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Monday, March 14, 2011

iPad Selling High on 'Gray Market' Sometimes for Thousands

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IPad 2 Selling for Thousands on 'Gray Market'
March 14, 2011

Reports indicate Russians are buying and then re-selling the iPad 2 for a huge profit. Analysts say Apple's two per household limit is to blame.

BY CHRISTINE SLUSSER

You're watching multisource tech news analysis from Newsy

The iPad 2 is in high demand. So high, in fact, one college student sold her spot in line to nab the new gadget for nearly a grand.

STUDENT: “The first hour that I was here, I had one offer of $600.”
REPORTER: “Oh my God...and so how much did you end up selling it for?”
STUDENT: “$900.” (Video Source: After Dawn)

...but there’s a new conspiracy afoot as to why the iPad 2 is selling out so quickly...and it’s a lighter shade of the black market.

“The idea is that the person who put up the money to buy the iPad2 was preparing to resell it elsewhere, usually outside the borders of the U.S., at an inflated price. Welcome to the world of the gray market.” (Image Source: News Quest Online)


One blogger points a finger at a more specific group: Russians. After listing a spare iPad 2 on Craigslist, a Russian man tried to buy it. Chip Chick tells his story.

“...he says he started waiting in line for the iPad 2...He also said that afterward he waited in line to buy a second round. He then came back a third time with a disguise on...and purchased a third round, and paid a guy in front of him in line $200 to get him another.”

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Melting Fuel Rods in 3 Reactors, Nuclear Disaster in Japan UPDATE: NEW HUGE EXPLOSION AT FUKUSHIMA REACTOR NO. 3 (VIDEO) UPDATE: Japan Quake moved Coast 8 feet Earth Axis Shift, Earthquake Timeline VIDEO Survey


 A person who is believed to be have been contaminated is escorted to a radiation-treatment center.Photo: Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images
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Melting Fuel Rods in Three Reactors Raise Fear of Nuclear Disaster in Japan

3/14/11
nymag.com

Japanese officials said nuclear fuel rods appear to be melting inside all three of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano: "Although we cannot directly check it, it's highly likely happening." The plant suffered its second reactor explosion in three days on Monday as technicians frantically tried to jury-rig a new cooling system. Operators have resumed pumping seawater into reactor 2, but fuel rods may have been exposed for more than two hours after the pump's fuel ran out. Full meltdowns, in which molten nuclear fuel melts its way through containment vessels, could release catastrophic amounts of radiation, putting first responders and those attempting to fix the problem in even more danger. However, according to the BBC, experts say a Chernobyl-scale disaster is unlikely "because the reactors are built to a higher standard and have much more rigorous safety measures." What happens when those safety measures fail? We may be about to find out.
The scary developments in Japan have prompted some excellent explainers about nuclear power and the dangers posed by the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors — especially useful for those of us whose knowledge is limited, as Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker noted, to what we've seen on The Simpsons.
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JAPAN CLAIMS: Fukushima Reactor Intact After Hydrogen Explosion; Meltdown Still Possible




Japan said the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor is intact after an explosion, while operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said a meltdown remains possible at the station 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of the capital.
The vessel containing the reactor’s radioactive core is intact after the blast at 11:01 a.m. local time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said today. A meltdown may occur should the reactor’s fuel rods remain exposed, Tokyo Electric Managing Director Akio Komori said at a separate press briefing.
The likelihood of a large radiation leak is very small, even as radiation levels at the No. 3 reactor are rising, said Edano, the government’s spokesman. Tokyo Electric said at least four employees and two contractors were injured in the blast.
Asia’s largest utility is seeking to avoid a meltdown of at least two reactors at the nuclear power station by flooding them with water and boric acid to eliminate the potential for a catastrophic release of radiation into the atmosphere. The cooling system failed at the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors after the March 11 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in Japan.
The cooling system at the No. 2 unit has also stopped, the Yomiuri newspaper reported today, citing information received by Fukushima prefecture.
Shares Slump
Tokyo Electric shares slumped 24 percent. Today’s explosion followed a similar blast on March 12 after a hydrogen leak at the station’s No. 1 reactor. That blast destroyed the walls of the reactor building and injured four workers. No damage was reported to the container of the No. 1 unit, Tokyo Electric said.
There are six boiling-water reactors at the Fukushima Dai- Ichi station, three of which were shut for maintenance before the earthquake. Unit No. 1 is a General Electric Co. model that can generate 439 megawatts of power and began commercial operation in 1971, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The No. 2 reactor was built by GE Toshiba and the No. 3 by Toshiba Corp.
The residual heat removal system for the No. 1 reactor has recovered, and they have started the process of cooling the unit, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in a statement today. Sea water is still being pumped into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors, it said. Flooding the reactors with sea water renders them useless for future power production.

Sea Water Retained

Tokyo Electric said the sea water used to cool the two reactors is being retained at the station. “We will look into what we will do about the water,” spokesman Shogo Fukuda said by telephone today.
Japanese officials yesterday evacuated more than 200,000 people and handed out iodine, used to protect the thyroid from radioactivity, as they extended an exclusion zone around the plant to 20 kilometers.
Winds in the area of the Fukushima plant are blowing at less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) per hour generally in a northeasterly and northerly direction, according to a 9 a.m. update from the Japan Meteorological Agency today.
The disaster at Fukushima isn’t the first quake-related accident for Tokyo Electric. A 6.8-magnitude temblor on July 16, 2007, caused a fire and radiation leaks that shut down the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s biggest. It took almost two years to restart.
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Another reactor at Fukushima nuke plant loses cooling functions


TOKYO, March 13, Kyodo
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.
The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.
It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday.
The disaster raised fears over radioactive leaks from the plants after cooling systems there were hampered, most seriously at the No. 1 reactor.
An explosion Saturday at the No. 1 plant blew away the roof and the walls of the building housing the No. 1 reactor's container.
The government and nuclear authorities said there was no damage to the steel container housing the troubled No. 1 reactor, noting that the blast occurred as vapor from the container turned into hydrogen and mixed with outside oxygen.
Tokyo Electric Power has begun new cooling operations to fill the reactor with sea water and pour in boric acid to prevent an occurrence of criticality. Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano said in a press conference Sunday morning that there had been no major changes in the results of monitoring radioactivity near the No. 1 reactor.
Following the explosion, the authorities expanded from 10 kilometers to 20 km the radius of the evacuation area for residents living in the vicinity of the Fukushima plants.
The Fukushima prefectural government said Saturday that three people had their clothes contaminated with radioactive substances while fleeing from the No. 1 nuclear plant.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Sunday that 15 people were found to have been contaminated at a hospital located within 10 km from the No. 1 reactor. Edano said there was a possibility that nine people who fled on a bus had been exposed to radioactivity.
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NUCLEAR EMERGENCY VIDEO
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Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth's axis

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
March 12, 2011
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(CNN) -- The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.
"At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass," said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).
The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast.
The quake was the most powerful to hit the island nation in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed traveled across the Pacific Ocean, triggering tsunami warnings and alerts for 50 countries and territories as far away as the western coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Chile. The quake triggered more than 160 aftershocks in the first 24 hours -- 141 measuring 5.0-magnitude or more.
The quake occurred as the Earth's crust ruptured along an area about 250 miles (400 kilometers) long by 100 miles (160 kilometers) wide, as tectonic plates slipped more than 18 meters, said Shengzao Chen, a USGS geophysicist.
Japan is located along the Pacific "ring of fire," an area of high seismic and volcanic activity stretching from New Zealand in the South Pacific up through Japan, across to Alaska and down the west coasts of North and South America. The quake was "hundreds of times larger" than the 2010 quake that ravaged Haiti, said Jim Gaherty of the LaMont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

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Hermann Aldermen Expected to Issue License to Brush & Palette Club UPDATE: City Cemetery Restoration Work Set for Spring 2011

March 14, 2011

Hermann Aldermen Expected to Issue License to Brush & Palette Club, for access to cemetery.
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Click PLAY> To Listen to the Audio Story!
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George Bayer’s Grave
Even in death, George Bayer was shunned by the community that he helped create. He was buried facing away from the town, and it was declared that nobody could be buried within 75 feet of his grave, which is near the southeast corner of the cemetery, on the other side of the mausoleum.

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Restoration of Hermann’s City Cemetery was the main topic at Monday's meeting of Hermann’s Board of Aldermen on, November 29, 2010.  
 

Now that its Rotunda Restoration Project has been completed, The Brush & Palette Club had expressed a willingness to spearhead the restoration as another way to fulfill its mission--to preserve the local heritage and culture and to promote the arts.   

Hermann's City Cemetery dates from the city’s beginning with one of the very early burials being George Bayer, known today as the founder of Hermann.    


At a workshop Monday night, the Hermann Board of Aldermen supported the club's efforts to restore the grave markers.

The club had contacted York Cemetery Services of Clarksburg, Mo., and representatives from that company made a presentation at Monday's special city meeting.

Clancy Boots, founder of York Cemetery Services, a five-year-old company, said he has walked the Hermann city cemetery with a few members of the Brush & Palette Club and they identified 32 grave stones that were deemed dangerous and in the most need of repair.

Lois Puchta, president of the Brush & Palette Club, said the 32 stones are not all that need repairs, but would be the first phase of what is a large project. She said the grave markers are in section C of the cemetery, toward the west.

"As the Brush & Palette Club researched this, we became aware of a company that is in the business of repairing these old stones, and we contacted York," said Puchta.

Boots gave a slide show and described the type of repair he proposed for each grave stone, and tied a cost to repair each of them.

He said some of the stones have shifted, cracked into pieces, and some even had to be unearthed. He said he dug up stones that were 8 to 9 inches under the ground, and no one knew they were there.

Boots said the grave stones were made of either sandstone or marble, and the ones made of sandstone were the weakest.

"You have stones laying all over the ground up there," he said. "The longer it remains this way, the worse it is going to get."

Boots said his company repairs the old stones and sets them on a base. Rebar is used to put them back together. He said the unique design of the base eliminates the need for digging and pouring a concrete foundation under the stone. "Without a good solid base under them, you are wasting your time."

Boots said his company has fabricated special clamps and tools to do this kind of work. "We designed most of the tools we use."

He said the bases that are set under the stones resist sinking, but said, "I can't tell you what it is going to do 25-30 years down the road."

He said regardless of who does the work,  it would be a costly project. Hermann's Brush & Palette Club will take the lead in a project to restore grave stones and monuments in the city cemetery that have fallen in disrepair.

"This is going to be a high-dollar job because you have a lot of rails on the graves, and you have to remove and replace them," said Boots. "The 32 stones are more of the expensive ones to repair, some of them tall monuments. It will be labor intensive."

Mrs. Puchta, who had tallied up the cost to repair the 32 stones, said the first phase would run about $14,000. She said the Brush & Palette Club would contribute $7,000 to the project, and asked for a match.

She said this is not money that has been set aside for the Rotunda project.

Puchta stated that the club will get involved in more fundraising to tackle the cemetery restoration project, like it did to help with restoring the Rotunda.

She asked the aldermen and mayor if the city would partner in the project, and Mayor Larry Miskel said the city would help in every way that it can.

Miskel asked Jim Grebing to look into possible grants through the Meramec Regional Planning Commission.

Puchta issued a challenge to the city, local citizens and businesses, to help with the project.

Dr. Chris Neale and Steve Mueller, members of the Community Foundation of Hermann also attended the meeting and supported the Brush & Palette Club's efforts. Neale said it would be possible to make fund-raising a little easier for this project.



The work will start in the spring with repairs to over 30 Head-Stones.


While the City of Hermann is charged with keeping the cemetery mowed and trimmed, the City’s Perpetual Care funds do not provide for stone and gravesite repair and maintenance.   

 The oldest section, known as Section D, most assuredly, has stones now buried in the soil. Those stones have likely suffered less from weathering due to the elements, but need to be uncovered and erected once again out of respect for those buried there. Broken stones are on the surface and need to be restored and re-erected.   

Moving westward and down the hill Section C has many and various monuments very close together. Some are broken. Some are standing at precarious angles. Gravity has exerted its influence on copings. All are in need of attention.


Burials began in the Cemetary in the 1820's.
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2nd Japan Volcano Eruption 2011: Shinmoedake Volcano Erupts March 13 UPDATE: Mount Kirishima, Japan, Worst Eruption in 50 years - Lightning, Fire, Smoke, Ash VIDEO

Kyushu Island Japan Volcano Shinmoedake Eruption Sunday March 13 2011


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Japan Volcano Eruption 2011: Shinmoedake Volcano Erupts March 13


The Japanese Volcano Shinmoedake on the Island of Kyushu Erupted on Sunday March 13
It is unclear at this point if the eruption of the Japan volcano is linked to the massive earthquake in Japan a few days ago, but at this point it certainly looks like that could be the case.
The Shinmoedake volcano started spewing ash and rocks into the sky, and the explosion from the eruption could be heard miles away.
It is located about 950 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, and has lain dormant for a few weeks. Officials are not saying if it is related to the earthquake at this point, as eruptions are common in Japan's 'ring of fire'.
However, this is another blow to a country that is already struggling to recover from the worst earthquake in its history.
Hundreds of people have fled the area, as it is feared more volcanic activity could be coming.
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Lightning and fire: Japan on alert after volcano's biggest eruption in 50 years

By Daily Mail Reporter
 27th January 2011

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A one-mile cordon has been established around a volcano on Mount Kirishima after it erupted scattering rocks and ash across southern Japan and sending smoke billowing 5,000ft into the air.

The Meteorological Agency raised the volcanic alert to level 3 as ash today continued to spew from Shinmoedake on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu, and residents have been banned from going within a mile of the volcano following its worst eruption in 50 years.

Agency volcanologist Sei Iijima said the eruption did not pose a threat to nearby cities, and a major eruption was not imminent. But he added: 'You can never say never with a volcano, although the lack of magma movement beneath the surface leads us to believe that this activity won't lead to a large-scale eruption,' he told ABC News.

The volcano, one of 20 inside Mount Kirishima, began erupting around 7.30am yesterday morning and by 3pm heavy smoke had risen to nearly 5,000ft, prompting the meteorological agency to raise the alert level.

Volcanic activity is often reported at Kirishima, but this is the largest eruption recorded there since 1959.

Air space above the mountain remained open today but airlines cancelled a number of domestic flights because of the haze and the buildup of ash on train tracks forced Japan Rail to close several lines. Roads were also shut because of poor visibility.

A small evacuation center was set up overnight in the town of Takaharu, seven miles east of Kirishima, and the town's general affairs manager Yuji Nakashima said: 'People told us their windows were rattling and they heard roaring sounds coming from the mountain.'
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