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Rubio: My Economic Plan Will Create ‘Another American Century’.


Image: Rubio: My Economic Plan Will Create 'Another American Century'

By Joe Battaglia

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida outlined his plan to improve the economy Monday, continuing an attempt to shift focus from his failed immigration overhaul to his policy ideas.

Speaking during an afternoon forum hosted by Google and the Jack Kemp Foundation, Rubio advocated changes he said would create high-paying, middle-class jobs while ushering in “another American century,” with reforms such as an overhaul of the tax system, an increase in trade and research opportunities, and advances in the technology sector.

“While we are facing the full brunt of the disruptions created by the economic revolution [of the 20th century], its opportunities are not reaching quite enough Americans,” Rubio said. “The enormous challenge, the fundamental challenge before us, is to help people overcome these challenges and to access the promise of our time. Achieving this is going to require us to replace the antiquated policies and institutions of the last century with ones built for this new era.”

Rubio said that for the United States to position itself to win in a new global economy, wide-ranging transformation is needed in Washington, and he outlined three main avenues for reform.

The first is to enact policies aimed at fostering innovation.

Rubio argued that while the American people produce 35 percent of the value of the world’s goods despite composing just 4 percent of the global population, we would be doing even more except that “Washington has put up a blockade of restrictions and regulations and taxes that prevent innovators from accessing the full range of opportunities afforded by the American free enterprise system.”

His plans for collapsing those barriers call for preserving Internet freedom, expanding access to the wireless spectrum by selling it to private companies through federal auctions, and promoting technology development at the Department of Energy.

“We want to build projects and companies that not only change our lives and the numbers in our bank account but that change the world and change it for the better,” Rubio said.

After spurring innovation, Rubio said Washington’s second avenue of reform must be the expansion of markets for U.S. products and services by actively engaging in the global economy.

He pushed for the White House to be given “trade promotion authority” to expedite international trade deals; called for increased cooperation between federal research agencies and the private sector; and urged creation of a “national regulatory budget” that would be established by an independent board and would require the government to measure and offset the costs of any new regulation.

“We need trade policies that make it easier for our products to make it to a global network of consumers,” Rubio said.

Rubio said the United States must not lose sight of the fact that it is in constant competition with other global energy producers, and called for a repeal of the ban on crude-oil exports and for streamlining the regulatory review process for natural gas pipeline development.

“The interstate highway system of the last century helped foster an explosion of economic opportunity,” Rubio said.

“What we need now is an interstate energy pipeline system because it can have a similar impact on our economy. Unlike the interstate highway of the 1950s, the private sector, not taxpayers, can and will pay for this new system.

“What they need from government is a reduction or elimination of the regulations that are preventing the private sector from doing this now.”

Rubio said the country’s third avenue for reform should be on how to make it the best country in the world in which to invest. Hindering that from happening is what he said is the highest combined corporate tax rate of any advanced economy on the planet.

“If you combine federal and state taxes, our corporate rate is nearly 40 percent,” he said. “The global average is under 25 percent. Just on taxes alone it is more expensive to invest in creating jobs in America than in most other developed countries. If we stick with the status quo, what we risk is losing the next great American company before it even has the chance to begin.”

Rubio’s proposals call for sweeping reforms of the tax code, including a decrease in the highest corporate tax rate, immediately allowing companies to deduct all their expenses and expenditures from their taxable income, and allowing companies to avoid U.S. taxes on earnings made and taxed abroad.

“Under the current tax system, the safe thing for companies to do is leave [their money] in the bank,” Rubio said. “We see evidence of this in the fact that American businesses are sitting on an estimated $4 trillion to $5 trillion in uninvested cash. That is more than the size of the entire German economy. That is over twice the size of the Russian economy. Instead of this money being invested to grow and hire, it’s just sitting there.

“Under the changes we are working on, the more a business invests, the less the government takes away from them. That serves as a powerful incentive to invest, to grow, to hire, and to give their workers raises.

“We no longer have the luxury of wasting time on the failed promises of big government or the divisive rhetoric of class warfare,” Rubio said. “The world around us is changing quickly, and we have waited far too long to change with it.”

Rubio, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, wants to rebuild his image after he angered conservatives last year by leading a push for a major overhaul of immigration laws that many on the right viewed as an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The son of Cuban immigrants, he was dubbed the “savior of the Republican Party” by Time magazine last year but is having a hard time ingratiating himself with GOP conservatives, The Wall Street Journal reports. Most of his proposals on Monday are likely to garner support from other conservatives.

Rubio finished seventh in a straw poll of possible presidential contenders at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. Last year, he came in second to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who also won this year’s poll.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Security Flaw Makes iPhones, iPads, Macs Vulnerable to Hackers.


A major flaw in Apple Inc. software for mobile devices could allow hackers to intercept email and other communications that are meant to be encrypted, the company said on Friday, and experts said Mac computers were even more exposed.

If attackers have access to a mobile user’s network, such as by sharing the same unsecured wireless service offered by a restaurant, they could see or alter exchanges between the user and protected sites such as Gmail and Facebook. Governments with access to telecom carrier data could do the same.

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“It’s as bad as you could imagine, that’s all I can say,” said Johns Hopkins University cryptography professor Matthew Green.

Apple did not say when or how it learned about the flaw in the way iOS handles sessions in what are known as secure sockets layer or transport layer security, nor did it say whether the flaw was being exploited.

But a statement on its support website was blunt: The software “failed to validate the authenticity of the connection.”

Apple released software patches and an update for the current version of iOS for iPhone 4 and later, 5th-generation iPod touches, and iPad 2 and later.

Without the fix, a hacker could impersonate a protected site and sit in the middle as email or financial data goes between the user and the real site, Green said.

After analyzing the patch, several security researchers said the same flaw existed in current versions of Mac OSX, running Apple laptop and desktop computers. No patch is available yet for that operating system, though one is expected soon.

Because spies and hackers will also be studying the patch, they could develop programs to take advantage of the flaw within days or even hours.

The issue is a “fundamental bug in Apple’s SSL implementation,” said Dmitri Alperovich, chief technology officer at security firm CrowdStrike Inc. Adam Langley, a senior engineer at Google, agreed with CrowdStrike that OS X was at risk.

Apple did not reply to requests for comment. The flaw appears to be in the way that well-understood protocols were implemented, an embarrassing lapse for a company of Apple’s stature and technical prowess.

The company was recently stung by leaked intelligence documents claiming that authorities had 100 percent success rate in breaking into iPhones.

Friday’s news suggests that enterprising hackers could have had great success as well if they knew of the flaw.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Lamentation To The Cows Of Bashan – By Izuchukwu Okeke.


By Izuchukwu Okeke

It is 9 am as I stepped finally into the long-stretched passage. It was empty; no teacher, no students; only me. I was late, quite unfortunately. The lectures start at 9 am, and it is expected everyone be in the class at least 8:55 am. And, surely, here, once it is 8:55 the lecturers all file out to the various classes. And once it is 9 am, the classes start. If you arrive a minute past 9, you are late, as I was this day.

The reality of this empty passage sent my mind back to the country I was coming from. I was not even comparing the punctuality of the academic cadre or the standard of education itself. I was thinking of the massive collapse of its essence, its availability and the poverty of its prospects.

The night before, I read it on the Internet that lecturers in the Polytechnics were still on strike. They had been before the University lecturers joined in the middle of last year and continued till early this year. University students sat through 6 months dining with the two worst devils of life: idleness and boredom. The Polytechnic lecturers took few months break and had resumed strike again. And, as it seems, politicians are busy carpeting and cross carpeting; somehow they are not interested in the rants of these distracting academic hordes. So when will the students in Polytechnic go back to class? It is not even known.

I live in Korea, and in this country education is everything. I think it is not necessary to blow anymore horn about the strength of this nation’s economy, standards of their infrastructure and quality of their living standards; all hinged on the power and value of their education system. But it is worth mentioning what I found to be the major discrepancy between these two nations. Here, psyche is the central and most respected national resource; human resources are the strength of the government, the economy and the society, which is why education is everything. Every effort is invested and legitimately dispensed at developing the individual to become a global brand, to earn the capacity to compete with his mates anywhere they are found in the globe.

This country situated on the peninsula betwixt China, North Korea and Japan squat on a total of 100,210 km sq area of land. But unfortunately 72 percent of this land is hills, plateaus and mountains. Meaning that their populations of a little over 50,000,000 people live within the remaining clusters, in relatively higher density, 501.1/km2, higher than most nations of the world. From the shackles of Japanese domination in 1950, this country has risen in leaps and bounds. Among its endearing statistics is the fact that within these decades that followed its independence South Korea economy has been transformed into a G-20 major economy and has the second highest standard of living in Asia, having an HDI of 0.909.

Yes, South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy and the world’s 15th (nominal) or 12th (purchasing power parity) largest economy. But Korea has no Crude Oil, Tin, Iron Ore, Gold or Diamond Mines. This economy is export-driven. South Korean corporations like Samsung and LG (ranked first and third largest mobile phone companies in the world in the first quarter of 2012 respectively) dominate world markets, among the many beautiful, yet daunting stories of their transformation.

Behind this testimony of exemplary 50 decades of industrial development is an educational and social philosophy that underscores, perfectly well, that the true wealth of a nation is not its natural resources as much as it is its human resources. And each new day as I walk towards the class in Sunkyunkwan University, I am reminded of this philosophy. And also of wholly dedicated, hard-working, cheerful teachers who can go to any length to impart knowledge to the students. How many times I pity the extent of their personal sacrifice to advance the academic goals of their students. But they all work according to this country’s educational philosophy.

The classes are fully equipped with advanced learning infrastructure. The chalkboard a long time ago had given way to a board fully equipped with Power Point presentation facility, digitalized and connected to the Internet. Our test books are online and everything we have to do is online based and of the best standards compared to anywhere in the world.

Here, sadly, a 60 mark/grade after an exam is just a pass! Not even a credit. So any score less than 70, you have to go through a review to step you up and you have to write an exam to prove the review produced the expected result. And this and other factors have driven this nation from the brinks of poverty to industrial heights.

But, somehow, as I entered the class with these thoughts, I began, once again, to nurse that deep gorge of guilt that comes to me when I remember my country, Nigeria. That feeling also comes along with a certain gnawing pain of the advanced nature of ignorance spawned by our system on both the leaders and the lead that seems to suggest nothing will change soon. Since I was born the story has always been that the situation is bad for the common man. It had gone from worse, to worst, until there is no relative adverb to describe the situation now.

I did not cause Nigeria’s problem. I did not steal anybody’s money to be here. My father until his demise was a poor village farmer. My mother is still living off her labour in the farm. I am only a fortunate candidate of a scholarship programme. But this feeling when it comes doesn’t leave me soon. It keeps digging deep hole on my moral fibre. I keep wondering if there is a way I may have contributed to making Nigeria what it is. Leaving over 70 percent of her human population disillusioned and gasping for life, not knowing how and from which source the next meal will come. Seeking miracle in anything mentioned to possess divine power.

I was also keep wondering how Nigerian students abroad whose parents are part and parcel of this system that created the rot feel. How do they feel knowing their parents have left many of the nation’s youths disoriented and confused? How do they feel when their parents pay so much for them to study in this kind of environment, and knowing that this money, by every legitimate standards their parents cannot earn it? How do they feel when they remember that having messed up the system and exported them abroad to acquire the best education their parents left the system back home in total pell-mell. How do they feel to learn that their mates down in the villages are giving up legitimate endeavors and making career prospects in kidnapping and robbery? How do they really feel? Worse than I do? Or maybe they do not feel anything at all?

In the last one-month a drama has been playing out between the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi on the one hand and Ministries of Finance, Petroleum and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on the other. As it were the whole nation focused on it, because of the whopping amount of money involved. And as that drama played out, the reality of the hopelessness of the Nigerian situation dawned so much on me. That drama defines us in the mean time. Nobody in Nigeria’s governance system has an alternative thinking—or may be just a tiny minority of wayward thinkers who do not even possess the gut and grit to make it to the positions of governance.

To many of them there now at the corridors of power, be it political or bureaucratic, all they want is money. Everyone is talking money, oil money; how it is stolen, how it is not stolen! No one else is thinking. To Nigeria and Nigerians this oil money is everything. You have it, you have everything, you don’t have it, and you don’t have anything. That charade at the House of Assembly also defines the 2015 and the slapsticks of cross-carpeting that have become a daily news menu. Because everybody, everybody politician, wants to place himself at the vantage position to have a bite of the piece of the cake come 2015. They have been eating, and they want to keep eating.

Google, two regular guys’ idea is about to worth more than our oil. The Facebook founder is just 24 years old. But where are Nigerian youths? Is anybody concerned at the mess we left him or her? Of the frustration we are building up among them? Just education! Give them education, a qualitative one, so that they can on their own change their world, compete with their fellows elsewhere. No! Nigerian politicians do not see the resource in the youth. They are only tools used and dumped during elections.

In this generation Nigerian leaders are wired in pursuit of oil blocks and loots because in our clime ideas do not sell and if ideas sell, regular guys will become threats to Nigerian politicians. May be that is the fear. Because I do not see the big deal in investing 30 percent of our resources in revamping the educational system, and establishing it on the best standards and employ it to eliminate this endemic poverty in our clime.

As I sit in the class this day carrying this feeling and thinking these thoughts, the pain gnaws even harder that nothing will change. What will I write more than have been written these years, and what will I say that that has not been said? Like Amos in the bible called their likes, they are cows of Bashan. But we will keep lamenting to their ears. Even when they refuse to change, heaven will bear witness that we told them, as our fathers did.

Izuchukwu Okeke Job
KGSP Scholar
Sungkyunkwan University
Suwon, South Korea

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Facebook Soon to Lose 80% of Users, Study Says.


Image: Facebook Soon to Lose 80% of Users, Study Says

By Elliot Jager

Two Princeton University doctoral students have written a study that predicts Facebook will follow MySpace into oblivion, Time reports.

Joshua Spechler and John Cannarella, who are studying in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, developed a theoretical model  that compares the social media site to an infectious disease.

Facebook is forecast to spread awhile longer and before it dies.

The Spechler-Cannarella model predicts that Facebook users will lose interest in the social media platform as time goes on and it will face a swift decline — losing 80 percent of its peak membership by 2017.

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The two scholars used a modified epidemiological model called adoption and abandonment to try to understand the momentum of how users embrace and then drop online social networks.

For statistics they used data available by searching Google.

The study has not yet been peer reviewed.

Both scholars have Facebook pages of their own — at least for now.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

2014 Will See The Rise Of The ‘Always On’ Smarthome.


“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17

For years now, we have been telling you that the there is coming a One World System which, under the rule of the Antichrist, will be controlled by what the bible calls the Mark Of The Beast. If you refuse this mark, you will be locked out of everything. You won’t be able to buy anything, sell anything, and now it looks like even your own home will be used against you.

The RFID Microchip, in all its various forms and evolutions, is more and more becoming the gateway as well as the gatekeeper to every aspect of our daily lives. The world system that it runs is the world system we now live under.

Prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes, the future has arrived. Can you see it?

Telegraph UK: This was the year that tablets and smartphones truly matured; 2014 should be the year when our homes finally start to get as smart as our phones.

The past 12 months have witnessed some remarkable innovations. Samsung introduced eye-tracking technology that — although imperfect — knows when to scroll up on a screen, and Apple crammed eye-watering computing power into its iPad Air. Yet consumers admit to already being impatient for the next big thing. The honeymoon period for a new gadget is four months, with users confessing that boredom sets in beyond that.

smart-home-device-tablet-mark-of-the-beast-666-technology-mashable-now-end-begins

Everything will be controlled digitally through the Internet. A one world system that regulates everything we do in or out of our homes.

But never mind four months, according to mobile operator O2 a quarter of consumers claimed they were bored within just four weeks, eager to upgrade as their friends and colleagues got newer phones.

Indeed, the greatest challenge facing gadget manufacturers is ever-diminishing profit margins, coupled with the need to invest and maintain excitement. Our gadget of the year is the Motorola Moto G — not because it is the most extraordinary phone, but because it is an amazing purchase for £135. As chief executive Dennis Woodside remarked, prior to the launch: “You can buy five for the cost of an iPhone”. The trend, overall, was for amazing smartphones and tablets fighting against the oncoming juggernaut of commoditisation.

But there is very much a next big thing coming. That smartphone or tablet is no longer merely a portable window on the web, it’s increasingly the gateway to an internet of things, whereby your coffee machine, washing machine, heating, even your garden, are all connected to the internet.

What may sound like a futuristic set-up is approaching faster than anyone anticipated. Sky’s Now TV box offers almost all the television available from a satellite dish over the internet. Sonos’s music players give you all the world’s music at your fingertips. Nest offers a web connection for your smoke alarm so you can see where the fire is (and turn the alarm off from your phone when you realise it’s only the toast that you’ve burnt). And your yucca can even inform you, via an app, when it needs watering.

Some of these new ideas may feel gimmicky. Philips’ Hue light bulbs, for example, can be any colour you want, instantly controlled from your phone again. But the question is not who needs red light bulbs in their home, it’s what does the house of the future look like when it has one single remote control for light, heat, television and security?

The HomeMonitor camera, for instance, is now a mainstream object that uses the web and a smartphone screen to show you what’s going on, rather than recording its CCTV footage to tape. Meanwhile, companies such as Honeywell and British Gas are keen to emphasise their smart credentials with connected heating and cooling systems.

All this may not herald a Jetsons-style world of flying cars and jet packs, but there’s no disputing the web will be everywhere in 2014. In the not-too-distant future, Google’s driverless cars will be simply another example of connected objects, whisking you from place to place, with the dashboard located on your phone. source – Telegraph UK.

by NTEB News Desk

Reid: Senate to Vote on Extending Jobless Benefits.


Image: Reid: Senate to Vote on Extending Jobless Benefits

The Senate will vote next Monday on temporarily extending federal benefits for the long-term unemployed, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Reid, D-Nev., told The Associated Press he’s hopeful a bill co-sponsored by Nevada‘s Republican Sen. Dean Heller will be approved by the upper chamber, but he offered no prediction on whether it will pass muster in the House of Representatives.

“I don’t predict anything in the House,” Reid said Monday, describing the Republican-controlled House as a “black hole of legislation.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

But he praised Heller for the bipartisan bill he introduced with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island. The measure would continue the federal jobless program for three months while a compromise is sought.

“I hope we can get that done,” said Reid, who has often been at odds with the conservative Heller.

“I’m happy to see Dean has joined us,” Reid added. “He’s broken away from the tea party folks who don’t want to do anything.”

When he introduced the bill, Heller said, “Providing a safety net for those in need is one of the most important functions of the federal government. As Nevada’s unemployment rate continues to top the charts nationwide, many families and individuals back home do not know how they are going to meet their basic needs.”

A two-year budget deal reached earlier this month failed to include an extension of jobless benefits for people who have been unemployed longer than six months. About 17,000 Nevadans lost benefits when the program expired Saturday. Nationally, 1.3 million were cut off from receiving unemployment.

Nevada officials estimate 800 Nevadans will lose benefits each week as they exhaust their 26 weeks of state-paid unemployment insurance unless Congress extends the federal program that was enacted in 2008 at the height of the recession when unemployment soared. It allowed the long-term unemployed in hard hit states like Nevada to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks. The duration was cut to 73 weeks last year.

Looking ahead to 2014, Reid said one of his priorities will be addressing the wealth gap between the rich, poor and middle class.

“The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is getting squeezed and it’s just not fair,” said Reid, adding that raising the minimum wage would be another top priority, along with extending jobless benefits.

He said he’s scheduled to appear on a Sunday news show to outline his legislative goals in the midterm election year.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

LIGNET: US Shift on Iran Forcing Saudis to Shore up Gulf Alliance.


Image: LIGNET: US Shift on Iran Forcing Saudis to Shore up Gulf Alliance

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani, left, and Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, Kuwait’s minister for foreign affairs, attend the last session of the 34th GCC summit in Kuwait on Dec. 11, 2013. (AP)

Iran’s recent diplomatic breakthrough with the United States has invaded the comfort zone of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and forced it to embrace unification of militaries as well as true political and economic union. Rising suspicion of the Saudi push for closer solidarity could be linked to aggressive Iranian lobbying of several Gulf countries in recent months.

Click here to read the full analysis from top intelligence experts at LIGNET.com.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Trump on NY Times Benghazi Report: ‘A Total Cover Up’.


Image: Trump on NY Times Benghazi Report:  'A Total Cover Up'

By Wanda Carruthers

Donald Trump all but accused The New York Times Monday of participating in a cover up of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya by publishing an article claiming al-Qaida was not involved and that an anti-Islam video may have contributed to the deadly assault, as the Obama administration initially claimed.

“It seems to be a total cover up,” the entertainment and real estate billionaire said on “Fox & Friends” about the Times piece published over the weekend. “I read [the article] very closely. It just seems to be at odds with everything else that you’ve read over the last year.”

The Times reported Saturday that the attack on Sept 11, 2012 that left four Americans dead was caused, in part, by an American-made anti-Muslim video that set off an angry crowd initially. The newspaper also reported that no al-Qaida-affiliated or other terrorist groups participated in the attack, which the article claimed was carried out by members of various militia groups that had actually benefited from U.S. and NATO support during their overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Republicans and some people on the ground in Benghazi the night of the attack were critical of the article on Sunday talk shows.

Trump said during his appearance on Fox Monday that “nobody really understands the reason” for the Times story. But he ventured that it could be a “Hillary thing,” suggesting the newspaper was attempting to help pave the way for a possible 2016 run for president by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who Republicans partly blame for security lapses at the Benghazi compound.

Last January, before leaving office, Clinton responded to questioning during a Republican-led hearing on Capitol Hill about how the attack started and who was responsible.

“What difference, at this point, does it make?” she said during one particular testy exchange with the panel.

On the Fox program, Trump wondered why those thought responsible for the attack have not been brought to justice, particularly if U.S. officials have identified some of them.

“We have their identity. We know who they are. We know where they are, and we don’t go in and get them. So what is going on there?” he asked.

“It’s such an amazing story, and such a sad story when you think of what happened. The fact that we were so unguarded and so vulnerable, and to have people killed like this, our ambassador and others killed like this, was terrible,” Trump said, referring to U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed in the attack.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Pentagon’s DARPA Laying Framework For Creating A Robotic Army.


At a NASCAR racetrack in Miami earlier this month, teams from NASA, Google, and 14 other groups of engineering gurus put cutting-edge robots through some challenging paces. The aim was to see how well the robots could tackle tasks that may sound simple, but are tricky for non-humans – including, say, climbing a ladder, unscrewing a hose from a spigot, navigating over rubble, and steering a car.

darpa-pentagon-robotic-army-google-boston-dynamics-rise-machines-matrix

“It’s not going to be man versus machine or machine overtaking man. It’s not going to be an ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ ” he adds. “It’s going to be a ‘we.’ ”

The contest was dreamed up by the Pentagon’s futuristic experimentation arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and senior defense officials were watching it carefully – well aware that the Pentagon is growing increasingly reliant on robotics.

The Defense Department will become even more reliant on such devices in the decades to come. That’s the conclusion of a new blueprint quietly released by the Pentagon this week, which offers some telling clues about the future of unmanned systems – in other words, drones and robots.

The study, the Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, is meant to provide the Pentagon with a “technological vision” for the next 25 years – a vision that will be “critical to future success” of the US military, according to its authors.

Obama’s Private Army from Now The End Begins on Vimeo.

“Over the past decade, the qualities and types of unmanned systems acquired by the military departments have grown, and their capabilities have become integral to warfighter operations,” the study notes. “The size, sophistication, and cost of the unmanned systems portfolio have grown to rival traditional manned systems.”

In the future, the ideal robots will be able to take on “the ‘four D’s’ – jobs that are dirty, dangerous, dull, and difficult” for the US military, says Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in Arlington, Va.

The DARPA competition, for example, was inspired by the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, when workers risked radiation poisoning to try to shut off a key valve.

The US Army and Marine Corps have for years used robots to dismantle roadside bombs inAmerica’s wars, and the DOD is developing pack robots like BigDog – designed by Boston Dynamics, a firm recently purchased by Google – to haul soldiers’ gear in the steep and rocky mountains of Afghanistan.

The Pentagon’s unmanned systems road map signals that the Pentagon will continue to deepen its forays into robotics and artificial intelligence for use on land, in the air, and at sea.

The Navy wants more unmanned underwater vehicles to act as small scouting submarines, able to perform tasks like US port security, enemy port scouting, and the surveying of depths that humans simply can’t reach.

The Air Force wants stealth drones that can operate not only in places like Afghanistan, where the Taliban has no planes or missile systems that could pose a threat to US aircraft, but also in “contested environments,” above countries that do have sophisticated air defense systems.

Within all the services, one considerable engineering challenge for unmanned systems is in the cyber realm: making sure encryption is good enough for protecting data streams that are crucial to the operations of drones and robots.

The ultimate goal is to increase the “persistence, protection, and endurance” of military robots, which will in turn “decrease physical and cognitive workloads on our warfighters, while increasing their combat capabilities,” the Pentagon report notes. “The end state is an affordable, modernized force as a manned-unmanned team with improved movement and maneuver, protection, intelligence, and sustainment.”

Back at the NASCAR speedway, the 16 robot teams completed the tasks with varying degrees of success and were scored on a point system. The eight winners, which included teams from Google – including Google’s new purchase, Boston Dynamics – will come together again next December for a $2 million prize.

In the US military of 2014 and beyond – and in the commercial realms – there is likely to be “more of an interaction between man and artificial intelligence and robotics,” Mr. Toscano says. “There’s a high probability that it’ll be a relationship of man and machine collaboratively living and working together.”

This might include sending robots into burning forests that would risk the lives of human firefighters and even using robotic animals like moose that could infiltrate a herd to help monitor migration patterns.“These are magical things,” Toscano says. “This is imagination.”

Google’s purchase last month of Boston Dynamics, the company that makes BigDog and other military robots, shows how commercial companies are increasingly believing in the power of robotics to drive innovations. “Companies like Google always go after the cream of the crop – the big thinkers – in search of where the next great invention is going to come from,” Toscano notes.

“It’s not going to be man versus machine or machine overtaking man. It’s not going to be an ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ ” he adds. “It’s going to be a ‘we.’ ” source – CS Monitor.

by NTEB News Desk

Pope Denounces Discrimination, Violence Against Christians.


Image: Pope Denounces Discrimination, Violence Against Christians

VATICAN CITYPope Francis on Thursday denounced discrimination against Christians, including in countries where religious freedom is in theory guaranteed by law.

He delivered his traditional noon prayer and address to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square on the day the Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. Stephen, its first martyr.

The 77-year-old Argentine pope asked the crowd for a moment of silent prayer for “Christians who are unjustly accused and are subjected to every type of violence.”

Francis, celebrating his first Christmas season as pope, said “limitations and discrimination” against Christians was taking place not only in countries that do not grant full religious freedom but also where “on paper, freedom and human rights are protected.”

“This injustice should be denounced and eliminated,” he said.

Francis: A Pope for Our Time, The Definitive Biography 

Francis did not name any countries but the Vatican has long urged Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam’s holiest places, to lift a ban on Christians worshiping in public.This year there have been a number of incidents of intolerance and attacks against minority Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, and other countries where their rights are guaranteed by law.

Francis, departing from his prepared text, said he was sure that Christians suffering from either discrimination or violence were “more numerous today than in he early times of the Church.”

In the past, the Vatican has also expressed concern over what former Pope Benedict called “sophisticated forms of hostility” against Christians in rich countries, such as restricting use of religious symbols in public places.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

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