Russia’s underground cybercrime market

The Russian underground economy has democratized cybercrime:

Russian cybercrime

Russian cybercrime

If you want to buy a botnet, it’ll cost you somewhere in the region of $700. If you just want to hire someone else’s for an hour, though, it can cost as little as $2—that’s long enough to take down, say, a call center, if that’s what you were in the mood for. Maybe you’d like to spy on an ex—for $350 you can purchase a trojan that lets you see all their incoming and outgoing texts. Or maybe you’re just in the market for some good, old-fashioned spamming—it’ll only cost you $10 for a million e-mails. That’s the hourly minimum wage in the UK. This is the current state of Russia’s underground market in cybercrime—a vibrant community of ne’er-do-wells offering every conceivable kind of method for compromising computer security. It’s been profiled in security firm Trend Micro‘s report, Russian Underground 101, and its findings are as fascinating as they are alarming. It’s an insight into the workings of an entirely hidden economy, but also one that’s pretty scary. Some of these things are really, really cheap. Rik Ferguson, Trend Micro’s director of security research and communications, explains to Wired.co.uk that Russia’s cybercrime market is “very much a well-established market.” He says: “It’s very mature. It’s been in place for quite some time. There are people offering niche services, and every niche is catered for.” Russia is one of the major centers of cybercrime, alongside other nations like China and Brazil (“the spiritual home of banking malware”). Russian Underground 101 details the range of products on offer in this established market—Ferguson says that they can be for targeting anyone “from consumers to small businesses.” He points to ZeuS, a hugely popular trojan that’s been around for at least six years. It creates botnets that remotely store personal information gleaned from users’ machines, and has been discovered within the networks of large organizations like Bank of America, NASA, and Amazon. In 2011, the source code for ZeuS was released into the wild—now, Ferguson says, “it’s become a criminal open source project.” Versions of ZeuS sell for between $200 and $500. Cybercriminal techniques go in and out of fashion like everything else—in that sense, ZeuS is a bit unusual in its longevity. That’s in large part because viruses and trojans can be adapted to take advantage of things in the news to make their fake error messages or spam e-mails seem more legitimate. For example, fake sites, and fake ads for antivirus software, aren’t as popular as they once were because people are just more computer literate these days. Exploits which take advantage of gaps in browser security to install code hidden in the background of a webpage have also become less common as those holes are patched up—but programs which embed within Web browsers still pose a threat, as the recent hullabaloo over a weakness in Java demonstrates. Ferguson points to so-called “ransomware” as an example of a more recent trend, where the computer is locked down and the hard drive encrypted. All the user sees on the screen is that tells them that their local law enforcement authority (so, in the UK, often the Metropolitan Police) has detected something like child pornography or pirated software on their PC, and if they want to unlock it they’ll have to send money to a certain bank account. No payment, no getting your hard drive back. Amazingly, if you pay that “fine,” then you will actually get your information back, says Ferguson. “But you’ve labeled yourself as an easy mark, and there’s no telling if they haven’t left behind a backdoor which will let them come back and try again,” he says. Child pornography and pirated software have been in the news a lot over the past few years, for obvious reasons, and that kind of thing directly influences the thinking of hackers and programmers. Taking the time to adapt these tools to recent trends can be very lucrative. DNSChanger, a popular trojan from 2007 to 2011, would infect a machine and change its DNS settings. When the user went to a webpage with ads on it, that traffic would give affiliate revenue to the scammers. One prominent DNSChanger ring (Rove Digital) was busted in Estonia in 2011—the FBI had been tracking them for six years, and during that time it was estimated that they’d earned around $14 million from this little trick. It also meant that the FBI was left with some critical Web infrastructure on its hands—those infected machines (which included machines at major organizations) could only access the Web through those Rove Digital servers. Months were spent trying to get people to check their computers for infection and ensuring that when those Estonian servers were shut off, it didn’t take down, say, a bank. The most recent trends in cybercrime, though, are very much focused on mobile—particularly Android, Ferguson explains: “We’ve seen so far 175,000 malicious threats for Android, and we expect that to be a quarter of a million by next year. Those threats come from malicious apps—if you want to stay safe, stick to official channels like Google Play, don’t just download from any site. Similarly, there aren’t any malicious iOS apps in the wild, on the App Store, but that only applies to iPhones aren’t jailbroken—downloading from other places puts your phone at risk.” These threats aren’t going away, either. In fact, according to Ferguson, “prices are going down” across the Russian underground: “Let’s not pretend that these people aren’t taking advantage of technology just like normal businesses—improvements in technology are getting faster, and there are things like cloud services which they also use. The bad guys are using technologies to drive down costs in the same way businesses are.” Ferguson cites the recent case of someone claiming to have bought the personal information of 1.1 million Facebook users for only $5 (£3.19) as further evidence of the growing problem of online information leaking into the hands of these cybercrime communities. Hackers and other cybercriminals make it their job to analyze security measures and find ways around them, because that information is where the value lies. While hackers and other cyber criminals can save by buying in bulk, the cost to the individual (or the business) that falls victim to one of these techniques is potentially much higher.

Earth’s evolutionary ancestor is a planet-spanning organism

The ancestor of all life on Earth might have been a gigantic planetary super-organism:

The ancestor of all life on Earth might have been a gigantic planetary super-organism

The ancestor of all life on Earth might have been a gigantic planetary super-organism

All life on Earth is related, which means we all must share a single common evolutionary ancestor. And now it appears that this ancestor might have been a single, planet-spanning organism that lived in a time that predates the development of survival of the fittest. That’s the idea put forward by researchers at the University of Illinois, who believe the last universal common ancestor, or LUCA, was actually a single organism that lived about three billion years ago. This organism was unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and was basically an amorphous conglomeration of cells. Instead of competing for resources and developing into separate lifeforms, cells spent hundreds of millions of years freely exchanging genetic material with each other, which allowed species to obtain the tools to survive without ever having to compete for anything. That’s maybe not an organism as we would comprehend it today, but that’s the closest term we have for this cooperative arrangement. All that we know about LUCA is based on conjecture, and the most promising recent research has been in figuring out what proteins and other structures are shared across all three domains of life: the unicellular bacteria and archaea and the multi-celled eukaryotes, which are where all plants and animals evolved from. This isn’t a foolproof method — it’s possible that two extremely similar but not identical structures could evolve independently after LUCA split into the three domains — but it’s a good starting point. Illinois researcher Gustavo Caetano-Anollés says about five to eleven percent of modern proteins could be traced back to LUCA. Based on the function of these particular proteins, it appears LUCA had the enzymes needed to break down nutrients and get energy from them, and it could also make proteins, but it probably didn’t have the tools necessary to make DNA. This fits with other research that suggests LUCA fed upon many different food sources, and that it had internal structures in its cells known as organelles. The big difference between LUCA and everything that came after, of course, is DNA. Because LUCA didn’t have the tools to deal with DNA, it probably used RNA instead, and it likely had very little control over the proteins that it made. The research suggests the ability to precisely control protein manufacture only came long after LUCA split apart, which means that protein-making was probably always a big crapshoot. That’s why LUCA had to be cooperative, with any cells that produced useful proteins able to pass them on throughout the world without competition. This was a weird variation on what we know as natural selections — helpful proteins could go from a single cell to global distribution, while harmful or useless proteins were quickly weeded out and discarded. The result was the equivalent of a planet-spanning organism. So why did this paradise of cellular cooperation give way to the last three billion years of cutthroat competition? The simple answer is that some cells probably outgrew this arrangement, as they had finally developed all the structures needed to survive without help. We don’t know quite why that happened, but it appears to coincide with the sharp increase of oxygen in the atmosphere. Whatever the cause, cells began eking out their own independent existences, ending the reign of LUCA that had lasted hundreds of millions of years… while beginning a new order that is still going strong 2.9 billion years later.

Ultimate spy machine for the U.S. Government

Hard Drives in computers the Ultimate Spying Machine that can be used against you:

Hard Drives in computers the Ultimate Spying Machine that can be used against you

Hard Drives in computers the Ultimate Spying Machine that can be used against you

You can be a newbie to computers or a advanced IT Expert, Technician or even a hacker but many don’t even realize that their computers are already an ultimate spy machine for the U.S. Government, State Governments and their forensics departments (SBI, FBI, CIA, Private Intelligence Agencies). Who needs to plant bugs or GPS tracking devices when you have the suspects hard drives from their computer by using a search and seizure raid on just something as simple as being accused of a computer crime or even downloading illegal material whether it’s true or not. Even after the Virginia Tech Shooting and other major criminal incidents, the police or FBI or even the SBI always talk about wanting to come for the suspects computer equipment and hard drives to send to forensics to investigate their entire life history through the usage of the computer with the hard drive used for data storage. It’s all there!!! Hard Drives are basically a High Density magnetic medium using tiny bits to encode and decode information, for simpler terms it is like writing files and reading files from a computer unit. Every hard drive doesn’t give you access to it’s full memory but holds off a fraction that is not user accessible which also likely holds data on our digital activities. In addition the hard drives use a form of magnetic to where no matter how many overwrites you use on a hard drive to coverup confidential and sensitive, embarrassing, or even material that you don’t want the world to know you have whatever the reason may be, the data can still be recovered at a forensics lab or even some expensive Data recovery company that is hell bent on obtaining personal information knowing they can blackmail people for profits. Well whats the problem, what do you have to hide? It does sound like it is over the top paranoid in this article but the experts such as Peter Gutmann admit that hard drives that are wiped with certain methods can always have it’s Data recovered using certain magnetic analyzing technology. All the police have to do is claim you committed a “computer crime” and they will have the legal ability to use forensic recovery units to find all your lifes history, any embarrassing photos and videos you taken with your boyfriend or girlfriend and yes that also includes cell phones so any horny young teenage guy or girl could become the next bust for child pornography, top secret and confidential legal attorney/client documents and that also includes top secret government and military documents, and even your entire web history and can even move on to what organizations you belong to and chatter with. The question is why does the government want us all to have computers, to spy on us and keep tabs on our entire Internet and computer history. Since people stupidly chat on Twitter and Facebook about all the things they do such as cooking to partying, all their activities are being archived and cataloged to each individual and since most profiles are public anybody can archive your information to use against you later on. It is even discovered through attending a autism meeting that many autistic people including children accidentally get into pornography when the parents installed no filter and end up getting caught on pornography charges (Laws prohibiting people under the age of 18 and in some cases the age of 21 from viewing adult pornography) which are very hard to drop in court which means juvenile prison. More teenagers and children to be brought up and raised under the Juvenile Prison Industrial Complex!!!! Whoever thought people can be arrested over what we do privately with their boyfriends and girlfriends and in some cases looking at a few digital photos is all it takes to go to the slammer whether there is a harmful intent or not. That is why it is a popular method of setting somebody up and that is setting somebody up for child pornography charges because it is nearly impossible to get out of them and ruins their life and reputation. All of our activities whether it is posting photos of your family on Flickr, emails you receive and send, whatever documents and other files you create, being involved with non-mainstream religions whatever your beliefs are, being involved with hack tools, being involved with file-sharing or even downloading warez material, and any other digital activity ever conducted is all stored on the hard drive and impossible to completely erase by normal conventional erasing software. First method that can be used by the forensics team is simple software and MFT Data recovery tools to find all the files both deleted under the MFT and even data that is lost due to MFT corruption by seeking out the file type signature, every file type ever made has a distinct signature or header that identifies the file type, and recovering the data based on the signature. Second method that forensic technicians use is Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) and even Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) or even Magnetic Tunneling Microscopy (STM). No matter what method of recovery, magnetic recovery is the far worst privacy invasion since the leaks of classified government documents via Wikileaks. Peter Gutmann, the same Computer Science expert that created the Gutmann erasing method (35 passes overwrite) that is used in almost every hard drive erasing software not limited to Active@ Killdisk erasing tool, conducted a study and whitepaper titled “Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory” (PDF) which concluded that “it is effectively impossible to sanitize storage locations by simple overwriting them, no matter how many overwrite passes are made or what data patterns are written. However by using the relatively simple methods presented in this paper the task of an attacker can be made significantly more difficult, if not prohibitively expensive.” Of course with the SBI and FBI fueled with the need to be champions of justice they will spend lots of money to recover the erased data no matter how expensive it is since they can just take more and more tax payers money through the IRS thugs. Reminds me of that movie “No Way Out!” where a Pentagon high-up had a photo taken I think with some Russian spy and the photo was ruined but the Pentagon had a forensics method of restoring the photograph as evidence then used to prosecute him for possible espionage. I even heard that when the authorities take computers by a court order, they say that they can find anything on it, time stamps, your life history, all of your life ever on a computer, can be examined by the State Bureau of Investigation or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation via their crime labs. They can even plant material on the hard drive since it is pretty easy to manipulate the timestamps, hack somebodies password protected or even public Wifi, mix somebodies DNA with a rape and/or murder victim sample for analysis which the charges can only be thrown out with a very good alibi or getting the forensics expert to admit to setting somebody up which will never happen of course, and internet histories can be fabricated by altering the hex data and even with computer virtualization technologies such as VMWare and other tools. Heck look what they did to Brandon Raub for the crime of making 9/11 inside job and other political statements on his Facebook profile. People saying anything that possibly sounds like some threat against the US President warrants a secret service visit and could maybe even a hard drive seizure if they desire it. People should be concerned at the fact that hard drives, RAM Cards, and other memory storage devices were on purposely created to not only store your data but to also violate your privacy with a backdoor that can allow deleted and even erased (DOD, Russian Ghost, Gutmann, One Pass Zeros, One Pass Random, other erasing methods) data to be recovered and accessible. If that is not apart of a major spying surveillance system being set-up then what is? Windows saves all file accesses and program histories with MRU, and possible other file access histories of files opened up. Every web page visited whether encrypted or not saves information which piles up overtime when not deleted which can be impossible to get rid of without overwriting it in the exact same data spot with conventional files to overcome the MFM’s ability to recover data erased by conventional hard drive erasing procedures. The solution really is to be careful on anything you do in your computer and cell phone, be careful when your political because somebody from forensics can set you up for computer crimes or even of murder, and when erasing be aware that you have to copy all your normal everyday files into the hard drive after erasure for a best chance at destroying any chance of recovery of what data you were hoping to erase if that is even possible. Be aware that when your hard drive stores your personal information even after deletion and erasure then it is meant to keep your computer history stored for any police or government agency to look at will especially under the Patriot Act. Even when you delete you are not deleting the data but just a MFT reference to the file along with the timestamps. Of course when you erase with any pattern all the forensic has to do is figure out what erasing pattern you used and then start the recovering process through magnetic imaging of the drive disk platters. If anything when you first buy a computer your better off first-hand encrypting the entire hard drive with TrueCrypt’s System/Partition Encryption and use a very complex password so that on every bootup you can use a operating system that is more secure and when data is deleted or even erased it will be impossible to recover since MFM usually relies on unencrypted RAW Data and even if they tried to break the password to use forensics to find the deleted/erased file, it was erased on the encryption side which means just the encrypted data changes a bit and since that happens it didn’t disappear on the outside using a normal overwrite procedure so it is no doubt that having your entire operating system and hard drive encrypted would be the best practice to data security. As for your autistic children please for goodness sake use a filter software to block all forms of pornography so that your child doesn’t get caught then forced to go through hell just for getting a little too curious. As for any teenagers you raise in your family, please keep tabs on their cell phone so if they take any photos of themselves you can delete them to prevent your son and daughter from ending up on a sex offender registry. As for the average computer user this article serves as a warning to all of you that anything you do on your computer can be accessed and data profiles and histories are set up on everybody especially with Facebook and Twitter.

Anti-CD47 eliminates all cancer cells

One Drug to Shrink All Tumors:

 anti-CD47 in addition to chemotherapy

anti-CD47 in addition to chemotherapy

A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do healthy cells. CD47, he and other scientists found, is also displayed on healthy blood cells; it’s a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate. Cancers take advantage of this flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them. In the past few years, Weissman’s lab showed that blocking CD47 with an antibody cured some cases of lymphomas and leukemias in mice by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer cells as invaders. Now, he and colleagues have shown that the CD47-blocking antibody may have a far wider impact than just blood cancers. “What we’ve shown is that CD47 isn’t just important on leukemias and lymphomas,” says Weissman. “It’s on every single human primary tumor that we tested.” Moreover, Weissman’s lab found that cancer cells always had higher levels of CD47 than did healthy cells. How much CD47 a tumor made could predict the survival odds of a patient. To determine whether blocking CD47 was beneficial, the scientists exposed tumor cells to macrophages, a type of immune cell, and anti-CD47 molecules in petri dishes. Without the drug, the macrophages ignored the cancerous cells. But when the CD47 was present, the macrophages engulfed and destroyed cancer cells from all tumor types. Next, the team transplanted human tumors into the feet of mice, where tumors can be easily monitored. When they treated the rodents with anti-CD47, the tumors shrank and did not spread to the rest of the body. In mice given human bladder cancer tumors, for example, 10 of 10 untreated mice had cancer that spread to their lymph nodes. Only one of 10 mice treated with anti-CD47 had a lymph node with signs of cancer. Moreover, the implanted tumor often got smaller after treatment — colon cancers transplanted into the mice shrank to less than one-third of their original size, on average. And in five mice with breast cancer tumors, anti-CD47 eliminated all signs of the cancer cells, and the animals remained cancer-free 4 months after the treatment stopped. “We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis,” says Weissman. Although macrophages also attacked blood cells expressing CD47 when mice were given the antibody, the researchers found that the decrease in blood cells was short-lived; the animals turned up production of new blood cells to replace those they lost from the treatment, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Cancer researcher Tyler Jacks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says that although the new study is promising, more research is needed to see whether the results hold true in humans. “The microenvironment of a real tumor is quite a bit more complicated than the microenvironment of a transplanted tumor,” he notes, “and it’s possible that a real tumor has additional immune suppressing effects.” Another important question, Jacks says, is how CD47 antibodies would complement existing treatments. “In what ways might they work together and in what ways might they be antagonistic?” Using anti-CD47 in addition to chemotherapy, for example, could be counterproductive if the stress from chemotherapy causes normal cells to produce more CD47 than usual. Weissman’s team has received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests. “We have enough data already,” says Weissman, “that I can say I’m confident that this will move to phase I human trials.”

 

Illumicorp Jewish Agenda

ILLUMICORP Jewish Agenda

ILLUMICORP Jewish Agenda

Illumicorp, the World Zionist Organization:

Zionism is a form of nationalism of Jews and Jewish culture.  Zionism was established with the hopes of returning Jew’s to the “Homeland”, the Land of Israel which Zionists consider Jews outside of Israel as living in exile. Zionism is also the belief in a “Jewish” state, in modern times the primary one being the United States, and of secondary significance, the state of Israel. The latter will serve as the “trigger” to provoke World War III by inciting belligerent political and religious interests in the Middle East to war against each other. Thus, by taking advantage of the competing hostile religious and political divides in the region, the military chaos that could be launched and the horrific world war that would follow, leaves but only one way out for the human race. Mankind will then come to realize that its salvation can come only through a beneficent New World Order government. Predecessors of the NWO are, of course, The League of Nations and the UN. The Zionist agenda can be attributed as the chief contributing causal factors behind virtually every war on the planet since 1776, including those involving US American Revolution and nation’s first war. Zionism’s continued and intensified involvement in our second war, the War of 1812. In fact, all our wars after 1776 were not only engineered by Zionists, but can also be shown to be interconnected to each other via the cult of powerful international Zionist bankers. The Zionist bankers, headed by the international House of Rothschild-Rockefeller, have deliberately incited global conflicts and then made astonishing profits funding both sides of the conflicts they created. Zionism should be defined as the political movement which wraps and camouflages itself in the Jewish faith, having as its primary mission the destruction of all sovereign national governments, religions and social structures with the objective of removing these obstacles to the establishment of a one world global government: the “New World Order.”

 

Jewish Illumicorp:

WZO World Zionist Organization

WZO World Zionist Organization

 


Splenda Artificial Sweetener that Explodes Internally

The Artificial Sweetener that Explodes Internally:

Splenda: The Artificial Sweetener that Explodes Internally

Splenda: The Artificial Sweetener that Explodes Internally

If there were a contest for the best example of total disregard for human life the victor would be McNeil Nutritionals – makers of Splenda (sucralose). Manufacturers of Vioxx and Lipitor would tie for a very distant second. McNeil Nutritionals is the undisputed drug-pushing champion for disguising their drug Splenda as a sweetener. Regardless of its drug qualities and potential for side-effects, McNeil is dead set on putting it on every kitchen table in America. Apparently, Vioxx and Lipitor makers can’t stoop so low as to deceptively masquerade their drug as a candy of sort. There is no question that their products are drugs and by definition come with negative side-effects. Rather than sell directly to the consumer, these losers have to go through the painful process of using doctors to prescribe their dangerous goods. But not McNeil. A keen student in corporate drug dealing, McNeil learned from aspartame and saccharine pushers that if a drug tastes sweet then let the masses eat it in their cake. First though, you have to create a facade of natural health. They did this using a cute trade name that kind of sounds like splendid and packaged it in pretty colors. Hypnotized, the masses were duped instantly. As unquestionably as a dog humps your leg, millions of diabetics (and non-diabetics) blindly eat sucralose under the trade name Splenda in place of real sugar (sucrose). Splenda was strategically released on April fools day in 1998. This day is reserved worldwide for hoaxes and practical jokes on friends and family, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. McNeil certainly succeeded. The splendid Splenda hoax is costing gullible Americans $187 million annually. While many people “wonder” about the safety of Splenda they rarely question it. Despite its many “unknowns” and inherent dangers, Splenda demand has grown faster than its supply. No longer do I have to question my faith in fellow Man. He is not a total idiot, just a gullible one. McNeil jokesters are laughing all the way to the bank. Splenda is not as harmless as McNeil wants you to believe. A mixture of sucralose, maltodextrine and dextrose (a detrimental simple sugar), each of the not-so-splendid Splenda ingredients has downfalls. Aside from the fact that it really isn’t “sugar and calorie free,” here is one big reason to avoid the deceitful mix. Splenda contains a potential poison. Splenda contains the drug sucralose. This chemical is 600 times sweeter than sugar. To make sucralose, chlorine is used. Chlorine has a split personality. It can be harmless or it can be life threatening. In combo with sodium, chlorine forms a harmless “ionic bond” to yield table salt. Sucralose makers often highlight this worthless fact to defend its’ safety. Apparently, they missed the second day of Chemistry 101 – the day they teach “covalent” bonds. When used with carbon, the chlorine atom in sucralose forms a “covalent” bond. The end result is the historically deadly “organochlorine” or simply: a Really-Nasty Form of Chlorine (RNFOC). Unlike ionic bonds, covalently bound chlorine atoms are a big no-no for the human body. They yield insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides – not something you want in the lunch box of your precious child. It’s therefore no surprise that the originators of sucralose, chemists Hough and Phadnis, were attempting to design new insecticides when they discovered it! It wasn’t until the young Phadnis accidentally tasted his new “insecticide” that he learned it was sweet. And because sugars are more profitable than insecticides, the whole insecticide idea got canned and a new sweetener called Splenda got packaged. To hide its dirty origin, Splenda pushers assert that sucralose is “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar.” Sucralose is as close to sugar as Windex is to ocean water. The RNFOC poses a real and present danger to all Splenda users. It’s risky because the RNFOC confers a molecule with a set of super powers that wreak havoc on the human body. For example, Agent Orange, used in the U.S Army’s herbicidal warfare program, is a RNFOC. Exposure can lead to Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma as well as diabetes and various forms of cancer! Other shocking examples are the war gas phosgene, chlordane and lindane. The RNFOC is lethal because it allows poisons to be fat soluble while rendering the natural defense mechanisms of the body helpless. A poison that is fat soluble is akin to a bomb exploding internally. It invades every nook and cranny of the body. Cell walls and DNA – the genetic map of human life – become nothing more than potential casualties of war when exposed. Sucralose is only 25% water soluble. Which means a vast majority of it may explode internally. In general, this results in weakened immune function, irregular heart beat, agitation, shortness of breath, skin rashes, headaches, liver and kidney damage, birth defects, cancer, cancer and more cancer – for generations! McNeil asserts that their studies prove it to be safe for everyone, even children. That’s little assurance. Learning from the Vioxx debacle which killed tens of thousands, we know that studies can be bought and results fabricated. Some things are worth dying for. Splenda is not one of them. What people think of as a food is a drug or slow poison – little distinction there. It wouldn’t be wise to bet your health on it. If safe, sucralose would be the first molecule in human history that contained a RNFOC fit for human consumption. This fact alone makes sucralose questionable for use as a sweetener, if not instantly detrimental to our health. Only time will tell. Until then, Ill stick to the safe and naturally occurring stevia plant to satisfy my occasional sweet tooth in 2007. Be forewarned though, as long as drugs can be legally disguised as sweeteners, watch out for drugs being disguised as vitamins…Oh wait, they are already doing that – think Lipitor.

 

Brainless Chickens

 

A thought-provoking new model suggests the best way to avoid hurting chickens is to take away their ability to feel:
 A thought-provoking new model suggests the best way to avoid hurting chickens is to take away their ability to feel.


A thought-provoking new model suggests the best way to avoid hurting chickens is to take away their ability to feel.

Cramped cages. Extreme temperatures. Filthy surroundings. No doubt about it: Our industrial food system treats animal welfare as an afterthought. As a commentary on today’s “modern” farming, a London architecture student has created a thought-provoking design for a chicken farm that strips the birds of their mobility—and their brains. Royal College of Art student André Ford created the installation, dubbed The Centre for Unconscious Farming. It’s a pretty grim affair, made of a massive steel frame that would contain up to 1,000 birds. In it the chickens are completely immobilized—their feet are removed (to save space), and the birds receive food, water and oxygen through an intricate network of tubes. In order to eliminate the suffering that chickens would face under such conditions, Ford proposes that the birds’ cerebral cortex be removed, leaving the brain stem (and key homeostatic functions) intact. The chickens would continue to grow, but would basically spend their lives in a coma. Ford asserts his concept isn’t just a bid for attention: “In the past six years we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the demand for meat. Higher welfare systems are available, but this project looks at addressing the inherent problems with the dominant system that produces the majority of our meat—the system that will be increasingly relied upon… We do not, and cannot, provide adequate welfare for those agricultural products and therefore welfare should be removed entirely.” Currently, about 95 percent of broiler chickens produced in the U.S.—about 8.44 billion birds annually—are raised in commercial farms, which frequently consist of dark sheds where thousands of animals are packed together ingesting ammonia fumes in extreme temperatures. The animals are bred to grow quickly, which often leads to heart and lung troubles, as well as crippling leg deformities. Compassion in World Farming estimates that tens of millions of birds die before slaughter from heart failure, disease, or injury during transport. Ford is not the first to propose extreme measures in light of our unrelenting demand. Agribusiness “philosopher” Paul Thompson has suggested breeding blind broilers, since studies show that they respond better to the stress of packed sheds. “There are numerous differences between the current dominant production systems and the one I am proposing,” Ford told Wired UK,“but the fundamental difference is the removal of suffering. Whether what I am proposing is an appropriate means to achieve the removal of suffering is open to interpretation.”

Monsanto’s Roundup is causing DNA Damage

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat:

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat

There is a reason that masks are worn while applying herbicides and warning signs are erected upon recently sprayed land plots — herbicide exposure is known to cause serious health complications. New research has recently been released showing that glyphosate, the main active ingredient found in Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat. Seeing as the inhalation of herbicides and ingredients like glyphosate is very common, this research alone is enough to raise concern over the safety of such substances which are used on a major scale. The Institute of Science in Society reports:

…Monsanto’s formulated version of glyphosate called Roundup Ultra Max caused cellular damage and DNA damage including chromosomal abnormalities and ultimately killed the cells at higher concentrations. Importantly, DNA damage occurred at concentrations below those required to induce cell damage, suggesting that the DNA damage was caused directly by glyphosate instead of being an indirect result of cell toxicity.

The research comes shortly after Monsanto’s all-to-popular Roundup has been shown to be killing off human kidney cells – even at low doses. Scientists demonstrated in the research that Monsanto’s ‘biopesticide’ Bt, in addition to Roundup, cause direct toxicity to human cells. They found that at only 100 parts per million (ppm), the biopesticide led to cell death, while it only took 57.2ppm of Roundup to kill half of the cell population in their research. Turns out that the amount of Roundup shown to cause this damage is 200 times below agricultural use. Although harm caused by glyphosate and Roundup is thought to be experienced only by those spraying the herbicide, Roundup may actually causing harm to millions of people. Roundup is not only sprayed on the food we eat, but it is also used by countless households as a consumer herbicide product. Roundup is so prevalent that it has been found in 41 percent of the 140 groundwater samples tested from Catalonia Spain. Even more concerning, a recent German study found glyphosate in all urine samples tested in concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. Despite the evidence stacking up against Monsanto, they continue to push their health-damaging products on the public through personal and commercial use.

Polar bears traced to a single Irish ancestor

All polar bears descended from one grizzly:

All polar bears descended from one grizzly

All polar bears descended from one grizzly

THE ARCTIC’S DWINDLING POPULATION of polar bears all descend from a single mamma brown bear which lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago in present-day Ireland, new research suggests. DNA samples from the great white carnivores – taken from across their entire range in Russia, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Alaska – revealed that every individual’s lineage could be traced back to this Irish forebear. The analysis of genetic material inherited only through females also showed brown and polar bears mated periodically over the last 100,000 years. This raises the possibility that such cross-species mingling – thought by some scientists to be an additional threat to polar bears already struggling to cope with climate change – played a positive role in their recent evolution, the researchers say. “Hybridisation could certainly result in the loss of unique genetic sequences, which could push them toward extinction,” says Beth Shapiro, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and lead researcher for the study. “But scientists should reconsider conservation efforts focused not just on polar bears but also on hybrids, since hybrids may play an underappreciated role in the survival of certain species.” Previous research had traced the earliest female brown bear ancestor for modern polar bears back 14,000 years to the Alaskan ABC islands. The new findings, published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology not only change the location but push back the date an additional 6000 to 36,000 years. Only by comparing the more recent maternal genetic lineage with core DNA formed by both male and female parents were researchers able to pinpoint the brown bear ancestor. “The nuclear DNA goes back much further, and probably emerges from a common ancestor with brown bears earlier than 500,000 years ago,” explains Beth. “It is exactly this difference – between the very recent common ancestor along the maternal line and the much older common ancestor in the other genomic DNA – that makes it possible to infer that all living polar bears are descended from a brown bear that lived more recently,” she said. In order to discern this pattern, there had to have been occasional mating after the two species split, she says. Because they evolved in separate environments, neither species could survive long in the other’s ecological niche due to different body shapes, metabolism, and hunting habits. Polar bears, for example, are expert swimmers, whereas brown bears are more adept at climbing. There are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears left in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

 

Boycott Apple

You should Boycott Apple:

Iphone 5 Sucks

Iphone 5 Sucks

The Internet is alight with outrage against Apple for winning a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, claiming that Samsung infringes on US patent 8,086,604. This patent basically covers the unified search feature promoted not only in Apple’s Siri, but Android as well. It was this patent, the presiding Judge Koh concluded, that enabled Apple to justify that continued sales of the Galaxy Nexus would cause “irreparable harm” to Apple, which issued a statement regarding the lawsuit:

It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.

Samsung’s products in the past quite obviously were made to look similar to Apple’s iPhone, the Galaxy Nexus is a phone designed by Google and loaded with software directly from Google, only left to Samsung to manufacture. The Galaxy Nexus looks in no way similar to the iPhone apart from the fact that both devices share a touchscreen. Second, Apple fights very hard when companies steal its ideas, when Steve Jobs went on record saying that Apple has “always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” Quite hypocritical. So most of Apple’s lawsuits are hypocritical, but are they wrong? Should we be punishing Apple for suing other companies for infringing on its patents? No. In fact, some would argue that Apple is simply playing the system and playing to win. Most people would agree that the state of the patent system in the US is horrendous and is the root cause of these petty lawsuits. That’s why, when the Boycott Apple outbreak started, a few suggested something different. The patent system in the United States as we know it today has been derailed significantly from the founding fathers’ intentions. In Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution, it states this:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

To put things simply, patents are not in place to protect the inventor. They are in place to promote invention and innovation. Providing the incentive of exclusivity to the inventor is simply a means to provide the end (rather than vice versa). This means that the focus of patents should be on innovation, not protection. Outright concentration on protection leads to a sheltered environment where innovation is stifled and progress is lost. But when did the patent system lose its way? Some suggest that when “processes” were finally allowed to be patented was the defining moment. You no longer had to have a machine to present to the patent office to show that you’d created something novel. All you needed was to write down a method of doing something (e.g., sliding your finger across a touchscreen to unlock a device) and all of a sudden you were a patent owner. This also allowed an influx of software patents to introduce themselves into the system. Eventually, the situation got to the point where it was considered that “a novel algorithm combined with a trivial physical step constitutes a novel physical device.” Basically, this means that new software loaded onto existing devices creates a completely new device, in the law’s eye. This is obviously a problem. Now you see companies patenting left and right methods rather than machines. Our society has been reduced from sparking great inventions and innovations to squabbling over how we move our finger around to wake our devices up.

 

NORTH KOREAN DOCUMENTARY WESTERN PROPAGANDA

LEAKED NORTH KOREAN DOCUMENTARY ‘EXPOSES WESTERN PROPAGANDA’ (AND IT’S SCARY HOW TRUE IT IS):

LEAKED NORTH KOREAN DOCUMENTARY ‘EXPOSES WESTERN PROPAGANDA’ (AND IT’S SCARY HOW TRUE IT IS)

LEAKED NORTH KOREAN DOCUMENTARY ‘EXPOSES WESTERN PROPAGANDA’ (AND IT’S SCARY HOW TRUE IT IS)

 

Sabine is a YouTube user who, during a visit to family living in South Korea in April of this year, was given a DVD by a man and a woman claiming to be North Korean “defectors”, and was asked to translate the film so it could be posted on the internet and reach a wider audience. What the DVD turned out to be was something much more than Sabine, or anyone else, probably would’ve imagined, and something that certainly has found a widespread audience on the internet over the last month or so – it was a film called “PROPAGANDA”, a documentary about capitalism, imperialism, mass manipulation of western culture for the purpose of commodification, and how it permeates every aspect of the lives of blissfully ignorant, borderline zombie masses. And jesus, is it on the fucking money.

 

From the video’s description –

“Here is the formal statement I gave to Federal Police on 16 June 2012:

On a trip to visit family in Seoul in April, I was approached by a man and a woman who claimed to be North Korean defectors. They presented me with a DVD that recently came into their possession and asked me to translate it. They also asked me to post the completed film on the Internet so that it could reach a worldwide audience. I believed what I was told and an agreement was made to protect their identities (and mine).

Despite my concerns about what I was viewing when I returned home, I proceeded to translate and post the film on You Tube because of the film’s extraordinary content. I have now made public my belief that this film was never intended for a domestic audience in the DPRK. Instead, I believe that these people, who presented themselves as ‘defectors’ specifically targeted me because of my reputation as a translator and interpreter.

Furthermore, I now believe these people work for the DPRK. The fact that I have continued to translate and post the film in spite of this belief does not make me complicit in their intention to spread their ideology. I chose to keep posting this film because – regardless of who made it – I believe people should see it because of the issues it raises and I stand by my right to post it for people to share and discuss freely with each other.

Sabine

I have translated this film, laid in the English voice over and subtitles, and on legal advice have blurred the identity of the presenter and/or blacked out certain elements.”

Gasoline made from thin air

Engineers create gasoline from thin air:

 British engineers create gasoline from thin air


British engineers create gasoline from thin air

Experts hailed the breakthrough as a potential “game-changer” as scientists seek to solve the world’s energy crisis. The small company from the north England has developed “air capture” technology which creates synthetic petrol with only air and electricity. Company chiefs say they have produced five litres of petrol in less than three months at a small refinery in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They now hope to build a large plant generating more than a tonne of petrol per day within two years – and a REFINERY size operation within the next 15 years. The fuel works in any petrol tank and promises to be “completely carbon neutral” so long as renewable energy is used to provide the electricity. The technology, pioneered by company Air Fuel Synthesis, was presented to a London engineering conference this week. It mixes sodium hydroxide with carbon dioxide before zapping the resulting sodium carbonate with electricity, to form pure carbon dioxide. At the same time, hydrogen is produced by electrolysing water vapour captured with a dehumidifier.

 

Scientists hope it could help solve the energy crisis

Breakthrough … scientists hope it could help solve the energy crisis

The carbon dioxide and hydrogen are then used to produce methanol which in turn is passed through a gasoline fuel reactor, creating petrol. The £1.1m project has been in development for the past two years and is being funded by a group of anonymous philanthropists. They unnamed sponsors hope it could prove to be a lucrative way of creating renewable energy. Stephen Tetlow, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers chief executive, hailed the breakthrough as “truly groundbreaking”. “It has the potential to become a great British success story, which opens up a crucial opportunity to reduce carbon emissions,” he said. “It also has the potential to reduce our exposure to an increasingly volatile global energy market.”

 

China’s mistake on One-Child Policy

China might change to a one-child policy:

China eyes change to one-child policy

China eyes change to one-child policy

The world awoke to some very encouraging news out of China this morning.  The country may scrap a 30-year-old policy that has resulted in millions of orphans. The Chinese government leaked a report on the country’s one-child policy that it commissioned from a high profile Chinese think tank called the China Development Research Foundation.  The report’s conclusion: China’s one-child policy should be abandoned immediately in favor of a two-child policy to be instituted until 2020 when all birth restrictions should be lifted. This news is sending shock waves through the international community at large and most especially the adoption community.  If the Chinese government adopts the report’s recommendations, the number of orphaned children—particularly girls, who make up the bulk of abandoned babies – will likely plummet in coming years. The one-child policy has been in place since Deng Xiaoping passed the legislation in 1979.  The actual policy sets forth rules a bit more complicated than simply one family, one child.  Some parents, like married only children and rural parents whose first born are girls, are permitted two children.  But, of course, these are the exceptions.  For the vast majority of Chinese, the one-child per family rule holds.  The policy was designed to control an exploding population in the world’s most populous country and lift millions out of poverty.  And by those measures the policy has been effective.  It is estimated that in the years since passing the policy China has succeeded in reducing its population anywhere between 100 to 400 million people. But at what cost? Today, more than 30 years after the policy took effect, there’s a gaping gender imbalance, as parents have preferred boys to girls. Additionally, China’s workforce is aging and with fewer younger workers to support the retiring Baby Boomers, resources are straining. China has also earned the ire of the international community because its orphanages are overflowing with unwanted first girls. With China’s middle class developing, its economy more stable and the negative side effects of the one child policy in full blossom, there is abundant pressure on the government to make bold changes.  The leaking of this early version of think tank’s report is a signal that the central government may be ready to do just that.  Some sources believe that the changes may be imminent as outgoing President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are on a campaign to burnish their images. While it’s certainly welcome news that China may be at the brink giving greater freedoms to its citizens, there remains some doubt as to how big of an effect a change in policy will have on actual families. It is expensive to raise children and for many in China’s emerging middle class the idea of creating larger families holds limited appeal. Also, there remains a risk for China as a whole.  Even a slight uptick in population could put enormous pressure on the country’s health, infrastructure and educational resources. Time will tell whether China will overturn the one child policy or simply modify it.  What is certain is that either would be a move in the right direction both in terms of human rights and in reducing the number of orphaned children.