In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
The truth is, the Fed is in a bind. And it has been for much of the past seven years. Houdini would need help getting out of this straight jacket.
Here’s the predicament:
Despite historically low interest rates for a monumentally long period of time, the US economy is still growing — at best — only modestly. Even quantitative easing, the central bank’s bold and dangerous money-printing operation, couldn’t get the economy to kick into a higher gear.
The Fed could leave interest rates near zero forever, except that it is creating a massive amount of income dislocation. Americans who rely on income from their savings accounts — and have been getting none for a long time — have had to cut back. And this has hurt the economy.
Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and his students have developed a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets. Their goal is to design a new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate physical matter.
Computers and water typically don't mix, but in Manu Prakash's lab, the two are one and the same. The computer is nearly a decade in the making, incubated from an idea that struck Prakash when he was a graduate student. The work combines his expertise in manipulating droplet fluid dynamics with a fundamental element of computer science – an operating clock.
"In this work, we finally demonstrate a synchronous, universal droplet logic and control," Prakash said. Because of its universal nature, the droplet computer can theoretically perform any operation that a conventional electronic computer can crunch, although at significantly slower rates. Prakash and his colleagues, however, have a more ambitious application in mind.
"We already have digital computers to process information. Our goal is not to compete with electronic computers or to operate word processors on this," Prakash said. "Our goal is to build a completely new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate physical matter. Imagine if when you run a set of computations that not only information is processed but physical matter is algorithmically manipulated as well. We have just made this possible at the mesoscale."
The ability to precisely control droplets using fluidic computation could have a number of applications in high-throughput biology and chemistry, and possibly new applications in scalable digital manufacturing.
The results are published in the current edition of Nature Physics.
Portable electronics -- typically made of non-renewable, non-biodegradable and potentially toxic materials -- are discarded at an alarming rate in consumers' pursuit of the next best electronic gadget.
In an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has collaborated with researchers in the Madison-based U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to develop a surprising solution: a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood.
The research team, led by UW-Madison electrical and computer engineering professor Zhenqiang "Jack" Ma, described the new device in a paper published today (May 26, 2015) by the journal Nature Communications. The paper demonstrates the feasibility of replacing the substrate, or support layer, of a computer chip, with cellulose nanofibril (CNF), a flexible, biodegradable material made from wood.
"The majority of material in a chip is support. We only use less than a couple of micrometers for everything else," Ma says. "Now the chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it. They become as safe as fertilizer." Zhiyong Cai, project leader for an engineering composite science research group at FPL, has been developing sustainable nanomaterials since 2009.
"If you take a big tree and cut it down to the individual fiber, the most common product is paper. The dimension of the fiber is in the micron stage," Cai says. "But what if we could break it down further to the nano scale? At that scale you can make this material, very strong and transparent CNF paper."
Working with Shaoqin "Sarah" Gong, a UW-Madison professor of biomedical engineering, Cai's group addressed two key barriers to using wood-derived materials in an electronics setting: surface smoothness and thermal expansion.
"You don't want it to expand or shrink too much. Wood is a natural hydroscopic material and could attract moisture from the air and expand," Cai says. "With an epoxy coating on the surface of the CNF, we solved both the surface smoothness and the moisture barrier."
Gong and her students also have been studying bio-based polymers for more than a decade. CNF offers many benefits over current chip substrates, she says.
"The advantage of CNF over other polymers is that it's a bio-based material and most other polymers are petroleum-based polymers. Bio-based materials are sustainable, bio-compatible and biodegradable," Gong says. "And, compared to other polymers, CNF actually has a relatively low thermal expansion coefficient."
Scotland should be compensated for their share of UK gold sold off rock bottom by Gordon Brown, and for subsequent asset stripping, including the cheap sell off of Royal Mail, which also allows dividends to be exported, rather than kept and reinvested in UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron met with Sony Pictures representatives three months before indyref to discuss the impending release in Britain of the Outlander series, according to WIKILEAKS. The series premier broadcast was inexplicably delayed here until after the referendum.
It seems to be typical of the triumph of spin over substance in this election campaign so far. The debate over whether or not E Miliband planted the meat cleaver into D Miliband’s back seemed to receive much more coverage than whether or not we should pay billions of pounds for Trident.
A new technology developed by chemists at UCLA is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks.
The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds at a time. A new technology developed by chemists at UCLA is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks — an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells.
The findings are published June 19 in the journal Science. The new design is inspired by the way that plants generate energy through photosynthesis.
“Biology does a very good job of creating energy from sunlight,” said Sarah Tolbert, a UCLA professor of chemistry and one of the senior authors of the research. “Plants do this through photosynthesis with extremely high efficiency.”
“In photosynthesis, plants that are exposed to sunlight use carefully organized nanoscale structures within their cells to rapidly separate charges — pulling electrons away from the positively charged molecule that is left behind, and keeping positive and negative charges separated,” Tolbert said. “That separation is the key to making the process so efficient.”
To capture energy from sunlight, conventional rooftop solar cells use silicon, a fairly expensive material. There is currently a big push to make lower-cost solar cells using plastics, rather than silicon, but today’s plastic solar cells are relatively inefficient, in large part because the separated positive and negative electric charges often recombine before they can become electrical energy.
“Modern plastic solar cells don’t have well-defined structures like plants do because we never knew how to make them before,” Tolbert said. “But this new system pulls charges apart and keeps them separated for days, or even weeks. Once you make the right structure, you can vastly improve the retention of energy.”
The two components that make the UCLA-developed system work are a polymer donor and a nano-scale fullerene acceptor. The polymer donor absorbs sunlight and passes electrons to the fullerene acceptor; the process generates electrical energy.
The plastic materials, called organic photovoltaics, are typically organized like a plate of cooked pasta — a disorganized mass of long, skinny polymer “spaghetti” with random fullerene “meatballs.” But this arrangement makes it difficult to get current out of the cell because the electrons sometimes hop back to the polymer spaghetti and are lost.
The UCLA technology arranges the elements more neatly — like small bundles of uncooked spaghetti with precisely placed meatballs. Some fullerene meatballs are designed to sit inside the spaghetti bundles, but others are forced to stay on the outside. The fullerenes inside the structure take electrons from the polymers and toss them to the outside fullerene, which can effectively keep the electrons away from the polymer for weeks.
The SNP is today welcoming the ‘historic’ decision in the Scottish Parliament to extend the right to vote in next year’s Holyrood elections to 16 and 17 year olds – and looks forward to Scotland’s young people making their voices heard.
I suggested yesterday that we are going to start seeing a lot more entities/investors convert their phony fiat currency into physical gold and silver. In a news report that is being predictably ignored by western financial media, Russia announced today it will take its gold reserves up to $500 billion.
At today’s artificially manipulated price, that translates into 119.1 million ounces or roughly 3,463 metric tonnes. Russia’s current amount of $360 billion represents a 20% backing of its currency, which is the highest ratio of gold to paper currency in the world. Please note: Until the U.S. submits to a completely independent audit open for the world to observe, we assume the amount of gold held by the United States is zero.
Scottish news and politics, analysis and opinion. Scotland's political social media hub. SSP backed project to build left electoral alliance at its party conference on 23 May PROMINENT pro-independence figures Pat Kane, Jim Sillars and Mike Small have welcomed a vote by the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) to work with the Scottish Left P
Having listened to Alistair Carmichael's defence in the matter of what I suppose we must grit our teeth and call #MemoGate, I am even more convinced than ever that he should resign immediately. Unbelievably, Carmichael is now insisting that we should simply ignore his despicable behaviour and focus instead on some unspecified things he may have done for his constituents in the past.
Scottish news and politics, analysis and opinion. Scotland's political social media hub. SNP minister hits out at Labour leadership for being “happy to have a pop at immigrants at any opportunity for cheap political gain” HUMZA YOUSAF has slammed the UK's “inhumane” detention centres and said he hopes the SNP can
A fresh rolling Scottish news and politics service. We're part of the Common Weal, and our full launch is coming soon. CommonSpace takes a look at the SNP's manifesto, and compares it to Labour's to see what areas of agreement and disagreement could be found in a possible Labour-SNP deal after the General Election THE SNP’s manifesto launch offers the fir
LABOUR’S shadow business minister, Ian Murray, has broken ranks with the party leadership over the renewal of Trident by stating that he would not vote for the renewal of the submarine missile fleet under any circumstances.
As the pressure mounts on Jim Murphy for tonight’s debate Tony Blair stepped out of whatever Gold Digging corporate hellhole he’d been working to announce his ‘100% backing for Miliband’, a strangely un-reassuring commitment probably about as welcome as his rejected money.
The question of whether non-residents of Scotland can vote for the Scottish National party unexpectedly featured in a list of most searched-for terms provided by Google after Thursday night’s leaders’ debate.
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