Highway Art as Environment

Take a drive down any interstate in the United States and what will you see? Billboards, dozens and dozens of billboards. Not only do the advertisements distract commuters, they block stunning scenes of natural landscapes. For these reasons, artist Jennifer Bolande painted surreal landscapes on a collection of billboards that blend into their backgrounds. 

The billboards were installed along the Gene Autry Trail in the sunny state of California. From the right vantage point, commuters could see larger-than-life photographs blend into their majestic backgrounds. 

The project, Visible Distance / Second Sight, was created by Bolande for part of Desert X. The outdoor exhibition of art exhibitions and site-specific work took place across the Coachella Valley between Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

Explains the DesertX project page:

“Each photograph is unique to its position along this route and at a certain point as one approaches each billboard, perfect alignment with the horizon will occur thus reconnecting the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted.

In the language of billboard advertising this kind of reading is referred to as a Burma-Shave after the shaving cream company of the same name who used sequential placement to create messaging that could be read only from a moving vehicle.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

Within the desert empire of roadside signs, Bolande chooses to advertise the very thing so often overlooked. Looking up at the billboards our attention is drawn back to the landscape itself, pictured here as a stuttering kinesthetic of real and artificial horizons.”

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

A major objective of Desert X was to raise awareness about global and local issues, ranging from climate change to starry skies, to immigration and tourism to gaming and golf.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

from:    https://themindunleashed.com/2018/03/artist-replaces-billboards-with-photos-of-the-landscapes-theyre-blocking.html

Where Has Your Privacy Gone?

The US Government Just Destroyed Our Privacy While Nobody Was Paying Attention

(ANTIMEDIA) — While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

  • Enable foreign police to collect and wiretap people’s communications from U.S. companies, without obtaining a U.S. warrant.
  • Allow foreign nations to demand personal data stored in the United States, without prior review by a judge.
  • Allow the U.S. president to enter “executive agreements” that empower police in foreign nations that have weaker privacy laws than the United States to seize data in the United States while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.
  • Allow foreign police to collect someone’s data without notifying them about it.
  • Empower U.S. police to grab any data, regardless if it’s a U.S. person’s or not, no matter where it is stored.

The bill is an update to the current MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty), the current framework for sharing internet user data between countries, which both legislators and tech companies have criticized as inefficient.

Some tech companies, like Microsoft, have endorsed the new CLOUD policy. Brad Smith, the company’s president and chief legal officer, called it  “a strong statute and a good compromise,” that “gives tech companies like Microsoft the ability to stand up for the privacy rights of our customers around the world.”

They echoed the sentiment of lawmakers like Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In February, he said of the bill:

“The CLOUD Act bridges the divide that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the tech sector by giving law enforcement the tools it needs to access data throughout the world while at the same time creating a commonsense framework to encourage international cooperation to resolve conflicts of law.”

But one of the biggest complaints from privacy advocates, however, it that the new legislation places too much unmitigated power in the hands of governments with abysmal human rights records while also giving too much discretion to the U.S. government’s executive branch. Noting that the executive branch will decide which countries are human rights compliant and that those countries will then be able to engage in data collection and wiretaps without any further restrictions or oversight, the ACLU warned:

Flip through Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch’s recent annual reports, and you can find a dizzying array of countries that have ratified major human rights treaties and reflect those obligations in their domestic laws but, in fact, have arrested, tortured and killed people in retaliation for their activism or due to their identity.”

The organization pointed out that no human rights organizations have endorsed the CLOUD Act, adding that “in the case of countries certified by the executive branch, the CLOUD Act would not require the U.S. government to scrutinize data requests by the foreign governments — indeed, the bill would not even require notifying the U.S. government or a user regarding a request.”

Further, the ACLU says, if a foreign government’s human rights record deteriorates, there is no mechanism to revoke its access to data. Considering the U.S.’ existing record on supporting regimes that severely restrict basic rights like freedom of expression, the expanded access the CLOUD Act provides is undoubtedly worrisome.

Also predictable is the government’s stale justification for expanding its power. As the CLOUD Act claims, it is purportedly to “protect public safety and combat serious crime, including terrorism” — even if it further empowers governments that support and commit said terrorism.

In an age where the government already engages in mass surveillance and is eager to disable the people’s efforts to protect their privacy through encryption technology, it is unsurprising, albeit dangerous, that Congress continues to encroach on what little is left of safeguards against unwarranted intrusions.

from:    http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

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Does Your Opinion Matter?

Got Gold? Got Silver? in AZ

Banksters

ARIZONA LEGALIZES GOLD AND SILVER AS CURRENCY

Yesterday, you’ll recall, I blogged about my high octane speculation, or perhaps one might even call it a high octane suspicion, that the human trafficking scandals that have erupted in almost every country of the west and which have spilled over into other countries, might be a large component of what I have been calling a hidden system of finance. And as China, Russia, and other nations of the BRICSA bloc have been buying up bullion, and negotiated bi-lateral currency and trading agreements, something else has been happening, quietly, and far from the attentions of the lamestream presstitutes of the corporate controlled globaloney media. And no, I’m not talking about the efforts of Germany or other countries to repatriate, and get an accurate audit, of their gold reserves on deposit in foreign central banks.

I’m talking about the quiet “revolt of the states” taking place in the USSA.

The Empire of the United States is in a bit of an economic quandry, for it doesn’t make much that other people want to buy any more. Agriculture remains one of the USSA’s primary non-military exports, but much of that food supply is now tainted with GMO products, and the growing revolt against them around the world might conceivably dent that in the future. Other than this, America doesn’t export much that other people want to buy. If one has a few billion dollars of pocket change laying around, then one might want to buy an aircraft carrier, but increasingly, with new and much less expensive Russian missile technologies about to come into operational use, these big behemoths might end up being nothing but “missile magnets,” as a US Navy friend of mine put it to me once during a recent conversation. Tanks? Well, Germany has an equivalent one, so why feed your hard earned defense dollars to the American beast when you can feed it to the smaller German beast? And for that matter, Russia has a better tank than either the USSA or Germany. They probably aren’t selling, but at least you can try.

What about energy? Natural gas and such? Well, the USSA’s sanctions game with Russia has as its unstated and hidden goal the sale of energy to Europe, a nice way to keep those pesky Frenchmen and Germans under the American thumb. The problem there is, it’s more expensive than getting it from Russia, and the Germans are, understandably, not too happy about that. Even Frau Merkel woke up from her multicultural slumber long enough to tell her lackey, Mr. Junker, to express some profound displeasure. Go back to sleep now, Angela. All is well, Europe continues to crumble.

Aircraft? Well, sure, for a few tens of millions, one might want to buy an F-35. Trouble is, its performance is far below what was touted making it an expensive waste. How about a very expensive Aegis class missile frigate? The problem there is, obsolescent Russian Sukhoi fighters appear to be able to turn them off, completely. What about a nice Patriot anti-missile system? The problem there is, the new class of Russian ICBMs can defeat it, since they can change flight paths even in the descent stage, as can their 24 MIRVed warheads. But fortunately, the never-to-be-trusted-always-Byzantinely-scheming-Russians aren’t selling that on the open market. (“Park it in my back yard, guys. Thanks!”)

As all this is happening, I recently blogged about the Pentagram study that acknowledged that, yes, since 9/11, everyone in the world has pretty much had it with the USSA’s unipolarism. Their solution? Double down: more arms, more militarization of the American economy, and, of course, more surveillance of Americans.

Perhaps the Pentagram’s study was motivated by the growing revolt of American states against the cultural and political swamp of psychopathy that Washington, District of Cesspool, has become. It’s a story we’ve covered here before: more and more state legislatures are passing resolutions recognizing bullion as legal Constitutional tender. Texas took an even bigger, bolder step, by creating a state bullion depository, a move which was followed by discussions of similar measures in Utah.

Now, Arizona joins, according to this article shared by Mr. B.H. (copy and paste into your browser):

The backing of the USSA’s Federal Reserve notes is, of course, nothing but American military power. And if that military power is increasingly looking like a “risky” investment to foreign nations, then the dollar’s days as a reserve currency are numbered. And some American states are seeing this, and acting. Hence, the Pentagram’s recent study might be casting a nervous glance, not on foreign violence, or even random domestic violence, but at the growing movement of quiet revolt in the states themselves.

… it makes one think, just for a moment, that it was a shame General Beauregard didn’t march into Washington, as some of his subordinate commanders urged him to do after the First Battle of Bull Run, but in any case, with all the new and abhorrent human trafficking going on, one wonders if, in fact, the South really did win…

See you on the flip side…

from:    https://gizadeathstar.com/2017/08/arizona-legalizes-gold-silver-currency/

Monsanto Pushes to Remove Negative Studies

Study of toxic effects on rats by Roundup

Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.

The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.

Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.

In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”

Saltmiras further writes of how “Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”

Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes: “I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”

In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”

Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs.

Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens: “There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”

Another example of Monsanto trying to cover up its involvement in the retraction campaign emerges from email correspondence between Monsanto employees Daniel Goldstein and Eric Sachs. Goldstein states: “I was uncomfortable even letting shareholders know we are aware of this LTE [GMW: probably “Letter to the Editor”]…. It implies we had something to do with it – otherwise how do we have knowledge of it? I could add ‘Aware of multiple letters to editor including one signed by 25 scientists from 14 countries’ if you both think this is OK.” Sachs responds: “We are ‘connected’ but did not write the letter or encourage anyone to sign it.”

A. Wallace Hayes was paid by Monsanto

The most shocking revelation of the disclosed documents is that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, entered into a consulting agreement with Monsanto in the period just before Hayes’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini study. Clearly Hayes had a conflict of interest between his role as a consultant for Monsanto and his role as editor for a journal that retracted a study determining that glyphosate has toxic effects. The study was published on 19 September 2012; the consulting agreement between Hayes and Monsanto was dated 21 August 2012 and Hayes is contracted to provide his services beginning 7 September 2012.

The documents also reveal that Monsanto paid Hayes $400 per hour for his services and that in return Hayes was expected to “Assist in establishment of an expert network of toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists in South America and participate on the initial meeting held within the region. Preparation and delivery of a seminar addressing relevant regional issues pertaining to glyphosate toxicology is a key deliverable for the inaugural meeting in 2013.”

Hayes should have recused himself from any involvement with the Séralini study from the time he signed this agreement. But he kept quiet. He went on to oversee a second “review” of the study by unnamed persons whose conflicts of interest, if any, were not declared – resulting in his decision to retract the study for the unprecedented reason that some of the results were “inconclusive”.

Hayes told the New York Times’s Danny Hakim in an interview that he had not been under contract with Monsanto at the time of the retraction and was paid only after he left the journal. He added that “Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract.” But since it took the journal over a year to retract the study after the months-long second review, which Hayes oversaw, it’s clear that he had an undisclosed conflict of interest from the time he entered into the contract with Monsanto and during the review process. He appears to be misleading the New York Times.

The timing of the contract also begs the question as to whether Monsanto knew the publication of the study was coming. If so, they may have been happy to initiate such a relationship with Hayes at just that time.

A Monsanto internal email confirms the company’s intimate relationship with Hayes. Saltmiras writes about the recently published Séralini study: “Wally Hayes, now FCT Editor in Chief for Vision and Strategy, sent me a courtesy email early this morning. Hopefully the two of us will have a follow up discussion soon to touch on whether FCT Vision and Strategy were front and center for this one passing through the peer review process.”

In other email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel, Daniel Goldstein writes the following with respect to the Séralini study: “Retraction – Both Dan Jenkins (US Government affairs) and Harvey Glick made a strong case for withdrawal of the paper if at all possible, both on the same basis – that publication will elevate the status of the paper, bring other papers in the journal into question, and allow Séralini much more freedom to operate. All of us are aware that the ultimate decision is up to the editor and the journal management, and that we may not have an opportunity for withdrawal in any event, but I felt it was worth reinforcing this request.”

Monsanto got its way, though the paper was subsequently republished by another journal with higher principles – and, presumably, with an editorial board that wasn’t under contract with Monsanto.

Why Monsanto had to kill the Séralini study

It’s obvious that it was in Monsanto’s interests to kill the Séralini study. The immediate reason was that it reported harmful effects from low doses of Roundup and a GM maize engineered to tolerate it. But the wider reason that emerges from the documents is that to admit that the study had any validity whatsoever would be to open the doors for regulators and others to demand other long-term studies on GM crops and their associated pesticides.

A related danger for Monsanto, pointed out by Goldstein, is that “a third party may procure funding to verify Séralini’s claims, either through a government agency or the anti-GMO/antl-pesticide financiers”.

The documents show that Monsanto held a number of international teleconferences to discuss how to pre-empt such hugely threatening developments.

Summing up the points from the teleconferences, Daniel Goldstein writes that “unfortunately”, three “potential issues regarding long term studies have now come up and will need some consideration and probably a white paper of some type (either internal or external)”. These are potential demands for
•    2 year rat/long-term cancer (and possibly reproductive toxicity) on GM crops
•    2 year/chronic studies on pesticide formulations, in addition to the studies on the active ingredient alone that are currently demanded by regulators, and
•    2 year rat/chronic studies of pesticide formulations on the GM crop.

In reply to the first point, Goldstein writes that the Séralini study “found nothing other than the usual variation in SD [Sprague-Dawley] rats, and as such there is no reason to question the recent EFSA guidance that such studies were not needed for substantially equivalent crops”. GMWatch readers will not be surprised to see Monsanto gaining support from EFSA in its opposition to carrying out long-term studies on GMOs.

In answer to the second point, Goldstein reiterates that the Séralini study “actually finds nothing – so there is no need to draw any conclusions from it – but the theoretical issue has been placed on the table. We need to be prepared with a well considered response.”

In answer to the third point, Goldstein ignores the radical nature of genetic engineering and argues pragmatically, if not scientifically, “This approach would suggest that the same issue arises for conventional crops and that every individual formulation would need a chronic study over every crop (at a minimum) and probably every variety of crop (since we know they have more genetic variation than GM vs conventional congener) and raises the possibility of an almost limitless number of tests.” But he adds, “We also need a coherent argument for this issue.”

EU regulators side with Monsanto

To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing awaywith even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.

Apology required

A. Wallace Hayes is no longer the editor-in-chief of FCT but is named as an “emeritus editor”. Likewise, Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who was parachuted onto the journal’s editorial board shortly after the publication of the Séralini study, is no longer at the journal.

But although they are sidelined or gone, their legacy lives on in the form of a gap in the history of the journal where Séralini’s paper belongs.

Now that Monsanto’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini paper is out in the open, FCT and Hayes should do the decent thing and issue a formal apology to Prof Séralini and his team. FCT cannot and should not reinstate the paper, because it is now published by another journal. But it needs to draw a line under this shameful episode, admit that it handled it badly, and declare its support for scientific independence and objectivity.

from:    http://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/17764-uncovered-monsanto-campaign-to-get-seralini-study-retracted

Looking for a Job?

Want to save the Earth? NASA posts job ad for ‘planetary protection officer’ (and it comes with a $187,000 salary)

  • NASA job opening is offering $124,406 to $187,000 yearly salary for 3-5 yr job
  • The space agency will be accepting applications for the position until Aug 14
  • This officer works to ensure no contaminants are brought to space, or back

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa.

Between NASA and ESA, there are just two full-time Planetary Protection Officers in the world – and now, NASA is hiring for the position.

The space agency is offering up to $187,000 salary for whoever is selected to fill the sole vacancy, and will be accepting applications until August 14.

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa

THE QUALIFICATIONS

To be eligible for the position of Planetary Protection Officer, candidates must:

  • Have at least 1 year of ‘broad engineering expertise’ in a top level civilian government position
  • Be a ‘recognized subject matter expert,’ with advanced knowledge of planetary protection, and demonstrate experience ‘planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance’
  • Possess ‘demonstrated skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions’
  • Have a degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics, or a combination of education and experience equivalent to such a degree

Currently, the title belongs to Catharine Conley, who has been NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer since 2014, Business Insider reports.

According to the job opening, which is offering $124,406 to $187,000 salary, the position is initially appointed for 3 years and has potential to extend another 2.

Whoever is chosen will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions.

These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination.

‘Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,’ the inquiry explains.

‘NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.’

According to Business Insider, the PPO stems from the US ratification of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

This states that space missions must have less than 1-in-10,000 chance of contaminating the planetary bodies being explored.

The job requires frequent travel, as the PPO may have to examine instruments and gear ahead of launches.

Whoever is chosen as Planetary Protection Officer will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions. These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination

Whoever is chosen as Planetary Protection Officer will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions. These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4751608/NASA-posts-job-ad-planetary-protection-officer.html#ixzz4ocBQT2AF
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How Secure is your Chrysler Vehicle?

HACKERS REMOTELY KILL A JEEP ON THE HIGHWAY—WITH ME IN IT

I WAS DRIVING 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.

Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.

As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car’s digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought.

The Jeep’s strange behavior wasn’t entirely unexpected. I’d come to St. Louis to be Miller and Valasek’s digital crash-test dummy, a willing subject on whom they could test the car-hacking research they’d been doing over the past year. The result of their work was a hacking technique—what the security industry calls a zero-day exploit—that can target Jeep Cherokees and give the attacker wireless control, via the Internet, to any of thousands of vehicles. Their code is an automaker’s nightmare: software that lets hackers send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system to its dashboard functions, steering, brakes, and transmission, all from a laptop that may be across the country.

To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while it’s being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Miller’s laptop in his house 10 miles west. Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldn’t do anything life-threatening. Then they told me to drive the Jeep onto the highway. “Remember, Andy,” Miller had said through my iPhone’s speaker just before I pulled onto the Interstate 64 on-ramp, “no matter what happens, don’t panic.”1

Charlie Miller, left, a security researcher at Twitter, and Chris Valasek, director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, have exposed the security vulnerabilities in automobiles by hacking into cars remotely, controlling the cars’ various controls from the radio volume to the brakes. Photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Ladue, Mo. (Photo © Whitney Curtis for WIRED.com)
WHITNEY CURTIS FOR WIRED

As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.

Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.

At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.

“You’re doomed!” Valasek shouted, but I couldn’t make out his heckling over the blast of the radio, now pumping Kanye West. The semi loomed in the mirror, bearing down on my immobilized Jeep

I followed Miller’s advice: I didn’t panic. I did, however, drop any semblance of bravery, grab my iPhone with a clammy fist, and beg the hackers to make it stop.

Wireless Carjackers

This wasn’t the first time Miller and Valasek had put me behind the wheel of a compromised car. In the summer of 2013, I drove a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius around a South Bend, Indiana, parking lot while they sat in the backseat with their laptops, cackling as they disabled my brakes, honked the horn, jerked the seat belt, and commandeered the steering wheel. “When you lose faith that a car will do what you tell it to do,” Miller observed at the time, “it really changes your whole view of how the thing works.” Back then, however, their hacks had a comforting limitation: The attacker’s PC had been wired into the vehicles’ onboard diagnostic port, a feature that normally gives repair technicians access to information about the car’s electronically controlled systems.

A mere two years later, that carjacking has gone wireless. Miller and Valasek plan to publish a portion of their exploit on the Internet, timed to a talk they’re giving at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month. It’s the latest in a series of revelations from the two hackers that have spooked the automotive industry and even helped to inspire legislation; WIRED has learned that senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal plan to introduce an automotive security bill today to set new digital security standards for cars and trucks, first sparked when Markey took note of Miller and Valasek’s work in 2013.

As an auto-hacking antidote, the bill couldn’t be timelier. The attack tools Miller and Valasek developed can remotely trigger more than the dashboard and transmission tricks they used against me on the highway. They demonstrated as much on the same day as my traumatic experience on I-64; After narrowly averting death by semi-trailer, I managed to roll the lame Jeep down an exit ramp, re-engaged the transmission by turning the ignition off and on, and found an empty lot where I could safely continue the experiment.

Miller and Valasek’s full arsenal includes functions that at lower speeds fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, or disable them altogether. The most disturbing maneuver came when they cut the Jeep’s brakes, leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the 2-ton SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch. The researchers say they’re working on perfecting their steering control—for now they can only hijack the wheel when the Jeep is in reverse. Their hack enables surveillance too: They can track a targeted Jeep’s GPS coordinates, measure its speed, and even drop pins on a map to trace its route.

ANDY GREENBERG/WIRED

All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone. Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs, and trucks, controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot. And thanks to one vulnerable element, which Miller and Valasek won’t identify until their Black Hat talk, Uconnect’s cellular connection also lets anyone who knows the car’s IP address gain access from anywhere in the country. “From an attacker’s perspective, it’s a super nice vulnerability,” Miller says.

From that entry point, Miller and Valasek’s attack pivots to an adjacent chip in the car’s head unit—the hardware for its entertainment system—silently rewriting the chip’s firmware to plant their code. That rewritten firmware is capable of sending commands through the car’s internal computer network, known as a CAN bus, to its physical components like the engine and wheels. Miller and Valasek say the attack on the entertainment system seems to work on any Chrysler vehicle with Uconnect from late 2013, all of 2014, and early 2015. They’ve only tested their full set of physical hacks, including ones targeting transmission and braking systems, on a Jeep Cherokee, though they believe that most of their attacks could be tweaked to work on any Chrysler vehicle with the vulnerable Uconnect head unit. They have yet to try remotely hacking into other makes and models of cars.

After the researchers reveal the details of their work in Vegas, only two things will prevent their tool from enabling a wave of attacks on Jeeps around the world. First, they plan to leave out the part of the attack that rewrites the chip’s firmware; hackers following in their footsteps will have to reverse-engineer that element, a process that took Miller and Valasek months. But the code they publish will enable many of the dashboard hijinks they demonstrated on me as well as GPS tracking.

Second, Miller and Valasek have been sharing their research with Chrysler for nearly nine months, enabling the company to quietly release a patch ahead of the Black Hat conference. On July 16, owners of vehicles with the Uconnect feature were notified of the patch in a post on Chrysler’s websitethat didn’t offer any details or acknowledge Miller and Valasek’s research. “[Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] has a program in place to continuously test vehicles systems to identify vulnerabilities and develop solutions,” reads a statement a Chrysler spokesperson sent to WIRED. “FCA is committed to providing customers with the latest software updates to secure vehicles against any potential vulnerability.”

If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone.

CHARLIE MILLER

Unfortunately, Chrysler’s patch must be manually implemented via a USB stick or by a dealership mechanic. (Download the update here.) That means many—if not most—of the vulnerable Jeeps will likely stay vulnerable.

Chrysler stated in a response to questions from WIRED that it “appreciates” Miller and Valasek’s work. But the company also seemed leery of their decision to publish part of their exploit. “Under no circumstances does FCA condone or believe it’s appropriate to disclose ‘how-to information’ that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems,” the company’s statement reads. “We appreciate the contributions of cybersecurity advocates to augment the industry’s understanding of potential vulnerabilities. However, we caution advocates that in the pursuit of improved public safety they not, in fact, compromise public safety.”

The two researchers say that even if their code makes it easier for malicious hackers to attack unpatched Jeeps, the release is nonetheless warranted because it allows their work to be proven through peer review. It also sends a message: Automakers need to be held accountable for their vehicles’ digital security. “If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers,” Miller says. “This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone.”

In fact, Miller and Valasek aren’t the first to hack a car over the Internet. In 2011 a team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego showed that they could wirelessly disable the locks and brakes on a sedan. But those academics took a more discreet approach, keeping the identity of the hacked car secret and sharing the details of the exploit only with carmakers.

Miller and Valasek represent the second act in a good-cop/bad-cop routine. Carmakers who failed to heed polite warnings in 2011 now face the possibility of a public dump of their vehicles’ security flaws. The result could be product recalls or even civil suits, says UCSD computer science professor Stefan Savage, who worked on the 2011 study. “Imagine going up against a class-action lawyer after Anonymous decides it would be fun to brick all the Jeep Cherokees in California,” Savage says.2

For the auto industry and its watchdogs, in other words, Miller and Valasek’s release may be the last warning before they see a full-blown zero-day attack. “The regulators and the industry can no longer count on the idea that exploit code won’t be in the wild,” Savage says. “They’ve been thinking it wasn’t an imminent danger you needed to deal with. That implicit assumption is now dead.”

471,000 Hackable Automobiles

for the rest of the article, go to the link below:

from:    https://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

Goin’ Gangam & Plague

How memes take over the world: Study finds viral content spreads ‘just like bubonic plague’

  • Researchers studied the spread of Psy’s globally popular ‘Gangnam Style’ video
  • They found it the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages
  • This ‘wavelike’ pattern vanished in the 20th century buthas returned with memes

Viral content such as memes, songs, tweets, and videos really are the modern day plague.

A team of researchers who set out to learn how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages.

The team from Eotvos University in Budapest discovered that, like the the plague, memes begin at a specific place and time, and because they transfer person-to-person, follow a ‘wavelike spreading pattern.’

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Geo-locations of Twitter messages containing ‘Gangnam Style' showed how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages

Geo-locations of Twitter messages containing ‘Gangnam Style’ showed how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages

This wavelike form of spreading seemingly vanished in the 20th century when air travel suddenly allowed diseases to jump continents – but the researchers say internet content is the modern day example of epidemics like the Black Death, which traveled across Europe at about two kilometers a day killing between 35 and 200 million.

‘Our assumption is that only those online viral phenomena can show similarities to global pandemics that were originally constrained to a well localized, limited region and then, after an outbreak period reached a worldwide level of penetration, the researchers wrote in their paper, titled ‘Video Pandemics: Worldwide Viral Spreading of Psy’s Gangnam Style Video.’

HOW PSY WENT VIRAL

Psy released the video in South Korea on July 15, 2012.

Prior, he was relatively unknown outside of the country.

‘Gangnam Style’ was the first video in internet history to reach 1 million views.

It was also the first to reach 2 million views and, at one point, was the most liked video on YouTube.

It was the first k-pop song to top the UK charts.

It now ranks second in YouTube views after Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See you Again.’

 The example lead researcher Zsofia Kallus and his colleagues looked to was Psy’s famed ‘Gangam Style,’ the 2012 k-pop video that organically spread across the globe and eventually became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. (Today it has nearly three million).
This wavelike form of spreading seemingly vanished in the 20th century  - but the researchers say internet content is the modern day example of epidemics like the Black Death, which traveled across Europe at about two kilometers a day killing between 35 and 200 million

The spread of information is distorted by social media networks, which raises the question of whether it is really wavelike or fundamentally different – so to solve the mystery, they tracked the spread of the video by searching the historical Twitter stream for geolocated tweets that mention ‘Gangnam Style.’

‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads.

‘In the real space this process looks indeed random, but the ‘local to global’ transition is also apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory.’

The data shows that after immediately becoming popular in Psy’s home country of South Korea, the video spread nearby to the Philippines.

The spread thereafter looks random, but that’s because ‘effectiveness distance’ – or the strength of links from one area to another – is they key factor rather than ‘geographic distance’.

'Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,' the paper reads, saying the seemingly random 'local to global' transition becomes apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory

‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads, saying the seemingly random ‘local to global’ transition becomes apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory

When 'Gangnam Style' hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links

When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links

When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links.

When the team crosschecked their results by searching Google Trends to see when people first searched for the term ‘Gangnam Style’  in different parts of the world., the results matched the Twitter finds exactly.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4740482/Memes-spreading-just-like-bubonic-plague.html#ixzz4o9gDJwTD
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Come Together! Bigger Fish!

5 ISSUES TO UNIFY US IN THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER ERA OF TRUMP

June 23, 2017

Phillip SchneiderStaff Writer
Waking Times

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in awareness like never seen before. Worldviews have shifted dramatically and key issues have come into the spotlight which would have never met such a great audience just a decade ago, such as sustainable agriculture, contaminants in vaccines and in the water supply, and mass surveillance. Many people have abandoned the idea of partisan politics and the media which supports it. Thanks to the internet a people’s media emerged and started to clear the air of the lies and deceptions that the old media had been plagued with.

However, as this last election came to a close, the perspective shifted and took us a few paces backwards in many respects. Incidentally, the focus was placed on Trump rather than the issues which were being fought so hard throughout the Obama and Bush administrations. Once again, the debate has become about the integrity of those in power instead of actual real world issues that affect everyone.

Whatever you believe Trump’s motives are, it’s important that we don’t get so caught up in arguing over something we have no control over that progress made on real issues is lost. What the country needs right now is a massive healing, and I think the best way of doing that is to learn how to set minor differences aside and work together to solve our problems, instead of looking to government to solve them for us.

Whether you’re left, right, something in between or nothing at all, you can always become more informed and act to make a difference in the world we live in. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 problems which desperately need fixing and can be solved without government if enough people work together to achieve a solution.

1. Peak Oil Threatens Energy Security and Self Sufficiency

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the world’s supply of liquid oils such as petroleum can only meet our needs until around the year 2040. If this is to be believed, it should be concerning to anyone who plans on living for more than 20 years or so into the future. In addition to the fuel we need to power our cars, everything from credit cards, house paints, cameras, and more are created using petroleum.

However, this could all be a blessing in disguise if it urges us to move toward alternative forms of energy such as solar, hydro, or even more exotic technologies which are still in their infancy. If people worked together to bring these renewable energy sources into their communities, not only would we increase our independence from big oil, but individuals would be much more self-sufficient and prosperous.

“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”  – Nikola Tesla

2. Big Agriculture Seeks To Undermine Our Health And Food Sovereignty

It’s no secret that corporations like Monsanto are poisoning our bodies, but the switch to mass-produced, agrochemical dependent agriculture and genetically modified foods has been a slow disaster for the environment and our health, it also threatens our food sovereignty.

Many people are unaware that Monsanto, the company which produces several chemical pesticides and herbicides, such as Round-Up, and engineers most corn and soy produced in the U.S., also has an extensive century-long history of corruption. From mass-producing the worlds first toxic chemical sweetener known as saccharin, to hiding the evidence of PCB toxicity, there legacy is disturbing.

Unfortunately, instead of being held accountable, they’ve been granted the power to genetically engineer crops and place patents on the transformed genomes, effectively restricting anyone from growing genetically modified crops themselves without first obtaining a license.

Consequently, through a combination of cross-pollination, crops which don’t produce seeds, pollinators dying off and more, Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations are creating a monopoly over food production making it increasingly tough to grow even a simple garden without obtaining a license first, all the while forcing us to eat food which has been heavily doused with toxic chemicals.

But none of this has to be. If people come together to reject GMO’s while defending local and organic agriculture, we can retain food sovereignty, strengthen relationships through community gardening, and eliminate many toxins which are causing so much death and disease.

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” – Henry Kissinger

3. The Federal Reserve Has Unlimited and Unchecked Power to Print Money

Something most people don’t want to think about is the fact that the Federal Reserve bank of the United States, a private bank which came into being through a collaboration of powerful business interests, including the Rockefeller and Morgan empires, has unlimited power to print money, unaudited.

Using this power, in conjunction with the ability to lower or raise interest rates at will, the bankers at the Federal Reserve are in a powerful position over the government of the United States. By using a system of debt-based currency, the central bankers are able to create an economy which ultimately directs real wealth back to them while leaving the people with less than a fraction of what they’ve earned.

This system of fiat currency inevitably ends in a collapse of the money supply because of a need for ever-increasing levels of the currency to pay off the debt attached to each dollar printed. Our founding fathers understood this, but in 1913, the same year the Federal Reserve was created, the constitution was amended to allow for the printing of debt-based fiat currency.

Learning about this issue and spreading awareness can help oust the bankers by garnering support for movements against the central banks like the Audit The Fed bill introduced several times by Senator Rand Paul and former Congressman Ron Paul. The following films offer a more in depth look at this issue: The Collapse Of The American Dream (an animation on the creation of the federal reserve) and The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind.

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

4. Corrupt Politicians Are Making It Illegal To Feel The Homeless – Demanding Dependency on Government And Outlawing Compassion

If you haven’t heard about this yet then you may or may not be surprised at the lack of compassion that plagues the government. In many major cities around the country it has become a crime to feed the homeless. As reported by EconomicCollapseBlog.com, cities such as Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York have all outlawed basic human decency

Not only that, but at the time these laws were passed the amount of Americans on food stamps was at an all-time high. It seems the government would rather demand dependence, having you turn to them for food instead of taking it from well-meaning people in your community. Michael Snyder lays it out when he says, “Do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow-man?”

“When elites see a homeless person in the gutter, they assume he’s saving a parking place.” – P. J. O’Rourke

5. Just 6 Companies Control 90% of What We See and Hear in the Media

By now most are aware that almost all major media outlets are owned by a handful of corporate conglomerates. The current number is 6, but several of these parent companies have been attempting to merge which could reduce the number to three or four in time. Currently Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp along with the Wall Street Journal; MSNBC is owned by Comcast along with NBC and so on. Outlets like PBS and NPR are funded partially by the government itself and partially by people like Bill Gates.

This is why you will never see an unbiased view on issues like taxation or vaccines from places like these. Just spend five minutes watching the commercials on mainstream news shows and you’re bound to see ads for pharmaceutical/vaccine companies, GMO food brands, weapons manufacturers, and more.

At some point you have to come to terms with the fact that the majority of what you see and hear ultimately comes from just a few sources – maybe even one. Now, no reasonable person would think that they have anything resembling an impartial view by only listening to one or two sources of information and perspective all the time. That only leaves you with what one group wants you to know. The only way to reasonably understand something is to seek out information that you don’t already agree with and be open-minded about it. You won’t agree with everything you hear, but at least you’ll be listening to as many sides of the story as possible before making up your mind.

The best way to combat this issue is to support the independent media. The most likely place that you’re going to find truthful information on a consistent basis is not from big name news companies like Fox News or the New York Times, but from smaller media outlets with a strong code of ethics which are willing to diverge from the status quo.

Conclusion

Clearly being engulfed in partisan politics is not getting us anywhere. We’re going to have to start listening to each other again and break the political molds in order the start caring about real issues again.

“While we continue to argue over smoke and mirrors, reality works its magic.” – Unknown

About the author

Phillip Schneider is a student and a staff writer for Waking Times.

This article (5 Issues to Unify Us in the Divide and Conquer Era of Trump) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

from:    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/23/5-issues-unify-us-divide-conquer-era-trump/

On Retrocausality

Article Image
credit: Pixabay

Quantum physics has spawned its share of strange ideas and hard-to-grasp concepts – from Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” to the adventures of Shroedinger’s cat. Now a new study lends support to another mind-bender – the idea of retrocausality, which basically proposes that the future can influence the past and the effect, in essence, happens before the cause.

At this point, retrocausality does not mean that you get to send signals from the future to the past – rather that an experimenter’s measurement of a particle can influence2 the properties of that particle in the past, even before making their choice.

The new paper argues that retrocausality could be a part of quantum theory. The scientists expound on the more traditionally accepted concept of time symmetry and show that if that is true, then so should be retrocausality. Time symmetry says that physical processes can run forward and backwards in time while being subject to the same physical laws.

The scientists describe an experiment where time symmetry would require processes to have the same probabilities, whether they go backwards or forward in time. But that would cause a contradiction if there was no retrocausality, as it requires these processes to have different probabilities. What the paper shows is that you can’t have both concepts be true at the same time.

Eliminating time symmetry would also get rid of some other sticky problems of quantum physics, like Einstein’s discomfort with entanglement which he described as “spooky action at a distance.” He saw challenges to quantum theory in the idea that entangled or connected particles could instantly affect each other even at large distances. In fact, accepting retrocausality could allow for a reinterpretation of Bell tests that were used to show evidence of “spooky action”. Instead, the tests could be supporting retrocausailty.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, was authored by Matthew S. Leifer at Chapman University in California and Matthew F. Pusey at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. The scientists hope their work can lead towards a fuller understanding of quantum theory.

“The reason I think that retrocausality is worth investigating is that we now have a slew of no-go results about realist interpretations of quantum theory, including Bell’s theorem, Kochen-Specker, and recent proofs of the reality of the quantum state,” said Leifer to Phys.org. “These say that any interpretation that fits into the standard framework for realist interpretations must have features that I would regard as undesirable. Therefore, the only options seem to be to abandon realism or to break out of the standard realist framework.”

Are we going to have time travel as a result of this? In one idea proposed by Richard Feynman, existence of retrocausality could mean that positrons, antimatter counterparts of electrons, would move backwards in time so that they could have a positive charge. If this was proven to be true, time travel could involve simply changing the direction of moving particles in the single dimension of time.

Leifer doesn’t go as far as time travel in his explanation, but speculates that if retrocausality does exist in the universe, then there could be evidence of it in the cosmological data, saying that “there are certain eras, perhaps near the big bang, in which there is not a definite arrow of causality.”

Is this idea ready for the big time? It is supported by Huw Price, a philosophy professor at the University of Cambridge who focuses on the physics of time and is a leading advocate of retrocausality. Leifer and Pusey are taking things in stride, however, realizing that much more work needs to be done.

“There is not, to my knowledge, a generally agreed upon interpretation of quantum theory that recovers the whole theory and exploits this idea. It is more of an idea for an interpretation at the moment, so I think that other physicists are rightly skeptical, and the onus is on us to flesh out the idea,” said Leifer.

There are no experiments underway by the physicists to test their theory, but they hope this work will question the assumptions of quantum mechanics and lead to new discoveries down the line.

You can read the study here.

from:    http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/a-new-quantum-theory-predicts-that-the-future-could-be-influencing-the-past