"Solitaire was how people procrastinated before there was Twitter."

Windows 3.0 Solitaire Cards for Sale

#Games

Mon, Aug 31st, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Available on sale on Areaware and sporting additional cards created by Susan Kare — she created the original artwork for the game — Solitaire Cards gives you a physical representation of the digital playing cards in all their pixelated glory.

Susan Kare’s original artwork for the Windows 3.0 Solitaire game is featured on our new set of playing cards. The release of these cards coincides with the 25th anniversary of the original Solitaire computer game. This deck includes two jokers, designed by Kare exclusively for the Areaware release.

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Using Everyday Items to Take Great Photos

Free Photography Hacks

#Photography

Mon, Aug 31st, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Earl Gray tea loving Kai Wong shows you how to carry your equipment and take fabulous photos using everyday items (found in someone else's home), including the bathroom. Humorous, but they actually work.

Kai channels his inner MacGyver and shares a few on-the-spot photography tips and cheat codes for the cheap photographer in all of us!

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NASA Begins Year-Long Mars Simulation Training

#Space

Sun, Aug 30th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Living in a dome next to a barren volcano, a team of NASA recruits has begun to simulate what life on Mars would be like. The goal is to see how well the six-strong team will do over a year living in very cramped quarters. And in case you're wondering if you have what it takes, check out NASA's astronaut selection program.

A journey outside the dome - which measures only 36ft (11m) in diameter and is 20ft (6m) tall - will require a spacesuit.

A French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans - a pilot, an architect, a journalist and a soil scientist - make up the Nasa team.

The men and women will each have a small sleeping cot and a desk inside their rooms. Provisions include powdered cheese and canned tuna.

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"YouTube will be a mix of free, ad-supported content and premium videos that sit behind a paywall."

#Music

Sun, Aug 30th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Verge, YouTube is about to roll-out subscription services, one for music and one to get unique content that is advertising free. This may mean that music videos could potentially disappear behind paywalls, a model considered far more lucrative by the music industry.

With the exception of a few video rentals, YouTube has always been a free, ad-supported service. But the company is about to get serious about subscription services, offering new ways for the users that create videos to make money. While two subscription offerings for the same service might seem odd to some — with one music industry source calling it "strange on top of strange" — YouTube’s thinking was likened to that of a cable company offering different packages for sports and movies.

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Fusion Reactor Breakthrough Claim

#Science

Sat, Aug 29th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Science Mag reports that a secretive and privately funded company called Tri Alpha Energy was able to build a machine capable of holding a ball of gas heated at 10 million degrees Celcius for 5 milliseconds. While this may seem like too short a period of time, the reaction only stopped because of the amount of available energy instead of decay.

Like other fusion techniques, Tri Alpha’s device aims to confine a gas so hot that its atoms are stripped of electrons, producing a roiling mixture of electrons and ions known as plasma. If the ions collide with enough force, they fuse, converting some of their mass into energy, but this requires temperatures of at least 100 million degrees Celsius with conventional fuel, hot enough to melt any container. So the first challenge for reactor designers is how to confine the…

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Reprogramming Cancer Cells Back to Normalcy

#Health

Fri, Aug 28th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Neuroscience News, researchers at the Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, have discovered a potentially feasible way of turning cancer cells back into normal cells. Reportedly, a loss of adhesion proteins, "the glue that keeps cells together," can cause "aberrant cell growth." By restoring the missing proteins, experiments have shown that "in some aggressive types of cancer" the results have been "very promising."

That code was unraveled by the discovery that adhesion proteins — the glue that keeps cells together — interact with the microprocessor, a key player in the production of molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs). The miRNAs orchestrate whole cellular programs by simultaneously regulating expression of a group of genes. The investigators found that when normal cells come in contact with each other, a specific subset of miRNAs suppresses genes that promote cell growth. However, when adhesion is disrupted in…

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"Imagine a scenario in which the mass adoption of Uber leads to a potential death spiral for public transit."

Uber to become the new mass transit

#Travel

Thu, Aug 27th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The Awl, Matt Buchanan argues that Uber's ultimate goal is to replace public transit. Uber is already promoting Smart Routes and Suggested Pickup Points, effectively turning Uber into privately-owned mass transit. If this trend gains popularity, it may mean that only the poor will use public transportation, which will deteriorate to a point of being completely unusable.

One of the more subtle underlying issues with the rise of Uber is the company’s slow siphoning of the political will to fix existing—or build new—public transit infrastructure in major cities. In Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America, Princeton Professor of Politics Martin Gilens shows that—as he put it in an article with Northwestern Professor of Decision Making Benjamin Page—“economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or…

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"The situation regarding privacy is 'worse' than anything George Orwell imagined in his novel 1984."

#Privacy

Wed, Aug 26th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Calling the UK's oversight of surveillance worse than anything "George Orwell could ever have imagined," the newly appointed UN special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, is calling for an Internet's "Geneva convetion" for the safeguard of personal data.

There are messages on each page about water safety, printed in nontoxic ink, but it doesn't matter whether you read them or not. Each page is divided in half and perforated, designed to be ripped out. In every half page there's a thick filter infused with silver and copper nanoparticles. They give the paper its orange color and, more important, filter out the disease-causing bacteria ubiquitous in the waters of developing nations.

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Discover Unwanted Meanings of a Word in Other Languages

Word Safety

#Languages

Tue, Aug 25th, 2015 14:23 by capnasty NEWS

The Word Safety website checks to see if the name of your project means something else — possibly offensive — in another language. Reportedly, CON has no offensive meaning in any other language, but they warn that "somewhere deep in the Amazonian jungle, 'CON' could be an insult that gets you killed."

WordSafety.com checks your word against swear words and unwanted associations in 19 languages. We also do phonetic matching, so you can catch pronounciations that might be problematic.

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Happy Birthday Windows 95

Windows 95 is now 20-years-old

#History

Tue, Aug 25th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Verge brings to attention the fact that on August 24th, Windows turned 20. Released in 1995, it was kind of a big deal being the first operation system packed with a plethora of brand new features we now take for granted. By the way, Linux is 24 today.

Windows 95 wasn’t all about the Start button, though. Besides being a 32-bit OS, an important addition was support for long filenames, up to 250 characters. It sounds like a basic feature in 2015, but at the time it made naming documents a lot easier. Another big feature was the introduction of Plug and Play, to automatically detect and install hardware. While the process of Plug and Play has been greatly improved in more recent releases, Windows 95’s implementation was often referred to as Plug and Pray thanks to the often…

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Banksy's Parody of Disneyland

Dismaland Besument Park

#Art

Mon, Aug 24th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Open from August 22nd to September 27th, Dismaland is an art exhibit which parodies politics and society in the form of a disturbing theme park. The project is curated by Banksy and features the work of many artists. More photos here.

Are you looking for an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out? Or just somewhere a lot cheaper?
Then this is the place for you. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus…

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3D Glass Printer

The Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass Machine

#Technology

Sun, Aug 23rd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Created by the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with the Glass Lab at MIT, the Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass is a Glass 3D printer that can be used to create architectural components in optically transparent glass. This video explains how the printer functions.

By changing design and print parameters, G3DP can limit or control light transmission, reflection and refraction. The printer uses a dual heated chamber. The upper chamber acts as a 1900°F kiln while the lower chamber serves to anneal the structures. The print head is an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle.

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"Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voter."

The Search Engine Manipulation Effect

#Google World Domination

Sat, Aug 22nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Politico, Robert Epstein argues Google has "amassed far more power" to control "a wide variety of opinions and beliefs" by using a subtle form of social influence through its search engine. Reportedly, this form of subtle manipulation could be used to change the outcome of elections and be considered "a serious threat to the democratic system of government."

Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide. In the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9 percent—well within Google’s control.

There are at least three very real scenarios whereby Google—perhaps even without its leaders’ knowledge—could shape or even decide the election next year. Whether or not Google executives see it…

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The Water-Filtering Book Filters Water

The Drinkable Book

#Products

Fri, Aug 21st, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The goal behind The Drinkable Book is to provide affordable water filters in book form: simply rip out the page and use as a filter to have 99.9 percent pure water. The above photos is from the pagedrinkingpaper website and is credited to Brian Gartside.

There are messages on each page about water safety, printed in nontoxic ink, but it doesn't matter whether you read them or not. Each page is divided in half and perforated, designed to be ripped out. In every half page there's a thick filter infused with silver and copper nanoparticles. They give the paper its orange color and, more important, filter out the disease-causing bacteria ubiquitous in the waters of developing nations.

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Brain in a Test Tube

Researchers grow human brain in a lab

#Science

Thu, Aug 20th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Guardian, an almost fully-formed human brain was grown in a lab. Reportedly the organ, "which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus," does not think in any way and could be used to " test drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s".

Anand claims to have created the brain by converting adult skin cells into pluripotent cells: stem cells that can be programmed to become any tissue in the body. These were then grown in a specialised environment that persuaded the stem cells to grow into all the different components of the brain and central nervous system.

According to Anand, it takes about 12 weeks to create a brain that resembles the maturity of a five-week-old foetus. To go further would require a network of blood vessels that the team cannot yet produce. “We’d need an artificial heart to help the brain grow further in development,”…

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"In many ways, modern cars are computer networks on wheels. "

Remotely hacking cars

#Driving

Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

With cars now sporting on-board entertainment systems complete with cellular connectivity, hackers in the United Kingdom and the United States have discovered ways to remotely take over the car's computer and override crucial systems, from steering to braking.

After Miller and Valasek decided to focus on the Jeep Cherokee in 2014, it took them another year of hunting for hackable bugs and reverse-engineering to prove their educated guess. It wasn’t until June that Valasek issued a command from his laptop in Pittsburgh and turned on the windshield wipers of the Jeep in Miller’s St. Louis driveway.

Since then, Miller has scanned Sprint’s network multiple times for vulnerable vehicles and recorded their vehicle identification numbers. Plugging that data into an algorithm sometimes used for tagging and tracking wild animals to estimate their population size, he estimated that there are as many…

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"Do teenagers understand the outdated tech in our icons?"

In Defense of the Floppy Disk

#Data

Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit it is the belief that no one knows that the floppy disk icon means save, librarian Lis Pardi discovers in her survey — among other things — that students who had never seen one knew what it meant. Also, librarians don't actually sshhh! you.

No one knows that the floppy disk means save. At least, that’s what the campus librarian insisted when she reviewed the website I worked on for her university. I had done research on just this issue, proving college students could identify what the floppy disk meant, but it wasn’t enough. New students are always coming in, she said, much younger than the ones I polled. So I went back and surveyed 526 high schoolers to find out definitively: Do teenagers understand the outdated tech in our icons? The survey says yes. But beyond answering her question,…

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How ProPublica Figured Out the Unnamed Telecommunication Company Helping the NSA was AT&T

#Privacy

Tue, Aug 18th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The no-longer shocking news that AT&T helped the NSA spy on the Internet was courtesy of a collaborative partnership between the spy agency and the telecom company, ProPublica explains how they figured it out.

While it has long been known that American telecommunications companies work closely with the spy agency, the documents we’ve published show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative” and another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

By following breadcrumbs we found throughout the trove of documents released by Snowden, we were able to prove that a program called Fairview was the cover term for the agency’s partnership with AT&T. We also found evidence that Verizon participates in the agency’s smaller Stormbrew program.

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"If things work out, 10 years from now we should see some farms making petrochemical replacements."

Main ingredient of plastic could be made with bacteria and sunlight

#Science

Thu, Aug 6th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Used to manufacture plastics and polyester, and made out of petroleum and natural gas, ethylene is one of the "largest petrochemical produced by volume around the world." Researchers are working towards using genetically engineered cyanobacteria which could take sunlight and CO2 and "produce ethylene or ethylene derivatives," benefitting both the environment and current production energy requirements.

Ethylene already can be made without fossil fuels through the conversion of bioethanol, but that requires making bioethanol plus an additional step. Yu's research showed ethylene could be made directly and continuously from cyanobacterium. Normally, algae convert carbon dioxide during photosynthesis into biomass or sugars. But Yu's method redirected the cyanobacterium to use a portion of the CO2 to produce ethylene. Ethylene rises to fill the headspace of a sealed glass tube or photobioreactor and can be easily captured. Since his initial discovery in 2010, Yu has managed to increase the amount of…

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"Nuclear weapons can cause immense destruction and huge losses of life, but the effects are still comprehendible on a human scale."

NUKEMAP

#War

Sat, Aug 8th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Created as a Google Maps "mashup," NUKEMAP allows you to pick a city, select the yield in kilotons — or an existing nuclear bomb in a superpower's arsenal — and see "what happens" when it goes off. The map was created by Alex Wellerstein.

We live in a world where nuclear weapons issues are on the front pages of our newspapers on a regular basis, yet most people still have a very bad sense of what an exploding nuclear weapon can actually do. Some people think they destroy everything in the world all that once, some people think they are not very different from conventional bombs. The reality is somewhere in between: nuclear weapons can cause immense destruction and huge losses of life, but the effects are still comprehendible on a human scale.

The NUKEMAP is aimed at helping people visualize nuclear weapons on terms they can…

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Disabling Windows 10 Tracking Over Privacy Concerns

#Advertising

Thu, Aug 13th, 2015 15:18 by capnasty NEWS

Reportedly, despite being able to turn off many of the features in Windows 10 that have raised concerns over privacy, Windows continues to send information to its masters every 30 minutes. Already software has popped up on GitHub to disable the tracking feature. From The Guardian:

Many of the complaints relate to the new personalised adverts embedded in Windows 10. When the OS is installed, Microsoft assigns the user a unique advertising ID, which it ties to the email address registered with the company. That email address is also associated with a raft of other services, such as the company’s productivity and communication programs, as well as app downloads and cloud-storage uploads.

Using that information, Microsoft is able to personalise ads to the user, during both web surfing and, for newer apps downloaded from the Windows Store, app usage. Microsoft itself is leading the way on that…

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"Google's Dave Vos foresees a day when thousands of drones will routinely ply the skies above cities."

Google wants air traffic control systems for drones

#Future

Sat, Jul 25th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Google, together with Amazon, Verizon and many others, have expressed interest in creating an air-traffic control system for drones. Although the goal is to prevent mid-air collisions, whoever figures out a system first will get "a foothold in an emerging multibillion-dollar economy of unmanned flying machines."

Google called competitors and government agencies to its own conference in June to share its vision of air-traffic control. The foundation of any system must be the ability to trust that all participants will reliably identify themselves and their locations, Vos said. The airspace must be open to any drones willing to follow the rules.

Networks of computers on the ground and in the air will set routes that avoid mid-air collisions. Humans will still be in charge, but unlike the current air-traffic system, controllers must rely on computers to make the split-second decisions necessary to keep drone traffic flowing and safe, he…

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"Nichols really does intend to force au­tomakers to eventually sell nothing but electrics."

California regulators may kill the gasoline car

#Environment

Tue, Aug 4th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Bloomberg, California regulators want 100% of the cars on its roads to be emission free by 2030. Car makers are up in arms, citing financial losses, much like when the catalytic converter was introduced — a feature now in all modern cars to reduce pollution. Despite the strong resistance, California can push back however, because "its voters actually want the government to address global warming."

Both Brown and Nichols emphasize that California must inspire and sup­port action in other states and coun­tries if there's any chance to slow or stop climate change. "If the federal government can't get it right, we in Cal­ifornia are going to take care of busi­ness," Brown said in an April speech.

Next year, Nichols will be a key player, along with Obama administra­tion officials, in a review and update that will set the course for the national mileage standards and her own…

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Netflix Still Makes Money from DVDs

#Companies

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit its customer base is dwindling, Netflix still makes millions of dollars with its original business model: renting DVDs. Reportedly, access to recently released films not available on its streaming service can be watched via the reliable DVD rental service. And, thanks to automation, the company was able to streamline the return process, requiring just 25 employees to handle everything.

Netflix has 5.3 million DVD subscribers, a significant falloff from its peak of about 20 million in 2010; still, the division continues to churn out hundreds of millions of dollars in profit each year. And behind the scenes, engineers are trying to improve customer service and streamline the labor-intensive process of returning, sorting and shipping millions of DVDs each week.

Netflix has not put a life expectancy on its DVD division. Even as its subscriber count shrinks, the group has kept a core base of customers, particularly in rural…

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The Universe is Dying

Slowly

#Space

Wed, Aug 12th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit with many more billions of years to go, a "survey of over 200,000 galaxies" has confirmed the assumption that the universe is "slowly dying."

What the team has found, and what they presented Monday at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Honolulu, is that the energy being produced by stars and other objects is about half what it was two billion years ago. The universe is getting dimmer by the millennium, and not just in visible light: The GAMA project tracks 21 separate wavelengths, and each is declining in power — "slowly dying," as the European Space Organization put it.

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"The 'Minority Report' of 2002 is the reality of today."

Predictive policing the next phase of American policing

#Crime

Wed, Aug 5th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Shadowproof, American police forces are using data-driven algorithms to predict and prevent violent crimes. Some are concerned that this method may cause innocent people to be jailed, guilty solely of association on social media.



In January, Josmar Trujillo, a writer and activist who has organized with New Yorkers Against Bratton, wrote, "Last year in HArlem, the city's largest-ever gang raid resulted in 103 indictments stemming from two murders. The raid was buoyed by Operation Crew Cut, the NYPD program where social media interactions play a significant role in determining guilt and bulding cases oftentimes by mere association."

He described how NYPD detectives and intelligence analysts monitored "dozens of public housing residents for years, including the collection of more than a million Facebook posts, leading up to the military-style raid." With help from the NYPD, District Attorney Cyrus Vance…

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"The creators were sent a photo of the vandalized robot but said they did not know who destroyed it or why."

Americans kill HitchBot

#Robots

Wed, Aug 5th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

After successfully travelling on its own across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands, HitchBot — a hitch-hiking robot with a very basic ability of telling humans where it wants to go — tried to cross the United States, heading for San Francisco. It never made it there alive.

“We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over,” the professors said in a statement. “For now, we will focus on the question: ‘What can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans.”

The vandalism sparked disappointment on social media. Several people in the local tech community offered to fix the battered bot. Philadelphians were wary that the episode would reflect badly on the city. Others worried that it would reflect badly on all Americans.

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Ferro Fluid Display Screen

Ferrolic

#Art

Sun, Aug 16th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Ferrolic is the brain child of designer Zelf Koelman. The display is like an aquarium, with Ferro Fluid at the front and powerful electromagnets in the back shaping the liquid, giving the material a very organic behaviour. A good video of what the display can do is here. Prototypes are for sale for €7,500.

Because the fluid behaves in an unpredictable way, it is possible to give the bodies, perceived in the Ferrolic display, a strong reference to living creatures. It is this lively hood that enables Ferrolic to show a meaningful narrative such as having the creatures play tag. In addition the natural flow of the material, Ferrolic can be used to form recognisable shapes and written characters. Ferrolic uses both information-layers in parallel in order to display scenes and transitions in a poetic, almost dance…

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"Nobody should blame the users of 2015 for blocking abusive, intrusive, misleading, and privacy-stealing ads and trackers."

Surge in ad-blocking software

#Advertising

Wed, Aug 12th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

With ad-blocking software usage growing to an estimated $22 billion in loss for advertisers, Marco Arment looks at the ethics behind the implied-contract users are expected to have with advertisers, despite the abusive practices by the industry.

Publishers don’t have an easy job trying to stay in business today, but that simply doesn’t justify the rampant abuse, privacy invasion, sleaziness, and creepiness that many of them are forcing upon their readers, regardless of whether the publishers feel they had much choice in the matter.

Modern web ads and trackers are far over the line for many people today, and they’ve finally crossed the line for me, too. Just as when pop-ups crossed the line fifteen years ago, technical countermeasures are warranted.

Web publishers and advertisers cannot be trusted with the amount of access that today’s browsers give them by default, and people are not obligated to permit their…

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"China has been feverishly piling sand onto reefs in the South China Sea for the past year, creating seven new islets in the region."

China building islands in the South China Sea

#Politics

Sat, Aug 1st, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Aside from the environmental and ecological impact of the project, the construction of seven artificial islands acting as militarised posts "500 miles from the mainland," is turning up the heat on the already-fragile geopolitical situation found in the South China sea.

The speed and scale of China’s island-building spree have alarmed other countries with interests in the region. China announced in June that the creation of islands — moving sediment from the seafloor to a reef — would soon be completed. “The announcement marks a change in diplomatic tone, and indicates that China has reached its scheduled completion on several land reclamation projects and is now moving into the construction phase,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research group.

So far China has built port facilities, military buildings and an airstrip on the islands.…

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