A wise but ambitious goal.

India’s national identification card scheme — commonly called the Aadhar card — came to fruition in 2009 with an ambitious goal: to register and identify a nation of more than a billion people, each with their own 12-digit unique identification (UID), and adoption of this ID card schema has rolled ahead at a fast clip.

Estimates as of August 2017 have more than 1.17bn unique identifiers under Aadhaar, with 99% of Indians over the age of 18 enrolled in the program. Enrolling more than a billion people in under a decade is indeed quite a feat.

Evidently they work both above and below ground.

Time may be running out for one of Hamas’s main weapons against Israel: Its cross-border terror tunnels.

By 2019, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assessments, Israel will complete an underground wall that stretches along the 60-kilometer (37 mile) border with Gaza. The wall is the product of several years of research and development, and is designed to eliminate the tunnel threat to Israeli communities located near Gaza.

During the past three years, since the end of its last conflict with Israel, Hamas has invested big resources into its tunnel maze. One of its top goals is to rehabilitate an ability to inject murder squads into Israeli territory through the tunnels.

Israeli firm chosen to build prototype of US-Mexico border wall

Elta North America, an Israeli-owned defense manufacturer with US headquarters in Maryland, was one of four companies chosen to build a prototype for the border wall between the United States and Mexico.

The company is a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. Some 200 companies vied for the tenders, which will provide a $300,000 to $500,000 grant to develop a model. The tender was announced late last week. …

… President Donald Trump has praised Israel for its southern border wall meant to stop African migrants from illegally entering the country. …

Maybe they should reduce spending.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he expected more EU countries to join in the coming days a French-led push to tighten the taxation of online giants like Google and Amazon.

Germany, Italy and Spain have already signed onto a French proposal that digital multinationals such as those two leading companies should be taxed in Europe based on their revenues, rather than only profits as at present.

Currently such companies are often taxed on profits booked by subsidiaries in low-tax countries like Ireland, even though the bulk of their sales comes from other EU countries.

Le Maire is due to present the plan to other EU counterparts at a meeting in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on Saturday.

“Other European countries will join on Saturday morning this French initiative that we want to succeed and to succeed quickly,” Le Maire told a news conference on Thursday.

… probably a wise place to start.

Tokyo’s Narita airport is the first to be overhauled for the Olympics, with its “total toilet makeover” drive. New “designer restrooms” opened at the Narita International Airport earlier this month, featuring not the singing toilets, beeping bidets or sanitary wipes for smartphones that have awed visitors to Japan in the past, but rather thoughtfully-considered accessibility features.

The libertarians have an answer.

Canada Imports Precious Bodily Fluids

In 2004 Canada prohibited paying Canadian sperm donors, leading to a tremendous shortage as I had predicted in 2003 (see also my post, The Great Canadian Sperm Shortage). Canadian Peter Jaworski has an update (oddly enough published in USA Today):

Oh please … oh please.

Hydrogen power moves a step closer

Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology. Renewable hydrogen can already be produced by photoelectrolysis where solar power is used to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. But fundamental problems remain before this can be adopted commercially due to inefficiency. A new study demonstrates that the novel use of nanostructures could increase the maximum photovoltage generated in a photoelectrochemical cell, increasing the productivity of splitting water molecules.