, do you want some?