• 29 MAR 18

    Virtual Reality Can Leave You With an Existential Hangover

    From The Atlantic

    After exploring a virtual world, some people can’t shake the sense that the actual world isn’t real, either.

    Rebecca Searles, Dec,21, 2016

    Excerpt:
    When Tobias van Schneider slips on a virtual reality headset to play Google’s Tilt Brush, he becomes a god. His fingertips become a fiery paintbrush in the sky. A flick of the wrist rotates the clouds. He can jump effortlessly from one world that he created to another.When the headset comes off, though, it’s back to a dreary reality. And lately van Schneider has been noticing some unsettling lingering effects. “What stays is a strange feeling of sadness and disappointment when participating in the real world, usually on the same day,” he wrote on the blogging platform Medium last month. “The sky seems less colorful and it just feels like I’m missing the ‘magic’ (for the lack of a better word). … I feel deeply disturbed and often end up just sitting there, staring at a wall.”Van Schneider dubs the feeling “post-VR sadness.” SNIP

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    • 28 MAR 18

    Is our smart technology contributing to the Antarctic melting?

    Continuing on from the last two blogs, consider the possibility that our ‘smart’ technology is a not-insignificant contributing factor in the rapid and increasing melting of the Antarctic ice shelfs – with dire consequences for our modern high-tech world. The following article appears in the July 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine. It was first published on June 14, 2017 and updated on July 12 with news of the Larsen C break…
    The Larsen C Ice Shelf Collapse Is Just the Beginning—Antarctica Is Melting. The massive iceberg that broke off the Larsen C Ice Shelf may be a harbinger of a continent-wide collapse that would swamp coastal cities around the world.

    Excerpt

    Seen from above, the Pine Island Ice Shelf is a slow-motion train wreck. Its buckled surface is scarred by thousands of large crevasses. Its edges are shredded by rifts a quarter mile across. In 2015 and 2016 a 225-square-mile chunk of it broke off the end and drifted away on the Amundsen Sea. The water there has warmed by more than a degree Fahrenheit over the past few decades, and the rate at which ice is melting and calving has quadrupled…SNIP

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    • 28 MAR 18

    The Wireless Cloud is an “energy monster” warming the world

    Following on from the previous message “How smartphones are heating up the planet” here is an old analysis from 2013 that also examines the energy usage of wireless technology. Their analysis apparently did not include an estimation of the additional future contribution of 5G, the Internet of Things and possibly the roll-out of smart meters. As such, it is a very conservative estimation. All heating up the planet to what end? Titled The Power of Wireless Cloud, it was prepared and published by The Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET): Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs and University of Melbourne.
    Quote: The problem is that we’re all accessing cloud services – things like webmail, social networking and virtual applications – over wireless networks. It’s the modern way, but wireless is an energy monster; it’s just inherently inefficient.
    SNIP

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    • 28 MAR 18

    How smartphones are heating up the planet

    From The Conversation

    March 26, 2018

    Excerpt:

    When we think about climate change, the main sources of carbon emissions that come to mind for most of us are heavy industries like petroleum, mining and transportation. Rarely do we point the finger at computer technologies. In fact, many experts view the cyber-world of information and computer technologies (ICT) as our potential saviour, replacing many of our physical activities with a lower-carbon virtual alternative. That is not what our study, recently published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, suggests.

    Having conducted a meticulous and fairly exhaustive inventory of the contribution of ICT —including devices like PCs, laptops, monitors, smartphones and tablets — and infrastructure like data centres and communication networks, we found that the relative contribution of ICT to the total global footprint is expected to grow from about one per cent in 2007 to 3.5 per cent by 2020 and reaching 14 per cent by 2040. That’s more than half the relative contribution of the entire transportation sector worldwide. SNIP

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    • 06 JAN 18

    A Former Facebook VP Says Social Media Is Destroying Society. And He’s Right.

    From Futurism

    by Brad Jones on January 5, 2018

    Chamath Palihapitiya, the former vice president for user growth at Facebook, has spoken out about social media. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter can bring people closer together, they can also have the opposite effect.

    Excerpt

    Feedback Loop

    Speaking at a recent event at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Chamath Palihapitiya – a former vice president for user growth at Facebook – expressed a concern that social media platforms have become “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”…SNIP

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    • 29 DEC 17

    The FCC Has Approved a World-First Wireless Charger

    It had to come, a truly wireless device charger which uses a RF transmitting router with sufficient strength to remotely charge your devices with none of those old fashion annoying wires. See the video with the hefty looking router and consider some obvious questions about this device. Just what frequency and power level is it emitting? In close proximity will it be approaching the FCC limits? Will purchasers just leave it conveniently “on” in the home or workplace resulting in a significant increase in overall exposures?

    A Brave New World…

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    • 23 DEC 17

    A Non-Neutral Internet Spreads Misinformation

    On December 14, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal “net neutrality” — the Obama-era regulations that prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from prioritizing certain websites, blocking content, and charging for different download speeds. The internet will no longer be classified as a public utility, so it can’t be regulated by the government. Providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast will not only be able to create fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet, but also decide which websites travel in which lanes — and even block certain websites from consumers on the internet, Heather Ross, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation and Society, told Futurism. SNIP

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    • 21 DEC 17

    Ultra-fast 5G wireless service declared national security priority by White House

    From Techcrunch.com

    Now that net neutrality appears to be dead in the US, and that Trump has declared 5G as a national security priority watch for web sites that examine the health dangers of 5G being blocked from access because they are considered a threat to America’s national security. Watch for similar with websites against fracking.

    Call me paranoid perhaps but when you take a look at where America is heading with the Trump Republican party consider the possibility…

    Don

    *********************************

    From Techcrunch.com

    Excerpt:

    Who would have thought that the president who writes in 140-character missives would suddenly be interested in 70 Gbps wireless internet access?

    The White House released its congressionally-mandated National Security Strategy report (warning: PDF) yesterday. Tucked away in a section on improving America’s infrastructure was this action item: “We will improve America’s digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide.” Other than natural gas, 5G wireless service was the only area of technology to get a specific calling out for infrastructure.

    5G wireless isn’t a specific technology per se, but rather a set of standards and technologies that interoperate in the millimeter wave spectrum to meet the needs of users today. That includes better performance around latency and bandwidth, as well as support for low-power, many-device contexts due to the rise of Internet of Things. SNIP

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    • 19 DEC 17

    Australia and New Zealand to be test sites for GM insect trials courtesy of DARPA (re-posted)

    In order to make sense of the title of this posting read down to where it is stated where the proposed test sits for this GM technology will be. No sites in the US obviously. After all, if there are any unexpected consequences of releasing GM altered insects in the environment better do it well away from America – and there’s lots of water between America and the Antipodes. But don’t worry, they are also preparing a PR package aimed to “create government and community acceptance”. The main funder of gene drive technology is the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). With virtually unlimited funding imagine what the folks at DARPA can come up with. For the betterment of humanity, as Bill Gates would like us to believe, or for America’s military/corporate complex with global dominance as the real goal?

    Perhaps this will not be such an easy sell in Australia because virtually all Australians know of the ongoing tragedy of the introduction of cane toads, introduced to Australia from Hawaii in 1935 by the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations as an amazing new technique to control the native grey-backed cane beetle. It didn’t work and now the toad is slowly invading much of Northern Australia with great destruction of native species.

    The coming gene drive PR spin by “Emerging Ag” will claim benefits such as controlling mosquito diseases but other not mentioned “benefits” will be to try to develop a Monsanto pesticide resistant bee which will be used to pollinate crops sprayed with the chemicals without dying. After the GM bee has done its job, it’s programmed “termator gene’ will ensure all the GM bees die without leaving offspring, so each year farmers have to purchase a new batch of GM bees if they want to have pollinating dependent crop. Such a development would go a long way to assure global US military and corporate dominance over the world’s food resources.

    The logic being why remove a profitable chemical which happens to be killing bees and other pollinating insects when you can change nature itself, at huge profit but with an unknown long-term cost to humanity

    Read on…

    Don

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    • 02 DEC 17

    Scientists Find That Smartphone Addiction Alters Your Brain Chemistry

    Posted on Futurism

    Excerpt

    Scientists Find That Smartphone Addiction Alters Your Brain Chemistry

    Many of us find it difficult to go even a few hours without looking at our smartphone or accessing the internet. Now, a new study has found that addiction to these technologies might cause a chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Life Out of Balance: Smartphones et al.

    A study presented at the 2017 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America has found that young people who are addicted to smartphone usage display an imbalance in their brain chemistry.

    A group of researchers from Seoul’s Korea University carried out the study, which was led by neuroradiology professor Hyung Suk Seo. They used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate the chemical composition of teenagers who had been diagnosed as having an addition to their smartphones or the internet.

    Nineteen youths – nine male and ten female with a mean age of fifteen and a half – were compared with healthy control subjects of the same gender. Twelve of the group received cognitive behavioral therapy, based on a similar program designed to help people addicted to video games. SNIP

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    • 30 NOV 17

    How evil is tech?

    Excerpt

    Not long ago, tech was the coolest industry. Everybody wanted to work at Google, Facebook and Apple. But over the past year the mood has shifted.

    Some now believe tech is like the tobacco industry — corporations that make billions of dollars peddling a destructive addiction. Some believe it is like American gridiron – something millions of people love, but which everybody knows leaves a trail of human wreckage in its wake.

    Surely the people in tech — who generally want to make the world a better place — don’t want to go down this road. It will be interesting to see if they can take the actions necessary to prevent their companies from becoming social pariahs…SNIP…The second critique of the tech industry is that it is causing this addiction on purpose, to make money. Tech companies understand what causes dopamine surges in the brain and they lace their products with “hijacking techniques” that lure us in and create “compulsion loops.” SNIP…

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    • 08 SEP 17

    Social cooling: Does the fear of surveillance make you self-conscious about what you click on?

    Excerpt

    You’re on social media, scrolling for something to capture your attention, and you pause.

    There’s an image or link that looks interesting. But if you were to click and others — your friends, your family, your employer — were to find out, would that be embarrassing?

    While the internet and social media have made us more interconnected than ever, it’s also meant constant surveillance by companies — in other words, the feeling that on the internet, we are always being watched. Our clicks are logged, categorised, interpreted and rated.

    It’s leading to what Tijmen Schep, a Dutch technology critic, calls “social cooling” — a society of increasing social conformity and rigidity, in which we self-censor or second guess what we do online for fear of repercussions. SNIP

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    • 06 SEP 17

    Are You Ready for Your Implantable Microchip?

    From By Mark Nestmann • September 5, 2017

    Excerpt
    https://www.nestmann.com/are-you-ready-for-your-implantable-microchip?inf_contact_key=4d1fc42fc6774efb395bcb81057220d9b3d8c00a34ca8acdcc5928debe52d2d2

    If you’re familiar with the Star Trek spin-off television series, The Next Generation, starring Patrick Stewart, you know about the Borg.

    A highly advanced and aggressive network of humanoid drones, the Borg is part organic, part artificial life. At birth, a Borg infant is implanted with chips and other biotechnology that gives it superior mental and physical abilities. The chips link the baby’s brain to a collective consciousness, giving it seamless access to all knowledge assimilated by the Borg over thousands of years. The drone is collectively aware but loses its consciousness as a separate individual with free will.

    The Borg travel in cube-shaped spaceships that seek out and assimilate technology. When a Borg ship encounters other humanoid forms, it captures them and converts them into Borg using the same technology that babies receive. Those who refuse “assimilation” are killed.

    Returning to the real world, are we becoming the Borg? We are – and we’re embracing the transition… SNIP

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    • 08 AUG 17

    5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects

    Excerpt

    5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects

    Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
    Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
    August 7, 2017

    The emergence of 5G, fifth-generation telecommunications networks, has been in the news lately because the wireless industry has been pushing controversial legislation at the state level to expedite the deployment of this technology. The legislation would block the rights of local governments and their citizens to control the installation of cellular antennas in the public “right-of-way.” Cell antennas may be installed on public utility poles every 10-12 houses in urban areas. According to the industry, as many as 50,000 new cell sites will be required in California alone. SNIP

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    • 28 JUL 17

    The Science Inquisition in America

    From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

    Excerpt

    After the Spanish Inquisition arose during the 15th century, it spread across most of Europe. In 1616, the Roman Inquisition judged the Copernican proposition that the Earth moves around the sun “formally heretical” leading to placement of Copernicus’s On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres on the Index of Forbidden Books.

    Because he expanded Copernican theories, Galileo was tried by the Inquisition in 1633 and found “vehemently suspect of heresy.” He was forced to recant and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Does any of this sound familiar? The Trump White House currently regards as heresy the idea that human activity has an effect on the 60-mile thick blanket of the Earth’s atmosphere – or that something can be done about it. As a result, our climate is becoming like the weather – everyone talks about it but nobody does anything about it. SNIP

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    • 26 JUL 17

    The smartphone is eventually going to die, and then things are going to get really crazy

    Excerpts

    One day, not too soon — but still sooner than you think — the smartphone will all but vanish, like beepers and fax machines before it.

    Make no mistake, we’re still probably at least a decade away from any kind of meaningful shift away from the smartphone. (And if we’re all cyborgs by 2027, I’ll happily eat my words. Assuming we’re still eating at all, I guess.)

    Yet, piece by piece, the groundwork for the eventual demise of the smartphone is being laid by Elon Musk, by Microsoft, by Facebook, by Amazon, and a countless number of startups that still have a part to play….
    Microsoft, Facebook, Google and the Google-backed Magic Leap are all working to build standalone augmented reality headsets, which project detailed 3D images straight into your eyes. Even Apple is rumoured to be working on this, too. Microsoft’s Alex Kipman recently told Business Insider that augmented reality could flat-out replace the smartphone, the TV, and anything else with a screen. There’s not much use for a separate device sitting in your pocket or on your entertainment center, if all your calls, chats, movies, and games are beamed into your eyes and overlaid on the world around you….

    This week, we got our first look at Neuralink, a new company cofounded by Elon Musk with a goal of building computers into our brains by way of “neural lace,” a very early-stage technology that lays on your brain and bridges it to a computer. It’s the next step beyond even that blending of the digital and physical worlds, as man and machine become one. SNIP

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    • 22 JUL 17

    Now its the “Internet of Battlefield Things”…

    While all the publicity with wireless technology advances centers around the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) where all our devices, even the humble toothbrush, can wirelessly communicate with each other, giving rise to the smart home, little has been publicised about the military applications of the IoT concept. Known as the “Internet of Battlefield Things” (IoBT) it is but the latest version of the old military-industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, taking advantage of new technology to create and sell, at great profit, new killing technology thereby ensuring an endless state of war which is essential for their very profitable business.

    Read on…

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    • 16 JUN 17

    Government paving the way for 5G and the IoT

    The Australian Government is seeking comments on possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities. Titled, “Consultation on possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities” this exercise looks suspiciously like preparing the ground for the next generation of wireless technology such as 5G, enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). A Brave New World…

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    • 11 MAY 17

    Aristotle, Mattel’s “digital nanny” for babies and young children.

    Excerpt from “The Story of Stuff” Project

    In July 2017, the loving guidance of a parent or caretaker has new competition from Aristotle, a “digital nanny” by toy-maker Mattel. The internet-connected device, which includes a microphone and camera, is designed to live in a child’s bedroom from birth and be a constant companion as she grows up. Mattel boasts Aristotle can “soothe” crying baby, help toddlers learn to speak, and facilitate learning in older children.

    What is the impact on a child’s development when you replace a caregiver with a robot? …SNIP

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    • 08 MAY 17

    A 5G WIRELESS FUTURE: WILL IT GIVE US A SMART NATION OR CONTRIBUTE TO AN UNHEALTHY ONE?

    A report written by Dr. Cindy Russell

    A 5G WIRELESS FUTURE: WILL IT GIVE US A SMART NATION OR CONTRIBUTE TO AN UNHEALTHY ONE?

    EXCERPT

    BRAVE NEW WORLD OF COMMUNICATION
    The use of mobile wireless technologies continues to increase worldwide. A new faster 5th generation (5G) telecommunication system has recently been approved by the Federal Communications
    Commission(FCC) with new antennas already being installed and tested in Palo Alto and Mountain
    View. While it may give us uber automation and instantaneous “immersive entertainment” a lot of
    questions remain with regards to public health and safety of wireless devices. Will the adoption of this new 5G technology harm directly or indirectly the consumers and businesses it hopes to attract? SNIP

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