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From: Savant4/7/2012 12:58:26 PM
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Ten years ago, in 2002, I read an article in WIRED magazine about an experimental drug called Melanotan. Early test results indicated that the drug could make a pale person tan, without sun exposure. Side effects included reduce appetite and weight loss, and a high frequency of spontaneous erections.

Thin, tan, and horny … WIRED dubbed Melanotan “the Barbie drug.”


*Now co name changed, rev split, etc

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To: Urlman who wrote (566)4/25/2012 1:19:05 PM
From: Savant
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To: Urlman who wrote (566)4/26/2012 11:12:04 AM
From: Savant
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From: Savant5/21/2012 11:41:07 AM
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Last week, The Wall Street Journal detailed a new collaboration between
researchers at Brown, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Massachusetts General
Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the German Aerospace Center that allowed two
paralyzed patients to use their thoughts to direct a robotic arm to grasp
objects. This incredible advance in the quest to restore some function to people
with paralyzed limbs remains years from practical use for people with paralysis
or limb loss.

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To: Urlman who wrote (566)5/22/2012 12:07:30 PM
From: Savant
   of 1210

**Hmm, isn't that what we used to accuse the enemy of doing? So, they're saying, in effect....LET"S BE HONEST ABOUT LYING! (to our own citizens..guess we can't handle the truth)

Hey, why don't we Off Shore it??

Just imagine what it'll be like in Y10K.....

Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Authorize the Use of Propaganda On Americans Living Inside America

Posted on May 21, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

Because Banning Propaganda “Ties the Hands of America’s Diplomatic Officials, Military, and Others by Inhibiting Our Ability to Effectively Communicate In a Credible Way”

Michael Hastings reports:

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill….

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.”

The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

Critics of the bill say there are ways to keep America safe without turning the massive information operations apparatus within the federal government against American citizens.


“I just don’t want to see something this significant – whatever the pros and cons – go through without anyone noticing,” “ says one source on the Hill, who is disturbed by the law. According to this source, the law would allow “U.S. propaganda intended to influence foreign audiences to be used on the domestic population.”

The new law would give sweeping powers to the State Department and Pentagon to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

According to this official, “senior public affairs” officers within the Department of Defense want to “get rid” of Smith-Mundt and other restrictions because it prevents information activities designed to prop up unpopular policies—like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Critics of the bill point out that there was rigorous debate when Smith Mundt passed, and the fact that this is so “under the radar,” as the Pentagon official puts it, is troubling.


The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment.

In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.

The upshot, at times, is the Department of Defense using the same tools on U.S. citizens as on a hostile, foreign, population.

A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,” he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general.

The defense bill passed the House Friday afternoon.

Juan Cole notes:

Nothing speaks more urgently to the creeping fascism of American politics than the assertion by our representatives, who apparently have never read a book on Germany in the 1930s-1940s or on the Soviet Union in the Stalin period, that forbidding DoD and the State Department from subjecting us to government propaganda “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.” And mind you, they want to use our own money to wash our brains!


Of course, having a Pentagon propaganda unit at all is highly anti-democratic. The best defense of the truth is a free press. It should also be remembered that nowadays everything in Washington is outsourced, so government propaganda is often being turned over to Booz Allen or the American Enterprise Institute ….

Doing propaganda abroad has the difficulty that it doesn’t stay abroad. False articles placed in the Arabic press in Iraq were translated into English by wire services, who got stung.

Then, another problem is that the Defense Intelligence Agency analysts *also* read the false articles placed in the Arabic press by *another* Pentagon office, which they did not know about. So the analysts were passing up to the White House false information provided by their own colleagues!

Mediaite points out:

The military has been trying to find new avenues for spread U.S. propaganda on social media websites for a while now. A 2011 Wired piece details how the Department of Defense has been working on ways to monitor and engage in “countermessaging” on social media sites like Twitter.

Government Has Been Illegally Using Propaganda for Decades

Of course – even though it is currently illegal – the government has already been using propaganda against U.S. audiences for decades. Government agencies – including both the Department of Defense and other agencies – are actively manipulating social media for propaganda purposes, to crush dissent (and see this), to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here), and to promote viewpoints which have nothing to do with keeping us safe.

For example:
•Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA has already bought and paid for many successful journalists
•The New York Times discusses in a matter-of-fact way the use of mainstream writers by the CIA to spread messages
•A 4-part BBC documentary called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques
•The Independent discusses allegations of American propaganda
•And one of the premier writers on journalism says the U.S. has used widespread propaganda

We noted in 2009:

The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to “fight the net”.

As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called “Information Operations Roadmap”:

The roadmap [contains an] acknowledgement that
information put out as part of the military’s psychological
operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and
television screens of ordinary Americans.

“Information intended for foreign audiences, including public
diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic
audience,” it reads.

“Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much
larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.


“Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of
Defense] will ‘fight the net’ as it would an enemy weapons system”.

Indeed, the Pentagon publicly announced years ago that it was considering using “black propaganda” – in other words, knowing lies.

CENTCOM announced in 2008 that a team of employees would be “[engaging] bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information.”

The Air Force is now also engaging bloggers. Indeed, an Air Force spokesman said:

“We obviously have many more concerns regarding cyberspace than a typical Social Media user,” Capt. Faggard says. “I am concerned with how insurgents or potential enemies can use Social Media to their advantage. It’s our role to provide a clear and accurate, completely truthful and transparent picture for any audience.”

In other words, the government is targeting “social media”, including popular user-ranked news sites.

In addition, when you look at what the Israeli lobby has done with Megaphone software to automatically vote stories questioning Israel down and to send pro-Israel letters to politicians and media (see this, this and this), you can start to see how the U.S. military – an even larger and better-funded organization – could substantially influence voting on social news sites with very little effort.

Moreover,the military has outsourced many projects to private contractors. For example, in Iraq, much of the fighting has been outsourced to Blackwater. And governmental intelligence functions have largely been outsourced to private companies.

It is therefore not impossible that the government is hiring cheap labor to downvote stories on the social media sites which question the government, and to post pro-government comments.

Raw Story reported last year that the Air Force ordered software to manage army of sock puppets:

Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my “friends” even real people?In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online “personas,” allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as they’d like.

The revelation was among those contained in the company’s emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group “Anonymous” broke into their systems.

In another document unearthed by “Anonymous,” one of HBGary’s employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

“There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas,” it said.

Government involvement

Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contract from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, located south of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of “persona management software.”

While there are certainly legitimate applications for such software, such as managing multiple “official” social media accounts from a single input, the more nefarious potential is clear.

Unfortunately, the Air Force’s contract description doesn’t help dispel their suspicions either. As the text explains, the software would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each, for a total of 500. These personas would have to be “replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.”

It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomize the operator’s Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible to detect that it’s a single person orchestrating all these posts. Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona, making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessing from the same computer each time.

The contract also sought methods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with private hosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow that server’s “geosite” to be integrated with their social media profiles, effectively gaming geolocation services.

The Air Force added that the “place of performance” for the contract would be at MacDill Air Force Base, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract was offered on June 22, 2010.

It was not clear exactly what the Air Force was doing with this software, or even if it had been procured.

Manufacturing consent

Though many questions remain about how the military would apply such technology, the reasonable fear should be perfectly clear. “Persona management software” can be used to manipulate public opinion on key information, such as news reports. An unlimited number of virtual “people” could be marshaled by only a few real individuals, empowering them to create the illusion of consensus.


That’s precisely what got DailyKos blogger Happy Rockefeller in a snit: the potential for military-run armies of fake people manipulating and, in some cases, even manufacturing the appearance of public opinion.

“I don’t know about you, but it matters to me what fellow progressives think,” the blogger wrote. “I consider all views. And if there appears to be a consensus that some reporter isn’t credible, for example, or some candidate for congress in another state can’t be trusted, I won’t base my entire judgment on it, but it carries some weight.

“That’s me. I believe there are many people though who will base their judgment on rumors and mob attacks. And for those people, a fake mob can be really effective.”


“Team Themis” [tasked by the Chamber of Commerce to come up with strategies for responding to progressive bloggers and others] also included a proposal to use malware hacks against progressive organizations, and the submission of fake documents in an effort to discredit established groups.

HBGary was also behind a plot by Bank of America to destroy WikiLeaks’ technology platform, other emails revealed. The company was humiliated by members of “Anonymous” after CEO Aaron Barr bragged that he’d “infiltrated” the group.

And see this, this, this, this.

Wired reported last year:

The Pentagon is looking to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it.

On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand what’s going on in social media in real time — particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the “formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes)” on social media, according to Darpa’s announcement.


SMISC needs to be able to seek out “persuasion campaign structures and influence operations” developing across the social sphere. SMISC is supposed to quickly flag rumors and emerging themes on social media, figure out who’s behind it and what. Moreover, Darpa wants SMISC to be able to actually figure out whether this is a random product of the hivemind or a propaganda operation by an adversary nation or group.

Of course, SMISC won’t be content to just to hang back and monitor social media trends in strategic locations. It’s about building a better spin machine for Uncle Sam, too. Once SMISC’s latches on to an influence operation being launched, it’s supposed to help out in “countermessaging.”


SMISC is yet another example of how the military is becoming very interested in what’s going on in the social media sphere.

Gene Howington writes that mainstream media – including NPR – have used propaganda on American audiences to shape the debate on numerous issues:

Consider the use of media outlets like NPR that made a public and conscious decision to refrain from reporting on “torture” – a word with extremely negative denotation and connotation – and instead choosing to use the euphemistic language “enhanced interrogation”. Everyone with a conscience thinks torture is a bad thing and torturers are ethically abhorrent people. It’s not only a Federal crime, cruel and unusual punishment is specifically barred by the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. The word choice here is designed to clearly shift public attitudes from “those guys need to be prosecuted as criminals” to “maybe they aren’t so bad after all”. NPR (aided by the Bush Administration no doubt) chose words with a neutral/positive value load compared to the word “torture”. Connotation plays to your emotional response over your rational response. When the word choice becomes more subtle, the damage of connotations can be even more insidious. Compare:
•war – limited police action
•conquest – liberation
•famine – widespread hunger
•pestilence – outbreak
•death – casualties

Indeed – in the ultimate Kafkaesque nightmare – the Pentagon recently used black propaganda to smear USA Today reporters who were investigating illegal Pentagon propaganda.

Virtually Everything Government Does Is Propaganda

It is a sad fact that virtually everything government does these days is propaganda.

For example, the government has tried to corral the American public into a certain view on the economy: One that says that the big banks are more or less healthy, that they must be saved at all costs, that we need not prosecute Wall Street fraud, and that an economic recovery is just around the corner.

Indeed, in response to virtually every problem, the government puts out spin covering up the severity of the crisis and pretending that the problem was “unexpected” and that it won’t happen again … so we can keep on doing the exact same thing. This is true in regards to the financial crisis, Wall Street fraud, nuclear accidents, oil spills, groundwater pollution and a host of other problems.

Indeed, it sometimes seem like the only thing the government does these days is to provide propaganda on behalf of special interests so they can make more money.

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To: Urlman who wrote (566)6/5/2012 12:31:38 AM
From: Savant
   of 1210

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From: Savant6/12/2012 11:25:02 AM
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Salman Khan, Educator

Salman Khan (Sal) founded the Khan Academy as a nonprofit with the mission of
providing free, high-quality education for "anyone, anywhere" in the world. As a
side project, Khan began tutoring his young cousin in math, communicating by
phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began
posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and
in 2009 he quit his day job to commit himself fully to this new business. The
Khan Academy website now provides self-pacing software and unlimited access to
over 3,000 instructional videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to
college level science and economics, and is the most-used library of educational
videos on the web. Over 10,000 classrooms around the world are also using Khan
Academy to help build student mastery of topics and to free up class time for
dynamic project based learning.

Sal was recently profiled by 60 Minutes and recognized by Time Magazine as one of
the 100 most influential people in the world. Microsoft's Bill Gates stated in
the Time article that,"Sal Khan is a true education pioneer. He started by
posting a math lesson, but his impact on education might truly be incalculable."

SVForum Recognizes the Extraordinary Accomplishments of Some of the World's Great
Innovators in Communications, Education, Energy, Internet, Space & Tech

Prestigious SVForum Visionary Awards 2012 Honor Superstar VC Jim Breyer, Khan
Academy's Salman Khan, Journalist-Author David Kirkpatrick & Tesla Motors and
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

SAN MATEO, Calif., Jun 12, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SVForum, Silicon Valley's
leading source of information and education in the technology community today,
announced the recipients of the 15th Annual SVForum Visionary Awards. The award
winners are Accel Partners Partner and President, Jim Breyer, Khan Academy
Founder, Salman Khan, Techonomy Conference Founder, Journalist and Facebook
Effect author, David Kirkpatrick, and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk.
(download photos:

Each year, SVForum honors exceptional visionaries, leading venture capitalists,
technologists, and entrepreneurs personifying the spirit of entrepreneurship and
innovation. Past recipients have included Vint Cerf, John Chambers, Jim Clark,
Judy Estrin, Bill Gates, Reed Hastings, Reid Hoffman, Vinod Khosla, Michael
Moritz, and TJ Rogers.

"For the past 15 years SVForum has brought together Silicon Valley's leaders to
recognize the visionaries making the greatest contributions each year to shape
the world of technology on a global level," commented Ann Winblad, Chairperson of
the SVForum Board of Directors. "We are fortunate to honor these extraordinary
individuals who are pushing the bounds of innovation."

The SVForum Board of Directors selects the award recipients based on their
monumental achievements and ongoing dedication to improving our lives through
superior technology. The 2012 Visionaries will be honored at a ceremony on June
19, 2012.

"For nearly three decades SVForum has provided a powerful voice and opportunity
for entrepreneurs to learn, network, and successfully bring their ground-breaking
ideas to market," said Chris Gill, CEO of SVForum. "As a major hub of expertise
and learning for the Silicon Valley tech community, SVForum is privileged to once
again assemble Silicon Valley's foremost business and technology innovators to
celebrate the visionary achievements of those select people who are helping to
lead the tech world forward."

The 2012 Visionary Honorees:

Jim Breyer, Partner and President, Accel Partners

Jim has been an investor in over thirty consumer internet, media, and technology
companies that have completed public offerings or successful mergers. Many of
these investments returned over 20 times their cost to investors. In April 2011,
Forbes published its Midas List of top technology investors and ranked Jim Breyer
#1. In August 2010, Fortune Magazine named Breyer the #1 smartest investor in
technology, and one of the 10 smartest people in all of technology.

He led Accel's investment in Facebook (FB) in April, 2005, and has served on the
Board of Directors since that time. Jim is also currently on the board of
directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (WMT), where he is the Lead/Presiding
Independent Director, and serves on the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee,
and the Technology Operations Committee. He also serves on the board of
Brightcove (BCOV), where he invested in the Series A round in 2005, and on the
board of Dell Inc (DELL), where he is the Chair of the Finance Committee. Jim
recently was elected to the board of News Corporation (NWS) in October, 2011.

Salman Khan, Educator

Salman Khan (Sal) founded the Khan Academy as a nonprofit with the mission of
providing free, high-quality education for "anyone, anywhere" in the world. As a
side project, Khan began tutoring his young cousin in math, communicating by
phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began
posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and
in 2009 he quit his day job to commit himself fully to this new business. The
Khan Academy website now provides self-pacing software and unlimited access to
over 3,000 instructional videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to
college level science and economics, and is the most-used library of educational
videos on the web. Over 10,000 classrooms around the world are also using Khan
Academy to help build student mastery of topics and to free up class time for
dynamic project based learning.

Sal was recently profiled by 60 Minutes and recognized by Time Magazine as one of
the 100 most influential people in the world. Microsoft's Bill Gates stated in
the Time article that, "Sal Khan is a true education pioneer. He started by
posting a math lesson, but his impact on education might truly be incalculable."

David Kirkpatrick, Journalist and Author

Author and journalist David Kirkpatrick is founder and CEO of Techonomy Media,
which hosts the annual Techonomy conference, on the role of tech in business and
social progress. The company also produces editorial content about technology's
integral role in, increasingly, everything. Kirkpatrick wrote the bestselling
book The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the
World, which has been published in 31 countries, and was finalist for Financial
Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year and the Gerald Loeb Award.
Kirkpatrick was for many years senior editor for Internet and technology at
Fortune Magazine where he wrote numerous cover stories and created Fortune's
Brainstorm conference. Kirkpatrick now writes regularly for Vanity Fair, Forbes
and Newsweek/Daily Beast and is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg, CNBC and
CNN. He earlier studied art and exhibited video at the Museum of Modern Art. He
is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect and CEO

Elon Musk is CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and CEO/CTO of Space
Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he is the chief designer, overseeing
development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and ultimately
to other planets. In 2012, SpaceX became the first commercial company to dock
with the International Space Station and return cargo to Earth with its Dragon
spacecraft. At Tesla, Elon has overseen product development and design from the
beginning, including the all electric Tesla Roadster, Model S and Model X.
Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, in which electric vehicles play a
pivotal role, has been one of his central interests for almost two decades. Elon
is also the non-executive chairman and principal shareholder of SolarCity, which
he helped create. Prior to SpaceX, Elon co-founded PayPal, and served as the
company's Chairman and CEO. Before PayPal, he co-founded Zip2, a provider of
Internet software to the media industry.

In 2010, Musk was the youngest recipient of the Auto Executive of the Year
Innovator Award for his work at Tesla Motors, and named to the Time 100 for 2010.
Elon has also been recognized as one of the 75 most influential people of the
21st century by Esquire magazine. He has received Research and Development
Magazine's Innovator of the Year Award, the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics award for the greatest contribution to the field of space
transportation, the National Space Society Von Braun Trophy for leadership of the
most significant achievement in space, and the Aviation Week Laureate for the
most significant achievement worldwide in the space industry.

About SVForum

Established in 1983, SVForum is a leading Silicon Valley not-for-profit
organization. SVForum provides an unbiased source of information and insight to
the technology community. SVForum engages the community by creating connections
and community, providing education and access to resource and linking the global
business community to Silicon Valley. SVForum provides the latest insights on
emerging technology trends and best business practices through events,
specialized services and resources. SVForum reaches 15,000 technology
professionals annually through more than 20 events each month. SVForum partners
include global leaders Accenture, Citrix, Deloitte, Genentech, IBM, Microsoft,
Nokia and SAP, as well as leading venture capital firms, service providers and
the Sobrato Foundation.

For further information, visit the SVForum website at

Follow SVForum on:
Facebook: @SVForum

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From: Savant6/24/2012 10:23:27 PM
   of 1210
REPORT: Huge Number of Congressmen Trade in Stocks in Companies on Bills

One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, reports WaPo.

Almost one in every eight trades (5531 in all), during the period studied, made by members of Congress intersected with legislation. This, my friends, is real insider trading.

More than a dozen lawmakers contacted by WaPo defended the timing of their trades and the legislation before their committees as coincidental and said they did not know that the companies they traded were registered to lobby on bills they were considering...Some said their spouses handled their investments.

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To: Urlman who wrote (566)6/27/2012 12:04:13 PM
From: Savant
   of 1210
Monitoring you... What's next...workplace, home, lakeside?

Ford Research Developing Intelligent System to Help Drivers Manage Stressful
Situations on the Road

DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Existing sensor signals
for driver-assist systems can be combined in new ways to estimate workload on the
driver based on traffic and road conditions

Ford researchers also are using biometric feedback through sensors in the
steering wheel, seat and seat belt to provide a more complete model of driver
stress levels

Driver workload estimation can be used to manage in-vehicle communications by
helping minimize driver distractions during hectic conditions

With today's ever-increasing concern about driver distraction, engineers in the
Ford Research and Innovation labs are developing ways to help the driver stay
focused in busy situations by intelligently managing incoming communications.

"Ford has been a leader in delivering solutions for in-car communications and
simplifying the user interface, and now we're researching ways to use the car's
own intelligence to further help drivers," says Jeff Greenberg, senior technical
leader of Ford Research and Innovation. "Vehicle control inputs, sensors, road
conditions and biometric information such as a driver's pulse and breathing can
all be used to create a driver workload estimation that can then help manage
certain functions in demanding situations."

Data from the sensing systems of driver-assist technologies can be used to
determine the amount of external demand and workload upon a driver at any given
time including traffic and road conditions. In addition, Ford continues its
health and wellness research with the development of a biometric seat, seat belt
and steering wheel that can monitor the condition of the driver to help add an
even more specific estimate of the driver's state of being.

The driver workload estimator is an algorithm using real-time data from existing
sensors such as radar and cameras combined with input from the driver's use of
the throttle, brakes and steering wheel. The result is an intelligent system
enabling management of in-vehicle communications based on the assessed workload
of the driving situation.

For example, the side-looking radar sensors used for the Blind Spot Information
System (BLIS?) and the forward-looking camera for the Lane-Keeping System are on
watch even when there is no active warning provided to the driver. These signals
could indicate there is a significant amount of traffic in the lane that you are
merging into while entering a highway.

Combine that knowledge with the fact that the driver has increased throttle pedal
pressure to speed up, and the workload estimate could be high enough to determine
it isn't a very good time for an incoming phone call to ring inside the cabin.

The car could intelligently apply the "Do Not Disturb" feature that is already
available as part of MyFord? Touch, helping the driver stay focused on the road
during the high-demand situation.

Monitoring driver biometrics"In addition to using existing vehicle data to
estimate demand on the driver, we're researching ways to get an even better
understanding of the stress level of the driver," says Gary Strumolo, manager of
vehicle design and infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation. "Biometric or
health information of the driver can help us better tailor the experience when
behind the wheel."

Turning new biometric sensors toward the driver will help to create a more
complete picture of the driver workload. The research team has built a biometric
seating buck to test a number of different sensors and gather data on how drivers
respond to a variety of inputs for a driver behavior model.

The experimental system adds several sensors to the steering wheel rim and spokes
to get more detailed driver information. Anyone who has used modern exercise
equipment like treadmills and stair climbers will be familiar with the metal pads
on the rim that can be used to measure the driver's heart rate.

Infrared sensors on the steering wheel monitor the palms of a driver's hands as
well as his or her face looking for changes in temperature. A downward-looking
infrared sensor under the steering column measures the cabin temperature to
provide a baseline for comparing changes in the driver's temperature. The final
sensor is embedded in the seat belt to assess the driver's breathing rate.

With a more complete picture of the driver's health and wellness blended with
knowledge of what is happening outside the vehicle, the car will have the
intelligence to dynamically adjust the alerts provided to the driver and filter
interruptions. With the driver occupied in heavy traffic, the vehicle control
system could increase the warning times for forward collision alerts and
automatically filter out phone calls and messages, allowing the driver more time
to respond. On the other hand, an alert driver on an open highway could receive
incoming calls.

"While these features are still in research, they show significant opportunity
for us to leverage data already being captured by the vehicle and apply an
intelligent decision-making system to simplify the driving experience," adds

About Ford Motor CompanyFord Motor Company (F), a global automotive industry
leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across
six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

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To: Urlman who wrote (559)8/8/2012 11:22:31 PM
From: Savant
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Chart of the day, HFT edition...gets interesting, around 2010

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