Plan to Split California Makes Ballot

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(Photo Credit: Cal3.com)

 

Even if the proposal wins a majority of the votes Nov. 6, it faces a steep uphill climb in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

The November 6th general election ballot in California will now include a proposition that could break up the cash-strapped state, home to the sixth-largest economy in the world, into three separate states. Continue reading

Lockheed Martin Awarded $929 Million Contract For Hypersonic Weapon To Counter Russia, China

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Lockheed Martin, the defense company behind F-35A Lightning II, a fifth-generation combat aircraft, won a $928 million contract April 18 to develop a hypersonic missile for the U.S. Air Force that will travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound to overcome Russian and Chinese missile defense systems.

According to Lockheed Martin, under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, the company will design and manufacture the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a new air-launched weapon system. The missile will be capable of speeds higher than Mach five and could render Russian and Chinese ballistic missile defense interceptors useless. Continue reading

DNA of every baby born in California is stored. Who has access to it?

SAN FRANCISCO — You probably know where your Social Security card, birth certificate and other sensitive information is being stored, but what about your genetic material? If you or your child was born in California after 1983, your DNA is likely being stored by the government, may be available to law enforcement and may even be in the hands of outside researchers, CBS San Francisco’s Julie Watts reports.

Like many states, California collects bio-samples from every child born in the state. The material is then stored indefinitely in a state-run biobank, where it may be purchased for outside research.

State law requires that parents are informed of their right to request the child’s sample be destroyed, but the state does not confirm parents actually get that information before storing or selling their child’s DNA.

KPIX has learned that most parents are not getting the required notification. We’ve also discovered the DNA may be used for more than just research. Continue reading

Pentagon: Missile threats increasing

(Photo by: Jacquelyn Martin) John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told lawmakers that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing. (Associated Press/File)

 

Senior Pentagon and military officials this week outlined the growing array of missile threats facing the United States from China, Russia and other states, including maneuvering hypersonic weapons.

John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing.

“The United States, allies and partners confront a security environment that is more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory,” Mr. Rood told the subcommittee on strategic forces, in a likely preview of the Pentagon’s forthcoming Ballistic Missile Review, a major study that will highlight missile threats and the Trump administration’s plan for a multilayered missile defense network to counter them.

Adversaries including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are expanding their missile forces in three ways, Mr. Rood said. They include increasing the capabilities of current missile forces; adding new and unprecedented types of missiles to their arsenals; and better integrating missiles into foreign states’ use of coercive threats, military exercises and war planning.

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Trump: ‘We Have the Air Force. We Will Have the Space Force’

 

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to create a military force for outer space during an address to members of the U.S. Marine Corps at Miramar Air Station in California.

Trump said he has developed a national strategy for space that recognizes it is a “warfighting domain.” He likened his proposed space force to other branches of the U.S. armed forces. Continue reading

Seeking to outsmart US, China races ahead on artificial intelligence

Chinese students work on the Ares, a humanoid bipedal robot designed by them with funding from a Shanghai investment company, displayed during the World Robot Conference in Beijing on Oct. 21, 2016. China’s goal is to transform the country into a global leader in artificial intelligence in just over a decade. (Ng Han Guan AP)

 

When a Google computer program beat the world’s best player of an ancient Chinese board game last May, it might have seemed like an incremental milestone.

But for some, the success of the program known as AlphaGo marked more than a man vs. machine clash. It set up a broader race between China and the United States over artificial intelligence, a competition that could mold the future of humankind just as the widespread arrival of electricity did in the last century.

The Go tournament took place in Wuzhen, a city of canals that is more than 1,300 years old, a fitting venue for a competition involving the strategy board game Go that has been played for several thousand years. Go is renowned for its complexity, and it is said that there are more variations to the game than there are atoms in the universe.

Perhaps it was a coincidence of timing, but the AlphaGo competition kicked off events that demonstrated China’s resolve to close the gap with — and quickly surpass — the United States in deploying artificial intelligence, or AI. Goals Chinese authorities announced last July are ambitious: Reach parity with the United States by 2020, achieve major breakthroughs by 2025, and “occupy the commanding heights of AI technology by 2030” as the world’s undisputed leader.

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What is really scarce in a water drought

A communal tap runs as people collect water in an informal settlement near Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 23. While the city urges people to restrict water usage, many living in poor areas already have limited access to water, and the day that the city runs out of water, ominously known as \”Day Zero,\” moves ever closer for the nearly 4 million residents. (AP Photo)

 

Earlier this year, the South African city of Cape Town was told that it would make history by April 16. On that date, dubbed Day Zero, it was expected to become the world’s first major city to run out of water because of an extended drought. More than 1 million households would face extreme rationing or no water at all as reservoirs went dry.

But then something happened. The date was pushed back to June 4. And this week, Day Zero was set for July 9. Continue reading

California City May ‘Experiment’ with UBI

 

 

Sitting in between the enormous economic opportunities of the San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley, yet unable to break free of its largely agriculturally based economy, the City of Stockton, Calf., is now planning to “experiment” with Universal Basic Income.” The city went bankrupt just five years ago. Continue reading

US risks losing advantage in space to China and Russia, warn top Pentagon officials

The US advantage in space over countries such as China and Russia is being eroded, and the US military “must move faster to maintain a lead in this critical warfighting domain”, the Department of Defense (DoD) in Washington quoted Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and General John E Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), as saying on 2 December at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. Continue reading

Exclusive: Pentagon evaluating U.S. West Coast missile defense sites – officials

FILE PHOTO: A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

 

SIMI VALLEY, Calif (Reuters) – The U.S. agency tasked with protecting the country from missile attacks is scouting the West Coast for places to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressmen said on Saturday, as North Korea’s missile tests raise concerns about how the United States would defend itself from an attack.

West Coast defenses would likely include Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missiles, similar to those deployed in South Korea to protect against a potential North Korean attack.

The accelerated pace of North Korea’s ballistic missile testing program in 2017 and the likelihood the North Korean military could hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear payload in the next few years has raised the pressure on the United States government to build-up missile defenses. Continue reading

MI5 releases new information about Soviet ‘Portland Spy Ring’

 

Files released on Monday by the British government reveal new evidence about one of the most prolific Soviet spy rings that operated in the West after World War II, which became known as the Portland Spy Ring. Some of the members of the Portland Spy Ring were Soviet operatives who, at the time of their arrest, posed as citizens of third countries. All were non-official-cover intelligence officers, or NOCs, as they are known in Western intelligence parlance. Their Soviet —and nowadays Russian— equivalents are known as illegals. NOCs are high-level principal agents or officers of an intelligence agency, who operate without official connection to the authorities of the country that employs them. They often pose as business executives, students, academics, journalists, or non-profit agency workers. Unlike official-cover officers, who are protected by diplomatic immunity, NOCs have no such protection. If arrested by authorities of their host country, they can be tried and convicted for engaging in espionage. Continue reading

A top secret desert assembly plant starts ramping up to build Northrop’s B-21 bomber

Artist rendering of Air Force’s new B-21 bomber.

Artist rendering of Air Force’s new B-21 bomber. (Northrop Gruman)

 

A once-empty parking lot at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s top secret aircraft plant in Palmdale is now jammed with cars that pour in during the predawn hours.

More than a thousand new employees are working for the time being in rows of temporary trailers, a dozen tan-colored tents and a vast assembly hangar at the desert site near the edge of urban Los Angeles County.

It is here that Northrop is building the Air Force’s new B-21 bomber, a stealthy bat-winged jet that is being designed to slip behind any adversary’s air defense system and deliver devastating airstrikes for decades to come. The Pentagon is aiming to buy 100 of the bombers by the mid-2030s for at least $80 billion, though the exact amount is classified.

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California regional intel center warns local officials to prepare for nuclear attack

Long Beach Port in Los Angeles.

 

Southern California should have its nuclear attack response plans in place, the Los Angeles-area Joint Regional Intelligence Center said in a bulletin issued last month.

The bulletin, dated Aug. 16, was issued after North Korea’s July test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that some analysts said could reach the U.S. West Coast. Continue reading

California Considers Following China With Combustion-Engine Car Ban

 

  • Countries setting sales end dates pique governor’s interest
  • Annual state vehicle registrations top France, Italy or Spain

The internal combustion engine’s days may be numbered in California, where officials are mulling whether a ban on sales of polluting autos is needed to achieve long-term targets for cleaner air. Continue reading

Wary of robots taking jobs, Hawaii toys with guaranteed pay

Here what your very near future looks like. It’s actually already here in a sense with 3D printing, autonomous vehicles on the road, etc… The only thing keeping it from being on a full scale is a catalyst. Robotics and virtual reality are the fourth industrial revolution. Inventions such as HyperLoop will destroy businesses from airlines and taxi services (even Uber) to the postal service and automobile manufacturers.

Logistics will be changed forever — and that’s just one sector. Whatever is redundant will be taken over. This includes not only blue collar jobs such as restaurant services, but white collar jobs such as accounting and financial analysis. A good example would also be in the banking industry where tellers are already replaced with ATMs, and likely soon to be completely replaced and out of work.

A modern day feudal system will be built in response, where the politicians lord over the formerly employed, peasants of today’s times.

 

HONOLULU — Driverless trucks. Factory robots. Delivery drones. Virtual personal assistants.

As technological innovations increasingly edge into the workplace, many people fear that robots and machines are destined to take jobs that human beings have held for decades–a trend that is already happening in stores and factories around the country. For many affected workers, retraining might be out of reach —unavailable, unaffordable or inadequate.

What then?

Enter the idea of a universal basic income, the notion that everyone should be able to receive a stream of income to live on, regardless of their employment or economic status.

Continue reading