Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

Views from the Solar System (58)

Gale Crater Vista
NASA – This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The panorama was made from thumbnail versions of images taken by the Mast Camera.

Scientists will take a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.

The images were taken on Aug. 9, 2012, by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity’s Self-Portrait
This Picasso-like self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity rover was taken by its navigation cameras, located on the now-upright mast. The camera snapped pictures 360-degrees around the rover, while pointing down at the rover deck, up and straight ahead. Those images are shown here in a polar projection. Most of the tiles are thumbnails, or small copies of the full-resolution images that have not been sent back to Earth yet. Two of the tiles are full-resolution. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity’s New Home
These are the first two full-resolution images of the Martian surface from the Navigation cameras on NASA’s Curiosity rover, which are located on the rover’s “head” or mast. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground.

The topography of the rim is very mountainous due to erosion. The ground seen in the middle shows low-relief scarps and plains. The foreground shows two distinct zones of excavation likely carved out by blasts from the rover’s descent stage thrusters.

These are full-resolution images, 1024 by 1024 pixels in size. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

What’s Fed to Do as 15 of 18 Banks Fixing Libor Aren’t American

By Caroline Salas Gage – Timothy F. Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2008 when he learned about banks under-reporting Libor, the global benchmark for $500 trillion of securities. He sent a memo in June of that year to Bank of England Governor Mervyn King raising concerns and recommending changes in how the rate is calculated. Little has been done to address the issue since, and King said last month that he only just learned of wrongdoing and Geithner didn’t highlight malpractice.

“Geithner is not the primary person in the world responsible for Libor,” said Calabria, Cato’s director of financial-regulation studies in Washington and a former Senate Banking Committee aide. “There were items on that memo that were absolutely first and last the responsibility of the British Bankers’ Association and by extension the Bank of England.” more> http://tinyurl.com/8nb2h75

Why is the UN Trying to Take over the Internet?

By Larry Downes – 193 member nations and hundreds of non-voting private members will meet in Dubai for the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT. The goal of the WCIT is to finalize changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations.

The last major revisions to the ITRs were ratified in 1988, long before the rise of the commercial Internet. But with months to go before proposed changes to the ITR are closed, member nations and private members of the ITU have already begun lobbying for a vast expansion of Internet powers, including new network taxes, mandatory censorship technologies disguised as security measures, and efforts to undermine the Internet’s longstanding engineering-based governance processes. more> http://tinyurl.com/8zgq93y

What Every Company Must Understand


Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process, Author: Kenny Rubin.

By Steve Denning – Why should executives bother to learn about something as arcane as software development? For one thing, they need to recognize, as my fellow Forbes contributor has pointed out, that Now Every Company Is A Software Company.

Using the well-known Cynefin framework, Rubin says that Scrum is at its best in complex environments where solutions emerge and where we only know the right answer in retrospect. Scrum is a good fit here because it generates creative and innovative approaches, rather than the routine cookie-cutter solutions of traditional management. more> http://tinyurl.com/c6gzoys


Telstra dash for $2bn NBN bonus

By John McDuling and Tony Boyd – [Australia] Telstra chief executive David Thodey is planning to spend $100 million to accelerate construction of a key aspect of the national broadband network and unlock a $2 billion windfall for shareholders.

Telstra is planning to do everything it can to bring forward as much NBN revenue as possible given the risk of a change in government next year.

The bulk of the $500 million in capital spending will go towards mobile upgrades, amid an explosion in demand for Telstra’s services, driven by rising uptake of smartphones and tablet devices. more> http://tinyurl.com/94rhlqy


CONGRESS WATCH Sequestration Update Report: August 2012 H.R. 5319, Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act H.R. 6185, Local Courthouse Safety Act of 2012 Trends in The Distribution of Household Income, 1979–2009 Federal Budget Deficit Totaled $975 Billion for … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH NATO operations and missions, NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) (pdf), NATO Related articles Updates from Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)