Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Kepler-22b was found 600 light-years away in the habitable zone

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered one of the most Earth-like planets yet in the middle of the habitable zone, meaning that it may be suitable for life.

NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which was named after 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, aims to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It launched March 7, 2009 and has a minimum expected mission lifetime of 3.5 years. So far, the Kepler space telescope has found 2,326 potential Earth-like planets.

Now, the telescope has made a new discovery that has NASA astronomers buzzing. The new planet is called Kepler-22b, and it is 600 light-years away from Earth. It was found in the middle of the habitable zone, which is the region around a star where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to dwell.

Kepler-22b orbits a star very similar to the sun, except it’s a bit smaller and cooler. It orbits this star every 290 days.

The planet itself is 2.4 times the size of Earth, but that’s about all that is known about Kepler-22b. Its mass/composition is unclear at this point, meaning it could be a “global ocean” or entirely rocky.

“If this planet has a surface, it would have a very nice temperature of some 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius),” said William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “It’s another milestone on the journey of discovering Earth’s twin.”

According to Borucki, the Kepler space telescope had to wait for Kepler-22b to pass three times before it could consider it a confirmed planet instead of just a candidate. The first passing was caught only three days after the Kepler space telescope was functional. Now, at the First Kepler Science Conference at NASA Ames, it was announced that the third passing occurred over the 2010 holiday season and Kepler-22b is officially an Earth-like planet — and one of the closest to being Earth’s twin to date, according to BBC News.

Kepler-22b differs from most habitable planets in that it orbits a star much like the sun rather than a red dwarf sun, which can be rather dim, and it is in the middle of the habitable zone rather than on the edge with harsher temperatures.

Since February 2011 alone, the Kepler space telescope has found 1,094 new planets, where 48 total have turned out to be genuine planets. The SETI Institute, which searches for extraterrestrial life in the universe via the Allen Telescope Array in California, says the Kepler space telescope’s findings, including Kepler-22b, are helpful in the effort to discover other life beyond Earth.

“We’re taking everything we can get from our Kepler colleagues to look for techno-signatures,” said Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

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The Facebook Blog Facebook Page

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

  • by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 1:39am

    I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times.

     

    This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. But as long as they could make their page private, they felt safe sharing with their friends online. Control was key. With Facebook, for the first time, people had the tools they needed to do this. That’s how Facebook became the world’s biggest community online.  We made it easy for people to feel comfortable sharing things about their real lives.

     

    We’ve added many new tools since then: sharing photos, creating groups, commenting on and liking your friends’ posts and recently even listening to music or watching videos together. With each new tool, we’ve added new privacy controls to ensure that you continue to have complete control over who sees everything you share. Because of these tools and controls, most people share many more things today than they did a few years ago.

     

    Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.

     

    That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done.

     

    I also understand that many people are just naturally skeptical of what it means for hundreds of millions of people to share so much personal information online, especially using any one service.  Even if our record on privacy were perfect, I think many people would still rightfully question how their information was protected. It’s important for people to think about this, and not one day goes by when I don’t think about what it means for us to be the stewards of this community and their trust.

     

    Facebook has always been committed to being transparent about the information you have stored with us – and we have led the internet in building tools to give people the ability to see and control what they share.

     

    But we can also always do better. I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy.

     

    As we have grown, we have tried our best to listen closely to the people who use Facebook. We also work with regulators, advocates and experts to inform our privacy practices and policies. Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world.

     

    For Facebook, this means we’re making a clear and formal long-term commitment to do the things we’ve always tried to do and planned to keep doing — giving you tools to control who can see your information and then making sure only those people you intend can see it.

     

    In the last 18 months alone, we’ve announced more than 20 new tools and resources designed to give you more control over your Facebook experience. Some of the things these include are:

     

    • An easier way to select your audience when making a new post

    Inline privacy controls on all your existing posts

    • The ability to review tags made by others before they appear on your profile

    Friend lists that are easier to create and that maintain themselves automatically

    • A new groups product for sharing with smaller sets of people

    • A tool to view your profile as someone else would see it

    • Tools to ensure your information stays secure like double login approval:

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10150153272607131

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=486790652130

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=436800707130

    • Mobile versions of your privacy controls:

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=413846952130

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=463829602130

    • An easy way to download all your Facebook data

    • A new apps dashboard to control what your apps can access

    • A new app permission dialog that gives you clear control over what an app can do anytime you add one

    • Many more privacy education resources:

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=381246352130

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=396089122130

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=394506372130

     

    As a matter of fact, privacy is so deeply embedded in all of the development we do that every day tens of thousands of servers worth of computational resources are consumed checking to make sure that on any webpage we serve, that you have access to see each of the sometimes hundreds or even thousands of individual pieces of information that come together to form a Facebook page. This includes everything from every post on a page to every tag in those posts to every mutual friend shown when you hover over a person’s name. We do privacy access checks literally tens of billions of times each day to ensure we’re enforcing that only the people you want see your content. These privacy principles are written very deeply into our code.

     

    Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. For example, their complaint to us mentioned our Verified Apps Program, which we canceled almost two years ago in December 2009. The same complaint also mentions cases where advertisers inadvertently received the ID numbers of some users in referrer URLs. We fixed that problem over a year ago in May 2010.

     

    In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. We’ve embraced these ideas, too, by agreeing to improve and formalize the way we do privacy review as part of our ongoing product development process. As part of this, we will establish a biannual independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make.

     

    Even further, effective today I am creating two new corporate officer roles to make sure our commitments will be reflected in what we do internally — in the development of our products and the security of our systems — and externally — in the way we work collaboratively with regulators, government agencies and privacy groups from around the world:

     

    – Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. Erin recently joined Facebook after serving as a partner and co-chair of the global privacy and data security practice of Covington & Burling, the respected international law firm. Throughout her career, Erin has been deeply involved in legislative and regulatory efforts to address privacy, data security, spam, spyware and other consumer protection issues. Erin will lead our engagement in the global public discourse and debate about online privacy and ensure that feedback from regulators, legislators, experts and academics from around the world is incorporated into Facebook’s practices and policies.

     

    – Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. Michael is currently Facebook’s Chief Privacy Counsel on our legal team. In his new role, Michael will join our product organization to expand, improve and formalize our existing program of internal privacy review. He and his team will work to ensure that our principles of user control, privacy by design and transparency are integrated consistently into both Facebook’s product development process and our products themselves.

     

    These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles.

     

    Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing — and it also provides protection to ensure that your information is only shared in the way you intend. As the founder and CEO of Facebook, I look forward to working with the Commission as we implement this agreement. It is my hope that this agreement makes it clear that Facebook is the leader when it comes to offering people control over the information they share online.

     

    Finally, I also want to reaffirm the commitment I made when I first launched Facebook. We will serve you as best we can and work every day to provide you with the best tools for you to share with each other and the world. We will continue to improve the service, build new ways for you to share and offer new ways to protect you and your information better than any other company in the world.


A new financially manageable insurance program has been launched by Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) called Multifamily Affordable Housing Insurance Program (MAHIP).
MAHIP is specially designed to face the needs of the affordable housing industry on a national level. Because multifamily affordable housing has unique risks from project development through operations, MAHIP advertises that it uses a cluster of insurance carriers to provide insurance products to confront these risks.
By means of MAHIP, customers are entitled to the following products:
Coverage for Bed Bug infestation coverage which formerly hadn’t been included from property insurance policies.
Tenant discrimination protection for both multifamily property owners and managers. This is in response to the rising number of tenant discrimination claims on basis of the Fair Housing Act and other regulatory agencies. MAHIP says that this is endorsed by NAHMA using input from industry leaders.
Multiple premium estimates needed for application for funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Multifamily Assistance and Section 8 programs.
Coverage for projects in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. In order to obtain federal subsidy—this could be used to finance the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households. Policyholders are mandated to have coverage for property and liabilities related to project development.

MAHIP also offers protection for property owners and managers from natural calamities such as wind, earthquake, and flood. Furthermore, risk management and loss control information and resources are available to program participants.
Submission for MAHIP can be made directly at Wells Fargo Insurance Services in Seattle or through approved sub-brokers.


The news feeds of thousands of Facebook users were flooded with violent and pornographic photographs after an attack by hackers, a spokewoman for the social networking site confirmed.

Thousands of users around the world were confronted with the videos and images – some of which were doctored to show pornographic pictures of celebrities including teen star Justin Bieber.

‘This seems to be a purely malicious act,’ said security company Sophos. ‘Facebook has a reputation for maintaining a reasonably family friendly environment and most Facebook users don’t expect dead dogs and penises showing up on their wall.’

Facebook was deluged in pornographic spam featuring stars such as Justin Bieber (pictured)Facebook was deluged in pornographic spam featuring stars such as Justin Bieber (pictured)

 

 

Problem pages: Facebook, founded by mark Zuckerberg has been attacked by a virus which places hardcore porn and violent imagery into users' newsfeedsProblem pages: Facebook, founded by mark Zuckerberg has been attacked by a virus which places hardcore porn and violent imagery into users’ newsfeeds

Users were tricked into pasting malware into their browsers, which in turn resulted in the sharing of offensive content, she said.

The attack exploited vulnerabilities in browser software, not Facebook itself – which made it difficult for the site to respond to the flood of spam.

Facebook’s own ‘anything-goes’ approach to sharing led users to think they were safe to post computer script into their browsers.

Facebook now says the attack is ‘under control’.

‘Recently, we experienced a spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability. Our team responded quickly and we have eliminated most of the spam caused by this attack.’

‘We are now working to improve our systems to better defend against similar attacks in the future.’

The spokeswoman said that no user data or accounts were compromised during the cyber attack.

She said that users should never copy and paste ‘unknown code’ into an address bar, to always use an up-to-date browser and to report any suspicious content.

 

The virus has forced many to close down their Facebook accountsThe virus has forced many to close down their Facebook accounts

 

There has been suggestions that Anonymous is behind the attack, but no one has come forward to claim it.

The group of hacktivists had previously vowed to ‘destroy’ Facebook on November 5, the night which commemorates Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot because of its privacy policy.

They created a Twitter account and uploaded a YouTube video, saying: ‘If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill Facebook for the sake of your own privacy.’

This new torrent of imagery has lead to many users deactivating their accounts to stop family and friends being subjected to the graphic imagery.

A Facebook spokesperson said: ‘Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2061665/Facebook-porn-Cyber-attack-deluged-users-vile-horror-images.html#ixzz1dzIFS1Qo


Driving along in Mountain View, Calif, a perceptive observer was on his way towards his destination when he came across a multiple car fender-bender. According to reports released by the press, a Toyota Prius had hit a Prius, and the same Prius hit an Accord, which hit an Accord, which hit a Prius.
Being keen with was he just saw, he immediately recognized one of the cars and took a picture using his cellular phone. After such, he sent the picture to Jalopnik, a blog of automobiles where he was anonymous in his post.
Google’s self-driving automobile was the first Prius released. Hence, the picture was somewhat like a piece of history; the first public accident on the road of an autonomous, unmanned robot car. Google later said that the car was not unmanned during the accident, and that one of their employees was driving it, and said nothing more.
Sebastian Thrun, a computer science professor at Stanford University and the main developer of the car, regarded the system on the car as “the perfect driving mechanism”. Being controlled by GPS and a complicated system of laser and imaging systems, Google claims that the auto does away with human error and presented the car as super safe.
Google added that the car had been tested for hundreds of thousands of miles without any recorded incident. It was travelled along San Francisco Bay Area down to Highway 1 and then to Los Angeles. The total distance covered by the test travel was about 300 miles.
A Google engineer proved the claim of the company by citing his daily commute from Berkeley to Mountain View which is about 50 miles.
Because of nice features of the car, Google was able to push through and register their car as legal. The law regulates the Nevada Department of Transportation to create rules in the use of the car. It has also asked the permission of the Department to designate areas wherein the car can be tested.
To bring light for the truth about the issue, Google spokesperson Jay Nancarrow said that there is some point in time to better discuss the details.


Why Are There So Many Porn Ads on Facebook?

Britney Spears’ official Facebook page, which has over four million fans, is rife with links to escort services.

Apologies for the link-bait, but it’s true: Britney Spears’ Facebook page is overrun with erotic pictures, many of them linking to pornographic websites. Either Spears’ “social media expert” is asleep at the switch or this is part of some sort of misguided marketing campaign to sex up the pop star’s apparently-still-too-staid image.

Regardless, when her fans click the Photos link on her Facebook page, they’re confronted with the images like the ones above, many leading directly to hard-core ads for remarkably forward young women advertising their services for free.

We’re hardly ones to proselytize, but this does seem to be a bit much for the singing star, who this week is Tweeting up a storm about her appearance on the mostly squeaky clean Fox show, Glee.

The occasional photo of an actual Britney Spears fan or Spears herself does appear in her list of over 10,000 “Photos from Others,” but the majority or at least the most recent are advertisements for people like “Hilary Portman,” whose message reveals that she is “seeking an above-average guy who is willing to keep up with a 21 years old, fit, drug, disease and drama free chick. It’s gonna be a whole night of ‘pleasing’ and discovering all our erogenous zones.” Her link, like the others, leads to an adult personals site where payment for sex in the style of Craigslist is implied.

It might seem like a lot to ask for Spears’ people to remove the offending “fan photos from Britney Spears” from her Facebook page. (We’ve asked her camp for a response and have yet to hear back). On the other hand, large media presences like her regularly hire social media experts and interns to handle monotonous tasks like accepting friend requests, and it’s easy enough for the regular user to un-tag themselves from unwanted photos.

Why can’t one of Spears’ people get on this? By our rough estimation, based on the fact that the 20th-most-recent photo in the section was added yesterday, it would only take about five minutes per day to keep Britney Spears’ page free of ads for escort services.

We don’t want to waste too much time on this, but it seems worth mentioning that the regularly-updated, Britney Spears-controlled official Facebook page, which presumably attracts lots of her young fan base, is only a couple of clicks away from hardcore advertisements for erotic services (NSFW).


Bernard Weber, Founder-President, of New7Wonders announcing the names of the provisional New7Wonders of Nature at New7Wonders headquarters in Zurich, SwitzerlandBernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, announcing the names of the provisional New7Wonders of Nature at New7Wonders headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland

The provisional New7Wonders of Nature are, in alphabetical order: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Table Mountain. Here, Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, announces the names of the provisional New7Wonders of Nature at the New7Wonders headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.