Author Archive | Brother Elias

Chicago Just Convicted A Thief Using Facial Recognition Technology

Now that the general public knows that they are being watched, may as well reinforce that with confirmation. No need to worry, right? You’ve done nothing wrong.

English: Different Types of Cctv Cameras

Different Types of Cctv Cameras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Vocativ

For years, we’ve been hearing about how facial recognition software will help solve crime.

Privacy concerns aside, this is the idea: If a criminal is caught committing an offense on surveillance footage, the technology could theoretically scan the person’s face and produce a positive ID based on mug shots or DMV photos.

The problem is, the software kind of sucks, partially because surveillance footage is so grainy. This was one of the many subplots that unfolded in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing.

But the technology is getting smarter.

In Chicago, the tech was used—for the first time in the city’s history—to find a crook and lock him up in prison.

Pierre D. Martin, 35, was a small-time criminal with a long rap sheet, and his mug shot appeared in the police system.

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Anyone Can Change the World: The Animated Wisdom of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams

Do you feel passionate about something? Do you want to create change? Do something about it.

via Open Culture

Here’s a little animation for those times when the unlikelihood of winning public recognition for your work has you dejected to the point of inaction.

Children are repeatedly told that they can change the world, and, in my experience, most of them seem to believe that this is true.

How is it, then, that so many adults are paralyzed by feelings of powerlessness? Did something happen in middle school, or are the problems of the world so immense? (Both, probably.) Why bother, right?

Activist Jody Williams may have won a Nobel Prize, but she’s also a fan of starting small.

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Militiamen And Oath Keepers Drew Weapons, Threatened To Kill Each Other

I imagine this sideshow is getting tougher to defend as the days go by, beyond Bundy’s ignorant racist screed. What is your input, disinfonauts?

English: Three wingnuts

Three wingnuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Crooks and Liars

The situation at the Bundy Ranch, where armed militiamen and “Patriots” are camped out, has deteriorated so badly that competing factions apparently drew weapons on one another during heated arguments.

The right-wing media tried to sell Americans on the idea that the antigovernment “Patriots” and militiamen who gathered to block the roundup of Cliven Bundy’s illegally grazing cattle in Nevada were well-meaning lovers of liberty. However, Bundy’s most ardent defenders have revealed themselves to be a volatile collection of hotheaded, paranoid men (and a few women) with big egos and even bigger guns.

The situation at the Bundy ranch, where armed militiamen and “Patriots” are camped out, has deteriorated so badly that competing factions apparently drew weapons on one another during heated arguments.

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The Cambridge Spies

During the Cold War, four affluent men, and at least a possible other (John Cairncross) were recruited by the KGB. They spied for decades and none were caught. One, a cousin of the queen was suspected and interrogated, but treated with kid gloves. Later known as the Cambridge Five. Here is their tale.

English: A USSR stamp, Soviet spies: Kim Philb...

A USSR stamp, Soviet spies: Kim Philby, 1990. Русский: Марка СССР из выпуска «Советские разведчики»: Ким Филби (1990, Рис. Б. Илюхина, ЦФА №6266). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Crime Library

The dark, windowless room in KGB Headquarters held nothing more than a chair, rows and rows of file cabinets, and a long table. If the room had had a window, in the near distance the walls of the Kremlin could have been seen, ablaze with lights. The newly appointed officer sat at the table while a filing clerk piled file upon file upon it. As he went through the dossiers, the KGB official was astonished.

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AFA: Shops who display ‘We Don’t Discriminate’ stickers are bullying Christians

Those poor Christians are contriving experiencing persecution, again.

The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Pink News

The American Family Association has claimed that by pledging not to discriminate against their customers, Mississippi businesses are ‘bullying’ Christians.

The campaign was born after the state’s Governor, Phil Bryant, signed a ‘religious freedom’ law, protecting businesses who discriminate against gay customers.

The bill prevents authorities from placing a “burden on a person’s right to the exercise of religion”.

Equality Mississippi says in two weeks it has distributed over 500 of the stickers, which state: “We don’t discriminate – If you’re buying, we’re selling!”

AFA spokesman Buddy Smith said: “If you do that, you are agreeing with these businesses that Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience.

“It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign, and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture.

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KBR and Halliburton Can Be Sued For Iraq Toxic Burn Pits, Court Rules

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

A ray of light amongst a curtain of shadows.

Via CorpWatch

KBR and Halliburton – two major U.S. military contractors – can be sued for the health impacts of trash incineration on U.S. soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, according to a new court decision that allows a series of 57 lawsuits against the companies to go forward.

The two companies have been paid some $40 billion for services provided to troops serving in the U.S. War on Terror throughout Central Asia and the Middle East in countries ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Kuwait and Uzbekistan. (Most of the contracts were implemented by KBR which was a subsidiary of Halliburton until 2007 when it was spun off into a separate company)

Under the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract, KBR and Halliburton operated ten acre wide burn pits 24 hours a day on U.S. military bases throughout Iraq until the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act officially banned them.

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Parents of Affluenza Teen Who Killed Four Driving Drunk Pay A Fraction of His Rehab Costs

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD)

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD) (Photo credit: takomabibelot)

Adding Insult to Injury: Evil Richie Rich’s parents are paying a pittance for a slap on the wrist court appointed treatment.

via Star-Telegram

The parents of a teen who was sentenced to 10 years probation for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed four people were ordered by the court Friday to pay $1,170 a month for his rehab treatment — far less than the actual cost of his treatment.

Ethan Couch, who turned 17 Friday, is being treated at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, a state-owned in-patient mental health facility. His treatment began there Feb. 19.

The actual cost of his treatment is $715 per day, according to testimony on Friday.

State District Judge Jean Boyd had previously ordered that Couch’s parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, pay for his therapy. The hearing Friday morning, similar to a child support hearing, was necessary to formally set the amount that the couple must pay.

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Michigan State Offers a Course on How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

I am not sure what to think about college courses about speculative events. I bet it will be interesting, but whose got the money to burn? I’ll tell you this though. If I learned anything from Left 4 Dead, I am taking the Auto Shotgun and a katana or machete as backup.  Anyways, Check out this trailer for the course.


via Mental Floss

According to its Facebook page, the online course “uses the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse to attract attention to the important topic and research on ‘Catastrophes and Human Behavior.’” Students will “learn about the nature, scope and impact of catastrophic events,” and will be “assigned into Survivor Groups located throughout the United States and must face the challenges of living and surviving together during a catastrophic event.”

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Wearable Eyes Turn You Into Emotional Cyborg

Check out this very obtuse video for wearable cyborg eyes.

via Gizmodo

Invented by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa at Japan’s Tsukuba University, AgencyGlass takes the load off your facial muscles and the emotional centers of your brain with a Bluetooth computer and a pair of OLED displays. The built-in gyroscopes steer your fake eyes to coincide with your real head’s position (for instance, looking up with a thoughtful expression when you tilt your head back), and a shirt-pocket camera tracks the faces of the people around you to maintain polite, piercing (fake) eye contact.

 

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Did Putin Blow Up the Whole Polish Government in 2010? A Second Look.

English: Fragments of TU-154 the Polish presid...

Fragments of TU-154 the Polish president at the crash site in Smolensk Русский: Фрагменты Ту-154 на месте авиакатастрофы самолета президента Польши в Смоленске (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This seems really convenient, and considering recent events. What’s your input Disinfonauts?

via THE DAILY BEAST

A plane crash at Smolensk in Russia four years ago wiped out the Warsaw leadership. It used to be seen as an accident. Now, after Putin’s games in Ukraine, people aren’t so sure.

Four years ago this week, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash near the Katyn Forest in Russia where he was flying to honor the 22,000 Polish officers, lawyers, priests and professors slaughtered there by the Soviets 70 years before. Ninety-five other military, political and public figures including his wife died on that plane. One of the more heartbreaking details to emerge was that First Lady Maria Kaczynska’s body could be identified only by her nail polish and the inscription inside her wedding ring.

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