Daily Archives: January 17, 2017

Amazon is seeking FCC permission to conduct wireless technology tests

Last week, Amazon.com filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission, seeking permission to run experiments on a number of frequency bands that might have some connection to the company’s work with delivery drones.

The application requests permission for a “five-month experimental special temporary authority to operate on selected” frequencies to test equipment and software “designed to support innovative communications capabilities and functionalities.”The proposal also specifies that Amazon plans on running the tests in two locations: Seattle and Kennewick, Washington.

Three low-power, fixed transmitters and wireless units will be installed in each location. The application also specifies that the company might incorporate evaluating antennae as part of the study. Business Insider reports that the company maintains a customer service outlet in a mall in Kennewick, while the Seattle test site would be at the company’s corporate headquarters.

Source: Amazon is seeking FCC permission to conduct wireless technology tests – The Verge

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Trump Team Considers Moving Press Corps, Alarming Reporters

In the 1890s, journalists covering the president were forced to stand vigil outside the White House fence, querying visitors for scraps of information and appealing for audiences with presidential aides.Today’s reporters are concerned that President-elect Donald J. Trump could send them back into the past.The White House press corps was stunned on Sunday by reports of a proposal by the Trump administration to eject reporters from their home in the West Wing — a move that, if carried out, would uproot decades of established protocol whereby journalists are allowed to work in the White House close to senior officials.Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s incoming chief of staff, appeared to backpedal on the idea after it was reported by Esquire magazine, saying that only the location of the press briefing room was being discussed and that the administration was merely considering a larger area to accommodate the hundreds of journalists seeking to cover Mr. Trump.

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/15/business/media/trump-white-house-press-corps.html

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Use Google Chrome? Google Has Quietly Downloaded This On Your Computer

On June 17th, Google did not announce (the news broke) that the DARPA affiliated corporation has been silently downloading audio listeners onto every computer that has Chrome. Via Disclose.tvThis effectively means that Google sees your privacy as piddly-squat, which does not necessarily come off as a surprise, when one considers Google’s censorship of We Are Change – this very organization as nothing. The website Private Internet Access‘s Rick Falkvinge reported how he came to understand this new policy: “It looked like just another bug report. “When I start Chromium, it downloads something.” Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines “Microphone: Yes” and “Audio Capture Allowed: Yes”.Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room.”Without going into detail, Falkvinge describes the nature of open-sourced/free-software and how it relies on transparency and the innovation of many software programmers before being finished as a final product. The transparency allows the user to know that the open-sourced software truly does what it claims to do. Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome is supposed to operate the same way.

Source: Use Google Chrome? Google Has Quietly Downloaded This On Your Computer | Neon Nettle

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Carbon tax could compromise Canadian food sovereignty 

From farm to fork, our food is responsible for around 25 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is much higher than what most people would think. Whether we realize it or not, every decision a consumer makes when picking what to eat has an impact on our environment, and many want to do something about it. The federal government recently mandated a tax on carbon emissions.

A mandatory tax of $10 a tonne is set to start in 2018 and provinces are expected to produce their own plans. While energy prices are expected to rise, the impact on food costs has garnered scant attention.Grocers will likely continue to seek affordable foods for their customer. The concern, of course, is that Canadian goods with a carbon tax may become much less attractive from a price perspective. This would encourage grocers to import more foods, regardless of the dollar’s value, a trend we have seen over the past few years. While food prices will likely increase over the next few years, carbon taxes will hardly be to blame since importers have choices about where they buy their products. A tax on carbon won’t make more Canadians food insecure – the issue is more about food sovereignty for certain sectors.

Source: Carbon tax could compromise Canadian food sovereignty – The Globe and Mail

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An unexpected William S. Burroughs/Beatles connection

We all know that author William S. Burroughs is one of the “people we like” on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album cover, but did you know that Burroughs was actually around when Paul McCartney composed “Eleanor Rigby”? Apparently so. Over the weekend, I noticed the following passage in the book With William Burroughs: A Report From the Bunker by Victor Bockris:Burroughs: Ian met Paul McCartney and Paul put up the money for this flat which was at 34 Montagu Square… I saw Paul several times. The three of us talked about the possibilities of the tape recorder. He’d just come in and work on his “Eleanor Rigby.” Ian recorded his rehearsals. I saw the song taking shape. Once again, not knowing much about music, I could see that he knew what he was doing. He was very pleasant and very prepossessing. Nice-looking young man, hardworking.

Source: An unexpected William S. Burroughs/Beatles connection | Dangerous Minds

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Earth’s atmosphere can be turned into massive surveillance system using LASERS, scientists discover

EARTH’S atmosphere can now be turned into a massive spy lens using cutting edge technology.BAE Systems are designing a directed energy laser system that could allow military commanders to spy on enemy activities from space.4BAE systems has created the laser systemBAE believe that within 50 years, one of their aircraft could use an “atmospheric lens” to observe people from very long distances using the Earth’s atmosphere as a tool.The lasers temporarily change the Earth’s atmosphere into magnifying glass structures which can alter light and radio signals.This means users can listen into radio signals for thousands of miles.A spokesperson said: “Within the next 50 years, scientists at BAE Systems believe that battlefield commanders could deploy a new type of directed energy laser and lens system, called a Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens which is capable of enhancing commanders’ ability to observe adversaries’ activities over much greater distances than existing sensors.”“Working with some of the best scientific minds in the UK, we’re able to incorporate emerging and disruptive technologies and evolve the landscape of potential military technologies in ways that, five or ten years ago, many would never have dreamed possible,” added Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ Futurist and Technologist.

Source: Earth’s atmosphere can be turned into massive surveillance system using LASERS, scientists discover

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Elementary School Offers “After School Satan” Club

On Monday, Vista Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, became the first school in the state to offer its students the learning experience of participating in a Satan-themed after school club …Originally conceived by the Satanic Temple, the club is geared for kids between the ages of 5 and 12 and reportedly “encourages students to think critically and have a scientific understanding of the world around them,” as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.“Kids naturally have that ability to be curious and question things,” Chalice Blythe, head of the Satanic Temple’s Utah chapter, told the paper. “We’re basically just saying we should bolster that.”

Source: Elementary School Offers “After School Satan” Club | The Federalist Papers

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Genealogy website ignites privacy concerns

A genealogy website that makes personal information easily accessible at no cost has come under public scrutiny after a report from The Washington Post.FamilyTreeNow.com claims to have one of the largest collections of genealogy records, which contains individual information from public records. The website says it’s 100% free to search.“But in reality, they have nothing to do with building your family tree,” said Mark Lanterman, the Chief Technology Officer of Computer Forensic Services in Minnetonka.Lanterman says many ancestry sites masquerade for personal information, motivated by profit.Without a dime, subscription or account on FamilyTreeNow you can find someone’s age, birth month, family members, addresses, even phone numbers.

Source: Genealogy website ignites privacy concerns | 9news.com

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California’s bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun

California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.The federal document outlines far-reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning, lags in processing invoices for federal grants and continuing failures to acquire needed property. The California High-Speed Rail Authority originally anticipated completing the Central Valley track by this year, but the federal risk analysis estimates that that won’t happen until 2024, placing the project seven years behind schedule.

Source: California’s bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns – LA Times

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GM ‘Ready to Announce $1B Factory Investment’

(NEWSER) – General Motors will announce a $1 billion investment in its factories that will create or keep around 1,000 jobs, a person briefed on the matter tells the AP. The Detroit automaker will make the announcement Tuesday morning. The investment is part of the normal process of equipping factories to build new models, and it’s been planned for months, the source says. Multiple factories will get part of the money, but GM does not plan to state where the new jobs will go, according to the person. The company plans to use the announcement to tout both blue-collar and white-collar US jobs it has created in recent years, the insider says.

Source: GM ‘Ready to Announce $1B Factory Investment’

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