Monthly Archives: December 2013

Google buys Boston Dynamics creating robotics giant

Google has acquired the engineering company that developed Cheetah, the world’s fastest-running robot and other mobile research machines.  Boston Dynamics, which contracts for the US military, is the eighth robotics company snapped up by Google this year. Both the price and size of the project, which is led by former Android boss Andy Rubin, […]

State sheriffs refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws

Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws may prove nearly irrelevant […]

West’s missile expansion meets russian resistance

Russia has deployed short-range ballistic missiles in the country’s west, a move that it contends does not violate international treaties, the Defense Ministry said Monday, though it conceivably would allow Russia to carry out a precise strike against the Baltic nations and Poland. The deployment of the Iskander missiles, which have a maximum range […]

Federal district judge rules NSA spy program unconstitutional

A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way. […]

ADHD diagnoses soar during 20-year drug ad campaign

Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., to help youngsters succeed in school.  But Dr. Keith Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for […]

Ice Skating with Lucifer at Christmas

In the Sunken Plaza of the Rockefeller Center is a golden statue of Prometheus, a Titan of Greek mythology. He betrayed Zeus, the Father of the Gods, by stealing fire and giving it to mankind. Behind the gilded statue, etched in granite, are the following words: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that […]

Google patent lawyer to head US Patent and Trademark Office

Google’s former top patent lawyer has been put in charge of America’s patent and trademark office (USPTO). Michelle Lee was made deputy director of the USPTO this week and will run the agency while it seeks a new boss. Currently head of the Silicon Valley office of the patent agency, Ms Lee starts her […]

Robert Levinson, the ex-FBI, CIA operative, run by analysts

An American ex-FBI agent believed to be in Iran for the last seven years was working for the CIA on an unapproved mission, the Associated Press news agency reports. Robert Levinson went missing during a trip to the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. US government officials have repeatedly called on Iran to […]

US and NASA subsidize jet fuel for Google’s private jets

Google executives received an unfair and inappropriate discount on jet fuel purchased from the government for personal flights on their nine private aircraft, according to a report released on Wednesday by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General. For six years, H211, a company that manages aircraft owned or leased by Google’s founders, Larry Page […]

Obama pick Podesta under suspicion of lobbying and corruption

The defense contractor Northrop Grumman gave money to the left-leaning Center for American Progress, founded by John D. Podesta, as the nonprofit group at times bemoaned what it called the harmful impact of major reductions in Pentagon spending. Pacific Gas and Electric sent in a donation as Mr. Podesta championed government incentives to promote […]

Oil and Gas industry responsible for Oklahoma earthquakes

“People are fed up with the earthquakes,” Mary Catherine Sexton said. “Our kids are scared. We’re scared.” Oklahoma has never been known as earthquake country, with a yearly average of about 50 tremors, almost all of them minor. But in the past three years, the state has had thousands of quakes. This year has been the […]

The truth about Nelson Mandela, the Thembu King

Several years before he went to prison, Nelson Mandela helped found Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation, the armed wing of the African National Congress. The armed group engaged mostly in sabotage of government property, though the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that it did take part in bombings and other attacks […]

Local and state police borrow spying methods from NSA

Armed with new technologies, including mobile devices that tap into cellphone data in real time, dozens of local and state police agencies are capturing information about thousands of cellphone users at a time, whether they are targets of an investigation or not, according to public records obtained by USA TODAY and Gannett newspapers and TV […]

Anarchist technology and the reality of transhumanism

“Technology can be compared to a hammer.  It doesn’t care if you use it to build a house or crush someone’s skull.” – Noam Chomsky. Transhumanism has been defined as a intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. The movement regards involuntary […]

New Orleans police convicted in Katrina killing acquitted

A former New Orleans police officer who was convicted three years ago in the shooting death of a civilian in the days after Hurricane Katrina, but was granted a retrial on appeal, was acquitted Wednesday on all counts.     A jury found the former officer, David Warren, 50, not guilty on two federal […]

Heart stolen after mysterious death of US embassy marine

The parents of a dead US Marine whose body was returned from Greece missing its heart are suing the US Department of Defense and the Greek government. Craig and Beverly LaLoup say they experienced emotional distress when Sgt Brian LaLoup was “illegally autopsied” oversees. Sgt LaLoup is believed to have killed himself at the […]

Eating sensors to be part of new healthcare system

A range of hi-tech sensors that can measure food intake and activity in order to assess obesity risks is to be funded by the European Union.  Dubbed Splendid, the project aims to persuade youngsters to adopt healthier lifestyles and be more aware of their eating and exercise habits.   It is part of a […]

Snowden files: NSA and GCHQ tap into internet cookies

The latest Snowden leak suggests US and UK cyberspies are taking advantage of Google’s proprietary cookie technology in an effort to track suspects.   Documents published by the Washington Post refer to the NSA and GCHQ’s use of “GooglePrefIDs” – files containing a numeric code placed on computers to help the search firm remember […]

Acid-suppressing pharmaceuticals found to be dangerous

People who use certain acid-suppressing drugs for two years or longer are at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia, neurological problems or dementia, researchers reported on Tuesday. The drugs in question are called proton-pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.’s, and histamine 2 receptor antagonists, and they are available by prescription and […]

Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana

Uruguay has become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana.  After nearly 12 hours of debate, senators gave the government-sponsored bill their historic final approval.  The law allowing registered Uruguayans over 18 to buy up to 40g (1,4oz) of the drug a month is not […]