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TBR News February 11, 2019

Feb 11 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. February 11, 2019:”Stubborn and arrogant, Trump is bound and determined to force Congress to built a very expensive, and useless, wall across the American southern border to keep out the Central American immigrants so loathed by his far-right suppoters. He has caused terrible economic hardship to thousands of government employees but he does not care about this as long as he can force Congress to bend to his will. He will not succeed, of course, but until he is decisively beaten, he will never stop.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else
  • Cohen hired firm to rig polls, only paid part of bill with bag of cash: report
  • Russian diplomat warns of Israel-Lebanon conflict, slams U.S. for ‘incitement’
  • On the border, Trump builds a wall of lies
  • California to pull troops from U.S.-Mexico border in rebuke to Trump
  • S. lawmakers to hold border security talks in bid to avert shutdown
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • As ice melts, Greenland could become big sand exporter: study
  • Methodology of Internet Spying on the Pubic

 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else

To a conservative mind, socialism is getting something for nothing. Yet this is what the president promotes for the wealthy

February 11, 2019

by Robert Reich

The Guardian

America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism.

In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.

Banks that are too big to fail – courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout – enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83bn a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4bn. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears.

Trump and his appointees at the Federal Reserve are easing bank requirements put in place after the bailout. They’ll make sure the biggest banks remain too big to fail.

Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways. GM has got more than $600m in federal contracts, plus $500m in tax breaks. Some of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22m in total compensation in 2017 alone.

But GM employees are subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019.

When he was in business, Trump perfected the art of using bankruptcy to shield himself from the consequences of bad decisions – socialism for the rich at its worst – while leaving employees twisting in the wind.

Now, all over America, executives who run their companies into the ground are getting gold-plated exit packages while their workers get pink slips.

Sears is doling out $25m to the executives who stripped its remaining assets and drove it into bankruptcy, but has no money for the thousands of workers it laid off.

As Pacific Gas and Electric hurtles toward bankruptcy, the person who was in charge when the deadly infernos roared through northern California last year (caused in part by PG&E’s faulty equipment) has departed with a cash severance package of $2.5m. The PG&E executive in charge of gas operations when records were allegedly falsified left in 2017 with $6.9m.

Under socialism for the rich, you can screw up big time and still reap big rewards. Equifax’s Richard Smith retired in 2017 with an $18m pension in the wake of a security breach that exposed the personal information of 145 million consumers to hackers.

Wells Fargo’s Carrie Tolstedt departed with a $125m exit package after being in charge of the unit that opened more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts.

Around 60% of America’s wealth is now inherited. Many of today’s super-rich have never done a day’s work in their lives.

Trump’s response has been to cut the estate tax to apply only to estates valued at over $22m per couple. Mitch McConnell is now proposing that the estate tax be repealed altogether.

What about the capitalist principles that people earn what they’re worth in the market, and that economic gains should go to those who deserve them?

America is on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history. As rich boomers expire over the next three decades, an estimated $30tn will go to their children.

Those children will be able to live off of the income these assets generate, and then leave the bulk of them to their own heirs, tax-free. (Capital gains taxes don’t apply to the soaring values of stocks, bonds, mansions and other assets of wealthy people who die before they’re sold.)

After a few generations of this, almost all of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of a few thousand non-working families. To the conservative mind, the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive. Yet that’s exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are promoting for the rich.

Meanwhile, most Americans are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in which they’re working harder but getting nowhere, and have less security than ever.

They need thicker safety nets and deserve a bigger piece of the economic pie. If you want to call this socialism, fine. I call it fair.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good

 

Cohen hired firm to rig polls, only paid part of bill with bag of cash: report

January 17, 2019

by John Bowden –

The Hill

The head of a small polling firm used by President Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election says that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, hired his firm to rig two online polls in the president’s favor and paid less than half of what was owed in cash.

John Gauger, director of RedFinch Solutions LLC and the chief information officer at Liberty University, told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen gave him just more than $12,000 in a Walmart shopping bag that also contained a boxing glove Cohen said was from a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter.

The cash, Gauger told the Journal, was for his firm’s unsuccessful attempts to rig the polls.

Gauger said that Cohen also directed him during that time to set up a Twitter account, “Women for Cohen,” which remains active today and describes Cohen as a booster of the president and a sex symbol.

Gauger’s lawyer also told the Journal that Cohen promised but failed to deliver future work for the firm on behalf of the Trump campaign.

“Mr. Cohen promised but never was able to develop the business he predicted,” said attorney Charles James.

Cohen’s deal with the company and alleged failure to pay the debt in full was mentioned in court filings last year, according to the Journal, when federal prosecutors charged Cohen with numerous financial crimes, including campaign finance violations.

Cohen denied paying for the firm’s services in cash in a statement to the Journal, but did not comment on whether the debt was paid in full.

“All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” Cohen said, according to the newspaper.

In a tweet after the Journal article was published, he said “what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.

“I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” he added.

The president’s former lawyer, who was sentenced to three years in prison last month for various financial crimes, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February.

 

Russian diplomat warns of Israel-Lebanon conflict, slams U.S. for ‘incitement’

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin calls US President Donald Trump’s policy regarding Iran and Hezbollah ‘negative.’

February 9, 2019

by Hagay Hacohen

Jerusalem Post

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin warned of a possible conflict between Israel and Lebanon and accused the US of inciting “new conflicts” in the Middle East during an interview in the Russian news agency Sputnik on Saturday.

“As for a conflict between Israel and Lebanon, nothing can be predicted with certainty,” he said, adding that America’s influence in the region was “negative.”

Zasypkin lauded the efforts made in Syria by the terrorist group Hezbollah, which he described as fighting “alongside Russia and Iran” against terror and taking “a responsible approach,” including calling on Lebanese political factions to work together.

The Pentagon plans to remove all American forces from Syria by the end of April, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

 

On the border, Trump builds a wall of lies

by Steve Chapman

Chicago Tribune

Donald Trump’s insistence that the nation faces a crisis of illegal immigration that requires a wall sealing off our southern border is notable for being false not only overall but in every particular. It brings to mind Voltaire’s remark that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.

The president’s Oval Office address Tuesday was the latest confirmation that on immigration, even more than on other topics, truth is his mortal foe. He doesn’t contribute to the public debate; he pollutes it.

There is no epidemic of unauthorized entry from Mexico. In fact, the number of people apprehended trying to sneak in peaked nearly 20 years ago and has greatly shrunk. Last year, it was less than a quarter of what it was then. If Trump were shrewd, he would declare that his tough approach has been so successful that the wall is no longer necessary.

Instead, he used his prime-time TV appearance in a stubborn effort to stoke panic, citing the supposed threat of terrorists pouring in. But the administration’s claim that thousands of suspected terrorists were seized trying to enter in 2017 has been exposed as thunderously irrelevan

Almost all arrived on commercial airliners, which can easily pass over walls of any design, length or material. Only six foreigners on terrorist watchlists, it turns out, were nabbed at the southern land border.

Even that number overstates the phenomenon. Julian Sanchez, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, tweeted, “When you see ‘on the terror watchlist,’ don’t imagine that actually means ‘terrorist.’ In most cases it means ‘has name, possibly quite common, matching some sort of derogatory intel.’ A supposed bad guy on some list or other shares my name; I get stopped often.”

In 2017, the State Department acknowledged it had “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.” Even if it were impossible to circumvent, the wall would block about as many Islamic State operatives as it would polar bears.

But the wall would not be impossible to circumvent. Trump has lauded the barrier erected on the border in San Diego as a model for his project, but the Congressional Research Service concluded that it “did not have a discernible impact on the influx of unauthorized aliens coming across the border in San Diego.”

Faced with a wall, smugglers can bring in people in places not covered by the structure, through tunnels under it, in cars or commercial trucks passing through checkpoints, or over saltwater. In 2017, the Border Patrol reported, 347 migrants were caught after trying to reach the California coast by boat, an option long used by Cubans and Haitians.

But most foreigners in the U.S. illegally don’t need to find such routes. The majority of them travel here on valid temporary visas and then choose not to leave. For them, Trump’s wall would be a distant curiosity.

The idea that there is a newfound emergency is contradicted by Trump’s own record. He pushed the wall as a presidential candidate, but the number of apprehensions on the southern border is lower today than it was then. Undocumented migration has been around for decades, at no overall harm to public safety or national security. States that attract lots of foreigners who are not authorized to be in the U.S. typically see a decline in crime.

The recent surge of Central Americans migrating to the U.S. may be a humanitarian crisis, but not one a wall would relieve. Foreigners who arrive at the border are legally entitled to request asylum. Hondurans and Salvadorans fleeing rampant violence would keep doing so even if a 2,000-mile concrete barrier were in place.

Trump said piously that “America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation.” But he has pushed legislation that would reduce legal immigration by half. He has also slashed admissions of refugees.

Trump’s proposed wall rests on the fantasy that the contiguous 48 states, whose perimeter extends 11,000 miles, can be sealed off from humans who desperately want to be here. If we want to sharply reduce the number of foreigners coming illegally, there is one and only one plausible way to do it: sharply increase the number allowed to come legally.

Yet the administration spurns that option. Why? Because its real goal is keeping out foreigners, legal or otherwise.

In theory, Trump could honestly say that. But honesty is a habit he never acquired.

 

California to pull troops from U.S.-Mexico border in rebuke to Trump

February 11, 2019

(Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that he is ready to withdraw hundreds of the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border, a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s stance that a national security crisis is unfolding there. In his State of the State address on Tuesday, the newly elected Democratic governor will say that border crossings had fallen to their lowest since 1971 and California’s undocumented population had dropped to a more than 10-year low, spokesman Brian Ferguson said.

“The border ‘emergency’ is nothing more than a manufactured crisis — and CA’s National Guard will not be part of this political theater,” Newsom said on Twitter.

As a result, the governor would reassign about 360 California National Guard troops at the border to address the “real threats” faced by the state, including drug trafficking and wildfires, the spokesman said in an email.

Newsom’s office did not provide a timeline for the redeployments.

Newsom’s predecessor, Governor Jerry Brown, agreed to send the troops to the border last April after reaching agreement with the Trump administration that they would focus on fighting criminal gangs and smugglers, but not enforcing immigration laws.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham last week ordered most National Guard troops deployed at the state’s border with Mexico to withdraw, also rejecting the Republican president’s contention of a crisis.

Grisham, a Democrat, called Trump’s frequent declarations of an immigration crisis at the border a “charade.” The troops were deployed by her Republican predecessor, Susana Martinez, last year at Trump’s request.

Trump has deployed an extra 3,750 U.S. troops on the border this month.

Constantly pointing to threats from illegal immigrants, Trump has made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a priority of his presidency. But Democrats are seeking to thwart that, saying it is unnecessary and a waste of money.

Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to help build a wall led to a 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown that ended last month without the president getting wall funding. He agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow lawmakers time to find a compromise and avert another shutdown on Feb. 15.

Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Frank McGurty and Grant McCool

 

U.S. lawmakers to hold border security talks in bid to avert shutdown

February 11, 2019

by Richard Cowan

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top four Democratic and Republican negotiators in the U.S. Congress on border security funding plan to meet on Monday in a bid to reach an elusive deal by a Friday deadline to avert another partial government shutdown.

The talks were scheduled to resume in Washington hours before Republican President Donald Trump plans a rally in the Texas border city of El Paso, where he is expected to promote his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

An anti-wall protest will greet the Republican president, led by hometown Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman who is considering running for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination after gaining national prominence last year by nearly upsetting Republican Ted Cruz in a U.S. Senate race in Texas.

In Washington, the lawmakers hope to reach an agreement on Monday to allow time for the legislation to pass the House of Representatives and Senate and get Trump’s signature by Friday, when funding is due to expire for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and several other federal agencies.

Negotiations broke down during the weekend over funding for immigrant detention beds and physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat, and the panel’s top Republican, U.S. Representative Kay Granger, will attend the meeting with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican, and the panel’s senior Democrat Patrick Leahy, according to congressional aides. They were tentatively set to meet at 3:30 p.m. (2030 GMT).

Trump’s December demand for $5.7 billion to help construct a border wall triggered a 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last month without the president getting wall funding. Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow congressional negotiators time to find a compromise on government funding for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, to avert another shutdown on Feb. 15.

The disagreement over border barriers and making detention facilities able to hold more immigrants to be deported are at the heart of the dispute between congressional Democrats and Trump, who has sought to crack down on illegal and legal immigration.

CAMPAIGN PROMISE

Trump made a border wall one of his central campaign promises in 2016, saying it is needed to curb illegal immigration, drug trafficking and other crimes. Democrats, who assumed control of the House last month from Trump’s fellow Republicans, oppose a wall as ineffective, expensive and immoral.

A sticking point in the border security talks has been a Democratic demand for funding fewer detention beds. Democrats oppose the Trump administration expanding its capacity to hold more people arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for eventual deportation.

Democrats generally push for less use of detention, arguing it is much cheaper to release some immigrants but require restrictions on them such as wearing ankle bracelets that track their location. Republicans want to increase the number of beds in detention facilities to enable holding more people to speed up and expand deportations.

Trump has called the situation at the border a national security crisis and deployed an extra 3,750 U.S. troops there this month.

His 2020 re-election campaign made a wall the centerpiece of a fundraising drive seeking contributions of $5 or more from supporters by midnight on Monday.

California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, was poised to withdraw all 360 of his state’s National Guard troops from the border to counter Trump’s claim of a national security crisis, according to U.S. media reports. Democratic-governed New Mexico made a similar move last week.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Will Dunham

 

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

February 11, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication

 

Conversation No. 31

Date: Wednesday, August 14, 1996

Commenced:  8:15 AM CST

Concluded:    9:11 AM CST

 

RTC: I thought it had to be you, Gregory. You are about the only person who calls me these days. Bill does, of course, and every so often that fool Trento gets onto me, trying to pry information out of me for some fool book he is working on. So much work for nothing.

GD: And so many beautiful trees have to die, equally for nothing.

RTC: True enough. I could give Joe boxes of first class material for blockbuster books but it would all be wasted on him. Costello is gone now and Joe is basically useless. Such delusions of grandeur.

GD: I read one, actually only part of one, of his books. He has no grasp of how things work. It’s like someone writing about glaciers. They ignore the dynamics of the entire system and its history and confine themselves to saying, with eyes popping and pointing finger: ‘Ooh, look at all the ice! My, it’s cold, isn’t it? Last year, I have seen, in secret papers, there were a lot of icebergs breaking off! There were private meetings held in unspecified places with top intelligence people about this!’

RTC: (Laughter) You are so bloody cruel, Gregory. But true. Bill and I needed someone to polish up our work and Joe was recommended. It’s too damned bad we hadn’t run into you then. We could have had something a little more polished. Oh well, such is life.

GD: Yes, such is life. Have you told Joe about me?

RTC: No, I have not. What would happen then? Joe would bleat to me for about six months about how you were a terrible person and why I shouldn’t talk to you at all. Kimmel does the same thing, but he’s a little more subtle. Poor Bill goes for his gaff, but I don’t. Now, I never hear from Tom. I guess he gave up on me. But actually not. He’s now got people from Justice to call me about you. My God, what will be next? The SPCA?

GD: Who knows? These old aunties swing a mean purse but I’ve had to deal with these pathetic losers since I was about ten and realized that Jonathan Swift was right about humanity. Well, I can see into the future simply by reading about the past. Their days are numbered, Robert but you won’t be around and I might not.

RTC: Are you thinking about some religious sort of violence?

GD: No, much less spectacular but even more deadly. Did you ever read Malthus?

RTC: No.

GD: It’s all there, Robert. Sum it up: Populations increase geometrically and food supplies increase arithmetically. In other words, the public fuck like rabbits, the population soars but eventually, and without any doubt, we run out of food and drinkable water. Of course the WASPS will do OK and this country raises lots of food but places like India, China and Africa are going to be mass graves when it hits. Oh, and it will hit, Robert. It isn’t a question of loony theories but solid fact. And another thing, Robert. There is a hell of a lot of ice at the poles. If the Arctic ice cap melts, it won’t make any difference because that is ice on the water and if it all went away tomorrow, the ocean levels wouldn’t rise by an inch. But Antarctic and Greenland ice is another matter entirely. That ice is on land and if it melts to any degree then the ocean levels will really rise.

RTC: Probably so but that’s Doomsday material, Gregory, isn’t it?

GD: No, Robert, uncomfortable fact. I had an article once that I took out of Scientific American. I kept it for years but I moved so many times that somewhere it got lost. Never mind, I read it and remembered it. They set up an area for rats. Regular rats. As much water and food as they needed and lots of bedding or nesting material. What happened? Rats breed like Third Worlders and pretty soon, the room was full of rats. And what did these rats do? They went crazy, homosexuality and cannibalism flourished, mama rats ate their malformed litters and general chaos reigned. And what happened then, Robert?

RTC: I have no idea but I have a suspicion you will tell me.

GD: Of course, why miss the finale when you’ve seen the first three acts? Some disease, endemic, relatively harmless, that is in the rats suddenly alters and most of the rats turn into a stinking mass of rotting flesh….

RTC: So early in the morning, Gregory.

GD: But they do almost all die off, Robert. Still, a few always survive so the game can start again. Do I make a point?

RTC: You equate us with rodents?

GD: No. I comment on the inevitable bill Nature insists we pay. And we will, mark that.

RTC: How depressing. Do you think the ice will melt?

GD: I think so. And while it does, I can just envision legions of scientists squabbling over what, when, how and why as New York sinks beneath the waves. They say that if there were two Irishmen left alive in the world, they’d be sending letter bombs to each. No offense to your Hibernian background, Robert.

RTC: (Laughter)

GD: And if there were two academics left, they’d be pissing on each other as the waters closed over their heads. Oh joy and rapture unforeseen.

RTC: Well, as you say, both of us will be gone away, so why should we worry?

GD: It’s a waste of time, Robert, I agree. But still, intellectual curiosity and a firm belief that there are iron rules that apply to life make me a student. Do read Malthus, Robert, and you will understand what I am going on about. He’s there but most people would rather read the comic page or, if they graduated with honors from a distant community college, they can get really intellectual and read ‘Fanny Hill.

RTC: You are really on a tear today, Gregory. Are you sniffing glue?

GD: No, I’m just naturally up today. Of course, coffee helps too.

RTC: It always does.

GD: By the way, Robert, I saw something in the paper today about Ollie North. Did you have anything to do with him?

RTC: My God, what a story that was. Yes and no. Oliver moved at a more exalted level than I did. Oliver worked for the White House. Oliver worked for George Bush, who was once our DCI, and he worked for Ronnie Reagan.

GD: That’s not impossible to believe. The guns for the Contras?

RTC: We’d be all day on the phone if I told you what I knew. The public has no idea what that Contra business was all about. It was only a spin-off of the real businesses. The press does not know and if it did, would never dare to print any of it. They feed the public some dog and pony show, speculate for days and then discover a cat up a tree and all run down the block with their notebooks and cameras for more stimulating information for the trailer park crowd.

GD: We both have plenty of time, Robert. If you’re willing to talk, I’m even more willing to listen. I have a new girl friend who is coming over for a lunch I have not yet begun to lay out, but that’s two hours away. I eat late and I thought a nice salad, a Coquilles St. Jacques with a sauce Parisienne, some sourdough bread and a nice white wine. And for dessert there is wild sex on the living room floor.

RTC: I know about sex, but what were you cooking?

GD: Scallops in a cream sauce, Robert. I loathe braggers, but I am a very good cook. As far as the living room floor is concerned, I have scars on my back to support my animal expertise with the famous Mattress Polka by one of the earlier members of the Strauss family. But we needn’t talk about past glories. Or perhaps future ones if I get the sauce right. Women can be either at your feet or at your throat. Flat on their backs is much better and on to other things.

RTC: But Gregory, isn’t the floor hard?

GD: I suppose so, but when I am, who cares? What? Oh yes, before fantasy time we were talking about Ollie North.

RTC: Well, the public was led to believe the Ollie was some kind of a loose cannon or a nut case but he actually was doing what the President ordered. North was on the staff of the National Security Council which was run by our beloved George Bush who was Vice President at the time and ran the entire operation, contras, drug dealings and gun smugglings and a few removals of inconvenient people along the way. This was all part of a very interesting and little-known system. I can go on about this if you want. Does it take long to cook your lunch?

GD: Actually, I made the sauce early this morning and all I have to do is to cook the scallops, put them into the sauce, put some butter and some fresh, grated Swiss cheese on top and into the broiler. The wine is in the fridge, the bread is fresh early this morning and I vacuumed the living room rug. Please go on.

RTC: Well, the entire Contra mess had two fathers. The first was the Doomsday project. This was a governmental continuation survival program in the event of some great natural disaster, military or terrorist attacks on the United States, public uprisings and so on. That was first begun in ’81 with a series of signed orders by Reagan setting up the machinery to preserve the government in the event of these disruptive problems. This entire program was rather secret and was under the control of the vice president…

GD: Who was George Bush.

RTC: Yes, under him. And like all bureaucracies, this grew. The nutty Poindexter got into the act and wanted to set up something your friend Mueller would have loved: a comprehensive national total surveillance system that would keep track of every person living in the United States, regardless of how harmless they might be. They could use your television set to spy on you, gather phone records from companies they either bribed or threatened, read and watch your mail, create a national ID card, closely supervise passports, watch who flew around the country and where they were going, get into your safe deposit box and watch your checking and savings accounts, listen in on all, and I mean all, overseas telephone calls by controlling the communications satellites. The NSA was given this task I recall. I think it was called Operation Harvest at the time. Oh my and many, many more little new departments to watch the general population. This was being set up during the Reagan years, but Clinton cut back on most of it. Still, it’s still there, waiting for another president to use it as an excuse to grab permanent power. In the old days, we used the threat of a Soviet attack and invasion to terrify the public and now the enemies are not so well defined. It’s rather funny when you read about the growing drug menace, because elements of our government are involved, even as I speak, in assisting in the importation of many tons of marijuana and opium derivatives. Oh yes, Gregory, our government, not the mob or the Columbian drug cartels, are the real drug dealers. We started with Colby and a few others and like Topsy, it just growed. I’m afraid we don’t run it, but it now runs us. Yes, and Ollie was a part of the whole. Then Congress managed to screw things up by passing the second Boland Amendment in ’84. Reagan was using us to supply the Contras in Nicaragua with guns and other small things so they could overthrow what we like to call the dangerous Communist, pro-Soviet government there. The stupid shits on the hill put a stop to this so Reagan got George to bypass Congress. Getting the guns was a problem and Ollie turned out to be very competent.

GD: Yes, I know Jimmy Atwood who was up to his tummy-tuck in some of this. His Stasi connections….

RTC: Yes, you know about this. It was IMES 1 that controlled this and it was a huge, official but sub-rosa smuggling racket. Of course even though we were supposed to be enemies of the communist Stasi, we actually worked well with them. Your friend Atwood was one of our top people there. We had a fellow with the strange name of Schalck-Golodkowski working with us. We used to call him the Fat Man or Big Alex, I suppose because he was way overweight and his first name was Alexander. Very clever choice of names, isn’t it? He later fled to the west and we at once gave him a nice job.

GD: Just like Heini Mueller who worked for you.

RTC: Worked for Jim. But I knew him. Met him a number of times. You got on with him, didn’t you?

GD: I did and Atwood was an open book.

RTC: I always like to know who can’t keep their mouth shut. Now as to the guns for the beaners, this IMES 1 was part and parcel of the international cartel, to use a phrase so beloved by hack writers, which has been going on, with refinements, since about ’67 or ’68. They had offices in West Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and, I think, Austria. And as things progress, they smuggled narcotics right along with the guns. We were way ahead of them on that score but we all work together in the end, in spite of the press of both countries pissing on each other. Those are the realities, Gregory, not the fronts. You know that, don’t you?

GD: I don’t know as much as you do but I know more than enough to agree with you. Greed and money know no borders and no ideology.

RTC: I would rather say political necessity makes strange bedfellows.

GD: A difference with no distinction. Do continue.

RTC: The Krauts were dealing with Iran, Libya and Syria. And the Swedes too were into this. In fact, we had our little troopers in most of the countries that exported drugs, bought guns and so on. The Swedes were using St. Lucia Airways, one of our proprietaries, to run their shipments to various counties. Drugs out and guns in.

GD: Where did the weapons originate? I think Russia.

RTC: Oh yes right on. The AK 47s were much in demand. The basic European-made pieces were too expensive.

GD: And the Soviets knew about this?

RTC: My God, yes they did. And some of them got very rich out of it. And there were even some shipments by boat some of which got into customs troubles. There were always problems with this, once it got out of our hands. We always kept things running smoothly but when you’re dealing with emotional Arabs who would sell their sisters for ten dollars or the Latins south of our border, we have utter corruption and emotion and corruption leads to mistakes. Then we have to send people around to clean up the messes. We used to throw people out of high windows but there aren’t any tall buildings in Arab counties or south of our borders so the vanishing and dumping at sea in metal drums is always done to the less prominent and un-missed. For more prominent ones, the convenient airplane crash or the heart attack. Mechanics for the one and chemists for the second.

GD: Now you’re speaking my language. I even taught some new concepts to Mueller, God bless his soul. I really used to enjoy myself when I was younger, but age has slowed me down.

RTC: From what I have heard from Kimmel’s DoJ people, you have not slowed down. They view you as a cross between Jack the Ripper and Attila the Hun.

GD: Well, in turn, I view them as a cross between Swift’s Yahoos and Lenny in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I really don’t understand how people that stupid can live. Take Jimmy Atwood….please…no, he worked for you so you don’t have to take him. Jimmy would get some hooch into him and my God, Robert, the stories he would tell! The BND   was horrified when I passed this along, but these people are protected by our government so they can do nothing. You know, some of these cretins and gross criminals ought to be taken out and shot, Robert, and I would be more than happy to oblige. They have dumped tons of drugs on the American people and the bureaucrats love it. They don’t touch the stuff and make sure their kids go to very expensive East Coast Establishment prep schools. Buggery after lights out but no drugs. I mean, after all, what pays for the expensive schools? The whole thing is rotten and eventually, it will collapse. Mark my words, it will come down. As the Bible says, it will fall and great will be the fall thereof. Ah well, you’re out of it now and the deluge may be years in coming but eventually the public will find out the truth, or at least some of it, and then we will see change.

RTC: As you say, Gregory, I’m well out of it but I can’t really complain too much. You get far too moralistic. You let it get in the way of clear thinking. One moment I wish I had you in the Company and the next you sound like a social worker.

GD: Yes, Mueller once said almost the same thing. Two spirits struggle in my breast, Robert, but now I have to get to lunch so would you excuse me? The pleasures of the board and the living room floor beckon to me.

RTC: Good luck.

GD: With the lunch or the follow-up?

RTC: I assume you’re a good cook.

GD: Come out and visit with me and I’ll cook you a fine meal.

RTC: But I’m not a candidate for the living room floor.

GD: I would certainly hope not, Robert. Anyway, thanks for the nice chat and I’ll be back in touch.

(Concluded at 9:11AM CST)

1.IMES GmbH, a little-known East German state company that was run by East Germany’s deputy foreign trade minister, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski.

The East German company had been a key part of an international smuggling network, connected at several levels with the CIA, with secret bank accounts and shell companies in West Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The IMES company name had been exposed in the West back in 1985, when Swedish customs officials started investigating the activities of the ‘munitions cartel’ mentioned in the first section of this chapter. Some years later, Western intelligence agencies, including the US Iran-Contra arms and money networks, used IMES and the East German structure for secret weapons supplies to guerrilla movements in Central America. Schalck-Golodkowski had reportedly been involved in a massive, decade-long smuggling operation of weapons, antiques and even drugs. He was, however, only charged with the illicit import of military and dual-use items into East Germany between 1986 and 1989 and with the embezzlement of rather small amounts of foreign currency. He was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in January 1996, and to 16 months’ imprisonment in 1997, respectively. In April 1999, a higher court acquitted him on the latter of the two charges.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

As ice melts, Greenland could become big sand exporter: study

February 11, 2019

by Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) – Greenland could start to export sand in a rare positive spinoff from global warming that is melting the island’s vast ice sheet and washing large amounts of sediment into the sea, scientists said on Monday.

Mining of sand and gravel, widely used in the construction industry, could boost the economy for Greenland’s 56,000 population who have wide powers of self-rule within Denmark but rely heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

By mining sand, “Greenland could benefit from the challenges brought by climate change,” a team of scientists in Denmark and the United States wrote in the journal Nature Sustainability.

The study, headlined “Promises and perils of sand exploitation in Greenland”, said the Arctic island would have to assess risks of coastal mining, especially to fisheries.

Rising global temperatures are melting the Greenland ice sheet, which locks up enough water to raise global sea levels by about seven meters (23 ft) if it ever all thawed, and carrying ever more sand and gravel into coastal fjords.

“You can think of it (the melting ice) as a tap that pours out sediment to the coast,” said lead author Mette Bendixen, a researcher at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research

Worldwide demand for sand totaled about 9.55 billion tonnes in 2017 with a market value of $99.5 billion and is projected to reach almost $481 billion in 2100, driven by rising demand and likely shortages, the study said.

That meant a rare opportunity for the island.

“Normally the Arctic peoples are among those who really feel climate change – the eroding coast, less permafrost,” said Bendixen. “This is a unique situation because of the melting ice sheet.”

David Boertmann of Aarhus University, who was not involved in the study, said there was already some local mining of sand for the domestic construction industry in Greenland.

Drawbacks for Greenland, common to other mining projects on the island ranging from uranium to rare earth minerals, include the distance to markets in Europe and North America, he said.

Still, Bendixen said sand was already often transported long distances, such as to Los Angeles from Vancouver or from Australia to Dubai.

“At the moment it is an inexpensive resource but it will become more expensive,” she said.

The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in future to reinforce beaches and coastlines at risk of rising sea levels, caused in part by Greenland’s thaw.

Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

 

Methodology of Internet Spying on the Pubic

United States Patent 8,138,930

Heath March 20, 2012

Advertising based on environmental conditions

Current U.S. Class: 340/601 ; 340/540; 455/456.3; 705/14.21

Current International Class: G01W 1/00 (20060101)

Field of Search: 340/601,540,500 705/14.21,14.4,1.1,14.41,14.42

455/456.32006/0287913 December 2006 Baluja

2007/0005524 January 2007 Iwachin

2007/0073841 March 2007 Ryan et al.

2007/0083408 April 2007 Altberg et al.

2007/0208591 September 2007 Glenn et al.

2007/0260989 November 2007 Vakil et al.

2008/0046311 February 2008 Shahine et al.

2008/0109317 May 2008 Singh

2008/0146892 June 2008 LeBoeuf et al.

2008/0147488 June 2008 Tunick et al.

2009/0149199 June 2009 Maghoul

2010/0036717 February 2010 Trest

2011/0119137 May 2011 Morsa

 

Foreign Patent Documents

2002/056273 Feb., 2002

 

Other References

Feder, Barnaby “Billboards That Know You by Name” [online], New York Times, Jan. 29,

2007 [retrieved on 2009-xx-xx]. Retrieved from Internet <URL: http://www.nytimes.com

/2007/01/29/business/media/29cooper.html?.- sub.–r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print>. cited by other .

USPTO Office Action for U.S. Appl. No. 12/017,597, dated Sep. 28, 2010. cited by other

 

Primary Examiner: Blount; Eric M

Attorney, Agent or Firm: Fish & Richardson P.C.

 

Claims

 

What is claimed is:

  1. A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or moresearch terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and

United States Patent: 8138930 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=H…

2 of 23 3/28/2012 3:30 PM determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.

  1. A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving an audio signal that comprises a voice instruction from a user of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on background sounds in the audio signal.
  2. The computer-implemented method of claim 2, further comprising providing information in addition to the advertisement to the computing device used by the user based on the voice instruction of the user.
  3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the computing device comprises a mobile phone. 5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the computing device comprises one or more of a mobile phone, a personal computer, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, or a vendor machine, and providing the advertisement to the computing device comprises providing a visual advertisement for displaying on a display of one or more of the mobile phone, the personal computer, the digital billboard, the digital kiosk, or the vending machine.
  4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein the computing device comprises one or the mobile phone, the personal computer, the digital billboard, the digital kiosk, the vending machine, or the public address system.
  5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising identifying an event based on a signal output from a sensor of the computing device.
  6. The computer-implemented method of claim 7, wherein the event comprises at least one of a sports event or a musical event.
  7. The computer-implemented method of claim 7, wherein the advertisement is identified further based on the event. 10. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising placing the computing device in a public environment and sharing the computing device among a plurality of people.
  8. The computer-implemented method of claim 10, further comprising providing information in addition to the advertisement from the computing device to the plurality of people.
  9. The computer-implemented method of claim 11, wherein providing information comprises providing at least one of text information, audio information, or video information.
  10. An apparatus comprising: one or more processing devices; and one or more machine-readablemedia configured to store instructions that are executable by the one or more processing devices to perform operations comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal. 14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the computing device comprises at least one of a visual interface or an audio user interface.
  11. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the computing device comprises one or more of a mobile phone, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, or a vending machine, and wherein the computing device is configured to receive visual advertisements from the one or more processing devices and to show the visual advertisements on a display of the computing device.
  12. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the computing device comprises one or more of a mobile phone, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, a vending machine, or a public address system, and providing the advertisement to the computing device comprises providing an audio advertisement for playing through an audio output of the computing device. 17. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein a sensor of the computing device is configured to sense at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, or air composition.
  13. One or more machine-readable media configured to store instructions that are executable by one or more processing devices to perform operations comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.
  14. One or more machine-readable media configuredto store instructions that are executable by one or more processing devices to perform operations comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving an audiosignal that comprises a voice instruction from a user of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on background sounds in the audio signal. 20. The one or more machine-readable media of claim 19, wherein the operations furthercomprise: providing information in addition to the advertisement to the computing device used by the user based on the voice instruction of the user.

United States Patent: 8138930 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=H… 4 of 23 3/28/201221. The one or more machine-readable media of claim 18, wherein the operations further comprise: placing the computing device in a public environment; sharing the computing device among a plurality of people; and providing information in addition to the advertisement from the computing device to the plurality of people.

  1. The one or more machine-readable media of claim 18, wherein the computing device comprises one or more of a mobile phone, a personal computer, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, or a vendor machine, and providing the advertisement to the computing device comprises providing a visual advertisement for displaying on a display of the computing device. 23. The one or more machine-readable media of claim 18, wherein the computing device comprises one or more of a mobile phone, a personal computer, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, a vending machine, or a public address system, and providing the advertisement to the computing device comprises providing an audio advertisement for playing through an audio output of the computing device.

 

Description

 

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/017,597, titled “ADVERTISING

BASED ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS”, filed concurrently with this application, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This document generally relates to information management.

BACKGROUND

On-line advertisements allow advertisers to reach a wide range of viewers through the Internet.

The selection of advertisements for display, such as with search results and other information, and the ordering of those advertisements, may be achieved by various techniques. In one example, an initial determination is made to identify all advertisements that are a match or near match for the applied search terms or other query items or information. The match may be made, for example, between one or more words in a query, and key words identified by an advertiser and associwith a particular advertisement or group of advertisements, such as a campaign. For example, a company selling fishing tackle may have a line of large lures, and may thus identify terms such as “lunker,” “sturgeon,” and “muskie fever” as keywords to associate with their advertisements for such large lures. Those advertisements may then be considered by the system for display when a search results are displayed to a user who enters such terms. The comparison may also be made between a search or query, and the text in an advertisement or the text in a target of a hyperlink in an advertisement, or to a combination of keywords, target text, and advertisement text, among other possible techniques. For example, the system may effectively select terms from an advertisement as key words so that the advertisement is selected for possible display when a search or other user action associated with the key words is submitted. An advertisement may be selected for possible display if there is a “near” match also, for example, if a query includes terms      mthat are known synonyms or mistypings/misspellings of the key word terms for an advertisement.

United States Patent: 8138930 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=H…

5 of 23 3

SUMMARY

This document describes a system for allowing advertisers to target on-line advertisements based on environmental factors of end users. When determining what ads to serve to end users, the environmental factors can be used independently or in combination with matching of keywords associated with the advertisements and keywords in user search queries. A web browser or search engine located at the user’s site may obtain information on the environment (e.g., temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition) from sensors. Advertisers may specify that the ads are shown to users whose environmental conditions meet certain criteria. For example, advertisements for air conditioners can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures above a first threshold, while advertisements for winter overcoats can be sent to users located at regions having temperatures below a second threshold. In general, in one aspect, information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network is received at a server, an advertisement based on the environmental condition is identified at the server, the information about the environmental condition being derived from an output of a sensor located at the remote user, and the advertisement is provided to the user through the network.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The sensor can include anenvironmental sensor that provides information about the environmental condition. The sensor can be part of or coupled to a machine used by the user for accessing the network. At the server, the advertisement can be identified from among a plurality of advertisements by matching an environmental condition associated with the advertisement with the environmental condition of the user. The environmental condition can include at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, and speed of movement. The environmental condition can include at least one of soil, crop, or livestock conditions. The advertisement can be associated with a predetermined temperature condition, and the server can provide the advertisement to the user when the temperature at the user’s site or at a geographical location of the user meets the predetermined temperature condition. The advertisement can be associated with a predetermined sound level condition, and the server provides the advertisement to the user when the ambient sound level at the user’s site meets the predetermined sound level conditionA keyword query can be received from the user, the keyword query including one or more keywords, wherein the advertisement provided by the server is associated with the one or more keywords. Traffic condition of the user can be determined based on the information about the environmental condition, and the advertisement can be provided based on the traffic condition.

Receiving information about the environmental condition can include identifying a geographical location of the user based on the sensor output, and receiving information about the environmental condition of the geographical location. Identifying the geographical location of the user can include identifying the geographical location of the user based on data from a global positioning system sensor or by signal triangulation.

In general, in another aspect, at a server, a request for information from a remote user accessing anetwork is received, a location of the remote user is determined without using location information stored in a pre-established user profile, an environmental condition of the remote user is determined based on the location of the remote user, and an advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition. The requested information and the advertisement are provided from the server to the remote user through the network. Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The network can include a mobile phone network having base stations, and determining the location of the remote user can include determining the location of the remote user using information provided by a base station that receives signals from the remote user. The request from the remote user can include a request for information. The request for information can include a request for phone directory information. The request for information can include a request for a document.

In general, in another aspect, from a client device, information about an environmental condition of a user of the client device who is accessing a network is provided to a remote server, and an advertisement that is identified at the server based on the environmental condition is received at the client device. At the client device, the advertisement is presented to the user.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. Providing to a remote serverinformation about an environmental condition can include providing to the remote server information about an environmental condition that is derived from an output of a sensor of the client device or a sensor coupled to the client device. The environmental condition can include temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, or speed of movement. A keyword query can be provided from the user to the server, the keyword query including one or more keywords, wherein the advertisement provided by the server can be associated with the one or more keywords. Traffic condition of the user can be provided based on the information about the environmental condition and advertisement that is identified based on the traffic condition can be received. In general, in another aspect, information about an environmental condition of a remote device is received, the environmental condition being determined based on a signal output from a sensor of the remote device or a sensor coupled to the remote device; an advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition; and the advertisement is provided to the remote device. Implementations may include one or more of the following features. An audio, image, or video signal can be received from the sensor and the environmental condition can be determined based on the audio, image, or video signal, respectively. An audio signal that includes a voice instructionfrom a user of the remote device can be received, and the environmental condition can bedetermined based on background sounds in the audio signal. Information in addition to the advertisement can be provided to the user based on the voice instruction of the user. The remote device can include a mobile phone. The remote device can include a mobile phone, personal computer, digital billboard, a digital kiosk, or a vendor machine, and providing the advertisement tothe remote device can include providing a visual advertisement for displaying on a display of themobile phone, personal computer, digital billboard, digital kiosk, or vending machine, respectively.

The remote device can include a mobile phone, personal computer, digital billboard, a digital kiosk, a vending machine, or a public address system, and providing the advertisement to the remote device can include providing an audio advertisement for playing through an audio output ofthe mobile phone, personal computer, digital billboard, digital kiosk, vending machine, or publicaddress system, respectively. An event can be identified based on the signal output from thesensor. The event can include at least one of a sports event or a musical event. Identifying an advertisement based on the environmental condition can include identifying an advertisement based on the event. The remote device can be placed in a public environment and be shared by a plurality of people. Information in addition to the advertisement can be provided from the remotedevice to the user. Providing information can include providing at least one of text, audio, or video information. In general, in another aspect, content is displayed on a digital billboard laced in a public environment; a sensor of the display or a sensor coupled to the display senses an environmental condition; the environmental condition is sent to a server; an advertisement is received from the server, the advertisement being identified by the server based on the environmental condition; and the advertisement is displayed on the digital billboard.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. Sensing the environmental condition can include sensing at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, or air composition. The digital billboard can be installed at an indoor location, and sensing the environmental condition can include sensing an indoor or outdoor environmental condition. In general, in another aspect, information is broadcast through a public address system; a sensor of the public address system or a sensor coupled to the public address system is used to sense an environmental condition; the environmental condition is sent to a server; an advertisement is received from the server, the advertisement being identified by the server based on the environmental condition; and the advertisement is broadcast through the public address system.

In general, in another aspect, a computer-implemented method includes enabling advertisers to associate advertisements with one or more environmental conditions to allow the advertisements to be provided to users whose environmental conditions match the environmental conditions associated with the advertisements; and enabling the advertisers to bid for environmental conditions associated with one or more keywords. Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The method can include providing a user interface to allow the advertiser to associate the advertisement with thenvironmental condition, the user interface allowing the advertiser to bid for environmental conditions associated with one or more keywords. The environmental condition can include at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, and speed of movement. In general, in another aspect, a computer implemented method includes enabling a sponsor to configure an ad campaign based on criteria that include environmental conditions; receiving information about environmental conditions; and dynamically adjusting the ad campaign based on the environmental conditions.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. Enabling a sponsor to configure an ad campaign can include enabling the sponsor to allocate ad budgets based on the environmental conditions. Enabling the sponsor to allocate ad budgets based on the environmental conditions can include enabling at least one of (a) adjusting allocation of ad budgets for different types of media, (b) adjusting bid amounts of ads for different types of media, (c) adjusting allocation of ad budgets for different products, or (d) adjusting bid amounts of ads fordifferent products based on the environmental conditions.

In general, in another aspect, an apparatus includes a storage device to store advertisements each associated with an environmental condition; and a server to receive information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network, the information about the environmental condition being derived from an output of a sensor located at the remote user, identify an advertisement based on the environmental condition, and provide the advertisement to the user. Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The server can identify the advertisement from among a plurality of advertisements by matching an environmental conditionassociated with the advertisement with the environmental condition of the user. The server can identify a geographical location of the user based on the sensor output and receive information about the environmental condition of the geographical location.

In general, in another aspect, an apparatus includes a storage device to store advertisements each associated with an environmental condition; and a server to receive a request for information from a remote user accessing a network, determine a location of the remote user without usin location information stored in a pre-established user profile, determine an environmental condition of the remote user based on the location of the remote user, identify an advertisement based on the environmental condition, and provide the requested information and the advertisement to the remote user through the network.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The server can include a mobile phone server.

In general, in another aspect, an apparatus includes a graphical user interface to enable advertisers to associate advertisements with one or more environmental conditions to allow the advertisements to be provided to users whose environmental conditions match the environmental conditions associated with the advertisements. The graphical user interface enables the advertisers to bid for environmental conditions associated with one or more keywords. Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The environmental condition includes temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, and/or speed of movement.

In general, in another aspect, an apparatus includes a device having a user interface to provide information to a user; and a sensor to sense a parameter and generate an output signal. The device is configured to provide the output signal to a remote server, receive an advertisement identified by the remote server based on an environmental condition determined according to the output signal of the sensor, and provide the advertisement in addition to the information to the user.

Implementations may include one or more of the following features. The sensor can include an audio, image, or video sensor. The device can include at least one of a visual or audio user interface. The device can include a mobile phone, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, or a vending machine, and can be configured to receive visual advertisements from the remote server and show the advertisements on a display of the mobile phone, the digital billboard, the digital kiosk, or the vending machine. The remote device can include a mobile phone, a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, a vending machine, or a public address system, and providing the advertisement to the remote device can include providing an audio advertisement for playing through an audio output of the mobile phone, digital billboard, digital kiosk, vending machine, or public address system, respectively. The sensor can sense temperature, humidity, sound, light, or air compositionIn general, in another aspect, a system includes means for receiving information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network, the information about the environmental condition being derived from an output of a sensor located at the remote user; means for identifying an advertisement based on the environmental condition; and means for providing the advertisement to the user through the network.

These and other aspects and features, and combinations of them, may be expressed as methods, apparatus, systems, means for performing functions, program products, and in other ways. The systems and methods disclosed herein may have one or more of the following advantages. By providing ads that are selected based in part on environmental conditions, more relevant ads may be shown to users, providing a better user experience. More relevant ads can be served to users, increasing the likelihood of the ads being clicked on or acted upon, increasing the effectiveness of the ads. The details of one or more embodiments are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims. DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an information retrieval system.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are diagrams of a system for providing information to users.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are diagrams of exemplary information delivery systems.

FIG. 6 is a diagram of a graphical user interface.

FIGS. 7 to 11 are flow diagrams of processes.

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of a general computing system.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, an exemplary information retrieval system 100 retrieves and provides information (e.g., web documents) and content 102 (e.g., advertisements or simply ads) thamatch search queries submitted by remote users 104. The system 100 includes a search server 106 that enables the users 104 to search for information using, for example, a keyword search.

The system 100 is configured to receive information about environmental conditions of the remote users 104, use the environmental conditions as one of the criteria for identifying ads 102, and provide the ads 102 to the users 104. Sponsors of the ads 102 generate higher revenue when their ads are clicked on or acted upon. By using environmental conditions of the users 104 as one of the criteria for selecting ads 102, more relevant ads 102 can be served to the users 104, increasing the likelihood of the ads 102 being clicked on or acted upon.

The content 102 is not limited to advertisements, and can include various types of information useful to the users 104, such as weather and traffic information.

The user 104 may use a web browser 108 executing on a client terminal 110 (e.g., personal computer, personal digital assistant, mobile phone, media player, in-vehicle terminal) to access theinformation about environmental conditions of the user 104. The sensors 114 can be configured to sense, for example, temperature, humidity, sound, light, and/or air composition. Sensing air composition may including sensing odors, smog, dust, pollen, pollutant, or other particles or molecules in the air. The sensors 114 can include a digital camera to obtain images of thenvironment. The sensors 114 can include a positioning sensor, such as a global positioning system (GPS) sensor, that provides location information. The location information can be used to

United States Patent: 8138930 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=H… access services (e.g., weather channel websites) that provide environmental conditions of a given location. Location information can also be inferred from other means. For example, the client terminal 110 can be a cell phone, and location information can be derived from information about base stations that the cell phone is connected to.

The sensors 114 can be integrated with the client terminal 110. The sensors 114 can also include stand-alone device that is connected to the client terminal 110 through a wired or wireless connection, such as a USB (universal serial bus), Bluetooth.RTM., radio frequency, or infrared link.

An environmental condition monitor application 120 is executed on the client terminal 110 for processing data generated by the environmental sensors 114. For example, the environmental condition monitor application 120 may process audio signals from an audio sensor and filter sporadic signals to determine a long term ambient noise level. The environmental condition monitor application 120 may process temperature signals from a temperature sensor to detect a temperature pattern, such as an average temperature above a certain level for a number of hours per day for a number of days. The environmental condition monitor application 120 may process ambient light signals from an ambient light sensor to detect an ambient light pattern, such as an average ambient brightness above a certain level for a number of hours per day for a number of days.

The environmentalcondition monitor application 120 may also access, through the network 112, services that provide information about general environmental conditions at the geographical region where the user 104 is located. The environmental condition monitor application 120 may request the user 104 to input address information during a setup process. The environmental condition monitor application 120 may access a weather service, a pollution alert, and an allergy alert to obtain information about local weather (e.g., outdoor temperature), pollution, and allergy conditions.

The environmental condition monitor application 120 may share the sensors 114 with other applications. For example, the sensors 114 can include a microphone of a personal computer or a mobile phone that is used in speech recognition, phone calling, or video conferencing applications. The microphone can also be used by the environmental condition monitor application

120 for sensing ambient noise. The sensors 114 can include a light sensor of a display of the client terminal 110 for sensing ambient light to determine the brightness of the display. The light sensor can also be used by the environmental condition monitor application 120 for sensing ambient light to determine a likelihood that the user 104 is in an indoor or outdoor environment. It is important to respect the privacy of the users 104. The environmental condition monitor application 120 may provide the user 104 with options of enabling or disabling some or all of the sensors 114 for the purpose of gathering information to support advertisements. A privacy policy may be provided to the user 104 to specify what information is gathered and how the information is used. The user 104 can turn off the environmental condition monitor application 120 to prevent any information about the environmental condition from being gathered.

The web browser 108 is configured to receive information from the environmental condition monitor application 120. When the user 104 accesses the search server 106 to search for information, the web browser 108 sends a search request that includes a search query and information about the environmental conditions of the user 104 to the search server 106. The search query may include one or more search terms (e.g., keywords or key phrases). In response, the search server 106 searches an index 118, returns a list of documents (e.g., web pages) having keywords that matchthe search query submitted by the user 104, and provides the list of documents in a sequenceaccording to rank scores of the documents. The search server 106 may also cause ads 102 to be displayed alongside the list of returned documents. The ads 102 may be provided by an ad server

116 that selects the ads 102 based on the keywords and environmental conditions.

The search server 106 sends the keywords in the user’s search query and information about the environmental conditions of the user 104 to the ad server 116. The ad server 116 selects ads 102 based on several criteria. One criterion is how close the keywords associated with the ads 102match the keywords in the user’s search query. Another criterion is how close the environmentaconditions of the user 104 match the environmental conditions associated with the ads 102. The ad server 116 selects a list of ads ranked according to the criteria specified above and sends the list of ads to the search server 106. The search server 106 sends the search results and the ads

106 to the user 104. Some ads, such as video ads, may require the web browser 108 to connect to the ad server 116 to stream data (e.g., video) from the ad server 116.

When advertisers or sponsors provide the ads 102 to the system 100, the advertisers may specify the environmental conditions that are relevant to the ads 102. For example, a seller of air conditioners may specify that an ad 102 for air conditioners should be sent to users 104 who are searching for information about air conditioners and are situated in environments where the temperatures sensed by the sensors 114 are above a preset level (e.g., 80.degree. F.). When a user 104 searches for information about air conditioners and is situated in a high temperature environment, there is a high likelihood that the user 104 may be interested in purchasing an air conditioner in the near future.

The advertiser may specify that the air conditioner ad be served to a user 104 located in ageographical region (e.g., city) where the outdoor temperature is above a preset level (e.g., 80.degree. F.). The advertiser may specify that the air conditioner ad should not be served to a user 104 located in an environment where the room temperature as sensed by the sensors 114 is below a first preset level (e.g., 75.degree. F.) and the outdoor temperature is above a second preset level (e.g., 80.degree. F.). This may indicate that the user 104 is already in an air conditioned environment (or otherwise cool environment, such as the basement) where air conditioners are not needed.

In order for the air conditioner ad 102 to reach a wide audience, the advertiser may specify that a percentage of the ad budget is used to serve the ad 102 to users 104 who search for information about air conditioners regardless of their environmental conditions, a percentage of the ad budget is used to serve the ad 102 to users 104 who search for information about air conditioners and are in high temperature environments, and a percentage of the ad budget is used to serve the ad 102 to users 104 who are in high temperature environments regardless of the information being sought by the users 104.

Similarly, a seller of heaters may specify that an ad 102 for heaters be served to users 104 whoare searching for information about heaters and situated in environments that meet certain temperature conditions. Ads 102 for winter overcoats can be sent to users 104 located at regions having temperatures below a threshold. Ads 102 for humidifiers can be sent to users 104 situated in a humid environment. A seller of beers may specify that ads 102 showing cool beers be sent to users 104 in high temperature environments. A restaurant serving hot pots may specify that ads

102 showing hot pots be sent to users 104 in low temperature environments.

For example, a seller of noise canceling headphones may specify that an ad 102 for noise canceling headphones be served to a user 104 located in an environment where the ambient noise is above a preset level (e.g., 70 dB). The advertiser may specify that the ambient noise level be above the preset level for more than a preset period of time (e.g., noisy levels detected for at least one hour per day for at least two consecutive days).

In some examples, the user 104 may sign up for a service provided by a service provider, in which provision of the service requires information from the sensors 114. For example, a farmer may use sensors 114 to sense soil, crop, and livestock conditions on a farm. The data from the sensors may be sent to a service provider that remotely diagnose and monitor health conditions of the crops and livestock. The sensors 114 may be provided to the farmer at a subsidized cost in exchange for the farmer agreeing to receive ads 102 that are delivered to a terminal on the farm based on data feed from the sensors 114. The data from the sensors 114 may be used to target ads 102 from sellers of seeds, fertilizers, feedstock, pesticides, farm machinery, or any other potential supplier of the farm.

In some examples, location information obtained from the sensors 114 can be used to infer that the user 104 is waiting in a traffic jam. For example, the location information may indicate that the user 104 is located on a highway and moving very slowly. Links to websites having information about mass transit and/or car pooling may be provided to the user 104. Location information may be used to infer that an earthquake has recently occurred in the geographical region where the muser 104 is located. Ads 102 for structural engineers may be provided to the user 104.

Location information obtained from the sensors 114 can be used to infer a change of weather conditions at the locations of the users 104, and relevant ads 102 or announcements may be sentto the users 104. Various examples are given below. During seasonal changes, ads for outerwear suitable for the user’s location may be provided to the user 104. Ads 102 for light jackets may be provided to users 104 located in regions with mild winters, and ads 102 for heavy overcoats and snow boots may be provided to users 104 in regions with severe winters. Near the start of winter season, ads 102 for snow blowers may be provided to users 104 located at geographical regions where heavy snowfalls occur.

In some implementations, the system 100 may provide business listing search service, e.g., Google Voice Local Search. The client terminal 110 can be a cell phone that includes sensors 114 such as a digital camera, a microphone, and a position sensor (e.g., a GPS sensor). When the user 104 calls 1-800-GOOG-411, the system 100 provides business listing information according to user request. The system 100 may also provide ads that are selected based on information obtained from one or more sensors 114, such as images of ambient environment, ambient noise, and location information.

For example, the user 104 may be in a sports stadium and calling GOOG-411 for information about a nearby restaurant. The cheering of crowds and announcements made during the sports event may be picked up by the cell phone microphone. The system 100 may be able to determine the type of sports event based on the background noise. If location information is available, the system 100 may compare the location information with locations of known sports events and determine which sports event the user 104 is attending. Ads that may be of interest to fans of the sports event may be served to the user 104. For example, links to websites that provide sports mnews and statistics may be provided to the caller 104. Similarly, when a user 104 calls GOOG-411 for information about a nearby restaurant before a mconcert or during intermission, the tuning of instruments during the pre-concert or intermission mperiod may be picked up by the cell phone microphone. If location information is available, the system 100 may compare the location information with locations of known musical events and determine which musical event the user 104 is attending. While GPS information may not beavailable indoors, such as in a music hall, the cell phone may store the last available GPS data prior to entering the music hall, and the GPS data can be provided to the system 100.

Alternatively, location information can be inferred by cell phone signal triangulation. Ads that may be of interest to fans of the musical event may be served to the user 104. For example, links to websites that provide news of musicians, or ads of albums, instruments, or audio equipment may be provided to the caller 104.

When a user 104 is at a train or subway station, the background noise may include announcements of arriving or departing trains that can be used to infer the location of the user

104.

As discussed above, the client terminal 110 has privacy protection features and allows the user

104 to enable or disable some or all of the sensors 114 for the purpose of gathering information to support advertisements.

A feature of the system 100 is that it can deliver advertisements that target individual users 104 based on environmental conditions of the individual users. For example, one user may live next toThe system 100 includes an environmental condition determination engine 122 that determines general environmental conditions of the user 104 based on information about the user 104 that is not obtained by the sensors 114. For example, the environmental condition determination engine

122 can be used when the client terminal 110 does not have relevant sensors 114, when the environmental condition monitor application 120 is not installed on the client terminal 110, or when the environmental condition monitor application 120 is turned off by the user 104. For example, when a user 104 accesses the search server 106, the system 100 may be able to derive the location of the user 104 based on an Internet Protocol (IP) address of the client terminal 110. The client terminal 110 may send location information (e.g., obtained from a GPS sensor) to the search server 106. The environmental condition determination engine 122 obtains information about mgeneral environmental conditions of the user 104 based on the user’s location using, for example, services that provide weather, pollution, or allergy conditions.

In some examples, the system 100 may provide a service (e.g., e-mail service) that requires registration. The users 104 provide residence address information as part of the registration process. When a user 104 accesses the service, the environmental condition determination engine122 determines the general environmental conditions (e.g., weather, air pollution, allergy conditions, etc.) of the user 104 based on the registered residence address. Information about the general environmental conditions can be used by the ad server 116 in selecting ads to be served to the user 104.

Referring to FIG. 2, in some implementations, users 104 access a server 160 of a third party service provider to request information. The service provider can be, e.g., a publisher of premium content, such as financial news and analyses. The service provider can be a member of an ad network that delivers ads served by the ad server 116. When users 104 sign up for services provided by the service provider, the users 104 provide residence addresses as part of theregistration process.

When a user 104 uses the web browser 108 to access the service provided by the server 160, the web browser 108 may forward information about environmental conditions (received from the environmental condition monitor application 120) to the server 160. The server 160 forwards the environmental condition information to the system 100. The server 160 also sends information about the user 104, such as the user’s residence address, to the system 100. The environmental condition determination engine 122 determines the general environmental conditions of the user

104 based on the information about the user, such as the user’s residence address. Information about the user’s environmental conditions provided by the environmental condition monitor application 120 and the environmental condition determination engine 122 can be used by the ad mserver 116 in selecting ads to be served to the server 160. The server 160 delivers requested minformation and the ads to the user 104. In some examples, the client machine 110 can be placed in a public location and viewed or maccessed by several users. For example, the client machine 110 can be a digital billboard, a digital kiosk, a vending machine, or a public address system that delivers advertisements selected based on environmental conditions.

Referring to FIG. 3, a user 104 can use a client terminal 260 to access services provided by an application server 262, in which the application server 262 provides information and content items m(e.g., ads) based on the environmental conditions of the user 104. The client terminal 260 does mnot necessarily execute a web browser 108 or an environmental condition monitor application 120.

For example, the client terminal 260 can be a mobile phone 260.

In one implementation, when the user 104 uses the mobile phone 260 to access a service mprovided by an application server 262, the application server 262 determines a location of the user

104 using information obtained from mobile phone base stations that receive signals from the mmobile phone 260. When the user 104 dials a number to request information, the application mserver 262 determines the location of the user 104, identifies environmental conditions (e.g., mweather) at the user’s location, and delivers the requested information and ads that are selected based on the environmental conditions. In some implementations, the application server 262 cainfer the destination of the user 104, and select ads that are based on the environmental conditions of the destination.

For example, the application server 262 may provide a phone directory service, such asGOOG-411 service. As an example, when the user 104 dials GOOG-411 to look up information about a museum, if the application server 262 determines that the city where the user’s located has a high temperature, the application sever 262 may provide the user 104 information about the museum and a message indicating, for example, there is an ice cream store nearby.

For example, the application server 262 can provide the user 104 information about the museum, then ask the user 104 whether he/she is interested in hearing information about other localbusinesses or attractions. If the user 104 expresses interest in receiving additional information, the application server 262 can identify the businesses in the vicinity of the user and provide information about those businesses in a sequence determined based on criteria that include environmental conditions.

The information provided by the application server 262 to the user 104 can be advertisements provided by advertisers or other information available to the application server 262. When providing a list of local attractions to the user 104, the application server 262 may take into accountthe environmental condition (e.g., local weather) when ranking the local attractions. For example, when the user 104 is asking about local attractions on rainy days, the application server 262 may rank indoor facilities (e.g., museums) higher than outdoor facilities (e.g., parks), and vice versa on sunny days.

Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary information delivery system 160 includes digital billboards 162 placed at public locations, such as train station platforms or pedestrian sidewalks. The digital billboard 162 has a display 170 that shows information 172, such as train schedules or other public announcements. The display 170 can also show advertisements. The digital billboard 162 has built-in sensors 164a and/or external sensors 164b (collectively referenced as 164). The sensors 164 may include, e.g., a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, a rain gauge, and/or a snow gauge. The external sensors 164b can be placed at, for example, roof tops to allow sensing of rain and/or snow, and communicate with the digital billboard 162 using wired or wireless links.

Information about environmental conditions detected by the sensors 164 is sent through a network112 to an ad server 116, which selects ads 102 according to the environmental conditions, e.g., in addition to other criteria. For example, during the winter season, when the temperature is below a preset value (e.g., 32.degree. F.), the ad server 116 can deliver, e.g., ads for ski resorts 166 and ads for winter overcoats 168 to the digital billboard 162. During the summer season, when the temperature is above a preset value (e.g., 85.degree. F.), the ad server 116 can deliver, e.g., ads for beach resorts or air conditioners to the digital billboard 162.

Ads that are delivered based on environmental conditions may be more effective than adsdelivered without consideration of environmental conditions. For example, it may be more effective to show ads for winter coats on the digital billboard 162 on the first chilly day in late autumn or early winter when shoppers are starting to buy winter clothes than showing the ads on warmer days. It may be more effective to show ads for snow boots on the digital billboard 162 during the first day of snow accumulation. It may also be more effective to show ads for rain gear on the digital billboard 162 during rainy days than sunny days. In some implementations, the system 160 may allow sponsors of ads to select various criteria for placement of ads, and the bidding price may vary depending on the selected criteria. For example, the system 160 may have several digital billboards at various locations across the country. The msystem 160 may allow sponsors of ads to specify particular days (e.g., ads shown on weekdays may be more expensive than ads shown on weekends), particular time slots within a day (e.g., rush hour time slots may be more expensive than non-rush hour time slots), particular locations

(e.g., ads shown at major train stations may be more expensive than ads shown at small train stations), particular billboards within a location (e.g., a train station may have several digital billboards and ads shown on billboards located at higher traffic areas may be more expensive than ads shown on billboards located at lower traffic areas). The system may allow the sponsors to specify particular environmental conditions and time period after occurrence of particular environmental conditions. For example, ads for winter clothing shown on the first day of frost may be more expensive than similar ads shown a week later, and ads for air conditioners shown on the first day of occurrence of a heat wave may be more expensive than similar ads shown a week later.

For example, sponsors can bid for placement of ads at a particular digital billboard located at a particular major train station at a particular time slot during rush hour on weekdays. Sponsors can also bid for placement of ads at any one of a number of selected locations when certain environmental conditions are met (e.g., the temperature is below 32.degree. F.).

In some implementations, the system 160 may provide a preset schedule for showing ads on thedigital billboard 162, in which the preset schedule can be overridden when certain environmental conditions are met. For example, the billboard 162 can be configured to show a first ad A1 according to a regular schedule. If a predetermined environmental condition is met, the digital billboard 162 replaces the ad A1 with another ad A2 and provides a credit to the sponsor of the ad

A1.

A feature of the system 160 is that it allows effective placement of ads for items that are associated with certain environmental conditions. For example, rather than spending money advertising a new line of winter coats on a large number of digital billboards across the country, it may be more cost effective to advertise on a smaller number of digital billboards when the local temperature is below a certain threshold. By providing ads that are selected based in part on environmental conditions, more relevant ads may be shown to the viewers of the digital billboard 162, providing a better userexperience. In some implementations, the system 160 includes digital billboards 164 located in shopping malls or walkways of strip malls. Stores in the shopping mall may sign up for display of ads on the digital billboard 164 based on environmental conditions. For example, a store selling rain gear may bid for placement of an ad on the digital billboard 164 when it is raining, a store selling winter coats, winter sports goods, or heaters may bid for placement of an ad when the outdoors temperature is below a preset value, and a store selling air conditioners or fans may bid for placement of an ad when the outdoors temperature is above a preset value.

Shopping malls and strip malls may be large and often shoppers do not have time to visit every store, or may not know the existence of certain stores. Shows ads on the digital billboard based on environmental conditions provides a way to attract the attention of shoppers when the shoppers are most likely to pay attention to the ads.

Referring to FIG. 5, an exemplary information delivery system 180 allows delivery of ads that are selected based on environmental conditions of a local region. For example, a shopping mall may have a wireless (e.g., Wi-Fi) network that allows shoppers 188 to use, e.g., mobile phones 190 toaccess a web site 184 hosted by a mall server computer 182. The shopping mall web site 184 may provide information about the stores in the mall, such as locations of the various stores and brief descriptions of the goods sold at the stores. The web site 184 may also display advertisements of the stores, in which the advertisements can be selected based on environmental conditions detected by sensors 186.

In some implementations, upon entering the shopping mall 182, a shopper 188 can use a mobilephone 190 to access the mall web site 184 and look up a list of ads 192 showing, e.g., stores having items on sale. Ads that are placed earlier in the list may be more expensive than those placed later in the list. Sponsors may bid different prices depending on environmental conditions.

For example, a store selling winter coats may bid $x1 for placement of an ad on the list when the outdoors temperature is above a preset value, and bid $x2 when the outdoors temperature below the preset value. By providing ads that are selected based in part on environmental conditions, more relevant ads may be shown to the shoppers 188, providing a better shopping experience.

In some implementations, a public address system may broadcast pre-schedules programs (e.g., background music or public announcements) and advertisements. The advertisements in the form of audio files may be selected dynamically by an ad server 116 according to environmental conditions and played during time slots allocated for advertisementsOther than selecting ads based on the environmental conditions, the system can adjust ad campaigns based on environmental conditions. For example, an ad network may allow advertisers to deliver ads to different types of media, such as Internet, radio, television, and digital billboards.

Ad consumption for different types of media may be different depending on environmental conditions.

For example, during cold and rainy days, people may spend more time indoors, whereas during warm and sunny days, people may spend more time outdoors. The system may provide the option to allow an advertiser to increase the percentage of ad budget or bid amount for delivering ads to outdoor digital billboards on warm and sunny days, and increase the percentage of ad budget or bid amount for delivering ads to indoor digital billboards on cold and rainy days. The system may provide the option to allow an advertiser to increase the ad budget or bid amount for Internet ads and television ads on cold and rainy days (perhaps on the assumption that more people will be staying home surfing the Internet or watching television) and decrease the ad budget or bi amount for Internet ads and television ads on warm and sunny days (perhaps on the assumption that more people will be enjoying outdoor activities).

Referring to FIG. 6, an exemplary graphical user interface (GUI) 130 is provided to allow an advertiser to configure parameters associated with an ad 102. The GUI 130 includes an area 132for showing the ad content that is displayed to the end user 104, an area 134 for configuring keywords associated with the ad 102, and an area 136 for specifying the environmental conditions associated with the ad 102. The area 136 include areas 138a, 138b, 138c for specifying temperature, ambient sound, and ambient light conditions, respectively. The area 138a allows the advertiser to specify conditions for room temperature and outdoor temperature. The GUI 130 can be used to configure other environmental conditions, or other parameters associated with the ad

102.

In some implementations, the GUI 130 may provide options to allow the advertiser to bid for different amounts depending on whether the ad 102 is delivered to users 104 based on environmental conditions. For example, the advertiser may specify a first price that he is willing to pay when an ad 102 for air conditioners is delivered to users 104 based on a matching of keywords alone, and a second price when the air conditioner ad 102 is delivered to users 104 based on a matching of keywords and environmental conditions.

In some implementations, the GUI 130 may provide options to allow the advertiser to bid for different amounts depending on time periods after occurrence of certain environmental conditions.

For example, an advertiser may specify a formula F1(t) for the price that he is willing to pay for delivery of an ad 102 for winter overcoats, where t is the time from the morning of the first day of frost, or specify a formula F2(t) for the price for delivery of an ad 102 for air conditioners, where it isReferring to FIG. 7, an exemplary process 150 can be used for serving ads using environmental conditions as one of the criteria for selecting the ads. The process 150 receives information about an environmental condition of a remote user who is accessing a network (152). For example, the information can be generated by the sensors 114 and received by the search sever 106 (FIG. 1).

The network can be the network 112. The environmental condition can be determined based on location information of the user. The location information of the user can be determined without ,using location information stored in a pre-established user profile. For example, the environmental condition determination engine 122 can be used to determine the environmental condition of the user based on the IP address of the user 104 or a registered residence address of the user 104. The process 150 identifies on-line ads based on the environmental condition (154). For example, the ad server 116 may identify the on-line ads 102. The process 150 provides the on-line ads to the user through the network (156). For example, the system 100 can provide ads 102 to the user

104.

Referring to FIG. 8, an exemplary process 230 can be used for receiving ads that are identified based on environmental conditions. For example, a client device provides to a remote server information about an environmental condition of a user of the client device who is accessing a network, in which the information about the environmental condition is derived from an output of a sensor of the client device or a sensor coupled to the client device (232). For example, the client device can be the client terminal 110 (FIG. 1), and the remote server can be the ad server 116.

In some examples, the sensor can include an environmental sensor that provides information about the environmental condition. The environmental condition can include temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, or speed of movement. In some examples, the sensor includes a GPS sensor, and the process 230 includes identifying a geographical location of the user based on the sensor output and identifying information about the environmental condition of the geographical location.

The client device receives an on-line advertisement that is identified at the server based on the environmental condition (234). The client device provides the on-line advertisement to the user (236).

In some examples, the process 230 includes providing a keyword query from the user to the server, the keyword query including one or more keywords, and the on-line advertisement are selected by the server based on the one or more keywords and the environmental condition. In some examples, the process 230 provides a traffic condition of the user based on the information about the environmental condition, and the on-line advertisement is identified based on the traffic condition.

Referring to FIG. 9, an exemplary process 240 can be used for serving ads that are identified based on environmental conditions. Information about an environmental condition of a remote device are received, in which the environmental condition is determined based on a signal output from a sensor of the remote device or a sensor coupled to the remote device (242).

In some examples, an audio, image, or video signal is received from the sensor, and the environmental condition is determined based on the audio, image, or video signal. In some examples, the remote device is a mobile phone. An audio signal including a voice instruction from a user is received at the mobile phone. The environmental condition can be determined based on background sounds in the audio signal. An event can be determined based on the signal output from the sensor and location information. For example, the event can be a sports event or a musical event. An on-line advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition (244). The on-linadvertisement is provided to the remote device (246). In some examples, the remote device includes a visual or audio user interface. For example, the remote device can be a digital billboard,a digital kiosk, a vendor machine, or a public address system. A visual advertisement can be provided for displaying on a display of the digital billboard, digital kiosk, or vending machine. An audio advertisement can be provided for playing through an audio output of the digital billboard, digital kiosk, vending machine, or public address system. Referring to FIG. 10, an exemplary process 250 can be used configure ad campaigns. Th process 250 enables a sponsor to configure an ad campaign based on criteria that include environmental conditions (252). For example, a user interface can be provided to the sponsor to allow the sponsor to specify different ad budgets for different environmental conditions. For example, the user interface may allow the sponsor specify how allocation of ad budgets for different types of media, bid amounts of ads for different types of media, allocation of ad budgets for different products, or bid amounts of ads for different products are adjusted based on the environmental conditions.

The process 250 includes receiving information about environmental conditions, and dynamically adjusting the ad campaign based on the environmental conditions. For example, the allocation of ,ad budgets for different types of media, the bid amounts of ads for different types of media, the allocation of ad budgets for different products, or the bid amounts of ads for different products can be adjusted based on the environmental conditions.

Referring to FIG. 11, an exemplary process 270 can be used configure ad campaigns. The process 270 enables advertisers to associate advertisements with one or more environmental conditions to allow the advertisements to be provided to users whose environmental conditions match the environmental conditions associated with the advertisements (272). The process enables the advertisers to bid for environmental conditions associated with one or more keywords

(274). For example, a user interface can be provided to allow the advertiser to associate the advertisement with the environmental condition. The user interface can be configured to allow the advertiser to bid for environmental conditions associated with one or more keywords. The environmental condition can include, for example, at least one of temperature, humidity, sound, light, air composition, location, and speed of movement.

FIG. 12 shows a schematic representation of a general computing system 200 that can be used to implement the system 100 or a component of the system 100, such as the ad server 116 or search server 106. Computing device 200 is intended to represent various forms of digital computers, such as laptops, desktops, workstations, personal digital assistants, servers, blade servers,

 

 

 

 

 

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