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Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday wrapup

Why is Jesus coming with a rod of iron?

Because we are ruled by id_ots.

The radio program "This American Life" has published an extraordinary investigative report on how the U.S. government regulators in charge of keeping an eye on the banks actually interact with powerful financial institutions (podcast here). 

 Financial journalist Michael Lewis describes the report thus: "The Fed failed to regulate the banks because it did not encourage its employees to ask questions, to speak their minds or to point out problems.

 Just the opposite: The Fed encourages its employees to keep their heads down, to obey their managers and to appease the banks. 

That is, bank regulators failed to do their jobs properly not because they lacked the tools but because they were discouraged from using them.

 The report quotes Fed employees saying things like, 'until I know what my boss thinks I don't want to tell you,' and 'no one feels individually accountable for financial crisis mistakes because management is through consensus.'"

 The public doesn't seem to understand just how dysfunctional our financial regulatory system is, Michael Lewis writes. That may change today with a radio report from "This American Life."


This is big...

With LEDs being the preferred long-lasting, low-energy method for replacing less efficient forms of lighting, their uptake has dramatically increased over the past few years.

 However, despite their luminous outputs having increased steadily over that time, they still fall behind more conventional forms of lighting in terms of brightness.

 Researchers at Princeton University claim to have come up with a way to change all that by using nanotechnology to increase the output of organic LEDs by 57 percent.


This guy beat it with the help of a wise man...

Researchers are closer to unraveling the mystery of how Timothy Ray Brown, the only human cured of HIV, defeated the virus, according to a new study.

 Although the work doesn't provide a definitive answer, it rules out one possible explanation. [R]esearchers point to three different factors that could independently or in combination have rid Brown’s body of HIV. 

The first is the process of conditioning, in which doctors destroyed Brown’s own immune system with chemotherapy and whole body irradiation to prepare him for his bone marrow transplant. 

His oncologist, Gero Hütter, who was then with the Free University of Berlin, also took an extra step that he thought might not only cure the leukemia but also help rid Brown’s body of HIV. 

He found a bone marrow donor who had a rare mutation in a gene that cripples a key receptor on white blood cells the virus uses to establish an infection.

 (For years, researchers referred to Brown as "the Berlin patient.") The third possibility is his new immune system attacked remnants of his old one that held HIV-infected cells, a process known as graft versus host disease.

HTTPS has evolved into the de facto standard for secure Web browsing. Through the certificate-based authentication protocol, Web services and Internet users first authenticate one another ("shake hands") using a TLS/SSL certificate, encrypt Web communications end-to-end, and show a padlock in the browser to signal that a communication is secure.

 In recent years, HTTPS has become an essential technology to protect social, political, and economic activities online. At the same time, widely reported security incidents (such as DigiNotar's breach, Apple's #gotofail, and OpenSSL's Heartbleed) have exposed systemic security vulnerabilities of HTTPS to a global audience

The Edward Snowden revelations (notably around operation BULLRUN, MUSCULAR, and the lesser-known FLYING PIG program to query certificate metadata on a dragnet scale) have driven the point home that HTTPS is both a major target of government hacking and eavesdropping, as well as an effective measure against dragnet content surveillance when Internet traffic traverses global networks.

 HTTPS, in short, is an absolutely critical but fundamentally flawed cybersecurity technology.


Oh ya...now were talking...

The National Security Agency has been making money on the side by licensing its technology to private businesses for more than two decades. 

It's called the Technology Transfer Program, under which the NSA declassifies some of its technologies that it developed for previous operations, patents them, and, if they're swayed by an American company's business plan and nondisclosure agreements, rents them out.

 The products include tools to transcribe voice recordings in any language, a foolproof method to tell if someone's touched your phone's SIM card, or a version of email encryption that isn't available on the open market.

We are not very bright! ( Note to future generations)

To quote Stephen Sondheim, you’ve gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead. Just ask the folks at Coca-Cola who managed to briefly reverse a decade-long trend of declining Coke sales simply by slapping various people’s names on their bottles and cans.

Heineken has been putting big city names on their bottles. 


 They cut peoples heads off. A person with a British accent is guilty. Now we will decimate them...

Britain has embarked on a renewed war in the Middle East, starting with air strikes in the next 48 hours, after MPs overwhelmingly sanctioned a UK air assault against Islamic State targets in Iraq.

 Why bombing Syria could turn out to be a disastrous mistake.


 Why bomb them?

Police say a woman who was killed by a co-worker at a food distribution center in suburban Oklahoma City was beheaded and that witnesses have said the suspect had been trying to convince co-workers to convert to Islam.



Please, please take him out Lord!!!
“Based on his gait, it appears he has gout — something [due to] diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Kim family,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North website.


 You want a reasonably priced home? Build it your self...

If you could go online, select a home, print the plans for free, and build it yourself for less than $80,000 in a few days, would you?

 That's the dream behind WikiHouse, an open source home design project that just finished construction of its fourth prototype, a two-story home that snaps together in just a few days.

No really this exists...
 Are you female, gay, non-Christian, or otherwise interested in the separation of church and state? Get to know The Gathering, a shadowy, powerful network of hard-right funders meeting Thursday in Florida.


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