Thursday, April 23, 2009
Menariknya, Amerika malah mulai mengganti paradigma konsep perang mereka ke "FCS" (Future Combat System), tidak lagi ke WMD spt. nuklir, bahkan membatalkan proyek spektakuler pengembangan pesawat F-22 Raptor. Sistem ini merupakan sistem persenjataan paling modern berbasis sistem komunikasi+sensor nirkabel terintegrasi. Dari ulasan majalah "PopSci" edisi terakhir, konsep FCS ini merupakan jaringan interkoneksi masal (mirip. Internet) yang dipasangkan pada badan setiap prajurit perang.
Setiap prajurit memiliki sejumlah sensor (audio, visual, GPS) dan weareable computer . Data dikirim ke pusat komando. Bahkan robot2 (ada robot perayap, bahkan robocopter) pun dikerahkan sebagai prajurit perang (spt. di film RoboCop). Hasil riset terakhir menyatakan, satu kontraktor berhasil mengembangkan sistem audio pendeteksi snipper dengan algoritma canggih.
Proyeknya dikerjakan oleh konsorsium (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics dsb.) dengan total biaya hampir $200 milyar. Bisa dibaca disini: http://www.boeing. com/defense- space/ic/ fcs/bia/ atau https://www. fcs.army. mil/
Dari hasil R&D mutakhir di Universitas Vanderbilt dengan dana dari DARPA (Defence of Advanced Research Projects Agency - badan yg. sama yg. mendanai riset berdirinya Internet) dalam proyek FCS ini adalah sistem akustik canggih yang dapat mendeteksi lokasi suara letusan senjata. Bekerja dengan sistem algoritma canggih, prototypenya telah berhasil mengidentifikasi lokasi letusan senjata snipper yg. bersembunyi di balik gedung. Nantinya, sistem akustik ini akan dipasang pada RoboSoldier dan bahkan dapat membalas tembakan balik ke arah snipper dengan akurasi tinggi, tanpa harus mengorbankan prajurit (manusia).
Saat ini, telah dibentuk divisi Batalion berjumlah 1000-orang prajurit "FCS". Peralatan perang mereka? selain senapan standar, di helm mereka dilengkapi kamera dan mata kanan dipasangi layar mini, sementara tangan menggenggam joystick spt. pada game-console PS3 atau X360. Tugas mereka, selain full contact combat, juga mengendalikan sejumlah senjata robot, SUAV (Small Unmanned Air Vehicle), peluncur rudal bahkan tank2 tak-berawak ke depan medan perang. Apa yg. dilihat dalam layar prajurit itu? yang pernah main game2 perang-perangan spt. HALO, FEAR, CRISIS atau sejenis pasti tahu.
Kerumitan teknologi jaringan komunikasi dananya bahkan melebihi teknologi Internet sekarang ini.
Mungkin kita pun bersiap-siap menghadapi paradigma pertempuran baru, terutama urban-area combat. Selain itu, siapa tahu dalam tahun2 mendatang, teknologi ini akan menjadi rintisan generasi baru Internet (spt halnya juga kemunculan Internet yang berasal dari inisiatif dan dana DARPA).
Di awal-awal perang dingin dalam masa pemerintahan Kennedy, Uni Sovyet melalui aliansinya Cuba melakukan gertakan dengan memanuever rudal2 nuklir di Cuba. Ini menimbulkan apa yg. disebut "Cuba Crisis". Untungnya Kennedy berpikiran jauh dan cerdas, sehingga krisis Cuba ini tidak sampai menimbulkan perang.
Akhir tahun 60'an, Uni Sovyet dan AS juga saling gertak dengan berlomba dalam proyek luar angkasa. Kemenangan diklaim AS dengan (katanya) berhasil mendaratkan manusia di bulan. Namun, makin lama makin menyangsikan apakah benar mereka berhasil mendaratkan manusia ke bulan? Apakah itu bukan salah satu gertakan AS terhadap Sovyet saja?
Lihat video2 clip menarik ini:
Ketika George Bush di tahun 2002'an mendeklarasikan proyek NASA untuk mengirim (kembali) manusia ke bulan, sejumlah ilmuwan menyatakan proyek tsb. terlalu ambisius (atau, karena mereka tidak yakin bisa?).
Melihat betapa teknologi tahun 60'an itu jauh dibanding teknologi sekarang (mikroprocessor komersial pertama saja baru dibuat tahun 70'an oleh Intel, itu pun sangat senderhana), memang agak sulit mempercayai teknologi dulu dapat melakukan itu. (meski buat sekelas NASA sekali pun). Dengan komponen-k0mponen diskrit, bobot lunar module akan jauh lebih berat, bahkan Apollo Saturn V pun mungkin tidak cukup mengangkatnya (tangki Space Shuttle saja lebih gemuk dibanding roket Saturn, padahal jarak bumi-bulan ribuan kali orbit space shuttle). Bobot shuttle: 4,470,000 lbs (2027,55789 ton), sementara bobot roket apollo (total): 6,699,000 lbs (3038,5 ton). Bagaimana dengan teknologi 50 tahun lalu, bobot lebih besar dan jarak ribuan kali lebih besar, tanki bahan bakarnya bisa lebih kecil?
|Height||184 ft (56.1 m)|
|Diameter||28.5 ft (8.69 m)|
Dimensi roket Saturn (termasuk lunar landing module di atasnya):
|Height||110.6 m (363 ft)|
|Diameter||10.1 m (33 ft)|
(Sumber: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700011707_1970011707.pdf dan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle)
Menurut http://web.mit.edu/6.933/www/apollo.html, rangkaian komunikasi dan kontrolnya memang sdh digital dan terintegerasi (rancangan para pakar MIT dan dibuat oleh Draper Labs awal tahun 60'an), tapi sebeberapa hebat teknologi fabrikasi chip tahun 60'an? belum lagi masih sangat langkanya software CAD buat desain chip itu sendiri. Hampir mustahil dapat menanggulangi faktor-faktor gangguan eksternal, apalagi di luar angkasa.
Clock prosesor buat roket Saturn ("it's a real joke" buat ukuran sekarang) hanya sekitar 2 MHz, jauh lebih lambat bahkan dibandingkan CPU pada mainan anak-anak zaman sekarang (Sumber: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_Vehicle_Digital_Computer), ukuran sebesar batu bata, berbobot 36 kg dan mengkonsumsi 137 watt (ini baru CPU-nya saja lho). Mikrokontroler yang saya gunakan buat hobby saja puluhan kali lebih cepat dari itu, baik dari segi arsitektur maupun clocking (teknologi RISC baru diketemukan di era 70'an).
Sulit diterima akal memang. Bagaimana mungkin power cell+solar panel buat perjalanan puluhan ribu km kuat untuk memdayai komputer seboros itu, belum lagi daya buat instrumentasi & kontrol lain-lain. Dan itu diklaim mampu mengontrol roket dan mendaratkan manusia ke bulan dengan presisi? Mungkinkah?
Panel User-Interface Apollo juga spt. mainan "ding-dong" di tahun 80'an. Masih memakai LED 7-segment dan dikontrol relay. Perangkat lunaknya masih dibuat dengan assembly (software sekarang saja banyak bugnya, padahal sdh high level, apalagi dg. assembly).
Bukti-bukti yg. ada sekarang (batuan, cermin di bulan dsb.), tidak mensyaratkan harus hadirnya manusia di bulan untuk melakukannya. Bisa saja mereka menggunakan RC'ed (Radio Controlled) robot. Banyak analist yg. meragukan soal foto2 pendaratan di bulan (search Google untuk lebih detil).
Friday, April 17, 2009
Those with jobs in New York City are likely biting their nails. In December, the city reported a 10% decline in finance-related jobs, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that across all sectors, New York will shed 181,000 jobs in 2009.
If that's not bad enough, based on the cost of living against benefits for high earners, New York is the worst place in the country to be unemployed. For those on a $150,000 salary in Gotham, the cost of living averages $122,342 a year, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, an Arlington, Va., research firm. The maximum weekly unemployment benefit is $405; that covers only 17.2% of costs.
It's a situation with which New Yorkers are familiar. When the economy contracts, the city loses jobs faster than most, says Bruce J. Bergman, an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's thanks in part to a heavy concentration of positions in the finance sector.
"In the New York area, about 8% of all private-industry workers were employed in finance and insurance," Bergman says. That figure is 33% higher than the national average, which means downturns in finance disproportionately hit the New York metro area.
Though there's no good in being laid off, if you lose your job in Pittsburgh or Providence, R.I., it's easier to cover food, health and home expenses than if you get your pink slip in Miami or Washington, D.C. In the former two, the maximum weekly payment covers 47.6% and 41% of a $150,000 earner's living costs, respectively; in the latter two, those numbers dip to 18.5% and 20.7%, respectively.
Behind the numbersTo compile our list, we evaluated the nation's 40 largest cities on the unemployment insurance benefits available in their state, based on figures from local government agencies, and the cost of living per city, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. Many companies offer independent severance packages, but because they're not required by law and vary by company, they weren't included in our analysis.
For each city, we considered how much money was available to a worker who was earning $150,000 a year, the amount needed to receive the maximum weekly benefit across all states. For the sake of consistency, it was assumed that our worker had been employed during the previous year and was let go through no fault of his or her own. Then we looked at how far the weekly unemployment check would go, considering local costs for housing, transportation, health care and utilities.
There was no distinct pattern. The 10 best cities for unemployment pay include expensive Northeastern spots like Boston and Providence but also inexpensive cities like Houston, as well as moderately priced Salt Lake City. The bottom 10 were also regionally and politically diverse. Benefits in Nashville, Tenn., and Tampa, Fla., don't keep pace with cost of living, but neither do the checks in San Francisco or Washington, D.C.
Unemployment benefits are paid weekly and range from a maximum of $660 a week in Rhode Island to $240 a week in Arizona. Cost of living varies just as dramatically. Based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's figures, Providence is 21% more expensive than Phoenix.
Benefits at stakeCity dwellers, as opposed to suburbanites, are particularly squeezed by unemployment benefits, as payments are not adjusted for the cost of living. That's because unemployment funds are set up at the state level, not at a municipal one. As a result, the needs of San Franciscans or Angelenos are treated the same as those in less expensive California locales such as Fresno or Sacramento. Those decisions at the state level are often paid for through state unemployment taxes on businesses.
"The federal government distributes the money, and then benefits vary by state," says Mike DeCesare, a spokesman for Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., the chairman of the House's Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee. "A lot of how it's distributed at the state level has to do with local taxes."
Payouts and eligibility vary by state, but the Nov. 21, 2008, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act extended emergency benefits by 20 weeks nationwide and added 13 weeks on top of that for states with high unemployment. The Feb. 17 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act added $4.7 billion to the federal unemployment fund.
That's good news for those living in the Phoenix area, where unemployment was 6.9% in February, up from 3.8% a year ago, and where the former highest earners who find themselves out of work get a measly $240 a week.
This article was reported by Matt Woolsey for Forbes.com.
Monday, April 13, 2009
- Low in Carbs
- 99% Fat Free
- Low in sugars
Coconut Water contains organic compounds possessing healthy growth promoting properties that have been known to help:
- Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature
- Orally re-hydrate your body, it is an all natural isotonic beverage
- Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Naturally replenish your body's fluids after exercising
- Raise your metabolism
- Promote weight loss
- Boost your immune system
- Detoxify and fight viruses
- Cleanse your digestive tract
- Control diabetes
- Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu, herpes, and AIDS
- Balance your PH and reduce risk of cancer
- Treat kidney and urethral stones
- Boost poor circulation
Coconut Water Information
complied by John Kohler
The English name coconut, first mentioned in English print in 1555, comes from Spanish and Portugese word coco, which means 'monkey face.' Spanish and Portugese explorers found a resemblance to a monkey's face in the three round indented markings or 'eyes' found at the base of the coconut. On the Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean , whole coconuts were used as currency for the purchase of goods until the early part of the twentieth century.
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm, botanically known as cocos nucifera, with nucifera meaning 'nut-bearing.' The fruit-bearing palms are native to Malaysia , Polynesia and southern Asia, and are now also prolific in South America , India , the Pacific Islands , Hawaii and Florida . The light, fibrous husk allowed it to easily drift on the oceans to other areas to propagate.
In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, meaning 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living,' since nearly all parts of the tree can be used in some manner or another. The coconut itself has many food uses, including milk, meat, sugar and oil as well as functioning as its own dish and cup. The husk was also burned for fuel by natives, but today a seed fibre called coir is taken from the husk and used to make brushes, mats, fishnets, and rope. A very potent fermented toddy or drink is also made from the coconut palm's sap. Coconut oil, a saturated fat made from dried coconut meat, is used for commercial frying and in candies and margarines, as well as in non-edible products such as soaps and cosmetics.
Although it takes up to a year for coconuts to mature, the trees bloom up to thirteen times a year, so fruit is constantly forming yielding a continuous harvest year-round. An average harvest from one tree runs about 60 coconuts, with some trees yielding three times that amount.
The coconut's name is a bit of a misnomer, since it is botanically classified as a drupe and not a nut. It is the largest seed known.
If you've ever opened a fresh coconut, you will have seen the thin, opaque almost clear coconut juice or water which has a slight almond flavor. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the coconut milk. However, the water is consumed as a drink fresh from the coconut by many, and it can also be used in recipes.
Here is some information about Coconut Water:
'It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It's the fluid of life, so to speak.' In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
Most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical coastal areas - once exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment.
• Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO cholesterol!
• Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice - Much lower calories
• Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk
• Coconut water is naturally sterile -- Water permeates though the filtering husk!
• Coconut water is a universal donor-- Its identical to human blood plasma
• Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood.
• Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue... and is the next wave of energy drinks yet natural!', according to Mortin Satin, Chielf of the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organization.
- Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
- Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
- Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
- Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.
- Data is based on a 100ml drink.
Fla. House GOP Leader Linked to Anti-Islam Hate Fest
Rep. Hasner asked to disassociate himself from ‘Islamophobes and Muslim-bashers’
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/13/09) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the leader of that state’s House Republicans to disassociate himself from an upcoming anti-Islam conference backed by a “motley collection of Islamophobes and Muslim-bashers.”
CAIR said Rep. Adam Hasner is on the “host committee” for the April 27 conference in Delray Beach, Fla., featuring Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders. Wilders was recently denied entry to Britain because of his extreme anti-Muslim views, including urging that the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, be banned.
Other conference backers include Joe Kaufman, a Florida anti-Muslim extremist with a long history of seeking to marginalize and disenfranchise the American Muslim community and its institutions. He has in the past promoted the views of the terrorist organizations Kach and Kahane Chai and praised the Kahane terror group and its founder Mier Kahane on a forum of the radical Jewish Defense League in Florida.
In 2006, Kaufman joined forces with an anti-Islam preacher in Florida to block the expansion of a mosque in Boca Raton. "This mosque should not exist on American shores," said Kaufman. (St. Petersburg Times, 7/14/06)
In 2003, Kaufman was forced to remove a link to kahane.org on his website after CAIR exposed his efforts to promote the terror group. That same year, the Washington Post reported that the United States added to its list of foreign terrorist organizations “newkach.org, kahane.org, kahane.net, kahanetzadak.com as aliases for the Jewish group Kahane Chai or Kach, which is suspected of organizing attacks on Palestinians."
Frank Gaffney, one of the event’s other sponsors, is linked to an anti-Islam group that has advocated prison terms in the U.S. for “adherence to Islam” and that questioned whether women and African-Americans should be allowed to vote. Gaffney has claimed that the use of Islamic finance in America is a form of treason. “[I]t is advancing a criminal conspiracy whose purpose is the violent overthrow of the United States Constitution and government in favor of Islamic rule,” wrote Gaffney. (Washington Times, 9/16/08)
Another event sponsor, Pamela Geller, operates one of the Internet’s most vicious anti-Islam sites. Her blog features categories such as “Advancing Islamic Lies,” “Islam 2008: Religion of Barbarism” and “Slavery: An Arab custom.” Geller has even been criticized by other Islamophobes for her extremism and for supporting far-right groups in Europe.
Robert Spencer, who has also been criticized for the extremism exhibited on his anti-Muslim blog, is listed as a conference “coalition partner.” Spencer was recently involved in a controversy over his joining a Facebook group advocating genocide of Muslims in Turkey.
The Little Green Footballs blog, also widely known for its Islamophobic viewpoint, wrote of Spencer’s site: “His website has descended into a true hate site at this point, dominated by extreme, bigoted commenters who regularly advocate genocide and mass murder of Muslims.”
The founder of another conference sponsoring group, Act! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel, told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word...it's the vehicle for Islam...Islam is the problem.”
When asked whether Americans should “resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said: "Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
“If Representative Hasner truly wishes to represent Florida’s diverse religious and ethnic population, he should immediately disassociate himself and the state legislature from this motley collection of Islamophobes and Muslim-bashers,” said CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Altaf Ali.
Ali noted that earlier this year, Hasner attempted to block a “Florida Muslim Capitol Day.” In an e-mail to more than a dozen Jewish lobbyists, he wrote: “By now, I can't imagine you haven't heard about this upcoming lobbying day for Muslims in Tallahassee…Do you all intend to be part of an information campaign in opposition to it?”
SEE: House Leader E-Mails Alert About Muslim Event to Jewish Lobbyists (St. Petersburg Times)
In 2007, Hasner sponsored a screening of the anti-Muslim film “Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West” for state legislators.SEE: Obsession with Hate