​Federal judge rips death penalty states for secretive execution methods


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​Federal judge rips death penalty states for secretive execution methods

                                                     Published time: February 27, 2014 03:24                                                                            
Lethal injection room (Reuters)Lethal injection room (Reuters)

A federal appeals court judge excoriated states that have resorted to secretive and unproven methods for lethal injections, calling the source of the drug Missouri used Wednesday for an execution as “nothing more than a high school chemistry class.”

Judge Kermit Bye, of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth  Circuit, ripped death penalty states for their increasingly  closed approaches in carrying out capital punishments with the  aid of anonymous compounding pharmacies that supply drugs.

Bye leveled his disapproval hours before Michael Taylor, 47, was  executed for the 1989 murder of a 15-year-old girl in Kansas  City. Taylor was put to death using pentobarbital from a  pharmacist that the Missouri Department of Corrections will not  disclose.

Though the Eighth Circuit did not stay…

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Dragonfly


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dragonfly: World’s Smallest Autonomous Drone Takes Flight

image source

Nicholas West Activist Post
The mimicking of nature heralds a new focus in the development of drones.  While DARPA and their contractors have been working on truenano surveillance with biological components, it is the modeling of insects that is currently being released to the public.
Recently we have seen Robobee take flight as a possible replacement for our rapidly dwindling natural pollinators. But the dual use applications for surveillance and even human targeting are ever present. As drone expert, P.W. Singer said, „At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you are against the technology, because it’s coming.“ According to Singer, „The miniaturization of drones is where it really gets interesting. You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re being watched.“
The following Air Force video leaves…

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Qatar workers‘ deaths are India’s responsibility too


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Otto 21022014
‘Despite nearly three decades of rapid growth, net formal employment in India has not increased at all.‘ Illustration: Otto Dettmer

The grim news coming out of Qatar about the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers from India and other (mostly south Asian) countries provides an insight into the appalling lack of concern for human life among employers there. The problem seems especially bad in the construction industry, as companies try to finish sites for the next World Cup at breakneck speed. It underlines the double standards with respect to local and migrant workers, as well as divisions among the migrants themselves, between expatriates from rich countries and those employed in the dirty, difficult and dangerous activities that locals no longer wish to perform.

But the deaths offer an…

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Star images helping to save Vatican books


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The Vatican Library’s reading room. Credits: Vatican Library.

The Library needed a way of scanning the delicate old manuscripts and storing the files so that they could still be read in hundreds of years. The answer was the special file format used by ESA for most of its scientific satellites.

In the 1970s ESA and NASA scientists developed ‚FITS‘, the flexible image transport system format, stemming from radio astronomy. FITS is now used to store data from many space missions.

„Any kind of data you can use for astronomy can fit inside this format,“ says Pedro Osuna, Head of ESA’s scientific archives.

That made it ESA’s top choice for storing the mountains of information from almost all of the agency’s astronomy missions. The pioneering Herschel, Integral, XMM-Newton and SOHO space observatories all use it.

In this digital era, finding a storage format for the ages is a big challenge facing…

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