“#Skype with care – #Microsoft is reading everything you write” [#geekgirl]
The H Security reports that:
“A spokesman for the company confirmed that it scans messages to filter out spam and phishing websites. This explanation does not appear to fit the facts, however. Spam and phishing sites are not usually found on HTTPS pages. By contrast, Skype leaves the more commonly affected HTTP URLs, containing no information on ownership, untouched. Skype also sends head requests which merely fetches administrative information relating to the server. To check a site for spam or phishing, Skype would need to examine its content.
Back in January, civil rights groups sent an open letter to Microsoft questioning the security of Skype communication since the takeover. The groups behind the letter, which included the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters without Borders expressed concern that the restructuring resulting from the takeover meant that Skype would have to comply with US laws on eavesdropping and would therefore have to permit government agencies and secret services to access Skype communications.
In summary, The H and heise Security believe that, having consented to Microsoft using all data transmitted over the service pretty much however it likes, all Skype users should assume that this will actually happen and that the company is not going to reveal what exactly it gets up to with this data.”
I, For One, *Do Not* Welcome Our New Zuckerberg Overlord [#geekgirl]
There’s new rumors swirling in various tech + political circles that Mark Zuckerberg is running his grey matter ragged by:
“…exploring the formation of a political advocacy group that would focus on topics such as immigration, the economy, education and scientific research funding, according to a person familiar with the matter. Zuckerberg is considering establishing the group with others in the technology community, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public.”
Public or not, am I the only one to be substantially scared by such potential dabbling by the CEO of a social networking site in all manner of things political, socio-economic, and research-based [which is instead usually reserved for
incompetent and bumblingpoliticos]?
“Bills Seek End to Farm Animal Abuse Videos” [#geekgirl]
…yep, unfortunately you did read that title correctly. Only in ‘Murica would
potential advocates of animal torturecertain sectors of the agricultural and farming community seek to stop the *documentation* of animal abuse, not the abuse itself:
“…state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases. Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.
Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours — which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws….Patterson’s bill, sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association, would make failing to turn over video of abuse to law enforcement within 48 hours an infraction punishable by a fine.
Critics say the bills are an effort to deny consumers the ability to know how their food is produced.
“The meat industry’s mantra is always that these are isolated cases, but the purpose of these bills is to prevent any pattern of abuse from being documented,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States, which conducted the California and Vermont investigations.
In Indiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania it would be a crime to make videos at agricultural operations….Formal opposition to the California bill comes from the ASPCA, the Teamsters, the HSUS and dozens of others. They say these attempts by the agriculture industry to stop investigations are a part of a nationwide agenda set by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think tank backed by business interests.”
Just how an institution like the American Legislative Exchange Council can justifiably label people who document extreme and unnecessary animal abuse as “terrorists” is anyone’s guess: “ALEC has labeled those who interfere with animal operations “terrorists,” though a spokesman said he wishes now that the organization had called its legislation the “Freedom to Farm Act” rather than the “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.”
In this age of accessible whiz-bang-internet-info, I occasionally stumble across a news item [like the above] that makes it past my rigorous internal “do-not-simply-react-affectively-and-let-these-idiots-get-to-you” filter. This particular news item has me
broiling in my own anger juicesshaking my head in flabbergasted frustration. I’m also left confounded at just how the advocates of such Bills can see themselves as providing any type of reasonable moral compass when it comes to ethical issues: perhaps instead all they see are dollar signs.
The #Science Of Addictive Food [Video] [#geekgirl]
I’m always wary when a sense of individual agency is nullified or scapegoated by/through a simplistic “well-it’s-an-addiction-so-it’s-not-my-fault” justification. This video resists falling into that trap, thankfully, and it’s worth watching for the fascinating science behind food-engineering terminology such as “Sensory Specific Satiety” and “Vanishing Caloric Density”.]
Wealth #Inequality in America [#geekgirl]
[Jebus X Christ-on-An-Inequality-Crutch - even if *half* of the stats shown here are accurate, it paints a truly horrific picture. We need an Australia version created so we can compare our f$cked-uppedity situations, but in all honesty Oz probably ain't much better. Watch the entire reality-wake-up-call video below.]
A Terrifying [Yet Beautiful] Tea Commercial [#geekgirl]
Do we really want to see a Herbal Tea ad containing 3 horror movie icons [Pennywise the clown = scary enough all by his lonesome]?