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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering
Jul 282015
 

David King

The main debate around human genetics currently centres on the ethics of genetic testing, and possibilities for genetic discrimination and selective eugenics. But while ethicists and the media constantly re-hash these issues, a small group of scientists and publicists are working towards an even more frightening prospect: the intentional genetic engineering of human beings. Just as Ian Wilmut presented us with the first clone of an adult mammal, Dolly, as a fait accompli, so these scientists aim to set in place the tools of a new techno-eugenics, before the public has ever had a chance to decide whether this is the direction we want to go in. The publicists, meanwhile are trying to convince us that these developments are inevitable. The Campaign Against Human Genetic Engineering, has been set up in response to this threat.

Currently, genetic engineering is only applied to non-reproductive cells (this is known as ‘gene therapy’) in order to treat diseases in a single patient, rather than in all their descendants. Gene therapy is still very unsuccessful, and we are often told that the prospect of reproductive genetic engineering is remote. In fact, the basic technologies for human genetic engineering (HGE) have been available for some time and at present are being refined and improved in a number of ways. We should not make the same mistake that was made with cloning, and assume that the issue is one for the far future.

In the first instance, the likely justifications of HGE will be medical. One major step towards reproductive genetic engineering is the proposal by US gene therapy pioneer, French Anderson, to begin doing gene therapy on foetuses, to treat certain genetic diseases. Although not directly targeted at reproductive cells, Anderson’s proposed technique poses a relatively high risk that genes will be ‘inadvertently’ altered in the reproductive cells of the foetus, as well as in the blood cells which he wants to fix. Thus, if he is allowed to go ahead, the descendants of the foetus will be genetically engineered in every cell of their body. Another scientist, James Grifo of New York University is transferring cell nuclei from the eggs of older to younger women, using similar techniques to those used in cloning. He aims to overcome certain fertility problems, but the result would be babies with three genetic parents, arguably a form of HGE. In addition to the two normal parents, these babies will have mitochondria (gene-containing subcellular bodies which control energy production in cells) from the younger woman.

Anderson is a declared advocate of HGE for medical purposes, and was a speaker at a symposium last year at UCLA, at which advocates of HGE set out their stall. At the symposium, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people, James Watson, of DNA discovery fame, advocated the use of HGE not merely for medical purposes, but for ‘enhancement': ‘And the other thing, because no one really has the guts to say it, I mean, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?’

In his recent book, Re-Making Eden (1998), Princeton biologist, Lee Silver celebrates the coming future of human ‘enhancement’, in which the health, appearance, personality, cognitive ability, sensory capacity, and life-span of our children all become artifacts of genetic engineering, literally selected from a catalog. Silver acknowledges that the costs of these technologies will limit their full use to only a small ‘elite’, so that over time society will segregate into the “GenRich” and the “Naturals”:

“The GenRich – who account for 10 percent of the American population – all carry synthetic genes… that were created in the laboratory …All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry are controlled by members of the GenRich class…Naturals work as low-paid service providers or as labourers, and their children go to public schools… If the accumulation of genetic knowledge and advances in genetic enhancement technology continue … the GenRich class and the Natural class will become…entirely separate species with no ability to cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee.”

Silver, another speaker at the UCLA symposium, believes that these trends should not and cannot be stopped, because to do so would infringe on liberty.

Most scientists say that what is preventing them from embarking on HGE is the risk that the process will itself generate new mutations, which will be passed on to future generations. Official scientific and ethical bodies tend to rely on this as the basis for forbidding attempts at HGE, rather than any principled opposition to the idea.

In my view, we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by this argument. Experience with genetically engineered crops, for example, shows that we are unlikely ever to arrive at a situation when we can be sure that the risks are zero. Instead, when scientists are ready to proceed, we will be told that the risks are ‘acceptable’, compared to the benefits. Meanwhile, there will be people telling us loudly that since they are taking the risks with their children, we have no right to interfere.

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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

Cryonics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Cryonics  Comments Off on Cryonics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jul 282015
 

For the study of the production of very low temperatures, see Cryogenics. For the low-temperature preservation of living tissue and organisms in general, see Cryopreservation. For the Hot Cross album, see Cryonics (album).

Cryonics (from Greek ‘kryos-‘ meaning ‘icy cold’) is the low-temperature preservation of animals and humans who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future.[1][2]

Cryopreservation of people or large animals is not reversible with current technology. The stated rationale for cryonics is that people who are considered dead by current legal or medical definitions may not necessarily be dead according to the more stringent information-theoretic definition of death.[3] It is proposed that cryopreserved people might someday be recovered by using highly advanced technology.[4]

Some scientific literature supports the feasibility of cryonics.[4][5] An open letter supporting the idea of cryonics has been signed by 63 scientists, including Aubrey de Grey and Marvin Minsky.[6] However, many other scientists regard cryonics with skepticism.[7] As of 2013, approximately 270 people have undergone cryopreservation procedures since cryonics was first proposed in 1962.[8][9] In the United States, cryonics can only be legally performed on humans after they have been pronounced legally dead, as otherwise it would be considered murder or assisted suicide.[10]

Cryonics procedures ideally begin within minutes of cardiac arrest, and use cryoprotectants to prevent ice formation during cryopreservation.[11] However, the idea of cryonics also includes preservation of people long after legal death because of the possibility that brain structures that encode memory and personality may still persist and be inferable in the future. Whether sufficient brain information still exists for cryonics to successfully preserve may be intrinsically unprovable by present knowledge.[12] Therefore, most proponents of cryonics see it as an intervention with prospects for success that vary widely depending on circumstances.

A central premise of cryonics is that long-term memory, personality, and identity are stored in durable cell structures and patterns within the brain that do not require continuous brain activity to survive.[13] This premise is generally accepted in medicine; it is known that under certain conditions the brain can stop functioning and still later recover with retention of long-term memory.[14][15] Additional scientific premises of cryonics[16] are that (1) brain structures encoding personality and long-term memory persist for some time after legal death, (2) these structures are preserved by cryopreservation, and (3) future technologies that could restore encoded memories to functional expression in a healed person are theoretically possible. At present only cells, tissues, and some small organs can be reversibly cryopreserved.[17][18]

Cryonics advocates say it is possible to preserve the fine cell structures of the brain in which memory and identity reside with present technology.[19] They say that demonstrably reversible cryopreservation is not necessary to achieve the present-day goal of cryonics, which is preservation of brain information that encodes memory and personal identity. They say current cryonics procedures can preserve the anatomical basis of mind,[11] and that this should be sufficient to prevent information-theoretic death until future repairs might be possible.[20]

A moral premise of cryonics is that all terminally ill patients should have the right, if they so choose, to be cryopreserved.[21] Some cryonicists believe as a matter of principle that anyone who would ordinarily be regarded as dead should instead be made a “permanent patient” subject to whatever future advances might bring.[22]

Long-term cryopreservation can be achieved by cooling to near 77.15 Kelvin (approximately -196.01C), the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. It is a common mistaken belief that cells will lyse (burst) due to the formation of ice crystals within the cell, since this only occurs if the freezing rate exceeds the osmotic loss of water to the extracellular space.[23] However, damage from freezing can still be serious; ice may still form between cells, causing mechanical and chemical damage. Cryonics organizations use cryoprotectants to reduce this damage. Cryoprotectant solutions are circulated through blood vessels to remove and replace water inside cells with chemicals that prevent freezing. This can reduce damage greatly,[24] but freezing of the entire body still causes injuries that are not reversible with present technology. The difficulties of recovering complex organisms from a frozen state have been long known. Attempts to recover large frozen mammals by simply rewarming were abandoned by 1957.[25]

When used at high concentrations, cryoprotectants stop ice formation completely. Cooling and solidification without crystal formation is called vitrification.[26] The first cryoprotectant solutions able to vitrify at very slow cooling rates while still being compatible with tissue survival were developed in the late 1990s by cryobiologists Gregory Fahy and Brian Wowk for the purpose of banking transplantable organs.[27][28] These solutions were adopted for use in cryonics by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, for which they are believed to permit vitrification of some parts of the human body, especially the brain.[29] This has allowed animal brains to be vitrified, warmed back up, and examined for ice damage using light and electron microscopy. No ice crystal damage was found.[20][30] The Cryonics Institute also uses a vitrification solution developed by their staff cryobiologist, Yuri Pichugin, applying it principally to the brain.[31]

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Cryonics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CCRG – The Cryptocurrency Research Group

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on CCRG – The Cryptocurrency Research Group
Jul 262015
 

CCRG affiliates span a wide range of disciplines including mathematics, cryptography, economics, and law. The goal of the CCRG is to understand decentralized consensus technology, its application and potential impact on the world, and to promulgate that understanding to the research community and to the public.

Find out more about CCRG Read more about our mission Meet the team

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CCRG – The Cryptocurrency Research Group

Webopedia: Online Tech Dictionary for IT Professionals

 SEO  Comments Off on Webopedia: Online Tech Dictionary for IT Professionals
Jul 262015
 

TERM OF THE DAY

JUL 26 , 2015 SUNDAY

Mobile security threats include both physical and software-based threats that can compromise the data on smartphones, tablets and similar mobile devices.

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Top 10 Software-Defined Terms to Know Now

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Software defined networking (SDN) is an approach to using open protocols, such as…

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regenerative medicine | Britannica.com

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on regenerative medicine | Britannica.com
Jun 302015
 

regenerative medicine,cartilage: bronchus repair using bioartificial tissue transplantationHospital Clinic of Barcelona/APthe application of treatments developed to replace tissues damaged by injury or disease. These treatments may involve the use of biochemical techniques to induce tissue regeneration directly at the site of damage or the use of transplantation techniques employing differentiated cells or stem cells, either alone or as part of a bioartificial tissue. Bioartificial tissues are made by seeding cells onto natural or biomimetic scaffolds (see tissue engineering). Natural scaffolds are the total extracellular matrixes (ECMs) of decellularized tissues or organs. In contrast, biomimetic scaffolds may be composed of natural materials, such as collagen or proteoglycans (proteins with long chains of carbohydrate), or built from artificial materials, such as metals, ceramics, or polyester polymers. Cells used for transplants and bioartificial tissues are almost always autogeneic (self) to avoid rejection by the patients immune system. The use of allogeneic (nonself) cells carries a high risk of immune rejection and therefore requires tissue matching between donor and recipient and involves the administration of immunosuppressive drugs.

A variety of autogeneic and allogeneic cell and bioartificial tissue transplantations have been performed. Examples of autogeneic transplants using differentiated cells include blood transfusion with frozen stores of the patients own blood and repair of the articular cartilage of the knee with the patients own articular chondrocytes (cartilage cells) that have been expanded in vitro (amplified in number using cell culture techniques in a laboratory). An example of a tissue that has been generated for autogeneic transplant is the human mandible (lower jaw). Functional bioartificial mandibles are made by seeding autogeneic bone marrow cells onto a titanium mesh scaffold loaded with bovine bone matrix, a type of extracellular matrix that has proved valuable in regenerative medicine for its ability to promote cell adhesion and proliferation in transplantable bone tissues. Functional bioartificial bladders also have been successfully implanted into patients. Bioartificial bladders are made by seeding a biodegradable polyester scaffold with autogeneic urinary epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells.

Another example of a tissue used successfully in an autogeneic transplant is a bioartificial bronchus, which was generated to replace damaged tissue in a patient affected by tuberculosis. The bioartificial bronchus was constructed from an ECM scaffold of a section of bronchial tissue taken from a donor cadaver. Differentiated epithelial cells isolated from the patient and chondrocytes derived from mesenchymal stem cells collected from the patients bone marrow were seeded onto the scaffold.

There are few clinical examples of allogeneic cell and bioartificial tissue transplants. The two most common allogeneic transplants are blood-group-matched blood transfusion and bone marrow transplant. Allogeneic bone marrow transplants are often performed following high-dose chemotherapy, which is used to destroy all the cells in the hematopoietic system in order to ensure that all cancer-causing cells are killed. (The hematopoietic system is contained within the bone marrow and is responsible for generating all the cells of the blood and immune system.) This type of bone marrow transplant is associated with a high risk of graft-versus-host disease, in which the donor marrow cells attack the recipients tissues. Another type of allogeneic transplant involves the islets of Langerhans, which contain the insulin-producing cells of the body. This type of tissue can be transplanted from cadavers to patients with diabetes mellitus, but recipients require immunosuppression therapy to survive.

Cell transplant experiments with paralyzed mice, pigs, and nonhuman primates demonstrated that Schwann cells (the myelin-producing cells that insulate nerve axons) injected into acutely injured spinal cord tissue could restore about 70 percent of the tissues functional capacity, thereby partially reversing paralysis.

embryonic stem cell: scientists conducting research on embryonic stem cellsMauricio LimaAFP/Getty ImagesStudies on experimental animals are aimed at understanding ways in which autogeneic or allogeneic adult stem cells can be used to regenerate damaged cardiovascular, neural, and musculoskeletal tissues in humans. Among adult stem cells that have shown promise in this area are satellite cells, which occur in skeletal muscle fibres in animals and humans. When injected into mice affected by dystrophy, a condition characterized by the progressive degeneration of muscle tissue, satellite cells stimulate the regeneration of normal muscle fibres. Ulcerative colitis in mice was treated successfully with intestinal organoids (organlike tissues) derived from adult stem cells of the large intestine. When introduced into the colon, the organoids attached to damaged tissue and generated a normal-appearing intestinal lining.

In many cases, however, adult stem cells such as satellite cells have not been easily harvested from their native tissues, and they have been difficult to culture in the laboratory. In contrast, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be harvested once and cultured indefinitely. Moreover, ESCs are pluripotent, meaning that they can be directed to differentiate into any cell type, which makes them an ideal cell source for regenerative medicine.

Studies of animal ESC derivatives have demonstrated that these cells are capable of regenerating tissues of the central nervous system, heart, skeletal muscle, and pancreas. Derivatives of human ESCs used in animal models have produced similar results. For example, cardiac stem cells from heart-failure patients were engineered to express a protein (Pim-1) that promotes cell survival and proliferation. When these cells were injected into mice that had experienced myocardial infarction (heart attack), the cells were found to enhance the repair of injured heart muscle tissue. Likewise, heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) derived from human ESCs improved the function of injured heart muscle tissue in guinea pigs.

Derivatives of human ESCs are likely to produce similar results in humans, although these cells have not been used clinically and could be subject to immune rejection by recipients. The question of immune rejection was bypassed by the discovery in 2007 that adult somatic cells (e.g., skin and liver cells) can be converted to ESCs. This is accomplished by transfecting (infecting) the adult cells with viral vectors carrying genes that encode transcription factor proteins capable of reprogramming the adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. Examples of these factors include Oct-4 (octamer 4), Sox-2 (sex-determining region Y box 2), Klf-4 (Kruppel-like factor 4), and Nanog. Reprogrammed adult cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, are potential autogeneic sources for cell transplantation and bioartificial tissue construction. Such cells have since been created from the skin cells of patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer disease and have been used as human models for the exploration of disease mechanisms and the screening of potential new drugs. In one such model, neurons derived from human iPS cells were shown to promote recovery of stroke-damaged brain tissue in mice and rats, and, in another, cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells successfully integrated into damaged heart tissue following their injection into rat hearts. These successes indicated that iPS cells could serve as a cell source for tissue regeneration or bioartificial tissue construction.

Scaffolds and soluble factors, such as proteins and small molecules, have been used to induce tissue repair by undamaged cells at the site of injury. These agents protect resident fibroblasts and adult stem cells and stimulate the migration of these cells into damaged areas, where they proliferate to form new tissue. The ECMs of pig small intestine submucosa, pig and human dermis, and different types of biomimetic scaffolds are used clinically for the repair of hernias, fistulas (abnormal ducts or passageways between organs), and burns.

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regenerative medicine | Britannica.com

The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech …

 Free Speech  Comments Off on The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech …
Jun 252015
 

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Lifelong liberal Kirsten Powers blasts the Left’s forced march towards conformity in an expos of the illiberal war on free speech. No longer champions of tolerance and free speech, the “illiberal Left” now viciously attacks and silences anyone with alternative points of view. Powers asks, “What ever happened to free speech in America?”

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Fifth Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com

 Fifth Amendment  Comments Off on Fifth Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com
Jun 222015
 

Fifth Amendment,amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, that articulates procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of the criminally accused and to secure life, liberty, and property. For the text of the Fifth Amendment, see below.

Similar to the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment is divided into five clauses, representing five distinct, yet related, rights. The first clause specifies that [n]o person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger. This grand jury provision requires a body to make a formal presentment or indictment of a person accused of committing a crime against the laws of the federal government. The proceeding is not a trial but rather an ex parte hearing (i.e., one in which only one party, the prosecution, presents evidence) to determine if the government has enough evidence to carry a case to trial. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence that an offense was committed, it issues an indictment, which then permits a trial. The portion of the clause pertaining to exceptions in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia is a corollary to Article I, Section 8, which grants Congress the power [t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces. Combined, they justify the use of military courts for the armed forces, thus denying military personnel the same procedural rights afforded civilians.

The second section is commonly referred to as the double jeopardy clause, and it protects citizens against a second prosecution after an acquittal or a conviction, as well as against multiple punishments for the same offense. Caveats to this provision include permissions to try persons for civil and criminal aspects of an offense, conspiring to commit as well as to commit an offense, and separate trials for acts that violate laws of both the federal and state governments, although federal laws generally suppress prosecution by the national government if a person is convicted of the same crime in a state proceeding.

The third section is commonly referred to as the self-incrimination clause, and it protects persons accused of committing a crime from being forced to testify against themselves. In the U.S. judicial system a person is presumed innocent, and it is the responsibility of the state (or national government) to prove guilt. Like other pieces of evidence, once presented, words can be used powerfully against a person; however, words can be manipulated in a way that many other objects cannot. Consequently, information gained from sobriety tests, police lineups, voice samples, and the like is constitutionally permissible while evidence gained from compelled testimony is not. As such, persons accused of committing crimes are protected against themselves or, more accurately, how their words may be used against them. The clause, therefore, protects a key aspect of the system as well as the rights of the criminally accused.

The fourth section is commonly referred to as the due process clause. It protects life, liberty, and property from impairment by the federal government. (The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, protects the same rights from infringement by the states.) Chiefly concerned with fairness and justice, the due process clause seeks to preserve and protect fundamental rights and ensure that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property occurs in accordance with procedural safeguards. As such, there are both substantive and procedural considerations associated with the due process clause, and this has influenced the development of two separate tracks of due process jurisprudence: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process pertains to the rules, elements, or methods of enforcementthat is, its procedural aspects. Consider the elements of a fair trial and related Sixth Amendment protections. As long as all relevant rights of the accused are adequately protectedas long as the rules of the game, so to speak, are followedthen the government may, in fact, deprive a person of his life, liberty, or property. But what if the rules are not fair? What if the law itselfregardless of how it is enforcedseemingly deprives rights? This raises the controversial spectre of substantive due process rights. It is not inconceivable that the content of the law, regardless of how it is enforced, is itself repugnant to the Constitution because it violates fundamental rights. Over time, the Supreme Court has had an on-again, off-again relationship with liberty-based due process challenges, but it has generally abided by the principle that certain rights are implicit in the concept of ordered liberty (Palko v. Connecticut [1937]), and as such they are afforded constitutional protection. This, in turn, has led to the expansion of the meaning of the term liberty. What arguably began as freedom from restraint has transformed into a virtual cornucopia of rights reasonably related to enumerated rights, without which neither liberty nor justice would exist. For example, the right to an abortion, established in Roe v. Wade (1973), grew from privacy rights, which emerged from the penumbras of the constitution.

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Bitcoin isnt the future of money its either a Ponzi …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin isnt the future of money its either a Ponzi …
Jun 092015
 

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Bitcoin is more like Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme.

Whatever it is, though, it isn’t a currency. It’s a tech stock. Each Bitcoin is really a share in a systemthat seems to make it cheaper to transfer things onlinemoney, stocks, bonds, even the deed to your houseby cutting out the middleman. Well, kind of. Bitcoin doesn’t remove the middleman so much as replace himwith middlemen who don’t make you pay much, but make society as a whole do so instead. Is this progress?

It’s supposed to be. Ever since the early days of the Internet, people have been trying to figure out how to transfer money online without having to go through the financial system. The problem, though, is if Isend youmoney, how do you know I haven’t already spent it or sent it to somebody else? You don’t. So the only solution has been to have a trusted third-party, like a bank, sit in between us. I send the money to the bank, it verifies that I actually have this money to send, and then it sends it on to you, all for a 2 percent fee, of course.

Bitcoin’s breakthrough is to have a decentralized network of “miners” sit in between us instead. Now, remember, these miners are trying to win new Bitcoins by solving computationally-taxing math problems. The clever part, though, is that in the process of doing so, they also create a public ledger of every single Bitcoin transaction, what’s called the blockchain. That includes every Bitcoin that’s ever been won, every Bitcoin that’s ever been used, and every Bitcoin that’s ever been transferred. So now we don’t need a bank to know that I have the money I’m sending to you, and that I’m only sending it to you. The miners confirm all this. And the best part is that instead of having to pay the bank myself to do this, the system pays the miners in new Bitcoins.

The question, though, is howyou get people to mineBitcoin to begin with. Sure, you can tell them that Bitcoin is digital money they can use to buy things online, but they already have money they can already use to buy things online. And while merchants would be more than happy to save the 2.5 percent they pay in credit card transaction fees, customers are a lot more more blas since they don’t pay them directly.The answer, then, was to do what makes anything popular: make it exclusive. Specifically, Bitcoin limits the total number of coins that will ever be created to 21 million.Now, for Bitcoin’s first year and a half, as Nathaniel Popper documents in hispage-turning history Digital Gold, there were still only a handful of people, if that, mining it. But that began to change when libertarians, who were convinced, just convinced, that the Federal Reserve’s money-printing would mean the doom of the dollar, discovered Bitcoin and its non-inflatable money supply. A boom was born.

But what made people mine Bitcoins is what has kept from spending Bitcoins. Think about it like this. Bitcoin’s finite supply means that its price should go up, and keep going up. So if you have dollars that are losing a little value to inflation every year and Bitcoins that are gaining it, which one are you going to use to buy things with? The question answers itself, and it raises another. Why would this ever change? Unless you can’t buy something online with dollarslike drugsyou’d always want to use your dollars instead. Buying things with Bitcoin would be like cashing out your Apple stock in 1978 to go grocery shopping even though you have plenty of actual cash lying around.

The catch-22is people buy Bitcoins because they think the price will go to infinity and beyond once everybody uses them, but they don’t spendtheir own Bitcoins because they think the price will go to infinity and beyond once everybody else uses them. And so nobody uses them. But if nobody uses them, then the price will stay stuck at something a lot less than infinity let alone beyond. So the Bitcoin faithful have tried to not only convert people, but also convince them to martyr themselves, financially-speaking, for the crypto cause. It goes something like this. Hey, do you want to hear about the future? It’s a digital currency called Bitcoin that lets you spend or move your money online without paying any fees. Sounds great. How does it do that? Well, Bitcoin saves you money by making transactions irreversible. So … if I get scammed, I got scammed? There’s nothing I can do about it? Yes. Okay, but is it at least easy to use? The thing is, I don’t actually use it. I just hoard it. I’m waiting for some greater fools to push up the price by using theirs. Oh. Yeah. So you should buy some Bitcoins and use yours. I’ll get back to you on that.

But Bitcoin is good for something other than redistributing wealth from one libertarian to another. That’s transferring money, or anything else for that matter, online. “The design supports a tremendous variety of possible transaction types,” Bitcoin’s shadowy inventor Satoshi Nakamoto wrote back in 2010, including”escrow transactions, bonded contracts, third party arbitration, multi-party signature, etc.” So anytime you needto send any kind of financial asset or agreement to somebody else, you can send it along with a Bitcoinand, through the beauty of the blockchain, avoid having to pay a lot of fees. That’s why Wall Street banks are looking into whether they can build their own blockchains to cut costs before their competitors do. And while sending money is cheap within the U.S., it’s not not across international bordersthe average transfer fee, according to the World Bank, is 7.5 percent. It’s not hard to imagine, in other words, that Bitcoin could claim a big chunk of the $500 billion remittance market, although the difficulty of actually getting the physical cash to people in developing countries is still a significant hurdle.

Wait a minute, though. How does the blockchain cut costs again? Remember, instead of you paying the bank a fee to process a transaction, the Bitcoin system pays miners new coins to do so. Then these transactions get added to the list of all others in the public ledger, the blockchain. Butanytime it seems like you’re getting something for nothing the costs are probably just being hidden. What are those costs? Well, Bitcoin mining is a pretty expensive business. Even the most specialized computers, which mine Bitcoins and only mine Bitcoins, require a lot of energy. So much so that Bitcoin miners have set up shop in far-flung places like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and Arctic air is cheaper stillfreefor them to run and cool off their machines at the lowest possible price.

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Bitcoin isnt the future of money its either a Ponzi …

‘Bitlicense’ rules regulating bitcoin released

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on ‘Bitlicense’ rules regulating bitcoin released
Jun 052015
 

This May 1, 2014 photo taken in Washington, DC shows a bitcoin medal. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced on April 29, 2014 it would give $100 in Bitcoin to its 4,500 students starting in the Fall of 2014. The project started by two MIT students aims for a better understanding of emerging technologies. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIERKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: – ORIG FILE ID: 529392797(Photo: KAREN BLEIER, AFP/Getty Images)

It’s official: Companies dealing in cybercurrecy bitcoin now have to get a bitlicense to operate in New York state a rule that could spread to other states if successful.

Just weeks before he is set to leave his regulatory role for private practice, Ben Lawksy, head of New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), released rules Wednesday outlining what bitcoin peddlers need to do to obtain and retain a “bitlicense” to operate in state.

DFS has regulatory oversight over dozens of N.Y. licensed banks and insurance companies, including Goldman Sachs, MetLife and Barclays. As head of DFS, Lawsky has has made it his mission to regulate cybercurrencies, which have been tied to some high-profile drug cases and other illegal activity.

The 44-page document of final rules released Wednesday explains such details as cost of an application ($5,000) for a license, as well as what the license will allow companies to do.

“License required,” the document warns. “No person shall, without a license obtained from the superintendent as provided in this part, engage in any virtual currency business activity.” In other words: No license, no bitcoin activity in the Empire State.

The barriers to entry can be high. Companies seeking a bitlicense will need to have a compliance officer, for example, who will be responsible for making sure the firm is in compliance with its bitlicense rules, and all other applicable federal and state laws that apply to bitcoin, such as money trasmitter laws and laws to protect against money laundering. Such protections can get expensive.

Lawsky’s bitlicense has been controversial among folks who argue that the rules threaten to raise costs and restrict innovation. Some opponents have argued that the license will give large institutions such as big banks that are fearful of competition of the competition the advantage over smaller startups when it comes to growing the cyber coin.

Lawsky on Wednesday vowed that he did his best to balance the rules and make them fair for both operators and the bitcoin users he is seeking to protect.

“Getting that balance right is hard, but it is key,” Lawsky said in a speech at the BITS Emerging Payments Forum in Washing, DC, where Lawsky announced the new rules. “We want to promote and support companies that use new, emerging technologies to build better financial companies. We just need to make sure that we put appropriate regulatory guardrails in place,” he said.

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‘Bitlicense’ rules regulating bitcoin released

How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden …
Jun 042015
 

Slide: 1 / of 1 .

Caption: Getty Images

The National Security Agency knows Edward Snowden disclosed many of its innermost secrets when he revealed how aggressive its surveillance tactics are. What it doesnt know is just how much information the whistleblower took with him when he left.

For all of its ability to track our telecommunications, the NSA seemingly has little clueexactly what documents, or even how many documents, Snowden gave to the media.Like most large organizations, the NSA had tools in place to track who accessed what data and when. But Snowden, a system administrator, apparently was able to cover his tracks by deleting or modifying the log files that tracked that access.

An Estonian company called Guardtimesays it has a solution to that: using the same ideas that underpin the digital currency Bitcoin, the company says it can ensure no one can alter digital files, not even an organizationsmost senior executives or IT managers. The idea is to stop the next Snowden in his tracks by making it impossible to tamper with data, such as the NSA log files, in secret.

To prevent people from spending a single bitcoin twice, all transactions are recorded in a global, distributed ledger called the blockchain. All copies of the bitcoin client software include a copy of the blockchain, and falsifying the ledger would require controlling at least half of all the copies in existence.

Guardtimes Black Lantern uses the same idea applied to any chunk of data, such as an access log file or the data gathered by Internet of Things sensors. The blockchain could then be distributed to every executive, or even every employee, to ensure no one person can alter it. It doesnt encrypt the data, but it can let you know if someone has tampered with it.

Had the NSA been using Black Lantern, the agency would have been able to detect Snowdens activities early on, or at least would have much better idea of what Snowden took, says Guardtime CTO Matt Johnson, a former agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent and defense contractor.

It keeps honest people honest, he says. It makes it impossible for them to lie.

Theres irony in a former federal law enforcement officerpitching a bitcoin-style decentralized cryptography system as a way ofsecuring the NSAs data. Bitcoin proponents praise the blockchain as a way for citizens to hide their online tracks from the government; but Guardtime shows how the same technology could be used as a tool for surveillance.

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How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden …

Iowa Senate OKs bill addressing funeral protests

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Iowa Senate OKs bill addressing funeral protests
Apr 142015
 

DES MOINES Iowa senators sent Gov. Terry Branstad a bill Tuesday designed to balance Iowans constitutional rights at funerals or memorial services.

House File 558 expands the level of privacy granted under the Fourth Amendment to grieve for loved ones, soldiers or civilians, backers say.

The bill, which won Iowa Senate support by a 50-0 vote, would establish a 1,000-foot buffer between funerals and protesters for one hour before and after the funeral while balancing free speech rights of participants and onlookers.

The bill is a response to demonstrations by members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. Church members have shown up at military funerals say that God will turn his back on a nation that sanctions abortion, same-sex marriage and other abominations. The death of soldiers, according to Westboro, is Gods punishment for America abandoning him.

Families and friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one should not have to be subject to a barrage of hateful yelling and signs while theyre honoring and remembering the person they have lost, said Sen. Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford, the bills floor manager.

The bill is based on legislation that has been upheld by courts in Nebraska, Missouri and Minnesota, supporters say.

Actions such as shouting homophobic slurs and desecrating the U.S. flag at military funerals are reprehensible, said Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, noting that he personally finds individuals who engage in such actions to be despicable. But he told his Senate colleagues its exactly for those reasons that their First Amendment rights of expression need to be zealously defended. The First Amendment isnt about protecting popular speech.

At the same time, he said, it is not just one group whose constitutional rights are at issue, noting that people who participate in a funeral or a memorial service are exercising their freedom of expression and in many cases their religious freedom while celebrating a life or mourning a loss.

When those rights collide, Quirmbach said, some distance, some separation is appropriate. The right to free speech does not include the right to shout down someone elses speech. I think that this bill provides appropriate separation so that each may be able to express their views under our Constitution.

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Iowa Senate OKs bill addressing funeral protests

Freedom Church 04/05/15 – Application: What Does the Text Tell Me To Do? – Video

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom Church 04/05/15 – Application: What Does the Text Tell Me To Do? – Video
Apr 142015
 



Freedom Church 04/05/15 – Application: What Does the Text Tell Me To Do?
Equipped Luke Vandall – Lincolnton, North Carolina.

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Le nouveau Jeep Renegade: avec les nouveax moteurs 170 ch et Freedom Bonus – Video

 Freedom  Comments Off on Le nouveau Jeep Renegade: avec les nouveax moteurs 170 ch et Freedom Bonus – Video
Apr 142015
 



Le nouveau Jeep Renegade: avec les nouveax moteurs 170 ch et Freedom Bonus

By: Jeep Schweiz

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Le nouveau Jeep Renegade: avec les nouveax moteurs 170 ch et Freedom Bonus – Video

Liberty scholarships get more attractive

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty scholarships get more attractive
Apr 142015
 

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – Football teams usually like to have a running back with a downhill style, but on the FCS level, all of the teams are not moving along a level playing field.

The number of football scholarships offered vary up to the maximum of 63, and some are partial scholarships and some are not. The Ivy and Pioneer leagues are two conferences that don’t have scholarships but play scholarship programs, and Georgetown even refuses to offer them while playing in a Patriot League in which the other programs have them.

The next advantage has arrived, too. Liberty University reportedly will become the first FCS program to provide “cost of attendance” dollars to their student-athletes. FootballScoop.com said the Big South Conference university, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, has begun to inform them the decision will be implemented this year.

Under the NCAA measure approved in January and set to begin Aug. 1, the cost of attendance of a scholarship will go beyond tuition, fees, books and room and board to include expenses such as academic-related supplies, transportation and other similar items. The value of those benefits can differ by the school, but at the five power conferences that pushed for them – the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences – they have been estimated up to about $2,000 annually per full scholarship.

The cost of attendance dollars are becoming an attractive recruiting tool, especially for a program like Liberty, which would be an exception on the FCS level because most schools are not expected to provide the incentive, at least not initially.

It is not surprising, however, that Liberty would be looking more like an FBS program. The private evangelical university, founded by the late Jerry Falwell Sr., is pursuing a move up from the FCS level, although neither of the FBS conferences that appear to be the best fit, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, have yet to extend an invitation.

Liberty ranked first in the Big South and fifth in the FCS in attendance average last season, drawing an average of 17,016 to six home games. The Flames, under former Kansas and Buffalo head coach Turner Gill, who was brought to Liberty to help guide it to the higher level, appeared in the FCS playoffs for the first time, beating James Madison in the first round, and finishing 9-5 as the Big South co-champ.

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Liberty scholarships get more attractive

Obama Illuminati Plan to blame Putin Ukraine – Video

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Obama Illuminati Plan to blame Putin Ukraine – Video
Apr 142015
 



Obama Illuminati Plan to blame Putin Ukraine
2015 Obama Illuminati Plan to blame Putin and Launch UN Nato to Ukraine Welcome to my Illuminati Documentary Channel! subscribe for more video Illuminati Doc Third Alex Jones 3rd Shooter.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ILLUMINATI IN MINECRAFT? – Video

 Illuminati  Comments Off on THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ILLUMINATI IN MINECRAFT? – Video
Apr 142015
 



THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ILLUMINATI IN MINECRAFT?
Rob and myself discover the true secrets about the Illuminati… Subscribe and never miss a Video – http://bit.ly/LachlanSubscribe Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/LachlanYT Follow…

By: Lachlan – Minecraft More

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(2015) MTV Movie Awards Illuminati Agenda Explored! – Video

 Illuminati  Comments Off on (2015) MTV Movie Awards Illuminati Agenda Explored! – Video
Apr 142015
 



(2015) MTV Movie Awards Illuminati Agenda Explored!
Strange symbols, Social Engineering, “Gay Agenda”, New World Order 'Court Jesters', and more!

By: TheScariestMovieEver

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(2015) MTV Movie Awards Illuminati Agenda Explored! – Video

SURF’S UP! At Josiah’s Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, CARIBBEAN! – Video

 Islands  Comments Off on SURF’S UP! At Josiah’s Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, CARIBBEAN! – Video
Apr 142015
 



SURF'S UP! At Josiah's Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, CARIBBEAN!
Yes, surfs up at Josiah's Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean! Good friend Alex Dick-Reid started a new surfing school on the beach in Josiah's Bay, and all are welcome…

By: Rick Moore

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism