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FDA approves new sleep drug

For Immediate Release: Posted By- Richard T. Mindler, Jr. / August 14th., 2014

FDA approves new type of sleep drug, Belsomra

(For Immediate Release)

Release:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Belsomra (suvorexant) tablets for use as needed to treat difficulty in falling and staying asleep (insomnia).

Belsomra is an orexin receptor antagonist and is the first approved drug of this type. Orexins are chemicals that are involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and play a role in keeping people awake. Belsomra alters the signaling (action) of orexin in the brain.

Insomnia is a common condition in which a person has trouble falling or staying asleep. It can range from mild to severe, depending on how often it occurs and for how long. Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and lack of energy. It also can make a person feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. People with insomnia may have trouble with attentiveness, learning, and memory.

“To assist health care professionals and patients in finding the best dose to treat each individual patient’s sleeplessness, the FDA has approved Belsomra in four different strengths – 5, 10, 15, and 20 milligrams,” said Ellis Unger, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Using the lowest effective dose can reduce the risk of side effects, such as next-morning drowsiness.”

Belsomra should be taken no more than once per night, within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least seven hours remaining before the planned time of waking. The total dose should not exceed 20 mg once daily.

The most commonly reported adverse reaction reported by clinical trial participants taking Belsomra was drowsiness. Medications that treat insomnia can cause next-day drowsiness and impair driving and other activities that require alertness. People can be impaired even when they feel fully awake.

The FDA asked the drug manufacturer, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp., to study next-day driving performance in people who had taken Belsomra. The testing showed impaired driving performance in both male and female participants when the 20 mg strength was taken.  Patients using the 20 mg strength should be cautioned against next-day driving or activities requiring full mental alertness. Patients taking lower doses should also be made aware of the potential for next-day driving impairment, because there is individual variation in sensitivity to the drug.

The effectiveness of Belsomra was studied in three clinical trials involving more than 500 participants. In the studies, patients taking the drug fell asleep faster and spent less time awake during the remainder of the night compared to people taking an inactive pill (placebo). Belsomra was not compared to other drugs approved to treat insomnia, so it is not known if there are differences in safety or effectiveness between Belsomra and other insomnia medications.

Like other sleep medicines, there is a risk from Belsomra of sleep-driving and other complex behaviors while not being fully awake, such as preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex. Chances of such activity increase if a person has consumed alcohol or taken other medicines that make them sleepy. Patients or their families should call the prescribing health care professional if this type of activity occurs.

Belsomra will be dispensed with an FDA-approved patient Medication Guide that provides instructions for its use and important safety information. Belsomra is a controlled substance (Schedule-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence.

Belsomra is made by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp. of Whitehouse Station, N.J.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Smartphone vs PC ?

Why Your Smartphone Will Be Your Next PC

The basic idea is that the smartphone itself is your PC!  Various technologies have emerged that could make this vision a reality relatively soon.

586_Atrix

Posted By:   Richard T Mindler, Jr.                                      July 7th. 2014

Motorola’s Atrix smartphone and Lap-dock accessory.

 

About 20 years ago, when I was lugging around a 9-pound laptop on trips all over the world, I kept thinking that there had to be a better way to compute while traveling. At the time though, we only had the technology to deliver heavy and clunky portables. If you wanted to work while on the road, this is all anyone had available to them back then.

On one of my trips to Key West, I started envisioning what I would want in a portable computer if we had the necessary technology to make a more portable computing vision come true. While I could have envisioned a lighter, thinner and sleeker laptop, my actual vision was much more far reaching in concept.

As I was sitting on that flight, I began wondering, “What if the back of the seat in front me of had a screen on it and the tray table could flip over and have a keyboard built into it for input?” I then envisioned what I called a CPU brick, which I could plug into the keyboard. It would power this PC shell, and more importantly, it would have all of my personal user interfaces, content, email clients and everything else I needed. In other words, the brick would be my personal computer and I would just plug it into some kind of dock connected to screens on planes, trains, and in hotel rooms and airport lounges.

(MORE: Your Smartphone Will Become the Hub of Your Digital Lifestyle)

While the idea of having screens and keyboard docks available everywhere no longer makes sense, there is a similar concept emerging that in a way turns your smartphone into that CPU brick and makes various screens available for viewing your content. Early attempts at this came from Motorola with its Atrix smartphone and Lapdock accessory. Along the same lines is the Asus Padfone.

The basic idea here is that the smartphone itself is your PC and then docks into the back of either a portable screen or some type of laptop shell. At the time these products were released, smartphones really were not powerful enough to deliver a serious PC experience. But since then, various technologies have emerged that could make this vision a reality relatively soon.

The first key technology is based on the new mobile quad-core CPUs by Qualcomm, Nvidia and Intel that are found in almost all new smartphones. Although they are low-voltage processors, most of them clock in at between 1.5 GHz and 2.1 GHz , which gives them PC class computing power. Sure they aren’t as powerful as CPUs with much higher processing speeds, but they all have graphics cores built into them and they all do a pretty good job of delivering personal computing functionality on a smartphone.

The other technology is called Mobile High-Definition Link, or MHL, which is a mobile audio/video interface standard for connecting portable electronics devices to high-definition displays. This is an important spec that is supported by dozens of industry companies and is already deployed in over 100 million smartphones. The major company producing specific MHL chips that go into televisions, home theater systems and all types of mobile devices is Silicon Image.

(MORE: The Future of Personal Computing: Cloud-Connected Screens Everywhere)

Last fall, Korea Telecom announced its Spider Laptop shell that can connect to an Android smartphone. It uses an MHL 2.0 cable for the connections currently. At the moment it uses its own Android phone for the connection, but the company has plans to make the Spider Laptop shell work with other Android phones in the future.

Samsung is also working on something like this, using the Spider Laptop shell reference design and working on tying it to the Samsung Galaxy III smartphone. Both versions use an MHL cable from the smartphone to the Spider Laptop shell to power it, but they could just as easily create some kind of MHL dock or even build a dock into the Spider Laptop shell over time.

While standalone laptops powered by their own CPUs and GPUs won’t go away, a new computing paradigm could emerge in which the smartphone actually becomes the center of our personal computing universe.

Keep in mind that the smartphone has all of your personal data, personal user interface and personal apps, and all you would need to have is a laptop shell or a desktop monitor connected to an MHL docking stand, which then mirrors all that’s on your smartphone.

(MORE: Why the iPhone Has a Head Start on the Future of Personal Computing)

Instead of buying a pricey laptop, various vendors could create laptops like the Spider that just have some basic screen technology, power supply and connector that can receive what the smartphone sends to it. Perhaps some internal storage or just an SD Card slot could be added in order to boost what can be stored on the laptop shell itself for future use.

Depending on the costs of the screens, these laptop shells could be priced as low as $129, although they’ll most likely cost closer to $179-$199 in the near future. Even more interesting is the fact that since the shell does not have to sport a lot of technology inside, it could be relatively thin and light as well — although in some models, it would be nice to have an extra battery in the shell to extends usage hours.

In some ways, my 1992 vision of a PC brick is coming true, although not quite as I had envisioned it. Rather, the brick itself will perhaps be a smartphone, and laptop shells, TVs and other screens will be the go-betweens for displaying our digital content and applications. We’ll have the option of using keyboards, mice, voice and gestures to interact with these screens, too. If this happens, then the smartphone really could become our main PC, in many ways changing the way we think about PCs in the near future.

MORE: What Is a PC?

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What will happen to Radio?

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler Jr.  June 24th. – 2014
C.E.O of WGPA SUNNY 1100AM ~ http:www.wgpasunny1100.com     

Richard T.Mindler, Jr.

Richard T. Mindler, Jr.

What Will Happen to Radio?I think that corporate radio needs to realize that their audience can’t simply be pigeonholed into the few standard formats that they typically support. With the rise of the internet and the continued diversification of popular music, there’s now a whole new generation of music fans who’ve cast off radio, simply since they don’t play what they want to hear!  Diversity in radio is not a bad thing, and the homogenization of the airwaves alienates a lot of people. Just as the music industry in general needs to deal with the reality of the internet age, radio does as well. More and more people are now looking for more than just the same spoon-fed crap that most radio provides, since more and more people now have easier access to it and know that it exists. Also, it seems like American corporate radio has forgotten the value of the taste-maker DJ; its rare to find on major stations any DJs that are allowed to play what they personally want to hear, as used to be common. It’s obvious that the few celebrity DJs left (Ryan Seacrest and his ilk) are being told what to play, since it’s the same thing you hear everywhere else. Maybe corporate radio should look to how things are done in the UK, where a vast number of taste-maker DJs still dominate the airwaves and a much wider range of music is played commercially.
The fact that we’ve survived this long and have seen things move in the right direction despite heavy odds gives us big reason for hope. There’s still a lot of good will out there towards WGPA; many simply don’t even know that we’re on the internet. We get lots of love from listeners from around the world who’ve never even heard of us, yet love what we’re doing and have no prejudices based on what we used to be. Our major obstacle is accessibility; as it gets easier to get online away from a computer, internet radio will only grow.

Not everyone has the time or the energy to dig and dig for the most cutting edge music, so radio will continue to exist as a practicality. The question isn’t so much whether radio will continue to exist, but rather what the medium will be.
I feel like a lot of people are hopping on the bash radio bandwagon and I’m really not buying it. I still catch myself on long road trips always going back to the radio for the personal connection that you can’t get from your MP3, iPod, Satellite, etc. As much as we think we can take the human aspect out of so many parts of our lives and be cool with it, I think we innately still want to have that contact and connection to someone playing our favorite songs and or local programing, I think it will always come back to that!
It’s already evolving with the evolution of Twitter, Facebook, and all of the other social networking options. It’s opened up a whole new world for everyone, especially media outlets. It’s bridged a lot of gaps that radio has had in the past in regard to connecting with listeners.  Listeners get a peek behind the curtain which never happened in the past. Something that I’ve always admired about WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM is taking the time to really understand what our listeners like in terms of music, and working really hard to bring them a lot of variation, including local business and sports!  I’ve always admired that the people in charge, including myself care about whats getting played and will play what’s actually GOOD as opposed to what is in the Top 40 and gets the most rotation. Search the radio stations around the country and you won’t find many stations that play the depth of what we play, and all of the local flavor that exists. It’s really a gem and I hope people know that. I know I’m biased, but I also really believe it and can speak from experience!

There is no harm in giving us a try on your home radio,  around the valley, across the Nation and around the World!
Thanx again, Richard !  On Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/rmindler

5 Keys to Leadership

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr. – 5-29-14

5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership, No Matter Your Style

5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership, No Matter Your Style

Image credit: acaben

Steve Jobs
 
 

 

The #5 Keys Series
  • 5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership, No Matter Your Style

Forget the stereotypical leadership image of a buttoned-up person in a gray suit hauling around a hefty briefcase. Today, standout leaders come in all shapes and sizes. She could be a blue jeans-clad marketing student, running a major eCommerce company out of her dorm room. He might be the next salt-and-pepper-haired, barefoot Steve Jobs, presenting a groundbreaking new device at a major industry conference.

 

“Our research indicates that what really matters is that leaders are able to create enthusiasm, empower their people, instill confidence and be inspiring to the people around them,” say Richard T. Mindler, Jr., chief executive of WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM, in Bethlehem, Pa.

That’s a tall order. However, as different as leaders are today, there are some things great leaders do every day. Here Mindler shares five keys for effective leadership:

1. Face challenges.

Great leaders are brave enough to face up to challenging situations and deal with them honestly. Whether it’s steering through a business downturn or getting struggling employees back on track, effective leaders meet these challenges openly. Regular communications with your staff, informing them of both good news and how the company is reacting to challenges will go a long way toward making employees feel like you trust them and that they’re unlikely to be hit with unpleasant surprises.

“The gossip at the coffee machine is usually 10 times worse than reality!   “Employees need to see their leaders out there, confronting that reality head-on.”

2. Win trust.

2. Win trust.

Employees are more loyal and enthusiastic when they work in an environment run by people they trust. Building that trust can be done in many ways. The first is to show employees that you care about them. Take an interest in your employees beyond the workplace. Don’t pry, he advises, but ask about an employee’s child’s baseball game or college graduation. Let your employees know that you’re interested in their success and discuss their career paths with them regularly.

When employees, vendors or others make mistakes, don’t reprimand or correct them in anger. Instead, calmly explain the situation and why their behavior or actions weren’t correct, as well as what you expect in the future. When people know that you aren’t going to berate them and that you have their best interests at heart, they’re going to trust you.

3. Be authentic.

If you’re not a suit, don’t try to be one!   Employees and others dealing with your company will be able to tell if you’re just pretending to be someone you’re not!   That could make them question what else about you might be inauthentic. Have a passion for funky shoes? Wear them. Are you an enthusiastic and hilarious presenter? Get them laughing. Use your strengths and personality traits to develop your personal leadership style…

4. Earn respect.

4. Earn respect.

When you conduct yourself in an ethical way and model the traits you want to see in others, you earn the respect of those around you. Leaders who are perceived as not “walking their talk” typically don’t get very far. This contributes to employees and other stakeholders having pride in the company, which is an essential part of engagement! Also, customers are less likely to do business with a company if they don’t respect its values or leadership.

5. Stay curious.

5. Stay curious.

Good leaders remain intellectually curious and committed to learning. They’re inquisitive and always looking for new ideas, insights and information.  The best leaders understand that innovation and new approaches can come from many places and are always on the lookout for knowledge or people who might inform them and give them an advantage.

“The most successful leaders I know are truly very curious people. They’re interested in the things around them and that contributes to their vision!”

Most of all leaders are ready to take the heat in decision making even if a wrong choice is made, they take responsibility and don’t pass blame, the buck stops here!

You can follow me on Twitter here @ https://twitter.com/rmindler

 

 

Traditional Radio vs Web radio: Who wins?

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr.  May 15th., 2014

Traditional radio vs Web radio: Who wins?

The internet is accessible pretty much everywhere you go these days. Whether at home, work, in our cars or just going for a stroll in the city, the internet is just a push of a button away.  And so is the radio.

The popularity of streaming radio stations has been steadily increasing since its introduction years ago yet the traditional AM/FM radio remains the most popular way for people to get their daily fill of music, news, and entertainment.  A study that was conducted by MediaVest and Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, the largest radio company in the United States, where they surveyed 2,000 people in the U.S. and more than half say that they listen to the AM/FM radio at least once a day.

This surprising result, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that new technologies are being used more and more every day. 24% of the people surveyed say that they watch music videos on online services such as YouTube on a daily basis. Streaming apps offer fans of traditional radio stations the possibility to stream through their computers or mobile devices but only 13% of computer users and 11% of mobile users do so every day. Streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify and Rdio got around 22%, while 14% of people use satellite radio. Clear Channel and MediaVest say that all these online services have increased in popularity since last year.

Executive vice president of research at MediaVest, David Hoffman, said “It’s not about cannibalization; it’s about growth.” The many new ways to listen to the radio aren’t replacing the traditional one, they’re helping to increase the popularity of one of our favorite pastimes overall.

What’s your favorite way to listen to the radio?

Mine is listening to WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM on the NET!- https://twitter.com/wgpasunny1100

You can follow me on Twitter @  https://twitter.com/rmindler
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Visualizing Radio’s Future

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr.   April 26, 2014

https://twitter.com/rmindler

Richard T. Mindler, Jr.

Radio’s problem is that it doesn’t look very good. It sounds fine but, compared to newer online audio services that give users a visually rich experience, AM/FM radio needs to up its game. 

The good news is that several potential solutions to radio’s lack of visuals were presented at the Digital Strategies Exchange for Radio 2013, a day-long session at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas.

Internet Radio and Cars: The Future is Now – Or Else

Richard T. Mindler, Jr., Chief  Executive Officer understands radio’s need to be visually appealing. “The average person looks at their smartphone 45 to 60 times a day. We need to give them something to look at.”

Mindlers Next Radio app, which uses FM chips in smartphones to pull in over-the-air radio signals, can supply users with album cover art, station logos, host pictures and other information when synched with a station’s programming. “I work for a radio company. We thought about what radio is and tried to visualize what it looks like.”

The system is also interactive working with the phone’s geo location, web, calendar and SMS functions. Events promoted by the station can be added directly to the listener’s calendar, text-to-win contests can be entered with one touch and advertisers can provide coupons and directions to their nearest location.

Mindler says in addition to working with mobile companies, Mindleronline is in talks with some car manufacturers to bring the system to the automotive world but another system appears to be leading the charge to enhance radio’s appearance on the digital dashboard; HD Radio.

The long maligned technology originally touted as broadcast’s answer to the challenge of satellite radio may have finally found a home in cars with connected entertainment systems because its digital delivery system affords broadcasters enough bandwidth to transmit additional visual data and provide interactive functions consumers are beginning to expect.

Mindler, says initially car manufacturers didn’t understand HD Radio. “Was it about [the digital signal] or the extra channels?” But in recent years the system hit a turning point with 300 models currently featuring HD Radio, “it is headed toward 100% inclusion.”

While those two solutions could make over-the-air broadcasts more compelling, radio also needs to continue improving apps that deliver station streams. Richard T. Mindler, Jr C.E.O. of  Mindleronline , says “early station apps were just streamers but now it’s important that stations keep up with what is considered state-of-the-art.”

His company is building apps with unique functions ranging from news, weather and traffic interfaces to trivia games, phone wallpaper featuring major recording artists, the ability for listeners to record and upload sound files to the station and one-touch pizza ordering. “The game is how to stand out in this space. There is so much clutter now that even stations with a great brand have to stand out in some way.”

 Follow me on Twitter   rmindler

How to Start a Small Business in a Few Hours

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr. -  March – 30th. – 2014

How to Start a Small Business in a Few Hours

Starting a business is surprisingly simple–you just need to take the first step. Here’s how to get through the administrative hurdles faster than you think!

Keep in mind, I’m only talking about setting yourself up to do business: I’m not talking about writing a business plan, sourcing financing, developing a marketing plan, etc. The goal is to get off Square One and get on to the fun stuff.

Here’s how:

1. Get over the company-name thing.

Many people agonize endlessly over dreaming up the perfect company name. Don’t. If you’re waiting until you come up with the perfect name, you’re also waiting to start making money.

Instead, at least for now, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect URL or website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too.

Just pick a name so you can get the administrative ball rolling.

Remember, your business can operate under a different name than your company name. (A “doing business as” form takes minutes to complete.) And you can change your company name later, if you like.

2. Get your Employer Identification number (EIN).

An EIN is the federal tax number used to identify your business. You don’t need an EIN unless you will have employees or plan to form a partnership, LLC, or corporation.

But even if you don’t need an EIN, get one anyway: It’s free, takes minutes, and you can keep your Social Security number private and reduce the chance of identity theft, because if you don’t have an EIN, your SSN identifies your business for tax purposes.

Note: If you’re using an online legal service to set up an LLC or corporation, don’t use it to get your EIN. Instead, apply online at the IRS website. You’ll have your EIN in minutes.

Now it’s time to head to your locality’s administrative offices.

3. Register your trade name.

If you won’t operate under your own name, your locality may require you to register a trade name. In most cases, you’ll get approved on the spot.

4. Get your business license.

Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).

You may be asked to estimate annual gross receipts. Do your best to estimate accurately, but don’t agonize over it. You’re just providing an estimate.

5. Complete a business personal-property tax form (if necessary).

Businesses are taxed on “personal” property, just like individuals. Where I live, no form is required for the year the business is established.

If you are required to file a business personal-property tax form and you plan to work from home using computers, tools, etc., that you already own, you won’t need to list those items.

If you purchase tangible personal property during your first year in business, you will list those items when you file your business personal-property tax form the following year.

6. Ask your locality about other permits.

Every locality has different requirements. In my area, for example, a “home occupation permit” is required to verify that a business based in a home meets zoning requirements.

Your locality may require other permits. Ask. They’ll tell you.

7. Get a certificate of resale (if necessary).

A certificate of resale, also known as a seller’s permit, allows you to collect state sales tax on products sold. (There is no sales tax on services.)

If you will sell products, you need a seller’s permit. Your state department of taxation’s website has complete details, forms, etc., if you decide to apply online, but most localities have forms you can complete while you’re at their administrative offices.

8. Get a business bank account.

One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.

Get a business account using your business name and EIN, and only use that account for all business-related deposits, withdrawals, and transactions.

Pick a bank or credit union that is convenient. Check out your local credit unions; often they provide better deals than banks.

9. Set up a simple accounting spreadsheet.

Worry about business accounting software like QuickBooks later. For now, just create a spreadsheet on which you can enter money you spend and money you receive.

Bookkeeping is simple, at least at first. All you need are Revenue and Expenses columns; you can add line items as you go.

Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories, and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue. As long as you record everything you do now, creating a more formal system later will be fairly easy. It will also be more fun, because then you’ll have real data to enter.

And now you’re an entrepreneur, with all the documents to prove it.

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Malaysian Govt. Criticized for turning down help

Posted By:   Richard T. Mindler, Jr.  March 16th., 2014

Follow Richard on Twitter- Twitter

 

Malaysia Airlines Jet Made ‘Tactical Aviation Maneuvers’: Law Enforcement Officials

 

 

PHOTO: This photo taken in April, 2013, shows a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Narita Airport in Narita, near Tokyo.

 

Richard T. Mindler, Jr

Richard T. Mindler, Jr

 

 

U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials are focusing on the possibility that at least one of the Malaysia Airlines pilots is responsible for the disappearance of flight MH 370 after new information revealed the plane performed “tactical evasion maneuvers” after it disappeared from radar, two senior law enforcement officials told ABC News today.

U.S. authorities believe only a person with extensive flight or engineering experience could have executed the maneuvers. They also are suspicious of what appeared to be attempts to evade radar.

After the plane’s transponder — which reports the plane’s location and altitude — was turned off about 1:20 a.m. last Saturday, the plane was picked up by military radar as it turned back towards Malaysia and passed above Peninsular Malaysia before heading into the Strait of Malacca.

PHOTO: The search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 now includes two corridors: one stretching from approximately the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and another stretching across Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
ABC News
The search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 now includes two corridors: one stretching from approximately the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and another stretching across Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

 

The U.S. assessment squares with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak statement today that “these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.”

After a week of scrutinizing passengers and the crew, one of the officials said there were no indications anyone besides the pilots had the ability to perform the complicated maneuvers done by the plane. Furthermore, officials said they have found no link between the passengers and known terrorist groups and that the plane could have been flown into a densely populated area if the incident was related to terrorism — but it wasn’t.

Another possibility that can’t be ruled out is that the pilots were coerced or made to redirect the plane by force.

ABC News aviation expert and former Marine Corps fighter pilot Steve Ganyard said it’s possible that the movements made by the plane could mean it was piloted by amateurs not used to flying at night.

Ganyard said a person trying to fly a plane without lights or a horizon could make random turns that may appear to be evasive but were just accidental.

“[A hijacker could] tell the pilot ‘turn the transponder off’ and hold a gun to his head,” Ganyard said. “They could advertently fly out to sea hoping to see some to land to go towards.”

Ganyard also noted that the hijackers of United Flight 93 on Sept. 11 raised and lowered the altitude to try and stop the passengers who were storming the cockpit.

Earlier in the day, Malaysian police visited the home of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the 53-year-old pilot of the missing plane.

Shah is a married father of three grown children with more than 18,000 hours of experience in the air. He has been described as an affluent aviation buff, with a home in a gated community that police spent about two hours inside today.

The first officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007 and has 2,000 hours of flying time.

In recent days the Malaysian government has been criticized for not sharing information earlier with international investigators, nor the United States FBI. Concluding maybe someone has something to hide?

A senior Western law enforcement official told ABC News today that the Malaysian government repeatedly turned down assistance from Interpol to assist in its investigation. That offer has since been repeated several times and declined each time.

“It’s the old pre-9/11 approach: close-hold information, don’t share anything,” the official said.

A spokeswoman for Interpol declined comment.

Law enforcement officials are now worried that critical investigative time has been lost and leads could well have dried up as sources of information could have dispersed in the last week. The FBI also hasn’t been invited by the Malaysian government to help on the ground, sources said.

“Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared,” read a statement from the airline. “This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry.”

Follow All the Latest News on Missing Flight MH 370

At a Saturday news conference Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the plane was steered off course by someone on board, was airborne for more than seven hours and may have traveled as far as Kazakhstan. He added that although the movements were consistent with deliberate acts, he wouldn’t confirm that the plane was hijacked.

“We are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path,” he said.

Razak presented a vastly different timeline that what had officials had previously acknowledged — saying for the first time that the last confirmed communication between the plane and a satellite was at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time. The prime minister said the search has expanded to points as far north as Kazakhstan and as far south as the South Indian Ocean — a stretch of more than 5,000 miles.

“Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase,” he said.

MORE: A Timeline of What Happened to MH370

The flight was carrying 239 people when it disappeared while above waters between Malaysia and Vietnam. A frantic search followed, with 14 different countries involved.

The plane’s communication systems were shut down separately, two U.S. officials said, an indication that the plane did not come out of the sky because of a catastrophic failure.

The data reporting system, they believe, was shut down at 1:07 a.m. The transponder – which transmits location and altitude – shut down at 1:21 a.m. The missing flight continued to “ping” a satellite on an hourly basis after it lost contact with radar, senior administration officials told American News.

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10 Cool Websites to Look at When Bored

Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr. – March 9th., 2014

10 Cool Websites to Look at When Bored

 

https://twitter.com/rmindler

Richard T. Mindler, Jr.

 

Here’s almost too much to look at on the web these days, and you could literally spend your whole day browsing and searching for the most interesting stories, photos, jokes, articles or videos that are out there!

If you need to kill some time or just want to find a couple new interesting sites to fill in some of those empty spots in your bookmarks list, fell free to take a look at the following cool websites to add to your collection.

1. The Oatmeal

The OatmealPhoto © TheOatmeal.com

Created by Matthew Inman a.k.a. “The Oatmeal,” TheOatmeal.com is a humor website for the avid comic lover and quiz taker. Inman takes relatable life situations and exaggerates them in a comical sense.

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2. Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a HalfPhoto © HyperboleAndAHalf.Blogpost.com

Hyperbole and a Half is a Blogger blog that was created by Allie Brosh, a young woman with a talent for telling her left story through detailed Microsoft Paint drawings. She says her blog is not really a web comic, but it’s not really a blog either. Whatever it is, it’s a wonderfully colorful and comedic site to browse through.

3. Cracked

Cracked.comPhoto © Cracked.com

According to their slogan, Cracked.com is “America’s Only Humor Site Since 1958.” Cracked is famous for their list posts. Columnists and contributing writers craft witty, funny articles on topics ranging from history to TV & movies to Internet tech. They have a hilariously creative video section as well.

4. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeedPhoto © BuzzFeed

This is the site you want to visit if you want to find what’s currently hot and trending on the Internet. The site uses unique algorithms to display and rank viral content on its homepage. BuzzFeed is one of the top sources to discover new viral videos, Internet memes, fun articles and anything else that’s popular on the web.

5. FAIL Blog

Fail BlogPhoto © FailBlog.org

Part of the I Can Has Cheezburger network, Fail Blog is a site that is most known for its humorous pictures depicting disastrous and often stupid situations. All photos have the caption “FAIL” included somewhere on the photo. Fail Blog incorporates video into their site in addition to photos.

6. Engrish

EngrishPhoto © Engrish.com

If you get a kick out of misspelled wording and poorly written grammar, Engrish.com may be the site for you. This is a site that takes photos from all over the world of things like signs or product packaging that tend to convey an entirely different message due to unfamiliarity with the English language.

7. OMG Facts

OMG FactsPhoto © OMG-Facts.com

OMG Facts brings you some of the most interesting facts online as voted by their site audience. All facts are thoroughly researched and include topics in history, science, politics, sex and more. You can submit your own fact if you have an idea to help contribute to the site. You can also browse through their Top Facts section for some of the most top voted facts on the site.

8. Damn You Auto Correct!

Damn You Auto CorrectPhoto © DamnYouAutoCorrect.com

If you own a smartphone, you’ve probably had to deal with an extra text or two explaining an accidental word change as a result of your phone’s auto correction. Damn You Auto Correct features tons of funny texts between people who experience all the communicational problems that come with auto correct on a mobile device.

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9. Awkward Family Photos

Awkward Family PhotosPhoto © AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com

It seems as though families all over the world are all flocking to AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com to submit their photos there. From terrible hairdos to costume-themed family portraits, it’s no surprise that this site is such a huge hit on the Internet. Submit your own awkward family photo and see if it pops on the site eventually!

10. People of Wal-Mart

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Does Voting Matter

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Posted By: Richard T. Mindler, Jr.  2-24-14

Voting Doesn’t Matter Because All Elections Are Controlled by R and D Big Money, Big Banksters, Big Corporations and Big Defense Contractors

Republican, Democrat or Independent, Americans are notorious for bitching and moaning about the election system but they are even more livid about the outcomes of elections.  Republicans and Democrats vote for change that never comes. None of the change that Americans vote for ever supports peace, liberty and prosperity.  While voting for big corrupt government is a national sport in America, the 2 parties actually believe they are different despite the fact that both Republicans and Democrats advocate for endless wars, bankster corruption, the wholesale slashing of civil liberties and fascist crony capitalism.  On the Democrat side, their talking points are always reduced to the Koch Brothers who are the favorite punching bags of progressives and on the Republican side it’s always about George Soros and how he spreads his gargantuan wealth to liberal groups.

What voters fail to understand is that the entire election process is rigged and was never intended to be a We the People thing.  I’m not even defending democracy which I consider unlimited majority mob rule where 51% of the people get to trump the rights of the other 49%.  However, in America today the general theme on the right and left is always about our failed democracy.  Guess what? Democracy is working as it was intended to work – to concentrate wealth and power.  The establishment Republican and Democrat elites who are actually representatives of banksters, defense contractors, NSA contractors and other assorted special corporate interests are masters at getting folks to vote away their liberty in exchange for some perceived benefit.

When most American votes, they are actually voting for the police powers of state violence to rob and plunder some other citizen at the point of a gun to give them what they want and think they deserve.  Republicans vote for big bad government, the squashing of civil liberties and the endless wars that they worship like a god.  Democrats also vote for the wars and anti-civil liberty laws but they tend focus on preserving socialist entitlements, taxation and redistribution of wealth.

At the end of the day, the rich get richer, the poor get poor and the middle class is wiped out.

While I’ll never be convinced that anything beneficial to humanity has ever existed in any democracy, the American democracy is especially repugnant and vile because nowhere in human history have the rich politicos and their corporate sponsors managed to bamboozle over 317 million Americans, here, or  over 207 million eligible voters, here.   Granted, far fewer actually vote and American voter participation continues to decline.

Getting back to ‘democracy’ and elections, America has 2 major impediments.  1.  Big corporate special interest money controls the RNC and DNC money machines and 2. The elites of the RNC and DNC machines literally ban We the People from control of the primary process by loading it up with super delegates, congress critters and DNC/RNC officials.

Primaries:

Every Ron Paul supporter knows how the Ron Paul delegates were treated at the RNC Convention by the Republicans. They were marginalized, shunned and prevented from voting.  So much for fair and honest primaries.  It doesn’t exist in any party.

This is deliberate and explains why the primary system is such a freaking farce.  The truth of the matter is that neither the RNC or DNC machines trust We the People.  The primary process was supposed to be a We the People event where We the People selected candidates.  It doesn’t work that way and probably never has.  The Nazi strong arm tentacles of the RNC and DNC machines have effectively banished We the People from the primary process.

This week, the RNC voted to further squash We the People consisting of Tea Party folks, liberty activists, Paulites and Libertarians.

RNC tightens 2016 primary calendar, rules The Hill

A series of changes aimed at tightening the GOP presidential primary calendar sailed through a vote at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, giving the party new tools to control its nomination process.

The new 2016 rules will make it much harder for states to cut in line in the nomination process and will help Republicans avoid a repeat of a drawn out, bloody primary many believe damaged Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 of defeating President Obama.

After a contentious Thursday hearing on some rules changes, few members joined Virginia Committeeman Morton Blackwell in objecting to the final package — the landslide vote was 153 in favor, with 9 opposing.

Mort Blackwell is one of the good guys who has supported the Tea Party, Paulites and Libertarians.  Blackwell and liberty were dealt a decisive blow by the RNC.   Moreover, the 153-9 vote is proof that the establishment GOP elites are still very much in control and not threatened in the least.  However, while the Republican elites may smirk that they struck a mortal blow to the liberty activists within the party, the GOP will ultimately pay the price for its insufferable arrogance in general elections because the liberty activists are bailing like crazy.  They are so fed up that they couldn’t ever hold their noses and vote Republican.

Campaign Finance Money

This week, conservative activist journalist Denesh D’Souza was indicted by a federal grand jury for violating campaign finance laws.  Specifically, D’Souza was charged with illegally raising $20,000 for a conservative candidate.  Politico reports:

The facts of the case remain hazy: The indictment states that D’Souza reimbursed associates who donated $20,000 to a campaign and also caused the campaign to misreport the source of its contributions.  

I’m no fan of D’Souza and consider him a typical Republican theocon-neocon statist.  That said, the charges against him are outrageous and politically motivated by the Obama Department of Justice because $20,000 is an incredibly puny amount of money swimming in the vast oceanic cesspools of political money.

Politico had a far more interesting piece in May 2012, before the 2012 election. Yes, Politico is a statist leftist rag and never goes after the Dems on their fund raising schemes but the article disclosed accurate money facts regarding Republican fund raising.

GOP groups plan record $1 billion blitz

Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress….

POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections…

Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, proved its potency by spending nearly $50 million in the primaries. Now able to entice big donors with a neck-and-neck general election, the group is likely to meet its new goal of spending $100 million more.

And American Crossroads and the affiliated Crossroads GPS, the groups that Rove and Ed Gillespie helped conceive and raise cash for, are expected to ante up $300 million, giving the two-year-old organization one of the election’s loudest voices.

The cost of the 2012 presidential election was a staggering $2 billion according to the Huffington Post and this doesn’t include congressional races.

2012 Presidential Election Cost Hits $2 Billion Mark

The Obama and Romney campaigns each mobilized competing squads of ultra-wealthy fundraisers, sought aid from free-spending allied super PACs and deployed multimillion-dollar media broadsides and armies of organizers.

The final thrust of fundraising included a massive late surge of $33 million in donations to pro-Romney political committees from a single billionaire, Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson. In all, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, gave Romney and other Republican candidates $95 million during the election season, closing in on the gambling magnate’s vow to give $100 million to GOP causes.

The new campaign finance filings covered the final few weeks of the race, when campaign organizations for Romney and Obama, along with a slew of super PACs, raised and spent millions toward the long-expected $2 billion milestone.

By law, an individual can only contribute $2,500 to a candidate.  Even if ordinary folks could afford a $2,500 campaign contribution to a candidate, which they can’t, the lion’s share of political money comes from PAC’s, special interests, banksters, defense contractors etc. and these are the folks who own and control the RNC and DNC machines.

While the Huffington Post reported that the 2012 presidential election cost $2 billion,Politico reported that the cost of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections was $6 billion, here. Open Secrets, an organization that specifically tracks political money, also reported that the 2012 presidential and congressional elections cost $6 billion, here.

It’s clearly evident that the rich and powerful hijacked and now own our election system.  The RNC and DNC machines are nothing but money laundering machines for special interests.

If an individual voter can only contribute a maximum of $2,500 to a candidate and if Denesh D’Souza is being prosecuted for his role in a puny $20,000 campaign finance fiasco, how is it that the Koch Brothers can legally pony up a staggering $400 million and casino magnet Adelson can pony up $100 million to influence election outcomes?

Every campaign finance reform bill passed by congress over the decades has served to increase special interest money in the election system.   Though a complicated maze of legal PAC’s, dark money, dirty money, corporate money and other schemes and scams, just about every politician in America is bought and paid for.

This money is controlled by the RNC and DNC machines who pick and fund the candidates. Those candidates who refuse to be bought and bribed lose in primaries because nobody can compete with the big bucks of special interest dough, the RNC, DNC, their PAC’s, their bundlers and their formidable fund raising machines.

If elections are going to ever mean anything as We the People initiatives to raise, fund and elect We the People candidates, then the special interest dough that owns our elections must be outlawed. The PAC’s must be outlawed.  Bundling must be outlawed.

No one should be allowed to contribute money to any campaign except voters.  Furthermore, the most destructive aspect of our corrupt political system is the fund raising authority of the RNC and DNC.  Americans should support outlawing their ability to fund raise because it embodies the systemic corruption the permeates our election process.

Here’s what a politician really looks like:

Photo source: http://www.isights.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/sponsors.jpg

Whatever the flaws of democracy and despite the fact that few folks even vote with their brains, I doubt that they intentionally voted for folks who are compromised, bribed, bought and paid for.

Until We the People directly fund candidates, control the primary process and get corporate money out of elections, there really is no sane reason to vote R or D.  Voting 3rd party makes far more sense.  At least it’s a repudiation of Republican and Democrat treason and tyranny and allows somebody to scream “I’m here, I’m aware, I’m politically actives and I reject you warmongering, bankster loving traitors who sellout the poor and middle class”.

A more perfect election process would ban all fund raising by anybody except the candidates and they should only be allowed to raise money from individual voters.  Moreover, it would be even more fun to allow unlimited individual campaign contributions so long as they are legally required to post all campaign contributions on their websites for voters to checkout.  Really, who cares of Soros gives a billion or more to Obama or if the Koch Brothers gives a billion or more to Mittens? At least voters would know who fund candidates and to what extent.

I guarantee you that campaign financial disclosure in real time would totally freakout dishonest candidates who sell themselves to the highest bidders.  To call them whores would be an insult to decent and hardworking whores everywhere.  Full disclosure would go a long way in providing voters with highly relevant information.

Meanwhile, so long as the big R and D money machines control elections, voting is truly a waste of time unless a vote is a 3rd party vote.  For the election process to ever be meaningful, primaries must be 100% We the People initiatives and the dark and dirty special interest money must be expunged from the system.

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