The Next GooglePlex

googleplex

googleplex

“The next Googleplex goes way beyond free snacks and massages; it’s a future-proof microclimate,” writes Brad Stone for Bloomberg:

The most ambitious project unveiled by Google this year isn’t a smartphone, website, or autonomous, suborbital balloon from the Google X lab. You can’t hold it, or download it, or share it instantly with friends. In fact, the first part of it probably won’t exist for at least three years. But you can read all about it in hundreds of pages of soaring descriptions and conceptual drawings, which the company submitted in February to the local planning office of Mountain View, Calif.

The vision outlined in these documents, an application for a major expansion of the Googleplex, its campus, is mind-boggling. The proposed design, developed by the European architectural firms of Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, does away with doors. It abandons thousands of years of conventional thinking about walls. And stairs. And roofs. Google and its imaginative co-founder and chief executive, Larry Page, essentially want to take 60 acres of land adjacent to the headquarters near the San Francisco Bay, in an area called North Bayshore, and turn it into a titanic human terrarium.

The proposal’s most distinctive feature is an artificial sky: four enormous glass canopies, each stretched over a series of steel pillars of different heights. The glass skin is uneven, angling up and down like a jagged, see-through mountain. The canopies will allow the company to regulate its air and climate. Underneath, giant floor plates slope gently upward, providing generous space for open-air offices and doubling as ramps so the 10,000 employees who will work there can get from one floor to the next without the use of stairs. For additional office and meeting space, modular rooms can be added, stacked, and removed as needed. To accomplish this, Google says it will invent a kind of portable crane-robot, which it calls crabots, that will reconfigure these boxes and roam the premises like the droids in Star Wars

Source:  Disinfo.com

Tinder users are married

tinder

tinder

When casually swiping through Tinder, do you ever look for a wedding ring? Maybe you should, as new data has found around one third of those looking for love on the app are married.

Men outnumber women on the dating app 6:4, and the majority of users (45 per cent) are aged between 25-34. Around 38 per cent are aged 16-24, while 1 per cent are between 55 and 64 years of age, research by GlobalWebIndex has found.

While over half (54 per cent) describe themselves as single, 30 per cent are married, and 12 per cent are in a relationship. The remaining 4 per cent define themselves as divorced / widowed or as ‘other’.

Unsurprisingly, almost four in five (76 per cent) described their living conditions as rural, while 17 per cent were suburban and 7 per cent rural.

Interestingly, a quarter of Tinder users said they’d paid for an online dating service in the last month, compared to 6 per cent of average internet users and 14 per cent of dating site users.

Tinder users are presented with an image of a person of the gender of their choice, and given the chance to swipe right for yes, and left for no. Only once a pair have liked each other are they given the chance to message each other.

It’s been downloaded over 50 million times since its launch in 2012, matching around 26 million prospective couples every 24 hours. More than 1.6 billion swipes have been made since launch.

Around 90 million people used a location-based dating app in January, while around 25 million dating app users are based in China alone.

Source:  telegraph.co.uk

Babies using Smart Phones

baby using smart phones

baby using smart phones

More than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 25 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of entertainment media such as televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets by children under age 2. Little is known, however, when youngsters actually start using mobile devices.

Researchers developed a 20-item survey to find out when young children are first exposed to mobile media and how they use devices. The questionnaire was adapted from the “Zero to Eight” Common Sense Media national survey on media use in children.

Parents of children ages 6 months to 4 years old who were at a hospital-based pediatric clinic that serves a low-income, minority community were recruited to fill out the survey. Participants were asked about what types of media devices they have in their household, children’s age at initial exposure to mobile media, frequency of use, types of activities and if their pediatrician had discussed media use with them.

Results from 370 parents showed that 74 percent were African-American, 14 percent were Hispanic and 13 percent had less than a high school education. Media devices were ubiquitous, with 97 percent having TVs, 83 percent having tablets, 77 percent having smartphones and 59 percent having Internet access.

Children younger than 1 year of age were exposed to media devices in surprisingly large numbers: 52 percent had watched TV shows, 36 percent had touched or scrolled a screen, 24 percent had called someone, 15 percent used apps and 12 percent played video games.

By 2 years of age, most children were using mobile devices.

Lead author Hilda Kabali, MD, a third-year resident in the Pediatrics Department at Einstein Healthcare Network, said the results surprised her.

“We didn’t expect children were using the devices from the age of 6 months,” she said. “Some children were on the screen for as long as 30 minutes.”

Results also showed 73 percent of parents let their children play with mobile devices while doing household chores, 60 percent while running errands, 65 percent to calm a child and 29 percent to put a child to sleep.

Time spent on devices increased with age, with 26 percent of 2-year-olds and 38 percent of 4-year-olds using devices for at least an hour a day.

Finally, only 30 percent of parents said their child’s pediatrician had discussed media use with them.

Source:  disinformation.com

NSA Reveal How To Hide From The NSA

NSA

NSA

 

If you want a truly anonymous life, then maybe it’s time you learned about Tor, CSpace and ZRTP.

These three technologies could help people hide their activities from the National Security Agency, according to NSA documents newly obtained from the archive of former contractor Edward Snowden by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The combination of Tor, CSpace and ZRTP (plus another anonymizing technology for good measure) results in levels of protection that the NSA deems “catastrophic” — meaning the organization has “near-total loss/lack of insight to target communications,” according to Der Spiegel.

“Although the documents are around two years old, experts consider it unlikely the agency’s digital spies have made much progress in cracking these technologies,” Spiegel’s staff wrote.

In comparison, accessing somebody’s Facebook messages is considered a “minor” task for the agency. Similarly, virtual private networks (or VPNs), which are widely used by companies, are easily accessed by the NSA, according to Der Spiegel’s report, as are so-called “HTTPS” connections.

So, what are these services and what do you actually have to do to use them?

Tor is basically a network that offers an easy way for people to mask their location when communicating online. Anyone can download Tor’s web browser — it’s available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and smartphones. It’s not foolproof: When using Tor, you’re advised to sacrifice the convenience of browser plugins, torrent downloads, and websites that don’t use “HTTPS encryption” if you truly want to stay off the grid.

And that’s just if you want to mask your online habits — messaging and phone calls require more steps still, meaning you also have to add CSpace and ZRTP if you want to hide those from the NSA, according to Der Spiegel.

CSpace is a program that lets people text chat and transfer files, while ZRTP is a form of encryption that protects mobile phone calls and texting — it’s used in apps like RedPhone and Signal.

If that all sounds a bit daunting, anonymous living may not be for you. There are plenty of ways to stay relatively private online. But true anonymity is harder to achieve, and so coveted that some people will pay $629 for a special phone that purports to keep a user’s information more secure.

As noted, the Snowden documents are a couple of years old; it’s possible the NSA has found ways around these tools by now. But for the privacy-conscious, they are certain to work better than a tinfoil hat.

 

Source:  huffingtonpost.com

NSA should track every American email

NSA should track every American email:

NSA should track every American email

NSA should track every American email

 

If you think that President Obama to review the National Security Agency panel was purely in loosening of its scope , think again.

One participant said on Sunday that the NSA recommends tracking details metadata such as sender, recipient , time and location emails of all Americans.

It would not be the first time. The NSA followed up on email metadata of Americans without a warrant, although it is said that the practice ended in 2011, and none of the documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden released so far contradicts that statement. The agency does not store all metadata, which admitted a couple of months after Snowden leaked documents showing that the case , although the review panel recommended ending the program.

Those familiar with the faces of five members of the review panel, Obama probably would not be surprised at who made ​​the recommendation : Michael Morell, former director of the CIA.

“I would say that in fact the email data is probably more valuable than data telephony,” Morell told the National Journal , in a telephone interview Sunday .

Morell actually granted what has previously been hailed as a victory for privacy advocates who oppose the NSA : the program metadata collection phone made ” only a modest contribution to the security of the nation ” and that ” the last thing a smart terrorist will do at this point is to call someone in the United States. ”

So the solution in Morell ‘s mind , is the ability to legally track all e- mails sent to or from American computers.

” If I had been in effect in 2000 and 2001 , I think , probably 9/11 would not have happened,” he said.

Microsoft security is worthless

Microsoft security is worthless:

Microsoft security is worthless

Microsoft security is worthless

A assessment of Dennis Technology Labs , users antivirus software Microsoft might want to think about installing other malware protection .

Dennis Technology Labs, the independent testing laboratory software based in London , released a quarterly assessment of nine screening programs most popular in the market and found that virus Microsoft Security Essentials detected 39 percent of all malware tested .

The Microsoft program , available for free download to anyone with a validated copy of Windows rated well below the other programs evaluated , all of which drew 87 percent or higher. Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 ranked first , protection against 99 percent of the virus. Avast! Free Antivirus 8 was rated the best free program not only detects 2 percent of malware.

“We are fully committed to protecting our clients consumer and business against malware ,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement . ” Our strong comprehensive solutions provide the necessary protection against malicious code and attacks. Supporting our antimalware partners helps in building a strong and diverse ecosystem to combat malware .”

Microsoft has a history of poor performance on tests of Dennis Technology Labs . A test from the beginning of this year found that it has lost 41 percent of all malware.  Microsoft has defended the performance of the product , saying it is not intended to be the only line of defense a user .

“We’ve had an epiphany a few years ago , back in 2011 when we realized that we had a higher calling and that was to protect all customers of Microsoft , ” Holly Stewart , senior manager of the Center Malware Protection Microsoft , told PC Pro . ” But you can not do that with a monoculture and you can not do that with an ecosystem of malware that is not attractive solid and diverse. ”

Stewart explained that instead of concentrating resources on your computer to have Microsoft ‘s own software will be able to identify all the latest viruses , which would focus on the search for new threats and send that information to other companies producing anti software virus .

This strategy makes sense if the ultimate goal is to keep users safe from malware Windows , but has the potential to leave some people believing that they have robust antivirus protection when you only have what Microsoft calls a ” baseline” from which users are encouraged to add additional virus protection .

61% Of Internet Users are Bots

Bots Are Now 61% Of Internet Users:   

Bots Are Now 61% Of Internet Users

Bots Are Now 61% Of Internet Users

 

A study by Incapsula suggests 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots. The security firm said that was a 21% rise on last year’s figure of 51%.

Some of these automated software tools are malicious – stealing data or posting ads for scams in comment sections. But the firm said the biggest growth in traffic was for “good” bots.

These are tools used by search engines to crawl websites in order to index their content, by analytics companies to provide feedback about how a site is performing, and by others to carry out specific tasks – such as helping the Internet Archive preserve content before it is deleted.

To generate its report, Incapsula said it observed 1.45 billion bot visits over a 90 day period. Dr Ian Brown, associate director at Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre, said the figures were useful as an indication of the growth in non-human traffic.

Computers Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound:

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound

 

 

Using the microphones and speakers that come standard in many of today’s laptop computers and mobile devices, hackers can secretly transmit and receive data using high-frequency audio signals that are mostly inaudible to human ears, a new study shows.

Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz, researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics, recently performed a proof-of-concept experiment that showed that “covert acoustical networking,” a technique which had been hypothesized but considered improbable by most experts, is indeed possible.

“If you have a high demand for information security and assurance, you would need to prepare countermeasures,” Hanspach wrote in an email to Inside Science.

In particular, it means “air-gapped” computers — that is, computers that are not connected to the Internet — are vulnerable to malicious software designed to steal or corrupt data.

“This is indeed a newsworthy development,” said retired Navy Capt. Mark Hagerott, a cybersecurity professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

“These arms races between defensive and offensive advanced technologies have been going on for [a long time], but now, with the low cost of writing code, it may get progressively more challenging to defend against,” said Hagerott, who was not involved in the study.

Secret transmissions

In their experiments, Hanspach and Goetz were able to transmit small packets of data between two air-gapped Lenovo business laptops separated by distances of up to about 65 feet (20 meters). Moreover, by chaining additional devices that picked up the audio signal and repeated it to other nearby devices, the researchers were able to create a “mesh network” that relayed the data across much greater distances. Importantly, the researchers were able to emit and record the ultrasonic and near-ultrasonic frequencies, which cannot be detected by humans, using the sound processor, speakers and microphone that came standard with the laptops.

The researchers experimented with a variety of software, but the best one was a program originally developed to transmit data acoustically under water. Created by the Research Department for Underwater Acoustics and Geophysics in Germany, the so-called adaptive communication system modem proved more reliable than the other techniques, but it had one significant drawback: it could only transmit data at a paltry rate of about 20 bits per second — a tiny fraction of today’s standard network connections.

While not practical for transmitting video or other large files, this low transmission rate is still sufficient for sending and receiving keystrokes and other sensitive data such as private encryption keys or login credentials.

“If you have small-sized files of high value, you do not want to take the risk,” Hanspach suggests.

Historical parallels

The low transmission rate would also suffice to send an electronic signal to a malware program that had been inadvertently installed — through a tainted USB stick, for example — onto an air-gapped computer and trigger an electronic attack, said Hagerott.

Moreover, Hagerott said, if history is any guide, it will only be a matter of time before someone refines the technique and increases its maximum transmission rate.

“Once you demonstrate that you can do something like this, other people will keep enhancing it,” Hagerott said.

Hagerott also saw parallels between the current cyber arms race and the contest between real-world arms races of past eras. For example, experts once declared that there was no way a plane could sink a battle ship.

“They said, the planes weren’t big enough, but then they got bigger and began carrying bigger bombs. But sadly, the experts didn’t fully absorb this lesson until two British battleships in 1941 were sent to the bottom,” Hagerott said.

Countermeasures

Military history also suggests that countermeasures will eventually be developed against the new security threat that Hanspach and Goetz demonstrated. In their paper, the researchers themselves suggest several that might work. For example, one could simply switch off the audio input and output of devices, or use audio-filtering techniques to block high-frequency audio signals.

Devices running the Linux could implement the latter technique using tools that have already been developed for the operating system, the researchers write. They also propose the use of an “audio intrusion detection guard,” a device that Hanspach and Goetz said would “forward audio input and output signals to their destination and simultaneously store them inside the guard’s internal state, where they are subject to further analyses.”

Oftentimes, though, the weakest links in cyber security systems are not hardware or software, but the humans who interact with them. For example, the Stuxnet virus that spread to air-gapped machines in the Iranian Natanz nuclear facilities and the Conficker digital worm that turned millions of PCs into a giant botnet in the city of Manchester, England, are believed to have been spread when employees used infected USB sticks.

 

Supreme Court addresses software patent

Supreme Court agrees to address key issue: Can software be patented?

 

Supreme Court agrees to address key issue: Can software be patented?

Supreme Court agrees to address key issue: Can software be patented?

 

Over the past few years, two aspects of patent law in the United States have come under increasing scrutiny. First, there’s been the rise of patent trolls who scoop up broad patents on particular methods or ways of performing an activity, then sue a number of companies (or even the end users) of that technology, claiming that their rights have been violated. Second, there’ve been an increasing number of lawsuits over the topic of software patents and the question of what is — or isn’t — patentable.

Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to take a case — Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd v CLS Bank International — that deals directly with the question of what is, or isn’t, patentable. Lower courts have been tangling with this issue for years — the question of specific software patents was at the heart of Google’s recent court spat with Oracle, which ended in a win for Google but may be lost on appeal.

Rise of the patent trolls

The central problem with software patents is the gray area between “Doing X on a computer” (clearly unpatentable) and the development of a new method of performing a task or function. The pro-patent argument is that a person who discovers a new algorithm or method of doing things in software has clearly invented something and is entitled to patent it. The anti-patent argument is that such “inventions’ are nothing but an application of mathematics. Mathematics cannot be patented in the US, so why should software carry patents?

Patent trolls, meanwhile, have inadvertently given a great deal of ammunition to the anti-software patents crowd by launching massive lawsuit campaigns to assert ownership over such mundane tasks as connecting a printer to a network. Companies now acquire huge war chests of patents specifically to use against other companies that engage in patent warfare. This is generally seen as one reason Google acquired Motorola several years ago, and Microsoft earns more from its patent licensing fees from Android than it does from Windows Phone.

One final thing to note is that patents and copyrights are two entirely different things. If software can’t be patented, Microsoft still retains a coypright on the code of Windows, Oracle still has a copyright on Java, and it would still be illegal to copy a program without an appropriate license. Lower courts have had little luck creating a clear-cut example of when a software invention is or is not patentable, so the hope is that the Supreme Court will issue clearer rules.

Internet kill’s brains

Does The Internet Make You Dumb? Top German Neuroscientist Says Yes – And Forever:

Does The Internet Make You Dumb? Top German Neuroscientist Says Yes - And Forever

Does The Internet Make You Dumb? Top German Neuroscientist Says Yes – And Forever

Dr. Manfred Spitzer knows that people find his arguments provocative. In his first book, he warned parents of the very real dangers of letting their children spend too much time in front of the TV. Now, in a second book called Digitale Demenz [Digital Dementia], he’s telling them that teaching young kids finger-counting games is much better for them than letting them explore on a laptop.

Spitzer, 54, may be a member of the slide-rule generation that learned multiplication tables by heart, but his work as a neuropsychiatrist has shown him that when young children spend too much time using a computer, their brain development suffers and that the deficits are irreversible and cannot be made up for later in life.

South Korean doctors were the first to describe this phenomenon, and dubbed it digital dementia – whence the title of Spitzer’s book. Simplistically, the message can be summed up this way: the Internet makes you dumb. And it is of course a message that outrages all those who feel utterly comfortable in the digital world. In the aftermath of the publication of Spitzer’s book, they have lost no time venting their wrath across Germany.

And yet Spitzer has accumulated a wealth of scientific information that gives his thesis solid underpinnings, and the studies and data he draws on offer more than enough room for consternation.

Everything leaves traces in the brain

According to his study, many young people today use more than one medium at a time: they place calls while playing computer games or writing e-mails. That means that some of them are packing 8.5 hours of media use per day into 6.5 hours. Multitasking like this comes at the cost of concentration – experiments by American researchers have established this. And to Spitzer, those results mean just one thing: “Multitasking is not something we should be encouraging in future generations.”

Because everything a person does leaves traces in the brain. When development is optimum, memory links are formed and built on during the first months and years of life, and the structure adds up to a kind of basic foundation for everything else we learn. Scientists call this ability of the brain to adjust to new challenges “neuroplasticity.” It is one of the reasons for the evolutionary success of the human species. Spitzer also sees it as a source of present danger.

When drivers depend exclusively on their navigation technology, they do not develop the ability to orient themselves, although of course the brain offers them the possibility of learning how to do so. The same applies to children who use electronic styluses on a SMART board instead of learning how to write — the brain is kept in check. And because computers take over many classrooms and other functions that are actually good practice for kids, “it inevitably has a negative effect on learning,” Spitzer argues.

Digital media should be banned from classrooms

Stating that there have so far been no independent studies “that unequivocally establish that computers and screens in the classroom makes learning any more effective,” Spitzer goes so far as to recommend that digital media be banned from the classroom. Even more drastically, he writes: “In reality, using digital media in kindergarten or primary school is actually a way of getting children addicted.” Strong stuff for the generations who take computers and the Internet for granted, using them as a source of information and a space to communicate via social networks — and who enjoy doing so. The Internet has become the fourth cultural technology, alongside reading, writing and arithmetic.

Spitzer quotes Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), who wrote that the process of learning involves the heart along with the brain and the hands. He believes it would be better if kids learned finger games to help them deal with numbers, instead of relying on computers. In a country like Germany, whose major resource is smart people and innovative ideas, maybe we should be taking Spitzer’s warnings more seriously.

What the internet is doing to our Brains:

Analytics engine will read your mind

Computation knowledge engine will soon be able to read your mind:

COMPUTATION KNOWLEDGE ENGINE

COMPUTATION KNOWLEDGE ENGINE

Wolfram Alpha will soon be able to read your mind, its creator Stephen Wolfram said at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin today.

Speaking at the US technology conference on Monday, Wolfram predicted that his analytics engine will soon work pre-emptively, meaning it will be able to predict what its users are looking for.

“Wolfram Alpha will be able to predict what users are looking for,” Wolfram said. “Imagine that combined with augmented reality.”

Speaking during a talk on the future of computation, Stephen Wolfram – the creator of Wolfram Alpha and the mastermind behind Apple’s Siri personal assistant – also showed off the engine’s new ability to analyse images.

Wolfram said, “We’re now able to bring in uploaded material, and use our algorithm to analyse it. For example, we can take a picture, ask Wolfram Alpha and it will try and tell us things about it.

“We can compute all sorts of things about this picture – and ask Wolfram Alpha to do a specific computation if need be.”

That’s not the only new feature of Wolfram Alpha, as it can also now analyse data from uploaded spreadsheet documents.

“We can also do things like uploading a spreadsheet and asking Wolfram [Alpha] to analyse specific data from it,” Wolfram said.

He added, “This is an exciting time for me, because a whole lot of things I’ve been working on for 30 years have begun converging in a nice way.”

This upload feature will be available as part of Wolfram Alpha Pro, a paid-for feature where Wolfram hopes the analytical engine will make most of its money. Wolfram Alpha Pro costs $4.99 per month, or $2.99 if you’re a student.

Wolfram also showed off Wolfram Alpha’s ability to analyse data from Facebook, a feature that was announced last August.

Computer that will never crash

Scientists invent a self-repairing computer that will never crash:

Scientists invent a self-repairing computer that will never crash Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/14/scientists-invent-a-self-repairing-computer-that-will-never-crash

Scientists invent a self-repairing computer that will never crash

Scientists at University College London (UCL) have created a self-healing computer. The “systemic” machine, according to a report in the New Scientist, can instantly recover corrupted data. The invention is expected to have far-reaching consequences for physicians and the military. It could allow drones to recover from combat damage in a matter of seconds, or create a more realistic model of the human brain. The team behind the systemic computer built it to be able to respond to random and unpredictable events. Computers were originally designed to follow a linear set of instructions, and can only consider one thing at a time. “Even when it feels like your computer is running all your software at the same time, it is just pretending to do that, flicking its attention very quickly between each program,” Peter Bentley, a computer scientist at UCL, said in an interview with the New Scientist. Together with his colleague Christos Sakellariou, Bentley re-engineered a new computer that thinks more like the human brain. Anant Jhingran, who has been considered the brains behind IBM’s super computer “Watson,” said that new computing systems are designed to “mimic the real world better.” The vice president of products at Apigee, a “big data” analytics company, said IBM has spent years building computers that “observe and then react” like humans do. The trick is a safety in numbers approach: The new computer contains multiple copies of its instructions across its individual systems, so if one fails, it can access a clean copy and repair itself. In the future, Bentley’s team will incorporate machine learning, so if you’re sitting outside working and the temperature gets too high, the computer will respond to preemptively prevent a crash. The next generation of school kids may need to come up with a more creative excuse for failing to turn in work on time!

Facebook Tell’s Users They Are Being Spied On

Facebook to Tell Users They Are Being Tracked

Facebook to Tell Users They Are Being Tracked

Facebook to Tell Users They Are Being Tracked

Facebook has agreed to be transparent about, well, the obvious: You are being tracked so advertisers can better aim at you, and you can opt out if you make the effort. The announcement came Monday as part of the company’s agreement with the Council of Better Business Bureau. The agreement applies to ads that are shown to Facebook users, based on what else they have browsed on the Web. Let’s say you have looked at little girls’ party dresses on an unrelated e-commerce site. When you log on to Facebook, you could be tempted with a dress that you didn’t quite buy; it might even nudge you to make the purchase “for your darling daughter.” Now, if you hover over one of those ads with your mouse, a grey-blue icon will pop up alerting you to the fact that you’re being tracked. It remains unclear whether this notification would satisfy either privacy advocates or government regulators who are pressing Web companies to make it easier for users to avoid being tracked by marketers. Jeffrey Chester of the Washington-based Center for Digital Democracy panned the new initiative as inadequate. “It’s time for Facebook to face up to informing users in clear black-and-white — not grey — about how it harvests its user information,” he said in an e-mail. You can opt out of being tracked, one ad-serving company at a time. Facebook joins with several third parties to serve you those ads, on behalf of brands. The company declined to say how many such companies it joined with, only that there were in the dozens. You can also choose to hide ads from a particular brand. Facebook has always allowed users to do this; the only change is that it will henceforth nudge you with a new icon. “At Facebook, we work hard to build transparency and control into each of our products, including our advertising offerings,” the company said in an e-mailed statement attributable to its chief privacy officer, Erin Egan. Advertising is the bread-and-butter of all Web services, including Facebook. Faced with pressure to gin up profits for its public investors, Facebook has in recent months refined its aimed advertising efforts. The company earned $5 billion in advertising revenue last year. The online ad industry wants a system of self-regulation rather than by government fiat.

Google Pulling Videos From YouTube

Admits To Pulling Videos From YouTube

Admits To Pulling Videos From YouTube

 

We know Google operates internationally, allowing people from all over the world to have access to some form of a wealth of information. But how do these countries and governments feel about their citizens having this kind of access? For the past two years, Google has been issuing a “Transparency Report” detailing which governments have asked to have content removed. Some of these requests are granted, such as the removal of videos which contained threatening content towards US law enforcement, while some of these requests are reviewed and later denied. While it may be shocking to see how many countries have been asking to have political content removed, the team at Google says this is just the continuation of a troubling trend. For instance, Google has admitted to taking down 149 videos in Thailand which allegedly insulted the local monarchy, a crime in their country. Google said they removed these videos in accordance with local law. The search giant also said they had been asked to remove a blog which allegedly personally defamed a US law official. While Google denied this request, they did comply with a request to take down 4 out of 5 YouTube accounts which allegedly contained “threatening and/or harassing content,” to the tune of nearly 300 videos. The UK’s Association of Chief Police Officers had requested Google remove 5 YouTube accounts, claiming they promoted terrorism. Saying the videos violated community guidelines, Google terminated these accounts, resulting in the removal of 640 videos. Google also points out, however, that while some requests are removed to comply with local law, other requests to block aspects of free speech — particularly about local government — have been denied. In their Official Google Blog, Senior Policy Analyst Dorothy Chou writes, “We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.” “It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect—Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.” According to Google’s Transparency Report, Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 search results in the last half of 2011. Each of these results linked to articles and blogs which referenced “public figures,” such as mayors and public prosecutors. For instance, Poland asked Google to remove a website which criticized a public institution, a request Google denied. Canada also issued a request, asking Google to remove a video of a man urinating on his Canadian passport and flushing it down the toilet. Google said they did not comply with this request. All told, Google said it had received 461 court orders between June and December 2011. Combined, these court orders covered 4,925 items. Google complied with 68% of them, in addition to complying with 47% of more “informal requests.” “We realize that the numbers we share can only provide a small window into what’s happening on the Web at large,” Chou said. “But we do hope that by being transparent about these government requests, we can continue to contribute to the public debate about how government behaviors are shaping our Web.”

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.

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.”

Ill boy send’s robot to school

Boy sends robot to school in his place:

Boy sends robot to school in his place

Boy sends robot to school in his place

A seven-year-old boy who is too ill to go to school has sent a robot to class in his place. Devon Carrow, from New York in America, uses the £3,000 ‘robo-swot’ to answer his teachers’ questions and take part in group discussions, all from the comfort of his home. The high-tech gadget uses HD cameras to show Devon his classroom and he can signal when he wants to give an answer with a flashing light.

Robot
The robot even has its own desk! Devon has lots of allergies, which mean it is dangerous for him to be around other children. His Mum says that the equipment helps him feel included and realise that he still has to go to school the same as anyone else.

Windows 8 Users Prefer Windows 7

Over Half Of Windows 8 Users Still Prefer Windows 7:

Over Half Of Windows 8 Users Still Prefer Windows 7

Over Half Of Windows 8 Users Still Prefer Windows 7

Windows 8 is finally launching next month. It’s do or die time for the folks at Microsoft, and they need this to be a hit. The response to Windows 8 has been relatively positive, but the new OS has had its fair share of detractors. It’s even rumored that Intel’s CEO privately stated that Windows 8 isn’t ready. A new survey indicates that more people may dislike Windows 8 than initially thought. Forumswindows8.com, the self-proclaimed “largest Windows 8 help and support forum on the Internet,” recently surveyed over 50,000 Windows 8 users. The survey covered everything from strengths and weaknesses to general thoughts on Windows 8 versus its predecessors. The good news is that Windows 8 isn’t universally hated. The bad news is that a majority of Windows 8 users still prefer its predecessor with 53 percent saying that they like Windows 7 more. In comparison, only 25 percent chose Windows 8 as their favorite. That being said, those surveyed dumped a fair amount of praise on the operating system. A majority of users (56 percent) chose the fast boot and shut down of Windows 8 as their favorite feature. Fifty percent of users listed the easy installation as their favorite. From there, the numbers drop somewhat dramatically with only 35 percent of users listing Internet Explorer 10 as their favorite feature. In what may be more damning than anything, only 23 percent of users listed the Windows Store as their favorite feature. The Metro WIndows 8 UI doesn’t fare much better with only 22 percent claiming the feature to be their favorite. These are the two big selling points of Windows 8. Without support from users, Microsoft doesn’t have much of a chance. The theme of hating the new UI carries over to the answers supplied by respondents when surveyed on weaknesses. A relatively small, but still significant, 18 percent say that Microsoft needs to improve the two UI style system on desktops. A much larger 35 percent say that the price of Windows 8, which is set at $199 after a promotional price of $69, is too high. Despite the complaints about the desktop version of Windows 8, Microsoft seems to have made the right move with their Surface tablet. Out of all of those surveyed, a sizable chunk of respondents (25 percent) said that they would choose the Microsoft Surface tablet over the competition. Overall, this survey represents something that Microsoft should be concerned about. They’re less than a month away from launch and people still prefer Windows 7. To some extent, it’s to be expected. Every new operating system is met with trepidation, but Windows 8 was supposed to be different. It represents a cool, hip new Microsoft that’s focused on the consumer and entertainment. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to find out if they have any plans leading up to launch to get people excited about  Windows 8. We also asked if they have any plans to help fix or allieve the complaints that the respondents had. We’ll update as soon as we hear back.

Apple iPhone 5 Sucks

New technical specifications for the iPhone 5 just don’t make the magic mark for me, what ever happened to the clear phone concept?  And why didn’t it ever come out, they have the technology for this:

Iphone 5 Sucks

IPhone 5 Sucks

When it comes to deflating expectations, Apple chief Tim Cook takes Centre stage!  This Wednesdays launch of the new Apple iPhone 5 was a huge disappointment. Expectations were high and that it would be more than a revamping of the old iPhone 4 and 4s.  A thinner profile, with minor hardware upgrades is all that Apple had to offer its customers.  Let’s not get into the new cable, which completely renders all other existing apple products useless.

The event was held at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Performing Arts in San Francisco.  The new handset that has a mildly larger screen was showcased by none other than Apples new Failer CEO Tim Cook.  This new phone has a new operating system iOS 6 mobile, which is only a little better than the previous version compromising any new major advancement against the industry competition.  Google (GooG), Samsung (SSNLF), Microsoft (MSFT), and a few other’s clearly rival the large markets of mobile computing which Apple could have taken if not for its blunder showcase of the new iPhone 5 this Wednesday.

This semi-failure clearly shows apples incompetence in leading the way for new Smartphone products.  Since the companies co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs death last year.  Tim Cook has not been able to deliver on Mr. Jobs promise of telling everyone that they will continue to show amazing new products in the future.  Apple’s marketing guru Phil Schillers comments on the new iPhone 5 clearly misleads the public into new apple trickery when he says, ” We have the most beautiful device that we’ve ever made.”  One can tell by even a quick glance that the iPhone 4 or even the 4s for that matter, almost matches the iPhone 5 in every way.  Why would anyone who owns an iPhone 4 switch to an almost identical Smartphone?

Mr. Cooks copy cat appearance, down to the black shirt and jeans cannot hide the fact that he does not match the leadership of the late Steve Jobs.  This larger screen with its advancement of a fifth row of icons on its home screen isn’t even an improvement.  A lot of what was said at the product launch was hype. The iPhone 5 will be larger, and faster while connecting to new networks doesn’t take away the awe factor of major new advancements in the Smart phone industry! Are these even real improvements?  Shouldn’t these upgrades be applied to the older iPhone 4 and 4s?  I really love the fact that the iPhone sported a front and back glass panel. Doesn’t everyone catch on that the metal back is much cheaper to produce?  Cutting the costs of manufacturing and lying to everyone that it is major improvement is deception!  You can directly blame Apples new CEO Tim Cook for allowing this trickery to take place.

There some basic overall improvement to talk about.  One is the new A6 chip set, that almost doubles the CPU speed allowing graphics and processing power to take place.  However, these are only standard improvements dictated by the manufacturing industry. Where is the magic that everyone wanted to see with a brand new product launch?  The ability to have games played more seamlessly is only a mild added touch.  Everything else seems to be the same, just a fractional noticeable difference.

There was some criticism of the Sanfransico launch that Mr. Cooks mannerism was somewhat withdrawn, that his mood seems to less than enthusiastic.  Could this be the subconscious realization that their new product was less than wonderful.  The previous launch of the iPhone 4 was a major success, smash down the walls of where the industry was headed.  Basically if it wasn’t for the iPhone 4, most cellular providers would still be forcing everyone to use an old outdated 3g network.  While the iPhone 4 and the desire to own a world changing device indirectly blackmailed cell network providers to re-invest millions of dollars to introduce a new and better 4g service.  I just don’t see this with the new iPhone 5 at all, the ability to connect to slightly different services is just not the same.  Dual Band wifi does not take away from the fact that all major cellular providers want to squash this industry from taking off.  We just don’t see serious wifi taken off, mapping or covering a large area of a city or anything like this.  I don’t think anyone was expecting the see a brand new 5g service being introduced, but it most certainly takes away from the magic that was once present with a recently older product.   That in my view is basically the same!

Murdochs News corp under Investigation

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations:

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations

 

This is a big week for Rupert and James Murdoch. The father and son face more questions from a wide-ranging judicial investigation into press abuses at British units of News Corporation: tabloid phone hacking, computer hacking and a police bribery scandal. Monday marked yet another embarrassing day for News Corp and the Murdochs as Sky News acknowledged it had hacked into the email of the target of two stories, despite explicitly telling the inquiry in September it had not been involved in any hacking. The allegations keep coming of illegal behavior by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Today, an investigation was announced into email hacking by Sky News. News Corp’s British operations already stand accused of phone hacking, along with bribing police officers.

As NPR’s David Folkenflik reports, the new investigation comes just before Murdoch is scheduled to testify on the sandal.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: The British media regulator called OfCom announced it would investigate two instances of email hacking by reporters for Sky News. Murdoch’s News Corp has a controlling minority stake Sky News’ parent company, BSkyB.

During his testimony earlier today, Sky News chief John Ryley was pressed by the presiding judge in that wide-ranging inquiry, Brian Leveson.

JUDGE BRIAN LEVESON: None of this is relevant, is it? Because what you were doing wasn’t merely invading somebody’s privacy, it was breaching the criminal law?

JOHN RYLEY: It was.

LEVESON: Well, where does the OfCom broadcasting code give any authority to a breach of the criminal law?

RYLEY: It doesn’t.

FOLKENFLIK: Sky News told the inquiry last September that it had not been involved in any hacking. Ryley apologized today, saying the company was intending to respond only to questions of criminal mobile phone hacking.

The judicial investigation was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron last July, a week after the report that a Murdoch tabloid had hacked into the cell phone messages of a murdered schoolgirl in a famous case.

One part of the inquiry is into the culture, practices, and ethics of the media; another, into the relationship of the press with police officials and politicians.

A series of newspaper owners – those controlling the rival Telegraph, Evening Standard and Independent – are also testifying this week. But Murdoch and his son James will come in for special scrutiny. The younger Murdoch is to testify tomorrow and Rupert will appear Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

CHRIS BRYANT: Because Rupert Murdoch has had 40 percent of the newspapers and the lion’s share of the ownership of BSkyB, he’s used the one to protect the other.

FOLKENFLIK: Labor MP Chris Bryant has been a critic and a target of the Murdoch press and other tabloids.

BRYANT: He’s used fear and favor with politicians to ensure that in exchange for the support of his newspapers, the politicians would provide legislative support for his cash cow, which was BSkyB, the broadcaster. And when people tried to question that, then sometimes his newspapers would be used to attack with remorseless vigor.

FOLKENFLIK: But, of course, power and influence flow in two directions. And it’s not known yet what hidden exchanges Rupert Murdoch may reveal about the favors sought from him, from those who have held the nation’s highest offices, such as the very prime minister who created this inquiry last summer.

15 year old hacks 259 Websites

15-year-old hacks 259 websites in just 3 months:

15-year-old hacks 259 websites in just 3 months

15-year-old hacks 259 websites in just 3 months

If you’re looking for a gauge as to how good or bad web security is at the moment, look no further than the case of a 15-year-old from Austria who, over the course of 3 months, managed to hack 259 company websites and databases.  The young man (boy?) was anti-social and turned to the Internet for “praise and affirmation.” He found a hacking community that rewarded successful attacks, downloaded the tools he needed, and set about bypassing the security of different websites.  Between January and March this year he successfully gained access to 259 sites including a few run by adult entertainment companies. Any that he defaced were left with a tag like the one in the screenshot above. His hacker name was ACK!3STX.  The Federal Criminal Police Office (BMI) in Austria identified the boy after many complaints when he failed to hide his IP address during a hack. It was logged and passed to the BMI who arrested him. It didn’t take long for a confession to be forthcoming.  The attacks weren’t aimed at any particular sites, instead it turns out he was just looking for security holes he could exploit in any and all websites he visited. His reason? He was bored as well as wanting praise from the hacker community.  Hacking 259 websites in 3 months is impressive not because a 15-year-old did it, but because it seems to have been done so easily. A boy with no experience and using free tools did this. Clearly website security still isn’t a major concern for the majority of companies being hacked and/or the frameworks being used to implement them.

President Intelligence agencies safeguarding Leaks

President Creates Task Force to Stop Leaks of Classified Information:

obama_false

obama_false

A joint task force of American law enforcement and intelligence agencies is drafting a plan to prevent cyber attacks and information leaks from those working inside the agencies. The proposal is a requirement of an executive order signed October 7 of last year by President Obama. Executive Order 13587 sets guidelines designed to “to ensure the responsible sharing and safeguarding of classified national security information (classified information) on computer networks.
”One step toward the accomplishment of this goal is the creation of an interagency Insider Threat Task Force. That group is charged with developing a Government-wide program (insider threat program) for deterring, detecting, and mitigating insider threats, including the safeguarding of classified information from exploitation, compromise, or other unauthorized disclosure, taking into account risk levels, as well as the distinct needs, missions, and systems of individual agencies. This program shall include development of policies, objectives, and priorities for establishing and integrating security, counterintelligence, user audits and monitoring, and other safeguarding capabilities and practices within agencies. Reading between the lines it is easy to see what prompted the issuing of this order and the creation of this new bureaucracy: WikiLeaks. President Obama likely was also motivated by the acts of Army Private Bradley Manning. In what is described as “the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history,” Manning is accused of passing over 700,000 documents and video clips to WikiLeaks, the widely known website devoted to exposing government corruption throughout the world. Private Manning, 24, from Crescent, Oklahoma, has been detained since he was arrested on May 29, 2010 while on deployment with the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. While on duty near Baghdad, Manning had access to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. SIPRNET is the network used by the U.S. government to transmit classified information. Manning’s arrest came as the result of information provided to the FBI by a computer hacker named Adrian Lamo. Lamo told agents that during an online chat in May 2010, Manning claimed to have downloaded classified information from SIPRNet and sent it to WikiLeaks. According to published reports, the material Manning is accused of unlawfully appropriating includes a large cache of U.S. diplomatic cables (approximately 250,000), as well as videos of an American airstrike on Baghdad conducted in July 2007 and a similar attack in May 2009 on a site near Granai, Afghanistan (an event sometimes known as the Granai Massacre). Of course, the new policy is being promoted by the Obama administration as an attempt to assist law enforcement and intelligence to “connect the dots” so as to prevent future terrorist attacks on the homeland. A key member of the task force and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, John Swift, is quoted in a recent article as saying that the agencies named in the executive order are committed to conforming to the requirements handed down by President Obama. “The National Policy on Insider Threat is in draft and will probably move its way to the White House National Security Staff in the next month or two, which is pretty fast in the federal scheme of things,” said Swift during a panel discussion on the insider threat at the FOSE trade show in Washington Wednesday. “However, in order to actually implement a program, you will want to have standards. Those standards are being developed now by the task force, and all the interagency members that are working on it. Those standards have to be issued by October of this year.” The Order gives the agencies one year to set and implement the appropriate standards for identifying and eliminating the threats of leaks caused by intelligence insiders.

 
According to the article published by Federal News Radio, Swift said that most agencies have already developed protocols for identifying “troubled employees” who would be the most likely suspects in a case of an insider passing on classified information. The Task Force will take advantage of the protocols that are already in place by examining each and choosing from among them those best suited to being reported to all the relevant departments within the Executive Branch. In reading the description of the policy in the Federal News Radio piece, it would seem that the Task Force is preparing training modules for federal employees that teach them how to recognize behavior that might indicate that a colleague is a potential risk to national security. Prior to the branch-wide implementation of whatever scheme is finally approved by the Task Force and the President, there is a method already set to be enforced that could address the potential for leaks. In order to decrease the “potential for terrorist attacks,” Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 calls for the creation of a mandatory, Government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the Federal Government to its employees and contractors (including contractor employees). Rob Carey, the Defense Department deputy chief information officer, said during another session at FOSE that the federal ID card can “prevent unauthorized access to data and promote information sharing at the same time along with improving the cybersecurity of an agency’s network.” The absolute requirement that the identification be used by intelligence employees will provide the President with a keystroke-by-keystroke record of every worker’s online activity. This level of after-the-fact monitoring will plug the pores in our nation’s cybersecurity. As Carey explained it, implementation of the key card control mechanism will “add another layer of security while also letting officials know who is on the network, when they were on the network and what they were doing there.” As set forth in the Directive, “Secure and reliable forms of identification” for purposes of this directive means identification that (a) is issued based on sound criteria for verifying an individual employee’s identity; (b) is strongly resistant to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting, and terrorist exploitation; (c) can be rapidly authenticated electronically; and (d) is issued only by providers whose reliability has been established by an official accreditation process. The Standard will include graduated criteria, from least secure to most secure, to ensure flexibility in selecting the appropriate level of security for each application. The use of the “Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors” is only one of the ideas being offered for securing the country’s most critical classified data. One member of the Insider Threat Task Force, Diana Braun, said that the ID cards are just one of five “near term ways to strengthen systems against insider threats.” According to the rubrics contained in Executive Order 13587, the agencies listed therein must submit annual reports to the Steering Committee created by the Order. The Senior Information Sharing and Safeguarding Steering Committee shall be co-chaired by senior representatives of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Staff. Members of the committee shall be officers of the United States as designated by the heads of the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Information Security Oversight Office within the National Archives and Records Administration (ISOO), as well as such additional agencies as the co-chairs of the Steering Committee may designate. While it is indisputable that our nation must be protected from the damage that could be caused by intelligence agency insiders who criminally pass classified information to those who could pose a legitimate and demonstrable threat to our national security, what is perhaps more helpful to the long-term freedom of our Republic is the immediate end of all those secret yet reprehensible activities being carried out by our government that bring shame to every citizen.  If we could rid our government of those in high places who are working against the cause of liberty and peace, then we wouldn’t need another task force or federal agency.

China’s heavy-handed censorship accelerate rumors

Rumor, Lies, and Weibo: How Social Media is Changing the Nature of Truth in China:

chinese

chinese

 

When the message appeared on the Weibo account of Xinhua, China’s official news agency on April 10, announcing charges against the family of high-profile party leader Bo Xilai, it ended many days of public speculation on China’s largest political crisis in decades. But it also left Chinese web users even more deeply confused about the distinction between political truth and rumor, one that has always been hazy in China but is now blurred even more by social media.  Chinese web users began speculating, following Bo’s firing as Chongqing party chief in March, about the Bo family’s possible role in the mysterious death of Neil Heywood, a British businessman with close ties to the family. China’s Internet censors muzzled the online discussions. The government spokesmen stonewalled inquiries from the British government and told curious Chinese that Heywood died of “excessive drinking,” admonishing them “not to spread groundless rumor.”  On the morning of April 11, Chinese web users woke up to find that the reports that had previously filled their Weibo pages — in coded words adopted to evade the censors — now featured the front page of every official newspaper. The rumor, repressed by censors and dodged by government spokesmen, had become a state-approved fact overnight.  “What was treated as attacks spread by ‘international reactionary forces’ has now become truth. Then what other ‘truths’ exposed by foreign media should we believe?…God knows!” wrote Weibo user Jieyigongjiang. “How did it all become truth? Was I being fooled?” user Zousifanye asked. This hall-of-mirrors system can be confusing even for the officials who run it.  For China’s new generation of tech-savvy youth, who compose the bulk of the nation’s estimated 300 million Weibo users, the downfall of Bo Xilai is the largest political crisis they have witnessed. The sudden volatility of the official versions of truth on the story has left many of them deeply confused. Some see this as a victory for Weibo, which is moderated by censors but often too free-wheeling and fast-moving for them to maintain total control, over more traditional media, which is openly run by the state. “In this political drama that took place in Yuzhou [alternative name for Chongqing], all the media outlets were following Weibo. The power of social media is manifested here,” user Tujiayefu wrote. User Kangjialin agreed: ” ‘Rumor’ is the proof that mainstream media is now falling behind Weibo.”  The government controls all forms of media in China, including Weibo. But on occasions censorship of Weibo is known to relax, allowing windows of free speech, particularly in the cases of breaking news. Chinese distrust of the country’s traditional media, which regularly covers up food scandals and human rights violations, is leading many people to turn to Weibo for information and news. The Twitter-like service has helped expose incidents of mafia intimidation and money laundering. Weibo-based stories like that of Guo Meimei, the 20-year-old “senior official” at the state-run Red Cross Society who posted photos of her new Lamborghini and Maserati online, ignited firestorms of discussions on weightier, more sensitive, and sometimes forbidden subjects such as corruption within state-run social organizations.  In the West, social media is treated skeptically for the exact same reason that it is so embraced in China: it is rife with rumors. Its break-neck speed allows little time for fact-checking or editorial supervision, which also means it can move too quickly for censors. Its noisy, open-source discussion — anyone can say anything and watch it spread — makes it tougher for Western users to trust, but easier for Chinese users, who know that censors can pressure official news organizations but not a hundred million anonymous citizen-bloggers. That anonymity is slowly receding, but this hasn’t done much damage to the service’s popularity or power.  In the Bo Xilai saga, many Weibo users had at first dismissed the dramatic speculations over the Communist Party’s divisive infighting as sensationalized rumors. Now that the rumors have turned out to be true, they’re re-examining the established beliefs that led them to reject the stories and to take the officials at their word. “The result of rumor turning truth is that from now on all rumors will become more trustworthy,” concluded Potomac Xiaowu.  The government is fighting back, reminding Chinese web users that Weibo is also a hot bed of invented rumors, and that believing and spreading them can bring real consequences. Less than a month ago, whispers circulated on Weibo of troop movements near the leadership’s Zhongnanhai compound in central Beijing. Those whispers soon grew into a full-blown account of a coup being staged by Bo’s Party allies in Beijing. Tanks purportedly rolled in and gunshots were fired, a story with terrifying echoes of the 1989 protest on Tiananmen Square. The rumors quickly made it into Western media. Just as it became clear that these stories weren’t true, the government ordered the shutdown of 16 websites and detention of six people over the rumors, which it clearly considered threats to public order. The two massive Weibo sites, Sina and Tencent, were forced to shut down their comment function for three days in order to “carry out a concentrated cleanup.”  China’s heavy-handed censorship may now actually accelerate the spread of rumors, which could be seen as more plausible precisely because they are censored. Chinese web users trying to figure out the most likely truth must speculate not only about the rumors themselves, but also about every move the government makes in response. Did the state order censors to crack down on a particular story because they want quell a false and potentially destabilizing rumor or because they want to prevent an uncomfortable truth from spreading? If censors clamp down on a growing rumor later than expected or not at all, is this because they’re simply slow or because government wants to build up public attention for its own purposes? In the days immediately after Bo’s removal from his Chongqing office, for example, Internet rumors about his misdeeds circulated freely, in what many suspect was a state effort to build public knowledge of his corruption and turn people against him. For Chinese netizens trying to parse out truth from rumors, every story and its government response are a new mystery, and the guessing game never really ends.  This hall-of-mirrors system can be confusing even for the officials who run it, and social media consumers are not the only people in China who can confuse truth and rumor. Last February, as protest movements stormed the Middle East, starting with the “Jasmine revolution” in Tunisia, a crowd gathered quietly in central Beijing after anonymous calls for their own Jasmine protests. The small crowd was outnumbered by skittish police, not to mention a number of Western reporters. Both groups had also caught the rumor and responded swiftly.  The movement was ended before it had really started, but it continued to ripple through the life of common Chinese citizens in ways its initiators had probably not expected. In the next months, although few or no protesters actually gathered and there seemed to be little momentum for an Arab Spring-style movement, the government seemed to take the social media mumblings far more seriously than the actual activists. Streets were blocked and plainclothes police were stationed at shopping malls and movie theaters every few hundred of feet. Security officials detained dozens of leading activists, including artist Ai Weiwei, in apparent fear of their stirring further unrest, and threatened foreign journalists for reporting on the incident. When Chinese people realized the word “jasmine” was blocked from the Internet and from text messages, though euphemisms for the word were now well-known, and the flower was banned at Beijing botanic markets, the news of the pseudo-revolution had reached a wide public. The government, in its effort to quell the rumor, had ballooned it into an alternate version of truth. Their over-reaction had communicated the rumors of a revolution far more powerfully than had the actual rumors or its proponents.  The tug-of-war between the government and the people over truth and rumor happens every day in today’s China. The rise of social media has made the struggle harder and the stakes higher. The night the government announced the charges against Bo Xilai, a crowd of thousands gathered in Chongqing and clashed with local police. The government vigorously denied any connection between the incident and Bo’s expulsion, meanwhile moving to delete relevant messages and photos from Weibo. The Chinese web users reveling in the role of social networking sites in revealing the Bo scandals once again fell into debates, while others have been reflecting on larger questions. “Why does the U.S. not censor rumors?” asked one Weibo user last November. “No matter how wild they are, nobody bans them, and the creators of rumors do not worry about getting arrested. Perhaps for places where truth persists, rumors have no harm. Only places that lack truth are fearful of rumors.”  Had the censors tried to look for the original writer of this message, they would not have found him or her. The name is lost amid millions of others, who forward the message after each round of rumor-clearing seizes Weibo in a state-run information purge that can never quite keep up.

Powerful forces line up against internet around world

Google: Internet Freedom Faces Greatest Threat Ever:

1984-was-not-supposed-to-be-an-instruction-manual

1984-was-not-supposed-to-be-an-instruction-manual

In an interview published today, Google Co-founder Sergey Brin told The Guardian that internet openness and universal access are under immediate attack by “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

Sergey Brin Google co-founder .The threat to the internet comes “from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of ‘restrictive’ walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms,” The Guardian reports.  In the interview Brin alludes to the reach of the US government, telling how Google is forced to hand over data and is restricted from notifying users that their privacy has been breached.

Brin said he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. “You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive,” he said. “The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation.”

He criticised Facebook for not making it easy for users to switch their data to other services. “Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years,” he said. […]

He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was “shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot” by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material.

He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. The entertainment industry failed to appreciate people would continue to download pirated content as long as it was easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material, he said. […]

Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.

Microsoft spy’s on you reports to Government

A patent filed by Microsoft reveals the company has voluntarily created software that provides the Government and other agencies seeking to spy on you:

Microsoft

A patent filed by Microsoft reveals the company has voluntarily created software that provides the Government and other agencies seeking to spy on you.

A patent filed by Microsoft seeks to give the company exclusive rights to intercept personal electronic communications and resend them directly to the Government and other agencies who may be seeking to spy on you.  By filing the patent, Microsoft clearly shows they have voluntarily created the software,  instead of waiting for a Government mandate to do so. The patent states that “the  government or one of its agencies may need to monitor communications” and software acts as a “recording agent” that is able to silently record the communication”.  The patent specifically names certain types of communications, such as Skype calls, instant messaging, video conferencing software, and even meeting software but does not stop there. Instead it goes on to label just about all electronic devices you can think of as a computer and requests for a patent to be able to intercept digital communications from those devices, and even access data stored in a variety of other storage mediums, and forward the to the Government.  A Gizmodo article on the patent points out that Microsoft appears to trying to patent Skype spying,  which is specifically named within the patent,  but the scope of patent goes far beyond the ability to just spy on Skype calls.  Only by digging into the patent can you see the deceptiveness in Microsoft’s the labeling of certain technologies and realize the true scope of what the software company is trying to provide the Government easy access to spy on.  For example, the label all packet-based communication as VoIP, which clearly nothing is further from the truth. All data that can be sent over the internet is a “packet-based communication”.

[…] the term VoIP is used to refer to standard VoIP as well as any other form of packet-based communication that may be used to transmit audio over a wireless and/or wired network. For example, VoIP may include audio messages transmitted via gaming systems, instant messaging protocols that transmit audio, Skype and Skype-like applications, meeting software, video conferencing software, and the like.

The patent goes on and deceptively labels all digital electronic devices as computers, say that everything from computers, to printers, gaming devices, automobile systems, even printers, home appliances and all other mobile based electronics are computers. The patent even applies to microcontroller which are often the brain of electronic devices and used in products ranging from automobile engine control systems, implantable medical devices, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, and even toys.

A computer may include any electronic device that is capable of executing an instruction[…]

Examples of well known computing systems, environments, or configurations that may be suitable for use [include] personal computers, server computers, hand-held or laptop devices, multiprocessor systems, microcontroller-based systems, set-top boxes, programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones, gaming devices, printers, appliances including set-top, media center, or other appliances, automobile-embedded or attached computing devices, other mobile devices, distributed computing environments that include any of the above systems or devices, and the like.

The patent also doesn’t stop with computers or even communications for that matter. It targets a variety of offline mediums that can used to store data and even computer programs themselves.

[…] a variety of computer-readable media [including] any available media that can be accessed by the computer  removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data.

Computer storage media includes RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile discs (DVDs) or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by the computer.

The patent further reveals that the software’s capability includes the ability to intercept all digital communications regardless of the medium, or whether they are online or offline, bluntly including the ability to intercept all modulated data signals.

Communication media typically embodies computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media. Combinations of any of the above should also be included within the scope of computer-readable media.

 

WiFi electricity generator

RCA Airnergy Charger Harvests Electricity From WiFi Signals

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This thing is, seriously, the highlight of CES for me (so far) this year. 3D TVs and eBook readers are fine, but there’s nothing amazing about them.  The Airnergy Charger is amazing. This little box has, inside it, some kind of circuitry that harvests WiFi energy out of the air and converts it into electricity. This has been done before, but the Airnergy is able to harvest electricity with a high enough efficiency to make it practically useful: on the CES floor, they were able to charge a BlackBerry from 30% to full in about 90 minutes, using nothing but ambient WiFi signals as a power source.  The Airnergy has a battery inside it, so you can just carry it around and as long as you’re near some WiFi, it charges itself. Unlike a solar charger, it works at night and you can keep it in your pocket. Of course, proximity to the WiFi source and the number of WiFi sources is important, but at the rate it charges, if you have a home wireless network you could probably just leave anywhere in your house overnight and it would be pretty close to full in the morning.

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Here is the really, really unbelievable part: RCA says that the USB charger will be available this summer for $40, and a battery with the WiFi harvesting technology will be available soon after. I mean, all kinds of people are pushing wireless charging, but this would hands down take the cake… It doesn’t need a pad and it’s charging all the time, for free, in just about any urban environment.

Online Privacy is Non-Fiction

Your privacy is a sci-fi fantasy:

No Privacy

No Privacy

 

One bright sunny morning in the Land Before the Internet, you go on a job interview. You’re smart, skilled, motivated, and clearly destined to be an asset to any company that hires you. During the interview process, however, just as the HR manager begins to discuss the benefits package and salary, basically communicating that you have the job, he pauses.  “Oh, and we have a few procedural things to take care of,” he says. “We’ll need to assign a goon to follow you around with a parabolic microphone to listen to all of your conversations with friends, and we’ll have a few more follow your friends and family around to see what they’re saying.”  He continues: “Also, we’ll need full access to your diary, your personal records, and your photo albums. In fact, we’ll need the keys to your house, so we can rifle through your stuff to see what you have tucked away in the attic and whatnot. We will also need to do the same to all your friends. I assume that won’t be a problem?”   Just across town in the Land Before the Internet, a few officers in the local police station are bored, so they assign a few cruisers to shadow people at random, for an indefinite period of time. They pick names out of the phone book — selecting citizens who’ve otherwise raised no cause for suspicion — and follow them, simply because they can.  The cops meticulously document the citizens’ comings and goings, creating a very detailed report on their daily lives, complete with where they go, how long they stay, and when they return to their homes. They note when they go to the doctor, where they pick up their kids, everything. They maintain the trail for months or longer, then keep these reports forever.   It turns out that the police in the Land Before the Internet aren’t half as busy as the employees at the post office, who’ve been opening and reading every single letter you’ve sent and received — or the people at the phone company, who are assigned to listen to every phone call you make and transcribe the contents for easy search and recall at a later date. You could avoid their prying ears by speaking in code, but this would be documented as an attempt to evade eavesdropping, which is clearly an indicator that you’re engaging in some sort of nefarious activity. For instance, you might infringe on a copyright down the line, perhaps by singing a few bars of “In the Year 2525” to a friend over the phone.  Welcome to the twilight zone.  Of course, these upside-down horrors are unimaginable in real life. The idea that the post office or phone company would snoop is just crazy — except it’s pretty much what the major ISPs are now volunteering to do. Police stalking innocent citizens could never happen in the United States, at least not without a judge’s approval — unless it means sticking GPS devices on their cars. And under no circumstances would we allow the prospect of gainful employment to be contingent on the abrogation of someone’s personal privacy — but we might need to examine your Facebook page.  These invasions of personal privacy are occurring now because they’re suddenly very easy to accomplish. The rapid advancements in processing power and storage have opened the door to the wholesale collection and storage of vast amounts of data that can be indexed and tied (however loosely) to individuals. There’s no way that any of these entities would have the means or personnel to do this Big Brother nonsense physically, but once those communications occur over the network, they think they’re fair game.  There are many instances where digital surveillance is a good idea and essentially required because of the medium: people working on highly secure defense projects, those working with sensitive information for corporations that could be a target of corporate espionage, and obviously those in positions that require interaction with information on private individuals that should not be disseminated. The use of digital monitoring and data collection is very important in these places. Further, if you’re employed by a company, using corporate resources, you relinquish some right to privacy in order to protect the company from internal sabotage or damages that might ensue from vital internal planning, innovations, or intellectual property falling into the hands of the competition. In short, if you’re at the office running your mouth on Facebook and IM about sensitive internal information and get fired for it, it’s your fault. You’re unlikely to get fired for bitching about your ex-husband to a friend in an IM from your work PC, but don’t be surprised to know that your conversations are being monitored and recorded in an effort to crack down on the former. However, that should not extend beyond the office or into your personal time and space. Invasive digital eavesdropping and coerced access to private social networking applications is an absurd example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In an effort to find the needle, we’re burning down the haystack.

Elite want You Dead

Red Level Alert North America:

Your Dead

Your Dead

While we are all focusing on the coming financial collapse, as bad as that is something much more sinister is in the works.  It’s very subtle if you are not paying attention.  But, to the award, its blatant, insidious, and just as horrific as Hitler’s Germany.  There is a small group of the world’s banking elite who have worked for a few hundred years with ingenious precision and unlimited money, to corral, coerce, and conquer every country of value on earth.  For people who are normal and not rabidly greedy, it’s hard to fathom the idea of anyone trying to get control of the whole world, and taking a chunk of every measure of value traded between its people.  What’s even harder to grasp is that they will stop at nothing to do it.  Look at the millions of people slaughtered in just the last 10 years.  Their leaders may have resisted the Cabal, but many if not all of those dead people were innocents.  We have actually become numb to the idea of genocide, even when it’s right under our nose!!!  And we are sadly mistaken if we think we are somehow immune to the wrath of the most evil people on earth.  They want us dead!  They would love nothing better than to use our own military against us by goading us into revolting.  They have really upped the ante lately too.  Swat is teaming everyday Americans on a regular basis and making sure it’s in the news, and in our face.  If we finally snap, then they will have their pretext to kill us off en mass.  They love the cover of war for murdering millions. Don’t you think that our trick CIA could have found and destroyed Hussain or Gaddafi without dropping a single bomb?  Smedley Butler was right, war is a racket.  But I get the distinct feeling that it’s just not quite as much fun for this group of psychopaths if there’s not total Mad Max destruction.  If after pondering and researching these facts and events, you come to any other conclusion; you are in need of a serious wake up call.  The Powers That Be (TPTB) have even carved in stone their desire to eliminate 80% plus of the population of the world.  They need a much smaller herd if they are going to be able to steer and control everyone for a One World Government, under their control.  A theme emerges when you look at the big picture. They find the things that we all need to survive or use, then put their agenda in motion.

1. ASPARTAME (renamed AMINO SWEET or NEOTAME to thwart growing awareness)- Named commercially Equal/Sweet ‘n Low, aspartame has now found its way into 5000-6000 food products.  This artificial sweetener was denied approval three times.  That is, until Mr. Donald Rumsfeld was hired as the new president of the Searl Co.  The company has since been sold to Monsanto.  This chemical literally turns into wood alcohol in your body, by-passing the blood brain barrier.  Tests show it causes brain tumors and cancer, reduces fertility, can be addictive, and cause many other serious health problems.  The incidence of brain tumors and cancer has risen dramatically since it was introduced.  The test monkeys were trying to tell us something.  A quick read on how they make it and you’ll realize why it’s so toxic. Instead of a “WARNING” on food labels, most products just say ‘sugar free’.

2. GMO CROPSSince these crops are patented; no one really knows exactly what types of genes are spliced into their DNA.  They call them terminator seeds, meaning they do not produce seeds for future planting and must be purchased by farmers every year.  The original theory was to blend Monsanto’s herbicide Round-Up into the gene of the plant so the crops could be sprayed with Monsanto’s Round-up without killing the plant.  Way back in the 1980′s president G.H.W. Bush declared that if Genetically Modified crops looked like regular foods, then they were foods, and the government would not spend federal money on testing or researching their safety or efficacy.  It has since been a battle royal for independent scientists to show that these foods are indeed questionable as to their safety for human or animal  consumption.  Obvious evidence from around the world shows that farm animals, as well as mice and hamsters in laboratory tests, have a high incidence of death and deformity in second and third generation offspring, spontaneous abortion and sterility.  These plants have infiltrated growing fields around the world and their derivatives are in nearly all our foods. Problems are arising in spite of the hyped ‘improved crop yield’.  Complete fields are collapsing, new ‘super weeds’ are growing, and the over spraying of pesticides and Round-up are destroying the biology of growing soil. GMO crops were never tested over the long haul, and now the very worm the farmers wanted to avoid are developing a resistance to the GM corn. Monsanto’s answer? Plant up to 20% of the fields with NON-GMO to lure the worms over there!  And, now they’ll try splicing two kinds of pesticides into the corn seed.  Last summer Monsanto had to pay GMO farmers to use their competitor’s herbicide, since Round-up was not working anymore.  Organically grown crops are being contaminated by wind and cross pollination, and farmers are being sued for ‘stealing’ Monsanto’s property.  If they can’t afford to fight the monster company, they are losing their farms and lifetime investments. Monsanto hires private thugs to secretly inspect organic farms in order to accomplish these take downs.  The predatory Big Ag companies have declared war on smaller farmers and us.  Scientists believe that once the distorted DNA of these plants go into our bodies, that our own DNA is invaded and that our intestines can literally become pesticide factories. Monsanto has put up vicious attacks on scientists who try to warn about GMO dangers. Recently the USDA ignored an urgent letter from a Purdue scientist about a newly discovered pathogen in GMOs, pleading with them not to approve Monsanto’s new GM alfalfa.  The USDA has even defied an appeals court order not to approve it until an environmental impact study was conducted, but they approved it anyway. What ever happened to the truth that “you can’t fool mother nature”?  If GMO’s are not stopped now, indigenous seeds, organic foods, age old farming methods, clean and normal healthy foods will be destroyed forever. Since Monsanto lobbied against their ‘Franken Foods’ being labeled, and won, we have become the de facto ‘environmental impact study’.  There are already red warning lights flashing, but hell, who cares?  Full steam ahead!

3.COREXITDuring the Gulf Oil Disaster, BP defied the EPA’s ‘order’ not to apply this highly toxic deadly poison into the sea water.  A ‘no fly zone’ was, and still is in force, so the public will not see that the spraying continues to this day.  There has been a news black out imposed on scientists, researchers, doctors who are trying to diagnose and treat the many illnesses that the Gulf residents are sick and dying from.  Plants and humans are being affected far, far inland, but no one knows the extent of the damage. The Corexit has produced new and deadly bacteria, one is known as Blue Plague, but that’s where the story dead ends.  Has anyone heard the numbers of the premature deaths on the Gulf Coast, compared with the normal death rates?  No, I didn’t think so. Somehow the news did leak out though, that the ‘spill’ has blown open and is gushing oil again, although it’s questionable that it ever stopped.  Gee, if oil drilling expert Matt Simmons was still here, maybe we could find out.  He gave very good reports on TV.  He died alone in his hot tub one night from what they said was a ‘heart attack’.  I sure miss him.

4. VACCINES- Does it seem to you that every day some new vaccine pops up that we must have?  Shingles?  HPV?  In my 33 years of working with the public on an intimate level, I’ve never known anyone who died of cervical cancer.  Hmmm.  Each year they guess which flu bug might come around, and we’re all supposed to line up.  A couple years ago they said ‘oops, we were wrong, come in for another stab’ of a different brew.  Two winters ago they said we were all going to die a quick horrible death if we didn’t get the ‘human, pig, bird’ flu shot.  I didn’t even see anyone sick, let alone die, did you?  Many got sick and died from the vaccine though.  Is it any wonder the drug companies paid off congress some years ago to exempt them from any damage liability for their vaccines?  We’ve all heard the horror stories about what these shots can do to people.  Squalene, mercury, and lord knows what else is in these formulas, or how they are cultured. Since we aren’t told, I’m not allowed to repeat rumors here.  I did read last year that 83% of the people in California who ‘contracted’ whooping cough had been vaccinated for it though. Hmmm.  Unfortunately, the government has admitted that ‘some’ vaccines had cancers cells in them, that they infected thousands of children in other countries with polio, and conducted illegal experiments on people with syphilis bacteria in Alabama and Guatemala.  What a good way to hurt a lot of people at once; figure out what a whole lot of people think they need or want, then shoot it straight into their veins.  But just as people are finally wising up to the dangers of vaccines, Big Pharma pushes harder and harder for vaccines to be mandatory for when they decide to create another fake pandemic or illness.

5. FALSE PANDEMIC PANICAn investigation into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proclamation that the world was in a bonafide pandemic (after changing the criteria for that level 6 classification), it was discovered that there were unscrupulous and conflict of interest ties to the pharmaceutical companies. Wow!  What a surprise!  And yes, what was the payoff going to be?  Billions of flu shots sold.  Sometimes I think they need to float a trial balloon just to see how many people are still buying their scary propaganda, inflamed and enabled by the corporate owned mainstream media.  Pharmaceutical companies, with the governments’ help, have already accomplished blackmailing parents into shooting up their children with a plethora of vaccines if they want to send them to school.  The Powers That Be are hell bent on finding some way to force their poisons into all of us. Keep in mind that whatever the TV is trying to sell you, whatever story they go hyperbolic over, it means one of 2 things.  It is either to promote TPTB’s agenda, or to divert your attention away from TPTB’s agenda.  And when they omit news that’s important to your life, it’s so you don’t think there’s an agenda at all.

6. PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGSI think the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs each year is up to 200,000 if I’m not mistaken.  And that’s not even the mistakes.  That’s the number for properly prescribed meds!  The drug companies trump up a crisis, like cholesterol numbers that are too high, restless legs, hyperactive kids, whatever, just when they are ready to release their shiny new pill for exactly that problem.  They lie and fudge in their testing, hide the flaws in the results, push for fast track approval, and wala! Billions more pour into their coffers, while people start keeling over in droves.  By the time the FDA decides to even ‘study’ the issue, thousands have died.  Don’t you just love being the real test subjects for them?  And you didn’t even get paid to be in a clinical trial!  Even if the hungry lawyers get the class action suits going, the award damages are far, far smaller than what the company has already raked in.  Oh well, there’s always ‘collateral damage’ with these things, you know?  Haven’t I heard those words somewhere before, like when the government is making excuses for killing ‘innocent civilians’ during war?

7. FLUORIDATED CITY WATERThis is a little trick they stole from the Hitler playbook. It’s just so expensive to dispose of the waste from aluminum manufacturing, hmmm, what could we drum up as a good use for it?  Never mind that it actually causes brain damage, or makes your teeth mottled and discolored, or corrodes your bones, we’ll just put that skull and crossbones on the 55 gallon drums to warn people.  But they’ll still think it’s good for them because we said so, right?  Then we’ll pay the dentists to agree.  Gee, another thing a whole lot of people need, water!  Now, one of President Obama’s czars suggests adding in lithium to keep people calm, along with the other pharmaceuticals that have been found in our water supplies.  No matter what we learn after the fact about what’s been done wrong, it just continues on anyway, doesn’t it?  Why is that?

8. AEROSOL SPRAYINGHave you noticed all those pretty streams planes make in the sky over your head?  I have.  They can turn a clear Arizona deep blue sky cloudy, in just about an hour.  Sometimes they make puff clouds that have streamers draping off of them.  Cool!  But maybe in a short time, you find you can’t breath so well, or you find these cobweb like things on your plants, or it can look like it’s snowing when it’s 100 degrees! More cool!  But it’s a different story when you read about the testing of what’s been collected in air samples, or in people’s blood and saliva.  Micro particles of aluminum, barium, strontium, arsenic, zinc, and too many to list other heavy metals, along with strange bacteria and fibers.  Have you ever heard of Morgellon’s disease?  It’s where people develop moving fibers under their skin.  It’s one of the most horrible, unimaginable, creepy and disgusting skin ailments I’ve ever seen.  Look it up. Dr. Clifford Carnicom has been researching aerosol spraying, otherwise known as chemtrails, for over 12 years and has discovered the Morgellons fibers in the fallen debris and in the saliva of 99% of the people he’s tested.  What do you know?  One more thing we all like, breathing the air!  By the way, it’s not legal for the government to experiment on us without our permission, “UNLESS it’s for medical, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial purposes, or for research in general, or for protection against, or for law enforcement purposes, including riot control”. (Section 1520a Chapter 32 of U.S. Code Title 50).  No wonder our ‘representatives’ scurry like rats when approached about this subject!  They must have their own special air to breathe.

9. FDAHow many words are the limit for regular articles?  Some doctors have been known to call this the Federal Death Agency.  There are countless detrimental to life additives, fillers, chemicals, artificial extenders, dyes, poison in plastic food containers, and even radiation that are just fine with the FDA for us to eat.  But don’t you dare consume organic raw milk!  Oh no no no.  They just won’t have any of that!  If you report adverse effects from one of their approved elements, you may not hear back from them for years.  You won’t even be noticed if you’re already a statistic!  It just depends on what made you sick.  If it was something a huge corporation makes, forget it.  If you got sick from a peach you bought at a local roadside stand, or some lemonade from your neighbors little girls stand down the street, well its curtains for them.  They’ll get 10+ years in the slammer.  Just beware while you’re shopping at your favorite organic fresh food grocer. Those black Suburban cars, swat team ninja cops, and big AK-47 rifles can be quite startling.  Oh, I forgot about all the toxic chemicals that are allowed to go into our skin and hair products too.  Boys and girls, don’t forget to use your (cancer causing) sunscreen now.  Remember to be careful in that bad sun!  P.S.  Watch out for domestic home grown terrorists like John McCain and Dick Durbin, they’ve been trying to outlaw your vitamin and mineral diet supplements, and they just won’t quit.

10. VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT DEMONIZATIONThe Pharmaceutical companies have a jealousy problem.  They don’t like all the money you’ve been spending on vitamins to stay healthy.  It’s just driving them crazy.  So they got our government to sign onto some UN treaty called Codex Alimentarius.  This multi country UN gig wants to judge just how little nutrition you actually need in your vitamin pills, something like what wouldn’t be enough for your pet fly.  Then they want to give the rights to BigPharma to make the pills, with only slightly more milligrams at one thousand times the cost.  What the heck took them so long?  And to make it even better, you’ll have to go to your doctor (IF you can find one after ObamaCare kicks in) for a prescription for your vitamin A, B, C, D, Etc.  So now, we won’t have to worry at all about maintaining good health, because our loving government will do it all for us, right?  So, when all the diseases that are caused by nutritional deficiencies return, all the pharmaceutical companies will be lined up waiting to fix us.  Are you getting the picture yet?  Foods that are loaded up with chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, hormones and anti-biotics to counteract e.coli and staff bacteria; severely depleted in nutrients and minerals, and shipped in from all over the world with scant oversight.  Yet they want to deny us the only means we have to counteract the industrialization and over processing of our foods.  The deal is to keep us very sick, slowly dying, and drain our purses dry, before we die.  Speaking of dying, how many people are killed by vitamins each year?  None, or one?  From the way the FDA is reacting, and Sen. Durbin’s new bill, you might think there was a holocaust in progress.  Well, there is….. But it’s not caused by vitamins!!

11. EPA-Natural gas fracking (flaming tap water).  5 year Naval war exercises on all US coasts with every horrible kind of toxin, bomb, or chemical warfare germ you can think of.  They even admit this endeavor will “take” (read ‘kill’) up to 11 million sea mammals.  Nuclear leakage and fallout.  Every imaginable chemical, pesticide, and herbicide.  Chemtrails. Oil spills and gushers.  Aerosol spraying of deadly toxins on oceans.  Ocean trash dumping by corporations.  Neglected toxic Superfund sites. Overflowing spent nuclear fuel pools all over the country.  Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMF).  Let’s see.  What am I forgetting?  It doesn’t matter. Anything is OK by the EPA apparently.

12. USDA- Let me give you a clue.  All these alphabet soup agencies are head fakes.  They were put in place by TPTB to make us think the government was protecting us and our country.  And maybe for awhile, to get us believing in them, they were.  But folks, the worm has turned.  Look out.  They are all there to enable the move to consolidate the elites’ plan for total control over our lives!  Here’s a line from a recent article: ‘The USDA lied to farmers and ranchers about federal drought insurance.  The government has refused to pay up during the worst drought in US history’.  More farmers down the drain.  The USDA is an enemy of the country.  The FDA is an enemy of people.  The SEC is an enemy of investors.  The EPA is an enemy of the earth.  I could go on if you like.  Nothing is logical. Nothing makes sense.  What’s love got to do with it?  Nothing.  TPTB are brutal, evil, and diabolical.  They delight in death and destruction, and enjoy watching us suffer.

13. FUKUSHIMA- What is Fukushima?  I think I’ve heard of that somewhere before.  Was that the name of a country somewhere near Japan or something?  Oh that’s right, there was a tsunami, and I think I heard something about a nuclear power plant.  Boy, that CNN just jumps from one story to the next.  Things are moving so fast these days it’s hard to keep up. But I think somebody from England said something about not going out in the rain, or eating green leafy vegetables.  But everything must be OK now, because I haven’t heard any more about it.  Nothing is more despicable than to have our government order a news black-out about what is very possibly a life extinction event of mass proportion.

14. THE FOOD SAFETY AND MODERNIZATION ACTBetter known as ‘The End of Small Farms and Don’t Bother Looking For Roadside Fruit and Vegetable Stands Act’.  Those small time farmers are going to be too busy complying with new draconian paperwork and regulations to worry about the safety of their organic crops.  While they are busy paying the piper, the crops will die of neglect anyway.  But don’t get all huffy and think you’ll just grow some food of your own.  The Garden Police will show up with their AK-47s, and God knows what will happen if you don’t have your permit!  And don’t even think about sharing your extra tomatoes with the neighbor.  That is against the law now.  They’ll work best thrown onto the compost pile for next years planting.  Our loyal representatives twisted themselves into pretzels to get this bill passed.  The lame duck congress even worked till the wee hours of the morning so no one would see what they were doing on the last day they were in office.  Many who may have voted ‘no’ had gone home to bed.  They got about 6 million letters, calls, and e-mails from the suckers who voted for them, begging them not to pass this dangerous bill!  But they just couldn’t resist giving us a parting gift, because they couldn’t resist the parting gifts they got for passing this disgusting bill.  In case you haven’t picked up on it, every new bill in this Orwellian world we live in, has a name the exact opposite of what its underlying purpose is.

15. SMART GRID and SMART METERSAs if electro magnetic frequencies (EMF) from cell phones, cell towers, microwave ovens, HD TVs, wi-fi signals, medical CT scans, X-rays, and airport scanners, aren’t enough to fry us, we now get to have the new and improved electrical grid along with the deadly ‘smart meters’ that go with them.  Here’s another gift from TPTB money grabbers who have nothing but their own agenda in mind.  Even all the corporations who are going to be bidding for a piece of the action dare not bring up the issue of safety.  Not a word!  This may finally be the wake-up call for all the people who refused to believe their government has anything but their best interests at heart.  Once again, our dependence on electricity will be used to hold us hostage, and to make us comply with something that may very well kill us!  Not to mention that ‘smart meters’ are a complete invasion of your privacy and a way for Big Brother to keep track of your every move and even control your appliances remotely if they want.  Please read up on this subject before they come to your town and alert your neighbors!  The meters will be spewing strong pulses of microwave energy all through the environment, your home and everybody in it, then returning the signal to a receiver up to 2 miles away. Even if you didn’t have one, don’t worry, you’ll be treated to all your neighbors signals as well, right through your walls.  Your utility’s talking point will be that ‘they are no more dangerous than a cell phone’, or that it only pulses twice a day.  Outright lies!  Apparently, they haven’t been keeping up on their propaganda scheme.  Even the WHO is finally admitting that cell phones do cause cancer tumors!  Another case of hiding the health risks for the benefit of big corporations.  And, according to Dr. Bill Deagle, who has been testing the smart meter, it’s been putting out 100 times the EMF of a cell phone!  I wonder how long it will take to kill people who are unfortunate enough to live in multi-family dwellings, or live with a meter bank containing hundreds of meters a short distance from their home?  Don’t think our government knows exactly what they’re doing to us?  The military has studied this technology extensively!  The meters have not even been approved by UL, and you need a subpoena to get safety rating records from the utility co.  How would you like to die?  Cooked by microwaves, or fried in a fire?  The meters have been catching on fire and may have been the cause of the gas line explosion in San Diego that took 8 lives and 47 homes a few months ago.  Federal “investigators” said they were not going to investigate if the meter was the cause “because the meter did not cause the explosion”.  They don’t look for things they don’t want to find.  The utility commissions and the utility companies are playing extreme hardball with people who do not want to be microwaved in their homes.  If you try to ‘opt out’, you will pay dearly to protect your health, while they are happy to place your life on the black jack table for that first winning hand.  Judging by Dr. Deagle’s own testing of his smart meter, it’s obvious that any test results provided by the industry claiming the meters are completely safe are fraudulent!  Further, they do admit that there has been no long term testing, but you’ll need a subpoena to see their safety data.  So just like cell phones, how can they dare to make any safety claims?  “The meters are within the FCC’s guidelines” they say. (Another alphabet agency)  I guess cell phones are too, although the radio frequency levels they put out have just been listed as carcinogens.  Once again, the people who will get rich off this boondoggle will be sailing away on their yachts, while you lie in a hospital bed dying of cancer.  You can bet they won’t have smart meters on their homes!   The government has offered bribe money to the states, utilities and the utility commissions (which came from us in the form of ‘stimulus money’) to institute this program.  Then we’ll pay for it again ‘to reimburse the utility along with a ‘fair’ profit’, by paying much higher rates.  It is NOT mandated by law, but if you refuse them permission to install the meter, they will come back and install it anyway and say you have no choice.  Or they’ll threaten to turn your power off!  They thought they could pass this one off by saying it will save us money, conserve energy, and save the earth!   But people are catching on to this one, and the lawsuits are already under way.  (Good luck with that.  How many judges do you trust these days?)  Act now and get your city to ban them, please!  And don’t forget to educate your doctor.  He’ll need the info to treat your addled brain and confused bodily systems, if the Cabal gets their way.  Every cell in our body has an electrical biology, and unless you aren’t human, you will be damaged.  It’s the modern day version of a gas chamber.  The chamber this time happens to be your own home,  If this isn’t our line in the sand, nothing is.

16. UNENDING WARS- Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be soldiers.  If they make it back home, they’ll never be the same.  Look up Gulf War Syndrome. They are guinea pigs for every imaginable vaccine, and unwitting victims of America’s own weapon of mass destruction called depleted uranium.  You could also become the proud grandparents of a grandchild with 2 heads and 4 legs.  It has become very obvious that our government, our military, and our country have been the subjects of a coup ‘d tat.  The next time someone says our sons and daughters are defending our freedom, remind them of the black SUVs and swat team raids on the beautiful Amish farmers, or the 630 citizen deaths by cop tasers, or the no warrant, no knock raids on homes of innocent people, or the sexual assault by the airport TSA because people just want to visit their family in another state.  I know our young people sign up out of financial desperation and perceived patriotism.  Once they sign they are compelled to follow orders, but it is now apparent to the entire world that they are not fighting for our country, but for the agenda of the cabal of elites who want to own it all, including you.  The military standing down is our only hope for saving the country.  We need them to defend us, right here at home, from the enemies within, and the outside enemies who are fomented by our government’s lies.   I hate to say it, but right at this moment, our military is aiding and abetting the enemy to destroy our dreams, our freedoms, and our country.   Is there not a single commander who has the guts to loudly and publicly just say NO MORE?!

17. OBAMA”CARE”Written by the insurance companies, it will be the perfect covert plan to eliminate all the ‘useless eaters’ and save the government from paying all of us pesky Baby Boomers our social security. It won’t be hard, since while they are adding 30 million people into the system, 60% of the doctors we have now will be long gone.  They want nothing to do with it.  Everyone knows that the medical system is in melt down as we speak anyway.  One of my favorite parts of this travesty is the rule that if you are ‘not up to date on your vaccines’, you won’t get care.  It’s such a fabulous law that the scum who voted for it made themselves and their staff exempt from it!  Make your doctor appointments now!  It may be a few years wait.  Ask him if he makes house calls to jails, since that’s where you’ll be if you can’t afford ObamaCare.  By the way…. when your doctor (if he hasn’t left the country) asks, by law, if you have any firearms in your home, tell him ‘absolutely not’!  Then ask him why he wants to know.  18. WEATHER MODIFICATIONScientists say the technology certainly exists.  I’m sure the ruling Cabal has unlimited funds to invest in it, and the Navy says they’ll own the weather by 2025.  We keep having rare, deadly, ‘once every 100 years’ droughts, floods, earthquakes, temperatures, and snowfalls, so I’m really suspicious about this.  I think they own the weather now!  It seems to add up to broke farmers, food shortages and sky high prices.  Our government signed on to a UN treaty that prohibits all countries from using weather weapons.  So, our leaders promptly privatized the U.S. weather bureau, and created numerous front companies that carry out their plans for them anyway.  It’s similar to hiring that company Blackwater in Iraq.  They did such a good job for the U.S. in Iraq, and they’re so proud that they changed their name to XE, as if that makes them seem any less dark. 

19. FINANCIAL COLLAPSE/DEPRESSIONI forget.  How many people died during the 1930s depression?  One of the most telling discoveries were the thousands of coffins piled up that Jessi Ventura showed on one of his TruTV shows.  That show was never aired again, and was removed altogether from the TruTV website and the internet.  Are the coffins for the masses of people who will starve during the new great depression?  Why did the government order them?  If they are there in case of a big natural disaster, wouldn’t the government just say so?  Instead they removed the evidence from view.  In detective terms, they call that consciousness of guilt.

Will someone please wake me up after I’m dead, Thank You!

Anonymous hacks China

Over 480 gov and biz sites hit by hacktivist blitz:

anonymous

Anonymous

Hacktivist group Anonymous has finally turned its attention to the People’s Republic of China, claiming to have defaced more than 480 web sites over the past few days including government sites, whilst urging Chinese hackers to join its cause.  The group apparently began its campaign in the region with the launch of its AnonymousChina Twitter account, which seems to have begun tweeting on 30 March.  In a list posted to Pastebin, the group claimed to have defaced over 480 sites, including several belonging to regional Chinese government organizations in areas such as Chengdu and Dalian.  In several separate posts Anonymous also claimed to have hacked and leaked user names, password details, phone numbers and emails from various government sites.  All the sites on the list we have been trying now appear to have been taken down, although the Wall Street Journal managed to take a screen grab showing the following message in English:

Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall. So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you. With no mercy.

According to the WSJ, the message also contained a link to an Anonymous site detailing how Chinese web users can bypass the Great Firewall, although at the time of writing this site appears to have been killed.  Not content with that, the group also posted another message to Pastebin, urging the Chinese people to revolt.  “So, we are writing this message to tell you that you should protest, you should revolt yourself protesting and who has the skills for hacking and programming and design and other ‘computer things’ come to our IRC,” the note read.  This is the first major Anonymous campaign targeting China, which is somewhat strange given the government’s hardline stance on web censorship and human rights – two issues guaranteed to get the group’s attention.  In fact, the hacking of several minor regional government sites is unlikely to cause much consternation at Communist Party headquarters, and the group’s messages on Pastebin and posted on the defaced sites will largely have failed to reach their audience given that they were written in English.  Anonymous seems to be working on the latter issue, however, having sent a tweet out calling for help from would-be translators.  Given China’s strict web controls on social media, it’s unlikely that the group will be able to broadcast its message on platforms such as Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, so for the time being it’ll have to stick with Twitter – banned in China – and defacing web sites.

Featured: 9/11

Official Story

The September 11 attacks were a so-called series of four coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area on September 11, 2001. On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the hijacker’s intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks. Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda, and in 2004, the group’s leader Osama bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror, invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda members. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was found and killed. This is the official Story!  Internal review Conducted.  The Inspector General of the CIA conducted an internal review of the CIA’s pre-9/11 performance and was harshly critical of senior CIA officials for not doing everything possible to confront terrorism. He criticized their failure to stop two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, as they entered the United States and their failure to share information on the two men with the FBI. In May 2007, senators from both major U.S. political parties drafted legislation to make the review public. One of the backers, Senator Ron Wyden said, “The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11

Featured!

In Memory

Loose change

9/11 Hoax

New York Mayor supports deviant behavior

This story couldn’t get any worse but Mayor Bloomberg Visits Goldman Employees After Smith Op-Ed, Support deviant behavior:

Mayor Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg

 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s headquarters in Manhattan in a show of support after a departing employee publicly criticized the firm’s culture yesterday.  “The mayor stopped by to make clear that the company is a vital part of the city’s economy, and the kind of unfair attacks that we’re seeing can eventually hurt all New Yorkers,” said Stu Loeser, a spokesman for the mayor.  Bloomberg visited the firm today about 11 a.m. and met with Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein and numerous employees, Loeser said.  Greg Smith, an executive director who sold U.S. equity derivatives to clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that he is leaving the firm after 12 years. Smith assailed the company’s treatment of clients and blamed Blankfein and President Gary D. Cohn for losing hold over the bank’s culture.  They responded in a memo to current and former employees, saying that Smith’s assertions don’t reflect the company’s values, culture or “how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.” David Wells, a bank spokesman, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment after business hours.  The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.  It’s seems important to support companies that rip-off clients in the financial community, a show of support for Goldman Sachs and its deviant behavior.  Sure, like anyone believe’s him or Bloomberg news now.  This seems all too similar to Sopa, I hope a backlash comes into effect.

 

    
 
 
 

NSA partners with Google

 

DOJ Asks Court To Keep Secret Any PARTNERSHIP Between GOOGLE And NSA:

NSA

NSA

The Justice Department refuses to divulge whatever sort of agreement there may be between Google and the National Security Agency. Not that there is one, of course.

Mike Scarcella in The Legal Times writes about The Justice Department defending the government’s refusal to discuss, or acknowledge the existence of, “any cooperative research and development agreement between Google and the National Security Agency.”

 The Washington based advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center sued in federal district court here to obtain documents about any such agreement between the Internet search giant and the security agency.

The NSA responded to the suit with a so-called “Glomar” response in which the agency said it could neither confirm nor deny whether any responsive records exist. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington sided with the government last July.

 

Google’s Semantic Search Technology

Google plans major overhaul to search engine:

Search-Google

Search-Google

Google is giving its tried-and-true web-search formula a makeover as it tries to fix the shortcomings of today’s technology and maintain its dominant market share.  Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page.  The changes to search are among the biggest in the company’s history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results. At the same time, they could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.  Google isn’t replacing its current keyword-search system, which determines the importance of a website based on the words it contains, how often other sites link to it, and dozens of other measures. Rather, the company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called “semantic search,” which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.  Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said in a recent interview that the search engine will better match search queries with a database containing hundreds of millions of “entities” — people, places and things — which the company has quietly amassed in the past two years. Semantic search can help associate different words with one another, such as a company (Google) with its founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin).  Google search will look more like “how humans understand the world,” Singhal said, noting that for many searches today, “we cross our fingers and hope there’s a web page out there with the answer.” Some major changes will show up in the coming months, people familiar with the initiative said, but Singhal said Google is undergoing a years-long process to enter the “next generation of search.”  Under the shift, people who search for “Lake Tahoe” will see key “attributes” that the search engine knows about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. In contrast, those who search for “Lake Tahoe” today would get only links to the lake’s visitor bureau website, its dedicated page on Wikipedia.com, and a link to a relevant map.  For a more complex question such as, “What are the 10 largest lakes in California?” Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites.  The coming shift has major implications for Google, which dominates the Internet search market with around 66 percent market share and more than 75 percent of all search-ad revenue. The Mountain View, Calif., companies has succeeded because of the strength and ease of its keyword-search technology, which in turn fueled Google’s search ads, which appear next to search results. That business now generates the majority of Google’s $37 billion in annual revenue.  Now Google is taking action to maintain that lead. The Internet giant is trying to stay ahead of Microsoft‘s Bing in web search, catch up to Apple‘s Siri voice-activated mobile search, and beat back rivals in niches such as product search.

 

Google servers in complete darkness

 

Just how far will Google go to hide its custom-built data center hardware from the rest of the world?

Google Servers

Google Servers

In one Silicon Valley data center, the company is apparently so paranoid about competitors catching a glimpse of its gear, it’s been known to keep its server cages in complete darkness, outfitting its technical staff like miners and sending them spelunking into the cages with lights on their heads.  “Many [companies] try to keep things covered up. There’s a lot of valuable intellectual property in here,” says Chris Sharp, general manager of content and cloud at Equinix, as he walks through the company’s data center. “But we were always amazed by Google and the helmets.”  Google is one of many big-name Web outfits that lease data center space from Equinix—a company whose massive computing facilities serve as hubs for the world’s biggest Internet providers. All the big Web names set up shop in these data centers, so that they too can plug into the hub. The irony is that they must also share space with their biggest rivals, and this may cause some unease with companies that see their hardware as a competitive advantage best hidden from others.  About two years ago, Chris Sharp says, Google unscrewed all the light bulbs inside the hardware cages it occupied at that Equinix data center. “They had us turn off all overhead lights too, and their guys put on those helmets with lights you see miners wear,” he tells Wired. “Presumably, they were bringing up custom-built gear they didn’t want anyone else to see.”  Google declined to comment on Sharp’s little anecdote. But the tale is not surprising. Google designs its own servers and its own networking gear, and though it still leases space in third-party data centers such as the Equinix facility, it’s now designing and building its own data centers as well. These designs are meant to improve the performance of the company’s Web services but also save power and money. More so than any other outfit, Google views its data center work as an important advantage over competitors.  That said, Google has actually loosened up in recent years. In 2009, the company opened a window into the first custom-built data center it had built five years before, and it has discussed parts of its new facilities. But many of its operations remain a mystery.  Some believe this should change. Facebook now designs its own data centers and servers, and as a direct response to Google’s approach, the social-networking outfit has “open sourced” its designs, hoping to encourage collaboration on designs across the industry. This, Facebook says, will allow the rest of the world to save power in much the same way Google has done and ultimately, well, save the planet.  Several companies have already embraced this effort, including Netflix, the Texas-based cloud provider Rackspace and Japanese tech giant NTT Data. But others still prefer to keep their secret hardware secret.  Amazon, for instance, takes a Google-like approach. The company says very little about the facilities it runs or the hardware in those facilities. Apparently, the company is working with server sellers such as ZT Technologies to customize its servers, and it has followed Google’s lead in constructing its data centers with modular shipping containers. But it’s unclear just how far the company has gone towards designing and building its own hardware.  This week, the Internet is rife with speculation about just how many machines back the company’s Elastic Compute Cloud service.  At Google, employees sign strict non-disclosure agreements that bar them from discussing what goes on inside the company’s data centers—and apparently, this agreement is open-ended. That alone puts a lid on Google’s deepest secrets. We’ve seen the NDA in action—many times. But for Google, and others, there’s an added problem when they set up shop in a “co-location” facility like the data centers run by Equinix.  The nature of the beast is that you’re sharing space with competitors. Equinix trumpets its data centers as places where the giants of the Web can improve performance by plugging their gear straight into the world’s biggest Internet carriers—and into each other. The company began life offering a service—the Internet Core Exchange—that connected all the major Internet service providers, and now it lets other outfits plug into this carrier hub.  According to Sharp, over 70 carriers used the company’s main data center in San Jose, California. “We were a place for network operators to efficiently hand off traffic, and that’s the legacy that created Equinix,” Sharp says. “Not only are networks leveraging that to talk to each other, but [websites] are too.”  Security is high in the company’s facilities. Hand geometry readers—i. e. Fingerprint readers that extend beyond fingerprints—guard access to the data center floor. There’s a security camera looking at you every time you turn around. And each company can contain their gear in their own cages, protected by still more hand readers. But if you’re on the floor, you can peer into the cages. For cooling purposes, they’re not walled off. While some companies proudly display their logo on the side of their machines, the Googles of the world do their best to hide themselves. To keep competitors from eying their gear, Sharp says, many companies keep the lights off inside their cages when no one’s working on them. But others go even further.