technology:gps



  • Refugee doctors programme could boost GP workforce

    Refugee doctors will be trained to work in general practice under a scheme set to launch this winter.

    The first-of-its-kind programme is being set up by BMA charities chairman Dr Andrew Mowat - who hopes some of the hundreds of refugee doctors living in the UK can be encouraged to take up GP careers.

    ‘I am setting up a refugee doctor programme in north-east Lincolnshire and we are just about ready to go,’ Dr Mowat told GPonline. ‘It’s going to be focused particularly on primary care with most of the placements in primary care.

    ‘We are desperately short of GPs,’ Dr Mowat added. ‘It is my hope that by giving refugee doctors who have come to the UK a positive experience of general practice to start with, by saying: “This is the place where you were welcome”, that they will come back after their training is complete and say: “Do you know what, I quite fancy going into primary care”.’
    GP workforce

    The scheme, set up by Lincolnshire LMC, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and North East Lincolnshire CCG, with funding from Health Education Yorkshire & Humber - aims to recruit 10 refugee doctors this winter and then to expand. Doctors will be offered community placements and ’mentors, tutors and supporters drawn equally from primary care as from hospital care’.

    The refugee scheme comes as the number of full-time equivalent GPs in England is continuing to fall, with more than 500 leaving the workforce in the three months to June 2018.

    Lincolnshire is feeling the effects of the GP workforce crisis particularly keenly, Dr Mowat said, with roughly 50-70 vacancies in general practice across the county.

    Hundreds of refugee doctors are in the UK, but many are currently not in work. The BMA has 640 doctors registered with its refugee doctors initiative - only around 100 of whom have gone on to work in the NHS, according to Dr Mowat.

    Research commissioned by the BMA has shown that it costs almost £300,000 to train one foundation year (FY) 2 doctor in the UK - compared with just £25,000 to retrain a refugee doctor into work.
    Medical training

    Dr Mowat said the Lincolnshire scheme would start with doctors only, and could expand later to help other refugee health professionals into work. Existing refugee schemes were based in major cities, he added - and rurality could be a ’unique selling point’ for the programme.

    Dr Ekta Elston, medical director of NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG, said: ’Supporting doctors who have had to leave their own countries to continue to use their valuable skills for the benefit of people in North East Lincolnshire is a very welcome development. This will add additional clinical capacity to our local health system.’

    A spokesperson for Health Education England (HEE) said: ‘A significant number of health professionals who are settled in the UK arrive with a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge and can provide the NHS workforce with quality staffing which in return benefits patient care.’

    A recent report from London-based charity Building Bridges - one of the existing refugee doctor schemes - there is a ‘growing interest’ in general practice among refugee doctors even though many come from countries that ‘tend not to have well-developed primary care’.
    Doctor placements

    One practice that has offered placements to refugee doctors through Building Bridges is Gordon House surgery in Ealing. GP principal Dr Ravi Ramanathan told GPonline: ‘We have had two doctors so far, Aweed and Ayub, who are both from Afghanistan. They worked as healthcare assistants and note summarisers at the practice and were supervised by our senior nurses Marie and Robyn.

    ‘Both doctors enjoyed the attachment as they felt a sense of belonging in a large team and they significantly improved their English and understood motivations and workings of the NHS. We also found it very positive - they were well received by patients and fitted in well with the whole team.’

    Fahira Mulamehic, project manager for the refugee healthcare professionals programme at Building Bridges, said: ‘The programme provides excellent value for money and inclusion of refugee healthcare professionals (RHPs) into the NHS workforce has significant benefits in meeting gaps in the NHS.’

    Dr Mowat said primary care was ’ripe’ for a refugee training scheme. He sketched out how the Lincolnshire scheme would work: ‘You start with language skills and help them get through the first part of their language exam and then you introduce them to clinical practice. Once their language is coming on they go on to observation placements in selected units in the hospital, which are selected by their ability to teach. And I guess we have lots of examples of similar teaching environments in primary care with, for instance, medical student placements.’

    https://www.gponline.com/refugee-doctors-programme-boost-gp-workforce/article/1497336
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #travail #intégration #intégration_professionnelle #médecins #UK #Angleterre


  • We Propose the Emerging #technology Analysis Canvas (ETAC)
    https://hackernoon.com/etac-a-visual-canvas-for-assessing-technologies-e73b7f5c3990?source=rss-

    a Visual Assessment CanvasIntroductionIn his “Law of Accelerating Returns”, Ray Kurzweil claims that “An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential”.In other words, as time passes, technology changes faster. I have indeed made the same observation, and I am sure you would also agree.To survive in this fast-changing world, both the organizations and practitioners must understand both the current technology landscape as well as its ebbs and flows. In a shifting world, prevailing advantages are fleeting. Organizations that can master change and ride technology waves owns the future.Emerging technologies causes most of the changes to the technology landscape. They create new segments — such as self-driving cars, destroy existing segments — such as GPS (...)

    #analysis-canvas #emerging-technology #emerging-markets #technology-analysis


  • The mad, twisted tale of the electric scooter craze
    https://www.cnet.com/news/the-mad-tale-of-the-electric-scooter-craze-with-bird-lime-and-spin-in-san-fran

    Dara Kerr/CNET

    For weeks, I’d been seeing trashed electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco. So I asked a group of friends if any of them had seen people vandalizing the dockless vehicles since they were scattered across the city a couple of months ago.

    The answer was an emphatic “yes.”

    One friend saw a guy walking down the street kicking over every scooter he came across. Another saw a rider pull up to a curb as the handlebars and headset became fully detached. My friend figures someone had messed with the screws or cabling so the scooter would come apart on purpose.

    A scroll through Reddit, Instagram and Twitter showed me photos of scooters — owned by Bird, Lime and Spin — smeared in feces, hanging from trees, hefted into trashcans and tossed into the San Francisco Bay.

    It’s no wonder Lime scooters’ alarm isn’t just a loud beep, but a narc-like battle cry that literally says, “Unlock me to ride, or I’ll call the police.”

    San Francisco’s scooter phenomenon has taken on many names: Scootergeddon, Scooterpocalypse and Scooter Wars. It all started when the three companies spread hundreds of their dockless, rentable e-scooters across city the same week at the end of March — without any warning to local residents or lawmakers.

    Almost instantly, first-time riders began zooming down sidewalks at 15 mph, swerving between pedestrians and ringing the small bells attached to the handlebars. And they left the vehicles wherever they felt like it: scooters cluttered walkways and storefronts, jammed up bike lanes, and blocked bike racks and wheelchair accesses.

    The three companies all say they’re solving a “last-mile” transportation problem, giving commuters an easy and convenient way to zip around the city while helping ease road congestion and smog. They call it the latest in a long line of disruptive businesses that aim to change the way we live.

    The scooters have definitely changed how some people live.

    I learned the Wild West looks friendly compared to scooter land. In San Francisco’s world of these motorized vehicles, there’s backstabbing, tweaker chop shops and intent to harm.

    “The angry people, they were angry,” says Michael Ghadieh, who owns electric bicycle shop, SF Wheels, and has repaired hundreds of the scooters. “People cut cables, flatten tires, they were thrown in the Bay. Someone was out there physically damaging these things.”

    Yikes! Clipped brakes

    SF Wheels is located on a quaint street in a quintessential San Francisco neighborhood. Called Cole Valley, the area is lined with Victorian homes, upscale cafes and views of the city’s famous Mount Sutro. SF Wheels sells and rents electric bicycles for $20 per hour, mostly to tourists who want to see Golden Gate Park on two wheels.

    In March, one of the scooter companies called Ghadieh to tell him they were about to launch in the city and were looking for people to help with repairs. Ghadieh said he was game. He wouldn’t disclose the name of the company because of agreements he signed.

    Now he admits he didn’t quite know what he was getting into.

    Days after the scooter startups dropped their vehicles on an unsuspecting San Francisco, SF Wheels became so crammed with broken scooters that it was hard to walk through the small, tidy shop. Scooters lined the sidewalk outside, filled the doorway and crowded the mechanic’s workspace. The backyard had a heap of scooters nearly six-feet tall, Ghadieh told me.

    His bike techs were so busy that Ghadieh had to hire three more mechanics. SF Wheels was fixing 75 to 100 scooters per day. Ghadieh didn’t say how much the shop was making per scooter fix.

    “The repairs were fast and easy on some and longer on others,” Ghadieh said. “It’d depend on whether it was wear-and-tear or whether it was physically damaged by someone out there, some madman.”

    Some of the scooters, which cost around $500 off the shelf, came in completely vandalized — everything from chopped wires for the controller (aka the brain) to detached handlebars to bent forks. Several even showed up with clipped brake cables.

    I asked Ghadieh if the scooters still work without brakes.

    “It will work, yes,” he said. “It will go forward, but you just cannot stop. Whoever is causing that is making the situation dangerous for some riders.”

    Especially in a city with lots of hills.

    Ghadieh said his crew worked diligently for about six weeks, repairing an estimated 1,000 scooters. But then, about three weeks ago, work dried up. Ghadieh had to lay off the mechanics he’d hired and his shop is back to focusing on electric bicycles.

    “Now, there’s literally nothing,” he said. “There’s a change of face with the company. I’m not exactly sure what happened. … They decided to do it differently.”

    The likely change? The electric scooter company probably decided to outsource repairs to gig workers, rather than rely on agreements with shops.

    That’s gig as in freelancers looking to pick up part-time work, like Uber and Lyft drivers. And like Nick Abouzeid. By day, Abouzeid works in marketing for the startup AngelList. A few weeks ago, he got an email from Bird inviting him to be a scooter mechanic. The message told Abouzeid he could earn $20 for each scooter repair, once he’d completed an online training. He signed up, took the classes and is ready to start.

    “These scooters aren’t complicated. They’re cheap scooters from China,” Abouzeid said. “The repairs are anything from adjusting a brake to fixing a flat tire to adding stickers that have fallen off a Bird.”

    Bird declined to comment specifically on its maintenance program, but its spokesman Kenneth Baer did say, “Bird has a network of trained chargers and mechanics who operate as independent contractors.”

    All of Lime’s mechanics, on the other hand, are part of the company’s operations and maintenance team that repairs the scooters and ensures they’re safe for riders. Spin uses a mix of gig workers and contract mechanics, like what Ghadieh was doing.
    Gaming the system

    Electric scooters are, well, electric. That means they need to be plugged into an outlet for four to five hours before they can transport people, who rent them for $1 plus 15 cents for every minute of riding time.

    Bird, Spin and Lime all partially rely on gig workers to keep their fleets juiced up.

    Each company has a different app that shows scooters with low or dead batteries. Anyone with a driver’s license and car can sign up for the app and become a charger. These drivers roam the streets, picking up scooters and taking them home to be charged.
    img-7477

    “It creates this amazing kind of gig economy,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden, who is a former Uber and Lyft executive, told me in April. “It’s kind of like a game of Pokemon Go for them, where they go around and try to find and gobble up as many Birds as they can.”

    Theoretically, all scooters are supposed to be off city streets by nightfall when it’s illegal to ride them. That’s when the chargers are unleashed. To get paid, they have to get the vehicles back out on the street in specified locations before 7 a.m. the next day. Bird supplies the charging cables — only three at a time, but those who’ve been in the business longer can get more cables.

    “I don’t know the fascination with all of these companies using gig workers to charge and repair,” said Harry Campbell, who runs a popular gig worker blog called The Rideshare Guy. “But they’re all in, they’re all doing it.”

    One of the reasons some companies use gig workers is to avoid costs like extra labor, gasoline and electricity. Bird, Spin and Lime have managed to convince investors they’re onto something. Between the three of them they’ve raised $255 million in funding. Bird is rumored to be raising another $150 million from one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, Sequoia, which could put the company’s value at $1 billion. That’s a lot for an electric scooter disruptor.

    Lime pays $12 to charge each scooter and Spin pays $5; both companies also deploy their own operations teams for charging. Bird has a somewhat different system. It pays anywhere from $5 to $25 to charge its scooters, depending on the city and the location of the dead scooter. The harder the vehicle is to find and the longer it’s been off the radar, the higher the “bounty.”

    Abouzeid, who’s moonlighted as a Bird charger for the past two months, said he’s only found a $25 scooter once.

    “With the $25 ones, they’re like, ’Hey, we think it’s in this location, it’s got 0 percent battery, good luck,’” he said.

    But some chargers have devised a way to game the system. They call it hoarding.

    “They’ll literally go around picking up Birds and putting them in the back of their car,” Campbell said. “And then they wait until the bounties on them go up and up and up.”

    Bird has gotten wise to these tactics. It sent an email to all chargers last week warning them that if it sniffs out this kind of activity, those hoarders will be barred from the app.

    “We feel like this is a big step forward in fixing some of the most painful issues we’ve been hearing,” Bird wrote in the email, which was seen by CNET.

    Tweaker chop shops

    Hoarding and vandalism aren’t the only problems for electric scooter companies. There’s also theft. While the vehicles have GPS tracking, once the battery fully dies they go off the app’s map.

    “Every homeless person has like three scooters now,” Ghadieh said. “They take the brains out, the logos off and they literally hotwire it.”
    img-1134

    I’ve seen scooters stashed at tent cities around San Francisco. Photos of people extracting the batteries have been posted on Twitter and Reddit. Rumor has it the batteries have a resale price of about $50 on the street, but there doesn’t appear to be a huge market for them on eBay or Craigslist, according to my quick survey.

    Bird, Lime and Spin all said trashed and stolen scooters aren’t as big a problem as you’d think. When the companies launch in a new city, they said they tend to see higher theft and vandalism rates but then that calms down.

    “We have received a few reports of theft and vandalism, but that’s the nature of the business,” said Spin co-founder and President Euwyn Poon. “When you have a product that’s available for public consumption, you account for that.”

    Dockless, rentable scooters are now taking over cities across the US — from Denver to Atlanta to Washington, DC. Bird’s scooters are available in at least 10 cities with Scottsdale, Arizona, being the site of its most recent launch.

    Meanwhile, in San Francisco, regulators have been working to get rules in place to make sure riders drive safely and the companies abide by the law.

    New regulations to limit the number of scooters are set to go into effect in the city on June 4. To comply, scooter companies have to clear the streets of all their vehicles while the authorities process their permits. That’s expected to take about a month.

    And just like that, scooters will go out the way they came in — appearing and disappearing from one day to the next — leaving in their wake the chargers, mechanics, vandals and people hotwiring the things to get a free ride around town.

    #USA #transport #disruption #SDF


  • Kevin Lynch and the GPS: Predicting the Culture of Navigation in 1960 - Failed Architecture
    https://failedarchitecture.com/kevin-lynch-and-the-gps-predicting-the-culture-of-navigation-in-

    The cognitive map and The Image of the City
    In 1948, psychologist Edward C. Tolman made his laboratory rats navigate an elaborate maze. It was a classic experimental design with two groups of rats running two trials each: in the first trial, only one of the two groups would receive a reward for completing the maze; in the second trial, both groups would receive the reward. In line with expectations, the reward-group outperformed the delayed reward-group during the first trial. In the second trial, however, the rats in the delayed reward-group were the champions.

    How did the rats in this group pull this off? They were not acting from a stimulus-response relationship, as they had received no reward at the end of the first trial. Tolman inferred that they must have developed some form of internal representation of the territory, a ‘cognitive map’ that allowed them to navigate the maze as quickly as they did.

    Tolman’s study became an instant classic. It signaled a shift from behaviorism to cognitivism, from pairing of stimulus and response to goal-directed processing of information. The concept of the cognitive map (a mental representation of survey knowledge) became widespread.


  • Meet the Minnesota family that turned a soda machine company into a surveillance empire
    https://thehustle.co/three-square-market-vending-machine-microchip

    If Westby’s success proves anything, it’s that that digital surveillance technology is now so cheap — and so unregulated — that almost anyone can sell it.
    A ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme for the age of big data

    Westby’s strategy for selling sodas to inmates and selling tracking systems to parents were strikingly similar: Find a niche market and pump it with marked-up wholesale products for a huge profit.

    The market for surveillance technology meets every precondition for a Grade-A get-rich-quick scheme: Cheap inventory, little regulation, and high demand.

    First, surveillance tech is surprisingly cheap. According to the Yale Law Journal, the cost of location tracking dropped from $105/hour to $0.36/hour when the portable GPS was invented, and then fell to to $0.04/hour at most when smartphone GPS became roughly equivalent to professional receivers.

    Westby’s family business may be profit-forward, but it’s not malevolent (anyone who’s heard Patrick McMullan talk about healthcare and snow plows will tell you that). But customers deserve to know who is handling their data goes once it is collected.

    Once an app collects consumer data, nothing prevents it from sharing with subsidiaries, parent companies, or partners.

    When those partners are hidden — for instance, a quiz app that secretly collects data for a Russian political network or a childcare app operated by a for-profit prison company — consumers don’t know when they’re at risk.

    And, when the companies that make and sell surveillance apps aren’t regulated, it’s even harder to ensure that the tech is used responsibly.

    If we’re lucky, the future could have great snow plows. But in this new world, don’t expect control over your data and definitely don’t expect everyone who sells it to be as well-intentioned as Todd, Patrick, and Coach Danna.

    #Surveillance #Traçage #RFID #Prisons


  • Instagram prototypes handing your location history to Facebook
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/04/instagram-location-history

    This is sure to exacerbate fears that Facebook will further exploit Instagram now that its founders have resigned. Instagram has been spotted prototyping a new privacy setting that would allow it to share your location history with Facebook. That means your exact GPS coordinates collected by Instagram, even when you’re not using the app, would help Facebook to target you with ads and recommend you relevant content. The geo-tagged data would appear to users in their Facebook Profile’s Activity (...)

    #Facebook #Instagram #WhatsApp #GPS #géolocalisation #publicité

    ##publicité


  • The vagina is self-cleaning – so why does the ’feminine hygiene’ industry exist ? | Society | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/04/the-vagina-is-self-cleaning-so-why-does-the-feminine-hygiene-industry-e ?

    From talcum powder to jade eggs and douches, an industry has grown up to sell products – some of which are harmful – that play on women’s fears about being dirty or smelly

    The vagina is an amazing organ. It is lined with a mucous membrane that protects against infection (necessary in any part of the body that opens to the outside world), as well as a clever, complex mix of bacteria – also known as vaginal flora – that does the same thing (only the bowel has more bacteria than the vagina). Together, they keep the vagina healthy. It is self-cleaning, too, keeping itself safe and hygienic with secretions. (One day, I will get used to gynaecologists referring to my vagina as “a self-cleaning oven”.)

    All women have a DIY vagina-vulva-wash of mucus, which can vary in appearance and volume throughout the menstrual cycle. It is mostly highly effective, except in the case of infection, including STIs, which can be signalled by a change in colour, thickness or odour. (Odour can become slightly muskier due to exercise or sex; if anything is noticeably different, or you itch, get a medical professional to check it.) But you would not know about our natural powerwash from the size and value of the industry that has grown up to tell women we smell.

    For every mention of “fresh”, look for the fear at which it is aiming: fear that we smell of period blood or are leaking; fear that we smell in general; fear that our sexual partners will mock or reject us because of what our vaginas and vulvas look or smell like. The jingle for baby talc was “a sprinkle a day keeps the odour away”. There is a reason that “you smell” is one of the most powerful playground taunts: it is the accusation we fear most and the hardest to protest. We all fear fishy.

    The odds are your vagina and vulva look and smell normal, because, when it comes to genitalia, normal is a very big category. In a paper studying the range of female genital appearance, researchers at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospital in London found that “women vary widely in genital dimensions”, but that “detailed accurate representations of female genitals are rare ... although representations of female nudity are common”. Rates for cosmetic genital surgery are soaring above rates of genital disease diagnosis. Something is deformed, but it is women’s thoughts, not their genitals.

    To ensure cleanliness, the vulva needs nothing fancier than water, mild soap and a gentle pat dry (do not rub).

    Douching, as this is called, is done by one in five American women aged 15 to 44. Commercial douches can contain antiseptics, as well as potentially hazardous chemicals such as parabens, along with fragrances that are unknown: because these are cosmetic products, the US’s Food and Drug Administration requires only that manufacturers do not include anything “deleterious” in their products and trusts manufacturers to comply – it does not require any testing of products before they are launched. In short, products you are putting in close quarters with a highly porous part of your body are less stringently regulated than cough sweets.

    Women are advised to use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) – not inside it – gently every day. During a woman’s period, washing more than once a day may be helpful.”

    I wonder if such statements would be necessary if “vulva” were as conversational as “sex”. If we discussed our fears about vulvas and vaginas – conversationally, with GPs or health professionals and with our partners – as easily as we seek help for a headache, the aisles of feminine washes, sprays, douches and wet wipes, all those sticking plasters on our fears and embarrassment, would vanish.

    #femmes #santé #cosmétiques #sexe #vulve #vagin #gynécologie

    Où l’on apprend qu’il y a de l’amiante dans les produits pour bébé. Et que : (The vagina is a tube of muscle that joins the cervix and the vaginal opening ; the vulva is the exterior genitalia.), il vaut mieux préciser devant l’incapacité à nommer un sexe de femme.

    • Il suffit parfois d’un mec qui nous suggère que nous puons de la chatte pour que nos connaissances sur les dangers à long terme ne résistent pas au bénéfice de faire comme tout le monde. La logique, outre cet arbitrage entre deux temporalités, outre le terreau d’ignorance concernant le sexe féminin et ses besoins physiologiques, c’est la captivité des unes et des autres (et en l’occurrence, surtout des unes vu leur super situation dans la domination symbolique) aux structures et aux représentations sociales.

      Suggérer que des femmes, dans la situation pourrave qui est la leur, puissent être responsables de leur malheur en faisant de mauvais choix de consommation ou de comportement, c’est une idée assez libérale : voyons, tout le monde peut le faire. Il suffit de prendre la peine de causer avec une meuf pour se rendre compte de l’insécurité qui est la nôtre, de la crainte de déplaire, de la crainte d’être la seule à ne pas s’épiler les jambes ou la chatte, ne pas avoir une chatte qui sent la fleur, ne pas faire opérer ses lèvres grosses ou asymétriques, etc.

      Il y a des bouquins comme @beautefatale qui causent de l’exploitation de cette insécurité fondamentale et inséparable de ce que c’est, d’être une femme dans un monde où les hommes ne se posent pas beaucoup de questions sur la vie que nous sommes contraintes de mener... En fait, il existe tout un mouvement pour répondre à cette question de pourquoi les femmes ne font pas ci ou ça, mouvement qui s’appelle féminisme. À lire également, les livres d’Élise Thiébaut sur les règles, L’Origine du monde de Liv Strömqvist, etc.

      http://www.editionsladecouverte.fr/catalogue/index-Ceci_est_mon_sang-9782707192929.html

    • Je crois que si cette question me met en rogne, ce n’est pas seulement parce que c’est une question naïve qui ignorent tout ce qu’on sait de la soumission volontaire et du fonctionnement des sociétés libérales, je crois que c’est parce que c’est toujours aux plus vulnérables qu’on demande d’être plus vertueux/ses et courageux/ses qu’aux autres, ceux qui sont bien tranquilles dans leur fauteuil.


  • ‘Digital shackles’ : the unexpected cruelty of ankle monitors
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/aug/28/digital-shackles-the-unexpected-cruelty-of-ankle-monitors

    Every day at about 5pm, 60-year-old Willard Birts has to find a power outlet. Then he has towait two hours next to it while the battery on his ankle monitor recharges. If he lets the battery drain, or enters San Mateo county, he risks being sent back to jail while he awaits trial. Birts pays $30 per day – that’s $840 per month – for the privilege of wearing the bulky device. It sucks up all his income, leaving him homeless and sleeping in his Ford Escape in Oakland. “It’s like a rope around (...)

    #bracelet #GPS #géolocalisation #prison #surveillance


  • China Is Going to Outrageous Lengths to Surveil Its Own Citizens
    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/china-surveillance-technology-muslims/567443

    China has reportedly begun deploying flocks of drones disguised as birds to surveil its citizens. The drones have wings that flap so realistically they’re difficult to distinguish from actual birds. In fact, animals on the ground often can’t make the distinction, and even real birds in the sky sometimes fly alongside the drones. One researcher involved in the project has claimed that the robotic birds can mimic 90 percent of the movements of their biological counterparts, and they’re also (...)

    #CCTV #drone #GPS #géolocalisation #aérien #Islam #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance #HumanRightsWatch


  • What is #government stealing from you ?
    https://hackernoon.com/what-is-government-stealing-from-you-a772b8c7df0b?source=rss----3a8144ea

    “Anonymity is just a perception. It’s not that somebody owns it but possess it”If you are fully known to an enemy or naked in your battle, you may not even stand a chance. If you are giving every piece of information about yourself to the enemy, then they have the power to think accordingly and counter our every move with a smarter move before we even attacked them with it. Think about it?By the way, I am the curator of CodesMyth, an online platform for Simplifying code and breaking Myths.But what sense does the above things imply?What is happening to our anonymity?Now, we may or may not know it but the top government agencies from all around the world are spying on us continuously 24 X 7 by recording our call location, tracking our mobile GPS, Facebook & Twitter Update, online payment (...)

    #security



  • Grindr Is Letting Other Companies See User HIV Status And Location Data
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/grindr-hiv-status-privacy

    SINTEF’s analysis also showed that Grindr was sharing its users’ precise GPS position, “tribe” (meaning what gay subculture they identify with), sexuality, relationship status, ethnicity, and phone ID to other third-party advertising companies. And this information, unlike the HIV data, was sometimes shared via “plain text,” which can be easily hacked.

    “It allows anybody who is running the network or who can monitor the network — such as a hacker or a criminal with a little bit of tech knowledge, or your ISP or your government — to see what your location is,” Cooper Quintin, senior staff technologist and security researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told BuzzFeed News.

    “When you combine this with an app like Grindr that is primarily aimed at people who may be at risk — especially depending on the country they live in or depending on how homophobic the local populace is — this is an especially bad practice that can put their user safety at risk,” Quintin added.

    But just because users are comfortable sharing personal information in their profile or chats doesn’t mean they want it being shared more broadly.

    “Some people’s jobs may be in jeopardy if the wrong people find out about their status — or maybe they have difficult family situations,” said Chris Taylor of Seattle, who uses Grindr but no longer displays his HIV positive status on his profile. It’s “disconcerting,” he said, that Grindr is sharing this information with other companies. “It can put people in danger, and it feels like an invasion of privacy.”

    The disclosure of HIV status also raises questions about the app’s privacy policy, which states: “You may also have the option to provide information concerning health characteristics, such as your HIV status or Last Tested Date. Remember that if you choose to include information in your profile, and make your profile public, that information will also become public.”

    But the average person may not know or understand what they’ve agreed to in the fine print. Some experts argue that Grindr should be more specific in its user agreements about how it’s using their data.

    #Grindr #Vie_privée #CGU


  • The Surprising Relativism of the Brain’s GPS - Issue 58: Self
    http://nautil.us/issue/58/self/the-surprising-relativism-of-the-brains-gps

    The first pieces of the brain’s “inner GPS” started coming to light in 1970. In the laboratories of University College London, John O’Keefe and his student Jonathan Dostrovsky recorded the electrical activity of neurons in the hippocampus of freely moving rats. They found a group of neurons that increased their activity only when a rat found itself in a particular location.1 They called them “place cells.” Building on these early findings, O’Keefe and his colleague Lynn Nadel proposed that the hippocampus contains an invariant representation of space that does not depend on mood or desire. They called this representation the “cognitive map.”2 In their view, all of the brain’s place cells together represent the entirety of an animal’s environment, and whichever place cell is active indicates its (...)


  • A Regional Comparison of Venture Capital Fundraising and Investor Appetite
    https://hackernoon.com/a-regional-comparison-of-venture-capital-fundraising-and-investor-appeti

    North America is home to the majority (57%) of LPs that were active in venture capital funds in 2017. Given that GPs typically have a better understanding of LPs’ requirements in their home regions, fund managers tend to attract a large proportion of investors domestically. Consequently, it is unsurprising that North America-based venture capital funds continued to dominate the fundraising market in 2017: 262 funds reached a final close, securing an aggregate $35bn in investor capital. This is greater than the total capital ($21bn) raised collectively by 185 vehicles headquartered in Asia and Europe.Despite Europe-based venture capital funds securing just 13% of aggregate capital raised globally in 2017, the region saw a favourable fundraising environment. As shown in the chart below, (...)

    #venture-capital #vc #startup #entrepreneurship #investing


  • In Your Face : China’s all-seeing state
    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-42248056/in-your-face-china-s-all-seeing-state

    China has been building what it calls “the world’s biggest camera surveillance network”. Across the country, 170 million CCTV cameras are already in place and an estimated 400 million new ones will be installed in the next three years. Many of the cameras are fitted with artificial intelligence, including facial recognition technology. The BBC’s John Sudworth has been given rare access to one of the new hi-tech police control (...)

    #GPS #CCTV #biométrie #géolocalisation #facial #Islam #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance


  • The surveillance of the Uighurs : the future for China ?
    https://www.foreignbrief.com/asia-pacific/china/surveillance-uighurs-future-china

    China has expanded its surveillance of Uighur Muslims in the country’s western Xinjiang province. Examples of Beijing’s monitoring of Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities include a DNA database that has been compiled via blood samples, facial recognition software, GPS tracking mechanisms in cars, domestic military checkpoints and the confiscation of Uighur passports to prevent them from leaving China. According to a December 2017 Wall Street Journal article, the Chinese government announced over $1 (...)

    #GPS #CCTV #biométrie #génétique #géolocalisation #facial #Islam #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance (...)

    ##militarisation


  • http://www.buykamera.com/high-quality-jammer/c-1.html
    対象のモバイルデバイスでどのように使用されているのか、どのように動作するのかを知る必要があります。携帯電話追跡ソフトウェアを使用して、wifi 妨害は従業員を監視することができます。あなたの子供が安全かどうかを知ることができます。お子様のメッセージ、GPSデータ、疑わしい連絡先からの通話の制限は非常に有益です.
    http://www.buykamera.com/smart-phone-jammer/c-1_2.html
    これらのデバイスは、信号ブロッカー、GPSジャマー、テキストストッパーなどの異なる名前で市販されています.盗聴・盗撮器を仕掛けているのは、身近にいる人の可能性が高いです。盗聴・盗撮発見器は、一般的に100メートル内外の範囲で盗聴が可能ですし、携帯電話を使ったデジタル盗聴器では日本全国どこででも盗聴できます。



  • Fitness Tracker Data Highlights Sprawling U.S. Military Footprint in Africa
    https://theintercept.com/2018/01/29/strava-heat-map-fitness-tracker-us-military-base

    Out in the cocoa-colored wastes of north-central Niger, people have been running around in circles. Exactly who has been jogging or walking around this compound outside the town of Arlit is unclear. But there’s a good chance it has something to do with U.S. Africa Command’s “Analysis Office” there, the existence of which was disclosed in 2016 contracting documents. Not far away, people have been running round and round in a compound near the airfield in Agadez, Niger, where the U.S. military (...)

    #GPS #géolocalisation #sport #Fitbit #Strava


  • U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-map-showing-the-users-of-fitness-devices-lets-the-world-see-where-us-soldiers-are-and-what-they-are-doing/2018/01/28/86915662-0441-11e8-aa61-f3391373867e_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table

    An interactive map posted on the Internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the locations and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in what appears to be a major security oversight.

    The Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava, uses satellite information to map the locations and movements of subscribers to the company’s fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity.

    Strava, the social network for athletes, has launched its global heatmap, a striking visualization of over one billion activities from Strava athletes across a wide variety of activities, both on land and in the sea. The activities logged covered nearly 17 billion miles. You can explore and search for your own area here
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/gallery/2017/nov/02/strava-a-global-heatmap-of-athletic-activity

    The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.

    However, over the weekend military analysts noticed that the map is also detailed enough that it potentially gives away extremely sensitive information about a subset of Strava users: military personnel on active service.

    Nathan Ruser, an analyst with the Institute for United Conflict Analysts, first noted the lapse. The heatmap “looks very pretty” he wrote, but is “not amazing for Op-Sec” – short for operational security. “US Bases are clearly identifiable and mappable.”

    “If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning it on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially dangerous,” Ruser added, highlighting one particular track that “looks like it logs a regular jogging route.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/28/fitness-tracking-app-gives-away-location-of-secret-us-army-bases

    #applications #bases_militaires_us #cartographie #parcours #jogging


  • Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/28/fitness-tracking-app-gives-away-location-of-secret-us-army-bases

    Data about exercise routes shared online by soldiers can be used to pinpoint overseas facilities Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company. The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others. The map, released in November 2017, shows every (...)

    #GPS #géolocalisation #sport #Strava


  • Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking : #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking
    La pensée unique aux États Unis de plus en plus sectaire et pesante

    Jackson Lears

    American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton’s defeat. Then everything changed.

    A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.

    The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind.

    Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

    It is not the first time the intelligence agencies have played this role. When I hear the Intelligence Community Assessment cited as a reliable source, I always recall the part played by the New York Times in legitimating CIA reports of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s putative weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the long history of disinformation (a.k.a. ‘fake news’) as a tactic for advancing one administration or another’s political agenda. Once again, the established press is legitimating pronouncements made by the Church Fathers of the national security state. Clapper is among the most vigorous of these. He perjured himself before Congress in 2013, when he denied that the NSA had ‘wittingly’ spied on Americans – a lie for which he has never been held to account. In May 2017, he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that the Russians were highly likely to have colluded with Trump’s campaign because they are ‘almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique’. The current orthodoxy exempts the Church Fathers from standards imposed on ordinary people, and condemns Russians – above all Putin – as uniquely, ‘almost genetically’ diabolical.

    It’s hard for me to understand how the Democratic Party, which once felt scepticism towards the intelligence agencies, can now embrace the CIA and the FBI as sources of incontrovertible truth. One possible explanation is that Trump’s election has created a permanent emergency in the liberal imagination, based on the belief that the threat he poses is unique and unprecedented. It’s true that Trump’s menace is viscerally real. But the menace posed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was equally real. The damage done by Bush and Cheney – who ravaged the Middle East, legitimated torture and expanded unconstitutional executive power – was truly unprecedented, and probably permanent. Trump does pose an unprecedented threat to undocumented immigrants and Muslim travellers, whose protection is urgent and necessary. But on most issues he is a standard issue Republican. He is perfectly at home with Paul Ryan’s austerity agenda, which involves enormous transfers of wealth to the most privileged Americans. He is as committed as any other Republican to repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act. During the campaign he posed as an apostate on free trade and an opponent of overseas military intervention, but now that he is in office his free trade views are shifting unpredictably and his foreign policy team is composed of generals with impeccable interventionist credentials.

    Trump is committed to continuing his predecessors’ lavish funding of the already bloated Defence Department, and his Fortress America is a blustering, undisciplined version of Madeleine Albright’s ‘indispensable nation’. Both Trump and Albright assume that the United States should be able to do as it pleases in the international arena: Trump because it’s the greatest country in the world, Albright because it’s an exceptional force for global good. Nor is there anything unprecedented about Trump’s desire for détente with Russia, which until at least 2012 was the official position of the Democratic Party. What is unprecedented about Trump is his offensive style: contemptuous, bullying, inarticulate, and yet perfectly pitched to appeal to the anger and anxiety of his target audience. His excess has licensed overt racism and proud misogyny among some of his supporters. This is cause for denunciation, but I am less persuaded that it justifies the anti-Russian mania.

    Besides Trump’s supposed uniqueness, there are two other assumptions behind the furore in Washington: the first is that the Russian hack unquestionably occurred, and the second is that the Russians are our implacable enemies. The second provides the emotional charge for the first. Both seem to me problematic. With respect to the first, the hacking charges are unproved and may well remain so. Edward Snowden and others familiar with the NSA say that if long-distance hacking had taken place the agency would have monitored it and could detail its existence without compromising their secret sources and methods. In September, Snowden told Der Spiegel that the NSA ‘probably knows quite well who the invaders were’. And yet ‘it has not presented any evidence, although I suspect it exists. The question is: why not? … I suspect it discovered other attackers in the systems, maybe there were six or seven groups at work.’ He also said in July 2016 that ‘even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, ‪#XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.’ The NSA’s capacity to follow hacking to its source is a matter of public record. When the agency investigated pervasive and successful Chinese hacking into US military and defence industry installations, it was able to trace the hacks to the building where they originated, a People’s Liberation Army facility in Shanghai. That information was published in the New York Times, but, this time, the NSA’s failure to provide evidence has gone curiously unremarked. When The Intercept published a story about the NSA’s alleged discovery that Russian military intelligence had attempted to hack into US state and local election systems, the agency’s undocumented assertions about the Russian origins of the hack were allowed to stand as unchallenged fact and quickly became treated as such in the mainstream media.

    Meanwhile, there has been a blizzard of ancillary accusations, including much broader and vaguer charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. It remains possible that Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who has been appointed to investigate these allegations, may turn up some compelling evidence of contacts between Trump’s people and various Russians. It would be surprising if an experienced prosecutor empowered to cast a dragnet came up empty-handed, and the arrests have already begun. But what is striking about them is that the charges have nothing to do with Russian interference in the election. There has been much talk about the possibility that the accused may provide damaging evidence against Trump in exchange for lighter sentences, but this is merely speculation. Paul Manafort, at one point Trump’s campaign manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to register his public relations firm as a foreign agent for the Ukrainian government and concealing his millions of dollars in fees. But all this occurred before the 2016 campaign. George Papadopolous, a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his bungling efforts to arrange a meeting between Trump’s people and the Russian government – an opportunity the Trump campaign declined. Mueller’s most recent arrestee, Michael Flynn, the unhinged Islamophobe who was briefly Trump’s national security adviser, has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about meeting the Russian ambassador in December – weeks after the election. This is the sort of backchannel diplomacy that routinely occurs during the interim between one administration and the next. It is not a sign of collusion.

    So far, after months of ‘bombshells’ that turn out to be duds, there is still no actual evidence for the claim that the Kremlin ordered interference in the American election. Meanwhile serious doubts have surfaced about the technical basis for the hacking claims. Independent observers have argued it is more likely that the emails were leaked from inside, not hacked from outside. On this front, the most persuasive case was made by a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, former employees of the US intelligence agencies who distinguished themselves in 2003 by debunking Colin Powell’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, hours after Powell had presented his pseudo-evidence at the UN. (There are members of VIPS who dissent from the VIPS report’s conclusions, but their arguments are in turn contested by the authors of the report.) The VIPS findings received no attention in major media outlets, except Fox News – which from the centre-left perspective is worse than no attention at all. Mainstream media have dismissed the VIPS report as a conspiracy theory (apparently the Russian hacking story does not count as one). The crucial issue here and elsewhere is the exclusion from public discussion of any critical perspectives on the orthodox narrative, even the perspectives of people with professional credentials and a solid track record.

    Both the DNC hacking story and the one involving the emails of John Podesta, a Clinton campaign operative, involve a shadowy bunch of putatively Russian hackers called Fancy Bear – also known among the technically inclined as APT28. The name Fancy Bear was introduced by Dimitri Alperovitch, the chief technology officer of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the theft of their emails. Alperovitch is also a fellow at the Atlantic Council, an anti-Russian Washington think tank. In its report Crowdstrike puts forward close to zero evidence for its claim that those responsible were Russian, let alone for its assertion that they were affiliated with Russian military intelligence. And yet, from this point on, the assumption that this was a Russian cyber operation was unquestioned. When the FBI arrived on the scene, the Bureau either did not request or was refused access to the DNC servers; instead it depended entirely on the Crowdstrike analysis. Crowdstrike, meanwhile, was being forced to retract another claim, that the Russians had successfully hacked the guidance systems of the Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainian military and the British International Institute for Strategic Studies both contradicted this claim, and Crowdstrike backed down. But its DNC analysis was allowed to stand and even become the basis for the January Intelligence Community Assessment.

    The chatter surrounding the hack would never have acquired such urgency were it not for the accompanying assumption: Russia is a uniquely dangerous adversary, with which we should avoid all contact. Without that belief, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s meetings with Russians in September 2016 would become routine discussions between a senator and foreign officials. Flynn’s post-election conversations with the Russian ambassador would appear unremarkable. Trump’s cronies’ attempts to do business in Russia would become merely sleazy. Donald Trump Jr’s meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya would be transformed from a melodrama of shady intrigue to a comedy of errors – with the candidate’s son expecting to receive information to use against Clinton but discovering Veselnitskaya only wanted to talk about repealing sanctions and restarting the flow of Russian orphans to the United States. And Putin himself would become just another autocrat, with whom democracies could engage without endorsing.

    Sceptical voices, such as those of the VIPS, have been drowned out by a din of disinformation. Flagrantly false stories, like the Washington Post report that the Russians had hacked into the Vermont electrical grid, are published, then retracted 24 hours later. Sometimes – like the stories about Russian interference in the French and German elections – they are not retracted even after they have been discredited. These stories have been thoroughly debunked by French and German intelligence services but continue to hover, poisoning the atmosphere, confusing debate. The claim that the Russians hacked local and state voting systems in the US was refuted by California and Wisconsin election officials, but their comments generated a mere whisper compared with the uproar created by the original story. The rush to publish without sufficient attention to accuracy has become the new normal in journalism. Retraction or correction is almost beside the point: the false accusation has done its work.

    The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. To say this is to risk dismissal as the ultimate wing-nut in the lexicon of contemporary Washington: the conspiracy theorist. Still, the fact remains: sometimes powerful people arrange to promote ideas that benefit their common interests. Whether we call this hegemony, conspiracy or merely special privilege hardly matters. What does matter is the power to create what Gramsci called the ‘common sense’ of an entire society. Even if much of that society is indifferent to or suspicious of the official common sense, it still becomes embedded among the tacit assumptions that set the boundaries of ‘responsible opinion’. So the Democratic establishment (along with a few Republicans) and the major media outlets have made ‘Russian meddling’ the common sense of the current moment. What kind of cultural work does this common sense do? What are the consequences of the spectacle the media call (with characteristic originality) ‘Russiagate’?

    The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘#the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations. Brazile describes discovering an agreement dated 26 August 2015, which specified (she writes)

    that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics and mailings.

    Before the primaries had even begun, the supposedly neutral DNC – which had been close to insolvency – had been bought by the Clinton campaign.

    Another recent revelation of DNC tactics concerns the origins of the inquiry into Trump’s supposed links to Putin. The story began in April 2016, when the DNC hired a Washington research firm called Fusion GPS to unearth any connections between Trump and Russia. The assignment involved the payment of ‘cash for trash’, as the Clinton campaign liked to say. Fusion GPS eventually produced the trash, a lurid account written by the former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, based on hearsay purchased from anonymous Russian sources. Amid prostitutes and golden showers, a story emerged: the Russian government had been blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump for years, on the assumption that he would become president some day and serve the Kremlin’s interests. In this fantastic tale, Putin becomes a preternaturally prescient schemer. Like other accusations of collusion, this one has become vaguer over time, adding to the murky atmosphere without ever providing any evidence. The Clinton campaign tried to persuade established media outlets to publicise the Steele dossier, but with uncharacteristic circumspection, they declined to promote what was plainly political trash rather than reliable reporting. Yet the FBI apparently took the Steele dossier seriously enough to include a summary of it in a secret appendix to the Intelligence Community Assessment. Two weeks before the inauguration, James Comey, the director of the FBI, described the dossier to Trump. After Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the website Buzzfeed published the dossier in full, producing hilarity and hysteria in the Washington establishment.

    The Steele dossier inhabits a shadowy realm where ideology and intelligence, disinformation and revelation overlap. It is the antechamber to the wider system of epistemological nihilism created by various rival factions in the intelligence community: the ‘tree of smoke’ that, for the novelist Denis Johnson, symbolised CIA operations in Vietnam. I inhaled that smoke myself in 1969-70, when I was a cryptographer with a Top Secret clearance on a US navy ship that carried missiles armed with nuclear warheads – the existence of which the navy denied. I was stripped of my clearance and later honourably discharged when I refused to join the Sealed Authenticator System, which would have authorised the launch of those allegedly non-existent nuclear weapons. The tree of smoke has only grown more complex and elusive since then. Yet the Democratic Party has now embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation of the intelligence community – or at least the part of it that supports the notion of Russian hacking. (We can be sure there is disagreement behind the scenes.) And it is not only the Democratic establishment that is embracing the deep state. Some of the party’s base, believing Trump and Putin to be joined at the hip, has taken to ranting about ‘treason’ like a reconstituted John Birch Society.

    I thought of these ironies when I visited the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which featured the work of black American artists from the 1960s and 1970s, when intelligence agencies (and agents provocateurs) were spearheading a government crackdown on black militants, draft resisters, deserters and antiwar activists. Amid the paintings, collages and assemblages there was a single Confederate flag, accompanied by grim reminders of the Jim Crow past – a Klansman in full regalia, a black body dangling from a tree. There were also at least half a dozen US flags, juxtaposed in whole or in part with images of contemporary racial oppression that could have occurred anywhere in America: dead black men carted off on stretchers by skeletons in police uniform; a black prisoner tied to a chair, awaiting torture. The point was to contrast the pretensions of ‘the land of the free’ with the practices of the national security state and local police forces. The black artists of that era knew their enemy: black people were not being killed and imprisoned by some nebulous foreign adversary, but by the FBI, the CIA and the police.

    The Democratic Party has now developed a new outlook on the world, a more ambitious partnership between liberal humanitarian interventionists and neoconservative militarists than existed under the cautious Obama. This may be the most disastrous consequence for the Democratic Party of the new anti-Russian orthodoxy: the loss of the opportunity to formulate a more humane and coherent foreign policy. The obsession with Putin has erased any possibility of complexity from the Democratic world picture, creating a void quickly filled by the monochrome fantasies of Hillary Clinton and her exceptionalist allies. For people like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, war is a desirable state of affairs, especially when viewed from the comfort of their keyboards, and the rest of the world – apart from a few bad guys – is filled with populations who want to build societies just like ours: pluralistic, democratic and open for business. This view is difficult to challenge when it cloaks itself in humanitarian sentiment. There is horrific suffering in the world; the US has abundant resources to help relieve it; the moral imperative is clear. There are endless forms of international engagement that do not involve military intervention. But it is the path taken by US policy often enough that one may suspect humanitarian rhetoric is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless.

    Having come of age during the Vietnam War, a calamitous consequence of that inflated definition of national interest, I have always been attracted to the realist critique of globalism. Realism is a label forever besmirched by association with Henry Kissinger, who used it as a rationale for intervening covertly and overtly in other nations’ affairs. Yet there is a more humane realist tradition, the tradition of George Kennan and William Fulbright, which emphasises the limits of military might, counselling that great power requires great restraint. This tradition challenges the doctrine of regime change under the guise of democracy promotion, which – despite its abysmal failures in Iraq and Libya – retains a baffling legitimacy in official Washington. Russiagate has extended its shelf life.

    We can gauge the corrosive impact of the Democrats’ fixation on Russia by asking what they aren’t talking about when they talk about Russian hacking. For a start, they aren’t talking about interference of other sorts in the election, such as the Republican Party’s many means of disenfranchising minority voters. Nor are they talking about the trillion dollar defence budget that pre-empts the possibility of single-payer healthcare and other urgently needed social programmes; nor about the modernisation of the American nuclear arsenal which Obama began and Trump plans to accelerate, and which raises the risk of the ultimate environmental calamity, nuclear war – a threat made more serious than it has been in decades by America’s combative stance towards Russia. The prospect of impeaching Trump and removing him from office by convicting him of collusion with Russia has created an atmosphere of almost giddy anticipation among leading Democrats, allowing them to forget that the rest of the Republican Party is composed of many politicians far more skilful in Washington’s ways than their president will ever be.

    It is not the Democratic Party that is leading the search for alternatives to the wreckage created by Republican policies: a tax plan that will soak the poor and middle class to benefit the rich; a heedless pursuit of fossil fuels that is already resulting in the contamination of the water supply of the Dakota people; and continued support for police policies of militarisation and mass incarceration. It is local populations that are threatened by oil spills and police beatings, and that is where humane populism survives. A multitude of insurgent groups have begun to use the outrage against Trump as a lever to move the party in egalitarian directions: Justice Democrats, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, as well as a host of local and regional organisations. They recognise that there are far more urgent – and genuine – reasons to oppose Trump than vague allegations of collusion with Russia. They are posing an overdue challenge to the long con of neoliberalism, and the technocratic arrogance that led to Clinton’s defeat in Rust Belt states. Recognising that the current leadership will not bring about significant change, they are seeking funding from outside the DNC. This is the real resistance, as opposed to ‘#theresistance’.

    On certain important issues – such as broadening support for single-payer healthcare, promoting a higher minimum wage or protecting undocumented immigrants from the most flagrant forms of exploitation – these insurgents are winning wide support. Candidates like Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner’s daughter from West Virginia who is running in the Democratic primary for nomination to the US Senate, are challenging establishment Democrats who stand cheek by jowl with Republicans in their service to concentrated capital. Swearengin’s opponent is Joe Manchin, whom the Los Angeles Times has compared to Doug Jones, another ‘very conservative’ Democrat who recently won election to the US Senate in Alabama, narrowly defeating a Republican disgraced by accusations of sexual misconduct with 14-year-old girls. I can feel relieved at that result without joining in the collective Democratic ecstasy, which reveals the party’s persistent commitment to politics as usual. Democrat leaders have persuaded themselves (and much of their base) that all the republic needs is a restoration of the status quo ante Trump. They remain oblivious to popular impatience with familiar formulas. Jess King – a Mennonite woman, Bard College MBA and founder of a local non-profit who is running for Congress as a Justice Democrat in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – put it this way: ‘We see a changing political landscape right now that isn’t measured by traditional left to right politics anymore, but bottom to top. In Pennsylvania and many other places around the country we see a grassroots economic populism on the rise, pushing against the political establishment and status quo that have failed so many in our country.’

    Democratic insurgents are also developing a populist critique of the imperial hubris that has sponsored multiple failed crusades, extorted disproportionate sacrifice from the working class and provoked support for Trump, who presented himself (however misleadingly) as an opponent of open-ended interventionism. On foreign policy, the insurgents face an even more entrenched opposition than on domestic policy: a bipartisan consensus aflame with outrage at the threat to democracy supposedly posed by Russian hacking. Still, they may have found a tactical way forward, by focusing on the unequal burden borne by the poor and working class in the promotion and maintenance of American empire.

    This approach animates Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis, a 33-page document whose authors include Norman Solomon, founder of the web-based insurgent lobby RootsAction.org. ‘The Democratic Party’s claims of fighting for “working families” have been undermined by its refusal to directly challenge corporate power, enabling Trump to masquerade as a champion of the people,’ Autopsy announces. But what sets this apart from most progressive critiques is the cogent connection it makes between domestic class politics and foreign policy. For those in the Rust Belt, military service has often seemed the only escape from the shambles created by neoliberal policies; yet the price of escape has been high. As Autopsy notes, ‘the wisdom of continual war’ – what Clinton calls ‘global leadership’ –

    was far clearer to the party’s standard bearer [in 2016] than it was to people in the US communities bearing the brunt of combat deaths, injuries and psychological traumas. After a decade and a half of non-stop warfare, research data from voting patterns suggest that the Clinton campaign’s hawkish stance was a political detriment in working-class communities hard-hit by American casualties from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota and Douglas Kriner of Boston University analysed election results in three key states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – and found that ‘even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.’ Clinton’s record of uncritical commitment to military intervention allowed Trump to have it both ways, playing to jingoist resentment while posing as an opponent of protracted and pointless war. Kriner and Shen conclude that Democrats may want to ‘re-examine their foreign policy posture if they hope to erase Trump’s electoral gains among constituencies exhausted and alienated by 15 years of war’. If the insurgent movements within the Democratic Party begin to formulate an intelligent foreign policy critique, a re-examination may finally occur. And the world may come into sharper focus as a place where American power, like American virtue, is limited. For this Democrat, that is an outcome devoutly to be wished. It’s a long shot, but there is something happening out there.

    #USA #cuture #politique


  • What if software defaulted to the most efficient route instead of the fastest ?
    https://verdi.space/blog/what-if-software-defaulted-to-the-most-efficient-route-instead-of-the-faste

    As I’ve been driving around in my new Chevy Volt with an instrument panel that is all about efficiency, it’s become really noticeable that the battery drains much faster while driving on the highway at 65 or 70 mph. This is also true for regular combustion engines but it’s basically invisible if all you have is a tiny gas gauge. The other thing I’ve noticed is that both Apple Maps and Google Maps (the car works with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) default to the fastest route ; often (...)

    #GPS #algorithme #domination