Published time: April 14, 2014 23:26
Edited time: April 16, 2014 12:26
A Google spokesperson announced Monday that the tech giant has purchased Titan Aerospace, snatching the New Mexico-based drone developers from Facebook, which has long been rumored to be interested in such an acquisition deal.
Titan Aerospace began operation in 2012 and its team of approximately 20 employees will continue to function out of its Moriarty headquarters after the deal goes through. They have spent years developing an unmanned-aerial-system (UAS) that, unlike the military drones buzzing over nations throughout the world, have been designed with the reported aim of bringing unfettered internet access to remote areas of the globe.
The sale was first reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal, although the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” a Google spokesman told the Journal. “It is still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.”
Titan deploys thin, solar panel-covered aircraft that are able to convert sunlight into fuel. The two models under development, the Solara 50 and Solara 60, are capable of flying for five years at an altitude twice the height passenger airlines travel.
Google has suggested the drones will be used to collect images from high above the planet, aiding initiatives like Google Earth and Google Maps. The spokesperson also told reporters the Titan aircraft will work closely with Google’s Project Loon, which is working to release high-altitude balloons that will broadcast Internet connectivity to closed-off areas of the world.
How close Titan truly is to accomplishing that goal is not exactly known, although the company has said it expects “initial commercial operations” by no later than 2015. They also claim the drones can deliver internet speeds at up to 1 gigabit per second. The average Internet speed in the US, comparatively, is 18.2 Mbps, a mere fraction of the rate Titan boasts.
The two models under development by Titan certainly appear to have the capability to reach remote areas of the world (they reportedly plan to begin by trying to reach desolate regions of Africa). The Solara 50 has a 164-foot wingspan, which is even larger than a Boeing 767 jet. Now that Google is in control of the company, the Journal reported, Titan could soon begin production on 11,000 models of the Solara 60, which is even larger than the Solara 50.
The technology has proven tantalizing enough for Google to likely spend tens of millions. Patrick Egan, a UAS expert and editor of the drone-focused sUAS News website, told the Journal the prospect of solar power does create issues.
“The problem with solar planes is that they are limited to smaller payloads, at night you are not collecting energy from the sun and it takes a lot of power to broadcast Internet signals,” he said. “If they can get past the technical challenge, they could build proprietary networks offering Internet and wireless bandwidth that are worth billions and billions of dollars.”
Previous reports indicated that Facebook, not Google, had expressed interest in acquiring Titan Aerospace. Facebook, one of the primary benefactors to the Internet.org plan to stretch affordable Internet to the world’s estimated 5 billion people who are still cut off, was reportedly in the running for $60 million, leading those in the know to guess Google was willing to pay more.
Such a price tag may sound steep when so much about satellite-like drones remains unknown. However Dustin Sanders, Titan’s chief electrical engineer, told CNN last year that tens of millions is a relatively small fee when the full breadth of possibilities are considered.
“If you have to go up to the satellites and rent that service, that’s a lot of money,” he said. “And launching a satellite, that can be in the billions of dollars. We’re trying to do a single-million-dollar-per-aircraft platform. And the operation cost is almost nothing – you’re paying some dude to watch the payload and make sure the aircraft doesn’t do anything stupid.”
It was obvious last month that Facebook’s plan had changed when founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company had spent under $20 million on a small firm called Ascenta, which will also develop high-altitude solar-powered drones that aim to increase global connectivity.
Yael Maguire, a director of engineering at Facebook, told the Daily Mail at the time that Facebook was so interested in Ascenta because of the way the company has prepared for the future.
“We’re looking at a new type of plane architecture that flies at roughly 20,000m, because that’s at a point where winds are at their lowest, it’s above commercial airliners, it’s even above the weather, and actually it can stay in the air for months at a time,” Maguire said.
“These planes are solar-powered and they sit there and circle around, and have the ability to broadcast internet down.”
[hat tip: EndTheLie]
by Heather Callaghan
Apr 4, 2014
The Internet of Things envisions a world where all things are “smartened” and connected to the Internet, always broadcasting real-time updates. Usually people think of appliances, which for me always conjures images of The Brave Little Toaster.
Did you ever carry this idea out into living things? Plants, then animals…then humans? Well, technology from the Internet of Things has definitely crept into the world of plants and is now making its way toward animals. Large-scale farms are particularly eager to use new technical applications – anything to help stay ahead of the changing food system and a shuttering economy.
So now plugged into the Internet of Things, we’ve got appliances, electrical meters, industrial equipment, devices for plants, and…cows. Yes, more and more cattle are connecting through their collars which emit real-time updates about their heat cycles.
The special Wi-Fi connected collar is called the Silent Herdsman, originating from Glasgow, Scotland. Not only does it monitor, but also uses artificial intelligence software to determine when Ms. Moo is in heat. There’s a similar product actually called the MooMonitor but requires more interpretation from the farmer.
In recent years a LOT of thought and theories have gone into methods for the most milk production for the farmer’s buck. This could be anything from waterbeds to relieve stress to biotech help with fertilization to the above-mentioned devices which are intended to capture the exact moment a mother cow can get pregnant again after having just birthed a baby calf.
To a large-scale farmer, it is apparently worth it, because one missed cycle means 5 more gallons of milk per day that could have been sold, to the tune of $315 per cycle. All of these cows are artificially inseminated – one failed attempt, during a tiny window of time that farmers believe happens during the night – is a high price.
Battery power is also no longer a concern. The Silent Herdsman lasts for three years and has actually synced the cow’s personal data to the software whenever it enters into the receiving area, be it a designated field or barn.
- Domestic “Internet of Things” Begins to Merge With The Industrial Smart Grid
- AT&T and IBM Partner to Connect The Internet of Things
- “Internet Of Things” One Step Closer With New Tech
Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:
by Michael Snyder
Feb 26, 2014
Do you want solid proof that paid government shills are targeting websites, blogs, forums and social media accounts? For years, many have suspected that government trolls have been systematically causing havoc all over the Internet, but proving it has been difficult. But now thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and revealed by Glenn Greenwald, we finally have hard evidence that western governments have been doing this. As you will see below, a UK intelligence outfit known as the Government Communications Headquarters, through a previously secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, has been systematically attempting “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse”. This should be deeply disturbing to anyone that values free speech on the Internet.
It isn’t just that the British government is trying to influence what people are thinking. The reality is that this is far bigger than a mere propaganda campaign. As Greenwald recently noted on his new website, the “integrity of the Internet itself” is at stake…
By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
So what techniques are the British using to control and manipulate discourse on the Internet? According to Greenwald, the documents that Snowden has uncovered show that they are willing to sink to despicable lows in order to get the results that they desire…
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
The following is a list of Internet infiltration techniques that were listed on one particular slide that Snowden leaked…
-Set Piece Operation
-False Flag Operation
-False Rescue Operation
You can check out this slide for yourself right here.
There is also evidence that the Canadian government has been involved in this sort of thing as well. The following comes from Natural News…
You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.
Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.
You can see a video news report about this activity up in Canada right here.
Are you disturbed yet?
You should be.
So what kind of people are the governments of the western world targeting online?
Well, when it comes to the U.S. government, all you have to do is to look at their official documents to see who they consider the “problems” to be. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.
Sadly, the reality of the matter is that the days of the free and open Internet are numbered. The governments of the world are increasing their control over the Internet with each passing day, and eventually a time will likely come when we will not be able to communicate openly like this any longer.
Mar 7, 2014
Today Thomas Hunt joins the Gnostic Media podcast to discuss “Mad Bitcoins”. This episode was released on Thursday, March 06, 2014, and was recorded March 05.
What’s with all the mainstream media hype lately over Bitcoin? What is Bitcoin? What is Mt. Gox? Is Mt. Gox the same as Bitcoin? Or is that equivalent to saying Enron, or Bernie Madoff, or Al Capone, is the dollar? Is Bitcoin really only used by drug smugglers and pornographers? Is it really a government conspiracy for a global digital currency? A Ponzi scheme? Is it really unsupported by anything? Is it something we should fear because it’s not supported by the Government, which brought us the dollar that’s lost most of its value through usury and inflation? (Note: This is the same government that bailed out the banks in 2008 – the failed banks. The same government that prints the money and then takes 1/3rd of it back each year.)
You’ve probably heard most, if not all, of these exaggerations.
What if, instead of believing and spreading misinformation and fear, we got informed on what Bitcoin really is? I’ve done over 6 months research in preparation for doing some shows on this topic.
Today Thomas Hunt joins us from Mad Bitcoins.
Mad Bitcoins is a daily YouTube news show covering the exciting world of cryptocurrency. Watch and Subscribe at YouTube. Host Thomas Hunt also moderates a more serious weekly Bitcoin panel discussion entitled “The Bitcoin Group“ available at TheBitcoinGroup.com and is hard at work on the new WorldCryptoNetwork.com.
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by Kevin Samson
Apr 2, 2014
Where Google sees adding robotic intelligence to every home, and the IBM/AT&T global partnership is to ensure that no home, appliance, or gadget is left behind, Microsoft’s Windows on Devices aims to offer its proprietary operating system to engage users on an already familiar platform.
Specific details remain sparse, but the video below speculates on a few areas that have come to light. The possible uses that have been offered are tame compared to what we already know are the intentions behind the move toward a Smart World.
In what researcher Julie Beal has dubbed “Uberveillance” she outlines the greater picture in her article from 2012:
Now global surveillance of citizens is announced with pride and accepted without question. This is the age of the ‘Internet of things’ – everything is to be woven into the Web. Companies like IBM are busily creating ‘smartworld’ where the Internet becomes the system of systems, linking all devices, people, and even nature.
Everything we buy from the shops, even our food, will one day incorporate smart tags. This practice is on the increase, facilitating what is known in the industry as ‘asset tracking’, and is being taken up more and more to enable tracking and tracing of documents, equipment, pharmaceuticals, warehouse stock, etc. (Source)
Clearly the potential is such that former CIA director David Petraeus made mention of it, implying that Smart tech will most likely lead to a CIA (and NSA) home invasion:
CIA Director David Petraeus made headlines with a speech given at the summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. In this talk, Petraeus discussed the emerging “internet of things” and the implications it will have for increased levels of surveillance. Petraeus explained that, because of the rise of gadgets which are connected and controlled by apps, intelligence agencies will no longer need to place spy devices inside your home – you will do it for them.
In conjunction with a recent unveiling of a new low-powered computer chip by ARM, one of the world’s largest chip companies, the fact is virtually every piece of electronic equipment (including appliances) can be controlled via apps and Internet-based systems. It is for this reason that Petraeus stated that the CIA will be able to read these devices via the Internet and even radio waves outside of the home.
Petraeus further stated,
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies.
Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters – all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.
He also added, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately heading to quantum computing.”
As the world moves toward connecting real devices to the virtual world of the Internet, the recent U.S. move to relinquish Internet control to a structure of global governance will have even vaster implications. Also consider the fact that major tech companies are working together rather than competing in the Internet of Things space by forming an “Industrial Internet Consortium.” Lastly, we have Facebook pursuing the purchase of a solar drone company to potentially offer planet-wide connectivity.
As if all of that should not be troubling enough, the Windows on Devices website states the following:
Connections are everything
Your Windows device can connect to the cloud to enable interesting new scenarios. Use Azure data services, build a new mashup, analyze your data, connect your devices together, or update your devices remotely. Once your device is in the cloud, the sky’s the limit. (emphasis added).
So beyond the normal government backdoors into your devices, Cloud interaction will be built in as well. In her article “Prepping the cloud for the internet of things” tech writer Barb Darrow leaves no doubt:
As billions more devices get connected to the internet (estimated to be 26 billion by 2020 – Ed.), there will be a huge infrastructure transformation on the backend. Cloud computing will play a major role in how the world takes advantage of that device-driven data explosion. (Source)
This push continues despite the fact that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak went on record to caution that Cloud Computing is absolutely not secure and is in fact fully compromised.
When the above developments are combined with the stated goals of UN Agenda 21, we are seeing a convergence of disparate areas under a simple single banner of connectivity.
To be sure, having you stay permanently connected in the real and virtual world has very little to do with your coffee mug or pet robot bear.
Video transcript with additional research links posted below:
Microsoft Could Bring Windows to Coffee Mugs, Robots
by Adam Falk
A new site suggests Windows might be coming to your coffee mug.
Engadget reports the site, called Windows on Devices, showed up briefly Tuesday – just ahead of Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference.
But it’s since been taken down and now looks like this, which tells us, well, nothing.
Before leaving the web, the site reportedly said Microsoft is “bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices.”
It even used a smart coffee mug as an example. This suggests Microsoft might embrace the so-called ‘Internet of Things.’
Meaning, it’s going to make our everyday, dumb devices – like kitchen appliances or coffee mugs – smarter by connecting them to the internet.
Reports indicate Microsoft is aiming Windows on Devices at makers. That is, if it’s even happening.
Reports are speculation at this point, and as CNET notes, “The Internet of Things is certainly designed to extend smart technology to ‘dumb’ devices, but a coffee mug or bear? That might be a stretch.”
How about a watch? The Verge says the question is whether Windows on Devices could power things like watches or eyewear, “both of which Microsoft is rumored to be working on.”
We should likely know more about this mysterious site and more as Microsoft Build kicks off Wednesday.
Recently by Kevin Samson:
Mar 24, 2014
Underscoring once again how many feminists have misappropriated the women’s rights movement into an excuse for hating men, Twitter was once again flooded yesterday by a number of users who expressed their desire to #killallmen.
PODCAST — An Interview with Michael Dean and Derrick Slopey – “NameCoin and Meowbit – Fighting Internet Censorship” – #195 – Gnostic Media
Mar 19, 2014
Today Michael Dean and Derrick Slopey join the Gnostic Media podcast to discuss “NameCoin and Meowbit – Fighting Internet Censorship”. This episode is being released on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, and was recorded yesterday.
Michael is a tech writer, first adopter, documentary filmmaker, musician, and libertarian talk radio host on The Freedom Feens and Michael Dean After Dark. Many years ago he was in a band on Warner Brothers called Bomb. He lives in Wyoming and loves cats.
Michael was on the team that released FreeSpeechMe, the first-ever user-friendly software for viewing Dot-Bit websites.
Derrick Slopey: Entropy Descrambler.
Derrick runs Alienseed Software and developed the Silver Calculator App for Windows Phone.
Witness Namecoin and Meowbit in action!
Their .bit websites (Meowbit and Namecoin software required):
https://dot-bit.bit – Namecoin DNS – DotBit Project
http://www.dotbitwhois.bit/ – dot.bit who is.
List of additional .bit websites:
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Mar 27, 20014
In what appears to be the revelation of yet another attempt to instigate foreign military action on Syrian soil, a video posted to YouTube from an anonymous account allegedly provides the audio of Turkish intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Deputy Chief of Military Staff Yasar Guler as well as other top Turkish officials discussing a possible attack on Syria.
The operation, if implemented, would have been publicly predicated on the basis of “securing the tomb of Suleyman Shah,” the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman empire. As Reuters reports, “Ankara regards the tomb as sovereign Turkish territory under a treaty signed with France in 1921, when Syria was under French rule. About two dozen Turkish special forces soldiers permanently guard it.”
As a result, Turkish authorities have moved to block access to YouTube, describing the recording as “villainous,” and a “wretched attack” on national security. This reaction has lent even more credence to the veracity of the recordings.
Two weeks ago, Turkey publicly threatened to respond to any attack on the tomb after a confrontation between fanatical death squads ISIL and other related “rebel” groups in the area.
However, it appears that the controversy over the danger posed to Suleyman’s tomb is nothing more than a weak excuse for overt military incursion into Syria. The idea is that Turkey will be able to claim that it is taking action against “Al-Qaeda” in order to protect Turkish territory, a justification that will be readily accepted by Western audiences.
It is important to point out that the Turkish plan is actually a false flag attack, since Turkey itself has been responsible for the facilitation, direction, and organization of many of the death squads operating in Syria. Indeed, the Turkey-Syria border is so wide open to Western-backed death squads that Turkish border stations might consider installing “death squad crossing” signs to warn other travelers.
The audio recording presents Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu as stating “”An operation against ISIL has international legitimacy. We will define it as al Qaeda. There are no issues on the al Qaeda framework. When it comes to the Suleyman Shah tomb, it’s about the protection of national soil.”
Reportedly, the voice of Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan responds, “Justification can be created. The matter is to create the will.”
TIB, the Turkish telecom authority, has responded by taking an “administrative measure” against Youtube, essentially blocking the website in Turkey. This measure comes a week after Turkish authorities blocked access to Twitter.
According to Reuters, “A source in Erdogan’s office said the video sharing service was blocked as a precaution after the voice recordings created a “national security issue” and said it may lift the ban if YouTube agreed to remove the content.”
If the recordings are real, then Turkey’s attempted false flag attack is yet one more act of aggression against Syria. Turkey has, for some time, acted as a conduit for death squad terrorists into Syria.
Only four days ago, on March 24, Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet which Turkey claims violated its airspace. Syrian officials, however, state that it was Turkey who violated Syrian airspace in an attempt to interfere with Syrian operations against death squads near Latakia. It is notable that the Syrian jet crashed on Syrian territory, not Turkish land.
The strike against the Syrian jet was not necessarily an isolated incident as the attack took place alongside a major offensive of “rebels” who pushed across the Turkey-Syria border simultaneously.
It was also reported that Turkey fired a number of artillery and tank shells against Syria military positions.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing Turkish special forces accompanying the death squads across the borders.
The Al Qaeda attack and takeover of the Kassab border crossing has caused up to2000 to 6000 Armenian Syrians to flee the area. Mass looting and destruction of religious sites was reported by residents (similar to criminal acts carried out in the recently liberated city of Yabroud).
Armenians are once again refugees due to the Turkish government like their ancestors who fled the Armenian Holocaust decades ago.
The battles in Latakia are ongoing, with the Syrian military inflicting heavy losses on Al Qaeda militants.
Recently by Brandon Turbeville:
- The History and Science of Color Revolutions, Part 2
- New Legislation Could Force Feds To Crack Down on Legal Marijuana
- More ‘Mysterious Snipers’ Responsible For Latest Ukraine Escalation?
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 275 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
Mar 20, 2014
Turkey has blocked Twitter hours after embattled Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan threatened to close it down ahead of a key election. It comes after audio recordings purportedly demonstrating corruption among his associates were posted on the site.
Just before midnight, access to Twitter was blocked, Hurriyet Daily reports.
“We now have a court order. We will wipe out Twitter,” the Islamist-leaning leader told a crowd of adulating supporters during a campaign rally in the northwestern city of Bursa on Thursday, AFP reported.
“I don’t care what the international community says. They will see the Turkish republic’s strength,” Erdogan added.
According to the Press Advisory of the Prime Ministry, Twitter officials are currently ignoring court rulings demanding they remove some links.
“[In Erdogan's speech] it is stated that as long as Twitter fails to change its attitude of ignoring court rulings and not doing what is necessary according to the law, technically, there might be no remedy but to block access in order to relief our citizens,” the statement says, as quoted by Hurriyet.
Last month, Turkey passed a controversial law tightening control over the internet, raising major concerns about free speech. It enabled authorities to block access to web pages within hours without a prior court order.
The Communication Technologies Institution (BTK) lists four court rulings on its website as the reasons for the latest block.
Twitter Inc says it is looking into reports that it has been banned in Turkey, Reuters says.
Multiple recordings have recently emerged not just on Twitter, but also on Facebook and YouTube, purportedly showing Erdogan – whose AK Party dominates the parliament – illegally meddling in political, legal, business, and media affairs.
In one recording, he instructs his son to hide tens of millions of euros worth of cash in the house. In another, he tells off an editor of a major newspaper for producing negative coverage. Erdogan has dismissed most of the recordings as “vile fakes” and accused a “robot lobby” of targeting his government through Twitter.
The leader also threatened to shut down YouTube and Facebook – which is used by 35 million Turks – last month.
The run-up to the local elections on March 30 – which will be followed by parliamentary and presidential polls – has been marked by constant rancour, with allegations of fraud adding to the protests over corruption and the suppression of political and civil freedoms from the opposition.
But the AK Party, which has been in power since 2002, is set to maintain its supremacy, if polls are to be believed.
Boiling Frogs Video
Feb 25, 2014
Smart technology represents less of a breakthrough in power distribution and more of a revolution in complete, constant, panopticon-like surveillance of everyone. As these smart technologies begin to invade our homes, we are becoming mere nodes in a giant network that we yet but dimly comprehend. Called the “Internet of Things,” the plan is to create a network that will eventually include every single object on the planet. And as the public is finally becoming aware, such networks provide golden opportunities for corporations and governments alike to collect data and spy on the population.
Feb 3, 2014
An article in a 1965 edition of Eagle, a British comic book, predicted the arrival of the Internet with stunning accuracy, including services similar to Skype, Netflix, Kindle and Google years before the very first rudimentary ARPANET links were even established and decades before the first incarnation of the world wide web became available to the general public.
Read the full article here – http://static.prisonplanet.com/p/imag…
Dropbox, the file-syncing startup angling to become as popular as Facebook, will soon have a new home that’s as big as its ambitions.
The company, which is furiously hiring top Silicon Valley talent to expand its ranks, has agreed to lease every floor of a 182,000-square-foot multi-story office building under construction in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. It’s a far cry from the North Beach apartment where co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi got the service up and running a few short years ago.
It’s also another example of an up-and-coming tech startup carving out a major headquarters in San Francisco as opposed to the traditional tech hub of Silicon Valley south of the city. As they seek new talent, these companies — including payments company Square, social networking giant Twitter, and ride-sharing startup Uber, as well as Dropbox — see the city as a major draw for new recruits.
End the Lie – Independent News
Jan 31, 2014
Documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden show the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) used airport Wi-Fi to track passengers from around the world.
Travelers passing through a major Canadian airport were potentially caught up in a vast electronic surveillance net, which allowed the nation’s electronic spy agency to track the wireless devices of thousands of airline passengers – even for days after they had departed the terminal, a document obtained by CBC News revealed.
The document shows the spy agency was then able to track travelers for a week or more as the unwitting passengers, together with their wireless devices, visited other Wi-Fi “hot spots” in locations across Canada – and even across the border at American airports.
The CBS report said any place that offered Wi-Fi internet access, including “airports, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants, libraries, ground transportation hubs” was vulnerable to the surveillance operation.
After reviewing details of the leaked information, one of Canada’s leading authorities on internet security says the secret operation was almost certainly illegal.
“I can’t see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful, under current Canadian law, under our Charter, under CSEC’s mandates,” Professor Ronald Deibert, an internet security expert at the University of Toronto, told CBC News.
It remains unclear from the leaked data how CSEC was able to infiltrate so many wireless devices to see who was using them — both on Canadian territory and beyond.
Jan 25, 2014
Is this massive sell off a sign of trouble behind the scenes at Facebook?
By John Vibes
(INTELLIHUB) — After experiencing some censorship issues, us at Intellihub have started paying close attention to what is going on behind the scenes at Facebook.
One theme that has been common in our research, is the idea that Facebook is in the midst of a decline, and that the social network will soon lose dominance, in favor of websites that offer a more secure, and censorship free platform.
Not only have there been market studies and mathematical models to show that the decline of Facebook is taking place, but there have also been some telltale signs in terms stock activity.
After just establishing the IPO less than two years ago, Founder Mark Zuckerberg just unloaded 41.4 million Facebook shares for $2.3 billion, ensuring that even if the stock price collapses, he will remain wealthy, Aljazeera reported.
Jan 21, 2014
The worst fears of all free speech proponents are upon us. The Verizon suit against the Federal Communications Commission, appellate decision sets the stage for a Supreme Court review. The Wall Street Journal portrays the ruling in financial terms: “A federal court has tossed out the FCC’s “open internet” rules, and now internet service providers are free to charge companies like Google and Netflix higher fees to deliver content faster.”
In essence, this is the corporate spin that the decision is about the future cost for being connected.
“The ruling was a blow to the Obama administration, which has pushed the idea of “net neutrality.” And it sharpened the struggle by the nation’s big entertainment and telecommunications companies to shape the regulation of broadband, now a vital pipeline for tens of millions of Americans to view video and other media.
For consumers, the ruling could usher in an era of tiered Internet service, in which they get some content at full speed while other websites appear slower because their owners chose not to pay up.
“It takes the Internet into completely uncharted territory,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who coined the term net neutrality.”
What the Journal is not telling you is that this “uncharted territory” is easy to project. If ISP’s will be able to charge varied rates or decide to vary internet speed, it is a very short step towards selectively discriminate against sites based upon content. Do not get lulled into thinking that constitutional protective political speech is guaranteed.
Once again, the world according to the communication giants paint a very different interpretation as the article, Verizon called hypocritical for equating net neutrality to censorship illustrates.
“Verizon’s argument that network neutrality regulations violated the firm’s First Amendment rights. In Verizon’s view, slowing or blocking packets on a broadband network is little different from a newspaper editor choosing which articles to publish, and should enjoy the same constitutional protection.”
The response from advocates of the Net Neutrality standard, that is about to vanish, sums up correctly.
“The First Amendment does not apply, however, when Verizon is merely transmitting the content of third parties. Moreover, these groups point out, Verizon itself has disclaimed responsibility for its users’ content when it was convenient to do so, making its free speech arguments ring hollow.”
Next, consider the implication that search engines will use this decision to re-work their algorithms lowering their spider bots selection of sites that challenge the “PC” culture. Restrictive categorization used for years by Google, Yahoo and Bing can use this decision as cover to purge dissenting sites even more from their result rankings.
“Without Net Neutrality, ISPs will be able to devise new schemes to charge users more for access and services, making it harder for us to communicate online – and easier for companies to censor our speech.”
Corporate gatekeepers will control “where you go and what you see.”
Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable “will be able to block content and speech they don’t like, reject apps that compete with their own offerings, and prioritize Web traffic…”
They’ll be able to “reserve the fastest loading speeds for the highest bidders (while) sticking everyone else with the slowest.”
Doing so prohibits free and open communications. Censorship will become policy. Net Neutrality is too important to lose.”
“In the U.S., there’s no practical competition. The vast majority of households essentially have a single broadband option, their local cable provider. Verizon and AT&T provide Internet service, too, but for most customers they’re slower than the cable service. Some neighborhoods get telephone fiber services, but Verizon and AT&T have ceased the rollout of their FiOs and U-verse services–if you don’t have it now, you’re not getting it.
Who deserves the blame for this wretched combination of monopolization and profiteering by ever-larger cable and phone companies? The FCC, that’s who. The agency’s dereliction dates back to 2002, when under Chairman Michael Powell it reclassified cable modem services as “information services” rather than “telecommunications services,” eliminating its own authority to regulate them broadly. Powell, by the way, is now the chief lobbyist in Washington for the cable TV industry, so the payoff wasn’t long in coming.”
In a digital environment, access to an internet that provides uncensored content at the lowest costs is a direct threat to the corporate economy. Innovation and creative cutting-edge services are clearly marked as competing challenges to the Amazon jungle of merchandising. The big will just get bigger.
Then the unavoidable effects from the “all the news fit to report” mass medium, intensifies their suppression of honest investigative journalism. Filtering out the alternative and truth media is the prime objective of this ruling. Eliminating political dissent from the internet is the ultimate implication. What would the net be like without access to the Drudge Report?
New World Next Week
Jan 23, 2014
Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news.
Story #1: Ukraine Opposition Sets 24-hour Deadline As Protests Rage
Putin Scores a New Victory: What Really Happened In Ukraine
Ukraine Texts Citizens: Hey, We See You’re In a Mass Disturbance
Reddit: Ukraine Revolt Livestream
State Of Emergency Begins As Thailand Copes With Protests
Geneva II: Day 1 of Syria Peace Talks Ends on Fragile Ground
Visit http://NewWorldNextWeek.com to get previous episodes in various formats to download, burn and share. And as always, stay up-to-date by subscribing to the feeds from Corbett Report http://ur1.ca/39obd and Media Monarchy http://ur1.ca/kuec Thank you.
Previous Episode: ICC to Prosecute UK Officials for Iraq War Crimes?
Jan 22, 2014
Marlene Leung, CTVNews.ca
Like an infectious disease that initially spreads and then abruptly dies, Facebook’s growth is set for a rapid decline within the next few years, according to a new study from Princeton University.
Researchers at Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering predict that Facebook will lose 80 per cent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, used epidemiological models used to track the spread of infectious diseases and publicly available Google search query data, to explain how users adopt and abandon online social networks.