Daily Archives: August 19, 2015

8chan-hosted content disappears from Google searches

Domain-specific searches contain warning about “suspected child abuse content.”

Google appears to have taken an unprecedented step in filtering its search results by banning an entire domain—and adding a warning about “suspected child abuse content” to a search for the domain itself. Ars Technica has been unable to determine exactly when the change went into effect, but Imgur posts as early as this Wednesday pointed to a Google-wide ban of the imageboard site 8chan.

As of press time, cursory attempts to find Google search results with content hosted at that site came up empty; searches for specific pages, or for sites containing terms 8chan, 8ch, or 8ch.net, only brought up related sites such as 8chan’s official Twitter account. In the case of a search for the domain directly, or for more targeted terms, the brief page of results would end in the aforementioned warning.

After users began reporting the lack of 8chan-hosted content among Google’s links, 8chan founder Frederick Brennan took to Medium on Thursday to confirm his findings and publicly ask why 8chan had been singled out. “It seems to me like Google has abandoned the same policy we use, and a policy that U.S. hosted websites have held to for a very long time,” Brennan wrote, referring to Google’s reactive removal of links after DMCA or abuse reports have been filed. Brennan also pointed out that the “child abuse content” phrase attached to the domain’s searches had only appeared on ten other Google results up until that point; Ars noticed that the phrase pops up just as infrequently in a Bing search.

Though Brennan didn’t mention it in his Medium post, Google also uses a hashing system to automatically filter and block search results that contain previously reported images of abuse—and according to Ars’ interview with Brennan earlier this year, 8chan employs a similar system to block reported images with matching hashes.

A November Daily Dot report, mentioned by an Observer report on this week’s 8chan news, recounted 8chan’s history as a less-regulated alternative to the already-controversial imageboard site 4chan. Its author asked Brennan pointed questions about specific, repeated examples of child pornography found in a cursory 8chan search, along with borderline-pornographic content at 8chan subsites (which is nothing to say about the site’s reputation for hosting conversations about doxing and swatting, as well). In the case of the latter, Brennan said the responsibility was in the hands of “the studios who are producing this content. Some of them are even legally based in the USA. That’s the real story here, not some perverts posting them online after the fact.”

continue http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/08/8chan-hosted-content-disappears-from-google-searches/

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Human microchipping: I’ve got you under my skin

Professor Kevin Warwick and his Cybernetic Arm.Professor Kevin Warwick and his Cybernetic Arm. Photo: REX

Thousands of technology enthusiasts use it as the ultimate app, enabling them to lock and unlock their homes, cars, computers and mobile phones with a simple wave of a hand. But there’s a catch: they must have a microchip inserted into their bodies.

The idea may seem weird, and painful, but human microchipping appears to appeal not only to amateurs, who call themselves biohackers, but also to governments, police forces, medical authorities and security companies.

It involves using a hypodermic needle to inject an RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchip, the size of a grain of rice, usually into the person’s hand or wrist. The same kind of chip is used for tracking lost pets.

The implants send a unique ID number that can be used to activate devices such as phones and locks, and can link to databases containing limitless information, including personal details such as names, addresses and health records.

RFID chips are everywhere. Basically, if you have to swipe a card, your ID is encoded in the magnetic stripe. If you touch it to a reader, as with Myki, it has an RFID chip with your number on it linked to the relevant database with your info on it. The latest credit cards have both stripe and RFID.

Some RFID tags have a tiny battery or other power source, enabling them to operate at hundreds of metres so they don’t need to be within line of sight of a reader. As far as we know, this type cannot yet be made small enough to embed in humans.

Cybernetics scientist Dr Mark Gasson of the University of Reading, in Britain, became the first human to be infected with a computer virus, after he injected himself with a microchip in 2009 to control electronic devices in his office.

The virus was replicated on the swipecards of staff accessing his building and infected the university’s database. Nonetheless, Gasson and other scientists say a new world with mass populations of computerised people is imminent and inevitable.

They say complex computing devices routinely implanted into humans for medical reasons also have the technology to enhance the abilities of healthy people.

continue http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/human-microchipping-ive-got-you-under-my-skin-20140416-zqvho.html

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Kids All Over America Are Being Put On Buses And Sent To Alternate Locations During School Terror Drills

All over the United States, school children are being taken out of their classrooms, put on buses and sent to “alternate locations” during terror drills.  These exercises are often called “evacuation drills” or “relocation drills” and they are more than a little disturbing.  Sometimes parents are notified in advance where the kids are being taken and sometimes they are only told that the children are being taken to an “undisclosed location”.  In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more “realistic” and much more intense.    Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people.  Do we really need to have “active shooter” drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them?  Do we really need to have “relocation drills” where kids are rapidly herded on to buses and told that they must surrender their cell phones because they will not be allowed to call anyone?  Our schools more closely resemble prison camps every single day, and it is our children that are suffering because of it.

It is also important to keep in mind that much of the time these drills are not the fault of local school administrators.  Often, these drills are being mandated at the state level.  Our politicians have become obsessed with “school safety” in recent years, and apparently their idea of “school safety” involves deeply traumatizing our kids.

Earlier today I was doing some research and I came across a forum where a parent was describing a relocation drill that would soon be happening at a school in Oklahoma.  Well, I went to public schools all my life and nothing like this ever happened when I was growing up, so I wanted to do a little digging to see if this was actually happening around the country or if it was just an Internet rumor.

Unfortunately, what I found out was quite disturbing.

It turns out that “relocation drills” are being conducted at schools from coast to coast.

continue http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/kids-all-over-america-are-being-put-on-buses-and-sent-to-alternate-locations-during-school-terror-drills

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Yes We Have No Bananas? Killer Fungus Threatens To Wipe Them Out

Bananas are at risk of becoming extinct due to a killer fungus

The beloved banana may be at risk of becoming extinct, as crops worldwide have been hit by a deadly fungus which is causing irreparable damage. 

The Cavendish species of banana is being killed off by Tropical Race 4, a fungal disease from Malaysia that has spread throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time a fungus has wiped out an entire species of the bright yellow fruit. By 1965, the Gros Michel species of banana—which lasted longer, were more resilient, and didn’t require artificial ripening—was eradicated after what was called the Panama disease, a different strain of a similar fungal disease wiped out the world’s commercial banana plantations.

After that, the industry looked for a new version of the crop, settling on the inferior Cavendish as its only alternative. It was then cloned and grown across the globe, making the single species (aka a monoculture) extremely susceptible to spreading infection—once one plant gets hit with the fungus, they’re all in trouble. As a result, we’re facing the same issues from 50 years ago. And it’s impacting the livelihoods—ranging from food security to income—of more than 100 million people.

continue http://yournewswire.com/death-of-bananas-killer-fungus-threatens-to-wipe-them-out/

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Pro Gamers Warned Off Drugs

Professional gamers who take part in e-sports competitions will soon be subject to random drug tests. The Electronic Sports League will check gamers for banned substances by testing their saliva “at any time during tournament days”. The usual suspects are all banned, such as cocaine and steroids. However, Adderall is also banned unless it’s being taken for legitimate reasons.

Competitors found to have taken a banned substance will face a raft of possible punishments, which “range from getting prize money / tournament points deducted, to disqualification and up to a two year ban from ESL events.” This is surely another step towards e-sports being accepted as a mainstream form of entertainment. So, how long until gaming becomes an Olympic sport?
source http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/android-experiments-apps-gamers-drug-tests-tech-news-digest/

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