Random Paranoid Thought on Future Tech

In just 15 years, [Ray, inventor, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google] Kurzweil believes, the human brain will become a hybrid of biology and technology, and we will “put gateways to the cloud in our brains.” And as the cloud becomes more and more advanced and is able to store increasing amounts of information, so too will our brains. By the late 2030’s or early 2040’s, Kurzweil said, the majority of brain function, at least in terms of information processing and thought processes, will be non-biological.

American Security

Thinks about the Obama administration’s current, and ongoing, failure regarding the Office of Personnel Management. After having “lost” the background check data it had “stored” in its computer facility last fall, the Inspector General of OPM said that

parts of its network should be shut down because they were riddled with weaknesses that “could potentially have national security implications.”

OPM didn’t bother. Now we learn that People’s Republic of China hackers (should we start calling them invaders?) entered OPM’s computer network and stole the personal data of all 2+ million Federal employees and the personal data of a skosh under an addition 2 million past Federal employees. As The Wall Street Journal put it,

Partition

Has President Barack Obama acquiesced in the partition of Ukraine?

At the G-7 meeting last Sunday, Obama appears to have written off the concept of restoring occupied Crimea to Ukraine.

[Obama’s Press Secretary Josh] Earnest said whether to keep or impose additional economic sanctions against Russia will depend on whether the country decides to keep its end of the so-called Minsk agreement, updated after Moscow annexed Crimea last year, not whether it returns the peninsula.

With Earnest’s voice, Obama talked also about the need for the G-7 to

show unity in confronting Russia over actions in Ukraine.

Artificial Markets

The Car Battery and battery car industries are two, and the situation hasn’t gotten any better in the three years since Mike Ramsey’s piece in The Wall Street Journal.

Since 2009, the Obama administration has awarded more than $1 billion to American companies to make advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Halfway to a six-year goal of producing one million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, auto makers are barely at 50,000 cars.

Two of those companies, in fact, have since gone bankrupt: Fisker Automotive and A123 Systems now are wholly owned by People’s Republic of China’s Wanxiang Group Corporation. Without repaying us American taxpayers.

“Discrimination”

The Supreme Court on Monday said a Muslim woman who applied to work at Abercrombie & Fitch Co can raise discrimination claims without proving the company intentionally avoided hiring her because she wore a head scarf for religious reasons.

So, I can cry discrimination on no better complaint than that I have one? I don’t even have to show that there’s a foundation for one?

Justice Clarence Thomas, in dissent, thought there ought to be a reason.

Russia’s New Gulag

…is on the verge of becoming the whole nation.

Russia’s media watchdog [Roskomnadzor, a government agency] has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules.

Carefully crafted rules: the three companies encrypt their transmissions, which means the Russian government can’t tell who’s saying all those nasty things about Putin and his fellows in that government.

To comply with the law, the three firms must hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day, and take down websites that Roskomnadzor sees as containing calls for “unsanctioned protests and unrest[.]”

Another Judge Gets It Right on Guns

People in the nation’s capital no longer have to show a good reason to get a permit to carry concealed handguns outside their homes and businesses.

The District of Columbia’s police chief said Tuesday that she’s dropping this requirement, a centerpiece of the city’s handgun-control legislation, after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against it.

That’s entirely appropriate since government does not get to dictate the reasons for a man owning a gun.

The city’s law, one of the nation’s toughest, says a person must show a “good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property” or another “proper reason for carrying a pistol” to get a concealed-carry permit.

Help, or Watch?

Unfortunately, we already know which President Barack Obama will select, as he’s made clear in another venue.

The cause for concern this time is the economic strait in which Ukraine finds itself.

The contraction in Ukraine’s economy accelerated to 17.6% in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, the State Statistics Service said Friday, hammered by a conflict with Russia-backed separatists in its eastern industrial heartland that has slashed industrial output.

Gun Control

Or just control.

One guy, Cody Wilson, worked out a way to make pistols out of plastic and a 3-D printer, posted the information on the Internet, and tried to start a business out of the thing. Nothing secretive here; he wasn’t trying to hide anything.

The technology will break gun control. I stand for freedom[,]

he said.

But

…Wilson’s invention also caught the attention of the State Department, which came after him with both barrels blazing. The feds claimed Wilson violated the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which “requires advance government authorization to export technical data,” and as a result, could spend up to 20 years in prison and be fined as much as $1 million per violation.

A Proper Ruling

And by Article III judges….

The Second Circuit appellate court has ruled in favor of individual liberty, privacy, and free speech all in one ruling.

[The Second Circuit] ruled Thursday the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of Americans’ phone records isn’t authorized by the Patriot Act, as the Bush and Obama administrations have long maintained.

The Court held, in part,