Sunday, June 24, 2012
Want to disable Facebook facial recognition? Read this.(NakedSecurity).Facebook is acquiring facial recognition firm Face.com, for an estimated $60 million.Facebook already uses Face.com's facial recognition technology to help it put a name to faces in photos uploaded to the social network. Now, with the acquisition of Face.com, the technology is coming in house. So what does Facebook facial recognition actually do? There are billions of photographs on Facebook's servers. As your Facebook friends upload their pictures, Facebook will try to determine if any of the photos look like you. And if it finds what it believes to be a match, it may urge one of your Facebook friends to tag the photo with your name. That's what Facebook does with its facial recognition database right now. But nobody knows what it might do with it in the future. Questions which are raised by Facebook's facial recognition capabilities include how securely the database of information is stored, and how else might Facebook try to use it - including whether they might use the data to make money. So.. How can you disable Facebook's facial recognition technology? Sadly, you can't.Read the full story here.
Live Breaking!!!!! Mohamed Morsy declared winner of #Egypt's presidential elections.(AlAhram).
Shafiq 12m 347,380 Mursi 13 million 230, etc. MURSI has it.
16:25 All is calm inside Shafiq campaign headquarters, according to Ahram Online's Sarah El-Rashidi at the scene. "Everyone looks very relaxed and confident, with smiles on their faces," she tells us by phone. "Every time a violation is reported against Mursi, everyone claps."
16:08 The head of the electoral commission says that of 456 appeals, two in particular caught their attention. The first related to a claim that upwards of one million voting ballots were found marked in favour of one candidate before they reached the polling station. The other claims Christians were stopped from casting their votes at one polling station in a village in the Upper Egypt governorate of Minya. But he says both alleged incidents could not be verified; in the first instance, SPEC could only identify close to 2,400 pre-marked ballots, in the second the turnout at the polling station in question was comparable in the runoffs to the first round. We're still awaiting the announcement of who's won...
15:45 SPEC head Farouq Sultan embarks upon a longwinded prologue, reminiscent of Judge Ahmed Rifaat's speech before the announcement of Mubarak's verdict.
15:40 The national anthem is played as the results will be announced immediately.
15:35 Dozens of Mursi supporters are marching in the coastal city of Alexandria, political analyst and columnist Amro Ali tells Ahram Online. Ali says the crowd is marching to SCAF's headquarters in the northern part of the city from the Qiad Ibrahim mosque. They are calling for a second Egyptian revolution even before the results are announced.
15:28 Tense expectation reigns at the central Cairo headquarters of Mohamed Mursi's campaign, according to Ahram Online's Yasmine Fathi at the scene. A press conference there is packed with reporters awaiting the result. A screen in the centre of the room shows live footage from Tahrir Square and other parts of Egypt. Members of the Freedom and Justice Party's High Committee are expected to arrive shortly.Read the full story here.
Live broadcast from Tahir square here.
The U.N. Speaks: The Arms Trade Treaty Will Affect “Legally Owned Weapons”.(Heritage).Yesterday, the U.N. released its press kit for the July conference that will finalize the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The most interesting item in the kit is a lengthy paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) program titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN.” This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.
But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you. But in spite of its desperate efforts to rebut Second Amendment concerns, the U.N. can’t stop stepping on its own shoelaces. After proclaiming that the ATT “does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons,” the CASA paper goes on to say that “United Nations agencies have come across many situations in which various types of conventional weapons have been…misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.” How, exactly, would the ATT do that if it doesn’t “impede” or “interfere” with lawful ownership? The U.N. would have a lot more credibility on the ATT if it didn’t imply so regularly that the problem is as much lawful ownership as it is the international arms trade.Read the full story here.
Turkey calls Nato meeting on jet, invokes Article 4 of Nato's charter.(BBC).Turkey has called a meeting of Nato member states to discuss its response to the shooting down of one of its warplanes by Syrian forces on Friday. Ankara has invoked Article 4 of Nato's charter, under which consultations can be requested when an ally feels their security is threatened, officials say. Earlier, Turkey's foreign minister said the F-4 Phantom was in international airspace when it was shot down. Syria maintains the jet was engaged while it was inside its airspace. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the Syrian military's actions were "outrageous" and underlined "how far beyond accepted behaviour the Syrian regime has put itself". "It will be held to account for its behaviour. The UK stands ready to pursue robust action at the United Nations Security Council," he said.Read the full story here.
Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi urges restraint over downing of Turkish jet.(AA).Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi urged Turkey and Syria late on Saturday to show restraint following Syria’s downing of a Turkish warplane, his ministry said. In a telephone conversation with Turkish foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu, Salehi said he hoped the two sides would “settle the issue peacefully to maintain regional stability,” read a statement on the Iranian foreign ministry’s website. Iran has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since anti-government protests erupted across the country early last year and grew into an armed uprising. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, said in a TV interview that there was no warning before the downed jet was shot in international airspace. He said that the planes sometimes cross over borders and that the downed plane had crossed 15 minutes before it was shot down. The plane had no connection the crisis in Syria and was merely testing domestic radar system, he added. According to a Syrian military account, the aircraft was flying fast and low, just one kilometer off the Syrian coast when it was hit. Signals from both sides suggest neither want a military confrontation over the incident and the countries have started a joint search for the missing airmen. Turkey has taken care not to inflame the sensitive incident by admitting its aircraft may have entered Syrian territory, adding that it may have been unintentional. However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara “will announce its final position and take necessary steps with determination after the incident is entirely clarified.” Turkey, a NATO member, has been a vocal critic of Assad’s brutal crackdown against the unrest.Turkey’s softened tone regarding the downed plane and Iran’s urging for stability show that regional powers are not interested in any confrontation, and that Cold War politics still lingers behind the Syrian conflict. Russia and China vetoing any U.N. Security Council resolution against Assad’s regime, backed by Iran and Hezbollah, have created a Cold War climate. Washington, Ankara’s ally, not intending to widen the conflict with its former Cold War foe, Moscow, has also sounded the alarm over potential transfer of “sophisticated” weapons to Syria and that al-Qaeda can hijack the uprising happening in the country; has accumulated reasons for not taking any bold measures to topple Assad’s regime. Reports have also emerged that Iran’s antagonist, Gulf Arab states, supporting Syria’s opposition by supplying arms and money. With big powers still not reaching a consensus on Syria, violence, meanwhile, continues in the Levant country.Hmmmm......"Empty barrels sound the loudest".Read the full story here.
Palestinians push Nativity church as Heritage site, they now risk losing face at the World Heritage Committee meeting.
Palestinians push Nativity church as Heritage site, they now risk losing face at the World Heritage Committee meeting.(AA).The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is becoming the church of contention, with a bid by the Palestinians to use their position as the newest members of the U.N.’s cultural arm to obtain World Heritage status for the iconic Christian site - and perhaps boost their own campaign for legitimacy. The effort by the Palestinian Authority, like its overall efforts for global recognition for an independent Palestinian state, is drawing resistance. And it may fail at the World Heritage Committee meeting that starts Sunday. An experts committee has turned down the emergency bid to quickly confer on the Church of the Nativity, and its pilgrimage route, the status as an endangered World Heritage site, saying the application needs more work. Even custodians of the holy site, the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian churches are opposed, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.
There is concern by the United States and others that the Bethlehem holy site and the integrity of the World Heritage process risk falling victim to the politics that for decades have torn the region asunder, with the Palestinians using their foothold in the U.N. system to grab symbolic recognition of their elusive bid for statehood in a long-disputed land. Angry at Palestinian membership in UNESCO, the United States pulled its $80 million in annual dues - 22 percent of the overall budget - from the Paris-based organization after the October vote that made the Palestinians the 195th member. Bucking the bad feedback, the Palestinians refused to follow UNESCO custom and withdraw the candidacy - as the French did with their emergency bid for the Chauvet cave, with its hundreds of prehistoric drawings, when it got a negative recommendation from the experts. The Palestinians now risk losing face at the World Heritage Committee meeting from Sunday until July 6 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, when 33 sites from around the world will be considered for the coveted World Heritage status. A surprise thumbs up could feed rancor and rivalries in a volatile region, within the church itself and perhaps at the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Already, the Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO, Elias Sanbar, has denounced a “persistent campaign of rumors” at the organization. With a big measure of diplomacy, the leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian churches rebuffed the Palestinian proposal, politely reserving judgment on its reasons. “In our opinion, we do not think it opportune to deal with this request that the Basilica and its entire complex be included in the list of World Heritage sites, due to different considerations,” read a letter to Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas signed by the three leaders. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press. Among other things, a World Heritage designation raises fears that the delicate arrangement of custodianship might be disturbed. Fights among priests using broomsticks have been known to break out in the past over a perception that boundaries are being overstepped.
“When it comes to the Church of the Nativity, no one can interfere,” said Yousef Daher of the World Council of Churches in Jerusalem. “They (the Palestinian Authority) figured it wrong.” He called the Palestinian bid a “surprising request.” “A church is a church, it shouldn’t become a world heritage. It’s a sacred place and its ownership is not for anyone,” Daher said. The U.S. State Department did not hide its disapproval of the Palestinians’ emergency bid. “We are disappointed by the Palestinians’ intention to push through an emergency inscription against the recommendation of UNESCO’s own experts and without thoroughly consulting all stakeholders,” a statement said. It made clear that Washington’s objection stems from the rush job that an emergency candidacy implies and which prevents a full review including by those with a stake in the outcome. “We hope the Committee will act responsibly as good stewards of the World Heritage Convention, rather than allowing yet another U.N. forum to become a victim of politicization,” the U.S. statement said. “The site is sacred to all Christians.” The Palestinian delegation to UNESCO refused any comment until after the Saint Petersburg meeting. However, a letter circulating among delegations suggested a plot was afoot. In a letter, Ambassador Sanbar denounced a campaign of pressure against the bid from “those who do not want to see Palestine exercise its legitimate rights.” The June 11 letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, included what is purported to be a statement of support for Palestinian leader Abbas signed in type by the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox leaders, noting the Armenian was absent. That letter “gave some delegations the impression that the churches had changed their opinion and were no longer opposed to the inscription,” said one UNESCO official. “Was it designed for that purpose? I don’t know.”Hmmmm...."I'll Make you an offer you can't refuse".Read the full story here.
Egyptian Copts await Anxious the election result for the second time.(AA).Egyptians will learn the winner of a divisive presidential election Sunday after the results were delayed following victory claims by both candidates that have sparked tensions between the rival camps. The electoral commission overseeing the contest between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq said it would announce the official winner at 3:00 pm (1300 GMT). By Saturday evening, hundreds of Brotherhood supporters determined to occupy Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square until the election result was published, had been joined by others, swelling their numbers to the thousands. “Mursi, Mursi, God is the Greatest,” the protesters chanted in anticipation of a victory for their candidate.Morsi’s campaign have put him the winner by a 900,000 vote difference from the primary results they have gathered. Across the city, in the Nasr City neighborhood, thousands of Shafiq supporters held up pictures of their candidate and of military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, chanting “the people and the army are one.” “Down with the rule of the Supreme Guide,” protesters shouted, referring to the head of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Both Mursi and Shafiq have claimed victory in the election for a successor to Hosni Mubarak with tensions deepening after the electoral commission delayed announcing the official outcome. A huge security plan has been put in place in the capital to prevent unrest when the result is announced, an interior ministry official told AFP. On Friday, the SCAF warned it would deal “with utmost firmness and strength” with any attempts to harm public interests. The Brotherhood, for its part, warned against tampering with the election results, but said it had no intention of instigating violence. It has rejected a constitutional declaration by the military that strips away any gains made by the Islamist group since the popular uprising which forced Mubarak to stand down in February last year. The document dissolves the Islamist-led parliament and gives the army a broad say in government policy and control over the new constitution. It was adopted just days after a justice ministry decree granted the army powers of arrest. Those changes mean that even if Mursi wins the election, the Brotherhood is left with no parliament, no say in the constitution and a powerless president. “It’s a problem which we are trying to resolve,” one Brotherhood official said. By contrast supporters of Shafiq, 70, who was Mubarak’s last prime minister in his final desperate days, kept a low profile, although he did declare publicly on Thursday he was confident. A victory for Shafiq, who won backing in the run-off from many who decided they liked religious rule even less than a candidate drawn from the familiar military establishment, could spark protests from well-organized Islamist movements, which the army and security forces might confront on the streets. Reformist politician Mohammed ElBaradei said he had been in contact with the army and Mursi’s camp to avoid a showdown, but said he was worried that, if Shafiq ere declared winner, “we are in for a lot of instability and violence ... a major uprising.” His comments were carried by CNN on Saturday. CAIRO: As Egyptians patiently wait until 3 PM on Sunday for the official election results from the presidential run-off that ended a week ago, tensions remain high in the country over the future. On Saturday, Christian leaders, led by billionaire business man Naguib Sawiris’s Free Egyptians Party lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood, ostensibly throwing their support behind the military junta in the country. The press conference angered many activists and heightened tension between the revolutionary powers in the country and the military, which on Friday had blamed the Brotherhood, and their candidate Mohamed Morsi, for the uncertainty and political turmoil in the country. “It is really a strange time right now in Egypt and I don’t know what is going to happen,” said Brotherhood supporter Omar Khaled. He said that if military strongman and jailed dictator Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is named president, “the tension and anger could become very strong and people will not allow the military to take complete control of the country. The revolution lives on.” The announcement on Sunday afternoon will be read by Farouq Sultan, the head of the election committee. Both candidates’ camps have already announced victory and their supporters have already started celebrating.Hmmm..... The Brotherhood said it had no intention of instigating violence.Brotherhood supporter Omar Khaled: "people will not allow the military to take complete control of the country. The revolution lives on."Read the full story here.
Female Hairdresser turns tables on would be robber, chained him and fed him Viagra turning him into sex-slave.
Female Hairdresser turns tables on would be robber, chained him and fed him Viagra turning him into sex-slave.(RR).A hairdresser from the small Russian town of Meshchovsk has subdued a man who tried to rob her shop, and then raped him for three days in the utility room, Life.ru reports. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 14. The working day was coming to an end at a small hairdressers, when a man armed with a gun rushed in and demanded the day?s earnings. The frightened employees and customers agreed to fulfill his demand, but when the shop's owner, 28-year-old Olga, was handing the money to the robber, she suddenly knocked him down on the floor and then tied him up with a hairdryer cord. The 32-year-old Viktor couldn't have known that the woman was a yellow belt in karate. Olga locked the unlucky robber in the utility room and told her colleagues that she was going to call the police - but didn't do so. When everybody left home, she approached the man and ordered him to 'take of his underpants' threatening to hand him over to the police if he refuses to cooperate. After that Olga raped her hostage for three long days. She chained Viktor to the radiator with pink furry handcuffs and fed him Viagra. She eventually let the man go on Monday, March 16, saying: "Get out of my sight!" Viktor went straight to hospital as his genitals were injured, and then to the police. Olga was resentful when she was taken by the police. "What a bastard," the woman said about Viktor. "Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I've bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1.000 roubles (around $ 30) when he left." After that she wrote a notice to the police claiming the man tried to rob her shop. Both Olga and Viktor may now face prison terms. The woman could be convicted of rape, while the man of robbery. Hmmmm....I can't help wondering 'Did she give him a haircut and shave as well'?Read the full story here.
"OBAMANOMICS" - $9 Billion in ‘Stimulus’ for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs - $9.8 Million Per Job.
"OBAMANOMICS" - $9 Billion in ‘Stimulus’ for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs - $9.8 Million Per Job.(CNSNews).The Obama administration distributed $9 billion in economic “stimulus” funds to solar and wind projects in 2009-11 that created, as the end result, 910 “direct” jobs — annual operation and maintenance positions — meaning that it cost about $9.8 million to establish each of those long-term jobs. At the same time, those green energy projects also created, in the end, about 4,600 “indirect” jobs - positions indirectly supported by the annual operation and maintenance jobs — which means they cost about $1.9 million each ($9 billion divided by 4,600). Combined (910 + 4,600 = 5,510), the direct and indirect jobs cost, on average, about $1.63 million each to produce. As explained in a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (”economic stimulus”) of 2009 included Section 1603, a grant program run through the Treasury Department. The 1603 program offered “renewable energy project developers a one-time cash payment” to reduce the need for green energy companies “to secure tax equity partners” and also help them to achieve ” ‘the near term goal of creating and retaining jobs’ in the renewable energy sector.” For calculating the number of green jobs created, the EREL did not actually count the people working at the facilities but instead relied upon Jobs and Economic Development Impact, or JEDI, computer models.The report explains that the program provided “approximately $9.0 billion in funds to over 23,000 PV and large wind projects.” PV stands for photovoltaic, which is the method by which solar power is turned into electricity, usually with solar panels or solar cells. There were specifically 197 large wind projects and 23,692 PV projects that received funds, according to the EREL report. In its summary, the EREL report states that for the 2009-11 timeframe there were an average 52,000-75,000 “direct and indirect jobs per year” created for the construction, installation, and related work on the wind and solar projects. These were temporary jobs, construction and installation work at the facilities, not long-term positions at the green energy sites. The number of these “indirect,” temporary construction jobs averaged between 43,000 and 66,000, according to the EREL, and the “direct” jobs “supporting the design, development, and construction/installation of systems” averaged out to about 9,400 per year. The 910 jobs are “directly supporting the O and M of the systems” and that number “is significantly less than the number of [indirect] jobs supporting manufacturing and associated supply chains.”The report further clarifies that from that number there are 910 direct jobs and 4,200-4,600 indirect jobs per year. Through the grant program, $9 billion was spent to, in the end, establish 910 jobs that will last upwards of 30 years. That means those jobs cost, in the end, about $9.8 million to create. Add in the indirect jobs — high estimate of 4,600 — and there are 5,510 total jobs (direct and indirect). Starting with the $9 billion in grants, the end result to establish 5,510 jobs averages out to $1.63 million per job.Read the full story here.
Obama 'buddy' Hugo Chavez Supplied Iran With F-16 To Prepare For Possible Strike.(Haaretz).By Barak Ravid.Venezuela has transferred at least one F-16 fighter to Iran in an attempt to help it calibrate its air defenses, in preparation for a possible Israeli or U.S. strike on its nuclear facilities, reports Spanish newspaper ABC. ABC, one of the three largest Spanish dailies and aligned with the ruling rightist party, wrote that the transfer, in 2006, was supervised by one of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's closest aides. The paper's Washington correspondent, Emili J. Blasco, said the story was based on both sources in Venezuela's air force and classified documents, following a tip- off by a non-Western intelligence agency. The timing of the story's publication was probably timed to coincide with the current visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Venezuela, which began Friday. Ahmadinejad told Chavez that Iran will always support Chavez's Venezuela: "We appreciate your opposition to imperialism," he said. Chavez reportedly told his guest that "we are aware of the threats on Iranian sovereignty and independence. You can count on our support. I will support Ahmadinejad under all circumstances, since our ties with Iran are a holy issue for us."
In 1983, years before Chavez came to power, Venezuela purchased 23 F-16 fighter jets. At least half of these have been transferred in recent years to other states, in breach of the 1983 agreement with the U.S.At least one F-16 was transferred to Iran in 2006. According to the report, the jet was disassembled and packed in several sealed and unmarked wooden containers. These were loaded on a Boeing 707 Venezuelan air force plane that took off from the El Libertador Air Base, stopping in Brazil and Algeria before landing in Tehran, where it was reassembled. Venezuelan pilots instructed Iranian pilots and technicians as to the jet's capabilities. According to the news report, the F-16 was given to Iran so it could test its antiaircraft radar systems and become familiar with its capabilities, in preparation for a possible strike. The trial flights in Iran were used to calibrate the Iranian air defense systems. Iranian officers also studied the speed of the F-16 on the radar screens.Meanwhile, Iran's deputy chief of staff, Gen. Mostafa Izadi, said yesterday that an Israeli strike agains Iranian nuclear facilities would lead to the "collapse of the Zionist regime." Izadi said that Israel "cannot harm Iran. If the Zionists attack us, they will be the ones annihilated in the end."Hmmmmm.......Unknown to them, they are heading for eternal judgment, they think they are coming to make war against God, but they are being gathered for judgment.~ Isaiah 13:6-8.Read the full story here.