“There’s a frightening amount of it,” she said. “It appears that these stories have to do with earthquake-, tsunami- and landslide-like events. As you go around the region, there are very many of these stories and they are central to the native cultures, which suggests that these past earthquakes had profound effects on the local inhabitants. There’s evidence for that in the geology as well, both on the coast and in the central Puget Sound area.”
Native peoples described and commemorated geologic events in their oral traditions by using descriptive metaphors based on their cultural concepts, often ascribing earth shak- ing to actions of supernatural beings. In this paper we discuss stories about a’yahos , a supernatural spirit power that natives associated with ﬁve locales along the trace of the Seattle Fault. Three of these locales are associated with landslides, and another has a description of offset consistent with the move-ment of the Seattle Fault.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province has forced up to 180,000 people to flee since the city of Hit fell to Islamic State earlier this month, the United Nations said on Monday.Islamic
It is looking worse and worse for Iraq, what a fucked up mess we them. The United Stated should be ashamed.
Originally designed for spy agencies, Palantir’s technology allowed users to track individuals with unprecedented reach, connecting information from conventional sources like crime reports with more controversial data gathered by surveillance cameras and license plate readers that automatically, and indiscriminately, photographed passing cars.
The LAPD could have used a small portion of its multibillion-dollar annual budget to purchase the software, but that would have meant going through a year-long process requiring public meetings, approval from the City Council, and, in some cases, competitive bidding.
There was a quicker, quieter way to get the software: as a gift from the Los Angeles Police Foundation, a private charity. In November 2007, at the behest of then Police Chief William Bratton, the foundation approached Target Corp., which contributed $200,000 to buy the software, said the foundation’s executive director, Cecilia Glassman, in an interview. Then the foundation donated it to the police department.
Across the nation, private foundations are increasingly being tapped to provide police with technology and weaponry that—were it purchased with public money—would come under far closer scrutiny.
“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but “steal” some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”—Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1951-1959 (via interneiti)
Gary Sharma, founder of GarysGuide: A mega-trend is brewing that could make bureaucratic hierarchies, middlemen and gatekeepers everywhere obsolete including social networks, banks, stock exchanges, electronic voting systems and even governments. It’s called decentralized computing, and it could fundamentally transform the way we connect to and exchange value on the Internet. There are three technologies that will form the foundation of the decentralized computing stack — mesh networks (decentralized networking), block chain (decentralized transactions) and autonomous agents (decentralized decision making). …
“I refuse to go into a froth or panic, because corporations and governments know about me — especially since nothing on Earth will prevent elites from seeing. But we have to become ferociously determined that we will be empowered to look back! If the public has the means — and habits — of sousveillance, protecting whistle blowers, for example, then all future conspiracies will have to remain small, because they’ll be able to trust only a few shadows and a few henchmen at a time.”—David Brin (via azspot)
The publishing world may finally be facing its “rootkit scandal.” Two independent reports claim that Adobe’s e-book software, “Digital Editions,” logs every document readers add to their local “library,” tracks what happens with those files, and then sends those logs
By selling public spaces to private interests, we teach our children — and ourselves — that nothing is truly shared.
For the past 20 years, I’ve been taking the train to the Market East Station in my hometown of Philadelphia. But I’m not going to be doing that again anytime soon.
That’s because Market East no longer exists, at least not officially. It became Jefferson Station earlier this month, after Thomas Jefferson University Hospital paid Philadelphia’s regional transportation authority $4 million to put Jefferson’s name on the station for the next five years.
And this isn’t just a Philly thing, either. Around the country, the names of our public spaces are being sold off to private donors. Brooklyn’s busy Atlantic Avenue subway station is now the Barclays Bank station; Chicago is selling naming rights to its “L” stops; and Cleveland recently named an entire bus route “The Health Line,” after receiving $6.25 million from the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
In several other cities, meanwhile, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s logo festoons manhole covers and fire hydrants. A few municipalities have sold ads on their police cars. And seven states now allow pizza chains and other companies to advertise on school buses.
That’s good news for business, which can engage old customers and target new ones. And it’s good for our cash-strapped local and state governments, which can make long-needed improvements to crumbling infrastructures. Everyone walks away happy. Right?
Wrong. Our public spaces communicate important lessons about who we are. By selling these spaces to private interests, we teach our children — and ourselves — that nothing is truly shared; that everything is for sale, typically to the highest bidder; and that the clutter of commercial messages is the price we have to pay to sustain our common lives.
Of course, America’s urban landscape has long been littered with garish advertising. Writing in 1914, journalist Walter Lippmann bemoaned “the deceptive clamor that disfigures the scenery, covers fences, plasters the city, and blinks and winks at you through the night.” Parts of the sky were “ablaze with chewing gum,” Lippmann quipped, while the rest was “brilliant with monstrously flirtatious women.”
On the countryside, meanwhile, tobacco companies paid farmers to place ads on their barns. As automobile sales and traffic increased, America’s highways became jammed with signs and billboards for every product under the sun.
But it’s one thing to sell advertisements on a road; it’s another to sell the the road itself. Two years ago, Virginia became the first state to offer naming rights for its bridges, highways and roads.
“You’re stuck on a highway, you’re sitting, and all you can do is look at the sign that says ‘Tostitos Bridge’ or ‘The Coca-Cola Overpass,’” one brand-building consultant enthused about the Virginia experiment. “Repeated exposure is so important for brands these days because there is so much clutter.”
She’s right about that. For consumers, however, the new naming-rights trend will accelerate the clutter instead of reducing it. In the past, public spaces provided a brief respite from the pandemonium of private promotions. But not now.
Even state parks and beaches sport ads on nature trails and other facilities. A park is “a very quiet marketing environment,” explained the CEO of Government Solutions Group, which brokers deals between parks and sponsors. “It’s a great place to reach people; they’re in the right state of mind.”
Or marketers can go straight to the institution charged with shaping young minds: our public schools. Thus far, no school has named its entire operation after a private sponsor. But dozens of high schools have sold naming rights to their football fields, for fees ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. One Massachusetts school even offered naming rights to its principal’s office, for a mere $10,000.
Other schools adorn their walls, floors, locker rooms, and cafeteria tables with ads for candy, soda, and fast food. One Florida school district issued its report cards in jackets issued by McDonald’s, provoking a public outcry that ended the practice.
Indeed, naming-rights arrangements seem to generate dissent only when the public doesn’t like the product being promoted. So New York Mets fans condemned the team for selling its new stadium’s name to Citigroup, which received billions of dollars in the 2008 bank bailout even as it was cutting over 100,000 jobs. And Florida Atlantic University was forced to cancel a naming deal with a private prison operator — yes, you read that right — after students protested the idea.
But the real problem is selling names in the first place. If we want to improve a road or a school, we should tax ourselves to do it. By delegating the task to a private donor, we erode our shared spaces and the civic sentiments they inspire. A truly public enterprise demonstrates our faith in one another. And a facility papered with advertisements suggests the opposite: that we lack real community, so we need to put ourselves in private hands.
I’ve got nothing against Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. My best friend in Philadelphia works there, and it seems like a terrific institution. But we shouldn’t rechristen an entire train station after it, simply because Jefferson can pay for the privilege. Why must the market rule everything, including the name of Market East?
U.S. restrictions on speaking publicly about the requests violate the First Amendment, the company argues.
The firm is also seeking a ruling that a nondisclosure provision included in a national-security-letter statute, as well as the secrecy provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are unconstitutional.
Twitter’s suit comes as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which includes the Northern District of California, is due this week to consider the constitutionality of the gag provisions of the national-security-letters law.
The company made clear that the lawsuit is part of a broader push for surveillance reform through legislation, such as the USA Freedom Act pending in the Senate.
"The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has announced a technological breakthrough that allows unmanned surface vehicles (USV) to not only protect Navy ships, but also, for the first time, autonomously “swarm” offensively on hostile vessels."
As America’s efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants extend into Syria, Iraq War III has seamlessly morphed into Greater Middle East Battlefield XIV. That is, Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.
Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.
With our 14th front barely opened, the Pentagon foresees a campaign likely to last for years. Yet even at this early date, this much already seems clear: Even if we win, we lose.
Via Wikipedia: American artist Gloria Jones recorded the original version of “Tainted Love”, which was written and produced by Ed Cobb. It was the B-side to the 1965 single “My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home”, which was a commercial flop, failing to chart in either the US or the UK. Before Jones recorded the song, Cobb had offered it to The Standells, which he managed and produced, but they rejected it.
Bruce Sterling has aggregated a series of email conversations about the new social network ELLO.
There is a lot of talk going on amongst the cognoscenti and early invitees - is ELLO a sneak attack by venture capitalist to harness a user base into yet another click factory like Facebook; is ELLO a fresh new social commons that will be free from the nefarious packs of ad trackers and cookie monsters; can the online world actual conjure up an alternative to Facebook?
This makes for interesting reading, I have no opinion at this time.
It was grim timing that BERG shut down just before Bruce Sterling released a digital booklet, THE EPIC STRUGGLE OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS. Bruce, in his usual blackly cheerful manner, breezes through the history and near future of the digital annexation of the domestic that was cutely denoted “the internet of things” or IoT, blowing away the glitter and the hand-waving and cutting down to the…
“Here’s a fact that’s hard for most Americans to swallow: economic growth is over. Given the finite nature of our planet and its resources, the recent trend of global economic expansion was destined to end. No stimulus package or slashing of social programs is going to flip the economy back to an expansionary trajectory. We’ve hit the proverbial wall, and this will be the defining reality of our lives from now on.”—
“Student loans are destroying the imagination of youth. If there’s a way of a society committing mass suicide, what better way than to take all the youngest, most energetic, creative, joyous people in your society and saddle them with, like $50,000 of debt so they have to be slaves? There goes your music. There goes your culture. There goes everything new that would pop out. And in a way, this is what’s happened to our society. We’re a society that has lost any ability to incorporate the interesting, creative and eccentric people.”—David Graeber (via liberatingreality)