New sections may appear every week or just when I have something new to share.
World Central Kitchen is an amazing organization and is worthy philanthropic support. WCK, along with its partner, Anera, has served over 15.8 million meals through hot meals and food kits in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict in October. In December, its team established a WCK Field Kitchen in Rafah, serving around 14,000 meals a day and 13,000 loaves of bread, and will continue to scale up production as supplies, specially developed wood stoves, and ovens are available. WCK also continues to work with 19 partners by delivering bulk food supplies to fuel their work as well.
In addition to the WCK Field Kitchen, its team is working to distribute across Rafah resources to prepare meals. The Relief Team has established several community kitchens for families in Rafah able to cook for themselves. After connecting with community leaders, WCK is sending community kitchen kits that contain cooking equipment and supplies, along with enough food for around 2,000 meals daily for up to one week. WCK team members on the ground offer ongoing support to these kitchens by assisting with set up and troubleshooting, and providing a resupply of food from one of 4 WCK warehouses as needed. There are currently 12 active community kitchens, 7 additional kitchens being set up and soon to be cooking, and 29 confirmed communities who will receive community kitchen kits soon. The team on the ground in Gaza is working to identify new locations for community kitchens and is working to expand its scouting teams to reach all areas of need.
As Ramadan approaches, our culinary team has finalized a plan to support families during this month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community, observed by Muslims worldwide. WCK will provide food kits with approximately 50 meals each to families marking the occasion.
With other aid organizations now able to reach the Rafah region and provide additional support, they are expanding their focus to reaching people in the central and northern regions of Gaza where others have been unable to provide assistance. WCK has established a field kitchen in Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City to support one of the hardest hit areas. They are also working with the UN to deliver ready-to-eat meals (RTEs) to northern Gaza, currently the most difficult area to access, as they develop a strategy to cook and provide more hot meals to the region. WCK is providing 330,000 meals worth of food and kitchen equipment to northern Gaza to its field kitchen in the Al Shifa Hospital and other hospitals. They hope to continue to expand into this region and establish additional community kitchens in Khan Younis and the North, as well as expanding to coastal regions as many families are now also evacuating to the coast.
WCK Logistics Team in Cairo continues to tirelessly work to cross supply trucks into Gaza each day. The rate of trucks crossing the border is variable; up to 20 WCK aid trucks have been able to cross daily. Their team also continues to face obstacles at the border with certain equipment, such as solar panels and some water filtration systems, that have not been allowed in humanitarian shipments. Recently, WCK has sent 10 trucks carrying a total of 307,000 RTE meals from Jordan to be delivered to the Jordanian Hospital in Gaza.
WCK provided 1.7 million meals in Israel to people displaced and impacted by the conflict. In recent weeks, they have provided 4,000 hot meals a day along with 3,000 food kits and 500 produce boxes a week. Their team has continued to monitor needs throughout the region, and has determined there are no longer emergency food needs requiring WCK support. With other organizations stepping in to provide long term support to communities affected by the conflict, and food markets functioning and food accessible, WCK’s last day of food distribution in Israel is January 12.
In Lebanon, the WCK team continues to serve around 4,500 meals a day to displaced families sheltering from the conflict that are unable to cook for themselves. All assistance to Lebanon is currently being provided by local NGOs and volunteer groups. WCK has served more than 192,000 meals in Lebanon since the start of the conflict.
I invested in startup Knightscope in 2019. They make Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs). They use a unique combination of self-driving technology, robotics, artificial intelligence (A.I.) and electric “vehicles” to provide humans with extra eyes, ears and a voice on the ground. They can be in multiple locations at the same time, helping you protect the places people live, work, study and visit. I have been bullish about them from the get go. Last year they went public (too early in my opinion). The listing price of KSCP was $18 at launch, and then it proceeded to 36 cents. An analyst today issued an outlook of the stock to rise to $4. As I write this, they are up 6.5% to 65 cents. I remain bullish for a number of reasons, but who knows? As always, remember most startups fail. Never invest in a startup unless you are prepared to lose every penny you invest.
As of this writing Bitcoin was trading at $43,594. The gain for the year at about 160%. Crypto bulls see BTC trading at $100K to $500K this year and up to $1,500,000 over next five years. My view is nobody knows, but I am bullish. The approval of ETFs by the SEC yesterday is a game changer. It hasn’t so far, but I believe it will. Institutional and large investors will now find it easy to add a stake of 5% or so in their funds. This will represent $billions of BTC out of the market. Reduced supply will mean higher prices over time.
The SEC approved Bitcoin ETFs but then the SEC head, Gary Gentler, said he still doesn’t like Bitcoin. That comment does not help. The SEC also blew it from an IT security point of view. It is very easy to add TFA (two factor authentication). TFA has been around for a long time. I turned it on for my X account in a couple of minutes. The SEC did not turn it on and got hacked. This is an additional negative in the air. Despite the negatives, I believe as things settle down and major investors begin to understand how the ETFs work and how Coinbase acts as custodian, the rise will begin. My opinion, but not my recommendation to buy.
The world of AI is constantly buzzing with exciting developments, and this week has been no different. Here are some of the hottest headlines making waves across various domains:
1. AI music that learns from user preferences: Google AI Labs introduces MuseNet, a neural network capable of composing music in different styles and adapting to user preferences over time. This opens doors for personalized music creation and potentially enhances the way we interact with and experience music.
2. AI-powered virtual reality for language learning: Meta Research unveils Project SimLens, a VR platform that immerses users in virtual environments tailored to their language learning goals. This innovative approach holds promise for making language learning more engaging and effective.
3. AI ethics frameworks gain momentum: The Global Partnership on AI, an international initiative focusing on responsible AI development, releases four ethical frameworks designed to guide AI implementation across various sectors. This signifies a growing emphasis on ethical considerations in AI development and deployment.
4. Robots learn to manipulate delicate objects: Researchers at MIT develop dexterous robotic hands capable of handling fragile objects like grapes and eggs with human-like precision. This advancement expands the potential applications of robots in delicate tasks like food preparation and scientific research.
5. AI generates realistic 3D avatars from sketches: NVIDIA unveils StyleGAN-3, a powerful AI model that transforms simple 2D sketches into photorealistic 3D avatars. This technology could revolutionize character creation in animation, video games, and even virtual reality experiences.
Stocks pulled back this week, or at least some of them. The GAMMNAT stocks mostly gained and are now at $12.2 trillion which is almost a third of the market cap of the S&P500.
I don’t think I add much with my Wall Street comments. I suggest a click on MarketWatch will do a much better job.
I have appeared in two new articles this month:
Sun and Surf Magazine of Palm Coast, FL published, “AI: Should We Fear it or Embrace it?”
A new magazine in Ridgefield, CT called Ridgefield City Lifestyle has published, “AI and Healthcare: A conversation with Dr. John patrick about how AI is transforming the healthcare space“
Following are videos of talks I gave this year. I have been fortunate to be able to share my thoughts on technology with a number of groups.
On September 14, I gave a talk on AI at the Ridgefield Library in Ridgefield, CT.
On July 21, I gave a lecture on AI @FoundersHallCT. I wan’t sure how many would turn out. It was a lot. Great interest in the topic. In addition to current events and outlooks, I told the audience about Robot Attitude: How Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Make Our Lives Better.
On March 8th I was the guest speaker at the first meeting of Probus in Palm Coast, Florida on March 8. Probus is a worldwide organization of retired and semi-retired men and women who come together to make new friends, learn new things, and have fun. There are over 4,000 Probus clubs in more than 100 countries, with over 400,000 members. Probus clubs are non-political, non-sectarian, and non-profit. They are self-governing and autonomous, and each club sets its own policies and activities.
On March 30, I gave my 12th annual lecture called Tech Talk at Hammock Dunes Club in Palm Coast, Florida where I live in the winter.
On March 23, gave a town hall-like speech and Q&A with the IT special interest group (SIG) of the New York Executive Forum. The event was via Zoom.
On April 19, I gave a talk and Q&A with a group of Union Carbide retirees. Some years ago, Union Carbide had its headquarters about a mile from where I live in Connecticut. The event was via Zoom.
There are many more videos of my lectures, interviews, etc. on my YouTube channel which you can find here.