So about that whole drone debate in the USA... It seems the feds decided to simply skip over such a quaint notion and deploy them without telling anyone. Back in December of last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) detailed current drone flights in the U.S. That story was big news at the time, and it was particularly disturbing in light of the fact that Congress has cleared the way for the Federal Aviation Administration to allow 30,000 drones in the nation’s skies by 2020. Well it appears that the whole drone debate was over before it even began, with the FBI having used drones domestically for at least seven years.
Aerospace technology experienced a Golden Age of rapid technological development that leveled off once fundamental technologies had matured. Investment in further advances reached a point of diminishing return: the cost of squeezing out modest gains exceeded the profit potential of the advances. We can expect the same trajectory of change in consumer electronics: it will be ubiquity that creates change, rather than technological leaps in capabilities.
The key dynamic here is once the low-hanging fruit have all been plucked, it becomes much more difficult to achieve high growth rates. That cycle is speeding up, it seems; western nations took 100 years to rapidly industrialize and then slip into failed models of stagnation; Japan took only 40 years to cycle through to stagnation, and now China has picked the low-hanging fruit and reverted to financialization, diminishing returns and rapidly rising debt after a mere 30 years of rapid growth.... there is another dangerous dynamic in any systemic reform: the very attempt to reform an unstable, diminishing-return system often precipitates its collapse. The leadership recognizes the need for systemic reform, but changing anything causes the house of cards to collapse in a heap. This seems to describe the endgame in the USSR, where Gorbachev's relatively modest reforms unraveled the entire empire.
Governments Move to Destroy Online Anonymity ... Google Helps
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the most important organizations we have in America today. While most of the country lays fast asleep to the dangers of the encroaching surveillance state, the EFF is always vigilantly at work on the front lines. In their latest article, they show that military drones are already flying all over these United States and, using information received from a FOIA lawsuit they provide important details on what is flying and where. You may be shocked at some of their conclusions.
Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Authorize the Use of Propaganda On Americans Living Inside AmericaSubmitted by George Washington on 05/21/2012 12:34 -0500
Because Banning Propaganda “Ties the Hands of America’s Diplomatic Officials, Military, and Others by Inhibiting Our Ability to Effectively Communicate In a Credible Way”
Even Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the mighty People’s Bank of China, is worried....
Why Is Social Media Censoring Criticism of the Government?
I'm not talking about Al Gore ... I'm talking about the guys who actually invented the Internet
The Pentagon tries to take over social media to prevent any memes which challenge any of the policies of Helicopter Ben, Turbo Timmy, O-Bomb-a or the rest of the boys ...
As of yesterday we need to immediately open up ANWR and the shallow off-shore regions to exploration and drilling. I love caribou as much as the next person, but this must be done. Even the most conservative estimates tell us that by 2018 if development were green-lighted today, ANWR could be producing as much as 780,000 and then slowing to 710,000 barrels a day by 2030. Also it is estimated that 18 billion barrels of crude oil are contained in areas currently off-limits to drilling for environmental reasons. No nation has denied itself so much abundance of its own domestic natural resources as has the USA.
The electric battery gets its first real makeover in 152 years. Immense amounts of money are being made with the new battery technologies. Electric cars will take over 15% of the global car market, or 7.5 million units by 2020. At stake is nothing less than the viability of two economic systems. Will the operating instructions will come in English—or Mandarin. (BYDDF), (SQM), (XIDE)
This is the Death Spiral of Democracy. The way to increase the concentration of wealth is to partner with the State so the Central State functionaries and agencies funnel ever-larger shares of the national income to your cartel or quasi-monopoly while the State suppresses or marginalizes potential competitors. The more wealth you concentrate, then the more political power you can purchase. Indeed, the involvement of the super-wealthy causes the costs of campaigns to rise to levels where politicos have no choice but to become dependent on Power Elites to fund their campaigns. You see how the feedback works: greater concentrations of wealth creates greater concentrations of political power, and just as importantly, increases the dependence of the political class on the Financial Power Elites and fiefdoms for their very survival.
It is time for the United States to embark on a serious effort to develop a synthetic fuels program. In 1979, Americans imported 30% of our oil. Now that figure is 60% and growing. This raises a national security crisis that we have blissfully ignored, as the price of crude continues to inflate and our enemies grow stronger, financed by our own petrodollars. There has never been an example of a nation so powerful being willing to place its economic life in the hands of so many hostile powers, while denying itself the natural resources within its own borders. To wit: The U.S. has more energy in coal than all of Saudi Arabia has in oil. We float on a lake of natural gas and swim in a sea of agriculture: grain, corn, switchgrass — the three main substances from which we can create all the synthetic fuels our country needs.
AAPL earnings blew the doors off, DARPA got its grapefruit on with an Industry Day for the "Mind's Eye Program" and even 'Hitler is no longer upset about the iPad'. Wonder what Jimmy Cayne was up to in the clubhouse between bridge tournaments? After inspecting AAPL and market internals, almost as many looks at POT as UC-Boulder saw yesterday.