Daily Archives: July 20, 2015

Spam rate falls below 50 percent for first time in a decade

Spam fell to less than 50 percent of all email in June, the lowest in a decade, Symantec said Thursday in its latest Intelligence Report.

The levels of spam have been slowly falling since 2010 for multiple reasons. Network providers are more tuned into the problem and take action faster when there are issues on their services.

Also, unlike six or seven years ago, sending billions of messages per day from massive botnets isn’t as feasible anymore.

Law enforcement, along with companies including Microsoft, have aggressively gone after some of the largest botnets over the last few years and worked to technically shut them down. Although some botnet operators have been able in some instances to regain control, the increased attention makes it more difficult for them to work.

continue http://www.itworld.com/article/2949595/spam-rate-falls-below-50-percent-for-first-time-in-a-decade.html#tk.rss_news

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Psychiatry’s Most Promising New Treatment Is a Pacemaker For the Brain

At the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a young Jack Nicholson lies in bed with two fresh centipede scars across his forehead. His face is expressionless, an open-mouthed stare, his entire body broken into absolute submission.

Forty years later, it’s still one of the most iconic depictions of lobotomy—the procedure of surgically removing or scrambling parts of a person’s brain to alter their mood, thoughts, and behaviour.

When psychiatric drugs emerged in the 1950s—and with it, a new era of modern medicine—the public’s conception of lobotomies and ECT crystallized into the old-fashioned asylum nightmares we know today (see: a 2008 horror movie quite literally titled Asylum). To American cinema, surgical knives and electrical shocks became psychiatry’s emblematic tools for social control.

Even today, our perception of psychiatry remains clouded by the procedure’s gloomy legacy, and by harrowing scenes of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson’s character undergoes ECT in a scene that frames just his face, disfigured in pain. The audio track consists exclusively of groaning.

It’s ironic, then, that these same tools form the basis of one of modern day psychiatry’s most promising emerging treatments. Deep brain stimulation (DBS for short) involves surgically inserting two electrodes deep into the brain, which deliver regular electrical pulses to a specific region. Researchers in the field compare it to a pacemaker—an electrical brain implant for stabilizing emotions and thoughts.

continue http://motherboard.vice.com/read/psychiatrys-most-promising-new-treatment-is-a-pacemaker-for-the-brain

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Peru Sued By Illinois Firm For Unpaid Birdshit Bonds

If you’ve followed the recent evolution of fixed income products, you’re well aware that when it comes to pooling assets and securitizing cash flows, pretty much anything goes. From subprime auto loans, to credit card receivables, to P2P debt, to PE home flipper loans, you name it and there’s a fixed income security for it.

Given the above, we were fairly certain that when it comes to bonds, nothing would surprise us in terms of debtors, creditors, and the underlying assets.

We were wrong.

As Bloomberg reports, Illinois-based MMA Consultants 1 Inc has filed suit in U.S. District Court in connection with money the firm says it is owed by The Republic of Peru for bonds issued in 1875. Here’s more:

Fourteen bonds the country issued in 1875 .. are now held by an Illinois firm that says it’s having a hard time redeeming them.

MMA said it sent three letters to Peru’s Minister of Economics and Finance requesting payment to no avail. The company is suing for breach of contract. It didn’t reveal in the lawsuit how it came by the bonds.

If that were the whole story, it wouldn’t be all that interesting. Fortunately, there’s more:

[The] bonds were issued to pay off debt to a U.S. guano consignment company.

Each bond promised a payoff of $1,000 “United States Gold coin” plus 7 percent interest a year, according to the complaint filed Thursday by MMA Consultants 1 Inc. in federal court in New York.

The bonds bear the signature of Don Manuel Freyre, who is described as the “Envoy Extraordinaire and Minister Plenipotentiary of Peru,” according to the complaint.

Because we cannot imagine what we could possibly add that would make this any more amusing than it already is, we’ll simply leave you with the following summary:

MMA Consultants 1 is attempting to collect what, with interest, amounts to $182 million in gold coins from “Envoy Extraordinaire” Don Manuel Freyre, in connection with bonds Peru issued 140 years ago to pay off a debt to a seabird dung consignment company.

source http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-17/peru-sued-illinois-firm-unpaid-guano-bonds

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Queen of England Gives Nazi Salute in 1933 Video

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Mayor brags: Our white population plummets


The mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, in an address to the radical socialist organization National Council of La Raza, bragged that his city is no longer majority white and the city’s schools now have students who speak 62 different languages.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Kansas City, Kansas, was 52 percent white.

But in a speech before the La Raza National Affiliates Luncheon earlier this week in Kansas City, Mayor Mark Holland boasted that only five years later his city’s white population has been reduced to 40 percent.

He seemed to suggest that La Raza was at least partly responsible for the progress. But he also cited the refugee resettlement work of the United Nations and U.S. State Department for the city’s transformation into a gleaming example of multicultural diversity.

Kansas City, he said, “is very proud of the work of National Council of La Raza.”

“Kansas City, Kansas, is a city with no ethnic majority. Kansas City, Kansas, is 40 percent white, 28 percent Latino, and 26 percent African-American,” Holland said. “Our school district speaks 62 different languages by the children every single day. And Kansas City, Kansas, has a proud heritage of welcoming all people into the community, people who are not welcome in other places.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/mayor-brags-our-white-population-plummets/#Qbe8LAt7LML9IEs4.99

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Brain Implant Gives Scientists Wireless Mind Control

Controlling someone’s brain by implanting an electronic device is a common plot element in horror and sci-fi films and TV shows. Remember the super disturbing The Terminal Man? Or the episodes of Archer where the Russians have put a microchip in his head that leaves him wanting to kill his own mother? Well, now US researchers have developed a remote-controlled brain implant that allows them to choose the path a mouse walks through a maze with just a push of a button. Let’s hope they use their newfound powers for good and not evil.

The human brain: a new implant, only tested in mice so far, will allow scientists both better understanding of and control over the brain. Image by Allan Ajifo.The human brain: a new implant, only tested in mice so far, will allow scientists both better understanding of and control over the brain. Image by Allan Ajifo.

The study was conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign by researchers who were interested in neuron circuits that control a number of disorders originating in the brain including depression, stress, addiction and pain. Generally, monitoring and managing these circuits involves the use of potentially harmful surgery to install a metal tube for drug delivery, or a fiber optic cable for light-based therapy and analysis. Aside from potential pitfalls to the patient, the invasive surgery required can also impact the brain chemistry thereby clouding the results of the study. Hence the need for a new alternative, recently developed by bioengineer Jae-Woong Jeong, Ph.D. and graduate student Jordan G. McCall, Ph.D.

The new implant is remote controlled, made of exclusively “soft” materials, and about ten times thinner than a human hair! Not only that, but unlike previous devices, it can simultaneously deliver both light and pharmaceuticals to a specific region of the brain. Manufactured using standard semiconductor nano-manufacturing techniques, the device can hold up to four drugs and contains four unique light-emitting diodes. Its size and deformability also led to decreased damage and displacement of surrounding brain tissue as compared with metallic alternatives.

continue http://inventorspot.com/articles/brain-implant-gives-scientists-wireless-mind-control

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Following what appears to be a severe penalty, popular torrent site KickassTorrents has become pretty much unfindable in Google. Meanwhile, the top search result in many locations points to a scam site that’s serving malware to its visitors. For now, only DuckDuckGo presents the real site as a main result.

kickassWith millions of visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) is arguably the most visited torrent site on the Internet, outranking even the notorious Pirate Bay.

After several domain hops KAT has been operating from the KAT.cr domain name for a few months now. However, in recent weeks many infrequent visitors have experienced trouble locating the site, leading to all sorts of problems.

Traditionally, the site has been easy to find through Google by entering the search terms “KickassTorrents” or “Kickass Torrents,” but this is no longer the case.

In fact, the official KAT.cr address is nowhere to be found in the top results. Instead, people see the unknown and unaffiliated Kickasstorrents.eu domain on top in many locations, as the screenshot below shows.

Google’s KickassTorrents search results

googlekickCONTINUE https://torrentfreak.com/kickasstorrents-disappears-from-google-after-penalty-150718/

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Canada Claims It Will Back Out of TPP to Protect Its Sovereignty

The Obama administration isn’t happy with Canada’s reluctance to sacrifice its poultry market on the altar of membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

On July 16, the Globe and Mail reported:

American officials including chief U.S. negotiator Michael Froman have repeatedly publicly prodded Canada to produce a “meaningful offer” and disclose to the U.S. what kind of agriculture concessions it will make. Trade ministers from 12 countries are preparing to gather in Hawaii shortly for what some describe as a final push for a TPP deal.

Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast dismisses these challenges from Washington, telling The Globe and Mail last week that “the Americans prefer to negotiate this agreement through the media” and he won’t.

Sources say as far as the U.S. is concerned, Canada promised that “things that weren’t addressed in the North American free-trade agreement — poultry and dairy — were going to be addressed” in the Pacific Rim talks.

“That was very clear; that was agreed upon,” a source familiar with the trade talks said.

The participation of the United States in the sovereignty surrender wrapped in a trade blanket is all but guaranteed after Congress gave the president “fast track” trade promotion authority.

All the confusion over the scope of the pact’s mandates could be cleared up very easily: Just produce the text of the TPP agreement and we’ll be able to sort out who’s right and who’s wrong.

The fact is that no one in Canada or the United States knows what their respective governments are giving away inside the secret TPP confabs.

We do know that our own elected officials have tried in vain to pierce the veil of secrecy preventing Americans from learning about the frightening compromises being made by our trade representatives at the TPP negotiations.

Zach Carter of the Huffington Post reported that Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, was stonewalled by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) when he attempted to see any of the draft documents related to the governance of the TPP.

continue http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/21270-canada-claims-it-will-back-out-of-tpp-to-protect-its-sovereignty

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