- "My strength and weakness is I enjoy being in the arena," he said, quoting his hero, Teddy Roosevelt. "I like the fight."
That's good news. The important thing is not where McCain has been but that he's back. He's needed more than ever.
- "Some of the guys who come from pure science and maths backgrounds are used to solving a problem and it works," Patrick Boyle says. "They think they can find a formula that will perfectly describe how the market moves. That is the philosopher's stone - it is utterly impossible." The danger is that in only seeing numbers and patterns the human dimension is forgotten.
After 16 years in the City, Simon Jones is now planning to go travelling. "A quant can earn up to seven figures," he tells me, "but sometimes I do wonder whether I contributed positively to society."
And what does he conclude? He pauses. "I was working with the best of the best," he says. "My bank employed the brightest engineers, chemists and scientists - and we were all working together to get richer. The chemical and physics and health industries are worse off because of what we do because I tell you this: if there was a pay bonus structure similar to what we had in the City for curing cancer, we'd have found a cure for cancer."
I find that sad and a little bit frightening. So, I ask, quants: good or bad? Jones looks at me and says, "Humans just found a new way of being greedy."
- The greatest challenge faced by America is not foreign technology from countries that are not democratic, but from our own idealistic and naive opposition to these programs. And these programs cannot be quickly reassembled when the error of not maintaining them is discovered too late.
- It is clear that the European Parliament elections next year will be make-or-break the future of the EU. We must realize that the time of the sovereign national state is over. We have to dare to admit that Sweden is dependent on the rest of Europe and that we have everything to gain from more in depth cooperation, also when it comes to security and defence.
I am convinced that a more in depth cooperation with our Nordic and European friends will guarantee both security and an effective defence.
- "To stem the evangelical growth is not his goal. Francis is more of a pastor, more humble, more of a prophet who rediscovers the church of testimony, coherent with the fundamental values of the Gospel," said Teixeira.
This is in sharp contrast to a church which in the past decades had been characterized by "splendor, doctrinal hot air and seen as a repository of the single truth," he added.
- While the movie Contact, based on Carl Sagan's book of the same name, popularised the idea of aliens dozens of light-years away picking up an old telecast of the 1936 Berlin Olympics that was unintentionally transmitted into space, our civilisation has become quieter to any outside observers in recent decades. As our civilisation makes the jump from analog to digital, communication is increasingly carried by fibre-optic cables and relatively weak mobile phone repeaters rather than powerful broadcast transmitters. Rather than spilling out messy radio transmissions, Marcy posits that alien civilisations would use something much more precise and efficient than radio waves to stay connected, and lasers fit the bill. At the Keck Observatory, he hopes to spy an errant beam flashing from a distant star system, an observation that would be strikingly obvious on a spectrum.
This shift to new ways for finding E.T. is in part due to the failure of traditional SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) to pick up radio signals from deep space. Federal funding for SETI projects ended in 1995, but private benefactors have stepped up to support the search for alien radio transmissions, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who has sunk more than $US30 million into a giant radio telescope array now under construction northeast of San Francisco.
Nevertheless, the silence underscores the question once posed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi: If intelligent life is common in the galaxy, "where is everybody?"
Marcy admits that this so-called "Fermi paradox" poses a powerful counterargument to the prospect of success for any search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But what if, even if the chances are vanishingly remote, he is successful? More disturbingly, what if (as some respected physicists fear) he finds a Death Star?
"The first thing we do is transmit a message to them that says, 'We taste bad.' "
- Apple is not seen as the really cool company any more. Steve Jobs is dead, and to paraphrase Lloyd Benson's famous comment to Dan Quayle: "I knew Steve Jobs, Tim, and you're no Steve Jobs."
The parallels with Microsoft, which announced equally disappointing financial results last week, are many. Both companies redefined the industry - Microsoft in the 1980s with MS-DOS and in the 1990s with Office and Windows, and Apple in the 2000s with the iPod and iPhone and in the 2010s with the iPad..
Both companies had at their peak a market capitalisation exceeding God's (Apple at one stage nearing a trillion dollars). Both companies had charismatic and visionary founders who were replaced by functionaries.
In both cases, the companies became arrogant through their own success. The ancient Greeks called it hubris - such a blind faith in one's past glories that you cannot believe it will ever end.
Well it has.
- "To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader - and more profoundly - our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who are."
- "Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness." ~ Napoleon Hill
You don't need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea. - Larry Page
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants." John Quincy Adams
"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it." - Marian Anderson
"With this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington's taken its eye off the ball," Mr. Obama told an audience at Knox College, in Galesburg, Ill., the site of his first major economic speech as a young senator eight years ago. "And I am here to say this needs to stop. This needs to stop. This moment does not require short-term thinking. It does not require having the same old stale debates. Our focus has to be on the basic economic issues that matter most to you -- the people we represent."
He called on Republicans to pick up his economic proposals and to pass legislation overhauling the immigration system. He also scolded Republicans for trying to undercut his health care program and argued that it would expand coverage and trim costs.
But he also challenged members of his own party to stop defending outdated government programs and resisting change.
"I will be saying to Democrats, we've got to question some of our old assumptions," he said. "We've got to be willing to redesign or get rid of programs that don't work as well as they should."
- "Unfortunately, opportunities for upward mobility in America have gotten harder to find over the past 30 years. That's a betrayal of the American idea. And that's why we have to do a lot more to give every American the chance to work their way into the middle class," he said.
He concluded: "That's why we don't call it John's dream or Susie's dream or Barack's dream - we call it the American Dream. That's what makes this country special - the idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from or who you love - you can make it if you try."
- "The Vietnamese have learned from their own history that we all have no permanent enemies, only friends yet to be made," he said.
"There will never be a matriculation from dictatorship to democracy if we stand with the dictatorship," said Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey. " So I say 'meet with presidents like Sang who was not elected by the people as we all know ... meet with him, argue with him, but don't enable him, don't walk around smiling, having so many photo ops that the plight of the dissidents gets lost."
- She believes the pull towards terrorist activities is a mental health issue.
"There is a lethal four part cocktail that draws people toward terrorism that involves a group, an ideology, social support (either on the internet, or through a teacher or authority figure) and individual vulnerability - often these people are suffering post traumtaic stress.
"It's all about community health; in conflict zones you see groups taking advantage of vulnerable grief stricken people."
- Let's be clear. People smugglers are brokers of slim chance. For their market to exist they need two things: human misery born of violence and persecution, and they need a product to sell. Australia is that product - a land of ''hope, reward and opportunity'', as the current Liberal Party slogan so neatly says.
Rudd's shamelessly rightward policy shift has infuriated his opponents and has been done under the moral cover of stopping deaths at sea. As covers go, it's a solid one.
But the political opportunism of Labor's capitulation should not be used to obscure its potential to solve one of the country's most intractable problems.
- He called his friend "brilliant", and said Jack's latest research on medical devices could help save the lives of many people. "In this world full of people fearfully complying and worrying, very few people are crazy enough to challenge the rules, to approach life in an unconventional paradigm and to speak up to contribute to change this world," Suiche said.
- One of my favourite sayings comes from the late American futurist Roy Amara: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."
- There are people who tell me I've helped him. Mental health experts who say that the simple act of being someone's friend can change his brain chemistry, improve his functioning in the world. I can't speak for Mr. Ayers in that regard. Maybe our friendship has helped him. But maybe not. I can, however, speak for myself. I can tell you that by witnessing Mr. Ayers's courage, his humility, his faith in the power of his art, I've learned the dignity of being loyal to something you believe in. Of holding onto it, above all else. Of believing, without question, that it will carry you home.
- Either we shape the future or we allow ourselves to be shaped by it.
- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- In the US, taking a risk and failing is not the end: there is honour in getting back up. Bankruptcy offers a new chance, and the culturally favoured response is to keep fighting. American economic dynamism owes much to this forgiving attitude to risk-taking.
Europeans regard insolvency with a much darker moral taint. To go bankrupt has traditionally been to be branded untrustworthy - a shame to hide by leaving business for ever, even (once upon a time) by taking leave of one's life. This still shows up in such archaic rules as Ireland's 12-year bankruptcy period (which is finally being reformed).
Paradoxically, this cultural allergy to failure leads not just to less risk-taking, but to policies that bail out those that do take big risks and lose. Europe finds the idea of default so intolerable that, in the current crisis, it has preferred to cover the debts of the bankrupt. It suffers as a result.
- "By using a coding contest to find the best talent, we'll be able to quickly spot the engineers with the X factor -- the 5X programmers who are 5 times more productive than the average engineer," Said Soren Harner, VP Engineering at BigCommerce. "They are the polyglot master craftspeople who want to create something brilliant. More specifically, we're looking to find great talent in a range of languages including Clojure, Ruby, CoffeeScript, and PHP."
- Ignorance helps to breed fear. Practically every so-called security measure taken since then has only ratcheted up the fear index and just provided what well-known security guru Bruce Schneier calls "security theatre".
- There's nothing inherently wrong with noticing achievements - when they result from moxie and grit. A person who, through effort and will (not luck or talent or some other accident of birth), transcends the norm to do something amazing is worthy of celebration. The average passer-by who runs into a burning building to save someone is a hero; a firefighter who draws a pay cheque, received training and consciously chose the job is not.
North Korea has too many horrors to describe -- gulags, starvation, forced reverence of a demented leader -- but Internet access would speed the end of the regime. The utter lack of knowledge about the outside world there keeps a lid on dissent and domestic strife. North Koreans for the most part live in a total information dead zone, told they are lucky even as they endure food shortages and freezing winters without heating. The fact that it could all be undone with the flip of a switch is both maddening and heartbreaking.
- "Politics are not about magic but rather a combination of strategy, coherence and passion"
- Russian aerospace companies have demonstrated an ability to outpace US aerospace manufacturers in terms of delivery of an operational capability and also the diversity of the capabilities of their weapons systems. The cumbersome US acquisition system, and marketing rather than technology driven aerospace industry, put the US at a distinct competitive disadvantage in rapidly adapting to an evolving threat environment.
- "Most of the fighters we have available today with vectored thrust, the Su-30MKI and MKM, can perform these maneuvers," Bogdan tells Aviation Week. "Where this aircraft is different is that it has more thrust, so when it performs the 'bell' maneuver, it can stand still, with afterburning on, and can sustain flight at 120-140 kph."
The emphasis in "supermaneuverability" runs counter to much Western air combat doctrine, which stresses high speed, the avoidance of the slower "merge" and tactics that do not lose the aircraft's energy. Bogdan, however, says supermaneuverability can be essential.
"The classical air combat starts at high speed, but if you miss on the first shot--and the probability is there because there are maneuvers to avoid missiles--the combat will be more prolonged," he says. "After maneuvering, the aircraft will be at a lower speed, but both aircraft may be in a position where they cannot shoot. But supermaneuverability allows an aircraft to turn within three seconds and take another shot."
However, Bogdan adds, "you have to be careful using that weapon. It's like a sniper--you can't shoot many times from the same spot because you disclose your position."
As for the doctrine that energy should be conserved, Bogdan notes: "The theory of air combat has always evolved. In the 1940s and 1950s, the first priority was height, then speed, then maneuver and then firepower. Then with the third and fourth generation, it was speed, then height and then maneuver. Supermaneuverability adds to this. It's the knife in the soldier's pocket."
- This is a well-researched and fascinating book, despite the blinkers. And it ends with a note of caution for those of us liberal historians who might otherwise naturally place ourselves on the "open government" rather than the "secret state" side of this argument. The more "open" government becomes - in the sense of its written records being available to everyone - the less likely our governors are to write things down. That will seriously cripple future historians and anyone wanting to find out how government works. For this reason, as Moran puts it, if WikiLeaks is permitted to reveal all, "society will have paid a very high price indeed for Assange's crusade". Whether that price outweighs the benefits of rulers having to act responsibly, because the people are watching them, is the central issue here.
- Cooper writes: "Crime doesn't stop at the Channel. Criminals don't stay within national borders. There are an estimated 3,600 organised crime groups active across Europe, involved in drugs, human trafficking, online child exploitation and theft.
"Cross-border crime is likely to keep increasing whether we are in the European Union or outside it. That means the police need a clear framework for legal and effective co-operation across borders - and for ministers to ditch it is crazy."
- "Walk softly and carry a big stick." Teddy Roosevelt
"The more that is disclosed about what's known about espionage activity in Australia or operational aspects in counter-intelligence, the more that our opponents, people who are engaging in espionage, will know about our capability and know about the methods that we have for detecting espionage or cyber threats."
- "We cannot allow an imbalance of the system of strategic deterrence, reduction of the effectiveness of our nuclear forces. Therefore, the establishment of military-space defense will remain one of the key areas of military construction," Putin said at a recent meeting on the state defense order in St. Petersburg.
The President is convinced that Russia should take into account the development plans of the armed forces for the first, so-called preemptive strike. To reflect such strikes, we need high precision, non-nuclear weapons.
- Russia's new Yars, Topol-M and Bulava ICBMs are unvulnerable to the US missile defense system. The commander of the Russian SFM said that it was best for the enemy to destroy the missile during the initial part of its flight, when it gathers speed. The missile separates later, which makes it harder for interceptors to detect the missile in a whole cloud of fake targets.
Russia's state-of-the-art ballistic missiles have the shortest boost phase of the flight - this phase is much shorter than it was with older missiles. "At this short part of the flight the missiles perform active maneuvers, which makes it impossible for interceptors to plan the attack.
"We conducted the tests to evaluate and confirm the nuclear safety of Topol warheads. The results of the tests showed that even in case of most complicated breakdowns, fires or explosions, the nuclear explosion of the warhead is excluded," Karakaev said.
- Therefore, European CEOs and entrepreneurs called on the European Commission to open the Internet, "so that everyone is able to send and receive the content, run the applications and use the services of their choice, on the device of their choice."
They also consider that network management should be keep to a minimum, as well as discrimination in the treatment of Internet traffic. "Network access providers must be prohibited from blocking, degrading, hindering," they explained.
The group concluded their letter saying that transparency and facilitating switching "are important but insufficient to protect the open Internet."
- "Of course there's an element of information-gathering in international naval drills, but this works both ways," he told The Cable. "I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of the US Navy to choreograph exercises where China's role does not involve access to sensitive information about US or allied capabilities."
"Chinese participation in RIMPAC will presumably focus on seamanship and non-warlike activities, rather than high-end combat drills or live-fire exercises," he continued. "The United States and allies have long called on China to make use of standard modes of operational communication to prevent incidents leading to conflict. It would be absurd to lock China out of exercises aimed at advancing precisely that goal."
But Chabot sees the invitation as a strategic and diplomatic misstep. "We don't need to be provocative with China, but I think we keep rewarding really bad behavior," he said. "China's blatant stealing of U.S. technologies, their hundreds of cyber attacks on U.S. industries and government agencies. It's all pretty much ignored."
- In a statement published by WikiLeaks late on Monday, Mr Snowden accused the US president, Barack Obama, of "using citizenship as a weapon".
"Although I am convicted of nothing, (the United States) has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person," he added. "Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
"Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me."
- Raytheon's slimmed-down spy blimp is a spin-off however, from a much larger and highly-secretive Pentagon project. Among other high-tech, privacy-killing tools currently under development is the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) program. As conceived by the agency, ISIS will be a high-altitude autonomous airship built for the U.S. Air Force that can operate at seventy thousand feet and stay aloft for a decade.
Washington Technology reported that Lockheed Martin won a 400 million dollar deal to design the system. "Under the contract" the publication revealed, "Lockheed Martin will provide systems integration services, and Raytheon Co. will furnish a high-energy, low-power density radar, Lockheed Martin officials said." Operating six miles above the earth's surface, well out of range of surface-to-air missiles, the airship will be some 450 feet long, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and packed with electronic surveillance gear and radar currently being field-tested by Raytheon.
While serious civil liberties' issues inherent to such programs have been swept under the proverbial carpet, huge funding outlays by Congress for Pentagon's "black" budget operations demonstrate the hollowness of President Obama's "change" mantra. Like much else in Washington, administration rhetoric is (if you'll pardon the pun) so much hot-air meant to placate the rubes.
- In the month following Edward Snowden's leaks about U.S. government programs collecting information from phone and Internet companies, some U.S. citizens seemed unsurprised and resigned to being monitored. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center last month, 56% of Americans think the collection of telephone metadata is acceptable.
- "The internet is a glorious organism, a vast piece of connective tissue that binds us all together. It's surprisingly intimate. Yet, it's also a place where people imagine that they don't have to be held to account in the same way that we are when we talk face to face. And for governments, it's become a spying machine."
- Native to South America, the red fire ant organises itself into two types of social structure - one with a single queen in a colony, the other with hundreds. Though they are the same type of ant, the workers of either group will kill the queens of the other, the researchers wrote.
- "Overexposure of security and intelligence activities can damage, and damage badly, state security and that is why in every debate we must not underestimate the security interest," Mr Netanyahu said in remarks communicated by his office.
"And in the reality in which Israel lives, it must be a central interest," he said in a thinly-veiled criticism of the media frenzy provoked by Zygier's case.
- "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
- It would be silly to take any one of these incidents too seriously. But it would be equally silly to ignore them. We spent the 1990s enjoying the fruits of post-Cold War prosperity, the early 2000s fighting the war on terrorism. We are intellectually, economically and militarily unprepared to contemplate Great Power conflict, let alone engage in the hard work of renewing alliances and sharpening strategy. But History is back, whether we want it to be or not. Happy New Year.
- "I was being judged by people who had less knowledge than me, so what was it truly worth? I gave Michelin inspectors too much respect, and I belittled myself. I had three options: I could be a prisoner of my world and continue to work six days a week, I could live a lie and charge high prices and not be behind the stove or I could give my stars back, spend time with my children and re-invent myself."
"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.."
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
"If you don't engage the scientific community constructively, and try to look for newer horizons, you will never able to develop science and technology," says Ajey Lele, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in Delhi. Referring to India's Mangalyaan orbiter, he says: "It is not only the 'Mars moment' will give you results; the entire process of learning will give you a certain amount of development."
- Creativity alone does not foster innovation, nor do abstract scientific or mathematical concepts. Innovators also need to know how to render those creative ideas into working products that can be put into use.
- " 'I can't feel bad about being who I am, just like the girl next to me can't feel bad about being who she is,' she says. 'Because a rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose'."
- All Barinas are Suzuki Swifts. Barina is Italian for Cardboard Faecal Container.
- "I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says.
"This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he says.
- If we look at His divine side, it's hard to imagine God not smiling at some of the absurdities of the world.
- And anyway, can you get any more retarded than licking your own pussy?
- On April 8, 1998, Kelly was arrested on three misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, including one charge on violating noise ordinance for playing his own music extremely loud from his car while singing along. Prosecutors from the district attorney's office dropped the first two charges on May 7 and the noise charge on July 22 that year.
- Your panties tell you if someone's hot. Your heart tells you if someone's cute. Your mom tells you if someone's handsome.
- Just FYI....I notice during a regular doggy-style position, if I lift one leg up and plant my foot flat on the bed, I last longer. Pretty much the proposal(marriage) kneeling position.
- In Germany, a country that can't produce the talent or children it needs, the unemployed are in very high demand.
- "The government always knew best and the people were kind of stupid. I think still a bit of that is lingering on," said Michael Breen, author of The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies.
''New media and social networking services like Twitter have emerged as new political tools for anti-government and left-wing people,'' said activist Chang Yeo-kyung. ''The government wants to create a chilling effect to prevent the spread of critical views.''
- Big Mobile managing director Rob Hall said while we punch above our weight in other categories at Cannes, in mobile Australia is far behind. "The penetration is here, consumer usage is here, brands are just so far behind where the consumers are," he said. "Innovation is almost dead in the mobile industry here."
- .... capitalism had the singular virtue of rewarding people who had chosen the correct parents, or had been lucky in business ...
- "Just as ant colonies do things that are far beyond the abilities of isolated insects, cities achieve much more than isolated humans," he writes. "Cities enable collaboration, especially the joint production of knowledge that is mankind's most important creation. Ideas flow readily from person to person in the dense corridors of Bangalore or London, and people are willing to put up with high urban prices just to be around talented people, some of whose knowledge will rub off."
- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services