Big Bro Watchin’ Yo | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Big Bro Watchin’ Yo

  • The scale of the problem in Latin America is not known, but a recent survey of emergency hospital admissions in Bogotá, Colombia, found that around 70 per cent of patients drugged with burundanga had also been robbed, and around three per cent sexually assaulted. “The most common symptoms are confusion and amnesia,” says Juliana Gomez, a Colombian psychiatrist who treats victims of burundanga poisoning. “It makes victims disoriented and sedated so they can be easily robbed.” Medical evidence verifies this, but news reports allude to another, more sinister, effect: that the drug removes free will, effectively turning victims into suggestible human puppets. Although not fully understood by neuroscience, free will is seen as a highly complex neurological ability and one of the most cherished of human characteristics. Clearly, if a drug can eliminate this, it highlights a stark vulnerability at the core of our species.
  • There is one entire country, however, that Google Earth won’t show you: Israel.

    That’s because, in 1997, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, one section of which is titled, “Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel.” The amendment, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, calls for a federal agency, the NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs, to regulate the dissemination of zoomed-in images of Israel.

    When asked about the regulation, a Google spokeswoman said to Mother Jones, “The images in Google Earth are sourced from a wide range of both commercial and public sources. We source our satellite imagery from US-based companies who are subject to US law, including the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, which limits the resolution of imagery of Israel that may be commercially distributed.”

  • Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programme designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an undisclosed location in the northeast, Nature has learned.

    Like a lie detector, FAST measures a variety of physiological indicators, ranging from heart rate to the steadiness of a person’s gaze, to judge a subject’s state of mind. But there are major differences from the polygraph. FAST relies on non-contact sensors, so it can measure indicators as someone walks through a corridor at an airport, and it does not depend on active questioning of the subject.

  • Human organs could be grown inside pigs for use in transplant operations following research using stem cells.
  • TEPCO was able to control information through the age-old system of Press Clubs, where the government provides information to selected media.

    But The Mail on Sunday spoke to sources inside the Japanese nuclear industry who knew that radiation readings spiked 155 miles south of Fukushima, immediately after the first explosion. They were told by officials to keep the findings quiet.

    A survey by Fuji Television Network last month found that 81 per cent of the public no longer trusts any government information about radiation.

  • Despite reports that it was a war with the loose online collective Anonymous, today hacker group LulzSec has announced it is to team up with the online community to begin “Operation Anti-Security”, a declaration which will see it attack any government or agency that “crosses their path”.

    LulzSec, famous for compromising the servers of Fox, Sony, the CIA, PBS and a number of other websites, announced its plans in its usual fashion, posting a release to Pastebin and then tweeting the link from its 217,000 strong Twitter account.

    As part of the campaign, LulzSec encourages attackers to compromise government websites and flaunt the word “AntiSec”, prompting interested parties to consider tagging buildings with the same phrase with physical graffiti art. Uniting all that wish to join them, the hacker group wants acts of corruption exposed, all in the name of Anti-Security.

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which runs the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, started Sunday to pour water into a pool on the top floor of reactor 4 of the six-reactor plant after it discovered the water level had dropped to about one-third of its capacity, public broadcaster NHK reported.

    The drop caused equipment in the pool to be exposed, releasing high levels of radiation, officials said.

    The radiation levels at reactor 4 have been preventing workers from entering the structure to conduct repairs.

    TEPCO also began late Sunday to release air containing radioactive substances from the building of reactor 2 by opening its doors.

    An estimated 1.6 billion becquerels of radioactive materials were released, compared with 500 million becquerels when the double doors of the building of reactor 1 were opened in May, the Jiji Press agency reported, citing TEPCO.

    The operator denied that the releases would have an impact on the environment.

  • Today the National Association of the Deaf, the nation’s premier civil rights organization of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, filed a lawsuit against Netflix, charging that the entertainment company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide closed captioning for most of its “Watch Instantly” movies and television shows that are streamed over the internet. An estimated 36 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing and, as noted in a press release about the lawsuit, many had repeatedly appealed to Netflix via letters, petitions and social media tools.
  • We now know that Nato is using Twitter as a source of intelligence. We know that people are posting coordinates of potential targets to Nato.

    But we do not know how Nato uses Twitter. Are there accounts out there covertly operated by intelligence officials under pseudonyms, engaging with tweeters?

    Are you aware of accounts which may be being used by Nato to gather intelligence from Libya? Do you have examples of tweeters posting coordinates of locations which are then targeted by Nato air strikes?

  • President Obama is expected to announcewithin a week if and how many combat troops he plans to withdraw from the war in Afghanistan. Some of those who will be most impacted by the decision are U.S. soldiers and their families and Afghans who have been dealing with the ramifications of the war for nearly a decade.

    Yet the war is affecting more than just Western soldiers and their families and Afghan citizens. It has become a costly drain on our nation’s treasury; the money that is being spent on the war represents resources that are being drained away from important domestic priorities in a nation with sky-high unemployment and crumbling infrastructure.

  • “When I stubbed my toe, it felt like someone slammed it with a hammer,” says Shawn, still shaken by the recollection.

    At first he thought the problem was “all in his head” and he could “tough it out.” But after several days, when the pain had not diminished, he went to his doctor. The diagnosis—opioid-induced hyperalgesia—was so bizarre that it might have been lifted from the plot of a horror movie. The painkillers had not merely lost their effect—they had triggered a syndrome of hypersensitivity to pain, even to stimuli that previously had not registered as painful.

    Opiate-induced hyperalgesia is what doctors call “a paradoxical phenomenon,” a drug having the reverse effect than intended. After decades of heroin abuse topped off by a medical course of OxyContin and other prescription opiates for pain, the accumulated damage caused certain receptors in Shawn’s central nervous system leading to certain pathways in his brain pathways to hit critical mass. His pain wiring went haywire.

  • Years of weak regulation, a lack of legislation and no prescription-drug-monitoring program — combined with doctors who liberally prescribe narcotics — helped make Florida the poster child for the prescription-drug epidemic.

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