Monthly Archives: July 2016

Why You Should Set a BIOS Password (And How)

With security breaches and unauthorized access of computers being common today, you can never have too much security on your system. We’ve shown how to make sure your new PC is secure, and every new setup should include properly locking down the system.

One way that might not seem obvious but is a great way to protect your computer is to set a password for the BIOS. This basic firmware runs right off your PC’s motherboard before you ever get into Windows.( or any other operating system)


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Hypnotherapist Uses Hypnosis to Manage Her Kids’ Behavior

Hypnosis has been used to treat conditions like anxiety and pain, but Los Angeles hypnotherapist and mother of three Lisa Machenberg says it can be a very effective parenting technique. She’s even given her unusual method a name – hypno-parenting.

Machenberg first started using hypnosis on her children to help them get through the night without wetting the bed, but has since then used the clinical technique to aid them deal with things like performance anxiety or focusing difficulties. The Malibu-based therapist also admits to using hypnosis on her kids and husband in order to make sure things run smoothly around the house. “I hypnotize my children and my husband to do things for my benefit all the time,” she recently told Barcroft Media. “We have a household to run. Many times, I exert influence so my children are able to get their chores done, so this house runs efficiently.”


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Ohio Court Says Police Are Legally Allowed To Have Sex With Children


The Ohio Supreme Court decided on Thursday to declare unconstitutional a law that simply made it illegal for police officers to have sex with minors.

The court ruled 4-3 that the law “discriminated” against police officers, on the basis of their professions – banning them having sex with minors.

The law in question originally banned police officers as well as others with authority over children such as teachers or coaches.

The court ruled, however, that the “government can’t punish a class of professionals like police without making a connection between their job and the crime,” according to Reuters, which quoted Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, writing for the majority.

The law overturned by the court prohibited police officers from having sex with minors if the offenders were more than two years older than the victim.

At issue was the 2012 conviction of former suburban Cleveland police officer Matthew Mole, who was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on a hookup app, according to Supreme Court documents.


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No plague in the NY subway after all (new study)


Travellers on the New York and Boston subway systems might allow themselves a sigh of relief – Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of plague) and Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax) might not be living in the subway systems after all. This is the finding of a new investigation published in the journal mSystems™, May/June 2016; volume 1, issue 3. The paper refutes the findings of a previous study (‘Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics’ in: CellSystems, Volume 1, Issue 1, p72–87, 29 July 2015.) Here’s a commentary :

“[…] in a recent study of the New York subway, due to incorrect taxonomic classifications, the authors reported observing Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of plague) and Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax) as part of the ‘normal subway microbiome.’


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Rock-Throwing Elephant Kills Young Zoogoer


(Newser) – A 7-year-old girl is dead after an elephant threw a rock at her Tuesday at a Moroccan zoo, the Telegraph reports. The unnamed girl was posing for a photo when she was struck in the head with a large rock. She suffered severe injuries and died at the hospital. According to the Washington Post, the Jardin Zoologique is denying responsibility for the girl’s death. “These kinds of accidents are rare, unforeseeable, and unusual,” the zoo states. A spokesperson points out the elephant’s enclosure is up to international standards and the rock had to clear both a fence and a ditch in order to reach the girl. The scientific director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants tells the BBC this kind of behavior happens when “elephants are frustrated or bored.” He says it’s unlikely the elephant was actually trying to hurt the girl specifically. At this point, the zoo has no plans to euthanize the elephant.



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Luke Aikins first skydiver to jump without a parachute, landing in net

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Teen Activist CJ Pearson Called “Uncle Tom” And “N*gger” For Endorsing Trump

CJ Pearson, a brilliant 13 year old political activist and upcoming freshman at Evans High School, posted a live video on Facebook to set the record straight regarding his support for Donald Trump.

According to the Gateway Pundit This past weekend CJ Pearson, CJ put it this way,

“I finally came off the sidelines after Hillary’s misguided pick of corrupt career politician Tim Kaine as her running mate and endorsed Donald Trump. Ever since making the endorsement, liberals have attacked me viciously calling me an “Uncle Tom”, a “n*gger”, and “brainwashed”


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Twitter Struggles to Sell Itself

Nobody Understands Twitter Any More

Twitter has a problem, and I’m not talking about the abusive trolls who inhabit this particular social networking site. They ARE a problem in need of fixing, but a bigger problem for Twitter is its stalled userbase, which seems to have plateaued at just over the 300 million mark. That’s a lot of people, but it’s a fraction of the 1.6 billion people who are currently using Facebook.

Twitter identified the problem several years ago, realizing that a vast swathe of the online population simply doesn’t understand what Twitter is all about. So Twitter released ads designed to educate and inform non-users about the benefits of using Twitter. They failed, spectacularly, and the userbase continued to grow at a snail’s pace. But Twitter is now trying again.

According to a Twitter Blog post, the company conducted some research into how people perceive Twitter. And while it found 90% recognized the brand, the majority of non-users still don’t quite get Twitter. They think of it as a social network for friends and family, a Facebook Lite, if you will. They also think they’ll need to tweet every day, which is patently not true.

So, Twitter is embarking on a new advertising campaign designed to help non-users understand Twitter once and for all, based on the simple adage, “See What’s Happening”. It seeks to make it clear that you don’t have to tweet to get something out of Twitter, and that it’s really about discovering what’s happening, both to the people you follow, and to the wider world at large.


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Irom Sharmila says her 16-year fast will end Aug. 9


India’s Irom Sharmila in 2013.   (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

(Newser) – Irom Sharmila hasn’t eaten in 16 years. Since November 2000, the 44-year-old activist from Manipur, India, has been force-fed through a tube in her nose in a hospital prison cell as she protests the country’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives security forces freedom to kill suspects in the northeast and Kashmir. But on Aug. 9, what is believed to be the world’s longest hunger strike will come to an end. Sharmila—known as the Iron Lady of Manipur—says she will give up the fast, marry her fiancé, and enter politics to “get our voices heard,” reports the Indian Express. “The government has not been listening to our voices and has been suppressing our movement,” she says. State assembly elections will take place in February, reports Quartz. It is believed Sharmila will run as an independent candidate.


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VA spent $20M on art, while Vets die waiting

The Veterans Affairs administration spent $20 million on expensive artwork and sculptures amidst the healthcare scandal, where thousands of veterans died waiting to see doctors.

The taxpayer watchdog group Open the Books teamed up with COX Media Washington, D.C., for an oversight report on spending at the VA, finding numerous frivolous expenditures on artwork, including six-figure dollar sculptures at facilities for the blind.

“In the now-infamous VA scandal of 2012-2015, the nation was appalled to learn that 1,000 veterans died while waiting to see a doctor,” wrote Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of Open the Books, in an editorial for Forbes. “Tragically, many calls to the suicide assistance hotline were answered by voicemail. The health claim appeals process was known as ‘the hamster wheel’ and the appointment books were cooked in seven of every ten clinics.”

“Yet, in the midst of these horrific failings the VA managed to spend $20 million on high-end art over the last ten years—with $16 million spent during the Obama years,” Andrzejewski said.

The VA spent $21,000 for a 27 foot fake Christmas tree; $32,000 for 62 “local image” pictures for the San Francisco VA; and $115,600 for “art consultants” for the Palo Alto facility.


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Ten Year Old Indian Boy Is Addicted to Dog Milk

Meet Mohit Kumar, a 10-year-old boy from Manaitand, India, who has been feasting on dog milk ever since he was four. His parents are desperate to get him to stop sucking the milk of stray bitches in their town, but so far they’ve been unable to find a way.

Mohit was weaned at two years, but at the age of four he developed a rather strange habit – sucking the milk of stray bitches. “Once Mohit was playing with stray dogs outside and happened to suck on the breasts of a bitch. Since then he does the same whenever he gets a chance to do so,” his mother Pinky says. “Bitches of the area have also taken a liking to him and feed him whenever Mohit wants them to.” His worried parents don’t even allow the boy to go outside without supervision, for fear that he will seek out stray bitches to get his milk fix, but he sometimes gives them the slip. “We do not even allow him to go to school fearing that this habit may only get worse,” Pinky adds.

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Give .gay to the gays, roars exiting ombudsman

ICANN has used his last day on the job to fire a broadside over the “.gay” top-level domain.

In a ruling published on his own website, Chris LaHatte argues that the organization’s board should reject a recommendation by its own governance committee (BGC) and should grant special community status to one of the four applicants for .gay, effectively handing it control of the registry.

LaHatte argues that a recent acceptance by ICANN that it should incorporate human rights principles into its functioning means that it should negate the circular logic that has led the organization to repeatedly reject Dot Gay LLC’s bid.

“I recommend that the board looks at the bigger picture beyond the BGC recommendation,” LaHatte wrote, pointing out that the ICANN board is not obliged to follow its governance committee’s recommendations. “The board should grant the community application status to the applicant and put an end to this long and difficult issue.”

Sorry story

The issue has indeed been long and difficult. It has been nearly five years since Dot Gay LLC – which is endorsed by an enormous number of gay organizations across the globe – applied for the internet extension. It was seen by many as a shoo-in for the special “community” status that was created to enable groups of people to gain control of their relevant online space without having to go up against large corporations.

In .gay’s case, the three other bidders are commercial organizations that have applied for, and also run, dozens of other top-level domains.

There was some surprise then when back in 2014, Dot Gay’s bid was rejected by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – which has been hired by ICANN to review community applications – for not being gay enough.

There was no “nexus between proposed string and community,” the EIU argued. “The group of self-identified gay individuals globally is estimated to be 1.2 per cent of the world population (more than 70 million), while the application states that the size of the community it has defined … is 7 million. This difference is substantial and is indicative of the degree to which the applied-for string substantially over-reaches beyond the community.”

What made the decision all the more peculiar was that the EIU approved community applications for a number of other names that were clearly commercial entities – and so appeared to be undermining the entire idea behind the community status. Among those approved were .radio, .hotel and .Osaka.


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The bicycle problem that nearly broke mathematics

Seven bikes lean against the wall of Jim Papadopoulos’s basement in Boston, Massachusetts. Their paint is scratched, their tyres flat. The handmade frame that he got as a wedding present is coated in fine dust. “I got rid of most of my research bikes when I moved,” he says. The bicycles that he kept are those that mean something to him. “These are the ones I rode.”

Papadopoulos, who is 62, has spent much of his life fascinated by bikes, often to the exclusion of everything else. He competed in amateur races while a teenager and at university, but his obsession ran deeper. He could never ride a bike without pondering the mathematical mysteries that it contained. Chief among them: What unseen forces allow a rider to balance while pedalling? Why must one initially steer right in order to lean and turn left? And how does a bike stabilize itself when propelled without a rider?

He studied these questions intensely as a young engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. But he failed to publish most of his ideas — and eventually drifted out of academia. By the late 1990s, he was working for a company that makes the machines that manufacture toilet paper. “In the end, if no one ever finds your work, then it was pointless,” he says.


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The Associated Press Plays the Race Card

The Democrats’ campaign against Donald Trump consists mostly of branding him a bigot. Thus, they have sent out many emails like this one:

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.29.01 PM

Stop bigotry! No details are necessary.

The Associated Press was once a straightforward, relatively nonpolitical news source, but those days are long gone. Now some of the most hard-core Democratic Party advocacy comes from the AP. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP is trying to advance the Democrats’ narrative that Trump is a bigot.

On July 22, the AP headlined: “Critics: Trump speech signals shift to coded race language.” This is an old trick–make a “news story” out of what critics say. The occasion was Trump’s convention acceptance speech. And, of course, talking about “coded” language allows reporters to impute to politicians things they never said, based on their enemies’ fantasies.


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Black Lives Matter, but So Does the Truth

On Tuesday night delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia heard from the mothers of seven African Americans whose deaths have fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Their stories illustrate the movement’s legitimate grievances as well as the myths and bogus arguments that alienate potential allies.

Four of the seven deaths happened after encounters with police. But in the best-known case, the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Justice Department found that the evidence supported the officer, Darren Wilson, who said Brown punched him and tried to grab his gun.

In the other three cases, police either clearly or arguably used excessive force. The clearest example of unnecessary force involved Sandra Bland, who was found dead, apparently by suicide, in a Texas jail last year, three days after Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over for changing lanes without signaling.

Dashcam video of the traffic stop showed Encinia lost his temper and needlessly escalated the situation, leading to an arrest that should never have happened. Encinia was fired after a grand jury indicted him for lying in his report on the incident.

Eric Garner died of a heart attack in 2014 after he was tackled by New York City cops trying to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. Video of the encounter showed that Garner, whose death was classified as a homicide, repeatedly complained that he could not breathe. A grand jury declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, an officer who used what looked like a prohibited chokehold, in connection with Garner’s death


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Progressivism’s Parade of Horrors

On the flight out to the recent FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, I read a horrifying book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era by Thomas C. Leonard. It’s a bold attempt to restore our national memory, to explain how we strayed from our nation’s classical liberal founding heritage and embarked on building today’s welfare/warfare/regulatory state. Central to the story is the misuse of science. And it carries an important warning for us today.

Leonard meticulously researches and documents the march of the Eugenics movement, from its roots in the German Historical School of political economy during the Bismarck era to its near-universal embrace by American Progressive intellectuals at the end of the 19th century, to its re-importation into Germany, which culminated in the Nazi holocaust.

Eugenicists identified themselves as Progressives—an association their fellow Progressives didn’t deny. Their goal? To “improve” the human species through policies aimed at selecting out the “unfit.”

See where this is going?


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Canada enacts internet ban for sex offenders

In its seven-to-two ruling, the Supreme Court banned internet access to anyone convicted of sexual offenses against minors before 2012

View photos


In its seven-to-two ruling, the Supreme Court banned internet access to anyone convicted of sexual offenses against minors before 2012 (AFP Photo/Geoff Robins)

Montreal (AFP) – Canada’s Supreme Court acted to protect children in the fast-growing world of cyberspace, enabling judges to prohibit those convicted of sexual offenses against minors from using the internet.

“The record demonstrates that the internet is increasingly being used to sexually offend against young people and that sex offenders who target children are more likely to re-offend,” Justice Andromache Karakatsanis wrote for the majority in a hundred-page ruling.

The case concerned incest and child pornography. The accused man, sentenced to nine years in prison in 2013 by a court in British Columbia, had abused his daughter between 2008 and 2011.


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The CIA’s Strategies to Dupe the American Public

James Jesus Angleton

Recently Paul Craig Roberts recounted a conversation he had with James Jesus Angleton, a former head of CIA counterintelligence, in which they discussed strategies that the CIA employs to dupe the American and global public, with a view to perpetrating criminal agendas, cloaked beneath the lie of “national interests”.  Angleton explained to Roberts that, 

intelligence services create stories inside stories, each with its carefully constructed trail of evidence, in order to create false trails as diversions. Such painstaking work can serve a variety of purposes … Then if the official story gets into trouble, the backup story can be released in order to deflect attention into a new false story or to support the original story.

The strategy of “stories within stories”, and using competing narratives to confuse, to distract, and to lead the public down false paths (red herrings) is entirely consistent with the 9/11 crimes, the subsequent “War On Terror”, and the criminal invasion of Syria.

The official stories explaining the 9/11 false flag are bundled with hidden stories, “limited hangouts”, and “distance from accountability” strategies — all serving to daze and confuse North Americans in particular, to the point where we revert to passively accepting the narrative of the day and the overarching lie that supporting the neo-con war agenda is patriotic.

The first 9/11 story – Story A – identified al Qaeda and Bin Laden as the primary perpetrators, but this story is being supplanted by another story – story B – which features Saudi Arabia as the villain.  No doubt Saudi Arabia played a role in the crime and the on-going cover-up, but “Story B” is also a “limited hangout” in the sense that only a limited part of the story is “hanging out”.  It also serves to provide cover or “distance from accountability” for some of the major villains who are still shielded from the glare of the spotlight. Additionally, it serves to lead us down false trails (red herring) that divert public attention from the hidden agenda of global war and poverty.

The Saudi Arabia limited hangout does beg an important question though:  Will the CIA’s Wahhabi mercenary outfits — ISIS, al Qaeda/ al Nursra Front, and all the fraudulently labelled “moderates”, be targeting Saudi Arabia next?

The same strategy of “stories within stories” is occurring with the West’s criminal war of aggression on Syria.


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Vibrating Boots Could Help Astronauts Stay On Their Feet

This astronaut may need vibrating boots

For All Mankind (1989)

Vibrating boots could keep astronauts from tripping over their own two feet

Walking on the surface of Mars, where the gravity is one-third of Earth’s, won’t be easy. If you dumped a wheelbarrow of rocks into a bounce-house, then jumped in with shoeboxes tied to your feet and a fishbowl on your head, you’d be getting close to how astronauts might feel exploring the Red Planet’s surface.

A pratfall on Mars wouldn’t just be good, geeky comedy. Best case, the astronaut wastes time and oxygen trying to stand back up. At worst, a tear in a pressurized suit can mean a quick death.


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Artist Invents a Tactile Comic Book So Blind Readers Can Enjoy It Too

tactile comic book 2

Civilization has found a solution for people who are blind to be able to read a long time ago and it’s called braille alphabet. But what about books with pictures? Replacing pictures with 3D shapes is one way to do the job and recently, comic book artist Ilan Manouach created his own tactile language to convey feelings as well as objects, Fast Co.Design reports.

He called his invention Shapereader, and it’s based on tactile glyphs called “tactigrams”, which are designed to convey a sense of anything they represent including feelings. For example, anxiety is represented as block of jagged zig-zags, and “to observe” is a pattern of star shapes spread out against a blank background. Readers can learn about every image of patterns in a standard braille next to it.

“My whole visual landscape [there] consisted of layers of dense snow imprinted by different animal traces, leftovers of a frenetic night activity,” said Manouach about his inspiration for this noble invention which he’s got when visiting the northernmost region of Finland, called Lapland. His graphic novel Arctic Circle was born and it included about 200 tactigrams: walrus (a chunky pattern of broken-up boxes), arctic moss (flowy fan shapes) and snow goggles (thin, vertical lines).


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MPAA Front Group Slams CloudFlare For Not Censoring The Internet

So you may have seen reports last week charging CloudFlare and some other tech companies with “aiding” internet malware pushers. The “report,” called “Enabling Malware” was announced in a press release last week from the Digital Citizens Alliance — a group that describes itself as representing consumer interests online:

Digital Citizens is a consumer-oriented coalition focused on educating the public and policy makers on the threats that consumers face on the internet and the importance for internet stakeholders – individuals, government and industry – to make the Web a safer place.

And while the story wasn’t picked up that widely, a few news sources did pick it up and repeated the false claim that DCA is a consumer advocacy group. TorrentFreak, FedScoop and Can-India also picked up the story, and all simply repeated DCA’s claim to represent the interests of “digital citizens.”

But that leaves out the reality: DCA is a group mostly funded by Hollywood, but also with support from the pharmaceutical industry, to systematically attack the internet and internet companies, for failing to censor the internet and block the sites and services that Hollywood and Big Pharma dislike. DCA has been instrumental in pushing false narratives about all the “evil” things online — “counterfeit fire detectors! fake drugs!” — in order to push policy makers to institute new laws to censor the internet. DCA buries this basic fact in its own description, merely noting that it “counts among its supporters… the health, pharmaceutical and creative industries.”


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George Soros Should Be Arrested And Charged With Inciting Riots For Financing Protests

There is protesting and free speech – and there is criminal action that poses as protesting and free speech. Protests that turn into riots are no longer protected by the First Amendment, and anyone who funds such activity like a coward behind the scenes is equally guilty of inciting violence and destruction of private property.

Such people should be charged with aiding and abetting such criminality. Enter billionaire businessman George Soros.

As reported this week by The Washington Times, which investigated Soros’ donations to groups that have been spurred to unrest built on racial animosity, the billionaire rabble-rouser has given millions of his fortune to watch American cities descend into chaos:

Mr. Soros spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times.

In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations.

The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre.


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3D Printed Electric Unicycle

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3D Printed and Homemade ‘Ghost Guns’ Must Now Be Registered in California

(ANTIMEDIA) Sacramento, CA — California law will no longer look the other way on homemade guns, or “ghost guns,” as gun control advocates call them. Building a gun from parts or a 3-D printer will soon require a background check. It will also require that a state-provided serial number be permanently fixed to the weapon.

Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed Assembly Bill 857 into law on Friday, much to the chagrin of gun rights groups. Brown had vetoed similar legislation in 2014, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“I appreciate the author’s concerns about gun violence, but I can’t see how adding a serial number to a homemade gun would significantly advance public safety,” Brown wrote two years ago, the Bee reported.

Enough has apparently changed in that time; while California Senate President pro-Tempore Kevin de León’s (D-Los Angeles) 2014 bill failed, the 2016 version pushed by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) succeeded.

In addition to requiring a background check through the state’s Department of Justice in order to obtain an official serial number, the builder of the homemade gun is prohibited from selling or transferring the weapon under the new law. It goes into full effect in 2019, according to the Associated Press.


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10 Lesser Known Google iPhone Apps You Should Be Using

There are plenty of essential Google apps for your iPhone that you already know about. Think about the everyday utility of Google Maps or the hour by hour use of Google Calendar. There are also some lesser known apps that bring unexpected benefits to little corners of our worlds.

With over 2 million apps in the App Store, it is easy to forget that Google and its little band of merry apps aren’t only about search and email. They are also a bit about education and creativity, which is what this article is all about.

Yes, “lesser-known” is a very subjective hyphenation, but just like the not so obvious Google services on the web, these apps can be surprisingly handy when you put them to the task.

And Google has the pocket to offer them all to us for free.


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New venomous snake species discovered in Costa Rica

A group of researchers from the U.S. and Costa Rica announced this week the discovery of a new species of venomous snake in the mountains of Costa Rica that they’re calling the Talamancan palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nubestris).

Researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) discovered the snake in the cloud forests of the Talamanca mountain range, which runs through most of Costa Rica and northern Panama. Their research is published in the July 15 online issue of the journal Zootaxa.

The species went unrecognized for more than 150 years, likely because it looks almost identical to another species called the black-speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis). The two species share green and black coloring, and generally measure less than 60 centimeters (24 inches) long, although some reach nearly 102 cm (4o in.).

Their bodies are thin and both live at elevations ranging from 2,400 to 3,000 meters above sea level (7,800 to 9,800 feet).

Their main differences are genetic, but they also have some physical differences, mainly in the type and number of scales covering certain parts of their bodies.


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Can You Start a Fire with a Sandwich Bag?

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Cows Injected With “Happy” Chemicals Produce Better Milk

It’s no secret that most livestock on large-scale operations are treated pretty terribly. What seems to be less clear is whether happier animals—those given better food, more space, better lives—produce better food.

Some evidence indicates that keeping an animal safe and limiting its stress can lead to better-quality meat and milk; there are various scientific reasons for this which are not particularly well-understood, involving the impact of enzymes created in times of stress on muscle tissue, or, in the case of dairy cows, reducing their output of milk. One new bit of evidence is a little bit clearer, since it doesn’t actually involve making animals happier: just tricking the animal into thinking it is

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently published the results of an experiment in which dairy cows were injected with serotonin, a neurotransmitter usually thought to indicate, or cause, feelings of well-being and happiness. The aim was to find out what effect, if any, serotonin has on the treatment of hypocalcemia, a disorder affecting some dairy cows which can lead to reduced calcium content in milk (and thus, inferior milk, at least to the humans drinking it).


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US standards lab says SMS is no good for authentication

America’s National Institute for Standards and Technology has advised abandonment of SMS-based two-factor authentication.

That’s the gist of the latest draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline, here. Down in section, the document says out-of-band verification using SMS is deprecated and won’t appear in future releases of NIST’s guidance.

The change was first foreshadowed in May, with the agency now kicking off the first round of public comments for the document.

For now, NIST says a service still using SMS verification needs to confirm that it’s sending messages to a mobile number and not a VoIP service.

The body also says users need better protection against having messages hijacked, for example by an attacker persuading the service provider that the number has changed: “Changing the pre-registered telephone number SHALL NOT be possible without two-factor authentication at the time of the change”, the document states [NIST’s caps – Ed].


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Why The FBI Let Hillary Skate On The Email Scandal


Oligarchs are all about obtaining power in whatever manner they can manage.  One of their key methods is to “buy” those in positions of political power or groom one to be inserted into the mix when it is convenient for them.  All of it is based on utilitarian concepts and how useful the individual is.  When the individual displeases them or fails to perform, then the individual is “removed.”

We have seen numerous instances both domestically and abroad where this has happened, be that at the behest of Soros, Buffet, Gates, Zuckerberg…the list is long and distinguished.  Hillary Clinton is, in this case, the oligarch in question here.  Make no mistake: she is a form of an oligarch, positioning herself to become the president.  Her industry: politics.  She and her husband have made politics more than just an art form.  They have made it a lucrative endeavor, whether selling secrets to the Chinese and then benefiting after “they” leave office, or the innumerable public speaking venues at a quarter of a million per speech, per say, complementing her book signings during these venues.

Fast-forward to Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012 with the attack on the U.S. Consulate.  A U.S. Ambassador and his staff were murdered…a Democrat ambassador, mind you…they do “eat their own” when necessary.  Hillary Clinton was then Secretary of State.  Before any charges could be filed, she tendered her resignation.  We all knew that would happen and it did.  Fast-forward, and after a few mock investigations by paper tigers of Congress on the hill, she was not brought up on any charges regarding Benghazi, and the principal (Obama) was shielded completely.


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Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

The Apache HTTP server and KeePass password manager are to get a free code audit, courtesy of a pilot European Commission project.

The EC-FOSSA (free and open source software auditing project) pilot was conceived by the European parliament in 2014, and given €1 million to work with. As well as code audits, it’s got the daunting job of creating an inventory of open source software in use throughout the parliament and the European Commission.

EC-FOSSA asked the public to nominate projects for the first audit, and those two were far-and-away the most-nominated, with 23.1 per cent of the 3,282 comments nominating KeePass, and 18.7 per cent favouring Apache.


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MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

New York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide.

The document presents the findings of the Malaysian police’s investigation into Zaharie. It reveals that after the plane disappeared in March of 2014, Malaysia turned over to the FBI hard drives that Zaharie used to record sessions on an elaborate home-built flight simulator. The FBI was able to recover six deleted data points that had been stored by the Microsoft Flight Simulator X program in the weeks before MH370 disappeared, according to the document. Each point records the airplane’s altitude, speed, direction of flight, and other key parameters at a given moment. The document reads, in part:

Based on the Forensics Analysis conducted on the 5 HDDs obtained from the Flight Simulator from MH370 Pilot’s house, we found a flight path, that lead to the Southern Indian Ocean, among the numerous other flight paths charted on the Flight Simulator, that could be of interest, as contained in Table 2.

Taken together, these points show a flight that departs Kuala Lumpur, heads northwest over the Malacca Strait, then turns left and heads south over the Indian Ocean, continuing until fuel exhaustion over an empty stretch of sea.

Search officials believe MH370 followed a similar route, based on signals the plane transmitted to a satellite after ceasing communications and turning off course. The actual and the simulated flights were not identical, though, with the simulated endpoint some 900 miles from the remote patch of southern ocean area where officials believe the plane went down. Based on the data in the document, here’s a map of the simulated flight compared to the route searchers believe the lost airliner followed:

MH370’s presumed flight path is in yellow. Zaharie’s simulated suicide flight is in red.

Rumors have long circulated that the FBI had discovered such evidence, but Malaysian officials made no mention of the find in the otherwise detailed report into the investigation, “Factual Information,” that was released on the first anniversary of the disappearance.

The credibility of the rumors was further undermined by the fact that many media accounts mentioned “a small runway on an unnamed island in the far southern Indian Ocean,” of which there are none.


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Robomintoner Badminton Bot To Defeat Amateur Humans



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Monkeys Raid Polling Place, Tear Up Voter Lists

A Japanese macaque (or so called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi town, Nagano prefecture, Japan, November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino  - RTX1WGZP

A Japanese macaque (or so called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi town, Nagano prefecture, Japan, November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino – RTX1WGZP

Election officials in northern Thailand think they can buy off a gang of monkey vandals with fresh fruit and vegetables, after about 100 macaques tore up voter lists publicly posted ahead of next month’s referendum on a proposed constitution.

Phichit election official Prayoon Jakkraphatcharakul said if feeding the monkeys did not deter them, then newly installed sliding glass doors might – if they don’t figure out how to open them.


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WASHINGTON: #HIPAA The federal patient privacy law has not kept pace with tech.

WASHINGTON: #HIPAA The federal patient privacy law has not kept pace with wearable fitness trackers, mobile health apps and online patient communities, leaving a gaping hole in regulations that needs to be filled, according to a much-delayed government report released recently – @AceNewsServices

The federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA has not kept pace with wearable fitness trackers, mobile health apps and online patient communities, leaving a gaping hole in regulations that needs to be filled, according to a much-delayed government report released.

The report, which was supposed to be complete in 2010, does not include specific recommendations for fixing the problem, even though Congress asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide them.

HHS’ findings largely mirror those in a ProPublica story from last November. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the landmark 1996 patient-privacy law, only covers patient information kept by health providers, insurers and data clearinghouses, as well as their business partners. Falling outside the law’s purview: wearables like Fitbit that measure steps and sleep, at-home paternity tests, social media sites, and online repositories where individuals can store their health records.

Health privacy and security law experts have a reasonably clear idea of where HIPAA protections end, but the layperson likely does not,” said the report written by HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in conjunction with other agencies. “Moreover, even entrepreneurs, particularly those outside the health care industry … may not have a clear understanding of where HIPAA oversight begins and ends.”


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The Rise And Fall (And Rise Again) Of Frances Farmer

The life of actress Frances Farmer has been subject to dramatic fictionalization. But the truth of her life is much darker.

Frances Farmer

In 1935, Seattle native Frances Farmer made an incredibly consequential decision: The 22-year-old moved to New York, where she hoped to launch her theater career. While more interested in stage acting, Farmer ended up signing a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures, and from 1936 to 1958 appeared in 15 films alongside stars like Bing Crosby and Cary Grant.

She still wanted to be taken seriously as an actress, however, and thus traveled to upstate New York to participate in summer stock, where she caught the attention of playwright and director Clifford Odets.

He offered her a part in his play, Golden Boy. Reviewers on the play’s national tour praised Farmer, and she continued to work in the theater, spending only a few months out of the year in Los Angeles making movies.

Things Fall Apart

In 1942, however, Farmer’s life began to fall apart. In June, she and her first husband divorced. Next, after refusing to take a role in Take A Letter, Darling, Paramount suspended her contract. On October 19, Farmer was arrested for driving drunk with the car’s headlights on during a wartime blackout.

Police fined Farmer $500, and the judge forbade her from drinking. But Farmer still hadn’t paid the rest of her fine by 1943, and on January 6, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. On January 14, police tracked her down at the Knickerbocker Hotel — where she had been sleeping naked and drunk — and forced her to surrender to police custody.

According to the Evening Independent, Farmer admitted she had been drinking “everything I could get my hands on, including Benzedrine.” The judge sentenced her to 180 days in jail.

Newspapers captured the gritty details of Farmer’s violent behavior. Wrote the Independent: She “floored a matron, bruised an officer, and suffered some rufflement on her own part,” when police refused to let her use a telephone after her sentencing. Matrons then had to remove Farmer’s shoes as they carried her off to her cell, to prevent injury as she kicked them.

Farmer’s sister-in-law, who was present at the sentencing, decided that committing Farmer to a psychiatric hospital would be preferable to imprisonment. Thus Farmer was transferred to California’s Kimball Sanitarium, where she spent nine months.

Farmer’s mother, Lillian, then traveled to Los Angeles, where a judge awarded her guardianship over Farmer. The two returned to Seattle. Things didn’t get much better for Farmer: On March 24, 1944, Lillian had her daughter committed yet again, this time to Western State Hospital. Farmer was released three months later, supposedly cured.

Her freedom was short lived. Farmer’s mother sent her back to the hospital in May 1945, and though she was paroled briefly in 1946, Farmer would remain institutionalized at Western State Hospital for almost five more years.

It was Farmer’s time here — and author William Arnold’s 1978 book on it, Shadowland — that contributed most to her enduring legacy, however factually flawed. In the book, which Arnold claimed was a biography, he writes that Western State doctors performed a lobotomy on Farmer.

But in a 1983 court case over copyright infringement related to the book’s film adaptation, Arnold admitted that he made the story up, and the presiding judge ruled that “portions of the book were fabricated by Arnold from whole cloth despite the subsequent release of the book as nonfiction.”

But the damage was done. Frances, the film adaptation starring Jessica Lange, included Farmer’s lobotomy. Fiction, for all intents and purposes, became fact.


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The Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox: How ISIS Keeps Quiet on the Web

As the world dives deeper into the digital age, jihadist groups like ISIS and the Taliban have taken increasingly diverse measures to secure their communications and espouse their actions and ideas across the planet.

Propaganda has been a key measure of any jihadist group’s legitimacy since at least 2001, when al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn established the media house As-Sahab, which was intended to spread the group’s message to a regional audience throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Over the years, jihadist propaganda has taken a broader and more sophisticated tone. Al-Qaeda published the first issue of its digital newsmagazine, Inspire, in June of 2010. Inspire was aimed at an explicitly Western audience, and intended to call to jihad the would-be mujahideen throughout Europe and the United States.

When ISIS first took hold in Iraq and Syria, and formally declared its caliphate in the summer of 2014, the group capitalized on the groundwork laid by its predecessors and established an expansive, highly sophisticated media network to espouse its ideology. The group established local wilayat (provincial) media hubs, and members of its civil service distributed weekly newsletters, pamphlets, and magazines to citizens living under its caliphate. Billboards were posted in major cities under its control, including in Raqqah and Mosul; FM band radio broadcasts across 13 of its provinces were set up to deliver a variety of content, from fatwas and sharia lessons to daily news, poetry, and nasheeds; and Al-Hayat Media Center distributed its digital newsmagazine, Dabiq, in over a dozen languages to followers across the world.


As the group expanded its operational capacity and declared new wilayat throughout the Middle East and South Asia, secure communications became an increasingly valued necessity. Secure messenger apps like Telegram were widely reported to be used for communication and coordination, both among ISIS fighters and the fanboys who have taken to task the mission of propagating their message. But ISIS has also embraced numerous other methods of keeping its communications secure, and hidden from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies seeking to snoop on its web traffic.

Secure Browsers

According to deep web intelligence and cybersecurity firm Flashpoint, which conducted extensive analysis on “the jihadists‘ digital toolbox”, militants have been evaluating secure browsers for use in disseminating propaganda and communicating via email since May of 2007.

During the summer of 2008, Tor’s popularity grew sharply within jihadist Deep and Dark Web forums. This time frame also marks the inception of the first proprietary jihadist encryption tool, Asrar Al-Mujahideen. Shortly thereafter, a top jihadist web forum was abuzz with deeper discussions of encryption, privacy, and naturally ― Tor. In particular, one forum member distributed guidelines describing Tor’s implications and best practices for jihadists.

The guidelines suggested that jihadists download the Tor browser on a portable flash drive, for use at internet cafes and across multiple computers – a method also embraced by journalists and activists who seek to hide their online actions.

While Tor remains the dominant browser for use among jihadists, ISIS has also taken to using the free VPN service built into Opera, a popular alternative web browser marketed to internet users for its slew of privacy and security tools. In April of 2016, an ISIS member posted on a web forum with detailed instructions for mujahideen to use the browser and hide their digital footprint.


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US Navy Accused of Pirating $600M Worth of Software

Bitmanagement Software

Germany-based Bitmanagement Software has sued the US Navy for nearly $600 million for copying “hundreds of thousands” of pieces of content in its 3D modeling software BS Contact Geo.

The suit, filed in the US Court of Federal Claims and reported by The Register, says Bitmanagement inked a deal with the Navy in 2011. During a pilot, Bitmanagement installed 38 copies of its software on Navy computers. By 2013, Bitmanagement says it was in negotiations with the Navy to expand its use of the software, so it disabled copy-protection to allow the Navy to use the software as it wished.

However, the lawsuit claims that the negotiations ultimately went nowhere and additional licenses were not purchased. But the Navy deployed the software to nearly 560,000 government computers in violation of the company’s licensing policies; it only paid for 38.


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School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree

Elanora Heights Public School (above) has banned students from clapping, only allowing them ‘silent cheers’ if a teacher approves. Picture: NSW Department of Education


CLAPPING has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”.

The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The latest example of a political correctness outbreak in Australian schools, which have banned hugging, singing Christmas carols, celebrating Australia Day and singing the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “baa baa black sheep”.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.


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Call for Australia to appoint cyber ambassador

A senior official from the security services company Forcepoint has welcomed the appointment of Dan Tehan as the minister assisting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for cyber security, but says that, given Tehan’s numerous roles, the appointment of a “cyber ambassador” will be key to co-ordinating Australia’s efforts in this direction.

Guy Eilon, senior director and general manager ANZ, told iTWire that Tehan’s appointment was a sign the government was taking cybercrime seriously and “an important step in fulfilling the long-awaited national cyber security strategy”.

But, at the same time, he added, that given Tehan was appointed to fulfil cyber strategy it raised questions of whether he would be able to critically evaluate and amend the programme with growing cyber security threats.

Tehan wears a number of hats in Turnbull’s ministry: he is minister for defence personnel, minister assisting the prime minister for the centenary of ANZAC, minister for veteran’s affairs and minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security.


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