The greatest site in all the land!

Archive for November, 2012

Thousands Revolt in China and Smash Police Cars after Traffic Checkpoint Accident

By JG Vibes
November 20, 2012

China has one of the most oppressive governments in the world, although they have had slightly looser economic policies in recent years, the police state is still a very serious problem in many people’s lives.

To actually get people to conform to such a brutal and oppressive lifestyle the regime requires very complicated propaganda, and even use giant firewalls to block entire sections of the internet from people within their borders.

However, in the past few years since the people of China have been getting a bit more economic freedom, there has been a strong culture of defiance growing, with many young people rising up and demanding to be treated like human beings.

According to CBS News:

‘Thousands of residents protested in a southeastern Chinese city after a traffic accident, smashing police cars and overturning three police vans, police and residents said.

The reason for the protest in Fuan city in Fujian province was unclear. Police said it was instigated by “a handful of lawless people.” One resident said people became angry because police and paramedics took nearly an hour to arrive to help the injured, while a Hong Kong-based human rights group said it was to do with corruption.”

From all accounts it seems that the local police had some sort of racket going on, and were stopping citizens to make sure all of their papers were up to code.

It has even been suggested that these police were forcing fake registrations on the people to collect extra loot on top of their already astronomical pay from the state.

When a car tried to run away from one of these checkpoints to protect themselves from the police, they were chased until a crash occurred.

After the crash onlookers gathered and many called for an ambulance, but for over an hour there was no response.

The article from CBS also said that:

“Residents said police were stopping cars and checking people for driving after drinking on Saturday evening when the accident happened on a main road in Fuan.

Wanting to avoid being tested, a driver in a sedan accelerated away and police started chasing the car, said a resident, who would give only his surname, Lin. About three motorcycles were hit during the chase, said Lin, adding he wasn’t sure who hit them.

“About 10,000 to 20,000 onlookers became angry because police officers and paramedics took nearly one hour to arrive,” said Lin.

He estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 people clashed with police and overturned three police vans.

Photos carried by online southeastern news sites showed hundreds of people swarming across a wide street with two vans thrown onto their sides. In one photo, three people stood on top of an overturned van.”

The Chinese government has since went into damage control and put out various pieces of propaganda to discredit the protesters.

What has obviously happened here is that the onlookers saw that one of their neighbors was being attacked by the state, and they rushed to that neighbors defense.

In areas as repressive as China the tempers of the people are always just below the boiling point, waiting for something like this to happen at any moment.

Many people felt that places like China were exempt from these kinds of protests, but they are happening more and more as the philosophy of freedom continues to reach more people worldwide.

I am not advocating or celebrating the destruction of property, that is not the kind of action that I think will bring positive change.

At the same time I do not condemn these people because it seems like fair retribution for the pain that they have endured at the hands of this regime and the wealth that they have had extracted from them.

A peaceful changing of ideas is the true path to freedom, not smashing up cars.  However, it is interesting to see the police state in China facing some resistance.


Read more articles by this author HERE.

J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio. 

You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website


California Gets Face Scanners to Spy on Everyone at Once

November 20, 2012

Facial recognition technology is expected to soon be the norm among law enforcement.

In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring.

Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud.

It’s done with state of the art facial recognition technology, and in Southern California it’s already happening.

At least one law enforcement agency in San Diego is currently using software developed by FaceFirst, a division of nearby Camarillo, California’s Airborne Biometrics Group.

It can positively identify anyone, as long as physical data about a person’s facial features is stored somewhere the police can access.

Though that pool of potential matches could include millions, the company says that by using the “best available facial recognition algorithms” they can scour that data set in a fraction of a second in order to send authorities all known intelligence about anyone who enters a camera’s field of vision.

“Live high definition video enables FaceFirst to track and isolate the face of every person on every camera simultaneously,” the company claims on their website.

“Up to 4 million comparisons per second, per clustered server” — that’s how many matches a single computer wired to the FaceFirst system can consider in a single breath as images captured by cameras, cell phones and surveillance devices from as far as 100 feet away are fed into algorithms designed to pick out terrorists and persons of interest.

In a single setting, an unlimited amount of cameras can record the movements of a crowd at 30-frames-per-second, pick out each and every face and then feed it into an equation that, ideally, finds the bad guys.

“I realized that with the right technology, we could have saved lives,” Joseph Rosenkrantz, president and CEO of FaceFirst, tells the Los Angeles Times. He says he dreamed up the project after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and has since invested years into perfecting it. Not yet mastered, however, is how to make sure innocent bystanders and anyone who wishes to stay anonymous is left alone as he expands an Orwellian infrastructure that allows anyone with the right credentials to comb through a crowd and learn facts and figures of any individual within the scope of a surveillance cam.

Speaking to reporters with Find Biometrics in August, Rosenkrantz said that the system is already in place in Panama, where computers there process nearly 20 million comparisons per second “using a FaceFirst matching cluster with a large number of live surveillance cameras on a scale beyond any other system ever implemented.”

“Within just a couple of seconds whoever needs to know receives an email containing all the evidence and stats about the person identified along with the video clip of them passing the camera so they may be approached then and there,” he says.

Earlier this year, RT broke the story of TrapWire, a surveillance system marketed by global intelligence firm Stratfor to law enforcement agencies across the world.

Through investigation of TrapWire and its parent companies, it became apparent that surveillance devices linked to the system could be monitored from remote fusion centers with access to an endless array of cameras and databases.

According to FaceFirst’s developers, their technology doesn’t need a second person to scour video feeds to find suspected terrorists.

Complex algorithms instead make finding a match the job of a computer and positive IDs can be returned in under a second.

“It doesn’t do me any good if I’m able to look at a face with a camera and five minutes later, there’s a match,” says Paul Benne, a security consultant who tells the Los Angeles Times that he recommended his clients use FaceFirst in high-security areas. “By then, the person’s gone.”

Rosenkrantz admits in his interview to the use of the technology at Panama’s Tocumen airport, as well as other border crossings along the perimeter of the country.

The deployment of FaceFirst in the United States still begs questions concerning the relationship between security and privacy, though, and is likely to remain an issue of contention until agencies in San Diego and elsewhere explain what exactly they’re up to.

According to a report in Southern California’s News 10 published this week, an unnamed law enforcement agency in San Diego County has been testing a handheld version of FacecFirst for about five months now.

On the record, though, no agency in the US has been forthcoming with why it’s using those specific facial scanners or even confirming it’s in their arsenal of ever expanding surveillance tools.

“If they spot someone who doesn’t have identification, they can take their picture with their phone and immediately get a result,” Joseph Saad, business development director for FaceFirst, tells News 10.

Saad says his company predicts that “facial recognition will be in every day society” soon, perhaps before many Americans want to admit.

According to filings available online, Airborne Biometrics was already cleared by the Government Services Administration (GSA) last year to have FaceFirst sold to any federal agency in the country.

“The ability to apply our technology for the advancement of our country has always been my number one goal,”Rosenkrantz said in April 2011 when Airborne was awarded an IT 70 Schedule contract for FaceFirst by the GSA.

Because that contact has since been signed with Uncle Sam, Rosenfratz and company can see that goal through, at least until its up for renewal in 2017, through a deal that lets them sell FaceFirst to “all federal agencies and other specified activities and agencies.”

In a demonstration video on the FaceFirst website, the company touts their product as being a great addition to any acquisition device, specifically suggesting that clients consider integrating the software with tactical robots, mobile phones and surveillance drones.

Coincidently, just last month the sheriff of Alameda County, California asked the US Homeland Security department for as much as $100,000 in order to have an unmanned aerial vehicles — a drone — in his agency’s arsenal for the sake of protecting the security of his citizens.

Weeks earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told congressional lawmakers that she endorses the idea of sending drones to California to aid with law enforcement efforts.

Pleads like the one out of Alameda have been occurring across the country in a rate considered alarming by privacy advocates, but rarely has that opposition brought into the spotlight the scary surveillance capabilities that any police agency may soon have in their hands.

While the issues of Fourth Amendment erosions and privacy violations have indeed emerged, the actual abilities of surveillance devices — snagging faces from large crowds in milliseconds and sending info to the authorities — have not.

“Facial characteristics become biometric templates compared against multiple watch lists created from customer photos or massive criminal databases,” the promo explains.

Those lists can be custom created by law enforcement agencies to track a ‘most-wanted’ roster of suspected criminals but can pull from databases where any biometric information is already available or can be inputted on the fly.

Discovery of San Diego’s use of FaceFirst comes just two months after the FBI announced it had already rolled out a program to upgrade its current Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that keeps track of citizens with criminal records across the country with one that relies on face recognition.

The FBI expects the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will include as many as 14 million photographs by the time the project is in full swing in just two years, relying on digital images already stored on federal databases, such as the ones managed by state motor vehicle departments.

In the state of New Jersey, the DMV has recently told drivers that they are not allowed to smile for driver’s license photos because it could cause complications in terms of logging biometric data in their own facial recognition system.

The FBI said that, by rolling out NGI, they “will be able to provide services to enhance interoperability between stakeholders at all levels of government, including local, state, federal and international partners.” The unnamed San Diego law enforcement agency already with the ability to match millions of faces in a single moment may be relying right now on that connectedness to keep track of anyone they wish.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times last week, 70 percent of biometrics spending comes from law enforcement, the military and the government.

The private sector is scooping up that scanning power too, though, with FaceFirst having already cut deals with Samsung to provide them with technology for use in closed-circuit surveillance cameras marketed to businesses.

But while the Federal Trade Commission has informed companies and corporations that they need to be more transparent about how personally identifiable information is stored on their servers, the Times notes that no guidelines like that exist for law enforcement agencies, who may very well sit on mounds of intelligence without good reason.

“You don’t need a warrant to use this technology on someone,” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) said last year during a congressional hearing about the use of expanding surveillance technology. “You might not even need to have a reasonable suspicion that they’re involved in a crime.”

Aside from FaceFirst, law enforcement is using that excuse to pull data on persons — of interest and otherwise — even when their faces are protected.

As RT reported recently, an ever-growing number of police departments are investing in license plate scanners that let officers identify as many as 10,000 vehicles and their registered owners in a single shift.

Much like how FaceFirst can pick out dozens of suspects from a single photograph and send data to custom servers, those license plate readers can pick up the precise location of persons never suspected of a crime, making rampant invasion of privacy just collateral damage as the surveillance monster state grows larger

“The cameras will catch things you didn’t see, cars you wouldn’t have run, and the beauty of it is that it runs everything,” Lieutenant Christopher Morgon of the Long Beach, California Police Department says in promotional material for an automated license plate recognition device manufactured by PIPS Technology.

The Federal Trade Commission has offered the security industry best practice suggestions about how long to hold onto data picked up by surveillance cameras, but safeguards for law enforcement agencies are largely absent.

In the case of the scanners used to find license plates on the streets of Southern California, Jon Campbell of LA Weekly writes, “The location and photo information is uploaded to a central database, then retained for years — in case it’s needed for a subsequent investigation.”

Rosenkrantz says FaceFirst is experiencing triple digit growth in 2012 and expects sustainable expansion to continue throughout the next five years. By 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration expects that as many as 30,000 drones will be operating in US airspace.

Israel…Butchers Of Gaza

See Url:








Britain is set to face 100 years of wet weather due to climate change, experts have warned 

Britain is set to face 100 years of wet weather due to climate change, experts have warned

Wednesday November 21,2012

By Nathan Rao


TORRENTIAL rain and fierce winds will wreak havoc across Britain over the next three days, forecasters warned last night.

Swaths of the country are on flood alert with as much as four inches of rain likely to fall in just 48 hours.

Already flood-hit regions face a massive deluge in a matter of hours while gale-force gusts of 80mph are expected to cause structural damage and travel misery.

The Met Office yesterday issued a rare four-day severe weather warning for rain in the South-west and North-west, expected to get the worst of the deluge.

However the entire country is braced for a “very wet and windy” few days with no let up at least until the weekend.

The dire prediction comes as scientists warn flooding could become more common over the next 100 years as the UK’s rainfall becomes more extreme.

German researchers at the Institute of Physics’ journal Environmental Research Letters have warned climate change could trigger “extreme rainfall patterns” with the greatest impact in western regions.

The warning comes as the UK braves hurricane-force winds and up to two weeks’ worth of rain in just 24 hours.

Scores of families have been forced from their homes with firefighters on Tayside, Scotland, dealt with a “major incident” after a river burst its banks.

Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said: “We are looking at a very slight lull on Wednesday before the wind and rain charge back with a vengeance on Thursday.

“Another low pressure system is due to take over bringing back heavy rain for a good swathe of the country with winds of up to 80mph.

“Areas that have not already flooded should be aware that this next hammering is likely to trigger some by the end of Friday.”

The Met Office said some regions could see more than an inch of rain today (Wednesday) with up to three more tomorrow.

Forecaster Sarah Holland said: “It is going to be a very unsettled week with rain raising the risk of flooding and some quite string gusts on the way.

“It is possible we will see some disruption to transport, and in some places the rain is going to be quite slow-moving leading to 40mm [1.5 inches] or more falling.

“The tomorrow there is the potential for another 60mm [2.3inches] at the top end of the scale tomorrow.

Coldest winter in 100 years on way
Don’t be caught over boiler repair bills this winter
UK faces icy blast as Sandy blows in

“The reason for this is another band of low pressure from the Atlantic making for very wet and windy weather.”

Netweather forecaster Paul Michaelwaite said: “Staying generally unsettled for the rest of the week, with further wind and rain moving in across the north and west on Thursday, then spreading southeast across other areas on Friday before clearing in the evening to drier conditions from the west.”

The Environment Agency last night issued 24 flood alerts and four more serious flood warnings covering most of the South-west, central and eastern regions.

It warned people in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire to be extra vigilant.

There are also warnings for the public to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.

A spokesman said: “Successive bands of heavy and slow moving rain could lead to flooding in the coming days across parts of central, southern and south west England and south east Wales.

“Heavy rain falling on already saturated ground could lead to river and groundwater flooding, and strong winds could worsen surface water flooding, as wind-blown leaves and debris block water drainage.

“Environment Agency teams have been mobilised across the country to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels. These teams work around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding, and will be out in force over the coming days.”

The study, by the German scientists in the Institute of Physics’ journal Environmental Research Letters, also found the pattern of rainfall around the UK is set to shift.

It claims heavy rain which usually arrives late summer in south-eastern regions will gradually move to autumn, while north-western regions will see rainfall in November rather than December.

Lead author of the study Anne Schindler said: “We looked at precipitation rates and the results show a shift from season to season.

“This brings the higher risk of flooding because heavy rain will coincide with when rivers are at full capacity and ground moisture is at a peak.

“It follows that there could be more extreme patterns of rainfall and these could be caused by other factors, although this needs further investigation.”

Britain’s extreme weather this year is set to continue with some experts predicting the coldest winter for 100 years.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said much of Britain can also expected the snowiest winter for a century.




A severe bout of cold weather looks to be heading Britain's way A severe bout of cold weather looks to be heading Britain’s way

Saturday November 17,2012

By Nathan Rao

BRITAIN will grind to a halt within weeks as the most savage freeze for a century begins.

Temperatures will fall as low as minus 20C in rural areas, forecasters warned last night, while heavy snow and “potentially dangerous” blizzards will close roads and cripple rail networks.

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “We are looking at some of the coldest and snowiest conditions in at least 100 years. This is most likely to occur in the December to January period with the potential for widespread major snowfall across the country.

“Parts of the North, Scotland and eastern England are likely to experience a run of well below average temperatures, which will include some potentially dangerous blizzard conditions at times.”

He warned the South faces a bout of “unusually heavy snowfall” in December.

Leon Brown, meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said snow could arrive as early as next weekend, with temperatures falling to minus 5C in the North.

There is a 30 per cent risk of some snow over lower levels in Scotland on Friday

Leon Brown, meteorologist for The Weather Channel,


“There is a 30 per cent risk of some snow over lower levels in Scotland on Friday.”


Don’t be caught cold over boiler repair bills this winter
UK faces icy blast as Sandy blows in snow

But before the big freeze arrives the problem will be torrential rain and strong winds gusting up to 80mph. The Met Office last night issued severe weather warnings for heavy rain in parts of the North-west on Monday and Tuesday.


Forecaster Dan Williams said: “Low pressure is going to bring rain and some strong gusts to parts of the country on Sunday night and into Monday. It is going to be a very unsettled week after that with bursts of rain and strong gusts throughout. Apart from Sunday, the weather will be very changeable so that is when to make the most of it.”

Jonathan Powell, of Vantage Weather Services, warned: “The ground is already saturated from the wet summer, so flooding is a definite risk next week.” He said the worst of the big freeze would hit in January and February when winter delivers a sting in the tail.

“We are looking at January and early February for winter to really bare its teeth. Extreme low temperatures in rural areas, especially in the North where minus 20C is not unlikely, with the possibility of significant snow events.”

Britain’s “roller coaster” November has so far seen freezing temperatures followed by almost spring-like conditions. Temperatures rose by 22C in just 24 hours as milder weather triggered heavy rain in Scotland and the North.

Temperatures topped 61F (16C) in England, while parts of Scotland enjoyed their warmest November day since 2001. Just a day earlier Aboyne in Aberdeenshire shivered in minus 6.1C.

CO2 Hits New High; World Could Warm 7°F by 2060

The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record 390.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). That’s a 40 percent increase over levels in 1750, before humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest.

Although CO2 is still the most significant long-lived greenhouse gas, levels of other heat-trapping gases have also climbed to record levels, according to the report. Methane, for example hit 1813 parts per billion (ppb) in 2011, and nitrous oxide rose to 324.2 ppb. All told, the amount of excess heat prevented from escaping into outer space was 30 percent higher in 2011 than it was as recently as 1990.

Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory.
Click image to enlarge.
Credit: NOAA.

These are sobering numbers, not because they come as any sort of surprise, but rather because they don’t. Scientists have known about the heat-trapping properties of CO2 since the mid-1800s. They’ve been documenting the steady rise of CO2 pumped largely out of smokestacks and exhaust pipes since the 1950s.

About half of the excess CO2 going into the atmosphere so far has been absorbed by plants and the oceans, but, said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in a press release, “ . . . this will not necessarily continue in the future” as these natural “sinks” for CO2 reach their capacity.

The CO2 that remains in the atmosphere, meanwhile, takes centuries to dissipate, which is why the numbers continue to climb. As a result of all the extra CO2 pumped into the air, worldwide average temperatures have already risen by 1.8°F since 1900. 

Yet despite all of this knowledge, the world has largely failed to act on reducing emissions. The best they could do at a UN-sponsored climate meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 was to agree to a non-binding target of limiting the world’s greenhouse-gas-triggered temperature increase to no more than 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels to limit the potential damage. Just a year later, it was already clear that they wouldn’t come close to making it.

Frustrated with this global inaction, the World Bank released a report on Sunday saying that without significant emissions reductions, the world’s average temperature could climb by 4°C (7.2°F) by as early as 2060. The report highlighted the dire consequences for human health and safety — including dangerous sea level rise, heat waves, and other extreme weather events.

But the potential disruption to people and property are so enormous that the report is, if not a wake-up call, at least another attempt to rouse world leaders after too many false starts and stops.

It calls not just for a reduction in CO2 emissions, but also for an aggressive program to reduce other drivers of global warming that might be easier to control including not just short-lived but powerful greenhouse gases like methane, but also heat-absorbers such as black carbon — essentially, soot. 

Unlike CO2, which stays in the atmosphere for a century or more, black carbon and other so-called “short-lived climate forcers” act on timescales of weeks to a few years, meaning that reducing them would yield much faster benefits.

The World Bank report also calls attention to the fact that poor people and poor nations are at the greatest risk from the dangers posed by rising greenhouse-gas levels and the changes in climate that are likely to result.

Related Content
In The Curve: Monitoring Rising Carbon Emissions
Emissions Reduction Pledges Fall Far Short of Copenhagen Accord 
Hansen Study: Extreme Weather Tied to Climate Change
Report Details Climate Change, Extreme Weather Links

World on track for 6C (9 Degrees fahrenheit) warming without carbon cuts, study shows

World on track for 6C warming without carbon cuts, study shows

Current rates of decarbonisation are well short of the 5% a year needed to avoid worst effects of climate change

Damian blog on Emission intensity : Air pollution in China : carbon emissions

The slow rate of emissions cuts in major economies has put the world on track for 6C of warming. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The slow rate of emissions cuts in major economies has put the world on track for “at least six degrees of warming” by the end of the century, analysts will warn today.

New research by consultancy giant PwC finds an unprecedented 5.1 per cent annual cut in global emissions per unit of GDP, known as carbon intensity, is needed through to 2050 if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change and meet an internationally agreed target of limiting average temperature increases to just two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Such deep reductions in carbon intensity would be over six times greater than the 0.8 per cent average annual cuts achieved since 2000.

The report also confirms that greatest rises in greenhouse gas emissions came from the emerging E7 economies of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey, whose cumulative 7.4 per cent annual increase in emissions swamped record levels of reductions in the UK, France, and Germany.

PwC warns sustained economic growth in these countries could “lock in” high carbon assets that will make it significantly harder for them to decarbonise over the coming decades, a point likely to be raised at the UN-backed Doha Climate Summit when it kicks off later this month.

It also warns that industrialised countries must accelerate their partially successful efforts to reduce carbon emissions. PwC calculates the UK still needs to reduce carbon emissions intensity 5.2 per cent each year to honour its international commitments, adding that staying within the UK’s pledge of 34 per cent reduction against 1990 emissions levels by 2020 would require emissions cuts equivalent to shutting down all the UK’s coal-fired power plants

The report concludes that “governments and businesses can no longer assume that a two-degree warming world is the default scenario”, and urges greater planning to cope with the disruptive effects that more unpredictable and extreme weather will have on supply chains, long-term assets, and infrastructure, particularly in coastal or low-lying regions.

Meanwhile, businesses in carbon-intensive sectors must also anticipate “invasive regulation” and the possibility of stranded assets, said Jonathan Grant, director of sustainability and climate change at PwC.

“Resilience will become a watchword in the boardroom – to policy responses as well as to the climate,” he said. “More radical and disruptive policy reactions in the medium term could lead to high-carbon assets being stranded.

“The new reality is a much more challenging future in terms of planning, financing and predictability,” Grant added. “The challenge now is to implement gigatonne-scale reductions across the economy, in power generation, energy-efficiency, transport and industry, as well as REDD+ in forested nations.”

Tag Cloud