Thanks, DM. Much appreciated.
Google (GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt’s April 13 tweet was bold, ambitious, and a bit inexplicable. “For every person online, there are two that are not,” wrote the co-author of the book The New Digital Age. “By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected.”
Commenters were flummoxed by Schmidt’s prediction. There are many parts of the world without reliable telecommunications infrastructure. How do you wire parts of Africa—or the Indonesian archipelago?
In my conversations with Astro Teller, Google X’s excellently named director of moonshots, for this week’s cover story on Google X, I asked whether extending broadband Internet access throughout the world would be a problem deserving of attention from the top-secret lab. Teller gave nothing away, but it was clear from his answer that there’s plenty of passion for that particular goal inside his organization. “Having everyone connected is literally in the same category as making clean water available,” he said. “That sounds like a radical statement but I don’t think that it is. There is now a ton of evidence that connectivity drives freedom, democracy, economic development, health, and those things then turn into lower mortality and all of the things that we are trying to get at here.” Extending connectivity, he added, “is the most direct way, probably on an order of magnitude, to address the world’s biggest problems.”
Via: Data Center Knowledge:
Will blinking blue lights of servers soon fill the aisles that previously offered the Blue Light Special? Sears Holdings has formed a new unit to market space from former Sears and Kmart retail stores as a home for data centers, disaster recovery space and wireless towers.
With the creation of Ubiquity Critical Environments, Sears hopes to convert the retail icons of the 20th century into the Internet infrastructure to power the 21st century digital economy. Sears Holdings has one of the largest real estate portfolios in the country, with 3,200 properties spanning 25 million square feet of space. That includes dozens of Sears and Kmart stores that have been closed over the years.
Via: Los Angeles Times:
Wall Street followed Europe in a broad sell-off following a 7.3% overnight plunge in Japan’s stock market.
Weak Chinese manufacturing data helped send Japan’s Nikkei down 1,143.28 points, or 7.3%, to 14,483.98. The drop was reportedly the worst percentage loss since the country’s March 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
Via: Data Center Knowledge:
There is an evolution happening within the modern data center. Huge data center operators like Google and Amazon are quietly redefining the future of the data center. This includes the integration of robotics to create a lights-out, fully automated data center environment.
More transparent and accountable now, promise. *wink*
Via: Washington Post:
The Obama administration acknowledged Wednesday that it has killed four Americans in overseas counterterrorism operations since 2009, the first time it has publicly taken responsibility for the deaths.
Although the acknowledgment, contained in a letter from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to Congress, does not say how the four were killed, three are known to have died in CIA drone strikes in Yemen in 2011: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son and Samir Khan.
The fourth — Jude Kennan Mohammad, a Florida native indicted in North Carolina in 2009 — was killed in Pakistan, where the CIA has operated a drone campaign against terrorism suspects for nearly a decade. His death was previously unreported.
Holder’s letter came the day before President Obama is due to deliver a major speech designed to fulfill a promise in his State of the Union address in January to make elements of his controversial counterterrorism policies more transparent and accountable to Congress and the American public.
A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. government had properly classified top secret more than 50 images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taken after his death, and that the government did not need to release them.
The unanimous ruling by three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request for the images by a conservative nonprofit watchdog group.
Judicial Watch sued for photographs and video from the May 2011 raid in which U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after more than a decade of searching.
Research Credit: alvinroasting
Wow, very well done, Portland!
The mayor of Portland, Ore., has conceded defeat in an effort to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water.
With more than 80 percent of the expected ballots counted late Tuesday night, the Multnomah County election website showed the fluoride proposal failing, 60 percent to 40 percent.
Mayor Charlie Hales supported fluoridation and said “the measure lost despite my own ‘yes’ vote.
“That’s sure disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters,” he said in a statement.
Fluoridation foes were delighted.
“We’re very excited with how the numbers look,” said Kellie Barnes with the anti-fluoride group Clean Water Portland.
If the early returns hold up, “then Portlanders spoke out to value our clean water and ask for better solutions for our kids.”
Voters in Portland twice rejected fluoridation before approving it in 1978. That plan was overturned two years later, before any fluoride was ever added to the water.
The City Council voted last year to add fluoride to the water supply that serves about 900,000 people. But opponents quickly gathered enough signatures to force a vote on the subject.
Rejection of the proposal would keep Portland the largest U.S. city without fluoride in the water or with plans to add it. San Jose, Calif., — which is larger than Portland — has been working to add fluoride to its water supply.
That Was Fast: Lords Call To Revive Internet Monitoring Bill After Woolwich Killing
Via: Tech Week Europe:
Following the murder of a man in Woolwich yesterday, a number of Lords have called for the controversial Communications Data Bill that seeks to impose more Internet monitoring on UK citizens to be put back on the table.
The killing in Woolwich, allegedly carried out by two extremists, which the government said appears to be a terrorist attack, has drawn many extreme reactions. Former government ministers, including former Labour home secretary Lord John Reid, have called for more Internet monitoring in response, angering privacy campaigners.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg appeared to have stopped the bill, known to critics as Snoopers’ Charter, going through to Parliament. It proposed getting ISPs to record all customers’ communications data, which includes the who, when and where of interactions over the Internet and telephony, but not the content itself.
Update: Both Suspects Known to Security Services
Via: Irish Examiner:
The two men shot by police after the terrorist murder of a soldier were both known to security services, it was confirmed today.
While the killers were under armed guard in different London hospitals, it is understood police searched the former home of a man called Michael Adebolajo in Lincolnshire.
Dramatic footage has emerged of the suspected terrorist attack near the London barracks that left one man dead, showing a suspect with blood-covered hands using jihadist rhetoric to justify the violence.
On Wednesday night the prime minister, David Cameron, vowed that Britain will “never buckle” in the face of terrorist incidents, and condemned the “absolutely sickening” killing in Woolwich.
As the government’s emergency committee Cobra convened in central London to assess the implications of the incident, ITV News broadcast footage of one of the alleged attackers.
Brandishing a cleaver and a knife, and with the body of the victim lying yards away, the man said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
“We must fight them. I apologise that women had to witness this today.
“But in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.”
The man then walks away and talks to another suspected attacker.
Later footage shows the aftermath after the two suspects were shot by police.
It is believed the person died after suffering knife injuries, possibly around the head area.
Two people have been taken to hospital after they were shot by armed police.
It’s too bad that the Feds gave billions of dollars to AIG, the Squid et al, instead of prosecuting them as criminal enterprises.
Via: Wall Street Journal:
Federal prosecutors are considering charging hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP as a criminal enterprise through a powerful legal tool used against the Mafia and drug gangs, people familiar with the probe said.
It is rare for investment firms to be charged criminally under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO. Such a step would require approval from top Justice Department officials.
The potential RICO strategy comes amid an escalating investigation into whether SAC and its billionaire founder, Steven A. Cohen, traded on inside information. It is now crunchtime for the U.S. as it approaches a five-year legal deadline in July on whether to file securities-fraud charges in the probe.