The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on May 30th said the practice of US authorities to demand that airlines provide passengers' personal data ( the The Passenger Name Record (PNR) ) to American security officials(established by The Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 19th November 2001 ) , including credit card information and telephone numbers , meal types, is illegal. Will travel chaos grip airports ?
There are approximately 20-25 possible fields of PNR data, some of which include subsets of information, expanding the total to approximately 60 fields and sub-fields.
The ECJ Court held that the agreement was illegal because it exceeded the scope ofArticle 25 of the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24th October 1995) which provides that personal data may only be transferred from the EU to third countries if the specific country ensures an adequate level of protection.
Negotiations to circumvent this ECJ decision were due to be complete today , but have broken down without a solution that satisfies the US authorities. Any such arrangements from today are voided by the ECJ decision.
Airlines refusing to provide PNR data to the US may lose landing rights but those that do, take the risk of facing legal action under EU member states' data protection legislation.
BBC 24 report that EU Transport Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said attempts to resolve the deadlock would continue.
"We will be discussing this at the highest political levels to see how we can take if forward. There is an imperative to sort it out sooner rather than later," he said.
Will travel chaos grip airports ?
In the event that no agreement is reached by 1 October - i.e in 1 hour from now, EU member states could sign bilateral agreements with the US. Failing this, airlines could do deals with the US authorities which would likely result in chaos at airports because they would have to seek the consent of individual passengers to supply and transfer their data. "Any [granting of permission for a] transfer of data by airlines would have to be supplied by each individual... they would have to read and fill out a questionnaire at the airport. It would be a very difficult situation," said Wim Nauwelaerts, a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson in Brussels earlier this week.
It is entirely possible that passengers would also be horrified to discover what passenger information has been routinely being transferred about them for years.... something that MEP's, the Guardians of the public's trust might not be too happy to become common knowledge ... a fudge may be in the offing but the Dutch and Italians are said to be very unhappy with the current arrangements.
If your are travelling from the EU to the USA from midnight, expect problems.
It has become known since writing this that the UK Gubment have already arranged over 4 weeks ago for this to happen and unilaterally made arrangements by asking her Most Excellent Majesty the Queen to isue an order allowing the information to continue to be provided.
Mike McNamara,(beasleyspace) an IT consultant provides a fascinating and very detailed, annotated list of all the 34 PNR information fields currently supplied here including your full Credit Card number, meal preference - curiously Halal and Kosher information is not recorded, but vegetarian meals are,as religiously determined diet could be considered "ethnically identifiable information" !
He also provides some very useful links and research providing much more information and comment on the subject.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on May 30th said the practice of US authorities to demand that airlines provide passengers' personal data ( the The Passenger Name Record (PNR) ) to American security officials(established by The Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 19th November 2001 ) , including credit card information and telephone numbers , meal types, is illegal. Will travel chaos grip airports ?
Tom Griffin at Green Ribbon wrote to the MOD asking for information under the FOI and relating to the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes , he sets out the substantive parts of the reply he received. He points out that the lack of an answer to questions 1,2 and 3 especially, is perhaps an indication of the lack of accountability of some "elements of the state" for their role in events which led to the death of an innocent man.
"I am writing in response to your e-mail dated 31 August this year in which you requested information about events surrounding the death of Jean Charles De Menezes on 22 July 2005. Your e-mail has been considered to be a request for information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I will take your questions in two blocks:
1. What reviews or inquiries have been undertaken into the role of Army personnel in the events surrounding the death of Jean Charles De Menezes on 22 July 2005?
2. What were the conclusions of any such reviews or inquiries?
3. What, if any, disciplinary action has been taken against Army personnel as a result of the events surrounding the death of Jean Charles De Menezes?
4. What co-operation has the Independent Police Complaints Commission sought and received from the Ministry of Defence, the Army and from individual MOD or Army personnel?
5. Were any MOD or Army personnel interviewed under caution by the IPCC Inquiry?
6 Has the Army Prosecuting Authority considered any prosecutions as a result of the events surrounding the death of Jean Charles De Menezes?
Your request has been considered under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and in reliance on the exemptions in sections 23(5), 24(2) and 44(2) of the Act I neither confirm nor deny whether the MOD holds any information relevant to your request. To the extent that Section 24(2) applies, we have determined that in all the cirumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in confirming whether or not the information is held. To give a statement of the reasons why these exemptions apply would involve the disclosure of information which would itself be exempt. (Yossarian you should be living at this hour) Therefore, under section 17(4) of the Act, I am not obliged to give such a statement.
7. Is the Special Reconnaissance Regiment subject to monitoring by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000?
8. Is the Special Reconnaissance Regiment subject to scrutiny by the Intelligence Commissioner under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000?
9. Is the Special Reconnaissance Regiment subject to scrutiny by the Intelligence and Security committee of Parliament?
We are unable to release the information we hold relating to the Special Reconaissance Regiment (SRR) as the information in question relates to UK Special Forces, of which the SRR is part. Therefore it is exempt from disclosure under section 23(3)(d) of the Freedom of Information Act."
Which appears to be an elaborate way of saying Fuck Off.
Lord Patel wrote to the PCC asking if their remit covered investigating people who were involved in the de Menezes incident at Stockwell, who were not employed as policemen (reading the legislation establishing the PCC suggests they cannot). A prompt reply was received which said that they had just been appointed (true) and that they would eventually produce a report.
Pic Menwith Hill, Plod takes Lord Patel's picture. Left mouse click to enlarge.
Mr Peter Tuffley (28), studied politics at Liverpool University and had worked as a Regional officer for the Labour Party for 13 months. He had stood for the Liverpool Council in 2003 for Croxteth unsuccessfully. Peter had worked as an aide of Police Minister Hazel Blears, running her constituency office between 2001 and 2004 before taking up his North West post. See previous post last Saturday,
On March 21st 2005 he was arrested for allegedly abducting a 13-year-old boy he met on the Internet, who spent the night at his ground floor flat in in Little Parkfield Road, near Lark Lane, Aigburth.
Peter Tuffley, was found guilty yesterday of abducting a 13-year-old boy from Bolton he had "groomed" on the internet. The jury cleared him of sexual activity with a child. He has already been placed upon the Sex Offenders' Register.
Tuffley was bailed until December 1 for sentence at Bolton Crown Court for which he faces up to ten years imprisonment. He may also be prosecuted on a further charge of possessing child pornography on his home computer.
Major General Albert Stubblebine, U.S. Army (ret) – Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), 1981 - 1984. Also commanded the U.S. Army’s Electronic Research and Development Command (ERADCOM) and the U.S. Army’s Intelligence School and Center. Former head of Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence. 32-year Army career.
Video: "One of my experiences in the Army was being in charge of the Army’s Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence during the Cold War. I measured pieces of Soviet equipment from photographs. It was my job. I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said, ‘The plane does not fit in that hole’. So what did hit the Pentagon? What hit it? Where is it? What's going on?" http://www.undersiegemovie.com ...
* Bio: http://www.canadiansub.com/Board....
This is just one of the many well known and respected senior members of the U.S. intelligence services, military, and government who have publicly expressed significant criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report. Several even allege government complicity in the terrible acts of 9/11.
You can find the rest, complete with links, videos etc here Patriots Question 9/11
Rep. Curt Weldon – Vice Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Ten-term Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania. Louis Freeh – Director of the FBI, 1993-2001. Former U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Former Deputy United States Attorney in New York. Former FBI agent. Former officer in the United States Army JAG Corps Reserve. Paul Craig Roberts, PhD – Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under Ronald Reagan, "Father of Reaganomics", Former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Currently Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Col. George Nelson, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Former U.S. Air Force aircraft accident investigator and airplane parts authority. 34-year Air Force career. ...etc...etc...
Col. George Nelson, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Former U.S. Air Force aircraft accident investigator and airplane parts authority. 34-year Air Force career."The government alleges that four wide-body airliners crashed on the morning of September 11 2001, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 human beings, yet not one piece of hard aircraft evidence has been produced in an attempt to positively identify any of the four aircraft. On the contrary, it seems only that all potential evidence was deliberately kept hidden from public view. …
With all the evidence readily available at the Pentagon crash site, any unbiased rational investigator could only conclude that a Boeing 757 did not fly into the Pentagon as alleged. Similarly, with all the evidence available at the Pennsylvania crash site, it was most doubtful that a passenger airliner caused the obvious hole in the ground and certainly not the Boeing 757 as alleged. …
As painful and heartbreaking as was the loss of innocent lives and the lingering health problems of thousands more, a most troublesome and nightmarish probability remains that so many Americans appear to be involved in the most heinous conspiracy in our country's history."
Find out more Patriots Question 9/11
The Iron Heel by Jack London
Paperback | 8.26 x 5.23in | 256 pages | ISBN 9780143039716 | Re-published as Penguin Classic 25 Jul 2006
"A truer prophecy of the future than either Brave New World or The Shape of Things to Come." -George Orwell
Part science fiction, part dystopian fantasy, part radical socialist tract, Jack London's The Iron Heel is a grim depiction of warfare between the classes in America and around the globe. Originally published in 1908, it anticipated many features of the past century, including the rise of fascism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, and the growth of centralized government surveillance and authority. What begins as a war of words ends in scenes of harrowing violence as the state oligarchy, known as "the Iron Heel," moves to crush all opposition to its power...says the Penguin blurb.
Written in the future , assembled from contemporary sources this tells the story of The Oligarchy (The Iron Heel) who are the largest monopoly trusts (viz robber barons) who have eradicated the middle class by bankrupting small to mid-sized independent business as well as reducing farmers effectively to serfdom.
This Oligarchy maintains power through a "labor caste" and the Mercenaries.
Labor in essential industries like steel and rail are elevated and given decent wages, housing, and education. Indeed, the tragic turn in the novel (and Jack London's core warning to his contemporaries) is the treachery of these favored unions which break with the other unions and side with the Oligarchy.
A a second, military caste is formed: the Mercenaries. The Mercenaries are officially the army of the US but are in fact in the employ of the Oligarchs.
If you want to make sense of the Neo-cons, Zionist, Christian Zionists, military industrial complex, Bilderberg, NATO, Guantanamo Bay, "rendition", warrantless surveillance, trashing the US Constitution ..... read it.
Friday, September 29, 2006
The boosters of the global carbon market excitedly claim the world market in carbon in the first half of 2006 was 684 millionn tonnes "worth" €12 billion. In value more than the whole of trades in 2005(€9.4 billion) , and 85% of volume traded in the same period (800 millin tonnes).Note that the total of all allowances to end 2007 in the EU = 2.1 Billion tonnes per annum, covering 13,000 industrial installations. Remember also that these allowances can be traded between years, i.e "borrowing" allowances for next year for the current year. (Graph of collapsing EUA price (again) in last 30 days)
Do not lose sight of the fact that the whole EU carbon market is created by politicians through political decisions, a dimension to any market that is beyond calculation and subject to manifold influences, national, ideological, stupidity, lack of information, misinformation, misunderstanding and pure simple corruption.
EU Emissions trading accounted for 440 million tonnes or 65% of the traded volume worldwide. As the market price collapsed in April May traded value declined dramatically.
The flexible Kyoto market mechanisms of Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) have also seen a considerable growth in volumes and values this year compared to 2005. In total, 226 Mt, worth €1,976 million have been transacted. A major part of this was CDM trades at 193 Mt, worth €1,545 million. In addition, secondary CDM trades increased tenfold compared to 2005.
“This shows that the EU ETS is moving steadily forward and upwards, despite some turbulence during the last few months. The significant increase in traded volumes and values in emissions trading schemes in Australia and the US is also quite promising for the global carbon market as a whole”, says Henrik Hasselknippe, manager in Oslo based Point Carbon’s EU ETS team.
What the informed observer needs to bear in mind however is that all this activity is not related, as in standard commodity markets to actual amounts of actual product but to a notional amount of a product.
What is being "sold / traded" is the right to emit carbon as carbon dioxide from industrial / commercial processes. Typical sellers will or expect to produce less than they are allowed, so they may sell that unused right to emit to someone who emits more than their allocated amount.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) operates in a similiar fashion to the milk licensing scheme. To regulate supplies, and therefore the price of a perishable product, farmers were provided with a quota or license to produce so many litres of
milk, they discovered this was tradeable, and so a market grew, it attracted traders who could buy and sell such licenses.
The EU ETS operates in an identical fashion but the tradeable blocks are bigger, more valuable and therefore attract greater commissions, and with an inherent volatility (derived in part by the uncontrollable weather in Europe - which affects energy demand and hence CO2 production), market price fluctuations which can be exploited by knowledgeable, or lucky traders.
Naturally this market attracts it's snake oil salesmen, just as the booming pensions market did in the 70's / 80's 90's and the trick is to attract as investors, not those who trade carbon as part of running their business - power utilities, steel works, etc., but equity investors.
In the UK, if you invest in a fund, especially a pension at least some of your money will be sinking into this black hole,(eg Fidelity funds have just bought into 0.9% of AgCert International) however you can throw away your money without involving anyone else but a share broker.
There are currently 5 listed companies in which you can invest.
(alphabetically) AgCert International, Climate Exchange,Econergy, Ecosecurities,Trading Emissions.
AgCert International Plc
Apex Building Blackthorn Road Sandyford
Dublin, 18P: +3531.2457400 F: +353.
“Climate change is key to the world’s economic progress and AgCert is determined to play its leadership role in the reduction of greenhouse gases. “ Bill Haskell, AgCert CEO, when announcing results for 2005 on April 6th 2006.(Loss Euros 19,289,830)
AgCert’s business is the production and sale of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (referred to as "Offsets") from agricultural sources on an industrial scale. Its methods involve the capture and combustion of biogas containing greenhouse gases, primarily methane, emitted from animal waste (shit) management systems ("AWMSs"). To achieve this, AgCert has developed proprietary data systems and processes which have been designed to be fully scalable and adaptable to the AWMSs of large confined animal feeding operations including those for swine, dairy and poultry.
AgCert has developed rapidly, expanding its initial operations in Brazil and Mexico, establishing operations in new geographies, namely Chile and Argentina, and extending its activities to new agricultural sectors, such as dairy and poultry.
Last night the US House of Representatives approved (232-191) H.R. 5825, the “Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act,” supposedly designed to “modernize” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In December 2005, Congress and the American people learned through press reports in the New York Times, that the president had authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) (and thereby communications companies) to circumvent the law by undertaking a sweeping program of secret surveillance that captured the private communications of US citizens without judicial oversight.
The program was in simple language a clear violation of both FISA and the National Security Act, which requires notification to the full House and Senate intelligence committees.
The president claimed that he had authorized the program because the FISA procedures were too slow and cumbersome to enable the government to carry out effective surveillance of terrorist operatives. That claim has never been substantiated.
The final bill not only ratifies the NSA program but authorizes its expansion and would if approved by the senate on their return:
1. Redefine “electronic surveillance” to permit the government to intercept without a warrant not only international calls and emails to or from spies and terrorists, but every call or email entering or leaving the United States.
2. Allow the US government to retain and use communications of U.S. persons (and overseas citizens - but fuck them ) acquired in the course of warrantless surveillance.
3. Provide immunity (retrospectively) from liability to communications service providers (AT & T etc.,) who gave the government access to private communications from 9/11 until 60 days after the enactment of the bill.
4. Amends the National Security Act of 1947 so as to eliminate the requirement that the President keep House and Senate intelligence committee members “fully and currently informed” of intelligence activities and so remove democratic oversight.
The aim of the supporters of this bill is not to modernize FISA, but to eviscerate it and to negate current actions in the courts by providing restrospective immunity from illegal activity, which is a legal novelty. FISA was enacted 30 years ago to ensure that the government can conduct necessary surveillance of spies and terrorists while protecting the Fourth Amendment right of ordinary US citizens and to provide judicial and democratic oversight.
It is another step in making the US Constitution a historically curious piece of paper, and thereby destroying citizens their rights protected by a written constitution.The vote was 232-191 - the roll call of those who played their small part in destroying the Constitution is available here.
You can find out how to check if your Internet activity is being examined by the NSA program here.
U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment 1791The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Director of Government Relations, Prime Minister's Office
This attractive, young,(36) stylish, hard working New Labourite was involved with the curious New Local Government Network which was founded in 1996 by a group of senior local government figures .... "whose aim was to make local government more relevant and credible to local people." She has stood unsuccessfully as an MEP and was on the Labour Party National Executive (2000)and has strong links with NW MP's (She studied English and history at the University of Salford,). Well known as co-founder of the North West edition of the Big Issue. She took over from Sally Morgan (Baroness Morgan of Huyton - who had taken over from luscious Anji Hunter ), and acheived some notoriety as the lass who saw poor old Ian McCartney (MP Makerfield) in his hopital bed to get him to sign some very unimportant documents related to proposed peerages for donors/lenders to the labour Party coffers - namely certificates claiming (apparently incorrectly) that lenders in line for peerages had no financial links with Labour.
NLGN’s Corporate Partners (see below) are private sector companies, supporting theirtheirims and wanting to participate actively in their work through their expertise. Corporate Partners are involved in the exchange of ideas, helping to initiate issues and approaches that NLGN might in turn pursue.
Accord, Amey, Bircham Dyson Bell, British Telecom
BSA , Buro Happold, Cambridge Education , Capita Group Plc
CBI ,City of London, Deloitte , HBS,Kendric Ash ,Kier Group
Liberata , mouchelparkman ,Northgate , Pinnacle-psg,Prospects PWC ,Rockpools ,Serco,Tesco ,Trowers & Hamlins,Trowers & Hamlins ,Vertex
Apparently this lively and generous lass is getting her collar felt by the boys in blue during their enquiries into matters relating to the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 although she simply had a chat under caution, none of that nasty arrest stuff.
When Sir Ian Blair's merry men kidnapped Lord Levy the diminutive Karoake King and took away his computer, they must have very carefully examined any e-mails which he might have received from people who provide advice in Government Relations to the Prime Minister (not that there were any) who have wide experience in dealing with commercial organisation who are involved in dealing with Government contracts.
Her dad is Professor Denys Turner Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, and Fellow of Peterhouse Cambridge and leading Roman Catholic academic, author of "The Darkness of God" and authority on Ethics.
Little Known Facts about Peerages.
Baroness Morgan of Huyton was not vetted by the Committee that deals with all this tiresome paperwork etc., when she got her peerage.
UPDATE FRIDAY 29th 2006
Rupe's Rag, the Times has a brief article by Rajeev Syal that confirms the above and Sean Curran on the BBC4 Today program at 7.00 repeated the details adding that neither the Met nor Downing Street would confirm, deny or discuss the matter as outlined above.
Radio 4 leads the news with this item on the hour all day.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Lord Patel on - Thursday, August 17
Black Woman Federal Judge Orders Halt to NSA Wiretapping - but it won't happen until Sept 7th at earliest.
Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit, Mich. wrote in a strongly-worded 43-page opinion (in a case broguht by the The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)) that the NSA wiretapping program violates privacy and free-speech rights and the constitutional separation of powers between the three branches of government. She also found that it violates a 1978 law (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)) set up to oversee clandestine surveillance.
Well, today after the Justice Department has appealed her decision she allowed the government on Thursday to continue the program another week while it seeks a further postponement from an appeals court.
The Justice Department asked Taylor to allow the program to continue until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues a final ruling on the legal issues ... which legal opinion sought by my office says could take months. Taylor denied this request. The ACLU argued today against an indefinite stay, but did not oppose a short-term one.
Justice Department attorney Anthony J. Coppolino argued that a stay was warranted based on Bush's opinion that the program is vital to national security.
"Your injunction, as far as we can see, was the first time in history that foreign surveillance has been enjoined during a time of war," he argued in front of Taylor. "If the surveillance stops, the nation would be at greater risk of a terrorist attack", he argued.Taylor did however choose to allow the government a 7-day reprieve while it seeks a stay from the appeals court pending a decision on the legality of the surveillance. Taylor made the point to the administration through Coppolino that he had not mentioned any "attempt at compliance" in his arguments.
Taylor told Coppolino she could not grant the indefinite stay because "there is no likelihood" that her ruling will be overturned. She said granting it would allow "irreparable harm" to continue against the plaintiffs, a group of journalists, scholars and lawyers who believe their overseas contacts are likely targets of the surveillance.
The ACLU argued Thursday against an indefinite stay, but did not oppose a short-term one.
MAKING WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE LEGAL
S.3931, (Details here)the "National Security Surveillance Act," HAS BEEN BROUGHT BY Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) AMD SEEKS TO put into law the warrantless surveillance the administration has admitted to conducting. The bill would permit secret, warrantless electronic surveillance of Americans’ phone conversations, e-mails and stored electronic communication records without individualized judicial review. (i.e overthrow FISA)
You object to calling Specter and Arsehole ? Here is part of what he said introducing the Bill...
On the one hand, we are a Nation at war. On September 11 we suffered
the worst attack on civilians in our country's history by an enemy like
none we had faced before. The more we learn about this enemy, the more
we learn about a cruel and brutal opponent who will stop at nothing to
terrorize and harm our country.....
On the other hand, we are a Nation that believes in the rule of law.
We are a people that hold dear the rights and liberties enshrined in
Senators Larry Craig (R-ID), John Sununu (R-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have today dropped their objections and now support the Bill. This is a result of Senator Arlen"One Bullet" Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican, and arsehole, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said that in recent negotiations, the White House had agreed to delete language from the bill that critics said would have implicitly acknowledged the president’s constitutional authority to order wiretapping without a warrant. Critics say however that the language fudges the meaning of what is "electronic surveillance" and allows wriggle room for Presidentially authorised wiretapping without judicial authority.
This bill is of course designed to nullify anything that the Supreme Court in Michigan decides in limiting the powers of the President / Commander in Chief of a nation said to be at war.
Pic John Negroponte at NSA.
More than 100 patents including chemistry, electronics and manufacturing processes are involved in the design and production of Sony's stunning and revolutionary lightweight (9 ounces 1/2" thin) Sony ® Reader.US based E Ink Corporation supplies electronic ink to their Japanese manufacturing partner Toppan Printing, who in turn processes the ink into a thin film called frontplane laminate. Dutch electronics company Philips integrates E Ink's frontplane laminate with an active matrix backplane and adds the driving electronics component. Philips works with Sony to co-develop and customize display solutions for innovative mobile devices and have helped with the reader.
The high-resolution electronic paper display technology, provides a realistic print image (8:1 contrast ratio) to rival familiar traditional paper / ink processes. The monochrome text and graphics (colour technology is available for other uses of the technology) is readable from a variety of viewing angles (total 170 degrees) , even outdoors in bright sunlight. It is claimed that this results in less viewer fatigue experienced with long term reading on an LCD dispay. The technology renders each page as a static image, which requires no energy to be sustained so one internal re-chargeable battery will provide 7.500 page turns, although use of the Audio feature to play MP3 and AAC files (headphones required) will shorten battery usage times.
Internal memory will hold 80 books, and this can be extended with Sony Memory Sticks and SD Flash Memory. Thousands of books are downloadable with CONNECT ebooks.
Available only in the US from October 1st (was due in spring but now available for Thanksgiving and Christmas) the Sony Reader will cost around $350 (about £185), including a USB cable to load books and a power adapter to charge the internal battery. NOT available on E-Bay yet !
10,000 titles are available from their ebooks store Connect ranging from a few dollars to the low teens.
Founded in 1997 based on research started at the MIT Media Lab, ( Company offices - 733 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA) E Ink has raised over $120 million, largely from strategic investors. Of note, E Ink anchored its third round of financing in February 2001, with a major investment from Philips Components, as part of a joint development for the use of electronic ink in handheld device displays. In February 2002, TOPPAN Printing Co., Ltd. became E Ink's largest investor in connection with a significant expansion to their strategic partnership to commercialize electronic paper. The investors of E Ink include leading technology companies, publishers and venture capitalists: More details here
* Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD)
* Applied Technology Ventures
* Atlas Venture
* CNI Ventures, a division of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI)
* Degussa AG, owners of Creavis Technologies and Innovation
* FA Technology Ventures
* Gruppo Espresso (Italy)
* The Hearst Corporation
* Intel Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC)
* The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI)
* Motorola Corporation (NYSE: MOT)
* New Venture Partners LLC
* Oriel General Trading Company
* Philips Components, a division of Royal Philips Electronics (AEX: PHI; NYSE: PHG)
* Solstice Capital
* Special Situations Fund
* TOPPAN Printing Company, Ltd. (Japan)
* Vivendi Universal Publishing (France)
E Ink is a privately held company and not currently traded under any exchanges. E Ink is not accepting any private investment . Fancy working for them ? Lots of jobs - apply here
"This is Britain. There are no, and there will be no, 'no-go areas' in our country for any of our people. We will go where we please, we will discuss what we like and we will never be brow-beaten by bullies."
John Reid. Prime Minister in Waiting. Manchester.28th September 2006.
no-go area Noun ,an area of a city, etc, to which normal access is prevented, eg because it is controlled by one of the groups involved in an armed conflict or civil war. Chambers on Line Dictionary
This is the Peace Line at Cupar Way, separating the Falls from the Shankill in Belfast. It was built by the State to protect the Citizens of West Belfast from harming each other . It now symbolises Belfast, itself a divided city. Over the years It has become taller and longer. Most people living in those areas prefer the wall to remain as there still remains a cultural difference and at times throughout the year of high tension among the population, it still serves to protect.
Peace Line tours will arrange a trip for you.
Please Mr Reid, can we now discuss what the fuck our troops are doing in , Iraq and Afghanistan, and why you want to upgrade the Vanguard submarines and their US owned Multiple Re-entry Independently guided nuclear (48 x 100 Kilotons) Trident II D5 Missiles at a cost of £29Bn. up to 2020 ? Go here for the "open debate" he promised.
Lord Patel has received news from Uganda, that the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels are leaving the assembly points in southern Sudan and threatening to leave peace talks, because they mistrust the Ugandan government. The hope built by the last four months of peace talks may be on the verge of collapse.
The Ugandan government (helped by the President, Gen. Salvar Kiir and the Sudanese Government) and LRA representatives are currently holding peace talks in southern Sudan to end 20 years of conflict in northern Uganda. These talks have been progressing fitfully since July 14th.
Under the August 26 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, the LRA were give 3 weeks to assemble at 2 locations in South Sudan ( which expired last Tuesday) in return for an amnesty from the Ugandan government. The leader, Joseph Kony has not been positively identified as having taken part or arrived at any of the 2 centres. He and 3 other rebel commanders remain charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with war crimes. One of those named, Dominic Ongwen, is reported fleeing an assembly point.
600 LRA fighters had gathered at the Owiny Ki-bul centre last week, but are concerned that the Ugandan Defence Forces (UPDF) were moving to lay seige to them
The BBC report that Ugandan army spokesman, Major Felix Kulaigje reports the LRC were moving West to the River Nile and were at the time, 8km from the reception camp.
Go here to see the fillum UGANDA RISING about this 20 years of bloody conflict..
Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) have undertaken work for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), and the Countryside Alliance (CA) into the impact of "sporting" shooting to the UK economy and the wider benefits of the "industry." (For the economic nephyte that is the "shooting industry")
Sarah Mukherjee, described as the BBC environment correspondent has, it is claimed, had "unauthorised sight " (i.e a leakage has ocurred) of this work which claims that ;
1. More than 480,000 people participate (principally males 40 +) in "live quarry" shooting - i.e they kill wild and semi domesticated animals for entertainment.
2. The "shooting industry" contributes more £1.5bn to the economy, and provides the equivalent of 70,000 (presumably full time) jobs.
3. Paradoxically The shooting industry which releases 34 million tame birds into the countryside, for slaughter every "season", plays a vital role in conservation.
To support this they claim £250m a year is spent on habitat and wildlife management; four times the annual income of the RSPB, without mentioning that "set aside" land which attracts subsidy is also used for hand rearing of "live quarry".
The report, stating the bleeding obvious, as such reports will, points out that people who shoot at tragets and "clay" pigeons, aas well as those who prefer live animals to shoot at, spend money on clothes, hotels, petrol for their obligatory (and thirsty) Range Rovers thereby enriching countryside communities.
The League Against Cruel Sports point to several cases where gamekeepers have allegedly poisoned birds of prey to prevent them attacking game birds.
It says reducing the numbers of predators on game birds amounts to an undeclared war on wildlife, waged to maximise profits.
Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said to the BBC Farming programme today : "This (wildlife) is a national asset - by what right do people start harvesting this for profit?"
"We also have a concern about the aspects of cruelty involved in this activity, and we feel there should be a debate about whether this should be going on in the countryside."
Chief Neanderthal of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart, (happy it appears to discuss their "leaked" report) said on the same programme: "This is an industry that employs more people than the steel industry..... the benefits of shooting are really quite breathtaking."
You can read in the Field for February 2006 his views on the need to "educate" the public but demonstrates a rare degree of candour..""Are you willing" he says to readers," to drop the word "sport" from your vocabulary ? "Game" and "sport" portray aspects of shooting that are most unacceptable. We promote a negative image by using them"
"...only by sending a strong, unified message will we persuade the majority of our case"
This report is their first (of many to come) attempt to present that case - which the BBC , as ever, have obligingly "leaked" for their PR people .... to the early morning "Farming Today" which is their natural constituency -- and no doubt, will receive further airing throughout the day.
Go to Animal Aid and watch their video Fowl Play about game farming , "where factory farming meets the shooting gallery".
You can also sign their petition..
"We Believe that the rearing of pheasants to serve as feathered targets is peversely cruel, and call for an immediate ban on the mass production of birds for 'sport shooting'"
Alternatively you could go to Roxtons who will fix you up with some fine "sport"... their site tells you of "The Reds,( The alien French Red Legged Partridge) however, have proved far more adaptable and frankly provide better and more consistent sport."
The Duke of Edinburgh patron of the World Wild Life Fund is especially fond of shooting these birds on the Sandringham Estates.On 19 November 2000, the 74 year old monarch was photographed wringing the neck of a bird on the Royal Sandringham Estates and reported by Reuters, the "Sunday Mirror", and the "Sunday People" ...whilst her husabnd's shooting party happily blasted away at the semi domesticated and frightened fowl .. for fun.
Read on, there is more of this gaming pornography..."To see a Cock Pheasant climb noisily over the guns on a frosty morning is redolent of all the things that Britain can stand for, tradition, reliability and the best of sport."
"Our available bag sizes" says Roxtons warming to their point about their pheasant and partridge shoots," .... range from 100 birds upwards to somewhere in the region of 500 birds - per day for a line of 8 guns.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
In June 1995 Monica Lewinsky, a 21 year old graduates from Lewis and Clark College,( A Presbyterian College in Portland Oregon), comes to the White House from California, as an unpaid intern in the office of Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. She later worked in the Pentagon and left late 1997.
Krajina was at the time a stretch of mountains that were inhabited by 400,000 Serbs. In the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 1995, on the heels of an incessant artillery and air bombardment, some 200,000 Croatian troops moved accroding to the US prepared plan "Operation Storm" to "liberate" Krajina, the Serbs who were not killed fled - 200,000 of them.
The Orthodox Serbs, had fled the Turks, of the Ottoman Empire, their numbers had been reduced by between 500,000 and 750,000 by the homegrown Nazis, the Croatian Ushstase led by Ante Pavelic during WWII.
President Clinton's US envoy to the Balkans Richard Holbrooke, wrote in his book - To End a War, Chapter 6 reporting what US Ambassador Robert Frasure wrote in a note to him ... "We 'hired' these guys to be our junkyard dogs because we were desperate. We need to try to 'control' them. But it is no time to get squeamish about things."
11 years later , Krajina is a wasteland, with "scattered ghost villages strewn with shell-scarred houses overgrown with ivy and tall grass" (Reuters). Perhaps a tenth of the 400,000 Croatian Serbs returned, only to face bureaucratic abuse and frequent physical violence. President Tudjman made Pavelic's dream to rid Croatia of Serbs a reality. The US proved to be better allies than the Nazis when ethnic cleaning was planned.
On Aug. 6, 1998: Monica Lewinsky appears before a US grand jury to begin her testimony...that's the lady who on January 26th,1998 President Clinton made a comment on TV that will be repeated for the rest of his presidency, if not forever. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
The US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed simultaneously on August 7th 1998. 257 people were killed including 12 Americans. The US Embassy in Kartoum, Sudan was closed down.
On Aug. 19th, 1998: Word that Prsecutor Starr had requested and received a sample of Clinton's DNA became public.
President Clinton went on nationwide TV on the 20th August 1998 after returning to Washington from his holiday at Matha's Vineyard. He announce that Tomahawk missiles fired from U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. The simultaneous attacks took place about 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) and slammed into sites in in Khost, about 90 miles (144 kilometers) south of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and Jalalabad, 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of Kabul.
In the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, the El Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries factory -- which U.S. officials say was housing chemical weapons -- was also attacked.
In Washington Aug. 20th, 1998 at about 11.00 a.m EDT (1500GMT) : Monica Lewinsky testifies before the grand jury for a second time.
U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said the goal of the strikes was to disrupt and attempt to destroy the suspected training and support facilities used to train "hundreds, if not thousands, of terrorists."
"We recognize these strikes will not eliminate the problem," Cohen said. "But our message is clear. There will be no sanctuary for terrorists and no limit to our resolve to defend American citizens and our interests -- our ideals of democracy and law -- against these cowardly attacks."
President Clinton said, ""Our actions today were not aimed at Islam," he said. "No religion condones the murder of innocent men, women and children."
On December 16th 1998 (Just prior to Ramadan) President Clinton orders a three-day bombing attack against Iraq for Sadaam Hussein's refusal to allow entry to United Nations weapons inspectors. Lt. Kendra Williams and First Lt. Cherry Lamoureux (USAF) became two of the USAF first women pilots to take part in combat. At 10.20 GMT
President Prime Minister Tony Blair announced to the House of Commons that RAF Harriers were on their way to bomb Iraq. The action delays the House impeachment vote by one day.
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE, MR GEORGE ROBERTSON, MOD PRESS CONFERENCE, LONDON, SATURDAY, 19 DECEMBER 1998 in "Operation Desert Fox" over 100 bombing raids, some 300 Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired and around 100 air-launched cruise missiles had been used in the 4 days of raids by the RAF.
December 19th 1998 The U.S. House of Representatives passes two of four articles of impeachment against President Clinton. On counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, the president is impeached.
The Senate trial of President Clinton begins on January 14. 1999.
On January 20th 1999, NATO and the U.S bombing campaign against Serbia began. It's aim was said to be to preventing ethnic cleansing of Albanians. After 79 days of bombing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic signs NATO's agreement to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.
US Ambassador Frasure (also often called President's Special Envoy to Yugoslavia) was a decorated foreign service officer with a 21-year career that had taken him to overseas posts in Switzerland, Germany, Britain, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Estonia.
Frasure was one of three American diplomats killed on Saturday August 19th 1995, when their APC vehicle plunged 500 feet, off a treacherous and muddy mountain road into a ravine in Bosnia. The others were Air Force Col Nelson Drew, and Joseph Kruzel.
President Clinton called the widows to express condolences from a golf course and his phone called the wives of the three from the greens of Teton Pines Golf Course some 10 miles from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
On December 15, 1995 President Clinton awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to all 3 diplomats.
A military hospital in Albania dedicated a wing in honor of Joseph Kreuzel and a corridor in the Pentagon is named after him.
So Clinton was the first US President to bomb Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo and the 2nd to bomb Iraq....the occasion when Tony Blair first sent British armed forces to bomb civilian targets - and didn't seek approval of the House of Commons - it became a habit.
... and not a peep from the Labour Party ...
POSTSCRIPT See Richard Miniter in an article in the Wall Street Journal today after this was published for a different take on Clintonans War on Terror.
As it was Yom Kippur on Sunday, Walter Wolfgang was unable to join the march, but hesent a message of support.
Yesterday, he sat (and remained so during the periods of rapture) in stony silence throughout the Dear Leader's performance.
Interviewed on the Today programme (BBCRadio4) this morning, he raised the sole voice of dissent heard this week... " Like a Bourbon Prince, he has learnt nothing, and forgotten nothing" ...." he has pursued an Atlanticism reminiscent of the Cold War at it's worst, with a nation run by a a mad man," ...." Brown is no different, another reactionary in substance ".
He identified the spirit of Imperialism which drives the UK Foreign Policy - a policy which we have neither the economic resource to support, nor the manpower and materiel to sustain.
This acheived it's climax last week when the newly installed CGS General Dannatt appeared on TV interviews in a uniform of which Reichsmarshal Coering would have been envious, to defelct the detailed and frighteing criticism of the serving soldiers and officers.
Walter takes his seat on the NEC today as the Constituency representative - let us hope that the tens of thousands who marched on Saturday have their voice heard, about Iraq, Afghanistan, Trident, and the way this Government have pawned our future in Washington.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The Boeing Delta II 7925-9.5 rocket is the powerful and reliable workhorse of the satellite placement industry. It has a Boeing first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) solid rocket boosters.
An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powers the storable propellant restartable second stage.
A Thiokol Star-48B solid rocket motor sends the third stage prior to spacecraft deployment.
Blasting off at 2:50 p.m. EDT, Sept. 24th with a nine-and-a-half-foot-diameter Boeing payload fairing containing the second replacement GPS IIR-15 (M) spacecraft, this giant workhorse lifted off from Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, successfully delivered to orbit earlier today a replenishment Block IIR Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
These modernized GPS satellites incorporate improvements to provide :
1. Greater accuracy on the ground for users
2. Increased resistance to interference - i.e defence in space from attack
GPS provides military and civilian users three-dimensional position location data in longitude, latitude and elevation as well as precise time and velocity (across land, space) . The satellites orbit the Earth every 12 hours, emitting continuous navigation signals. The signals are so accurate, time can be figured to within one millionth of a second, velocity within a fraction of a mile-per-second and location to within 100 feet.
Moist pussies on the web you wouldn't leave lying around on your desk top..... this one will protect you.
USB powered Miss Kitty(ish) has 2 V.M.S. (Vision, Motion, Sound) Infra Red detector units. Alerts user to movement, intruders, then meows,hisses and even sings and moves head.
Personalise, with character profile, birthday, special days, gender, name, favourite food, etc.,
Events Calender: Programmable timer/alarm function, add all your important events and even create a sound to alert you of the time and the date. US$24
Bad News - Galileo (the joint EU satellite navigation system to compete with the US GPS system) is €400 MN over budget
Good News - The European Commission chips in €200 MN. UK, Germany, Italy and France, each take up an extra 16.9% share.
Good News - South Korea signed up on September 9 at a EU-South Korea summit.
Bad News - After the EU rejected Chinese participation (military and security - US pressure) they have registered with the International Telecommunication Union to use frequencies close to Galileo's. China wants in badly especially to launch Galileo satellites on its Long March boosters and to learn how to build its own space-based positioning, navigation, and timing system. The Chinese also wish to manufacture commercial Galileo receivers for a potentially lucrative market.
Good News - China's regional Beidou system, while suited for guiding long-range missiles, lacks the multi-faceted aspects, both military and commercial, of GPS, GLONASS, and, eventually, Galileo.
Bad News - China has on the drawing boards, Compass, a broader global satnav system.
Very Bad News - Galileo's second test satellite Giove-B will not launch this year on schedule, early 2007 (?) is pencilled in after problems during final testing in Italy.
Very Good News - The Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) will conclude a preliminary agreement with the industrial consortium by October, with a final contract in 2007. The European Commission expects the industrial consortium to pay 2/3 rds of deployment costs.
Gossip - Thales Group sold off Thales Navigation to US investors no leading EU company has direct capability in the consumer GNSS field. The thought had been that as Galileo approaches market reality, the established Magellan and Ashtech brands would provide a good platform on which to launch Galileo-capable GPS receivers, providing an optimal avenue for bringing Galileo capability into play in established GPS markets.The global satellite navigation market is expected to reach US $30 billion by the time the Galileo system becomes operational in 2008.
Ottawa based SiGe Semiconductor Inc. has launched Galileo-ready receiver for mass market consumer electronics the SE4120, which will enable the integration of high-accuracy navigation services into portable devices including laptop computers, PDAs, media players, cell phones, and cameras.
The software-based receiver architecture (both GPS and Galileo ready) ensures that changes to the standards can be supported with simple software upgrades, also minimising board area, power consumption, and cost – benefits ideal for high-volume portable consumer electronics.
The SE4120L is a highly integrated receiver with built-in support for software-defined satellite signal processing for both GPS and Galileo. The software architecture greatly reduces the load on host processors compared with conventional software approaches, and reduces cost and power consumption compared with dedicated hardware.
The receiver also includes a linear AGC and a multi-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) with low digital IF. The device sampling is software configurable and includes support for low bandwidth serialized multi-bit I/Q output. A PLL synthesizer and image reject mixer further reduce external component count to simplify integration. The IF filters are programmable in software to support GPS and Galileo simultaneously or GPS operation alone.
The SE4120L is supplied in a 4 x 4 x 0.9 mm QFN RoHS-compliant MSL1 package. The receiver is sampling now, with mass production scheduled for Q1 2007. The device is priced below US $3 in 100k unit quantities.
SiGe Semiconductor, Inc. and Swedish, Nordnav Technologies AB have just announced they have collaborated on a GPS/Galileo receiver for consumer electronic products that ..."provides the highest level of GPS performance today, along with a simple software upgrade to Galileo when the Galileo system becomes operational." It will be demonstrated at the ION conference this week in Fort Worth, Texas.
Nordnav have just released an ultra sensitive GPS receiver for indoor use, tracking signals to 170dBm or ten times weaker than any other receiver. "Indoor positioning is the next frontier in satellite navigation and is critical to improve the performance of portable navigators in mobile phones and PDAs.” they say.
Belgian Serge Brammertz (44) who took over from the German Detlev Mehlis in investigating for the UN , the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (plus 22 others) now says they were targeted by a suicide bomber.
He also makes the astonishing assumption that the team planning Hariri's assassination had him under surveillance.
He reinforces earlier suggestions that Mr Hariri was assassinated by a large white Mitsubishi truck bomb and makes the extraordinary claim that the bomber detonated about 1,800kg (3,960lb) of explosives from "either inside or directly in front of the truck."... so the truck was moving ..... or it was not.
Brammertz's report ( his 2nd and also said to be his final report) says a tooth was found at the scene and believed to belong to the bomber which had a distinctive crown, suggesting the attacker came from abroad ... or maybe not.
It says investigators found 32 pieces of what are "believed to be the bomber's remains," (Uuugggh) putting him between 20 and 25 years old.
Although Detlev Mehlis, accused Syria of obstructing his investigation ,Brammertz says that Syria's co-operation with the inquiry has been "generally satisfactory". Having been granted a 12 month extension by the Security Council in June, Brammertz ( or a successor) has plenty of time and money to root around the body parts for some more fascinating ideas.
Brammertz apparently points to a "link" between 14 explosions, assassinations and attempted assassinations that occurred in Lebanon throughout 2005 (busy time for assassins). Investigators' work "in relation to the 14 other cases ... is beginning to produce links, notably in identifying potential conjoining motives," the report said. WOW.
Though no suspects were named in the report, Brammertz said the probe "has developed direct and indirect linkages between significant individuals in disparate groups that are relevant from an investigative perspective." WTF ?... he also makes the penetrating observation ...The motives behind the crime "are apparently of varying levels of international, regional and national relevance, and relate to political, economic, financial and business matters." Well that clears that up then. Sounds like a lot of folks wanted old Rafik dead.
The Saudi daily Okaz makes astonishing claims that the report will name names ... Former (and suicidal ? ) former Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan, Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother in law, General Assef Shawkat and Brigadier Bahjat Suleiman, the former head of the Security Department. and an Iraqi who was the suicide bomber
John Bolton, the US UN representative said this latest report (which he has seen) did not mean Syria was in the clear.
The UN Security Council is due to meet on Friday to discuss Mr Brammertz's latest findings. Discussions will be held in closed session.
See " The Ghazi Kenaan I knew was not the sort of man who would commit suicide" Robert Fisk.
Beirut Daily Star " The body of Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan was laid to rest in his northern home town in a low-key funeral, and a state investigation confirmed that the former strongman in Lebanon committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. About 1,000 relatives and villagers walked behind the coffin, draped in a Syrian flag.
Monday, September 25, 2006
The Wall Street Journal (subscription only) has an article today by Brian Steinberg about the decision by Nielsen Media Research to reveal on November 18th the formal ratings for commercial breaks - i.e how many folks watch the ads rather than the programs.
Savvy media buyers expect falls of 5-10% at break time, but expect higher falls with some channels.
The more viewers lost the harder the buyers will demand discounts ...and get them.
Some cable-channel executives are said to agree that some fillum channels ,are vulnerable to major declines in viewers because of the large number of ads they run in a break - allowing the viewer time to pee, make coffee, ... love.
Cable executives met with Nielsen executives on Thursday, ata meeting attended attended by about 40 people, including representatives of numerous TV channels. It was convened by NBC Universal and Mediaedge:cia, a WPP Group media-buying firm. A major problem is ratings are meant to cover only the minutes of commercial time sold to national advertisers and not the portion of commercial time available to local advertisers, which will give confusing results.
TV executives came away from the meeting more convinced than ever that the ratings need to be evaluated (i.e we have been caught with our pants down, for god's sake give us time) before they can be used in any ad-sales negotiations.
Commercial prices have long been based on ratings for a particular program, not on ratings for ad breaks or the ads contained within them. Advertisers want to know about the ratings performance of individual commercials, amid heightened concerns about the effects digital-video recorders / TIVO etc., are having on viewing habits.
One thing is certain, and the effect is clear with ITV in the UK, and the press worldwide, the media are going to have to look for more and more diverse revenue channels. The days when a TV comercial license was a license to print money is over.
Statistics on energy for the EU25 have been published by Eurostat today.
Briefly the EU in 2005 consumed 1, 637 million tonnes of oil equivalent ( TOE see footnote) much the same as 2004.
EU25 production of all sources of energy fell by 4.2% in 2005, and net imports rose by 4.5%. Consequently the EU25 depends on imports for 56% of its energy needs, up from 54% in 2004.
If a longer time frame is considered between 1995 and 2004 energy consumption in the EU25 rose by 11%, production fell by 2%, and net imports rose by 29%.
Energy consumption per capita in the EU25 in 2005 was equivalent to 3.6 TOE in 2005, US = 7.8 TOE/capita and Japan 4.1 TOE/capita.
All EU25 indigenous energy sources types fell in 2005,
1. Crude oil declined 9.0% over 2004
2, Natural gas by 5.8%
3. Coal by 5.7%
4. Nuclear energy by 1.3%.
The UK accounted for 70% of the crude oil produced in the EU25 (a decline of 11% on previous year), followed by Denmark 15% of production which declined by 4%.
The UK was also the EU25's largest gas producer = 44% of production declining by 7.7% over 2004, the next was Holland with 32% of production which declined by 6%.
Poland, was EU25's largest coal producer with 57% of the coal mined and production declined by 2.1%. In Germany (19% of the EU25 total) and the United Kingdom (13%), the 2nd and 3rd largest coal producers, production decreased by 3.9% and 17.9% respectively.
France, which produced 46% of all EU25 electricity from nuclear sources and production increased by 0.9%, the 2nd largest supplier, Germany (16% of market) production (through plant closures) fell by 3.0%.
Oil imports (60% of energy imports) rose 3% in 2005 and gas (25%) 9.2%. (see pic of LNG tanker - soon to be seen in Milford Haven ?)
Member States dependence on imports varies from Cyprus, totally dependent, Portugal 99.4% to Denmark, which produces more energy than it needs, is a net exporter of energy. The UK is currently 13% dependent and is planned to be 80% dependent by 2020.
A tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a standard unit defined as ....
A TOE, Tonne of oil equivalent , is One tonne of oil with a net calorific value of 41.868 Gigajoules. A convenient although not wholy accurate common measure so one Giga Joule of nuclear power = 0.024 tonnes of oil, and one tonne of high grade coal = the same amount of energy as 0.7 tonnes of oil.
For more on energy security concerns go here
Jorn Madslien a Business reporter with BBC News has an excellent report today on the laying of the 1,200 Km. Langeled gas pipeline from the west coast of Norway to Easington in UK.
Completion of this pipeline is critical to the energy security of the UK and the hopeless optimists believe it will help to reduce consumer gas prices. A single 42" diameter pipe highlights the dangers posed by international economic terrorism. After all we have just witnessed in Lebanon the way the Israeli state can, whilst the world watches smash the economic infrastructure of a country.
Gas lines do explode. see "The Bigger the Bang, the Louder the silence". 15 dead 120 severely burnt and injured see pic. Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is dangerous stuff in pipelines as well.
See the resistance in sunny energy hungry, California to LNG pipelines here.
If you live in the US take a look at this map of proposed LNG terminals for receiving shiploads of high pressure LNG for storgae in High pressure gas tanks. IF you live in Milford Haven in the UK, you should be interested in this recent Guradian article about the safety of LNG tankers.
Gazprom plans to roll out a $4bn, 1,200 kilometre-long gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany, as well as developing its 1,400 square kilometre Shtokman field in the Barents Sea and have been visiting the pipe layer , but have made no commitments yet.
The route of the pipeline was designed as a last gasp move by outgoing Chancellor Schmidt and Putin to bypass the more insecure but more direct land route through third countries.
Sheer bulk precludes Lord Patel from such an active and fast moving game as golf, so he tends to support Mark Twain's (pic) view of golf that ..."it is a good walk spoilt".
He is however deliriously happy to record the 5th win in the last 6 series of the Ryder Cup and 4 straight wins in a row over the US golfing geriatrics - The youngest member of the US team , at 30 ..was Tiger Woods! Roll on Kentucky in 2 years time!
There is some quiet satisfaction also, that the £ closed up 0.5 of a cent on Friday at $1.905 and the Euro at $1.28.
For those interested in joining in the success, Paul Costelloe is selling the Signature brand for women's clothes who provided distinctive wear for the WAGS of the UK Ryder Cup players - who also make the Aer Lingus staff uniforms (described by the BBC as "tacky"), whose IPO price will be confirmed on 27th September and trading commences on October 2nd. No doubt Mr Leary of Ryanair (as Lord Patel has told him to) will make a bid within days... and change the uniform and management practices.
Interestingly of the net proceeeds of Euro 480, Euro120 will go to fund the pension fund defecit. Why anyone would buy this State owned, old rag bag of assets, ancient planes, routes, staff and underfunded Pension Fund , which narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 2001, is a mystery. Especially when their management's Neanderthal tactics to slim staff numbers were made known earlier this year.
LABOUR PARTY FINANCIAL PROBLEMS GROW
Perhaps the Labour Party (300 employees) who have a £6Mn Pension Fund defecit could try the same trick - it might introduce a level of democractic debate into the Party, hunkered down behind the "Wall of Steel" in Manchester this week.
Tony Blair must be anxious to jump ship as the £22Mn. of loans the Party has - £6 Mn. to the Co-operative Bank just down the road from GMEX will start being called in soon.
They won't be debating Trident replacements you can be sure , but expect some neat ideas of getting the tax payer to fund political parties to be raised.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
"..... we reject the desire of Governments to centralise, that we will not run the quango state of the Tories with different managers, we will get rid of it and return power to local people over local services."
The Public Bodies Directory 2006, is available as aPDF (3.6 Gb)
Public Bodies are defined as ....
"bodies which have a role in the processes of national Government, but are not a Government department or part of one, and which accordingly operate to a greater or lesser extent at arm's length from Ministers."
More popularly Quasi Autonomous Government Organisations - QUANGO's
There are 822 quangos / Bodies in England and Wales , 229 set up by Labour and nearly 30 produced in the last year. They consume at least £123.8 Bn which has doubled in the last two years.
There is of course a Scottish Bodies Directory which you may consult as well, which last year consumed a measly £10.5 Bn. One Advisory body is mysteriously entitled the "Fisheries (Electricity) Committee "..... Quite simply they "advise Ministers and the developers of proposed hydro-electric power schemes on their possible effect on fisheries."
"...we will not run the quango state of the Tories with different managers, we will get rid of it and return power to local people over local services."Quite so, Tony, Quite so.
Anteon is a General Dynamics company Delivering End-to-End Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) compliance. General Dynamics is a huge supplier to the military in the US - why should you be interested ?
HSPD-12 ? ...on August 27, 2004, the President signed HSPD-12 “Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors” into effect. The Directive requires the development and implementation of a mandatory, US Government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for Federal employees and contractors.
Forthcoming deadlines include:
* October 27, 2006 – Commence FIPS 201, Part 2 compliance ; requiring the use of identity credentials for all new employees and contractors consistent with the Part II of the FIPS 201 Standard
* October 27, 2007 – Bring all existing employees and contractors into compliance including verification and/or complete background checks
Anteon claim their solutions are fully integrated, interoperable solutions that are both mobile and tactical, making drive-up credentialing (that means checking) and rapid onsite response available wherever and whenever you need it.... sounds just the thing a Gubment needs.
Get a brochure ....Mr. Ray Donahue.VP (703) 813-8453 firstname.lastname@example.org
Anteon (UK) is located on Newark Road Peterborough with 12,000 sq ft of office and training accommodation and 23,000 sq ft of engineering floorspace. The website claims the company
"Design, build, integration, supply and refurbishment of deployable and shelterised (WTF?) systems. The development and supply of biometric credential systems. Supply of imagery exploitation software and IT systems integration. Training and maintenance on supplied products and services."Anteon (UK) have developed the Veri-cool system for fingerprint registration of schoolchildren (yes fingerprint) which can help combat (?) truancy and improve school efficiency with fast (?) simple student attendance registration, this also integrates with powerful software for:
2. Class Registration
3. Automated Guardian Alert
...identify absentees of a typical school in seconds, Detailed Parent or Guardian contact information is displayed for contact via SMS text, email or telephone in the fastest way possible. Using a UK network for texting provided by Netsecrets, a Parent or Guardian can be contacted in under 20 seconds, and they then have the option to call or text back to the school to confirm receipt of the message.
4. School-wide Absence Module
Probably most interesting is that Anteon (UK)/ Veri-Cool is a Technical partner to Capita Education Services who claim a client base of over 22,500 UK schools of which at least 5,000 use the latest .net software fully compatible with VeriCool readers and software.Paul Coase, Business Manager will tell you more 01733 296877 - email@example.com ... so far it doesn't seem to include Time & Attendance data for staff, teachers, cleaners, secretaries etc.,
"With the VeriCool suite of software there are no swipe cards and no one can steal your student's identity as their digital signature is unique to them, and them alone."
See what Impington Village College experience has been with the system
Now wasn't the CEO of Capita (founder 1984) one of the folks ... Rod Aldridge ....(see pic) who lent (£1 Mn. at least) money to the Labour Party and coincidentally was nominated for a peerage ? No worries, when he rsigned he said, "There have been suggestions that this loan has resulted in the group being awarded government contracts. This is entirely spurious."
So that's alright then.
PS. When you think the people who voted to allow all this, vote by filing through a doorway to be counted by human beings, who handwrite their attendance and then calculate the votes manually. Wunnerful thing technology.
Anyone familiar with the street in Cyprus is aware that the UK garrison is well supplied with their needs for illegal drugs - if not a major source, as a boost to their pay.
Therefore the Sunday Times story "Soldiers in 'guns for coke' scandal" by the usually excellent and accurate David Leppard about soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment swapping seized Iraqi hand weapons for Cocaine in Germany at the rate of 50 grams of cocaine (with a street value of £2,500(?)) for weapons like Glock's (The Yardie's armament of choice here in Manchester) is entirely believable.
During the First World War the Yorkshire Regiment raised 21 battalions. A memorial to the 9,000 men of the Regiment who died, stands in the Soldiers' Chapel in Beverley Minster. 4 Victoria Crosses were awarded to men of the Regiment.
The 3rd Battalion completed a tour of duty in southern Iraq last year and is now based in Warminster, Wiltshire.
Leppard reports " the army is suffering an epidemic of drug abuse" which is rather over - egging the pudding. Drugs have long been as popular amongst the young men and women in the armed forces, at the same level as outside ...... fuelled by boredom and cheap booze and the "macho" culture.
The totemic nature of the Manchester bomb to the Metropolitan muttering classes is unknown. That bright sunny June morning in 1996 when tons of home made explosive in a truck (see pic) exploded in Cross Street, outside Marks & Spencers store , left an indelible mark on the Mancunian psyche. The security authorities know who did it, how they did it an nothing has been done to bring them to justice.
The explosion point of that bomb, which did more damage than Hitler, and miraculously killed no-one is located on the map above.BOMB
Also marked are the waste bins and cycle racks which are now installed (2) near to the re-installed (with commemorative plaque) Post Box (1) which withstood the blast and and stood out in the iconic post blast pictures.
Also shown are the 3 Police Transit vans (3) that blocked Cross Street to direct the Stop the War March as it turned right on it's final leg up Cross Street into Albert Square, with no access between the vans.
Lord Patel, left the march here and took a much needed breather and sat on the bench at the corner of M & S (where he had met 'er indoors many,many times aftershopping trips) and reflected.
He was not alone and watched as many people stuffed the adjacent bins with papers, posters, water bottles sticks. One thoughtful marcher aided by his children affixed a sticker declaring peace for palestine on one of the bins.
He looked around.
Absorbed by the rag,tag and bobtail, drummers and dancers at the tail end of the march, police relaxed in the sunshine amid the generally happy good natured crowd, in front of the zareba of Transit vans heading the march off from going North on Cross Street.
In the lee and shadow of the Police vans, there was a quiet(ish) oasis where any ill intentioned terrorist could have scattered remotely activated bombs on/in bicycles (a la byciclistes of Vietnam), waste bins, even discarded ruck sacks, shopping bags, which could have been left by the unattended rears of the Police vehicles, kicked under them, hunf from their mirrors. This pic (BBC) after the bomb is taken from almost the identical spot that Lord Patel was musing.... you can just see the post box on the left of picture.
Triggered by remote control, such devices would have proved the nonsense of the much vaunted "Ring of Steel" thrown up around GMEX and the major delegates hotels.
Another explosion ten years after the last one in exactly the same spot would have been a gift of immense sucess to any terrorists, anxious to strike.... as they did in London on 7/7 when the great and the good were meeting at G8.
Fascinating to see that Plod still hasn't learnt any lessons.... well not in protecting the public.
The Politicians of course will be safe inside their barricades and self erected Prison.
So, that's all right then.