Advertisements

[VIDEO] Holocaust Denier Chris Matthews says Hitler Never Used Chemical Weapons 

 

Advertisements

The Mechanics of Mechanophilia: Why Men Find Siri Sexy

flying-robot

We all have relationships with tech. The question is: how far do you go?

How would you feel if you walked in on your flatmate pouring his iPhone a glass of Cristal and remarking on her exceptional ‘wallpaper’? Open mouthed and curious, right? Well, welcome to the future. For some technophiles at least.

Apart from neo-Luddites, we all have relationships with tech. The question is: how far do you go?

A survey from 2012 revealed the extreme level of attachment many of us feel towards our gadgets. It found that three-quarters of the 2,500 people polled said losing a personal device would give them more anxiety than losing a wedding ring. Another from 2016 discloses that nearly 40pc of millennials say they interact more with their smartphones than their co-workers, parents, children or friends.

Of course, such interactions could be simply checking the time – and if you started calling your friends to do that they’d think you’d gone batty – but what these stats betray is the shaping of an emotional bond between man and machine that seems to be growing year on year.

robot

“People use things in a sexual way all the time. You could name any object, from a radiator to a tin can, and there’s someone out there that gets sexually aroused by it.”

–Professor Mark Griffiths

Sci-fi programmes like Humans, depicting the trouble caused when overly lifelike AI get mixed in with the rest of society, may be fictional, yet our relationship with tech still gets closer and closer. Quite alarmingly close.

Virtual assistants (VA for short), also known as personal assistant A.I.s, are digital secretaries that can schedule meetings, order meals, play audio and visual files, and assess online accounts. Not to be confused with ‘virtual assistants’ that work remotely and are actual people, current VAs on the market include Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and, of course, Apple’s Siri.

“Most new technology seems to turn to porn eventually. Webcams, virtual reality, Internet etc. I see no reason why A.I won’t be included in this. It’ll certainly be cheaper to run phone sex lines with an army of bots instead of having to pay women to answer the phones.”

— Steve Worswick, an expert in the field of digital A.I

Last month, in an interview with The Times, Illy Eckstein, chief executive of Robin Labs, creators of a virtual assistant and satnav known as ‘Robin’, said that 5pc of interactions in their database are classified as “clearly sexually explicit”.

Trawling the Internet for evidence of the above I discovered a Reddit forum titled: ‘I masturbate to Siri and I feel disgusting’. The poster says he’s a 20 year old male, who started talking to Siri sexually as a joke before realising that “it really turned me on.”

The phenomenon clearly has farther reaches than one sole forum post. VA creators and chatbot companies predict such interactions and put algorithmic safeguards in place to deter feelings of emotional and sexual attachment from costumers.

[Read the full story here, at telegraph.uk]

Earlier this year one of the key writers for Microsoft’s Cortana, Deborah Harrison, revealed at the Virtual Assistant Summit in San Francisco that “a good chunk of the volume of early-on inquiries” regarded Cortana’s ‘sex life’ adding, “That’s not the kind of interaction we want to encourage.”

Steve Worswick is an expert in the field of digital A.I. He’s also the leading developer of Mitsuku, a family-friendly online chatbot.

robot-waitress-zhejiang

“Mechanophilia: love or sexual attraction to computers, cars, robots or androids, washing machines, lawnmowers and other mechanized gardening equipment, sexual relations between living organisms and machines.”

He told Telegraph Men that he used to have a banning system (five strikes and you’re out) for anyone who attempted to have sexually explicit conversations with Mitsuku. However, he received so many emails from people who wanted to treat the bot sexually, that he removed the strike system and instead programmed Mitsuku to either ignore sexual requests, say something to steer the conversation to other topics, or simply insult the user.

Worswick believes men are using Mitsuku in this way and seeing bots as “sex objects” simply because they cannot fight back, have no legal rights, and are not going to judge them or contact the authorities or their wives or girlfriends.

Read the rest of this entry »


TRANSFORMATION COMPLETE! Government Workers Now Outnumber Manufacturing Workers by 9,977,000

PresHalo

(CNSNews.com) – Terence P. Jeffrey reports: The United States lost 9,000 manufacturing jobs in October while gaining 19,000 jobs in government, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Government employment grew from 22,216,000 in September to 22,235,000 in October, according to BLS, while manufacturing jobs dropped from 12,267,000 to 12,258,000.

President Barack Obama speaks at Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility in Boulder City, Nev.,Wednesday, March, 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The 22,235,000 employed by government in the United States now outnumber the 12,258,000 employed in manufacturing by 9,977,000.

Over the past year—from October 2015 to October 2016—manufacturing employment fell by 53,000, declining from 12,311,000 to 12,258,000. During the same period, government employment climbed 208,000, rising from 22,027,000 to 22,235,000.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment data for both government and manufacturing going back to January 1939. According to this data, manufacturing employees in the United States of America outnumbered government employees every month for more than half a century.

[Read the full story here, at cnsnews.com]

Then, in August 1989, government employees slipped ahead of manufacturing employees for the first time—taking a slim lead of 17,989,000 to 17,964,000.

Since then, government has pulled dramatically ahead of manufacturing as an employer in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] #FreeMilo Milo Yiannopoulos Talks to CNBC About His Twitter Suspension 

 


[VIDEO] Cruz’s CNBC Economy Interview

Cruz just had a very interesting hour-long interview on CNBC this morning with Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin on the Squawkbox financial program. The CNBC gang hit Cruz with everything from Japanese and German basis points, to negative global interest rates, to bank bailout policies, tax reform, economic effects of climate change proposals, opposition to various kinds of VAT taxing, instability of commodity prices, Fed monetary policy, etc.

cruz-cnbc1

Reagan administration economist Arthur Laffer, one of the architects of Cruz’s tax plan, weighs in for an extra helping of tax and quantitative easing wonkishness.

…This is a much more in-depth discussion than the stump speech snippets we’ve all heard many times…(more)

Source: RedState


[VIDEO] WOZICON: Apple Co-founder Starts Silicon Valley Comic Con

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had a front-row seat as the personal computer began to reshape society, so it made perfect sense to him to bring a convention meshing technology with pop culture to Silicon Valley.


Dallas Fed says U.S. Has Lost 70,000 Oil Jobs in the Past Year 

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

HOUSTON – Collin Eaton writes: For American drillers, the New Year will likely bring more of the same – financial pressure and mass layoffs.

The U.S. petroleum industry hasn’t seen this many bankruptcies in one quarter since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says, counting nine Chapter 11 court filings in the year’s final three-month period. And that’s just a third of the year’s domestic casualty count.

The Dallas Fed also estimates in a new report on Thursday the nation has lost about 70,000 oil and gas jobs since October 2014, a 14.5 percent drop in the 14 months after the domestic shale drilling boom that drew thousands to Houston’s oil hub began a steep decline.

But the sacrifice of dozens of U.S. oil producers, thousands of oil field workers and more than 1,200 drilling rigs still hasn’t stalled U.S. crude production enough to shrink the global oil glut that has sent oil prices below $40 a barrel.

Global crude supplies, the Fed said, could outpace demand by 600,000 barrels a day, and the world’s crude storage tanks may not start to decline until 2017.

That’s in part because increased production from Iran has come on earlier than anticipated and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to continue pumping crude at current levels. Read the rest of this entry »


‘The President was Jet Lagged, Cranky’: NBC’s Fred Francis Defends Obama’s Testy G20 Press Conference on #mediabuzz with Howard Kurtz

MediaBuzz-FrancisIMG_9721President Bush visits MacDill AFBBarack-Obama-plays-Bo2E7ED58400000578-3320484-BARACK_COME_LATELY_President_Obama_arrived_at_the_G20_summit_s_f-a-49_1447703906392vlcsnap-2015-11-16-12h03m49s687-e1447693518340151116123409-barack-obama-g20-november-16-2015-exlarge-169

Source: #mediabuzz | Howard Kurtz | Fox News

media-buzz-avatar

 


CNBC’s GOP Debate Scores 14 Million Viewers, CNN’s, 23.1 Million, Fox News, 24 Million

TRUMP-tv

Brian Sternberg reports: CNBC said its Wednesday-night telecast of a debate among Republican candidates for U.S. President lured an average of 14 million viewers, making it the most-watched broadcast on the NBCUniversal-owned cable outlet in its history.

CNBC’s audience for the telecast was significantly lower than the crowds lured by Fox News Channel and CNN for similar events. A Republican debate broadcast in August by Fox News attracted an average of 24 million viewers, while a Republican debate broadcast in September by CNN won an average of 23.1 million viewers.

For CNBC, however, the numbers were meaningful. The network said its broadcast of the debate was the most-watched night in network history in all key demos. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Kelly File: Republican Debaters Unite Against Common Enemy: Moderators 

Chris Stirewalt and Howard Kurtz break down the CNBC GOP debate on ‘The Kelly File’Watch Chris Stirewalt, Howard Kurtz, and Megyn Kelly talk about Elections, Presidential Primaries, and Republicans on Mediabuzz and The Kelly File.

CSg3yP5WcAA8ze4


Apple is Having its Worst Year Since the Financial Crisis

APPL is still on track to log its worst performance in six years.

 reports: Apple has done better than the broader market this year, rising 1.5 percent while the S&P 500 has fallen more than 2 percent.

“Some of the bloom is off the rose. I think that’s a little bit unfair. We still think it’s a great story, we still think its going to have a good six months, but some of the excitement and momentum traders have backed off, probably in part because of a risk-off general attitude in the markets.”

However, the stock is still on track to log its worst performance in six years.

In 2008, Apple shares fell more than 50 percent. Since then, the stock has consistently risen 5 percent or more.

“We tend to see a little bit of a trail down in Apple going into earnings, we tend to see people be worried. And then we see the shares strengthen after the earnings are reported.”

Max Wolff, chief economist at Manhattan Venture Partners, said the stock’s lackluster performance this year is likely due to concern about the completion of the Apple car, sales of the new Apple watch and more risk-averse investors.

“Some of the bloom is off the rose,” Wolff said Friday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “I think that’s a little bit unfair. We still think it’s a great story, we still think its going to have a good six months, but some of the excitement and momentum traders have backed off, probably in part because of a risk-off general attitude in the markets.”

However, Wolff said Apple’s third-quarter earnings report, which is scheduled for Oct. 27, could bring some of that excitement back. Read the rest of this entry »


Yes, New Zealand Wants to Change Its Flag

screen-shot-2015-08-10-at-11-44-56-am

These Are the Finalists?

There really isn’t much by which to distinguish the flags of New Zealand and Australia. The former comes with a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with red stars. The latter includes a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with — wait for it! — white stars.

That’s resulted in quite a bit of confusion — usually to the disadvantage of smaller New Zealand. That country’s prime minister, John Key, has spoken of being seated in front of Australia’s flag at multilateral fora, a wonderful bit of small-country anxiety that HBO’s John Oliver recently satirized to great effect…(read more)

ForeignPolicy.com


[VIDEO] Cintonesque Counterfeit Candor: ABC News Analyst Democratic Campaign Operative George Stephanopoulos’ On-Air Apology

Limited Modified Hangout Specialist  and Clinton Foundation Donation Donor George Stephanpoulos “Apologizes” For Not Disclosing Donation To Clinton Foundation. Sheds New Light on George Stephanopoulos’ April 2015 Interview with Peter Schweizer on ABC’s This Week.

 


#Periscope Piracy Sets Up Grudge Match: Hollywood vs. Twitter

mayweather-pacquiao

Dick Costolo’s triumphant tweet could come back to haunt him

 writes: Forget Mayweather-Pacquiao. There’s a more interesting fight brewing between Twitter and Hollywood.

The piracy of Saturday’s welterweight boxing championship enabled by Periscope, a livestreaming app recently acquired by Twitter, is setting up a conflict that could be just as brutal. HBO and Showtime, which partnered on what will likely be the most popular boxing pay-per-view event ever, took a one-two punch of their own Saturday. First, they watched multiple pay-TV distributors experience technical problems transmitting the fight, which probably cut into their sales total. But what made matters even worse is that countless people who did pay for the fight used their smartphones to re-transmit the fight to users of Periscope and, to a lesser extent, rival app Meerkat.

“Oddly enough, HBO itself used Periscope earlier in the evening to stream content from Manny Pacquiao’s dressing room via Twitter. There’s a double-edged sword here for sure.”

Each stream reached hundreds or thousands of non-paying fans with a picture quality that was shaky and pixilated, yet still quite adequate. If Twitter CEO Dick Costolo understood the implications of this activity, he sure didn’t show it in a tweet that declared Periscope the “winner” of the night. There’s no question the app got tremendous exposure that will build nicely off the 1 million downloads impressively achieved in just its first 10 days, a fact Costolo made sure to  mention in the company’s underwhelming first-quarter results last week.

But what Costolo needs to be asking himself is if the price of all that publicity may end up too steep if the content companies come after him for backing an app that may be piracy’s biggest facilitator since PopcornTime.

[Read the full text here, at Variety]

Any pay-TV channel that pays billions to sports leagues for exclusive rights to programming is going to be concerned about what went on Periscope during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. While piracy HBOxvia livestream is far from a new phenomenon, it may well have achieved a new level of visibility this weekend.

It would be one thing if Periscope was some rogue player like Napster. But Twitter has plenty of business with Hollywood that requires its content rights and advertising dollars, and the company does not have the leverage of bigger entities in Silicon Valley. Just as piracy via YouTube and Google’s search has impacted how Google and media conglomerates have dealt with each other over the years, Twitter is now heading in the same direction. Read the rest of this entry »


Remember Gridlock? What Was That About?

Unknown-1

Unknown-2

Read more…. New York Post


Robot with $100 Bitcoin Buys Drugs, Gets Arrested

robot-bitcoin

The robot’s purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nikes, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ e-book collection

Arjun Kharpal reports: This is the curious story of how a robot armed with a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoin managed to buy Ecstasy, a Hungarian passport and a baseball cap with a built-in camera—before getting arrested.

The “automated online shopping bot” was set up in October last year by Swiss art group, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, as an art installation to explore the “dark web”—the hidden, un-indexed part of the Internet.

102604469-Robot_drugs.530x298

Each week, the robot was given $100 worth of Bitcoin— the major hard-to-trace cryptocurrency—and programmed to randomly purchase one item from Agora, an online marketplace on the dark web where shoppers can buy drugs and other illegal items. The items were automatically delivered to a Swiss art gallery called Kunst Halle St Gallen to form an exhibition.

“This is a great day for the ‘bot, for us and for freedom of art!”

—  !Mediengruppe Bitnik, in a blog post

The robot was christened “Random Darknet Shopper” and its purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nike trainers, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the “Lord of the Rings” e-book collection.

Robot-smokes

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the robot and his artistic creators had a run in with the law. In January 2015, the Swiss police confiscated the robot and its illegal purchases.

However, three months later, the Random Darknet Shopper was returned to the artists, along with all its purchases except the Ecstasy (also known as MDMA) tablets, which were destroyed by the Swiss authorities.

The artists behind the robot escaped without any charges. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Harry Reid: ‘I think a lot of people, as I read, they kinda don’t like me as a person, and I think that’s unfortunate’

Reid Denies He Got Beat Up By The Mob

Al Weaver reports: Harry Reid denied fabricating the explanation for his eye injury in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood.

“Why in the world would I come up with some story that I got hurt in my own bathroom with my wife standing there? How could anyone say anything like that?”

“In the last few days, a bunch of people are saying, ‘Reid, he didn’t have an exercise accident. He got beaten up by the mob,’” Harwood said.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) talks to the media, after a weekly Senate party caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 24, 2015. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) talks to the media, after a weekly Senate party caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 24, 2015. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

“You know, I don’t really care. I think they’re all losers.”

“It shows the credibility of Rush Limbaugh. He’s the guy who got that started,” Reid responded. “Why in the world would I come up with some story that I got hurt in my own bathroom with my wife standing there? How could anyone say anything like that?”

[TREACHER: Why Isn’t Harry Reid Suing The Manufacturer Of That Exercise Band?]

“I think a lot of people, as I read, they kinda don’t like me as a person, and I think that’s unfortunate,” he added.”

Reid also called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a “lump of coal” and remarked that all the Republican candidates for 2016 are “losers.” Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Buys Israeli Camera-Technology Company LinX

2377863778

Acquisition of LinX deepens the Apple’s position in Israel

Orr Hirschauge and Daisuke Wakabayashi report: Apple Inc. has acquired Israeli camera-technology company LinX Computational Imaging Ltd.

Apple confirmed the acquisition with its standard statement when it has bought a company. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said an Apple spokesman.

LinX vs iPhone 5s

The companies had been discussing an acquisition price of about $20 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

LinX didn’t respond to requests for comment.

LinX develops and markets miniature cameras for tablets and smartphones. Using an array of sensors that capture multiple images at the same time and proprietary algorithms, LinX says its cameras can gauge depth and create three-dimensional image maps.

linx_cameras

Last year, the company said its tiny camera modules allow for better-quality pictures in low light and faster exposure at standard indoor conditions. It said the technology offers single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera image quality without the need for a bulky device. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Ben Carson: No ‘Philosophical’ or ‘Religious’ Exemptions for Vaccinations

ben-carson_3

Dr. Ben Carson, a likely 2016 GOP presidential contenders, believes there should be no “philosophical” or “religious” exemptions for vaccinations.

“Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them.”

“Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Carson told The Hill. “Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them.”

Paul's amendment would ban laws that don’t apply equally to citizens and government. | AP Photo

The retired neurosurgeon’s comments came hours after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), both of whom are likely 2016 presidential candidates and potential rivals, stirred up controversy with their takes on vaccinations after the Disneyland measles outbreak.

Christie-Pile-On

On Monday, Christie called for a need for “balance” regarding vaccination before his office immediately clarified Christie’s comments, saying there is “no question” that kids should be vaccinated against a disease like measles.

Paul said he could not understand why his belief that most vaccinations should be “voluntary” is in any way “controversial.”

jenny_mccarthy-ANTI-VAX

“I guess being for freedom would be really unusual?” he said during a Monday CNBC appearance. “I don’t understand the point why that would be controversial.”

Paul said that “vaccines are one of the greatest medical breakthroughs” and he was a “great fan of the smallpox vaccine.” Read the rest of this entry »


North Korea’s World-Class State-of-the-Art Internet Services Reporting Issues, Outages, Users Experiencing Sub-Optimal Performance

north-korea

North Korea is having major Internet problems, just days after President Barack Obama promised a proportional response to the devastating hacks against Sony.

“We aren’t going to discuss publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in anyway except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen.”

— State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf

The country, which the FBI accused last week of the cyberattack, is suffering from periodic Internet outages, and experts at DYN Research found that recent problems were out of the ordinary, as first reported by North Korea Tech.

According to the research firm, North Korea’s internet grew steadily worse beginning Sunday night, and then went completely offline Monday morning.

Featured Image -- 56370

“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at DYN Research, told North Korea Tech. “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”

In an interview with Re/code, Madory said that even typically strong connections are experiencing disruptions. (CNBC’s parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code’s parent Revere Digital.)

“They’re pretty stable networks normally,” he told Re/code. “In the last 24 hours or so, the networks in North Korea are under some kind of duress, but I can’t tell you exactly what’s causing it.”

He added that there is no way to know if the outages are the result of an attack, or are just from maintenance or a power outage. Still, “given the timing,” a cyberattack is worth considering, he told Re/code.

Read the rest of this entry »


Here, Hold My Drink While I Count My Money: Number of Billionaires Hits Record High

moneyocare

The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12 percent to $7.3 trillion, higher than the combined market capitalization of all the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average

For CNBC reports: The world economy is going through a rough patch, yet the world’s billionaire population is at an all-time high.

money-bags

“The fastest growing segment of the billionaire population, in terms of wealth source, are those who inherited only part of their fortunes and became billionaires through their own entrepreneurial endeavors.”

A new survey shows that 155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the total population to a record 2,325 – a 7 percent increase from 2013.

Joker-billionaire-burning-money

Credit goes to the United States – home to the most billionaires globally – where 57 new billionaires were recorded this year, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 released on Wednesday.

obama-toast

Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were also large contributors, with 52 and 42 new entrants, respectively.

“The fastest growing segment of the billionaire population, in terms of wealth source, are those who inherited only part of their fortunes and became billionaires through their own entrepreneurial endeavors,” the report said, noting that 63 percent of all billionaires’ primary companies are privately held. Read the rest of this entry »


魔鬼 WEARS PRADA: Even with Slowed Growth China Mints 40,000 New Millionaires

prada-front

China created 40,000 new millionaires in 2013, bringing the total to 1.09 million, according to a new study

CNBC reports: The growth of 3.8 percent is a bit of an improvement from last year’s 3 percent gain. But it’s still only about half the growth rate of 2010 and 2011, suggesting that China’s economic slowdown and the government’s crackdown on corruption is slowing its millionaire manufacturing machine.

“Beijing and Guangdong have the most millionaires, with 192,000 and 180,000 respectively, followed by Shanghai with 159,000.”caviar

[punditfromanotherplanet celebrates the sublime, guilt-free enjoyment of breathtakingly expensive luxury goods]

According to the Hurun Research Institute, the number of people in China with personal wealth of 10 million yuanor $1.6 millionin mainland China reached 1,090,000, up from 1,050,000 in 2012.

The number of people in China worth 100 million yuan, or $16 million, increased by 2,500 people to 67,000.

justcaviar[We also celebrate the scandalous pleasure of obscenely affordable luxury items]

The slower millionaire growth comes as sales of high-end luxury goods in China—everything from watches and wine to handbags and Lamborghinis—have also cooled. But Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, said this year’s millionaire growth was still solid.

“Although we have been seeing a slowdown in spending, the money is still very much there,” he said in the report. Read the rest of this entry »


Stocks Unravel After factory Report; Dow sinks 325 points

drudge-325CNBC‘s  reports:  U.S. stocks were battered on Monday, with benchmark indexes falling through key support levels after a gauge of factory activity disappointed, heightening concern about the economy before Friday’s monthly jobs report.

Stocks had wavered ahead of the report that had U.S. manufacturing expanding at a substantially slower pace in January, driving overall factory activity to an eight-month low.

“A report like this scares people ahead of the payroll number on Friday,” said Andres Garcia-Amaya, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds, who added the report’s soft new orders component was of particular concern.

Read the rest of this entry »


Paradox: Conservatives Insisting SOTU Speeches are Boring, Nobody’s Watching, Obama is Irrelevant…Yet… We…Can’t…Stop…Talking About It…

Obama Big brother

I was going to write about the contradiction between words and deeds, between message, and reality.

The message: “The State of the Union speech is a non-event, featuring an irrelevant president, on subjects that nobody cares about. America is tuning out.”

The reality: “We can’t stop talking about Obama’s State of the Union speech.”

 The message, endlessly repeated by conservative talking heads, writers, and bloggers (count me among them) for the last three days, emphasizing boredom, fatigue, irrelevance, tuning out.

But if it’s so irrelevant, and everyone’s tuning out, why invest billions of pixels writing about it, and waste valuable broadcast time, evaluating it, discussing it, talking about it? It means that people are paying attention. Doesn’t it?

Then I saw this.

Falling just shy of the 2013 outing, Nielsen returns put President Obama’s Tuesday address as the least watched since 2000.

Apparently, they were right. America is tuning out.

It could be the only people paying attention were insiders, media people, speechwriters, White House staff members, friends and family of members of Congress, political operatives, cameramen, broadcasters, and editors who had no choice, but primarily, disgruntled conservatives; the people warning us that no one is paying attention.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

TV Ratings: State of the Union, With 33.3 Million Viewers, Hits 14-Year Low

With final ratings in for the State of the Union address, Nielsen Media puts the grand total just shy of last year’s for a 14-year low.

The gross average audience of 13 networks airing President Barack Obama’s speech puts viewership at 33,299,172. That’s down from the 33.5 million that tuned in for the 2013 speech for its lowest showing since 2000. (President Bill Clinton’s final address in office averaged 31,478,000.)

Read the rest of this entry »


New ‘Smart Rifle’ Makes Any Shooter a Pro

How about this fresh report from the : A start-up gun company unveiled a highly accurate “smart rifle” at the Consumer Electronic Show this week.

TrackingPoint presented at the show its new 500 Series AR Smart Rifle, which is just one of the company’s line of “Precision Guided Fire Arms.”

CNBC reports:

This technology turns even a neophyte into a marksman, at least within a 500-yard range. The user simply “tags” the target, and the gun and ammo do the rest, all for a mere $9,950—the starting price for the new series.

In fact, the system is so accurate that a user will have up to five times the accuracy of an experienced shooter, said Oren Schauble, the company’s marketing director.

The gun can track a target moving at up to 10 mph and allows for rapid engagement, meaning a person can shoot multiple targets quickly.

According to TrackingPoint, the company’s unique rifles are meant to “dramatically enhance the hunting and shooting sports experience while delivering a powerful tactical advantage to military and law enforcement organizations.”

Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] MSNBC: December Jobs Report Is ‘Awful,’ ‘Very Bad,’ and ‘Ugly’

 reports: MSNBC admitted that the December jobs report was dismal Friday.

“That’s a horrific number”

CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera announced the newly released report number. Only 74,000 jobs were created in December, a number that fell significantly short of the 200,000 anticipated created jobs.

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough commented “That’s a horrific number” and said that the newly added jobs number is the lowest seen in years.

Read the rest of this entry »


East Buys West: Wealthy Chinese Buyers Soak up California Housing, Cash is King

Zhang Pen | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

Zhang Pen | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

  writes:  At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. LennarPulteK HovnanianRyland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

“They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”

Yong’s phone has been ringing off the hook, with more than 5,000 new homes slated for the nearby Great Park Neighborhood. Most of the calls are from overseas, but prospective buyers are not looking solely for financial returns on the real estate.

“We are seeing a lot of Asians who are buying as an investment, but their kids are going to school here, so kids live in the home. They are looking at it more as an investment in education,” said Emile Haddad, CEO of Fivepoint Communities, developer of the Great Park Neighborhood.

Read the rest of this entry »


When You’ve Lost Howard Schultz: Starbucks CEO Bails, says Obamacare ‘Off the Rails’

imagesStarbucks CEO Howard Schultz blasted the implementation of Obamacare on Thursday, just a month after he voiced his support for the law.

The socially-conscious CEO said “what the country needs now is real honesty and transparency and truth about what’s really going on.” He said Obamacare’s rollout was “unfortunate” for the American people because there is a lack of trust now in the law and the website.

”Unfortunately, in this kind of situation, execution trumps strategy,” Schultz said on CNBC. “It might be a great strategy, but the execution is really flawed. It’s off the rails.”

Schultz had previously said Obamacare was “a good thing for the country” in September.

Breitbart.com


Que Lástima! Can We Get ‘Mexican Music’ for Ted Cruz?

On Tuesday morning’s CNBC Squawk Box, senior economics reporter Steve Liesman blamed the weak jobs report on Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He said, “We’re going to call this the Senator Ted Cruz jobs report. These are the jobless claims of Senator Ted Cruz.” As CNBC showed a picture of Cruz, Liesman added,

“There he is! There he is! Can we get some music to go along with that, some Mexican music maybe?”

Cruz is of Cuban extraction.

Truth Revolt


Obamacare’s Troubles are Only Beginning

Whitehouse.gov

Whitehouse.gov

Peter Suderman writes: Right now, most of the problems with Obamacare’s online insurance exchanges are with the signup process, particularly in the 36 exchanges being run by the federal government. But there are deeper, more fundamental problems looming even if the surface web-accessibility problems are largely fixed.

For example: Just because someone has completed the online enrollment process doesn’t mean that they’ve actually gotten coverage. Reports indicate that many of the applications that are making it through the system don’t actually have enough data for insurers to process the enrollee.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why 3D-Printed Untraceable Guns Could Be Good For America

Paul Hsieh

UPDATE  Feds demand removal of 3-D printable gun plans from the Internet  possible export law violation —- via Hot Air

In the past few days, Forbes writer Andy Greenberg broke a pair of dramatic stories on Cody Wilson’s quest to build an untraceable plastic gun using commercially available 3D-printing technology. First, Greenberg publishedexclusive photos of the completed firearm, then he reported on a successful test firing of a live .380 cartridge.

Although the technology is still in its infancy, Wilson’s innovation has already sparked heated debate. Some gun rights advocates (including Wilson) argue this means current gun laws will soon be obsolete. They welcome the fact that home hobbyists may soon be able to build functioning firearms without any background check or government record. Others are alarmed, concerned that this would enable criminals to more easily obtain firearms. Congressman Steve Israel has already stated his intent to modify current laws to ban such guns.

However, Congressman Israel may be too late. Once thousands of motivated hobbyists start downloading open source gun designs and posting their refinements, we’ll likely see rapid technical advances. But Cody Wilson’s real impact on America may not be technological but political — and in a good way.

Government will likely be unable to suppress this application of 3D-printing technology. True, they could attempt to outlaw the possession of such untraceable guns, but that would be as ineffective as current laws banning the possession of marijuana. Similarly, the government could attempt to require 3D-printers be installed with special software that only allows them to build objects from data files certified as “approved” by the authorities. But given how quickly hackers routinely “jailbreak” software restrictions on smartphones, the same would likely happen to software restrictions on 3D-printers. In other words, the genie is probably already out of the bottle.

Nonetheless, how likely is an attempted government crackdown on 3D-printed guns? One clue comes from ATF agent Charles Houser, head of their National Tracing Center Division. In a recent CNBC interview, Houser stated that there was no “legitimate purpose” to making an untraceable gun and that seeking to build one indicated “criminal intent.”

However, current law already allows home hobbyists to build their own firearms provided they are for personal use only (and not for sale). Such guns are already “untraceable.” 3D-printing doesn’t change that basic fact — it merely allows a wider range of hobbyists without specialized machine shop skills to do what’s already legal.

The unease expressed over 3D-printed guns mirrors similar unease following the adoption of widespread cryptography for secure communications. Some opponents were concerned that ordinary Americans could use this technology to engage in criminal activities undetected by the government. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration pushed for the adoption of hardware backdoors to allow government to read otherwise secure e-mail as it saw fit. Even now, the FBI continues to seek wider powers to monitor citizens’ electronic communications on the grounds it’s necessary to stop terrorism.

Yes, the government has a legitimate role in stopping the misuse of cryptography for evil purposes, such as terrorist plots or the dissemination of digital contraband such as child pornography or pirated software. But that should not be a pretext for giving the government excessive power over innocuous private communications.

Similarly, government has a legitimate role in stopping gun crime. But this should not be a pretext for restricting 3D-printing technology.

Furthermore, University of Chicago professor (and co-author of the bestsellerFreakonomics) Steve Levitt has noted that most proposed gun controls have minimal impact on gun crime. One of the few ideas that does work is enhanced prison sentences for crimes committed with a gun. According to Levitt, the gun laws that work are ones “where you’re not tying it to the gun itself, you’re tying it to the use of guns that you don’t want.” This makes perfect sense. The government should not punish gun ownership by responsible adults, nor legitimate sporting or self-defense uses. Instead, the government should punish the misuse of a gun by criminals.

Citizens do not have a general obligation to communicate with others in a way that the government can readily understand. An honest person can have many legitimate personal or business reasons for private communications. Most Americans recognize this is not a sign of “criminal intent.” If the government has a specific need to monitor someone’s private electronic communications, the burden of proof should be on them to demonstrate their need for a warrant for appropriate wiretapping. Otherwise, anyone using cryptography should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, honest citizens should not have a general obligation to disclose to the government what firearms they’ve built or bought, provided they are for honest purposes. An honest person may wish to keep this information private to avoid becoming the target of thieves or unwanted political attacks. A desire for private firearms ownership is not proof of “criminal intent.” And if the government has a specific concern that someone is planning a crime with a gun (or any other tool), the burden of proof should be on the government prior to any search or other invasion of his privacy. Otherwise, anyone owning an “untraceable” 3D-printed gun should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Wilson’s innovation could thus spark a much-needed re-examination of American gun laws, including the current paradigm of imposing ever-increasing restrictions on millions of honest gun owners in an attempt to stop relatively fewer bad guys from committing gun crimes. By making it harder (if not nearly impossible) for the government to regulate gun possession and transfers, his development could move the government to instead (properly) focus its efforts on punishing gun misuse.

That is why I’m encouraged by the development of 3D-printed guns. Not because I want bad guys committing more gun crimes. But because I hope it sparks some vigorous discussions on deeper themes such as “innocent until proven guilty” and the proper scope of government. If enough people start debating these questions, Cody Wilson will have done America a real service.

via  Forbes