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

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. …

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The machine that made the Moon missions possible

Yahoo – AFP, Issam AHMED, July 12, 2019

The astronauts would input two-digit codes for verbs and nouns, to carry out
commands like firing thrusters, or locking on to a particular star to re-align
the ship (AFP Photo/Handout)

Washington (AFP) - We've all been there: you're working on something important, your PC crashes, and you lose all your progress.

Such a failure was not an option during the Apollo missions, the first time ever that a computer was entrusted with handling flight control and life support systems -- and therefore the lives of the astronauts on board.

Despite an infamous false alarm during lunar descent that sent Commander Neil Armstrong's heart rate racing, it was a resounding success that laid the groundwork for everything from modern avionics to multitasking operating systems.

Here are some of the ways the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), millions of times less powerful than a 2019 smartphone, shaped the world we live in today:

Microchip revolution

Integrated circuits, or microchips, were a necessary part of the miniaturization process that allowed computers to be placed on board spacecraft, in contrast to the giant, power-hungry vacuum tube technology that came before.

The credit for their invention goes to Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, and Robert Noyce, who co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor and later Intel in Mountain View, California.

Integrated circuits, or microchips, were a necessary part of the miniaturization process
 that allowed computers to be placed on board spacecraft, in contrast to the giant, 
power-hungry vacuum tube technology that came before (AFP Photo/HO)

But NASA and the Department of Defense -- which needed microchips to guide their Minuteman ballistic missiles pointed at the Soviet Union -- greatly accelerated their development by producing the demand that facilitated mass production.

"They had these incredible, absolutely insane requirements for reliability that nobody could possibly imagine," Frank O'Brien, a spaceflight historian and author of "The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation," told AFP.

In the early 1960s, the two agencies bought almost all the microchips made in the US, roughly a million all told, added O'Brien, forcing the makers to improve their designs and build circuits that lasted longer than their early life cycles of just a few hours.

Multitasking

Modern computers, such as the smartphone in your pocket, are generally capable of doing a myriad of tasks all at once: handling emails in one window, a GPS map in another, various social network apps, all the while ready for incoming calls and texts.

But in the early era of computers, we thought of them in a fundamentally different way.

"There wasn't a lot they were asked to do. They were asked to crunch numbers and replace humans who would do them on mechanical adding machines," said Seamus Tuohy, the principal director of space systems at Draper, which spun off from the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory that developed the Apollo Guidance Computer.

That all changed with Apollo Guidance Computer, a briefcase-sized machine that needed to juggle an array of vital tasks, from navigating the ship to running its oxygen generator, heaters and carbon dioxide scrubbers.

Margaret Hamilton led the team that programmed Apollo's flight computer; their code
allowed the machine to prioritize crucial tasks over non-essential ones (AFP Photo/HO)

Instead of a computer operator giving a machine a set of calculations and leaving it for hours or even days to work out the answer -- all of this needed to be done in a time-sensitive fashion, with cut-offs, and the ability for users (astronauts) to give it commands in real time.

NASA felt it required an onboard computer to handle all these functions in case the Soviets tried to jam radio communications between ground control in Houston and US spaceships, and because Apollo was originally conceived to go deeper into the solar system.

All of this required a software "architecture," much of which was designed by engineer Hal Laning.

Real-time input

It also needed new ways for man to interact with machine that went beyond the punch-card programming of the time.

The engineers came up with three key ways: the switches that you still find in modern cockpits, a hand-controller that was connected to the world's first digital fly-by-wire system, and a "display and keyboard" unit, abbreviated DSKY (pronounced "dis-key").

The astronauts would input two-digit codes for verbs and nouns, to carry out commands like firing thrusters, or locking on to a particular star if the ship, which relied on an inertial guidance system to keep its pitch, roll and yaw stable, had begun to drift off course.

"The way that computer handled the overload was a real breakthrough" said Paul Ceruzzi,
a Smithsonian Institution scholar on aerospace electronics (AFP Photo/Issam AHMED)

O'Brien used the metaphor of a tourist who visits the US and is hungry but doesn't know much English, and might say "Eat pizza" to convey the basic meaning.

Passing the test

Apollo 11's most tense moment came during the final minutes of its descent to the lunar surface, when the computer's alarm bells began ringing and making it seem as though it had crashed.

Such an event could well have been catastrophic, forcing the crew to abort their mission or even sending the vessel spiralling out of control to the surface.

Back in Houston, an engineer realized that while the machine was temporarily overloaded, its clever programming allowed it to automatically shed less important tasks and focus on landing.

"The way that computer handled the overload was a real breakthrough" said Paul Ceruzzi, a Smithsonian Institution scholar on aerospace electronics.

O'Brien noted that while the AGC was puny by modern computing standards, with a clock speed of 1 Mhz and a total of 38Kb of memory, such comparisons belied its true caliber.

"With that terribly small capacity, they were able to do all the amazing things that we now think of as completely normal," he said.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Albert Heijn trials driverless robot that delivers groceries to your door

DutchNews, July 15, 2019

Coming soon: fresh ‘bezorgde burgers’. Photo: Albert Heijn

The largest Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, has begun a trial of a ‘delivery robot’ that sends groceries out to its customers without the need for a driver. 

The electric vehicle, which has a range of eight kilometres, is being tested within the confines of Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus as it is not allowed on the open road. The Aitonomi robot has been developed by the Swiss-German technology firm Teleretail. 

Staff pack the groceries into the ‘bezorgrobot’ before the vehicle makes its way to the delivery address using cameras and sensors. Customers will still need to step outside to collect their shopping. 

Andre ten Wolde, of pizza chain Domino’s, told NOS that previous test runs with delivery robots had been successful, although the vehicles struggled to get over high kerbs. 

Ten Wolde said the biggest challenge was finding a legal way to enable the vehicles to travel on public roads without compromising safety. 

‘Lawmakers will have to think carefully about it, I accept that,’ he said. ‘You don’t want accidents such as we’ve had with the Stint. Once legislators are ready for it, we’ll see them in the streets here.’

Saturday, July 6, 2019

No cause found for fatal Stint crash, says public prosecutor

DutchNews, July 5, 2019

Two stints in action. Photo: Stintum.nl 

Dutch public prosecutors have said that the woman who was driving an electric Stint vehicle when it crashed into a train at Oss, killing four young children, apparently did everything she could to stop the vehicle. 

Menno Buntsma, a laywer who is representing the 33-year-old woman from Heesch, told Oproep Brabant that she was ‘relieved and emotional’ at the announcement. 

The OM prosecution service said in a news release that nine months after the fatal accident, it has not been able to find a specific cause. It said that witnesses confirmed that the driver ‘had done everything possible to stop the Stint in order to stop a collision.’ 

A technical investigation has found no clues about what went wrong and the NFI Dutch forensic institute is currently investigating the vehicle’s motor controller. 

Two children of four, one of six and another of eight died in the accident in September last year. An 11-year-old and the driver were seriously wounded. 

Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen immediately banned the electric wagons – used by hundreds of daycare centres to ferry children around. New tough safety regulations agreed by MPs this year mean Stints will need technical upgrades and will then be allowed back on the roads in autumn, carrying eight children rather than 10. 

The OM says, however, that until the investigation is fully complete, it has made no decision about whether or not to pursue a prosecution.