Wednesday, June 04, 2014

What I am reading 6/4/2014 - Paper Dragons and Peak Shale

Medium - The Chinese Military is a Paper Dragon -

Even after decades of expensive rearmament, China is a paper dragon—a version of what Mao Zedong wrongly claimed the United States was … in 1956.
Quartz - Not a "Tiger Mom?" Don't Sweat it, your kids will turn out fine -

Even if Asian and Western parenting styles differ radically, they represent two paths to the same destination, according to new Stanford research.
...
But as Stanford researchers Alyssa Fu and Hazel Markus suggest in a new study, both culture-centric approaches can be effective. Motivation, the researchers wrote, is understood to come from within an individual in Western families, while Asian children find strength in parental expectations. The bottom line is that children can be motivated either way.
Quartz -  Ready or not, OPEC will get back the petro-power crown -


As recently as last year, the US was often importing more than 10 million barrels of oil a day, but with the shale oil boom, daily imports dropped (paywall) last month to 6.5 million barrels, a 17-year low. Just last week, an industry-funded report advocated opening up the US for oil exports, all but banned since the 1970s.

But the US party may last only another decade, give or take a few years, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). The surge in oil production from North America will plateau around 2020 and begin to decline in the middle of the decade, the IEA said in a report issued in London. 


A recently discovered bug in the GnuTLS cryptographic code library puts users of Linux and hundreds of other open source packages at risk of surreptitious malware attacks until they incorporate a fix developers quietly pushed out late last week.
Maliciously configured servers can exploit the bug by sending malformed data to devices as they establish encrypted HTTPS connections. Devices that rely on an unpatched version of GnuTLS can then be remotely hijacked by malicious code of the attacker's choosing, security researchers who examined the fix warned. 

In case you haven't heard, California is screwed. The drought has turned our perennially water-challenged state into a desiccated husk. In these dire times, we look toward desalination, an idea long-promised but never quite delivered in the U.S. But a spate of new technologies—graphene, solar mirrors, and more—could finally make desalination viable for our freshwater needs. 

It shows how to make all the sci-fi weapons you can imagine using a Nerf rifle, a can of black spray paint, and the magic of Adobe After Effects.
I feel ripped off from the title I was hoping for a real Plasma Rifle in the 40 Megawatt Range but noooooo...

Slashdot - Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

What can really be said?  I'm glad I am not living there anymore.



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