Global evolution of a substorm-associated DP2 current system observed by superDARN and magnetometers

first_imgThis paper deals with an evolution of the electric field in the dayside auroral and equatorial ionosphere during asubstorm on July 16, 1995. A southward turning of the IMF detected by WIND (171 Re) caused enhancements in the auroral electrojet intensity in the 7–10 MLT and 15.5–18.5 MLT sectors as observed by the IMAGE (74-56 cgmlat) and CANOPUS (70-58 cgmlat) magnetometer chains. SuperDARN detected an equatorward motion of the radar scattering region at speeds of several −10 degs/hour in the dayside (05–17 MLT), suggesting an increase in the flux of the open magnetic field in the polar cap. Furthermore, coherent magnetic variations are observed at subauroral to equatorial latitudes simultaneously with the auroral magnetic variations within a temporal resolution of 10 s. This suggests that the electric field increase during the growth phase is established instantaneously around the convection reversal in the 15.5–18.5 MLT sector, and furthermore penetrates instantaneously to mid and low latitudes. SuperDARN detected a continuous equatorward motion of the auroral oval during the expansion phase around the cusp, which implies a continuous magnetic merging at the day-side magnetopause during the expansion phase. A rapid decrease in the electric field is inferred from coherent auroral and equatorial magnetic field decreases during the recovery phase, which may have been caused by northward turning of the IMF. This magnetic field decrease resembles the change in magnetic field of the counter-electrojet at the dip equator in the afternoon sector.last_img read more

The ruse of ‘fake news’

first_img Town halls, without the screaming or scripting Catching criminals through their relatives’ DNA Panelists ponder the future of journalism in a click-happy, unsourced world Fake news is giving reality a run for its money Related The Boston Globe To ensure that false content isn’t amplified across platforms, the study called on companies to do a better job of policing the use of software bots that control fake accounts — studies have estimated that anywhere from 9 to 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are bots, and that there may be as many as 60 million bots on Facebook — and identify and remove false content.“Generally, the platforms should avoid accidentally amplifying low-quality content when detecting what is trending,” Lazer said. “That seems like a no-brainer.”Though major companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have taken steps to counteract fake news, with Twitter moving to block accounts linked to Russian misinformation and Facebook announcing plans to shift its algorithm to account for “quality” in its content curation, the authors said the platforms have not provided enough detail about those steps for the research community to evaluate them properly.The authors outline two primary strategies to stem the flow and influence of fake news: empowering individuals to better evaluate the credibility of news and news sources they encounter, and making structural changes to prevent exposure to fake news in the first place.Though neither goal will be easy, Baum and Lazer admit, both could, over time, help restore citizen trust and credibility in news and information sources.“Our call here is to promote interdisciplinary research with the objective of reducing the spread of fake news and of addressing the underlying pathologies it has revealed,” the authors wrote. “More broadly, we must answer a fundamental question: How can we create a news ecosystem and culture that values and promotes truth?”This research was supported with funding from the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University. Finding genetic needles in database haystacks As Americans increasingly turn to social media as their primary source for news and information, the dangers posed by the phenomenon of “fake news” are growing.Reports of foreign influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election are only the most high-profile example of how the infusion of misinformation into social media can influence democratic institutions. Determining how to measure and counter untruths in the digital age, however, is still in its early stages.In a recent study described in the journal Science, lead authors Matthew Baum, the Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications, David Lazer, a professor at Northeastern University and an associate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and more than a dozen co-authors argue that a multidisciplinary effort is needed to understand better how the internet spreads content and how readers process the news and information they consume. Such broad-based efforts are necessary, the authors said, “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”“There needs to be some regular auditing of what the platforms are doing and how much this information is spreading,” Lazer added, “because there is a collective interest in the quality of the information ecosystem that we all live in.”In addition to Baum and Lazer, the paper was co-authored by Yochai Benkler, Adam J. Berinsky, Kelly M. Greenhill, Filippo Menczer, Miriam J. Metzger, Brendan Nyhan, Gordon Pennycook, David Rothschild, Michael Schudson, Steven A. Sloman, Cass R. Sunstein, Emily A. Thorson, Duncan J. Watts, and Jonathan L. Zittrain.The rise of fake news, the authors said, can be chalked up in part to two opposing trends in American society. Recent Gallup polls have found a growing mistrust of U.S. media, and studies have also said that nearly half of Americans “often or sometimes” get their news from social media, with Facebook being the dominant source.While those platforms have enabled new information sources and voices to emerge, they have also made it far easier for people to engage only with homogeneous social networks and take in only information that affirms their own views, thereby exacerbating the ideological divides in the country.“The internet has reduced many [previously enforced] constraints on dissemination of news. This allows outlets that do not embody these norms to compete online with those that do on a relatively more equal footing than was possible offline,” the authors argued in the paper. “This has contributed to the abandonment of traditional news sources that had long enjoyed high levels of public trust and credibility.”In some cases, Baum and Lazer said, social networks have unwittingly become complicit in amplifying fake news.As an example, they point to Twitter’s trending mechanism. When the platform notices a surge in tweets about a particular topic — such as a celebrity’s birthday or an approaching nor’easter — Twitter may list the topic as trending. But studies have repeatedly shown that the process can be manipulated. In one case journalists found that for as little as $200, a company in Saudi Arabia would deploy an army of bots to make any hashtag trend for a few hours.last_img read more

Shumlin says deal to spin off Vermont Yankee relies on too much debt

first_imgSenate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today addressed several concerns that Speaker Shap Smith and other legislative leaders have with the Memorandum of Understanding reached between the Department of Public Service and Entergy Corporation regarding Entergy’s petition to spin off Vermont Yankee to a highly leveraged company named Enexus. Earlier this month the Department of Public Service cited this MOU in the reversal of their position on Entergy’s petition to transfer ownership of Vermont Yankee to Enexus and decided to support the proposal. “Vermonters should be deeply concerned by the Department’s support of Entergy’s plan to spin off Vermont Yankee to a highly leveraged company,” said Senator Shumlin.  “While the MOU they have reached with Entergy contains steps in the right direction, Enexus will still be a below investment grade, highly debt ridden company and the decommissioning fund will remain approximately $600 million short of the funds necessary to clean up the plant.”The plan to spin off the plants entails Enexus raising money for the deal by going heavily into debt – bonding $3.5 billion and borrowing over an additional billion. Enexus will then have to put up its assests – the nuclear plants – as collateral for the loans.  The result is that if this deal is approved ownership of Vermont Yankee would pass from a healthy, debt-free, investment-grade company to a weaker, debt ridden and much riskier company.Department officials have claimed that the provisions in the MOU – including a $60 million line of credit that can purportedly be used for decommissioning costs – provide the necessary assurances for them to support the deal.  However, it is not clear that this $60 million lineof credit could be used for decommissioning purposes.   The credit isintended to cover the costs of transitioning the plant from an operating facility to a plant prepared to decommission.  Only money left over from this process could be put toward decommissioning costs.  Even if the full $60 million line of credit was able to be put toward decommissioning, the fund would still be approximately $600 million short of the estimated decommissioning costs of $1 billion.“Rather than addressing the core problems with the deal – Enexus’ bond ratings and the decommissioning fund – the Department of Public Service has settled for Entergy’s promise that Vermont Yankee will be able to borrow more money for its operations from Enexus subsidiaries than it could from Entergy subsidiaries,” said Senator Shumlin.  “At a time when we are digging ourselves out of a recession caused in part by companies and individuals relying on borrowing too much money it seems unwise to place our trust in such a promise.”   Senator Shumlin and Speaker Smith have requested that the Senate Finance and House Natural Resources Committees hold a hearing to further analyze the MOU and its repercussions on Vermont Yankee’s reliability and decommissioning fund.  “It is impossible not to draw parallels between this deal and the sale of our telecommunications network from Verizon to the debt-laden FairPoint,” said Senator Shumlin.  “We can simply not afford another similar mistake that leaves Vermonters paying the bill.”Source: Shumlin’s office. 10.21.2009###last_img read more

Rally to support the “Green New Deal” happening in Richmond, VA today

first_imgRally to support the “Green New Deal” happening in Richmond, VA todayVirginia activists and community leaders will rally at the Capitol Square Bell Tower in Richmond, VA today in support of a “Green New Deal” for the state. Support of a “Green New Deal,” a proposed economic stimulus program that aims to address economic inequality and climate change, has reached fever pitch across the nation. Building on that momentum, Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-11) recently introduced a resolution for a “Green New Deal Virginia,” which promotes a “just transition” to a 100 percent clean energy economy with large-scale investments in efficiency and jobs. Policy themes of the Virginia Green New Deal also include clean water and air, and investment in local-scale agriculture in communities across Virginia. The rally begins at 2 p. Lloyd Clayton, a champion of southern forests, has diedLloyd Clayton, environmental activist, champion of southern forests, and hero to many working in the environmental movement, has died. In 1996, forest protection activists gathered in Bankhead National Forest in Alabama to discuss the destruction of southern forests. At that time, chip mills were appearing across the south and consuming forests at an alarming rate. Activists knew something had to be done—and quickly. It was at that meeting that Lloyd Clayton pledged to fund a new organization to fight forest destruction across the south. With Clayton’s support, co-directors were hired at the newly formed Dogwood Alliance, a non-profit organization that protects southern forests across 14 states. Friends say that Clayton’s memory will serve as a beacon of hope and a reminder to keep fighting the good fight.Photo of Lloyd from www.dogwoodalliance.orgAsheville, NC has earned the moniker Climate CityAsheville, NC has become an important center for climate expertise, earning it the moniker Climate City. The city of 90,000 is home to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the world’s largest repository of climatological data. NCEI employs more than 300 climate and data scientists, including a handful of Nobel Prize winners.  The U.S. Air Force’s 14th Weather Squadron, which provides climate services to the defense and intelligence communities, is also located in Asheville. The University of North Carolina Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) worked with NOAA to build the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit for the Obama administration, and the city is also home to non-profit The Collider, the first entrepreneurship, and innovation center in the country built to support startups that use data to help the world become more resilient to climate change. Together, Beer City and Climate City have a nice ring.last_img read more

White House cybersecurity announcement highlights need for action, says Nussle

first_imgThe White House Wednesday announced the creation of a new federal agency, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, to analyze threats to the nation’s cybersecurity and coordinate strategy to combat them. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said the action highlights the need for strong action to enhance protections of Americans’ personal financial data.In September, CUNA sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to establish a new Cybersecurity Council. While CUNA generally supports containing federal government, CUNA maintains more focus is needed on cybersecurity at the national level on issues such as the role of merchants in securing consumers’ personal financial data.Regarding the administration announcment, Nussle said, “Data breaches–no matter how they occur–are a huge and growing problem for the country and the president’s announcement is a strong acknowledgement of the need for action in this area.“Countless Americans have been affected by merchant data breaches. Until merchants are held to the same federal data protection and notification standard as financial institutions and until the costs of a data breach are ultimately borne by the entity that incurs the breach, there will be no end in sight. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Analysis of the impact of the VAT rate on the competitiveness of organized accommodation and catering in Croatia

first_imgWith the current VAT rates, only minor positive effects on fiscal revenues are possible, while in the long run we can expect a smaller number of sectoral investments, a reduction in the number of new employees, lower gross value added and lower quality accommodation units., is the conclusion of the analysis of the impact of the VAT rate on the competitiveness of organized accommodation and catering in Croatia, point out the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.The analysis, prepared by HD Consulting in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, includes an assessment of the direct economic and fiscal effects of different VAT rates on a cumulative five-year period, comparing rates in Croatia with competing Mediterranean countries and the rest of the European Union. “In addition to tax relief, it is necessary to continue addressing the issue of labor and relevant legislation. We therefore welcome the call for further dialogue on the problems of the sector to continue the sustainable development of tourism”Said the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Tourism, Trade and Finance Josip Zaher.The study was presented at yesterday’s meeting of the Association of Hoteliers at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Caterers at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Martina Dalic, Minister of Finance Zdravko Maric, Minister of Tourism Gari Capelli and Assistant Minister of Finance Zdravko Zrinusic. On behalf of the Association of Hoteliers at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Association and member of the Management Board of the Blue Lagoon Ronald Korotaj and member of the Management Board of Maistra Tomislav Popović, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera Željko Kukurin and owner of the Sunce concern Jako Andabak were present. Djakovic Stan Ivan Bogovic. ”Competing countries are in a far more favorable position for further growth and development as the rates of organized accommodation and catering in Croatia are the highest in the Mediterranean and among the highest in the European Union. ” said Zaher, announcing the continuation of talks between representatives of hoteliers and caterers with representatives of the Government and ministries on key issues for the tourism sector.last_img read more

Hungary for success

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img