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Current Affairs Posts - Page 6

The United States has been labeled 'an enemy of the Internet'

Reporters Without Borders has released its latest list of "Enemies of the Internet," a list that it designed to bring attention to countries that are not disrupt the freedom of information with propaganda, surveillance, and censorship. A list that the United States of America is now on.




Over the past twelve months, we've seen Edward Snowden reveal the NSA's secrets, and much more. United States is now on the same list as Cuba, Iran, North Korea and China. Reporters Without Borders notes that entire governments aren't doing the spying themselves, but rather government agencies, like the NSA.


Reporters Without Borders says that this is a big problem, as those governments are setting a bad example by allowing the spying, where they said: "The mass surveillance methods employed in these three countries, many of them exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarians countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information."

Snowden raised concerns within the NSA before blowing the whistle

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.

Continue reading 'Snowden raised concerns within the NSA before blowing the whistle' (full post)

Game of Thrones: The Mix Tape, yeah that exist and you can listen too

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.

Continue reading 'Game of Thrones: The Mix Tape, yeah that exist and you can listen too' (full post)

9/11 attack to be shown in a new light, with footage from space

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 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".

Continue reading '9/11 attack to be shown in a new light, with footage from space' (full post)

Russia Today anchor quits live on air over invasion of Ukraine

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.

Continue reading 'Russia Today anchor quits live on air over invasion of Ukraine' (full post)

Bitcoin exchange chief found dead in Singapore, suspected suicide

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".

11-percent of Americans think HTM is actually a STD

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.

Continue reading '11-percent of Americans think HTM is actually a STD' (full post)

Companies fined for using emergency alert tone for a movie trailer

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.'

Continue reading 'Companies fined for using emergency alert tone for a movie trailer' (full post)

Don't mess with Zelda fans: Man stabbed with Master Sword in dispute

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.

Continue reading 'Don't mess with Zelda fans: Man stabbed with Master Sword in dispute' (full post)

Ellen breaks Twitter records at the Oscars thanks to celebrities

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.

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