Peacekeeper Smartphone App Empowers The Community To Police Itself

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Really cool idea: A smartphone app that lets you create your own first-responder network in your own neighborhood. You can add anyone you trust as an emergency contact and have instant, real-time communication with them in the event of a home invasion, fire, or medical emergency (as long as you have a cell phone signal). These people can likely respond much faster than any police force. Like they say: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

You can contribute to the Indiegogo campaign if you want to help get the app to market.


Yes, the government IS collecting your data.

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nsa_naughty_niceThe Guardian broke this story on massive phone records collection by the NSA targeting citizens of the US, not only foreign suspects. Regardless of the suspects’ nationality, this kind of dragnet data surveillance has been suspected by many since the passage of the PATRIOT act in 2001, but is now confirmed by this revelation.

America is realizing that is has become a surveillance state. The question now is: What will we do about it? Will we continue to rationalize and excuse the encroaching tyrannical behavior of the state, or draw a line in the sand and demand that this has gone too far?

Read the story by Glenn Greenwald here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

Curiosity Rover First Drive Images

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What may be the most exciting MMS message ever received:

Big Brother Is Real And You Are Being Scanned

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Breaking news coming through WikiLeaks tonight: Public security cameras are tied into a massive facial recognition system!

I guess we might now have some idea what the massive NSA Utah Data Center is for.


On Millenials, Technology And The Future of America

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In many ways the children of the internet generation (Millenials) have grown up competing to be best informed, most accurate, or most influential in a free and open marketplace of ideas enabled by technology and largely still out of reach of censorship and regulation. One only has to browse an internet discussion board to see what a lively and colorful discourse there is on any topic. (With equal parts brilliance and vitriol, but we will come back to that.)

Given that this is the paradigm they are familiar with, I am confident in the potential of future generations to craft a similarly productive atmosphere for this country… if they just realize that it is theirs for the making; because even when we’re arguing on the internet we are coming collectively closer to the truth by challenging shaky arguments, calling out fallacies, and -ideally- refining our own arguments. People are outspoken about their opinions and are generally less afraid of being wrong, since being wrong is just correcting a misapprehension. No one wants to look like a n00b, and I think voters will soon desire the same kind of instant accountability in politics (or whatever ends up replacing politics as we know it, since the behemoth of government in its current incarnation moves too slowly to keep up with culture in the digital age).

The lines between “culture” and “counterculture” are disappearing as people realize there is no culture, just a collection of subcultures- and most of them are perfectly peaceful even if you don’t agree with them. As such, the Millenials are the most tolerant generation in history, as reported by the Chicago Tribune here. Racial and cultural differences aren’t so scary when the mystery surrounding them evaporates with one tweet to your friend in Kenya or Brazil or Thailand, or one post on a Muslim discussion forum. Support for ending the drug war and pardoning non-violent convicts, as another example, is also very high among young voters and is starting to become a talking point on the campaign trail- a positive one this time. Millenials are beginning to expose the fact that such topics are often used by the two parties to divide us over bogus individual rights issues while they and their cronies plunder the economy and the planet- and they’ve been doing it for decades.

But as the Chicago Tribune article is careful to point out, this constant flood of new and exciting information is not without its societal dangers. The same anonymous aspect of the internet that makes it so easy to be outspoken can also easily make one insensitive. The article states:

Previous generations typically were forced to speak directly to someone, even if it was on the phone, or perhaps write a note or letter to the person they had an issue with, Kyp-Johnson said. With texting and social networks, “it’s all at your fingertips and it’s instantaneous.” And, with a couple of keystrokes, venomous attacks can spread to thousands of people.

While the internet can deliver volumes of information instantly, they can’t help a developing mind understand how best to use the information, how to deliver it sensitively to their peers, or how to use it in an ethical and equitable manner. This is where we as a society need to step up to the challenge of raising children who are emotionally well-equipped to deal with the power they gain as a result of the ubiquity of communication technology. (Diagnosing childhood energy as a disease, feeding kids full of pills, putting police in their school hallways, and teaching them to be order-takers and politically dogmatic workers hasn’t been successful.) Unfortunately, the systems we currently have in place were created for a very different world without Information Technology as we know it, and those systems may not know the things it needs to teach these kids.

Perhaps Jay Kyp-Johnson said it best in the same article:

“I think our kids maintain really well, but they definitely need people mentoring them. The whole world is so much more multicultural and multifaceted than it used to be. They have to have the tools to deal with so much more.”

Is America ready to provide the children these tools, or will they have to create them for themselves? What will we leave them? Empowerment or hopelessness? Abundance or debt?

Why Do Gay Men Exist? Really.

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Why don’t gay men go extinct? Look at the genetics! A very interesting hypothesis from some Italian researchers.


The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males’ female maternal relatives. Through this trade-off, the maternal relatives’ “gay man genes,” though they aren’t expressed as such, tend to get passed to future generations in spite of their tendency to make their male inheritors gay.

While no one knows which genes, exactly, these might be, at least one of them appears to be located on the X chromosome, according to genetic modeling by Camperio Ciani and his colleagues. Males inherit only one X chromosome — the one from their mother — and if it includes the gene that promotes gayness in males and fecundity in females, he is likely to be gay while his mom and her female relatives are likely to have lots of kids. If a daughter inherits that same X-linked gene, she herself may not be gay, but she can pass it on to her sons.

If there is a “gay gene” and it exists on the X chromosome, this theory could hold water. What do you think? Regardless of your moral stance on homosexuality, discovering the scientific mechanism of its existence could (if proven accurate) change the dialog about sexuality considerably.

(Thanks to The Young Turks for their report. Cenk has an interesting hypothesis of his own: http://youtu.be/CPHevK7kAtQ)

Anonymous Reaction To CISPA Passing House

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As you might have expected, Anonymous have released a message in response to CISPA; and quite quickly this time.


Greetings citizens of the United States.

We are Anonymous.

Thursday, April 26th, the United States House, in a rushed vote, passed the HR 3523, also known as CISPA.

Dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, it allows the United States to collect information about users of the internet. It allows the United States to monitor all activity on the net and can be used to monitor any individual’s internet usage. This monitoring is called deep packet inspection, it looks through everything that is going in and out of your computer, which is a blatant violation of our rights to privacy.
Looking through your mail is a crime for a postman, these rules should apply to the internet too.

The bill’s intent is to help stop cyber attacks… However; the vague wording of the bill could allow the government to use this new power to go behind privacy protection and monitor, censor, and cut off online communication.

President Obama has already stated that he will veto the bill, but this is also what was said about NDAA.

Together, we can stop this act. The time to take action is now. We have defeated previous attempts to censor our only platform of true honest communication, the internet. SOPA was only the beginning.

Sign petitions, call your congressmen, and kill this act in the senate.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
CISPA, Expect us.

Do contact your Senators and urge (require) them to vote against CISPA. Find your senator on this website:


(Congress has made it quite clear that it no longer listens to or works for the people, but for corporate lobbyists and special interests. But that doesn’t mean we stop exercising our voices. No! All the more reason to raise them higher until they cannot be ignored!)

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