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Articles Posted by James C. Bennett

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  • How the Drought Is Devastating California's #1 Food Export: Almonds

    02/09/2014 12:19:57 PM PST · by James C. Bennett · 41 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | Feb 8, 2014 | Gizmodo
    <p>California grows a mind-boggling amount of the nation's produce: 99 percent of artichokes, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, and on and on. That's why the record-breaking drought (yes, it's finally raining—no, it won't help much!) can affect your grocery bill, even if you live nowhere near California. But with almonds—the state's most lucrative agricultural export—the effect could reverberate for years.</p>
  • Tiger Mom Amy Chua: Three factors why Indians, Jews, Chinese do better than others

    02/09/2014 12:04:23 PM PST · by James C. Bennett · 45 replies
    The Globe And Mail ^ | Feb 5, 2014 | Craig Offman
    Sounding a little wounded from the wrath that greeted her 2011 parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua has nonetheless jumped back into the pop-ethnography circus with a new book and fresh controversy. Written with her husband, fellow Yale Law School professor Jed Rubenfeld, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America posits another theory about collective identity, one that toe-tests – or perhaps leaps over – the line of political correctness: Some U.S. cultural groups, the couple say, are bound to be more successful than others. ......
  • Jaguar Land Rover's Indian Adventure

    02/09/2014 8:10:01 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 12 replies
    Management Today ^ | 30 Jan, 2014 | Andrew Saunders
    It's boom time at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood Body & Assembly facility on Merseyside, the northernmost tip of the Tata Motors empire, the Indian giant that has coaxed a pair of venerable British car brands into performing one of the most dramatic U-turns in recent corporate history. Despite the 4,500-odd miles between it and Tata Motors Group's famously modest HQ on Homi Mody Street in Mumbai, the influence of the firm and its patriarch, Ratan Tata - who has made his fortune extracting value out of businesses that others failed to spot - is clear. JLR's assets, both human and...
  • A Map of State Life Expectancies (And What Country They're Closest To)

    02/04/2014 9:20:49 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 48 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 4 Feb, 2014 | Gizmodo
    Americans are living longer, healthier lives—79.8 years on average—ranking 35th in the world in terms of life expectancy from birth. But where you live in the United States has a drastic impact on how far over or under the average your personal timeline will be. This illuminating map by the non-profit Measure of America shows how long you've likely got, and what country it's most similar to. Hawaiians top the longevity list with an average age of 81.3 years—equal to Barbados but still lagging far behind Japan's average of 84 years—while Mississippi is dead last with a paltry average age...
  • Psychiatrist courts controversy, says homosexuality is unnatural

    01/29/2014 7:30:19 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 48 replies ^ | 21 January 2014 |
    Former president of the Indian Psychiatric Society Dr Indira Sharma has courted controversy by claiming that homosexuality is unnatural, a statement made three days ago at an annual meet of psychiatrists. The LGBT community has brought "talk of sex to the roads", she told Times of India. "Heterosexuals don't talk about sex. It's a private matter," she told Times of India. The report quoted a psychiatrist who attended the summit as saying Sharma's speech took a condescending approach towards homosexuals. Sharma denied to TOI that she called for "homo clubs" to be shut down. She said her speech was about...
  • China on the radar, India invites Japan for Indo-US Malabar naval war games

    01/25/2014 11:05:43 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 10 replies
    The Times of India ^ | 26 Jan 2014 | The Times of India
    NEW DELHI: Injecting some much-needed thrust to its rapidly expanding strategic partnership with Japan, India has invited the Japanese forces to take part in this year's edition of the Indo-US Malabar naval war games that have riled China in the past. India and Japan on Saturday also decided to hold another joint working group meeting in March to discuss the sale of Japanese US-2i ShinMayva amphibious aircraft to Indian Navy, apart from ramping up defence ties through regular joint combat exercises and military exchanges as well as cooperation in anti-piracy, maritime security and counter-terrorism. Both the Malabar war games and...
  • China's New Hypersonic Missile Can Scream Past US Air Defenses

    01/15/2014 3:42:39 PM PST · by James C. Bennett · 64 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 15 Jan 2014 | Gizmodo
    Just what we need, another arms race. China's stepping up its bid for ballistic missile superiority, having just successfully test-fired the country's first hypersonic missile delivery vehicle, one capable of penetrating American air defenses to potentially deliver nuclear warheads. The Pentagon is not amused. The WU-14 hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) is part of China's extremely secretive missile development program, which has been quietly modernizing the country's conventional and nuclear missile systems. The missile test itself was not broadcast among any public channels but was detected, an anonymous Pentagon official confirmed with the Washington Free Beacon, flying at extremely high speeds...
  • India's light-weight gun for women slammed

    01/14/2014 7:53:46 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 40 replies
    CNN ^ | 14 Jan 2014 | CNN
    <p>New Delhi, India (CNN) - A light-weight gun named after an Indian gang rape victim has triggered a wave of criticism from advocates who call it "abhorrent."</p> <p>Last week, an Indian state-run gunmaker introduced the .32-calibre revolver, made of titanium alloy, calling it a "valuable contribution to women's security."</p>
  • India seeks possible U.S. tax violations in diplomat row

    12/27/2013 10:04:38 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 13 replies
    Reuters ^ | Friday, 27 Dec, 2013 | Reuters
    NEW DELHI India has sought details about staff in American schools in the country for possible tax violations and revoked ID cards of U.S. consular officials and their families, retaliatory steps for the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York on criminal charges. The measures suggest that the two countries are no closer to a resolution of a diplomatic dispute over the treatment of Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade this month on charges of visa fraud and underpayment of her housekeeper. Khobragade, who has denied the charges, was handcuffed and strip-searched while in custody despite informing U.S. marshals about...
  • NSA Paid a Huge Security Firm $10 Million to Keep Encryption Weak

    12/20/2013 4:16:47 PM PST · by James C. Bennett · 99 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 20 dec 2013 | Gizmodo
    Reuters reports that the NSA paid massive computer security firm RSA $10 million to promote a flawed encryption system so that the surveillance organization could wiggle its way around security. In other words, the NSA bribed the firm to leave the back door to computers all over the world open. Thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, we already knew the NSA played a central role in promoting a flawed formula for generating random numbers, which if used in encryption, essentially gives the spies easy access to computing systems. A piece of RSA software, bSafe, became the most significant vector...
  • Why Google is buying maker of military robots

    12/17/2013 8:35:38 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 20 replies
    The Times of India ^ | 16 Dec 2013 | The Times of India
    SAN FRANCISCO: Google may be gearing up to build robots that resemble props in science-fiction movies as the ambitious internet company expands into yet another technological frontier. To gather the expertise and research it needs, Google has purchased eight companies that specialize in robotics this year. The acquisitions are being assembled into a new robotics division headed by Andy Rubin, who oversaw Google's development of Android, now the world's leading mobile operating system. Google added more pieces to its growing toolbox of robotics late last week with the purchase of Boston Dynamics, a military contractor that has raised intrigue by...
  • UPDATE 1-India's Mars mission enters second stage; outpaces space rival China

    12/02/2013 8:23:42 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | Dec 1, 2013 | Reuters
    NEW DELHI, Dec 1 (Reuters) - India's first mission to Mars left Earth's orbit early on Sunday, clearing a critical hurdle in its journey to the red planet and overtaking the efforts in space of rival Asian giant China. China's Mars probe rode piggyback on a Russian spacecraft that failed to leave Earth's orbit in November 2011. The spacecraft crumbled in the atmosphere and its fragments fell into the Pacific Ocean. India's mission showcases the country's cheap technology, encouraging hopes it could capture more of the $304-billion global space market, which includes launching satellites for other countries. India's low-cost Mars...
  • World's oldest alcoholic drink, Lithuanian Mead, returning to India

    11/28/2013 7:50:25 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 18 replies
    Times News ^ | Nov 28 2013 | Kounteya Sinha
    VILNIUS, LITHUANIA: The world's oldest alcoholic drink - the recipe of which finds mention in the ancient Indian text Rig Veda 6000 years ago, is now making its way back to its country of birth - India. A Lithuanian company that holds the patent of Madhu Madya (honey alcohol) - the world famous mead made with ayurvedic traditions, has now decided to make it available in India. The Indian Baltic Chamber of Commerce will launch the mead - the oldest fermented drink in the world made from honey, water, yeast, herbs and vegetable seasoning at the annual event in India's...
  • Steroid injections for premature babies linked to mental health risk

    11/24/2013 9:26:06 AM PST · by James C. Bennett
    Imperial College, London ^ | Imperial College
    Steroid injections given to pregnant women before premature birth may increase the child's risk of later behavioural difficulties, a study has found. Mothers who are expected to give birth prematurely are often given an infusion of glucocorticoids, which mimic the natural hormone cortisol. This treatment is vital for helping the baby’s lungs mature, but the new research suggests it may also increase the risk of mental health problems including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is the most common behavioural disorder in young people in the UK. The study, by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oulu, Finland, is...
  • Israeli army chief arrives on 4-day trip

    11/20/2013 7:13:36 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 2 replies
    The Indian Express ^ | 13 Nov 2013 | The Indian Express
    Aiming to enhance his nation’s already robust defence ties with India, Israeli Army Chief Major General Guy Zur is here on a four-day visit to explore further possibilities in joint training and exchanges. Zur, who is the Chief of the Ground Forces Command of the Israeli Defence Forces, met with Defence Minister A K Antony and the heads of the three Indian Armed Forces. The two sides discussed security situations in South Asia and West Asian regions, the officials said on Tuesday. Zur will travel to Agra on Wednesday to the Indian Para Special Forces unit to inspect the facilities...
  • Middle class Americans reach out to lawyers in India via internet for legal aid

    10/04/2013 4:41:16 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 9 replies
    The Economic Times ^ | 5 Oct 2013 | The Economic Times
    BANGALORE: As legal help becomes exorbitantly expensive in the United States, an increasing number of middle-class Americans are reaching out over the internet to lawyers in India for advice and assistance. A growing community of Indian lawyers is finding a business opportunity in helping Americans prepare legal documents. Compared with the $150-300 ( 9,150-18,450) per hour that US lawyers typically charge, enterprising Indian counterparts with online shops are offering their services for as little as $7-20 ( 400-1,200) an hour. "This is proving to be lucrative as requests from US clients are increasing," says advocate Mitul Desai who runs a...
  • Why Is China Testing Satellite-Hijacking Space Weapons?

    10/03/2013 4:29:19 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 25 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 3 Oct 2013 | Adam Clark Estes
    Last week, China tested out a satellite that's capable of grabbing and capturing other satellites as they orbit the Earth. This normally wouldn't be such a big deal, except that it amounts to China conducting a weapons test in space. And that's worrisome—especially to the Pentagon. So what's up with this space weapons test? First of all, we're not diving into a Star Trek-like future any time soon—at face value, the Chinese satellite test sounds rather benign. Experts are unclear about how exactly the test went down, but it's pretty clear that a satellite with a moveable arm reached out...
  • Supreme Court gives voters right to reject all candidates in a poll [India]

    09/27/2013 10:09:02 AM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 5 replies
    NDTV ^ | 27 Sep 2013 | NDTV
    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to provide a button on voting machines to allow voters to reject all candidates contesting an election in a constituency. Election commission sources said this will be done starting with the next set of assembly elections this year. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam asked the Election Commission to make changes in voting machines and ballot papers, giving voters a "none of the above" choice, and publicise this change widely. The court observed that negative voting would lead to systemic change in elections and political parties...
  • British 'white widow' linked to Nairobi mall siege

    09/23/2013 9:46:06 AM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 24 replies
    The Times of India ^ | 24 Sep 2013 | The Times of India
    LONDON: The wife of one of the 2005 London bombings prime suspects, dubbed the "white widow", was on Monday linked to the ongoing siege at a shopping centre in Kenya. Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was reportedly spotted shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the attack on the Westgate complex in the Kenyan capital, according to a media report. The 29-year-old is reportedly a member of Somali al-Shabaab movement, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, and is wanted by Kenyan police over links to a suspected terrorist cell. According to "Daily Mirror", she is a...
  • Why is the US giving Pakistan weapons to be used against India?

    09/15/2013 11:24:05 AM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 30 replies
    FirstPost ^ | Sept 15, 2013 | Seems Sirohi
    The US government has funded eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, 2,000 TOW anti-armor missiles, 14 older model F-16 fighter jets, 59 T-37 trainer jets, one missile frigate, six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars, and 20 Cobra attack helicopters among other weapons for Pakistan. ------ In the context of the recent continuous tensions on the LOC, it is useful to take a hard look at the unhealthy US-Pakistan relationship of dependence, if only as a reminder of how some things never change. The Pakistani military's signals to India are clear and present. The continuous attacks along the Line of Control are an...