Monthly Archives: January 2014

Philippine police use torture game on detainees

Human rights groups have criticised police in the Philippines for the alleged use of a ‘torture wheel’ at a detention facility. Police reportedly spun the wheel to select abuse for detainees. Punishments included “bat position”, where people were hung upside down for 30 seconds. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25923683?print=true Amnesty International said police in Laguna province, near Manila, abused […]

North Carolina officer indicted after killing unarmed man

Just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 14, Mr. Ferrell was dropping off a work colleague in Bradfield Farm, a subdivision with tennis courts and a swimming pool 17 miles east of downtown Charlotte. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/us/charlotte-police-officer-indicted-in-shooting.html?ref=us On a particularly dark stretch of road, Mr. Ferrell drove down an embankment. The car was so damaged he had to […]

Snowden files: NSA, GCHQ use phone apps to collect data

The N.S.A. and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters were working together on how to collect and store data from dozens of smartphone apps by 2007, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/world/spy-agencies-scour-phone-apps-for-personal-data.html?ref=us&_r=0 Since then, the agencies have traded recipes for grabbing location and planning data when a target uses […]

US healthcare system to subidize Google Glass spy wear

Google and VSP, the nation’s biggest optical health insurance provider, have struck a deal to offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/technology/google-glass-to-be-covered-by-vision-care-insurer-vsp.html?hp The announcement could take wearable devices, which tech analysts say are the next wave of computing, out of the realm of science fiction and into the mainstream […]

Agribiz to add dubious gene-silencing GMO into food supply

Scientists and biotechnology companies are developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests — one that harnesses a Nobel Prize-winning discovery to kill insects and pathogens by disabling their genes. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/business/energy-environment/genetic-weapon-against-insects-raises-hope-and-fear-in-farming.html?hp&_r=0 Some specialists fear that releasing gene-silencing agents into fields could harm beneficial insects, especially among organisms that have a […]

Google gets one step closer to Singularity with new aquisition

Google has bought UK start-up DeepMind for a reported £400m, making the artificial intelligence firm its largest European acquisition so far. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25908379 DeepMind was founded by 37-year-old neuroscientist and former teenage chess prodigy Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. The artificial intelligence company specialises in algorithms and machine learning for e-commerce and […]

US military increases footprint with targeted killing in Africa

The US military has carried out a missile strike in Somalia against a suspected militant leader with ties to al-Qaeda and al-Shabab. Local residents told the BBC that an al-Shabab commander and four others were killed but US officials say this has not been confirmed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25908343  The strike was aimed at a vehicle in a […]

Snowden files: NSA commits industrial espionage

US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has alleged the National Security Agency engaged in industrial espionage. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25907502 In an interview with Germany’s ARD TV channel, the former NSA contractor said the agency would spy on big German companies that competed with US firms. Mr Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum by Russia, also said he believed […]

US senate aide accused of child pornography found dead

A former senior US Senate aide who was arrested on child pornography charges last month was found dead after hanging himself, authorities have said. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25884146 Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, was chief of staff to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee until his arrest in December.He was accused of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography. Loskarn […]

Ruling of Texas judge devalues undesireable life even further

A Texas judge ruled Friday that a Fort Worth hospital may not keep a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support against her family’s wishes, and ordered doctors to take her off the machines by 5 p.m. on Monday. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/us/judge-orders-hospital-to-remove-life-support-from-pregnant-woman.html?emc=edit_na_20140124&_r=0 The ruling gives the family of the woman, Marlise Muñoz, their first legal victory in a […]

Russia rebuffs US on Snowden’s right to asylum

Russia plans to extend its offer of asylum to Edward J. Snowden beyond August, a Russian lawmaker said Friday at the World Economic Forum here. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/world/europe/russia-plans-to-extend-snowden-asylum-lawmaker-says.html?_r=0 The lawmaker, Aleksei K. Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of Parliament, hinted during a panel discussion that the extension of temporary refugee status […]

US Director of National Intelligence teaches kids to be spies

The turtle wearing a hat backward, baggy jeans and purple sunglasses looks just like other cartoon characters that marketers use to make products like cereal and toys appealing to children. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/us/on-childrens-website-nsa-puts-a-furry-smiley-face-on-its-mission.html But the reptile, known as T. Top, who says creating and breaking codes is really “kewl,” is pushing something far weightier: the benefits of […]

GMO tomato juice could hit grocery store shelves in Canada

The prospect of genetically modified purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25885756 Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries. Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 litres of purple tomato juice ready […]

Google’s Schmidt admits technology will take all the jobs

Google chairman, Eric Schmidt,  said given the constant development of new technology, more and more middle class workers would lose their jobs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25872006 Speaking at a meeting at the World Economic Forum at Davos, he added that it was not clear if workers would have the right skills to be re-hired. Mr Schmidt compared the […]

Snowden retorts “no chance” of a fair trial in US

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has said he has “no chance” of a fair trial in the US and has no plans to return there. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25872723 He said that the 100-year-old law under which he has been charged “forbids a public interest defence”. “There’s no no way I can come home and […]

Bitcloud developers have plan to decentralize the internet

“We will start by decentralising the current internet, and then we can create a new internet to replace it,” Bitcloud developers  said. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25858629 Just as Bitcoin miners provide computing power and are rewarded for solving complex mathematical equations with the virtual currency, so individual net users would be rewarded based on how much bandwidth they […]

Hagel orders independent review following nuclear shake up

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an independent review of the nuclear force and summoned the most senior Pentagon leaders to discuss its serious missteps, leadership lapses and personnel problems. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/01/24/us/ap-us-nuclear-missteps-findings-so-far.html?ref=us A string of nuclear missteps, many uncovered by The Associated Press, have beset the nation’s nuclear force in the past year: — On Jan. […]

Adam Lanza’s father secretly meets with investigators

The father of the alleged Sandy Hook Elementary School murderer met for an hour Thursday with the chairman of the state commission investigating the massacre and agreed to help find missing school and medical records that could provide further insight into the tragedy. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Peter-Lanza-meets-with-Sandy-Hook-commission-5169811.php Peter Lanza — a General Electric executive whose son Adam allegedly […]

NYC uses New Jersey Super Bowl to increase surveillance grid

When Super Bowl fans fill the streets of New York City next week, police will be watching them closely — in person, in the air and on closed-circuit monitors. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/01/24/us/ap-fbn-super-bowl-2014-security.html?ref=us The New York Police Department has quietly installed about 200 temporary surveillance cameras in midtown Manhattan to help spot trouble along “Super Bowl Boulevard,” a […]

Google’s Chrome browser contains eavesdropping capabilty

Any computer running the Chrome browser can be subverted to eavesdrop on conversations happening around it, claims a developer. Israeli coder Tal Ater found the bug while working on his own speech recognition software. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25859360?print=true Despite Google finding a way to fix the bug in October 2013 the update has yet to be rolled out […]