747: Heteronormative

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 18m
August 13th, 2015
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Sir Alexander Burr, Chewy Knight of the Snowboards, Sir Adam Kowalewski,Trevor Baxter

Associate Executive Producers: The O'Malley Family, Von Glitschka, Sir Stephen Deane, Russell Hickey

Cover Artist: NoAgendaRacing

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
Suggest a new chapter
TODAY
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Happy Left Hander Day!
Left Handers Day, August 13th - Official Site #lefthandersday
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 02:46
Suoiralih woh !! YADOT si yad serdnaH-tfeL lanoitanretnI!! "yad detacilpmocnu ysae" na meht hsiw - eno htiw evil neve ro eno wonk ro 1 htiw krow uoy fI
translation of the above is;International Left - Handers day is TODAY !! how hilariousIf you work with 1 or know one or even live with one - wish them an " easy uncomplicated day"!!
It's not wrong or rightNor black or whiteBut to see a LeftyIn fully fledged flightIs a wonderful,inventive,thought provoking sight!X'X
To the most amazing patient understanding 10% of the population. ....hope we all enjoy an uncomlicated International Lefthanders Day today.13/8/15m.facebook.com/lefthandersday... See MoreSee Less
Left Handers Day
Left Handers Day is on 13th August each year and aims to celebrate all the great things about being left-handed and also raise awareness of the daily frustrations and difficulties lefthanders face, particularly left handed children at school.
4 hours ago
I got a buddipole
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Theodore Kasczinski "Industrial Society and Its Future"
Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''747, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1747^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PR
No Agenda Vegas Meetup
Caliphate!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The planned U.S. invasion of Syria is the deep breath before the plunge
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:25
When Foreign Policy magazine recently claimed, "Turkey Goes to War," in their article of the same title, what they really meant was "the US goes to war." That is because the lengthy plan they described in their article is not of the Turks' creation, but a long-standing US plan committed to policy papers since at least as early as 2012.The article claims:
Both the United States and Turkey agree that the Islamic State should be driven from its territory along the Turkish border, though U.S. officials only speak of an "ISIL-free zone" while Turkish officials describe a vision for a "de facto safe zone" where displaced Syrians could find refuge from both regime and jihadi attacks.
However, these "safe zones" are precisely what US policy think tank the Brookings Institution has conspired to create over the entire course of the Syrian conflict, under different pretexts - first predicated on feigned "humanitarian" concern similar to the ruse used to justify NATO's war on Libya in 2011, and now using the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) as a pretext.Brookings' 2012 "Middle East Memo #21'" "Assessing Options for Regime Change" would state:
An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan's leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts."
Clearly, while the justification for Western meddling constantly shifts with the political winds, the underlying plan to divide, destroy, incrementally invade, occupy, and eventually overrun Syria remains.In reality the latest pretext, ISIS, was created and to this day perpetuated by US, Saudi, Israeli, Jordanian, and Turkish support. ISIS is incapable of sourcing the weapons, cash, and fighters within Syria and Iraq alone, and admittedly receives the vast majority of all three from abroad. In Turkey alone,hundreds of trucks a day pass by Turkish border checkpointsdestined for ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq. So overt are these supply convoys thata Deutsche Welle's camera crew spent a day filming themand interviewing locals describing the daily torrent feeding state-sponsored terrorism just across the border in northern Syria.
Likewise, reports from Israel's own Haaretz newspaper admitted that the Israeli Defense Force was rendering aid to Al Qaeda's al Nusra Front, long listed by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization and having cooperated openly with ISIS in the past. The report titled, "Israel halts medical treatment for members of Syria's Nusra Front," admitted that:
A senior Israel Defense Forces officer revealed Monday that Israel has stopped treating members of an extremist Syrian rebel group wounded in that country's ongoing civil war. The policy change concerning the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front was made about six weeks ago.
According to the officer, a number of injured Nusra Front fighters had received medical treatment in Israel.
Growing complaints from Israel's Druze community prompted the public statement which proves that Israel, like Turkey to Syria's north, is providing material support for Al Qaeda terrorists - the very terrorists the West and its regional allies are attempting to use as a pretext to yet further escalate the Syrian conflict.If Turkey Really Wanted to Stop ISIS...
Were Turkey serious about ending the ISIS menace, its first order of business should be to stop harboring their fighters in their territory. Stricter measures along Turkey's borders would be implemented to prevent new fighters from streaming into Syria and joining ISIS' ranks, and the endless torrent of supplies flowing into ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq, apparently through NATO-member Turkey's territory, would also be interdicted immediately.
One may notice that Turkey is the virtual port-of-call for all fighters from across the world seeking to join ISIS - whether they areUyghur terrorists the US and Turkey are trafficking from China, or patsies recruited by Western intelligence services across North America and Europe sent to and from Turkey before carrying out spectacular terrorist attacks back home. In fact, it was to Turkey that one of several of the French Charlie Hebo shooting suspects attempted to flee in an attempt to rejoin ISIS fighters in Syria.
For years now, these options were clearly on the table and at any point Turkey could have exercised them. But Turkey has not. That is because eliminating ISIS is not the objective of this most recent attempt to militarily intervene in Syria, rather the objective is to carve out "safe zones" as described by US policymakers in 2012, from which to topple the Syrian government.
Turkey has no intention of "stopping ISIS." There are no "moderate" fighters Turkey has to back in its alleged, upcoming military operation. It will carve out Syrian territory in a defacto invasion, and push the front closer to Damascus in a desperate bid to once again shake the resolve of both the Syrian people, and the Syrian Arab Army. It also seeks to shatter the resolve of Syria's allies who have thus far stood with Damascus. By threatening to carve out Syrian territory in a defacto invasion under the pretense of "fighting ISIS," when in all reality ISIS will simply be provided with NATO aircover to further build its otherwise inexplicable fighting capacity, NATO hopes to force concessions from Syria's allies to salvage what would be left after the operation concluded.
The US and Turkey's planned invasion of northern Syria is a power move born of a frustrated, stalled conspiracy to topple the Syrian government in quick succession after the fall of Libya's in 2011. A well-calculated power move by Syria's allies is in order to counter it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PressTV-ISIL releases gruesome execution video
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 03:05
Loading ...
The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has released a new gruesome video showing the execution of ten Afghan tribesmen, allegedly for cooperating with the Taliban militant group and Pakistan's intelligence agency.
The footage, claimed to be filmed in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, was released on Monday by the terror group's members in a region, which the ISIL calls Wilayat Khorasan, comprised of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and nearby areas.
The tribesmen were accused of cooperating with the Taliban and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, and giving them information about ISIL members.
The video shows the notorious terrorists using a new way to kill their victims by digging holes in the ground and planting explosive materials in them. The victims are then forced to sit on the holes before the materials are detonated using a remote control.
Mostly active in Iraq and Libya, the ISIL has even managed to expand its territory into other countries, including Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.
The Takfiri group uses a campaign of terror that involves gruesome methods such as videotaped beheadings, summary executions, and other methods to kill.
Loading ...
Loading ...
Loading ...
Loading ...
Loading ...
ISIS fighters in Afghanistan kill 10 prisoners accused of 'apostasy' | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:27
ISIS militants bury bombs in the ground before blowing up their prisonersThe Khorasan killings were filmed in an unknown location in AfghanistanThe video claims the ten prisoners had committed acts of 'apostasy'WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENTBy Tom Wyke for MailOnline
Published: 04:07 EST, 10 August 2015 | Updated: 04:19 EST, 10 August 2015
4.9kshares
650
Viewcomments
They have burnt men alive and drowned prisoners in metal cages but now ISIS have released a new video showing off their new horrific method of committing murder.
Filmed in an unknown location in Afghanistan, ISIS militants are shown burying several explosive charges beneath the ground before covering them with earth.
The ten prisoners are blindfolded and led up to where the bombs have been buried before they are forced to their knees. The bloodthirsty jihadis detonate the charges, killing all the prisoners.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Scroll down for video:
Appalling: the victims are forced to knee where the bombs have been secretly hidden by the ISIS militants
Devastating violence: The charges are set off with the video ending with graphic scenes of the dead bodies
All the victims are described as 'apostates', according to the ISIS video, which appeared on jihadi social media accounts last night.
It is believed the victims are from the Shinwari tribe and were accused of aiding the Taliban in the Afghan province of Nangarhar, where ISIS was recently expelled.
Several of the other victims were also condemned to death for helping the Afghan government counter the longstanding insurgency in the troubled country.
The video appears heavily co-choreographed with the ISIS fighters riding on horses across the green hills with the early morning fog adding to dramatic effect.
Barbaric video shows ISIS militants blowing up 10 'apostates'
Dramatic: The video appears heavily co-choreographed with the ISIS fighters riding on horses across the green hills with the early morning fog adding to dramatic effect
New arrivals: The two ISIS militants rush to join up with the band of fighters holding the prisoners
Accused: All the victims are described as 'apostates', according to the ISIS video, which appeared on jihadi social media accounts last night
Led to their deaths: The ISIS militants lead their prisoners to where the bombs are buried, dragging their victims by their loose blindfolds.
The two arriving militants appear surprisingly young with their fashionable looking trainers underneath their long flowing black shalmar khameez.
Keen to carry out their horrendous act of brutality, the two new arrivals rush to join the line of militants standing behind the line of prisoners.
All ten of the victims are blindfolded with a beige coloured scarf, with several of the victims appearing to be elderly in comparison to their young captors.
All the ISIS fighters carry machine guns and only one of them attempts to hide his identity by wearing a black balaklava.
Once ready, the ISIS militants lead their prisoners to where the bombs are buried, dragging their victims by their loose blindfolds.
Several militants are shown putting the final preparations to the bombs, checking the yellow wires are correctly secured before covering up the explosives with earth.
The prisoners are led up to the hill and made to stand in a line.
Concealed in the ground beneath their knees, the deadly explosive charges lie in wait, having been carefully wired up by several ISIS militants.
Horrific: The militants appear to be youthful in comparison to several of their elderly prisoners
Imhunane: Jihadi bomb experts carefully wire up the devices in preparation for the sickening punishment
Preparations: Several ISIS militants carefully plant explosive charges in the ground before burying them
Waiting: The prisoners are forced to kneel on the ground before they are killed in the huge explosion
Final moment: The militants sprint away from the bomb site, leaving the unsuspecting prisoners to be blown to pieces by the bombs
Unknown to the blindfold prisoners, they are made to kneel on the freshly relaid mounts of earth, where the explosives are buried.
The two ISIS fighters wait by the prisoners before sprinting away from the line of victims just before the bombs detonate.
The final scenes are too graphic to describe but represent the inhumane brutality of the jihadi organisation, who are continuing to grow in strength in Afghanistan.
ISIS have developed an brutal reputation for their unimaginable levels of cruelty and violence.
Share or comment on this article
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Future impact of pipeline attacks may be devastating for Turkey - G'NEŞ K–M'RC'LER
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:59
A number of explosions have hit important energy pipelines in eastern and southeastern Turkey over the past month. Unless the required measures are taken to halt such attacks, they will have a devastating impact on Turkey's strategic target of becoming a reliable energy corridor or energy hub in the future. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline was attacked in the southeastern province of Şırnak at the end of July. To understand the costs, let's remember the written statement issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of northern Iraq, which condemned the attack. The KRG stated that repeated attempted thefts and sabotage attacks on the pipelines - which carry crude oil from the KRG to the Turkish port of Ceyhan - since July 27, have led to an almost complete stoppage in the flow of crude oil, costing around $250 million.
Saboteurs then attacked a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey in the eastern province of Ağrı on July 28. The pipeline, which carries 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Iranian gas across the border to Turkey annually, frequently came under attack from Kurdish militants during the 1990s. Another explosion hit the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars-Erzurum gas pipeline, which carries around 6 bcm of Azeri gas to Turkey annually, in the early hours of Aug. 4.
The capacity of these pipelines is relatively small compared to the pipelines that are planned or desired to be established through Turkey, which wants to take much bigger share in Europe's future energy needs through several future pipelines. Given the increasing demand for gas, experts predict that Europe will need to import 80 percent of its gas by 2030, compared to around 65 percent today. Although Europe plans to decrease its high dependency on Russian gas, Turkey will play a crucial role in the transportation of energy supplies to Europe from other neighboring countries, including Iraq or even Iran.
According to a recent note by the Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN), terrorist attacks on energy facilities increased to 20 percent of all terroristic attacks across the world in 2013, up from around 2.5 percent in the mid-1990s. A total 9,500 attacks were staged on energy facilities, mainly pipelines, between 1980 and 2012, according to data from the Energy Infrastructure Attacks database. A majority of these attacks took place in Iraq, Colombia and Pakistan, according to HASEN's note.
A number of serious measures must be taken immediately to prevent such attacks, as maintaining trust is the key to any country reaching its economic goals, including in the energy sector. This point is of particular importance for Turkey, which imports almost all its energy needs from neighboring countries. It is obvious that recent blasts have increased the risks for energy companies in doing business, especially in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.
Turkish officials have announced the deployment of thermal cameras and horse-back patrols to heighten security around key oil and gas pipelines in order to safeguard energy supplies.
The question is whether such measures will be enough. It seems that they most certainly are not, as attacks will unfortunately continue for as long as the core reason behind the problem is not resolved. Thus, the continuation of the Kurdish peace process is also of crucial importance in order to maintain Turkey's energy security and reliability - as well as saving lives.
August/12/2015
PHOTO GALLERY
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. sends six jets, 300 personnel to Turkey base in Islamic State fight
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 20:35
WASHINGTON The United States sent six F-16 jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Sunday, the U.S. military said, after Ankara agreed last month to allow American planes to launch air strikes against Islamic State militants from there.
The Pentagon said in a statement the "small detachment" is from the 31st Fighter Wing based at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Support equipment was also sent but no details were provided.
"The United States and Turkey, as members of the 60-plus nation coalition, are committed to the fight against ISIL in the pursuit of peace and stability in the region," the statement said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
The ability to fly manned bombing raids out of Incirlik, a major base used by both U.S. and Turkish forces, against targets in nearby Syria could be a big advantage. Such flights have had to fly mainly from the Gulf.
Turkey's decision last month to allow use of the base follows longtime reluctance by Ankara to become engaged in the fight against Islamist militants.
Turkey has faced increasing insecurity along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, with fears the conflict could spill onto Turkish soil and worsen relations with its Kurdish minority.
(Inserts dropped word "sent" in first paragraph)
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Eric Walsh)
Our top photos from the past week. Slideshow
The Color Revolution for Greater Kurdistan Begins: Kurdish City Declares Autonomy in Turkey | American Everyman
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:39
by Scott Creighton
This is something from a site called ''Revolution News''
Talk of autonomy as a reaction to Turkey's aggressive handling of Kurdish policies has long been heard. Every now and then some newspapers would appear with the headlights of a possible autonomy-declaration. On the morning of August 11th, Cumhuriyet Daily has published a piece of news which states that the Şırnak People's Assembly of the Kurdish city of Şırnak has declared autonomy in Turkey, with a manifestation of the Democratic Regions Party. The declaration states the reason of autonomy as the loss of legitimacy of state institutions in the city in the eyes of the population. Previously, several other guerrilla groups had claimed autonomy of the province several times. ''Revolution News''
The province of Şırnak shown as red
So, the reason they are declaring their independence from Turkey is ''a loss of legitimacy of state institutions'' huh? Where the fuck have we heard that before?
And notice the location of the province? Dead smack in the middle of Greater Kurdistan.
Or maybe we should call it Barzanistan or Barzani Kurdistan?
This past Tuesday President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with the proclaimed ''president'' of Iraqi Kurdistan (or ''South Kurdistan'' as they like to be called '' an explanation of that later) Masoud Barzani to discuss handing over US weapons directly to his forces, the peshmerga forces that are currently fighting ''ISIS'' in Iraq and Syria.
Wednesday Barzani attended a closed door meeting at the United States Institute of Peace which is headed by a neocon warmonger, Steven Hadley who is a a member of the Council on Foreign Relations , sits on the National Security Advisory Panel to the Director of Central Intelligence , is on the Board of Directors at Raytheon (while he owned 11,477 shares of stock) and just happened to run around to every corporate news outlet he could in 2013 screeching about how we had to bomb Syria over the ''chemical weapons attack'' that Syria didn't commit (our ''moderate rebels'' did it)
Barzani is apparently on a tour of the Westernized imperialist countries having visited Stephen Harper in Canada just prior to heading to D.C. Scott Creighton
Yeah, Barzani is definitely our kind of people:
''The west is no friend of the people of Kurdistan, primarily because during the past two decades they did not spare any effort to fund and arm the most treacherous, the most misogynic and anti-democratic indigenous Barzani gangs to use violence and force against peaceful protesters'' Ekurd Daily
The Barzani clan, like the House of Saud, are the type that will stoop to any level of depravity against their own people in order to prove their worth to globalist scum like Barack Obama and those he serves.
So the anti-Erdogan color revolution is finally taking off. We can now sit back and watch Webster Tarpley explain how these Barzani dictators represent real democracy in the Middle East.
Like this:LikeLoading...
Related
Filed under: Kurdistan, Scott Creighton
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
US Couple Charged With Trying to Support Islamic State - Justice Department / Sputnik International
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:10
US19:10 11.08.2015(updated 19:19 11.08.2015) Get short URL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) '' A couple from the state of Mississippi have been charged for allegedly trying to support the Islamic State by making plans to travel to Syria and join the militant group, the US Department of Justice announced in a statement on Tuesday.''A Starkville, Mississippi, couple was arrested over the weekend for allegedly conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization,'' the statement read.
The investigation into 20-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla began after one of the defendants posted statements about traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State, according to the Justice Department.
The couple obtained passports and made travel arrangements, but US authorities arrested them on August 8, 2015 prior to traveling to Turkey to join the Islamic State in Syria.
If convicted, the couple faces charges of a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
According to US intelligence, up to 30,000 foreign fighters have joined the Islamic State extremists in their fight against the government forces in Syria and Iraq.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trump
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
She's Hired! Amal Clooney Top Choice To Replace Donald Trump As Host Of Celebrity Apprentice
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 20:38
Ever since NBC and Donald Trump parted ways, fans of The Celebrity Apprentice have been left to wonder who would be filling the presidential candidate's shoes as the host of the reality competition. But now, sources close to the show say the right man for the job just might be a woman, and they know just which one they want '-- human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney!
The British barrister was relatively unknown before she married actor George Clooney, but since being thrust in the spotlight, she has captured the adoration of the public with her professional prowess as well as her keen sense of style.
PHOTOS: George & Amal Paint The Town Red On Post-Valentine's Day Date
''Basically we want Amal, although there are a couple of other prominent women in contention,'' a television executive told Express. Amal, who has been working as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School, has already been spending a good amount of time in New York where The Celebrity Apprentice is filmed. ''We think she could be a perfect fit, if her schedule can be made to dovetail with shooting requirements.''
Sources close to Amal say that she is keen on the idea of filming in New York City, and that she has the support of her friends as well as her husband should she decide to take the job.
''As well as the cachet of being married to George, she is also a highly respected figure in her field,'' the television executive said. ''And, since she rarely says anything in public, there is still something of an air of mystery to her.''
Would you watch The Celebrity Apprentice with Amal Clooney as host?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Penny Pritzker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:51
Penny Sue Pritzker (born May 2, 1959) is an American business executive, entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist who is currently serving as the 38th United States Secretary of Commerce. She is the founder of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group.[1] She is also co-founder of Artemis Real Estate Partners.[2] She is a member of the Pritzker family.
In 2012, Chicago magazine named her one of the 100 most powerful Chicagoans.[3] In 2011, the Forbes 400 list of America's wealthiest showed her as the 263rd richest person in the U.S., estimated net worth of US $1.8511 billion,[4] and the world's 651st richest person. In 2009, Forbes named Pritzker as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
Early life[edit]Pritzker was born in Chicago to a Jewish family[5] in 1959, the daughter of Sue (n(C)e Sandel)[6] and Donald N. Pritzker (1932''1972), one of the co-founders of Hyatt hotels, which grew dramatically under his leadership as President from 1959 until his death in 1972. Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family of Chicago, an influential business family. She attended Castilleja School until 1977.[7][8] She earned an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College in 1981 and both a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1984.[9] She has two brothers: Anthony Pritzker and Jay Robert Pritzker.
Career highlights[edit]1987 '' founded Classic Residence by Hyatt, now called Vi1991 '' created Pritzker Realty Group1991 '' served as chairperson of Superior Bank of Chicago (until 1994)1998 '' co-founded The Parking Spot, the fastest growing company in off-site airport parking management, with CEO Martin Nesbitt[10]2005 '' served as "Non-Executive" Chairperson of the Board of TransUnion, LLC (until 2012)[11]2010 '' co-founded Artemis Real Estate Partners, a real estate investment management company, with CEO Deborah Harmon2012 '' founded PSP Capital Partners[12]Superior Bank[edit]In 1989, Ms. Pritzker's late uncle, Jay Pritzker, purchased a 50% stake in Hinsdale, Illinois-based Superior Bank of Chicago from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which had taken over the bank when it failed.[13] Penny Pritzker was Superior's chairperson from 1991''1994. In 1993, the bank "embarked on a business strategy of significant growth into subprime home mortgages," according to a report by the United States Treasury Department.[13] In 2000, it became clear the bank was faltering. In the months leading up to 2001, the Pritzkers tried to work out a recapitalization plan.[13] In July 2001, FDIC seized the bank after the recapitalization could not be resolved.[14][15][16] Subsequently, the Pritzker family reached an agreement with regulators to pay $460 million.[13][17][18][19]
According to the FDIC, by 2011, the uninsured depositors of Superior had each received 81% of their uninsured monies, in addition to the $100,000 each previously received of their insured amount.[20] Industry experts have criticized the Pritzkers in regard to Superior.[21] Consumer advocates and government investigators asserted Superior "engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices."[13] Responding to the Wall Street Journal, Pritzker noted she had no ownership in the bank, either direct or indirect, and that the bank's reasons for failure "were complex, including changes in accounting practices, auditing failures, reversals in regulatory positions and general economic conditions."[13] She said the bank complied with "fair lending laws" and ethical business practices.[13] A 2001 Business Week article described the bank's other owner, Alvin Dworman, as the more dominant partner in its operation as a result of agreements made by Jay Pritzker.[14] Quoted in the New York Times, a Pritzker family friend observed Pritzker was trapped in a deal of her uncle's making: "Penny got sucked into this'...this was really the legacy of Jay"[15] Jay Pritzker died in 1999.[22]
Government and political involvement[edit]Pritzker was a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. She also served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
She was national co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and was the national finance chair of President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008.[23] A campaign under her direction reached out to small donors. On November 20, 2008, CNN reported that Pritzker was Barack Obama's top choice for Commerce Secretary, quoting "multiple" unnamed sources.[24] However, it was later reported that Pritzker took herself out of the running.[25][26][27] According to the Chicago Tribune, she withdrew her name from consideration "due to obligations to her family, for whom she was still overseeing billions in assets, and the financial crisis, which was putting some of those assets at risk."
Pritzker has contributed to numerous campaigns. Among the recipients have been the presidential campaigns and exploratory committees, including those of George W. Bush, Joe Lieberman, Bill Bradley, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain (2000), Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.[28] On July 2, 2008, Ms. Pritzker and her husband hosted a $28,500 per plate fundraiser for Mr. Obama's campaign in Chicago with Warren Buffett and his wife, and Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.[29]
She was also on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations,[30] a nonpartisan think tank focused on world affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
Secretary of Commerce[edit]Pritzker was nominated as United States Secretary of Commerce by PresidentBarack Obama on May 2, 2013.[31][32] After an uneventful confirmation hearing on May 23, 2013,[33] Pritzker was confirmed by the full Senate on June 25, by a vote of 97 to 1.[34] Pritzker was sworn in as Secretary on June 26, 2013.
Civic and philanthropic activities[edit]Pritzker is involved in public education. She was a member of the Chicago Board of Education and is past chair of the Chicago Public Education Fund.[35]
Pritzker was Advisory Board Chair of Skills for America's Future (SAF), a policy initiative of the Aspen Institute.[36] Pritzker is a former chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.[37]
On March 26, 2014, Elle honored Pritzker, with others, at the Italian Embassy in the United States during its annual ''Women in Washington Power List.''[38]
See also[edit]References[edit]^"PSP Capital Partners". Retrieved October 10, 2012. ^"Artemis Real Estate". ^Bailey, Berstein, Burke, Colburn et al. (March 2012). "100 Most Powerful Chicagoans". Chicago Magazine. ^"The 400 Richest Americans: #263 Penny Pritzker". Forbes. September 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2011. Net worth: $1.7 billion ^Jewish Daily Forward: "Penny Pritzker, Jewish Hotel Heiress, Tapped for Commerce Job '' Mike Froman Gets Trade Representative Nod" May 2, 2013^"Mishap kills Sue Pritzker, widow of Hyatt Hotel founder, at age 49". Chicago Tribune. May 8, 1982. ^DeBare, Ilana. "Prominent Alumnae of Girls' Schools". Where Girls Come First. Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2007. ^"Around Town". Palo Alto Weekly. November 9, 2005. Retrieved May 2, 2013. ^Stanford Lawyer. Law.stanford.edu. Retrieved on December 4, 2011.^Staff (2008). "Penny S. Pritzker '' Biography". Penny Pritzker '' Official website. Retrieved November 19, 2008. ^Prospectus. Sec.gov. Retrieved on August 12, 2013.^"PSP Capital Partners". ^ abcdefgEmshwiller, John R. (July 21, 2008). "A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A10. Retrieved July 21, 2008. ^ abWeber, Joseph; Woellert, Lorraine (September 10, 2001). "The Pritzkers' Empire Trembles: Can a new generation halt the slide in the family's fortunes?". BusinessWeek. Retrieved July 21, 2008. ^ abBarboza, David (August 7, 2001). "A Partnership Frays After An S.& L. Fails; In Laying Blame, Trying to Sort Out One Deal Maker's Complicated Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2008. ^Allison, Melissa; Neikirk, William (July 27, 2001). "Regulators close Chicago-area bank". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 21, 2008. ^"Judge rules family, others cannot be sued concerning Superior Bank's collapse". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. September 28, 2004. ^David Mobert, Breaking the Bank, In These Times November 8, 2002^John W. Courtney et al. v. Neal T. Halleren et al. (485 F.3d 942). Bulk.resource.org. Retrieved on December 4, 2011.^"Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation". Failed Bank Information. ^Pallasch, Abdon M. (April 28, 2008). "Obama's subprime pal". Chicago Sun-Times. ^The Economist: "Jay Pritzker, pioneer of the modern hotel chain, died on January 23rd, aged 76" January 28, 1999.^Anne E. Kornblut and Matthew Mosk (April 5, 2008). "Obama's Campaign Takes In $25 Million,He Nearly Matches Clinton, With Twice as Many Donors"(printable). Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2008. ^"Sources: Pritzker, Napolitano being vetted for Cabinet". CNN. November 20, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008. ^Allen, Mike (November 20, 2008). "Pritzker turns down Commerce". Politico. Retrieved February 12, 2013. ^Gloria Borger, Jason Carrol, Ed Henry, Jamie McIntyre, John King, Ed Hornick, Don Lemon, Jessica Yellin (November 20, 2008). "Pritzker not a candidate for commerce secretary"(printable). CNN. Retrieved February 12, 2013. ^Knowlton, Brian (November 20, 2008). "Pritzker Withdraws From Cabinet Consideration". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. ^Penny Pritzker. Nndb.com. Retrieved on December 4, 2011.^MICHAEL LUO and CHRISTOPHER DREW (July 3, 2008). "Obama Picks Up Fund-Raising Pace". Washington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2013. ^Penny S. Pritzker '' Biography. Penny-pritzker.com. Retrieved on December 4, 2011.^Sweet, Lynn (May 2, 2013) "Obama nominates Chicago exec Penny Pritzker as commerce secretary", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 2, 2013.^Shear, Michael D. (May 2, 2013) "Obama Nominates Pritzker for Commerce Post", The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2013.^Penny Pritzker looks to be on path to confirmation '' Tarini Parti. Politico.Com (May 23, 2013). Retrieved on August 12, 2013.^Penny Pritzker confirmed as Commerce secretary '' Dan Berman. Politico.Com (June 26, 2013). Retrieved on August 12, 2013.^"CPEF". ^people "The Aspen Institute". Retrieved October 10, 2012. ^"MCA". ^Watters, Susan (March 26, 2014). "Gucci and Elle Honor Women in Washington Power List". WWD. Retrieved March 28, 2014. External links[edit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CYBER!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'Fraudsters hack news agencies to make $100m on business articles before publishing'
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:39
GETTY
Hackers were behind a huge insider trailing fraud, it is allegedThe sophisticated scam involved Ukrainian computer geeks hacking the computers of respected news agencies and getting their hands on stories containing embargoed financial information which had not yet been released.
Traders in America would then buy up shares in businesses which were about to announce bumper profits, raking in millions when the prices then rocketed.
Prosecutors in New York and New Jersey filed indictments against nine people, including two Ukrainian hackers and two securities traders from Alpharetta Georgia. They are accused of making $30m (£20m) from the Wall Street scam.
They were charged with 23 counts, including securities fraud, computer fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Diego Rodriguez, head of the FBI's New York office, said: "This is the story of a traditional securities fraud scheme with a twist - one that employed a contemporary approach to a conventional crime."
Related articlesThe US Securities and Exchange Commission has also brought related civil charges against the nine, plus 23 other individuals and companies. It brings the total in alleged fraudulent trading to more than $100m (£65m)
The con-artists started work in 2010 and gained early access to 150,000 news releases from respected business news services by hacking their computers, prosecutors said.
The news releases contained earnings figures and other corporate information which was yet to be officially announced.
It is alleged the traders, identified as Arkady Dubovoy, Pavel Dubovoy and Igor Dubovoy, then used the information to make trades before the releases came out, exploiting a time gap ranging from hours to three days.
The hackers were paid based on how much in profits the traders made, prosecutors alleged.
They allegedly created a how-to video on gaining access to the stored press releases.
GETTY
Machinery firm Caterpillar's shares were allegedly bought by the groupAccording to court documents, the group made more than £385,000 by trading stock of machinery giant Caterpillar in 2011 using a news release that said the company's third-quarter profits had climbed 27 percent.
They also made £900,000 trading shares of technology company Align Technology, based in California, in 2013, ahead of a press release that said annual revenue was up more than 20 percent.
The news wires affected include Toronto-based Marketwired, PR Newswire, based in New York, and San Francisco-based Business Wire.
Business Wire said it has hired a cybersecurity firm to test its systems and make sure they are secure.
Marketwired and PR Newswire did not respond to requests for comment.
Biggest US Dark Pool Busted For Rigging Markets, Engaging In Precisely The Manipulation It Warned Against
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:53
One year ago, in the first ever crack down on market manipulation and rigging in HFT-infested dark pools and ATS venues, the NY AG crushed Barclay's dark pool LX with just one lawsuit alleging the bank had misrepresented and taken advantage of gullible clients to benefit well-paying HFT parasitic scalpers who not only have never "provided liquidity" but merely frontrun whale orders and completely shut down any time the market turns against the prevailing momentum wave, in the process crushing liquidity.
Following the Barclays debacle, which confirmed not only what Michael Lewis had said earlier in 2014 about HFT manipulation, but everything we had said about HFT manipulation since 2009, the paid defenders of the HFT criminal syndicate scrambled to prove that it was "only" one bad sheep in a herd of well-meaning, tame and well-behaved liquidity providing animals.
A year later, enough time had passed since the Barclays bust that the more gullible elements almost believed these paid defenders of market-rigging. Then the best laid plan of vacuum tubes and men went horribly wrong when at the end of July, none other than the original dark pool, ITG, was busted for using a prop trading silo to frontrun client order flow using an HFT architecture.
Worse, as we revealed and as was confirmed later, the person behind this latest HFT manipulation charge was none other than Hitesh Mittal, the current head trader of mega quant fund AQR, the 4th largest in the world, whose boss Cliff Asness has over the years become one of the most vocal advocates of HFT. Now we know why.
And then, earlier today, the WSJ reported that none other than the operator of the biggest dark pool in the US by volume, Credit Suisse and its massive Crossfinder dark pool, "is in talks with regulators to settle allegations of wrongdoing at its ''dark pool'' with a record fine in the high tens of millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the matter."
From the WSJ:
The Swiss bank is negotiating a joint settlement with the New York Attorney General and the Securities and Exchange Commission. A deal could come as soon as the next several weeks, though talks could still fall apart, the people said. The settlement under discussion would lead to the largest fine ever levied against an operator of a private trading venue.
The case against Credit Suisse includes allegations that it provided unfair advantages to some traders, violated rules against pricing of stocks and didn't adequately disclose to investors how CrossFinder works, according to the people familiar with the matter.
What is grotesque about this story is not that yet another dark pool has been found to cater solely to HFTs i.e., the best paying clients who will always get priority treatment by banks such as Credit Suisse and Barclays simply because that's all they do: pay to frontrun others because in a market which is rigged to the core, HFT and dark pool manipulation is now the rule. What is grotesque, is that back in December 2012, it was none other than Credit Suisse which conveniently explained and laid out all those forms of HFT manipulation which we accused virtually every HFT firm of employing since 2009... and which Credit Suisse itself is now accused of engaging in!
This is how Credit Suisse summarized all the predatory strategies of HFT algos in the market as of 2012:
Quote Stuffing: the HFT trader sends huge numbers of orders and cancelsLayering: multiple, large orders are placed passively with the goal of ''pushing'' the book away Order Book Fade: lightning-fast reactions to news and order book pressure lead to disappearing liquidity Momentum ignition: an HFT trader detects a large order targeting a percentage of volume, and front-runs it.And the punchline: Credit Suisse's Advanced Execution Services (i.e., the group behind its dark pool) was putching itself as the one venue where trading participants are immune from such abuse. From "High Frequency Trading '' Measurement, Detection and Response" (which can be found on the website of edge.credit-suisse.com with a cursory title-based google search):
Dark pools using a synthetic EBBO (consolidated book) for their reference price are at higher risk of being gamed by quote stuffing. Exhibit 10 shows an example in Ashmore Group, where the Primary Bid and Ask (represented by the outer dark red and light blue lines at 356.2 and 355.7) are static, but the Chi-X bid moves (dark blue line). The consolidated EBBO shows a locked book, with the bid equal to the ask at 356.2.
This scenario could be exploited in EBBO-referenced dark pools. A gamer could place a sell order in the pool with a 356.2 limit, then place (and rapidly cancel) a Chi-X bid, also at 356.2. Any buy order pegged to mid would trade at the temporary gamed ''mid'' of 356.2 (as the EBBO bid and offer are both temporarily 356.2), paying the whole spread rather than half.
Crossfinder (Credit Suisse's dark pool) does not use the EBBO, preferring to use primary-only data to help minimise the chance of midpoint gaming. Furthermore, when AES detects any quote stuffing, it may add extra protections across its orders (both lit and dark) to further reduce the risk of being gamed, more details of which are discussed later from page 7.
* * *
Dark-only flow traded through AES (e.g. in tactics such as Crossfinder+) can minimise the chance of being affected by 'mid-point gaming' with by withdrawing from certain venues, raising MAQs and using tighter limits. These protections will allow the midpoint to come towards the order '' enabling the strategy to participate at a temporarily more favourable price '' but restrict it from moving away.
If apparent gaming occurs consistently on a particular venue or with a particular counterparty in Crossfinder, the AES Alpha Scorecard will pick this up and highlight that venue or that counterparty as exhibiting excessive ''opportunistic'' behaviour. Credit Suisse's clients then have the ability to decide whether to trade on those venues or against that group of counterparties.
Flow that reaches Credit Suisse's dark pool (Crossfinder) via aggregators does not receive such protections, as Crossfinder is simply an execution venue for this flow. When interacting through AES algorithms, these additional protections are available.
Turns out they weren't, and that anyone who believed the Credit Suisse reps and warrants was lied to, just like in Barclays' case, and quite likely all those parasitic HFT strategies, quote stuffing, layering, orderbook fading and momentum ignition, Credit Suisse raged against were being used against CS'own clients.
And, just like in Barclays case, these lies will now cost the Swiss bank tens of millions, or a fraction of the profits it made abusing its clients' trust.
But the biggest question, just like in the Barclays case, is whether the bulk of its carbon-based clients - we know the HFTs will never leave - will depart the Crossfinder dark pool, and send the orderflow volume on the Credit Suisse market plunging, which like with LX, will start a self-fulfilling prophecy of dark pool collapse since once the key clients leave there is no reason for anyone else to stay.
Finally, if this is what happens, who will be winner: upstart AEX, or Goldman Sachs, which as we reported recently is back in the HFT arena and as we reported in "Why Goldman Is About To Become The Biggest HFT Firm In The World", is likely the firm that is ordering the regulatory hits on its biggest competitors until it takes them all down one by one, in a New Normal replica of how Goldman destroyed Lehman back in 2008.
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.7(3 votes)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Social networks scan for sexual predators, with uneven results | Reuters
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:34
In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through a magnifying glass held by a woman in Bern May 19, 2012.
Reuters/Thomas Hodel
San FRANCISCO On March 9 of this year, a piece of Facebook software spotted something suspicious.
A man in his early thirties was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day.
Facebook's extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.
Officers took control of the teenager's computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor.
"The manner and speed with which they contacted us gave us the ability to respond as soon as possible," said Duncan, one of a half-dozen law enforcement officials interviewed who praised Facebook for triggering inquiries.
Facebook is among the many companies that are embracing a combination of new technologies and human monitoring to thwart sex predators. Such efforts generally start with automated screening for inappropriate language and exchanges of personal information, and extend to using the records of convicted pedophiles' online chats to teach the software what to seek out.
Yet even though defensive techniques are now available and effective they can be expensive. They can also alienate some of a site's target audience -- especially teen users who expect more freedom of expression. While many top sites catering to young children are quite vigilant, the same can't be said for the burgeoning array of online options for the 13- to 18-year-old set.
"There are companies out there that are doing a very good job, working within the confines of what they have available," said Brooke Donahue, a supervisory special agent with an FBI team devoted to Internet predators and child pornography. "There are companies out there that are more concerned about profitability."
THE SMARTPHONE FACTOR
Two recent incidents are raising new questions about companies' willingness to invest in safety.
Last month the maker of a smartphone app called Skout, designed for flirtation with strangers in the same area, admitted its use had led to sexual assaults on three teenagers by adults. The venture-backed firm had not verified that users of its now-shuttered teen section were under 20, giving predators easy access.
Also in June, a teen-oriented virtual world called Habbo Hotel, which boasts hundreds of millions of registered users, temporarily blocked all chatting after UK television reported that two sex predators had found victims on the site and that a journalist posing as an 11-year-old girl was bombarded with explicit remarks and requests that she disrobe on webcam.
Former employees said site owner Sulake of Finland laid off many in-house workers earlier this year, leaving it unable to moderate 70 million lines of daily chat adequately. Sulake said it had kept 225 moderators and is still investigating what went wrong.
The failures at Skout and Habbo shocked child-safety experts and technology professionals, who fear they will lead to a renewed panic about online safety that is not justified by the data.
By some measures, Internet-related sex crimes against children have always been rare and are now falling (as are reports of assaults on minors that do not involve the Net). Most sex crimes against children are committed by people the children know, rather than strangers.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children processed 3,638 reports of online "enticement" of children by adults last year, down from 4,053 in 2010 and 5,759 in 2009.
Even those companies with state-of-the-art defenses spend far more time trying to stop online bullying and attempts to sneak profanity past automatic word filters than they do fending off sex predators.
Still, as the Skout case showed, there are several recent trends that have heightened the concerns of child-safety experts: the rise of smartphones, which are harder for parents to monitor; location-oriented services, which are the darling of Net companies seeking more ad revenue from local businesses; and the rapid proliferation in phone and tablet apps, which don't always make clear what data they are using and distributing.
EXPENSIVE DEFENSES
A solid system for defending against online predators requires both oversight by trained employees and intelligent software that not only searches for improper communication but also analyzes patterns of behavior, experts said.
The better software typically starts as a filter, blocking the exchange of abusive language and personal contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers and Skype login names. But instead of looking just at one set of messages it will examine whether a user has asked for contact information from dozens of people or tried to develop multiple deeper and potentially sexual relationship, a process known as grooming.
Companies can set the software to take many defensive steps automatically, including temporarily silencing those who are breaking rules or banning them permanently. As a result, many threats are eliminated without human intervention and moderators at the company are notified later.
Sites that operate with such software still should have one professional on safety patrol for every 2,000 users online at the same time, said Sacramento-based Metaverse Mod Squad, a moderating service. At that level the human side of the task entails "months and months of boredom followed by a few minutes of your hair on fire," said Metaverse Vice President Rich Weil.
Metaverse uses hundreds of employees and contractors to monitor websites for clients including virtual world Second Life, Time Warner's Warner Brothers and the PBS public television service.
Metaverse Chief Executive Amy Pritchard said that in five years her staff only intercepted something terrifying once, about a month ago, when a man on a discussion board for a major media company was asking for the email address of a young site user.
Software recognized that the same person had been making similar requests of others and flagged the account for Metaverse moderators. They called the media company, which then alerted authorities. Other sites aimed at kids agree that such crises are rarities.
NAUGHTY USERS, NICER REVENUES
Sites aimed at those under 13 are very different from those with large teen audiences.
Under a 1998 law known as COPPA, for the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, sites directed at those 12 and under must have verified parental consent before collecting data on children. Some sites go much further: Disney's Club Penguin offers a choice of viewing either filtered chat that avoids blacklisted words or chats that contain only words that the company has pre-approved.
Filters and moderators are essential for a clean experience, said Claire Quinn, safety chief at a smaller site aimed at kids and young teens, WeeWorld. But the programs and people cost money and can depress ad rates.
"You might lose some of your naughty users, and if you lose traffic you might lose some of your revenue," Quinn said. "You have to be prepared to take a hit."
There is no legal or technical reason that companies with large teen audiences, like Facebook, or mainly teen users, such as Habbo, can't do the same thing as Disney and WeeWorld.
From a business perspective, however, there are powerful reasons not to be so restrictive, starting with teen expectations of more freedom of expression as they age. If they don't find it on one site, they will somewhere else.
The looser the filters, the more the need for the most sophisticated monitoring tools, like those employed at Facebook and those offered by independent companies such as the UK's Crisp Thinking, which works for Lego, Electronic Arts, and Sony Corp's online entertainment unit, among others.
In addition to blocking forbidden words and strings of digits that could represent phone numbers, Crisp assigns warning scores to chats based on multiple categories of information, including the use of profanity, personally identifying information and signs of grooming. Things like too many "unrequited" messages, or those that go unresponded to, also factor in, because they correlate with spamming or attempts to groom in quantity, as does analysis of the actual chats of convicted pedophiles.
The highest scores generate color-coded "tickets," with those marked red requiring the quickest response from moderators.
Facebook's software likewise depends on relationship analysis and archives of real chats that preceded sex assaults, Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan told Reuters in the company's most expansive comments on the subject to date.
Like most of its peers, Facebook generally avoids discussing its safety practices to discourage scare stories, because it doesn't catch many wrongdoers, and to sidestep privacy concerns. Users could be unnerved about the extent to which their conversations are reviewed, at least by computer programs.
CATCHING ONE IN 10?
In part because of its massive size, Facebook relies more than some rivals on such technology.
"We've never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it's really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate," he said. In addition, Facebook doesn't probe deeply into what it thinks are pre-existing relationships.
A low rate of false positives, though, also means that many dangerous communications go undetected.
Some adults have used Facebook to target dozens of minors before assaulting one or more and then being identified by their victims or the victims' parents, court records show.
"I feel for every one we arrest, ten others get through the system," Florida's Duncan said of tips from Facebook and other companies.
Another pillar in Facebook's strategy is to limit how those under 18 can interact on the site and to make it harder for adults to find them. Minors don't show up in public searches, only friends of friends can send them Facebook messages, and only friends can chat with them.
The gaping hole in the defense of Facebook and many other sites popular with teens is that minors can easily make up a birth date and pretend to be adults -- and adults can pretend to be minors, as happened with Skout, which declined an interview request.
Technology is available for verifying the ages of Web and app users. One of the providers is Aristotle International Inc, which offers a variety of methods, including having a parent vouch for a child and make a token payment with a credit card to establish the parent's identity.
Yet even in the wake of the Skout disaster, no site aimed at minors has hired Aristotle for age checks. "We could do real parental consent with 14-year-olds, but no one has asked," said Aristotle Chief Executive John Phillips.
Such checks would cost money and alienate teens who don't want their parents involved.
Barring a wave of costly litigation or new laws, it is hard to see the protections getting much tougher, experts said. Instead, the app and location booms will only add to the market pressure for more freedom on youth sites and greater challenges for parents.
"For every Skout that shuts down, there are ten more that popped up yesterday," said the FBI's Donahue. "The free market pushes towards permissiveness."
(Editing by Jonathan Weber and Prudence Crowther)
Courthouse News Service
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:51
Feds Must Tell More About CIA's Role in Drone Strike
(CN) - Nearly four years after the controversial drone strike, the U.S. government must release more information about the legal rationale for killing New Mexico-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. On Sept. 30, 2011, the CIA and and Joint Special Operations Command coordinated the bombing of al-Awlaki and another U.S. citizen, al-Qaida propagandist Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son Abdulrahman died in a separate strike weeks later, which the government called accidental. It was the first time the U.S. government unleashed a predator drone against a citizen abroad who was suspected of terrorism. Reporters scrambled for more information about the secretive operation, and multiple lawsuits were filed to learn the legal justification for killing a citizen who had not been convicted of treason. At a congressional hearing a year later, two U.S. lawmakers alluded to a "white paper" containing the answers. Reporter Jason Leopold, a dogged Freedom of Information Act requester, sought these papers as well as other communications between the Obama administration and members of Congress about drone strikes on terror targets. Before Leopold's request had been completed, NBC News got its hands on a leaked copy of one of the white papers revealing the rationale for the Department of Defense's participation in the program in 2013. Leopold obtained another white paper with "more fulsome analysis" of the strike by suing the Justice Department in federal court in Washington, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta wrote on Wednesday. Unlike the NBC-acquired memo, this white paper outlined the legal rationale for the CIA, Leopold's lawyer Jeffrey Light said in a phone interview. Light called this distinction important because the memorandum involving the CIA purports to explain the basis for "non-uniformed members of the government engaging in acts of warfare in foreign countries." The judge ordered the government to lift the redactions on some of that analysis, and expand its search for communications from the "Obama administration." "Several redacted passages contain nothing more than legal analysis that does not in any way reference or pertain to any classified information," Mehta said in a 26-page opinion. Referring to these passages, attorney Light said: "It will be very enlightening to see why the DOJ believes the CIA is authorized to engage in these acts." Mehta also found that the Justice Department, in searching for the documents, interpreted the "Obama administration" too narrowly by equating it to the Executive Office of the President. "For instance, it is easy to imagine that DOJ might have exchanged relevant communications about drone strikes on U.S citizens in Yemen with high-level officials at the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, or other national security agencies," Mehta wrote. If the government does appeal the ruling, Light said, "We're looking forward to see what's behind those redactions." The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment. Scoring another government transparency victory, Leopold burnished his reputation as a "FOIA terrorist" - a label one bureaucrat tagged him with that he's worn as a badge of honor. A Courthouse News search shows he has filed at least five lawsuits to wrest documents this year alone, with some of those requests netting major scoops. On the heels of his latest court victory on Wednesday, Leopold published a story on Vice News with new information about the CIA's spying on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence based on documents he obtained from a different lawsuit. Unlike this case, Light said the government produced the documents without a court order. "I consider that a big win, even though it wasn't a published opinion," Light said.
Metaverse | Culture
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:47
How did a Silicon Valley lawyer's side gig moderating reality-TV message boards lead to the Mod revolution? Witness the dawn of the Mods as they provide avatar staffing for the Gossip Girl sims in Second Life and serve as virtual bodyguards for the Speaker of the House. Follow their stellar rise as they branch out to a squad of 10,000+ Mods, providing customer support, community, and social media services, all in the name of good. We are the Mods!
From Virtual To RealityA Brief History of Metaverse
METAVERSE IS BORN
August 2007
Conspiring in virtual sports bar The Thirsty Tiger, the first Mods create Metaverse and quickly land moderation contracts with three worldwide entertainment companies.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
June 2008
The company raises $205,000 from angel investors. Take the money and run? No way!
BRICK AND MORTAR
December 2009
Although successful with everyone working remotely, Metaverse opens its first operation center in Sacramento, California '-- and makes its first key executive hire (game industry veteran Rich Weil).
DOWN UNDER THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE OVERPASS
October 2010
To better service accounts and brands on the East Coast, Metaverse opens a business office in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, the hottest tech region in New York.
WE ARE THE MODS (10,000+!)
August 2014
Metaverse expands its reach, boasting a global network of 10,000+ Mods.
INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
March 2015
Thanks to a corporate name waiver from the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Mods establish Metaverse Mod Squad UK and work to open a 24/7 operations center in the European Union.
Career OpportunitiesWhat Are You Waiting For? Apply Today!
Director of Sales, Europe
Metaverse | 05/25/2015
We are looking for a powerhouse sales dynamo to join our team as a Director of Sales, Europe. This position...
Recruiting Specialist (Derry, Northern Ireland)
Metaverse | 05/10/2015
We are seeking a recruiting specialist in our Derry, Northern Ireland operation center to help us implement our...
Project Manager (Derry, Northern Ireland)
Metaverse | 05/07/2015
We are seeking an energetic full-time Project Manager in our Derry, Northern Ireland operation center to help...
Account Manager (Derry, Northern Ireland)
Metaverse | 02/22/2015
We are seeking an energetic full-time Account Manager in our Derry, Northern Ireland operation center to help...
Account Executive
Metaverse | 02/07/2015
We are looking for a key addition to our business development team. Some of the world's best...
Metaverse Mod Squad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:39
Metaverse Mod Squad is a global social media management services based in the United States.[3][4] The company currently has over 10,000 moderators on staff.[3][4] Metaverse offers digital engagement services and teams across online, e-commerce, in-game and social media channels.[3][4][5][6]
History[edit]The company was founded by attorney Amy Pritchard in 2007,[1] to provide brands with a way to give the members of their online communities a more relevant, personalized experience. Looking at the step change that today's brands could make in managing their online communities as akin to the LondonModsyouth culture,[2] with COO Mike Pinkerton she created a service based around remote community managers and moderators (Mods), to staff virtual sites.[7][3] The firm originally specialised in providing avatar staffing,[7] but soon expanded to supplying forum moderation and customer service across a wide range of brands.[3][4] By 2010, the company had 500 experienced Mods working on more than 100 clients' sites.[3]
Present[edit]Presently the company has over 10,000 "Mods," or moderators, in its network, a 24/7 operations center in Sacramento, California established in 2010,[2] and an office in Brooklyn, New York City.[7] Clients include Warner Bros. (including Gossip Girl and Harry Potter),[7]Harper Collins, the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, the National Football League, Reel FX Entertainment (parent firm of Webosaurs), Electronic Arts, enVie Interactive, and the United States Department of State.[4][2][8][9]
Operations[edit]The company operates by providing services via over 10,000 "Mods," or moderators, in its network via a series of outsource-provision contracts. Operating under a predefined customer service brief, vetted and trained Mods manage a variety of online community activities, specializing in digital engagement from forum chat through to customer service,[2] maintenance tickets, and quality assurance.[10] Mods help to maintain and shape clients unique online communities by assisting with community events, assisting users with problems both technical and social, orienting new arrivals, and channelling community concerns and feedback to corporate clients.[11]
Mods take both an active position in forums by acting as the corporate client to provide services, as well as passively looking through the end user experience to monitor social media and quality assurance testing. In active mode Mods:[7] moderate content; chat with customers; manage communities; protect child safety (approved by Safe Kids USA);[5][6] monitor game experience;[12] customer support; check for bugs; and buzz in social media. Using a variety of Customer Relations Management systems,[13] Mods work from anywhere in the world with secure internet access, to enable services to be provided in local natural language during peak traffic and activity hours.[11]
References[edit]^ abc"Management". metaversemodsquad.com. Retrieved February 27, 2011. ^ abcdeMark Anderson (September 21, 2012). "Web moderation firm expands into customer support". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^ abcdefLarson, Christine (February 26, 2011). "A Patrol for the Web's Playgrounds". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2011. ^ abcde"Metaverse Mod Squad". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^ ab"Metaverse Mod Squad". Safe Kids USA. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^ ab"Izzy Neis, Director of Digital Engagement & Strategy, Metaverse Mod Squad". Digital Kids Edu. September 18, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^ abcdeJaney Bracken (December 12, 2008). "Metaverse Mod Squad In Big Demand". CNN iReport. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^"Angel Selected by Metaverse Mod Squad to Enhance Customer Call Center Experience"(Press release by Angel.Com). Video Games Industry Today and Yahoo Finance. Mediawire. February 23, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011. ^"FUNGOPLAY PARTNERS WITH ONLINE KIDS SAFETY EXPERTS METAVERSE MOD SQUAD". Develop Online. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^Dimitri Onistsuk (April 10, 2013). "Meet the partner: Metaverse Mod Squad". Shipwire. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^ abStarratt Scheetz (September 9, 2013). "Metaverse Mod Squad". The Work from Home Reporter. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^"Metaverse Mod Squad". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved January 15, 2014. ^Shamila Janakiraman (September 19, 2008). "Parature and Metaverse Mod Squad Enter Integration Partnership". TMC.net. Retrieved January 15, 2014. External links[edit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamic State claims hack on US military | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:27
By Australian Associated Press
Published: 22:07 EST, 11 August 2015 | Updated: 22:07 EST, 11 August 2015
A tight-knit group of Islamic State fighters that includes Melbourne's Neil Prakash claims it has again hacked the computers of US military personnel, publishing an extensive list of names and contact details and urging supporters to kill them.
The list was published via social media overnight by a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division, which is believed to be led by British man Junaid Hussain, a close associate of Prakash.
In a message which accompanied the release of the list, the hacker, writing under his Twitter handle Abu Hussain al-Britani, said: "They have us on their 'hit list', and we have them on ours too."
The attack comes after reports last week that Hussain was third on a CIA kill list of Islamic State operatives, along with another British citizen, Raphael Hostey, a recruiter for the group who is also a close associate of Prakash and has named the Melbourne man as his "co-worker".
The only Islamic State members higher than Hussain on the kill list are the group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Mohammed Emwazi, the extremist known as Jihadi John, the masked executioner who featured in a number of beheading videos.
Prakash, considered Australia's top Islamic State recruiter, immediately followed the posting of the list with his own message via social media, writing on Wednesday morning: "*IMPORTANT* Please follow and share ... Cyber war got em shook!"
Another supporter of the group then tweeted: "KILL THEM WHERE YOU FIND THEM AND ENSLAVE THEIR WOMEN."
Another tweeted: "This information is very useful for lone wolves to act and kill."
Hussain is believed to have played a key role in the online radicalisation of at least one of the men behind the attack on a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.
The list published overnight includes the names of more than 1400 people, the department or division where they are based, email addresses, postcodes and telephone numbers.
It also purports to include credit card information and addresses of air force and Department of State employees, and email exchanges between military personnel.
The information has not been verified.
A note accompanying the list, which is in the form of a spreadsheet, warns US military personnel that the Islamic State Hacking Division is "in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move".
"We have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands," it said.
In March, the monitoring organisation SITE Intelligence reported the same group claimed to have hacked information about US military personnel, releasing a list purported to contain names, photos and ranks.
Share or comment on this articleSorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OMB releases cyber guidance for contractors
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 22:57
Cybersecurity
OMB releases cyber guidance for contractorsBy Sean LyngaasAug 11, 2015The Office of Management and Budget has released draft guidance aimed at making it harder for hackers to access sensitive federal information via contractors, and making it easier for the government to know about it quickly when it happens.
The draft guidance -- covering security controls, incident reporting requirements and business due diligence, among other topics -- is an attempt by agencies to pool their resources to come up with an answer to a stubborn legal and policy challenge.
Hackers have exploited contractors' cyber vulnerabilities in some of the biggest attacks on federal networks, including a pair of breaches of the Office of Personnel Management that compromised the personal information of 22 million people. Yet contractors trying to report a breach of their computer systems have struggled with a patchwork of confusing regulations, according to legal experts.
The OMB draft guidance acknowledged as much.
Agency contracts ''often lack language governing when and how contractors are required to report information security incidents when they occur and when and how contractors should provide notification of breaches to affected individuals and third parties,'' the document said. The draft guidance recommended that agency contracts lay out a timeline for incident reporting and detail the information that needs to be reported.
The guidance also sought to help agencies better understand the cybersecurity posture of their contractors. For example, the document would task the General Services Administration with creating a shared service to give agencies access to ''data collected from voluntary contractor reporting, public records,'' and publicly available commercial data.
OMB said it posted the draft document to GitHub to cast a wide net for feedback. Comments are due Sept. 10.
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Follow him on Twitter: @snlyngaas
OMB - Management and Oversight of Federal IT Public Feedback
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 22:57
Improving Cybersecurity Protections in Federal AcquisitionsEdit Guidance | Discuss GuidanceIntroductionIn early 2015 the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council and the Chief Acquisition Officers (CAO) Council created a working group to review current contract clauses and information technology (IT) acquisition policies and practices around contractor and subcontractor information system security. This interagency group was comprised of senior experts in acquisition, security, and contract management and their recommendations are included in this guidance to Federal agencies on implementing strengthened cybersecurity protections in Federal acquisitions.
We are releasing this proposed guidance for public feedback on the open source platform GitHub to signal transparency in Federal policymaking and to reach a broad audience of stakeholders to assist in further enhancing this guidance. Similar public feedback processes for other OMB initiatives have been very successful in engaging and obtaining the views of the technology and security communities. OMB's goal in this period of public feedback is to allow for a better understanding of the perspectives of the broader community and to identify areas for improvement to make this guidance even more meaningful and effective.
The intent of the proposed guidance is to take major steps toward implementing strengthened cybersecurity protections in Federal acquisitions and therefore mitigating the risk of potential incidents in the future. This proposed guidance also describes steps that agencies should take to perform better business due diligence to support risk management throughout the entire lifespan of an outsourced capability.
If you have ideas on how to improve the proposed guidance, you may make line edit suggestions or initiate or contribute to discussions about the content of the guidance. OMB plans to review and incorporate public feedback, as appropriate, to develop final guidance.
Return to the Top
Timeframe and Instructions for Public CommentThe public feedback period will be 30 days, and comments will be reviewed using an iterative approach. Similar to the best practices for agile software development promoted in our existing guidance and strategy documents, we believe an iterative learning approach will allow us to refine our perspective on whether any specific input is needed to help address issues raised early in the process. To that end, we strongly encourage your substantive feedback and suggestions on this proposed guidance by September 10, 2015.
You may provide feedback in two ways:
Content suggestions and discussions are welcome via GitHub ''issues.'' Each issue is a conversation initiated by a member of the public. We encourage you to browse and join in on discussions in existing issues, or start a new conversation by opening a new issue.Direct changes and line edits to the content may be submitted through a ''pull request'' by clicking ''Edit Guidance.'' You dont need to install any software to suggest a change. You can use GitHub's in-browser editor to edit files and submit a pull request for your changes to be merged into the document. Directions on how to submit a pull request can be found here. Open pull request for the proposed guidance can be found here.Return to the Top
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)What prompted OMB to develop this guidance? While the Federal Government has taken significant across to enhance Federal assets, information, and systems against evolving cybersecurity threats, cyber threats have dramatically increased over the last few years. That is why in 2015 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) tasked the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council and the Chief Acquisition Officers (CAO) Council to review current acquisition and information technology (IT) policies and practices around contractor and subcontractor information system security. An interagency group was formed to conduct the review and develop guidance to Federal agencies on implementing strengthened information security and privacy protections in Federal acquisitions.
How will the guidance strengthen information security within the government? The proposed guidance will strengthen government agencies' clauses regarding the type of security controls that apply, notification requirements for when an incident occurs, and the requirements around assessments and monitoring of systems. In addition to this, the Guidance outlines a business due diligence service that agencies can use to help ensure they are contracting for secure products and services.
What is the foundation for this guidance?The requirements within the proposed guidance originate from the following:The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards provide agencies with a framework for securing government and contractor information systems.NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-37, the Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems, provides requirements for annually reporting of the overall effectiveness of the organization's information security program, including progress of remedial actions noted during security assessments. This document suggests using the moderate security control baseline in NIST SP 800-53.SP 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, details the steps of the Risk Management Framework (RMF) that addresses security controls used to assess Federal information systems as part of the Security Assessment & Authorization (SA&A) process. These security controls are used to evaluate logical and physical access to systems, and include examination in the areas of access control, auditing, incident response, media protection, business continuity, and disaster recovery. The latest revision of this document includes newly added privacy controls. All Federal information systems must be ''SP 800-53 compliant'' in order to be granted an Authority to Operate (ATO).NIST SP 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations, provides Federal agencies with recommended requirements for protecting the confidentiality of CUI in non-federal systems and organizations where the data is processed, stored, or transmitted.Executive Order 13556 '' Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). This order established a program for managing information that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls pursuant to and consistent with law, regulations, and Government-wide policies.How will compliance with this guidance be measured?OMB will review compliance during FedStat and CyberStat sessions, including:Agency continual review of contract activities to ensure that the guidance in this proposed memorandum is applied.Agency usage of security assessments to confirm that contractors are maintaining their security posture, and allow the agency to validate the maintenance of previously performed independent assessments.Adherence with the NIST SP 800-171 requirement for non-federal systems that process, store, or transmit, or transmit Federal CUI.Are the performance problems of predecessor firms taken into account? Agencies currently have the legal authority to consider performance problems of predecessor firms and key employees into account when selecting vendors during the procurement process. Agencies must generally consider past performance or other ''non-cost evaluation factor.'' These ''non-cost evaluation factors'' include solicitation requirements that require contracts to contain clauses on protection, detection, and reporting of information security incidents. In addition, agencies must consider whether prospective vendors have a satisfactory performance record, along with the necessary organization, experience, accounting, technical and operational controls.
Are there restrictions on ''foreign'' participation in these Federal information technology contracts? Federal law restricts ''foreign'' participation in Federal procurement in several ways, but acquisitions of services are not subject to the Buy American Act (BAA) of 1933 or similar domestic content restrictions. In addition, 10 U.S.C. § 2327 prohibits contracts with companies in which foreign governments that support international terrorism have a ''significant interest.''
How will non-federal information systems and organizations be assessed?This assessment will depend on whether the system is being operated on behalf of the government or if the system is an internal contractor system that contains CUI.If possible, agencies should use relevant existing ATOs as an indication of common controls and capabilities for the performance of multiple contracts.Agencies should first use Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)-199 to assess the impact level of the data that is to reside in the contractor's information system in order to determine what types of controls should be applied, followed by determining whether it is appropriate to obtain an independent security assessment.Agencies may accept independent third party verification of security assessment results, contractor, or government assessment evidence based on its risk assessment.The assessment of privacy controls must be performed by the Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP).After performance under the contract has begun, agencies shall conduct security reviews on a periodic and event-driven basis for the life of the contract.The agency may elect to perform information security continuous monitoring and IT security scanning of contractor systems.How can people submit feedback and when is the deadline? Feedback can be submitted by visiting policy.cio.gov and following the posted instructions. We are accepting comments for 30 days.
When will the final policy be released? Following the public feedback period, OMB will analyze all submitted feedback and revise the policy as necessary. The final guidance will be released Fall 2015.Return to the Top
Main Body of Proposed GuidancePurposeThis proposed memorandum provides guidance to Federal agencies on implementing strengthened cybersecurity protections in Federal acquisitions for products or services that generate, collect, maintain, disseminate, store, or provides access to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI),, on behalf of the Federal government.
BackgroundThe threats facing Federal information systems have dramatically increased as agencies provide more services online, digitally store data, and rely on contractors for a variety of information technology (IT) services. The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards and guidelines provide agencies with a framework for securing their information. This information can be on government information systems, contractor information systems, and contractor information systems that are part of an IT service operated on behalf of the Federal Government. The increase in threats facing Federal information systems demand that certain issues regarding security of information on these systems should be clearly, effectively, and consistently addressed in Federal contracts.
In early 2015, OMB tasked the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council and the Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) Council (''the Councils'') to review current acquisition and IT policies and practices around contractor and subcontractor information system security. This review would inform recommendations for improvement, consistent with the 2014 Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA), to ensure contractors provide adequate security for Federal information. To help perform this review, agencies shared with OMB contract language, policies, and related documents addressing cybersecurity. An interagency group comprised of senior experts in acquisition, security, and contract management recommended that existing agency contract language and other relevant information be available to other agencies and for OMB to issue guidance in the following areas to strengthen the protection of CUI held by Federal contractors:
Incident Reporting and Notification;Information System Assessments; andInformation Security Continuous MonitoringIn response to these recommendations, OMB has established a repository of agency information, including sample contract clauses on MAX.gov, that agencies are encouraged to review to gain insight into existing peer practices. OMB has developed this management memorandum to build on individual agency efforts, clarify applications of security controls, and provide government-wide guidance on the key issues identified by the working group for strengthening cybersecurity protections in their acquisitions.
This memorandum also describes steps that agencies should take to perform better business due diligence to support risk management throughout the entire lifespan of an outsourced capability. This includes incorporating robust business due diligence into the full acquisition, sustainment, and disposal lifecycles, starting with requirements definition, acquisition planning, and market research, through solicitation, source selection, and contract administration, and ending with retirement and disposal. Performing increased business due diligence will help ensure the Government bases its decisions on the best available information about the risks involved in the program. Research to support business due diligence should encompass public record, publically available, and commercial subscription data to provide comprehensive information about current and prospective contractors and subcontractors to highlight potential security and other risks in the outsourced mission capability. General Services Administration (GSA) shall develop a business due diligence information shared service that gives agencies a holistic view of organizations doing business with the Government. GSA will support efforts to standardize vendor common risk indicators, to include cybersecurity risk indicators, in support of agency enterprise risk management and complement existing agency-specific programs.
Applicability and ScopeThe following guidance applies to information collected or maintained by or on behalf of an agency, such as information on systems that are used or operated by a contractor on behalf of the agency and on contractor information systems not operated on behalf of an agency, but incidental to providing a product or service for an agency which may store, collect, maintain, disseminate, process or provide access to information provided by or developed for the agency in order to provide the product or service.
The guidance distinguishes between systems operated 'on behalf of the Government' and a contractor's internal system used to provide a product or service for the Government. For purposes of this guidance:
An information system operated on behalf of the Government provides data processing services that the Government might otherwise perform itself but has decided to outsource. This includes systems operated exclusively for government use, and for systems operated for multiple users, (multiple Federal Government agencies or Government and private sector users such as email services, cloud services, etc.); andA contractor's internal information system is used to manage its business, and processes CUI incidental to developing a product or service.The approach to protecting information and the responsibilities imposed on contractors is different in each of these situations. As explained below, systems operated on behalf of the Government are generally required to meet NIST SP 800-53 and conform to the same processes as do government systems. Systems operated for multiple users will likely require variations from the standard government processes or terms of service. Internal information systems are generally subject to the requirements described in NIST SP 800-171.
GuidanceThe agency's CIO, CAO, Chief Information Security Officer, senior agency official for privacy, and other key stakeholders shall immediately begin working together to apply the guidance below. Agencies should continuously review contract activities to ensure this guidance is being applied. Additionally, OMB will review compliance during FedStat and CyberStat sessions. To support these efforts and to move towards greater uniformity, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council will amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to provide for inclusion of contract clauses that address, as appropriate, the guidance covered in sections 1-4 below in Federal procurement solicitations and contracts.
1. Security ControlsFor systems operated on behalf of the Government, the agency must require the contractor system to meet the appropriate baseline in NIST SP 800-53 as modified by the agency to meet its risk management requirements. Use of NIST SP 800-53 will provide a consistent approach across agencies. For CUI, the moderate baseline for confidentiality should be applied and adjusted for any specific protection requirements required by law, regulation, or government wide policy. When the contractor is operating the system to process data from more than one agency, or when there are non-government customers (e.g., cloud service providers), the agency should review the risk management and tailoring processes in NIST SP 800-37 and SP 800-53, which provide mechanisms to accommodate these situations.
For contractors' internal systems used to provide a product or service for the Government but incidentally contain CUI, the application of NIST SP 800-53 controls is generally not appropriate. NIST recently published NIST SP 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations. Agencies should require contractors whose internal information systems will process CUI incidental to developing a product or service for the agency to meet the requirements of NIST SP 800-171 rather than NIST SP 800-53.
2. Cyber Incident ReportingFor purposes of this guidance, ''cyber incident'' means actions taken through the use of computer networks that result in a compromise or an actual or potentially adverse effect on an information system and/or the information residing therein. Cyber incident reporting requirements for systems operated on behalf of the government and contractors' internal systems are similar. The only distinction is that the reporting of cyber incidents affecting a contractor's internal system is limited to incidents affecting CUI, not every cyber incident affecting the contractor system.
Timely contractor reporting of all cyber incidents involving the loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of data is critical to the Government's ability to determine appropriate response actions and minimize harm from incidents. During the Councils' consultation with agencies, it was determined that agency contracts often lack language governing when and how contractors are required to report information security incidents when they occur and when and how contractors should provide notification of breaches to affected individuals and third parties. At a minimum, agency contractual language regarding incident reporting shall include the following:
Language to indicate that a cyber incident that is properly reported by the contractor shall not, but itself, be interpreted as evidence that the contractor has failed to provide adequate information safeguards for CUI;The definition of what constitutes a cyber incident;The required timeline for first reporting to the agency;The types of information required in a cyber incident report to include: company and point of contact information, contract information, the type of information compromised;The contractor shall send only one report to each agency POC identified in the contracts, not a report for each contract from that agency. The report may contain information required by other agencies, so one report may satisfy the requirements of multiple agencies; andSpecific government remedies if a contractor fails to report according to the agreed upon contractual language.The specific requirements included in the contractual language shall be based on Federal law, OMB policies, NIST standards and guidelines, and other applicable standards and policies. This approach to reporting will promote timely and meaningful information sharing that allows both the contractor and the agency to work closely together to investigate the incident, identify affected individuals, quickly respond to the incident and take other appropriate actions as necessary.
In determining the appropriate timeline and reporting information, agencies shall comply with Federal law, relevant OMB policies, and NIST standards and guidelines. Agencies must also consider the sensitivity of the information stored by the contractor, the potential damage caused by delays in reporting, the requirements in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Federal Incident Notification Guidelines, or other risk factors, as deemed appropriate by an agency.
At a minimum, contractual language shall ensure that all known or suspected cyber incidents involving the loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability of data for systems operated on behalf of the Government are reported to the designated agency Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) or Security Operations Center (SOC) within the timeline agreed upon in the contract. All known cyber incidents in contractor internal systems must be reported if they involve the CUI in the system, but the contractor does not have to report all known or suspected cyber incidents. In addition to reporting to the SOC, the contractor shall also report the security incident to the:
Contracting Officer (CO);Contracting Officer Representative (COR);Chief Information Security Officer (CISO); andSenior agency official for privacy (SAOP).3. Information System Security AssessmentsAs part of the organization's risk management process, contractors that are operating information systems or providing a service that generates, maintains, transmits, stores, or accesses information on behalf of Federal agencies are required to ensure certain safeguards and an Authority to Operate (ATO) are in place prior to operation of the system per NIST SP 800-37. If possible, based on a risk assessment and a review of existing ATOs granted to the contractor by the agency, agencies should use relevant existing ATOs an indication of common controls and capabilities for the performance of multiple contracts. Finally, many contractors operating in the commercial marketplace already receive a variety of independent assessments to protect other data and these should inform an ATO process that meets NIST standards and guidelines.
Agencies should consider the following when developing the requirements for assessing information systems that a contractor is operating on behalf of Federal agencies:
Agencies should first use Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)-199 to assess the impact level of the data that is to reside in the contractor's information system in order to determine what types of controls should be applied, followed by determining whether it is appropriate to obtain an independent security assessment;Agencies may accept independent third-party verification of security assessment results, contractor, or government assessment evidence based on its risk assessment;The assessment of privacy controls must be performed by the SAOP; andAfter performance under the contract has begun, agencies shall ensure agencies are granted access for security reviews on a periodic and event-driven basis for the life of the contract.Security assessments not only confirm that contractors are maintaining their security posture; they also allow the agency to validate the maintenance of the previously performed independent assessment.
The agency should specify that the contractor will afford the agency access to the contractor's facilities, installations, operations, documentation, databases, IT systems, devices, and personnel used in performance of the contract, regardless of location. Access shall be provided to the extent required to conduct an inspection, evaluation, investigation or audit and to preserve evidence of information security incidents. Finally, agencies should include contract language requiring that, prior to contract closeout, the contractor must:
Certify and confirm the sanitization of government and government-activity-related files and information; andSubmit the certification to the Contracting Contracting Officer following the template provided in NIST SP 800-88 Guidelines for Media Sanitization.The agency should then review the contractor's sanitization certification to make sure any risk has been mitigated. To the extent that a contractor generated, maintained, transmitted, stored, or processed PII, the SAOP should review the certification.
Agencies should identify in the contract solicitation how they expect the contractor to demonstrate in its proposal that it meets the requirements of NIST SP 800-171, including the security assessment for contractor internal systems. This can range, depending upon the impact level of the information at risk, from simple attestation of compliance to detailed description of the system's security architecture, controls, and provision of supporting test data.
4. Information Security Continuous MonitoringDue to the increase and complexity of information security incidents, and the need to react quickly, the Federal Government has prioritized Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM), an initiative identified in NIST SP 800-53 and OMB Memorandum M-14-03. ISCM is defined in NIST SP 800-137 ''as maintaining ongoing awareness of information security, vulnerabilities, and threats to support organizational risk management decisions'' but is not limited to a specific program or technology. To assist agencies in establishing ISCM capabilities quickly, the DHS has created the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program and much of the information reported under ISCM is required under existing OMB guidance. If the agency determines that providing the DHS CDM capabilities to a contractor operating information systems on behalf of the Government is not feasible, the contract must ensure that at a minimum:
Contractor-operated systems meet or exceed the information security continuous monitoring requirements identified in M-14-03; andThe agency may elect to perform information security continuous monitoring and IT security scanning of contractor systems with tools and infrastructure of its choosing.While existing contracts may direct the contractor to self-report required ISCM information to the agency, this approach may no longer be sufficient. Agencies and contractors must therefore work together to determine and implement an appropriate solution that fulfills the ISCM requirements. Agencies should work with DHS to ensure that the proposed solution fulfills the ISCM requirements identified in FISMA.
For systems not operated on behalf of the Government '' contractor's internal systems used to develop a product or service '' continuous monitoring is part of the security assessment requirement in NIST SP 800-171.
5. Business Due DiligenceCybersecurity protections in Federal acquisitions can be further enhanced by performing increased business due diligence to gain better visibility into, and understanding of, how contractors develop, integrate, and deploy their products, services, and solutions as well as how they assure integrity, security, resilience, and quality in their operations. GSA has been working with agencies to explore and pilot the use of public records, publicly available, and commercial subscription data to support business due diligence analyses. Such analyses are consistent with the guidelines in NIST SP 800-161, Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, which calls for agencies to frame, assess, respond to, and monitor information and information system-related security and supply chain risks using a holistic, organization-wide risk management process.
Accordingly:
Agency program offices shall work with their CIOs to identify and prioritize planned acquisitions and contracts that can benefit from business due diligence research;Building on the work it has done to date, GSA shall create a business due diligence information shared service. This shared service will provide agencies with access to risk information that encompasses data collected from voluntary contractor reporting, public records, publically available and commercial subscription data based on transparent, objective, and measurable risk indicators;GSA shall make research tools available for these purposes for use by agencies throughout the acquisition, sustainment, and disposal lifecycles. These efforts shall be complementary to, and not a replacement for, existing government supply chain risk management activities that agencies conduct; andWithin 90 days of the issuance of this memorandum, the interagency cybersecurity group established by the CIO and CAO Councils shall work with GSA to identify and make recommendations to the Federal CIO and the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy on risk indicators that should be used as a baseline for business due diligence research and other core requirements for the shared service.Return to the Top
EndnotesReturn to the Top
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Many Things Wrong With the Anti-Encryption Op-Ed in the New York Times
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 22:59
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and his counterparts in Paris, London, and Madrid took to the New York Times op-ed page Tuesday morning to pose a flawed argument against default encryption of mobile phones, a service being commercialized and implemented gradually by Apple and Google.
The op-ed misstated the extent of the obstacles to law enforcement, understating the many other ways officials bearing warrants can still collect the information they need or want'--even when confronted with an encrypted, password protected device.
The authors failed to acknowledge the value to normal people of protecting their private data from thieves, hackers and government dragnets.
And they demanded'--in the name of the ''safety of our communities'''--a magical, mathematically impossible scenario in which communications are safeguarded from everyone except law enforcement.
Apple and Google are attempting to provide strong, reliable, and user-friendly encrypted systems for their customers. A user who has installed iOS8 on an iPhone automatically encrypts their text messages, photos, contacts, call history, and other sensitive data simply by using a passcode.
Android devices also include a system that encrypts downloaded files, application data, and other data with a PIN or passcode. But contrary to what the op-ed stated, that is not the default setting for most Android phones.
It's true that when law enforcement asks for information that is encrypted with the user's passcodes, Apple and Google cannot actually deliver it. But that's typically not the whole story.
For one: Apple, for instance, copies a lot of that data onto its own cloud servers during wi-fi backups, where the company can in fact access it and turn it over to law enforcement.
Plenty of other data is still available from the phone companies: SMS text messages, phone numbers called and phone calls received, and location information.
And then there's the ability to break in. Responding to Tuesday's op-ed, ACLU technologist Christopher Soghoian tweeted ''If law enforcement can't hack the hundreds of millions of Android phones running out-of-date, vulnerable software, they're not trying.''
Following the rollout of iOS 8, Lee Reiber, a cellphone forensics expert at AccessData, told Mashable that ''As secure as the device can be, there's always going to be some vulnerability that can be located and exploited.'' Reiber said it's ''cat and mouse.''
The authors of the op-ed launched their argument by citing an Evanston murder investigation that they claimed was stymied by law enforcement's inability to access the data on two phones that were found at the scene.
Unlike the laughably pathetic examples FBI Director James Comey cited in October, in his argument against encryption of mobile devices, the Evanston case does actually appear to feature the rare combination of factors in which data on the phone might indeed have helped the investigation.
Ray C. Owens was shot and killed in his car in broad daylight in Evanston, Ill, in June. Police found two phones near his body. They belonged to Owens '-- not the killer.
One was an iPhone 6 running on Apple's iOS 8 operating system, the other a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge running on Google's Android operating system. When investigators served search warrants on Apple and Google to unlock the phones, the companies said they were unable to, because both had been password-protected.
According to Commander Joseph Dugan of the Evanston Police Department, investigators were able to obtain records of the calls to and from the phones, but those records did not prove useful. By contrast, interviews with people who knew Owens suggested that he communicated mainly through text messages '' the kind that travel as encrypted data '' and had made plans to meet someone shortly before he was shot.
The information on his phone was not backed up automatically on Apple's servers '' apparently because he didn't use wi-fi, which backups require.
And the gun recovered two blocks away when a man fleeing police dropped it was not the gun that fired the fatal bullets, Dugan said.
So the Evanston police were stymied. ''There doesn't appear to be anything coming in the near future as far as charging anyone,'' Dugan told The Intercept.
But Dugan also wasn't as quick to lay the blame solely on the encrypted phones. ''I don't know if getting in there, getting the information, would solve the case,'' he said, ''but it definitely would give us more investigative leads to follow up on.''
The op-ed's conclusion calls for an ''appropriate balance between the marginal benefits of full-disk encryption and the need for local law enforcement to solve and prosecute crimes.''
But experts say there's either a doorway in or there isn't. And if there is, lots of other people, including criminals, can use it too.
Caption: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. at a 2014 press conference.
When Phone Encryption Blocks Justice - The New York Times
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:00
PhotoCredit S(C)bastien ThibaultIn June, a father of six was shot dead on a Monday afternoon in Evanston, Ill., a suburb 10 miles north of Chicago. The Evanston police believe that the victim, Ray C. Owens, had also been robbed. There were no witnesses to his killing, and no surveillance footage either.
With a killer on the loose and few leads at their disposal, investigators in Cook County, which includes Evanston, were encouraged when they found two smartphones alongside the body of the deceased: an iPhone 6 running on Apple's iOS 8 operating system, and a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge running on Google's Android operating system. Both devices were passcode protected.
An Illinois state judge issued a warrant ordering Apple and Google to unlock the phones and share with authorities any data therein that could potentially solve the murder. Apple and Google replied, in essence, that they could not '-- because they did not know the user's passcode.
The homicide remains unsolved. The killer remains at large.
Until very recently, this situation would not have occurred.
Last September, Apple and Google, whose operating systems are used in 96 percent of smartphones worldwide, announced that they had re-engineered their software with ''full-disk'' encryption, and could no longer unlock their own products as a result.
According to Apple's website: ''On devices running iOS 8.0 '... Apple will not perform iOS data extractions in response to government search warrants because the files to be extracted are protected by an encryption key that is tied to the user's passcode, which Apple does not possess.''
A Google spokeswoman said, ''Keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement.''
Now, on behalf of crime victims the world over, we are asking whether this encryption is truly worth the cost.
Between October and June, 74 iPhones running the iOS 8 operating system could not be accessed by investigators for the Manhattan district attorney's office '-- despite judicial warrants to search the devices. The investigations that were disrupted include the attempted murder of three individuals, the repeated sexual abuse of a child, a continuing sex trafficking ring and numerous assaults and robberies.
Criminal defendants have caught on. Recently, a suspect in a Manhattan felony, speaking on a recorded jailhouse call, noted that ''Apple and Google came out with these softwares'' that the police cannot easily unlock.
Apple, Google and other proponents of full-disk encryption have offered several rationales for this new encryption technology. They have portrayed the new policy as a response to the concerns raised by Edward J. Snowden about data collection by the National Security Agency. They say full-disk encryption makes devices generally more secure from cybercrime. And they assert that, if the companies had master encryption keys, then repressive governments could exploit the keys.
These reasons should not be accepted at face value. The new Apple encryption would not have prevented the N.S.A.'s mass collection of phone-call data or the interception of telecommunications, as revealed by Mr. Snowden. There is no evidence that it would address institutional data breaches or the use of malware. And we are not talking about violating civil liberties '-- we are talking about the ability to unlock phones pursuant to lawful, transparent judicial orders.
In the United States, Britain, France, Spain and other democratic societies, the legal system gives local law enforcement agencies access to places where criminals hide evidence, including their homes, car trunks, storage facilities, computers and digital networks.
Carved into the bedrock of each of these laws is a balance between the privacy rights of individuals and the public safety rights of their communities. For our investigators to conduct searches in any of our jurisdictions, a local judge or commissioner must decide whether good cause exists. None of our agencies engage in bulk data collection or other secretive practices. We engage in targeted requests for information, authorized after an impartial, judicial determination of good cause, in which both proportionality and necessity are tested.
It is this workable balance that proscribes the operations of local law enforcement in our cities, and guides our residents in developing their expectations of privacy. But in the absence of laws that keep pace with technology, we have enabled two Silicon Valley technology companies to upset that balance fundamentally.
The Evanston case is just one example. In France, smartphone data was vital to the swift investigation of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in January, and the deadly attack on a gas facility at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, in June. And on a daily basis, our agencies rely on evidence lawfully retrieved from smartphones to fight sex crimes, child abuse, cybercrime, robberies or homicides.
Full-disk encryption significantly limits our capacity to investigate these crimes and severely undermines our efficiency in the fight against terrorism. Why should we permit criminal activity to thrive in a medium unavailable to law enforcement? To investigate these cases without smartphone data is to proceed with one hand tied behind our backs.
The new encryption policies of Apple and Google have made it harder to protect people from crime. We support the privacy rights of individuals. But in the absence of cooperation from Apple and Google, regulators and lawmakers in our nations must now find an appropriate balance between the marginal benefits of full-disk encryption and the need for local law enforcement to solve and prosecute crimes. The safety of our communities depends on it.
Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is the Manhattan district attorney. Fran§ois Molins is the Paris chief prosecutor. Adrian Leppard is the commissioner of the City of London Police. Javier Zaragoza is the chief prosecutor of the High Court of Spain.
Loading...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eugenics
What Aborted Fetuses Have to Do With Vaccines - ABC News
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:11
A small but growing number of parents who object to vaccinating their children on religious grounds say they do so because many common vaccines are the product of cells that once belonged to aborted fetuses.
There is a grain of truth to this statement. But even religious leaders, including a future pope, have said that shouldn't deter parents from vaccinating their children.
Vaccine and Cell Line Science
Some childhood vaccines, including the one against rubella -- which is part of the MMR vaccine given to millions of children worldwide for measles, mumps and rubella -- is cultured in "WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's fact sheet on the vaccine's ingredients.
Merck, the vaccine's manufacturer, acknowledged that those cells were originally obtained from an electively aborted fetus. They were used to start a cell line, which is a cell multiplied over and over again to produce cells that are of a consistent genetic makeup. The WI-38 cell line is used as a culture to grow live viruses that are used in vaccines.
Vaccines Developed Using Human Cell Strains
"Merck, as well as other vaccine manufacturers, uses two well-established human cell lines to grow the virus for selected vaccines," Merck said in a statement to ABC News. "The FDA has approved the use of these cell lines for the production of these Merck vaccines."
Other common vaccines, including those for chicken pox, hepatitis and rabies, are also propagated in cells originating from legally aborted human fetuses, according to the FDA.
"These abortions, which occurred decades ago, were not undertaken with the intent of producing vaccines," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers Disease Control and Prevention.
The original cells were obtained more than 50 years ago and have been maintained under strict federal guidelines by the American Type Culture Collection, according to Merck.
"These cell lines are now more than three generations removed from their origin, and we have not used any new tissue to produce these vaccines," the company added in its statement.
To say that the vaccines contain a significant amount of human fetal tissue, as some objectors to the vaccines claim, is misleading, stressed Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the vaccine education center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"There are perhaps nanograms of DNA fragments still found in the vaccine, perhaps billionths of a gram," he said. "You would find as much if you analyzed the fruits and vegetables you eat."
And to remove human fibroblast cells entirely from vaccines is out of the question, Offit explained, noting they are necessary because human viruses don't grow well in animal cells.
"They have also been tested for safety and the fetal cells can go through many more divisions than most other cells before dying," he said.
Ethical Considerations
Religious organizations have sided in favor of vaccines as well, even those generally opposed to abortion.
"We should always ask our physician whether the product he proposes for our use has an historical association with abortion," the National Catholic Bioethics Center states on its website, but then goes on to say "one is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion."
"The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine," the center's position statement continued. "This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them."
Offit said he was glad the Catholic Church supports vaccination.
He noted it is particularly ironic to object to the rubella vaccine using fetal cells because Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, commented on the subject in 2003, saying: "Universal vaccination has resulted in a considerable fall in the incidence of congenital rubella, with a general incidence reduced to less than 5 cases per 100,000 livebirths."
In other words, Offit explained, the rubella virus increases the risk of spontaneous abortion.
In the U.S., vaccination prevents up to 5,000 miscarriages each year in the U.S. alone, he said.
F-Russia
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Despite Western media propaganda, MH17 investigators tell RT no proof East Ukraine fragments from Russian BUK missile -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:09
Investigators probing the downing of MH17 flight told RT that they cannot confirm that fragments found in eastern Ukraine are from a Buk missile system, refuting media reports that the parts belong to a Russian surface-to-air complex.On Tuesday, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released a statement saying that it is investigating "several parts, possibly originating from a Buk surface-air-missile system."
Following the release of the report, numerous media reports indicated that it was a "Russian" or "Russian-made" missile system - something JIT spokesman Wim de Bruin rejected to RT, stressing that "it's too early to draw any conclusion at this moment."
He described the whole procedure as a "forensic investigation to establish whether these parts...were parts of a Buk [missile] system or not" and added that it is difficult to set the deadlines for the final report to be presented.The one thing the JIT is absolutely sure about, de Bruin said, is that "those parts were found in eastern Ukraine."
JIT said in its statement that "at present the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17."
The fragments "possibly" originating from a Buk surface-air-missile system were discovered during a recovery mission in eastern Ukraine and are in possession of the investigators.
Dutch prosecutors say that the parts found at the site "are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down over war-torn eastern Ukraine July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
Investigation into possible Buk-missile-parts - Openbaar Ministerie
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:09
11 augustus 2015 - Landelijk Parket
In cooperation with the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigates several parts, possibly originating from a Buk surface-air-missilesystem. These parts have been secured during a previous recovery-mission in Eastern-Ukraine and are in possession of the criminal investigation team MH17 and the DSB.
The parts are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17. For that reason the JIT further investigates the origin of these parts. The JIT will internationally enlist the help of experts, among others forensic specialists and weapon-experts.
At present the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17.
The JIT conducts the criminal investigation and the DSB the investigation into the cause of the crash. Both investigations are conducted separately but JIT and DSB occasionally share material. In its final report the DSB will report on the discovered parts.
Journalists can contact the press officer of the Dutch National Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands for more information.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Norway outstrips Russia as western Europe's largest gas supplier '-- RT Business
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:23
Norway has overtaken Russia in terms of European gas supply, having delivered more gas to Western Europe in the first quarter of 2015, according to data from gas operators.
Norway surpassed Russian gas exports to Europe for the first time since a brief period in 2012, Reuters reported Friday comparing the figures released by Gassco and Gazprom.
In the first quarter of 2015 Gassco delivered to Western Europe 29.2 billion cubic meters of gas, while Gazprom's share amounted to 20.29 billion cubic meters. Data for exports to eastern Europe has not been released.
The whole trend of Gazprom's decrease in exports started in the fourth quarter of 2014 when the company exported 19.8 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe compared with 29.5 billion cubic meters the region received from Norway.
Western Europe has for some time sought the diversification of its gas supplies, citing the Ukrainian crisis. Ukraine continues to be a major transit country for Russian gas on its way to western Europe.
Some European customers have postponed purchases from Gazprom anticipating lower fuel prices, Reuters reports. Since the contract price of Russian gas is tied to oil prices with a lag of six to nine months, the consequences of last year's oil crisis will come up around the second quarter of 2015.
Following the results of the whole of 2014, Russia remained the largest supplier of gas to the EU. Russian gas accounted for 42 percent of EU gas imports, according to the European Commission. At the same time, Norway's share increased from 34 percent to 38 percent in the past year.
Gazprom exported 117.92 billion cubic meters of gas to Western Europe in 2014, which is 3.7 percent less than in 2013.
UK and Norway to build world's longest undersea energy interconnector | Business | The Guardian
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:23
Energy secretary Ed Davey said the interconnector would benefit both Britain and Norway. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex
The UK and Norway are to build the world's longest undersea interconnector '' a method of linking up electricity and gas networks '' to provide enough low-carbon energy for almost 750,000 British homes.
National Grid and Statnett, the Norwegian transmission system operator, are due to sign the ownership agreement for the 450-mile (730km) interconnector at the British embassy in Oslo, on Thursday.
The two-way 1,400MW electricity cable will run from Blyth in Northumberland to Kvilldal, in Rogaland, on the Norwegian side. It will cost about '‚¬2bn (£1.5bn) and completion is planned for 2021.
The agreement with Norway will save UK households up to £3.5bn over 25 years by importing cheaper electricity, according to an estimate by Britain's energy regulator Ofgem.
Ed Davey, the energy secretary, said the deal would give Britain access to Norwegian green hydropower at the flick of a switch, to replace wind turbines in the UK when the wind was not blowing.
Davey said: ''This is a project I have worked on with Statnett and National Grid for two years and I am delighted they've now made this massive investment decision.
''It won't be all one-way traffic. We are in the process of investing heavily in new low-carbon generation. In the future we would expect that there will be times when our generation exceeds our demand and we are able to export clean power to Norway in return.''
There were fears that bad weather at Oslo international airport would prevent the British delegation from flying to the Norwegian capital for the signing, but the event went ahead.
Alan Foster, National Grid's director of European business development, who signed the agreement, said: ''Access to low-carbon energy from Norway hydropower stations will help us meet the challenge of greener, affordable energy.
''It also adds to the diversity of energy sources for the UK and potentially can reduce peak prices with benefits for consumers and businesses.''
The interconnector will be the first electricity link between Britain and Norway but the countries already have connections supplying Norwegian gas and oil to the UK. They include the 725-mile Langeled pipeline, which runs from the Nyhamna terminal in Norway, to Easington in Yorkshire.
Davey said: ''Norway is one our most important energy partners and so far, our partnership has revolved mainly around the fossil fuel resources in the North Sea. This project moves us into a new phase in which the sharing of renewable power can also make significant contributions to both countries.''
A group of energy companies announced plans in 2011 to build an electricity interconnector between Norway and Scotland. The proposed 350-mile cable is supposed to be built by 2020 at a cost of £1.75bn. SSE, the British energy supplier, pulled out of the project in 2013.
The UK already has electricity interconnectors with France, Ireland and the Netherlands, and wants to add more to meet expected demand for energy. National Grid's reassurance in October that there would be no winter blackouts was borne out but analysts have said the UK is vulnerable to energy shocks unless supplies are increased.
Ocean and Ice Services | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:18
Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice extent
Total sea ice extent on the northern hemisphere during the past years, including climate mean; plus/minus 1 standard deviation. The ice extent values are calculated from the ice type data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 15% are classified as ice.The total area of sea ice is the sum of First Year Ice (FYI), Multi Year Ice (MYI) and the area of ambiguous ice types, from the OSISAF ice type product. The total sea ice extent can differ slightly from other sea ice extent estimates. Possible differences between this sea ice extent estimate and others are most likely caused by differences in algorithms and definitions. Some time in 2013 sea ice climatology and anomaly data will become available here.
Sea ice extent in recent years for the northern hemisphere. The grey shaded area corresponds to the climate mean plus/minus 1 standard deviation.The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Post-Maidan Ukraine, Whites Only Pools and Segregated Transportation / Sputnik International
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:07
Europe00:15 12.08.2015(updated 00:16 12.08.2015) Get short URL
Last month, a 23-year-old refugee from Sierra Leone boarded a bus with her 8-month-old son in Uzhgorod. After living in Ukraine for six months, Asi says she'd experienced racism on almost a daily basis. But upon boarding the bus, she was confronted by a violent outcry from the other passengers.
She "was not like them," they cried. "Tie her to the fence together with the kid!"
Violently forced off by the passengers, Asi was left standing on the street as the bus driver called the police. The young mother was then handcuffed and inexplicably carried away by police.
This story, which made the headlines of a number of Ukrainian newspapers last month, is only one example of several in a recent wave of racism to hit post-Maidan Ukraine. Many black individuals, be they residents or visitors, have described varying degrees of racist treatment, some subtle, some preposterously blunt.
Zhan Beleniuk, a professional wrestler who lives in Ukraine, spoke to the Observer about his experiences with everyday prejudice.
"Are you Mike Tyson?" Zhan was asked by a stranger once. The man was shocked when Zhan told him no.
Other instances have been more alarmingly discriminatory. Serhei Ratushnyak, a former mayor of Uzhgorod and deputy to the Supreme Parliament, reportedly turned minorities away from an aqua-park he owned, saying "we let in the residents of Uzhgood [only], we let in [only] the white people."
According to the Observer, Ratushnyak also justified his actions by blaming the "syphilitic and tuberculosis Gypsyhood of the area and of the whole world."
"During last year we had a 14-fold increase in AIDS cases in town," he said. "I demand compensation for all my expenses on buying and building [of the pool complex in case the 'Gypsies' are allowed into his aqua-park by the authorities]."
The racism also extends to islamophobia. In June, a mob attacked Jordanian exchange students in the city of Kharkov. Four were rushed to the emergency room with head injuries and knife wounds.
Two dogs were stabbed to death because they belonged to the "enemies."
Perhaps the most frightening part of this rise in racial hatred is the inability '' or unwillingness '' of the local authorities to do anything about it. Authorities never disciplined the individuals responsible for the abuse faced by Asi on the bus in Uzhgood.
And rather than address the Kharkov mob appropriately, Valentin Nalivaychenko, then-head of the Ukrainian Security Service, blamed the incident on '' who else '' Russia.
"'...Local gangs might have been provoked and inspired by the foreign special services," Nalivaychenko said on Shuster-Live. "To put it bluntly '' by the Russians."
While many maintain hope that Kiev will right its wrongs, that's seemingly becoming less and less likely.
"More than a year has passed," Zhan told the Observer, "and not a single change."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> The U.S. is Plotting a Color Revolution in Russia Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:33
The United States is accelerating a plot to provoke a Kiev-style color revolution in Russia that could lead to a toppling of Putin's government and place the world in the most dangerous situation since the height of the cold war.
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet
*********************
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.
Receive The Underground Insider!Subscribe to the Underground Insider for Exclusive Content, Breaking News, Messages from Alex and More...
Print this page.Infowars.com Videos:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MIC
Berkshire Hathaway nears $30B deal for Precision, largest ever: WSJ
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:00
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, is close to a deal that may be its largest acquisition ever, according to a report in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.
Berkshire has its eyes on Precision Castparts, a maker of aircraft equipment, The Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Berkshire already owns 3 percent of the company, and is its largest shareholder. Based on Precision's closing price on Friday, a merger could break $30 billion, the publication added.
A deal could be announced as soon as next week, sources told the WSJ.
Founded in 1949, Portland''based Precision makes components such as fasteners and turbine blades for aircraft companies including Airbus and Boeing, and has annual sales of $10 billion. It also makes equipment for power stations and the oil-and-gas industry.
Berkshire said on Friday second-quarter profit fell 37 percent, reflecting a significant decline in investment gains and an underwriting loss from insurance.
The full report can be found on The Wall Street Journal's website (subscription may be required).
--Reuters contributed to this article.
War on Men
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woman ran London marathon WITHOUT a tampon in | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:06
Kiran Gandi, 26, a musician and Harvard graduate, ran London marathonRan with 'blood dripping down legs' for 'sisters who don't have tampons'Said she wanted to 'transcend oppression'Her story has gone viral - with mixed social media reaction By Bianca London for MailOnline
Published: 09:46 EST, 10 August 2015 | Updated: 12:09 EST, 10 August 2015
4.4kshares
656
Viewcomments
A woman who ran the London marathon without a tampon to raise awareness for women who don't have access to sanitary products has sparked an online debate.
Kiran Gandi, 26, a musician and Harvard graduate, let her period flow freely as she ran around the route in the UK capital in April this year - and whilst some Twitter users have spoken out in support of her, others have been quick to criticise her actions.
Kiran, who toured with M.I.A. as their drummer this year, wrote about her experience on her personal site, explaining that 'if there's one person society won't f*** with, it's a marathon runner.'
Scroll down for video
Kiran Gandi, 26, pictured, left, in the centre, and, right, on the right, let her period flow freely as she ran around the London Marathon in April earlier this year without a tampon in to raise awareness for women who don't have access to sanitary products. The musician has received mixed reaction on social media
Under a post titled Feminism, she wrote: 'I got my flow the night before and it was a total disaster but I didn't want to clean it up. It would have been way too uncomfortable to worry about a tampon for 26.2 miles.
'I thought, if there's one person society won't f**** with, it's a marathon runner. If there's one way to transcend oppression, it's to run a marathon in whatever way you want.'
Kiran, who ran with her two best friends to raise £3,800 ($6,000) for Breast Cancer Care, continued: 'On the marathon course, sexism can be beaten. Where the stigma of a woman's period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose. Where a woman's comfort supersedes that of the observer.
'I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don't have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist.
'I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day. The marathon was radical and absurd and bloody in ways I couldn't have imagined until the day of the race.'
Kiran Ghandi on touring with M.I.A. while studying at Harvard
Kiran, who ran with her two best friends to raise £3,800 ($6,000) for Breast Cancer Care, explained: 'On the marathon course, sexism can be beaten. Where the stigma of a woman's period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose. Where a woman's comfort supersedes that of the observer'
The runner's story has gone viral and she says she is so grateful that 'so many people get it'.
Social media reaction to Kiran's story has, however, been mixed. One user, Demiurgic, wrote: 'You are one AWESOME woman! Thanks for boosting my confidence and clearing my equivocal mind.'
Nilima Achwal echoed her sentiments, writing: 'Whoa - kudos your courage and resilience.'
However, Bellyrina wrote: 'I don't know about you, but I don't find this feminist. Just unsanitary,' whilst Mark Byron added: 'I think people are already aware of periods and I think she is a vulgar capital V.'
Kiran, who believes the rules would be different if men had periods, added: 'It's intelligently oppressive to not have language to talk about it and call it out and engage with it. I really can't think of anything that's the equivalent for men, and for this reason, I believe it's a sexist situation.'
Writing on her website, she explained that she ran 'with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don't have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist'
One user, Demiurgic, wrote: 'You are one AWESOME woman! Thanks for boosting my confidence and clearing my equivocal mind'
Nilima Achwal echoed her sentiments, writing: 'Whoa - kudos your courage and resilience'
Bellyrina wrote: 'I don't know about you, but I don't find this feminist. Just unsanitary'
Mark Byron added: 'Woman's runs marathon on her period to raise awareness. I think people are already aware of periods and I think she is a vulgar capital V [sic]'
Kiran finished in 4:49:11 - and ran across the finishing line hand-in-hand with her pals, who she says didn't leave her side the entire way.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan about her experience, Kiran discussed how she felt meeting her brother and father on the finishing line, explaining that she didn't want them to feel awkward. But, she says, they 'didn't give an eff'.
'They were my family, that's their blood too. On a spiritual level, that's amazing. That connects men and women in a very amazing way. Instead of men getting grossed out by it or women being grossed out by their own bodies, we should move away from that,' she said.
Lady AGad wrote on Twitter: 'It's not about period shaming, it's a laundry issue, Einstein!', whilst Madson added: 'That's not feminism, that's just being unhygienic'
Share or comment on this article
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cool It on the AC Already | Mother Jones
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 13:38
How air conditioning is making us hotter.
Gary Taxali
We're just reaching the hottest part of the summer, but already much ink has been spilled over air conditioning. Recent New York Times articles wondered why the United States is so "over air-conditioned," with its frigid office buildings and archaic cooling calculations that make work unbearable for many women, not to mention terrible for the environment. Yet in a series of essays for Slate, writer David Engber has argued that the case against AC is overhyped; Americans still spend more energy heating their houses than cooling them.
But elsewhere in the world'--in crowded countries where heating isn't necessary'--air conditioning markets are just warming up. In late April, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese air conditioning manufacturer Daikin Industries announced plans to open its second plant in the subcontinent, double production, and expand its existing stock of 200 showrooms to 350 by the end of 2015. India isn't the only place where AC is all the rage. As climate change nudges global temperatures upward, incomes are also rising, meaning millions more people can afford to beat the heat. Sales of home and commercial air conditioners have doubled in China over the past five years, with 64 million units sold in 2013 alone.
We spend $11 billion on cooling each year and release roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in the process'--the same as 19 million cars.
The advent of AC in those countries will do more than simply make companies like Daikin rich. Here in the US, air conditioning has influenced where people settle. Over the past 80 years, hordes of Americans migrated south and west to cities like Miami and Phoenix, where AC made broiling conditions bearable; in turn, the growth of these Sun Belt communities ratcheted up the demand for cooling. These days, almost 90 percent of American households have air conditioning. We spend $11 billion on cooling each year and release roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in the process'--the same as 19 million cars.
By contrast, in Mexico, only 13 percent of households have AC. But in a recent study, Lucas Davis, an associate professor at the University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business, predicts that the country's rising per capita income will mean more than two-thirds of Mexican homes will have it by 2100'--creating annual emissions equivalent to 4.4 million new cars. Across the globe, Davis predicts, demand for cooling will put more strain on electrical grids, causing shortages and price spikes along with more pollution.
More emissions means more global warming, which means more appetite for cooling.
In the United States, power companies fire up "peaker plants" to create extra electricity on hot summer days. And these plants are often dirtier than the usual facilities, leading to a vicious cycle: More emissions means more global warming, which means more appetite for cooling. One 2009 study predicted that by 2100, heating and cooling will account for 12 percent of global carbon emissions'--but because of climate change, demand for heating will have shrunk by 34 percent, while demand for cooling will have grown by 72 percent. More energy-efficient equipment can mitigate some of that, but experts estimate these gains will be more than offset by the overall increase in air conditioning.
Still, it's unrealistic'--and unfair'--to demand that the world's rising economies forsake a luxury the more affluent have enjoyed for decades. Not to mention that during heat waves, lack of air conditioning can kill, with the greatest danger among the elderly, poor, and people of color: A 2013 UC-Berkeley study found that in the United States, Hispanics were 21 percent more likely and African Americans 52 percent more likely than their white counterparts to live in heat islands'--urban neighborhoods where, because of abundant concrete and few trees, temperatures soar.
Hispanics were 21 percent more likely and African Americans 52 percent more likely than their white counterparts to live in heat islands.
So what could help keep us cool without further heating the globe? Better design, for starters: For thousands of years, the world's tropical and desert areas have used passive cooling systems'--simple architectural tweaks that minimize a structure's exposure to heat. Light-colored houses with reflective roofs were the mainstay of South Florida architecture before centralized cooling came along, and these "cool roofs" are back in style: Guidelines for new construction in California, Florida, and Georgia urge commercial buildings to adopt this feature, which studies show can decrease air conditioning bills by 20 percent on average. Sacramento, California, requires that planted foliage shade at least 50 percent of any new parking lot, since surfaces protected by a tree's canopy transmit less heat. The Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka, meanwhile, are testing water-­retentive pavements, which absorb and then evaporate moisture to cool the streets.
Design tricks can help at home too. One easy way to reduce your AC use'--and your electric bill'--is to make sure your house is well insulated and sealed, as seepage accounts for about 30 percent of your cooling system's energy consumption. One energy company calculated that if you set your thermostat to 78 degrees instead of 72, you'll save around $100 a summer. Ceiling fans cost as little as 30 cents a month when used eight hours a day, while swamp coolers'--which cool the air by drawing it over water'--are far more energy efficient in dry climates than traditional air conditioners. And with these tools, you can keep your neighbors more comfortable, as well. Researchers from Arizona State University revealed in a 2014 study that waste heat from air conditioning increased the outside temperature of some areas of Phoenix by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to'--you guessed it'--yet more demand for AC. Scientists observed a similar effect in Tokyo. How's that for a burn?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Obama Nation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Office of Legislative Affairs | Department of Justice
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:40
The Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) has responsibility for the development and implementation of strategies to advance the Department's legislative initiatives and other interests relating to Congress. OLA also articulates the Department's position on legislation proposed by Congress, facilitates the appearance of Department witnesses at congressional hearings, and manages the interagency clearance process led by OMB. Additionally, OLA coordinates the Department's responses to congressional committee oversight requests and other inquiries from individual Members and congressional staff. OLA also participates in the Senate confirmation process for federal judges and Department nominees, such as Assistant Attorneys General and United States Attorneys. These functions are important to the Department's cooperative and productive relationship with Congress.
CNN Michelle Kosinski's husband Kimbell Duncan (bio, wiki, photos)
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:45
Welcome to DailyEntertainmentNews.com We feed the hunger for pop culture content, covering Entertainment and celebrity breaking News, Hollywood Rumors, gossip, fashion, sports, wags, celebs photos, videos, wikis and bios.
Meet Kimbell Duncan, the husband of White House correspondent for CNN, Michelle Kosinski. The marriage of nearly a year are making headlines after they hosted a party reports say got a little overboard!
38-year-old Michelle ''who was a foreign correspondent for NBC News in London and joined CNN in February 2014 ''allegedly hosted a wild party with loud African drumming at her London home that infuriated neighbors and was shut down by authorities.
Kosinski and her hubby currently reside in Washington and own a home in upscale Notting Hill where they threw a summer soiree. Their neighbors include Stella McCartney, Damon Albarn and Robbie Williams.
Michelle graduated from Northwestern, from which she also received a master's degree in broadcast journalism.
According to the NY Times, the couple tied the knot last year at the Anderson House, a museum and event space in Washington. Duncan, wore a kilt made in the family's historical blue and green tartan pattern. The guests lists included CNN's Wolf Blitzer and his wife Lynn; Dana Bash and her boyfriend actor Spencer Garrett; and Fox News Channel's White House correspondent Ed Henry and his wife Shirley Henry, a CNN producer.
He met Michelle while the she worked in London as a foreign correspondent for NBC News. He proposed to her while on a surprise trip to the thousand-year old castle fortress village of Eze, along the Mediterranean in 2013.
50-year-old Kimbell Rush is the son of Kenneth V. Duncan of Smithsburg and the late Frances K. Duncan; and graduated from Yale.
He is a retired investment banker, until April 2004, he was a managing director in London of an international investment banking subsidiary of the Mizuho Financial Group of Tokyo.
He is currently a representative to the boards of several biotechnology companies in which his family's trust holds investments. He is also a founder of the Rush Foundations, which are charities in Valais, Switzerland; London; and Smithsburg, Md., and funds ''disruptive ideas'' to prevent the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to its Web site.
Duncan, who is a widower, has 5-year-old twins '-- daughter Sophia and son Nikita.
More Breaking News:Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz Aaron Hernandez friends involved in Odin Lloyd MurderNicholas Gray- Fox40 anchor's Sabrina Rodriguez' BoyfriendVioletta Degtiareva: Russian Tennis Player Dead at 23Dynel Lane - Stabbed Pregnant Woman and Took Baby from Womb
Michelle Kosinski - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:42
Michelle Kosinski-Duncan (born May 6, 1974) is an American journalist who is currently a White House correspondent for CNN.[1] She was a foreign correspondent for NBC News based in London from 2010''2014, before that she was a correspondent based in Atlanta from 2005''2009.[2]
Career overview[edit]Kosinski has covered such world events as the War in Afghanistan, terrorist plots in Europe, international court cases, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In 2009, she won a national Emmy award for live reporting during NBC News' special coverage of the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Kosinski began work in broadcast journalism in Rockford, Illinois for WIFR while earning her BA and MA from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Leaving WIFR, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina at WSOC-TV and founded the Piedmont Bureau. In 2001, she was voted the Best Reporter in Charlotte by readers of the city's arts and entertainment magazine. In Fall of 2001, she left WSOC-TV for WTVJ in Miami. She is a 2003 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards Craft Winner for reporting on Haitian immigrants and was named Woman of the Year in 2005 by Women in Communications of South Florida.[3]
In 2005, Rolling Stone magazine named her "hot reporter" in its annual Hot List.
2010 saw Kosinski named foreign correspondent, moving from NBC's Southeast Bureau to London.[4]
In 2014, she moved networks to CNN, as White House correspondent.[5][6]
NBC News[edit]Kosinski first joined NBC News in 2005 as a correspondent based in Miami, Florida, United States. In 2010 she became a foreign correspondent and moved London, United Kingdom. She was with NBC News for a total of nine years, five years in the United States and fours years in London. During her tenure as London correspondent she reported from all over Europe and Eastern Asia. She appeared on all platforms of NBC News including, NBC Nightly News, Today, Early Today, MSNBC and Dateline NBC.
Stories covered[edit]At NBC News Kosinski covered many stories including:
In 2005, Kosinski made Rolling Stone's Hot List, as "hot reporter."[7][broken citation]
In August 2005, while covering the Natalee Holloway disappearance in Aruba, NBC arranged an interview with the director of Aruban prisons and a tour of suspect Joran van der Sloot's prison. During the tour, she ran into van der Sloot and conducted an off-camera interview. Prison director Fred Maduro appeared live on MSNBC and admitted that he offered her the tour. After Van der Sloot's attorneys called for a hearing on the matter, NBC declined to air the footage.[8]
In 2009, Kosinski purchased a $5.6 million, 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) home in Coral Gables, Florida.[9]
Personal life[edit]Kosinski was born in Willingboro Township, New Jersey in the early 1970s[citation needed] and grew up in Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey, a quiet suburb of Philadelphia. She is one of four children of Jeanette, a chemist, and Robert, a retired biologist who worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Kosinski attended St. Charles Borromeo school, graduating with the top honors of her class, then was class valedictorian at Holy Cross High School. She was a cheerleader and trained in classical ballet,[citation needed] also exhibiting early proficiency in writing and the creative arts.[citation needed]
At Northwestern University, Kosinski was accepted to the Accelerated Master's Program in journalism,[citation needed] attaining a Bachelor's and Master's degree at graduation.[citation needed] Originally in the magazine writing program, she later switched to the broadcasting division.[10]
While working as a television news photographer and reporter in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kosinski also performed with the award-winning Piedmont Players theater group,[citation needed] in roles such as Elvira in Blithe Spirit and Suzanne in Don't Dress for Dinner.[11]
As of 2011[update] she is living in London.[4]
In August 2013 Michelle announced she was engaged to 48 year old retired investment banker Kimbell Duncan. Duncan and Kosinski married on August 9, 2014.
For several years, Kosinski has served on the executive host committee for Amigos for Kids,[citation needed] a charitable organization based in Miami. Kosinski has volunteered for and supported numerous community organizations. She has sought out and highlighted innovative charitable work around the United States, as a regular contributor to Nightly News' "Making a Difference" series, which has in turn positively impacted those efforts.[12][13]
References[edit]External links[edit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Puerto Rico Imposed Rich-Country Policies--And Now It Is Paying The Price
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:50
Guest post written byOrlando SotomayorMr. Sotomayor is a professor of economics at the University of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has begun acting on its plan for selective default and eventual bankruptcy. Since it is illegal, lawyered up American bondholders have been asked to volunteer debt write downs and to refrain from lawsuits, lest they reduce economic activity that according to government officials appears affected by legal proceedings, but not by tax increases consistently imposed over a ten-year recession. In return, the government offers nothing.
Puerto Rico is paying the price of applying rich-country policies on what is (to this day) an essentially poor society. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
The similarities between Greece and Puerto Rico
Like Greece, Puerto Rico wants to restructure debt but not its economy. Days after the Krueger report appeared, all major recommendations were dismissed and an alternative set of politically expedient but economically irrelevant proposals was hinted at instead. Excluding scenarios where U.S. lawmakers throw money at the problem or where local ones successfully extract more bailout funds, evasion of real reforms will guarantee continued recession, ever larger bond haircut, and an eventual Federal protectorate.
If Puerto Rico's ills were to be summarized concisely, the island is paying the price of applying rich-country policies on what is (to this day) an essentially poor society. Whereas the minimum wage introduced in 1938 was equivalent to 40% of the mean hourly wage in U.S. manufacturing, it was twice and five times the rates prevalent in the local sugar and coffee sectors, respectively. After the havoc its extension created, a lower legal minimum was allowed but set to increase over time so that it would not provide an unfair competitive advantage, or so went the argument of the U.S. Department of Labor. Its final push to parity in the early 1980s coincided with a recession and an unemployment rate that skyrocketed to 25%.
The U.S. and Puerto Rico also share public transfer programs, although in practice they can work out quite differently due to the progressive nature of benefit formulae. For example, Social Security replaces 43% of the average American's earnings, but 57% of that of the average lower-earning Puerto Rican, and substantially more for the low-skilled. Once other income sources such as local retirement benefits are taken into account, retirement replacement rates can reach well over a 100%. Disability benefits are of particular concern, as nine out of the 10 zip codes with the greatest number of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries hail from Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican authorities must share some of the blame
Local policymakers have not been helpless victims, for they received the federal minimum wage with open arms, as they saw it as a gift they could offer to workers who managed to hold on to a job. They also made sure to expand it to sectors it did not apply, and became competitive with the U.S. in terms of who would be most aggressive in raising the wage floor. The free lunch illusion that is the trademark of Puerto Rican politics was probably born then. Policymakers also actively campaigned for food stamps that alleviated poverty but reduced incentives to work and helped accelerate the demise of agriculture, as consumers increased expenditures of higher-priced imported processed food at the expense of local staples.
The good news is that all these problems would disappear if productivity were to rise to U.S. levels through better education. The bad news is that nothing seems to spur the local government to improve it. It was not motivated by standardized test scores that placed the island at the bottom of national rankings, with only 6% of 8th graders scoring at a basic level in math, as compared to 68% in the Mainland. It was not motivated by an even worse international performance where countries such as Mexico and Brazil scored better in all test areas. It is not motivated by NCLB rules that, with U.S. Department of Education acquiescence, have no consequences on anyone in the island.
The Puerto Rican economy needs to change
This is a shame since even non-systemic changes can make a big difference. Harvard's Roland Fryer's work with underperforming schools in the Houston and Denver school districts has shed light on best practices that include selective hiring, continuous teacher evaluation and feedback, intensive tutoring, data driven instructio, and a culture of high expectations. Such collaboration would be unthinkable in Puerto Rico.
Why some governments are so bad while others are much better is an important question for which there is no definitive answer. Some posit that well functioning societies spawn good governments and not the other way around. Others propose that in poor countries there is an implicit agreement where in exchange for handouts, individuals do not question governments' decisions or efficacy. If true, such a situation would limit the broad-based political support that would be required for painful but vital economic reforms.
Would a federal takeover of Puerto Rico make sense?
In light of this and our government's dismal track record, many consider a federal takeover as the only feasible solution. The U.S. is understandably reluctant for at that point it would become Angela Merkel to the Caribbean's Greece. Austerity would then not follow from over borrowing but from imposition from the North. Political costs of cuts in the minimum wage, pensions and transfers would fall on the U.S. Syriza-like local politicians would revel at the thought of being able to place blame of the island's woes on others. There would be international pressure for debt restructuring and more humane treatment of Puerto Rico.
Fortunately, much can be avoided if the U.S. government learns to engage Puerto Rican civil society as an instrument for solving the more pressing problems such as education and the disincentive effects of U.S. transfers. This may not be the most orthodox approach, but the costs of waiting or inaction will be high.
When the U.S. Treasury urged the EU to restructure Greek debt, the latter offered to trade Greece for Puerto Rico. After all, how can one take others' lecturing seriously when they cannot keep their own house in order?
Also on Forbes:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earon
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kerry Puts Dollar on Line in Appeal for Congress to Approve Iran Deal
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:02
World20:14 11.08.2015(updated 21:25 11.08.2015) Get short URL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) '' The US Congress' refusal to approve the Iran nuclear deal and force allies to comply with US sanctions could lead to the end of the dollar as the world's reserve currency, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.''That is a recipe very quickly for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world, which already bubbling out there,'' Kerry warned business leaders at an event hosted by Reuters in New York.
Arguments that the United States can act ''tough'' and use ''force'' to have allied countries comply with Iran sanctions if Washington rejects the deal are not based on reality, Kerry said, adding sanctioning allies would backfire.
''Can you imagine sanctioning them [allies] after persuading them to put in sanctions to bring Iran to the negotiation table, and when they [Iran] have not only come to the table but they made a deal, we turn around and nix the deal, and then tell them that you are going to have to obey our rules on sanctions anyway?'' Kerry asked.
US opponents to the Iran deal are ''kidding'' themselves if they think Washington can act unilaterally to impose ''fraying'' sanctions, Kerry said.
The US Congress has until mid-September to approve or disapprove the Iran nuclear deal reached between Tehran and world powers. US President Barack Obama would then veto the bill, requiring a two-thirds majority from the US Senate and House of Representatives to overwrite the veto.
The United States with the support of allies has implemented sweeping international sanctions to force Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program. The deal envisions strict international monitoring and dismantlement of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
US sanctions related to Iran's support for terrorism, ballistic missiles and arms transfers would remain in place, but the crippling international financial and oil sanctions on Iran would be lifted under the deal.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar could suffer if U.S. walks away from Iran deal: Kerry
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:03
NEW YORK If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal struck with Iran last month in Vienna and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, the dollar may soon cease to be the world's reserve currency, the top U.S. diplomat said on Monday.
"If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, you're going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway, that is a recipe, very quickly .... for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a Reuters Newsmaker event.
He added that it would be impossible for Iran, under the nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers, to create a secret program for developing atomic fuel without the United States being able to detect it.
(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau, Michelle Nichols and Warren Strobel)
Our top photos from the last 24 hours. Slideshow
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EuroLand
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Germany examining whether EU can guarantee Greek debt to IMF -Die Zeit | Reuters
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 02:16
BERLIN Aug 12 The German government is looking at whether the European Union could provide guarantees for Greek debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to keep the Fund on board and avoid the need for major debt relief, German weekly Die Zeit reported.
Without citing its sources, the paper reported on Wednesday that the idea meant that "if Greece ran out of money, the Europeans would jump in and the IMF would suffer no losses. In return, the Fund would no longer demand extensive debt relief."
The plan would thus fulfill two key demands made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel - keeping the IMF involved and avoiding a debt writedown. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Noah Barkin; Editing by Caroline Copley)
Greece hopes to conclude bailout talks by Aug. 11
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 20:41
Sun Aug 9, 2015 1:59pm EDTATHENS (Reuters) - Greece hopes to conclude negotiations with international creditors by early Tuesday at the latest, a Greek official said as talks continued in Athens on a new multi-billion euro bailout.
Greece's finance and economy ministers were locked in negotiations with representatives of creditors on Sunday. Greek officials have previously said they expect the bailout accord to go to the country's parliament for approval by Aug. 18.
"Efforts are being made to conclude the negotiations, the horizon is by Monday night or early Tuesday," said a Greek official who declined to be named.
"When the new bailout comes to parliament for a vote it will be one bill with two articles - one article will be the loan agreement and the MoU (memorandum of understanding) and the second article will be the prior actions," the official said, referring to measures Greece needs to take for the bailout accord to take effect.
The negotiations began on July 20. A senior Greek finance official told Reuters the aim was for a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to review the accord on Friday, Aug. 14.
Athens is negotiating with European Union institutions and the International Monetary Fund for up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) in fresh loans to stave off economic collapse and stay in the euro zone. The bailout must be in place by Aug. 20, when Greece has a repayment falling due to the European Central Bank.
(Reporting By George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Digby Lidstone)
Email Article>> Next Article: Abe renews pledge of nuclear weapons free Japan at Nagasaki memorial
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greece accepts harsh new bailout terms, vows swift vote
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:01
you've reached a subscriber-only article.Take the trial to enjoy one month access for $1.00Sign up now and access the full breadth of The Daily Star content in minutes.
subscribe nowunrestricted access$1 for the this month then $12 per month.Existing users can login here or register for a new account.
Advertisement
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shut Up Slave!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Waco legal bigwigs getting desperate to keep Twin Peaks biker massacre under the rug
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:52
I see where the McLennan County DA has filed to reverse the ruling that lifted the gag order that was imposed on the Twin Peaks case.Obviously, you only fight to keep a gag order in place if you've got something to hide, and apparently the Waco PD and the local legal establishment are pissing their pants in fear that the facts around the Twin Peaks biker ambush are gonna come out.
You've probably been too busy reading about a black kid being shot in Ferguson to notice that a few months ago 27 white and hispanic men were shot down in Waco Texas. Word on the street is that virtually all of them were shot down by law enforcement.
But we don't know anything for sure, because law enforcement is doing absolutely anything and everything they can to prevent the facts in this case from making it to the public.
Why?
I think it would be a great step forward if the blacks realized that honkies and spics get shot down in cold blood too.
This case might help to get some inter-racial solidarity going!
White and Hispanic lives matter too!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Court Skeptical Trade Body Has Oversight of Digital Transmissions - WSJ
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 02:42
Aug. 11, 2015 3:11 p.m. ET WASHINGTON'--A federal appeals court appeared skeptical Tuesday of claims by a government trade panel that it can block Internet communications it finds infringe U.S. patents.
The U.S. International Trade Commission last year took the unprecedented step of ordering ClearCorrect LLC of Round Rock, Texas, to cease receiving digital models and data from Pakistan to manufacture dental aligners, plastic orthodontic devices used to straighten teeth.
The commission ruled the data to be the digital equivalent of the aligners themselves, which it found infringed patents held by Align TechnologyInc.,ALGN-0.52% the San Jose, Calif., maker of competing Invisalign devices.
Since the commission can block the importation of infringing physical goods, it reasoned that it can likewise halt the transmission of data.
The case has drawn attention of industries far removed from orthodontics, because the commission also holds authority to enforce copyrights.
The entertainment and publishing industries hope an ITCEQITC-1.05% victory could open a new venue to fight digital piracy. Internet providers worry it could expand government control over the online world.
The commission faced a tough audience Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized court in Washington that hears patent appeals.
''If we were to affirm the commission here, we would be saying that the ITC has jurisdiction over electronic transmission,'' said Chief Judge Sharon Prost. ''I don't see very many limiting principles that might apply to future cases.''
''I'm not here to tell you exactly where the line is,'' ITC attorney Sidney Rosenzweig said. But he said that while the agency claims authority over ''digital goods,'' it doesn't seek to oversee ''digital services'' or telephone calls.
He added that Internet service providers have specific protection from liability under a separate federal law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The ITC, an independent agency comprised of six members appointed by the president for nine-year terms, traces its history to the 1916 Revenue Act, when it was established as the U.S. Tariff Commission.
Judge Pauline Newman suggested that by extending its power to digital transmissions, the commission was exceeding the authority Congress initially conceived for the panel 99 years ago.
Mr. Rosenzweig argued that it was reasonable for the commission, like the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to apply powers granted in earlier eras to modern conditions.
''We don't have people yelling and waving slips of paper to trade stocks anymore,'' but the SEC still regulates Wall Street under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, he said. Likewise, laws covering the commission ''are broad enough to encompass trade in its various forms.''
Even if the court denies the commission power to block Internet communications, Align has other ways to fight ClearCorrect's alleged infringement.
The two companies are battling in federal court and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the validity or infringement of the dental aligner patents.
Write to Jess Bravin at jess.bravin@wsj.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Movie Theater Chain Bans Backpacks After Attacks in Tennessee, Louisiana - NBC News
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:58
A movie theater chain in the Northeast on Friday banned moviegoers from bringing in backpacks and packages in the wake of attacks at theaters that were about half a month apart in Louisiana and Tennessee.
"To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, for the time being, we are prohibiting any and all backpacks and packages as well as reserving the right to inspect the contents of any purse or bag prior to admission," Showcase Cinemas, owned by National Amusements, Inc., said on its website.
Rachel Lulay, a spokeswoman for National Amusements, said the policy was implemented Friday, two days after an ax-wielding, pepper-spraying man attacked an audience at a screening of "Mad Max: Fury Road" at a Nashville theater.
The suspect, Vincente David Montano, 29, was shot dead by police, and no one he attacked was seriously injured. But a movie theater attacker who shot into a movie audience in Lafayette, Louisiana, on July 24 killed two people and injured nine others before the gunman took his own life.
The two most recent attacks follow other high profile incidents of violence in movie theaters, like a confrontation over texting turned fatal in Florida and the Colorado movie theater massacre that left 12 dead more than three years ago.
Showcase operates theaters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Ohio.
A study conducted last week by research firm C4 found that less than one-third of moviegoers would favor metal detectors and pat-downs at the entrance of movie theaters.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The real reason airport shops want to see your boarding pass - Telegraph
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:20
Other retailers were found to be offering small reductions in their airport outlets, but still keeping the lion's share of the savings. Dixons charges £619 for an iPhone 6 on the high street. In airport stores, it's slightly cheaper, at £593.99 '' but that's nowhere near the £123.80 saving Dixons makes on every iPhone 6 sold to non-EU passengers. One item on sale at World Duty Free (Clarins Double Serum, 30ml) was priced at £45.80, despite being available for less on the high street, and despite the retailer saving £9.16 in VAT to many fliers.
' The airport that launched a thousand conspiracy theories' Praise for the airport that never loses your luggage
''Handing over your boarding pass at the airport shop, even if you're buying nothing more than a copy of The Telegraph, has become practically second nature '' but I bet very few people realised why retailers can be so insistent,'' said Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel's Consumer Editor.
''And no wonder '' the biggest retailers must save millions in VAT each year. But surely it's those passengers flying outside the EU that ought to be making the savings?''
He added that there is a "general lack of transparency" when it comes to airport prices. ''I'd like to see a clear breakdown of exactly how much you are saving on duty-free goods, rather than just a final price,'' he said.
A spokeswoman for Boots confirmed that its airport staff are requested to scan boarding passes to ensure an ''accurate reporting of VAT'', but said it was not compulsory.
''The HMRC and airports accept that this is general practice for all retailers located within airport terminals,'' she told The Independent.
A spokesman for HMRC confirmed that passengers are not legally obliged to hand over their boarding pass.
' I've landed where? Misleading airport names' Quiz: Guess the airport from its code
Dixons said it follows the "standard practice of non-duty free airport retailers in offering one single, great value price across products".
It added: ''We are not duty free; instead, we offer customers a simple, single price and give them our price promise to beat key online competitors.''
WHSmith claimed that dual pricing '' showing 20 per cent discounts for non-EU passengers '' was a ''practical impossibility''.
''WHSmith policy states that boarding passes should be requested from customers, and not demanded,'' said a spokeswoman. ''Any VAT relief associated with the identification of customers travelling outside of the EU is reported in accordance with UK legislation, and any relief obtained is reflected in our single price and extensive promotional offers provided to all of our customers.''
But some stores have clearly found a way. Harrods sells all its products VAT-free in its Heathrow stores.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lone Woofs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Police: "Extremely dangerous" New Hampshire fugitive Jason McCoy.sought - CBS News
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 21:04
U.S. Marshals reportedly say that fugitive Jason McCoy, 25, was last seen in stolen black car and should be considered armed and dangerous.
U.S. Marshals Service via CBS Boston
CONCORD, N.H. -- U.S. marshals are looking for an "extremely dangerous" New Hampshire fugitive who is allegedly driving a stolen car with a "LONWULF" license plate, reports CBS Boston.
Jason McCoy, 25, is wanted on outstanding warrants, according to the station, on charges including a probation violation stemming from an original charge of reckless conduct involving a firearm, as well as receiving stolen property.
McCoy also allegedly stole a car, shotgun and ammunition. The stolen car was reportedly described as a black 2014 Nissan Juke with New Hampshire license plates. Police say he has led them on multiple chases.
The suspect should also be considered armed, according to investigators.
Law enforcement officials told CBS Boston that McCoy -- a known drug user -- is hallucinating, sleeping with weapons and may be suicidal.
The 25-year-old has been described as as 5-foot-5-inches tall and weighing around 145 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He also reportedly has tattoos along his upper left arm and back with discoloration of the hands.
(C) 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA-Tech News
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't Want Your Credit Card Hacked? Use Apple Pay | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:56
A researcher at Black Hat demoed how to fool tap cards, and said Apple Pay may be safer than credit cards.
Cash is dead, and tap-to-pay cards can finally save us the trouble of swiping a credit card and keep the wheels of capitalism rolling. But a researcher at the Black Hat conference said these cards are not as safe as they seem and, surprisingly, Apple Pay is excellent.
Peter Fillmore broke down exactly how credit cards perform wireless transactions. To the person using the card, it seems fairly straightforward: tap the card against the terminal and the payment is complete. Of course, we don't just use cards for that anymore. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, and others run on Near Field Communications or NFC. This technology requires that the device have special radios and be equipped to use them, which is why it's found only on some mobile devices.
Tap, Tap, CloneFillmore said that initially, he didn't think his exploit would work. He knew that the EMV chips embedded in credit cards that make these tap payments work were well-tested and provided a very small attack surface. "You've also got crypto keys embedded in these cards," Fillmore told Black Hat attendees. "Even if you broke open the card to get the key, you only get the key for that card not others."
But it turned out that he didn't need to worry about EMV chips at all because credit cards still have magnetic strips for swiping, and credit card readers still have the hardware and software to read those strips. "You need all these legacy systems in place to ensure we can use our cards wherever without much hassle," said Fillmore. These legacy systems, he discovered, were far less secure than the tap-to-pay systems.
For example, most credit cards include an Unpredictable Number that's designed to prevent card cloning. Ideally, this should be a random number, but Fillmore found that the limitations of magnetic stripe cards meant that in some cases, only random numbers between 0 and 99 were being used. That's not very random.
In his presentation, Fillmore showed how he tapped a Via and MasterCard credit card against his Android phone. Fillmore had written special software that, taking what he'd learned, could grab the information from a tap card, generate the necessary credentials, and be used at a payment terminal.
"You can't clone [these] cards economically, but you can clone transactions," Fillmore concluded.
Apple Pay"I want to kick at Apple Pay but I can't," Fillmore joked. "It's one of the best methods for these transactions," and is generally "more secure than your cards."
Fillmore said that Apple Pay has a lot going for it since it has a separate secure element chip and performs the transactions on that secure chip. But Fillmore reasoned that Apple Pay is susceptible to the attacks he demonstrated because the cards themselves are insecure. It would depend on the cards loaded into Apple Pay and if an attacker found a way to force someone to make a particular transaction in order to snag the data.
Fillmore advised Apple users to not jailbreak their phones. He did not mention Google Wallet or the forthcoming Android Pay, nor did he comment on the security of Android phones as payment platforms. He did, however, say that the tools offered by Android were excellent for this kind of research.
Fix It!To actually fix these problems, Fillmore said we have to change how credit cards work. "Legacy modes need to be removed from the system," he said. "Legacy support reduces security." Removing support for the legacy magnetic stripe would allow for other fixes, like including more complex random numbers into transactions to prevent card cloning.
He also voiced concern about payment terminals. These are the machines where you tap, swipe, or dip your cards to pay for things. Fillmore said he found a shocking lack of physical security in these devices, creating opportunities for hackers, thieves, and disreputable business owners to rip you off.
What surprised Fillmore most was that he was able to clone his own credit card, which was issued in Australia. "This is shocking considering how long we've had EMV workflows," he said. "I have a gut feeling that it's a lot more of an issue in the U.S. because of existing technology and a love of magstripes."
The U.S. has resisted EMV cards for years, but that will be changing. New rules going into effect in October are expected to spur widespread adoption of chip cards in this country. Hopefully, this will help Americans break up with the magnetic strip card and embrace the security of better payments.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scientists achieve quantum teleportation of data with 100 percent accuracy | MNN - Mother Nature Network
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 18:38
A representation of a qubit, the building block of quantum computers. (Photo: Wiki Commons)
Dutch scientists working with the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology have made a stunning breakthrough in quantum technology by successfully teleporting data across a distance of about 10 feet with perfect accuracy, reports the New York Times. The advance ought to have Albert Einstein, who famously dismissed the idea of quantum teleportation as "spooky action at a distance," rolling in his grave.
Einstein struggled mightily with many of the theoretical consequences of quantum theory, perhaps none more so than the notion of entanglement, the phenomenon that makes teleportation possible. It's easy to understand why; the idea is, well, downright spooky.
Entanglement is the weird instantaneous link that has been shown to exist between certain particles, such as photons or electrons, even if they are separated by vast distances. Although entangled particles do not appear to have any physical connection, they are capable of acting in concert. For instance, if you change the spin of one, the spin of the other will also be altered. All of this happens instantaneously, even if the two particles exist at opposite ends of the universe, as if they are one. How exactly the phenomenon happens is a complete mystery. That it happens, however, has been verified by numerous experiments.
The task for scientists hoping to invent teleportation technology is to hijack this phenomenon, but it's no easy task. Entangled particles are frustratingly fickle, difficult to capture and even more difficult to manipulate. But the breakthrough made by the Kavli Institute scientists could be a game-changer. It not only demonstrates that quantum teleportation is possible, but that it is technologically applicable.
Previous attempts to teleport information by manipulating entangled particles have been promising, but have fallen short of practical application. For instance, a University of Maryland study back in 2009 demonstrated that it could be done, but only one out of every 100 million attempts succeeded. At that speed, it would take about 10 whole minutes to transfer just a single bit of quantum information.
Comparatively, the Kavli Institute scientists were able to achieve the feat 100 percent of the time, essentially accomplishing deterministic control over the phenomenon. They did so by producing quantum bits using electrons trapped in diamonds at extremely low temperatures. These ultra-cold gemstones effectively acted as prisons, trapping the electrons and allowing the scientists to accurately establish their spin, or value.
If they can repeat the experiment over distances significantly larger than 10 feet, it could mean that incomprehensibly fast quantum computers and a quantum internet are just around the corner.
''There is a big race going on between five or six groups to prove Einstein wrong,'' said Ronald Hanson, a physicist who leads the group at Delft. ''There is one very big fish.''
Related on MNN:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The digital media industry needs to react to ad blockers ... or else - Columbia Journalism Review
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:59
Disrupting the media industry is easy. Not long ago, I moused over to AdBlockPlus.org, clicked on a green button that said ''Install for Safari,'' and less than 10 seconds later, ads had vanished. All of them. Goodbye iPad ad that unfurled down my screen. Goodbye blinking mattress ads. Goodbye car ad following me from site to site. This immediately became Web surfing nirvana: Pages loaded faster, my browser stopped randomly crashing, my whole computer ran better. The Adblocker Plus plugin even told me how many ads I've dodged in the last couple of months: more than 35,000 and counting.
This is an exciting and chaotic time in digital news. Innovators like BuzzFeed and Vox are rising, old stalwarts like The New York Times and The Washington Post are finding massive new audiences online, and global online ad revenue continues to rise, reaching nearly $180 billion last year. But analysts say the rise of ad blocking threatens the entire industry'--the free sites that rely exclusively on ads, as well as the paywalled outlets that rely on ads to compensate for the vast majority of internet users who refuse to pay for news.
A phenomenon that began several years ago in online gaming circles'--you don't want to get between gamers and their zombies'--has swept into the mainstream. A new report from Adobe and one of several startups helping publishers fight ad blocking shows that 198 million people globally are now blocking ads, up 41 percent from 2014. In the US, ad blocking grew 48 percent from last year, to 45 million users. A recent Reuters Institute Digital News survey put the numbers even higher, saying that almost half of all US internet users block ads.
Taken alone, my 35,000-plus blocked ads probably aren't doing much damage to the news industry; maybe a campaign reporter will be forced to stay in a Marriott Courtyard instead of the W. (Sorry.) But taken together, ad blockers are hitting publishers in their digital guts. Adobe says that $21.8 billion in global ad revenue will be blocked this year.
Users are inadvertently putting their favorite websites out of business.
''For publishers, ad blockers are the elephant in the room,'' media analyst Frederic Filloux wrote a few months ago. ''Everybody sees them, no one talks about it.'' I asked numerous publishers and ad platforms how much ad blocking they were seeing and what they were doing about it. Most didn't reply. A Google spokeswoman did tell me this: ''We believe that ads help fund free services and content on the web. For our part, we're continuing to invest in ad experiences that are relevant and useful for users, ensuring that users have choice over their ad experiences online, and helping publishers continue to fund their content.''
The problem is that surveys show many internet users, particularly younger ones, have already decided they hate online ads. As one woman said in the Reuters report, ''Online ads are obtrusive, obnoxious, annoying.'' And few feel an obligation to help publishers out. Some 80 percent of internet users polled by Adobe said they weren't willing to pay even a small fee to make ads disappear. So: Readers hate online ads, most users are unwilling to subscribe online (only 11 percent do, according to the Reuters study), and few would pay to make ads go away. No wonder the publishers didn't get back to me.
Publishers have been banking on the growth of mobile, where the ad blocking plugins either don't work or are cumbersome to install. Back in March, a Wells Fargo analyst wrote in a report on ad blocking that ''the mobile migration should thwart some of the growth'' of ad blockers. But three months later, at its annual developer conference, Apple revealed that its new operating system scheduled for release this fall will allow ad blocking on Safari. Given Apple's mobile dominance, the implications are potentially terrifying. Wired's headline: ''Apple's support of ad blocking may upend how the web works.'''¨
There are five or six ad blockers on the market, but the biggest player'--with more than 60 million active users'--is Adblock Plus, part of a German company called Eyeo. It doesn't take a technological wizard to figure out how its product, and other ad blockers, work. Without an ad blocker installed, when a user clicks on a website, the site quickly connects to ad servers which display ads in various spots on the page. Ad blockers put a wall between the website and server, stopping ads in their tracks. Eyeo has been sued in German courts by publishers who argued Adblock Plus users shouldn't be able to block ads on their sites. The publishers lost.
In many ways, Adblock Plus has become the internet's advertising sheriff. That's because its software, by default, allows some ads through its firewall'--ads it deems ''acceptable,'' meeting a series of strict criteria it came up with in conversation with internet users around the world. The criteria essentially eliminate most of the ads on the market today, rolling back ad technology to the 1990s: text only, no animations, no popovers, no placement in the flow of text. In the two months since I've installed the software, I don't recall seeing any ads that meet the criteria.
Websites must apply to get ''whitelisted,'' and an Adblock Plus employee then works with the site to make sure that the selected ads comply with the criteria. Ben Williams, a spokesman for Eyeo, told me that 700 publishers and bloggers have been whitelisted. The whitelist is how the company makes money. Eyeo charges large for-profit publishers a cut of ad revenues to be on the list, a scheme some critics have called extortion. Williams declined to say who is paying or how much, but the Financial Times recently reported that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon were among those paying Eyeo for their acceptable ads to appear to Adblock Plus users.
Adblock Plus has released a browser for mobile Android devices that blocks ads, and it's planning to release a similar product for Apple devices. But Adblock Plus might not be the biggest threat for publishers on mobile. Shine, an Israeli company, isn't targeting users fed up with annoying ads. It's going after mobile operators like Verizon and AT&T, whose networks are stressed by data-heavy ads that constantly ping towers for location. Shine has developed technology that allows mobile operators to block ads before they even hit smartphones'--in browsers and in standalone apps. Imagine this: A mobile operator lowers a user's bill if she agrees to block ads, freeing up network resources.
Roi Carthy, the company's chief marketing officer, told me the software is in pilot testing with mobile carriers, but he declined to say which ones. The idea would undoubtedly face regulatory scrutiny in the US if mobile operators attempt to use it. Net neutrality advocates have already expressed concern. But Carthy says the company is prepared to fight. ''The desire to figure out how to bring ad blocking to mobile consumers is a worldwide phenomenon,'' Carthy told me. Ad blocking, he said, ''is an inalienable right.''
Sean Blanchfield certainly doesn't share Carthy's views. He worries that ad blocking will decimate the free Web.
A longtime online gaming engineer'--he worked on Call of Duty and Guitar Hero'--Blanchfield noticed something odd happening a few years ago: There was a 30 percent discrepancy between his games' pageviews and ad views. He investigated and found that 1 in 3 of the ads were being blocked, a mortifying revenue hit. Ad blocking was still largely unique to gaming then, but Blanchfield correctly sensed it would spread. ''Users are inadvertently putting their favorite websites out of business,'' he told me.
Blanchfield started a company called PageFair, one of several startups trying to give publishers the upper hand again. PageFair has been helping publishers measure how many users are blocking ads and how much it's costing them, as well as displaying acceptable ads under Eyeo's requirements. But PageFair has bigger plans: It has developed new technology that allows publishers to display acceptable ads and to add basic banner ads with images, circumventing the blocking software.
The strategy lets PageFair play both sides of the debate. It understands the ad blocking community finds many online ads annoying, but it ultimately sides with publishers in their need to show ads, particularly ones that generate a lot of revenue. ''Your house, your rules, your ads,'' Blanchfield said. Major US publishers will soon launch Pagefair's software, he said, but he declined to identify which ones.
There are other ideas for solutions.
Ben Barokas, a former senior executive at Google, recently launched Sourcepoint, bringing together a team of online ad technologists to develop a product that has both carrot and stick qualities. As the product rolls out in the coming months, Sourcepoint will offer software that lets publishers show ad blockers a message: ''One of the consequences of using ad blocking software is that it significantly damages the value exchange between consumers and creators of digital content.'' The message then urges users to click a link to disable ad blocking on that site.
Publishers can also enable a more stick-like approach, telling ad blockers that in order to continue they must restore banner ads, view a video ad, identify and views ads that are useful for them, or just pay up.
''We wanted to provide publishers with technology that allows them to provide users with choice,'' Barokas told me.
Publishers must make money. The reader must not be overly annoyed.
''Otherwise, little by little, content will go away,'' Barokas said. ''We are not in a sustainable media ecosystem today.''
Michael Rosenwald is a staff writer at the Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @mikerosenwald
The ethics of modern web ad-blocking '' Marco.org
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:45
The ethics of modern web ad-blocking '' Marco.org
August 11, 2015 ' 'žhttp://www.marco.org/2015/08/11/ad-blocking-ethics
More than fifteen years ago, in response to decreasing ad rates and banner blindness, web advertisers and publishers adopted pop-up ads.
People hated pop-up ads. We tolerated in-page banners as an acceptable cost of browsing free websites, but pop-ups were over the line: they were too annoying and intrusive. Many website publishers claimed helplessness in serving them '-- the ads came from somewhere else that they had little control over, they said. They really needed the money from pop-ups to stay afloat, they said.
The future didn't work out well for pop-ups. Pop-up-blocking software boomed, and within a few years, every modern web browser blocked almost all pop-ups by default.
A line had been crossed, and people fought back.
People often argue that running ad-blocking software is violating an implied contract between the reader and the publisher: the publisher offers the page content to the reader for free, in exchange for the reader seeing the publisher's ads. And that's a nice, simple theory, but it's a blurry line in reality.
By that implied-contract theory, readers should not only permit their browsers to load the ads, but they should actually read each one, giving themselves a chance to develop an interest for the advertised product or service and maybe even click on it and make a purchase. That's also a nice theory, but of course, it's ridiculous to expect anyone to actually do that. Publishers are lucky if people even read the content with any real attention today, let alone the ads around it.
Ads have always been a hopeful gamble, not required consumption. Before the web, people changed channels or got up during TV commercials, or skipped right over ads in newspapers and magazines. Pragmatic advertisers and publishers know that their job is to try to show you an ad and hope you see and care about it. They know that the vast majority of people won't, and the ads are priced accordingly. The burden is on the advertisers and publishers to create ads that you'll care about and present them in a way that you'll tolerate.
Web ads are dramatically different from prior ad media, though '-- rather than just being printed on paper or inserted into a broadcast, web ads are software. They run arbitrary code on your computer, which can (and usually does) collect and send data about you and your behavior back to the advertisers and publishers. And there's so much consolidation amongst ad networks and analytics providers that they can easily track your behavior across multiple sites, building a creepily accurate and deep profile of your personal information and private business.
All of that tracking and data collection is done without your knowledge, and '-- critically '-- without your consent. Because of how the web and web browsers work, the involuntary data collection starts if you simply follow a link. There's no opportunity for disclosure, negotiation, or reconsideration. By following any link, you unwittingly opt into whatever the target site, and any number of embedded scripts from other sites and tracking networks, wants to collect, track, analyze, and sell about you.
That's why the implied-contract theory is invalid: people aren't agreeing to write a blank check and give up reasonable expectations of privacy by clicking a link. They can't even know what the cost of visiting a page will be until they've already visited it and paid the price.
And it's all getting so much worse, so quickly.
I've never been tempted to run ad-blocking software before '-- I make most of my living from ads, as do many of my friends and colleagues, and I've always wanted to support the free media I consume. But in the last few years, possibly due to the dominance of low-quality ad networks and the increased share of mobile browsing (which is far less lucrative for ads, and more sensitive to ad intrusiveness, than PC browsing), web ad quality and tolerability have plummeted, and annoyance, abuse, misdirection, and tracking have skyrocketed.
Publishers don't have an easy job trying to stay in business today, but that simply doesn't justify the rampant abuse, privacy invasion, sleaziness, and creepiness that many of them are forcing upon their readers, regardless of whether the publishers feel they had much choice in the matter.
Modern web ads and trackers are far over the line for many people today, and they've finally crossed the line for me, too. Just as when pop-ups crossed the line fifteen years ago, technical countermeasures are warranted.
Web publishers and advertisers cannot be trusted with the amount of access that today's browsers give them by default, and people are not obligated to permit their web browsers to load all resources or execute all code that they're given.
I recently started using Ghostery on my computers, and a simple homemade iOS content blocker that I may release for iOS 9's launch. The web performance improvements with these are staggering, and the reports of quite how much Ghostery is blocking on most pages is shocking and disgusting.
Web publishers had things pretty nice for a while. Monetization was usually as simple as dropping a tag from an ad service into your template. Want to add stats and analytics? Just drop in another tag from another service. The bizdev people made a deal to integrate another analytics service for another few pennies? Go ahead, drop in yet another tag.
Those days are over. It won't be easy for many to move on, and not everyone will make it.
This won't be a clean, easy transition. Blocking pop-ups was much more incisive: it was easy for legitimate publishers to avoid one narrowly-useful Javascript function to open new windows. But it's completely reasonable for today's web readers to be so fed up that they disable all ads, or even all Javascript. Web developers and standards bodies couldn't be more out of touch with this issue, racing ahead to give browsers and Javascript even more capabilities without adequately addressing the fundamental problems that will drive many people to disable huge chunks of their browser's functionality.
But publishers, advertisers, and browser vendors are all partly responsible for the situation we're all in. Nobody could blame the users of yesteryear for killing pop-up ad rates, and nobody should blame the users of 2015 for blocking abusive, intrusive, misleading, and privacy-stealing ads and trackers, even if it's inconvenient for publishers and web developers.
Fortunately, better monetization methods exist. It has never been easier to collect small direct payments online, cutting out the advertising middlemen and selling directly to your true customers. For publishers who want to remain ad-supported, ethically and tastefully presented native advertising, such as sponsoredpostsinfeeds and ourcommunity'spodcastads, has proven to be more effective, more profitable, and less user-hostile by far compared to awful network embeds.
In a few years, after the dust has settled, we're all going to look back at today's web's excesses and abuses as an almost unbelievable embarrassment. Hopefully, the worst is behind us. And it's time to stop demonizing people who use tools to bring that sanity to their web browsers today.
'—†
Follow Marco.org posts: Twitter, RSS feed, or the alternate RSS feed in which link posts always point here first instead of their targets.Follow @marcoarment on Twitter if you'd like.
(C) 2006''2015 Marco Arment.
The ethics of modern web ad-blocking '' Marco.org
August 11, 2015 ' 'žhttp://www.marco.org/2015/08/11/ad-blocking-ethics
More than fifteen years ago, in response to decreasing ad rates and banner blindness, web advertisers and publishers adopted pop-up ads.
People hated pop-up ads. We tolerated in-page banners as an acceptable cost of browsing free websites, but pop-ups were over the line: they were too annoying and intrusive. Many website publishers claimed helplessness in serving them '-- the ads came from somewhere else that they had little control over, they said. They really needed the money from pop-ups to stay afloat, they said.
The future didn't work out well for pop-ups. Pop-up-blocking software boomed, and within a few years, every modern web browser blocked almost all pop-ups by default.
A line had been crossed, and people fought back.
People often argue that running ad-blocking software is violating an implied contract between the reader and the publisher: the publisher offers the page content to the reader for free, in exchange for the reader seeing the publisher's ads. And that's a nice, simple theory, but it's a blurry line in reality.
By that implied-contract theory, readers should not only permit their browsers to load the ads, but they should actually read each one, giving themselves a chance to develop an interest for the advertised product or service and maybe even click on it and make a purchase. That's also a nice theory, but of course, it's ridiculous to expect anyone to actually do that. Publishers are lucky if people even read the content with any real attention today, let alone the ads around it.
Ads have always been a hopeful gamble, not required consumption. Before the web, people changed channels or got up during TV commercials, or skipped right over ads in newspapers and magazines. Pragmatic advertisers and publishers know that their job is to try to show you an ad and hope you see and care about it. They know that the vast majority of people won't, and the ads are priced accordingly. The burden is on the advertisers and publishers to create ads that you'll care about and present them in a way that you'll tolerate.
Web ads are dramatically different from prior ad media, though '-- rather than just being printed on paper or inserted into a broadcast, web ads are software. They run arbitrary code on your computer, which can (and usually does) collect and send data about you and your behavior back to the advertisers and publishers. And there's so much consolidation amongst ad networks and analytics providers that they can easily track your behavior across multiple sites, building a creepily accurate and deep profile of your personal information and private business.
All of that tracking and data collection is done without your knowledge, and '-- critically '-- without your consent. Because of how the web and web browsers work, the involuntary data collection starts if you simply follow a link. There's no opportunity for disclosure, negotiation, or reconsideration. By following any link, you unwittingly opt into whatever the target site, and any number of embedded scripts from other sites and tracking networks, wants to collect, track, analyze, and sell about you.
That's why the implied-contract theory is invalid: people aren't agreeing to write a blank check and give up reasonable expectations of privacy by clicking a link. They can't even know what the cost of visiting a page will be until they've already visited it and paid the price.
And it's all getting so much worse, so quickly.
I've never been tempted to run ad-blocking software before '-- I make most of my living from ads, as do many of my friends and colleagues, and I've always wanted to support the free media I consume. But in the last few years, possibly due to the dominance of low-quality ad networks and the increased share of mobile browsing (which is far less lucrative for ads, and more sensitive to ad intrusiveness, than PC browsing), web ad quality and tolerability have plummeted, and annoyance, abuse, misdirection, and tracking have skyrocketed.
Publishers don't have an easy job trying to stay in business today, but that simply doesn't justify the rampant abuse, privacy invasion, sleaziness, and creepiness that many of them are forcing upon their readers, regardless of whether the publishers feel they had much choice in the matter.
Modern web ads and trackers are far over the line for many people today, and they've finally crossed the line for me, too. Just as when pop-ups crossed the line fifteen years ago, technical countermeasures are warranted.
Web publishers and advertisers cannot be trusted with the amount of access that today's browsers give them by default, and people are not obligated to permit their web browsers to load all resources or execute all code that they're given.
I recently started using Ghostery on my computers, and a simple homemade iOS content blocker that I may release for iOS 9's launch. The web performance improvements with these are staggering, and the reports of quite how much Ghostery is blocking on most pages is shocking and disgusting.
Web publishers had things pretty nice for a while. Monetization was usually as simple as dropping a tag from an ad service into your template. Want to add stats and analytics? Just drop in another tag from another service. The bizdev people made a deal to integrate another analytics service for another few pennies? Go ahead, drop in yet another tag.
Those days are over. It won't be easy for many to move on, and not everyone will make it.
This won't be a clean, easy transition. Blocking pop-ups was much more incisive: it was easy for legitimate publishers to avoid one narrowly-useful Javascript function to open new windows. But it's completely reasonable for today's web readers to be so fed up that they disable all ads, or even all Javascript. Web developers and standards bodies couldn't be more out of touch with this issue, racing ahead to give browsers and Javascript even more capabilities without adequately addressing the fundamental problems that will drive many people to disable huge chunks of their browser's functionality.
But publishers, advertisers, and browser vendors are all partly responsible for the situation we're all in. Nobody could blame the users of yesteryear for killing pop-up ad rates, and nobody should blame the users of 2015 for blocking abusive, intrusive, misleading, and privacy-stealing ads and trackers, even if it's inconvenient for publishers and web developers.
Fortunately, better monetization methods exist. It has never been easier to collect small direct payments online, cutting out the advertising middlemen and selling directly to your true customers. For publishers who want to remain ad-supported, ethically and tastefully presented native advertising, such as sponsoredpostsinfeeds and ourcommunity'spodcastads, has proven to be more effective, more profitable, and less user-hostile by far compared to awful network embeds.
In a few years, after the dust has settled, we're all going to look back at today's web's excesses and abuses as an almost unbelievable embarrassment. Hopefully, the worst is behind us. And it's time to stop demonizing people who use tools to bring that sanity to their web browsers today.
'—†
Follow Marco.org posts: Twitter, RSS feed, or the alternate RSS feed in which link posts always point here first instead of their targets.Follow @marcoarment on Twitter if you'd like.
(C) 2006''2015 Marco Arment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Google's hooli.xyz Easter egg proves Silicon Valley is tech's own Spinal Tap | Television & radio | The Guardian
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 18:57
Silicon Valley, series two, episode 10. Photograph: John P. Johnson/Sky
It is not often that mega-corporations show signs of cuteness or self-deprecation, but one such moment occurred recently when Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, penned his announcement for Alphabet, Google's new parent company. You would have to be pretty alert and sharp with your cursor to get it; go to the sentence ''Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort.'' Click on the last four words and they link to Hooli.xyz. Those au fait with the series Silicon Valley, co-created by Mike Judge, will get the reference. Hooli is the Google-like company that looms large in Judge's satire on the tech world, which has just completed its second series.
Related:Why Google is restructuring, why the name Alphabet and how it affects you
Hooli mercilessly lampoons Google. Its founder presents the global machinations of its company and advanced tech services as if they were for the ultimate spiritual benefit of all humanity, rather than profit-driven. (''We can only achieve greatness if first we achieve goodness.'') It represents an evolutionary moment of self-recognition on the part of the tech world of its absurdities, as well as elevating Silicon Valley to touchstone status. Famous phrases from the series, including ''Datageddon'', now have the potential power in the lexicon to match Spinal Tap's ''This goes up to 11'' or ''Too much perspective.''
It also suggests that for young males, in particular, of this generation, tech is the new rock'n'roll. If you grow up in the 21st century, you don't measure out your life the way 20th-century boys did, by the transition from glam and prog to punk, post-punk, grunge, Britpop and so on. Rather you do so in terms of smartphones, upgrades, iPads, the new upstarts that came to usurp the old dinosaurs such as Windows 95 and BlackBerry.
The Hooli offices in Silicon Valley. Photograph: HBO/Sky TVThe sense of the baton passing from rock to tech is evident in the opening scene of the first episode of Silicon Valley. Kid Rock has been hired by a big tech company for a launch party. He pounds out his stuff, screaming ''Someone make some motherfucking noise!'' '' but there is no moshpit, merely a handful of indifferent, mooching programmers out on the floor. Rock gives up. Moments later, however, a young exec steps up to the stage and, with a rebel yell of ''Woooo!'' into the mic, arm aloft a la Bono, screams that he loves integrated multi-platform functionality.
This sense of ridiculous, often blundering men whooping rock'n'roll noises is one of a number of comparisons with Spinal Tap. Richard Hendricks, the shy programmer whose Pied Piper app is at the heart of the series, may be some kind of genius, but there is also a haplessness about him. When he snorts that Steve Jobs ''was a poser, he didn't even write code'', there are echoes of Spinal Tap's David St Hubbins fuming the words ''this much talent!'' after an encounter with a much bigger rock star at a hotel.
Testosterone and swinging dicks abound in both worlds. Spinal Tap's is a brazenly male-dominated one, of ''kicking arse'' and armadillos down trousers (as well as cucumbers wrapped in silver foil), of Sex Farms and baseball bats slapped meaningfully into palms, of gloves smelled by fantasy females on all fours and failure to cope well with assertive women. Silicon Valley, on the other hand, was criticised for its lack of female roles. In the first series, the only female coder is an effervescent blonde looking to launch a cupcake startup.
Spinal Tap in Chicago, 1984. Photograph: Paul Natkin/WireImageThe truth is, however, the tech world is dominated by a mixture of barely physical nerds like Hendricks and blundering macho behemoths like Erlich Bachman, who looks like a selectively shaved ginger ape and considers it an excellent idea in negotiations to compare his counterpart across the table to the ''human equivalent of a flaccid penis''. Both, however, are eclipsed by the appalling Pete Monahan, the disbarred lawyer who appears in series two. He introduces himself frankly. ''Was I in possession of cocaine, methamphetamines, amyl nitrite at time of my arrest? In large quantities. Did I have consensual intercourse with two women under the age of 18? Repeatedly. Did I violate the Mann Act and transport them across state lines for sexual purposes? Alleged but not proven. And boy, they tried.''
Then there are the grandiose, misconceived or plain daft Big Ideas. In Spinal Tap, these range from Derek Smalls's Jazz Odyssey, an extended, free-form bass solo performed for an audience who have also come to see a puppet show, to onstage pods, one of which fails to open, leaving Smalls at the mercy of roadies with chainsaws and, most famously of all, the 18in Stonehenge ''triptych'' they are forced to use as a stage backdrop following a napkin blunder, which is ''in danger of being crushed by a dwarf''. In Silicon Valley, these are plentiful too: the NipAlert app, which detects women with erect nipples in the immediate vicinity; the Evel Knievel-style stunt planned for the launch of Homicide, a Monster-type soft drink that the guys realise is mathematically doomed to failure; the app to jerk off 800 penises; or the driverless car that conveys Donald ''Jared'' Dunn 4,000 miles out of his way with no hope of exiting the vehicle.
Ironically, all these are hard-pressed to compete with the real-life excesses of rock and tech that inspired these fictions; Ozzy Osbourne allegedly sat unsmilingly through Spinal Tap, assuming it was a straight documentary. No surprise, since a year earlier, Black Sabbath had shelved a Stonehenge onstage concept because the models were too big for the building. Or take U2, trapped as if in a metaphor in a giant, mechanical lemon during their 1992 PopMart tour; or Google Glass, the spectacles-type device akin to the sort of things sold in the back pages of 1950s American magazines; or dating apps such as On the Rebound, which alerts you if any of your Facebook friends are breaking up.
Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google. Photograph: James Leynse/CorbisSilicon Valley, like Tap, succeeds with a mixture of the broad and knockabout and a more subtle evocation of the nuances of tech world '' the sights, the sounds, the smells. Those lower down the tech food chain love it because it tells the truth about their working lives '' the aggressive, often litigious thrashing and competitiveness beneath the neo-hippy idealistic surface, of which 21st-century San Francisco, once the place you wore flowers in your hair, is now the overpriced, hyper-capitalist capital. (Gavin Belson, the founder of Hooli, declares to his staff: ''I don't want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place, better than we do.'') At the show's premiere, one young business development worker described it as a ''reflection'' of his own life in its depiction of ''the absurdity of what we're all pitching'', while others criticised it only for not going further.
For Google to declare itself in on the joke posed by Silicon Valley, therefore, is a disarming moment similar to when the rock world embraced the devastating satire of Spinal Tap '' sportingly absorbing, and therefore neutralising its mockery, demonstrating its indestructability. Yes, we get it: everybody's laughing, everybody's happy. Now let's all carry on.
Google Creates Alphabet, but Runs into BMW
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:41
PhotoA screen shot of Alphabet.com. The company is a subsidiary of BMW.One can only assume that before Larry Page and Sergey Brin chose Alphabet as the name for their new holding company, they Googled it.
If so, they would have discovered that the Internet domain alphabet.com, as well as the trademark Alphabet, already belonged to someone else '-- namely, the German automaker BMW.
And if they had dialed BMW headquarters in Munich, they would have discovered something else: BMW does not want to sell.
Alphabet is the name that Mr. Page and Mr. Brin, Google's founders, have given the newly created parent entity that will house the Google search business and several smaller holdings like Nest, a maker of smart thermostats, and Calico, a company focused on longevity.
But Alphabet is also the name of a BMW subsidiary that provides services to corporations with vehicle fleets. A BMW spokeswoman said Tuesday that the automaker was not informed ahead of time of plans by Mr. Page and Mr. Brin to create a company called Alphabet and had not received any offers to buy the Internet domain or the trademark.
''We are not planning to sell the domain,'' said Micaela Sandstede, a BMW spokeswoman in Munich. She described the website as a ''very active'' part of Alphabet's business.
BMW is examining whether any trademark infringement has taken place, Ms. Sandstede said.
Just because one company uses a name does not mean another company cannot use it. Trademark infringement occurs if another company's use could create confusion with consumers, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Google is involved in the auto industry. It offers a version of the Android operating system for use in cars and has done extensive research on self-driving vehicles.
Possibly because of interest generated by Google's announcement of Alphabet on Monday, the alphabet.com website used by the BMW subsidiary appeared to be overloaded on Tuesday.
Google declined to comment on Tuesday. But Alphabet '-- the Silicon Valley entity '-- already has its own website using the domain name abc.xyz.
''Don't worry,'' Mr. Page wrote on that home page. ''We're still getting used to the name too!''
Loading...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hillary 2016
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clinton to Hand Over Private Server, Thumb Drive to US Justice Department
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:41
US02:26 12.08.2015(updated 02:59 12.08.2015) Get short URL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) '-- Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will turn her private e-mail server and a thumb drive of her work-related e-mails to the US Department of Justice, local media reported.
''[Clinton] directed her team to give her e-mail server that was used during her tenure as [Secretary of State] to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails already provided to the State Department," Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told CNN on Tuesday evening.
Merrill said Clinton has pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry, ''and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them."He added that Clinton's team has been coordinating with the State Department to ensure that her e-mails are properly stored.
In March 2015, Clinton came under heavy scrutiny for using a personal e-mail for official business during her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. At the time, Clinton claimed she did not use her personal e-mail server to send any classified material.
On May 22, 2015, the State Department released some 296 of Clinton's e-mails, which detailed how she handled the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The Department is set to release the rest of her e-mails by mid-January 2016.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#BlackLivesMatter protesters too late to disrupt Hillary Clinton event; Settle for 15-minute private meeting
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:43
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders so far has been the primary target of #BlackLivesMatter agitators, but tonight at last was going to be Hillary Clinton's turn to contend with disruptions by the group. Clinton was in Keene, N.H., to speak (and shoot video) at a community forum on substance abuse at Keene Middle School.
A group of #BlackLivesMatter protesters did show up, but darn it, they were too late to be let in.
What's that? The Secret Service is enforcing fire codes now?
We all know that drugs and guns go together, but what does this mean, exactly?
Once more, please?
In the meantime, Clinton's campaign managed to work out a deal with the #BlackLivesMatter protesters: a 15-minute behind-closed-doors meeting.
In any case, Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti reports that this was the most polite disruption ever.
Shocking.
Oh yeah, she got something out of it. Now she can say she sat down and met personally with representatives from the #BlackLivesMatter movement without anyone hearing what she said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ministry of Truth
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia for Pay
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:40
On January 11, 2013, James Heilman, an emergency-room physician and one of Wikipedia's most prolific medical editors, was standing watch over the online encyclopedia's entry for a back procedure called a kyphoplasty. The page originally suggested that the procedure's effectiveness was ''controversial,'' and an unidentified Wikipedia user had proposed changing the text to ''well documented and studied'''--a characterization that Heilman thought wasn't supported by existing research. He rejected the change.
Kyphoplasty, along with vertebroplasty, the procedure it shares a Wikipedia page with, is a common treatment when someone's spine breaks'--a frequent occurrence in people with osteoporosis, which makes bones brittle'--and then doesn't heal naturally. The procedure is meant to reduce the pain of a fracture, even though it sounds unpleasant: It consists of inflating a tiny plastic balloon near the fracture, removing the balloon, and then injecting a toothpaste-like plastic cement into the resulting crevice and letting it harden.
The procedure grew popular in the '90s, despite the fact that its effectiveness wasn't backed up by definitively convincing research. By the time two studiespublished in 2009found that vertebroplasty'--and, by extension, kyphoplasty, which is similar but has not been tested in controlled experiments'--was no more effective than a placebo treatment, at least 100,000 of the two procedures were being performed every year. (It's hard to say an exact number, as the procedures are not recorded in any national database.) In 2011, Medicare paid outaround $1 billionfor vertebroplasties and kyphoplasties, and the number of the procedures performed each year is not estimated to have decreased significantly since then.
Some are concerned about the money being spent on a procedure that's controversial and sometimes risky. ''To my mind, [kyphoplasty] is an unproven modality and based upon current evidence would have to say it works as well as vertebroplasty, which is to say likely to work as well as a placebo,'' says Rachelle Buchbinder, a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Australia's Monash University, as well as a co-author ofa recent vertebroplasty reviewpublished by the Cochrane Collaboration, a network of independent researchers. She notes that in Australia, where she lives, public funding for the procedures was withdrawn after the two 2009 studies were published. ''From my perspective there is no longer any dispute,'' she says.
There are experts who disagree. Sean Tutton is a professor of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and spoke to me on behalf of the Society of Interventional Radiology, which put out a position paper with other medical societies that called vertebroplasties safe and effective under the right circumstances. ''If my mother had a vertebral-compression fracture and after several weeks of conservative management with bed rest, plus or minus bracing, and appropriate pain management, if she still was having ongoing pain and disability, I would treat her,'' he says. ''I wouldn't even think twice.''
As James Heilman thought more about the attempted edit to the page for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, he grew curious about who might be trying to write over the controversy of the procedures, so he Googled the would-be editor's Wikipedia username. Sifting through the results, he saw that a man named Kim Schelble had an email address that contained the same nickname. Schelble, Heilman found, was employed by Medtronic, a company that sells medical devices used for, among other things, kyphoplasties.
There is little evidence to suggest that kyphoplasties are any better than vertebroplasties, but to a medical-device manufacturer, there's an important distinction: A kyphoplasty kit sells for thousands of dollars more than a vertebroplasty kit, which generally costs a few hundred dollars.Medtronic doesn't supply the latter, but it spentnearly $4 billionin 2007 to purchase a company that makes some of the products included in a kyphoplasty kit.
''Their concern is that those at Medicare might read the Wikipedia article,'' Heilman says. ''If I go to Google, and I put in 'percutaneous vertebroplasty,' the first page that comes up is Wikipedia.'' Is it really a concern that some high-level decision maker at Medicare or a hospital system might be making billion-dollar decisions based on information from Wikipedia? ''Yes,'' Heilman insisted. ''Definitely.'' Indeed, Schelble at one point complained in an email to Heilman, ''This site and the content on here is scaring prospective patients and insurance companies are not wanting to cover these procedures.''
(Schelble, who no longer works for Medtronic, didn't respond to multiple requests to comment for this article, and Medtronic would not comment on the actions of a specific employee. However, communications between Heilman and Schelble did later confirm that it was Schelble who tried to make the edit.)
Schelble's concern that a Wikipedia article was hurting his company's business is a common one'--the site has enormous reach, and the information it contains makes its way to nearly everyone, from consumers to policymakers to people Googling innocuous questions on their phones. Even minor changes in wording have the potential to influence public perception and, naturally, how millions of dollars are spent. What this means for marketers is that Wikipedia is yet another place to establish an online presence. But what this means for Wikipedia is much more complicated: How can a site run by volunteers inoculate itself against well-funded PR efforts? And how can those volunteers distinguish between information that's trustworthy and information that's suspect?
Even minor changes in wording have the potential to influence public perception and, naturally, how millions of dollars are spent.Soon, Heilman found himself rejecting other changes to the page for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. After the word ''controversial,'' a user who Heilman says was most likely Schelble, tried to add ''among some but not among the actual physicians who perform these procedures.''The site's Talk page for the procedures, where proposed edits are discussed, took on a bitter tone. ''[Heilman] clearly cares more for his cyber reputation than producing reputable content '... Patients who find their way to this page will not be shown the best and current findings on the topic,'' wrote the user Clay1500. That handle belongs to Clay Schwabe, another Medtronic employee. ''After...seeing how grossly selective Mr. Heilman was being in what data he chose to editorialize on the page, I did write that post,'' Schwabe told me, but he insists that he did not contribute to the Talk page in his capacity as a Medtronic employee.
Shortly after these proposed edits and comments came in, Heilman received an email from Douglas Beall, a radiologist in Oklahoma, encouraging him to reconsider the importance the Wikipedia page placed on those two 2009 studies. This might have seemed like a good-spirited scientific discussion between two M.D.s if it weren't for two things.
One was that Beall has been consulting for Medtronic since 2005 (among several other companies), and disclosures indicate that he has received$150,000 or more from the company between 2012 and 2014. The other thing was that Beall had cc'd about 30 others, a group that he referred to informally as ''the North American experts on Vertebral Augmentation.'' Heilman said he felt intimidated; included on the list of recipients were one of his medical-school professors and a Vancouver doctor Heilman had in the past referred patients to. By the time the email thread had finally gone quiet, almost 300 addresses had been cc'd.
To be clear, there is no reason to believe that Beall was coordinating with any Medtronic employees, and his numerous consulting gigs with other companies suggest that he is not some sort of kyphoplasty huckster in Medtronic's thrall. Still, says Sohail Mirza, a spine surgeon and the former chair of orthopaedics at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, doctors can grow to prefer the devices of certain companies over others as a result of such consulting arrangements. In the operating room, the manufacturer's presence can be more than some abstract notion: ''Often the [sales] reps are in the operating room for all of these procedures '... guiding the surgical team: 'This is next'; 'Here's how you mix this,''' says Mirza.
Mirza, who is himself not convinced of the procedures' effectiveness, adds that another plausible reason physicians might prefer vertebroplasties and kyphoplasties is that they believe they're better at selecting patients, and thus think that they can personally beat the results of randomized, controlled trials. ''I think radiologists and surgeons generally believe that their patients do better. That's the only way I can imagine them rationalizing it,'' he says.
Beall, for his part, acknowledges that he has ''financial ties and research ties to many medical-device and pharmaceutical companies,'' but points out that the overwhelming majority of high-quality medical literature on vertebroplasty has been funded by medical-device manufacturers. An economic reality of modern medical research is that rigorous studies can cost millions of dollars, and large companies are often the only ones willing to foot the bill.
A doctor named Lawrence Epstein responded to the email thread lamenting this fact. ''The problem we have [is] that the majority of the studies that support Kyphoplasty (even when they are well done) are authored by investigators who receive compensation from, or the studies are funded by, Medtronic,'' he wrote. ''Many of those who read these '... are sensitive to this and take even the most convincing data with a grain of salt. What we need are non-industry funded, completely independent studies.'' To which Beall responded: ''I believe in critiquing the study itself rather than focusing primarily on the sponsor.'' He lamented that this sponsor was typically the medical-device industry, but concluded, ''Until unbiased and independent funding becomes more available this is the situation that we will all have to live with.''
Through all this, Heilman kept most of the Wikipedia page intact, but it is easy to imagine a different result if the page's custodian had been less dogged or less allergic to corporations. By now, Heilman doesn't find companies' keenness to learn more about Wikipedia unexpected. He has received emails on behalf of companies such as IMS Health, GlaxoSmithKline, and Alexion Pharmaceuticals requesting more information from him about the editing process for Wikipedia's medical content. ''I do not consider the goals of the pharmaceutical companies to be educating people about pharmaceuticals,'' he says. Still, he says, ''Medtronic has been the worst company that I have encountered with respect to aggressively editing Wikipedia to promote their products.''
''The effectiveness of vertebroplasty,'' Wikipedia currently reads, ''is disputed.''
* * *
In 2006, Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia's most public-facing board member, reportedly said that undisclosed paid editing'--trying to alter the content of Wikipedia without revealing a financial conflict of interest'--is''antithetical'' to the site's aims. The practice continued at a low hum over the rest of the decade, but a few years ago Wikimedia started hearing from its volunteer editorial corps that weeding out undisclosed paid edits was distracting from more substantive work. "They were spending a tremendous amount of their time patrolling articles, particularly articles about celebrities or individuals or companies for PR-type editing,'' says Katherine Maher, a spokesperson for Wikimedia. The issue took on a sense of urgency in the fall of 2013, when a firm called Wiki-PR wasbanned from the sitefor using hundreds of dummy accounts to fabricate widespread support for pages that flattered its clientele.
To combat activity like this, Wikimediaamended its terms of uselast summer to ban any undisclosed paid editing that might carry a conflict of interest. (To clarify, the scenario of a political-science professor, who's paid to think about political science, forgoing disclosure when she edits a page about Japanese elections doesn't present a conflict of interest and is thus kosher.)
Maher says the terms-of-use change has been received well by those in the Wikipedia community devoted to stamping out paid editing. Perhaps it has'--several large PR firmspledgednot to violate Wikipedia's rules'--but the practice hasn't disappeared entirely. Two months ago, an investigationrevealedthat even after the rule change, employees of Sunshine Sachs, a public-relations firm, had still been editing the Wikipedia pages of their clients without disclosing their affiliation. One email sent by the companyboasted, ''Sunshine Sachs has a number of experienced editors on staff that have established profiles on Wikipedia. The changes we make to existing pages are rarely challenged.'' Sunshine Sachs is reported to have scrubbed, among other things, Wikipedia's references to Naomi Campbell's critically-panned R&B album and Mia Farrow's Ecuadorianactivist efforts.
Many people who work within companies' public-relations departments are inexperienced in the ways of Wikipedia, and some firms look outside of their ranks for editing help.Priceline, for example, once hired a third party to edit Wikipedia on its behalf; Viacom reportedly did the same. Free online guides for outsmarting Wikipedia's gatekeepersproliferate, but those can only get a novice so far.
"Wikipedia writing is like no other writing,'' says Mike Wood, a freelancer who makes a living editing Wikipedia pages for clients, referring to the site's tireless pursuit of a neutral tone. Wood has set up his own website, and scores of other Wikipedia editors-for-hire await on freelance websites such as Elance. He says he works with highly visible people and companies, who pay him anywhere from $400 to $1,000 per article, but he won't name names, for fear that someone might seek out and dismantle the Wikipedia pages of his clients. ''You could turn on either Fox or CNN right now, and within one half hour you will '... see a commercial for [a company or an interview with someone whose] page that I've created, or I've edited,'' he claims. He says that he's worked with ''one of the world's fifth largest banks'' and members of ''numerous presidents' administrations.''
Mike Wood says he works with highly visible individuals and companies, including ''one of the world's fifth largest banks'' and members of presidential administrations.Wood started editing Wikipedia pages about seven years ago. ''Wikipedia actually becomes addicting after a while,'' he says. ''You'll see people on there all day long. It's kind of like anyone who wants to play Warcraft or Candy Crush.'' The novelty faded for him, though, and he spent a while seeking out freelance writing opportunities. But as he looked around, he noticed a growing number of ads looking for people to edit Wikipedia pages. ''It was good money,'' he says. In 2010, he returned to contributing regularly to the site, this time as a paid editor.
During his hiatus, Wood says, the tenor of the site had changed. Veteran editors used to patiently help out new ones. ''Now, if you're brand new to the site, and you make a mistake, you're going to get jumped on by editors very quickly,'' he says.
What changed in his absence, Wood says, is that employees of public-relations firms began to understand the value of a Wikipedia page, and tried going in to make edits themselves, with little regard for the site's standards. The result was that the burden of proof became even heavier on newcomers, and, Wood says, even valid information was getting rejected out of hand by seasoned editors. Those PR companies are now some of Wood's clients. ''They contracted me for their Wikipedia work because some of their writers are so in tune to writing PR pieces that they can't handle writing for Wikipedia,'' he says.
''We've had some good editors who've done really good work begin to offer their services for sale because this is a decent way of making a living,'' says James Heilman. After looking into what's on offer at Elance, he's concluded that lots of money changes hands there over Wikipedia edits. Heilman says he's even come across an Elance posting by a Wikipedia editor with the title of ''administrator,'' an upper-echelon status that comes with exclusive powers on the site and currently belongs only toabout 600 active users. (Heilman says Elance has taken down one paid editor's posting at his request, on the grounds that this editor is violating Wikimedia's terms of use, but many postings remain.)
The task falls to Wikipedia's volunteer editors to detect and reject changes made by editors with undisclosed conflicts of interest. The site has several tens of thousands of volunteer editors who update the site regularly each month, and this would seem like enough to head off any biased edits.
But many active editors are there to help with pages about subjects that they're passionate about, not to spend their time parsing and eliminating PR-speak. And on top of that, the ranks of volunteer editors are dwindling, leaving fewer and fewer people to maintain a growing site. The authors ofa studypublished inAmerican Behavioral Scientistin 2012 concluded that the number of active Wikipedia contributors has been declining because the site's community isn't welcoming enough to new editors. ''For somebody who's making their first edit,'' acknowledges Katherine Maher, ''we could do more to make it clearer as to what constitutes an edit that is in good faith, that is not a conflict-of-interest edit.''
Elisa Glass / The AtlanticElisa Glass / The AtlanticHeilman, too, has come to a similar conclusion after conductinga studyof his own, which was published this spring in theJournal of Medical Internet Research. He and his co-author, Andrew West, found that between 2008 and 2013, the number of Wikipedia editors who focused on medical topics decreased by 40 percent. Undisclosed paid edits, Heilman says, ''often distract the core community of editors away from more important topics.''
There is also a fear that editing will wane as a larger and larger percentage of Wikipedia's users access the site from phones and tablets. The site, Andrew Lih, a professor of journalism at American University,wroteinThe New York Times, ''has always depended on contributors hunched over keyboards searching references, discussing changes and writing articles using a special markup code.'' Mobile devices simply aren't conducive to those activities.
Mike Wood also has doubts about the Wikipedia community's resources for fighting paid editing. Since the terms of use were updated last summer, he's seen more Wikipedia editing jobs posted on Elance. For this reason, he likes the policy'--in that it has created business for him. ''There are so many rules, so many guidelines, that it's made it near impossible to edit Wikipedia without having issues,'' Wood says. Last summer's policy change was yet another rule for new users to wrap their minds around, and newbies, even those acting in good faith, have trouble gaining the blessing of a Wikipedia veteran. So they give up. ''The next search they do is 'help editing Wikipedia,''' Wood says. ''And guess what comes up? My website.''
But Wood himself, who makes his living editing Wikipedia articles on behalf of companies and individuals, doesn't adhere to the policy'--he won't disclose his conflict of interest when he edits pages for clients. Gregory Kohs, whose own Wikipedia-editing business was reportedlydenouncedby Jimmy Wales in 2006, also declines to acknowledge when he's writing for pay.
Wood and Kohs have determined themselves exempt for the same reason: They don't think Wikimedia follows its own rules. ''As soon as Jimmy Wales adheres to Wikipedia guidelines, I will adhere to Wikipedia guidelines,'' Wood says. Wood is referring to many alleged hypocritical acts, butthe most notableis when Wales was reported to have edited his own Wikipedia page, designating himself ''the founder of Wikipedia'' and attempting to erase the academic Larry Sanger's role in the development of the site. Kohs refers to this event as ''when Jimmy Wales reneged on our public compromise.''
* * *
All of this is troubling only if one sincerely believes that the information on Wikipedia is read at face value. No high school teacher would (knowingly) accept it as a source, andWikipedians are fond of saying that research can start on Wikipedia, but it should never end there.
But the way people answer their everyday questions today means that a lot of research does end on Wikipedia. The site's pages are regularly among the top links that search engines turn up'--among the general public, the site's medical articlesare estimatedto have a larger readership than WebMD.Google has even started embedding excerpts from Wikipedia pages alongside its search results.Wikipedia isn't just the final destination of typical denizens of the Internet; sometimes it's where professional researchers end up as well. Fifty to 70 percent of physicianshave been foundto consult it as a source of medical information'--a testament to its reliability.
In fact, the site's content can make its way into even trusted academic texts, as a recent case of plagiarism demonstrates.
In October of last year, James Heilman was paging through a copy ofThe Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses, put out by Oxford University Press. Because western Africa's public-health crisis had been in the news, Heilman was focusing on chapter 31, ''Marburg and Ebola viruses,'' written by Graham Lloyd, who works at the British government-research facility Porton Down, when he noticed that some text looked familiar.
He brought up the Wikipedia page for ''Ebola virus disease,'' and grew troubled. Some of the text on Wikipedia looked eerily similar to the text in the book'--a lazy Wikipedia editor had copied from the Oxford textbook, he guessed.
He pulled up the page's revision history to identify the offending editor. He saw that the section was co-written in 2006 by two users, Rhys and ChyranandChloe, and that it was updated in 2010. He jumped back over to the textbook and saw that it was published in 2011. It turns out Heilman had it backwards: It was someone on Oxford's side, perhaps Lloyd, who had taken from Wikipedia. (Lloyd did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
The plagiarism was barely concealed. For reasons that remain unclear, some of the original citations from the Wikipedia page dropped out, and were replaced by pointers to other articles'--articles that didn't appear to support the claims made in the text, according to Heilman. In that sense, the Oxford textbook did not simply contain plagiarized text from Wikipedia; it appeared to make it less reliable.
Medical Textbook vs. Wikipedia: A Side-by-Side Comparison
On the left: The Wikipedia page for Ebola, as of 2010. On the right: Page 364 of The Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses, published in 2011. Highlights indicate text that is copied. (Click here to view a larger image.)Christian Purdy, a spokesperson for Oxford University Press, acknowledged that some text was copied, but says this didn't qualify as plagiarism. Instead, he called it an ''inadvertent omission of an appropriate attribution.''
''That our content was able to pass '... review at OUP is another indication of our quality,'' says Heilman. ''I think the fact that world experts feel okay with 'copy and pasting' from Wikipedia and claiming it as their own is a statement of just how good some parts of Wikipedia have become.''
Heilman had hoped that Oxford University Press would release its textbook with updated attribution into the Creative Commons, as is permitted under Wikipedia's license, but the press has decided instead to rewrite the relevant section itself.Whatever the outcome, the provenance of the textbook's information does not bode well for the sourcing of the average AP English essay.
* * *
Because an undisclosed paid edit that goes through is undetectable, it is hard to empirically assess the effectiveness of Wikipedia's responses to conflict-of-interest editing over the years. Nowadays,the estimated prevalence of paid editing changes depending on whom you ask. ''The site itself is so massive that when you talk about problems, they actually tend to be quite small compared to the overall body of work,'' Maher says. She points out that Wiki-PR, the furthest-reaching paid-editing operation yet discovered, only made a few thousand edits. Still, undisclosed paid editing is enough of a fly in the ointment to prompt the Wikimedia Foundation to say it''affects the neutrality and reliability of Wikipedia.''
Joseph Reagle, a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University and the author ofGood Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia, tends to agree with Maher's assessment. ''If we were to enumerate the list of the things that would cause people to be skeptical of the quality of Wikipedia '... I suspect paid contribution would be relatively low,'' he says. "It's not an issue where there's none, or there's a lot. It's just one of those things where, probably, everyone speeds a little bit.''
Those who consult on editing Wikipedia frame things a little differently. ''Undisclosed paid editing, especially on the part of the largest PR firms, is rampant on Wikipedia,'' says Patrick Taylor, the head of communications for Wiki-PR, which has, after being banned, refashioned itself as a Wikipedia consultancy. However, Taylor is convinced that most of these edits actually improve the site, and that conflicts of interest are rooted out fairly efficiently.
In a way, undisclosed paid edits are just a smaller instance of a much more foundational problem for a site that strives for unalloyed ''neutrality.'' All Wikipedia editors, whether volunteer or paid, come to their keyboards with some kind of bias. The presence of money in this equation is never a reliable indication that some information is untrustworthy, since it's frequently the case that the people who feel they have the biggest stake in promoting their views on Wikipedia are often the best informed. Douglas Beall might receive money from medical-device manufacturers, but part of the reason they're paying him in the first place is because he's an expert on certain medical devices. Moreover, plenty of people hold views for which they receive no compensation that would nevertheless render them inadequate editors. For example, a volunteer Greenpeace activist might not be the most impartial steward of a page about the coal industry. Money is but one limited signifier of information's quality.
These questions are as salient as ever now that Wikipedia has become not a place to go for information, buttheplace to go. "Many people do not consider other people to be intelligent enough to use Wikipedia with a grain of salt, yet they consider themselves to be intelligent enough to use Wikipedia properly,'' Heilman observes.To rely on Wikipedia without any skepticism is to act as though every editor is as relentless, principled, and stubborn as he is.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LGBBTQQIAAP
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Caitlyn In Crisis! Execs Shocked Over Dismal Ratings For 'Overexposed' Jenner's Show '-- Will 'I Am Cait' Be Cancelled?
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:41
After losing half of its audience in its second week on air, CaitlynJenner's once highly-anticipated docuseries I Am Cait has lost even more viewers, RadarOnline.com has learned.
As network executives scramble to pick up the pieces, a source close to the 65-year-old transgender rights activist and mega reality star tells Radar exclusively that ''Caitlyn is beyond disappointed right now'' '-- and so are her bosses!
I Am Cait had a strong premiere after Jenner went on Diane Sawyer to talk about her journey to become a woman. But in its third week on E! the show had only 1.2 million overall viewers, according to Nielsen ratings '' with only half a million in the 18-49 year old demographic, which is its intended target audience.
PHOTOS: Welcome Home! See Inside Caitlyn Jenner's Malibu Retreat '-- 12 Photos Of Her Private Palace
So, what went wrong?
''Executives and producers for the show feel that Caitlyn is being overexposed,'' an insider at the network tells Radar.
''E! invested so much time and money into this project and everyone is just kind of baffled at how poorly it is doing.''
PHOTOS: Hollywood Hottie! Caitlyn Jenner Draws Big Crowd Filming 'I Am Cait' At LGBT Center '''' Super Starlet Sizzles In The Rain In 9 Splashy Pics
As Radar previously reported, Jenner's famous family members have mostly balked at appearing on her reality docuseries, with the exception of publicity-savvy stepdaughter KimKardashian.
''Caitlyn has begged the rest of her kids to help her out because her biggest fear right now is that the show will be cancelled,'' a source close to Jenner says.
''Caitlyn got paid, but for her that isn't enough. She wants ratings gold and it is evident that if something drastic is done that this show will most likely not make it to its final episode.''
PHOTOS: Mom Came Around '-- Esther Jenner Will Finally Accept Caitlyn! 8 New Photos Of Daughter!
But so far, the source claims, it's safe: ''As of right now, there are no definitive plans to pull I Am Cait off of the air.''
Indeed, E! has tried to put a positive spin on the numbers by trumpeting the show's combined audience across multiple viewings each week, instead of the Nielsen numbers.
Do you think that I Am Cait could be cancelled? Tell us your thought in the comments below.
Disney's ABC Family Debuts Transgender Show Amid Jenner Reveal - Bloomberg Business
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:42
Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Family network will debut its first reality show starring a transgender person, gaining visibility from the widely publicized photos this week of transitioning TV dad Caitlyn Jenner.
''Becoming Us,'' airing Monday, is an unscripted look at life for Ben Lehwald, an Evanston, Illinois, teen whose father, Charlie, is becoming a woman named Carly. In a preview clip, family members wince at a photo of gender reassignment surgery and Ben meets the parents of his girlfriend, Danielle, whose father is also transitioning.
The show stands to benefit from the surge in publicity surrounding Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist formerly known as Bruce, who appears on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in a form-fitting corset. ABC Family has committed to 10, one-hour episodes, produced by TV host Ryan Seacrest. Jenner's own E! network documentary series ''I Am Cait'' debuts July 26.
''It's a moment in our society when the world is focusing on transgender issues,'' Tom Ascheim, president of ABC Family, said in an interview. ''It only helps us.''
ABC Family has often led other networks in its portrayal of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, characters, according to Matt Kane, director of entertainment media for Glaad, the New York-based advocacy group.
The entertainment industry's embrace of gender issues reflects changes in attitude taking place in society, including greater acceptance of gay marriage. This week, the U.S. Labor Department issued best-practices guidelines that recommend transgender employees have access to the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
'Identity Questions'ABC Family's most-watched show, ''Pretty Little Liars,'' features a lesbian character and teen girls kissing each other. Its No. 2 performer, ''The Fosters,'' is a one-hour drama about the family life of a biracial lesbian couple. Last year, programmers added a story about a teenager in transition.
ABC Family is targeting 14-to-34-year-old viewers who are in a period of their life when they are discovering who they are, according to Ascheim.
''The questions of identity become a very natural storytelling vehicle,'' Ascheim said.
The potential viewer response to ''Becoming Us,'' as judged by online polling, is positive, he said. And while there are some advertisers who take a wait-and-see approach to edgier programming, the network's June commercial inventory is sold out, he said.
''Advertisers can't buy enough and it's our highest-price inventory,'' Ascheim said of ''Pretty Little Liars.''
Audience RatingsABC Family's ratings among 18-to-49-year-old viewers are little changed this season, according to Nielsen data, while overall cable TV viewing is down 7 percent in that sought-after demographic group.
''There's been a siphoning off of younger viewers to streaming video,'' said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research for media buyer Horizon Media Inc.
The channel first went on the air in 1977 as an arm of televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. It was purchased by Disney in 2001 in a deal requiring the channel to air Robertson's news and opinion show ''The 700 Club'' daily. After the program featured commentary critical of gays, ABC Family began running a disclaimer.
''We're compatible neighbors, we don't occupy the same space,'' Ascheim said.
Chris Roslan, a spokesman for Robertson, said he wasn't aware of any comments the televangelist had made critical of ABC Family's programming.
Popular TopicWith ''Becoming Us,'' ABC Family joins a growing list of programmers airing shows featuring transgender characters after ''Transparent,'' carried on Amazon.com Inc.'s streaming service, won a Golden Globe Award in January for best comedy.
''This is an area that had been untapped ground until a few years ago,'' Horizon Media's Adgate said.
In April, Discovery Communications Inc.'s Discovery Life channel introduced ''New Girls on the Block,'' a reality series featuring six transgender women, while its sister network TLC has ''I Am Jazz,'' starring 14-year-old activist Jazz Jennings coming in July.
One Million Moms, a group affiliated with the conservative American Family Association in Tupelo, Mississippi, has called on ABC Family to drop ''Becoming Us,'' calling it anti-family.
Ascheim said that won't happen.
''The audience is much readier for this conversation than I think a lot of people credit them with,'' Ascheim said, citing his own three kids. ''The issues around gay rights, including LGBT rights, are their civil rights. I think it's the rest of us that need to catch up to the younger people.''
Becoming Us - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:41
Becoming Us is an American reality television series about a family with a transgender parent.[1] It premiered on June 8, 2015, on ABC Family.[2] The series centers on the Lehwald family of Evanston, Illinois,[3] whose father has recently come out as a trans woman.[4] It is produced by Ryan Seacrest, Eugene Young, Rabih Gholam, and George Moll for Ryan Seacrest Productions, as well as Paul Barosse.[citation needed]
See also[edit]References[edit]^"'Becoming Us' follows a family in transition". USA Today. June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. ^Bell, Crystal (April 30, 2015). "Transgender Series 'Becoming Us' Will Inspire You '-- And Break Your Heart". MTV. Retrieved June 13, 2015. ^"First Look at the ABC Family's Transgender Docuseries 'Becoming Us'". Entertainment Tonight. April 24, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015. ^"ABC Family Launches Becoming Us, an Unscripted Series About Transgender Dad and Family". People. March 24, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015. External links[edit]
I Am Cait - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:40
I Am Cait is an American television documentary series which chronicles the life of Caitlyn Jenner after the transition of Caitlyn Jenner. The eight-part one-hour docu-series debuted on July 26, 2015, on the E! network. The series focuses on the "new normal" for Jenner, exploring how her transition affects her relationships with her family and friends. The show additionally explores how Jenner adjusts to what she sees as her job as a role model for the transgender community.[1][2]
Early critic reviews of I Am Cait have been largely positive. Critics particularly praised the series approach to the social issues of the transgender community and its influence on the way how Americans see and understand transgender people in general. The show's informative and serious tone has also been noted, and how it differs from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a reality series that Jenner has starred in together with her family.
ProductionThe network announced the documentary series on April 24, 2015, immediately after Caitlyn Jenner (then Bruce) came out as a trans woman during the 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer.[3] "Bruce is incredibly courageous and an inspiration, and we are proud to be entrusted with this deeply personal and important story," said Jeff Olde, Head of Programming of E! network. "This series will present an unfiltered look as Bruce boldly steps into uncharted territory and is true to himself for the first time,'' Olde also added.[4] The series has selected a renowned group of consultants, including Jennifer Finney Boylan, Dr. Marie Keller and Susan P. Landon, who will work on the show to keep it insightful, as well as enlisted support from GLAAD, an LGBTQ-focused media advocacy organization.[4][5] The first trailer for the series, now titled I Am Cait, was released on June 3, 2015, after Jenner introduced herself as Caitlyn in the interview with Vanity Fair.[6]
The idea of the reality television series which would document the gender transition of Caitlyn Jenner was initially introduced about a year before the show was announced to the public. Jeff Jenkins, one of the producers on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, got a call about a meeting with Jenner, thus confirming the rumours of her transition. The series was confirmed several months later once Jenner got the right idea about the purpose of the series. "She would have been so hounded for the story and that's why, in my understanding, she decided, [...] so [she could] hopefully tell all of it in the right way," Jenkins speculated the reasons why Jenner accepted the series.[7] "Why did I decide to do a series? I am telling my story... This is about getting to be who you really are," Jenner later herself explained the reasons for opening her life on television in one of the promotional videos.[8]
Several days later after the interview with Diane Sawyer, E! aired a two-part episode special on Keeping Up with the Kardashians entitled About Bruce, in which another side of the story was told featuring family members who did not appear in the previous interview on 20/20.[9] Dee Lockett, writing for Vulture, speculated that the interviews were "strategically set up Caitlyn's transition to become the show's next must-watch spectacle, [I Am Cait]".[10] Caitlyn Jenner has been appearing on the family's reality show since its introduction and was considered as a sidelined character. Lockett also noted that the special "was a test-run, for both Caitlyn and E!, to see how their fan-favorite reality series would look with one of its most underappreciated characters (and last names) running the show."[10]
The show premiered on E!, the same network which serves as the home to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a reality television series that Jenner has starred in together with her family since 2007. I Am Cait is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the same company that created Keeping Up With the Kardashians, with Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Farnaz Farjam, Andrea Metz and Melissa Bidwell as well as Jenner herself acting as executive producers.[4] A private screening of the premiere was held by Jenner a week prior to its official airing,[11] while the first episode of I Am Cait was shown to critics in Manhattan two days later.[12] The docu-series was released amidst a wave of new programming related to transgender issues, including TLC's reality show I Am Jazz and ABC Family's Becoming Us.[13]
EpisodesReceptionCritical response"I Am Cait [...], very un-Kardashians-like in its earnestness, is always conscious of its dual purpose: it's a personal story played out for an audience of millions, on behalf of a much larger community. The premiere episode is emotional but controlled, much like Jenner's carefully media-managed coming-out, from her Diane Sawyer primetime interview to the sultry cover of Vanity Fair magazine to her heart-tugging acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from ESPN".
The first episode of I Am Cait has been met with largely positive reviews from television critics, who were given an advance screening of the series premiere. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the docuseries received an average score of 67, based on seventeen reviews.[19] Brian Lowry from Variety magazine appreciated the show's goal by saying that "tension is very much on display in the premiere, which obviously seeks a more elevated plane '' keenly aware of Jenner's platform to educate and assist vulnerable youths '' while clinging to familiar reality-TV conventions."[13]
Frank Scheck, a critic from The Hollywood Reporter, also emphasized the show's approach to addressing transgender issues, writing, "clearly striving to impart serious messages about tolerance of the transgender community while throwing in a few Kardashians for comic relief, I Am Cait emerges as a surprisingly thoughtful if undeniably self-serving effort." He also worried whether the show would be capable to "continue its delicate balancing act of depicting the many challenges attendant to Jenner's new identity while presenting the sensationalistic comic material which reality viewers crave."[20] Jane Mulkerrins of the The Telegraph called the show "noble" and appreciated the show's approach to the issues, and also noted that the show contains "plenty of levity" as well.[21]
Tom Gliatto from People magazine said that the show " is closer in tone to a reality show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN than E!"[22] Verne Gay, writing for Newsday, called the show "the most anticipated docuseries" in E!'s history and noted its different approach by adding that what "viewers will [...] see Sunday is something entirely new -- also bracing, emotional and even touching."[12] Sandra Gonzalez of Mashable applauded the series and said that "the show also makes a point of spotlighting stories that don't end when the TV is switched off or the magazines are no longer on the stands." She also added that "with moments both stark and silly, the series has exactly what it needs to exist on a network where entertainment and empathy don't always go hand-in-hand."[23] Michael Idato from The Sydney Morning Herald described the series as "uncomfortably, beautifully, brutally honest".[24] Don Kaplan of the New York Daily News said the show "is touching, funny and smart as it tracks the immediate aftermath of Jenner's much-publicized shift from a man who spent the last 40 years as one of the world's most masculine athletes to a woman deeply concerned about how this new lifestyle will affect her immediate family".[25]
Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote a less enthusiastic review, stating that the "glossy" series lacked conflict. Hale wrote that I Am Cait "accomplishes its inspirational, educational and motivational goals... It doesn't totally succeed as dramatic reality television, but perhaps that's to be expected given how high the stakes are, both for the transgender cause and for Ms. Jenner's personal brand." Hale also compared I Am Cait with the other two new reality series about transgender people, writing that I Am Jazz and Becoming Us "are more able to generate some tension and discord, perhaps because they focus on younger people and take place outside the celebrity bubble of affirmation."[26] Michelle Ruiz from Vogue magazine noted how important the show is for the American people, who still struggle to understand transgender people. "But if it makes it a little harder for someone who has never met a transgender person to reduce them to an abstract idea instead of a human being, it's a start," the critic added.[27]
RatingsThe series is expected to draw high ratings for the network because of the significant amount of media attention that Jenner has received during the past few months as well as due to the decision by the producers to bring Kardashian family members to the series, as noted by some media outlets.[13][28] The initial airing of the show's premiere averaged a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.73 million viewers overall.[29] The Australian premiere on E! Australia was the ninth most watched program on subscription television rating 59,000 viewers.[30]
Broadcast historyThe eight-part, one-hour docu-series premiered in the United States and Canada at 8:00 PM ET on July 26, 2015, on E! cable network.[31] In Australia, the series debuted on the local version of E! on July 27,[32] and in the UK beginning on August 2, 2015.[33] Additionally, the series is broadcast worldwide on local E! channels in 123 countries and has been translated into 24 languages.[34]
See alsoReferences^Fisher, Luchina (June 3, 2014). "'I Am Cait' Promo for Caitlyn Jenner Docu-Series Hits the Internet". ABC News. Disney Media Networks. Retrieved June 3, 2015. ^Kim, Eun Kyung (June 3, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner in new E! documentary declares: 'I'm the new normal'". Today. NBCUniversal. Retrieved June 3, 2015. ^Maresca, Rachel (April 24, 2015). "Bruce Jenner documentary series announced immediately following Diane Sawyer interview". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 15, 2015. ^ abcKondolojy, Amanda (April 24, 2015). "E! Announces a New Documentary Series Following Bruce Jenner's Life as a Transgender Woman". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved June 3, 2015. ^Gay, Verne (June 3, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner show, 'I Am Cait': An important series". Newsday. Cablevision. Retrieved July 25, 2015. ^McDermott, Maeve (June 3, 2015). "'I Am Cait' will follow Jenner's journey". USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. Retrieved June 3, 2015. ^Koblin, John (July 22, 2015). "With Caitlyn Jenner's New Show, a Reality Producer Tries to Tame the Antics". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2015. ^Finn, Natalie (June 26, 2015). "New I Am Cait Promo: Caitlyn Jenner Bonds With Family, Rides a Motorcycle & Reveals Why She's Doing Her Own Series". E! Online. NBCUniversal. Retrieved June 27, 2015. ^"E! to Air Two-Part Bruce Jenner Special 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians: About Bruce'". Variety. Penske Business Media. May 4, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. ^ ab"What Caitlyn Jenner's Role on Keeping Up With the Kardashians Tells Us About I Am Cait". Vulture. New York Media, LLC. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. ^Reiher, Andrea (July 20, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox's fierce first meeting". Zap2it. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved July 21, 2015. ^ abGay, Verne (July 22, 2015). "'I Am Cait' review: Caitlyn Jenner reality show light years away from 'Kardashians'". Newsday. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^ abcLowry, Brian (July 21, 2015). "TV Review: 'I Am Cait'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^"I Am Cait '' Episode Guide". Zap2it. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved July 21, 2015. ^Kondolojy, Amanda (July 28, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'I am Cait' Tops Night + 'Naked & Afraid XL', 'Rick & Morty', 'True Detective', NASCAR, 'Ballers' & More". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved August 1, 2015. ^Bibel, Sara (August 4, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Rick and Morty' & 'Naked and Afraid XL', Win Night, 'True Detective', 'The Last Ship', 'Ballers', 'The Strain', 'Ray Donovan' & More". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved August 4, 2015. ^Kondolojy, Amanda (August 11, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Detective' Tops Night + 'Naked and Afraid XL', 'Rick & Morty', 'Ballers', & More". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved August 11, 2015. ^Poniewozik, James (July 22, 2015). "Review: I Am Cait Shows What It's Like to Come Out With the Kardashians". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^"I Am Cait '' Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 29, 2015. ^Scheck, Frank (July 21, 2015). "'I Am Cait': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Mulkerrins, Jane (July 22, 2015). "I Am Cait, review: 'noble'". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Gliatto, Tom (July 21, 2015). "I Am Cait Review: Meet One of the Best E! Stars Ever". People. Time Inc.Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Gonzalez, Sandra (July 22, 2015). "'I Am Cait' review: E! tries so hard to get it right, and it's almost perfect". Mashable. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Idato, Michael (July 22, 2015). "I Am Cait first look: Caitlyn Jenner's series a touching contrast to Kardashians". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Kaplan, Don (July 21, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner's new show 'I Am Cait' is touching, funny and smart as it documents her much publicized shift from Olympic athlete to woman". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 22, 2015. ^Hale, Mike (July 22, 2015). "Review: In 'I Am Cait,' Caitlyn Jenner Documents a Changing Self". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2015. ^Ruiz, Michelle (July 26, 2015). "Why America Needs Caitlyn Jenner's New Series". Vogue. Cond(C) Nast. Retrieved August 3, 2015. ^Bukszpan, Daniel (July 26, 2015). "'I am Cait': The business of Caitlyn Jenner's new show". Fortune. Time, Inc.Retrieved July 27, 2015. ^Kissell, Rick (July 28, 2015). "'I Am Cait' Ratings: E! Series Premiere Draws 2.7 Million Viewers". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 31, 2015. ^"Monday 27th July 2015 - Television Ratings". Mediaspy.org. 28 July 2015. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015. ^Tartaglione, Nancy (June 24, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner's E! Series Titled 'I Am Cait' & Will Premiere July 26 '' Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 17, 2015. ^Knox, David (June 4, 2015). "Airdate: I Am Cait". TV Tonight. Retrieved June 4, 2015. ^Adejobi, Alicia (July 22, 2015). "I Am Cait review: Caitlyn Jenner docuseries is a journey of triumph and the struggle for acceptance". International Business Times UK. IBT Media. Retrieved July 25, 2015. ^Kondolojy, Amanda (July 31, 2015). "E!'s 'I am Cait' Ranks as Cable's Biggest Unscripted Launch of the Year and E!'s Most-Watched Series Debut in Over a Decade". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved August 1, 2015. External links
I Am Jazz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:41
I Am Jazz (announced as All That Jazz) is an American reality television series on TLC about a transgender girl called Jazz Jennings. The 11-part series features Jazz and her family "dealing with typical teen drama through the lens of a transgender youth."[1][2]
I Am Jazz premiered on July 15, 2015, and has received very strong reviews.
Synopsis[edit]Jazz Jennings, a South Florida teen, was assigned male at birth. Aged 5, Jennings was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in childhood, making her one of the youngest publicly documented people to be identified as gender dysphoric.[3] Her parents, Greg and Jeanette, decided to support her female gender identity by her fifth birthday. Jazz has been in the spotlight since 2007, when at age 6, she did an interview with Barbara Walters discussing her gender identity. She did follow-up interviews, launched a foundation, and co-wrote a book, also called I Am Jazz. She has also posted videos about her life on YouTube.
I Am Jazz focuses on the "Jennings" family (the surname "Jennings" is a pseudonym, as are "Greg" and "Jeanette", and any reference to the family's exact location is obscured)[4][5] and their day-to-day lives. Jazz, who is about to go into high school, grapples with the usual teen angst in addition to her own challenges as a transgender girl. Her family, which includes her three siblings, parents and grandparents, also talk about their experiences.[2]
Production[edit]The 11-part series involved filming five days a week, including both days on the weekend.[6] The series was initially called All That Jazz, but was retitled to I Am Jazz. The show takes its title from a 2011 documentary, I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, that aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.[7][8]
The one-hour series premiere of I Am Jazz first aired at the same time Caitlyn Jenner was giving her acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards on ABC.[9]
Episodes[edit]Reception[edit]Critic Brian Lowry of Variety praised I Am Jazz, calling it a "sensitively constructed series (in an admirable departure for the attention-seeking network)... Simply told and heartfelt, the show should add a welcome dimension to the education process, capturing the challenges associated with sexual identity at such a vulnerable age."[17]James Poniewozik, in his review for Time magazine, stated that the reality show airing on the same network that recently pulled 19 Kids and Counting off the air feels like a "change of an era." Poniewozik writes, "I Am Jazz is an engaging story of a teen girl who has transitioned. But it is also the story of everyone else, transitioning."[8] Marc Silver of the Washington Post wrote about the boom of transgender-theme shows on TV, including Jenner's upcoming reality show, I Am Cait: "I Am Cait will surely attract more viewers because of Jenner's fame. It's too soon to say how Jazz will fare. But with her humor and honesty, she's a tough act for Caitlyn Jenner to follow."[18]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abGrinberg, Emanuella (March 19, 2015). "Why transgender teen Jazz Jennings is everywhere". CNN. Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^ ab"Transgender Teen Jazz Jennings Will Star in TLC TV Series ''I Am Jazz''". The Learning Channel. Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Prowse-Gany, Brian. "The New Face of Transgender Youth". Yahoo!. Retrieved 15 July 2015. ^Menendez, Alicia; Redman, Meagan; Effron, Lauren (July 14, 2015). "'I Am Jazz': Transgender Teen on Grappling with High School, Puberty". ABC News. Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Lindsey Bever (March 19, 2015). "How a transgender teen became a nationally known activist". Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Rothaus, Steve (June 25, 2015). "Growing Up Transgender: Jazz Jennings". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Linster, The (October 28, 2011). ""I Am Jazz" is a heartwarming look at a transgender 11-year-old". AfterEllen. Evolve Media. Retrieved July 28, 2015. ^ abPoniewozik, James (July 15, 2015). "Review: An Extraordinary, Ordinary Girlhood in TLC's I Am Jazz". Time (Time Inc.). Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Yahr, Emily (July 16, 2015). "Caitlyn Jenner's ESPYs speech aired at an unusually significant moment on TV '-- here's why". Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2015. ^Bibel, Sara (July 16, 2015). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Tops Night + 'Suits', Copa Oro, 'Wahlburgers' 'The Game', 'Stephen Universe' & More". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved July 28, 2015. ^Hurtado, Alexandra (July 22, 2015). "Jazz Jennings Discusses the 'Rocky Relationship' with Boys She's Had as a Transgender Teen Girl". People (Time Inc.). Retrieved July 24, 2015. ^ abBibel, Sara (July 23, 2015). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Sharknado 3' & 'Duck Dynasty' Win Night, 'Suits', 'The Game', 'Catfish' & More". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved July 28, 2015. ^Bentley, Jean (July 22, 2015). "Sneak Peek: Transgender Teen Jazz Jennings Is "Scarred" After Being Banned From Soccer". Us Weekly (Wenner Media). Retrieved July 24, 2015. ^ abKondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2015). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Tops Night + 'The Game', 'Catfish', 'American Pickers', 'Suits' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 30, 2015. ^ abcd"I Am Jazz Listings (TLC)". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 30, 2015. ^ abMetcalf, Mitch (August 6, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Wednesday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 8.5.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 6, 2015. ^Lowry, Brian (July 13, 2015). "TV Review: 'I Am Jazz'". Variety (Penske Business Media). Retrieved July 15, 2015. ^Silver, Marc (July 13, 2015). "'I Am Jazz' is the latest in this summer's transgender reality show boom". Washington Post. Retrieved July 19, 2015. External links[edit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agenda 21
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:54
Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest (Update)August 11, 2015This photo provided by La Plata County in Colorado on August 10, 2015 shows the orange colored Animas River near Durango, Colorado shortly after a toxic waste spillEnvironmental scientists tested a key US river Tuesday for signs of a toxic waste spill from a botched Colorado mine clean-up that prompted a state of emergency in the desert Southwest.
What started as a three-million-gallon (11.4 million liter) orange-hued plume last Wednesday in the swift-moving Animas River dissolved from view as it made its way down the slower San Juan River in New Mexico.
No longer easily visible, it was nevertheless flowing on into Utah and the Lake Powell reservoir in the direction of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon, leaving behind questions as to its long-term impact.
"It's so diluted, you can't really see it," Donna Spangler, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, told AFP by telephone.
Intensive water testing is nevertheless underway for signs of such cancer-causing toxins as lead and arsenic, with results expected in a matter of days.
The spill prompted states of emergency to be declared in Colorado, New Mexico and the vast Navajo Nation reservation that straddles state lines.
Towns along the Animas and San Juan stopped drawing water from the two rivers, and kayakers and rafters were told to stay on land until Monday at the latest.
The spill, estimated to be 80 miles (130 kilometers) long, was a major embarrassment for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal government agency tasked with combating pollution.
It was supervising an attempt to halt a slow leak of toxic waste from the long-abandoned Gold King mine near the Colorado town of Durango when an earth-moving backhoe unleashed a deluge instead.
This August 9, 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handout photo shows an EPA sampling point on the Animas River near Durango, Colorado
'It pains me'
"It pains me to no end that this is happening," said EPA director Gina McCarthy on Tuesday in her first public comments on the spill.
"But we're working tirelessly to respond, and we've committed to a full review of exactly what happened to ensure it can never happen again," she said.
Initially, the EPA said one million gallons had spilled into the Animas, but then revised the figure upwards by three times, arousing local skepticism.
"You're lying to everyone about what's going on. You really don't know what's going on," said one angry resident at a Durango town hall meeting.
Mayor Tommy Roberts of Farmington, New Mexico, where the Animas joins the San Juan, said it was more than 24 hours before his town was alerted to the spill.
"The initial response from the EPA was lacking, to say the least," he told AFP.
Zach Frankel, executive director of the non-profit Utah Rivers Council, expected the spill to ultimately enter Lake Powell, a desert reservoir from which Las Vegas gets its water supply.
This August 7, 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handout photo shows the orange colored Animas River near Durango, Colorado
"It's going to be five more days or so before it reaches the lake," Frankel told AFP by telephone from Salt Lake City.
From there it would proceed down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon, and into Lake Meade, a major source of water for Los Angeles and other parts of drought-stricken southern California.
"What it is going to do is increase the background level of carcinogens in the water supply for the residents that depend on this water throughout the Southwest," he said.
Encouraging sign
But there was encouraging news Tuesday in Durango when biologists pulled out a cage full of trout from the Animas and found only one dead fish inside.
The cage had been lowered into the river when the surge hit last week, Mayor Deane Brookie said, adding that water quality tests will continue for some time.
Describing the look of the river, he told AFP by telephone: "It's no longer Technicolor. It's more like a muddy orange juice."
Explore further:Oil thieves cause pipeline leak, pollute Mexico river
(C) 2015 AFP
Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest (Update)August 11, 2015This photo provided by La Plata County in Colorado on August 10, 2015 shows the orange colored Animas River near Durango, Colorado shortly after a toxic waste spill
Environmental scientists tested a key US river Tuesday for signs of a toxic waste spill from a botched Colorado mine clean-up that prompted a state of emergency in the desert Southwest.
What started as a three-million-gallon (11.4 million liter) orange-hued plume last Wednesday in the swift-moving Animas River dissolved from view as it made its way down the slower San Juan River in New Mexico.
No longer easily visible, it was nevertheless flowing on into Utah and the Lake Powell reservoir in the direction of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon, leaving behind questions as to its long-term impact.
"It's so diluted, you can't really see it," Donna Spangler, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, told AFP by telephone.
Intensive water testing is nevertheless underway for signs of such cancer-causing toxins as lead and arsenic, with results expected in a matter of days.
The spill prompted states of emergency to be declared in Colorado, New Mexico and the vast Navajo Nation reservation that straddles state lines.
Towns along the Animas and San Juan stopped drawing water from the two rivers, and kayakers and rafters were told to stay on land until Monday at the latest.
The spill, estimated to be 80 miles (130 kilometers) long, was a major embarrassment for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal government agency tasked with combating pollution.
It was supervising an attempt to halt a slow leak of toxic waste from the long-abandoned Gold King mine near the Colorado town of Durango when an earth-moving backhoe unleashed a deluge instead.
This August 9, 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handout photo shows an EPA sampling point on the Animas River near Durango, Colorado
'It pains me'
"It pains me to no end that this is happening," said EPA director Gina McCarthy on Tuesday in her first public comments on the spill.
"But we're working tirelessly to respond, and we've committed to a full review of exactly what happened to ensure it can never happen again," she said.
Initially, the EPA said one million gallons had spilled into the Animas, but then revised the figure upwards by three times, arousing local skepticism.
"You're lying to everyone about what's going on. You really don't know what's going on," said one angry resident at a Durango town hall meeting.
Mayor Tommy Roberts of Farmington, New Mexico, where the Animas joins the San Juan, said it was more than 24 hours before his town was alerted to the spill.
"The initial response from the EPA was lacking, to say the least," he told AFP.
Zach Frankel, executive director of the non-profit Utah Rivers Council, expected the spill to ultimately enter Lake Powell, a desert reservoir from which Las Vegas gets its water supply.
This August 7, 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handout photo shows the orange colored Animas River near Durango, Colorado
"It's going to be five more days or so before it reaches the lake," Frankel told AFP by telephone from Salt Lake City.
From there it would proceed down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon, and into Lake Meade, a major source of water for Los Angeles and other parts of drought-stricken southern California.
"What it is going to do is increase the background level of carcinogens in the water supply for the residents that depend on this water throughout the Southwest," he said.
Encouraging sign
But there was encouraging news Tuesday in Durango when biologists pulled out a cage full of trout from the Animas and found only one dead fish inside.
The cage had been lowered into the river when the surge hit last week, Mayor Deane Brookie said, adding that water quality tests will continue for some time.
Describing the look of the river, he told AFP by telephone: "It's no longer Technicolor. It's more like a muddy orange juice."
Explore further:Oil thieves cause pipeline leak, pollute Mexico river
(C) 2015 AFP
Yes, that letter to the editor about the EPA was published >> Local News
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:01
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on August 12 2015, 1:17pm by Mark Esper in Local News category
Yes this letter was published in the July 30, 2015 edition of the Silverton Standard.
-Mark Esper, editor and publisher.
Letter to Editor PREDICTED COLORADO EPA SPILL One Week Before Catastrophe=> So EPA Could Secure Control of Area (Updated) - The Gateway Pundit
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:01
Letter to Editor PREDICTED COLORADO EPA SPILL One Week Before Catastrophe=> So EPA Could Secure Control of Area (Updated) - The Gateway PunditInline
Get news like this in your Facebook News Feed
2015 theGatewayPundit.com. All rights reserved.
Featured,UncategorizedJim Hoft
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Moore (environmentalist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:28
Patrick MooreBorn1947 (1947)Winter Harbour, British ColumbiaResidenceVancouver, Winter HarbourNationalityCanadianEducationPhD in Ecology (1974), B.Sc. in Forest Biology (1969)[citation needed]Occupationlobbyist, public speaker, environmental consultantEmployerEcosense Environmental Inc., Vancouver, CanadaKnown forformer member of Greenpeace, independent[citation needed] and sometimes contrary opinions on environmental policy.TitlePresidentParent(s)W.D. (Bill) Moore and Beverly Moore (nee North)AwardsFord Foundation Fellowship, Honorary Doctorate of Science North Carolina State University (2005) US National Award for Nuclear Science and History, Einstein Society, 2009.[2]Websitehttp://www.ecosense.mePatrick Moore (born 1947) is a Canadian lobbyist and global warming skeptic.[3] He trades as Ecosense Environmental in Vancouver, and is a frequent public speaker on behalf of industry groups.[4] He was a member of Greenpeace from 1971 to 1986.
He has sharply and publicly differed with many policies of major environmental groups, such as Greenpeace itself, on other issues including forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, and the use of chemicals for many applications.[5] According to Greenpeace, he is "a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry."[6][POV?'' discuss] He is an outspoken proponent of nuclear energy[7] and skeptical of sole human responsibility for climate change.[8]
Early life[edit]Moore was born in 1947, in Port Alice, British Columbia and raised in Winter Harbour, on Vancouver Island. He is the third generation of a British Columbian family with a long history in forestry and fishing. His father, W. D. Moore, was the president of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association and past president of the Pacific Logging Congress.[9] Moore obtained a Ph.D. in ecology from the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia under the direction of Dr. C.S. Holling and forest ecologist Hamish Kimmins.
Greenpeace[edit]According to Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Wyler, the Don't Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970.[10] The Committee had formed to plan opposition to the testing of a one megaton hydrogen bomb in 1969 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, ''Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.''[11]
Moore traveled to Alaska on advanced research with Jim Bohlen, attending Wave Committee meetings. In 1971, Moore was a member of the crew of the Phyllis Cormack, a chartered fishing boat which the Committee sent across the North Pacific in order to draw attention to the US testing of a 5 megaton bomb planned for September of that year. Greenpeace was the name given to the boat for the voyage and it would be the first of the many Greenpeace protests.[12] Following the first voyage, key crew members decided to formally change the name of the Don't Make a Wave Committee to the Greenpeace Foundation. These decision makers included founders Bob Hunter, Rod Marining and Ben Metcalfe as well as Patrick Moore.[13][14]
Following US President Richard Nixon's cancellation of the remaining hydrogen bomb tests planned for Amchitka Island in early 1972, Greenpeace turned its attention to French atmospheric nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. In May 1972, Moore traveled to New York with Jim Bohlen and Marie Bohlen to lobby the key United Nations delegations from the Pacific Rim countries involved. Moore then went to Europe together with Ben Metcalfe, Dorothy Metcalfe, Lyle Thurston and Rod Marining where they received an audience with Pope Paul VI and protested at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. In June, they attended the first UN Conference on the Environment in Stockholm where they convinced New Zealand to propose a vote condemning French nuclear testing, which passed with a strong majority.[15]
Moore again crewed the Phyllis Cormack in 1975 during the first campaign to save whales, as Greenpeace met the Soviet whaling fleet off the coast of California. During the confrontation, film footage was caught of the Soviet whaling boat firing a harpoon over the heads of Greenpeace members in a Zodiac inflatable and into the back of a female sperm whale.[16] The film footage made the evening news the next day on all three US national networks, initiating Greenpeace's debut on the world media stage, and prompting a swift rise in public support of the charity.[17] Patrick Moore and Bob Hunter appeared on Dr. Bill Wattenburg's talk radio show on KGO and appealed for a lawyer to help them incorporate a branch office in San Francisco and to manage donations. David Tussman, a young lawyer, volunteered to help Moore, Hunter, and Paul Spong set up an office at Fort Mason. The Greenpeace Foundation of America (since changed to Greenpeace USA), then became the major fundraising center for the expansion of Greenpeace worldwide.[18][19]
Presidency of Greenpeace Foundation in Canada[edit]In early 1977, Bob Hunter stepped down as president of the Greenpeace Foundation and Patrick Moore was elected president. He inherited an organization that was deeply in debt.[20] Greenpeace organizations began to form throughout North America, including cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. Not all of these offices accepted the authority of the founding organization in Canada. Moore's presidency and governance style proved controversial. Moore and his chosen board in Vancouver called for two meetings to formalize his governance proposals. During this time David Tussman, together with the rest of the founders, early activists of Greenpeace, and the majority of Greenpeace staff-members announced that the board of the San Francisco group intended to separate Patrick Moore's Greenpeace Foundation from the rest of the Greenpeace movement. After efforts to settle the matter failed, the Greenpeace Foundation filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco charging that the San Francisco group was in violation of trademark and copyright by using the Greenpeace name without permission of the Greenpeace Foundation.
The lawsuit was settled at a meeting on 10 October 1979, in the offices of lawyer David Gibbons in Vancouver. Attending were Moore, Hunter, David McTaggart, Rex Weyler, and about six others. At this meeting it was agreed that Greenpeace International would be created. This meant that Greenpeace would remain a single organization rather than an amorphous collection of individual offices. McTaggart who had come to represent all the other Greenpeace groups against the Greenpeace Foundation, was named Chairman. Moore became President of Greenpeace Canada (the new name for Greenpeace Foundation) and a director of Greenpeace International. Other directors were appointed from the US, France, the UK, and the Netherlands. He served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada, as well as six years as a Director of Greenpeace International.
In 1985, Moore was on board the Rainbow Warriorwhen it was bombed and sunk by the French government. He and other directors of Greenpeace International were greeting the ship off the coast of New Zealand on its way to protest French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll. Expedition photographer, Fernando Pereira, was killed. Greenpeace's media presence peaked again.[21]
After Greenpeace[edit]In 1986, after leaving Greenpeace over differences in policy, Moore established a family salmon farming business, Quatsino Seafarms, at his home in Winter Harbour. He commented that he had left Greenpeace because it "took a sharp turn to the political left" and "evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas".[22][23]
In this year he was also elected president of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association. From 1990-4 he was appointed to the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy[24][25] and founded and chaired the B.C. Carbon Project. In 1991, he joined the board of the Forest Alliance of BC, an initiative of the CEOs of the major forest companies in British Columbia. As chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance he spent ten years developing the Principles of Sustainable Forestry, which were later adopted by much of the industry.[26][27] In 1991, Moore also founded Greenspirit to "promote sustainable development from a scientific environmental platform".[28] In 2002, Tom Tevlin and Trevor Figueiredo joined Moore in the formation of the environmental consultancy company Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.
Moore served for four years as Vice President of Environment for Waterfurnace International manufacturing geothermal heat pumps.[29] In 2000, Moore published Green Spirit - Trees are the Answer, a photo-book on forests and the role they can play in solving some current environmental problems. He also made two appearances on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! in episodes Environmental Hysteria (2003) and Endangered Species (2005). In 2006, Moore became co-chair (with Christine Todd Whitman) of a new industry-funded initiative, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which promotes increased use of nuclear energy.[30][31] In 2010, Moore was recruited to represent the Indonesian logging firm Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a multi-national accused by activist groups of widespread and illegal rainforest clearance practices, although this is strongly disputed by Moore.[32]
In 2005, Moore criticized what he saw as scare tactics and disinformation employed by some within the environmental movement, saying that the environmental movement "abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism."[33] Moore contends that for the environmental movement "most of the really serious problems have been dealt with", seeking now to "invent doom and gloom scenarios".[34] He suggests they romanticise peasant life as part of an anti-industrial campaign to prevent development in less-developed countries, which he describes as "anti-human".[35][36] Moore was interviewed in the 2007 film documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, in which he expressed similar views. In 2007 The Guardian reported on his writings for the Royal Society arguing against the theory that mankind was causing global warming, noting his advocacy for the felling of tropical rainforests and the planting of genetically engineered crops.[37] He has expressed his positive views of logging on the Greenspirit website.[38] In 2010, Moore was commissioned by forestry giant Asia Pulp and Paper to report on its logging activity in Indonesia's rainforests, resulting in a glowing review.[39]
Energy[edit]Moore was opposed to nuclear power in the 1970s[40] when he "believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust"[30] and "everything nuclear was evil",[41] but has since[when?] come to be in favour of it.[30][30][42][43][44]
Moore is supported by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a national organization of pro-nuclear industries and in 2009 he chaired their Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.[45] As chair, he suggested that the mainstream media and the environmentalist movement is not as opposed to nuclear energy as in decades past.[when?][46]
He argues that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels or greenhouse gas emissions would require increased use of nuclear energy to supply baseload power.[30][41] He has also criticized the costs and reliability of wind farms.[47]
Global warming[edit]Moore calls global warming the "most difficult issue facing the scientific community today in terms of being able to actually predict with any kind of accuracy what's going to happen".[36] In 2006, he wrote to the Royal Society arguing there was "no scientific proof" that mankind was causing global warming[48] and believes that it "has a much better correlation with changes in solar activity than CO2 levels".[49]
Moore has stated that global warming and the melting of glaciers is not necessarily a negative event because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees.[50] Rather than climate change mitigation, Moore advocates adaptation to global warming.[51]
In 2014, Moore testified to the U.S. congress on the subject of Global Warming. ''There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past 100 years,'' according to Moore's testimony. ''Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species.'' Moore continued, "The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time,'' he added. ''Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today... Humans just aren't capable of predicting global temperature changes".[52]
A March 2014 episode of the American program Hannity featured Moore making the statement that the Earth "has not warmed for the last 17 years" in a debate with punditBob Beckel. The Politifact organization rated Moore's assertion "mostly false", remarking that a significant net warming over that time-frame had occurred even though the spread was relatively flat as well as that Moore cherry-picked the time-frame to obscure the overall heating trend.[53]
Genetically modified foods[edit]In 2006, Moore addressed a Biotechnology Industry Organization conference in Waikiki saying, "There's no getting away from the fact that over 6 billion people wake up each day on this planet with real needs for food, energy and materials", and need genetically engineered crops to this end.[50]
Moore supports the adoption of golden rice to prevent vitamin A deficiency.[51]
Health effects of glyphosate[edit]During a March, 2015 video interview with French television station Canal+, Moore was asked about the safety of the herbicide glyphosate. Moore told the interviewer that one "could drink a whole quart of it" without any harm. When Moore was challenged to drink a glass of the weedkiller, he refused, and ended the interview.[54][55] The interview came shortly after the release of a World Health Organization (WHO) report adding glyphosate to a list of probable carcinogens.[56][57][58]
Criticism[edit]Moore's views and change of stance (see above) have evoked controversy in environmentalist arenas. He is accused of having "abruptly turned his back on the environmental movement" and "being a mouthpiece for some of the very interests Greenpeace was founded to counter".[27][59] His critics point out Moore's business relations with "polluters and clear-cutters" through his consultancy.[27] Moore has earned his living since the early 1990s primarily by consulting for, and publicly speaking for a wide variety of corporations and lobby groups such as the Nuclear Energy Institute.[45] Monte Hummel, MScF, President, World Wildlife Fund Canada has claimed that Moore's book, Pacific Spirit, is a collection of "pseudoscience and dubious assumptions."
The writer and environmental activist George Monbiot has written critically of Moore's work with the Indonesian logging firm Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). Moore was hired as a consultant to write an environmental 'inspection report' on APP operations. According to Monbiot, Moore's company is not a monitoring firm and the consultants used were experts in public relations, not tropical ecology or Indonesian law. Monbiot has said that sections of the report were directly copied from an APP PR brochure,[32][60]
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an anti-nuclear group, criticized Moore saying that his comment in 1976 that "it should be remembered that there are employed in the nuclear industry some very high-powered public relations organizations. One can no more trust them to tell the truth about nuclear power than about which brand of toothpaste will result in this apparently insoluble problem" was seen by leftists as forecasting his own future.[61] A left-wing Columbia Journalism Review editorial criticizes the press for uncritically printing "pro-nuclear songs" such as Moore's, spuriously alleging him to be acting as the paid spokesman of the nuclear industry.[61][62]
Bibliography[edit]Moore, Patrick (1995) Pacific spirit : the forest reborn. Terra Bella Publishers Canada. ISBN 1-896171-07-9Moore, Patrick (2000) Green Spirit: Trees are the Answer. Greenspirit Enterprises. ISBN 0-9686404-0-0Wyler, Rex (2004) Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World. Rodale Press. ISBN 1-59486-106-4Moore, Patrick (2010) Trees are the Answer, 10th Anniversary Edition. Beatty Street Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-9864808-0-5Moore, Patrick (2011) Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. Beatty Street Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-9864808-2-9References[edit]^TEDxVancouver - Patrick Moore - 11/21/09 on YouTube^"NATIONAL AWARD OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE & HISTORY". March 2015. ^Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore tells US Senate there is "no proof" humans cause climate change^[1]^Guardian article, 21 May 2000 'Judas' of the eco-warriors spreads his gospel of doubt^"Patrick Moore background information". Greenpeace. Greenpeace International. Retrieved March 27, 2015. ^"Patrick Moore endorses nuclear energy before US Congress"[dead link]^EU Watch interview with Moore at Greenspirit Strategies^Moore Resume[dead link]^"Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World" by Rex Weyler, ISBN 1-59486-106-4 Published by Rodale Press in 2003, pages 59ff^Hunter, Robert. (1979) Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement. Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-03-043741-5 p9^Utne article on founding of Greenpeace^Greenpeace founders^Rainbow warriors^Warriors of the Rainbow, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1979, Page 116, ISBN 0-03-043736-9^DeLuca, Kevin Michael (2005) Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism Routledge ISBN 0-8058-5848-2 p99^Moruroa: Journey into the bomb; Greenpeace.org; April 27, 2005^"The history of Greenpeace"; Greenpeace.org; September 14, 2009^Greenpeace USA^Greenpeace, Rex Weyler, Raincoast Books, 2004, ISBN 1-55192-529-X^CBC archive^Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands, Ezra Levant p145^Daily Mail^Moore, Patrick. "Resume of Patrick Moore, Ph.D.". Greenspirit. Archived from the original on 2005-09-10. Retrieved 2007-03-13. ^International Institute for Sustainable Development^Utah State University article^ abcBennett, Drake (March 2004). "Eco-Traitor". Wired magazine. ^Greenspirit[dead link]^Waterfurnace International^ abcdeMoore, Patrick (2006-04-16). "Going Nuclear". Washington Post. ^Clean and Safe Energy Coalition^ abGuardian article "Why is a former Greenpeace activist siding with Indonesia's logging industry?" by George Monbiot. 2 December 2010.^Moore, Patrick (2005-01-28). "Environmental Movement Has Lost Its Way". Miami Herald. ^Guardian article, June 10, 2001 recovering the Earth^UK Channel 4 Documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle^ abPenn Jillette Radio Show, 2006-06-08, Free FM: Interview (Recording)^Guardian article, Diary by John Henley^"Biodiversity in a clearcut[dead link]^The Great Ventriloquist, by George Monbiot^Patrick Moore, Assault on Future Generations, Greenpeace report, p47-49, 1976 - pdf [2]^ abThe AgeGreenpeace is wrong '-- we must consider nuclear power, article by Patrick Moore, December 10, 2007 [3]^The Independent, Nuclear energy? Yes please![4]^The Nuclear Environmentalist 18 December 2009^"Interview with Italian Nuclear Energy advocacy group Atomi per la Pace". ^ abNuclear Energy Institute article^NEI article^BOB BOUGHNER (5 January 2012). "Wind farms blasted". London Free Press. Retrieved 5 June 2012. ^Open Letter/Press Release, September 21, 2006, Vancouver^"Wilson voices doubts over climate change - Belfast Newsletter". Newsletter.co.uk. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2013. ^ abHao, Sean (2006-01-13). "Greenpeace co-founder praises global warming". Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2006-02-07. ^ abAudio Interview with Moore from MassiveChange.com (February 3, 2004)^Daily Caller^http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/17/patrick-moore/climate-change-skeptic-patrick-moore-says-earth-ha/^Jancelewicz, Chris (March 26, 2015). "Monsanto Lobbyist Says Herbicide Safe To Drink, Then Runs Away When Offered Some". The Huffington Post Canada. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015. ^Regan, Helen (March 27, 2015). "Watch a GMO Advocate Claim a Weed Killer Is Safe to Drink but Then Refuse to Drink It". TIME. Time Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015. ^Hooper, Ben (March 27, 2015). "Patrick Moore says Roundup is safe -- but refuses to drink it". UPI. United Press International, Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015. ^Visser, Nick (March 27, 2015). "Monsanto Advocate Says Roundup Is Safe Enough To Drink, Then Refuses To Drink It". The Huffington Post - Huffpost Green. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015. ^http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2815%2970134-8/abstract^Guardian article, 21 May 2000 'Judas' of the eco-warriors spreads his gospel of doubt[5]^APP "Letter to Stakeholders"^ abFalse Promises: Debunking Nuclear Industry Propaganda^False Fronts: Why to look behind the label editorial at Columbia Journalism Review, 2006External links[edit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There Is Some Uncertainty in Climate Science '-- And That's a Good Thing | VICE News
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:17
Uncertainty is the engine of science, driving our quest to understand the universe. But today, the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of uncertainty in climate science is causing problems '-- problems that could potentially be solved if climate scientists and the public found a better way to communicate with each other.
There are certainly plenty of things climate scientists are certain about: Humans are tipping the earth's energy balance, so the world is warming and sea level is rising. The earth will continue to warm, rainfall will become heavier in many places (such as wet tropical regions), and sea level will continue to rise.
Big picture predictions like these are based in fundamental science involving observations and physical understanding that date back up to 200 years. But the details of our predictions '-- like how quickly temperatures and sea levels will rise '-- must come from computer models since we don't have a miniature earth with which to play. (It's not just climate science that has this difficulty; if you want to study the evolution of galaxies, it's easier to write computer code than to create 100 billion stars.) At the heart of climate models are basic laws of physics, like Newton's laws of motion, augmented by even more physics, chemistry, biology, and geology.
In photos: The People's Climate March. Read more here.
But a model is by definition a simplified representation of reality, which means it can never be perfect. "All models are wrong," said statistician George Box, "but some are useful." In addition, their predictions partly depend on the numbers scientists plug in. And sometimes we can't know for certain what those numbers should be.
We're studying an enormously complex planet. For example, over the past 17 years or so there has been a slowdown '-- even a pause '-- in the rate of warming of the atmosphere. We're confident the climate is still changing, because the oceans are still warming, land is losing ice, and sea level is rising. We predict the atmosphere will start to warm again after this temporary blip, and we think there are several contributing factors to the pause, including a change in movement of heat around the planet, a dip in the brightness of the sun, and reflection of the sun by pollution and volcanic eruptions '-- but we don't yet know the exact contributions of each.
The very definition of climate has uncertainty at its heart. While weather is the physical state of the atmosphere '-- temperatures, rainfall, and pressures that we can measure '-- climate can be thought of as the probability of different types of weather occurring. A probability is, of course, a statement of uncertainty: "We predict the weather will most often be X, sometimes be Y, and occasionally be Z."
Complexity and uncertainty create extra difficulty for experts in explaining their results, and for non-experts in understanding them. Climate science is not sound bite science.
But this kind of uncertainty is not an indication that we don't know what we're talking about. It only means there are limits to our understanding, which we redefine with each new result. Scientists in any area of cutting-edge research will disagree with each other as they search for the right path. But because climate science is politicized, these disagreements are often sold as proof of unreliable science. For example, some scientists predict global average sea level rise in the highest greenhouse gas emissions scenario will likely be 20 to 30 inches by the end of the century. Others predict it will very likely be more than 35 inches and could be over six feet.
The two groups look at the problem in very different ways '-- the first method is based in physics, the second in statistics. And that's interesting, because it shows the evolving process of science.
Unfortunately, inherent scientific uncertainty allows people to spin researchers' results. Last year, we held a press conference for a project I worked on called ice2sea, which made projections of future sea level using methods based in physics. Some headlines indicated "Sea level rise to be less severe than feared" because the stories compared our findings to statistics-based studies. Others indicated "Risk from rising sea levels worse than feared" because the stories compared our findings to a previous report that also used physics but didn't tally every possible part of sea level rise. One website wrote, "The end of London as we know it."
In short, each media outlet told the story it wanted to tell.
Complexity and uncertainty create extra difficulty for experts in explaining their results, and for non-experts in understanding them. Climate science is not sound bite science.
And climate scientists haven't helped. We haven't sold the idea of uncertainty as not only an inevitability, but as a positive thing because of how it drives scientists to understand the unknown. The pause in warming of the atmosphere surprised the media and public, but scientists expected it could happen in the short-term. Why didn't we make that clear? In part because we sometimes oversimplify the way we communicate to the public.
We've also done a bad job at being available '-- how many climate scientists can you name? We've mostly kept our heads below the parapet for fear of attracting fire by communicating complex science in a politicized atmosphere. We need to be braver.
'Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil By Rail.' Watch the VICE News documentary here.
There are hundreds of climate scientists on Twitter, and the small number of us who blog is growing. But we're mostly engaging with people who are already passionate, whether they're environmentalists or dissenters. We want to talk to more people from the middle ground '-- the fence-sitters and the understandably confused.
That's why I'm curating a Twitter list of climate scientists, active researchers who are studying climate change and its effects on life. If you're a climate scientist, or know one, tweet me to be added to the list. To ask a climate scientist a question, feel free to direct it toward scientists on the list.
If you're uncertain about uncertainty, come and find us. We'd love to talk.
Dr. Tamsin Edwards is a climate scientist at the University of Bristol studying uncertainty in climate models. Follow her on Twitter: @flimsin
Photo via Flickr
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Be careful, your love of science looks a lot like religion - Quartz
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:17
Scientific beliefs are destined to supersede and replace primitive religious views, once argued 19th-century French philosopher Auguste Comte. His scientific positivism birthed today's scientism: the notion that science has exclusive access to the truth.
''Science'' is usually equated by proponents of this view with empiricism or, in many fields, with a method of inquiry that employs controls, blinding, and randomization. Now, a small group of contemporary psychologists have published a series of provocative experiments showing that faith in science can serve the same mentally-stabilizing function as religious beliefs.
In 2013, a study published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology'‹ found that when subjects were stressed, they were more likely to agree to statements typifying scientism such as, ''the scientific method is the only reliable path to knowledge.'' When people felt anxious, they esteemed science more highly than calmer subjects did, just as previous experiments have shown to be the case with religious ideals. Deep faith in science is sometimes just another form of (irrational) extremism.
Another study led by University of Amsterdam's Bastiaan Rutjens in 2010 found that uncertain subjects expressed an increased faith in God o'‹r i'‹n evolution, provided that evolution was presented as a structured and predictable process.
In these cases, beliefs about science may be defended emotionally, even if they are false, as long as they provide a reassuring sense of order. That is to say, beliefs about science may be defended thoughtlessly'--even unscientifically.
So what does it mean that both religious and scientific outlooks may function to becalm our existential anxieties? What we believe, the parallel implies, can sometimes be less important than h'‹ow '‹we believe it. In other words, deep faith in science is sometimes just another form of (irrational) extremism.
Psychology, not theology, is at the root of extremismThe psychology of extremism clarifies the essential logic. Last year, the University of Maryland's Arie Kruglanski detailed evidence that psychology, not theology, is at the root of extremist ideologies.
Extremist groups like ISIL offer adherents a sense of personal worth, he argued, but they also provide believers with certainties about the world that they so desperately need. Extremism results, in part, when our natural need for order is enflamed by disorder.
Whether studying extremists in Morocco, Northern Ireland, Palestine, the Philippines, Spain, or Sri Lanka, Kruglanski found that believers all displayed a desire for certainty and structure that was higher than average.
For extremists, Kruglanski wrote in the online journal E-International Relations, the world is one of ''good versus evil, saints versus sinners, order versus chaos; a pure universe in black and white admitting no shades of gray.''
As his research shows, we all have different baseline levels of need for closure, but our distaste for ambiguity can also be heightened by uncertainty and stress. Extremism results, in part, when our natural need for order is enflamed by disorder.
The content of extremist beliefs, beyond their status-reassuring certainties, is incidental. Moral relativism, which holds that objective criteria do not exist for judging norms, seems to spring from this link between extremism and the craving for certainty.
As NYU student Zachary Fine observed in The New York Times'‹ last year: ''The byproducts of absolute truths and intractable forms of ideology '... historically seem linked to bigotry and prejudice.'' Indeed, Kruglanski's concept of the need for closure and the very study of the intolerance of ambiguity stem from post-World War II attempts to understand Nazism.
The psychology of extremism reveals an important point: part of what makes a belief system dangerous is its dogmatic denial of uncertainty.
The moral duty to reject dogmaIf the moral authority of science is rooted anywhere it is in the opposing stance, in its acceptance of fallibility and its welcoming treatment of ambiguity and unknowns. That is where science finds its contrast with scientism and many religious perspectives.
The history of ''the'' scientific method amounts to a series of (ongoing) attempts to prevent human bias, false certainty, and weakness from compromising the search for knowledge. It reads as a long communal struggle toward Was fire harnessed by scientific method? a radical self-imposed culture of self-distrust.
In his 2012 book I'‹gnorance: How I'‹t D'‹rives Science, Columbia neuroscientist Stuart Firestein argued, ''Being a scientist requires having faith in uncertainty, finding pleasure in mystery, and learning to cultivate doubt.'' Ignorance, Firestein pointed out, is not only natural but fertile.
As climate scientist Tamsin Edwards put it in an op-ed for Vice, ''Uncertainty is the engine of science.''
The virtues of this moral outlook are curiosity, self-doubt, and an independent skepticism, ideals which we need more of today in our whirlwind era and which in no way conflict with novelist William Faulkner's ''old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed: love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.'' Defending uncertainty against premature claims of authority is not a timid calling.
How we know what we knowScientism, to be sure, does a disservice to this spirit of humility in the face of human ignorance, and as Leon Wieseltier wrote in The N'‹ew York Times in January, the idea ''that nonscientific understandings must be translated into scientific understandings if they are to qualify as knowledge, is increasingly popular inside and outside the university.''
I once heard a prominent researcher argue that ''anything not statistically significant is truly worthless,'' a staggering claim that dismissingly brands Shakespeare and Chekhov as without intellectual value for students of human thought, behavior, and society.
But was fire harnessed by scientific method? Did developed countries become developed through randomized controlled trials? Many innovations obviously work or plainly don't; testing is often for close calls. That isn't to deny the progress of science or its unique role but only to relativize it as one precious mode of discovery among others.
Promoting science's quieter, humbler spirit would have numerous upsides.
If the public were more comfortable with degrees of scientific uncertainty, for one, then climate change ''skeptics'''--those merchants of doubt, as Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway dubbed them'--wouldn't be able to conflate so easily minor uncertainties with substantive disagreement. Science wouldn't appear so harshly incompatible with spirituality. More fundamentally, truly respecting the scientific tradition requires us to acknowledge not only the limits of any given theory or method, but also the partiality of science as a way of knowing the world.
We welcome ycour comments at ideas@qz.com.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Fix is In!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ex-IOC official Carrard to head FIFA reform
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:54
you've reached a subscriber-only article.Take the trial to enjoy one month access for $1.00Sign up now and access the full breadth of The Daily Star content in minutes.
subscribe nowunrestricted access$1 for the this month then $12 per month.Existing users can login here or register for a new account.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 12, 2015, on page 15.Advertisement
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vocal Fryyyy
Meghan Trainor Cancels Tour Due to Vocal Cord Hemorrhage | Billboard
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:09
Meghan Trainor performs at Le Trianon on May 28, 2015 in Paris, France.
David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns via Getty ImagesMeghan Trainor just announced that the rest of her MTrain tour is canceled, following her second vocal cord hemorrhage of the summer.
Meghan Trainor Has a Hemorrhage On Her Vocal Cords, Nixes Shows
On Instagram today, Trainor said she needs to "get surgery to finally fix this once and for all," adding that she is "devastated, scared and so sorry." See her full message to her fans below:
Trainor first postponed shows on her MTrain tour in early July, when she suffered the first hemorrhage. Apparently, the "All About That Bass" singer just triggered the same problem after suffering a bout of bronchitis and "coughing a lot."
Meghan Trainor Cancels 3 More Shows Due to Vocal Hemorrhage
Ticketholders should refer to Ticketmaster for more information on rescheduled performances.
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-New Facebook software can scan, snitch on people for criminal activity - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:32
VIDEO-Wash Post's Gearan: GOP Debate 'Played Into Hands' of Hillary Clinton | MRCTV
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:03
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On MSNBC's The Rundown on Tuesday, fill-in host Frances Rivera touted Hillary Clinton slamming Florida Senator Marco Rubio for having ''offensive and troubling'' views on abortion and asked The Washington Post's Anne Gearan: ''So when you hear Hillary Clinton talk about that...how is this new war on women narrative, if that's what it's going to be called, play into Hillary Clinton's hands?''
Gearan proclaimed: ''Well, I mean, certainly the Republican debate played into her hands in terms of being able to say that Democrats are more on the side of women than Republicans are. That is the argument that they started making heavily during the debate and have continued since.''
VIDEO-Michael Gerson: Trump Supporters 'Xenophobic' 'European Right Wing' | MRCTV
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:59
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. During an appearance on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson took a swipe at supporters of Trump and accused them of being ultra-right wing, nationalist individuals.
VIDEO-Trump on Bernie Sanders Letting Protesters Take His Microphone: 'Disgusting' | MRCTV
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:55
GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told reporters at his press conference in Birch Run, Mich., on Tuesday it was "disgusting" the way Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders allowed two Black Lives Matter protesters to take over his campaign event in Seattle over the weekend.
VIDEO-Dr. Dean Burk - Fluoride Causes Cancer - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:06
VIDEO-Police: White House staffer arrested after firing shot at lover - CNNPolitics.com
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:42
Barvetta Singletary, a special assistant to the President and House legislative affairs liaison, has been placed on unpaid leave and had her access to the White House revoked, a White House spokesperson told CNN on Monday.
Singletary was released Monday from jail in Prince George's County, Maryland, after posting a $75,000 bond, according to spokesman John Erzen of Maryland's state's attorney's office.
The incident began early Friday morning after Singletary texted the officer "asking him to come to her residence...for sexual intercourse," according to charging documents, which classified the incident as domestic violence.
After "a brief sexual encounter," Singletary began asking the officer about another woman he was dating and tried to access his cell phones.
Singletary then grabbed the officer's service weapon from a bag and pointed it at him, before firing one round toward him, documents say.
"You taught me how to use this, don't think I won't use it," Singletary allegedly said before firing one round, according to the police report. She then allegedly wiped down the gun with a towel.
The Capitol Hill police officer then fled Singletary's home and called 911, after which Prince George's county officers arrived at the scene and arrested Singletary.
Singletary previously served as deputy chief of staff to Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn before moving to the White House in 2014, where she made $125,000 annually, according to public records.
"We are aware of the matter and have temporarily placed the employee in question on unpaid leave and revoked her access to the complex until we have more information. We will take additional actions as needed," a White House spokesperson said Monday in a statement.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberley Schneider said the department is "investigating the matter."
"Department employees are held to a high standard of conduct and the matter will receive a thorough review consistent with our policies and procedures," Schneider said.
CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Don Lemon Segment Goes Off the Rails with Really Enthusiastic Trump Supporters | MediaiteVIDEO-
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 07:27
Don Lemon spoke tonight with the online viral sensations, the ''Stump-for-Trump Girls'', about how they became such big super-fans of Donald Trump. The went on to talk about how they ''felt it'' about Trump the moment they saw him on TV, and that he is, without a doubt, the only way to ''make America great again.'' It was something to behold.
''We have a border that needs to be secure. We have ISIS trying to cut off heads. We have people going into movie theaters shooting it up, Don. We've got to secure this border,'' said Lynette ''Diamond'' Hardaway. ''We have to make America great again. and the only way that we can do that is with Donald Trump.''
The girls became sensational with their video series where they go on extended, off-the-rails rants about subjects like Megyn Kelly's grilling of Trump and Hillary Clinton's email scandal. However, most of their videos are centered around praising Trump's message (unless this is some kind of big Jimmy Kimmel joke or something). Lemon admitted that he watched all of their videos on WeBeSisters.com, and agreed with them that there is no one more enthusiastic than them about Trump except for Trump.
When Lemon asked them about Trump's views on race relations and the speech he gave in Michigan today, Hardaway and Rochelle ''Silk'' Richardson kept going full throttle for Trump.
''We don't want people to just be surviving in this country, but we want them to start thriving in this country,'' Hardaway said about Trump's capacity as a job creator. She went on to say that Trump is speaking the unspeakable truths of America no one else dares to, and that's why he resonates with voters.
Watch the segment below, via CNN:
Please enable Javascript to watch.
And you can watch on of the girls' videos here:
[image via screengrab]
VIDEO-John Kerry: "Very possible" Chinese and Russian hackers are reading my email - Videos - CBS News
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 03:28
August 11, 2015, 3:00 PM|Secretary of State John Kerry says it's very likely hackers from Russia and China are reading his emails. Kerry acknowledged the cyberthreat against the U.S. government during an interview with "The CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley. CBSN's Anne Marie Green previews the interview to air Tuesday night on "The CBS Evening News."
VIDEO-Listen to Donald Trump's Response When CNN Host Presses Him on Specifics of Platform | Video | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 03:14
When CNN's Chris Cuomo pressed Donald Trump to reveal his tax plan on ''New Day'' Tuesday, the GOP presidential candidate argued Americans aren't interested in complicated plans '-- they just want to see things get done.
''You know that that's not the way it works,'' Cuomo said. ''You can't get in there not telling people what you are going to do.''
Trump wasn't willing to get much more specific.
''Our tax code is too complicated, and we can simplify it so easily,'' Trump said.
Cuomo then asked, ''How?''
''By using intelligence, by having common sense,'' Trump added. ''I want to put H&R Block out of business.''
Finally, Trump claimed, ''I know exactly what I want to do'' with the U.S. tax code, but doesn't want to announce it yet.
Watch the segment via CNN's ''New Day'' below:
Trump also agreed that he is a ''whiner.''
''I do whine because I want to win and I'm not happy about not winning and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win,'' Trump told CNN.
More from CNN:
And Trump also refuted a report that he was considering ruling out a third-party run.
''I'm running as a Republican, I'm leading in every poll'...I'm leading all over the place and I want to run as a Republican,'' Trump said. ''If I am treated fairly that's the way it's going to be but I want to keep that door open. I have to keep that door open because if something happens where I'm not treated fairly I may very well use that door.''
Watch the full interview here:
'--
VIDEO-Megyn Kelly Addresses 'Dust Up' With Donald Trump: 'A Few Words on That' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 03:00
Fox News host Megyn Kelly fired back at presidential candidate Donald Trump Monday, refusing to apologize for the questions she asked him at last week's Republican debate.
''You may have heard there was a dust up involving yours truly and presidential contender Donald Trump,'' Kelly said at the outset of her program. ''Mr. Trump was upset with a question I asked him at the debate last week about his electability and specifically comments he has made in the past about women.''
''A few words on that,'' she continued. ''Apparently, Mr. Trump thought the question I asked was unfair and felt I was attacking him. I felt he was asked a tough, but fair question. We agree to disagree.''
Kelly said that she would not respond to personal attacks Trump had made on her. In one case, the real estate tycoon suggested the Fox News host pressed him at the GOP debate because she was menstruating.
''Mr. Trump did interviews over the weekend that attacked me personally. I've decided not to respond,'' Kelly said.
''Mr. Trump is an interesting man who has captured the attention of the electorate. That's why he is leading in the polls. Trump, who is the frontrunner, will not apologize. And I certainly won't apologize for doing good journalism,'' she added.
''So I'll continue doing my job without fear or favor,'' Kelly concluded. ''And Mr. Trump will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far. This is a tough business and it's time now to move forward. And now, let's get back to the news.''
Earlier in the evening, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes revealed details about a phone call he had with Trump.
''We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly. She is a brilliant journalist and I support her 100 percent,'' he said. ''I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness & balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared.''
'--
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook:
VIDEO-MSNBC Says North Korea Is Supporting Trump '-- There's Just One Problem | Video | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 02:58
Donald Trump has had a brutal 72 hours, yet amid the fallout of his remarks about Fox News' Megyn Kelly, he has at least one prominent supporter: North Korea.
Except '-- not.
MSNBC's ''Morning Joe'' on Monday twice referenced a friendly tweet about Trump coming from the North Korean government.
There's just one thing wrong: the account is fake. It's run by a blogger who has never set foot in North Korea, yet has dupedmultiple news organizations.
The truth not withstanding, MSNBC made the mistake in the 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. hours. Requests for comment from political analyst Mark Halperin, who first referenced the tweet, or from MSNBC reps were not immediately returned.
Watch below:
VIDEO-Zirtual laid off 400 employees via email
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:47
In the middle of the night, a startup that had raised $5.5 million dissolved and disappeared. It deleted its Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and Google+ profile. It changed its website to say it was "pausing operations."
At 1:34 a.m. PT on Monday, Zirtual, a virtual-assistant company, sent an email to all of its employees saying it had ceased operations, effective immediately.
A follow-up note to its clients said it was "pausing operations" to reorganize its structure.
The news stung because there was no warning from the company, according to several former employees who spoke with Business Insider.
The company and its CEO, Maren Kate Donovan, did not respond to requests for comment on this article.
Everything seemed normal ...Even 13 hours before it shut down, Zirtual was still accepting sign ups and the money that came with them, according to Aaron Weber, who posted photos of his short-lived run with Zirtual on Twitter.
Donovan, the company's CEO and cofounder, had just written three weeks ago in Fortune about the need for transparency during a company shift, saying employees needed time to adjust:
Because what my employees don't know could ultimately hurt the entire business. The sooner your team knows about upcoming shifts in the company '-- the better.
Additionally, give your employees ample time to adjust, as change in a company can often lead to people feeling unstable in their positions. And be transparent.
ZirtualMaren Kate Donovan, CEO of Zirtual.
Yet Monday's email was not a warning to employees, but a door slammed in their face. Employees said they felt blindsided and not prepared for the news, according to the employees Business Insider spoke with and the outpouring of shock on Twitter."I woke up this morning thinking it was a normal Monday morning. I was going to wake up, have my coffee, and have my weekly morning call with my client," Carol Murrah, who had worked for Zirtual for 2 1/2 years, told Business Insider.
Before Murrah had a chance to read the email, the client broke the news over the phone as Murrah tried to fire up her computer and found herself locked out.
"I always knew I was going to get my paycheck, until today," Murrah said. "I expected to get paid this Friday, and that's not happening."
Growing, but too fast?Former employees told Business Insider the company had been on a rapid hiring spree during the past 18 months, ballooning its numbers from around 150 to the 400 employees it laid off Monday.
In an interview on Friday with Jason Calacanis '-- who is also an investor in the company '-- on "This Week in Startups," Donovan said the hardest part of scaling Zirtual was "growth capital."
"Since we're employees versus contractors, it's hiring ahead, building out this stuff," Donovan said of the challenges, just three days before the startup shut down. "It's seeing the future and playing the game right now."
Over the past few months, work had slowed from some of its virtual assistants, but many thought it was because of the summer vacation season.
"In the last two months or so, work has slowed down significantly," Murrah said. "We were pretty confused as to why. We weren't having client cancellations. We were never once told that was something to worry about."
For employees, it seemed as if growth was on the up-and-up, according to several virtual assistants we spoke with. Donovan's monthly "state of the union" emails never hinted at problems, and there was even talk of gradually raising the minimum wage of virtual assistants to $15 an hour from $11. Zirtual was beta-testing a teams product that could allow whole teams to sign up.
"We were looking at it as, 'Oh, there's progression, we're growing,'" Daniell Wells, a virtual assistant who was with the company since February, told Business Insider.
What goes up, must come downIn the end, it's unclear why Zirtual has shut down, though it's clear it was in haste. While the company had raised $5.5 million, all of its rounds after seed funding were debt rounds, including one at the end of July.
When it started, Zirtual was a personal, virtual concierge service that charged only $99 a month for unlimited tasks, Donovan said on the show. The company has been loyal to some of those plans, though, and that may have cost it.
"A completely unsustainable business model, but we still have some legacy plans that are sticking around," Donovan told Calacanis. "We grandfathered a crap ton of stuff."
Calacanis, who had interviewed Donovan on Friday, said on Twitter he found out as an investor that there were problems only on Saturday, though he hopes it can make a comeback.
Calacanis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
While some may be more positive about a restart, the shock is still fresh for those who lost their jobs.
Wells said they had received only the notice of the company ceasing operations, but no other massive direct communication from leadership. Important information regarding things such as severance and health insurance is still unresolved.
Former employees said they didn't know whether Zirtual would even be able to make this Friday's paycheck for the employees' last week of work.
Despite the lack of communication from leadership, former employees have created a Facebook group and a Slack team so they can stay in touch and share what little information they have received. They are scrambling to educate themselves on how to be come 1099 contractors, how to get in touch with old clients and how to rebuild their careers.
"There are 400 employees who were given the notice this morning," Wells said. "They are all available for work. It was a really poor move. I'm at a loss for words."
VIDEO-Donald Trump: I whine until I win - CNNPolitics.com
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:22
Trump on Tuesday morning in an interview on CNN's "New Day" proclaimed that he is "the most fabulous whiner" when confronted with an opinion piece that criticized him using the same label.
"I do whine because I want to win and I'm not happy about not winning and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win," Trump told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.
Trump was pressed for specifics on the issues he's raised on the campaign trail and touched on every issue from abortion to equal pay for women to foreign policy during the half-hourlong interview on Tuesday.
And Trump also refuted a report that he was considering ruling out a third-party run.
READ: Meet Trump's new inner circle
"I'm running as a Republican, I'm leading in every poll...I'm leading all over the place and I want to run as a Republican," Trump said. "If I am treated fairly that's the way it's going to be but I want to keep that door open. I have to keep that door open because if something happens where I'm not treated fairly I may very well use that door."
Trump added that an independent run is "not something I want to do."
ABC News reported Monday that Trump was considering ruling out a third-party run, citing an unnamed senior adviser.
That came days after Trump refused to pledge to rule out a third party run and support the Republican nominee whoever it might be, when asked about it during the Republican primary debate last Thursday.
That refusal doesn't appear to be doing Trump any damage in the polls as Trump claimed the No. 1 spot in two polls conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire conducted after the debate.
Clinton dismisses Trump campaign: 'It's entertainment'
Trump even topped Scott Walker in Iowa for the first time, claiming 17% of support to Walker's 12% according to a Suffolk University poll released Monday. In New Hampshire, Trump continues to lead the pack, taking 18% in the Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll also released Monday.
"It's amazing how many so-called senior advisers I have. Everybody's a senior adviser and a longtime adviser," Trump quipped in a separate interview on Fox News on Tuesday.
Trump's Tuesday morning Fox News appearance was his first since he criticized the Fox News moderators of Thursday's debate and sparked a controversy by going after Megyn Kelly, saying there was "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
That comment was largely interpreted as a reference to menstruation, which Trump has fiercely denied.
But Trump seems to have buried the hatchet with Fox News, telling one of the show's morning anchors that "we've always been friends" as he was welcomed back onto the network.
Trump on Kelly: 'She should really be apologizing to me'
Trump again slammed those who interpreted his comments as referring to menstruation on CNN, saying only "a deviant" and those with "sick minds" or "semi-sick minds" would think that.
He instead again pivoted to slamming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who suggested half-a-billion dollars to fund women's health was too much. Bush later said he "misspoke" and meant to critique only the half-a-billion dollars in funding Planned Parenthood receives.
"I think Jeb Bush owes women an apology because he made a terrible statement about women's health issues and it was a foolish statement and perhaps a stupid statement," Trump said. "He's the one that has to apologize to women."
Trump also lambasted Planned Parenthood, the health care organization and abortion provider that has been under fire after undercover videos were published online.
"The biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. I mean its like an abortion factory, frankly, and you can't have it and you shouldn't be funding it. It shouldn't be funded by the government," Trump said.
But he also suggested he might allow some aspects of Planned Parenthood to remain funded, saying he "would look at the individual things...maybe some of the things are good."
Planned Parenthood is already barred from using federal funds to fund abortions, the aspect of Planned Parenthood Trump said he wants to defund.
Just last week, though, Trump had said he would shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood as a whole.
And while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow presidential contender, said during the debate last week he opposes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, Trump said he continues to support the exceptions while still opposing abortions in all other cases.
"I am for the exceptions. The health of the mother and the life of the mother, I absolutely am for the exceptions and so was Ronald Reagan for the exceptions, by the way, there's nothing wrong with that and you have to do it," Trump said.
Trump insisted that he would be the best president for women, touting the number of women executives in his company's top positions -- women he said he pays as much as men in similar posts.
Opinion: Is the Trump balloon about to burst?
But while Trump said he loves the "concept" of equal pay, he would not back efforts to require equal pay through legislation.
"I'm looking into it very strongly and I'll have a position on it in the not too distant future," Trump said. "One of the problems you have is you get to have an economy where it's no longer a free enterprise economy."
It was just one of several issues where Trump explained his position in broad strokes but -- despite being pressed for specifics by Cuomo at several points in the interview -- would not delve into the details of any policy proposals.
Trump's campaign has repeatedly insisted that it will release policy papers based on its own timeline -- one that has not been formally laid out.
When pressed on specifics for his tax reform plan, for example, Trump said he would simplify the tax code "by using intelligence, by using common sense."
"You do have to have flexibility. When these guys come and issue these plans and they're hard and fast you've got to go with the punches like the boxers say...you've got to have a certain flexibility," Trump said.
The private advice behind Trump's politics
VIDEO-Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T Flynn - YouTube
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 03:41
VIDEO-Turkey: Erdogan promises 'no terrorists will be left' | euronews, world news
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:22
The human cost of the spiralling violence is beginning to be felt in Turkey.
Relatives have gathered to mourn a soldier killed when militants attacked a military base in Sirnak on Monday.
The sorrowful scene is being repeated elsewhere. The victim was one of at least nine people who died on Monday in a wave of attacks on the security forces.
Fighting talkRecep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will not rest until the terrorist threat is eradicated:
''Preventing guns being fired is not enough,'' the Turkish President said in a speech. ''Weapons should be put down and buried. I insist on this. Our fight will continue until not one terrorist is left within our borders and their weapons have been covered with concrete.''
The US Consulate in Istanbul opened its doors to the public a day after a gunfight between police and militants.
The Kurdish PKK has said it was behind the separate bombing of a police station nearby in which four people died.
Air strikes continueMilitary activity in the region is intense.
Planes leave for a fresh round of air strikes in the south eastern province of Hakkari, while the US-led coalition pursues an air campaign against Islamic State in Iraq.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davotoglu has told the BBC Turkey is still in favour of a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Northern Syria.
VIDEO-PAtric Moore Greenpeace founder-What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change - YouTube
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:28
VIDEO-John Kerry Warns "Dollar Will Cease To Be Reserve Currency Of The World" If Iran Deal Rejected | Zero Hedge
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:53
Scaremongery... or maybe the whole point, as Obama's former chief economist noted, is to lose reserve status. Take That China!!
As Jared Bernstein previously explained...
There are few truisms about the world economy, but for decades, one has been the role of the United States dollar as the world's reserve currency. It's a core principle of American economic policy. After all, who wouldn't want their currency to be the one that foreign banks and governments want to hold in reserve?
But new research reveals that what was once a privilege is now a burden, undermining job growth, pumping up budget and trade deficits and inflating financial bubbles. To get the American economy on track, the government needs to drop its commitment to maintaining the dollar's reserve-currency status.
The reasons are best articulated by Kenneth Austin, a Treasury Department economist, in the latest issue of The Journal of Post Keynesian Economics (needless to say, it's his opinion, not necessarily the department's). On the assumption that you don't have the journal on your coffee table, allow me to summarize.
It is widely recognized that various countries, including China, Singapore and South Korea, suppress the value of their currency relative to the dollar to boost their exports to the United States and reduce its exports to them. They buy lots of dollars, which increases the dollar's value relative to their own currencies, thus making their exports to us cheaper and our exports to them more expensive.
In 2013, America's trade deficit was about $475 billion. Its deficit with China alone was $318 billion.
Though Mr. Austin doesn't say it explicitly, his work shows that, far from being a victim of managed trade, the United States is a willing participant through its efforts to keep the dollar as the world's most prominent reserve currency.
When a country wants to boost its exports by making them cheaper using the aforementioned process, its central bank accumulates currency from countries that issue reserves. To support this process, these countries suppress their consumption and boost their national savings. Since global accounts must balance, when ''currency accumulators'' save more and consume less than they produce, other countries '-- ''currency issuers,'' like the United States '-- must save less and consume more than they produce (i.e., run trade deficits).
This means that Americans alone do not determine their rates of savings and consumption. Think of an open, global economy as having one huge, aggregated amount of income that must all be consumed, saved or invested. That means individual countries must adjust to one another. If trade-surplus countries suppress their own consumption and use their excess savings to accumulate dollars, trade-deficit countries must absorb those excess savings to finance their excess consumption or investment.
Note that as long as the dollar is the reserve currency, America's trade deficit can worsen even when we're not directly in on the trade. Suppose South Korea runs a surplus with Brazil. By storing its surplus export revenues in Treasury bonds, South Korea nudges up the relative value of the dollar against our competitors' currencies, and our trade deficit increases, even though the original transaction had nothing to do with the United States.
This isn't just a matter of one academic writing one article. Mr. Austin's analysis builds off work by the economist Michael Pettis and, notably, by the former Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
A result of this dance, as seen throughout the tepid recovery from the Great Recession, is insufficient domestic demand in America's own labor market. Mr. Austin argues convincingly that the correct metric for estimating the cost in jobs is the dollar value of reserve sales to foreign buyers. By his estimation, that amounted to six million jobs in 2008, and these would tend to be the sort of high-wage manufacturing jobs that are most vulnerable to changes in exports.
Dethroning ''king dollar'' would be easier than people think. America could, for example, enforce rules to prevent other countries from accumulating too much of our currency. In fact, others do just that precisely to avoid exporting jobs. The most recent example is Japan's intervention to hold down the value of the yen when central banks in Asia and Latin America started buying Japanese debt.
Of course, if fewer people demanded dollars, interest rates - i.e., what America would pay people to hold its debt - might rise, especially if stronger domestic manufacturers demanded more investment. But there's no clear empirical, negative relationship between interest rates and trade deficits, and in the long run, as Mr. Pettis observes, ''Countries with balanced trade or trade surpluses tend to enjoy lower interest rates on average than countries with large current account deficits, which are handicapped by slower growth and higher debt.''
Others worry that higher import prices would increase inflation. But consider the results when we ''pay'' to keep price growth so low through artificially cheap exports and large trade deficits: weakened manufacturing, wage stagnation (even with low inflation) and deficits and bubbles to offset the imbalanced trade.
But while more balanced trade might raise prices, there's no reason it should persistently increase the inflation rate. We might settle into a norm of 2 to 3 percent inflation, versus the current 1 to 2 percent. But that's a price worth paying for more and higher-quality jobs, more stable recoveries and a revitalized manufacturing sector. The privilege of having the world's reserve currency is one America can no longer afford.
* * *
In the global race to debase, Reserve currency status is a curse!
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 2.1(19 votes)
VIDEO-BES: angry savers clamour for their cash in Portugal | euronews, world news
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:39
Angry customers clamour to get their savings back from the collapsed Portuguese bank Espirito Santo.
It is a battle of ''Davids versus a Goliath''; individual savers against the national banking system.
Thousands were persuaded to put their savings in toxic investment plans which then failed.
One year after the BES was re-invented via a national bailout, they are still waiting for their lost money to be repaid.
People are angry''From January until March, they said the problem would be solved,'' said one man, ''they announced on the internet that we would be reimbursed with interest but they have not even given back what they owe us. They are not honest people.''
''I don't believe them anymore,'' a woman added,''my husband believed up until now but I never have.''
What happened to BES?Once one of Portugal's biggest lenders, BES collapsed after reporting a record loss in 2014.
The country's fledgling recovery looked threatened and the government came to the rescue.
The sound assets were transferred into Novo Banco as part of a 4.9 billion euro bailout.
But there is still no news of reimbursement for the small investors who were persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash.
VIDEO-MH17 investigators to RT: No proof east Ukraine fragments from 'Russian' Buk missile '-- RT News
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:39
Investigators probing the downing of MH17 flight told RT that they cannot confirm that fragments found in eastern Ukraine are from a Buk missile system, refuting media reports that the parts belong to a Russian surface-to-air complex.
On Tuesday, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released a statement saying that it is investigating ''several parts, possibly originating from a Buk surface-air-missile system.''
Following the release of the report, numerous media reports indicated that it was a ''Russian'' or ''Russian-made'' missile system - something JIT spokesman Wim de Bruin rejected to RT, stressing that ''it's too early to draw any conclusion at this moment.''
He described the whole procedure as a ''forensic investigation to establish whether these parts'...were parts of a Buk [missile] system or not'' and added that it is difficult to set the deadlines for the final report to be presented.
The one thing the JIT is absolutely sure about, de Bruin said, is that ''those parts were found in eastern Ukraine.''
JIT said in its statement that ''at present the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17.''
The fragments ''possibly'' originating from a Buk surface-air-missile system were discovered during a recovery mission in eastern Ukraine and are in possession of the investigators.
Dutch prosecutors say that the parts found at the site ''are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17.''
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down over war-torn eastern Ukraine July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
In June, Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey presented the results of its own probe into the causes of the MH17 crash.
Looking into the option of a surface-to-air missile downing the Boing-777, experts stressed that it could only have been caused by one of the missiles from an older modification of Buk missile system, namely the Buk-M1.
The missiles in question are deployed by a number of ex-Soviet countries, including Ukraine. In Russia, a newer make has replaced the older version.
''If a surface-to-air missile system was used [to hit the plane], it could only have been a 9M38M1 missile of the BUK-M1 system,'' Almaz-Antey said, adding that this type of missile has not been supplied to the Russian Armed Forces since 1995.
LISTEN MORE:
VIDEO-Turkey PM: Syria no-fly zone needed - BBC News
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:07
The Turkish prime minister has told the BBC that Turkey will push again for a no-fly zone over northern Syria to protect civilians fleeing both Islamic State and Syrian government forces.
Ahmet Davutoglu said he would work with the US to establish a "safe area" for people displaced by Syria's conflict.
Mr Davutoglu did not rule out sending Turkish troops in to protect the area.
Turkey is home to more Syrian refugees than any other country - more than 1.8 million according to recent UN figures.
In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, Mr Davutoglu called on the international community to do more to resolve the four-year conflict in Syria and denied that Turkey had helped so-called Islamic State and other extremist groups.
He criticised the five permanent members of the UN Security Council for failing to make a "strong decision" to stop the atrocities in Syria.
Asked whether Turkey was doing enough to prevent the large numbers of migrants reaching Europe though his country, he said it was the responsibility of the international community to stem the flow of migrants by bringing the four-year conflict in Syria to an end.
Despite not ruling out the use of Turkish ground troops, Mr Davutoglu said he preferred to strengthen Syria's moderate opposition.
"If there is enough power of moderate forces in Syria, there will not be any necessity for other countries including Turkey to send any ground troops," he said
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu argues that the bloodshed in Syria is still out of control because of a simple fact of international life: the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are paralysed when it comes to dealing with Syria's war. They haven't been able to agree a single course of action.
When he was foreign minister, Mr Davutoglu was praised for a policy based on the idea that Turkey should have no problems with its neighbours. But the collapse of much of the Middle East into violence means the Turks face challenges wherever they look.
They are struggling most with fall-out from the Syrian war, in which Turkey is deeply involved. The war has converged with the much older fault line between the Turkish state and Kurdish separatists. It's another example of how the Syrian war is making existing problems much worse.
Turkey v Islamic State v the Kurds: What's going on?
Profile: Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Turkey's dangerous game
Opponents of the Turkish government have accused it of using the conflict with IS jihadists to target the Kurdish separatist militant group, the PKK.
A ceasefire in Turkey's long-running conflict with the group disintegrated in July, when a suicide bombing blamed on IS killed 32 people in the predominantly Kurdish town of Suruc.
The PKK's military wing killed two Turkish police officers, claiming they had collaborated with IS in the bombing, and in response Turkey began bombing PKK camps in northern Iraq at the same time as launching air strikes on IS militants in Syria.
More than 50 people are thought to have been killed in Turkey in violence linked to the PKK since the current crisis began. The number of PKK militants killed in Turkish air strikes is unknown, but unconfirmed reports in Turkish media said that 190 were killed and more than 300 injured in two major strikes in Turkey and northern Iraq in July.
Turkey launched a fresh round of air strikes in the south-east of the country on Tuesday as the PKK said it was behind Monday's bombing of a police station in Istanbul.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country would continue to fight the PKK "until not one terrorist is left within our borders" and "until concrete is poured" over the separatists' weapons.
Mr Davutoglu denied that Turkey was at war with the Kurds, arguing instead that the country was retaliating against a terrorist group.
"You can not say if al-Qaeda attacks Britain it is a war between Britain and al-Qaeda. This is a terrorist attack," he said.
"No government, neither European or American democratic government can tolerate a group which is calling people for rebellion against the legitimate government," he added.
The PKK is regarded as a terrorist group by many Western countries, including the US and the UK.
More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK began its armed struggle against the Turkish government in 1984. In the 1990s, the organisation dropped its demand for a Kurdish state and instead called for more autonomy for the Kurds.
But Mr Davutoglu has said since the recent resumption of violence that air strikes against the group will continue until it surrenders.
The leader of the PKK, Cemil Bayik, told the BBC on Sunday that he believed Turkey wanted IS to succeed in order to prevent Kurdish gains. Kurdish fighters - among them the PKK - have secured significant victories against IS militants in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey's battle with the PKK is complicating the US-led war on IS, for which the US has relied heavily on Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with Turkey's Kurdish rebels.
Turkey has been accused, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, or supporting jihadist elements in Syria in the early stages of the formation of IS.
Mr Davutoglu rejected the accusation, telling the BBC Turkey had never supported IS or other extremist groups such as al-Nusra.
"No. Never. Never. Never. We supported only those who escaped from Assad's atrocities - chemical weapons, barrel bombs," he said.
"This is an unfair assessment and accusation against Turkey which there is no ground at all. If there is anybody who has a proof for this, they should put this on the table."
VIDEO: The British bobbies patrolling Magaluf
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:06
British police officers have been patrolling in the resort of Magaluf on the island of Mallorca, as part of a trial initiative funded by the Foreign Office.
Last year the British Consulate in Mallorca dealt with 182 detentions of British nationals and in the same period 131 British citizens were hospitalised in Mallorca.
It is hoped the presence of British police in the resort will reduce the number of incidents and the workload of British consular staff there.
Tom Burridge spoke to Sgt Brett Williams and PC Martina Anderson, from West Midlands Police, during one of their first patrols of Magaluf.
VIDEO: 'Turkey a victim of Syrian crisis'
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:06
Turkey's prime minister has said his country will push again for a no-fly zone over Syria.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, Ahmet Davutoglu said a "safe area" was needed to support civilians from so-called Islamic State (IS) and Syrian government forces.
He also said Turkey had become a "victim" of the Syrian crisis, and that supporting refugees fleeing Syria had become a "great burden".
Mr Davutoglu also denied that his country supported IS, calling such accusations "unfair".
VIDEO-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Power Plant | Video | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:05
August 11, 2015Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy talked about the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan - the nation's first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing U.S. power plants.
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Related VideoClips from This Video
VIDEO-Discussion Credit Card Security | Video | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:05
August 11, 2015Banking and data security policy experts talked about the future of secure credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. as card issuers,'... read more
Banking and data security policy experts talked about the future of secure credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. as card issuers, merchants, and banks begin issuing ''chip'' cards that promise more security than ones with magnetic stripes. close
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
People in this videoDebra BerlynPresidentConsumer Policy SolutionsWilliam BogerSenior Vice President and Chief Legislative CouncilAmerican Bankers AssociationJohn BreyaultVice PresidentNational Consumers League->Public Policy, Telecommunications and FraudLiz GarnerVice PresidentMerchant Advisory GroupStephen PociaskPresidentAmerican Consumer Institute Center for Citizen ResearchMarisa PorgesFellowNational Economic Council->White HouseMore PeopleRelated VideoJanuary 3, 2015Consumer Information ProtectionJohn Breyault talked about he National Consumers League's push for the 114th Congress to strengthen consumer'...
March 29, 2014Consumer Data BreachesJohn Breyault of the National Consumers League talked about breaches of private consumer data at companies and'...
December 12, 2013Identity Theft and Consumer Protection, Part 3Panelists talked about Federal Trade Commission and the financial services industry efforts to combat identity (ID)'...
March 8, 2013Consumer Protection SummitParticipants spoke about consumer protection and the wide variety of fraudulent schemes used to lure'...
VIDEO-Lawrence Lessig wants to run for president '-- in a most unconventional way - The Washington Post
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 18:56
Presidential candidates usually don't run on promises to vacate the White House once they get in office, but that's what Lawrence Lessig said he might do as he begins exploring a protest bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
Lessig, a Harvard law professor and government reform activist, announced Tuesday morning that he was launching a presidential exploratory committee to run as what he called a "referendum president" with the chief purpose of enacting sweeping changes to the nation's political system and ethics laws.
''Until we find a way to fix the rigged system, none of the other things that people talk about doing are going to be possible," Lessig said in an interview with The Washington Post, borrowing a phrase that has become Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's rallying cry. "We have this fantasy politics right now where people are talking about all the wonderful things they're going to do while we know these things can't happen inside the rigged system.''
In the interview, conducted by phone on Monday ahead of his announcement, Lessig said he would serve as president only as long as it takes to pass a package of government reforms and then resign the office and turn the reins over to his vice president. He said he would pick a vice president "who is really, clearly, strongly identified with the ideals of the Democratic Party right now," offering Warren as one possibility. He said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whom he considers a friend and has drawn huge crowds in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, was another option.
Lessig said he would spend the next month testing the waters to determine whether he would have enough support and resources to wage a credible campaign. If he raises $1 million by Labor Day, he said, he will formally launch his candidacy. If not, he will return the money to donors and go home.
"I'm absolutely competing to be the nominee, but obviously there's a bunch of big hurdles to get over to make that possible,'' Lessig said.
Another hurdle is making the debate stage with the other Democratic candidates, including former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Democratic National Committee has established a 1 percent national polling threshold for candidates in the debates, which begin Oct. 13 in Nevada. Lessig said he is confident he would make the cut.
"That one percent of America has watched my Ted Talks," Lessig said. ''If we can be in the debates and frame this issue in a way that becomes compelling, then I think there's a chance to see it take off.''
Lessig has developed a following in liberal circles with his activism against big money in politics. He launched Mayday PAC to much fanfare in the spring of 2014, billing it as the "super PAC to end super PACs." But it failed to play a decisive role in any race that year. The group spent more than $10 million going after candidates opposed to measures that would lessen the impact of wealthy donors, but in the end could not point to a single race in which it turned the outcome.
Lessig argued after the November midterm elections that the group still had influence, saying that Mayday's late campaign against Rep. Fred Upton forced the powerful Michigan Republican to plow millions of dollars into what most expected was going to be an easy reelection.
If he moves forward, Lessig said, he would "run a full campaign." He already has about six aides helping with his effort, led by Ryan Clayton. The public relations firm Fenton Communications also is involved and Lessig said he is in talks with two pollsters.
The singular focus of Lessig's campaign would be passing the Citizens Equality Act, a package of reforms that would guarantee the freedom to vote with automatic registration, end partisan gerrymandering and fund campaigns with a mix of small-dollar donations and public funds.
But, Lessig said, ''It's not like the one issue I care about is way off to the corner and nothing else is important to me. Everything is important to me -- from Wall Street to climate change to the debt -- all of those are tied to this particular problem.''
The other Democratic candidates have been addressing political reform issues as well. Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley have said they want to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums of money on independent election activities.
But Lessig said Clinton "hasn't addressed the real reform we need."
"Even if she did say exactly the right things, I don't think it's credible that she could achieve it because she '' and the same thing with Bernie '' would be coming to office with a mandate that's divided among five or six different issues," Lessig said. "The plausibility of creating the kind of mandate necessary to take on the most powerful forces inside of Washington is zero. This is what led me to recognize that we have to find a different way of doing this.''
Matea Gold contributed to this report.
Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
LGBTQ techies take over the White House
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 18:46
Digital Gov
LGBTQ techies take over the White HouseBy Zach NobleAug 10, 2015U.S. CTO Megan Smith called for more techies at the "principal table."
The LGBTQ community was front-and-center, but the conversation at the Aug. 10 White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation summit touched on diversity of all stripes, from sexual to racial to professional background.
''All issues are LGTBQ issues, even if they don't seem obvious,'' said Aditi Hardikar, the White House's official ambassador to both the Asian-American and LGBTQ communities.
At the summit, participants were divided into teams to brainstorm tech-driven solutions to four broad challenge areas: economic inclusion, criminal justice reform, systems inclusion and climate.
The plan, organizers said, was for teams to start at the summit, continue developing ideas over the next three months and eventually present their work to White House representatives via Google Hangouts.
Many participants said just getting in the door, to tech companies or government jobs, was a major barrier.
But for every summit participant looking for work, there seemed to be a representative from a major company not just offering jobs, but actively seeking applicants who were female, LGBTQ and/or racial minorities. Ernst and Young, Intel, Akamai, HP, Accenture, Verizon, Pixar, Google and IBM were among the firms represented.
''Bring more women into tech,'' pleaded SquareSpace supervisor Jenny Campos. ''It's kind of lonely being the only woman on my team.''
As the introduced themselves, each participant delivered an offer '' what they could do for others '' and an ask.
Offers varied from networking opportunities to the promise of Filipino food, while asks ran the gamut from job requests to a boycott of the upcoming Stonewall film because, one participant said, the movie appears to be ''eras[ing] trans from our equality movement.''
''My ask is that everyone teach a black woman how to code,'' another participant said.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, former Google executive-turned-''most powerful lesbian in the White House,'' lauded the potential for creative thinking that fresh blood would bring the federal government.
She noted the professional homogeneity of government higher-ups, most of whom have strong legal backgrounds.
With very few techies at the ''principal table,'' tech issues can become an afterthought, Smith said. ''They often sort of throw that stuff over the fence instead of working collaboratively,'' she noted, calling on more techies to enter government to help focus federal attention on technology.
She shared promising strategies, from boosting venture capital funding for women- and minority-owned startups to putting a Fab Lab in every congressional district.
Smith's vision: ''Government, instead of being parental, can really be the stage on which things are done.''
She also called on participants, many of whom hailed from San Francisco and New York, to bring startup spirit and innovation to Washington.
''If we can make Amazon and Twitter,'' Smith said, ''why can't we make great websites for the IRS?''
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering cloud, big data and workforce issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
VIDEO-Megyn Kelly: I'm not apologizing to Trump for 'doing good journalism'
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:58
Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Aug. 10, 2015. [YouTube]
Fox News host Megyn Kelly did not directly address the personal attacks against her by Donald Trump on Monday, but did not back down from pressing the Republican presidential candidate over his history of sexist remarks.
''Trump, the front-runner, will not apologize. And I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism,'' she said. ''So I'll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far.''
The former reality TV star accused Kelly of having ''blood coming out of her wherever'' for bringing the issue up at last week's candidate debate.
He was subsequently disinvited from an event hosted by the conservative site RedState.com, and later demanded an apology from Kelly. Kelly noted the attacks during a short commentary on her show, saying she declined to respond.
''I felt he was asked a tough but fair question. We agreed to disagree,'' she said, later adding, ''This is a tough business, and it's time now to move forward.''
CNN reported that Trump and the network's CEO, had what was described as a ''blunt but cordial'' conversation on Monday morning.
''We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly,'' Ailes said in a statement. ''She is a brilliant journalist and I support her 100 percent.''
Watch Kelly's commentary, as aired on Monday, below.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
VIDEO-Howard Stern and Megyn Kelly discuss breasts, penises & Republican litmus tests about Fox News - YouTube
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:00
VIDEO-ISIS fighters in Afghanistan kill 10 prisoners accused of 'apostasy' - PzFeed
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:25
They have burnt men alive and drowned prisoners in metal cages but now ISIS have released a new video showing off their new horrific method of committing murder.
Filmed in an unknown location in Afghanistan, ISIS militants are shown burying several explosive charges beneath the ground before covering them with earth.
The ten prisoners are blindfolded and led up to where the bombs have been buried before they are forced to their knees. The bloodthirsty jihadis detonate the charges, killing all the prisoners.
VIDEO-Haiti: angry scenes as voters go to the polls | euronews, world news
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 20:40
There have been angry scenes in Haiti as the country goes to the polls for legislative elections that have been repeatedly delayed since 2011.
Police and UN peacekeepers have been posted at key flash points in the capital, Port au Prince.
There have been several deaths during campaigning, which got underway in July.
Six million people are eligible to vote. They are choosing two-thirds of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
The run-off will be held in October, on the same day as Haiti's presidential election.
The national parliament was dissolved in January over its failure to hold an election, leaving Haiti without a functioning government.
Observers are watching closely. The election is seen by many as a crucial test of stability for the impoverished nation.

Art

Image
Load image
Image
Load image

Caliphate!

Apostate Video.mp4
Turkey PM- 'Turkey is a victim of the Syrian crisis'.mp3
Turkey- Erdogan promises ‘no terrorists will be left’.mp3

CYBER!

Kerry Rus&CHin reading emails-cyber-defcon gaffe.mp3
New Facebook software can scan, snitch on people for criminal activity.mp3

Dudes named Ben

Pennsylvannia Breastfeeding mom BEN.mp3

Earon

Kerry on US Dollar.mp3
Rep. Sherman on Iran Deal Explains how the process works.mp3

EuroLand

BES- angry savers clamour for their cash in Portugal.mp3

Hillary 2016

Bernie Sanders- 'I Will Fight to...Make Every Public College and University in America Tuition Free’.mp3
Larry Lessig Campaign video.mp3

JCD Clips

ABC clinton server take plus more.mp3
ABC News native ad corruption.mp3
AMY on Trump one twenty.mp3
AMY on trump via clinton 133.mp3
Balck lives matter professor ONE.mp3
Black Lives Matter Professor -- Kicker.mp3
blogger in german charges dropped 25 seconds.mp3
clinton emails on CBS.mp3
dead activist 27 seconds.mp3
detention centers in Teas told to close 57 seconds.mp3
HILLARY ENTHUIIASM PROBLEM.mp3
Megyn versus Trump VERSUS aILES.mp3
michael steele robert costa explain thrid party idea.mp3
rand paul slamming trump.mp3
SF rents.mp3
THE art of the teaser FBI clip.mp3
THE art of the teaser.mp3
the befuddlement of chris hayes.mp3
trump on sanders.mp3

LGBBTQQIAAP

I Am Cait #FAIL.mp3

NA-Tech News

Art-Bell-Adam-Curry-Webmaster Keith Rowland.m4a
Kate Donovan on TWIS Valley NitWit.mp3

NWO

Aaasange explains tpp-ttip-tisa.mp3

Obama Nation

CNN-Hottie-Michelle Kosinski-Obama Special Aid shoots boyfriend.mp3

Shut Up Slave!

Sen. Booker- 'More African-Americans Under Criminal Supervision Than All of the Slaves in 1850'.mp3

Trump

Don Lemon and WeBeSisters.mp3
Megan Kelly LOVES IT!.mp3
Michael Gerson- Trump Supporters ‘Xenophobic’ ‘European Right Wing’.mp3
PREDICTED-MSNBC Trump North Korea.mp3
PROOF FOX DEMS-Wash Post’s Gearan- GOP Debate ‘Played Into Hands’ of Hillary Clinton.mp3
Trump on Bernie Sanders Letting Protesters Take His Microphone- 'Disgusting' .mp3
Trump on Specifics of His Proposals- 'Trust Me'.mp3
Trump with Cuomo Kid-I'm a Whiner.mp3
Trump's tax plan.mp3
Loading troll messages...