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I cannot believe this. Who would be so crassly stupid as to use a "password" like that ?

25 'worst' web passwords

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

But if you think that those are only the worst passwords and of course nobody is using them, please read this page which lists the passwords most commonly used.
Depressingly enough, they are mostly the same.

Source: The Telegraph

Who cares what the "purists" do ? If everybody else has sense enough to see that this is necessary and a good thing, then it doesn't really matter what the "purists" do.

Will purists drink wine from a cardboard bottle?

To drink or not to drink..from a bottle that isn’t glass, that is the question. A UK company has invented the world’s first paper wine bottle. But will purists drink wine from it?

GreenBottle has already invented the world’s first paper milk bottle, featured in TreeHugger last January and already hitting the 100,000 sale mark.

Now they are expanding into wine bottles, based on the same green principles. GreenBottle has developed a prototype paper bottle for wine that is theirs alone and is currently in talks with supermarkets and wine producers to make it available to the British public as early as next year.


Source: Impact Lab
Source: GreenBottle

What a fabulous idea ! I hate roller coasters - but this one ? For me a must see :-)

Stroller coaster... the sculpture that gives walkers the pleasure of a fairground ride without the pace

If you are terrified of roller coasters this is definitely the easy way to experience the thrill.

In fact this isn't actually a roller coaster at all but a huge towering sculpture in Duisburg, Germany.

It has been built on top of a mining waste tip at the Heinrich-Hildebrand-Height in the Angerpark, which opened in 2008.

Visitors can climb on the curved sculpture and walk around, taking in the surrounding views from the spiral walkways - but not at the breakneck speed usually associated with roller coasters.

Named 'Tiger and Turtle - Magic Mountain', the 20-metre landmark was designed to be a focal point for the Ruhr region and stands 85 metres above sea level.


Source: Daily Mail

Wow. Have a look at that image and get an impression of how truly small and unimportant we are in the universe.

Thank you edosan for sending me this !

Astronomer Captures Enormous True-Color Photo of Night Sky

On his way to snapping 37,440 digital photos, Nick Risinger never once asked anyone to look at his camera and smile.

Risinger's subjects were the millions upon millions of stars and solar systems and galaxies filling the night sky. The single astounding panoramic image he has created -- stitched together into a seamless 5,000-megapixel shot -- is riveting astronomers and sky watchers worldwide.

And it's online. With the click of a mouse, you can zoom through the eons to peer into pale yellow gas clouds, past purple nebulae, across vast belts of stars and then into the dim light of the distant universe fading gradually to infinity.

The image contains a staggering 20 million stars, Risinger said, "floating on a stage of unimaginable proportions."

...read more

Source: Free Press

Deutsche Welle has a new page about environmental issues around the world. Not bad.

This week's features are hydropower in Bosnia-Herzegovina and life in Rio de Janeiro's favelas.
Very interesting interactive videos.

Well done !

Global Ideas

How I wish the EU would stay on Summer Time as well. I hate, really hate Winter Time. I'm an early riser and so having the day start an hour late in winter really gets to me. Thought about staying on summer time myself, but that would mean getting up at 3:30 every morning and that would feel strange too. And the evenings would be rather short, going to bed at 9 o'clock when I get back from work around 5:30 / 6 o'clock.

Russia decides to stay on summer time

Many European countries have turned their clocks back one hour this weekend for the northern hemisphere winter.

But Russia has decided to stay on summer time this year - a decision made by President Dmitry Medvedev in a bid to solve some of the nation's problems.

It is hoped that with the extra bit of daylight in the afternoon, there will be less crime and lower electricity bills.

The daylight saving system has long been the subject of discussion. Medvedev first suggested considering its abolition back in November 2009, which was followed by massive studies of the subject.

The report published by Russian Academy of Medical Sciences revealed that when the clocks are changed, the number of heart attacks increases by 1.5 times, the rate of suicides grows by 66 per cent, and many more people call the ambulance service.

The Academy said that the effect was the biggest on children and elderly people, who experienced stress, sleep disorders, cardiovascular, immune and metabolism problems.


Source: maltastar

Oh how I hate those greedy corporations ! I wonder who SU sells our usernames to ?

Hundreds of websites share usernames sans permission

Photobucket, Wall Street Journal, Home Depot take liberties with your personal info

Home Depot, The Wall Street Journal, Photobucket, and hundreds of other websites share visitor's names, usernames, or other personal information with advertisers or other third parties, often without disclosing the practice in privacy policies, academic researchers said.

Sixty-one percent of websites tested by researchers from Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society leaked the personal information, sometimes to dozens of third-party partners. Home Depot, for example, disclosed the first names and email addresses of visitors who clicked on an ad to 13 companies. The Wall Street Journal divulged to seven of its partners the email address of users who enter the wrong password. And Photobucket handed over the usernames of those who use the site to share images with their friends.


Source: The Register

So what happens during a power outage ? I am not at all in favour of having my life depend so wholly on electronic gadgets. Already without power we have no water, no heating, no cooking, no transportation. If we want to (and can afford it), we can already have the contents of our fridge controlled by software, lights turned on/off by mobile phone and whatnot else. The trend has been going in that direction for years.

Can we really sustain the ever increasing amount of energy we are consuming every day and do we really need all these gadgets that the industry is trying to make us buy ?

While I admire the technology and would rate it as "neat", I would not install it.

'Invisible key' invented by Taiwan scientists

A team of Taiwanese researchers have developed an "invisible key" technology which allows users to unlock their doors by means of simple hand gestures, the head of the team said Monday. At the heart of the technology developed by his team is a chip that can detect movement in three dimensions.
At the heart of the technology developed by his team is a chip that can detect movement in three dimensions, as used in Nintendo's Wii video game console, he said.

Source: physorg.com

This guy is speaking for me:

"We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.""

I have only ever been bored in company.
My name is Karen. I am an Introvert.

Caring for Your Introvert

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands--and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.


Source: The Atlantic

They finally found out that kids are not clever enough to recognize photoshopped images ? Well, they should do that very same campaign for all the grown-ups too. Maybe then that insane yearning to look like some plastic pseudo celebrity will be a little curbed.

Children to be shown airbrushed Britney Spears pictures

Primary school pupils will be shown airbrushed images of a scantily-clad Britney Spears as part of an attempt to show them the “impossible standard” set by advertising and media.

Children aged 10 and 11 will be warned, in a lesson plan backed by a senior minister, that almost all photos shown in adverts have been manipulated and that many show “a degree of perfection which is unattainable in society”.

They will be told that reading magazines lowers their self-esteem, putting their physical and mental health at risk, and asked to consider if “you need to be beautiful in order to be a good or loveable person”.

...more (Source: Daily Telegraph)

I think this is a great service. We're so not doing enough for the handicapped. I must ask a blind friend of mine if he knows about this. He's not a soccer fan but maybe he's heard of it. If not, it's just another incidence of a service available to the handicapped not being adequately made known and consequently not being made use of.

The Gift of Sight for Blind Football Fans

FC Augsburg's service for its blind fans means it now matches up to most other Bundesliga clubs, says Jörn Seinsch, son of the team's president, Walther Seinsch. Berlin club Hertha BSC, for example, has reserved dozens of seats per game for its seeing-impaired fans since it launched its service in 2005. Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich likewise began offering specialized commentary for blind stadium-goers in 2005. Reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund offers seats for 20 visually impaired fans at their stadium.

And now FC Augsburg, which plays at the 30,660-seat SGL Arena, can accommodate up to 10 seeing-impaired soccer enthusiasts, with Seinsch and his team of commentators giving fans like Anna-Maria the chance to experience a soccer game first hand.

Source: Spiegel Online

This is really scary stuff.
While I absolutely see all the good they can do with this, I also see the horrible things that can be done - and if history repeats itself, as it usually does - the horrible things that WILL be done with this technology.

I do not expect that much use of it will be made in the medical sector. The military will snap this up and quietly let the official projects die. I don't think I'll have to elaborate on the uses the military or intelligence sector has for this technology.

Today we're living in the last years of "free speech" - our kids might not even live to experience "free thought"

Mind-reading research: the major breakthroughs

1) A team from the University of Glasgow announced in May they had come one step closer to creating a mind-reading machine after successfully decoding brain signals related to vision. Volunteers were shown images of people’s faces displaying different emotions such as happiness, fear and surprise.

2) Using electrodes, bioengineers from Utah University recorded brain signals in a computer as a patient repeatedly read 10 words that might be useful to a paralysed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less.

Then they got him to repeat the words to the computer and it was able to match the brain signals for each word up to 90 per cent of the time.

3) Canadian scientists announced a breakthrough in the tricky business of mind-reading in June – they developed a method of working out from brain scans what physical action a person is about to carry out before he or she actually does it. They hope now to harness that technology to create advanced artificial limbs for amputees.

4) Car manufacturer Toyota announced it was working on a neuron helmet for cyclists that would monitor heartrate, speed and cadence to allow the rider to shift gears with just their mind.

Source: Daily Telegraph