Corporate Slush Funds exposed along with the usual banks all at taxpayer expense. The unheard of ex IMF bank..up for renewal in a week
These charts suggest that while not all US exporters benefit from Export-Import Bank assistance, the ones that do often benefit handsomely. Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric, and the rest have a large incentive to keep the Export-Import Bank running, despite the fact that the Bank’s own leader, Fred Hochberg, has publicly admitted that these firms can “arrange their own financing” without the Bank’s help.
GOOD MORNING Z, SYS, SWAMPRAT AND ALL OF OUR UFOCASEBOOKERS
Cars that drive themselves starting to chat with each other
By Ben Klayman, Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert DETROIT Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:23am EDT
(Reuters) - An Acura RLX sedan demonstrated an unusual way to tow another car this week: the vehicles were not physically attached. The second car drove itself, following instructions beamed over by the first in a feat of technology that indicates a new stage in automation is happening faster than many expected.
Systems that enable vehicles to communicate with each other have been developed in recent years in parallel with features that enable cars to drive themselves. Manufacturers and suppliers now are putting the two together in novel ways, with broad implications for vehicle safety and convenience.
General Motors Co, Honda Motor Co, which owns Acura, and other automakers are working with traditional suppliers and startup firms. Tech giants Google, with its pioneering work on driverless cars, and Apple, which is working with automakers to embed greater connectivity in their cars, are accelerating the change.
"It is the mix of big companies -- Apple, Google, the automakers and the data aggregators -- that starts to create momentum. Two years ago, it was different. It was a promise. Today, it’s reality," said Laurens Eckelboom, executive vice president of business development at Parkmobile, a smart-parking startup whose investors include BMW AG and Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford's venture capital firm Fontinalis Partners.
A "truck platooning" application by Peloton Technology, a startup based in California's Silicon Valley, is intended to save fuel and reduce collisions.
As with virtual towing, a "platoon" of two heavy trucks use wireless communication and computer-controlled braking and acceleration to keep in close formation on the highway, according to a description by the company, which expects to start selling the technology late next year at $2,000 per truck plus a share of the projected operating savings.
The total price tag for widespread adaption of such features could be steep. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates automakers will need to spend billions of dollars to install safety systems that automatically assist drivers and could be mandated by 2020, when the industry expects the first self-driving cars to start easing onto roads.
WHO IS LIABLE?
There are other risks and issues including reliability, cybersecurity and legal liability.
"What happens if a self-driving car gets into an accident? Who is liable for the damages? Will the human ‘copilot’ be at fault or will the car’s manufacturer?," the Center for Insurance Policy and Research wrote last month, citing "a long list of safety and legal issues to iron out before self-driving cars hit the road.”
All the razzle-dazzle technology promised by automakers and regulators "shouldn't take our eyes off the prize -- cars that don't crash," Jon Lauckner, GM's chief technology officer, said at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Detroit this week.
Citi analyst Itay Michaeli said the convergence of connected and automated technologies also has the potential to reduce vehicle emissions and fuel usage, and bring down vehicle operating and insurance costs.
Active safety, including hands-free driver assistance and accident avoidance, was a common thread of many technical discussions and technology advances on display at the ITS show, which attracted 10,000 engineers, scientists and researchers, ending on Thursday.
Automakers are starting to put more of the new technologies on the road "to get some experience and see how the market reacts in advance of the government requiring it," said Jeff Owens, Delphi Automotive chief technology officer.
Price is still a big question. Some advanced systems could cost two to three times more to develop than early adopters are likely to pay, several industry insiders estimated in conversations at the show.
Even with just a few semi-automated systems installed, the price tag remains stiff, although recent studies have shown car buyers are willing to pay about $3,000 to have hands-free driving capability.
The Chrysler Group, a unit of Italy’s Fiat SpA, is charging nearly $3,500 for a technology bundle on its new 2015 Chrysler 200C sedan that includes adaptive cruise control, which automatically applies brakes and throttle to keep a vehicle a safe distance behind the one ahead; lane departure warning with lane keep assist, which automatically redirects a vehicle that is drifting out of its traffic lane; blind spot and cross path detection, which helps the driver monitor the presence of vehicles, and automatic park assist.
GM's Cadillac brand hasn't said how much its new Smart Cruise system will cost when it debuts in about two years. The system is designed to enable hands-free driving on the freeway with automatic steering, braking and throttle, as well as using GM's OnStar system to provide location, weather and traffic information to the automated systems.
But drivers should not expect to take a snooze. "We are talking about 'automated' driving features, not autonomous driving," with Smart Cruise, warned spokesman Jim Cain. "We will have strategies in place to keep the driver alert and engaged."
(Reporting by Ben Klayman, Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert in Detroit, editing by Peter Henderson)
'Jaws' lived in Doncaster, England: Archeologists dig up evidence of sharks and swamps 310 million years ago
Date: September 15, 2014
Source: Manchester University
Sharks, swamps and a tropical rainforest teeming with life -- it's not what comes to mind when you think of Yorkshire. But for the first time evidence of Doncaster's 310-million-year-old past, including a fossilised shark egg case, has been discovered in a derelict mining tip.
Some of the fossilised plants and creatures may even be new to science, and as well as the egg case, several horseshoe crabs and some previously unrecorded seed pods are amongst the finds. All had been preserved in rocks that formed within the coal and shale deposits in what is one of only a small handful of similar fossil locations left in the UK. The findings have been published in the international journal, Geological Journal.
Palaeontologist Dean Lomax, a visiting scientist at the University of Manchester's School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, said: "The fossils unlock a window into a long distant past, buried deep beneath residents' feet. They are proof that parts of Yorkshire were once a tropical water-logged forest, teeming with life that may have looked something similar to today's Amazon delta, a mix of dense forest, lakes, swamps and lagoons.
"The shark egg case is particularly rare and significant, because it's soft bodied and an unusual object to find fossilised. We hope that future organised collecting of the site may reveal further rare discoveries, such as dragonflies, beetles, spiders and further evidence of vertebrates. And who knows, maybe we will even find the actual shark."
After visits to all the redundant pit tips by Lomax, along with Peter Robinson from Doncaster Heritage Services and local fossil collector Brian Williams, Edlington was identified as being the only tip in the borough where fossils could potentially still be collected, as all of the others have been landscaped and turned into parks.
Peter Robinson said: "For all three of us this site and the fossils we've discovered here are very close to our hearts. We are all locally born and bred and take great pride in uncovering, interpreting and preserving a very important piece of the borough's geological past. For me this site is particularly special as my father, Michael Robinson, was the National Coal Board's geologist for Yorkshire Main and it is his bore core samples and records which are helping us understand the geological layers that these fossils came from."
"We hope this important discovery will encourage ex-miners from the borough to bring forward and donate fossil specimens from the now defunct collieries, which were collected whilst extracting coal from the pit face. We have heard many stories of some of the wonderful fossils that have been found."
The fossils are being stored at Doncaster Museum where they have been integrated into the museum's fossil collection.
Obama Dispatching 3,000 Troops, Medical Aid to Fight Ebola
By Angela Greiling Keane, Makiko Kitamura and Simeon Bennett
Sep 16, 2014 7:05 AM PT
President Barack Obama will announce today that the U.S. will deploy about 3,000 troops to help lead a global drive to stem a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa that may end up costing more than $1 billion.
The U.S. plan includes distributing 50,000 sanitation kits, delivering body bags to bury victims, and building as many as 20 100-bed treatment centers, said a Department of Defense official. The troops will set up headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia, in about two weeks, to construct facilities, train about 500 workers per week and educate West Africans about customs that may spread the disease, said the official, who requested anonymity because the plan isn’t public yet.
The plan comes as the United Nations said the cost of beating the disease would be $1 billion and that the response has only 30 percent of funding needed. Obama is responding to requests from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to boost the U.S. role. The move opens questions about how best to protect Americans in the region, and keep the disease contained as interaction between countries grows.
Shirley MacLaine on the Rat Pack, her lovers and spotting UFOs
By Lotta Haegg
As the only female member of the Rat Pack, the lover of a string of prominent men, and an author of books about the metaphysical and reincarnation, her audience can expect to hear some great tales.
In her typical candid style, Shirley shared with Robbie Buck memories of UFO spotting in Mexico with then foreign minister of Australia Andrew Peacock.
"We saw them," she said.
"I tried to get him to talk about Alice Springs but he was very loyal to his foreign service oath of secrecy," she laughed, hinting at rumours of an underground UFO research facility in the top end.
They remain good friends and Shirley says when she catches up for dinner with Andrew Peacock's wife Penne Korth they get a kick out of making fun of him.
"He likes it, because he knows we care about him."
These days Shirley MacLaine can be seen on the small screen on the television program Downton Abbey in which she plays Martha Levinson, the brash American grandmother who goes head-to-head with Maggie Smith's character the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
"I love Maggie, we've known each other for 40 years."
Now having just turned 80, Shirley says the roles for older women have markedly improved and she credits an ageing television audience.
"Maybe I've come along at the right time where there will be pictures for older people."
All in all, it appears Shirley MacLaine is taking ageing in her stride.
"I love being iconic: people are going, 'oh my god, she's still walking upright'."