Daily Archives: February 27, 2012

Views from the Solar System (30)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH

Eastern Seaboard at Night
NASA – An Expedition 30 crew member aboard the International Space Station took this nighttime photograph of much of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Large metropolitan areas and other easily recognizable sites from the Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. area are visible in the image that spans almost to Rhode Island. Boston is just out of frame at right. Long Island and the New York City area are visible in the lower right quadrant. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are near the center. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost are seen in left foreground.

This image was taken on Feb. 6, 2012.

G20 Inches Toward $2 Trillion in Rescue Funds for Europe


Reuters/CNBC – Finance leaders from the Group of 20, meeting in Mexico City this weekend (Feb 25, 2012), are trying to build up massive international resources by the end of April to convince financial markets they can prevent the euro-zone‘s deep problems from inflicting more damage on a still-fragile world recovery.

The plan is to merge Europe‘s temporary and permanent bailout funds, the European Financial Stability Fund and the European Stability Mechanism , to create one 750 billion-euro ($1 trillion) fund. Increased IMF [cnbc explains] resources would back that up. more> http://is.gd/FQNiDw

Protecting the Homeland, Safeguarding Privacy


President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Se...

Image @Wikipedia

By Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring social media for potential threats and hazards to the United States. Little was known about the DHS monitoring program until last month when new details became public for the first time — as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

Who within the government is directing the gathering of this intelligence from social media? To what extent is DHS requesting media monitoring reports targeting individuals’ reactions to controversial government policies or political decisions?

I am equally concerned that without proper congressional oversight of this initiative, DHS analysts could be spending limitless time floating on a sea of information data without any kind of intelligence-driven aim. more> http://is.gd/iQKZ8D

T-Mobile seeks to block Verizon spectrum purchase


By Timothy B. Lee – The spectrum under dispute was acquired in an auction by a coalition of cable companies led by Comcast and Time Warner in 2006. But the cable firms have apparently decided they don’t want to be in the wireless business after all. In December, Verizon Wireless announced plans to buy the spectrum, which is in the AWS band, for $3.6 billion.

T-Mobile argues that the current formula does not take into account the fact that the lower-frequency spectrum that Verizon disproportionately holds is more useful than higher-frequency spectrum that T-Mobile itself owns. T-Mobile advocates that the FCC weight spectrum holdings by their market value, rather than treating every megahertz as equally valuable. more> http://is.gd/TNoEe6

Throttled iPhone user takes AT&T to court, wins $850


By Josh Lowensohn – A man who became dissatisfied with AT&T throttling data speeds on his iPhone has won a case against the carrier in small claims court.

The Associated Press reports that iPhone owner Matt Spaccarelli, who filed a complaint against AT&T after it began slowing down his data speeds, was awarded $850 earlier today.

Spaccarelli made the claim that AT&T purposely slowed down data speeds, despite the fact that he was subscribed to an “unlimited data” plan. This slowdown came after he had used 1.5GB to 2GB of data inside of one billing cycle, he told the court. more> http://is.gd/MYE3rw