Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

The satellite link that keeps watch on your children

num8 GPS watch

The num8 watch costs £149.99 and can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist, triggering an alert if forcibly removed

Critics have said the ‘tagging’ is a step too far in the climate of paranoia over child safety.

Daily Mail | Sep 18, 2009

Its vivid colour is clearly designed to appeal to youngsters. But this watch is really aimed at their parents.

For its key selling point is a satellite positioning system that locates the wearer to within ten feet.

The makers claim the GPS tracking device will offer anxious parents peace of mind and allow children the independence to go out to play on their own.

But critics have said the ‘tagging’ is a step too far in the climate of paranoia over child safety.

The num8 watch, pictured above, costs £149.99 and can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist, triggering an alert if forcibly removed.

Parents will be able to see their child’s location on Google maps by texting ‘wru’ to a special number, or clicking ‘where r you’ on the secure website linked to the device. The street address and postcode will be displayed.

Safe zones can also be set up in which children can play. An alert will be sent to the parents if the child strays out of that area.

Steve Salmon, of makers Lok8u, said: ‘Losing your child, if only for a brief moment, leads to a state of panic and makes parents feel powerless. The overriding aim of num8 is to give children their freedom and parents peace of mind.’

But Dr Michele Elliott, director of children’s charity Kidscape, said: ‘Is the world really that unsafe that parents need to track their children electronically? I don’t think so.’

Long Island nurses to rally against mandatory swine flu vaccines

Rob Kozik

Rob Kozik, a registered nurse in Stony Brook University Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit, doesn’t want the government to force him to be vaccinated against H1N1 swine flu. Photo credit: Ed Betz

Newsday | Sep 21, 2009

By DELTHIA RICKS

Dozens of Long Island nurses – many from Stony Brook University Medical Center – plan to rally with health care workers from across the state next week in Albany to protest a state regulation that mandates they be vaccinated for swine flu or lose their jobs.

The New York State Department of Health issued an emergency regulation in August that requires all health care workers in hospitals, public health clinics, hospices and in home health care be immunized against seasonal and swine flu. But it is the mandated swine flu shot that has angered the workers, who claim the vaccine has not been fully tested.

The New York State Nurses Association, which represents 37,000 nurses, supports opposition to mandatory vaccination.

“We as an organization have not questioned the safety of the vaccine,” said Nancy Webber, spokeswoman for the association. “We see this as an issue of workers’ rights.”

The Public Employees Federation, which represents 9,000 nurses statewide and 3,000 health care workers – nurses and others – at Stony Brook alone, agrees with the nurses’ group.

Nurses say they were never consulted before officials wrote the regulation.

“This vaccine has not been clinically tested to the same degree as the regular flu vaccine,” said Tara Accavallo, a registered nurse in Stony Brook’s neonatal intensive care unit, the division that has produced a number of protesters. “If something happens to me, if I get seriously injured from this vaccine, who’s going to help me?”

Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as infectious disease specialists on Long Island say the H1N1 vaccine, which is set to be released early next month, is safe and produces a powerful immune response.

The deadline to comply is Nov. 30, a date so close it leaves little time for legal maneuvers to skirt the law, but Accavallo says she’s willing to lose her job if need be.

Rob Kozik, another registered nurse in Stony Brook’s neonatal intensive care unit, said he has no problems with a seasonal vaccine but he has deep concerns about being immunized against H1N1. “I usually get vaccinated against the flu, but they are mandating an untested and unproven vaccine.

“The H1N1 vaccine already has a poor track record,” he added. “Back in 1976 there was vaccine [to protect against swine flu] that caused death and Guillain-Barre syndrome,” said Kozik, referring to a nerve-damaging disorder that some people linked to the vaccine. He said he also worries about the vaccine additive thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in some doses of the vaccine.

Stony Brook has begun “a major communication initiative” to inform its staff about the need for the vaccine, said Lauren Sheprow, hospital spokeswoman.

“We feel some of the anxiety may stem from confusion and lack of information about the nature of the H1N1 vaccine,” she said.

Dr. Steven Walerstein, medical director of Nassau University Medical Center, said his institution’s flu campaign began late last week. More than 900 people were eligible for vaccination in the first phase, and 890 were vaccinated, he said. About an additional 25 workers who refused without explanation are “being referred to human resources and counseling,” Walerstein said. If there is not a good reason for their refusal, health care providers can lose their jobs.

Genetically engineered meat with RFID chips grown in your kitchen to “save the planet”

Cocoon

The Cocoon, which would ‘grow’ its own meals, won the Electrolux competition

Pre-mixed food packets containing muscle cells, oxygen and nutrients, would put an end to messy and time-consuming preparation.

Cooker that ‘grows’ meat in your kitchen beats teleporting fridge and two-second clothes cleaner to win design prize

Daily Mail | Sep 24, 2009

By Fay Schlesinger

A controversial cooker that ‘grows’ meat and fish by heating animal cells in your kitchen claimed first prize in the Electrolux design competition tonight.

The invention, called Cocoon, could develop food with the make-up and nutrients of real meat.

Mr Hederstierna, 27, said: ‘This will create 100 per cent pure meat without the need for animals to be killed and with no risk of contamination. It will change everything.’

A food generator is a popular concept in science fiction programmes such as Star Trek.

Swedish industrial design student Rickard Hederstierna, 27, said it could tackle food shortages as the world’s population spirals.

And the glass cooker, which would heat pre-mixed food packets containing muscle cells, oxygen and nutrients, would put an end to messy and time-consuming preparation.

Competition panelist David Fisher, design director of consultants Seymourpowell, described the invention as ‘controversial’.

He said: ‘Dealing with controversial issues and managing them sensitively is very important. Real insight fed this idea. It deals with a problem (of food shortages) that won’t go away and we are going to have to deal with it in future.’

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Related

Interview with Rickard Hederstierna (Cocoon) Design Lab finalist 2009

Intelligent food to save the planet

“Cocoon” is a sustainable response to the world’s growing population and its desire to consume meat and fish. Similar to heating popcorn in a microwave, Cocoon prepares genetically engineered and prepackaged meat and fish dishes by heating muscle cells identified by radio frequency identification (RFID) signals. The signals detect the specific dish and then suggest the required cooking time.

Comprehend VeriChip’s Swine Flu Chip

VeriChip Swine Flu Chip

Wise Up Journal | Sep 24, 2009

By Gabriel O’Hara

The Reuters report below tells how on Monday VeriChip shares jumped 186% due to a patent on their swine flu pandemic detecting mini-microchip for the purpose of human implantation which is a massive upgrade to their current microchip already in thousands of people from children to the elderly. If your grasp of technological devices hangs from floppy disks to WiFi let Reuters inform you a little bit about VeriChip’s device.

Full Story

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Related

Hitachi Develops a New RFID with Embedded Antenna µ-Chip

Hitachi Develops a New RFID with Embedded Antenna µ-Chip

Medvedev might not object to Putin job swap as ruling duo keep Russia guessing about their plans

medvedev_puppet

AFP | Sep 24, 2009

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — President Dmitry Medvedev said he might not object to swapping jobs with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as the ruling duo kept Russia guessing about their plans.

Asked during a meeting with American students at the University of Pittsburgh whether he was prepared to exchange places with his powerful mentor Putin, Medvedev said he wouldn’t mind as long as he could be helpful.

“If it is useful for the country, I am ready to work in any position,” he said.

“The job of a president is a rather difficult thing. I can also tell you that the job of a prime minister is also a difficult thing. So there’s not much difference in this sense.”

Medvedev nevertheless reiterated that he would not rule out running for re-election as president, despite speculation that Putin may want to return to the Kremlin post he held before stepping down in favor of his ally.

“If I work well, if everything I do turns out fine, if the Russian people trusts me, why not run? This is absolutely normal.”

Medvedev noted he had never had “abnormal presidential ambitions” and in a telltale turn of phrase said he had been “offered” the post of the president, rather than been given a chance to run for office.

“When life ruled in such a way that I was offered a relevant position, when an election campaign started I realized that you have to do this seriously, otherwise you won’t simply have success.”

Putin was barred by the constitution from running for a third consecutive term and had to step down, installing Medvedev at the Kremlin.

Analysts are closely watching Russia’s ruling tandem for any signs of possible discord and some wonder whether Medvedev is willing to break out from Putin’s embrace and strike out on his own.

In the biggest hint so far that he may come back to the Kremlin, Putin said earlier this month he and Medvedev would not compete in the 2012 election but would “come to an agreement” as they were people of “the same blood.”

Many observers believe Putin is the country’s real chief and that Medvedev is acting as a seat warmer for Putin.

After massive outcry, sheriff’s office says sonic weapon switch “disabled”; concerns remain

eastcountymagazine.org | Sep 16, 2009

By Miriam Raftery

LRAD demo_0September 16, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego County Sheriff’s Department notified media today that it would hold a demonstration of its highly controversial “sonic weapon.” What was demonstrated, however, was only the loudspeaker capability of the device—a feature which has effectively been used in search-and-rescue operations and to broadcast messages during a sandcastle contest. The sonic weapons switch, capable of emitting tones loud enough to damage ear drums or worse, has now been “disabled,” Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ed Musgrove informed the media at the end of the event. (View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulkl5Lw5gm8) But concerns remain.

“If you accidentally flip that switch and someone is within a 30-foot range, they can have their eardrums burst, bleeding in the inner ear, and it can result in an aneurysm or death,” reporter Kim Dvorac from Examiner.com said in an interview on KCBQ radio’s Rick Amato show last night , citing a source in the Department of Defense http://www.amatotalk.com/podcasts/AMATO-09-15-09-HR1.mp3 .

“The officers shown at this town hall meeting (for Susan Davis) were using this within 30 feet of townhall attendees and other officers,” she added. Dvorac published two stories on the Sheriff’s deployment of LRADs (long-range acoustic devices) after East County Magazine) broke the story on Friday http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/1874 , creating a firestorm of controversy.

As we reported, LRADs have been used to repel insurgents in Iraq and to prevent piracy of ships aboard the high seas. Dvorac, who said she has spoken to various sources who have served in the Middle East and who are familiar with the use of LRADs, added this clarification. “They are also using this over in Iraq and Afghanistan to target terrorists in crowds, to take them out and save people around them…This can be pointed directly at you and it will burst your eardrums, but the person on the right or left will not be harmed by this.” She added that she could find no support in her research or among experts interviewed for use of LRADs as crowd control devices—the use for which Sheriff Gore says he purchased the device.

Full Story

Military sonic weapons placed at San Diego town hall events come under fire

Military LRAD devices placed at San Diego town halls come under fire

Examiner | Sep 15, 2009

by Kimberly Dvorak

As town halls unfolded across the country without incident, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore took it upon himself to place military equipment used in Iraq to repel terrorists, at two San Diego events. The device is also used by the U.S. Navy to repel terrorists from ships.

Gore, who is now under fire for his decision to place the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) at town hall events, went on record to explain his decision making.

At a Sheriff’s debate Gore was asked directly (by this writer) why he felt the need to place such heavy-handed piece of military equipment at two area town halls.

“The LRAD was purchased as a crowd dispersal unit,” Sheriff Gore explained. “It was held in reserve in both Susan Davis-D CA. and Darrell Issa-R CA/Duncan Hunter-R CA. events should there be any problems. We could use the LRAD in place of pepper spray.”

Although Gore said the LRAD was held in reserve, a photo taken at the town hall proves otherwise, said a Department of Defense Security Contractor source close to the story.

Gore continued to add that the device is a non-lethal piece of equipment.

However that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sheriff candidate Jay LaSuer said, “I dispute this answer. It’s a very, very lethal weapon and they (LRAD) have no place in law enforcement.”

“Why would you use a LRAD when members of Congress invited people to talk about health care? The majority of the attendees are probably on Medicare. Are we going after terrorists on walkers now?” LaSuer said.

Spokesperson, Joe Kasper from Congressman Hunter’s office had this to say.

“We were not aware of any type of technology being used to monitor the event at which the Congressman appeared. Law enforcement always stands to benefit from more advanced equipment but, regardless of the system, these tools should be utilized in a manner that is both safe and responsible. More importantly, there are certain systems that should only be used when absolutely necessary, so I think it’s reasonable to question the practicality of this particular technology in this situation.”

Numerous calls made to Congresswoman Davis’s office went unreturned.

Full Story