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VOLUME 15 NO.3

EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

OCTOBER, 2015

NOT LOST BUT FOUND

iTOONS

LESSON OF SUMMER LESSON

GHOSTING

WHETHER REPORT

A BAD BUG

 

NEW REAL NEWS KOMIX! SHOW HACK!

 

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NOT LOST BUT FOUND

ON THE INTERNET

 

 

The successor to the Polaroid brand, famous as the originator of instant photography, is back with a new, sleek-looking camera that can print out photos on the spot - - - and does not need any ink to do it.

Called the Polaroid Plus, the new camera will use Zero Ink Technology developed by the tech company ZINK.

The special paper has cyan, magenta, and yellow ink dye crystals embedded inside it, and the camera's job is to activate the colored dye in the appropriate places.

Afterward, the camera can spit out a 2- by 3-inch picture to show your friends. Since it's a digital camera, the Polaroid Plus can also save the picture on a memory card of up to 32GB.

For those who remember the shoot, wait and peel off neatness of the old Polaroid Swinger camera, this newer cousin seems to be something to test at your local camera shop.

 

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LESSON OF SUMMER LESSON CYBERCULTURE

Sony has showcased a potentially controversial new game to show off the technology behind its new Sony VR (Project Morpheus) virtual reality headset. Sony introduced the new game called Summer Lesson, during its pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference, In Summer Lesson, the player is transported into the bedroom of a Japanese schoolgirl or a blonde student, whom you can interact with by either nodding or shaking your head. Sony's VR headset is set to bring high-definition virtual reality to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The device is still a prototype, and so Sony is introducing new technology demos to showcase the headset's virtual reality capabilities.

The game got a lot a press because of its provocative subject matter. The game contains potentially controversial camera angles. With lingering camera angles focusing on the skirt and chest of the game's schoolgirl, the game has been labeled sexist, strange, questionable and creepy in social media circles. Some compare it to surreal voyeurism. The game player interacts with a young digital woman in a suggestive manner.

Sony downplays the subject matter, but uses the game to emphasize the interaction with the virtual characters. You are able to move about a bedroom or beach deck, and interact or answer questions to move the story forward. The whole game centers around the game player sitting around chilling, interacting, hanging out with young women, which sounds innocent enough, but some who have seen the full demo admit that there is a creepy element just by the premise. The VR headset allows you to move around the setting and character like a chronic gambler checking out a race horse in the paddock. The problem, according to one observer, is that the game itself does not do anything. In Japan, there are many dating simulation games, but Summer Lesson is not one of those games. There is no player to character contact.

Sony's demo may have had the unintended consequence of making the game premise more important than the cool factor of a new game controller headset. But then again, sex sells in the gamer space. Sony got more world press than if the VR demo was a panorama of a walk through a forest.

Hardware manufacturers have poured resources into R&D for the next great game experience. Virtual reality and augmented reality (such as Google Glass) are early attempts to re-imagine the real world into a more realistic digital landscape. If the internet has taught us anything, a new technology can disperse quickly when adopted by the adult entertainment industry. Sony and corporate hardware makers are not in the porn industry, but their platforms, like the Internet, will be open to game developers at some point in order to grow the platform. The VR aspect of movement and interaction with a character can easily be adopted by adult video developers.

There is no guarantee that the consumer market will embrace any VR technology platform. The current production budgets of film quality multiplayer games and first shooters on Playstation or Xbox have a very loyal following especially in the teen market. For the investment, console video games offer ten times or more hours of play compared to a summer tent pole movie. VR companies will have to find a way to to port the most popular console games into a virtual reality with the quick action response of a button controller.

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GHOSTING TRENDS

Words may be weapons, but silence is a more deadly emotional land mine.

Ghosting is a new and troubling trend. Ghosting is the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating or a friend, but no longer wishes to have a relationship. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease a relationship with the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.

One can ghost a person by not replying to them through any means of communication. It can also be as severe as ignoring someone in broad daylight. Technically, it is a social act, but some think that it can go deeper than a simple deletion of a text. Some people have even said that the person who ghosted them pretended that they have never met, even when they are inches away from each other. The ghostee is hit with feeling that their past relationship had no meaning or value to the ghoster, and that the ghoster wants to erase them from their life forever.

It is a brutal hit to the ego and self-esteem of the ghostee for which many ghosters may not be aware. For some sociologists, ghosting is about a person not being able to deal with their own problems, anxieties and fears including intimacy or commitment issues. Experts believe that ghosting exists because people have a tendency to run away from their problems. In this case, they run away from people.

There may be valid reasons to break off communications with a person. Personal safety is one. When someone feels harassed, bullied, abused or antagonized, they may feel that ghosting is the only option that will not involve other people in their problems. Others believe it is an easy solution for immature people. It may have happened once and worked for some people, which leads them to repeat this action because they were never held accountable for it Life is not easy. There are hard moments that people have to deal with like break-ups or relationship issues. One of the most torturous activities for some people is to engage in an awkward conversation. When it comes to dating, breakups or dumping can be the worst type of conversation. But without an open and honest conversation, there will be no closure or respect to the ghostee or the ghoster, which is harmful to both of them according to researchers.

Ghosting also reveals unresolved issues with the ghoster according to experts. Ghosting does not just affect the victim. It can also affect the person doing the ghosting. They may have associated guilt, regret or lack of closure. And this trend has moved from the dating arena to regular friendships. Psychologists believe Ghosting is a type of passive-aggressive behavior which happens when a friend does not want to bother with the hard work of talking through disagreements or issues where the friendship is strained, but instead decides to leave the friendship. But even when a friend behaves poorly, experts state you need to take responsibility for your part, which was not communicating your needs. The process of talking out issues eliminates miscommunications, mistrust, false assumptions or issues that can be cured to save the relationship. Communication is a measure of maturity, respect and honesty, values that most people want in their personal relationships.

A ghoster may think they won, when in fact, the ghoster just pushed himself to the bottom of the social barrel. If you are the one doing the ghosting, the relief you feel when you get away from a person you like is only temporary. You did not learn anything (how to communicate feelings to another person), which means it can happen again and again. The fact that you can ghost someone unnecessarily shows what kind of person a ghoster is - - - someone who is irresponsible, unprincipled, and untrustworthy, according to social experts. Many commentators believe a ghoster has no right to claim empathy for the consequences of a selfish act.

The very act of ghosting can cause serious problems to the victim like depression, anxiety, obsession, unresolved grief and other behavioral disorders. Ghosting is similar to abandonment. Both have serious repercussions that can affect how a person sees themselves. When you leave someone hanging in a silent rebuff, they can assume the worst about themselves, especially if they are already insecure. A lot of people take this slight as an affront to their whole being. It can be painful. It can be degrading. Most of all, it can change a person - - - sometimes in a bad way. The person ghosted cannot process what happened immediately because there is no explanation. It can lead to false assumptions, speculation and futile searches for an answer to why they turned into a horrible monster in the eyes of another person. They will not know what they did wrong (and in most cases, nothing) so there will be negative imprint with the next person they get involved with which adds an unnecessary burden on that person. It is like a scar that never fully heals.

“I think people have been ending relationships badly since the beginning of time,” says Dr. Nicole L. Cromer, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York City. But now that we can hide behind our phones and swipe right on Tinder to find our next date, it is much easier to be anonymous and to not take responsibility, explains Cromer, who specializes in relationship issues. On many dating forums, the vast majority of commentators believe that ghosting is unacceptable behavior. Both men and women agree that it is better to tell someone you started dated that you do not feel compatible or there is no spark, rather than the rudeness and disrespect of refusing to answer their phone calls, messages or texts.

The ghosting trend has started to spill over into other areas, including becoming actionable in an employment setting. While it is tempting to unfriend people on social networks when you are mad at them, but you may want to think twice about it when coworkers are involved, at least in Australia. The Australian Fair Work Commission has determined that an administrator's decision to unfriend a fellow employee on Facebook constituted evidence of bullying. While this was not the only example (there was plenty of name calling and purposeful neglect), it helped demonstrate the “lack of emotional maturity” involved with the harassment. The commission found as a result, the victim now has an order to stop the bullying, which triggered anxiety, depression and sleeping disorders.

It would seem that ghosting should be the narrow exception to the rule that open and honest communication is foundation for all relationships, including the ones that are about to end. Even though technology makes it easier to communicate, people may seem empowered to act badly and not telling a person there is a problem in their relationship since technology can create a barrier to actual one-to-one communication. Ghosting is a bad cultural trend.

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THE WHETHER REPORT

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STATUS

Question: Whether larger tablets will turn this product class into a more productive business tool?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether the "ghosting" trend is rude, crude and unacceptable personal behavior?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether Amazon Prime's new large budget original television series will contribute significantly to Amazon's top line revenue numbers?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

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EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

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A BAD BUG ARTICLE

Volkswagen has been caught allegedly tampering with 11 million clean diesel emission systems. Instead of using current, standard pollution control devices for diesel engines, VW told the world that they had invented a new system to reduce emissions. It appears that solution was a special software cheat; the engine's computer system would sense an emission test so it would reconfigure the engine and data output in order to pass an emission inspection. But in reality, several reports stated that the computer would reset the engine back to normal running conditions which vented 40 times the allowable rate of NOx gases.

Diesel engines do not ignite the air fuel mixture with a spark. They squeeze the mixture (compression) until the air heats up and causes the fuel to explode. This process produces far more heat and pressure than is found in typical gasoline engines. By its chemical components, diesel fuel contains more energy than conventional gasoline. Engines can extract more energy from a gallon of diesel than gasoline. This makes diesel's more economical with higher gas mileage. But diesel exhaust contains more particulate matter and NOx gases. Air is composed of about 78 percent nitrogen. Under the kinds of extreme heat and pressures found inside diesel engines, this nitrogen combines with oxygen to form dangerous oxides of nitrogen -- NO and NO2, collectively referred to as NOx. NOx emissions contribute to smog, deplete oxygen in water and play a large role in the formation of acid rain.

The cleaning process is injecting a liquid urea solution into  the exhaust gas toreduces nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. Urea is an organic compound commonly found in the urine of mammals. The compound controls nitrogen in the blood by bonding with the NOx molecule and rendering it harmless. Blended into hot exhaust gas, theurea releases ammonia, whichprovides the right chemistry to let the NOx be converted into nitrogen and water. In order to comply with pollution standards, car manufacturers use a two part pollution exhaust treatment system. Then this gas passes through a more conventional catalytic type converter to lower overall emissions.

The urea unit needs scheduled maintenance in order to continue working. At dealers, vehicles need to have gallons of the material installed every 10,000 miles at an average cost of $320 dollars. This is an expensive chore that non-diesel vehicles do not have in their maintenance.

 

 

Volkswagen touted its new diesel technology as a cost saving, high mileage alternative to conventional petro engines. Now, some reports indicate that fuel efficiency will suffer when VW has to install a fix for the emission failure. Several states, including California, have deemed the vehicles in question illegal, meaning that they did not meet pollution control standards from the beginning so they are not allowed to be titled, registered or driven in the state. How other government agencies will react is still in progress; the U.S. EPA is looking into the matter and there has been a criminal inquiry started in VW's native Germany.

The New York Times reported that Martin Winterkorn, in his statement announcing his resignation as chief executive of Volkswagen, said he was “shocked” and “stunned” that the company had programmed some of its cars to cheat on emissions tests. But a few days before he gave up his post, he made a promise that Volkswagen would do “everything that must be done” to restore trust in it. Then, just for emphasis, he repeated that the company would do “everything necessary” to undo the damage the episode has caused all of the Jetta, Passat, Beetle, Golf and Audi A3 diesel owners. Other reports indicate, however, that VW executives were aware of this problem as early as 2007.

The problem was caught by researchers at the University of West Virginia, who received a small grant to test clean diesel engines. They found in their road tests, VW vehicles were not performing up to EPA standards. In fact, they were failing by wide margins. WVU research assistant professor Arvind Thiruvengadam and his colleagues test and experiment on cars and engines. He admits his is not the sexiest lab on campus, but he says he got superexcited when they won a grant in 2012 to test a few diesel cars. “Our happiness was, 'Wow, we are going to be the first guys to test diesel cars on the road,' "” he told NPR. “And then after that, when we were getting the data we were like ''OK, we're going to write a lot of journal papers, and we'll be happy if three people read these journal papers.' That's our happiness at that point.”

The International Council on Clean Transportation is a nonprofit that tries to provide independent science to government agencies that regulate the environment. It hired the university to do a standard emissions tests on diesel cars in the US Volkswagen has been hyping diesel cars that are environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. Volkswagen had the boldest claims and the highest sales, but Thiruvengadam tested two VW cars and found that the claims of low emissions never panned out in the real world. “We were never seeing those low emissions during most part of our drives on the interstate. That part of the emissions program was interesting,” he says. In none of their road tests could they get their two Volkswagen cars to meet the claims, even though a BMW they tested did fine. Very early on it was pretty clear to the scientists that something was wrong. He says the team kept double-checking its procedures. “And then, I mean, we did so much testing that we couldn't repeatedly be doing the same mistake again and again,” he says.

The reason why this scandal has been swept under the rug for so long is that car manufacturers “self-certify” their emission results to government agencies. There is no actual road use testing in order to meet national pollution standards. So car manufacturers can rig their tests to get optimum results in a controlled laboratory setting. Also, officials and consumers have been lulled into believing that technology can fix any problem.

What will be done is highly debated. There have been several US class action lawsuits filed against VW. Many claim fraud. There are many remedies being discussed in the media, including repurchase of the vehicles, damages for less car value, and recall for replace and repair the emission systems.

There is a precedent from the 1970s where the government of Great Britain forced a car manufacturer to buy back, at full price, all its vehicles that had serious rust problems. It bankrupted that UK company, sending thousands of workers to the unemployment lines during a deep recession.

The Times asked Kelley Blue Book to run resale value numbers, and it estimated that Volkswagen would need about $7.3 billion to buy back all 482,000 of the tainted vehicles in the United States at the price one private party would pay another for the cars. Coincidentally, that is the same amount as the company has set aside for now to deal with the scandal, which is not limited to the United States.

The Christian Science Monitor reported if VW has to make software changes and retrofit an entire SCR system to the cars (other than the Passat TDI)--something that would likely cost it thousands of dollars per car performance would likely be unchanged, but interior volume might be reduced to accommodate a liquid-urea tank and associated plumbing. Other reports indicate that fuel mileage may go down from 2 to 5 miles per gallon with a new emissions system.

The Wall Street Journal reported that there will be indirect consumer damage resulting from this scandal. VW Credit, the financing arm of the company, may have to write down the value of its car leases or collateral on existing loans. VW Credit may also have to pay higher interest rates for its borrowing which could be passed on to potential VW auto buyers.

Volkswagen announced that it will set aside $6 billion to repair/recall the subject vehicles. This is most of the $7.3 billion the VW board has set aside to cover the costs of this scandal. However, this may be underestimating the severity of the cost. The $6 billion figure means that the repair will only cost VW approximately $545.50 per vehicle. This figure is at least 50 percent less than the most conservative repair estimates. Some experts believe the actual cost to retrofit vehicles could cost $3,000-5,000 per vehicle.

But these figures do not include government fines and civil damages. A more realistic expectation would be in the tens of billions of dollars. By comparison, the BP Gulf Oil Spill has cost that oil giant approximately $42 billion in fines, damages and clean up costs. Some of that money has gone through an inept and corrupt civil compensation board but this may be the blueprint to settle class actions lawsuits. The fall out does not include the damage to VW's reputation, its dramatic effect on the German stock market and drain on Europe's one truly growing economy.

 

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