31 Dec 2011
Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit.
The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.
The project's organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.
Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.
Hobbyists have already put a few small satellites into orbit - usually only for brief periods of time - but tracking the devices has proved difficult for low-budget projects.
The hacker activist Nick Farr first put out calls for people to contribute to the project in August. He said that the increasing threat of internet censorship had motivated the project.
"The first goal is an uncensorable internet in space. Let's take the internet out of the control of terrestrial entities," Mr Farr said.Beyond balloons
He cited the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in the United States as an example of the kind of threat facing online freedom. If passed, the act would allow for some sites to be blocked on copyright grounds.
Whereas past space missions have almost all been the preserve of national agencies and large companies, amateur enthusiasts have in recent years sent a few payloads into orbit.
These devices have mostly been sent up using balloons and are tricky to pinpoint precisely from the ground.
According to Armin Bauer, a 26-year-old enthusiast from Stuttgart who is working on the Hackerspace Global Grid, this is largely due to lack of funding.
"Professionals can track satellites from ground stations, but usually they don't have to because, if you pay a large sum [to send the satellite up on a rocket], they put it in an exact place," Mr Bauer said.
In the long run, a wider hacker aerospace project aims to put an amateur astronaut onto the moon within the next 23 years.
"It is very ambitious so we said let's try something smaller first," Mr Bauer added.Ground network
The Berlin conference was the latest meeting held by the Chaos Computer Club, a decades-old German hacker group that has proven influential not only for those interested in exploiting or improving computer security, but also for people who enjoy tinkering with hardware and software.
When Mr Farr called for contributions to Hackerspace, Mr Bauer and others decided to concentrate on the communications infrastructure aspect of the scheme.
He and his teammates are working on their part of the project together withConstellation, an existing German aerospace research initiative that mostly consists of interlinked student projects.
In the open-source spirit of Hackerspace, Mr Bauer and some friends came up with the idea of a distributed network of low-cost ground stations that can be bought or built by individuals.
Used together in a global network, these stations would be able to pinpoint satellites at any given time, while also making it easier and more reliable for fast-moving satellites to send data back to earth.
"It's kind of a reverse GPS," Mr Bauer said.
"GPS uses satellites to calculate where we are, and this tells us where the satellites are. We would use GPS co-ordinates but also improve on them by using fixed sites in precisely-known locations."
Mr Bauer said the team would have three prototype ground stations in place in the first half of 2012, and hoped to give away some working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress in a year's time.
They would also sell the devices on a non-profit basis.
"We're aiming for 100 euros (£84) per ground station. That is the amount people tell us they would be willing to spend," Mr Bauer added.Complications
Experts say the satellite project is feasible, but could be restricted by technical limitations.
"Low earth orbit satellites such as have been launched by amateurs so far, do not stay in a single place but rather orbit, typically every 90 minutes," said Prof Alan Woodward from the computing department at the University of Surrey.
"That's not to say they can't be used for communications but obviously only for the relatively brief periods that they are in your view. It's difficult to see how such satellites could be used as a viable communications grid other than in bursts, even if there were a significant number in your constellation."
This problem could be avoided if the hackers managed to put their satellites into geostationary orbits above the equator. This would allow them to match the earth's movement and appear to be motionless when viewed from the ground. However, this would pose a different problem.
"It means that they are so far from earth that there is an appreciable delay on any signal, which can interfere with certain Internet applications," Prof Woodward said.
"There is also an interesting legal dimension in that outer space is not governed by the countries over which it floats. So, theoretically it could be a place for illegal communication to thrive. However, the corollary is that any country could take the law into their own hands and disable the satellites."Need for knowledge
Apart from the ground station scheme, other aspects of the Hackerspace project that are being worked on include the development of new electronics that can survive in space, and the launch vehicles that can get them there in the first place.
According to Mr Farr, the "only motive" of the Hackerspace Global Grid is knowledge.
He said many participants are frustrated that no person has been sent past low Earth orbit since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
"This [hacker] community can put humanity back in space in a meaningful way," Farr said.
"The goal is to get back to where we were in the 1970s. Hackers find it offensive that we've had the technology since before many of us were born and we haven't gone back."
Asked whether some might see negative security implications in the idea of establishing a hacker presence in space, Farr said the only downside would be that "people might not be able to censor your internet".
"Hackers are about open information," Farr added. "We believe communication is a human right." Source
By David Meyer
30 Dec 2011
I raise the question because of the OTHER events that happened this year...
greenland sun rises two days early: Source
Compasses thrown off: first the google search: Source
then watch the videos: Source
mass animal deaths: Source
new sign in the zodiac due to change in earths orientation: Source
Changing runways to meet the new north is rare: Source
several new comets and meteor showers: Source
earthquake uptick and weather changes: Source
Ministers yesterday said they were "alarmed" by the figures and warned that millions of British workers facing a "poorer future" when they retire.
Fewer than four in 10 Britons are saving into a private pension, the lowest level for a decade, according to official figures.
The new analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions found that the number of working-age people saving into a private pension fell from 46 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent last year.
An estimated 11.6 million people currently have private pensions, meaning that millions fewer people are saving for one than a decade ago.
Steve Webb, the Pensions minister, said: “With fewer people saving into a pension, lower annuity rates and an average of 23 years in retirement, many people could face a poorer future in their later lives.” He said that the “alarming” figures underscore why the Government’s pension reforms will be "vital”. From next year, companies will be forced to start automatically enrolling their staff in workplace pension schemes. This will give millions of people access to a pension for the first time.
The proportion of men saving for their retirement has fallen from 52 per cent to 39 per cent over the last decade. Among people aged between 20 and 39, pension provision fell from 43 per cent to 31 per cent. Mr Webb said: “We simply must put a stop this trend and get people saving. Automatic enrolment, beginning for the largest employers later this year, will get millions of people saving, many for the first time.” The Department for Work and Pensions found that the highest pension provision in the UK is in the South East, where 43 per cent of people are saving into a private retirement fund, and Scotland, where 42 per cent are.
The lowest pension participation is in Northern Ireland, London and West Midlands, where around a third of people save into a pension. Experts have warned that the “golden age” of pensions is over, and that millions of Britons will be left with measly retirement pots.
Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which represents the UK’s pensions industry, said earlier this month that the UK “simply isn’t salting enough away for its old age”.
Mark Hyde Harrison, the NAPF’s chairman, recently said that the pension industry has declined markedly. He argued that defined contribution pension schemes, into which about five million Britons save, were structured in an "inefficient and wasteful" way. Mr Hyde Harrison said: “The collective view is that our golden age of pensions is gone, and we are on course for potential failure.
The Government recently announced changes to the pensions system to make it easier for people who have moved house or job to be “re-united” with small workplace pension pots that they might have lost trace of. Mr Webb said that around £3 billion of unclaimed pensions are sitting in UK pension schemes. Source
Angelo: We would like to believe that these statistics also reflect a percentage of those who have got the message of the completely corrupt nature of the financial markets and therefore the precarious nature of "pensions" which we have often heard misappropriated and as described above, mismanaged. We accept that the the obvious reasons for the main shift... For similar reasons, it's the putrid state of the economy stupid!
Submitted by Tyler Durden Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt Market
New Asian Union Means The Fall Of The Dollar
One of the most frustrating issues to haunt the halls of alternative economic analysis is the threat of misrepresentative terminology. For instance, when the U.S. government decided to back the private Federal Reserve in lowering the interest rates on lending windows to European banks last month, they did not call this a bailout, even though that’s exactly what it was. They did not call it quantitative easing, or fiat printing, or a hyperinflationary landmine; rarely does bureaucracy ever apply honest terminology to their subversive activities. False terminology is the bane of every honest analyst, because in order for them to educate and awaken those who are unaware of the truth, they must first battle through the daunting muck of the general public’s horrifically improper perceptions and vocabulary.
The chain of financial events taking place over the past decade in Asia have been correspondingly mislabeled and misunderstood. What some economists see as total collapse is actually a new and decidedly prophetic (or engineered) transition. What some naively see as the “natural” progression of globalism, is actually a distinctly deliberate program of centralization meant to further the goals of world economic and political totalitarianism. Asia, and most especially China, is a Petri dish for elitist psychopaths. What we see as suffocating collectivism in this region of the world today is the exact social schematic intended for the West tomorrow. Call it whatever you will, but on the other side of the Pacific, like the eerie smile of a sinister clown, sits fabricated fate.
The genius of globalization is not in how it “works”, but in how it DOESN’T work. Globalization chains mismatched cultures together through circumstance and throws us into the deep end of the pool. If one sinks, we all sink, enslaving us with interdependency. The question one must ask, then, is if all sovereign economies are currently tied together in the same way? The answer is no, not anymore. Certain countries have moved to insulate themselves from the domino effect of debt implosion, one of the primary examples being China. Source/full story
Police in Cairo have today raided 17 civil society organizations as the country’s military rulers seek to find out exactly who has been funding the Egyptian revolution. As several of the pro-democracy and human rights groups were at the forefront of the revolution that swept through the country last January, Egyptian authorities have become increasingly interested in the foreign funding many of these groups receive. At least three of the human rights groups targeted in Thursday’s operation, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House, and the International Republican Institute (IRI), are based in the US.
"Security forces who said they were from the public prosecutor are raiding our offices as we speak. They are grabbing all the papers and laptops as well," said one person working at NDI, who gave her name as Rawda, told Reuters.
The Washington-based IRI, which has served as an election monitor in Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary elections, reacted harshly to the raids.
“IRI has been working with Egyptians since 2005; it is ironic that even during the Mubarak era IRI was not subjected to such aggressive action,” a statement by the group read, Al Arabiya reports. Source/full story
Also, Shirin Shafaie joins RT - a researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and also a representative of the Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. Source
Today was the first day that we got some good action in the gold price. It will be very interesting to see if sellers appear as they have been during Asian hours. Just because the manipulators use the illiquid Asian hours to paint gold do not assume it reveals the nationality of the selling. The gold market as we all know on a day to day basis is totally rigged. In fact, find a market anywhere that is not bullied by some young buck who considers himself the Master of the Universe.
Gold is coming up on a tight group of four very major support areas that will hold the price from which the next advance is to take place. We have reached a point in terms of the depth of despair in the gold community that was never reached in the 1968 to 1980 reactions.
That is all this is. Just another reaction in a Gold price headed for Alf’s $4500.
I imagine when gold reacts off $2100 the stampede to the bath tub with their razor blades will be on again. Gold has in no way topped. The gold reaction per day in terms of percentage was nothing whatsoever. We have in no way reached the level called “thrilling with bullish bliss” common of a top. Every dollar we have won has been paid for in blood. All the short of gold wunderkin Masters of the Universe will have to be destroyed before gold is fully priced. The community, if you can still call it that, is in a psychotic episode that is soon to end. Source
Experts discuss the lessons learned during the financial crisis and the importance of federal economic oversight in addition to regulatory reform. This meeting was part of the McKinsey Executive Roundtable series in International Economics.
Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counselor and Director of the Research Department, International Monetary Fund
Richard H. Clarida, C. Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Columbia University; Global Strategic Adviser, PIMCO; Former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody's Analytics Source
29 Dec 2011
Hacktivists from Anonymous have allegedly gained access to thousands of passwords and credit card numbers from Specialforces.com, an online military and law enforcement equipment retailer.
Fourteen thousand passwords and 8,000 credit card numbers were stolen several months ago and posted online right after Christmas, a statement purportedly by Anonymous on pastebin.com explained.
A Twitter account associated with secretive Anonymous has also posted a screenshot of an email from Specialforces.com admitting to the data breach. The email, dated December 15, advises customers to block all the passwords as a security precaution.
The alleged hackers explained they were trying to punish SpecialForces.com for selling equipment used against civilians. “You get a kick out of pepper-spraying peaceful protesters in public parks?
You have a fetish for putting people in plastic zip ties?” they wrote.
You have a fetish for putting people in plastic zip ties?” they wrote.
The attack on SpecialForces.com is a part of so called LulzXmas – a weeklong hacking campaign by Anonymous against sites related to global finance, militaries and governments, PC World explains.
Anonymous were thought to have hacked Stratfor Global Intelligence, a think tank known as the “shadow CIA”, on Christmas Eve. Almost 10,000 unexpired credit card numbers were published and money supposedly spent for charity. Later, cyber activists associated with Anonymous denied executing the operation.
“The Stratfor hack is not the work of Anonymous”, they wrote on pastebin.com.
Anonymous, famous for politically-motivated attacks over the internet, has already denied some of the hacks attributed to them. For example, a threat to knock down Facebook or a data theft from the Sony Playstation Network.
However, after the Specialforces.com hack they vowed to continue to have themselves “a merry LulzXmas at the expense of capitalist pigs, corrupt public officials and all those third parties who cater to the continued oligarchic elite worldwide.” Source
Proof that the government is poisoning the population. With their stated goal to reduce population worldwide, the eugenicists who run the world government state have resorted to any means to reduce fertility, including the outrageous measures identified in the 1969 Planned Parenthood - World Population memo written by Frederick S. Jaffe.
That memo proposes reducing U.S. fertility via postponement of marriage, discouraging tax incentives for parents, encouraged increases in homosexuality, adding fertility control agents to the water supply and encouraging women to work, as well as measures including forced abortion and payments to encourage abortions. Many of these draconian calls for involuntary fertility control reflect some of the most controversial entries in the 1977 Ecoscience volume written by current White House science advisor John P. Holdren & population bomb scare-monger Paul Ehrlich.
From bisphenol-a, to GMO crops, fluoride in water and countless other toxins slow killing modern society, the elite controllers have intentionally triggered cancer, disease and sterility while trying to mask their attack through "slow" ambient poisons that gradually drag down the masses as they eat factory-produced foods, drink public water and are bombarded by packaging products of all kinds. Source
Libya is heading into the new year as a completely new country - with new leaders and new hopes. But as the immediate post-revolutionary excitement fades - the different factions of the former rebels are turning on each other - in what may become a stark competition for power. Source
London brokers shrinking, boycotting JP Morgan, boycotting the financial system and command and control credit derivatives. In the second half of the show, Max talks to JS Kim of SmartknowledgeU about the MF Global fraud and gold and silver. Source
UK prepares for euro collapse with plan to block rush of cash that would push pound to unsustainable levels
Ministers are considering draconian plans to prevent a flood of money and people heading to Britain from Europe if the ailing single currency collapses.
Experts fear that the collapse of the euro would lead to the widespread movement of both people and money – with potentially damaging consequences for Britain if left unchecked.
The Treasury has drawn up contingency plans to prevent investors shifting huge sums of cash from the Eurozone to Britain – amid fears it could lead to a surge in the value of the Pound.
And it emerged yesterday that Britain’s borders could also be temporarily sealed against economic refugees from Europe if the collapse of the euro sparks widespread civil unrest on the Continent.Officials insist the plans are being drawn up as a precaution – and do not indicate that the Government believes the collapse of the single currency is imminent.
The Foreign Office is also working on contingency plans for the emergency evacuation of thousands of British expats and holidaymakers from stricken countries.
Despite repeated attempts by Eurozone countries to prop up the single currency, many experts believe the 17-member currency cannot survive the coming year intact.
British officials believe that one or more countries, such as Greece and Portugal, could be forced to drop out of the single currency in order to tackle the dire problems in their own economies.
Ministers fear the break-up of the euro could have a devastating effect on Britain, dashing hopes of a recovery and sending the economy back into recession.
Anecdotal reports suggest some wealthy investors and individuals from countries like Greece are already moving money to the UK and buying property in London.
The Treasury, which has a central role in drawing up contingency plans for the euro’s collapse, believes a break-up could send international investors scrambling for a safe haven.
The transfer of huge sums of money to London could send Sterling soaring – threatening to crush the fragile recovery in exports which is central to the Coalition’s plans to ‘rebalance’ Britain’s economy.
Earlier this year the Swiss government was forced to intervene after nervous investors transferred cash there from the Eurozone, sending the value of the Swiss Franc to unsustainable levels.
The Swiss authorities moved to peg the currency to the euro.
The Treasury is planning a different approach which will impose strict limits on the amount of money that can be moved in or out of the UK.
Treasury officials are also drawing up plans to deal with the impact on Britain’ s major banks, which have a combined exposure of £170 billion to the troubled economies of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
Elsewhere in Whitehall there are fears that a collapse of the euro could lead to widespread civil unrest – and even spark a flood of economic refugees.
Some countries are expected to ground all flights and effectively seal their borders to prevent the flight of people and money. British officials are said to be considering contingency plans to seal the UK’s borders in a worst-case scenario – although any attempt to prevent the free movement of people is illegal under EU law.
The Ministry of Defence has also been put on standby to help rescue British nationals stranded in countries that are plunged into chaos.
Other EU countries are also drawing up contingency plans.
Earlier this month reports in Portugal said the country’s borders would be temporarily sealed if the country drops out of the single currency.
Strict limits would be imposed on cash withdrawals and euro notes would be stamped with an escudo mark until the new currency was printed and distributed. Source