China is the world’s leading it exporter

China’s economic growth, which again this year was only just below ten percent, is keeping the world on its toes

China’s hunger for raw materials and food is driving producer prices to unprecedented heights, offering new hope for many a developing country. Meanwhile, between Frankfurt and Seattle, the prospect of a market of 1.3 billion people who could have the purchasing power of today’s Poles in perhaps a decade’s time has many an executive’s dollar sign flashing in his eyes. In a few years, Chinese consumers will be able to jump-start the chronically sluggish economy of the euro zone?

By 2010, for example, China will need 500 passenger aircraft in addition to the 70 Boeing 737s and 150 Airbus A320s for which contracts were recently signed, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said Monday. And this will not be the end of the line. But while China’s 800 million villagers will certainly still be living in extremely modest conditions ten years from now, Goldman Sachs expects China to be the world’s largest importer of luxury goods by then.


A closed playground on the internet

A bill now before the U.S. president seeks to establish a controlled domain to provide a safe and clean place for children (and parents)

The world is unsafe, especially for children. In the USA it is not so much violence that is considered dangerous for their innocent souls, but rather sexuality. The US government is fighting the war-ready nation not only with strict laws in real life (dangerous doctor games), but also on the Internet. Now the Senate and the House of Representatives have approved a bill to create a protected zone for children on the Internet, which only needs to be signed by President Buch to become law.

The Communications Decency Act (CDA), which was intended to ban indecency online, was a decisive factor in the politicization of some netizens at a time when the Web was only just being discovered by business and politics (the Communications Decency Act has been repealed). In 1997, however, the CDA failed at the Supreme Court (The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the CDA as unconstitutional). The next step was the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) in 1998 (the comeback of the Communications Decency Act). Already signed by Clinton, it has been rejected again as unconstitutional (CDA II failed). The Supreme Court, however, returned it to an appeals court this year. The matter has not yet been finally decided. In the case of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the Supreme Court has yet to ie its final decision (far beyond the capabilities of today’s technology). The ie is whether public libraries can be forced by law to install filters if they want to continue to receive funding from the government.


Much money, little future

The Energy and Climate Weekly: Environmental groups and the solar industry are disappointed with the stimulus package, but there’s little in it for mass transit either

So now it’s out, the Economic Stimulus Program II. The coalition committee has passed the bill, which is expected to pass the cabinet early next week, after which the Bundestag and Bundesrat will have to approve it.

Many who had hoped that the grand coalition might use the economic crisis to make a rough draft on climate protection and the energy transition will be disappointed. Just 14 billion euros are to be invested in the so-called future, i.e. in schools, universities, kindergartens, hospitals, urban development, traffic and transport. Somewhere in between, everything is supposed to be a bit climate protection oriented. This is not only very little for climate protection; the education sector alone urgently needs a multiple of these 14 billion euros. A rough throw really looks different. The party of the Danish minority in Schleswig-Holstein, the SSW, spoke of economic stimulus demands with a shotgun. Whereby, so it is to be noted, the individual small balls come plentifully dwindling along.


Computer-brain interface

A neuroimplant implanted in humans can control a cursor

With a neurotechnological implant, patients who are paralyzed due to a stroke, a spinal injury or other illnesses and can no longer speak can now communicate with the outside world, at least via computer. Until now, this could only be done by recording brain waves (EEG) through the crude attachment of electrodes to the head. Here, EEG patterns that relate to the planning or imagination of a movement are classified by the computer via a neural network and can then be translated into the movement of a cursor on the screen, for example. The coupling of neurons and chip poses particular difficulties for permanent implantation.

This has often been done with rats (see z.B. neurons of rats control a robotic arm), Roy Bakay and Phillipp Kennedy of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University have successfully tested it on two human subjects. A neurotrophic electrode surrounded by glass was inserted into the motor cortex. Neurotrophic growth factors were placed on the glass, which stimulated the neurons to grow into the electrode and establish a contact. This process took several weeks. In the electrode, the signals of the "firing" Neurons picked up and then sent to wirelessly to a head-mounted receiver and amplifier, and then further processed by a computer to which they are transmitted by a small antenna. These signals can then in turn be used to control the cursor on a screen: "The trick is to teach the patient how to control the strength and pattern of the electrical impulses generated in the brain. After a training period they can "at will" move a cursor and make it stop at a certain point on the screen. If you can move the cursor, you can direct it to certain icons, send emails, turn a light on or off, and interact with the environment." Learning happens through feedback, as patients can hear the signals picked up by their neurons.


Lost wars and collateral damage

At the 22. Chaos Computer Congress, an impressive record of data protection and surveillance was achieved

At the 22. Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin once again brings together the computer nerd and hacker community. The Chaos Computer Club, founded in 1984, enjoys unbroken popularity among mainly young hackers dressed in black. Until Friday, you can catch up on the latest news from science, technology, politics and the community on four parallel panels around the clock, or try out the latest code in the Hack Center and meet like-minded people. "Hacking is about freedom and understanding technology and the world," Tim Pritlove called out to the assembled community at Tuesday’s opening address. Nevertheless, the first day was marked by critical tones and a rather depressing balance sheet in terms of privacy and monitoring.

"Private Investigations" is the motto of this year’s congress, which attracted more than 3000 data travelers from all over Germany and neighboring countries. They flocked to the renovated domed building of the Congress Centrum Berlin on Alexanderplatz, whose utopian 1970s architecture is reminiscent of a Stanley Kubrick science fiction film.


The war on terrorism continues

In his speech, U.S. President Bush proclaimed victory over Iraq and gives some food for thought in what he says and what he does not mention

It is always a question of how seriously one wants to take the rhetoric of politicians who try to tout their accomplishments. Difficult it is also in the last speech, which U.S. President gave on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. However, with all caution about the show and the rhetoric, some conclusions can be drawn for the future policy of the U.S. government from what was said and what was not said.

The S-3B Viking with co-pilot Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln


The wow signal from oseti

Further guessing about the origin of an unknown extraterrestrial laser signal

What if aliens chose bundled light instead of radio signals to carry their interplanetary messages, swearing by the wavelengths in the visible, ultraviolet and infrared range?? Maybe several short laser flashes have already been vying for our attention without us noticing it until now. Australian OSETI (Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomer Ragbir Bhathal caught one of these in December 2008 and openly speculates whether it is of artificial origin or its source is a previously unknown astrophysical phenomenon.

The classic wow signal

On 15. August 1977 it looked for a while as if the ather detectives searching for ET and Co. the rough throw succeeded. When young astronomer Jerry Ehman of Ohio State University in Columbus (U.S. state of Ohio) used the Big Ear radio telescope to locate an unusually strong signal that turned out to be an extreme near-band signal pulsating 30 times more strongly than any background noise for 70 seconds at a time, the excitement was raw, especially since the signal apparently moved with the stars. The actual intelligence feature of the pulse was that it switched itself on and off, similar to the sound of a telephone. The probability that the pulsation was of artificial origin was supported by the frequency of the signal. It was at 1420 megahertz, thus just in that radio range, on which "Earthlings" The first stars were not supposed to be sent out of consideration for astronomical research. "It was the most impressive signal we had ever seen", according to Lehman’s recollection of that memorable day. "Without thinking, I wrote on the edge of the computer printout ‘Wow’!"