Salt Lake City goes wallet-free with Isis

Salt Lake City goes wallet-free with Isis 
 Article: Technology For Global Monetary System 

Operator consortium Isis has selected Salt Lake City as its flagship deployment to show the rest of the USA what NFC can do for them.The plan will see Salt Lake City's public transport system accepting pay-by-wave from a mobile phone by the middle of next year. Retailers have also been encouraged to adopt Near Field Communications technology at the point of sale, as Salt Lake City strives to become The Place You Can Leave Your Wallet At Home.
Isis was set up less than six months ago: a consortium of US network operators including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. The consortium is dedicated to ensuring that electronic payments based on NFC keep their secure element in the SIM - under the control of the network operator, not the handset manufacturer or bank-card supplier - by promoting the technology and business models associated with it.
In Salt Lake City, that involves working with the Utah Transit Authority to convert all the buses and trains to accept NFC payments, as well as flooding the area with NFC handsets and SIM chips.
"I would like to express our excitement that the Salt Lake City area has been chosen to lead the roll-out of Isis mobile payments," said Mayor Ralph Becker's canned statement, though looking a little closer it becomes obvious why Salt Lake was chosen to lead the US into contactless payments.
But the transition to electronic payments isn't going to happen overnight, and it's good to see Isis doing something practical, and with a reasonably aggressive timetable. It will be interesting to see how the locals take to paying by wave.

April 12 - US Police Increasingly Peeping at E-mail, Instant Messages 
 Artcle: One World Government 

Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher.

Police and other agencies have "enthusiastically embraced" asking for e-mail, instant messages and mobile-phone location data, but there's no U.S. federal law that requires the reporting of requests for stored communications data, wrote Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, in a newly published paper.
"Unfortunately, there are no reporting requirements for the modern surveillance methods that make up the majority of law enforcement requests to service providers and telephone companies," Soghoian wrote. "As such, this surveillance largely occurs off the books, with no way for Congress or the general public to know the true scale of such activities."
Soghoian found through his research that law enforcement agencies requested more than 30,000 wiretaps between 1987 and 2009. But the scale of requests for stored communications appears to be much greater. Citing a New York Times story from 2006, Soghoian wrote that AOL was receiving 1,000 requests per month.
In 2009, Facebook told the news magazine Newsweek that it received 10 to 20 requests from police per day. Sprint received so many requests from law enforcement for mobile-phone location information that it overwhelmed its 110-person electronic surveillance team. It then set up a Web interface to give police direct access to users' location data, which was used more than 8 million times in one year, Soghoian wrote, citing a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.
Those sample figures indicate the real total number of requests is likely much, much higher, since U.S. law does not require reporting and companies are reluctant to voluntarily release the data.
"The reason for this widespread secrecy appears to be a fear that such information may scare users and give them reason to fear that their private information is not safe,"Soghoian wrote.

 April 16 - 20 Reasons to Be Prepared for a Global Food Crisis 
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times 

Comment from Understand the Times:
Maybe it is time for many to make a course adjustment and to wake up with regards to where we are headed. Are all food shortages weather related or can they be manipulated? Will the governments of the world continue to be controlled by the New World Order? If so, what else will be controlled? What about buying and selling? Will that come under global control too?

In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen.
Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil, the whole game changes.
Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

 April 18 - Many Born-Again Christians Hold Universalist Views, Barna Finds 
 Article: Unbiblical Christianity 

One in four born-again Christians hold universalist thoughts when it comes to salvation, according to a new Barna analysis of trend data.
Twenty-five percent of born-again Christians said all people are eventually saved or accepted by God. A similar proportion, 26 percent, said a person's religion does not matter because all faiths teach the same lessons.And an even higher proportion,40 percent, of born-again Christians said they believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
According to the Barna analysis,43 percent of Americans in general agreed with the statement "It doesn't matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons," while 54 percent disagreed.
For many evangelicals, the idea of Christians holding universalist ideas is particularly disturbing because it nullifies the need for Christ to die on the cross and the message of Jesus that he is the only way, truth and life.
While universalism is nothing new, some believe cultural trends are placing pressure on Christians and their beliefs. Don Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, said at The Gospel Coalition's national conference last week that many are feeling pressure from the culture "to find universalism attractive."
"There are pressures in our culture to reduce the truth content of Scripture and then simply dismiss people by saying that they're intolerant or narrow-minded ... or bigoted without actually engaging the truth question at all. And that is really sad and in the long haul, horribly dangerous."

 April 18 - World Bank head warns of threat from food crisis 
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times 

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has warned the world is 'one shock away from a full blown crisis' and cited soaring food prices as a major threat to the global economy.
He said poorer nations risked 'losing a generation' because of food price inflation. Speaking in Washington after meetings between the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Zoellick said support from the bank would be vital to stability in the Middle East.
'The crisis in the Middle East and North Africa underscores howwe need to put the conclusions from our latest world development report into practice. The report highlighted the importance of citizen security, justice and jobs,' he said.
'Waiting for the situation to stabilise will mean lost opportunities.In revolutionary moments the status quo is not a winning hand.'
'It is probably too much to say that it's a jobless recovery, but it's certainly a recovery with not enough jobs,' he said. 'Especially because of youth unemployment there is now a risk that this will be turned into a life sentence and that there is a possibility of a lost generation.'

 April 20 - Apple Users, Beware: iPhones Secretly Tracking Location, Experts Warn 
 Article: Technology For Global Montary System 

Comment from Understand the Times:
Get ready for Big Brother. Most people are attached to their cell phones. Wherever they go, their cell phone goes. This may be fine, except it is the perfect tool for those who have set the New World Order who one day will be headed by the Antichrist.

Two programmers have discovered that the latest operating system powering the iPhone and iPad keeps a log of everywhere you go, recording both the location and time you were there. 
The feature has been around since June 2010, meaning some iPhones have nearly a year of location history recorded in a single file -- every step, trip to the park, family vacation and more. And that, said Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who uncovered the file, poses serious problems.
"It became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements [in the iPhone]," they noted in a post on their website.
"By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple has made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements."
Apple did not respond to calls or e-mails for comment from FoxNews.com.
But the iPhone feature could be good news for police. According to the ACLU, Michigan police are currently using a device called the Cellebrite UFED during traffic pull-overs. It can grab all the data out of a phone within minutes. The company's website goes on to note: "Easy to use in both the field and in lab environments, UFED extracts vital data such as phonebook, pictures, videos, text messages, call logs . it then gathers the data into reports for research and evidence."
But the ACLU argues that the use of the device by police officers during traffic stops would be illegal, and is attempting to obtain Internal records on exactly how the department uses the devices"[The devices] allow them to extract information from cell phones without a warrant," Kary Moss, Executive Director of the Michigan ACLU, said.
But to the matter at hand: What can you do if you want to ensure your data is safe? Ahearn says the simplest method is just not to use a fancy phone. As of now there is no known way to stop an iPhone with OS 4 from logging locations.

 April 15 - Right Wing Politics Drive Believers to Emerging Church Movement 
 Article: Emerging Church 

Comment from Understand the Times:
The emerging church can best be defined as apostasy. When one reinvents Christianity by redefining Christianity, you no longer have Christianity. This is exactly what we would expect from a biblical perspective as the harlot develops in the last days.

Gathering in cafes and coffee shops, younger believers who are sick and tired of right wing politics injected into megachurches are part of the "Emerging Church" movement.
In the Emerging Church movement, no one is told what to believe.  Questions are welcome, even if they are about the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
In such an Emergent Church in Virginia, members of the "Common Table" gather at a corner cafe under the guidance of a woman named Amy Moffitt, who says,  "When I think of the politicization of this church, I think of the political structure of the institutional church that inevitably leads to power struggles and issues around money. And what's really important to me in the Emergent Church is that we avoid that."  Moffitt had grown up in Christian evangelism at about the time when it was overtaken over by the Christian right and its politics.
Experts say that the Emerging Church movement has the potential to split the Evangelical church but it also has the potential to appeal to the increasing number of disaffected young people who claim no religion.

 April 22 - Evangelicals are making liturgical traditions their own 
 Article: Emerging Church 

Certain Holy Week observances long affiliated with more liturgical traditions are being re-purposed and incorporated into evangelical congregations, home to increasing numbers of former Catholics and mainline Protestants.Leading up to the children's egg hunts and contemporary worship services this Easter, it was not unlikely to see Lenten reflections, Maundy Thursday meals or even Stations of the Cross at a Baptist church.
"I've been asked a few times, 'What is this Maundy Thursday?' It is a foreign idea for some, but once you explain it to them, they see it's scriptural and it makes sense," he said. "There are a lot of good things that Roman Catholics do that I think everybody should be open to.     It's not a Catholic thing or a Baptist thing, it's a biblical thing."
"There's a renewed interest in the liturgical calendar. They may not call it 'Ash Wednesday' or 'Maundy Thursday,' but it's reformatted in a new way," said Dave Travis, the director of the Dallas-based Leadership Network, a megachurch consulting group. "So much of their constituency is former Catholics, so it has become very natural to identify with."
"Eventually, all these churches go back to a common source," said the Rev. Ron Robers on, associate director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. "Principally, we don't see it as a problem.     It can be a good thing for us to share common liturgical services as long as they are not designed to take Catholics away from the church."
The church invited congregants to prayerfully walk through the events of Jesus' betrayal and death, symbolized by replicas of artifacts from Jesus' crucifixion, like the crown of thorns and the nails that held him to the cross. The eight-station display is their church's take on the well-known Catholic tradition.  "The first two people who walked through said, 'This really appeals to me because I grew up with the Stations of the Cross in the Catholic Church,' " said Moore, "and while it's not the same tradition, it still displays the suffering of Christ."



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