SA, North Korea strengthen ties

first_img18 March 2005Deputy President Jacob Zuma says South Africa’s move to strengthen ties with North Korea should not be misinterpreted.North Korean Vice President Yang Hyong Sop arrived in the country on Wednesday for a five-day official state visit – the highest-level visit by anyone from his country to date.Yang and Zuma are expected to sign an agreement paving the way for regular diplomatic consultation between the two countries.Speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday, Zuma said that South Africa had ties with many countries with a nuclear capacity, adding that SA and North Korea would continue to explore ways of harnessing nuclear technology for sustainable use, not for destructive purposes.“Nuclear capacity should be used for the betterment of communities”, Zuma said.The North Korean delegation, which includes Choe Su Hon, the deputy foreign minister, and Hong Chang, the director-general of the ministry of trade, briefed Zuma on the status of the six-nation talks on that country’s nuclear disarmament.North Korea has boycotted the talks with South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the US since 2003, and in February 2004 made an unconfirmed declaration that it possessed nuclear weapons.Yang blamed the stalemate on the United States’ “hostile policy” towards his country, demanding an apology from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who recently labelled North Korea an “outpost of tyranny”.He said that his country was prepared to participate in the talks if “appropriate conditions” were put in place. “In short, the ball is in the US court”, he said.Yang acknowledged the peacekeeping role South Africa was playing in Africa, saying this had raised South Africa’s prestige internationally.Zuma said he would honour an invitation to visit North Korea as soon as he was able to.South Africa dismantled the apartheid state’s secretly built nuclear arsenal in the early 1990s – becoming the first and so far the only country to construct nuclear weapons and subsequently voluntarily abandon its weapons programme – and since then has been active in promoting nuclear non-proliferation globally.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Comment of the Day: Socialthing! Could be SXSW Breakout App

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Contests#web In our post SXSW Breakout App of 2008: What Will it Be?, Marshall Kirkpatrick looks at five possible contenders for SXSW breakout app. Last year it was Twitter, the year before Dodgeball. Commenter Rob nominatedsocialthing! as a contender: “If socialthing! is able to launch their iphone interface for SXSW, it could be the huge hit. they are a bit under the radar but they are close enough to strike it big.”Congratulations Rob, you’ve won a $30 Amazon voucher – courtesy of our competition sponsors AdaptiveBlue and their Netflix Queue Widget.So what is Socialthing!? It’s described as “a digital life manager that puts what you do online into one place.” In fact it was one of the 35 lifestreaming apps that Josh Catone profiled earlier this week. Josh wrote about it:“Currently in closed beta, Socialthing! is a promising lifestreaming service that offers a nifty-looking iPhone optimized version. They’re planning to release the service at SXSW.”Clever marketing move by Socialthing to release their app at SXSW. Right now it looks like a dark horse for SXSW Breakout App. But check out Marshall’s post and nominate some others!. Some extra incentive: tomorrow’s comments competition winner will also be taken from that post.last_img read more

First Challenge to FCC Net Neutrality: Is Splitting Hairs Legal?

first_imgLast week’s issuance by the Federal Communications Commission of rules to protect what some still call “net neutrality” was destined to be legally challenged by someone, on some grounds – that’s the nature of regulatory government. (In a pre-emptive strike, Verizon filed its challenge last January.) But in the first of what will probably be several challenges since the order, the advocacy group Free Press makes one and only one argument.It cuts to the quick, and then stops: The FCC can’t adopt two sets of rules for a “mobile Internet” and a “fixed Internet,” while pretending to uphold “one Internet” to the public.The technical argument Free Press makes in its Petition of Review to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, filed yesterday, is that it violates the Communications Act of 1934 – and that argument wasn’t actually very technical. The substantive argument, in its entirety, is this: “Petitioners seek review of the FCC’s decision to adopt one set of rules for broadband access via mobile platforms and a different set of rules for broadband access via fixed platforms.”It would not be the first formal argument to an appeals court that was appreciably shorter than the corresponding argument to the public at large. The group’s policy director, Matt Wood, said this as part of a longer public statement yesterday: “Our challenge will show that there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access. The disparity that the FCC’s rules create is unjust and unjustified. And it’s especially problematic because of the increasing popularity of wireless, along with its increasing importance for younger demographics and diverse populations who rely on mobile devices as their primary means for getting online.”“Would you like to shake hands with Thing 1 and Thing 2?”Free Press’ arguments (both the short and long versions) point to a serious problem that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has faced with this topic ever since his appointment by Pres. Obama: It isn’t exactly clear in the law whether the FCC has the authority to regulate how Internet service providers manage transactions and manage their own assets. That authority should be bestowed on the FCC – if there’s to be any bestowing at all – by Congress.That the FCC has even issued such an order at all indicates that, rather than amending the Communications Act as only it can do, Congress punted, directing the agency with public statements rather than with laws to declare how it plans to regulate Internet fairness. That Act gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to regulate so-called “information services” under Title I, and the FCC authority to regulate “telecommunications services” under Title II. The law has not determined whether the Internet falls under Title I or Title II, and Congress is unwilling to make new law declaring what space it does fall in.In April 2010, the DC Court of Appeals found against the FCC and in favor of Comcast. The decision underscored the fact that Congress never granted the FCC the authority to tell Comcast, or anyone else, how it can manage the traffic of its own customers over its own equipment.The following month, Chairman Genachowski (over the objections of Republican commissioners) boldly attempted declaring a “third way,” suggesting that it was possible to regulate the Internet as a telecom service when it behaved like a telecom service and like an information service when it was more like that instead. But amid the likelihood of strong challenges from Comcast, Verizon, and others, the FCC backed down, eventually arriving at a draft which evolved into last week’s final order.No unreasonable discrimination (where applicable)The Commission’s current strategy is to draw a line around every aspect of the Internet that has survived challenges, or not been challenged, to this point. That line does not form a perfect square, as indicated by its reinterpretation of the “basic principles” first set forth by former chairman Michael Powell. As Free Press undoubtedly noted, with almost the same breath, the FCC under Genachowski says there is one Internet while defining it to be two:To provide greater clarity and certainty regarding the continued freedom and openness of the Internet, we adopt three basic rules that are grounded in broadly accepted Internet norms, as well as our own prior decisions:i. Transparency. Fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their broadband services;ii. No blocking. Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful Web sites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services; andiii. No unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.We believe these rules, applied with the complementary principle of reasonable network management, will empower and protect consumers and innovators while helping ensure that the Internet continues to flourish, with robust private investment and rapid innovation at both the core and the edge of the network.Genachowski certainly knows he is treading on dangerous territory. The Appeals Court in the Comcast case explicitly ruled that principles outlined by the FCC are not, by definition, rules; here, the Commission has taken three of Powell’s four principles, declared them to be rules, and attached the fourth as a “principle” in hopes that it will just slip right by. There’s also the problem at the crux of Free Press’ argument: The order establishes “fixed broadband” as the alternate flavor of “mobile broadband,” leverages the FCC’s authority to regulate fixed on its authority to regulate mobile, and then establishes some “rules” to fixed that do not extend to mobile (rule iii).“At this time”The justification for the FCC making this distinction is provided on page 32 of the order. It’s a leap of logic that must have attorneys everywhere salivating. Having established that cable companies provide more Internet service to the home, and carriers more service to the phone, the Commission declares that it has a special duty to regulate all traffic on fixed and mobile tiers separately, precisely because it’s so difficult to distinguish the two from one another once they’re on the same network:Although one purpose of our open Internet rules is to prevent blocking or unreasonable discrimination in transmitting online traffic for applications and services that compete with traditional voice and video services, we determine that open Internet rules applicable to fixed broadband providers should protect all types of Internet traffic, not just voice or video Internet traffic. This reflects, among other things, our view that it is generally preferable to neither require nor encourage broadband providers to examine Internet traffic in order to discern which traffic is subject to the rules. Even if we were to limit our rules to voice or video traffic, moreover, it is unlikely that broadband providers could reliably identify such traffic in all circumstances, particularly if the voice or video traffic originated from new services using uncommon protocols. Indeed, limiting our rules to voice and video traffic alone could spark a costly and wasteful cat-and-mouse game in which edge providers and end users seeking to obtain the protection of our rules could disguise their traffic as protected communications.We recognize that there is one Internet (although it is comprised of a multitude of different networks), and that it should remain open and interconnected regardless of the technologies and services end users rely on to access it. However, for reasons discussed… below related to mobile broadband – including the fact that it is at an earlier stage and more rapidly evolving – we apply open Internet rules somewhat differently to mobile broadband than to fixed broadband at this time.The three words that could get the Commission into the deepest trouble are perhaps the most seemingly innocuous: “at this time.” They appear to reserve the right for the FCC to extend and revise its remarks, to borrow a phrase from Congress, and also to concede that these rules are but temporary provisions in lieu of broader and more definitive law. Since that law is unlikely to come from Congress for at least two more sessions, the word “open” as it refers to the FCC’s interpretation of the Internet may very well mean “open question.” scott fulton 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#news center_img Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Scientists discover a sixth sense on the tongue—for water

first_img By Emily UnderwoodMay. 30, 2017 , 1:15 PM Scientists discover a sixth sense on the tongue—for water Viewed under a microscope, your tongue is an alien landscape, studded by fringed and bumpy buds that sense five basic tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami. But mammalian taste buds may have an additional sixth sense—for water, a new study suggests. The finding could help explain how animals can tell water from other fluids, and it adds new fodder to a centuries-old debate: Does water have a taste of its own, or is it a mere vehicle for other flavors?Ever since antiquity, philosophers have claimed that water has no flavor. Even Aristotle referred to it as “tasteless” around 330 B.C.E. But insects and amphibians have water-sensing nerve cells, and there is growing evidence of similar cells in mammals, says Patricia Di Lorenzo, a behavioral neuroscientist at the State University of New York in Binghamton. A few recent brain scan studies also suggest that a region of human cortex responds specifically to water, she says. Still, critics argue that any perceived flavor is just the after-effect of whatever we tasted earlier, such as the sweetness of water after we eat salty food.“Almost nothing is known” about the molecular and cellular mechanism by which water is detected in the mouth and throat, and the neural pathway by which that signal is transmitted to the brain, says Zachary Knight, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. In previous studies, Knight and other researchers have found distinct populations of neurons within a region of the brain called the hypothalamus that can trigger thirst and signal when an animal should start and stop drinking. But the brain must receive information about water from the mouth and tongue, because animals stop drinking long before signals from the gut or blood could tell the brain that the body has been replenished, he says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In an attempt to settle the debate, Yuki Oka, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and colleagues searched for water-sensing taste receptor cells (TRCs) in the mouse tongue. They used genetic knockout mice to look for the cells, silencing different types of TRCs, then flushing the rodents’ mouths with water to see which cells responded. “The most surprising part of the project” was that the well-known, acid-sensing, sour TRCs fired vigorously when exposed to water, Oka says. When given the option of drinking either water or a clear, tasteless, synthetic silicone oil, rodents lacking sour TRCs took longer to choose water, suggesting the cells help to distinguish water from other fluids.Next, the team tested whether artificially activating the cells, using a technique called optogenetics, could drive the mice to drink water. They bred mice to express light-sensitive proteins in their acid-sensing TRCs, which make the cells fire in response to light from a laser. After training the mice to drink water from a spout, the team replaced the water with an optic fiber that shone blue light on their tongues. When the mice “drank” the blue light, they acted as though they were tasting water, Oka says. Some thirsty mice licked the light spout as many as 2000 times every 10 minutes, the team reports this week in Nature Neuroscience.The rodents never learned that the light was just an illusion, but kept drinking long after mice drinking actual water would. That suggests that although signals from TRCs in the tongue can trigger drinking, they don’t play a role in telling the brain when to stop, Oka says.More research is needed to precisely determine how the acid-sensing taste buds respond to water, and what the mice experience when they do, Oka says. But he suspects that when water washes out saliva—a salty, acidic mucus—it changes the pH within the cells, making them more likely to fire.The notion that one of the ways animals detect water is by the removal of saliva “makes a lot of sense,” Knight says. But it is still only one of many likely routes for sensing water, including temperature and pressure, he adds.The “well-designed, intriguing” study also speaks to a long-standing debate over the nature of taste, Di Lorenzo says. When you find a counterexample to the dominant view that there are only five basic taste groups, she says, “it tells you you need to go back to the drawing board.”last_img read more