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US First Marijuana-Infused Meals Sold from Food Truck in Washington

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:41 Written by
By: Reuters/Blair Gable
A food truck starts selling weed-infused meals openly in Washington for the first time after a vote in favor of recreational marijuana legalization in 2012.
Food company MagicalButter is taking the “Samich” truck across US cities where marijuana is now legal, and its journey began in April in Denver. “Samich”, the company says, stands for "Savory Accessible Marijuana Infused Culinary Happiness."
The process of infusion is achieved using an automatic botanical extractor often used to make cannabutter and canna-oil. The device can take nutrients from plants and produce butters, oils, and tinctures.
On the menu, are barbecue and pulled pork filled sandwiches, in addition to a turkey and stuffing option served on cornbread. The latter is known as the "Danks-giving."
The truck's signature "Samich" sandwich consists of nut butter, jelly, and banana. The jelly is a “trinity jam” made with blueberries, raspberries, and pomegranates, MagicalButter enthused.
Also on the list is truffle popcorn with ganja – Indian marijuana.
MagicalButter pledges that each product will be packed with between 30 and 100 milligrams of THC, cannabis' main psychoactive element. This constitutes a healthy daily dose, according to Medical Jane, the marijuana enthusiasts' site.

US Spy Agency Trying to Develop Computers That Think Like Humans

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:30 Written by
By: Mauricio Lima
A little-known US intelligence research agency hopes to revolutionize the machine mind by finding firms capable of writing computer algorithms nearly identical to those implemented by the human brain.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which operates under the Director of National Intelligence, will host a Proposers' Day conference for the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) program on July 17, the agency said in a press release.
“The overall and specific goal of the MICrONS program is to create a new generation of machine learning algorithms derived from high-fidelity representations of cortical microcircuits to achieve human-like performance on complex information processing tasks,” IARPA says.
In layman’s terms, that means getting computers to operate and process information much like the human brain. 
For many information processing tasks, the brain employs algorithms – a step-by-step procedure for making calculations.
The human brain uses a combination of algorithm "primitives", where neurons – electrically excitable cells that process and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals – communicate in a localized, three-dimensional pattern.

White House Announces an Additional 300 Troops to Iraq

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:16 Written by


By: Ahmad AL-Rubaye
Less than a week after announcing the deployment of additional US personnel to Iraq, the White House has said that up to 300 more troops are being sent to the country to bolster security at key facilities amid an organized push by ISIS militants.
In a letter to Congress on Monday, President Obama wrote that additional troop deployments are “a prudent measure to protect US citizens and property.” 
“This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat,” wrote the President. 
The letter, the third in two weeks, outlined that the additional force would include a detachment of helicopters as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. The troops are meant to reinforce security at US diplomatic facilities, as well as Baghdad International Airport. 
Taking into account Monday’s announcement by the administration, recent US reinforcements into Iraq now stand at 875. On June 16, the president authorized a 275 troop deployment to strengthen embassy security in Baghdad. 
The White House also authorized 300 troops to travel to Iraq in an advisory role, to train and assist Iraqi forces against ISIS following an embarrassing withdrawal from Mosul earlier in June. The withdrawal brought into sharp focus the level of combat readiness of Iraq’s armed forces. 
On Monday, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or simply Islamic State) announced the creation of a caliphate, or an Islamic state governed by Sharia law, throughout its controlled territory within Iraq and Syria. The group proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph and demanded Muslims around the world pledge their allegiance. 
As ISIS has expanded its reach within Iraq, questions regarding Baghdad’s security have been raised. Though State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US embassy in the city “remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders,” officials cited by the Washington Post believed the additional troop deployments were aimed at not only protecting the embassy, but also ensuring escape routes in the event of an evacuation. 


Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:10 Written by
Presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado the Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby contraception case represents a setback for women’s rights and “really bad slippery slope.”
Clinton believes a closely held corporation should not be allowed to exercise its property rights. According to Clinton, employees should have the ability through government compulsion to force a company to pay for services – in this case abortion, not contraception per se – it disagrees with on religious grounds.
“I think the most profoundly confusing argument has been the argument that not being able to get free birth control is discrimination against women,” writes Ron Paul. “This, to me, is utterly amazing. If somebody wants something, and they wish to have something—they demand something—they say they have a right to it, which is absolutely wrong. That’s why we have this runaway welfare state. That’s why we have corporations taking over; because of this assumption. Rights are designed to protect people’s lives and their liberties. But not to fulfill their wishes and desires and demands. Besides, what about the discrimination against the people who have to pay?”
Finally, we should take note of the venue Clinton used to make her remarks about the decision – the Aspen Ideas Festival.
It is a product of the Aspen Institute, a globalist organization funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation.
Clinton was talking directly to the bankers and the CIA.

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New York Announces Plan to Boost HIV Testing, Treatment to End Epidemic

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:01 Written by
By: The Associated Press
New York state can end its three-decade HIV crisis by the year 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday as he announced an ambitious plan to deliver a knockout blow to the epidemic by boosting testing, reducing new infections and expanding treatment.
The governor said the state is aiming to reduce new HIV diagnoses to 750 by the end of the decade - about the same number of tuberculosis cases seen in New York City each year - down from 3,000 expected this year and 14,000 new cases of the disease in 1993. If the state is successful, it would be the first time the number of people living with HIV has gone down since the crisis began with the first widely reported cases in 1981.
"Thirty years ago, New York was the epicenter of the AIDS crisis," Cuomo said. "Today I am proud to announce that we are in a position to be the first state in the nation committed to ending this epidemic."
To expand treatment, the state's Department of Health has negotiated bulk rebates with three companies producing HIV drugs. The state is also taking steps to make it easier to get tested, changing how HIV cases are tracked to ensure patients continue to receive treatment, and boosting access to "pre-exposure" drugs that can help high-risk people avoid infection.
Cuomo did not offer an estimate of the cost of the plan, but said it would end up saving the state more than $300 million per year by 2020 by reducing the amount the state pays for medical care for those with HIV.
Groups that have long advocated for HIV patients praised the governor's announcement, saying it shows that efforts to fight the disease are paying off, and that a scourge that once seemed unbeatable can be successfully fought.

‘Supercooling’ Technique May Preserve Transplant Organs Longer

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 06:55 Written by
A new technique may help preserve transplantable organs for days, Nature World News reported.
The ‘supercooling’ method of preserving transplant organs was developed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, to help decrease the cost of organ transplants and increase the number of successful organ matches.
In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers tested the four-step technique on rat models, pumping their organs with nutrients and oxygen, and then cooling them to below the freezing point. Freezing the organs helps reduce damage in the cells of the organ, which begin to die as soon as they leave the body. Currently, most transplant organs can survive outside the body for only five to 24 hours.
For the experiment, the rats underwent liver transplants; some received livers that had undergone supercooling, while others received organs preserved by traditional ice-cooling methods. Overall, rats that received the supercooled organs lived longer post-transplant, compared to rats that received  the ice-cooled organs.
Moving forward, the researchers plan to see if their technique can effectively preserve a human liver.
"The next step will be to conduct similar studies in larger animals," study author Rosemarie Hunziker, of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, said in a press release. "It is exciting to see such an achievement in small animals, by recombining and optimizing existing technology. The main point here is that using all of these approaches at once was what led to success."

Google Shutters Social Network Orkut, Cuts Quickoffice

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 06:49 Written by
By: Katie Roof
After a decade long attempt to popularize the service, Google (GOOGL) is shutting down its social network, Orkut.
Users can no longer create new accounts as of Monday and the site will officially close on Sept. 30. Orkut communities can still be accessed through an archive and profile data can be downloaded through September 2016.
One of Google’s early efforts in social media, the site struggled to gain traction in most regions beyond India and Brazil. At one point it was Brazil’s most popular social network, but Facebook surpassed it in 2012.
“Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking,” Paulo Golgher, Orkut engineering director, said in a blog post. “Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what ‘social networking’ was.”
Some of the company’s other social attempts like Google Wave and Google Buzz have also been shuttered. Going forward, Google will focus its social efforts on YouTube, Blogger and Google+.
"Google has been pushing Google+ so it is no real surprise that they are consolidating properties," Neil Doshi, analyst at CRT Capital, said. 
Google announced a revamp of its Google Docs service at its Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco last week. On Monday, it also announced it was shutting down Quickoffice, an app for document editing.
"Now that Quickoffice is being built directly into Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, users can edit Microsoft Office files without needing a separate application,” Google said in a statement. "If you've already downloaded Quickoffice, you can still continue to use it.”
Google shares are up 31% in the past year. They are currently trading around $576, with a market cap of $391 billion.

3 Cool Virtual-Reality Projects from Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 06:43 Written by
By: Karim Lahlou
Oculus Rift’s $2 billion purchase by Facebook made it clear that the social networking giant was betting big on virtual reality, or VR. This technology immerses the user in a digital world through a headset that tracks a user’s head movements. Also in March, Sony, the maker of the PlayStation 4, announced Project Morpheus, a VR headset that the company hopes will unlock new possibilities for gamers to interact with virtual environments.
While both headsets are currently not yet available for consumers (although the Oculus Rift may be ordered as a developer kit for $350), there have been some interesting attempts to showcase the possibilities these two hold for gaming and simulation enthusiasts. Here are three of the most promising projects we found.
Bird simulator
Designed by students at the Zurich University of the Arts, Birdly is a virtual reality simulation that gives players the ability to take to the skies in the form of a red kite, a bird of prey. Using the Oculus Rift headset and a pneumatic plank, the players may “flap” their wings to gain altitude and move their heads to get a bird’s eye view of the landscapes below.
To make the virtual flight even more realistic, a fan is placed in front of the player to provide the feel of air streams, and flying over different locations releases various scents. 
Hack and slash
Revealed at the Game Developers Conference in March, Project Morpheus emphasizes the player’s immersion in games by using accessories that enable enhanced interactivity, such as the PlayStation Move controller.
“We’ve discovered that the more you integrate the analogy of your body in the game,” said Andrew Kelly, a Public Relations Manager for Sony, “the better it feels, and the easier it is for your brain to get used to the virtual world.”


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