Summary of news topics
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Once again, President Obama has thrown a bone to the extremists in his base, by delaying the Keystone pipeline again. There is no valid reason to stop this. The oil is still coming into the US by rail and truck, which is far more dangerous that any pipeline. And energy independence used to be an important goal for the United States.
President Obama may understand how ridiculous his position is, and he does this anyway, to placate the idiot celebrities who oppose the pipeline, or, the President may be as ignorant as the rest of the extreme environmentalists.
A large 7.5 earthquake struck Mexico, near Acapulco. There are no reports of injuries or damage at this time. Mexico City felt the quake for about 30 seconds.
The quake occurred at 9:27 am local time (Central Time), (10:278 ET).
In 1985 there was a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that killed 6,000 people
An arrest warrant was issued for the captain of the ferry boat that sank near South Korea. 28 people are confirmed dead and nearly 270 are missing. Most of the missing are high school students.
Investigators say that the captain was not at the wheel when the boat capsized. Another man rescued from the ship was a high school vice-principal who was later found hung from a tree. It is presumed that he took his own life.
Automation has created as many jobs as it has eliminated, so far. But there is a growing concern that robots and computers will take away more jobs than they replace. Certainly, the new jobs involved in managing automation are better paying than many of the jobs being replaced, but they also require more skill.
Clerical work was taken over by computers some time ago. Many paper-handlers have had to learn new jobs. But this has also created new jobs in tech support and programming. The bean-counters use Excel instead of ledger paper. They have become proficient in several software apps. People have learned new skills to keep themselves valuable.
Assembly line work used to be considered tedious and de-humanizing. But then it started to pay well, especially in the automotive industry. It was ripe for take over by robots and it has displaced workers. Robots are even doing jobs in the military. And this is expected to increase. The goal is to replace infantry troops with robots. And how will that change warfare? Is there even a reason to have soldiers (robots) shooting at each other, or is cyberwar where we are going. Why shoot at an armed robot when I can mess with its software and make it harmless?
The possibilities are beyond the technology. The social, political and economic issues are just starting to be discovered.
* Moving things with large muscles.
* Finely manipulating things with small muscles.
* Using our hands, mouths, brains, eyes, and ears to ensure that ongoing processes and procedures happen the way that they are supposed to.
* Engaging in social reciprocity and negotiation to keep us all pulling in the same direction.
* Thinking up new things – activities that produce outcomes that are necessary, convenient, or luxurious – for us to do.
Machines have largely taken over the first two skills. And I don't ever think machines will replace the fifth item. Creativity and new ideas don't exist in machines, at least none that I have ever seen. In spite of their speed of calculation, they are really not smart, not in the sense that a creative person is smart.
Societies adapt to disruptive changes. Sometimes, like our present, the changes are happening very fast the the societal norms are playing catch-up. But we have started to anticipate rapid change. I don't see robots taking over and leaving us to starve. We will adapt and not let that happen. The key word is "ADAPT", something a machine can't do without human intervention. ~~ Linda Quinn ~~
04/16/2014 10:48 am Link ID: 04162014-135
Everyone knows this picture. But did you know it is a real place? Read the story behind it.
We used to think our kids were safe at school, but that has been changing in recent years. Today there was mass stabbing. The details are not clear yet, but it''s hard to imagine stabbing 20 people before being stopped.
Mass stabbings are rare. Unlike a gun, it's hard to hurt so many people with a knife. Apparently some of the victims are in critical condition. Information is still sketchy since this event is still unfolding. No word on the perpetrator, or the victims, except CNN is reporting that ages of the injured range from 14 to 60. We will update as needed.
The 77 cents story is so old that I am amazed that anyone takes it seriously. I have heard pundits and reports talk about women making less for the same work. There is NO statistic that bears that out. The only way the 77 cents stat works is with all women vs. all men. And that includes so many variables to make it meaningless.WSJ: The '77 Cents on the Dollar' Myth About Women's Pay
President Obama wants to require businesses to hand over data on pay, broken down by race and gender, to the Labor Department.
Are there any limits to what this administration wants to control? Salary information has always been guarded in private business. It is thought of as a trade secret. Businesses don't want to share this information with other companies because it would be too easy to poach workers.
The President is unveiling this as part of his Gender Pay Disparity program. He is trying to convince the American public that the system is rigged against them and they are victims. Victims need to be rescued, and that's where the Administration's largess comes to save us all.
Salary is a private contract between and employer and employee. Having marketable skills will give a person leverage in the negotiations. Hard work and accomplishment give an employee advantages during salary negotiation. But now, why work hard, why try? If my employer has to send salary information to the government, broken down by race and gender, the all that counts are the raw numbers. This reporting won't show who is a hard worker and who isn't up to speed. There are many factors that create a "good fit" in the workplace. None of this will show up in a report that shows groups and pay amounts. All that employers will care about in setting salaries is what will keep them out of trouble with the Labor Department.
But who is going to fight this? Probably no one.
Ukraine sees demonstations with pro-Russian and Pro-Ukranian citizens. Tensions are strong. There was a fistfight in the Parliament. There are fears of further conflict.
Seems like earthquakes have been in the news lately.YAHOO: Oklahoma?
Were there two quakes?DAILY MAIL: Two Oklahoma earthquakes in a day.
China and Australia have heard sounds that might be the ping from the black boxes.SKY NEWS: Three acoustic signals detected CNN: Searchers race to try to trace sounds detected in ocean
Also in the CNN article: Maylasia government reveals a different flight pattern, around Indonesia. The question is why this information is being announced so late. Are they holding back information? Are they re-analyzing existing data and getting different information?
Take a look at the charts that show that the jobs numbers are largely meaningless when looking at long term trends.The Only Jobs Report Post You Need to Read
The first Friday of each month is when the jobs report for the previous month is released. Today's job report shows that 192,000 jobs were created. But the unemployment rate remained the same at 6.7%.
When counting the long-term unemployed, the unemployment rate is closer to 12.7%, analysts say. And many of these new jobs are low paying jobs that pay around $14.00 an hour. The economy is growing very slowing which is not enough to pull the economy out of the doldrums.
Some analysts blame the bad weather for some of the stagnant results.Bloomberg on Jobs
A little five year old boy was able to bypass a parental control password on his XBox. His Dad had set a password to keep him out of the more violent adult games. But he was able to bypass it quickly. He entered an invalid password, then he entered all spaces, and the XBox let him in.
These kids are growing up with technology and when they are old enough to start companies, the future will be awesome. In the mean time, security holes like this are often found because kids are playing around with the equipment. An adult hacker is trying too hard to find an opening. A kid can just stumble into a security hole. No adult had found this flaw.
Read the article. This kid is not unique. These are the people we will be competing with in twenty years.
You go to the grocery store, and when you look for the checkout counter there is none. There’s no place to pay for your groceries because you already did.
We really don't use cash very much anymore. Most transactions are sets of bookkeeping entries. And we have seen experiments in non-government money, like Bitcoin, or promotional amounts. An article in the New York Times today talks about how likely this will be.
The idea of money without government backing seems strange, but governments haven&apos:t always been the best caretakers of currency. The book The Downfall of Money: Germany’s Hyperinflation and the Destruction of the Middle Class is an excellent description of a government messing with its currency for short term problem solving.
Another book, When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germanytells the same story. The parallels with the Weimar Republic in Germany, after World War One, with our modern economic policies, are frightening.
Amazon has releases it's waited for TV box. It's called Amazon Fire TV and it only costs $99.00.
It has access to Amazon Streaming Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.
It has voice activation and can include a game console. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can watch your Prime Video on your TV.
There was an 8.2 earthquake off the coast of Chile last night (April 1, 2014). That is a very large earthquake. There are reports of 5 deaths, mostly from collapsing walls. A tsunami warning was confined to the coasts of Chile and Peru.You can read more at:
On April 2, 2014, Amazon will be making an announcement. It is expected to be a Video box that will allow you to your computer content on your television.
It will compete with Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast. Google Chromecast is only $35.00. I bought a Chromecast and I can watch Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as view my Google Chrome browser output. Streaming video on my Chrome browser can be played on Chromecast, but not Amazon streaming video.
I watch a lot of Amazon video. They have a great service that doesn't get the attention is deserves. They have recent TV shows, many the day after they air on network. And Amazon's library includes many recent movies. If you signup for Amazon Prime you will get most of these features for free. The Amazon box will surely offer Amazon streaming video. The question is, what will it cost? There isn't any price information yet, but it will surely be competitive with the other devices on the market.
Amazon Media Event
04/01/2014 1:00 am Link ID: 04012014-116
"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess."
That old conundrum of correlation vs. causation is back again. CNBC had an article that was picked up by several local news outlets, Diet Drinks Linked with Heart Disease, Death. Except, when you read the article, that's not really what it's saying.
The findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don't suggest that the drinks themselves are killers. But women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits, experts say.
Oh, so there is a CORRELATION between Diet Drinks and other unhealthy habits. Maybe there is also a correlation between unhealthy habits and the television shows people watch, or the kind of cars they drive.
The women who drank the most drinks were also more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to have diabetes and to have high blood pressure.
Wow, are they saying that the diet drinks caused the smoking, the weight, and/or diabetes?
The news media loves a sensational headline. But in this story the facts to back it up are laughable at best. Statistics are an abused science.
Amazon has been re-defining the idea of a "book" by introducing the "single" and offering "serials". This is based on the idea that an electronic book can be any length. In the past, it was not cost-effective to print a shorter book. Those would be sold to magazines as short-stories.
There are novellas and shorter novels available at the Kindle store. We have all read books that were too long, that seemed to have been stretched out to meet the acceptable length for a published book. A book can now be the optimal length to tell the story.
E-books have created a market for reading material and new authors that wouldn\'t be read if the old hard-copy publishing world still prevailed.
Original music is being developed for online streaming and downloads. And the app market for mobile devices is open to any one with talent and ideas. With opportunites for writing talent being expanded thanks to digital books, I am waiting for great content to watch on my tablet devices. I wish I had more to choose from than season 2 of a sit-com.
If you still aren't convinced that this is one of the worst winters in the United States, read this USAToday article
The predictions of the last several decades, of dooom and gloom because we are not good guardians of mother earth, have all failed to come true. Let's list a few:
What happened to Nuclear Winter?
In the 1970's and even into the 1980's, there were dire predictions that pollution in the air would block out the sun and bring record cold. Growing seasons would be terribly shortened and food would become scarce. As the cold continued, energy consumption would skyrocket, and since fossils fuels were running out, they told us, we were doomed to freeze to death in the dark.
Now, of course, this same airbourne polution is heating the earth. It is trapping the earth's heat and we are heating up. The scary story continues that the polar ice caps will melt and flood all the coastlines.
What about the longer growing seasons that will result from more heat? And warmer nighttime temperatures? Oh, they never mention that. It is all doom and gloom all the time. No matter what the situation, we are all doomed.
What do the environmentalists gain from all this scary talk? Well, it reduces the drive toward innovation and modernity. It allows governmental bodies to control areas of private life that were unimaginable just a short time ago. They are the pied pipers that we need to follow.