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Flood Insurance, Even in a Non-Flood Zone? You Bet

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Record breaking flood waters have emerged following one of the most devastating hurricanes the US has come to know. In fact, in the south east areas of the lone star state, the majority of homeowners do not even own flood insurance. And who can blame them? There was never a precedent in the locality. Although hail and wind storms are a constant concern for property and business owners, no one imagined that rain waters would contribute to enormous damages as those suffered and broadcast throughout the country in recent days. Surely not the home mortgage companies, for they do not even require it from borrowers!

But now that the toll has risen among the dead and those forced out of their homes seeking shelter, one thing remains clear. When things eventually do settle down, home owners and people in the commercial sector will have to deal with the epic losses and damages on their own because of a lack of related coverage.

For homeowners without flood coverage the facts are uncomfortable, as they are painful: a standard home insurance policy does not protect from floods and the damages related to them. The insurance industry stresses in no uncertain terms that compensation is only provided to those who had the foresight to acquire flood insurance in the event of water damage emanating from atmospheric conditions like a hurricane, a tropical storm or other inclement weather.

A little history about Flood insurance:

The year was 1968 when the US Congress mapped out its flood program. Designed to help assist home and business property owners from the financial ravages of a damaging flood, its policies are offered in all communities that are involved in the rules of participation.

Flood coverage shields property owners or renters from building damage and contents damage.

This includes the following:

• The structure, as well as building foundation
• Electric and plumbing systems
• Central air conditioner, furnace, water heater
• Refrigerator, stoves, and any installed appliances, like a dishwasher
• Carpet that has been installed over bare flooring
• Personal clothing and electronics
• Drapery
• Transportable heaters and air conditioners
• Carpeting other than what is included in the property coverage
• Washers and dryers

Typically, flood recompense claims include:
• Replacement Cost Value: up to eighty percent of the amount needed to replace property damages in a single-family, primary residence
and
• Actual Cost Value – replacement costs at the time of loss reduced by physical depreciation

Note: The flood program always uses actual cost value to determine reimbursement of personal property.

Do You Think The Future Of Robotic Armies Is Science Fiction? Then You Are A Fool

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The future of warfare will be autonomous, algorithmic and robotic, in many cases it already is. We have missile defense systems which act based on information without waiting for a human to make the decision. We have robotic aircraft, and autonomous systems everywhere we look. Most of our adversaries both large and small use robotics, electronics, and autonomous devices to serve their will in battle. A smaller army needs an advantage, and the old days of lining up and having a war of attrition are long gone. Since all armies or opponents seek an advantage and since robotics, autonomous systems are an advantage – these systems will be deployed as often as possible.

There was a rather interesting article on Singularity Hub titled; “Watch These 1,069 Robots Dance Their Way to a New World Record,” by Vanessa Bates Ramirez on September 5, 2017 that stated:

“WL Tech held the dance party to demonstrate their latest robotic technology. The robots were all programmed via one group control system. One Dobi Robot is 47cm tall, weighs 2.15 kilos, and costs $330. Besides dancing, the robot can also walk, talk, and do Tai Chi. There’s a lot of anxiety around robots taking on new capabilities. They’re already smarter than us in some ways. Can they eventually become conscious? Will they steal all our jobs? Amid these worries, and for better or worse, robots will likely continue to infiltrate our lives in various capacities-so we may as well have some fun with them.”

For this demonstration and I believe there is a YouTube clip of it somewhere, they lined up the robots like an army in a parade to do their performance. If you were to blur the video image with your eyes or just back up a little you would be able to tell these were cute little robots or storm troopers with weapons. Indeed, it’s the same technology either way anyhow.

Many cringe at the thought of robotic armies slaughtering humans, many nations now are convening in Geneva to update the Geneva Convention when it comes to robotic weapons, especially fully autonomous ones (no human in the loop or at the controls by remote). Still, who says it will be robots killing humans, most likely it will be robotic armies attacking other defending robotic armies and the nation with the best robots wins – thus, the other surrenders to their political will. Think this is all science fiction? It’s not, it’s almost here, yes, you should be concerned.

Where do we go from here? Well, there isn’t much that can be done, we are already well on our way, and really no nation has ever strictly followed the Geneva Convention 100% and even if many nations do, not every adversary is a member to the Geneva Convention set of rules. Think on this.