Kickstart(er) Solar: Small Panels, Big Dreams

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I believe that passionate and invested inventors are the best innovators. Now it is time to add Alex Hornstein and Shawn Frayne to the ranks of the Wright Brothers and Alexander Fleming.  Our two new revolutionaries are pushing the boundaries of solar energy.  They are not pushing them upwards for large panels, instead they invested in small hyper efficient solar panels which can power every small object in any home.

PhotonSynthesis to recharge phone

Micro Solar Panels, A Plethora of Opportunities

Small solar plates are increasingly becoming an integral part of the world’s solar supply.  In the past, only devices like throwaway calculators and a few outdoorsy tools were powered by small solar panels.  Today, there are already niche solar markets arising; everything from cell phone chargers to glow in the dark bricks are powered by the sun.

Most small solar panels are produced in a slow and inefficient manner.  There are whole factories dedicated to outdated and time-consuming.  Panels are hand glued together; as many as one in five are discarded due to workmanship faults.  The annual output of one factory is around a 300,000 units.     These  panels will last approximately two years, under the best conditions.

Currently, our two new inventors are gathering funds to finalize their invention, the Solar Pocket Factory.  Just one of these table-top factories can produce a whopping 2,103,793 panels in a year; a panel can be produced every fifteen seconds.  These durable have a ten-year guarantee.  The factory can fit in a pickup and run anywhere in the world or even on the go.

This project is currently a favorite on Kickstarter.  This grass-roots site connects inventors, innovators, and artists with people who want to support their causes (and get nifty prizes).  For instance if you give our lauded innovators a scant $35 they will ship you everything you need to build a few small solar devices with their patented plates.  Big spenders can select the $10,000 option; with this prize our inventors bring their micro factory to your hometown and crank out hundreds, if not thousands, of plates and products.  A whole town could be powered by one little trip.  The future looks sunny.

Wanna help the cause?  Their Kickstarter Project continues until September 14, 2012.  Click here to green up your home!

United States v. Jones: The Struggle Between Privacy and Big Data

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il divino - there's two types of berets

The Supreme Court Mediates Between Constitutional Rights, Security, and Mechanical Surveillance

Law enforcement is increasingly utilizing man’s best friend: gadgets.

Everything from surveillance cameras to radar guns are common tools in the modern police arsenal.  With the advances in modern technology equipment such as GPS’s, global positioning systems, are increasingly used in the war on crime to track criminal and their transports.  These technological interventions are awakening questions about the legality of using these tools of Big Data for small, potential crimes.  The Supreme Court’s Case of United States v. Jones frames the grand struggle between historic, constitutional rights and security with the modern forces of Big Data and individual’s privacy.

What Is United States v. Jones?

In January 2008 Antione Jones was arrested on the charges of narcotics violations.  Issues arose with the conviction when his lawyer claimed that the police disregarded the Fourth Amendment during the investigation.  The police had used a GPS hidden on Jones’s car to track his movements  The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures or invasions of privacy; police are required to get a warrant for all significant investigations.  There was not a warrant for the GPS.

Were the Police Acting Illegally?

The police are not out of line, the law is just not up to date with the current technology.

There was a precedent for the GPS.  In 1983 the Supreme Court handed down a verdict on United States v. Knotts.  A warrantless radio beeper had been used by the police to track a barrel of chloroform, which was intended to be used for the production of illegal drugs, being transported by Knotts.  The Supreme Court upheld the decision, with the beeper’s evidence, to convict Knotts.  They ruled the police are empowered their abilities to use the latest technology to protect the country.

How is Jones Arguing His Case?

Jones’s case is built on the vast differences between an archaic beeper and a modern GPS.  A beeper plots one journey and had close police supervision.  The modern GPS pinged Jones’s location once every ten minutes for twenty-eight days.  The police obtained 4032 points of reference, but for the majority of the time they are attending to other duties as the data accumulated.

The Supreme Court is concerned that weakening the Fourth Amendment further, by allowing the warrantless use GPS and like technologies, could spell disaster in the Age of Big Data.  This is because GPS location will be common place in every device.  The possibilities for the future are a touch too Orwellian for their tastes; if police are not required to get warrants then every piece of technology could become a people tracker.

What Precisely is Big Data?

Big Data is an umbrella term for analysis and conclusions concerning of massive data sets, these can be everything from secondly GPS pings to every transaction on Wall Street.  Some of the pioneering Big Data studies have already created staggering results; one algorithm derived from Big Data could predict a cell phone user’s positions within a square mile ninety percent of the time.

The possibilities for future applications are endless.

What are the Implications Pertaining To Big Data of United States v. Jones?

If it is ruled that warrants are not needed big data may evolve into a tool of transparent tyranny.  Smart devices will fence in the frontiers of privacy because police and invested third parties will be able to track every step of everybody.  However, corporations and research institutes will more easily be able to use smart devices to explore the new frontier of Big Data and construct world-changing algorithms as fast as possible.

If the Supreme Court rules warrants are needed, which is the morally correct decision, and then our Fourth Amendment rights will be upheld at the expense of world-changing big data.  Invested third parties, searching to profit or learn from the Big Data we all produce, will find it increasingly hard to ascertain the statistics needed to make workable algorithms because the stronger Fourth Amendment will protect smart device users more broadly.   Big Data’s growth will be stunted because analysts simply will not have the data necessary to make quantitative decisions.

The decades of the twenty-first century will be named by the technologies dominating them; 2000-2009 will be the Age of the Internet and 2010-2019 will be the Age of Big Data.  Here, with United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court is adding their personal footnote for the future of America.

Over 700 Arrested on Brooklyn Bridge: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Gridlock New York City

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What’s wrapped in orange netting, tastes like pepper spray, and is synonymous with “revolutionary?”  The Occupy Wall Street Movement.

NYPD - Exit from the Bridge

Police Officers Arrest Over 500 Occupiers

What Happened Today?

With chants like, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho.  Corp-rate Greed has got to go!”  Hundreds of Occupiers moved from New York City towards Brooklyn, across the historic Brooklyn Bridge.  Many took the pedestrian walkway and protested unmolested.  An undetermined number of demonstrators were entrapped in the traffic lanes, by police officers.  They were cordoned for hours as police officers arrested a few at a time.  All were arrested.  By 8:05 the Brooklyn Bridge was reopened, much to the inflamed bemusement of commuters.

Growing numbers of Occupy Wall Street protesters, initially it was announced that 400 were arrested, then 500, and now more than700, were arrested in The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge.  Many of those who have been arrested have been released with a mere summons.  The NYPD is  simply running out of resources such as, as many dark humor activists have pointed out, cable ties.

The Aftermath Facts

The precincts are full, the 700 protesters arrested today it is said they have been left on buses for the time being.  No water, no food.  Apparently, international photographer to Monica Lopez has taken photos of a twelve-year-old girl getting arrested.  Several marines, in organized fashion, are coming to support the cause, have are coming to support the protesters.  At least one legal observer was arrested.  These revolutionaries are in it for the long haul.  There is no sign of them halting, their momentum only gains.

How is the Protest Progressing?

For hours a live feed of the Occupy Wall Street protests have streamed, live, their demands.  The growing multitudes voice their demands in call and response pattern; one leader speaks their beliefs and the congregation echoes their concern.  Their concerns are simple; protect our environment, protect our security, protect our jobs, and above all protect the rights and political power of the “99%.”  The 99% refers to the everyday American, not the Wall Street Broker or the Hollywood Big Shot, but instead the everyday hero.

They fight for every teachers, every soldiers, every salesmen, everybody who has ever worked in a cubicle, and even every police officer.  Our jobs have been leached from America, globalized by corporate greed as our national stability is endangered by an increasingly polarized Congress.  They are speaking out because the system of checks and balances is out of balance and too many good people are getting hurt for the benefit of a few fat cats, who have bankrupt this once great nation, can lounge in their penthouses.  This will not continue, the Occupiers will have victory.

Get the Latest at this Occupy Wall Street Twitter Feed, or you can get a copy of the Occupy Wall Street Journal.

Get the Demands of the Occupiers Here.

Occupy Wall Street

A Patriot Plays

What is “Occupy Wall Street?” : The American Variant of the Arab Spring & The Origin of the Second American Revolution

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IMG_7418

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested For Campaigning For Basic Human Rights

It should be noted that the Arab Spring flared in America on September 24, 2011 and has since burned brightly, lighting downtown New York City while singeing Chicago, Denver, and Los Angles.  This global revolution has taken the form Occupy Wall Street here in America.  They campaign for ethical reforms for majority of the population, which are needed to combat the unconstitutional and immoral actions of the richest 1% of the population.   In the words of Michael Moore, “Something has Started.” This is the beginning of the Second American Revolution.

What are the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Moving to Accomplish?

They want to enact economic and judicial reforms on a national scale.

They are campaigning against a broad range of failings that have hurt the American public.  Several important issues are combating corporate greed, unshackling union’s collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, and overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court Decision that gave corporations the right to invest unlimited funds in political campaigns.  Many demonstrators believe the financial sector, embodied by the Wall Street Stock exchange, to be at the heart of these problems.  This is why ground zero for Occupy Wall Street is in New York City; they really just want their voices to be heard in the increasingly polarized and glaringly corporate political battleground.

Will They Be Successful?

Yes.

Their protest is the American manifestation of the Arab Spring, which has uniformly been unstoppable.  The trend with this sociopolitical titan has been that nations either meet the demands of the populace or inevitably fall to rebellion.  These protests will be historically noted as the beginning of either one or the other in America.

The Arab Spring has already been felt around the world, from the revolting Arab nations successfully completing revolutions, British looting of London, and Greek riots spreading anarchy.  Everywhere people are revolting against the same issues, only the names and places are different.  It is likely historians will it call the Jasmine Revolution, after its original name with the fiery startup in Tunisia.

These initial protests may not be successful, perhaps doing little more than slowing a few investors commute.  What is significant is that Americans are mobilizing not against any specific issue, but instead against the decaying economic order.  They are protesting the schism between the astounding wealthy and the numerous poor.  This is similar to other “Jasmine Revolutions.”

How Does Occupy Wall Street Resemble the Arab Spring?

Occupy Wall Street, which can be identified as a public organization for economic reform, bears striking similarities to the origins of most Arab Spring revolutions.

The Tunisians, the first pioneer of the Arab Spring, say their revolution was sparked by “unbalanced economic growth” as well.  Egyptians revolted due to, “rising food prices, high unemployment, and the corruption that pervades economic life in the region.”  Yemen is on the verge of a regime change, because of a widely corrupt government and major “economic grievances.”  With the exception of the corruption, all of these concerns are prevalent in every region of the United States.  The maldistribuiton of wealth and resources in America parallels those of the revolting Arab States; it was only a matter of time before distraught and jobless citizens took action.

Why Has There Been Police Brutality?

I would like to make note that while there have been a few occasions, including one incident involving dangerous use of pepper spray and others where police aggressively arrested unruly protesters, on the whole Occupy Wall Street has not suffered from unexpected amounts of police brutality.  This is a large-scale, well covered protest; incidents of this nature happen during such demonstrations.   It could be much worse and much more violent.  These cases of controversial police aggression are regrettable results from the patriotic activism of the protesters going beyond conventional terms of engagement.  These protesters knew the risks when they decided to stand up for what they believed in.  The policemen are simply doing their jobs; I would not judge them too critically lest they desert our popular cause entirely.  Everybody knows they did wrong, all we can hope is that incidents do not persist.

The Revolutionary (Cell) Service: Katrin Verclas Invents Phone Application To Protect Leaders of the Arab Spring

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Samsung CDMA Phone

Do encrypted and safe phones mean the Arab Spring uprisings are In the Clear?

The American Government is funding cell phones designed to guard grassroots rebellions; don’t worry; these measures are not counter intuitive.  This technology was designed to empower the rightful leaders in oppressed countries to coordinate victorious revolutions.  Grants from the State Department have now launched this cell phone application called In the Clear.

This initiative gives the people’s leaders quick disposable communication that could be electronically wiped at the flick of a switch.  This function protects everything that would be endangered if the phone fell into enemy hands;  list of critical contacts, locations of weapon caches, and planned actions. In addition rudimentary encryption provides a powerful shield against cyber warfare and government snoops.

Previously, caught rebels were forced to swallow their SIM cards to protect their friends, now they can save freedom without the toxic indigestion.  These phones are already in use in Arab Spring battlegrounds.

Why Are Cell Phones Critical to Revolutions?

The keystone to the fall of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya has been one innovation: instant communication.  Cell phones and social media networks have allowed public rebellions to ignite, flourish, and defeat oppression.

Uncensored slaying videos circulating over YouTube, massive coordinated protests through Facebook, and revolutionaries are mobilizing protesters, and militias, through cell phones.  Without being able to quickly react and take advantage of opportunities not only would have these righteous revolutions lagged, they might have even been crushed.  The Libyan rebels have been using cell phones since the beginning of their rebellion to battle Gaddafi.  In the coming revolutions in Syria and Yemen the handheld technology will continue to play a crucial role in mitigating bloodshed in the transfers of power.

Who Innovated These Phones?

The mastermind behind In The Clear is Katrin Verclas.  She runs an inventive activist group called MotiveActive, whose primary goals surround easier access to instant communication and knowledge proliferation.  The technology behind In the Clear was funded by grants from the State Department in association with a rapidly expanding Internet Freedom and accessibility.

Internet access is a basic human right, according to the United Nations; these cell phones are a crucial step in defending this right in unstable nations. Verclas’s phone application will play a major role in empowering the people where they need it most.

Perhaps they will be used domestically in the future, hopefully not in violent forums.

Terrorists Sprung: 1000 Criminals, Notorious Mai Mai Commander Gédéon Mutanga On the Lam In Congo

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MEDFLAG 2010, Medical Skills Exchange, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 2010

2 Dead Following Disastrous Prison Break

Eight gunmen have sprung notorious Mai Mai Terrorist Commander Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga from death row in a Congolese prison.  At least one thousand inmates exploited the security breach, spilling out into the nearby Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the country.

National authorities are being mobilized  to contain the criminals, police are converging on the prison with close support by military forces.  Fast responses from authorities and local residences have recaptured 152 of the escaped convicts before the search had even begun.   United Nations spokesperson Madnodje Mounabai, from the mission in Congo to defeat roving bands of militants, has expressed great concern for this explosive development and urges national support for the country-wide manhunt.  Prospects are uncertain if the commander of the “triangle of death” will be brought to justice.

How was the Raid Conducted?

A miscellaneous minivan slipped by the security of a high security Congolese prison. Eight armed gunman sprang from the vehicle once it breached the walled perimeter, making a beeline for Gédéon. One guard and one visitor were killed before guards were able to retreat to safer position outside of the occupied jail.  Upon rescuing their leader, saving him from an imminent death sentence, the gunman encouraged all the other prisoners to make a break for freedom.  It is estimated that roughly 1000 escaped before the guards, reinforced by military and police, where able to secure the prison.

Why is Gédéon Dangerous?

During the Second Congo War, which officially ended in 2003, sporadic fighting destabilized Congo and central Africa as various countries vied for power and resources.  Mai Mai terrorists fought against the established government.  Since the war was resolved these militants have remain armed and dangerous throughout western Congo. Child soldiers, militants, and government forces have fought for power throughout the region since the official end of the war.  Mass rapes and firefights are commonplace.

Gédéon is a notorious terrorist; his name is associated with the Congolese “Triangle of Death” where Mai Mai militants wrought anarchy during the war and continued unrest since.  When he was captured it was a blow to their terrorism.  It was a landmark act of justice in Africa when he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.  If he was able to retake leadership of the militant organization again it may perpetuate more painful years of civil war.  This threat could cause the deaths and rapes of countless more innocents.

Democrats and Republicans Playing Chicken With the American Economy: How Polarized Bipartisanship In Congress Will Decimate Critical Concerns (Like Issuing Social Security Checks and Staving Off A Double Dip Recession)

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FDR on Social Security

Social Security: The Primary Financial Safety Net For Retirees

American seniors will be the first casualties of the debt limit; followed sequentially by Wall Street, the domestic economy, and finally the international economy.  President Obama and Senator Henry Reid’s ultimatum to the stubborn Republicans is that unless the public debt ceiling is raised the country will be forced to halt transfer of social security checks.  Both sides have agreed to reduce the increasing debt, however the specific amount is debated, fluctuating in the trillions.  The time for procrastination is running out.  If the August 2, 2011 deadline is not met the American dollar will become worthless as credit rating agencies, like Moody’s, will no longer support the Federal Reserve.  Not to fear monger, but this a potentially catastrophic financial disaster that stems from several men being unable to agree on a set of numbers.

What is the Democrats Positions?

The Democrats have united around Obama and the Democrats Congress Leaders.  Their unified polices have forwarded relatively generous offers to the Republicans.  Talks have been breaking down at this point, as they are repeatedly snubbed.  Their offers have been denied, there fair deals do not meet the requisites of the Republicans.  They are collectively determined to stay strong and stay the course; their economics work and will sustain the country and they know that their generous deals that they have submitted are feasible.  They just have to get the Republicans to agree.

What is the Republicans Position?

Despite the necessity for tax hikes Republicans uniformly oppose any new taxes.  This is where coordination break down, various factions of the GOP are each concocting their increasing implausible schemes to propose on the Senate floor.  They cannot create a coalition policy that might be taken seriously.

The crisis has become a ammo for the campaigns of the Republican candidates.  Romney pleads for cutting and capping of federal spending. Bachmann has accused Obama of holding the government hostage to continue the government’s spending spree.  Just like the senators, there specifics disagree while their cause does not.

This will result in their demands being painfully denied.

What is the Probable Resolution?

The Republicans  will cave at the last second, giving away a deal that is much less favorable towards them than what they originally rejected.  Their “non new revenue” rhetoric has shown negatively in the public’s eye.  Polls heavily favor the Democrats, because they have appear reasonable and open to debate while the republicans have been demanding ridiculous cuts that will do more harm than good.  Without public backing or good economics their situation is unsustainable and they will have to cave.

In the, unthinkable, event that Republican leaders carry out this game of chicken till it finality,  the result will be their own self-destruction.  There will be a the initiation of the second dip in a double dip recession on August 2, 2011.  The investors on Wall Street will panic as their traditional stable government mishandled the largest debt in the world and endangers national security.  Social Security checks will stop coming, granny will start starving.  Millions of Section 8 tenants will be tossed out in the streets until the government checks come.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with their millions of mortgages, shut down.   Protests will be held, riots will form.  We will all remember the event with a few days of anarchy until the Republican leadership can recover what little sense they have left.  Unless, of course, their million dollar mansions are burned down with them in it.

What is Public Debt and How Has it Accumulated?

Whenever a spending deficit in the government occurs, such as when finances for federal programs exceeds tax revenue, Congress covers the excess with bonds; these bonds are the source of public debt.  It is not in the best interests of governments to issue bonds unless pressed because every bond, even with inflation, pays off more money than it takes to buy one.  The government loses money on every bond.

Why Would the Government Have Any Public Debt?

Historically, only when clear and present threats to national security emerge are bonds issued.  These finance the war effort and allow the nation to persist.  This is fine and encouraged.  Issues arise first when public debt is unnecessarily accumulated and the danger of the national debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling is the amount set by Congress that can be withdrawn; defaulting or going over the national debt is unthinkable.  The consequences would freeze international investing, because nobody will be able to rely on the Federal Reserve.

Why is the Debt Hitting the Debt Ceiling?

Unnecessarily accumulation by fiscally inept leaders.  Our last president, George Bush exuberantly quarterbacked  two of the most long and expensive wars of our time while engaging in risky self promoting publicity stunts, such as the Bush Tax Cuts.  These terrible money hoarding policies dealt stole trillions of dollars from the majority of the American tax payers, funneling it to the richest Americans.  Collectively, these policies led us down the wrong path, creation short-term economic gains at great expense for those who suffer in the 2008 recession.  Financially, this is major defeat, comparable to Battle of Waterloo or the baseball curse that halts the Cubs from ever winning a World Series.  Politically, it bought him his second term.

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