Day's Headlines: May 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ex-Israeli Officers' Peace Plan; Rocking Brexit; Putin Grrrrs NATO; Russian Robot Soldier; Michigan Opens Roads for Auto-Mobile Trains; Close to Pluto; SpaceX Lands 3rd; and Just Right, but Too Hot


Israeli Ex-Officers Issue Peace Plan, Condemn Gov't Inaction abcnews.go

It calls for a freeze on settlement building, the acceptance in principle of the Arab Peace Initiative and the recognition that east Jerusalem should be part of a future Palestinian state "when established as part of a future agreement." The Israeli opposition and much of the international community have long argued for these proposals.

This is an interesting, developing story that has been brewing (at least publicly) the last week or so with evidences of a split occurring between Israel's military and politicians on a 2-state solution. Only time will tell how deep this will go, but it's something to keep an eye on, particularly in light of France's 2-state solution peace talks coming up next month. It seems to be promoting much of what the “world” wants for a 2-state solution. Here's the proposed plan: PDF

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nano Engines; Animal Truckin'; High-Speed Organ Printing; Printing Offices; Pepper n' Pizza; Fire Fighting HUD; About Face; United in Apostasy

Today's a heavy on the tech side, though there's also an article on more religious uniting - this time the Church of England and Scotland brought together by homosexuality.


Powering nanotechnology with the world's smallest engine

...we have now produced nano-engines that can be operated with beams of light to work pistons, pumps and valves. Made from gold nanoparticles bound together by a heat-sensitive chemical, our machines are strong, fast and simple to operate, making them extremely practical for future applications.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Emo Israel; White House's Israel; the 3 Parent IVF Flaw; Eternally Useless Humans; AI House; Tech You Can't Buy; NASA's Floating Prototype; and Not So Fast Auto-Car

Well I'm (almost) back after an intense week at work! Below are some articles that I've been collecting as time allowed over the last few days. Lord willing, I hope to be back to full capacity in the next day or so.


Doom and gloom – or a note of optimism for Israel's future? jpost

This metaphor [poor, weak and pathetic Samson] came to mind listening to Israeli cabinet ministers, MKs, diplomats and American Jewish leaders at Sunday’s Jerusalem Post Conference in New York as they depicted a very gloomy and dark portrayal of Israel and the challenges it faces.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Human Avoidance; Say What?; Suing Saudis; and Egypt's Push for Peace

As I promised yesterday: lists will be very short the next few days because of a heavy work schedule :) Thanks for stopping by!


Robots Learn How to Make Friends and Influence People technologyreview

...researchers have developed an algorithm that could give robots the ability to deftly maneuver through spaces packed with unpredictable humans.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Internet for the Poor; Babel's Return; Nobel AI; The Googling Photographer; Digital License; DARPA Shows Off; Self-Driving Trucks; Springs in the Air; Shape-Shifting Cubes; Birth Control Volley; Canadian Capitulation; Mexico Joins That Side of History; 19 Weeks in South Carolina; Christian-Islam Unity; China Prepares for War; A Jerusalem Divided; and Abbas Cuddles up to International Community

When announced as the International Day of 'Homophobia', 'Transphobia', and 'Biphobia', I knew that today was going to be an interesting one, and the politicians around the world didn't disappoint! I touch on just a couple stories, as they are everywhere :) Also, some interesting news on a near real-time language translator and an AI tool that was unintentionally used to recreate a Nobel prize winning experiment in an hour.

Note: Just a heads up that starting tomorrow (Wednesday, 18th) and continuing for several days, my availability to compile these articles will be limited. I will try to post at least a couple on most days, but please bear with me - releases are always hectic times in a programmer's life :) Thanks!

Global Economy

Connecting everyone to internet 'would add $6.7tn to global economy' theguardian

Bringing internet access to the 4.1 billion people in the world who do not have it would increase global economic output by $6.7 trillion (£4.6tr), raising 500 million people out of poverty, according to a study by PwC.


This nifty earpiece will translate your conversations in real-time thenextweb v

Working much like the Babel Fish from ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,’ the Pilot can translate live speech. So, if you have it in your ear and you’re talking to someone who speaks French – you will hear what they say in English and they will hear you in French.


Artificial Intelligence Recreates Nobel Prize-Winning Physics Experiment - In One Hour forbes

“A simple computer program would have taken longer than the age of the universe to run through all the combinations and work this out.”


Google made an insanely high-res camera to preserve great works of art theverge v

"The capture time has been reduced drastically," says Marzia Niccolai, technical program manager at the Cultural Institute. "Previously it could take almost a day to capture an image. To give you an idea, now if you have a one meter by one meter painting, it would take 30 minutes."

Government Tech

UK developing digital driving licence bbc

CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said: "Security has taken a significant step forward to support digital payments on phones, so the framework is in place for other secure applications, such as a digital driving licence.

There are not many people in the UK that do not carry a smartphone with them every day, so it is a logical next step.

Exosuits, robot arms and mini subs: This is the military's future armytimes

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency filled the courtyard at the Pentagon on May 11 with a variety of exhibitions at its annual DARPA Demo Day, giving the defense community and media a chance to see the next steps to maintain supremacy on the battlefield.

See this article for DARPA’s New Robotic Arm is Straight Out of Terminator v. Note: the video might make some a little uncomfortable. Like me. :)

Self Driving Vehicles

Otto, founded by ex-Googlers, is bringing self-driving technology to trucks techcrunch v

Unlike others, which are designing new vehicles that drive autonomously, Otto focuses on technology that can be fitted into trucks that are on the road now. Rather than eradicating drivers by making them obsolete, the immediate goal is assistance. The duo told Backchannel that, among many things, they aim to let drivers safely take a sleep break while leaving their truck driving autonomously.


3D printer uses lasers to create metallic objects in midair engadget v

...instead of spitting out one layer over another, the machine was designed to ooze out metal that immediately freezes solid. That allows it to print free-form patterns that look like they're suspended in air, like coils. Created by the university's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the printer uses "ink" composed of silver nanoparticles. A focused laser then heats the material and solidifies it as it comes out.

Shape-shifting modular interactive device unveiled v

Cubimorph is a modular interactive device that holds touchscreens on each of the six module faces and that uses a hinge-mounted turntable mechanism to self-reconfigure in the user’s hand. One example is a mobile phone that can transform into a console when a user launches a game. this looks like blocks...moving around :) To get a 'long view' perspective on the intention of this kind of technology, Create Anything You Want With Programmable Matter v is a good, introduction video of how dreamers dream when they dream of programmable matter.


Supreme Court dodges major decision on Obamacare birth control reuters

The court's action avoided a possible 4-4 split that would have affirmed the lower-court rulings. The justices, shorthanded following February's death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, threw out seven rulings by federal appeals courts around the country that had backed the Obama administration.

Canada Moves to Ban Discrimination Against Transgender People nytimes

The legislation comes at a time of intense debate over transgender rights in the United States, and it fulfills a pledge Mr. Trudeau made during his election campaign last year. The government timed the introduction of the bill to coincide with an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Mexico's president calls for nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage theguardian

The announcement, which coincides with the National Day Against Homophobia in Mexico, came after Nieto met at a roundtable with representatives of LGBT groups.


South Carolina passes bill banning abortion after 19 weeks startribune

The legislation will now head to Gov. Nikki Haley's desk. The Republican said in March she will almost certainly sign it, but wants to look at the details once it reaches her desk.


Pope Francis says Islam and Christianity share an ‘idea of conquest’ washingtonpost

“It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam," he said. "However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest."

Yet another reminder that the Pope does not speak for God! Also see Pope Francis: Christianity and Islam must integrate in Europe


Pentagon: China Restructures for War freebeacon

The armed forces were reformed with new military regions, a new command structure, and updated strategies to better fight regional, high technology warfare, the 145-page report to Congress says.


Jerusalem is being divided de facto' israelnationalnews

A number of leftwing NGOs including Ir Amim and Tag Meir have called upon Israeli police this week to bar the annual Jerusalem Day “Rikudgalim” march from parts of the Old City.

Without peace, Mideast extremism will hit Israel,' Abbas warns jpost

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the French initiative for an international peace conference aimed at resolving the Middle East conflict.

“When two sides are invited to a meeting, one cannot present preconditions,” the Palestinian leader said. “It’s the international community that should determine what is right and what isn’t.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cartoon Holocaust; Persistent Hatred; Italy's Population Problem; Are Humans Animals?; Yoga WHO; Roman Treasure in Israel; ExoSkeleton; and the Indian Shuttle


Head of Iran’s hate cartoon fest equates Holocaust with Israeli actions in ‘Palestine’ timesofisrael

Several cartoons on display focus on Benjamin Netanyahu, with one depicting the Israeli prime minister as a member of the Islamic State jihadist group and holding a sabre in his hand.

Another shows a map of the Middle East with a coffin bearing the word “Holocaust” flattening Palestinians in place of what should be the country of Israel.

See also Iranians say Holocaust cartoon contest not aimed at denial and Israeli leader: Iran mocks WWII Holocaust, prepares another

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Communicating with Digital Dead; Me and My Robot Shadow; Volunteers Needed to Not Drive Car; Hidden Drone Pods; Robot Bats; Catholic 'Transgender' Teacher; Artists Sue Phoenix; and Sitting the Rails


Huawei prepares for robot overlords and communication with the dead washingtonpost

...Kevin Ho, president of its handset product line, told the CES Asia conference in Shanghai that the company used science-fiction movies such as “The Matrix” to envision future trends and new business ideas.

He described a future where children use apps such as WeChat to interact with dead grandparents, thanks to the ability to download human consciousness into computers. Such technologies would require huge amounts of data storage, which could generate business for Huawei, he added.

Friday, May 13, 2016

US Glitch; Accommodate or...; SSM Acceptance Rising; Signing the Gals Away; The Synthetic Human Project; Origami Robot With a Purpose; Hyundai's Iron Man; Bio-Glass; Magnetic Explosions; Islam-land; Turkey's Anti-Terror Problem; Entitled

Of course today we have the government's bathroom...policy. Also, the US is trying to explain a second video 'glitch'. And if those stories aren't enough, check out the meeting held earlier this week to talk about creating a completely synthetic human genome.

US Goverment

State Department keeps saying that erased video of tough question from Fox News reporter was a ‘glitch’ washingtonpost

Undercovered media story of the week: Fox News correspondent James Rosen revealed that video of him asking a tough question of a State Department spokesperson disappeared from the agency’s video archive. Poof! Where the exchange once existed, a flash of white light replaced it.

At issue was Iran. Let’s turn back the clock. In February 2013, Rosen pressed then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on whether the United States was carrying on “secret, bilateral” discussions with Iranian leaders. No, Nuland said.

What I find interesting, and why I'm relaying this, is there was another video 'glitch' a little over a month ago: OBAMA CENSORS HOLLANDE'S 'ISLAMIST TERRORISM' REMARK (if you can handle David Wood's particularly sarcastic brand of apologetics, he has a good layered verion of that glitched, then magically found, videos on YouTube that really calls into question the 'glitch')

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No Ads for You!; Viv2; Out Thinking Criminals; Printing Prosthesis; 3D Pasta; DNA's First Steps; Italian Rainbow; UMC's LGBT Obsession; PP Sues OH; Blasting Asteroids; Suiting Up like a Super Hero; and Claims U.S. Breaching IMF Treaty

It's another day of LGBT promotion as Italy approves same-sex civil unions and the United Methodists Church meeting to decide just how far against the Bible they should go. However, it's not all doom and gloom: soon you will be able to print your own pasta creations :)


Google to ban payday loan advertisements washingtonpost

The decision is the first time Google has announced a global ban on ads for a broad category of financial products. To this point, the search giant has prohibited ads for largely illicit activities such as selling guns, explosives and drugs, and limited those that are sexually explicit or graphic in nature, for example. Critics of payday lenders say they hope the move by Google and other tech companies might undercut the business which finds huge numbers of willing customers on the internet.

Ok - I can't say I have much good to say about PayDay lenders, BUT what I find interesting is Google has a) decided to discrimintate against a broad group by not allowing advertising from them, and b) done so from pressure from 'civil rights' groups.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ancient Sky Map; Shield Busting ICBM; US Sailin' for Chinese; S-300s Deployed; Satellite Fortification; Judge Suspended; Transgender Elected; Changing Memories; Accurate to Only 270 Quintillionths of a Second; The Infinity Machine; and Watson Learns Security

Russia and China, Russia and China, every day it's Russia and China. We're either being targeted by Russia or making China angry, and today is no different. There's also a story today about finding a lost Mayan city that might not be true (ha!), and a guy who calls himself a girl who is on track to be elected to office in the Philippines.


Star pupil finds lost Mayan city by studying ancient charts of the night sky from his bedroom

William Gadoury, 15, was fascinated by the ancient Central American civilization and spent hours poring over diagrams of constellations and maps of known Mayan cities.

And then he made a startling realisation: the two appeared to be linked.

Well it's all fun and games until the anthropologists weigh in :) Check out the second half of this later article in Gizmodo where it seems like this might not be so true, after all.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Nuke You Second; Just Another Long-Range Missile Test; 43% of Jews; Advertising Allah; NC Sues First; Gender-Neutral, Single-Occupancy; ACLU Goes After Mississippi; Paint on Tighter Skin; Smart Robot Hand; Hyperloop; UPS' Blood Drone

North Korea

Kim Jong Un says North Korea won’t use nukes first usatoday

Kim warned the U.S. to stay out of Korean affairs but offered to enter talks with South Korea aimed at easing tensions on the peninsula. "As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes," Kim told the Workers' Party of Korea congress in Pyongyang. Kim added that the North "will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for the global denuclearization."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Frozen Girlfriend; Fraternity Persons; Mars Shot; Asteroid Claim; 3D 2Eyes; Aido; The Fishbowl Blues; The Great Kim Jong Un Speaks; UK Left Invokes Hitler


Frozen fans urge Disney to give Elsa a girlfriend in sequel theguardian v

The record-breaking and critically acclaimed 2013 animated film tells of Princess Elsa’s struggle to master her magical powers to reconnect with her sister Anna. It was widely construed as the studio’s first foray into feminism because it eschewed a traditional happy-ever-after with a prince in favour of sisterly devotion. Now Twitter users have called upon Disney to give Elsa a girlfriend in Frozen 2, which is currently in production.

See also Why #GiveElsaAGirlfriend Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Some people, including many Christians, were surprised at the news. I, for one, found their surprise a little surprising. In fact, anyone shocked by this news hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on in the culture.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Why AI?; AI Building AI; Personal Aircraft; Robo-Cockroaches Take the Stairs; Mini Moto; Glo-In-The-Dark Highways; Bot Sewn Sow; Da Vinci's DNA Code; 35 Tons of Dead Fish; American Crisis; Pope's Unity Award; $1b Peace Pledge; Foam Goat Heads; and NK's Propaganda Push

Today we have lots of tech related articles, from more robo-cockroaches (the mini-robots of choice by scientists, it seems) to 'engines' so small you can't see them to concrete that glows in the dark for up to 12 hours. Also, look closely - one of these links is not like the others...


WHY AI? currentoldnews.blogspot

Back before I started this blog, when I used to email links of current event stories, a friend cornered me at church one day. Cocking his head a little funny, he said something to the effect of: "You sure email a lot of stuff about AI!"

His confused, perplexed response to AI articles as "current (old) news" was understandable - and perhaps you share his sentiments. And I admit - it is a little unusual because it is so sci-fi and out there, seeming more at home in a movie than in a newspaper.

In my first long-form article on this blog, I ramble on a bit as to why I include AI articles so often in these daily lists of news. 'Long' is a key word. Grab your coffee before clicking the link :)

Building AI Is Hard—So Facebook Is Building AI That Builds AI wired

No joke. Inside Facebook, engineers have designed what they like to call an “automated machine learning engineer,” an artificially intelligent system that helps create artificially intelligent systems. It’s a long way from perfection. But the goal is to create new AI models using as little human grunt work as possible.


Personal aircraft aiming to take off from your home

Founded in February 2015 by four engineers and doctoral students from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, Lilium has already proved the concept with several scale, 25 kg prototypes and is now developing its first ultralight vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

The dream continues...:D

Watch robo cockroach buddies help one another climb stairs theverge v

It's a simple demonstration, meant to show how smaller robots like this can work together to overcome tasks they can't handle alone. The UC Berkeley scientists from the university's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have been playing with their roach and bug designs for a while now, and suggest the bots will eventually find a place in disaster rescue scenarios.

Cambridge scientists lay claim to world’s tiniest engine, a million times smaller than an ant heralddemocrat

It’s at [the] microscopic scale that scientists at the University of Cambridge say they’ve constructed a working engine. The prototype motor, which the physicists described Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, relies on lasers, gold particles and the exploitation of a nifty physics principle called van der Waals forces.

Looking to light highways with light-emitting cement

During the day, any building, road, highway or structure made out of this new cement can absorb solar energy and emit it during the night for around 12 hours.

Why We Should Care About the Autonomous Robot That Just Performed Surgery on a Pig fortune

The significance of this, beyond its meaning in the medical world, is that surgery strikes most of us as just about the last job we could imagine a robot doing. But robots are clearly on their way to doing it.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fighting Death; Taking Advantage of the Dead; N.C. Stares Down U.S.; Anti-Culture; Presidential Prayer and Folly; Killing Baby Softly; Iran Calls for Anti-Isreal Unity; Texan IED; Legion vs Banks; Human Anti-Cancer Antibody; "No, I'm Earth!"; and Viv

Today starts creepy (testing on clinically dead) and ends sad (Utah requires painkillers for some babies before aborting them). There's also the fight between North Carolina and the Federal Government, and the President's disjointed reality when it comes to religious freedom and prayer.


Dead could be brought 'back to life' in groundbreaking project

A biotech company in the US has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

AI Goes to Washington; Augmented Sand; Eye Ball Computer; Quantum Cloud; Better Bionic Hand; Hidden Hospital Abortions; 13 Day-Old Embryo; CRISPR and the Question of Humanity; Marriage Graduation; Troop Build Up; Russian Homesteading; Missile Defense Snag; ISIS' Chemical Weapons; Blocking U.S. Passage; and $250k Fine Per Unwelcomed Migrant

You know it's an interesting day when the U.S. government announces it's actively promoting AI! There's also a cool bit of augmented technology by UC Davis if you like to play in the sand, a doctor suing her hospital because it won't let her say publicly that they do abortions, and an announcement that an embryo was kept alive in the lab for 13 days.


Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence

...the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is excited to announce that we will be co-hosting four public workshops over the coming months on topics in AI to spur public dialogue on artificial intelligence and machine learning and identify challenges and opportunities related to this emerging technology.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Secret Digital Cash Test; Bitcoin's Questionable Beginnings; Overdue Recession; Nuclear Saber and Cold War 2; China's Rap Recruitment; Extending Settlement Rights; Iran Scolds U.S.; NK's Congress; Travel Ban; Drone Made Badly; AI Dancer; Printing Buildings; Alien Jellyfish; and Relocating a Community

Wall Street discusses secret digital cash test, Iran tells the U.S. to get out of the Persian Gulf, and discovery of a new, glowing jellyfish was announced (there's a video of that!).


Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash bloomberg

The event -- announced in a statement this Monday -- marked a key moment in the evolution of blockchain, notable both for what was achieved, as well as how many firms were involved. The technology’s potential has captivated Wall Street executives because it offers a way to free up billions of dollars by speeding transactions that currently can take days, tying up capital. But a huge piece of that puzzle is transforming cash into a digital form. And while some firms have conducted experiments, the Chain event showed a large number of them are now looking jointly at a potential solution.