Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Videogames train you for lucid dreaming? - Boing Boing

Videogames train you for lucid dreaming? - Boing Boing: "Videogames train you for lucid dreaming?

David Pescovitz at 8:52 AM Friday, May 28, 2010

Images Salvador-Dali-The-Dream1
Can playing videogames train you as a lucid dreamer? Psychologist Jayne Gackenbach thinks so, according to work she presented at this week's Games for Health Conference in Boston. For several years, Gackenbach, a researcher at Grant MacEwan University, studied similarities in skills between gamers and individuals who have learned to control their dreams. She also looked at how videogame-play seemed to affect nightmares. From LiveScience (painting is Salvador Dali's 'The Dream'):

'If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice,' said Gackenbach. 'Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams....'

Finding awareness and some level of control in gamer dreams was one thing. But Gackenbach also wondered if video games affected nightmares, based on the 'threat simulation' theory proposed by Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo. Revonsuo suggested that dreams might mimic threatening situations from real life, except in the safe environment of dream world. Such nightmares would help organisms hone their avoidance skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation.

To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a 2008 study with 35 males and 63 females, and used independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports. She found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something 'fun' for a gamer.

'What happens with gamers is that something inexplicable happens,' Gackenbach explained. 'They don't run away, they turn and fight back. They're more aggressive than the norms.'

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Tarvuism - The official international internet website for the Tarvuist faith

Tarvuism - The official international internet website for the Tarvuist faith: "Join Us!
Thousands of people just like you are becoming Tarvuists every day. Now's your turn. Join us....
Say 'Hebbo' to Tarvuism!

Why not take a look at some of our exciting web pages? Click on the Tarvupedia to read our online Tarvuist encyclopedia, learn all about Tarvu, chat to other Tarvuists in our Tarvuist forum, and find out how you too can become a Tarvuist.
Watch our film below and see what people say about Tarvuism.
“...And Tarvu created the Universe, and then the other Universe, and He was tired but happy. For He had created...creation.” (The Tarvunty, Qu*st*ons, 1-2, vv.2)

Since the dawn of time, mankind has searched for the meaning of life and existence. Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? But thanks to Tarvu - Lord and Master of the Universes - mankind can find the answers to all of life's questions.

Tarvu - creator of Universe A and Universe B (we live in Universe B) - came to Earth over 3,000 years ago as a tiny baby boy. After landing in the oceans, and swimming with Oobu the holy octopus, Tarvu came ashore and lived amongst men and women so that he could teach them 'to live'. Soon his Word spread, and that Word became Tarvuism.

Tarvuism is one of the oldest and largest religions in the world, with over 1 billion followers in over 150 countries - from afar as Iceland to Timonia - speaking as many languages. As Tarvu said 'Every land is nice, and everyone who lives there is nice too'. (Chronicles of Amzamiviram, Cpt 44).

Tarvu's teachings - in the holy book, The Tarvunty - show man and woman the path to true righteousness. His Word points to a unifying vision of the purpose of existence (or 'mdfitty numnum') and lead, ultimately, to a Tarvunian paradise.

Praise Tarvu!

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Rushfield Babylon (Gary As I Knew Him)

Rushfield Babylon (Gary As I Knew Him): "Gary As I Knew Him

In 1984 Gary Coleman came to Crossroads School, where he enrolled in my class.

Of all the schools in the world, Crossroads was probably the one were Gary probably had the greatest chance of living anything resembling a normal life, given the liberalisness of the school meant that people generally didnt get beaten up for being short, etc and the school’s showbiz connections where every third parent was Barbara Streisand meant that he was not the spectacle he might have been elsewhere.

But that was not much of a chance. Even given all that, he was still Gary Coleman, at that time - with Strokes nearing the end of it’s run, the highest paid TV star on Earth, and not in any way shape or form anything resembling a normal kid. So despite it being Crossroads, the gawking and spectacle of his presence was not minimal.

And it soon became clear that while he wanted very much, fairly desperately in fact, to enjoy some of the trappings due to a “normal kid” he was completely without any experience in how to behave with people his age.

Of all the bad hands people have been dealt in life, of the people who I have known up close, compared to the starving in Mongolia, Gary had as about a rotten combination as anything I’d seen. I won’t give the details, but there was very much a horrifying tragedy about his life, a desperation that I think at age 16, was too big for us his classmates to comprehend or take in.

This was a kid who had been shoved on stage before he knew what the stage was; who had been farmed out by his parents to a network that used this child and his instant catch phrase as their trained seal while entirely depriving him of the life of a normal child. At this phase, Strokes had moved from NBC to squeeze once last season’s worth of blood out of it on ABC. We didn’t know then how the parents were systematically pillaging the fortunes their son was bringing in, but I do recall a sorta uncomfortable feeling about his father coming to pick him up in a massive, I believe Rolls Royce every day. And then there were his health problems which kept him in more pain than any of us knew and ultimately forced him to drop out before graduation.

But despite all this, there was this sense of some incredibly energetic mind trying to do things, striving, searching for his way, as all teenagers are, but with far fewer guideposts. On one end of the spectrum was the day he came to school dressed in an elaborate and impressive astronaut’s uniform. On the other end, he was writing screenplays - something back then that teenagers didn’t really do - which he carried around in his briefcase, spinning plans for a writing/directing career.

Given all that he had to deal with, its not surprising that he was never able to find the way through all the clutter of his life, the baggage of being Gary Coleman, to live out his dreams. How many of us after all do, with far less clinging onto us.

The last time I saw him was a few years after high school in a video store in Westwood. Strokes was long over by then, and he was buying up a huge selection of movies to watch, and clearly didn’t have anyone to watch them with him. I wish I could say I reached out a hand to an old classmate, but again, we were young and selfish, and too new at life to understand how his hyperactive clinginess was born from a real tragedy not just like a nerd being annoying.

As I grew older and watched now from afar, the reports his life get stranger and stranger, it became more clear how much what had happened in those days had cost him; to have your childhood stolen by our nation’s major industry when you are very young, small, ill and fragile, how does one recover from that and ever just “be normal”, particularly when you remain, long after the show has ended and the money is gone, such a recognizable figure, someone who, where ever you go will live with being a character that you never were given the chance to pick. Sadder still to think, from the very little glimpse I got, that there were real dreams in there that would never find their way to the light.

Even in death, as we can see on twitter today, the joke of being Gary Coleman is what the world sees first.

Rest in Peace, Gary. And hope that you’re now in a place where the road is for you and you alone to choose.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Intelligent design to be taught in Queensland schools under national curriculum | Courier Mail

Intelligent design to be taught in Queensland schools under national curriculum | Courier Mail: "Intelligent design to be taught in Queensland schools under national curriculum

* by Carly Hennessy
* From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
* May 30, 2010 12:00AM

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CREATIONISM and intelligent design will be taught in Queensland state schools for the first time as part of the new national curriculum.

Creationists dismiss the science of evolution, instead believing that living things are best explained by an intelligent being or God, rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

The issue of creationism being taught in schools has caused huge controversy in the US, where some fundamentalist religious schools teach it as a science subject instead of Darwin's theory of evolution.

In Queensland schools, creationism will be offered for discussion in the subject of ancient history, under the topic of 'controversies'.

Don't miss The Courier-Mail on Tuesday for the 2010 High School Report, an eight-page liftout containing Year 12 results, including OPs, from every school across the state

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Related Coverage

* Origin of life: Ban design theory in class: scientists
* 'Dumbed down': New 'history war'
* Vatican: Hell 'harder' for paedophile priests

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Teachers are still formulating a response to the draft national curriculum, scheduled to be introduced next year.

Queensland History Teachers' Association head Kay Bishop said the curriculum asked students to develop their historical skills in an 'investigation of a controversial issue' such as 'human origins (eg, Darwin's theory of evolution and its critics').

'It's opening up opportunities for debate and discussion, not to push a particular view,' Ms Bishop said. Classroom debate about issues encouraged critical thinking – an important tool, she said.

Associated Christian Schools executive officer Lynne Doneley welcomed the draft curriculum, saying it cemented the position of a faith-based approach to teaching.

'We talk to students from a faith science basis, but we're not biased in the delivery of curriculum,' Mrs Doneley said. 'We say, 'This is where we're coming from' but allow students to make up their own minds.'

But Griffith University humanities lecturer Paul Williams said it was important to be cautious about such content.

'It's important that education authorities are vigilant that this is not a blank cheque to push theological barrows,' Mr Williams said.

'I would be loath to see it taught as theory.

'It's up there with the world being occupied by aliens since Roswell.'

Ms Bishop said there were bigger problems with the national curriculum.

History teachers are planning to object to repetitive subject matter, such as World War I being a major part of the Year 10 course and repeated in Year 11.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Digital Britain and the return of the Stationer’s Company | The Media Wonk

Digital Britain and the return of the Stationer’s Company | The Media Wonk: "Digital Britain and the return of the Stationer’s Company
April 11th, 2010 | Categories: Copyright, Global IP, Internet, Legal, Licensing, Policy, Regulation | Tags: Copyright, digital britain, digital economy bill, HADOPI

Last week marked the 300th anniversary of the Statute of Anne, the first true modern copyright law in the West, which was passed by the British Parliament in 1710. It established a copyright term of 14 years and, for the first time, brought the author on stage as the party in whom the right was vested, rather than the bookseller/printer who had dominated the trade both legally and commercially since Gutenberg’s time. The statute also made the term renewable for another 14 years if the author were still alive at the expiration of the initial period.

Last week also occasioned the passage in England of the Digital Economy Bill, which, for the first time, made ISPs legally liable for the actions of their subscribers and imposed on them an affirmative obligation to protect copyrights to which they are not party. The timing of the passage was surely a coincidence. It’s unlikely many in Parliament were aware of date’s significance. But it presented a striking juxtaposition nonetheless.

Prior to 1710, the book and printing trade in Britain (they were one in the same) was controlled by the Stationer’s Company of London, a royally chartered corporation with the power to enforce crown-sanctioned publishing monopolies (also called patents), regulate the import of books and see to it that no “seditious” or otherwise “objectionable” books or pamphlets were printed within the kingdom.

Since 1662, the Stationer’s had operated under the Licensing Act, which made it a crime to print any book in Britain without a license (the history of the Stationer’s Company actually goes back much farther, and is fascinating but beyond the scope of this blog post). To be licensed, a printer had to be a member in good standing of the stationer’s guild and submit to the authority of the Stationer’s Company.

The purpose of the 1662 Act was to regulate the potentially dangerous technology of printing, not to protect anything we would recognize today as authorial rights or intellectual property. Once an author had sold his “copy” (i.e. manuscript) to a printer, under the Stationer’s Company system, he had no further legal or contractual claim on the proceeds. It was fundamentally a system of censorship and control, but one that was highly lucrative for the printers.

By 1693, the Licensing Act was set to expire. Anxious to maintain their monopolies, printers agitated for an extension. They got one, but only until 1695, when the debate began again.

By then, however, the politics of publishing had changed. Influenced by the writings of John Locke and Daniel Defoe, among others, the legal foundations of monopolies and censorship got swept up in partisan debates that erupted in the years following the Glorious Revolution. So, too, did traditions like the operation of the Stationer’s Company that smacked of royal privilege.

The text and structure of the Statute of Anne reflect that ferment. In particular, the introduction of the author as a legal and economic actor in his own right was seen as a way to resolve many of the tensions over licensing and monopoly.

In his Essay on the Regulation of the Press, Defoe argued that investing authors with proprietary rights would resolve the problem of writers issuing objectionable works anonymously without a license by inducing them to take ownership of their work by putting their name to it. Should a published work be deemed objectionable, the author could be sanctioned after the fact. Thus, the licensing system would become unnecessary.

For if an Author has not the right of a Book, after he has made it, and the benefit be not his own, and the Law will not protect him in that Benefit, ‘twould be very hard the Law should pretend to punish him for it.

‘Twould be unaccountably severe, to make a Man answerable for the Miscarriages of a thing which he shall not reap the benefit of if well perfom’d.

Similarly, authorial rights were seen as a useful mechanism for breaking the hold not only of individual printers’ monopolies but of the Stationer’s Company’s grip on the book trade generally. As the copyright historian Lyman Patterson wrote in Copyright in Historical Perspective:

The monopolies at which the statute was aimed were too long established to be attacked without some basis for change. The most logical and natural basis for the changes was the author. Although the author had never held copyright, his interest was always promoted by the stationers as a means to their end. Their arguments had been, essentially, that without order in the trade provided by copyright, publishers would not publish books, and therefore would not pay authors for their manuscripts. The draftsmen of the Statute of Anne put these arguments to use, and the author was used primarily as a weapon against monopoly.

The maximum 28-year term of protection in the law served to emphasize the point.

Though the framers of the Statute of Anne may have had limited aims, there was nothing limited about what they accomplished. In addition to making owners of authors, the law transformed copyright from what was essentially a legal and regulatory system to a system based on market incentives, laying the foundation of the Anglo-American system of copyright for the next three centuries.

Three hundred years later, almost to the day, we have the spectacle of the British Parliament again wrestling with a nettlesome new communication technology. Only this time it’s the technology itself that threatens to obliterate publishing monopolies and the “reformers” that seek to reassert them.

As happened then, a new actor has been called on stage to try to resolve the tension, in this case the Internet service provider. Rather than investing the ISP the new actor with proprietary rights, as the enlightenment thinkers of the 17th Century proposed, the Digital Economy Bill imposes on ISPs new obligations.

Under the new law, copyright owners can send ISPs “copyright infringement reports,” identify instances of alleged infringement. ISPs are obligated to pass the notice on to the subscriber identified by IP address. If requested, ISPs are also required to provide copyright owners with a “copyright infringement list,” identifying all instances of infringement by a user.

The law also compels Ofcom, the U.K.’s communications regulatory authority, to report every three and 12 months on the level of copyright infringement occurring online. The government then has the power to order Ofcom to require ISPs to implement technical measures to address infringement, ranging from throttling and bandwidth shaping to blocking specific sites and suspending users’ accounts.

If an ISP fails to implement the required technical measures it can be fined by the government.

In fairness, the law is not likely to be as Draconian as that summary makes it sound. There are many conditions that must be met before the most severe penalties can be imposed, and any penalties that do result must square with European Union directives that are more protective of online privacy. But it’s a striking departure nonetheless from the legacy of the Statute of Anne.

In place of market incentives, the Digital Economy Bill, along with its French counterpart, HADOPI, and the growing chorus in the U.S. for imposing greater liability on ISPs, relies on sanctions, and points copyright law back toward a system of regulation, if not quite official licensing.

Again in fairness, digital technology is different from the technology of the printing press, and may indeed require a different kind of response. But before we throw the baby out with the bath water, it’s worth remembering how well the system of market incentives set up 300 years ago has served the public interest up to now.

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Wikileaks Was Launched With Documents Intercepted From Tor | Threat Level |

Wikileaks Was Launched With Documents Intercepted From Tor | Threat Level | "Wikileaks Was Launched With Documents Intercepted From Tor

* By Kim Zetter Email Author
* June 1, 2010 |
* 4:28 pm |
* Categories: Breaches, Hacks and Cracks, privacy

Wikileaks, the controversial whistleblowing site that exposes secrets of governments and corporations, bootstrapped itself with a cache of documents obtained through an internet eavesdropping operation by one of its activists, according to a new profile of the organization’s founder.

The activist siphoned more than a million documents as they traveled across the internet through Tor, also known as “The Onion Router,” a sophisticated privacy tool that lets users navigate and send documents through the internet anonymously.

The siphoned documents, supposedly stolen by Chinese hackers or spies who were using the Tor network to transmit the data, were the basis for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s assertion in 2006 that his organization had already “received over one million documents from 13 countries” before his site was launched, according to the article in The New Yorker.

Only a small portion of those intercepted documents were ever posted on Wikileaks, but the new report is the first indication that some of the data and documents on WikiLeaks did not come from sources who intended for the documents to be seen or posted. It also explains an enduring mystery of Wikileaks’ launch: how the organization was able to amass a collection of secret documents before its website was open for business.

Tor is a sophisticated privacy tool endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil liberties groups as a method for whistleblowers and human rights workers to communicate with journalists, among other uses. In its search for government and corporate secrets traveling through the Tor network, it’s conceivable that WikiLeaks may have also vacuumed up sensitive information from human rights workers who did not want their data seen by outsiders.

The interception may have legal implications, depending on what country the activist was based in. In the United States, the surreptitious interception of electronic communication is generally a violation of federal law, but the statute includes a broad exception for service providers who monitor their own networks for legitimate maintenance or security reasons. “The statutory language is broad enough that it might cover this and provide a defense,” says former U.S. federal prosecutor Mark Rasch.

The New Yorker article did not indicate whether WikiLeaks continues to intercept data from the Tor network. Assange did not immediately return a call for comment from Threat Level.

WikiLeaks uses a modified version of the Tor network for its own operations, moving document submissions through it to keep them private. WikiLeaks computers also reportedly feed “hundreds of thousands of fake submissions through these tunnels, obscuring the real documents,” according to The New Yorker.

The intercepted data was gathered from Tor sometime before or around December 2006, when Assange and fellow activists needed a substantial number of documents in their repository in order to be taken seriously as a viable tool for whistleblowers and others.

The solution came from one of the activists associated with the organization who owned and operated a server that was being used in the Tor anonymizing network. Tor works by using servers donated by volunteers around the world to bounce traffic around, en route to its destination. Traffic is encrypted through most of that route, and routed over a random path each time a person uses it.

Under Tor’s architecture, administrators at the entry point can identify the user’s IP address, but can’t read the content of the user’s correspondence or know its final destination. Each node in the network thereafter only knows the node from which it received the traffic, and it peels off a layer of encryption to reveal the next node to which it must forward the connection.

By necessity, however, the last node through which traffic passes has to decrypt the communication before delivering it to its final destination. Someone operating that exit node can therefore read the traffic passing through this server.

According to The New Yorker, “millions of secret transmissions passed through” the node the WikiLeaks activist operated — believed to be an exit node. The data included sensitive information of foreign governments.

The activist believed the data was being siphoned from computers around the world by hackers who appeared to be in China and who were using the Tor network to transmit the stolen data. The activist began recording the data as it passed through his node, and this became the basis for the trove of data Wikileaks said it had “received.”

The first document WikiLeaks posted at its launch was a “secret decision” signed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a Somali rebel leader for the Islamic Courts Union. The document, which called for hiring hit men to execute government officials, had been siphoned from the Tor network.

Assange and the others were uncertain of its authenticity, but they thought that readers, using Wikipedia-like features of the site, would help analyze it. They published the decision with a lengthy commentary, which asked, “Is it a bold manifesto by a flamboyant Islamic militant with links to Bin Laden? Or is it a clever smear by US intelligence, designed to discredit the Union, fracture Somali alliances and manipulate China?”

The document’s authenticity was never determined, and news about Wikileaks quickly superseded the leak itself.

Since then, the site has published numerous sensitive documents related to the U.S. military, foreign governments and corporations. Wikileaks made headlines in April when it published a classified U.S. Army video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in an Iraqi neighborhood. The raid killed at least 18 people — including two Reuters employees — and injured two children.

WikiLeaks, whose website is hosted primarily through a Swedish Internet service provider called, never reveals the sources of its documents, and in the case of the Apache video, Assange has said only that it came from someone who was angry about the military’s frequent use of the term “collateral damage.”

The New Yorker doesn’t identify the WikiLeaks activist who was the source for the documents siphoned from Tor, but the description of how the documents were obtained is similar to how a Swedish computer security consultant named Dan Egerstad intercepted government data from five Tor exit nodes he set up in 2007 — months after Wikileaks launched — in Sweden, Asia, the United States and elsewhere.

Egerstad told Threat Level in August 2007 that he was able to read thousands of private e-mail messages sent by foreign embassies and human rights groups around the world by turning portions of the Tor internet-anonymity service into his own private listening post. The intercepted data included user names and passwords for e-mail accounts of government workers, as well as correspondence belonging to the Indian ambassador to China, various politicians in Hong Kong, workers in the Dalai Lama’s liaison office and several human rights groups in Hong Kong.

Egerstad, who says he has no association with WikiLeaks and was not the source for the intercepted Tor documents the site received, told Threat Level at the time that he believed hackers were using the Tor network to transmit data stolen from government computers and that he was able to view the data as it passed through his node unencrypted.

Egerstad was never able to determine the identity of the hackers behind the data he intercepted, but it’s believed that he may have stumbled across the so-called Ghost Net network — an electronic spy network that had infiltrated the computers of government offices, NGOs and activist groups in more than 100 countries since at least the spring of 2007.

The Ghost Net network was exposed by other researchers last year who discovered that hackers — believed by some to be based in China — were surreptitiously stealing documents and eavesdropping on electronic correspondence on more than 1,200 computers at embassies, foreign ministries, news media outlets and nongovernmental organizations based primarily in South and Southeast Asia.

It’s not known if the data the WikiLeaks activist siphoned was data stolen by the Ghost Net hackers.

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Smokescreen demo: a Flash player in JavaScript

Smokescreen demo: a Flash player in JavaScript: "Smokescreen demo: a Flash player in JavaScript. Chris Smoak’s Smokescreen, “a Flash player written in JavaScript”, is an incredible piece of work. It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio and turns them in to base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG. Open up the Chrome Web Inspector while the demo is running and you can see the SVG changing in real time. Smokescreen even implements its own ActionScript bytecode interpreter. It’s stated intention is to allow Flash banner ads to execute on the iPad and iPhone, but there are plenty of other interesting applications (such as news site infographics). The company behind it have announced plans to open source it in the near future. My one concern is performance—the library is 175 KB and over 8,000 lines of JavaScript which might cause problems on low powered mobile devices.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Slashdot Hardware Story | iRobot Demonstrates New Weaponized Robot

Slashdot Hardware Story | iRobot Demonstrates New Weaponized Robot: "'According to this IEEE story, iRobot and the US military have released video showing a weaponized version of iRobot's Warrior robot. In the video, the Warrior is seen firing a weapon system called the APOBS (Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System), a grenade-filled line propelled by a rocket and stabilized by a drogue parachute. This system is used to clear minefields and obstructed roads. The video shows soldiers deploying a Warrior with the APOBS mounted on its back. The robot fires the device, which lands along a dirt road, exploding after a few seconds. A voice is then heard, 'Road clear; proceed forward.''

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14 | Danger Room |

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14 | Danger Room | "Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14

* By Noah Shachtman Email Author
* October 18, 2007 |
* 9:00 am |
* Categories: Weapons and Ammo


We’re not used to thinking of them this way. But many advanced military weapons are essentially robotic — picking targets out automatically, slewing into position, and waiting only for a human to pull the trigger. Most of the time. Once in a while, though, these machines start firing mysteriously on their own. The South African National Defence Force 'is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday.'

SA National Defence Force spokesman brigadier general Kwena Mangope says the cause of the malfunction is not yet known…

Media reports say the shooting exercise, using live ammunition, took place at the SA Army’s Combat Training Centre, at Lohatlha, in the Northern Cape, as part of an annual force preparation endeavour.

Mangope told The Star that it “is assumed that there was a mechanical problem, which led to the accident. The gun, which was fully loaded, did not fire as it normally should have,' he said. 'It appears as though the gun, which is computerised, jammed before there was some sort of explosion, and then it opened fire uncontrollably, killing and injuring the soldiers.' [More details here -- ed.]

Other reports have suggested a computer error might have been to blame. Defence pundit Helmoed-Römer Heitman told the Weekend Argus that if “the cause lay in computer error, the reason for the tragedy might never be found.'

The anti-aircraft weapon, an Oerlikon GDF-005, is designed to use passive and active radar, as well as laser target designators range finders, to lock on to 'high-speed, low-flying aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and cruise missiles.' In 'automatic mode,'
the weapon feeds targeting data from the fire control unit straight to the pair of
35mm guns, and reloads on its own when its emptied its magazine.

Electronics engineer and defence company CEO
Richard Young says he can’t believe the incident was purely a mechanical fault. He says his company, C2I2, in the mid 1990s, was involved in two air defence artillery upgrade programmes, dubbed Projects Catchy and Dart.

During the shooting trials at Armscor’s Alkantpan shooting range, “I
personally saw a gun go out of control several times,” Young says.
“They made a temporary rig consisting of two steel poles on each side of the weapon, with a rope in between to keep the weapon from swinging.
The weapon eventually knocked the pol[e]s down.”

According to The Star, 'a female artillery officer risked her life… in a desperate bid ' to save members of her battery from the gun.'

But the brave, as yet unnamed officer was unable to stop the wildly swinging computerised Swiss/German Oerlikon 35mm MK5 anti-aircraft twin-barrelled gun. It sprayed hundreds of high-explosive 0,5kg 35mm cannon shells around the five-gun firing position.

By the time the gun had emptied its twin 250-round auto-loader magazines, nine soldiers were dead and 11 injured.

* Roomba-Maker unveils Kill-Bot
* New Armed Robot Groomed for War
* Armed Robots Pushed to Police
* Armed Robots Go Into Action
* Cops Demand Drones
* First Armed Robots on Patrol in Iraq
* Unmanned 'Surge': 3000 More Robots for War
* Taser-Armed ‘Bot Ready to Zap Pathetic Humans
* Top War Tech #5: Talon Robots
* More Robot Grunts Ready for Duty
* Israel’s Killer ‘Bot: Safe Enough for War?

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Mark Zuckerberg: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

Mark Zuckerberg: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective: "Mark Zuckerberg: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective
Post image for Mark Zuckerberg: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

by Hunter Beaumont | May 31, 2010, 11:20pm EST
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Well first of all I just wanted to take a second and let you all know about a new Blog Post Mini-Series we’ll be doing here at The Roach Post. We’re planning on putting a few of the best and brightest innovators of our day in the spotlight as we explain what they’ve done and what we like about them. You’ll see names like Chris Sacca, Dave McClure, this post’s Mark Zuckerberg, and others. We’ve done our homework on these individuals, and you’re the ones that’ll benefit from it. As a disclaimer: we do not plan to focus on these individual’s artistic preferences, spending habits, or celebrity girlfriends (for that type of editorial, please refer yourself to, or ). Instead, we will introduce each of these business-world rock stars, explain a little about them, and tell you why we think you should pay attention to them. Stick around for a bit, you might learn something!

Mark Zuckerberg: CEO and Founder of Facebook

To begin, I would like to throw out a number that is probably way too big to understand: 570 Billion. Yeah, that’s right: 570 Billion. That’s the number of pages users viewed last year, according to Google’s List of the 1000 Most Visited Websites. 570 Billion unique page views equates to about 100 pages per human being per year, or the equivalent of every person on this planet looking at one Facebook page every four days. Those are pretty serious numbers.

570 Million page views also happened to be enough to launch Mark Zuckerberg into the #158 spot on the 2009 Forbes 400, making him a 25 year old bachelor worth about $2 Billion. Not quite as much as 570 Billion, but also not too bad for only six years work. Mark is an incredibly fortunate individual. He was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, and he had the initiative to take a risk and start a company that changed the world. That’s the reason I look at Mark Zuckerberg as an entrepreneurial hero: he saw his chance and ran with it, and in so doing, he rekindled hope in the American dream.

But wait, isn’t everyone angry at Mark Zuckerberg right now? Isn’t he stealing all our personal information? Doesn’t he have a website with a Privacy Policy longer than the Constitution of the United States? I understand these concerns. There has recently been a lot of heated debate about Privacy and what exactly Facebook has rights to. While I understand that this is a serious debate, I have but one suggestion: If you don’t like Facebook, don’t join it! I’d like to remind you that Facebook is both completely free and voluntary. If you don’t like the Privacy Policy, delete your account. Enough people doing that is bound to draw some of Mark’s attention. Anyway, I’m straying from my point.

Six years ago a college student named Mark created a completely free service that is now the most viewed website on the internet. Mark’s company employs only a few hundred people, but has over 400 Million members. Mark has changed the world as we know it. He’s helped friends and family stay more connected all over the world, and he’s created an immense Net Positive Benefit to society. I feel that he’s created an even more enourmous benefit to entrepreneurs in the form of hope. Mark has reminded us just how powerful a good idea is. He has also reminded us of how scalable internet companies can be. His success motivates many of us to action. My challenge to every entrepreneur reading this article is to learn a lesson from Mark Zuckerberg. It isn’t every day that a company goes from zero to 400 Million users in six years. I invite you all to gain from Mark’s successes. Check out his Wikipedia page. Google him. Read his Op-Ed in the Washington Post concerning Facebook’s Privacy Policy. Do anything you can to learn about him and from him. I bet there’s something in his story that can motivate you to take a risk and reap your due reward.

May we all have the success we’ve always dreamed of,

Hunter Beaumont

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Abortion Physicians Face Barriers : Ms Magazine Blog

Abortion Physicians Face Barriers : Ms Magazine Blog: "Abortion Physicians Face Barriers

June 1, 2010 by Carol King · 3 Comments

Many people graduate from medical residency programs ready to start rewarding careers in obstetrics and gynecology with the best intentions. They’re prepared to provide patients with total reproductive health care, which includes abortions. But their idealism is soon crushed by the medical establishment’s significant opposition to abortion.

It came as a surprise to Lori Freedman, Ph.D., Research Associate at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). As lead author of the study “Obstacles to the Integration of Abortion into Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice,” Freedman conducted in-depth interviews with 18 doctors who had planned to offer abortions after graduating from their residency programs five to 10 years earlier. Only three were in fact doing so.

Freedman and her co-authors didn’t expect to find so many physicians who ran up against “significant professional barriers” when they expressed an interest in providing abortions. She expected to find “more of the focus on fear of violence and controversy, maybe some moral dilemmas” for those who weren’t providing abortions, but she discovered something else:

Many assume that young physicians give up abortion practice because they are afraid of violence or ignorant of the history of illegal abortion and deaths associated with it. I don’t believe that is really the problem. The physicians I spoke with were quite aware of the history and the importance of safe and compassionate abortion care for women.

The barriers are formal and informal; some are explicit before hiring and some surface after hiring. Some of the new hires are gently advised, “We’re not going to be doing that.” Others receive specific warnings. One doctor in the study was threatened in an interview by the outgoing senior partner.

He leaned across the desk and said, “If I ever find out you did elective abortions any time in your professional life, you’ll never practice medicine in [this state] again. Do you understand that?”

A few of the doctors who tried to moonlight as abortion providers soon found out that was also prohibited.

New physicians have little power and professional support, so their ability to change the status quo is nil. Freedman and her co-authors believe that providing training in contract negotiation and conflict management may help these doctors continue to provide abortions as they transition from residency programs to practice. Young doctors can also benefit from ongoing contact with pro-choice colleagues and community members.

Freedman hopes that the study will help improve abortion care simply by revealing the impediments faced by potential providers:

Much effort has gone to motivating individual medical students and residents to provide abortion, which is imperative. However, this study shows that individual-level motivation can only take them so far. They need support and they need information about obstacles they may face in practice before they get there, so they can choose their jobs accordingly. And I hope that the study will cause some larger organizations, private practice groups and hospitals to take a look at what kinds of barriers to abortion care they are perpetuating.”

We need to dismantle those barriers. Why should any doctor be prohibited from providing a legal medical procedure? It’s not an option if it’s not available.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says -

Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says - "Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says
Published: May 31, 2010

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It is inevitable. The muscles weaken. Hearing and vision fade. We get wrinkled and stooped. We can’t run, or even walk, as fast as we used to. We have aches and pains in parts of our bodies we never even noticed before. We get old.

Share your thoughts on this column at the Well blog.

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It sounds miserable, but apparently it is not. A large Gallup poll has found that by almost any measure, people get happier as they get older, and researchers are not sure why.

“It could be that there are environmental changes,” said Arthur A. Stone, the lead author of a new study based on the survey, “or it could be psychological changes about the way we view the world, or it could even be biological — for example brain chemistry or endocrine changes.”

The telephone survey, carried out in 2008, covered more than 340,000 people nationwide, ages 18 to 85, asking various questions about age and sex, current events, personal finances, health and other matters.

The survey also asked about “global well-being” by having each person rank overall life satisfaction on a 10-point scale, an assessment many people may make from time to time, if not in a strictly formalized way.

Finally, there were six yes-or-no questions: Did you experience the following feelings during a large part of the day yesterday: enjoyment, happiness, stress, worry, anger, sadness. The answers, the researchers say, reveal “hedonic well-being,” a person’s immediate experience of those psychological states, unencumbered by revised memories or subjective judgments that the query about general life satisfaction might have evoked.

The results, published online May 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were good news for old people, and for those who are getting old. On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.

In measuring immediate well-being — yesterday’s emotional state — the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves: they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50s.

Other experts were impressed with the work. Andrew J. Oswald, a professor of psychology at Warwick Business School in England, who has published several studies on human happiness, called the findings important and, in some ways, heartening. “It’s a very encouraging fact that we can expect to be happier in our early 80s than we were in our 20s,” he said. “And it’s not being driven predominantly by things that happen in life. It’s something very deep and quite human that seems to be driving this.”

Dr. Stone, who is a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said that the findings raised questions that needed more study. “These results say there are distinctive patterns here,” he said, “and it’s worth some research effort to try to figure out what’s going on. Why at age 50 does something seem to start to change?”

The study was not designed to figure out which factors make people happy, and the poll’s health questions were not specific enough to draw any conclusions about the effect of disease or disability on happiness in old age. But the researchers did look at four possibilities: the sex of the interviewee, whether the person had a partner, whether there were children at home and employment status. “These are four reasonable candidates,” Dr. Stone said, “but they don’t make much difference.”

For people under 50 who may sometimes feel gloomy, there may be consolation here. The view seems a bit bleak right now, but look at the bright side: you are getting old.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Scientific Blogging: Official Blog Of The "Rise Of The Citizen-Scientist" H+ Summit

Scientific Blogging: Official Blog Of The "Rise Of The Citizen-Scientist" H+ Summit: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"The Year Of (insert your favorite cause here)" is usually driven by marketing departments and often to correspond to some sort of milestone. 2009 was "The Year of..." both Galileo and Darwin, for example, though no one seemed to find a way to bring either to mainstream popularity and make a buck.

What about 2010? Sure, the UN declared 2010 the 'International Year of Biodiversity' but, like most things the UN is involved in, it cost a lot of money and doesn't actually do anything. Outside science, 2010 is the Year of the Nurse. Everyone likes nurses.

In hindsight, 2010 may be the year Craig Venter, the bad boy of science, created 'artificial' life in Big Science. 2010 could also be the year of the Higgs Boson (though bureaucrats also said it would be 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, given CERN's desire to hype up the LHC) but let's remain a little cautious on that one until birds stop leaving baguettes in the machinery and causing it to break.

But 2010 may also be the year science went small again - citizen science.

Citizen Science is nothing new, of course. Before the last half of the 20th century there was no big science so most science societies were not composed of government-funded academics but instead knowledgeable laypeople. They cataloged and argued and analyzed and shared what they found. Obviously some of the universe's bigger mysteries can't be tackled on the individual level, but even big projects can be aided by citizen scientists, as shown by efforts like Galaxy Zoo and FoldIt in astronomy and biology, respectively.

And it's catching on. The USA National Phenology Network, a program by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Arizona, is for citizen phenologists who want to study recurring plant and animal life cycle stages while Cornell has a Citizen Science bird watching program. If you want to do lots of different projects, Science for Citizens has numerous different ways you can help.

Big science today is even assisted by citizen science from the past. Dr. Elizabeth Boakes
from the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London, was able to analyze 170,000 records for 127 gamebird species across Europe and Asia dating back over the past two centuries, thanks to private journals and letters by citizen scientists - an achievement that may not be possible in the future, she says, because the last few decades have seen organizational focus endangered species instead.

But what about the science of the future? Will small science be big again thanks to boosts in individual human thought? One group thinks technological changes will modify the meaning of what it is to be human and citizen science could be a part of it. Given enough access to data, they believe, citizen scientists could discover how to slow aging, unlock human (and artificial) intelligence, and even leave the planet.

Transhumanism has been controversial since its popularity in the early 1980s and will likely remain so. The idea of participant evolution has skeptics and some detractors dismiss its post-humanist aspects but, at its core, people in the transhumanism movement want to think about the future of mankind and science and that is what Science 2.0 is all about.

Since we're the only large readership site that allows people from a broad spectrum of occupations to share knowledge on complex science topics - science journalists, book authors, researchers and laypeople - we are the biggest citizen science site in the world, so it makes sense we would be the official blog of the "Rise of the Citizen-Scientist" summit at Harvard University on June 12th and 13th. Therefore I am pleased to announce we are.

Andrea Kuszewski will be a featured speaker there, discussing What Makes A Genius and how we might be able to engage our brain in order to maximize our cognitive growth, along with Ray Kurzweil, noted futurist, Stephen Wolfram, creator of Wolfram|Alpha, and Andrew Hessel, an outspoken advocate and champion of DNA technology.

The full list of speakers is at but even more importantly, if you want to attend and did not buy your tickets yet, rather than accept money for promoting the event and hosting the blogging part of the conference, we wanted to give readers a discount on the tickets.

So if you log in through here or an ad on the site, you will receive 20% off. $50 you can then spend on coffee or ancient Chinese vases and get those antique dealers back to work. Here is the link.

Of course, before the event we will have a lot more to talk about, including a dedicated page (link coming soon) where people at the event can blog about the discussions and then send their thoughts out through our vast array of social media links in true viral fashion. It will be a good experiment on reaching the masses in citizen science using today's tools.

"2010: The Year of the Citizen Scientist" has a pretty good ring to it, don't you think?

Google 'getting rid of Windows' | Technology |

Google 'getting rid of Windows' | Technology | "Google 'getting rid of Windows'

Report claims Google has dumped Microsoft's Windows and is offering new staff the choice of Linux or Macintosh operating systems

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* Charles Arthur, technology editor
*, Tuesday 1 June 2010 14.59 BST

Google is reported to be getting rid of desktop PCs running Microsoft Windows across the corporation to eliminate a security risk.

The Financial Times reports that the company, which has more than 20,000 staff worldwide, is now offering new recruits the choice of using computers running the free Linux operating system or Apple Macintosh computers.

The company refused to confirm or deny the reports, issuing a brief comment saying that it would not discuss 'operational issues'.

Microsoft, however, claimed that the move was simply part of Google's attempts to standardise on its new in-house operating system, called ChromeOS.

The shift away from Windows is claimed to have begun in January, after Google realised that the operating system had been part of a chain of weaknesses that allowed a damaging attack against some of its core systems by Chinese hackers in December.

'Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards MacOS, following the China hacking attacks,' the FT quoted one unnamed Google employee as saying.

Another is quoted saying: 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort.'

Being pushed out of Google would be a major PR blow to Microsoft – although the two companies have an intense rivalry in the search business, where Google dominates, and in the provision of online editing of documents, spreadsheets, email and calendars, where Google says that 1,000 small and medium businesses are taking up its Google Docs offering every day.

Though the revenue implications are tiny for Microsoft, the suggestion that one of the largest online businesses is unable to secure Windows could have serious implications for its public standing.

Microsoft's Windows, with at least 95% of the corporate computing market, is a constant target for attacks by criminals and hackers looking to gain access and control to machines. The intrusion into Google – which compromised some of its most sensitive systems, and almost gave the hackers oversight of its Google Mail system before the attack was discovered – is believed to have come via malware targeted at users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 browser running on Windows in its China offices last year.

However, Microsoft's head of PR, Frank Shaw, suggested that the FT had misinterpreted moves by Google to use its own new in-house PC operating system, Chrome. 'Bad headline, wrong premise here. Google going google, okay, but free pass from FT on reason = bad reporting,' he said on his Twitter account, before sarcastically adding: 'News flash: Google bans Bing from its computers. Must credit FT. Picture on Bing home page is distracting to G[oogle] engineers.'

A large number of businesses offer anti-malware protection – including Google itself, through its Postini subsidiary. But with expert hackers targeting previously undiscovered security holes in Windows and Internet Explorer – because it will be present by default on every computer running Windows – it is impossible to protect against every attack.

By contrast, there is little malware focussed on Linux desktop operating systems or Apple's Mac OS X. Both are Unix-based systems, but despite its being nine years old there are no viruses targeting Mac OS X. There are fewer than 100 viruses targeting Linux OSs, but the variety of 'flavours' of the operating system means that a virus effective against one will not work on another.

By contrast, there were more than 97,000 known viruses aimed at Windows, although modern malware targets individual applications such as Microsoft Word or Internet Explorer. Malware writers also target widely-used applications such as Adobe's Acrobat Reader, used to read PDF documents.

Some reports suggest that Google is allowing staff to run Windows on their laptops, but removing it from desktop machines. Keeping Windows reportedly requires clearance from 'quite senior levels' – by Ben Fried, a former Morgan-Stanley executive who is now the company's chief information officer, it is suggested.

But Google staff are also increasingly worried about the potential for their systems to be attacked if they use Windows, the FT says. 'Particularly since the China scare, a lot of people here are using Macs for security,' it quoted an unnamed employee as saying.

Google is also developing its own operating system, called ChromeOS, which is expected to preclude malware attacks by making it impossible to alter applications.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the company's moves, but did not deny any of the claims made. The spokesperson said: 'We're always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we do not comment on specific operational matters.'

Google has never confirmed the specific details of how its systems were hacked in China, but details have emerged through security companies which have followed up on parallel attacks made against a number of other non-Chinese companies.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work | Cory Doctorow | Technology |

Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work | Cory Doctorow | Technology | "Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work

Disconnecting downloaders will alienate the entertainment industry's most loyal customers

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* Cory Doctorow, by NK Guy,
o Cory Doctorow
o, Tuesday 1 June 2010 15.03 BST

With the passage into law of the dread Digital Economy Act comes Ofcom's guidelines that are the first step toward rules for when and how rightsholders will be able to disconnect entire families from the internet because someone on or near their premises is accused of copyright infringement.

Consumer rights groups and privacy groups – such as the Open Rights Group, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Which, and Consumer Focus – participated in the process, making the Ofcom rules as good as possible (an exercise that, unfortunately, is a little like making the guillotine as comfortable as possible).

But this isn't the last word in the copyfight – not even close. Because disconnection for downloaders will only serve to alienate entertainment industry customers (remember that the most avid downloaders are also the most avid buyers – 'most avid' being the operative word here – the 20% of customers who account for 80% of sales, downloading, concert tickets, box-office revenue, DVDs, T-shirts, action figures, etc). And because those who download most avidly will simply change tactics.

The entertainment industry's capacity to gather evidence and make accusations against downloaders relies on the fact that, at present, most downloading systems don't bother to encrypt the traffic or disguise the user's identity. Neither of these things are very hard to do, though both are computationally more expensive than the alternative. But, in case you haven't noticed, computation is getting cheaper all the time.

Once non-anonymous, non-encrypted downloading bears a significant risk, downloaders will simple switch to anonymised, encrypted alternatives.

For example, SSL-based proxies like Sweden's IPREDator (use of which is also a tonic against identity thieves and other creeps who may be monitoring your network connection) provide a nigh-impenetrable layer of misdirection that confounds anyone hoping to trace a download session back to a user. And services like provide encrypted access to enormous libraries of material including infringing copies of popular shows, music and movies.

So why worry? If users won't be deterred from downloading – and may even be driven to start taking care to protect their connections from snoops and creeps – then how bad will the Digital Economy Act be?


Because the naive user who only downloads occasionally will still be in harm's way, as will his family or housemates if his connection is disconnected by an entertainment bully.

And because once the state decides that it has a duty to police the internet to maximise the profits of a few entertainment companies (no matter what the public expense), it sets itself on a path of ever-more-restrictive measures. Once disconnection drives downloaders to make use of SSL-based proxies, watch for Big Content to inveigle their friends in parliament to enact laws prohibiting the use of virtual private networks – never mind that these are the best practice of anyone trying to safeguard a corporate or organisational network.

Once the Act drives downloaders to use SSL-encrypted services that are harder to monitor, watch for the entertainment lobby to ask for great swaths of the internet to be blocked by the Great Firewall of Britain that the Act also provides for.

Once you swallow a spider to catch a fly, you're on a course to swallow a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, and so on until you swallow a horse – and every toddler knows that happens next.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

The Proprietary Content Industry’s Strange Sympathies

The Proprietary Content Industry’s Strange Sympathies: "The Proprietary Content Industry’s Strange Sympathies
Posted by Kevin Carson on May 30, 2010 in Commentary • No comments

Bono, global do-gooder and patron saint of what’s variously known as cognitive, green, or “progressive” capitalism, a few months ago expressed his admiration for Chinese communist totalitarianism as a model for how to combat file-sharing: “…[W]e know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content.”

Never mind ignoble–it just doesn’t work as well as all that, as Cory Doctorow noted on a past visit to China. The world’s largest prison state was unable to stop him from visiting any “subversive” online content he wanted, thanks to the miracle of proxy servers. Indeed China’s Falun Gong dissident movement has become a global specialist in developing proxy server technology for use by dissident movements around the world.

Bono’s remark does cause me to wonder, though, if people like Bill Gates who call the free culture movement “communists” might not be mirror-imaging.

And now it seems not all the proprietary content folks share Bono’s disdain for kiddie porn. At a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event in Sweden, titled “Sweden–A Safe Haven for Pirates?,” Danish anti-piracy activist Johan Schluter said:

“Child pornography is great…. It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites.”

Well, hey, at least he’s honest. It’s like Dick and Liz Cheney coming right out and actually admitting “We pray every night for Al Qaeda to set off a nuke in New York so we can say we told you so.”

I’m just surprised to see all these proprietary content spokespersons who’ve apparently burnt out the filter in their brains that tells them “That’s one of those things you’re not supposed to say out loud.” Bono openly admits that nothing short of the surveillance and censorship machinery of a totalitarian state can protect digital copyright from infringement.

(But again, though, as Doctorow pointed out, even this won’t be enough. It’ll just be another wall to bring down.)

And Schluter admits to cheering on the sexual exploitation of children because the resulting outrage can be used to manipulate the public into supporting measures to support the profits of his own industry.

Well, I guess I’m not entirely clean myself, because I admit to some satisfaction in seeing a couple of spokesmen for proprietary content caught openly admitting to their own vileness. The more widely known it is just what these people will stoop to in order to protect their state-extorted gain, the better. The more people are aware of what snakes the Copyright Nazis are, and of their shameless project of turning the Internet into a gulag just so they can line their own pockets, the sooner the tide will turn against them.

Like the man said: “Is there a place for the hopeless sinner, who has hurt all mankind just to save his own? Believe it.”

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

George W. Bush, War President (Harper's Magazine)

George W. Bush, War President (Harper's Magazine): "George W. Bush, War President

In a February 7, 2004 interview with NBC’s Tim Russert, George W. Bush said:

I’m a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn’t true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it’s important for us to deal with them.

Now it turns out that Bush may have had a very different understanding of his role as a “war president.” In an interview with former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner, Oliver Stone learned that Bush claimed that waging war was a formula for economic growth. Here’s the key exchange:

kirchner: I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got angry. He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats. He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war.

stone: War, he said that?

kirchner: He said that. Those were his exact words.

stone: Is he suggesting that South America go to war?

kirchner: Well, he was talking about the United States: “The Democrats had been wrong. All of the economic growth of the United States has been encouraged by wars.” He said it very clearly.

Here’s the video.

The interview was done for Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, which is set for its theatrical release in June. The interview provides evidence that all those crazed leftists who claimed that Bush was pursuing war with Iraq for economic reasons perhaps weren’t so crazy after all.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

What's Mine is Yours, Book Cover Book cover Design: Nicholas Blechman of Knickerbocker Design

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What’s Mine is Yours: How are new models of peer-to-peer trading and the economy of shared ownership changing consumerism? MORE
Collaborative Consumption in the News

Fast Company — June 1, 2010
"Zipcar Whizzing Toward an IPO"
Zipcar is going public.

This is Money — May 19, 2010
"New social lending site to rival Zopa"
New P2P Social Lending Site Launches

The Guardian — April 22, 2010
"WhipCar launches neighbor-to-neighbor car rental scheme"
The next generation of P2P car sharing launches in the U.K..

GOOD — April 12, 2010
"A Borrower and a Lender Be"
Nice piece on “virtual commune” platform Bright Neighbor.

Archive of All News Items

Spreading CC

Examples of Collaborative Consumption are popping up everyday and everywhere. We have created terms, tools, and icons to help you talk, spread, and share CC. Coming Soon!
The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Welcome! This is the online hub for Collaborative Consumption — the powerful socioeconomic groundswell that is transforming business, consumerism, and the way we live.

We have created this site to help you contribute to and evolve the ideas in our upcoming book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, (Harper Business, September 28, 2010).

Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities.

From enormous marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, to emerging sectors such as social lending (Zopa) and car sharing (Zipcar), Collaborative Consumption is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume. New marketplaces such as Swaptree, Zilok, Bartercard, AirBnb, and thredUP are enabling "peer-to-peer" to become the default way people exchange—whether it’s unused space, goods, skills, money, or services — and sites like these are appearing everyday, all over the world.

As the Collaborative Consumption movement grows and evolves, so will this online hub. We believe in well-designed, simple tools that people can openly share and build on. Over the next few months we will provide you with resources, stories, info-graphics, and tools to fuel the development of Collaborative Consumption and create the forums for you to discuss and spread your ideas.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and sign up for our mailing list for all the latest updates!

Rachel & Roo

Early Buzz

“At a moment of general gloom, Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have offered a convincing, charming and in every sense collaborative account of how the new networks that have disrupted our lives are also likely to alter them, and entirely for our good. They offer not just a prescription for parts of our ailing economy, but a new vision of what ‘consumerism’ can be: not just a form of slavery to objects, but a thing in itself positive, progressive and pleasure-giving.”
— Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children's Gate

“People are normally trustworthy and generous, and the Internet brings the good out far more than the bad. That’s the big observation from my day job, customer service, for fifteen years. We’re seeing an explosion of modest businesses where people help each other out via the Net, and What’s Mine is Yours tells you what’s going on, and inspires more of the same.”
— Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist

Providentia: Alzheimer’s disease will cost U.S. $20 trillion over the next 40 years

Providentia: Alzheimer’s disease will cost U.S. $20 trillion over the next 40 years: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Alzheimer’s disease will cost U.S. $20 trillion over the next 40 years

A new report released by the Alzheimer's Association indicates that the cumulative costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's Disease from 2010 to 2050 will exceed 20 trillion dollars US at current prices. The report, titled Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease: A National Imperative examines the current trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease based on a statistical model developed by the Lewin Group. According to current estimates, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's Disease will likely increase from the current 5.1 million to 13.5 million by 2050. Total care costs, currently at $172 billion by all payers, will soar dramatically in the years to come with Medicare costs alone rising from the current $88 billion to more than 1 trillion dollars in 2050. Nearly half of the projected 13.5 million Alzheimer sufferers will likely be in the severe stage of the disease with intensive, round-the-clock care being needed.

Part of the reason for the estimated rise in Alzheimer's Disease patients stems from the general aging of the total population as well as better health care which lowers the likelihood of seniors dying for non-Alzheimer's related diseases in future. While there is no current treatment to delay or ameliorate Alzheimer's Disease, the report explores the cost saving resulting from hypothetical treatment developments within the next five to ten years. The authors of the report also stress the need for more extensive research into new treatments which is deemed to be extremely cost-effective given the catastrophic alternative.

"The impact of Alzheimer's disease — both in terms of lives affected and costs of care — is staggering. As government leaders contend with the best approaches to rein in Medicare and Medicaid costs, we know Alzheimer's will place a massive strain on an already overburdened healthcare system," said Robert J. Egge, vice president of public policy for the Alzheimer's Association. "This report highlights that while we strive for the ideal — a treatment that completely prevents or cures Alzheimer's disease — even more modest, disease-modifying treatments would provide substantial benefits to families and contribute to the solvency of Medicare and Medicaid." As part of their initiative to encourage critical legislation to address the current shortfall in treatment and research initiatives, legislators have introduced The National Alzheimer's Project Act. Designed to create an Office of the National Alzheimer's Project, the act will spur the development of a national plan for dealing with the Alzheimer's crisis by drawing on resources and experts from different fields across the nation. The act also represents a model for other nations to draw upon to address the crisis that they face in their own health systems as well.

For more information.

To download the report. (PDF format).