Archive | October, 2012

Hospital Medical Devices Increasingly Riddled With Computer Viruses

Technology Review on the looming hazard of malware causing deadly misfunction in the era of digitalized medical care:

Computerized hospital equipment is increasingly vulnerable to malware infections, according to participants in a recent government panel. These infections can clog patient-monitoring equipment and other software systems, at times rendering the devices temporarily inoperable.

Olson told the panel that infections have stricken many kinds of equipment, raising fears that someday a patient could be harmed. “We also worry about situations where blood gas analyzers, compounders, radiology equipment, nuclear-medical delivery systems, could become compromised to where they can’t be used, or they become compromised to the point where their values are adjusted without the software knowing,” he said. He explained that when a machine becomes clogged with malware, it could in theory “miss a couple of readings off of a sensor [and] erroneously report a value, which now can cause harm.”

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Coastal Town In Columbia Frightened By Allegedly Demonic Baby

Halloween spookiness from the Daily Mail with a whole town worked into a frenzy over the ultimate parenting conundrum — a newborn believed to be displaying demonic powers:

A new-born baby in Colombia can already walk by himself and produce fire, his own mother has claimed. Ana Feria Santos gave birth to her son last month but says her joy quickly turned to fear when she noticed that he had ‘several abnormalities’ – leading to fears in her community that he is the ‘devil in disguise’.

Much like the 1976 horror film The Omen, the mother-of-five says he frequently hides around the house, cackles in an ‘adult’ way for hours on end and has an ‘intimidating’ pair of eyes.

Her neighbours in the town of Lorica, near the Caribbean coast, also say he is possessed by a ‘malign spirit’ and that he is capable of producing fire. It has led to vigilante attacks on Santos and her taxi-driver husband Óscar Palencia López’s house, which is allegedly being pelted with stones on a nightly-basis by frightened residents.

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Burning Man Arsonist Apparently Commits Suicide

San Francisco’s newspaper is reporting the death of Paul Addis, who in 2007 “spent time in prison for setting the Burning Man wooden icon on fire four days too soon.”

The notorious “Burning Man Arsonist” (and performance artist) served nearly two years in prison for what he’d described as an act of protest. “This was not an act of vengeance, it was one of love,” he’s remembered as saying in the San Francisco newspaper. “A love of the ethos that is fading at Burning Man. There’s no sense of spontaneity. No sense of ‘Fuck it. Let’s burn this down.'”

At the time, he was appearing as Hunter S. Thompson in a one-man stage play called Gonzo: A Brutal Chrysalis. San Francisco’s newspaper reports that in 2008 he was also arrested against outside a San Francisco church with a backpack filled with fireworks “after telling neighbors the church ‘isn’t going to be there anymore.'”

This Saturday night, he was killed after throwing himself in front of a BART commuter train.… Read the rest

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Will You Vote Not To?

Not voting is often a matter of principle for some people. Stand up comedian Mike Payne makes a seriously good case here:

I don’t vote. I also avoid conversations about voting, because when I mention I don’t vote, otherwise reasonable people respond by shrieking like a hyena that has been freebasing.

MAN travels in packs; even supposed !INDIVIDUALISTS! feel better when they can be part of the mob. Voting helps sate this craving, and trying to argue the herd out of herding is like giving the finger to gravity. Doesn’t accomplish much.

Still, the sanctimony of proud voters during Presidential races is so feverish I can’t help myself.

The least impressive argument I hear from voters: People died to give you the right to vote.

So what? People also died defending the Third Reich. Their dying for a cause doesn’t alter the merits of the cause one bit. Dying isn’t a big deal.

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American Bombing of Iraq Left Legacy of Deformed Babies

Picture: USDOD (PD)

Haroon Siddiqui writes at the Toronto Star:

Remember Falluja? That city in central Iraq was the scene of two furious attacks in 2004 by American Marines. That spring, they went on a bombing, shooting rampage to avenge the murder and mutilation of four American mercenaries. Instead of targeting the estimated 2,000 insurgents, the Marines almost levelled the city of 300,000, without conquering it. Seven months later, they attacked again with artillery and bombs in what was described as the bloodiest urban warfare involving Americans since the Vietnam War.

Remember Basra? That southern Iraqi city has been suffering since the first Gulf War, in 1991. Radioactive residue from the 800 tons of bombs and 1 million rounds of ammunition used was soon showing up in babies born with huge heads, abnormally large eyes, stunted arms, bloated stomachs and defective hearts. Later in the 1990s, Basra was hit as part of maintaining the American no fly zone on Saddam Hussein.

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Why Didn’t Obama or Romney Mention Climate Change at the Debates?

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

Because they’re both honest men not taken in by the Global Warming fraud, of course.

Eugene Robinson writes at Truthdig:

Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.

President Obama understands and accepts the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is trapping heat in the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects. Mitt Romney’s view, as on many issues, is pure quicksilver—impossible to pin down—but when he was governor of Massachusetts, climate change activists considered him enlightened and effective.

Yet neither has mentioned the subject in the debates. Instead, they have argued over who is more eager to extract ever-larger quantities of oil, natural gas and coal from beneath our purple mountains’ majesties and fruited plains.

“We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years,” Obama said in Tuesday’s debate.

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Obama Accused Of Creating Hurricane Sandy Using HAARP

Come on, we all know that if any presidential candidate geoengineered this hurricane via godlike secret technology, it was Mitt Romney. U.S. News & World Report writes:

A number of conspiracy theorists have decided President Barack Obama engineered the mega-storm to secure his re-election. InfoWars.com, TheIntelHub.com, and ConsfearacyNewz all posted stories over the last several days alleging that the The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, helped the president engineer Sandy.

HAARP, a research program managed by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, studies and conducts experiments relating to the ionosphere, or upper atmosphere. Conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for a number of natural events over the years, saying the government uses the Alaska-based program to manipulate the weather with the help of electromagnetic waves.

“Following the ‘perfect storm,'” wrote Infowars’ Kurt Nimmo, “the establishment media will naturally provide all the propaganda Obama needs to sweep the election on Tuesday, November 6, a week after the hurricane is projected to hit.”

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Can Debt Spark A Revolution?

Via the Nation, David Graeber on rebellion against indebtedness:

The rise of [Occupy Wall Street] allowed us to start seeing the system for what it is: an enormous engine of debt extraction. Debt is how the rich extract wealth from the rest of us, at home and abroad. Internally, it has become a matter of manipulating the country’s legal structure to ensure that more and more people fall deeper and deeper into debt.

Financialization, securitization and militarization are all different aspects of the same process. And the endless multiplication, in cities across America, of gleaming bank offices—
spotless stores selling nothing while armed security guards stand by—is just the most immediate and visceral symbol for what we, as a nation, have become.

As I write, roughly three out of four Americans are in some form of debt, and a whopping one in seven is being pursued by debt collectors. There’s no way to know just what percentage of the average household’s income is now directly expropriated by the financial services industry in the form of interest payments, fees and penalties…[data] suggests it is somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

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