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Internet / Pictures / Society23.10.2014

Why Kids Sext

Within an hour, the deputies realized just how common the sharing of nude pictures was at the school. “The boys kept telling us, ‘It’s nothing unusual. It happens all the time,’ ” Lowe recalls. Every time someone they were interviewing mentioned another kid who might have naked pictures on his or her phone, they had to call that kid in for an interview. After just a couple of days, the deputies had filled multiple evidence bins with phones, and they couldn’t see an end to it. Fears of a cabal got replaced by a more mundane concern: what to do with “hundreds of damned phones. I told the deputies, ‘We got to draw the line somewhere or we’re going to end up talking to every teenager in the damned county!’ ” Nor did the problem stop at the county’s borders. Several boys, in an effort to convince Lowe that they hadn’t been doing anything rare or deviant, showed him that he could type the hashtag symbol (#) into Instagram followed by the name of pretty much any nearby county and then thots, and find a similar account.

Soviet Union erotica 2

Sex / Society25.06.2014

Inside the Soviet Union’s secret pornography collection

How did Skorodumov amass such a collection when owning a foreign title could result in a Gulag sentence? First, he was careful to frame it within the discourse of communist ideology, receiving documents from a variety of organisations attesting to its scientific value. Ivan Yermakov, the director of the soon-to-be-disbanded State Psychoanalytic Institute, provided one such letter in 1926: Sexuality demands serious and rigorous scientific examination, particularly as it has played such an extensive role in the evolution of culture and daily life,” wrote Yermakov, who published many of Freud’s works in Russian for the first time. “It is highly important to preserve the collection in unadulterated form as a socially valuable work.” There is also a second theory. Stalin’s secret police chief Genrikh Yagoda, a pornography aficionado whose apartment reportedly held a dildo collection, is said to have enjoyed viewing Skorodumov’s holdings. Librarians believe that he personally ensured the latter’s safety.


Business / Interviews / Movies / Society24.06.2014

Playboy Interview – Gary Oldman

"I look at the world, I look at our leadership and I look at every aspect of our culture and wonder what will make it better. I have no idea. Any night of the week you only need to turn on one of these news channels and watch for half an hour. Read the newspaper. Go online. Our world has gone to hell. I listen to the radio and hear about these lawsuits and about people like this high school volleyball coach who took it upon herself to get two students to go undercover to do a marijuana bust. You’re a fucking volleyball coach! This is not 21 Jump Street."


Business / Politics / Science / Society14.06.2014

Neuro-enhancement in the military: far-fetched or an inevitable future?

Different forms of neurostimulation in humans have now been shown to boost our ability to learn and perform motor actions, to pay attention to events in the environment, to recall information in memory, and to exercise self-control. At the same time, evidence is mounting for more complex effects on cognition. For instance, stimulation of the human prefrontal cortex can enhance or inhibit our tendency to lie, improve ourability to lie successfully, and can encourage us to comply with social norms that carry a punishment for disobedience.


Conspiracy Theories / History / Internet / Politics / Society / Videos05.06.2014

Prof. Dr. Josef Foschepoth: Überwachungsstaat Bundesrepublik Deutschland?

"Überwachungsstaat Bundesrepublik Deutschland? Historische Grundlagen und notwendige Konsequenzen." Vortrag zum Whistleblower-Preis 2013 - Verleihung an Edward J. Snowden


Business / Society08.03.2014

The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary

Arunachalam Muruganantham's invention came at great personal cost - he nearly lost his family, his money and his place in society. But he kept his sense of humor. "It all started with my wife," he says. In 1998 he was newly married and his world revolved around his wife, Shanthi, and his widowed mother. One day he saw Shanthi was hiding something from him. He was shocked to discover what it was - rags, "nasty cloths" which she used during menstruation. "I will be honest," says Muruganantham. "I would not even use it to clean my scooter." When he asked her why she didn't use sanitary pads, she pointed out that if she bought them for the women in the family, she wouldn't be able to afford to buy milk or run the household. Wanting to impress his young wife, Muruganantham went into town to buy her a sanitary pad. It was handed to him hurriedly, as if it were contraband. He weighed it in his hand and wondered why 10g (less than 0.5oz) of cotton, which at the time cost 10 paise (£0.001), should sell for 4 rupees (£0.04) - 40 times the price. He decided he could make them cheaper himself.


Fuppes / Politics / Riots / Society25.02.2014

Everyone’s equal in the eyes of the law – unless you are a football fan

Fans of Huddersfield Town and Hull City have no history of animosity. But in March 2013, West Yorkshire Police designated the match between the two clubs a bubble match under the C+IR security categorisation – the highest possible. Hull City fans, whose travel to the game was to be restricted, have no record of involvement in fan trouble. The decision provoked outrage. John Prescott, former MP for Hull and deputy prime minister, branded the arrangements “the most draconian travel restrictions since miners’ strike pickets were targeted”. The club itself took the unusual step of issuing a public statement protesting at the “effective criminalisation of our supporters” and “the implications for away fans in general”. Supporters groups from both clubs opposed the restrictions, and protested on the day of the game. One 15-year-old Hull City fan, Louis Cooper, took the police to court, arguing the restrictions had no lawful basis. The police responded by saying that they had “listened carefully to the concerns of fans” and by easing the restrictions. But that easing still did not allow independent travel to the match. Hull City FC offered to make whatever arrangements were necessary for Cooper to attend the game, but this meant that – as he was no longer restricted by the conditions of the bubble match – he could not continue to challenge them. Cooper refused to attend the match, saying he did not want special treatment.


Business / Media / Politics / Religion / Society13.01.2014

Citizen Ailes – An Excerpt from Gabriel Sherman’s “The Loudest Voice in the Room”

When the head of Fox News moved to Garrison, New York, he bougt a little newspaper and tried to instill his own brand of American values. Guess what happened next?


Arts / Conspiracy Theories / Photography / Politics / Society / Technology / Videos30.12.2013

30C3 – Trevor Paglen – Six Landscapes

In this talk, artist Trevor Paglen discusses his work attempting to “see” the various aspects of the secret state. In examples ranging from tracking spy satellites to foraging through the bureaucratic refuse of CIA front companies, Paglen will discuss methods used to identify and exploit structural contradictions in classified programs which render them visible, and comment on the aesthetics and politics of attempting to “see” secrecy.


Misc / Society / Strange23.12.2013

Unable to afford Gangnam-style plastic surgery, Korean teens deploy DIY methods

“We want to become pretty without spending all the money,” said Na. “We know that these methods aren’t approved of, but lots of our peers do it. Girls [in our all-girls school] like girls who look pretty.” At times, the “patients” are as young as 12 or 13. Sitting in their apartments, the pair explained that every day they spend some time wearing eccentric glasses that forced their eyes to stay open without blinking. The goal: a cheap version of double-eyelid surgery, which aims to give Asians a... “Hollywood look.” At least, that’s what sellers told them. A pair sells on the web for anywhere from $5 to $20. But fads come and go quickly in South Korea, and this duo opines that even the strange-looking specs are becoming old news. “Elementary school kids wear them,” one girl chimed in dismissively. They’ve become “lame,” she said — not because of their outcome, but because of this growing demand from ever-younger fashionistas.


Politics / Religion / Society09.12.2013

Satanists plan statue to stand alongside Ten Commandments in Oklahoma

In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including Satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument outside the statehouse. "We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines." Greaves said one potential design involves a pentagram, a satanic symbol, while another is meant to be an interactive display for children. The Republican state representative Mike Ritze, who spearheaded the push for the Ten Commandments monument and whose family helped pay the $10,000 for its construction, declined to comment on the Satanic Temple's effort, but Greaves credited Ritze for opening the door to his group's proposal. "He's helping a satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could," Greaves said. "You don't walk around and see too many satanic temples around, but when you open the door to public spaces for us, that's when you're going to see us."


Internet / Music / Photography / Society14.11.2013

Sidestepping the Digital Demimonde

“It was relatively easy,” said David Byrne, “back in the day, to work with only a smallish number of people watching, as we sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed.” In the mid-’70s, the early days of his band Talking Heads, “we felt comfortable trying out different things, songs that were quickly abandoned and stage wear that proved impractical,” he wrote in an email. “That’s all hugely important (the songs part anyway) as it allowed us to explore, refine our identity and go down those musical dead ends without the embarrassment of public scrutiny.” Now, online exposure can make for an overnight viral sensation. But “it can also destroy and eliminate that crucial period of anonymity,” he said.


Politics / Society28.10.2013

Das Marketing des E-Persos

Im März 2013 hat Michael Ebeling von freiheitsfoo beim Bundesinnenministerium nachgefragt, wie es denn zur Umbenennung des “elektronischen Personalausweises” zum “neuen Personalausweises” gekommen ist. Neben der Information, dass dazu eine rund 76.000 Euro teure “Kommunikationsstrategie” eingekauft worden ist hielt sich das Ministerium sehr bedeckt: Das mit Steuergeldern bezahlte Werbekampagnenkonzept wurde als “vertraulich” eingestuft und selbst die darin entwickelten “Goldenen Regeln” sah man als zu geheim an, als dass man sie anlässlich einer IFG-Anfrage herausrücken wollte. Dieser Faden wurde von dem Piraten Bernhard Kern eigeninitiativ aufgegriffen und mittels einer weiteren IFG-Anfrage auf dem Informationsfreiheitsportal www.fragdenstaat.de hat es dieser nun geschafft, das 50seitige “Handbuch zur Kampagne” zu befreien und online zu stellen. Es zeigt, auf welche manipulative Art und Weise das Bundesinnenministerium versucht, die Schwächen und Gefahren des elektronischen Personalausweises (im Neusprech: “neuer Personalausweis”) zu verheimlichen und welche ungeheuren Ausmaße die bezahlte Zusammenarbeit mit einigen großen Medienunternehmen sowie die geplanten Einflußnahmen auf die “Blogosphäre” im heutigen Politikgeschäft angenommen haben. Es werden eigeninitiativ große Zeitungen, Zeitschriften und Fachzeitschriften “besucht” und “mögliche Kooperationen” besprochen und entwickelt. Ist das noch eine duldbare Einflußnahme in die “freie” Presse? Unglaublich, aber wahr: Der Axel-Springer-Verlag geht eine exklusive (vertragliche?) Bindung mit der Bundesregierung ein und wird vom Bundesinnenministerium dafür bezahlt, den E-Perso in Bild, Welt & Co. als “Volksausweis” zu propagandieren. Regelmäßig wiederkehrend und selbstverständlich nur unter Nennung der Vorteile.


Business / Crimes / Drugs / Politics / Society13.08.2013

Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business

Meth users called it the "shake- and-bake" or "one-pot" method, and its key feature was to greatly simplify the way meth is synthesized from pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in cold and allergy medicines like Claritin D and Sudafed. Shake and bake did two things. It took a toxic and volatile process that had once been the province of people with Breaking Bad-style knowledge of chemistry and put it in the bedrooms and kitchens of meth users in rural America. It also produced the most potent methamphetamine anywhere. Since 2007, the number of clandestine meth sites discovered by police has increased 63 percent nationwide. In Kentucky, the number of labs has more than tripled. The Bluegrass State regularly joins its neighbors Missouri, Tennessee, and Indiana as the top four states for annual meth lab discoveries. As law enforcement agencies scramble to clean up and dispose of toxic labs, prosecute cooks, and find foster homes for their children, they are waging two battles: one against destitute, strung-out addicts, the other against some of the world's wealthiest and most politically connected drug manufacturers. In the past several years, lawmakers in 25 states have sought to make pseudoephedrine—the one irreplaceable ingredient in a shake-and-bake lab—a prescription drug. In all but two—Oregon and Mississippi—they have failed as the industry, which sells an estimated $605 million worth of pseudoephedrine-based drugs a year, has deployed all-star lobbying teams and campaign-trail tactics such as robocalls and advertising blitzes.


Drugs / Science / Society31.07.2013

‘Crack baby’ study ends with unexpected but clear result

A crack epidemic was raging in Philadelphia in 1989 when Hallam Hurt, then chair of neonatology at Albert Einstein Medical Center on North Broad Street, began a study to evaluate the effects of in-utero cocaine exposure on babies. In maternity wards in Philadelphia and elsewhere, caregivers were seeing more mothers hooked on cheap, smokable crack cocaine. A 1989 study in Philadelphia found that nearly one in six newborns at city hospitals had mothers who tested positive for cocaine. Some social workers predicted a lost generation - kids with a host of learning and emotional deficits who would overwhelm school systems and not be able to hold a job or form meaningful relationships. The "crack baby" image became symbolic of bad mothering, and some cocaine-using mothers had their babies taken from them or, in a few cases, were arrested. The researchers consistently found no significant differences between the cocaine-exposed children and the controls. At age 4, for instance, the average IQ of the cocaine-exposed children was 79.0 and the average IQ for the nonexposed children was 81.9. Both numbers are well below the average of 90 to 109 for U.S. children in the same age group. When it came to school readiness at age 6, about 25 percent of children in each group scored in the abnormal range on tests for math and letter and word recognition. As the children grew, the researchers did many evaluations to tease out environmental factors that could be affecting their development. On the upside, they found that children being raised in a nurturing home - measured by such factors as caregiver warmth and affection and language stimulation - were doing better than kids in a less nurturing home. On the downside, they found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside - and the kids were only 7 years old at the time.


Politics / Science / Society / Videos17.06.2013

Why the kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot

As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.


Internet / Politics / Society10.06.2013

Lob der Polizeigewerkschaft – Fürsprecher in Deutschland für Obamas Netz-Spionage

Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Polizeigewerkschaft, Rainer Wendt, hat sich wohlwollend zur Überwachung von Telefon- und Internetdaten in den USA geäußert und Ähnliches auch für Deutschland angeregt. „Ich habe die große Hoffnung, dass wir uns in Deutschland nicht länger auf unser Glück verlassen, sondern der Bevölkerung klipp und klar sagen, was zur Verbesserung polizeilicher Analysekompetenz nötig ist“, sagte Wendt Handelsblatt Online. Das „wertvollste“ Bürgerrecht sei immer noch der Schutz vor Terror und Kriminalität. „Präsident Barack Obama argumentiert mutig, entschlossen und er hat fachlich hundertprozentig recht“, betonte Wendt. „Diese Politik wünschte ich mir auch in Deutschland und Europa.“ Wendt verteidigte ... die USA und erklärte, Obama sei „voll und ganz“ zuzustimmen. Er rede Klartext, wie es Deutschland und Europa auch dringend bräuchte. „Bei uns regieren völlig überzogener Datenschutz, föderaler Egoismus und wilde Überwachungsfantasien von Politikern, die den Menschen immer wieder einreden wollen, die Polizei würde sie bespitzeln und aushorchen“, sagte Wendt.

snowden interview

Conspiracy Theories / Crimes / Internet / Interviews / Politics / Society / Videos10.06.2013

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.


Fuppes / Society09.06.2013

When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly

"There is an ethic!" he growls. "A code of hooliganism." Many years ago, Verona needed a win to avoid relegation, which it got, and some fans went on the field and got jerseys from the players. The ultras felt the players didn't deserve such adulation after a disappointing season, so The Hooligan and his brother went down to the pitch, slapped some, punched a few others, and demanded the fans march back into the locker room and give the jerseys back. They beat the crap out of anyone who disagreed. "They always learn," he says. "You punish one and educate a hundred. Adolf Hitler. Perfect."



Schwerverletzte bei Blockupy-Demonstration

Die Demonstration von rund 10.000 Kapitalismuskritikern, die am Samstag vor der Europäischen Zentralbank gegen die Krisenpolitik protestieren wollten, ist kurz nach Beginn der Veranstaltung von der Polizei vorzeitig beendet worden. Nur etwa zwanzig Minuten, nachdem der Demonstrationszug gestartet war, separierte ein Großaufgebot an Beamten etwa eintausend Aktivisten, die sie der linksextremistischen Szene zuordneten. Sie begründeten ihr Vorgehen damit, dass zuvor Feuerwerkskörper gezündet worden waren und sich die Demonstranten mit Regenschirmen und Sonnenbrillen vermummten. Immer wieder kam es zu Verhandlungen zwischen dem Versammlungsleiter und der Polizei. Die Aktivisten forderten, den Zug weiterziehen zu lassen. Die Demonstranten im Kessel ließen sich eigenen Angaben zufolge darauf ein, die Regenschirme und Seitentranspatente abzulegen. Die Polizei zeigte sich ihrerseits bereit, den Kessel aufzulösen und die Demonstranten weiterziehen zu lassen. Offenbar aber nur, wenn sie die Personalien sämtlicher Aktivisten aufnehmen können.


Conspiracy Theories / Crimes / Politics / Society05.05.2013

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.


Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Politics / Society21.03.2013

CIA’s Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’

Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM's Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira "Gus" Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos -- and that the agency wants all of it."The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever." Hunt's comments come two days after Federal Computer Week reported that the CIA has committed to a massive, $600 million, 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services.


Business / Ecology / Society17.01.2013

Toshiba creating nuclear reactor for mining Canada Tar Sands

Toshiba Corp. has reportedly designed a nuclear reactor and intends to market it to natural resource developers for mining Tar Sands in Canada and other places. Nikkei reported this week that the company had completed design of a small 10,000kw reactor and had asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for approval to begin construction in the United States, but the process had been delayed in connection with a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. The company also planned to seek approval from Canadian authorities. Toshiba’s planned reactor would not need to be refueled for up to 30 years. Additional uses could included turning saltwater into freshwater and powering small communities in frontier areas like northern Alaska.


Books / Business / Internet / Science / Society / Technology16.01.2013

Die Ausspionierten

Nehmen wir nur CourseSmart, den unangefochtenen Branchenführer bei Lehrbüchern und Unterrichtsmaterial in digitalisierter Form. Dieses Unternehmen, 2007 von Pearson und McGraw-Hill Education und anderen Verlagsgiganten gegründet, hat über zwanzigtausend elektronische Lehrbücher im Angebot, das sind etwa 90 Prozent aller in Nordamerika verwendeten Lehrbücher. Diese Texte können online und offline am Computer, auf Tablets oder Smartphones gelesen werden. CourseSmart verfolgt globale Ambitionen. Wie kürzlich bekanntgegeben wurde, expandiert das Unternehmen in den Nahen Osten und nach Afrika, so dass seine Produkte auch in Ländern wie Saudi-Arabien und Zimbabwe erhältlich sind. Anfang November wurde seine jüngste Innovation namens CourseSmart Analytics vorgestellt, ein Trackingsystem, mit dessen Hilfe verfolgt werden kann, wie lange sich Studenten auf jeder Seite eines elektronischen Buchs aufhalten, welche Kapitel sie überspringen, welche Passagen ihnen Mühe bereiten und so weiter. Aus all diesen Informationen wird für jeden Studenten ein „Engagement Score“ ermittelt, den Dozenten abrufen können.