Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sega Visions, April/May 1991

Sega Visions, April/May 1991


SWAT team throws flashbangs, raids wrong home due to open WiFi network

SWAT team throws flashbangs, raids wrong home due to open WiFi network

Officers break the screen door and a window, tossing a flashbang into the house—which you can see explode in the video. A second flashbang gets tossed in for good measure a moment later. SWAT enters the house.

On the news that night, the reporter ends his piece by talking about how this is “an investigation that hits home for many of these brave officers.”

But the family in the home was released without any charges as police realized their mistake. Turns out the home had an open WiFi router, and the threats had been made by someone outside the house. Whoops.

Ten Revelations From Bradley Manning's WikiLeaks Documents

Ten Revelations From Bradley Manning's WikiLeaks Documents

During the Iraq War, U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape, and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to thousands of field reports.

There were 109,032 “violent deaths” recorded in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, including 66,081 civilians. Leaked records from the Afghan War separately revealed coalition troops’ alleged role in killing at least 195 civilians in unreported incidents, one reportedly involving U.S. service members machine-gunning a bus, wounding or killing 15 passengers.

The U.S. Embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country that opposed genetically modified crops, with U.S. diplomats effectively working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto.

British and American officials colluded in a plan to mislead the British Parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs.

In Baghdad in 2007, a U.S. Army helicopter gunned down a group of civilians, including two Reuters news staff.

U.S. special operations forces were conducting offensive operations inside Pakistan despite sustained public denials and statements to the contrary by U.S. officials.

A leaked diplomatic cable provided evidence that during an incident in 2006, U.S. troops in Iraq executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence. The disclosure of this cable was later a significant factor in the Iraqi government’s refusal to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution beyond 2011, which led to U.S. troops withdrawing from the country.

A NATO coalition in Afghanistan was using an undisclosed “black” unit of special operations forces to hunt down targets for death or detention without trial. The unit was revealed to have had a kill-or-capture list featuring details of more than 2,000 senior figures from the Taliban and al-Qaida, but it had in some cases mistakenly killed men, women, children, and Afghan police officers.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Compute!, August 1988

Compute Issue Number 99, August 1988


Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords



The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

A House Divided Over NSA Spying on Americans

A House Divided Over NSA Spying on Americans

Last week’s House debate on the Defense Appropriations bill for 2014 produced a bit more drama than usual. After hearing that House leadership would do away with the traditional “open rule” allowing for debate on any funding limitation amendment, it was surprising to see that Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment was allowed on the Floor. In the wake of National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of US government spying on American citizens, Amash’s amendment sought to remove funding in the bill for some of the NSA programs.

Had Amash’s amendment passed, it would have been a significant symbolic victory over the administration’s massive violations of our Fourth Amendment protections. But we should be careful about believing that even if it had somehow miraculously survived the Senate vote and the President’s veto, it would have resulted in any significant change in how the Intelligence Community would behave toward Americans. The US government has built the largest and most sophisticated spying apparatus in the history of the world.

Shale Threatens Saudi Economy, Warns Prince Alwaleed

Shale Threatens Saudi Economy, Warns Prince Alwaleed

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has warned that the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production, breaking ranks with oil officials in Riyadh who have played down its impact.

In an open letter dated May 13 addressed to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and several other ministers, a link to which was published Sunday on Prince Alwaleed’s Twitter account, he warned that the boom in U.S. shale oil and gas will reduce demand for crude from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The NSA's two new spying facilities storing your data is SEVEN TIMES the size of the Pentagon

The NSA's two new spying facilities storing your data is SEVEN TIMES the size of the Pentagon



The NSA is now building a facility that will make it more than seven times the size of the Pentagon, making the secretive compounds the biggest in the country.

In addition to building a $1.9billion data center in Utah, crews also started construction on a computing center that is expected to cost $792million near Baltimore.

Together, the two facilities total 228 acres, much of which is dedicated to the collection of emails and phone calls that it was recently revealed the NSA stores without an individual knowledge.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gaiares

Advertisement for Gaiares for the Sega Genesis by Renovation from the April/May 1991 issue of Sega Visions.


Chris Christie decries libertarians, praises Obama for being like Bush

Chris Christie decries libertarians, praises Obama for being like Bush

Sen. Paul’s staff fired back, “If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years…”

Feds Seize $841,883 from Used Car Dealer Accused of—Well, Nothing

Feds Seize $841,883 from Used Car Dealer Accused of—Well, Nothing 

Reza Ella, an Iranian-American who owns a car dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico, may or may not be a criminal. Federal prosecutors don’t know or won’t say. But last September, they seized $841,883 from Ella anyway because the man deposited it in increments of less than $10,000.

Monday, July 22, 2013

‘How Money Walks’: Map Shows Cash Fleeing States With high Taxes

‘How Money Walks’: Map Shows Cash Fleeing States With high Taxes

Capital will always seek and find friendly abodes and capital flight is happening in America and globally. High tax states and nations are witnessing huge drains on capital. Without capital, economies go bust and the people become impoverished while capital friendly places are experiencing economic stability and growth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Case for Abolishing the DHS

The Case for Abolishing the DHS

On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano resigned to take up a post running California’s university system. With her departure, there are now 15 vacant positions at the top of the department. That suggests it would be a particularly humane moment to shut the whole thing down. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was a panicked reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks. It owes its continued existence to a vastly exaggerated assessment of the threat of terrorism. The department is also responsible for some of the least cost-effective spending in the U.S. government. It’s time to admit that creating it was a mistake.

Compute!'s PC Magazine, October 1987

Compute's PC Magazine, Issue 2, October 1987


Friday, July 12, 2013

NASA Hubble Finds a True Blue Planet

NASA Hubble Finds a True Blue Planet



Astronomers making visible-light observations with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have deduced the actual color of a planet orbiting another star 63 light-years away.

The planet is HD 189733b, one of the closest exoplanets that can be seen crossing the face of its star.

Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph measured changes in the color of light from the planet before, during and after a pass behind its star. There was a small drop in light and a slight change in the color of the light. “We saw the light becoming less bright in the blue but not in the green or red. Light was missing in the blue but not in the red when it was hidden,” said research team member Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in South West England. “This means that the object that disappeared was blue.”

Earlier observations have reported evidence for scattering of blue light on the planet. The latest Hubble observation confirms the evidence.

If seen directly, this planet would look like a deep blue dot, reminiscent of Earth’s color as seen from space. That is where the comparison ends.

On this turbulent alien world, the daytime temperature is nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and it possibly rains glass — sideways — in howling, 4,500-mph winds. The cobalt blue color comes not from the reflection of a tropical ocean as it does on Earth, but rather a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing high clouds laced with silicate particles. Silicates condensing in the heat could form very small drops of glass that scatter blue light more than red light.

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

Military Will Never Use New $34M Afghanistan Base

Military Will Never Use New $34M Afghanistan Base

When a two-star general visited the new 64,000-square-foot US military headquarters building at Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan, he was impressed. It’s “better appointed than any Marine headquarters anywhere in the world,” he tells the Washington Post, before adding, “What the hell were they thinking?” That disgust comes because the gigantic $34 million building sits pretty much unused, making it a giant, lavish, laughing stock for the troops, and perhaps the signature boondoggle of the war in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Many IRS Seizures Are Illegal, Government Report Concludes

Many IRS Seizures Are Illegal, Government Report Concludes

The increasingly popular Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reveals that 30% of IRS Seizures of Taxpayer Property don’t comply with the law. The report has an inglorious title but is worth a look: Fiscal Year 2013 Review of Compliance With Legal Guidelines When Conducting Seizures of Taxpayers’ Property.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, May 1999

Official U.S. Playstation Magazine, Vol 2, Issue 8, May 1999


For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade

For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade

If you’ve never been inside a “real” arcade, it could be hard to distinguish one from say, oh, a Dave & Buster’s. Authenticity is a hard nut to crack, but there are a few hallmarks of the video game arcade of days gone by: first, they have video games. Lots and lots of video games, and (usually) pinball machines. They’re dark (so that you can see the screens better), and they don’t sell food or booze. You can make an exception for a lonely vending machine, sure, but full meals? No thanks. There’s no sign outside that says you “must be 21 to enter.” These are rarely family-friendly institutions, either. Your mom wouldn’t want to be there, and nobody would want her there, anyway. This is a place for kids to be with other kids, teens to be with other teens, and early-stage adults to serve as the ambassador badasses in residence for the younger generation. It’s noisy, with all the kids yelling and the video games on permanent demo mode, beckoning you to waste just one more quarter. In earlier days (though well into the ‘90s), it’s sometimes smoky inside, and the cabinets bear the scars of many a forgotten cig left hanging off the edge while its owner tries one last time for a high score, inevitably ending in his or her death. The defining feature of a “real” arcade, however, is that there aren’t really any left.

To say that Nolan Bushnell single-handedly created the arcade would probably be overstating it: coin-operated machines had been popular in America for decades by the time he got his start in the early '70s, and the pinball arcade had a storied (and notorious) spot in American history. It is also undeniable, however, that the video game arcade would not have happened without him. The video game arcade had its roots in 1971, when Computer Space, the first commercially sold, coin-operated video game, was designed by Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Though considered a failure at the time, the game was revolutionary, and formed the foundations of a new industry. It also marked the beginning of a long, illustrious, and world-changing career for Nolan Bushnell. In 1971, however, Computer Space looked anything but illustrious, and the idea that there would soon be arcades dedicated entirely to video games was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind — except for maybe Nolan Bushnell’s. To understand the ecosystem that Bushnell and his ilk injected themselves into to create the modern video game arcade, however, you have to go back a lot farther than the 1970s.

Monday, July 8, 2013

NSA Not Working Alone To Spy On You

NSA Not Working Alone To Spy On You

With news breaking last week that the National Security Agency was not only spying on citizens of the United States, but our European counterparts as well, outrage spread through the European Union’s leadership. A week in the political arena is an eternity, as now, shocking claims are coming from Edward Snowden (the former NSA worker wanted for treason) that the USA was actually working in tandem with Germany and other foreign nations to assist each other in the collection of personal data. One estimate, by the Der Spiegel magazine in that country, placed the amount of data being collected at half a billion phone calls.

State Dept. Paid $630,000 to Boost Facebook 'Likes'

State Dept. Paid $630,000 to Boost Facebook 'Likes'

How much would you pay for more Facebook “likes”? If you’re the State Department, you’d shell out about $630,000.

According to a May report from the State Department’s Inspector General, which was recently made public, the agency spent more than half a million dollars on two campaigns in 2011 and 2012, intended to boost the number of fans for its English-language Facebook pages.

It Is Now Common Knowledge That US Drones Bomb Civilian Rescuers

It Is Now Common Knowledge That US Drones Bomb Civilian Rescuers

In 2007 the FBI said the tactic as commonly used by terrorist organizations such as Hamas.

Last year a study by the NYU School of Law and Stanford Law School detailed the U.S. use of the double tap, providing first-hand accounts of its devastating effect on rescuers and humanitarian workers.

Last June the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said he considers secondary strikes to be “war crimes.”

The NYU/Stanford report stated: “As international law experts have noted, intentional strikes on first responders may constitute war crimes.”

“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

Sal Culosi is dead because he bet on a football game — but it wasn’t a bookie or a loan shark who killed him. His local government killed him, ostensibly to protect him from his gambling habit.

Several months earlier at a local bar, Fairfax County, Virginia, detective David Baucum overheard the thirty-eight-year-old optometrist and some friends wagering on a college football game. “To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends,” a friend of Culosi’s told me shortly after his death. “None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting fifty bucks or so on the Virginia–Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation.” Baucum apparently did. After overhearing the men wagering, Baucum befriended Culosi as a cover to begin investigating him. During the next several months, he talked Culosi into raising the stakes of what Culosi thought were just more fun wagers between friends to make watching sports more interesting. Eventually Culosi and Baucum bet more than $2,000 in a single day. Under Virginia law, that was enough for police to charge Culosi with running a gambling operation. And that’s when they brought in the SWAT team.

On the night of January 24, 2006, Baucum called Culosi and arranged a time to drop by to collect his winnings. When Culosi, barefoot and clad in a T-shirt and jeans, stepped out of his house to meet the man he thought was a friend, the SWAT team began to move in. Seconds later, Det. Deval Bullock, who had been on duty since 4:00 AM and hadn’t slept in seventeen hours, fired a bullet that pierced Culosi’s heart.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Computer Gaming World, May / June 1983

Computer Gaming World, Issue Number 10, May/June 1983


A Not-So-Happy Fourth of July

A Not-So-Happy Fourth of July

To what governmental powers may the governed morally consent in a free society? We can consent to the powers necessary to protect us from force and fraud, and to the means of revenue to pay for a government to exercise those powers. But no one can consent to the diminution of anyone else’s natural rights, because, as Jefferson wrote and the Congress enacted, they are inalienable.

Just as I cannot morally consent to give the government the power to take your freedom of speech or travel or privacy, you cannot consent to give the government the power to take mine. This is the principle of the natural law: We all have areas of human behavior in which each of us is sovereign and for the exercise of which we do not need the government’s permission. Those areas are immune from government interference.

That is at least the theory of the Declaration of Independence, and that is the basis for our 237-year-old American experiment in limited government, and it is the system to which everyone who works for the government today pledges fidelity.

Regrettably, today we have the opposite of what the Framers gave us. Today we have a government that alone decides how much wealth we can retain, how much free expression we can exercise, how much privacy we can enjoy. And since the Fourth of July 2012, freedom has been diminished.

Police Arrest, Assault Family For Refusing To Open Home for Stakeout

Police Arrest, Assault Family For Refusing To Open Home for Stakeout

According to the family filing the lawsuit the police first called the residence to ask permission to occupy their home to gain a “tactical advantage” in a domestic dispute that occurred at a neighbors house. When the resident refused, the police bashed in the door shot “pepperball rounds” at him and his dog, then later arrested him and his elderly parents for “obstructing justice”.

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

Another week, another trove of documents detailing the inner secrets of the NSA’s massive spying program. Recent revelations have finally provided a look at the procedures that the NSA uses to target and retain communications under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). As my colleague Brett Max Kaufman wrote even before this latest batch of news broke, officials have been using the word “target” in very misleading ways to repeatedly reassure the American public that the law only applies to foreigners abroad, and does not permit the NSA to listen in on Americans’ phone calls or read their emails.

We now know just how misleading those assurances have been. The procedures show that the NSA has carved out several enormous loopholes in the law’s “targeting” requirements.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

John Kiriakou Writes Open Letter To Edward Snowden, Warns Leaker Against Cooperating With FBI

John Kiriakou Writes Open Letter To Edward Snowden, Warns Leaker Against Cooperating With FBI

“FBI agents will lie, trick, and deceive you,” Kiriakou writes. “They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not – supporters, well-wishers, and friends – all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; it’s a part of the problem, not the solution.”

The Triumph of Culture Over Politics: Edward Snowden and American Independence

The Triumph of Culture Over Politics: Edward Snowden and American Independence

Put another way, it’s when Power offends our cultural freedoms - not our political liberty - that we rise up against it.

Why else have both the Left and the Right in our time sat relatively silent as our rights to due process, privacy, and free speech have been removed by such legislation as the Patriot Act and the NDAA, and yet become very vociferous over our right to smoke weed (on the Left) or own guns without restriction (on the Right)? The answer, at least in part, is that smoking and/or guns are part of the culture for many Americans, so government overreach into those areas actually feels like a personal infringement. In contrast, removing your right to due process doesn’t feel like anything until you need due process, and invading your privacy doesn’t feel like anything if you don’t know that it is even happening.

All of which brings me to Edward Snowden and why there is still hope for America.

Edward Snowden’s revelations have altered American political discourse by changing the everyday American experience of sending an email or a making phone call from one of privately communicating with a loved to one of sharing one’s life with the State. In reality, Mr. Snowden has not told us anything new about the massively invasive power that government has assumed for itself since (at least) 2001. (There are myriad accessible articles about the Patriot Act, NDAA etc. and their implementation that anyone could have read any time in the last decade.) In fact, Snowden has done something much more important: he has turned our government’s violation of our political liberties, which most of us know only as words on a document, into a felt violation of our cultural ones, of which we can feel as we go about our lives.

The Insiders: Democrats are trying to suppress the confusion and hide the cost of ObamaCare

The Insiders: Democrats are trying to suppress the confusion and hide the cost of ObamaCare

I don’t know if Members of Congress will be hearing about it in town hall gatherings and other meetings back home over the Fourth of July recess, but the rolling thunder of the approaching ObamaCare train can be heard in the distance. Smart Democrats are beginning to get frantic about the need to suppress the confusion and hide the cost of ObamaCare between now and the 2014 midterm elections. We are just three months away from the October 1st enrollment start date and so far, nothing about the ObamaCare implementation process should be politically encouraging for Democrats. In fact, the more people learn about ObamaCare, the more frightened they become.

Clapper: I gave 'erroneous' answer because I forgot about Patriot Act

Clapper: I gave 'erroneous' answer because I forgot about Patriot Act

In the full letter, Clapper attempted to explain the false testimony by saying that his recollection failed him. “I simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” he wrote to committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) on 21 June, referring to the legal provision cited to justify the mass collection of Americans’ phone data, first disclosed by the Guardian.

Clapper is under intense pressure from legislators displeased by his March testimony to the Senate intelligence committee’s Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) that the NSA did “not wittingly” collect, as Wyden put it, “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

Obama Administration Delays Health Care Law Employer Penalty Until 2015

Obama Administration Delays Health Care Law Employer Penalty Until 2015

Republican former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin called the move “deviously brilliant,” by removing a potential electoral impediment from in front of congressional Democrats before the midterms.

“Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land,” Holtz-Eakin wrote. “Explaining away the mandate was going to be a big political lift; having the White House airbrush it from the landscape is way better.”

Marco Rubio immigration bill imperiled by Tea Party defiance

Marco Rubio immigration bill imperiled by Tea Party defiance

Here’s the biggest difference, though: Republicans elected since 2010 simply do not feel they need to answer to K Street, the GOP leadership, or any party elites. Newer Republican members came to Washington without the help of business PACs, often running against K Street in primaries and general elections.

Republican leaders also can’t use pork to win over the rank and file, thanks to the earmark ban.

So, unlike the days when Bush, Armey and Delay dragged the GOP caucus around, the Republican rank and file today calls the tune for its leadership. Speaker John Boehner, no enemy of K Street, has declared Rubio’s bill DOA in the House.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Girls of Gaming: Gum & Co - Jet Set Radio Future (XBOX)

Girls of Gaming: Gum & Co - Jet Set Radio Future (XBOX)


PROTON ROCKET CRASHES

PROTON ROCKET CRASHES

A Russian Proton rocket went out of control and slammed into the steppes of Kazakhstan mere moments after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Monday night.

The government booster was carrying three Russian navigation satellites on the ill-fated mission that launched at 0238 GMT (10:38 p.m. EDT).

Live video showed the Proton gyrating left and then right as it ascended off the pad before going horizontal, barrel rolling and falling into a nose dive. The front end of the rocket sheared away and the main stage erupted in a massive fireball before hitting the ground in a horrific explosion.

STUDY: ELECTRIC CARS NO GREENER THAN GASOLINE VEHICLES

STUDY: ELECTRIC CARS NO GREENER THAN GASOLINE VEHICLES

Electric cars, despite their supposed green credentials, are among the environmentally dirtiest transportation options, a U.S. researcher suggests.

Writing in the journal IEEE Spectrum, researcher Ozzie Zehner says electric cars lead to hidden environmental and health damages and are likely more harmful than gasoline cars and other transportation options.

Electric cars merely shift negative impacts from one place to another, he wrote, and “most electric-car assessments analyze only the charging of the car. This is an important factor indeed. But a more rigorous analysis would consider the environmental impacts over the vehicle’s entire life cycle, from its construction through its operation and on to its eventual retirement at the junkyard.”

U.S. intelligence community is out of control

U.S. intelligence community is out of control

It’s hard to think of a time in the history of America’s intelligence community when it has been more battered by accusations of over-stepping or mismanaging its mission: to secretly gather information to support the activities of the U.S. government.

The list of recent revelations grew over the weekend with allegations that America has been systematically spying on its European allies. Reports in the European press, apparently drawn from documents provided by Edward Snowden, suggested that America spied on the European Union, France, Italy, Greece and other close international friends, listening in on encrypted fax transmissions and planting bugs and other devices at 38 embassies and missions in Washington and New York, as well as locations in Europe.

US government declares hacking an act of war, then hacks allies

US government declares hacking an act of war, then hacks allies

Revelations from European leaders on Monday that the National Security Agency bugged European Union offices in Washington and hacked into its computer network bring to light hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. government.

In 2011, the Pentagon released its first formal cyber strategy, which called computer hacking from other nations an “act of war,” according to the Wall Street Journal. In late June of this year, WSJ reported that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, released information alleging the U.S. government was hacking Chinese targets “that include the nation’s mobile-phone companies and one of the country’s most prestigious universities.”

Now that EU offices have been hacked by the U.S. government as well, one must wonder if that was an “act of war” on the part of the United States.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Enter, January/February 1985

Enter, Issue 14, January/February 1985


No Need to Panic About Global Warming

No Need to Panic About Global Warming 

The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

...

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

...

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Here's What It Looks Like When Two Hacker FBI Informants Try To Inform On Each Other

Here's What It Looks Like When Two Hacker FBI Informants Try To Inform On Each Other

...

More interesting, or at least more humorous, is the fact that the chat log represents a conversation between two FBI informants, both of whom seem to be trying to lure the other into providing evidence they can turn over to their law enforcement handlers–or even into a meeting that could lead to the other’s arrest. Sabu, also known as Hector Xavier Monsegur, had agreed to work as an FBI mole within LulzSec months before his conversation with Thordarson. Thordarson, for his part, tells me he thought he was helping to deliver a “notorious hacker” to the FBI, and didn’t know he was speaking to a fellow stool pigeon. Monsegur doesn’t show any signs of knowing either.

“I felt like a sociopath” – Drone Operator Says He Is Haunted By The 1,600 He Killed

“I felt like a sociopath” – Drone Operator Says He Is Haunted By The 1,600 He Killed

“The guy that was running forward, he’s missing his right leg,” he recalled. “And I watch this guy bleed out and, I mean, the blood is hot.” As the man died his body grew cold, said Bryant, and his thermal image changed until he became the same color as the ground.

“I can see every little pixel,” said Bryant, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, “if I just close my eyes.”

Bryant, now 27, served as a drone sensor operator from 2006 to 2011, at bases in Nevada, New Mexico and in Iraq, guiding unmanned drones over Iraq and Afghanistan. Though he didn’t fire missiles himself he took part in missions that he was told led to the deaths of an estimated 1,626 individuals.

The Criminal N.S.A.

The Criminal N.S.A.

Even in the fearful time when the Patriot Act was enacted, in October 2001, lawmakers never contemplated that Section 215 would be used for phone metadata, or for mass surveillance of any sort. Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Wisconsin Republican and one of the architects of the Patriot Act, and a man not known as a civil libertarian, has said that “Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations.” The N.S.A.’s demand for information about every American’s phone calls isn’t “targeted” at all — it’s a dragnet. “How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?” Mr. Sensenbrenner has asked. The answer is simple: It’s not.

The government claims that under Section 215 it may seize all of our phone call information now because it might conceivably be relevant to an investigation at some later date, even if there is no particular reason to believe that any but a tiny fraction of the data collected might possibly be suspicious. That is a shockingly flimsy argument — any data might be “relevant” to an investigation eventually, if by “eventually” you mean “sometime before the end of time.” If all data is “relevant,” it makes a mockery of the already shaky concept of relevance.

...

The government knows that it regularly obtains Americans’ protected communications. The Washington Post reported that Prism is designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s “foreignness” — as John Oliver of “The Daily Show” put it, “a coin flip plus 1 percent.” By turning a blind eye to the fact that 49-plus percent of the communications might be purely among Americans, the N.S.A. has intentionally acquired information it is not allowed to have, even under the terrifyingly broad auspices of the FISA Amendments Act.