Monthly Archives: October 2013

US based firm breaks the artificial intelligence barrier

Vicarious said it had developed artificial intelligence technology, based on the human brain, which could solve text-based Captcha tests 90% of the time.  A Captcha is a graphic or sound users must type on to a web page to prove they are human. The company said its artificial intelligence software can also perceive images. […]

NSA tracks tens of millions of phone calls in one year

Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, reports that the NSA tracked tens of millions of phone calls, texts and emails of Spanish citizens, in December 2012 and January 2013. The monitoring allegedly peaked on 11 December. The White House has so far declined to comment on the El Mundo report. It is not clear how the […]

FARC releases “The Gringo of Folklore” operative

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, turned over the American, Kevin Scott Sutay, to an international delegation in a rural area of southeastern Colombia, according to a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross Mr. Sutay was captured in mid-June while traveling in an area where the FARC is active. […]

Police indicted for torture key speaker at Google Ideas summit

A Brazilian police officer who spoke at a technology conference in New York on Tuesday about the potential of a new smartphone app to aid in the “pacification” of Rio de Janeiro’s lawless favelas was indicted the same day by prosecutors back home in connection with a notorious case of torture and murder by her […]

The rich are getting richer and the poor, well…

Bank profits have reached their highest levels in years. Bloomberg News reported in August, “Sales of homes priced at more than $1 million jumped an average 37 percent in 2013’s first half from a year earlier to the highest level since 2007, according to DataQuick.” A report last week in The New York Times […]

Is Russell Brand de facto spokesman for the new revolution?

Russell Brand : I chose the subject of revolution because the New Statesman is a political magazine and imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics. When people talk about politics within the existing Westminster framework I feel a dull thud in my […]

DARPA continues funding for transhumanist brain implant

The federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as Darpa, announced Thursday that it intended to spend more than $70 million over five years to jump to the next level of brain implants, either by improving deep brain stimulation or by developing new technology. The new program, called Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the […]

Credit score companies selling citizen data without permission

An effort by the Commerce Committee is looking to understand how companies collect, share and sell intimate details about the shopping habits, health concerns, family circumstances and financial status of consumers at a time when Americans are increasingly sharing personal information online. The letter cited an article by, an Internet security news site, […]

Koch Bros admit to illegal political funding to kill CA initiatives

A secretive nonprofit group with ties to the billionaire conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch admitted to improperly failing to disclose more than $15 million in contributions it funneled into state referendum battles in California, state officials there announced Thursday. The group, the Arizona-based Center to Protect Patient Rights, is one of the largest […]

Fukushima becomes worst man-made disaster in history

For months now, it has been hard to escape the continuing deluge of bad news from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. Even after the company that operates the plant admitted this summer that tons of contaminated groundwater was leaking into the Pacific Ocean every day, new accidents have added to the uncontrolled releases […]

Murderous FBI indict Tamerlan Tsarnaev in triple murder case

The dead suspect in the Boston marathon bombings has been named in court papers as a participant in a triple murder. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is alleged to have taken part in the killings in Waltham, Massachusetts, in September 2011. Three men, one of whom had been a friend of Tsarnaev, were found in a flat […]

Bank of America guilty of defrauding government

Bank of America’s Countrywide Financial unit has been found liable for defrauding two US government-backed mortgage companies by a federal jury. Countrywide, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2008, was accused of selling thousands of defective loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Justice Department is seeking as much as $848m […]

Policeman who maced peaceful protesters gets award

A former US campus policeman who pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters has been awarded $38,000 (£23,400) in compensation for psychiatric damage. Lieutenant John Pike received threats after footage of the incident went viral on the internet in 2011. It showed him casually spraying protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement as they sat on the ground […]

CA sheriff’s deputies kill 13 year old boy with toy gun

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica assault rifle they mistook for the real thing.   Two patrolling officers spotted the teenager holding the gun and repeatedly ordered him to drop his weapon, according to a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. “The deputies fired several rounds from […]

Cheney admits fearing hacker of medical devices

Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, has revealed that he had his heart implant modified for fear of terrorist attack. Mr Cheney’s doctor disabled the heart defibrillator’s wireless function to prevent would-be assassins from interfering with it and causing a fatal heart attack. “I found it credible,” Mr Cheney told CBS TV’s 60 Minutes […]

Neo-imperialism pulls out all stops in Africa

Here on the Kansas plains, thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa as part of a new Pentagon strategy to train and advise indigenous forces. The first-of-its-kind program is drawing on troops from a 3,500-member brigade in the Army’s storied First Infantry Division, known […]

US-style lobbying descends on EU to move fracking issue

Gathered at the Brussels office of Covington & Burling, a prominent Washington-based firm, were some of its lawyers and lobbyists, along with executives from some of the world’s largest oil companies, including Chevron and Statoil. Their aim was to help shape the European Union’s policies on the gas and oil drilling technology known as hydraulic […]

New book shows US universities ties to slavery

“Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” which argues provocatively that the nation’s early colleges, alongside church and state, were “the third pillar of a civilization based on bondage.” In 2003, when Ruth Simmons, then the president of Brown University, announced a headline-grabbing initiative to investigate that university’s ties […]

UK to accuse Guardian of terrorism for GCHQ spying articles

The Guardian reported that Parliament’s powerful Home Affairs committee would include the newspaper’s actions in a broad investigation into counterterrorism. Keith Vaz, the chairman of the panel, was quoted as saying the committee would scrutinize “elements of The Guardian’s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”  But he declined to say whether Alan […]

FISA upholds NSA phone data collection again

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released a new legal opinion on Friday that reauthorized the once-secret National Security Agency program that keeps records of every American’s phone calls. In the six-page opinion, which was signed on Oct. 11, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin said she was personally approving for the first time the extension of […]