Showing posts tagged News

vicemag:

Hiding Your Calls and Texts from Big Brother
The recent news reports that the US government can pull whatever data it wants from the internet and has free rein to peek at your phone records might have been shocking initially, but really they just underscored something already known (or at least assumed) by lots of people—we’re being watched pretty much all the time. Thanks to all the technology we casually use every day, everyone from corporations to government intelligence agencies to petty criminals have the opportunity to snoop through our stuff on a level that would have been unimaginable just a couple of decades ago. There are some measures you can take to hide from the NSA, but one of the most aggressive ways to guard your data is using the products available from Silent Circle, a tech start-up that sells software that encrypts calls, texts, emails, and files. The company, which has been around since last year, employs well-known cryptography experts like Jon Callas and Phil Zimmermann, the creator of the widely used PGP email encryption program, and they also own servers in Canada and Switzerland, where the laws are more privacy-friendly than those of the US. Even if they did open their servers to law enforcement or other government agencies, they say, there’s little to find there—the keys to decipher their customers’ encrypted calls and messages are generated on the users’ own devices and automatically deleted shortly afterward.
Obviously, a company providing a way for individuals—and potentially criminals—to communicate in secret might worry law-enforcement agencies. But Silent Circle isn’t worried about that, and they say that they abide by the laws while giving people an edge over data-gathering busybodies. I recently chatted on the phone with CEO Mike Janke and CTO Jon Callas about the right to privacy, what I got wrong in a previous article, and why even the FBI is buying their products.
VICE: Surveillance is in the news because of the NSA stuff. But obviously, the government isn’t the only one monitoring people and collecting information. What are some common non-NSA threats to people’s privacy?Jon Callas: The first obvious one is the Chinese government, who do an awful lot of spying, particularly on people who do business. Then there is the usual gang of identity-stealing criminals usually based in Eastern Europe. And there are a lot of cases when, if you’re in business, there are specific people who might engage in espionage against you. There are a lot of industries where the companies spy on each other all the time.
Mike Janke: For the average citizen, it’s not just about the threat of criminal hackers. Many other countries in the world have organizations similar to our NSA with very similar mandates, and many of those operate without the same type of oversight the US has, if you want to call it oversight. Also, how do you feel from a personal privacy perspective that your texts, the websites you shop on, the calls you make—whether it’s to an illicit lover or for a business deal—the pictures you share, and the documents you send are being collected, collated, repackaged, and sold as data? Where is your version of privacy and what do you use to reign [surveillance] in?
Do you think that this is a moral question? Do we have a fundamental right to keep our communications private?Jon: Absolutely. In my view, in Silent Circle’s view, every person in this world, regardless of their station in life or religion, should expect a level of basic human privacy. And many of the people on the internet have no understanding on what level they are giving that up.
Continue

vicemag:

Hiding Your Calls and Texts from Big Brother

The recent news reports that the US government can pull whatever data it wants from the internet and has free rein to peek at your phone records might have been shocking initially, but really they just underscored something already known (or at least assumed) by lots of people—we’re being watched pretty much all the time. Thanks to all the technology we casually use every day, everyone from corporations to government intelligence agencies to petty criminals have the opportunity to snoop through our stuff on a level that would have been unimaginable just a couple of decades ago. There are some measures you can take to hide from the NSA, but one of the most aggressive ways to guard your data is using the products available from Silent Circle, a tech start-up that sells software that encrypts calls, texts, emails, and files. The company, which has been around since last year, employs well-known cryptography experts like Jon Callas and Phil Zimmermann, the creator of the widely used PGP email encryption program, and they also own servers in Canada and Switzerland, where the laws are more privacy-friendly than those of the US. Even if they did open their servers to law enforcement or other government agencies, they say, there’s little to find there—the keys to decipher their customers’ encrypted calls and messages are generated on the users’ own devices and automatically deleted shortly afterward.

Obviously, a company providing a way for individuals—and potentially criminals—to communicate in secret might worry law-enforcement agencies. But Silent Circle isn’t worried about that, and they say that they abide by the laws while giving people an edge over data-gathering busybodies. I recently chatted on the phone with CEO Mike Janke and CTO Jon Callas about the right to privacy, what I got wrong in a previous article, and why even the FBI is buying their products.

VICE: Surveillance is in the news because of the NSA stuff. But obviously, the government isn’t the only one monitoring people and collecting information. What are some common non-NSA threats to people’s privacy?
Jon Callas: The first obvious one is the Chinese government, who do an awful lot of spying, particularly on people who do business. Then there is the usual gang of identity-stealing criminals usually based in Eastern Europe. And there are a lot of cases when, if you’re in business, there are specific people who might engage in espionage against you. There are a lot of industries where the companies spy on each other all the time.

Mike Janke: For the average citizen, it’s not just about the threat of criminal hackers. Many other countries in the world have organizations similar to our NSA with very similar mandates, and many of those operate without the same type of oversight the US has, if you want to call it oversight. Also, how do you feel from a personal privacy perspective that your texts, the websites you shop on, the calls you make—whether it’s to an illicit lover or for a business deal—the pictures you share, and the documents you send are being collected, collated, repackaged, and sold as data? Where is your version of privacy and what do you use to reign [surveillance] in?

Do you think that this is a moral question? Do we have a fundamental right to keep our communications private?
Jon: Absolutely. In my view, in Silent Circle’s view, every person in this world, regardless of their station in life or religion, should expect a level of basic human privacy. And many of the people on the internet have no understanding on what level they are giving that up.

Continue

What Obama has specialized in from the beginning of his presidency is putting pretty packaging on ugly and discredited policies. The cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of his advocacy makes coastal elites and blue state progressives instinctively confident in the Goodness of whatever he’s selling, much as George W. Bush’s swaggering, evangelical cowboy routine did for red state conservatives. The CIA presciently recognized this as a valuable asset back in 2008 when they correctly predicted that Obama’s election would stem the tide of growing antiwar sentiment in western Europe by becoming the new, more attractive face of war, thereby converting hordes of his admirers from war opponents into war supporters. This dynamic has repeated itself over and over in other contexts, and has indeed been of great value to the guardians of the status quo in placating growing public discontent about their economic insecurity and increasingly unequal distribution of power and wealth. However bad things might be, we at least have a benevolent, kind-hearted and very thoughtful leader doing everything he can to fix it.

Glenn Greenwald, Obama’s terrorism speech: Seeing what you want to see (via thepeoplesrecord)

thepeoplesrecord:

Walmart opts out of Bangladesh safety agreementMay 15, 2013
Walmart has confirmed it will not sign up to a legally binding agreement on worker safety and building regulations in Bangladesh supported by retailers including H&M, Zara, Primark, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Next, C&A and several others.
However, the US retail giant has created its own agreement, which it claims goes beyond the current accord that was drafted by labour groups and campaigners.
The company, which also owns the UK’s third biggest supermarket, Asda, said the deal signed by its rivals was “unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals” and questioned the “governance and dispute-resolution mechanisms”.
Instead, Walmart has agreed its own deal to inspect all 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh within six months, and has promised to publish the findings immediately.
Bosses claim this goes beyond the UNI Global Union and IndustriALL deal, pointing out the agreement requires 65% of inspections instead of 100% inspections taking place and argue its own deal means results are published straight away rather than within 45 days.
However, the Walmart deal is not legally binding, does not require the company to offer financial support for fire and safety regulations and blacklist factories unwilling to comply.
The agreement has been criticised by campaigners as a “business as usual” approach, which fails to address the core problems that led to the Rana Plaza factory collapse.
Sam Maher from Labour Behind the Label, said: “Walmart’s so-called new programme is simply more of the same ineffective auditing that failed to prevent the Rana Plaza disaster, or the deaths of 112 workers at Tazreen, who were producing Walmart goods.
“The changes demanded by the IndustriALL accord, include ensuring that factories are provided with the incentives and investment needed to actually make factories safe and are essential for any real change to occur. What Walmart are demanding is business as usual: a business that has cost lives of over 1,300 workers in the last six months alone.”
Walmart has also refused to clarify whether it sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza building, saying only that it had no “authorised” production at the site.
A statement from Walmart said: “The company, like a number of other retailers, is not in a position to sign the IndustriALL accord at this time.
“While we agree with much of the proposal, the IndustriALL plan also introduces requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals.”
Several major UK retailers have declined to sign the agreement, including Arcadia group, the company behind brands including Topshop, Bhs and Dorothy Perkins; Debenhams; River Island; Matalan and Peacocks.
However, late on Tuesday night Next, the UK’s second biggest clothing retailer, did agree to sign.
Walmart’s decision leaves George at Asda, the supermarket’s clothing brand, at odds with its own position as a founding member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.
The ETI, the UK’s biggest alliance of businesses, trade unions and voluntary organisations, has recommended its members sign up to the accord.
Source
Once more: “What Walmart are demanding is business as usual: a business that has cost lives of over 1,300 workers in the last six months alone.”

thepeoplesrecord:

Walmart opts out of Bangladesh safety agreement
May 15, 2013

Walmart has confirmed it will not sign up to a legally binding agreement on worker safety and building regulations in Bangladesh supported by retailers including H&M, Zara, Primark, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Next, C&A and several others.

However, the US retail giant has created its own agreement, which it claims goes beyond the current accord that was drafted by labour groups and campaigners.

The company, which also owns the UK’s third biggest supermarket, Asda, said the deal signed by its rivals was “unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals” and questioned the “governance and dispute-resolution mechanisms”.

Instead, Walmart has agreed its own deal to inspect all 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh within six months, and has promised to publish the findings immediately.

Bosses claim this goes beyond the UNI Global Union and IndustriALL deal, pointing out the agreement requires 65% of inspections instead of 100% inspections taking place and argue its own deal means results are published straight away rather than within 45 days.

However, the Walmart deal is not legally binding, does not require the company to offer financial support for fire and safety regulations and blacklist factories unwilling to comply.

The agreement has been criticised by campaigners as a “business as usual” approach, which fails to address the core problems that led to the Rana Plaza factory collapse.

Sam Maher from Labour Behind the Label, said: “Walmart’s so-called new programme is simply more of the same ineffective auditing that failed to prevent the Rana Plaza disaster, or the deaths of 112 workers at Tazreen, who were producing Walmart goods.

“The changes demanded by the IndustriALL accord, include ensuring that factories are provided with the incentives and investment needed to actually make factories safe and are essential for any real change to occur. What Walmart are demanding is business as usual: a business that has cost lives of over 1,300 workers in the last six months alone.”

Walmart has also refused to clarify whether it sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza building, saying only that it had no “authorised” production at the site.

A statement from Walmart said: “The company, like a number of other retailers, is not in a position to sign the IndustriALL accord at this time.

“While we agree with much of the proposal, the IndustriALL plan also introduces requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals.”

Several major UK retailers have declined to sign the agreement, including Arcadia group, the company behind brands including Topshop, Bhs and Dorothy Perkins; Debenhams; River Island; Matalan and Peacocks.

However, late on Tuesday night Next, the UK’s second biggest clothing retailer, did agree to sign.

Walmart’s decision leaves George at Asda, the supermarket’s clothing brand, at odds with its own position as a founding member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

The ETI, the UK’s biggest alliance of businesses, trade unions and voluntary organisations, has recommended its members sign up to the accord.

Source

Once more: “What Walmart are demanding is business as usual: a business that has cost lives of over 1,300 workers in the last six months alone.”

thepeoplesrecord:

Police fire tear gas at Bangladeshis protesting factory collapseApril 26, 2013
Bangladeshi police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of enraged workers protesting the deaths over 300 of their coworkers in a Wednesday garment factory collapse. At least 25 people have been injured in the clashes.
The demonstrators – some armed with bamboo sticks – blockaded roads, smashed vehicles, burned tires and attacked factories at Gazipur, just outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
“The situation is very volatile. Hundreds of thousands of workers have joined the protests. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them,” M. Asaduzzaman, an officer in the police control room, told AFP.
The rioting also spread to several districts in the capital, local media reported. The protesters have demanded the arrest and execution of those responsible for the disaster, and blamed the building’s owners for the deaths.
The collapsed eight-story building at Savar, a town on the outskirts of Dhaka, housed five factories. Rescuers have recovered nearly 300 bodies form the rubble, and found 62 people buried alive in the ruins; the death toll may rise further.
There are fears that hundreds of people remain trapped in the wreckage of the building, which officials claim was built illegally and without proper building permits.“Some people are still alive under the rubble and we are hoping to rescue them,” Reuters cited deputy fire services director Mizanur Rahman.
The building reportedly developed cracks on Tuesday evening, but the owners ordered fleeing workers to return to their production lines, survivors said.
The incident was the worst to befall Bangladesh since a fire in November 2012 that killed over 100 workers.
Many of the country’s 4,500 factories have already been closed due to protests and fears of damage. Manufacturers have declared Saturday to be a holiday, while trade unions called for a strike on Sunday to demand better working conditions, AP reported.
Special prayers for the dead, injured and missing were offered at mosques, temples and pagodas across Bangladesh on Friday.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Police fire tear gas at Bangladeshis protesting factory collapse
April 26, 2013

Bangladeshi police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of enraged workers protesting the deaths over 300 of their coworkers in a Wednesday garment factory collapse. At least 25 people have been injured in the clashes.

The demonstrators – some armed with bamboo sticks – blockaded roads, smashed vehicles, burned tires and attacked factories at Gazipur, just outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

“The situation is very volatile. Hundreds of thousands of workers have joined the protests. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them,” M. Asaduzzaman, an officer in the police control room, told AFP.

The rioting also spread to several districts in the capital, local media reported. The protesters have demanded the arrest and execution of those responsible for the disaster, and blamed the building’s owners for the deaths.

The collapsed eight-story building at Savar, a town on the outskirts of Dhaka, housed five factories. Rescuers have recovered nearly 300 bodies form the rubble, and found 62 people buried alive in the ruins; the death toll may rise further.

There are fears that hundreds of people remain trapped in the wreckage of the building, which officials claim was built illegally and without proper building permits.

“Some people are still alive under the rubble and we are hoping to rescue them,” Reuters cited deputy fire services director Mizanur Rahman.

The building reportedly developed cracks on Tuesday evening, but the owners ordered fleeing workers to return to their production lines, survivors said.

The incident was the worst to befall Bangladesh since a fire in November 2012 that killed over 100 workers.

Many of the country’s 4,500 factories have already been closed due to protests and fears of damage. Manufacturers have declared Saturday to be a holiday, while trade unions called for a strike on Sunday to demand better working conditions, AP reported.

Special prayers for the dead, injured and missing were offered at mosques, temples and pagodas across Bangladesh on Friday.

Source

How Twitter Ended Cable News and Changed News Coverage Forever

2087:

Tonight right now something very violent and scary is happening in Watertown, MA. I can’t find out anything on CNN, google or even local news, but there on twitter #watertown I watch the story unfolding, bit by bit by bit, in simple plain snippets of stark black text on a white page with blue hashtags as hundreds of individual users work to piece together something that no organization has a full understanding of yet.

thepeoplesrecord:

Self-healing “artificial leaf” produces energy from dirty waterApril 10, 2013
Back in 2011, scientists reported the creation of the “world’s first practical artificial leaf” that mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. Touted as a potentially inexpensive source of electricity for those in developing countries and remote areas, the leaf’s creators have now given it a capability that would be especially beneficial in such environments – the ability to self heal and therefore produce energy from dirty water.
While the leaf mimics a real leaf’s ability to produce energy from sunlight and water, it doesn’t mimic the method real leaves rely on, namely photosynthesis. Instead, as described by Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D. who led the research team, the artificial leaf is actually a simple wafer of silicon coated in a catalyst that, when dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, breaks down water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. These gases can be collected as they bubble up through the water to be used for fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.
Because bacteria can build up on the leaf’s surface and stop the energy production process, previous versions of the device required pure water. Now Nocera’s team has found that some of the catalysts developed for the artificial leaf actually heal themselves, meaning the process can work with dirty water.
“Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature,” Nocera said. “We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble.”
Where similar devices are expensive to manufacture due to the use of rare and expensive metals and complex wiring, Nocera’s artificial leaf uses cheaper materials and a simple “buried junction” design that he says would make it cheaper to mass produce. Additionally, less than one liter (0.25 gal) of water is enough to produce around 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. And while it isn’t necessarily the most efficient form of electricity generation, Nocera likens the approach to “fast-food energy.”
“We’re interested in making lots of inexpensive units that may not be the most efficient, but that get the job done. It’s kind of like going from huge mainframe computers to a personal laptop. This is personalized energy.
“A lot of people are designing complicated, expensive energy-producing devices, and it is difficult to see them being adopted on a large scale,” he added. “Ours is simple, less expensive, and it works.”
Nocera believes the artificial leaf is likely to find its first use in individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric production and distribution systems. As well as being cheaper than solar panels, because the artificial leaf doesn’t directly generate electricity, but produces hydrogen and oxygen that can be stored, the electricity could be generated for use at night.
The research team hopes to integrate the artificial leaf with technology for converting the hydrogen into a liquid fuel to power everything from traditional portable electric generators to cars.
Nocera described the artificial leaf at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that is currently being held in New Orleans.
Source
Zoom Info
thepeoplesrecord:

Self-healing “artificial leaf” produces energy from dirty waterApril 10, 2013
Back in 2011, scientists reported the creation of the “world’s first practical artificial leaf” that mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. Touted as a potentially inexpensive source of electricity for those in developing countries and remote areas, the leaf’s creators have now given it a capability that would be especially beneficial in such environments – the ability to self heal and therefore produce energy from dirty water.
While the leaf mimics a real leaf’s ability to produce energy from sunlight and water, it doesn’t mimic the method real leaves rely on, namely photosynthesis. Instead, as described by Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D. who led the research team, the artificial leaf is actually a simple wafer of silicon coated in a catalyst that, when dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, breaks down water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. These gases can be collected as they bubble up through the water to be used for fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.
Because bacteria can build up on the leaf’s surface and stop the energy production process, previous versions of the device required pure water. Now Nocera’s team has found that some of the catalysts developed for the artificial leaf actually heal themselves, meaning the process can work with dirty water.
“Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature,” Nocera said. “We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble.”
Where similar devices are expensive to manufacture due to the use of rare and expensive metals and complex wiring, Nocera’s artificial leaf uses cheaper materials and a simple “buried junction” design that he says would make it cheaper to mass produce. Additionally, less than one liter (0.25 gal) of water is enough to produce around 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. And while it isn’t necessarily the most efficient form of electricity generation, Nocera likens the approach to “fast-food energy.”
“We’re interested in making lots of inexpensive units that may not be the most efficient, but that get the job done. It’s kind of like going from huge mainframe computers to a personal laptop. This is personalized energy.
“A lot of people are designing complicated, expensive energy-producing devices, and it is difficult to see them being adopted on a large scale,” he added. “Ours is simple, less expensive, and it works.”
Nocera believes the artificial leaf is likely to find its first use in individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric production and distribution systems. As well as being cheaper than solar panels, because the artificial leaf doesn’t directly generate electricity, but produces hydrogen and oxygen that can be stored, the electricity could be generated for use at night.
The research team hopes to integrate the artificial leaf with technology for converting the hydrogen into a liquid fuel to power everything from traditional portable electric generators to cars.
Nocera described the artificial leaf at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that is currently being held in New Orleans.
Source
Zoom Info

thepeoplesrecord:

Self-healing “artificial leaf” produces energy from dirty water
April 10, 2013

Back in 2011, scientists reported the creation of the “world’s first practical artificial leaf” that mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. Touted as a potentially inexpensive source of electricity for those in developing countries and remote areas, the leaf’s creators have now given it a capability that would be especially beneficial in such environments – the ability to self heal and therefore produce energy from dirty water.

While the leaf mimics a real leaf’s ability to produce energy from sunlight and water, it doesn’t mimic the method real leaves rely on, namely photosynthesis. Instead, as described by Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D. who led the research team, the artificial leaf is actually a simple wafer of silicon coated in a catalyst that, when dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, breaks down water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. These gases can be collected as they bubble up through the water to be used for fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.

Because bacteria can build up on the leaf’s surface and stop the energy production process, previous versions of the device required pure water. Now Nocera’s team has found that some of the catalysts developed for the artificial leaf actually heal themselves, meaning the process can work with dirty water.

“Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature,” Nocera said. “We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble.”

Where similar devices are expensive to manufacture due to the use of rare and expensive metals and complex wiring, Nocera’s artificial leaf uses cheaper materials and a simple “buried junction” design that he says would make it cheaper to mass produce. Additionally, less than one liter (0.25 gal) of water is enough to produce around 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. And while it isn’t necessarily the most efficient form of electricity generation, Nocera likens the approach to “fast-food energy.”

“We’re interested in making lots of inexpensive units that may not be the most efficient, but that get the job done. It’s kind of like going from huge mainframe computers to a personal laptop. This is personalized energy.

“A lot of people are designing complicated, expensive energy-producing devices, and it is difficult to see them being adopted on a large scale,” he added. “Ours is simple, less expensive, and it works.”

Nocera believes the artificial leaf is likely to find its first use in individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric production and distribution systems. As well as being cheaper than solar panels, because the artificial leaf doesn’t directly generate electricity, but produces hydrogen and oxygen that can be stored, the electricity could be generated for use at night.

The research team hopes to integrate the artificial leaf with technology for converting the hydrogen into a liquid fuel to power everything from traditional portable electric generators to cars.

Nocera described the artificial leaf at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that is currently being held in New Orleans.

Source

thepeoplesrecord:

The Pentagon’s army of space-age robot warriors is getting a lot more real with the PETMAN robotApril 8, 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has released video footage of a project that’s been long in the works and really starting to now take shape. The Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin — or “PETMAN,” for short — is the subject of the latest clip, and very well could be all it takes to scare off any insurgents once it’s ready for the battlefield.
PETMAN is a bipedal robot that has been displayed during previous tests as having the ability to climb stairs and even do pushups. In the latest video, though, the experimental project is showcased as being more lifelike than ever before.
Scientists at Boston Dynamics have released a video that shows PETMAN, clothed head-to-toe in full-on camouflage, jogging in place on a laboratory platform. But unlike earlier videos in which PETMAN appeared to be nothing more than a pile of wires enclosed in metal, the newest footage shows the science project at its all-time most humanness.
PETMAN isn’t being tasked with running like a human being for simply the sake of being creepy, though. Boston Dynamics have outfitted the robot in high-tech protective camo clothing that is designed to keep soldiers — real, cyborg or other — safe from hazardous chemicals. “PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature,” explains Boston Dynamics.
The robot, adds the scientists, can balance itself, move freely, walk and do a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics — all while being exposed to chemical warfare agents. “Natural, agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions,” adds Boston Dynamics. “The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person.”
And yeah, PETMAN can walk the walk — but he doesn’t stop there either. Scientists have programed the robot to “simulate human physiology,” so that when being exposed to chemical agents, researchers can send signals to the robot that forces it to mimic human sweating and switch its body temperature like a real-life soldier might do while on the field. So with PETMAN being able to do all of that and then some, what does DARPA have planned next? That’s likely top-secret, but critics of the US Defense Department’s science lab say projects like this will lend themselves to changing the face of war from a human one to a robotic one.
“It’s going to be used for chasing people across the desert, I would imagine. I can’t think of many civilian applications - maybe for hunting, or farming, for rounding up sheep,” Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC previously in regards to DARPA’s robot creations.
“But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers,” he said.
Source
Zoom Info
thepeoplesrecord:

The Pentagon’s army of space-age robot warriors is getting a lot more real with the PETMAN robotApril 8, 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has released video footage of a project that’s been long in the works and really starting to now take shape. The Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin — or “PETMAN,” for short — is the subject of the latest clip, and very well could be all it takes to scare off any insurgents once it’s ready for the battlefield.
PETMAN is a bipedal robot that has been displayed during previous tests as having the ability to climb stairs and even do pushups. In the latest video, though, the experimental project is showcased as being more lifelike than ever before.
Scientists at Boston Dynamics have released a video that shows PETMAN, clothed head-to-toe in full-on camouflage, jogging in place on a laboratory platform. But unlike earlier videos in which PETMAN appeared to be nothing more than a pile of wires enclosed in metal, the newest footage shows the science project at its all-time most humanness.
PETMAN isn’t being tasked with running like a human being for simply the sake of being creepy, though. Boston Dynamics have outfitted the robot in high-tech protective camo clothing that is designed to keep soldiers — real, cyborg or other — safe from hazardous chemicals. “PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature,” explains Boston Dynamics.
The robot, adds the scientists, can balance itself, move freely, walk and do a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics — all while being exposed to chemical warfare agents. “Natural, agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions,” adds Boston Dynamics. “The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person.”
And yeah, PETMAN can walk the walk — but he doesn’t stop there either. Scientists have programed the robot to “simulate human physiology,” so that when being exposed to chemical agents, researchers can send signals to the robot that forces it to mimic human sweating and switch its body temperature like a real-life soldier might do while on the field. So with PETMAN being able to do all of that and then some, what does DARPA have planned next? That’s likely top-secret, but critics of the US Defense Department’s science lab say projects like this will lend themselves to changing the face of war from a human one to a robotic one.
“It’s going to be used for chasing people across the desert, I would imagine. I can’t think of many civilian applications - maybe for hunting, or farming, for rounding up sheep,” Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC previously in regards to DARPA’s robot creations.
“But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers,” he said.
Source
Zoom Info

thepeoplesrecord:

The Pentagon’s army of space-age robot warriors is getting a lot more real with the PETMAN robot
April 8, 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has released video footage of a project that’s been long in the works and really starting to now take shape. The Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin — or “PETMAN,” for short — is the subject of the latest clip, and very well could be all it takes to scare off any insurgents once it’s ready for the battlefield.

PETMAN is a bipedal robot that has been displayed during previous tests as having the ability to climb stairs and even do pushups. In the latest video, though, the experimental project is showcased as being more lifelike than ever before.

Scientists at Boston Dynamics have released a video that shows PETMAN, clothed head-to-toe in full-on camouflage, jogging in place on a laboratory platform. But unlike earlier videos in which PETMAN appeared to be nothing more than a pile of wires enclosed in metal, the newest footage shows the science project at its all-time most humanness.

PETMAN isn’t being tasked with running like a human being for simply the sake of being creepy, though. Boston Dynamics have outfitted the robot in high-tech protective camo clothing that is designed to keep soldiers — real, cyborg or other — safe from hazardous chemicals. “PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature,” explains Boston Dynamics.

The robot, adds the scientists, can balance itself, move freely, walk and do a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics — all while being exposed to chemical warfare agents. “Natural, agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions,” adds Boston Dynamics. “The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person.”

And yeah, PETMAN can walk the walk — but he doesn’t stop there either. Scientists have programed the robot to “simulate human physiology,” so that when being exposed to chemical agents, researchers can send signals to the robot that forces it to mimic human sweating and switch its body temperature like a real-life soldier might do while on the field. So with PETMAN being able to do all of that and then some, what does DARPA have planned next? That’s likely top-secret, but critics of the US Defense Department’s science lab say projects like this will lend themselves to changing the face of war from a human one to a robotic one.

“It’s going to be used for chasing people across the desert, I would imagine. I can’t think of many civilian applications - maybe for hunting, or farming, for rounding up sheep,” Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC previously in regards to DARPA’s robot creations.

“But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers,” he said.

Source

thepeoplesrecord:

‘Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer’: Kissinger in new mass WikiLeaks document releaseApril 8, 2013
WikiLeaks has published the ‘Kissinger Cables’: its largest public release of documents in nearly a year, totaling some 1.7 million classified files, including information on the US’s secret diplomatic history.
A variety of files have been collected and collated, including from congressional correspondence, intelligence reports, and cables.Julian Assange, who heads the organization, told the Press Association that the documents were illustrative of the “vast range and scope” of global US influence. He is to present and mark the release of the documents on Monday in a mass-press conference. Assange is currently residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, under the threat of arrest if he leaves.Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying, “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’,”during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.Among the other information released is the revelation that that the Vatican may have collaborated with the US in supporting the Pinochet coup in Chile, which saw in a regime of bloodshed and disappearances.In a cable dated 18 October 1973, it is stated that “Archbishop [Giovanni] Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, expressed to illing [sic] his and Pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.”  The events which preceded Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship were dismissed as overblown.“Bellini labeled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda, and highlighted fact that even moderate and conservative circles seem quite disposed to believe grossest lies about Chilean Junta’s excesses.”It went on to admit that there had been bloodshed during what they labeled ‘mopping up’ procedures in Chile, but followed it up with the statement that the Junta was making ‘every effort’ to return the situation to normal.Documents had previously come to light about US involvement in the bloody Chilean coup. One CIA document released in a 2003 book of collected works stated “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup…it is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”The WikiLeaks releases additionally suggest that former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi, worked as a negotiator for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to Chile in the 1970s.The documents are comprised of the 250,000 leaked state department memos made previously available through the ‘Cablegate’ release, alongside the new 1.7 million US State Department files from Kissinger’s time in the SoS position, from 1973-1976.Although the 1.7 million had been officially declassified, and accessible through the National Archives and Records Agency, members of the WikiLeaks team consider their importance to be too significant for them to stay subtly tucked away.“The Kissinger Cables provides unparalleled access to journalists and the general public,” said WikiLeaks in a statement.Assange himself commented on the role that their publication of the documents’ played in preserving all sides of US history.“The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organization with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy,” he said. He went on to call it the single most significant the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.The lack of accessibility was also commented upon.“One form of secrecy is complexity. That’s the reason why we decided to merge these files with our existing cables and put a lot of effort into making a user-friendly and accessible database” a WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told Forbes.WikiLeaks has voiced additional concern over the possibility that some documents could be reclassified.Julian Assange’s confinement in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy means the country has already spent some $4.5 million on police officers patrolling the building on 24-hour watch. He has been resident in the building since he lost a UK court case demanding his extradition to Sweden. (for questioning on sexual assault accusations)WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell when it released over 250,000 leaked US cables in 2010, infuriating the US, as many related to the war in Iraq.The material released by the organization included the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video, which was shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, and documented direct attacks on unarmed Iraqi civilians. (Released by Pfc. B. Manning, who was been in prison under “cruel, inhuman & degrading” conditions, found by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez for 1049 days)
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

‘Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer’: Kissinger in new mass WikiLeaks document release
April 8, 2013

WikiLeaks has published the ‘Kissinger Cables’: its largest public release of documents in nearly a year, totaling some 1.7 million classified files, including information on the US’s secret diplomatic history.

A variety of files have been collected and collated, including from congressional correspondence, intelligence reports, and cables.

Julian Assange, who heads the organization, told the Press Association that the documents were illustrative of the “vast range and scope” of global US influence. He is to present and mark the release of the documents on Monday in a mass-press conference. 

Assange is currently residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, under the threat of arrest if he leaves.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying, “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’,”during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.

Among the other information released is the revelation that that the Vatican may have collaborated with the US in supporting the Pinochet coup in Chile, which saw in a regime of bloodshed and disappearances.

In a cable dated 18 October 1973, it is stated that “Archbishop [Giovanni] Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, expressed to illing [sic] his and Pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.”  

The events which preceded Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship were dismissed as overblown.

“Bellini labeled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda, and highlighted fact that even moderate and conservative circles seem quite disposed to believe grossest lies about Chilean Junta’s excesses.”

It went on to admit that there had been bloodshed during what they labeled ‘mopping up’ procedures in Chile, but followed it up with the statement that the Junta was making ‘every effort’ to return the situation to normal.

Documents had previously come to light about US involvement in the bloody Chilean coup. One CIA document released in a 2003 book of collected works stated “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup…it is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”

The WikiLeaks releases additionally suggest that former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi, worked as a negotiator for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to Chile in the 1970s.

The documents are comprised of the 250,000 leaked state department memos made previously available through the ‘Cablegate’ release, alongside the new 1.7 million US State Department files from Kissinger’s time in the SoS position, from 1973-1976.

Although the 1.7 million had been officially declassified, and accessible through the National Archives and Records Agency, members of the WikiLeaks team consider their importance to be too significant for them to stay subtly tucked away.

“The Kissinger Cables provides unparalleled access to journalists and the general public,”
 said WikiLeaks in a statement.

Assange himself commented on the role that their publication of the documents’ played in preserving all sides of US history.

“The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organization with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy,”
 he said. He went on to call it the single most significant the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.

The lack of accessibility was also commented upon.

“One form of secrecy is complexity. That’s the reason why we decided to merge these files with our existing cables and put a lot of effort into making a user-friendly and accessible database” a WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told Forbes.

WikiLeaks has voiced additional concern over the possibility that some documents could be reclassified.

Julian Assange’s confinement in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy means the country has already spent some $4.5 million on police officers patrolling the building on 24-hour watch. He has been resident in the building since he lost a UK court case demanding his extradition to Sweden. (for questioning on sexual assault accusations)

WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell when it released over 250,000 leaked US cables in 2010, infuriating the US, as many related to the war in Iraq.

The material released by the organization included the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video, which was shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, and documented direct attacks on unarmed Iraqi civilians. (Released by Pfc. B. Manning, who was been in prison under “cruel, inhuman & degrading” conditions, found by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez for 1049 days)

Source

I owe nothing to women’s lib. The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.

Margaret Thatcher (1925 - 2013)

thepeoplesrecord:

TW: Rape, violence - A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year: Hate crimes in AmericaJanuary 24, 2013
Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16th was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either. Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large. Not that I actually went out looking for incidents: they’re everywhere in the news, though no one adds them up and indicates that there might actually be a pattern.
There is, however, a pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and horrific and incessantly overlooked. Occasionally, a case involving a celebrity or lurid details in a particular case get a lot of attention in the media, but such cases are treated as anomalies, while the abundance of incidental news items about violence against women in this country, in other countries, on every continent including Antarctica, constitute a kind of background wallpaper for the news.
If you’d rather talk about bus rapes than gang rapes, there’s the rape of a developmentally disabled woman on a Los Angeles bus in November and the kidnapping of an autistic 16-year-old on the regional transit train system in Oakland, California — she was raped repeatedly by her abductor over two days this winter — and there was a gang rape of multiple women on a bus in Mexico City recently, too. While I was writing this, I read that another female bus-rider was kidnapped in India and gang-raped all night by the bus driver and five of his friends who must have thought what happened in New Delhi was awesome.
We have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern. Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.
Here I want to say one thing: though virtually all the perpetrators of such crimes are men, that doesn’t mean all men are violent. Most are not. In addition, men obviously also suffer violence, largely at the hands of other men, and every violent death, every assault is terrible. But the subject here is the pandemic of violence by men against women, both intimate violence and stranger violence.
What We Don’t Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Gender
There’s so much of it. We could talk about the assault and rape of a 73-year-old in Manhattan’s Central Park last September, or the recent rape of a four-year-old and an 83-year-old in Louisiana, or the New York City policeman who was arrested in October for what appeared to be serious plans to kidnap, rape, cook, and eat a woman, any woman, because the hate wasn’t personal (though maybe it was for the San Diego man who actually killed and cooked his wife in November and the man from New Orleans who killed, dismembered, and cooked his girlfriend in 2005).
Those are all exceptional crimes, but we could also talk about quotidian assaults, because though a rape is reported only every 6.2 minutes in this country, the estimated total is perhaps five times as high. Which means that there may be very nearly a rape a minute in the U.S. It all adds up to tens of millions of rape victims.
We could talk about high-school- and college-athlete rapes, or campus rapes, to which university authorities have been appallingly uninterested in responding in many cases, including that high school in Steubenville, Notre Dame University, Amherst College, and many others. We could talk about the escalating pandemic of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the U.S. military, where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta estimated that there were 19,000 sexual assaults on fellow soldiers in 2010 alone and that the great majority of assailants got away with it, though four-star general Jeffrey Sinclair was indicted in September for “a slew of sex crimes against women.”
Never mind workplace violence, let’s go home. So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over 1,000 homicides of that kind a year — meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular terror. (Another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides since 9/11 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the “war on terror.”) If we talked about crimes like these and why they are so common, we’d have to talk about what kinds of profound change this society, or this nation, or nearly every nation needs. If we talked about it, we’d be talking about masculinity, or male roles, or maybe patriarchy, and we don’t talk much about that.
Instead, we hear that American men commit murder-suicides — at the rate of about 12 a week — because the economy is bad, though they also do it when the economy is good; or that those men in India murdered the bus-rider because the poor resent the rich, while other rapes in India are explained by how the rich exploit the poor; and then there are those ever-popular explanations: mental problems and intoxicants — and for jocks, head injuries. The latest spin is that lead exposure was responsible for a lot of our violence, except that both genders are exposed and one commits most of the violence. The pandemic of violence always gets explained as anything but gender, anything but what would seem to be the broadest explanatory pattern of all.
Someone wrote a piece about how white men seem to be the ones who commit mass murders in the U.S. and the (mostly hostile) commenters only seemed to notice the white part. It’s rare that anyone says what this medical study does, even if in the driest way possible: “Being male has been identified as a risk factor for violent criminal behavior in several studies, as have exposure to tobacco smoke before birth, having antisocial parents, and belonging to a poor family.”
Still, the pattern is plain as day. We could talk about this as a global problem, looking at the epidemic of assault, harassment, and rape of women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that has taken away the freedom they celebrated during the Arab Spring — and led some men there to form defense teams to help counter it — or the persecution of women in public and private in India from “Eve-teasing” to bride-burning, or “honor killings” in South Asia and the Middle East, or the way that South Africa has become a global rape capital, with an estimated 600,000 rapes last year, or how rape has been used as a tactic and “weapon” of war in Mali, Sudan, and the Congo, as it was in the former Yugoslavia, or the pervasiveness of rape and harassment in Mexico and the femicide in Juarez, or the denial of basic rights for women in Saudi Arabia and the myriad sexual assaults on immigrant domestic workers there, or the way that the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case in the United States revealed what impunity he and others had in France, and it’s only for lack of space I’m leaving out Britain and Canada and Italy (with its ex-prime minister known for his orgies with the underaged), Argentina and Australia and so many other countries.
Full article
This is a really great piece. All of these incidents of violence are disgusting & as a woman, really scary. One rape nearly every minute is simply unacceptable. When they are reported, victims rarely get justice… no matter where in the world it happens. Our patriarchal, violent society has given life to this outrageous rape culture, & it’s putting women in danger worldwide.

thepeoplesrecord:

TW: Rape, violence - A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year: Hate crimes in America
January 24, 2013

Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetimethe rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16th was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either. Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large. Not that I actually went out looking for incidents: they’re everywhere in the news, though no one adds them up and indicates that there might actually be a pattern.

There is, however, a pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and horrific and incessantly overlooked. Occasionally, a case involving a celebrity or lurid details in a particular case get a lot of attention in the media, but such cases are treated as anomalies, while the abundance of incidental news items about violence against women in this country, in other countries, on every continent including Antarctica, constitute a kind of background wallpaper for the news.

If you’d rather talk about bus rapes than gang rapes, there’s the rape of a developmentally disabled woman on a Los Angeles bus in November and the kidnapping of an autistic 16-year-old on the regional transit train system in Oakland, California — she was raped repeatedly by her abductor over two days this winter — and there was a gang rape of multiple women on a bus in Mexico City recently, too. While I was writing this, I read that another female bus-rider was kidnapped in India and gang-raped all night by the bus driver and five of his friends who must have thought what happened in New Delhi was awesome.

We have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern. Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.

Here I want to say one thing: though virtually all the perpetrators of such crimes are men, that doesn’t mean all men are violent. Most are not. In addition, men obviously also suffer violence, largely at the hands of other men, and every violent death, every assault is terrible. But the subject here is the pandemic of violence by men against women, both intimate violence and stranger violence.

What We Don’t Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Gender

There’s so much of it. We could talk about the assault and rape of a 73-year-old in Manhattan’s Central Park last September, or the recent rape of a four-year-old and an 83-year-old in Louisiana, or the New York City policeman who was arrested in October for what appeared to be serious plans to kidnap, rape, cook, and eat a woman, any woman, because the hate wasn’t personal (though maybe it was for the San Diego man who actually killed and cooked his wife in November and the man from New Orleans who killed, dismembered, and cooked his girlfriend in 2005).

Those are all exceptional crimes, but we could also talk about quotidian assaults, because though a rape is reported only every 6.2 minutes in this country, the estimated total is perhaps five times as high. Which means that there may be very nearly a rape a minute in the U.S. It all adds up to tens of millions of rape victims.

We could talk about high-school- and college-athlete rapes, or campus rapes, to which university authorities have been appallingly uninterested in responding in many cases, including that high school in Steubenville, Notre Dame University, Amherst College, and many others. We could talk about the escalating pandemic of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the U.S. military, where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta estimated that there were 19,000 sexual assaults on fellow soldiers in 2010 alone and that the great majority of assailants got away with it, though four-star general Jeffrey Sinclair was indicted in September for “a slew of sex crimes against women.”

Never mind workplace violence, let’s go home. So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over 1,000 homicides of that kind a year — meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular terror. (Another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides since 9/11 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the “war on terror.”) If we talked about crimes like these and why they are so common, we’d have to talk about what kinds of profound change this society, or this nation, or nearly every nation needs. If we talked about it, we’d be talking about masculinity, or male roles, or maybe patriarchy, and we don’t talk much about that.

Instead, we hear that American men commit murder-suicides — at the rate of about 12 a week — because the economy is bad, though they also do it when the economy is good; or that those men in India murdered the bus-rider because the poor resent the rich, while other rapes in India are explained by how the rich exploit the poor; and then there are those ever-popular explanations: mental problems and intoxicants — and for jocks, head injuries. The latest spin is that lead exposure was responsible for a lot of our violence, except that both genders are exposed and one commits most of the violence. The pandemic of violence always gets explained as anything but gender, anything but what would seem to be the broadest explanatory pattern of all.

Someone wrote a piece about how white men seem to be the ones who commit mass murders in the U.S. and the (mostly hostile) commenters only seemed to notice the white part. It’s rare that anyone says what this medical study does, even if in the driest way possible: “Being male has been identified as a risk factor for violent criminal behavior in several studies, as have exposure to tobacco smoke before birth, having antisocial parents, and belonging to a poor family.”

Still, the pattern is plain as day. We could talk about this as a global problem, looking at the epidemic of assault, harassment, and rape of women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that has taken away the freedom they celebrated during the Arab Spring — and led some men there to form defense teams to help counter it — or the persecution of women in public and private in India from “Eve-teasing” to bride-burning, or “honor killings” in South Asia and the Middle East, or the way that South Africa has become a global rape capital, with an estimated 600,000 rapes last year, or how rape has been used as a tactic and “weapon” of war in Mali, Sudan, and the Congo, as it was in the former Yugoslavia, or the pervasiveness of rape and harassment in Mexico and the femicide in Juarez, or the denial of basic rights for women in Saudi Arabia and the myriad sexual assaults on immigrant domestic workers there, or the way that the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case in the United States revealed what impunity he and others had in France, and it’s only for lack of space I’m leaving out Britain and Canada and Italy (with its ex-prime minister known for his orgies with the underaged), Argentina and Australia and so many other countries.

Full article

This is a really great piece. All of these incidents of violence are disgusting & as a woman, really scary. One rape nearly every minute is simply unacceptable. When they are reported, victims rarely get justice… no matter where in the world it happens. Our patriarchal, violent society has given life to this outrageous rape culture, & it’s putting women in danger worldwide.

timanderic:

new merch!

Become one with the shrim. Embrace the shrim. Be the shrim. Wear the shrim. We were hoping to have these before the holidays, but due to hurricane Sandy, they were delayed. Keep your head warm with this knitted Shrim Beanie. This is an adults OSFA beanie, made right here in theUSA!
Zoom Info
timanderic:

new merch!

Become one with the shrim. Embrace the shrim. Be the shrim. Wear the shrim. We were hoping to have these before the holidays, but due to hurricane Sandy, they were delayed. Keep your head warm with this knitted Shrim Beanie. This is an adults OSFA beanie, made right here in theUSA!
Zoom Info

timanderic:

new merch!

Become one with the shrim. Embrace the shrim. Be the shrim. Wear the shrim. We were hoping to have these before the holidays, but due to hurricane Sandy, they were delayed. Keep your head warm with this knitted Shrim Beanie. This is an adults OSFA beanie, made right here in theUSA!

thepeoplesrecord:

112 workers killed in Bangladesh Walmart factory fire November 26, 2012
NGOs are slamming Walmart following a Saturday fire that killed at least 112 workers at a Bangladesh factory supplying apparel to the retail giant. While Walmart says it has not confirmed that it has any relationship to the factory, photos provided to The Nation show piles of clothes made for one of its exclusive brands.
In a statement e-mailed Sunday night, Walmart expressed sympathy for the victims’ families, and said that it was “trying to determine if the factory has a current relationship with Walmart or one of our suppliers…” The company called fire safety “a critically important area of Walmart’s factory audit program,” and said that it has been “working across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh.” Walmart added that it has “partnered with several independent organizations to develop and roll out fire safety training tools for factory management and workers.”
But in a Monday interview, Workers Rights Consortium Executive Director Scott Nova said Walmart’s “culpability is enormous. First of all they are the largest buyer from Bangladesh” and so “they make the market.” Nova said Bangladesh has become the world’s second-largest apparel supplier “because they’ve given Walmart and its competitors what they want, which is the cheapest possible labor costs.”
“So Walmart is supporting, is incentivizing, an industry strategy in Bangladesh: extreme low wages, non-existent regulation, brutal suppression of any attempt by workers to act collectively to improve wages and conditions,” Nova told The Nation. “This factory is a product of that strategy that Walmart invites, supports, and perpetuates.” The WRC is a labor monitoring group whose board is composed of students, labor organizations, and university administrators.
The fire started Saturday night in a ground-floor warehouse. According to media reports, the factory’s emergency exits were insufficient in number and unsafe in design, routing through the inside, rather than the outside, of the building. Some workers survived on the factory’s roof; several jumped out of the building. A lack of safe fire exits contributed to the death toll in New York’s notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.
A document on the website of the factory’s owner, Tuba Group, showed that the factory had received an “orange” rating from Walmart in May 2011, because of  “violations and/or conditions that were deemed to be high risk.” The same document said that three such ratings within two years would result in a year-long suspension by Walmart.
“Obviously, they didn’t do anything about it,” said Nova. He called Walmart’s internal monitoring system “a joke” that was “set up to enable Walmart to claim that it’s policing, without in any way, shape or form inconveniencing its production process.”
A Walmart spokesperson told The New York Times that the retail giant had been “unable to confirm” the veracity of Tuba Group document, or whether Tazreen Fashions, the Tuba Group subsidiary running the factory, was supplying any Walmart goods.
But photos taken after the fire taken the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, provided to The Nation by the International Labor Rights Forum, show clothing with Walmart’s exclusive Faded Glory label (photos below). Nova accused Walmart of intentionally dragging its feet on admitting its connection to the factory, in hopes that by the time the connection is confirmed, the media will have lost interest.
WRC’s Nova said that Bangladesh’s deadly labor conditions are a direct consequence of Walmart’s business model. If a factory “really followed the law,” said Nova, “if they allowed workers to organize and bargained a contract, if they invested in necessary health and safety equipment, if they restructured the building to make it safe, put in place sprinklers and outside fire escapes, their costs would rise, they would have to charge more for their product, and they would immediately lose Walmart and their other customers.”
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

112 workers killed in Bangladesh Walmart factory fire 
November 26, 2012

NGOs are slamming Walmart following a Saturday fire that killed at least 112 workers at a Bangladesh factory supplying apparel to the retail giant. While Walmart says it has not confirmed that it has any relationship to the factory, photos provided to The Nation show piles of clothes made for one of its exclusive brands.

In a statement e-mailed Sunday night, Walmart expressed sympathy for the victims’ families, and said that it was “trying to determine if the factory has a current relationship with Walmart or one of our suppliers…” The company called fire safety “a critically important area of Walmart’s factory audit program,” and said that it has been “working across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh.” Walmart added that it has “partnered with several independent organizations to develop and roll out fire safety training tools for factory management and workers.”

But in a Monday interview, Workers Rights Consortium Executive Director Scott Nova said Walmart’s “culpability is enormous. First of all they are the largest buyer from Bangladesh” and so “they make the market.” Nova said Bangladesh has become the world’s second-largest apparel supplier “because they’ve given Walmart and its competitors what they want, which is the cheapest possible labor costs.”

“So Walmart is supporting, is incentivizing, an industry strategy in Bangladesh: extreme low wages, non-existent regulation, brutal suppression of any attempt by workers to act collectively to improve wages and conditions,” Nova told The Nation. “This factory is a product of that strategy that Walmart invites, supports, and perpetuates.” The WRC is a labor monitoring group whose board is composed of students, labor organizations, and university administrators.

The fire started Saturday night in a ground-floor warehouse. According to media reports, the factory’s emergency exits were insufficient in number and unsafe in design, routing through the inside, rather than the outside, of the building. Some workers survived on the factory’s roof; several jumped out of the building. A lack of safe fire exits contributed to the death toll in New York’s notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

document on the website of the factory’s owner, Tuba Group, showed that the factory had received an “orange” rating from Walmart in May 2011, because of  “violations and/or conditions that were deemed to be high risk.” The same document said that three such ratings within two years would result in a year-long suspension by Walmart.

“Obviously, they didn’t do anything about it,” said Nova. He called Walmart’s internal monitoring system “a joke” that was “set up to enable Walmart to claim that it’s policing, without in any way, shape or form inconveniencing its production process.”

A Walmart spokesperson told The New York Times that the retail giant had been “unable to confirm” the veracity of Tuba Group document, or whether Tazreen Fashions, the Tuba Group subsidiary running the factory, was supplying any Walmart goods.

But photos taken after the fire taken the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, provided to The Nation by the International Labor Rights Forum, show clothing with Walmart’s exclusive Faded Glory label (photos below). Nova accused Walmart of intentionally dragging its feet on admitting its connection to the factory, in hopes that by the time the connection is confirmed, the media will have lost interest.

WRC’s Nova said that Bangladesh’s deadly labor conditions are a direct consequence of Walmart’s business model. If a factory “really followed the law,” said Nova, “if they allowed workers to organize and bargained a contract, if they invested in necessary health and safety equipment, if they restructured the building to make it safe, put in place sprinklers and outside fire escapes, their costs would rise, they would have to charge more for their product, and they would immediately lose Walmart and their other customers.”

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ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info
ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info
ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info
ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info
ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info
ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control


  Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.
  
  From top to bottom, left to right
  
  A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)
  
  B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)
  
  C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)
  
  D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)
  
  E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)
  
  F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)
Zoom Info

ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control

Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.

From top to bottom, left to right

A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)

B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)

C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)

D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)

E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)

F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)