Tag Archives | California

Mysterious Computer Chip Crop Circle Is An Nvidia CES Publicity Stunt

Tegra 4-Icera i500

Tegra 4-Icera i500 (Photo credit: nvidia.corporation)

Sorry to burst your bubbles (not really), but this crop circle, posted here about a week ago… Is brought to you by Nvidia.

via Tech Crunch

 An intricate crop circle recently cut into a field two hours south of San Francisco baffled onlookers and spawned crackpot theories that aliens were responsible, but sources tell me it was created by Nvidia to publicize a big CES announcement. [Update: Nvidia confirms.] The design looks like Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, and though we can’t confirm this, it may be designed to drum up interest in the Tegra 5 chip Nvidia is expected to launch at CES.

Nvidia has a major CES press conference planned for tonight at 8pm PST in Las Vegas where it may fess up to creating the crop circle and is likely announce details of its new products.

[Update 6:30pm PST: Nvidia has confirmed it created the crop circle by adding this teaser image to its website.]

The Tegra is a “system on a chip” for mobile devices that combines a CPU, GPU, and memory controller.

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California Crop Circles

Until now crop circles were seemingly one of the New Age obsessions that didn’t originate in California. That’s all changed though, with the appearance of some complex new circles in Salinas, reports ABC News:

An unexplained crop circle in Salinas, Calif., has captured the curiosity of alien enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists across the nation.

The patterns were noticed by aerial photographer Julie Belanger, who told ABC News she was shocked to discover them during a flyover on Monday.

Adding to the mystery is a video posted on Youtube that shows two friends coming across the patterns after seeing green lights emanate from a field…

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Los Angeles and the 1920s Occult Explosion

HollywoodMasonicTemple-1922For Angeleno disinfonauts, here’s some interesting occult history on the City of Angels that you may not have known about, found at the Steampunk Opera blog:

When folks think of explosions of wild spiritualities they usually think of the 1960s and 70s. But California in the 1920s was equally as crazy, and many would argue more.

The Victorian Era started the ball rolling with Spiritualism, Theosophy and The Golden Dawn. Between these, all the concepts that would grow and be experimented with through the 20th century emerged: mediuimship/channeling, clairovoyance, astral projection, astrology, mixtures of eastern and western religious concepts, past lives, ceremonial magick, cabalic esotericism for non Jews, the list is endless.

Of of these interests and the children of the Victorian generation who begat this explosion converged in Los Angeles during the 20s to the 40s.

It was at first accidental then purposeful. In 1920 the population of Los Angeles was 576, 673.

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California Outlaws “Revenge Porn”

revenge pornAs reported by CNET News:
Tempted to post a compromising photo of an ex-lover who spurned you? A bill signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday promises up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for people "convicted of illegally distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy." Sponsored by Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Senate Bill 255 goes into effect immediately and makes posting "revenge porn" a misdemeanor. Such private photos are posted online, sometimes at multiple sites, without the subject's knowledge or consent. Some sites that specialize in revenge porn photos charge the victim hefty fees to remove them.
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Fake Signs On California Highways Warn Of Enforcer Drones

fake signs

Would you bat an eye if you saw this sign? Via NBC News:

California commuters may have been alarmed last week by highway signs that warned them that they were being watched by missile-equipped drones. But the signs were fake, installed by an artist from Napa, and have quickly been taken down by the California Highway Patrol.

“The motivation is partially political and partially a prank,” the artist Stephen Whisler, who lives in Napa, Calif., told NBC News, explaining why the “Speed enforced by drones” signs he put up last Monday show a Predator firing a missile.

The California Highway Patrol was still investigating the issue, and has yet to decide if they’re filing charges. Meanwhile, Whisler has been waiting. “I’m sort of surprised, I’m expecting them to show up any moment,” he said.

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The Five Demands Of California’s 30,000 Hunger Striking Prisoners

prisonersVia Prison Photography, the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU Short Corridor Collective’s statement on the demands of the protest on behalf of which many California prisoners are willing to risk death (with ending long-term solitary confinement being the most significant issue):

1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race.

2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. Prisoners are accused of being active or inactive participants of prison gangs using false or highly dubious evidence, and are then sent to longterm isolation (SHU).

3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement. Some prisoners have been kept in isolation for more than thirty years.

4. Provide adequate food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food that do not conform to prison regulations.

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30,000 California Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike Against Conditions

The Los Angeles Times reports on the largest prisoner protest in state history:
California officials don’t plan until Tuesday afternoon to update the situation in prisons throughout the state, where 30,000 inmates on Monday began refusing meals. The mass protest was called for months ago by a group of inmate leaders in isolation at Pelican Bay State Prison over conditions in solitary confinement, where inmates may be held indefinitely without access to phone calls. But inmates in at least five other prisons have provided their own lists of demands. They seek such things as warmer clothing, cleaning supplies, and better food, as well as changes in how suspected gang activity is investigated and punished. Lawyers for a group of Pelican Bay hunger strike leaders, who also are suing in federal court over what they contend are inhumane conditions, are to meet with their clients Tuesday.
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California Man Could Face Decade In Jail For Writing Anti-Bank Slogans In Chalk

chalk protest

The local government is acting on instructions from a “high-ranking bank security manager.” KMFB San Diego reports:

A North Park man is looking at more than a decade behind bars for using washable chalk to protest the banking industry. Jeff Olson is being charged with 13 counts of vandalism for writing anti-bank slogans on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches.

A surveillance camera caught Olson in the act, writing on the sidewalk in front of a Bank of America in North Park. Olson admits it: “I wrote ‘No thanks big banks,’ I wrote ‘Shame on Bank of America,'” he said.

But the city attorney’s office — after receiving multiple emails from a high ranking bank security manager — decided to charge Olson with 13 counts of misdemeanor vandalism.

Olson’s attorney argued in motions Tuesday morning that this is free speech written in easily cleanable chalk, but Judge Howard Shore disagreed, saying this case has nothing to do with free speech.

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California “Right to Know” Act Would Reveal What Companies Have Your Personal Data

It’s time that Americans had data rights. The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains an initiative being introduced by Los Angeles-area Democratic representative Bonnie Lowenthal with support from the EFF and ACLU:

Let’s face it: most of us have no idea how companies are gathering and sharing our personal data. A new proposal in California, supported by a diverse coalition (including EFF, the ACLU of Northern California, civil liberties groups, domestic violence advocates, consumer protection groups, sexual health, and women’s rights groups) is fighting to bring transparency and access to the seedy underbelly of digital data exchanges.

The Right to Know Act (AB 1291) would require a company to give users access to the personal data the company has stored on them—as well as a list of all the other companies with whom that original company has shared the users’ personal data—when a user requests it.

Lots of people around the world already enjoy these rights.

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