Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

Pentagon Tests Mass Surveillance Balloons in US

September 13, 2019

Pentagon Tests Mass Surveillance Balloons in US

“The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.

Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois.”

“The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.”

— “Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US,” Mark Harris, The Guardian

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Silicon Valley Language Lesson

July 31, 2019

Silicon Valley Language Lesson

 

Apple (n) – America’s first trillion-dollar company, which achieved inordinate success through groundbreaking products such as the Macintosh, iPod and iPhone. After it ran out of ideas for new products, Apple maintained its dominance by coming up with new ways to force its customers to purchase expensive accessoriesSee dongle.”

cloud, the (n) – Servers. A way to keep more of your data off your computer and in the hands of big tech, where it can be monetized in ways you don’t understand but may have agreed to when you clicked on the Terms of Service. Usually located in a city or town whose elected officials exchanged tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks for seven full-time security guard jobs.”

Julia Carrie Wong and Matthew Cantor have produced a Devil’s Dictionary for today’s Bay Area:

“How to speak Silicon Valley: 53 essential tech-bro terms explained,” Julia Carrie Wong and Matthew Cantor, The Guardian

Related:

“The New Devil’s Dictionary,” The Verge

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Homeopathic Snake Oil Fuels the Measles Crisis

June 25, 2019

Homeopathic Snake Oil Fuels the Measles Crisis

Kate Birch, a homeopath based in Minnesota, is a leading quack in the lunatic anti-vaxxer campaign behind the raging measles epidemic plaguing America’s children. Homeopathic products are essentially small vials of very expensive water or alcohol masquerading as preventatives and cures for diseases and ailments. Substances they contain are so diluted that the products are essentially placebos.

Why, you may ask, doesn’t the FDA regulate this kind of bunkum? An original Senate sponsor of the 1938 “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” was a dean at a Homeopathic Medical College, and made sure the act identified all homeopathic swill as drugs. Existing FDA regs are, appropriately, watered-down. Since umpteen-hundred scientific studies show that homeopathic medicine doesn’t work, even the woo-woo department of NIH, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, points out that homeopathy is bunk.

More:

“US homeopaths claim ‘therapies’ prevent measles and ‘cure’ autism,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

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Parking

January 10, 2019

“Why we should pay more for free parking.” A Guardian video.

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Teaching in America

October 24, 2018

“I’ve had hungry students who couldn’t concentrate; I’ve filed tax returns for kids’ parents. You’re the only adult they trust – the only adult that talks to them like they’re a person.”

A Guardian video.

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More and More Frequent

November 10, 2017

More and More Frequent

“… there are now fewer days between mass shootings and more fatalities. In the 1990s, an estimated 159 people were killed in mass shootings. That figure rose to 171 people in the 2000s. So far this decade, at least 381 people have been killed in mass shootings.”

“… less deadly mass shootings rarely receive the same degree of media attention because they simply happen so frequently. The last mass shooting prior to Sunday happened just four days earlier, when Scott Allen Ostrem, 47, walked into a Walmart in Denver and fatally shot two men and a woman, before leaving the store and driving away.”

— “Not your imagination: mass shootings now happen more frequently in the US,” Mona Chalabi, The Guardian
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Technology Shields German Government from Spies

July 17, 2014

Technology Shields German Government frrom Spies

“German politicians are considering a return to using manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal.

The head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary inquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely.”

More:

“Germany ‘may revert to typewriters’ to counter hi-tech espionage,” Philip Oltermann, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Et Tu, Skype? Yipe.

October 16, 2013

Et Tu, Skype? Yipe.

“Skype is being investigated by Luxembourg’s data protection commissioner over concerns about its secret involvement with the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy programme Prism, the Guardian has learned.

The Microsoft-owned internet chat company could potentially face criminal and administrative sanctions, including a ban on passing users’ communications covertly to the US signals Intelligence agency.

Skype itself is headquartered in the European country, and could also be fined if an investigation concludes that the data sharing is found in violation of the country’s data-protection laws.”

— “Skype under investigation in Luxembourg over link to NSA,” Ryan Gallagher The Guardian

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‘McDonald’s 34,492 restaurants: where are they?’

July 25, 2013

McDonald's 34,492 restaurants: where are they?

A new restaurant in Vietnam means that McDonald’s will be serving up food in 116 countries around the world next year. See where they all are and find out how many restaurants there are per person in those countries.”

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High-Crime Neighborhood: Wall Street

May 22, 2012

High-Crime Neighborhood: Wall Street

“It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.

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