Pogba sings ‘football’s coming home’ as he celebrates World Cup triumph

first_imgPaul Pogba couldn’t resist a light-hearted dig at England fans following France’s World Cup triumph.The Manchester United midfielder posted live footage on his Instagram page of the French celebrations after they beat Croatia 4-2 to become world champions in Moscow on Sunday. 1 Paul Pogba shows off the World Cup trophy – and a dab Pogba, who was among the scorers, showed off the dressing room celebrations and paraded the trophy before singing “football’s coming home”.It was a reference to ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’, the classic England anthem that has enjoyed a resurgence this summer with the team reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.It was all in jest by Pogba, who laughed and offered an apology before singing the chant once more.Pogba then added to his viewers: “Just kidding, just kidding, sorry. Just kidding, sorry!” “It’s coming home! Na respect, just kidding, just kidding, sorry, just kidding!” 😂😂😂 #mufc #pogba #WorldCupFinal2018 #worldcup #fra pic.twitter.com/xdOWarZFwr— Man Utd Videos ⚽️🎦 (@ManUtdVines) July 15, 2018The 25-year-old has had plenty of criticism in England since returning to Manchester United from Juventus in an £89million deal in 2016.But he has been an outstanding performer for France at the World Cup, playing a key role as his nation became champions for only the second time.last_img read more

Inflation Concocted to Avoid a Young, Perfect Universe

first_imgAlan Guth concocted inflation theory in 1980 to avoid evidence for a 10,000-year-old universe.  For his wild, evidence-free speculation, he may win a Nobel Prize.In a profile on National Geographic, cosmology guru Alan Guth describes his college experiences that led him to invent inflation theory.  The velvet-glove interviewer, Dan Vergano, treats Guth like a rock star, aided by photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice, who presents the 67-year-old physicist as supercool for a new generation – an appropriate description, because his speculations about supercooling of the universe in the first fractions of a second were his ticket to stardom.Inflation theory began with two hard facts that challenged big bang theory, but would make believers in Genesis quite comfortable.  The first was the fine-tuning of the universe:In 1978, he learned in a talk by Princeton physicist Bob Dicke of a problem with the universe—it was too perfect. All sorts of factors, from the workings of atoms to the gravity holding stars together, seem too exquisitely fine-tuned for creating a cosmos in defiance of both rational explanation and what chance would predict.“One second after the big bang—and I’m pretty sure that is the example he used—the expansion rate had to be just right to an accuracy of 14 decimal places or our universe would look nothing like it does now.” Just a smidge more expansion and the universe would have blasted itself apart. A tiny bit less and it would have fallen in on itself. Instead it had unfolded just right, balanced on a universe-friendly knife-edge, seemingly for no reason.Guth filed away this “flatness” problem in his mind as interesting but too big to tackle. “It just stuck in the back of my mind.”Guth began thinking of ways to rescue secular cosmology from the flatness problem.  Later, after he first conceived of inflation, he speculated that it would also solve another conundrum: the horizon problem (the unexpected uniformity of temperature in regions that never had contact).The second hard fact concerned the age of the universe:In the spring of 1979, Guth attended two lectures by physics Nobelist Steven Weinberg, then at Harvard, about problems with the big bang in its first instants, less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. “I decided that if Steve was willing to work on these crazy things, maybe they weren’t so crazy.”The answer that Guth and Tye found that year, however, was still crazy: The universe should be swimming with cosmic defects.In fact, these defects should have been so numerous and so massive that if they actually existed, the age of the universe “would turn out to be about 10,000 years,” Guth says, with a laugh. “This doesn’t turn out to be the case, scientifically.”Guth laughed.  He dismissed as unscientific the notion that the universe might fit within a Biblical timeframe.  But he couldn’t ignore the problem.  He began speculating.  Maybe, if the universe supercooled in those tiny fractions of the first second, the defects would go away.  “A 100,000-fold drop in temperature might have given the forces inside the early universe a bit more time to line up nicely with each other, essentially producing fewer defective cracks in creation,” the article states, with no explanation of how or why it would undergo supercooling.  But the idea was pregnant with imagination.Guth began figuring on paper.  His imaginary supercooling, he speculated, would also make gravity repulsive, expanding the universe exponentially.  As by-products, it would solve the flatness problem and the horizon problem.  His imagination led him to the analogy of phase transitions when water boils into steam.  He got so excited, he wrote “Spectacular realization!” on his paper.  Secular cosmology could be saved from the appearance of design!Problem: he couldn’t figure out how to stop inflation once it started.  That and other pesky details were mopped up over time, once he and others took off and ran with the idea of inflation.  Guth was noticed by his peers.  Job offers rolled in.  He was high in demand as a speaker by others wanting to hear the radical new idea.Inflation compelled the interest of physicists because it kept all the advantages of the big bang as an explanation for the origin of the universe while filling in a uncharted spot in explaining how it actually started—in other words, what put the bang in the big bang.Intelligent causes were clearly left out of the equations.Unfortunately, Guth’s model of inflation was falsified the next year, in 1981.  It didn’t produce the smooth universe he anticipated.  He almost gave up, but others, charmed with the notion of inflation, came up with patches and fixes to keep the dream alive.  It didn’t seem to matter that the new versions got crazier and crazier:And at the end of the year, Stanford’s [Andre] Linde did find another answer, and he was followed shortly afterward by other researchers. The wholesale makeover of inflation, called “chaotic inflation” or “eternal” inflation, produced by Linde and colleagues in 1983 has become a standard for the field. In this model, inflation is occurring somewhere in the universe all the time, far beyond the 92 billion light-year expanse of the cosmos we can now see.Most often the model also sees inflation producing a proliferation of universes, a multiverse filled with a cornucopia of realities.Guth’s fame has not dimmed with each new observational challenge.  There’s the lumpiness problem, for instance – the observation that very large structures exist throughout the universe.  Guth dismisses these with evidence for tiny fluctuations in the incredibly-smooth CMB (cosmic microwave background radiation) that might have given birth to galaxies, provided there was ample unobserved dark matter available.  There’s the entropy problem: such low entropy today presupposes incredibly, unbelievably low entry at the beginning.  And there’s the conclusion by Sean Carroll (5/11/06) that inflation solves nothing, because to get inflation to work requires even more improbable initial conditions: “It would seem that the conditions required to start inflation are less natural than those of the conventional Big Bang,” Carroll noted.Inflation is so useful to atheists, though, that it has survived all empirical challenges, including the CMB measurements and the “discovery” of cosmic acceleration (requiring occult “dark energy”).  Guth is optimistic that worries about the dust clouding the BICEP2 announcement (see 6/24/14) will dissipate, so that he can point to it as confirmation.For now, as he awaits an expected Nobel Prize in September, Guth lives comfortably at MIT, counting his blessings, Vergano writes.  He already got the Kavli Prize ($1,000,000) shared with Linde and Starobinsky (other inflation rock stars).  Conveniently for him, the Planck project data that could tip the evidence against inflation will probably arrive after Guth and his accomplices have laughed all the way to the bank.Did you know that the inflation model so often described in popular reports and animated on TV, like Cosmos, is wrong?  Inflation underwent a “wholesale makeover” in 1983 when Linde and others made it even more speculative and irrational.  Now, inflation occurs all the time, they say – conveniently, in places that can never be seen, like regions beyond our cosmic horizon, or in other universes that are not observable even in principle.  Inflation is the ultimate shell game, the ultimate ad hoc proposal concocted only to prevent the evidence for a created universe to shine through in glory.  (Recommended reading: Bruce Gordon shows why inflation explains nothing, Evolution News & Views 4/04/14).Alan Guth (Grand Unified Theory Huckster) is a charlatan who doesn’t deserve the fame and fortune showered on him from fawning reporters and willing accomplices in academia who use his “spectacular” evidence-free “realization” to promote materialism.  Don’t be fooled by this BICEP2 confirmation talk.  Because of the under-determination of theory by data, there are an infinite number of theories that can explain whatever turns up from the BICEP2 and Planck instruments.  This article reveals that the evidence supported creation when Guth made up his story, and it still does.  Laughing off God’s word that accounts for the fine-tuning of the universe and its age, Guth made a deliberate choice in 1980 to trust in the imagination of his own heart.  Strong words?  See Guth indict himself in our 2/21/05 entry, where he spouted evidence-free speculation non-stop, admitting that “Without inflation, this large-scale smoothness appears quite puzzling” – confessing therein that he knew the evidence supports design.The blessings he’s now counting should have included gratitude to his Maker for giving him breath, a brain, and the ability to live in a beautiful designed world.  Instead, he turned against his Maker and led a generation astray.  He should also count it a blessing that more philosophically rational men have not booted him out of academia for engaging in self-refuting ideas (which, by definition, cannot possibly be true).  If Guth’s mind is the product of chaotic, irrational forces, then we cannot trust a word he says, including inflation and the idea that his mind is the product of irrational forces.  No amount of math skill can overcome that.Would that Guth had learned to follow the evidence where it leads.  After hearing Dicke’s lecture in 1978, he could have realized, “Wow! That sounds like intelligent design!”  After finding his own model predicted a 10,000-year-old universe, he could have said, “Wow! That sounds like Genesis!”  Instead, he sold his soul to do evil (note: thinking irrationally is evil).  The devil, ever prowling for dupes, in a Faustian bargain, gives him rock star fame and fortune – for a little while.“Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot” (Psalm 73:7) “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21; see 1/21/07 commentary).  Alan, Andre, Robert and the rest of the cosmic cabal, while you walk God’s green Earth, there is still time to repent. (Visited 102 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pluto and Ceres: Young Dwarf Planets

first_img(Visited 70 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 New Horizons continues to surprise astronomers with evidence of active geology and youth at Pluto. Ditto for Ceres as seen from Dawn.Pluto UpdateEver since the July 2015 flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft (7/15/16), planetary scientists have struggled to understand the surprising, unexpected features on the dwarf planet. The final bits of data were received at earth in October 2016. Nature published a series of new papers in November, providing popular media reporters with opportunities to invent eye-catching headlines:Pluto could harbor a subterranean icy ocean (Fox News).The Ocean Beneath Pluto’s Wandering Heart (Astrobiology Magazine).Pluto may sport clouds of poisonous acid and flammable gases (New Scientist).Pluto may have tipped over when Charon tugged at its heart (New Scientist).Pluto’s Wandering Heart Hints at Subsurface Ocean (Mike Wall at Space.com).Pluto ‘has slushy ocean’ below surface (BBC News).Could there be life in Pluto’s ocean? (Phys.org). There’s one in every crowd: a hydrobioscopy imagineer.Pluto’s ‘heart’ may be cold as ice, but it’s in the right place, according to research (Phys.org).Cracked, frozen and tipped over: New clues from Pluto’s past (Science Daily).New analysis adds support for a subsurface ocean on Pluto (Science Daily).The subtitle of that last headline indicates Pluto may not be alone: “Findings suggest other large objects in the Kuiper belt may also have liquid oceans beneath frozen shells.” This was not supposed to be. The bodies at the farthest reaches from the sun were supposed to be the oldest, coldest and deadest. What is this talk about liquid oceans, dynamic atmospheres and tip-overs? Let’s look into the scientific papers where objectivity should trump creative writing. First, the editorial summaries:Alexandra Witze, “Icy heart could be key to Pluto’s strange geology” (Nature, 21 Oct 2016). Following a long tradition, astronomers are calling on the impact card to explain what they didn’t predict. “Sputnik Planitia [the heart-shaped feature] may be a crater punched by a giant meteorite impact, which later filled with ice,” Witze writes. It might have tilted Pluto over, keeping Sputnik Planitia permanently facing away from Charon.Amy C. Barr, “Planetary science: Pluto’s telltale heart” (Nature, 30 Nov 2016). “Four papers published in this issue of Nature show that the heart formed as a result of the interplay of slow deposition of frozen noxious chemicals, bitterly cold winds, cracking icy crusts, cryogenic buried oceans and planetary cartwheels.” Subheading reads, “Studies of a large frost-filled basin on Pluto show that this feature altered the dwarf planet’s spin axis, driving tectonic activity on its surface, and hint at the presence of a subsurface ocean.” Barr says the phenomena at Pluto are not unique; Enceladus, Mars and our Moon “have undergone reorientation due to a loading of material on their crusts.” Pluto’s surface “is smooth and only 10 million years old,” she says; that would be 1/450th the assumed age of Pluto. What happened so recently?Chris Arridge, “Why Pluto may have a large ocean beneath its icy surface” (The Conversation, 17 Nov 2016). A research fellow from Lancaster University, Arridge uses diagrams to show how an impact might have created a slushy ocean under Sputnik Planitia and re-oriented Pluto’s surface. But instead of explaining why this impact hit an improbably small body so recently in the history of the solar system, he distracts attention to speculations about hydrobioscopy. ” Extremophilic organisms are found to thrive wherever there is liquid water,” he tantalizes illogically. “So although the presence of life in these oceans is open for debate, the probability is high enough for us to try to look for it.” It’s doubtful, however, that any mission will return to Pluto in his lifetime, so he cannot be proven wrong. As for probability, he should watch Illustra Media’s new film Origin on that topic.Here are links to the four papers published by Nature.Grundy, Cruikshank et al., “The formation of Charon’s red poles from seasonally cold-trapped volatiles” (Nature, 14 Sept 2016). Tossing around speculations about processes at timescales ranging from centuries to billions of years, these scientists “model the surface thermal environment on Charon and the supply and temporary cold-trapping of material escaping from Pluto, as well as the photolytic processing of this material into more complex and less volatile molecules while cold-trapped.” Some things can happen quickly out there, because Pluto and Charon are exposed to various processes:Our hypothesis requires energetic radiation to process the seasonally cold-trapped CH4 [methane]. It is frozen on Charon’s surface only during the polar winter night, so it must be processed rapidly, on the timescale of a century, and only by radiation impinging on the night side. It need not be fully converted into macromolecular solids such as tholins on such a short timescale, only into molecules that are sufficiently non-volatile to remain on the surface after the pole re-emerges into sunlight and warms back up. Charon’s surface is subject to a variety of energetic radiation sources, including ultraviolet photons, solar wind charged particles, interstellar pickup ions and galactic cosmic raysBertrand and Forget, “Observed glacier and volatile distribution on Pluto from atmosphere–topography processes” (Nature, 19 Sept 2016). This paper reports “ongoing geological activity” with evidence of glaciers on Sputnik Planum (the heart-shaped feature) and movement of nitrogen frosts, “methane and carbon monoxide on Pluto over thousands of years.” But Pluto is supposed to be over four billion years old.Keane, Matsuyama et al., “Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia” (Nature, 16 Nov 2016). The first sentence reveals the scientists’ surprise: “Pluto is an astoundingly diverse, geologically dynamic world.” At one point, they estimate “it would take approximately 5 million years to grow a 5 km N2 ice cap given Pluto’s present average atmospheric pressure and temperature.” That would be only about one thousandth the assumed age of Pluto.Nimmo, Hamilton et al., “Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto” (Nature, 16 Nov 2016). This team argues that Sputnik Planitia resulted from an impact. How to keep Pluto active? A little imagination can help. “A rigid, conductive shell could be reconciled with putative cryovolcanic surface features by appealing to ocean pressurization caused by progressive thickening of the ice shell.” Given that assumption, oceans might be common. None of this was predicted before the flyby.Hamilton, Stern et al., “The rapid formation of Sputnik Planitia early in Pluto’s history” (Nature, 30 Nov 2016). This team thinks Sputnik is an ice cap, not an impact basin. Ice caps don’t require billions of years. “Over many seasonal cycles of sublimation and deposition, the runaway albedo effect (discussed above and in Methods) will cause a single ice cap to form in at most a few hundred thousand years,” they say. Although they think Charon became tidally locked to Pluto early in its history, in just a million years, how do they account for the activity reported by other teams?Ceres UpdateLatest news reports about Ceres, the second asteroid being explored by the Dawn spacecraft, indicate surprisingly youthful features. (Like Pluto, Ceres is currently classified as a dwarf planet.)Where is the ice on Ceres? (Alicia Chang, Phys.org). Ice should not survive on the airless surface of Ceres, but scientists believe that permanently-shadowed craters could store ice deposits, like at Mercury. If water molecules jump around on the surface, they could land in these cold traps and stay there for billions of years, the story goes. “With every hop there is a chance the molecule is lost to space, but a fraction of them ends up in the cold traps, where they accumulate.” OK, then, but ices are still exposed to cosmic rays and other energetic sources over those billions of years.Ceres: Water ice in eternal polar night (Science Daily). An icy interior was predicted based on density measurements, but not ice on the surface. It would sublimate in short periods of time. That’s why astronomers had to invent the cold-trap hypothesis.Solar System’s biggest asteroid is an ancient ocean world (Alexandra Witze, Nature News). Subsurface oceans are trendy these days (10/14/16). “Asteroids might look dry and barren, but the Solar System’s biggest asteroid — Ceres — is chock full of water, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has found.” Again, this was not expected. The observations do not require billions of years.Today, the water is either frozen as ice, filling pore spaces deep inside Ceres, or locked inside hydrated minerals at the surface. But billions of years ago, early in Ceres’s history, heat left over from the Solar System’s formation probably kept the asteroid warm inside. This allowed the water to churn and flow, helping to separate Ceres into layers of rock and ice….The discovery adds to a growing awareness of Ceres as an active, wet world that pushes the boundary of what it means to be a planet. Today it sports a 4-kilometre-high ice volcano and bright spots of salt mixed with ice and rock.Water, Water Everywhere on Dwarf Planet Ceres (Calla Cofield, Space.com). Water is ubiquitous on Ceres, close to the surface, and may exist in a subsurface ocean. “The fact that so much water is still present on Ceres ‘confirms predictions that water ice can lie for billions of years within a meter of the surface,’” she writes, but wait: was that really a prediction, or an after-the-fact rationalization? We quoted a scientist on 6/29/16 who said it was “absolutely incredible” to think an ocean could exist under Pluto after billions of years. Just a couple of months ago, scientists were astonished to think that Ceres might have active geology, even erupting geysers (9/10/16). The brightness of surface features was hard to explain last March (3/28/16). In August, they complained about missing craters and inexplicable mountains (8/05/16). It’s disingenuous to turn around now and say that the science “confirms predictions.”Planetary scientists are like Senators. They find which way the data is going, then run in front of it and call themselves the leader. We remember how flabbergasted they were at the first images. Don’t let the moyboys rewrite history.last_img read more

Google Apps Campaign: How Not to Influence IT Experts

first_imgRelated Posts Google just launched “Going Google” – a marketing campaign similar to the Spread Firefox to encourage companies to switch to Google Apps in the workplace. While millions already use Gmail, the campaign is aimed at luring business and enterprise users away from Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. Google already claims to serve more than 1.75 million companies and judging by the flashy campaign, it hopes to increase that number in the near future. Tags:#Google#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Surprisingly, despite Google’s success in online and web advertising, one of the company’s key ad vehicles is the billboard. The company has reserved 4 billboards in major US cities and will run a new Google App-related message each day for a month. The campaign is expected to celebrate the benefits of Gmail spam protection, filters, high storage limits, email threads, Google chat, Google Docs and of course, what the company has always done well, search. In an effort to rally advocates, the company has set up a Google Apps “Spread the Word” site where enthusiasts download marketing collateral and promote Google Apps within the workplace. The site slogan is, “Join the movement. Spread the word. Go Google.” The page is meant to help employees convince their IT administrators to switch to Google Apps, but I can’t help thinking this campaign could potentially backfire. While Google Apps and Firefox share a common enemy in Microsoft, the project targets are completely different. Firefox enthusiasts advocate on behalf of the company directly to their friends and family. Meanwhile Google Apps enthusiasts are asked to influence the very people who are already more qualified to make IT-related infrastructural decisions. In other words, if you’ve ever seen a non-technical employee tell an IT administrator how to do his/her job, the outcome probably wasn’t pretty. Nevertheless, because Google’s services are extremely user-friendly, some great enterprise and business-level endorsements might better influence a workplace service transition. One testimonial from Vivek Kundra is particularly glowing. Currently serving as the United States Chief Information Officer, Kundra is responsible for the country’s e-government and information technology. In 2008, as the CTO of the District of Columbia, he endorsed Google Apps as a cost-effective, scalable and easy-to-use collaboration platform. He deployed the service across the district’s 86 agencies to help its police officers, fire fighters and public servants. Using a number of Google applications including Google Earth, maps, documents and email, Kundra has been celebrated for bringing efficiency and cloud-based infrastructure to the District of Columbia. His work earned him a spot as a key advisor on President Obama’s transition committee on technology issues and from there he was appointed the federal CIO. dana oshiro A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

PRISM Fallout: In Cloud We Don’t Trust?

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … The NSA does not monitor every piece of data, the story reports, only targeted individuals. But the capability to monitor the target within all of the companies’ data is there, according to the slides obtained by the Post.All of the companies named in the leaked slides have categorically denied being involved in PRISM, which is pretty much the only answer they can give: if such a program exists, they are likely bound by court order from revealing their participation, and if it doesn’t exist, then they are truthful in denying it. The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledges that such programs do exist, but that the documents published by the Post and the U.K.’s Guardian contain “numerous inaccuracies.”Which, alas for the U.S. tech industry, isn’t exactly a “no.”Perception-wise, the firms named in the leaked slides are screwed. If PRISM doesn’t exist, it will be very hard to prove otherwise in a climate where distrust of government is at an all-time high. If PRISM does exist, then the perception of these companies will either be as lying co-conspirators in a massive breach of user privacy – or incompetent morons who don’t know that the U.S. government can get into their data whenever it wants.The most likely scenario here is that the tech companies are being very, very literal: they can deny ever hearing of a program called PRISM because they may have really never heard of it. Ars Technica spoke with Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Kurt Opshal, who outlined what’s probably going on with these denials:“Whether they know the code name PRISM, they probably don’t,” [Opshal] told Ars. “[Code names are] not routinely shared outside the agency. Saying they’ve never heard of PRISM doesn’t mean much. Generally what we’ve seen when there have been revelations is something like: ‘we can’t comment on matters of national security.’ The tech companies responses are unusual in that they’re not saying ‘we can’t comment.’ They’re designed to give the impression that they’re not participating in this.”In Cloud We Trust?Successfully pulling off that impression would seem to be nearly impossible and the nine tech companies named in the PRISM documents are in for a world of pain. Already, U.S.-based users, individual and corporate, are up in arms about the perceived breach, even as the U.S. government insists that it is not spying on its own citizens, but is targeting non-U.S. citizens in its quest to maintain national security.US companies may end up becoming more active participants in cyber/national security related activities anyway, depending on how Department of Defense cyberwar rules of engagement play out. (See also: New Cyberwar Rules Of Engagement: Will The U.S. Draft Companies To Fight?)But for public cloud users who reside outside the U.S., the statements about non-U.S. targets are sure to have a chilling effect. Especially in the European Union, which has been critically examining their data relationship with the U.S. for some time. That relationship, once precarious, may have just gotten pushed off the cliff.Currently, data generated by European companies is bound by the strictures of the E.U.’s 1998 European Commission Directive on Data Protection (ECDDP), which, among other things, blocks data from being transferred to outside the European Economic Area unless the E.U.’s strict protection guidelines were followed.The problem is that U.S. laws and policies let data like names and addresses be handled in ways that were way outside the ECDDP comfort zone. This would have effectively prevented any European data from being stored on U.S.-based clouds and data centers, were it not for Safe Harbor.Established in the Fall of 2000, Safe Harbor is a compromise that would allow data interchange to take place. Safe Harbor requires that companies follow a certain set of privacy practices, such as informing individuals that their data is being collected and how it will be used. If Safe Harbor rules are followed by U.S. companies, which self-certify themselves to be Safe Harbor compliant, then E.U. data can be stored in the U.S., which is handy since many of the world’s biggest public cloud services are located in the U.S.All of the E.U. nations, with the exception of Germany, are participants in the E.U.-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement. This is why in Germany, corporate workers are prohibited from using services like Google Docs to store and work with company information. (One has to wonder if the Germans didn’t have an inkling that something like PRISM was going on.)The Europeans have had some qualms about Safe Harbor already. Last July, an independent European advisory body, the Article 29 Working Party, recommended the existing Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and E.U. is not enough to provide true security for European organizations’ data. Their argument? That self-certification was nowhere near enough to assure adequate protections.“…[I]n the view of the [Article 29] Working Party, sole self-certification with Safe Harbor may not be deemed sufficient in the absence of robust enforcement of data protection principles in the cloud environment,” the recommendation stated. “The Working Party considers that companies exporting data should not merely rely on the statement of the data importer claiming that he has a Safe Harbor certification. On the contrary, the company exporting data should obtain evidence that the Safe Harbor self-certifications exists and request evidence demonstrating that their principles are complied with.”In other words, don’t take U.S. tech companies at their word that they will comply with Safe Harbor rules.Safe Harbor At RiskFast forward to today, when suddenly the Article 29 Working Party’s non-binding recommendation has some teeth to it. European companies and lawmakers are very likely going to look at the events surrounding PRISM and wonder how safe their data would be if stored in a U.S. system.Amazon and Rackspace, two large U.S.-based public cloud providers, were not named in the PRISM slides, but Microsoft and Google were. While no one knows if the U.S. intelligence services can and were accessing cloud-based data hosted by Microsoft and Google, the integrity of their cloud hosting services will probably be called into question now, especially by companies outside the U.S., which – by the U.S. government’s own insistence – are valid targets for national security investigations.The E.U.-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement may be the one of first casualties of the leaking of PRISM – even if PRISM turns out to be fictitious. Just the hint that something like PRISM could exist could evaporate a large amount of trust and business for U.S. cloud vendors – even ones not named in the PRISM documents.Public cloud infrastructure is under serious threat, as users domestic and international start seriously questioning public cloud security and integrity. This may bring a large shift towards private cloud or virtual data centers deployments, as companies seek to protect their data from government’s prying eyes.Images courtesy of Shutterstock. brian proffitt Related Posts U.S. tech firms who have built their business on a free-flowing Internet just got a huge smack in the face. Leaked government documents seemed to reveal the existence of a top-secret program with the capability to mine their users’ data at will.Right now, the debate is over exactly what data’s being collected and how—and whether the companies were complicit in letting it happen.But that misses the real impact of such a program. Regardless of the details, it will damage the reputations of the U.S. as a technology marketplace.There are many operations that will feel the hit, but the biggest one may be in cloud computing. After all, what foreign company would want to host its data in a cloud that could be rifled at will by the U.S. government?What We Think We KnowLeaked documents from the National Security Agency and the FBI have revealed an apparent secret government program, code-named PRISM, that is “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time,” according to the Washington Post.The data was pulled from the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Dropbox, the Post reported, is supposedly “coming soon.”center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#cybersecurity last_img read more

Farmers’ issues more pressing than Chief Minister post: Uddhav Thackeray

first_imgStating that the plight of the farmer was a much more critical issue than the question of the future chief ministerial post, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday cautioned that the ruling government would be in a serious spot if the farmer’s issues boiled over.“I am not bothered who will be the next Chief Minister and from which party. Unfortunately, this question has assumed significance for some people who think it is greater than the burning question of farmers. I am only concerned about the farmers of Maharashtra securing justice and their woes being redressed. Until this happens, I will continue to regard politicos as unworthy,” Mr. Thackeray said, addressing farmers in Shrirampur in Ahmednagar district.The Sena chief, who was taking stock of a help centre set-up by his party workers in the tehsil, said that the ruling government [BJP-Sena] must not be complacent following its Lok Sabha win and must strive to place the farmers’ woes high on its agenda.“The farmer is not a slave. There is a limit to his sacrifice and patience. Once they are exceeded, it could prove severely detrimental to those in power. I assure that the Sena will not rest till farmers are given their due,” said Mr. Thackeray.At the same time, the Sena president quashed suggestions of any schisms in his party’s alliance with the BJP, stating that the saffron coalition was strong and that detractors needn’t be concerned about the possibility of any rift.“I do not speak against the BJP-led government. Having said that, I want to state that one of the conditions of our alliance with the BJP was the issue of completely writing off loans for the farmers, and not a mere loan waivee. The Sena will ensure that every farmer avails of this benefit,” Mr. Thackeray said.He reiterated his warning that the Shiv Sena would take action against insurance companies and banks denying financial aid to farmers.“It is the responsibility of these companies to give them insurance money. But I have information that many are refusing to do so. I only want to warn them that they cannot escape justice like a Nirav Modi or a Vijay Mallya,” said the Sena chief.last_img read more