Monthly Archives: December 2013

Google looks to recruit users cameras for spying effort

Google has unveiled a new tool that allows users to create a Street View – a 360 degree virtual tour – of any place and share it using Google Maps.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25298920 The tool lets users connect various photos and, once published, people can navigate between them on Google Maps. Google said the move will allow […]

Russia takes cue from West and moves to control press

President Vladimir V. Putin exerted new control over Russia’s state news media on Monday, dissolving by decree one of Russia’s official news agencies, RIA Novosti, along with its international radio broadcaster as he continues a drive to strengthen the Kremlin’s influence at home and abroad.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/world/europe/putin-scraps-kremlin-news-agencies.html?ref=world&_r=0&pagewanted=print The decision shutters a decades-old state-run news agency widely […]

Denver Post to attempt comprehensive marijuana coverage

On Jan. 1, Colorado will become one of two states to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana. Gregory L. Moore, The Denver Post’s editor, says that has meant the newsroom has been tasked with “an-all-hands-on-deck assignment” to cover the history of marijuana regulation, the reaction of federal agents to the new law and a look […]

Snowden Files: CIA, FBI avatars infiltrate video games

American and British agents have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of online video games, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/world/spies-dragnet-reaches-a-playing-field-of-elves-and-trolls.html?ref=international-home&_r=0 The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data […]

Don’t worry, CBS says Freemasonry is just a fraternity

Ridiculous fare on CBS Sunday Morning. A BS piece about how freemasonry is just a bunch of guys hanging out in a fraternity type setting doing nothing but giving money to children’s hospitals and driving little cars during the local parade. Columbia Broadcasting had their silly correspondent Mo Rocca poking fun at the wickedness of […]

Snowden exposes NSA phone tracking and location database

Almost five billion mobile phone location records are logged by the NSA every day.  The data is said to help the NSA track individuals, and map who they know. The “dragnet surveillance” was condemned by digital rights groups who called for the NSA’s snooping efforts to be reined in. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25231757 The huge database built up […]

UK looks to lead the driverless car transformation effort

The UK has announced that it wants to be the world centre for the development of driverless cars. It said it would conduct a review next year to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework is in place for such vehicles to be incorporated on Britain’s roads. It will also create a £10m prize to […]

Google operating at full bore to bring about technocracy

Over the last half-year, Google has quietly acquired seven technology companies in an effort to create a new generation of robots. And the engineer heading the effort is Andy Rubin, the man who built Google’s Android software into the world’s dominant force in smartphones. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/technology/google-puts-money-on-robots-using-the-man-behind-android.html?hp&_r=0   The company is tight-lipped about its specific plans, but the […]

Student protests shut down Ukrainian central bank

The demonstrators who have laid siege to public buildings in this rattled capital expanded their protest overnight, blockading the central bank on Wednesday and setting up tents and lighting bonfires on the sidewalk outside. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/world/europe/ukraine-protests.html?hp   Protest leaders had vowed to surround additional government buildings after the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday defeated a measure calling for […]

Shadowy corporate affiliates found corrupting New York State

A politically connected organization had just received a large grant from New York State, but its executives were not satisfied. For years, the organization had paid considerable sums to a business owned by a politician. The politician was helping the organization win grants, but the grants were not worth as much as the amount that […]

United Nations missions deploy drones for first time

The UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo has started to deploy unarmed surveillance drones to monitor rebel activity near the forested borders with Rwanda and Uganda.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25197754   This is the first time any UN mission has deployed drones. The first two were launched from the eastern city of Goma, which was last year […]

Inflated hospital bills a third of annual US health care costs

In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study […]

Cameras that can see you in 3D in the dark

A camera that can create 3D-images in almost pitch black conditions has been developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25191171 The team captured images of objects, using just single particles of light, known as a photons. “Billions” of photons would be required to take a photo using the camera on a mobile phone. […]

Amazon and others plan to use drones to deliver packages

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25180906 The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said. However, he added that it could take up to five years […]

The Dictatorship of the Politically Correct: No, France Is Not Racist

Politically correct has long been scorned in French political debates as an Americanism that shrouds the truth with a veil of well-meaning but misleading euphemisms deployed by the “caviar left,” the French equivalent of limousine liberals. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/world/europe/anti-racism-of-the-left-reaps-scorn-in-france.html?ref=world Now comes “anti-racism,” a word that apparently has come to mean much the same thing, at least as […]