News

Soldier jailed for killing his baby daughter

A soldier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder has been jailed for six years for killing his 20-month-old daughter.

Lance Corporal Liam Culverhouse attacked Khloe Abrams 18 months after he survived a rogue attack in Afghanistan.

The Grenadier Guardsman lost his right eye in the shootings at an Afghan National Police checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali in Helmand Province in November 2009. Five of his comrades were killed in the attack.

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News, Opinion

Surprise! The NSA Lied

NSA-650x637Claims made by the NSA that they are not able to find out much about people from the data they collect daily have been blown apart. The NSA and some lawmakers used to claim that the information it was collecting, such as phone numbers and length of calls, couldn’t be tied to any one individual, but an investigation by some who have been collecting data from Android users (on a volunteer basis) has shown that it was easy to put names to numbers.

A program called Metaphone collected data from 5,000 volunteers and gathered such data as recent calls, texts and social network information. The goal was to find out just how much metadata one could grab with surveillance and whether or not they could connect the data with individuals through freely available online tools.

The researchers discovered real names for 27% of the numbers using only Google, Yelp, Facebook and Google Places. They also Googled 100 randomly sampled numbers from their dataset and in under an hour managed to associate 60% of them to a person or a business. When they added in their 3 initial sources, they were up to 73%. Now if the NSA spies wanted to invest a little money into it they could probably get figures of up to 90% accuracy without a lot of effort.

The researchers issued an update to the Metaphone application which enabled instant feedback for users, providing them with a quick view of how closely they were connected to other app users and how many businesses they have been in contact with.

In the end we learn (once again) that there really is no privacy online. It is no conspiracy theory to believe there are spies amongst us, It is up to the population to dismantle organizations such as the NSA but that may prove difficult, as we learn recently that a US judge somehow ruled phone surveillance is lawful.

What a sad and sick world we live in.

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Thanks To David Cameron’s Draconian Blocking Rules, Tech Sites Have Been Blocked

David_Cameron_officialIt shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that David Cameron’s “save the kids” censorship system turned out to be just another attempt to censor the internet of information.

One victim of censorship is the Norwegian Unix Users’ group website which is now blocked in the UK. To the conspiracy theorist, this would appear like David Cameron despises open source (and if you want to go into full-paranoia mode, maybe there was a lobby by big software to block said sites). Another open source site that was blocked was USENIX, a US-based but international Unix user group.

What’s even worse is that EFF.org is also blocked. Now why a site like the Electronic Frontier Foundation would be blocked makes one wonder. Apparently they hate the fact the EFF defends one’s rights in the digital world against many types of business trolls.

The British can’t reach slashdot.org, linuxtoday.com, blogspot.com, ArsTechnica, openbsd.org, freebsd.org, geekculture.com and even linux.com. Maybe this is due to the discussions on said sites about “free downloading?”

Hopefully these issues get settled and if not, I hope the British bring their complaints directly to David Cameron’s front door. Censorship is an evil, no matter how many times you try to pass it off as “saving the children.” Don’t use children as pawns for your diabolical plans, Politicians!

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News

Rob Ford: “Women love money”

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford At News ConferenceSome Christmas advice from Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford:

“Just money. Women love money. Give them a couple of thousand bucks and they’re happy. Get some treats on the side obviously for her. At the end of the day, she wants her cash. So I give her a nice cheque and we’re all happy.”

He made the comment on Sports Junkies, on 106.7 The Fan, based in Washington, D.C., just a day after apologizing to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, who threatened to sue Rob Ford for comments he made on Conrad Black’s television program earlier this month.

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Northern Gateway pipeline recommended, with conditions

untitledA review panel has recommended the Canadian federal government approve Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project. The approval has 209 conditions however, such as developing a marine mammal protection plan and researching heavy oil cleanup.

The Panel had this to say in its report:

“After weighing the evidence, we concluded that Canada and Canadians would be better off with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project.”

It took 180 days of hearings in 21 communities in Alberta and British Columbia for the recommendation to come through. The final decision, however, rests with the federal government, which has 180 days to decide. The government can approve or deny the application, but cannot change the conditions put forward by the panel. However, it can request the National Energy Board to change the conditions.

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“Soldiers of Allah” Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale guilty of murdering Lee Rigby

A jury today convicted two British men who considered themselves “soldiers of Allah” of murdering a serviceman who was run down with a car and hacked to death in an attack on a London street. It took the jury of eight women and four men 90 minutes to find Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale guilty of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby.

They were acquitted on the charge of trying to murder a police officer.

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Target stores hit by data breach affecting 40 million cards

432px-Target_logo.svgTarget says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach linked to recent purchases in its U.S. stores between November 27th and December 15th. This of course includes Black Friday shopping, which started on November 28th.

The retailer didn’t specify which exact stores were affected. It wasn’t clear whether their online stores were affected.

Target said the breach may be continuing so those who made purchases between those dates and found unauthorized transactions on their debit and credit cards should call them at 866-852-8680.

Target has 1,797 U.S. stores and 124 in Canada.

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First Time Ever: Man Versus Woman In Official MMA Match

On December 20, Brazil will potentially make MMA history by allowing a man and a woman to fight each other for the first time ever since the sport adopted the Unified Rules.

Emerson Falcao (0-1) is ready to fight Juliana Velasquez (0-0) in a three-round bantamweight fight on Friday, according to MMAFighting.com, but whether or not they actually go through with it is anyone’s guess.

Osiris Maia, a member of the Brazilian MMArts Confederation, had this to say about the match on MMAFighting.com:

“There’s nothing in the rules that specific [sic] prohibits a man to fight a woman, but when you interpret the rules you know that both athletes must be in the same level, so there’s no way a man should be allowed to fight a woman.”

My thought is this: If Falcao ends up winning, people will say he beat a woman which is bad enough, but if he loses they may say he let Velasquez win, so there’s definitely going to be some controversy with this match should it go through as planned.

I’m excited for tomorrow to see whether or not it happens and curious as to how the match turns out. This is a first time in MMA history and if it is a success, we may see more co-ed matches in future.

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The CRTC Needs Some Teeth

crtcThe CRTC (aka the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is currently “looking into” the wholesale rates Canadian companies charge for roaming in its ongoing investigation into why Canadian roaming rates are so high.

Apparently, the Big Three (Telus, Rogers and Bell) are trying to charge higher rates to the small, new entrant companies (such as Wind) than they charge to U.S. wireless companies. This is a ploy to kill local competition, the longtime dream of Robellus.

The problem is, the CRTC is a toothless organization run by company hacks, beholden to the shareholders and not to the Canadian public. So this is a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” We’ve heard this all before and little is ever done. Robellus owns them all.

Canada pays some of the highest cell rates in the world and if the CRTC were serious, they’d look into the costs themselves, not just roaming fees. I am currently paying $86 a month for 1gb of data, unlimited texts and phone calls and I’m tired of being ripped off but have little choice to switch, as they all collude in charging the same prices. The lack of competition is hurting us and it’s about time the CRTC got off its knees and began to change the cellular landscape once and for all instead of being Robellus lackeys.

Some underdeveloped countries have much better rates than we do. It’s a sham, and it must end but first we need an organization that has some teeth. The only way we will see better rates is to have true competition, something the CRTC doesn’t give a damn about.

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Canada Post is doomed

Canada-Post-LogoCanada Post, a Crown Corporation, sure are bleeding money (they’re facing a $1bn deficit by 2020) and they’re about to cut 8,000 jobs (by attrition, they claim). They’re about to phase out home delivery of mail which will really do great for the seniors in winter time, Heavy sarcasm. This move will happen over the next 5 years. The cost of stamps are jusr going to rise.

This is not good news. I am not looking forward to going to superboxes to pick up my mail in the dead of winter. I don’t even trust them. Luckily most my banking is done online but I’ll still need to pick up some certain pieces of mail. And will the superboxes also be filled with pounds and pounds of flyers? We’ll see…

This is the final nail in the company. Maybe UPS and others can pick up the slack as they seem to be doing pretty well where Canada Post is failing.

So much for all that taxpayer money. Maybe they need to cut the checks of the CEOs, who will likely only get raises from this latest run to save money, while hurting your everyday home user.

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