Category Archives: Technology

250,000 Twitter accounts hacked by Anonymous

Twitter’s information security department has confirmed that 250,000 twitter accounts may have been compromised by the hacker group Anonymous.

Twitter’s director of information security, Bob Lord,  said that they detected unusual access patterns including unauthorized attempts to access user data. The data accessed included usernames, email addresses and passwords.

This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.

The attack seems to have been limited to usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/hashed passwords. To protect the Twitter users who may have been compromised, the social media giant has reset passwords and revoked session tokens for accounts suspected of being hacked.

Anonymous takes credit for attack on DOJ website

As a show of support for recently deceased Reddit founder Aaron Swartz, hacker group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for hacking into the Department of Justice’s Sentencing Commission website.

The DOJ Sentencing Commission website, www.ussc.gov went dark Saturday morning after a hacking attack by a group of hackers identifying themselves as Anonymous. The group has taken credit for several online attacks and this latest effort was intended to show their anger over Swartz’ suicide earlier this month.

Aaron Swartz was facing up to 30 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines for allegedly using MIT computers and networks to steal millions of articles from online archival and journal distribution service JSTOR.

The attack on the DOJ website is under criminal investigation by the FBI.

Drones Would Have Aided Americans in Benghazi if Cows Were Involved

 

Cow drone

When four dying Americans in Benghazi needed fire-powered drones to take out Islamic militants firing mortars, those hovering drones controlled by Obama’s D.C. administration never fired on the enemy. Maybe the Americans inside the Benghazi Consulate should have kept cows at the Embassy. It’s obvious our spying government holds a deeper grudge against cow manure than terrorists massacring Americans.

According to reports: 

The EPA is using drones to spy on cattle ranchers in Nebraska and Iowa in order to make sure that farmers dispose of waste properly.

That’s right Americans, if you are a farmer and your cow manure is disposed of improperly, the Fourth Amendment-breaking, photographing spy drones flying over your farms will tell Washington. And then you and your cows will be sorry!

Since it’s lawful for the government to “monitor real estate to assure itself that the occupier of the lands is not adversely affecting the natural habitat,” perhaps the Americans in Benghazi should have told Obama and Hillary that the Taliban mortars were filled with cow dung that would “adversely affect Libya’s natural habitat.”  That might have moved the administration to save Americans and completely annihilate the Taliban.

Obama has no problem using drones to kill terrorists and spy on American farmers, but he has great difficulty when aiding our military begging for help.

Look at the laws Obama uses to conduct the War on Terror he vowed to end and ask why he ignored four men, in his service, fighting for their lives.

Obama uses Article 51 of the UN Charter  (the UN has declared it is against the drone war)  which “includes the targeted killing of persons such as high-level al-Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks” to conduct drone strikes: 371 of the 424 drone strikes since 2002 have been conducted by Obama.

There is no doubt drones eliminate threats to overseas military and the United States.  So, if taking out the enemy is vital to U.S. security, why didn’t Obama (who wrongfully entered Libya without Congressional consent) or Hillary use weaponized drones to aid four Americans fighting and dying inside an American Consulate?

Then there is the National Defense Authorization Act.

Do readers remember why President Obama signed the controversial law on December 31, 2011 (full explanation he on law language here)? This law that detains Guantanamo Bay terrorists indefinitely, and stipulates unconstitutional detention and assassination of any American citizen suspected of terror, is supposed to protect military and their families overseas. That would include aiding those who died in Benghazi. Or one would reason it to be so.

Obama  said he had reservations about signing the law (which gives unconstitutional provisions to the president), but did so:

chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed.

 

Apparently those services were never “crucial” enough to extend any “interest” or “security” to Americans being massacred by brutal terrorists in Benghazi.

American farmers with filthy barnyards better look out!

 

obama spy drone

 

But forget the NDAA, the president has Special Operations Teams readily available to him at all times, in all places, including the Middle East and Mediterranean, who are prepared for capture and kill raids, such as the one that took out Osama bin Laden.

The president also has:

 [T]he 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the U.S. Congress passed just days after 9/11. The statute empowers the president ‘to use all necessary and appropriate force’ in pursuit of those responsible for the terrorist attacks.

 

Where was that protection for those men fighting for their lives in the Benghazi Consulate? Those men fought for seven hours, Ambassador Stevens was gang-raped and tortured to death, Ty Woods begged Washington for help, but was told “stand down,” even as fire-powered drones, meant to provide security, hovered overhead, but were never given orders to fire on the enemy.

What the hell is the point of the NDAA, AUMF, UN Charters, or any special operation teams if the president refuses to utilize military power to bring terrorists attacking Americans to their end?

Why bother signing controversial laws you claim protect overseas military if you tell them to stand down when they must fight?

Why send American troops overseas to fight the enemy if they are not allowed to battle without asking permission, denied help during combat, and told “stand down?”

And why are American drones used to take out terrorists in Islamic countries and spy on America’s cows, but those drones were never used to help U.S. military personnel in Benghazi who begged  for help on September 11th?

Obama orders spy drones to fly over American farms, photograph evidence of cow poop, yet refused to order weaponized drones to fire on Taliban terrorists killing Americans in Benghazi. Why?

Answer: Because controlling the constitutional rights of Americans, and our cow manure, rather than aiding our military when it needs help, is what is “necessary and appropriate” “responsibility” to “pursuit” a well-kept and deodorized America.

Maybe our men in Benghazi should have told Obama and Hillary that the terrorists were spewing cow dung all over Benghazi’s streets. Then perhaps the two would have said “Don’t stand down! Fire on those terrorists! It will make all the difference for the environment”

Key Words to Attract Big Brother

When I was sick with the Swine Flu (a resistant air borne mutation), while near the Yuma border, I heard the crash of an airplane. I thought the suspicious toxic chemical cloud was the work of  Mexican cartel gangs. But instead of an attack and evacuation it was national preparedness, disaster planning by Homeland Security and SWAT. The contamination and lockdown were an exercise on Southwest domestic security.

Also, I do not have tuberculosis.

What does the above prattling mean? Nothing, of course. Unless you work for the Department of Homeland Security and are looking for key words that might reflect suspicious activity.

Your government, and mine, is always watching and with the advent of social media as a means of communications they can monitor via computer programs every word we write and send through the internet.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request the Daily Mail received a list of  keywords and phrases used by Homeland Security to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

homeland watch list

DES insists the practice is aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats.  In addition to terrorism, they are also watchful for signs of natural disasters.

For a complete list of ‘watch words’ or to read the whole article click here: Daily News.

3D Printers & Guns

While the 3-D printers at the Consumer Electronics Show were a big hit (see 3D Printers are Here!) there is already software available to make things that, well, might cause great unhappiness in this administration.


Recent events have the government representatives pushing for new bans on high capacity clips for weapons. But they might find their plans thwarted by new technology.

Forbes: Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip.

That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called “high capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Diane Feinstein would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions.

The following video clip demonstrates a successful test of a 3D-printed plastic ammo magazine and provides links to a website where anyone can download the specs to make a 3D high capacity magazine clip.

Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson says he hopes the group’s recent work demonstrates the futility of that proposed ban in the age of cheap 3D printing.

Forbes: “This isn’t 1994. The Internet happened since the last assault weapons ban. This is a fledgling tech, but look what we’re able to do. We printed that magazine out.”

Defense Distributed has already gotten the attention of the government. Its rented printer was seized and founders have been mentioned by Congressmen when calling for a renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act.

But there can be no doubt the technology exists to create the high capacity ammo clips and it’s anticipated that soon there will be software to make printable guns.

 

CES: 3D Printers Are Here!

One of the big winners at last weeks Consumer Electronic Show was the new and improved 3-D Printer. Programs are already available online to replicate objects using a plastic material. While the price range keeps this printer out of the average homeowner many are expecting it to be affordable within a few years.

Sci-fi fans around the world are gleefully anticipating seeing one of these real life replicators. Imagine the possibilities, it might not yet make Captain Picard’s, ‘Tea, Earl Gray, Hot.’ it may soon replicate the cup to hold it.

Taking Cue From Obama, Nigeria Plans Big Phone Giveaway

Remember this lady?

She and her friends were going to vote for Obama because he was giving out free phones. Of course, the Democratic party did not buy phones from her but did it matter? She got a phone and she was voting for the guy who got it for her.

Today the BBC is reporting that a political party in Nigeria wants to give out free phones to country’s poor.  According to the agriculture minister the phones will be paid for by a tax and given to women and rural farmers.

Like the Lifeline program the phones may not be directly handed out by politicians but one has to wonder how many will believe they’re getting their free phone courtesy of the political party currently in office?

BBC: All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) General Secretary Tijani Tumsa said the plan was a “mischievous vote-catching exercise” for the 2015 elections. Last week, the agriculture minister said the phones would help farmers “drive an agriculture revolution”. Akinwumi Adesina said their purchase would be financed 100_0875through a tax. He denied reports that the government had already set aside $400m (£249m) to buy the phones.

Mr Tumsa told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme the scheme was a ploy by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to “connect” with voters in rural areas in the build-up to elections. He said he doubted the plan would boost the farming sector. “You are just creating business for the telecom companies. You are not impacting on agricultural production in Nigeria, unless the purpose is to have more phone coverage,” Mr Tumsa added.

Defending the scheme, Mr Adesina said Nigeria had the highest number of mobile phones in Africa – an estimated 110 million – but many Nigerians in rural areas did not have them.

Read the complete article at the BBC News.

Finally: Dems Read ObamaCare. Request Delays.

obamacare falloutAs Nancy Pelosi famously said, “You’ve got to pass the bill, so you can learn what’s inside…” Democrats are finally getting around to reading the ObamaCare law. And they’re surprised at the findings. Unknown taxes, hidden fees. Who would have guessed that within those 2,000 pages of hastily put together legislation would be ‘job killing taxes’ (as emphatically stated this Monday by Al Franken, D-MN)?

Well of course it’s true. Those of us who urged caution and debate anticipated this massive bill would impact people far more than House and Senate leaders would admit.

So here we are, as more parts of the law are being enacted, and Congress has just now learned about some of those unexpected fees. Acting as though they were blindsided, sixteen Democratic Senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for delays because they have just now realized that the medical technology field will be severely impacted by taxes levied through the new law.

It’s true, some of the Senators, including Franken, did express concerns when the bill was written about these very taxes. Unfortunately, these same senators did not see the problems as significant enough to vote no on the bill. Today as ObamaCare and its funding methods are about to become actuality they are responding to their constituents and finally, questioning elements of this new and expensive law.

You can read the letter below as provided by the Wall Street Journal.

letter to maj leader 2letter to maj leader 2letter to maj leader 3

Get Your Tricorder Here

Star Trek fans will love this. The tricorders from early episodes is closer to reality.

Scientific America: A team of students has designed a Star Trek-inspired sensing device that can beam environmental data to a smart phone.The tricorder device is the team’s response to a challenge from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: “Is there an effective way to integrate external sensors with smart phones and can we globalize this information?” Applications could range from data collection for research to educational hands-on activities to disaster-zone assessment.

Bones would be proud.

 

Real War on Women: Husbands Alerted if Wives Leave Country

There is a real war on women. And it’s not the one contrived by liberals to win voters in the last election. No, this war on women takes place in many countries. It’s hard for people of the U.S. to imagine but there are still places where women are still seen as second class citizens.

The Wahhab religion, is a form of Islamic Fundamentalism and originates from Saudi Arabia. Similar to Sharia, Wahhabi followers do not regard it as simply one school of thought out of many; rather the only path of true Islam.

Followers of this religion believe women must be modest, covering themselves from head to toe by a burqa in public. A woman is treated always as a minor and as a second-class citizen that needs a male guardian. Women need her male guardian to obtain her identity card or passport and women are not allowed to enter government departments.

Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world where women are still not allowed to drive. While there have been protests against the female driving ban it remains in place.

Recently, it was reported that husbands of Saudi women were being sent text alerts if their wives attempted to leave the country. The new technology of text messages allows husbands to more quickly monitor their wives activities.

In Saudi Arabia, women must have permission from their ‘male guardians’, whether husband, brother or father, to travel outside the country. When women want to travel across the border or at the airport their guardian must sign a permission slip before the women are allowed travel.

Women in Saudi who are caught driving or attempt to leave the country without permission may be beaten by the religious police.

It is hard to imagine in this day and age that women could be subject to such restrictions.

There is a real war on women.

Read more about this at The Telegraph.

Reversing Paralysis With Nose Cells? It Might Work

Meet Jasper, a 10-year-old dachshund,  whose back legs were paralyzed. Today following a unique medical trial he is now walking and playing in the yard with his family.

Jasper can be seen in the video before and after his treatment at the BBC website.

In the study, funded by the Medical Research Council in the UK and published in the neurology journal Brain, 34 pet dogs all with spinal injuries were used. The dogs had olfactory ensheathing cells from the lining of their nose removed. The cells were grown and expanded for several weeks in the laboratory and then transplanted into the injury site. Twenty-three dogs had actual cells transplanted while the other 11 were given a neutral fluid as a control.

According to the BBC interview: Many of the dogs that received the transplant showed considerable improvement and were able to walk on a treadmill with the support of a harness. None of the control group regained use of its back legs.

The study is the first to test the transplant in real-life injuries rather than laboratory animals. Six months after the treatment, many of the dogs were able to walk with the aid of a harness.

Professor Robin Franklin of the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute told The Times: “The principle is, we take these cells from one location where they get nerve fibers to grow, and take them to a location where nerve fibers don’t usually grow.”

“We’re confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries… but it’s not the magic bullet that’s going to solve spinal cord injury,” says Franklin. ·

Whether this will bridge between damaged and undamaged parts of the spine will work in humans is still unknown. But the success of the experiment does give some hope to people with spinal injuries.

Apple doesn’t deserve your money

If you invest in individual stocks  you will likely, or should, be steering clear of Apple (AAPL).

Apple shares are now more than 25% off their September levels, but the question long term investors should ask is why? Is it because Mr. Jobs passed  and the new leadership is unable to innovate? The answer is an unequivocal “YES.”

Where are the really new products?

So far Apple has offered a smaller version of the iPad and an iPhone with a slightly bigger screen. These are not the game-changing technological leaps that we are used to from the technology company.

As if to put an exclamation mark on the the idea, Samsung has unleashed a series of effective adds showing the iPerson faithful standing in line for a device that does no more than to move the headphone jack to another side of their signature device.

Apple continues to offer devices that are unfriendly to those needing productivity while Andoid and Microsft put out portable devices intended for the working community.

The Microsoft “Surface” comes with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office built into the device and Android has google docs. Apple has cool apps – the same cool apps that work on everything they’ve ever had.

Apple is failing to innovate while Samsung and Microsoft find better uses for mobile technology. Investing in a company that can only make smaller or larger versions  of their existing technology is illogical. Apple is no longer the cool new thing.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »