Tag Archives: NPR

Apr. 21, 2019 Blumbers


On April 16, 2019 Dave Davies of NPR’s Fresh Air interviewed Bill McKibben about his new book on climate change “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” Middle East and Indian inland countries are experiencing heat wave temperatures reaching 129 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks, making life dangerous or impossible. The coasts might be cooler but are experiencing more destructive storms. By 2050 humans will only be able to perform seventy percent of the work they use to do, including raising food. Drought is forcing farmers to move north as refugees and wildfires to wipe out whole towns. When it does rain, it floods more and faster. “I mean, in the end, this isn’t a fight between Republicans and Democrats or environmentalists and industry. It’s, in the end, a fight between human beings and physics. And physics is poor at compromise, doesn’t negotiate easily. We’re going to have to do what physics demands.”

Copyright 2019 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jan. 25, 2017 Awful Thawful

On Jan. 25, 2018 NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff reported “Is There A Ticking Time Bomb Under The Arctic?” Doucleff talked with Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Charles Miller, a chemist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They are worried that climate change is causing arctic permafrost to melt and release methane and carbon into the atmosphere. This could dramatically increase global warming. There is also a possibility that a bacteria or virus could thaw and infect humans.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jan. 18, 2018 Bambi Zombie

On Jan. 18, 2018 NPR’s Sam Brasch reported “Concerns Grow That Infections From ‘Zombie Deer’ Meat Can Jump To Humans” Apparently some deer are suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease similar to Mad Cow disease. Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance in Fort Collins, Colorado said “The vast majority of the time hunters find out their animal has CWD, they’re shocked, because it looked great,” he says. “It was moving just like everything else. It had great body fat.”

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Dec. 23, 2017 American Poverty

On Dec. 23, 2017 NPR’s Sasha Ingber reported “U.N. Investigator On Extreme Poverty Issues A Grim Report — On The U.S.” Philip Alston, United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights recently issued his report. Poverty exists mainly with women and children of all races. “Contrasts between the rich and poor abound. While funding for the IRS to audit wealthy taxpayers has been reduced, efforts to identify welfare fraud are being greatly intensified,” he says. The wealthy also stand to benefit from advances in technology, while robots and automation threaten to take away jobs from people in low-skill labor positions, he says.

Meanwhile, the poor may not even be able to use the Internet. Alston states that nearly half of all people living in West Virginia lack access to high speed Internet. “When I asked the governor’s office in West Virginia about efforts to expand broadband access in poor, rural communities, it could only point to a 2010 broadband expansion effort,” he says in the statement. It’s not that they don’t want it; half of the state’s counties have reportedly applied for broadband assistance. The U.N. considers the Internet to be a human right for its ability to support education, drive development and foster citizen engagement, among other things.

“In 2016, 40 million people — more than one in eight citizens — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “The reality is that the United States now has probably the lowest degree of social mobility among all the rich countries,” Alston says. “And if you are born poor, guess where you’re going to end up —- poor.”

Alston also criticized the Republican tax reform bill that just passed in Congress. He says it “stakes out America’s bid to become the most unequal society in the world.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 22, 2017 Homeless Memorial Day

On Dec. 21, 2017, NPR’s Camila Domonoske reported “Cities Across The U.S. Honor ‘Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.””They pass quietly, often out of sight, their deaths more likely an unconfirmed rumor to those who knew them on the street than the basis for a news story,””Many never get a funeral. Some of their bodies go unclaimed at the morgue.” Homeless groups across the country held vigils reading the names of the homeless people who have died over the past year.

On Feb. 17, 2015, Mother Jones reporter Scott Carrier wrote an article “The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness” about the Salt Lake City approach for the homeless. They spend $10,000 a year to house, feed and care for them. This is cheaper than spending $20,000 putting them in jail or hospital emergency rooms.

Carrier said “We could, as a country, look at the root causes of homelessness and try to fix them. One of the main causes is that a lot of people can’t afford a place to live. They don’t have enough money to pay rent, even for the cheapest dives available. Prices are rising, inventory is extremely tight, and the upshot is, as a new report by the Urban Institute finds, that there’s only 29 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. So we could create more jobs, redistribute the wealth, improve education, socialize health care, basically redesign our political and economic systems to make sure everybody can afford a roof over their heads.” Or, we could give a trillion dollar tax break to the richest one percent.
New York University psychologist Sam Tsemberis had an idea. “Okay,” Tsemberis recalls thinking, “they’re schizophrenic, alcoholic, traumatized, brain damaged. What if we don’t make them pass any tests or fill out any forms? They aren’t any good at that stuff. Inability to pass tests and fill out forms was a large part of how they ended up homeless in the first place. Why not just give them a place to live and offer them free counseling and therapy, health care, and let them decide if they want to participate? Why not treat chronically homeless people as human beings and members of our community who have a basic right to housing and health care?””We have the cure for homelessness—it’s housing. What we lack is political will.”
Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 14, 2017 Net Neutrality

On Dec. 14, 2017 NPR’s Alina Selyukh reported “FCC Repeals ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules For Internet Providers.” “U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.” The decision was supported by Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. It was opposed by Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Keep sending your messages supporting Net Neutrality to them and your elected representatives. This a First Amendment issue. Speak while you still can.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline Al rights reserved.

Dec. 11, 2017 Discrimination Against Women

On Dec. 11, 2017 NPR’s Joe Nee reported “Poll: Discrimination Against Women Is Common Across Races, Ethnicities, Identities.” An NPR survey was put together by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard Chan School. ” A majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they’ve been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 6, 2017 West Coast Homeless

On Dec. 6, 2017 NPR’s Pam Fessler reported “Homeless Population Rises, Driven By West Coast Affordable-Housing Crisis” The number of homeless people is rising on the West Coast particularly in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Diego and Sacramento. Many of them are veterans. “Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, was surprised the overall numbers weren’t better.””Roman says it’s increasingly difficult to find available units in some areas of the country to house the homeless. And she worries the problem could get worse. Housing advocates note that the Trump administration has proposed cutting low-income housing subsidies, which many people rely on to stay housed. They also believe the tax bill working its way through Congress could discourage investment in new affordable housing construction by reducing tax credits used by developers.”

Copyright 2017 J Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 4, 2017 Do It Anyway

On Dec. 4, 2017 NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro reported “In ‘Bombshell,’ The Double Identity Of Hollywood Star Hedy Lamarr.” This new documentary is about Lamarr’s careers as actor and inventor. Escaping the Nazis in the 1930s, Lamar became a Hollywood star. She also invented a frequency hopping technique used for weapons and telecommunications.

Alexandra Dean, the director of “Bombshell” said “Even if you feel that you’ve been kicked in the teeth, and the world never gave you the applause you deserved because you did something amazing and it was not recognized, do it anyway. Do it anyway because it’s in changing the world that you’ll find meaning at the end of your life. It’s in trying to make your mark. And I love that, and I think everybody should listen to that – you know, that it’s in the work, the doing, that you’ll find meaning, not in the applause.”

Do it anyway.

Copyright 2017 J Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 3, 2017 Blumbers

Moody’s Blues

On Dec. 3, 2017 NPR’s Nathan Rott reported “Credit Rating Agency Issues Warning On Climate Change To Cities.” Moody’s “One of the largest credit rating agencies in the country is warning U.S. cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded.” “In the Midwest, “impacts on agriculture are forecast to be among the most significant economic effects of climate change,” the report says. The Southwest is projected to become more vulnerable to extreme heat, drought, rising sea levels and wildfires. Rising sea levels and their effect on coastal infrastructure is the biggest forecast impact on the Northeast.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 29, 2017 Robot Origami Muscles

On Nov. 29, 2017 NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported “Robot Muscles Inspired By Origami Lift 1000 Times Their Weight” about Harvard Engineering professor Robert Wood’s and Daniela Rus, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. “The artificial muscles work by encasing in a plastic “skin” a folded origami-like “skeleton” capable of expanding and contracting. The device expands as water or air is pushed into it, and contracts as the water or air is pumped out.” This technique would be a safer, softer technology for the disabled.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 25, 2017 Uneven Sea Level Rise

On Nov. 25, 2017 NPR’s Christopher Joyce reported “The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts — Not Just How Fast” about  a new study from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Eric Larour thinks the sea level will rise more in some places like New York and Washington DC than others. “What happens is when you change the mass of the ice, the modification itself makes the wobble change, and this in turn changes the shape of the ocean on the Earth.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s William Sweet said “Right here on the Severn River, we are somewhere that’s very likely to experience 25 to 50 percent more than the global average” of sea level rise.” “The land along Louisiana’s coast is sinking, for example, as are parts of the East Coast.” “So it really matters when you start planning … ‘I’m going to be prepared for one meter of sea level rise.’ Well, you might want to be prepared for four or five feet.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 19, 2017 California Politics And Harassment

On Oct. 19, 2017 NPR’s Marisa Lago and Scott Shafer reported ” ‘Enough’: California’s Women In Politics Call Out Sexual Harassment.” Lobbyist Samantha Corbin open letter said “Often these men hold our professional fates in their hands. They are bosses, gatekeepers, and contacts. Our relationships with them are crucial to our personal success,” they wrote. “We don’t want to jeopardize our future, make waves, or be labeled ‘crazy,’ ‘troublemaker,’ or ‘asking for it.’ Worse, we’re afraid when we speak up that no one will believe us, or we will be blacklisted.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 5, 2017 Life Expectancy

On Oct. 5, 2017 NPR’s Emily Sohn reported “People Are Living Longer In Places You Wouldn’t Expect” Christopher Murray, of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health talked about the new study. “Since 1970, he says, worldwide life expectancy has increased by 14 years, from 58 to 72. And since 1990, the proportion of children who die before their fifth birthday has dropped from nine percent to four percent.”

Murray said in the country of Niger “To keep its little kids alive, the government has set ambitious goals, including a policy instituted in 2006 that offers free health care to women and children. There’s also a national program to train more community health workers. As a result, more children are vaccinated for diseases and treated for major childhood killers like diarrhea.” So if you have free health care, you live longer?

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 28, 2017 Jet Pack Contest

On Sep. 28, 2017 NPR’s Glenn McDonald reported “Wish You Could Soar? A $2 Million Contest Aims For Personal Flying Device”. There is a contest for creating a jetpack.. “According to the GoFly Prize competition rules, the flying device just needs to be safe, compact, relatively quiet, and able to provide vertical (or “near vertical”) takeoff and landing capability in urban environments.” Great. Now we will have distracted people flying around while on their phones.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 19, 2017 Plastic Seafood

On Sep. 19, 2017 NPR’s Ken Christensen reported “Guess What’s Showing Up In Our Shellfish? One Word: Plastics.” Vancouver Island University’s Sarah Dudas talked about the increasing amount of plastics in shellfish. She said “”So when you eat clams and oysters, you’re eating plastics as well,”

Peter Ross of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Pollution Research Program said “We’ve long known that plastic and debris can be a problem for ocean life,” “The research is adding to the evidence of a problem that touches every corner of the planet: from the depths of the ocean abyss to the surface waters of the Arctic to an area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists think plastic pollution in the ocean could outweigh the fish there by 2050.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 7, 2017 Google Women

On Aug. 7, 2017 Motherboard’s Louise Matsakis reported “Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral” While the document itself contains the thoughts of just one Google employee (James Damore), the context in which they were shared—Google is currently being investigated by the Department of Labor for its gender pay gap and Silicon Valley has been repeatedly exposed as a place that discriminates against women and people of color—as well as the private and public response from its workforce are important.”

According to NPR’s Bill Chappell reporting in “Google Grapples With Fallout After Employee Slams Diversity Efforts”

  • Women make up 25 percent of the company’s leadership
  • Women hold 20 percent of technology jobs
  • Overall, 31 percent of Google’s employees are female
  • 56 percent of employees are white; 35 percent are Asian
  • 4 percent are Hispanic, 4 percent are mixed-race, and 2 percent are black

Google is not alone with this problem. The test for diversity is not reading public relations press releases, but direct observation. Walk into a company’s offices. How many women do you see? How many over forty in leadership? How many are making six figures? If it is not half the population, the company has some work to do. Start hiring women and pay them market rates.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 4, 2017 Wage Increase Not Worth A Dime

On Aug. 4, 2017, NPR’s Scott Neuman reported “U.S. Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs In July; Unemployment Dips To 4.3 Percent” but “Average hourly wages rose by 9 cents, to $26.36.” In other words real wages have not gone up a dime. Having a job and having a job that helps pay the bills are two different things.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jul. 19, 2017 Climate Change Fewer People

On Jul. 19, 2017, NPR’s Tori Whitley reported “Want To Slow Global Warming? Researchers Look To Family Planning” A study by Kimberly Nicholas and others at Lund University in Sweden concluded one way to reduce CO2 gas emissions is to have fewer children. Having one fewer child (an average for developed countries of 58.6 metric ton CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emission reductions per year.

On Aug. 19, 2017, NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reported “Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?” Travis Rieder of James Madison University said 4 degrees of warming would be “largely uninhabitable for humans.””Here’s a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them,” According to nonprofit Conceivable Future’s Meghan Kallman, “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis.”

“Oregon State University researchers have calculated the savings from all kinds of conservation measures: driving a hybrid, driving less, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances, windows and light bulbs. For an American, the total metric tons of carbon dioxide saved by all of those measures over an entire lifetime of 80 years: 488. By contrast, the metric tons saved when a person chooses to have one fewer child: 9,441.”

Note to young people planning their future in Oregon.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline.com All rights reserved.

Jul. 15, 2017 China Teleports Cryptography

On Jul. 15, 2017 NPR’s Tori Whitley reported “Beam Me Up, Scotty … Sort Of. Chinese Scientists ‘Teleport’ Photon To Space” “Chinese scientists have announced they successfully “teleported” information on a photon from Earth to space, spanning a distance of more than 300 miles.”

“There is a security issue here,” Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University says, “because the first country to build a quantum computer or a quantum Internet, they will be able to send effectively unhackable messages. And then they can use the technology to try to hack into more conventional messages.”

Great. Just great. Quantum spam.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jul. 12, 2017 Seattle Tax Rich

On Jul. 12, 2017 NPR’s Laurel Wamsley reported “‘Most Regressive’ State, Seattle Passes Tax On Highest Incomes”. “The council voted 9-0 in favor of the tax, which will apply a 2.25 percent tax on annual income over $250,000 on individuals, or $500,000 for couples filing jointly. The city estimates the tax will generate $140 million in new annual revenue.” Daniel Beekman of The Seattle Times reported  ” ‘Seattle should serve everyone, not just rich folks,’ software developer Carissa Knipe told the council before the 9-0 vote, saying she makes more than $170,000 per year.  ” ‘I would love to be taxed,’ the 24-year-old from Ballard testified, drawing applause from a room packed with supporters of the tax.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserve.

Jul. 11, 2017 Telework Not Working?

On Jul. 11, 2017 NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reported “Some Employers Are Rethinking Telework, Citing A Need For Better Collaboration” about some companies like Bank of America, Best Buy, IBM,  Reddit and Yahoo making more employees work onsite. Many endorse the Agile work method, where employees are all crammed into the same room until they solve a problem. Despite this counter trend the movement is toward remote work because not all the talent works in the same building, town or country. Goody Group’s Jay Friedman said “Being remote forced us to document more — so document decisions, document learning, training, etc. — and that actually reduced the amount of time and back-and-forth,” keeping everyone on the same page and on task, Friedman says.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 5, 2017 Apple Homepod

On Jun. 5, 2017 NPR’s Alina Selyukh reported “Apple Joins Smart-Speaker Race With Music-Focused ‘HomePod'”. Apple’s Homepod enters the nosy home computer market with Amazon’s Echo/Alexa and Google’s Home and Microsoft’s Cortana. A real step forward will be when they get a computer than can pay for the house.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 2, 2017 American Dream Hoarders

On Jun. 2, 2017 NPR’s Steve Inskeep reported “Top 20 Percent Of Americans ‘Hoard The American Dream.” Brookings Institution’s Richard Reeves new book called “Dream Hoarders.” says the top twenty percent richest Americans get the best homes, schools and jobs.

Reeves said “I’ve come to believe that the dangerous separation of the American upper-middle class from the rest of society is a huge problem for politics because there’s a sense of a bubble, there’s a sense of people who are kind of making out pretty well from current trends and who are increasingly separate – occupationally, residentially, educationally and economically — from the rest of society. They are also disproportionately powerful and the fact that they are not only separate but unaware of the degree to which the system works in their favor strikes me as one of the most dangerous political facts of our time.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 22, 2017 Trump Touches Orb

On May 22, 2017 NPR’s Colin Dwyer reported “Here’s The Deal With That Glowing Orb — And Plenty Of Notes On What It Isn’t.” American President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi touched a glowing orb to start a welcome video at the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh. Nothing odd here. Just three guys touching an orb. Three grown men. Three world leaders.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 18, 2017 Justice Dept. Names Robert Mueller Special Counsel

On May 18, 2017, CNN reported that Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Mueller Special prosecutor,  “The Justice Department is appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the growing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to associates of President Trump.”

According to NPR’s Jessica Taylor “As special counsel, Mueller will have full authorization to direct the Russia investigation, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with Trump’s campaign and any other matters. He can only be fired by Rosenstein, only with cause, and with notice to Congress. He is authorized to prosecute federal crimes that may arise from the probe.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 10, 2017 Reporter Arrested Asking Questions

On May 10, 2017, NPR’s Camila Domonoske reported “West Virginia Reporter Arrested For Yelling Question At HHS Secretary.” On May 9, 2017, in a hallway of Charleston West Virginia Capitol building, Public News Service Dan Heyman asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price if insurance companies would treat domestic abuse as a pre-existing condition under the newly proposed bill before Congress. He was arrested and held under $5000 bail. “This is what I’m supposed to do,” Heyman said. “I am supposed to go and find out if somebody is going to be affected by this health care law.””At the time of his arrest, Heyman says, he identified himself as a journalist by wearing his press pass and a “Public News Service” shirt.”

On May 3, 2017, Time magazine’s Lisa Marie Zegarra reported “Jury Convicts Woman Who Laughed During Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing.” “Desiree A. Fairooz, a Code Pink protester, was removed from the Jan 10 hearing after she laughed when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) stated that Sessions has an “extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law.” The jury on Wednesday also found guilty her parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds, according to the New York Times.”

An emperor with no clothes should have a thicker skin.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 3, 2017 Self Driving Car Insurance

On Apr. 3, 2017 NPR’s Yuki Noguchi wrote “Self-Driving Cars Raise Questions About Who Carries Insurance” Every auto insurance company will be affected by self driving cars. “Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns the insurance giant Geico, told CNBC in a February interview: “If the day comes when a significant portion of the cars on the road are autonomous, it will hurt Geico’s business very significantly.”

If current inequality trends continue, most people will be too poor to own a car.  If they need transportation they will use Uber or Lyft. They might use a traditional taxicab or car rental company that has survived the transition. Car manufacturers might even offer their cars directly. In any case, consumers will not be paying directly for insurance. If a car has an accident it will not be the passenger’s fault.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All Rights reserved.

Mar. 24, 2017 Experience Discrimination

On Mar 24, 2017 NPR’s Ina Jaffe wrote “Too Much Experience To Be Hired? Some Older Americans Face Age Bias” about age discrimination. Prof. David Neumark of University of California, Irvine sent out 40,000 resumes with age as the only difference. The older the person the less likely they to be called back. Older women  were the most affected. One recruiter blew the whistle and went to San Francisco law firm Altshuler Berzon and the course is working its way to the US Supreme Court.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 21, 2017 World Maps Change

On Mar. 21, 2017 NPR’s Colin Dwyer reported “Boston Students Get A Glimpse Of A Whole New World, With Different Maps” about replacing Mercator projection maps with Gall-Peters maps (see above). To understand why this is a big deal, I recommend Jerry Brotton’s book “A History of the World in 12 Maps.” It is the story of cartographers struggling for centuries to create accurate two dimensional representations of a three dimensional world. The results were distorted and biased. By the twenty-first century it was possible using digital devices to view satellite images making all earlier map projections obsolete.

I liked flipping through history maps made by Denoyer Gippert and Kinder and Hilgemann etc. It was enlightening to see empires appear with big sweeping arrows wiping out older empires only to replaced by somebody else. I was never happy with maps that made Siberia and Antarctica look huge. I did like maps that were centered  over a continent. They did not show the whole planet but I never expected it to. It has taken hundreds of years to show that it takes more than one map to describe a planet.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 16, 2017 Robot Traffic Stop

On Mar. 16, 2017 NPR’s Vignesh Rakmachandran reported “When Policing And Race Cross Paths In Silicon Valley” about using robots to question suspects. What happens when a robot pulls over a self driving car?

“Duke University students Vaibhav Tadepalli and Chris Reyes developed a prototype robot that could someday conduct the initial phase of a traffic stop, possibly easing concerns for both drivers and police officers. With the press of a button, an officer can deploy the “Sentinel” robot from a patrol car that rides over to the stopped driver’s car, raises a screen and starts a two-way video conference between the driver and the police officer.”

Rather than use a Sentinel robot, why not use a flying drone? It could fly up to a car, signal for it to pull over and ask the driver for information. It could adjust to any height faster. If the car does not pull over, the drone could follow it faster than a ground drone or patrol car.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 19, 2017 Blumbers

Outsourcing to India Threatened

On Feb. 14, 2017, NPR’s Julie McCarthy wrote “Indian IT Outsourcers Anxious Over Potential Changes To H1-B Visas” about legislation from the new administration possibly ending the H1B visa and green card programs. Stephen Yale-Loehr of Cornell University said that last year  “U.S. companies that sought to bring highly skilled workers to the U.S. filed 236,000 petitions that went into a lottery for just 85,000 H1-B visas, the legal cap.”

“One bill proposes more than doubling the minimum wage of H1-B holders, which by law is set at $60,000. Critics argue the H1-B has been misused to displace American workers, and that there has been an incentive to prefer Indian IT workers because they are cheaper.  Shailesh Chitnis, with the data mining and analysis company Compile, says that while the median salary for all H1-B holders is $71,000, most but not all Indian outsourcers pay below that. If they had to double salaries, Chitnis says, Indian IT companies would have to change their 20-year-old business model.” American companies may be forced to hire citizens at fairer market rates like $120,000.

“Shevendra Singh with India’s National Association of Software Services Companies, or NASSCOM, refutes allegations that Indian companies are dislocating American workers or supplying low-paid labor.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.