Technology

Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Trump toured a Texas computer factory to tout US manufacturing

President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook toured a Texas manufacturing facility on Wednesday, getting a glimpse of a factory used by Apple to assemble the Mac Pro desktop. The tour was a public symbol of Trump’s close relationship with Cook, and also provided an opportunity for the president to showcase a leading American company that’s manufacturing in the U.S. as Trump struggles to put into place the first piece of a U.S.-China trade agreement. “I would always talk about Apple, that I want to see Apple building plants in the United States, and that’s what’s happening,” Trump said in a brief conversation with reporters after the tour. “And Tim Cook is someone I greatly respect.” The relationship between the two men has been cultivated over the past few years through dinners, meetings and Cook’s membership on key presidential advisory councils. Cook and Trump were joined by White House advisor Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, while in Washington, D.C., the House Intelligence Committee continued its impeachment hearings. Trump touched on the hearings in the briefing with the media. The plant toured on Wednesday, operated by Flex, assembles the Mac Pro, a high-end computer that starts at $6,000. A previous model of the computer was made in the same facility starting in 2013. Apple doesn’t own or operate its own manufacturing and instead contracts with companies like Flex. A Flex spokesperson declined to comment. During the tour, Trump posed with an engraved metal plate reading, “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in USA,” a reference to the Apple slogan that used to be printed on iPhones. For Apple, the relationship with Trump enables the iPhone maker to communicate at the highest level its position on several trade-related issues, including tariffs. As part of Trump’s trade war with China, a 15% import tax will start to affect iPhones in December. “The nice part here is you don’t have to worry about tariffs,” Trump said on Wednesday. “When you build in the United States you don’t have to worry about tariffs,” Trump said. He repeated that he’s “looking at” whether to exempt Apple from tariffs on Chinese imports. Apple doesn’t break down its Mac sales by product line, but it’s among the company’s lowest-volume computers and the only one to be assembled in the U.S. Apple shipped 218 million iPhones in 2018, with the vast majority assembled in China. The Mac Pro is “an example of American design, American manufacturing, and American ingenuity,” Cook said. In June, Apple announced a new Mac Pro design. The company didn’t specify where it would be manufactured, but the Wall Street Journal reported that it would be assembled in China. Earlier this year, Apple applied for tariff exclusions for 15 parts needed to assemble the computer. When 10 out of the 15 exclusions were granted in September, Apple said it planned to manufacture the Mac Pro in the same facility in Texas that was used for the previous model. The Mac Pro computer will go on sale in December. “We thank the administration for their support enabling this opportunity,” Cook said in a statement at the time. Apple also announced on Wednesday that it will begin construction on a planned Austin campus that could have the capacity for as many as 15,000 employees.

NASA advances Trump-led manufacturing push with six innovative technologies

NASA is doing its part to advance American manufacturing. The Trump administration has pushed American manufacturing as a cornerstone of economic growth. According to a report released last year, the White House said that “advanced manufacturing…is an engine of America’s economic power and a pillar of its national security,” adding that advances in manufacturing have played “a major role in America’s global economic dominance in the 20th century.” However, the report warned that “this century saw dramatic changes, with significant declines in U.S. manufacturing employment starting in the 1990s and accelerating losses during the 2008 recession.” NASA, which not only develops but builds extremely complex aerospace systems, is a big part of the manufacturing push. The government space agency has come up with a list of six emerging technologies that are “ripe” for commercialization in the country. Click here for a taste of what’s been invented in America by NASA to manufacture and maintain its aerospace systems:

NBC Prompts Americans to Confess Their Climate Change Offenses

NBC News is prompting Americans to confess their climate change transgressions as part of a project titled “Climate Confessions.” As Democrat presidential candidates – as well as prominent members of Congress, such as members of the far-left “Squad” – continue to push aggressive forms of the Green New Deal, NBC is paralleling their concerns by encouraging Americans to anonymously admit their climate change faux pas. “Even those who care deeply about the planet’s future can slip up now and then,” NBC’s “Climate Confessions” reads. “Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Do you blast the A/C? Throw out half your lunch? Grill a steak every week? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News,” it adds. Willing confessants can express their remorse in one of six categories– plastics, meat, transportation, energy, paper, and food waste. Some of the confessions appear to be genuine in nature, with many anonymous individuals expressing guilt for air travel and excessive Q-tip usage. “My sister had a lot of metal straws but I thought they were annoying so I threw them out,” one user wrote under “plastics.” “I travel often to conferences (flying). I think about the emissions + try to justify it with, ‘the plane is going there anyway,’” another user admitted. Someone else confessed that they fly on private jets and “often burn an extra 500 gallons of fuel to save 10 minutes.” “I use enough Q-tips for a family of 8. I have an addiction to them in hygiene purposes, makeup application, even cleaning,” another individual confessed. “I LOVE meat. But I love the earth more. Vegan for over 4 years now,” another bragged. However, the confessions did not just come from genuinely guilty parties. Many of the “confessions” came from individuals who openly oppose the left’s climate change agenda, and they used the platform to mocked NBC’s effort. “I would rather the whole planet burn than give up steak,” one user wrote. “Kick rocks hippies.” “’Confessions’” implies I have something to feel guilty about. I don’t. I only conserve electricity to lower my power bill,” a user explained, with another adding, “I run my AC 24/7. I’m not going to sweat to appease this climate religion.” Some users decried the left’s virtue-signaling on meat consumption, writing, “I think the climate has always been changing, and I’m not going to stop eating meat because of cult-like manipulation by the left.” “I require at least half a roll of TP when wiping,” another confessed. NBC’s project follows the left’s recent push to aggressively push a climate change agenda. On Wednesday, teen climate change activists – including Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin – appeared before a joint hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and decried the U.S. for not doing enough to combat what they say is the looming threat of a climate catastrophe. “Solving the climate crisis goes against everything that our country was unfortunately built on — colonialism, slavery, and natural resource extraction. This is why the youth are calling for a new era altogether,” Margolin, a Seattle native, told lawmakers. She also declared that her generation should no longer be known as “Generation Z,” replacing it with “Generation GND.” “It is right here, testifying before you, that I am proud to announce the history is being made,” she declared. “You’ve heard of the Reagan era, the New Deal era. Well, youth are bringing about the era of the Green New Deal.” MSNBC is expected to host a two-day climate change forum at Georgetown University with Democrat presidential candidates, although Joe Biden (D), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Beto O’Rourke (D) are expected to skip the event.

If that about made you vomit, you’re not alone.  You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  And, NBC and MSNBC still don’t get why Trump and others refer to them as “fake news.”  This is beyond crazy..  Think I’ll grill a steak tonight, and use a Q-tip or two for something…  Unreal..

Google’s decision to work with China, not US, ‘unprecedented’: Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel Opens a New Window. said on Sunday that his calls for the U.S. government Opens a New Window. to investigate Google Opens a New Window. are in an effort to see if there is any “foreign infiltration” at the tech Opens a New Window. giant. Thiel, a conservative who is an outlier among his peers in Silicon Valley, originally called for the federal investigation in mid-July at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., accusing Google of working with China Opens a New Window. but not the U.S. government. The billionaire, who also sits on the board at Facebook, said Sunday that regardless of whether an American firm works with a civilian company in China, all technology is passed along to the communist nation’s military. “It’s not like the U.S., where you have different companies and different people and you have a government sector and a private sector and these things don’t always coordinate or work together,” Thiel told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “In China, these things are still tightly coordinated across the board.” In particular, Thiel said he is most concerned about Google’s sharing of its artificial intelligence called “DeepMind,” what he deems the tech firm’s “crown jewel.” DeepMind was founded in 2010 and purchased by Google four years later. The search giant opened its AI research lab in China, the same year that the nation amended its constitution to include a mandate that requires all research done inside the country to be shared with its armed forces (the People’s Liberation Army). “I think it is unprecedented in the last 100 years, or ever, that a major U.S. company refused to work with U.S. military and has worked with our geopolitical rival,” he said. “So this is not a liberal-conservative thing … this is absolutely unprecedented.” While Thiel stopped short of calling the company’s alleged links to China treasonous (though he has previously used the term regarding the same matter), he described the company’s self-image as “globalist,” “post-national” and “cosmopolitan,” adding that he believes “more that it’s incredibly insular.” The billionaire noted the first step toward making change is to talk about the issue. “This is an open secret in Silicon Valley,” Thiel said. “A lot of people think this is like kind of crazy what Google’s doing … And I sort of feel like I’m the little kid saying ‘the emperor has no clothes.’ It’s the secret hidden in plain sight.” A Google spokesperson called Thiel’s allegations “baseless” and said the company does not work with the Chinese military. “Our AI work in China is limited, with a small number of people working on global open source and education-related activities,” the spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “We are proud to continue our long history of work with the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas including cybersecurity, recruiting and healthcare.” Thiel’s original comments also gained the attention of President Trump (whom Thiel supports), who said he will recommend various federal agencies, and possibly the Department of Justice, “take a look” into Google. “It’s a big statement when you say that Google is involved with China in not a very positive way for our country,” Trump, who referred to Thiel as a friend, told reporters at the White House. “So I think we’ll all look at that. I know that our other agencies will be looking at it and we’ll see if there’s any truth to it.”

And, we of course will keep on this developing story.  If Peter’s accusations are correct, then shame on Google.   That indeed would be treasonous.  We urge the Trump Administration to take a serious look into this, and then report back to we-the-people.  We need to know if Google is selling us out to the communist Chinese government and its military.

Swedes are getting implants in their hands to replace cash, credit cards

Thousands of people in Sweden are having futuristic microchips implanted into their skin to carry out everyday activities and replace credit cards and cash. More than 4,000 people have already had the sci-fi-ish chips, about the size of a grain of rice, inserted into their hands — with the pioneers predicting millions will soon join them as they hope to take it global. “It’s very ‘Black Mirror,’” Swedish scientist Ben Libberton told The Post of the similarity to the TV series highlighting futuristic scenarios. Like glorified smartwatches, the chips help Swedes monitor their health and even replace keycards to allow them to enter offices and buildings. They have particularly caught on, however, by enabling owners to pay in stores with a simple swipe of the hand, a big deal in a forward-looking country that is moving toward eliminating cash. The microchips were pioneered by former body piercer Jowan Österlund, who calls the technology a “moonshot” — and who told Fortune magazine that he’s been hit up by hopeful investors “on every continent except Antarctica.” “Tech will move into the body,” the Biohax International founder told the mag. “I am sure of that.” Österlund insists the technology is safe — but that has not stopped alarm bells from ringing, with some fearing a link to a doubling in cybercrime in the country over the last decade. Libberton, a British scientist based in Sweden, praised the “definitely exciting” potential health benefits of accurate health metrics taken from inside the body. “Think if the Apple Watch could measure things like blood glucose,” he told The Post. But he also fears the mass of highly personalized data and how it could be used. “The problem is, who owns this data?” he asked. “Do I get a letter from my insurance company saying premiums are going up before I know I’m ill? If I use the chip to buy lunch, go to the gym and go to work, will someone have all of this info about me? Is this stored and is it safe?” Libberton added, “It’s not just about the chip, but integration with other systems and data sharing.” And he fears Swedes are not giving enough thought to the potential dangers. “People have shown they’re happy to give up privacy for convenience,” he said. “The chip is very convenient, so could we accept our data being shared very widely before we know the risks?” The trend coincides with Sweden’s march toward going cashless, with notes and coins making up just 1 percent of Sweden’s economy. At the same time, the country has seen a dramatic decrease in some crimes — with just two bank robberies last year compared to 110 in 2008.

Look for this to come to America at some point..  But, hopefully not anytime soon.  Don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of this on oh so many levels.  There are the security and privacy concerns.  But, also..  How about big brother?!?  Way too many risks.  I guess let the Swedes be the guinea pig on this one for now..

Pentagon eyes expanding DARPA future warfare research office

The U.S. Department of Defense is close to expanding its legendary future warfare and technology agency DARPA by combining it with the Pentagon office in charge of adapting existing weapons to new uses, people familiar with the plans said. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would absorb the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) and centralize more research units under the Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Griffin. The combination would end an experiment with SCO that began as an attempt to adapt to future threats quickly and with less bureaucracy. SCO reported directly to the defense secretary, removing it from traditional bureaucratic channels at the Pentagon. If all of SCO’s $1.3 billion 2020 budget request were transferred to DARPA, DARPA would gain control over 37 percent more funding on top of its 2020 funding request of $3.5 billion. The SCO is charged with developing unexpected and game-changing capabilities to counter emerging threats. The SCO has looked into projects like swarming small drones and transforming the Raytheon Co-made Standard Missile 6, a defensive weapon, into an offensive weapon. Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, initiatives including hypersonic weapons, lasers and space-based projects. Last year, Congress asked the Pentagon to explore how it could shut down the SCO or transfer its functions to another entity. On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee rolled out its proposals for a $750 billion 2020 defense budget.

STUDY: The CNN Search Engine — Google Search Results Overwhelmingly Favor Mainstream Media

According to data compiled by Northwestern University, Google search results overwhelmingly favor CNN compared to other news sources, followed by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Of the top 20 news sources promoted by Google in its “top stories”, the top results on its News Search feature, just one was somewhat right-wing, Fox News. But Fox accounted for just three percent of the stories that appeared in “top stories,” compared to 10.9 percent for CNN, 6.5 percent for the New York Times, and 5.6 percent for the Washington Post. Other mainstream or left-wing media sources which represented the top 20 sources include ABC, CBS, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, BBC, The Verge, Al Jazeera, Politico, and the LA Times. 86 percent of all results in Google’s “top stories” came from the top 20. Of those, all but the three percent of Fox results came from left-wing or establishment news sources. Even mainstream media sources with a reputation for a right-of-center editorial line, like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post do not appear in the top 20.

Gee..  What a shocker.  Soo..  To be VERY clear..  If you Google anything, the top 20 results you’ll get will be links to sources from the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  And to think Dems in the House and in the Senate have actually been suggesting that “big tech” is in bed with Republicans.  This study more than suggests it’s just the exact opposite.  And, keep in mind, Northwester University near Chicago is not exactly a bastion of conservatism.  For more, click on the text above.