Google DeepMind’s Dodgy NHS deals were investigated — but tough questions avoided

from Business Insider

An independent review panel has raised a number of concerns about how Google DeepMind is working with the National Health Service (NHS) in a report published on Wednesday.

Artificial Intelligence subsidiary DeepMind tasked the panel with scrutinising its NHS partnerships after New Scientist revealed that the company had quietly been given access to 1.6 million patient records to develop a kidney monitoring app called Streams without their prior knowledge.

The unpaid panel includes ex-Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, The Co-Operative Group’s current chief digital officer Mike Bracken, venture capital investor Eileen Burbidge, and six other members.

The panel’s 22-page report, which cost DeepMind £59,315, raised concerns about subjects including:

  • The lack of clarity in the original information sharing agreement (ISA) with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • 11 “minor” vulnerabilities that were found across the app, the API (application programming interface), and the servers in DeepMind’s data centre
  • And the lack of work on public engagement, particularly in relation to the links between DeepMind Health and Google.

While there were criticisms, the report — published two days after the UK data watchdog ruled that DeepMind’s first deal with the NHS was illegal — also commends DeepMind for its overall high level of data security, and for openly publishing its new contracts with the NHS with minimal redactions. The report provides a number of recommendations for DeepMind to consider when working with the NHS in future.

DeepMind Streams app

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McDonalds Is Replacing 2,500 Minimum Wage Workers With Digital Cashiers: Here Is Its Math

While the latest employment figures in the USA appeared to signal a pick up in the jobs market, with unemployment benefit claim falling, only people unaware if the statistical prestadigitation used to massage the figures (people unemployed for two years or more are not counted as unemployed – they are, to borrow a term from the old Soviet Union, ‘unpersoned.’) oblivious to the carnage among the broader restaurant and fast-food sector or what financial news website Zero Hedge calls the waiters and bartenders economy.

McDonald’s are doing particularly well, after several years of looking like the sick man of the stock market, the fast food chani’s latest innovation has sent share prices soaring. In a report published this week, analyst Andrew Charles, the calculates the jump in sales as a result of Ronald McDonald’s new Experience of the Future strategy of replacing minimum wage workers with digital ordering and payment kiosks (shown above). As a result of legally mandated increases in minimum wages, the biggest employer of minimum wage workers will replace cashiers in at least 2,500 restaurants by the end of 2017 and another 3,000 over 2018. Cowen also mentioned plans for the fast food chain to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017.
Here is a snapshot of the figures that Cowen, used to come up with the cost-savings as McDonalds increasingly lays off more and more minimum wage workers and replaces them with “Big Mac ATMs” It shows the full costing and identifies the increases in minimum wage mandated under the Obama administration as the reason  why the Ronald McDonald’s little munchkins, the client-facing minimum wage  workers are now obsolete. And you can bet in a highly competitive business other fast food chains will be quick to follow suit.

McD is cultivating a digital platform through mobile ordering and Experience of the Future (EOTF), an in-store technological overhaul most conspicuous through kiosk ordering and table delivery. Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018 with a combined 130 bps contribution to U.S. comps. We believe mobile ordering better supplements the drive-thru business where 70%+ of U.S. sales are transacted. In our view, MCD’s differentiation lies in the operational enhancements of mobile ordering that includes curbside pick-up of orders in order to not disrupt the drive-thru.
We are most excited for mobile ordering, Experience of the Future and the launch of fresh beef to help drive U.S. same store sales in 2018. We provide analysis for the latter three, which cumulatively we expect to contribute roughly 150 bps to U.S. same store sales in 2018, respectively. This gives us confidence to raise our 2018 U.S. same store sales forecast from 2% to 3%, in excess of Consensus Metrix’s 2.5%.
Experience of the Future Features Lower ROI Than Mobile Order, But Offers Greater Potential Longer Term
We are constructive on the use of guest facing technology for the restaurant industry. MCD’s longer-term U.S. story revolves around Experience of the Future (EOTF), a holistic operational and technological overhaul to the store base. MCD’s March 2017 investor meeting centered around the initiative with interactive displays. Perhaps the most conspicuous piece of Experience of the Future lies in digital kiosk ordering, which have seen success in International Lead Markets. Additionally, food ordered via the kiosk is delivered to the customer’s table. We believe EOTF better enhances the instore experience, which represents roughly 30% of domestic sales compared to mobile ordering, which allows customers to avoid leaving their cars.
Our ROI math suggests EOTF leads to a 9% cash/cash return in Year 1 in the 55% of domestic stores that do not require a store remodel, and 5% in the 45% of stores that require a remodel, which is a predecessor to implementing EOTF. Our math is premised on total costs of $150,000 for the Experience of the Future enhancement, and $700,000 of all-in costs when including EOTF as well as a store remodel. MCD has offered to pay 55% of the cost for Experience of the Future, in excess of the 40% the company contributed to the store remodel initiative beginning in 2010, for restaurants that commit to the program by the end of 2017.
McDonald’s targets a high-teens return on incrementally invested capital (ROIIC, or McSpeak for evaluating ROI), improving to the mid-20% range beginning in 2019. We believe EOTF’s ROI is captured over time as the sales lift does not dissolve as in the case of a traditional restaurant remodel. Rather, the lift should sustain as we expect consumers to increasingly embrace technological change. This is evidenced across concepts, such as Panera’s experience with 2.0, as well as McDonald’s own experience in Canada, where kiosks saw 12-13% sales mix in Year 1 and 27% in Year 2. We also note kiosk ordering will also likely lead to labor savings over time which should help boost ROIIC, but is unlikely for the foreseeable future.

 

In 2017, MCD expects to end the year with EOTF offered in 2,500 domestic locations from 500 at 2016-end. MCD targets the majority of domestic locations to feature EOTF by 2020, but has not given intermediary targets. The amount of stores adding EOTF depends on franchise reception to the initiative but we see positive indicators given our checks as well as the company’s disclosure that 90% of franchisees approved of the initiative after taking the same interactive tour that was given at the March 2017 investor day.

We estimate 3,000 locations to add EOTF in 2018, which should lead to a 70 bps contribution to U.S. same store sales assuming an even cadence of restaurants adding the initiative over the course of the year. Further we assume the mix of stores adding EOTF in 2018 reflects the mix of overall stores needed to add EOTF, or 55% of stores that already have a remodel while 45% require a store remodel. McDonald’s  has previously announced plans to remodel 650 restaurants in 2017, which we expect will also add EOTF.

Or to put it more succinctly, the great achievement of the Social Justice Warriors and the Community Organiser In Chief in the closing stages of the Obama presidency has succeeded not in doubling the wages of low paid workers but in putting them out of jobs.

Throughout the US presidential election campaign one of the main policy pledges of Democratic nomination contender Bernie Sanders was that the minimum wage would be lifted to $15 per hour. This current move by McDonalds is a direct reaction to minimum wage laws in some states where liberals dominate the state legislature. The jobs being lost to technology are simply not worth $15 an hour, so well done Bernie Sanders & Co. as predicted in January 2016 thanks to your economic illiteracy many thousands of people who used to earn minimum wage will have no job at all.

MCDONALDS is using the excuse of 15 dollar an hour minimum wage, to eliminate PEOPLE from their workforce, however to maintain profits they need people with money who can afford to buy their toxic-shiteburgers. The endless pursuit of the lowest possible labor coast means ‘things’ and ‘services’ cost less BUT what do you do when nobody below the to ten per cent is still working (strike that, I’m still in the top ten per cent and I haven’t worked for twenty years,) How will the global economy keep growing when the majority of people have no money to buy anything but the most basic essentials?

And I promise you the top ten per cent are not going to be buying many burgers from McDonalds. The new serfdom is going to be worse than the 12th century version and the path there is going to see a bigger die off than the Black Death. What was it Ted Turner desired? A reduction in global population to six hundred million?

They’re not just killing off minimum wage jobs – they’re slashing all they can at levels all the way up to the top. Anything to make better numbers.
Katos’s picture

John Steinbeck said “the bank is a monster that men created.” It’s true, but does not go far enough, the global corporations are monsters too, and all monsters are insatiable! Steinbeck also said if the monster does not grow it dies, and if the monster is to grow it must be fed. Think about that, who feeds the monsters but the wage slaves. And when the wage slaves cannot produce enough to satisfy the monster, it will consume them, starting at the bottom. Then the people who comtrol the monster will find find that the botton was supporting them the whole time!

As thousands of stores close across Europe and the USA close, partly due to online competition and partly to people having no money for anything but essentials, the corporations think they can solve the problem by replacing people with robits and Artificial Intelligence?

AI is a pipe dream. Show me the program that writes its own classes and functions, fixes its own bugs, and I’ll start to believe. Many prominent computer science programs in the country have already changed their course names from “AI” to “Machine Learning” for just this reason – as complex as algorithmic design has gotten, machine learning is still just a series of complex decision trees. It’s only natural that they become more accurate as they’re fed more data and refined. Incredible tools for good and for evil, but hardly conscious.

There’s a bizzare religiosity to transhumanism and AGI has become its de-facto “Deus ex Machina.” As I’ve yet to find a “God” (in the religious sense) that actually exists, I’m left to assume that transhumans will follow in the footsteps of their Trinity-based counterparts and use an entrenched (technological) Priest class to sell their “God” to the largely tech – illiterate masses.

I mean, your average schmuck already believes their Amazon Alexa is some kind of AI. When you try to explain to them that it’s simply a device for retrieval, manipulation, and presentation of stored data (like all computers), their eyes glaze over as their preference for a world of “magic” watched over by machines of loving grace kicks in.

As for the zero cost promise of automation, if molecular printing and near-free energy show up anytime soon, this is a possibility; but certain industries are already highly automated with no such overwhelming price/supply effect. Look at the way food production is going, almost entirely automated, getting cheaper all the time yet still suffering from the ravages of inflation, to say nothing of the quality!

We have little to fear from automation and Artifical Intelligence. Except for the minimum wage workers of course.

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NYU Accidentally Exposed NSA Encryption Busting Code To The World

So how did that global cyber attack happen? I can’t tell you with any certainty but the evidence points to its having originated in the USA (and don’t rule out a false flag explanation because the military – industrial complex are now desperate for an escalation of conflict in the middle east, so if some new terrorist group with a scary sounding name like Al Evilastard death-to-the-infidel Cunt Front claims responsibility be suspicious, very suspicious.

What I can tell you is that the attempts by leftie – loonys to blame Teresa May, claiming it was her decision not to upgrade NHS operating systems when she was Home Secretary is a typically inept and idiotic leftie lie. First, the Home Secretary would not be responsible for decisions on health department information technology systems (the Treasury runs the Government Data Network, the Health Department is responsible for deciding on systems.)

Second, the claim made by the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation that the malware attacked Windows 7 was fake news. The worm attacks Windows versions from 7 on, Apple and Linux operating systems. It was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) for fuck’s sake, not a bunch of amateur script kiddies.

Here’s the full story of how the virus was released into the piblic domain from The Intercept

In early December 2016, Adam was doing what he’s always doing, somewhere between hobby and profession: looking for things that are on the internet that shouldn’t be. That week, he came across a server inside New York University’s famed Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing, headed by the brilliant Chudnovsky brothers, David and Gregory. The server appeared to be an internet-connected backup drive. But instead of being filled with family photos and spreadsheets, this drive held confidential information on an advanced code-breaking machine that had never before been described in public. Dozens of documents spanning hundreds of pages detailed the project, a joint supercomputing initiative administered by NYU, the Department of Defense, and IBM. And they were available for the entire world to download.

The supercomputer described in the trove, “WindsorGreen,” was a system designed to excel at the sort of complex mathematics that underlies encryption, the technology that keeps data private, and almost certainly intended for use by the Defense Department’s signals intelligence wing, the National Security Agency. WindsorGreen was the successor to another password-cracking machine used by the NSA, “WindsorBlue,” which was also  documented in the material leaked from NYU and which had been previously described in the Norwegian press thanks to a document provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Both systems were intended for use by the Pentagon and a select few other Western governments, including Canada and Norway.

Adam, an American digital security researcher, requested that his real name not be published out of fear of losing his day job. Although he deals constantly with digital carelessness, Adam was nonetheless stunned by what NYU had made available to the world. “The fact that this software, these spec sheets, and all the manuals to go with it were sitting out in the open for anyone to copy is just simply mind blowing,” he said.

He described to The Intercept how easy it would have been for someone to obtain the material, which was marked with warnings like “DISTRIBUTION LIMITED TO U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ONLY,” “REQUESTS FOR THIS DOCUMENT MUST BE REFERRED TO AND APPROVED BY THE DOD,” and “IBM Confidential.” At the time of his discovery, Adam wrote to me in an email:

All of this leaky data is courtesy of what I can only assume are misconfigurations in the IMAS (Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing) department at NYU. Not even a single username or password separates these files from the public internet right now. It’s absolute insanity.

The files were taken down after Adam notified NYU.

Intelligence agencies like the NSA hide code-breaking advances like WindsorGreen because their disclosure might accelerate what has become a cryptographic arms race. Encrypting information on a computer used to be a dark art shared between militaries and mathematicians. But advances in cryptography, and rapidly swelling interest in privacy in the wake of Snowden, have helped make encryption tech an effortless, everyday commodity for consumers. Web connections are increasingly shielded using the HTTPS protocol, end-to-end encryption has come to popular chat platforms like WhatsApp, and secure phone calls can now be enabled simply by downloading some software to your device. The average person viewing their checking account online or chatting on iMessage might not realize the mathematical complexity that’s gone into making eavesdropping impractical.

The spread of encryption is a good thing — unless you’re the one trying to eavesdrop. Spy shops like the NSA can sometimes thwart encryption by going around it, finding flaws in the way programmers build their apps or taking advantage of improperly configured devices.

Read full article >>>

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Global Ransomware Attack Exposes Folly Of Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket

UK broadcast news and online news sites have been dominated for most of the day by the cyber attack that has affected government and business computer systems. Most disturbing consequence of the attack, which hijacks computer screens with a message that files have been encrypted and can only be unlocked on payment of a large fee (a type of malware known as Ransomware) is fact that hospitals across the United Kingdom had gone dark , locking staff out of patient records and appointment systems..

The situation has got significantly worse as The BBC reports the ransomware attack has gone global.

Screenshots showing a message put out by a popular screen hijacker app show a program that locks computers and demands a payment in Bitcoin have been posted online by organisations hit by the attack.

It is not yet clear whether the attacks are all connected. One cyber-security consultant tweeted that he had detected 36,000 instances of the ransomware, called WannaCry and variants of that name.

“This is huge,” he said.

There have been reports of infections in the UK, US, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan and others.

The BBB details a number of Spanish firms including some of the biggest businesses in spain were among the apparent victims elsewhere in Europe.

Telecoms giant Telefonica said in a statement that it was aware of a “cybersecurity incident” but that clients and services had not been affected.

Power firm Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural were also reported to have suffered from the outbreak.

There were reports that staff at the firms were told to turn off their computers.

In Italy, one user shared images appearing to show a university computer lab with machines locked by the same program.

The Blue Screen Of Death

Bitcoin wallets seemingly associated with the ransomware were reported to have already started filling up with cash.

“This is a major cyber attack, impacting organisations across Europe at a scale I’ve never seen before,” said security architect Kevin Beaumont.

According to security firm Check Point, the version of the ransomware that appeared today is a new variant.

Several experts monitoring the situation have linked the attacks to vulnerabilities released by a group known as The Shadow Brokers, which recently claimed to have dumped hacking tools stolen from the NSA.

_____________________________________

An attack such as this has been inevitable due to the inherent vulnerabilities of the world wide web (conceived by an amateur, remember) and the near monopoly of the Windows operating system and Google search engine that has been encouraged by governments of the USA, the EU and most leading nations of the free world.

While it’s true that things are much more convenient if we all use the same computer systems, convenience is a double edged sword. What’s convenient for the lay user is even more convenient for cyber criminals who are rogue programmers and analysts.

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Facebook Boss Zuckerberg Wants To Own The Internet

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Is USA Preparing For Nuclear War With Russia?

That headline might look like sensationalist click bait to you, but the nuclear scientists who contribute to Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists appear to think it is an accurate reflection of the US Government’s current strategic thinking. The august journal that serves as the newsletter for members of their profession carries some very worrying news on US plans to modernise its nuclear arsenal.

The Atomic Scientists fsvourite bedtime reading published, in the latest edition,March 2017, an article which opened:

The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

“A surprise first strike.” That phrase is particularly worrying, because previously the justification for the existence of nuclear weapons has always been deterrence through mutually assured destruction. There are many people in Washington of course who have lost contact with reality and in their deranged state can actually convince themselves that a nuclear was is winnable. Anyone who is now thinking, “hold on there, mutually assured destruction might apply to everybody else but what about American exceptionalism. Well what about it. The idea that a nuclear war can be won with minimal levels of destruction in the USA seems to be based on the development of one, as yet untested piece of technology.

Because the innovations in the super-fuze appear, to the non-technical eye, to be minor, policymakers outside of the US government (and probably inside the government as well) have completely missed its revolutionary impact on military capabilities and its important implications for global security.

This vast increase in US nuclear targeting capability, which has largely been concealed from the general public, has serious implications for strategic stability and perceptions of US nuclear strategy and intentions.
Russian planners will almost surely see the advance in fuzing capability as empowering an increasingly feasible US preemptive nuclear strike capability — a capability that would require Russia to undertake countermeasures that would further increase the already dangerously high readiness of Russian nuclear forces. Tense nuclear postures based on worst-case planning assumptions already pose the possibility of a nuclear response to false warning of attack. The new kill capability created by super-fuzing increases the tension and the risk that US or Russian nuclear forces will be used in response to early warning of an attack — even when an attack has not occurred.

The report was authored by America’s moist senior experts in the analysis of weaponry and especially of the geostrategic balance between nations: Hans Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, and Theodore Postol. The authors explain why an accidental start of World War III or global annihilation would be likeiier from Russia than from the U.S.:

Russia does not have a functioning space-based infrared early warning system but relies primarily on ground-based early warning radars to detect a US missile attack. Since these radars cannot see over the horizon, Russia has less than half as much early-warning time as the United States. (The United States has about 30 minutes, Russia 15 minutes or less.) Really? Have these refugees from reality not heard of Son of Satan

In other words they are claiming (wrongly as it happens, but hey they’re scientists – they don’t live in the real world,) that Trump would have about 30 minutes to decide that Putin had launched a blitz-first-strike attack, while Putin would have less than 15 minutes to judge whether Trump had. Here’s where it gets really crazy; if withing these periods, neither side can conclude with certainty that no nuclear strike had been launched by the other, then the ultimate authority would be obliged to launch an attack, upon the assumption that not to do so would result not only in a toxic planet with nuclear winter and universal starvation, but also in a humiliating and scandalous absence of retaliation against the aggressor.

The astounding assumptions about American technological superiority are what is most l;ikely to lead to nuclear disaster. I read in a novel recently of a hacker attack by a non-national force whose mindset permitted them to believe nuclear destruction was justified in order to glorify their god, and perpetrated a hacker attack on satellite early warning systems to create the appearance that east and west has simultaneously launched nuclear armed ICBMs to provoke real missile launches in response. That was just a fictional scenario, but is technically feasible, if such a non governmental terrorist force existed to exploit the many volnerabilities in the technology we are committed to. But such as terrorist force is – IS – IS – impossible is it not?

Inevitably, the personal morality and mindset of national leaders come in to play in that type of situation, but with so little time to gather and analyse information and decide on a course of action who can say decisions would be rational. Against that the worst prediction from the Warmageddonist lobby of the risks posed by global warming look about as threatening as a smelly fart.

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The airstrikes by a US led coalition that killed many Syrian soldiers fighting for the legitimate government of Bashar al Assad against the terrorist forces of ISIS has raised the level of hostile rhetoric between the USA / NATO coalition and the Russia / China / Iran alliance. The likelihood of war seemed to have receded through the summer, after it seemed possible early this year, that one stray shell or bullet could spread the war beyond the middle east.

Only 5 Percent Of Russian Air Strikes Hitting Islamic, British Defence Secretary Lies
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Have US tactics only helped to make ISIS more powerful?/b>
We have questioned the US led efforts to defeat ISIS in the middle east many times, pointing out that every time the western alliance steps up opposition to the establishment of a news Islamic Caliphate, Islamic State seem to get stronger. ‘Conspiracy Theorists’, our critics yell. So let’s look at opinion from around the world that concurs with ours.

EU and US talk of war with Russia

The European People’s Party (EPP) the largest political group in the European Parliament, nominated Luxemourgeois nonentity and alcoholic (allegely) Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission. The party has the support of some of Europe’s most powerful leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Made up largely of centre Social Democrat parties and centre right Christian Democrats they command an automatic majority in any vote taken by the European Parliament and are unerringly federalist, globalist and anything but democratic.

And they are unerringly supportive of America’s efforts to start a war with Russia.

“The time of talk and persuasion with Russia is over,” MEP and Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Jacek Saryusz-Wolski told a meeting of the European Parliament on Tuesday, 21 April, “Now it’s time for a tough policy, a realistic policy, and concentration on defence and security, because the eastern flank of the EU feels vitally, existentially threatened.”
Read More:
EU and US talk of war with Russia

The Difference In Voting For Hillbillary or Trump Is Only One Promises War With Russia
Essential reading for our american readers who must soon decide who they want as their next president. Important too for non Americans who cannot influence the outcome of the election but are entitled to know why their arses might be blown from here to eternity sometime in the next few years.

Has Everybody Forgotten Obama’s War
The American military machine has just chalked up the grim statistic of its 2,000th fatality since America troops first surged into Afganistan to defeat “insurgents” whose families had lived in that country for many generations. The invasion was justifed in the aftermath of September 11 by the myth that Afghanistan was a …

Just How Close Are We To World War Three
Have you read or heard in your news supplier of choice of the recent massive troop movements in Israel, the massive build up of British, French and American warships around the approaches to the Persian gulf or just how badly the situations in Egypt and Libya have deteriorated since …

Ignore The warmongering Left’s Calls For Intervention In Syria

Morons to the right of me, idiots to the left. What are us libertarians to do as we find ourselves in our customary position, clinging to a raft of common sense as we try to navigate a course through a sea of insanity. My stance on the trouble spots of the middle east has always been the same, firmly non interventionist and I am not shifting as the propaganda …

Obama Talks The Talk But Dare Not Visit Afghanistan In Daylight

Todays mainstream news papers and broadcast bulletins are full of the Superhero Barack Obama’s daredevil visit to Afghanistan. The man who liberated Libya single handed and took out Osama Bin Laden (or a Pakistani pensioner with a beard) in a daring solo raid behind enemy lines stormed into the Afghan capital, Kabul, made a speech that left hundreds of Taliban fighters dead and saw others fleeing for the mountains with their arses on fire then left again all in the space of …

Syrian Rebels Say West Is Already Aiding Thier Uprising.

The mainstream media are all agog today over something The Daily Stirrer and other libertarian blogs have been telling you for weeks. There are already western military personnel on the ground in Syria, aiding the uprising against the government of President Assad.Western powers have been providing military support and equipment to the Syrian rebel fighter, one of …

Syrian Rebels Say West Is Already Aiding Thier Uprising.

As the troubles stirred up in Syria by the meddling of the American idiot President Barack Hussein Obama and fuelled by the west’s determination to intervene and effect regime change in another middle eastern nation escalate into civil war, the rebels show they are as unfit a government in waiting as those fanatical mobsters the western powers have catapulted into power in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. We conclude that Obama wants World War 3. …


Israel Will Not Warn USA Before Launching A Strike Against Iran
Israeli officials say they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions has ytold Associated Press. The prediction, delivered in a series of private, top-level discussions raises tension in the middle east ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill. Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide to launch a strike is necessary, they would not …

The Business of War: Defense Sales Keep Economies Of Manufacturing Nations Afloat
Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced due to ‘humanitarian’ interventions by the developed nations (led by the USA, France and the UKm the FUKUS axis) in the domestic politics of third world nation. Usually the interventions support rebel groups who if they came to power would be far more oppressive and brutal regime than the one they replaced.

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That ‘Scientific Consensus Is Back In Circulation.

The phrase ‘scientific consensus’ had been absent from my web viewing for a while but this week it has cropped up in support of various pieces of scientific nonsense, including the latest wild claims by the climate change Warmageddonist club, food fascists and those really freaky nerds at NASA who want to spend $trillions on exploring space to see if that can discover life on a planet 40 light years away. (NB:   a light year is the distance travelled in one earth year by light which moves at 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second. At the time of writing our fastest spacecraft can attain around ten miles (16km) per second.

But people like me who rely on common sense are not allowed to question the first and second or to point out the folly of planning to undertake a project to investigate the third, because ‘the scientific consensus.’

I have lost count of the times I’ve been told on challenging some piece of pseudo-scientific dogma that “the science is settled” and when I respond by pointing out how unscientific that response  is, am told “You’re obviously not a scientist so you can’t understand how science works.”

I have even been told by a well known science wanker that “when a consensus of scientists agree that a theory is probably true, they people like you (me) should treat it as a fact.”

Well no true scientist would ever talk such complete bollocks of course, but you will find plenty of wannabes and technology geeks on the web who believe it is correct and even think that is what can be called “the scientific method.” They are wrong of course and their spurious claims are best answered by Dr. Michael Crichton:

“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
“There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

Dr. Michael Crichton (award winning scientist and best selling Sci – fi author) on ‘scientific consensus.’
Full transcript of the Michael Crichton lecture from which that extract is quoted.

 

 

Wikileaks Vault7 Release Reveals CIA Contamination Of Apple Devices

WikiLeaks latest from the Vault 7 documents which related to the CIA’s electronic espionage programs to monitor the electronic communications of everybody in the free world has been dubbed ‘Dark Matter,’ and reveals the specially developed techniques to enable hacking of Apple products. In a statement on ‘Dark Matter,’ WikiLeaks said Thursday’s release includes details of the ‘Sonic Screwdriver’ project, described by the CIA as a “mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting.” (Sonic screwdriver is named after a fictional high tech tool featured in the Doctor Who science fiction TV series.) The spy software was developed by the CIA Embedded development branch.

What makes Sonic Screwdriver far more sinister than other hacking tools used by security agencies is that it is embedded in the device’s firmware which means it is part of the operating system, thus it cannot be removed even by highly skilled users, it will simply reinstall itself every time the operating system is rebooted.

More sinister still, while mainstream commentators are saying that access to the firmware means the CIA have ‘assets’ in the Apple supply chain or are able to intercept shipments of devices and tamper with the system before the goods reach retailers, all coyly avoid mentioning the most obvious means of getting CIA spyware into Apple devices is by direct collaboration between Apple and the security services.

Outrageous as this may seem, it is widely known that high tech corporations in the electronic communications business owe much of their phenomenal success to collaboration with US government agencies. The ‘postern gates’ (back doors) installed operating systems and browsers are the best known examples of this.

read more on this at IB Times >>>

 
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