Friday, 17 March 2017

Trump v Merkel.

Baltic Dry Index. 1172 +25 Brent Crude 51.66
LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000. Revised due to QE programs.
The big day has arrived. In the red corner on home turf, President Trump. In the blue corner, representing, the Clintonistas and Obamaites, Chancellor Merkel of the EUSSR. Lacking her legions of dangerous immigrants, today’s meeting in Washington is expected to be something of a damp squid. The real showdown is expected to come at the coming G-20 meeting, where it's going to be something like 19:1.

Germany Treads Carefully Toward Climate Confrontation With Trump

by Joe Ryan and Brian Parkin
16 March 2017, 19:39 GMT 17 March 2017, 04:01 GMT
The German government will release next week a plan for the Group of 20 economies to address climate change, taking a cautious step toward confronting U.S. President Donald Trump on an issue that puts him at odds with most world leaders.

The 23-page draft, obtained by Bloomberg News, outlines how the most prosperous nations can lead by example, cutting their own greenhouse-gas emissions, financing efforts to curb pollution in poorer countries and take other steps to support the landmark Paris climate accord.

The plan appears to tread carefully. It makes no mention of cutting coal production, which Trump has vowed to increase, nor does it address automotive fuel standards, which he plans to review. And while the plan is expected to be distributed to all G-20 nations, Germany hasn’t scheduled formal meetings for environment ministers, avoiding the risk of a clash over global warming.

“The Germans are trying to find a way to move their climate change and energy agenda, and at the same time not raise red flags for President Trump,” John Kirton, co-director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview.

With Angela Merkel scheduled to meet Trump Friday in Washington, Nina Wettern, a spokeswoman for the Federal Environment Ministry, said Germany’s chancellor remains committed to using the summit meeting to promote efforts to combat global warming. “Climate protection is a core issue of Germany’s G-20 presidency,” Wettern said by email.

Thu Mar 16, 2017 | 7:01pm EDT

EU consumer authorities to take on Facebook, Google, Twitter

European consumer protection authorities will ask social media companies Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc to amend their terms of service within one month or possibly face fines, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The companies proposed some ways to resolve the issues and discussed them with the authorities on Thursday, the person said, adding that the meeting was constructive. The source was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.
U.S. technology companies have faced tight scrutiny in Europe for the way they do business, from privacy to how quickly they remove illegal or hateful content.
The authorities sent letters to the companies in December saying that some of service terms broke European Union consumer protection law and that they needed to do more to tackle fraud and scams on their websites.

According to the letters seen by Reuters, some of those terms include requiring users to seek redress in court in California, where the companies are based, instead of their country of residence.

Other issues include not identifying sponsored content clearly, requiring consumers to waive mandatory rights such as the right to cancel a contract, and an excessive power for the companies to determine the suitability of content generated by users, according to the letters.

In the case of Alphabet's Google unit, the concerns were about its social network Google+.
Google and Facebook were not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.
The authorities are being supported by the European Commission and could impose fines if they are not satisfied.

The authorities also proposed setting up a standard communication channel to notify the companies of content deemed illegal and the action requested, according to the letters.

Noting the exceptionally heavy rains in Peru, and a growing drought in Africa, we wonder if a new El Nino has formed in the Pacific, and if so, how strong will it be?

Residual heat from last El Niño could spark new one this year

"As all El Niño researchers know, no two El Niño or La Niña episodes are exactly the same," said climatologist Bill Patzert said.
By Brooks Hays   |   March 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM

March 15 (UPI) -- For climate scientists and meteorologists, predicting the emergence of El Niño and La Niña is one of their most difficult tasks. Currently, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are trying to do just that.

Their latest analysis of sea levels in the Pacific Ocean -- along with several climate models -- suggests a new El Niño could emerge with the help of heat left behind by the last warm water event.

Sea level maps populated by data from the Jason-3 satellite mission show a bulge of high seas surrounding Hawaii, a band of warm water leftover from the last El Niño.

The last El Niño formed in 2015 and grew to an impressive size, influencing global weather patterns. It reached full strength in January of 2016, but faded in the spring. The pattern's warming influence remained, however, and scientists believe its residual heat prevented a full-blown cooling pattern.

"Did the warm bulge suppress the trade winds in the eastern and central Pacific, muting the conditions required for a full-blown La Niña to form?" JPL climatologist Bill Patzert asked in a news release. "As all El Niño researchers know, no two El Niño or La Niña episodes are exactly the same."

The El Niño and La Niña phenomena are the warm and cool phases of what's known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which is part of a larger ocean temperature pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO alternates between warm and cool, or positive and negative phases, in irregular periods of 5 to 20 years. PDO phases strongly influence the ENSO pattern.

Patzert and his colleagues are currently modeling PDO patterns in an effort to determine whether the remnants of the last El Niño will grow into a new cross-Pacific band of weather-altering warm water.

For now, the Pacific sits idle in what Patzert calls a "La Nada" state, a neutral phase, neither exceedingly warm nor cool. But that could change, depending on if and when PDO patterns shift.

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more on America’s “deep state” at war with President Trump. Nothing good comes from this.
Thu Mar 16, 2017 | 9:13pm EDT

McDonald's deletes Trump tweet, says Twitter account compromised

McDonald's Corp quickly deleted a tweet sent from the company's handle slamming President Donald Trump on Thursday and said its official Twitter account had been compromised.

The tweet, which was copied and shared widely before being deleted, came a day after the Twitter accounts of a number of major news organizations, chief executives, government agencies and other high-profile users were hijacked.

"Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald's account," McDonald's spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement.

Corporate accounts are attractive targets due to their large followings and the media attention that errant tweets can attract. Twitter Inc allows for two-factor authentication, a security feature that would deter many attempts to seize an account.

Twitter declined comment on Thursday citing "privacy and security reasons".

The tweet sent from @McDonaldsCorp on Thursday morning read: "@realdonaldtrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands."

Trump did not respond to the incident on Twitter.

High-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked on Wednesday to send anti-Nazi messages in Turkish in the midst of a diplomatic spat between Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany. Twitter said on Wednesday that the source of that attack was a third-party app, whose permissions have since been removed.

Trump, one of the more fast-food friendly presidents in recent years, had tweeted pictures of himself eating food from McDonald's and other chains during the U.S. election campaign. A 2002 ad campaign featured Trump and the chain's Grimace mascot promoting an "amazing" $1 deal for McDonald's since-discontinued Big N' Tasty burger.

The incident came as McDonald's is bolstering its digital capabilities with mobile and kiosk ordering to help modernize the 60-year-old chain.

Analysts said the hack raised questions about security at Twitter, but was unlikely to do much damage to the restaurant chain's brand.

Technology Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next?

Ultrashort light pulses for fast 'lightwave' computers

Date: March 13, 2017
Source: University of Michigan
Summary: Extremely short, configurable 'femtosecond' pulses of light demonstrated by an international team could lead to future computers that run up to 100,000 times faster than today's electronics.
The researchers, including engineers at the University of Michigan, showed that they could control the peaks within the laser pulses and also twist the light.

The method moves electrons faster and more efficiently than electrical currents -- and with reliable effects on their quantum states. It is a step toward so-called "lightwave electronics" and, in the more distant future, quantum computing, said Mackillo Kira, U-M professor of electrical engineering and computer science who was involved in the research.

Electrons moving through a semiconductor in a computer, for instance, occasionally run into other electrons, releasing energy in the form of heat. But a concept called lightwave electronics proposes that electrons could be guided by ultrafast laser pulses. While high speed in a car makes it more likely that a driver will crash into something, high speed for an electron can make the travel time so short that it is statistically unlikely to hit anything.

"In the past few years, we and other groups have found that the oscillating electric field of ultrashort laser pulses can actually move electrons back and forth in solids," said Rupert Huber, professor of physics at the University of Regensburg who led the experiment. "Everybody was immediately excited because one may be able to exploit this principle to build future computers that work at unprecedented clock rates -- 10 to a hundred thousand times faster than state-of-the-art electronics."

But first, researchers need to be able to control electrons in a semiconductor. This work takes a step toward this capability by mobilizing groups of electrons inside a semiconductor crystal using terahertz radiation -- the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared light.
Another weekend and a near Spring Equinox weekend at that. Almost equal day and equal night. An opportunity for me to try to get familiar with all my new upgraded programs and computer. At 67, a dinosaur, to all the excellent Technical Agent help I’ve received all week from Microsoft Support. I wonder how the CIA missed them. Have a great weekend everyone.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: 20,812 +133 Up. NASDAQ: 5,825 +120 Up. SP500: 2,364 +115 Up.

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