world

Stanislav Petrov saved the world

This man really deserves our respect: Stanislav Petrov, former Russian Army colonel has quite probably saved our planet in 1983.

He has recently been awarded a special World Citizen Award at a UN meeting in New York which reads "Man Who Averted Nuclear War".

To quote mosnews.com:

Back in 1983 Petrov made a decision that prevented a war that could have destroyed the planet. He was the duty officer at Russia’s main nuclear command center in September 1983 when the system indicated a nuclear missile attack was launched by the U.S. on Russia.

[...]

The Soviet procedure manual was inflexible, and it demanded he notify his superiors of the attack immediately. But relying on his intuition, Petrov disobeyed. For almost five minutes, he stalled, holding his hotline phone in one hand and his intercom in the other, barking orders to his personnel to get back to their desks.

Then he made the decision that saved the world. Summoning up his firmest voice, he called his Kremlin liaison and said it was a false alarm. But today he admits, "I wasn’t 100 percent sure. Not even close to 100 percent".

(via Fefe)

Google Earth

OK, I heard lots and lots of stuff about Google Earth so far. Yesterday, I actually installed it on some not-so-free-OS box and gave it a try. Two things are floating on my mind now:

  1. w00t!
  2. This is the scariest shit one can imagine!

I "browsed" different parts of the world and got more and more fascinated... and scared. For instance you can see the Statue of Liberty, and if you zoom in enough, you see people walking around on liberty island! Nice on the one hand, major security and privacy problem on the other hand.

There are loads of interesting ways to use Google Earth, e.g. over at Google Earth Hacks. I'm afraid most of my spare time during the next few days has just crumbled to dust... Now, if they would only port it to Linux, that'd be really nice...

Worldprocessor

Worldprocessor is an ongoing project creating globes which display various statistics and information.
There's a huge catalog of globes on their site, some of them quite interesting...

(via jwz)

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