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0 Technology could turn cellphones into wallets

For many people, smart phones are almost as indispensable as wallets. And soon, your smart phone could replace your wallet.A collection of the biggest wireless carriers, handset makers and software developers are putting their weight behind a technology called near-field communication. 
That standard will allow your cellphone to make payments at a cash register, scan computer chips embedded in ads and posters for discounts and product info, and eventually incorporate driver's licenses and other forms of ID.
"This isn't just about payment," said Jaymee Johnson, director of strategic development at T-Mobile USA Inc. "It's fundamentally focused on transforming the ways customers shop, save and pay."
T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Dallas-based AT&T Inc. recently launched a joint venture called Isis to standardize and promote near-field communication technology and applications.
The technology enables a variety of new applications.
For example, a retailer could embed a paper-thin NFC chip in the price tags on its shelves.
When you wave your NFC-enabled phone over the tag for, say, a digital camera, it will direct the Web browser on your phone to a site with more info about that camera.
The tag could also wirelessly transfer a coupon for that camera to your phone.
So you pick up the camera and take it to the register to pay.
No need to dig out your credit card or cash.
Just swipe your phone, which also contains all your credit card info, over the NFC-enabled register, which recognizes the coupon, applies the discount, and debits your bank account.
VoilĂ , the digital wallet.
Or tap on a tagged movie poster to bring up the YouTube trailer to the film.
Or imagine any of the other hundreds of possibilities once individual app developers start tinkering with the software and writing programs for the phones and chips.
NFC tags could be easily, inexpensively and invisibly embedded in magazines, for instance, to bring up videos or animations related to an article, or in the automobile stickers on a dealership's lot.
DVD cases could have tags attached to let you quickly catalog every disc in your personal library. No need to photograph bar codes or other markers. Just swipe.
Faded technology
If this dream sounds like you've heard it before, it should.
Near-field communication is similar to another short-range wireless technology that was heavily hyped a few years ago but then faded: radio frequency identification, or RFID.
While RFID is used in a few niche consumer applications – TollTags and a small percentage of credit and debit cards, for example – NFC is poised to flood the market.
In fact, if the wireless carriers have their way, widespread adoption of NFC devices might take only a year or two.

Nokia has been supporting near-field communication for a few years, but the company's smart phones have limited market share in the U.S.
Now, a host of other manufacturers that do have a big presence in America are about to jump in.
While it will be months before major retailers start including NFC chips in their cash registers and displays, NFC-equipped smart phones are already rolling out.
The first handset maker with a big U.S. presence to adopt NFC is Samsung, whose U.S. telecom operations are headquartered in Richardson.
Samsung last week released the Android-powered Nexus S smart phone with a built-in NFC reader.
In fact, it's the first version of Android from Google Inc. to support NFC, and Google is making freely available the tools needed to tinker with that capability.
"We're open sourcing the NFC software stack, and we've provided Android developers with [application programming interfaces] that will allow them to build applications that take advantage of NFC," a Google spokesman said.
Owners of smart phones with the NFC hardware are able to scan the chips with their handsets to see whatever data the retailer has encoded in the tag.
Johnson at T-Mobile, who's also a spokesman for the new venture Isis, noted that the three carriers have more than 200 million customers among them.
And the turnover rate on the phones those customers own is fantastically high.
"You think about how quickly handsets turn over now, if you have your handset for a year, you're ready to upgrade," Johnson said. "That's a cycle that really works to our advantage in really rapidly turning over a new technology."
Apple Inc ., one of the biggest drivers in smart phone trends, is rumored to be implementing NFC hardware in the next version of the iPhone.
NFC requires additional hardware in the device, meaning older phones can't simply get a software upgrade to enable the capability.
But there are workarounds.
Visa Inc., for example, is working on a standard with Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and U.S. Bancorp to develop microSD cards with built-in mobile payment capability that could simply be inserted into certain existing phones.
Retail support
But pushing NFC into the hands of consumers is only half the battle.
The other half is persuading retailers to install the high-tech cash registers and networks needed to connect with these wireless wallets.
Johnson said Isis will piggyback on Discover Financial Services' payment network, which is already accepted at more than 7 million locations nationwide.

But a far smaller number actually accept so-called contactless payments.
Johnson acknowledged that rustling up retail support is critical to making NFC a success but said Isis is pitching NFC as not just a payment tool.
It's also a way for companies to launch interactive loyalty and rewards programs for their customers, and get better, faster data on what products their customers want most.
"That's a story that we're eager to tell and that merchants have been very receptive to," Johnson said.
So far, Isis has not yet announced any merchant partners, but Johnson said they're coming soon.
"First half of next year we'll be making a drumbeat of announcements," he said.
Johnson declined to say how much money the carriers have invested in building out the Isis network but said it's a top priority.
"This is a big bet," he said. "This is a big opportunity for the carriers."
The one major carrier that's not on board with Isis yet is Sprint Nextel Corp.
Sprint said it is looking at a variety of options for enabling mobile payments, which could include joining Isis.
Near-field communication on handheld devices will initially focus on providing interactive information and mobile payment. But the technology could also one day allow documents such as driver's licenses and passports to be stored digitally on a phone.

0 And 1 day later....

A snowman was left standing Thursday afternoon at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the Las Vegas Strip. Most of the snow along the Strip had melted as temperatures climbed into the 40s a day after snow blanketed the valley.
Las Vegas was digging out Thursday from one of the biggest snows in its history — anywhere from 3 to 8 inches fell throughout the valley Wednesday through early this morning.
The rare, heavy snow led to delayed flights at McCarran International Airport and traffic problems and accidents throughout the valley Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. However, flights resumed this morning at McCarran. And snow-covered streets, parking lots, sidewalks and highways were melting off by late afternoon under mostly sunny skies and temperatures hitting 40 degrees.


School district calls off classes for first time in 30 years, flights canceled,

Snow comes down on the New York-New York, as seen from the roof of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino on Wednesday.
A rare snowstorm blanketed the Las Vegas Valley on Wednesday, delaying flights, causing widespread fender-benders and canceling events. As much as 8 inches of snow fell in parts of the valley, forecasters said this morning.

The rarities continued Wednesday night with the Clark County School District's announcement that students are getting a snow day today. It's the first snow day for Clark County students since 1979, when a storm dropped 9.9 inches of snow in January that year.

The National Weather Service finally lifted a winter storm warning at 6 a.m. today. The weather service said its Las Vegas office had reported 3.6 inches of snow by 9:50 p.m. Wednesday. And there was a report of 8 inches measured in Henderson shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

0 Global Warming cult takes another hit....Polar Bears are "threatened" NOT "endangered"

London, Dec 23 (ANI): The Obama administration has confirmed an earlier Bush-era decision that polar bears are merely 'threatened'  NOT 'endangered'.

The US Department of the Interior has upheld a decision to classify the bear as 'threatened' - a status that gives them less protection under the law, reports the BBC. 

The government said it did not find that polar bears were on the brink of extinction, needed to qualify for the status of 'endangered'.
 Under the Endangered Species Act, the status of 'endangered' requires the government to assess the impact of greenhouse gases on the bears' Arctic homelands.
When the government is considering permits for oil development in northern Alaska, it must include greenhouse gas emissions in its decision.  When the polar bear was listed as 'threatened' by the administration of former US President George W Bush, officials invoked a special rule saying the Endangered Species Act could not be used to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
 So an 'endangered' listing is a more powerful tool for limiting industrial activity that causes greenhouse gases.
 Meanwhile, environmental campaigners have said they will challenge the decision.
 The Centre for Biological Diversity - one of the groups trying to get the polar bear listed as 'endangered' - said the ruling showed that the administration of US President Barack Obama was continuing to defend Bush-era 'anti-science decisions'.
 It said polar bears face an 80 percent chance of extinction within 40 years and it will continue to challenge the US government in court. (ANI)

In other words....YES they can swim... and NO their numbers are NOT dropping anywhere near the former "Official" numbers.
The Scam is falling apart.....

0 South Korea to hold largest-ever live-fire drill....on the Norths border.

South Korea says it will hold its largest-ever live-fire drill near the military border with North Korea on Thursday, just as tension on the peninsula eases after Pyongyang's attack on a southern island.
The drill, involving artillery, fighter jets and the largest number of personnel in a peace-time exercise, comes after the South's live-fire artillery exercise on Monday on the island of Yeonpyeong and is bound to infuriate the North.
North Korea this week offered to re-admit UN inspectors concerned about its nuclear weapon program, leading to speculation of a resumption of six-party disarmament talks and a general sigh of relief around the world that the crisis had passed.
"Yes, it will be a show of force against that," an army officer said when asked if the shelling of Yeonpyeong last month was a factor in the drill's planning.
He added similar drills had been staged previously on more than 50 occasions, but the scale this time is unprecedented.
It will take place in Pocheon region, less than 50 kilometres north of downtown Seoul.
The Korean crisis peaked when the North shelled Yeonpyeong, just south of the disputed border, killing four people in the worst attack on South Korean territory since the end of the 1950-53 war.
The South carried out live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong on Monday, which provoked only a verbal reaction from the North.
North Korea had vowed to strike back if the South went ahead with the drills, prompting fears of all-out war.
China, North Korea's only major ally, has continually urged dialogue to resolve the crisis and urged Pyongyang to follow through on its offer to allow UN inspectors into the country.
The Chinese foreign ministry had no immediate comment on the planned drill.
Seoul's Joongang Daily said South Korea should practice "nimble diplomacy" and forge a closer relationship with China.
"As long as there is a constant threat from the North to launch a surprise attack, we must be on high alert from a military perspective," the newspaper said.
"But such preparations should be combined with diplomacy. We should reduce our diplomatic dependence on the US and strengthen our ties with China and Russia."
- Reuters

The South are doing all the provoking , but the North are getting Media blasted for threatening to retaliate....

0 Japan bio-scientists produce 'singing mouse'

Japanese scientists said Tuesday they had produced a mouse that tweets like a bird in a genetically engineered "evolution" which they hope will shed light on the origins of human language.

A team of researchers at the University of Osaka created the animal in their "Evolved Mouse Project", in which they use genetically modified mice that are prone to miscopying DNA and thus to mutations.
"Mutations are the driving force of evolution. We have cross-bred the genetically modified mice for generations to see what would happen," lead researcher Arikuni Uchimura told AFP.
"We checked the newly born mice one by one... One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird," he said, noting that the "singing mouse" was born by chance but that the trait will be passed on to future generations.
"I was surprised because I had been expecting mice that are different in physical shape," he said by telephone, adding that in fact the project had also produced "a mouse with short limbs and a tail like a dachshund".
The laboratory, directed by professor Takeshi Yagi at the Osaka University's Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences in western Japan, now has more than 100 "singing mice" for further research.
The team hopes they will provide clues on how human language evolved, just as researchers in other countries study songbirds such as finches to help them understand the origins of human language.
Scientists have found that birds use different sound elements, put them together into chunks like words in human languages and then make strings of them to sing "songs", that are subject to certain linguistic rules.
"Mice are better than birds to study because they are mammals and much closer to humans in their brain structures and other biological aspects," Uchimura said.
"We are watching how a mouse that emits new sounds would affect ordinary mice in the same group... in other words if it has social connotations," he said, adding that ordinary mice squeak mainly under stress.
Considering that mutant mice tweet louder when put in different environments or when males are put together with females, Uchimura said their chirps "may be some sort of expressions of their emotions or bodily conditions."
The team has found that ordinary mice that grew up with singing mice emitted fewer ultrasounds than others, which could indicate that communication methods can spread in the same group like a dialect.
Uchimura dreams of further "evolution" of mice through genetic engineering.
"I know it's a long shot and people would say it's 'too absurd'... but I'm doing this with hopes of making a Mickey Mouse some day," he said.

I would imagine singing like a bird would  probably be the last thing a mouse would want..... 

0 Cancer-causing chemical found in US tap water...the reason the US have not taken to the streets yet?

LOS ANGELES - Hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing chemical, is found in the tap water of 31 cities out of a total of 35 tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it was reported on Monday.
The chemical was detected when EWG researchers made the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in tap water in the US, according to USA Today.
It is estimated that at least 74 million people in 42 states regularly drink chromium-tainted water, and a considerable proportion of it is in the carcinogenic hexavalent form, the report quoted the EWG as saying.
Analysis showed that highest levels were present in the tap water in Norman of Oklahoma, Honolulu of Hawaii, Riverside of California, Madison of Wiscosin and San Jose of California, the report said.
Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6 in drinking water shows "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity" in animal studies, significantly raising the likelihood of the development of gastrointestinal tumors, according to EWG.
In 2008, the US National Institutes of Health deemed chromium a "probable carcinogen." The chemical has been linked to leukemia and other cancers in animals, as well as liver and kidney damage, according to the report.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is weighing whether to set a limit on levels of hexavalent chromium in tap water, the report said.
Despite growing evidence of the dangers of hexavalent chromium in tap water, the EPA has done nothing about legal limit requirements, while water utility companies don't even have to test for levels in their tap water, scientists say.

0 Mind Mouse Allows You To Control Your Computer With The Power Of Your Mind.

Mind Technologies will begin selling the Emotiv Headset on January 1 for $299. What’s perhaps more interesting is that, when used with the company’s software, you can control your computer with the power of your mind. Is Psycho Mantis or Jesse Ventura the president and CEO of Mind Technologies.

There’s three main piece of software: Master Mind, Mind Mouse, and Think Tac Toe. The little blurb on their Web site says of Master Mind: “Existing PC games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty can now be played with the power of your mind, rather than using the traditional computer keyboard and mouse.”
Or if gaming’s not your thing, there’s also Mind Mouse, which “is a revolutionary thought-controlled software application which allows the user to navigate the computer, click and double click to open programs, compose email and send with the power of their mind.”
I have no idea what to make of any of this—MIND CONTROL?!—, but I did laugh at the guy in the above embedded video playing Modern Warfare 2. What’s the mind control method of uninstalling that nonsense?
Then we have Mind Mouse, which is more for everyday software applications.
The narrative is nice and all, helping disabled folks use their computer a little more effectively, but I think it’s only prudent to be skeptical here. 

0 False Flag Uncovered? Egypt charges 2 Israelis with spying

CAIRO -- Egypt's State Security says an Egyptian and two Israelis have been charged with recruiting agents in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon to spy for Israeli intelligence.
Prosecutor Hisham Badawi in press conference Monday charged an Egyptian businessman with harming the country's national interests. Two Israelis were charged in absentia as well.
Khaled Hassan, the suspect, was arrested in August.
The disclosure comes just a day after authorities announced the discovery of a spy cell involved four Egyptians and two Israelis whom were allegedly plotting to kidnap tourists in Sinai peninsula. It is unclear if there is any connection between the two cases.
The four were detained in May and authorities say they notified Interpol about the two Israeli officers working as their handlers.

0 Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid

A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.
Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.
So the more you watch, the less you know. Or to be precise, the more you think you know that is actually false. This study corroborates a previous PIPA study that focused on the Iraq war with similar results. And there was an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that demonstrated the break with reality on the part of Fox viewers with regard to health care. The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.
In eight of the nine questions below, Fox News placed first in the percentage of those who were misinformed (they placed second in the question on TARP). That’s a pretty high batting average for journalistic fraud. Here is a list of what Fox News viewers believe that just aint so:
  • 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
  • 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
  • 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
  • 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
  • 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
  • 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
  • 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
  • 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
  • 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)
The conclusion is inescapable. Fox News is deliberately misinforming its viewers and it is doing so for a reason. Every issue above is one in which the Republican Party had a vested interest. The GOP benefited from the ignorance that Fox News helped to proliferate. The results were apparent in the election last month as voters based their decisions on demonstrably false information fed to them by Fox News.
By the way, the rest of the media was not blameless. CNN and the broadcast network news operations fared only slightly better in many cases. Even MSNBC, which had the best record of accurately informing viewers, has a ways to go before it can brag about it.
The conclusions in this study need to be disseminated as broadly as possible. Fox’s competitors need to report these results and produce ad campaigns featuring them. Newspapers and magazines need to publish the study across the country. This is big news and it is critical that the nation be advised that a major news enterprise is poisoning their minds.
This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies. We have the evidence that Fox is tilting the scales and we must now make certain its corporate owners do not get away with it.

0 David Cameron & Nick Clegg hit the town for hookers & blow.