February 11, 2017

Philippine Defense Secretary expects China will start building an island less than 200 miles from Manila

The Philippine defense secretary predicted China would start building an artificial island on the bones of Scarborough Shoal. Scarborough Shoal is less than 200 miles from Manila while the current islands that China built are 500 miles away.

If unopposed, China would likely attempt to build an installation like the several bases Beijing has constructed in the Spratly Island chain to the south of Scarborough, Delfin Lorenzana said in a Tuesday interview with AFP.

“If we allow them, they will build,” he told the wire.

“That’s very, very disturbing. Very much (more) disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us.”

According to the report, Lorenzana didn’t give a time frame to when the Chinese might make an attempt to rebuild the island. A U.S. defense official told USNI News on Thursday there was no evidence China was moving land reclamation assets into the region near Scarborough Shoal.

Cubic millimeter micromote compared to historic computers

In 2017, a michigen Micromote computers is one cubic millimeter which is about the size of a large grain of sand. There are several types and are a line of the world’s smallest computers. They have one megabyte of flash memory. Their broader goal is to make smarter, smaller sensors for medical devices and the internet of things—sensors that can do more with less energy

Micro mote designs now use only a few nanowatts of power to perform tasks such as distinguish the sound of a passing car and measuring temperature and light levels. They showed off a compact radio that can send data from the small computers to receivers 20 meters away—a considerable boost compared to the 50 centimeter range they reported last year at ISSCC

Another micro mote they presented at the ISSCC incorporates a deep-learning processor that can operate a neural network while using just 288 microwatts. Neural networks are artificial intelligence algorithms that perform well at tasks such as face and voice recognition. They typically demand both large memory banks and intense processing power, and so they’re usually run on banks of servers often powered by advanced GPUs.

The Michigan Micro Mote contains solar cells that power the battery with ambient light, including indoor rooms with no natural sunlight, allowing the computers to run perpetually.

Photo: University of Michigan and TSMC One of several varieties of University of Michigan micro motes. This one incorporates 1 megabyte of flash memory. Previous versions of the micro motes used 8 kilobytes of SRAM

In 1967, the IBM 360 Model 90 shipped with 1 to 4 MB of memory.

In March 1983, IBM announced the IBM Personal Computer XT in New York City. It features a Intel 8088 processor, 10 MB hard drive, eight expansion slots, serial port, 128 kB RAM, 40 kB ROM, keyboard, one double-sided 360 kB floppy drive. Price is US$4995.

In April 1987, IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) line, with IBM's first 386 PC, and 3.5-inch floppy drives as standard. The Model 30 features 8 MHz 8086 processor, 640 kB RAM, 720 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 20 MB hard drive, three expansion slots, PC-DOS 3.3, for US$1695-2295.

Micromote now one cubic millimeter computer with a megabyte of flash memory using a few nanowatts of power

In 2015, the Michigan Micro Mote constituted the first complete, operational computer system measuring as small as two millimeters across. “To be "complete," a computer system must have an input of data, the ability to process that data - meaning process and store it, make decisions about what to do next – and ultimately, the ability to output the data.” Prof. Blaauw explained. “The sensors are the input and the radios are the output. The other key to being a complete computer is the ability to supply its own power.”

In 2017, the systems are one cubic millimeter. There are several types and are a line of the world’s smallest computers. They have one megabyte of flash memory. Their broader goal is to make smarter, smaller sensors for medical devices and the internet of things—sensors that can do more with less energy. Many of the microphones, cameras, and other sensors that make up eyes and ears of smart devices are always on alert, and frequently beam personal data into the cloud because they can’t analyze it themselves. Some have predicted that by 2035, there will be 1 trillion such devices. “If you’ve got a trillion devices producing readings constantly, we’re going to drown in data,” says Blaauw. By developing tiny, energy efficient computing sensors that can do analysis on board, Blaauw and Sylvester hope to make these devices more secure, while also saving energy.

Micro mote designs now use only a few nanowatts of power to perform tasks such as distinguish the sound of a passing car and measuring temperature and light levels. They showed off a compact radio that can send data from the small computers to receivers 20 meters away—a considerable boost compared to the 50 centimeter range they reported last year at ISSCC

Another micro mote they presented at the ISSCC incorporates a deep-learning processor that can operate a neural network while using just 288 microwatts. Neural networks are artificial intelligence algorithms that perform well at tasks such as face and voice recognition. They typically demand both large memory banks and intense processing power, and so they’re usually run on banks of servers often powered by advanced GPUs.

The Michigan Micro Mote contains solar cells that power the battery with ambient light, including indoor rooms with no natural sunlight, allowing the computers to run perpetually.

This line of “smart dust” devices includes computers equipped with imagers (with motion detection), temperature sensors, and pressure sensors. They are the culmination of work initiated by Blaauw and Sylvester on very low-power processing for millimeter-scale systems.

Photo: University of Michigan and TSMC One of several varieties of University of Michigan micro motes. This one incorporates 1 megabyte of flash memory. Previous versions of the micro motes used 8 kilobytes of SRAM

An Astonishing Lack of Power
A key breakthrough in the size/power matchup came with the Phoenix processor in 2008. The Phoenix processor is miniscule at 915 x 915µm2, and boasts ultra-low operating voltage and a unique standby mode that results in an average power consumption of only 500pW. (Consider that 1pW is the average power consumption of a single human cell.)

Production Trailer for Avengers Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018. An untitled sequel is scheduled to be released on May 3, 2019. Filming has started on Avengers infinity war.

The Avengers, torn apart after the events of Captain America: Civil War, join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle Thanos.

The actors that will be in the movie are

Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man
Josh Brolin - Thanos
Mark Ruffalo - Hulk
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
Chris Evans - Captain America
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Jeremy Renner - Hawkeye
Chris Pratt - Starlord
Elizabeth Olsen - Scarlet Witch
Sebastian Stan - Winter Soldier
Benedict Cumberbatch - Dr Strange
Paul Bettany - Vision
Samuel L. Jackson - Nick Fury
Cobie Smulders - Maria Hill
Benedict Wong - Wong
Zoe Saldana - Gamora
Karen Gillan - Nebula
Vin Diesel - Groot
Dave Bautista - Drax
Pom Klementieff - Mantis
Scarlett Johansson - Black Widow
Benicio del Toro - The Collector
Tom Holland - Spider Man

US will take two years to bring military repair and readiness back up and then will begin a 20% military buildup over 15-30 years

According to the US Navy, 53 percent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly — about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol, and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems — at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 percent figure represents about twice the historic norm.

The strike fighter situation is even more acute and more remarkable since the aircraft are vitally important to projecting the fleet’s combat power. Sixty-two percent of F/A-18s are out of service; 27 percent in major depot work; and 35 percent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said.

With training and flying hour funds cut, the Navy’s aircrews are struggling to maintain even minimum flying requirements, the senior Navy source said. Retention is becoming a problem, too. In 2013, 17 percent of flying officers declined department head tours after being selected. The percentage grew to 29 percent in 2016.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has laid out a measured and cautious spending plan that puts near-term readiness needs first in his first budget guidance memo. The memo, out this morning, largely defers major equipment modernization until 2019 and limits increases in the size of the force to “the maximum responsible rate” So, while Trump may yet launch a Reaganesque build-up of the military, the memo makes clear that it won’t start right away. It’s also explicit that, alongside straight additions to the budget, there will be “efficiencies” and cuts.

According to testimony, the Navy is the smallest and least prepared it’s been in 99 years.

The Navy has requested an additional $12 billion for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters, one San Antonio-class amphibious landing dock ship, and dozens more Sidewinder missiles.

Gen. Daniel Allyn, the Army's vice chief of staff, said that only three of the Army's more than 50 brigade combat teams have all the troops, training and equipment needed to fight at a moment's notice.

The Marine Corps, which wants an additional $4.2 billion added to its 2017 budget, warned that the "nation's force in readiness" will have to continue shifting money intended for new weapons to pay current bills.

The Air Force is the branch of the military that arguably is in the most dire straits, with aircraft numbers falling from 8,600 in 1991 to 5,500 today. There are 55 fighter squadrons, down from 134, and less than 50 percent of its combat forces are “sufficiently ready for a highly contested fight against peer adversaries,” Air Force Vice Chief Gen. Stephen W. Wilson said in reference to countries like Russia and China.

Pro-defense lawmakers still want the build-up, but they acknowledge it’s going to take years, if not decades. For example, legislators have asked the Congressional Budget Office to study alternative spending plans to build a 355-ship Navy over 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, the new House seapower subcommittee chairman.

February 10, 2017

YK Bae can now amplify photonic laser thrust by 1500 times and if combined with military grade lasers and targeting would enable fast and hyperefficient space transportation

Young Bae of Advanced Space and Energy Technologies in Tustin, California, has improved his photonic laser thruster. was developed with NASA funding. His thruster works because light exerts pressure when it hits something. In theory, it is possible to move an object like a CubeSat by nudging it with a laser beam. In practice, however, the pressure which light exerts is so small that a device able to do a useful amount of nudging would require a laser of unfeasibly large power.

Dr Bae has overcome this limitation by bouncing light repeatedly between the source laser and the satellite, to multiply the thrust. In his latest experiments, Dr Bae has managed to amplify the thrust imparted by a single nudge of the laser by a factor of 1,500, which is big enough to manoeuvre a CubeSat as well as a conventional thruster would. This brings two advantages. First, since no on-board propellant is required, there is more room for instruments. Second, there being no fuel to run out, a CubeSat’s orbit can be boosted as many times as is desired, and its working life prolonged indefinitely.

a suitable laser is required to provide the thrust. Dr Bae thinks it could be in orbit as well. The laser would be powered by solar cells and shepherd a veritable flock of CubeSats, providing the propulsion needed to move and arrange them as required.

In 2015, Bae had achieved 400 times amplification in 2015 with up to 3.5 millinewtons with a 500 watt laser. The new 1500 amplification should enable about 14 millinewtons of thrust with a 500 watt laser. There are 10 to 150 kilowatt lasers being tested by the US Military. A 150 kilowatt laser with 1500 times amplification would have 4.2 newtons of thrust. Compact high power lasers are being developed for integration in to US stealth fighters in the early 2020s.

Proven but classified technology should enable photonic propulsion to operate out to 100 kilometers.

An Economist magazine discusses the work at Bae Corp which could be used for moving cubesats in the near future.

Photonic Laser Thruster - Photonic Railway

An array of one thousand 100 kilowatt lasers would be 100 megawatts of power. Amplified ranges of 100,000 kilometers should be possible with a plausible 20 years of development. A 100 megawatt PLT with 1000 times amplification would enable trips too and from the moon in less than 15 hours for a 1 ton spacecraft.

A simple PLT system could provide continuous and constant thrust in a straight line. However, travel around the solar system involves interacting with planets and the sun, so trajectories and travel time calculations are more complex. Fu-Yuen Hsiao has investigated the trajectories of spacecraft relying entirely on a PLT.

Bae's investigation concluded that the development of interstellar photonic railway will require development in x-ray lasers and future advanced material science and technologies. Bae further concluded that the realization of the interstellar photonic railway would require that the PLT technology developments ride on the Moore’s law as the 20th century silicon devices did.

Specific energy as a function of spacecraft velocity relevant to Mars missions. The flight time to Mars is for flyby missions, and rendezvous missions would take more than twice longer. For 3 day flight to Mars, the photonic railway (PLT-BLP) would be several orders of magnitude energy efficient than the conventional rockets with Isp of 3,000.

Oncoming Drone Swarms

Lady Gaga opened the halftime show at Super Bowl LI in front of Intel’s drone swarm. Lady Gaga Halftime Drone Swarm show was pretaped to shield the crowd (no drones or planes were allowed near the stadium on the day of the game)

This artful drone swarm is not the first, though it is probably the highest-profile spectacle of its kind in the United States. Drones and dance troupes appeared on talent shows, drones have danced with humans alone in a field, an earlier Intel drone swarm set an early Guinness World Record with a dancing display. And there is my personal favorite, a small swarm of just 20 aerial robots performing before Mount Fuji, lights and flights creating a vibrant, thick sky.
At the end of their Half Time performance, Intel’s drones spelled out the name of the show’s other big sponsor, Pepsi.

Each one of Intel’s “Shooting Star Drones” weighs under 10 ounces, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and flies at around 6 mph. Yet it’s the computing that really stands out: the whole swarm of 300 flying robots are controlled by one pilot and one computer, with a second pilot on hand in case of emergencies.

Coordinating flying swarms has applications far beyond just entertainment. The Pentagon tested an autonomous drone swarm in October 2016. Those robots, coordinating with each other and flying together towards set objectives, represent the first wave of military swarming, with smaller, cheaper flocks of robots replacing or complementing the jobs previously done by bigger, more expensive craft.

The US military has launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet during a test in California.

Goldman Sachs automated 99% of their equity trading jobs over the last 16 years but there is still 34% staffing with mostly computer engineers

In 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, but today there are only two equity traders left. Automated trading programs have taken over the rest of the work, supported by 200 computer engineers.

The experience of its New York traders is just one early example of a transformation of Goldman Sachs, and increasingly other Wall Street firms, that began with the rise in computerized trading, but has accelerated over the past five years, moving into more fields of finance that humans once dominated. Chavez, who will become chief financial officer in April, says areas of trading like currencies and even parts of business lines like investment banking are moving in the same automated direction that equities have already traveled.

Today, nearly 45 percent of trading is done electronically, according to Coalition, a U.K. firm that tracks the industry. In addition to back-office clerical workers, on Wall Street machines are replacing a lot of highly paid people

Average compensation for staff in sales, trading, and research at the 12 largest global investment banks, of which Goldman is one, is $500,000 in salary and bonus, according to Coalition. Seventy-five percent of Wall Street compensation goes to these highly paid “front end” employees, says Amrit Shahani, head of research at Coalition.

For the highly paid who remain, there is a growing income spread that mirrors the broader economy, says Babson College professor Tom Davenport. “The pay of the average managing director at Goldman will probably get even bigger, as there are fewer lower-level people to share the profits with,” he says.

Now areas of trading like currencies and futures, which are not traded on a stock exchange like the New York Stock Exchange but rather have prices that fluctuate, are coming in for more automation as well. To execute these trades, algorithms are being designed to emulate as closely as possible what a human trader would do, explains Coalition’s Shahani.

Goldman Sachs has already begun to automate currency trading, and has found consistently that four traders can be replaced by one computer engineer, Chavez said at the Harvard conference. Some 9,000 people, about one-third of Goldman’s staff, are computer engineers.

February 09, 2017

New brain implant design is meant to restore vision to the blind

Experiments that let a paralyzed person swig coffee using a robotic arm, or that let blind people “see” spots of light, have proven the huge potential of computers that interface with the brain. But the implanted electrodes used in such trials eventually become useless, as scar tissue forms that degrades their electrical connection to brain cells

Next month, tests will begin in monkeys of a new implant for piping data into the brain that is designed to avoid that problem. The project is intended to lead to devices that can restore vision to blind people long-term.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School will use a new kind of implant that will go beneath the skull but can rest on the surface of an animal’s brain, instead of penetrating inside the organ. An array of microscopic coils inside the hair-like device can generate powerful, highly targeted magnetic fields to induce electrical activity at particular locations in the brain tissue underneath. The implant will also be tested when placed inside brain tissue.

The device will be used to stimulate the visual cortex of the monkeys to try and re-create the activity normally triggered by signals from the eyes—creating the sensation of sight without the eyes’ input. Ultimately, the goal is to use the implant to convert signals from a camera into brain activity. Unlike conventional electrodes, the coils' effectiveness shouldn't degrade over time. Magnetic fields aren't impeded by tissue forming around an implant as electric currents are.

The three-year project is supported by a multi-million dollar grant under the BRAIN initiative, created by President Obama to improve scientists’ understanding of how the brain works.

China on track to expands its navy to 500 warships

The People's Liberation Army's Navy is growing fast but we should expect it to grow even faster. The UK Royal United Services Institute expects China to reach a 500 ship navy.

The 500 warships will include aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, amphibious ships and a burgeoning frigate and destroyer force.

Just in the past three weeks a new destroyer and new corvette have been launched and discussion over new carrier-based aircraft has been increasing. The growth in the PLA(N) force structure has been rapid: indeed it is hard to recall growth at a similar pace in any navy across history.

China's official defense spending is expected to be $233 billion in 2020, up from $123 billion in 2010, according to a new report by IHS Jane's.

Against this, the US Navy – still the world’s most powerful naval force – has an aspiration of returning to a force design of around 350 units.

Simultaneous development of floating nuclear power stations, permanent military bases in the South China Sea and the full deployment of the BeiDou satellite navigation system are starting to provide Beijing with a competitive edge in the China Seas.

China is expected to have 351 warships by 2020

James Fanell, a US Navy captain who retired in 2015 as the Pacific Fleet's director of intelligence and information, was succinct in his predictions about the PLAN's growth over the next 15 years. Like others at the conference, he noted China's increasing shipbuilding capacity, along with continued improvements in modular construction, the use of robotics and virtual 3D manufacturing, along with the Navy's growing preference for indigenous designs of improving quality.

"The PLAN will continue to expand for the next 15 years," he said. Active defense in the near seas will grow, far seas operations will increase, and there will be more goodwill deployments. The Navy will be more capable of fielding surge deployments, carrier strike groups will form and deploy and there will be more ballistic missile submarine patrols.

To accomplish this, Fanell said, the PLAN will grow to include 99 submarines of all types, four aircraft carriers, 102 destroyers and frigates, 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships and 111 missile craft.

Fanell predicted, the Chinese Navy of 2030 would comprise 415 ships.

The UK Royal United Services Institute predicted a larger naval buildup

Lower lifecycle costs for nuclear power than fossil fuel and lower radiation under normal operation

When costs are levelized across the lifecycle, nuclear is one of the most cost-effective methods of power generation. Indeed, OECD research shows that nuclear is the lowest levelized cost option for power generation for all OECD countries under certain capital cost projections. Regional differences in the cost of capital for nuclear projects mean that while cost can be a challenge for greenfield nuclear projects in Europe and North America, it is seen as less of an issue in Asia, where economies of scale, lower labour costs and more recent experience in building reactors all have an impact. In economies where financing traditional greenfield projects is seen as challenging, SMRs are often cited as the future because their size and the fact that they are ready to install keep investment costs low.

Public exposure to radiation resulting from the generation of electricity by nuclear power plants is just a fraction of that from coal-powered plants, according to a report from the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

ISIS will soon have lost all territory and will return to guerrilla style terrorist organization and Al Qaeda is organizing a Sunni Rebellion in Iraq

Early indicators suggest that a post-ISIS Sunni insurgency may be forming in Iraq and al Qaeda (AQ) is trying to gain traction within it.

This essay highlights indicators that post-ISIS insurgencies are forming and that al Qaeda is present in Iraq. ISW (Institute for the Study of War) forecasted on November 30, 2016 that Iraq will likely face a renewed Sunni insurgency as military operations diminish ISIS’s hold in Mosul. The U.S.-backed Coalition has been focused only on eliminating ISIS, not other insurgent groups or the conditions that grow them. Political conditions therefore permit an insurgency to take root. Iraqi insurgent groups that predated the rise of ISIS remain active, even though ISIS has tried to suppress them. These groups have publicized their intent to revive a resistance movement against the Iraqi state. It is too soon to assess whether these insurgent groups will operate under a national umbrella.

ISIS, nevertheless, continues to be active and capable of conducting spectacular attacks in Iraq and will remain so for months, despite its losses elsewhere in the country. ISIS launched a series of deadly attacks in Baghdad over the New Year holiday and has demonstrated its ability to attack disperse areas of Iraq, including Kirkuk, Tikrit, and Samarra, since operations in Mosul began in October 2016. ISIS, however, may begin to alter how it carries out attacks in Iraq as the group transforms from a governing to a guerrilla style terrorist organization. This shift will make attribution of attacks difficult, especially if signature capabilities erode or attack patterns change.

Recent anomalous attacks, therefore, need to be assessed equally as possible indicators that non-ISIS insurgents are already conducting attacks in Iraq and as indicators that ISIS is changing tactics or losing capabilities.

Here is an update on Syria

Russia plans to test a rocket mounted Zircon hypersonic missile in the spring of 2017

In the spring of 2017, Russia may test a rocket mounted Zircon Hypersonic missile for the first time. The launch is said to be conducted within the scope of the global non-nuclear deterrence strategy.

The source did not specify the carrier, from which the missile was to be launched.

Zircon mounted Hypersonic Missiles are planned to be used on Yasen-M nuclear submarines, as with the well as with the Husky's Submarines and some surface ships.

Hypersonic speed is Mach 5 or faster. Mach 1 is the speed of sound which is about 300 meters per second, or 1,224 km / h.

China's possible economic futures - New economy drives growth, stagnation or crisis

Three financial scenarios were published in a Financial Times article and reviewed by economist and analyst Michael Pettis.


In the first scenario proposed by the Financial Times—clearly the best-case scenario—the focus is on growth in consumption-related and “new economy” sectors in China. If these sectors continue growing at current rates, according to those who expect this to be the most likely outcome, they can soon replace the old, contracting sectors of the economy as the main source of demand that drives economic activity and keep growth rates high.

Pettis agrees there are certainly good things happening at the micro level in the Chinese economy, we cannot ignore the macro if these create growth constraints.

Nextbigfuture notes that there is the possibility of positive returns from the One Belt One Road investments in other countries.

Where Pettis really disagree is with Dehn’s Financial Times scenario is with characterization of savings. Dehn seems to have confused China’s total savings with the personal savings of Chinese households, a common mistake even among economists, but a mistake nonetheless and especially egregious in the case of China. Dehn seems to think that China saves nearly half its GDP because Chinese workers save nearly half their paycheck, and that because it is relatively easy to induce workers to cut back on their savings, the country can easily rebalance demand toward consumption.

Leaving aside that as uncertainty rises we should expect the household savings rate in China to rise, as it has been doing, and not fall, this characterization of savings fails to understand that changes in household savings preferences almost don’t matter. Contrary to what Dehn claims, it is not at all the case that at roughly 50 percent of GDP, China has the highest savings rate in the world—and the lowest consumption rate, which is the same thing—because when the average Chinese worker receives his RMB 100 paycheck he immediately puts half of it into his bank account. The average worker of course puts in a lot less than that, and more importantly, it isn’t the average worker that drives China’s high savings rate. The reason China has the highest savings rate in the world is because when the average Chinese worker produces RMB 100 of goods and services, he only gets a paycheck of roughly RMB 50, of which roughly RMB 15 is put into his bank account. The rest of the roughly RMB 35 in savings has nothing to do with household saving and instead comes from businesses and government entities.

Chinese households are not able to consume a substantial portion of what they produce, in other words, simply because they are paid too low a share of what they produce. The constraint on consumption growth is not the savings preferences of the Chinese household. It is the very low share of GDP Chinese households retain.

This is why a surging “new economy” cannot generate enough growth over the medium and long term without some mechanism that drives up household income growth, any more than will improvements in supply-side efficiency. GDP growth cannot be maintained while investment growth decelerates unless consumption growth accelerates, and consumption growth cannot accelerate to anywhere near the extent that it must unless the growth in household income accelerates.

George Friedman predicted in 1991 a second US-Japan War in 1990s or early 2000s and now predicts the collapse of China in the 2020s and 2030s

George Friedman is the founder of Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence firm and author of two books about the global future: "The Next Decade" and "The Next 100 Years," New York Times bestsellers. Prior to joining the private sector, Friedman regularly briefed senior commanders in the armed services as well as the Office of Net Assessments, SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, National Defense University and the RAND Corporation, on security and national defense matters.

In 1991, Friedman wrote a book called the Coming War with Japan The authors argue that with the collapse of the Cold War and with the Soviet Union in disarray, the U.S. will no longer endure Japan's economic encroachments. Japan, meanwhile, in order to ensure the influx of raw materials and to secure an export market it can dominate politically, will solidify its trading bloc in Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, while challenging U.S. hegemony in the Pacific Basin.

Here was a review of that book about the war with Japan.

This one-sided, sensational book contends that a military confrontation between the United States and Japan is likely within the next 20 years. According to the authors, the issues are the same as they were in 1941: Japan needs to control access to its mineral supplies in Southeast Asia and to have an export market it can dominate. In order to do this, Japan must force the United States out of the western Pacific. There is little effort to explore the substantial differences between the 1940s and the 1990s. One of the authors has published several works of fiction and the other is a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation.

Nextbigfuture thinks that Friedman's newer forecasts will be as accurate as his 1991 book "the coming war with Japan".

Nextbigfuture has a similar forecast that Russia will weaken geopolitically to about the level of a combined Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

In the Next 100 years (written in 2009) Friedman predicted Russia and China would fragment.

In the early 2020s, the New Cold War will end when the economic strain and political pressure on Russia, coupled with Russia's declining population, and poor infrastructure, cause the Federal government of Russia to completely collapse, much like the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Other former Soviet Union countries will fragment as well.

Around this time, mainland China (PRC) will politically and culturally fragment as well. George says the rapid economic development of China since 1980 will cause internal pressures and inequalities in Chinese society. Regional tension in the PRC will grow between the prosperous coastal regions and the impoverished interior regions. Friedman gives two possible scenarios: that the government will expel outside interests and rule with an iron fist to keep the country from fragmenting, or that China will fragment, with the central government gradually losing much of its real power and the provinces becoming increasingly autonomous. He works on the assumption that fragmentation is the most likely scenario.

In the 2020s, the collapse of the Russian government and the fragmentation of mainland China will leave Eurasia in general chaos. Other powers will then move in to annex or establish spheres of influence in the area, and in many cases, regional leaders will secede. In Russia, Chechnya and other Muslim regions, as well as the Pacific Far East will become independent, Finland will annex Karelia, Romania will annex Moldova, Tibet will gain independence with help from India, Taiwan (ROC) will extend its influence into mainland China, while the United States, European powers, and Japan will re-create regional spheres of influence in mainland China.

George has a new forecast called the road to 2040

In Europe, the European Union as an institution will collapse or redefine itself as a more modest trade zone encompassing a smaller part of the continent. The current free trade structure is unsustainable because its members, particularly Germany, have grown overly dependent on exports. This dependency makes these economies extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in demand outside of their own borders. Germany is the most vulnerable country and will experience economic decline due to inevitable fluctuations in the export market. Consequently, by 2040, Germany will be a second-tier power in Europe. Other countries in Western Europe will be affected by its decline, leading Central Europe, and Poland in particular, to emerge as a major, active power.

Russia will continue to suffer from the effects of declining oil prices. The revenue from this commodity had been used to sustain internal cohesion. With this revenue now severely drained, Russia will devolve into a confederation or even fragment into secessionist parts by 2040. The future of Russian nuclear weapons will become a crucial strategic issue as this devolution takes place.

In Asia, as the decline of China’s competitiveness in the export market continues, high unemployment will become a significant challenge to the Chinese president. The regime will attempt to survive the economy’s downward spiral by tightening its grip on power and sliding back into dictatorship. However, the regional divergences in China are too widespread and not easily suppressed by dictatorship. Therefore, by 2040, China will see a return to regionalism, accompanied by turmoil. As China weakens, a power vacuum will emerge in East Asia, which will be filled by Japan. By 2040, Japan, with its enormous economy and substantial military capabilities, will become the leading East Asian power.

In the Middle East, we do not foresee Islamic State being sufficiently contained in the coming decades. On the contrary, it is likely to expand its territory. Turkey and Iran are the only regional actors with the capability to challenge IS, and Iran is unlikely to do so in any substantial way. Given Islamic State’s territorial aspirations, Turkey will have to engage militarily to defend its borders. As Turkey asserts its military and economic strength, these developments will effectively bring a return of the Ottoman Empire, thrusting Turkey back into the position as the dominant regional power by 2040.

Researchers Reverse Hall Coefficient – Medieval Mail Armor Inspired Development of Metamaterial with Novel Properties

Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), however, were inspired by medieval mail armor when producing a new metamaterial with novel properties. They succeeded in reversing the Hall coefficient of a material.

The Hall effect is the occurrence of a transverse electric voltage across an electric conductor passed by current flow, if this conductor is located in a magnetic field. This effect is a basic phenomenon of physics and allows to measure the strength of magnetic fields. It is the basis of magnetic speed sensors in cars or compasses in smartphones. Apart from measuring magnetic fields, the Hall effect can also be used to characterize metals and semiconductors and in particular to determine charge carrier density of the material. The sign of the measured Hall voltage allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether charge carriers in the semiconductor element carry positive or negative charge.

Mathematicians already predicted theoretically that it is possible to reverse the Hall coefficient of a material (such as gold or silicon), i.e. to reverse its sign. This was expected to be achieved by a three-dimensional ring structure resembling medieval mail armor. How-ever, this was considered difficult, as the ring mesh of millionths of a meter in size would have to be composed of three different components.

Self Assembled particles enable more efficient, stable and durable perovskite-based LEDs

Princeton engineering researchers have illuminated another path forward for LED technologies by refining the manufacturing of light sources made with crystalline substances known as perovskites, a more efficient and potentially lower-cost alternative to materials used in LEDs found on store shelves.

The researchers developed a technique in which nanoscale perovskite particles self-assemble to produce more efficient, stable and durable perovskite-based LEDs. The advance, reported Jan. 16 in Nature Photonics, could speed the use of perovskite technologies in commercial applications such as lighting, lasers and television and computer screens.

Princeton researchers have refined the manufacturing of light sources made with crystalline substances known as perovskites, a more efficient and potentially lower-cost alternative to materials used in LEDs found on store shelves. (Photos by Sameer Khan/Fotobuddy)

Nature Photonics - Efficient perovskite light-emitting diodes featuring nanometre-sized crystallites

Princeton shrinks tabletop terahertz equipment down to a few square millimeters

Researchers at Princeton University have drastically shrunk much of the equipment for terahertz wave generation: moving from a tabletop setup with lasers and mirrors to a pair of microchips small enough to fit on a fingertip.

Terahertz electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second may hold the key to advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development. But the pulses, called terahertz waves, have long required elaborate and expensive equipment to use.

In two articles recently published in the IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits, the researchers describe one microchip that can generate terahertz waves, and a second chip that can capture and read intricate details of these waves.

"The system is realized in the same silicon chip technology that powers all modern electronic devices from smartphones to tablets, and therefore costs only a few dollars to make on a large scale" said lead researcher Kaushik Sengupta, a Princeton assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Terahertz waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum — the broad class of waves that includes radio, X-rays and visible light — and sit between the microwave and infrared light wavebands. The waves have some unique characteristics that make them interesting to science. For one, they pass through most non-conducting material, so they could be used to peer through clothing or boxes for security purposes, and because they have less energy than X-rays, they don't damage human tissue or DNA.

Princeton University researchers have drastically shrunk the equipment for producing terahertz — important electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second — from a tabletop setup with lasers and mirrors to a pair of microchips small enough to fit on a fingertip (above). The simpler, cheaper generation of terahertz has potential for advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development. (Photos by Frank Wojciechowski for the Office of Engineering Communications)

IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits - On-Chip THz Spectroscope Exploiting Electromagnetic Scattering With Multi-Port Antenna

IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits - Dynamic Waveform Shaping With Picosecond Time Widths

Leading development of hypersonic engines and spaceplanes

The leading projects for developing a hypersonic spaceplane are Reaction Engines of the UK and Hypermach.

Reaction Engines Skylon

Reaction Engines of the UK is a leader in developing a hypersonic vehicle and hypersonic components. The British government finalized a £60 million to the project: this investment will provide support at a "crucial stage" to allow a full-scale prototype of the SABRE engine to be built. If all goes to plan, the first ground-based engine tests could happen in 2019, and Skylon could be performing unmanned test flights by 2025. In November 2015, BAE Systems invested £20.6 million in Reaction Engines to acquire 20 per cent of its share capital and agreed to provide industrial, technology development and project management expertise to support Reaction Engines during its development phase. It could carry 15 tonnes of cargo to a 300 km equatorial orbit on each trip, and up to 11 tonnes to the International Space Station, almost 45% more than the capacity of the European Space Agency's ATV vehicle.

Full Skylon spaceplane development is estimated to be in the $12 billion range.

The US Air Force Research Lab has studied the Skylon design and concepts and is interested

Hypermach Hyperstar Mach 5

HyperMach has designs for a Mach 5 hypersonic passenger plane that would travel at 80,000 feet and have 7,000-nm range. They are busy developing and testing the critical technology built into the SSBJ’s 76,000-pound-thrust H-Magjet 5500-X hybrid turbofan ramjet engines. Lugg said the company holds “major patents” for its “revolutionary propulsion technology,” which includes a superconducting turbo power core ring to generate the aircraft’s high electrical power requirements.

Hypermach has completed final detail design of the first stage turbine core of a hypersonic engine. Manufacturing of this first stage has begun and is expected to be finished in 2016, with testing on the rig as early as February 2017. All five stages will be completed through 2018, with complete turbine core test in the fourth quarter of 2018.

A full engine run is scheduled for 2019, and Lugg said that his company has spent the last year working with new industry partners and hiring team members for the superconducting turbine core.

First flight of the HyperStar is now expected in 2025, with certification and entry into service slated to follow in 2028, he said. Both estimates are three years later than what was announced previously.

If demos are successful then funding would flow from the US military to develop hypersonic military fighter and spy planes.

February 08, 2017

Facebook shutting nearly half Oculus rift demos at Best Buy but cheaper Samsung Gear VR licensed from Oculus are successful

Facebook is closing around 200 of 500 demo stations for its virtual reality headset Oculus at Best Buy stores across the country Workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups said that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. A Best Buy worker in California reportedly said that frequent software issues with the Oculus often made the headset unusable.

Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Charlson said stores that no longer offer demos will continue to sell the Oculus Rift headset and accompanying touch controllers, which cost $600 and $200 respectively.

Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and an additional $1 billion in later payouts. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that virtual reality is the next major computing platform that will change the world, yet the technology has yet to break into the mainstream like mobile phones.

Zuckerberg recently said he plans to spend billions more on developing and marketing virtual reality over the next decade, and that Oculus "won't be profitable for awhile."

Samsung is the only company to have released actual numbers for VR headset sales, saying 5 million Gear VR headsets have been sold so far.

Superdata estimates 4.5 million Samsung Gear VRs were sold through 2016. Clocking in at number two on the list is the PlayStation VR with sales “approaching a million” by the end of 2016. This leaves Oculus, Google and HTC to split about a million units. According to this report, HTC’s Vive edged out Facebook’s Rift selling “more than 400K at its $800 price point.”

Your Samsung GALAXY smartphone works with Gear VR. Just snap your phone into Gear VR and you're in virtual reality.

Samsung Gear is sold for $45-100.

Oculus Rift headsets began shipping in 20 countries on March 28, 2016 and cost $599.

Sodium bonds with helium at extremely high pressures of 15 and 113 Gigapascals

Can helium bond with other elements to form a stable compound? Students attentive to Utah State University professor Alex Boldyrev’s introductory chemistry lectures would immediately respond “no.” And they’d be correct – if the scholars are standing on the Earth’s surface.

But all bets are off, if the students journey to the center of the Earth, à la Jules Verne’s Otto Lidenbrock or if they venture to one of the solar system’s large planets, such as Jupiter or Saturn.

“That’s because extremely high pressure, like that found at the Earth’s core or giant neighbors, completely alters helium’s chemistry,” says Boldyrev, faculty member in USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Boldyrev’s colleagues confirmed computationally and experimentally that sodium, never an earthly comrade to helium, readily bonds with the standoffish gas under high pressure to form the curious Na2He compound. These findings were so unexpected, Boldyrev says, that he and colleagues struggled for more than two years to convince science reviewers and editors to publish their results.

Image depicting structure formed by helium and sodium. On Earth, helium doesn't bond with other elements. Yet, under high pressure, such as conditions found at the Earth’s core or on larger planets, it does, say USU researchers. Credit: Ivan Popov.

Nature Chemistry - A stable compound of helium and sodium at high pressure

Telsa Motors will begin pilot production of the Model 3 on Feb 20 2017 and full production should start July2017

Tesla has told suppliers it planned to begin test-building its Model 3 sedans on Feb. 20, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could allay concerns about the company meeting its target to start production in July.

The sources did not know how many of the highly anticipated vehicles Tesla aimed to build in February, but it would likely be a small number to test the assembly system and the quality of vehicle parts.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk last year told investors and more than 370,000 customers who put deposits down for a Model 3 that he intended to start building the cars in July 2017. At the time, many analysts and suppliers said the timeline was too ambitious and would be difficult to achieve, pointing to Tesla's history of missing aggressive production targets.

If Tesla succeeds in starting pilot production of the sedan at its factory in Fremont, California on Feb. 20, the company would be able to share the news with shareholders two days later when it reports fourth-quarter results and better answer any questions about the Model 3 rollout.

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3, which is priced at roughly $35,000 before government incentives. If successful, the sedan could raise Tesla beyond a niche luxury player in the automotive sector.

Tesla has not had a profitable year since going public in 2010, though the company's $41.4 billion market capitalization now equals that of Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), which reported a profit of $4.7 billion last year.

Musk's bold approach to cars, space exploration and clean energy has fueled investor enthusiasm for Tesla, but skeptics are waiting to see if Musk can fulfill his promise of producing 500,000 cars per year by 2018.

That would expand Tesla's annual production by four to five times compared to 2016 levels. In its fourth quarter, Tesla produced 24,882 vehicles.

"We assume 0 Model 3 deliveries in '17," Barclays analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a Jan. 3 note, while Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas in a Jan. 19 note said he expected a "soft launch" of the Model 3 to be delayed until late 2017.

Uber hires NASA engineer to develop flying cars

Mark Moore wrote a paper in 2011 that described how to make Vertical Takeoff and Landing craft using electric propulsion.

Electric propulsion offers dramatic new vehicle mission capabilities, not possible with turbine or reciprocating engines; including high reliability and efficiency, low engine weight and maintenance, low cooling drag and volume required, very low noise and vibration, and zero emissions. The only penalizing characteristic of electric propulsion is the current energy storage technology level, which is set to triple over the next 5-10 years through huge new investments in this field. Most importantly, electric propulsion offers incredible new degrees of freedom in aircraft system integration to achieve unprecedented levels of aerodynamic, propulsive, control, and structural synergistic coupling. A unique characteristic of electric propulsion is that the technology is nearly scale-free, permitting small motors to be parallelized for fail-safe redundancy, or distributed across the airframe for tightly coupled interdisciplinary functionality without significant impacts in motorcontroller efficiency or specific weight. Maximizing the potential benefit of electric propulsion is dependent on applying this technology to synergistic mission concepts. The vehicle missions with the most benefit include those which constrain environmental impact (or limit noise, exhaust, or emission signatures) are short range, or where large differences exist in the propulsion system sizing between takeoff and cruise conditions. Electric propulsion offers the following unique capabilities that other propulsion systems can’t provide for short range Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft; elimination of engine noise and emissions, drastic reduction in engine cooling and radiated heat, drastic reduction in vehicle vibration levels, drastic improvement in reliability and operating costs, variable speed output at full power, for improved cruise efficiency at low tip-speed, elimination of high/hot sizing penalty, and reduction of engine-out penalties.

Uber had previously published in 2016 a 99 page document of their plan for ridesharing flying vehicles.

Uber’s plan calls for transforming the tops of parking garages, existing helipads, and unused land surrounding highway interchanges to create a network of “vertiports” and “versistops”.

Fukushima had high radiation readings because readings are now being made very close to the damaged fuel - Overall Radiation levels have been decreasing and damaged fuel rods are highly radioactive

On Thursday, February 2, 2017, Tepco posted images recorded inside the thick steel-reinforced concrete pedestal that supports the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) of Fukushima Daiichi unit #2. A company spokesperson explained what the images visually indicated, and mentioned that radiation had caused “flickers” in the pictures which were used to estimate the possible radiation levels inside the pedestal. No pictures or video had ever been taken inside an F. Daiichi RPV pedestal before. The spokesperson said an estimated radiation level of 530 Sieverts per hour was located immediately inside the pipe used to insert the video recording device. Two deeper locations were estimated at 20 and 50 Sv/hr, respectively. Only the 530 Sv/hr report resonated with the Press.

The 530 Sv/hr announcement sparked a news media feeding frenzy with the Japanese Press, some international Press outlets, and the antinuclear internet demographic. The Asahi Shimbun exemplified the typical Japanese Press article by showing images provided by Tepco and mentioning the three radiation estimates inside the pedestal. But one Japanese outlet, the Japan Times, said the “blazing” radiation spurring outlets around the world to report that radiation levels at F. Daiichi were climbing… soaring to new heights. Yet, no such thing was happening

Since the accident, TEPCO has been keenly interested in determining the exact state of the melted fuel and the reactor pressure vessels in each of the three damaged units. This determination is a key issue for the cleanup of the site. As a result, TEPCO has been poking instruments and robots into the containment vessels closer and closer to the area of the damaged fuel, as well as conducting muon tomography of the reactor buildings to try to see whether there is still fuel inside the vessels. (Muon tomography can be described as a giant x-ray of the buildings using muon particles instead of x-rays and using complicated muon detection equipment.)

As one might expect, moving closer and closer to the damaged fuel itself is impossible for humans because of the radiation level in proximity to the fuel. This is exactly why TEPCO has been using various robots, snake cameras, and so forth to approach these areas. Recent examination at Unit 2 only has led to the crop of reports that have been causing concern in the last two weeks.

So the radiation would be dangerous is you climbed into the damaged Fukushima reactor and got deep into the containment vessels by following the robots and got very close to the damaged fuel rods. This would be an extremely difficult way to win a Darwin award.

The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor, originating in Usenet newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions.

Smaller and smarter MEMS and electronics for bullets that can monitor a building during urban warfare

Engineers at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, have been making advancements in an initiative called "Component Miniaturization."

Its mission focuses on making armament systems more precise, energy efficient, scalable and effective by reducing the size of critical components in sub-systems such as safe and arm devices, electronics packages, power supplies and inertial measurement systems. Size reductions in one sub-system can have a positive effect on another. For example, a smaller and more efficient electronics package design can reduce power supply demands as well as reduce the need for heavier supporting structures. The space savings and mass savings could then be used to add a larger explosive warhead or increase control surfaces for additional maneuverability. The reduced size and mass could also allow for additional portability to smaller calibers or to systems with greater launch velocities.

The initiative involves several discrete projects, some of which are described below:

Electronics and control systems for sensors in bullets and projectiles

ARDEC is moving forward, along with private industry, in reducing the size of complex subsystems.

Taking advantage of modern electronic fabrication techniques in the Fuze Development Center and other on-site facilities, ARDEC engineers and scientists develop prototypes that demonstrate the ability to transform larger subsystems to smaller calibers.

The Small Arms Deployable Sensor Network is one such example.

"This allows the Soldier to gather intelligence on a building without actually entering the building, so they don't have to put themselves in harm's way," said William Smith, the Director of Fuze and Precision Armaments.

"Say you cleared a building, you could leave these behind, or you could shoot them in through the windows of the building and it would sense and report the presence of an intruder in the building," said Smith. "It has microphones, a magnetometer, a still image camera, GPS and a mesh radio network."

Other examples are the development of proximity sensors small enough to fit into 30mm ammunition, guidance and control systems that fit into 40mm projectiles, miniature laser igniters for small caliber ammunition and small, high-density power sources.

Air Force plans to update the B52 for use throughout most of the 21st century by adding defensive lasers

Offensive and defensive laser weapons for Air Force fighter jets and large cargo aircraft have been in development for several years now. However, the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has recently embarked upon a special five-year effort, called the SHIELD program, aimed at creating sufficient on-board power, optics and high-energy lasers able to defend large platforms such as a B-52 bomber.

Possibly using an externally-mounted POD with sufficient transportable electrical power, the AFRL is already working on experimental demonstrator weapons able to bolt-on to an aircraft, AFRL Chief Scientist Zacharias added.

Given that an external POD would add shapes to the fuselage which would make an aircraft likely to be vulnerable to enemy air defense radar systems, the bolt-on defensive laser would not be expected to work on a stealthy platform, he explained.

However, a heavily armed B-52, as a large 1960s-era target, would perhaps best benefit from an ability to defend itself from the air; such a technology would indeed be relevant and potentially useful to the Air Force, as the service is now immersed in a series of high-tech upgrades for the B-52 so that it can continue to serve for decades to come.

Defending a B-52 could becoming increasing important in years to come if some kind of reconfigured B-52 is used as the Pentagon’s emerging Arsenal Plane or “flying bomb truck.”

February 07, 2017

California could pass 40 million in 2017 or 2018 and the US will pass 325 million in 2017

The US Census estimated California's population in mid-2016 at 39.25 million.

California's department of Finance estimated California's population at 39.256 million on Jan 2016

California was estimating that the state population would exceed 40 million in late 2018 or early 2019.

Others like World Population Review have a slightly higher estimate.

California could hit a population of 60 million in 2050
Texas is projected to hit a population of 55 million in 2050.

US population could be nearly 350 million in 2025.

The US census tries to count illegals. The census takers will try to count everyone they see when they perform a statistical sampling. They make an attempt to intensively canvas some areas to get a better count. Then they subtract all known legal citizens and the remainder should be the illegals. But clearly illegals would tend to avoid census takers. So the US census estimates that they miss about 2% of regular people and 6% of illegals.

Some believe that the US census undercounts by more.

The US Census has been estimating about 11-12 million illegals for nearly two decades. Ann Coulter is famous for estimating that there are 30 million illegals. Over 20% of illegals are estimated to be in California. If the 30 million illegals in the US estimate were correct then California would have about 8 million illegals. This would mean California would be about 18% were illegal and not 6%.

Pew Research has an estimate of illegals by state

Richard Hatch who was Captain Apollo in the Original Battlestar Galactica has died

The actor received a Golden Globe nomination in 1979 for playing Captain Apollo.

Richard Hatch, the Golden Globe nominee who starred in both the original Battlestar Galactica as well as the mid-2000s reboot, has died at 71 after a battle with cancer.

"Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional. His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family," tweeted Ronald D. Moore, creator of the Battlestar Galactica reboot.

Hatch had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Alec Peters, the writer/producer behind the Star Trek fan film Axanar, wrote on Facebook. Hatch had acted in and was a supporter of the project.

"Richard was in good spirits when I visited him 2 weeks ago. He knew his time was short, but was comforted by the fact that his son would be taken care of," wrote Peters.

Hatch also had a roll in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and played Kharn in the Star Trek Axanar fan films.

Edward James Olmos, his co-star on the BSG reboot, tweeted a tribute Tuesday: "Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it," wrote his co-star Edward James Olmos on Twitter. "Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!"

Canada's 2017 immigration plan has the same 300,000 target but the high of the target range was increased to 320,000

The government of Canada has released immigration plan for 2017, and the news looks good for individuals looking to immigrate to Canada through one of the economic or family sponsorship programs.

Canada's population in 2017 is projected to be 36.6 million. The population in 2016 was 36.3 million. The population growth is mainly from the immigrants. Births, deaths and people leaving Canada ends up being about even.

If Canada maintained immigration levels at about 0.9% of total population, then by 2025, the immigration quote would be about 360,000 and population would be about 40 million.

Key highlights:

  • Target number of newcomers through Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class increases by 23 percent.
  • Government aims for 51,000 new immigrants to come through the Provincial Nominee Programs.
  • Quebec aims to welcome more than 29,000 through economic programs, including the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
  • Economic immigration to make up a larger share of overall immigration than in 2016.
  • More spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents to arrive through Family Class sponsorship programs.

Although the plan targets an increase in economic immigrants and sponsored persons, the target figures for the Refugees and Protected Persons immigration categories are down compared to the 2016 plan. However, the overall target for these programs, set at 40,000, remains far higher than at any time during the previous Conservative government’s tenure.

Overall, Canada may welcome as many as 320,000 new immigrants over the calendar year of 2017. The increased scope presented by the government — the plan for 2016 allowed for up to 305,000 newcomers — is likely reflective of a desire to increase immigration over the coming years in order to respond to labour shortages and demographic challenges. Earlier this year, Immigration Minister John McCallum said that “there’s a significant feeling that Canada does need more immigrants, partly because we have an aging population, and so we need more young blood to keep our economies going.”

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