November 28, 2012
If you’re reading this article from the safety and freedom of your own home, thank the fact that the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty hasn’t been modified since 1988. Back then, it emphasized the handling of phone traffic much more than it did any sort of heavy internet traffic. Here in 2012 there’s about to be a new meeting of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) at the World Conference of International Telecommunications in Dubai, and Google is warning that they might be discussing – and proposing – a brand new bit of legislation that could limit the web in a variety of scary ways.
Google has launched an offensive against the initiative before it’s even announced, emphasizing that the conference will quite likely be deciding new international internet rules without including tech companies galore as well as billions of your everyday average web users. Google is concerned not only that they, as a company, will not get a say in the decisions being made there, but that the ultimate ruling might limit what their customers and general users are able to do with the web – this is bad for business, of course.
At the moment, non-profit groups like ICANN work to regulate the bits of the internet that are reasonable to regulate – they being under the wing of the US Government in the end. Google notes that starting December 3rd, groups like ICANN could become entirely irrelevant. The meeting of the International Telecommunication Union will be “behind closed doors” – so Google says – and some of the governments involved will certainly be attempting to use said meeting to “increase censorship and regulate the internet.”
It’s what totalitarian big government goons do, naturally. Restrict freedom, and ad censorship.
November 25, 2012
If completed, Sky City will be the world’s tallest building. (RFE-RL)
A Chinese construction company is planning on building the world’s tallest building in just 90 days.
Voice of America reported:
A Chinese construction company is insisting that it will be able to build the world’s tallest skyscraper in a matter of weeks.
The Broad Sustainable Building corporation tells the Construction Week magazine it is confident it can complete the 220-storey building, dubbed Sky City, in just 90 days.
The group says the 838-meter structure in the south-central city of Changsha will be completed at an astonishing pace of five storeys a day, using a special method that uses prefabricated sections.
Officials say construction is expected to begin by the end of the year, but they are still waiting for Chinese government approval of the project. When completed, it will house over 31,000 people, as well as schools, hospitals, offices and other businesses.
Meanwhile, they’re still working on the One World Trade Center more than 10 years after the 9-11 attacks.
February 29, 2012
The U.S. Treasury Department disrupted a Dubai-based banking operation that Washington believes had become Tehran’s primary conduit for evading international sanctions and processing its oil sales, according to people briefed on the operation.
The effort was particularly sensitive because the targeted institution in the United Arab Emarates is partly owned by the local government of Dubai, a close U.S. ally. The chairman of the bank, called the Noor Islamic Bank, is the son of Dubai’s ruler.
In mid-December, Noor agreed to close off what the people briefed on the operation characterized as Iran’s single-largest channel for repatriating foreign-currency oil receipts — facilitating as much as 60 percent of Iran’s foreign oil sales by late last year, they estimated.
December 29, 2011
A spokesperson for the U.S. Fifth Fleet confirmed the carrier is the USS John C. Stennis, a nearly 1,100 foot nuclear powered craft with unlimited range and 3 million gallons of onboard fuel for its aircraft.
Image: wikipedia commons
USS Mobile Bay
In addition to its planes and the ships that sail in the group, the Stennis is armed with NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and Rolling Air Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missile systems, the Phalanx Close-in Weapons System for cruise missile defense, and the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System.
U.S. officials said Wednesday that the Stennis and the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay slipped into the strait Tuesday after a stop at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port.