The Second-Place Candidate   

BEDFORD, N.H.—When I last saw Wesley Clark, I called him "Howard Dean with flags." Since then, he's reinvented his candidacy and made himself an even bigger threat to the former Vermont governor. He's now Howard Dean with flags and tax cuts.

Clark seems pretty close to emerging as the consensus pick for the only realistic non-Dean candidate. By sitting on the sidelines during the various Dean-Kerry, Dean-Gephardt, Dean-Lieberman, and Dean-"Insert Democratic candidate here" scraps, it appears that Clark's benefited from the "Dean vs. the Washington Democrats" infighting. He's in a statistical tie with Dean in a national poll. And by camping out in New Hampshire while everyone else makes a two-week sprint toward Iowa, Clark hopes to rise even further in the Granite State polls, too. (To be fair, not everyone is in Iowa. Joe Lieberman is spending a good deal of time in New Hampshire. But Clark strategist Chris Lehane rightly says that Lieberman is like "Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense: He's dead and doesn't know it yet.")

For Dean, Clark poses a slight problem because the general can't be painted with the same brush as Edwards, Gephardt, Kerry, and Lieberman. He's not a "Washington Democrat." He didn't vote for No Child Left Behind. He didn't vote for the Iraq resolution. The question for Clark is whether he will emulate Bill Clinton as the Comeback Kid, turning a potential second-place New Hampshire finish into an expectations victory, or whether he's just the voters' Fallback Guy. After all, the usual sad lot of the first runner-up is to sit around and vainly hope that the reigning Miss America won't be able to fulfill her duties. (Of course, there is always that chance that Howard Dean posed naked somewhere … never mind.)

As a candidate, Clark has improved his skills dramatically since I watched him speak in September. He's smoother, more coherent, and more concise. He's also willing to give voters at least mildly unpopular answers. At a "house party" on Tuesday (the first of several days that I'm going to be following Clark in New Hampshire), Clark tells a man concerned about job losses, "We'll probably never bring back the specific manufacturing jobs that have left." He doesn't rule out means-testing Medicare, though he does say that he's predisposed against it. (My favorite fudge on the subject: "I'm against means-testing as a matter of principle, insofar as it's at all practical.") The house is filled with physicians worried about medical malpractice suits, but Clark states his opposition to "arbitrary caps" on legal damages. "The court system really is important for ordinary Americans," he says. "The truth is if you're a poor person in this country or a person of modest means, the only way you can get legal advice is on a contingent-fee basis."

Despite the widely held belief that Clark is the candidate of Clintonian moderates while Dean is the candidate of the so-called "angry left," I don't see much evidence that voters at Clark events are more centrist or less liberal than voters I've seen elsewhere. (Exhibit A: A reporter walks up to a man in scrubs at the house party. "You're a doctor?" he asks. "An abortion provider!" is the cheery response.) At a town-hall meeting Tuesday night, one of Clark's biggest applause lines is his pledge to raise taxes on people who make more than $200,000 a year: "We're gonna ask them to be patriotic. We're gonna take back the Bush tax cuts."

But what really endears him to the crowd is his indictment of President Bush during the run-up to war. After outlining the Clark plan for Iraq—1) withdraw Paul Bremer; 2) put a non-American in charge; 3) place U.S. forces under NATO; 4) allow a rapid turnover of the country to Iraqis, "long before this July 1 date"; 5) don't let the Kurds keep their weapons, and don't give them an autonomous region—Clark mentions his Monday night appearance on MSNBC's Hardball. Chris Matthews was obsessed with Clinton's impeachment, Clark says. It's all he would ask him about. "We wasted millions of dollars and years in this country trying to find something that Bill and Hillary Clinton did wrong. And it was a waste of money and effort," Clark says. "I'd like to know why the United States Congress and this party is not demanding, every single day, an investigation into why the president of the United States misused the intelligence community, took us to a war we didn't have to fight, and still won't tell the American people the truth! That's what should be investigated! That's the truth!"

The candidate is angry, his voice rises, and the crowd leaps to its feet. It's Clark's best moment of a pretty good day. He's got them, I think, as the crowd presses around him for autographs and picture-taking. But I also can't help but think that Howard Dean would have had them on their feet from the start.


          Farsighted looks toward a safe self-driving world and the very unsafe Westworld (Farsighted, Ep. 2)   
The crew hears from an expert building the autonomous future before discussing HBO's latest hit series that shows the scarier side of smarter tech.
          El Primer Tren Ligero Electrico de Supercondensadores del Mundo SIN RIELES- China   
380 pasajeros de capacidad

70KMH de Velocidad









INTRODUCTION

How does China solve the country’s prevalent public transportation problems? By unveiling the world’s first autonomous train transit system that runs on a virtual track.
In this video we will know about China’s New Autonomous Train that Doesn’t Even Need Rails for its truck.

CHINA’S AUTONOMOUS TRAIN TRANSIT

The world’s first rail less train was revealed last week in Zhuzhou in central China’s Hunan province. China’s state-owned enterprise called CRRC began developing the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit back in 2013, to provide a solution to the country’s transportation problems in congested urban areas.

The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit in short ART is some kind of cross between a train and a bus or tram. The ART runs on roads like a bus, but only on designated paths like a tram. It's modular like a train, and carriages can be added or removed to accommodate different numbers of people. Each carriage can fit about 100 passengers.

ENVIRONMENT FRENDLY VEHICLE


It is considered to be a cheaper alternative to other commute networks as well as being sustainable and environmentally friendly. With a cross appearance between a bus and a train, the autonomous train is composed of three carriages and spans 30 meters long.

It’s part of the intelligent rail express system by CRRC, which operates on rubber tires as opposed to traditional rail tracks. Means, it runs on rubber tires and has sensors to read the dimensions of the road and plan its route.

A pair of dashed white painted lines acts as virtual tracks which the autonomous train follows. The idea is that the 'smart train' could travel without a driver or rails.

CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY 

This ART system can be driven up to a maximum speed of 70 km/h and can carry up to 300 passengers in three carriages at a time. Providing a new and smart method for solving urban transport pressures, the autonomous vehicle is powered by electricity, which can journey to a distance 40 km when fully charged. It uses a lithium titanate battery and can embark on a substantial journey with only 10 minutes of charging.

Equipped with sensors, the autonomous train can process and analyze road dimensions then plan its own course. Very much like a bus-train hybrid vehicle running on a virtual track. CRRC can also add more carriages to the transit system in order to increase the passenger capacity. Moreover, the newly developed ART system can be integrated fairly easily into existing road infrastructures as it doesn’t require heavy construction works compared to rail track systems.

COST SAVING EFFORTS

In general, most medium-sized and smaller cities in China doesn’t have the budget to build expensive subway systems, or most of the time, they take too long to build.
According to Xinhua, it costs up to $102 dollar to build a kilometer of a subway track, as compared to about $2 million for a standard length ART bus.
So, this solution proves to be ideal because of its multiple advantages over conditional transit systems. It’s cheap, sustainable, and is able to transport a large volume of people in a fast and reliable manner.

PLANNING

The current ART system is still in its prototype stage and is driven manually by a human driver. However, the Zhuzhou city government in the Hunan province is expected to build a 6.5-kilometer ART line throughout its downtown. Operations of the autonomous train within the city will begin in 2018.








          Spy vs Spy: Stuck in the Funhouse   

Funhouses are only fun when you can leave them. When the distorting mirror images become your new, day-to-day reality construct, then it's not so much fun anymore. 

I dreaded the 2016 Election because I had a very strong feeling that no matter who won we'd be plunged into a dystopian paradigm in which major power blocs would erupt into all-out warfare. And I sensed that neither Trump nor Clinton possessed the political skills or the communicative powers to keep the carnage fully out of our view. Or our path.


And I was right.


Trump's only been in office for a little over two months and I'm exhausted already. I'm certainly not alone in this. It all feels like a TV sitcom in its seventh season, well after the writers ran out of story ideas. The shark has been good and jumped. And the ratings (the approval ratings, in this case) are plunging too.


What is truly demoralizing though is the utter transparency of the secret war playing out, the seemingly endless spy vs spy thrust and counter-thrust, and the obvious deceptions. Even more so is the Animal Farm-like metamorphosis of the Democratic Party into a full-blown, funhouse mirror of McCarthy-era Republicans, but with Glenn Beck-worthy conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.


I don't know about you but all of a sudden the world seems especially cold, hard, gray, harsh. Masks are coming off, velvet gloves tossed into wastebins. It doesn't seem to matter who wins the scorpion fight, you're still stuck with a scorpion.  

We can't call out the play-by-play because it's largely being acted out behind closed doors. But we can look at the collateral damage and make certain speculations. There's no doubt that it would all be just as bad-- probably worse-- if Hillary won. Even so, this all feels especially grating.

You've probably seen this story:
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Friday apologized to the owner of a Washington pizzeria that became the subject of a conspiracy theory about human trafficking last year. 
Pizza shop Comet Ping Pong was thrust into the spotlight last year after a gunman allegedly fired a shot inside the restaurant. The suspect said he was investigating the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, were operating a child sex trafficking ring out of the restaurant. 
The theory, which became known as Pizzagate, had circulated among far-right conspiracy theory websites and social media accounts. 
“In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones, who runs Infowars, said in a video. James Alefantis is the owner of Comet Ping Pong. 
Jones said his website relied on reporters who are no longer employed by Infowars and that video reports about Pizzagate were removed from the website. He also invited Alefantis onto the show to discuss the incident.
It was preceded by this story:
FBI’S RUSSIA PROBE EXPANDS TO INCLUDE ‘PIZZAGATE’ THREATS 
According to McClatchy News, the FBI’s Russian-influence probe agents are exploring whether far-right news operations, including the pro-Donald Trump sites Breitbart News and Infowars, “took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives.”  Trump’s ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, a member of the Trump transition team, were among those who boosted the so-called “PizzaGate” pedophile conspiracy theory.
I doubt this will quell the fervor among the Pizzagaters on sites like 4chan and Voat. Given the suspicion many on the fringes regard Jones with it may in fact give the flagging movement a fresh jolt. Jones' apology may also have to do with the drive to purge YouTube of "extremist" content and the controversy over the use of advertising on videos corporate clients find objectionable. A World without Sin, as our Gordon might put it. 


Washington Post headline, pre-election.

So much for theories that the FBI was ready to make mass arrests of prominent Washington figures related to Pizzagate.  Has any "mass arrest" Internet story ever panned out?  

Maybe it has:
Donald Trump became president on Jan. 20. And in one short month, there were more than 1,500 arrests for sex crimes ranging from trafficking to pedophilia.  
Big deal? You bet. In all of 2014, there were fewer than 400 sex trafficking-related arrests, according to FBI crime statistics. Liz Crokin at TownHall.com has put together a great piece on the push by the Trump administration to crack down on sex crimes. And she notes that while "this should be one of the biggest stories in the national news... the mainstream media has barely, if at all, covered any of these mass pedophile arrests. This begs the question – why?
This may have nothing to do with Trump-- in fact, it's likely it doesn't-- since these kinds of actions are planned out months in advance. The arrests continue, in case you were wondering, with major busts going down on a near-weekly basis. Someone's cleaning house. 

For what it's worth, I always reckoned that Pizzagate was in fact cover/distraction for a more hidden struggle, one that would take place under the radar*. As I noted back in November:

No one is saying as much but this very much feels connected to a deeper, more covert war. 
Why would I say such a thing? Because at the same time the Pizzagate story went dark we've seen major strikes taken against international pedophilia, which actually is a global conspiracy, with its own networks, secret codes and moles within established centers of power such as schools, police departments and governments.  
With such combustible accusations-- and such potential for a scandal that could quickly spread out of control (ie., involve political figures you're not trying to destroy)-- you'd naturally expect the action to go dark and the fall guys to be placed pretty far down the foodchain. (Remember that a prior investigation bagged one of the most powerful people in Washington at one time, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert).†


"EVER WONDER WHAT IT'D BE LIKE TO DIE IN A PLANE CRASH?" 



It may be sheer coincidence, but James Alefantis' former partner suffered a major heart attack this week
Media Matters for America founder David Brock was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. 
According to a press release from MMA, the founder of the liberal media watchdog and analysis website was rushed to the hospital early Tuesday afternoon and received treatment.
Sure, it may be coincidence. But I couldn't help but remember this story, published soon after the election
Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You Are Killing Us 
Democrats know they need someone to lead them out of the wilderness. But, they say, that someone is not David Brock.

As David Brock attempts to position himself as a leader in rebuilding ademoralized Democratic Party in the age of Trump, many leading Democratic organizers and operatives are wishing the man would simply disappear.
 
"Disappear." Huh. 
Many in the party—Clinton loyalists, Obama veterans, and Bernie supporters alike—talk about the man not as a sought-after ally in the fight against Trumpism, but as a nuisance and a hanger-on, overseeing a colossal waste of cash. And former employees say that he has hurt the cause.
It's worth remembering that Breitbart.com Andrew Breitbart died of a heart attack at the age of 43. A year before he'd posted a cryptic tweet that some have since linked to the Pizzagate imbroglio.  Just before his death he hyped some revelation about Barack Obama's past. 

A coroner in the office handling Breitbart's body subsequently died of arsenic poisoning. The day Breitbart's autopsy results were revealed, in fact.

COME BACK ROY COHN, ALL IS FORGIVEN


We also saw James Comey revive Russiagate, which had been flatlining after Vault 7. Any illusions among Trump fans that the FBI was secretly on their side were ground into powder, between this revelation and the Pizzagate conspiracy investigations. 

One can't help but wonder if the New Praetorians (I've noticed that the Praetorian meme has been picked up by more prominent commentators, but you heard it here first) are losing their last shred of patience with Donald Trump's shenanigans and are planning imminent regime change: 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats. 
In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.
How surreal is the world in which you know live in? So much so that mainstream political site The Hill is comparing the action in Washington to a Stanley Kubrick film, one which has become notorious for the conspiracy theories that have been projected onto it (and is well familiar to Synchronauts):
On the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Shining, Stephen King must be wondering if Washington is working on its own sequel. For the last couple months, Washington has been on edge, like we are all trapped in Overlook Hotel with every day bringing a new “jump scare,” often preceded by a telltale tweet. Indeed, a Twitter whistle has replaced suspenseful music to put the entire city on the edge of their seats. 
In this Shining sequel, however, people are sharply divided on who is the deranged ax-wielding villain in this lodge, the president or the press. Ironically, with the recent disclosure that some of the Trump campaign may indeed have been subject to surveillance, the president is looking more like Danny Torrence, a character dismissed for constantly muttering “redrum, redrum” until someone finally looked in a mirror at the reverse image to see the true message.
Yeah, I'm not really feeling that metaphor there, but whatever. It's been that kind of year.

Now the Internet is burning up with theories that disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has "turned" and is going to testify against the Trump Administration, or at least figures attached to it. 


It's hard to imagine a three-star general can be stupid enough to be guilty of things Flynn's been accused of but that may speak to a culture of impunity in Washington, in which your misdeeds are only punished if you get on the wrong side of the wrong people.

LIKE A BAD CYBERPUNK NOVEL


One wonders if the secret war has spread outside Washington. Car service giant Uber seems to be having a major run of rotten luck lately: 
Uber Technologies Inc. is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises. 
In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, and added that the ride-hailing company is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes its investigation and pausing its Pittsburgh operations.

The incident also comes as Uber, and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, are currently under scrutiny because of a series of scandals. The ride-hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. This month, the New York Times reported that Uber used a tool called Greyball to help drivers evade government regulators and enforcement officials. Kalanick said he needed "leadership help" after Bloomberg published a video showing him arguing with an Uber driver.
So who did Kalanick piss off? 

Coincidentally- there's that word again- the crash comes soon after Wikileaks revealed that CIA hackers had the ability to override the computer systems in automobiles. From Mashable:

WikiLeaks has published a trove of files it says are linked to the CIA's hacking operations — which apparently includes efforts to hack into cars.  
The first in a series called "Vault 7," "Year Zero" supposedly comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.  
"Year Zero" details the CIA's malware arsenal and "zero day" exploits against Apple iPhones, Google's Android operating system, Microsoft Windows and even Samsung TVs.  
 According to a document from 2014, the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. 
Oh, that's reassuring. Speaking of control systems, apparently pimps are controlling prostitutes with RFID chips:
It turns out this 20-something woman was being pimped out by her boyfriend, forced to sell herself for sex and hand him the money. 
 “It was a small glass capsule with a little almost like a circuit board inside of it,” he said. “It's an RFID chip. It's used to tag cats and dogs. And someone had tagged her like an animal, like she was somebody's pet that they owned.” 
This is human trafficking. It’s a marginal issue here in the U.S. for most of us. Part of that is because the average person isn’t sure what human trafficking – or modern day slavery – actually means.
Technology is our friend, right? And now this: 
Turkish Hackers Threaten To Wipe Millions Of iPhones; Demand Ransom From Apple 
Today, courtesy of CIO, we learn that a group of hackers referring to themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family", has been in direct contact with Apple and is demanding a $150,000 ransom by April 7th or they will proceed to wipe as many as 600 million apple devices for which they allegedly have passwords. 
The group said via email that it has had a database of about 519 million iCloud credentials for some time, but did not attempt to sell it until now. The interest for such accounts on the black market has been low due to security measures Apple has put in place in recent years, it said.

Since announcing its plan to wipe devices associated with iCloud accounts, the group claimed that other hackers have stepped forward and shared additional account credentials with them, putting the current number it holds at over 627 million.

According to the hackers, over 220 million of these credentials have been verified to work and provide access to iCloud accounts that don't have security measures like two-factor authentication turned on.
 
Of course, if credible, with an ask of just $150k, this is the most modest group of hackers we've ever come across.
Given the war that's erupted between the increasingly aggressive Turkish government and the EU, money may clearly not be the object here. Turkish PM Erdogan is clearly set on reconstructing the old Ottoman Empire and shivving Apple might just be part of the march.

Besides, Turkey is taking that recent coup attempt-- which is almost universally blamed on the CIA-- very personally.


Speaking of the EU, we've seen stories that Trump advisor Steve Bannon wants to dissolve the union. Which may be why Trump-adversary John McCain announced his unalloyed support for it- and the "New World Order" (his words, not mine):
The world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, US senator John McCain said on Friday (24 March). 
In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate. 
Speaking at the Brussels Forum, a conference organised by the German Marshall Fund, a transatlantic think tank, he said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity". 
"I trust the EU," he said, defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". 
He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years. "We need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges," he said.
Would McCain speak this way to a domestic audience? Of course not. Or maybe he would- I can't tell which way is up anymore. But either way it's good to know where he really stands.

Like McCain, China continues to sound a similar note of support for globalization, on which its very economic survival so desperately depends:
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told a gathering of Asian leaders that the world must commit to multilateral free trade under the World Trade Organization and needs to reform global economic governance. 
“The river of globalization and free trade will always move forward with unstoppable momentum to the vast ocean of the global economy,” Zhang said. China will remain a strong force in the world economy and for peace and stability, he said, adding that countries must respect one another’s core interests and refrain from undermining regional stability. 
I suppose this is why China is off the target list for our new Cold (?) Warriors.

I've resisted posting on all this because it's all so depressing. I've actually written a few pieces on this chicanery that I ended up roundfiling. But I suppose I just wanted to go on the record about all this skullduggery, for posterity's sake.



UPDATE: Sex trafficking arrests and trials continue to proliferate. Most recent bust, an international ring in Minnesota. There is way too much activity going down in too short a time for this to be spontaneous.


* Which is exactly why I refrained from commenting on it here for the most part, instead noting that it had become a kind of memetic virus in much the same way that the Franklin/Boy's Town scandal had in the 90s. (Note that prior to the election-- and Pizzagate-- Trump nemesis the Washington Post was all over the issue of sex trafficking in the nation's capital). 

† The ongoing legal and police actions coinciding with the moves to shut down the Pizzagate fringes on the Web seem like the exact kind of action one would expect if there were a serious operation at work. Shutting down the Internet chatter makes perfect sense in this context because it can only complicate cases made by prosecutors. 
          Your baby is not your rock band   
So why do you think it's okay to give your baby a name designed to express your identity?

I'm not saying that parents are naming their kids "Sonic Grease Monkey" or anything. My point is that I get the feeling that a lot of baby naming is about the personal expression of the parents-to-be. Here they are, bringing this new autonomous human being into the world, and they mark it with vicarious intentions even before it's even born.

"I want(ed) to be totally unique, so I'll give my kid a totally unique name!"

The category that comes to most readily to mind are girl names drawn from the 19th century American Lit survey course: for girls, "Emerson," "Whitman," "Melville" and "Fenimore."

I was thinking if I had a baby girl, it would be kind of cool to name her "Pint o' Guinness Madison."

But you have to think ahead, to such situations as when she signs up for cable TV service by phone:
No, it's P-I-N-T space, small O, apostrophe. .... No, apostrophe, the punctuation mark. Like between the I and the M in "I'm".... no, that's just an example! ... actually, it's pronounced "pine-toe," not "pinto." No, the space is between the T and the O!!!
A related issue: naming your kid after a cognitive impairment (hat tip to Voxwoman for this one):

Alexia -- a neurologic disorder marked by loss of the ability to understand written or printed language, usually resulting from a brain lesion or a congenital defect.


          Healthcare Governance in Transition: From Hospital Boards to System Boards ... a National Survey of Chairs of Boards   
Single hospital boards have been the selected method of governance since the first hospitals were built in this country in the 1600s. However, in recent years, governance of the Canadian healthcare system has undergone a radical transformation. Single hospital boards have almost disappeared. Instead, hospitals have been clustered together by governments into multiple-hospital consortia, or into regions, often with other non-hospital healthcare organizations that had previously enjoyed autonomous governance (e.g., boards of public health). What are the results of these changes? What are the differences in the structures, operations, functions and the outcomes between healthcare boards with the responsibility for governance of a healthcare system, such as the regional health authorities, and those responsible for governance of a single hospital?
          Swift Navigation raises $34 million for autonomous vehicle GPS   

Swift Navigation, which provides global navigation satellite solutions (GNSS), announced today funding of $34 million, in a round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Existing investors Eclipse and First Round Capital also joined. The San Francisco-based startup provides two products, or “receivers” — the Piksi Multi and Duro. Both have access to several frequency bands. […]


          Administrative Assistant - ViaSat - Washington, DC   
Would you describe yourself as a “people person” who has the ability to work autonomously and with others in a fast paced, ever-changing environment? If you...
From ViaSat - Sat, 06 May 2017 06:01:32 GMT - View all Washington, DC jobs
           Blogs, Reflective Practice and Autonomous Learning in Graphic Design Communication    
Maloney, Peter (2007) Blogs, Reflective Practice and Autonomous Learning in Graphic Design Communication. In: ALT-C 2007: Beyond Control, learning technology for the social network generation, 4-6 September 2007, Nottingham UK.
          SPAIN’S CRIPPLING PERSONAL DEBT   
The European Commission has looked at the Spanish economy and suggested higher taxes and more activity to generate jobs but it totally overlooks the private debt built up by businesses and families during the euphoric years between 1996 and 2007.


The economic crisis amongst the banks has closed off the credit lines. Also the foreign investment in to the property market has ceased with the bursting of that market’s bulb.

Without internal demand Spain can only grow by exporting. However to export to Germany which is the leader of European growth this country would have to improve its competitiveness. As Spain cannot devalue its currency the pressure is on to reform structures with the cutting of workers’ rights and the real threat that there will be a regression in the standards of people’s lives.

In to this scene comes the 15-M democracy movement that insists that politics cannot be dictated by the markets. It is calling for “popular sovereignty” and “economic sovereignty” What does it serve to vote if the government is in the hands of the markets and banks, it asks?

According to Professor Emiliano Carluccio: “the debt in the private sector grew greater than in other developed countries” over this period. Now the crisis in Spain is not the public debt.

The level of debt of the central government, the autonomous regions and the town halls is more than 60 per cent of GDP, the wealth that Spain generates each year. Surprisingly this is less than the European average of 80 per cent or the rest of the major European countries.

However whilst the various arms of the State have accumulated debts of 639,767 million euros the debt level amongst Spanish families dwarfs that total. Private debt stands at 886,460 million euros, 38.6 per cent more than all the State debt. (Curiously as I posted this blog Reuters issued an article highlighting the growth in Spain’s public debt but saying nothing of the private total).

To be added to the family debts are those of businesses which come in at 1.2 billion euros more. This means that the debt in private hands is a massive 189 per cent of GDP.

Another problem faced by Spain is the size of its external debt. Japan (200 per cent), Italy (117) and Belgium (101) all have far greater levels of public debt than Spain. However that money is owed to the nation’s nationals whereas in Spain the majority of the debts are international.

In the case of Spain the exterior debt (the majority of it private) is equivalent to 170 per cent of GDP. In hard figures it means that Spain has to pay back to the rest of the world 1.87 billion euros. That is because during the good years Spain was importing two thirds of the financial resources demanded by its businesses and families.
          EAT AND WORK, EAT AND PLAY, EAT AND BE ENTERTAINED   
The international chains serving fast food appear to be bucking the trend in Spain’s catering sector brought about by the economic crisis. Whilst restaurant and bar owners along with their employees are suffering from the downturn the fast food businesses are seeing constant growth. Indeed turnover grew by five per cent last year to 2.600 million euros.


The big battle is between Burger King and McDonald’s who between them account for 97 per cent of the hamburger market. That battle is pretty evenly matched with not just the quantity of food taken in to account but also the number of outlets.

Andalucía is the second autonomous region after Madrid with the largest number of fast food outlets. Overall there are 177 of these restaurants but Burger King rules with 98 compared with McDonald’s 71.

The dominance of Burger King is also seen in Málaga province. Burger King has 35 outlets mostly located in the major commercial centres. In contrast McDonald’s has 20 spread amongst the holiday resort towns of the Costa del Sol.

It is not just the international names and the power of their advertising that has allowed these chains to prosper in hard economic times. Both sell known products at keen prices in comfortable and a familiar environment.

Indeed in 2010 McDonald’s invested 14 million euros in giving a facelift to its 88 stores introducing a new colour scheme and furnishings. Burger King has responded with a futuristic 20/20 design and divided its restaurants in to Whopper Bar and BK Dessert Bar zones.

Each chain is also working to win customers with added attractions. For example Burger King has now added children’s play areas to most of its restaurants. In contrast McDonald’s is offering free Wi-Fi to its customers. Eat and work, eat and play, eat and be entertained is the order of the day.

The overall figures for the fast food business in Spain make interesting reading. There are 3,940 such establishments which is a 2.2per cent increase on 2009 with the total market worth 2,610 million euros. Of that Burger King, McDonald’s and other hamburger chains account for 1,300 million euros, a rise of 4.8 per cent.

Down by slightly more (4.9 percent) are pizza sales at 540 million euros, bocadillerías account for 455 million euros (up 3.4) and others such as tacos and hot dogs bring in 315 million euros, a rise of 3.3per cent. Of the total 2,610 million euros turnover, 2,285 million (up 3.4 percent) is through counter sales whilst home delivery stands at 325 million, a drop of 5.2 per cent.
          About the shortage of varicella vaccine in pharmacies   

For this reason has issued the following statement to reproduce , for distribution , entirely :

" The scientific societies more closely linked to the use of vaccines express our surprise and concern at the shortage of chickenpox vaccine that is occurring in many Spanish pharmacies .

Registered in Spain are two vaccines for chickenpox . One of these vaccines ( Varilrix ® ) is restricted to hospital use , so in our view unjustified , especially after the recent change in its data sheet . The other vaccine ( Varivax ® ) was available until recently in the pharmacy .

For the moment , we have no official knowledge , ie , by the Ministry of Health or the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (Competent Authority ) of any circumstances that explain this shortage, as it could be a possible problem of production, distribution or security .

The shortage is occurring in most of the regions , but not all . The manufacturer of Varivax ® laboratory reports that have lots of vaccine available, but they are retained. We hope that the Ministry of Health and the Competent Authority as soon as possible to manifest and especially you can put an end to this anomalous and strange situation .

Vaccination against chickenpox in early childhood , ie , from 12 months old, has proven beneficial in numerous studies and countries with universal vaccination , as the United States , Canada, Australia , Uruguay , as well as European countries such as Germany , Greece , Latvia and some Italian regions . In other European countries , the vaccine is available in the pharmacy for prescription free .

In Spain , only two regions (Madrid and Navarra ) and two autonomous cities ( Ceuta and Melilla) vaccinated free of charge to children in the second year of life . The effectiveness data reported by the communities of Madrid and Navarre , where it is established universal vaccination since 2006 and 2007 respectively , are spectacular. In other communities vaccine from age 12, age at which 90 % of children have already had chickenpox naturally ( up to 15 % of cases with any complications ) or have been vaccinated CAV following the recommendations of the ASP. With this shortage in communities without vaccination funded , are deprived of the use of this product and its proven health benefits to those who decide to use following recommended by their doctors. "

Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics ( AEP ) , Spanish Association of Vaccinology ( AEV ) , Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine , Public Health and Hygiene ( SEMPSPH )

Meanwhile the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products ( Competent Authority) ensures that :

"... the vaccine supply is adequate to the needs arising from compliance with vaccination schedules on which there is agreement of the Inter-territorial Council of Health.

According to the information of this agency , this provision extends to the responsible authorities in the vaccination plans and pharmacies territorial units in which public health authorities have decided , on your calendar , vaccinate children in early childhood , thus fulfilling the provisions of the Inter-Territorial Council agreement . "

Finally say that the Competent Authority says that yesterday we released a lot of that vaccine.


          TGF-b1 and hardening of the arteries   

A study in which participated the National Research Council (CSIC) has identified a new target potentially involved in this process. The work has been published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The extracellular matrix, the organic component exists between the cells in multicellular organisms, determines the properties of hardness and elasticity of the tissues, an important aspect in the cardiovascular system. The lysyl oxidases are a family of enzymes responsible for establishing covalent bonds in collagen and elastin fibers, a key step in the maturation and stabilization of the extracellular matrix.

"The increased expression of these enzymes results in a more rigid matrix, less elastic, so that the lysyl oxidase largely determine the biomechanical properties of tissues," says researcher Fernando Rodriguez Pascual CISC, Center for Molecular Biology "Severo Ochoa", CSIC joint center and the Autonomous University of Madrid.

The synthesis and deposition of extracellular matrix components are governed by a set of hormones, and cellular factors, including transforming growth factor-B1 (TGF-b1) plays an important role, directly related to the development of cardiovascular diseases which cause loss of elasticity of blood vessels.

This study relates directly the action of TGF-b1 with a remarkable increase of the expression of a form of vascular lysyl oxidase isoform 4 (in English "lysyl oxidase-like 4" LOXL4). "Through this effect on LOXL4 expression could explain the ability of TGF-b1 to promote arterial stiffness and, therefore, its contribution to the development of these diseases," adds the researcher.

  • Oscar Busnadiego, José González-Santamaría, David Lagares, Juan Guinea-Viniegra, Cathy Pichol-Thievend, Laurent Muller, Fernando Rodríguez-Pascual. LOXL4 Is Induced by Transforming Growth Factor β1 through Smad and JunB/Fra2 and Contributes to Vascular Matrix Remodeling. Molecular and Cellular Biology. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.00036-13.

Fotografía By Rhcastilhos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


          Press GEPAC to the therapeutic equivalence   

As a non-profit organization that defends the interests of cancer patients, support the statements of the Medical College (OMC), the Federation of Medical Scientific Spanish (FACME), Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and other and broadcasting organizations that:

Cancer patients consider it essential that access to cancer drugs is the same for patients in all the Autonomous Communities. All that goes against equality, against the principle of equality set out in the Health Act.

As patients and active users of cancer treatments health authorities requested that in any case, are the professionals that serve those who decide what treatment is best for us. We are concerned that this decision rests with a health manager and not the doctors, because we understand that they are not trained to do so and in their economic decisions take precedence over scientific criteria.

Establish therapeutic equivalence would reduce the range of treatment options for the same indication regardless as patients who have specific and particular characteristics and can tolerate a molecule to another. Typically, and depending on each individual, is the professional who proposes the options available, directing the choice for the best possible quality of life, reduced toxicity and minimal side effects. The therapeutic equivalence could pose a limit for that choice, clearly impacting our quality of life.

Cancer patients are aware that the current economic crisis requires measures to ensure the sustainability of the National Health System in time. While we believe that such proposals involve not only effective saving solution medium - long term, but also generate social perception guarantees breaking the system.

We believe that innovation in oncology is perfectly compatible with the rationalization of health expenditure, and as patients are willing to share our experience, concerns, needs and concerns and establish an open dialogue to reach consensus saving measures.

Also, we want to transfer to the health authorities, both regional and national, our absolute rejection to approach that is raised by these proposals and measures that make us feel like a plague patients for State Budget. Here we report that:
We have chosen to have cancer, so we asked to stop economically and socially penalize us for it.

We pay our taxes, so we are entitled to receive medical care we need.
According to a study by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) that have not been made public but we know the data [1] through its President, Dr. Juan Jesús Cruz oncology represents 4.8% of health expenditure and pharmaceutical expenditure within, only 6.6% of the total corresponds to cancer drugs, so we demand you stop pointing to cancer patients as a cause of the collapse of health spending.

Just as we express our concern at the proposal to establish therapeutic equivalents, we reiterate our desire to be part of the decisions on this and other initiatives that directly affect us and in which to date has not received our opinion. Professionals are not only non-profit institutions, but as patients we are, we know first hand the reality of cancer patients.

Spanish Group of Patients with Cancer (GEPAC

 

Picture  By ernes ([1]) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons


          The immune system is based on a potential oncoprotein   

An investigation by the National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a protein that allow differentiation of CD8 + cytotoxic T lymphocyte memory: N-ras protein. The finding has been reflected in the latest issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CD8 + T lymphocytes specifically recognize cells that are infected by a virus. Once identified, these leukocytes destroy them. When CD8 + T cells first detected the viral antigens, initiate a process of differentiation become effector lymphocytes immediate action, or memory lymphocytes, reserve, which protect the body much better against a second infection .

CSIC research has found that the absence of the N-ras protein prevents the differentiation of T cells into memory cells. The researcher of the Center for Molecular Biology "Severo Ochoa" (CSIC joint center and the Autonomous University of Madrid) Margarita del Val, responsible for the work, considered this finding "fundamental in the field of vaccination as it is based on the development of immunological memory. "

N-ras is a molecule previously known for its contribution to cell survival, as it is involved in the transmission of external signals to the cell interior. Conversely, if there is mutated becomes an oncoprotein that contributes to the development of cancer. For the researcher in the heart Salvador Ibarra, who also worked on the study, it "surprising that the main function of this potential oncoprotein is mediated by the differentiation of T lymphocytes in memory lymphocytes".

CSIC researcher says: "The next step should aim to clarify the impact of immunological memory to prevent trivial infections become chronic and more fundamental level, how they differ studying the different types of memory against pathogens ".

The research has been co-directed by the researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid Edgar Fernandez-Malave, and has had the collaboration of researchers from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III of Madrid and the Cancer Research Center of Salamanca, CSIC.


Salvador Iborra, Manuel Ramos, David M. Arana, Silvia Lázaro, Francisco Aguilar, Eugenio Santos, Daniel López, Edgar Fernández-Malavé, and Margarita Del Val. N-ras couples antigen receptor signaling to Eomesodermin and to functional CD8+ T-cell memory but not to effector differentiation. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20112495

Photo by NIAID/NIH (NIAID Flickr's photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


          The challenges of aging   

The event has had three expert researchers in the field, among which are responsible for two of the Project Zero FGCSIC Aging grants: CSIC researcher at the Institute of Medical Chemistry Ana María Martínez Gil, Professor of Valladolid University Robert Homer, and the founder of the Institute of Government and Public Policy of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​Joan Subirats.

Their interventions have been conducted by the director of the Social Action Department of Obra Social "la Caixa", Josep Olle, who presented the institution whose act has helped fund the Aging Project Zero to a million euros. Olle said that "one of the greatest challenges facing our society is the growing aging population, which is a success in our society, and an opportunity to propose new strategies to help improve the welfare of the elderly and their participation and full integration into society. " To do this, Ollé believes that "it is important to promote scientific research that fosters autonomy, personal development, health and quality of life."

The five projects implemented promote science excellence, unique and remarkable. Two of these thematic studies addressing psychosocial and three delve into specific aspects of the technology field. Some include, for example, game development and the use of home automation with the objective of promoting quality and healthy aging.

Project Zero on Aging

Worthplay. Video for positive aging: This research project led by Jose Angel Blat of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra is to analyze the design, development and evaluation of a prototype online games for seniors. It aims to create quality games that contribute to active aging, and improve the physical and psychosocial. During 2012, the project has developed an ethnography of the games with about 170 seniors, with different levels of digital literacy, and followed a code of ethics established by the international consortium project.

Brain Computer Systems Application Interface (BCI) to cognitive training and automation control to prevent the effects of aging: Researcher Biomedical Engineering Group (GIB), University of Valladolid Roberto Hornero proposes the use of BCI systems (Brain Computer Interface ). This system translates the user's intentions in control commands, such as cognitive training tool that can help prevent the effects of aging. It also aims to develop an application that allows assisted BCI control home automation and electronic devices present in a home. They have begun to perform tasks aimed at developing cognitive training tool using a BCI system based on sensorimotor rhythms.

Pensions and education: combined effects on inter and intra redistribution: The aim of this project, led by researcher at the University of Barcelona Conception Patxot is to analyze resource movements that occur between the different age groups and determine the role of businessmen, politicians and institutions in the development of social policies that benefit the elderly and children. The analysis focuses on the pension system and education. The study of the evolution of asset resources directed from the elderly and children, reveals a change from the results observed in 2000, when there was the first analysis. In that year he gave a clear dominance of public over private transfers in the case of older dependents, while in the case of children the exact opposite happened. Currently it is contrasting the validity result and if it is due solely to the reduction in the number of students.

Active aging, citizenship and participation: an assessment of the aspirations, needs and strategies associated with the autonomy and empowerment of old and new generations of older people in Spain: Researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona Joan Subirats leading this initiative to strengthen the involvement of older people in the process of development and implementation of public policies to promote active aging. To do this, takes into account the heterogeneity and diversity of this group, since the incorporation of significant practical about it and the use of information and communication technologies. During 2012 the project has been implemented and have been covering the planned stages, otherwise normal in every process of research.

 

Biomaterials to modulate inflammation caused by macular degeneration associated with age (BIODMAE) CSIC researcher Institute of Ceramics and Glass Chinarro Eva Martin proposes to develop a new class of hybrid biomaterials able to counter some of the processes that contribute to aging eye tissue. Thanks to alleviate them succeed macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among older people for which, currently, there is no cure or way to prevent this type of degeneration.


Picture by Luis García [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


          In 2013 electronic prescriptions will be implemented in Spain   

The minister said that in early 2013 will be fully implemented from the circuit to dispensing the prescription electronically in Spain.

Ana Mato has recognized the contribution and the "ongoing commitment" of pharmacists with citizens, and stressed that every day serve two million people, which provide "an important health service."

The minister also launched another message of gratitude to the pharmacy professionals, as they have managed to place within the exercise of their health interests over any other. Mato says the Ministry has expressed its intention to seek a solution to the difficulties.

Thus, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance has put in place mechanisms, such as Plan and Provider Payment Autonomous Liquidity Fund.

Mato has also recognized the success of things like the licensing or the current model of pharmacy. The latter has said it is "a model unequivocally recognized by European jurisprudence," and what he described as "essential to ensure quality care."


Picture by Ana_Mato.jpg: PP Madridderivative work: Alelapenya (Ana_Mato.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


          TSO and DSO transit to digital   

At the InnoGrid2020+ conference,  European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič  highlighted that €3 billion of EU funding has been  made available for energy network infrastructure and research in the period 2014-2020, thanks to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and Horizon 2020 programmes. Discussions in opening panels pressed sensitive buttons calling for acceleration of  digital network operating. The CEF program seeks to connect all critical infrastructures as intermittent renewable energy is connected to electric and autonomous transport. Hydrogen was not part of the discussion on the first day as the Renault Nissan Alliance was invited as new kid "on the net". Digital Hydrogen Network operations has not yet been in the picture yet although the EHA in its monitoring of first stations still sees a variety in payment methods and the first offerings of HRS apps. (Photo: courtesy DG Energy)
          WienerDrone takes flight; John Deere opens San Francisco lab   
Oscar Mayer is rolling out the WienerDrone, the “first unmanned hot dog-carrying aircraft designed for remote location delivery.” Facebook, founded in 2004, took eight years to hit 1 billion; it hit this new milestone in five. The social network is now emphasizing private sharing in groups, which it said more than 1 billion people use. John Deere has opened a lab in San Francisco, with plans to hire eight to 12 people, Axios reports. Many tractors have actually been self-driving for years, with the autonomous vehicles freeing farmers to monitor seed and fertilizer application.
          Crunch time in N. Ireland power-sharing talks   
Crunch time in N. Ireland power-sharing talksIf the feuding main parties cannot agree to form a semi-autonomous government in Belfast by 4:00pm (1500 GMT) Thursday, then the province will be fully governed from London.
          Stage: Business Development Internship - Dutch Market in Berlijn   
<p><u></u>Ben je op zoek naar een stage bij een motiverende en uitdagende start-up in Berlijn? Lees dan snel verder!</p> <p><u><strong>Your tasks</strong></u></p> <ul> <li>Work closely with our founders and business leaders to drive the operational implementation of our business model</li> <li>Partner acquisition and relationship management as well as negotiation of complex remuneration structures</li> <li>Product interaction and engagement with IT and Business Intelligence teams to implement strategic changes</li> <li>Independently and autonomously conduct an array of diverse research and development tasks</li> <li>Help drive ambitious monthly growth through a combination of account management and sales</li> <li>Depending on your language skills you will start in our UK, France, Netherlands or Germany team</li> </ul> <p><u><strong>What we offer</strong></u></p> <ul> <li>An impactful and challenging opportunity with lots of responsibility – a steep learning curve is guaranteed!</li> <li>Exposure to product development, business management and strategy</li> <li>A paid internship with the opportunity to progress to a full-time position</li> <li>An international, fast-paced and entrepreneurial working environment - no two days will be the same</li> <li>Regular coaching and feedback sessions to help you learn and progress</li> <li>New office in Central Kreuzberg with healthy food and drinks and lots of team parties</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p> </p> ...
          Beyerdynamic 725099 MPR 211 B Revoluto desktop mic   
Beyerdynamic 725099 MPR 211 B Revoluto desktop mic

Beyerdynamic 725099 MPR 211 B Revoluto desktop mic

Beyerdynamic 725099 MPR 211 B (MPR211B, MPR-211-B, MPR211/B, mpr 211 b) Revoluto desktop mic, condenser mic array, corridor, Bare-ended cable  Horizontal Array-Microphone with Revoluto Technology, black, microphone button The MPR 211 is a desktop microphone with many different functions. Depending on the application, the operating mode ON/OFF, Push-To-Talk (PTT) or Push-To-Mute (PTM) can be selected at the bottom of the microphone unit. The different functions are controlled by a micro-controller.  The Revoluto technology with integrated microphone capsules provides a so-called corridor characteristic which ensures a wide range of good voice quality. Within this range the speaker can move freely, i.e. can stand up or sit down, move his/her head and move towards or away from the microphone.  The MPR 211 is turned on/off with a silent microphone button. The illuminated LED on the microphone button and the LED on the left hand side indicate that the microphone is ready to speak into. The MPR 211 is ideal as desktop microphone for discussions, tele/video conferencing and announcements.  The MPR 211 can also be operated with an external control contact. As a choice the built-in microphone button is switched on or off. An external device (e.g. mixing amplifier for announcements) can be triggered via the control output when operating the microphone button (e.g. mixing amplifier for announcements). These basic functions are possible: Autonomous, Remote and External Logic.  • “Intelligent”, microprocessor-controlled microphone unit  • ON/OFF, Push-To-Talk and Push-To-Mute functions  • Revoluto Technology  • Corridor characteristic  • State-of-the-art metal casing  • LEDs  • Silent microphone button  • Linear frequency response with high bandwidth  • Operating modes: Autonomous, Remote, Ext. Logic    • Bare-ended connecting cable    


          Limited Lanes Of Success   

Today on the 5: A recent fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S brought into sharper focus what I think will limit the success of autonomous vehicles.


          As Ubiquitous as LEDs?   
There’s little doubt that when it comes to autonomous vehicles, the question isn’t if … but when. The high-profile legal battle between this generation’s version of the... - Source: www.photonics.com
          Russian Underwater Encounters With Underwater Humanoids   

Publicado   por  LUJÁN ARCHIVOS OVNI A very important official, Major-General V. Demyanko, commander of the Military Diver Service of the Engineer Forces of the Ministry of Defense, USSR. He arrived to inform the local officers of an extraordinary event the had occurred during similar training exercises in the Trans-Baikal and West Siberian military regions. There, during their military training dives, the frogmen had encountered mysterious underwater swimmers, very human-like, but huge in size (almost three meters in height!) The swimmers were clad in tight-fitting silvery suits, despite icy-cold water temperatures. At the depth of fifty meters, these “swimmers” had neither scuba diving equipment (“aqualungs”), nor any other equipment, only sphere-like helmets concealing their heads. Well, the local military commander (quite alarmed by such encounters) decided to capture one of the creatures. With that purpose in mind, a special group of seven divers, under the command of an officer, had been dispatched. As the frogman tried to cover the creature with a net, the entire group was thrown out of the deep waters to the surface by some powerful force. Now, because autonomous equipment of the frogmen does not allow surfacing from such depths without strict adherence to the process of decompression stops, all of the members of the ill-gated expedition were stricken by aeroembolism, of the Caisson disease. The only remedial treatment available consisted of an immediate confinement under decompression conditions in a pressure chamber. They had several such pressure chambers in the military region, but only one in working condition. It could contain no more than two persons. Hence, local CO had forced four frogmen into the chamber. As a result, three of them (including the leader of the group) perished, and the rest became invalids – terrible consequences caused by the usual Soviet military bungling. The major-general rushed to the Issik Kul to warn the local military against similar “devil-may-care” actions. Although the Issik Kul Lake is more shallow than the Baikal Lake, the depth of the former was sufficient to contain similar mysterious creatures.Did the major-general know something that Officer Shteynberg did not? A short time later, the staff headquarters of the Turkmenistan military region had received an order from the Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces. The order consisted of detailed analysis of the Baikal Lake events and reprimands. It was supplemented by an information bulletin from the headquarters of the Engineer Forces of the Ministry of Defense, USSR. the bulletin listed numerous deepwater lakes where there had been registered sightings of anomalous phenomena: appearances of underwater creatures analogous to the Baikal type, descent and surfacing of giant discs and spheres, powerful luminescence emanating from the deep, etc. Such documents, without exception, were highly classified and “for the eyes” of a very limited circle of military officers. The purpose [of] such documents was “to prevent unnecessary encounters….”

The post Russian Underwater Encounters With Underwater Humanoids appeared first on The Black Vault Case Files.


          "The car industry is slowly but surely engineering me out of the process of driving"   
Richard Meaden
28 Jun 2017

It stands to reason that a magazine dedicated to The Thrill of Driving should find the growing industry (and media) obsession with the autonomous car profoundly unsettling. Rarely a day goes by without a press release or statement from a major manufacturer proudly proclaiming greater and greater commitment to a self-driving future. If news from the US is anything to go by, that’s only set to ramp up further now that the artificial intelligence system piloting Google’s  self-driving car could be considered as the driver under federal law. 

Law, not tech, has always been the single biggest barrier to autonomous vehicles gaining approval for use on public roads, but it seems that even that hurdle has been at least partially removed. Confirming as much in a recent letter to Google, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it agreed with Google that its self-driving car will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers for the last hundred years or more.

There are still many legal questions to be answered and precedents to be set before cars can become truly autonomous. Knowing the legal profession’s propensity to drag things out for as long as possible, this gives me some hope that humans won’t be entirely legislated off the roads any time soon – but still there’s a horrible feeling of inevitability about the rise of the machines. Or, rather, the rise of Google. 

I love cars and I love driving, but of course there are times when I wish I could get in, fall asleep and wake up at my destination. Jet-lagged returns to Heathrow spring to mind. Or soul-destroying commutes. But having the occasional rotten journey is a price worth paying for the freedom to drive where I wish, when I wish, as fast or as slowly as I wish.  

The question that keeps churning in my head is who asked for autonomous cars? Did you? Nope, me neither. Yet such is the extraordinary amount of energy, investment and fevered conversation in the industry and media, you’d think we’d all been lobbying for them for years. Of course, the challenges of making the technology work are intoxicating catnip to scientists, programmers and engineers, whether they work for Google, Apple or Audi. For them it’s an Earthbound space race, the final frontier. 

> Roborace: an autonomous racing series

There’s been a drip-drip-drip of autonomous technology for years, but it’s only now that the apparently innocent introduction of parking assist, self-parking, radar cruise control and lane departure and blind-spot monitoring can be seen for what they are: a suite of ‘semi-autonomous’ driver aids to soften us up for fully autonomous vehicles. Being old-school, I despise things like lane assist, but, being contrary, I quite like blind-spot monitoring. Do I rely solely on a little yellow warning light to tell me I’m about to change lanes into a hidden car? No, I still turn my head and use my eyes. Just as I look as far down the road as possible to see how the traffic is flowing and adjust my speed accordingly without panic braking. It’s called being in control. 

The problem with driving is, it’s a skill. And, like any skill, you need to practice it, not just to improve, but simply to maintain a certain level. That’s what you and I love about driving, but most couldn’t care less. As the process of driving is dumbed down, so, inevitably, are most drivers, for the less we have to think about, the less we seem to think. That would certainly explain why driving standards are slipping further as mainstream cars are fitted with more and more semi-autonomous technology. 

It all leaves me feeling a bit confused. Betrayed, actually, for it’s the car industry – creator of the machines I love with a passion – that is slowly but surely engineering me out of the process. Road fatalities are frequently touted as grounds for taking drivers out of the loop. It’s hard to argue with the human cost of the estimated 1.2 million who died in road  accidents globally in 2010. But it’s developing countries with poor infrastructure, non-existent driver training, ageing cars and less advanced emergency health care that account for the majority of these deaths. 

Look a little closer to Silicon Valley and you learn that last year guns killed more Americans under 25 than cars. In England, donuts are the danger, obesity accounting for 6 per cent of deaths compared with 1 per cent for road accidents. And this from data gathered in 1998, since when cars have become safer and people fatter. Cars have become the target because it’s easier than tackling the tougher social – and therefore political – issues.   

No-one really knows quite what the autonomous future holds, but we do know Google has a habit of getting its way. Just look at its HMRC tax returns. I’m the first to concede driving isn’t always a pleasure, but it’ll be a cold day in Hell before I’m convinced by a future where autonomous cars turn us all into passengers.


          Big social changes in Tibet (Cheryl LY)   
I have taught students from Tibet in my university in Nepal, but I never had the opportunity to visit and see Tibet and meet our neighbours. The chance came in September 1995 when I attended the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region.
          U.S. States Would Be Barred From Setting Individual Self-Driving Car Standards Under New Proposed Plan   
An autonomous Bolt EV tests in San Francisco.
The early U.S. House Republican proposal would be a victory for traditional automakers like GM, too.
          Watch An Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV Be Built: Video   
Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs At Orion Plant 004
GM built its first batch of self-driving Bolt EVs a few weeks ago.
          В Китае создали поезд, который вместо рельс использует дорожную разметку   

Добавлено в zabaka

Китай поражает мир проектом нового вида общественного транспорта, который совмещает в себе характеристики автобуса, трамвая и поезда. Новый беспилотный поезд будет ездить по обычной дороге, работать на электричестве, а вместо рельс использовать пунктирную белую линию, которая станет частью дорожной разметки. Сокращенно эти поезда называют “ART”, что является аббревиатурой от “Autonomous Rail Rapid” — Автономный Скоростной […]
          The Ability To Operate Autonomously Within The Bounds Of The Laws Of The Country   


This week is a kind of half and half show, where we have a topic that we feel is important to discuss but likely not meaty enough to dominate the show. Rather than tank the idea, we're going have run our ramble a little longer than usual and then spend the remaining time on the mini-topic. Don't forget, this is the last week to get your wallpaper submissions in!

Opening Music: "Fire In The Sky" by Dave London
Closing Music: "ET" by Peplab


          Future tools   
Future tools

Our challenge is to rewire neighbourhoods to take care of teenagers tending to the specific needs of their age, addressing the formation of social emotions, vocation and self knowledge.

Europe's population decline must be addressed not only regarding maternity and natural population decrease, but also promoting the dynamic and innovative qualities the younger generations always contribute to society. Making young people relevant, inviting them to our social life, giving them a frame to belong in a European future is the necessary counterbalance for our aging and shrinking population.

The rate of cultural change linked to technology has been constantly increasing and initiatives to educate our people must overcome institutional slowing down, if our societies are to participate significantly in the future.

Education, learning & the value of teenagers

Traditional educational systems are failing to take social changes into account. The inertia of national states behind educational institutions is failing to answer to the reality of communities that are experiencing social change at a faster than ever rate. The future we imagine cannot be reached following old pathways.

Teenagers are left out of social life, with no appropriate spaces or other activities expected from them, apart from attending compulsory school until an age that keeps rising as the human life cycle prospers. In a phase of life characterized by passion and vocation, loads of energy and bluntness, teenagers in Europe find themselves institutionalized and irrelevant.

«Future Tools» project is an acknowledgment of the value teenagers have for society: they hold our future in their hands. «Future Tools» is a space designed with caring attention to fit the needs of our young generation, aiming to connect them to a new world of opportunities by inviting them to work, to collaborate, to participate and to have a voice in their own community. We can now apply our knowledge about adolescence to provide a comprehensive environment in which teenagers can develop healthy social emotions, autonomous and egalitarian participation.

Provide an alternative to corporate uses of technology through the culture of the commons; spread collaborative habits in neighborhoods; build activities rooted in intrinsic motivation that bloom in communal benefit are some of the ways «Future Tools» will engage people in fostering a society with greater equality, solidarity and sustainability.

«Future Tools» is a common learning lab for teenagers. By offering youngster a place to gather and pursue their interests while promoting their autonomy, we aim to empower them to work for a better future. Sharing resources and interests in an alternative learning space, the culture of collaboration and the democratizing possibilities of technology, this place will have its roots in the neighborhood’s daily activities and funnel the parents’ interest in social promotion for their kids towards a more inclusive society.

The abundance of open resources that can be freely accessed through personal learning environments to learn digital skills —such as computational thinking, governance software, UX design, in fact any skills that we may need to implement our projects in the world— is an opportunity, never known before to such a widespread extent, to empower our youngsters to build a better future.

Neighboring environment

The neighborhood as a community comes to relevance in the task of «helping grow adults». The age group that most closely matches the Secondary Education stage in our culture has in the neighborhood its spatial range of freedom, just one step away from the wide world they will live in as adults. Connecting these neighboring communities to the global emergence of the digital culture as makers and participants through their own teenagers is a pertinent, strengthening link between local and broader communities.

It is urgent for these generations of parents and offspring to leap forward over institutional stagnancy and give ourselves the shared resources we can provide for our own borough, in every neighborhood, nurturing our tribe-prone teens from the gang to the team, by building around them the common ground for community.

It is sometimes sad hear stating that what is being promoted for innovation in the field of education —on the basis of empathic personal exchange, attention to the tempo, sensibility for intrinsic motivations, in short: the wisdom of caring for each other— are outdated methodologies. Digital tools offers a new breeze to these methodologies, an opportunity to enhance the soft aspects of learning and allow us to cast aside production-line techniques when it comes to our kids: lecturing, memorizing, exams, ringing bell schedules, curriculums and subjects. We can now afford those luxuries our industrialized schools didn't plan for and, dragged by institutional inertia, won't anytime soon.

The Challenge: 

The Question: 

How to create places for the youngsters to meet and learn?

The Problem: 

Teenagers are institutionalized in an out of date educational system that gives them no practical chance to participate in society.

The Solution: 

Establish neighboring spaces where teenagers can socialize while engaging in autonomous/assisted learning activities.

Channels: 


          Who will disrupt Google and Facebook?   
Driving home from a breakfast meeting this morning, I got to wondering who is going to disrupt Google — and how soon.

Those of us who teach strategy know how all about examples of new entrants commoditizing and destroying the revenue models and profit sanctuaries of long-stable, long-established businesses. (The term “disruptive innovation” seems most convenient here, despite the recent controversy over the original evidence of same). Here are a few examples.
  • Craigslist and various Internet portals (such as Google and Yahoo) destroyed newspapers — aided by the latter’s poor business models, some unfortunately inaccurate assumptions about the supply (and thus price) of Internet advertising and key tactical errors along the way.
  • Two entrepreneurs created GrandCentral, a (temporarily) free telephone answering and forwarding service, and in 2007 sold it to Google (where it is now Google Voice). It now has voicemail transcripts and other improvements but is still free. Thousands of small companies and nonprofits (including my own) use it in lieu of an answering service.
  • I learned how to use Google Forms from my friend Mako Hill (and his need to run the OUI conference with limited cash and volunteer resources). Now I use it for most things that other people use SurveyMonkey for.
So the question I mulled over was, who will disrupt Google? Facebook would like to take business away from Google, but it’s not through cost reduction or elimination of revenues. Rather, Facebook imagines that its socially embedded ads will be more valuable than Google’s search context-specific ads.

Instead, I find Facebook ads creepy and sometimes invasive of my privacy, particularly when Amazon ads show up for a book that I looked at (but ruled out buying) five minutes earlier. (Apparent Amazon is not alone). I am appalled at what would happen if I had looked at a socially undesirable product on Amazon (sex toys, a book on bombing government buildings) — even though I know that anonymous browsing without cookies would allow me to ask a question (if not make a purchase) without leaving digital breadcrumbs.

Then when I got home, I saw this wonderful article by Andrew Orlowski of The Register (who I mainly know from his insightful analysis of mobile phone platform wars). One passage (emphasis mine) touched on the same theme:
'Dear Daddy...' Max Zuckerberg’s Letter back to her Father
What do you mean, I can't get off Facebook?

2 Dec 2015 at 13:02, As told to Andrew Orlowski

Comment Yesterday Mark Zuckberg accompanied the birth of his first child, a daughter Max, with a long open letter.

Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, we've found what Max might write back, and we're sharing it with you:

Dear Daddy

Thank you for the letter that your PR and public policy team wrote to mark my Birth, and sent to every news outlet in the World. Most Daddies wouldn’t do this. Heck, most Daddies don’t even have PR and public policy team, and those that do wouldn’t use to leverage a private family event!

That’s why you Daddy, are so special.

You write: "We want you to grow up in a world better than ours today."

Well, duh!

If I discovered that my well-educated billionaire parents wanted me to grow up in a world that’s worse than ours today, I’d already have crawled my way to a phone booth and dialled 911 to alert the authorities.

That goes for "a world without suffering from disease” too. Wow. Where do you get this stuff, Daddy? I heard more original ideas when I was a single cell blastula!

You also write:

"Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today."

I’d like to think so too, Daddy, but there’s this thing that’s bothering me.

It's called Facebook.

And not just Facebook, it’s the way Silicon Valley companies like yours pile up huge wealth by destroying value in every other part of the economy, as if technological progress were a zero sum game. It’s the way you strip-mine individuals so they have no ability to be autonomous economic agents, owning and trading the stuff we make, so all we have to live on is some feudal digital plantation - and we have to be grateful for it. It's the way some Valley firms place themselves above the law and try to block the work of elected officials who want to defend human rights.

Not you of course, Daddy. Just some of your friends.

I mean, come on. There's a lot to teach children in this modern world I've just been born into. But one thing we've got to learn is that just because you can do something, it's not necessarily morally acceptable to do it. Who's going to teach me that in Silicon Valley?

And Daddy. Connecting people all over the world through an internet website is very cool idea indeed. But it's not that cool or original. It’s as if the guy who invented the bottle-opener wrote a plan to become Emperor of the World. Like, "Remind me who you are again?"

I think that’s pretty weird already. And I’m only one day old!

Well if there’s any of the economy left by the time I graduate, perhaps my generation will be a bit less selfish than yours, Daddy, and we can teach you about it.

Well, I’m kinda tired writing all that. It’s time for nap. Just remember when you’re burping me, do it over your shoulder, that way I won’t puke all down your front.

Your loving baby daughter,

Max
In the Google (and now Facebook) case, I thought about Microsoft. They were a one trick pony that was handed a monopoly in operating systems (and used that to build another one in business productivity apps) that they exploited to the maximum degree possible. But a) they lacked the ability to create new compelling products and business models and b) everybody distrusted them and thus were wary of providing them new monopolies, no matter how good their technology.

So at some point, the shoe will be on the other foot: what happens when Google and Facebook have their profit sanctuaries destroyed? Google — now Alphabet — appears headed towards becoming a diversified technology conglomerate. It has worked (so far) for Hitachi and Samsung, but not for HP or Sony. Thus far, it appears that Apple and IBM have been the masters of re-invention: will the new kings of Silicon Valley be able to replicate such feats?
          RH17-18 Open pit Mine trainer - Canadian Royalties inc - Nunavik, QC   
Dynamic, autonomous, positive attitude; Reporting to the Recruitment and training Chief, the trainer assumes, among other things, the following....
From Canadian Royalties inc - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:38:53 GMT - View all Nunavik, QC jobs
          Family Solicitor   
Family Solicitor Preston £35,000- £40,000 Are you an experienced Family Solicitor looking to work for a well established high street firm? If so we would love to hear from you. The role will initially see you work on a growing caseload of private paying family matters as well as having the opportunity to develop new business whilst working closely with a senior partner. The work is varied and will consist of divorce, ancillary relief, pre-nuptial agreements, domestic violence, injunctions, private children work and financial remedy. Your client base will be built up of local and regional clients who will often come into the office for face to face meetings, so prior experience of dealing with clients in this manner would be ideal. As this is an autonomous role you will be dealing with all aspects of the file from start to completion and you must be an experienced advocate, as advocacy is a key element of the role. Family Panel membership would be a distinct advantage but is not essential. This position would suit an ambitious solicitor who is willing to work hard and help grow a department as well as demonstrating the ability to deal with a broad mix of private work. To apply for this role, please contact Lauren Connors at Clayton Legal. Clayton Legal recruits for law firms and In House departments across the UK. Based in the North West, our pedigree and service levels give those looking to move in the legal market, and law firms looking to recruit a refreshingly different recruitment experience. You will work with experienced professionals, dedicated to your success. Take a look at our web site www.clayton-legal.co.uk for our latest blogs and legal news and to keep up to date with current vacancies.
          Self-Driving Cars Raise Questions About Who Carries Insurance   
An accident last month in Tempe, Ariz., involving a self-driving Uber car highlighted some novel new issues regarding fault and liability that experts say will come up more often as autonomous vehicles hit the road. And that will have an increasing impact on an insurance industry that so far has no road map for how to deal with the new technologies. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns the insurance giant Geico, told CNBC in a February interview: "If the day comes when a significant portion of the cars on the road are autonomous, it will hurt Geico's business very significantly." That would seem to make sense. If humans aren't driving the cars, who needs a car insurance policy? "It's certainly a topic of heavy conversation right now," says Rick Gorvett, staff actuary for the Casualty Actuarial Society, a trade group for people who analyze risk for insurance firms. Right now, insurance rates are calculated mostly based on attributes of drivers —
          Lead Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Motion Planning - Delphi - Pittsburgh, PA   
Delphi – every day we pioneer, we elevate, and we integrate game-changing technologies that make the world's vehicles safer, greener, and more connected....
From Delphi - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:24:30 GMT - View all Pittsburgh, PA jobs
          Lead Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Motion Planning - Delphi - Pittsburgh, PA   
Familiar with Linux development environment and utilizing Linux libraries. At Delphi, we are dreamers who do....
From Delphi - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:24:30 GMT - View all Pittsburgh, PA jobs
          This robot-made pizza in Silicon Valley should terrify Domino's and Pizza Hut   

zume pizza robot 0330

Robots could kill off huge swaths of jobs in the future — but at least they come bearing pizza.

Founded in 2015, Zume Pizza uses robotics and artificial intelligence to make pizza more quickly. The startup has expanded its delivery area across Silicon Valley since its retail launch last fall and added new team members including a former UberEats executive and a robot that can press a mound of dough into the perfect pizza crust five times faster than a human.

An increasing number of pizza eaters are ditching legacy brands like Domino's and Pizza Hut for newer fast-casual and delivery chainsBusiness Insider took a tour of Zume's headquarters in Mountain View, California, to see if the pizza is as good as its tech.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco is getting tiny self-driving robots that could put delivery people out of a job

This is no ordinary pizza. It was made by robots.



The concept of a robot-powered pizza delivery service came from friends and cofounders Julia Collins and Alex Garden, who wanted to make high-quality pizza more affordable.



Collins graduated from Stanford Business School, worked as an analyst under Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, and helped launch New York City fast-casual chain Mexicue. She knew pumping pies full of chemical adulterants wasn't the answer — tech was.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

          Groupe PSA fa provare al pubblico la guida autonoma   

In occasione degli Innovation Days del 22 e 23 giugno, Groupe PSA ha ospitato più di 200 persone (giornalisti, blogger, investitori istituzionali, grande pubblico) nel sito di Vélizy nella regione parigina per svelare il suo programma AVA « Autonomous Vehicle for All » per la realizzazione del veicolo a guida autonoma e delle soluzioni tecnologiche […]

L'articolo Groupe PSA fa provare al pubblico la guida autonoma sembra essere il primo su MotoriNoLimits | Auto, F1, motori, turismo, stili di vita.


             

I don't want to overstate things, but what has happened at the little "piano bar" gig at JR's Pub has been truly remarkable, at least from where I sit. Looking out from the piano bench, I see friends, old and new; some socializing, some intently listening, some looking at phones or computer screens or books, but all connected to the music, or the larger picture, in some way. It's like the entire room, full of autonomous people, each doing their own thing, becomes one. On the side of socializing, one friend wrote this to me:
"It was like a little cocktail party -- everyone had a good time and your piano work really set the stage for that, as always."
 Another friend, from another angle, wrote this:
"Your music is a bridge to a person and his own solitude. And I thank you for it."
And another friend was so kind as to say this:
"Joe is a gifted musician who blesses us all when we take the time to stop and hear him".
But perhaps what spoke to me the loudest is when she also said:
"Thank you Joe, for always bringing peace in the midst of chaos."
This resonates to me not as a description of my external environment, but of that within. Am feeling bold enough to assert that (at least from the piano) "peace within the midst of (my own) chaos" is what I have been led to find, or experience, even if just being brought to the outer rim. It has been a process; not unlike an unveiling. And as the layers are drawn back, or the light illumines a broader area, I find the paradox of peace and chaos, perhaps in an untangling, so that I can be removed from one (even as I may continue to observe it) as I move more into alignment with the other. Perhaps I can truly begin to be a presence of peace in the midst of chaos (around me), as I truly begin to cultivate that within myself. Or perhaps I have always been that (at least potentially), even if I've seldom realized it. It's nice (a true blessing) to feel as if I may actually be getting it.

           Optimization-Based Control Methodologies with Applications to Autonomous Vehicle    
Gholitabar Omrani, Behnam (2010) Optimization-Based Control Methodologies with Applications to Autonomous Vehicle. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
          Robots killing people   

In a recent article in GOOD magazine, Chris Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "cheek-sent-me-hi") noted:

Among the many changes in U.S. policy after 9/11 was one that went unnoticed by everyone except a few geeks: The military quietly reversed its longstanding position on the role of robots in battlefields, and now embraces the idea of autonomous killing machines. There was no outcry from the academics who study robotics—indeed, with few exceptions they lined up to help, developing new technologies for intelligent navigation, locomotion, and coordination. At my own institute, an enormous space is being out-fitted to coordinate robotic flying, swimming, and marching units in preparation for some future Normandy.

read more


          Your Next Rental Might Drive Itself, Courtesy of Waymo   
Avis now manages Waymo's fleet of autonomous Chrysler minivans in Phoenix, a promising development for the spread of self-driving technology.

          Devices: Ubuntu Core, Yocto, Microsoft, and Tizen   
  • Ubuntu Core opens IoT possibilities for Raspberry Pi (CM3)

    Ubuntu Core running on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which is a micro-version of the Raspberry Pi 3 that slots into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector, means developers have a route to the production and can upgrade functionality through the addition of snaps- the universal Linux application packaging format.

    Device manufacturers can also develop their own app stores, all while benefiting from the additional security of Ubuntu Core.

  • Rugged marine computer runs Linux on Skylake-U

    Avalue’s “EMS-SKLU-Marine” is an IEC EN60945 certified computer with 6th Gen Core CPUs, -20 to 60°C support, plus 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, M2, and mini-PCIe.

    The EMS-SKLU-Marine is designed for maritime applications such as control room or engine room, integrated bridge systems, propulsion control or safety systems, and boat entertainment systems. Avalue touts the 240 x 151 x 75mm box computer for being smaller than typical boat computers while complying with IEC EN60945 ruggedization standards.

  • Module runs Yocto Linux on 16-core 2GHz Atom C3000 SoC

    DFI’s rugged, Linux-ready “DV970” COM Express Basic Type 7 module debuts the server-class, 16-core Atom C3000, and supports 4x 10GbE-KR and 16x PCIe 3.0.

    DFI promotes the DV970 as the first COM Express Basic Type 7 module based on the Intel Atom C3000 “Denverton” SoC, but it’s the first product of any kind that we’ve seen that uses the SoC. Intel quietly announced the server class, 16-core Atom C3000 in late February, with a target of low-end storage servers, NAS appliances, and autonomous vehicles, but it has yet to publicly document the SoC. The C3000 follows other server-oriented Atom spin-offs such as the flawed, up to 8-core Atom C2000 “Rangeley” and earlier Atom D400 and D500 SoCs.

  • Why Microsoft's Snapdragon Windows 10 Cellular PC Is Walking Dead

    Intel's veiled threat to file patent infringement suit against any company emulating x86 Win32 software on ARM-based computers has probably slayed Microsoft's Cellular PC dream.

  •  

  • New BMW X3 brings latest digital and driver assistance tech, connects to your Gear S2 / S3

          Swift Navigation Raises $34M in Series B Funding   
Swift Navigation, a San Francisco, CA-based tech company building centimeter-accurate GPS technology to power autonomous vehicles, raised $34m in Series B financing. The round was led by Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from existing investors Eclipse and First Round Capital. The company, which has raised a total of […]
          Waymo Enlists Avis to Maintain Self-Driving Cars   

Waymo’s autonomous vehicles can drive themselves, but they can’t change their own oil or rotate their own tires. To keep its driverless fleet in tip-top shape, Waymo has partnered with the rental car fleet specialists at Avis Budget Group. Avis will perform typical services, from fillups and charge-ups to oil changes and brake installations, on […]

The post Waymo Enlists Avis to Maintain Self-Driving Cars appeared first on Motor Trend.


          Wall-E Silicone Molds   
Jeff Whitehouse is a project person. His current project is building what will end up being a full sized, fully autonomous or remote controlled Wall-E. When faced with the next logical question “WTF” he responds “I build things. It’s my
          RH17-18 Open pit Mine trainer - Canadian Royalties inc - Nunavik, QC   
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. In all interventions, the trainer focuses on occupational. Dynamic, autonomous, positive attitude;...
From Canadian Royalties inc - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:38:53 GMT - View all Nunavik, QC jobs
          robotik   
primer v2 bikebot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXX1GQLukkI

http://www.kuechenstud.io/kuechenradio/episoden/kr364-roboter-in-der-schule/

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11lluRAknvw]

robococo

kukarobot besiegt Boll https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6HrPPoLdjNynZCvUrJbmBw

Robot Sanitorium in 2L http://slurl.com/secondlife/Whimsy%20Kaboom/213/200/3490

James, Joint Action for Multimodal Embodied Social Systems, von Fortiss

TUM Phoenix Robotics - studentische Gruppierung an der Fakultät für Maschinenwesen der TU München

robotlab

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Science%20School/111/218/4003

http://slurl.com/secondlife/IEEE%202/77/82/27



sims2

angefangen beim automaton

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klzSN2giygY]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddQjDei2zbY]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19RJEnNUg1I]

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sUeGC-8dyk]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9kQKA8PUFo]

drohnenballett

les robots bei panoplie

Christian Rothmann /Roboter-Portraits: Fotografien und Objekte http://www.galerie-jordanow.de/ausstellung-rothmann.html

robotic dance competition 1983

bottin style concepts : the robot within : robot style dance

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aNdv0-gsHU ] c64 impossible mission

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFVlzUAZkHY&hl=de_DE&feature=player_embedded&version=3]

pädagogisch nicht sinnvolles, sinnlos zerstörerisches geballer in paradroid obwohl ich ca.um 1985 rum einmal sogar direkt den 999er mit dem 001er übernommen habe, ohne schäden anzurichten

gregorianische choräle 1984 gesungen von einem roboter auf dem commodore 64

creepy singing android heads

http://aitopics.org/videos

pandorabots

robotstxt

aidreams

Roboter im Fraunhofer Forschungsblog

lab30

Robotic Tagger

Wer (oder was) beherrscht Wikipedia?
Zur Bedeutung von Bots


Die Roboterjournalisten kommen

Narrative Science- journalistische Algorithmen

Can an algorithm write a better news story than a human reporter?

Can the computers at narrative science replace paid writers?

bots bei xlqr

webmasterworld forumbeitrag

zu robots.txt

artikel in deinbaer.blogspot

fixmbr robots.txt

webcrawler artikel bei wikipedia

spidertrap

bot-trap

honeyblog

botvorschriften

semantische websuche

forum yacy zu robots.txt

aihub - community site for Artificial Intelligence and chatbot news, articles, links, downloads, and discussion

film robots

agent rubys edream portal

elbot chatbot

lasergesteuerter roboter

webcrawler, automation und barrierefreiheit

robotik und orthopädie

hexapod robot

robospider

robot-spider arana mecanica

Jesse Sullivan Operates a Bionic Arm with his Brain at RIC (no sound)

رجل الي يصل Islamic Robot IIUM Robot is praying (witir)

exoskelett hilft menschen mit neuromuskulären behinderungen

robonurse

roboter operiert am schlagenden herzen

roboter der blut abnimmt

zahnarztpatient-roboter kokoro

Roboterassistierte laparoskopische Prostataentfernung an der klinik lindberg

DaVinci Roboter-assistierte Chirurgie in Bildern®

claudia mitchell operates a bionic arm with her brain

roboterhände

eccerobot

the trons- robot band macht gute musik

Robot DJ

hand robot klettert am buchregal hoch und holt sich ein buch

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/embed/e9geaPrEW3E]

sprachgesteuerte Flugdrohne

micromagicsystems

robot rights

kurzweil AI

virtual humans

iGod chatbot

"i build my own friends"

alicebot chatbot

infone neuronale netze

maschinenpoesie, eliza dissertation

poetron zone

beobachter der bediener von maschinen

5voltcore roboterkunst

X-Stitch Robot no.8 by ELIOT

maschinismus kunst

happy robot von evelyne janssen

f18 institut kunst

getaggt mit "toilet cleaning",artikel über lady-bug styled robot to clean restrooms

scooba und roomba

ROBOMOP

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--BIlxKVCYk]

wall-e

tetra vaal policebot

tv-robotics human substitution technologies

björk- all is full of love

Krach der Roboter: experimenteller Music Performer

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="495"] Krach der Roboter im Kulturpalast Wedding , Foto (c) http://kulturpalastwedding.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/die-welt-der-bilder/ http://www.angelagrasser.de/?p=39[/caption]

yt-vid "Roboter im Kulturpalast" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYvkrWEFf9E

http://www.angelagrasser.de/?p=39

http://kulturpalastwedding.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/die-welt-der-bilder/

humanoid robots thomas and janet kissing

bayrischer polizeiroboter

care-o-bot museumsroboter und mobile serviceroboter

schwimmroboter

unterhaltungsbots von neobotix präsentiert

mechanische elefanten

roboter baut ziegelwände mit lüftungsschlitzen

asimovs gesetze der robotik und reaktionen aus dem netz darauf

etymologisch: bot-roboter-rabota 1920 : Karel Čapek, Autor von "R.U.R."

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufOz00oYzZM]

film "i robot"

animatronics

kleiner bot der dominosteine aufstellt

KI 2008 Exhibition

schwärme von fliegenden LED-coptern bilden schwebende 3D-displays

Film AI - künstliche intelligenz - über Mechas und Orgas

Film Proteus - des Teufels Saat - über ein KI haus das sich selbständig macht und eine Frau schwängert

das Cover der LP "Normalette" von "der Plan" zeigt einen am Fluß angelnden Roboter

in der zeichentrickserie futurama geht es auch viel um robotik und das verhältnis von menschen zu maschinen, mmi

Brain-Computer Interface for Disabled People to Control Second Life With Thought

David Guetta feat Nicki Minaj - Turn me On - Musikvideo im Robotik-Secondlife-stil natürlich wieder mit Autotune

Gespräch vom 24.01.2008: Was im Reich der Robotik heute schon möglich ist, in welchen Formen uns die Maschinengeister heute schon zur Hand gehen, und wie intelligent Roboter heute, oder in absehbarer Zeit, sein können und dürfen - darüber spricht Gert Scobel mit Holk Cruse, Klaus Mainzer und Rolf Pfeifer.



- The Most Evil (?) Robots in Science Fiction Movie History -

http://www.bibsonomy.org/tag/ethicbots

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bots/Status

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bots/Liste_der_Bots

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bots

[gallery link="file"]

http://www.bigredhair.com/robots/index.html

Bots mit gültigem Bot-Flag auf Wikipedia:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:APPERbot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:AvocatoBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Boteas

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:CactusBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:CommonsDelinker

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:CopperBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:DrTrigonBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:FzBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:GiftBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:HRoestBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Krdbot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:MerlBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:MorbZ-Bot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:PatersBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Sebbot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:SpBot

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Xqbot

2013-10-11 21.13.15

https://www.engineeredarts.co.uk/ https://www.engineeredarts.co.uk/socibot/ https://www.engineeredarts.co.uk/robothespian/

http://www.speech.kth.se/furhat/

http://www.tum-ias.de/news-and-events/events/upcoming-events/article/roboy-humanoid-sein-oder-nicht-sein.html

http://roboy.devanthro.org/

http://www.roboy.org/files/robots_on_tour_info.pdf

http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/

http://nao-devils.de/

http://www.aldebaran.com

http://www.icub.org/

http://eccerobot.org/

http://he-bo.net/

http://aiweb.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/flobi-head

http://www.jsk.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/kenshiro.html

http://his.anthropomatik.kit.edu/

http://www.rethinkrobotics.com

http://ruina.tam.cornell.edu/research/topics/locomotion_and_robotics/ranger/ranger2011/

http://www.1visible.net/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLsIn7PQw0g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tdugs5NSA4



http://roboexotica.org/

http://insilico.gemini-cybernetics.net/profile/Antron



blueantbarinsilico_






Roboter trampt allein durch Kanada

http://www.golem.de/news/hitchbot-roboter-trampt-allein-durch-kanada-1406-107309.html

Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=programmable+self+assembly+in+a+thousand+robot+swarm&page=&utm_source=opensearch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK54Bu9HFRw

Riding an ABB IRB 6600 Robot 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxbjZiKAZP4

KUKA robot playing with people on ELECTROcom 2011 exhibition in Budapest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8Rmtome3yQ

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http://www.robot-hugs.com/robots-develop-feelings/

http://www.robot-hugs.com/hugs-from-robots-2/

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https://www.wired.de/collection/latest/schweizer-ermittler-beschlagnahmen-die-einkaufe-eines-drogen-bots

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http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540

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http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/a-807771.html Drohnenballett: Spiegel-Bericht von Ein EU-Projekt erforscht die Zukunft fliegender Autos. Sie könnten sich in Schwärmen bewegen wie Zugvögel. Das Lehrreichste dabei sind derzeit oft noch die Abstürze."
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www.martinhansschmitt.com/robot_world.html

"The non-verbal documentary ROBOT WORLD depicts the evolution of robots from a mechanical somnambulist to an autonomous sensorium. The neoclassical violinist Matt Howden emphasizes the film’s message: these artificial people are our alternate doubles."
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robokalypse
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Donna Haraway - Cyborg Manifesto
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http://www.robodonien.de/kuenstler.htm

          Mentor at SEMICON West   
SEMICON West  fills the Moscone Center again this year with the entire electronics supply chain. You are guaranteed to learn something new about materials, equipment, design, manufacturing, or system integration. New this year is a series of virtual reality experiences (SMART Journey) that let you explore what’s next in fabs and factories and experience the latest in autonomous motoring. It’s like a
          Traffic Control of the Future   

petra13 writes "A high point of the Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems conference this past week was Kurt Dresner and Peter Stone's paper 'Multiagent Traffic Management: A Reservation-Based Intersection Control Mechanism.' They designed an automated system where cars reserve a time to pass through an intersection as they approach it and are then sped up or slowed down to ensure their arrival at exactly the right time. This allows traffic to enter the intersection from all directions simultaneously, eliminating the need for traffic lights and considerably reducing delays caused by stopping traffic. On their website, you can find Java applet simulations to illustrate the system. Especially impressive looking is the six lanes of heavy traffic in all directions simulation. I would love to see this in real life (from a safe distance of course)." [Slashdot]
Very impressive. In Santa Fe this would probably only be useful at a couple of intersections. The intersection of St. Francis and Cerrillos comes to mind... In many cities, however, this could make an amazing difference. If each traffic light delays you by an average of 20 seconds and you have to cross 20 intersections - that's already, why that's almost seven minutes you could have slept longer...

I imagine the real advantage of the system would be much lower fuel consumption...


          Uber self-driving Volvos use Nvidia Tegra   
Uber self-driving Volvos use Nvidia Tegra


Incredibly important win

Back in January,  Nvidia  revealed that it had a two Parker SoCs on a board that it calls Drive PX 2 and that the Volvo XC90 will be the first car to use it. A few days back, Uber revealed that customers in down town Pittsburg will be able to use Volvo XC90 cars for their Uber rides. 

The important thing to mention is that Nvidia technology is inside as the Volvo XC90 is using DRIVE PX 2 as the heart of the self-driving vehicle. Tesla which was seen as a leader in the self-driving arena was using Mobileye and it plans to end this relationship as soon as it can, due to a death. Most cars today including expensive BMWs which have the highway autopilot feature use Mobileye.

Nvidia Drive PX 2 is much more powerful as it  has two  Parker CPUs and two 256-core Pascal based Cuda cores and it can deliver 24 trillion deep learning operations per second to run the most complex inference algorithms. If that is not re-assuring enough, the Drive PX 2 system has three teraflops of performance for  deep learning. In case you don’t speak geek language, Fudzilla spent a lot of time investigating technologies crucial to self-driving including object detection, Lidar, RADAR, ultra-sonic sensors and all in all, self-driving cars are on their way to be safer than humans.

Uber is a smart business and it wants to get rid of the most expensive part of its transportation business model, a human driver. This won’t happen overnight as the Pittsburg trials will require all Volvo cars to have a person in the driver seat that will sit there “just in case”. The car will drive itself, but the person in the driver's seat will be able to take control at any given moment.

Nvidia and Volvo expect that self-driving cars should hit the streets by 2020 while Mobileye was targeting 2021. Both of these dates are closer than most of you think, and it will make everything safer. Most daily commuters spend an awful lot of time on their phones, not paying attention, and the self-driving car will watch the street all the time, refreshing information in milliseconds and being able to react much faster than any human.

Volvo said that combined with Uber, both companies spent some $300 million on a Volvo based self-driving Uber car. Volvo will make the car and Uber will buy it.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said:

“Volvo is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology and possesses an unrivaled safety credibility. We are very proud to be the partner of choice for Uber, one of the world’s leading technology companies. This alliance places Volvo at the heart of the current technological revolution in the automotive industry.”

It looks like that Uber, Volvo and Nvidia will profit, as essentially this is Nvidia’s biggest win to data, and the self-driving powered by the Nvidia Drive PX 2 will happen much sooner than anyone expected. The first ride will mark the day when Nvidia finally stops being a GPU-graphics cards company. The change of Tegra strategy we mentioned back in 2014 is finally paying off. 


          Nvidia Parker has Denver 2 with Pascal   
Nvidia Parker has Denver 2 with Pascal


Created with automotives in mind

Danny Shapiro,  Nvidia's Senior Director of Automotives, has revealed a few details about the "Parker", Nvidia’s Newest SOC for Autonomous Vehicles. 

Nvidia also detailed its new Parker chip at the Hot Chips conference too, but essentially all you need to know is that Parker is a 16nm FinFET ARM V8 CPU with two Denver 2 + 4x A57 Coherent HMP and with a 256 Cuda core Pascal Geforce GPU.

Just a quick view of the CPU's configuration gives you a clear signal that this SoC is unlikely to end up in any tablet. Two Denver 2 + 4x Cortex A57 seems like something that need to be plugged in to a power source all the time such as an autonomous car, a next generation shield console or the rumored Nintendo NX console.

The Nvidia Pascal 256-Core GPU supports DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, Nvidia Cuda 8.0, Open GL ES 3.1, ARP and Vulkan. This is the same number of cores as Nvidia had with the Erista, Tegra X1 but of course Pascal cores are much more efficient than the Maxwell and they should be able to clock them higher. It was rather clear with Tegra X1 that this SoC will not make it to any tablet shaped device due to its high power consumption and the Google Pixel C design win was the best that Nvidia could achieve.

22 Parker diagram 1

The Denver 2 and Cortex A57 have 2MB + 2MB L2 cache in coherent HMP architecture and the SoC supports 128-bit LPDDR4 with ECC.

The GPU can decode and encode H.265, VP9 both up to 4K at 60FPS. It also supports a 12 Megapixel camera sensor.

Two Parker SoCs power the Drive PX platform as Nvidia wants to power deep learning applications, even in a motor car.

More than 80 carmakers, tier one suppliers and university research centers around the world are now using our DRIVE PX 2 system to develop autonomous vehicles. This doesn’t mean that Nvidia will have as many design wins, but it looks like a big opportunity.

parker specifications two

The Volvo XC90 is the first vehicle supporting DRIVE PX 2 and since Parker delivers up to 1.5 teraflops of performance for deep learning-based self-driving AI cockpit systems, Volvo could end up with a rather safe self-driving car. Since DRIVE PX 2 has two Parker SoCs, you end up with 3 teraflops of performance for the deep learning, self-driving AI cockpit system.

The combination of two Parker SoCs with a total of four CPU cores each and 2x256 Cuda cores, means that the Drive PX 2 might deliver 24 trillion deep learning operations per second to run the most complex deep learning based inference algorithms. 

Parker supports dual-CAN (controller area network) interface, a standard connector in the car industry and Gigabit Ethernet to transport audio and video streams. 



 


          Nvidia to make its Tegra Next SoC announcement on August 22   
Nvidia to make its Tegra Next SoC announcement on August 22


By ex ATI, AMD now Nvidia engineer at Hot Chips

The Hot Chips conference that takes place in the last weeks of August will be a fun place to be. Among many others topics,  Nvidia plans to talk about its Tegra-Next System-on-Chip. 

We assume that this is the Parker chip for the cards allegedly come with two Denver 64-bit custom cores from Nvidia and four ARM Cortex A57s.  This makes an odd mix, but Andi Skende, a chap with more than eight years at ATI as graphic architect, Fellow at Advanced Micro Devices for almost 14 years and since then Principal System Architect and Distinguished Engineer, Tegra System Architecture will give the audience a few more details. 

It is expected that  Parker will get an updated GPU to Pascal and all this will be manufactured by TSMC using a 16nm FinFET. With some luck,  there should will be products coming based on Parker at the end of 2016 but it is more likely we will see it next year.

Now Nvidia is kind of at a crossroads as the company is making money from cars, and it doesn’t really makes a difference in the mobile market. The Nvidia Parker could be a power greedier chip that might not fit into tablets, but at the same time it will give incredible computing performance to people who are developing autonomous driving cars.

Parker definitely seems delayed since it has been more than a year since the Erista or Tegra X1 came to market. Let me remind you about the conversation that we had with the head of Tegra in early 2014 - quite a while ago. 

Nvidia also plans to talk about the Ultra-Performance Pascal GPU and NVLink Interconnect at the same conference while MediaTek thinks it will be a good idea to talk about Helio X20: The First Tri-Cluster Deca-Core Mobile Application Processor SoC with CorePilot 3 Technology for High-Performance and Power-Efficiency.

Samsung plans to talk a bit more about its Exynos-M1 CPU while ARM wants to unveil Bifrost, the new GPU architecture and its initial implementation, Mali-G71.

AMD will be one of the last companies to talk and it plans to talk about a new high performance x86 core design.

We assume that it means Zen. 


          Here's why Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas says General Motors is a buy   
Adam Jonas, head of global auto research at Morgan Stanley, discusses the "buy" call of the day for General Motors as the company develops technology for autonomous driving. The “Fast Money Halftime Report” traders weigh in.
          Stalemate, Not Statehood, for Iraqi Kurdistan   

Stalemate, Not Statehood, for Iraqi Kurdistan

 Sunday, November 1, 2015, 10:11 AM
https://www.lawfareblog.com/stalemate-not-statehood-iraqi-kurdistan



U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chats with President Masoud Barzani upon arrival at the Kurdistan Regional Government Presidential Compound in Erbil, Iraq, on June 24, 2014. [State Department photo/public domain]
Editor’s Note: The Kurds are the largest nation in the Middle East without a state of their own and their quest for more rights and at times independence has led to civil wars, unrest, and near-genocidal levels of killing. Iraq has often been the center of the Kurdish struggle, and the decline of the Iraqi state since 2003 – and the latest dysfunction manifest in its efforts to fight the Islamic State – seems to offer opportunities for Iraqi Kurds to carve out their own state. Denise Natali, an expert on the Kurds at the National Defense University, challenges this claim. She argues that the Iraqi Kurds’ current in-between status is likely to endure and, indeed, offers benefits for Kurdish leaders.
***
Since the creation of a weak federal Iraqi state a decade ago, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has moved toward what many analysts, pundits, and Kurds consider a desired end state: independence. Taking advantage of the ambiguous 2005 Iraqi constitution, disfranchised Sunni Arab community, sectarian conflicts, and dysfunctional Iraqi government, the KRG has developed its own energy sector; assumed de facto control over disputed lands; and created a cohort of influential supporters to lobby Kurdish interests in Washington and abroad. These trends have been further bolstered by the Islamic State threat, which has allowed the KRG to access U.S. and coalition military support, further expand its territorial reach, and challenge Baghdad with “independent” oil exports.
Yet a deeper look into the Iraqi Kurdish trajectory reveals a more complicated and interrupted scenario defined by legal, economic, and geopolitical constraints. The KRG may have created new “facts on the ground” that strengthen its internal sovereignty and international recognition, but it remains a landlocked, quasi-state entity lacking external sovereignty.
This condition means that the degree and nature of Kurdish autonomy, including any potential for independence, is not determined by unilateral decisions made by Kurdish elites but rather by the demands, deals, and incentive structures brokered by powerful regional states and non-state actors. These influences have not only checked Kurdish leverage and kept Kurds within the Iraqi state, at least nominally, they have also created necessary political ambiguity that benefits KRG officials. Maintaining the status quo has allowed the KRG to realize rights, revenues, and recognition as part of aweak federal Iraqi state while also pursuing a nationalist agenda based on victimization, struggle, territorial expansion, and opaque, oil-based economic development, supported by external networks.
continued./...

Post-Saddam stalemate 
As a quasi-state, the Kurdistan Region thrives off of a weak central government, nationalist sentiment, and external patronage. It may have substantial internal sovereignty, but it lacks external sovereignty, which it seeks to replace with international support and recognition. The KRG has done so by developing external networks –  lobbies, international oil companies (IOCs), foreign governments, and international universities, organizations, and think tanks – which help advance KRG interests at home and abroad.
These features have influenced KRG behavior and produced important benefits for Kurds in post-Saddam Iraq. They have enabled the KRG to operate as a free-rider, accessing revenues from Baghdad based on the new Iraqi constitution, while pursuing its own nationalist agenda. For nearly a decade, the KRG gained 17 percent of Iraqi oil sales derived from southern exports – which increased its annual income from aboutUS$2.5 billion to $13 billion – without having to pay taxes, declare revenues, or contribute to the Iraqi national budget.
Baghdad-sourced revenues have been critical to developing and stabilizing the Kurdistan Region. They have not only paid the salaries of over 70 percent of the Kurdish population (at a cost of about US$720 million monthly) but have also sourced the KRG’s “trade relations” with Ankara, valued at US$10 billion in 2013, which are almost wholly based on imported Turkish goods. Additionally, by remaining tied to a less than fully functional Iraqi state, the KRG has been able to brand itself as the “Other Iraq” with a minimal metric of success: simply being more stable and economically viable than Baghdad.
Kurdish officials have also benefitted from political limbo by leaving contentious issues unsettled, such as territorial disputes, resource claims, and revenue allocation. For instance, although Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), publicly insists that Kirkuk is the “bleeding heart of Kurdistan,” he will avoid officially incorporating Kirkuk into an independent Kurdistan Region because it would render the KDP a political minority (the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran movement control parts of Erbil, Kirkuk, and Suleymaniya).
Determining Kirkuk’s status – whether it is under the legal jurisdiction of the Iraqi government, the KRG, or a local administration as a special status province – is contentious given its oil-rich territories, multi-ethnic and multi-religious character, and historical legacies of Arabization. While Arabs and most Turcoman regard Kirkuk as an essential part of Iraq, Kurds consider Kirkuk as a national territory and source of oil revenue that can help the KRG realize economic independence. Claims to Kirkuk are also part of internal Kurdish balance of power politics that reflect geographical divisions between KDP, PUK, and Gorran party factions. These dynamics influence KRG behavior over Kirkuk and other disputed areas.
By leaving territorial borders politically ambiguous, KRG officials can promote myths of victimization that authenticate their nationalist credentials, deflect internal political tensions and needed reforms, and resonate among local populations as a “struggle against Baghdad.”
By leaving territorial borders politically ambiguous, KRG officials can promote myths of victimization that authenticate their nationalist credentials, deflect internal political tensions and needed reforms, and resonate among local populations as a “struggle against Baghdad.” Unilateral Kurdish claims to disputed territories have been justified as a battle “drawn in Kurdish blood.” Similarly, high-risk oil exports are now framed as a “Kurdish nationalist right.” 

Breaking the stalemate
The KRG has attempted to break its political stalemate by realizing economic independence. Most important is the aim to develop an autonomous revenue source that can sustain the Kurdistan Region apart from Baghdad. Since 2005, the KRG has aggressively developed its own energy sector by attracting IOCs to the Kurdistan Region, building pipeline infrastructure, unilaterally connecting its pipeline to the Iraqi state-owned Iraqi-Turkish Pipeline (ITP), negotiating a 50-year energy deal with Turkey and gaining de facto control over parts of Kirkuk and related oil assets.
These new facts on the ground have made the KRG increasingly risk averse and willing to export oil sans Baghdad. They coincide with failed attempts to negotiate with the Iraqi government and sell Kurdish crude through the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), including the most recent “oil-for-revenue” deal in December 2014. Baghdad insists on state sovereignty over Iraqi oil resources, sales, and revenues, and a fully transparent KRG oil sector that contributes to the Iraqi national budget. Erbil, however, demands control of its own crude oil exports and revenues, which remain opaque, and to receive regular and full payments from Baghdad for its crude. The near-halving of world oil prices, Iraq’s financial crisis, and coalition support to the KRG to fight the Islamic State have added disincentives to negotiate. Instead, by September 2015, the KRG pressed ahead without Baghdad, exporting about 620,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) through the ITP, 460,000 bdp of which were from fields operated by the Kurdistan Region, with the remaining from Kirkuk fields operated by Iraq’s North Oil Company.
Still, the KRG has not become economically autonomous. Because the Kurdistan Region is not a sovereign entity and continues to rely on Iraqi pipeline infrastructure, its exports are not fully independent. Baghdad retains international legal rights over oil flows and revenues from the ITP based on the 2010 pipeline Tariff Agreement negotiated with Turkey – and has already filed litigation against Ankara at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. It has also threatened to penalize IOCs and shipping companies that purchase Kurdish crude apart from SOMO, reinforcing the legal risks and opaque nature of KRG oil exports and sales. Moreover, Baghdad has cut the KRG budget (except for monthly food allocations), which represents 95 percent of the KRG’s operating expenses.
The KRG’s financial break from Baghdad has had direct consequences on the Kurdistan Region’s internal stability and economic viability. In the absence of a financial buffer to replace Baghdad (by June 2014 the KRG had no savings in its central bank) the KRG’s oil gamble with Turkey has devastated and destabilized local populations and the economy. Civil servant salaries have gone unpaid for months, thousands of local businesses have closed, IOC payments remain in arrears, new investment has halted, and nearly 25,000 Kurds, mainly educated youth, have fled the Kurdistan Region over the past eight months. The KRG has also borrowed billions from Ankara and local businesses while front-loading its oil sales to 2016 in the attempt to meet operating costs and a US$22 billion debt accumulated over the past year. These economic pressures coincide with the Kurdistan Region’s presidency crisis in which reformers, political party officials, and opposition groups are challenging the legitimacy of Masoud Barzani’s position, which expired on August 19, 2015, and calling for sweeping political reforms.
With Baghdad no longer its paymaster, at least at present, the KRG’s institutional deficits have also surfaced, namely its lack of transparent pricing mechanisms, undisclosed revenue flows, and endemic corruption. These issues have become a leading source of criticism inside the Kurdish government as well as society. Officials on the oil and gas committee in the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament (IKP), for instance, are unaware of how much revenues are derived from KRG oil sales and where the funds are allocated. Of the 16 international bank accounts in which revenues from KRG oil sales are supposedly deposited, the KRG minister of finance - recently expelled by the KDP from the parliament - has access to only one Turkish Halkbank account, which has only US$14 million in deposits. The minister of natural resources and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani control all other bank accounts.
By choosing to bypass Baghdad without the necessary legal, financial, and political institutions in place, KRG officials have left the region prone to political opposition and economic collapse. Instead of blaming Baghdad for the KRG’s financial and political crises, local populations are now harshly criticizing the KRG.
Given Baghdad and Erbil’s financial crises and unresolved claims over control of oil exports and payments, it is not surprising that Kurdish officials have pursued alternative means of income generation. They need a reliable revenue source that can develop the region and sustain its populations. Yet by choosing to bypass Baghdad without the necessary legal, financial, and political institutions in place, KRG officials have left the region prone to political opposition and economic collapse. Instead of blaming Baghdad for the KRG’s financial and political crises, local populations are now harshly criticizing the KRG. This growing opposition movement inside the Kurdistan Region has recently manifested in violent and deadly uprisings in Suleymaniya province, further deepening political fragmentation and instability. 
Nor has the KRG resolved disputed claims to territories and hydrocarbons inside Iraq. In many ways it has aggravated its own situation. Having gained de facto control over expansive lands, the KRG is now responsible for administering and stabilizing a 1,000-kilometer border with the Islamic State and Sunni Arab nationalist groups. The KRG may currently benefit from coalition military support to secure these borders, but it has no guarantee as to how long this assistance will last. Alongside Baghdad, different local stakeholders continue to claim ownership of these territories and resources, to include Kirkuki populations, Sunni Arabs, and minority groups. Some of these groups may agree to become part of the Kurdistan Region, while others are seeking to create their own region or special status inside the Iraqi state. 

Shifting dependencies
These trends have also enhanced the KRG’s regional dependencies, particularly on Turkey and Iran. By becoming fully reliant on a single transit route and a legally contentious pipeline running through Turkey and a war zone, the landlocked Kurdistan Region has become more financially vulnerable than ever before.
KRG’s oil exports and revenues are now tied to Turkey’s domestic politics and its 30-year conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, whose forces are based in the Kurdistan Region, eastern Syria, and southeastern Turkey and have already attacked the ITP and other energy assets in Turkey. PKK challenges also extend to Barzani and the KDP, with whom the PKK competes for leadership of Kurdish communities and which the PKK regards as a “sellout to Turkey.” These vulnerabilities are further enhanced by the opaque and personal nature of KRG-Ankara energy ties, which are largely a private deal between Barzani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and not an institutionalized arrangement. Any change in the positions and influence of these personalities or in Turkey’s domestic politics risks affecting the terms and nature of the agreement, and more directly KRG exports.
Iran also continues to influence the KRG’s economic, political, and security arenas. Sharing an expansive border with Suleymaniya and Erbil provinces, Iran provides another outlet for cheap, trucked Kurdish crude and diesel products that benefits Iraqi Kurdish political parties, particularly the PUK, and associated businesses. These exchanges are much smaller than the trucking operations at the Turkish-Iraqi Kurdish border, but they coexist with investment, commerce, and security pacts between Tehran and the KRG that affirm Iranian interests in the region. Since the Islamic State onslaught, Iranian influence has increased, particularly in Suleymaniya and Kirkuk provinces, where Tehran has provided military and security assistance alongside the PUK peshmerga, Shi’a militias, Iraqi security forces, and Syrian Kurdish fighters (PYG).
Deepening regional ties have not translated into political support for a Kurdish nationalist project. Despite the financial benefits of doing business with the KRG, neither Turkey nor Iran back Kurdish independence, or even an overly autonomous Kurdistan Region.
However, these deepening regional ties have not translated into political support for a Kurdish nationalist project. Despite the financial benefits of doing business with the KRG, neither Turkey nor Iran back Kurdish independence, or even an overly autonomous Kurdistan Region. Both remain committed to a weak but sovereign Iraqi state that enables them to influence Iraqi Kurds, as well as Sunni and Shi’a communities. Turkey and Iran also continue to prioritize their own territorial integrity, which includes checking Kurdish nationalist communities within and across their borders through enhanced security, political and economic pacts with Iraqi Kurds.

Implications
All of these dynamics indicate a more fluid and interrupted Kurdish trajectory and not a forward moving process toward independence. Any change in Ankara-Baghdad relations, Iranian-Turkish capabilities, access to pipeline infrastructure, PKK-Turkey tensions, Erdogan’s political status, Iraqi government stabilization, intra-Kurdish tensions, bridging of Sunni-Shi’a ties, or a strengthened Sunni Arab region could affect the KRG’s leverage and ability to export oil and access revenues apart from Baghdad.
The dependent nature of the KRG, its nationalist agenda, and internal Kurdish divisions also challenge U.S. efforts against the Islamic State. Although the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga are important local partners and the KRG is a key regional ally, their strategic priorities are to extend and consolidate territorial control, while also fighting the Islamic State. In many ways, the KRG needs to keep the campaign against the Islamic State alive because external military support enhances its international recognition and strategic significance, legitimates Barzani family power, and helps displace pressing domestic political issues.
These local dynamics coincide with deepening Kurdish fragmentation that prevents a unified command structure to fight the Islamic State. They indicate the second- and third-order consequences of counting on the Kurds to fight the Islamic State beyond their juridical borders and demonstrate how unchecked and unconditional military support can fuel intra-communal and intra-Kurdish conflicts. The United States should therefore continue to act as a neutral broker and provide weapons to the KRG through the Iraqi government (and not directly to the KRG), more closely monitor the distribution of weapons to Erbil and within the Kurdistan Region, and help stabilize Islamic State-free territories so that displaced communities can return without fear of retaliation.
The KRG’s attempts to gain economic independence have also had significant consequences on the Kurdistan Region’s development and internal stability. Although Kurdish officials can access much needed revenues from direct oil sales, they lack the institutional mechanisms that can shield the region from the ill effects of rentierism. These institutions will be increasingly important as KRG officials operate their own energy sector, particularly since the KRG and not Baghdad will be held directly accountable for revenue generation, resource distribution, and service provision. These changes will demand financial transparency, tackling corruption, coherent oil and revenue policies, and real political reforms. The vulnerabilities created by the KRG’s growing dependence on Turkey also underline the need for renewed negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad, particularly in securing a sustained budget based on the 2005 constitution. The United States can play an instrumental role in brokering these negotiations as well as in helping the KRG develop more transparent institutions that can effectively administer and govern the region.
Finally, in assessing the strategic end state of the Kurdistan Region, geopolitics remains tantamount. No matter how disinterested Kurds are in being Iraqis, they live in a landlocked territory that remains dependent on Baghdad, and increasingly Turkey and Iran. These dependencies have resulted in alliances that not only keep borders open and intact, but provide different Kurdish parties with external patronage to balance power inside the Kurdistan Region. It is not the KRG that will unilaterally declare independence, sending ripple effects throughout the region; rather, it is strong and assertive regional states, namely Turkey and Iran, that will influence the trajectory of the Kurdistan Region. Unless these conditions fundamentally change, the Kurdistan Region will continue to exist in political limbo while seeking to leverage its interests in a weak Iraqi state.
***

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

          Ethnic cleansing charged as Kurds move on Islamic State town in Syria   

Ethnic cleansing charged as Kurds move on Islamic State town in Syria

BY MOUSAB ALHAMADEE AND ROY GUTMAN

McClatchy Foreign StaffJune 13, 2015






Several members of the extended family of Jomah Ahmed, a member of the al Baggara tribe, share a small house a few kilometers from Akcakale, Turkey, after fleeing their home village of Al Fwaida. They were photographed on June 12, 2015. ALICE MARTINS — McClatchy


AKCAKALE, TURKEY — After receiving a crush of 13,000 Syrian refugees in less than a week, Turkey on Saturday closed a key border crossing to Syria and complained that a combined U.S.-Kurdish offensive against the Islamic State was driving Arabs and Turkmens out of Syria.

With Kurdish forces reported closing on Islamic State-controlled Tal Abyad, the Syrian town across from Akcakale, Turkey, the apparently successful offensive against the extremists has laid bare the clash of intereststhat has vexed the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State in Syria.

On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in one of first public appearances since his party lost its majority in parliamentary elections, accused “the West” of killing Arabs and Turkmens in Syria, and replacing them with Kurdish militia affiliated with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK by its initials in Kurdish.

“The West, which has shot Arabs and Turkmens, is unfortunately placing the PYD and PKK in lieu of them,” Erdogan said.

The PYD, or Democratic Union Party, is a Syrian Kurdish political party affiliated with the PKK, which has been declared a terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States. The PYD’s armed wing, the People’s Protection Unit, or YPG, is credited, along with an intensive U.S. bombing campaign, with holding off the Islamic State at Kobani after a four-month siege.

Arabs and Turkmen who’ve fled Syria use more caustic terms to condemn the Kurdish offensive, which also is backed by U.S. airstrikes. They charge that YPG militias have stolen their homes and livestock, burned their personal documents and claimed the land as theirs.

“They forced us from our village and said to us ‘this is Rojava’,” the term the YPG uses to describe a swath of territory it claims across northern Syria, said Jomah Ahmed, 35, a member of the al Baggara tribe. He arrived from the village of al Fwaida with dozens of members of his extended family before Turkey closed the border.

“They said ‘Go to the al Badiya desert, go to Tadmur, where you belong’.” Tadmur, captured last month by the Islamic State, is more than 100 miles to the southeast of Tal Abyad.

Tal Abyad won fame in recent months as one of the most important crossing between Turkey and the Islamic State, which is also referred to as ISIL and ISIS.


It was at Tal Abyad that Hayat Boumedienne, the wife of the shooter who killed four Jews in a Paris grocery in January, disappeared after fleeing France. It was also the place where the Islamic State delivered 46 Turkish diplomats and three Iraqi employees that its fighters had taken hostage during the capture of Mosul in Iraq a year ago.

Akcakale (pronounced ak-CHAK-ah-lee) and the surrounding area has become a key transit point for those seeking to join the Islamic State, despite claims by Turkish officials that they are trying to stanch the flow.

But the push on Tal Abyad by Kurdish forces with U.S. assistance is exacerbating long held ethnic resentments. Kurdish residents of northern Syria have long accused the government in Damascus of taking their land to accommodate Arab settlers. As long as two years ago, Kurdish activists who took power when the government of President Bashar Assad withdrew vowed to push the Arabs out.

Non-Kurdish Syrians say that campaign is now under way. They say that the Kurds are trying to create an autonomous state in northern Syria and that the United States is helping.



“They told us ‘We have been here 20,000 years. You came only recently from the desert. Go back to your desert,’ ” said Ibrahim al Khider, an Arab prince who leads a tribe of 16,000 in Deir el Zour province.

Equally bitter, Tarik Sulo, the spokesman for the Syrian Turkmen community in northern Syria, said the U.S. bombing support and the YPG ground forces “are changing the demography of the area in an ethnic cleansing.” He said Turkmen, an ethnic Turkish minority in Syria, “are losing lands where they have been living for centuries.”

The YPG captured two Turkmen villages on Thursday out of 20 with a total populaton of more than 40,000. On Saturday, its forces were reported to have advanced to the outskirts of Tal Abyad.

During in interview in Ankara, Sulo showed a McClatchy special correspondent a photograph now circulating on social media that shows uniformed YPG fighters forcing an Arab captive to kiss the YPG flag.

The Syrian Opposition Coalition, the exile grouping the United States once recognized as the leading anti-Assad political force, also has accused the YPG of “violations against civilians” in Syria’s Hasaka province. It said these included systematic displacement of civilians, compulsory military service for young residents, and kidnapping civilians “to spread terror among the population.”

The criticism by Arabs, Turkmens and the Syrian opposition points to the tactical nature of the U.S.-directed offensive in Syria. The U.S. has rejected working with moderate anti-Assad rebels and has begun training Syrians for a new force whose principal mission would be confronting the Islamic State.

In the meantime, it has found the YPG to be a willing partner whose success in fighting off the Islamic State at Kobani has become a model of sorts for combat operations in northeastern Syria.

But the U.S.-YPG alliance has triggered harsh criticism from those who say it shows little regard for the politics and history of the region or the sensitivities of NATO ally Turkey, which objected last year when the United States dropped weapons and ammunition to YPG fighters at Kobani.

It also has led to allegations that, with no U.S. troops on the ground to monitor developments, the YPG, which has its own political agenda, has been using the offensive to push an anti-Arab campaign. Local residents have accused the YPG of intentionally misleading American commanders about conditions at the Syrian town of Bir Mahalli in late April. A U.S. airstrike there may have killed more than 50 civilians, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.



The U.S. Central Command is looking into the allegations that the U.S. is unintentionally furthering ethnic cleansing.

“As a matter of course, we neither condone any form of ethnic cleansing nor would we willingly support any such activity,” Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, a Centcom spokesman, said Friday. “But we take any such allegations seriously and will look into them.”



He said U.S. and other airstrikes in Syria are intended to help operations in Iraq. He called them “shaping operations, meant to degrade ISIL’s resources and effectiveness, limit their freedom of maneuver and buy Iraqi forces additional time and space to regenerate their combat capability.”



Shrfan Darwish, a YPG spokesman in Kobani, denied that the militia was conducting “ethnic cleansing.” He said Kurds in Kobani gave a warm reception to Arabs who’d fled Tal Abyad after the Islamic State captured the town a year ago.

Serdar Mullah Darwish, a Kurdish journalist in Hasaka province who is not related to Shrfan, told McClatchy that Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State had been joined by some moderate rebels and some Arab tribal forces.

But he said most residents had left the area because of the fighting and implied that Arabs who stayed in Tal Abyad had supported the Islamic State.

“When Kurds fled the city in the summer of 2013, no one said this was the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, despite the fact that all the fighters in the Islamic State were Arabs,” he said.



But refugees who’ve fled to mainly Arab Akcakale just across the border from Tal Abyad tell a different story.

Ahmed, the al Baggara tribal member from al Fwaida, said Kurdish forces arrested and beat him for two days and invited him to join them in the battle against the Islamic State. When he refused, they expelled him and his family from his village.

But the Salman al Fayyad family, a 14-member extended family, was allowed to stay when they agreed to join the YPG, he said. If the border were open, tens of thousands more would leave, said Abdulhamid al Jasem, 25, Ahmed’s cousin.

The situation is made more complex by the acknowledgment that some residents took part in Islamic State activities when their villages were captured.

“Many of our sons got involved with the Islamic State,” said Abu Khaled, 63, who arrived at Akcakale with his five sons and several dozen grandchildren. “Some joined Quran sessions, and others took up weapons.”

A top rebel military official said
 that if the YPG expulsions continue – some estimates put the number at 40,000 in Hasaka alone – they will become a recruiting tool for Islamic State.

“Until now we don’t know what the coalition wants. Does it intend to fight ISIS or empower ISIS?” said Gen. Ahmed Berri, the deputy chief of staff of moderate rebel forces, using an alternative name of the Islamic State.

MCCLATCHY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT ALHAMADEE REPORTED FROM AKCAKALE, GUTMAN, FROM ISTANBUL. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT DUYGU GUVENC REPORTED FROM ANKARA.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/06/13/269821/ethnic-cleansing-charged-as-kurds.html

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/06/13/269821/ethnic-cleansing-charged-as-kurds.html#storylink=cpy

          Arming Iraq’s Kurds: Fighting IS, Inviting Conflict   

Arming Iraq’s Kurds: Fighting IS, Inviting Conflict

Middle East Report N°15812 May 2015
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds a a rocket-propelled grenade launcher as he takes up position in an area overlooking Baretle village (background), which is controlled by the Islamic State, in Khazir, on the edge of Mosul September 8, 2014.
REUTERS/ AHMED JADALLAH

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Loosely organised in an ad hoc coalition, Western countries rushed military aid to Iraqi Kurds in the face of a lightning assault by the Islamic State (IS) in June 2014. They failed, however, to develop a strategy for dealing with the consequences of arming non-state actors in Iraq, a country whose unity they profess to support. Rather than forging a strong, unified military response to the IS threat, building up Kurdish forces accelerated the Kurdish polity’s fragmentation, increased tensions between these forces and non-Kurds in disputed areas and strengthened Iraq’s centrifugal forces. Delivered this way, military assistance risks prolonging the conflict with IS, worsening other longstanding, unresolved conflicts and creating new ones. A new approach is called for that revives and builds on past efforts to transform Kurdish forces into a professional institution.
Despite Western concerns, doing so is unlikely to enhance chances of Kurdish independence. Kurdish parties have become even more dependent, not less, on their alliances with Turkey and Iran since IS’s arrival. Turkey, the country with the ability to give the Kurds the independent revenue stream from oil sales they would need to move effectively toward independence, has given no indication it is prepared to do so and every indication it wishes to preserve Iraq’s unity. Western states’ current practice of channelling weapons to the Kurds via Baghdad and encouraging the two sides to resolve their outstanding disputes over oil exports and revenues also will keep the Kurdish region inside Iraq. Indeed, the development of a professional Kurdish military force is a necessary condition for effective coordination with the Baghdad government in joint operations against IS and in preparing a post-IS political plan.
Coalition military aid is premised on a belief that giving weapons and training to Kurdish forces, known as peshmergas, will in itself improve their performance against IS, a notion Kurdish leaders were quick to propagate. But the evolving state of Iraqi Kurdish politics makes for a rather more ambiguous picture: the dominant, rival parties, the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), have been moving away from a strategic framework agreement that had stabilised their relationship after a period of conflict and allowed them to present a unified front to the central government as well as neighbouring Iran and Turkey. Moreover, their historic leaders, Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, are on the political wane, triggering an intra-elite power struggle.
This is, therefore, a particularly fragile moment. Rather than shore up Kurdish unity and institutions, the latest iteration of the “war on terror” is igniting old and new internecine tensions and undermining whatever progress has been achieved in turning the peshmergas into a professional, apolitical military force responding to a single chain of command. In doing so, it is also paving the way for renewed foreign involvement in Kurdish affairs, notably by Iran. And it is encouraging Kurdish land grabs and a rush on resources in territories they claim as part of their autonomous region, further complicating their rapport with Sunni Arab neighbours and the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
On the face of it, after an initial delivery directly to the KDP in August 2014, Western military aid has been provided to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), with prior approval from Baghdad. In practice, however, weapon deliveries from a variety of donors are unilateral, mostly uncoordinated and come without strings regarding their distribution and use on the front lines. As a result, they have disproportionately benefited the KDP, which is dominant in Erbil, the region’s capital, and thus have pushed the PUK into greater reliance on Iranian military assistance and an alliance with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdish rebel organisation in Turkey. In this context, the KDP and PUK, formal partners in a unity government, have shown little inclination to distribute roles or mount joint operations, preferring competition over coordination. As a result, Kurdish forces have been less effective in fighting IS than they could have been.
While coalition members have tied military assistance to acceptance of the central government’s sovereign role in its distribution, they are jeopardising their stated interest in preserving Iraq’s unity. Indeed, by upsetting the fragile equilibrium among Kurds, between Kurds and Sunni Arabs and between the Kurds and the governments in Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara, they risk weakening it; moreover, by empowering Kurdish party-based forces, they hasten the state’s de-institutionalisation and invite external interference. Given how fragile and fragmented Iraq has become, one can only wonder how pouring more arms into it could have any chance of making it stronger.
Coalition members, working in coordination, need instead to persuade Kurdish parties to complete the reunification of their parallel military, security and intelligence agencies within a single, non-partisan structure by empowering the KDP-PUK joint brigades and the peshmergas’ most professional elements; to cooperate with non-Kurdish actors in the disputed territories; and to develop a post-IS plan with the central government that cements security cooperation in these territories and moves forward the process of resolving their status through negotiation.
The KRG leadership is overdue in putting its own house in order. It may revel in momentary support for its fight against IS, but old problems will soon return, arguably posing a far more serious threat to the region’s stability than IS by itself could ever represent.
RECOMMENDATIONS
To the governments of the U.S. and other coalition members:
1.  Establish a coalition central command through which to channel military aid to Iraqi Kurds and charge it with:
a) coordinating weapons deliveries to, and training of, Kurdish peshmerga forces by coalition members;
b) ensuring that weapons are exclusively distributed to, and used by, KDP-PUK joint brigades;
c) engaging the peshmerga affairs minister and KDP-PUK joint-brigade commanders on military tactics and the use of coalition-supplied weapons; and
d) conditioning military support on coordination of anti-IS operations with non-Kurdish actors in the disputed territories and the Abadi government, and drafting with the Abadi government a post-IS plan that foresees the reinstatement of local institutions and security forces in these areas.
To the peshmerga affairs minister and the KDP and PUK leaderships:
2.  Establish a joint operations room bringing together the minister, KDP-PUK joint-brigade commanders and relevant security agencies to draft a Kurdish national security strategy that would ease delivery of coalition military aid.
3.  Continue to integrate paramilitary forces into KDP-PUK joint brigades that respond to a single chain of command and refrain from deploying irregular forces against IS.
4.  Improve coordination with the Abadi government and Iraqi army on the provision of weapons and training to the KRG.
5.  Complete integration of the KDP and PUK military, security and intelligence services into the KRG.
To the Kurdistan region presidency:
6.  Encourage consolidation of KRG institutions in general and the peshmerga affairs ministry in particular and their emancipation from partisan control.
7.  Engage the Abadi government on the future of the disputed territories and local institutions and refrain from calls for Kurdish independence.
8.  Redouble efforts to coordinate KRG regional security operations with PKK and PKK-allied forces.
To the government of Iraq:
9.  Develop a joint security strategy with the KRG to counter IS, and work with the KRG to settle outstanding disputes over oil exports and budget allocations.
To the governments of Turkey and Iran:
10.  Support coalition efforts toward institutionalising peshmerga forces and reinforcing their cooperation with the central government.
Baghdad/Erbil/Brussels, 12 May 2015
http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/iraq-iran-gulf/iraq/158-arming-iraq-s-kurds-fighting-is-inviting-conflict.aspx?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email


          UNPO calls for immediate investigation into Attack on Iraqi Turkmen Academic   

dr ABBAS TAQI





























Photo above: Prof. Dr. Abbas TAQI, Rector of the University of Kirkuk (Turkmen).


May 8, 2015

UNPO Calls for Immediate Investigation into Attack on Iraqi Turkmen Academic

On 4 May 2015, at the University of Kirkuk, a number of armed students arbitrarily attacked the office of the University’s newly appointed President, Dr Abbas Taqi, a prominent academic of Turkmen origin. Dr Taqi was reportedly threatened by the armed men and forced to sign a letter of resignation. The local Government of Kirkuk has turned a blind eye to the incident and no intervention by local security forces has been reported. Instead, official sources claim that Dr Taqi’s resignation was voluntary.


Dr Taqi had been appointed as the President of the University of Kirkuk only two weeks prior to the attack by the Iraqi Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Hussain Al-Shahristani. When announced in the Iraqi Parliament, his appointment caused reactions among MPs who did not consider favourable the idea of having an ethnic Turkmen oversee higher education in the disputed area of Kirkuk. However, convinced that this was not a wilful decision to step down, Minister Al-Shahristani has announced in a written statement that Dr Taqi will continue with his academic assignment as the Head of the University.


While the advance of the so called ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq has had devastating consequences for the Iraqi Turkmen, with Turkmen towns and villages being occupied and the majority of the population displaced, the recent attack on Dr Taqi ought to be seen in light of the marginalisation and discrimination the Turkmen of Iraq have been enduring for years. The emergence of ISIS and its rapid growth has prompted large scale international action, including military and humanitarian support, but the plight of the Iraqi Turkmen has been left underreported. The failure on part of both Kurdish and Iraqi federal authorities to protect Kirkuk’s population has allowed for a dramatic demographic change in the already disputed area, which in turn has caused further tensions, as exemplified through the recent attack on Dr Taqi.


While strongly condemning the attack on Dr Taqi, UNPO calls for an immediate and credible investigation into the incident, as well as into any allegations claiming it may not have been an autonomous initiative of a few violent students. By highlighting this, UNPO strives to draw much needed attention to the ongoing and rapidly increasing tensions in Iraq, and wishes to stress that whereas defeating ISIS represents a crucial short term priority, planning for what comes next is of utmost importance, as tensions between Iraq’s ethnic components, segregation, and discrimination remain serious problems, which – if unaddressed – risk escalating into further violence.

Please find the statement attached.

          Nissan debuts Seamless Autonomous Mobility system based on NASA tech   
Like many car companies, Nissan’s focus at CES 2017 this year is autonomous driving technology. Nissan Chariman and CEO Carlos Ghosn took the stage at the trade show this evening to announce a new driverless system called Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM). SAM will be one component of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility system, but it will likely be the most noteworthy one … Continue reading
          Uber kicks off self-driving tests in Pittsburgh   
Last month, we told you that Uber had plans to launch a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, kicking off a slew of real-world tests for the system developed by its Advanced Technology Center. At the time, the tests were said to begin before the end of August, but we entered September without any word of self-driving Uber cars arriving … Continue reading
          Autonomous cars are coming, face hurdles   

Ford wouldn't have invited reporters to ride along as observers if its fleet of autonomous Fusions couldn't pilot themselves around. Codrin Cionca's left hand grasps the roof-mounted grab handle while his right hand rests on his leg.


          Mercedes-Benz F 015: An Autonomous Living Room On Wheels   

Autonomous driving is the focus of many manufacturers and Mercedes-Benz is one of them. The German company has revealed as a world premiere the research vehicle F 015 Luxury in Motion at the Consumer Electronics Show. Mercedes-Benz said this fuel cell-powered vehicle provides a concrete example of the visionary ideas the company is developing with […]

The post Mercedes-Benz F 015: An Autonomous Living Room On Wheels appeared first on HybridCars.com.


          Mercedes-Benz Also Granted California Autonomous Vehicle License   

Mercedes-Benz is another German company receiving an autonomous vehicle license from the state of California. With “Senate Bill No. 1298” taking effect, Mercedes-Benz received a license allowing the company to test vehicles in autonomous driving mode in daily traffic on California roads. Mercedes-Benz, which has been in Silicon Valley for almost 20 years now, said […]

The post Mercedes-Benz Also Granted California Autonomous Vehicle License appeared first on HybridCars.com.


          Bougainville Library Project   


 

Lloyd Jones, whose "Mister Pip" sold 300,000 copies in Britain after it reached the Booker shortlist, is hoping to arouse similar enthusiasm for his venture in support of the real-life inhabitants of the island where his novel was set.

His Bougainville Library Trust has already made links with local people to help them plan, build, stock and fundraise for a community library (click here) – Jones calls it a "temple for story" – in Arawa, the largest settlement on Bougainville, an autonomous island that is within the political fold of Papua New Guinea.

Also planned is a cultural centre to house field notes from visiting scholars and historical materials from institutions around the region.

Click here to go to their facebook page.

 


          FIU to offer first Internet of Things degree in U.S.   
Smart watches, smart phones, many home security systems and autonomous vehicles: The Internet allows them to communicate with each other and together they make the...
          Limit Regulations on Autonomous Vehicles   

Autonomous vehicles are no longer a fantasy that appears only in science fiction movies. In theory, the ongoing investments and research should allow many driverless cars to transition out of development and into widespread commercial use over the next decade. However, the typical precautionary principles that accompany new legislation act as a market barrier that will impede the commercialization of the technology. In August 2014, Google, which designed a prototype that removed the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, was forced to reinstall these manual driver controls. This is one of the first examples of onerous regulations forcing the AV innovators to take a step back. To prevent these types of setbacks, policymakers should focus on clearing the existing roadblocks preventing the development of AVs and address the excessive restraints concerning the hypothetical dangers of their use. Only then, can the copious social benefits of AV technologies be realized. 

Autonomous vehicles are vehicles that can drive themselves. In other words, they are capable of sensing the environment and navigating by themselves. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationreleased a classification system that partitions vehicle automation into 5 levels, ranging from level 0 (no automation) to level 4 (fully self driving automation). The first semi-autonomous vehicles appeared in 1984 with Carnegie Mellon University’s Navlab and ALV projects. Ever since, autonomous vehicle research has been increasing, with major progress by Google, major auto manufacturers, government organizations and universities. In early 2014, IHS Automotive released a study projecting a global total of “nearly 54 million” self-driving cars by 2035, and predicting that “nearly all of the vehicles on the road would be self-driving cars or self-driving commercial vehicles by 2050. 

In response to these predictions and the pressure to “legalize” the testing of AV technologies, new AV legislation to set policy has been introduced in many states, and enacted in California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and the District of Colombia, to set policy. One important policy area these laws address is safety. For instance, most states’ rules mandate that a licensed driver be in the driver’s seat at all times during autonomous operation. Another policy area these laws address is liability. Typically, the laws set up a legal framework through which manufacturers can be held accountable for negligence in selling faulty products including strict liability for product defects or misrepresentation of product capabilities. One of the statutes enacted in the D.C., Florida, and Michigan laws contains specific language protecting original manufacturers from liability for defects introduced to the aftermarket by a third party who converts a conventional vehicle into an autonomous vehicle.

In some very specific and narrow respects, these state-level legislative actions regarding AV safety and liability can be beneficial. However, state laws also have the effect of slowing down the entry of new technology into the market. For example, California’s 2012 law on self-driving cars called for the state legislature to draft rules regarding AV operation by the start of 2015, although by mid-March 2015 there was still no draft available. In addition, the safety law that requires all autonomous vehicles have a human driver prevents the testing of fully automated vehicles. Hence, these laws effectively act as another set of onerous regulations preventing further innovation of autonomous vehicles.

While the concerns about safety are legitimate and the desire for comprehensive laws is reasonable, there are numerous reasons why it is poor policy to hinder the deployment of these new automotive technologies. First and foremost, self-driving vehicles are predicted to increase safety and decrease the number of accidents. Currently, more than 33,000 people die each year in the United States from automobile crashes. According to U.S. government estimates, as many as 90 percent of all car accidents are caused by human error. As such, the Eno Center for Transportation recently projected that if only 10 percent of all vehicles in the United States were self-driving, the number of accidents each year would be cut by 211,000, and 1,100 lives would be saved. Autonomous vehicles are the latest in a series of technologies that improve safety. For example, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that electronic stability control (ESC) systems, which use computer controls to brake individual wheels on a vehicle losing directional control or stability, saved 2,202 lives between 2008 and 2010. In addition, the legal precedents of products liability litigation established over the last half century provide AV manufacturers with a very strong set of incentives to make their products as safe as possible. Hence, encumbering the legal system with a new set of overly broad federal or state liability statutes relating to AVs is unnecessary.

Second, studies have suggested that intelligent vehicles can possibly reduce congestion and lower fuel consumption. Self-driving cars could ease congestion because commutes would be quicker, as cars driven by robots could travel at steadier speeds and avoid traffic jams. However, it is also true that the AV technology of Level 3 or higher is likely to substantially reduce the opportunity cost of congestion, hence inducing more people to drive, who would have otherwise not have made the trip. While the two possibilities may be offset and make it difficult to clearly predict the overall effects of AVs on congestion, most experts predict some decrease in congestion. When it comes to fuel consumption, the AV vehicles will allow for fuel efficiency because self-driving cars and trucks will be able to bunch close together at steadier speeds. The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that the reduction in wind drag alone from vehicles traveling closely together could reduce fuel use by 20 to 30 percent. In addition, AV technology can improve fuel economy by 4–10 % by accelerating and decelerating more smoothly than a human driver. Finally, AVs might reduce pollution by enabling the use of alternative fuels. If the decrease in frequency of crashes allows lighter vehicles, many of the range issues that have limited the use of electric and other alternative vehicles are diminished.

Despite the social benefits policymakers have slowed down the legalization of AV research by imposing the “precautionary principle” on developing technology, potentially costing human lives. Hence, as argued by Adam Thierer and Ryan Hagemann of Mercatus Center, the optimal policymakers should adopt the “permission-less innovation” attitude towards driverless vehicle technologies and not the “precautionary principles” attitude. “Permission-less innovation” argues that experimentation with new technologies and business models should generally be permitted by default. This open and lightly regulated platform that allows entrepreneurs to adopt new business models and offer new services without first seeking approval from regulators. In this scenario, pre-emptively resolving liability issues would not be a precondition to commercial rollout of autonomous vehicles. Any perceived or actual problems with new technologies could be corrected later through better-informed policymaking. 

In conclusion, the laws that that encourage overregulation of AV by trying to pre-emptively tackle hypothetical concerns of safety and liabilities will increase the cost of human lives, health, property damages and convenience. As such, the overall guiding principle for policymakers should be that AV technology ought to be permitted if and when it is superior to average human drivers. Safety regulations and liability rules should be designed with this guiding principle in mind. As the 2013 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune stated bluntly: “The issue of liability, if not solved, could delay or even wipe out the vision of driverless cars gaining widespread consumer use.” With this in mind, the ultimate goal of the policymakers regarding the AV should be to minimize government intervention in order to speed up the introduction of the innovation and consumer availability of automated vehicles.


          Thesis Defense: Pursuers Strategies in Multi-Player Pursuit-Evasion Games under Uncertainties: A Monte Carlo Approach   
Announcing the Final Examination of Shahriar Talebi for the degree of Master of Science

The traditional pursuit-evasion game considers a situation where one pursuer tries to capture an evader, while the evader is trying to escape. A more general formulation of this problem is to consider multiple pursuers trying to capture one evader. This problem can be viewed as a tool that assists planners in developing strategies for autonomous entities (such as UAVs or robots) pursuing another similar entity (another UAV or robot) to prevent it from accomplishing an adversarial task. This general multi-pursuer one-evader problem can also be used to model a system of systems in which one of the subsystems decides to dissent (evade) from the others while the others (the pursuer subsystems) try to pursue a strategy to prevent it from doing so. An important challenge in analyzing these types of problems is to develop strategies for the pursuers along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. In this thesis, we investigate three possible and conceptually different strategies for pursuers: (1) act non-cooperatively as independent pursuers, (2) act cooperatively as a unified team of pursuers, and (3) act individually as greedy pursuers. The evader, on the other hand, will consider strategies against all possible strategies by the pursuers. We assume complete uncertainty in the game i.e. no player knows which strategies the other players are implementing and none of them has information about any of the parameters in the objective functions of the other players. To treat the three pursuers strategies under one general framework, an all-against-one linear quadratic dynamic game is considered and the corresponding closed-loop Nash solution is discussed. Additionally, different necessary and sufficient conditions regarding the stability of the system, and existence and definiteness of the closed-loop Nash strategies under different strategy assumptions are derived. We deal with the uncertainties in the strategies by first developing the Nash strategies for each of the resulting games for all possible options available to both sides. Then we deal with the parameter uncertainties by performing a Monte Carlo analysis to determine probabilities of capture for the pursuers (or escape for the evader) for each resulting game.

Illustrative results consisting of several Monte Carlo simulations for different scenarios and examples of a pursuit-evasion games are provided. Results of the Monte Carlo simulation show that in general, pursuers do not always benefit from cooperating as a team and that acting as non-cooperating players may yield a higher probability of capturing of the evader depending on what strategy the evader may use.

Committee in Charge: Marwan Simaan (Chair), Zhihua Qu, Azadeh Vosoughi

          Trusting Robots With Our Lives   
The key takeaway from the recent RobotLabNYC forum, on “Exploring The Autonomous Future,” was humans are the key to robot adoption. Dr. Howard Morgan of First Round Capital expressed to the audience of more than 100 innovators working within the automation ecosystem, the necessity of embracing “entrepreneurial marketing” to reach customers. Tom Ryden echoed Morgan’s sentiment in his presentation about Mass Robotics, conveying his startups’ frustrations with the pace of adoption. Dr. Eric Daimler, formerly of the Obama Administration, concluded the evening succinctly by exclaiming, “we only adopt what we trust.” Trust is the key to crossing the chasm. Intuitive Surgical this past...
          The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors   
This graph shows the projected demise of individual car ownership in the US, according to "RethinkX". That will lead to the demise of the automotive industry as we know it since a much smaller number of cars will be needed. If this is not a Seneca collapse, what is? 


Decades of work in research and development taught me this:

Innovation does not solve problems, it creates them. 

Which I could call "the Golden Rule of Technological Innovation." There are so many cases of this law at work that it is hard for me to decide where I should start from. Just think of nuclear energy; do you understand what I mean? So, I am always amazed at the naive faith of some people who think that more technology will solve the problems created by technology. It just doesn't work like that.

That doesn't mean that technological research is useless; not at all. R&D can normally generate small but useful improvements to existing processes, which is what it is meant to do. But when you deal with breakthroughs, well, it is another kettle of dynamite sticks; so to say. Most claimed breakthroughs turn out to be scams (cold fusion is a good example) but not all of them. And that leads to the second rule of technological innovation:

Successful innovations are always highly disruptive

You probably know the story of the Polish cavalry charging against the German tanks during WWII. It never happened, but the phrase "fighting tanks with horses" is a good metaphor for what technological breakthroughs can do. Some innovations impose themselves, literally, by marching over the dead bodies of their opponents. Even without such extremes, when an innovation becomes a marker of social success, it can diffuse extremely fast. Do you remember the role of status symbol that cell phones played in the 1990s?

Cars are an especially good example of how social factors can affect and amplify the effects of innovation. I discussed in a previous post on Cassandra's Legacy how cars became the prime marker of social status in the West with the 1950s, becoming the bloated and inefficient objects we know today. They had a remarkable effect on society, creating the gigantic suburbs of today's cities where life without a personal car is nearly impossible.

But the great wheel of technological innovation keeps turning and it is soon going to make individual cars as obsolete as it would be wearing coats made of home-tanned bear skins. It is, again, the combination of technological innovation and socioeconomic factors creating a disruptive effect. For one thing, private car ownership is rapidly becoming too expensive for the poor. At the same time, the combination of global positioning systems (GPS), smartphones, and autonomous driving technologies makes it possible a kind of "transportation on demand" or "transportation as a service" (TAAS) that was unthinkable just a decade ago. Electric cars are especially suitable (although not critically necessary) for this kind of transportation. In this scheme, all you need to do to get a transportation service is to push a button on your smartphone and the vehicle you requested will silently glide in front of you to take you wherever you want. (*)

The combination of these factors is likely to generate an unstoppable and disruptive social phenomenon. Owning a car will be increasing seen as passé, whereas using the latest TAAS gadgetry will be seen as cool. People will scramble to get rid of their obsolete, clumsy, and unfashionable cars and TAAS will also play the role of social filter: with the ongoing trends of increasing social inequality, the poor will be able to use it only occasionally or not at all. The rich, instead, will use it to show that they can and that they have access to credit. Some TAAS services will be exclusive, just as some hotels and resorts are. Some rich people may still own cars as a hobby, but that wouldn't change the trend.

Of course, all that is a vision of the future and the future is always difficult to predict. But something that we can say about the future is that when changes occur, they occur fast. In this case, the end result of the development of individual TAAS will be the rapid collapse of the automotive industry as we know it: a much smaller number of vehicles will be needed and they won't need to be of the kind that the present aotumotive industry can produce. This phenomenon has been correctly described by "RethinkX," even though still within a paradigm of growth. In practice, the transition is likely to be even more rapid and brutal than what the RethinkX team propose. For the automotive industry, there applies the metaphor of "fighting tanks with horses."

The demise of the automotive industry is an example of what I called the "Seneca Effect." When some technology or way of life becomes obsolete and unsustainable, it tends to collapse very fast. Look at the data for the world production of motor vehicles, below (image from Wikipedia). We are getting close to producing a hundred million of them per year. If the trend continues, during the next ten years we'll have produced a further billion of them. Can you really imagine that it would be possible? There is a Seneca Cliff waiting for the automotive industry.







(*) If the trend of increasing inequality continues, autonomously driven cars are not necessary. Human drivers would be inexpensive enough for the minority of rich people who can afford to hire them.


          Pangaean Diaspora: On the Strange Business of Seeking & Getting Help   


I find an alluring analogy for how any human being’s sense of who she or he is can expand to discover what a varied conglomeration it comprises in the geological model of the supercontinent Pangaea which about 330 million years ago broke up into the continents we now know, sending great chunks of itself out as if in a diaspora to find and create autonomous places on the planet. My continents of self have been at something like that especially these past three or four decades – usefully marked by the deaths of my family members (we were only four to start with) -- first my brother Bob from AIDS in 1989 when I was 38; then my father from/with Alzheimer's in 2000 when I was 49; and my mother from congestive heart failure in 2003 when I was 52. Each centrally occasioned powerful shifts in me within the larger shift of becoming the only Kettelhack left standing. There’s the sweetness of a gift here; no reason to mourn. We’re maneuvering as we must through incarnate life. Moving from only-child to fatherless-child to motherless-child seems to me now to have engendered their quiet release, them from me, me from them. The "less" in father-less and mother-less is almost onomatopoeic for how I felt/’heard’ their absences -- the soft exhalation of something delicate suddenly whisked or brushed away. The delicacy is primary. Whispers here and gone. Death can be an extraordinary clarifier.

As a result not only of those losses but of who knows what other morass of influences, the lexicon to which I resort to describe my experience is significantly different. Meanings of almost everything, even definitions that seemed once for me foregone – man, woman, old, young, winter, spring, summer, autumn, night, day, work, music, art, sexuality, marriage, relationships, solitude, joy, boredom, depression, addiction, anger, hilarity -- have either disappeared completely (no definitions are possible) or morphed into a liquid system of responses that while defying categories evince specific glints of reaction. To cut to a sort of chase, when I reach orgasm these days, I howl so ungovernably loudly I can't imagine that most of Manhattan's east 2nd street's inhabitants around me haven't called the police or an ambulance. In a way, that ungovernable quality describes what’s happened to all my responses – they flit or slink or whisper or howl: nothing justifies any of them and I can extrapolate from none of them any grid of identity. It's just the bob-aloos and bab-aloos of being. It isn’t chaos: but it’s an order I can’t begin to analyze. Well, I ‘begin’ all the time, but so far to no avail.

The net effect of this diaspora of self, ungovernability of reaction has been a dimensional sense of release - not least from Pangea’s imprisoning definitions and categories. It is not a release I have consciously or intellectually pursued. The way I know anything is always after the fact. I rarely, maybe never, learn something because I intend to. I wake up feeling or thinking differently than I felt or thought when I went to sleep the night before. That's how I'm able to say anything -- through a felt contrast of 'change', visited on me moment by moment, but which does not seem to conform to any ideology I can name, beyond some notion of my "temperament." I annoy many people with my assertion Every Idea is Hell. Swallow an idea and it grows all over and through you and suddenly it's doing the thinking, you aren't. I don't like that kind of coercion, and I won't put up with it. Except in those innumerable cases where I do put up with it, but I don't know that I do (or maybe I still like it so I don't care) - that is, until I go to bed and wake up thinking "no, that's not it", and another of them bites the dust. Seams and compartments are dissolving. This does not turn my perceptions of 'reality' to pea soup. I'm not in some amorphous fog. In fact, the opposite. With the dissolution of so many presumptions and assumptions (falling off me because they 'want' to not because I want them to), I get a chance not so much to see a thing for what it really is, as simply to see a thing. Claim it for my own, give it my own meaning. My relation to what I see is more immediate. It doesn't get filtered much. As many people know, it takes me 5x as long to walk any distance in New York as most other people I know. I am besieged by strangeness & beauty every inch of the way. Shadows, fallen leaves, 1880s architectural adornments, trash cans, tree branches, textures of brick and stone. Nothing isn’t riveting. What I see almost always subverts any assumption I once brought to it.

One realm which has undergone for me a kind of utter subversion is that of psychotherapy - from traditional forms of applied psychology to Twelve Step approaches to Alan Watts (whom I name because I treasure the ground upon which he treads, which means – and he is the first to let me know it, his having died in 1973 notwithstanding – I ought to be and have learned to be beyond wary of him: be most careful about people with whom you agree!). More basically it's the realm of needing, seeking and receiving "help." Particularly help for behaviors you have identified as self-destructive and/or which you can't stop doing and/or which you also decide you want or need to change.

Perhaps the most glowing sort of twelve planet solar system in this realm of help comprises Twelve Step programs. The answer the Twelve Step approach offers people seeking help from addiction or compulsive behavior seems to me to be fourfold, and although we are reassured this help is offered as 'suggestion,' to my mind it really gets its adrenaline from an implied (and for some very warranted) "you have to": 1) you have to want to change, 2) you have to stop the behavior you now know is 'the problem' - act your way to it, don't think you way to it & 3) you have to surround yrself with supportive people doing the same thing, 4) you have to see your connection to a greater or higher  'power': the ultimate essential source of help. What I’ve numbered 4 is for most Twelve Step process adherents held to be number 1. And I caution you as Twelve Step literature does that nobody has the last word on it, very much including me. These are just glints of the reflections of my own experience.

But for me "the sticky thing" (as a friend of mine is wont to call everything) about my response to Twelve Step admonitions/suggestions after many decades of reflection and experience and writing about them (again not claiming this gives me any expertise; believe me, it doesn’t) is that it doesn't really accord with the larger effect of my experience over all these years of surviving as I am (largely formed/constituted by what I crave), which begets a less and less arguable truth and beauty: I become less and less alterably convinced not only that I am and will always be who I am, but that I wouldn't want it any other way. I begin to register, maybe, a fuller amplitude of my 'success' (or at least experience) in being me. I really like things as they've managed to keep on being. I do not believe in "shortcomings." I can't imagine, in fact, even what that word could mean. After many years long ago of assuming pathology in so many of my tics and twitches, I just don't see pathology anymore. Provisionally, yes, there are ‘problems’ to be solved, always within the parameters of the moment. Don’t walk past a bar if you’re an alcoholic sort of thing. There’s (probably) always a place for what is known as common sense. But in any larger way, all I can see in anyone, no matter how their behavior annoys or regales me, is a full system response always at work. We are complete and whole and working ingeniously every breathing moment to achieve and sustain homeostasis. If we’re breathing and alive and capable of any connection to the world, we’re in a kind of balance. Possibly even if we’re not.

Am I wrong or right? I can't imagine even what thatquestion means. What reliable measure of that could there be?

"Acceptance is the answer to all our problems," says AA, meaning acceptance as the precursor to being able to effect 'healthy change'. But 'acceptance' to me is a condition the psyche and body birth-to-death insist upon (whether or not I'm conscious of it): it's neither an answer (what would be the question?) nor is its function to help solve 'problems.' There are no problems. There's simply you, alive, in community with others. I'm sometimes tempted to say something like "I no longer believe in 'help'" but I stop myself because I truly don't know what the main-event words ("I" - "believe" - "help") in that sentence mean. I don't see much behind concerted strategies to "help" besides a boorish if often sentimental hubris: a presumption that you know what what's going on & what must be done about it. We often flock to people like that, and (I suppose) who says we're wrong to. But it's all beside 'the point' - which isn't a point but a large unbounded capacity to go on, some of us ever more curious about and conscious of it, 'being who you are.' Which you're going to do anyway! The point isn't to live or die. There is no point. Unless, because you can name it, you call what you want to do "a point." So if, for example, my friend Reed and I have 'points' they respectively include (among perhaps less mentionable ones): turn on the lamp and read a book, or sit down to draw. 

This at least touches on the shift. But words words words, maybe too many words for the send-off. Some gist got gotten, I hope.





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          US Navy Autonomous Helicopter   
The military version of Amazon Prime Air. The Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System is a US Navy program that aims to convert helicopters into drones, which can the be summoned for supply drops via a user-friendly mobile app.
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          Online UK supermarket trials grocery delivery with an autonomous electric van   
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          Customer Service Representative - De La Fontaine - Quebec   
In addition to having strong technical expertise in construction , the successful candidate is also structured, disciplined and very autonomous ....
From De La Fontaine - Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:50:54 GMT - View all Quebec jobs
          The Emperor's New Clothes   
by
Diana Lobb
2004-12-05

Auguste Comte and the followers of positivism would most likely disagree, but I think it’s fair to say that current consensus is that the discourse of the sciences can make no more persuasive claim to be the sole voice of the True or the Real than did the discourses of theology or metaphysics. As much as anyone’s critique of scientific positivism, Foucault’s archaeological and genealogical analyses of the history and philosophy of the sciences, particularly The Order of Things, effectively put an end to science’s claim to speak with a pure objectivity. Whether you agree with Foucault’s arbitrary approach to historical data or not, it is difficult to argue with his conclusions that the discourses and philosophies of the sciences operate in complex interconnectedness with every other discourse in a particular socio-historical moment. These “regimes of knowledge” affect and are affected by the “regimes of power” that orchestrate the place and time in which they operate, and together, the interaction of these “regimes” trace out an elaborate network of meaning-making processes.

Foucault is not the only contemporary philosopher to critique scientific positivism’s pose of objectivity, isolation and mastery. Michel Serres and Gilles Deleuze, amongst others, agree with what The Radical Academy proposes is the contribution of scientific positivism to the Western philosophical project: “None. In fact, Positivism destroys the very foundations of commonsense philosophical realism. Positivism has been one of the main contributors to today’s intellectual insanity” ( http://radicalacademy.com/adiphilpositivism.htm). This being said, my question is why, in the humanities, do we not see the insights of Foucault, Serres, and Deleuze more often reflected in our contemplations of humanity, its creative potential, and its relationships to itself and its environments? The kind of humanities research I’m objecting to presents itself as pseudo-science, discovering “by a well-combined use of reasoning and observation, the actual laws of phenomena - that is to say their invariable relations of succession and likeness” (Positive Philosophy). Worse, I find, is analysis that breaks its back genuflecting to the Truth as revealed by the “master” scientific discourse.

There seems to be a deliberate refusal in areas of the humanities to recognize that the discourse of the sciences and the discourse of the humanities are equally valuable, mutually interactive parts of a bigger picture - be that bigger picture called discursive field, episteme or world view. In my more cynical moments, I wonder if this refusal exists, and persists, because tracing out the multiple and multivalent interconnections within and between discourses and the fields in which they operate requires slow, meticulous work that does not usually produce something slick and sexy and readily commodifiable.

In the disappointing field of texts that attempt to relate the humanities and the sciences, Paul Gilroy’s Against Race stands out as a welcome exception to what I see as the “normal” and normalizing approach. Perhaps because he explicitly locates his object of research, the concept of `race,’ as a historically situated and trans-disciplinary phenomenon, Gilroy is able to focus our attention on the connections between the discourse of the sciences and the discourse of the humanities that bring into destructive being both `race’ and racism. The discontinuous pattern of consolidations between the discourses of “the human” and “the nation” that Gilroy traces, effectively debunks the idea of the evolution of, well, “evolution.” Darwin did not reveal the Truth. The discourse of the sciences had not “evolved” to a sufficiently advanced state of wisdom and complexity to allow it to finally announce the Real. Instead, as Gilroy demonstrates, the discourse of the sciences adapted to incorporate new data within the framework of its moment and interpreted that data in a way consistent with the social truths of late Eighteenth Century Imperial Europe.

Advocating a careful and cautious engagement with the philosophical aspects of the complexity sciences and their elaboration in the development of post-Darwinian evolutionary hypotheses allows Gilroy to trace the formation of raciology. The map of raciology - Gilroy’s proposal of a large, complex discursive formation within the modern episteme - demonstrates that “survival of the fittest” did not emerge “naturally” from a continuous thread of increasingly sophisticated scientific discourse that incorporated Vesalius’ anatomy, Linneaus’ taxonomy and Lyell’s geology. Instead, the “science” of evolution was always already enmeshed with Locke’s notion of the human, Kant’s notion of the nation, and Malthus’ rather brutal ideas about population. The patterns of raciology make visible the notion of “evolution” as never purely a facet of scientific discourse or of the discourse of the humanities. It was always a “rational absurdity” (Against Race 14), a strategic synthesis of supposedly autonomous categories: logos and icon, rational and occult knowledges, the discourses of the sciences and the humanities.

Gilroy is not the first theorist of the “Human Sciences” to advocate a critical engagement with the implications of the complexity sciences for the humanities. However, his suggestion of a careful, deliberate translation of the complexity sciences from a “science” into a discursive formation differs from some of the more “transgressive” suggestions of theorists like N. Katherine Hayles. Hayles, who Matheson and Kirchoff refer to as “the most influential theorist in the area of chaos and literature” (“Chaos and Literature” 32), attempts, like Gilroy, to link the insights of the complexity sciences to French post-structuralist philosophy. However, her methodological approach to the question of how to relate the discourses provides a useful contrast to Gilroy, and in many ways exemplifies my complaints with how the humanities have attempted to incorporate the discourse of the sciences.

Hayles finds the transgressive “aura of mystery and excitement” that surrounds the “highly charged signifier” of chaos to provide an apparently irresistible strange attraction. She concedes that the discourse of the complexity sciences she appropriates does not appear to share her enthusiasm for the concept of “chaotics”: “chaos theory and the science of chaos are not phrases usually employed by researchers who work in these fields” (Chaos Bound 8-9). In Hayles’ analysis, complexity sciences offer not just “new methods of analysis for complex systems” but a metaphor for what she suggests is the divided and fragmentary nature of the postmodern moment. In other words, what Hayles proposes through her engagement with the complexity sciences is not a possible framework for the analysis of postmodern society but rather a “new” ontology to announce the (latest) Truth of a fractured and fragmented modern humanity.

Despite her own recognition of her misuse of disciplinary terminology, Hayles ironically suggests that an act of translation across disciplinary knowledge bases is not necessary when considering the relationship of complexity sciences to the humanities. Since “an interest in disorder and unpredictability in literature analogous to that in the sciences” (xii) occurred in a proximal moment, the convergence of interests must be evidence of a singular event which shifts the singular epistemic structure from which both disciplines are produced: “Different disciplines are drawn to similar problems because the concerns underlying them are highly charged within a prevailing cultural context” (xi). Because this trans-disciplinary interest in “chaos” is posited as the result of a “feedback cycle [which] connected theory with culture and culture with theory through the medium of technology.” Hayles suggests that it is possible to apply directly the methodologies and terminologies from one discipline to explain phenomena in another (xiv).

This interesting, if problematic, conflation of what even Hayles acknowledges are “isomorphic” (xiv) notions into assumptions of a uniform epistemic construction leads Hayles to make the assertion that “[t]he paradigm of orderly disorder may well prove to be as important to the second half of the [20th] century as the field concept was to the first half” (xii). Unlike Gilroy who engages complexity sciences in order to propose a utopian moment of rupture in raciological modernity, Hayles appears to suggest the moment of rupture has already occurred and has assumed the “always already” operation of a “chaotic” postmodern episteme.

However, it is in Hayles’ insistence on interpreting complexity as “chaos” and “disorder” that her application of complexity theories to the humanities diverges most widely from Gilroy’s proposed translation. In Hayles’ conception, the “chaotic” paradigm destabilizes a “dichotomy” of order/disorder in such a way as to make it possible to “draw parallels between post-structuralist philosophy and scientific attitudes to chaos” (176). While Matheson and Kirchoff raise persuasive doubts as to the validity of the comparison Hayles draws between complexity theories and her interpretation of post-structuralism, what is interesting in comparing Hayles to Gilroy is Hayles’ equation of the methodology of deconstruction with the scientific methodology of denaturing (266-69). To denature an organic molecule is not simply to “deconstruct” it. Given Derrida’s deliberate ambiguity in defining the methodology he employs in demonstrating the arbitrariness of categories and the permeability of their supposedly fixed boundaries, it is difficult to accept Hayles’ attempt to fix the meaning of deconstruction as an unambiguously liberating “violation” (283) that dismantles oppressive constructs in order to reinvent those constructs in ways that are more open to the expression of difference.

When Hayles’ understanding of “deconstruction” is conflated with the notion of “denaturing,” some disturbing (and unexpected) consequences arise. The input of heat or chemicals or extreme alterations of the pH of a biological system does result in the loss of organic molecules’ secondary and tertiary structure through the unfolding of the peptide chains of proteins. In Hayles’ terms, the molecule is “deconstructed.” However, Hayles’ analogy overlooks the result of the process: the reduction or destruction of the denatured molecule’s biological activity. The example that the Oxford Dictionary of Biology gives is particularly telling: boiling an egg effectively denatures the egg’s proteins and makes the egg consumable by humans. However, the same process effectively kills the embryo that was gestating in the egg. Denaturing is not unambiguously and universally positive and life affirming, as Hayles’ deployment suggests - definitely not to chickens!

All flippancy aside, Hayles’ argument that the paradigmatic shift to “chaos” results in the denaturing of language, context, time and the human renders language, context, time and the human biologically inert - in other words, dead. It is difficult to see how Hayles’ re-articulation of the Hegelian “being towards death” is postmodern in the sense Hayles’ implies or how is differs from what Gilroy argues is the modernist “discourse of differentiation that is struggling to supersede crude appeals to `race’ ” (Against Race 27). Gilroy proposes a possible discursive formation of complexity that overcomes the fragmentation of humanity produced by raciology and posits the possibility of a heterogeneous species unity. Hayles, however, appears to conceive of the advent of the complexity sciences as an opportunity to revel in the progressive dissolution of any humane, or even human, text.

Hayles’ appropriates the discourse of the complexity sciences in order to propose a “new” ontology for what she claims is a postmodern moment. Arguing that “disorder has become a focal point” within the episteme of modernity, Hayles proposes complexity theories as a way in which to both explain and contain the “convoluted ambiguities” that are “deeply characteristic” of what she calls cultural postmodernism (Chaos Bound 256). Through the logic of what she mis-names the “sciences of chaos,” Hayles claims both the being of postmodern and the being of the “posthuman” (284). Unfortunately, Hayles does not appear to consider that all humanity has not been incorporated within a notion of modernity’s “human” before she supplants the human with the cyborg. Unlike Gilroy’s “cautious” engagement with complexity to project the possibility of a post-racial postmodernity, Hayles’ enthusiasm for “chaotic” transgressions forecloses that possibility and reinscribes the orderly pattern of raciological modernity’s fragmented and fragmenting authority.

In terms of the arguments I have with the mode of humanities scholarship that Hayles exemplifies, it is not simply the case that I find the conclusions of her analysis questionable, and in terms of my personal politics, absolutely not liberating. What I take issue with is where and how she grounds her methodology: the singular epistemic event that produces an “interest in disorder and unpredictability in literature analogous to that in the sciences,” an event that forms the justification for her amalgamation of “chaos” and Derrida. As her analysis unfolds, her methodology is to observe the “facts” that visibly overlap the discourses of the sciences and the humanities in order to deduce the “new” and “actual” laws of the “feedback cycle” she claims to have identified. She attempts to describe the reality of “postmodernity” by establishing the connection “between different particular phenomena and some general facts” (Positive Philosophy). By disciplinary convention, Hayles’ analysis may be located in the discourse of the humanities, but structurally it reveals its unwavering allegiance to scientific positivism - and we’re back to where I began my complaint, with the humanities trying to borrow the credibility of the “master” discourse by shaping its discourse as pseudo-science.

If our goal in the humanities is to achieve, as Hayles’ would have it, a liberating “violation,” or to break through into a moment of post-modernity (assuming epistemic time can be quantified as such), or even to see how the “truth” of right now works to maintain an oppressive status quo, then we must find a way to reject the lure of scientific positivism and the seduction to participate in the “master” discourse. If what we want to do is rid ourselves of the authority we invested in the “master,” then Gilroy’s mode of analysis provides some essential signposts for us to follow: flatten the hierarchy of discourse; trace the map of interpenetration and mutual co-construction; stop trying to discover the “laws of a phenomenon” and instead, look for how the “True” has been constructed to manipulate the truth.

It’s the trans-disciplinary perspective that the notion of raciology affords, not just on the discourse of the sciences but on the whole Western Modern episteme, that makes Gilroy’s analysis so valuable. Arbitrarily establishing the idea of “race” as a node within the Western world-view, the idea of raciology facilitates an analysis of how networks of discourses and structures of power intersect, altering themselves and each other in unexpected ways. This is not simply a strategy of self-reflexivity that places the analyst, tacitly or not so tacitly at the centre of the study. Instead, it is a deliberately “counteranthopological and sometimes misanthropic” (Against Race 17) strategy that rejects the researcher’s authority to announce the Truth. But this is not a retreat into relativism. It is an attempt to trace the complex patterns that give language, concepts and ideas the effect of the Real - even the power to kill, as has been so efficiently demonstrated in Auschwitz, Rwanda and Serbia (not to leave out North America - Tuskegee and Davis Inlet).

The “rhizomorphic” (127) pattern of interconnected discourses and power structures made visible by a consideration of raciology maps both the archaeology and genealogy of the idea of “race” not simply to prove that “race” is a dangerous and deadly fiction, but to map out how the idea of “race” has been consolidated and propagated as a concrete historical object: a social construction that has left evidence of its mutagenic and mutated path through and across disciplinary boundaries. Dismantling the hierarchy of discourse and its arborescent pattern of meaning-making potential, the rhizomorphic map of raciology demonstrates that neither the discourse of the sciences nor the discourse of the humanities (or even the discourse of raciology) can authoritatively claim to be the “master” discourse.

Gilroy traces out his map of raciology by analyzing a temporal segment of the pattern of interconnections between “scientific” explanations of the being of “the human” and social and cultural thought, demonstrating how the various elements of “rational” and “absurd” knowledges consolidate to construct an ontology. This act of construction is not an objective deduction of the “actual laws of a phenomenon” but an articulation of a specific discursive formation that establishes an analytical stance through which the social text of human can be read, interpreted and given a particular meaning. It draws on a deliberately impure and hybridized methodology that blends a critical engagement with the complexity sciences with a critical engagement with French post-structuralist thought. The example of raciology demonstrates that it is possible to take possession of the profound transformations of thought made available by structural transformations in the discourses of the sciences and the humanities and “somehow set [them] to work against the tainted logic that produced [them]” (15). Refusing the logic of fragmentation that separates and isolates categories of knowledge in order to establish hierarchies of meaning, Gilroy demonstrates the value of instantiating in our thinking ” a `chaotic’ model in which shifting `strange attractors’ are the only visible points of fragile stability amid social and cultural turbulence” (128).

It is only by deliberately rejecting thinking rooted in the science and politics of “narcissism” (16) that Gilroy is able to enact his trans-disciplinary methodology without forcing either the discourse of the sciences or the discourse of the humanities to assume a subordinate position within the structure of his arguments. The flattened epistemic pattern that Gilroy assumes allows for both to co-exist at the same level of consideration; the same level as all other discourses and power structures in a given place and time. The critical engagement with complexity theories that Gilroy undertakes exposes the mutually transforming transactions between raciological thinking and its social, cultural and political manifestations. It opens an analytical space in which “racisms” can be re-considered within a history of the interaction and developments of co-evolving systems rather than as solely a history of the development of “man.”

Works Cited

“denature” A Dictionary of Biology. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. University of Waterloo. 2 September 2004 http://www.oxfordreference.com.

“The Philosophy of Positivism.” Center for Applied Philosophy. The Radical Academy. 8 August 2004. http://radicalacademy.com/adiphilpositivism.htm

Comte, August. “Positive Philosophy.” Center for Applied Philosophy. The Radical Academy. 8 August 2004. http://radicalacademy.com/adiphiloessay42.htm

Gilroy, Paul. Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line. Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard UP, 2000.

Hayles, N. Katherine. Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science. Ithica: Cornell UP, 1990.

Matheson, Carl and Evan Kirchoff. “Chaos and Literature.” Philosophy and Literature 21.1. (1997): 28-45.


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          THE FULLY AUTONOMOUS CAR UPDATE: How self-driving cars are poised to move into the mainstream and upend the automotive industry   

Interested if SDCBI Intelligence

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The self-driving car is no longer a futuristic fantasy. Consumers can already buy vehicles that, within a few years time, will get software updates enabling them to hit the road without the need for a driver.

This autonomous revolution will upend the automotive sector and disrupt huge swaths of the economy, while radically improving energy efficiency and changing the way people approach transport around the world.

Automakers and tech companies are racing to develop the technology that will power self-driving cars in the coming years. That tech is advancing, but leaves observers with a bigger question: will consumers trust driverless car tech, and will they want to use autonomous cars?

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyze the self-driving car market, forecasting vehicle shipments and market penetration, profile the players expected to take on a prominent role in the autonomous future, examine the barriers to autonomous car development and adoption, review developments in technology, regulation, and consumer sentiment, before finally analyzing the impact the introduction of autonomy will have on various industries and transport trends. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Self-driving cars are coming; there will be fully autonomous cars on the roads in the US in 2018, and adoption will just take off from there.
  • The technology is developing swiftly to allow fully self-driving vehicles, while the regulatory environment is adapting to the anticipated changes that this new technology will bring.
  • We conducted a survey asking our exclusive BI Insiders panel about their thoughts on self-driving cars, the future of the automotive industry, and the impact autonomous vehicles will have on their purchasing habits moving forward. The results provide a picture of consumer sentiment at the precipice of the autonomous era.

In full, the report:

  • Sizes the current and future self-driving car market, forecasting shipments and projecting installed base.
  • Explains the current state of technology, regulation, and consumer perception.
  • Analyzes how the development of autonomous cars will impact employment and the economy.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
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NOW WATCH: Watch two Boeing jets fly together like fighter planes


          Anger from the underground: Bulgarian miners in wildcat strike   

The miners from Obrochishte - the third largest manganese mine in the world, located in eastern Bulgaria, went on wildcat strike on 01.06.2017. The strike was supported by the anarchosyndicalists from ARS (Avtonomen Rabotnicheski Sindikat / Autonomous Workers Union), while the bureaucratic union in the mine opposed the strike and sided with the bosses.

read more


          High sea surface temperatures may affect immune competence of California sea lions   
(PLOS) Anomalously high sea surface temperatures may compromise the immune response of California sea lions, according to a study published June 28, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse from Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico, and colleagues.
          Great opportunities for marine research with new underwater vehicle   
(University of Gothenburg) The University of Gothenburg soon will have its first autonomous underwater vehicle for research use. This will make it possible to conduct detailed studies of the seabed at great depths and track the climate thousands of years back in time.
          Self-Driving Boats Are Coming To Amsterdam   
And you thought those self-driving cars sounded scary! Wait until you see a boat driving itself on the water. Self-driving boats are actually in the works in Amsterdam. Today, the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) announced a new, five-year research initiative to explore the possibility of floating robot vehicles. “Imagine a fleet of autonomous boats for the transportation […]

This story was originally published at Self-Driving Boats Are Coming To Amsterdam


          Rechargeable Battery Hack for Autonomous Toy Truck   
In this instructable, I will show how I will share by 40v rechargeable batteries to my future autonomous toy truck.My target voltage is 5v and 12v. 5v to power the light bulbs. 12v is to power microcontrollers ESP32, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Therefore, a buck DC-DC converter is needed to bring do...
By: John_TS_DTW

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          MySmartFoosball: Analyse Your Game!   
Imagine a 'foosball table' that autonomously calculates LIVE match statistics, such as goal scores, ball possession, successful passes, shots on goal... and even announces which of the little plastic footballers was the ‘player of the match!’ Using NI myRIO, an iPad, and a tin of conductive paint, y...
By: Leonard Goldschmidt

Continue Reading »
          The Futurist Scorecard: A Look At (Almost) Everything That Interests Elon Musk Besides Building Cars   

Rocket ships, brain chips, music streaming, autonomous driving, solar power, underground roads with elevators — it might be easier to list all the stuff that doesn’t capture Elon Musk’s active imagination. Best known as a car mogul, the founder and … Continue reading

The post The Futurist Scorecard: A Look At (Almost) Everything That Interests Elon Musk Besides Building Cars appeared first on RocketNews |Top News Stories From Around the Globe.


          Nursing Students' Perceptions of Clinical Teachers' Use of Empowering Teaching Behaviours: Instrument Psychometrics and Application   
The authors present findings of 2nd year nursing students’ (N = 352) perceptions of their clinical teachers’ use of empowering teaching behaviours (ETB) and to highlight steps undertaken to establish psychometric properties of the Empowering Teaching Behaviours Questionnaire – Student (ETBQ-S). The authors identify a) the process involved in the adoption of the ETBQ-S, b) ETBQ-S validity procedures completed prior to instrument implementation, c) results of nursing students’ responses to the ETBQ-S, d) criterion validity, and e) ETBQ-S confirmatory factor analysis findings conducted after study completion. The ETBQ-S reliably measures five facets of empowering actions that clinical teachers can employ with nursing students in practice to enhance their confidence, involve them in decision-making and goal setting, make learning meaningful, and help them to become more autonomous nurses.
          Опубликованы первые шпионские ФОТО беспилотного грузовика Google — Автоновости Autoru.news   

Компания Waymo, которая является подразделением Google по разработке автономных автомобилей, вовсю тестирует беспилотный грузовик.Издание Jalopnik публикует сделанные фотошпионами снимки тягача Peterbilt 579 с логотипом Waymo — машина оснащена лидаром, радаром и ультразвуковыми сенсорами. О том, что Waymo работает над созданием самоходных грузовиков, агентство сообщило в начале июля. В компании тогда пояснили, что такие грузовики будут перевозить товары на дальние расстояния, тогда как люди-водители продолжат обслуживать более короткие маршруты. Google’s self-driving car division is working on (semi-)autonomous trucks https://t.co/ypNK619WN3 #logistics #transport #truck #driver pic.twitter.com/rwZalHEqsZ— RouteXL (@RouteXLcom) 28 июня 2017 г.Как отмечает Jalopnik, есть большие сомнения, что эту новость воспримут с энтузиазмом 3 млн водителей грузовиков в США, которые сейчас перевозят 70% национальных грузов. Американским властям, очевидно, пора уже задуматься об их будущем трудоустройстве. Напомним, что беспилотные грузовики разрабатывают также Tesla, Amazon, Mercedes, Uber (в рамках проекта UberFreight), китайская FAW, российский «КамАЗ». Осенью прошлого года глава Росавтодора призвал российских дальнобойщиков готовиться к переквалификации, заявив, что через пять лет они могут быть вытеснены с рынка беспилотными технологиями. Источник новости Источник новости

Запись Опубликованы первые шпионские ФОТО беспилотного грузовика Google — Автоновости Autoru.news впервые появилась События дня - InfoRU.news.


          ENGEL LEONARDO 'REJAS, SILLAS, VESTIDOS, MUÑECAS Y PLATANO' AT THE MUSEO DEL HOMBRE DOMINICANO IN SANTO DOMINGO   

Engel Leonardo, 'Rejas, Sillas, Vestidos, Muñecas y Plátano' organized by Ramos Mederos at the Museo del Hombre Dominicano in Santo Domingo


















and a conversation between Engel Leonardo and Pablo Leon de la Barra about the exhibition, with the support of Davidoff Art Initiative


The facade of the Museo del Hombre Dominicano in Santo Domingo which inaugurated the 12th of October of 1972 (with sculptures outside of an african slave, a priest, an indigenous taino)


The Museo del Hombre Dominicano in Santo Domingo which although dusty, dormant and forgotten, still has its original museography and exhibition design.


















Engel Leonardo
Rejas, Sillas, Vestidos, Muñecas y Plátano
Museo del Hombre Dominicano, Santo Domingo
press release

Ramos Mederos Gallery presents Rejas, Sillas, Vestidos, Muñecas y Plátano (bars, chairs, dresses, dolls and plantain), the first solo exhibition by artist Engel Leonardo. Open from November 4th to the 30th at the Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum of the Dominican Man) in the Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo.

The exhibition is presented within the framework of interventions carried out by Ramos Mederos in various areas of the city as a way to create new dialogues between the artwork and the public. This time the Gallery is housed on the third floor of the Museum of the Dominican Man, a public institution dedicated to the conservation, research and dissemination of the national anthropological and ethnological heritage.

Within this context Engel Leonardo proposes a series of pieces made from his travel research, and the collection and documentation of traditional craft practices of the Dominican countryside. Creating works that are based on contemplation, observation and the detailed study of the elements, features and aesthetic languages that represent a valuable sample of the popular aesthetics and craftsmanship of the island.

Rejas, Sillas, Vestidos, Muñecas y Plátano (bars, chairs, dresses, dolls and plantain) consists of five series which express Leonardo’s interest in Dominican and Caribbean culture through formal exploration, creating a catalog of elements and objects from our culture transformed into geometry and color and in which converge new and interesting techniques, as well as a mixture of different materials.

The series of sculptures in Moca, are based on the study of the faceless dolls created in Higüerito, Moca in the 1970s, and popularized in the 80s and 90s. Made of local clay and Guayacán, he revisits this Dominican icon, a symbol of Caribbean mixing, bringing the original’s abstraction from the face to the rest of the structure.

La Otra Banda is a series of dresses created from research trips and documentation of vernacular architecture in the communities of La Otra Banda and Villa Jaragua, located in the extreme east and west of the country. These pieces carry the architectural, competitive, formal and chromatic elements from wood to fabric, a new proposal for clothing that allows you to dress up in popular architecture motifs.

Yamasá is composed by three sculptures that are based on abstractions and formal explorations on the traditional design of the guano chair, maintaining its proportions and retrying their structures, blurring the border between craft and art, between the utilitarian and the contemplative.

The Cibao printed series, is the first two-dimensional work presented by Leonardo, and with it proposes new pictorial forms, using the juice of the banana peel as ink or stain, extracted and applied directly with the hand on Arches paper they suggest the reliefs of the Cibao and the Cordillera Central.

In the Vevés bar series the artist uses the basic structure of a protective grate, a typical element of the Dominican contemporary surroundings as a canvas. On this occasion representing Vêves, traditional symbols of Haitian and Dominican Vodou, through abstract synthesis and color.

Engel Leonardo was born in Baní, Dominican Republic in 1977. A graduate of the Faculty of Arts of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo with complementary studies in the Altos de Chavón School of Design (affiliated to the Parsons School of Design in NY). Some selected exhibitions: Rejas, Sillas, Vestidos, Muñecas y Plátano (bars, chairs, dresses, dolls and plantain) Galería Ramos Mederos; Pedernales, Teorética, San José, Costa Rica; UNFOLD, Ramos Mederos, Santo Domingo; Moderno Tropical, Engel Leonardo and Laura Castro, 27th National Biennale of Visual Arts, Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo;Construction: New Perspectives on the Dominican Identity, William Road Gallery, London, UK; Status Quoand sample of video art, Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo; On Common Ground, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C. Awards: 27th National Biennale of Visual Arts for Moderno Tropical; selected in the call for emerging artists in emergency - volcanic context, Teorética, San José, Costa Rica; Selected in the Solo Project Latin America, ARCO, Madrid, Spain; selected by Worldwide Storefront for Art and Architecture with the project Tropical Ghosts.

*****
On Engel Leonardo's Work
Regina José Galindo

“When I think of the Caribbean I think of the unrelenting Sun, of the great waves of people, of the large parties that suddenly come together, of excess. Excess of blue skies, excess of light, excess of heat, excess of air conditioning, excess of moisture, excess of green landscapes, excess of rain, excess of mosquitoes, excess of potholes, excess of jeeps, excess ofcolmados, excess of public cars, excess of moto taxis, excess of salami, excess of meat pastries, excess of frying, excess of fried chicken, excess of rum, excess of beer, excess of quickies, excess of fierce women, excess of fierce men, excess of beaches that take your breath away, excess of coconuts, excess of coconut candy, excess of ripe fruit. Excess of Russians in Punta Cana, excess of police extortion, excess of racism, excess of lawsuits, excess of decibels, excess of bachata, excess of merengue, excess of dembow. Excess of music everywhere, excess of parties everywhere, excess of friends everywhere, excess of happiness everywhere.

Therefore, it seems a great and surprising contradiction to years later encounter the work of Engel Leonardo. His projects are exquisitely conceived by the spirit of the tropics, they are imminently Caribbean, they exude it, and yet are all but excessive. They are like that other side of the Caribbean, calm, moderate, precise. Like small poems (or Visual haikus of Dominican origin) lacking or sparing nothing.

After his ceramic centerpiece depicting a fried chicken with tostones, and other work done in collaboration with the group Shampoo, Engel’s language began to take new directions. Synthesis and abstraction replaced narrative which was promptly relegated by the investigation of the form. It seems as if he went through a complex and arduous cleaning process from which he emerged renovated, balanced, with a nearly zen meditative energy. That could explain the origin of work as carefully produced as Moderno Tropical, carried out in collaboration with Dominican artist Laura Castro. A fascinating intervention of the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo, where suddenly the Balaguer architecture of the building was modified by sophisticated architectural details that gave new life and new air to the space. I only saw it in photos, I did not have the experience of being in the space, but the images were enough to transport me to the terrace of a house in Baní or an afternoon al fresco in the porch of a Victorian house in Puerto Plata.

It would also explain the fact of having produced pieces as refined as Moca, the series inspired by the typical Dominican faceless dolls. Beautiful sculptures in clay, glaze and Guayacá n with round forms and spindly necks which through geometric figures refer to the mystery and voluptuousness of the women of the region, strong workers and peasants; or Pedernales a series of abstract sculptures inspired by the typical Dominican guano chairs; or the palm tree hats transformed into baseball caps; or the wonderful series of sculptures Cordillera, Isla y Antillas great landforms processed by Engel and by the hands of local artisans, into sober minimalist pieces that remind us of the color, complexity of and diversity of the Caribbean.

But what does it all matter? what relevance does it have to explain the creative processes? If at the end what matters is what emerged from them. And being more precise, perhaps we could say that in fact there was no such break or change. Perhaps the work of Engel had always been thus. Fresh, clean, refined. Just as he is. An artist with an exquisite taste, a delicious friend. The most polite of my friends, the most distinguished. My stylish tropical friend, which like his work, is not lacking or sparing anything.”


          Consumer Watchdog Urges Congress to Let States Set Safety Standards for Autonomous Vehicles   
As a House subcommittee considered more than a dozen bills proposing various federal standards for self-driving vehicles, the group Consumer Watchdog...
          Datafication   

For poets who are into data mining, personalization, and privacy issues (who isn't?):
"After all, throughout The Formula, Dormehl signals that he wants us to think carefully about what it means to be human in an age where algorithms increasingly tell us who we are, what we want, and how we'll come to behave in the future. Indeed, Dormehl goes so far as to declare that our age is marked by a "crisis of self," where the Enlightenment conception of "autonomous individuals" is challenged by an algorithmic alternative. Individuals have become construed as "one categorizable node in an aggregate mass." --Evan Selinger, Los Angeles Review of Books
The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems -- And Create More, Luke Dormehl, Perigee Books, 2014, pp. 288, ISBN 9780399170539

           Self-driving pod delivers groceries to online supermarket customers    

The electric CargoPod was developed for the Ocado trial by Oxbotica

Online supermarket Ocado in the closing stages of a two week grocery delivery trial, where customers in residential areas of Greenwich, London, get their shopping delivered by a self-driving electric van called the CargoPod. Developed by Oxbotica for the experiment, the vehicle uses sensors and software to make its way to more than a hundred customers taking part in the trial without the need for GPS.

.. Continue Reading Self-driving pod delivers groceries to online supermarket customers

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          Video: New Mellanox SHIELD Technology Enables Self Healing Networks   

SHIELD is an innovative interconnect technology that improves data center fault recovery by 5000 times by enabling interconnect autonomous self-healing capabilities. “The CPU-centric data center architecture has come to an end and new data centers are now built based on a data-centric architecture. These systems require an intelligent interconnect that can deliver In-Network Computing and Self-healing capabilities, to ensure highest performance, scalability and resiliency."

The post Video: New Mellanox SHIELD Technology Enables Self Healing Networks appeared first on insideHPC.


          Naira Watch: Naira depreciates as CBN injects $195m   

The naira depreciated yesterday against the dollar in parallel market and the Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX).

The post Naira Watch: Naira depreciates as CBN injects $195m appeared first on Vanguard News.


          January 2006 seafloor-spreading event at 9°50′N, East Pacific Rise: Ridge dike intrusion and transform fault interactions from regional hydroacoustic data   
An array of autonomous underwater hydrophones is used to investigate regional seismicity associated with the 22 January 2006 seafloor-spreading event on the northern East Pacific Rise near 9°50′N. Significant earthquake activity was observed beginning 3 weeks prior to the eruption, where a total of 255 earthquakes were detected within the vicinity of the 9°50′N area. This was followed by a series of 252 events on 22 January and a rapid decline to background seismicity levels during the subsequent 3 days. Because of their small magnitudes, accurate locations could be derived for only 20 of these events, 18 of which occurred during a 1-h period on 22 January. These earthquakes cluster near 9°45′N and 9°55′N, at the distal ends of the young lava flows identified posteruption, where the activity displays a distinct spatial-temporal pattern, alternating from the north to the south and then back to the north. This implies either rapid bilateral propagation along the rift or the near-simultaneous injection of melt vertically from the axial magma lens. Short-duration T wave risetimes are consistent with the eruption of lavas in the vicinity of 9°50′N on 22 January 2006. Eruptions on 12 and 15–16 January also may be inferred from the risetime data; however, the locations of these smaller-magnitude events cannot be determined accurately. Roughly 15 h after the last earthquakes were located adjacent to the eruption site, a sequence of 16 earthquakes began to the north-northeast at a distance of 25–40 km from the 9°50′N site. These events are located in vicinity of the Clipperton Transform and its western inside corner, an area from which the regional hydrophone network routinely detects seismicity. Coulomb stress modeling indicates that a dike intrusion spanning the known eruptive zone to the south (9°46′–9°56′N) would act to promote normal faulting or a combination of normal faulting and transform slip within this region, with stress changes on the order of 1–10 kPa.
          D. R. Congo: Explaining Peace Building Failures, 2003-2006   
As a corrective to the emphasis on national and international reconciliation during peace building processes, I develop here a conceptual analysis of the dynamics of violence during the transition from war to peace and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2003 and 2006. I locate the sources, at the local, national, and regional levels, of continued local violence during this transition. Through an analysis of the situation in the provinces of North Kivu and North Katanga, I illustrate how local dynamics interacted with the national and regional dimensions of the conflict. I demonstrate that, after a national and regional settlement was reached, some local conflicts over land and political power increasingly became self-sustaining, autonomous, and disconnected from the national and regional tracks. Thus, peace building action was required not only at the national and regional levels but also locally.
          Projections for the Palestinian Revolution   
"The establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state in the West Bank is not in the true interest of the Palestinian people. Those who think immediate autonomy would be another step toward a new and improved world order disregard the history of almost every revolution from 1789 to 1989. The history of Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan indicates that if the Palestinians remain patient, within 20 years, they will peacefully assume control of a democratic government with an established bureaucracy, legal system, and economy. "Land for Peace" is a catchy phrase, but it is also a dangerous over-simplification which ignores political reality and historical trends. Israel's refusal to allow truly democratic elections and political freedoms has prevented Palestine from establishing a democratic tradition. Given the political oppression and violence of the last 25-year Israeli occupation, military and political withdrawal would be equivalent to the overthrow of an authoritarian or totalitarian system. Two centuries of history show that after the initial revolutionary euphoria wears off, the united revolutionary opposition (i.e. the Third Estate, Solidarity, and perhaps the PLO) splinters into conflicting groups that struggle to fill the power vacuum. Revolutionary states without democratic traditions slip into anarchy, civil war, and/or tyranny as in the cases of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century French governments. Even if the Palestinians were to establish a democratic government immediately after their autonomy was granted, the lack of a democratic tradition would make them susceptible to the same civil strife and tyranny that undermined the Weimar Republic."--from page 26
          Proba-1 is Back in Business.   
ESA's Proba-1 microsat was built and launched by the ESA as a proof-of-concept for semi-autonomous Earth observation - operators can upload coordinates and the satellite will autonomously image that location. The satellite ended up turning into a heavily-used science tool, but it almost shut down in May due to star tracker degradation. 


Proba-1 captured this image of London's Olympic Park
 neighborhood.   Credit: ESA 
Many small satellites use star trackers to orient themselves. The star trackers point behind the satellite (away from the Sun and Earth) and take pictures of star fields, which they can identify and use to calculate the satellite's orientation.  The CCD camera's attached to Proba-1's star trackers had sustained severe radiation (they were 5 years older than the planned lifetime for Proba-1), and the radiation had created permanent damaged or "hot" pixels which  show up in images as white spots. The star trackers were mistaking hot pixels for stars, and sending incorrect coordinates to the main satellite computer, causing it to error out or mispoint. 

Proba-1 was saved by a software patch written specifically for the satellite, which - once loaded - allowed the star trackers to distinguish between hot pixels and real stars. The star trackers are apparently working "as good as new" now, even with degraded CCDs. The proof is in the pudding - at the right is a farewell shot of Olympic Park that the satellite shot last week.
          BLUR / Costume and Set Design   

In March I designed the set and the costume for BLUR, a solo choreographed by Joanna Lesnierowska and performed by Aleksandra Borys. It premiered 30th March 2017 at Art Station Foundation, Poznan, Poland. I created an assembled wall, consisting of 14 suspended panels, and a yellow jacket between a garment and an autonomous acting object.



From the program:
"Although the principle of ‘blur’ has been introduced into the tradition of European painting already by da Vinci’s sfumato-technique, it is however only after Gerhard Richter (in whose work the phenomenon of out-of-focus and hazy images took such a dominant role) that the blurred surface has become one of central motives in both figurative and abstract paintings as well as photography and post-photography of nowadays. Artists employ the means of blurring intentionally, in different combinations, and following different conceptual and technical strategies. Blurred surfaces, dissolving contours, hazy appearances, indistinct motifs in a state between apparition and dissolution, chaotic accumulation and constant overdose of equally important and unimportant details, dispersed visions and meanings, and aspects of color and composition brought to the fore – with all this in mind, we entered the studio to examine possibility of ‘blur’ in the context of body and choreography."










Photo: Jakub Wittchen



All photos (unless noted otherwise): Michiel Keuper, 2017



Concept/composition: Joanna Leśnierowska
performed by: Aleksandra Borys
set & costume design: Michiel Keuper
light: Joanna Leśnierowska (with research input by Jan Maertens)
sound & technical realization: Łukasz Kędzierski
voice coaching: Katarzyna Sitarz
graphic design: Michał Łuczak
production: Joanna Leśnierowska
coproduction: Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
with support of: wpZimmer Antwerp, Visegrad Artist Residency Program for Performing Arts  (VARP-PA)







          Dapper Dan #14/ Opinions & Inspirations contribution   
Dapper Dan  #14, 2016/2017, cover

In the summer I was invited to contribute to Dapper Dan's Opinions & Inspirations section for their upcoming issue. I immediately thought of my first series of over-paintings I made when I transitioned from working in the fashion industry towards an autonomous way of working.

The issue just came out. Very happy to see my story and image in print. 
Thank you Dapper Dan!


Michiel Keuper - From the Past Present (Past Presence) series, 2010, ink and acrylic on magazine


My story to the image: 


BALANCE

In October 1989, during my first months in college, I read an interview with neurobiologist and Nobel prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini, then 80. What resonated with me most was her interpretation of ‘The Choice’ by William Butler Yeats, a poem she quotes in her autobiography;

The intellect of man is forced to choose/ 
Perfection of the life, or of the work,/ 
And if it take the second must refuse/ 
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark./ 
When all that story's finished, what's the news?/ 
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:/ 
That old perplexity an empty purse,/ 
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

Levi-Montalcini: “Yeats gives you two options. Either you choose perfection in your work, with as a reward recognition but at night remorse. Or you lead a calm and serene life, without success and at the end an empty purse. I’ve always refused to make that choice, with as a result deficiency in my work ánd in my life.” 

In 2009, after studying and working in fashion for 20 years, the meaning of Yeats’ poem became evident to me once again. Being absorbed by working in the industry, I guess I suddenly realized I didn’t want to end up having remorse at night for all the things I’d always wanted to do but never allowed myself time for. Painting was one of those things. 

That first year away from my designer life in overdrive, I started a series of works on paper, initially as research for later paintings, using fashion magazines I had amassed over the years. In the Black Series – Past Present (Past Presence) I erased fashion references from magazine pages. An attempt to re-view my past and to find new access to known sources, to create new images from the old.



- Michiel Keuper, visual composer 




Dapper Dan #14 - Opinions and Inspirations Section, spread Glenn Martens (left), Michiel Keuper (right)

Dapper Dan #14 - Michiel Keuper
contribution Opinions and Inspirations Section

Dapper Dan #14, 2016/2017, cover

          A Speculative History of Dutch Fashion Design @ HNI Rotterdam/ September 2015   
A Speculative History of Dutch Fashion - Installation overview, September 2015.
Foto Johannes Schwartz/ HNI

One of the projects that kept me busy in August, was the re-creation of 13 toiles for the exhibition A Speculative History of Dutch Fashion in the Temporary Fashion Museum, just opened at Het Nieuwe Instituut/ HNI Rotterdam (to be seen till May next year).
These Simoulages, as I call them (since they are simulations of moulages; interpretations and not straight copies of originals), reflect on the design vocabulary from the so-called Arnhem School in the 1990s, now ArtEZ Fashion Design Arnhem.
A time when, especially at the fashion department of the Academy of Arts in Arnhem, the idea that fashion should present a new face every season is critically challenged. Designers start developing a reflective practice which investigates fashion itself and provide a commentary on the consumption of clothing and the fashion system. This translates into an extreme concentration on construction and a resistance to any form of decoration just for the sake of decoration.
From the catalog- "In the early nineties the School introduces a new legitimacy for the designer, namely through his cultural position. The autonomous designer moves away from the street towards the museum and, finally, the idea of 'fashion-as-communication' becomes subject of investigation."

 [photos below: Michiel Keuper]














          The Other Type of Robot Battery   
By Daniel Healow While the words “robot” and “battery” are commonly used in the same sentence, these phrases are usually referring to electricity, not assault. Unfortunately, use of the latter definition is increasing in frequency due to an uptick in malicious human actions taken against intelligent robots undergoing real-world testing. As the number of independently-operating robots have multiplied in humans’ daily lives, so have instances of violence against them. This proliferation of independently-operating robots has spurred a rapid growth of literature extrapolating on Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics,” which stress the need to prevent harm to humans by malicious robots. However, the study of human crimes committed against robots has received significantly less attention. Despite this discrepancy, it is important that the law governing human and robot interactions quickly evolves to keep pace with human reliance on these machines. Recent public deployments of autonomous robots have offered us an initial glimpse into the benefits, as well as the hazards, of

read more The Other Type of Robot Battery


          Autonomous cars years and years away: Expert   
Steve Cannon, AMB Group CEO and former Mercedes-Benz USA CEO, discusses the state of the the auto sector and innovations in the space.
          Submission   

» Do we have the political will to build a different type of transportation system? Or will the rise of autonomous vehicles simply reinforce existing norms?

There is now no debate over whether automated technology will revolutionize the transportation system—the question is just when it will do so. Industry watchers who four years ago predicted it would take a decade and a half to realize fully driverless cars now suggest they’ll be online, everywhere, by 2020.

Indeed, just this week, Tesla announced that all of the vehicles it is producing, including its newest, cheapest Model 3, will have “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” Its cars will feature eight cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors, designed to evaluate the world around the cars and respond immediately. The technology won’t be activated immediately; it will collect data as drivers use the cars to improve its

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          Master Voyager   
Master Voyager has been specially designed to create protected DVD/CD discs and USB memory sticks. It creates protected areas on media and requires a password to see the protected contents. Protected discs/USB sticks are fully autonomous and do not need any special software to be installed. The program uses strong encryption to protect your data. The 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the new Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), used even by the U.S. government (and others) to protect sensitive information. Embedded CD/DVD burning module. CDR/CDRW/DVD+-R/DVD+-RW disc types are supported. You do not need to buy special CD burning software. No need to have Master Voyager software on a computer to read protected media. Each protected disc/USB stick contains an AutoPlay module. Just insert the disc into a CD drive (or connect your flash stick to a USB port) and it will ask for the password to continue. The only requirement is to have Windows Vista/XP/2000 (32- or 64-bit) and a CD-ROM/USB port. Protected media do NOT install any software to the target computer. They are fully autonomous. Download and try out a 30-day evaluation version free of charge! Tag:dvd cd rw usb protect password encrypt encryption aes strong mobile
          I'm on YouTube!   
I'm on YouTube!

*small voice* Hi! Remember me? It's been a while! How are you? Enjoying fall? Eaten enough pumpkin spice everything yet? Enjoying spring if you're in the southern hemisphere?

I just wanted to write a quick post to let you know I've made some cooking videos and shared them on the YouTubes. Have you heard of ASMR? It's that soothing, tingling sensation you get on the back of your neck when you hear certain sounds. I never knew it had a name or that other people experienced it too. Not everybody does experience it, mind you. If you're one of the poor souls who doesn't get the tingly feeling then ASMR may seem stupid. Anyway, I've been watching ASMR videos on YouTube to help soothe the Anxiety Monster, and while they don't always help, it's nice when they do. My favorite ASMR videos are cooking videos. No whispers! ASMR whispers freak me out. So I decided to make a few of my own ASMR-friendly* cooking videos until I lose interest in them. You know me. I rarely stick with anything. So far I've made eight videos.

* UPDATE: Abort! Abort! I won't be calling these videos "ASMR friendly" anymore. The whole ASMR thing has become weird. So now I think I'll simply be calling them "relaxing" videos. Or maybe "quiet" videos. "Introvert" videos?  

Here is a little sampling.







There are a few more on my channel and I'll probably make a few more before I lose interest and quit. Here's the link to my channel in case you'd like to subscribe or check it out.

Anyway, that's all the news I have. I hope you're well and doing whatever makes you happy.
          Network Engineer - Daimler - Sunnyvale, CA   
MBRDNA is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with key areas of Advanced Interaction Design, Digital User Experience, Machine Learning, Autonomous...
From Daimler - Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:42:50 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
          Networks - The Next Challenge in Digital Transformation   

As digital transformation has been picking up momentum, leading analysts such as 451 Research have suggested that hybrid multi-clouds and automated DevOps will become key constituents powering enterprises in the new era. At the heart of these enabling technologies lies Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) designed for near-autonomous application deployment across hybrid infrastructures consisting of traditional on-premise data centers and public clouds.

The business case for LSO is straight-forward. To be able to accommodate the peak loads that any digital services may experience, enterprises running their own data centers have been forced to invest in excess capacity to accommodate the x2-3 load peaks that may occur from time to time. As this excess capacity idles for most of the time, buying the peak capacity from cloud service providers considerably reduces the CAPEX investments an enterprise would otherwise have to make.

With the promise of slashing the CAPEX spending in half, it is no surprise that hybrid IT has been gaining in popularity as of late. This has led into something of a gold rush into the market space, with industry bellwethers such as Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Microsoft all making significant investments into the area. Also, the open source community has taken a note of the potential, with DevOps communities and key commercial players such as Red Hat making their way to the hybrid world.

Hybrid IT Runs on Networks

The curious thing about hybrid IT innovation is that practically all the focus has been going into the application realm of things. I find this somewhat troubling from the operational point of view because, in order for the applications to be moved around automatically using technologies like LSO, both the application release parameters and the underlying networks should be managed within a single unified system.

By fusing the unified network management and the LSO together, enterprises will be able to develop streamlined processes that allow private Wide Area Network (WAN) segments to be activated automatically in Virtual Private Clouds (VPC). This enables seamless connectivity between private enterprise data centers and public clouds such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, making the free movement of application workloads a reality.

In contrast, without a unified network management process in place, the IT departments can easily end up with delivery times calculated in months. This is the typical time it takes to manually assign and activate new network segments, to requisition new virtual appliances, and to install and to configure all of this manually. In situations where the business user is in urgent need of additional application capacity to meet business needs, delivery times this long are simply not acceptable.

Conclusion

To solve the network part of the digital transformation, Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) should be paired up with a unified network management system that is responsible for the underlying networks in the same way as the LSO is responsible for the business applications that run in them. You can call me an idealist, but I have a strong feeling that solutions like this are just around the corner. Otherwise, the ICT industry will have hard time unleashing the true power of Hybrid IT.

Written by Juha Holkkola, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist at FusionLayer Inc.


          Network Dis-Aggregation and SDN: Different, But Related   

Two of the hottest trends in networking today are network dis-aggregation and SDN. This is great for many reasons. It's also confusing. The marketing hype makes it hard to understand either topic. SDN has become so vague that if you ask 10 experts what it means, you are likely to get 12 different answers. Network dis-aggregation seems straightforward enough until it gets confused with SDN. We need to take a step back. In a recent Packet Pushers blog post; I start with a simple explanation of each of these trends and then map how they interact.

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

I try not so use the term "SDN." As Ethan recently pointed out, its been so badly abused that it has, essentially, lost all meaning. The flip side is that the term isn't going anywhere. Companies are selling SDN and executives are asking for SDN. Just like "cloud," we seem to be stuck with "SDN." The best we can do is work to agree on a common, if general, definition — and be more specific whenever possible.

For now, we're left to define the term every time we use it. At its core, I believe that SDN has two components; network automation, and network analytics. Automation encompasses concepts such as logically centralized management, network programmability, and network abstraction. Analytics provides the information you need to make informed decisions when planing, building, and operating your network. Analytics also provide the feedback needed for advanced automation (i.e. autonomous networks). Whether you use OpenFlow or overlays, whether you write your own Ansible playbooks or leverage complex orchestration systems; the fundamentals of SDN are always the same. Putting information into the network, and getting information out of the network.

Using this definition, I don't see SDN as an option as much as an inevitable progression of network management. Networks are becoming more and more vital to our society while the ratio of devices to engineer continues to climb. We must find ways to simplify network operations and increase network efficiency. Today, those solutions fall under the umbrella of SDN.

Network Dis-aggregation

Here's another imperfect term. Taken literally, "network dis-aggregation" means to separate the network into its component parts. Wouldn't that just mean looking at individual routers, switches, and firewalls? More specifically, we probably should say 'network device dis-aggregation' or 'hardware and software dis-aggregation in network devices.' Too bad those phrases are so unwieldy.

What we're talking about here is the ability to source switching hardware and network operating systems separately. This is like buying a server from almost any manufacturer and then loading an OS of your choice. This is where I'm supposed to say, "thank the heavens that networking is finally catching up to systems." And it IS great that this is an option now. The proliferation of "whitebox" and "britebox" switching platforms, combined with the explosion of available network operating systems (NOS'), are together putting pricing and innovation pressure on the legacy "aggregated" networking vendors. Don't forget however why so many people love their Apple products; sometimes it still makes sense to engineer hardware and software together.

Note: This trend is going to get even more exciting as we start to see commodity hardware built on programmable merchant silicon, like Barefoot's Tofino, Cavium's XPliant, and Innovium's Teralynx.

Combining Network Dis-aggregation and SDN

Deploying dis-aggregated network devices and deploying SDN are not the same thing. There is an obvious relationship between the two though.

To dig into how network dis-aggregation and SDN interact, and how they may guide your journey to the network you want, check out the full post on Packet Pushers!

Written by Chris Grundemann, Internet Technologist, Author, and Speaker; Principal Architect at Myriad Supply


          PSA plans 'hands off' self-driving cars after 2020   
PSA says it is committed to developing Level 3 autonomous driving, which allows hands-off capability but requires the driver to take back control at any time, even as some automakers say they will move directly to Levels 4 and 5, which give the car...
          Safety advocates want Congress to go slow on autonomous cars   
Basic rules of the road are needed before lawmakers allow companies to dramatically expand testing of self-driving cars, safety and consumer advocates told lawmakers Tuesday.
          First Shift: Hertz supplying Apple's test cars   
Hertz supplying Apple's autonomous test cars; GM lowers '17 sales outlook; Aston scales back plan for RapidE EV; Elon Musk takes 'Boring' idea to Chicago; Gold rush for suppliers?
          Philosophy of Football: Defining Football. Part 1   
We have all grown up playing, watching, supporting, loving, hating and obsessing over football. By now it might seem reasonable to assume that we have a pretty good understanding of what the sport essentially is. But do we? Ask the man in the pub what he thinks it is and he might come up with the following reply; 'it’s that game where a load of blokes kick a ball about.' Is he right?


On a very basic level, perhaps, but there is a lot missing from this definition; not only does it ignore the fact that women can play the game too, but it also misses out the tactics, the fans, the money, the aesthetic, the culture and a huge amount of other important aspects of football, which help to make up the rich tapestry of the game. However, a definition can go too far and become over-inclusive; are the winding up orders taken by the HMRC against football clubs who have run into financial difficulty really part of football, or are they in fact, part of the legal system or business? It is a very difficult question. Our objective here is to decide what is part of football, and what is only on the periphery of the game. This leads me onto the first part of our inquiry rather nicely.

What is Unique about Football?
In his essay ‘Is Sport Unique? A Question of Definability’, SK Wertz claims “that sport has no autonomous features”[1] whatsoever. He thinks that “its problems and characteristics [are] all reducible to other areas”[2]. This might seem like an extreme claim, but before we dismiss the idea, we should look at his claims in more detail.
Wertz defines unique as “a feature F applies exclusively to the concept of sport”[3]. With this definition in mind, it seems as though his claim is not as strange as first thought. For example, do the ethics of cheating apply solely to football? No, it can apply to cheating on examination papers too. How about the aesthetic of football, something which is often regarded as one of the sport’s most basic attributes? Richard Galvin questions this also: “how does one argue that sport is an art or has a deep affinity to art whereas taking out the garbage does not?”[4] After all there are some similarities between them. In football there is a goal, to score (in the goal obviously), the beauty is in how the players play the game. According to Galvin, this can be extended to taking the rubbish out. There is also a goal; to put the rubbish out (in the bin obviously), so why can this not be done beautifully?
However, I think Galvin is wrong in his point. Taking out the rubbish is an everyday, standard activity. It must be done or the house will become filled with rubbish, become smelly and unhealthy. Football on the other hand is fun, not functional. No-one enjoys taking out the rubbish, and everyone can do it to an equally adequate standard. This is not true of football. We enjoy it, but realise that it is a difficult activity to master. Anyone who saw my teams right-back on Sunday will realise that not everyone can play to an adequate standard and, as a result we marvel at those who play brilliantly. This is why when we see our neighbours put the bins out, we shrug, but when we see a 30 yard volley into the top left hand corner of the net, we admire. It is extraordinary, not mundane as Galvin’s reasoning would have us believe.
Wertz’s problem, however, still remains. There are other extraordinary sights, which can have the same impact on a person as a 30 yard volley, so football does not seem to be unique in that respect. But could this view actually be a good view for thinking philosophically about football? Naturally football plays a part in our wider culture and because of that, its influence seeps into “anthropological, artistic, economic, political, religious, and social”[5] areas, all of which have philosophical questions to be asked of them. In my view it is a good idea to be being inquiring into the nature of football through the spectrum of these already established mediums. There is no need to limit the philosophy of football to that which is completely unique to it. As you can see from the examples I used above, if we did limit ourselves to the purely unique aspects of sport, we would rule out ethical and aesthetic questions about football only because they do not only concern our sport. What I am arguing for here, is using other areas of philosophy when they are useful and relevant to our inquiry into the nature of football. Not dismissing the idea that because, say, Descartes was not directly considering football, or sport in general, when he wrote The Meditations, that to use it to aid our inquiry would be useless.
So, is football actually unique, philosophically speaking in any way? I think so. Whilst Wertz certainly has a strong argument I do think there are areas of football which differentiate it from other areas of inquiry in philosophy. Topics of philosophy often merge together. Take the philosophy of science for example. Questions of ethics in science are often deemed important, but the ethics is not strictly speaking, unique to science. However, the angle at which the philosopher must come at to tackle the question is. I argue that this is the same of any Philosophy of Football. Science, despite not being a completely unique subject is deemed worthy of philosophical study (according to Steven French) because:

“as a cultural phenomenon science has had more of an impact on our lives than any other ... there is a profound way in which science has changed our understanding of our origins. Consider the further, related development of the theory of evolution and the way it has changed our understanding of our origins ... [science] has had a huge impact on human society over hundreds of years – so how does it work?”[6]
The question this poses us now is; does football have similar elements which make it worthy of philosophical study? If we were to write a similar proposal on why football is worthy of philosophical study we might also point out that, as a cultural phenomenon, football has a great impact on many people’s lives. Indeed, in the case of some people, born nine months after a World Cup win; it might even be the cause of their lives. Football has a huge impact on people across the world; the globalisation of the game in recent years is probably the best example of this. We could even argue that football has changed the understanding of our origins. Admittedly, not in the same way that science does, but in on a personal level. I imagine for many people it will be an important part of their life and will lead them to understand more about themselves then they otherwise might have.

So, football is worthy of philosophical study in the same way that science is. But how should we go about deciding what to study philosophically? And where will our unique viewpoint of football that I have been arguing exists come from, so we can then view the interrelated philosophical topics through our footballing prism? The answer will come soon, in part 2 of ‘Defining Football’. In the meantime, pack a towel and a change of underwear; we’ll be going on a trip.
Thanks very much for reading, feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have.


[1] Wertz, SK (2002). ‘Is Sport Unique? A Question of Definability’. In: Holowchak, M Andrew Philosophy of Sport: Critical Readings, Crucial Issues. New Jersey: Pearson Education. pp86-95. p86
[2] Wertz (2002). p86
[3] Wertz (2002). p87
[4] Galvin, Richard F (1991). ‘Nonsense on Stilts: A Sceptical View’. In: Rethinking College Athletics. Edited by Judith Andre and David N James. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp87-99
[5] Wertz (2002). p89
[6] French, Steven (2007). Science. Key Concepts in Philosophy. London: Continuum. p1

          AI Trying To Design Inspirational Posters Goes Horribly And Hilariously Wrong   

Whenever an artificial intelligence (AI) does something well, we’re simultaneously impressed as we are worried. AlphaGO is a great example of this: a machine learning system that is better than any human at one of the world’s most complex games. Or what about Google’s neural networks that are able to create their own AIs autonomously?...

The post AI Trying To Design Inspirational Posters Goes Horribly And Hilariously Wrong appeared first on Breaking News, Sports, Entertainment.


          Boaty McBoatface returns from its inaugural mission – CNET   
CNETBoaty McBoatface, the autonomous submarine, is winched prior to the keel-laying ceremony of the new polar research ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images. Boaty McBoatface, the data-gathering unmanned submarine made …Boaty McBoatface Has Returned From Its Inaugural Mission With a Trove of DataGizmodoBoaty McBoatface Makes Its Triumphant Return, Hauling ‘Unprecedented Data’WCAIBoaty […]
          Mission accomplished, #4   
I would never have imagined how much we could accomplish in just a few years. On our first trip to Mulago in 2005 there was no PICU and no cardiac ICU to speak of. This year there is a fully functioning cardiac ICU with staff that have exceeded in everything we have asked of them. The PICU was full when I went to visit, and although their staffing ratios are much more dire, with acute shortages, there were children there that were to thrive because of the more intense monitoring available.

This trip was characterized by our toddlers, Joan, Hellen, Joachim, Babu, Jesse, Reagan and Anna Grace. The largest volume of two and under, I think I have ever taken care of in one sitting. This appeared to have a whole new set of challenges for our team, not least how were we to keep them all in bed, (we had no cribs available). Their bravery and stoicism was every measure of their teenage counterparts, Peter, Ruth and Mary. To see the little ones sitting up in bed, playing, and walking with chest tubes , wires and a sternotomy dressing, made me realise how pampered we all are.

Rounds had the added entertainment of these little ones, always watchful and serious, (our night shift nurses Susan and Jeannie were the only ones to consistently get smiles.) But their antics were a delight to watch. Hellen who could see us rounding on Joan, the team gathered around her bed. Joan was sitting quiet and regal in her stunning knitted pink hat, looking for all the world like the Queen at a gala. Hellen was watching everything very intently. I then noticed that Hellen had taken a washcloth, from the end of her bed, and was doing a wonderful job of fashioning it into a hat for herself, first trying to put it on her head and tie it around the back, then realizing that it wasn't quite big enough, she placed it squarely on top of her head, and sat just as proud and regal. While we rounded on Anna Grace she took her beanie baby that had been given to her and a towel, wrapped her baby and rocked it in her arms, looking down at the baby as a doting mother, so very precious. Joan was by far the most talkative and even after some analgesia and sedation, she was giving Karla down in the country as she had her tubes and wires removed. Goodness only knows what she said all I could catch was "muzinga" ("white person") but the Ugandan nurses were highly amused. They recovered nicely as you can see by the pictures of our toddler troop, where Joan is still to be seen in her wonderful pink hat.

On our last trip to Mulago, I had spoken in the blog about Matron Jolly. She is the head nurse in the pediatric acute care and PICU. On a trip to Bangladesh last year where she was at a conference on malnutrition, she fell and broke her hip. She was walking on crutches when we were visiting in 2008 and in a lot of pain. She has since had her hip replacement surgery, performed at Mulago. She suffered a post operative complication of foot drop and is now undergoing physical therapy. I went to visit her at home and she was in excellent form. She can walk short distances, is pain free and hopes to be back at work in the New Year. She wanted me to thank everyone for their generous donations and was very grateful for all the prayers and good wishes.

I cannot express with any justice how proud I am of the Ugandan nurses. In the three years we have been to Mulago and taken care of the post-op cardiac children they have become confident and autonomous. Setting up bedspaces to receive a post-op, noticing EKG changes, giving medicines and understanding their uses. Even the nurses that were new to this "camp" such as Lillian and Edith performed exceptionally well and presented in rounds better than some Residents, having the confidence to ask questions and challenge the modes of treatment that were to be followed. I am so looking forward to seeing them again next year, to know how much further they are in their practice.

There is always a great deal of sadness when I return from Uganda, my jet-lagged body may be here in Chapel Hill, but my heart stays in Kampala for a long time before it is ready to be back.

Katherine Desrochers, RN
          Radio Netwatcher vom 17.2.2017 – 33c3 Searchwing – Mit Drohnen Leben retten   
Searchwing – Mit Drohnen Leben retten Refugees are dying in the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of them. We are building fixed wing drones, autonomously searching for refugee-vessels in a radius of 50km around a base-ship. The association „Seawatch e.V.“ has bought two well equipped Ships to help and rescue those people. But to help them we […]
          CargoPod EV Will Deliver Groceries Autonomously In London   
If you’re shopping at a grocery store that exists only online, you’re not going to be able to put some brown paper bags full of cabbage in the trunk and drive home. Usually, if you’re shopping online, you’d expect a driver to pull up to your door and hand you...
          Market Researcher - Hard-Line - Greater Sudbury, ON   
*HARD-LINE* Established in 1996 in Sudbury, Ontario; Hard-Line is a leading supplier of remote, tele-operational and autonomous controls to the mining...
From Indeed - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:17:48 GMT - View all Greater Sudbury, ON jobs
          No roads? There's a drone for that | Andreas Raptopoulos   
A billion people in the world lack access to all-season roads. Could the structure of the internet provide a model for how to reach them? Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet thinks so. He introduces a new type of transportation system that uses electric autonomous flying machines to deliver medicine, food, goods and supplies wherever they are needed.
          The Challenging Changes to Work   
The technological changes we are seeing in the world today are unprecedented. Never has technology been more powerful, more available or cheaper than it is today and we are just at the beginning. The projected growth of technology in the next two years is purported to be as much as we have seen in the whole of history. This will have a greater impact on the way we live and work than any of us can imagine.

Concurrent with this is an ongoing concern about the impact of continuing skills shortages on business which CEOs in New Zealand and globally see as a major concern. Both issues mean it is vitally important to reassess the way we educate and the content of our education. It is critical that as we build an increasingly complex economy in our city and our region we have students at all levels being prepared in an optimal way to participate in and across that economy.

The expectations of education outcomes are changing markedly. Employers are looking for young New Zealanders to be able to relate well to others, to be motivated and reliable, to be resilient and enterprising, literate and numerate and to be informed decision makers while being critical and creative thinkers. These attributes are going to be increasingly important as we consider the dynamic future that awaits young people.

Education, particularly at a secondary school level, is not just about allowing young people to make immediate choices that confront them at the end of school but is about ensuring young people are equipped to consider their career paths throughout life. Their career paths will markedly be influenced by changes in the workplace driven by technology. It is legitimate to ask whether our education system will have the ability to keep pace with the changes confronting us.

There are already robots that are perfectly capable of doing background legal research for complex court cases. There are robots that are much more accurate in their pathological diagnosis than human beings. We are seeing the beginnings right here in this city of autonomous electric vehicles, with one being trialled at Christchurch International Airport. Some are predicting that a simple cellphone will be as powerful as the human brain within eight years.

The collection, interpretation and use of data is increasing exponentially to the extent that already some of us are becoming concerned about who is collecting it and what they are using it for.

I can recall in the 1970’s when computer technology was just starting to ramp up that some of us thought the requirement for employees would materially drop over time as computers took over. That did not happen, but slowly and surely, workplace dynamics changed. There are many things that cellphones and computers are doing now that use to be done manually usitlising large numbers of people.

Opportunities for work will continue. However, the work will be different. Employees will have strong literacy language and numeracy skills and increasingly need skills of communication and corporation, computation, computer mastery, creativity, and critical thinking. Tomorrow’s employees will need to be able to think across traditional disciplines make connections and solve problems. Already division of labour is increasingly in teams rather than in hierarchy of command. The old model of educated managers supervising the less educated workforce has gone. So as we face our future we need to be putting much more emphasis on educating our young people in new ways to embrace what is ahead of us. That is a significant challenge for us all. 

          By: Dixieland   
You named the countries. Here are the regions according to Wikipedia: * Avaristan — Avari name for Avari land in Dagestan (Russia) * Balawaristan — another name for the Northern Areas, Pakistan. * Balochistan or Baluchistan o Sistan and Baluchistan, Province of Iran o Balochistan, Province of SW Pakistan o Baluchistan States Union * Baltistan (in Pakistani Kashmir) * Bantustan — Apartheid-era South African black 'homelands'; the term is coined by an analogy * Bashkortostan — constituent republic of Russia * Cholistan Desert * Dagestan — constituent republic of the Russian Federation, literally "place of mountains" * Gulistan ("rose garden" in Persian, an Iranian province and a city in Uzbekistan; compare with Gulistan Palace in Tehran and the poem by Saadi) * Hindustan - originally either the subcontinent of India, or northern India and Pakistan. * Kabulistan — ("The Kabul land" — old term used in many historical books and old Persian literature books for Kabul. Kabulistan contained a larger region that today's Kabul Province. Some times it is called as the country of Kabulistan) * Kafiristan — ("land of the infidels"), historic region in Afghanistan until 1896, now known as Nuristan * Karakalpakstan — constituent republic of Uzbekistan * Khuzestan — a province of southwestern Iran * Kurdistan — Kurdish region * Lazistan — another name for Colchis, a region in the Caucasus * Lorestan or Luristan — a province of western Iran * Nurestan Province — Afghanistan, formed in 2001 * Pashtunistan or Pakhtunistan is what many Pashtun nationalists call the Pashtun-dominated areas of Pakistan. * Rajasthan — a state in India * Registan — historic site in Samarkand, meaning "place of sand" * Seistan or Sistan — a province of Iran and Afghanistan * Talyshstan, a short-lived autonomous republic within Azerbaijan * Tatarstan — a constituent republic of the Russian Federation * Turkestan — ethnolinguistic region encompassing Central Asia, northwest China, parts of the Caucasus and Asia Minor o Russian Turkestan - Turkestan in the Russian Empire, later Turkestan Autonomous SSR * Uyghuristan — (variants East Turkestan & Uighurstan) proposed ethnic name for Xinjiang, People's Republic of China * Waziristan — region of northwest Pakistan * Zabulistan — a historical region in the border area of today's Iran and Afghanistan, around the city Zabol * Zanjistan, or Zenjistan, term used in medieval texts to refer to the homeland of the Zanj, black slaves of probably East African origin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/-stan
          The Far-Reaching Impact of IoT and Self-Driving Cars [Video]   

For many people, the idea of autonomous vehicles is one of the most exciting—and seemingly tangible—of all IoT innovations. Imagine a new version of the family road trip, where everyone—mom and dad included—piles into the back of the minivan. Or … Read more >

The post The Far-Reaching Impact of IoT and Self-Driving Cars [Video] appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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The post The Far-Reaching Impact of IoT and Self-Driving Cars [Video] appeared first on Blogs@Intel.


          Review:- Black mirror Series 3 (2016)   
*blows dust off site*

Wow, been nearly a year since I last put anything on here, not that anyone will have noticed of course, being as how very few people read it.

*ahem*, Anyways...



Overview.

So, Charlie Brookers surprise hit series, which has been described as being "The Twilight Zone of the 21st century"  said adios to Channel 4 and instead is now being made in co-operation with Netflix, and this becomes dead obvious when the number of American accents suddenly skyrockets and you can play a drinking game based on appearances from people who are in/were in "Game of Thrones".

Originally the series was to be 12 episodes, however in order to make more money, instead the series has been split into 2 half seasons of 6 episodes each to be released a year apart..funny how that seems to be happening a lot these days.

So, 2016s episodes follow the usual formula of having a suspense/mystery/horror type story, with the twist in the tale being based around some sort of  quirk in a human-technological relationship, however while series 1 and 2 provided different types of technological relationships, ranging from virtual reality to robots, series overwhelmingly seems to be concentrating on the concepts of mobile phone apps and augmented reality.

Right, lets have a look at the episodes.... *Contains Spoilers*







E1 - "Nosedive"
Lacie Pound lives in a superficial world where a mobile phone app allows you to rate other people out of 5, based on, well, nothing really other than personal preference. People who have higher ratings enjoy a larger amount of social popularity, however the problem lies in the fact that peoples social media ratings are also taken as determining that persons "worth" within the superficial and shallow culture. Your job and where you live are all determined by how high your rating is, and people can find themselves suddenly being out of work or homeless due to their rating dropping below the "acceptable" level. Everyone can see everyone elses rating, either by looking them up on the social network, or by looking directly at them with smart lenses that everyone wears.
Lacie, whose rating hovers around the 4.2 level, lives with her brother, who doesn't pay too much attention to his rating, mainly because him and his friends don't play much of a part in the superficial social scene that Lacie does.
Lacie attempts to move into her own place in a fairly affluent area of town, but is told that the price of renting the property depends on how high your rating is, the higher your rating, the cheaper the property. Lacie is denied a discount because the desired resident should have a rating of 4.5 or more, meaning Lacie will need to boost her own rating in order for her to begin living the lifestyle she thinks she is entitled to.
In order to try and drum up some 5* ratings, she begins rating anything anyone does at 5*, hoping that they will respond in kind, in addition, she begins making banal and nostalgic social media posts.
Her dreams come true when someone from school, who has a 4.8 rating invites her to be the maid of honour at her wedding, which Lacie figures that being as her frends friends are also "high score" people, winning their approval will boost her own rating well past the desired 4.5 mark....the future she believes she deserves gets closer.
Unfortunately, on the day she packs up her belongings ready to move into her new place, which is also the day she is to travel to the wedding, things go awry, and Lacie finds out just how superficial and shallow the approval culture she aspires to live in really is.

E2 - "Playtest"

Cooper, a young American man, leaves home to backpack around the world after his father dies.
After spending time in various countries, he finds himself ending up in London, where he hooks up for casual sex with a woman named Sonja. Finding himself a little short of cash, he uses a phone app to look for casual work. Aside from the usual low paid stuff, a job as a playtester for a video game company jumps out, not only because it isn't manual labour, but also because they are offering large amounts of money, so, he applies and is accepted.
Arriving at the companies headquarters, Cooper is informed that the technology they want him to help test is revolutionary, but also top secret and highly experimental, thus requiring him to sign a waiver and hand over his phone, he does so but when left alone he retrieves his phone and begins taking pictures of the equipment, sending them to Sonja in the hopes that selling them to other game companies will pay large amounts to see what could be their rivals "next big thing".
Cooper is disturbed from taking pictures by the return of the test supervisor, who informs him that his participation will require him to submit to a small medical procedure, which involves having a small interface, called a "mushroom" implanted in the back of his neck, Cooper agrees and the first test of the technology begins.
The mushroom creates an augmented reality envinroment, where computer game sprites are overlaid onto Coopers visual and auditory senses, this is demonstrated when the supervisor has him play a game of Whack-a-mole on the table, with the moles appearing as cute cartoon characters emerging from CGI holes in the tabletop. Cooper enjoys the experience, but the supervisor asks him if he would like to continue to the next level of playtesting, which will of course mean more money, he agrees without hesitation.
He is intoduced to the director of the game company, who explains that the technology can also be used to invoke a totally immersive environment, and they have been working on a survival horror game which has no script or fixed storyline, instead the device reads the players memories and tailors the game to fit in with their own personal fear triggers. Cooper agrees and is strapped into the interface chair and begins to play the game.
At first, the game is rather boring, as Cooper wanders around the company HQ but the AR system makes him see it as a 19th century mansion. A few jump scares get his adrenaline flowing but don't faze him much, however soon enough, the game becomes more and more "real", and despite assurances to the contrary, he does come to harm.

E3 - "Shut up and Dance"

Kenny is a young man who works in a burger bar. One day he returns home from work to find his teenage sister has been using his laptop without consent, and as a result the entire thing has been flooded with malware. Downloading the first anti-malware program he finds on google, he runs it and it appears to fix his problems, then, like most awkward young men,  he sits down to have a good wank over some unseen porn.
Problem is is that the anti-malware program he has used has allowed an anonymous hacker to see and record everything he has looked at and done, and, in an email to him Kenny finds out that the hacker says they will release the contents of his hard disc and the video of him wanking onto the internet, unless he agrees to do a few simple tasks. Terrified of the social consequences, Kenny agrees, and finds himself doing a series of increasingly dangerous tasks along with other people who are also being blackmailed by the hacker.

E4 - "San Junipero"



In 1987, two girls, Kelly and Yorkie, meet in the party resort of San Junipero and begin a relationship, however, Kelly mysteriously disappears, leaving Yorkie feeling somewhat distraught.
Yorkie searches for Kelly, but finds that she seems to appear and disappear from the resort frequently, and never seems to associate with the same people each time she appears.
Yorkie finds one of the men who also relentlessly pursues Kelly, and asks him if he knows where she is, he responds that he doesn't know, but he has seen her in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Yorkie appears to time travel around these periods, eventually running into Kelly in an early 2000s video game arcade.....

E5 - "Men against Fire"

In the near future, a war of some sort has led to mass displacement of people, and a disease has mutated some humans into creatures referred to as "Roaches". "Stripe" is a new recruit in an army which helps the survivors and hunts down and kills roaches to stop the disease they carry from spreading. To assist them in their work, all soldiers in this army are equipped with a cybernetic augmented reality program called "MASS", which provides real time tactical information, video and audio feeds, but also suppresses fear as the device can manipulate the brain on a subconscious level.
On his first mission his squad raids an isolated manor house, where the owner is sheltering a group of roaches, Stripe distinguishes himself by shooting one roach and stabbing another to death with his combat knife, although during the raid, he notices that some of the Roaches wave small wand like devices at them, which emit a green light when activated. The devices seemingly have no purpose so are ignored as the Roaches are slaughtered.
Despite being rewarded with an erotic dream, delivered via the MASS system directly into his brain, Stripe begins to notice that his AR begins to glitch in some bizarre ways, such as clouding his vision, lagging on his tactical display, letting him regain his sense of smell, and, most oddly, making him see humans where everyone else sees Roaches...

E6 - "Hated in the Nation"

DCI Karin Parke gives evidence at an enquiry into an incident that occurred during the course of a strange murder investigation the previous year.
One year earlier, an opinion columnist who printed an unflattering article about a disability campaigner who self immolated in response to government cuts to disability benefits dies in mysterious circumstances, followed the next day by the death of a famous rapper who made some disparaging comments about a child on television. At first, nothing seems to connect the two deaths, until Parkes new partner, a former cyber crime specialist named "Blue" finds that both victims were connected with a twitter hashtag campaign called "The Death game" in which users are asked to name a person they dont like with the hashtag #deathto, and the person with the most votes each day will die between 5pm and 12am. The number of people using the hashtag is increasing on a day to day basis.
How the deaths are carried out is a mystery until devices called "Autonomous Drone Insects", small robots created to replace the dwindling population of bees, are found to have entered the victims bodies and killed them in some manner.
With thousands of these self replicating machines existing in the UK, it soon becomes clear that someone somewhere has found a way to reprogram these small robots to act as murder weapons, and it seems the targets are being chosen by people using a twitter hashtag to eliminate people who have earned the publics ire for some reason....

Final thoughts.

This series isn't bad, but compared to previous series it does seem to now be suffering from sloppy writing, as the "twists in the tale" are quite easy to figure out early on in the episode, and the suspenseful atmosphere of previous entries is lacking a bit.
That said, most of the stories in this season are pretty poignant and take stuff that is going on now to their extreme endings, particularly the stories featuring social media being used as a tool to ostricize people for shallow reasons.

Not bad, but not great either, a solid 7/10 though.




          Hikari   

We came to this earth without words. And in our thoughts we dreamt of the cosmos; looking towards the sky. It was only until we defined it, that we knew what it was. We thought it was unreachable. But we looked back and could see our own footsteps, tracing the path from long ago; where we came from all along. They both meet together at this single point: the end and the beginning. We are born without knowing who we are and we grow our lives to seek the answer to ‘I am’. This video is an epitaph for Hikari-san who’s life was cut short from that struggle.

In Memory of HIKARI-SAN ひかりさん
Directed by CASEY WARREN & DANIELLE KRIEGER
Voice Talent NATSUKO KURE
SPECIAL THANKS
Kiry Yonetani
Lucinda Cowing
Filmed on location in Kyoto, Japan 京都日本
Poem By SHUNTARO TANIKAWA "Epitaph For a Poet's Tomb"
_______
This film was made in honor and remembrance of Hikari-san. A vlogger who made videos reading and speaking in Japanese ASMR in an effort to help others who shared her struggles with depression and anxiety. She lost her battle with her own internal struggle February 2016.
On her channel she would read in a quiet whisper voice, called ASMR which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response which creates a calming sensation in listeners. Often used in helping those battle depression or anxiety, this technique creates a unique head sensation.

Her name ひかりさん (Hikari) in kanji 光 in means 'Light'

Featured on:

Booooooom tv.booooooom.com/2017/06/20/hikari-mindcastle/
NOWNESS nowness.com/series/poetic-license/hikari-japan

Cast: MINDCASTLE

Tags: hikari, Geisha, mindcastle, epitaph, poem, Casey warren, Danielle Krieger, MōVI pro, Freefly and Steadicam


          Thomas Traxler, Autonomous spinning wheel   
Powered by nothing but sunlight and some threads, Thomas Traxlers' "The idea of a tree project" shows us how objects can grow during the course of a day. The installation is powered by a couple of solar cells which power the entire device, causing the process to move faster or slower depending on the amount of available light. The speed of the process determines the amount of saturation of the thread, giving a visual recording in the resulting object. Thomas Traxler just graduated from the IM Masters department of the Design Academy Eindhoven, 2008. www.mischertraxler.com
          Restoration of full pension of absorbee pensioners in PSU and Autonomous Bodies   
Restoration of full pension of absorbee pensioners in PSU and Autonomous Bodies .No.4/34/2002-P&PW(D).Vol.II Government of India Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Department...

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          Portugal: Madeira, Levada Ribeira de Janela - Porto Moniz   
360° panorama by Frank Ellmerich.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Madeira (from Portuguese madeira for "wood") is a Portuguese island located 951 km southwest of Lisbon and 737 km west of the Moroccan Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs with the smaller island of Porto Santo and the uninhabited island group Ilhas Desertas to the island group Madeira, Together with Ilhas Selva's uninhabited Ilhas, forms the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The inhabitants of Madeira are Madeira and Madeira, the adjective of Madeira is Madeiric. 94.5% of the population of Madeira belong to the Catholic Church. Madeira has about 235,000 inhabitants on an area of 801 km². Of these, 741 km² are made on the main island of Madeira and 42.5 km² on the smaller island Porto Santo, 14.2 km² to the Ilhas Desertas and 3.6 km² to the Ilhas Selvagens. As part of Portugal, Madeira belongs to the territory of the European Union. The time zone is as in the mother country Portugal WEZ and corresponds in the winter Of the coordinated world time (UTC + 0, compared to Central Europe - 1 hour). For the period from the end of March to the end of October, as in the rest of Europe, the Day so that the time difference remains unchanged throughout the year.
          “Salvándose” in Contemporary Havana: Rumba’s Paradox for Black Identity Politics   

In the scholarship of anti-racist struggle in Cuba, rumberos (rumba practitioners) are typically ignored for operating within racist folkloric stereotypes that further the commodification and appropriation of Black expressive culture by the state. This ethnographic case study explores how the Afro-religious urban poor in Havana deploy rumba within the sacred sphere to perform an affirming Black cultural difference and create an alternative market in which to secure autonomous economic and socio-spiritual sustenance: salvándose (saving themselves). This particular form of political agency finds itself in a paradoxical relationship with the dominant ideological thrust of the “New Afro-Cuban movement” against racism. Using performance theory, Black feminism(s), and political economy, this study found that performances by and for this overlooked sector in the sacred sphere cannot be dismissed as insignificant vis-à-vis antiracist objections to the narrow social definition of Blackness as folklore and the increasingly narrow opportunities for Afro-Cubans in the emerging private market. A performance-oriented lens can offer key insights into how alternative Black political consciousness is developed and transmitted across generations. 


          Uber Says Former Self-Driving Leader At Center Of Lawsuit Promised Not To Use Google Files   

Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

There's another twist in the sprawling self-driving-car trade secrets battle between Uber and Waymo, the autonomous driving company owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet.

Uber says the engineer, who until recently oversaw the company’s self-driving car project, promised Uber he would not bring proprietary information over to the company from his former employer, new court documents filed on Wednesday show.

The filings lay out a timeline showing which Uber employees knew about the actions of the company's former self-driving leader, Anthony Levandowski, who joined Uber after it acquired his autonomous truck startup, Otto. Levandowski previously worked at Google's self-driving car program, which spun off into a new company under Alphabet, called Waymo. Waymo sued Uber in February, alleging that Levandowski stole Waymo's trade secrets to Uber's benefit.

"No one at Uber ever asked Levandowski to download or take Google information or endorsed him doing so," Uber's attorneys wrote in a court filing. "In his employment agreement with Uber, Levandowski also agreed to 'represent and
warrant to the Company that you have returned or destroyed all property and confidential information belonging to any prior employer.'”

On Wednesday, Uber's lawyers said the lawsuit filing in February was the "first time that anyone at Uber learned that Levandowski may have engaged in improper downloading and theft of Google information as alleged by Waymo." Last week, a court filing revealed that Uber said Levandowski had told Uber employees — including former CEO Travis Kalanick, who resigned earlier this month — that he had found five discs containing Google information in his home. But Kalanick told him that Uber didn't want the Google information, and advised him against bringing the discs to Uber, according to court documents. Levandowski later told Uber he had destroyed the discs.

In its own court filing, Waymo said on Wednesday that Levandowski and Lior Ron, Levandowski's Otto cofounder, met with Uber executives as early as Dec. 11, 2015, to discuss LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) — a technology that uses rapid pulses of laser light to help self-driving cars measure distance and navigate the world around them. Then on Jan. 4, Levandowski met Uber again for a meeting that Waymo says lasted from 5 p.m. until 1:31 a.m. That day, Levandowski also saved confidential Waymo data to a personal device, Waymo said in a court filing.

"Uber also hasn’t been able to locate text messages from Travis Kalanick to Levandowski, even though it could locate text messages from Levandowski to Kalanick, suggesting that the former were deleted," Waymo wrote in the court filing.

Uber fired Levandowski in May. The company said that he had for months refused to comply with its investigation into Waymo's claims. Levandowski has pleaded the Fifth Amendment in an effort to avoid incriminating himself should the case become a criminal matter. US District Judge William Alsup, the judge presiding over the case, referred it to federal prosecutors on May 11. Alsup said in a court order in May that Waymo's self-driving car secrets may have "seeped" into Uber's designs. Waymo has gone so far as to allege in court that Otto was founded as a ruse to help Uber steal Waymo's technology.

Throughout court proceedings, Uber has maintained that Waymo's information has not crossed into its systems. The ride-hail giant has called its own LiDAR systems — the self-driving technology at hand in the case — "fundamentally different" from Waymo's.

"Uber never used any Google trade secrets or patented technology in the development of the technology at issue in this case," the ride-hail giant's lawyers wrote in a court document filed on Wednesday. "No Uber employee is aware of Levandowski ever using any Google proprietary information in the performance of his duties at Ottomotto or Uber."


          Diploma In Human Diet and Nutrition - INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT & ENGINEERING , Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah    
Online Learning Program Autonomous course
Also UGC approved program This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of human nutrition, including digestion, absorption, metabolism, and functions of nutrients as they relate to human health and disease.
Dietary sources, intake levels, physiological role, and requirement of major nutrients.
The biological determinants of nutrient requirements and the assessment of nutrient status in individuals and populations.
The role of nutrition in growth and health through the life cycle.
The rationale for the development of dietary guidelines and of nutrition policies in different countries.
The role of diet in the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. 

Cost:

Certified


          Msc-Mechanical Engineering - INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT & ENGINEERING , Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah    
Bachelor & Masters Of Engineering Mechanical Engineering 
UGC AICTE approved
autonomous program self disciplined 
Online & Regulaar admissions 
 Mechanical Engineers design materials, machines and other sub-systems to perform an intended function. They broadly deal with issues related to energy conversion, interfacing mechanical components with other sub-systems, interfacing man and machine, and the control of the different sub-systems.
 

Cost:

Certified


          Comment on How Occupy Wall Street Loved Itself to Death, and Why the 99% Deserve a Better Revolution by jacklindstrom   
This is very thorough, insightful, much needed strong medicine for OWS. It kind of reminds me of this article http://www.indypendent.org/2012/02/14/fetishization-expression, which denigrates the "expressivism" of OWS in lieu of actual results. Your title is spot on with something I've been thinking recently: even if Occupy completely self-destructs or whithers away or just continues to be too weak and meandering to make a difference, then I'll just join or start a different revolutionary movement. It doesn't matter what the movement is called, just as long as there is one and progress is made. (I've also thought that if it turns out the country just isn't ripe for revolution yet--i.e. we don't have the backing of the majority of the populace, which is essential--then I'll just do what I can to mitigate the symptoms of the problems.) Something that disturbs me, which your article also reminds me of, is how little strategizing has seemingly been done--nay, even being talked about. I asked some people deeply involved in Occupy LA if there was a strategic working group or something. Apparently there was a meeting on that topic recently, and it resulted in a gardening initiative. I asked someone deeply involved in OWS if one of their groups was discussing strategy, and they said that that was basically the "Vision and Goals" group, which has done nothing for the last 3 months or so but draft a vision statement that has still not yet been consensed on by the NYC GA. I've almost started suspecting (or wishfully thinking?) that there MUST be an Occupy group that's doing the sort of deep-thinking strategizing, but it's completely off the grid (although that would make it totally out of line with Occupy's principles of transparancy and openness). I'm involved with the InterOccupy National Strategy call and Google group, but it's only just started in the last week or so to discuss these larger issues of strategy. I already said this in my response to your comment on my blog, but if you or anyone else is interested, it's at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/occupy-strategy-national-dialogue There's also a coalition of liberal groups like MoveOn that are organizing an effort called the "99% Spring", which some Occupiers have harshly denigrated for both appropriating the language of Occupy and not being left or radical enough, but I'm fully supportive of such efforts, even if I don't end up joining in officially, especially since it seems like they will make the movement more mainstream than the ragtag, militant crew Occupy still largely is. While your article offers some excellent criticism of the movement, it's lacking in suggested solutions. Do you have any solutions to offer? I've been reading From Dictatorship to Democracy and Self-Liberation by Gene Sharp (which I cannot recommend highly enough) to try to come up with solutions myself. One solution, as far as I can tell, is for any interested Occupiers to educate themselves on how to come up with a "grand strategy", come up with one, and then have it go through the GA proposal process to have it accepted and implemented. Maybe this will turn out to be totally impossible. But I have to try. Even if I fail, at least I'll have turned some people on to these crucial ideas of strategy, which will hopefully at least lead to smaller, autonomous, strategically brilliant efforts. From Dictatorship to Democracy, btw, is online in full at http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf. I also wrote up an "executive summary" of it, posted at http://jacklindstrom.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/from-dictatorship-to-democracy-the-executive-summary/ Self-Liberation is also online, in full, at http://www.aeinstein.org/selfLiberation.html
          Saver Plus Coordinator- Pakenham   
VIC-Pakenham, An exciting opportunity exists for a Saver Plus Coordinator to support Saver Plus participants to establish a savings habit, build their financial knowledge and skills and save for the childrens or their own education. Are you experienced in promoting programs and maintaining productive working relationships with schools, TAFE and local community networks? Are you able to work autonomously and str
          call: The Inaugural International Autonomous Biennale   
Deadline: 1 August 2017 Call for entries The Inaugural International Autonomous Biennale (Or Cf) @ The Research Pavilion, Venice ‘Cf’ is an International project, initiated by artist Jeanette Doyle (Ireland) for GradCAM @ The Research Pavilion, Venice, September 29th – October 1st 2017. ‘Cf’ uses the Biennale as its template with particular attention to the staging of National Pavilions where artists and curators are invited to represent a nation of their own choosing in a manner of their own determination. Broadly speaking ‘Cf’ will manifest as a worldwide exhibition of contemporary art, which will unfold and reveal itself in streets, shops, homes, bedrooms, public spaces including galleries around the world. As well as the project’s physical presence(s), ‘Cf’ will be manifest in Venice as a series of projections, the temporal selection of which will be determined by an algorithm, representing videos and sounds files which capture international iterations of the project. Projects will be represented in the Pavilion prioritized by their conceptual remit and context. ‘Cf ’ will subtly subvert the well-worn Biennale model by allowing both selected and self-selecting artists/participants to nominate and represent their chosen country and to create work in response to that context on an incredibly intimate or epic scale. National pavilions may appear ‘out of context’ and in unexpected locations around the world. ‘Cf’ will create a flexible platform for representation embracing contingency and temporality. At its heart ‘Cf’ aims to explore complex questions surrounding issues of nationhood and national identity; the authority (or lack of authority) of the artist; […]
          Microsoft Wants To Power Self-driving Cars, Not Build One   

Microsoft isn’t interested in building its own self-driving car. Speaking at the Converge conference in Hong Kong this week, Microsoft’s Peggy Johnson revealed that the company will continue to build software for cars rather than create vehicles. “We won’t be building our own autonomous vehicle but we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted …

Continue reading »

The post Microsoft Wants To Power Self-driving Cars, Not Build One appeared first on Aux Mode MCN.


          RH17-18 Open pit Mine trainer - Canadian Royalties inc - Nunavik, QC   
Dynamic, autonomous, positive attitude; Reporting to the Recruitment and training Chief, the trainer assumes, among other things, the following....
From Canadian Royalties inc - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:38:53 GMT - View all Nunavik, QC jobs
          The Technology And Telecommunications Sectors And Trump's Crucial Second 100 Days   
Sectors like the Internet, robotics and AI, autonomous vehicles and drones, and space commercialization stand on the threshold of snug, irreversible regulation precisely when these very technologies eliminate “market failure” rationales that inspired old-school regulation in the first place
          Comment on New Issue of PKD Otaku by Lord Running Clam   
Patrick Clark's editorial about the US killer drones used to take out terrorists in other lands and which are about to become autonomous (!), reminded me not only of the leadies in THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH but also of my recent reading of THE UNTELEPORTED MAN. In this novel there are two similar devices to these drones but on a much smaller scale, as if our drones are the primitive prototypes of weapons designed by PKD coming soon to a tyrant near you. In his flapple with Rachmael ben Applebaum, the LIES Inc. pilot, Al Dosker, tries to use a 'homeostatic, cephalotropic dart' hidden in a cigarette and tuned to the target's alpha brainwaves. The second device is used by Theodoric Ferry - the bad guy in the novel - and is a similar homeostatic, cephalotropic dart but one which somehow operates through space transmission. These types of devices in PKD's stories have inspired me such that I would like to do a series on 'The Weapon Shops of Philip K. Dick' for upcoming PKD OTAKU's. Here's a preview of something I've already found: in one chapter of THE UNTELEPORTED MAN, a mere ten pages long, there are 19 weapons, counter-weapons and detectors mentioned. from brute force to 'cholinesterase-destroying gas'. I'm excited to be working on this because I believe one day the aliens *will* arrive and our last resort will be the stories of a mad writer a la THE ZAP GUN! The blue cephalopod man exists and his name is Philip K. Dick!
          Lead Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Motion Planning - Delphi - Pittsburgh, PA   
Delphi – every day we pioneer, we elevate, and we integrate game-changing technologies that make the world's vehicles safer, greener, and more connected....
From Delphi - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:24:30 GMT - View all Pittsburgh, PA jobs
          Comment on Autonomous and connected cars get set for UK road trials by Graham Field   
And when your vehicle is hit by one of these automated vehicles, who do you sue for damages? The occupant of the automated vehicle will throw their hands up and declare that as they were not driving it's not them, the manufacturers of the vehicle will say they don't write the software, and the software writers will argue that they didn't put their software in the vehicle. Before these (possibly dangerous) autonomous vehicles are allowed on the road, we need to see UK law firmly stating that the responsibility will lie with the vehicle manufacturer.
          The Internet of Things and Change   

Will You Be Ready For the M2M World?

The Internet of Things, the Connected World, the Smart Planet… All these terms indicate that the number of devices connected to, communicating through, and building relationships on the Internet has exceeded the number of humans using the Internet. But what does this really mean? Is it about the number of devices, and what devices? Is it about the data, so much data, so fast, so disparate, that will make current big data look like teeny-weeny data?

I think that it's about change: the way we live our lives, the way we conduct business, the way we walk down a street, drive a car, or think about relationships. All will change over the next decade:

  1. Sensors are everywhere. The camera at the traffic light and overseeing the freeway; those are sensors. That new bump in the parking space and new box on the street lamp; those are sensors. From listening for gun shots to monitoring a chicken coop, sensors are cropping up in every area of your life.
  2. Machine to Machine [M2M] relationships will generate connected data that will affect every aspect of your life. Connected Data will be used to fine-tune predictives that will prevent crimes, anticipate your next purchase and take over control of your car to avoid traffic jams. The nascent form of this is already happening: Los Angeles and Santa Cruz police are using PredPol to predict & prevent crimes, location aware ads popping up in your favorite smartphone apps, and Nevada and California are giving driver licenses to robotic cars.
  3. Sustainability isn't about saving the planet, it's about saving money. Saving the planet, reducing dependence on polluting energy sources and reducing waste in landfills are all good things, but they aren't part of the fiduciary responsibilities of most executives. However, Smart Buildings, recycling & composting, and Green IT all increase a company's bottom line and that does fall under every executive's fiduciary goals.

Making Sense of Inter-Connectedness - Introducing My Internet of Things Mind Map

As you can tell from the mindmap associated with this post, I've been thinking about the Internet of things quite a bit lately. It's a natural progression for me. I'm fascinated by all the new sensors, the Connected Data [you heard it here first] that will swamp Big Data, the advances in data management and analytics that will be needed, the impact upon policy and regulation, and the vision of the people and companies bringing about the Internet of Things. But more, as I've been reading and thinking about the SmartPlanet, SmartCities, SmartGrid and SmartPhones, and that ConnectedData, I realized that I can never look at the world around me in the same way again.

Let's look at some of the "facts" [read guesses] that have been written about the IoT.

Looking to the future, Cisco IBSG predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. From The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything by Dave Evans, April 2011 [links to PDF]

Between 2011 and 2020 the number of connected devices globally will grow from 9 billion to 24 billion as the benefit of connecting more and varied devices is realised. The Connected Life: A USD4.5 trillion global impact in 2020, [links to PDF] February 2012 by Machine Research for the GSMA.

Two different estimates, one of 24 billion devices of many different types, connected by wireless broadband, and one of 50 billion mobile devices using different types of cellular networks, all by the year 2020. And neither of these estimates include the trillions of other types of things that will deployed over the next eight years. Trillions, not billions, using a variety of personal, local, and wide-area wireless networks.

My Focus Starts at The Intersection of Sensors, Analytics and Smart Cities, with Energy Management and Sustainability

One of the things that will change over time is the way that I look at the Internet of Things. All of it is interesting. But for now, I'll be focusing on the intersection of Sensors, Analytics and Smart Cities, with Energy Management and Sustainability.

Count RFID, Zigbee, MEMS, Smartdust and more traditional sensors, Robots, autonomous vehicles, Healthcare monitors, Smart Meters and more, being distributed in cities, cars, factories, trains, farms, planes, animals and people, and the number of connected devices in 2020 will be in the trillions. Data generated by less than one billion humans using the Internet a few times a day swamped traditional data management & analytics systems, spawning "Big Data". Trillions of devices updating ConnectedData every few nanoseconds will indeed change everything.

Of paramount importance moving forward is determining how to extract business, personal and social value from the intersections, interfaces and interstices of the infrastructure, connected data, objects and people building relationships through the Internet of Things.

Come join me as I look at this convergence and the business impact ahead of us.


          How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’   



Driverless cars are on the road now – Google’s fleet has logged about 700,000 miles of autonomous driving – and the California DMV will be issuing regulations in a matter of weeks allowing self-driving cars to be sold to the public, possibly setting the regulatory pattern for the rest of the country (video). Google has predicted 2017 for first commercial availability, while Nissan and Mercedes say it will be 2020. The cars are highly complex systems whose sheer quantity of software surely exceeds the hundred million lines of source code in today’s non-autonomous vehicles. They weigh thousands of pounds and hurtle down public roads – robots with human payloads. But how will we know they’re safe?
Google’s answer at DMV workshops in March 2014 and May 2013 was, essentially, “trust us” (video, video, video). The company’s representative, Ron Medford, said Google would “self-certify” the car’s roadworthiness and then the DMV could take it for a test drive (video) akin to what a human driver undergoes today (video, video, video, video). “That the company … [is] ready to submit its vehicle for [DMV] testing is kind of the proof that it’s ready,” he said, and argued against any more detailed scrutiny than that (video, video).
This is the same Google that so betrayed customers’ trust that it’s under twenty years of outside privacy monitoring, imposed by a consent decree which it later allegedly violated (leading to a record multi-million dollar settlement). Yet the company’s answer is to supplement “trust us” with nothing more than a simple road test – even though computer experts agree that such testing is no way to verify safety-critical software.
A Chrysler representative, Steve Siko, also endorsed self-certification (video). “It’s not like any manufacturer is trying to skirt around some safety rules,” said another Chrysler rep, Ross Good (video). From VW, Barbara Wendling also sang the self-certification tune (video), and said she had “no worries that anybody in the industry is going to put an unsafe product into California or any other state” (video).
Really?
That comment ignores GM’s defective ignition switch that may have killed 309 people (the company says it’s 13) – almost 15 million vehicles recalled to-date amid criminal probes and possible cover-ups – and Toyota’s deadly accelerator pedals (89 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), to name only two of the unsafe products automakers have in fact put on the market in recent years.
Nevada accepted Google’s “trust us” gambit (pdf, p. 13) but like that state’s slot machines, it’s a bad bet. Google’s approach is not good enough, because the tech company and automakers have already demonstrated they’re not trustworthy and because experts acknowledge that complex software can’t be adequately verified simply by testing it. That’s especially true of safety-critical hard real-time systems. “Hard” means that the system must respond in timely fashion to avoid devastating consequences, like an automobile crash.
Indeed, a mere “road test” is not how validation works in other safety-critical applications like medical device software or avionics hardware and software
The Right Way to Validate Software
As the Food and Drug Administration says, “Typically, testing alone cannot fully verify that software is complete and correct. In addition to testing, other verification techniques and a structured and documented development process should be combined to ensure a comprehensive validation approach. Except for the simplest of programs, software cannot be exhaustively tested. Generally it is not feasible to test a software product with all possible inputs, nor is it possible to test all possible data processing paths that can occur during program execution.”
And who should do the verifying? The FDA addresses this too: “Validation activities should be conducted using the basic quality assurance precept of ‘independence of review.’ Self-validation is extremely difficult. When possible, an independent evaluation is always better, especially for higher risk applications.”
Not surprisingly, the agency requires pre-market submission of very detailed flowcharts, design documents and the like (apparently including source code) for devices that present a risk of death or major injury.
Avionics is even more stringent. In the U.S., knowledgeable reviewers called Designated Engineering Representatives or DERs are certified and appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Some DERs (Consultant DERs) are independent contractors while others, although they work for the manufacturers (Company DERs), are part of a culture where they are deemed to owe their loyalty to the FAA rather than their employers; in fact, DERs are appointed to represent the FAA and are legally required to maintain objectivity (pdf, p. 21). Europe uses outside testing labs.
In both jurisdictions, detailed documents govern the certification of in-the-air avionics software and hardware (in particular, custom devices like FPGAs, PLDs and ASICs) as well as ground-based avionics software. Test plans, source code, design documents and more are required to be submitted, and the programming process itself has to meet certain standards. Every line of safety-critical software code has to be justified – traced back to its rationale – and has to be executed during testing.
The difficulty with the avionics approach is that it enormously increases costs and product development time. In the automotive sphere, that would mean people continuing to die from human-caused accidents – which is about 95% of the annual 32,000 fatal accidents today (pdf, see pp. 24-25) – while we waited for (hopefully-safer) driverless cars to emerge from testing. It’s a real issue, but there has to be some compromise between “trust us” and hyper-punctilious verification.
You don’t have to be a high-tech expert to understand the concept. Self-certification is not even the way it works when you want to add a roof deck to your house. At least in urban areas, you have to show your plans to the city or county building department first (and the plans are usually drawn up by an architect or engineer who passed a state licensing exam; not so with software). There’s a physical inspection after the deck is built.
Google wants to skip the first step and jump to the second, but why should we regulate robocars less rigorously than roof decks?
Certification of driverless car software and hardware by an independent testing company, coupled with DMV review and multiple test drives, is the best way to give the public confidence that these cars are as safe as can be. I’m well aware – as a former programmer and as a lawyer who has represented software vendors – that source code is sensitive. But so is public safety. Ultimately, meaningful certification will be good for the driverless car industry as well as for the public.
At the DMV sessions, a Bosch representative named Soeren Kammel endorsed third-party certification and re-certification when a product is updated (video, video). A consumer advocate, John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, focused on privacy issues (video), which are also critical, but he didn’t explore certification.
Google declined to comment for this article and the DMV told me the issue would be “addressed in the regulations when we release them … later this summer.” They’re writing the regulations now: you can weigh in by clicking here to email the DMV (and cc me).
Bugs are Inevitable
Bear in mind, there will be bugs in the software and flaws in the hardware, as even Google admits (“should it fail .. we want to reduce the impact”; “there will be some failures,” video). That’s the nature of electronic hardware and especially of software: we’ve been designing and building physical structures for thousands of years – bridges, for instance, for 3300 years – whereas even the term “software engineering” is less than 50 years old and the actual discipline of rigorous programming, in any meaningful sense, is younger still.
As the FDA says, “because of its complexity, the development process for software should be even more tightly controlled than for hardware, in order to prevent problems that cannot be easily detected later in the development process.” (They put that in bold, not me.)
Programming is still a dicey business, in other words, as is obvious to anyone with a smartphone that crashes, overheats or drains its battery without reason. (And that’s not to mention the prospect of your phone being hacked.) I have just such a phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4, which initially worked quite well. Now, not so well. It runs on Android software written by Google.
Google engineers and programmers are smart, but they can’t escape humankind’s collective immaturity of knowledge around the task of engineering software that is safe, reliable, error free and resistant to malicious attack. These cars will kill people, albeit hopefully many fewer than the number of people killed today by human drivers.
And sometimes when they do maim or kill, the cars will have to make ethical decisions: if three pedestrians dash across the road one after the other right in front of a car, should the car jam on the brakes knowing it will hit and kill two of them, or should it swerve and kill only the third one instead? In the latter case, fewer lives will be lost but the pedestrian it kills wouldn’t have died had the car not affirmatively decided to swerve. Passively kill two people or deliberately kill a different person? Kill one pedestrian or swerve into another car and perhaps only injure its occupants?
There are many variants of this so-called “trolley problem” and the car’s software will have to make hard choices. These are moral dilemmas that society – government regulators – should at least have input into. They’re not decisions that Google programmers should make alone at their white boards.
Those programmers and their colleagues – engineers, designers, businesspeople and others – are brilliant, and they appear to have the most ambitious goals – and be the furthest along – of any company working on autonomous cars. Google has brought the world some great products, and a commercially available self-driving car, although it will bring enormous dislocations, will bring enormous benefits (pdf) as well, if it’s safe.
Why Google and Automakers Can't be Trusted
Notwithstanding Google’s old “don’t be evil” motto, the  company has overreached and been slapped for it just like any other large company. In 2010, it deployed privacy-busting features in Google Buzz, which resulted in the FTC imposing an astonishing twenty years of outside privacy audits starting in 2011. Yet the following year, Google allegedly violated that already-unprecedented consent decree and ended up paying a record $22.5 million settlement. And in 2008-2010, the company made an allegedly “intentional mistake“ by sniffing personal data from WiFi routers as its cars photographed the streets, and then apparently attempted to conceal this breach of people’s privacy. The FCC fined Google $25,000 for impeding its investigation.
Google is a great company, but it’s a big company, and there isn’t a day since the era of 19th century robber barons that big companies haven’t overstepped and run roughshod, absent determined regulation.
Like most large companies, Google aggressively looks after its own interests even at the consumer’s expense. That makes “self-certify” a pretty thin answer when it comes to Google car safety – or, for that matter, privacy, since driverless cars are “data guzzlers” that will be acquiring 30 to 130 MB of external visual and other sensor data per second when in operation. (Even now, the race to control the dashboard is on.) And that’s not to mention the GPS data associated with the passengers (i.e., Google will know where you go in the physical world, not just on the Internet) and the likely cameras inside the vehicles, at least for those owned by rideshare services such as Uber, in which Google invested over a quarter-billion dollars last year.

That Uber deal is no outlier. As the Internet morphs into the Internet of Things, the company is transforming itself from an Internet giant into an enterprise with access to – and control over – the physical world. In the last seven months, Google has bought both the smart-device maker Nest and seven robotics companies including Boston Dynamics, which makes robots than can gallop at 28 mph or carry heavy payloads. One of them is even in humanoid form. Six feet tall and weighing 330 lbs., it looks like the Terminator, minus the skin. So while Google’s newest driverless cars – which omit steering wheel and pedals – were deliberately designed to look “friendly” and “cute,” this is not your father’s Google.

And Google, of course, is not the only company developing driverless cars. It's an industry-wide project, yet many automakers have an appalling disrespect for public safety: they fought seat belts, set private detectives to harass and intimidate consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and lobbied against air bags for years, delaying a mandate until 1998.
Meanwhile, also in the 1990’s, over 200 people died in crashes linked to failure of Firestone tires, but they weren’t recalled until 2000. Consumer advocates charged that both Firestone and Ford (in whose vehicles a majority of the deaths occurred) covered up the problem and failed to inform NHTSA.
Present-day behavior is no better: In March of this year, Toyota agreed to pay a record $1.2 billion criminal penalty stemming from charges that it intentionally hid information about safety defects from the public and made deceptive statements to protect its brand image. That was in addition to an earlier $48.8 million civil penalty and a litigation settlement of over a billion dollars. All were in connection with unintended acceleration: ultimately, in two separate recalls in 2009 and 2010 totaling nearly 8 million vehicles Toyota acknowledged that its gas pedals could get trapped under floor mats or that the pedals themselves could simply stick, leading to out of control vehicles. Deaths and injury were the result.
Even more ominously for driverless cars, a jury in 2013 found Toyota liable for unintended acceleration stemming from a third cause, alleged software errors. An expert on embedded systems (real-world machinery that incorporates software), Michael Barr, charged that he found 80,000 violations of software reliability programming rules in Toyota’s code (pdf, p. 29), even after an investigation by NASA (on behalf of NHTSA) had found no software cause for unintended acceleration but not ruled out the possibility either (pdf, p. 17; pdf, p. 13); a NASA engineer charged that its team was taken off the investigation prematurely. The jury awarded $3 million in compensation and was set to consider punitive damages when the case settled.
Toyota is not the only automaker with unintended acceleration problems. Just last weekend, NHTSA disclosed that it’s investigating 360,000 Nissan cars for the same problem, in this case allegedly caused by improper design of a trim panel. Last month, Ford recalled 1.4 million vehicles, for defects including loss of power steering and (as with Toyota) floor mats that can interfere with the accelerator.
That followed a recall by Ford of about 700,000 vehicles for software bugs that could cause airbags to delay inflation and – a separate problem on the same vehicles – doors that could come open while the car is moving. Also last month, Chrysler recalled almost 500,000 SUVs because cracks in a circuit board could lead to a faulty signal that caused the transmission to shift by itself from Park into Neutral. Toyota too had a software recall, in 2010, involving anti-lock brake software and another last month, involving airbag electronic control unit software.
Also on the airbag front, chemical and mechanical defects have been disclosed in the last several weeks in airbags from a company called Takata, resulting in recalls or halted sales by eight car companies: Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW – and GM, a company which this year has recalled over 28 million cars in about 30 separate recalls.
The most noted of those recalls, of course, have been for an ignition switch problem. In the last five months the company has recalled about 14.8 million vehicles (6.6 million in the last several months plus 8.2 million yesterday) from model years 2003-2011 because the ignition switch can turn off while the car is in motion, disabling the power steering, power brakes and airbags. According to the government, GM knew of the problem since at least November 2009, but didn’t tell NHTSA for almost 4-1/2 years. The New York Times reports that GM’s knowledge goes much further back: a GM engineer approved the faulty design in 2002 before the car was released, even though the part maker said the switch didn’t meet specifications. GM investigated later complaints, but closed the inquiry in 2005 because “none of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.”
Four months later came the first death tied to the ignition switch.
The following year, the same GM engineer allegedly signed off on a redesigned switch intended to be safer, but there was no recall for another eight years. Last year, the engineer claimed under oath in a wrongful death suit that he had not authorized the change (notwithstanding a signed document to the contrary); he told Congressional investigators in May that he didn’t remember.
Also last month, the company paid a record $35 million civil penalty even as the Secretary of Transportation said “what G.M. did was break the law.” According to NHTSA, GM employees were actually trained in how to obscure safety problems. Documents released last week by a Congressional panel reportedly show that a current top GM executive knew of the problem as far back as 2005. Criminal, congressional, SEC and state investigations are ongoing. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed, and a compensation plan was unveiled yesterday that could cost the company billions.
In addition, a second GM ignition switch problem has emerged: in many of the same cars with switches that could turn off while driving, it was also possible to remove the ignition key while the car wasn’t in Park or while the engine was running. A GM report said that the company knew about this in the early 2000’s but didn’t recall the cars until April of this year. Meanwhile, although NHTSA received the report in April, it wasn’t posted on the agency’s website until a reporter asked for it in June.
These are the sorts of companies that would self-certify their driverless cars.
What About the Regulators?
Not only did NHTSA delay posting the safety report, it seems to have fumbled the GM ignition switch issue from the beginning. The agency received the first complaint in 2003 but didn’t propose an investigation until 2007. Even at that, no recall occurred until 2014. Instead, despite receiving an average of two complaints per month, NHTSA repeatedly responded that “there was not enough evidence of a problem to warrant a safety investigation,” according to the New York Times. Now Congress is investigating NHTSA as well as GM.
NHTSA doesn’t only handle recalls; it’s the federal agency that issues automobile safety rules. Under California’s self-driving car law, any NHTSA regulations on the subject will preempt whatever the DMV is doing now.
Commenting on the agency’s approach to software, embedded systems expert Barr said, “NHTSA … needs to step up on software regulation and oversight. For example, FAA and FDA both have guidelines for safety-critical software design within the systems they oversee. NHTSA has nothing.” (See also pdf, p. 44.) There are techniques to reduce automotive software risks, but NHTSA doesn’t require them.
And the agency is not currently regulating driverless cars at all.
That leaves the field to the less technically-experienced, more resource-poor state DMVs. It’s not hard to play one state off against another, and that looks like what Google did with California. Although a Stanford report says that self-driving cars were “probably legal” already, the company presumably wanted more certainty, so it got Nevada to pass a driverless car law to its liking in 2011, then Florida, and then used those statutes to incite California legislators to act. Sacramento, fearful that Google’s car operation would decamp to the home of legalized gambling, passed legislation requiring the DMV to issue regulations by January 1, 2015, legalizing the cars on California roads. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill at Google headquarters in September 2012.
But a section of the law, CVC 38750(d)(2), requires that the regulations include “any testing, equipment, and performance standards ... that the department concludes are necessary to ensure the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, with or without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle.”
The only way to even have approximate confidence in the safety of a complex embedded system is for a knowledgeable independent third-party certification authority to review (under confidentiality agreement) the software and firmware source code, custom chip (ASIC) designs, hardware specs, design documents, flowcharts, and other technical documentation. 
The Problem with Road Testing
If you’re not a programmer, you may still be wondering why road testing is inadequate for driverless cars. Once again, the FDA explains, “One of the most significant features of software is branching, i.e., the ability to execute alternative series of commands, based on differing inputs. This feature is a major contributing factor for another characteristic of software – its complexity. Even short programs can be very complex and difficult to fully understand.”
It is hard enough to test garden variety software (say, Microsoft Word), whose operation is deterministic and does not require sophisticated judgments, involve real-time sensor inputs or perform safety-critical functions. A word processing program is comparatively straightforward, yet MS Word, for instance, still manages to be buggy.
A robocar’s software is non-deterministic, in that (a) it makes high level decisions (brake? accelerate? swerve? turn? etc.) in real time and (b) it does so in response to huge quantities of extremely complex sensory inputs representing dozens or hundreds of stationary and moving objects that are never the same twice. No matter how precisely you try to replicate a road test, something different will always happen:
● One time the sun will glint off the windshield of an opposing car and blind a sensor, perhaps causing the car the mis-steer – or maybe the sun will be at a slightly different angle that day and the problem will remain latent, ready to affect an unwary consumer.
● Maybe a splash of mud mixed with oil and gravel will fly up past the radar in the front bumper, leading the car to swerve away from an imagined obstacle – or maybe the road will be dry that day, or the mix of oil, mud and gravel just different enough that the software properly processes and ignores it.
● Maybe a journey will be long enough and the number of objects encountered large enough that a heavily-used area of memory referred to as the “stack” will overflow, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Stack overflows can be hard to debug or predict. But perhaps the road test will be too short to trigger the bug, again leaving latent a problem that will only show up when a car crashes in real-world operation.
● Perhaps one day the car will pass by a strong electrical field – say, from a power plant or even a downed wire – that evokes an electric current that modifies memory or triggers a false sensor reading, again leading to a dangerous malfunction not detected during a DMV road test.
● How vulnerable are the car’s sensors to snow, ice and mud? A fair-weather road test won’t answer that question – and we already know from the crash of Air France Flight 447 off the coast of Brazil just how deadly the consequences of sensor malfunction can be.
● Maybe one day the car will hit exactly 32 mph – a binary number that looks like this, 100000 – at precisely the same time a car in the next lane is decelerating and hits 16 mph (10000) and that confluence of zeros and velocity changes triggers some quirky bug that only appears if GPS signal is momentarily lost and a train crosses in front of the car. Of course this is a contrived example (here’s one from the real world), but the point is that software can fail for strange reasons in weird and sometimes catastrophic ways.
As the DMV assistant general counsel conducting the driverless car sessions, Brian Soublet, pointed out, there are a large number of traffic maneuvers – in his words probably too many to test (video). Even worse, there are an unbounded number of driving scenarios – combinations of maneuvers, pedestrians, cars, trucks, motorcycles, cyclists, road geometry, stop signs, traffic lights, weather conditions and more. You can’t road test all of them or even any large fraction because the test space is effectively infinite. The only way to probe them is to examine and audit the source code, and also to run the software through simulators – under the watchful eyes of DMV or third-party experts.
As a teenager, I managed to halt a “crash-proof” computer by directing it to take input from the display screen and send output to the keyboard, both of which were obviously impossible. It was a simple prank that the programmers somehow hadn’t anticipated. What pranks and scenarios will driverless car companies overlook as they turn their machines loose?
Cybersecurity and More
Yesterday’s pranks are today’s cybersecurity threats, of course, and these cars will be vulnerable. Even today, cars are at risk. Yet, John Tillman of Mercedes, Chrysler’s Good and VW’s Wendling all urged the DMV not to regulate driverless car cybersecurity (video). They didn’t feel that DMV was the right agency for the task, but had no alternative proposals.
There will be a lot of pressure for driverless car software upgrades to be transmitted wirelessly over the air (OTA), but this should only be allowed with extraordinary security. OTA mechanisms represent enormous threat vulnerability. Moreover, even under the best of circumstances, software updates are problematic, especially when the initial code is complex. It’s easy to “break something” when you’re in the process of fixing something or adding capabilities. The FDA found that 79 percent of software-related recalls in medical devices were due to defects introduced in updates, not in the original code.
There are also legal issues, because adhering to the Vehicle Code isn’t always straightforward. Soublet highlighted a left turn issue which Google acknowledged ruefully (“I can’t believe you’re bringing that up,” said Medford; video). Soublet also mentioned that obeying the speed limit on a freeway isn’t always the right thing, since it can lead to vehicles traveling too slow for traffic conditions. Here again, the decisions should be made by the DMV, not Google – and certainly not Google alone.
(Other legal issues – who’s liable for accidents, who gets the ticket and the points when a self-driving car breaks a traffic law, how will insurance work – were discussed at the DMV hearings but don’t relate to the point of this article.)
Adding to the seriousness of all of these issues – safety, ethics, privacy, cybersecurity, legal –  is software monoculture, or the presence of the same software in many vehicles. This means that failures will affect numerous people, just like a bug in MS Word affects millions of people.
Can we trust Google or car companies to protect our privacy, ensure our safety, guard against bugs, prevent cars from being weaponized into self-driving human-free suicide bombs, make ethical decisions when crashes are unavoidable, and all the rest? No, not without rigorous oversight and meaningful independent certification. 

Finally, we also have to put these cars in context. They're the first safer-yet-dangerous autonomous robots the public will encounter. There will be more -- eventually Honda's ASIMO robot will be released from the lab, ATLAS will come untethered and BigDog and other Boston Dynamics (i.e., Google) robots will be set loose, whether as helpers, packbots, monitors, security bots or more. Will we get the same answer then -- "this technology is a net good, regulators are self-interested, auditors wouldn't catch the bugs, so let the company self-certify and be done with it"?

Google plays a long game and a large one. They're aware that they may be setting a precedent for the way robots are regulated, or not.
The California DMV regulations – which may set a national and even international template (video) – will be out soon. Hopefully, they’ll be adequate to the task. Click here to tell the DMV what you think (and cc me).
Jonathan Handel (jhandel.com) is an entertainment/technology attorney and journalist in Los Angeles. He does not have clients related to self-driving cars. The opinions expressed here are his own. Images via Wikipedia and do not imply endorsement or affiliation.
          2030 May Be The Year They’ll Take Your Driver's License Away   


I was stuck in traffic yesterday, which I didn’t really mind because I have a fun little yellow convertible, and I was thinking about Uber ($17 billion! – that’s the company’s valuation, not the price of a ride) and Google’s driverless cars (development cost unknown), and I decided it was time to connect the dots: once a car learns to drive, there’s no need to own it and there’s no need for a driver. That’s because the car can come when called, take you to your destination, then go off and pick up someone else.
That sounds great and I’m hardly the first to connect those particular dots, but there’s a corollary that seems to have gone largely (though not entirely) unnoticed: when driving oneself becomes unnecessary, it will eventually become more expensive, less convenient and – ultimately – unlawful, because the cars will do it a lot better than we can. Traditional cars will find themselves in a death spiral, and they’ll be gone in less than – well, not less than 60 seconds, but sooner than you think.
In other words, Google is engineering all of us right out of the driver’s seat. If they manage to get self-driving cars on the market by 2020 – as they’ve said they hope to – then I’d give human drivers another ten years before we all get our licenses pulled and registrations revoked.
Welcome to the Jetsons era of driverless Cars as a Service, or d-CaaS if you will.
Improbable? Not really. Consider how the laws changed around smoking on aircraft. Until 1973, you could smoke anywhere on an airplane. Next came smoking in designated sections and then, in 1988 – just 15 years later – an outright ban on most flights. It was all motivated by health concerns. Today, with safety issues, shoelace bombers and explosive underwear added to the mix, no sane person would touch a cigarette while aloft. What once was commonplace is now understood to be reckless, and punishable accordingly.
Or consider horses. Once common on city streets such as LA’s Sunset Blvd., they disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. (Well, not completely.) Who at the time could have imagined?
Already, of course, the elderly lose their right to drive when they can’t do so safely enough. But my point is that the definition of “safely enough” will shift: when self-driving cars are safer than human drivers, at some point none of us humans will be deemed safe enough to worthy of a license.
Let’s back up and look at where we are now. Google’s fleet has already logged nearly 700,000 autonomous miles. How smart are the cars? Consider this, from a 2013 New Yorker article:
[Google lead programmer Dmitri Dolgov] was riding through a wooded area one night when the car suddenly slowed to a crawl. “I was thinking, What the hell? It must be a bug,” he told me. “Then we noticed the deer walking along the shoulder.”
The deer wasn’t even on the road, but was alongside it. In the dark, in a fraction of a second (one presumes), the car had detected an object, recognized it as a deer, inferred that it could leap onto the roadway unpredictably, released the gas and applied the brakes. Now that’s a smart car, and the night vision is just icing on the cake.
Maybe the deer was the only thing out there that night. Perhaps the car itself turns into a deer in the headlights when faced with complexity? No. Said Google’s project director Chris Urmson in a recent blog post, “our software … can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously –  pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a possible turn.”
Now, there is some “trickery” involved: the car is preloaded with extremely high-def maps of the areas it drives in. Far more detailed than Google Maps, these maps are models of the physical world, with information like the height of traffic signals, the position of curbs and more. Those models make it easier for the computer to process sensor inputs, because it knows some of what to expect.
Of course, you and I use the same trick when we drive on familiar roads. And Google is hardly going to be deterred by the need to map the world’s roadways.
That deer story is already more than six months old. The software has probably moved on to recognizing cats and raccoons by now. Meanwhile, on the hardware front, the latest Google cars don’t have steering wheels or pedals. The driver is just another passenger along for the ride. And guess what: in most states, that’s probably legal already. Anyway, those cars are intentionally limited to 25 mph. That may sound kind of limiting, but it’s actually the same as the proposed New York City speed limit.
The Google team are very clever folks, and they’re not the only ones working on these kinds of vehicles, though they seem to be the furthest ahead. Readers who hate government should note that much of this was spurred by a U.S. government sponsored competition; indeed, Google’s Urmson, then at Carnegie-Mellon University, was the technology leader of the team that won the government’s 2007 Urban Challenge.
In any case, it’s just a matter of time and determined engineering before autonomous cars become better drivers than people are. (By some measures, says Google, they already are.) That will lead to commercial availability. When that happens, the conversation will begin to shift from “is it ok to let cars drive themselves?” to “is it ok to let people drive themselves?”
And the answer we’ll arrive at, soon enough, will be no.
That’s because (as the New Yorker article points out) people are terrible drivers. They’re always distractible, and often tired, preoccupied, drunk, drugged, on the phone or sending a text. They’re emotional, error-prone, drive too fast and react too slow. They have blind spots, can’t see in the dark and usually can’t be trusted to use both feet at once, meaning that in a unexpected crisis even the best driver loses seconds shifting his right foot from the accelerator to the brake. A well-programmed computer, kitted out with cameras, lasers, radars and cameras, will be able to do much better.
When that happens, the social cost of human driving will no longer be simply unfathomable – in the U.S. alone, 33,000 deaths, almost 2.5 million injuries, $277 billion in economic losses and $871 billion in total social harm per year – it will become unacceptable. Over 95% of that cost is attributable to driver error (pdf; see pp. 24-25).
Divide those dollar figures (2010 data, the latest available) by the adult population and you’ll see that human driving costs the nation the equivalent of $1200 to $3500 per adult per year. Some of that is accounted for by auto insurance rates, but too many people are uninsured or underinsured, and the insurance system arguably doesn’t do a good job of reflecting the true cost of accidents.
So money is probably where the regulation will start. Somewhere between perhaps 2025 to 2030, you might have to pay an annual “human driver” fee if you want to keep driving the old fashioned way. It could be a hefty add-on to present-day license fees – probably not as much as the true social cost at first, but it might increase over time. Or it might take form as an increase in car insurance rates for those who insist on driving themselves.
Of course, self-driving cars are likely to be more expensive than the old fashioned kind, at least at first. Would the poor and middle class suffer, forced into a Hobson’s choice between paying more for a license and insurance or paying more for a driverless car or a retrofit kit? Not at all. They’re likely to do neither, and instead use d-CaaS – driverless cars that appear when summoned, ready to whisk you to work, play, restaurants or one of the diminishing number of retail outlets not rendered superfluous by Amazon (with or without flying drones).
And who will provide those cars? Why Uber, of course (there’s a reason Google invested a quarter-billion dollars in the company), and Lyft, Sidecar, ZipCar (owned by Avis), Car2Go, RelayRides, Zimride (owned by Enterprise), and Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Hailo, Taxi Magic, Flywheel, local taxi and limo companies, and, gosh, have I left anybody out? They’ll all be in competition with each other. Some will own fleets, while others will provide financing or monetization for individuals who do buy autonomous cars or retrofit their existing vehicles.
But really, why buy? Americans spend roughly 3 hours a day in their cars. That means that about 21 hours a day, the vehicle sits idle. What a waste of money to buy a self-driving car when instead you can use one when you need it and the car can go about its business when you don’t. Do you really want to be in the business of owning a self-driving car, always keeping up with hardware and software updates, cleaning up spilled soda from the backseat and restocking the candy dish? Uber is not going to be about human drivers forever.
So, a far smaller number of self-driving cars could fill people’s needs than the number of cars owned today. During surge periods – primarily, rush hours – commuting in autonomous cars could involve ride-sharing (at a reduced cost per person) and/or multimodal trips (the car takes you to the train or subway station). Prefer your privacy? That will be available too, but at a cost in money and time too, since you won’t get to use the commuter lane on the freeway.
Fewer cars and less time sitting idle means less need for garages, lots and on-street spaces, and little or no time spent looking for parking. Fewer cars, tighter clustering and greater efficiency translates to less congestion. There will be more mobility for the elderly and disabled. And driverless cars will probably all be electric so that they can just sidle up to a charging station and rejuice without human intervention. So, less pollution.
What happens to all those existing traditional cars? I think the government will get them, and your license too.
That may make you think of gun rights – “they’ll pry my steering wheel from my cold, dead hands” –  but there’s no Second Amendment for cars, and even today, driving is considered a privilege, not a right.
Anyway, the government probably wouldn’t take your car from you at first. Instead, they’d buy it. The advantages of getting traditional cars off the road will be so great that some states might decide to pay owners to scrap and recycle them – just as California today pays owners of cars that fail smog check $1000 to $1500 to have their cars dismantled.
And, of course, the other thing they can do is regulate your car’s value away, by pursuing policies that favor d-CaaS. As driving oneself becomes more and more a pastime of the rich, the price of licenses, registration, insurance and gasoline will likely increase, further narrowing the user base – and political constituency – for traditional cars. As demand lessens, gas stations will close up shop, and owning a non-autonomous gasoline vehicle will become unfeasible. That will drive another nail in the traditional car’s coffin – or in its tire. You’ll wish you sold it to the state when you had the chance.
Meanwhile, densely-packed cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco might outlaw traditional cars altogether, or levy a heavy use fee, just as London and a few other cities impose congestion pricing today, with plans afoot in New York.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving might rebrand as “Mothers Against Drivers Driving” and maybe Car & Driver magazine will become Car & Operating System, if it doesn’t fold altogether.
Increasingly, those who choose to drive themselves will bear more of the consequences of their risky behavior. The damages awarded in the event of an accidents may skyrocket, not just because the average driver will be wealthy, but also because the accident will be seen as easily avoidable. When the police show up at an accident scene, they might charge a fee, just as ambulances do. Ultimately, the decision to drive oneself might become reclassified as what the law calls “ultrahazardous,” making liability stricter and penalties more severe.
Of course, to take off the rose-colored Google Glass for a moment, it will be a weird and different world when nobody drives, and it’s bound to bring a loss of privacy. There have already been fights over driving data; there will be more. Inside the car, you’ll be in a public space: even now, the Google cars have cameras inside as well as out, and we can expect more of that, not less, as time goes on. And talk about a captive audience: at present, there are no ads in Google’s self-driving cars, but that won’t last.
There will no doubt be a loss of autonomy as well. Chinese cars will probably be programmed to avoid sensitive places like ongoing demonstrations, or Tiananmen Square on the anniversary of the massacre. Call it the Great Traffic Cone of China. (Yet countries like China and India might leapfrog the U.S. in the application of d-CaaS technology.) Even in the U.S., people on probation or subject to protective orders will have their mobility reduced. Teenagers might find that self-driving cars refuse to stop at liquor stores and head shops, or won’t stay out after midnight (“Chad,” the car will text an errant teen, “I’m leaving in five minutes.”). Any one of us might be offered a discount on our ride by Google if we let the car take us to a restaurant or store the company favors. Today, our attention is bought and sold in the form of advertising; tomorrow, our physical presence will be for sale as well. We might even have to agree to stay at the store for at least 15 minutes in order to get that ride discount.
Then there are the technical challenges. Yes, Google engineers are smart – but how smart? My Android-powered Galaxy S4, which initially worked so well, now tends to freeze, overheat and run down the battery. And that’s not to mention the prospect of it being hacked. Programming is still a dicey business: we’ve been designing bridges for 3300 years but the very term “software engineering” is less than 50 years old. As a rigorous discipline, it’s even younger – and it’s subject to little regulation.
One kind of program code that is regulated is medical device software, and in that context, the FDA makes a point that applies equally well to driverless cars: “Because of its complexity, the development process for software should be even more tightly controlled than for hardware, in order to prevent problems that cannot be easily detected later in the development process.”
Soon, another exception may be mapping apps: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants the authority to regulate those for safety reasons.
So the road ahead for self-driving cars is likely to be studded with potholes. Will we need outside software auditors to reduce error and guard against the sort of cover-up that seems to have afflicted the GM ignition switch team and that company’s management? Probably so. Google itself, after all, already operates under the scrutiny of outside privacy audits imposed by a 2011 consent decree, and the company later paid a record $22.5 million fine for violating that consent decree.
Can we trust Google or car companies to protect our privacy, ensure our safety, guard against bugs, prevent cars from being weaponized into self-driving human-free suicide bombs, make ethical decisions when crashes are unavoidable, and all the rest? Not without oversight. Federal regulators are still figuring out the issues (see pdf of May 2013 NHTSA policy paper), but thanks to Google’s lobbying, California is moving ahead on driverless cars even as it struggles with Uber. Whoever brings us smart cars – whether Detroit, foreign car companies, Google or some combination – will be doing the world (and themselves) a great service, but will also need to be regulated with more technological precision than we usually apply to software. Self-driving cars, after all, are robots with human payloads, and are far more dangerous than Roombas.
Even with those caveats, self-driving cars are on their way and human drivers on their way out. And even with all the efficiencies gained, I’ll miss my yellow convertible, I will. But I expect that by 2030 I’ll have more than a Roomba to console me. I’ll be holding out for a robocat.
Jonathan Handel (jhandel.com) is an entertainment/technology attorney at TroyGould in Los Angeles and a contributing editor at The Hollywood Reporter.

          FIU to offer first Internet of Things degree in U.S.   

network-internet-of-things-300x200Smart watches, smart phones, many home security systems and autonomous vehicles: The Internet allows them to communicate with each other...

The post FIU to offer first Internet of Things degree in U.S. appeared first on FIU College of Engineering and Computing.


          Hindi Book Online   
Cultural Heritage Digital Library in Hindi
Find several Hindi books online
Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. However, it’s quite difficult to find any quality Hindi book online. Even if you find something, it’s not at one place. Some Hindi books are available here, others are available there. In this scenario, “Cultural Heritage Digital Library” is doing a great job by providing a lot of Hindi stuff including various books in Hindi, Hindi articles,     Hindi stories and poems at once place.

Check out this Hindi book website - Cultural Heritage Digital Library.

Free Hindi Books on Culture of Hindi Speaking Regions

The uniqueness of Cultural Heritage Digital Library lies in its special emphasis on Hindi speaking regions. A lot of content about art and culture of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand/Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh can be found in Hindi on this website. Availability of this valuable Hindi literature on these regions is very difficult to spot on Internet. Also, you will get to know about regional literature of Braj, Mithila, Magadh and Banaras etc.

Traditional Hindi Literature

Literature of classical Hindi authors and poets like Kabir, Amir Khusro, Raskhan, Jaysi, Raheem, Tulsidas, Surdas, Keshav, Meera and Premchand etc can also be found here. Various classical Hindi books such as Panchtantra, Hitopadesha, Simhasan Battisi (Singhasan Battisi), stories about Lord Buddha, and Alha Udal etc are also available here. You can read several Hindi books here as well.

Many of the articles here are quite interesting and a treat to read due to their writing style and different viewpoints. Some of the articles are very well researched and, thus, compels you think in a new way. Personally, I found Hindi articles on society in Vedic era, Tesu Jhanjhi, and history of Agra etc. especially interesting.

Art of Hindi Speaking Regions

In this website, you’ll find a lot of content about art, craft and music of Hindi speaking regions. Plenty of Hindi folk songs with regional flavors of Rajasthan and many other stats can be found here. You can savor Qawwali and various other singing styles such as Dhrupad, Tappa, Dadra, Khayal etc in this Hindi website. Digital pictures related to states of Hindi heartland are also available. These pictures depict culture richness of these areas and some of the pictures are of the objects of archeological importance.

This website is developed by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, as a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts. This is one of the best Hindi book sites I’ve seen. Check it out - Cultural Heritage Digital Library in Hindi.

          (USA-OH-Cleveland) Case-Management-Social-Worker   
**Job Summary:** Coordinates the care and services of select patients. Intervenes with patients who have complex psychosocial and discharge planning needs. Conducts detailed psychosocial assessments and coordinates with community resources and supportive counseling. Offers crisis interventions to patients and families with psychosocial needs and facilitates transition of care for high risk patients facing barriers to care. **Responsibilities:** + Manages all aspects of discharge planning for assigned patients in order to ensure a timely discharge and provide appropriate connection with post-discharge care providers. + Works with families exhibiting complex family dynamics. + Communicates with interdisciplinary team regarding the discharge planning status of all patients that are referred. + Educates patient, family and physician regarding post-acute options and addresses freedom of choice and financial concerns. + Conducts psychosocial assessment and interventions and makes treatment recommendations to engage patients and families in adherence to the treatment plan by reducing or eliminating the social, psychological, financial, behavioral and regulatory barriers to successful medical outcomes. + Serves as a resource person to provide counseling and intervention related to treatment decisions and end-of-life issues. + Advocates for patient and family by providing intervention in cases involving child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elderly abuse, institutional abuse and sexual assault. + Advocates for patient and family empowerment and independence to make autonomous health care decisions and access needed serves within the health care system. + Meets core social work competencies and adhering to regulations. + Remains current with regulations which impact the care of patients and regulatory compliance. + Promotes individual, professional growth and development and meets mandatory and continuing education requirements. + Supports department-based goals which contribute to the success of the organization. + Serves as a preceptor, mentor, and resource to less experienced staff and represents the department on committees. + Other duties as assigned. **Education:** + Master's Degree in Social Work (or Clinical Counseling within Behavioral Health) **Certifications:** + Current state licensure as a Social Worker. + Eligible licensure includes LSW, LISW, LISW-S or PC. + Department requirement: Certification as a Clinical Social Worker or Case Manager within one year of eligibility from an approved professional organization. + Basic Life Support (BLS) required. **Complexity of Work:** + Requires critical thinking skills, decisive judgment and the ability to work with minimal supervision. + Must be able to work in a stressful environment and take appropriate action. **Work Experience:** + Hospital Social Work experience preferred. + Exposure and experience in pre-acute and post-acute care. + Knowledge of community resources preferred. + Excellent communication and negotiation skills necessary to work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams for optimal outcomes. + Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as with teams. + Must be flexible, open-minded and adaptable to change. **Physical Requirements:** + Requires full range of motion, manual and finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination. + Requires standing and walking for extensive periods of time. + Requires normal or corrected hearing and vision to normal range. + Sedentary work exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally (Occasionally: active or condition exists up to 1/3 of the time) and /or a negligible amount of force frequently (Frequently: activity or condition exists from 1/3 to 2/3 of the time) to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met. **Personal Protective Equipment:** + Follows Standard Precautions using personal protective equipment as required for procedures. The policy of Cleveland Clinic and its system hospitals (Cleveland Clinic) is to provide equal opportunity to all of our employees and applicants for employment in our tobacco free and drug free environment. All offers of employment are followed by testing for controlled substance and nicotine. Job offers will be rescinded for candidates for employment who test positive for nicotine. Candidates for employment who are impacted by Cleveland Clinic’s Smoking Policy will be offered smoking cessation assistance and will be permitted to reapply for open positions after 90 days. Decisions concerning employment, transfers and promotions are made upon the basis of the best qualified candidate without regard to color, race, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran or any other characteristic protected by law. Information provided on this application may be shared with any Cleveland Clinic facility. Cleveland Clinic is pleased to be an equal employment employer: Women/Minorities/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
          (USA-NE-Papillion) Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the RN(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) + Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) within the state + Current CPR certification **Responsibilities** 1. Under supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), assists in the assessment of the physical, psychological and social dimensions of patients in the Health Care Unit and, as necessary, in the housing units. 2. Assists in planning an individual treatment program by using available resources in planning care, and consults with RNs and other staff as appropriate while applying knowledge and resources in planning care and patient teaching. 3. Implements individualized treatment programs as directed by the Health Care Practitioner. 4. Count controlled substances, syringes, needles and sharps at the beginning of each shift with another staff member and sign count logs. 5. Implements clinical and technical aspects of care in accordance with established policies, procedures and protocols. Intervenes with proper safety techniques, procedures and standard precautions. 6. Responds to a code or health emergency within standard guidelines. 7. Implements medical plan through administering medications in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Administers medications according to proper techniques and procedures including IV therapy (when certified) and all other approved routes of administration. Uses pharmacy knowledge and available resources to include drug reaction and overdose in administration of medications. 8. Implements medical plans through obtaining diagnostic tests in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Obtains body fluid specimens and performs EKG's using proper techniques and procedures. Communicates information to ancillary departments using established referral process. 9. Assists the Health Care Practitioner in medical or minor surgical procedures as necessary and/or requested to meet individual needs of patients. 10. Implement nutrition and therapeutic diet plan through proper techniques and procedures as ordered by Health Care Practitioner. 11. Documents nursing encounters using the SOAP form of charting as required by policy and procedure. 12. Communicates information to nursing staff, physician, health care unit supervisory personnel and other staff as necessary. 13. Respects dignity and confidentiality of patients. 14. Attends mandatory staff meetings and training. 15. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 16. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 17. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 18. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 19. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 20. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 21. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-39899_ **Location** _NE, Papillion_ **Facility** _Sarpy County Sheriff's Office_ **Type** _PRN_ **Shift** _PRN_
          (USA-FL-Graceville) Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the RN(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for** **Licensed Practical Nurse** **:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for** **Licensed Practical Nurse** **:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for** **Licensed Practical Nurse** **:** + Current licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) + Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) within the state + Current CPR certification **Responsibilities** 1. Under supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), assists in the assessment of the physical, psychological and social dimensions of patients in the Health Care Unit and, as necessary, in the housing units. 2. Assists in planning an individual treatment program by using available resources in planning care, and consults with RNs and other staff as appropriate while applying knowledge and resources in planning care and patient teaching. 3. Implements individualized treatment programs as directed by the Health Care Practitioner. 4. Count controlled substances, syringes, needles and sharps at the beginning of each shift with another staff member and sign count logs. 5. Implements clinical and technical aspects of care in accordance with established policies, procedures and protocols. Intervenes with proper safety techniques, procedures and standard precautions. 6. Responds to a code or health emergency within standard guidelines. 7. Implements medical plan through administering medications in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Administers medications according to proper techniques and procedures including IV therapy (when certified) and all other approved routes of administration. Uses pharmacy knowledge and available resources to include drug reaction and overdose in administration of medications. 8. Implements medical plans through obtaining diagnostic tests in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Obtains body fluid specimens and performs EKG's using proper techniques and procedures. Communicates information to ancillary departments using established referral process. 9. Assists the Health Care Practitioner in medical or minor surgical procedures as necessary and/or requested to meet individual needs of patients. 10. Implement nutrition and therapeutic diet plan through proper techniques and procedures as ordered by Health Care Practitioner. 11. Documents nursing encounters using the SOAP form of charting as required by policy and procedure. 12. Communicates information to nursing staff, physician, health care unit supervisory personnel and other staff as necessary. 13. Respects dignity and confidentiality of patients. 14. Attends mandatory staff meetings and training. 15. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 16. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 17. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 18. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 19. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 20. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 21. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40865_ **Location** _FL, Graceville_ **Facility** _Graceville Correctional Facility_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Night_
          (USA-IL-Joliet) Registered Nurse (RN)   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the Charge Nurse(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Registered Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Registered Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Registered Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40941_ **Location** _IL, Joliet_ **Facility** _Will County Adult Detention Facility_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Day_
          (USA-AZ-Kingman) Registered Nurse   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the Charge Nurse(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Registered Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Registered Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Registered Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40945_ **Location** _AZ, Kingman_ **Facility** _Mohave County Jail_ **Type** _PRN_ **Shift** _PRN_
          (USA-NY-Valhalla) Registered Nurse (RN)   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the Charge Nurse(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Registered Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Registered Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Registered Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40936_ **Location** _NY, Valhalla_ **Facility** _Westchester County Correctional Facility_ **Type** _PRN_ **Shift** _PRN_
          (USA-IA-Des Moines) Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) $1000 Sign On Bonus!   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the RN(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Licensed Practical Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Licensed Practical Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Licensed Practical Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) + Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) within the state + Current CPR certification **Responsibilities** 1. Under supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), assists in the assessment of the physical, psychological and social dimensions of patients in the Health Care Unit and, as necessary, in the housing units. 2. Assists in planning an individual treatment program by using available resources in planning care, and consults with RNs and other staff as appropriate while applying knowledge and resources in planning care and patient teaching. 3. Implements individualized treatment programs as directed by the Health Care Practitioner. 4. Count controlled substances, syringes, needles and sharps at the beginning of each shift with another staff member and sign count logs. 5. Implements clinical and technical aspects of care in accordance with established policies, procedures and protocols. Intervenes with proper safety techniques, procedures and standard precautions. 6. Responds to a code or health emergency within standard guidelines. 7. Implements medical plan through administering medications in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Administers medications according to proper techniques and procedures including IV therapy (when certified) and all other approved routes of administration. Uses pharmacy knowledge and available resources to include drug reaction and overdose in administration of medications. 8. Implements medical plans through obtaining diagnostic tests in accordance with Health Care Practitioner's orders and protocols: Obtains body fluid specimens and performs EKG's using proper techniques and procedures. Communicates information to ancillary departments using established referral process. 9. Assists the Health Care Practitioner in medical or minor surgical procedures as necessary and/or requested to meet individual needs of patients. 10. Implement nutrition and therapeutic diet plan through proper techniques and procedures as ordered by Health Care Practitioner. 11. Documents nursing encounters using the SOAP form of charting as required by policy and procedure. 12. Communicates information to nursing staff, physician, health care unit supervisory personnel and other staff as necessary. 13. Respects dignity and confidentiality of patients. 14. Attends mandatory staff meetings and training. 15. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 16. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 17. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 18. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 19. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 20. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 21. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40954_ **Location** _IA, Des Moines_ **Facility** _Polk County Jail_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Evening_
          (USA-NY-Goshen) Registered Nurse (RN)   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the Charge Nurse(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Registered Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Registered Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Registered Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40972_ **Location** _NY, Goshen_ **Facility** _Orange County Detention Center_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Day_
          (USA-VA-Norfolk) Charge Registered Nurse (Charge RN)   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Charge Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible and accountable for direct supervision of the total health care delivery system in his/her assigned nursing unit of the facility. Performs supervision in conjunction with the delivery of patient care through the process of collecting health status data, nursing diagnosis goal setting, planning, implementation and evaluation. Directs and guides patient teaching and ensures ancillary personnel provide only those services which they are prepared or qualified to perform. **Qualifications** **Education:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40970_ **Location** _VA, Norfolk_ **Facility** _Norfolk City Jail_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Night_
          (USA-TN-Nashville) Clinical Administrative Assistant (Full-Time)   
**Overview** Our Clinical Administrative Assistant provides administrative and clerical support to the Clinical department. Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment where organizational expertise is essential. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and Internet Explorer (or equivalent), copying equipment, and maintaining various tracking logs. **Qualifications** **Education:** + High School diploma or equivalent + Bachelors’ degree in relevant discipline (Business, Healthcare, etc.) preferred **Experience:** + Five (5) or more years experience in a corporate environment supporting executives + Excellent interpersonal skills and superior customer service skills + Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite required + Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines + Strong verbal and written communication + Update and maintain skills and knowledge related to correctional healthcare **Licenses/Certifications:** + None required **Responsibilities** 1. Manage and maintain executive’s schedule, appointments and travel arrangements. 2. Ability to operate autonomously with several CCS projects. 3. Responsible for gathering data and formulating reports. 4. Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution. 5. Conduct research, assemble and analyze data to prepare reports and documents. 6. Administrative support for large projects, including documentation management, editing and graphic support. 7. Creating templates, graphs, and macros in Microsoft applications in support of projects. 8. Assist management with document formatting, publishing, and production of all size documents. 9. Receive and interact with incoming visitors. 10. Answer and manage incoming calls from employees, clients, and vendors in a professional manner. 11. Prepare and edit correspondence, communications, presentations and other documents. 12. Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email. 13. File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports. 14. Facilitate communication between the Clinical department and other healthcare personnel by providing information concerning procedures, reports, directives and instructions in an accurate, concise and timely manner. 15. Schedule meetings, appointments and work assignments to meet or exceed deadlines. 16. Schedule meetings and appointments as assigned and notify those attending. 17. Prepare calendar to reflect scheduled events as necessary. 18. Responsible for ordering office supplies for department(s). 19. Maintain skills and continue professional development to enhance the operations and image of the organization. 20. Attend in-service and continuing education to obtain and maintain skills as appropriate. 21. Attend conferences and off-site meetings as needed. 22. Comply with the employee standards of CCS; this includes maintaining a clean working space, a professional appearance appropriate to a corporate environment, developing and fostering a harmonious working relationship with coworkers and providing timely notification to the supervisor regarding leave. Adhere to CCS policies and procedures at all times and utilize discretion with confidential or sensitive information. 23. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 24. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 25. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 26. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 27. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40976_ **Location** _TN, Nashville_ **Facility** _Correct Care Solutions_ **Type** _Regular Full-Time_ **Shift** _Day_
          (USA-AR-Tucker) Registered Nurse   
**Company Introduction** As a nurse with Correct Care Solutions (CCS), you will have the opportunity to practice patient care the way you’ve always wanted. Our nurses enjoy competitive pay and benefits in an autonomous though supportive work environment. Numerous growth opportunities are available to our nurses while feeling that they are continually using their nursing skills and abilities. As a CCS Nurse, you'll treat patients who typically go without access to health care. For patients that reside in a corrections or psychiatric hospital environment, the friendly, compassionate and nonjudgmental interaction that you provide can be a highlight in their day. If your passion is to make a difference, join CCS today. **Overview** Our Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for assisting in the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Under the supervision of the Charge Nurse(s), directs and guides patient teaching and activities that commensurate with his/her education and demonstrated competencies. **Qualifications** **Education for Registered Nurse:** + Graduation from an accredited School of Nursing **Experience for Registered Nurse:** + One (1) or more years clinic experience preferred **Licenses/Certifications for Registered Nurse:** + Current licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the state in which you work, or a valid compact state nurse license + Current CPR Certification **Responsibilities** 1. Reviews nursing plans to ensure data collected, nursing diagnoses, and proposed nursing care plans are relative and confirm with authorized policy and procedures. 2. Reviews medical records to ensure nursing practice provided is within boundaries of State guidelines and all nursing recordings are in legible SOAP format to include the date, time, signature and discipline. 3. Ensures all referrals for consultation, treatment or resolution of problems are valid and applicable to the documented nursing plans. 4. Monitors the nursing service, ensuring the provision of progressive patient care plans, employing the total team approach including patient teaching and self-care. 5. Assists the DON to ensure that the technical and clinical skills of the Registered Nurses are current that they function within the scope of their licensure, and nursing actions are not delegated to another provider for which that person is not prepared or qualified. 6. Follows through and documents all findings, corrections or counseling for all nursing incidents, medication errors, inmate complaints and forwards to the Director of Nursing for disposition. 7. Identifies potential problems, establishes priorities, initiates effective problem solving based on clinical knowledge and informs Director of Nursing of proposed corrective actions. 8. Ensures Director of Nursing is informed of any concerns raised by the nursing staff regarding the questionable lack of appropriate medical intervention for the realization of established patient goals. 9. Maintains composure in stressful situations, aware of own limitations and seeks guidance as necessary from the Director of Nursing. 10. Assumes administrative and clinical call on a scheduled basis when requested. 11. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, will assume the responsibility of his/her position when requested. 12. Develops monthly staffing schedule for review and approval by the Director of Nursing. Ensures the staffing levels adhere to the contractual requirements and staff requests for vacation or special time off is granted whenever possible. 13. Assists the DON as needed to ensure an accurate account of monthly staffing and statistics as required by contract. 14. Assists in the orientation and on-the-job training for all new employees assigned to the unit. 15. Ensures employees are assigned duties and responsibilities to the level of their expertise, licensure or certification. 16. As delegated by the Director of Nursing, annually evaluates performance of supervised staff according to established policy and procedure. 17. As assigned conducts staff meetings for all supervised health care providers to identify problems, propose solutions, set goals. 18. Assists in the collection of monthly statistics as assigned. 19. Reviews, monitors, and maintains perpetual inventory of all contraband and tool counts; investigates and reconciles any discrepancies and reports findings to the Director of Nursing. 20. Cleanliness, maintenance, sanitation and appearance of unit and appropriately notifies security of any infractions needing correction or attention. 21. Coordinates patient care with other departments, to include but not limited to, intake admission, transfers, infirmary admissions, off-site hospital admission, in-house referrals, off-site referrals, periodic and annual physicals, mandatory release, parole, and patient teaching. 22. Assists the DON in ensuring that appropriate levels of stock for pharmacy, medical supplies and laboratory supplies are maintained. Provides for preventive maintenance for all medical equipment as appropriate, and initiates procedure for repair as indicated. 23. Assists in the maintenance of a professional atmosphere on the nursing unit as well as a high standard of patient care. 24. Sets good example for the staff through regular attendance, arriving promptly on time for duty, being appropriately dressed well groomed, adhering to the dress code, and displaying the identification badge appropriately and being neat and well groomed. 25. Attends monthly institutional staff meetings as directed by the DON or Administrator. 26. Other duties as assigned by the Health Service Administrator or Director of Nursing. 27. Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance. 28. Must be able to apply principles of critical thinking to a variety of practical and emergent situations and accurately follow standardized procedures that may call for deviations. 29. Must be able to apply sound judgment beyond a specific set of instructions and apply knowledge to different factual situations. 30. Must be alert at all times; pay close attention to details. 31. Must be able to work under stress on a regular or continuous basis. 32. Post orders, if applicable, per site contract. 33. Perform other duties as assigned. CCS is an EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability Employer **Job** _17-40994_ **Location** _AR, Tucker_ **Facility** _Maximum Security Unit_ **Type** _Regular Part-Time_ **Shift** _Day_
          (USA-MO-St. Louis) Experienced Sales Representative- Paid Training 10 Week Training   
* Advance your career at Liberty Mutual - A Fortune 100 Company! * * * Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our customers need us most. We believe that our success is inextricably linked to our employees' satisfaction: satisfaction that they work for an industry leader committed to improving safety, satisfaction that they work for a company that does the right thing, and satisfaction that the company will reward them for their contributions and provide opportunities for personal growth and success. Our employees take pride in knowing that they help people live safer more secure lives every day. This is what drives our success! Liberty Mutual will take a proactive role in your success as an Experienced Sales Representative by offering industry-leading sales and lead generation training, support and mentoring from the company’s most successful sales professionals and Branch Managers and sponsorship of required licensing exams. As an Experienced Sales Representative, you will build and develop client relationships within local communities to promote Liberty Mutual Insurance products including Auto, Home and Life Insurance. You will leverage our relationships with thousands of Affinity Groups to target customers and build your client base. First year earnings average is between $70K to $85K – through a combination of base salary, uncapped new business and renewal commissions, and bonus structure. Responsibilities: * Selling Auto, Home, Life and other insurance and annuity products to individuals within an assigned territory using consultative sales techniques * Identifying prospective customers using established lead methodologies for new business * Counseling and advising prospects and policyholders on matters of insurance coverage that is tailored to their specific situational need * Developing and maintaining business relationships * Making presentations to decision-makers of corporations to establish or maintain an Affinity relationship * Participating in various incentive programs and contests designed to drive sales and exceed production goals * Exceeding sales goals for volume of quality new business quoted and written within company guidelines Qualifications: * Bachelor's degree or equivalent * Experience in sales or client service environment preferred * Highly effective communication skills - oral, written and group * Demonstrated persuasion and negotiation skills * Strong interpersonal skills to build rapport with prospective and existing customers * Organizational skills and effective time management to succeed in a semi-autonomous, fast-paced environment * Analytical skills to understand complex coverage details and underwriting guidelines * This position requires that incumbents must attain and maintain current state insurance license in property, casualty and life Benefits: We recognize that talented people are attracted to companies that provide competitive pay, comprehensive benefits packages and outstanding advancement opportunities. For this reason we offer a Comprehensive Benefits Plan that includes the following: * 401K and Company paid pension plan * Medical coverage * Dental coverage * Paid time-off * Pay-for-Performance * Discounts on automobile and homeowner's insurance * Discount fitness memberships * Flexible spending accounts * Tuition reimbursement * Vision care coverage * Work/Life resources * Credit Union membership * Employee and Dependent life insurance * Disability insurance * Accidental death & dismemberment insurance Overview: At Liberty Mutual, we give motivated, accomplished professionals the opportunity to help us redefine what insurance means; to work for a global leader with a deep sense of humanity and a focus on improving and protecting everyday lives. We create an inspired, collaborative environment, where people can take ownership of their work; push breakthrough ideas; and feel confident that their contributions will be valued and their growth championed. We’re dedicated to doing the right thing for our employees, because we know that their fulfillment and success leads us to great places. Life. Happiness. Innovation. Impact. Advancement. Whatever their pursuit, talented people find their path at Liberty Mutual. **Job:** **Sales* **Title:** *Experienced Sales Representative- Paid Training 10 Week Training* **Location:** *MO-St. Louis* **Requisition ID:** *86886*
          (USA-OK-Edmond) Experienced Sales Representative- 10 Weeks Paid Training   
* Advance your career at Liberty Mutual - A Fortune 100 Company! * * * Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our customers need us most. We believe that our success is inextricably linked to our employees' satisfaction: satisfaction that they work for an industry leader committed to improving safety, satisfaction that they work for a company that does the right thing, and satisfaction that the company will reward them for their contributions and provide opportunities for personal growth and success. Our employees take pride in knowing that they help people live safer more secure lives every day. This is what drives our success! Liberty Mutual will take a proactive role in your success as an Experienced Sales Representative by offering industry-leading sales and lead generation training, support and mentoring from the company’s most successful sales professionals and Branch Managers and sponsorship of required licensing exams. As an Experienced Sales Representative, you will build and develop client relationships within local communities to promote Liberty Mutual Insurance products including Auto, Home and Life Insurance. You will leverage our relationships with thousands of Affinity Groups to target customers and build your client base. First year earnings average is between $70K to $85K – through a combination of base salary, uncapped new business and renewal commissions, and bonus structure. Responsibilities: * Selling Auto, Home, Life and other insurance and annuity products to individuals within an assigned territory using consultative sales techniques * Identifying prospective customers using established lead methodologies for new business * Counseling and advising prospects and policyholders on matters of insurance coverage that is tailored to their specific situational need * Developing and maintaining business relationships * Making presentations to decision-makers of corporations to establish or maintain an Affinity relationship * Participating in various incentive programs and contests designed to drive sales and exceed production goals * Exceeding sales goals for volume of quality new business quoted and written within company guidelines Qualifications: * Bachelor's degree or equivalent * Experience in sales or client service environment preferred * Highly effective communication skills - oral, written and group * Demonstrated persuasion and negotiation skills * Strong interpersonal skills to build rapport with prospective and existing customers * Organizational skills and effective time management to succeed in a semi-autonomous, fast-paced environment * Analytical skills to understand complex coverage details and underwriting guidelines * This position requires that incumbents must attain and maintain current state insurance license in property, casualty and life Benefits: We recognize that talented people are attracted to companies that provide competitive pay, comprehensive benefits packages and outstanding advancement opportunities. For this reason we offer a Comprehensive Benefits Plan that includes the following: * 401K and Company paid pension plan * Medical coverage * Dental coverage * Paid time-off * Pay-for-Performance * Discounts on automobile and homeowner's insurance * Discount fitness memberships * Flexible spending accounts * Tuition reimbursement * Vision care coverage * Work/Life resources * Credit Union membership * Employee and Dependent life insurance * Disability insurance * Accidental death & dismemberment insurance Overview: At Liberty Mutual, we give motivated, accomplished professionals the opportunity to help us redefine what insurance means; to work for a global leader with a deep sense of humanity and a focus on improving and protecting everyday lives. We create an inspired, collaborative environment, where people can take ownership of their work; push breakthrough ideas; and feel confident that their contributions will be valued and their growth championed. We’re dedicated to doing the right thing for our employees, because we know that their fulfillment and success leads us to great places. Life. Happiness. Innovation. Impact. Advancement. Whatever their pursuit, talented people find their path at Liberty Mutual. **Job:** **Sales* **Title:** *Experienced Sales Representative- 10 Weeks Paid Training* **Location:** *OK-Edmond* **Requisition ID:** *86881*
          (DEU-Eindhoven) Embedded Systems Architect (m/f)   
### Your tasks * Development of E/E System and Software Architecture for light and heavy-duty applications * Responsible for network and software interface definition and interaction between controllers and software components developed by different parties * Identification, tracking and resolution of all (cross-) interface and scheduling issues together with corresponding stakeholders * Close cooperation with functionally oriented engineers * Contact person for technical clarifications with customers, suppliers and internal stakeholders ### Your skills * Qualified college graduation and professional experience in computer science, control theory or automotive engineering * Experience with real time embedded systems and model based software development for Diesel engine control and/or ADAS systems * Further functional system knowledge appreciated * Willingness to travel and passenger car driving license is required; work location is primarily on customer site * You are experienced in working for automotive OEMs as a customer * You are highly interested in structured and process oriented approaches to systems development * You have a high degree of flexibility and innovation capability under tough conditions * Team work in international and global teams is one of your fields of work as well as autonomous and responsible operation * Fluent in English (verbal and written form), Dutch is a plus ### Become part of our team. We are looking forward to receive your complete application documents with reference to the above-named code numbers, including your salary expectations and your earliest possible starting date. Please be so kind and only apply via our Homepage.
           Conceptual spatial representations for indoor mobile robots    
Zender, Henrik and Mozos, Oscar Martinez and Jensfelt, Patric and Kruijff, Geert-Jan M. and Wolfram, Burgard (2008) Conceptual spatial representations for indoor mobile robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), 65 (6). pp. 493-502. ISSN 0921-8890
          Autonomous Truck Makes First Commercial Delivery   

The path toward a “driverless truck” is full of firsts many of which have yet to take place. But this week the movement cleared one of its most significant hurdles to date – actually making an autonomous delivery. If you’re in Colorado Springs, you might buy a can of beer that was shipped by a... Read more »

The post Autonomous Truck Makes First Commercial Delivery appeared first on Davis Transport.


           Autonomous monitoring of cliff nesting seabirds using computer vision    
Dickinson, Patrick and Freeman, Robin and Patrick, Sam and Lawson, Shaun (2008) Autonomous monitoring of cliff nesting seabirds using computer vision. In: International Workshop on Distributed Sensing and Collective Intelligence in Biodiversity Monitoring, 03/12/2008 - 05/12/2008, Amsterdam.
           Appearance-based localization for mobile robots using digital zoom and visual compass    
Bellotto, Nicola and Burn, Kevin and Fletcher, Eric and Wermter, Stefan (2008) Appearance-based localization for mobile robots using digital zoom and visual compass. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 56 (2). pp. 143-156. ISSN 0921-8890
           Fusion of aerial images and sensor data from a ground vehicle for improved semantic mapping    
Persson, Martin and Duckett, Tom and Lilienthal, Achim (2008) Fusion of aerial images and sensor data from a ground vehicle for improved semantic mapping. Robotics and autonomous systems, 56 (6). pp. 483-492. ISSN 0921-8890
           Learning visual docking for non-holonomic autonomous vehicles    
Martinez-Marin, Tomas and Duckett, Tom (2008) Learning visual docking for non-holonomic autonomous vehicles. In: The Intelligent Vehicles 2008 Symposium (IV08), June 4-6, 2008 , Eindhoven, Netherlands.
          What the future of urban commuting means to American consumers   
In describing the future of urban commuting, Silicon Valley would likely paint a picture of abundant ride sharing and autonomous fleets zipping around systematically while... - Source: 360.here.com
          (USA-TX-HOUSTON) Drilling and Completion Fluids Scientist - Houston, TX   
LOCATION Houston, TX 77073 EMPLOYMENT STATUS Full Time Regular ABOUT THIS JOB Baker Hughes Incorporated has an opening for a Drilling and Completion Fluids (DCF) Scientist at our Rankin Road facility in Houston, TX. As a leader in the oilfield services industry, Baker Hughes offers opportunities for qualified people who want to grow in our high performance organization. Our leading technologies and our ability to apply them safely and effectively create value for our customers and our shareholders. Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. ROLE SYNOPSIS This Scientist will serve as a laboratory scientist in a drilling and completion fluids test lab. This Scientist will perform laboratory testing in support of drilling and completions fluids operations. Field support will include identifying and solving various problems related to drilling and completion fluid properties and maintenance. Fluid formulation and testing will be carried out to support customer proposals. Some product development work may be required. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES + Plans and performs testing to support field operations and commercial bids for moderate to high complexity projects. + May be lead chemist/scientist on challenging projects with some functional supervision. + May participate in vendor interface. + May work closely with sales to help support customer. + Operates with some latitude in making autonomous decisions. + Selects scientific techniques to solve problems and makes sound design recommendations. + Assesses results for applicability, validity and conformance to specifications. + Helps develop new methods and products. + Handles special projects, as assigned ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Bachelor's Degree with 5 years of DCF experience in field or laboratory setting OR Non-degreed candidate with 10 years of experience in a DCF Field and/or DCF Laboratory setting + Knowledge of API testing procedures for drilling and completion fluids. + Knowledge of water- and oil-based drilling and drill-in fluids. + Ability to resolve complex problems with broad scope. + Advanced analytical skills. + Ability to communicate well individually and in team environment. + Advanced knowledge of sciences. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + 5 years of experience in drilling fluids and/or completion fluids, particularly in a field and laboratory setting. + Ideally 10 years of field experience in drilling and/or completion fluids applications with both field and laboratory experience + Familiarity with Baker Hughes Drilling and Completion Fluids products OTHER DETAILS + Must be authorized to work in the US without sponsorship. **COMPANY OVERVIEW** Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Research and Development_ **Title:** _Drilling and Completion Fluids Scientist - Houston, TX_ **Location:** _NORTH AMERICA-UNITED STATES-Texas-HOUSTON_ **Requisition ID:** _1708575_
          (SAU-DHAHRAN) Senior Software Developer   
EMPLOYMENT STATUS Full time Regular KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES Plans and conducts research, designs, develops and executes phases of larger project or a total project of moderate complexity. May lead engineer on challenging project with some functional supervision. Under general supervision, plans conducts and supervises assignments. Reviews progress and evaluates results. Plans and assigns personnel for given projects or tasks. Recommends changes in procedures. Operates with some latitude in making autonomous decisions. Reviews progress with team/project leader. Handles special projects, as assigned. ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Bachelor's Degree in Engineering (preferably IT) + Proven experience/knowledge of: + Server and software administration on Windows Server and Linux platforms + Oracle and SQL Server and databases administration + VMware vSphere clusters administration + Software Tools development (C#, VBS, Cmd, Bash, PowerShell, PHP, SQL, etc.) + Network devices administration + Knowledge of oil-gas real-time data transfer system + Excellent English Knowledge + Proficient in Telecommunications (VSAT) + Possesses good interpersonal skills with ability to work in a fast-paced team environment + Good communication skills – both verbal and written + Good technical reports and documentation writing skill + Demonstrated strong desire to develop and grow in knowledge and experience PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS Associate's Degree in Engineering or Bachelors in a non-engineering discipline with 9 years of experience. COMPANY OVERVIEW Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Operations_ **Title:** _Senior Software Developer_ **Location:** _MIDDLE EAST-SAUDI ARABIA-SAUDI ARABIA-DHAHRAN_ **Requisition ID:** _1708256_
          (RUS-TYUMEN) SUSTAINING ENGINEER COMPLETIONS AND WELLBORE INTERVENTION   
**EMPLOYMENT STATUS - FULL TIME REGULAR** **LOCATION - TYUMEN, RUSSIA** **KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES** + Plans and conducts research, designs, develops and executes phases of larger project or a total project of moderate complexity. + Plans conducts and supervises assignments. + Reviews progress and evaluates results. + Plans and assigns personnel for given projects or tasks. + Recommends changes in procedures. + Operates with some latitude in making autonomous decisions. + Reviews progress with team/project leader. + Handles special projects, as assigned **ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS** + Bachelor's Degree with 6 years experience. + Advanced analytical skills. + Good verbal and writing skills. + Good leadership skills. Advanced problem solving and project management skills. + Sound working knowledge of principles, concepts, theories, and/or practices of applicable discipline. **COMPANY OVERVIEW** Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Engineering_ **Title:** _SUSTAINING ENGINEER COMPLETIONS AND WELLBORE INTERVENTION_ **Location:** _RUSSIA CASPIAN-RUSSIA-Tyumen%27-TYUMEN_ **Requisition ID:** _1706148_
          (USA-TX-THE WOODLANDS) Drill Bits Product Development Engineer - The Woodlands, TX   
LOCATION The Woodlands, TX 77380 EMPLOYMENT STATUS Full Time Regular ABOUT THIS JOB Baker Hughes Incorporated has an opening for a Drill Bits Product Development Engineer in The Woodlands, TX. As a leader in the oilfield services industry, Baker Hughes offers opportunities for qualified people who want to grow in our high performance organization. Our leading technologies and our ability to apply them safely and effectively create value for our customers and our shareholders. Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. ROLE SYNOPSIS Baker Hughes Drill Bit Technology Group is seeking a Mechanical Design Engineer as part of the Product Development team. This team member will be actively participating in design, analysis, and development of new technologies that will be incorporated in future product offerings from Baker Hughes. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES + Works with Mechanical and Electrical Engineering disciplines in product development and R&D. + Develop and meet project plan timelines to design, test and evaluate the next generation of products. + Runs and supports complex system projects for downhole tools with strong tie to various drilling applications. + Develop methods for enhancing product performance with limited reliability concerns + Interface with Engineering, Research, Marketing and Manufacturing to develop and transfer technology. + Identify and work on customer focused issues + Drives technical discussions, and resolves product issues. + Drives standardization of manufacturing and repair methods, to optimize cost point and performance. + Review and submit patents and technical papers. + Under minimal supervision, plans, conducts and supervises assignments. Reviews progress and evaluates results. + Plans and assigns personnel for given projects or tasks. + Recommends and implements procedure changes to streamline process and improve data analysis provided to end customers. + Operates with latitude in making autonomous decisions. + Reviews progress with manager. + Handles special projects, as assigned and personally identified. + Provides work direction mentoring for less experienced engineers and technicians. + Sphere of influence includes regional operations and customers in addition to engineering groups, support organizations, and vendors. ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with 5 years of mechanical design and project engineering experience or a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with 3 years of mechanical design and project engineering experience. + Proficient in 3D CAD design systems (ex: Unigraphics & Teamcenter) + Proficient with FEA packages + Strong Analytical skills + Strong mechanical aptitude and experience with mechanical systems + Strong Project leadership skills + Strong verbal and technical report writing communication skills + Commitment to customer service + Desire to dive in to details to push boundaries of technology. + Strong problem solving and project management skills. + Ability to build peer relationships as well as work independently. + Good organizing, planning, and presentation skills. + Must be action oriented, ethical in value, and customer focused with a drive for results. + Ability to manage time, makes quality decisions, and manage and measure work. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Experience with mechanical and/or electromechanical systems and design and development of multiple downhole tools preferred + Experience with complex mechanical systems or dynamic systems a plus. + Drill Bits (Tricone or PDC) expertise a plus + Six Sigma – Green Belt preferred OTHER DETAILS + Successful candidate will be authorized to work in the US without sponsorship. COMPANY OVERVIEW Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Research and Development_ **Title:** _Drill Bits Product Development Engineer - The Woodlands, TX_ **Location:** _NORTH AMERICA-UNITED STATES-Texas-THE WOODLANDS_ **Requisition ID:** _1706688_
          (POL-WARSAW) Assembly, Maintenance & Overhaul Technician - Electro / Mechanic   
LOCATION Rawa Mazowieka, Poland EMPLOYMENT STATUS Full-Time – International Rotation as required ABOUT THIS JOB Baker Hughes Incorporated has openings for Drilling Services Electro-Mechanic AMO experts on a rotational contract. As a leader in the oilfield services industry, Baker Hughes offers opportunities for qualified people who want to grow in our high performance organization. Our leading technologies and our ability to apply them safely and effectively create value for our customers and our shareholders. Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. Key Responsibilities/Accountabilities + Under limited supervision, proficient in Troubleshooting, testing, assembly, disassembly and performing visual inspection of electro-mechanical assemblies + Maintain equipment records and filing as per Baker Hughes Operating System + Assist in reworking and repairing non-conforming equipment + Perform complex and difficult tests with minimal instruction and documentation + Ability to identify and communicate technical problems by using logical troubleshooting techniques + Passionate on providing coaching to other technicians in areas of proven competence + Compliance with HS&E policies and procedures. + Autonomous documentation of all relevant trip documentation such like Timesheets, expenses, trip reports, 6S audits and individual spreadsheets + Proficient in reading/interpreting assembly blueprints and following written and verbal work instructions + Workmanship Standard, Basic Soldering & Electrical testing + Development to become a AMO product champion responsible for document reviews in BHOS + Ability to adjust to different work environments and changing teams quickly. + Responsible for supporting the team and team's objectives. + Driving “Qualified to Perform” initiative by assessing others for their competence. + Good troubleshooting skills to assist Failure Analyst or Reliability + High level product knowledge (L3 or higher) for at least one key service (ASS,BCPM,OTK or LTK). + International travel Education/Experience/Training: + High School Diploma or equivalent diploma. + Advanced skills in soldering and assembling of electro-mechanical devices + Ability to assist engineering as AMO subject matter expert for new product introductions + Proficient in the use of multi-meters, hi-pot testers and other basic instruments. + Proficient in the use of measurement and gauging equipment and processes + Advanced computer skills Advanced knowledge of AMO processes and procedures + Proven competence records for different DS services + Good English skillsPREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Technical diploma or Associates degree in Electrical or Mechanical field + Ability to operate crane/hoist and pallet jack including all HSE trainings and certifications + Knowledge of workshop equipment and their uses (examples: air compressor, cleaning equipment, grease gun, hoist, jack, lifting equipment, measuring equipment, diagnostic equipment + Experience as failure analyst + Additional acquired competencies for more than one DS product + Experience in training of other technicians + Assessors qualifications **COMPANY OVERVIEW** Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Quality and Reliability_ **Title:** _Assembly, Maintenance & Overhaul Technician - Electro / Mechanic_ **Location:** _EUROPE-POLAND-Mazowieckie-WARSAW_ **Requisition ID:** _1706749_
          (RUS-LGBRHOVITSY) Design Engineer   
LOCATION: Lukhovitsy, Russia ABOUT THIS JOB As Design Engineer you will be involved in developing new products from specification through to introduction of the finished product in the field. You will also be involved in the continual improvement of the functionality and manufacturability of existing products. EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full time regular KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES: + Daily tasks will include electronic circuit development, PCB Layout design, possibly microcontroller programming, building prototypes, acceptance testing and generation and review of technical documentation; + Design of new products from concept to in field introduction with an emphasis on simplicity of operation, reliability and manufacturability; + Generation and review of technical documentation; + Design, assembly and testing of prototypes (electronic parts); + Developing circuit schematics and PCB layouts; + Produce and interpret technical drawings (e.g. AutoCAD); + Modifying and creating operating manuals, production documentation, sales documentation etc for company products; + Conform to and sustain existing ISO 9001 system; + ATEX accreditation of relevant products; + Installation of new technologies and overseeing early operations; + Deployment/offshore operations where appropriate; + Producing reports and presenting ideas to colleagues and customers at various stages of the design process. ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS: + Degree in Engineering; + At least 3 years experience of practical electronics development and manufacture. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS: + Analog and digital electronics design and development experience; + Digital Signal Processing design and development experience; + Be able to visualise how to maximise manufacturability when designing products; + Be accurate, comprehensive, and pay attention to detail; + Be good at planning and organizing; + Be able to produce clear, concise written reports; + Be able to work autonomously as well as in a team; + IT skills; + Be able to work within deadlines and budgets; + Have technical, practical and scientific knowledge and ability. **COMPANY OVERVIEW** Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Engineering_ **Title:** _Design Engineer_ **Location:** _RUSSIA CASPIAN-RUSSIA-Moscow-LGBRHOVITSY_ **Requisition ID:** _1705293_
          (USA-OK-CLAREMORE) Mechanical Design Engineer (Modelling & Simulation) - Claremore, OK   
LOCATION Claremore, OK 74017 EMPLOYMENT STATUS Full Time Regular ABOUT THIS JOB Baker Hughes Incorporated has an opening for a “Mechanical Design Engineer” at our Claremore, OK facility. As a leader in the oilfield services industry, Baker Hughes offers opportunities for qualified people who want to grow in our high performance organization. Our leading technologies and our ability to apply them safely and effectively create value for our customers and our shareholders. Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. ROLE SYNOPSIS The candidate can be expected to work in the following disciplines: Mechanical Design/Development Engineer in the Engineering Group for Artificial Lift Systems. Responsibilities to include mechanical systems design for rotating equipment, fluid dynamics and fluid hydraulics, sealing systems for ESP’s, coupling design, materials engineering, Design for Manufacturability, Design for Reliability, failure analysis, etc. Candidate will work individually and as part of a team developing new products, supporting existing products, testing and evaluating equipment, performing mechanical analysis, and providing technical assistance as needed within the Engineering and Manufacturing environment. Candidate will coordinate project work internally within the department and externally with other departments (Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering, Testing, Purchasing, Marketing, Accounting, etc.) to ensure on-time completion of projects. Receives moderate to minimal supervision on most or all aspects of each project and is expected to meet all deadlines on time and within budget. Approximately 5% international and domestic travel can be expected. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ACCOUNTABILITIES + Works primarily in Mechanical engineering in product development, design, or sustaining. + Coordinates projects with Purchasing, Marketing, Manufacturing, etc. + Responsible for projects of moderate complexity. + Has moderate impact on product cost, performance, manufacturing methods/standardization. + Review and submit patents. + Assignments are outlined in terms of general objectives. + Plans and conducts research, design and development of standard engineering assignments. + Assignments can be a significant portion of a larger project. + Selects engineering techniques to solve problems and makes sound design recommendations. + Assesses results for applicability, validity and conformance to specifications. + May be the lead engineer on smaller project with little functional supervision or on larger projects with some direction or supervision. + Usually works with minimum supervision, conferring with superior on unusual matters. + May be assisted by entry or junior level personnel. + Plans and assigns personnel for given projects or tasks. + Recommends and implements changes in procedures. + Operates with some latitude in making autonomous decisions. Reviews progress with team/project leader + Assignments are broad in nature, requiring originality and ingenuity. + Assignments are reviewed for overall soundness and adherence to stated objectives. + Handles special projects, as assigned. + May provide work direction and mentoring for less experienced engineers and technicians. + Sphere of influence includes regional operations and customers in addition to engineering groups, support organizations, and vendors. ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Bachelor's Degree in Engineering with 5 years experience, Master’s Degree in Engineering and 3 yrs experience, or Ph.D. in Engineering and 2 yrs experience. . + 2D & 3D CAD expertise, NX preferred + Previous experience reviewing mechanical designs for improvements. + Intermediate to advanced technical skills. + Good problem solving skills with a drive for results. + Good written and verbal skills. + Good organizing, planning, and presentation skills. + Intermediate project management skills. + Ability to build peer relationships as well as work independently. + Must be action oriented, ethical in value, and have a strong customer focus. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS + Oil and Gas experience specifically with Artificial Lift systems is preferred. + Pump or Rotating equipment experience preferred. + FEAModelling and simulation experience a plus. OTHER DETAILS + Must be authorized to work in the US without sponsorship. COMPANY OVERVIEW Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. By being the service company that best anticipates, understands and exceeds our customers' expectations, Baker Hughes Advances Reservoir Performance. The company's 39,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries in geomarket teams that help customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources. Baker Hughes' technology centers in the world's leading energy markets are pushing the boundaries to overcome progressively more complex challenges. Baker Hughes develops solutions designed to help manage operating expenses, maximize reserve recovery and boost overall return on investment through the entire life cycle of an oil or gas asset. Collaboration is the foundation upon which Baker Hughes builds our business and develops next-generation products and services for drilling and evaluation, completions and production and fluids and chemicals. For more information on Baker Hughes' century-long history, visit our website. _Baker Hughes is an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnic origin, color, disability status, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local law._ _If you are applying to a position in the US and you are an individual with disability or a disabled veteran status, religion, sexual orientation or any other protection guaranteed by local lawran and would like any type of assistance to submit an application or to attend any recruitment or selection event, we would like to help you to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. If you need assistance, information, or answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or have any of your representatives contact us at Baker Hughes Application Assistance Toll Free at 1-866-324-4562. This method of contact has been put in place ONLY to be used by those internal and external applicants who have a disability and are requesting accommodation._ _For all other inquiries on your application, log in to your profile and click on the My Jobpage tab. General application status inquiries will not be handled by the call center._ **Job:** _Research and Development_ **Title:** _Mechanical Design Engineer (Modelling & Simulation) - Claremore, OK_ **Location:** _NORTH AMERICA-UNITED STATES-Oklahoma-CLAREMORE_ **Requisition ID:** _1701706_
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          Lesson from last apartheid president: 2-state solution to fail   
F. W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, explains why the “multi-state solution” to apartheid didn’t work in his country, and why it would probably fail in Israel/Palestine One of the ways the whites in South Africa tried to preserve the ethnic separation of apartheid was by introducing autonomous regions for the black minorities, known [...]
          Foreword to E. San Juan, Carlos Bulosan: Revolutionary Filipino Writer in the U.S. (Peter Lang, 2017)   

FOREWORD

by Peter McLaren


          Filipinos living in the United States today, over four million, comprise the largest Asian group originating from one country, the Philippines. When the U.S. defeated Spain in 1898 and annexed the islands as its first imperial acquisition, it had to suppress the native army of the revolutionary Republic which had already defeated the Spanish rulers. The Filipino-American War lasted up to 1913, with 1.4 Filipinos sacrificed for McKinley’s “Benevolent Assimilation” policy. The Philippines was the first and only Asian colony of the United States, and then after 1946 virtually a neocolony up to now. Thus, when Filipinos arrived in 1906 in Hawaii, they were colonial wards, or “nationals,” not immigrants, who distinguished themselves in militant worker organizing and union strikes, a tradition of solidarity with multiethnic communities that endured up to the founding of the United Farmworkers Union in the 1960s. Agribusiness warned the public of those dangerous “Flips” prone to go amok.

Carlos Bulosan, now a central figure in Asian American history, is studied for his classic quasi-autobiography, America Is in the Heart, published in 1946, the same year the Philippines was granted nominal independence after World War II. He grew up in a society dominated by feudal landlords and comprador bureaucrats that inculcated ideals of democracy and equality under American tutelage.  Landing in Seattle in 1930, at the height of the Depression, he experienced the racist violence that his compatriots were suffering from the canneries in Alaska and Seattle to the farms in Oregon and California.  This shock of recognition produced a Du-Boisean “double-consciousness” in the naive romantic sensibility of the peasant-worker initiated into a world of alienated labor and class-racial antagonisms. His education pursued a dialectical process of painful ordeals and agonizing reflections, a metanarrative fusing realistic judgment and moral distancing.  The young Bulosan shared the common experiences of multiethnic migrant workers and participated in vibrant leftwing circles of cultural activists (including Paul Robeson, John Fante, William Saroyan, Sanora Babb, among others) that sustained and encouraged him to memorialize their struggles in an impressive body of novels, poems, stories, essays, including the manifesto “If You Want to Know What We Are,” published in 1940 by the Philippine Writers League the last stanza of which reads:

We are the vision and the star, the quietus of pain;
we are the terminals of inquisition, the hiatuses
of a new crusade; we are the subterranean subways
of suffering; we are the will of dignities;
we are the living testament of a flowering race.
If you want to know what we are—WE ARE REVOLUTION!

Summing up that episode of his life before the war, Bulosan confessed in a letter to a friend in April 1941: “I feel like a criminal running away from a crime I did not commit. And the crime is that I am a Filipino in America.” Recently, FBI files on Bulosan’s life from 1946 to 1956 (the year he died) were released, proving that he was under government surveillance as a suspected member of the U.S. Communist Party. Among the documents shared in 1951 between Philippine and US agencies was a confiscated letter signed by Bulosan to one of the Huk leaders. The news report singled out this statement: “I like to extend my congratulations to you through Amado [V. Hernandez, the nationalist poet-union leader, with whom San Juan collaborated in editing and translating his poems], whose presence in America cemented the progressive spirit of peoples on this continent and in that island, with the fond hope that I will be able to put all our efforts into a big book for the world.” The “big book” he referred to is the novel The Cry and the Dedication, clearly inspired by Luis Taruc’s autobiography, Born of the People..
Bulosan was already a popular-democratic artist after the appearance of Chorus for America (1942), The Voice of Bataan (1943), and the widely circulated The Laughter of My Father (1944). His stories and poems appeared in prestigious magazines such as The New Yorker, Poetry, Saturday Review of Literature, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town and Country. Once adopted as a canonical author in the U.S. academy from the eighties on, Bulosan’s radical edge was blunted, his oppositional tendencies sanitized in the service of a model-minority myth. He was sacrificed to the assimilationist altar of “Americanism.” No one today is afraid of reading The Cry and the Dedication, or Bulosan’s powerful Popular Front testimonios praised by Michael Denning and Filipino progressive scholars. But in this neoliberal marketplace, Bulosan is dismissed as an obsolete “Marxist” without credibility, and so it is usless to retrieve or recuperate other aporetic texts devoid of relevance to a changed lifeworld of postcolonial intertextuality and hybrid cosmopolitanism. We are urged to move on from the end of ideology to the end of history, and enjoy the blessings of chic transnationalism.
Given the resurgent anti-immigrant, white-supremacist wave under the Trump presidency, and the still subjugated character of the Filipino diaspora here and worldwide, we need to recover the submerged insurrectionary impulses in Bulosan’s discourse. San Juan’s book is such an endeavor. Continuing his first project in 1972 on surveying Bulosan’s extant limited oeuvre, this volume gathers four decades of striving to excavate those seditious strands in the texts by re-contextualizing them, first, in the anticolonial revolutionary movement of Filipinos from the 1896 revolution to the folk insurgencies of the thirties and the national-democratic rebellion of the fifties and sixties; and, second, in the popular-front movement during the Depression up to the McCarthy witchhunting hysteria during the Cold War and the post-9/11 racist terror. Such calibration of the writer’s trajectory may not resolve all the contradictions that reflect the colonial predicament, but it can reveal complex, hidden nuances susceptible to historicized intertextual elucidation. A recalculation of critical investments is in order. Re-situated in this geopolitical milieu, Bulosan’s entire body of work acquires a contemporary resonance that registers an unprecedented conjuncture from the 1999 killing of postal worker Joseph Ileto by an Aryan Nations member to the stigmatization of “undocumented” Filipinos as suspect terrorists after September 11, 2001, and their forced mass deportation.

     San Juan’s recent research in the Sanora Babb papers at the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas, confirmed Bulosan’s leftist sympathies. It also clarified the nature of the crisis triggered by the sudden shift of life-experience from a family-centered rural setting to an anomic milieu of wandering sellers of alienated labor-power. Although Bulosan’s FBI files are bound to arouse new interest in his career, it should not detract from the fact that it was the young generation of Filipino activists in the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960-1970 decade who discovered his forgotten work. The May 1979 issue of AmerAsia Journal, edited by E. San Juan, Jr. and Russell Leong, was the first to collect his scattered texts, in response to the political mobilization of students and farmworkers in the Filipino-led 1965-70 Delano grape strike and the nationwide mobilization against the U.S.-supported Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986). Bulosan’s work energized an entire generation to re-connect with their parents’ homeland, revitalize their “roots,” and renew Bulosan’s dream of fulfilling the exile’s return in working for a just, more democratic and equal relation between the neocolonized Philippines and the United States. 

We have entered a new millennium of globalized war and ecological meltdown under the reign of “disaster capitalism.” The election of Donald Trump signals a crisis of hegemony and legitimacy for the current transnationalist neoliberal order. The Trump phenomenon is not an idiosyncratic spectacle and set of conditions witnessed only in the United States. Similar conditions—attacks on elements of neoliberal capitalism, a triumphalist move towards economic nationalism, nativism, misogyny,a deepening racism, environmental catastrophe and virulent mobilizations against immigrants—are manifesting themselves worldwide in countries that define themselves as democracies.
While some observers see Trump’s political rhetoric of “America First” as a sign that neoliberalism is dead, others see it as corporate fascism or more intense privatization following the logic of the capitalist mode of production. Citizens fail to grasp the inherently rapacious and predatory nature of neoliberal capitalism becase of the media and educational system that I have analyzed and criticized in my Pedagogy of Insurrection: From Resurrection to Revolution.
In this time of danger, what we need is an anti-neoliberalism movement with a long-range plan for creating a viable alternative to capitalism. What we can’t do is sink into a mournful resignation that history will continue to move backwards as it seems to be doing in the present where we could soon be facing as a planetary community levels of biolence and destruction never before experienced in history.  Toward this effort, the scholarship of E. San Juan, Jr. has provided some of the most penetrating and provocative analyses of world-historical problems, as shown in his recent books, Working Through the Contradictions, In the Wake of Terror, and his path-breaking essay on “Peirce/Marx: Project for a Dialogue between Pragmatism and Marxism.”  
With his substantial contribution to the humanities and cultural studies (discussed in the e-journal Kritika Kultura), I consider San Juan as one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States. His magisterial engagement with Bulosan is of the utmost importance today precisely because we believe that all human beings, like Bulosan and his compatriots, have the potential for critical-autonomous protagonistic agency. We have the potential to transform the world together. But we need to educate that potential critically and according to the politics of liberation grounded in a philosophy of praxis.  San Juan reminds us of those times when American workers were united across racial lines in socialist struggles for radical change, among them the leftwing Populist Movement of the 1890s, the industrial union movement of the 1930s, the Black workers movement and the strikes by auto workers in the 1970s. We should also look beyond the borders of the United States to establish solidarity with other peoples’ organizations fighting the perils of capitalism across racial, national, gender, and geographic lines. San Juan’s book is a timely contribution to a historical-materialist appreciation of the work of a writer who crossed those lines. combating officially promoted “humanitarian interventionism” profiting from the commodified labor of the millions whom Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” 

Reminiscent of James Joyce, Bulosan created the conscience of his community of proletarianized multitudes. His texts serve today as weapons in the struggle for liberation from the burden of an exploitative society of class warfare, and for the construction of a new just, convivial world in which (to quote Marx and Engels) “the development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”—##


          GRAMSCI AND THE THEORY OF NATIONAL-POPULAR REVOLUTION   
ANTONIO GRAMSCI’S THEORY OF THE ‘NATIONAL-POPULAR’ 

AS A STRATEGY FOR SOCIALIST REVOLUTION

by E. SAN JUAN, Jr.


 Though in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie… The workingmen have no country. We cannot take from them what they have no got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself as the nation, it is so far itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

—KARL MARX & FRIEDRICH ENGELS, “Manifesto of the Communist Party” (1848) (1971, 101,109)

Recent political events mark the beginning of a phase in which insurrection has become the sole means for the masses to express their political will.

—ANTONIO GRAMSCI, letter dated Feb. 1925 (1971, lxxviii)

Gramsci has been pronounced “dead” so many times that one suspects the announcement to be unwittingly premature and question-begging (Day 2005). Of all the Western Marxists, Gramsci is exceptional in being the subject of an immensely burgeoning archive of scholarly studies and the object of furious worldwide political debates (Rosengarten 1994). Except for the somewhat opportunist inflection of “subaltern” by the Derridean Gayatri Spivak and the trendy fashion of reinterpreting “hegemony” as pluralist consensus, Gramsci’s thought seems useless for postmodernists, including Establishment postcolonialists. Stuart Hall and the Birmingham School successfully popularized Gramsci as an innovative cultural theorist and founded the academic discipline of mainstream Cultural Studies. It was Gramsci’s resurrection in advanced capitalist formations, the birth of what David Harris (1992) calls “gramscianism.” This followed the Eurocommunist view of Gramsci’s “revolution against Capital”—to quote his famous article of 1917—in which the Italian road to socialism (classless society, socialization of crucial productive means) would be won not through revolutionary violence but through cultural reform—through education and moral/ethical persuasion. Communist parties will thus gain hegemony, that is, domination by consent, peacefully or legally. 
Communism or socialism will win without replacing the prevailing “common sense.” Presented as ideals to be aspired for, and naturalized as “common sense,” the belief system of bourgeois society does not require armies or police; only a finely tuned art, schools and mass media, ideological apparatuses that would do the job. Maurice Finnochiaro views the Italian road as the conquest of social institutions whose “control would yield the desired economic and political changes”—a view that eclectically mixes the influences of Croce, Mosca, Machiavelli and Hegel on Gramsci primarily as diverse patterns of thinking (1995, 304). From this prophylactic stance, Gramsci is seen as a precocious neoliberal avant la lettre, committed to “rational persuasion,” political realism, methodological fallibilism, liberal democracy, and pluralism. Something is surely wrong with this picture.
Clearly, history—or, better yet, neoliberal historicism exacted a vengeance on Gramsci’s historicist “good sense.” While reborn as a theoretician of the superstructures, civil society, rule by consent, and non-economistic “open Marxism,” Gramsci became irrelevant to socialist revolution as they were occurring in the “third world.” He had nothing to say to peoples struggling against finance-capitalist imperialism, old-style colonialism that ruled by brute force, or neocolonial rule masquerading as latter-day “mission civilizatrice,” humanitarian intervention. For postcolonial studies, in particular, the obsession with Eurocentrism (the fallacious subsumption of capitalism into an abstract Western modernity) in the case of Edward Said, as Neil Lazarus (2002; see also San Juan 2007) has shown, led soon to the speechless subalterns of Spivak and the sly mimics of Homi Bhabha. Meanwhile, the logocentric discourse of poststructuralism wrought its dire effects on the critique of the nation/nationalism launched by Bhabha and the Australian “high priests” of the discipline, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, before and after the fall the of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of “actually existing socialism.” With nations and nation-states abolished or rendered defunct by the “New World Order” and later by triumphalist neoliberal globalization, we are on the way to the heady disjunctures of Arjun Appadurai and the nomadic multitudes of Hardt and Negri’s Empire. Until September 11, 2001 exploded over this academic scenario and overtook our missionary enlighteners/mentors who had attended Gramsci’s redundant burials.
We owe it to Benita Parry’s appraisal of the historical-political contexts surrounding the disciplinary formation of postcolonial studies that we can begin to appreciate Gramsci’s relevance to “third world” social transformations. Parry’s argument on the centrality of Marxist principles (internationalism, permanent revolution) in liberation theory actualized in anticolonial revolutions, is salutary. The erasure of socialism and an anti-capitalist modernity in postcolonial discourse coincides with the refusal of a national-democratic stage in anti-colonial revolutions led by a historic bloc of anticapitalist forces. What kind of nation-state do postcolonialists have in mind? Certainly not the Italian nation of 1861 that witnessed the colonization/annexation of the South by the subjugation of the insurgent peasant masses, and produced the “Southern question” that Gramsci considered decisive in carrying out a socialist revolution in the twentieth century (Verdicchio 1992). Postcolonialists erase the ugly fact of neocolonized nation-states (the Philippines, Haiti, Colombia, etc.) resistant to their fantasy of a world-system of hybrid social formations equal in power and wealth, all inhabited by transnational consumer-citizens.
The asymmetry of uneven and combined development distinguishes the structure of nation-states born in the shadow of finance-capitalist imperialism. Archaic, feudal, and modern sectors coexist in these societies. The Althusserian idiom of Bhabha is revealing when he problematizes the “ambivalent temporalities of the nation space.” Bhabha puzzles himself over the “disjunctive representation of the social, in this double-time of the nation” which is hidden by homogeneity, literacy and anonymity. Nation as narration, for Bhabha, testifies to the “teleology of progress tipping over into the ‘timeless’ discourse of irrationality,” which in turn leads to “the archaic body of the despotic or totalitarian mass” (177). In short, nationalism is fascism tout court. Based on the experience of racial nationalist violence in Europe (Nazi racist nationalism, in particular), Bhabha sees only the “archaic ambivalence” undermining the progressive contemporaneity of existing nation-states. Ultimately, the culprit is “that progressive metaphor of modern social cohesion—the many as one—“ and so, Marxist theories of culture and community, of nations, defined as holistic, expressive social totalities should be repudiated. Unity, solidarity, the multitude envisaged by Gramsci as “national-popular” collective will (Jessop 1982) are all anathema, contaminated by bourgeois universalism and other archaic irrationalities.
Following Partha Chatterjee, Bhabha believes national sovereignty is impossible, given “the contingency and arbitrary signs and symbols that signify the effective life of the national culture.” Hypostatizing the dynamic process of signification—of making meaning and sense— in everyday life, Bhabha thus creates for his discourse the untenable modernity of the unified nation, of national belonging. For her part, Spivak rejects anticolonial revolutions as hopelessly controlled and manipulated by a native bourgeoisie. The colonized subaltern is made not only speechless but immune to experience. Parry’s comment applies a Gramscian optic to this subalternist self-erasure: “[I]t dismisses the experiential transformation of the ‘subalterns’ through their participation, and disregards situations where an organic relationship was forged between masses and leaders sharing the same class interests and revolutionary goals—there is after all no essential and invariable correlation between objective class position and ideological belief or political stance” (2002, 144). In short, history as a dialectic of subject-object is denied by academic postcolonialists.
With the formalization of canonical postcolonial studies as an academic discipline, a reconciliatory attitude seems to have emerged. Stuart Hall’s inflection of this fetishism of ambivalence or difference is only symptomatic: anti-imperialist opposition, for Hall, must be conceived iin terms of “transculturation” or cultural translation “destined to trouble the here/there cultural binaries for ever” (1996, 247). This postmodernist bias against binarism, telos and hierarchy, as we have seen, returns us to the question of agency and the role of the subaltern in a revolutionary disruption of the colonial predicament. But, as Parry notes, this impulse to find a middle ground between domination and oppression, to describe colonialism as “generically ambivalent,” the site of dialogue and cultural assimilation, is both historically mendacious and “morally vacant” (2002, 144). This applies to the tendentious genealogy of nation/nationalism offered by Ashcroft, Griffith and Tiffin (1998; see my critique in San Juan 2001). In effect, the nation (and its attendant set of beliefs called “nationalism”) is a foul ideological invention, a dangerous myth of exclusivism, homogeneity, and naturalness. It refuses internal heterogeneities and differences. It informs the violence of the nation-state (such as the Stalinist Soviet Union, as well as European imperialism as “an extension of the ideology of a ‘national’ formation) against those who are different, thus making the cause of national liberation for oppressed colonies suspect if not hopelessly tainted. Throughout their account, however, Ashcroft, Griffith and Tiffin are silent on the capitalist foundation of these nation-states, much less of U.S. chauvinism and Eurocentric white supremacy. They mix capitalism, socialism and other alternatives, thus inventing a utopian fiction of plurality and multiculturalism that exists neither here nor there, except of course in a homogenizing global capitalism which supposedly nullifies boundaries and identities.
Postcolonialists cannot face the truth of sustained colonial legacies and their insidious resonance in everyday lives. As to the notion of the “subaltern,” Ashcroft et al cannot but invoke Gramsci’s terminology but not the political project that motivates it. They elide the whole issue of hegemony (consent armored by coercion) and replace Gramsci’s framework with the entirely disparate paradigm of the Indian historians’ Subaltern Group (with which Spivak is affiliated). This Group’s primary preocupation is the criticism of elites and elite culture in India whose anti-British nationalism worsened the oppression of the landless peasantry. Consequently, they criticize Marxist class analysis which to them ignore the “politics of the people,” and by implication Gramsci’s notion of the popular as a transcendence of economic-corporatist position, and a national-popular culture as a crystallization of the diverse interests/sectors constituting the nation (Gramsci 1985, 203-212). Their concern with power and authority, with governability (a variant of Foucault’s governmentality), displaces the question of sovereignty vis-à-vis the occupying colonial power. While Gramsci envisioned the “national popular” as a process of lay intellectuals expanding and elaborating a secular “humanism” attuned to the grassroots, for the Subaltern Studies Group, an implacable fissure exists between the nation represented by the native elite and the people, specifically the peasantry. Gramsci is accused of essentialism, though it is unclear how the Indian historians can be credible when they themselves postulate a rigid distinction between the elite and the subaltern, subject-positions which are constituted by converging and diverging lines of differences. Again, difference becomes fetishized or reified when Spivak claims to establish a fixed incommensurability between elite and subaltern, even canceling the at least relational category of dominant/subordinate groups in structural-functionalist sociology. Since the categories of nation and class are rejected, subalternity becomes mystified or trivialized as all or any kind of subordination removed from any revolutionary socialist telos.
The habitual imposition of a monolithic grid of differance in postcolonial methodology sets it apart from a historical-materialist analysis such as that subtending Gramsci’s “Notes on Italian History” (1934-35) in Prison Notebooks. It accords with a nihilistic and even cynical skepticism toward any emancipatory project of overthrowing capitalist social relations of production. For those desiring to change the impoverished and exploited condition of what is now called the global “South,” it is better to forego Establishment postcolonial studies and go straight to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks. The twin issues of the peasantry and national sovereignty constitute the blind spot that defines the limit of postcolonial critique.
In Quest of Gramsci
“A new way of being Gramscian”—to quote Pasolini’s (1982) slogan—is to apply his dialectical-materialist (not homological) approach to the task of popular democratic mobilization against finance capital in specific national settings. I am not interested in deriving axiomatic truths or formulas from Gramsci’s texts. Nor am I interested in ascertaining which text represents the ‘real’ Gramsci among the multiple Gramscis now available (Holub 1992), including the ‘rightist’ Gramsci quoted by neoconservatives. My task here is circumscribed: to see how we can deploy or adapt certain modes of analysis initiated first in Gramsci’s historical studies. I would locate Gramsci’s usefulness today in the application of precisely the speculative tools he devised earlier in his vocation as a radical activist. One key concept is the “national-popular” and its resonance with the conceptual archive of alliances, anti-corporativism, blocs, ensembles, etc. Following Richard Bellamy’s contention that Gramsci’s most seminal ideas were formed in his analysis of Italian social history, I would argue that Gramsci’s dialectical analysis of historical process, especially the stratified divisions of epochal and conjunctural sequences, would prove most useful in elucidating what is involved in the theory of combined and uneven development first formulated by Lenin and Trotsky and explored by activists in the Marxist tradition. Gramsci is, as Derek Boothman (1995, liii) aptly puts it, “the theorist of the historical bloc” engaged in a concrete analysis of relations/articulations of social forces in a given country at specific conjunctures or periods for the purpose of calibrating at which exact point human agency can produce the most decisive transformative effects.
The “Southern Question” epitomized for Gramsci the problem of uneven, disarticulated, non-synchronous development carried out by the bourgeois liberal State. Before Gramsci became a socialist around 1913, he was a Sardinian nationalist, alienated as he was by the industrial North’s subjugation of the predominantly rural South. Even when Gramsci became an active socialist intent on constructing a proletarian-led State within the fabric of civil society, he never stopped insisting on the need to concentrate on the specificity of the Italian situation, its “particular, national characteristics,” compelling the party to assume “a specific function, a particular responsibility in Italian life” (1994, 4). The premise here is the forced unification of Italy by the Northern bourgeoisie’s subjugation of the Southern peasantry and the unresolved issue of landed property. What this implies is an active program to counter the transformist politics of the liberal State which maintained the fragmented social reality of Italy characterized by divergent regional traditions, polarized classes and economic disparities. The material inequalities were reflected, and in turn sustained by, the ideological/cultural incompatibilities between a popular culture of the quasi-feudal, rural areas and the elite culture of the caste of cosmopolitan intellectuals. To mobilize the masses, a whole program of education and organization of the entire populace was needed, a pedagogical mobilization led by a political party of the proletariat and its organic intellectuals. New values and ideals were needed to generate a critical consciousness—“unitary” and “coherent” thinking, as he put it—of the social situation, together with the ethico-moral imperative for organized collective action.
Gramsci had in mind a national-democratic liberation project based on the protagonism or participatory mobilization of the people that would constitute the nation. What was needed is a mass movement to emancipate the proletariat, together with the peasantry, and the establishment of a communist society, the precondition for the full liberation of the individual. This fundamental Marxist belief Gramsci enunciated in his articles of 1914 and 1916, “An Active and Functional Neutrality,” and “Socialism and Culture.” It was specifically in the 1917 article “The Revolution Against Capital” that Gramsci expressed for the first time his distinctive Marxist conviction that without organized political will and social consciousness of the people, even the most favorable objective conditions of crisis will not lead to revolutionary change. A highly disciplined political party, “homogeneous, compact and self-aware,” (1971, 185) was needed to lead by universalizing the demands of the proletariat. This is not voluntarism. Change requires the right structural situation, but the opportunities it offers have to be seized and worked on by the masses who can develop the capacity to know, analyze, and exploit the potential offered by ongoing historical situations/events. Economic statistics do not mechanically determine politics; it was necessary for people “to understand […] and to assess them, and to control them with their will, until this collective will becomes the driving force of the economy, the force which shapes reality itself” (1994, 40). In colonial and peripheral societies, historically sedimented divisions of class, race, religion, nationality, and so on present more formidable obstacles to mass mobilization. The appeal of national self-determination in such colonial formations as India in the 1920s-1930s led Gramsci to conceptualize the “national-popular” movement as a powerful agent of revolutionary change (Bocock 1986). The centrality of organic intellectuals and the pedagogical strategy of mobilizing the masses is immediately relevant to peripheral societies (such as the Philippines) where bureaucratic and authoritarian institutions support and are reproduced by patronage, clientelist politics, reinforced by police-military coercion and para-military gangsterism and warlordism.
We owe it to David Forgac’s review of its historical context that Gramsci’s concept of the “national popular” has been foregrounded into a site of controversy and revaluation. While textually faithful in his reconstruction of its genealogy, Forgac’s renovation is qualified by the British/European political and ideological milieu of the eighties—the rise of neoconservatism in the UK, North America and the industrialized nation-states. Like Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (against the background of the Althusser/Poulantzas/Foucault orbit of dissonance), Forgac’s chief concern lies in using Gramsci’s idea to transcend economistic Marxism and assert that there is no necessary correlation or link between class and ideology. Forgacs is correct in appraising Gramsci’s concept as integral, fusing the political and cultural, but at the expense of the economic—a term misconstrued as a separate, independent sphere usually isolated to the “base” in the misleading couplet “base-superstructure.” Removing “popular-national” from the underlying historically specific relations of production in any given society, Forgacs concludes:
 It recognizes the specificity of national conditions and traditions. It valorizes civil society as a key site of struggle. It emphasizes the role of ideological reorganization and struggle. It identifies struggles common to more than one social class, fraction or group which can be strategically linked together. It recognizes that different social elements can, and do, act in terms not only of economic or ideological self-interest but also in terms of shared interests. (1993, 219; compare Hall 1981)
In effect, Forgacs has re-inscribed Gramsci’s idea in the process of “passive revolution,” transformism, at the same time as he marginalizes the role of the state. By detaching the “national-popular” from its Gramscian framework of socialist transformation, its link with the abolition of private property and class inequality, in short, an expansive proletarian hegemony, Forgacs confuses himself and others in wondering how a class alliance can contain a collective will, and how such an alliance can become reorganized by bourgeois hegemony. Of course, once a national-popular alliance no longer operates as a method or guide for socialist transformation, it will be a tool for the Thatcherite-Reaganite apparatus to resolve the capitalist crisis at the expense of the majority. In fact, the logical mistake is to use the term “alliance” for a group that has no will, no purposive direction. Once a collective will is defined as non-class (in the functionalist sense) since it has transcended narrow corporatist class interests, then it is impossible to fashion a collective will lacking goals that are defined as simultaneously national and popular. Nation and people (both the discourses and institutional practices associated with these terms) are class-stratified and acquire coherence by articulation into a hegemonized nation-people. Hegemoy is not only ethico-political but also economic, given “its basis in the decisive function exercised by the leading group in the decisive core of economic activity” (Boothman 1995, li). Why this is so from Gramsci’s perspective, can be explained by his own singular understanding of “collective will.”
Beyond Hermeneutics
Two earlier texts may illuminate the political condition of possibility for the theory of the “national-popular” will. The first is the 1916 article “Socialism and Culture.” Here Gramsci defines culture as a creation of humans as products of history, not natural evolution. Culture is “the organization, the disciplining of one’s inner self; the mastery of one’s personality; the attainment of a higher awareness, through which we can come to understand our value and place within history, our proper function in life, our rights and duties.” This inventory and ordering of the layers/aspects of one’s self becomes the staging-ground of class consciousness. Change occurs gradually, through “intelligent reflection” of a few, then of a whole class. “Which means that every revolution has been preceded by a long process of intense critical activity, of new cultural insight and the spread of ideas through groups of men initially resistant to them, wrapped up in the process of solving their own immediate economic and political problems, and lacking any bonds of solidarity with others in the same position.” Revolutionary change comes about through critical reflection and enlargement of one’s awareness via solidarity or collective mobilization of the people constituted as nationwide directing agency (Jones 2006).
The formation of a socialist collective will thus results from “a critique of capitalist civilization.” Gramsci emphasizes the growth of a collective will through critique, through the discovery of the self as an inventory of traces inscribed by history. Gramsci focuses on the objective or goal pursued through discipline and order: “Discovery of the self as it measures itself against others, as it differentiates itself from others and, having once created an objective for itself, comes to judge facts and events not only for what they signify in themselves, but also according to whether or not they bring that objective nearer. To know oneself means to be oneself, to be master of oneself, to assert one’s own identity, to emerge from chaos and become an agent of order, but of one’s own order, one’s own disciplined dedication to an ideal. And one cannot achieve this without knowing others, knowing their history, the succession of efforts they have made to be what they are, to create the civilization they have created, and which we are seeking to replace with our own” (compare Mao’s idea in Buci-Glucksmann 1980, 348-49). The labor of acquiring self-knowledge is key to grasping the nation/people as a site of constituting oneself as an agent of change. The dialectical interface of nation/people found in self-understanding—a form of cognitive appropriation of the world—leads to the integral state, thus abolishing the liberal distinction between civil society and state: “State = political society + civil society, in other words hegemony protected by the armour of coercion” (1971, 263; Williams 1980). Learning has an ultimate emancipatory drive: “If it is true that history is a chain of efforts man has made to free himself from privileges, prejudice and idolatry, then there is no reason why the proletariat, as it seeks to add one more link to that chain, should not know how and why and by whom it has been preceded, and how useful that knowledge can prove” (1994, 11-12).
The second text for elucidation is the 1917 article, “The Revolution Against Capital.” Here Gramsci spells out the versatile diagnostic power of historical materialism, “the real, undying Marxist thought” purged of positivist, naturalist incrustations. This Marxism upholds, as the most important factor in history “not crude, economic facts but rather men themselves, and the societies they create, as they learn to live with one another and understand one another; as, out of these contacts (civilization), they forge a social, collective will.” Giovanni Battista Vico’s discovery of truth (verum/factum) as historical creation informs Gramsci’s historicism. This collective will understands and controls facts, becoming “the driving force of the economy, the force which shapes reality itself, so that objective reality becomes a living, breathing force, like a current of molten lava, which can be channeled wherever and however the will directs” (1994, 40). Knowledge, will, and practice/action all coalesce in the collective transformation of social life in a determinate historical milieu.
In Russia, Gramsci holds that the “popular collective will” was forged by socialist propaganda. It emerged slowly, fusing a vast range of class experiences, “in the normal course of events,” in which humans are organized “first externally, into corporations and leagues; then internally, in their thought, in their will, in an endless continuity and multiplicity of external stimuli.” Amid the turmoil and chaos of class struggles, the Russian people experienced “in thought” the entire history of capitalist society going through crisis, determined to establish the necessary pre-condition for the collectivism that Marx considered a requirement for the transition to socialism. For Gramsci, “The revolutionaries will themselves create the conditions needed to realize their ideal fully and completely” (1994, 42). But this creation is not ex nihilo but a creative harnessing/cultivation of potentials in the given changing situation. The transition to socialism in Russia, bypassing the stage of industrial capitalism, is not a voluntarist accomplishment but rather a dialectical leap of political action—the war of maneuver succeeding a long complex process of ideological-political struggles—demanded by the conditions, both subjective and objective, in which the Russian revolutionaries found themselves. The national-popular collective will actualized in the actions of Lenin and the Bolsheviks responded not only to the readiness of the masses to change the system but also to their knowledge of “the experiences of other proletariats”—in short, to a solidarity with international revolutionary movements.
Beyond being a united front tactic, the project of a national-popular ensemble is the project of the proletarian party constructing hegemony—moral-intellectual leadership—as it confronts “the problems of national life.” Gramsci’s collective will arising from historically determined “popular forces” is premised on “the great mass of peasant farmers” bursting “into political life” (1971, 132). This event will materialize through a Jacobinist strategy: when the working class overcomes its “narrow economic-corporative” outlook and incorporates the interests of the peasantry and urban artisans into its own program and praxis. In the “Notes on the Southern Problem,” Gramsci predicates the capacity of the proletariat to govern as a class on its success in shedding “every residue of corporatism, every syndicalist prejudice or incrustation” (1995, 27). While this may be described as an educative, universalizing and expansive alliance, the strategy does not abandon class—does not break the connection between ideology and class, as Forgacs, Laclau and Mouffe (1985) insist. Rather, the class ideology used to dominate the peasantry and other intermediate strata is thoroughly analyzed (as witness the meticulous anatomy of traditional, pettybourgeois intellectuals, their ethos and world-views). Gramsci thus asserts that aside from getting rid of inherited prejudices and sectarian egoism, they have to take one more step forward: they have to think like workers who are members of a class that aims to lead peasants and middle classes into a collective project of releasing human potential for the benefit of all; “members of a class which can win and build socialism only if it is helped and followed by the large majority of these social strata” (1995, 28)—the majority—whose subsumption by bourgeois leadership serves as the chief obstacle to socialist reconstruction. This process of a generating directed consensus through organic intellectuals who will synthesize the cultural traditions of the whole people is a process not only of education but of organization for class war. This raises questions regarding the purpose of a national-popular alliance and the the goal of constructing a national-popular will?
Again, Gramsci directs our attention to the shifting balance (equilibrium/disequilibrium) of political forces. Given the situation of the South as “a social disintegration,” and the peasants inability “to give a centralized expression to their aspirations and needs,” Gramsci notes, the landlords and their intellectuals (Croce, for example) dominate the political and ideological field. Likewise, the proletariat as a class “lacks in organizing elements,” just as it lacks its own stratum of intellectuals with a left tendency “oriented toward the revolutionary proletariat.” With the mediation of intellectuals as organizers, the proletarian party will facilitate the alliance between peasant masses and the workers prepared to “destroy the Southern agrarian bloc.” The party needs to organize the masses of poor peasants “into autonomous and independent formations” free from the stranglehold of the “intellectual bloc that is the flexible but very resistant armature of the agrarian bloc” (1995, 47). Thus the people, not the bourgeoisie nor the Church and its cosmopolitan intelligentsia, will proceed to constitute the nation by releasing the productive forces needed for a more humane civilizational project, a new social order.
While the educational-pedagogical task seems a pre-requisite, Gramsci does not envision an ideological-moral reform as an end in itself, a continuous “war of position” regardless of changed circumstances. Nor does it have anything to do with the numerical weakness of the proletariat nor of the fascist monopoly of military reserves and logistics. Rather, the problem Gramsci faced then was historically dictated by the deleterious moral-intellectual leadership of the fascist bloc enabled by the continuing political and economic subordination of the peasantry and the failure of the workers and their party in mobilizing them. For Gramsci, one of the ways (specific to Italy but not to all social formations) in building a counter-hegemonic bloc is the cultivation of organic intellectuals that can help shape a genuinely democratic national unity (the Italian nation as a legal, formal entity had no real cultural unity rooted in the people’s lives) on the basis of a unified struggle with the popular forces (peasantry, middle elements). 
 Before applying Gramsci’s theory of the national-popular strategy to the Philippines as a model neocolonial formation, I want to summarize its fundamental elements:
 1) A national life and field of action is needed for the proletariat to settle first with its bourgeoisie, as Marx and Engels stipulated in the Manifesto, and a synthesizing historical program based on commonalty of experiences will be used to unify, activate and lead the majority of the population;
 2) For socialist revolutionaries to defeat the capitalist bloc, the party of the proletariat needs to move beyond sectarianism, that is, beyond corporatist/syndicalist tendencies and win the consent of the peasantry and middle elements by including their interests/demands in a common program/platform of action through concessions/compromises without abandoning their humanist, secular principles and the goal of a classless society;
 3) To build such an alliance or historic bloc of subaltern masses under the leadership of the party of the working class, organic intellectuals are needed for organizing the nation-people, and to supervise the inculcation of discipline in thinking and action; these tasks aim to generate a collective will informed by a knowledge of the totality of social relations that is its condition of effectivity;
 4) The field of political mobilization involves civil society and the state institutions, without any predetermined approach (whether through frontal assault in a war of maneuver, or normal political-legal actions in a war of position); the tactics of mass actions will depend on the concrete situation and the alignment and balance of political forces in any specific conjuncture.
 5) The national-popular has a socialist orientation based on internationalist solidarity, aimed at utilizing the scientific and progressive achievements of all of humanity to improve the material and spiritual well-being of all communities and national formations.
Historical Triangulation
I will now summarize briefly the political history of the Philippines and sketch the most crucial problems of neocolonial development in the epoch of globalized capitalism and the U.S.-led “war on terror” gripping the whole planet. This exercise is intended simply to illustrate the usefulness of Gramsci’s thesis on the imperative of a “national-popular” will applied to a colonial/neocolonial formation. While Italy and the Philippines belong to sharply disparate temporal and spatial regions and scales, with incommensurable singularities, one can discern rough similarities. The principal difference, of course, is that the Philippines were colonized by theocratic feudal Spain for three hundred years and by the industrialized capitalist United States for nearly a century. U.S. colonial rule preserved the feudal infrastructure, heightened ethnic divisions (principally between Christian and Muslim), and deepened class inequality by supporting a comprador-merchant class and an army of bureaucratic intelligentsia. After forcibly subjugating the revolutionary forces of the first Philippine Republic, it used a transformist “passive revolution” to win the subaltern intelligentsia and thus incorporate the peasantry into a colonial order and eventually a neocolonial setup. It suppressed the birth of a Filipino national-popular will.
The parameters of revolutionary socialist change in the Philippines are clearly drawn by the legacy of its colonial history, first by Spain and then by the United States. This resulted in the continuing fragmentation of the country in terms of class, language, and religion with deadly consequences (instanced by the undefeatable Moro separatist struggle). Spain used the Philippines primarily as a trading post for the galleon trade with China, using natural and human resources it found, until primitive mercantilism took over in the nineteenth century. The Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines as a result of tribal conflicts which the Spanish civil authority resolved by mainly by force and partly by concessions to the local chieftains. Unable to occupy the Muslim territories with its limited resources and personnel, the Spanish colonial administration used this conflict to heighten insecurity and legitimize their authority. They relied mainly on the friars of the religious orders to extract tribute from the Christianized inhabitants who were reduced to serfhood or abject slavery. The encomienda system generated a stratum of Spanish landlords who, together with the Catholic Church, maintained a tributary system in which only a few selected natives functioned as petty administrators and bureaucrats. So Spanish hegemony was tenuous, obtained mainly through the disciplinary regime of religious practices and institutions. When the children of Chinese and Filipino creoles or mestizos succeeded in acquiring formal education in schools administered by the religious orders, and also in Europe, they absorbed liberal ideas that formed the basis for the nationalist movement which began in the 1870s and ripened in the 1898 revolution. But this consciousness of Filipino nationality was confined mainly to the artisans and professions led by the ilustrado gentry class. It was not shared by the peasantry who were mobilized in terms of kinship or traditional loyalty to their village elders; or in terms of affiliation with millenary, chiliastic sects. In time, because of the organizing efforts of the Propagandists (reformist intellectuals, ilustrados, from the classes of rich farmers, artisans and petty traders) with their ideals of Enlightenment rationalism and autonomy, and the recruitment of the petty landlords-merchants, a hegemonic social bloc of anticolonialists emerged: the Malolos Republic led by General Emilio Aguinaldo. This signaled the emergence of a Filipino national-popular intelligence and sensibility.
A sense of Filipino nationhood founded by the cosmopolitanized pettybourgeoisie with allies in the merchant and small landlord class was aborted when the United States suppressed the young Republic in the 1899-1903 Filipino-American War. The formal republican institutions built on the ruins of Spanish theocracy collapsed when the ilustrado leadership surrendered to the U.S. colonial authority. While the Spaniards used violence armored by Christian evangelization, the United States occupied the islands with brutal force armored by diplomatic propaganda, the promise of “Benevolent Assimilation” and eventual independence. Using scorched earth-tactics, torture and mass imprisonment, the U.S. killed 1.4 million Filipinos, ten percent of the population. Unable to defeat the Moros (Filipino Muslims) despite a series of massacres, the U.S. deployed a combination of diplomatic chicanery, subterfuge and “bribery” to pacify them. Up to the present, U.S. Special Forces are still battling the Moros (Muslims living in the Philippines) in the form of the “Abu Sayyaf” terrorist bandit group, a proxy for the massive and more formidable Moro insurgency forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and disaffected sections of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) (San Juan 2007) who refused to cooperate with the current U.S.-subservient administration.
 One can summarize the fifty years of direct U.S. colonial rule as an illustration of hegemony won through initially through military power and stabilized through the twin methods of bureaucratic coercion and cooptation. When the Philippines was granted formal-nominal independence in 1946, the U.S. had set in place an Americanized privileged minority, an oligarchy of landlords, bureaucrat-capitalists, and compradors that would fulfill U.S. economic needs and global foreign policy. Consensus on elite democracy and the formal trappings of representative government was obtained through decades of violence, cooptation, moral persuasion, and a whole range of pedagogical-disciplinary methods, with the active collaboration of the religious institutions (both Catholic and Protestant). Hence the Philippines today is a nation, basically agricultural and dependent on foreign investments (lately, on remittance of Overseas Filipino Workers [OFW]), devoid of the full exercise of its sovereignty (the U.S. has veto power over its military and foreign policy). Its political system is characterized by the presence of formalistic liberal-democratic institutions administered by a tiny group of oligarchic families, reinforced by the Church, and a vast military-police apparatus chiefly dependent on U.S. aid (economic, military, political) rationalized by the U.S.-led “war on terror” (on U.S. support of “low-intensity conflict” see Agee 2003). There is no national-popular will, only a subalternized elite whose ascendancy and survival depend on direct or mediated (via World Bank-IMF) U.S. military and political patronage.
The Southern Colonial Question
 Gramsci of course did not directly engage with the process of Western colonization of a “third world” country. However, even though there are considerable differences, one can consider the Philippines as analogous to the Italian “southern region” vis-à-vis the U.S. industrial metropolis. The current metaphorical use of “North” (industrialized nations; center) and “South” (underdeveloped regions; periphery) in International Relations is clearly indebted to Gramsci’s geographical-economic polarity. To be sure, Gramsci’s categorization of the North-South binary is less economic than sociopolitical and cultural, in contrast to the orthodox Marxist definition of a nation historically predicated on the existence of a market and a commodity exchange system. 
Contrary to orthodox Marxism (Rosenthal and Yudin 1967, 304), which considered the capitalist national market as the basis for nationhood, the sense of a Filipino nation was born in armed struggle against Spanish theocratic rule and later against U.S. military aggression. No full-blown commodity market existed in a feudal-theocratic mercantilist order. However, the emergent national identity was cancelled outright when Filipinos were excluded in the 1898 Treaty of Paris when Spain ceded the islands to the U.S. for twenty million dollars. Laws were immediately promulgated to criminalize anticolonial dissent: the 1901 Sedition Law and 1902 Brigandage Act punished anyone advocating separation from the U.S. The 1903 Reconcentration Act relocated entire rural communities into towns to deny refuge to rebels; the Flag Law, which prohibited displays of the revolutionary flag of the Filipino Republic, was enacted in 1907, the same year when the last revolutionary Filipino general, Macario Sakay, was hanged in public. Nationalist discourse and symbols were proscribed, thus destroying the material practices sustaining the collective spirit of resistance and will to independence. This period of pacification (1898-1935) involved a variable if shrewd application of force and consent, violence and persuasion, guided over-all by a transformist, “passive revolution” strategy administered from Washington.
U.S. colonialism thus applied “transformism” by supplementing coercive tactics with a long-range strategy of ethnocentric, opportunistic extraction of consent from the new subjects (Pomeroy 1970). After Filipino guerilla resistance waned in the first decade of the 20th century, the U.S. established the Philippine Assembly as an auxiliary law-making body under the U.S.-dominated Philippine Commission appointed by the U.S. President to manage the colony. It was one way of implementing the slogan of “Benevolent Assimilation” of the natives proclaimed by President William McKinley in the midst of the violent pacification of the islands under the aegis of the white-supremacist slogan of “Manifest Destiny.” This assembly served to coopt the native elite (elected by at most three percent of the population) and defuse the popular agitation for “immediate independence,” a submerged, repressed tendency in the majority of colonial subjects. 
A neocolony was born from the destruction of the insurgent nation and the systematic deepening of divisions among the people (Schirmer 1987). The principal instruments for winning consent were the school system of universal public education and the enforcement of English as the official medium of instruction, government communication, and mass media. Among progressive intellectuals, Renato Constantino (1978; see also Martin 2001) was the first to stress the crucial role of the pedagogical apparatus and the modes of the production and transmission of knowledge, specifically through the English language, in enforcing the allegiance/conformity of the majority of citizens whose national imaginary has been captured and detained. Thus, Americanization of the Filipino through education and cultural domination may be viewed as a kind of “passive revolution” aimed chiefly to defuse nationalist impulses in the peasantry and working class, and re-channel the energies of the middle strata of intellectuals-professionals to serve the interests of U.S. policy in Asia especially in a time when Japan was rising as an imperial power and revolutionary ferment in China and other countries was dangerous looming in the horizon. Future independence was promised to pacify the nationalist intellectuals while recruitment to the Hawaii plantations gave temporary relief to unmitigated misery in the countryside.
In the process of revolutionizing the political and cultural institutions “from above,” the U.S. colonial regime also cultivated its own bureaucratic intelligentsia. Politics imitated the prevailing patronage system binding landlord and tenant. Filipino ilustrados serving the defeated Republic—the educated gentry—were enticed to join the colonial administration as teachers, policemen, clerks, technical help in the bureaucracy; as judges and municipal legislators. One example of a traditional intellectual who participated in this negotiated compromise was Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. In 1901, Tavera wrote to General Arthur MacArthur, the chief administrator of the military occupation: “After peace is established, all our efforts will be directed to Americanizing ourselves, to cause a knowledge of the English language to be extended and generalized in the Philippines, in order that through its agency the American spirit may take possession of us, and that we may so adopt its principles, its political customs, and its peculiar civilization that our redemption may be complete and radical” (quoted in Constantino 1978, 67). This stratum of neocolonized intellectuals cemented the tie between the oligarchic elite and the colonial rulers, performing a necessary role in disintegrating the popular memory of past revolutionary struggle and alienating this elite from the everyday lives of the masses. 
When the Philippine Commonwealth was established in 1935, the Filipino intellectuals who came from the peasantry and working class gathered around the U.S.-sponsored President Manuel Quezon and his program of “social justice.” This populist rhetoric re-channeled nationalist impulses toward legal ameliorative schemes won as concessions from Washington. The social bloc of landlords-bureaucrats-compradors funded cultural programs with a sentimental patronizing attitude toward the native or aboriginal populace. While writers in the vernacular gravitated toward more activist left-leaning circles on the fringes of the Communist Party of the Philippines (formed in August 1930), the writers using English remained “cosmopolitan,” as can be gleaned from this reflection of a progressive-minded critic, Salvador P. Lopez (written during the Japanese occupation circa 1942-44): “For culture is fluid, volatile, impossible to confine in an air-tight compartment; and nothing is truer than that real culture is universal, the exclusive property of no particular nation but of all nations that have intelligence to harness it to their own uses” (1945, 61). Cosmopolitanism Filipino-style lurked astutely behind this left-wing nationalist figure who eloquently voiced proletarian sentiments in the 1930s and 1940s against European fascism and Japanese militarism.
Uneven and Combined Development
Unlike Italy, then, the Philippines was distinguished as an undeveloped rural-agricultural economy without any heavy industry, under U.S. intellectual-moral control and “tutelage.” Utilitarian and pragmatic norms permeated the social habitus of the middle strata. This hegemony flourished due to the acquiescence of the oligarchic bloc of landlords, comprador merchants, and bureaucratic technocrats, complemented by overt and covert tactics of violence and bribery unleashed on the unruly sections of landless peasants, workers, and artisans. Challenged by numerous peasant insurrections, US hegemony continues under the façade of nominal independence. 
Filipino cacique, or elite democracy is built on the parasitic dependency of the local clients on U.S. milit
          FILIPINIZING CULTURAL STUDIES   

SPECULATIVE THESES TOWARD FILIPINIZING CULTURAL STUDIES

By E. San Juan, Jr.
Director, PHILIPPINE STUDIES CENTER, Washington DC, USA


      The election of Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte was believed to signal, at first glance, a much needed change in neocolonial traditional politics in the Philippines. His brutal campaign to rid the country of endemic drug addiction (implicating “drug lords” in prison as well as generals, mayors, bureaucrats and corrupt legislators) was initially greeted with approval, including by leftwing organizations like BAYAN. His announced desire to make peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army (branded as terrorist by the U.S. State Department) has run aground, with his failure to release hundreds of political prisoners and his kowtowing to Washington’s behest and the U.S.-supplied and advised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Populist aura has quickly mutated into oligarchic terrorism, with the National Police killing hundreds of suspected drug-pushers and the AFP rampaging in killing community leaders of indigenous communities (Lumad) right in his Mindanao backyard. This conjunctural phenomenon offers an ideal case-history for scholars interested in analyzing a postcolonial formation, especially given the smoldering geopolitical controversy over the rights in exploring the resources of the South China Sea after the recent Hague Court decision in favor of the Philippines’ claims (San Juan 2015).

But orthodox Cultural Studies of EuroAmerican vintage has become problematic with its poststructuralist penchant for aporia, radical skepticism, and end-of-ideology resignation to the diktat of the neoliberal marketplace. We need to find an alternative weapon of critical appraisal and judgment. Filipino followers of Derrida, Foucault, Zizek and Agamben can only decry the Hobbesian world of Duterte, betraying ignorance of Hobbes’ own affirmation of the natural right to rebellion against tyranny. Meanwhile, the oligarchic Establishment is maneuvering for a coup d’etat either via impeachment or
popular discontent, waiting for Washington to give the signal. All the archaic institutions are still in place, functioning to maintain the status quo ante Duterte. This is the occasion for public intellectuals to intervene with a historically specific diagnosis of the local and international roots of Duterte’s pettybourgeois Caesarism, a parody of the Marcos dictatorship of 1972-86, with Duterte himself allowing the burial of the embalmed Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani against widespread public protest. Contradictions abound, making this crisis of the solitary U.S. neocolony in Asia a perfect example of the perverse mutation of postcolonial hybridity. Can Filipino critical sensibility rise up to the occasion to vindicate the long, durable tradition of revolutionary resistance against imperial terrorism and white-racial supremacist barbarism? The speculations below are designed to stimulate dialogue on the convergence of the disciplines, the dialectic of audience and author, and exchanges between master-narrators and the Others of Fanon’s “wretched of the earth” party in the contested domain of an ideal public sphere, wherever it may be discovered or set up.

Prologue to Interrogation

“Cultural Studies” (CS) originating from UK and North America focuses on the complex relations of “power” and “knowledge” (knowledge-production) at a specific historical conjuncture (Seventies and Eighties). Its axioms include the rejection of Enlightenment modernity/progress, metanarratives (paradigms; world-views), premised on the rational subject. Symptomatic of the alienation of Western intellectuals from technocratic market-society during the Cold War, CS reflects the crisis of finance/ monopoly capitalism in its imperialist stage. It seeks to transcend reified systems by way of privileging the differend,differance (Lyotard; Derrida), diffuse power (Foucault; Deleuze), life-world or everyday life (Habermas; de Certeau) inspired by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, and Saussure.

Orthodox CS identifies modernity with capitalism, hence its postmodernist temper. Despite acknowledging the historicity of the discipline, postmodernist academics (Geertz, Grossberg, Clifford) give primacy to “the flow of social discourse”
and the “essentially contestable” genealogy of culture. Engaged with the singularity of events centering on love, sentiments, conscience, and the existential or ethical moment in order to “bring us in touch with strangers,” with Others, postmodern CS seeks to interrogate the foundational aims of linguistics (Jackobson), psychoanalysis (Freud), philosophy (Kant, Hegel) and political economy (Marx) by substituting the ambivalence, contingency, and hybridity of “lived experience” for labor/social praxis as the focus of investigation. Focused on what escapes language and thought, CS has fallen into the dualism it ritualistically condemns, complete with the mystique of a neoliberal individualism enabled by presumably value-free, normative “free market” absolutism.

Anti-foundationalism and anti-metanarratives distinguish orthodox CS today. Rejecting classical reason, CS refuses any grounding in political or social action as a perversion of knowledge for the ends of power. Valuing negative critique as an antidote to ideology, CS leads up to a fetishism of the Void, the deconstructive “Sublime” as a substitute for a thoroughgoing critique of the authority of received values and institutions. By various ruses of irony, uncanny cynicism and “sly mimicry,” It ends up apologizing for the status quo. Anti-authoritarianism is trivialized in careerist anecdotes, and CS becomes reduced to conferences and publicity about fantasies of revolutionary social movements.
Submerged and eventually displaced, the critical dimension of CS drawn from Western Marxism (Gramsci, Althusser, Lukacs) has disappeared in the neoconservative tide that began with Reagan/Thatcher in the Eighties. This neoconservatism continues to this day under the slogan of the “global war on terrorism.” Meanwhile, attention to racism, gender, sexism and other non-class contradictions, particularly in the colonized and peripheral formations, sharpened with the Civil Rights struggles in the US, the youth revolt, and the worldwide opposition to the Vietnam war and the current if precarious hegemony of the Global North.

From Orthodoxy to Heterodoxy

Mainstream CS today still focuses on consumption, audience response, Deleuzian desire, affects, irony, avoidance of the critique of ideology, the culture industry, and unequal division of social labor. However, some versions of CS invokes Simone de Beauvoir, Fanon, CLR James, W.E.B.Du Bois, Rosa Luxemburg, Paulo Freire and other “third world” activists in an effort to renew its original vocation of contributing to fundamental social change. Its Foucaultian notion of “specific intellectuals” addressing a “conjunctural constituency” may call attention to the need to address state violence and hegemonic apparatuses of public control and repression.

Like any global trend, CS can be “filipinized” by the creative application of its original radical critique to our conditions. Various forms of CS, as mediated by “subalternists” and other “third world” conduits, have influenced such historians concerned with the marginalized Others (peasants, women, religious and ethnic communities, etc.). But except for the Latin American “theology of liberation” as a form of CS, they have all wrongly assumed that the Philippines is no longer a neocolonial, dependent formation, replete with diverse contradictions centering on the oligarchic- comprador domination of the majority of the people (workers, peasants, OFWs, Moros and other indigenous groups). The question of a singular Filipino modernity—genuine national sovereignty, autonomous individuals free from Spanish or American tutelage, a bourgeois public sphere—has been conflated and transmogrified by insidious postmodern mystifications legitimized by the illusory promise of emancipation by avid consumption epitomized in megamalls, Internet/Facebook celebrity culture, and a predatory commodifying consumerist ethos.

     The examples of what I consider the inventors of Filipino cultural studies—Jose Rizal (in “The Indolence of Filipinos” and “The Philippines a Century Hence”), Isabelo de los Reyes (folklore and ethnic studies), counteless vernacular novelists, poets, and playwrights; and memoir-writers (Mabini, veterans of 1896 and the Huk uprising)— applied criticial principles derived from Europe to the specific political and socioeconomic situations in the colony/neocolony. In the process, the power/knowledge
complex acquired concrete elaboration in terms of how “everyday life”—culture as ordinary habits or patterns (Raymond Williams)--cannot escape its over-determination by the historical institutions and practices imposed by the colonial powers and mediated by regional/local ruling bloc. Time and space offer intelligible meanings by way of the contradictions between the colonial/neocolonial hegemonic institutions and the acceptance/resistance of the colonized natives. Such meanings can be found in the narratives of individuals/collectives in which the notion of subjectivity defined by various levels of contradictions (Filipino versus American, patriarchal power versus women, “civilized” versus indigenous,etc.) can be discerned embedded in the totality of social relations at specific historical moments. I am thinking of a “knowable community” with institutions and habitus, structure of power relations, not just a “structure of feeling” constituted by heterogeneous experiences

In Philippine CS, the question of language assumes primacy because intellectual discourse and exchanges cannot sidetrack the problem of communicating to the larger public. Democratizing the means of communication is apart of the process of overthrowing the oligarchic elite and the reproduction of class and gender inequality. Such a public needs to be developed by the pedagogical program of a developing CS curriculum. The prevalence of English as an elite marker/imprimatur of privileged status will prevent this public sphere from emerging. Linked to this is the position of popular culture which has always radicalized CS by eliminating the divide between the elite/ canonical culture and the proletarian/mass culture. Control of the means of communication needs to be addressed as well as the participation of a wider public in dialogues and exchanges.

CS, if it aspires to actualize its critical potential and transformative, needs to always address the major and minor contradictions of each society within a globalizing planet. The neoliberal market ideology that pervades everyday life/consciousness militates against the growth of a critical sensibility and the development of the faculties/ powers of the species, hence CS needs to focus its analytic instruments on the commodification of the life-world and everyday life by the oligopolistic capitalist order. In
the Philippines, the unprecedented diaspora of domestics and overseas contract workers (OFWs) constitute the prime specimen for study and critique. This involves not only the symbolic violence of language use but also the material violence of hunger, disease, State torture and extrajudicial killings.

Problematizing Knowledge-Production

In a critique mainly focused on the aborted promise of CS in the Global North, it is neither strategic nor propitious to describe in detail what the adaptation--or indigenization, if you like--of a Eurocentric CS paradigm would look like attuned to the needs and demands of neocolonized subjects in the Global South. Parts of that description may be found in my previous works (San Juan 1996, 2000, 2008). It would certainly require a longer, sustained mapping of the sociopolitical terrain of six decades after the 1946 formal independence. A political economy of group consensus and habits of belief such as, for example, the inventory of contradictions drawn up by social scientist Kenneth Bauzon (1991) would be useful to calculate the scale and degree of continued Filipino mimicry of inhumane models to perpetuate inequity and underdevelopment.

My task here is circumscribed: to indicate in broaf strokes the limitations and inadequacies of that paradigm for subjugated or dependent constituencies of the Empire. It is foolhardy to undertake this task until we have cleared up crucial theoretical hurdles. The first is the problem of naming the subaltern agency. Obviously the identification of "Filipino" and "Filipino nation" remains contentious, unsettled, intractable. At best we can only handle the "interpretants" (both denoted and connoted items) of those signifiers provisionally, given not only the existence of heterogeneous components of that ethnic signified "Filipino" but also the fact that the whole ethos (moral, aesthetic, evaluative) of Filipino culture, not to speak of its cognitive and existential aspects, remains suspended in the undecided battlefields of the national- democratic revolution. Mutating modes of inclusion and exclusion of group actors prevail. We can only stipulate our parameters of discourse in the light of what has been
accomplished so far in liberating ourselves, neocolonized subjects, from imperialist political, sociocultural, economic strangleholds.

For now, suffice it to remark on the need to adhere to the axiom of historical specificity (Korsch 1971) and a measure of philosophical rigor in defining such parameters. Above all, the question of ideology and the political economy of knowledge- production cannot be ignored. We cannot escape both the rules of our own communities and that of the totalizing diplomatic-technological state apparatuses of empire that modifies, coopts and sublimates those rules. The dialectical laws of motion of interlocked asymmetrical nation-states cannot be dismissed as simply reactive or aprioristic. In this light, Virgilio Enriquez's project of inventing sikolohiyang Pilipino during the nationalist resurgence of the 1960s and early 1970s may be symptomatically read as a culmination of all previous decolonizing initiatives (from Rizal and the Propagandistas to Recto, Constantino, and Sison) to articulate a program and world- view for the masses struggling for social justice, popular democracy, and genuine independence. It was institutionally predictable but also serendipituous.

An analogous clarification can be offered for the roles that Filipino historians adopted before, during, and after the Marcos dictatorship. While inspired by Indian subalternist historians (laboring under the aegis of Foucaultian/post-structuralist thought) to de-center what was perceived as bourgeois-oriented chronicles such as those by Teodoro Agoncillo and Renato Constantino, Rafael Ileto (1998) succeeded to some extent in assaying the value of popular culture (the pasyon, etc.) and other marginal practices in the construction of a “non-linear” narrative of Filipino events before and after the 1896 revolution. It is doubtful whether Agoncillo or Constantino really pursued a linear, one-directional bias. Nevertheless, the revisionist method is not an original “native” discovery. Even before the late-twentieth century diaspora, the Filipino intelligentsia has been open-minded, highly susceptible to global influences. Subalternist historiography is the product of a long record of countering the positivist, Comte-Rankean version of historicism, from the British social-history tradition (Samuel 1981) to the French Annales school and its evolutionist/functionalist offshoot in the
Alfred McCoy-Ben Kerkvliet interventions in re-writing Philippine history in a more sophisticated way than Stanley Karnow's apologetic product, In Our Image (1989). Meanwhile, the Marcos Establishment historian Zeus Salazar tried to retool Enriquez's sikolohiya by purging it of its liberatory impulse and anchoring a populist version of the past in an evolving Filipino idiom via his pantayong pananaw scheme. It may be premature to judge the reformist efficacy of this effort in renewing or rehabilitating the fields of local historiography and moribund anthropology. Salazar’s disciples seem resigned to the neoliberal dispensation of the post-Marcos order, ensconced in the academic commerce of fabricating idiosyncratic terminology for archaic ideas.

We Versus They?

The problem of thematizing local knowledge offers both theoretical and political conundrums. Ramon Guillermo (2003) has provided us a useful inventory of Salazar's heroic effort, together with proposals for improving its method and scope. But both Salazar and Guillermo have so far sidestepped the fundamental issue (which transcends the old emic/etic binary) of how the notion of rationality--communicative action, in another framework--central to the intellectual metier of a global community of scientific inquirers to understand and appraise cultures can be surpassed or transcended. This issue has been elaborated in the volume Rationality (Wilson 1970)— just to cite one compilation--in which a survey of the conflicting arguments prompted Alasdair MacIntyre's observation that "the understanding of a people in terms of their own concepts and beliefs does in fact tend to preclude understanding them in any other terms" (1970, 130).

MacIntyre does not fully endorse the functionalist view that institutions must be grasped not in terms of what they mean for the agents, but in terms of what necessary needs and purposes they serve; however, he does not fully agree with Peter Winch's untenable belief that communities can only be properly understood and judged in terms of their own internally generated norms and beliefs--a proposition that pantayong pananaw advocates seem to favor, despite earnest denials (see Sta. Maria 2000). But even assuming that isolated communities in a capitalist-gobalized world is possible,
long after Max Weber took time off from “value-free” pursuits to distinguish explanation from interpretation, proponents of the primacy of hermeneutic understanding still need the benefit of analytic explanation if they want to avoid circularity and self-serving solipsism. After all, why bother understanding Others? Oppositional American thinkers such as Marcus Raskin, Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Susan Buck-Morss and others have begun to engage with the antinomies of knowledge-production faced earlier by the British in the context of the challenges of the postmodern era (Raskin 1987), an engagement coopted by the debates on terrorism, Islamophobia, and other alibis of Empire.

My own position strives to be a dialectical-materialist stance that privileges historical specificity and counterhegemonic imperatives on the question of adapting ideas originating from other sources (San Juan 2007). In my view, language is only one of the criteria for hypothesizing the nation as "imagined community,” to use Benedict Anderson’s formula. However, the quest becomes more problematic when the language at issue, "Filipino," is still a matter disputed by other participants of the polity such as the Cebuanos, the various Moro groups, and by the English-speaking intelligentsia and bureaucracy. More seriously, it is not possible to conceive of the notions of "pantayo" and "pangkami" without the whole dynamic network of differences first outlined by Saussure but complicated by the wide-ranging semiotic principles explored by C.S. Peirce, Lev Vygotsky, Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, and Roman Jakobson, far beyond the findings of Whorf, Sapir, Humboldt, Frobenius, etc. The linguistic symbol, as Jakobson reminds us, is not only a vehicle of the sedimented past (icons) or the present (indices) but also of the future. He quotes Peirce's speculation premised on the triadic theory of the sign: "The being of a symbol consists in the real fact that something surely will be experienced if certain conditions be satisfied....The value of a symbol is that it serves to make thought and conduct rational and enables us to predict the
future" (1987,427).


Language is, to be sure, only one signifier of national identity, not an absolute qualifier, whose correlation with other practices and collective actions needs delicate orchestration (Yinger 1976, 200-02). Earlier (San Juan 2008), I registered my discomfort with the logocentric tendency in Enriquez's otherwise conscientious indigenization
attempt. In the total program of liberating the majority of Filipinos (workers, peasants, women) from market exploitation and alien oppression, a nationalist ideology as such should prioritize the act of foregrounding democratic national rights and collective welfare. Hence we need an internationalist worldview such as that provided by Marxism (articulated, of course, to our specific conditions) with its universalistic, critical position grounded on a "concrete universal," with all the richness of the particular social- formation in the Philippines, in creating a sense of Filipino nationhood (Lowy 2000). 

Filipinizing CS thus requires not merely linguistic readjustment but, more importantly, reconceiving the sense of rationality, justice, equality and democratic participation that cannot be hermetically encapsulated within the bounds of a single Filipino language-in- the-making. My firm conviction is that no indigenization project will fully succeed unless it includes a program of systematic decolonization, particularly an uncompromising indictment of U.S.  colonialism/neocolonialism in its totality, together with its complicit transnational allies. Neither postcolonial hybridity, modernizing technocratic pragmatism, nor transnational flexibility will do; we need dialectical cunning and a bricoleur’s resourcefulness in taking advantage of what our forebears--Rizal, Recto, Agoncillo, Constantino, Hernandez, and others--have already won for us. After all, the enemy can also speak in Filipino and even dance the tinikling and sing "Dahil sa Iyo" in more seductive, innovative, postmodernist ways. We need to combine specifics and universals in both strategic and tactical ways that precisely cannot be learned at this time from orthodox CS and its postcolonial. transnationalist variations.

Unconcluding Postscript

To recap: Conceived as a reaction to capitalist high culture in the late twentieth century, CS initially challenged Cold War norms and Western hegemony. It promised a democratic, even radical, renaissance of thought and sensibility inside and outside the academy. Its early practitioners drew heavily from the Marxist and socialist traditions. But when it became institutionalized in the Eighties and Nineties, CS distanced itself rapidly from mass political struggles in the metropoles and the “third world.” It reverted to ethical individualism, aestheticism, Nietzschean performative displays, and the
fetishism of differences/hybridity, becoming in the process a defensive ideology for predatory finance capitalism and technocratic globalization. If we want CS to be meaningful to the majority of Filipinos, it needs to address the urgent realities of our society and contribute to the democratic and egalitarian ideals of our history.

In the Philippines and other subordinated formations, CS can be regenerated by renewing its anticolonial, popular and democratic inspiration and re-engaging in a radical, transformative critique of oligopolistic corporate power, the political economy of global finance capital and its commodified/commodifying culture. It can challenge US imperialism and its subalterns in its current modality of warring against “terrorism”or extremism (codewords for anti-imperialists) by returning to, first, the primacy of social labor; second, the complex historical articulations of the mode of production and social relations; and, third, the importance of the materialist critique of norms, assumptions and premises underlying existing inequalities, injustices, and oppressions.

To Filipinize CS is to reconfigure the modality and thrust of Western CS in order to address the persistent and urgent problems of the exploitation of Filipino labor worldwide, the lack of genuine sovereignty and national independence, and the profound class, gender and ethnic inequalities that have plagued the country for so long. In short, intellectuals engaged in CS need to situate their practice and vocation in the actual society that underwrites their labor and provides it some measure of intelligibility and significance. Otherwise, they will continue to serve the interests of global capital and undermine their own claims to integrity and independence, not to speak of “academic freedom,” humanistic ideals, and scientific objectivity.

REFERENCES

Bauzon, Kenneth. 1991. “Knowledge and Ideology in Philippine Society,” Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, 19 (1991): 207-234.

San Juan, Theses, 12
Enriquez, Virgilio. 1992. From Colonial to Liberation Psychology. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Guillermo, Ramon. 2003. "Exposition, Critique and New Directions for Pantayong Pananaw." Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia 3 (March 2003).
Ileto, Reynaldo. 1998. Filipinos and their Revolution. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Jakobson, Roman. 1987. Language in Literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Karnow, Stanley. 1989. In Our Image. New York: Random House.
Korsch, Karl. 1971.
Three Essays on Marxism. New York: Monthly Review Press. MacIntyre, Alasdair. 1970. "The Idea of a Social Science." in Rationality, ed. Bryan R.
Wilson. New York: Harper & Row.
Raskin, Marcus and Herbert Bernstein, eds. 1987
. New Ways of Knowing. Totowa,
NJ: Rowman and Littlefield.
Salazar, Zeus, ed. 2004. Sikolohiyang Panlipunan-at-Kalinangan. Quezon City:

Palimbagan ng Lahi
Samuel, Rapahel, ed. 1981.
People's History and Socialist Theory. London: Routledge
and Kegan Paul.
San Juan, E. 1996.
The Philippine Temptation: Dialectics of U.S.-Philippines Literary
Relations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
----. 2000.
After Postcolonialism: Remapping Philippines-United States Confrontations.
Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield.
----. 2007.
In the Wake of Terror: Class, Race, Nation, Ethnicity in the Postmodern
World. Maryland: Lexington Books.
----. 2008. "Ordeals of Indigenization: On Sikolohiyang Pilipino,"
Balikbayang Sinta: An
E. San Juan Reader. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. ——. 2015. Between Empire and Insurgency. Quezon City: University of the
Philippines.
Santa Maria, Madelene. 2000. “On the Nature of Cultural Research.”
International
Society for the Study of Behavioral Development Newsletter #1, Serial No. 37:
4-5.
Wilson, Bryan R., ed. 1970.
Rationality. New York: Harper and Row.
Yinger, J. Milton. 1976. "Ethnicity in Complex Societies: Structural, Cultural and

Characterological Factors." In The Uses of Controversy in Sociology, ed. Lewis Coser and Otto Larsen. New York: Free Press. 

          Hong Kong protesters stage sit-in ahead of Xi visit   
Hong Kong protesters stage sit-in ahead of Xi visitXi's visit this week comes at a time when fears are growing that Beijing is tightening its grip on semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
          Senior QA Analyst - SQS Group - Rivonia, Gauteng   
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          Comment on Self-Driving Vehicles: Are Americans Ready to Give Up the Driver’s Seat? by CTOvision Assessment On The Megatrend of Robotics - CTOvision.com   
[…] than 60% of surveyed Americans say they are somewhat or very positive about autonomous cars. But safety is still a […]
          Keep Texting, Stop Driving   

Remember that guy in California who beat a ticket for using his phone as a map while driving? He was looking for alternative routes while stuck in traffic. Two weeks ago he won his court case, because California’s law against using your phone while driving was behind the times. It treated your phone as something you talk on, not something you use to check a map.

Now California is trying to get ahead of the curve. On Tuesday the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles held a hearing on the “operation of self–driving or autonomous vehicles on California’s public roadways.” We already have cars that can park themselves or adjust their steering to stay within lanes. According to the Associated Press, Google’s fleet of vehicles, equipped with lasers and radar, has driven “hundreds of thousands of miles in California,” and car companies are testing new models.

Increasingly autonomous cars will be a great thing for many reasons. One reason is that they’ll solve the problem of using your phone while driving. We’ve been looking at this problem all wrong. We’ve been telling you to put down your phone and focus on the road. We should be telling you to focus on your phone and hand over the wheel.

I've been waiting for this technology for years. So has my former colleague, Farhad Manjoo, who wrote a terrific piece about it in Slate. Now we're getting real about implementing it.

The California hearing raised many questions. One is privacy. California already has a law requiring each autonomous car to record its activities so that if it gets into an accident, investigators can detect what happened. If you’re a car insurer, wouldn’t you like that data? If you’re the car’s owner, should you have to surrender that data?

Another question is hacking. According to the AP, “industry representatives” at the hearing assured everyone “they would vigilantly guard against such vulnerability.” Good luck with that.

The most difficult question seems to be the relationships between cars and humans. In early versions of autonomous vehicles, “human drivers would be expected to take control in an instant if the computer systems fail,” the AP reports. But at the hearing,

DMV attorney Brian Soublet acknowledged that the department is still grappling with the most fundamental question of whether a person will need to be in the driver's seat. Maybe not, by the time the technology is safe and reliable, he said.
Soublet asked who would ensure that owners know how to use the new technology. Should the onus be on dealers, manufacturers, owners? Representatives of automakers suggested they shouldn't be asked to guarantee the capability of owners. John Tillman of Mercedes-Benz said the DMV could test owners on basics such as starting and stopping the automated driving function.

That exchange suggests a couple of things about the future of this technology. First, you can delegate the driving to your car, but you can’t delegate the responsibility. Car companies will be liable for making their vehicles reliable under proper use, but they’ll make sure you’re the one responsible for proper use. You might be free to spend your commute on the phone, but you’d better be ready to drop it and deal with a crisis.

Second, it’s a good bet that the chief problem with autonomous cars won’t be the cars. It’ll be us. Human error is already overwhelmingly responsible for crashes. Handing off the driving will eventually reduce that toll. But now we’ll have to learn how to program and supervise our vehicles. That job, too, can be screwed up. And you know the rule about anything that can be screwed up.


          What Is GTA? Why GJM Head Bimal Gurung Calls To End Agreement?   
GTA is Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and now a heated topic on the hills, in Darjeeling, amid days of tension and violence demanding a separate state named Gorkhaland. It is a semi-autonomous administrative body for the hills in West Bengal state comprising of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. It has three subdivisions – Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik. Whole […]
          Auto Nom   
An autonomous Mercedes-Benz fools around a deserted city while singing It’s Not Unusual in the voice of Hatsune Miku. F°am Studio’s short film is lighthearted on its own, but watch the accompanying “interview” with Nom and it takes on a different tone.
          Apple May Build a Car, But No One Will Buy It   
Based on Tim Cook's comments and the company's core competencies, autonomous ride-sharing tech could bring Apple success via robo-taxis.

          Who Do You Trust More With Your Safety: Google or Ford?   
A new survey from Inrix notes that carmakers have advantages—for now—in the race to win over consumers with autonomous technology.

          Mandriva Team: Mandriva announces a major milestone in its development, invests in Formula One racing   

Paris the 1st of April 2013 : Mandriva S.A. , the leading European Linux based software vendor, is unveiling the new milestone in its corporate strategy. Building on years of experience with its advanced operating systems and open source software, Mandriva S.A. will now invest in Formula One racing and embedding Mandriva operating system in racing cars.

As the automotive industry is moving towards the rapid inclusion of intelligent systems and autonomous driving capability, Mandriva wants to position itself as the reference operating system that will power tomorrow’s cars efficiently and securely.

In order to do that, Mandriva will join the Formula One industry. Stay tuned for more details tomorrow at 11:00 am CET.


          Robotics Rodeo puts unmanned tech front and center | E-Commerce Center   

Comments:

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Soldiers and civilian contractors braved the heat here this week for the first Robotics Rodeo to view and interact with a long lineup... - Saeed Ya
  • NEWS TODAY click www.killdo.de.gg - anonymous

Tags: 2nd, law, of, robotics, 3, laws, adept, advanced, ai, applied, arm, artificial, intelligence, assembly, automated, automation, autonomous, robots, axis, based, beam, best, biped, build, building, carnegie, mellon, cmu, computer, control, controller, data, evolution, factory, fanuc, first, r

by: Saeed Ya


          RH17-18 Open pit Mine trainer - Canadian Royalties inc - Nunavik, QC   
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. In all interventions, the trainer focuses on occupational. Dynamic, autonomous, positive attitude;...
From Canadian Royalties inc - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:38:53 GMT - View all Nunavik, QC jobs
          Trimble Introduces Autonomous Operation Support in its ThingMagic Mercury API   
none
          Whose fault is it anyway?   
We are heading into a lot of uncharted waters with autonomous vehicles. Should we be worried about Big Brother?
          Is self-driving data a gold mine or a land mine?   
Does data generated by autonomous vehicles really provide carmakers with a '$1 trillion opportunity'?
          Rethinking quality in the digital age   
Without proper safeguards, the sophisticated components of autonomous systems could become the Achilles' heel of next-generation vehicle design.
          Data: Gold mine or land mine?   
Fully autonomous cars are coming and many automakers believe that these highly connected vehicles will offer lucrative returns from data that they hope to sell to tech companies.
          Data: Gold mine or land mine?   
Fully autonomous cars are coming and many automakers believe that these highly connected vehicles will offer lucrative returns from data that they hope to sell to tech companies such as Apple and Google.
          Connected-car future requires manufacturers to network   
To realize the potential of connected and autonomous vehicles, vehicle manufacturers and technology providers must work together to integrate software and applications into the heart of the vehicle operating system.
          Lawmakers debate stripping state-level protections on self-driving cars   
Lawmakers sitting on a U.S. House subcommittee this week debated 14 separate proposals designed to strip out state-level decisions around self-driving cars. Uber, Waymo, Tesla and others have lobbied on behalf of the proposals, saying they eliminate a patchwork quilt of state restrictions on the technology. The proposed bills would give the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the power to regulate autonomous driving, and set nationwide standards for carmakers. That would be in-line…

          Lead Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Motion Planning - Delphi - Pittsburgh, PA   
Delphi – every day we pioneer, we elevate, and we integrate game-changing technologies that make the world's vehicles safer, greener, and more connected....
From Delphi - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:24:30 GMT - View all Pittsburgh, PA jobs
          magnetico - Autonomous (self-hosted) BitTorrent DHT search engine suite.   
Votre propre moteur de recherche de torrent décentralisé ? C'est possible avec Magnetico.
Le logiciel parcours la DHT et récupère les hashs et infos de torrents noeud par noeud.
Pas de site web central, pas de tracker centralisé. Et chacun peut monter son propre moteur.
C'est une sorte de BtDigg personnel.
À tester...
(Il nécessite Python 3 et quelques packages accessibles par PyPi.)
(Permalink)
          The Politics of Local Participatory Democracy in Latin America: Institutions, Actors, and Interactions
- Françoise Montambeault   
Participatory democracy innovations aimed at bringing citizens back into local governance processes are now at the core of the international democratic development agenda. Municipalities around the world have adopted local participatory mechanisms of various types in the last two decades, including participatory budgeting, the flagship Brazilian program, and participatory planning, as it is the case in several Mexican municipalities. Yet, institutionalized participatory mechanisms have had mixed results in practice at the municipal level. So why and how does success vary? This book sets out to answer that question. Defining democratic success as a transformation of state-society relationships, the author goes beyond the clientelism/democracy dichotomy and reveals that four types of state-society relationships can be observed in practice: clientelism, disempowering co-option, fragmented inclusion, and democratic cooperation. Using this typology, and drawing on the comparative case study of four cities in Mexico and Brazil, the book demonstrates that the level of democratic success is best explained by an approach that accounts for institutional design, structural conditions of mobilization, and the configurations, strategies, behaviors, and perceptions of both state and societal actors. Thus, institutional change alone does not guarantee democratic success: the way these institutional changes are enacted by both political and social actors is even more important as it conditions the potential for an autonomous civil society to emerge and actively engage with the local state in the social construction of an inclusive citizenship.
          Driverless vans will now deliver groceries in London   
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Forget drones — self-driving cars can now deliver your groceries. 

Autonomous delivery vehicles are making drop-offs in London as part of a trial program and study spearheaded by University of Oxford self-driving spin-off Oxbotica, as well as Ocado Technologies, a developmental division of the UK-based, online-only supermarket service. 

The project aims to test out an emission-free, electric self-driving van—dubbed the CargoPod—as a low-impact last step in the fulfillment chain to get orders to customers. The trial is limited to a few developments in the Royal Borough of Greenwich as part of the larger, government-backed GATEway Project. Read more...

More about Ecommerce, Autonomous Vehicles, Grocery Store, Self Driving Cars, and Tech
          Boaty McBoatface returns from its inaugural mission - CNET   

CNET

Boaty McBoatface returns from its inaugural mission
CNET
Boaty McBoatface, the autonomous submarine, is winched prior to the keel-laying ceremony of the new polar research ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images. Boaty McBoatface, the data-gathering unmanned submarine made ...
Boaty McBoatface Has Returned From Its Inaugural Mission With a Trove of DataGizmodo
Boaty McBoatface submarine records successful maiden voyageThe Guardian
Boaty McBoatface returns home with unprecedented dataPhys.Org
New Atlas -Treehugger -TVNZ -Evening Standard
all 21 news articles »

          Nouvelle Publication: AfPak et Terrorisme en Europe   
Suite à la publication du rapport annuel d'Europol dont j'ai déjà fait écho dans ce blog, je viens également de publier un article dans Terrorism Monitor (nouveau format et nouveau rythme pour cette publication de référence dans le domaine) qui tente d'ébaucher le lien existant entre la menace terroriste en Europe, et l'AfPak. Plus exactement, je souligne le fossé qui peut exister entre la vision américaine ou britannique des opérations en Afghanistan (être là-bas pour assurer notre sécurité ici) et la vision européenne (présence en Afghanistan minimale par simple solidarité atlantiste).

Europol Report Describes Afghanistan-Pakistan Connection to Trends in European Terrorism
By: Thomas Renard

Terrorist activities within the European Union (EU) declined in 2008 as compared to the previous year, according to the annual report published by Europol, the European Union’s criminal intelligence agency. [1] The report lists 515 failed, foiled or successful attacks reported by EU member states, a decrease from 583 attacks in 2007 but still higher than the 2006 total. The decline in terrorist activities was also observed geographically, with only seven member states reporting attacks, two less than in 2007 and four less than in 2006. There were 1009 individuals arrested last year in relation to terrorism activities, a several percent decline in comparison to 2007. Nevertheless, despite an undisputable decline, the threat of terrorism to the EU “remains high,” according to Europol deputy director Mariano Simancas (AFP, April 17).

The Varieties of Terrorism

The terrorist threat to Europe encompasses many different forms of terrorism, from left-wing to right-wing extremism, jihadi activities, ethno-separatism, and single issue terrorism. Each form of political violence saw a decline in 2008, with the notable exception of left-wing terrorism, which increased by 25 percent. Left-wing and anarchist extremists remained operational in Greece, Spain and Italy. In addition, French intelligence warned of a “resurgence” of left-wing terrorism which was confirmed by 37 arrests in 2008, significantly more than in any other European country over the last three years (Nouvel Observateur, November 25, 2008).

Separatist terrorists remained by far the most active in Europe. They carried out a total of 397 attacks in 2008, of which 98 percent took place in France and Spain, causing the deaths of four people. The number of attacks decreased by 25 percent in comparison to 2007, mainly due to a relative lull in activity by the Fronte di Liberazione Naziunale di a Corsica (FLNC). In Spain, the Basque separatist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) is thought to be encountering difficulties. The group was weakened by the arrests of three successive military leaders in the last six months, the latest being the arrest of Jurdan Martitegi (El País [Madrid], April 18). The Europol report notes that the growing use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the ETA, a trend that started in 2007, indicates that it is “encountering increasing difficulties in the acquisition of commercial explosives.”

The Islamist Threat to Europe

In most European countries, however, Islamist terrorism continues to be seen as the biggest threat to security because it attempts to cause mass casualties whereas ethno-separatist terrorism generally targets material symbols rather than individuals or groups. EU counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove recently said; “The [European] intelligence community considers that the al-Qaeda related threat is still severe and that it is still the main threat to Europe and its internal security” (EuroparlTV, February 2).

There was only one attack in Europe attributable to Islamist terrorism in 2008, when 22-year old Muslim convert Nicky Reilly attempted to detonate a homemade bomb in a shopping mall restaurant in Exeter, South-West England, but injured only himself. Reilly is mentally ill and highly vulnerable. He apparently self-radicalized through the internet, although he had also been in contact with radical Muslims. He was jailed for life in January 2009 (Times, January 31).

In 2008, excluding the United Kingdom, 187 individuals were arrested on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism, mainly in France and Spain. [2] This represents a decrease of 7 percent as compared to 2007, and an even greater decrease as compared to 2006. This continuous decrease in the number of arrests seems to indicate a relative diminution of jihadi activities in Europe, although including statistics from the UK would likely lead to a slightly less optimistic conclusion. The number of member states which reported arrests related to Islamist terrorism also decreased from 14 in 2007 to 10 in 2008. The majority of these arrested individuals came from North African countries.

For its part, the UK indicated to Europol that it arrested 256 people in relation to terrorism without providing specific details relative to the distribution of these arrests among the different forms of terrorism. However, given the level of jihadi activism in Great Britain, it can be assumed that a significant share of these arrests was related to Islamist terrorism. The 256 arrests in the UK was an increase in comparison to 2007 (201) and 2006 (156).

Two thirds of arrested individuals could not be linked to organizations known by the authorities and belonged instead to small autonomous cells. This fact seems to confirm the growing threat of self-radicalization and homegrown terrorism that Europe is facing. Part of the explanation for this shift in the radicalization pattern lies in the increasing quantity and quality of Islamist propaganda in Europe. Indeed, there is an increasing number of radical Islamist websites and forums in European languages indicating, according to Europol, an expansion of jihadi propaganda efforts to reach specific audiences. This phenomenon has been observed in Germany, for instance, with messages and videos, including calls for attacks and instructions for the building of bombs, posted directly in German or in Arabic with German subtitles (see Terrorism Focus, February 20, 2008).

Terrorist Recruitment in Europe

In its report, Europol states that “Islamist recruitment activities have largely been driven underground. Radicalization activities are noted to have moved from mosques and other public places into private spaces.” Jihadi forums constitute the archetype of such “underground” and “private spaces”. The internet can also be used as a resource-tool for jihadi training, as in the case of Britain’s Nicky Reilly.

Nevertheless, the internet has not yet replaced real-life interactions regarding radicalization, recruitment and military training, but should rather be seen as a complement or a substitute. A very good illustration of this was provided by the December 11, 2008 arrests in Belgium. [3] While some members of the cell entered into contact with Malika el-Aroud (the wife of the cell’s leader, Moez Garsallaoui), through her French-language jihadi website, “SOS Minbar,” Garsallaoui was recruiting young Muslims in person in the streets and mosques of Brussels. Through the website, a “dialogue” was established with some subscribers which could lead to a meeting with Garsallaoui. Once recruited, members were sent to the tribal areas in Pakistan, where they received religious and military training, followed by a “jihadi exposure,” i.e. following fighters to the warzone without having the authorization to take part in the fight. Eventually, members of the cell were ordered to return to Belgium to establish a sleeper cell.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan Connection

The Belgian cell illustrates another major problem, which is the connection between the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and the terrorist threat in Europe. Indeed, as the report states, “Afghanistan and Pakistan seem to have replaced Iraq as preferred destinations for volunteers wishing to engage in armed conflicts.” These recruits pose a threat to European troops deployed in Afghanistan. Germany, for instance, is particularly worried about the presence of several of its citizens (most notably Eric Breininger) in the region who are allegedly plotting operations against German troops (see Terrorism Focus, January 28).

When fighters return – such as members of the Belgian cell, or members of the Sauerland cell in Germany – they pose a direct threat to European security. As expressed by U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, “the primary threat from Europe-based extremists stems from al-Qaeda and Sunni affiliates who return from training in Pakistan to conduct attacks in Europe or the United States.” [4]

Although most European countries recognize that Afghanistan and Pakistan constitute a threat to their security, they generally tend to see the military operations in Afghanistan more as a part of the problem than as a part of the solution. Mirroring this point of view, the Europol report states that “a number of member states judge that they continue to face a high-level threat from Islamist terrorism for reasons that include [a] military presence in Iraq or Afghanistan,” but nowhere does the report mention the fact that European military and civilian missions in conflict zones could help strengthen EU homeland security.

Last month, however, the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, announced a new three-year, €225 million program aimed at combating terrorism and the trafficking of WMDs (AFP, April 17). This program will focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are described as “bases for radicalization and terrorist training,” as well as the Sahel region where the threat is “growing”. In both regions, the program proposes to support the establishment of anti-terrorism structures, the formation of competent authorities, and the development of regional cooperation. Nevertheless, with only a few details of the plan available, it is not yet possible to assess whether this program inextricably links stability in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region with European security, or whether it is more a program destined to compensate for European lack of commitment to the mission or prepare for a future disengagement from Afghanistan.

Conclusion

The terrorist threat in Europe remains high, although statistics show a certain decline in terrorist activities. One should be careful, however, when interpreting these statistics because the lack of details from the UK data could be misleading and also because the year 2007 saw a dramatic increase in terrorist activities, meaning that last year’s decline could merely be a return to “normality.” Although separatist terrorism is statistically much more significant, Islamist terrorists are still seen as the biggest threat to Europe given that most of their plots involve mass-killings. Today’s threat is tightly related to the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Nevertheless, most EU member states believe their presence in Afghanistan is more a cause of terrorism in Europe than a remedy for it.

Notes:

1. “TE-SAT 2009 – EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report”, Europol, April 2009.
2. The statistics given to Europol by the UK contained for the first time numbers from Northern Ireland and are therefore not comparable with previous years. Moreover, the UK sends only one global number for attacks and arrests, but does not provide the specific distribution among the different forms of terrorism, rendering it harder to draw conclusions based on statistics.
3. Paul Cruickshank, “The 2008 Belgium Cell and FATA’s Terrorist Pipeline,” CTC Sentinel, April 2009.
4. Dennis C. Blair, “Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,” U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, February 12, 2009.

Lien vers l'article paru dans Terrorism Monitor le 8 mai 2009.

          Ambitious Hackerboat Project Still Aiming High   

Last year we wrote about Hackerbot Labs’ autonomous boat, which project members hope to someday circumnavigate the globe. Now called Project Ladon, progress continues apace with a recent ocean test of their modified 18’ kayak, the TSV Disputed Right of Way. The kayak’s internal spaces contain a pair of lead-acid truck batteries controlled by a home-brewed control system that uses relays to control the craft’s trolling motor, with a Beaglebone and Arduino Mega under the hood.

The test was not exactly a success, with the boat actually avoiding the waypoints rather than sticking to them. Fortunately the team was …read more


          CargoPod EV Will Deliver Groceries Autonomously In London   
If you’re shopping at a grocery store that exists only online, you’re not going to be able to put some brown paper bags full of cabbage in the trunk and drive home. Usually, if you’re shopping online, you’d expect a driver to pull up to your door and hand you...
          Ocado trials driverless delivery van in London   
Media captionOcado tests driverless deliveries in London Ocado has shown off a prototype driverless van designed to deliver goods at short distances. The vehicle, a cross between a small milk float and a large tuk-tuk, spent two weeks completing autonomous loops of a two-mile (3km) semi-pedestrianised area of Greenwich, south-east London. The electric CargoPod has a top speed of 25mph and can do 18 miles on a single battery charge. It can carry only eight crates and is not big enough to deliver large orders. “We have chosen it to work specifically in this type of environment, where bigger vehicles are not allowed,” said Graeme Smith, chief executive of robotics company Oxbotica, which developed the vehicle. “This is not about trying to solve all the delivery problems in the world. “Over the next two or three years, you should expect to see a lot more vehicles on the road from car companies, from delivery companies, ...

Source: Odd Onion

http://www.oddonion.com/2017/06/28/ocado-trials-driverless-delivery-van-in-london/


          Senior UX Designer - Daimler - Sunnyvale, CA   
MBRDNA is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with key areas of Advanced Interaction Design, Digital User Experience, Machine Learning, Autonomous...
From Daimler - Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:01:07 GMT - View all Sunnyvale, CA jobs
          Dodental Aardbeving China naar 617   
Het dodental van de aardbeving gisteren in de Chinese provincie Qinghai is opgelopen naar 617. De aarde beefde woensdagmorgen 07:49 Chinese tijd met een kracht van 7.1 bij Yushu County in de Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, een semi-autonoom gebied met een Tibetaanse meerderheid. Het Chinese leger heeft ondertussen 4600 soldaten naar het gebied gestuurd en […]
          The Best Place to Live in the Philippines   
The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean, stretching from 3.5° N to 18.2° N of the equator. Thus, the climate is tropical. This means that it is hot and humid here, all the time. There are two main seasons, wet and dry. The wet, or rainy season is between June and October and the dry season is from November to April or May. During the rainy season it can and usually does rain every day, albeit the sun comes out quite often. "Summer" here is between March and May, that is when the schools are out and the weather is the hottest. The best time to visit is between November and February — the weather is very pleasant and rain-free days are most likely. That time may be winter in the northern hemisphere but in the Philippines is still warm, even at night. Most Filipinos have never seen snow except in movies and on TV and many dream of experiencing it.

LuzonThe Philippines has a total population of over 95 million people and it is the world's 12th most populous nation. It is crowded here, no question. It is not unusual for a Filipino household to have 20 or more people living in 3- or 4-room house. Many young working people rent "bed spaces" in boarding houses where they sleep 20 or 30 to a room, dormitory style. It is not unusual to have 30 to 50 people in line ahead of you when you go to the bank, to buy movie tickets, or at the grocery checkout counter. OK, back to geography. The Philippines have three main island groups. Luzon is the northern third of the country, Visayas is the middle third and Mindanao is the southern third. All of them have very nice places to see and even to live and all of them have areas I would not recommend.

Luzon is the most economically, politically and culturally important island group and it is the home of the capital city of Manila. The National Capital Region is the most crowded, congested and in some ways most polluted area of the Philippines. If you live here as a foreigner, you cannot avoid visiting Manila since that is where all the major government offices as well as foreign embassies are. The smog is as bad or worse than Mexico City and the traffic is horrendous. Baguio is the "summer capital" of the Philippines, north of Manila in the Cordillera Central mountains at an elevation of 1,500 meters (4,920 feet). Its climate is subtropical highland and thus cooler than lower elevations. Luzon is in the middle of the "typhoon belt" and severe typhoons occur frequently. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are also frequent.

We have been to Manila many times and are not eager to return. We have also visited Puerto Galera at the northern tip of Mindoro Island, Oriental Mindoro Province. Puerto Galera is the playground of the wealthy from Manila, it has many nice resorts but the place is quite remote. Bus or van service runs from Manila to Batangas at the southern tip of Luzon Island, then a quick boat ride to Puerto Galera. The various resorts in Puerto Galera offer transfer service from Manila directly to the resort. Many resorts include the transfer in the room rate (no extra charge).

Palawan JeepneyVisayas is most often frequented by foreign visitors, as it offers some of the most spectacular destinations. Cebu City, the "Queen City of the South" is also referred to as the "southern capital of the Philippines". Cebu City is a vibrant and fast-growing metropolis and vast commercial center. Cebu City has many of the same problems as Manila, albeit to a lesser extent. The island of Cebu has many pleasant towns, such as Bogo and San Remigio in the north, Argao and Oslob to the south, Badian, Moalboal, Barili and Toledo City along the west coast. Long-haul, air-conditioned bus service connects all these cities to Cebu City, the capital of Cebu Province.

Visayas is outside of the range of typical typhoons and it is seismically stable. It has no active volcanoes. The most popular tourist destinations are Boracay and Palawan islands in Western Visayas and Bohol in Central Visayas. Boracay is famous for its white sandy beaches (second best beach in the world per TripAdvisor), luxury resorts and hotels but it is pretty remote. There are no supermarkets on Boracay and you have to take a pump boat from Caticlan (36 minute flight from Manila) to reach it.

El Nido, Palawan Palawan is the most scenic, cleanest and greenest island of the Philippines and it is its the westernmost major island. Direct daily flights to Puerto Princesa (Palawan's capital) operate from Manila and Cebu. Palawan has fantastic beaches (central and south Palawan) and unparalleled scenery (El Nido area in the north). Purto Princesa is growing very fast. Robinson's is building a huge mall there (the island's second). Other areas of Palawan are remote, difficult to access and have limited services. Of several tourist attractions on Palawan, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is the most noteworthy. It is a candidate to be one of the "New 7 Wonders of Nature" and definitely worth a visit. In the last two years Palawan has been overrun by land speculators, so property values have skyrocketed. Land is more expensive there than in many parts of the US. We originally wanted to settle around Puerto Princesa but got quickly discouraged by the high prices.

Bohol is a very popular tourist destination and home to many foreigners. It is my wife's birthplace and she has a large family there so we visit at least every month. The island is located just SE of Cebu, a 2-hour boat ride (SuperCat, Weesam, OceanJet) away. Some of the nicest resorts are on Panglao Island's Alona Beach. Panglao is connected to Bohol by two bridges and is a 15- to 20-minute ride from Tagbilaran. Anda, on the eastern tip of Bohol at the tip of a peninsula, is well worth a visit. Anda is also a popular tourist spot, albeit more remote than Panglao — 100 km north of Tagbilaran. The capital of Bohol Province is Tagbilaran city, which has a domestic airport with daily service to Manila. Tagbilaran boasts two malls, BQ Mall downtown and Island City Mall (ICM) a bit farther out. ICM is the bigger and nicer mall.

Tagbilaran, BoholTagbilaran's big drawback is its incredible traffic congestion. Unlike in Cebu City, motorized tricycles are permitted in Tagbilaran and they clog up the highway and streets to such extent that getting around is difficult. Property values on Bohol have also risen substantially over the past couple of years, but it is still a very desirable place to live. The island's attractions (Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Compound, Alona Beach) keep drawing tourists from far away places. Bohol is near enough to Cebu City as to make a day trip to Cebu possible — for shopping and services one cannot find on Bohol.

Other nearby islands well worth a visit are Camiguin, Siquijor, and the Camotes Islands. Camiguin, albeit small, it is a wonder to behold. Located SSE of Bohol and just N Mindanao, it is off the beaten trail. Ardent Hot Springs is a national treasure and quite undiscovered. Several hot and warm pools (heated by the island's volcano) offer a relaxing experience. The entrance fee for a day is 30 pesos. Boats from Jagna, Bohol and Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao service the island. Siquijor is also small (the smallest of the Philippines' provinces) but quite picturesque. Siquijor is famous for its "faith healers" — just don't call them "witches"! The Camotes Islands is two small islands (Pancuan and Camotes) connected by a bridge, plus a third small island (Poro) nearby. Camotes is located E of Cebu and N of Bohol, also a 2-hour boat ride from Cebu City. Camotes are very remote, there are no services to speak of but two very nice resorts. Santiago Bay is the nicest.

We have not traveled in Mindanao. The US Embassy in Manila discourages Americans from visiting, however the norther part of the island is quite safe. The southernmost part is the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It is definitely not a good idea to travel there unless you are among the most adventurous.

What is the "best" place to live in the Philippines for an American? It depends on a myriad very personal and individual factors. Is proximity to western class services, such as medical care a priority? Congested cities offer many conveniences but they tend to be dusty, dirty, polluted and very noisy. Rural areas are not well supplied, most staples are bought and sold in "public markets" or "wet markets". If you have to have your Frosted Flakes, they might be hard to find. For us, we wanted to be fairly close to a city but not in it so we have access to services but don't have to endure its drawbacks. We bought a townhouse in a guarded subdivision in Talisay, a short walking distance from Gaisano Grand Fiesta Mall in Tabunok. Our property is far enough from the main road so there is no noise or dust, up on a hill so there is always some breeze off the sea, near enough to the beach. Talisay is 8 km from Cebu City and there is a fast road (South Road Properties, or SRP) that makes it easy to get to the port and even the airport. We move in at the end of September. I will likely write a post about the experience of building and buying a house.

          BlackBerry looking to autonomous cars for its future   

Remember when BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone maker? It has been a long decade of decline for BlackBerry, but the company is not quite done yet. BlackBerry is looking to autonomous cars to fuel its future. BlackBerry owns the QNX operating system. QNX is a powerful system that already runs on millions of cars. Ford, General Motors, and ...

          DC holds meeting to streamline functioning of APWB   
SEPPA, Jun 28: In a bid to streamline the functioning of newly constituted Autonomous Puroik Welfare Board (APWB) in the district, East Kameng Deputy Commissioner Rajeev Takuk on Wednesday convened a coordination meeting with the representatives of Puroik community, APWB members and HoDs. During the meeting, various aspects to improve socio-economic condition of the community
          GD Bluefin SandShark AUV is Ready to Order   
General Dynamics Mission Systems today announced its new Bluefin SandShark(tm) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) can now be ordered on the company's website by defense, commercial and scientific customers worldwide. Weighing less than 11 pounds before adding a mission payload, the 'micro' AUV fits in a backpack, can swim up to five knots and dive down to 200 meters (656 feet). The tail section of the Bluefin SandShark houses the battery and system electronics and is designed to leave most of t...
          Somali Pirates: Indian Cargo Ship From Dubai Hijacked   
Somali Pirates: Indian Cargo Ship From Dubai Hijacked
Somali Pirates: Indian Cargo Ship From Dubai Hijacked
Less than two weeks after hijacking an oil tanker, Somali pirates have struck again hijacking an Indian cargo ship. Officials say the pirates hijacked the Indian cargo ship off the coast of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. “We understand Somali pirates...
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          Designing Experiences for the Next Era of Driving – Intel Chip Chat – Episode 512   
In this Intel Chip Chat audio podcast with Allyson Klein: Matt Yurdana, Creative Director for the Internet of Things Experiences Group at Intel, joins us to discuss user interfaces for autonomous vehicles. Intel is working with academic and industry partners to research, design, and prototype the experiences people will have with highly- and fully-automated vehicles. [...]
          Solutions Architect - Autonomous Driving - NVIDIA - Santa Clara, CA   
Be an internal champion for Deep Learning and HPC among the Nvidia technical community. You will assist field business development in guiding the customer...
From NVIDIA - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:33:44 GMT - View all Santa Clara, CA jobs
          UWSA Politician: Wa to ‘Continue Asking for Autonomous State’   

Nyi Kep talks to The Irrawaddy about its relations with the govt, the army, and Thailand.

The post UWSA Politician: Wa to ‘Continue Asking for Autonomous State’ appeared first on The Irrawaddy.


             
Novo brinquedo da Align:

Align Helicopter APS system features:

- 1.Semi-autonomous take off / Landing (Activate system, semi-autonomous takeoff into position and altitude hold, hovers in attitude hold with strong holding ability to prevent drifting, suitable for hover and flight training)
- 2.Failsafe (Activate system, automatic return home during loss of signal situation)
- 3.Auto flight (Activate system, transmitter can execute multiple waypoint settings, enabling point to point automatic flights.)
- 4.Emergency bailout stabilization (loss of orientation, activate system, aircraft flips right side up, goes into position and altitude hold hover, and wait for further command).
- 5.Autonomous return home (Completion of mission, activate return home command)
- 6.Simple logical setting through transmitter (APS system does not require complex PC setups)
- 7.Supports software upgrades
          China's foray into tiny Bhutan threatening Himalayan peace   

[India], June 29 (ANI): Unilateral actions to alter status quo in Doklam Plateau in tiny, helpless Bhutan has escalated tensions between China and its neighbours.

Beijing's recent aggressive move to construct a road from Doklam (Referred to by China as the Donglang Area of Yadong County in the Tibetan Autonomous Region) to an army camp in the Zomplri Area, has left the Himalayan kingdom, home to the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), quite disturbed and worried, so much so, that the Bhutanese government, through its embassy in New Delhi, has had to hand over a strongly-worded demarche to China's Ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, to ask its troops to cease construction activity immediately, withdraw from the area and refrain from changing status quo.

Indian troops were compelled to step in to cool temperatures, urge restraint and responsible behaviour earlier this month, as the construction activity undertaken by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops was taking place in a border area near the Chumbi Valley, where India has strategic and defence interests.

The Chumbi Valley in the TAR is a dagger shaped area that faces "Chicken's Neck", a thin strip of land in Siliguri, West Bengal, that separates India from Bangladesh.

China also denied entry to hundreds of Indian pilgrims thru Sikkim's Nathu La Pass to visit the sacred Kailash Mansarover Lake in Tibet, leaving them stranded midway through their pilgrimage. This was clearly a retaliatory move against India's efforts to bring calm in the area.

Bhutan and China have had a long standing boundary dispute over the Doklam Plateau or the Donglang Area, and have not been able to resolve it even after 24 rounds of bilateral talks.

Though China and Bhutan don't have diplomatic relations, Thimphu maintains there are written agreements that clearly state that no change will take place and peace in the area will prevail till a resolution is achieved.

The recent increase in PLA construction activity in the area prompted both Bhutan and India to move in troops to halt it and to remind the aggressive Chinese not to violate existing pacts related to the junction that has strategic importance for all three nations.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media in Beijing that the recent Indian military action along the border in the Sikkim region, was violative of boundary conventions and China's territorial sovereignty, and therefore, urged New Delhi to withdraw "their border troops" that have crossed the boundary, to safeguard what he described as "peace and tranquility of the Sikkim section".

China's state-run mouthpiece Global Times went a step further in its editorial/opinion piece to say that Beijing has a time tested reputation of not making an issue of border-related issues or disputes. It also said that China has no desire to confront India, but however, cautioned that "unruly provocations" from the Indians could result in "rules being taught".

The Global Times described the incident at Doklam Plateau or Donglang as a "flare-up" which Beijing was assessing for its strategic import. China, it said, would take all necessary steps to ensure road construction activity isn't stopped.

China claims 89 square kilometers of the Doklam Plateau or Donglang area which overlooks the strategically-located Chumbi Valley. Control over the Doklam Plateau would allow the PLA to freely conduct military maneuvers aimed at blocking the Siliguri Corridor on the India-Bangladesh border, which would definitely worry India.

China, which currently controls 764 square kilometers of Bhutan territory in the north, has reportedly told Thimphu that it is ready to give up some of its claim in this area provided the Doklam Plateau is ceded to it. Bhutan quite obviously has rejected this overture despite the bullying by its very powerful neighbour - China - which is developing a reputation of trampling over the rights of smaller states. (ANI)


          Darjeeling is, will remain 'inseparable part' of West Bengal: TMC   

[India], June 29 (ANI): Amidst the ongoing protests in the hills, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday categorically stated that Darjeeling is and will remain an inseparable part of West Bengal and if the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has any other demand that can be discussed, then they are welcomed to come forward.

Speaking to ANI, TMC leader Sougata Roy said, "It seems that the GJM is pretty much desperate, but just a few days of agitation will not change the course of history. Darjeeling is and will remain an inseparable part of West Bengal. Any other demand can be discussed, provided violence is withdrawn. The State Government does have a responsibility to maintain law and order which it is trying its best to do. Now it is for the GJM to decide which road they want to take - a mindless agitation or a negotiated settlement".

Yesterday, the Public Works Department (PWD) office of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was set ablaze by the GJM. They had also burnt copies of the tripartite GTA accord at several places in Darjeeling.

The landmark GTA accord was signed on July 18, 2011 between the Centre, the Bengal Government and the GJM, paving the way for a semi-autonomous body to rule the hills.

The burning of the accord symbolises total rejection of the agreement into the struggle for statehood. The GJM took out a 'Tubelight' rally in Darjeeling.

Thousands of morcha supporters came down on the streets to take part in the agitation. (ANI)


          Prefecture in China's Xinjiang to track cars by satellite   
A prefecture in China’s far western Xinjiang region is requiring all vehicles to install satellite tracking systems as part of stepped-up measures against violent attacks. Traffic police in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture announced the regulation on Sunday, shortly after thousands of heavily armed police paraded in the Xinjiang capital and ruling Communist Party officials vowed to ramp up their campaign against separatists and Islamic militants. The vehicle-tracking program in Bayingolin will utilize China’s homegrown Beidou satellite system, launched in recent years to reduce China’s reliance on U.S.-based GPS providers for sensitive applications. Authorities said they will also track cars using...
          Pennsylvania Takes Steps to Lead on Autonomous Vehicle Development, Testing with Newly Established Task Force, Legislation   
PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards today joined elected, industry and other transportation officials to mark the state's continued and progressive steps as a national leader in the safe, innovative development of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.
          Chat between frinds   
It's often the case where I learn more about programming from a conversation over google talk then I do form reading a book.  This is a copy of one such conversation between two of my friends.  I thought the content was good enough to actually post for others to read.


Sqrl says:
Feels nice to perfect a 468-line data model using LINQ extremely liberally

Llama says:
how does LINQ relate to a data model?

Sqrl says:
Probably the wrong word

There are a number of properties of my data model that I'm exposing that are little but fundamental interpretations of the data

That's where the LINQ resides

Llama says:
data operations then
technically speaking your data model should be POCO's

Sqrl says:
What's that?

Llama says:
Plain Old CLR Objects

Sqrl says:
Why?

Llama says:
ask yourself this question, what is a Data Model, simple answer, a unified representation of the data in a system
not a unified representatino of the logic in the system
by using POCO's you make your system firstly portable and simply definable

Sqrl says:
Well
I'm defining a system in which the rules can be changed dynamically by simply modifying some .csv or .xml files
For example, there is a number that defines how many slots you can put in your ship before the size in increased a level.
This size number is fundamental to the data itself, but emerges based on the rules
So, although it includes logic, I've included it in my data model
Defense and Speed are based on size and, again, fundamental
They also emerge from some logic

Llama says:
This is where i tell you, your system will never scale you've just written a very small idea
so if for example you want to do server side scaling of your game

Sqrl says:
Are you suggesting I should separate them into two different layers?

Llama says:
it won't happen and would be a nightmare
lol i'm suggesting you learn about software architecture
you can program, but the where and why needs to be taught

Sqrl says:
I try -_-

Llama says:
lol you suceed
dude
this is something i learned only 18 months ago at best

Sqrl says:
So would the problem be that so much computation is done server-side?

Llama says:
the problem is, if you try to do server side calculations you can simply push data easily in a POCO from client to server
your having to push the entire logic base with it and deploy the same logic on client and server
OR
do stateful server side objects which don't scale either

Sqrl says:
Well

Llama says:
meaning when you create an instance of an object it stays alive on the server, rather that data moving through a system

Sqrl says:
This particular data and rule set would be computed and immutable when the actual "game" part begins, I'll tell you that

Llama says:
having dicipline does NOT make up for architectural mistakes


Sqrl says:
hah
Fair enough
I'ma quote that, actually.

Llama says:
See your trying to apply a simple OOD which in truth is fundamentally flawed
by that, when you create an Object Oriented System, to be properly constructed it must implement this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid_(object-oriented_design)
Its the only way of making an OO system scale and be properly designed

Sqrl says:
I never did understand where the line is drawn with SRP

Llama says:
more is better
meaning, if you have to break up logic into multiple logic blocks because it violates the single responsibility, then do so
so take this for example
you have a Repository object that handles CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete) operations
now a repository pattern does not a happy llama make but its an easy way to explain this
Technically speaking the object can follow SRP if it does CRUD operations
but that can lead to a ton of operations right?

Sqrl says:
yeah

Llama says:
insert, update, delete, and data queries
so one could say that doing insert, update, delete, and select by id is one responsibility because its doing autonomous operations on an entity in the model
and any queries should be seperated out to a secondary or multiple objects in order to satisfy SRP
both are valid interpretations
however breaking it down further gives greater scope to the SRP making it more real

Sqrl says:
hrm
But certainly wouldn't create one object to generate the Defense, another to generate Speed

Llama says:
why not
they're components aren't they?
or is it making too many objects?

Sqrl says:
public int Speed
{
get
{
return (int)Math.Ceiling(this.AllSlots
.Where(i => i.SlotType == SlotType.Engine
|| i.SlotType == SlotType.Universal)
.Where(i => i.SlottedSystem != null)
.Where(i => i.SlottedSystem is IShipEngine)
.Sum(i => (i.SlottedSystem as IShipEngine).Thrust)
/ (float)this.Size);
}
}
That's it
Llama says:
ok, thats a horrible bastardization of a data layer
you did that in a getter? o.O

Sqrl says:
Hahahaha

Llama says:
dude, ICalculateSpeed ftw

Sqrl says:
Are you serious?

Llama says:
as a heart attack
you CAN use a factory to keep a singleton of it
but thats logic hiding in the data layer
its a calculation leading from one entity to a speed value
You do want to learn proper OO systems no?

Sqrl says:
Why would I use a singleton instead of a static method?

Llama says:
Its a piece of logic, which is encapsulated into an object
therfore keeping w/ the DIP principle you have an interface to define the operation, and an object instance to operate it
keeping a singleton just manages memory overhead
but you can manage that w/ the Factory
which yields flexibility
rather than a run of the mill rigidity that using a Utility class w/ a static method gives you
make sense?

Sqrl says:
Yeah
Damn good song btw http://listen.grooveshark.com/s/The+Truth+Of+A+Liar/2gag9R?src=5

Llama says:
i'll have to check it out on pandora

Sqrl says:
I can definitely see where the flexibility comes in
It builds more of an internal protocol-based system instead know-it-all master objects

Llama says:
see: God Object
suprisingly, it builds a stronger system with fantastic segregation
you can tune and tweak various parts of the system
AND
its bloody easy to unit test
you can create various proxy objects to plug into the system that mock actual logic, so your system can be 100% testable

Sqrl says:
And now

Llama says:
especially testing negatively

Sqrl says:
I have struggle with the decision of getting this thing done or plow through it so I can use it
It's a tool I wanted to use two weeks ago

Llama says:
Star Thugs?

Sqrl says:
yeah

Llama says:
hahaha
rebuild it yo
use it as a teaching moment for yourself

Sqrl says:
Well here's the good news
I'm still using MVVM, even though my models are a bit massive
So I can finish it off and refactor the models without remaining committed to my shit

Llama says:
sweet
well i got NUnit to start running my F# unit tests
namespace Llama.Test
open NUnit.Framework

[<TestFixture>]
type EndpointRegistryTests() =
[<Test>]
member x.add_value_to_registry() : unit =
printfn "hello testing world 2"
Assert.AreEqual(5, 5)
not bad for unit tests
Sqrl says:
Hahahaha

Llama says:
now i actually gotta fill in logic

Sqrl says:
Just testing the JIT
Iz coo

Llama says:
next is start testing components in my node server

Sqrl says:
How portable is the ViewModel architecture to ASP MVC?

Llama says:
depends on what you do
if its my framework Kronos
extremely
we actually had this type of layer for how data moves through layers

ViewModel -> Domain
View -> Controller -> Provider -> (Service : Optional) -> NHibernate
the domain object would live till the controller
then we'd do a transform using AutoMapper to a ViewModel to be used in the View
we use this for a very damn good reason, Domain objects are actually dynamically generated inherited objects that do lazy loading etc that are attached to a Session
So if we access a collection on an object in a view, we're literally running a db query in the view layer

Sqrl says:
lololol

Llama says:
So thats why we use ViewModels
So you know, Crystal thought my description of your getter as being a grose bastardization was rude
She says i should be nicer
>,>

Sqrl says:
Hahahaha

Llama says:
Granted, i won't be, because we devs are the way we are

Sqrl says:
'course

Llama says:
but its the thought that really counts
i told her it def wasn't the worst thing i've ever said

Sqrl says:
Gawd, what do you do when ignorant people call cute flash animations "programming"?

Llama says:
cuz they think it is
          Comment on 10 oldest Ancient civilizations ever existed by kianoosh   
Thank you for mentioning Persia in this article, but Persian civilization wasn't ended by Alexander's hand in 530BC, 530BC is exactly the time of capturing Greece by Persians! Alexander's victory was in 333BC and his empire lasted for 86 years and Persian Arsacid dynasty(also called "Parthian") defeated his successors and ejected them out of Iran in 247BC and revived Persian empire .What Alexander ended was just Persian َAchaemenian empire. Arsacid dynasty and kingdom lasted for 450 years and there are lots of different historical cities and buildings related to that time in Iran and lots of other countries around Iran .The wars of Persia and Rome in that period are so famous. After Arcasid dynasty Persia has been still alive and powerful by Persian Sassanid dynasty for 350 years. Persian civilization wasn't even ended by rise of Islam and attack of Arabs to Iran in 651AD and changing their religion to Islam. Sammanid Persian dynasty revived Persian civilization again in 874 AِD and got independent from Arabic empire . Persia is still alive as "Iran". Persians and their eastern neighbours called their country in all periods of history and even now as Iran ("Aryana" in Achaemenian period and "Eran" in Ashkanians time and "Iranshahr" in Sassanid period) based on Persian,Turkish, Sanskrit and Indian historical evidences and "Persia" is Iran's name in western historical books which Greeks and Romans have brought it from what you mentioned as "persis" who are one of Iranian(Persian) factions. Even before Cyrus the great and unifying all Iranians that area was called "Aryana" . Cyrus's mother was from Persis and his father was from Media. Iran's formal international name is changed to "Iran" by Iran's kings request to United international league in 1935 that used Iran's English name before. Iran's religion and culture has changed a lot after Islam and has never been as powerful and great as what it was before Islam but they still have their autonomous culture and language and civilization and had lots of other rises in different periods of history before and after Islam. But the only "end" for Persian civilization which could be defined is attack of Arabs because of their long time ruling to Iran and their permanent effect on Iran's religion and culture.
          (USA-WA-Seattle) Technical Writer   
Amazon has an immediate opening for an experienced Technical Writer to join a newly created Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance (ERMC) team. Amazon has a diverse set of global businesses, and each business has some level of compliance requirements across multiple areas, including Payments, Trade, Human Resources, Tax, Social Responsibility, and others. While the responsibility for maintaining compliance is with the individual business areas, this team ensures each business has an effective ERMC program with processes, controls and self-testing in place to address their regulatory responsibilities. This team also assists in risk ranking and mitigation of gaps identified throughout the organization. The ideal candidate is an excellent writer who is able to learn about ERMC and deliver a range of written materials, including strategy documents, executive updates, business requirements, product documents, project or program status updates, compliance policies and operating procedures, and training guides. The ideal candidate will be able to develop strong relationships with senior leaders and partner with them to create this content. The candidate must pay strong attention to detail, have a collaborative work style and have an unparalleled work ethic. Additional duties & responsibilities include: - Become fluent in ERMC’s communication style and voice - Work with senior leaders to learn about new projects or programs and assist in writing the project/program plans and status updates - Think and communicate clearly—formulate a clear point of view on complicated issues and create a concise and well-written narrative to express it - Translate technical concepts into prose that is easily understood - Work with various stakeholders to understand business drivers, goals and actionable outcomes - Develop templates that provide a consistent format for use across the org - Determine appropriate mechanism to effectively and efficiently share written materials – email, document, wiki, etc. - 5+ years of relevant work experience in fields such as journalism, technical marketing, technical writing, developer marketing, or product management - Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Technology, Marketing, Business, Journalism, or relevant field of study - Ability to work with a range of stakeholders and write for a range of audiences, and previous experience successfully working autonomously while managing competing deadlines - Intermediate HTML/XML and wiki skills - A portfolio of your work to demonstrate finished projects with a high degree of sophistication and polish that clearly showcases your contributions and impact - Excellent ability to create and maintain cross-functional working relationships. Proven ability to work cross-team and synthesize feedback and input from others - Ability to read and analyze source documents, technical specifications, and design documents - Ability to write technical documentation, such as tutorials, FAQs, troubleshooting, and code examples - Ability to rewrite and edit documents written by technical and business stakeholders and provide consultation for technical teams that write their own documentation - Ability to easily transition from high level strategic thinking to creative and detailed execution - Exceptional communication, collaboration and presentation skills - Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment - Experience writing for executives at high profile companies or organizations - Ability to influence others to set and achieve goals and deadlines - Must be self-motivated and able to manage multiple parallel-path projects - Ability to provide writing guidance to project and product teams when required - Ability to identify opportunities to improve content and product development processes - Experience with Jekyll or Markdown a plus - Experience working in an agile environment a plus - Demonstrated business acumen, including experience measuring and calibrating the impact of your work against key business and customer experience goals Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation AMZR Req ID: 552574 External Company URL: www.amazon.com
          (USA-WA-Seattle) Senior Product Marketing Manager - Serverless   
Do you wake up in the morning excited about what cloud computing can do for customers of all shapes and sizes? Are you excited to be able to explain the benefits and capabilities of serverless architectures to customers? Do you have a passion for helping customers understand how serverless technology can make a big difference to their businesses? Do you have a knack for creating high quality marketing deliverables that crisply convey value propositions? Are you one of those rare technologists as comfortable working with engineering team as talking with a journalist? The Amazon Web Services Product Marketing team is hiring! Serverless architectures allow you to build and run applications and services without having to manage infrastructure. Your application still runs on servers, but all the server management is done by AWS. You no longer have to provision, scale, and maintain servers to run your applications, databases, and storage systems. You will have the opportunity to define the strategy for how we communicate to our customers about the core services, AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway, that support these architectures. You will be responsible for defining our positioning and messaging to customers, creating the most compelling content to help customers understand the use cases and value propositions, and building the right programs to increase awareness and adoption. You will also work the engineering teams to shape the product vision and prioritize features. You’ll get to work on a growing business and have a big impact every day. Here are some other qualities we are looking for: Be great fun to work with. At Amazon Web Services, we have a credo of “Work hard. Have fun. Make history”. In this role, you will love what you do, and instinctively know how to make work fun. You will be technical and creative, and willing to take on any challenge and make a big impact. Enjoy communicating with customers of all shapes and sizes. You will have a passion for helping customers of all shapes and sizes, from hot start-ups to established enterprises understand how our services can help take their applications to the next level. Have an unbridled passion for technology. In 2015, AWS launched more than 700 new features and services, and we are continuing to innovate at a rapid pace. The ideal candidate will be passionate about technology and helping articulate the most complex technical concepts in simple terms that make sense to customers. Roles and Responsibilities + Own the development of all value propositions, core content, marketing, and go-to-market strategies for AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway + Lead the definition and delivery of our programs to engage with customers + Crafting & developing compelling audience-specific messages and tools (demos, reference architectures, whitepapers, presentations, how to guides, etc.) + Disseminate guidance and best practices for serverless architectures at events, meetups, and conferences + Measure and analyze opportunities to improve our developer programs and innovate new ones + Work with the engineering teams to distill key functionality and benefits into core product marketing messages and define, track, and meet customer engagement goals + Work effectively across AWS with groups such as sales, business development, recruiting, evangelists to achieve business goals + Build and maintain positive relationships with industry analysts + 4+ years of relevant work experience in fields such as product marketing, technical pre-sales, technology investment banking, management consulting, or product management + A Bachelors degree in marketing, business, technology, or relevant field of study such as computer science + Demonstrated ability in launching and growing innovative technology products + A career path that demonstrates increasing levels of responsibility and a knack for driving and/or being associated with benchmark industry products/services + Ability to easily transition from high level strategic thinking to creative and detailed execution + The demonstrated ability to work independently and autonomously + Superior oral and written communication skills + The candidate must also be a strong leader and excellent communicator who can drive consensus and articulate program recommendations and tradeoffs to senior executives + MBA and/or computer science, engineering, technology background is preferred + 3+ years of software development or solutions architecture experience + 3+ years experience leading cross-functional software projects + 3+ years experience actively engaging in developer communities, through blogs, forums, conferences, or other developer-focused sites + Experience with launching new and disruptive services preferred AMZR Req ID: 552517 External Company URL: www.amazon.com
          (USA-WA-Seattle) Software Development Engineer - Amazon Video   
The Mobile and Amazon Devices (MAAD) Service team is building the future of Amazon Video. MAAD Services supports millions of devices daily in over 200 territories around the world. We are working with app developers, service teams, and data providers to dramatically improve the customer experience and implement cutting edge products used every day, by people you know. You will provide a platform for moving application logic to the cloud, allowing rapid prototyping and supporting the needs for both client and service teams. We are looking for engineers who work to empower others, are customer driven, and embrace a high level of operational excellence. Responsibilities: + Responsible for the development and maintenance of key system features. + You will investigate design approaches, prototype technology and evaluate technical feasibility, on your own and with other team members. + Be able to operate in an Agile/Scrum environment to deliver high quality software against aggressive schedules. + Establish architectural principles, select design patterns and mentor team members on their appropriate application. Check out our apps.... http://www.amazon.com/gp/video/splash/sd/t/appstore https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-video/id545519333?mt=8 + Bachelor Degree in computer science or related field. + 4 plus years of proven experience in Computer Science fundamentals in algorithm design, problem solving, complexity analysis, data structures, and object-oriented design. + Strong problem solving skills and an ability to handle ambiguous challenges. + Ability to take a problem, create the design and estimate the time to implement the design autonomously. + Demonstrated ability to work effectively cross-group, with a passion for team collaboration. + Proven ability to work in an ownership and results oriented culture. + Post-graduate degree in Computer Science: Master’s or Ph.D. + Experience working with or on mobile applications. + Experience leading and mentoring other software development engineers. + Experience with distributed systems. + Experience on high throughput services. + Mastery of the tools of the trade, including continuous delivery, system operations, monitoring, and web services. Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority/Female/Disability/Vet. Qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with all applicable local, state and federal laws, Inc. group of companies and is an equal opportunity employer. AMZR Req ID: 551266
          (USA-WA-Seattle) Software Development Engineer - Amazon Video   
The Mobile and Amazon Devices (MAAD) Service team is building the future of Amazon Video. MAAD Services supports millions of devices daily in over 200 territories around the world. We are working with app developers, service teams, and data providers to dramatically improve the customer experience and implement cutting edge products used every day, by people you know. You will provide a platform for moving application logic to the cloud, allowing rapid prototyping and supporting the needs for both client and service teams. We are looking for engineers who work to empower others, are customer driven, and embrace a high level of operational excellence. Responsibilities: + Responsible for the development and maintenance of key system features. + You will investigate design approaches, prototype technology and evaluate technical feasibility, on your own and with other team members. + Be able to operate in an Agile/Scrum environment to deliver high quality software against aggressive schedules. + Establish architectural principles, select design patterns and mentor team members on their appropriate application. Check out our apps.... http://www.amazon.com/gp/video/splash/sd/t/appstore https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-video/id545519333?mt=8 + Bachelor Degree in computer science or related field. + 4 plus years of proven experience in Computer Science fundamentals in algorithm design, problem solving, complexity analysis, data structures, and object-oriented design. + Strong problem solving skills and an ability to handle ambiguous challenges. + Ability to take a problem, create the design and estimate the time to implement the design autonomously. + Demonstrated ability to work effectively cross-group, with a passion for t