Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

Four MIT students behind an award-winning Bitcoin mining tool will face off against New Jersey state authorities in court today when they attempt to fight back against a subpoena demanding their source code.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing 19-year-old MIT student Jeremy Rubin and three classmates in a remarkable case that stands out for the measure of aggression the state is using to obtain the code and identify anyone who might have tested the mining tool.

The case is reminiscent of a federal one that targeted Aaron Swartz after he was arrested by MIT police in 2011 for downloading more than 4 million scholarly journal articles from the JSTOR digital library, offered to MIT students, to make them more widely available. Swartz faced multiple charges for his activity and killed himself as he was preparing for trial. Although there is currently no indictment or pending criminal charges against Rubin and his friends, state authorities have indicated that they believe the researchers may have violated state laws. The case marks a disturbing trend among authorities to go after researchers, innovators, tinkerers and others who try to do cutting-edge projects to help the tech community, says EFF staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury.

Its a very broad subpoena that hints at criminal liability and civil liability, he says. For a bunch of college kids who put something together for a hackathonthey didnt make any money, the project never got off the ground and now is completely disbandedthere are some very serious implications.

The mining tool, known as Tidbit, was developed in late 2013 by Rubin and his classmates for the Node Knockout hackathononly Rubin is identified on the subpoena but his three classmates are identified on the hackathon web site as Oliver Song, Kevin King and Carolyn Zhang. The now defunct tool was designed to offer web site visitors an alternative way to support the sites they visited by using their computers to mine Bitcoins for them in exchange for having online ads removed.

We believe our utility for the end user comes in freeing up real estate on web pages, King wrote about their program on the Node Knockout site. Imagine a web where your amazon shopping cart doesnt follow you around to every website you visit. We believe there should be more options than advertising for monetizing a website, and we believe we have a novel and non-intrusive solution. In this way, we provide utility to developers who can now include higher quality content on their websites, and utility to end users who are spared the wasted time in looking at ads.

The clever design won the award for innovation in the programming competition.

This is a very intriguing idea that could really transform online economics if it works, one supporter wrote on the hackathon site. There is a much broader discussion to have about mining bitcoins vs doing other useful tasks (e.g. a friendly form of mechanical turk).

But the program never got beyond the proof-of-concept stage before Rubin and Tidbit, as an entity, were hit with subpoenas from the New Jersey

The states attorney general claims Rubin and his classmates violated New Jersey computer crime laws and demanded they hand over source code for their creation and any documentation related to the tool. Rubin was the only one named in the subpoena, Fakhoury says, because he registered the web site for Tidbit.

Here is the original post:
MIT Students Battle States Demand for Their Bitcoin Miners Source Code



2004 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility 4D for sale in Stafford, VA
This 2004 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility 4D is for sale in Stafford, VA 22554 at Premium Motors Inc.. Contact Premium Motors Inc. at http://premiummotorsinc.net or http://www.carsforsale.com/used-ca…

By: Khalid Majeed

See more here:
2004 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility 4D for sale in Stafford, VA – Video



Hagel in 2011: Can NATO continue to exist?
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel posed questions about the utility of NATO in a post-Soviet world in a 2011 speech at Cameron University that was obtain.Defense secretary nominee Chuck…

By: MariaJohn.W.

Go here to read the rest:

Hagel in 2011: Can NATO continue to exist? – Video

It hasnt taken long for fratricide to erupt between two companies blamed for the early January chemical spill in West Virginia. In a court filing, a local water utility has accused Freedom Industries, the chemical supplier blamed for the leak in Charleston, of trying to pull a fast one in its federal bankruptcy filing.

As I explained in my last post on the legal wrangling in the wake of the spill, closely held Freedom Industries filed on Jan. 17 for Chapter 11 protection from its creditorsan unsurprising move designed to freeze a growing wave of liability lawsuits seeking damages related to the cutoff of public water to some 300,000 customers in the Charleston area.

Freedom also hinted in the filing that it would attempt to shift culpability to the West Virginia unit of American Water Works. Many of the plaintiffs suing Freedom have filed claims as well againstAmerican Water Works (AWK) (AWK)for failing to move swiftly enough to close its intake in Charleston. The intake to the public water system is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms chemical-storage facility. Freedom suggested that perhaps American Water had helped cause the leak in the first place when a water main break contributed to damage to a storage tank.

In its own filing dated Jan. 19 and made available yesterday, the West Virginia unit of the water company fired back. West Virginia-American Water accused the chemical supplier of concealing its true ownership, using a proposed emergency loan to put creditors at a disadvantage, and generallyfailing to provide the bankruptcy court with sufficient financial information about such matters as Freedoms insurance coverage. The situation smells of collusion, the water utility alleged in its court papers.

West Virginia-American Water said it has a big stake in Freedoms Chapter 11 because the utility suffered expensive damages as a result of the water shut-down. The utility added that, in those suits naming it as a defendant, the company plans to file cross-claims shifting liability to Freedom. West Virginia-American Water ultimately will become the largest creditor by far in this bankruptcy case, the utility said.

Freedoms Chapter 11 filing is indeed vague about the chemical companys current owner, identified in court papers only as Chemstream Holdings, a Pennsylvania company. Cross-referencing publicly filed corporate records from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, however, I was able to show that Chemstream appears to be controlled by a Pennsylvania coal magnate named J. Clifford Forrest, who had the misfortune of acquiring Freedom Industries only weeks before the Charleston chemical spill was discovered on Jan. 9. I also showed that, via other corporate vehicles, Forrest has proposed to loan his deeply troubled new acquisition $5 million to keep it operating during the bankruptcy process.

Now West Virginia-American Water is alleging that the loan, which would require bankruptcy-court approval, is actually a disguised tool to manipulate the bankruptcy process. Without naming Forrest, the water company warned the court that Freedoms owner is trying to use the loan to hold onto those parts of the business that it deems valuable, abandoning the rest, taking the going concern value from the debtor, and leaving the debtor and its many creditors holding the bag.

West Virginia-American Water requested that the bankruptcy judge slow down the process, allow the water utility and other creditors an opportunity to get organized, and force Freedom Industries to be more transparent about its ownership structure and plans for satisfying creditors claims.

So far, lawyers for Freedom and Forrest havent responded to my inquiries. Presumably they will soon answer the utilitys allegations in their own court filings. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek will stay on top of these strange legal doings in Charleston.

Read more:
New Accusations Against Freedom Industries in West Virginia Spill

Searching for shelter in the face of liability lawsuits, Freedom Industries, the source of the big West Virginia chemical spill, has retreated into federal bankruptcy courtwith a Chapter 11 filing late Friday. In addition to temporarily freezing litigation against a debtor company, Chapter 11 proceedings allow the bankruptcy judge to sort out whose claims go first. A side benefit is that the process forces troubled corporations to reveal some secrets. Here are my initial findings on Freedom Industries:

The companys owner made one of the worst-timed acquisitions ever. We now know who owns Freedom Industries, which was identified on Jan. 9 as the company leaking a hazardous coal-processing chemical into the Elk River in Charleston. The lucky winner is J. Clifford Forrest, a Pennsylvania coal magnate. Forrest acquired Freedom only weeks before the spill that cut off water to 300,000 people and shut down businesses in nine counties. Talk about buyers remorse!

Not that Forrest has stepped forward to deal with the mess. Connecting the dots took some detective work. Freedoms Chapter 11 documents identify its sole owner as Chemstream Holdings. The Pennsylvania company is headquartered in Kittanning, near Pittsburgh, at the same street address as Cliffords Rosebud Mining. Rosebud claims to be the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania and the 21st-largest in the U.S. Freedoms filings also show that entities called VF Funding and Mountaineer Funding are seeking to lend as much as $5 million to keep Freedom Industries operating during its reorganization. Mountaineer Funding was incorporated just this past Friday in West Virginia; its sole member is Forrest. In other words, hes seeking bankruptcy-court permission to lend millions to his besieged new acquisition.

Separate West Virginia corporate filings identify Forrest as the manager of two other companies that were merged into Freedom Industries as of Dec. 31, 2013. The corporate rearrangement might have seemed smart on New Years Eve; today, not so much. Lawyers for Forrest and for Freedom Industries didnt respond to my phone calls and e-mail seeking comment.

Freedom has a strategy for spreading the blame. The companys bankruptcy attorneys, led by Mark Freedlander of the Pittsburgh office of McGuire Woods, used Chapter 11 to float a theory designed to ease Freedoms liability: It is presently hypothesized that a local water line break [caused] the ground beneath a storage tank at the Charleston facility to freeze in the extraordinary frigid temperatures in the days immediately preceding what Freedlander delicately termed the incident. Freedom further hypothesized that the hole in the affected storage tank was caused by an object piercing upwards through the base of the tank.

It seems the idea is that water turning to ice expanded, pushing that mystery object through the floor of the tank. Hard to say if the court will buy that. Shouldnt steel tanks containing dangerous chemicals be able to withstand the consequences of winter weather?

Whose allegedly troublesome water line is Freedom talking about? Apparently, the suggestion is that the burst pipe might have been the responsibility of Freedoms co-defendant in many of the liability lawsuits: the local water utility. Business and home owners are blaming the West Virginia unit of American Water Works for failing to move swiftly enough to shut down its intake, which is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms plant. If the utility were also implicated in puncturing the chemical storage tank in the first place that might shift a lot of the legal hassle to American Water (AWK), the nations largest publicly traded water company.

The president of American Waters West Virginia unit has said his company did everything possible to minimize harm from the spill. Something tells me Freedoms lawyers are going to argue otherwise.

Freedom doesnt have much money on hand. American Water had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2012. The companies that now comprise Freedom Industries collectively had revenue of $25.7 million that year, according to the Chapter 11 filing. In 2013, Freedoms sales increased, but only to $30.7 million. Freedom told the bankruptcy court that it has assets of worth from $1 million to $10 million. The filings show that Freedoms top 20 unsecured creditorsapart from lawsuit plaintiffs, of courseare owed a total of $3.6 million.

Among the creditors is Eastman Chemical (EMN), the Kingsport (Tenn.)-based manufacturer that sold Freedom MCHM, the chemical that escaped into the Elk and from there into the regional water system. Eastman has much bigger concerns, however, than recovering the $127,474.84 Freedom owes it. Plaintiffs in liability suits have also named Eastman as a defendant, alleging that the company failed to warn adequately of MCHMs hazards. Eastmans spokeswoman has called the allegations meritless. She went out of her way, though, to add that the manufacturer couldnt vouch for the conduct of American Water or Freedom Industries.

See the article here:
Freedom Industries Ch. 11 Filing Reveals Owners’ Strategy

Searching for shelter in the face of liability lawsuits, Freedom Industries, the source of the big West Virginia chemical spill, has retreated into federal bankruptcy courtwith a Chapter 11 filing late Friday. In addition to temporarily freezing litigation against a debtor company, Chapter 11 proceedings allow the bankruptcy judge to sort out whose claims go first. A side benefit is that the process forces troubled corporations to reveal some secrets. Here are my initial findings on Freedom Industries:

The companys owner made one of the worst-timed acquisitions ever. We now know who owns Freedom Industries, which was identified on Jan. 9 as the company leaking a hazardous coal-processing chemical into the Elk River in Charleston. The lucky winner is J. Clifford Forrest, a Pennsylvania coal magnate. Forrest acquired Freedom only weeks before the spill that cut off water to 300,000 people and shut down businesses in nine counties. Talk about buyers remorse!

Not that Forrest has stepped forward to deal with the mess. Connecting the dots took some detective work. Freedoms Chapter 11 documents identify its sole owner as Chemstream Holdings. The Pennsylvania company is headquartered in Kittanning, near Pittsburgh, at the same street address as Cliffords Rosebud Mining. Rosebud claims to be the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania and the 21st-largest in the U.S. Freedoms filings also show that entities called VF Funding and Mountaineer Funding are seeking to lend as much as $5 million to keep Freedom Industries operating during its reorganization. Mountaineer Funding was incorporated just this past Friday in West Virginia; its sole member is Forrest. In other words, hes seeking bankruptcy-court permission to lend millions to his besieged new acquisition.

Separate West Virginia corporate filings identify Forrest as the manager of two other companies that were merged into Freedom Industries as of Dec. 31, 2013. The corporate rearrangement might have seemed smart on New Years Eve; today, not so much. Lawyers for Forrest and for Freedom Industries didnt respond to my phone calls and e-mail seeking comment.

Freedom has a strategy for spreading the blame. The companys bankruptcy attorneys, led by Mark Freedlander of the Pittsburgh office of McGuire Woods, used Chapter 11 to float a theory designed to ease Freedoms liability: It is presently hypothesized that a local water line break [caused] the ground beneath a storage tank at the Charleston facility to freeze in the extraordinary frigid temperatures in the days immediately preceding what Freedlander delicately termed the incident. Freedom further hypothesized that the hole in the affected storage tank was caused by an object piercing upwards through the base of the tank.

It seems the idea is that water turning to ice expanded, pushing that mystery object through the floor of the tank. Hard to say if the court will buy that. Shouldnt steel tanks containing dangerous chemicals be able to withstand the consequences of winter weather?

Whose allegedly troublesome water line is Freedom talking about? Apparently, the suggestion is that the burst pipe might have been the responsibility of Freedoms co-defendant in many of the liability lawsuits: the local water utility. Business and home owners are blaming the West Virginia unit of American Water Works for failing to move swiftly enough to shut down its intake, which is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms plant. If the utility were also implicated in puncturing the chemical storage tank in the first place that might shift a lot of the legal hassle to American Water (AWK), the nations largest publicly traded water company.

The president of American Waters West Virginia unit has said his company did everything possible to minimize harm from the spill. Something tells me Freedoms lawyers are going to argue otherwise.

Freedom doesnt have much money on hand. American Water had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2012. The companies that now comprise Freedom Industries collectively had revenue of $25.7 million that year, according to the Chapter 11 filing. In 2013, Freedoms sales increased, but only to $30.7 million. Freedom told the bankruptcy court that it has assets of worth from $1 million to $10 million. The filings show that Freedoms top 20 unsecured creditorsapart from lawsuit plaintiffs, of courseare owed a total of $3.6 million.

Among the creditors is Eastman Chemical (EMN), the Kingsport (Tenn.)-based manufacturer that sold Freedom MCHM, the chemical that escaped into the Elk and from there into the regional water system. Eastman has much bigger concerns, however, than recovering the $127,474.84 Freedom owes it. Plaintiffs in liability suits have also named Eastman as a defendant, alleging that the company failed to warn adequately of MCHMs hazards. Eastmans spokeswoman has called the allegations meritless. She went out of her way, though, to add that the manufacturer couldnt vouch for the conduct of American Water or Freedom Industries.

Visit link:
Freedom Industries Chapter 11 Filing Reveals Owners’ Strategy



Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat Small II
Station Channel Islands Harbor shows off the new 29-foot Response Boat Small II. Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers | US Coast Guard District 11 PADET Los Angeles | Date: 02.27.2013. OXNARD, Calif. — Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor received two new small boats this month as part of the service's plan to standardize and revitalize its shore-based fleet. Available in high definition. The station received a 45-foot RB-M to replace the aging and outdated 41-foot Utility Boat. They also received a new 29-foot RB-S II that will be replacing the station's 25-foot RB-S I. The 45-foot RB-M boasts an improved design, new ergonomics, and enhanced safety features, making boat crews more effective in performing their multiple missions. The 29-foot Response Boat-Small (RB-S) II is a high-speed, easily deployable asset designed to operate year-round in shallow waters along coastal borders. The boat is four feet longer than its predecessor and was designed with an increased emphasis on function and crew comfort. As of mid-February, 115 out of the 166 RB-M's the Coast Guard has ordered have been delivered with eight stationed in California. Of the 38 RB-S II's ordered, 29 have been delivered with five stationed in the state.

By: okrajoe

Visit link:
Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat Small II – Video



Sands of Time Beach House Rentals Video
Beach House Rentals: Sands of Time Boca Raton, Florida Type: Single Family Beds: 4 Baths: 7 Sleeps: Up To 10 Sq Ft: 10000 This community is an exclusive oceanfront enclave protected by a 24-hour manned guard gate. In the heart of South Florida's famed Gold Coast, the prestigious seaside town of Highland Beach sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway on the northern shores of Boca Raton, Florida, amid a tropical landscape fringed with white-sand beaches. All of the Gold Coast's exclusive shops, gourmet restaurants, world-class sporting clubs and Boca Raton Executive Airport are within easy reach. Magnificent Mediterranean-Style Estate. Directly fronting 100 feet± along the ocean, this magnificent Mediterranean-style estate commands breathtaking views overlooking the Atlantic. An Oceanside Loggia opens to a resort-style Pool with Spa. Palatial 3 Level Residence-Styled in elegant grandeur, this palatial 3-level residence comprises 10000± total square feet with 4 Bedrooms, 7 Baths, Elevator, extensive Loggias and Balconies, and a 3-bay Garage complete with limousine bay. Soaring ceilings, marble and hardwood floors, and fine moldings highlight the spacious open-plan design. Majestic ocean views are enjoyed from every major room. Explore the Estate's Entry Level From the columned Portico, double doors open to a 2-story grand Foyer with inlaid marble floor and impressive Butterfly Staircase. A spacious Family Room, Powder Room, and Utility Room are also …

By: Beach House Rentals

Follow this link:
Sands of Time Beach House Rentals Video – Video

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Green Automotive Company (OTC:GACR) announced today that it has entered into detailed discussions with Liberty Electric Cars Limited (www.liberty-ecars.com), a UK-based developer of Electric Drive Trains, unique Battery Management Systems and provider of full support programs for all types of Electric vehicles. These discussions will lead to Liberty technology being used to convert conventional internal combustion engine driven vehicles into zero emission electric vehicles. Liberty, formed in 2006, was the first company in the world to successfully convert the Range Rover into a high speed pure electric 4×4 capable of 200 miles on a single charge and driven by 4 individual motors. The Liberty Electric Range Rover was hailed as the worlds best luxury EV in 2010 and provided the most telling example of the companys capabilities. Libertys expertise will serve as Green Automotives foundation for its expansion into the European Electric Vehicle market as well as provide the technology for the conversion activities planned for the North American market.

As I disclosed in several of our past public announcements, and in greater detail in our First Quarter March 31, 2012 Information and Disclosure Statement filed with OTCMarkets.com, said Fred Luke, President of Green Automotive Company, we have elected to not make the Companys primary business that of importing, performing the homologation, and then competing against a host of others now entering the market of retailing Electric Passenger Vehicles. Putting the last 2 years of import and homologation knowledge in the proper prospective, it is clear to us that our fastest and least expensive path to revenues from the Electric Vehicle (EV) will be to focus on the conversion of conventional internal combustion engine-driven vehicles of all types, particularly Mass-Transit and passenger vehicles which have already passed the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) tests, to make them into zero emission vehicles.

According to Mr. Luke, this move comes following disappointing test results during the homologation program and failing negotiations with Zotye for as to the Zotye Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). It was determined by management and our independent engineers, at Roush Industries, said Mr. Luke, that the Zotye SUV would struggle to pass the stringent crash tests required by the DOT, FMVSS and NIHSTA, without substantial expenditure and time. At which time the Company began seeking alternatives to replace the Zotye vehicles with automobiles that the Company could bring to market in a more expeditious and efficient manner.

On January 17, 2012 the Company announced that it signed a Letter of Intent pursuant to which it would join forces with Niyato Industries in an effort to accelerate the plans of both companies to bring domestically manufactured Electric Passenger Vehicles to the US market this year. However, Fords announcement that it would be rolling out its own line of EVs, beginning with the Focus and Fusion http://inhabitat.com/ford-announces-2012-ford-focus-electric-will-get-extra-2500-in-tax-credits-in-california/ made it very difficult for us to justify going any further with the Green Automotive-Niyato joint venture. In the process of due diligence on Niyato, the Companys management determined that it was not in its best interest to continue with Niyato as Niyato did not appear to have the immediate manufacturing facility for the proposed conversion of the vehicles it represented to have under contract to convert to EVs, nor did it have a prototype upon which to develop reasonable manufacturing costs, and it appeared to be under-capitalized to finance its plans, requiring the Green Automotive to provide the necessary capital.

Taking into consideration the costly and time consuming (24 to 36 months) efforts to move the Zotye Vehicles through the stringent import tests required by the DOT and NIHSTA, and the capital position of Niyato, negotiations with Niyato were put on hold and alternate solutions were sought.

The first of the Companys new partnership targets was Liberty Electric Cars Limited, a UK-based conversion and EV support company which currently designs, develops, manufactures and markets electric vehicle drive trains for use in its own converted vehicles and for sale to OEMs for incorporation into their production. Their focus is on larger platforms from 4×4 through to commercial vehicles, where they operate in a niche market with few competitors. Liberty Electric Cars Limited also supplies after sales support, training, and upgrades for electric vehicle users throughout Europe and Middle East.

Liberty, through its E-Tech division, is involved in a number of advanced research programs for developing next generation EV solutions, many in partnership with Tier 1 automotive manufacturers. The E-Tech engineering team can count over 2,500,000 miles of EV expertise, and were the first people to design and build a ground up electric truck. In addition, they own the UKs largest EV retail company, which has sold over 1400 electric vehicles and they supply, through their E-Care division, a comprehensive after-market EV support program throughout Europe for electric trucks and cars.

Their clients include such high profile names as UPS, Fed-ex, Navistar, Veolia, Tesco and many more.

In November 2010 Liberty entered and successfully completed the Royal Automobile Club’s first annual “Future Car Challenge” where 2 Liberty Pure Electric Range Rovers drove from Brighton to London, with 5 people in each car including a film crew in one, ending with an exciting public display on Regent Street in the centre of London. In addition to Libertys expertise in engineering solutions for electric vehicles, and providing the most comprehensive after market program for electric cars and trucks, Liberty also offers a range of exciting electric transport solutions.

Excerpt from:
Green Automotive to Join Forces with Liberty Electric Cars Limited

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Liberty Power, one of the nation’s fastest-growing and largest independent energy retailers, today announced it has launched a residential program in New Jersey. The company now has active residential offers in the utility territories of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), and Atlantic City Electric (ACE). As a result of the launch, Liberty Power is expanding the availability of its offers to an additional 3 million residents.

The retail electricity supplier first began serving non-residential customers in New Jersey in the spring of 2007. Liberty Power’s residential expansion into New Jersey comes on the heels of launching residential programs in Maryland and Connecticut. Liberty Power now has residential retail electric programs in seven states: New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas.

“We have been providing New Jersey business owners low-cost electricity and exceptional customer service for more than five years. We are thrilled to now be able to offer similar products and services to residents of the Garden State,” stated David Hernandez, co-founder and CEO.

At the time of launch, the company will offer its Home Independence Plan, a fixed-rate product with terms of 12 and 24-months. Residents who choose Liberty Power as their retail electricity supplier will continue to receive one bill and the same level of service from their local utility, which will still deliver the electricity, maintain the pole and wires, and respond to power outages. There is no sign-up fee, and there will be no interruption in electricity service. Liberty Power also offers competitive rates for commercial accounts. For additional information, New Jersey residents and businesses may call 855-776-9377 to sign up by phone.

About Liberty Power Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Liberty Power is one of only five national retail electric providers licensed in 16 or more states and is the first certified, minority-owned, independent retail electric provider with a national presence. Currently serving over 100,000 commercial accounts, Liberty Power provides large and small businesses, government agencies, as well as residential customers, with low-cost electricity and exceptional customer service.

For more information on Liberty Power, please visit http://www.libertypowercorp.com

Liberty Power is a registered trademark of Liberty Power Corp. LLC encompassing Liberty Power Holdings LLC, Liberty Power Delaware LLC, Liberty Power Maryland LLC, Liberty Power District of Columbia LLC, and LPT LLC, dba LPT SP LLC. Liberty Power is certified and licensed by the Public Utilities/Service Commissions of: CA, CT, DC, DE, IL, ME, MD (IR793), MA (CS-057) MI, NJ (ESL-0001), NY, OH, PA, RI, TX (10118) and VA; as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Read the rest here:
Liberty Power Enters Residential Electric Market in New Jersey

KOTA BARU: A 53.5km stretch of the 75.5km beachfront in Kelantan has been hit by erosion, especially during the monsoon season, the Kelantan State Assembly was told.

State Housing, Public Works, Utility and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Md Anizam Abdul Rahman said the critical areas were Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Kuala Pak Amat, Pantai Sabak and Pantai Irama in Bachok.

There is also erosion at Pantai Bisikan Bayu in Pasir Puteh and the problem, if not addressed, can reach a critical stage in about 10 years.

Meanwhile, State Health, Women and Family Development Committee chairman, Wan Ubaidah Omar, said 346 domestic abuse cases were reported in Kelantan since 2009.

A total 322 cases involved abuse on women while 24 were child abuse cases, she told Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman (PAS-Chetok). Bernama

View post:
Kelantan beaches in danger of eroding

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Alvarez claimed to have rescued the U.S. ambassador in Iran in 1979 He's currently in prison on separate fraud charges The justices must decide if the First Amendment protects lies about military medals A lower court ruled Alvarez's free speech rights were violated in the medal fraud prosecution

Washington (CNN) — Xavier Alvarez ran for public office in California touting an impressive resume, including claims that he was a recipient of the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government, the Medal of Honor, for combat bravery.

He won the election but wound up in a heap of trouble — eventually shamed and imprisoned on charges not related to the medal declaration. Now his cautionary tale is before the Supreme Court, in an unusual free speech fight over lies and honor. Arguments in the case begin Wednesday morning, with a ruling expected by the summer.

At issue is the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, a 2006 congressional law making it a crime to “falsely represent himself or herself, verbally or in writing,” as having been awarded military honors.

The justices will decide whether the First Amendment would normally protect such “knowing falsehoods,” unless they fit within a few narrow exceptions — such as defamation, monetary fraud, or perjury.

“The case really does present the question, when is it that lying can be a crime? How much harm does it have to do, and how much of a free speech right to lie is there?” said Thomas Goldstein, a prominent Washington attorney and publisher of SCOTUSblog.com. “Lots of times, cases get up to the Supreme Court precisely because the speech is really offensive and the justices end up saying: this is what it is to have a First Amendment in our country.”

A divided federal appeals court had earlier ruled against the Obama administration, concluding there was inadequate “compelling governmental interest” when Congress passed the law.

Alvarez had won a seat on the Three Valleys Municipal Water District's board of directors in 2007, and at one of his first open meetings claimed to be a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor in 1987. A photo shows a bow-tied Alvarez openly displaying dozens of military honors on a dress uniform.

“I got wounded many times by the same guy,” Alvarez later declared in another public session, according to court records. “I'm still around.” It was a recording of that claim that gave prosecutors the evidence needed to file charges.

Bob Kuhn is the president of the district's board of directors, serving the San Gabriel Valley of southern California, east of Los Angeles. He said he first heard about Alvarez a week before the municipal election, when the candidate claimed in a local newspaper to have saved a woman from “certain death” when she got stuck behind a refrigerator, while he was allegedly out campaigning door-to-door in the neighborhood.

“He wasn't shy about talking about his military career, wasn't shy about talking about how many times he'd been shot” in combat, Kuhn told CNN. “He exaggerated… no, he didn't exaggerate, he lied about the fact that he'd been in three helicopter crashes, he'd been shot fifteen or sixteen times. The graduation from school, these were all things that he put down on literature to get elected. And where the public trust was really violated, in my opinion, and when I became very offended was when I realized that realistically, the election hinged on the fact that he was a war hero.”

The claims were all a fantasy: Alvarez never served in the military, and was not a professional engineer with a degree from Cal Poly, as his campaign literature stated. In fact, he never attended college.

Alvarez — who has also publicly referred to himself as Javier Alvarez — was prosecuted on two counts of falsely, verbally claiming to have received the medal. He had conditionally pleaded guilty, reserving his right to later appeal on constitutional grounds. He was fined $5,000, given three years' probation, and resigned in 2010 from the utility board based in Claremont, California.

Kuhn said Alvarez never fully explained his actions. “He was very combative and he did everything he could to get you to not bring it up again… I said you really need to step down. He just he looked at me like there's something wrong with me,” said Kuhn. “It was really kind of sad to watch him because it made a big difference in how people see us as politicians or at least at the water board level, in my own community.”

While the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled Alvarez's free speech rights were violated, they showed little sympathy for his actions, calling them “nothing but a series of bizarre lies.”

“We have no doubt that society would be better off if Alvarez would stop spreading worthless, ridiculous, and offensive untruths,” the three-judge panel concluded. “But, given our historical skepticism of permitting the government to police the line between truth and falsity, and between valuable speech and drivel, we preemptively protect all speech, including false statements, in order that clearly protected speech may flower in the shelter of the First Amendment.”

The appeals court ruling prompted outrage from veterans groups, and the Obama administration urged the high court to intervene.

The judges noted Alvarez apparently “makes a hobby of lying about himself.” Acquaintances told the FBI he claimed to have received the Medal of Honor during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis in Iran in 1979, during which, he bragged, he personally rescued the U.S. ambassador. Friends also said he claimed to have won the medal during the Vietnam War, according to court records. He also spread stories that he was a former professional hockey player and a police officer; and that he was married to a Mexican movie starlet.

Alvarez sees his situation differently. His lawyer Jonathan Libby, a federal public defender who will argue the case before the justices, said his client's accumulated lies — while a “bunch of whoppers,” as Libby put it — were “political speech” and deserved protection.

“Mr. Alvarez was a publicly elected official who told a lie at a meeting,” said Libby. “It's our position he was engaging in that same kind of political speech.”

“If the court were to uphold the law, it's certainly possibly Congress could pass all kinds of laws: they could make it a crime to lie on one's Facebook page, or a dating website — and it doesn't necessarily have to be a serious lie, or have to harm anybody,” said Libby, who added that his client remains “very apologetic” for his deception. “Sometimes free expression goes too far and offends some people, but on the whole, the First Amendment gives us a certain level of autonomy and that's what the court has protected.”

The FBI in 2010 investigated more than 200 “stolen valor” cases, a number that has almost tripled in the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to the agency.

Beyond the circumstances of this appeal, the broader constitutional concerns deal with the power of the government to limit certain types of speech, particularly those made by public officials and those made during election campaigns.

The Supreme Court has been split in recent years over whether false statements of fact should be protected under the Constitution, except in very limited circumstances. The Justice Department had argued Alvarez's statements deserved no legal protection because they had little value, and that there was a larger societal need to “protect speech that matters,” in this case the bravery and integrity of military heroes who rightfully earned their medals.

The high court in 2010 struck down another federal law, this one designed to stop the sale and marketing of videos showing dogfights and other acts of animal cruelty. The 8-1 majority said it was an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

The federal Stolen Valor Act was designed to “protect the reputation” of military decorations, citing “fraudulent claims surrounding the receipt of the Medal of Honor (and other congressionally authorized military medals, decorations, and honors).” Similar laws have been in place since 1948.

The current law was a result of the hard work from Pam and Douglas Sterner, former Colorado natives who helped draft the legislation and who lobbied members of Congress to pass it.

“For every person who claims a Medal of Honor, I've uncovered scores of people claiming the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, hundreds claiming Purple Hearts,” said Doug Sterner, a Vietnam War veteran. “The numbers run into the thousands, and they run from the common criminal who's trying to pick up a girl or get a free meal, to politicians, to some of our most esteemed individuals in society.”

The Sterners created “Home of Heroes,” a popular website and database on veteran issues. They say if the law is declared unconstitutional by the high court, the next practical step would be to create a government-run, national database to track every medal earned by every American war veteran. That project is in the works and supporters say it would help ferret out frauds like Alvarez, but not stop them entirely.

As for Alvarez, he is currently in the California State Prison in Centinela, convicted separately last year for defrauding the water district. According to court records, he lied to the board about being married so his ex-wife could collect taxpayer-funded health benefits. The couple had actually been divorced for nearly three decades.

He's due to be released next month.

“Including the day of the trial when he was going into court, I never once to this second have ever heard him say, 'I'm sorry I did it' or show any kind of remorse. None. Zero,” said Kuhn. “He just doesn't have that gene in him.”

The medals case is U.S. v. Alvarez (11-210).

Continued here:
Lying about valor: Justices to debate free speech case

Eight hundred more homes and businesses on the Magdalen Islands lost power Monday afternoon, leaving a total of 3,000 customers without electricity.

Hydro-Québec blamed the latest outages on ice-laden and fallen power lines in Fatima on l'Île-du-Havre-aux-Maisons.

It's unclear when power will be fully restored.

The utility said more than 150 Hydro-Québec workers arrived on Monday to begin repairs.

Hydro-Québec chartered two ferries with ice-breaking capabilities Monday to carry crews and supplies — including poles and generators — from the eastern Prince Edward Island port of Souris on Monday.

The first ship, which sailed early in the day, contained 20 utility trucks to do repairs and seven tractor-trailers loaded with replacement utility poles. The second ship was still being loaded on Monday afternoon.

“On the tractor-trailers you got poles, you got … transformers. We have trailers with generators, loaders, everything that they need basically to help out with the works,” said Steve Comeau, manager of the Souris ferry terminal.

Crews fought frigid temperatures and high winds as they loaded the boats, but Bernard Langford, captain of Le Voyageur, said the thick sea ice would make for smooth sailing.

Langford's crew understood the urgency of their sailing because all 23 of them live in the Magdalen Islands.

“It's really important because we don't have electricity,” said Lizanne Lanteigne, the chief purser. “It's something that we wait for because we don't have electricity since yesterday and it will be a few days again. It will be like a rescue,” she said.

Ferry managers said their ships will be available as long as it takes.

High winds and freezing rain brought down 12 towers and 200 utility poles on Saturday night, and thousands have been without power since then.

Environment Canada meteorologist René Héroux said Monday was the coldest day of the year so far for people on the archipelago. The wind chill made it feel like – 35 C.

“The Magdalen Islands seem to have really been hammered by this storm,” said Souris Mayor David MacDonald.

Helena Burke, one of thousands on the islands without power, said she and her neighbours received an automated phone message from Hydro-Québec, but the utility was not able to tell them when power would be restored.

“I was actually living in Sherbrooke when the ice storm happened in 1998, and it just looks exactly the same,” said Burke.

“The trees are all covered with ice and fallen. The hydro lines are just … the ice that's around them is incredible.”

Burke has an oil stove that is keeping her house warm. She has taken in several family members who are also without power.

Power started going out around the islands at about 4 a.m. Sunday, and at the peak of the blackout 3,600 were without power, just under half of the utility's customers on the islands.

Firefighters and volunteers have gone door to door to make sure people are OK. Three emergency centres have been opened, but so far only a few dozen people have taken advantage of them.

Originally posted here:
More power out on Magdalen Islands

Extra ferries have been put on the route between the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island to send equipment to restore power after a winter storm knocked out power for thousands Saturday night.

High winds and freezing rain brought down between 150 and 200 utility poles, and about 2,000 people are still without power on Quebec's Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Poles and generators are being sent to help with the effort, which could take several days. One of two ferries scheduled to leave the eastern P.E.I. port of Souris on Monday is already on its way.

“The Magdalen Islands seem to have really been hammered by this storm,” said Souris Mayor David MacDonald.

“The ferry people are planning to send two boatloads of Quebec Hydro vehicles over today. One has already left. The other one is just waiting for the vehicles to arrive. You see flatbeds going by with poles.”

Helena Burke, one of thousands on the islands without power, said she and her neighbours received an automated phone message from Hydro-Québec, but the utility was not able to tell them when power would be restored.

“I was actually living in Sherbrooke when the ice storm happened in 1998, and it just looks exactly the same,” said Burke.

“The trees are all covered with ice and fallen. The hydro lines are just, the ice that's around them is incredible.”

Burke has an oil stove that is keeping her house warm. She has taken in several family members who are also without power.

Power started going out around the islands at about 4 a.m. Sunday, and at the peak of the blackout 3,600 were without power, just under half of the utility's customers on the islands.

Firefighters and volunteers have gone door to door to make sure people are OK. Three emergency centres have been opened, but so far only a few dozen people have taken advantage of them.

Read the original here:
Magdalen Islands storm aid keeps P.E.I. port busy

Today, Forrester Research unveiled a 6- page report on the utility of SEO automation tools for use in larger enterprises. Six vendors were covered in the.

Read more here:
Forrester Research Publishes 1st Report On Enterprise SEO …



FireFox! Start Your Own Web Hosting Company
Web Hosting Advertise Here $10 a Month Affordable web-hosting
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin




Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism

Sign up below for the Prometheism / Designer Children Discussion Forum

Subscribe to prometheism-pgroup

Powered by us.groups.yahoo.com