Google Tsunami Alert

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Google Tsunami Alert
Google Tsunami Alert

Following this morning’s (using GMT) earthquake just off Japan (now set at 8.8 on the Richter Scale, but it keeps rising as more information is analysed), I noticed that the Google search page has a Tsunami warning for all to see.

I thought I’d capture it for posterity.

Enormity

This truly is an enormous event, the TV videos this morning of the wave’s advance making this perfectly clear.  How and when it finishes, we can only watch and wait as one of the great forces of nature plays out before us.

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11
Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Fortunately, the Tsunami warning system seems to be doing its job, and hopefully, those countries around the Pacific and the small Pacific Islands within have had enough time to warn folks to get to high ground.  This image shows how much time they’ve got!

 

NOAA Tsunami Warning @ 10:30 GMT

This is the state of play a short time ago and the actual alert, showing wave heights and periods out at sea.  When they hit the coast, things are very, very different.

000

WEPA40 PHEB 111030

TSUPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 006

PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS

ISSUED AT 1030Z 11 MAR 2011

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC

OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…

WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /

TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /

POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /

NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /

HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /

WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /

FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /

KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / PITCAIRN /

GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /

PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY

NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE

DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND

ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0546Z 11 MAR 2011

COORDINATES – 38.3 NORTH 142.4 EAST

DEPTH – 24 KM

LOCATION – NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN

MAGNITUDE – 8.9

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER

DART 21415 50.2N 171.8E 0845Z 0.27M / 0.9FT 52MIN

WAKE US 19.3N 166.6E 0928Z 0.39M / 1.3FT 14MIN

NAHA OKINAWA JP 26.2N 127.7E 0901Z 0.25M / 0.8FT 60MIN

SAIPAN US 15.2N 145.7E 0916Z 0.65M / 2.1FT 30MIN

TOSASHIMIZU SHIKOKU 32.8N 133.0E 0753Z 0.92M / 3.0FT 68MIN

OMAEZAKI HONSHU JP 34.6N 138.2E 0818Z 1.42M / 4.6FT 56MIN

DART 21419 44.5N 155.7E 0716Z 0.40M / 1.3FT 20MIN

DART 21413 30.5N 152.1E 0659Z 0.76M / 2.5FT 32MIN

HANASAKI HOKKAIDO J 43.3N 145.6E 0657Z 2.79M / 9.2FT 76MIN

DART 21401 42.6N 152.6E 0643Z 0.67M / 2.2FT 40MIN

DART 21418 38.7N 148.7E 0619Z 1.08M / 3.5FT 06MIN

LAT – LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)

LON – LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)

TIME – TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)

AMPL – TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.

IT IS …NOT… CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.

VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).

PER – PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

NOTE – DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY

ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL

MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.

EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED

WHICH COULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE

APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT. THIS CENTER WILL

CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT AND

SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE

LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND CAN VARY

SIGNIFICANTLY ALONG A COAST DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS. THE TIME FROM

ONE TSUNAMI WAVE TO THE NEXT CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO AN HOUR, AND

THE THREAT CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AS MULTIPLE WAVES ARRIVE.

FOR ALL AREAS – WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS

AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT

OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME

THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN

CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL

CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE

ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

THE TSUNAMI WARNING WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY MAY ALSO ISSUE TSUNAMI MESSAGES

FOR THIS EVENT TO COUNTRIES IN THE NORTHWEST PACIFIC AND SOUTH

CHINA SEA REGION. IN CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION… THE

MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS

FOR ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…WASHINGTON…OREGON…CALIFORNIA.

 

Wake Island

I wonder how Wake Island is getting on?  The highest point on the island is only 20 feet and the wave should be there about now….

Terror State Chickens Return to Phone Hacking Roost

Introduction

Greenpeace Action
Greenpeace Action

Many years ago when I was living in France and during a prolonged period of French atomic weapon testing on the Moruroa atoll, the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, was blown up in a New Zealand harbour. Initially, it was thought to be an accident.

Now, as soon as this happened, I thought “who has most to gain from the sinking of this protest ship?”

I immediately said, “The French” to my partner.  It’s in their interest to get that pesky ship put of their test zone.

Many years passed until finally some French Secret Service agents were collared for the dastardly deed.   President Mitterand, it turns out, authorised the bombing and thus the death of the Portuguese Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira.

Phone Hacking

  1. The news this week is that the sleaze-paper, News of the World (NOTW), part of the nationality-challenged Rupert Murdoch’s empire, hacked many prominent people’s phones in order to gather information.  (News of the World ‘bugging’ claim – Wednesday 8th)

    E60
    Phone Hacking
  2. Later, the news was that there was going to be a huge investigation by the police into the allegations. (Police to probe phone hack claims – Thursday 9th).  In fact, PM Brown said, “This raises questions that are serious and will obviously have to be answered.”
  3. A few hours later, and the massive investigation was finished!  (New phone hack inquiry ruled out – Thursday 8th)  Second top Met Cop John Yates said, “No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded. I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.”  He also said, “This investigation has not uncovered any evidence to suggest that John Prescott’s phone had been tapped.”

Astonishing Speed

Warning: sarcasm alert! I think it’s amazing that Yates & Co. has managed to sift through all of this evidence in less than half a day!  It’s fantastic!  If only all enquiries were this fast!  Arms to Iraq!  Iraq War!  Cash for Questions!  G20 Tomkinson Death and Kettling tactics!  You know, things would be so much better.

Who Has Most to Gain?

Rupert Murdoch - will he gain?
Rupert Murdoch - will he gain?

Going back to my Rainbow Warrior experience, this is the thought that now crosses my mind.  In situations like this, forget the morals and any issues of integrity, personal or national, that arise.  Just look at the question in it’s starkness.  Who has most to gain?

Well this question really has several parts, or vantage points, if you like, that all supply an answer to the above question.

  • Obviously, The Guardian now gains from extra publicity, their oxygen of business.
  • NOTW originally gained by getting stories, the same oxygen of their business.
  • Robert Preston here (News of the World bugged Sun editor), reveals that all papers were (and still are?) using such tricks.  It’s all their oxygen.

Police Gain.

A key sentence in Robert Preston’s piece (News of the World bugged Sun editor) is near the bottom.  See if you can find it!

This is the relevant chunk, showing the information source as Richard Thomas, recently retired Information Commissioner and quoted verbatim from Preston’s blog.  Thomas did a huge investigation into phone hacking which were presented before our Parliament, our representatives, in 2007.  This is the chunk below (remember, see if you can see the key bit!!):

Richard Thomas, 'a champion of civil liberties'. Photo: Michael Stephens/ PA
Richard Thomas, 'a champion of civil liberties'. Photo: Michael Stephens/ PA

A good deal of this trade in personal confidential information has already been exposed by Richard Thomas, who has just retired as information commissioner.

In a series of reports and in evidence to the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, he made a series of disclosures about newspaper activities that he regarded as “prima facie” illegal.

Here’s a statement from him to MPs that he gave in March 2007, which refers to the results of an investigation he carried out into the business relationship between the press and a firm of private investigators (the investigation was given the codename Operation Motorman):

“The first thing I would need to share is that the 3,000 or 4,000 transactions identified… came from a total of 13,000 transactions in this one operation alone. We were careful only to put forward those where there was some sort of hard evidence of the transaction being positively identified as involving a journalist for a newspaper”.

And this is what he cited as the evidence of payments being made by journalists for the information:

“We did have, and we do have still, the statements, the bank statements, the invoices – some of these well-known proprietors were including information such as ‘payment for confidential information’, payment for ‘blagging’ [obtaining information by deception] in some cases – so there was what I might call hard ‘prima facie’ evidence.”

soclose
Law Enforcement

However the degree of detail obtained by him about this trade was startling.

Where did the money end up? Well, a flow-chart produced by the office of the information commissioner shows the press employing private detectives who in turn deal with phone companies, call centres, the DVLA and what’s described as “police source”.

Did you spot the last bit of the sentence?  I’ll paraphrase now for emphasis…

Where did the money (paid for hacked information) end up? The information commissioner shows the press employing private detectives who deal with (…) a “police source“.

And there we have it!

Conclusion

Now we know why Yates’ “investigation” finished so quickly.  The former information commisioner tells us in words presented to parliament – to protect the police!

Just remember, this current government has ramped up the “fear factor” over terrorism so much, that the police and other services have unparalled access to all sorts of electronic information.  In fact, by law, telecoms companies are required to keep it….

In this week’s events we’ve seen the Police investigate an event of which they were one of the prime information sources (according to Thomas) and declared “no case to answer”.  They are investigator, judge, jury and imprisoner.

As I’ve predicted many times in these pages, (and I’m only using history as a guide here, remember – I’m not a fortune teller), when the police are given unbridled power, that power will be abused either by an individual or the organisation as a whole.

The police now have power of arrest for virtually anything – e.g. by law, I’m not allowed to take their photo!  I can be arrested and searched without reason and imprisoned for the same reasons indefinitely.  Just look.  It’s all there, all passed in the last few years.

But if this case and previous ones are anything to go by, it appears that if an “investigator” can’t get the information they want, they pay the police for it!

What have we got here – the Rockford Files!

And afterwards, the Police say “no case”.  “Case closed”. “No further information”.

Our chickens have come home to roost, and no-one’s noticing!

PostScript

Actually, someone’s noticing.

 Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer launches 'urgent' review of phone tap inquiry  Photo: PA
Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer launches 'urgent' review of phone tap inquiry Photo: PA

The police have decided to do nothing because, as they say no NEW information is about  (this is now being mis-quoted as in “There is no information that John Prescott’s phone was tapped” instead of “There is no NEW information that John Prescott’s phone was tapped” – which is a different thing altogether and those saying it, know it!)

  • However, it’s now emerging that many “stars” and “personalities” are planning to sue the NOTW and other papers.  See Stars ‘may sue’ over phone claims
  • Also, the DPP has launched an inquiry.
  • The PCC likewise.
  • Parliament too.
  • And calls for the police to do the right thing and investigate properly are mounting.

I watch with anticipation from my little tank.  I’ve a feeling, and I hope, that this one will run and run and that hopefully, some proper rein will be put on our law enforcement folk.  Unlike most people, I don’t consider this a press freedom issue – I consider it a key part of all our freedoms.

See these links:

Yikes! What’s the DfT Up To?

What indeed?

Today, we’ve had two (at least these are the ones I’ve spotted) news releases from the Department for Transport (DfT) that presage some changes in the future:

Now all we have to work out is, “What are they really going to do?

It’s my five decades’ experience that when a government needs something draconian doing that will really annoy vast numbers of voters for a long, continuous period (unlike ‘bring back hanging’ which only pops up with particularly gruesome murders), what they do is release lots of unpleasant tasters to get the general public all hot and bothered.

After a suitable period, they implement something that’s only ‘half as bad’ as the leaked plans, and thus, the original proposal is passed with barely a whimper.

The trouble is, that I think the proposals are only half the solution.  My previous life as a Class One (now C+E) HGV driver is part of my observational evidence….

As an HGV driver with the wheels rolling perfectly legally for 45 hours a week,  you see all sorts of happenings on Britain’s roads, and the key factor in most smashes (I don’t call them accidents), are:

  • excessive vehicle speeds
  • excessive vehicle accelerations and decelerations
  • insufficient distance between vehicles
  • a disconnection due to the continuous high speeds, of the driver with his environment – I call this “the speed gaze”.  Mr Riverol, an army veteran, mentioned a similar phrase for soldiers on continuous alert – they call it “the thousand yard stare“.

My HGV experience lasted during the UK’s transistion from unlimited HGVs having a speed limit of 60mph (most people stuck to 100kph except at night and close to Scotland – then the Scanias would be tanking along at 90 ), then to speed-limited 60mph (most locked at 100kph), and finally to the current state of 90kph by law (usually 55-56mph).

When these limits were brought in all the excuses were rolled out; never get job done, will hurt jobs, will increase costs, will be dangerous, will cause bunching, etc.

In actual fact, I found the wagon a lot easier to drive and the MAN 17-322 2-axle unit pulling a triaxle curtainsider was a lot safer for me and others, because it had a manual speed setting as well as the default maximum.  This meant I could flip the switch entering a 30, 40 or 50mph zone and keep my foot hard down without worryiing about speeding…it just rolled along. But, it meant,

I could use my full concentration on my wagon and the environment through which I was driving.

So I never hit a car or cyclist, I never squashed a child.  In fact, I got certificates for safe, uneventful driving, which is how it should be.

It’s not a fucking race, is it?

As an HGV driver over 45, I have to take a medical every 5 years which costs about 90 quid now.  I don’t drive for a living now, but I like to keep the licence going…

The DfT plans are only what professional drivers do anyway.  With over 28million cars in the UK, it’s my opinion that it’s only right that everyone is fit to drive and is forced to drive properlyIt’s a total red-herring that a few people drive crazily.  As I’ve said before, the average UK motorway speed is 71mph, even though the limit is 70mph!  This means most people speed.  Most people break the law!

My observations,

…which I’m sure others have witnessed as well over the last few months, are that when the fuel prices shot right up, suddenly everyone slowed down – to about 70mph! Now that fuel is back below 90p, people on the M5 near Bridgwater are habitually doing 90mph again…

…that is, most people break the law!

Conclusion

So I say;

  • slow people down by all means possible to drive within speed limits
  • save fossil fuels by all means possible – it helps the environment and the balance of payments deficit
  • make people fit to drive both mentally and physically
  • immediately confiscate and crush cars uninsured cars that are not VOR’d within 3 days
  • ditto for cars without a valid road fund licence
  • get all cars that weigh more than a tonne off the roads now – there’s no need for them, they are an extravagent expense (for the country) that represent all that is wrong with “the consumer society”.  BTW, I don’t care how much money anyone wants to spend on a car; the costs I want reduced are environmental and resource costs.  If a two tonne car is unobtainable, people will express their kudos by other means and just as soon spend their money on gold plated Fiat 500 with knobs on…
  • crush cars that are modified to break the C&U (Construction and Use) Regulations for sound and emissions
  • crush cars for parking on a footpath

It looks like I hate cars and people from the above…? Far from it.

I just want people to treat others as they’d expect to be treated themselves – with respect, and with respect for the motoring laws which are set for the benefit of everyone, in one way or another.

For my last point above, people who park on footpaths to (helpfully) let traffic flow, by that very action force a woman and child with a pram into the traffic because the footpath is blocked, are showing the utmost disrespect for everything that a decent society values.  If that woman and her children are crushed in the traffic, my suggestion that the car should be crushed does not seem excessive, don’t you think?

I can similarly justify every remark above.  Try me.  Or try me here, previously.  This attracted a lot of hits and probably upset the relatives although none contacted me.

More Chips Off the ID Card Block

Chip ‘n Pin Fails to Stop Criminals

Yesterday’s news that the UK banks’ Chip ‘n Pin card security system has been (easily) cracked is yet more evidence that ID Cards will be a colossal waste of money and a major plough through our freedoms and liberties.  The only people hurt by the scheme will be normal, average, citizens trying to go about their daily lives.

The crooks will just by-pass it.  Just like the Chip ‘n Pin cards in most people’s pockets.

Device ‘steals chip-and-pin data’ – BBC

Raid turns up chip and pin card fraud – FT

The system used by Apacs cost £1.1 billion three years ago.  So far, the UK High St losses have fallen from £218million per annum to £73million per annum, that is, a maximum saving of £435million – so the system hasn’t even paid for itself yet! In actual fact, all the savings are swallowed up by the increase in card fraud abroad, which doesn’t use C ‘n P.

Criminal Spam

This Marshal article, Spam Volume Doubles and Is More Likely to Be Malicious points another way that security systems are easily breached by criminals, usually, for financial gain.

Marshal says that 90% of all spam comes from just seven botnets!  These control >105 computers that are used for many nefarious schemes by really nasty men.  Nowadays, a large part of the spam I see is carrying a trojan payload to set up my machine as another ‘bot in the network.  Social and other methods are used to tempt me to open attachments.  I have stuff spoofing MSDN with the latest news and others that say I have a nice eCard ready to be opened.  All have attachments or point to hacked websites that carry the package.

I had a test today – NOD32 & Firefox 3 both trapped them.  IE7 hung for ages thinking about them.  Say no more…

My point is that it looks like the criminals are starting to use network computers as a form of “Distributed Computing“.  If the normal methods of cloning and reverse engineering don’t provide a solution for them (like in Birmingham yesterday), then the vast power used by SETI for example, can be easily harnessed with or without the machine owners permission or knowledge, to provide a formidable code cracking tool.

What would they want to crack?  Anything that makes money!  Forged ID Cards are a start.

Remember.  Any security system made by man can be broken.  All it takes is time – or lots of examples of the target….

There will be millions of ID Cards floating about.  The usual way to start cracking into a code is to find repetetive sequences, and the more examples there are, then the more chances of finding some relevant sequences to open the gates.

Saying all that, the main weak spots are humans and their behaviour.  And this all goes against having ID Cards as a “defence” against terror and immigration and more as an attack on all our freedoms which have taken so long to accumulate.