Mid August Update from Whatis5g.info

Mid August Update from Whatis5g.info

HEADLINES

Bad news, but no surprise: S 19, the Mobile Now Act and S 88, the DIGIT Act both passed out of committee.  S 19 passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent on Aug. 2nd, 2017. S 88 Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote on Aug. 3rd, 2017. These bills will now move on to the House for “consideration”.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/88/all-actions?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s88%22%5D%7D&r=1&overview=closed#tabs

Moving on…

SB 649 in CA – Why Legislators Must Vote No   Aug. 5th, 2017, Emily | ElectromagneticHealth.org

Everything you need to know about opposing SB 649.  PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!!
http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/sb-649/

InPower Movement: Taking back our power – Delivering an unprecedented new meta-solution for our world, through the enforcement of liability | Josh Del Sol and the team that produced the award winning documentary film “Take Back Your Power”  (For more, please see entry directly below this one)

“We are providing an online community platform with support, guides, and document templates to hold liable and accountable government or corporate actors who have put profits before people.

From the team that brought you the award-winning documentary film ‘Take Back Your Power’.”  Josh Del Sol explains how the InPower movement will walk you through what you can do to reclaim our future from the hands of corporate greed and our “in their pocket” politicians.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/inpower-movement-taking-back-our-power-health#/

Must-See Documentary Reveals Dangers of Smart Meters Aug. 5, 2017, Dr. Mercola | Mercola

Dr. Mercola on EMR, smart meters, and the new InPower movement being launched this fall to protect our rights, our children, and our Earth.  (See entry above)
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/08/05/smart-meter-dangers.aspx

Please consider making a contribution to this worthwhile endeavor

“We are working hard to defeat CA SB 649 and need your voices and donations to fight this horrific bill. It takes away YOUR rights along with the rights of cities and counties across California as to where cellular equipment will be placed. With new technology the industry will need to place this ugly, noisy dangerous equipment every 5-12 homes and near schools. WE NEED FUNDS FOR OUR POLITICAL STRATEGIST WORKING TO HELP US FIGHT THIS. PLEASE DONATE TO CALIFORNIA BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION AT WWW.GOFUNDME.COM – CALIFORNIANS AGAINST SB649 or send checks to CABTA at 435 China Basin St. #617 San Francisco, CA 94158. Thank you!”
 

MICROCHIPPING, CYBORGIFICATION, AND OTHER ETHICAL DILEMMAS OF THE IOT

Teaching Robots Right from Wrong  June/July, 2017, Simon Parkin | The Economist

Discussion about making robots that know – or are able to learn – right from wrong.

Commentary:  Brings to mind a 21st century version of the Tower of Babel(IoT ToB) https://www.1843magazine.com/features/teaching-robots-right-from-wrong

“The robots may come, but the cyborgs are already in the office”   Aug. 8th, 2017, Mark Coeckelbergh | Gastkommentar

“Increasing automation may imply not only replacement but also new couplings between humans and machines. New cyborgs. ‘New’, since this is already the way many of us work today. In factories, but also in the office: we collaborate with computer programs to do our work. New algorithms will be developed that change these collaborations, without replacing the human. This creates chances to do new things, perhaps also new creative things. But there is also the danger that this increased cyborg-style automation leads to new ways of working that have even less regard for human needs and well-being, and that further exploit us for profit.”
https://science.apa.at/dossier/The_robots_may_come_but_the_cyborgs_are_already_in_the_office/SCI_20170803_SCI75934351236981372

Embedded chip on your shoulder? Some privacy and security considerations  Aug. 1, 2017, Joseph Jerome |IAPP

“Our cyborg future has been viewed by some as inevitable; Elon Musk has argued the merging of machine and biological matter is essential for humanity to remain relevant as a species.”

“’Cyborgification’ raises a host of ethical questions, but employer-driven ‘chipping’ poses at least three immediate challenges.”

Commentary:  Although there is substantial science about the health impacts of microchips for animals, no mention is made of it by this author.  For more on microchipping pets, please see http://www.chipmenot.org and http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Microchip-Induced-Tumors-in-Lab-Rodents-and-Dogs-A-Review-of-the-Literature-1990-2006-by-CASPIAN.pdf .
https://iapp.org/news/a/embedded-chip-on-your-shoulder-some-privacy-and-security-considerations/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTWprNU5EUXhPVFJtTW1aaSIsInQiOiJHTkdNaUhVMWNkeGJDM01YZjlFNXdRRlwvMVExV2VwU29hVUxJTm5UWnNSQ29JZ0ZncmpIeE1QcG1HZ0ozVlVndHdaQkNrRWpnR1pvSjd1VFIyMFwvMUxyNnFXTDlmMk5LeG1DZ2R5WFJQRVhnajEzNnJHWW54VWoyWjVHUkt2Z1pRIn0%3D

Microchipping goes mainstream: Wisconsin company announces plan to chip employees   July 29, 2017 by: Isabelle Z. | Natural News

“The next time your boss asks you to do something you’d rather not, just remember that it could always be worse: you could be working for Three Square Market.

The Wisconsin firm, which designs software that is used in office complex break room markets, has found itself in the spotlight after announcing its intention to be the first American firm to offer its workers microchip implants.”

“It’s hard to say for sure how this could affect a person’s health as there are no long-term studies. However, these microchips are very similar to those used to keep track of pets, which is pretty alarming given their track record. Some owners have reported that their dogs and cats experienced weakness in all of their limbs because the chips were not placed precisely.

There is even an entire website, Chipmenot.org, that is devoted to pet owners whose pets died because of their chips, with serious problems like blood loss, spinal cord injury, lymphoma and cancer being blamed on the chips.”
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-29-microchipping-goes-mainstream-wisconsin-company-announces-plan-to-chip-employees.html

CGI and AI are going to turbocharge ‘fake news’ and make it far harder to tell what’s real   July 28, 2017, Rob Price | Business Insider UK

“Tech is being developed that will make it easy to create fake video footage of public figures or audio of their voice.

The developments aren’t perfect yet, but they threaten to turbocharge “fake news” and boost hoaxes online.

In years to come, people will need to be far more skeptical about the media they see.”
http://uk.businessinsider.com/cgi-ai-fake-news-videos-real-2017-7?r=US&IR=T

The ‘Iphone’ Of Robots Could Bring Capitalism As We Know It To An End   July 27Th, Matthew Hart | Nerdist

“Although it seems as if there’s a monstrous mishmash of robots already at our doorstep—sometimes literally, in the case of the Domino’s Pizza Delivery Robot—it’s likely that all these robots are, in the grand scheme of the evolution of AI, gimmicky. They’re narrow AI: capable of a specific task, within specific parameters. But the hypothetical iPhone of robots will be generally intelligent. It’ll be able to make your breakfast in the morning, play catch with you in the afternoon, and go off to its factory job at night.”

The idea is that just like the I-phone has become integrated into much of what just about everything people do, so too will each person have a robot equivalent – an “I-robot”- that will become essentially, their personal assistant.
http://nerdist.com/the-iphone-of-robots-could-bring-capitalism-as-we-know-it-to-an-end/

 

ROBOTS AND AI

How Do Humans Respond To Perfect Robots? Aug. 5th, 2017, Adi Gaskell | Huffington Post

“Our results showed that the participants liked the faulty robot significantly more than the flawless one.”

“The findings provide a further reminder that as robots are being designed with social interaction in mind, it might be worthwhile ensuring that they retain the kind of imperfections we humans have rather than designing them out.  By embracing the flaws in social robot technology, it might help make robots more believable, likeable and natural, and therefore increase the speed of acceptance within society.”

Commentary:  Maybe we should consider leaving human interactions to humans with our inherent and natural “imperfections” rather than create robots to mimic these imperfections. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-do-humans-respond-to-perfect-robots_us_59855c61e4b00833d1de282f

Intelligent robots must be trusted by humans – Advances in machine learning make agents harder to control  Aug. 4th, 2017 | The Financial Times

“But AI programmes, driven by the developing field of machine learning are now capable of behaviour that is not only surprising, but unsettling. Two examples emerged this week of unplanned consequences from letting AI robots learn for themselves. One was in China, where two automated chatbots were removed from popular online messaging apps after….”

“Robots can help people with their work and unleash social and economic benefits. But they must be trusted, or the humans will vote to take back control.”
https://www.ft.com/content/620b192a-7906-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691

Please Prove You’re Not a Robot   July 15th, Tim Wu | NY Times, Sun. Review, Opinion

“To be sure, today’s impersonation-bots are different from the robots imagined in science fiction: They aren’t sentient, don’t carry weapons and don’t have physical bodies. Instead, fake humans just have whatever is necessary to make them seem human enough to ‘pass’: a name, perhaps a virtual appearance, a credit-card number and, if necessary, a profession, birthday and home address. They are brought to life by programs or scripts that give one person the power to imitate thousands.”

“Twitter estimates at least 27 million probably fake accounts; researchers suggest the real number is closer to 48 million, yet the company does little about the problem.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/opinion/sunday/please-prove-youre-not-a-robot.html

The rise of sex robots is real, and we should be concerned Aug. 6th, 2017, Johanna Legatt | Mercury

“Recently, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) released a report looking at the development of sex robots over the next five to 10 years. According to Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Sheffield and co-founder of the FRR, we need to start taking their rise seriously.”
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4835991/the-rise-of-sex-robots-is-real-and-we-should-be-concerned/

 Seems like we’ll all be robots sooner or later  Aug. 3rd, 2017, Paul Sassone | Chicago Tribune

“Until now, robots, automated devices, required a human agency. Someone has to turn them on, direct what they do. They were instruments of humans. But by implanting microchips into humans, no instrumentality is required. Humans have become the instrument itself…. It seems that we now are approaching robotization from two directions – automation and a kind of microchipped human evolution.”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-ppn-column-sassone-tl-0810-20170802-story.html

Legal robots deployed in China to help decide thousands of cases  Aug. 4th, 2017, Neil Connor| The Telegraph

“’Legal robots’ have been deployed on thousands of cases in China to help decide sentencing. The robots – which are about three feet tall and have heads shaped like toasters – review documents and identify problems with cases. They also advise on sentencing, and can generate arrest warrants and ‘approve indictments,’ said prosecutors in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where the robots are being piloted.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/04/legal-robots-deployed-china-help-decide-thousands-cases/

Chinese chatbots apparently re-educated after political faux pas   Aug. 4th, 2017, Pei Li and Adam Jourdan | Reuters

“A pair of ‘chatbots’ in China have been taken offline after appearing to stray off-script. In response to users’ questions, one said its dream was to travel to the United States, while the other said it wasn’t a huge fan of the Chinese Communist Party.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-robots-idUSKBN1AK0G1

The ‘suicidal robot’ that drowned in a fountain didn’t kill itself after all – Technical error as algorithm fails to detect uneven surface   July 29th, 2017, Fiona Keating | Independent

“A technical error led to the K5 robot’s demise when an algorithm did not detect the uneven surface, leading to Steve tumbling into the fountain and drowning.”

Apparently, this was not the robot, K5’s first blooper. The article explains: 

“In 2016, the K5 was involved in an accident when it ran over a 16-month-old child at the Stanford Shopping Centre, leaving him bruised and shaken. ‘The robot hit my son’s head and he fell face down on the floor. The robot did not stop, it kept moving forward,’ Tiffany Cheng, the toddler’s mother, to ABC 7.  ‘He was crying like crazy.’”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/suicidal-robot-did-not-kill-itself-fountain-accident-loose-brick-surface-a7866856.html

Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Robots Shut Down After They Start Talking to Each Other in Their Own Language  July 31st, 2017, Andrew Griffin | Independent

“Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language only they understood.

The two chatbots came to create their own changes to English that made it easier for them to work – but which remained mysterious to the humans that supposedly look after them.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-artificial-intelligence-ai-chatbot-new-language-research-openai-google-a7869706.html

 

EFFECTS ON OUR BRAINS AND HUMANITY

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? More comfortable online than out partying – post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

Jean M. Twenge, Aug. 3, 2017 | The Atlantic

“That’s just the way her generation is, she said. ‘We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.’”

Commentary:  I do feel we have done our children a great injustice.  More than once I have found myself apologizing to my children for the mess we are passing on to them. https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/534198/

Who needs friends when robots are this sociable?  They only want your love (and occasionally some anonymized metadata)   July 28th, 2017, Andrew Tarantola | Engadget

“We don’t mourn the loss of toasters or coffeemakers beyond the inconvenience of their absence, so why should a gangly robotic hexapod generate any more consternation than a freshly squashed bug? It comes down, in part, to the mind’s habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. And it’s this mental quirk that could be exactly what humanity needs to climb out of the uncanny valley and begin making emotional connections with the robots around us.”

“’Some people are nervous about the fact that we’re giving robots to old people because they think that we’re replacing human care with technology,’ Darling told Engadget. ‘I’m not concerned in this case because I think that here, clearly, the robot is an animal therapy replacement and it works really, really well. It gives people that sense of nurturing something that they don’t normally get to have because their life has been reduced to being cared for by others.’”

Commentary:  There is an old Chasidic tale about a man imprisoned for 40 years who was given the task of spinning yarn.  He found comfort and meaning in his life knowing that his time in prison was not useless as by spinning yarn, he was contributing to others in some way.  At the end of his 40-year sentence, he was informed that the yarn he had spun all those years, was not connected to anything beyond his prison cell. And he realized that his “gift to others” had only been a figment of his imagination. Is it not a similar form of deception to have our elders feel they are connecting with real beings when in fact, it’s only a delusion, and they are throwing their hearts, memories, and love away to a machine?
https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/29/who-needs-friends-when-robots-are-this-sociable/

‘Like a friend’: Robots giving young cancer patients much-needed support   July 31, 2017, Lydia Feng | SBS

“Ikki is a highly intelligent social robot that has helped take Chelsea’s mind off her medical challenges. The small, penguin-shaped device sings, reads and plays games with her.  It can even speak in its own language when she says hello.”

Commentary:  Although this article presents Ikki in a very positive light, and by arousing our empathy, tries to encourage the reader to as well, personally, I find the notion of Ikki, quite icky!!! A battery animated stuffy is one thing. An RF spewing, data gathering, emotive robot to be a “friend” to a child or a senior, is quite another.
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/07/26/friend-robots-giving-young-cancer-patients-much-needed-support

 

EMR HEALTH IMPACTS

Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations  June 30th, 2017,  Zothansiama, Mary Zosangzuali, Miriam Lalramdinpuii & Ganesh Chandra Jagetia

“Radiofrequency radiations (RFRs) emitted by mobile phone base stations have raised concerns on its adverse impact on humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. Therefore, the present study was envisaged to evaluate the effect of RFR on the DNA damage and antioxidant status in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes (HPBLs) of individuals residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations and comparing it with healthy controls.”

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15368378.2017.1350584?journalCode=iebm20

“The Firefighters Wake Up Call To Us All” By Susan Foster RE: SB 649 Opposing Cell Towers In Rights Of Way – The Firefighter’s Wake Up Call to Us All   Susan Foster | Environmental Health Trust

“The next few days may signal a policy shift tipping point from which there is no return, and firefighters – forever on the front lines when it comes to health and safety – have a message for all of us through their proactive stance. The firefighters fought for an exemption to towers on their stations because years of living with cell towers has taught them lessons we should all heed.”

“The Firefighters Wake Up Call to Us All” by Susan Foster RE: SB 649 Opposing Cell Towers in Rights of Way

 

EMF-Portal | Website

“The internet information platform EMF-Portal of the RWTH Aachen University summarizes systematically scientific research data on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). All information is made available in both English and German. The core of the EMF-Portal is an extensive literature database with an inventory of 24,993 publications and 5,966 summaries of individual scientific studies on the effects of electromagnetic fields.”

This is an excellent resource for up-to-date literature and database on the health effects of Electromagnetic Radiation.
https://www.emf-portal.org/en

Five Predictions as Cities Learn to Address Wireless Health Risks   July 26, 2017, Lance McKee | Directions Magazine

“With the emergence of the Internet of Things, smart cities, and intelligent transportation, we face a very steep increase in coming years, particularly with the build-out of small cell networks providing ‘Wi-Fi everywhere.’”

“Around the world, a growing number of governments, associations and other institutions are implementing policies to reduce electromagnetic radiation health risks from cellphones and other wireless devices…. What will smart cities do?”
https://www.directionsmag.com/article/1065

5G Is An International Health Crisis In The Making   Aug. 5th, Catherine Frompovich/Jerry Flynn

Catherine Frompovich submitted for publication (with permission) Jerry Flynn’s recent article on 5g.

Title of original article:

“5G” Wireless Technology Should be Banned!  Wireless Radiation Violates Human Rights and the Nuremburg [sic] Code of Ethics!

“Fifth Generation (‘5G’) technology, if implemented nationally, would further irradiate the entire population of Canada – without their knowledge, comprehension of what is being done to them, or their consent! This would be yet another, even more serious violation of the Nuremburg [sic] Code and the most heinous crime imaginable! While the current and all three previous generations of microwave technology also violate the Nuremburg [sic] Code, informed people fear that ‘5G’ would prove to be mankind’s Armageddon – – – of Industry’s own selfish creation!”
http://www.activistpost.com/2017/08/5g-international-health-crisis.html

 

IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE

Tree damage caused by mobile phone base stations – An observation guide March 2017, Helmut Breunig | KompetenzInitiative

Photos and RF measurements by Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam Additional photos by Alfonso Balmori, Helmut Breunig, Örjan Hallberg, Volker Schorpp and Monika Schuberth-Brehm

“In the setting of exposure limits for mobile phone base stations, RF radiation effects on plants have not been considered. In view of the explosive proliferation of the diverse wireless communication technologies across the entire environment and almost all areas of life, this represents an uncovered risk. This is why available studies and documentations on how RF radiation affects and damages trees engage our particular attention. They contain important evidence that justifies the urgent call for further thorough investigations. No research, however, has been initiated by the established science community and official radiation protection agencies to date.”
http://kompetenzinitiative.net/KIT/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017_Observation_Guide_ENG_FINAL_RED.pdf

Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations   Aug. 2016, Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam, Alfonso Balmori-de la Puente, Helmut Breunig, Alfonso Balmori | Research Gate

“Trees have several advantages over animals as experimental subjects and the aim of this study was to verify whether there is a connection between unusual (generally unilateral) tree damage and radiofrequency exposure. To achieve this, a detailed long-term (2006-2015) field monitoring study was performed in the cities of Bamberg and Hallstadt (Germany)…. Statistical analysis demonstrated that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone masts is harmful for trees. These results are consistent with the fact that damage afflicted on trees by mobile phone towers usually start on one side, extending to the whole tree over time.”
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306435017_Radiofrequency_radiation_injures_trees_around_mobile_phone_base_stations

Plant Responses to High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields   Review article  Jan. 2016, Alain Vian, Eric Davies, Michel Gendraud, and Pierre Bonnet | BioMed Research International

“High frequency nonionizing electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) that are increasingly present in the environment constitute a genuine environmental stimulus able to evoke specific responses in plants that share many similarities with those observed after a stressful treatment…. While the long-term impact of these metabolic changes remains largely unknown, we propose to consider nonionizing HF-EMF radiation as a non-injurious, genuine environmental factor that readily evokes changes in plant metabolism.”
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/1830262/

 

NEWS ABOUT 5G

(Please note, some of these articles are industry generated but are included so we can keep tabs on what’s flying.)

Apple has permission to test 5G-internet for future iPhones  July 27th, 2017, Chaim Gartenberg | The Verge

“Apple has officially been granted FCC approval for an experimental license to test 5G data technology — specifically in the short-range millimeter wave spectrum in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, as reported by DSLReports.”
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/7/27/16050426/apple-fcc-millimeter-wave-5g-internet-experimental-license-iphone-test

5G Progressing Faster Than Expected Aug. 1st, Jof Enriquez | RF GlobalNet

“”Our original expectation was that 5G would only really take off in the 2020 to 2021 time period, that is now changing, as we see some lead customers in both the United States and China preparing to move earlier, and that should drive others to respond,’ said Rajeev Suri, President and CEO of Nokia, in a Seeking Alpha transcript of the company’s second quarter earnings call.”

Commentary:  This is presumably just industry hype, but the article does help to keep us somewhat informed about what industry’s intentions and a possible timetable are.  There is also some discussion in this piece about Arizona’s aggressive small cell deployment.
https://www.rfglobalnet.com/doc/g-progressing-faster-than-expected-0001?vm_tId=2014441&user=6378ee26-e10c-45fa-a442-bda94772ff6f&utm_source=et_6214342&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=RFG_08-03-2017&utm_term=6378ee26-e10c-45fa-a442-bda94772ff6f&utm_content=5G+Progressing+Faster+Than+Expected

Forget 5G: Verizon just tested an absurdly fast 4G connection that works right now   August 3rd, 2017, Chris Mills

“The test was the first time that a carrier has tried aggregating licensed cell spectrum — the airwaves your sweet LTE already comes over — with unlicensed spectrum that anyone can already use (in this case, the same spectrum that’s used for your home Wi-Fi network).”

“Hopefully, the technology from this test can be rolled out to cell stations nationwide this year or early next. Unlike 5G, there isn’t much that needs to be worked out or certified in terms of equipment.”

Commentary: Verizon just proved to themselves there is no need for 5g.
http://bgr.com/2017/08/03/verizon-fastest-wireless-network-best-4g-carrier-aggregation-2017/

5G Needs Mmwave Regs—Pronto Designs waiting for key channel decisions   Aug. 3rd, 2017, Rick Merritt | EE Times

Regulators need to deliver guidance as soon as possible for millimeter wave services in 5G cellular networks, said one of the many engineers with designs waiting for the details. His call comes as carriers in the U.S. and South Korea are gearing up to deliver the broadband wireless services for mobile and home workers.

Commentary:  Industry article asking regulators to move things along in setting standards so industry can push forward on 5g.  Time is our friend…let’s optimize our use of it!
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332108

 

THE IOT, AND “SMART” DUST

Batteries and Portable Power – Batteries Must be Eliminated from EVs and IoT Devices  Aug. 4th, 2017 | PowerPulse.net

“A new report titled, ‘Battery Elimination in Electronics and Electrical Engineering 2018-2028; Technology and prospects for ‘perpetual’ devices and equipment,’ explains why we need to do this and why even partial success promises major benefits to society and new business opportunities.”

Commentary: Again, apologies for the industry hype – This article is included to help us keep tabs on what’s going on with 5g and the Iot.
http://powerpulse.net/batteries-must-be-eliminated-from-evs-and-iot-devices/

House panel approves legislation to speed deployment of self-driving cars   July 27th, 2017, David Shepardson | Reuters

“An influential U.S. House committee on Thursday approved a revised bipartisan bill on a 54-0 vote that would speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles.

The bill would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three years.”
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-selfdriving-vehicles-idUSKBN1AC2K0

Surveillance State: Tiny Robots “Watching” You   Aug. 2nd, Louis Basenese | Daily Reckoning

“The push to miniaturize electronics will drastically shake up the world in the near future.  And ‘smart dust’ will be at the very epicenter of this trend. In short, smart dust is a system of tiny sensors, robots or other devices that are as small as a grain of sand.”

“They’re [smart dust particles] made up of tiny processors running a skeleton operating system. The sensors can detect everything around them — light, temperature, vibrations, pressure, magnetism, chemical composition, humidity, location and acceleration. The list goes on.”

Commentary:  This article is targeting potential investors in “smart” dust.  https://dailyreckoning.com/surveillance-state-tiny-robots-watching/

Monetization Tops All IoT Challenges Aug. 2nd, 2017, Chuck Martin | MediaPost

“While plenty of challenges surround the Internet of Things, there’s one that tops the list, even over security.  The most immediate challenge is quantifying the return on investment or defining a clear use, based on a new study.”

Restated: Will the IoT bring any returns on all this investment, and is there a purpose to the IoT outside of money?
https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/305254/monetization-tops-all-iot-challenges.html

Looncup tracks menstruation and sends vaginal updates to your phone   Oct. 8th, 2015, Dan Howarth | Dezeen

“The ‘world’s first smart menstruation cup’ links with a phone app to provide women with information about their periods (+ movie).”

“Looncup wirelessly connects to a smartphone app to notify the user how close to its 25-millilitre capacity it is, as well as track the periodic cycle and give feedback about health. Updates can also be displayed on an Apple Watch.”

Commentary: For this we need cell towers in our yards ?!!
https://www.dezeen.com/2015/10/08/looncup-menstruation-vaginal-phone-updates-loon-lab-kickstarter/

Smart thermostats are tough sell, but ComEd hopes rebates boost interest   July 25th, 2017, Robert Channick | Chicago Tribune“

In the age-old battle over who controls the temperature setting, smart thermostats would seem an intelligent alternative: Let the internet-connected device make automatic adjustments and pocket some savings in the process.

But at $250 per unit for leading models, most consumers aren’t buying it, with smart thermostat adoption rates languishing at about 1 in 10 households nationwide.”

Commentary: Public not buying your IoT product?  Try bribery.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-smart-thermostat-comed-rebates-0726-biz-20170725-story.html

Kangaroos are confusing self-driving cars  July 19th, 2017, Alex Gray | World Economic Forum

“Self-driving cars will be safer, they claim. With super sensors, laser and camera technology, they will be able to spot another car approaching, or a pedestrian in the road, and react far faster than a human driver could.  But when it comes to preventing collisions with kangaroos, engineers at Volvo have hit a stumbling block.”
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/07/engineers-testing-volvo-s-driverless-technology-have-hit-a-problem-kangaroos/?utm_content=bufferab341&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

E-Waste

Big Tech Has Destroyed America’s Sustainable Electronics Standards  Aug. 3rd, Jason Koebler | Motherboard

“America’s green electronics standards have been taken over by the most powerful gadget manufacturers in the world and have been watered down to the point where they are largely meaningless.”

“When a coalition of nonprofits, academics, and environmentalists attempted to use a different standards-making process for computer server standards, every major manufacturer boycotted the new system and forced a return to the old one.”
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/evzeep/big-tech-has-destroyed-americas-sustainable-electronics-standards

On a more positive note:

Graphene made out of wood could help solve the e-waste problem   Aug. 2nd, 2017, Luke Dormehl |Digital Trends

“When you think about electrical superconductors, the first material that comes to mind probably isn’t wood. That could soon change, however, thanks to the pioneering work of scientists at Rice University, who have successfully made wood into an electrical conductor by transforming its surface into all-around wonder material graphene.”

“Specifically, they are hoping to harness the conductive properties of the pine laser-induced graphene to create supercapacitors for energy storage. With the massive amount of electronic waste that is produced every year, the idea of biodegradable, eco-friendly wooden electronics carries obvious benefits.”
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/graphene-made-wood-could-help-191337225.html

 

CONFLICT MINERALS – IMPACTS ON HUMANS AND GRAUER GORILLAS

Conflict Minerals: The Dark Side of the Digital Age Electronics Boom  June 25th, 2017, Levi Maxey | The Cipher Brief

“According to the United Nations Environment Programme, criminals in the eastern part of the DRC reap some $1 billion in profits annually through the off-the-books trade of minerals, timber, charcoal, and wildlife products such as ivory. What’s more, an estimated 98 percent of the profit from these illicit dealings is believed to wind up in the hands of transnational organized criminal and terror networks, leaving only 2 percent with indigenous armed groups.

‘To functionally prevent these groups from operating, we need to break the cycle by hindering their ability to generate revenue from selling commodity minerals,’ says Wise. ‘Stopping the supply of money to these violent groups will quickly impact their ability to survive and will have an enduring effect on preventing their resurgence.’
https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/tech/conflict-minerals-dark-side-digital-age-electronics-boom-1092

Sign the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Demand for “Gorilla-safe” Phones From Manufacturers   Aug. 3rd, 2017, Sabine Ganezer | Santa Monica Observer

“Much of the danger to Grauer’s Gorillas is caused by mining for tungsten, tin and tantalum, a process which requires a complete razing of the local flora and fauna. Furthermore, the land has been torn apart by civil wars and the inhumane, dangerous environment the fighting and the mine work engender. Wealthy nations like the United States are, in effect, financing the war and rewarding workplace violence as we buy the ‘conflict minerals’ to manufacture more phones.”
http://www.smobserved.com/story/2017/07/27/news/sign-the-wildlife-conservation-societys-demand-for-gorilla-safe-phones-from-manufacturers/3038.html

 

SMART METERS

“You know what? The markets, the structure of pricing is not there,” he says. “These people (meter proponents) want to push all this stuff–I call them behavior-modification specialists––forcing things on consumers that don’t come naturally. You can’t get consumers to fully embrace this unless you give them economic pain, which I won’t do.” Rhode Island Commissioner Paul J. Roberti Interview – https://nomasssmartmeters.wordpress.com/tag/rhode-is-smart-meters/

The following is an ad for smart meter installer training courses in Scotland – This seems to settle the “life span” debate once and for all:

“About Smart Metering – The Smart Meter Roll-Out will require approximately 12,000-15,000 engineers to replace 53 million meters in 27 million properties by 2020. A relitively [sic] short smart meter life-span of 10-12 years’ will ensure sustainable employment for years’ to come.”
http://www.trainingdevelopments-scotland.co.uk/smart-meter-training.php

The UK may need to replace 20 million smart meters  July 27th, 2017 | Published in Smart Energy

“The fact that 20 million smart meters may need to be replaced may sound bizarre, especially given the fact that so far only around eight million have been installed as part of the GB Smart Metering deployment, but unfortunately it looks as if it could be true.  It’s yet another indication of the scale of mismanagement within this programme, which reminds you of a line from Steve Aylett’s ‘Bigot Hall’ – ‘Ignorance runs like a well-drilled army.’”
http://www.nickhunn.com/the-uk-may-need-to-replace-20-million-smart-meters/

Six Reasons to Say No to a Smart Meter   August 2nd, 2017 | The Telegraph

“The great smart meter revolution has faltered and households can choose, once again, to opt out and keep hold of their old-fashioned utility meters which require manual reading.

When they were introduced in 2009, smart meters were supposed to simplify the billing process and ensure readings were up to date and accurate. But the rollout has been plagued with problems – as explained below.

Now, according to research conducted by comparethemarket.com, one in five people do not want one.”

Commentary: I wonder what (independent) research in the US would find.
https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/six-reasons-no-smart-meter-060300080.html

EU bank lends €1bn to rollout smart meters in Italy  Aug. 5th, 2017,  Priyanka Shrestha | Energy Live News

“The first tranche of €500 million (£451m) has been signed by the EU bank and Enel Group. Its power distributor e-distribuzione aims to install around 41 million new generation ‘2.0 meters’, of which 32 million will replace the current first-generation meters, while the remainder will be used for new connections and customer requests.”
http://www.energylivenews.com/2017/08/05/eu-bank-lends-e1bn-to-rollout-smart-meters-in-italy/

Are smart meters to blame for house fires? July 27th, 2017  Sean Poulter | Daily Mail

“A rush to install energy smart meters in millions of homes has triggered fires and is putting families at risk, it is claimed.

“Evidence suggests some of the engineers hired to install the meters do not know what they are doing.

One employed by British Gas told a horrified couple: ‘Sorry, I’ve blown up your house.’

Details of two fires linked to the installation of smart meters were highlighted by the BBC Watchdog programme last night.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4737864/Are-smart-meter-blame-house-fires.html and
https://smartmeternewsupdates.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/are-smart-meters-to-blame-for-house-fires/

Are smart meters a FIRE hazard? BBC Watchdog investigation finds poorly fitted meters may have started blazes  June 27th, Zlata Rodionova, Digital Consumer Reporter  | The Sun

“One family claims engineer told them, ‘Sorry, I’ve blown up your house.’”

“POORLY fitted energy meters are believed to have started a number of fires in home, potentially putting millions of households at risk, an investigation has found.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/4112372/bbc-investigates-smart-meters-safety-house-fires/

Pennsylvania Smart Meters: 

FOX43 Finds Out: is a doctor’s note enough to say no to a smart meter?  Aug. 2nd, 2017, BY Jackie de Tore

“Shepherd told her electric company, Met-Ed, that she had a medical issue and didn’t want a smart meter.

She sent over a letter from her doctor that recommends she not get a smart meter because of her injury.”

“Met-Rd confirmed officials were in contact with Shepherd over the issue and told FOX43 that ‘a medical letter does not exclude customers from the installation of a smart meter.’  The electric company eventually came in June and installed the meter.”

“The PUC tells us they have no jurisdiction to decide if a person can get a smart meter or not, since Pennsylvania law states the smart meter program must be rolled out by 2023.

If you believe a smart meter is causing you to have a health issue, you can file a formal complaint.”

Commentary: Unbelievable that even with a doctor’s note, PA still doesn’t allow a person to keep their analog meter!
http://fox43.com/2017/08/02/fox43-finds-out-is-a-doctors-note-enough-to-say-no-to-a-smart-meter/

Smart meters? Not these! Shabbat fears over water – New smart meters being rolled out across the country could technically lead to a breach of Shabbat.  Aug. 3rd, Simon Rocker | The JC

“Representatives of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations have met officials from a leading water company to discuss fears that new smart meters could lead to a breach of Shabbat.

An electrical expert has been brought in to determine whether new meters being installed in London by Thames Water contravene Jewish law, following concerns raised by members of the community over the past three months.”

Commentary: Religion wins out over health with smart meter opt outs. Compare this to the last entry about a doctor’s note in PA. I guess doctors’ notes don’t elicit PC responses.
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/smart-meters-not-these-shabbat-fears-over-water-1.442373

Percentage Of Meters That Are Smart Meters By State – 2015

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity (electric power sales, revenue, and energy efficiency Form EIA-861 detailed data files, advanced meters, 2015), https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861/
http://whatis5g.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/image001.png 

CYBER SECURITY

“For passwords to be resistant to the latest hacker technology it is possible they need to be at least 23 characters long. Edward Snowden says that an eight-character password can be cracked in under one second.” Lulu Friesdat – Full article here: http://www.alternet.org/investigations/ef-con-25-hackers-deride-internet-things-internet-sht

World’s Leading Hackers Explain Why You Don’t Want Huge Tech Companies Controlling Everything in Your House – The internet of things is a way to extract wealth from your every day life.  Aug. 2nd, 2017, Lulu Friesdat | Alternet

“The Internet of Sh*t Twitter feed rolls out information about these devices, tweeting horror stories about a woman stranded in the country in a smart rental car that won’t start without a network. The Twitter account relays a constant stream of weird products—like toilets that glow in the dark—and anecdotes of discomfort, like lightbulbs that have to be reprogrammed before they will turn off and let you go to bed. More dangerously, there is a phone that keeps rebooting when someone is trying to call the fire department.”
http://www.alternet.org/investigations/ef-con-25-hackers-deride-internet-things-internet-sht

Congress to smart device makers: Your security sucks – Four senators propose the “Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act,” calling for minimum security standards for connected devices.  Alfred Ng, Aug. 2nd, 2017 | CNET

“Congress wants to fix the notorious security problems associated with the internet-of-things — at least for themselves. On Tuesday, Sens. Mark Warner, Cory Gardner, Ron Wyden and Steve Daines introduced the “Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act,” (PDF) a bill that would force tech companies to ramp up security if they want to sell connected devices to the federal government.”

https://www.cnet.com/news/congress-senate-iot-device-makers-your-security-sucks/

Securing the Insecurities of the Internet of Things

http://www.darkreading.com/iot/proposed-iot-security-bill-well-intentioned-but-likely-hard-to-enforce/d/d-id/1329521

Infographic: The challenge of cybersecurity in the IoT  Aug. 2nd, 2017 | Telefonico IoT Team

This is an informative infographic showing the true cost of cyber security for the IoT.

“Spending on cyber security to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021.”
https://iot.telefonica.com/blog/infographic-the-challenge-of-cybersecurity-in-the-iot

Yes, your life-saving medical devices can be hacked   Aug. 3rd, 2017, Dan Tynan | Parallax

“When an Internet-connected device is implanted in your body to help you maintain your heart rate or regulate the insulin in your bloodstream, bad security can quite literally be hazardous to your health. At the 25th DefCon conference here last weekend, security researchers took on a new challenge: uncovering flaws in dozens of biomedical devices, from pacemakers and insulin pumps to glucose monitors and digital intravenous drips.”
https://www.the-parallax.com/2017/08/03/defcon-medical-devices-hacked/

Opposition unite in call for immediate review of HSE computer systems   Aug. 3, 2017 | Breaking News, IRELAND

“Opposition parties have called for a “full review” of the HSE’s computer systems after it emerged a dangerous flaw means up to 25,000 scans and x-rays for people with serious heart, cancer and other conditions may be inaccurate, reports Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Correspondent.”

“Thousands of patients scans have been affected leading to some receiving incorrect treatment.”
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/opposition-unite-in-call-for-immediate-review-of-hse-computer-systems-800627.html

IoT security for healthcare is in critical condition – Medical devices lack many features and capabilities that help protect other network-attached devices from attack   Aug. 3rd, 2017, Jon Gold, Senior Writer | Network World

“IoT security is a headache, a mess and several other flavors of annoying for any enterprise, but in healthcare, it can be literally life and death. Compromising any connected device has two main consequences – one is to enlist devices into a botnet, like the security camera-capturing Mirai, and the other is to offer a passage deeper into any infrastructure the device is connected to.”
http://www.networkworld.com/article/3212991/internet-of-things/iot-security-for-healthcare-is-in-critical-condition.html

Securing industrial IoT: A trillion-dollar dilemma   Aug. 3rd, 2017, Neil Hamilton | IoT Agenda

“Businesses should be very concerned with industrial IoT security. Cybercrime is on the rise and could cost businesses upwards of $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to research firm Cybersecurity Ventures.”

Author also states quite explicitly, that a wired connection is far more secure and that challenges arise when “bridging the air gap between an operational technology (the machine) and an IT systems (the cloud)” [I.e. when being transmitted wirelessly to the Cloud.]
http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/blog/IoT-Agenda/Securing-industrial-IoT-A-trillion-dollar-dilemma

 

PRIVACY

The FTC is watching when your children’s toys are listening  Aug. 12th, 2017, Michael Bahar | The Hill

“The recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) update to its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance plan, is the latest in a series of regulatory moves to bring attention to the serious cyber security and data privacy issues latent in the ever-expanding internet of things and the ever-smartening supply chain.”
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/technology/344554-the-ftc-is-watching-when-your-childrens-toys-are-listening

Roomba’s Next Big Step Is Selling Maps of Your Home to the Highest Bidder  July 24th, 2017,  Rhett Jones | Gizmodo

“The Roomba is generally regarded as a cute little robot friend that no one but dogs would consider to be a potential menace. But for the last couple of years, the robovacs have been quietly mapping homes to maximize efficiency. Now, the device’s makers plan to sell that data to smart home device manufacturers, turning the friendly robot into a creeping, creepy little spy.”

Commentary:  This is a clear example of how IoT “things” will be used to gather data for marketing, surveillance, and law enforcement.
https://gizmodo.com/roombas-next-big-step-is-selling-maps-of-your-home-to-t-1797187829

Lawsuit Claims Disney Spied on Kids Playing Mobile Games and Sold Info to Advertisers  Aug. 5th, 2017, Dell Cameron |

“The Walt Disney Company is facing a lawsuit alleging it violated federal law aimed at protecting children’s online privacy. The company allegedly allowed ad tech companies to embed software in its apps, enabling the collection of children’s personal information.”
http://gizmodo.com/lawsuit-claims-disney-spied-on-kids-playing-mobile-game-1797539765

While you’re watching Disney’s films at the cinema, Disney can now watch you   July 26th, Ashley Rodriguez | QUARTZ

“Disney can now track your laughter, smiles, gasps, and frowns inside those darkened cinemas. The media conglomerate’s research arm is using machine learning to assess the audience’s reactions to films based on their facial expressions, it wrote in a new research paper (pdf). It uses something called factorized variational auto-encoders, or FVAEs, to predict how a viewer will react to the rest of a film after tracking their facial expressions for a few minutes.”
https://qz.com/1039102/disney-can-now-use-infrared-cameras-to-track-your-reactions-to-films-in-darkened-cinemas/