Hyenas Might Be As Intelligent As Some Primates

hyenas-problem-solving

While hyenas have often been depicted as slobbering, dim-witted fools in animated movies, a new study shows that the African carnivores are adept at problem-solving, and can even count. This makes scientists believe that Hyaenidae could have comparable intelligence levels to some primates.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

NSA’s Yottabytes of Data

Aerial view of NSA HQ at Fort Meade, via NSA

The NSA is building two new storage facilities to house yottabytes of data. One in Utah and one in Texas. The scale is staggering. There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte, a thousand terabytes in a petabyte, a thousand petabytes in an exabyte, a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte, and a thousand zettabytes in a yottabyte. A yottabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000 GB¹.

This data is mostly pocket litter: trillions of phone calls, email messages, web searches, parking receipts, bookstore visits, and other data trails.

The issue is critical because at the NSA, electrical power is political power. In its top-secret world, the coin of the realm is the kilowatt. More electrical power ensures bigger data centers.

Does this scare you? As for myself, no. As a mathematician, I’ve often fantasized working at the NSA. From the article, it seems like they don’t have enough supercomputing power to deal with the vasts amounts of data that they are harnessing and storing.

I like the term infoweapons used in this article. Infoweapons are supercomputers running complex algorithmic programs.

On a remote edge of Utah’s dry and arid high desert, where temperatures often zoom past 100 degrees, hard-hatted construction workers with top-secret clearances are preparing to build what may become America’s equivalent of Jorge Luis Borges’s “Library of Babel,” a place where the collection of information is both infinite and at the same time monstrous, where the entire world’s knowledge is stored, but not a single word is understood. At a million square feet, the mammoth $2 billion structure will be one-third larger than the US Capitol and will use the same amount of energy as every house in Salt Lake City combined.

Unlike Borges’s “labyrinth of letters,” this library expects few visitors. It’s being built by the ultra-secret National Security Agency—which is primarily responsible for “signals intelligence,” the collection and analysis of various forms of communication—to house trillions of phone calls, e-mail messages, and data trails: Web searches, parking receipts, bookstore visits, and other digital “pocket litter.” Lacking adequate space and power at its city-sized Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, the NSA is also completing work on another data archive, this one in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the Alamodome.

Just how much information will be stored in these windowless cybertemples? A clue comes from a recent report prepared by the MITRE Corporation, a Pentagon think tank. “As the sensors associated with the various surveillance missions improve,” says the report, referring to a variety of technical collection methods, “the data volumes are increasing with a projection that sensor data volume could potentially increase to the level of Yottabytes (1024 Bytes) by 2015.”[1] Roughly equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text, numbers beyond Yottabytes haven’t yet been named. Once vacuumed up and stored in these near-infinite “libraries,” the data are then analyzed by powerful infoweapons, supercomputers running complex algorithmic programs, to determine who among us may be—or may one day become—a terrorist. In the NSA’s world of automated surveillance on steroids, every bit has a history and every keystroke tells a story.

Burn Notice S02E09 (USA)

More of We Are Wolves on stage in Quebec

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Mike does a favor for Campbell and tries to work against Carla’s interests. It doesn’t work out as planned when Nate gets arrested and Carla tells him to butt out of her business. Mike realizes that Carla is running a set-up/distraction for him and tries to get away to stop the kill. Things don’t go as planned when the sniper ends up dead by explosion. Mike is almost killed the same way.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E09 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E08 (USA)

Incredible sunlight through the clouds in Danshui (淡水鎮), Taipei County

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Mike thinks that he is close to finding Bill Johnson, thanks to Sam. Things don’t go as planned when Larry, a spy who faked his death a few years ago, comes back offering Mike a new gig. The trouble is that Mike doesn’t feel like killing anyone anymore.

Mike is getting closer to Carla, but he still hasn’t figured out why she burned him. However, he knows what she is planning. Maybe that will give Mike the leverage he needs to find out what he wants. I thought that this was a good episode. It sets up the season finale nicely. Maybe we’ll find out really why Mike was burned. Already, Larry revealed the reasons why everyone else thinks that Mike was burned. He killed the wrong people and sold secrets. But that might just be the cover reason.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E08 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E07 (USA)

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Mike has to help Virgil with trying to find a shipment of hijacked pharmaceuticals. At the same time, he’s trying to find out more about the rifle that he hijacked for Carla.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E07 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E06 (USA)

Another view of one of the sharks in the Shark Aquarium in Ocean Park Hong Kong.

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Mike has to help an old family friend with his troubles. He’s been framed in an accounting scheme and the rapper he works for isn’t known for being forgiven. Mike also has to work with a new agent named Victor, who’s a pain in the ass. Carla wants them to hijack something.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E06 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E05 (USA)

One of the more interesting photos of the Down Fuxing North Road Series.

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Mike has to stop a crew from completing a heist. His day job is interfering with his hunt for answers. In the end, it partially works out. This was a good episode.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E05 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E04 (USA)

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Nate gets Mike involved in a new op to take down some Russian human traffickers. Meanwhile, they get closer to the ever elusive Carla. Things don’t always go as planned.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E04 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E03 (USA)

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E03 (USA)”

Burn Notice S02E02 (USA)

Burn Notice is a dramedy featuring intelligence work. Mike Weston used to work in intelligence, but got burned. He’s now stuck in Miami and has spent most of last season looking for the ones who put a burn notice out on him. He’s joined by an old friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who is keeping tabs on him for the FBI counter-intelligence unit, and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an Irish gun totting ex-girlfriend, doing low-key operations in Miami, trying to help out and to make some money.

I thought that Burn Notice was enjoyable. It’s not the best of shows, but certainly follows the comedic elements put forth by Psych. We didn’t learn much about Mike. There was not a lot revealed about who Mike really works for. In the past, intelligence operatives worked exclusively for countries. Now corporate interests are also represented. Some of the largest corporations have profits well in excess of those of some countries. It’s just natural that the intelligence field was privatized as well, just like the armed forces are slowly being replaced by mercenary outfits run by giant corporations.

Continue reading “Burn Notice S02E02 (USA)”