Articles by HAL9000

Reports Bailey Johnson on CBS News:

It wasn’t flying, and it’s already been identified. But that didn’t stop people around Washington, D.C. from buzzing about a possible UFO being towed on the local highway Wednesday night. Many took to Facebook and Twitter to share their amazement of an extraterrestrial craft on the back of a tractor-trailer. Maryland authorities confirmed today that the UFO was actually a military drone.

The aircraft was a Northrop Grumman X-47B, to be exact. The drone was en route to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. Drivers noticed the unusual craft on I-270 and on the Beltway around D.C.



Writes Discover’s Bad Astronomy:

Last week, over the Middle East, people were shocked to see a bright fan of light moving across the sky, which suddenly turned into a gigantic glowing spiral! This is not just some uncorroborated eyewitness story; there’s video.

Pretty cool, huh? People are claiming it’s a spaceship… and they’re right. But it’s not an alien spaceship. It’s from Russia.


Says FreakOutNation:

With our Global governments stomping out dissent casually, creating distractions such as their acronymic censorship laws, only to put others forth while one is placed in temporary retirement, virtually exhausting the public until they accept authoritarianism, others have stepped up the plate. Ever since Sabu’s arrest, many in opposition to Anonymous and LulzSec thought the game was over — but it’s only reinvigorated them. The following video is done with a Star Wars theme, with the addition of powerful words and visuals:


Moon Landing MapCold War politics. Via the Technology Review’s Physics arXiv Blog:

The last Soviet mission to the moon, Luna-24, returned to Earth with water-rich rocks from beneath the lunar surface. But the West ignored the result.

The possibility of water on the moon has excited scientists and science fiction fans for decades. If we ever decide to maintain a human presence on the moon, clear evidence of water will be an important factor in the decision.

In recent years, that evidence has begun to mount. The data comes from several sources. First there was the pioneering Clementine mission in 1994, America’s first return to the moon in twenty years. Clementine looked for water by bouncing radio waves off the surface—the returns giving a strong indication that water ice must lie beneath the surface…


MicrosoftWrites Ernesto on TorrentFreak:

In recent weeks the anti-piracy antics of Microsoft have made the news on a few occasions. From censoring The Pirate Bay to funding BitTorrent poisoning startups, the software giant is determined to attack piracy head-on. But perhaps the company should make a start by educating its own employees first. In Microsoft’s offices around the world many company employees are using BitTorrent to download and share pirated movies.

YouHaveDownloaded is a treasure trove of incriminating data on alleged BitTorrent pirates all across the world.

The site, launched late last year, exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded using BitTorrent. This data was gathered from public BitTorrent trackers, and the founders released it to show how much information can be found on BitTorrent users who don’t hide their IP-address




Spaceship Near SunPeter Farquhar writes on the Daily Telegraph (AU):

Either we aren’t alone, or it’s nigh time NASA fixed its dodgy cameras. For the third time this year, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has returned an image of a giant UFO hovering near, or feeding off the Sun. Maybe

In recent years, SOHO has found an extended role as a predictor of solar weather activity, helping scientists on Earth prepare for radiation bursts sent our way by solar flares. On the SOHO homepage, fans can access all sorts of Sun-related data, including images that have been built from observations from any of the dozen or so instruments onboard SOHO, and videos …

Here’s the active SOHO observer, YouTube User rob19791:


Piraten ParteiWould be great if this caught on in the United States. As David Meyer writes on GigaOM:

In the furores over SOPA, CISPA and similar bills, many have suggested that politicians just don’t get technology. That’s not an accusation that can be leveled at the Pirate movement, which is gaining traction in Europe at impressive speed.

The Pirates saw their first major electoral success in the European elections of 2009, when voters in the movement’s birthplace of Sweden returned a Pirate to the European Parliament. The Swedes didn’t vote the Pirates into their own legislature, mind you, but now big wins are coming in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and the ideological home of the hacker movement.

Why Germany? Because that’s what the Pirates are trying to do: hack politics, in the sense of making-and-tweaking-stuff sense, rather than destroying it. The movement may have begun with a narrow focus on intellectual property, but it has developed into an attempt to make the political process transparent — and of course better suited to the digital age.


Jim Nash writes in Scientific American: Earlier this year Iran’s defenseminister put the world on notice: His nation had developed the ability to “easily” watch spacewalking astronauts from the ground. The announcement…


AnontuneAngela Watercutter writes on WIRED:

In a move sure to attract attention from the music industry, a small group of coders claiming to be part of Anonymous is putting together a social music platform. The rather ambitious goal: Create a service that seamlessly pulls up songs streaming from all around the internet.

The project, called Anontune and still in its infancy, is designed to pull songs from third-party sources like YouTube and let anonymous users put them into playlists and share them — while keeping the service from being shut down by music industry lawsuits.

Reached by e-mail, one of the creators of Anontune told Wired the project was started by a group of anons who met online six years ago on what was then an underground hacking site. The group, mostly focused at the time on “cracking,” began discussing music, favorite artists and what they would do to fix current music business models…


Viking LanderReports Irene Klotz on Discovery News:

New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.

Further, NASA doesn’t need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.

“The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope — watch the bacteria move,” Miller said. “On the basis of what we’ve done so far, I’d say I’m 99 percent sure there’s life there,” he added. Miller’s confidence stems in part from a new study that re-analyzed results from a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA’s Viking Mars robots in 1976.


Lawrence M. Krauss writes in the LA Times: The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere…





TacocopterReports Stephanie Grimes on KSL TV:

The ability to have tacos delivered at their feet is an idea many people wouldn’t hesitate to get behind — especially when the tacos are being delivered by a robot.

The Tacocopter — an unmanned drone helicopter that gives customers tacos on demand — would without a doubt be wildly popular were it to exist throughout the nation. Taco-hungry Americans could order and pay for tacos on their smartphones, which would supply GPS coordinates to the drone. Once ordered, the tacos would be delivered as long as the customer remained in the ordering location.

It exists in the Bay Area — in concept, at least. For now, the Tacocopter, which has existed since July 2011, has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, as would be any unmanned commercial drone. According to FAA regulations, “unmanned aerial vehicles” cannot currently be used for commercial purposes.



Reports Katie Moisse on ABC News: The pump that kept Dick Cheney’s blood flowing while he waited for a heart transplant has seen a surge in popularity, a trend credited in part…


God HelmetCreepy. Via Wikipedia:

The God Helmet was not specifically designed to elicit visions of God, but to test several of Persinger’s hypotheses about brain function. The first of these is the Vectorial Hemisphericity Hypothesis, which proposes that the human sense of self has two components, one on each side of the brain, that ordinarily work together but in which the left hemisphere is usually dominant.

Persinger argues that the two hemispheres make different contributions to a single sense of self, but under certain conditions can appear as two separate ‘selves’. Persinger and Koren designed the God Helmet in an attempt to create conditions in which contributions to the sense of self from both cerebral hemispheres is disrupted …





Via Russia Today: The activist hacking group Anonymous, responsible for numerous high-profile attacks on corporations and government bodies, has now targeted the Holy See, taking down www.vatican.va and is warning of a…