Daily Archives: February 15, 2012

Views from the Solar System (27)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH

Rhea Before Titan
NASA – Craters appear well defined on icy Rhea in front of the hazy orb of the much larger moon Titan in this Cassini spacecraft view of these two Saturn moons.

Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemispheres of Rhea and Titan. North on the moons is up and rotated 13 degrees to the left. The limb, or edge of the visible disk, of Rhea is slightly overexposed in this view.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 10, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 109 degrees. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 810,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 109 degrees. Image scale is 8 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel on Titan and 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel on Rhea. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Wired Opinion: Cyberwar Is the New Yellowcake


By Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins – “Today’s cyber criminals have the ability to interrupt life-sustaining services, cause catastrophic economic damage, or severely degrade the networks our defense and intelligence agencies rely on,” Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said at a hearing last week. “Congress needs to act on comprehensive cybersecurity legislation immediately.”

Yet evidence to sustain such dire warnings is conspicuously absent. In many respects, rhetoric about cyber catastrophe resembles threat inflation we saw in the run-up to the Iraq War. And while Congress’ passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation wouldn’t lead to war, it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex. more> http://is.gd/gDGWQ5

With Edge, U.S. Greets China’s Heir Apparent


By Mark Landler and Edward Wong – China’s vice president and likely future leader, Xi Jinping, embarked on a get-to-know-you tour of the United States on Tuesday, with a day of meetings from the White House to the Pentagon. But he was met with blunt criticism from his host, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who declared that the United States and China could cooperate “only if the game is fair.”

Mr. Biden presented a long list of grievances — ranging from theft of intellectual property and human rights abuses to China’s refusal to back United Nations sanctions against Syria.

“As Americans, we welcome competition,” Mr. Biden said as the Chinese vice president listened with a poker face. “But cooperation, as you and I have spoken about, can only be mutually beneficial if the game is fair.” more> http://is.gd/I0vy2S

Advanced power-grid model finds low-cost, low-carbon future in West


R&D Mag – The least expensive way for the Western United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) researchers.

Decarbonization of the electric power sector is critical to achieving greenhouse gas reductions that are needed for a sustainable future,” said Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. “To meet these carbon goals, coal has to go away from the region.” more> http://is.gd/PN0ohW

European Doubts Growing over Greece Debt Strategy


SLIDE SHOW (7)

DER SPIEGEL – Unasked and unambiguously, Chancellor Angela Merkel provides something akin to a letter of guarantee for the Greeks. “I would not participate in pushing Greece out of the euro. That would have unforeseeable consequences.”

It was a clear message at the beginning of a week in which those seeking to save the euro once again lost fundamental control over their drama.

Instead, we are left with the outlines of a program that not even its designers believe in anymore. Finance ministries in Europe are growing increasingly skeptical about Greece’s ability to reform, despite the passage on Sunday evening of a vast new austerity package in Athens. more> http://is.gd/PveXWp