HIGHLY POTENT NEWS THAT MIGHT CHANGE YOUR VIEWS

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Darpa Turns Oculus Into a Weapon for Cyberwar — video included

Canadian Awareness Network
Oct 29, 2014

A Darpa contractor showing off the Oculus Rift cyberwar simulation at the Pentagon’s Darpa Demo Day. Photo: Andy Greenberg/WIRED

BY ANDY GREENBERG 05.23.14

For the last two years, Darpa has been working to make waging cyberwar as easy as playing a video game. Now, like so many other games, it’s about to get a lot more in-your-face.

At the Pentagon Wednesday, the armed forces’ far-out research branch known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency showed off its latest demos for Plan X, a long-gestating software platform designed to unify digital attack and defense tools into a single, easy-to-use interface for American military hackers. And for the last few months, that program has had a new toy: The agency is experimenting with using the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset to give cyberwarriors a new way to visualize three-dimensional network simulations–in some cases with the goal of better targeting them for attack.

“You’re not in a two-dimensional view, so you can look around the data. You look to your left, look to your right, and see different subnets of information,” Darpa’s Plan X program manager Frank Pound told WIRED in an interview. “With the Oculus you have that immersive environment. It’s like you’re swimming in the internet.”

In its demo setup, complete with two motion-sensing Razer Hydra controllers for navigation, the user does more than swim. As captured in the video below showing an Oculus user’s view, Darpa’s proof-of-concept begins with a collection of “missions” to choose from, each of which is represented by a spherical network of computers. Select one, and you’re presented with a planned series of actions to carry out–like scanning a certain network or probing target endpoints for vulnerabilities–and a collection of tools to use, represented by different abstract icons. Then you’re thrown into the network to carry out the mission, while the enemy launches attacks like distributed-denial-of-service bombardments back at the user.

[CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO]

If all of that seems more than a little contrived, Pound admits that the Oculus demo is only a “notional” proof-of-concept, created by the San Francisco design firm Frog Design and the Austin-based simulation software company Intific. But Darpa is serious about integrating the virtual-reality headset into its plans; It’s already shown the Oculus to Congress and to the Pentagon’s Joint Chief of Staffs in private demonstrations, and will be experimenting further with the second developer version of the device set to be released later this summer.

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The dark side of social media: Baroness Susan Greenfield says social media is rewiring our brains

news.com.au
Nov 17, 2014

Baroness Susan Greenfield is a brain scientist who says time spent with electronic devices is rewiring the brain. Source: News Limited

WE’RE all guilty of it. We’re at the pub, dinner table or enjoying a fun arvo with a group of friends and, instead of talking to the people we’re with, we’re preoccupied with our phones.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, video games and — dare I say it — news.com.au all provide endless distractions, as well as more opportunities to share, connect and spout your views than ever before.

But what effect is this having on us? More crucially, how is it affecting our brains?

Renowned British neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield says modern technology is not only changing the way we interact, it is changing the wiring in our brain.

Professor Greenfield, who is also a member of the British upper house, says the hyper-connectedness of today’s youth gives them shorter attention spans and makes them more narcissistic, more susceptible to depression and anxiety, and less empathetic.

“The mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity,” she told parliament in 2009.

Her interest in the subject has culminated in her book Mind Change, released in August, in which she argues:

● That social media is affecting our sense of identity and ability to empathise,

● That video games are shortening attention spans, and increasing our recklessness and aggression, and

● That search engines are making us confuse information for knowledge.

Prof Greenfield says that the brain is exquisitely designed to adapt to its environment and, because technology has created a vastly changed social environment, it follows that our brains may also being changing in an unprecedented way.

What effect does our addiction to screens have on the way we relate to each other?

What effect does our addiction to screens have on the way we relate to each other? Source: Supplied

She argues that today’s youth are developing in a world where relationships are increasingly formed online, which means we are less able to rehearse important social skills.

“Human beings love talking about themselves. Nature has developed body language so you can be sure that your interaction is reasonably secure, and you don’t make yourself vulnerable, through eye contact, gestures and pheromones,” Prof Greenfield told news.com.au.

But words — the primary means through which people interact on social media — make up only 10 per cent of the impact made when you meet someone.

“If you are not rehearsing those visual clues, you are going to be at a disadvantage,” Prof Greenfield said.

She said people were much more likely to insult others online because they didn’t have those cues.

“If someone says ‘I hate you’ to someone’s face, they may not say it again because the way it makes that person feel may be extremely hurtful, which can give the person who said it a physiological churning,” Prof Greenfield said.

“Those constraints are not available on social networking. You don’t have that handbrake … That’s what I’m concerned about.”

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[hat tip: Neil Sanders]


VIDEO — The Truth About Net Neutrality

Stefan Molyneux
Jul 29, 2014

Advocates say that Net Neutrality means guaranteeing free speech on the Internet. Without it, big telecoms could control what you see and how you see it. But what is the truth about Net Neutrality?

[SHOW NOTES]


ISIS: Raging on the Internet, but not in the Mosque and don’t blame the web

21st Century Wire says…
[Nov 15, 2014]

How real is ISIS? Is it more real, or less real than al Qaeda?

According to some, ISIS is flourishing more online than it is in brick-and-mortar life…

1-ISIS-CIAISIS INTERNET MARKETING DEPT: The majority of ISIS manpower is working in the virtual space.

Award-winning, veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk poses that very question: “I’m even wondering whether “Isis” –  isn’t more real on the internet, than it is on the ground.”

Fisk also goes on to say that the “virtual” has dropped out of virtual reality, and that this generation’s obsession with the truth (as it’s sometimes portrayed) online is the reason ISIS youths are going bonkers for beheadings. We support this supposition in part, but to blame the internet for the ISIS crisis would be one dimensional without factoring in the avalanche of financial and arms support the terrorists are receiving from entities like the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This statement by Fisk, however, is sublime in both its quality and its accuracy:

“The belief, the absolute conviction that the screen contains truth – that the “message” really is the ultimate verity, has still not been fully recognised for what it is; an extraordinary lapse in our critical consciousness that exposes us to the rawest of  emotions – both total love and total hatred”.

Yes, the internet is a powerful tool, and it may appear dangerous to some, but if anything is inverted in this 21st century conundrum, it’s not the technology. The minds of its users were more likely warped long before they switched their computers on.

What even worse still, is the amount of free publicity and PR exposure given to ISIS/ISIL/IS by international media conglomerates like CNN, FOX, and the BBC. When the Islamic State’ post a staged jihadist propaganda video on YouTube – you can be certain that western broadcasters will give their videos heavy rotation 24/7. ISIS could not afford the free marketing they get from our media moguls.

Their consciousness was buried by a globalised, corporatised mega-media machine – buried under successive layers of lies, omissions and mistruths coming from “the mainstream” gospel, including TV broadcasters and newspapers. Lies, piled on top of lies – and then shaming the public to accept the lies – leads to a highly dysfunctional and unconscious society, not only in the west (where lying is a celebrated and high art form), but in the Middle East too.

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Don’t Replace Facebook, Disrupt It

LocalOrg

November 11, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LocalOrg) – Facebook is a problem. It is undoubtedly being used by special interests to manipulate and monitor entire populations both within the United States and well beyond. It represents a tool that in no way serves the people actually using it, and instead allows special interests to use the users. It is a dream global panopticon for the abusive dictators that run Western society and presume dominion over what they call an “international order.”

But in order to counter this threat, Facebook cannot simply be “replaced.” It specifically, and what it represents, must be disrupted entirely.

Facebook is a Skinner Box for Humans 

Facebook has been at the center of several recent controversies that are increasingly leaving users disillusioned and in search of alternatives. At the center of these controversies is Facebook’s “news feed” feature. Ideally, news feed would work by showing on your timeline updates from those individuals and organizations you follow. There are two options for news feed – “most recent” and “top stories.” Facebook has decided to upend this feature by insidiously controlling what appears on your news feed regardless of which option you select. 

Now, you will no longer receive regular updates from accounts you follow, and instead will see a “filtered” version determined by Facebook’s algorithms. Many Facebook users are unaware of this fact and are perplexed as to why they are no longer receiving regular updates from accounts they follow.

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Silicon Valley startup unveils Internet-connected smart guns for cops — video included

Canadian Awareness Network
Oct 30, 2014

Real-time data on location, and when weapons are being unholstered and fired.

by David Kravets – Oct 24 2014, 12:30pm EDT

A Silicon Valley startup said Friday that police agencies were field testing its new product: a wireless sensor that transforms officers’ weapons into smart guns with real-time telemetry.

Yardarm Technologies’ sensor is a small device that goes inside gun handles and provides dispatchers with real-time geo-location tracking information on the weapon. The Yardarm Sensor also sends alerts when a weapon is unholstered or fired, and it can “record the direction of aim, providing real-time tactical value for commanders and providing crime scene investigators valuable data for prosecution,” the company said.

The 10-employee company based in Capitola, California, said it was deploying the technology on a trial basis. The first takers have been the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department in California and the Carrollton Police Department in Texas.

“By connecting the firearm to the cloud, we give departments a technology that enhances officer safety, improves operational efficiency, and builds community trust,” Jim Schaff, a Yardarm vice president, said.
The announcement comes as the public is seeking more accountability of officers following the August 9 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The shooting has prompted widespread protests and left some demanding a technological solution.

In response, the Ferguson Police Department began equipping its officers with body cameras so that officers may record their daily patrols. Police departments elsewhere have also started using body cameras, and others are exploring the idea. A White House petition with 154,000-plus signatures is demanding that all police in the US “wear a camera.”

While it won’t capture the details of all of an officer’s interactions with the public, the Yardarm device may provide critical information. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak was highly optimistic that the sensors would bolster accountability. “A law enforcement leader’s ultimate responsibility is to keep their staff and the public safe at all times,” Wowak said. “Yardarm’s technology is a groundbreaking way to do just that, and every sheriff and police chief worldwide should be looking at this product for the future of their department.”

Yardarm is also marketing the technology to private security firms and the military. It hopes to capitalize not just on its hardware but on subscription fees from dispatcher software makers.

The sensors put into gun handles are connected via Bluetooth to a law enforcement official’s smartphone, which sends the data to Yardarm’s servers. The data is then routed to police departments in encrypted form, the company said.

The 18-month-old startup has raised about $1.5 million so far and has radically altered its business model. Initially, the company focused on the consumer firearms market, but it ran into controversy. It was hawking technology that would allow private gun owners the ability to remotely lock a weapon. If a weapon was moved—or stolen—an alarm would alert the owner’s mobile phone. The owner would have the option to remotely disable the weapon from being fired.

But gun rights advocates, like the National Rifle Association, say smart guns could limit Second Amendment rights. “NRA recognizes that the ‘smart guns’ issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology,” the group said. Marketing to the police and military would avoid this potential controversy.

Listing image by Yardarm Technologies

Read More Here

 


VIDEO/PODCAST — Anarchast Ep. 169 Dan Dicks: Press For Truth!

Press For Truth
Nov 11, 2014

Jeff interviews Dan Dicks independent journalist for Press for Truth, topics include: Canada’s growing nationalism and militarism, the North American Union, terrorist threat used to grow state controls, false flag attacks, the importance of unbiased journalism, internet media, old media dying, joining the fight against the new world order, Luke Rudkowski, Anarchapulco media workshop…

[download mp3 of this episode]

[SHOW NOTES]


Facebook boosted US election turnout via psychology experiment, company reveals

RT USA
Published time: November 04, 2014 05:54
Edited time: November 04, 2014 07:36

Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Facebook manipulated the news feeds of almost 2 million American users during the 2012 presidential election without telling them. The manipulation led to a 3 percent increase in voter turnout, according to the company’s own data scientist.

In a stunning revelation, the three months prior to Election Day in 2012 saw Facebook “tweak” the feeds of 1.9 million Americans by sharing their friends’ hard news posts rather than the usual personal posts. The effect was felt most by occasional Facebook users who reported in a survey they paid more attention to the government because of their friends’ hard news feeds. Facebook didn’t tell users about this psychology experiment, but it boosted voter turnout by 3 percent.

The experiment was first shared with the public in two talks given by Facebook’s data scientist, Lada Adamic, in the fall of 2012, and more details were disclosed recently by Mother Jones. In those talks, Adamic said a colleague at Facebook, Solomon Messing, “tweaked” the feeds. Afterwards, Messing surveyed the group and found that voter turnout and political engagement grew from a self-reported 64 percent to more than 67 percent.

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Ello -The Facebook Killer?

Land Destroyer

September 26, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LocalOrg) – Ello, a social network alternative to Facebook is expanding its user base immensely, even as it remains in beta testing. Market watchers and tech trend analysts attribute the influx of users indicative of Facebook’s waning popularity due to its invasive, profit-driven, monopolistic, and downright creepy conduct. 

Facebook’s incremental, manipulative policy and terms of use have been described as everything from a greedy business practice, to a government sanctioned means of mass manipulation and soft censorship.

It was inevitable that start-ups and activists would seek to offer Facebook users an alternative that allowed social media to be used as a tool of empowerment, not insidious manipulation and censorship. Ello appears to be tapping into that with its manifesto which states:

Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.
You are not a product.

In theory, not only does Ello’s manifesto sound ideal, it is likely to attract a multitude of disillusioned Facebook users fed up with the big-tech’s monopoly, but who have stayed aboard for a lack of a better alternative.

Market Watch in an article titled, “Facebook killer called Ello gets the timing right,” reported:

There has been a lot of chatter on social media this week about a new social network called Ello, which is getting buzz for its anti-Facebook Inc. stance. But is the start-up, which accepts no advertising and does no data mining, ready for prime time?

Ello has apparently been gaining such a huge influx of new users that its servers were having problems in the past two days, despite the requirement that you need an invitation to join.

Market Watch notes that Ello’s popularity is due more to Facebook’s shortcomings than Ello’s superior performance – Ello which is admittedly still in beta testing and with features still being incrementally added.

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I’m terrified of my new TV: Why I’m scared to turn this thing on — and you’d be, too

by Michael Price
Salon.com
Oct 30, 2014

(Credit: cobalt88 via Shutterstock)

From facial recognition to personal data collection, this thing is downright scary — and so are the implications

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.

It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face. On the upside, the images are saved on the TV instead of uploaded to a corporate server. On the downside, the Internet connection makes the whole TV vulnerable to hackers who have demonstrated the ability to take complete control of the machine.

More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.

You may not be watching, but the telescreen is listening.

I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.

Unfortunately, current law affords little privacy protection to so-called “third party records,” including email, telephone records, and data stored in “the cloud.” Much of the data captured and transmitted by my new TV would likely fall into this category. Although one federal court of appeals has found this rule unconstitutional with respect to email, the principle remains a bedrock of modern electronic surveillance.

According to retired Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, Internet-enabled “smart” devices can be exploited to reveal a wealth of personal data. “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 harvester,” he reportedly told a venture capital firm in 2012. “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher,” read one headline. Indeed, as the “Internet of Things” matures, household appliances and physical objects will become more networked. Your ceiling lights, thermostat and washing machine — even your socks — may be wired to interact online. The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.

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FBI pretended to be Seattle newspaper in order to hack suspect’s computer

End the Lie
Oct 28, 2014

image

Screenshot from http://seattletimes.com

The editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Seattle Times newspaper says she’s “outraged” to learn only this week that the FBI made a mock-up of the publication’s website in 2007 in order to spread spyware onto the computer of a suspect.

When agents with the Seattle division of the FBI swarmed the home of a 15-year-old high school student that year and charged him with making bomb threats, media reports noted that the arrest was made possible with the use of a so-called “Computer & Internet Protocol Address Verifier” program, or CIPAV, that had been remotely installed on the individual’s machine to collect and then communicate to the authorities the user-specific information that eventually identified the suspect. The student later pleaded guilty to emailing repeated bomb threats to Timberline High School and was sentenced to 90 days in juvenile detention.

Until this week, how the FBI actually went about sneaking the CIPAV program onto the student’s computer was a matter that went unreported. After digging through a trove of emails previously obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, however, American Civil Liberties Union technologist Chris Soghoian stumbled upon details this week showing that authorities accomplished the installation by sending a malicious link disguised as a Seattle Times news article to a social media account used by their suspect.

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