Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday 05-28-16

Going on vacation so posting might be spotty for a couple of days.  A lot depends on the internet connection I have at the place Im going.

Debt is bad thing, period, just because some people have used it successfully to their advantage, just means they are the exception that proves the rule.  Americans Families personal debt topped 1 Trillion dollars in 2008 ( and every year the personal debit seems to be going up and up, in 2014 it was at another all time high of almost 4 trillion ( I heard on the news on the way into work today it is at another all time high of 14 trillion I guess in relation to our national debit which stood at 18 Trillion + in 2015 (  People are  emulating their government is all.  They see their representatives can not control their spending and don't seem to care, so why should it surprise anyone when the common man does not.  The same principle applies to when you teach kids in school that they come from animals and then expect them to not act like animals.

Anyway, my mini rant is over and I hope all of you will get out and stay out of debt.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday 05-27-16

There's No Place To Hide From Surveillance Technology In 2016

News Image
Those who read Orwell's 1984 and worry that we may have Big Brother-style surveillance in our near future are not reading the headlines closely enough: We're already there.

We find ourselves now in a surveillance state brought about by the ever-presence of modern technology, new precedents in what the government is allowed to track, corporate interests and even the tendency to overshare on social media. Indeed, more than a few convictions have been won through investigation into a person's phone records, including text conversations and GPS histories.
Liking and sharing on Facebook articles that are regarded as subversive may be enough to get you flagged for a watch list. If this sounds like a paranoid conspiracy theory, then consider what retired NYPD detective Patrick J. Brosnan recently suggested to WPIX news, that a smartphone is a combination "homing device" and "confession," citing that there have been several cases where "...information obtained from the phone, established innocence or guilt."
The silver living may be in the first half of that statement, that phone records have been used to establish innocence. It's difficult to build a case that a suspect was at the scene of a serious crime when their phone records say otherwise. 
But how long until you let slip that you may have made a mistake in filing your taxes? Or that you let a friend have a glass of wine without knowing that they were under 21? Suppose you visit a relative that the police are keeping tabs on for suspicion of drug distribution. If you think that you have nothing to hide, you're probably wrong.
The Washington Post reports that you may have already been assigned a threat score, rated green, yellow or red. You might wind up with a certain threat score based on a career in the military, posting material on Facebook that could be seen as threatening, suffering from certain medical conditions, or simply being a friend of a friend of a known criminal.
Android users can access Google Location Settings via the settings page and turn Reporting and Location History off and delete their logs, but you have to turn this feature off on every one of your Google accounts.
This is not an "out," however, it is only one small brick in the surveillance wall. If you drive a car, you are subject to automatic license plate reading cameras. If you live in the city, there are sidewalk and public space cameras, not to mention cameras on public transportation. There is tracking for credit cards and rewards cards. 
Nielsen is permitted to sell information about your TV viewing habits. Your webcam can be hacked to show what you're doing in the privacy of your home. Web browsing cookies can be used against you. For the most part, your data is only used to decide which advertisements to show you, but it's not at all uncommon for any of these data-collectors to let law enforcement take a look at your information.
Simply put, there is no "off the grid." It is nearly impossible to live a normal life without ever setting foot in a public space and without ever using any sort of technology.
If you're wondering how we might reverse the tide of surveillance, it's simply too late for that. New initiatives towards surveillance passed with little resistance under George W. Bush, given the impact that 9/11 had on American culture, and were expanded upon under Barack Obama. 
There have been some small efforts to combat omnipotent surveillance, such as the end of the Patriot Act, but all that can really be done at this point is to stay in the know. Avoid talking about any sort of illicit or subversive activity in text chats or online, and opt out whenever you can. 
This is easier said than done, but: give the government as few reasons as possible to mark you as a threat, because there's no hiding from the surveillance state in 2016.


This Huge Camera Rig Busts People for Texting and Driving

Image: RCMP
If you live in British Columbia, don’t try to sneak out a quick text while driving just because you don’t see any cops on the road. The RCMP., Canada’s version of the FBI, have started using DLSR cameras attached to massive scopes to spot distracted drivers from as far as three-quarters-of-a-mile away.
We all instinctively know to hide our phones while driving when we see a police car, but that doesn’t make using them any less illegal. (And it’s incredibly dangerous too, by the way.) To catch drivers in the act, traffic services in British Columbia have been using spotting scopes—which feature a distinctive bend to make them more comfortable to use—for years now. Now the police are adding a 24.2-megapixel DSLR to the rig to capture photos of the illegal act.
RCMP isn’t saying where the spotting scopes are being set up for obvious reasons, but it has admitted they are primarily being used at intersections t which drivers are stopped at a red light or a stop sign—where it’s still illegal to use your phone. It’s also easier for officers to snap a sharp photo of the offense when a vehicle isn’t whizzing by.
Making the RCMP.’s newest weapon against distracted driving publicly known will hopefully serve as a deterrent to drivers. Additionally, starting on June 1, distracted driving fines in British Columbia will raise to $543 Canadian for the first offense, and $888 after that. Better to just let that last text go unanswered.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday 05-26-16

A Shocking NBC News Report Says That Someday We Will Be Microchipping All Of Our Children

Would you allow microchips to be surgically implanted in your children if that would keep them safer?  This is already being done to pets on a widespread basis, and a shocking local NBC News report is promoting the idea that if it is good for our pets, then we should be doing it to our children as well.  As you will see below, the report even puts a guilt trip on parents by asking them this question: “How far would you go to keep your children secure?”  Of course most parents very much want to keep their children safe, and a microchip would enable authorities to track them down if they were lost or stolen.  But is this really a good idea?  And where is all of this technology eventually leading?  If you have not seen this very disturbing local NBC News report yet, you can view it right here

In the video, the reporter says that our children could be implanted with microchips “the size of a grain of rice” and that there would be “little to no health risks” involved.
And near the end of the report, she insists that “we could see those microchips in everyone” eventually.
I am speechless.
The report also quoted an electronics expert who claimed that testing of these microchips “is being done right now”
The piece flips back to pushing the idea when it quotes electronics expert Stuart Lipoff, who asserts that microchipping children is safe and inevitable.
“People should be aware that testing is being done right now. The military is not only testing this out, but already utilizes its properties. It’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when,” states Lipoff.
Of course if widespread microchipping of the population does start happening, at first it will likely be purely voluntary.  But once enough of the population starts adopting the idea, it will be really easy for the government to make it mandatory.
Just imagine a world where physical cash was a thing of the past and you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without your government-issued microchip identification.
Will you allow yourself and your family to be chipped when that day arrives?
If not, how will you eat?
How will you survive?
What will you do when your children come crying to you for food?
I am certainly not saying that you should allow yourself to be chipped.  I know that nobody is ever chipping me.  But what I am saying is that people are going to be faced with some absolutely heart-breaking choices.
Just recently, I wrote about a new form of digital currency that is intended to replace the physical dollars that we use now and also replace alternative currencies such as Bitcoin.  It was unveiled in front of about 100 top Wall Street executives recently during a secret meeting in New York City.  To give you an idea of just how rapidly the concept of a cashless society is advancing, I want to share with you a brief excerpt from an article that I recently wrote about this new technology…

Last month, a “secret meeting” that involved more than 100 executives from some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States was held in New York City.  During this “secret meeting“, a company known as “Chain” unveiled a technology that transforms U.S. dollars into “pure digital assets”.  Reportedly, there were representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup, Visa, Fidelity, Fiserv and Pfizer in the room, and Chain also claims to be partnering with Capital One, State Street, and First Data.  This “revolutionary” technology is intended to completely change the way that we use money, and it would represent a major step toward a cashless society.  But if this new digital cash system is going to be so good for society, why was it unveiled during a secret meeting for Wall Street bankers?  Is there something more going on here than we are being told?
None of us probably would have ever heard about this secret meeting if it was not for a report in Bloomberg.  The following comes from their article entitled “Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash”
On a recent Monday in April, more than 100 executives from some of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered for a private meeting at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. They weren’t there to just talk about blockchain, the new technology some predict will transform finance, but to build and experiment with the software.
By the end of the day, they had seen something revolutionary: U.S. dollars transformed into pure digital assets, able to be used to execute and settle a trade instantly. That’s the promise of a blockchain, where the cumbersome and error-prone system that takes days to move money across town or around the world is replaced with almost instant certainty.

So it is not just Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse Blog that is referring to this gathering as a “secret meeting.” This is actually how it was described by Bloomberg.  And I think that there is a very good reason why this meeting was held in secret, because many in the general public would definitely be alarmed by this giant step toward a cashless society.
Right now, more than 400 billion cashless transactions are conducted around the world each year, and that number is growing very quickly.
And when our system becomes entirely cashless, there will be no more stuffing your mattress with cash and we will all be forced to deal with the banks.

When that day arrives, all of a sudden the government will be able to serve as the gatekeeper for who is allowed to access the system and who is not.
It would be very easy to impose a tax, require some sort of loyalty oath, or mandate some form of microchip identification as a condition for participating in the cashless system.
When we get to that point, what will you do?
In the end, that is something that we all need to be considering very carefully…

Antidepressants in America are causing suicide rates to soar, especially among young women

(NaturalNews) New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a significant jump in the suicide rate in America in the years from 1999 to 2014. The rise has been particularly sharp among women and girls. Is it any coincidence that the percentage of Americans who take antidepressants nearly doubled during the same period?

Some parties with
vested interests in Big Pharma are trying to blame this increase on the "black box" warning labels that were introduced by the FDA in 2004. These labels warn that the drugs increase the suicide risk in young adults and children, and some people are saying that these warnings are scaring people away from taking antidepressants and that is the real cause of the rise in suicide.

However, it's important to take a look at exactly who is saying this. For example, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)'s Christine Moutier has not been shy about blaming the warnings for suicides. Her motivation is clear: Her organization, the AFSP, has financial and other connections to pharmaceutical companies, a fact that was not disclosed when CNN quoted her criticism of the labels in a recent piece.

Antidepressant use nearly doubled

Research simply does not support the theory that the warning labels are reducing antidepressant use. In fact, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that antidepressant use jumped from 6.8 percent to 13 percent from 1999 to 2012.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) set out new guidelines suggesting that teens and children who suffer from depression should start any antidepressants at a low dose after the FDA's warning. Nevertheless, 60 percent of children are still
starting SSRIs at a higher dose than recommended, according to data from the LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database. They also found that around a quarter of children who started out on a low dose of antidepressants had increased their dosage by the second prescription.

Women more vulnerable than men

Recent suicide risk data shows that suicide rates in women have jumped by 45 percent, while male suicide has gone up by 16 percent. Twenty-five percent of American women in their 40s and 50s take an antidepressant, with women being 2.5 times more likely to turn to these drugs than men.

According to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, antidepressants are simply not more effective than therapy when it comes to moderate or severe depression. In addition, cognitive therapy has been shown to decrease
suicide attempts by as much as half. Yet the American Psychiatric Association persists in suggesting that medication is the preferred course of treatment for moderate to severe depression. Why? That's where the money is!

A recent review in the British Medical Journal showed that
antidepressants increased the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviors across all age groups, and in those under the age of 18 in particular. Despite claims to the contrary that are often made by drug manufacturers, the risks of these medications are staggering, with those under 18 having a doubled risk of suicide. The problem is that drug makers hide the most incriminating data from regulators, leading to a "serious underestimation of the harms" linked to these drugs.

The lead author of that study, Professor Peter Gotzsche, said: "Antidepressants don't work in children, that is pretty clear. In the randomized trials, children say that they don't work for them, but they increase their risk of suicide."

He said that the actions of Big Pharma is this regard are unsettling: "What I get out of this colossal under-reporting of suicides is that [antidepressants] likely increase suicides in all ages. ... It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives."

In fact, Eli Lilly is said to have
removed drug-induced attempted suicides and suicides in around 90 percent of its trials, instead blaming the suicides on "worsening of depression" or "emotional instability."

It is also worth noting that a number of the recent, highly-publicized
mass shootings have been linked to antidepressant use.

What is driving the rise in depression?

While the causes of depression are extremely complex, there are a lot of lifestyle factors that can play a role. For example, a study from University College London found that people who ate diets rich in whole foods such as vegetables, fruits and lean protein were 26 percent less likely to be depressed, while those who regularly ate processed meat, fried food and refined grains were 58 percent more likely to have clinical depression.

A lack of exercise, being disconnected from nature,
heavy metal toxicity and focusing on consumerism are also linked with depression. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can be just as good for your mental health as your physical health!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday 05-24-16

40 Volcanoes Are Erupting Right Now As The Crust Of The Earth Becomes Increasingly Unstable

Have you noticed that our planet has begun to shake, rattle and roll?  Over the past few days we have seen major volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica and Indonesia, and according to Volcano Discovery 40 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now as you read this article.  Meanwhile, earthquakes continue to shake the globe with alarming regularity.  Just last week, Ecuador was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake and a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in rapid succession.  Overall, there have been more than 3,000 earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 or greater within the past month globally.  So yes, I write constantly about the rapidly accelerating deterioration of our financial system, but the coming “collapse” is not just about money.  I am convinced that we are entering a “perfect storm” in which a confluence of factors will absolutely cripple society and bring about changes that most of us would not even dare to imagine right now.
Let’s talk about the volcanic eruptions that we have seen in recent days.  The eruption down in Costa Rica took authorities completely by surprise, and a thick layer of dust and ash is coating vehicles and buildings 30 miles away in the capital city of San Jose
A volcano has erupted in central Costa Rica, belching smoke and ash up to 3,000m (9,840ft) into the air.
Hundreds of people have gone to hospital, complaining of breathing difficulties and skin problems.
Some schools were shut and some flights into the country cancelled or diverted.
People in the capital San Jose, about 45km (30 miles) west of the Turrialba volcano, said layers of ash had coated buildings and cars and there was a fierce smell of sulphur.
Leading up to this eruption, there were “swarms of small earthquakes” in the vicinity of the volcano, but scientists assured the public that these earthquake swarms were “not signs of an imminent eruption.”
Keep that in mind, because later in the article I am going to show you something.
But first let us talk about the other major eruption that is happening right now.  Down in Indonesia, Mount Sinabung has violently erupted, and this is causing all sorts of chaos
The death toll from a volcanic eruption in western Indonesia has climbed to six, an official said Sunday, with fears more could have been trapped by the hot ash.
Three people also remain in a critical condition after Mount Sinabung, a highly-active volcano on Sumatra island, unleashed a series of fresh eruptions on Saturday afternoon, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
“Nine people were struck by the hot clouds. Six died, and three others remain critical with burns,” he said, adding the injured had been taken to hospital.
According to one report, “torrents of lava” are pouring out of the volcano, and this is just one example of how volcanoes that were once considered to be “inactive” are coming to life all over the world.  In fact, prior to 2010 Mount Sinabung had been dormant for about 400 years.
Meanwhile, there is “unprecedented” activity at Iceland’s very dangerous Baroabunga volcano.  This one is not erupting quite yet, but we definitely want to keep an eye on it, because a major eruption there would have serious implications for Europe.
To finish this article, I would like to provide an update to a piece that I posted last week on End of the American Dream.  Just prior to the eruption of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica, there were significant earthquake swarms in the vicinity of the volcano.  Well, the exact same thing is happening at three major volcanoes in the United States right now.
I would like to share three images with you that come from Google Earth via the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.  This first image shows the earthquake activity that has taken place in the area around Mt. St. Helens in recent days.  Over the past month there have been 95 earthquakes in the region, and most of them have been centered right along the core of the volcano…

This next image shows what has been happening at Mt. Rainier.  Those that follow my work closely already know that I consider it to be the most dangerous mountain in America and that I believe that a major eruption of the volcano is coming in the not too distant future.  There have been 36 earthquakes at Mt. Rainier over the past month, and once again most of them have occurred right along the core of the volcano…
Mt. Rainier Today
Mt. Hood is also a very dangerous volcano.  There have been 126 earthquakes in the vicinity of Mt. Hood in recent days, and in this image you can see that the earthquakes have been centered very tightly on a spot on the south face of the mountain.  This is alarming because it was also the south side of Mt. St. Helens that violently erupted back in 1980…
Mt. Hood Today
When there are major volcanic eruptions or major earthquakes in other parts of the globe, many Americans don’t seem to care too much because they don’t think that this rise in global seismic activity is any sort of a threat to them personally.
But the truth is that the entire west coast of the United States lies along the Ring of Fire, and virtually every other section of the Ring of Fire is roaring to life these days.
At some point, there will be historic earthquakes on the west coast.
At some point, there will be historic volcanic eruptions on the west coast.
Scientists assure us that these things are inevitable.
So let us certainly hope for the best, but putting our heads in the sand and pretending that these dangers do not exist is not going to help matters one bit.
Get prepared while you still can, because at some point time will run out.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday 05-23-16

Robot ranchers monitor animals on giant Australian farms

Amazing graze
Amazing graze
Australian Centre for Field Robotics
Farmers, put your feet up. Autonomous robots are already being used to inspect crops, count yields and dig up weeds – now they are shepherds too.
Sheep and cattle farms in the Australian outback are vast as well as remote. For example, the country’s most isolated cattle station, Suplejack Downs in the Northern Territory, extends across 4000 square kilometres and takes 13 hours to reach by car from the nearest major town, Alice Springs.
The livestock on these far-flung farms are monitored infrequently – sometimes only once or twice a year – meaning they often fall ill or get into trouble without anyone knowing.
But robots are coming to the rescue. A two-year trial, which starts next month, will train a “farmbot” to herd livestock, keep an eye on their health, and check they have enough pasture to graze on.

Sick and injured animals will be identified using thermal and vision sensors that detect changes in body temperature and walking gait, says Salah Sukkarieh of the University of Sydney, who will carry out the trial on several farms in central New South Wales.
“You’ve also got colour, texture and shape sensors looking down at the ground to check pasture quality,” he says.
The robot, which has not yet been named, is a more sophisticated version of an earlier model, Shrimp, which was designed to herd groups of 20 to 150 dairy cows.
Ladybird: war on weeds
Ladybird: war on weeds
Australian Centre for Field Robotics
During the trial, Sukkarieh and his colleagues will fine-tune the robot’s software to make it adept at spotting ailing livestock, and to ensure that it can safely navigate around trees and over mud, swamps and hills.
“We want to improve the quality of animal health and make it easier for farmers to maintain large landscapes where animals roam free,” says Sukkarieh. Another goal is to reduce the reliance on feedlots, which keep livestock in closely confined areas that are easy to oversee.
Every advance in robot technology stirs up fears about human redundancy, says Sukkarieh, but farm labouring vacancies are increasingly difficult to fill and can be replaced by jobs in robot maintenance. “It’s farmers who are driving this because labour is in short supply and they are looking for technological assistance,” he says.
Sukkarieh’s team has already shown that robots can benefit farmers in a number of ways. One of its farmbots, Ladybird, can move up and down vegetable rows hunting for weeds. Once it spots a weed, Ladybird pulls it out or selectively sprays it, minimising the use of herbicide.
Another bot is designed to count every apple in an orchard so that farmers can identify areas where the yield is lower and more pollination is required.

WEB BOTS: Clif High’s 2016 Alta Report Predicts Massive Global Cataclysms, Megaquakes & Bank Holiday

Given the precarious nature of the current global economic situation, and the increasingly dire outlook for the US economy, the latest Web Bot Alta report from Clif High is one not to be missed. From mega quakes to volcanic eruptions like the Mount Sinabung eruption in Indonesia which killed villagers, the earth is changing, while the economic collapse is becoming increasingly evident: Pension funds are being gutted, many U.S. states are bankrupt and the web bots warn a banking holiday is on the way.
Tune in, listen up, and then get prepared. it’s coming.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday 05-22-16

Going To Church Could Help You Live Longer, Study Says

Many Americans say they attend church because it helps them stay grounded and gives them spiritual guidance. A new study suggests that regular attendance may also help increase their lifespan.
Researchers looked at data on nearly 75,000 middle-age female nurses in the United States as part of the Nurses’ Health Study. The participants answered questions about whether they attended religious services regularly every four years between 1992 and 2012, and about other aspects of their lives over the years.

The researchers found that women who went to church more than once a week had a 33% lower risk of dying during the study period compared with those who said they never went. Less-frequent attendance was also associated with a lower risk of death, as women who attended once a week or less than weekly had 26% and 13% lower risk of death, respectively.
Women who regularly attended religious services also had higher rates of social support and optimism, had lower rates of depression and were less likely to smoke. However, the researchers took into account these differences between churchgoers and non-churchgoers when they calculated the decrease in death rates of 13% to 33%.

Going to church could have a number of additional benefits that could, in turn, improve longevity, but the researchers were not able to examine them with the available data. Attendance could promote self-discipline and a sense of meaning and purpose in life, or it could provide an experience of the transcendent, said Tyler J. VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. VanderWeele led the new research, which was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
“Our study suggests that for health, the benefits outweigh the potentially negative effects,” such as guilt, anxiety or intolerance, VanderWeele said.
Most of the women in the study were Protestant or Catholic, so it is not clear whether a similar association would be found between religious service attendance and longevity for people of other Christian religions, Judaism or Islam.
The study also did not explore the association in men. Previous research suggests that male churchgoers also benefit, though their decrease in death rate is not as large as among women, VanderWeele said.
“There have been literally thousands of studies” looking at whether religion is good for your health, said Dr. Dan German Blazer II, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center. The findings have been mixed about whether aspects of religious devotion such as prayer and spirituality — such as reading the Bible or other religious literature — improve longevity.

“The one (aspect) that is significantly more predictive of good health is about religious service attendance,” said Blazer, who wrote an editorial about the new study in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
Most people report that they are spiritual, and it is possible that actually attending religious services is good for their health because they are taking actions that are in line with their beliefs, Blazer said. “You have a more integrated life in this sense.” However, this explanation is purely speculative, and studies have not explored this theory, he added.
The suggestion that attending religious services regularly could boost longevity has met with some criticism in the field. Other researchers have pointed out that the relationship could be due to other factors, such as the possibility that healthier people are more likely to go to church, perhaps because they are more mobile.
The main strength of the current study is that the researchers were able to look at whether participants reported attending religious services at several points over many years, making it easier to find out which came first, religious activity or disease and health outcomes, Blazer said.
Nevertheless, Blazer warns that it is important not to make too much of the new findings. “This study does not suggest that clinicians prescribe attending religious services as a way to be more healthy,” he said. It was not meant to assess going to church as an actual medical intervention.
On the other hand, the study does suggest that “clinicians who know their patients well and follow them over a period of time, like primary care doctors, inquire when it is appropriate about their religious beliefs and practices,” Blazer said. That way, if patients say that attending religious services is important to them, the doctor can help ensure that they maintain a good relationship with their church, temple or mosque.
This attitude about the place of religion in medical care is becoming more common among health care professionals and has been introduced into the curriculum of more and more medical schools, Blazer said.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday 05-21-16

New Surveillance cameras may let cops tap all cameras with very little if any oversite

The 30 million or so surveillance cameras peering into nearly every corner of American life might freak you out a bit, but you could always tell yourself that no one can access them all. Until now.
Computer scientists have created a way of letting law enforcement tap any camera that isn’t password protected so they can determine where to send help or how to respond to a crime. “It’s a way to help people take advantage of information that’s out there,” says David Ebert, an electrical and computer engineer at Purdue University.
The system, which is just a proof of concept, alarms privacy advocates who worry that prudent surveillance could easily lead to government overreach, or worse, unauthorized use. It relies upon two tools developed independently at Purdue. The Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit superimposes the rate and location of crimes and the location of police surveillance cameras. CAM2 reveals the location and orientation of public network cameras, like the one outside your apartment. You could do the same thing with a search engine like Shodan, but CAM2 makes the job far easier, which is the scary part. Aggregating all these individual feeds makes it potentially much more invasive.
Purdue limits access to registered users, and the terms of service for CAM2 state “you agree not to use the platform to determine the identity of any specific individuals contained in any video or video stream.” A reasonable step to ensure privacy, but difficult to enforce (though the team promises the system will have strict security if it ever goes online).
“I can certainly see the utility for first responders,” says Dave Maass, an investigative researcher with digital rights group EFF. “But it does open up the potential for some unseemly surveillance.”
Beyond the specter of universal government surveillance lies the risk of someone hacking the system. To Maass, it brings to mind the TV show Person of Interest and its band of vigilantes who tap government cameras to predict and prevent crimes. This is not so far-fetched. Last year, the EFF discovered that anyone could access more than 100 “secure” automated license plate readers. “I think it becomes a very tempting target,” says Gautam Hans, policy counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology. “Thinking about security issues is going to be a major concern.”
Granted, the system does not tap private feeds, nor does it peer into private spaces like someone’s home. But aggregating this data and mapping it against specific crimes or emergencies is troubling. Hans says there’s no way of knowing when someone violates the terms of service and targets an individual, and the patchwork of regulations governing how agencies can use such technology is no guarantee against government over-reach.
Still, Hans is pragmatic and realizes the Purdue researchers have a noble goal.  “At a certain level there’s only so much you can do to prevent the march of technology,” he says. “It’s not the best use of our time to rail against its existence. At a certain point we need to figure out how to use it effectively, or at least with extensive oversight.”

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday 5-20-16

Give them money and they abuse it, it is no wonder we are trillions in debt, they won't spend money as intended.

In Search For Cures, Scientists Create Embryos That Are Both Animal And Human

A handful of scientists around the United States are trying to do something that some people find disturbing: make embryos that are part human, part animal.
The researchers hope these embryos, known as chimeras, could eventually help save the lives of people with a wide range of diseases.
One way would be to use chimera embryos to create better animal models to study how human diseases happen and how they progress.
Perhaps the boldest hope is to create farm animals that have human organs that could be transplanted into terminally ill patients.
But some scientists and bioethicists worry the creation of these interspecies embryos crosses the line. "You're getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity," says Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the New York Medical College.
The experiments are so sensitive that the National Institutes of Health has imposed a moratorium on funding them while officials explore the ethical issues they raise.
Nevertheless, a small number of researchers are pursuing the work with private funding. They hope the results will persuade the NIH to lift the moratorium.
"We're not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature," says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis. "We're doing this for a biomedical purpose."
The NIH is expected to announce soon how it plans to handle requests for funding.
Recently, Ross agreed to let me visit his lab for an unusual look at his research. During the visit, Ross demonstrated how he is trying to create a pancreas that theoretically could be transplanted into a patient with diabetes.
The first step involves using new gene-editing techniques to remove the gene that pig embryos need to make a pancreas.
Working under an elaborate microscope, Ross makes a small hole in the embryo's outer membrane with a laser. Next, he injects a molecule synthesized in the laboratory to home in and delete the pancreas gene inside. (In separate experiments, he has done this to sheep embryos, too.)
After the embryos have had their DNA edited this way, Ross creates another hole in the membrane so he can inject human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS for short, into the pig embryos.
Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells can turn into any kind of cell or tissue in the body. The researchers' hope is that the human stem cells will take advantage of the void in the embryo to start forming a human pancreas.
Because iPS cells can be made from any adult's skin cells, any organs they form would match the patient who needs the transplant, vastly reducing the risk that the body would reject the new organ.
But for the embryo to develop and produce an organ, Ross has to put the chimera embryos into the wombs of adult pigs. That involves a surgical procedure, which is performed in a large operating room across the street from Ross's lab.

The day Ross opened his lab to me, a surgical team was anesthetizing an adult female pig so surgeons could make an incision to get access to its uterus.
Ross then rushed over with a special syringe filled with chimera embryos. He injected 25 embryos into each side of the animal's uterus. The procedure took about an hour. He repeated the process on a second pig.
Every time Ross does this, he then waits a few weeks to allow the embryos to develop to their 28th day — a time when primitive structures such as organs start to form.
Ross then retrieves the chimeric embryos to dissect them so he can see what the human stem cells are doing inside. He examines whether the human stem cells have started to form a pancreas, and whether they have begun making any other types of tissues.
The uncertainty is part of what makes the work so controversial. Ross and other scientists conducting these experiments can't know exactly where the human stem cells will go. Ross hopes they'll only grow a human pancreas. But they could go elsewhere, such as to the brain.
"If you have pigs with partly human brains you would have animals that might actually have consciousness like a human," Newman says. "It might have human-type needs. We don't really know."
That possibility raises new questions about the morality of using the animals for experimentation. Another concern is that the stem cells could form human sperm and human eggs in the chimeras.
"If a male chimeric pig mated with a female chimeric pig, the result could be a human fetus developing in the uterus of that female chimera," Newman says. Another possibility is the animals could give birth to some kind of part-human, part-pig creature.
"One of the concerns that a lot of people have is that there's something sacrosanct about what it means to be human expressed in our DNA," says Jason Robert, a bioethicist at Arizona State University. "And that by inserting that into other animals and giving those other animals potentially some of the capacities of humans that this could be a kind of violation — a kind of, maybe, even a playing God."
Ross defends what his work. "I don't consider that we're playing God or even close to that," Ross says. "We're just trying to use the technologies that we have developed to improve peoples' life."
Still, Ross acknowledges the concerns. So he's moving very carefully, he says. For example, he's only letting the chimera embryos develop for 28 days. At that point, he removes the embryos and dissects them.
If he discovers the stem cells are going to the wrong places in the embryos, he says he can take steps to stop that from happening. In addition, he'd make sure adult chimeras are never allowed to mate, he says.
"We're very aware and sensitive to the ethical concerns," he says. "One of the reasons we're doing this research the way we're doing it is because we want to provide scientific information to inform those concerns."
Ross is working with Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte from the Salk Intitute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and Hiromitsu Nakauchi at Stanford University. Daniel Garry of the University of Minnesota and colleagues are conducting similar work.

Audit Finds 'Hostile Probes,' Breaches of Weather Satellite System

The nation's weather satellite program over the course of a year suffered 10 data security incidents, including unauthorized access and probes by adversaries, according to a congressional auditor.
The $11.3 billion Joint Polar Satellite System is set to launch the program’s first next-gen spacecraft, the JPSS-1, in March 2017.
But the ground stations that handle satellite communications and data processing "remain at high risk of compromise," David Powner, the Government Accountability Office's director of IT management issues, said in a new report. 
The satellite program, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, feeds prediction models and aids weather forecasters on the ground.
"NOAA has experienced several recent information security incidents regarding unauthorized access to Web servers and computers," Powner said in the audit, released Tuesday. The six episodes now considered closed matters "involved hostile probes, improper usage, unauthorized access, password sharing, and other IT-related security concerns."
» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.
On Wednesday, NOAA declined to provide more information due to national security.
"While NOAA cannot publicly comment on these specific incidents, due to reasons related to national security, all cyber security threats are taken seriously and addressed quickly. NOAA remains committed to maintaining the highest possible level of information security," agency spokesman John Leslie said in an emailed statement to Nextgov.
The Government Accountability Office had directed Nextgov to the agency for specifics, because of the sensitivity of the issue.
According to the audit, there is a discrepancy between the program office and agency incident response team over how many of the 10 cases have been handled fully. 
Two of the four incidents the JPSS program office recommended be closed remain open. The NOAA incident response team ultimately is responsible for acting on the recommendation, according to the program office. 
"Until NOAA and the JPSS program have a consistent understanding of the status of incidents, there is an increased risk that key vulnerabilities will not be identified or properly addressed," as well as "tracked to closure,” Powner said.
Agency officials told Powner work is underway on a new tool to improve the uniformity and timeliness of incident tracking.
The ground system is highly susceptible to compromise because, among other things, the agency has not executed nearly half of the recommended standard security controls and has not patched key vulnerabilities, the audit states.
As of August 2015, there were 1,400 critical and high-risk vulnerabilities that included outdated software, an obsolete Web server and old antivirus definitions. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, is not scheduled to finish fixing the security holes until August of this year and January 2017.
By that time, the vulnerabilities will have been open to potential attack for between 17 and 22 months longer than required by the government, according to the audit.
Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, in a written response to the auditors, agreed with the findings but said “resource constraints and shifting priorities” have hampered efforts to keep pace with changing cybersecurity requirements and to avoid schedule slippages.
“We are responding to these challenges by working to establish repeatable processes and resilient information architecture that together enable mission achievement," he added. 
NOAA is no stranger to network intrusions, like much of the federal government. Four agency websites were breached in fall 2014 by an Internet-based attack. 
Then, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said NOAA told him the incident was tied to the Chinese government. In 2013, a hacker stole national environmental satellite data from a contractor's PC
JPSS-1’s timely launch is critical to ensuring the agency's weather forecasts are accurate. NOAA’s current crop of joint polar-orbiting satellites are aging and have been running on borrowed time for years

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday 05-19-16

TSA watchdog spills secret behind long airport lines
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warns air travelers to prepare for much longer than usual airport security lines, but a Transportation Security Administration watchdog says this mess is simply a matter of the government failing to manage its resources responsibly.

On Monday, Johnson stood at Ronald Reagan National Airport just outside Washington and told passengers to expect longer than expected wait times as the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, expedites hundreds of new personnel into service to speed up the security process. In Chicago, passengers were told to arrive three hours prior to departure.

The TSA claims congressional action has led to the elimination of some 4,500 personnel over the past few years and the agency simply doesn’t have the manpower to keep up, but that’s just spin according to Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute. He also run Cato’s Downsizing Government blog.

Edwards told WND and Radio America the TSA is littered with problems, starting with its existing personnel.

“Annual surveys of federal government employees find that the TSA and the broader Homeland Security Department have some of the poorest morale in the federal government,” Edwards said. “The TSA has a high turnover rate for their screeners, which is not good for morale and is not good for security.”
But perhaps even worse is TSA’s penchant for directing its ever-increasing budget into the wrong areas.

“TSA has spent many billions of dollars on things that don’t work,” Edwards said. “As a result, they’ve starved their budget from hiring more screeners to reduce congestion.”

He said the most glaring example is one of TSA’s most controversial projects.
“Remember those full-body scanning machines that were in airports for years that essentially showed nude pictures of passengers as they got screened?” asked Edwards.

“Those things were eventually withdrawn because of civil liberties concerns. People didn’t want to see their nude bodies when they went to the airport. But those things have been found to not really work at all. It’s fairly easy to slip guns and plastic explosives through those machines.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Chris Edwards:

Another major problem, Edwards said, is the inability of such a large bureaucracy to adapt to differing needs at different airports.

“As a government bureaucracy, the TSA has a very inflexible workforce,” he said. “Unlike a private company, where if they saw one of their facilities or one of their cities get a lot more business and a lot more demand, they’d move workers over there. They’d hire more part-time workers to fill surges in demand. Government bureaucracies don’t do that. They have fixed numbers of people at these airports, and they don’t adjust them like any normal private business would.”

He said airports do have the option to boot the TSA and go with private security. He said only 15-20 airports do that and actually perform better when secret tests are conducted to see whether weapons or explosive materials get past security.

“Airports are allowed to opt out of TSA screening, and some of them have been looking at that recently because of the huge congestion at the airports,” Edwards said.

He said things work much more smoothly north of the border.

“In Canada, all major airports have private screening,” Edwards explained. “There’s a number of different expert companies that specialize in airport screening. They get three-year contracts to do particular airports. If they don’t do a good job, if they don’t have high security, they get fired. The next time around, a different company gets the contract.”

While U.S. airports do have the ability to ditch the TSA and hire private security, Edwards said the Obama administration is making it much tougher to do that.

“Congress has had to slap down the administration a few times to get it to allow airports to go private,” he said. “In the original legislation that created TSA, House Republicans slipped in this provision that airports could petition the Department of Transportation to go private, but the Obama administration has made that very difficult.”

Nightmare Russian facial recognition app is one step closer to the end of privacy

While facial recognition technology has a number of positive uses, such as finding missing people, an alternative form of ID, and even tagging friends on Facebook, it does have worrying implications when it comes to privacy.
In Russia, a new face recognition app is becoming so popular that it could result in the end of public anonymity, according to a report in The Guardian.
FindFace, which launched two months ago, lets users take a photo of a crowd and work out individuals' identities with 70 percent reliability. It does this by using image recognition technology to compare faces against profile pictures on Vkontakte, a Facebook-style social media site that has 200 million users.
The app already boasts 500,000 users and has performed nearly 3 million searches. Though currently limited to Russia, the app’s creators, Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, imagine a world where the app is used by everyone to examine strangers’ social network profiles just by taking a photo of them on the street.
Kabakov has suggested that the app could have applications when it comes to 'dating'. “If you see someone you like, you can photograph them, find their identity, and then send them a friend request,” he said. “It also looks for similar people. So you could just upload a photo of a movie star you like, or your ex, and then find 10 girls who look similar to her and send them messages.” It sounds like creepy stalkers everywhere will soon have a reason to rejoice.

Other than tracking down Scarlett Johansson lookalikes and harassing random women you find attractive, the app’s already found other uses. The creators are about to sign a deal with the Moscow city government to implement the technology into 150,000 CCTV cameras. Should a crime be committed, the faces of everyone in the area will be checked against photos from various records, including social media sites, to determine if they're a possible suspect.
FindFace’s Orwellian nightmare scenario is already rearing its head. Recently, the app was used to find the profiles of Russian sex workers and porn actresses so trolls could harass them and send messages to their friends and families. And the fact it’s so popular in Russia, a country not known for respecting the privacy rights of its citizens, is a big concern.
Kabakov also envisions the technology being used in the retail sector. He talks about a shop CCTV camera capturing a person looking at a product, such as a laptop, and then the retailer identifying the individual and bombarding them with adverts for laptops – probably until they go out and buy one.
As for the big question of whether the app can access Facebook’s image database: no, it can’t. Not right now, at least. The creators say the US site stores photos in a way that is harder to access than Vkontakte, so lets hope things stay this way.
In addressing people’s privacy fears, Kabakov goes with the ‘it’s just the way things are, so get used to it’ argument: “In today’s world we are surrounded by gadgets. Our phones, televisions, fridges, everything around us is sending real-time information about us. Already we have full data on people’s movements, their interests and so on. A person should understand that in the modern world he is under the spotlight of technology. You just have to live with that.”
To discover more about FindFace, check out the video below, which somehow manages to be as sinister as the app itself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday 05-18-16

This is not a good sign, they will be after yours here soon

BOMBSHELL: Saudis Forcing U.S. Navy to Use SILVER BULLION to Pay For Fuel! – Jim Willie

“The dollar devaluation is right around the corner!…The US Navy in the Persian Gulf is already being forced by the Saudis to use SILVER BULLION to purchase fuel!“
Hat Trick Letter Editor Jim Willie joins the Power Hour for one of his most shocking interviews EVER on this Absolute Game Changing Development for the Dollar.

This has been floating around the net for about a week, it is worth noting.  For me it a case of being forewarned is being forearmed.
Taking Acetaminophen May Dull Your Empathy
A recent study by researchers at The Ohio State University found that when participants taking acetaminophen were told about others’ pain and suffering, they weren’t as concerned as those who were not on the drug.
“These findings suggest other people’s pain doesn’t seem as big of a deal to you when you’ve taken acetaminophen,” Dominik Mischkowski, co-author of the study and a former Ph.D. student at Ohio State, now at the National Institutes of Health, said in a press release.
Most Amazing Medical Breakthroughs
“Acetaminophen can reduce empathy as well as serve as a painkiller.”
How can a pain reliever influence empathy? Currently researchers have no idea.
“We don’t know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning,” said Baldwin Way, senior author of the study and an assistant professor of psychology and member of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.
Way conducted an earlier study that also found acetaminophen also appears to diminish feelings of joy.
Video: Ibuprofen vs. Acetaminophen: What’s the Difference?
The latest research was done in three parts. For part one 40 college students drank a solution containing 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, while 40 others drank a placebo solution that contained no drug. After waiting an hour for the medicine to take effect, the entire group was asked to read about people undergoing painful events, such as getting a deep knife wound or losing a parent.
The students who had taken acetaminophen rated the pain and suffering of the people in the scenarios to be less than did those who took the placebo.
Drug distribution was set up the same way among a second group of 114 college students. The students were then subjected to blasts of white noise that ranged from 75 to 105 decibels. They were asked to rate how unpleasant the blasts were and also to rate how much pain the blasts would cause others.
Rodents Show Empathy for Loved Ones in Pain
The students who had taken the drug found the blasts to be more bearable than those who had not taken the drug. They also thought it would be less unpleasant for others.
“Acetaminophen reduced the pain they felt, but it also reduced their empathy for others who were experiencing the same noise blasts,” Mischkowski said.
A final group was instructed to participate in a “game” in which one person in a group of three was actively excluded. Later each student was asked to rate to what extent the game hurt the feelings of the excluded person. The group students who had taken acetaminophen reported significantly less concern for the excluded people.
“In light of those results, it is understandable why using Tylenol to reduce your pain may also reduce your ability to feel other people’s pain as well,” Way said.
The researchers are trying to get to the bottom of how acetaminophen influences emotion and behavior. And they’re also starting investigations into whether another pain killer, ibuprofen, may have similar effects.
The study was published online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.