Monthly Archives: November 2015
Mystery ghost fleet washes up in Japan: Eleven ships containing 20 dead sailors are discovered off the coast… and nobody can explain why
A fleet of 11 ghost ships containing the rotting remains of sailors has washed up on the Japanese coastline, sparking an investigation in the country.
The mysterious ships have given rise to numerous conspiracy theories in the country, as authorities battle to discover the identities of the bodies.
Rescuers told Japanese broadcaster NHK that the bodies of at least 20 sailors were ‘badly decomposed’ and ‘skeleton-like’.
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Gruesome: Workers on board one of the fleet of ships that has washed up on the Japanese coastline in recent weeks, with the ‘badly decomposed’ of 20 sailors on board
The Information Commissioner’s Office has raised a tidy £250,000 this week with two more fines for companies flogging nuisance call-blocking services by, yep, you guessed it, making nuisance calls, after receiving over 1,000 complaints.
Poole-based Nuisance Call Blocked Ltd received a fine of £90,000, while Telecom Protection Service Ltd, from Bournemouth, has been hit with an £80,000 fine.
The ICO found both companies “to be making unsolicited marketing calls to people registered on the official Telephone Preference Service while trying to sell products and services to block the type of cold calls they were making”.
The fines come after the ICO hit a PPI claims firm with an £80,000 fine on Monday for sending over 1.3 million spam text messages, taking the week’s total uptake to £250,000.
Lately its becoming a tradition to show off cash in different ways. Some people like to flash ther cash by gold plating their teeth, some like diamond and gold mouth grills. However, a Canadian who recently won a jackpot took his celebration to the next level.
Justin Reiter, a Canadian from Alberta won a whopping $598,556 jackpot recently was so happy that he wanted to celebrate and show off his money in a different way. Unfortunately, this was not a wise decision and Justin died due to medical complications trying to gold plate his testicles.
According to Justin’s friend, He was hooked to a 2002 comedy movie ‘Gold member’ that was a parody by Austin powers of Bond movie ‘Gold Finger’. In the movie powers was hunting a criminal who used to color man parts of people he kill in Gold. The idea really attracted Justin Reiter and he decided to gold color his own testicles.
“Armed attack” robots that carry rifles and grenade launchers have been unveiled in China as the latest line of defence in the fight against “global terror”, state media reported.
The toy-sized attacker is one of a trio of new “anti-terror” machines, Xinhua news agency said, in a report which did not specify measures that would stop the robots falling into the wrong hands.
“The toy-sized robots can coordinate with each other on the battlefield,” said the report, following their unveiling at the 2015 World Robot Conference in Beijing.
The first model is known as a “reconnaissance” robot, which scouts for poisonous gases, dangerous chemicals and explosives before transmitting its findings back to base.
Cyberspace isn’t the Wild West, but if anything gets close, it’s 3D-printed guns. The weapons, made at home by people with both a desire for a firearm and access to a printing machine, are themselves untraceable, circumventing most gun regulations by being made at home. James R. Patrick’s 3D printed revolver is very much part of the same, a deadlier evolution of the same concept.
Dubbed the PM522 Washbear, the revolver fires .22LR bullets, common in small-game hunting rifles and some pistols. Every part of the gun is printed in sturdy ABS plastic, except three: elastic bands, a metal roofing nail that acts as a firing pin, and a nonfunctioning slab of metal that goes in the handle so the gun can show up on metal detectors, which is generally required by law.
The Paris climate talks hope to set out how we can reduce the amount of carbon we’re pumping into the atmosphere. But emissions cuts alone may not be enough. Atmospheric CO2 is the blanket that keeps our planet warm and any further emissions will mean more global warming. Observations in recent years show that warming is accelerating, that polar ice and glaciers are all melting, that sea level is rising … it all looks rather bleak.
Could we directly engineer the climate and refreeze the poles? The answer is probably yes, and it could be a cheap thing to achieve – maybe costing only a few billion dollars a year. But doing this – or even just talking about it – is controversial.
Some have suggested there is a good business case to be made. We could carefully engineer the climate for a few decades while we work out how to reduce our dependency on carbon, and by taking our time we can protect the global economy and avoid financial crises. I don’t believe this argument for a minute, but you can see it’s a tempting prospect.
Reflecting the Sun
One option might be to reflect some of the Sun’s energy back into space. This is known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM), and it is the most viable climate engineering technology explored so far.
For instance we could spray sea water up out of the oceans to seed clouds and create more “whiteness”, which we know is a good way to reflect the heat of the Sun. Others have proposed schemes to put mirrors in space, carefully located at the point between the Sun and the Earth where gravity forces balance. These mirrors could reflect, say, 2 per cent of the Sun’s rays harmlessly into space, but the price tag puts them out of reach.
LONDON, Nov 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Nestle’s admission that slave labour is used to produce its seafood sourced from Thailand sets an example for other companies who need to join forces to push the Thai government to clean up its supply chain, campaigners said on Tuesday.
Nestle on Monday disclosed forced labour was in its supply chain after a year-long investigation found migrants were sold and lured by false promises to work in Thailand’s seafood sector, kept in debt bondage and degrading conditions.
The disclosure came as a surprise as international companies rarely acknowledge abuses in their supply chains despite coming under increasing pressure from consumers and governments to be transparent about how and where their products are sourced.
Verite, a charity fighting labour injustices, which carried out the research, welcomed Nestle’s admission and said virtually all companies sourcing seafood in Thailand, the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, were exposed to the same risks.
San Francisco (AFP) – Since a top European court ruled people have a right to be forgotten online, Google has received 348,085 requests for tidbits to vanish from search results.
Silicon Valley-based Google, a subsidiary of newly-created parent company Alphabet, complied with less that half of the demands, basing decisions on criteria intended to balance privacy with the public’s right to know.
A report released on Wednesday by Google showed that the top country for requests was France, where the Internet giant is in a standoff with data protection officials.
A European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognizing the “right to be forgotten” on the net opened the door for Google users to ask the search engine to remove results about them that are inaccurate or no longer relevant.
Google set up an online form that people in Europe can fill out to ask for information to be excluded from search results.
Expect much weeping and gnashing of teeth from “Black Lives Matter” thugs come next week, as a group of 100 black pastors and religious leaders are slated to do the unthinkable and endorse 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, reported USA Today:
Donald Trump, seeking to broaden his political appeal, will claim the endorsement of “100 African-American Evangelical pastors and religious leaders” next week, his campaign says.
The Republican front-runner will meet privately with the African-American pastors at Trump Tower in New York City before holding a news conference at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, according to the campaign schedule.
As can be expected, this news has NOT pleased the racial grievance mongers, a hundred of whom — including frequent MSNBC guest and lunatic Brittney Cooper — penned a ridiculous diatribe for the barely read Ebony magazine, complaining about Trump’s alleged racism.
“Trump’s racially inaccurate, insensitive and incendiary rhetoric should give those charged with the care of the spirits and souls of Black people great pause,” they claimed:
As people of God, you are surely aware of the emotional, spiritual, and physical toll continued structural and state violence takes on Black people. Being continually reminded of reckless police disregard for Black life through the circulation of videos that show them murdering our young people, like 12-year old Tamir Rice, 7-year old Ayanna Stanley Jones, and 17-year old Laquan McDonald are both heartbreaking and stress-inducing.
Barack Obama has set the precedent for bypassing Congress and changing laws on his own, even though the US Constitution forbids him to do so. Our Founding Fathers specifically wrote the Constitution in such a way to avoid the executive leader from assuming dictatorial powers, but Obama has ignored our founding and governing document and has assumed the role of Congress in a number of matters.
Following in the footsteps of his hero, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is trying to bypass the state legislature and change an existing law without anyone’s approval. As reported by the Washington Post:
“The NRA accused McAuliffe (D) of breaking the law in blocking citizens from bringing guns into public places such as Division of Motor Vehicles offices and hinted that the battle could play out in the courts.”
Having a friend or family member commit suicide can be one of the most heart wrenching experiences of our lives. While suicide is a serious problem, it is usually impossible to know whether a person is suicidal or not. All that is about to change.
The astonishing accuracy of a new test designed by a German and Swedish team is poised to revolutionize suicide prevention around the globe. The test involves the analyzation of blood pressure, blood circulation, and sweat gland activity in depressed patients. The study was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research and so far the method used has achieved a success rate of 97% in recognizing whether a person is likely to commit suicide or not. Lars-Håkan Thorell is an associate professor in experimental psychiatry at Linköping University, and one of the researchers behind the study. Even he was surprised by the results.
The results are so strong that I’m astonished.
783 depressed in-patients in Germany were tested for hyporeactivity, which is a reduction in reactions to various stimuli. The study found that 97 percent of depressed patients who later committed suicide were hyporeactive. It should be noted however that hyporeactivity can be present in people that are not depressed. Thorell explains that,
Is there a difference between owning a file and owning a firearm? Thanks to the advent 3D printed guns, the line between files and weaponry is murky. The Australian province of New South Wales recently enacted a law banning the possession of files that could be used to print guns.
The Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is an amendment to the Firearms Act 1996, with the purpose in part: “to create a new offence of possessing digital blueprints for the manufacture of firearms on 3D printers or electronic milling machines.” The law does include a few legal exemptions, including for “research purposes and public benefit” (so that police wouldn’t get penalized if they printed one, say). Without successfully claiming those defenses, printing or milling a gun in New South Wales comes with a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.
The homepage of al-Fateh is a colorful mess straight out of the nineties. Cartoon squirrels and a rainbow adorn the banner, which welcomes kids to the online home of a magazine for the “builders of the future.” In one corner, an animated child whose head is covered by a polka-dot scarf flashes a peace sign in front of the Dome of the Rock.
The site, named after a character called “the conqueror,” is far from harmless. Published by a Hamas-affiliated organization, its illustrations, games, and stories encourage terrorism and heap praise upon suicide bombers.
One issue of the children’s magazine included a photo of a bomber’s severed head lying on the ground, still covered by a headscarf. “Her head was severed from her pure body; however, her veil remained in order to adorn it, to paradise,” the caption read.
In the days since terror struck Paris, European officials have began to look more closely at websites like al-Fateh. French and Belgian lawmakers have already proposed laws to silence online hate speech, in an attempt to counter the widespread use of online-communication platforms by followers of the Islamic State for propaganda and incitement.
The laws follow a European tradition of restrictive laws on hate speech, but with a 21st-century surveillance-state twist. Existing laws, which have been in place for decades, are designed to protect at-risk groups from harm. They target racism, hatred, defamation, the incitement of violence, and Holocaust denial. But the new proposals go further, restricting the entire citizenry’s civil liberties in the name of national security. And they may do little to make France and Belgium safer.
Florida judge Matthew Destry is being called out for handing down a bizarrely harsh sentence to a young man who stood before him for a crime as minor as driving with a suspended license.
A petition to remove Judge Destry from the bench has been launched by the victim’s family.
They explain that Herbert Smith was sentenced to 60 years in prison for nothing more than a violation of probation due to a drivers license suspension charge.
The sentencing judge, Matthew Destry, presides over the Broward County Clerk of Courts.
Now, there is a Change.org petition against the judge for his clearly extreme sentencing. Read the following excerpt from the petition below:
It was announced today that a multi-million pound inquiry into child sex abuse will focus on former and current MPs, Britain’s security services and churches.
New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard is in charge of the investigation and will lead what will be Britain’s largest-ever inquiry which is expected to take up to five years, She said she will look at claims of a cover-up at the highest levels of government.
Sky News reports:
Justice Goddard said: “The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.
“It will consider allegations of cover up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.”
It will also focus on abuse in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, she said.
Lots of us used to color as kids and… it made us happy. Current research by mental health experts suggests that it might make us adults happy too. Recently, psychologists found that coloring in or out of the lines helps unlock creative potential, and relieve tension and anxiety, something we have a whole lot of in this crazy unpredictable world of ours.
“I recommend it as a relaxation technique,” says Antoni Martinez, a psychologist. “We can use it to enter a more creative, freer state. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and lines flow.”
According to psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala: “…coloring has a de-stressing effectbecause when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. But it also “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.”
Need more reasons to start coloring?
The Tor project is asking its supporters to donate money to help the nonprofit continue to operate.
Users can donate one-time cash sums or set up a monthly recurring donation. In addition to Paypal-based online donations, the Tor Project said it will accept money via Dwolla, Bitcoin, and old-fashioned check, cash, money order, and bank transfer.
The campaign is part of an effort by Tor to expand its cashflow beyond the university grants and government handouts it had previously relied on. As a nonprofit, Tor opens its year-by-year financial records to the public.
Autonomous cars are not entirely strangers to the race track. Earlier this year we brought you news of Robby, the autonomous Audi RS7 that has learned the racing line at Sonoma Raceway in California. Robby is apparently as fast as an experienced human racing driver when it comes to lap times, but there’s more to racing than just being fast—you need competition. Next year we’ll finally get to see what happens when you put 20 autonomous cars on track and race them, thanks to the newly announced support series for Formula E.
Called Roborace, the new series is a partnership between Formula E and Kinetik, an investment fund that’s been putting a lot of money into electric vehicle development. It will follow the Formula E schedule in 2016-2017 with hour-long races between 10 teams, each of which has two cars. The cars will be mechanically identical; the competition will be in coding the AI. According to the release from Formula E, one of the teams will be organized as a crowd-sourced community team, something we plan to look into with greater detail as it develops.
A day after Turkey arrested two journalists for their report exposing Erdogan’s weapons deliveries to “extremist groups” in Syria, confirming that no dissent to the president’s foreign policy would be allowed, today a new riot has erupted in Istanbul following the dramatic murder in broad daylight of Tahir Elci, the president of the Turkish bar association in southeastern Diyarbakir province, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while giving a public speech.
A campaigner for Kurdish rights, Elci had been criticized in Turkey for saying the banned Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) was not a terrorist organization, as the government
describes it. He had, however, denounced PKK violence. He was facing trial over his comments, which had infuriated state prosecutors. A Turkish prosecutor last month demanded up to seven and a half years of prison tme for Elci on the grounds of “making propaganda of a terror organization” after remarks he made supporting the PKK.
Just before being gunned down, Elci called for peace and the silencing of all guns.
Öldürülen Tahir Elçi, bas?n aç?klamas?nda: “Sava?lar çat??malar silahlar operasyonlar bu alandan uzak olsun diyoruz” pic.twitter.com/vAiSF0xgi7
— 140journos (@140journos) November 28, 2015
Moments later TV footage showed a shoot out breaking out and plain clothes police repeatedly shooting at a figure running past them towards Elci. He was then seen lying on the ground with blood apparently streaming from his head. He was later pronounced dead from gunshot to the head. A policeman was also killed in the gunfight.
The killing which was captured on tape, took place while Tahir Elci was making a statement to the media.
“The moment the statement ended, the crowd was sprayed with bullets,” Reuters cited Omer Tastan, a local official from the pro-Kurdish HDP party, as saying. “A single bullet struck Elci in the head,” he said, adding that 11 people had also been injured in the incident.
In other words, a hit meant to take out the pro-Kurdish lawyer, staged as an attack by the very people he was defending.
According to the state Anadolu news agency, it was Kurdish insurgents that opened fire, killing Elci, as well as a police officer, and injuring three other people, among them correspondents of the leading Turkish media organizations – the Anatolia and Dogan news agencies
That, however, appears to be just more state propaganda, because as journalists were quick to point out, Elci not only was a pro-Kurd activist but defended the “Terrorist” PKK, which is Erdogan’s political nemesis.
Then Erdogan himself chimed in, saying “I have just learnt that Bar Association President Mr. Tahir Elçi died and a policeman was martyred,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a meeting in the northwestern province of Bal?kesir. “This incident shows how Turkey is right in its determined stance in fighting terrorism.”
The truth is, smartphones can lead to identity theft in a lot of ways these days, and one of the bigger risks lies in NFC technology (also called “bumping”). Essentially, hackers can bump your device without you realizing it, and by doing so, they can intercept sensitive data.
Worried that your identity might’ve been stolen? Stay up to date with these warning signs of digital identity theft and respond accordingly if you notice anything off or suspicious.
Obviously, these exploits and vulnerabilities are way more than simple inconveniences. If something like these happens to you, it can be quite serious. That’s why it’s so important to stay vigilant and learn how to protect yourself.
learn the 7 ways your phone can and may be compromised http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-ways-hackers-can-screw-smartphone/
A family is suing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after workers for the nonprofit snatched a pet Chihuahua off their porch and killed it.
Wilber Zarate and his daughter, Cynthia, seek more than $9 million. They each sued the Norfolk-based animal rights group Tuesday in Norfolk Circuit Court for $2 million and are asking for $5 million in punitive damages. Zarate and his daughter also are suing PETA workers Victoria Carey and Jennifer Woods for $350,000 each.
A PETA official declined to comment on the suit Tuesday, saying the group hadn’t read it yet.
Carey and Woods went to the Zarates’ trailer park home in Accomack County in October 2014 and took the young girl’s 3-year-old Chihuahua, Maya, off the family’s porch, according to court documents.
The GOP-led Congress wants to hand the IRS the keys to your freedom.
The highway funding bill now making its way past lawmakers includes a provision that would allow the government to yank your passport if you owe the IRS more than $50,000.
As part of the 864-page H.R. 22, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, the House Ways and Means Committee has inserted language that, if left intact, will allow the State Department to deny or revoke the passports of “seriously delinquent” taxpayers.
That means that, should you find yourself in litigation with the IRS over a big, disputed tax bill, you could be banned from leaving the country. Worse, because those who work overseas are subject to U.S. taxes on everything they earn, a revoked passport could fundamentally trap them in a very, very small world.
“This provision creates a tax-collection mechanism that is frankly far too draconian,” the American Citizens Abroad (ACA) nonprofit wrote to lawmakers earlier this month.
Mysterious disappearances aren’t new. For whatever reasons, some people just seem to vanish without a trace, never to be seen again. Yet, as bizarre as these cases may be, there seems to be an even stranger type of disappearance out there; people who vanish in full view of others, under circumstances where it seems impossible that they could have even gone far, let alone totally disappeared. These are the cases in which people were there one moment and gone the next, seeming to have just literally faded from existence, leaving us baffled and perhaps even questioning what we think we know about this mysterious world of ours. Let’s take a look at the history of some of the more curious accounts of these spontaneous vanishings of people who by all indications seemed to have just ceased to exist.
One of the earliest well-known accounts of people spontaneously vanishing comes from back in the 1700s. Sometime in the 1760s, in the English town of Shepton Mallet, there lived an elderly man in his 70s by the name of Owen Parfitt. Crippled with disease, Parfitt was said to be unable to get around on his own, instead spending his days either bedridden or sitting outside by the doorway to his home, where he lived with his sister. According to the story, one day old Owen was sitting in his usual spot by the door, where his sister, also his primary caretaker, had been keeping an eye on him as usual. On this day the weather was rather chilly, and Owen had covered himself with a coat, but there were no indications that anything was amiss, or that this day was any different from the many other times Owen had sat outside. When his sister went to move him, she found that only the coat remained where Owen had been sitting just moments before.
Huge pillow fights among US cadets to mark the end of summer training at the prestigious West Point military academy are to be banned, officials say.
A recent event at the end of August left at least 30 soldiers injured.
At least 24 cadets were reported to have been left unconscious because pillows were stuffed with hard objects.
West Point Superintendent Lt Gen Robert L Caslen said the academy was pursuing unspecified disciplinary measures against those involved in the fights.
He was quoted in the New York Times as saying that those facing such measures included “senior military members and cadets alike”.
Gen Caslen was not reported to have identified or provided the ranks of those who may be punished, but said he was determined “to send a clear message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated”.
An army investigation dated the pillow fights to 2001, but congressional testimony reported in the New York Times suggests they date back more than a century.
Hackers said they would take down “IS-linked” social media accounts.
A list, shared online by Anonymous, claimed it detailed more than 20,000 accounts which had already been disabled.
But among the thousands of Twitter names the list features Barack Obama’s official account and even BBC News.
The list has been stored on Pastebin, a web app commonly used to anonymously publish text online.
Who else is on the list?
Newsbeat has looked through the list and discovered many more unlikely targets.
Obama’s right-hand woman is there, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton), as well as the White House (@WhiteHouse), the US State Department (@StateDept), a Twitter “help” account for people trying to get verified and America’s most famous newspaper, the New York Times (@nytimes).
Clearly these accounts have never posted support for so-called Islamic State. And they are still live.
Here’s the good news.
Finally, we can be like Leonardo da Vinci’s in one small way. No, we are not getting his polymathic superpowers.
His penchant for taking free-flowing notes that filled notebooks with diagrams and scribblings is more achievable. Maybe, he knew that the human brain likes visuals more than words. Maybe, connecting words and images made him see things which most could not.
Today, we call these brain-cell like intertwinnings — mind maps.
It is the most popular brainstorming technique of all. Count the hits on Google if you don’t believe me. Check the number of books British psychologist Tony Buzan wrote for promoting it. A tiny 140.
Paris (AFP) – A long list of seemingly harmless everyday actions contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other climate-altering greenhouse gases.
Driving a car and flipping a light switch have a clear “carbon footprint” — much less obvious is the harm caused by sending a simple text message or opening a bottle of water.
Here is the environmental impact of some common activities:
Sending even a short email is estimated to add about four grammes (0.14 ounces) of CO2 equivalent (gCO2e) to the atmosphere.
To put this into perspective, the carbon output of hitting “send” on 65 mails is on par with driving an average-sized car a kilometre (0.6 of a mile).
The culprits are greenhouse gases produced in running the computer, server and routers but also those emitted when the equipment was manufactured.
It gets worse when you send an email with a large attachment, which puts about 50 gCO2e into the air. Five such messages are like burning about 120 grammes (0.27 pounds) of coal.
Receiving a spam message — even if you do not open it — has an environmental impact of 0.3 gCO2e.
Paper or plastic?