Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Random charts - maps

The first map above demonstrates how big the issue of "open defecation" is and notes: "... Given India's dense population, open defecation is a major public health problem, with feces inevitably contaminating drinking water. This leads to intestinal disease and contributes to India's high rate of child malnutrition. This malnutrition problem is more widespread than you would expect given India's income level and, by stunting kids' development, contributes to slower economic growth in the future. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's budget calls for spending that will aim to eliminate open defecation by 2019..."  One can hope!  A lot more on this topic can be found here.

The second map above uses "... historical data to show the world's "economic center of gravity" over time. The map plots the center point in three-dimensional space, which renders the north-south aspect somewhat less interesting, but the east-west movement over time is fascinating. A thousand years ago, economic activity was centered near the middle of the Eurasian landmass. By the early 20th century, the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the growth of the United States pulled the center way to the west. But since 1980 or so, Asia has been growing faster than the US and Europe and dragging the middle back to where it was centuries ago. By 2025, McKinsey thinks the global economy will once again be balanced around the middle of Eurasia..."

Check out the other 36!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

In at last - ALL-DOCK

Received my Kickstarter-funded 'ALL-DOCK Universal USB charger for Tablet, Smartphone, iOS' last week, slapped it together, and am in business! Good-looking, black rubberized... Nice.

As was manifestly clear even then...

The 'Yawn!' blog entry from March 2010 looked at the New START agreement and was singularly unimpressed despite it being touted by President Obama as "... the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades..." which demonstrated that "... the United States and Russia -- the two largest nuclear powers in the world - also send a clear signal that we intend to lead. By upholding our own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities."

A recent article 'New START: Russia and the United States Increase Deployed Nuclear Arsenals' notes that "... Three and a half years after the New START Treaty entered into force in February 2011, many would probably expect that the United States and Russia had decisively reduced their deployed strategic nuclear weapons.

On the contrary, the latest aggregate treaty data shows that the two nuclear superpowers both increased their deployed nuclear forces compared with March 2014 when the previous count was made.

Russia has increased its deployed weapons the most: by 131 warheads on 23 additional launchers. Russia, who went below the treaty limit of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads in 2013, is now back above the limit by 93 warheads. And Russia is now counted – get this – as having more strategic warheads deployed than when the treaty first went into force in February 2011! ..."

Not a real shock for anyone paying attention!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Apparent success!

The ACLU has posted an infographic (see below) called the 'The Torture Architects' which purports to show "... the participation of key high-level officials in the torture program based upon publicly available information..." They needed to be called out since "... those in the upper echelons of the administration who crafted, approved, and oversaw the program have escaped legal accountability..."

This 'name and shame' effort inexplicably spares the Secretary of State at the time, Colin Powell, who has been shown to have been up to his eyeballs in knowledge of and acquiescence in the use of the "enhanced interrogation tactics" (a.k.a. torture). This blog has opined on this several time before (see here and the associated links).

"The Powell Rehabilitation Project"  can chalk up a victory!

Great quotes - stupidity


“We have nothing against the job of garbage collectors, but their sons belong in other fields than the judiciary, because it’s a sensitive job” 

"Justice" Ahmed Abdelrahman.

The subject? In Egypt "... officials refused to reinstate dozens of young prosecutors who were sacked because their parents lacked a university education.  Just months after they were appointed, 138 new prosecutors were removed from office in September 2013 following a ruling from the judiciary’s governing body that said only those born to parents with undergraduate degrees could join the state prosecution..." 

The esteemed "Justice" (his picture is above) is apparently "... a senior judge and former member of the board that banned the prosecutors..." who "... said the decision was aimed at upholding the quality of the judiciary..."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

BlackBerry Passport - first look

After being back-ordered for three weeks my new BlackBerry Passport finally showed up. First up, some specifications (full specs here): 

Size: 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm (5.04 x 3.56 x 0.37 in)
Weight: 196 g (6.91 oz)
Keyboard: QWERTY, Capacitive touch 3-row BlackBerry keyboard 
Screen: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors - 1440 x 1440 pixels, 4.5 inches (~453 ppi pixel density) - Corning Gorilla Glass 3 
Connections: 3.5mm jack, microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
Memory: microSD, up to 128 GB; Internal: 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, NFC.
Camera: Primary: 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash. Secondary: 2 MP, 720p
O.S: BlackBerry 10.3 OS 
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801, CPU: Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3450 mAh battery; Stand-by: Up to 432 h (2G) / Up to 444 h (3G): Talk time: Up to 18 h (2G) / Up to 23 h (3G)

Next up, some pictures to show its relative size. The first is with a BB Torch II and an 'unopened' Medias W N05-E, the second with an 'open' N05-E, and the third with a Samsung Galaxy 4S...


Charged it, opened it up, popped in a microSD card and the nanoSIM (required a detour to the phone store) and was in business...

Some screen shots:





Some BlackBerry Passport Reviews:

A powerful, cumbersome love letter to physical keyboard fans
BlackBerry launches square-screen Passport in turnaround push 
BlackBerry Passport review: Getting stuff done or getting in the way?
BlackBerry Passport Review: A new twist on the classic QWERTY design 

BlackBerry Passport Review: When the Best You've Got Isn't Good Enough

Some BlackBerry Passport Video Reviews: 
BlackBerry Passport Review
BlackBerry Passport Hands-On

Rinse and repeat


Act V of 'Anatomy of an Incident' - Hero First-Year Teacher Facing School Shooter Acted 'Instinctively.' How many times can we get to Act XIV - The Next Horror.

Random charts - war


Random pictures - art/history


Source: Vatican Library Digitization Project

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