During his testimony to the European Parliament released on Friday morning, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that he reported policy or legal issues related to the NSA's far-reaching spying programs to more than 10 officials. But, as a contractor, he had no legal leg to stand on in order to pursue further whistleblowing.
Snowden was asked specifically if he had felt like he had exhausted all of his options before deciding to leak the classified information to the public, where he responded with: "Yes. I had reported these clearly problematic programs to more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them. As an employee of a private company rather than a direct employee of the US government, I was not protected by US whistleblower laws, and I would not have been protected from retaliation and legal sanction for revealing classified information about lawbreaking in accordance with the recommended process".
US President Barack Obama said back in an August news conference that Snowden had "other avenues" to pursue, referring to Snowden "whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions". Obama referred to Presidential Policy Directive 19, a system setup for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Soundtracks are a staple in any TV show or movie production, but generally speaking they tend to follow the music trends of the time-period the production is portraying. For instance, if a movie were set in the 1980's you could expect to hear some hairbands playing in the background, or if the TV show was about Las Vegas in the 50's Frank Sinatra would most likely be played at some point. What one does not expect, is an entire album to be released about a TV series where the music and show theme are hundreds of years apart.
Today HBO unveiled a new album for its upcoming season of Game of Thrones which features 10 tracks from some of the world's most famous hip-hop artist. Titled, Catch the Throne: The Mix Tape, the album features songs from artist like Big Boi, Common, Daddy Yankee, Magazeen and more. Many of the tracks feature actual audio from the series, and are not as bad as I originally expected. My personal favorite is track number six: Arya's Prayer by Dominik Omega, but the entire album is actually quite good considering the time-period difference between the two mediums.
The 9/11 attacks on the United States, and primarily New York City and the World Trade Center buildings was a world-changing event. But to see it taking place from space would've been a completely new angle, something that a British news channel will be revealing to the world in the coming weeks.
Channel 4, a public service TV station based in the UK, has announced it will show footage from September 11, 2001 that was captured from the International Space Station (ISS) by the only American on-board the ISS at the time, Frank Culbertson. Culbertson was notified that something had happened in New York, and was quick to work out that he would be passing over the city soon.
He told Space.com last year: "I zipped around the station until I found a window that would give me a view of New York City and grabbed the nearest camera. The smoke seemed to have an odd bloom to it at the base of the column that was streaming south of the city. After reading one of the news articles we just received, I believe we were looking at New York around the time of, or shortly after, the collapse of the second tower".
Russia Today America anchor, Liz Wahl, resigned on air during her broadcast on Wednesday, stating that she could no longer work at the Kremlin-funded network after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Wahl said that she feels "many ethical and moral challenges," especially since her grandparents fled to the US during the Soviet era, "ironically to escape the Soviet Union". She continued: "Personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government which whitewashes the actions of Putin. I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why after this newscast I'm resigning".
RT America flew to defensive maneuvers, calling Wahl's on-air resignation a "self-promotional stunt". In a statement to BuzzFeed, RT America said:
Ms. Wahl's resignation comes on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin's recent comments in which she voiced her disagreement with certain policies of the Russian government and asserted her editorial independence. The difference is, Ms. Martin spoke in the context of her own talk show, to the viewers who have been tuning in for years to hear her opinions on current events, the opinions that most media did not care about until two days ago. For years Ms. Martin has been speaking out against U.S. military intervention only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets - but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation. It is a tempting example to follow.
When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.
We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.
Autumn Radtke, a Bitcoin exchange boss, was found dead in her apartment in Singapore on February 28. Radtke had previously worked with Silicon Valley tech giants, including Apple, on developing digital payment systems before taking up a position with First Meta.
Douglas Adams, the non-executive chairman of First Meta, released a statement on behalf of the company, where he said: "The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke. Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones. Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed".
Radtke posted an essay two weeks before her death, titled "The Physcological Price of Entrepreneurship" where she stated in the piece that "everything has it's price".
A recent study conducted by a coupon website is lending some valuable insight this morning into how much knowledge Americans have about tech-related terminology. Published by the LA Times, the study consisted of 2,393 men and women of 18-years of age or older, and were asked a series of questions about several common terms used in every day technology. As someone who lives and breathes tech, the results were quite shocking to say the least.
When asked what HTML was, 11-percent thought that it was a sexually transmitted disease rather than the coding language that powers the internet. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and is the main markup language for creating web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari.
The FCC was not too happy when they found out that the Emergency Alert System was used in a Movie trailer 'Olympus has Fallen' about an attack. Viacom, NBC Universal and ESPN was slapped with a $1.9 million fine for running this trailer. The trailer was aired on multiple channels with the two-tone emergency signal. Because of the trailer being shown in more than one channels, people felt that it was misleading and were not happy about it.
One the complaints read,"This is misleading and had our entire family running to the TV to find out what was going on, only to find it was a commercial". FCC added that 'Frivolous, casual, or other uses of EAS Tones for reasons other than their defined purpose can desensitize viewers to the tones and thereby undermine the effectiveness of the system in the event of an actual emergency.'
Anyone who has ever played any of the games in the Legend of Zelda franchise has dreamed of wielding the legendary Master Sword to combat the forces of evil. A new police report out of Harris County, Texas, shows that one man did in fact wield the Master Sword and actually used it to stab the estranged husband of his current girlfriend.
According to deputies, a man named Eugene Thompson was at his home with his girlfriend when the woman's estranged husband arrived at the home around 10PM on Saturday night. When the husband entered the home, he began to chase Thompson around the house, at which point Thompson grabbed his replica of the famed Master Sword to protect himself. During the altercation, deputies say that the husband ran into the sword causing it to enter his body.
The excitement does not stop there though. The wounded husband was then thrown out of the house only to return by physically breaking the door back down and reentering the house. At this point, the two men fought over the sword and the husband was stabbed yet again in the chest and leg. Out of a scene from a movie or cartoon, the harshly wounded husband managed to retreat to outside of the house where he grabbed a flower pot and then proceeded to smash it over the boyfriend's head.
Ellen broke Twitter during the Oscars, thanks to a celebrity-filled selfie that she took at the event itself. Ellen's post to Twitter broke the social network temporarily, where history was made for Twitter.
Shortly after Twitter went down, DeGeneres said: "We got an email from Twitter and we crashed and broke Twitter. We have made history". Bradley Cooper, star of American Hustle, took the picture, which was posted up to Ellen's Twitter account. He took the picture using the front-facing camera on a Samsung smartphone.
You can see a number of celebrities in the shot, including Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and more. The selfie saw an amazing, record-breaking 3 million re-tweets. The previous record was from US President Barack Obama, with his "Four More Years" re-election victory shot. Obama saw over 780,000 re-tweets, but now DeGeneres' re-tweet has blown that out of the water.
Forbes has just released its annual report that list the richest people in the world. If everyone is accounted for, the list shows that there are 1,565 people on Earth with a net-worth of $1 billion or more, with the entirety of the list totaling $6.4 trillion. In 2011, The Atlantic reported that the combined wealth of the world was a staggering $200 trillion, meaning that this list from Forbes accounts for about 3.2-percent of the entire world's wealth.
Microsoft's founder and worldwide philanthropist Bill Gates has returned to the top of the list with more than $76 billion in net-worth, while Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison round out the top five.Michael Bloomberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg make up numbers 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21. Carl Icahn, Steve Ballmer, Phil Knight, and Michael Dell made the top 50 with more than $17.5 billion each.
It's been four years since Bill Gates was last listed as the richest man in the world, and when you consider that he has already given away more than $28 billion through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the staggering amount of wealth Gates has earned in his life is simply mind boggling. To put that into perspective, it would take someone who earns $25 per hour about 1,120,000,000 hours or 46,635,685 days, or 10,647 months, or 127,769 years of hard work before they would even earn the amount of money Bill Gates has given away.
Keurig's single cup coffee system is one of the hottest trends in both the home and office today, and as a result hundreds of third-party K-Cup refill brands have popped up all over the US and Canada. Much like the inkjet printer market or even gaming consoles, the profit is not in the main system, but is in the refills of coffee, ink, or game licenses. With refill competitors offering refills that are cheaper by up to 25-percent Keurig is not making as much money as it would like.
It appears that Keurig is looking to remedy this problem in a similar way that the software industry has attempted to thwart off piracy. In official documentation from an on-going lawsuit between TreeHouse Foods and Keurig, the plaintiff (TreeHouse Foods) says that Keurig is working on a DRM system that would only allow its K-Cups and officially licensed refills to work with the system. While no information was given on exactly how this DRM system will work, I expect that it will be RFID tag based.
During its quarterly earnings call, Keurig's CEO confirmed that it was working on a system that will not work with unlicensed refill cups, and that the next generation of coffee machines from the company will be "game-changing." Industry analyst suggest that the Keurig 2.0 will launch this fall, and that if a DRM system is introduced customers can expect a rise in price for both the machines and the "official refills." What do you think about this? Is Keurig shooting themselves in the foot, or will officially licensed refill cups make you more apt to buy a Keurig?
The mysterious Google Barge is moving, from its position in the San Francisco Bay, to Stockton, California. Google has been in trouble with local authorities, so it is now moving the floating (future) showroom.
The company had a 35-day window to move its Barge, after the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission gave the company a little over a month to get it settled. Without a permit, Google could face charges of up to $30,000. Google still decided, even with near limitless funds behind it, to move its Barge.
The vessel should be making a move sometime next week, but let's hope that we hear more about what is going on inside of it soon.
Have you ever dreamed of stumbling across a pile of buried treasure and striking it rich? I know I have had that exact dream many times before in my 30 years on planet earth. For one California couple, that dream became a reality recently when hiking with their dog on the couples property in Sierra Nevada. While walking their dog, the couple basically tripped over several tin cans filled with more than 1,400 rare, mint condition gold coins dating between 1847 to 1894.
The coins are all in super-rare uncirculated, mint condition, with some of them being worth up to $1 million each. Their total weight in gold only equates to about $3k on the current market, but the fact that these coins are rare and as perfect as perfect can get makes them highly valuable to collectors world wide. The coins themselves are some of the first to be struck in California and are in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, The couple says that they will put the coins up for sale on Amazon while keeping a few of them as keepsakes, and will use the money to pay off their debts and donate to charity.
"I don't like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever," said veteran numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders. "It's like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." Before listing the coins for sale on Amazon, the couple will lend several of them to the Numismatic Association for its National Money Show, which opens tomorrow in Atlanta.
The leaks just don't stop from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, with Glenn Greenwald reporting on his latest leak that US spy agencies manipulate and control online behavior in more ways than one.
The NSA even goes as far as making something the GCHQ calls "Honey Traps", which leads to some very suspect behavior. This includes changing a targeted users photos on social networking sites, writing a blog purporting to be one of their victims, and then contacting their colleagues, neighbors, friends and so forth. These tactics are being used by GCHQ's previously unknown and secret JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group).
This is something that the spy agencies call "false flag operations", to purposely deceive and set individuals up for the fall. Not only do the spy agencies discredit a target, but companies can be targeted, too. The work they do will leak confidential information to companies or the press through blogs and other means, post negative information on various forums, which will sometimes stop deals or even ruin business relationships.
Over the past week or so, Venezuela has spiralled into chaos. Protests over the country's poor economy and food security have forced the government to not only shut down Twitter and TV in the country, but now the Internet has been completely cut off.
Authorities shut down Internet access to a major city and its surrounding area, with state-run ISP, CANTV, which controls most of the country's Internet, cutting off the web to San Cristóbal, the capital city of the state of Tachira and one of the centers of the protests. During the week, the Venezuelan government restricted TV networks throughout the state, blocked parts of Twitter, Facebook, news sites, and more.
The riots have led to multiple deaths, with Bill Woodcock, an Internet traffic expert, talking with the Washington Post, who said that the country has "a pretty tight control over the Internet compared to other countries. Not as tight as Cuba, but probably tighter than anybody else".
Many regard Steve Jobs as one of the biggest visionary of our generation, and given his turn-around of Apple, and the success of the iPhone, iPod and iPad lines they may be true. Today the Washington Post outed the stamp commemorative postage stamp that will honor Jobs.. Additional honorees will be Elvis Presley and James Brown, both who have had stamps in the past.
In what should be a Today I Learned post on Reddit, the stamps are approved by a "Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee which is comprised of of a maximum of 15 members whose backgrounds reflect a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise. All share an interest in the stamp program and the needs of the mailing public. An excerpt about the committee duties has been posted below.
The primary goal of the committee is to select a good balance of subjects appealing to a broad audience for recommendation to the Postmaster General. These subjects will be contemporary, timely, relevant, interesting and educational. In addition to the Postal Service's extensive line of mail-use stamps, approximately 25 new subjects for commemorative stamps are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, including stamp collectors.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden can't catch a break, where the former NSA contractor has asked Russian law enforcement for security. The reasoning behind this is there have reportedly been threats made by US officials over Snowden's life.
After threats to Snowden were made last week, Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said: "We are concerned with the situation around Edward. We see the statements made by some US officials containing potential and implicit threats and openly calling for causing him bodily harm".
BuzzFeed posted an article, using words from a US intelligence officer who provided a full explanation of a possible Snowden capture, where he said: "We would end it very quickly... Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower".
Despite being called one of the worst games in NFL history, Super Bowl XLVIII will go down in the history books as one of the most watched live-stream events in the history of the internet. This past Sunday night, an average of 528,000 people joined the stream per minute, a gain of more than 20,000 viewers over last years Super Bowl.
Fox Sport's says that Super Bowl XLVIII now holds the record for the most viewed live streaming sporting event ever, and that it also saw more viewers tuning in for longer than previous live streams. On average, live stream viewers watched the stream about 25-percent longer than any previous Super Bowl. Additionally, Fox Sports says that its Sports Go app hit the number one spot for downloaded apps on iPad and iPhones during the Super Bowl. For those interested, the most viewers tuned in to the live stream around the third quarter when 1.1 million viewers watched the game simultaneously on their devices.
Your Wi-Fi password is like your pin number on your ATM card, you just don't display it everywhere, or give it out to anyone - unless you're CBS, and you accidentally air the Wi-Fi SSID and password to the Super Bowl Security Center.
CBS ran a story on the Super Bowl security, where in the screen grab above, you can clearly see the SSID and password. People have most likely tried this, but it would've been changed very quickly afterwards.
Under the direction of the Prime Minister of Britain, the GCHQ oversaw the destruction of computers owned by The Guardian on which files from Edward Snowden were kept. The Guardian today released a video of the event that took place back on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Despite the fact that the files exist elsewhere in the world, the GCHQ forced several Guardian editors to take dremels and other power tools to their computers.
To see the full video, you'll have to head over to The Guardian's website as they they don't allow their videos to be embedded. However, above and below, you can see some screen grabs from the video that detail the destruction done to the computers.
We were mostly alone when we posted a few stories from Edward Snowden's world-first interview with German TV outlet NDR, but that video was removed from YouTube a couple of hours ago.
Attempting to access the video results in the following message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by ARD". That's ok though, because some sites have a full transcript of it. It doesn't take away from the fact that the video was removed, and then more so, it was cut down from the reported 6 hours, to just 30 minutes long. You can read the transcript of Snowden's startling video interview, here.