Technology Giant Foxconn To Replace Workers With 1 Million Robots In 3 years

Foxconn to replace workers with 1 million robots in 3 years (Xinhua, July 29, 2011):

Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.

The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.

The company currently has 10,000 robots and the number will be increased to 300,000 next year and 1 million in three years, according to Gou.

Read moreTechnology Giant Foxconn To Replace Workers With 1 Million Robots In 3 years

Mind-Control: Harnessing The Power Of Feedback Loops

“As such, it is perhaps the most promising tool for behavioral change to have come along in decades.”

Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops (Wired, June 19, 2011):


The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Photo: Kevin Van Aelst

In 2003, officials in Garden Grove, California, a community of 170,000 people wedged amid the suburban sprawl of Orange County, set out to confront a problem that afflicts most every town in America: drivers speeding through school zones.

Local authorities had tried many tactics to get people to slow down. They replaced old speed limit signs with bright new ones to remind drivers of the 25-mile-an-hour limit during school hours. Police began ticketing speeding motorists during drop-off and pickup times. But these efforts had only limited success, and speeding cars continued to hit bicyclists and pedestrians in the school zones with depressing regularity.

So city engineers decided to take another approach. In five Garden Grove school zones, they put up what are known as dynamic speed displays, or driver feedback signs: a speed limit posting coupled with a radar sensor attached to a huge digital readout announcing “Your Speed.”

Read moreMind-Control: Harnessing The Power Of Feedback Loops

Big Brother UK: The Town Where EVERY Car Is Tracked By Police Cameras

Big Brother is watching you: The town where EVERY car is tracked by police cameras (Daily Mail, July 30, 2011):

A sleepy Home Counties market town has become the first in Britain to have every car passing through it tracked by police cameras.

Royston, in Hertfordshire, has had a set of police cameras installed on every road leading in and out of it, recording the numberplate of every vehicle that passes them.

The automatic number-plate recognition system will check the plates against a variety of databases, studying them for links to crimes, and insurance and tax records, and alerting police accordingly.

There were just seven incidents of vehicle crime in the town last month, and residents believe the unmarked cameras are an invasion of their privacy.

The system, due to be switched on in the next few days, also allows police to compile ‘hotlists’ of vehicles that they are interested in and which will be flagged up when the ANPR system

Read moreBig Brother UK: The Town Where EVERY Car Is Tracked By Police Cameras

Researchers Expose Cunning Online Tracking Service That Can’t Be Evaded

Researchers Expose Cunning Online Tracking Service That Can’t Be Dodged (Wired, July 29, 2011):

Researchers at U.C. Berkeley have discovered that some of the net’s most popular sites are using a tracking service that can’t be evaded — even when users block cookies, turn off storage in Flash, or use browsers’ “incognito” functions.

The service, called KISSmetrics, is used by sites to track the number of visitors, what the visitors do on the site, and where they come to the site from — and the company says it does a more comprehensive job than its competitors such as Google Analytics.

Read moreResearchers Expose Cunning Online Tracking Service That Can’t Be Evaded

US House Of Representatives Committee Approves Broadened ISP Snooping Bill

House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill (CNET News, July 28, 2011):

Internet providers would be forced to keep logs of their customers’ activities for one year–in case police want to review them in the future–under legislation that a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved today.

The 19 to 10 vote represents a victory for conservative Republicans, who made data retention their first major technology initiative after last fall’s elections, and the Justice Department officials who have quietly lobbied for the sweeping new requirements, a development first reported by CNET.

A last-minute rewrite of the bill expands the information that commercial Internet providers are required to store to include customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, some committee members suggested. By a 7-16 vote, the panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.

It represents “a data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill.

Read moreUS House Of Representatives Committee Approves Broadened ISP Snooping Bill

CAD Mammography Useless

Widely used CAD mammography tool fails to find invasive breast cancer, causes needless tests and stress (NaturalNews, July 28, 2011):

Computer-aided detection (CAD) technology, which analyzes mammography images and marks suspicious areas for radiologists to review, has been widely hyped and pushed on women as a way to insure invasive breast cancer is spotted on mammograms. And it has grown into a huge industry, adding millions of dollars to the cost of healthcare.

The problem is, CAD simply doesn’t work — at all. That’s right. Despite the fact CAD is now applied to the large majority of screening mammograms in the U.S. with annual direct Medicare costs exceeding $30 million (according to a 2010 study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology), new research by University of California at Davis (UC Davis) scientists shows the expensive technology is ineffective in finding breast tumors.

But it does something extremely well. It causes enormous stress by greatly increasing a woman’s risk of being called back for more costly testing following a CAD analyzed mammogram.

The new research, just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, used data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium to analyze 1.6 million mammograms. Entitled “Effectiveness of Computer-Aided Detection in Community Mammography Practice,” the study specifically looked at screening mammograms performed on more than 680,000 women at 90 mammography facilities in seven U.S. states, between the years of 1998 and 2006.

The results are being hailed as the most definitive findings to date on whether the super popular mammography tool is effective in locating cancer in the breast. The findings? CAD is a waste of time and money.

The false-positive rate increased from 8.1 percent before CAD to 8.6 percent after CAD was installed at the medical centers in the study. What’s more, the detection rate of breast cancer and the stage and size of breast cancer tumors were similar regardless of whether or not CAD was used.

“In real-world practice, CAD increases the chances of being unnecessarily called back for further testing because of false-positive results without clear benefits to women,” Joshua Fenton, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine, said in a statement to the media. “Breast cancers were detected at a similar stage and size regardless of whether or not radiologists used CAD.”

Read moreCAD Mammography Useless

Russia Launches New ‘Spektr-R’ Telescope With 10,000 Times The Resolution Of The Hubble Telescope

Russian telescope launch pulls national space program out of black hole (Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 2011):

Russian scientists are jubilant at news that the Spektr-R, a powerful space telescope conceived in the depths of the cold war, was finally lofted into orbit aboard a Zenit rocket Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Once it is fully operational, the new radio telescope will sync up with ground-based observatories to form the biggest telescope ever built. It will be known as RadioAstron, with a “dish” spanning 30 times the Earth’s diameter. Experts say it will be able to deliver images from the remote corners of the universe at 10,000 times the resolution of the US Hubble Space Telescope.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for such a long time,” says Nikolai Podorvanyuk, a researcher at the official Institute of Astronomy in Moscow.

“It’s been planned since the 1980s, but has repeatedly fallen through for a variety of reasons. But now it’s here, and we’re bracing for all the new information it’s going to deliver, especially about black holes,” he says.

Read moreRussia Launches New ‘Spektr-R’ Telescope With 10,000 Times The Resolution Of The Hubble Telescope

And Now … Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs): Broadband Access Can Be Provided Up To 100 Km At 22 Mbps

“100km network won’t interfere with TV”

…which is of course the most important thing in life!


IEEE publishes long range wireless standards (Tech Eye):

100km network won’t interfere with TV

New standards for long range wireless networks have been published today by the IEEE.

The 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) means that broadband access can be provided over long distances, up to 100 kilometres.

This will mean that rural areas could more easily benefit from broadband access, with developing countries targeted by the IEEE.

Read moreAnd Now … Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs): Broadband Access Can Be Provided Up To 100 Km At 22 Mbps

Sufficient ‘Bank Activity’ Required For Wisconsin Voter ID

Bank ‘Activity’ Required For Wisconsin Voter ID (Disinformation, July 27, 2011):

In the state of Wisconsin, you may be denied the ability to vote for lack of sufficient recent “bank activity”. A woman surreptitiously filmed the interactions as her 18-year-old son leaps through hurdle after hurdle in an attempt to get a constitutionally-guaranteed state ID so that he could vote. At the DMV, the pair is told that voter IDs were not issued when voters’ bank accounts did not show enough “activity.” The clerk had no answer when asked what would happen in the case of a resident who was homeless or unemployed, or too poor to maintain the minimum balance required for a checking account.


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