Bailouts | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Chimp Out!

  • Police say a woman was caught trying to sneak her common-law-husband out of a Mexican prison in a suitcase following a conjugal visit.

    A spokesman for police in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo says staff at the prison in Chetumal noticed that the woman seemed nervous and was pulling a black, wheeled suitcase that looked bulky.

  • “These stores are trying to trick people into thinking they need an HDMI lead costing over £100 after buying a Full HD TV. This is simply not the case. You shouldn’t be spending more than £4 on an HDMI cable,” it said.

    “An HDMI cable is an HDMI cable,” Kogan added. “It’s a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don’t. Don’t get conned into buying a ‘fancy’ HDMI cable because it will make no difference!”

  • The use of wiretaps is on the rise, according to a government report released Thursday.

    The number of state and federal wiretaps reported swelled by 34 percent from 2009 to 2010, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts report said. Of the 3,194 wiretaps authorized in 2010, 1,987 were approved by state judges and 1,207 were granted by federal judges. A single application was rejected in 2010.

    More than 80 percent of applications in 2010 involved drug cases. California, New York and New Jersey attributed to 68 percent of the state court applications.

  • Outside, the global position system allows mobile phone users to pinpoint their location with surprising accuracy.

    But indoors, those who are lost are out of luck: GPS satellite signals can’t penetrate roofs.

    Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have determined one way of figuring out your location inside: by letting your phone listen. Their new mobile phone app, called Batphone, allows users to record ambient noise in a room and tag it with an acoustic fingerprint, which allows future users to use that database of fingerprints to determine their location.

  • More than six months have passed since Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and others cut WikiLeaks’ purse strings. And if that blockade lasts six more days, the secret-spilling group plans to take its financial fight to the courtroom.

    If Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe haven’t re-opened payment WikiLeaks by next Thursday, the group and its payment provider DataCell plan to file a complaint with the E.U. Commission against the two companies as well as the Danish payment processor Teller, according to Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, the Icelandic lawyer for WikiLeaks and DataCell.

    “They’re boycotting Datacell and Wikileaks without any objective justification,” says Sveinsson. “This is clearly an abuse of their market dominance.”

  • Facebook Friend Exporter is a Chrome extension developed by Mohamed Mansour, an open source software engineer, that lets you grab all the information about your Facebook friends so you can import them elsewhere. Because it got popular recently, Facebook noticed and began to block the extension.
  • A BOOBY-trapped car explodes as a bomb disposal expert approaches in a desperate bid to disarm a device inside.

    But incredibly he escaped with his life.

    The man took the full force of the blast yesterday but his heavy body armour saved him from serious injury as the vehicle disintegrated in a cloud of smoke and flame.

  • In the years following the 1979 reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, more than 50 reactor projects were cancelled across the United States. While many of these reactors had yet to move beyond the planning stages, a number of units that were well into construction were cancelled and abandoned. Closer regulatory scrutiny after the accident combined with a difficult economy to make a host of half-completed projects unviable, and left their wreckage strewn across remote farmland and fog-choked coniferous forests from Tennessee to Washington state.
  • The primate went to investigate the equipment before becoming fascinated with his own reflection in the lens.

    And it wasn’t long before the crested black macaque hijacked the camera and started snapping away sending award-winning photographer David Slater bananas.

    David, 46, said: “One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy.

    “At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection.

    “They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button.

  • Kyle Richards, 21, claims he is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and that his civil rights are being violated at Macomb County Jail.

    In a hand-written lawsuit, Richards said denying his request for erotic material subjects him to a ‘poor standard of living’ and ‘sexual and sensory deprivation’.

    The document describes him as suffering from ‘chronic masturbation syndrome and severe sexual discomfort,’ and Richards argues that he needs pornography to treat his medical condition.

  • Graduates from Royal College of Art have discovered a way to turn hair cuttings, that parlours throw away as waste, into sustainable eyewear named “Hair Glasses”.
  • Throughout the months of lies and misinformation, one story has stuck: “The earthquake knocked out the plant’s electric power, halting cooling to its reactors,” as the government spokesman Yukio Edano said at a March 15 press conference in Tokyo. The story, which has been repeated again and again, boils down to this: “after the earthquake, the tsunami – a unique, unforeseeable [the Japanese word is soteigai] event – then washed out the plant’s back-up generators, shutting down all cooling and starting the chain of events that would cause the world’s first triple meltdown to occur.”

    But what if recirculation pipes and cooling pipes, burst, snapped, leaked, and broke completely after the earthquake — long before the tidal wave reached the facilities, long before the electricity went out? This would surprise few people familiar with the 40-year-old Unit 1, the grandfather of the nuclear reactors still operating in Japan.

  • Then Picard handed me a pair of special glasses. The instant I put them on I discovered that I had got it all terribly wrong. That look of admiration, I realised, was actually confusion and disagreement. Worse, she was bored out of her mind. I became privy to this knowledge because a little voice was whispering in my ear through a headphone attached to the glasses. It told me that Picard was “confused” or “disagreeing”. All the while, a red light built into the specs was blinking above my right eye to warn me to stop talking. It was as though I had developed an extra sense.
  • The brain works differently when memorizing the face of a person from one’s own race than when attempting to remember the face of someone of another race, new biological evidence suggests.

    The well-documented “other-race effect” finds that people are less likely to remember a face from a racial group different from their own. Northwestern University researchers set out to determine what causes this rift in perception and memory by using electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, which measure brain activity, while participants viewed photos of various faces.

  • al-Qaeda fanatics in Britain are being taught to avoid detection – by pretending to be gay.

    A new terror training manual tells Islamic extremists to lie about their sexuality if a woman approaches them in case she is a “honeytrap” spy sent by security services.

  • Mission Statement: We wanted to apply 365 layers of makeup in one day to see how much is needed to go from a natural look to an outrageous one.
  • The presidential seal fell off US President Barack Obama’s lectern, clattering to the stage, as he delivered a speech at a women’s conference on Tuesday.
  • The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.
  • The Obama campaign website was hacked on Tuesday and invited supporters to two fake anti-government events hosted by an unnamed “Commy Obama.”

    The campaign’s application for mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, directed users to two events titled “Rules of Politics” scheduled for noon on Tuesday in Washington.

    “1. Politicians and other public servants lie,” read the event description provided on the Obama campaign website. (Full screenshot here.) “2. Politicians tell you what you want to hear and offer to provide things for ‘free’ to get votes. 3. When government buys, the people pay.”

    The 430-word message lists 21 total anti-government criticisms, none of which target Obama, another politician or a particular political party by name.

  • Ahmed Ezz El-Arab, a vice chairman of Egypt’s Wafd Party, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Washington Times last week while in the Hungarian capital attending the Conference on Democracy and Human Rights.

    He denied that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II.

    “The Holocaust is a lie” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said. “The Jews under German occupation were 2.4 million. So if they were all exterminated, where does the remaining 3.6 million come from?”

    Mr. Ezz El-Arab said he accepted that the Nazis killed “hundreds of thousands” of Jews. “But gas chambers and skinning them alive and all this? Fanciful stories,” he added. (AUDIO: on the Holocaust)

    Mr. Ezz El-Arab also attacked the authenticity of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which he said he studied as a doctoral student in Stockholm. “I could swear to God it’s a fake,” the Wafd leader said. “The girl was there, but the memoirs are a fake.”

  • The Mayor is challenged under a recall election beginning next month. Accusations have been made. The city council is persecuting the Mayor for giving the people a voice. The Chief of Police is also involved in the scandal.

    Jennifer Jones is given the floor at a city council meeting open to the public. While she is speaking the council realizes she’s about to air their dirty laundry and quickly beckons their henchman to cart her off.

    The Mayor steps in and says Jones has been recognized to speak and has not violated the council’s rules, but the council ignores him and has the woman removed even as the Mayor continues to contest. The police officers ignore the Mayor of the city and remove the woman. It’s obvious who those cops work for, and it’s not the people.

  • If we ever want to turn this country around, we need to be very honest with ourselves. We need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that it is not a good thing that we are number one in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes. We have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay. Until we understand just how bad our problems really are, we won’t be able to come up with the solutions that we need.

    A lot of people that write articles like this have a deep hatred for America. But that is not the case with me. I love the United States. I love the American people. America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs. America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

  • The Army’s $2.7 billion computing system designed to share real-time intelligence with troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has hurt, rather than helped, efforts to fight insurgents because it doesn’t work properly, several analysts who have used the system say.
  • The Federal Reserve is primarily concerned with one thing and that is to protect the interests of the banking industry. The Fed has no desire or need to protect the underlying economy. If they can get away with allowing banks to jump from one bubble to another they will do so. The success of the overall economy is only consequential if it aligns with the deeper interests of the banking cabal. This weekend former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan mentioned that simply bailing out Greece was a temporary measure. When pressed he went back into “Greenspeak” and rambled on in his typical obtuse language. The reason why global banks fear Greece is not because of the country itself, but because the country has billions of dollars in debt that global banks hold. These banks do not want to pay for their bad bets and would rather shift the cost to the overall population in general. The Fed balance sheet here in the U.S. is now up to $2.84 trillion, another record that gets no airtime in the press.
  • New research from Cambridge University indicates that a third of people have felt overwhelmed by technology – but children still prefer face-to-face communication
  • Algorithmic editing of the internet
  • Not Even Once of the Day: A couple smokes Salvia without a sober spotter. Everything goes as expected.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 6, 2011

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Welcome to Foreclosureland

  • Prepare yourself to be floored:
    Google Maps keeps evolving, expanding the ability to drill down into granular detail. The latest updated trick? Mapping foreclosures for sale.
  • But what if criminals aren’t playing the lottery straight? What if they have a method that, like Srivastava’s frequency-of-occurrence trick, can dramatically increase the odds of winning? As Srivastava notes, if organized crime had a system that could identify winning tickets more than 65 percent of the time, then the state-run lottery could be turned into a profitable form of money laundering. “You’ve got to realize that, for people in organized crime, making piles of money is one of their biggest problems,” says Charles Johnston, a supervisory special agent in the organized crime section of the FBI. “If they could find a way to safely launder money without taking too big a loss, then I can guarantee you they’d start doing it in a heartbeat.” There is no direct evidence that criminals are actually using these government-run gambling games to hide their crimes.
  • The US military paid $285 billion over three years to hundreds of military contractors that defrauded the Pentagon over the same stretch of time, a US senator charged Wednesday.
  • A foreign intelligence report says that the control systems of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant have been penetrated by a computer worm unleashed last year — and is warning of a possible Chernobyl-like disaster once the site becomes fully operational.
  • Divorced and lonely, Kate Roberts thought her luck had changed when a charming U.S. soldier started chatting to her on a dating website.

    When he told he loved her, she thought it was almost too good to be true. And sadly, it was.

    The ‘soldier’ was in fact a member of a sophisticated Nigerian gang set up to exploit vulnerable women and convince them to hand over money.

  • The next time you’re about to leave a snarky comment on someone’s blog or give up an hour to bid for things you don’t need on eBay, consider this: What you do and the self you create online could be forever changing the person you really are.
    More Video

    The Internet may connect us in unprecedented ways, and it may put more information at our fingertips than ever before. But just as it’s changing how the world works, one psychiatrist says it may be irreparably altering how our personalities develop.

  • Italian researchers who specialize in resolving art mysteries said Wednesday they have discovered the disputed identity of the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa — and claimed he was a man.

    Silvano Vinceti, chairman of the Italian national committee for cultural heritage, said the Florence-born Renaissance artist’s male apprentice and possible lover Salai was the main inspiration for the picture.

    However his claim was immediately disputed by experts at the Louvre in Paris, where the painting is on display.

    Salai, real name Gian Giacomo Caprotti, an effeminate young artist who worked with da Vinci for 25 years, is thought to have served as a model and muse for several of his paintings. The pair had an “ambiguous” relationship and were probably lovers, Vinceti said.

  • I know I keep saying it, but I told you so. The Observer is reporting that, according to its sources, the EPA is likely to agree to cut its current estimate of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by BP’s Macondo well that blew out on April 20. BP has officially disputed the government’s estimate, saying that it could be half of the official estimate, citing multiple estimates and lack of actual measurement of the flow. The Observer is reporting that the EPA agrees that estimates are not 100% accurate, signalling the weakness of the government’s position.
  • Kids… they grow up so fast these days. So fast, that Walmart has introduced a youth-preserving cosmetics line called “geoGirl” aimed at kids ages 8 to 12 — a demographic with an estimated $2 billion in buying power. Some commentators are in an uproar over the entry-level makeup products, some of which are touted to have anti-aging ingredients. Here, a brief instant guide:
  • Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger Tuesday against the autocratic leader.
  • Finally, if it’s comic relief you’re after, turn to Page 105 for an interview with Angelo R. Mozilo, former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, a lender that profited by roping unsuspecting borrowers into poisonous loans.

    Mr. Mozilo, the commission said, described his company as having “prevented social unrest” by providing loans to 25 million borrowers, many of them members of minority groups. Never mind that throngs of these loans have resulted in foreclosures and evictions. “Countrywide was one of the greatest companies in the history of this country,” Mr. Mozilo maintained, “and probably made more difference to society, to the integrity of our society, than any company in the history of America.”

    You cannot make this stuff up.

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