Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for the ‘War’ Category

The Pentagon’s Mad Science Is Going Open Source

Posted by Anonymous on February 6, 2014

National security is often synonymous with secrecy. But when it comes to software development, the U.S. defense and intelligence establishment can be surprisingly open.
This week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — or DARPA, the research arm of the U.S. Defense department — published a list of all the open source computer science projects it has funded, including links to source code and academic papers that detail the code’s underlying concepts.

Anyone is free to not only peruse the source code and add to it, but actually use it to build their own software — and that includes foreign governments. The belief is that because anyone can contribute to these projects, the quality of the code will only improve, making the software more useful to everyone. It’s an approach that has paid off in spades among web companies from Google and Facebook to Twitter and Square, and the government has now realized that it too can benefit from the open source ethos.

The Softer Side of DARPA

DARPA is known for some pretty whacked out projects. Mind controlled exoskeletons. Space colonization. Turning pets into intelligence assets. That sort of thing. But it does have a more sober side. The agency funded the creation of the network that eventually became the internet, for example. And, more recently, it funded work on Mesos, the open source platform used by Twitter to scale applications across thousands of servers. It’s more of the latter that shows up on DARPA’s new site.

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2014/02/darpa-open-source/

Posted in Technology, War | Leave a Comment »

Submit your 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination by February 1st!

Posted by Anonymous on January 31, 2014

20140131-123959.jpg

You have only until February 2015 to submit your Nobel Peace Prize nomination for 2015.

Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Directions

1) Leave a one line comment about peace at this web site:

Doing this instantly confers upon you the title of Director of the World Peace Research Institute, allowing you, according to our understanding of the rules on the Nobel web site, to submit a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Your nomination can be short!

2) Rewrite this sample as an email in your own words:

***************************************
Dear Sirs,

I would like to nominate Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I believe Mr Snowden is a worthy candidate as he has knowingly risked incarceration, torture and even his life to speak out and reveal the global erosion of privacy taking place in the world today.

As we move further into the 21st century we will see this as a turning point of the fight for the rights of the individual to be recognized; a worthy aim for the Nobel committee to consider.

With kind regards,

{YOUR NAME HERE}

Director, World Peace Research Institute, {YOUR CITY HERE}

***************************************

3) Send your nomination to this address postmaster@nobel.no

Nominate anyone you like, but you aren’t allowed to nominate yourself.

Posted in War | Leave a Comment »

Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize + How to Add Your Own Nomination

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2014

Saying that Edward Snowden has “contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order” by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize Wednesday.

If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa. …

Earlier today, Snorre Valen posted a nominating letter on a Norwegian site, including a version in English.

While the two Norwegians say they don’t condone all of Snowden’s actions, they say they’re “convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”

The revelations of broad and powerful spying techniques that target electronic communications “have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies,” they write. “Its value can’t be overestimated.”

If you’re wondering how Nobel nominees are chosen, so were we.

“A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria,” according to The Nobel Website. Those criteria include members of national assemblies and governments, as well as university professors (a Swedish professor nominated Snowden for the award last year, but not until after the deadline, AFP says). …

The deadline for all Nobel Peace Prize nominations is February. The names will be pared down to a short list in March and May. The winner of the 2014 award will be announced in October.

Snowden’s name came up today in Washington, where Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called for the former contractor and the journalists who received secret documents from him to give them back. As earlier today, the director said that unauthorized disclosures of classified material “continue to pose a critical threat.”

“Snowden claims he’s won and that his mission is accomplished,” Clapper told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, according to Reuters. “If that is so, I call on him and his accomplices to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents that have not yet been exposed to prevent even more danger to U.S. security.” …

via Edward Snowden Is Nominated For The Nobel Peace Prize : The Two-Way : NPR.

In my view flooding the Norwegian Nobel Committee with nominations for Snowden is not a waste of time, even if you don’t qualify as a nominator. I suppose I could stretch and say that I’m a leader of a peace research institute. No, I won’t stretch, I’ll actually create my own peace research institute! Who’s in? Done.

The World Peace Research Institute (http://worldpeaceresearchinstitute.wordpress.com/) is now created and we have only a few billion spots open for new directors.  Become a director, then, according to the Nobel site, you can nominate anyone (but not yourself) for a Nobel Peace Prize. Don’t abuse your new power by making frivolous or humorous nominations.

SeptemberThe Norwegian Nobel Committee prepares to receive nominations. These nominations will be submitted by members of national assemblies, governments, and international courts of law; university chancellors, professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology; leaders of peace research institutes and institutes of foreign affairs; previous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; board members of organizations that have received the Nobel Peace Prize; present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; and former advisers of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

FebruaryDeadline for submission. The Committee bases its assessment on nominations that must be postmarked no later than 1 February each year. Nominations postmarked and received after this date are included in the following year’s discussions. In recent years, the Committee has received close to 200 different nominations for different nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The number of nominating letters is much higher, as many are for the same candidates.

February-MarchShort list. The Committee assesses the candidates’ work and prepares a short list.

Yours Truly,

Xeno
Director, World Peace Research Institute

Posted in human rights, Politics, War | 1 Comment »

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1967 – Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [Full Speech]

Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2014

There is so much great in this speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. calling for an end to the Vietnam War.

I was moved by the phrase, “our proneness to adjust to injustice…”

This speech was delivered a year to the day before he was assassinated.

The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the US government, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993, and that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat. In a 1999 civil trial that did not name the US government as a defendant and sought $100 from Loyd Jowers, with both the family and Jowers cooperating together and the only presenting parties, the jury ruled that Loyd Jowers and others, including unspecified governmental agencies, were all part of the conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King Jr. …

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took responsibility for investigating King’s death. J. Edgar Hoover, who had previously made efforts to undermine King’s reputation, told Johnson that his agency would attempt to find the culprit(s).

Many documents pertaining to this investigation remain classified, and are slated to remain secret until 2027. A proposed Records Collection Act, similar to a 1992 law concerning the Kennedy assassination, would require their immediate release.

Posted in History, human rights, War | Leave a Comment »

Unknown Cloud Seen from Space Station

Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2014

http://guardianlv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cloud-parmitano-580x384.jpgUnknown Cloud Seen from Space Station

Added by Kimberly Ruble on October 13, 2013.

This weekend, an astronaut from Italy, Luca Parmitano, put some very strange photographs upon his account at Twitter which had been taken from the International Space Station. They showed what appeared to be some sort of unknown cloud that was rising directly above the horizon of the Earth at twilight, the types of man-made clouds that usually appear after rockets have been shot off.

What is so weird about this is that there were no planned launches by NASA because of the government shutdown or from any United States commercial spaceflight corporation. Europe and Russia neither one had announced any scheduled launches at that time as well. Nevertheless, there was something that got fired up into space.

Another picture showed what appeared to be a curved trail of a white smoky tail, this being water vapor and exhaust which is made by a rocket going through the atmosphere. There were strange designs created after being pounded by high elevation winds. Then Parmitano showed another picture of the cloud and that seemed to be caused by the rocket crumbling over the Earth.

Mike Hopkins, who is a NASA astronaut, and is stationed on the ISS, also tweeted his observation of the clouds, and stated that he saw something being launching up into space. He said he was not sure what it was but that the clouds it left behind were amazing.

To see some sort of unexpected rocket being launched outside their window had to be unsettling for the ISS team. Did they ever discover what the rocket actually was?

It is believed that Strategic Rocket Forces in Russia had a successful secret trial takeoff of a Topol/SS-25 missile. The rocket was sent up from Kapustin to the Shagan trial area located in Kazakhstan. Conferring to a representative of the Rocket Forces, the experiment was used to check characteristics of the Topol rocket, and to check the systems of the Sary Shagan test site.

This missile is the newest addition to Russia’s military fleet, and it is the first international airborne missile to be developed after the disbanding of the Soviet Union. Intercontinental missiles are used as nuclear weapon delivery systems, and are able to be launched into space and deliver their payloads over thousands of miles away.

According to the Information Telegraph Agency in Russia, various news agencies reported the test was needed to make sure of the stability of the performance characteristics of this class of missile during the extension of its life, preparation of its various measuring systems, and the testing of warheads of ballistic missiles.

The news reports also said the missile test was a triumph, that the practice target they aimed at in Kazakhstan was hit. So it does appear that the cloud encounter was produced by the disintegration of the top part of the Topol’s rocket.

The trouble is that this is a notice to everyone that even though World Space Week had just ended, a festivity which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Outer Space Treaty which banned the militarization of space, that human beings still are testing the transfer apparatuses for weapons of mass destruction, even as the peaceful civilian ISS (crew) watch(es) from their windows and can do nothing when they happen to notice clouds of unknown origin coming into existence right in front of their eyes.

via Unknown Cloud Seen from Space Station.

Posted in Politics, Space, War | Leave a Comment »

Google Now a Military Contractor with BigDog Robot

Posted by Anonymous on December 18, 2013

▶ BigDog Overview (Updated March 2010) – YouTube.

From privacy concerns to monopolies, some people have been growing increasingly concerned over some of Google’s business practices for years now. Wonder what those types think now the search giant owns a company that makes military robots.

Yes, Google has splashed out and purchased Boston Dynamics, the same company who we’ve featured here a number of times before for their terrifying work on both humanoid and dog-like (or, you know, Metal Gear-like) robots.

The New York Times says Google is being “circumspect” as to why Boston Dynamics has been bought, only suggesting that it’ll add significant clout to their own in-house robotics efforts.

Which it no doubt will. But the interesting part of this is that Boston Dynamics currently has a contract with the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is what robots like Atlas and Big Dog were built for.

That puts Google in the military contractor business, at least temporarily while the contract is honoured, though the company says it has no business staying in the field once those obligations are done.

http://kotaku.com/google-buys-company-famous-for-scary-military-robots-1483193724

I never get tired of watching this thing. It’s so creepy.

Posted in Technology, War | Leave a Comment »

Kaliningrad: European fears over Russian missiles

Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2013

US missile defence map

European countries bordering Russia’s territory of Kaliningrad say they are worried at reports that Moscow has put nuclear-capable missiles there.

Lithuania and Poland both issued statements of concern.

Russia has not confirmed the report but insists it has every right to station missiles in its western-most region.

Moscow has long threatened to move Iskander short-range missile systems to Kaliningrad in response to the United States’ own European missile shield.

Russia sees the missile shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.

It was one of the biggest sources of confrontation between Moscow and Washington during the presidencies of George W Bush and Vladimir Putin.

President Barack Obama tried to “reset” relations with Russia, and the shield system was revised – but it survived in a different form and continued to antagonise Russia.

The US insists that the missile shield is not aimed at Russia but designed to defend Europe from attack from “rogue states” – assumed to include Iran. …

via BBC News – Kaliningrad: European fears over Russian missiles.

Posted in War | Leave a Comment »

BREAKING: Federal Judge rules entire NSA data collection program unconstitutional – a violation of the 4th

Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2013

Judge Leon of the DC District Court has held that the NSA’s bulk collection of telephony metadata violates the Fourth Amendment and has enjoined the entire program (stayed pending appeal).

Judge Leon recognizes that his holding conflicts with the reasoning of other district courts, but he expresses confidence that he is correct and that James Madison would be “aghast” at the NSA’s telephony metadata program. Finding the entire NSA metadata program unconstitutional, Judge Leon enjoins it, but he stays his order pending appeal to the DC Circuit.

This is a GREAT ruling, but unfortunately, it’s not going to do a thing in practice right now. He “enjoined” the entire program, but “stayed” his own decision, pending appeal – which will be coming.

In other words. He put a stop to the program, but put his own order on hold. NSA surveillance will continue. …

 

BREAKING NEWS: Federal Judge rules entire NSA data collection program unconstitutional – a violation of the 4th – 12160.

Posted in human rights, Politics, War | Leave a Comment »

NSA Director Alexander Has to Ask Permission to Answer a Question

Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2013

One of the more jaw-dropping moments to emerge out of 60 Minutes’ profile piece on the National Security Agency yesterday was when NSA Director Keith Alexander had to ask permission from his superiors on whether or not he could answer a question.

The report, headed up by John Miller, himself a former FBI and National Intelligence official, was basically a soapbox for the NSA to downplay its malfeasance in light of the Edward Snowden revelations.“Did the NSA actually find a foreign power that had identified this capability and discussed using it offensively,” Miller asks Alexander at the 2:45 mark in the clip above.Alexander is about to speak but then turns his head towards what Miller describes as a “crowd of people in the dark,” and states, “I need time out on that.”According to Miller, Alexander then asked this group of people, “Can I answer that?”

Bear in mind that Alexander is the highest ranking individual in the National Security Agency and moreover a four-star general. Alexander is also Chief of the Central Security Service CHCSS and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command USCYBERCOM.

If Alexander is supposedly the top guy at the NSA, why does he need to ask shadowy advisors lurking in the background if he can even address a question?And who exactly are this group of shadowy people who have the power to give orders to the Director of the NSA and why don’t we know their names? Miller and his team said that a group of 20 “minders” would follow the reporters everywhere they went and carefully monitor each individual interview they conducted with NSA employees.One interview clip features a woman in the background who states, “please stop….back off” as another NSA worker begins to answer a question. …

via » NSA Director Alexander Has to Ask Permission to Answer a Question Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

See video from 60 Minutes interview at the NSA facility.

I find the fact that he is consulting with a team reassuring rather than alarming. With the fate of the nation in the balance, I’d want an entire team of the brightest most informed people carefully monitoring what any one individual can say in light of all the different programs they have. Any one of those 20 people (assuming they aren’t aliens…) would also be a high value target for a kidnapping or foreign influence so they should remain hidden. Nevertheless, there is no need to watch everything every American does constantly as we believe they are now doing.

Posted in Politics, Technology, War | Leave a Comment »

Chinese State Media Brags of Plan to Establish “Death Star” Moon Base

Posted by Anonymous on December 12, 2013

A report appearing in the pro-regime China Times brags that China’s launch of the Long March-3B rocket earlier this week is part of a long term plan to turn the moon into a Star Wars-style “death star” from which the PLA could launch missiles against any target on Earth.

It all sounds like something straight out of The Onion, but upon checking the sources it appears that this is indeed what Communist Party officials have been discussing this week following China’s flagship launch of a lunar rover, which is Beijing’s first spacecraft to land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body.

The article appears on the Want China Times website, the English-language outlet of the The China Times Group, which is based in Taiwan and considered to be pro-unification and pro-Beijing. The article cites the Beijing Times, which is affiliated with the People’s Daily, as the source for the original report.

Under the headline PLA dreams of turning moon into Death Star, says expert, the report cites “experts in China” who are wargaming how the moon, “Can be transformed into a deadly weapon. Like the Death Star in Star Wars, the moon could hypothetically be used as a military battle station and ballistic missiles could be launched against any military target on Earth.”

“Various weapons testing sites could also be established on the moon,” the article adds, noting that the launch of the Long March-3B rocket is the start of “a more ambitious program.”

This report again reminds us that some of Beijing’s most jingoistic and aggressive rhetoric is often hidden in plain view, with Chinese military planners perfectly willing to go on the record and brag about their agenda to turn China into a forceful military superpower.

Last month, Chinese state-run media released a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear attack launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force.

Top Chinese generals have also occasionally threatened America with nuclear strikes if the U.S. becomes embroiled in any future conflict involving Taiwan.

Tensions between the United States and China are currently running high after Beijing imposed an “air defense zone” over the disputed Senkaku Islands and hinted that it may shoot down any foreign aircraft entering the area. The U.S., Japan and South Korea quickly rendered this threat toothless by performing several overflights of the area without notifying Chinese authorities.

According to the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the escalating crisis represents a “watershed moment for the world,” could signal the start of a new cold war, and means “Asia is on the cusp of a full-blown arms race.”

China has acted with increasing military aggression in recent months, first by sending warships to the coast of Syria to in September to “observe” the actions of U.S. and Russian vessels in the region and then by sailing a surveillance ship through Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which was described as a provocative retaliation to America’s naval presence in the East China Sea.

via » Chinese State Media Brags of Plan to Establish “Death Star” Moon Base Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Well, they will have to be careful not to trip on all of the German, Soviet, US bases already up there. Odds are they will have some accidents or encounter some “aliens” if they try to set up some of their own doomsday missile launchers this late in the game.

Posted in Space, War | 3 Comments »

 
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