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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Wheeler is circulating a proposal for new FCC rules on the issue of network neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally. Unfortunately, early reports suggest those rules may do more harm than good.
The new rules were prompted by last January’s federal court ruling rejecting the bulk of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order on the grounds that they exceeded the FCC’s authority, sending the FCC back to the drawing board.
According to reports, Chairman Wheeler’s new proposal embraces a “commercially reasonable” standard for network management. That standard could allow ISPs to charge companies for preferential treatment, such as charging web-based companies like Netflix or Amazon to reach consumers at faster speeds.
This kind of “pay to play” model would be profoundly dangerous for competition. New innovators often cannot afford to pay to reach consumers at the same speeds as well-established web companies. That means ISPs could effectively become gatekeepers to their subscribers.
The FCC issued a statement this morning that claims that the new network neutrality proposal will not allow ISPs to, “act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.” But we have no idea as to how “commercially reasonable” will actually be interpreted.
The devil will be in the details. While all we have now is a statement that a proposal for what the proposed rules might look like is being circulated in private within the FCC, the public should be poised to act. In an FCC rulemaking process, the commission issues what’s called a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). After the NPRM is issued, the public is invited to comment to the FCC about how their proposal will affect the interest of the public.
The FCC is required by law to respond to public comments, so it’s extremely important that we let the FCC know that rules that let ISPs pick and choose how certain companies reach consumers will not be tolerated.
The problem is that most people don’t know about this extremely opaque process, and so they don’t participate. Let’s change that. Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when it’s time to raise your voice and add your testimony during the FCC’s public comment window when the new proposed rules are announced.
Related Issues: Net Neutrality
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I carry 3 red dice in my back pocket so that I can play a game called Cee-lo with people that I meet. Like most betting games, Cee-lo has a rough reputation. But played among friends, not betting for money, it can be rather wholesome.
I really like being able to play a simple dice game with people for a few reasons:
- it’s a really fun game!
- I’ve successfully played it with kindergartners and every age group above,
- I’ve gotten mixed age groups to have a GREAT time playing,
- It never runs out of batteries or needs to be upgraded,
- it’s very portable,
- it gets people to talk in real time,
- I don’t have to hand an expensive device to other people or count on them having one, or having one compatible to mine.
I’ve also found that the game itself is pretty simple, but with the betting aspect things get really interesting. And the world is full of trinkets to bet with. Collect a bunch of stones, or sugar packets, or tear up a piece of paper into bits that are all roughly the same size, or anything you can get a reasonable number of and you’re in business.
That said, my personal favorite thing to bet with is the little scraps that people have in their pockets: twist ties, tooth picks, vitamin pills, movie stubs. It is amazing to see how people will value these little bits of nothing while they are playing, but once the game is over, it all goes back to being little bits of trash. (I also like to see what people do to get that one important item back, that they really shouldn’t have played in the game…)
One thing about dice games: everyone plays them different. To paraphrase the Cee-lo advice U-God of Wu Tang in this NSFW (language) video: state the rules and save some fools. Better to spend a bit of time outlining the rules at the beginning then to get into any sort of fight later. (And not a bad rule in life in general.)
So, here is how I play Cee-lo:
Cee-lo – 2 or more players – 3 dice
Determine who is going to be playing and who is going to be the first player.
If betting, all players put in their bet.
The first player rolls all three dice until they get a recognized combination, or are otherwise disqualified
The combinations are, ranked from best to worst:
The highest possible roll. Instant win of the round for the player who rolled it. They take the entire pot, and the next round begins. This skips the turns of anyone who has not gone.
Rolling three of the same number is known as “trips”. Higher trips beat lower trips, so 4-4-4 is better than 3-3-3.
“Spare and a Pair”
Rolling a pair, and another number, establishes the singleton as a “point.” A higher point beats a lower point, so 1-1-3 is better than 6-6-2.
Automatic loss. Play forfeits turn, but the game continues.
Any other roll is a meaningless combination and must be rerolled until one of the above combinations occurs. It is also an automatic loss if a player rolls the dice 5 times without getting a meaningful combination.
If either of the dice roll off the playing surface, it is also an automatic loss for the player.
Play then proceeds around to other players, going clockwise.
The player who rolls the best combination wins. In cases of a tie for the best combination, there is a a shoot-out: the players who tied will play another round of the game until there is a single winner.
The winner gets to stat the next round.
And that is all there is to it! I also like it the way the game is explained in this video.
There are PLENTY of other games you can play with dice. But, Cee-lo one my favorite!
I usually buy dice by the 100, so after I teach people, I can give them their own set. -- Mark Krawczuk
Hammond, 29, made waves last November when he defied a US federal judge’s order and told a packed New York City courtroom on the day of his sentencing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had relied on an undercover informant to direct members of the amorphous hacking collective Anonymous to target the websites of adversarial nations.
This week’s leaks now lend credence to Hammond’s claims that the FBI guided Anonymous into conducting cyberattacks at their behest, regardless of the sheer illegality involved. The documents — a previously unpublished statement purported to be authored by Hammond and never-before-seen court files —now corroborate the role of the feds in these proxy cyberwars of sorts.
Using the internet alias “Sabu,” the turncoat — Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York — supplied Hammond with lists of vulnerable targets that were then compromised, Hammond said in his courtroom testimony on Nov. 15. Data and details were pillaged and exploited, Hammond said, and then shared with the informant and, ergo, the FBI.
“These intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of Turkey, Brazil, Iran —,” Hammond managed to say before being silenced by US District Court Judge Loretta Preska. Moments later, Preska sentenced him to the maximum time behind bars allowable under a mutually agreed upon plea deal: 120 months.
The hacktivist has managed to have his voice heard since, however, and on Wednesday this week the New York Times published an article focused on the FBI’s role with regards to spearheading hacks for Anonymous. Speaking from behind bars, Hammond told Times journalist Mark Mazzetti that “it was pretty much out of control in terms of targets we had access to” in the weeks after Anonymous compromised the computer system of Texas-based intelligence firm Stratfor in December 2011 and his arrest the following March.
Nevertheless, “Sabu wasn’t getting his hands dirty,” Hammond told the Times.
Mazzetti went on to acknowledge that an uncensored version of Hammond’s sentencing statement was published to the web concurrent with November’s hearing, and in it the hacker claimed to have been provided a list more than 2,000 internet domains to target by the FBI’s informant. That same document, though previously unverified, also contained the list of targeted countries that Hammond was ordered to refrain from saying at last year’s sentencing: “Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan and others,” including “the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK and the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.”
Hours after the Times article was published on Wednesday, a wild leak appeared that is alleged to contain several paragraphs from Hammond that he authored last year for an article but were edited ahead of publication. The style of the writing in the document uploaded to the Pastebin website is on par with that of Hammond’s, and a source close to the case who asked to remain anonymous confirmed the authenticity of the excerpt to RT early Thursday.
"In view of NYT's reporting, we would like to add some additional context to this statement," the excerpts are prefaced.
“Sabu is not the real issue,” Hammond reportedly wrote. “What is important is how the FBI used him, and how they may still be using other hacktivists to gather intelligence and illegally break into websites without oversight, accountability or reprisal.”
“In my case, the FBI used Sabu to infiltrate and monitor hundreds of public and private hacker chatrooms where he was able to gain influence within Anonymous by claiming responsibility for hacks carried out by others, bragging to the media with hyperbolic quotes, accusing others of being sellouts and snitches and encouraging hacks into government and corporate websites,” it continued. “He enabled hackers and facilitated hacks by supplying several servers for storage of hacked emails and databases, cracking encrypted password lists, suggesting specific targets and offering step-by-step technical advice to people as they were breaking into systems. Impressionable and less experiences hackers, eager to please a visible Anonymous ‘leader’ would send him their half-finished vulnerability findings; Sabu would then pass this information along to skilled hackers to finish the job.”
Practically at the same time that Hammond’s alleged statement surfaced on Thursday, the online digital library Cryptome.org published a 94-page collection of court documents that seem to further show the extent of the FBI’s role in coercing Anonymous with the help of their undercover informant.
Included in that trove are letters to Judge Preska allegedly authorized by Hammond’s legal counsel, as well as dozens of pages of internet chat transcripts between web accounts purportedly registered to their client and the FBI’s informant. In one document, dated November 1, 2013, attorney Susan Kellman acknowledged that discovery in the case “further reveals that while cooperating with the government, Mr. Monsegur challenged Mr. Hammond to access many international government websites and servers.”
“Over the course of numerous chat logs, Mr. Monsegur, presumably under government direction, repeatedly asked Mr. Hammond to provide passwords or root backdoor information to access these sites,” Kellman continued.
“In some cases,” the attorney added, “…it appears as though the United States government was actively facilitating the hacking of foreign government websites.”
Also within the leaked cache is one document, a “discovery timeline pertaining to hacks of foreign websites,” in which the defense outlined no fewer than 26 times in which Monsegur supplied Hammond with information about those targets or provided assistance between January 23, 2012 and February 15.
Elsewhere, chat logs between the two hackers and sometimes other associates corroborated the defense’s claims. In one, for instance, Monsegur boasted that he helped other hackers “step by step into getting into the mail server” of a target. In another, he instructed Hammond to have other hackers “backdoor urls” of targeted sites, essentially providing unfettered access to anyone aware of the exploit — and, in this instance, the US government.
In the previously unpublished statement attributed to Hammond that surfaced this week, he wrote that “Manipulating hackers to break into international websites to steal emails and databases is a previously undisclosed aspect of the wide-ranging cyber and surveillance operations being carried out by the NSA and other agencies.” Indeed, a review group assembled by President Barack Obama said in December that the National Security Agency and other government organization must refrain from stockpiling so-called “zero day” exploits that, when executed, allow attackers to take advantage of vulnerabilities that have yet to be acknowledged, let alone patched.
“The single biggest problem in computational ethics right now is the perverse market incentives provided to software exploit developers,” Andrew Auernheimer, a formerly-convicted security hacker who was released from prison earlier this month, told RT on Thursday. Auernheimer, 28, was prosecuted by the federal government after disclosing a security flaw in the servers of AT&T’s computers that allowed him to access the email address of roughly 114,000 Apple iPad owners. He was found guilty by jury of computer fraud in late 2012, but last month his conviction was vacated by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Since his release, Auernheimer — who is not affiliated with Anonymous — has said he plans on starting a hedge fund in order to further support endeavors that will help publicize flaws discovered on the systems of publically-traded companies. As evidenced by the newly released Hammond documents, however, exploits are hard to get a hold of unless you’re a either a well-funded government willing to write a check to ethically-bankrupt security experts or, in this case, coaxing hackers into doing the dirty work for you.
“The only way to make money is to sell them to government agencies and In-Q-Tel investments,” Auernheimer told journalist Andrew Blake for RT on Thursday, referring to the venture capital fund that was launched with the aid of Central Intelligence Agency backing.
According to the just-surfaced statement from Hammond, the former Anonymous hacktivist believes it’s high time that those governments change ways as well.
“The government hopes that my conviction will legitimize the abusive tactics and illegal objectives it sponsors,” he said, according to the document. “I took responsibility for my actions, now it is time for the government to answer for its own crimes.”
When reached by phone on Thursday afternoon, a person at the law office that represented Hammond during his trial said his counsel would “absolutely not” verify the authenticity of the leaked documents. A protective order filed in May 2012 — and amended after the defense was provided with the discovery documents leaked this week — prohibits sharing of those files.
Monsegur is next scheduled to be sentenced May 8 in New York, although his attorneys have requested and received adjournments no fewer than half-a-dozen times during the last two years. In each instance, Judge Preska agreed to postpone his sentencing on account of ongoing cooperation with federal investigators.
Over 200 neo-Nazis from France, Germany and Italy gathered on Saturday evening in a municipal hall in the village of Oltingue, in the Alsace region of north-eastern France, to celebrate 125th anniversary since Hitler’s birth on April 20, 1889.
The party came as a shock for many local residents and raised questions of the local authorities. The local mayor, commenting on accusations, said he allowed the gathering because he was “tricked” while police explained they did not intervene since it would have been difficult to halt the party once it was underway, reported RFI (Radio France Internationale).
Andre Sherrer, the mayor of the small village not far from Swiss Basel, said he thought he rented out a room for an ordinary birthday party, rather than for an assembly to commemorate the Nazi leader.
“Two people showed up to book a room. They had all the right papers and insurance. Everything was in order. We had no idea we were being tricked,” said Sherrer, as quoted by The Local.
“We were tricked and I regret it,” he told local media, according to RFI.
It was only when Oltingue residents reported hearing chanting and live music at the hall did Sherrer realize what was happening and called the police.
However, when police arrived at the site of the party, they did not cancel the event, saying it would have been “legally complicated.” Several gendarmes were sent to the area to “ensure calm and order.”
Mayor Sherrer refrained from visiting the venue fearing it could spark violence.
“I didn’t go because the police were already there,” he said. When one goes into a room with a crowd of neo-Nazis, he went on, “you are not going to tell them to get out,” as “if you did, it would be you who’d be thrown out.”
A police source confirmed to AFP that the mayor had not been aware of the planned neo-Nazi event when renting out the hall.
The Hitler anniversary - with several rock groups playing - had been advertised on the internet several months in advance, but the details of the venue were only provided at the last moment.
However, according to a deputy leader of France's center-right Union for a Popular Movement party (UMP), German authorities warned their French colleagues about the upcoming Neo-Nazi gathering.
Roger Karoutchi, outraged over the incident, wrote to Prime Minister Manuel Valls asking him to explain how 200 Hitler fans could have been allowed to celebrate the Nazi leader’s birthday in a French municipal building.
“If the German authorities had warned their French counterparts about this meeting then why was it allowed to take place?” he added.
Stacey Armato arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in January 2010 to fly back to Los Angeles, a flight she took once a week. According to blog Sustainable Mothering, the nursing mother “felt a bit of trepidation” because she had filed a complaint against the agency after the TSA had detained her the week before while they researched “whether she had a right to refuse to allow her pumped breast milk to be x-rayed.”
“I was told to ‘pump and dump,’ asked why the milk wasn't clear, and asked where my baby was if it was really milk (traveling, working mom pumping doesn't usually have the baby with her),” Armato said about the initial incident. “After begging [the TSA manager] to figure it out, they finally let me through.”
That day, Armato, who told the Associated Press she was used to having a visual inspection for breast milk, asked for alternative screening because she didn’t want to expose the two containers of milk to radiation from X-ray machines. The agents denied her request.
"I was told right off the bat that the milk had to go through either X-ray or to be thrown in the trash," Armato told KABC. "I ask him to read the rules. He does. It says 'breast milk is to be alternately screened.' He just looked at me and said, 'Well, not today’."
Surveillance video that Armato received via a Freedom of Information Act Request shows what happened next: The TSA forced her to stand in a glass enclosure for just under an hour (though the video only shows 40 minutes). The same agents she had dealt with the week before stood 50 feet away, and other agents took the pumped milk out of its cooler and played with it.
Then, a Phoenix police officer joins her in the enclosure. According to Armato, the officer told her the TSA saw her coming and had it out for her because of her previous complaint, and that she should travel out of a different gate in the future. “He said TSA wants me to play along with their horse and pony show and if I don't then TSA can have the Phoenix PD arrest me!” Armato said.
Finally, Armato says, “The TSA manager tells me I can leave security, redistribute the milk into half full containers (his completely made-up rule) and go through security all over again if I want to avoid [X-rays] on the milk. With tears continuing to stream down my face, I did that. I also missed my flight playing along with his ridiculous game.”
Armato filed a lawsuit in Phoenix in 2012, and reached a tentative settlement with the agency Wednesday. Along with the $75,000 the TSA will pay Armato, the agency will have to clarify its procedures, retrain all its officers and update its website to better guide breastfeeding mothers, Armato’s attorney Robert Mosier told KHPO.
"We had been waiting for them to really kind of confirm that they would be retraining everybody and making these policy updates," Armato said. "When we finally got confirmation of that, that was really reassuring."
In 2007, the TSA reclassified breast milk as a medical liquid, meaning it no longer had to comply with its 3-1-1 rule. “When carrying breast milk through security checkpoints it is treated in the same manner as liquid medication,” the TSA website states. “Parents flying with, and without, their child(ren) are permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is presented for inspection at the security checkpoint.”
In 2012, the agency updated its guidelines for traveling with breast milk and breast pumps after an incident in Hawaii, when a woman was forced to pump breast milk in an airport bathroom in order to be allowed through security, according to ABC News.
The TSA addressed the situation on its blog, saying, “[The Hawaii passenger] should have been permitted to bring the ice pack and bottles whether the bottles were empty or not since they were for her breast milk. It was a result of a miscommunication on our end and those involved are going to undergo retraining and corrective actions.”
Officers now use a bottled liquid scanner system in most airports to screen medically necessary liquids for explosives or other threats, the AP reports. The system uses lasers, infrared or electromagnetic resonance, rather than X-rays. Those technologies were not available to Armato at the time of the 2010 incident, she said.
Armato says she will use some of the settlement to cover her legal expenses, but plans to donate the rest to a non-profit that supports breastfeeding mothers, the New York Daily News reports.
"Hopefully it makes it a little bit easier for my fellow mommy friends that travel in the US," Armato said to KABC.
TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein declined to comment to the AP on a "pending matter."
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It’s a time for departures and arrivals: The head of Google+ is leaving Google, but the makers of popular web “recipe” service IFTTT (If This, Then That) are coming to Google with a new Android app that lets you do things like do things like send a notification if the forecast calls for rain, or […]
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The four jets, either the Mirage 2000 or the Rafale, will be sent to Malbrok in eastern Poland on April 28 on a double mission to train the Polish air force and to be on standby for air patrols over the Baltic States under NATO command.
“They will participate in the air policing mission over the Baltic states from Poland,” the general told reporters Wednesday.
But he added that French political leaders had not ordered further steps to support alliance members.
“For the moment, the guidance is very clear, we do not go beyond that,” he said.
The United States announced Tuesday it is deploying 600 airborne troops on exercises in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as a show of solidarity with NATO members that border Russia and have been worried by the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The Baltic States gained independence from the USSR in 1991 and joined NATO in 2004 but lack sufficient aircraft to police their own skies, so larger NATO members take turns in patrolling for them.
A contingent of 150 American troops arrived in the polish town of Swindwin on Thursday and will be joined by a further 450. The soldiers will participate in military exercises in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia over the next few months.
Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, has said that NATO exercises will do nothing to help solve the crisis in Ukraine.
“War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are also not helping the normalization of the situation. We are forced to react to the situation,” he said during an official meeting in Moscow.
In response Russia has started military drills near the Ukrainian border, as the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is an Android tablet with a full HD display, a built-in kickstand, and crazy long battery life: Lenovo says you should be able to get up to 18 hours on a charge. First unveiled in February, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is now available for order for $369. […]
Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+ Android tablet launches for $369 is a post from: Liliputing
Counter terrorism officials in the UK warned Thursday that young Muslims travelling to Syria risked death, kidnapping and criminal prosecution if they get involved in terrorism.
Instead they urged people anxious to help to support reputable charities working in Syria to relieve the humanitarian crisis, but not to go there themselves.
“We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or who are intending to travel to Syria to join the conflict. We want to ensure that people, particularly women, who are concerned about their loved ones are given enough information about what they can do to prevent this from happening,” said Helen Ball, senior national coordinator for counter terrorism in the Metropolitan Police.
Hundreds of westerners mainly from EU countries have gone to the war ravaged country to join groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad over the last three years.
Some estimates put the number of Britons that have travelled there at 400 and twenty UK citizens have been killed in Syria. Britain is home to about 2.7 million Muslims.
Last week Abdullah Deghayes, a father from Brighton on the South Coast of England, revealed that one of his sons, 18 year old Abdullah Deghayes had been killed in battle earlier this month. His other son, 20 year old Amer was shot in the stomach and his third son 16 year old Jafar is still in Syria
The new British campaign has been prompted by a jump in the number of Syria-related arrests from 25 last year to 40 in the first three months of this year.
There is also the concern that on returning from Syria of young men “possibly becoming radicalized and becoming an even greater threat,” said Ball.
But critics of the plan question if families would be prepared to inform on their children and even whether they’d know what their children were planning.
“All the evidence indicates that the families themselves are the last to know. They are also most unlikely to tell the police,” said Keith Vaz, chairman of the parliament’s home affairs committee.
Vaz also said the message needs to be pushed home amongst youngsters at a group peer level that “if they go to Syria they may end up dead.”
18-year old Abdullah’s aunt, Amina, said that her family had received no advance warning of his intentions and questioned if the police campaign would be effective.
“If the steps are to speak to the guys before they leave, I think people already have - they do not need the government to tell them that. In the case of my nephew, he ran away. At what point would we speak to him?” she said.
Sajda Mughal, who runs the JAN Trust, a community group and charity for ethnic minority women in Britain, was more optimistic about the campaign.
“We know that mothers are key agents of change – they are the first ones who notice any signs, any change of behavior,” she said.
But some British Muslims are suspicious of the latest police initiative, even though Ball said the police would not share the concerns of anxious families with MI5.
“We view this as a duplicitous attempt by the police to exploit the natural anxiety of mothers in the Muslim community to assist them in their counter terrorism work,” Asim Qureshi, Research Director at CAGE, a charity which campaigns for people detained on terrorism charges, told Reuters.
Earlier this week France unveiled new policies to stop its citizens joining the fighting, including stripping known jihadist of their passports. It is also introducing a similar campaign to Britain including a number for concerned relatives to call.
Fending Off the United State's Imperial Hand: Putin’s Dilemma. "The United States is in the opening phase of a war on Russia. Policymakers in Washington have shifted their attention from the Middle East to Eurasia where they hope to achieve the most ambitious part of the imperial project; to establish forward-operating bases along Russia’s western flank, to stop further economic integration between Asia and Europe, and to begin the long-sought goal of dismembering the Russian Federation. These are the objectives of the current policy..."Topic(s):