U.S. is in falling satellite's potential strike zone, NASA says

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Friday, September 23, 2011

U.S. is in falling satellite's potential strike zone, NASA says

A satellite on the verge of falling back to Earth appears to have begun slowing down but will not re-enter the atmosphere until late Friday or early Saturday U.S. time, according to NASA.

The United States is once again an unlikely but potential target for the 26 pieces of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, expected to survive the descent. Those pieces, made of stainless steel, titanium and beryllium that won't burn, will range from about 10 pounds to hundreds of pounds, according to NASA.

NASA said Friday morning that it would be hours before it would be able to zero in on the time and place of the re-entry.

Mark Matney of NASA's Orbital Debris team in Houston said there's no way to know exactly where the pieces will come down.

"Keep in mind, they won't be traveling at those high orbital velocities. As they hit the air, they tend to slow down. ... They're still traveling fast, a few tens to hundreds of miles per hour, but no longer those tremendous orbital velocities," he explained.

Because the satellite travels thousands of miles in a matter of minutes as it orbits -- even just before it begins re-entry -- it will be impossible to pinpoint the exact location the pieces will come down. On top of that, Matney said, the satellite is not stable.

"Part of the problem is, the spacecraft is tumbling in unpredictable ways, and it is very difficult to very precisely pinpoint where it's coming down even right before the re-entry."
FAA: Pilots watch for falling satellite
Where will satellite debris strike?

Because water covers 70% of the Earth's surface, NASA has said that most if not all of the surviving debris will land in water. Even if pieces strike dry land, there's very little risk any of it will hit people.

However, in an abundance of caution, the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday released an advisory warning pilots about the falling satellite, calling it a potential hazard.

"It is critical that all pilots/flight crew members report any observed falling space debris to the appropriate (air traffic control) facility and include position, altitude, time and direction of debris observed," the FAA statement said.

The FAA said warnings of this sort typically are sent out to pilots concerning specific hazards they may encounter during flights such as air shows, rocket launches, kites and inoperable radio navigational aids.

NASA says space debris the size of the satellite's components re-enters the atmosphere about once year. Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell noted that the satellite is far from being the biggest space junk to come back.

"This is nothing like the old Skylab scare of the '70s, when you had a 70-ton space station crashing out of the sky. So, I agree with the folks in Houston. It's nothing to be worried about," McDowell said.

Pieces of Skylab came down in western Australia in 1979.

The only wild card McDowell sees is if somehow a chunk hits a populated area.

"If the thing happens to come down in a city, that would be bad. The chances of it causing extensive damage or injuring someone are much higher."

NASA said that once the debris hits the atmosphere 50 miles up, it will take only a matter of minutes before the surviving pieces hit the Earth.


U.S. is in falling satellite's potential strike zone, NASA says
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Yemeni President Returns Home

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned after undergoing treatment in Saudi Arabia, a government spokesman said Friday, and was greeted by a nation in turmoil.

Saleh returned to Yemen after a three-month medical stay in Saudi Arabia, said Mohammed Albasha, the Yemeni government spokesman.

Protesters have been calling for the ouster of the longtime president, who had been recuperating from injuries he received in a June attack on his palace. He has vowed to finish his term.

Government forces shot in the air to celebrate his return as tanks patrolled the streets of Sanaa. By noon, a massive crowd had gathered in central Sanaa to rally in support of the president.

Fierce clashes erupted in Sanaa between Republican Guards and soldiers under the command of a defector, Gen. Ali Mohsen. The fighting occurred mainly in the Hasaba and Dayeri districts.

Earlier in the day there were isolated clashes between anti-government fighters and Republican Guard forces in at least four areas in Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

Medics in Sanaa's Change Square report 12 deaths in Sanaa and one in the city of Taiz since midnight. There were 18 other injuries, they said.

The deaths are not from military fire but as a result of snipers and explosions hitting protesters, they said. No casualties have been reported from the military clashes.

Saleh has called for a cease-fire for all factions to ease the way for political dialogue and reach an agreement.

"Saleh stressed that the solution is not in the barrels of guns and cannons, but in dialogue, understanding and stopping the bloodshed and protecting life and preserving the security, stability and resources of the country," the state-run news agency reported.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. position on Yemen hasn't changed: America wants a peaceful transition of power.

"We want to see Yemen move forward on the basis of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) proposal, and whether President Saleh is in or out of the country, he can make this happen by signing this accord, stepping down from power, and allowing his country to move on," she said.

Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman for Yemen's opposition Joint Meeting Parties, said the president's return "does not affect us" and "the revolution will continue peacefully until all its goals are accomplished."

Yemeni activist and blogger Atiaf Alwazir said she is concerned.

"It's terrible news," Alwazir said of Saleh's return. "It's shocking because our concern was that he would try to place his son in charge. We didn't think he would return. We're very tense and we don't know what to expect. It's the polarization in the country that is so worrying right now. Whether he steps down or not, we don't know what to expect because the country is so polarized right now."

Protests Friday were a continued the demonstrations against Saleh that have stretched on for months.

Demonstrators began protesting Saleh's 33-year-old regime on February 11 inspired by the revolution in Egypt.

A month later, Saleh offered to draft a new constitution that would establish a parliamentary system, but protesters persisted in calling for his resignation, and numerous high-ranking political and military officials resigned or were dismissed.

Saleh balked after making overtures to accept an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council to step down.

Amnesty International said that since February, 200 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in the protests.

Government officials have repeatedly denied accusations of excessive use of force, and said the government is committed to establishing a peaceful transfer of power.

Yemeni officials have said forces cracked down on those committing acts of violence during protests."

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Super sexy and most beautyful Japany girl Leah Dizon

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leah Dizon is a model, singer, actress, and TV personality in Japan. Her ethnicities include Chinese, Filipino and French.

Leah Dizon profile- Full name: Leah Donna Dizon (リア・ドナ・ディゾン) 莉亞•迪桑 | Birthday: September 24, 1986 | Birth place: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | Blood type: O | Height: 167cm / 5'6" | Weight: 52kgs | Bra size: C | Shoe size: 24cm | Nationality: American | Spoken languages: English, a little Japanese, spoke a bit of Tagalog when she was little | Hobbies: Singing, dancing, shopping, drawing, tennis, badminton | Favorite foods: Pho, McDonalds, Shabu-Shabu, Yakiniku | 

Favorite books: A Catcher in the Rye, The Kitchen God's Wife, Harry Potter, Memoirs of a Geisha, Of Mice and Men, The Slaughterhouse Five, The Virgin Suicides | Favorite musicians: Amber Barry, Amuro Namie, B'z, Cassie, Deftones, GLAY, Hamasaki Ayumi, Kanzaki Keishi, Korn, Moriyama Naotaro, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shiina Ringo, The Smashing Pumpkins, Utada Hikaru, X JAPAN

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Obama To Push For New Minimum Tax Rate For Millionaires

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Saturday, September 17, 2011

President Barack Obama will announce Monday he is calling for a new minimum tax rate for Americans making more than $1 million a year, FOX News Channel confirmed Saturday.

The new tax plan, which the White House is calling the "Buffett Rule" after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, was first reported by The New York Times.

The Buffett Rule will reportedly ensure that those wealthy individuals are contributing at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers.

Obama is due to speak about his strategy to reduce the deficit in remarks at the White House's Rose Garden on Monday.

Citing administration officials, The Times said Obama will urge Congress to overhaul the federal income tax code next year. They said the Buffett Rule will only affect 0.3 percent of taxpayers, or less than 450,000 individuals. It will replace the alternative minimum tax, a plan which negatively affects millions who are considered upper middle class, and may allow average Americans to receive a tax cut.

Last month, Buffet wrote in The Times, "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress."

Buffett said that while he paid nearly $7 million in taxes last year, the figure was only 17.4 percent of his taxable income, well below the average taxpayer.

The new plan would help offset the cost of Obama's $447 billion jobs creation plan, The Times reported, but is likely to draw opposition from Republicans who believe raising taxes on the wealthy discourages investment.

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Google+ Project: It's Social, It's Bold, It's Fun, And It Looks Good — Now For The Hard Part

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last night, you may have heard talk of a mysterious black bar appearing on the top of Google.com. Or you may have even seen it yourself. No, you weren’t hallucinating. It was a sign of something about to show itself. Something big. Google+.

What is Google+? It’s the super top-secret social project that Google has been working on for the past year. You know, the one being led by General Patton (Vic Gundotra) and General MacArthur (Bradley Horowitz). Yes, the one Google has tried to downplay as much as humanly possible — even as we got leak after leak after leak of what they were working on. Yes, the one they weren’t going to make a big deal about with pomp and circumstance. It’s real. And it’s here.

Sort of.

You see, the truth is that Google really is trying not to make a huge deal out of Google+. That’s not because they don’t have high hopes for it. Or because they don’t think it’s any good. Instead, it’s because what they’re comfortable showing off right now is just step one of a much bigger picture. When I sat down with Gundotra and Horowitz last week, they made this point very clear. In their minds, Google+ is more than a social product, or even a social strategy, it’s an extension of Google itself. Hence, Google+.

How’s that for downplaying it?

“We believe online sharing is broken. And even awkward,” Gundotra says. “We think connecting with other people is a basic human need. We do it all the time in real life, but our online tools are rigid. They force us into buckets — or into being completely public,” he continues. “Real life sharing is nuanced and rich. It has been hard to get that into software,” is the last thing he says before diving into a demo of Google+.

What he proceeds to show me is a product that in many ways is so well designed that it doesn’t really even look like a Google product. When I tell Gundotra and Horowitz this, they laugh. “Thank you,” Gundotra says very enthusiastically. Clearly, they’ve put a lot of work into both the UI and UX of Google+.

The first thing Gundotra shows me about Google+, and the first thing you’re likely to interact with, is something called “Circles”. You may recall that talk of this feature leaked out a few months ago — though it wasn’t exactly right. In fact, our story from months prior about a feature of Google +1 (the name of the network at the time which ended up being the name of the button — more on that in a bit) called “Loops” may have been a bit closer. That is, Circles isn’t actually a stand-alone product, it’s a feature of Google+ — an important one. “It’s something core to our product,” Gundotra says.

It’s through Circles that users select and organize contacts into groups for optimal sharing. I know, I know — not more group management. But the truth is that Google has made the process as pleasant as possible. You simply select people from a list of recommended contacts (populated from your Gmail and/or Google Contacts) and drag them into Circles you designate. The UI for all of this is simple and intuitive — it’s so good, that you might even say it’s kind of fun. It beats the pants off of the method for creating a group within Facebook.

Gundotra realizes that many social services have tried and failed to get users to create groups. But he believes they’ll succeed with Circles because he says they’re using software in the correct way to mimic the real world. More importantly, “you’re rewarded for doing this,” he says. How so? A big feature of Google+ is the toolbar that exists across the top of all Google sites (yes, the aforementioned black one). Once your Circles are set, sharing with any of them from any Google site is simple thanks to this toolbar.

Speaking of this black toolbar, which was codenamed the “Sandbar” as Google was working on it, Horowitz explains that it arose from the fact that sharing models on different sites are all different. The toolbar is an attempt to unify them. This toolbar will exist across all Google properties (though it may take some time to fully roll out). And down the road, you can imagine browser extensions, mobile versions, etc. But again, we’re on step one here.

Next, Gundotra showed off a feature called “Sparks”. He was quick to note that even though it’s a search box, this is not some sort of new search engine. Instead, he calls is a “sharing engine”. “Great content leads to great conversations,” he says. With Sparks, you enter an interest you have and Google goes out and finds elements on the web that they think you’ll care about. These can be links to blog posts, videos, books — anything that Google searches for. If you find something you like, you can click on an item to add it to your interest list (where it will stay for you to quickly refer to anytime you want). Or you can see what others are liking and talking about globally in the “Featured interests” area.

“Our goal here is to connect people. And everyone has a camera in their pocket,” Gundotra says as he shows me “Instant Upload”. This feature of Google+ relies on the use of an Android devices to take photos or shoot video. From a new app, you’ll do either of these things and the content will automatically be uploaded to Google+ in the background and stored in a private album (which you can share with one click later).

Another feature of Google+ is called “Huddle”. It’s essentially a group messaging app that works across Android, iPhone, and SMS to allow you to communicate with the people in certain Circles. When I asked why they wouldn’t just use Disco, the group messaging app that the Slide team within Google built, Horowitz would only smile and pretend that he didn’t know what I was talking about.

Finally, there’s a feature called “Hangouts”. “Everyone has high-speed networks these days, but how many use group video chat?,” Gundotra asks. “Not a lot.” He notes that while there are technical challenges, and some cost money, the biggest problem is that it’s socially awkward to video chat with someone. The Google+ team set out to fix this by thinking about neighbors sitting out on porches. If your neighbor is sitting there, you know that they’ll likely be interested in striking up a conversation. In fact, it would be rude for you to walk by and not say anything.

With that in mind, Google+ Hangout attempts to solve the social problem of video chat by making it easy for you to let others know that you’re interested in chatting. And if you’re already chatting with a Circle, everyone else in that Circle will get an alert to come hang out. This works for up to 10 people. And seeing it in action is a bit magical. Gundotra starts a Hangout with some co-workers and as they join, conversations start between multiple people. But the Google+ system is smart enough to focus on who is controlling the conversation in any given minute. This makes the conversation easy to watch. It was almost as if an editor is working behind the scenes, cutting between people.

Even cooler is that you can share a piece of content, like a YouTube clip, and everyone in the Hangout can watch it together while talking about it. It sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s really pretty great.

After the rundown of all of these features, Google+ may sound a bit convoluted. But the key to the project is the attempt to unify everything. This is done via the toolbar (which features a drop-down showing you all of your relevant Google+ activity), but also on the mobile apps (again, Android and iPhone), and, of course, on the web. The Google+ site is the main stream on which you’ll find everything. From here, you can easily switch between all of your Circles, share content with any of them, start a Hangout, look up Sparks, etc.

All of the information flowing through the system does so in real time. As something is shared with you, it appears at the top of your stream. It’s a bit like FriendFeed, in this regard (which I love).

You’ll also find a link to your Google+ Profile, which will replace your old Google Profile if you have Google+ enabled. On this profile you’ll find not only a stream of everything you’ve shared across Google+, but also your +1 content. That’s likely important. While there has been plenty of speculation (by myself and others) that the +1 Button is already a dud, the larger picture is still a bit hidden. While Gundotra and Horowitz declined to specifically talk about it too much, you’ll see a +1 button on all Google+ content — the +1 Button clearly ties deeply into all of this. It is going to be their Facebook “Like” button.

All of this sounds great so far, but what about the downsides? Whether they’ll admit it or not, Google is making a bold and perhaps risky move by attempting to attack social from scratch. What if they flop again?

From the little that I’ve seen so far, Google+ is by far the best effort in social that Google has put out there yet. But traction will be contingent upon everyone convincing their contacts to regularly use it. Even for something with the scale of Google, that’s not the easiest thing in the world — as we’ve seen with Wave and Buzz. There will need to be compelling reasons to share on Google+ instead of Facebook and/or Twitter — or, at the very least, along with all of those other networks. The toolbar and interesting communication tools are the most compelling reasons right now, but there will need to be more of them. And fast.

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Everything You Need To Know About Google+ (Including What The Heck It Is)

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Google finally announced Google+, its next effort in social.

Basically, Google+ is an amalgamation of several services we already use. The idea, according to Google, is to do them better.

We'll have a full review and impressions soon. In the meantime, check out our breakdown of what Google+ can do below.

Google Circles are groups of friends you organize by topic: Friends, Family, College Buddies, Roommates, etc.

From your Circles page you drag and drop your contacts into each of these groups, which makes it easier to share what you want with them.

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Miss Colombia told off for not wearing undies

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Miss Universe organisers have been forced to reprimand a contestant for not wearing underwear during media appearances in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Photographers snapped more than they bargained for as Miss Colombia Catalina Robayo went commando while wearing very short skirts and speaking to reporters as part of her official pageant duties last week, Fox News reports.

President of the Miss Universe Organisation Paula Shugart told Fox she was shocked when she saw what looked like Ms Robayo's bare nether regions on the front page of a newspaper.

"When I saw the [commando] picture on the front page of one of the local papers and was very, very surprised," Ms Shugart said.

But when pageant officials confronted Ms Robayo, the 22-year-old insisted she had been wearing underwear, Ms Shugart said.

All the contestants have since been lectured about dressing appropriately.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Miss Universe 2011 hasn't even aired yet (it's on tonight) and already, two competitors are sparking controversy.

Catalina Robayo, Miss Colombia, has been snapped one too many times without her underwear on.

And Scherri-Lee Biggs, Miss Australia, apparently had to be told to get some competition bikini bottoms with a bit more coverage.

As of now, they're both still set to compete -- but they'd better watch their step.

Scandalized beauty queens rarely make a real comeback -- and often, the fall from grace is only the first part of the way down.

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Colombian media insist Catalina Robayo is Miss Universe favorite

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

While bookmakers and international media are paying little attention to Miss Colombia, leading Colombian media insist that Catalina Robayo is among the favorites to be crowned Miss Universe Monday evening.

The international attention Robayo received last week following her reported scolding after being caught going commando did not lead to a change in the 66 to 1 betting odd on websites where gamblers bet on who will win the world's most prestigious beauty pageant. Following commando-gate, most English-language media focused primarily on Miss USA, Miss China, Miss Angola and Miss Australia.

According to beauty pageant website Missology's last prediction of Monday's results, Miss Colombia will not reach the final 15. The website predicts Miss Ukraine will win the pageant, followed by Miss Peru, Miss Malaysia, Miss Philippines and Miss Netherlands.

Latin television network Univision does place Miss Colombia among the finalists. Robayo occupies the 8th spot in the network's Miss Universe Top 14.

Colombian media take Robayo's chances to win even further. According to newspaper El Espectador, "Robayo has been the favorite among journalists these days because of her good performance and ease when responding to the incisive questions of the media and the jurors."

Newspaper El Tiempo added that "just like every year, the Colombiana is favorite ... at least of the latinas."

Ivan Lalinde, presentor of Miss Universe on Colombian television network Caracol, told El Tiempo that Miss Colombia "has attracted attention far beyond the scandal over whether or not she was wearing underwear. Carolina Robayo has a great personality and that helps to feature in an event of this category."

The website of RCN, the network that will not be broadcasting the event, did not report on Miss Colombia's chances, but instead featured an article on the soap opera that will be aired at the same time as the Miss Universe competition.

Colombian media insist Catalina Robayo is Miss Universe favorite
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Miranda Kerr Wallpapers

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Sunday, September 11, 2011

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U.S. Mint Officer Admits He Stole And Sold $2.4 Million In Coins

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Friday, September 9, 2011

Money isn't necessarily safe in the hands of those who mint it. A U.S. Mint employee pleaded guilty to theft of government property and tax evasion, admitting he swiped $2.4 million in coins with errors and sold them to a California coin distributor. The $1 presidential coins he admitted to stealing were missing lettering, and the convict knew he could get a premium for them because the errors gave them more value in the coin collecting market.

According to the AP, the man was set free on $50,000 bail and will face sentencing Dec. 20.

The presidential coins are copper with brass cladding, and have been printed since 2007, emblazoned with the image of dead presidents. The Mint prints an image of one president for three months before moving on to the next one in chronological order.

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