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Health Care & Environment

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

01.09 Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

01.09 'It's a nightmare': Americans' health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]

01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less  Great Again]

News Media Matters

01.19 How conservative media became a “safe space”

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.19 The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?

01.19 Donald Trump Has Never Cared About Workers, and Never Will

01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]

01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]

01.19 Mueller breaks silence to dispute parts of bombshell report on Michael Cohen

01.18 “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal

01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]

01.18 The Right’s Case Against Soaking the Rich Is Dirt Poor

01.18 Trump Worsens the Border Crisis

01.18 Impeach Donald Trump

01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]

01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

Justice Matters

01.15 The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years

01.15 California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.

12.28 Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.19 The Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo is moving toward a major city. That’s not good.

01.19 Ahead of Third Annual Women's March, Group Releases Far-Reaching 'Intersectional Feminist Policy Platform'

01.17 +++ Brexit crisis: Germany and Europe react — live updates +++

01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]

01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann

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  Thinking About Gadgets

A SEMI-LUDDITE SPEAKS OUT:

Thinking About Gadgets

Are we making new technology that matters?

by Fred Cederholm

The quality of our lives does not seem to be a function of the love and dedication of our friends, neighbors, families, and pets... that is, if you swallowed the hype of the most recent edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas.

I’ve been thinking about gadgets. Actually I’ve been thinking about CES 2010, phones, drones, stereo-3D- flat screen TV, programming, BETAs/VCRs/DVDs/BlueTeeth (or is it Bluetooth’s?), PDAs, and communicating. The quality of our lives does not seem to be a function of the love and dedication of our friends, neighbors, families, and pets... that is, if you swallowed the hype of the most recent edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas. There is an old saying: “He who dies with the most toys wins!” But... wins what? Having a silver 2000 Chrysler PT Cruiser, a bright red1967 Fiat Spyder 1500, a baby blue 1964 Olds 88 Convertible, and a British Racing green 1950 MGTD roadster really meant nothing to me as I approached death last summer. I actually thought about my gadgets and stuff a lot as I a came in and out of those long induced sleeps. Generally, I have never met a tool that I didn’t like and phantasized about playing with and using. Still...I’ve rarely been at the head of the curve, but I look (and drool) a lot --- it’s a guy thing.

You see the conclusion of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas just occurred. This is the largest trade show of its kind on planet earth. Ideas are hyped, concepts are exchanged, and “shtick” is put foreword. One might assume that everything shown, hyped, and discussed is going to happen by the coming Christmas just 11 months away. It will be the next “got to have.” Despite the prototypes and mach-ups shown, fondled, and hawked; CES is where Rodeo Drive (California), meets Madison Avenue (advertising) meets Wal-Mart (where America Shops for Cheap). It is a fairy land of the “what could be” at best. That is: if and only if, there is a real perceived need, the manufacturers can get it assembled somewhere abroad on the cheap, and it comes for a price the marketers can enhance. (That each stage in the pipeline thus makes a pile of money is another significant criterion.) The 2010 show was no different from its predecessors, and yet there were far fewer “home runners” shown, hyped, discussed, and presented this time. (I was taken by the personal drone which could be remotely flown to spy on --- well... whoever/whatever you wanted to spy on. But then, too... I‘d need a different telephony unit or PDA and tons of wifi and wireless hardware and software. (Oh... never mind!)

Hi definition, flat screened, plasma TV’s were a significant part of the show. Prices had come down significantly from the original offerings. But... just what was really new? These were not the buy- a-couch-and-chair and get a free TV model. OK... the screens were thinner, but would a trendy geek scrap a 2 - 4 inch thick model for a 1 to one-and-a-half incher? Sound hasn’t improved as the High definition models with 27 positioned speakers have enhanced the home entertainment “quality of life” for a couple of years now. Home 3-D was new but would people fork over that kind of cash in this economy? Hummm... Then too, if the programming sucks, will 3-D, dualdecimalseptem sound, on a 1 inch thick screen make more people watch CSI: Creston? If it was working, don’t change it. I mean... just look at the Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien mess that NBC wants to go away before the local affiliates scrap national programming for perennial reruns of “Golden Girls, Home Improvement, or Roseanne!”

Planned obsolescence is also a big part of the CES and what we will be offered for sale. The re-streaming, re-broadcasting, and re-playing of all the “got to see” shows speaks volumes of where we have been and where we are headed. TH*NK about BETAs, VCRs, DVDs, TiVos, or the latest BlueTeeth (or is the plural BlueTooths?) which we have all experienced or owned. Time and technology marches on --- as does the unending campaign to separate US/us from our money. I am somewhat of a cheap Neanderthal in that my PDA (Personal Data Assistant) is a $.77 paper pocket notepad from Wal-Mart and a free pen from my local State Representative, Bob Pritchard. The backup system for appointments is the free calendar from my local bank which hangs in my kitchen by my fridge. Not exactly high tech, but it works very well for me --- and it has for years.

Phones, or rather multi-tasking telecommunication handhelds, are really hot now as well. These combine a phone, personal data device, internet surfer, TV, camera, telecom texting/tweeting/messaging device, and a global positioning/locating gizmo. To be hip you got to have 3G or 4G access on your service map or you don’t cut it as any viable human being. I should point out that I got my first Cell phone (only) this past August and that our first in home phone was installed in 1966. My father was mayor back then and if people wanted him bad enough, they could come to the house (which they did)!

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at asklet@rochelle.net.




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This story was published on January 11, 2010.

 

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