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We still don't have pictures or video of Osama bin Laden, but hey, it's OK to dump pictures of another countries Nuclear facility, right? Well, its now known the length of North Korea's progress in building a [gasp] weapon of mass destruction. You know, the ones we still haven't found in the War on Terror after trillions of dollars spent and countless thousand killed and millions displaced.
North Korea has actually done quite a bit of work, but not as much as NK's official claims state. There are various photos dated between June of 2009 and November of last year, which show North Korea's enrichment facility and light water reactors. You can see in these photos that the two aforementioned bits of the puzzle have almost reached completion. Once that's done, it's time to have its internals placed inside. The speed at which North Korea's reached this point, has analysts concerned. Below is a quote from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
Was the seismic analysis of the reactor site sufficiently rigorous? Did the regulatory authorities have the skills and independence required to license this reactor in such a short time period? And do Yongbyon [the construction site] specialists have sufficient experience with the very demanding materials requirements for the internal reactor components, including the pressure vessel, steam generator, piping and fuel-cladding materials?
Andrei Krivorukov, wherever you are, stop what you are doing right now, buy eleventy million lottery tickets and bunker down. Andrei received quite the strange Christmas present yesterday, a Russian communication satellite crashed directly into his house, with Andrei escaping death by mere meters.
The Russian satellite was a Meridian, which is used for both civilian and military communications. It was destroyed when a Soyuz-2 rocket exploded in mid-air, just a few minutes after launch. The Soyuz-2 rocket had an excellent track record until then, with hundreds of launches since the 1960s.
The explosion sent several pieces over Siberia, near the city of Tobolsk, and as far as 100km from the city of Novosibirsk. One of them was the 5kg titanium ball that fell through Andrei's roof, landing where he was just minutes before. Andrei is lucky as he decided to go out into his hard to grab some wood for his fireplace.
Behar Merlaku was sitting on a slot machine at a casino in Bregenz, Austria when he thought he hit the big time. Not just a few thousand dollars, but he hit the jackpot winning an astounding, life-changing $57 million. At just 26 years old, this would be one of those life-defining moments, where you realise everything will be OK from here on out.
Until he went up to the cashier to cash his prize to have the casino owners say it was "all a mistake", and just a "software glitch'. They argued that the jackpot alarm went off erroneously and that Merlaku's game had not actually hit the required five matches. He had only gotten four, they said. Instead of the $57 million Merlaku thought he'd won, the casino spat in his face an offered him $100 and a free meal. Yep.
Dutch Paralympian, Monique van der Vorst, has begun walking again after a crash with a bicycle. In March of 2010, van der Vorst had an accident in which she was rammed by another cyclist while she was riding her hand cycle. Months after the accident she regained feeling in both her legs.
After extensive rehabilitation, she took her first steps once again in July 2010. Doctors are of course baffled by her unexpected recovery, with some believing it was the trauma of the crash that jolted her body back into action.
She said "I wanted to jump in the air for joy." Van der Vorst has now signed with Rabobank women's professional cycling team and hopes to one day compete at the olympics.
Syria bans iPhones from being used, at all, as a way to curb protests and silence citizen journalists
Syria has already stopped foreign press from coming into the nation, mainly so they don't report on the things going on in the country, but the Assad Government has just started a big change, with Syria's custom department, a branch of the Syrian Finance Ministry, banning the iPhone.
The move is to try and stop citizens from sharing news and videos of the massive protests and violent crackdowns throughout the nation. Because foreign press have been stopped from coming in and reporting the news, citizen journalism has taken off, and thanks to the iPhone, this can be in the form of live podcasts, videos, Facebook, etc.
But what of Android and Windows Phone? Why did it take the Syrian Government this long to ban iPhones? The list of questions is endless.
The increasing global shortage on hard drives from the Thailand floods is causing PC vendors who are searching for HDDs to look into gray markets, which is in turn causing hikes in gray market prices from US$45 to over US$100 for a 500GB HDD and from US$35 to US$60-70 for a 320GB model, according to Taiwan-based PC supply chain makers.
Because the HDD industry's future is unknown, vendors are looking anywhere they can to source drives to fill their inventory. DigiTimes source claims that brand vendors are going into a "panic" to fill their HDD inventory. Most have reportedly placed orders to HDD makers with combined volume already double or triple their usual demand, but since HDD makers can only reply that they have no more inventory, or cannot provide supply status, it leaves vendors with one choice: the gray market.
Well, that's impressive: 7 billion people are alive on Earth right now, the highest population count of all time. Births are also now outstripping deaths by just over two to one. There is a website call Worldometers which is quite impressive, it has all kinds of statistics such as Internet users in the world, e-mails sent today, Tweets sent today and much more.
Quite the interesting site which is refreshing while I'm looking at it. I think it's scary: watching the "Births this year" ticking away at 2 per second, but even worse, "Deaths today" cranking through 1 per second. That little number represents an actual human being that has loved ones, dying while I watch it.
On the amusing side, Government and Economics gets its own section... 50 million cars have been produced this year so far, 113 million bicycles. Over 360 million (at the time of typing) newspaper circulated today. This is going by around 5,000 per second... over 236 billion (with a B) e-mails sent today! Interesting website, but the 7 billion people mark is quite the milestone indeed! Feels good to be an Earthling today!
The 10-year anniversary of the shocking attacks on American soil is over, but the memory and effects of 9/11 will always be there. There have been various tributes to the survivors and heroic rescue works: fire department, police department and even just normal people like you and me who did their bit to help during and after the attacks. My good friend Alex made a tribute video and I watched it last night and loved it, the track used fits perfectly and it's wonderfully done.
LulzSec just recently hacked The Sun's website and are now claiming to have extracted an email archive in which they plan to release later today. News International's systems were hacked on Monday night and the results of the hack lead to The Sun's website redirected toward a fake story about Rupert Murdochs death. The group also redirected visitors to the main News International website to the LulzSec Twitter feed. In addition to all of these "lulz", the hack looks to have given LulzSec access to News International's email database.
Sabu, a prominent member of LulzSec said via Twitter that they [LulzSec] were sitting on a bunch of emails from News International staffers that it planned to release on Thursday. In the meantime, Sabu released email login details of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Rebekah, a key figure in the News of the World voicemail-hacking scandal. Brooks (at the time called Wade) edited The Sun between 2003 and 2009 and had been using the password 63000 to access her email account at the paper.
James Richard Verone tried everything in his power to receive medical attention by the book, but when he couldn't, he resorted to the only option he saw fit; rob a bank. Verone had worked for most of his life and although he was in need of medical attention, he applied for disability and early social security to which he only received food stamps.
His physical pains had included a protrusion in his chest, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Caused by his last job which was as a convenience store clerk, this led to his extensive injuries. His way out? To rob a bank. Verone sold and donated all of his furniture, paid his last months rent and gave his notice. He moved into the Hampton Inn for his last free days as a free man and on June 9 took a cab down New Hope Road and chose a bank at random; RBC Bank.