(Brad Reed) Imagine having millions of nanobots in your brain that constantly remind you to log into Google+. That seems to be the vision of Google engineering director Ray Kurzweil, who tells The Wall Street Journal that by the 2030s we’ll have “millions, billions of blood cell-sized computers in our bloodstream… keeping us healthy, augmenting our immune system, also going into the brain and putting our neocortex onto the cloud.”
And what will these nanobots do for us once they’re in our brain, you ask? Well according to Kurzweil they’ll help us think of wittier quips that we can use to impress people.
“In 2035, I see somebody approaching me and I want to impress them and I want to think of something clever… I’ll be able to access additional neocortex and think of something clever,” he explains.
Kurzweil, of course, has earned his fame by making bold predictions about technology’s future and he believes that humanity will use technology attain immortality sometime over the next 30 years. Of course, the 65-year-old Kurzweil is smart enough to know that there’s a chance his flesh body (or as he calls it, “Body 1.0″) could die before he gets to upload his brain into a computer and fly around the world as a swarm of nanobots.
To ensure that he lives long enough to see such technological marvels, Kurzweil has said that he takes “250 supplements (pills) a day” and receives “a half-dozen intravenous therapies each week (basically nutritional supplements delivered directly into my bloodstream, thereby bypassing my GI tract).”
The lesson here is that while the thought of hooking our brains up to the cloud sounds crazy right now, it’s not nearly as far-out as some of Kurzweil’s other predictions.
Nomination for top government wireless regulator job subverted research on cell phone radiation dangers
(Lloyd Burrell, Contributor) Tom Wheeler, former head of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and frontrunner nominee to become the next Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allegedly suppressed and biased research from the nation’s largest cell phone health research project while he served as head of the CTIA.
Timing critical – safety standards under review
Wheeler’s nomination comes at a critical time. The FCC is responsible for setting the U.S. safety standards that are supposed to protect people from radiation emitted by cell phones, cell towers and other wireless technologies. These safety standards, widely considered to offer little protection to the general public, are currently under review.
Earlier this year, the BioInitiative Working Group, a body of 29 independent scientists and health experts from 10 countries, launched a scathing attack on the inadequacy of the current standards. The report’s authors, re-iterating their position as published five years earlier, concluded, “The clear consensus of the BioInitiative Working Group members is that the existing public safety limits are inadequate for both ELF (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields) and RF (radio frequency radiation).”
Growing calls for improved wireless safety standards
A growing number of public health bodies are asking that the current wireless safety standards be reviewed. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B possible carcinogen. Doctors groups are sounding the alarm. In its 2012 position paper, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated, “Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”
Similarly, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) and Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA) state that “there is sufficient scientific evidence to warrant more stringent controls on the level and distribution of electromagnetic radiation.”
Tom Wheeler’s poor track record in protecting the public interest
In 1993, a gentleman named David Reynard appeared on the Larry King Show announcing he was suing the wireless industry. Mr. Reynard alleged that the fatal brain tumor suffered by his late-wife had been caused by cell phone radiation. The deceased woman’s doctor gave a vivid and visual demonstration using an x-ray of the tumor showing that the location of the tumor corresponded exactly with the location of the cell phone’s antenna.
The public’s fears were aroused, Telecoms shares took a hit and the cell phone industry started looking for solutions. In his capacity as president for the wireless industry’s trade association, Wheeler struck a deal with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The industry would fund and conduct a major study on the safety of cell phones; in return, the FDA would agree not to regulate cell phones until this research was complete.
A $28 million research program was set up and funded by mobile phone carriers and manufacturers from 1993 to 1999 with the epidemiologist, Dr. George Carlo, at its head. According to the industry publication, RCR Wireless News, right from the outset, Wheeler had very clear expectations of what he wanted the research program to show. At a 1993 meeting, when Carlo was asked what he had concluded to date, Wheeler, dissatisfied with Carlo’s reply, spoke up and said, “We need to say phones are safe…”
No more biased research
Enough of the biased research. The public deserves to know about the dangers of wireless and similar technologies in addition to proper protection from them.
Sources for this article include:
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(Bill Snyder) The carrier wants to charge websites for carrying their packets, but if they win it’d be the end of the Internet as we know it.
Think of all the things that tick you off about cable TV. Along with brainless programming and crummy customer service, the very worst aspect of it is forced bundling.
You can’t pay just for the couple of dozen channels you actually watch. Instead, you have to pay for a couple of hundred channels, because the good stuff is scattered among a number of overstuffed packages.
Now, imagine that the Internet worked that way. You’d hate it, of course. But that’s the direction that Verizon, with the support of many wired and wireless carriers, would like to push the Web. That’s not hypothetical. The country’s No. 1 carrier is fighting in court to end the Federal Communications Commission’s policy of Net neutrality, a move that would open the gates to a whole new — and wholly bad — economic model on the Web.
As it stands now, you pay your Internet service provider and go wherever you want on the Web. Packets of bits are just packets and have to be treated equally. That’s the essence of Net neutrality. But Verizon’s plan, which the company has outlined during hearings in federal court and before Congress, would change that. Verizon and its allies would like to charge websites that carry popular content for the privilege of moving their packets to your connected device. Again, that’s not hypothetical.
ESPN, for example, is in negotiations with at least one major cellular carrier to pay to exempt its content from subscribers’ cellular data caps. And what’s wrong with that? Well, ESPN is big and rich and can pay for that exemption, but other content providers — think of your local jazz station that streams audio — couldn’t afford it and would be out of business. Or, they’d make you pay to visit their websites. Indeed, if that system had been in place 10 years ago, fledglings like Google or YouTube or Facebook might never have gotten out of the nest.
Susan Crawford, a tech policy expert and professor at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, says Verizon wants to “cable-ize the Internet.” She writes in her blog that “The question presented by the case is: Does the U.S. government have any role in ensuring ubiquitous, open, world-class, interconnected, reasonably priced Internet access?”
Verizon: The New Standard Oil
Verizon and other carriers answer that question by saying no.
They argue that because they spent megabucks to build and maintain the network, they should be able to have a say over what content travels over it. They say that because Google and Facebook and other Internet companies make money by moving traffic over “their” networks, they should get a bigger piece of the action. (Never mind that pretty much every person and business that accesses Google or Facebook is already paying for the privilege, and paying more while getting less speed than users in most of Europe.)
In 2005, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre famously remarked that upstarts like Google would like to “use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it.”
That’s bad enough, but Verizon goes even further. It claims that it has a right to free speech and, like a newspaper that may or may not publish a story about something, it can choose which content it chooses to carry. “Broadband providers possess ‘editorial discretion.’ Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others,” Verizon’s lawyers argue in a brief (PDF).
Continue reading @ Info World
(Shepard Ambellas) Soon on the streets of America police departments will likely deploy a new toy. A new device much like a ray-gun, that can disable a motor vehicle at the touch of a button.
A new gadget built by Diehl Defense, much like a portable Electro-Magnetic Pulse ray gun, can disable a vehicles electronic circuitry rendering it useless in battlefield or pursuit conditions.
This technology was put to the test on the battlefield of Afghanistan in 2011, while police departments and militaries around the world will likely grovel over the device. Deihl Defense is also a maker of guided missiles and other weaponry.
The official website for Diehl Defense explains the use for the device in a convoy protection scenario reading, “The new HPEM (High-Power-Electro-Magnetics) technology protects convoys against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), can stop getaway vehicles and prevent unauthorized access to limited access areas. Thus, this technology contributes decisively to the protection of soldiers in international missions.
The use of nonlethal HPEM systems is a new capability enabling military and civil forces to eliminate command, information and monitoring systems. HPEM sources can be used for personal and convoy protection, for instance, to overload and permanently destroy radio-based fuzing systems. In contrast to conventional jammers, the HPEM convoy protection system is also effective against new types of sensor-based IEDs. Enemy vehicles with electronic motor management can be stopped inconspicuously by mobile and stationary HPEM systems (car stopping).
HPEM can also support special and police forces in fulfilling their tasks. HPEM systems suppress enemy communication and disturb reconnaissance and information systems, for instance, in freeing hostages.”
Some wonder how long it will be before this technology will be utilized on the “battlefield” of America.
 Protection Systems Convoy Protection – Diehl.com
This article first appeared @ The Intelli Hub
(CBSNY) Chunks of ice apparently fell from the sky on an 80-degree day in Brooklyn. The question is, where did they come from?
Terry Blasi and Louie Vitale said they were sitting on Blasi’s porch on Wednesday when something the size of a softball crashed through the trees.
“All of a sudden something had come down through the trees really loud and then a loud thump on the ground,” Vitale told TV 10/55′s Dick Brennan on Friday.
The pair raced to the street and found a chunk of ice.
“It must have come through really fast and then thud. It sounded like a bowling ball went through,” Blasi said.
This chunk of ice fell from the sky in Brooklyn on Sept. 4, 2013. (Photo: CBS 2)
Ice was scattered around the street.
“I said, ‘Holy [expletive]. Where did this come from?’ and we’re all looking up all over the sky,” Vitale said.
A plane is the most likely suspect as the ice landed on East 36th Street, near John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“Usually they say the ice is blue if it comes from an airplane latrine. But this is solid ice. I think it was something high-flying and it fell off,” Blasi said.
“I hope it’s not from outer space. Those things are radioactive,” a man named Dave said.
Blasi’s family is worried.
“My step-daughter grabbed the baby, panicked, ran, grabbed the baby, said it was extra-terrestrials,” Terry said.
Experts said that if it had come from space the impact would have been much worse.
Blais has preserved the ice in her freezer. The Federal Aviation Administration will look at the evidence on Monday. Until then, neighbors said they plan to take precautions.
“Hard hat, Kevlar. I’m gonna look both ways and then look up, left, right, and up,” Vitale said.
Blasi said she is dying to know what happened.
This article first appeared @ CBSNY
(Susanne Posel) National Institutes of Health (NIH) has begun an initiative to discover the viability of sequencing American infant’s DNA through the “heel stick” blood drawn screening conducted on newborns in hospitals to determine the propensity toward life-threatening diseases.
This scheme will cost $25 million over 5 years to understand each individual genetic code in lieu of having DNA routinely mapped and stored in a medical record.
Whether this study would have value has not been established. Experts warn that there are ethical questions surrounding such an endeavor.
Using genetic information to direct infant healthcare is a major concern.
The National Institute of Child health and Human Development (NICHHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) are collaborating to fund this initiative.
This program will analyze DNA from 2,000 newborns to be sequenced by:
• Brigham and Women’s Hospital
• Boston Children’s Hospital
• Children’s Mercy Hospital
• University of California in San Francisco (UCSF)
• University of North Carolina
UCSF is being given $4.5 million to participate in the study. They will be tasked with assessing “whether large-scale gene sequencing aimed at detecting disorders and conditions can and should become a routine part of newborn testing.”
Alan E. Guttmacher, MD, director of the ICHD said : “Genomic sequencing has the potential to diagnose a vast array of disorders and conditions at the very start of life. But the ability to decipher an individual’s genetic code rapidly also brings with it a host of clinical and ethical issues, which is why it is important that this program explores the trio of technical, clinical, and ethical aspects of genomics research in the newborn period.”
The University of California at Berkley will provide bioinformatics experts to study “the potential of sequencing the exome” which is the preferred method of screening infants.
This work will examine “the exome’s potential for identifying disorders that California currently includes in the newborn screen, as well as those that are not currently screened for, but for which newborns may benefit if detection can occur early in life.”
Continue reading @ Occupy Corporatism