China firm develops ‘laser gun’ that can set fire to protesters’ hair from kilometer away | The Japan Times

China firm develops ‘laser gun’ that can set fire to protesters’ hair from kilometer away

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GLOBAL DIGITAL ID and the WORLD BANK (Rothschild): Empowering refugees and internally displaced persons through digital identity | Voices

Empowering refugees and internally displaced persons through digital identity

Oria Adamo, 72 years old and the mayor of a small town in Central African Republic shows his ID card in the village of Ndu, Bas Uele province, Democratic Republic of the Congo where thousands fled after fleeing a surge in violence that began in May 2017. © Simon Lubuku/UNHCR Oria Adamo, 72 years old and the mayor of a small town in Central African Republic shows his ID card in the village of Ndu, Bas Uele province, Democratic Republic of the Congo where thousands fled after fleeing a surge in violence that began in May 2017. © Simon Lubuku/UNHCR

Fardowsa, a 20-year old Somali refugee in Uganda, knows the vital importance of identity documents to refugees. She and her family were forced to flee her homeland in 2001 without any official documentation. The refugee ID card she was issued by the Government of Uganda not only provides her with protection and access to humanitarian assistance, but it has also given her the opportunity to study at university and open a mobile money account. With this foundation, Fardowsa is planning to start her own business to further improve her and her family’s new life. In the process, she will also be contributing to Uganda’s economy while realizing her potential as a young female refugee.

Identification is also crucial for internally displaced persons (IDPs), who have been forced to flee their homes to other areas within their own country. During a recent participatory assessment conducted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Diffa, Niger, Mohammed, an internally displaced man, emphasized: “having an identification document makes life more dignified. The community respects you and knows you are somebody”. His ID helps him pass through security checkpoints in the conflict-affected area where he lives, allowing him to continue in his business. Having an ID also facilitates social participation for many IDPs and can contribute to addressing gender-based issues and other risks of marginalization.

Advances in digital technology and the introduction of ID systems by governments around the world are resulting in new approaches to providing IDs to forcibly displaced persons. In past situations of mass influxes, receiving governments would often request UNHCR to undertake refugee registration and documentation on their behalf. But host countries are now taking an increased role even during the first phases of a crisis, often in partnership with UNHCR, using shared identity management tools and registration processes. In some countries, refugees are now being included in the host country’s national population registry or ID system, which means they are issued a Unique Identity Number (UIN) and their life events are being recorded in the civil registry – something that used to be accessible only to citizens.

UNHCR staff member Winnie Mugisa is hard at work verifying Congolese refugees using the biometric equipment at Oruchinga settlement in Uganda.UNHCR staff member Winnie Mugisa is hard at work verifying Congolese refugees using the biometric equipment at Oruchinga settlement in Uganda. © Michele Sibiloni/UNHCR

Key drivers of this trend include the commitment by all countries, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration” by 2030 (target 16.9) and the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. Regional civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) initiatives in Africa and in Asia and the Pacific  have also shone a light on the importance of host States registering the births of refugees, IDPs and stateless persons, to protect child rights.

Past research by the World Bank has shown the potentially transformative impacts of proper identification for the inclusion of refugees in local communities and economies. The use of digitally-enabled IDs that are interoperable across different aid agencies can greatly enhance the efficiency of humanitarian assistance delivery. Importantly, the provision of IDs that are officially recognized will facilitate the financial inclusion of refugees by, for example, allowing them to register SIM cards in their own name and to open mobile money or bank accounts. Host communities will also benefit from the extension of coverage of ID systems across the whole country, including hard-to-reach and border areas.

But there are also risks that need to be managed. The collection and use of personal data is a great responsibility. It must be done in such a way that protects against misuse or unauthorized disclosure, and ensures that the individual’s right to privacy is respected. UNHCR’s data protection policy recognizes that the stakes are even higher for refugees, requiring additional considerations. To address these risks, governments should adopt and implement strong legal and regulatory frameworks for data protection, ensure that they are collecting and using personal data with the informed consent of the data subjects, and capture and process only the minimum data needed for the purposes of an ID system.

UNCHR and the World Bank’s collaboration on Identification

UNHCR and the World Bank share the goal of ensuring that the voices and needs of the forcibly displaced and host communities are considered in the design and implementation of robust, inclusive, and responsive ID systems. This is a central feature of the 10 Principles on ID for Sustainable Development that both organizations have endorsed, along with over 20 other international, philanthropic, academic, and private sector organizations.

To implement UNHCR’s Digital Identity and Inclusion Strategy, consultations are being held with forcibly displaced persons and host communities to understand how to develop digital ID systems that best meet their needs. This work is based on UNHCR’s existing participatory approaches and also supports efforts to issue documentation to refugee men and women on an equal basis.

Girl students using tablets pre-loaded with educational software at their Instant Network Schools (INS) classroom in Juba primary school, Dadaab. © Assadullah Nasrullah/UNHCR Girl students using tablets pre-loaded with educational software at their Instant Network Schools (INS) classroom in Juba primary school, Dadaab. © Assadullah Nasrullah/UNHCR

Similarly, the World Bank is working to ensure that projects to support ID systems in client countries reflect the experiences and needs of the population, and that they leave no one behind—particularly the poorest and most vulnerable groups such as refugees and IDPs. To make this happen, it is critical to keep local stakeholders engaged throughout the process, and to create channels for people to actively provide feedback on their experiences getting and using IDs, including through grievance redress mechanisms.

As part of their wider partnership, UNHCR and the World Bank will work together to develop practical tools that a wide range of stakeholders can use to consult with refugees, IDPs, people at risk of statelessness, and host communities in the design and implementation of ID systems. Listening to their voices is crucial to ensuring that their ID needs are met and their protection enhanced. This will complement other collaboration such as joint work in countries where governments are seeking to include refugees and IDPs in ID systems, guidance on key privacy and data protection safeguards for refugees in ID systems, as well as an upcoming report on existing and emerging models across the world for providing digital IDs to refugees.

Today, many forcibly displaced persons are among the approximately 1 billion people around the world  who lack any form of government recognized ID. Our collective hope is that in closing the identity gap every forcibly displaced person, like Fardowsa and Mohammed, can have access to a digital ID and to the rights, protection, and opportunities that come with it.


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Watch your steps! AA

AAWS Inc., NY, is proud to report:

1. We have successfully prosecuted one member of the Mexican AA General Service Board in 95. We thought their retail prices for big books were too low and somehow in competition with our other Spanish speaking AA organizations. He was properly sentenced for a term of one year in jail. 2000 groups collected some bail money and helped Javier G. out. Too bad! But anyhow, we picked up almost all of those dumping priced AA literature stuff and had it locked up together with drugs, guns and other highly dangerous crap. And last not least, crazy chairman Javier G. is properly branded in public as being a duly sentenced criminal now. And that’s a nice result, isn’t it? 

Click on the image!

2. We have brought more law suits:  Against one book manufacturer, Elsner GmbH, in Berlin who accepted money to print tens of thousand of pocket size big books for California jails and Russian suburbs. We would not have been bothered too much had they not been given away entirely for free. During our 1998 AA World Service meeting Swedish delegates reported pirate copies coming in. The General Service Board warned the Fellowship about this project via announcements and notices published in the Servicebladet, newsletters and bulletins. We wish to thank our Swedish executives for making such valuable and extended efforts to block the AA message from being carried. In full accord with our long-standing policy the Board pointed out the damaging effect that copyright violation could have on our finances. In a letter to the Big Book Study Group, AA-Forlaget noted the illegality of the group’s action and demanded that distribution of the pirated version cease and desist. 

We sell a big book for US$44 in Sweden. To our knowledge about 5000 pirates appeared to enter prisons and treatment centers all over the country. These institutions are generously supported by public taxpayer funds and used to purchase our beautiful overpriced big books for US$ 44 each. The market was saturated with those free pirates in short. Hell, we could have taken in US$ 200,000.00 and more of outside contributions according to AA tradition Seven. And the worst: Countless dumb drunks appreciated those booklets and recovered without our participation. They are giving us pressure to follow BBSG’s example and supply them with pocket editions. Our cartel is ruined!

Father knows best. We recommend to fully support the integrity of our monthly paychecks!

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The Geysers is a truly remarkable place.

A million years ago, a plume of molten magma intruded close to the Earth’s surface. The heat from this 1400˚F intrusion recrystallized the overlying rocks, making them hard and brittle, then caused fracturing to create permeability. Subsequent magmatic activity over the next half-million years maintained high temperatures as water seeped down through fractures to form a hot water geothermal reservoir. At about a quarter million years ago, the caprock overlying the ancestral Geysers reservoir fractured, allowing steam eruptions as the high temperature water boiled down to form the current steam reservoir.

Native Americans, the first inhabitants of this region, visited the thermal areas for their healing powers and ceremonial importance. When rediscovered in the 1840’s, The Geysers soon became a world-famous tourist destination. Although there are no actual geysers at this wonder-inspiring region, the inaccurate name stuck. In the past 50 years, The Geysers has emerged as the world leader in generating sustainable geothermal power using steam from deep beneath the Earth’s surface.

Calpine, in honoring the history of The Geysers from its original discovery by Native Americans to its development as the premier geothermal development in the world, takes its role as a steward of this amazing resource very seriously. Calpine is dedicated to the sustainability of The Geysers.

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Tektronix, IEMN Demonstrate 100 Gb/s Wireless Transmissions Using New IEEE 802.15.3d Standard | 2018-05-16 | Microwave Journal

Tektronix, IEMN Demonstrate 100 Gb/s Wireless Transmissions Using New IEEE 802.15.3d Standard

Tektronix, Inc. and IEMN, a major French research laboratory, demonstrated a single carrier wireless link traveling at a 100 Gb/s data rate. This demonstration uses advanced data coding, THz photonics and wideband and linear devices to enable ultra fast wireless connections in the 252 – 325 GHz band per the recently published IEEE 802.15.3d standard.

“Achieving 100 Gb/s transmission in a single carrier helps to fill the gap between the worlds of fiber-optics and radio. By combining the concept with dedicated architectures and photonic-based THz circuits we are paving the way for far faster wireless transmission than what’s possible today,” said Guillaume Ducournau, an associate professor at IEMN/CNRS/University Lille working on THz communication systems.

Related Resources

The purpose of the new 802.15.3d standard is to provide for low complexity, low cost, low power consumption, very high data rate wireless connectivity among devices and in the future ‘low THz’ bands. Potential applications include consumer multimedia, wireless switched point-to-point applications in data centers, wireless backhaul/front haul, intra-device communications and a wide variety of additional use cases such as rapid large multimedia data downloads and file exchanges between two devices in close proximity.

Achieving 100 Gb/s and beyond requires the extension of carrier frequencies to the millimeter/sub-millimeter range, around 300 GHz, also called the “THz band.” Using a combination of optical coherent technologies and THz transceivers, this latest demonstration showcased the advances being made toward operational wireless links with THz frequencies and optical-equivalent data rates.

The demonstration was accomplished within the framework of several research projects including the COM’TONIQ, Era-net Chistera TERALINKS and TERASONIC ANR projects in THz communications. The French Equipex programs, “FLUX” (high-speed guided fiber/wireless-based advanced data coms) and “ExCELSIOR” (advanced characterization of nano-devices and systems) also supported this effort along with IEMN platform facilities and the RENATECH French nanofabrication network, IRCICA USR-3380. The demonstration was also supported by the CPER “Photonics for society” and contributes to the “digital world” Hub 3 of the I-Site Université de Lille Nord de France.

“Tektronix is delighted to be working in such close collaboration with IEMN on achieving this prestigious breakthrough,” said Dr. Klaus Engenhardt, CTO Tektronix EMEA. “It’s exciting to see our industry-leading end-to-end transmit and receive solution used to help bridge coherent optical and THz transceiver technologies. Advanced test tools are needed today to generate and characterize signals at 100G, 400G and beyond and Tektronix offers a wide portfolio of optical communication test solutions.”

Tektronix has a long history of collaboration with IEMN on THz communications research and most recently supported the first data transmission through a THz multiplexer.

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Verizon Names Los Angeles as 2018 5G Market | 2018-05-16 | Microwave Journal

Verizon Names Los Angeles as 2018 5G Market – 5/16/2018

Verizon said it plans to deploy 5G technology in Los Angeles starting in the fourth quarter of 2018. Los Angeles is the second city Verizon has identified as part of its 3 to 5 market 5G deployment plans, first announced in November 2017. Verizon previously announced Sacramento would be a 5G city.

In an interview, McAdam told CNBC’s David Faber that relationships with progressive-minded cities like Sacramento, Los Angeles and Boston, where Verizon is testing IoT solutions, are critical to putting next-generation technology into the hands of consumers and business. “We’ve had some great partnerships with some forward-looking mayors like Marty Walsh in Boston… Mayor Garcetti in L.A.” said McAdam.

Related Resources

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, “Innovation, hard work and creativity are the foundation of Los Angeles, and that’s why we are proud to partner with Verizon to be one of the first cities in America to start building their 5G network for businesses and residents, which will open doors to opportunity and inspire the next generation of tech leaders and entrepreneurs.”

McAdam also told Faber that “this has been a three-year journey for us,” noting that the company had worked with partners around the world to develop a standard and test it across 11 markets in the U.S. The tests proved that millimeter wave spectrum is outstanding for 5G. “We’re charging ahead,” said McAdam. “I have never seen a technology that is as disruptive and has as much benefit to consumers as 5G.”

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WATER RATIONING – by Water Metering . . . and more smart city frequencies of death!

Excerpt – out of link below:

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comcast’s Internet of Things (IoT) service, machineQ™, and water technology company, Neptune Technology Group, today announced they have collaborated on an IoT solution designed to accelerate Smart City projects focused on advanced water metering and infrastructure (AMI). The solution, available today, combines machineQ’s LoRaWAN network and connectivity platform, with Neptune® LoRa®-enabled water meters and sensors, to offer water utilities and municipalities a new connectivity option to wirelessly gather data about their critical infrastructure, and in turn, maximize their workforce and boost sustainability efforts.

“Cities and municipalities are no longer delaying their Smart City programs based on the promise of future network technologies because they see the tremendous cost savings and efficiencies they can realize today from a broad range of existing IoT solutions, from trusted providers like Neptune, that are capable of leveraging the machineQ cloud-based IoT network and platform services,” said Alex Khorram, General Manager of machineQ. “We can deploy and manage a dense IoT network tailored to the unique needs of any organization very efficiently, so they can focus their resources delivering the best service possible to their end customers.”

“Water utilities can build on the smart water investments they already have using Neptune’s R900® Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) technology,” said Chuck Brunson, Vice President of Marketing, Neptune. “It’s the first LoRa Alliance certified solution for water AMI networks. This technology relieves the AMI infrastructure burden of costs, frustrations, and maintenance for our utility customers.”

The machineQ and Neptune solution enables utilities and municipalities to make the leap from manual meter monitoring systems that require employees to visit the hard to reach areas where water infrastructure is located, to an advanced system that wirelessly sends data to the cloud and can be monitored remotely. These new capabilities enable budget-conscious cities and utilities to redeploy employee resources to maximize their talents, and to harness the IoT data they’ve collected to deliver water to residential and commercial customers more efficiently and with less waste.

“The LoRa technology is operating seamlessly with the system we have deployed,” said Jason Jay, Programs Manager for Columbus (Georgia) Water Works. “We are excited about this easy migration path to a high-performance AMI system that Neptune is providing us.”

Western Municipal Water District in Riverside, California, is also deploying Neptune’s R900 technology combined with the machineQ network. “It’s designed to provide us with the meter data we require to effectively manage our system without having to install or maintain the network, allowing our people to focus on their day to day critical functions,” said Kevin Mascaro, Director of Finance.

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Building a City like a Smartphone

Building a City like a Smartphone

The most predictable thing about technology is the pace of its change. From Moore’s Law to the annual release of new iPhones, we expect each year to bring new technologies and cost efficiencies. Yet when it comes to the buildings and infrastructure that make up our cities, too often we expect the opposite: lengthy delays and cost overruns.

During the design and construction of a single project, whole generations of digital evolution may take place. When design for One World Trade Center (1WTC) began in 2003, neither Facebook nor Uber existed, and Blackberry was the clear leader in smartphones.

During the second half of 1WTC’s construction, the Apple iPhone, released in 2007, saw at least 47 revisions to its operating system, changing how we communicate, shop, and experience media. By the time the first tenants occupied the building, people’s use of technology had evolved dramatically. At any point during the construction timeline, people’s current use of apps and devices wouldn’t have been a good guide to their future expectations.

When the digital and physical meet, some pieces move faster than others. How, then, do we create systems that won’t become obsolete in a matter of months or years? In other words, how can we build environments to be more like a smartphone that improves every year?

While technology and the way in which we interact with this technology is constantly shifting, there are certain fundamental components that remain constant. To bridge the difference in timescales and pace of change between larger systems — like buildings, neighborhoods and cities — and smaller systems, like iPhones and apps, there are three principles that can help ensure sustained relevance through the years.

Be Foundational: Rather than think of technology as a shrink-wrapped product, look to build the technical and human capabilities. Invest in the underlying infrastructure that will support the things you want to do. The base layer doesn’t change as quickly as the top layer. If you get the foundation wrong, it’s much harder to fix later. The diameter and location of 19th century conduit underneath New York City’s streets, for example, constrains where 21st century connectivity can go.

Be Modular: Instead of thinking in terms of units, think in terms of platforms. A streetlight must provide light, but it also offers a physical platform on the street — a place where power, space, and connectivity come together. Designs featuring easily exchangeable components enable new possibilities within the same basic infrastructure, from 5G broadband radios to chargers for electric vehicles.

Be Open: Innovation online has thrived in part due to an openness to collaboration with others. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) allow anyone to build upon existing technologies, from sending mobile payments using Venmo to finding bikeshare locations on Google Maps. As people add smart home devices like programmable lighting and locks, standards like Z-Wave and Zigbee reduce the likelihood that homeowners will need to tear open their walls as new brands develop.

A smartphone hasn’t reached its full potential when the first model rolls off the assembly line. Through software updates and an open approach to innovation, its greatest value is created over time. Our goal for the built environment should be no less ambitious.

Applying these foundational, modular and open principles to our surroundings allows for flexibility, which in turn leads to sustainability and continued innovation. Such an approach makes it possible for buildings and cities themselves to benefit from the trends that enable continuous innovation in the digital world. While upgrading a building may never be as easy as downloading a software update, there’s a lot we can learn from comparing the two.

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Racist South African Political Leader Julius Malema: “Go After the White Man… We Are Cutting the Throat of Whiteness”

Racist South African Political Leader Julius Malema: “Go After the White Man… We Are Cutting the Throat of Whiteness”


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