California lawmakers introduced a bill that would limit how manufacturers of smart speakers and digital assistants collect recordings.The Anti-Eavesdropping Act, which cleared its first committee this week, prohibits saving, storing, or sharing of audio recordings without explicit consent from the user.“Recent revelations about how certain companies have staff that listen in to private conversations via connected smart speakers further shows why this bill is necessary to protect privacy in the home,” Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), the bill’s author, said in a statement published by The Mercury News.Bloomberg last month shocked no one with the news that thousands of Amazon employees around the world listen in on Echo owners’ conversations (allegedly to improve the technology).More troubling is the fact that workers can also access location information of Alexa users and look up their home or office address.The California bill—introduced in February by Cunningham—defines “smart speaker devices” as a wireless speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant “that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation.”Should the legislation pass, it would severely handicap services like Amazon’s Alexa, Siri from Apple, and Google Assistant (among a handful of others).“We’re monitoring this developing legislation,” a Google spokeswoman told Geek in an emailed statement. “That said, we believe that the combination of strong and balanced regulations, with products that are designed with privacy in mind, will help provide individuals with confidence that they’re in control of their personal information.”As Digital Trends pointed out, California is not the first state to try to limit digital eavesdropping: Illinois previously attempted to pass a similar law, which Google and Amazon lobbied against.More on Geek.com:Stop Ignoring Your Smart Speaker’s Privacy FunctionsUK Gov’t Uses Alexa, Google Assistant to Dispense InfoAmazon Accidentally Sent 1,700 Alexa Recordings to a Random Person9 Times Your Smart Speaker Got WeirdEditor’s note: This article was updated on May 7 with comment from Google. Easily Assign Tasks With Google AssistantGoogle Defends Letting Humans Listen to Virtual Assistant Queries Stay on target
Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Paige to undergo a second neck surgery, pulled from SummerSlam weekend appearances Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Courtesy of WWE.com:2K confirmed today that WWE 2K15 will offer downloadable content this year, including a Season Pass program. The Season Pass program will be focused on additions for 2K Showcase, the game’s story-driven single-player campaign. In addition, those who purchase the Season Pass will get exclusive access to WWE Diva Paige.More information on the comprehensive DLC and Season Pass program, including content details, pricing and timing, will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on WWE 2K15, visit WWE.com, WWE.2K.com, Twitter and Facebook.WWE 2K15 is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. WWE 2K15 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on Oct. 28, 2014, in North America and Oct. 31, 2014, internationally. In addition, releases for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are currently scheduled for release on Nov. 18, 2014, in North America and Nov. 21, 2014, internationally.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipRonda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need ItVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:37/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 87.50%0:04Remaining Time -0:33 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Facebook Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 WhatsApp Now Playing Up Next Google+ Videos Articles Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Ronda Rousey Highlighting WWEs Problems Ronda Rousey Releases Mugshot After Arrest On WWE Raw Pinterest Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Paige undergoes successful neck surgery; King of the Ring semi-finals and finals locations Ronda Rousey WWE Live returns to Australia this October, Tickets will be available May 28
Facebook Jared Leto Google+ Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Whats On Deck For March: Celtics, Bruins Stretch Runs Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair Hospitalized WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is expected to make an appearance on tonight’s 10/13 WWE RAW live from Atlanta, Georgia tonight according to a report. Flair stated publicly on Bruce Hart’s radio show that he would be attending the taping.Source: The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four OnlineRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair HospitalizedVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:45/Current Time 0:01Loaded: 100.00%0:01Remaining Time -0:44 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Cesaro announces that he will make an appearance at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff Pinterest Twitter Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Jim Cornette will be color commentator for brand new NWA studio wrestling series Now Playing Up Next Ric Flair Ric Flair Opens Up About 2017 Health Scare Videos Articles NWA President Billy Corgan announces their first television tapings from Atlanta
Now Playing Up Next Pinterest Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Velvet Sky WhatsApp Twitter Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Facebook Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns is in Remission WWE RAW Ratings: Viewership sees a 15% drop against the return of Monday Night Football Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Videos Articles WWE Smackdown Ratings: Viewership stays over 2 million, WWE stays No. 1 on Tuesday Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ The 10/10 WWE Smackdown on Syfy drew a 1.94 cable rating with 2.67 million viewers. This is down from last week’s 2.02 cable rating with 2.75 million viewers.The show finished at No. 2 for the night drawing a 0.8 among adults 18-49.Source: Prowrestling.net, TVbythenumbers.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipBully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On TwitterVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list WWE Smackdown Ratings: Viewership goes up, WWE remains at the No. 1 spot on Tuesday Now Playing Up Next
WASHINGTON — A hard-won budget and debt deal easily cleared the Senate on Thursday, powered by President Donald Trump’s endorsement and a bipartisan drive to cement recent spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies.The legislation passed by a 67-28 vote as Trump and his GOP allies relied on lots of Democratic votes to propel it over the finish line.Passage marked a drama-free solution to a worrisome set of looming Washington deadlines as both allies and adversaries of the president set aside ideology in exchange for relative fiscal peace and stability. The measure, which Trump has promised to sign, would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all its bills and would set an overall $1.37 trillion limit on agency budgets approved by Congress annually.It does nothing to stem the government’s spiraling debt and the return of $1 trillion-plus deficits but it also takes away the prospect of a government shutdown in October or the threat of deep automatic spending cuts .The administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., played strong hands in the talks that sealed the agreement last week, producing a pragmatic measure that had much for lawmakers to dislike.
What kind of weather is headed our way this weekend? Check out our local weather coverage.Here are some of the top stories of the week:Nineteen-year-old sentenced to 6 1/2 years for drug robbery turned deadlyA 19-year-old man was sentenced Monday morning in Clark County Superior Court to 6½ years in prison for the death of another teenager during a 2017 drug robbery gone wrong.Judge Scott Collier imposed the prosecution’s recommended sentence of 78 months on a charge of first-degree manslaughter against Jaycob Trotter. The sentencing range is actually 95 to 125 months, but Trotter’s sentence was reduced because the court took into account his youth at the time of the crime.16-year-old Cesar D. Ortiz-Velasco was killedDriver, motorcyclist killed in east Vancouver crash identifiedThe Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the two people killed in a crash Friday night in east Vancouver.Renee L. Unell, 50, of Camas died of multiple blunt-force injuries while driving a 2005 BMW X5 that was struck by two motorcycles. One of the motorcyclists, Matthew L. Stevens, 23, of Vancouver died from similar injuries, according to a medical examiner’s office news release. Their deaths were ruled accidental.
OLYMPIA — Washington’s Supreme Court has unanimously rejected three challenges brought against the state’s three strikes law.The law requires automatic sentences of life in prison without parole the third time someone is convicted of a “most serious offense.”The court has repeatedly upheld the law in the past, but in the most recent challenges, defendants said it was unconstitutional to sentence them to life without release when at least one of their crimes was committed when they were young adults — 19 or 20 years old.The justices said in their ruling Thursday they recognize that science now shows that people’s brains continue to develop into their mid-20s. But, they said, concerns about sentencing young people do not apply to adults who continue to commit serious crimes after their brains have fully developed.
An unconscious driver was taken to the hospital following an early morning head-on crash in Battle Ground.Police, firefighters and medics were dispatched at 6:21 a.m. to the intersection of Southeast Eaton Boulevard and Grace Avenue for a report of a crash with injuries.Initial details indicated that injuries had resulted from a head-on wreck, according to Battle Ground police spokeswoman Bonnie Gilberti.Responders found one driver unconscious at the scene. The unidentified driver was taken to a hospital for treatment, Gilberti said. Two vehicles were towed from the scene, she said.A power pole apparently was also struck, prompting an exposed wires report. Gilberti said Clark Public Utilities was advised about the damage.More details about what happened, the names of the people involved and any potential citations were not immediately available.
MondayLabor Day.TuesdayClark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners, utility office, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way.• 9 a.m., regular meeting: consider contract award for residential revenue meters; consider establishing four local utility districts; July financial report; July wholesale operations report; commissioner and staff reports.Clark College Board of Trustees, President’s Conference Room, Baird Room 102, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.• 3 p.m., executive session: evaluation of complaints or charges brought against a public employee.Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council Board of Directors, sixth-floor training room, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.• 4 p.m., regular meeting: accept evaluation and ranking of federal grant submittals as recommended by the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee; presentation from Mid-Columbia Economic Development District; legislative affairs update; project showcase of city of Vancouver’s Evergreen Highway Trail, Weber Arboretum to Southeast Ellsworth Road; review and update Metropolitan Planning Agreement for ongoing agency consultation and working relationships in implementing federal transportation planning requirements.Camas City Council, City Hall, 616 N.E. Fourth Ave.• 4:30 p.m., workshop: presentation of conceptual land use diagram for Camas Crossing, annex building renovations.• 7 p.m., regular meeting: Constitution Week and Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month proclamations.Port of Camas-Washougal Board of Commissioners, port offices, 24 S. A St., Washougal.• 5 p.m., regular meeting: waterfront development discussion; approve meeting calendar revision; approve Washington State Department of Natural Resources contract; CEO, staff and commissioner reportsClark County Council, Public Service Center sixth floor hearing room, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.• 6 p.m., meeting: interlocal agreements, grant application, Department of Transportation agreement, public hearing on school capital facility plans.Battle Ground City Council, City Hall, 109 S.W. First St.• 6 p.m., executive session: performance of public employee.• 7 p.m., regular meeting: land divisions, surplus property.Woodland City Council, Council Chambers, 200 E. Scott Ave.• 7 p.m., regular meeting: dog run park impact fees allocation. n workshop on extension of city utilities outside of city limits to follow.Yacolt Town Council, Town Hall, 202 W. Cushman St.• 7 p.m., regular meeting: Senate House bill update, approve resolution repealing North Country Emergency Services November levy.WednesdayClark County Council, Public Service Center sixth floor training room, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.• 9 a.m., work session: 2018 Audited Financials Overview.• 10:30 a.m., work session recommendation of the Correction Facility Advisory Commission.Clark County Council, Public Service Center Room 698, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.• 1 p.m., council time.Clark County Historic Preservation Commission, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., sixth floor, Vancouver.• 6 p.m., meeting: Vancouver heritage overlay, historic promotion grant committee, demolition updates, rules and procedures, register of historic places commission review.
Marlene and Jim Hulett were never big wine drinkers, but that’s changed the last five or so years.“We’re becoming wine snobs now,” Marlene Hulett of Vancouver said.Part of the reason for that is Clark County’s growing wine scene, which is on display this weekend during the Southwest Washington Winery Association’s Labor Day Weekend Wine Tour. This weekend, 16 vineyards and tasting rooms are participating in the tour, which has been around for at least four years. Different stops offer different drinks, and some even celebrate with live music.The Huletts stopped into English Estate Winery Sunday afternoon to have their passport stamped. Visitors who stopped in at five or more wineries and had their passports stamped are going to be entered in a drawing for prizes.English Estate was the fourth stop of the weekend for the Huletts, although not a new one. That’s one of their regular spots. On Saturday, they visited three wineries, including SuLei Cellars, a new tasting room that opened downtown earlier this year. The tasting room comes to Vancouver from a vineyard in Walla Walla.“It’s nice to see Walla Walla wines moving in over here,” Jim Hulett said.Chris Bean, the tasting room associate at SuLei, said it was a busier Saturday than normal in the tasting room this weekend with the tour.“We had a pretty steady stream all day until about 7 at night,” Bean said.He said the tasting room has done well in Vancouver so far thanks to word of mouth and people walking around the downtown.“The downtown area is exploding,” he said. “We’re starting to see people from Portland over here. The wine scene is growing.”Andrew Starr agrees. He’s the tasting room manager for one of the stalwarts of the Clark County wine scene: English Estate Winery, which opened in 2001 on farmland that dates back to 1903, according to Starr.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://patricktimm.com. Today, we will see moisture as a low-pressure system south of us brings some clouds, humid and warm conditions, and a risk of thunderstorms and rain showers. It will feel like the middle of August rather than early September.September gets into the act by the weekend with more clouds and less humidity, and we have a chance of rain showers Saturday through Wednesday. Yes, I mentioned here earlier that we transition from one season to another slowly. I see high pressure and warmer temperatures about midweek next week.I’m glad the upper 80s and near 90-degree highs didn’t materialize Tuesday or Wednesday, but with a strong southerly flow of air today, temperatures will rise into the upper 80s. The coming cloudiness and moisture could push some locales up to 90, but I have my doubts.At 5 p.m. Wednesday, highs were pleasant across Western Washington, with 70 degrees along the coast and 80 degrees up and down the Interstate 5 corridor. Our average high is 79 degrees, but as the days go on, that drops at a good clip after midmonth. The average low is 54 degrees. One reason our mean temperature is as warm as it is, like the past several months, is because our overnight lows have been in the 60s most of the time. Wednesday’s early morning low was 63 degrees. Just think, next month we will probably see many days with highs in the low 60s with rainfall.It won’t be long before some folks in the colder outlying areas get their first frost, usually by the end of this month.
Chris Johnson, a certified R.A.D. women’s self defense course instructor, will conduct the course with a focus on awareness and prevention, moving on to basic hands-on self defense. Audio PlayerJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-1.mp3VmJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-1.mp300:00RPdJohnson: “This class it focus’s on awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and how to avoid getting in theses situations and then it leads on to a basic hands on self defense. It starts using all our personal weapons that we have with us, our voice, our hands, our knees, our elbows, our feet to protect yourself. But the biggest thing is, people learn they get this voice, they have a voice on what is happening with themselves.” Audio PlayerJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-3.mp3VmJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-3.mp300:00RPdJohnson: “My background is in law enforcement. I’ve been a law enforcement defensive tactic or control tactics instructor for over 25 year. I felt one thing I could bring to this, is my background is in self defense for law enforcement officers. Is bringing out to help these young ladies empower themselves and protect themselves.” The R.A.D. Systems of Self Defense offers programs for women, children, men and seniors. These offerings provide a truly holistic approach to self defense education, supporting the necessity of continuous learning in order to provide realistic options for each population as they go through life. Audio PlayerJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-2.mp3VmJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-2.mp300:00RPdJohnson: “Class starts with some class discussion and down time talking about setting up the basic’s for the class. But then we move in, we actually do physical activities starting with the basics of self defense. Proper stance, using different strikes, if your trapt on the ground, how to get up total gamut of different basic techniques on how to protect yourself. Johnson’s background in law enforcement lead him to the R.A.D. program. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Area women will be offered an opportunity to attend a R.A.D. Systems of Self Defense course on the Kenai Peninsula with classes beginning on April 2nd. The R.A.D. self defense course begins April 2nd and runs Mondays and Fridays for four weeks. Audio PlayerJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-4.mp3VmJOHNSON-ON-R.A.D.-CLIP-4.mp300:00RPdJohnson: “I have 12 spaces open, the cost is $50. It will be running April 2nd on Mondays and Fridays from 7-9, for 4 weeks. The great thing about this program, is once you have been through the class you can come back and retake the class for free, as long as you bring your manual that is signed. And anywhere across the country where they have a R.A.D. program. You can call Tides Yoga Studio at 907-252-9840 or you can go online to Facebook and search for Tides Yoga Studio and you can sign up online.”
For the third time in the last seven weeks, vandals have pushed over dozens of headstones in Sitka’s Russian Orthodox Cemetery. Sitka Police are investigating. The first incident, pictured here, took place the weekend of September 12th. (Photo courtesy of Bob Sam)In Sitka, a 200-year old cemetery was severely vandalized by an unknown party this weekend. This is the third time the Russian Orthodox Cemetery was targeted in the past two months. In this most recent incident, one or more individuals knocked over 25 headstones.Lance Ewers, the Sitka Police Lieutenant who has been working on the case since the first report in September, is at a loss for words. “I cannot wrap my mind around why somebody would be compelled to tip over a tombstone repeatedly. Over and over. On many occasions. It’s sickening,” he said.Alaska State Law designates cemetery desecration a Class C felony.Bob Sam, who has spent the last 30 years restoring the cemetery, declined to comment at this time. Sam reported the first two vandalisms to the police on September 13th and September 22nd. Both times, cadets from the Public Safety Training Academy volunteered to set the headstones upright within 48 hours. At the time, Sam told KCAW he was very touched by their actions.With this most recent attack, Ewers estimates that one-third of the toppled tombstones are now permanently damaged to the tune of several thousand dollars. “A number of the tombstones we put up last time were put together with rebar, or had a cross on top. [Now] the cross is broken or pulled out of the re-bar.”Ewers says the Police Department is intent on catching the vandals and wants to take steps to prevent future episodes. That includes offering a reward to those with information and setting up night vision cameras that detect motion with infrared.Cameras were set up in the aftermath of the second vandalism, to catch perpetrators in the act, but taken down by the Police Department when the footage turned up blank. Ewers regrets not keeping them up. He said, “Not only are we going to put them back up, we’re going to put them up permanently. We’re always going to be filming now. This isn’t going to happen again with nobody getting caught.”Tonight (10-26-15), a group of troopers plan to gather to restore the tombstones to standing and assess damages.
Vijayawada: “Sumadhura Kala Niketan is a cultural organisation established in the capital city 46 years ago with a desire to produce plays and also conducing comedy playlet competitions for the last 23 years,” said Samantapudi Narasaraju, president, Sumadhura Kala Niketan in a press meet held at Veledandla Hanumantharaya Grandhalayam Hall here on Thursday. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us Narasaraju said that the organisation felicitated exponents in different fields like dance, drama, music and literary. He added that K Viswanath, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, Ravi Kondalarao, Nagesh, Potti Prasad, Velu, Sakshi Ranga Rao, Ali, Murali Mohan, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, AVS, Jandhyala Papaiah Sastry, Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma, Burra Subrahmanya Sastry, Puranapanda Ranganath, Indraganti Srikatha Sarma, NR Nandi, Adivishnu, Veturi Sundara Rama Murthy, Arudra, Vempati Chinasatyam and others were felicitated by Sumadhura during these 45 years of journey. Also Read – AP Cabinet to meet on September 4 Advertise With Us Dr MC Das said that Goparaju Ramana, Surabhi Jamuna Rayalu and Maganti Benarji were nominated for Kabirdas, Radha Kumari and Jandhyala memorial awards respectively this year. These awards will be presented to them on July 26, 27 and 28 at Sidhartha auditorium. Dr N Murali Krishna, the Parishad chairman said eight playlets were scheduled for staging on these three days and released the brochure. He said that about 30 entries were received and the judges panel selected eight playlets namely “Pagale Vennela”, “Prasannaku Premato”, “Alito Saradaga”, “Swamy Kalyanam”, “America Alludu”, “Atakekkindi”, “Kalahala Kapuram” and “Maro Singaraju Lingaraju” which will be staged during the three days. He also thanked the Sidhartha Academy for their helping hand in conducting the parishad successfully. PV Bhaskara Sarma, general secretary, P Suryanarayana Murthy, organising secretary and other committee members were also present.
Bill Gates.ReutersBillionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has joined the ranks of those who believe the market for bitcoin is not a “good thing.”The world’s second richest man on Tuesday focused on the downsides of Bitcoin and its peers, a significant shift from its previous stance in 2014, when he was quoted as saying that Bitcoin is “better than currency”.Gates criticized cryptocurrencies for their anonymity, a feature that allows currency holders to keep their identity discrete and thereby making it easier for illegal transactions to go unnoticed.”The main feature of cryptocurrencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing,” he said during an “ask me anything” discussion on the social media platform Reddit.He also railed against cryptocurrencies for anonymous payments that help illegal drug trade deals.”The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”Fentanyl, also known as fentanil, is an opioid which is used as a pain medication and together with other medications for anesthesia. It is a depressant drug, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and body.Gates added: “Yes – anonymous cash is used for these kinds of things but you have to be physically present to transfer it which makes things like kidnapping payments more difficult.”According to Gates, cryptocurrencies have made it easier to profit from certain types of crime as its easier to collect ransom without revealing one’s identity.The price of Bitcoin rose about 3.5 percent on Tuesday to $10,600.
A man carries a wounded person to the hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on August 19, 2019.ReutersA series of bombings struck restaurants and public squares on Monday in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, wounding at least 34 people, officials said, as the country marked the 100th anniversary of its independence.No group claimed responsibility for the 10 bombs but both Islamic State (IS) and the Taliban militants operate in the area.IS claimed responsibility for a weekend bomb attack on a wedding reception in the capital, Kabul, in which 63 people were killed and nearly 200 wounded.The Jalalabad bombs were planted near a market where hundreds of people had congregated after attending Independence Day events. Senior health official Fahim Bashari said at least 34 people were wounded.President Ashraf Ghani, in an Independence Day address in Kabul, called on the international community to stand with Afghanistan to eradicate the militants’ “nests”.”Our fight against the Daesh will continue,” he said, referring to IS.”The Taliban have laid the foundation for such brutal killings.”Ghani did not refer in his speech to negotiations between the United States and the Taliban on a deal by which US troops can withdraw in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.The United States also wants a Taliban commitment on power-sharing talks with Ghani’s government and a ceasefire. The Taliban have refused to talk to the government.But there are concerns among Afghan officials and US national security aides about a US withdrawal, with fears Afghanistan could be plunged into a new civil war that could herald a return of Taliban rule and international militants, including Islamic State, finding a refuge.US President Donald Trump is hoping to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan before the 2020 presidential election.Trump on Sunday called the Kabul bomb attack horrible and expressed optimism about the talks.He said the United States would seek to get troop levels below 13,000 but leave “very significant” intelligence capabilities behind.The US troops in Afghanistan train and advise Afghan security forces and conduct counterinsurgency operations.The Taliban said in an Independence Day statement they were looking forward to the departure of all foreign forces.”The day approaches closer when these invaders shall completely leave our country, akin to the British and Soviets before them,” they said.While never part of the British empire, Afghanistan gained complete independence from Britain on Aug. 19, 1919.Independence Day ceremonies in Kabul were curtailed out of respect for those who died in the Saturday night bomb, the government said.
The Patriots are headed to their 8th Super Bowl under Bill Belichick after a comeback win over the Jags, and it’s clear the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation for winning the AFC Championship doesn’t really do much for The Genius anymore.When Robert Kraft passed off the trophy to Belichick, he had the same reaction as someone who gets socks for Christmas. He only held on to it for a tenth of a second before passing it off on someone else. No take backs.Throw it in the pile out back with all the others. There’s more work yet to do. On to Minneapolis.
With 200X the range of Wi-Fi at 1/1000th of the cost of a cellular modem, Helium’s “LongFi” wireless network debuts today. Its transmitters can help track stolen scooters, find missing dogs via IoT collars and collect data from infrastructure sensors. The catch is that Helium’s tiny, extremely low-power, low-data transmission chips rely on connecting to P2P Helium Hotspots people can now buy for $495. Operating those hotspots earns owners a cryptocurrency token Helium promises will be valuable in the future…The potential of a new wireless standard has allowed Helium to raise $51 million over the past few years from GV, Khosla Ventures and Marc Benioff, including a new $15 million Series C round co-led by Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital. That’s in part because one of Helium’s co-founders is Napster inventor Shawn Fanning. Investors are betting that he can change the tech world again, this time with a wireless protocol that like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth before it could unlock unique business opportunities.Helium already has some big partners lined up, including Lime, which will test it for tracking its lost and stolen scooters and bikes when they’re brought indoors, obscuring other connectivity, or their battery is pulled, out deactivating GPS. “It’s an ultra low-cost version of a LoJack” Helium CEO Amir Haleem says.InvisiLeash will partner with it to build more trackable pet collars. Agulus will pull data from irrigation valves and pumps for its agriculture tech business. Nestle will track when it’s time to refill water in its ReadyRefresh coolers at offices, and Stay Alfred will use it to track occupancy status and air quality in buildings. Haleem also imagines the tech being useful for tracking wildfires or radiation.Haleem met Fanning playing video games in the 2000s. They teamed up with Fanning and Sproutling baby monitor (sold to Mattel) founder Chris Bruce in 2013 to start work on Helium. They foresaw a version of Tile’s trackers that could function anywhere while replacing expensive cell connections for devices that don’t need high bandwith. Helium’s 5 kilobit per second connections will compete with SigFox, another lower-power IoT protocol, though Haleem claims its more centralized infrastructure costs are prohibitive. It’s also facing off against Nodle, which piggybacks on devices’ Bluetooth hardware. Lucky for Helium, on-demand rental bikes and scooters that are perfect for its network have reached mainstream popularity just as Helium launches six years after its start.Helium says it already pre-sold 80% of its Helium Hotspots for its first market in Austin, Texas. People connect them to their Wi-Fi and put it in their window so the devices can pull in data from Helium’s IoT sensors over its open-source LongFi protocol. The hotspots then encrypt and send the data to the company’s cloud that clients can plug into to track and collect info from their devices. The Helium Hotspots only require as much energy as a 12-watt LED light bulb to run, but that $495 price tag is steep. The lack of a concrete return on investment could deter later adopters from buying the expensive device.Only 150-200 hotspots are necessary to blanket a city in connectivity, Haleem tells me. But because they need to be distributed across the landscape, so a client can’t just fill their warehouse with the hotspots, and the upfront price is expensive for individuals, Helium might need to sign up some retail chains as partners for deployment. As Haleem admits, “The hard part is the education.” Making hotspot buyers understand the potential (and risks) while demonstrating the opportunities for clients will require a ton of outreach and slick marketing.Without enough Helium Hotspots, the Helium network won’t function. That means this startup will have to simultaneously win at telecom technology, enterprise sales and cryptocurrency for the network to pan out. As if one of those wasn’t hard enough.
Bajo fuertes medidas de seguridad, la exvicepresidenta Roxana Baldetti fue trasladada a Matamoros. pic.twitter.com/5nqKpvBKXj— Nuestro Diario (@NuestroDiario) August 26, 2015 Prosecutors had told the court that Baldetti allegedly received half of the bribes paid by corrupt businesses in exchange for lower import duties, for a total of $3.8 million between May 2014 and April 2015.One key piece of evidence presented in court was a wiretap recording in which Pérez Molina allegedly rebukes the former head of Guatemala’s Tax Administration, Carlos Muñoz, for taking too long to replace the agency’s director of human resources. Muñoz was one of the top government officials arrested when the customs fraud scandal first made headlines on April 16.According to prosecutors, the director of human resources played a key role in controlling customs offices and facilitating the network’s operations, and was placed at Pérez Molina’s behest.“The human resources guy, we had already talked about the changes, otherwise nothing will work. The labor union says it’s going to start a boycott, so before that happens, … let’s get this done,” Pérez Molina is heard saying on the recordings played in court.“Appoint that Sebastián guy, … but do it now, tomorrow,” Pérez Molina is heard saying. Muñoz replied: “I’ll do it today, Mr. President.”Watch former Vice President Baldetti react as the recorded conversations are played in court: The Lord’s PrayerThroughout the proceedings, Baldetti took notes, and when cameras zoomed in on her notebook, it appeared she had written the Lord’s Prayer several times. Baldetti has been known for her histrionics, such as allegedly pretending to fall down a set of stairs after a previous court hearing and checking into a private hospital after purportedly suffering from a gastrointestinal infection – a gesture that was met with widespread scorn and derision on social media. According to prosecutors, the individual that Pérez Molina refers to as “Sebastián,” and whose appointment he insisted on, is Sebastián Herrera Carrera, arrested along with Muñoz for his alleged involvement in “La Línea.”Baldetti, 53, who wore a dark blue suit and black-rimmed spectacles, appeared shocked to hear Pérez Molina’s voice when the recording was played.Her defense attorney argued that none of the recordings played during the hearing specifically mentioned the former vice president. He also questioned why some of the individuals mentioned in the recordings – such as the former head of the Tax Administration, Claudia Méndez – had not been charged. He claimed the allegations against Baldetti are “politically motivated.” Her decision to cooperate with U.S. authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence has led to rumors that she provided evidence against her former allies, including high-level Guatemalan politicians and members of the business elite.During an interview with the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre in May 2014, Chacón claimed she met with Baldetti – which the former vice president denied – fueling rumors that U.S. prosecutors could have evidence to prosecute Baldetti on money laundering charges, as reported by a number of local media outlets including El Periódico and Prensa Libre. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina is seen during a private meeting with Interior Minister Eunice Mendizabal and Vice Minister Elmer Sosa at the Interior Ministry building in Guatemala City, on June 11, 2015. Johan Ordóñez/AFPPérez Molina faces a second impeachment hearingOn the same day that evidence of the president’s alleged involvement in “La Línea” was heard in court, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that members of Congress must decide whether Pérez Molina should be stripped of his prosecutorial immunity to face corruption charges, as requested by the U.N.-funded International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).This is the second attempt to impeach Pérez Molina in the past three months. A previous attempt failed on Aug. 14 after the ruling Patriot Party and opposition Lider party reached an agreement to secure a favorable outcome for the president.On Tuesday, the president and his former associates were involved in yet another scandal after a handwritten document found in the home of Estuardo González, one of the members of “La Línea,” appeared to show that several former Cabinet ministers allegedly contributed large sums of money towards the purchase of a $3.1 million helicopter gifted to Pérez Molina. Those associates include former Minister of Energy and Mining Erick Archila, former Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla and former Communications Minister Alejandro Sinibaldi.Archila, López Bonilla and Sinibaldi resigned soon after the “La Línea” scandal broke. Sinibaldi quit as the Patriot Party’s presidential candidate in upcoming elections, throwing the party into a state of disarray.This past weekend, seven more Cabinet ministers resigned. The exodus continued on Monday as Finance Minister Dorval Carías, Infrastructure Minister Víctor Corado and Guatemala’s ambassador to the U.N., Fernando Carrera, added their names to the list of public officials who have fled Pérez Molina’s sinking administration.Read all our coverage of Guatemala’s presidential crisis here Facebook Comments GUATEMALA CITY – Former Vice President Roxana Baldetti was formally charged with illicit association, customs fraud and bribery on Tuesday, just daysafter she was arrested for allegedly helping mastermind a massive customs fraud network known as “La Línea” in tandem with Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina.On Wednesday, a judge sentenced her to three months preventive detention and ordered her to be transferred in three days to the Santa Teresa women’s prison in Guatemala City’s Zone 18. Juez ordena prisión preventiva para Roxana Baldetti. Da plazo de 3 días a Sistema Penitenciario para realizar traslado a cárcel Santa Teresa— Organismo Judicial (@OJGuatemala) August 26, 2015 The fact that Baldetti was not handcuffed as she was arrested, and then was sent to the Matamoros military prison in Guatemala City, which has been specially fitted to accommodate other high-profile prisoners, also provoked ire.After she was formally charged by Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, Baldetti breathed heavily, blinked repeatedly and appeared to be on the verge of tears.Will the US request Baldetti’s extradition?Since Baldetti was forced to step down on May 8, she was banned from traveling, her assets, as well as those of her husband, have been frozen, and her U.S. visa has been revoked.In recent weeks, rumors that the U.S. is preparing to demand her extradition to face money-laundering charges there also have intensified.On May 5, Judge José Martínez of the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida sentenced notorious money launderer Marllory Chacón Rosell, known as “La Reina del Sur” (“The Queen of the South,” after the protagonist of a novel by Spanish author Arturo Pérez Reverte about a female drug kingpin) to an undisclosed prison term. The sentencing was placed under seal for five years, due to the sensitivity of the case.Chacón, who ran a drug trafficking organization in Guatemala that also operated in Panama and Honduras and supplied thousands of kilograms of cocaine per month to Mexican drug cartels, was identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as Guatemala’s “most active money launderer.” LO ÚLTIMO | Capturada ex vicepresidenta Roxana #Baldetti, sindicada por ters delitos ► http://t.co/WoUyK49Fz6 pic.twitter.com/s5Jq8B2v6S— Prensa Libre (@prensa_libre) August 21, 2015 Sentencian en EU a la narcotraficante guatemalteca Marllory Chacón Rosell, mejor conocida como #LaReinaDelSur. pic.twitter.com/R04JUp19K6— EL INFORMANTE (@ElInformanteMX) May 5, 2015 Related posts:Q&A: Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú hails Guatemala’s ‘great awakening’ Guatemala’s Pérez Molina resigns after judge orders him to face corruption charges Guatemalan legislative commission recommends lifting President Pérez Molina’s immunity Guatemala’s Pérez Molina says he’s ‘calm’ as impeachment storm swirls around him
When will you be over the legal blood-alcohol limit and what happens if you are arrested?The festive season is here, but not taking care when dealing with alcohol could bring a life of regret. It is the time of socialising with friends and family, year-end functions, Christmas parties and New Year’s celebrations, and alcohol is ever present. Even moderate drinkers face the problem that one drink can possibly put them over the limit, even if they do not feel or act inebriated.This could have serious consequences such as imprisonment (up to six years), a criminal record, fines and even having your drivers licence revoked. The golden rule of drinking and driving is simple – do not! According to Gary Ronald, Head of Public Affairs for the AA (Automobile Association of South Africa), “More than 21,000 people have been arrested on our roads in the last year as a result of drinking and driving, and it has been shown that 50 per cent of people who die on our roads are over the limit.” WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1000ml, or a blood-alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml, which means 10ml of pure alcohol for an adult weighing 68kg. The human body can process only one unit of alcohol each hour. However, it is important to be aware that if you weigh less than 68kg, your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol. In layman’s terms, a unit is equal to two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5 per cent alcohol content per hour, 75ml of red or white wine with an alcohol a content of 12 to 14 per cent per hour, and whisky and brandy connoisseurs can drink up to one 25ml tot of alcohol per hour.There is also no quick-fix solution to sobering up. Drinking coffee, a litre of water, sweets with high sugar content, condensed milk or cold showers are all urban myths. Once the alcohol is in your system, your liver will need one hour to process a unit of alcohol.According to Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar, motorists should also know the following. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you will not be allowed to smoke or drink a beverage, since this might interfere with the measuring of your blood-alcohol content. It depends on the police station where you are being held when they will let you apply for bail, and being arrested on a weekend might mean you only get bail on a Monday. If you are arrested, a blood sample has to be taken within two hours of the arrest and the arresting officer must be present. You can not refuse a blood sample.The punishment meted out by the court depends on the magistrate and aggravating factors may include previous offences. “Motorists must know that this festive season there will be lots and lots of roadblocks,” stresses Minnaar. He also says they will be held in different and unusual places at all times, and asked the public to co-operate. Minnaar goes so far as to say that the public must ignore the one unit per hour rule, and rather see it as one unit per evening.“My advice is simple. If you are going to have a drink, call a cab,” says Minnaar.