Oct 302014
 

Source: Beta Beat

Today’s news brings us to the Neural Turing Machine, a computer that will combine the way ordinary computers work with the way the human brain learns, enabling it to actually program itself. Perhaps my CS friends should reevaluate their position?

The computer is currently being developed by the London-based DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence firm that was acquired by Google earlier this year. Neural networks — which will enable the computer to invent programs for situations it has not seen before — will make up half of the computer’s architecture. Experts at the firm hope this will equip the machine with the means to create like a human, but still with the number-crunching power of a computer, New Scientist reports.

In two different tests, the NTM was asked to 1) learn to copy blocks of binary data and 2) learn to remember and sort lists of data. The results were compared with a more basic neural network, and it was found that the computer learned faster and produced longer blocks of data with fewer errors. Additionally, the computer’s methods were found to be very similar to the code a human programmer would’ve written to make the computer complete such a task.

These are extremely simple tasks for a computer to accomplish when being told to do so, but computers’ abilities to learn them on their own could mean a lot for the future of AI.

Read More…

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Google%E2%80%99s_New_Computer_With_Human-Like_Learning_Abilities_Will_Program_Itself/38856/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Oct 302014
 

The United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity recently announced a decision on part of 194 countries to regulate synthetic biology technology.

Jim Thomas of the ETC Group stated that, “Not only do countries now have to set up the means to regulate synthetic biology, but those regulations need to be based on precaution and not harming the environment.”

As more synthetically engineered products are being developed, many see a potentially dangerous impact on the environment and human health from the expanding technology.

Synthetic biology is an advanced form of genetic engineering that, according to a 2005 European Commission paper, is “…the engineering of biology… the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or inspired) systems which display functions that do not exist in nature.”

In other words; Unlike the older science of splicing genes from different species together, synthetic biology is seeking to create whole new organisms that do not exist on earth.

FBI Agent Carmine Nigro told the an MIT conference earlier this year that “These technologies [synthetic biology] do not just pose a risk to individual buildings or cities, but if cleverly deployed, can reduce our population by significant percentages.”

Concerns about the safety of synthetic biology were heightened when a Switzerland based company called Evolva developed a synthetic vanilla that is set to be released in 2014. The vanilla is created using synthetic biology technology.

Fidelity Investments envisions that within 50 years there will be more life forms invented in a lab than ever identified in nature.

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/194_Countries_Agree_to_Regulate_Synthetic_Biology/38857/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Oct 302014
 

The government attempts to stretch the definition of “consent” to include deceptive tactics.

LAS VEGAS, NV — To investigate a purported case of untaxed sports betting, federal agents turned off internet access to three luxury hotel suites then impersonated repair technicians to covertly get inside and collect evidence. The FBI contends that this ploy is sufficient “consent” to perform warrantless searches in private residences.

* * * * *

In June 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation suspected that a wealthy Malaysian real estate developer and a few of his associates were betting on FIFA World Cup games. The bureau believed that 50-year-old Wei Seng “Paul” Phua and his son Darren Phua had accessed “online sports books” on their laptops as part of the unpermitted betting operation taking place at the Ceasar’s Palace Hotel and Casino.

Defendant Paul Phau during a televised poker tournament.  (Photo: YouTube)

Defendant Paul Phau during a televised poker tournament. (Photo: YouTube)

The FBI was in need of an articulate reason to acquire a warrant on the Phuas. To obtain one, agents devised a plan to sneak into three hotel suites masquerading as helpful computer technicians, arriving to solve a problem with the internet service.

To create a disturbance, the scheme involved flickering the internet connection to the suspects’ villas over the course of two days, with the help of hotel computer contractors. Agents disguised as technicians responded to the villas with laptops to attempt to “fix” the problem. The plan was derailed when a butler refused to allow them to enter.

“I just want to make sure they can connect before I leave,” one FBI agent said, his hidden camera revealed. “Can we just make sure they can connect, OK?”

“The thing is, you can’t go in there right now,” the butler responded.

Later, the internet connection was completely shut off and the faux technicians were poised to come and “fix” it. According to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Paul Phua, on June 22, 2014, agents then covertly searched the villas and took secret recordings — all before obtaining a warrant.

The recordings were presented in a criminal complaint, which described what was seen in the villa:

J.A. stated that he/she saw several work stations with extra monitors attached. J.A. saw one of the computer screens, which was displaying what he/she believed to be words in the Chinese language and also included several columns which appeared to be numbers. J.A. stated it looked like betting odds displayed on a computer screen, similar to what J.A. has seen in sports betting in the casinos.

Along with observing spreadsheets of numbers and foreign words, the complaint stated that the luxury suite contained several televisions which were “tuned to the World Cup.” This evidence was enough to secure an official warrant and perform an exhaustive search.

Defense attorneys faulted the complaint for concealing from the judge the fact that agents had intentionally arranged for the internet service to be disrupted as a pretext for their entry.

Since the government enforces a legal monopoly on gambling, agents take it very seriously when individuals voluntarily associate, place bets, and exchange money without permission. Enforcers go to great lengths to ensure that no one gambles their money unless a cut is given to both the government and a designated gaming corporation.

The investigation eventually led to 8 arrests. Besides Mr. Phua and his son, the other individuals suspected of gambling without government permission included Malaysian junketeer Seng Chen “Richard” Yong, 56, his son Wai Kin Yong, 22, Hong Kong real estate executive Hui Tang, 44, Yan Zhang, 40, Yung Kueng Fan, 46, and Herman Chun Sang Yueng, 36. The Associated Press reported that all eight defendants face charges of transmission of wagering information, operating an illegal gambling business, and aiding and abetting.

Several wealthy professional poker players bailed out the high-rolling defendants, whose bonds ranged from $500,000 to $2,000,000.

Tom Goldstein, representing Paul Phua, described to NPR how deceitful tactics were not only used on the suspects, but also to the judge and legal defense team:

Defense lawyer Goldstein contends that not only was the search illegal, but the government knew it was and tried to cover it up. He contends that the materials submitted to a federal magistrate judge in seeking a warrant later carefully eliminated all indications that the federal agents had themselves cut the Internet line so that the villa occupants would ask for repairmen to come to the villa to fix the problem.

“They just managed not to tell the magistrate what it is they had actually done,” says Goldstein.

Indeed, Goldstein notes that he and his clients never would have known that it was the FBI agents who cut the line were it not for one slip of the tongue that the agents made — recorded on tape — when talking among themselves. He adds that when the defense asked for further recordings, the FBI provided two blank CDs, claiming the recording devices malfunctioned.

“There’s no real way of looking at this other than to say that it is a cover-up,” contends Goldstein.

The lawsuit named two of the government conspirators as Nevada Gaming Commission Board (NVGCB) Agent Ricardo Lopez and FBI Special Agent Mike Kung.

If the government is allowed to stretch the definition of “consent to search” to mean allowing apparent technicians fix an artificially-created problem without a warrant, the implications on privacy rights and 4th Amendment would be devastating.

Defense attorneys for the accused gamblers made a compelling argument in a written motion to the federal magistrate judge regarding the suppression of the warrantless search. They said:

The notion that an individual “consents” to such searches—so that the government is free to ignore the Fourth Amendment’s explicit warrant requirement—is, in a word, absurd. Our lives cannot be private—and our personal relationships intimate—if each physical connection that links our homes to the outside world doubles as a ready-made excuse for the government to conduct a secret, suspicionless, warrantless search. Only a few remote log cabins lack any Internet, electric, gas, water, cable, or telephone service. But the Constitution does not require us to sever all those connections—and live as hermitic luddites—to protect ourselves from the government’s prying eyes and secret cameras. A ruling upholding these intrusions would cause innocent Americans to live their daily lives burdened with the palpable sense that their government is regularly scheming to spy on them in their homes.

The defense added: “If this Court authorizes this duplicity, the government will be free to employ similar schemes in virtually every context to enter the homes of perfectly innocent people. Agents will frequently have no incentive to follow the warrant procedure required by the Constitution.”

{ Support Police State USA }

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/FBI_agents_cut_internet_access%2C_pose_as_repairmen_to_perform_warrantless_search/38858/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Oct 302014
 

Deutsche Skatbank, a division of VR-Bank Altenburger Land, which was founded in 1859, is not the biggest bank in Germany, but it’s the first bank to confirm what German savers have been dreading for a while: the wrath of Draghi.

Retail and business customers with over €500,000 on deposit as of November 1 will earn a “negative interest rate” of 0.25%. In less euphemistic terms, they have to pay0.25% per annum to the bank for the privilege of handing the bank their hard-earned money or their business cash.

Inflation has had a similar effect in the zero-interest-rate environment that the ECB and other central banks have inflicted on savers, but this time it’s official, it’s open, it can’t be hidden. Instead of lending your moolah to the bank so that the bank can lend it out to businesses and retail customers for all sorts of economically beneficial purposes, you’re financially better off hiding it in the basement. Grudging respect is due the ECB and other central banks: through the perverse regime of ZIRP, they have succeeded in transmogrifying “cash in bank” from an income-producing asset to a costly liability.

“Punishment Interest” is what Germans lovingly call this. It’s the latest and most blatant step of the central-bank strategy to confiscate in bits and pieces and over time the wealth that prudent people and businesses have accumulated, and that should have re-entered the economy via the intermediation of the banks.

Last summer, the ECB imposed negative deposit rates on member banks. At first, it was 0.1%, which has now doubled to 0.2%. The reason? The ECB dragged out its “mandate,” which is, as it said, “to ensure” that “price stability” is “below but close to 2% inflation,” which in turn is “a necessary condition for sustainable growth in the euro area.” Whatever. There is no scintilla of evidence that inflation is required for economic growth; however, there is plenty of evidence that economic growth can stir up inflation. The good folks at the ECB know this. It’s just the official pretext for using inflation to eat up debt – along with savers.

“There will be no direct impact on your savings,” the ECB announced five months ago. “Only banks that deposit money in certain accounts at the ECB have to pay.” But it added ominously, “Commercial banks may of course choose to lower interest rates for savers.”

And that would be good for savers:

The ECB’s interest rate decisions will in fact benefit savers in the end because they support growth and thus create a climate in which interest rates can gradually return to higher levels.

Thank you hallelujah, ECB, for helping out the savers!

This is in line with its policy, as it says, to “punish savers and reward borrowers.” No kidding. To bring some perspective to it all, it adds, “This behavior is not specific to the ECB; it applies to all central banks.”

Now the wrath of Draghi is hitting German savers and businesses. The first bank is already trying it out. Other banks haven’t yet jumped in line. They’re taking a wait-and-see stance but refuse to exclude the possibility.

“There is no planning in that direction,” Direktbank ING Diba told the Welt.

“We believe that negative interest rates on deposit accounts – whether for private or business customers – are a dangerous signal…” said a spokesman of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV). But he did not rule out either that some member banks might not follow the same example in the future.

“The banks will try to avoid negative deposit rates,” explained the Federal Association of German Cooperative Banks, but in this zero-interest-rate environment imposed by the ECB, negative rates on large deposits “cannot be excluded.”

“At the moment, we are not imposing negative interest rates on retail customers,” said the second largest bank in Germany, Commerzbank. At the moment….

“We cannot earnestly rule out punishment interest in the future,” said Frank Kohler, CEO at the Sparda-Bank Berlin, the largest cooperative bank in Germany in terms of membership. He pointed out that the banks that are the most susceptible to punishment interest are those whose business model relies on pure banking with individuals and businesses, and whose earnings cannot be improved by investment banking, risk-taking, gambling, market-rigging, and other big-bank activities that “have triggered the financial crisis in 2007.”

“So precisely those banks suffer the most that have never put the financial system at risk,” he said. “This is unfortunately not free of bitter irony….”

The door to punishment interest has been cracked open. It starts with large deposits and small rates. Then step by step, deposit amounts get smaller and punishment interest rates get larger until everyone gets smacked with it, and no money is save. It’s all part of the time-honored central-bank strategy to flog savers until their mood improves.

Germans don’t get to do this, but the lucky Swiss get to: they get to go to the polls and tell their central bank what to do about gold. A yes-vote will send shock waves through the gold market and other central banks. Read… What the Swiss Gold Referendum Means for Central Banks 

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_Wrath_of_Draghi%3A_First_German_Bank_Hits_Savers_with_Negative_Interest_Rate/38859/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Oct 292014
 

Zero Hedge

As President Obama explained yesterday, “it’s different this time” for the military. And sure enough, while non-symptomatic civilians can come and go around the world in the hopes that they do not become symptomatic following potential contact with Ebola patients, Chuch Hagel has ordered a 21-day mandatory quarantine for all US troops returning from West Africa. The use of the ‘q’ word is clearly against White House protocols and so The Pentagon refers to it as “controlled monitoring” but, as AFP reports, Hagel calls it a “prudent” measure to prevent the spread of the deadly disease – which just this morning the WHO said had topped 13,000 cases worldwide.

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Oct 292014
 

Zero Hedge

“Steady as she goes” was expectedhaving kept the “considerable time” dream alive last month, the FOMC ended QE3 on schedule but remained ‘data-dependent’ on reviving it… (even as Kocherlakota dissented)

  • *FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED
  • *FED SEES `SOLID JOB GAINS’ WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT
  • *FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR `CONSIDERABLE TIME’

And so now the “flow” has stopped; given that “bond buying” did not work, we are reminded of Alan Greenspan’s warning that  “I don’t think it’s possible” for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. Full redline below.

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Oct 292014
 

Zero Hedge

Gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments.” … “I don’t think it’s possible” for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. … “Effective demand is dead in the water” and the effort to boost it via bond buying “has not worked.” 

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Oct 292014
 

www.Suspicious0bservers.org
www.ObservatoryProject.com

Blog: http://www.suspicious0bserverscollect…
Major Warnings/Alerts: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Donate memberships for others: http://tiny.cc/f195ww

Today’s Featured Links:
Antares Explodes: http://www.space.com/27576-private-or…

Original music by NEMES1S
http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/shop/ [Get NEMES1S Music!]

REPEAT LINKS:

WORLD WEATHER:
Earth WindMap: http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/…
Global Maps: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/k…
NDBC Buoys: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/
HurricaneZone Satellite Images: http://www.hurricanezone.net/westpaci…
NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory: http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/Default.php
Satellite Maps: http://www.woweather.com/cgi-app/sate…
Forecast Maps: http://www.woweather.com/weather/maps…
TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-t… [Tornado Forecast for the day]
HURRICANE TRACKER: http://www.weather.com/weather/hurric…
GOES Satellites: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/
THE US WINDMAP: http://hint.fm/wind/
Severe Weather Threats: http://www.weather.com/news/weather-s…
Canada Weather Office Satellite Composites: http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/satell…
Temperature Delta: http://www.intellicast.com/National/T…
Records/Extremes: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/rec…

SPACEWEATHER:
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com
SOHO Solar Wind: http://umtof.umd.edu/pm/
Planetary Orbital Diagram – Ceres1 JPL: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr…
SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/
Helioviewer: http://www.helioviewer.org/
SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-b…
Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/i…
SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/
iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html
NASA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/IswaSy…
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/
GOES Xray: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/sxi/goes15/i…
Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/
BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spac…
ISWA: http://iswa.ccmc.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/I…
NOAA Sunspot Classifications: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/lates…
GONG: http://gong2.nso.edu/dailyimages/
GONG Magnetic Maps: http://gong.nso.edu/data/magmap/ondem…

MISC Links:
JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/
RADIATION Network: http://radiationnetwork.com/
LISS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring…
QUAKES LIST FULL: http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/s…
RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]
Moon: http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pac…

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