Archive for July 19th, 2011
If you’re convinced that the office would devolve into mayhem without your team’s contributions, you’re not alone–in thinking you’re the most important, that is. Most of us have the tendency to see our own contributions in a rosy light. Those colleagues on other teams tend to be, well, different.
See where you figure into this grid. (If you’re on a team not mentioned here, comment on how you might see yourself and be seen by others!)
* By Charlie Sorrel Email Author
NOTE TO ED – ADD VIDEO
What we see here is the sensor of a Canon 5D MkII being zapped by lasers. The hapless owner was videoing DJs spinning some truly horrible club music when one of the lasers in the light show shone right into the lens and frazzled the sensor within. Pretty bad luck, I’d say — with all the camera shake I’m surprised any light found its way onto the lens at all
The photographer, named Jatimco, now has to contend with a vertical line permanently etched onto the sensor of his $2,500 camera.
This reminds me of the days, back in the 1980s, when video cameras came with tubes instead of CCDs, similar to what you’d find in a TV. When you carried them, it was advised to always keep the lends-cap on. Not to protect the lens, but to protect the tube should you accidentally let it point at the sun. If this happened, the tube would be burned out, leaving permanent spots on the image or worse. The only solution? A new tube.
Months after getting stuck in the Martian dirt, a NASA rover has stopped communicating with its controllers here on Earth.
The space agency said late yesterday that its Mars Exploration Rover Spirit did not make a communication session that had been scheduled for Tuesday. Scientists expect that the robotic machine has entered into a low-power hibernation mode, where most functions are ended to conserve valuable, and dwindling, energy.
“We may not hear from Spirit again for weeks or months, but we will be listening at every opportunity, and our expectation is that Spirit will resume communications when the batteries are sufficiently charged,” said John Callas, project manager for Spirit and its twin Martian rover, Opportunity, in a written statement.
After six years roaming across and working on Mars, Spirit was deemed permanently stuck in the dirt on the surface of the planet in January.
NASA scientists, however, remained hopeful that the robot could still conduct experiments to help them better understand the planet. With the rover trapped in one spot, engineers at the space agency are concerned, however, that the machine won’t survive the extremely frigid temperatures of the upcoming Martian winter.
Spirit got into trouble last year while working its way south near the western edge of a plateau NASA has dubbed Home Plate. The vehicle’s wheels broke through the crusty surface and got stuck in some soft, salty sand underneath. Since then, NASA engineers have worked tirelessly to find a way to extricate the rover from the sand, but the vehicle now has two immobile tires on one side.
LONDON — The choice of the London A-list, St. John’s Wood is a neighborhood of ethereal wealth, its leafy avenues lined with the ample mansions of Paul McCartney, Ewan McGregor and Kate Moss. And yet, they share the most unlikely neighbors — the Kastrati family.
Poor immigrants struggling to survive in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the family of four nevertheless lives in a sunny, two-bedroom flat in an enclave of urban privilege. Their benefactor: the British government, which covers 85 percent of their $3,600-a-month rent through welfare benefits giving tens of thousands of low-income earners access to even the best neighborhoods. But the clock on such subsidized London lifestyles is suddenly running out.
This article seems to think the recipients are too blame, yet such properties are either private landlords or council owned. And this sort of case is very much an exception to the rule. If indeed any of it is true,
President Obama, at a news conference Monday, continued to press for the “biggest deal possible” that would combine spending cuts and new tax revenue in order to reach an agreement on raising the debt limit. He made it clear that some sort of tinkering with Social Security could be on the table.
“It’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing,” Obama told reporters. “And if you’re a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great that we look after our seniors and we look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term.”
That kind of talk has some Democrats nervous. Rep. Xavier Becerra, vice chair of the House Democratic Congress, made a declarative statement last Friday that Social Security has “never contributed a dime” to the national debt, “not one penny” to the budget deficit this year. He feels so passionate about this fact that, after the Fact Checker called his office about the statement, Becerra immediately got on the phone himself to defend it, saying it does not deserve any Pinocchios.
It was billed as the most important day of his career, a make-or-break moment that, if he screwed up, would cost him the chairmanship of News Corporation, the worldwide media conglomerate that he created.But in the end, it was more farce than forensic inquiry as an activist from the agit-prop protest group UK Uncut bundled a foam pie into Rupert Murdoch’s face as the four-hour session drew to a close.
So what did we learn from the first, and probably last appearance of of the world’s most famous media mogul before a parliamentary select committee in Britain?It was a Wizard of Oz moment. Looking more than the sum of his 80 years, Murdoch senior stumbled under sustained questioning from MPs, most notably the Labour rottweiler Tom Watson.He paused before answers, asked for questioned to be repeated, and had to be rescued on more than one occasion by his son, James. Here are my top ten takeaways from Tuesday’s session.1. Murdoch calls the editor of the Sunday Times in London “almost every Saturday” – but only to see what stories were being lined up for the next day’s edition, not, perish the thought, to influence the paper’s editorial direction. That would be contrary to the legal undertakings he gave when he bought the paper in 1981.2. Murdoch would speak to the editor of the News of the World about only once a month. When asked what he would say, Murdoch replied: “What’s doing?”3. The editor he sees most is Robert Thomson, the editor of the Wall Street Journal, with whom he shares an office building in New York.4. He works 10 to 12 hours a day.5. When visiting prime ministers at Downing Street, he goes in by the “back door” to avoid photographers. “I do what I’m told,” he said, claiming the arrangement was at the behest of No 10.6. Murdoch’s young children by his second wife, Wendi Deng, played with the offspring of Gordon and Sarah Brown. He “very much hopes” that he will be friends with the Browns again.7. He has a habit of knocking the table when making important points, to the irritation of his son James, who asked him to “stop gesticulating”.8. Murdoch didn’t close the News of the World for commercial reasons; instead he shut the title down because it had lost the trust of its readers.9. He wears a vest under his shirt.10. Tuesday 19 July 2011 was the most humble day of his life.
Ed Miliband has demanded the breakup of Rupert Murdoch’s UK media empire in a dramatic intervention in the row over phone hacking.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer, the Labour leader calls for cross-party agreement on new media ownership laws that would cut Murdoch’s current market share, arguing that he has “too much power over British public life”.
Miliband says that the abandonment by News International of its bid for BSkyB, the resignation of its chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, and the closure of the News of the World are insufficient to restore trust and reassure the public.
The Labour leader argues that current media ownership rules are outdated, describing them as “analogue rules for a digital age” that do not take into account the advent of mass digital and satellite broadcasting.
“I think that we’ve got to look at the situation whereby one person can own more than 20% of the newspaper market, the Sky platform and Sky News,” Miliband said. “I think it’s unhealthy because that amount of power in one person’s hands has clearly led to abuses of power within his organisation. If you want to minimise the abuses of power then that kind of concentration of power is frankly quite dangerous.”
Archaeologists believe the remains of burned oak uncovered at the site of the first Sainsbury’s in the Highlands to be evidence of an ancient “rest stop”.The supermarket and a filling station are being constructed on the outskirts of Nairn, at a cost of about £20m.Headland Archaeologists investigated the site ahead of building work.They radiocarbon-dated the hearth to the Mesolithic period, which started as the last Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago.In a report published on Highland Council’s Historic Environment Record site, the archaeologists said the fire appeared to have been made to provide heat and not cooking, because no food waste was found.They added: “The dating of a feature from charcoal is problematic since the wood that was being burned may have been felled a long time before it was used.”Activity in the area during the Mesolithic period is known from the discovery of a number of small flint tools along the Culbin Sands in Nairn.