Archive | April, 2012

Bradley Manning’s Leaks Irrelevant to “Aiding Enemy” Charge, States Military Commission

scap

Since 1996 the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel has voted to declassify at least part of 65 percent of documents it regulated.

Via the Internet Chronicle:

Thursday morning at Fort Meade, Maryland, government attorneys continued day three of pretrial hearings that began April 24 in the case of Army Private Bradley Manning, awaiting court-martial after having been accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of secret-clearance documents. The government submitted reconsideration motions with two classified attachments, and key, a sole judge asserted that the effects of Private Manning’s leaks do not bear on his receiving an “aiding the enemy” charge.

Members of the public who had seen earlier parts of the trial described a video presentation by the prosecution and recounted the contents of the video, which one woman described as the speech of a man in “traditional Middle Eastern” garments, praising “Allah” for WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of files from the State and Defense Departments.  This video fit into the prosecution’s insistence on an—relative to the former Army intelligence specialist’s other charges—egregious “aiding the enemy” charge, which a ruling yesterday evening revealed would stick.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

FBI Escalates War On Anonymous

Here’s what happens when you proclaim yourself to be the representative of the Anonymous meme. Buzzfeed reports:

Last month, the FBI raided the Dallas home of Barrett Brown, the journalist and unofficial spokesperson for the Internet hacktivist group Anonymous. The Feds seized Brown’s computer and cellphone, searched his parent’s home as well, and demanded his Twitter records, chat logs, IRC conversations, Pastebin info, [and] all his Internet browsing activity. The warrant suggests the government is primarily after information related to Anonymous and the hacking group Lulzec.

enhanced-buzz-18575-1335303982-23

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Are Creative People More Likely to Be Immoral?

InkblotTravis Riddle writes in Scientific American:

In the mid 1990’s, Apple Computers was a dying company.  Microsoft’s Windows operating system was overwhelmingly favored by consumers, and Apple’s attempts to win back market share by improving the Macintosh operating system were unsuccessful.  After several years of debilitating financial losses, the company chose to purchase a fledgling software company called NeXT.  Along with purchasing the rights to NeXT’s software, this move allowed Apple to regain the services of one of the company’s founders, the late Steve Jobs.  Under the guidance of Jobs, Apple returned to profitability and is now the largest technology company in the world, with the creativity of Steve Jobs receiving much of the credit.

However, despite the widespread positive image of Jobs as a creative genius, he also has a dark reputation for encouraging censorship,“ losing sight of honesty and integrity”, belittling employees, and engaging in other morally questionable actions.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

You Can Be A Patriot or a Profiteer…But You Can’t Be Both

This week, the three military contractors that do the most business with the Pentagon announced their quarterly profits for 2012. Their profits continue to grow while they push Washington, D.C. to protect their budgets at the expense of the rest of us. Here’s the breakdown so far for this year: This week's announcement raises a fundamental question: Should people and companies be allowed to make huge profits from war? Even raising this question in today’s environment may seem trite, but we used to have different answers than those that prevail in modern-day Washington, D.C....
Continue Reading

Holding Hands As We Forge The Chasm

Suffrage UniverselNatalie Solidarity writes at Diatribe Media:

According to the Women’s Law Center, women face unequal pay for equal work, earning on average only 77¢ for every dollar earned by men, with African American and Latina women faring even worse. Legislative bills to strengthen the laws against discrimination are still in urgent need. Furthermore, depending on industry, women earn significantly less than the 77/100 that their male counterparts for working the same jobs.

Inequality is not a new trend. A comprehensive study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the gender wage gap can only be partially explained by human capital factors and so-called “work patterns.” The GAO study, released in 2003, was based on data from 1983 through 2000 from a representative sample of Americans between the ages of 25 and 65. The researchers controlled for work patterns, which include years of work experience, education, and hours of work per year, as well as differences in industry, occupation, race, marital status, and job tenure.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Machine Pareidolia: The Faces Hidden Around Us

Via Urban Honking, a strange experiment in using facial recognition technology to find the face-like forms constantly embedded in our surroundings. What does it all mean?

Pareidolia [is] the natural human inclination to see faces everywhere around us. Matt Jones advocates designing faces into new technology products as a way of making them more approachable, using pareidolia to give products personality and humanize them.

pared

Facial recognition techniques give computers their own flavor of pareidolia. In addition to responding to actual human faces, facial recognition systems, just like the human vision system, sometimes produce false positives, latching onto some set of features in the image as matching their model of a face.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Thirty-Five-Hour Work-Week Recommended for Parents

ParentingRaising children isn’t considered work, of course. Via ScienceDaily:

Swedish mothers of small children work a lot more now than in the 1970s. This is an important reason why so many parents feel extremely pressured for time. One way to handle the stress is to take advantage of the right for Swedish parents to work half time, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg. The author of the thesis Jörgen Larsson suggests shorter workweeks for parents.

Jörgen Larsson’s doctoral thesis is based on the observation that parents of small children are in the middle of the most hectic part of their lives. One major reason behind the time pressure is that parents work more hours than in the past. The total paid work time for mothers and fathers of small children has increased by an average of 10 hours per week since the 1970s.

The study, which is based on statistical analysis of 20,000 parents and interviews with 19 fathers, explores parents’ temporal welfare.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Drones for Domestic Surveillance (Video)

Via RT America:
In January of 2012, the US Congress passed legislation that will open up the US sky to unmanned drones. The robotic aircraft will be used for military and police operations and will add to America's current arsenal of around 7,000 drones. According to some accounts, peaceful protest might be a reason that feds would deploy the unmanned craft. There are currently 300 active drone permits in the US, but will that soon swell out of control? Amie Stepanovich, a member of the National Security Council for EPIC, joins us for more.
Continue Reading

The Book Of Revelation In ‘The Graphic Canon’

Graphic Canon[disinfo ed.'s note: Russ Kick, the first disinformation author has, gasp, written not one but three books for another publisher (it's okay, we like them), the first of which is coming out on May 22nd: The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons. Russ and Seven Stories Press have kindly given us a sneak preview.]

The final book of the New Testament, and thus the Christian Bible as a whole, the Book of Revelation just might be the strangest work in the entire literary canon. Populated by the Whore of Babylon, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Beast, a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, locusts with human faces, a seven-headed dragon, a false prophet, Satan, angels blowing trumpets of destruction, and other bizarre characters, this series of four visions has been interpreted as a literal guide to the fiery, blood-soaked end of the world as we know it and the establishment of Christ’s 1,000-year kingdom on Earth, as a coded guide to spiritual development, and as an intense mushroom trip.… Read the rest

Continue Reading