Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/9 - The Robots Are Coming, A New Life for Dead Malls

Monday, March 9, 2015, 9:35 AM


The Robots Are Coming (jdargis)

Put all this together, and we can start to see why many people think a big shift is about to come in the impact of computing and technology on our daily lives. Computers have got dramatically more powerful and become so cheap that they are effectively ubiquitous. So have the sensors they use to monitor the physical world. The software they run has improved dramatically too. We are, Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue, on the verge of a new industrial revolution, one which will have as much impact on the world as the first one. Whole categories of work will be transformed by the power of computing, and in particular by the impact of robots.

What It's Like To Have A Robot For A Teacher (jdargis)

Lights flash on the robot body when a teacher signs in to control the robot. A screen the size of a small tablet computer shows a live video of the teacher’s face. A webcam flips open above the screen, revealing the Cyclops eye that helps the long-distance teacher “drive” the robot. They zip around the school just like any other teacher—except for when the robot crashes into walls and doorways. The depth perception and peripheral vision aren’t great, Fetch said. But the technological hiccups don’t bother him.

G.O.P. Is Divided as Budget Bills Start Piling Up (jdargis)

“We really don’t have 218 votes to determine a bathroom break over here on our side,” said Representative Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican. “So how are we going to get 218 votes on transportation, or trade, or whatever the issue? We might as well face the political reality of our circumstances and then act accordingly.”

A New Life for Dead Malls (jdargis)

The Highland Mall in Austin, Texas, for instance, was named one of "America’s Most Endangered Malls” by U.S. News & World Report in 2009. One of the first suburban malls in Austin, the shopping center opened in 1971 covering 81 acres, and had 1.2 million square feet of interior space. By 2010, though, nearly all of the stores were vacant.

Solar-Powered Plane Takes Off for Round-The-World Flight Attempt (jdargis)

The 21,000-mile flight taking four or five months is scheduled to cross India, China and the U.S. before returning over the Atlantic. The aviators will need to fly non-stop for five or six days on oceanic legs, stuffed in a tiny cabin traveling as high as 27,000 feet at 30 to 60 miles per hour.

A New Season Brings Big Changes In Energy (Evan K.)

Surely the most fervent flag-waving signal of spring in energyland™ is that of the reversal by natural gas storage from winter withdrawals to springtime injections. While the wave of whopper withdrawals currently have flipped us back into a deficit versus the five-year average (see below), the prospect of exiting the withdrawal season in four weeks or so just shy of 1,500 Bcf and at a ~20% deficit – as opposed to the -55% seen last year – is pressuring prompt month prices to maintain their residence in two-dollardom, while record production continues apace: 2) Switching both commodities and continents, we shift our focus to China. For it is the largest consumer of coal on the planet…but is changing its tune. China is aggressively trying to increase the share of renewable energy in its generation mix to 15% by 2020 to counter pollution and reduce emissions, through a focus on wind and solar generation. Solar and wind currently account for ~5% of the generation mix (while hydro accounts for over 20%).

Too warm for dogs in Anchorage (jdargis)

In Fairbanks, it has been below minus 30C for a time this winter, but that extreme left on February 11.

Then it was minus 10 to minus 20C for a week, but since February 17, daytime maxima have been above freezing. At the start of March it warmed up to 7C!

The reason for this change, and the lack of snow in Anchorage, is to do with California.

In Florida, officials ban term 'climate change' (jdargis)

This unwritten policy went into effect after Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011 and appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as the DEP’s director, according to former DEP employees. Gov. Scott, who won a second term in November, has repeatedly said he is not convinced that climate change is caused by human activity, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/6/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."


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Heating up the war-with-Russia theme

US sends heavy armor to Baltic states to 'deter' Russia

Riga (AFP) - The United States on Monday delivered more than 100 pieces of military equipment to vulnerable NATO-allied Baltic states in a move designed to provide them with the ability to deter potential Russian threats.  

The deliveries are intended to "demonstrate resolve to President (Vladimir) Putin..."


The delivery included Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Scout Humvees as well as support equipment and O'Connor said the armour would stay "for as long as required to deter Russian aggression".

Russia Responds To European Army Proposal: Rattles "Nuclear" Sabre

The president of the European Commission [Junker] has called for the creation of an EU army in order to show Russia “that we are serious about defending European values”.


The EU is divided on how to deal with an increasingly forthright Russia, which has been accused by Nato and the US of supplying rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine with military equipment and intelligence in the conflict against government-backed forces.

And Russian responds

"In the nuclear age extra armies do not provide any additional security" ....  The European Union’s common armed forces ... may play a provocative role....

And Russia says ready to reciprocate nuclear strike

A Russian military chief [Andrei Burbin] says the country's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) are ready to defend the country against any possible “lightning-speed” nuclear strike.


“If we have to accomplish a task of repelling a ‘lightning-speed’ nuclear strike.... the SMF [is prepared] to deliver a retaliatory nuclear strike “unhesitatingly” if Russia comes under any assault.

NATO Response Force of 5 battalions recently create along the Russian border

In light of the changing security environment to the east and south of the Alliance’s borders, NATO Defence Ministers decided on 5 February 2015 to enhance the NRF by creating a “spearhead force” within it.  Known as a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), it will be able to deploy at very short notice, particularly on the periphery of NATO’s territory. The VJTF consists of a land component of around 5,000 troops with appropriate air, maritime and SOF units available.

I am sorry to say that my impression here is that the political/economic leadership of the west is likely to continue to encircle Russia and tighten in preparation for a military conquest of Russia.  At some point, Putin will know that his military position is weakening with time and that he must "strike first, now."  And the western military strategists (as opposed to the political economic leadership) will realize that Putin knows he must strike first, and they will recommend a first strike by the west, preemptively.

I don't really know how we humans can survive being ruled by RED Meme.





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sand_puppy wrote:

I don't really know how we humans can survive being ruled by RED Meme.

The death of the natural world is an implicit condition of the continuation of the status quo. The Thing cares not one wit about the Meme, and will turn it's attentions to RED as well.  Between it and RED, I'd wager my money (whatever that is) on The Thing.

We sit on the cusp of cataclysm.


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Kerry is having a flashback to his schooldays.
"Come on. Have a go you mug. Come on."
Hand-picked by Satan for his lack of insight.

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For your consideration

Food for thought


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It has been found that the survival rate for battle field injories increases if the casualty is made catatonic with an injection of Hydrogen Sulphide. The cells of our bodies know all about anoxic environments.
Been there, done that; Didn't like it.

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Re: G.O.P. Is Divided as Budget Bills Start Piling Up

Re: G.O.P. Is Divided as Budget Bills Start Piling Up

"Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, is six votes short of overcoming a Democratic filibuster. And Mr. Boehner, of Ohio, is struggling to maintain his already tenuous grip on his caucus, in which roughly three-dozen members consistently refuse to support almost any leadership plan.

"The Republican turmoil has, in turn, empowered congressional Democrats, who found that by standing unified, they can wield significant power from the minority, something Republicans in the Senate had done to great effect in the last Congress."

For a long, long time, I kept reading in on-line comments (including here on this site) the GOP talking point made repeatedly that "look, the Democrats controlled Congress for x years, and still couldn't solve problems". Yeah, because the GOP filibustered and there was a Republican President. And even with a Democratic President, the GOP has managed to wield quite a lot of power.

The tables really have turned now. And now the talking points are exactly reversed. Though of course, no one on either side ever eats crow or mutters a mea culpa in any of these vicious little on-line comment wars held in the margins of on-line news articles.

Anyways, the whole system is dysfunctional and will continue to be.


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