February 4, 2013

Posted by orrinj at 5:34 PM

GREATER WEALTH WITH LESS LABOR BEING A PRETTY AWESOME DILEMMA TO ENJOY:

Obama must face the rise of the robots (Edward Luce, 2/03/13, Financial Times)

No longer the realm of science fiction, the rise of robots now poses the central economic dilemma of the Obama era.

With each month, the US economy becomes steadily more automated. In January the US economy added just 4,000 manufacturing jobs, and the net increase since July is zero. Yet last month, manufacturing activity rose by its fastest rate since April, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The difference boils down to robots, which pose an increasingly nagging paradox: the more there are, the better for overall growth (since they boost productivity); yet the worse things become for the middle class.


Posted by orrinj at 3:53 PM

BE STILL, OUR BEATING HEARTS:

Thunderbirds being remade by Weta Workshop (Paul Harper,  Snappy_nz)

The series, given the working title Thunderbirds are Go!, will be produced using a both CGI animation and live-action model sets.

It will screen on ITV and UK's CITV Channel in 2015.

"Showcasing Pukeko Pictures' and Weta Workshop's ground-breaking creative and technical excellence, it will deliver a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today's audience, whilst also affectionately paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series," ITV said in a statement.

"Featuring the world's most famous family of heroes, International Rescue, Thunderbirds are Go! will blast the five brave Tracy brothers back on to television screens piloting their incredible vehicles into impossible rescues across the globe."
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Posted by orrinj at 3:51 PM

AFTER ALL, THEY'RE OUR AIRWAVES:

Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks (Cecilia Kang, Published: February 3, 2013, Washington Post)

The airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in households. They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas.

The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient's heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town.

If approved by the FCC, the free networks would still take several years to set up. And, with no one actively managing them, conĀ­nections could easily become jammed in major cities. But public WiFi could allow many consumers to make free calls from their mobile phones via the Internet. The frugal-minded could even use the service in their homes, allowing them to cut off expensive Internet bills.

"For a casual user of the Web, perhaps this could replace carrier service," said Jeffrey Silva, an analyst at the Medley Global Advisors research firm. "Because it is more plentiful and there is no price tag, it could have a real appeal to some people."

Posted by orrinj at 5:31 AM

STRONG GOVERNMENT, NOT NO GOVERNMENT NOR BIG GOVERNMENT:

A GOP Leader Aims to Change Party's Message (COREY BOLES, 2/03/13, WSJ)

In a policy speech scheduled for Tuesday to the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Cantor plans to talk about a range of areas--from education to medical research to job training, as well as an overhaul of the tax code--in the context of how Republican ideas could benefit families across the nation, a top aide to the majority leader said.

He plans to detail both existing and new GOP policies that he believes would serve as a strong framework that Republicans could use to make the case that their party's ideas are better than Democrats', the aide said.

The overarching theme of the speech will be that, while Republican determination to pare back federal budget deficits and the size of the federal government shouldn't fade away, it should be supplemented with talk of how the party wants to make the government work better, the aide said.