Daily Archives: March 27, 2012

Galactic Views (34)



SPACE WATCH

Filigree and Shadow
NASA – Wispy tendrils of hot dust and gas glow brightly in this ultraviolet image of the Cygnus Loop Nebula, taken by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The nebula lies about 1,500 light-years away, and is a supernova remnant, left over from a massive stellar explosion that occurred 5,000-8,000 years ago. The Cygnus Loop extends more than three times the size of the full moon in the night sky, and is tucked next to one of the ‘swan’s wings’ in the constellation of Cygnus.

The filaments of gas and dust visible here in ultraviolet light were heated by the shockwave from the supernova, which is still spreading outward from the original explosion. The original supernova would have been bright enough to be seen clearly from Earth with the naked eye. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Court Opens Health-Care Debate With Law That May Derail Case


By Greg Stohr – The U.S. Supreme Court opened today (Mar 26, 2012) its historic review of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, three days of arguments that might result in the president’s premier legislative achievement being found unconstitutional in the middle of his re-election campaign.

The six hours of planned debate that began this morning is the most on a case in 44 years. The core dispute — the law’s upcoming mandate that uninsured people purchase coverage –comes on the second day.

First, the justices today hear arguments on a seemingly arcane question: Does the penalty for failing to get insurance amount to a tax?

It’s “the sleeper issue of the health-care case,” said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. “The great constitutional controversy over Obamacare could end with a whimper rather than a bang.” more> http://is.gd/HMb1Xq

Rethinking the Distortions of Banking


The Robin Tax.

The Robin Tax.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Hugo Dixon – From the start, Britain opposed the tax (charge to financial transactions — popularly known as a Robin Hood tax), which means it had no chance of being adopted by the European Union as a whole. Now the Netherlands has come out against it, so it cannot even be applied across the euro zone. With the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, saying that the “smallest thinkable unit” for the tax is the euro zone, it is only a matter of time before the Robin Hood tax is buried.

There is no disguising the fact that it would be complicated to revamp the way that banks are taxed. But given the havoc they caused in the recent financial crisis, the fact that the sector is undertaxed and the way in which the current system distorts economic activity, it is well worth the effort. more> http://is.gd/bFQsfx

Surveillance Camera System Searches Through 36 Million Faces In One Second


DigInfo TV – Developed by Hitachi Kokusai Electric, the system can automatically detect a face from either surveillance footage or a regular photo, and search for it. This surveillance camera system can search through data on 36 million faces in one second.

With this system, it’s assumed that faces are turning within around 30 degrees in the horizontal and vertical directions from the camera, and the faces are at least 40 x 40 pixels in size. more> http://is.gd/PULgk3

The 2012 State of the Network report



Full HD VideoConferencing System by LifeSize

Full HD VideoConferencing System by LifeSize
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Linda Musthaler – For the past five years, Network Instruments, the network and applications performance monitoring vendor, has surveyed network managers to get a sense of how emerging technologies will impact service delivery and IT operations management. The results were recently published in the Fifth Annual State of the Network Global Study.

  • Video has finally gone mainstream in the enterprise, especially for videoconferencing, training, and sales and marketing.

Challenges remain:

  • difficulty with allocating and monitoring bandwidth (47%)
  • lack of tools to manage video performance (47%)
  • lack of standardized metrics to monitor video quality: latency (76%), packet loss (69%), and jitter (60%)

more> http://is.gd/qIjWvu