The Wikileaks Backchannel Fiasco
It will be years before the full implications are felt from the unauthorized release of 251,287 U.S. State Department cables. (Of these, 15,652 of the cables were classified Secret or Secret/NOFORN.) In the end, the Wikileaks fiasco might even destabilize a number of governments, including those in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, the U.A.E., Egypt, and Turkey.
The recent Wikileaks revelations may endanger the status quo in Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out, and how alliances shift in the months to come.
The bottom line is that the destabilization of pro-western Islamic governments could spark civil wars or even a regional war.
TSA turns off naked body scanners to avoid opt-out day protests
Anticipating a nationwide grassroots surge of protests against naked body scanners and aggressive pat-downs, the TSA simply turned off its naked body scanners on Wednesday and let air travelers walk right through security checkpoints without being X-rayed or molested.
Perhaps most importantly, it proves that the naked body scanners are not needed for air travel security in the first place. When it wants to, the TSA can just turn the machines off and resort to baggage X-rays and metal detectors. That’s worked for years, and it apparently worked today, too.
This action by the TSA also shows that the TSA is desperately trying to avoid being publicly embarrassed by the national-opt-out day protests. Lots of local and national news film crews were out at the airports today, hoping to catch something interesting on camera. But by turning off the naked body scanners, the TSA was able to stage a “calm looking” day at the airport.
Millions cashless in bank glitch
The Herald has been inundated by anxious NAB customers, some of whom had checked online to find their past month’s transactions rubbed out and their accounts credited with nothing.
Property deals were being put on hold, car sales suspended, wages not transferred, and direct debit payments for mortgages and bills stopped.
Mark Ruffalo ‘added to terrorism watchlist’ over Gasland
Ruffalo attracted the attention of Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security when he organised screenings for Gasland, which won the special jury prize at this year’s Sundance film festival, and said he was concerned about the impact of drilling on water supplies.
The documentary attracted attention for a particular scene in which a local man shows that he is able to set his tapwater on fire.
Building a better windmill
Windmills have assumed the same basic form for centuries: long vertical axles crowned with rectangle-shaped blades. Now, a start-up is preparing to exceed 10 megawatts (MW) this summer by utilizing wind along the full length of a tower.
Friesth envisioned a honeycomb like design where a taller tower is adorned with modular, shrouded turbines along a vertical axis. The net effect is a lower cost per megawatt.