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Improve/Improvement is the act of making a person, place, or thing, such as a situation, better, as in to gain quality. One might improve by upgrading, updating, enhancing, or by intentionally altering and modifying a specific quality or aspect of one’s life or environment. Many people make the most of their lives by using the time that they have to improve their knowledge, the quality of their relationships, and the world that they leave behind to future generations. Are their aspects of your life that you would like to improve, relating to your life or your situation? If someone were to show you how to improve, would you be open to the experience? Do you understand that you are powerful and capable of improving your life and the lives of those around you? However, are you dedicated enough to act and continuously move forward with creating improvements? Do you have people around you that support your improvement goals? Is improvement a major goal in your life? What steps do you think you could take to help yourself accomplish these improvements?
Improving Internet security has become increasingly important to many people since the Snowden event enlightened the world concerning the NSA’s ability to invade our privacy by breaching our Internet browser security. Mozilla, the company that has gained renown with their Firefox web browser over the last ten years, has decided to team up with the folks at TOR in a project named Polaris. The Polaris project is designed to combat internet censorship and make NSA like intrusion’s a thing of the past. TOR, a software program that facilitates online anonymity for users, works by randomly bouncing your specific connection to the servers of volunteers from around the world, and, in this way, making it extremely difficult to track where and who you visit on the web. According to a classified NSA document provided to The Guardian in 2013, the NSA considers TOR “the king of high-secure, low-latency internet anonymity,” while admitting that the agency could do very little to discover a user’s identity.
Certainly, the NSA will undoubtedly improve their efforts and succeed in cracking TOR. The NSA is charged with the daunting task discovering threats to this nation’s security, which is a task that requires monitoring Internet traffic to discover who the wrong doer is and where they have traveled on the Internet. Yet, and equally important to our nation, is the ability of free people to have privacy and assurances that our government uses their power to disrupt viable threats to our nation, not the lives of everyday Americans. Mozilla and Tor’s Polaris project will, hopefully, help to maintain some privacy for members of the general public in the future.
From the future, we now turn to the past. Scientists, wishing to improve our knowledge concerning comets, the Earth and our understanding of the formation of the universe billions of years ago, have landed a small ship the size of a washing machine on a comet traveling at speeds greater than 40,000 miles per hour. Adding to the awesomeness of this accomplishment, the comet is approximately 2.5 miles wide and 317 million miles away from Earth! According to the New York Times, the lander, named Philae, had some trouble with a thruster that was supposed to fire and press the lander down to the comet’s surface. According to scientist, Philae bounced more than a half-mile into space after its initial landing attempt, and, after a smaller second bounce off the comet’s surface, finally came to rest a half mile away from the intended landing zone. To make matters worse, two harpoons that were designed to fire into the comet to secure the lander failed. Thus, the solar panels of the lander are misaligned and will only provide a fraction of the power that scientists hoped would allow them to carry out their experiments. All is not lost, however, because the lander is communicating with the Rosetta orbiter and we are receiving data. Undoubtedly, the pictures and scientific data that we do receive from the crippled lander will improve our understanding of comets and help us to answer what part they played in seeding our oceans with their immense quantities of ice.
We hope that you all enjoy reading this blog, and that you will continue to visit us. We would like to invite you to visit www.obes.me and www.tuboo.me because they are companion sites to The Encyclopedia of Observations, the source for the word excerpts that we discuss every week. In doing this, you will discover additional tools that can assist you toward understanding and enlightenment in your life. Be well, and thank you.