More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Angry Chinese buyer smashes a Tesla over delayed delivery

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-28

A Tesla car displayed at the China (Shanghai) International Technology
Fair in April this year. (Photo/Xinhua)

Yu Xinquan, one of the 31 Chinese buyers of Tesla's Model S, smashed a Tesla car at the automaker's maintenance station in the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang on Friday to vent his anger on the carmarker's delayed delivery, reports Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald.

Yu had paid a 250,000 yuan (US$40,000) deposit like other buyers of the Model S in October last year. Prior to the expected delivery date in April this year, he filed a complaint after he found he was not one of the first group of buyers who would take delivery of the car. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised some protesting buyers that their cars would be delivered in eight weeks.

However, Yu received a notice from Tesla China on June 18 that his car had been confiscated by customs authorities in Tianjin over problems with the documents. Tesla had to bring the consignment of cars back to the United States and submit the paperwork again, a process taking three weeks. The buyers will thus not receive their cars until next month.

The buyers have also become angry after Tesla backtracked on promises to instal charging devices. Previously, the automaker said it would provide the device, worth US$1,200, for the buyers for free. A third-party company trained by Tesla would install the devices on the cars and the buyers would only need to pay for the installation. Tesla staff would drive the cars to the nearest charging station to make sure the installation was completed successfully. Buyers from Shanghai and Beijing, however, would have to install the charging devices by themselves.

However, in early June, Tesla China chief Wu Bixuan said buyers from outside the two cities had agreed to install the device on their own. Their cars would clear customs soon and be delivered, Wu said.

When Yu was informed that his car was stuck in customs, he agreed to take instead the car that has been on displayed in China, which Tesla said is brand new. However, Yu went to the showroom and smashed the car instead, telling the 21st Century Business Herald that he would never accept a second-hand vehicle.

He accused Tesla of failing to deliver his car at the earliest opportunity or deliver his car in six weeks after the automaker apologized, install charging devices for the 31 buyers as promised and provide limited-edition plates. Yu said Tesla has also put the phone numbers of protesting buyers on a black list and refuses to offer them services.

Related Articles:


Beijing to build electric car charging network

Want China Times, Xinhua 2014-06-28

An electric car charging station in Beijing. (File photo/Xinhua)

Beijing plans to establish 10,000 public charging spots for electric cars by 2017, the municipal government announced on Friday.

The charging facilities will be installed in airports and train stations, public parking lots, mall and supermarket parking lots, highway rest areas, electric car stores and gas stations, according to an electric car promotion plan published by Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.

Zhang Jihong, deputy head of the commission, said that a network of charging devices for electric cars will be established within the fifth ring road of the city.

According to the plan, Beijing also plans to introduce private charging facilities.

The Chinese government has been encouraging consumers to buy electric vehicles as one of the solutions to the country's pollution problems, but the plan has been hindered by a bottleneck in the country's charging infrastructure.

GM recalls 475,000 more vehicles

Yahoo –AFP, 28 June 2014


General Motors Friday announced three more safety recalls covering nearly 475,000 vehicles, the biggest of which involves a software problem in some leading sport utility vehicles and pickup models.

GM (NYSE: GM - news) will recall more than 450,000 models of the 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, among others, in which control module software in the four-wheel drive system could automatically switch to neutral without driver input.

As a result, a vehicle, while parked, could "roll away if the parking brake is not set," GM said. If the vehicle is in motion, no power will go to the wheels, the automaker added.

GM said it knew of no crashes or injuries related to this problem, or to those that prompted the other two recalls it announced. The recall affects vehicles in the US and Canada.

GM said it was recalling about 4,800 2013-2014 Chevrolet Caprice police cars and 2014 Chevrolet SS sport sedans in the US to address a problem that can stop the windshield wipers from working.

The third recall involves about 2,050 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes, most in the US, to address a problem with the rear shock.

GM has already recalled more than 20 million vehicles in 2014.

The Detroit automaker is under investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission over its delayed recall of cars with ignition switch problems related to at least 13 deaths.

In February -- 11 years after the ignition switch defect was detected -- GM began recalling 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and Skys, Pontiac 5s and Solstices made between 2003 and 2011.

Related Articles:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Russia, China to combine efforts in satellite battle with US

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-26

A model of China's Beidou satellite navigation system on display
at the Zhuhai Airshow, Nov. 14, 2012 (Photo/Xinhua).

Russia and China are likely to sign a cooperation pact regarding ground operation stations for Russia's GLONASS satellite and China's Beidou satellite, reports Huanqiu, the website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times, citing Sergei Savelyev, deputy head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Savelyev said that Russia expects an agreement with China, which will allow the countries to build three ground operational stations in each other's territory, with the number potentially increasing in the future.

At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 held in late May, Savelyev also said that Russia is preparing to discuss construction of GLONASS ground operation stations with both China and India and expects to reach an agreement of equal number construction by the end of the year.

The Moscow-based Voice of Russia reported that the number may be more than three, as China initially proposed setting up about a dozen Beidou stations in Russia from the Urals to the Far East, and to host a similar number of GLONASS stations.

A Russian researcher told Huanqui that China and Russia are highly likely to cooperate in a joint satellite navigation system, given that they share a common competitor — the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The wise choice would be for Beijing and Moscow to install each other's devices on the counterparts satellites, the researcher said.

During the 2nd Technoprom International Forum held in Novosibirsk in Russia on June 5-6, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said that cooperation between Russia and China in the field will not be limited to ground operational stations, but will also include reception devices and related infrastructure. "Our system is more suitable for northern, polar latitudes. The Chinese system is more southern. Their complementary natures would result in a biggest and most powerful competitor to any navigation system," he said.

Meanwhile, Sergei Ivanov, chief of staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia, said that in addition to ground operational stations in China, Russia plans to construct 50 GLONASS ground operation stations with 36 countries. He said that negotiations with Nicaragua, Vietnam, Iran and Indonesia are underway, while agreements with Cuba and Spain have already been reached.

Roscosmos also proposed to construct six ground operational stations in the US, but the plan was turned down due to national security concerns, while the US has already set up 11 GPS stations on Russian soil.

However, Russia announced in May that it would suspend the operation of all 11 GPS stations from June 1 due to poor progress in Russia-US talks over the construction of Russian ground stations in the US. The GPS ground operational stations will be permanently shut on September 1 if the two countries fail to reach a consensus by then, according to Huanqiu.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pilots lacked automation understanding in Asiana crash

Yahoo – AFP, 24 June 2014

A July 6, 2013 view of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 on the runway at
San Francisco International Airport after it crashed while landing

The pilots of a South Korean airliner that crashed in San Francisco last year depended too much on automated systems they didn't understand, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday.

Acting NTSB chairman Christopher Hart made the statement at the start of a day-long hearing to establish the probable cause of the Asiana crash that left three dead and 187 injured.

"The Boeing 777 is one of the more sophisticated and automated aircraft in service," said Hart in his opening remarks.

"But the more complex automation becomes, the more challenging it is to ensure that pilots adequately understand it," he said.

"In this instance, the flight crew over-relied on automated systems that they did not fully understand. As a result, they flew the aircraft too slow and collided with the seawall at the end of the runway."

The crash of Asiana Flight 214 on July 6 was a the first fatal commercial airline disaster in the United States since 2009.

The Boeing 777 was completing an otherwise routine 10-1/2 hour flight from Seoul when it clipped the seawall at San Francisco International Airport July 6 with its landing gear, skidded off the runway and burst into flames.

All three of the fatalities were young Chinese women, including one who was struck by a fire truck beneath a wing covered with firefighting foam.

Hart said the NTSB's aim was "to help prevent similar accidents in the future," before on-the-ground investigators took turns presenting their findings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baguio tests ‘water car’ in fight to erase most polluted tag

Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 21st, 2014

IRKED that Baguio was “mistagged” as the most polluted in the country
in May, Mayor Mauricio Domogan allowed a Baguio-based inventor and
 businessman to test a “water reactor” on one of the city government’s vehicles.
Vincent Cabreza/Inquirer North Luzon

BAGUIO CITY—Angry that the summer capital’s air quality had been mislabeled as the poorest among cities in the country, officials of Baguio City are gambling on untested technology that supposedly breaks down water into fuel.

On Monday, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, the city council and the police watched businessman Mario de Quinqua operate a government vehicle which he configured to run using 70 percent gasoline, and 30 percent water that is broken down into combustible hydrogen and oxygen gas by a device that he invented.

The system helps a vehicle burn all of its fuel, so it does not expel carbon monoxide, “which would improve the city’s air quality,” De Quinqua told the officials.

“De Quinqua” is a pseudonym which the inventor, a garments manufacturer, uses to protect himself from “big economic interests.”

He asked the Inquirer to conceal his real surname.

A month since reports named Baguio as the most polluted city, citing the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Air Quality Report, Domogan said the undeserved tag continues to haunt the city.

He said reporters had assumed that a high level of air pollution detected on lower Session Road represented air quality in the entire city.

Bonifacio Magtibay, WHO country director in the Philippines, had disowned TV, radio and newspaper reports in a May 13 letter, saying they did not conclude that Baguio was the most polluted city in the Philippines.

Domogan said he wants to accelerate programs that would clean Baguio air and its reputation.
Addressing Senior Supt. Rolando Miranda, Baguio police director, Domogan said he wants to test the technology on a police vehicle to make it the first water-hybrid police car in the country.

De Quinqua said he donated his technology to the city government and has piloted his “water reactor” using a vehicle of the city general services office and driven by its chief, Romeo Concio.

De Quinqua had promised to design and manufacture another device for the Baguio police.
If it is successful, Concio said the city government may outfit the fleet of Baguio vehicles with the device that would cost about P30,000 each.

But De Quinqua provided little details about his work, except to stress that he has been working on this invention since the 1960s.

“I did consider developing an electronic car, but I figured it would only make the public reliant on companies that produce electricity. I wanted to give the public more freedom,” he said.

“For communities near water, all drivers need to do is fetch water from a creek or collected water from the rain and their cars will run efficiently and environmentally friendly. How can they tax rain?” he said.

A group promoting sustainable transport, however, is arranging for a test drive in Baguio of an electronic jeepney, as another way of reducing air pollution.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Honda recalls 2 mln vehicles worldwide for airbag defect

Yahoo – AFP, 23 June 2014

A worker inspects a Honda Accord car model at the Honda assembly plant
in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, on January 17, 2003 (AFP Photo/
Peter Parks)

Japan's Honda Motor on Monday recalled more than two million vehicles worldwide over an airbag defect that could pose a fire risk.

Honda said the recall covers about 2,033,000 vehicles which were produced between August 2000 and December 2005, including over one million in North America and 668,000 in Japan.

Subject to the recall are a total of 13 types of vehicles including popular Fit and Accord models.

Front passenger airbag inflators could have been assembled with an improperly manufactured propellant component, Japan's third largest automaker said.

That could cause the container of the inflator to rupture in the event of a crash, posing a fire risk or injuring passengers, it added.

The same inflator problem has also caused top automaker Toyota to recall millions of vehicles globally.

Toyota has earlier said it acted as it received a complaint from a Japanese customer who said his passenger seat was burned from the defect.

Honda said the company had received no complaint or reports of injuries on its own.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Biofuels present investment gold for aviation industry

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-20

A Boeing 777, part of the American Airlines fleet, at Shanghai Pudong
International Airport. (Photo/CNS)

Aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus are seeing growing business opportunities in introducing sustainable jet fuels amid global efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation, reports Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald.

The market for aviation biofuels is estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of US dollars, and two manufacturers are eager to get a headstart by linking supply and demand by establishing relationships among feedstock growers and producers, biofuel producers, distributors and airlines.

The race has already begun, the paper said. On May 19, an Airbus A330-200 from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (flight KL767) commenced the longest ever commercial flight by an Airbus aircraft using sustainable jet fuel. The aircraft used a 20% blend of sustainable fuel made from used cooking oil, for a 10 hour flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

According to Airbus, the flight was the first in a series of around 20 long-haul commercial flights using an Airbus aircraft as part of the European initiative called ITAKA (Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation), which aims to speed up the commercialization of aviation biofuels in Europe.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), a government-owned aerospace manufacturer established to reduce the country's dependence on Boeing and Airbus, has also sensed the business opportunities presented by biofuels.

The aviation industry in China consumed some 20 million tonnes of jet fuel every year, while nearly 30 million tonnes of used cooking oil is available, said COMAC vice president Shi Jianzhong. From this perspective, China was well-positioned to tap into the new business, he added.

Current technology suggests that for each tonne of used cooking oil, 90% can be turned into biofuel, while about half of that amount could then be used as jet fuel. Meanwhile, the cost of non-petroleum based fuels is about two to three times more than traditional fuels, the paper said.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Curbing air pollution, one bamboo bike at a time

Manila is known more for its gridlocked traffic jams and air pollution than for green spaces or pedestrianized walkways. Bamboo bikes could change that by curbing emissions and helping pave the way to go green.

Deutsche Welle, 18 June 2014

Visitors on bikes cycle past Manila's historical area of Intramuros - from the secret gardens scattered between Fort Santiago to lookout points to hear tales of pirates and revolutions. For the next two and a half hours, people ride on bikes made from bamboo.

Bryan McClelland, a 29-year-old Filipino-American, is the man behind the concept of Bambikes, the company that creates bikes made from bamboo in the Philippines. He founded Bambikes in 2010, but has just recently launched his bamboo bike tours in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

"There's a growing global trend of biking. A lot of different cities now have bike tours because it's a great way to interact with the environment and city," McClelland explained. "Intramuros seemed like the natural place in Manila to start the tours. It is the oldest part of the city has some cultural heritage and is a preserved environment".

Bambikes cater to a growing number
 of people wanting to use sustainable
His bikes are made out of cut and dried bamboo lumber wrapped in Manila hemp fibers. According to McClelland, bamboo is one of the strongest materials in the world and has the same tensile strength as metal. Each bike is made by laborers in the provincial town of Victoria, 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Metro Manila, the Philippines' National Capital Region.

"The bamboo bike tours help people see a different side of the city by making exploration in Intramuros accessible and fun," said Julia Nebrija, a Manila resident who recently went on a Bambike tour. "I think its greatest contribution is showing people how bikeable Intramuros is. Once you've done it, you'll be inspired to get a bike and see what other areas of Manila can be explored by bike."

Working towards a cleaner city

In addition to providing tourists and locals with an alternative way to see Manila's sights, these tours are also meant as the beginning of a wider project to promote a more pedestrianized city. McClelland is in talks with the Intramuros administration about developing a strategy to promote more pedestrian-based tourism and create a more walkable and bikeable city.

"Right now there are no dedicated bike lanes. Sidewalks exist in a lot of places but they can be intermittent and there are a lot of cars, so you're always worried about traffic," McClelland said.

Manila's 'jeepeys' are among the main polluting offenders

"A lot of Filipinos don't know how to ride bicycles - perhaps in part because they grew up in the city and it's really not a safe place to learn, so they're discouraged," he added. He says he plans to teach adults how to bike "in a closed environment so they'll feel comfortable."

Curbing air pollution

Metro Manila ranks high among the major cities of Asia that are suffering from air pollution. Manila's level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) is more than double the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 70 percent of air pollution in Metro Manila is from motor vehicles, highlighting the need for a cleaner mode of transport.

"A city like Manila would benefit a lot from investing more in sustainable transport especially in two areas - public transport and the creation of livable spaces for pedestrians and cyclists," said Ko Sakamoto, Transport Economist with the Sustainable Infrastructure Division at the Asian Development Bank.

Bambike tours take visitors through
 Manila's historical quarters
He says a main challenge is the explosion in motorized transport. "As with any government in Asia and the Pacific, they are really racing against time. In a typical Asian country you have a doubling of the vehicle fleet every four to seven years," he said.

"Imagine how many cars are coming onto the road every day. It's really how we make our cities friendlier towards public transport, pedestrians and cyclists at a faster rate than which the cars are coming on the road," he added.

Introducing cleaner modes of transport

In response, the government has launched a series of projects aimed at developing more eco-friendly forms of transport. One part of the strategy is the introduction of more hybrid buses, which combines a diesel engine and an electric motor. These buses would emit 30 percent less CO2 and use 30 percent less fuel. There are currently 249 hybrid buses in service, with 300 expected to be on the roads by the end of the year.

The iconic jeepneys (a hybrid of a bus and a jeep) are the most popular form of public transport in Manila - but they are also one of the biggest polluters. There has been a move to replace these vehicles with electrical ones. In January, 30 fully electric powered city shuttles were introduced to the city.

McClelland says the number of people interested in sustainable forms of transport is growing. "Every year there's a Tour of the Fireflies, a cycling tour organized by the Firefly Brigade - a citizen's action group which promotes clean air and people friendly environments. It's been growing year by year. This year the numbers got up to 20,000. There are also bike groups popping up all over the city."

"If you had a safe bike lane that was respected by cars, you'd see a big growth in bike commuters," he added.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tesla opens its patents to develop market in China

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-17

A Tesla car on display at the 2nd China International Technology
Fair in Shanghai, Apr. 24. (File photo/Xinhua)

US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has decided to offer open licenses for its patents in order to push for the development of the sector, the company's top executive in China told Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Review magazine.

Veronica Wu, vice president of Tesla's China operations, said the electric car market was still in its early stages, and opening access to its patent would bring in more people to work in this area.

"We want more new players to enter, the more the better, in order to compete with the traditional forces," Wu stated.

Tesla is not afraid of competition, according to Wu, because the company believes that many different brands and models are needed to boost the electric car market and replace all vehicles running on fossil fuels.

"If a company is no longer competitive after a certain number of years, it must bow out of the market," Wu said. "So it is okay. Our mission is to push for the development of the (new energy car) market."

In China, Tesla has seen a good start in Beijing and Shanghai after entering the local market over six months ago, Wu said, noting that that company's vehicles have been certified as new energy cars in Shanghai, making it easy for owners to obtain a license plate.

Tesla plans to work on expanding its service centers and charging stations in China, mainly in larger cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chongqing, Wu said.

Tesla will also work with local businesses in order to speed up efforts to build charging stations across the country, following its recent announcement about such partnerships with property developer Soho China and shopping mall operator China Yintai Holdings, Wu added.

The company is even willing to set up a charging stand at parking spaces vendors owned around their shops, regardless of the size of their businesses, Wu told the magazine.

Related Article:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ultimate selfie? Dutch F-16 pilot snaps pics on 787 escort, Jun 12, 2014

AMSTERDAM (WCIV) -- A Dutch F-16 pilot with a GoPro captured some incredible selfies as the team of F-16s escorted the country's first Dreamliner into Dutch airspace.

The photos were taken June 5 by Capt. Jeroen "Slick" Dickens, a member of the Royal Netherlands Air Force's F-16 demo team.

“Last week Arkefly received its first 787-8 and this is the first one in the Netherlands,” the group's Facebook post read. “We were lucky enough to welcome them home. Here are some shots for you to enjoy as well.”

Dickens' photos show the Dreamliner 787-8 was intercepted by a pair of Dutch F-16s.

The 787 was delivered to Arke, the first 787 in its all-Boeing fleet, according to a release from Boeing. Part of the plane was built at the North Charleston facility before it was sent to Washington State to be completed.

"The 787 Dreamliner is an excellent fit for our Dutch operations and we are delighted to be the first carrier in the Netherlands to offer this product as part of our unique holiday experiences," said Elie Bruyninckx, CEO TUI Netherlands. "Passengers traveling on Arke's 787 will appreciate the airplane's spacious interior, bigger windows and will arrive at their destination feeling refreshed, making it the perfect start to any holiday."

Arke will use the 787 on its service between Amsterdam and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean.

Arke is set to receive two more 787s, possibly giving Dickens two more chances to capture some high-flying selfies with the Dreamliner.

The 2014-2015 demo team is made up of members from two squadrons stationed Leeuwarden Airbase. Dickens is flying his first season with the demo team, according to the group's website.

Photos provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Force's F-16 demo team.

Related Article:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pope admits risk in ditching 'sardine-can' popemobile

Yahoo – AFP, 13 June 2014

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from inside his popemobile as he arrives at
 Manger Square to celebrate an open air mass on May 25, 2014 in the West Bank
town of Bethlehem (AFP Photo/Vincenzo Pinto)

Barcelona (AFP) - Pope Francis admitted in an interview Friday that he takes a risk when he ditches a "sardine can" popemobile to greet the people, but at his age he has little to lose.

The 77-year-old pontiff recalled that for his July 2013 visit to Brazil officials had prepared a glass-enclosed "popemobile" to shield him.

"But I cannot greet the people and tell them I love them inside a sardine can, even if it is glass," he said in an interview with the Barcelona-based Vanguardia newspaper.

"For me it is a wall," said the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

"It is true something could happen to me but let's be realistic, at my age I do not have much to lose," he told the paper's Vatican correspondent Henrique Cymerman.

"It is in God's hands."

Francis has preferred to use open-top cars in contrast to his predecessor Benedict XVI who rode in a bulletproof "popemobile" -- a novelty introduced after the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981.

Related Articles:

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“… I gave you a channelling years ago when Pope John Paul was alive. John Paul loved Mary, the mother. Had John Paul survived another 10 years, he would have done what the next Pope [The one after the current one, Benedict XVI] will do, and that is to bring women into the Church. This Pope you have now [Benedict XVI] won't be here long.* The next Pope will be the one who has to change the rules, should he survive. If he doesn't, it will be the one after that.

There it a large struggle within the Church, even right now, and great dissention, for it knows that it is not giving what humanity wants. The doctrine is not current to the puzzles of life. The answer will be to create a better balance between the feminine and masculine, and the new Pope, or the one after that, will try to allow women to be in the higher echelon of the Church structure to assist the priests.

It will be suggested to let women participate in services, doing things women did not do before. This graduates them within church law to an equality with priests, but doesn't actually let them become priests just yet. However, don't be surprised if this begins in another way, and instead gives priests the ability to marry. This will bring the feminine into the church in other ways. It will eventually happen and has to happen. If it does not, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, for humanity will not sustain a spiritual belief system that is out of balance with the love of God and also out of balance with intuitive Human awareness.  …”

Tesla gives up patents to 'open source movement'

Yahoo – AFP, Rob Lever, 13 June 2014

Electric carmaker Tesla announced Thursday it was giving up its patents to "the open source movement," to help spur electric vehicle technology.

The unusual move comes with Tesla enjoying huge success, but against a backdrop of multiplying legal squabbles among technology firms over patents.

"All our patents belong to you," Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said in a blog post.

"Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology."

Musk, an entrepreneur who made a fortune with the PayPal online payment service and also heads the space travel firm Space X, said he does not want patents to halt growth of an important environmental technology.

"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform," he wrote.

He said when Tesla was launched, "we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla."

But he said this turned out not to be the case.

"We couldn't have been more wrong," he said.

"The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn?t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than one percent of their total vehicle sales."

Musk added that Tesla "will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

Patent costs and benefits

Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor, said he has seen a "very positive reaction" to Tesla's decision.

"There is an ongoing debate in this country about the costs and benefits patents bring to small companies," Love told AFP in an email.

"In his statement, Elon Musk explains that, while he originally thought patents were worthwhile, he has since come to believe that they generally do more harm than good."

But Love said it is not clear if Tesla is in fact ceding all its rights.

"Rather, it seems to be simply promising not to proactively sue those who enter the electric car market and use similar technology," he said.

Robert Stoll, a former US patent commissioner who practices law in Washington, said that Tesla "must have a good business reason for wanting to freely share its electric car patents with others."

Stoll told AFP: " Tesla might be planning to distinguish itself from the competitors it helps by producing a better product from its longer history in this industry or by inventing and patenting better electric cars than are available today."

He added that the move is not unprecedented and that the US Patent Office has a mechanism to allow companies to cede their patent rights.

Tesla earlier this year unveiled plans for a so-called "Gigafactory" for advanced electric car batteries as part of a plan to move from niche manufacturer to mass market carmaker.

The company says it hopes to bring the cost of production down and produce 500,000 cars a year.

Tesla, which makes a $75,000 sedan in heavy demand from well-heeled buyers, saw shares quadruple last year on expectations of surging growth.

Shares in Tesla dipped 0.46 percent to end at $203.52. The company's market value is above $25 billion, a figure which suggests investors expect huge growth from the California firm.

Iran's solar car challenge depends on US plane ticket

Yahoo – AFP, Arthur Macmillan, 12 June 2014

Iranian students from the Qazvin Azad Islamic University test drives
the solar-powered Havin-2 vehicle in Qazvin on June 2, 2014

It is not easy for an Iranian to visit America. With no US embassy in Tehran since 1979, obtaining a visa usually requires two costly trips to Dubai or Turkey.

A group of Iranian students, however, have a far bigger problem -- they want to send a car to the United States. Only then will they get on a plane.

The Havin-2 is no ordinary vehicle. Solar powered, its 4.5 metre (15 feet) carbon fibre chassis resembles a giant door. The four wheels that lurk beneath its sprawling white body are the only clue it is a car at all.

Iranian students from the Qazvin Azad
 Islamic University assemble the solar-
powered Havin-2 vehicle for a test drive
in Qazvin on June 2, 2014
As entrants to the American Solar Challenge, a 1,700 mile (2,735 kilometre) road trip in July across seven US states from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a lot is at stake for the young Iranians.

But the sad reality is that the Havin-2 may never reach the start line.

"We are really worried about it," says Mohammad Saadatmand, the mechanical leader of the team from Qazvin Azad Islamic University, west of Tehran.

"To think that we might not make it is almost too terrible to contemplate."

The road block they face is more daunting than consular paperwork.

Standing in their path are the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and other world powers as punishment for a nuclear programme that many believe masks an intention to develop an atomic bomb.

The restrictions make transporting the Havin-2 by air cargo a logistical nightmare.

'Researchers, not terrorists'

The Iranian team is confident it can hold its own against the mostly American field, which includes the illustrious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The question is whether they will get the chance.

Iranian students from Qazvin Azad
 Islamic University assemble the solar-
powered Havin-2 vehicle for a test
drive in Qazvin on June 2, 2014
"This car has made us crazy," says Alireza Malmali, the team's electronics specialist who has now switched his attention to trying to find an air carrier.

Giving a tour at the team's spartan workshop, where the Havin-2 lurks under a tarpaulin, the prospect of being barred is writ large across his face.

"I wish governments across the world would accept we are researchers, not terrorists," he says.
The cargo arms of Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa all refused to carry the Havin-2, citing fears of breaching sanctions.

Sanctions at heart of problems

Several other companies set impractical conditions for carriage.

A letter from the US Treasury Department appears to confirm that the car does not require special authorisation if is being used "in a public conference, performance, exhibition or similar event".

Iranian students from Qazvin Azad Islamic
 University assemble the solar-powered
 Havin-2 vehicle for a test drive in Qazvin
 on June 2, 2014
The solar challenge organisers, however, were unable to navigate the regulations.

"It has been very difficult," says Sue Eudaly, the event's team coordinator. "We went to a senator, who directed us to the State Department who then sent us to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Ultimately, I guess we were not a high priority case."

Last ditch negotiations with a Tehran-based carrier are now under way.

Even then, a delivery date no later than July 1, which the carrier is reluctant to guarantee, leaves less than two weeks for the Havin-2 to clear customs in time for the start of the race.

The costs of sending the team and the car to America mean only 12 of the 18 students involved, all of whom have obtained visas, will travel.

An ideal testing ground

Located 160 kilometres (100 miles) from the capital, Qazvin has 300 days of sunshine a year. Good roads stretch for miles across a largely barren desert landscape.

To ensure a level playing field in the United States, all teams will rely on 516 photovoltaic panels, or solar cells, made in America and patched together in Germany.

Iranian students from Qazvin Azad
 Islamic University assemble the
 solar-powered Havin-2 vehicle for a
test drive in Qazvin on June 2, 2014
But each entrant has developed their own Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system, which connects inverters, battery chargers and other devices to optimise the car's performance.

The skill and key to winning is understanding the course and detecting the angles of the sun's rays during a day's racing, starting at 9am and ending at 6pm, with each team using four drivers.

The Havin-2 reached a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour (70 mph) during testing, but the team believes it is capable of 160 kilometres per hour in competition.

Beyond the solar challenge's aim of promoting clean energy, a sense of national pride is also palpable among Saadatmand and Malmali, who both took part in the same event in Australia three years ago.

"We want to show we are good, maybe even better than the rest of the world," Malmali says.