NASA: Dawn JPL spacecraft used an ion engine to approach dwarf planet Ceres
PhysOrg, “NASA invests in 22 visionary exploration concepts” 9 April 2017:
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is advancing for a new round of research funded by the agency.
In total, the space agency is investing in 22 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.
The 2017 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) portfolio of Phase I concepts covers a wide range of innovations selected for their potential to revolutionize future space exploration. Phase I awards are valued at approximately $125,000, for nine months, to support initial definition and analysis of their concepts. If these basic feasibility studies are successful, awardees can apply for Phase II awards.
“The NIAC program engages researchers and innovators in the scientific and engineering communities, including agency civil servants,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “The program gives fellows the opportunity and funding to explore visionary aerospace concepts that we appraise and potentially fold into our early stage technology portfolio.”
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 04 February 2017 03:29.
This is the kind of reach a European-Asian Alliance is capable of, even while heavily burdened: imagine what we could accomplish if we were not saddled by the YKW, their Abrahamism (Judaism, Islam and Christianity), complicit right-wing arrogation and liberal irresponsibly - pinning us down with the irresponsible among us, their consequences; as well as in obsequiousness toward, and over-burdened necessity to defend against, African aggression and bio-power, Muslim colonization (“Hijra”) and terror.
RUSSIA is engaged in a “campaign” of propaganda and cyber-warfare against Britain, Government officials have acknowledged for the first time. British officials are concerned about growing Russian influence on UK institutions. Theresa May will chair a National Security Council session within weeks to discuss the issue after senior Whitehall figures claimed the Kremlin is responsible for a plot to sabotage the UK with espionage and misinformation.
This comes after Barack Obama directly challenged Russia in an astonishing response to reports by US intelligence services claiming November’s general election was hacked under Vladimir Putin’s watch..
The outgoing President vowed the US would retaliate to the suspected espionage, and said the country would take action “at a time and place of our own choosing”.
He added: “Don’t do this stuff to us, because we can do this to you.”
US officials have expressed near-certainty Putin supervised the data breaches which brought Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to ruin.
One official said: “If anything, given his background as a KGB officer, Putin has a much tighter grip on all Russian surveillance operations, civilian and military, foreign and domestic, than any democratic leader does.”
And in a cabinet meeting two months ago, top intelligence officers and civil servant voiced worries the same scale of threat from Moscow could extend to Britain.
A source told the Times: “There was an agreement on the need to do more across Whitehall to understand and assess and formulate options on how to reposed to Russian activities.”
Security services fear British institutions and companies have been infiltrated by Russian agents – some of whom could even be UK citizens.
And last night it was revealed several leading academics at Cambridge University left an intelligence forum following concerns over Russian interference.
The head of the armed forces earlier this week urged for counterintelligence efforts to be ramped up in an attempt to catch Russian cells.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said: “We need to pay more attention to counterespionage and counterintelligence to protect our hard-won research, protect our industry and protect our competitive advantage.”
The extent of Russian infiltration in Britain is believed to be more severe than during the Cold War.
Posted by DanielS on Friday, 21 October 2016 17:21.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called Rodrigo Duterte’s visit a “milestone” in ties, as he pulled out all the stops to welcome the Philippines’ leader.
Huffington Post, “Philippine President Duterte Announces ‘Separation’ From The U.S.”, 20 Oxt 2016:
BEIJING (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States on Thursday, declaring that it had “lost” and he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.
Duterte made his comments in China, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally the United States deteriorate.
His trade secretary, Ramon Lopez, said $13.5 billion in deals would be signed.
Duterte’s efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal ruling in the Hague over South China Sea disputes in favor of the Philippines, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.
“America has lost now,” Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people at a forum in the Great Hall of the People, attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
“I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world ― China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way,” he added.
“With that, in this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the UnitedStates,” Duterte said to applause. “I have separated from them. So I will be dependent on you for all time. But do not worry. We will also help as you help us.”
China has pulled out all the stops to welcome Duterte, including a marching band complete with batton-twirling band master at his official welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People, which most leaders do not get
Xi told Duterte their countries are now “brothers,” who can “appropriately handle disputes,” in an apparent nod to previous standoffs over the South China Sea.
RED CARPET WELCOME
President Xi Jinping, meeting Duterte earlier in the day, called the visit a “milestone” in ties.
Xi told Duterte that China and the Philippines were brothers and they could “appropriately handle disputes,” though he did not mention the South China Sea in remarks made in front of reporters.
“I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things,” Xi said.
Following their meeting, during which Duterte said relations with China had entered a new “springtime”, Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea issue was not the sum total of relations.
“The two sides agreed that they will do what they agreed five years ago, that is to pursue bilateral dialogue and consultation in seeking a proper settlement of the South China Sea issue,” Liu said.
China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
In 2012, China seized the disputed Scarborough Shoal and denied Philippine fishermen access to its fishing grounds.
Liu said the shoal was not mentioned and he did not answer a question about whether Philippinefishermen would be allowed there. He said both countries had agreed on coastguard and fisheries cooperation, but did not give details.
Duterte’s declaration of a separation with the U.S. comes after he called President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and told him to “go to hell” while alluding to severing ties with the old colonial power.
SEA ROW TAKES ‘BACK SEAT’
Duterte’s tone toward Beijing is in contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by U.S. criticism of his bloody war on drugs.
He has called U.S. President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and told him to “go to hell” while alluding to severing ties with the old colonial power.
On Wednesday, to the cheers of hundreds of Filipinos in Beijing, Duterte said Philippine foreign policy was veering toward China.
“I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there,” Duterte said. “So time to say goodbye my friend.”
The same day, about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Manila calling for the removal of U.S. troops from the southern island of Mindanao.
Duterte on Wednesday said the South China Sea arbitration case would “take the back seat” during talks, and that he would wait for the Chinese to bring up the issue rather than doing so himself.
Xi said issues that could not be immediately be resolved should be set aside, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
China has welcomed the Philippines approaches, even as Duterte has vowed not to surrender any sovereignty to Beijing, which views the South China Sea Hague ruling as null and void.
China has also expressed support for his drug war, which has raised concern in Western capitals about extrajudicial killing.
Duterte’s overtures to China have been accompanied by signs of improving business ties with the world’s second largest economy.
China’s Liu said Beijing will restore Philippine agricultural exports to China and provide financing for Philippine infrastructure.
Interesting that The Huffington Post made this the caption beneath the title of its article, though there is nothing in the article that discusses Russia -
“America has lost now,” Rodrigo Duterte said, flagging closer ties with China and Russia during a visit to Beijing.
There is a strange misconception circulating among some in the west that Russia and China are good friends, some speaking as if they are practically joined at the hip.
And speaking of NOT friends, there are some interesting facts to come about the history of The US in The Philippines - a history that will explain much as to why The Philippines would be eager to declare their separatism and The US the loser.
Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 16 October 2016 15:01.
I was discussing this article with Kumiko. We came to the conclusion that the most charitable explanation for its penultimate confusion - exactly who, really, is to be persuaded and of what? has to do with perhaps a shyness in having to talk in a situation controlled by right wing interests: Euractiv, The EU, corporate industries invested in Asia, and German corporate interests - rather, the difficulty in getting them to see their interests aright.
Seeing the article’s argument more clearly, German, Dutch and other European workers and Asian workers should have higher salaries. That would allow Germans in particular to buy more of their own product and export less and allow Asian economies to buy more European exports in addition to their own domestic product.
The key is to dissuade corporate feudalism - the idea that low wages are a corollary to profitable business. The article argues in effect that low wages are only a corollary to enormous profit for a narrow group of elites, poorer workers and not to successful industry and healthy economic balance.
Where Germany, for example, does not let some of its industry go abroad, it should be incorporating more robotics to increase the better output as they might provide and “make-work” if necessary, with better paid “workers”, with more capacity to buy more of their own domestic product.
Euractiv, “Who fears the wolf of globalisation?”, 14 Oct 2016:
Trade unions and companies are more closely aligned against the harmful competition stemming from emerging economies’ low salaries and working conditions than ever before. The EU’s export of jobs is harming itself and the global economy, write Ernest Maragall and Jordi Angusto.
Ernest Maragall is an MEP with the Green/EFA group and Jordi Angusto is an economist.
They are accused of taking our jobs as a result of the low-cost products we buy from them. But the fact is that the EU’s external surplus has now reached an astonishing amount, close to half a trillion euros. This is 20% bigger than the Chinese surplus and both together pose a serious threat to the world economy.
In other words, by restricting our domestic demand through austerity we’re harming both ourselves and our major trading partners.
There is no ‘foreign enemy’ taking our jobs, rather the EU is taking jobs to the rest of the world. Prime examples are countries such as Germany and the Netherlands which are the main contributors to the EU surplus and which today have historically high employment thanks to third country demand, mostly from the US, UK, Canada, Brazil and Australia. And this is most definitely not because Germany and the Netherlands have low salaries.
In fact, companies tend not to invest where salaries are lower but where the difference between product per worker and salary is greater; i.e. where profitability can be greatest. In the case of Germany, the reunification process and the Schröder 2010 plan led to a huge contraction in wages and a notable increase in the product to salary difference.
Some might say they gained in terms of competitiveness, increasing economic activity, jobs and exports. Others, however, would see this not only as ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’, but their own people too, becoming unable to absorb increased production and depending on exports.
Whilst productivity gains can allow profits and wages to increase and support growth; competitiveness gained through wage dumping leads to a substitution effect, with jobs and profits gained here at the expense of jobs and profits lost elsewhere. This, in turn, leads to contraction because of a fall in demand.
That’s why institutions which could never be accused of being leftwing such as the IMF, the G20 and the OECD, have called upon Germany to increase domestic demand through public investment and salary increases, in order to help boost global growth whilst also contributing towards an improvement in labour conditions in emergent-economies.
Or do we think we’ll help them by competing to see who has the lowest salaries?
Globalisation brings many problems and with it comes the need for political action at a global level to heal our planet, eradicate tax havens and avoid the consolidation of a new corporate feudalism; but the fact that millions of people are emerging from poverty in Asia and Africa is not a problem. The critical problem today is much more how to convince those countries in surplus to increase their domestic demand.
Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 02 October 2016 06:44.
Daily Caller, “The Obama administration [relinquished] American control over a central portion of Internet governance”
The implications of this move range from control by an international bureaucracy to totalitarian regimes locking up entire portions of the Internet, according to experts.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is in the process of transitioning stewardship of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) — the technical network that converts website address names into numbers — to a global entity. The DNS is essentially the “yellow pages” of web addresses. The transition [was set in motion yesterday,] Oct. 1.
DNS control is causing deep disagreement in the technology world, as experts in the industry and academia have vastly different opinions on the issue. Some say security and free use of the Internet is better under the umbrella of an organization that resides in America [America’s First Amendment protects free speech], while others assert this power should be given to a global organization.
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 17 September 2016 02:57.
TNO, “World’s Oldest Snowshoe Found”, 16 September 2016:
The world’s oldest snowshoe, made in the late Neolithic age, over 5,800 years old— made of birch wood and twine, has been discovered at an altitude of 3,134 meters (10,280ft) on the Gurgler Eisjoch glacier, close to Italy’s border with Austria.
“It is the oldest snowshoe in the world so far discovered, dating to around 5,800 years ago,” scientists said in a statement.
The shoe, which consists of an oval-shaped frame with strands of twine tied across it, was found by Simone Bartolini, a cartographer from Italy’s Military Geographical Institute, who was mapping the border with Austria.
He came across it in 2003 but for the next 12 years kept it in his office in Florence as a curiosity.
“At first I thought it was maybe 100 years old and was a snowshoe that belonged to a farmer who lost it while driving cattle. I kept it in my office as a keepsake,” Dr. Bartolini said at a press conference this week in Bolzano, the capital of the autonomous, Germany-speaking province of South Tyrol.
It was only last year that it dawned on him that it could be much older and more significant. He gave it to archaeologists to study.
The discovery was made close to where the frozen, mummified remains of a Neolithic hunter, nicknamed “Otzi,” were found by two German hikers 25 years ago.
That mummified corpse has revealed a wealth of information on what people of the period wore and ate, how they hunted and armed themselves and how they traveled.
Scientists at the press conference said the discovery of the snowshoe was “exceptional.”
“The shoe is evidence that people in the Neolithic period were living in the Alps area and had equipped themselves accordingly,” said Dr. Catrin Marzoli, the director of the province’s cultural heritage department.
It was unclear why people were traveling through such an inhospitable region, she said. They may have been hunting animals, fleeing enemies from a rival tribe, or visiting ancient pre-Christian sites of worship.
Visigrad Post, “The world’s first flying car may come from Slovakia”, 19 July 2016:
Slovakia – The AeroMobil company has been able to create a car with retractable wings, of which the third generation model spent seven-and-a-half hours in the air during test flights. It is now displayed in the entrance lobby of the European Commission building in Brussels, to highlight Slovakia’s will to focus on new technologies. The company AeroMobil is currently working on the next model.
Slovakia is already an automotive hub. With the fall of communism, many left the country to pursue education in Western Europe. They are now coming back and bring foreign expertise with them, putting down four decades of state-planned economy. With its flying car, the AeroMobil company is on a “technological journey”, said Doug MacAndrew, the company’s chief technical officer. They are in competition with entrepreneurs such as Google’s billionaire co-founder Larry Page. The model of the Slovak company could be sold in 2018.
“There is a start-up hype in Slovakia,” Mr Hessel, the country’s entrepreneur of the year, says from his factory in the town of Dunajska Streda. “The situation is very different from 10 or even five years ago.” Slovakia seeks to show off her technological potential in the same time she assumes the EU’s rotating presidency. Prime Minister Robert Fico’s cabinet will host an innovation conference with the European Commission in late October that will highlight nano-, bio- and other advanced technologies.