Move aside, sushi robots — there’s a new automated chef in town. Thanks to Italian inventor Claudio Torghel, for the past three years Europe has enjoyed vending machine pizza, made from scratch in two-and-a-half minutes flat. Now, its distributor, A1 Concepts, plans to bring the contraption to the U.S.
The machines, aptly named “Let’s Pizza,” will likely be installed in malls, airports, supermarkets, colleges, gas and bus stations and hospitals. A1 Concepts’ CEO Ronald Rammers explained to Pizzamarketplace.com that the pies cook at such a fast rate because of the infra-red oven.
If you continue to use Facebook in a state of ignorant bliss, hopefully this will help you wake up to the reality of what this internet giant is really up to.
A Facebook spokesperson put it, this acquisition seems purely logical and perfectly in line with their business model.
“People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience,” said the Facebook spokesperson to VentureBeat. “This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house.”
It also greatly enhances their facial recognition capabilities which Facebook will also most likely be applying to all photos captured by the other company recently purchased by Facebook: Instagram.
The privacy issues inherent in Faceboook’s move to snatch up Face.com are so blatant and impossible to ignore that even InformationWeek has raised the issue in an article entitled, “Facebook Buys Face.com: At What Privacy Cost?”
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the U.S. venture capital firm that provided startup financing to Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG), is investing in a seed company as it forecasts food will become a “global problem of huge dimensions” over the next decade.
Known as a socialist and feminist organization, the party claims that seated urination is more hygienic for men — the practice decreases the likelihood of puddles and other unwanted residue forming in the stall — in addition to being better for a man’s health by more effectively emptying one’s bladder, The Local reported.
Setting aside the potential negative health effects from aspartame and just chewing sugary gum all day long, this should be a good reason to drop your incessant gum chewing if you have not been able to give it up simply because people often find it irritating.
Agriculture is big business. But the future of big farming isn’t in massive machinery, but swarms of smart, cheap ‘bots seeding, tending and harvesting fields one plant at a time.
Whether conducted by an industrial farming outfit or a small, independent farmer, agriculture is all about yield. Per-acre production makes or break the year, and taken at the macro level it impacts global markets and can lead to humanitarian crises. And while agriculture already happens at the field-by-field level, David Dorhout wants to make agriculture even more precise. Think: plant-by-plant farming, optimized on a seed-by-seed basis.
Who can manage such a precise, immense workload? Why, the diminutive hexapod robot named Prospero, of course.
For those who are unaware, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas will be the replacement for the aging Plum Island facility in New York where a great deal of the United States’ secret biological weapons research and develop has been conducted.
One of Britain’s last great independent financial markets has agreed to sell itself to China.
The 137-year-old London Metal Exchange has agreed a £1.4bn takeover from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) after a nine-month auction process which saw bids from InterContinental Exchange, CME Group and NYSE Nasdaq.
The deal will mean massive windfalls for the LME’s largest shareholders, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Metdist, the metal brokerage owned by the LME’s former chairman Raj Bagri’s family.
First of all, it should be recognized that Wal-Mart has been deeply rooted in conservative Christianity from its founding in 1962 in the American Bible Belt. As the historian of religion and capitalism Bethany Moreton has shown in her important book, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise, the company has been a major force in bringing together the free-market dogma with evangelical “family values” and ethics of “Christian service.” In doing so, Wal-Mart has effectively made the self-centered individualism of neoliberal capitalism appear instead as a selfless, virtuous effort to save consumers money by always providing them with the lowest prices. While the company is known, at least by its critics, for various conservative political stances, anti-unionism, low wages, and negative impact on both the environment and local businesses, many of its devoted customers throughout the decades have bought into Wal-Mart’s sanctification of consumer capitalism. As Moreton points out, the company’s founder Sam Walton was a central figure in the spread of the ‘gospel’ of Christian free enterprise and conservative religious-economic individualism – ideologies that became common in Christian university business departments and eventually spread around the world, now firmly tied to an individualistic religious gospel of personal salvation.
All of this goes to say that nobody should be surprised that Wal-Mart would draw on a local conservative evangelical Christian pastor to bless their business operations. At this point, this type of relationship is unfortunately part of the DNA of both Wal-Mart and a large majority of American Christianity. Ultimately, Wal-Mart’s recruitment of Beltz appears to many as a manipulative move to appeal to a particularly profitable customer base and to legitimize their business with a symbol of divine approval.
This brings me to a second important issue the event raises. To put it bluntly, the assumption by conservatives that the Christian tradition is somehow supportive of the neoliberal capitalism that has permitted Wal-Mart to thrive is false. While this belief is shared by many American Christians, it is more influenced by the ‘prosperity gospel’ and Western individualism than the New Testament (or the Hebrew Bible, for that matter). A growing number of influential biblical scholars, including Richard Horsley, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, and Roland Boer have argued that the economic dimension of Christianity’s foundational documents – having been written under an oppressive Roman Empire characterized by great economic inequality – include a radical critique of economic injustice and sharp power differentials that is usually distorted by individualistic readings. They certainly offer no support for the Wal-Mart brand of capitalism.
Like other imperial projects, the Roman Empire under Augustus portrayed itself as promoting prosperity and what we might call “family values” (e.g., in its strong support of marriage). Nevertheless, it created enormous inequalities of power and wealth and even its rhetoric of prosperity and morality ultimately served the interests of those on top. As religion scholar Harvey Cox explains, Christianity “began as the persecuted victim of the Roman Empire and provided an alternative to it, [but] then became a obsequious mimic of that empire and finally its compliant acolyte” (Future of Faith, 72). That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? As leading political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue, the contemporary globalized Empire should be understood as “network power” (Multitude, xii), constituted not only by the most powerful nation-states but also supranational institutions and corporations like Wal-Mart. It is difficult to see how an adherent of a religion that developed in sharp opposition to Empire can pray for divine blessing of one of its most dominant manifestations in the world today. Thanks to popular depoliticized readings of the New Testament, Christianity and its founders continue to be co-opted by Empires.
Conservatives will protest that the economic-political dimensions of the New Testament – when they even recognize them as such – are just for the individual and possibly the local church, and are not meant as critiques of society as a whole. But this is to anachronistically impose a framework on the New Testament that is (like it or not) a modern invention: the separation of religion from economics, politics, and culture (as those working in the field of cultural studies tend to point out). In such a view, the substance of a religion can speak about individual souls and personal morality without reference to systemic, economic concerns and injustices. But this is precisely what modern scholars of early Christianity argue is a serious misunderstanding about ancient societies, where religion was never separated from economic and political issues. As such, there can be no such thing as an apolitical Jesus. Horsley comments, “Assuming that Jesus is appropriately categorized as a religious figure, we more or less ignore the political-economic aspects and implications of Jesus’ preaching and practice.” (Jesus and Empire, 6).
Israel to put thousands of Africans in detention camp
Am I the only one who wants to slap those Israelis across the face and say, “What happened to ‘never forget’?!”
Israel's interior minister said on Friday he hoped to soon start moving tens of thousands of illegal African migrants from Tel Aviv and elsewhere to a detention camp being built and a planned “tent city.”
An Israeli court cleared the way on Thursday for the deportation of an estimated 1,500 South Sudanese, after ruling that their lives were no longer threatened in their homeland.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai told public radio 40,000 Sudanese and Eritreans were next in his sights.
"There are still about 15,000 from north Sudan and some 35,000 from Eritrea,” he said. “I am not allowed to get them out at the moment.”
Senator Asks DOJ to Investigate SWAT-ting Attacks on Conservative Bloggers
A number of conservative bloggers allege they have been targeted through the use of harassment tactics such as SWAT-ting (fooling 911 operators into sending emergency teams to their homes), in retaliation for posts they have written, and now Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has stepped into the matter. He has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated.
“I am writing with concern regarding recent reports that several members of the community of online political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels,” Chambliss wrote in the letter.
“Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety,” Chambliss continued. “While I am certain that local law enforcement is reviewing each of these instances, I am asking you to please look into each of these cases as well to determine if any federal laws may have been violated. Future targets of SWAT-ting, whether engaged in political speech or not, may not be so fortunate as to escape physical harm.”
In a developing story that is raising concerns over a potential nuclear cover-up by the EPA, alarming amounts of radiation were reported near the border of Indiana and Michigan and later censored by the EPA online geiger tool.
The readings, which were captured in a screenshot, measured as high as 7.139 counts per minute (CPM). This is particularly startling, as the normal radiation levels are generally between 5 and 6 CPM. Sources say that a Department of Homeland Security hazmat team has now been dispatched after ‘years’ of inactivity.
A number of community reports have come in on the subject in fact, with readers of community boards and concerned citizens offering up some interesting and intriguing information regarding the potential radiation cover-up.
Discussion over the information first began to surface on Internet boards like Reddit and user-submitted news source Digital Journal. In the Reddit submission, which ultimately reached thousands of comments — many from those in the area who had contacted radiation monitoring stations and other affiliated individuals brought some further information to light.
WASHINGTON — If the Transportation Security Administration wants to fix its poor public image, it might want to stop patting down recognizable passengers such as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“There are certain people that are just so well-known that you’ve just got to use your common sense,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee. “Because if you start patting them down, people are going to say, ‘They’re patting down Beyonce.’ “I mean, she’s not going to blow a plane up.”
In an acknowledgment of continued public frustration with TSA, the subcommittee met Thursday to address the agency’s efforts to fix its “poor customer service image and become a leaner, smarter agency.”
“On average, an estimated 526,000 people died violently each year in 2004–09. This figure includes an estimated 55,000 direct conflict deaths, 396,000 intentional homicides, 54,000 ‘unintentional’ homicides, and 21,000 killings during legal interventions. Far more people died violently in non-conflict settings than were killed in conflicts.”—
A tip for modern adulterers: if you’re planning to cheat on your wife of 10 years by awkwardly hitting on the model seated next to you on your flight out of Los Angeles, make sure she isn’t live-tweeting the entire miserable experience to her 13,000 followers:
The second of two GPS trackers found recently on the vehicle of a young man in California. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com
The 25-year-old resident of San Jose, California, says he found the first one about three weeks ago on his Volvo SUV while visiting his mother in Modesto, about 80 miles northeast of San Jose. After contacting Wired and allowing a photographer to snap pictures of the device, it was swapped out and replaced with a second tracking device. A witness also reported seeing a strange man looking beneath the vehicle of the young man’s girlfriend while her car was parked at work, suggesting that a tracking device may have been retrieved from her car.
Then things got really weird when police showed up during a Wired interview with the man.
The young man, who asked to be identified only as Greg, is one among an increasing number of U.S. citizens who are finding themselves tracked with the high-tech devices.
But little is known about how or how often law enforcement agents use them. And without a clear ruling requiring agents to obtain a “probable cause” warrant to use the devices, it leaves citizens who may have only a distant connection to a crime or no connection at all vulnerable to the whimsy of agents who are fishing for a case.
One of the highest-profile prosecutions stemming from the Iraq war period is to go ahead after the US supreme court refused to dismiss manslaughter and weapons charges against four employees of the private security company Blackwater Worldwide.
The shooting took place on September 16, 2007 at the congested Nisour Square intersection, after a convoy of four armoured vehicles manned by Blackwater guards had departed from Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone.
In a span of 15 minutes, heavy gunfire erupted and by the time it was over, more than three dozen Iraqi civilians had been shot, at least 17 fatally. Among the dead was nine-year-old Ali Kinani, who was shot in the head as he rode in a car with his father, Mohammed Kinnani.
System alerts authorities to “suspicious behavior” before crime is committed
Paul Joseph Watson Infowars.com Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Hundreds of pre-crime surveillance cameras are to be installed in San Francisco’s subway system that will analyze “suspicious behavior” and alert guards to potential criminal or terrorist activity – before any crime has been committed.
Responding to a tip that the person responsible for robbing a nearby Wells Fargo earlier was at that red light, the police moved in. They had no description of the criminal whatsoever.
All of the adult drivers were pulled from their 19 cars and cuffed. The police asked for permission to search the vehicles and every time it was granted. In the last car, they found the robber, armed with two loaded guns.
Sure the police got the criminal and everyone consented to their treatment, but did this mass detention infringe on anyone’s civil rights? We’ll find out if anyone sues the city of Aurora.
“I ask this sincerely: what kind of country targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn? If a Hollywood film featured a villainous King ordering lethal attacks on rescuers, funerals and mourners — those medically attending to or grieving his initial victims — any decent audience member would, by design, seethe with contempt for such an inhumane tyrant. But this is the standard policy and practice under President Obama and it continues through today. Recall the outrage that was sparked when WikiLeaks released its Collateral Murder video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter during the Bush era firing on unarmed rescuers, who had arrived to retrieve the initial victims who had been shot and were laying wounded on the ground. That tactic continues under President Obama, although it is now expanded to include the targeting of grieving rituals.”—Glenn Greenwald (via azspot)
Flame Hijacks Microsoft Update to Spread Malware Disguised As Legit Code
It’s a scenario security researchers have long worried about, a man-in-the-middle attack that allows someone to impersonate Microsoft Update to deliver malware — disguised as legitimate Microsoft code — to unsuspecting users.
And that’s exactly what turns out to have occurred with the recent Flame cyberespionage tool that has been infecting machines primarily in the Middle East and is believed to have been crafted by a nation-state.
According to Microsoft, which has been analyzing Flame, along with numerous antivirus researchers since it was publicly exposed last Monday, researchers there discovered that a component of Flame was designed to spread from one infected computer to other machines on the same network using a rogue certificate obtained via such a man-in-the-middle attack. When uninfected computers update themselves, Flame intercepts the request to Microsoft Update server and instead delivers a malicious executable to the machine that is signed with a rogue, but technically valid, Microsoft certificate.
“We have discovered through our analysis that some components of the malware have been signed by certificates that allow software to appear as if it was produced by Microsoft,” Microsoft Security Response Center Senior Director Mike Reavey wrote in a blog post published Sunday.
Private, public partners in Illinois CBRN emergency drill
First responders and authorities in Lake and Cook counties, Illinois, joined Army Reserve units to conduct Exercise Red Dragon 2012, a chemical, nuclear response exercise
More than 200 people representing businesses in Lake and Cook counties, Illinois along with public partners representing federal, state, and local jurisdictions, participated in a full-scale disaster exercise at Grainger in Lake Forest on Saturday, 2 June. Complementing the exercise, experts from public and private organizations led discussions on topics regarding community resiliency and catastrophic response.
“Today’s event focuses on strengthening the relationships between public and private organizations through hands-on training as well as exploring ideas to help us work better together,” said Kent McKenzie, Lake County Emergency Management Agency coordinator. “The time to strengthen our partnerships is now, not after the crisis hits.”
Police stop 265 cars at a DUI roadblock, arrest one person for DUI
Portsmouth, NH - Two people were arrested Friday night at a downtown sobriety checkpoint where 265 cars were stopped, police said.
According to Capt. Mike Schwartz, the checkpoint was established on Market Street near the N.H. Port Authority at 10:30 p.m., and with the assistance of Portsmouth Police Explorers, it remained in effect until 2 a.m.. Authorized by a Rockingham County Superior Court judge, officers at the checkpoint screened drivers who were heading outbound, he said.
Arrested at the scene was Blaine Eaton, 33, of 6 Ridge St., Dover, for a charge alleging he was driving while intoxicated - second offense, as well as a charge alleging he was operating after suspension.
Also arrested was Lily McGee, 18, of 18 Aldis Lane, York, Maine, for a charge alleging her possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle. A juvenile in her car was taken into protective custody, said Schwartz.
Virginia Tech working toward camera-covered campus
Since the April 16, 2007, campus shootings, the university has become a testing ground and even model for campus safety, including an extensive threat assessment program.
The project could result in up to 2,500 security cameras being installed around the 2,600-acre campus over the next several years, and add one more layer to Tech’s security efforts.
“You never stop trying to make the campus safer,” university spokesman Mark Owczarski said.
The contract with X7 Systems, dated April 2011, allows for three phases of the project, including the already completed $221,098 installation of cameras in the Perry Street parking garage that opened last year. Phase two of the project will upgrade the approximately 250 cameras scattered across campus. That work is expected to be completed by December and cost $708,736, Owczarski said.
The initial three-year agreement can be renewed for up to five additional years, and could include a third phase of installations of up to 2,500 cameras, contract documents show.
“The university has not defined what it seeks in a phase three,” Owczarski said. So no dollar amount has been assigned for that phase.
For a decade or more, there have been security cameras on campus, but the technologies and the oversight have been decentralized. They range from cameras on automated teller machines installed and monitored by banks to a camera trained on a piece of the moon kept in the dean of engineering’s suite.
Police have talked about a centralized security camera system for years, Owczarski said. Now with the X7 contract, that process is under way.
Taxing drivers for how many miles they travel rather than how much gasoline they buy
Minnesota and Oregon already are testing technology to keep track of mileage. Other states, including Washington and Nevada, are preparing similar projects.
In Minnesota, 500 volunteers in largely urban Hennepin and mostly rural Wright counties have been testing a system using software installed on smartphones, says Chris Krueger, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “We can collect trip info and be able to simulate what it would be like to have a mileage-based user fee,” she says.
MinnDOT will provide a report on their research when the pilot is complete in December. “We know that eventually there will be an isue of not having enough revenue from the gas tax,” Krueger says.
A federal miles-traveled tax is unlikely, Schank says. “So far, the federal government has been terrified of even talking about this,” he says. “The federal government needs to take a leadership role in helping states do this.You want to have sharing of information, compatibility across state lines.”
Law enforcement officials refuse to identify who installed 'mystery' cameras on utility poles throughout St. Lawrence County, New York
Some area law enforcement officials apparently know who is installing the mysterious camera boxes on utility poles around St. Lawrence County, but they’re not saying who it is.
The boxes, with a window for cameras to peer out of, have popped up in Norwood, Raymondville, DeKalb Junction, Waddington, Massena and Canton, according to witnesses.
Law enforcement officials at local, state and federal agencies agree the boxes contain license plate readers that take snapshots, and are notvideo cameras that send live feeds. But none of them are willing to identify what agency the cameras belong to and who is operating them.
The cameras appear to be identical to license plate readers advertised on web sites as containing a visible light camera, infrared camera and an infrared light source. The cameras can read plates on passing vehicles, record the plate number, date, time and location, send it to a database for storage, and alert law enforcement if it detects a vehicle or driver being sought.
They are similar to vehicle-mounted units that St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells says his department has been using for 10 years.
But about the pole-mounted cameras, Sheriff Wells says, “They are not mine.”
Note: all emphasis is added. This is a tiny piece of the entire article and the entire article is required reading if you want to grasp this material. All points indicated with “-” are directly from official Air Force documents obtained originally by CBS Los Angeles.
While the U.S. Air Force’s guidelines claim that drones are not allowed to carry out “non-consensual surveillance” on U.S. citizens or property, there are plenty of exceptions to this allowing such surveillance to occur.
Some of these many exceptions outlined in the Air Force documents include:
- Investigating or preventing clandestine intelligence activities by foreign powers, international narcotics activities, or international terrorist activities
- Protecting DoD employees, information, property and facilities
- Preventing, detecting or investigating other violations of law
- Other violations of law. Information incidentally acquired during the course of Air Force counterintelligence activities reasonably believed to indicate a violation of state, local or foreign law will be provided to appropriate officials IAW procedures established by the Commander, AFOSI. Information incidentally acquired during the course of Air Force foreign intelligence activities reasonably believed to indicate a violation of state, local, or foreign law will, unless otherwise decided by AF/A2 for national security reasons, be provided to AFOSI IAW procedures established by the AF/A2, or his/her designee, for investigation or referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Information covered by this paragraph includes US persona information.