Technology

Minimum wage labour that doesn’t strike or turn up late to work

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It is a development that will make the average union leader despair. It is what some employers would consider to be the perfect worker. This worker doesn’t need holiday pay or holidays and can make a superior product. This worker doesn’t have to be trained in health and safety or provided with a uniform. This worker can work seven days a week and never gets tired. This worker is a legal slave and one that many employers will be clamouring to own.

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Tell me again why this drug is illegal

Cannabis is an amazing natural substance. Forget the traditional psychoactive effects of the drug and look at the increasing findings of beneficial use of the drug.

It has now been discovered that cannabis is beneficial for halting the march of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory loss, decline in brain function and communication skills are all clear indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. But the brain’s chemistry begins to change long before these telltale signs appear through the accumulation of what are known as amyloid beta proteins. These proteins go on to form brain plaques that correspond with the neurodegenerative disease, but what if it were possible to intervene somehow? Scientists are reporting that exposure to certain compounds in marijuana can cleanse the brain of harmful amyloid beta cells, offering up new clues as to how we might stop the disease in its early stages.

While we are learning more about Alzheimer’s everyday, with new insights into its destructive forces, the development of potential blood tests and treatments to reverse its symptoms being just a few recent breakthroughs in the area, there’s a whole lot we still don’t know.

How exactly the amyloid beta proteins give rise to plaques and in turn wreak havoc on the brain isn’t entirely clear, but that hasn’t stopped researchers working to avert the process altogether. The development of natural molecules, debris-clearing proteins and drugs inspired by snake venom have all shown promise as tools to stop or slow the buildup of plaques.   Read more »

Nothing some drone load wouldn’t fix

There is a solution to the problem of drones peeping in your windows.

Tech-savvy peeping Toms are taking to the skies to peer into people’s homes using drones.

Peeping and peering incidents involving drones figure numerous times in information on drone-related incidents released by the Civil Aviation Authority under the Official Information Act.    Read more »

GPS tracking not good enough to use in court, but good enough to pay tolls

You can’t use your GPS system log in court to defend against speed camera or Police speeding enforcement but it seems that GPS tracking might be the way the government will track you to charge you for tolls.

The Government says GPS tracking may be used to charge drivers for using Auckland’s roads – a move which experts say is the most advanced in the world but also raises concerns about “Big Brother” behaviour.

Road tolls are likely to be implemented in the next 10 years in the city and transport officials say the most effective system would cover all roads and charge motorists different rates depending on when and where they drive.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said this could be done by GPS satellite, as opposed to toll gantries or cameras.

“You’re talking about a system that crudely speaking runs from satellite and is able to, through electronic devices, tell where your car is and charge you on the time and place.  Read more »

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Human ingenuity and its ability to solve problems

The doomsayers have been telling us we have reached a tipping point with climate change, and that the planet is doomed unless be pay trillions in taxes.

Apparently, there is nothing we can now do except prepare for bigger and nastier storms. Never mind that all the world’s scientists have yet to predict anything remotely true with all their models and billions in funding.

Now, though, we see why I don’t worry at all about the doomsday scenarios…humans are ingenious and find ways of solving problems.

Carbon dioxide has been pumped underground and turned rapidly into stone, demonstrating a radical new way to tackle climate change.

The unique project promises a cheaper and more secure way of burying CO2 from fossil fuel burning underground, where it cannot warm the planet. Such carbon capture and storage (CCS) is thought to be essential to halting global warming, but existing projects store the CO2 as a gas and concerns about costs and potential leakage have halted some plans.

The new research pumped CO2 into the volcanic rock under Iceland and sped up a natural process where the basalts react with the gas to form carbonate minerals, which make up limestone. The researchers were amazed by how fast all the gas turned into a solid – just two years, compared to the hundreds or thousands of years that had been predicted.

“We need to deal with rising carbon emissions and this is the ultimate permanent storage – turn them back to stone,” said Juerg Matter, at the University of Southampton in the UK, who led the research published on Thursday in the journal Science.    Read more »

Another Labour crisis averted

Good news: another crisis declared by Labour, and the reason they created Robbo’s “Future of Work Commission”, is not as bad as first thought.

The robots aren’t coming to take your jobs.

Worried about being replaced by a robot? According to some recent forecasts many workers should be. There are gloomy predictions that even high-wage, knowledge jobs in finance, law and medicine won’t be spared amid the relentless rise of smart machines.

A striking 2013 study by Oxford University academics Carl Frey and Michael Osborne said 47 per cent of all employment in America is “at risk” of being replaced by computers and algorithms in the next 10 to 20 years. Earlier this year a CSIRO report put the proportion of Australian jobs vulnerable to automation at a worrying 44 per cent.

But now there’s some good news – a forensic study for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests the angst about job-killing robots may be overstated.  

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Netflix blamed for ruining sex lives

Netflix and Chill

Really? The person holding the remote isn’t at all to blame for ruining sex lives?

Has this dopey professor not heard of “Netflix and Chill“?

A Cambridge Professor has blamed Netflix and binge-watching on streaming platforms for an alleged decline in sex rates among Britain’s population.

According to the TelegraphProfessor Spigelhalter of Cambridge told an audience at the Hay Festival that people are having less sex and Netflix is to blame for it.

“You can start seeing the changes in society,” he said. “People are having less sex. Sexually active couples between 16 and 64 were asked and the median was five times in the last month in 1990, then four times in 2000 and three times in 2010.”   Read more »

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An interesting view of the impact of driverless technology on society

Dr Robert Goldman has posted, on Facebook, as part of a long assessment of what the future might look like a summary of his views on driverless technology and the impact it will have on society.

Autonomous Cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies may become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; they are completely terrified of Tesla.   Read more »

Hillary Clinton getting closer to a federal indictment

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Hillary Clinton’s woes get worse after the office of the Inspector General issued a damning report into her email server issues.

A federal watchdog has issued a highly critical report of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private emails server while head of the State Department.

The 83-page report published by the department’s Office of the Inspector General found “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” relating to electronic records keeping, archiving, and poor cybersecurity practices.

The report was started prior to Clinton’s appointment in 2009, but had significant focus on her time as secretary of state, a position she left in 2013.

The report said that her use of a private email server was “not an appropriate method” for preserving records and emails, given that the department and its staff were subject to federal rules requiring strict records keeping.

“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department issues before leaving government service,” said the report. “Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” it added.

Clinton later provided the records in 2014, a year after her post ended. Dozens of those emails were considered “secret” or the highest level of classification, “top secret.”

The former secretary of state is expected to be nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate in the coming weeks.

You can read the full report.

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Face of the day

INSIDE EDITION Fred after the fire.

INSIDE EDITION
Fred after the fire.

Today’s face of the day is Fred the tortoise, a tortoise barely alive.

Gentlemen we can rebuild her.

We have the technology.

We have the capability to make the world’s first 3D shell.

Fred the tortoise will have that 3D shell.

She will be better than she was before.

Better,

stronger,

faster.

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