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Dec 30, 2014


Flight anguish

A Virgin Boeing 747 yesterday afternoon had to abort its flight to Las Vegas shortly after taking off from Gatwick, due to a technical fault with its landing gear. It was able to land safely back at Gatwick. Staff at Gatwick had reportedly been using binoculars to examine the plane's undercarriage. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/549241/Virgin-Atlantic-flight-VS43-Gatwick-Vegas-circling-Sussex
No good news on the AirAsia QZ8501 flight that disappeared on Sunday. Some reports say the pilot had asked for permission to rise above clouds to avoid bad weather, shortly before they lost contact and it disappeared from the radar. Permission to alter altitude was apparently not given due to air traffic congestion. It’s now assumed that nobody from the flight will have survived, despite not yet finding any evidence of the plane or a crash. 30 ships and 15 planes were involved in searching for the plane yesterday. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/11315001/AirAsia-plane-reported-missing-with-162-passengers-onboard-latest.html

Deadly hacking

An article on Business Insider recounts how North Korea is investing its military budget on training people to infiltrate computer networks (hackers), rather than spending on conventional weapons, with the theory that as a small country, they can inflict more damage on a superpower such as the US by hacking into the enemy’s’ computer networks, rather than attack with bombs and missiles.
http://uk.businessinsider.com/north-korean-defector-jang-se-yul-trained-with-hackers-2014-12?r=US
A defector details how North Korea trains university grads to code and create computer viruses. Supposedly, some of these people are better than people working at Google or the CIA, and being paid far less. It’s no secret that Google pays excessive sums to fresh grads in a bid to stay ahead in the tech arena. Even paying ‘top dollar’ doesn’t guarantee much, as Google and other top tech firms still make mistakes by the dozen, produce software that breaks or people don’t want. http://www.maclife.com/article/gallery/googles_5_biggest_failures
In truth, it’s quite possible that future warfare will be dominated by computer network hacking. The UK has responded by putting anti-cyber-terrorism in the school curriculum, so we can breed a new generation of anti-cyber-hackers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2888770/Cyber-terror-curriculum-School-pupils-taught-GCHQ-protect-Britain-hacking-hostile-states.html
The new ‘blitz’, will result in us not being able to access Netflix or Sky BoxOffice, money being deleted from our bank accounts, no gas or electricity as the power suppliers systems go down, and our computer controlled cars all driving off on their own and crashing into hospitals. I’m not sure the modern generation could survive this.

Brain drain

If you are past the bloom of youth, like me, concerns as to future health and well-being sometimes enter your consciousness. So when a scientific study suggests there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the onset of Alzheimers, it seems like a no-brainer.
The report suggests some pretty basic and obvious steps such as regular exercise and good eating habits. On a slightly more controversial note, it suggests taking stacks of multivitamins, which many other studies have failed to prove really help. Not sure how flossing your teeth, twice daily helps, unless it’s the mental regime of finding the floss and remembering where your teeth are. But if you’re interested, you can find all the steps at http://www.alternet.org/ways-avoid-alzheimers?paging=off&current_page=1&page=0,1#bookmark
The article says there are 36 points, but I could only see 18. Maybe you need to do them all twice a day. Or maybe it’s just too late for me.

and then…

“A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's: She changes it more often.”

Oliver Herford

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