Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Get Your War On II
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Top Military Leaders Drafted Plans to Kill Innocent People and Commit Acts of Terrorism in US Cities
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.
The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.
"These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told ABCNEWS.com.
Want to learn more ....
Declassified Memorandum for the Secetary of Defence (13 March 1962 )
Speach by Carlos Lechuga, Cuban ambassador to the U.N.
"Cuba was this morning invaded by a mercenary force organized, financed, and armed by the government of the United States." (United Nations, New York City, April 17, 1961)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
18 men and women from the 343rd Quartermaster Company REFUSE to go on a mission.
When a whole platoon of soldiers refuses an order, it is time for Congress to pay attention. The chain of command is fundamental to military discipline and function, and when 18 men and women from the 343rd Quartermaster Company defy a specific command to deliver contaminated fuel hundreds of miles from their base, one can be sure something very serious happened. Initial press reports indicate that the unit's trucks lacked even basic armor and appropriate armed escort. The commander of the Corps to which this platoon ultimate reports, Brig. General James Chambers, confirmed that the unit's trucks were not armored and that he had ordered additional investigations.
This refusal must be interpreted in the light of the ongoing hypocrisy of the Bush administration, which claims that it will send as many troops as the generals in Iraq request, and provide sufficient material and armor to all who need it. Unfortunately, once the generals leave Iraq, they reveal that they sought additional troops repeatedly and that they were desperate for additional supplies and armor. It is barely possible to imagine the desperation of these soldiers, who by all accounts, had used the chain of command to no avail to complain about the conditions and dangers they faced.
Are you pissed off now. Do you think something should be done about it? Urge Sen. Warner, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to hold public hearings on the conditions facing the Reserves in Iraq, including those desperate enough to refuse orders and risk court martial.
Karen Hughes Questions Pat Robertson’s Veracity
Pat Robertson, Founder, Christian Coalition:
"He [Bush] was the most self-assured man I ever met in my life. Remember Mark Twain said he looks like a contended Christian with four aces. I mean he was sitting there like I'm on top of the world. And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war. Deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties. Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties. Well, I said, you know, it's the way it's going to be." [CNN, 10/19/04]
Karen Hughes on CNN:
When asked about Robertson's comments on his conversation with Bush, Hughes replied:
Hughes: "Judy, I cannot imagine that that conversation would ever take place. I've never heard the president say anything of the sort.... So I can't imagine whether he misunderstood, or what happened. But I'm certain that the president did not say that remark."
CNN: "So Pat Robertson is lying or wrong or something?"
Hughes: "Well, again, Judy, I don't know. Perhaps he misunderstood.... It just doesn't sound consistent with the facts as I knew them at the time."
Friday, October 15, 2004
A letter to Microsoft
The Interview spoken of at USA Today
Just how long do we have to wait for a quantum computer?
In the last five months we (humanity) have taken a few steps or flying leaps closer to a real quantum computer. Hogwash, poppycock you say. Bite thy tongue sir and let your ears (or eyes in this case) be thy judge.
It used to be that if (god knows why) one had the urge to measure a photon or group of photons one would use the time tested caveman method. That is crashing it into an “interference phenomena” like a spectrometer or homodyne detector resulting in the proton(s) being destroyed. Starting in June of this year a few physicists at the University of Queensland (of the land “downunder”) conceived of a measurement system that allows them to spy on individual photons. Meaning we can observe the universe on a quantum scale as we have never been able to do before. (note to other physics geeks.. not only that but they can observe BOTH the wave and particle qualities of the photon simultaneously.)
For more info on this check out the links.
Also in June some physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology demonstrated the teleportation of atomic states (both spin state and phase) with no physical link. Being that it is difficult at best to move qubits efficiently, transportation of atomic states would allow a quantum computer to share and/or process information with much greater efficiency that current technology. To think I was content with transferring data over a wire or through a groove in silicon at the speed of light. In laymen’s terms, instant communication between different parts of a quantum computer. “But what of this qubit you speak sir” you say. Think bit, as in 1 or 0, but with the ability to also have any value in between, limited only by the accuracy of our measurement.
For more info on this check out the links.
So you are a quantum physicist or mathematician and you have some theoretical quantum algorithms that you would like to test. Well dream no longer my friend, during the bountiful month of June, in an article brought to us by the informative people at Nature, the boys over at FIRST (Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology) created the most powerful simulated quantum computer in existence. “Fat lot of good that does me!” you say. Well don’t get your panties in a wad quite yet, those nice chaps over at FIRST were also kind enough to make it available on-line. “AVAST! Those scoundrels are after me buried treasure.” you say. Well fear not good sir, because it is free as well. By now I am sure at least one person reading this will want to know the site. But this link in the original article was dead for me so you can check out the original article that is both on phyorg.com and on the FIRST website. The FIRST website also has contact information.
Back in July some of our fellow geeks out at UCLA were able to flip the spin of a single electron of a regular transistor chip. But more importantly they were able to measure the change in the spin. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.
So that whole transportation of atomic states thing rubs you the wrong way. Think its just too damn complicated to be of any good in the near future. Well Professor Steven Girvin at Yale University may have the answer for you, circuit quantum electrodynamics. Specifically, the coherent coupling of a single photon to a Cooper pair box. Brain hurting right about now? They “couple a single photon to a single superconducting qubit (quantum bit or artificial ‘atom’).” “Arrrr, what be this artificial atom thingie?” you say. It is actually a chunk about a billion, that’s 9 zeros kids, aluminum atoms acting like/simulating/pretending to be a single atom. Then they take a microwave photon, which has a wavelength of about a centimeter, and trap it so it can be absorbed and emitted over and over again by the “atom”. (For the record the visible light spectrum is approximately 390 to 720 nm.) The photon is absorbed and regurgitated some where near the order of 12 million, that’s 6 zeros kids, times a second. This results in the “formation of a novel quantum state that is partly photon and partly atom excitation.”
Want to learn more? Check out the linkage…
Now I must take you back to Computer Science 101 for a moment. For those of you who know what a register is you can skim the first few sentences or just read it for a refresher. We all know that data on a computer is represented in the form of 1s and 0s known as a binary code. The CPU itself has a specialized high-speed memory that is commonly known as the register. This is actually incorrect, as it is actually a group of individual registers. The correct term for the registers in your processor is architeched registers. They are measured by the number of bits they can hold (e.g. 32 bit register). Most often now registers are an array of a semiconductor memory called Static Random Access Memory (SRAM).
Well those geniuses of engineering, the Germans that is, are at it again. Scientists at the University of Bonn set up an experimental quantum register. Rather ingeniously they first used one laser to hold five caesium atoms still by resting them in the trough of the light wave. Then they used a second laser to ‘write’ zeros on the qubits. Through the use of an extremely small and localized magnetic field the scientists were able to selectively influence the individual qubits. Then they used microwave radiation to ‘store’ all the quantum information on the qubits. By varying the strength of the magnetic field and thus the frequency of microwave radiation that the qubit would react to they were able to store the quantum information. That which is neither a 1 nor 0 but somewhere between the two.
Want to learn more? (Some of it is in German mind you)
Finally we learned in October of this year that a group of Perdue University physicists built a device that can somewhat effectively separate a stream of quantum objects, electrons in this case, according to their spin. It is actually a huge step as it has been quite a difficult problem to resolve. Kudos boys. I do urge you to read the entire article of this one as it contains much information that is clear and concise.