Now that government surveillance of the Internet and all communications has hit the mainstream, perhaps another dot can be connected to see where all of this is heading.
In early 2012 David Petraeus spoke to the CIA venture capital firm In-Q-Tel. He stated rather matter of factly that that an “internet of things” was already taking shape. It’s not only the elective consumer gadgets like smartphones and whatever new video game system is being introduced. No, how about your dishwasher? It’s all part of the arriving inter-connectivity of the Smart Grid.
Virtually any appliance you can think of will be part of an expanding network of Smart Homes tied directly into the Internet via low-powered computer chips. And, unlike computing via the traditional Internet where you can choose not to participate, there will be little chance at escaping . . . unless you are prepared to literally live in a cave.
Now, a new technology heralds an even simpler and more efficient way to ensure our connection to the Internet of Things.
The reality is that we are essentially bathed in background transmissions from our modern communications devices. These constant transmissions can be utilized as a built-in power source according to engineers at the University of Washington.
The devices of the future will be able to tap into these transmissions battery free. It’s called “ambient backscatter” and will create a “network out of thin air,” as described by University of Washington assistant professor, Joshua Smith:
“You can reflect these signals slightly to create a Morse code of communication between battery-free devices.”
Everyday objects could be enabled with battery-free tags to communicate with each other. A couch could use ambient backscatter to let the user know where his keys were left.
Smart sensors could be built and placed permanently inside nearly any structure, then set to communicate with each other. For example, sensors placed in a bridge could monitor the health of the concrete and steel, then send an alert if one of the sensors picks up a hairline crack. The technology can also be used for communication – text messages and emails, for example – in wearable devices, without requiring battery consumption. (Source)
Sounds like it’s all positive. However, researchers are excited precisely because “the applications are endless.” The Washington University press release concludes by announcing the source of funding:
The research was funded by the University of Washington through a Google Faculty Research Award and by the National Science Foundation’s Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the UW.
Let’s first keep in mind what already has been released about data security violations, privacy abuses, and identity theft surrounding corporations such as Google and look at this video showing some of the highlighted applications. See any concerns here?
This is nothing short of announcing the full-fledged arrival of Smart Cities with embedded, permanent monitoring of anything and anyone residing there, including a new phase of Google Wallet on steroids.
These smart cities are already cropping up in the UK (here and here) but are nowhere nearly as developed as what could potentially emerge from widespread use of this new technology.
With mega corporations like Google and IBM promoting the need for smart cities to encourage “sustainable growth,” the future is upon is. From IBM’s “Smarter Cities Page” we see the unabashed centrally planned experience:
Smarter cities of the future will drive sustainable economic growth. Their leaders have the tools to analyze data for better decisions, anticipate problems to resolve them proactively and coordinate resources to operate effectively.
As demands grow and budgets tighten, solutions also have to be smarter, and address the city as a whole. By collecting and analyzing the extensive data generated every second of every day, tools such as the IBM Intelligent Operations Center coordinate and share data in a single view creating the big picture for the decision makers and responders who support the smarter city.
The better the health of its citizens, the stronger a city’s economic vitality.Smarter Care uncovers valuable insights into lifestyle choices, social determinants and clinical factors, enabling holistic and individualized care to optimize outcomes and lower costs. (Source)
If that doesn’t sound troubling enough, the fact that the second part of the funding for the “ambient backscatter” tech deals with “neural engineering.” Neural engineering is a relatively new field of study dealing specifically with brain-computer interface applications.
Neural engineering is situated between and draws heavily from basic neuroscience on one hand and clinical neuroscience (neurology) on the other. The field of neural engineering encompasses experimental, computational, theoretical, clinical and applied aspects of research areas at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. (Source)
All combined, it would seem that the matrix is at once expanding and contracting, as technological evolution continues to move outward, while simultaneously limiting any individual choice to opt out.
For more information about the new smart economy, smart IDs, and the smart future being built please see Julie Beal’s must-read article Forget REAL ID — The Global Smart-ID is coming!, then read the rest of her deep research on her author page HERE and other resource links at her site which urges you to Get Mind Smart.
When we think about beaches, relaxation, fun, and beautiful scenery usually come to mind. But that’s not always the case — whether due to pollution or dangerous animals, several of the world’s beaches are not the vacation destinations they seem like. Click through to check out some of the worst.
1. Monument Beach, Florida.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Florida’s Monument Beach is one of the most polluted in the United States. Nearly three-fourths of water samples showed pollutants that exceeded national standards. Located in Florida’s Gulf County, the beach is only monitored twice a month.
2. Volusia & Brevard County Beaches, Florida
How’s this for a not-so-great claim to fame: Brevard County and Volusia County, both on Florida’s central coast, are home to more unprovoked shark attacks than any stretch of beaches in the world. Out of the 80 shark attacks that took place worldwide in 2012, for instance, nearly one-fifth were in one of these counties.
4. Northern Territory and Queensland, Australia.
Shark attacks are the most famous beach predators, but on many Australian beaches, the worst perpetrators are jellyfish and their relatives, bluebottles (pictured). These toxic critters virtually take over beaches in Northern Australia, leading to thousands of stings, some fatal.
5. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii.
Located on the remote Napali coast of Kauai, this beach is unsafe even for the most casual swimming — rip currents and strong waves have claimed the lives of several dozen visitors. If you do get swept out to sea, there’s little hope of ever getting back on land, because the closest stretch of safe shoreline is over six miles away. Despite the hazardous conditions, the beach itself remains a popular tourist destination.
6. Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands.
It may look picturesque, but this South Pacific island was famously the site of over 20 nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s and 1950s. Though technically safe to visit for short periods, the island has not been permanently resettled because food grown on the island would be hazardous. And it’s not just radiation that makes this beach dangerous — the water is also teeming with sharks. No thanks!
What could I possibly have against these cute little “healthy” snacks that can be found in school lunchboxes across America? Well as it turns out many “baby carrots” aren’t actually baby carrots at all…
It’s almost back to school time and baby carrots are one snack to keep out of your child’s lunch. It may shock you… but baby carrots don’t come out of the ground that way (Normally but some organic companies have designed ways to do this right… WITHOUT CHLORINE). There is no little baby carrot garden where these are harvested. Manufactured baby carrots are a result of taking all the broken and “ugly” big carrots they can’t put in the package, grinding them all up, processing them into the “baby” carrots and giving them a bath in chlorine to give them a bright happy orange color.
There are also “Cut & Peel” baby carrots that are widdled into a miniature form. If you look on the package it doesn’t say “Chlorine”, because it was added as part of manufacturing and not added as an ingredient…why is that? Packaged foods contains lots of chemicals both in the ingredients and in the manufacturing process. The tricky part is chemicals added as part of the manufacturing process are not considered to be an ingredient therefore does not have to be listed on the food label. So there is no way to tell what else is hiding in that box or package.
As defined by the EPA, Chlorine is a pesticide. Its purpose is to kill living organisms. So it would make sense that when you ingest chlorine, it kills some parts of our body like the healthy bacteria in your gut and intestinal flora for instance. Chlorine is a highly toxic, yellow-green gas most heavily used in chemical agents like household cleaners and can be found in the air near industrial areas especially around paper processing plants. Exposure to Chlorine has been linked to health problems such as sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, a type of asthma known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS). Chlorine is also added to the public water supply. So not only are you drinking it, but you are absorbing it through the largest organ in your body, your skin. In fact, 2/3 of human absorption of chlorine is from inhaling the steam in the form of chloroform and fast absorption through your open pores in the warm shower or bath. The inhalation of chloroform is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children… which has increased 300% in the last two decades. Other health risks associated with chloroform is cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage. Chloroform is also found in the air and in food, like baby carrots.
Conclusion: Stick to organically grown whole carrots. They are really easy to find as you can buy them at your local farmers market or grocery store. Wash them and cut them into sticks for your childs lunch box. Carrots are an excellent snack that we enjoy all the time. Enjoy!
A GERMAN BANK EMPLOYEE FELL ASLEEP ON THE KEYBOARD OF HIS COMPUTER AND ACCIDENTALLY TRANSFERRED €293 MILLION WHICH LEAD TO THE SACKING OF A COLLEAGUE, A COURT HAS HEARD.
A German labour court ruled yesterday that a bank supervisor was unfairly sacked for missing a multi-million- euro error by a colleague who fell asleep during a financial transaction.
The clerk was transferring 64.20 euros when he dozed off with his finger on the keyboard, resulting in a transfer of 222,222,222.22 euros (USD 293 million).
His supervisor was fired for allegedly failing to check the transaction. But judges in the state of Hesse said she should have only been reprimanded.
The incident took place in April last year when the tired bank clerk fell asleep at his computer with his finger pressed on the number two key, the BBC reported.
His 48-year-old supervisor, an employee at the bank since 1986, told the court she had not noticed the error and approved the transaction.
Another colleague spotted the mistake later and corrected it.
The bank accused the supervisor of not even verifying the clerk’s work.
But the court heard that on the day of the erroneous transaction, she had checked 812 documents for mistakes, with most taking just over a second of scrutiny.
The judges ruled that there had been no malicious intent on her behalf, and that she should have received a warning.
As a result, they ordered the bank to reinstate the supervisor, saying her work contract could not be terminated.
The report comes as concerns in Tunisia grow about religious orders or “fatwas” that have circulated the internet calling on women to perform jihad through sex.
Last month, a Tunisian minister of religious affairs appealed to girls not to be influenced by Islamic preachers outside of Tunisia who, it has been reported, made a number of “sexual fatwas”.
Tunisian newspapers reported that a young Tunisian man divorced his wife, and that they both headed to Syria almost a month ago to “allow her to engage in sexual jihad with the mujahideen” there.
This report followed earlier ones of a video widely circulated on the internet and social websites in Tunisia showing the parents of a veiled girl called Rahmah, 17.
They said Rahmaha disappeared from home one morning and they “later learned that she had headed to Syria to carry out sexual jihad.”
The young girl has since returned to her family, who have kept her out of sight, and said that their daughter is not a religious fanatic “but was influenced by her fellow students who are known for their affiliation with the jihadist Salafist.”
Her parents said these fellow students may have brainwashed her and convinced her to travel to Syria “to support the mujahideen there.”
Such stories are becoming more common in Tunisia and parents are concerned about the influence charismatic Islamic leaders in other Arab countries can wield over their children.
The minister’s statements came after the spread of an anonymous “sexual jihad” fatwa on the internet calling on young women to support [opposition] fighters in Syria by providing sexual services on the battlefield.
According to media reports in Tunisia who quoted mujahideen returning to Tunisia after participating in jihad in Syria, 13 Tunisian girls headed to the battlefield in response to the “sexual jihad” fatwa.
News websites and social networks in Tunisia circulated a fatwas attributed to sheikh Mohamed al-Arifi in which he calls upon “Muslim women to perform jihad through sex.”
Saudi Arabia is widely known to be financially backing the Syrian rebels fighting in Northern Syria and whose hardcore “Salafist” strand of Islam influences a great number of the young fighters — many of whom are “jihadists” and come from all around the world, including the UK.
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