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Vehl

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Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2009, 02:07 AM
Number of posts: 1,915

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Google puts a blind man behind the wheel of its self-driving car (video)


Sometimes it feels all too easy to succumb to cynicism when looking at the cutthroat competition in the tech world, but a new video from Google that demonstrates its self-driving car is more than enough to lead one's heart back to the optimism inherent in human technology. In the video, Google employees pick up Steve Mahan, a man who's lost 95 percent of his vision, and put him behind the wheel — and from the moment the car starts up to a gentle robotic voice that announces "auto driving," it's clear that this ride is going to be unlike any other you've seen. Steve explains how "you lose your timing in life, everything takes you much longer" — "there are some places that you cannot go, there are some things that you really cannot do." But it's clear that for Steve, who's able to order a drive-through burrito and pick up his dry cleaning, that this could be an utterly uplifting technology, and one more imminent than some could have imagined.

Google announced its self-driving car project back in 2010, and since then it says it has safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving. Others like BMW, Audi, Toyota, and university engineers are working on their own versions of computer-controlled driving systems, too. And with states like Nevada easing into the use of self-driving cars on public roads with recently approved regulations, the concept seems to be gaining legitimate traction in the public eye. Google says that it organized the test as a "technical experiment outside of our core research efforts," but that "it's also a promising look at what this kind of technology may one day deliver for society" — a promise that could one day allow those like Steve to experience the joy of driving, and more importantly, the dignity of self-determination in ways they never thought possible.

link
http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/29/2910196/google-self-driving-car-video

Video



Truly Amazing. This technology is much further along than I thought possible. Opens up a whole new world for the differently abled.


PS: When news about Google's self driving cars leaked to the press in 2010, a lot of "tech journalists" pooh poohed it, claiming that Google should just "focus" on what it does already..and should not invest in such different stuff. However this video clearly shows how wrong they were. Imagine a world where the disabled could do much more than they can do now.

Other stuff being worked on at Google's secret X labs include Space elevators (yep!) and Robots. One does not see other Companies invest in such far-out tech. They all do iterative development of existing tech and call it 'innovative", while Google is one of the very few companies which actually do bleeding edge research on technologies that might or might not bear fruit in the distant future. I mean come on...space elevators! how cool is that

An article about the Google X labs
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/technology/at-google-x-a-top-secret-lab-dreaming-up-the-future.html?pagewanted=all

Loose-lipped iPhones top the list of smartphones exploited by hacker

As a security professional who gets paid to hack into high-value networks, Mark Wuergler often gets a boost when his targets use smartphones, especially when the device happens to be an iPhone that regularly connects to Wi-Fi networks.

That's because the iPhone is the only smartphone he knows of that transmits to anyone within range the unique identifiers of the past three wireless access points the user has logged into. He can then use off-the-shelf hardware to passively retrieve the routers' MAC (media access control) addresses and look them up in databases such as Google Location Services and the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine. By allowing him to pinpoint the precise location of the wireless network, iPhones give him a quick leg-up when performing reconnaissance on prospective marks.

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The exposure of MAC addresses extends not only to iPhones, but to all Apple devices with Wi-Fi capabilities, he said. It means that whenever the wireless features are enabled and not connected to a network—for instance, during a brief encounter at a Starbucks—they broadcast the unique identifiers, and it's trivial for anyone nearby to record them.

Apple did not respond to our requests for comment for this article.

more here
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/03/loose-lipped-iphones-top-the-list-of-smartphones-exploited-by-hacker.ars?clicked=related_right


Screenshot of information gleaned from Apple products due to this flaw, by the Security analyst. Hackers have access to this information

[IMG][/IMG]


Edited to add: Right click and select "view image" to view a high-res version of the image.

Contact details
Called list.
images.
apps..everything is accessible to the hacker.


^^ So much for the "it just works" by the most "innovative" company. It just works ...by being the most insecure consumer device on market, according to the article. It takes special skill all right.....after all its not easy for a company to have this bug in ALL of its Wifi-capable devices.

This just underscores what non Apple users have been saying all along..that the claims that Apple products are more secure, more stable are flat out wrong, and do not have any statistics backing them up. People willingly pay hundreds if not thousands of $$$ more for stuff that is essentially no different(at times even less capable) from the other stuff out there.


on a related note

Study shows Ios more prone to crashes than Andorid.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/02/02/does-ios-crash-more-than-android-a-data-dive/

Apple "changes everything again"

[IMG][/IMG]


Mormon Proxy Baptism Was Performed On Mahatma Gandhi, Researcher Says

cross posted from GD



Mahatma Gandhi, who employed nonviolent civil disobedience to lead India to independence after more than a century of British rule, was posthumously baptized by proxy by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to information provided to The Huffington Post.

Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who has until now has focused on researching incidents of proxy baptisms being proposed for or performed on dead Jews, discovered the Gandhi records on February 16 in a genealogical database restricted to Mormons. She was prompted to search for his name after seeing a statement by a Nevada-based Hindu activist, Rajan Zed, who expressed concern the practice might be performed in the name of many Hindus.

A screen shot of the database page sent to HuffPost by Radkey shows a proxy baptism for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was completed in a Salt Lake City Temple on March 27, 1996. The record has since been removed and Radkey said a subsequent search came up with "Unknown Name."


To perform proxy baptism to a Hindu is "deeply offensive" because of the belief in rebirth, said Suhag Shukla, co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation and now its managing director and legal counsel.
"Each of us is innately divine, which is diametrically opposed to this concept that we are innately sinful and needing to accept Jesus as our savior in order to cleanse our soul," she said in an interview. "We do not believe there is only one way to salvation."

The history of British colonialism in India was inextricably tied to Christian missionaries who viewed Hindus and other non-Westerners as "heathens languishing in religions other than Christianity," Shukla said. She said many Hindus view missionaries -- whether Mormon or from other groups, as unwelcome "church-planting" operations.

more here
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mormon-proxy-baptism-mahatma-gandhi_n_1299676.html?ref=hinduism



Wow just wow. The arrogance of these idiots is beyond belief. As the old saying goes..."there is a limit to intelligence, but not to foolishness". Not only are they spending Billions on "saving" the "souls" of living people by hook or crook, but are now also trying to convert the dead!. Its good to see Hindu statesmen like Zed and Mrs Shukla protest this despicable practice.



"The irony is that Mahatma had some very specific criticisms about conversion and missionary activities, or "predatory proselytization," Shukla said. "He felt it was at the root of all conflict," she said. "He was interested in interfaith engagement and peace between religions. But he felt it was very important you have respect for other religions and not be coming in with this attitude that mine is better than yours."


PS:
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel, who is still alive, also was targeted for "posthumous" baptism, as were the murdered parents of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. Wiesel demanded Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak out about the practice. Romney, has performed the ritual of proxy baptism in the past, but has referred questions about the ritual to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon Proxy Baptism Was Performed On Mahatma Gandhi, Researcher Says



Mahatma Gandhi, who employed nonviolent civil disobedience to lead India to independence after more than a century of British rule, was posthumously baptized by proxy by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to information provided to The Huffington Post.

Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who has until now has focused on researching incidents of proxy baptisms being proposed for or performed on dead Jews, discovered the Gandhi records on February 16 in a genealogical database restricted to Mormons. She was prompted to search for his name after seeing a statement by a Nevada-based Hindu activist, Rajan Zed, who expressed concern the practice might be performed in the name of many Hindus.

A screen shot of the database page sent to HuffPost by Radkey shows a proxy baptism for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was completed in a Salt Lake City Temple on March 27, 1996. The record has since been removed and Radkey said a subsequent search came up with "Unknown Name."


To perform proxy baptism to a Hindu is "deeply offensive" because of the belief in rebirth, said Suhag Shukla, co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation and now its managing director and legal counsel.
"Each of us is innately divine, which is diametrically opposed to this concept that we are innately sinful and needing to accept Jesus as our savior in order to cleanse our soul," she said in an interview. "We do not believe there is only one way to salvation."

The history of British colonialism in India was inextricably tied to Christian missionaries who viewed Hindus and other non-Westerners as "heathens languishing in religions other than Christianity," Shukla said. She said many Hindus view missionaries -- whether Mormon or from other groups, as unwelcome "church-planting" operations.

more here
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mormon-proxy-baptism-mahatma-gandhi_n_1299676.html?ref=hinduism



Wow just wow. The arrogance of these idiots is beyond belief. As the old saying goes..."there is a limit to intelligence, but not to foolishness". Not only are they spending Billions on "saving" the "souls" of living people by hook or crook, but are now also trying to convert the dead!. Its good to see Hindu statesmen like Zed and Mrs Shukla protest this despicable practice.



"The irony is that Mahatma had some very specific criticisms about conversion and missionary activities, or "predatory proselytization," Shukla said. "He felt it was at the root of all conflict," she said. "He was interested in interfaith engagement and peace between religions. But he felt it was very important you have respect for other religions and not be coming in with this attitude that mine is better than yours."


PS:
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel, who is still alive, also was targeted for "posthumous" baptism, as were the murdered parents of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. Wiesel demanded Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak out about the practice. Romney, has performed the ritual of proxy baptism in the past, but has referred questions about the ritual to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pakistan Gifting 10% of its land to China in a 50 year Lease!!!!!

[IMG][/IMG]


This news just blew my mind!!!

It has been known, for the past two years that Chinese soldiers have been present in Pakistani controlled parts of Kashmir. China denied this. However what was not known was that Pakistan has already leased(secretly) the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan (90% of whats known as Pakistani Controlled Kashmir) to China.

In other words, Pakistan has given away about 10% of its landmass!!
This was in top of the other "gifts" to China in the past 50 years.

Oh and also this pretty much invalidates any claim Pakistan had on Kashmir...if it loves Kashmir so much(and wants the other 2/3rd of Kashmir that is Indian), why would it give away all of its Kashmir to China in a 50 year lease?. Pakistan just invalidated its own claim of ownership of all of Kashmir.


Pak's Gilgit lease to China catches Indian army unawares

The latest proposal of Pakistan to lease Gilgit-Baltistan to China for 50 years has caught the Indian army unawares. And the commanders have gone into a huddle to figure out what it means for India. The presence of People's Liberation Army personnel in Gilgit-Baltistan, earlier part of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, had been exposed by the New York Times and later substantiated by army commanders here, but what was not known was that the area would be all but governed by China.

"We had no clue about the lease part of the story," said an army officer privy to the developments along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir to Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.

US think tank Middle-East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has analysed this situation.

Sources said that the army was now again putting on the board the possibility of twin attacks by China and Pakistan - that the two friendly countries may attack India and Jammu and Kashmir could be the battlefield. The army documented the possible scene three years ago, but not many had lent credence to the possibility at that point of time.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Chandigarh/Pak-s-Gilgit-lease-to-China-catches-Indian-army-unawares/Article1-815671.aspx



China's Discreet Hold on Pakistan's Northern Borderlands

While the world focuses on the flood-ravaged Indus River valley, a quiet geopolitical crisis is unfolding in the Himalayan borderlands of northern Pakistan, where Islamabad is handing over de facto control of the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in the northwest corner of disputed Kashmir to China.

The entire Pakistan-occupied western portion of Kashmir stretching from Gilgit in the north to Azad (Free) Kashmir in the south is closed to the world, in contrast to the media access that India permits in the eastern part, where it is combating a Pakistan-backed insurgency. But reports from a variety of foreign intelligence sources, Pakistani journalists and Pakistani human rights workers reveal two important new developments in Gilgit-Baltistan: a simmering rebellion against Pakistani rule and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army.

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Mystery surrounds the construction of 22 tunnels in secret locations where Pakistanis are barred. Tunnels would be necessary for a projected gas pipeline from Iran to China that would cross the Himalayas through Gilgit. But they could also be used for missile storage sites.

Until recently, the P.L.A. construction crews lived in temporary encampments and went home after completing their assignments. Now they are building big residential enclaves clearly designed for a long-term presence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/opinion/27iht-edharrison.html



The Pakistani's just fell from the frying pan into the Fire.There is absolutely no way that they can get the land back from China in 50 years. Absolutely no way. Furthermore this part of land is claimed by India as well. Giving away disputed land to a third party is reckless beyond belief. For all the "talk" the Pakistani leaders talk about having the interests of their country and people in their hearts, this action shows what they really are all about. They have become lapdogs to their Chinese masters.

[IMG][/IMG]

A Chinese and Pakistani soldier, in Pakistan controlled Kashmir, the same place now 'leased" (gifted) to China'




[IMG][/IMG]


PS:
-------------------

China really asked for it, this time.

10 years from now, I see Asia in two main camps


China-led group, consisting on China, Pakistan and North Korea

Asian Alliance consisting of India, Japan, South Korea,Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mongolia (and other South East Asian ,east Asian states who has territories claimed/Disputed by China). America would also be part of this. Russia would stay neutral, but use this opportunity to finally settle its score with China.


[IMG][/IMG]

^^ with claims like these, is it any wonder why the vast majority of China's neighbors are banding together against it?






California wildlife official in hot water over mountain lion hunt


One of California's top wildlife officials found himself in the political line of fire Friday, after a photo surfaced showing him holding a dead mountain lion he killed in what appeared to be a recent big game hunt.

Daniel W. Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission, shot the lion in Northern Idaho. The photo was posted on the website of Western Outdoor News, a hunting and fishing publication.

Mountain lion hunting has been illegal in California since 1990, when voters passed Proposition 117.

Within hours of the photo appearing, callers deluged the state Fish and Game Commission office, and the Humane Society of the United States urged Richards to step down.
"It's not illegal. But he's thumbed his nose at the people of California," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society. "He's supposed to be representing the interests of all California citizens. It seems like such a tone-deaf action. What part of 'no' doesn't he understand?"

[IMG][/IMG]

more here
http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_19992359



another interesting piece of news


Meanwhile, Richards is facing more political fallout.

In 2010, his former business partner was indicted, along with three other men, on charges of bribery, conflict of interest, tax fraud, tax evasion, perjury and forgery. San Bernardino County prosecutors said the indicted men worked to corrupt public officials in connection with a $102 million settlement in a land development deal



religious truth

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Found this hilarious pic online

Meet Newt Gingrich’s ‘Faith Leaders Dream Team’ (featuring Chuck Norris)

[img]http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/8Z.jSReS7gTQk6pOIQ6SLA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA--/[/img]
From Newt Gingrich's latest campaign release:

Speaker Newt Gingrich has unveiled his Faith Leaders Dream Team — rallying several fearless Christians including Don Wildmon, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, George Barna, JC Watts, Chuck Norris, Mat Staver and others as he takes on the the radical secularism of the Obama Administration.

The Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition is Newt Gingrich's official advisory coalition on issues pertaining to life, marriage, and religious liberty.


Still, just to make sure we're clear: Chuck Norris doesn't join faith coalitions. Faith coalitions join Chuck Norris.


link
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/meet-newt-gingrich-faith-leaders-dream-team-featuring-205347810.html


(Remember Righthaven?) Apple may be using patent troll to do its legal dirty work

Remember Righthaven?

Apple may be using a similar patent troll, according to investigative journalists.


Apple Made A Deal With The Devil (No, Worse: A Patent Troll)

Over the last two years, Apple has been engaged in vicious legal battles over smartphone patents, many of which are aimed at squelching (or squeezing money out of) manufacturers of devices running Android. And now, for some reason, it has given valuable patents to a patent troll — which is using them to sue many of the top technology companies in the world.

Meet Digitude Innovations, a firm based in Virginia that recently filed suit with the International Trade Commission alleging patent infringement by technology companies including RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, and Nokia (note that Apple is not on this list). The ITC is a favorite for companies litigating over mobile phone patent disputes, as it can block the import of products long before a case has actually concluded.

Digitude was founded in 2010 and raised $50 million from Altitude Capital Partners, with aims to “acquire, aggregate, and license key technology areas within the consumer electronics and related technology fields in a patent consortium” — in other words, it buys up patents and then sues other companies until they settle and agree to pay licensing fees, because it’s generally less expensive than actually going to court.


In both cases, Apple transferred ownership of the patent to a company called Cliff Island LLC, which in turn transferred it to Digitude Innovations. In fact, Apple has transferred a dozen patents to Cliff Island LLC this year (though only two of these were named in this ITC suit).


more here
http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/09/apple-made-a-deal-with-the-devil-no-worse-a-patent-troll/




Apple may be using patent troll to do its legal dirty work

It appears that Apple has made a deal with patent troll Digitude Innnovations to help the company's efforts to sue nearly every major mobile device maker. Digitude earlier this month launched one of its first legal attacks against Nokia, RIM, Motorola, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony, and even Amazon, filing a patent infringement claim with the International Trade Commission. Conspicuously absent from that list is iPhone maker Apple, which until late November owned two of the patents being used to target "certain mobile devices" from its competitors.

As discovered by TechCrunch,Apple recently transferred ownership of a dozen patents to a shell company called Cliff Island LLC, which happens to share a New York office with the investment firm Altitude Capital Partners. Like Virginia-based Digitude, Altitude was founded by investor Robert Kramer.

According to a Forbes report, Kramer's Altitude has in the past funded efforts to extract large settlements from the likes of Microsoft, RIM, and eBay over patent disputes. Earlier this year, Kramer put up $50 million of Altitude's funds to found Digitude. The money helped fund its acquisition of over 500 "consumer electronics patents" to both license and litigate.
..
..
As we noted recently, Apple has a tendency to use its intellectual property in ways that seem inconsistent. For instance, an Opera developer claims that Apple has a pattern of using patents to slow down the W3C's open standards process, while promoting open standards when it gives Apple leverage against its competitors. This situation with Digitude seems similar; Apple opposes the tactics of patent trolls when they come after iOS developers, but seems to support them if it aids its ongoing legal battle for dominance of the smartphone market.

more here
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/12/apple-may-be-using-patent-troll-to-do-its-legal-dirty-work.ars





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