Author Archive | majestic

John McAfee: ‘I know who hacked Sony Pictures – and it wasn’t North Korea’

Remember John McAfee, the onetime cybersecurity king who lost the plot and went on the lam? Ironically he’s now a sort of hacker hero and he tells IB Times that through his knowledge of the hacking community he knows who hacked Sony Pictures’ computer systems and it definitely wasn’t North Korea:

Anti-virus pioneer John McAfee claims to have been in contact with the group of hackers behind the devastating cyber-attack against Sony Pictures and guarantees they are not from North Korea.

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Speaking to IBTimes UK about his current roster of security startups under his Future Tense brand – including secure messaging app Chadder – McAfee spoke about working with the FBI previously but said that, in this case, the agency was “wrong”.

“I can guarantee they are wrong. It has to do with a group of hackers – I will not name them – who are civil libertarians and who hate the confinement the restrictions the music industry and the movie industry has placed on art and so they are behind it.”

In December Sony Pictures was the victim of a devastating cyber-attack by a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace.

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New ‘X-Files’ Returning To Fox

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I’m sure there’s more than a few X-Files fans among disinfonauts, so you’ll be interested to learn that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are (probably) going to revive their X-Files personae in a revamp of the Chris Carter series to air on Fox, per Deadline:

Following the success of Fox’s 24 limited series, the network is looking to bring back another iconic drama series, The X-Files. Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman today confirmed chatter that the network is in talks for a new installment of Chris Carter’s cult supernatural drama, which starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Newman went on to say he was “hopeful” about the outcome.

Later, fellow Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden said that the conversations so far have been only logistical, looking at windows when the key X-Files players, creator Carter and stars Duchovny and Anderson, are available. She confirmed that a potential X-Files followup will star the original leading duo of Duchovny and Anderson.

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Why Drugs Cost So Much

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More specifically, the question is why do prescription drugs from the large corporations collectively known as Big Pharma cost so much.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Peter B. Bach, a physician and director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, suggests, almost heretically one would have thought given his position in the healthcare establishment, that America should move to the European model of drug pricing:

Eli Lilly charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month.

Why? Drug manufacturers blame high prices on the complexity of biology, government regulations and shareholder expectations for high profit margins. In other words, they say, they are hamstrung. But there’s a simpler explanation.

Companies are taking advantage of a mix of laws that force insurers to include essentially all expensive drugs in their policies, and a philosophy that demands that every new health care product be available to everyone, no matter how little it helps or how much it costs.

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NASA Live Stream Cuts Out After Alleged Alien UFO Sighting

Well, what do you make of this, skeptics? From the Houston Chronicle via Seattlepi.com:

UFO watchers are looking for anyone who might have been tracking NASA’s live feed of the International Space Station on Jan. 6.

According to Disclose.tv, veteran UFO hunter Toby Lundh spotted what he determined was an unidentified flying object just outside the space station as he was monitoring the live feed on his laptop.

In a text-message conversation with Blake at Disclose.tv, Lundh said he was sending a couple screen shots he took from the live feed before it was interrupted after 10 to 15 seconds.

According to Lundh’s text messages, he has found through persistent viewing that there are “always some UFOs showing up.” Likewise, he said, NASA always cuts the feed when a UFO gets close to the station…

[continues at the Houston Chronicle via Seattlepi.com]

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Scientology’s Desperate Move To Stop HBO”s ‘Going Clear’

In a story entitled “NYTimes Desperate: Accepts Full Page Scientology Ad Bashing HBO Doc, Compares to Rolling Stone-UVA” Showbiz 411 suggests that the New York Times is so desperate for money that it agreed to run a full page advertisement from the Scientology cult. I’d argue that refusing to take the ad would be de facto censorship and, moreover, the entity that’s truly desperate is Scientology. In fact the Times has reported on the story itself, and filmmaker Alex Gibney has been mocking the Scientologists via Twitter:

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The ad is shown below. If the Scientology cult thinks it’s going to make fewer people want to watch the film, I’m afraid they’ve made the same mistake as the radical Islamists who thought that massacring the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine would stop cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad from being published.

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Rule On Gay Marriage

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg The slow but sure march towards marriage equality may reach its fulcrum as the U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will rule on same-sex (sometimes referred to as gay) marriage. From USA Today:
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to resolve the national debate over same-sex marriage once and for all. The justices agreed to consider four cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. They will be consolidated and heard together. That sets up a schedule under which the court will hear 2 1/2 hours of oral arguments in April and issue a ruling before its current term ends in late June. The justices' hands were forced by a split among federal appellate courts, created when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld four states' marriage bans in November...
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This Is What Marilyn Manson Is Doing Now

Remember Marilyn Manson’s speech at the legendary disinfo.con? Seems like a long time ago that Manson, nee Brian Warner, was a hero of the counterculture, right? Melena Ryzik caught up with him to see what he’s doing now, for the New York Times:

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — “We’re drinking wodka,” Marilyn Manson said, pronouncing the word like he was a fur-hatted Russian cartoon character, and filling a tumbler. Two tumblers: Like any peacocking musician, he knew that a drinking buddy makes for a ready audience.

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Photo: Rama (CC)

He loped from the peach-colored kitchen of a borrowed house here — it belongs to his pal Johnny Depp — through the dining room, past a bin of masks and costumes. There was a horse, a longhaired woman, silver faceplates. “This is my Max Ernst stuff; it’s private,” he said. “I get drunk and buy stuff on Amazon.”

Onward to the living room, where he paused to show off a 1927 theremin, then settled into a velvet sofa, clutching his drink with black-polished fingers.

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Russell Brand’s ‘End the Drugs War’ BBC Documentary

This is Russell Brand’s documentary on the War on Drugs that aired in the UK on BBC Three in December 2014.

The documentary Russell Brand made for BBC Three in 2012 concluded with him giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. Drawing on his own experience of drug taking and recovery, he advocated treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal problem and underlined his own belief that abstinence is the best way to help addicts.

Since then the Committee has reported its findings, concluding that the British drugs laws were failing and that it was a ‘now or never’ moment to reform them. But David Cameron didn’t agree, insisting that the drugs policy is working in Britain and that we should ‘stick at it’.

In this personal journey for BBC Three, Russell Brand sets out to challenge that point of view. He wants to find out how other countries are tackling their problems of drug abuse and to explore how the framework of criminalization implicit in the ‘war on drugs’ produces enormous harm in the treatment of addicts.… Read the rest

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Ondi Timoner Discusses ‘American Jesus’ With Aram Garriga

American Jesus was one of my favorite films of 2014 (if you haven’t heard of it, check it out here). Filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live In Public) has her own talk show called Bring Your Own Doc on LipTV and she’s also a fan of American Jesus. She invited director Aram Garriga to join her for an in depth interview about the making of the film:

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The War on Drugs Is Burning Out

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A domestic US propaganda poster circa 2000.

Could it really be true? An end to the war on (some) drugs? Tim Dickinson says the signs are there, writing at Rolling Stone:

The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation’s capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs. One week later, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced an end to arrests for marijuana possession. It’s all part of the most significant story in American drug policy since the passage of the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol in 1933: The people of this country are leading a dramatic de-escalation in the War on Drugs.

November’s election results have teed up pot prohibition as a potent campaign issue for 2016.

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