Sounds great. Medical grade accuracy? I’d like to do some comparisons. I wish they had an ear clip that would measure blood sugar as well. ECG without placing the electrodes on your chest? Blood pressure without a cuff? How can that work?
Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Posted by Xeno on March 8, 2014
Posted by Xeno on March 8, 2014
Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer” in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.
Last year, Edwards made a presentation requesting funding to build a nuclear fusion reactor, and his school, Penwortham Priory Academy, granted him a $3,350 budget to make the project happen. Let’s just take a moment to savor the sheer awesomeness of that. How many schools do you know would give money to a teenager to dabble in nuclear science?
It takes quite a few specialty parts to build a reactor. Edwards had to order a vacuum chamber, vacuum pump, tungsten wire, an aluminum rod, and valves, among other supplies. One of the biggest challenges was tracking down and sealing leaks in the vacuum chamber. He also had to attend a radiation safety course before putting the reactor into operation.
Posted by Xeno on March 6, 2014
Apple iPhone 5S users take note – even when your phone battery dies, the handset can still track your every move. This is because when a battery dies, the phone keeps a small amount of power in reserve, meaning its low-energy chip can carry on collecting data from built-in motion sensors.
It can’t track location, however, but it can reveal how many steps a user takes, or establish whether a phone was still being carried around when used with select, third-party apps. The feature was discovered by Reddit user Glarznak while travelling abroad.
After four days without charge, Glarznak found that when he turned his iPhone back on, the number of steps he had taken during those four days had been recorded on a pedometer app he had installed. Glarznak wrote: ‘I frequently use Argus [fitness app] to track my steps since it takes advantage of the M7 chip built into the phone.
‘Once I got back from my vacation, and charged the phone, I was surprised to see that Argus displayed a number of steps for the four days that my phone was dead.
‘I’m both incredibly impressed and slightly terrified.’
Apple handsets, as well as other devices, traditionally keep a reserve of power – even when the phone shuts down – in order to maintain certain services and help it boot up when put on charge again. For example, when a phone battery reaches zero on the display there is, on average, around 5 per cent battery left.
When Apple launched the iPhone 5S, it added what’s called a ‘companion’ chip dubbed M7. The M7 collects data from sensors including the accelerometer, gyroscope and compasses. These sensors can detect motion and are used by a variety of apps including fitness trackers, and maps. It was designed to take this data collection task away from the central processing unit (CPU) to help preserve battery, and speed up the processors.
Each of these sensors are classed as ‘low-energy’, which means the M7 can continue to collect data from them using the battery reserve. The M7 does not collect data from the GPS unit, though, because this unit takes up a lot of power and is handled by a separate chip. This means that although Glarznak’s phone could track his steps, it wasn’t able to track his location.
Your iPhone is never really off.
Posted by Xeno on March 4, 2014
A street-legal replica of the Batmobile, used in the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, has gone on sale for $1m (£597,000).
The copy of the Caped Crusader’s crime-fighting machine, the Tumbler, is being sold by Florida-based J and S World Wide Holdings, according to a listing on the James Edition luxury marketplace website.
The replica two-seater has an automatic transmission and comes with five driver-assist cameras, Bluetooth technology, CD and DVD player, iPod integration and GPS technology, according to the seller’s description.
“We have built this insane vehicle to be street legal however please understand that this is not a daily driver!” the listing says.
The car, however, does not come complete with its film counterpart’s arsenal of weaponry.
The latest and most militaristic version of the Batmobile first appeared in director Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins.
The Batmobile has undergone several changes since custom car designer George Barris was credited with building the first model for the 1960s Batman TV series.
Barris’ version sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at auction in January last year.
This concept vehicle features an LS1 motor with a custom built frame, chassis and drive line. It has an automatic transmission, dually rear end featuring FOUR 44″ super swamper tires with custom rims! It has a custom cut windows, seating for two, 5 driver assist cameras, Double den stereo with blue tooth, CD/DVD, Ipod integration for all of your entertainment needs. This vehicle also features GPS Navigation worldwide as well as a custom interior. It is a limited edition of only 5 worldwide! …
Posted by Xeno on March 4, 2014
Since we’re coming up on the Fourth of July, and towns everywhere are preparing their better-than-ever fireworks spectaculars, we would like to offer this humbling bit of history. Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It was a weapons test, but one that created a man-made light show that has never been equaled — and hopefully never will. …
Some of the images in this video were until recently top secret. Peter Kuran of Visual Concept Entertainment collected them for his documentary Nukes In Space.
If you are wondering why anybody would deliberately detonate an H-bomb in space, the answer comes from a conversation we had with science historian James Fleming of Colby College.
“Well, I think a good entry point to the story is May 1, 1958, when James Van Allen, the space scientist, stands in front of the National Academy in Washington, D.C., and announces that they’ve just discovered something new about the planet,” he told us.
Van Allen described how the Earth is surrounded by belts of high-energy particles — mainly protons and electrons — that are held in place by the magnetic fields.
Today these radiation belts are called Van Allen belts. Now comes the surprise: While looking through the Van Allen papers at the University of Iowa to prepare a Van Allen biography, Fleming discovered “that [the] very same day after the press conference, [Van Allen] agreed with the military to get involved with a project to set off atomic bombs in the magnetosphere to see if they could disrupt it.”
Discover It, Then Blow It Up
The plan was to send rockets hundreds of miles up, higher than the Earth’s atmosphere, and then detonate nuclear weapons to see: a) If a bomb’s radiation would make it harder to see what was up there (like incoming Russian missiles!); b) If an explosion would do any damage to objects nearby; c) If the Van Allen belts would move a blast down the bands to an earthly target (Moscow! for example); and — most peculiar — d) if a man-made explosion might “alter” the natural shape of the belts.
The scientific basis for these proposals is not clear. Fleming is trying to figure out if Van Allen had any theoretical reason to suppose the military could use the Van Allen belts to attack a hostile nation. He supposes that at the height of the Cold War, the most pressing argument for a military experiment was, “if we don’t do it, the Russians will.” And, indeed, the Russians did test atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs in space.
In any case, says the science history professor, “this is the first occasion I’ve ever discovered where someone discovered something and immediately decided to blow it up.”
Code Name: Starfish Prime
The Americans launched their first atomic nuclear tests above the Earth’s atmosphere in 1958. Atom bombs had little effect on the magnetosphere, but the hydrogen bomb of July 9, 1962, did. Code-named “Starfish Prime” by the military, it literally created an artificial extension of the Van Allen belts that could be seen across the Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to New Zealand.
In Honolulu, the explosions were front page news. “N-Blast Tonight May Be Dazzling: Good View Likely,” said the Honolulu Advertiser. Hotels held what they called “Rainbow Bomb Parties” on rooftops and verandas. When the bomb burst, people told of blackouts and strange electrical malfunctions, like garage doors opening and closing on their own. But the big show was in the sky.
In what sounds like the lunatic designs of a team of mad scientists, physicists are reportedly proposing a plan to wipe out the Van Allen radiation belts.
Nevermind that we’ve really only just begun to explore and understand the Van Allen belts – those pesky bands of radiation around our planet allegedly serve ’no purpose’, and are choking up Earth’s orbit with radiation that harms people or satellite equipment that travel through them. So, the physicists’ strategy is to use giant radio transmitters on the ground to beam very low frequency (VLF) waves into the belts to break them up and clear away those tenacious protons and electrons. …
Will the destruction of one of our planet’s features such as the Van Allen radiation belts cause unforeseen and catastrophic consequences? According to the global scientific community, “the easy answer is: probably not. ” …
Many satellites and other orbiting equipment have to shut off periodically, though, to avoid damage in the belts. That’s a problem when launching equipment is often the single most expensive element of a mission; science will not abide a field that mucks with its experiments, nor even one that makes them ship expensive shielding into space. If there would really be no downside to destroying the belts, then why not just do it, if we can? Notice that there are two “ifs” in that statement. The second is the easier of the two: Can we clear the belts?
A new proposition from scientists around the globe claims that very low frequency radio waves could be used to disburse Van Allen protons in the lower atmosphere, clearing several helpful new orbital distances for use by satellites and other equipment. Radio waves have problems getting through the highly charged ionosphere, which sits between us and the Van Allen regions, but scientists are hopeful that powerful emitters could mitigate this problem. Satellite-based VLF radio emitters have also been proposed, but such devices would take too much energy for an orbital platform.
One older idea for disbursing the belts was called HiVOLT, or High Voltage Orbiting Long Tether. This would be a system of five cables, each about 100 kilometers long, used to create a magnetic field that deflects the orbit of these particles. This could hypothetically change the orbital period of the particles so they either crash into the atmosphere or careen off into space — possibly thus disbursing the belts in as little as two months.
Read the full article at: geek.com
Two regions of radiation encircle the Earth. They’re called the Van Allen belts, and they are a pair of dynamic regions of trapped radiation, separated by a void and held in place by the Earth’s magnetic field. They protect the planet from the radiation of space and the effects of solar weather.
The reptilians live safely underground and will not mind much when life on the surface is cooked by space radiation.
Posted by Xeno on March 3, 2014
Florida police used a cell phone tracking device at least 200 times without a warrant because they conspired with the device manufacturer to keep its use a secret, according to the ACLU.
The stingray cell tracking device works by mimicking a real cell phone tower, tricking phones into connecting to it.
Through a recent motion for public access, the ACLU determined that at least one Florida police department never told judges about its use of the cell phone tracking device, known as a “stingray,” because the department signed a non-disclosure agreement with the stingray’s manufacturer to keep its use from being publicly known.
The manufacturer, which the ACLU said was likely a Florida-based company, also retained ownership of its stingrays and only let the department borrow them, further aiding in its secrecy. The stingray, also called a “cell tower simulator,” determines the location of a targeted cell phone by impersonating a cell tower, which tricks the targeted phone – and non-targeted cell phones in the same range – into transmitting its precise location and phone records to the stingray.
“When in use, stingrays sweep up information about innocent people and criminal suspects alike,” Nathan Freed Wessler, an ACLU attorney, reported.
The ACLU learned about the department’s use of the stingray through an ongoing court case entitled Florida v. Thomas, in which police used the device to track a stolen cell phone to the suspect’s apartment.
After forcing their way inside the apartment, the police conducted a search of the residence, found the stolen phone and arrested the suspect.
Yet the police never obtained a warrant for the search or for its use of the stingray.
“This was apparently because they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the company that gave them the device,” Wessler wrote. “The police seem to have interpreted the agreement to bar them even from revealing their use of stingrays to judges, who we usually rely on to provide oversight of police investigations.”
“Potentially unconstitutional government surveillance on this scale should not remain hidden from the public just because a private corporation desires secrecy,” he added. “And it certainly should not be concealed from judges.”
And, according to the ACLU, other police departments are also using stingrays secretly in the same fashion, joining an ever growing list of government entities infringing upon the Fourth Amendment.
Last week it was revealed that officials in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan began working with local police to place surveillance cameras in every neighborhood.
From USA Today:
” The system, typically installed in a vehicle so it can be moved into any neighborhood, tricks all nearby phones into connecting to it and feeding data to police. In some states, the devices are available to any local police department via state surveillance units. The federal government funds most of the purchases, via anti-terror grants. …
Many people aren’t aware that a smartphone is an adept location-tracking device. It’s constantly sending signals to nearby cell towers, even when it’s not being used. And wireless carriers store data about your device, from where it’s been to whom you’ve called and texted, some of it for years. …
The Stingray can grab some data from cellphones in real time and without going through the wireless service providers involved. …
The government has the ability to track cellphones using the portable device pictured above called the Stingray — it was recently revealed in a criminal case in Arizona, but the government doesn’t want anyone to know how it works. When the judge in the case asked for more information about the Stingray in order to determine if its use requires a search warrant, the government filed a memo basically arguing both ways: it said Stingray use generally doesn’t require a warrant, but concedes that one was required in this specific instance — a huge concession that could cost them the case, just so the Stingray’s design and functionality remain a secret.
Although the government’s lawyers are willing to tie themselves in knots trying to conceal the Stingray, we do have some information on how it works: experts told the WSJ that it mimics an actual cell tower pinging for a specific device, and the data can be used to triangulate a phone’s location. It can be concealed in the back of a van and measure the distance to any type of cell phone from multiple locations — circles drawn from each point will intersect within 100 meters of the phone’s location. Our FBI contact told us that tracking a cellphone normally requires a wireless provider’s cooperation, which could take weeks to obtain — the Stingray simplifies investigations because cell towers aren’t needed. We’ll see what happens — if it comes down to keeping the Stingray a secret or allowing law enforcement to track anyone they want without a warrant, we suppose we prefer the first.
According to Wired:
The government maintains that the stingrays don’t violate Fourth Amendment rights, since Americans don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy for data sent from their mobile phones and other wireless devices to a cell tower.
… That’s pretty questionable. [From reading the ] 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It would seem that using such a device to locate a person in their house without a warrant seems to clearly violate the text of the Amendment. …
Posted by Xeno on March 2, 2014
An international aerospace company has picked Roswell as a drone training ground.
No, they’re not UFO’s, they’re UAV’s. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, in other words drones. And come summer unmanned drones will be flying the New Mexico sky. An international company, Strategic Aerospace, is setting up a drone pilot training center in Roswell.
The program will start with 30 air force academy graduates. They will eat, sleep, and fly drones for three months straight at the airport. The drones are battery operated and can’t stay in the air longer than 20 minutes.
“They never go over 400 feet, but they’re 80 knots. They’re pretty fast little things,” said Captain Bruce Oaster of Strategic Aerospace International. And believe it or not, they only weigh 35 pounds.
“It’s all lightweight plastic. It’s like the plastic airplanes you used to put together as a kid,” said Oaster.
Only these cost $100,000 apiece.
Pilots will practice take-offs and landings, controlling the flights from a remote control on the ground.
About three will be in the air at a time.
After pilots fly these for three months, they will earn certification.
“There’s countless jobs now coming on the market in agriculture, security, surveillance, law enforcement, the military, they fly pipelines,” said Oaster.
The company says the drones will only be flying over a limited area at the airport. The company assures they won’t be flying all over Roswell and definitely won’t be flying over homes …
The links between the military and UFOs are numerous and curious.
Posted by Xeno on February 26, 2014
A major bitcoin exchange based in Japan has gone bust after secretly racking up catastrophic losses, a potentially fatal blow for the exotic new form of money. (Feb. 25, 2014)
It was supposed to revolutionize the global monetary system. Instead, the bitcoin virtual currency that has captured the imagination of investors and financiers is on the verge of collapse.
In a stunning blow to a novel way to buy products and services, the world’s largest exchange for trading bitcoin currency shut down Tuesday, triggering a massive sell-off and sending many prospective investors away — perhaps for good.
“This is extremely destructive,” said Mark Williams, a risk-management expert and former Federal Reserve Bank examiner. “What we’re seeing is a lot of the flaws. It’s not only fragile, it’s fragile as eggshells.”
After saying users could not withdraw their funds, Mt. Gox suddenly ceased all operations, including shutting down its website. Mt. Gox users may have lost more than $300 million worth of bitcoins in what was the latest and biggest in a series of recent setbacks for the virtual currency.
The mysterious circumstances that triggered the failure of the exchange, Mt. Gox in Tokyo, is only adding to the renewed anxiety over the virtual currency, which just a month earlier had been gaining momentum and supporters.
The currency exists only online, and its value is based on an algorithm. Investors buy bitcoins with dollars, euros and other real currency. A purchase with bitcoins typically involves transferring an amount from the buyer’s bitcoin “digital wallet” to the seller’s wallet on the Internet. The blow to bitcoin’s credibility has highlighted all the fears critics have been trying to raise. Because it is unregulated and anonymous, there is probably no way for users to know who may have seized the thousands of missing bitcoins — and no way to recover them.
This sudden reversal of fortune is particularly painful for enthusiasts who believed just a few weeks ago that bitcoin was on the cusp of mainstream acceptance because of growing support from venture capitalists, banks and regulators.
Instead of triumph, the bitcoin community is now focused on repairing the damage. Mt. Gox is nothing more than a “collapsed tower of toxic sludge,” said Williams, who is also a finance professor at Boston University School of Management.
The recent weeks have been troubled ones for bitcoin. In late January, the chief executive of another bitcoin exchange was arrested on money-laundering charges, Russia banned the virtual currency, andApple Inc. pulled a popular bitcoin app from its App Store over concerns about its legality.
But the fall of Mt. Gox trumps all of these stumbles in size and scope, and has clearly left many in the bitcoin community stunned and confused. Although there are other exchanges where people can buy and sell bitcoins, Mt. Gox was the biggest.
“Having Mt. Gox shut down is to bitcoin what having the New York Stock Exchange shut down is to our equity market,” said James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University.
Problems at Mt. Gox first surfaced earlier this month when the exchange stopped letting users make transactions because of what appeared to be a glitch that was also affecting other exchanges. But although the other exchanges came back online, Mt. Gox remained dark through last weekend.
On Monday, users noticed that the site seemed to be disabled and the home page was blank. Later that day, a “Crisis Draft Strategy” document was obtained by somebody and posted online, purporting to be from Mt. Gox.
The document, whose authenticity has been questioned, raised further alarms because it indicated that Mt. Gox may have lost 744,000 bitcoins to theft over several years. It also explored whether to shut down Mt. Gox completely or re-launch it under a new name.
What really happened? Mt. Gox issued only a short statement Tuesday: “In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on Mt. Gox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.”
Across the bitcoin community, Mt. Gox faced swift and harsh criticism for its handling of the crisis.
“This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt. Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of Bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” read a joint statement from several bitcoin companies posted on the Coinbase blog. “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.”
Created in 2009 by a programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is based on a software standard that runs across a wide number of servers around the world for regulating the creation and trading of bitcoins. It is not controlled by any nation, governing body or business. …
I think they were hacked and robbed by some organization with big resources who sees them as a threat. Mt. Gox didn’t buy enough protection. I’d buy a Bitcoin… for a dollar, just for the novelty of owning one.
But it was only 7% of all bit coins that are missing…. Only….
Mark Karpeles, the 28-year-old French CEO of Mt. Gox, which once handled around 80 percent of the world’s bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy at a Tokyo District Court late on Friday. His lawyer said that nearly all the bitcoins in the exchange’s possession – 850,000 of them – were missing. Karpeles blamed hackers.
At current bitcoin rates on other exchanges, that would mean $473 million is lost – around 7 percent of all bitcoins minted.
“If the theft is true,” said Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, “it’s the biggest bank heist in history,” aside from when Saddam Hussein ordered his son to withdraw $1 billion from Iraq’s central bank in 2003.
How this happened remains a mystery. But most observers say Mt. Gox’s laxness played a key role in the debacle.
Posted by Xeno on February 25, 2014
A number of people have asked, if there is a government UFO cover-up, why haven’t documents relating to them turned up in the massive intelligence leak by Edward Snowden. Well, in a new document released at ‘The Intercept, the new website devoted to publishing information about the leaks, the flying saucers have arrived. Though where they’ve turned up might be cause for concern for the Fox Mulder’s out there.
That document is a Powerpoint presentation from the British intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), titled simply enough “The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations”, in which three of the fifty slides are images of ‘UFOs’. Unfortunately, there is no text related to the images, so there could be a number of reasons for them being included – from pointing out people’s belief systems, through to them possibly being part of actual psychological operations (psy-ops). The only clue might be that the images are listed under a heading of “Influence and Information Operations”.
Besides the UFO references, there are a number of allusions to magic, from the mission statement to produce “cyber-magicians”, to another slide listing the historical involvement of professional magicians with psy-ops, through to finishing with an image of Teller beside a quote, “Conjuring with Information”.
Glenn Greenwald has written some commentary on the latest release of documents, pointing out how they show intelligence agencies are intentionally manipulating online discussions:
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
Returning to the topic of UFOs, writer/film-maker Mark Pilkington is well-acquainted with the dual topic of UFOs and intelligence agency deceptions via the intensive research he did for his book and related documentary Mirage Men. On his blog, Mark notes that “it’s clear that [intelligence agencies] consider the UFO subject, its attendant beliefs, and the vocal community surrounding it, to be a useful field of operations for their activities”. He also points out that not much has changed in the last six decades, given the similarities between the newly released document and a research paper released in 1950 titled “Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare” – right down to the listing of magicians who have participated in psy-ops.
If you’d like to learn more about this subject, take a look at the lecture Mark gave a couple of years ago (embedded below), titled “The Abuses of Enchantment: Folklore and Deception in the Disinformation Age”:
As Greenwald points out, “these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online… Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that… No government should be able to engage in these tactics”. …
The second image is one of the German “Virl” craft, if you believe that alternate history. See this:
The image was supposedly taken by near St Austell, Cornwall at around 5pm on August 1, 1995 by an unnamed witness:
Spotting a UFO is not the kind of sight-seeing you expect to find when you go on holiday. But that is exactly what one man chanced upon without even realising it when he thought he was taking a picturesque photograph of the sea. The witness had been taking a stroll in Black Head at Trenarren near St Austell, Cornwall at around 5pm on August 1, when he pulled out his camera to capture a snap of the sea. In a strange twist, it was not until he later downloaded the photograph from his digital camera onto his computer that he noticed the mysterious ‘flying object’ hovering above. The photograph of the circular object has now been unveiled at the Cornwall UFO Research Group (CUFORG), which was founded by Dave Gillham in 1995. He said: ‘The person who took the photo never saw anything in the area while taking the photo. ‘It was only when he got home and downloaded it onto his computer that he saw an object – a disc shaped craft, hovering just above the sea. ‘There appear to be two trails of water beneath the object which looks as though they are falling from it in to the sea. ‘It could be that the object has just emerged from the sea.’
Posted by Xeno on February 25, 2014
A secret U.S. government watchlist is forcing companies to place orders on hold, according to an Australian named David Jones, whose name was flagged up as suspicious when he tried to purchase computer parts.
After Jones processed an “innocuous” order with Element 14, a large distributor of electronic and computer parts in Australia, he arrived at the company’s trade counter to pick up the goods only to be told that his order had been placed “on hold”.
After confirming that the hold was not due to the parts being restricted or suspicious in any way, Jones was told, “that it wasn’t the parts that had been flagged, it was my NAME that was flagged. And they said it was a US government watch list of some description.”
Staff told Jones that the system was designed to only flag up suspicious names, no matter how common, and they didn’t have to be linked to a specific address. The “hold” was cleared and Jones was given the parts within 5 minutes. The incident prompted Jones to recall that numerous previous orders had also been mysteriously placed on “hold” with no explanation.
Jones notes that the system is “yet another stupid procedure forced upon the world and corporations by the US government,” because all it takes to clear the “hold” instruction is for an Element 14 employee to press a button.
“An Australian subsidiary, owned by a UK parent company, listed on the UK stock exchange, has an ordering system that automatically matches generic names against some secret US Government watch list, and flags those orders and puts them on hold, for parts that are already stocked in Australia, are likely not made in the US, and likely have come from the main UK warehouse. Call me stupid, but something doesn’t seem right with that,” writes Jones.
The fact that the orders being put on hold relate to computer parts serves as a reminder of a recent revelations concerning how the NSA works with the FBI and CIA to intercept physical deliveries of computers and other hardware in order to take the laptop, “to a secret workshop where it could be discretely fitted with espionage software before being sent on its way.”
The operation and maintenance of U.S. government watchlists is notoriously ham-fisted. The no fly list is merely one component of a 500,000-750,000 strong government “watch list” that has ensnared people like the late former Senator Ted Kennedy, former presidential candidate John Anderson, and many others including a Vermont college student, a retired Presbyterian minister and an ACLU employee.
In 2012 it emerged that an 18-month old daughter of two New Jersey-born Americans of Middle Eastern descent was also added to the list.
The list has generated innumerable false positives which has led to widespread condemnation, especially given that the government has refused to amend its mistakes. A judge recently ruled that the no fly list was unconstitutional, but the federal government is fighting tooth and nail to keep it in place.
CNN journalist Drew Griffin was put on a TSA watchlist after he filed reports critical of the federal agency. Activists have also been arbitrarily placed on watchlists in order to prevent them from protesting at certain events.
Is it possible to build a decently fast computer these days where the hardware is not bugged?