Will Saudis Get Nukes?

Over a year ago I wrote bout the news that Jared was working to help MbS get nuke power for KSA…..https://lobotero.com/2019/05/14/saudis-and-nukes/

I said then that it was a bad idea to give the Saudis nuke technology and after months of bitching I see that Pompeo has reassured Israel that Saudis will got get access to nukes….

Following reports that this is a specific concern of Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes it is a “real risk” that Saudi Arabia will get nukes, and that the US views it as a “top priority” to try to prevent the Saudis from getting such arms.

Recent reports, all centering on the Israeli narrative, claim the Saudis are processing yellowcake uranium, and that they are getting secret help from China that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms in the future.

This is an unusual place for the administration to be in, as they general support arming the Saudis to the teeth, and Pompeo has repeatedly gone to bat for the idea that the Saudis need more arms for their “emergency” state. Those are US-made arms, of course.

The concern may be that getting arms from China will change the power structure of the Middle East, with Pompeo saying China’s offer is “too good to be true.” It’s not clear what China offered, or if they offered anything at all, and Saudi interest in nuclear energy could easily explain away the uranium processing.

(antiwar.com)

So according to the toad in the State Department….it is okay for the US to give nukes away but not China.  A moronic thought!

But not to worry.

KSA’s close friend the UAE has just fired up its nuclear plant…..

A nuclear power plant in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has been connected to the country’s power grid, authorities said Wednesday. The Barakah nuclear power plant in the Emirates’ far western desert near the border with Saudi Arabia began sending out electricity, according to the state-run WAM news agency. WAM published a photograph of employees working inside the plant’s control room, though no independent media was there to witness the event. On July 31, the plant’s first reactor reached what scientists called its “first criticality.” That’s when the nuclear chain reaction within the reactor is self-sustaining. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other regulatory bodies have seen and assessed the site.

The plant has been considered a target by Yemen’s rival Houthi rebels since Dec. 2017. They claimed then, without offering evidence, to have fired a cruise missile at it, something immediately denied by the UAE. Plans call for four reactors to be operating at Barakah, which authorities say will provide some 25% of all energy needs in this OPEC-member nation. The $20 billion plant was built by the Emirates with the help of South Korea. It’s the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula. The US has praised the UAE’s nuclear program for agreeing never to acquire enrichment or reprocessing capabilities, which prevents it from being able to make weapons-grade uranium, the AP reports.

A plant next door would be easy to get the technology needed….basically for nothing.

Does anyone else see how moronic this foreign policy is?

If not maybe you should pay attention.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Internet!

I try to help my readers understand a wide array of subjects…..FYI if you will……today let’s look at the internet.

Looks like today is gonna be history day…..Learn Stuff!

Do you know where the internet idea came from?

Was it from the US military of the 1960s? Or maybe it was 1991 and from Tim Berners-Lee? Some think it was Al Gore…..well all those guesses would be mistaken.

The internet as we know it was started in 1991 when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. The idea, first developed by the US military in the 1960s, had been around forever, and not just because of science fiction, but rather a prediction made by a witch in the 15th century.

Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, lived during the 15th century but her predictions had consequences even to the 19th century. According to The Vintage News, Ursula was born in a cave in 1488. Her mother, reports The Yorkshire Post, was a 15-year old orphan named Agatha. People at the time treated the small family horribly, especially because young Ursula supposedly had a large crooked nose, a hunched back, and twisted legs. Ursula studied the forest and discovered she could tell the future.

After she married a builder named Toby Shipton, Ursula, now called Mother Shipton, began going around towns telling futures and making prophecies. Her prediction “around the world, men’s thoughts will fly. Quick as the twinkling of an eye” is widely believed to be about the internet. Her other predictions included the Black Plague, the Great Fire of London, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the end of the world.

https://www.grunge.com/233562/the-truth-about-the-english-witch-who-predicted-the-internet/

Now the record has been corrected.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Military Tech of 2019

I write a lot about war and the need for us to find another way of dealing with international situations…..I am not naive enough to think that war will end overnight….but at least we should try to find a cessation point.

But since we still have war let’s look at the tech of 2019…

PUTTING ASIDE our personal feelings on the nature of war and what it is or isn’t good for, the fact is that it’s a terrible reality of life. It’s also, often, where technological development advances at several paces beyond every other sector even remotely like it. These are some of literature’s best (and most dystopian) ideas, fully realized. And 2019 especially boasted some of the most mind-bending military tech the world’s ever seen.

From an invisibility cloak to a sonic gun that vibrates a target’s brain, military researchers really pushed the limits of what we thought was scientifically possible this year, no doubt at least partly thanks to their sometimes astronomically high budgets — looking at you, America.

Without further ado, here is The Coolest (and Scariest) Military Tech of 2019. 

https://futurism.com/coolest-scariest-military-technology-2019

We have another year of wars and conflict to look forward to….but there is a possibility the Trump will do something about war because of the election in November…..he may need to find a whole new batch of voters to help him win.

I read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Facebook In The News

Closing Thought–03May19

Everybody’s favorite site, Facebook, well almost everyone’s….I have NEVER used Facebook and will never in the future….I do not feel the need to share that much of my life……

Poor Zuck has had his bad news in the past couple of years….from investigations to calls for his baby, Facebook, to be broken up…..The Zuck has fought governmental control until recently…..with all his troubles he now wants the government to handle all of it for him…….typical BS as usual from him.

Facebook made the news by banning hate speech and hate sites from their media……

Facebook announced Thursday afternoon that it had designated some high-profile people, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who’s notorious for using anti-Semitic language, and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as “dangerous” and said it will be purging them from its platforms.Jones and his media outlet InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook (FB) in August 2018, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. On Thursday, Jones and InfoWars will be barred from Instagram as well. Other people banned on Thursday included Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, and fringe right-wing media personalities Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joseph Watson.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/tech/facebook-ban-louis-farrakhan-infowars-alex-jones-milo-laura-loomer/index.html

Of course I think this is a good thing….but I also see where a 1st amendment battle may ensue…..

Then there is more bad news for Facebook….it appears that their platform has been used for the sell of illegally obtain artifacts from Iraq and Syria……….

Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned.

Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics.

Facebook says it has removed 49 groups following the BBC’s investigation.

The BBC has also seen evidence that antiquities are still being smuggled from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, despite a police clampdown and the retreat of the Islamic State group.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47628369

Read that!

Facebook closed down 49 sites after the BBC investigation. They do not act until someone else does the heavy lifting for them.

Sorry…time for Facebook to be broken up into manageable sites for they are not so today. What do they do for the money they make?

The time for me to step back and get my stuff ready for the weekend…..

The Saga Of The 5G

I hope all are enjoying their weekend…..

The world is moving at “light speed” when it comes to our available info on the worldwide web……and now the newest proposal is a lightening fast 5G…..Hell I remember when 2G was all the rage….but then I am a old fart.

Apparently 4G is just not doing the job in our search for more info faster……enter the promise of 5G….actually I think it is the search for better games and social media updates than the search for knowledge.

The story is that we will need 5G if we are to compete globally……or so the con job goes…….

The United States and China are in a race to build 5G networks, the next generation of wireless network that will enable faster data speeds and be used by self-driving cars and smart cities that rely on the Internet of Things.

On April 12, U.S. President Donald J. Trump and the Federal Communications Commission unveiled several initiatives to accelerate 5G network deployment in the United States. “Secure 5G networks will absolutely be a vital link to America’s prosperity and national security in the 21st century,” Trump said.

Trump maintained: “The race to 5G is a race America must win, and it’s a race, frankly, that our great companies are now involved in.”

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/04/24/5g_access_key_to_competing_globally_114365.html

That is the narrative that is being passed around……let’s look at it shall we?

As the successor to 4G, 5G is set to completely transform the way we do business. Bringing enormous data capacity, rapid speeds, and incredibly low latency, 5G marks a huge step up from its predecessor

Not only does 5G promise to boost efficiency and unleash the potential of automation, but it will also enable us to explore developing technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

The first 5G networks will begin to arrive in 2020, resulting in unparalleled levels of disruption.

Organisations need to prepare for the possibilities that this next-generation connectivity will offer with those that are fastest to embrace the changes set to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. This next-generation network connectivity is set to reinvent the world of business — here are five reasons why 5G is the future:

5 reasons why 5G is the future

Not everybody sees 5G as the best thing……shall we look into that?

Around 20,000 satellites from the new 5G network rollout will be launched into space and beam intense radiation to a large portion of the Earth. At around 1,000 times the speed of 4G, it is shaping up to become a radioactive nightmare for humans. So, how bad can this be for our health?

According to Martin L. Pall, professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, there are four reasons why radiation from the 5G network will be dangerous for humans: an extraordinary number of antennae are required, high outputs are needed for penetration, pulsation levels will be very high, and it will have an impact on the human body’s cellular electrical field.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/5g-is-the-stupidest-idea-in-the-history-of-the-world-says-professor-emeritus-from-wsu_2882838.html

Sounds like 5G will take a massive infrastructure plan…..anyone have any thoughts about 5G?

 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Take a moment and wax nostalgic…….a song from my youth…..ah the memories!

But in this case it is not some song from my past but rather a proposal from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren……

She has a proposal to break-up giants like amazon, Google and Facebook……along the lines of the break-up of AT&T in the 1980s into regional entities……

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for how to break up the nation’s technology behemoths on Friday. 

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who’s seeking the Democratic nomination for president, laid out her proposal in a Medium post entitled “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech.” In the post, Warren argued that it’s essential to crack down on the unfair market advantage enjoyed by Amazon, Facebook, and Google in order to boost competition and fuel innovation.

Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout praised the plan, calling it as a sign that a “new anti-monopoly movement is happening, and Warren is coming out swinging at the right targets!” Agreeing with Warren, she added, “The big tech monsters are conglomerates with too much power that they use to extract wealth and data from all us of us as if we are subjects in their feudal regimes.”

 
Personally, I like the idea…..but if her consumer protection agency from the 2000s is any indication this will nit go very far…….if the Senate does not crap on the proposal then the big money donors will chip away at it until it is just a shadow of the original proposal.
 
Elizabeth Warren wants a fair playing field in the marketplace—and she’s going after Big Tech to make it happen. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” she said in a statement Friday, per the New York Times. Her plan to bust up giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon is a two-tiered one: First, large firms with annual global revenue of $25 billion or more that offer an online marketplace or other type of platform that connects third parties would have to “structurally separate” their products from that marketplace. What that means, for example, is that if you do a Google search for a restaurant, Google can’t give its own ratings priority over, say, Yelp’s, notes Vox.
 
The second tier—companies with annual revenue between $90 million and $25 billion—wouldn’t be subject to that same sort of product-marketplace separation, but they would have to adhere to certain fair-use regulations. Another big move Warren’s plan is pushing for: reversing some recent mergers that the 2020 presidential candidate says cut down down healthy competition, including Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, as well as Amazon scooping up Whole Foods. This move, Warren says, “will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy.” Critics commenting on Warren’s proposal fear such a plan could lead to the “weaponizing” of antitrust laws (lawmakers could go after companies they don’t like), per the Times, or reduce convenience for consumers, Ars Technica notes
 
This is fascinating……I want to see where it will go……I like it, as I have said…..this should have been done years ago…..
 
Any thoughts out there?

Today In 1811

Yep my friends…that time again….your history lesson…..

Ever heard of Ned Ludd?

No?

How about the Luddites?

Luddites are those people that see a scary future in technology and mechanization……

On this day in 1811 Ned Ludd lead a wild protest against mechanization…….

“Luddite” is now a blanket term used to describe people who dislike new technology, but its origins date back to a 19th century labor movement that railed against the economic fallout of the Industrial Revolution. The original Luddites were British weavers and textile workers who objected to the increased use of automated looms and knitting frames. Most were trained artisans who had spent years learning their craft, and they feared that unskilled machine operators were robbing them of their livelihood. When their appeals for government aid and assistance were ignored, a few desperate weavers began breaking into factories and smashing textile machines. They called themselves “Luddites” after Ned Ludd, a young apprentice who was rumored to have wrecked a textile apparatus in the late-18th century. There’s no evidence Ludd actually existed—like Robin Hood, he was said to reside in Sherwood Forest—but he eventually became the mythical leader of the movement. The vandals claimed to be following orders from “General Ludd,” and they even issued manifestoes and threatening letters under his name.

The first major instances of machine breaking took place in 1811 in Nottingham, and the practice soon spread across the English countryside. Sledgehammer-wielding Luddites attacked and burned factories, and in some cases they even exchanged gunfire with company guards and soldiers. The workers hoped their raids would encourage a ban on weaving machines, but the British government instead moved to quash the uprisings by making machine breaking punishable by death. The unrest finally reached its peak in April 1812, when a few Luddites were gunned down during an attack on a mill near Huddersfield. The army rounded up many of the dissidents in the days that followed, and dozens were hanged or transported to Australia. By 1813, the Luddite resistance had all but vanished. It wasn’t until the 20th century that their name re-entered the popular lexicon as a synonym for “technophobe.”

https://www.history.com/news/who-were-the-luddites

More Luddite stuff!

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-the-luddites-really-fought-against-264412/

Of course we are the future and we have to have our own term…..Neo-Luddism…….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Luddism

Now you know more than you knew yesterday……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Who Said That?

Breaking News:  Sorry to break with IST tradition and posting on the news of the day on weekends…but this is kinda important….

Before I begin I feel I must update my readers on the Christmas gift that Federal employees got yesterday…..

……a high-profile meeting was raising hopes that a government shutdown could be averted, reports Politico. Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, and acting Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney met with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer at the Capitol to try to forge a compromise on the president’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall. “I’m feeling better now than I did an hour ago because that meeting is occurring,” said GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “The fact that that’s happening represents progress.”

The meeting comes after Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the idea of changing the Senate’s filibuster rules to push through a bill containing the border money with a simple majority, reports the Washington Post. President Trump had urged him to do so earlier in the day. A week ago, Trump said he would be “proud” to have a shutdown over the wall impasse, but on Friday he made a reversal of sorts, reports the Hill. “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” he tweeted. Late in the afternoon, the president also tweeted an image of what the barrier might look like: “A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful!”

Now the blame game begins but that will be little comfort to the many fed employees that were laid off just days before Christmas…..sadness given as a gift is pure pathetic theatrics.

Who will blink first?

Sorry for the interruption……..

Saturday and some things I read just make me laugh and then worry…..the way that we seem to give technology more and more power over our lives worries me.

As Christmas approaches there is always the dash for that perfect gift to slip under the tree for the whole family…..

Look under the tree……what is that little box with no name on it?

Echo, Google or Alexa?

The trend these days is to have your home wired so that the refrigerator gives you the time, your TV can start your car for you on cold days, and it goes on and on…..

Personally, I refuse to give my toilet the power to lock and unlock doors (humor not real)…..technology can be a wonderful thing….within limits….but beyond my dislike what could go wrong with speaking a command and your coffee maker turns on?

After a man in Germany contacted Amazon to request any a copy of any data the company had collected on him—his right under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, Gizmodo notes—he was surprised to receive 1,700 audio files in response. Why? Because he doesn’t use Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant that is used with its smart devices and that is known for listening in on people that use it. According to an article in Germany’s c’t magazine, the audio files (which were sent to the customer along with the data he likely expected—files relating to his Amazon searches) turned out to be recordings of a complete stranger, who used Alexa via his Amazon Echo, Fire box, smartphone, and smart appliances. The man also received a PDF transcript of the stranger’s recorded voice commands.

The customer says when he contacted Amazon about receiving data from someone else, no one responded, but the link to the data was disabled. He had already downloaded a copy of it, and got in touch with c’t. From the recordings, the magazine was able to locate the person whose data the man had received, and even identify the other man’s girlfriend. The man was “shocked” to find out his data had been sent to a stranger, and noted that Amazon had not alerted him to the breach. Amazon finally got in touch with both men only after being contacted by c’t. As the incident started making headlines, an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters, “This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case. We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. As a precautionary measure we contacted the relevant authorities.” The incident is one of multiple reasons Gizmodo recently published a post entitled, “You Should Return the Amazon Echo You Bought and Get a Better Gift.” (Alexa may play a role in a murder case.)

If I want the “Jones'” to know what goes on inside my house then I will invite them over for a chat.

I am sure some of my younger readers will be in favor of this technology and if they would like to defend please do so…I am open to the experience.

If you are going to be traveling on this holiday please drive safely and take care of yourself the flu is out there looking for a body to invade.

Have a Day!

Be well, be safe!

A Flash from the past……

Peace Out!

The Age Of Lazy

Another Saturday and we should look into our society for a few interesting pieces of knowledge…..

I would bet that the most used kitchen appliance these days is the microwave….am I right?

It is all so simple you take something out of the “Frig” and in just minutes you have a meal….how much simpler could it get?

WE are in the age of Google, Echo, Alexa, yada yada……you can turn over any function to a piece of technology…start your car, turn on your lights, lock your door and play music all by simply telling the air around you what you want to happen.

Got some amazing news the other day….about a microwave and a potato…..

Running out of things to do with Alexa? Don’t despair. Soon, you’ll be able to tell your Amazon personal assistant to heat a mug of water, defrost a chicken, or prepare some popcorn. It’s all thanks to the new AmazonBasics microwave that connects to Amazon’s Echo device so you can give it voice commands. The microwave was unveiled Thursday in Seattle, Engadget reports. The appliance will sell for $59.99 and will ship starting Nov. 14th, per The Verge, which calls it “a pretty dead-ahead 700W microwave.” It features many of the standard microwave buttons, but most of the cooking presets are voice activated (such as “Alexa, one potato,” a command used by Amazon’s David Limp a demonstration). You can also set it up to automatically order products from Amazon.

“What this microwave does is keep track of how many times you cook popcorn and make sure you never run out,” Amazon VP Daniel Rausch tells the Wall Street Journal. Also debuted on Thursday were other smart devices, such as an Echo for cars and a home security system, as well as improvements to Alexa like the abilities to whisper and hold conversations. It all adds up to Amazon’s push to “unite a scattered industry,” the WSJ notes. Through products like the new AmazonBasics microwave, the company hopes to get big manufacturers to use its Alexa-enabled chips affordable household appliances. As The Verge puts it: “The point is to wow gadget makers with how simple, secure, and easy it is to integrate its Alexa Connection Kit.”

But if I must choose my potato and put it into the Microwave why not hit the start button….that way I do not have to involve yet another piece of technology in the process of cooking a potato.

I am retired and have become extremely lazy after the broken leg and then the loss of toes….but as lazy as I am I am still capable of cooking a potato in the microwave without involving too many pieces of technology.

I may be old put I can still muster the energy to push a start button.

Is it any wonder that we are so obese?  I mean we have to spend many dollars to get fit….when it is free to learn to do so much of this stuff for yourself.

Just a thought!

Is That A Mosquito? Or Maybe A Drone?

It is still Sunday……

A few years back I watched an episode of “Elementary” about a murder committed by drone…..and Sherlock was spied on by a drone the size of a mosquito……an excellent show but what are the chances that the drones will get that small?

I had to go to Google…..will drones get that small and could they be used against our own population for whatever reason?

The DARPA Robotics Challenge was a showcase for how very large, very expensive robots could potentially be useful in disaster recovery and high-risk environments. Humanoids are particularly capable in some very specific situations, but the rest of the time, they’re probably overkill, and using smaller, cheaper, more specialized robots is much more efficient. This is especially true when you’re concerned with data collection as opposed to manipulation—for the “search” part of “search and rescue,” for example, you’re better off with lots of very small robots covering as much ground as possible.

Yesterday, DARPA announced a new program called SHRIMP: SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms. The goal is “to develop and demonstrate multi-functional micro-to-milli robotic platforms for use in natural and critical disaster scenarios.” To enable robots that are both tiny and useful, SHRIMP will support fundamental research in the component parts that are the most difficult to engineer, including actuators, mobility systems, and power storage.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/darpa-wants-your-insect-scale-robots-for-a-micro-olympics

There is much more on this situation….it will start with the military and move to the private sector….where would this stop?

Further reading:

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-tiny-drone-the-us-military-is-testing-2015-6

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2013802/U-S-military-drones-small-look-like-insects.html

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2578439/u-s-military-unleashes-swarm-of-tiny-intelligent-micro-drones/