Saturday, June 29, 2013

How Rob Rhinehart Stopped Eating Food

Several months ago, a man named Rob Rhinehart decided he would create a food substitute that contains all of the nutrients needed without any unnecessary "food" ingredients. He calls his creation "Soylent" which is probably named after the science fiction film "Soylent Green". From reading his blog posts, it seems that Rob was most interested in reducing the time and money spent fueling his body, but he claims that he feels much better and is much more healthy.  I love food too much to give it up, but this is a very interesting project.

Source: Rob Rhinehart

I hypothesized that the body doesn't need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that's in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet? I just want to be in good health and spend as little time and money on food as possible

There are no meats, fruits, vegetables, or breads here. Besides olive oil for fatty acids and table salt for sodium and chloride nothing is recognizable as food. I researched every substance the body needs to survive, plus a few extras shown to be beneficial, and purchased all of them in nearly raw chemical form from a variety of sources. The section on the ingredients ended up being quite long so I'll save that for a future post. The first morning my kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab than a cookery, but I eventually ended up with an thick, odorless, beige liquid. I call it 'Soylent'.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Fun Facts From the Latest NSA Leak

Source: Wired Threat Level

1) The NSA generally destroys communication of U.S. persons that are collected incidental to collecting data on foreign individuals — unless the communication is encrypted...

2) The NSA maintains a massive database of U.S. email addresses and phone numbers...

3) The NSA also maintains a database of information incidentally collected from GSM and Home Location Registers...

4) When the NSA does pick up purely domestic communications, it can still use or pass the intercepted call or email to the FBI or other federal agencies if there is evidence of a crime or a national security leak...

5) If the NSA intercepts data between an attorney and client, it will still be retained...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

Why is the NSA spying domestically on citizens? According to the Guardian, they are spying on political activists and have a particular interest in environmentalists.

Source: The Guardian

Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA's Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis - or all three.

Just last month, unilateral changes to US military laws formally granted the Pentagon extraordinary powers to intervene in a domestic "emergency" or "civil disturbance"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Senator Rand Paul on targeted drone strikes against American Citizens

In this interview with Senator Rand Paul he talks Tech, Civil Liberties, Keeping the Government Out of Your Email, and many areas of civil liberties, but I especially wanted to share Paul's views on targeted assassination of US citizens without due process.

Source: Wired Danger Room

Danger Room: : It’s been about three months since your Senate filibuster. What do you think you’ve changed?

Senator Rand Paul: We have the president thinking about civil liberties and actually responding and saying that he believes in due process. Now if we could just have a little tutorial on what due process is I think we’d be making real progress.

Danger Room: You’re referring to Obama’s claim that Americans accused of terrorism don’t have to be hauled in front of a court before execution?

Rand Paul: I just can’t imagine that any kind of definition of due process wouldn’t include a court or a jury or a lawyer, it would include only someone from a political branch of government. It almost seems to be absurd that someone would call that due process. That being said, I’m only talking about an American citizen being targeted. When we’re talking about people fighting in wars or actively engaging in combat, I’m not talking about that either, American citizen or not. But for an American citizen not engaged in combat, due process is not someone who’s an elected politician deciding whether they should die or not.

Danger Room: And that holds for you even if the government accuses an American of being a terrorist, as with the executed radical preacher Anwar Awlaki?

Rand Paul: We’re talking about extraordinary circumstances. I have no doubt that the evidence indicates Awlaki was a bad person and was a terrorist. But I would have tried him for treason. I would have presented the evidence in court. If it was classified, I would have gone into closed session of court. But I still would have had a judge and a jury convicting him. If he won’t come home, he could have been tried in absentia. I would make the process such that he can’t appeal it for a decade or so. You have to have a fairly swift process. But you can’t have someone who runs for office on a political label, someone from the political branch of government [sentence someone]– that’s the real reason we divided the judiciary into a separate and co-equal branch.

Danger Room: What did you think of Obama’s speech on targeted killing and drones last week? Even if he’s not where you are, he seems to be edging in some of the directions you laid out.

Rand Paul: I was pleased that he responded to us. He talked about the idea and the need for due process. Disappointed, though, that a constitutional law professor thinks due process doesn’t include a court, a trial, a jury or a lawyer. That concept of due process almost is meaningless. So I’m glad that he’s trying but he needs to try a little harder.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Government Says Secret Court Opinion on Law Underlying PRISM Program Needs to Stay Secret

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall revealed the existence of a court opinion, which found that collection activities under FISA Section 702  "circumvented the spirit of the law” and violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But, at the time, the Senators were not permitted to discuss the details publicly. Section 702 has taken on new importance this week, as it appears to form the basis for the extensive PRISM surveillance program reported recently in the Guardian and the Washington Post.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Assange Statement on the First Day of Manning Trial

Source: Wikileaks

Bradley Manning may not give evidence as to his stated intent (exposing war crimes and their context), nor may he present any witness or document that shows that no harm resulted from his actions. Imagine you were put on trial for murder. In Bradley Manning’s court, you would be banned from showing that it was a matter of self-defence, because any argument or evidence as to intent is banned. You would not be able to show that the ’victim’ is, in fact, still alive, because that would be evidence as to the lack of harm.

But of course. Did you forget whose show it is?

The government has prepared for a good show. The trial is to proceed for twelve straight weeks: a fully choreographed extravaganza, with a 141-strong cast of prosecution witnesses. The defense was denied permission to call all but a handful of witnesses. Three weeks ago, in closed session, the court actually held a rehearsal. Even experts on military law have called this unprecedented.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Vitamin tablet makes your whole body an authentication token

Source: Wired UK

The tablets contain a small chip with a switch and something that amounts to an inside-out potato battery. After swallowing it the acids in your stomach act as electrolytes, which power the battery and turn the switch on and off in a sequence.

The result is that your body contains an 18-bit ECG-like signal, which can be picked up by devices and used as an authentication method.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Atlantic Road - Atlanterhavsveien

The Atlantic Road, known locally as the Atlanterhavsveien winds over an entire archipelago in the Norwegian Sea, linking the tiny islands and connecting the communes of Eide and Averoy in the county of Møre og Romsdal. Along with the practical reason for the road (to unify Norway) the swooping stretch is also a popular fishing spot; one of the bridges is specifically designed for it. Tourists and locals alike can go cod fishing on the designated side of the highway.