Bitcoins – Coins For the Cryptocracy

People all over the political spectrum are pushing bitcoins again.

I explained earlier why I felt you should avoid them. When I did, I withheld any reasoning except the most logical and self-evident.

Short version:

You can accomplish everything that bitcoins can achieve with good old cash. And you don’t need electricity, internet, computers, devices, and security software when you use cash.

Second, if governments hate cash for its secrecy, why are they ignoring or pushing cryptocurrencies, which are supposedly even more secretive?

Makes no sense, does it?

The problem with bitcoins is they provide a solution for what isn’t a problem.

Secrecy isn’t a problem.

Secrecy can be achieved as is, if you set your mind on it.

The real problem is that every increase in secrecy augments the power of the cryptocracy – the unholy alliance of the spy agencies, criminals, and criminal financial cartels.

These are the forces that actually control our lives.

The criminal ruling class loves bitcoin because they know they have the power to exploit it fully. The ordinary chump just thinks he does.

As for Satoshi Nakamto, there’s no such person. It’s a made-up name, even though it has a meaning. A sinister one that gives the game away.

Don’t let clever people fool you into thinking it’s a real person.

They are probably being compensated for saying so.

Remember, practically every political site of any size on the web is in bed with intelligence. When they are not, they get pruned regularly.

Just see what happened to me here.

Bitcoin comes out of Israeli cryptographic research. The details I don’t know, but that’s generally accurate.

It’s not about saving anyone. It’s about enacting the kabbalist’s vision on earth.

That vision demands that the Anglo-Judaic Western powers rule the world through decentralized systems.

Those who are pushing bitcoin are on board that agenda.

I am too busy recovering from the latest body-blow from the cryptocracy to spell it out better just now.

But I will get to it.

If you want to gamble, go ahead.

But if you adopt bitcoins because you think your life will become opaque to the powers-that-be, you might want to rethink that.

The only way to hide anything done on your computer is to turn it off, smash the hard drive into metal dust, and throw it into a nuclear waste site.

But even then, there are still the servers and the other fellows’ computers.

Not to mention advances in technology or mathematics that will turn bitcoins invulnerability into mush.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is now back up at a new URL

So….. I got sucker punched.

For the last several months, as you probably know, I have been inundated by spam bots, code executing excessively, and other problems that led to my blog being offline most the time. It was up maybe a few hours each month and never in time for me to correct anything.

With that going on, some email miscommunication, oversights by tech support and globe-trotting on my part created what I must admit is a bit of a disaster. My domain was sold. I won’t comment on the blog to which it now directs. But I wonder if there is some connection to the scrapers that were piling on before.

Chief among them was a Russian scraper called Megaindex, which some sites consider shady. But then a lot of bots also disguise themselves, so I have no idea who or what was really behind all of that.

Next thing you know, Godaddy, the mother..or daddy..of all domain-snatchers had gobbled me up. Godaddy is a whole story to itself. But then, my former domain host and its reseller are also now sisters in a huge combine called Endurance International Group. Turns out that Goldman Sachs owns shares in EIG, which bought my host in 2014.

Thrilling any conspiracy fan, that was when problems of access to my cpanel began. In 2016 the bot attacks began. They accelerated into 2017, leaving me afraid they would wipe out the blog itself.

Well, the blog seems to have got through. But the domain is lost, maybe for good.

Also gone, and probably the object of the whole sabot…I mean sale.. were hundreds of links.

Gone are traffic, domain authority, page rank and other important things.

They were disguised and distorted by the spam attacks and by Google, the spy-state’s bff, but they were solid.

The links were my petty proof that I could take a licking and survive.

Ah well.

If I sound stoic, it’s because I am.

This is a war and the prize is your mind. Erasing people from the web, rewriting history, stealing IP (and links are not intrinsic to the domain – they are intrinsic to the blog), are all part of the war.

What does the law have to say about it?

The law, as usual, is a flat-footed copper, opening fire on the victims and letting the guilty off.

The underworld of the internet on the other hand is the dark kingdom of Dr. Moriarty.

It needs Sherlock.

 

 

DARPA’s Dark History

With evidence of the hand of DARPA behind the Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu, a review of its history is in order.

From Activist Post:

  Cloaked in clandestine secrecy, DARPA has been called the “Oh God Why” branch of the Department of Defense. In the fiscal year of 2015, their requested budget was $2.91 billion, which doesn’t include classified and black budgets. Even still, through Freedom of Information Act requests and intrepid journalism, some of the historical truths and future plans of this nebulous government agency have come to light in recent years.

15. DARPA was responsible for the creation and weaponization of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Back in 1961, when DARPA was called ARPA, the agency ran a toxicology branch at Fort Detrick, where it spearheaded one of the most controversial weapons programs in U.S. history. Project Agile utilized Agent Orange as a part of their highly classified defoliation and food crop poisoning efforts in the jungles of Vietnam. Their use of Agent Orange, which was manufactured by nine wartime government contractors, including Monsanto, may be responsible for cancer, nervous disorders, and skin cancer in 2.8 million servicemen who returned from Vietnam. The U.S. defoliation program directly killed about 400,000 Vietnamese, caused half a million children to be born with birth defects, and may be the cause of cancer in over 2 million more Vietnamese people.

President John F. Kennedy signed off on DARPA’s costly, deadly and, ultimately, ineffective program.

14. Four nuclear bombs were detonated during the Cuban Missile Crisis

It’s widely believed that nuclear weapons were not used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Contrarily, with Eisenhower’s test ban failing, the United States actually detonated two nuclear weapons — code-named Checkmate and Bluegill Triple Prime — in space at the height of of tension in October of 1962. Then they tested two more bombs.

ARPA, at the behest of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, launched this effort to test an atmospheric nuclear defense shield known as the Christofilos Effect.

13. DARPA ostracized any scientist who discussed ethics or morality with regard to the use of nuclear weapons.

After the horror of witnessing the first hydrogen bomb test, which, in its initial blast had many scientists afraid the atmosphere was catching on fire, Robert Oppenheimer was forced into exile after expressing moral concerns over continued nuclear weapons development. Thereafter, it became official DARPA policy to not discuss ethical issues related to the use of nuclear weapons in warfare.

(Source: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency.)

12. DARPA scientists drew up plans to nuke the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War.

Then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara called on the JASON scientists — at one time a dominant and prolific division within DARPA — to determine whether it was possible to take out the Ho Chi Minh Trail with nuclear weapons. Military leaders considered the disabling of this important strategic path the preeminent way for the United States to fatally weaken the Viet Cong insurgency.

However, in this rare instance of restraint, the JASON scientists determined it was impractical to use nuclear weapons for this purpose. They stated:

At least one TNW [tactical nuclear weapon] is required for each target, and the targets are mostly small and fleeting. A reasonable guess at the order of magnitude of weapons requirements … would be ten per day or 3000 per year.

11. DARPA developed weapons specifically for the purpose of brutally incapacitating anti-war demonstrators.

At the peak of the anti-Vietnam War fervor in 1968, then-ARPA scientists looked for methods of comprehensively dispersing the crowds that gathered in huge numbers to peacefully protest the war. The research and implementation of these methods included tear gas, phosgene oxide (which can cause temporary blindness), anticholinergics (which block nerve impulses), emetic agents (chemicals that induce vomiting), non-lethal grenades, poisoned tranquilizing darts, lasers, eardrum-shattering loud noises, and tagging (using markings only visible in ultraviolet light) for later apprehension.

“Nonlethal weapons are generally intended to prevent an individual from engaging in undesirable acts,” wrote the authors of a seminal report, which was only recently declassified.

The final crowd control effort, which persists today, sanctioned the upgrading of state police arsenals with military-grade equipment. The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 created the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), a federal agency whose sole purpose was to militarize local police forces.

(Source: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency.)

10. In 2008, the NSA and DARPA collaborated for a covert data mining campaign called Project Reynard, which monitored millions of World of Warcraft users.

Project Reynard came at the first peak of MMO gaming and sought to track the online behavior of 10 million monthly subscribers to the World of Warcraft. This program wasn’t revealed to the public until 2013, when Edward Snowden disclosed top secret documents related to governmental abuses of power.

DARPA scientists configured a Video Analysis and Content Extraction tool, as well as something called Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination, so that Reynard was “automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world.”

9. DARPA’s anti-polio vaccination campaign exposed millions of Americans to the “cryptic human infection” of monkey virus.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the JASON scientists were tasked with biological warfare defense. Their research produced a highly classified controversial vaccination campaign that exposed 98 million people to the “cryptic human infection” of monkey virus, known as Simian virus 40 (SV40).

No one was told of the risk and, even today, rancorous debate over the extent of the danger persists. Scientists have reported that the SV40 virus is found in cancerous human tumors.

Writing on the nature of a stealth virus, or ‘silent loads,’ in biological warfare, one Jason microbiologist wrote:

The basic idea behind a stealth virus is to produce a tightly regulated, cryptic viral infection, using a vector that can enter and spread in human cells, remaining resident for lengthy periods without detectable harm … [a population could be] slowly pre-infected with a stealth virus over an extended period, possibly years, and then synchronously triggered.

(Source: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency.)

8. DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office was controlled by military Transhumanist, Michael Goldblatt, a McDonald’s employee.

Michael Goldblatt, who believes that humans will end up controlling their own evolution with technology, came to DARPA in 1999 with a vision for military-based Transhumanism. His plans included super-soldiers donning exoskeletons and the use of biotech to manufacture pain vaccines and rapid blood clotting for “rapid healing” troops. He also wanted to create the “24/7 soldier,” who requires little to no sleep on the battlefield.

He also happened to have served as chief science officer and vice president of research for McDonald’s.

7. DARPA’S Dark Winter war game simulated a biological terrorist attack and may have contributed to a biowarfare hysteria that paved the way for the Iraq war.

Dark Winter was a fictitious exercise developed by four organizations overseen by DARPA, who wanted to create a hypothetical biological terrorist attack and then assess military reactions to the scenario. The premise, which was pitched to Dick Cheney in 2001, before 9/11, involved a smallpox outbreak in Oklahoma City. The game played out over thirteen days, during which time the disease spread to 25 states and 15 other countries. With no response or vaccine available, a million people died within weeks.

As a result, the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism stated,

To date, the U.S. government has invested most of its nonproliferation efforts and diplomatic capital in preventing nuclear terrorism. The commission believes that it should make the more likely threat — bioterrorism — a higher priority.

Since Dark Winter, the government has spent more than $60 billion on biodefense. This number, of course, doesn’t tabulate the cost of the war in Iraq, the justification of which was greatly buoyed by fear-mongering over Saddam Hussein’s fictitious chemical and biological warfare capacities.

6. DARPA sponsored biosurveillance program Bio-ALIRT, which collected the medical records of millions of Americans without their knowledge or consent.

Even before 9/11 sent government agencies into Orwellian overdrive, DARPA had been leveraging a surveillance program known as Bio-ALIRT, for Bio-Event Advanced Leading Indicator Recognition Technology. Supercomputers did the job, scanning all available databases of medical records of American citizens.

5. Under the umbrella of a system known as Total Information Awareness, DARPA spearheaded many of the surveillance programs abused by the NSA.

DARPA’s Total Information Awareness concept created a veritable buffet of advanced surveillance and data mining programs, many of which ultimately were folded into NSA’s PRISM. We now know that PRISM culled citizens’ personal data from companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, and was later leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Total Information Awareness programs include:

Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery program (EELD) – Sole purpose is to gather as much information about both terror suspects and average American citizens as possible, using“phone records, computer searches, credit card receipts, parking receipts, books checked out of the library, films rented, and more.”Goal is to assess megadata on 285 million people a day in real-time.

Scalable Social Network Analysis (SSNA) – Program “monitors telephone calls, conference calls, and ATM withdrawals … also sought to develop a far more invasive surveillance technology.”

Activity Recognition and Monitoring (ARM) – With England’s CCTV surveillance cameras as a model, ARM created a massive database of people going about their everyday lives. Using advanced facial recognition software, the program highlighted any behavior that was outside the realm of a preprogrammed “ordinary,” the definition of which remains classified.

Deep Exploration and Filtering of Text (DEFT) – Operating on a 28 million dollar budget, this program utilizes advanced computer algorithms to analyze text-based messages in all shapes and forms, from text messages to reports, with the aim being to comprehend “implied and hidden meanings through probabilistic inference.” The full use of DEFT in the United States is classified.

Nexus 7 – With a classified budget, this particularly murky program studies and tracks social network content. First used in Afghanistan in a defense capacity, when aimed at domestic networks the use of the program is a mystery.

(Source: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency.)

4. DARPA’S “culture-centric warfare” program conscripted social scientists and anthropologists into the Iraq war as mercenaries.

Operating under the idea that anthropologists would facilitate a more humane war effort, DARPA’S Human Terrain System sought to promote “honorable warfare” in its Iraq counterinsurgency efforts. This lead to the gruesome death of at least one social scientist. On the whole, the program seems to have muddled the already arcane purpose of combat forces in Iraq with a ‘hearts and minds’ type of ideology. It reminded some analysts of internal military propaganda from the Vietnam War.

After [Human Terrain System] training,” DARPA stated, “soldiers will be able to approach and engage strangers in unfamiliar social environments, orient to unfamiliar patterns of behavior, recover from social mistakes, de-escalate conflict, rigorously practice transition in and out of force situations and engage in the process of discovering and adapting to previously unknown ‘rules of the game’ encountered in social engagements.

3. DARPA believes the future of war involves animal cyborgs and insect-inspired drone technology.

The Stealthy Insect Sensor Project is part of a long-standing effort to use bees in war, particularly as bomb locators. It started in 1999 and evolved into the development of insect-inspired drones, which are known as micro air vehicles (MAVs). Eventually, DARPA plans for its “biohybrids” to be part animal, part machine cyborgs, which, according to Annie Jacobsen, author of The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency, will “fly, swim, crawl, walk, run, and swarm.”

The science fueling this futuristic vision is nanobiology. Most of the nanobiology applications DARPA is developing are classified. However, in an interview with Coast to Coast AM, Jacobsen said,

DARPA has already succeeded in creating a rat that will be steered by remote control by implanting an electrode in its brain.

And it’s done the same thing with a moth which is really remarkable because the scientists implanted the electrodes in the pupa stage of the moth when it was still a worm! And then it transformed into having wings, and those tiny little micro-sensors transformed with the moth and the DARPA scientists were able to steer that moth.

Imagine following that idea through — DARPA is moving toward engineering humans for war.

2. DARPA’s Narrative Networks program developed classified techniques used to manipulate trust in humans.

For its Narrative Networks (N2) program, DARPA collaborated with a CIA agency called the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) to develop methods of overwriting messages in the human mind. In an article for phys.org entitled “DARPA looking to master propaganda via Narrative Networks,” the program was described as having two parts: first, to understand what happens in the human mind when someone sees or hears a message; second, to figure out how to control how the brain interprets the message.

One researcher described Narrative Networks as an attempt to “detect narrative influence … [for the] prevention of negative behavioral outcomes … and generation of positive behavioral outcomes, such as building trust.”

The government is already trying to control the message, so why not have the science to do it in a systematic way?

1. Hunter-killer robots, guided by advanced artificial intelligence, will wage the wars of the future.

Despite the grand mystery of exactly what DARPA is currently working on, which of course is deeply classified, there have been relatively unambiguous signals that it involves artificial intelligence and the outsourcing of military operations to machines. The future of war will see the rise of unmanned autonomous drones, referred to as hunter-killer robots.

In 2011, the Defense Department released a document entitled “Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap,” which laid out a cursory overview of the next couple decades. It unequivocally states there will be fully self-governing autonomous machines … soon. Currently, DARPA is working on creating an artificial brain.

According to the undersecretary of defense Ashton B. Carter in 2010:

Dramatic progress in supporting technologies suggests that unprecedented, perhaps unimagined degrees of autonomy can be introduced into current and future military systems.

Perhaps the next great space race is taking place right now in top secret labs all across the world. This time the players include the private sector, too, as Google’s Ray Kurzweil is also trying to create an artificial brain.

Jallikattu Protests: Nachiket Mor & DARPA Links

A comment on this blog leads to new insight on what’s behind the huge, suspiciously well-organized pro-Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu in 2017:

Microsoft’s 2015  crowd mobilization report using mobile phone and social media in Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

That report was in turn based on earlier research summarized in a pdf entitled Vashishta-INTERACTIONS2015″

which concludes as follows:

“This paper presents the first crowd mobilization challenge conducted in India, a developing country context where effective social mobilization is broader and more inclusive than the rich country settings studied previously. We customized the design of the challenge to incorporate local languages and to enable participation at very low cost by anyone with access to a basic mobile phone. The challenge was successful in attracting broad participation, spanning 7,700 participants from all across India in less than a day.

While many participants utilized Internet technologies, we also found interesting usage
of SMS, voice, and face-to-face communications that offered benefits in the Indian context. Unlike previous social mobilization contests, participants relied primarily on their personal networks, and often recruited team members without offering any financial incentives. We synthesize our lessons learned as a set of recommendations to help
future crowd mobilization challenges extend their reach into low-income, offline envi-
ronments.”
These crowd mobilizations experiments came out of research begun by DARPA as early as 2009, when, as I’ve blogged repeatedly, a whole new generation of intelligence projects began, including Wikileaks.
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is now actually headed by an Indian:
Since then, DARPA—now headed by India-born Caltech alumna Arati  Prabhakar—has driven innovation using a small, nimble team of 200 persons and delivered to the world technology ranging from the internet to hand-held GPS systems and is now focused on fields as diverse as mathematics, synthetic biology, and neuro-technology. What is critical is that it “does not perform its engineering alchemy in isolation”.
The article quoted above laments that India, which delivers high quality space, engineering, and medical research at a fraction of the cost that the US does, still doesn’t have an equivalent to DARPA.
The problem with that, as the author doesn’t realize, is that the Indians at the helm of such agencies, including Mor and Prabhakar, are simply tools used by larger interests.
And likewise, any “Indian platform” like the posited INDRA, will only be a means by which India’s low-cost, high-power advances are stolen, culled, and otherwise used to profit the Western oligarchy, while ordinary Indians themselves will be enslaved by “their government” (or rather, the financial cabal for which the government now fronts) technologically.
This has already happened, with American partnerships and joint ventures being thrust on Indian universities and promoted to Indian students, ostensibly for bringing local institutions up  to international standards, but, in actual fact,  for IP theft.
Many of these recently developed institutions, like Vellore Institute of Technology,  receive enormous promotion from left-wing English language papers like the Hindu.
It would be a reasonable guess that, with student bodies drawn from neighboring countries, they will be infiltrated by Chinese, US, and other intelligence agents.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  are behind the push toward “cashless” in India.
Gates had already been a big player in computer systems used in the public sector in the country, as well in so-called philanthropic efforts implementing the UN Millennium goals, the ultimate aim of which – even with the most benign interpretation –  is global population control.
Previous posts (see below) have shown the Gates/NWO  hand behind demonetization in India.
[Scroll down for the original  blog comment posted by Shanty Mathew and my notes]

 

PREVIOUS POSTS RELEVANT TO THE PRO-JALLIKATTU PROTESTS

  1. Tamil Spring Color Revolution, January 18, 2017
  2. Meet the People Behind Tamil People Power, MBP, January 22, 2017  [Quote:The website is dated 2017 and 4/7 of the members seem to be the same people behind the pro-Jallikattu movement, so one wonders if the BiCCI has a substantial presence outside this particular web-page and this particular issue.  Under the tab CAMPAIGNS, one finds a few tweets about Jallikattu and nothing more, which suggests that BiCCI is simply a PR effort intended to create the impression of a substantial Indian body behind pro-Jallikattu activism. I could be wrong, but the evidence so far suggests that a very worthy cause (the viability of Indian cattle breeds) is being used as a vehicle for Tamil identity politics intended either to revive the fortunes of the Tamil parties…..or to co-opt it for some other purpose…” end Quote]
  3. Pro-Jallikattu protests hijacked by violent groups, MBP, January 26, 2017

On Nachiket Mor and the Gates Foundation’s role in Demonetization:

4. Na(chiket) Mo(r) Hatao, Desh Bachao

COMMENT from Shanty Mathew at Inkstainedmind.blogspot.in.

“THIS MIGHT JUST BE SHEER COINCIDENCE… But in September 2015, Microsoft India released a report on how they experimented with “Crowd Mobilization” via mobile phone and social media in Tamil Nadu and Delhi. The experiment was modeled around work done earlier by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The report with its vague and amorphous objectives and conclusions is available here (pdf) http://preview.tinyurl.com/j75pq7u

Remember, Nachiket Mor Country Director of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation India is from TN. (Btw, I want to thank you for bringing up that name.)

Lila: Thanks, and here is the post in which I brought it up.

As you can see, I have blogged about his connection to Aadhar as well.

I didn’t catch the Jallikattu link, but I knew the whole protest was a Rothschild creation, because of the links to the Ford Foundation, the appeal to a UN mandate,  the coordination with Trump’s inauguration, simultaneous appearance of world-wide anti-Trump feminist protests, and also the symbolism of the bull, in relation to Shiva-Shakti.]

COMMENT (continued)

Nachiket Mor, it would seem, is both omniscient, omnipresent, and yet invisible!!!

He was in the TAGUP Committee headed by Nanadan Nilekani which brought up the idea of monopolistic NIUs (National Information Utilities) to leverage Aadhaar. He was, of course, head of the RBI’s Mor Committee which brought out the report laid the roadmap for “cashless payment economy” in India. And he is currently sitting on the board of the RBI and as Director of BMGF.

It would be really interesting to know whose hands are up this sock puppet!”

China To Build “Big Bang” Telescopes Near Indian Border

From the Times of India, more interesting news about Chinese doings near the Indian border:

BEIJING: China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet, close to Line of Actual Control with India, with a budget of USD 18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.

Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Parts of Nagri is last Tibetan prefecture at China’s border with India.

The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere.”

As far as I can understand this new technology, which isn’t very far,  it allows us to understand the sound-track of the universe, where once we only had the pictures.

What does this have to do with anything political. Well, a powerful telescope at high altitude practically on the border of Tibet and India must always be of deep significance – both from the point of view of science and technology, as well as of defense and security.

Then again, there are all those conspiracy theories (?) about a so-called Project Bluebeam developed by NASA, which come to mind.

What are the potential spin-offs from this gravitational wave technology in weaponry, surveillance, or covert operations?

I have no idea.

But reports like this one from 2015 don’t make me rest easy:

RESIDENTS of two Chinese cities have witnessed the gateway to a parallel universe after a ‘floating city’ appeared in their sky.

Well, that’s one possible explanation offered by conspiracy theorists for the strange event, which occurred above the Jiangxi and Foshan regions of China.

The event was captured on film and showed what appeared to be a large cityscape of dark skyscrapers floating in the clouds.

After appearing on Chinese news channels and being uploaded to YouTube, the bizarre footage has attracted a number of other conspiracy theorists offering an explanation.

One of the more common themes occurring is the belief the illusion was the result of ‘Project Blue Beam’ — a secret NASA project in which the space agency will try to start a New World Order by simulating the second coming of Christ through holograms.

“This is the Project Blue Beam by NASA preparing their mind control over the sheep people. Wake up and smell the roses,” wrote one user.

“Clearly this was an offshoot of project Bluebeam by the Chinese Government in conjunction with the US air force,” wrote another.

Another theory suggests the event was not designed here on Earth; rather it was the work of aliens from another dimension.

“I believe it’s the work of the Grays [aliens]. They probably teleported a giant city or maybe reflected it from their own dimension,” wrote one user.

While these supernatural explanations are enticing, scientists have been quick to dismiss the occurrence as a Fata Morgana — a mirage caused when light passes through at different temperatures.

What buzz kills.

India Top Five Target Of US Spying

A 2013 article at Esamkriti.com describes why the US spies on India:

Clues to a changing world

In March 2013 the NSA picked up 9.6 billion pieces of information from India’s computer networks, making it the fifth tracked country in the world after Iran, Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. The top four are all Muslim countries, with Jordan also a close ally, so it’s a no-brainer why the NSA is targeting them. But has the world shifted so much on its geopolitical axis that India is now a bigger target than Russia and China?

There are two possibilities. One, the Americans are making sure India remains on its side of the fence. Secondly, if the NSA has been able to steal more data from India than from Russia and China, it only shows how powerless developing countries are against well-equipped spy agencies.

Why India is a top 5 target

In March 2013 the NSA picked up 9.6 billion pieces of information from India’s computer networks, making India the fifth tracked country in the world after Iran, Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. If India is now a bigger target than Russia in American eyes, it only shows how the world has shifted on its geopolitical axis.

Unlike China and Russia where the United States can pinch industrial (http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/06/tianhe/) secrets, India offers nothing equivalent. In almost every technological area, the Americans are ahead of India.

[Lila: This is actually inaccurate. There are plenty of areas in which the US is very eager to pinch or adopt Indian technical breakthroughs and medical innovations and the eagerness the US shows in joint ventures with Indian research institutions is proof of this. Moreover, one of the great objectives of the digitilization of India is to make Indian trade secrets and scientific research even more open to theft than it already is.]

But India is far more important. As their economies surge, India and China are reverting to their ancient duopoly. Research conducted by Angus Maddison and his colleagues at the University of Groningen shows India had 25 per cent of global income from the year 1500 CE through 1700 CE. China accounted for 35 per cent. In the year 1 CE, India’s share was 33 per cent, China’s 26 per cent and the Roman Empire’s 21 per cent.

Historically India and China were the engines of global trade. Roman emperor Tiberius and the historian Pliny complained about the drain of wealth (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-10-21/ahmedabad/28239734_1_bharuch-port-book) to India.

An India-China duopoly is a deep-rooted Western fear, and under the BRICS umbrella it might well happen. (Before the British created the border problems, the India-China border was as free as the United States-Canada frontier. Venetian traveller Marco Polo wrote in his memoirs that the Chinese emperor sent him on a fleet which carried a princess who was to marry an Indian prince.) In the 21st century as India and China are once again poised to be the two largest economies, both will be intensely targeted by Western spy agencies.

Weapon worries

Ironically, India’s improvement in ties with the United States is likely to lead to even more American spying. The Americans have always been paranoid about Russia acquiring their weapons technologies via India. Earlier, it simply banned arms sales to India; now with the decline of the American economy, India is a valued – though not trusted – customer. If only to feel assured that its high-tech armaments and aircraft are not being taken apart in Moscow, American spies will be keeping a close watch.

They have plenty of experience in that area. One of the earliest instances of American meddling in India was back in the 1950s when the CIA secretly provided cash to the Catholic Syrian Christian church to destabilise the democratically elected government of Kerala. On another occasion the CIA provided funds to discredit communists in West Bengal.

According to former US ambassador to India, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Both times the money was given to the Congress Party which had asked for it. Once it was given to Mrs Indira Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.”

Islamic angle

The increasing radicalisation of Indian Muslims and the big uptick in Islamic terrorist activity in India is a worry not just for India but also for the West, as India’s Muslim terrorists are now linking up on a multinational scale. It won’t be long before some of them are seen in Chechnya or other troublespots.

It is, therefore, understandable why the top four in the NSA list are Muslim countries. American espionage on India and Indian Muslims is, therefore, as inevitable as American spying on Saudi Arabia and Iran. In fact, American paranoia is justified as the Indian government – with an eye on Muslim votes – is victimizing its own agents who have played a key role in eliminating Muslim terrorists.

India and US: Trust deficit

The United States doesn’t implicitly trust India in a way it trusts Britain, Canada or Poland. After 9/11 the Americans encouraged the Indian government to send RAW and IB agents to enroll in counter-terrorism courses in the United States. This had two major consequences. One, it helped the United States identify hundreds of Indian agents who now cannot undertake undercover operations. Two, it has helped the CIA recruit Indian secret service agents. The most well-known case was that of RAW agent Rabindra Singh, who became an American double agent on one his many trips to the United States.

The Hindu’s Pravin Swami argues that India’s establishment is more vulnerable now than at any point in the past. “The large number of politicians, bureaucrats and military officers whose children study or work in the US provide an easy source of influence. Efforts to recruit from this pool are not new. In the early 1980s, the son of then RAW chief N. Narasimhan left the US after efforts were made to approach the spy chief through him. Narasimhan’s son had been denied a visa extension, and was offered its renewal in return for his cooperation with the US’ intelligence services. According to a senior RAW officer, not all would respond with such probity.”

Global backlash

The good money is on an international backlash against the United States and Britain. The Germans are already calling for the “United Stasi of America” to put a leash on the NSA. According to John Villasenor, professor of electrical engineering and public policy at UCLA, (http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml) “The NSA leaks will put wind in the sails of non-US intelligence services aiming to ramp up espionage targeting American businesses. Budgets for spying on American businesses will grow, and people to do the work will be easier to hire.”

Also, the Defence Science Board says the United States is not prepared to counter a full-scale cyber conflict. China’s ability to penetrate the world’s most secure communication system indicates the Board is spot on.

No business like the spy business

In “Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB Archive” author Nigel West shows the extent to which countries will go to steal secrets. One summer day during the 1950s in Moscow, KGB agents were tailing the wife of the British ambassador. The woman had been obtaining classified documents from a Russian, while on her daily ‘walks’ through Moscow’s streets. Realising she was being followed the ambassador’s wife tucked the documents in her underpants and tried to run towards the embassy.

She was caught, the documents were retrieved, and the British envoy quickly quit his job.

Thanks to advances in communication, spies no longer have to steal documents in such comical fashion. It is precisely because of the vulnerability of spies on the ground that the NSA has taken electronic eavesdropping to a new level.

Back Links and No Follow tags

I happened to look at my back links at a website that monitors these things and found I had over 16,000.

A much larger website with 25% fewer links had a rate of no-follow tags to links of 1.5%.

13.5% of my links had no-follow tags.

A link to my site at Zerohedge (a govt. endorsed conspiracy site) has a no-follow tag behind it.

So also at the popular site, Business Pundit.

And at Christ4ro.com.

In other words, dozens of sites that have links to this blog placed by readers and sometimes by me (I voted for Business Pundit, that’s why there was a link there) have no-follow tags after the links, so I don’t get traffic from them.

Did they take the trouble to do it themselves or is it some kind of web censorship?

When I’m a bit less sleepy (it’s past midnight), I’ll find out more about the other sites that are blocking traffic for me.

Meanwhile, a reader posts and asks me not to publish.

I published, but removed the name.

I need your comments and I need links.

I know people don’t like “getting involved,” but if you don’t, who will?

 

USG Monitors Poop, Feeds Citizens Cocaine

Here’s the scoop on the fate of  poop in the Electronic Gulag from the American Chemical Society:

The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study, a first-of-its-kind in the U.S., was published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology and could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.

Kurunthachalam Kannan and Bikram Subedi note that to date, most methods to estimate drug use in the U.S. are based on surveys, crime statistics and drug seizures by law enforcement. But much illegal drug use happens off the radar. To better approximate usage, scientists have been turning to wastewater. Like a lot of other compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products to pesticides, illegal drugs and their metabolic byproducts also persist in sewage. In Europe, a number of studies have been done to see how well wastewater treatment plants are removing illicit drugs from sludge before treated water is released into the environment. But until now, no study in the U.S. had looked at this, likely leading to underestimates of abuse. Kannan and Subedi wanted to form a more complete picture of drug use, so they studied levels of illicit drugs at two wastewater treatment plants in Albany, New York.”

Notice that the scientists in this program are of Indian origin.  I wonder why these two didn’t put their expertise in sewage to better use by figuring out inexpensive ways to treat sewage which is a major need in India, as it is in the US.

As Mike Adams points out, it will only be a matter of time before toilets are microchipped to analyze your excreta in real time.

As he notes, if cocaine is finding its way into sewage and via the treatment procedure back into our drinking water, traces of it must be in the blood of all citizens, making the government guilty of forcing a class-A felony on its citizens.

Anyone drinking tap water is, therefore, consuming class-A felony controlled substances which can then be detected in their bodies in parts per billion concentrations. This is how the police state can arrest and imprison absolutely anyone by claiming they’re a drug user since there’s cocaine in their blood and it’s all over their twenty dollar bills, too!

There probably isn’t a single person living in America today who doesn’t have traces of cocaine on their person or in their blood. Notably, federal laws on cocaine possession make no exceptions for “inadvertent possession” or possession of trace amounts. Even one molecule of cocaine qualifies you to be charged with felony possession.

 

Quake Experts Visited Nepal Days Before Quake

Here’s an interesting tidbit:

50 earthquake and social scientists were in Nepal the week before  the earthquake that devastated Kathmandu.

They were anticipating a quake but didn’t expect it so soon.

ABC News reports:

Nepal’s devastating earthquake was the disaster experts knew was coming.

Just a week ago, about 50 earthquake and social scientists from around the world came to Kathmandu, Nepal, to figure out how to get this poor, congested, overdeveloped, shoddily built area to prepare better for the big one, a repeat of the 1934 temblor that leveled this city. They knew they were racing the clock, but they didn’t know when what they feared would strike.

“It was sort of a nightmare waiting to happen,” said seismologist James Jackson, head of the earth sciences department at the University of Cambridge in England. “Physically and geologically what happened is exactly what we thought would happen.”

This should ring alarm bells for anyone with an interest in weather modification by the government or in geo-engineering.

And sure enough, digging around we find that the disastrous Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010, which killed over a quarter of a million people, had also been anticipated…and prepared for….just the day before it happened.

Global Research has this:

On the day prior to the earthquake, “on Monday [January 11, 2010], Jean Demay, DISA’s technical manager for the agency’s Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane.” (Bob Brewin, op cit, emphasis added)

The Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project (TISC) is a communications-information tool which  “links non-government organizations with the United States [government and military] and other nations for tracking, coordinating and organizing relief efforts”.(Government IT Scrambles To Help Haiti, TECHWEB January 15, 2010).

The TISC is an essential component of the militarization of emergency relief. The US military through DISA oversees the information – communications system used by participating aid agencies. Essentially, it is a communications sharing system controlled by the US military, which is made available to approved non-governmental partner organizations. The Defense Information Systems Agency also “provides bandwidth to aid organizations involved in Haiti relief efforts.”

[Lila: underlining is mine.]

Unknown devices…..

Unknown devices keep showing up under network adapters in my device manager. I keep disabling them and they keep showing up.

They have no signature, no device ID or function, no location or vendor information. They just have the word root and then a number.

Then there’s the comment link on which I accidentally clicked that took me to an empty website. Was someone tying to download something or find my IP address?

My computer got very buggy and slow yesterday. Then my security software keeps turning off.

Worse, there are the unknown devices of my fellow man.

Someone sent me an email at which to contact them. The handle was something like city-slicker@usa.com (not the actual handle, of course).

Now do high-profile people usually have emails with such handles,  and, even if they do, do they give it out to strangers on the web?  Do they insist on contacting you and then insist that you respond only on personal email and private cell numbers?

And then do they comment on this blog using a fake handle?

One with a link on which I accidentally click that takes me to an empty website set up a long while ago?

Methinks I smell a set-up.  Especially when the high-profile one claims to have intelligence contacts/experience.

I could be wrong, of course. In which case, my profound apologies.

But that is why I do not respond except in ways I choose.

And that is why I like to keep it strictly about politics, except for people who have actually intersected with me.

Even then, I tend to be wary.

Anything a stranger needs to tell me can be posted at this blog.

If it’s confidential and has some public importance, disguise the information and post pseudonymously.

If it’s private information, please find a personal friend in whom to confide.

It does you, the reader, and me, the blogger,  no good to confuse web-reality with real-reality.

Google: Cyberbullying for profit

An anonymous Australian web-site reveals how Google has a financial incentive to cyber-bully people by elevating smear-and-extort sites like The Ripoff Report.

(I will not link to it, but here is Wikipedia’s entry on the Ripoff Report):

[Side-note: One of my attackers on the web seems to have been affiliated with this site,  which essentially runs an extortion racket by smearing people via hired proxies and then asking for money from the victims to remove the smears.]

UPDATE September 20th 2013: Victory

A large number of major companies have removed their advertisements from Ripoff Report.

This webpage contains an overview of the project.

The updated full report can be downloaded from this url:

https://www.adrive.com/public/9u3aau/Cyberbullying for Profit September 2013.zip

A list of examples URLs from Ripoff Report containing offensive material about children, public figures and individuals is contained in an attachment to the report but an also be found here:

This video explains how Google priorities links from Ripoff Report in its search results.

This video shows that Google considers Ripoff Report has unacceptable  business practices. So why does it advertise on its webpages? The answer is…..advertising revenue for  Google (see above).

Overview

The website Ripoff Report and other websites that emulate the business model of ‘cyberbullying for profit’  publish false and offensive information about minors, teenager, adults and businesses and these are often accompanied by photographs and identifying details.   Ripoff Report also publishes extremely racist and homophobic material, offensive material about religious groups, public figures and ‘celebrities’. While the material about public figures appears to be given a low Google page rank, the names of children, teenagers, ordinary people and small business owners ‘reported’ on these websites is contained in snippets displayed at or near the top of the Google search results (SERPs). These snippets contain names and location details couched in terms such as ‘ripoff’, ‘fraud, ‘pedophile’, ‘scam’, ‘whore’, ‘slut, ‘prostitute’, ‘skank’, ‘murderer’, ‘bitch’ ‘faggot’ ‘liar’ ‘drug abuser’, ‘cunt’, ‘stalker’, ‘HIV’ and/or ‘AIDS’ and other accusatory and derogatory terms.  

Ripoff Report earns revenue from two sources – advertising and payments from victims to the website to ‘rehabilitate’ their reputation in the Google search results or remove the false material. Despite the fact that the claims are false, if a person cannot pay their life is ruined because, as stated by Google, their search engine is often ‘the first place people look for information that’s published’ about a person.

Even if the allegations can be proven to be false Ripoff Report will not remove the material unless they are paid a substantial corporate advocacy’, or ‘arbitration’ feeIn response to removal requests, Google provides a number of excuses and victims must find an ‘ex-gratia’ payment in order to ensure the material is removed from the Google index and ameliorate the danger towards their children and/0r save their livelihoods and businesses. Furthermore, Ripoff Report publishes registered trade names and copyrighted photographs without permission. It claims a copyright over the webpages. This business model is enabled by both a high Google page rank  and advertising revenue. The companies and business that advertise on Ripoff Report supply this revenue and support the endangerment and cyberbullying of children, teenagers and adults and the destruction of careers and livelihoods. This project arose out of my own experience with the publication of false and defamatory material on these websites.

Despite the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to remove links from the Google index, after four years of notifications, pleading with the website and Google, and litigation against Google it has not been removed. ……I sued Google for defamation in February 2011 with the hope that it would simply remove the links and I could then move on with my life. My hope was misplaced. …….

…Despite the fact that Google refuse most removal requests, they have quietly removed links for other victims of Ripoff Report.

[Lila: I have seen Google actively suppress information that exposes the financial mafia,which is to the left, politically.]

“For obvious reasons I cannot and will not publish the names of these people because they likely paid a substantial amount to either the websites or Google to save their families and livelihoods.

However, Google can and does remove websites and links without much effort.

For example, since December 2011 Google has removed almost 90,000 links from its index at the request of Ripoff Report. Many of those links contained registered trademarks and copyrighted photographs but it appears that Ripoff Report is  not questioned about these DMCA issues by Google. My blog, was also removed from the Google index soon after it went online.  If this appears difficult to believe consider that the removal occurred  after I drew attention to the blog by applying for AdSense advertising as an experiment.

In fact, I clearly stated on my blog that I was suing Google. Apparently’ freedom of speech’ only applies unless one says something negative about Google.

My blog was magically re-indexed in the Google index within hours of my public complaint in a blog conversation in which Matt Cutts was participating. The documents showing the removal and reinstatement of my blog in the Google SERPs can be downloaded from this link.

[Lila : Here is a previous blog post of mine, from 2009, where I reference Ripoff  Report and its owner, in the context of describing the nexus of organized crime and short-sellers.]

Worst cyber-crime is in US, Russia

As I blogged yesterday, the IP addresses attacking me trace back to a Netherland hosting company called Ecatel Network.

ECATEL NETWORK

Ecatel has become notorious for hosting bad actors, from the Russian spammers to pedophile networks.  It also has a reputation for brushing off requests for help from the victims.

Trying to figure out what was going on, I did a bit of research into the world of cyber-crime.

AKAMAI REPORT – CHINA LEADS CYBER-CRIME?

The mainstream media likes to portray cyber-crime as essentially a foreign threat. China, especially, is fingered as the bad guy.

For instance, in January,  US-based Akamai Technologies issued a report  placing China at the head of global hacking, responsible for 35% of cyber-attacks world-wide.

More recently,  the US government pressed cyber-warfare charges against five of China’s army officers.

Nigerians scamsters are rumored to run a close second.

There are two things wrong with this picture. The first is the source of the information.

Akamai Technologies is a “content-delivery network” head-quartered in Cambridge, Massachussetts.

It was founded by an MIT applied math professor, Tom Leighton, and a graduate student at MIT, Daniel Lewin, later killed on AA flight 11, which crashed during the September 11, 2001 attack.

According to his MIT bio, Leighton is a specialist in cryptography,  digital rights, and algorithms for network applications. He also chaired a Presidential committee on Cyber-Security.

Akamai’s co-founder,  COO, and President was the founder of the Road-Runner cable service. Its CEO was a senior VP from IBM.

Akamai’s privacy policy states that it collects IP addresses and effectively tracks clients.

Its partners include Microsoft and Apple and its clients include the BBC, the White House,  Facebook, Twitter, Adobe Systems, Netflix, Yahoo, ESPN Star (India),  China Central Television and Al Jazeera, among many others.

How likely is it that reports from Akamai on cyber-crime are untouched by political pressure?

WORLD HOSTS REPORT –  US, RUSSIA LEAD CYBER-CRIME

Point two. The statistics don’t support Akamai’s pious propaganda.

The Chinese do indeed have a very high number of IP addresses attached to their malicious activity. If sheer volume were the only criterion, China would dominate.

However,  as far as the number of malicious sites and the level of threat involved, the world’s leading cyber-criminals aren’t Chinese.  Not even close.

They are in the US and in Russia, closely followed by smaller countries like the Netherlands, the Ukraine, and Romania.

In Host Exploit’s authoritative World Hosts Report of March 2013, five of the top twenty  malware hosts were based in the US; four were in Russia, two each in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Ukraine.

Chinanet Backbone was the only host from China that made the top twenty.

What was especially interesting to me was to find the originator of the attacks on my computer, Ecatel network, at the top of the list of the world’s leading hosts for malware.

Host Exploit also breaks down cyber-crime by country, with Russia leading the pack.

This is its list of the world’ top ten cyber-crime havens in 2013:

1. The Russian Federation (RU)

2. Belarus (BY)

3. Ukraine (UA)

4. The British Virgin Islands (VG)

5. The United States (US)

6. Romania (RO)

7. Netherlands (NL)

8. Poland (PL)

9. Turkey (TR)

10. Bulgaria  (BG)

 

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble: Mt. Gox goes poof!

Mt Gox has gone bust.

Ahem.

We’ll take a quick bow (along with Gary North, Robert Wenzel, Bionic Mosquito, and several others).

We Bitcoin-deniers stood our ground in the face of relentless and shameless]pumping, supported by rent-a-libertarians, like the former chief editor of the Daily Reckoning, Joel Bowman and shameless other opportunists

[On rereading this, I think I want  soften my tone, since the anti-BTC’s have been proved by events.[

See the two MBP posts below:

BTC: My Comments at EPJ

Bitcoin: My Comment at EPJ and Block’s Reversal

See also the following anonymous comments at EPJ in December and November 2013:

My comments are anonymous, because I was worried that the elites might attack people who criticized BTC, just as they trashed Assange critics all over the net:

Comments at EPJ on December 3

 

  1. Anonymous (Lila )
  2. Stick with Gary North, Wenzel.

    Better the known devil than the unknown.

    And talking about unknown devils, who is this Paul Rosenberg from Cryptohippie?

    Who owns Cryptohippie?

    Might they have connections to TOR, Wikileaks, Assange, and/or the Internet billionaires (Zuckerberg, Brin, Thiel, Omidyar)? If so, can DARPA be far behind?

    How would we know since Bitcoin is so mysterious……

    In fact, how would we know if Bernanke himself wasn’t moonlighting as an “anti-Fed” bit-coiner?

    Answer is we wouldn’t.

    Also, what reason could there be for the inventor of an invention of this magnitude (purportedly) to coyly refrain from taking any credit or recognition?

    Another question, why does Julian Assange tout it?

    These are the things which must be investigated before anyone other than fools and gamblers will go near this scheme.

    Anonymous (Lila Rajiva)
  3. Maybe they gain something personally from promoting Bitcoins? Credibility with the hacker-anarchist world, for instance. Maybe even money. How do you know?

    It takes a big person to stick to his guns, even when peer pressure might suggest otherwise.

 


 

Comments at EPJ on December 12:

 

  1. Anonymous (Lila)
  2. @anonymous

    I don’t have time to refute step by step.
    Just the obvious points.

    You claim bitcoin allows you to transfer any amount of wealth anywhere in the world almost instantly and almost free.

    Actually, you can already do that with an ACH transfer (upto 10K), wire transfer ($25 for any sum) cash (as much as you can stuff undetected into your suitcase or cash cards. You can also do hawala.

    The limits in all these cases don’t arise from the medium, but from government restriction, which could be enforced much more thoroughly through BTC than by other means.

    Second. Bitcoins aren’t “free.” They require not only a very good computer, but an excellent internet connection, encryption of a very high order not only for the connection but for the hard drive.. and considerable technical knowledge to thwart the net-savvy people who swarm around bitcoin users.

    None of that is free or widely prevalent.

    In most countries, you don’t even have good enough internet.

    Plus, all of it can be snooped on and shut down.
    That is just one objection out of dozens I could raise.

    Reply

 

1.  Nov. 25, 2013 comments at EPJ

 

  1. Anonymous (Lila)
  2. Shame on anyone who is so credulous to believe this is the “free market” at work.
    Shame on anyone who supports this kind of elaborate con played by the very cartels that anarchists are supposedly fighting.

    Bitcoin is a Rothschild-backed intelligence-funded pump-and-dump. The purpose is to destabilize the dollar and provoke demand for a global single currency.

    It is the global elite-backed “controlled opposition,” using spokesmen from the CIA-infiltrated/ hard-money or “libertarian” community. The ones pitching it will make money as the proles rush in.

    It is easily tracked, easily gamed.
    More so than the dollar or gold.

    This massive swell of interest and pumping by all and sundry is a sure sign of intel involvement.

  3. People promoting this might as well have INTEL stamped on their forehead.
  4. Or FRAUD.

 

Anonymous (Lila)

 


 

 

@Philip, Anonymous, edward.

 

Intelligence and government are multi-layered, not unitary.

 

The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Sometimes even the left hand doesn’t know. Just a finger or a nail knows.

 

Intelligence might take a while to understand the potential in something their scientists come up with. So it might take a year or two or more. Then they embrace it.

 

The MSM media is brain-washed one way – the obvious mainstream, Keynesian brainwashing.

 

The alternative media, including hard money people, are past the mainstream brainwashing, but they fall for the second-level brainwashing – they fall for Snowden, Assange, Hacktivism, Crypto-currency, Wikileaks, and all such black operations, meant to appeal to gullible, egoistic anti-govt types.

 

There are legions of agencies involved who profile dissent and come up with the red herrings that will be swallowed by the maximum number of fools and opportunists.

 

The economic dissenters trust their hard-money gurus, but that crowd is filled with two-bit cons who will fit their agenda to whatever the intelligence agencies tell them.

 

Please go back and look at when Bitcoin mania started and look at who has promoted it.

 

Be wise as serpents, my friends. Wenzel’s instincts are right. I hope he will not be dazzled by Mayer’s “expertise” and misled into supporting this con game.

 

As for sources. Do some research directly yourself and see what you find.

 

Reply

 

their ‘endgame’ …. .

 

 

Anonymous (Lila)

 

 

@Phil McKreviss, EndtheFed,

 

There are a few libertarian (rightist and leftist) blogs where Assange and Snowden have been deconstructed thoroughly. No need to reinvent the wheel here. Let your fingers take a walk and you will see that they are both mouthpieces for the global elites.

 

Some reliable sources you could read: Cottrell, Rappaport, Creighton, Rajiva, Madison…off the top of my head.

 

China – China is a COMMUNIST country, my friends. Goldman Sachs has a big presence there.

 

End-game is control – maximum control over your assets, your money, your movements, your writing, your thoughts – so they can harvest it all for themselves.

 

The elites would be gods…and for that, they need for you to be less than men. They need for you to be little BITS of a machine.

 

Read everything critically, inwardly, not in this trusting fashion.

 

Rest assured, when something shows up on the internet, with this much fanfare, the elites approve.

 

Freedom is hard.

 

It will not come without sacrificing some time, effort and along the way, some favorite delusions and consolations too.

 

Biggest delusion is to believe that there is any quick simple remedy whereby you get to make a ton of money quicker and liberate “the world” too.

All that is Grimms Fairy Tales in a special edition for libertarians.

Natural AC: Five plants that can dehumidify for free

 

 

Tillandsia Royalty Free Stock Images

I’ve been looking around for natural methods to combat humidity for those days when the air-conditioner fails….or in places where it isn’t used.

For instance, AC isn’t as popular in Europe as it is in the United States.

That’s for a variety of reasons – including greater environmental awareness, better built homes, and popular fear of illness from constant exposure to cold air. Many Europeans think  air-conditioning makes you sick.

[Read this American tourist’s AC-induced cultural-shock in France.]

AC is also a lot of maintenance and expense.

So, finding a way to get humidity down without becoming dependent on a complicated mechanical device has got to be attractive to anyone with a survivalist bent.

There are several well-known natural methods to reduce humidity, but they still take quite a bit of effort and not all the ingredients are easy to come by in developing countries.

One of them requires hanging cheese-cloth (or gunny, burlap, or jute) bags of rock-salt from the ceiling, with buckets beneath to catch the water as it drips down.

Rock-salt is a desiccant, which means it extracts the moisture from the air until it is water-logged itself.

If you’ve ever had a salt-shaker that got clogged on humid days, you know how that works.

By the way, the solution to moisture in salt-shakers is simple – throw in a few grains of raw rice. They’ll absorb moisture in the shaker and keep your salt dry.

If rock-salt (salt with large crystals) is unavailable where you live, you can also spread table-salt in pans and leave them on counters or shelves. Table salt will absorb some atmospheric moisture until it’s too wet do absorb any more.  After the salt becomes water-logged, it can still be heated, dried, and reused.

Other dehumidifiers include baking soda , silica, and charcoal briquets. They do well as desiccators, but they’re not cheap in many places and they need to be replenished…or, in the case of silica, heated for reuse.

I’ve never tried salt or silica this way, so I don’t know if it actually has an appreciable effect on the humidity inside a house that’s worth the effort and clutter of pans and bags all over the place.

A simpler and more aesthetic method would be to grow indoor plants that absorb humidity.

At first, this seems counter-intuitive, because most plants add to the moisture content of the air.

If you live in an arid area, humidifying plants can be very useful.

That’s besides all the other proven benefits of house plants – purifying the air, improving mental focus and general health, speeding up healing, and making it easier for you to breathe.

Still,  there are a few plants that reduce humidity or at least balance it.

DoItYourself.com has a list of five “plant dehumidifiers” that are easily grown indoors:

1. The Peace Lily, which needs watering just once a week and sucks in moisture from the air the rest of the time.

2. The Reed Palm, which also purifies the air.

3. English Ivy, which you can hang from the ceiling out of your way, where it will reduce humidity and take care of airborne mold.

4. Boston Fern, which balances the humidity in the air, in addition to reducing it.

5. Tillandsia (also known as air-plant), which doesn’t even need a root system to absorb water an nutrients from the atmosphere.

The catch to this list is that when I researched the names of plants that add to humidity indoors, three names on this list –  the peace lily, the English Ivy, and the Boston fern – showed up on the list of humidifiers as well.

So, if humidity is a severe problem where you live, it might be better to just stick with the Reed plant  (one of the most useful plants in permaculture) and Tillandsia.

Tillandsia, a type of bromeliad, needs no soil and very little watering and can be mounted on cork, wood, wire, twigs, on a shelf or wall cabinet.

Rain-water harvesting: Green living on a Bangalore roof

From Rainwaterharvesting blog, run by a Bangalore couple who are active in the water-conservation and rain-harvesting movement in India:

“Almost all the rain on the building site falls on the roof. In Bangalore it can rain 970 mm in an average year. This meant that our house roof with an area of 100 square metres had 97,000 litres of pure rainwater falling on it. With the idea why allow it to go waste, we started to harvest it? This harvesting was done at many levels.

From the staircase rooftop which had an area of 10 square metres, we placed a Rain barrel and collected the water on the roof itself. A small platform was designed and the 500 litre Rain Barrel placed on it. On the staircase roof we placed a gutter to collect the rain. This came down into a vertical pipe with an end cap called the first rain separator. During the first rain and subsequently when we want to clean the roof or the rain gutter we open the cap and the dusty water flows out through the first rain separator. Then after a ‘Y trap’ rainwater flows in through a ‘dhoti filter’ into our rain barrel. We checked the rainwater quality using a H2S strip test and found the water potable. Sometimes when there is slight contamination we use a method called SODIS (Solar Disinfection) to treat the collected rainwater for drinking purpose. Here you fill a PET bottle with the rainwater and leave it in the sun for 5 hours. The water is now sterilized and can be brought into the house cooled and is ready for drinking. This is not a low cost solution for water treatment but a no-cost solution.  Our annual requirement of drinking cooking water comes from this rain barrel alone.

Rain Barrel

We also have an Ecosan toilet on the terrace. This pan in the toilet separates solids and liquids at source. We collect the urine in a barrel, dilute it and use it as a fertilizer for our terrace garden. The solids are covered with ash every time we use it. This is then transferred to some Blue drums we have kept on the terrace and again covered with earth or straw. We then plant trees in these drums. Trees such as Papaya, lemon, curry leaves, sapota are planted and they grow well. No waste from our toilet on the terrace leaves the roof.

The rainwater falling on the Ecosan toilet too is collected in a 200 litre rain barrel and used for ablution purpose.

We have a box type solar cooker to cook our lunch on the terrace. A solar water heater heats water for bath and for the kitchen. During cloudy days we use a ‘Gujarat boiler’ which uses bio-mass for the water heating. The Gujarat Boiler also generates ash for us to use in the Eco-san toilet. We have planted many trees in front of the house and the twigs and branches from the trees are used for the Gujarat Boiler.

Next we have placed a bathroom on the terrace itself. This also has a front loading washing machine which is one of the most water efficient ones in the market. We collect the water from the bath we have on the terrace bathroom as well as from the washing machine in a small ferro-cement tank placed just below the roof slab. We then pump it up to a planted reed filter to clean up the grey-water using a small pump. The reed filter is Cattails – reeds found in lakes- placed in 4 blue drums. In a fifth drum we have sand and gravel filter to clean up the grey-water further. This treated grey-water is then used for the terrace garden where we sometimes grow rice paddy.  Some extra grey-water is also used for flushing the toilet in the ground floor. No greywater is allowed to go waste.

The rice on the rooftop grows well on even a small area. We place 2 sheets of a pond lining material called Silpaulin with a brick edging. The sheet is then filled with a mix of compost, vermi-compost and red earth up-to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Rice paddy is then planted in it. The water required for the paddy comes from grey-water alone. For the fertilizer the urine from the Eco-san toilet is used. Kitchen waste which is composted is also added to the soil. We have had productions of paddy to the tune of 1 kg per square meter. We have also found that we can grow 4 crops of rice in a year. Millets can also be grown instead of rice. Vegetables such as tomatoes, brinjals, lady-fingers, chilies all grow on the terrace though the monkeys who frequent this place can also be a nuisance at times.

A small wetland has also been created in a ferro-cement tank where different plants and fishes occupy and clean water.

Solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof provide enough power for us to store in batteries and use to light 11 bulbs in the house. The house incidentally has no fans let alone AC’s thanks to the cool terrace as well as thanks to the trees planted on the sides which enfold it in shade.

A well designed rooftop can provide all the water required for a house-hold, provide energy for cooking , lighting and water heating, provide food-grains and vegetables , enhance bio-diversity as well as absorb all the waste-stream from the house from the kitchen and bathroom / toilets and convert it to reuse .

Google’s “Hummingbird”: IP Theft & Mind-Control

Google’s new search algorithm Hummingbird adds to the company’s sinister reputation among privacy advocates.

Google’s creepy Google Glass didn’t help it either.

Now comes Hummingbird, the biggest algorithm change in the search engine in twelve years.

“Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words,” Sullivan reports. “It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that ‘place’ means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that ‘iPhone 5s’ is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.”

(Hummingbird is Google’s biggest algorithm change in 12 years,” WebProNews,  Sept. 28, 2013)

Simply put, Hummingbird is about Google trying to find the holistic meaning behind the individual words of a search-string (the query or series of words you input into the search function),  or, in the case of websites, the overall intent behind the key-words most used.

Bottom-line: Google is trying to figure out what’s going on in your mind when you type out certain words.

That is terribly similar to an area of research dear to the defense and spy agencies – predictive software and technology.

For instance,  DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is very interested in developing the cognitive footprints of users for identification purposes.

The goal is to bypass the need for passwords, which tend to be cumbersome for users and vulnerable to password-cracking, phishing, social-engineering, memory failures, and hardware theft.

Software biometric modalities” are to be used to develop what it terms Active Authentication.

Anyone can see how useful the new Hummingbird algorithm would be to DARPA.

Indeed, given Google’s prior collaboration with the CIA in the monitoring of social media, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hummingbird has also come out of a joint project with the government.

The defense agencies come up with the technology to figure out what random “bad guys” are up to. Google monetizes it and returns the favor by data-sharing with the government.

The consumer might have his every need…indeed wish…met, but web-users are now going to find that Google’s “free lunch:” is not only not free, it’s not remotely cheap.

And web users are the ones footing the bill.

Here’s how.

“Google Hummingbird: Where no search has gone before,” Jeremy Hull, iProspect, Wired, October 15, 2013

Google has updated its search algorithm many times over the past few years, but previous updates were focused on making Google better at gathering information — for example, indexing websites more often and identifying spammy content. Hummingbird is focused on the user. It’s about Google getting better at understanding what searchers really want and providing them with better answers.”

That’s Google’s stated objective, of course. But how about websites?

When you search Google for answers to questions, what website owners want is for you to go to their site to get the information.

This is not only because they might hope to sell you something and thereby earn a living.

It’s also because they hope that by giving you good information not available in the mainstream media,  they might attract you to their site and persuade you on other issues.

By offering free information, web writers hope you will find them reliable, credible, or interesting and become committed readers. That’s why millions of writers and websites, spend inordinate amounts of energy and time finding answers and giving them away to others for free.

Of course, ethics and decency demand that readers who benefit from that information cite the place they found it and give the author credit.

Not Hummingbird.

It harvests information from the net and puts it on Information cards that pop up in answer to searches.

Now, if the information is immediately given to the reader by Google, why will they visit the websites from which Google might have culled the answer?

They won’t.  That means that Google is not only stealing the private data of its users through Gmail, Google Earth, and a bunch of other programs, it’s also stealing from the websites it’s supposed to be helping.

But “Hummingbird” is not just unfriendly to websites offering information to the public, it acts to control what information is presented to you and how.

Hummingbird’s graphic is an easy way for Google to give you what Google (and very likely, the government) want you to know, rather than what you might learn if you delved into your search results yourself.

The new graphic could even give you downright misleading or inaccurate information. Just think about Snopes, the ostensibly myth-busting site that somehow manages to bust myths only in left-liberal ways.

So, Hummingbird is not only using your personal information for Google’s own commercial (and the government’s surveillance) purposes, it’s using information from blogs/websites, without their permission, for its own operations.

That’s two counts of IP theft.

Then, the whole business of trying to determine exactly what you’re thinking when you type certain things into the search function sounds awfully like mind-reading to me. In order to do that kind of mind-reading, all sorts of personal information from your web usage (even more than Google has been collecting so far) has to be collated and compared. Mapped, if you will.

That’s two counts of privacy invasion.

Finally, by manipulating access to the knowledge available on the Internet, under the guise of consumer satisfaction, by giving you pre-packaged answers before it gives you your search results, Google is actually  trying to control your thinking.

That’s one count of mind-control.

Is it any surprise that the new algorithm shares its name with DARPA’s nano flying robot/drone Hummingbird, which beats its wings like a bird?.

DARPA’s Hummingbird is a spy drone:

“The drone, built by AeroVironment with funding from DARPA, is able to fly forwards, backwards, and sideways, as well as rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. Not only does the ‘bot resemble its avian inspiration in size (it’s only slightly larger than a hummingbird, with a 6.5-inch wingspan and a weight of 19 grams), it also looks impressively like a hummingbird in flight.

But that’s not vanity — it’s key to the drone’s use as a spy device, as it can perch near its subject without alerting it.”

Google’s Hummingbird seems no less innocuous and no less insidious.

It’s more evil-doing from the Franken-SearchEngine that routinely spies for the NSA and CIA and systematically  commits Intellectual Property theft.

Read more at Entrepreneur .com

Ambani, Manmohan: CIA Spying On India Helps Poor

Aadhar (biometric ID) will help the Indian poor, say Nandan Nilekani (CEO of Infosys), Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), Mukesh Ambani (CEO of Reliance), Manmohan Singh (PM of India); and George Tenet (CIA spymaster), although social science research and the experience of the US and UK with national identification schemes have overall been negative toward it.

Ambani and Co. all support the introduction of the ID via a company called MongoDB which is connected to the CIA-related firm, In-Q-Tel (the CIA’s venture capital arm):

From MoneyLife.in (March 12, 2013)

“Meanwhile, according to a report from Economic Timesand Navbharat Times, Max Schireson, CEO of MongoDB (formerly called 10gen), a technology company from US which is co-funded by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was in New Delhi two weeks back to enter into a contract with UIDAI.

This company is a Palo Alto and Manhattan-based database software provider in the $30 billion relational database market. Relational databases commenced in the 1970s when computers were moving away from punch cards (that facilitated holocaust in Germany using census data) to terminals. It is taking away customers from Oracle and IBM. This contract has not been disclosed so far. MongoDB will take data from UIDAI to undertake its analysis. UIDAI is tight-lipped about CIA’s role in it.”

10gen is the company behind MongoDB, a popular open-source, document-oriented database. It forms a part of a new generation of NoSQL — Not Only SQL — database products developed as an alternative to conventional relational databases from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft……

According to the report, one of the investors of MongoDB is In-Q-Tel (IQT), a not-for-profit organisation based in Virginia, USA created to bridge the gap between the technology needs of the US Intelligence Community and emerging commercial innovation. It identifies and invests in venture-backed startups developing technologies that provide “ready-soon innovation” (within 36 months) which is vital for the mission of the intelligence community. IQT was launched in 1999. Its core purpose is to keep CIA and other intelligence agencies equipped with the latest in information technology to support intelligence capability. Edward Snowden had revealed that US intelligence agencies are targeting communications in Asian countries. It was founded by Norman Ralph Augustine.

In his book ‘At The Center Of The Storm: My Years at the CIA”, former CIA director George Tenet says, “We (the CIA) decided to use our limited dollars to leverage technology developed elsewhere. In 1999 we chartered … In-Q-Tel. … While we pay the bills, In-Q-Tel is independent of CIA. CIA identifies pressing problems, and In-Q-Tel provides the technology to address them. The In-Q-Tel alliance has put the Agency back at the leading edge of technology … This … collaboration … enabled CIA to take advantage of the technology that Las Vegas uses to identify corrupt card players and apply it to link analysis for terrorists [cf. the parallel data-mining effort by the SOCOM-DIA operation Able Danger], and to adapt the technology that online booksellers use and convert it to scour millions of pages of documents looking for unexpected results.”

In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google, worth over $2.2 million, on 15 November 2005. The stocks were a result of Google’s acquisition of Keyhole, the CIA funded satellite mapping software now known as Google Earth. On 15 August 2005, Washington Post reported that In-Q-Tel was funded with about $37 million a year from the CIA. “In my view the organisation has been far more successful than I dreamed it would be,” said Norman R Augustine, who was recruited in 1998 by Krongard and George J Tenet, who then was director of central intelligence (DCI) to CIA, to help set up In-Q-Tel. Augustine, former chief executive of defense giant Lockheed Martin, is an In-Q-Tel trustee.

Notably, former CIA chief, Tenet, was on the board of L-1 Identity Solutions, a major supplier of biometric identification software, which was a US company when UIDAI signed a contract agreement with it. A truncated copy of the contract agreement accessed through RTI is available with the author. This company has now been bought over by Safran group, a French defence company. The subsidiary of this French company in which French government has 30.5% shares, Sagem Morpho has also signed a contract agreement with UIDAI. In August 2011, Safran acquired L-1 Identity Solutions.

In the backdrop of these disclosures, how credible are the poor-centric claims of Mukesh Ambani, Nilekeni and Eric Schmidt who are taking Indian legislators, officials, citizens and the Indian intelligence community for a royal ride. Clearly, aadhaar creates a platform for social control and surveillance technologies to have a field day and undermines nations’ sovereignty, security and citizens’ democratic rights. Nilekeni wrote ‘Imagining India’, McKinsey & Company edited ‘Reimagining India,’ it is evident that their idea of India is contrary to idea of India that emerged from the freedom struggle since 1857 and the constitution of India.”

The End Of Chinese Manufacturing?

Vivek Wadhwa at Forbes:

The End of Chinese manufacturing?

“There is great concern about China’s real-estate and infrastructure bubbles.  But these are just short-term challenges that China may be able to spend its way out of. The real threat to China’s economy is bigger and longer term: its manufacturing bubble.

By offering subsidies, cheap labor, and lax regulations and rigging its currency, China was able to seduce American companies to relocate their manufacturing operations there. Millions of American jobs moved to China, and manufacturing became the underpinning of China’s growth and prosperity. But rising labor costs, concerns over government-sponsored I.P. theft, and production time lags are already causing companies such as Dow Chemicals, Caterpillar, GE, and Ford to start moving some manufacturing back to the U.S. from China. Google recently announced that its Nexus Q streaming media player would be made in the U.S., and this put pressure on Apple to start following suit.

But rising costs and political pressure aren’t what’s going to rapidly change the equation. The disruption will come from a set of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging.

These technologies include robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and nanotechnology. These have been moving slowly so far, but are now beginning to advance exponentially just as computing does.  Witness how computing has advanced to the point at which the smart phones we carry in our pockets have more processing power than the super computers of the ’60s—and how the Internet, which also has its origins in the ’60s, went on an exponential growth path about 15 years ago and rapidly changed the way we work, shop, and communicate.  That’s what lies ahead for these new technologies.

The robots of today aren’t the Androids or Cylons that we used to see in science-fiction movies, but specialized electro-mechanical devices that are controlled by software and remote controls. As computers become more powerful, so do the abilities of these devices. Robots are now capable of performing surgery, milking cows, doing military reconnaissance and combat, and flying fighter jets. And DIY’ers are lending a helping hand. There are dozens of startups, such as Willow Garage, iRobot, and 9th Sense, selling robot-development kits for university students and open-source communities. They are creating ever more-sophisticated robots and new applications for these. Watch this video of the autonomous flying robots that University of Pennsylvania professor Vijay Kumar created with his students, for example.

The factory assembly that the Chinese are performing is child’s play for the next generation of robots—which will soon become cheaper than human labor. Indeed, one of China’s largest manufacturers, Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, announced last August that it plans to install one million robots within three years to do the work that its workers in China presently do. It found Chinese labor to be too expensive and demanding. The world’s most advanced car, the Tesla Model S, is also being manufactured in Silicon Valley, which is one of the most expensive places in the country. Tesla can afford this because it is using robots to do the assembly.

Then there is artificial intelligence (AI)—software that makes computers do things that, if humans did them, we would call intelligent. We left AI for dead after the hype it created in the ‘80s, but it is alive and kicking—and advancing rapidly. It is powering all sorts of technologies. This is the technology that IBM’s Deep Blue computer used in beating chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997and that enabled IBM’s Watson to beat TV-show Jeopardy champions in 2011. AI is making it possible to develop self-driving cars, voice-recognition systems such as Apple’s Siri, and the face-recognition software Facebook recently acquired. AI technologies are also finding their way into manufacturing and will allow us to design our own products at home with the aid of AI-powered design assistants.

How will we turn these designs into products? By “printing” them at home or at modern-day Kinko’s: shared public manufacturing facilities such as TechShop, a membership-based manufacturing workshop, using new manufacturing technologies that are now on the horizon.

A type of manufacturing called “additive manufacturing” is making it possible to cost-effectively “print” products.  In conventional manufacturing, parts are produced by humans using power-driven machine tools, such as saws, lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, to physically remove material to obtain the shape desired. This is a cumbersome process that becomes more difficult and time-consuming with increasing complexity. In other words, the more complex the product you want to create, the more labor is required and the greater the effort.

In additive manufacturing, parts are produced by melting successive layers of materials based on 3D models—adding materials rather than subtracting them. The “3D printers” that produce these use powered metal, droplets of plastic, and other materials—much like the toner cartridges that go into laser printers.  This allows the creation of objects without any sort of tools or fixtures. The process doesn’t produce any waste material, and there is no additional cost for complexity. Just as, in using laser printers, a page filled with graphics doesn’t cost much more than one with text, in using a 3D printer, we can print sophisticated 3D structures for about the cost of a brick.

3D printers can already create physical mechanical devices, medical implants, jewelry, and even clothing. The cheapest 3D printers, which print rudimentary objects, currently sell for between $500 and $1000. Soon, we will have printers for this price that can print toys and household goods. By the end of this decade, we will see 3D printers doing the small-scale production of previously labor-intensive crafts and goods. It is entirely conceivable that in the next decade we start 3D-printing buildings and electronics.”

Ten Ways To Fight The Police State

Image: technologyjones.com

There are ways to fight the police-state, on your own, without joining any group or party and giving up your independence.  Protecting your privacy on the Internet is one of them.

Just don’t forget that a lot of privacy sites are really government projects. The idea is to steer you to privacy software put out by the government’s buddies. It’s the oldest trick in the book.

But given that, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Here are ten of them.

1. Get your name and address off of mailing lists, subscriber lists, forms, directories, and data centers. You may need to keep doing that every year, as long as you have a credit card with your home address on it.

2.  Use Google only if you need to. Otherwise, use private/anonymous search engines. There are a few. I won’t name them, because when people start selecting one or other engine, then the powers-that-be start paying more attention and screw things up for them.

3. Use a virtual private network, but use it with caution. There’s a Catch-22 here. The free ones probably make money by selling your information… or worse. The ones that aren’t free need you to sign up on the net with an account and a credit card. Which means another vulnerability.  Passwords can be hacked and licenses can be stolen. Plus, VPN’s with servers and HQ’s in America, Britain, Europe and many other places, cannot protect your privacy if you get caught up with the police or lawyers, even tangentially.  Your ISP and VPN provider will be forced to comply with subpoenas and laws that demand data-sharing.

Completely anonymous off-shore VPN’s on the other hand can arouse government suspicion, even if you’re as innocent as a baa lamb.

Also, what if someone hijacks your VPN to commit crimes? How would you prove it wasn’t you, if someone wanted  to incriminate you?

I  asked the  FBI this recently, and they tell me that they can figure it out. But do you really want to be in a position where only the FBI can clear your name? And what if it’s the FBI that wants to get you in trouble? I mean, it’s not unheard of.

4. Limit what you do on the Internet. If you can’t stop using the net altogether (which is really the best option), try to curtail what you do. Limit what you buy on the net. Stop sending sensitive emails, even encrypted ones, over the net.  If you have to sell on the Internet to make a living, stay on top of computer crime by following a good security forum. Wilders is one.

5. Share computers or use public computers.  Lots of times, the easiest way to be private is to use a  computer used by other people you can trust, so long as you don’t input sensitive information. That way what you do is mixed up with what lots of other people are doing and it’s harder to track.

6. Don’t tell anyone your privacy tricks. I used to suggest things on this blog before, like using Scroogle or Ixquick. I don’t any more. The more people start using one trick, the more the government…or the criminals on the net…starts focusing on that trick. I’m not about to research things so people can track and harass me using my own research against me.

Who would do such a scummy thing?  Short answer – scum.

On the net, the scum rises to the top.

7. Don’t put your ideas out on the net, unless you’re prepared for everyone to take them without credit. While many people try to be ethical, a substantial number think that the ease of digital crime is a justification for it.

Keep your thoughts to yourself for other reasons, as well.  Any opinion you voice publicly is going to be held against you.

Write what your conscience demands. Just be sure you can live with how people will use it, misuse it, and abuse it.

8.  Avoid social media, unless you have to connect with someone for a reason. I deleted my Facebook account, my Digg account, Technorati, and a bunch of other things I don’t want to mention. I keep my blog up for several reasons, but from the viewpoint of privacy, it’s a terrible thing. I sometimes wish I had never begun it.

9. Keep a low profile. Even if you do have to write/blog, try to keep it under the radar. Blogging about politics is always going to get attention. You can’t avoid that. But you can always avoid  confrontations. You can always make an effort to give both sides their due,  You can filter comments, avoid posting on forums/sites you don’t know personally, and side-step flame-wars with all the cretins and sociopaths out there.

The net is a highway.  You’re driving next to strangers. Honking your horn or waving a hand at them is OK. Getting into their cars and driving off to dinner with them is another.

10. Watch your IP (Internet Protocol). Your IP address is being harvested by someone all the time. Cookies collect it, forums and boards record it, email providers and search engines track it.  You can disguise it or change it, but determined people can always get hold of  an IP.

That means they can figure out where you are, physically. Which is pretty unnerving. I’ve had a few nasty experiences when enemies got hold of my IP.

So change your IP as much as you need to; change your computer and  ISP provider every year, or even every six months. It’s not so hard to change a computer if you buy it refurbished or second-hand. A good Dell laptop can be had for about $120.  You can always sell the old one and get back some of your money.

On the other hand, you might want to arrange for a few traps for any would-be spies. In that case, your approach might be a bit different…..Be creative.

As for ISP’s, there are always deals, if you look for them.  Quote a price and ask your ISP if they will match it.  In this economy, companies are willing to lower their rates to attract customers.

War On India: Naval Command Info Hacked By Chinese IP’s

The Indian Express reports on July 1, 2012:

“Hackers have broken into sensitive naval computer systems in and around Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, and planted bugs that relayed confidential data to IP addresses in China.

The Eastern Naval Command plans operations and deployments in the South China Sea — the theatre of recent muscle-flexing by Beijing — and beyond. India’s first nuclear missile submarine, INS Arihant, is currently undergoing trials at the Command.

The extent of the loss is still being ascertained, and officials said it was “premature at this stage” to comment on the sensitivity of the compromised data. But the Navy has completed a Board of Inquiry (BoI) which is believed to have indicted at least six mid-level officers for procedural lapses that led to the security breach.

The naval computers were found infected with a virus that secretly collected and transmitted confidential files and documents to Chinese IP addresses. Strict disciplinary action against the indicted officers is imminent.

Responding to a questionnaire sent by The Sunday Express on whether highly classified data had been sent to IP addresses in China due to the bug, the Navy said: “An inquiry has been convened and findings of the report are awaited. It needs to be mentioned that there is a constant threat in the cyber domain from inimical hackers worldwide.”

Sources, however, confirmed that classified data had been leaked, and the breach had possibly occurred because of the use of pen drives that are prohibited in naval offices. The virus was found hidden in the pen drives that were being used to transfer data from standalone computers to other systems, said a person familiar with the investigation.”

Stuxnet: A Chronology (Ongoing)

October 2, 2010

The NY Times now backtracks, claiming that Israeli cyber warfare experts are “too smart” to leave a clue behind. Thus..by inference…it must be a country that wants to implicate Israel, which..by inference…is Iran (surprise).  Too clever by half, these folks. Another reason I believe Israel or an Israeli-backed team is behind Stuxnet is the fact that Wikileaks apparently had a reference to a possible nuclear “accident” in Iran in July 2009. That is around the time when some researchers argue Stuxnet infections first began.

October 2, 2010

Jeffrey Carr backs off from the allegation that Israel is the culprit, claiming that Ralph Langner was the sole source of the allegation and was irresponsible in posting it on his blog as though it were the opinion of the intelligence community. Carr quotes an earlier piece of his, along with these words:

“Last week I wrote about how the Israel-Iran conspiracy theory around the Stuxnet worm was built entirely on one security engineer’s personal conjecture (Ralph Langner) with absolutely no weighing of alternative possibilities for attribution, nor any objective assessment of the evidence.”

However, if you click on the earlier piece he cites, he wrote nothing of the sort in it. Nowhere in that piece did Carr claim that Langner was the sole source of the allegation; he quotes the NY Times as noting several people who’d reached the same conclusion. Also, there is no hint in the piece that he considered Langner’s allegation speculative or poorly founded. He cited it instead as a likely possibility. This is clear back-pedaling, probably provoked by the fear that the story might lead to a crackdown on Iranian dissidents and foreigners. Well, of course it will. But that’s not the fault of journalists reporting on the story. Or of Ralph Langner, who clearly states on his blog that he is “speculating” (see previous link).

The fault lies with the unknown cybercriminal/s who came up with Stuxnet.

“Stuxnet Speculation Fuels Crackdown By Iranian Intelligence,” Jeffrey Carr, The Firewall, Forbes, October 2, 2010/

*October 1, 2010

[See “Clues Emerge About Genesis Of Stuxnet Worm,” CS Monitor, October 1, 2010]

*October 1, 2010

[“Israel: Smart Enough To Create Stuxnet; Stupid Enough To Use It” War In Context, Oct. 1, 2010]

*October 1, 2010

Cryptome is arguing that Israel would never have done anything so sloppy as what’s alleged. Could it be that some group is deliberately playing off one side against the other, that is, playing divide-and-conquer? Or is this more “plausible deniability”?

On looking back, I notice that one of the first people to launch the “Israel did it” allegation is one Richard Falkenrath, who works for the Chertoff Group (my emphasis).

That makes me wonder.

Here’s Cryptome:

“Really? Personally I’d be surprised if a crack team of Israeli software engineers were so sloppy that they relied on outdated rootkit technology (e.g. hooking the Nt*() calls used by Kernel32.LoadLibrary() and using UPX to pack code). Most of the Israeli developers I’ve met are pretty sharp. Just ask Erez Metula.

http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-usa-09/METULA/BHUSA09-Metula-ManagedCodeRootkits-
PAPER.pdf

“It may be that the “myrtus” string from the recovered Stuxnet file path

“b:\myrtus\src\objfre_w2k_x86\i386\guava.pdb” stands for “My-RTUs”

as in Remote Terminal Unit. See the following white paper from Motorola, it examines RTUs and PICs in SCADA systems. Who knows? The guava-myrtus connection may actually hold water.

http://www.motorola.com/web/Business/Products/SCADA%20Products/_Documents/Static%20Files/SCADA_
Sys_Wht_Ppr-2a_New.pdf

As you can see, the media’s propaganda machine is alive and well.”

I am completely out of my depth in the technical part of this. But not in the propaganda part.

As an instance of the way group conflicts can be set off, think of how during the financial crisis there were an inordinate number of Indians being trotted out to do the explaining…and taking the brunt of the public’s anger, although last I looked, despite a respectable number of Indian billionaires, the head honchos of the major banks (with one exception) and the biggest and most important speculators, managers, and  international officials were not Indian, to phrase it as politely as possible.

Setting race and nation each against other is of course the modus operandi of the power elite, and both Kashmir and Israel have played that divisive role in the past….and continue to do so.

*October 1, 2010

A link to an Examiner piece is coming up right at the top of a Google search of Stuxnet and Israel. With all due respect to the author, who probably thinks he/she is on the side of the angels and simply preempting an outburst of anti-Semitism by this effort, the piece is quite misleading….and, apparently, deliberately so, as an examination of the other links listed here, from a variety of  sources in the West (see this NY Times pieces) will prove.

For instance, the Examiner piece doesn’t cite the reports from many western security companies and research teams (see links below) that have extensively researched the issue, nor does it acknowledge that it was these sites that first advanced the claim that Israel/Israeli hackers were likely responsible. Instead, it cites a Times of India piece that republishes the claims.

The attempt, apparently, is to mislead the public into thinking that the allegation of Israeli involvement is one mainly advanced by untrustworthy foreigners with axes to grind (note the description “Iran’s friend, India”).

“Another of Iran’s friends, India, is pushing the notion that Israel did it. According to an http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Friday, “A Biblical reference has been detected in the code of the computer virus that points to Israel as the origin of the cyber attack.” It’s further explained that the word “myrtus” is in the code, and that this is a “reference to the myrtle tree”

In point of fact, it was western security companies and western researchers who came to that conclusion.  Moreover, the targets of the worm fit very well with Anglo-Zionist imperial objectives – covering as they do the largest Muslim populations in Asia.

[See “German Firm Employee May Have Created Stuxnet; Israel Blames.” Examiner.com, October 1, 2010

*September 30, 2010

Quote:

“Buried in Stuxnet’s code is a marker with the digits “19790509” that the researchers believe is a “do-not infect” indicator. If the marker equals that value, Stuxnet stops in its tracks, and does not infect the targeted PC. The researchers — Nicolas Falliere, Liam O Murchu and Eric Chen — speculated that the marker represents a date: May 9, 1979. While on May 9, 1979, a variety of historical events occurred, according to WikipediaHabib Elghanian was executed by a firing squad in Tehran sending shock waves through the closely knit Iranian Jewish community,” the researchers wrote. Elghanian, a prominent Jewish-Iranian businessman, was charged with spying for Israel by the then-new revolutionary government of Iran, and executed May 9, 1979.”

Quote:

“Last weekend, Iranian officials confirmed that tens of thousands of PCs in their country had been infected by Stuxnet, including some used at a nuclear power plant in southwestern Iran that’s planned to go online next month. The Symantec researchers also revealed a host of other Stuxnet details in their paper, including a “kill date” of June 24, 2012, after which the worm will refuse to execute.”

[See “Stuxnet Code Hints At Possible Israeli Origin, Researchers Say,” by Gregg Keizer, Symantec, Sept. 30, 2010]

*September 30, 2010

Symantec puts out a dossier of information on Stuxnet that includes the following:- attack scenario and timeline, infection statistics, malware architecture, description of all the exported routines, injection techniques and anti-AV, the RPC component, propagation methods, command and control feature, and the PLC infector.

Eric Chien summarizes findings about the worm:

“Only more recently did the general public realize Stuxnet’s ultimate goal was to sabotage an industrial control system.

Analyzing Stuxnet has been one of the most challenging issues we have worked on. The code is sophisticated, incredibly large, required numerous experts in different fields, and mostly bug-free, which is rare for your average piece of malware. Stuxnet is clearly not average. We estimate the core team was five to ten people and they developed Stuxnet over six months. The development was in all likelihood highly organized and thus this estimate doesn’t include the quality assurance and management resources needed to organize the development as well as a probable host of other resources required, such as people to setup test systems to mirror the target environment and maintain the command and control server.”

[See W32.Stuxnet Dossier, Eric Chien, Sept. 30, 2010]

*September 25, 2010

Quote:

The director of the Information Technology Council of the Industries and Mines Ministry has announced that the IP addresses of 30,000 industrial computer systems infected by this malware have been detected, the Mehr New Agency reported on Saturday. An electronic war has been launched against Iran,” Mahmoud Liaii added.“This computer worm is designed to transfer data about production lines from our industrial plants to (locations) outside of the country,” he said.

[See “Iran Successfully Battling Cyber Attack,” Mehr News, Sept. 25, 2010]

*September 24, 2010

A piece in the Guardian suggests that a government agency is most likely behind the worm but warns against leaping to conclusions. It notes that many hackers/criminals might have become sophisticated enough to create a worm of this type. The piece notes that attacks against Iran have increased and that the identification of the worm was originally made by a Belarus security firm for an Iranian client and that Iran had been experiencing problems with their nuclear facility at Bushehr for months. It notes that the worm uses a stolen cryptographic key from the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer Realtek.

[See “Stuxnet Worm Is The Work Of A National Government Agency,” Josh Halliday, Guardian, Sept. 24, 2010]

“Stuxnet: The Trinity Test Of Cyberwarfare,” War In Context, Sept. 23, 2010

*September 16, 2010

Symantec researchers say that Stuxnet had to be created by a state, because it was the most devious and sophisticated malware they’d come across.

Quote:

“I don’t think it was a private group,” said O Murchu. “They weren’t just after information, so a competitor is out. They wanted to reprogram the PLCs and operate the machinery in a way unintended by the real operators. That points to something more than industrial espionage.”

The necessary resources, and the money to finance the attack, puts it out the realm of a private hacking team, O Murchu said.

“This threat was specifically targeting Iran,” he continued. “It’s unique in that it was able to control machinery in the real world.”

“All the different circumstances, from the multiple zero-days to stolen certificates to its distribution, the most plausible scenario is a nation-state-backed group,” said Schouwenberg, who acknowledged that some people might think he was wearing a tin foil hat when he says such things. But the fact that Iran was the No. 1 target is telling.”

[See “Is Stuxnet the Best Malware Ever?” Gregg Keizer, Symantec Security Response, Sept. 16, 2010]

*September 13, 2010

German computer security research Ralph Langner speculates that Stuxnet is part of cyberwar:

Ralph’s theory — completely speculative from here

“It is hard to ignore the fact that the highest number of infections seems to be in Iran. Can we think of any reasonable target that would match the scenario? Yes, we can. Look at the Iranian nuclear program. Strange — they are presently having some technical difficulties down there in Bushehr. There also seem to be indications that the people in Bushehr don’t seem to be overly concerned about cyber security. When I saw this screenshot last year (http://www.upi.com/News_Photos/Features/The-Nuclear-Issue-in-Iran/1581/2/) I thought, these guys seem to be begging to be attacked. If the picture is authentic, which I have no means of verifying, it suggests that approximately one and a half year before scheduled going operational of a nuke plant they’re playing around with software that is not properly licensed and configured. I have never seen anything like that even in the smallest cookie plant. The pure fact that the relevant authorities did not seem to make efforts to get this off the web suggests to me that they don’t understand (and therefore don’t worry about) the deeper message that this tells.

Now you may ask, what about the many other infections in India, Indonesia, Pakistan etc. Strange for such a directed attack. Than, on the other hand, probably not. Check who comissions the Bushehr plant. It’s a Russian integrator that also has business in some of the countries where we see high infection rates. What we also see is that this company too doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about IT security. As I am writing this, they’re having a compromised web site (http://www.atomstroyexport.com/index-e.htm) that tries to download stuff from a malware site that had been shut down more than two years ago (www.bubamubaches.info). So we’re talking about a company in nukes that seems to be running a compromised web presence for over two years? Strange.
I could give some other hints that have a smell for me but I think other researchers may be able to do a much better job on checking the validity of all this completely non-technical stuff. The one last bit of information that makes some sense for me is the clue that the attackers left in the code, as the fellows from Symantec pointed out — use your own imagination because you will think I’m completely nuts when I tell you my idea.

Welcome to cyberwar.”

[See “Stuxnet is a directed attack: hack of the century,” Ralph Langner]

*September 8, 2010

German computer security expert Ralph Langner writes to a friend:

Historical document: Ralph informs Joe Weiss what Stuxnet is. Note the date of the email.

*July 22, 2010

Symantec analyzed W32.Stuxnet as a worm that uses a  hitherto unknown Windows bug to attack and then searches the target for SCADA systems and design documents. SCADA is a network used to control utilities, transportation and other critical infrastructure. The worm then contacted Command &Control servers that control the infected machines and retrieved the stolen information. The servers were located in Malaysia and Symantec redirected traffic away from them to prevent the take-over of the information.

Within a 72 hours period Symantec identified close to 14,000 IP addresses infected with W32.Stuxnet trying to contact the C&C server. 58.85 % came from Iran, with the rest coming from Indonesia (18.22%), India (8.31%), with the Azerbaijan, US, and Pakistan making up the other affected countries, with under 2% each (this information is also provided at the Microsoft website).

[See Symantec Security Response,W32.Stuxnet – Network Information, Vikram Thakur, July 22, 2010]

*July 21, 2010

Quote:

“The zero-day vulnerability, rootkit, main binaries, stolen digital certificates, and in-depth knowledge of SCADA software are all high-quality attack assets. The combination of these factors makes this threat extremely rare, if not completely novel.

Quote:

The complexity and quality of the attack assets lead some to believe only a state would have the resources to conduct such an attack. However, the usage of the second digital certificate is a bit odd. One could make the case that once the first attack succeeded, a state would take cover and not waste the second digital certificate. Instead, by signing a very similar binary, security companies were immediately able to detect the second stolen certificate, making it useless in further compromises…..

Quote:

.. Hackers bound by a common cause may target another country, organization, or company that they feel are their enemies. Such hacking groups often have the patience and expertise to gather such attack assets. Further, their goals of continued attack may lead them to continue to refine their attack as they are thwarted or discovered, such as resigning their driver files with a newly stolen digital certificate, modifying their binaries to avoid security product detection, and moving their command-and-control hosts as they are decommissioned…..

Quote:

…..This scenario [terrorism] is like something out of movie and, while for most attacks we’d immediately dismiss this as a possibility, given the amount and quality of the attack assets, terrorism even seems within the realms of possibility in this case.

[See “The Hackers Behind Stuxnet” by Patrick Fitzgerald, Symantec Security Response,  July 21, 2010]

*July 17, 2010

Researchers find that Stuxnet targets industrial control systems of the kind that control manufacturing and utility companies. It targets Siemens management software called Simatic WinCC, which runs on the Windows operating system.

The systems that run the Siemens software, called SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, aren’t usually connected to the Internet, but the virus spreads when an infected USB stick is inserted. If it detects the Siemens software, the virus logs in using a default password.

[See “New Virus Targets Industrial Secrets,” Robert McMillan, Computer World, July 17, 2010]

*July 16, 2010

Symantec starts a blog series on the Stuxnet infection that continues through the summer and into September

[See also Microsoft Security Advisory, July 16, 2010 and Krebson Security, July 16, 2010]

*July 7, 2010

Stuxnet could well have caused the glitch in the solar panels of India’s Insat-4B satellite on July 7, 2010. That led to the shutting down of 12 out of 24 of the transponders and 70% of the customers dependent on Direct to Home (DTH) including those using Doordarshan (Indian TV), Sun TV and Tata’s VSNL. The customers were redirected to point to the Chinese satellite  ASIASAT-5, owned and operated by Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co., Ltd (AsiaSat) whose two main shareholders are General Electric (GE) and China International Trust and Investment Co. (CITIC), a state-owned company

[See “Did The Stuxnet Worm Kill India’s INSAT-4B Satellite?” by Jeffrey Carr, The Firewall, Forbes.com, Sept. 29, 2010]

*June 16, 2010

Symantec Security Response Team begins its investigation into the Stuxnet worm. The first sample dates from June 2010, but the team believes the worm dates back a year, or maybe even earlier.

*June 2010

The malware is first identified by a Belarus security company, Virusblokada, for its Iranian client.

[See Symantec Security Response, webpage, Sept 30, 2010]

*January 2010

Stuxnet infection begins, according to Symantec

*July 2009

Stuxnet infection begins, according to to Kasperksy

India Begins First Biometric Census

India launches the first biometric census today, reports the BBC.

“India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database. The government will then use the information to issue identity cards.

Officials will spend a year classifying India’s population of around 1.2 billion people according to gender, religion, occupation and education. The exercise, conducted every 10 years, faces big challenges, not least India’s vast area and diversity of cultures.

Census officials must also contend with high levels of illiteracy and millions of homeless people – as well as insurgencies by Maoists and other rebels which have left large parts of the country unsafe.
President Pratibha Patil was the first person to be listed, and appealed to fellow Indians to follow her example “for the good of the nation”. “Everyone must participate and make it successful,” she said in Delhi.

‘Unstoppable’
This is India’s 15th census and the first time a biometric element has been included.”

If only it were an April Fool’s prank. Unfortunately, it’s the real thing.

The master mind behind it is Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of IT outsourcing giant Infosys, hero of the Gideon’s Bible of globalization, Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” (a book I confess I’ve given a small thrashing to), and the man who coined the irritating meme in the first place.

As this Times article points out, less than 7% of the Indian population of over a billion (that is, around 75 million) pays income taxes. There’s also rampant corruption, a thriving black market, endless bureaucracy, and documentation requirements that make cross-state travel a time-consuming burden.

The ID is supposed to end all that. What it will begin, we can only guess.

As we blogged a while back, even the UK, the Anglophone world’s police-state petri dish, crammed to the gills with CCTV and traffic cameras, managed to squash this frightening initiative when it was introduced there.

Unfortunately, Europe has taken to it, with Germany, France, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain among the 100 countries that use compulsory national identity cards.

But India, it need hardly be said, is not Europe. Besides the civil liberties dangers, the costs are heavy. In the UK, they were estimated to have been between 10-20 billion pounds. In India, they are said to be around 3 billion pounds (other figures I’ve seen are $6.6 billion and 300 billion rupees), an enormous burden on the public treasury. And the number is only an estimate, which, like all government estimates of future costs, is almost 100% certain to be over optimistic.

The other major mandate that Nilekani claims is that the new ID will help bring services and subsidies to the poor and prevent their theft or loss. This would be more reassuring if Nilekani didn’t count among former clients of Infosys such experts at combining doing good with doing well as Goldman Sachs.

The Times article describes the card thus:

“A computer chip in each card will contain personal data and proof of identity, such as fingerprint or iris scans. Criminal records and credit histories may also be included.

Mr Nilekani, who left Infosys, the outsourcing giant that he co-founded, to take up his new job, wants the cards to be linked to a “ubiquitous online database” accessible from anywhere.”

Nilekani is head of the newly-created Unique Identification Database Authority of India (IDAI) and he has received 19 bids for its first project from vendors including Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, HCL, IBM, and his own company, Infosys.

For every rupee of IT spending on the project, industry experts estimate, around 60 per cent of this will go to hardware vendors (see Biometrics4You)

Update:

Biometrics4You lists other aspects of the initiative:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI – the central bank of India) has announced plans to roll out new guidelines to help financial institutions use biometrics at ATMs in rural areas without access to banking. The Orwellian term for this is un-banked or under banked...as though there were some optimal level of banking every square foot of the earth should have.

Facebook Charged With Violating Federal Laws

As I blogged earlier, Facebook’s policies and settings are themselves a problem, misleading users and indeed, abusers. It’s now being charged with violating federal privacy laws:

“Ten privacy organizations filed a complaint against Facebook Inc. to the Federal Trade Commission Thursday, arguing that recent changes to the social-networking company’s privacy policies and settings violate federal laws.

The complaint, spearheaded by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, was triggered by changes Facebook made in November and December. Those changes included recommending people set more of their information to be public rather than visible only to friends and treating new information, like a person’s gender and lists of friends, as “publicly available information” that Facebook may share with software developers who build services for Facebook users.

The complaint asks the FTC to investigate the practices and to require Facebook to restore previous privacy settings that allowed people to choose whether to disclose personal information.

A Facebook spokesman saidit “discussed the privacy program with many regulators, including the FTC, prior to launch and expect to continue to work with them in the future.”

The complaint is the latest sign of how privacy—or at least consumers’ perceptions about it—remains a problem for Facebook.”

Libertarian Living: The Nano Car

“The mini-car is the brainchild of one of India’s top industrialists, Ratan Tata, who had a dream to move millions of Indian families off their two-wheelers and into a safer, all-weather alternative. Many auto experts here have likened the Nano to the Henry Ford Model T that revolutionized American life a century ago. The down payment for a Nano is about $70. I made a promise and I kept that promise,” the soft-spoken 71-year-old Tata said at a glitzy launch party Monday. “I dedicate this car to the youth of India who designed it and will use it to transport their families. It shows that nothing is really impossible if you set your mind to it.”

The global economic downturn has only made the car more desirable, and not only in developing nations, Tata said. The company is planning to launch a version of the Nano in Europe in 2011, and after that a souped-up Nano for the U.S. market…..”

More at the Washington Post.

Comment

Hmm. Hate to sound like some desi nationalist preening. But really.  Jack Welch comes out with a begging bowl (he was one of the business men selling the bail out and now he was one of the loudest voices asking for calm on the AIG bonuses)…..

And Tata gives us a car for the masses (I mean the American masses too). No more hideous gas-guzzling SUVs.  A downsized car for a downsized economy….

This was my feel-good story for the month.  Business and technology supplying a market need and solving problems,  in spite of what anti-business propaganda might say.  Of course, I don’t consider the rent- seeking parasites who cozy up to government to be anything more than a criminal class, the kind free-loading inevitably produces, whether at the bottom of society, or more perilously, at the top….

Avinash Persaud – The Currency Expert

34 year old Avinash Persaud,  Managing Director and Global Head of Research for the Global Markets Group of State Street Bank and Trust Company. in England, one of the world’s leading financial services for institutional investors ( nearly 12% of the world’s securities under custody), is a top ranked analyst in  global surveys of currency research. Persaud has won the major awards in international finance including the Jacques de Larosiere Award from the Institute of International Finance and an Amex Bank Award.

Some career highlights:

During 2000/2001, the first private-sector, Visiting Scholar, of the IMF.

Non-Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute.

In 1999,  Head of Currency Research at JP Morgan.

Mr Persaud and his Morgan team developed an indicator for currency crashes in emerging markets which predicted a Russian devaluation four months before it occurred and a “regime machine,” which gauged which macro-economic factors and behavioral sentiments were most influencing currency movements at a given point in time.

Graduate of the London School of Economics

Former governor of the LSE as well (19988-1989).

Comment:

(Check back later)

Waves of the Future…

“It sounds like the plot of a pre-Daniel Craig Bond film: an internet tycoon invests part of his vast fortune to fund a fiefdom afloat in international waters. He is joined by the libertarian grandson of one the world’s most famous economic thinkers and advertises for like-minded citizens “who are dissatisfied with our current civilisation” to join him aboard his brave new world. However, this is not fiction. It is happening now and the group, called the Seasteading Institute, has just released the first detailed plans of what its utopian water world will look like. The first architectural stage is being financed by a $500,000 (£362,000) donation from Peter Thiel, billionaire co-founder of PayPal, the online payments system that was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. More funding will follow, and the group hopes to start building a small-scale version off the coast of San Francisco this year.

The computer renderings of this new ocean dwelling, called ClubStead, show a colossal structure similar to an oil rig that weighs 12,000 tons and is supported on four pillars each with a diameter of 30ft. On board will be room for about 270 people to live, including 70 staff, complete with shops, offices and transport. There will also be a hotel and spa facilities.

Although it looks like a fixed structure, the facility will be movable. It will have thrusters powered by four diesel engines capable of moving the whole structure at a top speed of two knots and providing utility power on the platform itself.

The brains behind the project is Patri Friedman, grandson of Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize-winning economist. “If we can open up the ocean as a new frontier where different groups of people can go and set up their own countries and try different systems,” he says, “then the whole world can look at that, see what works and what doesn’t, and everyone can benefit. America was founded by pioneers who wanted to have a different society to reflect their political and religious values.”

More at Times Online.  (thanks to Lew Rockwell for the tip).

Digital Reading Encourages Risk-Taking

“While the testimonials of digital literacy enthusiasts are replete with abstract paeans to the possibilities presented by screen reading, the experience of those who do it for a living paints a very different picture. Just as Griswold and her colleagues suggested the impending rise of a “reading class,” British neuroscientist Susan Greenfield argues that the time we spend in front of the computer and television is creating a two-class society: people of the screen and people of the book. The former, according to new neurological research, are exposing themselves to excessive amounts of dopamine, the natural chemical neurotransmitter produced by the brain. This in turn can lead to the suppression of activity in the prefrontal cortex, which controls functions such as measuring risk and considering the consequences of one’s actions.Writing in The New Republic in 2005, Johns Hopkins University historian David A. Bell described the often arduous process of reading a scholarly book in digital rather than print format: “I scroll back and forth, search for keywords, and interrupt myself even more often than usual to refill my coffee cup, check my e-mail, check the news, rearrange files in my desk drawer. Eventually I get through the book, and am glad to have done so. But a week later I find it remarkably hard to remember what I have read.”

As he tried to train himself to screen-read—and mastering such reading does require new skills—Bell made an important observation, one often overlooked in the debate over digital texts: the computer screen was not intended to replace the book. Screen reading allows you to read in a “strategic, targeted manner,” searching for particular pieces of information, he notes. And although this style of reading is admittedly empowering, Bell cautions, “You are the master, not some dead author. And that is precisely where the greatest dangers lie, because when reading, you should not be the master”; you should be the student. “Surrendering to the organizing logic of a book is, after all, the way one learns,” he observes.

How strategic and targeted are we when we read on the screen? In a commissioned report published by the British Library in January 2008 (the cover of which features a rather alarming picture of a young boy with a maniacal expression staring at a screen image of Darth Vader), researchers found that everyone, teachers and students alike, “exhibits a bouncing/flicking behavior, which sees them searching horizontally rather than vertically….Users are promiscuous, diverse, and volatile.” As for the kind of reading the study participants were doing online, it was qualitatively different from traditional literacy. “It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signs that new forms of ?reading’ are emerging as users ?power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages, and abstracts going for quick wins.” As the report’s authors concluded, with a baffling ingenuousness, “It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.”

More by “People of the Screen'” The New Atlantis.

Comment:

Aha! Here’s the real reason for the financial crash! Glued to their computer trading screens, all those “quants” and geeks who bundled up risk into little packages and shot them across the globe in a viral campaign addled their pre-frontal lobes. More seriously, computer interaction does encourage a kind of virtual reality of quick response, immediate gratification, high-wire devilry and flaring tempers.

Examples:

The Internet porn industry has higher levels of addiction than off-line porn.

Video games are used by the Department of Defense to desensitize potential recruits. Popular games like Grand Theft Auto, for instance, allow players to mimic and experience criminal activity.

Online addiction is even categorized by some people as a separate category of compulsive behavior. Whether that’s excessive or not, it’s true that what’s on our screen affects us in a quite different way than what’s on a printed page. And that’s why one of the best ways to counter government control of the web is to practice a little self-restraint in posting on it.

Libertarian Living: The Best US Internet Law….

“#1: 47 USC 230

This law was enacted in 1996 (as part of the Communications Decency Act, discussed below) during the heyday of the cyberspace exceptionalism movement—about the same time as Barlow’s Declaration of Independence and Johnson/Post’s Internet self-governance article. Indeed, this law is one of the most conspicuous examples of how a legislative body has set different rules for physical space and cyberspace. In this case, the law provides websites and other intermediaries a near-absolute immunization from liability for their users’ content—even if offline publishers would be liable for publishing the exact same user content in dead trees.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this law to the Internet’s evolution. Without this law, all Internet content probably would be subject to a notice-and-takedown regime like we have for copyright law (see discussion about the DMCA Online Safe Harbors below). If websites had to remove user content upon notice to avoid liability, they would act conservatively, quickly pulling down complained-about content without much fuss. So, any company unhappy with negative consumer comments could simply contact the web host, claim that the comments were defamatory (making the web host potentially liable for the content), and expect the web host to scramble to take down the user’s comment.

But in this takedown melee, only negative remarks would be targeted (there would be no legal grounds—or reason—to target positive comments). Thus, notice-and-takedown rules would result in “lopsided” databases in which only positive opinions/commentary would remain, but many negative comments could be quickly excised. This would ruin the capability of the consumer opinion sites (for example, eBay’s feedback forum and Amazon product reviews) to hold people and companies accountable for their choices. Indeed, by undermining the credibility of Internet content generally, a notice-and-takedown scheme could diminish the Internet’s vitality as a mainstream information resource.

47 USC 230 eliminates the notice-and-takedown option for people and companies trying to escape accountability. As a result, 47 USC 230 is a big part of the reason why the Internet became such a massive success.”

From, “The Best and Worst Internet Laws,” Eric Goldman, Informit.com

Google Disappearing Act

“My research indicates that this case of the disappearing blog is not unique. Another Perth-based blogger, Simone, suffered the same fate with her popular blog EnjoyPerth – but in her case the Google ex-communication was total. That is, all trace of her blog simply disappeared from Google’s listings overnight – even external links!

It turned out that her blog had been infiltrated by a hacker, who had planted a ‘hidden’ SPAM harvester at the bottom of her home page. Google had apparently detected the multiple inbound SPAM links reaped by the harvester and – as is fair enough – implemented their policy of penalising sites that illegitimately optimise themselves for search engines using dummy inbound links.

Simone, however, was innocent of utlising an illegitimate SEO strategy and Google didn’t bother contacting her to explain their drastic retaliatory action until Google’s Matt Cutts was made aware of the situation through the TechCrunch site’s expose of her dilemma. See When Google Strikes: The Story Of EnjoyPerth.net

All’s well that ends well; Simone’s blog was re-instated and before long was back in the listings gathering traffic. Without the assistance of the influential TechCrunch, though, and some tech-savvy friends, EnjoyPerth might have been obliterated and many months of effort on Simone’s part sabotaged by the dirty work of a hacker. And it seems to me that Google’s customer relations could do with some refinement.

Abrupt, unexplained de-indexing is a pretty savage measure, and in the case of some sites, could potentially destroy businesses and incomes and lead to real hardship. When people are innocent of transgressing Google’s rules – as Simone was – imposing a blog death sentence without trial or even notification that a capital offence has been committed seems nothing short of fascistic.

In fact, I do not believe that Google is the bully on the search engine block. Rather, it has grown too large for its own good. I’m guessing that it lacks the resources to action sound customer relations every time a serious SEO transgression comes on to their radar screens.

In effect, however, as Simone’s case demonstrates, Google’s punitive actions can be heavy-handed, unfair and damaging, not to mention personally traumatic to the victim. A company that was once seen as a maverick – a refreshing antidote to a stuffy, inhumane corporate system – is now in danger, by virtue of its staggering growth and size alone, of falling victim to its own success and being perceived as just another monster in an Establishment full of them.

To get back to my own case, I have received some good advice from the AussieBloggers Forum and my friend Christine, of Semfire Search Engine Marketing, which I am about to implement. For the benefit of interested onlookers and maybe other bloggers who wake up one morning to find their baby gone, I will detail my remedial attempts and provide updates as they happen.

Firstly, I should communicate Christine’s view that my disappearing blog listing may not be a result of any wilful action on Google’s part. She says my recent post,Boomtown Lament, was indexed by Google (cached on 21 January) and that she suspects the current crisis is just a glitch.

She has examined the coding on my home page and can find no trace of SPAM harvesters. And as previously mentioned, there are still external links and individual post links to my blog appearing in Google’s listings. So my situation appears to be different from Simone’s.

But what to do? This is what I have been advised:

1. Register for Google’s Webmaster Tools. I have done so, “verified” my blog (this is explained by Google after your WT registration is accepted) and sent a “Reconsideration Request” to Google, explaining the current situation and pleading innocent to any flouting of their rules – at least that I am aware of. I will post the gist of any response I receive from them.

2. Upgrade to the latest version of WordPress. This is a task I have been avoiding for months. The time has come – I can put it off no longer (sucking in deep breath as I write).

3. Install the WordPress “All-in-one-SEO-pack” plugin. In advising me thus, Christine stated: I’m putting my bet on the fact that your page titles are very similar and you don’t have a description metatag for your pages so Google sees your posts as possible duplicate content.

4. I’m also wondering whether self-referentiality in some of my recent blog titles (ie: referring to The Boomtown Rap by name in the titles) may have been interpreted by Google as some form of duplication intended to boost my listing…which it certainly was not. I was already being listed at number 1 – I had no reason to resort to such tactics. Besides, I work hard on my titles and would not compromise dramatic effect for some bloody SEO consideration. My self-referentiality was appropriate, since the posts concerned were about the blog itself….”

From the Boomtown Rapper

Comment:

Thanks to one of my readers, I got the search engine problem fixed. I’d checked off the box that keeps the blog out of search engine reach….must have done that in my sleep and forgotten about it. Duh! But, more nefariously, some links to one of my rather provocative posts were broken, after only a day.  Very mysteriously. I repaired them, using this handy free tool – Xenu Link Sleuth (it’s recommended by reputable sites, like Site Point Tribute and Search Engine Journal, but as always, download at your own peril).

Scientists Discover How Levitation Can Work….

 “U.S. scientists have found a way to levitate the very smallest objects using the strange forces of quantum mechanics, and said on Wednesday they might use it to help make tiny nanotechnology machines.They said they had detected and measured a force that comes into play at the molecular level using certain combinations of molecules that repel one another.

The repulsion can be used to hold molecules aloft, in essence levitating them, creating virtually friction-free parts for tiny devices, the researchers said….”

More at Reuters.

The cyber-games people play……

What’s with Amazon? We have been requesting them to put the great blurbs we got onto the webpage of the book – so people can see them.

They put them up in August…..and then took them down just when we needed them up the most. And since then, despite repeated requests, they still aren’t up, after nearly two months!

You begin to wonder……

Update:

Apparently, the blurbs “dropped off” — ours, along with many others.

The way of the web.

However, even if they did, why would they not respond to repeated inquiries? And why would no one follow up, respond, or drop a line?

Why? Because people are not the little angels they are supposed to be according to the mythology of democracy. And what we are today is no longer the hard-working, thrifty, sober people who created the wealth of this country. Today, we are lazy, profligate, and delusional — and we love it. We no longer practice any self-restraint or discipline. We have no laws within ourselves. That’s why we have so many laws outside us. If you cannot rule yourself, someone else must.

And someone else does. The state.

Global Games: James Kunstler on the need for change…

“We have to make other arrangements for living. We have to behave differently in the Western World, but particularly in North America. We’re going to have to do farming differently; we’re going to have to do commerce and trade differently; we’re going to have to do schooling differently; we’re going to have to learn to make some things in our own countries again….”

More by James Kunstler at the Rude Awakening.

Comment:

Exurbanization — the trek to small towns and rural areas, enabled by the Internet – is one development along these lines. I think others include the rise of what Daniel Pink calls the free agent nation — people opting for working for themselves, instead of for others; for self-sufficiency over consumerism; for certain forms of survivalism.

I am not overly pessimistic about recession. I guess, like many people in the middle class, who saw a dramatic decline in living standards in the last few years, I have got used to adjusting to things. And I have found that “doing without” is not only not scary – it’s positively liberating…and creative. Nothing like learning how to forage for fenders at Junk Yard Dog or do cordon bleu cooking on a ramen noodles budget.

One of the arguments we (Bonner and I) make in “Mobs” is that people don’t really need a lot of the stuff they think they do. It’s all relative. A lot of it is simply status. We make quite a thesis of that and it’s something I fervently believe. Take college education. Having waded through a few degrees myself, I can assure you that most of that knowledge – all, I would say — can be got much cheaper and faster in other ways. Hanging out with intelligent people and working with other people have useful aspects to them, for sure, but on the whole, unless you are in some of the sciences , engineering, or medicine, the negatives exceed the positives.

Somethings get ruined – perhaps permanently – by education. Intuition, street smarts, independent thinking. Then you get a nation that will let any expert tell them anything. Just what’s led us into the financial and military mess we are in now.

Get the book. Not just because it will help me eat (that too). But it really does put the picture together – financial and socio-economic. Don’t fall for the guff. We are not that helpless. We don’t need politicians and pundits to run our lives….

Libertarian Economics – Eric Bonabeau on swarm intelligence

An interview with Eric Bonabeau on emergent swarm technologies:

“In social insects, errors and randomness are not “bugs”; rather, they contribute very strongly to their success by enabling them to discover and explore in addition to exploiting. Self-organization feeds itself upon errors to provide the colony with flexibility (the colony can adapt to a changing environment) and robustness (even when one or more individuals fail, the group can still perform its tasks).

With self-organization, the behavior of the group is often unpredictable, emerging from the collective interactions of all of the individuals. The simple rules by which individuals interact can generate complex group behavior. Indeed, the emergence of such collective behavior out of simple rules is one the great lessons of swarm intelligence.

This is obviously a very different mindset from the prevailing approach to software development and to managing vast amounts of information: no central control, errors are good, flexibility, robustness (or self-repair). The big issue is this: if I am letting a decentralized, self-organizing system take over, say, my computer network, how should I program the individual virtual ants so that the network behaves appropriately at the system-wide level?”

Comment:

As usual social and economic theory are way behind science and technology. But then, they don’t have the DC monolith getting in their way…

The Look of Lib: technology for swarms…

Cellphabet 1.0 on Saturday!
Do you know that ‘someone’ always knows where you are? Do you know that the mobile phone in your hand is always being watched by invisible eyes?

???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????..

In the 1982 film Namak Halal , Amitabh Bachchan famously declared: “I can talk in English, I can walk in English…because English is a very funny language.” This statement is no more a metaphor since the Cellphabet 1.0 – a radical new system to convert the movement of a mobile phone into plain English text.

??? ?? ?????? ??? ??????? ?? ???????? ????, ?? ?? ????? ???????? ???? ??? – ????????,??? ??? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?????!???? ??? ?? ??? ?????!

The system will now be demonstrated publicly and all are invited to witness a first in history – a man walking to write an SMS text message, without touching his phone. As he walks, you play a game of words like no other…

????? ????? ???, ?? ?????? ?? ??? ???…

Where: Kala Ghoda Art District’s Parking Lot, Mumbai

When: 2PM, Saturday 28th of July 2007

Team:
DJ Fadereu(a.k.a. Rohit Gupta) (software)
Tara Chowdhry(documentator)
Angad Chowdhry (event manager)
Gabriel Greenberg (visual display)
Vickram Crishna

Live on the Web! The Cellphabet Twitter Feed

???? ??????? ?? ???? ??????? ????!For more information please contact: Gabriel Greenberg (09870181434), DJ Fadereu(09821424074) or email algomantra@gmail.com

 

 

 

The Countdown Begins


I’ll be releasing my secret project within 7 days now, and it’s not J.U.N.G.L.E. as earlier planned…..
More from D. J. Fadereau at Algomantra.