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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Harold camping Family Radio like Iceland volcano eruption

On Harold camping end day -- the world did not end on May 21, 2011.

This expected development has lead many to posit that apocalypse predictor Harold Camping, whose Family Radio has led the campaign for the Judgment Day, is about to get his comeuppance.

After littering the United States with foreboding billboards for months, the egg is now very clearly on his face. But at least the day wasn't natural disaster-free. Iceland's most active volcano erupted with several hours left in d-day, and MSNBC reports 18,000-foot plumes of smoke are shooting in the air and prompting 50 small earthquakes.

Well, that's something, Harold! (We jest because there are no reported injuries or fatalities.)

celand's largest volcano has begun erupting; white plume shoots 18,000 feet into the sky

A report from Iceland says it has sent a warning to England to adjust flight routes

More on Iceland volcano: White plume up to 18,000 feet seen; officials don't expect a repeat of last year's ash cloud problems - NBC


Volcano erupts in Iceland, spurs 50 quakes. Similar eruption occurred in 2004

Volcano started erupting at 5.30 pm local time in Iceland

Largest of the 50 Iceland quakes was 3.7

Scientists plan flight over Grimsvotn later tonight to study the effects of the eruption
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Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano starts new eruption

The volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier in south-east Iceland, last erupted in 2004.

In 2010, plumes of ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused weeks of air travel chaos across Europe.

Scientists say the latest eruption is unlikely to cause similar problems, although it may trigger localised flooding.

Volcanic eruptions are common in Iceland, which lies along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that divides the Eurasian and North American continental plates.

Icelandic Meteorological Office geologist Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson told Reuters that Grimsvotn had thrown a plume of white smoke about 15km (nine miles) into the air.

"It can be a big eruption, but it is unlikely to be like last year,

Last year's outpouring of ash from Eyjafjallajokull led to the largest closure of European airspace since World War II.

About 10 million travellers were affected and some questioned whether the shutdown was an over-reaction.

One eyewitness, said the plume rose quickly several thousand feet (meters) into the air.

Sparsely populated Iceland is one of the world's most volcanically active countries and eruptions are frequent.

Eruptions often cause local flooding from melting glacier ice, but rarely cause deaths.

Last year's Eyjafjallajokul eruption left some 10 millions of air travelers stranded worldwide after winds pushed the ash cloud toward some of the world's busiest airspace and led most northern European countries to ground all planes for five days.

Whether widespread disruption occurs again will depend on how long the eruption lasts, how high the ash plume rises and which way the wind blows.

In November, melted glacial ice began pouring from Grimsvotn, signaling a possible eruption. That was a false alarm but scientists have been monitoring the volcano closely ever since.

The volcano also erupted in 1998, 1996 and 1993. The eruptions have lasted between a day and several weeks.
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Eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull

2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull are a timeline of volcanic events at Eyjafjöll in Iceland which, although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April 2010. Additional localised disruption continued into May 2010. The eruption was declared officially over in October 2010, when snow on the glacier did not melt. 14-20 April ash covered large areas of northern Europe when volcano erupted. About 20 countries closed their airspace and it affected hundreds of thousands of travellers. The European flights avoided about 344,109 tonnes of CO2 emissions per day, while the volcano emitted about 150 000 tonnes of CO2 per day.
Seismic activity started at the end of 2009 and gradually increased in intensity until on 20 March 2010, a small eruption started rated as a 1 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index.
Beginning on 14 April 2010, the eruption entered a second phase and created an ash cloud that led to the closure of most of Europe's IFR airspace from 15 until 20 April 2010. Consequently, a very high proportion of flights within, to, and from Europe were cancelled, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the Second World War.
The second phase of the eruption started on 14 April 2010 and resulted in an estimated 250 million cubic metres (330,000,000 cu yd) (¼ km3) of ejected tephra. The ash plume rose to a height of approximately 9 kilometres (30,000 ft), which rates the explosive power of the eruption as a 4 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index.
By 21 May 2010, the second eruption phase had subsided to the point that no further lava or ash was being produced.
By the morning of 24 May 2010, the view from the web camera installed on Þórólfsfell showed only a plume of water vapour surrounded by a blueish haze caused by the emission of sulphurous gases.
Due to the large quantities of dry volcanic ash lying on the ground, surface winds frequently lifted up an "ash mist" that significantly reduced visibility and made web camera observation of the volcano impossible.
By the evening of 6 June 2010, a small, new crater had opened up on the west side of the main crater from which explosive activity was observed with the emission of small quantities of ash.Seismic data showed that the frequency and intensity of earth tremors still exceeded the levels observed before the eruption, therefore scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland (IES) continued to monitor the volcano.
In October 2010, Ármann Höskuldsson, a scientist at the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences stated that the eruption is officially over, although the area is still geothermally active and might erupt again.

Scientific observations
This eruption has been assigned the volcano number 1702-02 by the Global Volcanism Program.
The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), part of the UK Met Office, is responsible for forecasting the presence of volcanic ash in the north-east Atlantic. All ash dispersion models for this geographic region are produced by the VAAC in London.
A study by the Icelandic Meteorological Office published on December 2009 indicated an increase in seismic activity around the Eyjafjallajökull area during the years 2006–2009. The study reported increased activity that occurred between June and August 2009 (200 events), compared to a total of about 250 earthquakes recorded between September 2006 and August 2009. It further indicated that the locations of most of the earthquakes in 2009 occurred between 8 to 12 kilometres (5.0 to 7.5 mi) depth east of the volcano‘s top crater. At the end of December 2009, seismic activity began around the Eyjafjallajökull volcano area, with thousands of small earthquakes (mostly of magnitude 1–2 Mw), 7 to 10 kilometres (4.3 to 6.2 mi) beneath the volcano.
The radar stations of the Meteorological Institute of Iceland did not detect any appreciable amount of volcanic ashfall during the first 24 hours of the eruption. However, during the night of 22 March, they reported some volcanic ash fall reaching the Fljótshlíð area (20 to 25 kilometres (12 to 16 mi) north-west of the eruption's location)and Hvolsvöllur town (40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of the eruption location) leaving vehicles with a fine grey layer of volcanic ash. At around 07:00 on 22 March, an explosion launched eruption columns as far as 4 kilometres (13,000 ft) straight up into the air. This was the highest plume since the eruption started. On 23 March, a small vapour explosion took place, when hot magma came into contact with nearby snowdrifts, emitting a huge vapour plume which reached an altitude of 7 kilometres (23,000 ft), and was detected on radars from the Meteorological Institute of Iceland. Since then many vapour explosions have taken place.
By 26 February 2010 the Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment used by the Iceland Meteorological Office at Þorvaldseyri farm in the Eyjafjöll area (around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southeast of the location of the recent eruption) had shown 3 centimetres of displacement of the local crust in a southward direction, of which a 1 centimetre displacement had taken place within four days. (See the GPS Time Series page of the Nordic Volcanological Center's website for detailed information on the degree of movement detected in the Earth's crust in the Eyjafjallajökull locality.)

Effect on river water
On 22 March, a flow meter device situated in the Krossá glacial river (which drains Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers) in the Þórsmörk area (a few kilometres north-west of the erupting location) started to record a sudden rise in water level and in water temperature – the total water temperature rose by 6 °C (11 °F) over a two-hour period, which had never occurred so quickly in the Krossá river since measurements began. Shortly afterward, the water level returned to normal and water temperature decreased as well.[ It is thought that this rise in water temperature is related to the eruption nearby and is affecting part of the Krossá drainage basin. The temperature of Hruná river, which flows through the narrow Hrunárgil canyon, into which part of the lava stream has been flowing, was recently recorded by geologists to be between 50 °C (122 °F) and 60 °C (140 °F), indicating that the river has been cooling the lava in that canyon.

Comparison to other recent eruptions
The recent eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and the largest ash plume associated with the second eruption phase were not unparalleled in either volume or abundance; however, the location was the critical factor because it affected air travel across Europe. Neither phase of the eruption was unusually powerful. Other notable volcanic eruptions in recent years include the eruption of Mount Pinatubo of 1991 of VEI 6. This eruption lasted 8 days, from 7 – 15 June of that year, with an ash cloud that would have required additional days to dissipate, and resulted in worldwide abnormal weather and decrease in global temperature over the next few years. However, the second phase of Eyjafjallajökull's eruption lasted longer than that of Mount Pinatubo.
According to the SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report (14–20 April 2010) by the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program, the second eruption phase at Eyjafjallajökull coincided with eruptions at a number of other volcanoes, including new activity at original research?
Barren Island, Andaman, India plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 kilometres (7,900 ft) and drifting 55 kilometres (34 mi) to the north on 19 April 2010.
Gaua, Banks Islands, SW Pacific, Vanuatu ash plumes reported from during 13–16 and 19–21 April 2010. The plumes regularly rose to altitudes of 3 kilometres (9,800 ft). A spokesman for the Vanuatu Disaster Management Office described the activity as "huge, dark plumes" in an AAP news report.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus (23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.
Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland, in southern Sweden. Linnaeus got most of his higher education at Uppsala University, and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published a first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden, where he became professor of botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 60s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, and published several volumes. At the time of his death, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe.
The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth. The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly. Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist. Among other compliments, Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum (Prince of Botanists), "The Pliny of the North," and "The Second Adam.
In botany, the author abbreviation used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for species' names is L. In 1959, Carl Linnaeus was designated as the lectotype for Homo sapiens, which means that following the nomenclatural rules, Homo sapiens was validly defined as the animal species to which Linnaeus belonged.

Views on mankind
According to German biologist Ernst Haeckel, the question of man's origin began with Linnaeus. He helped future research in the natural history of man by describing humans just as he described any other plant or animal. He was the first person to place humans in a system of biological classification. He put humans under Homo sapiens among the primates in the first edition of Systema Naturae. During his time at Hartecamp, he had the opportunity to examine several monkeys and noted several similarities between them and man. He pointed out both species basically have the same anatomy; except for the speech, he found no other differences. Thus he placed man and monkeys under the same category, Antroprmorpha, meaning "manlike." This classification received criticism from other botanists such as Johan Gottschalk Wallerius, Jacob Theodor Klein and Johann Georg Gmelin on the ground that it is illogical to describe a human as 'like a man'. In a letter to Gmelin from 1747, Linnaeus replied:
It does not please [you] that I've placed Man among the Antropomorpha, but man learns to know himself. Let's not quibble over words. It will be the same to me whatever name we apply. But I seek from you and from the whole world a generic difference between man and simian that follows from the principles of Natural History. I absolutely know of none. If only someone might tell me a single one! If I would have called man a simian or vice versa, I would have brought together all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought to have by virtue of the law of the discipline.
The theological concerns were twofold: first, putting man at the same level as monkeys or apes would lower the spiritually higher position that man was assumed to have in the great chain of being, and second, because the Bible says man was created in the image of God, if monkeys/apes and humans were not distinctly and separately designed, that would mean monkeys and apes were created in the image of God as well. This was something many could not accept. The conflict between worldviews based on science and theology that was caused by asserting man was a type of animal would simmer for a century until the much greater, and still ongoing, creation–evolution controversy began in earnest with the publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859.
After such criticism, Linnaeus felt he needed to explain himself more clearly. The 10th edition of Systema Naturae introduced new terms, including Mammalia and Primate, the latter of which would replace Antropomorpha. The new classification received less criticism, but many natural historians still believed he had demoted humans from their former place to rule over nature, not be a part of it. Linnaeus believed that man biologically belongs to the animal kingdom and had to be included in it. In his book Dieta Naturalis, he said, "One should not vent one's wrath on animals, Theology decree that man has a soul and that the animals are mere 'aoutomata mechanica,' but I believe they would be better advised that animals have a soul and that the difference is of nobility.
Linnaeus added a second human species in Systema Naturae, the Homo troglodytes or caveman. This name was based on a figure and description by Bontius from 1658, which referred to a female Indonesian or Malayan human and the description to an orang utan. In these times, tales on human species were based on myths from people who claimed they had seen something looking like a human. Most of these tales were scientifically accepted, and in early editions of Systema Naturae, many mythical animals were included, such as the phoenix, dragon and unicorn. Linnaeus placed them under the category Paradoxa; the Swedish historian Gunnar Broberg thought Linnaeus was trying to offer a natural explanation and demystify the world of superstition. Linnaeus tried to classify the mythical creatures, and to discover if, for example, the Homo troglodytes existed. He asked the Swedish East Indian Trade Company to search for one. They did not find any signs of its existence. Broberg believes the new human species Linnaeus described were monkeys or native people clad in skins to frighten colonial settlers, whose appearance had been exaggerated in accounts to Linnaeus. In 1771, Linné published another name for a nonhuman primate in the genus Homo, which was Homo lar; this name is used for the lar gibbon, as Hylobates lar (Linné, 1771).

Anniversaries of Linnaeus' birth, especially in centennial years, have been marked by major celebrations. In 1807, events were held in Sweden that included Linnaeus' daughters and apostles, such as Afzelius who was then head of the short-lived Linnéska institutet. A century later, celebrations of the bicentennial expanded globally and were even larger in Sweden. At Uppsala University, honorary doctorates were given to Ernst Haeckel, Francis Darwin and Selma Lagerlöf, among others. The memorials were so numerous that newspaper columnists began to tire of them and printed caricatures of the esteemed Linnaeus. In 1917, on the 210th anniversary of Linnaeus' birth, the Swedish Linnaeus Society was founded and proceeded to restore the Linnaean Garden, which had fallen into disrepair. In 2007, tricentennial celebrations were held. During that year a documentary titled Expedition Linnaeus was produced, which was intended to increase public understanding of and respect for nature.
The Linnean Society of London has awarded the Linnean Medal for excellence in botany or zoology since 1888. Starting in 1978, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the death of Linnaeus, the Bicentenary Medal of the Linnean Society has been awarded in recognition of work done by a biologist under the age of forty.
The Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh holds a monument to Linnaeus, near the hothouses. It was designed by the noted Scots architect Robert Adam in 1778. It has a portrait head in low relief set on an oval urn. It was erected in 1779 by Dr John Hope (1725–1760) Regius Keeper of the Garden. It originally stood in the Botanic Garden on Haddington Place. Hope was the first to introduce the Linnean system of classification to Scotland.
The Linnean Society of New South Wales awards a bursary to assist botany, zoology or geology students at the University of Sydney.
The Australian National University (ANU) campus has a road named Linnaeus Way, which runs past several biology buildings.
Gustavus Adolphus College began its eponymous Linnaeus Arboretum in 1973.
The asteroid 7412 Linnaeus and Linné (crater) on the Earth's moon were named in his honor.
The nightshade species Solanum linnaeanum and twinflower genus Linnaea were named in his honor.
Linnaeus has appeared on numerous Swedish postage stamps and banknotes. In 1986, a new 100 kronor bill was introduced featuring a portrait of Linnaeus, drawings of pollinating plants from his Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum, a sketch of the Linnaean Garden and a quote, often described as Linnaeus' motto, from Philosophia Botanica which reads "OMNIA MIRARI ETIAM TRITISSIMA": Find wonder in all things, even the most commonplace.
Following approval by the Parliament of Sweden, Växjö University and Kalmar College merged on 1 January 2010; the resulting institution was named Linnaeus University in his honor.

Robert Whittaker

Robert Harding Whittaker (1920–1980) was a distinguished American plant ecologist, active in the 1950s to the 1970s.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, he obtained a B.A. at Washburn Municipal College (now Washburn University) in Topeka, Kansas, and, following military service, his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois.
He held teaching and research positions at Washington State College in Hanford, Washington, the Hanford National Laboratories (where he pioneered use of radioactive tracers in ecosystem studies), Brooklyn College, University of California-Irvine, and, finally Cornell University.
Extremely productive, Whittaker was a leading proponent and developer of gradient analysis to address questions in plant community ecology. He provided strong empirical evidence against some ideas of vegetation development advocated by Frederic Clements. Whittaker was most active in the areas of plant community analysis, succession, and productivity. "During his lifetime Whittaker was a major innovator of methodologies of community analysis and a leader in marshaling field data to document patterns in the composition, productivity and diversity of land plant communities. Thus Whittaker was innovative in both empirical data sampling techniques as well as synthesizing more holistic theories.
He was the first to propose the five-kingdom taxonomic classification of the world's biota into the Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, and Monera. He also proposed the Whittaker Biome Classification, which categorized biome-types upon two abiotic factors: temperature and precipitation.
Whittaker was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1974, received the Ecological Society of America's Eminent Ecologist Award in 1980, and was otherwise widely recognized and honored. He collaborated with many other ecologists including George Woodwell (Dartmouth), W. A. Neiring, Herb Borman (Yale) and G. E. Likens (Cornell) , and was particularly active in cultivating international collaborations.
Ph.D. Students

Ecologists completing Ph.D.s under Whittaker include Walter Westman, Robert Peet (now at University of North Carolina), Susan Bratton (now at Baylor University), Thomas Wentworth (now at North Carolina State University), Owen Sholes (now at Assumption College), Mark Wilson (now at Oregon State University), Linda Olsvig-Whittaker (now at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority) and Kerry Woods (now at Bennington College).

Whittaker married biochemist Clara Buehl (then a coworker at Hanford Laboratories) in 1952. Their children are John Whittaker (b. 1953, now a Professor of Anthropology at Grinnell College), Paul Whittaker (b. 1955, formerly an ecologist/entomologist; now an abstract artist and photographer in Evanston, Illinois) and Carl Whittaker (b. 1957, a natural history illustrator and professional chef in Ithaca, New York).
Clara was diagnosed with cancer in 1972; her health deteriorated and she died December 31, 1976. Whittaker married graduate student Linda Olsvig in 1979, but was himself diagnosed with lung cancer; he died October 20, 1980.
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Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis (born March 5, 1938) is an American biologist and University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles, and her contributions to the endosymbiotic theory, which is now generally accepted for how certain organelles were formed.

In addition to rejecting Neo-Darwinian evolution as an explanation for diversity (on the grounds of her belief that random mutation and differential survival are insufficient to account for speciation), Margulis holds a number of opinions outside of mainstream science. In 2009 she co-authored a paper arguing that the change in spirochete form, from more motile helical to more inactive cyst and back, may be a causal contributor to AIDS. In 2009 she also pushed the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to publish a paper by Donald I. Williamson arguing that butterflies are the result of hybridization of a now extinct insect and velvet worms. Williamson's paper provoked immediate response from the scientific community, including a paper in PNAS. Developmental Biologist and Professor at Duke university Fred Nijhout was quoted as saying that the paper was better suited for "National Enquirer than the National Academy.". In September it was announced that PNAS will eliminate Communicated submissions in July 2010 but PNAS stated that the decision had nothing to do with the Williamson controversy.

Margulis was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and served as Chairman of the Academy’s Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution.
guest Hagey Lecturer, University of Waterloo, 1985
She was inducted into the World Academy of Art and Science, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences between 1995 and 1998.
In 1998 the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, announced that it would permanently archive Dr. Margulis' papers.
In 1999 she received the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement for scientific achievement.
In 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President William J. Clinton.
She is also a proponent and co-developer of the modern version of Gaia hypothesis, based on an idea developed by the English atmospheric scientist James Lovelock.
She is profiled in a book published in 2006 by Resurgence Magazine in the UK, called Visionaries: The 20th Century's 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders.
In 2006 with her son Dorion, she founded Sciencewriters Books, an imprint of Chelsea Green Publishing for science books.
In 2007 she expressed her support for a new investigation of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2008 she was one of thirteen recipients of the Darwin-Wallace Medal, which, until now, has only been bestowed every 50 years, by the Linnean Society of London.
In March 2009 she spoke at the Biological Evolution Facts and Theories Conference held at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome aimed at promoting dialogue between evolutionary biology and Christianity.
In June 2010 she was inducted into the Leonardo DaVinci Society of Thinking[relevant? – discuss]; accepting induction at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ.

Lynn Margulis attended the University of Chicago, earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960, and received her Ph.D. in 1963 from UC Berkeley. In 1966, as a young faculty member at Boston University, she wrote a theoretical paper entitled The Origin of Mitosing Eukaryotic Cells. The paper however was "rejected by about fifteen scientific journals," Margulis recalled. It was finally accepted by The Journal of Theoretical Biology and is considered today a landmark in modern endosymbiotic theory. Although it draws heavily on symbiosis ideas first put forward by mid-19th century scientists and by Merezhkovsky (1905) and Wallin (1920) in the early-20th century, Margulis's endosymbiotic theory formulation is the first to rely on direct microbiological observations (as opposed to paleontological or zoological observations which were previously the norm for new works in evolutionary biology). The paper was initially heavily rejected, as symbiosis theories had been dismissed by mainstream biology at the time. Weathering constant criticism of her ideas for decades, Margulis is famous for her tenacity in pushing her theory forward, despite the opposition she faced at the time.
The underlying theme of endosymbiotic theory, as formulated in 1966, was interdependence and cooperative existence of multiple prokaryotic organisms; one organism engulfed another, yet both survived and eventually evolved over millions of years into eukaryotic cells. Her 1970 book, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells, discusses her early work pertaining to this organelle genesis theory in detail. Currently, her endosymbiotic theory is recognized as the key method by which some organelles have arisen (see endosymbiotic theory for a discussion) and is widely accepted by mainstream scientists. The endosymbiotic theory of organogenesis gained strong support in the 1980s, when the genetic material of mitochondria and chloroplasts was found to be different from that of the symbiont's nuclear DNA.
In 1995, prominent evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins had this to say about Lynn Margulis and her work:
“ I greatly admire Lynn Margulis's sheer courage and stamina in sticking by the endosymbiosis theory, and carrying it through from being an unorthodoxy to an orthodoxy. I'm referring to the theory that the eukaryotic cell is a symbiotic union of primitive prokaryotic cells. This is one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology, and I greatly admire her for it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sony Playstation network:Australia

Sony Corp. began a limited and phased restoration of its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment videogame services Saturday, bringing the company a step closer to normalcy following an attack on its systems that compromised personal information for more than 100 million user accounts last month.
The Japanese electronics giant said that following the release of a mandatory software upgrade for all PlayStation 3 videogame console units, it would begin bringing its PlayStation Network back online in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

Australia is one of the first countries where the service is being restored, with users first required to update the firmware of their PS3 console and then change their account password.
Sony says the first phase of restored services includes:
Sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC
Friends category on PS3, including friends lists, chat functionality and trophies
PlayStation Home.

According to one EBG manager in Sydney PS3 users began looking for trade in deals on their Sony consoles "in earnest" 10 days ago.

"We have definitely seen a move away from the Sony network in recent weeks. Users are looking to trade in PS3 games and consoles".

A visit to e Bay Australia web site reveals more than 1,000 listings for Sony PS3 consoles.

According to a manager at a Happy Hocker shop in Sydney the Company has seen a 90% increase during the past two weeks from consumers looking to trade in a PS3 console for either cash or as a trade in for an Xbox 360.

Last night Sony moved to bring their PSN operation back online after being down since 17th of April.

According to Future Publishing consumers in the UK are trading in their PS3

Sony expects to have all services in all countries fully restored by the end of May.
It will be offering customers a “welcome back” package of services and premium content. Details of the program for Australian PlayStation users will be announced soon, but Sony has previously stated that it will include:
Selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download.
30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service (or 30 additional days for current members)
Music Unlimited subscribers will receive 30 days free service.
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PlayStation Network operation

TOKYO—Sony began restoring its PlayStation Network service in the United States and Europe on Sunday after shutting down the service almost a month ago due to a massive security breach affecting over 100 million online accounts.

Restored operations are mainly limited to online gaming, chat and music streaming services. Sony said it aimed to fully restore the PlayStation Network by the end of May.

Sony also began Sunday a phased restoration of its Qriocity movie and music services which share the PlayStation Network's server, said Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka.

The first phase of the restoration of services for North America and Europe will include sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords, the restoration of online gameplay across PlayStation 3 and PSP, playback rental video content if within rental period of PlayStation Store Video Store on PS3, PSP and Media Go, the restoration of Q Music Unlimited, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC, access to third party services such as VidZone and MUBI, restoration of the 'Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison and the restoration of PlayStation Home.

Sony has warned that the restoration of services on a global scale may take some time and said on Saturday that it would take hours to restore the PlayStation Network across the US.

The company has been working with outside contractors to ensure Sony PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment are far more secure then before the hack that saw millions if users data stolen.

Network security breaches are part of a trend that saw the costs of such invasions jump 48 percent, to an average of $318 per compromised record last year, according to a March report by the Ponemon Institute.

Malicious attacks in the U.S. are on the rise. They climbed 7 percentage points in 2010, with data breaches costing U.S. businesses an average of $7.2 million per incident, according to the Ponemon Institute report. The study found that about 85 percent of all U.S. companies have experienced one or more attacks.

The use of a hijacked or rented server to launch attacks is typical for sophisticated hackers. The proliferation of server farms around the globe has made such misdirection easier, said E.J. Hilbert, president of the security company Online Intelligence and a former FBI cyber-crime investigator.
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