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World industrial robot population to double

November 7 2011

by: GizMag

 

The world's industrial robotics industry will get considerably larger in the near future as Taiwan-registered Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (best known as Foxconn) has announced plans to begin building industrial robots. Its initial plans of building one million industrial robots for its own purposes will nearly double the number of industrial robots in the world (currently The International Federation of Robotics puts that number at 1,095,000). Foxconn is best known as the largest exporter in China, the assembler/manufacturer of Apple's iPad and iPhone and for the extraordinarily high suicide rate of its employees.

 

Hon Nai is planning to invest heavily in the robotics area, with US$223 million for a new Research and Development facility and more for a robot manufacturing plant. The company is expecting to gross NT$120 billion (US$4 billion) from robot sales over the next 3-5 years and it has the additional benefit of its own diverse manufacturing facilities becoming its first and biggest customer.

 

(Full Story...)

 

 

Tags:

Death by Technology

Bumble Bees In U.S. Suffer Sharp Decline, Joining Countless Other Species Disappearing Worldwide

November 3 2011

by: Travis Donovan

 

North American bees are disappearing at a rapid rate, signaling a dire threat to the production of countless food sources. The Guardian reports that four common species of U.S. bumble bees have declined 96 percent in recent decades, and scientists allege that disease and inbreeding are responsible.

 

Honey bees have long been known to be in decline, suffering from the enigmatic colony collapse disorder, and the latest research on U.S. bumble bees only exacerbates concerns over future food production, as bees are responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the world's commercial plants, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and cotton.

 

While a correlation between the Nosema bombi fungus infection and the declining bumble bee populations was discovered, the culprit isn't clearly defined. One of the study's researchers told LiveScience that the data doesn't necessarily verify that the disease is driving the decline, and other factors -- like reduced adaptability to environmental changes as a result of inbreeding -- are likely at play.

(Full Story...)

 

Tags:

Death by Technology | The Environment

Worst Food Additive Ever? It's in Half of All Foods We Eat and Its Production Destroys Rainforests and Enslaves Children

November 2 2011

by: Jill Richardson

 

The production of this ingredient causes jaw-dropping amounts of deforestation (and with it, carbon emissions) and human rights abuses.

 

Police and security for the massive palm oil corporation Wilmar International (of which Archer Daniels Midland is the second largest shareholder) stormed a small, indigenous village on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They came with bulldozers and guns, destroying up to 70 homes, evicting 82 families, and arresting 18 people. Then they blockaded the village, keeping the villagers in -- and journalists out. (Wilmar claims it has done no wrong.)

 

The village, Suku Anak Dalam, was home to an indigenous group that observes their own traditional system of land rights on their ancestral land and, thus, lacks official legal titles to the land. This is common among indigenous peoples around the world -- so common, in fact, that it is protected by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

Indonesia, for the record, voted in favor of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. Yet the government routinely sells indigenous peoples' ancestral land to corporations. Often the land sold is Indonesia's lowland rainforest, a biologically rich area home to endangered species like the orangutan, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran tiger, and the plant Rafflesia arnoldii, which produces the world's largest flower.

 

(Full Story...)

 

 

Tags:

Death by Technology | The Environment

Technological Unemployment

October 27 2011

 

 

by: Josh Hunt

 

Unemployment is currently rife globally and this is something we all just blindly accept as being “the way things are” and we make an instant assumption that “things will improve”. While this may have been true 20 years ago the reality we face now is very different due to the development of the human race technologically. I’m sure you have all seen the implementation of the electronic cashier in supermarkets, robotics replacing humans in the manufacturing process of goods and advanced software starting to remove the need for office staff. These are just a few examples of technology replacing the need for humans in the workplace.

 

As we continue to see huge unemployment figures around the world it is difficult to see where jobs are going to be created to help support the global capitalist system. If we take the UK for example the majority of people are now employed in the service sector, even in this economic sector we are beginning to see technology remove the need for people. There is a belief in the UK that the “Credit Crunch” is the cause of all our problems and that it is because of this that the unemployment rate is so high. I would argue that that is only one of the issues regarding the faltering economy, as we progress technologically jobs are lost as firms are able to adopt a new technology for a fraction of the cost that would be incurred if people were employed to complete the same task. You don’t have to give a new piece of technology sick pay, holiday, lunch breaks, a salary or any of the other benefits you have to provide people.

 


(Full Story...)

 

 

Tags:

Death by Technology

If You Eat, You Better Occupy Wall Street

October 24 2011

by: Dave Murphy

The recent carnage to the American people's way of life began more than 30 years ago when the Reagan administration crafted deliberate policies that stopped enforcement of antitrust laws at the Department of Justice, encouraged an orgy of corporate mergers and launched a three decade assault on common sense government oversight. Since that time, politicians of both parties have embraced the radical notion of "free" markets that decoupled risk from accountability.


Occupy Wall Street was born out of a legitimate frustration with the collusion between Big Business and elected officials of the U.S. government. And nowhere is that collusion so great as in food and agricultural production where four firms control 84 percent of beef packing, 66 percent of pork production and one company, Monsanto, controls patents on more than 93 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn grown in the U.S. 


Ironically, on the day that Occupy Wall Street launched, I was in San Francisco at a conference appropriately named "Justice Begins with Seeds" to discuss the problems of excessive corporate control over our food supply. The incredible growth in the use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds and the excessive corporate influence of biotech seed companies have in Washington was high on the agenda. Much like the ubiquitous credit default swaps of the mortgage crisis, which became toxic assets for the global economy, this new technology of GMO seeds is less than two decades old, but already appears in an estimated 75 to 80 percent of processed food that Americans eat everyday.

 
(Full Story...)



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Deadly Politics | Death by Technology | The Environment


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