Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, highlighted the fact that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum inverted the meaning of John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech pledging to keep the Pope out of politics.
Santorum said the speech made him want to vomit. “To say people of faith have no role in the public square, you bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case,” he said on ABC’s This Week.
There’s a growing threat to the U.S. military, according to the Pentagon’s premier research wing. No, it’s not Iran’s nukes or China’s missiles. It’s the iPads, Android phones and other gadgets we all carry around with us every day.
“Commercial consumer electronics has created vulnerabilities by enabling sensors, computing, imaging, and communications capabilities that as recently as 15 years ago, were the exclusive domain of military systems,” Darpa deputy director Kaigham “Ken” Gabriel tells the House Armed Services Committee’spanel on emerging threats. “These capabilities now are in the hands of hundreds of millions of people around the world and in use every day.”
“This is not an abstract vulnerability. We have not enjoyed spectrum dominance since about 1997,” he adds.
The warning is a bit ironic, coming from the head of an agency that was founded in response to a surprise Soviet space launch, and is today best known for its shape-shifting robots, its mind-controlled prosthetics, and its missiles that fly at 20 times the speed of sound.
The Department of Homeland Security monitors your updates on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, to uncover “Items Of Interest” (IOI), according to an internal DHS document released by the EPIC. That document happens to include a list of the baseline terms for which the DHS–or more specifically, a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks–use to generate real-time IOI reports. (Although the released PDF is generally all reader-selectable text, the list of names was curiously embedded as an image of text, preventing simple indexing. We’ve fixed that below.)
11-year old Emily Mueller wanted nothing more than to see the Krewe of Muses during Mardi Gras.. But when a drunken man blocking Emily’s view and after spilling beer on her referred to Emily, who is autistic, as a “retard,” Emily asked her mother to take her home. AJ Mueller, Emily’s mother, blogged about the encounter, and when she woke up the next morning, the page had over 30,00 views. One of the first comments on the page is from an area DJ offering to send Emily gifts from their stash of prizes.
Boss: We need you to come in all day this Saturday, but we’re not going to pay you, and you can’t have time off in lieu.
Not-a-doormat: Er, OK, but there’s a bit of a problem with public transport on the weekend, so I won’t be here for 9 in the morning, I’ll be a bit late.
Boss: OK, what time will you be here?
Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris made a bombshell announcement to friends … telling them the MJ album released in the wake of the singer’s death did NOT contain MJ’s actual voice … it was an imposter.
TMZ has learned … the announcement was made during an online video chat with several friends in 2008 … just before the “Michael” album was released, which contains several previously unreleased tracks allegedly performed by Michael Jackson.
Anybody want to guess the name of the record company involved?
Seven days later, my account was frozen again by PayPal. This freezing was due to the same batch of claims resulting from the same fraud I had reported almost four months ago. I went through the reactivation steps again with PayPal, and everything was put right again within the hour.
My Apple ID was also frozen again, and this time I received some startling news from the supervisor at Mac support via the chat she had with iTunes support which was apparently being very pushy with her for having bothered them.
She told me that if I reactivate my account now, and iTunes freezes it again, I’ll never regain access under any circumstances. That means that by using my Apple ID, I could risk losing access to my software purchases, licenses, and OS X Lion. Yes, I could lose everything I had spent my hard earned money on, having to start over from scratch with the hardware I still had in-hand. I’d have to buy Mac OS X Lion again, Final Cut Pro, Compressor, hundreds of dollars in iOS apps, and hundreds more in Mac software.
To say the least, I’m discouraged.
Any company the size of Apple or Paypal is going to have some customer service flubs that lead to negative blog posts. That doesn’t mean they’re bad companies. But there’s a fundamental issue here: if you become victim of abuse of your AppleID, you may lose access to support and upgrades for all the software you’ve bought with that ID. That doesn’t seem like a big deal for 99 cent iPhone apps, but it extends to OS (security) updates, and now to your purchases in the Mac App Store. These walled ecosystems ruled by a benevolent dictator leave you more & more vulnerable to the dictator’s mistakes with limited recourse.
In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ”We have a sealed indictment on Assange.”
In recent answers to written parliamentary questions from the Greens senator Scott Ludlam, the former foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd indicated Australia had sought confirmation that a secret grand jury inquiry directed against Mr Assange was under way.
Mr Rudd said ”no formal advice” had been received from US authorities but acknowledged the existence of a ”temporary surrender” mechanism that could allow Mr Assange to be extradited from Sweden to the US. He added that Swedish officials had said Mr Assange’s case would be afforded ”due process”.
The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.
The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”
It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.
Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.
Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection…
For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.
The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.
This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.
Not a new article, and as he says surely not a brilliant insight but this line caught my eye:
“What does it mean when we can no longer distinguish between the actions of the left and the right?”
In his speech, Obama — without naming Romney — went out of his way to ridicule his justifications for opposing the auto-bailout and his current dissembling about how he got it right. Here’s the key segment:
A key line: “I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time. You want to talk about values? Hard work: That’s a value. Looking out for one another: That’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I’m my brother’s and sister’s keeper: That’s a value.”
This is what the 2012 election is going to be about. And the GOP right now is in deep do do. They’re actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.
Never a winning strategy.
But economists are not people of wisdom, and I do not even consider them scientists. They are more like priests, denouncing the bad behavior of society, asking you to repent for your debts, threatening inflation and misery for your sins, worshipping the dogmas of growth and competition.
We often try to fight problems by yelling at them instead of accepting the reality of what people do, from controversial national legislation to passive-aggressive office signs. Such efforts usually fail, often with a lot of collateral damage, much like Prohibition and the ongoing “war” on “drugs”.
And, more recently (and with much less human damage), media piracy.
Samsung Electronics admitted that its attempt to breach the tablet market has largely been a flop, with one executive offering a sobering summary of its performance.
“Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market,” Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said today during a media roundtable here.
That’s about as frank a statement as it gets from any executive at the Mobile World Congress trade show this week.
The chairman of the Alabama Senate Health Committee said he doesn’t see a conflict of interest between his support for a bill that would require physicians to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions and his company, which sells the type of equipment the bill would require.
Don’t worry, Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, we see it.
When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.
And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.
Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.
“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.
The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.
And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.
Unless he’s lying about his birthday… we need to see his birth certificate!
A whole bunch of folks have been sending in this Slashdot story about a guy who had one of his videos “claimed” via ContentID on YouTube due to a purpoted match with content that Rumblefish claims to hold the copyright on. We actually saw this post early on, because it links to an old Techdirt post about questionable Rumblefish takedowns. In this case, the guy says that there was no music in the video, but that Rumblefish said that the birds singing in the background violated its copyright:
“I make nature videos for my YouTube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music. But when uploading my latest video, YouTubeinformed me that I was using Rumblefish’s copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me. I disputed their claim with YouTube’s system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: ‘All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.’ So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish’s exclusive intellectual property.”
While it’s still not fully clear what happened, the idea of claiming copyright on birds singing is actually not an entirely new concept (though, yes, it is ridiculous). In 2010, we wrote aboutApple getting sued buy a guy, Martyn Stewart, who had recorded a bunch of bird sounds. Someone else had used those sounds in an app called iBird. As I said then, I’m not sure that there really is much “copyright” to claim over recording birds, but even if someone wants to make an argument that recording birds is copyrightable, it’s pretty clear that the guy in the story above was just recording his own sounds — not using someone’s “copyright”-covered bird songs…
Hammered by the financial crisis that has led to ever diminishing income, a group of residents in northern Greece have joined forces with potato farmers to slash consumer prices and ensure producers can get their crop to markets by cutting out the middle man.
[[imageshack.us]] Utah is the latest state to consider new laws targeting undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. A new bill would make photographing animal abuse on par with assaulting a police officer.
Mathis, the sponsor of the bill, said animal protection groups are solely using their investigations as “propaganda” efforts for fundraising drives. He went on to claim that animal welfare reforms, such as allowing chickens to spread their wings, are actually “detrimental to the welfare of animals.”
Exposing animal abuse is hurting animal welfare? Photography is terrorism?
We have always been at war with Eurasia.
So when I finally got to try out Adobe Photoshop Touch, I was intrigued to see what Adobe had accomplished. After a couple of hours playing around in the app (it accidentally went live yesterday, then Adobe pulled it) I’ve come away very impressed with what Adobe has accomplished. Photoshop Touch is a powerful and capable version of Photoshop for the iPad, without a doubt. To me, it is the latest iPad app that has demonstrated that the iPad is for more than “content consumption” — that’s just an old myth now.
Also available for Android.
The Danish band Qu’est-ce Que fuck? claims that they were prevented from playing an anti-ACTA gig by KODA, a Danish rights-management society. They claim that KODA deliberately put a number of bureaucratic hurdles in their path, with the final straw being a demand that the band be paid 4,000 Kroner for their appearance (which was beyond the means of the organisers), despite the band’s assurance that they would only perform their own material.
Before the settlement, we learned that nearly every aspect of the robosigned documents was false. None of the details were ever reviewed. The signatures attesting to the review of the documents were fabricated — made by someone other than the person whose name was on the document. Neither person — the supposed signatory to the document nor the hired forger — ever validated the facts of each case. All of the safeguards put in place to make sure foreclosures were done correctly and legally were bypassed. Even the notary stamps were bogus — they were not real, and not signed by a notary to validate that the signer and the signature matched.
Violating the law has merely become the banker’s cost of doing business.
Thus, the robosigning agreement has allowed the mass production of perjury. It has gone unrecognized and unpunished. It has made perjury a business expense, like travel or office furniture. The same reckless approach to giving loans to unqualified people was institutionalized, leading to another reckless approach to foreclosing homes.
We still don’t know who ordered these crimes, who is responsible for this, whether they still are in their jobs — or whether they are in a position of authority to do the same thing again.
Last, politically, the settlement reveals the corrupting influence of bank bailouts.
I asked her if she found Jar-Jar annoying and she asked “who?” – Mission accomplished.