The strange inspirations behind Greek myths
- if you look through history it feels like people basically gave up because they didn't know how to identify genuine prophets (or else didn't like the answer that they were getting from them?)? Holy Scriptures are clearly historical in nature but there's a lot of other stuff mixed in which makes it difficult to identify anything interesting. Clearly, a lot of research has gone into this but a lot of people have gone no where
- the current definition of a prophet is basically someone who can see through lies or can see what is happening ahead of time based on past knowledge. This is very different to what a 'true prophet' is based on what I've seen as recorded in history (they can see into events they had no prior knowledge of). Also, things seem to have changed. In the past when prophets were wrong they got into a lot of trouble. Now, they seem to get an almost infinite number of chances?
- you could dismiss the idea of prophets entirely if it weren't for the fact that they could see into the future into events that they have absolutely no prior knowledge of. This makes the 'charlatan theory' unlikely
- my guess is that those who have greater faith may have experienced a greater number of elements of what was seen across a number of other prophets. It doesn't make sense that they would 'have faith' based on only a handful of deja-vu events. More likely it has happened several hundred or thousand times (if they are telling the truth and there aren't others who going out to fulfill previously recorded prophecies)? Which brings the into question of whether our lives are really in our own hands? Also, if you are a prophet and you can see ahead of time what's happening does that give you cause to lose or gain hope? Does that mean that our futures are pre-determined? If so, what's the point? If these people are 'favoured' why can they only see ahead in time for certain events and not all events? Is there a God secretly constantly fiddling around with our lives?
- if true prophets have no control over their abilities it may be that our fates are determined by God himself (if he exists)? No matter how much surveillance, whatever actions are taken against 'true prophets', even if they are killed they are just on element of God's plan? This effectively makes them infallible (and God by extension)? Torture won't gain anything because they are subject to a third party (who likely feeds knowledge to them based on what is happening within their current environment and their need?). This explains why some prophets are more fearful of God and the afterlife then what may occur in this life. They know that they have limited to no control over their visions and environment. Most probably they don't know how to control these visions and those that do have no real incentive to come forward (research into this seems to have been going on for thousands of years. I wouldn't be surprised if certain people and groups knew more than they were letting on)
- my guess is that there are existing failsafes in the Holy Scriptures and 'secret knowledge' passed down through the ages to help confirm 'true prophets' (if they exist)
- prophets are generally valued because they can see forward through time but my guess is that those who will confirm the existence of God will be able to look both forward as well as backward in time. They may be able to traverse time and space at will? This is the only way we will be able to confirm the existence or non-existence of God once and for all (theories on the birth of the Universe actually match up with what's in the Holy Scriptures across all major religions ironically. If there is a conspiracy to match things up deliberately this seems crazy?)
- lot of average people don't know but Islam, Judaism, Christianity share a common core (Abrahamic in origin). Hinduism and Buddhism share enormous overlap with the other religions also but interpreted the same way they are reasonably compatible in their teachings. A lot of people also don't seem to be aware that the two major prophets that have caused the most problems as are Jesus and Muhammad (veer off standard teachings, number of conflicts caused as a consequence of their respective religions, etc...)
- if there is a God only certain people are meant to be able to decipher the puzzle, only at an appropriate time and place? No amount of study or work prior to that will change the circumstances if done by others who aren't supposed to?
- there is an interesting inference that must be drawn if 'true prophets' exist. It means that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle goes out the window and means that Quantum Mechanics is at least partially wrong (most likely completely wrong and has been predicted by many other scientists ever since it's inception?)
- prophets and Quantum Entanglement theory alone suggests that FTL travel is possible. We just haven't figured out a way to achieve this yet. There's a big problem here though. If FTL travel is possible (depending on how it's achieved) then Einstein's work goes out the window as well
- hearing of voices and pre-cognitive capabilities seem to be common features in the Holy Scriptures and through human history. If this is correct, and pre-cognitive capabilities overlaps with schizophrenia (expressed in genotype but not in phenotype) then it makes more sense why we haven't been able to identify more of them?
- if there are 'true prophets' out there one wonders whether or not they may have other latent abilities as well? One wonders whether there is supposed to be a group of them who are finally able to convince the rest of humanity of what the 'final truth' is? Namely, which religion is valid? Whether they do this through science, religion, history, etc... or other means? If God is real (and prophets are as well) are there failsafes to not allow them to abuse their abilities?
- there seem to have been multiple types of prophets that have been recorded throughout history. Among them are those who experience 'lucid dreams' (dreams while they are asleep but still conscious) as well as those who effectively experience flashes/visions during the day of what may likely happen in the future? It is said that certain B type vitamins and other substances have been shown to increase likelihood of dream recall. The irony is that hallucinogenic drugs have been used that have produced similar results as those who naturally get precognitive visions. This seems like a very strange contradiction. Most of the Holy Scriptures tell you not to use drugs? It has to be something simpler than that if a substance is required to induce pre-cognition and other latent abilities
- the classic problem that every one of these people faces is what to do especially if they can't interpret the visions? The common theme seems to be that seem to experience heightened perception/reality?
- one of the interesting things about the Holy Scriptures is that we've ended up believing in some prophets in spite of them having only a limited number of proof/faith only if they are able to see into future multiple times
- given the preponderance of evidence it feels more likely that there is a God than isn't?
- even if prophets can be authenticated there will be people who don't want to acknowledge them for political reasons?
- one of the interesting things is that if they can be identified and their abilities harnessed there is one interesting thing about them. If they can control their abilities, then we can completely abandon mass surveillance as a means of maintaining social stability. Given that estimates of schizoprenia is only in the single digit percentage range that still leads us with tens of millions of people though (if 1% of population that means approximately 60 million globally who possibly have capabilities (assuming perfect efficiency. Please note that this number is based on genotypes that have been fully expressed as phenotypes. The true number may actually be significantly higher (though still in single digit percentages though)?). Factor in statistical variation and you may have several hundred million?)
- if the future is immutable (can not be changed) then people will say what's the point in seeing the future if they can't change it? Perhaps ignorance is bliss? Leads to the classic contradiction. How can see into the future and stop bad events but feel that the future is 'immutable'?
- whether in science fiction, religion, real life, etc... people have been saying it requires a mid-state (somewhere between sleep and wakefulness) to achieve optimal conditions for precognitive insight? It requires a neural interface to allow others to see what the pre-cognitives are seeing
- they may require help to be able make sense of their pre-cognitive visions. They often see stuff that isn't part of their day to day environment which suggests something else is in play?
- the frustrating thing for all of them is the exact same thing. Namely, the difference between normal dreams and precognitive visions
- those who realise that some of what has been said in the past may never want to acknowledge of what they are for fear of what may be done to them, others may realise that no matter what they can't change the future so they decide to live in ignorant bliss? The difficult problem is this. Look over plenty of history (such as Nostradamus) and plenty of prophets have been killed but their prophecies have still come true so what's the point?
- if prophets are real then it doesn't matter if they do speak the truth but no one listens
- there seems to be a certain unspoken code that seems to exist amongst the true believers versus those who aren't... A lot of Arab sayings make more sense. 'If God wills it, God willing'. They feel that everything is pre-determined by God/Allah. The problem is that if you examine religious history much of it seems to indicate that people have a choice?
- the Internet should be proof enough that more research should into prophets is warranted. There are heaps of instances of difficult to explain (through normal means) prophecies. For anyone who is interested in science it's clear that they undermine a lot of core aspects of our science
- it's been found in some research that brain mass reduces during incidences of psychosis and/or schizophrenia. If you know about neutrino detection then you'll realise that if visions are occurring as a result of an external entity then you'll realise that it could be the result of something similar. If you don't know about this then the basic explanation is as follows. Certain sub-atomic particles don't interact with our world except under highly specific and individual circumstances. In this case, neutrinos have been found to interact with certain types of heavy water. When an interaction occurs it gives off light which are then picked up by sensors. If the brain is similar then Einstein's E=mc^2 equation tells us that brain mass should decrease as seems to be the case in many of these people (assuming physical brain structure and operation of true prophets are slightly different (assuming this phenomenon is real))
- the difficulty of the above is that if this theory is true and the source is external then it's another contradiction. You'd naturally think that in order for a human to act as a medium or prophet you need a stablisation mechanism in the neurochemistry of the person in question. However, it has been found that in schizophrenic patients higher levels of oxidisation and free-radicals tend to be present inside of their brain? My guess is that you need to stabilise them enough to allow for interaction but not enough to 'nullify' them?
- clearly, some of the experiments indicate that scientists believe that pre-cognition may be possible to achieve amongst those who don't already have these abilities
- even if they do exist it's clear that a lot of people just aren't prepared for it yet
- verifying remote viewing is actually pretty easy. We know enough about neuro science to know that certain parts of the brain are activated by particular images. If a person can honestly get inside the head of another person then the same parts of the brain should be activated. That said, we then have to deal with a series of others problems such as memory verification and recall issues, witness reliability, etc...
- I think that most people believe a lot in what a lot of religions have to say even if they don't believe everything
- in all of the religions there's a common theme which says that there may be certain people who will come along and explain things
- one thing that doesn't seem to be explained well is why certain people are chosen (if the voices/visions are coming from an 'external entity'). Some of the people who are acknowledged to be 'true prophets' sometimes haven't lived
- the reason why some prophets seem to give up on everything is that they believe that everything that they are 'seeing' is going to come true no matter what they do. Given the independent descriptions (though often identical) of Heaven and Hell across many different prophets seem identical it makes sense that they should fear more what happens in the 'afterlife' then anything that could happen to them in their current lives (it's been speculated that some of what we've experienced is as a direct result of chemicals that are released during death or near death experiences. It doesn't explain the discrete nature/individual aspects of some of what happens though. For those who aren't aware we already have the technology to chemically, electronically, EM waves, etc... induce brain wave patterns and possibly sounds and images in people)
- in reality the only real way to live religiously is to basically join a religious group or order of some sort
- regardless of what you may think of the current state of the affairs most of the empires that have existed up until this point have not been able to 'scale upwards'. Look at the UK, US, USSR empires and it's clear that once a core element/country was weakened the likelihood of the collapse of the entire system was much greater
- most prophets don't seem to be able to place a time stamp on visions so a lot of the time by the time they figure out what's happened it's already happened
- one of the interesting things for me is that if it's a test then what's the ultimate test of faith. It's similar to the Hawthorne effect. If you know that there is a God you'll act differently then if you don't realise that someone is watching?
- if prophets are real then every one of them (and others) will be wondering the same thing. What makes them different and why are they receiving these visions? You look into the histories of some of these people and they don't seem all that different?
- one of the problems with prophets is that they may be subject to a third party (God). If that's the case, the normal laws of science don't apply where causation and statistical probability play a higher role. That said, there are accounts in the Holy Scriptures (and elsewhere) of those who have had prophetic visions for extended periods (and they came true)
- a lot of our problems will never be resolved as long as we can not figure out a way to finally resolve religious issues. I suspect that we will need to fix it along these lines then to simply ignore it into the future (which seems to be happening at the moment. There are those who keep on saying belief in religion will die out eventually but it has been a few thousand years now and it still plays a role in society)? That said, there is absolutely no incentive for anyone who can resolve all of these issues to step forward. It's a political minefield no matter which way they go (and even if they never ask for anything back) and it's clear that people will often just believe whatever they want to believe. Moreover, as has been indicated by the lives of other prophets. It may be that no matter what they (live, die, etc...) do they can not change the future?
- curious to know whether the media world falls apart if it can only rely on nothing but the truth? How much of the world is dependent on 'Click-Bait' and 'abnormal/tainted media'? Does most of it come down to corporate interests now? If it comes down to lacking time, money, etc... to fund proper journalism then I'm guessing that the only real way forward for the media industry is with AI and news aggregation technology. If it's based entirely on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) principles whereby everybody can understand what the code is checking for and it only registers things that are interesting and honest then it provides a checking mechanism especially for those who are only interested in this type of journalism? This is particularly the case, if you provide an software package (online or offline)
- until recently didn't realise that there was a very strange (but fairly popular) underground movement which supports unusual conspiracy theories?
Failed Economist Claims Trump Only Hiring Racist Conspiracy Theorists
- grab frame, grab watermark, OCR/image recognition, etc... Though you'll realise (if you've worked with this technology before) it can be of 'limited utility'
- only real solution around this is to create your own news aggregator? I've obviously examined and worked on such technology in the past
- the more you read into other countries the more you realise they have different perspectives. Difficult to figure out what propaganda is because everyone has a different opinion opinion and the more vocal or strong their existing local media is the less likely they can figure out what is biased and neutral. This problem is exacerbated by what is out on the Internet where people basically say whatever they want
- more stories about grown up name calling disguised as 'PSYOPS' (Psychological or Information Warfare). Basically, equivalent of telling good or bad stories about one another
- so sick of this. If they don't want people to talk about it don't put it on the Internet. So obvious they automate this process already to a certain extent and they have the technology to scan/censor so why blame others?
- you go through some of history and it's likely you'll be extremely confused at what constitutes 'Freedom of Speech' (short meaning seems to be say anything you want as long as it's not designed to create trouble?). When it comes down to it a lot of people have died simply because they have different ideas? Didn't realise that so few countries were signatories to the UDHR? I thought that UDHR was literally a universal agreement? If you're a journalist how do you know what you can touch and can't touch (the funniest thing about this is the national security argument. How do you know not to talk about 'bananas' if you don't know that the secret is about 'bananas'? You obviously have to tell the journalists about the secret 'Operation Banana' right?)? Making assumption that if it's already in the media (or been out there for decades) it's not sensitive (and has already been checked for sensitive content)? The history of a lot of countries out there are really awkward at times. My guess is that there's supposed to be a code of conduct somewhere about reporting on some stuff but a lot of it get's thrown out the window?
Trump win is no catastrophe, it's politics - Stephen Cohen
Russian Media This Week- Op Gladio B - US Threatens Russia with Unleashing Terrorists on Its Soil
Google’s Jigsaw - Undermining Alternative Media
- confusion, confusion, confusion? It becomes obvious why some journalists (and a lot of other people) can't figure out what they've done wrong? Some of the stuff online de-sensitizes you to the point where it's difficult to identify truth from fiction? Between what's right and wrong?
Hey Democrats STOP Running Corporatist Candidates!
Hillary Wants Government To Decide What 'Fake News' Is
Mainstream Media is Also Responsible For Fake News
Alex Jones is Now the Number One Enemy of the West
Washington Post Retracts - Admits Russians Not Running Alt-Right
Max Keiser in Studio - The Trump Effect is Changing History
Is The US Government Behind The Fake News Media Attacks On President-Elect Trump?
Corporate Media Is Just As Dangerous As Fake News Sites
Hillary Wants Government To Decide What 'Fake News' Is
- one of the things that I've struggled to understand is how patriots can end up thinking so differently about what is happening in their own country. If you look at a lot of the whistleblowers a lot of them are 'idealists'. They read the constitution literally (and can often see alternative solutions for problems that their country faces without having to contravene their constitution). A lot of those who are on the other side of the fence are 'idealists' but are also 'pragmatists'. They often can't see an alternative so they both sides end up seeing one another as silly and hypocritical. Insert into this equation, enemies who test how much we truly believe in our 'values' and it's easy to see how and why things are so strange. The problem is that we seem to be trying to save a system that is getting progessively worse (if the trends continue)?
‘More money on outside’ - NSA's best leave due to ‘low morale’ – former NSA director
best things that the united states
- clear that a whole lot of people are going to get caught up in this whole affair and don't even realise that they are doing something wrong? Only thing you can do is ask first because it honestly feels like some of what is deemed important to some people is completely bizarre. The thing about not linking to certain sites sounds rediculous if you think about the nature of search engines nowadays? Explain things in a way that makes sense?
- the thing you worry about here is about people who don't know that they are doing anything wrong?
- it's easy to see how this whole thing can blow up?
Draft E-Commerce Law Intends to Tackle Fake Reviews
- genuine up to date news is pretty hard to produce economically. I honestly don't think building an algorithm to filter out questionable content is as difficult as some people are saying. Up until recently ditn't realise how much questionable content we face. The obvious question for me is if the media drive the people or the people drive the media? The other thing is it's much easier/cheaper to aggregate/re-hash existing content then to come up with original content. What the PM recently said is probably unrealistic based on what I see on even many local websites nowadays. Look at the feeds. A huge amount of it is orientated towards the US. One other interesting trend is the anti-mainstream media movement in Germany, Israel, Turkey, Russia, and various other places
Infowars Announces Fake News Analysis Center
Corporate Media Will Bow To Trump. Crowdfunded TYT Won't.
Jordan Chariton on Breaking WikiLeaks Revelations & Dakota Pipeline Protests 
Corporate Media Will Bow To Trump. The Young Turks Won't.
Germans Fed Up With Media Lies
CrossTalk - Russia Watching
CrossTalk - Battling Narratives
Media's ELITISM & IGNORANCE Post-Election Has No Bounds!
German Satire (engl sub) on ISIS and American Interventions in the Middle East
ZDF Heute Show - Donald Trump and the American Voters - 26th Feb 16 (English Subtitles)
ZDF Heute-Show - The Brexit referendum and Britain - 19th Febuary 2016 (English Subtitles)
Turnbull on the asylum seeker deal with the US
The problem with fake news on Facebook - and how to spot it
- for those who are wondering, none of these posts are supposed to provoke any problems. I check posts multiple times prior to publication, I've asked others on multiple occassions to check the contents. Moreover, I use think tanks, existing media, etc... as the benchmark to determine what can and can't be published. The point of this blog isn't to change the world. It's just a collection of material in stuff that I'm interested in. Moreover, if you trace through the material you'll realise that one topic leads to another. There's no theme to it
- makes you wonder what's going through the mind of wild animals at times?
- a lot of FOSS music software options out there now
free edm midi loops
free midi files
- a lot of applications are 'portable' now (not requiring installation)
- apparently no SP2 for Windows 7 yet?
May 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- hmmm... wonder whether we secretly have FTL drives? Perhaps we should just get our alien friends on an American fast food diet? Get them to a healthy weight?
'Aliens could share more tech with us, if we warmonger less' - Former Canada Defense Minister
- been playing around with music generation software more
music21 pdf manual
lilypond music dance music
- can't believe they still have this problem
I can't sign out of account on blogger
- the irony of the the everything online world is that a lot of people still actually prefer to buy it from a store. Heard recently that's the reason why JB-Hifi were still in stocking physical music
- that's life...
- seems desperate but it seems to have worked?
- impression of Russian (former USSR) equipment is that it's a little bit behind the game but generally better value and often reliable and in wide spread use around the world. One of the funnier aspects of stealth aircraft is how loud they are?
russian defense helicopter reliability
Procurement: Why The U.S. Army Is A Major Buyer Of Russian Helicopters
- if you've ever wanted to purchase something US only but didn't have someone over there, there are always services such as this...
- anybody notice how much James Corbett sounds like 'Sylvester the Cat' (from cartoons)?
- wonder whether it's possible to run a mixed fleet and incorporate upgrades to the F-35 into the F-18? Curious whether it is actually possible to bring the F-18 up to F-35 standard? Apparently, there was an Advanced Super Hornet (reminds me of the F-15 Silent Eagle concept design which was a possible competitor to the current F-35 JSF) concept in the works? Other options are hybrid manned and drone fleets (we already have the technology for this)
- a lot of UCAV drones out there now... If you know about what's happening in the Middle East you'll realise that even terrorist organisations seem to have a crude form of that capability as well now
- could be a very awkward presidency? The way he is thinking and working isn't going to scale up? A lot of people think he's going to be hopeless. I'm not so sure. Let's see what happens?
Trump Saves American Factory...For A Price
'Take a look at Trump... is he anti-establishment' - Noam Chomsky to RT
 Trump Cabinet Is Horrifying, Get Rid Of Electoral College, & TPP Is Dead
 Here's Who To Blame For Trump, The Good News Of The Election, & More
 Leak Proves Banks Control Our Gov’t, How To Beat Election Fraud, Standing Rock Update
Corporate Media Will Bow To Trump. The Young Turks Won't.
- think what you want...
How MI5's scientists work to identify future terrorists
- apparently, you can hack the firmware (or even upgrade the internal hard drive) on some of these devices
- Iranians recently unveiled technology along these lines
- given the high incidence of breakdowns in the LCS, Ford Class Carrier, Type 45, Armata, JSF, etc... you have to wonder how much of this is just dis-information? Surely, they can't actually have this many problems?
- some new pieces of defense equipment out there
- really difficult to get a read of some politicians at times. Wish we get more thoughtful stuff more regularly...
President Obama - FULL INTERVIEW _ Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
- curious to know just how realistic this is. There has been heaps of technology along these lines in the past
- some interesting music making tips
- interested to see a woolly mammoth one day?
- didn't realise co-operation was there
- funny looking animals
- this looks neat
- there's not enough content now anyhow
- once you've figured out how to get traffic it's a question of how to monetise it...
- a lot of military aircraft crashes of late?
- some hardening tools for Linux (I tend to make the assumption that if it's supported in anyway by an agency of some sort their is also a 'backdoor' of some sort in their as well)
Review: Hardening Linux
building own firewall
how to create a firewall in c++
black hole firewall perl
create service linux perl
create network service linux perl
Network Programming with Perl | Linux Journal
- sick of this to be honest. Part of the time you wish we could go back to the old days without email and mobile phones
Forty Middle School students in Ohio were treated by emergency crews after consuming one of the world’s hottest peppers – the Bhut Jolokia, often referred to as the “Ghost Pepper.”
The school goers, aged between 11 and 14, ate the peppers during lunch period at Milton-Union Middle School on Friday, according to the Dayton Daily News.
An investigation is ongoing to establish where the hot chili peppers came from, but police say all of the students voluntarily ingested the peppers.
Five students were taken to hospital for treatment. Superintendent Brad Ritchey of Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools said the reactions varied from blotchy skin, hives, to tearing of eyes, sweating and general discomfort. Other students reported having problems seeing and vomiting.
Cody Schmidt, an eighth-grader at the school, told the Dayton Daily News he tried one of the peppers and it was in fact “really hot.”“We all drank like 10 cartons of milk,” Schmidt said.
School staff have identified the student who distributed the peppers and are now looking into whether to pursue disciplinary action.
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the heat level of chili peppers. A jalapeno pepper ranges just between 1,000 and 20,000 Scoville units. The Bhut Jolokia, on the other hand, has a Scoville rating of over 1 million units. It was once considered the world’s hottest pepper but was knocked off the top spot in 2013 by the Carolina Reaper, which measures a daunting 1.57 million Scoville units.
- According to the federal government's 2015 Australian Innovation System Report, start-ups added approximately 1.44 million jobs to the economy from 2006 to 2011, while businesses three years old or more shed 400,000 net jobs over the same period
"The start-ups and the growth companies are where the new jobs are," Ms Lawson said. "If we can get start-ups and scale-ups to work with corporates ... that's going to lead to incredible job generation."
Camplify founder Justin Hales came up with his business idea after noticing how many caravans sat idle in people's driveways.
While Camplify has been a successful investment for NRMA, it was "something we'd never have thought of in a million years", NRMA President Kyle Loades said.
The NRMA board understood there were risks when working with start-ups but took the view "that we only need one or two winners".
"You've almost got to accept there there will be some pain and some lessons learned and some just will not win," he said. "But the one or two gems that come out of the process can be well worth it."
The greater danger to companies' survival was failing to innovate, Mr Loades said. "Innovation, in my view, is life and death. If you stay the same, you're putting your business at risk."
- According to him, all observers agree that the start of serial construction of ships after more than 20 years is “one of the most important vectors of the fleet’s current development.” This might seem obvious, but it’s not widely appreciated.
Khodarenok walks quickly through the current construction program:
four proyekt 20380 corvettes in the fleet with eight on the buildingways;
three proyekt 11356 frigates delivered, others uncertain;
proyekt 22350 frigates under construction;
six proyekt 636.3 diesel-electric submarines complete, six more for the Pacific Fleet to be built in 2017-2020;
proyekt 955 Borey-class SSBN is a success with three delivered;
a single proyekt 885 Yasen-class SSN has reached the fleet, others will likely not arrive until after 2020.
One can quibble with his points. For example, it’s premature to declare Borey a success when its Bulava SLBM still hasn’t been accepted into the navy’s inventory (NVO made this point flatly on 12 August). Perhaps Borey is a success, but only in comparison to Yasen.
"Our goal is not to suddenly in the cyber arena duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past," he said, "but rather to start instituting some norms so that everyone is acting responsibly.
"What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the wild wild west, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in ... unhealthy competition or conflict through these means."
The president also discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which has come under attack from both parties during this campaign season. "It is indisputable that it would create a better deal for us than the status quo," Obama said.
- The National Science Foundation has issued two quarter-of-a-million-dollar grants for “Leveraging Personalized Internet Services to Combat Online Trolling.”
The grant defines online trolling as, “scenarios in which various groups deploy tactics to influence public opinion on the Internet, by leaving biased, false, misleading, and inauthentic comments, and then artificially amplifying their ratings,” so you can immediately see where that’s a slippery slope to shutting down free speech and dissent because who decides what is “false, misleading, and inauthentic” online?
The government’s researchers?
Creepier, the grant admits that we are increasingly tracked as our privacy is increasingly going extinct on the Internet, and it is this built-in “extensive tracking infrastructure” that will be tapped to combat trolling online:
Users have often expressed concern about the lack of privacy and control over their personal data. Nonetheless, despite a substantial effort to expose and control this prevalent behavior, the reality is that users keep accepting updated online privacy policies, which in turn grant the gathering of more personal data. This project explores re-using this extensive tracking infrastructure for the benefits of both the users themselves and web services, with a goal of preventing online trolling…
The goal is reportedly to create a “personalization-based counter-trolling system as open-source software.”
Kind of ironic when you think about how much money Hillary has spent amassing her very own online troll army… Then again, the “combat” here will be reserved for dissenters George Orwell style, as per the usual.
- In August 2014, Russia introduced a law requiring all blogs with 3,000 daily readers or more to follow many of the rules that exist in conventional mass media, such as tougher controls on published information and a ban on the use of explicit language. The restrictions include the requirement to verify information before publishing it and to abstain from releasing reports containing slander, hate speech, calls for extremism or other banned information such as advice on suicide.
In July this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a package of anti-terrorist amendments that allow automatic blocking of websites for promoting extremism and terrorism and require all communications companies, including internet providers, to retain information about their clients’ data traffic for three years and to hand it over to the authorities on demand (one year for messengers and social networks). Providers also must keep records of phone calls, messages and transferred files for six months.
- “Using our patented digital fingerprinting technology, VideoTracker performs critical tracking and measurement tasks to stop the unauthorized publication of digital content across all media platforms,”Vobile Inc explain on their website.
This time it appears someone at Vobile Inc has been a bit overzealous with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint.
According to Lumen which analyzes complaints about online activity, the studio submitted a complaint to tech giant Google last month, naming themselves as infringers.
The copyright infringement claim includes 300 URLs to websites allegedly providing illegal streams or downloads.
In an embarrassing gaff, the Hollywood studio asked Google to censor several of its own URLs from the search engine.
The complaint highlights official Warner Bros links to the Batman installment The Dark Knight and the cyber action movie The Matrix.
- After more than three decades of operating McDonald’s restaurants, Ted Lezotte in 2015 sold the last of his six stores in Michigan. Lezotte says looming costly remodeling—one rebuild was estimated at $1.9 million—helped spur his decision. “In today’s financial world, it’s becoming necessary to have more than a couple [of stores] to survive,” he says. The chain is looking for franchisees who have 8 to 10 locations, he says: “Ten kind of gives you a good footing” in case one isn’t doing so well. Of his six stores, one was closed, the rest sold to larger McDonald’s operators.
McDonald’s has long been famous for its small-owner-focused franchise system, in which entrepreneurs with only a store or two would sweat the details of their restaurants, yielding better customer service. Lately, however, the fast-food giant has begun shedding mom and pop owners in favor of bigger operators. Since 2014 the number of U.S. McDonald’s franchise owners has dropped 2.6 percent, while the number of franchised locations has grown 1.2 percent, according to data compiled by researcher FranchiseGrade.com. The chain’s biggest franchisees are getting larger, while those who own five locations or fewer are on the wane.
Getting rid of smaller franchisees allows McDonald’s to speed renovations and the implementation of new technology, such as the self-ordering touchscreens being tested in about 250 locations. Such gear can be expensive, and smaller franchisees often don’t have the capital to pay up—making them less willing to embrace the company’s plans.
- For now, then, Russia’s most direct threat to the West begins and ends in Eastern Europe, and its strongest weapons are spreading disinformation, conducting cyber-operations, and fomenting political unrest. The U.S. should continue to increase support for its NATO allies, keep the economic pressure on Russia to bring about a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, and play a more constructive role in Syria. Delusions of some new “axis of despots” shouldn’t get in the way of those straightforward and limited goals.
- “This anti-Western propaganda radically changed the atmosphere in the society,” said Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Center, the opinion polling firm. “It has become militarist.”
Many Russians tapped into a deep-rooted resentment that after modeling themselves on the West following the breakup of the Soviet Union, they had experienced only hardship and humiliation in return.
“Starting from about 1989, we completely reoriented toward the West. We looked at them as a future paradise. We expected that once we had done all that they demanded, we’d dance for them and they would finally hug and kiss us and we would merge in ecstasy,” said Evgeny Tarlo, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, on a Russian talk show last year. Instead, he said, the West has been trying to destroy Russia.
The anti-Americanism makes it harder for American culture to make inroads through its traditional means — soft-power routes such as movies, music and education. Last year, Russian policymakers ended a decades-old high school exchange program that offered their nation’s best and brightest the chance to spend semesters at U.S. schools. Few Western artists now perform on Russian soil.
Western diplomats also say privately that they find themselves frozen out of speaking engagements and other opportunities to explain their countries’ positions to Russian audiences. And Russians who work for local outposts of Western companies say their friends and neighbors increasingly question their patriotism.
A handful of business leaders have warned that Russia risks permanently stunting its own economic development with the angry self-isolation.
“I worry that the recent crisis might drive Russia into a certain historic confrontation, hampering the country's development in all spheres,” said former finance minister and Putin ally Alexey Kudrin in an interview with TASS.
But those are lonely voices amid the torrent of anti-Western fury.
“What the government knew was that it was very easy to cultivate anti-Western sentiments, and it was easy to consolidate Russian society around this propaganda,” said Maria Lipman, an independent Moscow-based political analyst who is working on a study of anti-Western attitudes.
Even McDonald’s, long an embodiment of Russian dreams about the West, was targeted for supposed health violations in the fall. Some of its most prominent locations were forced to shut down temporarily. When they reopened, McDonald’s started an advertising campaign emphasizing its local ties and its 25-year history in Russia, playing down the Golden Arches’ global significance as a bright beacon of America.
Last week, one McDonald’s billboard in the heart of Moscow read: “Made in Russia, for Russians.”
- Lechner gave up a job in design to found his company, Kaffeeform, about a year ago with around 40,000 euros ($44,717) in private financing. He now employs eight staff and is “almost breaking even”, he says. At present, the company collects 500 kg (1,102 lbs) of used coffee grounds a month for free, from cafes within walking distance of their premises in the trendy Berlin neighbourhood of Kreuzberg.
“Six servings of coffee are enough for us to make another coffee cup,” he says. “As we make more volume we will lower the price [of the cups] step by step. For the future we’d like to go into mass production. There’s a lot of coffee waste out there.”
- Tiny particles of pollution have been discovered inside samples of brain tissue, according to new research.
Suspected of toxicity, the particles of iron oxide could conceivably contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's - though evidence for this is lacking.
The finding - described as "dreadfully shocking" by the researchers - raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution.
Many studies have focused on the impact of dirty air on the lungs and heart.
Now this new research provides the first evidence that minute particles of what is called magnetite, which can be derived from pollution, can find their way into the brain.
Earlier this year the World Health Organisation warned that air pollution was leading to as many as three million premature deaths every year.
- Assange has openly stated his distrust of Hillary Clinton in the past and released info relating to both Clinton and DNC corruption. He has also claimed that Silicon Valley tech companies such as Google are purposefully painting Clinton in a positive light and are “directly engaged” in Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Assange denied that he was purposefully targeting Clinton, saying, “We don’t target the West. We are an investigative publisher.”
- Together, their cases are a stark example of the challenges law enforcement face as they try to uncover threats from a terror group skilled at reaching out online to attract supporters — some of whom may seem unlikely converts — then sorting out which of those people are actually a danger.
“ISIS has done a good job projecting that they are not just about violence,” said John Horgan, an expert in terrorism research at Georgia State University. “They know that they’re going to appeal to the young person who’s just pissed off and has had a bad deal. But they also want the dreamer, the North American converts who are virtually clueless about Islam but are beguiled by this fantasy that they’ve bought into.”
In Montgomery County, Md., a nonprofit organization called the World Organization for Resource Development and Education has developed a community-led anti-extremism model. A federal court in Minneapolis is experimenting with a post-prosecution de-radicalization program as an alternative to prison.
Farrokh’s attorney, Joseph Flood, petitioned for the de-radicalization expert who consulted in Minneapolis to help prepare an intervention plan for his client.
“There are no services available in the [Bureau of Prisons] designed to de-radicalize even the most willing participants,” Flood wrote.
The request was denied.
Farrokh, meanwhile, appears to have turned away from the terror group he once planned to join. He listened to the news of the Orlando massacre from jail, on a handheld radio. In a letter to a federal judge, he said he wondered “what kind of sick person could do such a thing.”
“I am disgusted by it,” he wrote, “but I am also disgusted by myself.”
- Needless to say, there is US Treasury money at stake. American companies can deduct payments to foreign tax authorities, so such fines cut US tax revenue dollar for dollar. "That outcome is deeply troubling, as it would effectively constitute a transfer of revenue to the EU from the US government and its taxpayers," said the report.
Washington has allowed the problem to fester by failing to reform the US corporate tax system. The US rate sticks out like a sore thumb at 35 per cent - and higher under some effective rates - and this is compounded by the effects of its world-wide tax code.
"American companies feel squeezed by the new rules coming and that is why they do these complex tax deals in Europe. If the US tax rate came down to the low 20s, they wouldn't bother," said one official. "Obama didn't grapple with this issue because it is a can of worms, but it is a can that has to be opened."
Behind the shadow boxing is a strong suspicion that powerful forces in the EU are trying to use state aid probes to break the global dominance of America's technology giants, vainly hoping to nurture their own Silicon Valley behind a digital wall. Amazon, Facebook, Google, as well as Apple, are all under fire, and Microsoft has fought an epic battle.
The view in Washington is that Mrs Vestager's probe of the Russian gas giant Gazprom is being conducted with kid gloves, and that she is strangely accommodating over the Nord Stream pipeline so favoured by Germany. It is almost as if some in Brussels view America as the real enemy.
The US has played down the episodic outbursts of anti-Americanism in the past, but the mood is shifting. Donald Trump has already warned that he is willing to "walk away" from Nato.
Others question ever more loudly exactly why the US should continue to guarantee the EU's eastern border against Vladimir Putin's Russia if it is behaving in such an unfriendly fashion - and without the American security blanket a disarmed Europe is almost completely defenceless. The EU needs to watch its step.