Watch out FedEx, here comes Amazon Prime Air. And, if history is any guide, Amazon may be quite happy to provide your cargo services at a discount to costs, which we suspect your shareholders, unlike Amazon’s, will find to be sub-optimal.
According to the Consumerist, Amazon has signed a 50-year lease on a 900-acre cargo hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport intended to house a fleet of 40 Prime Air jets. Amazon is expected to invest $1.5 billion in the facility in return for $40 million in tax incentives from the State of Kentucky. Continue reading »
A six-year-old girl from Dallas, Texas, became one happy little lady recently after her family’s Amazon Echo, an always-listening speaker device that’s gradually being implemented into thousands of consumer electronic products, responded to a simple voice command she made and ordered her both a tin of shortbread cookies and a large dollhouse — both of which were automatically delivered to the family’s home without so much as the click of a mouse or the press of a touchpad.
Reports indicate that Brooke Neitzel simply spoke to “Alexa,” the Ai-like, voice-command response system built into the Amazon Echo, about her desire for a dollhouse when the machine went ahead and processed an order through the Amazon portal for the products without her family’s permission. Within days, both the dollhouse and the cookies that Brooke casually mentioned out loud to Alexa were sitting on the family’s doorstep, much to the surprise of her parents.
“Alexa ordered me a dollhouse and cookies,” young Brooke gleefully told CBS 11 news when the incident was first reported, prompting other little girls who saw it to do the same exact thing. Within days, many children throughout the country had ordered their own dollhouses through Alexa, revealing not only the exceptional ease with which this increasingly popular tech device can purchase products without people’s permission, but also how clearly and constantly it listens to what people are saying around it. Continue reading »
It may be the world’s largest technology giant and retailer, but many of Amazon’s workers appear to be living like they were deployed in a war zone: In tent cities.
As reported by the UK’s Courier newspaper (why hasn’t an American media outlet reported on this—like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, which he owns?), which reported exclusively, Amazon workers at one of the company’s England-based fulfillment centers are actually sleeping in tents.
Reporters for the paper recently discovered at least three tents in a wooded area beside the online retail behemoth’s base near Dunfermline, Scotland, which has sparked new concerns that some employees have to sink to depths unheard of for workers of other companies just to survive. Continue reading »
(ANTIMEDIA) Technology has, for the better part of the last decade, changed our lives in significant and groundbreaking ways. But as technology continues to make great strides, helping us change the way we do business and live our lives, it is also employed by bureaucrats looking to keep an eye on everyone.
Thanks to Edward Snowden and others before him, like former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence official William Binney, we now know U.S. officials make use of secret courts to gain access to phone records — ignoring due process and, of course, the 4th Amendment to the U.S. constitution. But even though the NSA revelations were widely discussed and privacy advocates have continued to press legislators and officials to justify the illegality of their actions, things seem to have only gotten worse — at least as far as official government policy is concerned. Continue reading »
After launching Amazon Fresh, an online food delivery service, in numerous cities just a few years ago, Amazon has now decided it has to go “offline” to capture incremental share of the grocery market. As such, the company today revealed its first brick-and-mortar small-format grocery store, Amazon Go, one of at least three formats the online retail giant is exploring as it makes a play for a higher share of grocery spending. With in-store technology designed to track customers’ every step, the Amazon Go concept promises “No Lines” and “No Checkout.”
The first Amazon Go concept store is roughly the size of a convenience store, though according to the Wall Street Journal the company is also testing a drive-thru concept as well as a traditional 30-to-40,000 square foot grocery store that would combine in-store shopping and curbside pickup.
The Amazon Go store, at roughly 1,800 square feet in downtown Seattle, resembles a convenience store-format in a video Amazon released Monday. It features artificial intelligence-powered technology that eliminates checkouts, cash registers and lines. Instead, customers scan their phone on a kiosk as they walk in, and Amazon automatically determines what items customers take from the shelves. After leaving the store, Amazon charges their account for the items and sends a receipt. Continue reading »
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold about a million shares of Amazon, around 1% of his stake, and netted $671 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission spotted by Fortune.
This is the biggest sale Bezos has ever made of the stock. He sold $534 million of shares last August, according to GeekWire.
After the sale, Bezos owns 81.91 million shares (~17% of Amazon). Continue reading »
In a stunning demonstration of online book burning, Amazon.com has just banned a book because of its contents. The book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook consists of analysis from a dozen contributor authors, and it’s edited by Jim Fetzer, Ph.D.. The book concludes that Sandy Hook was a staged FEMA drill carried out by the government to push an agenda of nationwide gun control.
Use hashtag #StopAmazonCensorship to Tweet this story.
We have a full download of the book below in PDF form, so keep reading if you want to find out what’s so “dangerous” about this book that Amazon had to ban it… Continue reading »
– FAA allows Amazon to fly drones experimentally (USA Today, March 20, 2015):
WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration approved Amazon Logistics Inc. on Thursday to fly drones experimentally.
The approval will allow the company to conduct research, development and crew training for deliveries called Amazon Prime Air.
The company is required to fly remote-controlled aircraft lower than 400 feet during daylight hours, and the pilot must have a private pilot’s certificate. Other restrictions include keeping the aircraft within view of its pilot or a partner, called a “visual observer,” and flying at least 500 feet away from people not associated with the experiments. Continue reading »
– Cisco is Shipping Equipment to Fake Addresses to Protect Customers; Meanwhile Amazon Refuses to Provide Any Transparency (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 20, 2015):
Examining the distinct ways in which various technology/internet companies have responded to revelations that the U.S. government is grossly violating American citizens’ 4th Amendment rights with its unconstitutional mass surveillance can be quite telling. A really interesting case in point came across my screen today.
On the one hand, we have Cisco, which seems to be trying its best to get hardware from one place to another without the NSA intercepting it and implanting malware. On the other hand, we have Amazon, which refuses to provide even the most basic transparency report when it comes to government data requests. Thanks for nothing Bezos.
Let’s start with Cisco. The Register reports that:
Cisco will ship boxes to vacant addresses in a bid to foil the NSA, security chief John Stewart says. Continue reading »
– FBI Moves to Broaden Hacking Authority – Google Says it Poses “Monumental Constitutional Concern” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 18, 2015):
A judicial advisory panel Monday quietly approved a rule change that will broaden the FBI’s hacking authority despite fears raised by Google that the amended language represents a “monumental” constitutional concern.
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules voted 11-1 to modify an arcane federal rule to allow judges more flexibility in how they approve search warrants for electronic data, according to a Justice Department spokesman.
The FBI wants the expanded authority, which would allow it to more easily infiltrate computer networks to install malicious tracking software.
– From the National Review article: FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power Advances Despite Privacy Fears
If we’ve learned anything about the FBI over the past several years, it’s that the agency is extraordinarily skilled at finding mentally ill, dead-broke young Muslims and convincing them to become terrorists and by taking part in FBI created and funded terrorist plots. Continue reading »
Chinese Kids Driving Supercars: Inside the Secret Southern California Meet-up
Nov 18, 2014
China’s ultra-rich are growing in number and in wealth – and are sending billions of dollars out of the country. Much of it is landing up in the U.S. where many children of the wealthy elite are sent to get an American college education — and they’re living large. Vocativ found a sub-culture of these Chinese students in California. They drive luxury cars like Maseratis and Ferraris and flaunt their wealth at discreet private parties and in online groups, like “Super Cars in America”.
A decision by UK charity Save the Children to give Tony Blair its annual Global Legacy Award has unleashed a torrent of criticism highlighting the former PM’s role in Britain’s 2003 Iraq war and his controversial business dealings in the Middle East.
The former Labour leader, who is currently a key focus of a public inquiry into Britain’s invasion of Iraq, received the honor on Wednesday night at a star-studded gala hosted by the charity in New York.
Save the Children’s decision to offer Blair the award has provoked outrage across the UK, with critics insisting the move utterly discredits the charity.
With half the nation covered in snow, according to ABC, nowhere appears to have had it worse (or more suddenly) than upstate New York. As images pour in from lake-effect snow, to The Buffalo Bills stadium, and from scenes caught in a snow storm to pandas playing, we thought the following stunning drone’s-eye-view over Erie County was both incredible in its beauty and cruel in its GDP-destroying reality.
A Drone’s eye view of the beauty (and GDP cruelty) of a snow-buried upstate New York
For the second morning in a row, Jacksonville, Florida, dropped to a new record low.
With nasty cold fronts thrusting an icy and early winter across the continental U.S. — along with last winter described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” — climatologist John L. Casey thinks the weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come.
In fact, Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, is out with the provocative book “Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell,” which warns that a radical shift in global climate is underway, and that Al Gore and other environmentalists have it completely wrong.
The earth, he says, is cooling, and cooling fast.
And yes, you read that one right:
Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, a toppling marvel of ingenuity during the Financial Crisis that was bailed out by ever dutiful if unenthusiastic taxpayers, will now reward these very folks with what Germans have come to look forward to: the Wrath of Draghi.
It started with Deutsche Skatbank, a division of VR-Bank Altenburger Land. The small bank was the trial balloon in imposing the Wrath of Draghi on savers and businesses. Effective November 1, those with over €500,000 on deposit earn a “negative interest rate” of 0.25%. In less euphemistic terms, they get to pay 0.25% per year on those deposits for the privilege of giving their money to the bank.
“Punishment interest” is what Germans call this with Teutonic precision.
The squat, wheeled machines move stocked shelves to workers
In its latest bid to boost productivity and speed delivery, Amazon.com Inc. is deploying a robot army.
The Seattle online retailer has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter. At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said.
Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.
The robots are the fruits of Amazon’s 2012 purchase of Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million. In May, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos told investors at Amazon’s annual meeting that he planned to deploy 10,000 Kiva robots by year-end, up from 1,400 at the time.
One really just can’t make this up. Perhaps the Fed inspector general, when he is done “fixing” the corruption at the NY Fed will be so kind to take a look at the Goldman takeover of the US judicial system next.
And the saddest thing: it cost the banks (and their lawyer lackeys) under a million to buy America’s judicial system off: American justice is not only for sale, it goes at firesale prices!
The most shocking, if already completely buried, news of the day was that – in yet another confirmation that Goldman Sachs is in charge of the New York Fed – a NY Fed staffer was colluding and leaking confidential, material information to a 29-year-old Goldman vice president, himself a former Federal Reserve employee. This only happened because on the day Carmen Segarra disclosed her 47 hours of “secret Goldman tapes” on This American Life, Goldman executives asked the former Fed staffer where he had gotten what appeared to be confidential information from. To nobody’s surprise the answer was: The New York Fed. So as the latter, also known as the biggest hedge fund of the western world with $2.7 trillion in AUM, is scrambling to once again prove it is shocked, shocked, that it has become merely the latest subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc., it released the following statement explaining what “really” happened.
Two months ago, to much fanfare by the progressive community, HHS, if not Dr. Jonathan Gruber, were delighted to report that as of August 15, Obamacare enrollment had hit 7.3 million sign ups, well above the 7.0 million goal. Then a week ago we learned that “projection mistakes were made” after the “Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying – with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror – that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted.” Fast forward to today when moments ago Bloomberg reported, that “the Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups.“
The Dutch government has refused to reveal details of a secret pact between members of the Joint Investigation Team examining the downed Flight MH17. If the participants, including Ukraine, don’t want information to be released, it will be kept secret.
“While the general population is aware something is seriously wrong, people remain extremely confused about the root of the problem. This is because what’s happening all around us isn’t socialism and it isn’t free market capitalism. It is actually a return to something much more ancient and much more oppressive. It is a return to serfdom, neo-fedualism and oligarchy.”
A sinkhole 20 by 30 meters (65 by 98 feet) in size has been found near a Uralkali mine in Russia’s Perm region. While the company says the development is of no further threat, locals fear the whole nearby town could go underground.
— Насонов Кирилл (@nasonovkirill) November 20, 2014
The topic of ‘currency war’ has been bantered about in financial circles since at least the term was first used by Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega in September 2010. Recently, the currency war has escalated, and a ‘sanctions war’ against Russia has broken out. History suggests that financial assets are highly unlikely to preserve investors’ real purchasing power in this inhospitable international environment, due in part to the associated currency crises, which will catalyse at least a partial international remonetisation of gold. Vladimir Putin, under pressure from economic sanctions, may calculate that now is the time to play his ‘gold card’.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CURRENCY WAR
RUSSIA, NATO AND THE ‘SANCTIONS WAR’
SO, WILL PUTIN PLAY THE ‘GOLD CARD’?
Why is there this huge discrepancy between the value of gold and silver reported recovered, and the value reported to have been stored in the vaults? There are a number of possible explanations, from outright theft using the attack as cover, to insurance fraud. Until there is a genuine investigation that probes all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the attack, we can only speculate.
For the first time since it began collecting data in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel, the market researcher, reported a decline in UK grocery sales by value, as The FT reports the biggest UK grocers were “losing market share hand over fist,” as analysts warn “there are phoney price wars, and there are real price wars. This is a real price war.” This comes on the heels of Goldman report claiming 20% of British grocers are surplus to requirements. But it’s not just Britain… in the the cleanest dirty shirt world-economic-growth supporting decoupled economy of the USA, Reuters reports Dollar General may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of Family Dollar.
Autonomous “Robocop”-style robots, equipped with microphones, speakers, cameras, laser scanners and sensors, have started to guard Silicon Valley.
The security robots, called Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines, were designed by a robotics company, Knightscope, located in Mountain View, California.
The robots are programmed to notice unusual behavior and alert controllers. It also has odor and heat detectors, and can monitor pollution in carpets as well. Last but not least: with cameras, the Robocops can remember up to 300 number plates a minute, monitoring traffic.
This problem extends into the oligarchy of globalists, who adore the theories expressed in Plato’s “The Republic,” in which an elite cadre of “philosopher kings,” men who have achieved a heightened level of academic knowledge, are exalted as the most qualified leaders. However, leadership requires more than knowledge, even if that knowledge is profound. Leadership also requires compassion and informed consent, two things for which the elites have no regard.
The Internal Revenue Service reportedly wants London Mayor Boris Johnson to write a check for taxes he owes to the United States government, but the UK politician says he isn’t paying.
Those ‘brilliant’ Japanese ‘visionaries’ never heard of Fukushima:
Will people ever live in underwater cities? Japanese construction firm says it is possible by 2030. The visionaries revealed a $25 billion deep-sea eco-city plan called Ocean Spiral for 5,000 people that will produce energy from sea resources.
Many have pondered the idea of living under the sea while sci-fi film directors such as George Lucas tempted our imagination with stunning images of underwater cities. Such was the Gungan city consisting of a mass of hydrostatic bubbles shown in the first part of the “Star wars” epic space film series.
Now a Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corp. says that building an underwater residential area is not a fantasy and aims to build one by 2030 – in just 15 years.
The head of the National Security Agency warned Congress on Thursday that China and “one or two” other nations currently possess the capability of crippling the American power grid through cyberattacks.
It has become quite clear that the Fed neither has the intention, nor the market mechanism to do any of that, and certainly not in a 3-6 month timeframe. Which may explain the Fed’s hawkish words on any potential surge in market vol. After all, if the nearly $3 trillion in excess reserves remain on bank balance sheets for another year, then the only reason why vol could surge is if the Fed lose the faith of the markets terminally. At that point the last worry anyone will have is whether and how the Fed will tighten monetary policy.
It is still far too early to call a turn in the long-term trend of initial jobless claims but this is the 5th week that new lows have not been made, 4th miss in a row, and (despite last week’s upward revision) claims sit at 2-month highs. Initial claims printed 291k (against 284k expectations) down very slightly from an upwardly revised 293k last week. However, continuing claims continue to tumble to fresh cycle lows at 2.33 million (below expectations and well down from last week’s jump).
Ugly data in Asia, Europe, and US PMI meant US equities opened gap-down… that was unacceptable to ‘someone’ and so the “most shorted” names were squeezed. However, after 10 minutes the ramp started to fade… and so the big boys ‘fat-fingered’ VIX and that rescued the dip. That would be fine… but it happened again at 958ET when stocks started to fade again and suddenly VIX was lit up and zoom… stock momentum was ignited and all was well in the world… Broken record? Yes! But clearly someone has to take note of this rigging…
“I’ve seen ice like this or even worse, but it’s usually not until the middle of December,” says lockmaster.
Game 9 – 2014 World Chess Championship – Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
WTF: A Night With Japan’s Highest Paid Male Gigolo
Tags: Amazon, Banking, Barack Obama, Boris Johnson, Chess, Children, China, Climate Change, Collapse, Commerzbank, Economy, Environment, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, Germany, Global Cooling, Global News, Global Warming, Goldman Sachs, Government, Health, Japan, Magnus Carlsen, New York Fed, Obama administration, Obamacare, Politics, Science, Society, Stock Market, Taxes, Technology, Tony Blair, U.K., U.S., Viswanathan Anand, Wall Street, World Chess Championship
– Amazon to begin testing same-day delivery drones in Cambridge (Guardian, Nov 12, 2014):
Online retailer expands R&D operations in England, two years after buying Cambridge-based startup Evi Technologies
Amazon is planning to test drones in Cambridge, England, as the battle to offer consumers same-day deliveries heats up.
The US company announced with considerable fanfare late last year that it was considering using drones as a way of dramatically reducing the time it takes to deliver orders to customers. At the time there was speculation that the move was little more than a publicity stunt. But Amazon said in July that it had sought permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration to test drones that could fly as fast as 50 miles per hour for up to 30 minutes at a time to deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg (5lb). Continue reading »
– How the CIA Partnered With Amazon and Changed Intelligence (Defense One, July 11, 2014):
The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Continue reading »
– Amazon offers employees $5,000 to quit (CNNMoney, April 11, 2014):
Amazon is offering its warehouse employees up to $5,000 to quit their jobs, even as the company is in the process of adding workers and locations.
The “Pay to Quit” program, which was announced by CEO Jeff Bezos in his letter to shareholders late Thursday, is an effort to make sure that the Internet retailer’s employees really want to be there.
– Amazon Drops 10% – Triggers SEC Short Sale Rule (ZeroHedge, Jan 31, 2014):
Despite the best efforts of CNBC to have every bull on Amazon explain how great it really is and how they could enable to magical profit machine any minute if they so choose, the hedge fund hotel stock du jour is now down 10% and Bloomberg headlines blare:
- *SEC Short Sale Rule 201 is in Effect : AMZN (NASDAQ)
Last night’s algo-ramp to VWAP (on rising Prime prices?) is a long-distant memory now…
– Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is (Guardian, July 28, 2013):
The press has lost the plot over the Snowden revelations. The fact is that the net is finished as a global network and that US firms’ cloud services cannot be trusted
Repeat after me: Edward Snowden is not the story. The story is what he has revealed about the hidden wiring of our networked world. This insight seems to have escaped most of the world’s mainstream media, for reasons that escape me but would not have surprised Evelyn Waugh, whose contempt for journalists was one of his few endearing characteristics. The obvious explanations are: incorrigible ignorance; the imperative to personalise stories; or gullibility in swallowing US government spin, which brands Snowden as a spy rather than a whistleblower.
– Amazon UK pays $3.7 million tax on $6.5 billion sales (Reuters, May 15, 2013):
Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the political agenda in Europe following revelations in the past couple of years about how little big names like Apple Inc., Starbucks, Google and Microsoft pay in tax in markets where they reap billions of dollars in sales.
– How Amazon Followed Google Into the World of Secret Servers (Wired, Nov 30, 2012):
Chris Pinkham was walking through a data center that would one day house Amazon’s seminal cloud computing service — the Elastic Compute Cloud — when he came face to face with a cage of Google machines.
This was a decade ago, when Pinkham oversaw the hardware and software that ran Amazon, and the company was considering a spot in the data center, which housed machines for many web operations and other businesses. Google would later pull a curtain around its data-center hardware, moving much of it into private facilities, but in those days, it was easier for competitors like Pinkham to lay their eyes on Google machines.
Pinkham was struck by how different the machines looked — and how hot they were. Even then, Google was running its website on dirt-cheap, stripped-down servers slotted into extremely tight spaces. They didn’t even have plastic cases.
“They were clearly not your average Dell, HP, IBM servers. They were white box machines, very densely packed. They weren’t in containers. They were just blades jammed into these custom racks,” remembers Pinkham, who went on to lead the team that built the Elastic Compute Cloud and now runs a cloud software startup called Nimbula. “And I remember a lot of heat coming off them — an indication of a lot of concentrated power.”
– iPass away – do my digital downloads die with me? (Which Conversation, Feb. 20, 2012):
If you’ve built up a proud collection of books, records and DVDs, you’d expect to be able to pass them on to your next of kin. But what happens to all of the downloads you’ve paid for during your life?
The digital afterlife is an uncertain business, it seems. We challenged both Apple and Amazon on whether digital downloads could be passed on after death, and neither could give us a definitive answer.
As more and more purchases are made in a digital, rather than physical form, we think it’s time for the main digital retailers to clear up our rights to pass on property we’ve paid for.
Purchasing a product, or renting a licence?
As it stands, the rights of iTunes and Amazon customers look pretty shaky when it comes to passing on downloads. If you buy a music track from a digital store, you’re essentially buying a licence to play that track – a licence granted to you only, which isn’t transferable upon death.
Legally you’re essentially just renting tracks – you don’t actually own them, as Matthew Strain of law firm Strain-Keville pointed out to us in the latest issue of Which? Computing:
‘We do not “own” what we purchase on iTunes, we only have the right to use it. The right to the “product” is therefore limited and passing it on to someone else is not likely to be accepted by Apple.’
For your (dis-)information.
Anti-SOPA pop-up banners online protest a law that many argue will dramatically alter the Internet.
– Will Google, Amazon, and Facebook Black Out the Net? (FOX News, Dec. 30, 2011):
In the growing battle for the future of the Web, some of the biggest sites online — Google, Facebook, and other tech stalwarts — are considering a coordinated blackout of their sites, some of the web’s most popular destinations.
No Google searches. No Facebook updates. No Tweets. No Amazon.com shopping. Nothing.
The action would be a dramatic response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill backed by the motion picture and recording industries that is intended to eliminate theft online once and for all. HR 3261 would require ISPs to block access to sites that infringe on copyrights — but how exactly it does that has many up in arms. The creators of some of the web’s biggest sites argue it could instead dramatically restrict law-abiding U.S. companies — and reshape the web as we know it.
A blackout would be drastic. And though the details of exactly how it would work are unclear, it’s already under consideration, according to Markham Erickson, the executive director of NetCoalition, a trade association that includes the likes of Google, PayPal, Yahoo, and Twitter.
“Mozilla had a blackout day and Wikipedia has talked about something similar,” Erickson told FoxNews.com, calling this kind of operation unprecedented.
– Vietnam Era Weapon Being Used to Clear the Amazon (Tree Hugger):
Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War — and now it’s being used against the Amazon rainforest. According to officials, ranchers in Brazil have begun spraying the highly toxic herbicide over patches of forest as a covert method to illegally clear foliage, more difficult to detect that chainsaws and tractors. In recent weeks, an aerial survey detected some 440 acres of rainforest that had been sprayed with the compound — poisoning thousands of trees and an untold number of animals, potentially for generations.
Officials from Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA were first tipped to the illegal clearing by satellite images of the forest in Amazonia; a helicopter flyover in the region later revealed thousands of trees left ash-colored and defoliated by toxic chemicals. IBAMA says that Agent Orange was likely dispersed by aircraft by a yet unidentified rancher to clear the land for pasture because it is more difficult to detect than traditional operations that require chainsaws and tractors.
Last week, in another part of the Amazon, an investigation conducted by the agency uncovered approximately four tons of the highly toxic herbal pesticides hidden in the forest awaiting dispension. If released, the chemicals could have potentially decimated some 7,500 acres of rainforest, killing all the wildlife that resides there and contaminating groundwater. In this case, the individual responsible was identified and now faces fines nearing $1.3 million.
“Thanks to the fantastic work of Bilderberg activists, journalists and the Swiss media, we have now been able to obtain the full official list of 2011 Bilderberg attendees. Routinely, some members request that their names be kept off the roster so there will be additional Bilderbergers in attendance.
- Coene, Luc, Governor, National Bank of Belgium
- Davignon, Etienne, Minister of State
- Leysen, Thomas, Chairman, Umicore
- Fu, Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Huang, Yiping, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University
- Eldrup, Anders, CEO, DONG Energy
- Federspiel, Ulrik, Vice President, Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
- Schütze, Peter, Member of the Executive Management, Nordea Bank AB
- Ackermann, Josef, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank
- Enders, Thomas, CEO, Airbus SAS
- Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG
- Nass, Matthias, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit
- Steinbrück, Peer, Member of the Bundestag; Former Minister of Finance Continue reading »
Tags: Airbus, Amazon, Bilderberg, Bilderberg 2011, Daniel Vasella, Deutsche Bank, Economy, Eric Schmidt, Fiat, George Osborne, George Papaconstantinou, Global News, Government, Henry Kissinger, Herman Van Rompuy, James Wolfensohn, Jean-Claude Trichet, Jeff Bezos, John Elkann, John Kerr, Josef Ackermann, Kevin Warsh, Klaus Kleinfeld, Marcus Agius, Mario Monti, Novartis, Peer Steinbrück, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Peter Löscher, Peter Mandelson, Peter Orzag, Peter Sutherland, Politics, Queen Beatrix, Queen Sofia, Richard Perle, Robert Rubin, Robert Zoellick, Rockefeller, Siemens, Society, St. Moritz, Switzerland, Thomas Enders
– Amazon rainforest activist shot dead (Guardian, 24 May 2011):
José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva fought against illegal loggers and had received death threats but was refused police protection.
Six months after predicting his own murder, a leading rainforest defender has reportedly been gunned down in the Brazilian Amazon. José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo, are said to have been killed in an ambush near their home in Nova Ipixuna, in Pará state, about 37 miles from Marabá.
According to a local newspaper, Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers.
Washington (CNN) — The U.S. military has blocked access to a range of popular commercial websites in order to free up bandwidth for use in Japan recovery efforts, according to an e-mail obtained by CNN and confirmed by a spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command.
The sites — including YouTube, ESPN, Amazon, eBay and MTV — were chosen not because of the content but because their popularity among users of military computers account for significant bandwidth, according to Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison.
The block, instituted Monday, is intended “to make sure bandwidth was available in Japan for military operations” as the United States helps in the aftermath of last week’s deadly earthquake and tsunami, Ellison explained.
U.S. Pacific Command made the request to free up the bandwidth. The sites, 13 in all, are blocked across the Department of Defense’s .mil computer system.
“This is a response to a time of extreme demand for networks,” Ellison said.
A 21st-century gold rush has brought lawlessness and destruction to the once pristine Madre de Dios region of Peruvian rainforest
We sped across the jungle along a narrow manmade path. ‘Quick! Hide the camera! If they see this, they’ll beat us up,’ shouted the motorcyclist who was driving me.
Visitors are not welcome in Guacamayo, one of the biggest illegal goldmining sites in the world, so large it is visible from space. Above the noise of the bike we could just make out a distant rumble of machines.
A sharp turn of the wheel later and the trees vanished, replaced by a vast desert dotted with shacks covered in blue plastic sheets where thousands of miners live. We were at the heart of a 21st-century gold rush that, environmentalists warn, is rapidly destroying the Amazon’s Madre de Dios (Mother of God) region in south-east Peru, 33,000 square miles of low-lying, dense rainforest containing the richest biodiversity on earth.
Interesting news, but global warming is a scam, no matter how those warmists try to sell it.
Meteorologists and activists divided on causes of drought with some pointing to climate change as a factor
One of the most important tributaries of the Amazon river has fallen to its lowest level in over a century, following a fierce drought that has isolated tens of thousands of rainforest inhabitants and raised concerns about the possible impact of climate change on the region.
The drought currently affecting swaths of north and west Amazonia has been described as the one of the worst in the last 40 years, with the Rio Negro or Black river, which flows into the world-famous Rio Amazonas, reportedly hitting its lowest levels since records began in 1902 on Sunday.
In 24 hours the level of the Rio Negro near Manaus in Brazil dropped 6cm to 13.63 metres, a historic low.
The Solimoes and Amazonas rivers have also seen their waters plunge since early August, stranding village dwellers who rely on the Amazon’s waterways for transport and food and marooning wooden boats on brown sand banks.
According to local authorities nearly half of Amazonas state’s 62 municipalities have declared states of emergency, among them Manaquiri, one of the worst hit areas during the last major drought in the region in 2005. That year thousands of families were forced to abandon their homes and schools closed for lack of students.
Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others
A screen shot from Amazon.com The MobileReference edition of the novel, “Nineteen Eighty-four,” by George Orwell that was deleted from Kindle e-book readers by Amazon.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE | 8:41 p.m. The Times published an article explaining that the Orwell books were unauthorized editions that Amazon removed from its Kindle store. However, Amazon said it would not automatically remove purchased copies of Kindle books if a similar situation arose in the future.
This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for-thought they owned.
But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.
This is ugly for all kinds of reasons. Amazon says that this sort of thing is “rare,” but that it can happen at all is unsettling; we’ve been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we’ve learned that they’re not really like books, in that once we’re finished reading them, we can’t resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.
As one of my readers noted, it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.
You want to know the best part? The juicy, plump, dripping irony?
The author who was the victim of this Big Brotherish plot was none other than George Orwell. And the books were “1984” and “Animal Farm.”
BRASILIA, Brazil, September 30, 2008 (ENS) – A Brazilian government agency that provides land to settlers is the largest illegal logger in the Amazon rainforest and could face criminal prosecution, Environment Minister Carlos Minc said Monday. Minc blamed Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform, or Incra, for occupying the top six places on a new government list of the 100 largest illegal loggers.
Today, he backed off a little, giving another government agency 20 days to analyze information presented by Incra contesting the legality of the deforestation.
Illegally cut logs await transport from a clearing in the Brazilian rainforest. (Photo by Andy Revkin)
“As some questions had been raised about what is legitimate, Ibama will go to evaluate point the point,” Minc said, handing responsibility for the inquiry to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, or Ibama.
Minc clarified that Incra is the formal owner of the six parcels of land at issue, which in fact were deforested by the settlers. But legally, he said, the problem falls again on Incra because the Institute cannot pass ownership of land to the agriculturists until it has been settled for 10 years.
“They are small deforestations, of 20 or 30 hectares, per person. On the other hand, a small one deforests little but thousands deforest a great deal,” said Minc. “Therefore, we have that to improve, and as well we have to improve the incidents of deforestation on conservation units and on aboriginal lands.”
In total, 223,000 hectares of the rainforest were logged on those six properties
The Amazon rainforest is being chopped down more than three times as fast as last year, Brazilian officials said Monday, after three years of declines in the deforestation rate. Continue reading »
Broad, invasive provision touches nearly every aspect of American commerce.
Washington, DC – Hidden deep in Senator Christopher Dodd’s 630-page Senate housing legislation is a sweeping provision that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America’s small businesses. The provision, which was added by the bill’s managers without debate this week, would require the nation’s payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government.
Call Congress and Tell Them to Oppose The eBay Reporting Provision in the Housing Bill: 1-866-928-3035
FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey commented: “This is a provision with astonishing reach, and it was slipped into the bill just this week. Not only does it affect nearly every credit card transaction in America, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, but the bill specifically targets payment systems like eBay’s PayPal, Amazon, and Google Checkout that are used by many small online businesses. The privacy implications for America’s small businesses are breathtaking.”
“Privacy groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and small business organizations like the NFIB sharply criticized this idea when it first appeared earlier this year. What is the federal government’s purpose with this kind of detailed data? How will this database be secured, and who will have access? Many small proprietors use their Social Security number as their tax ID. How will their privacy be protected? What compliance costs will this impose on businesses? Why is Sen. Chris Dodd putting this provision in a housing bailout bill? The bill also includes the creation of a new national fingerprint registry for mortgage brokers.
“At a time when concerns about both identity theft and government spying are paramount, Congress wants to create a new honey pot of private data that includes Social Security numbers. This bill reduces privacy across America’s payment processing systems and treats every American small business or eBay power seller like a criminal on parole by requiring an unprecedented level of reporting to the federal government. This outrageous idea is another reason to delay the housing bailout legislation so that Senators and the public at large have time to examine its full implications.”
From the Senate Bill Summary:
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An Internet analyst for a major Wall Street firm argues in a new report that Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc will be long-term winners, while Yahoo and IAC InterActiveCorp fall by the wayside and eBay Inc becomes a merger target.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay argues in a 310-page report entitled “U.S. Internet: The End of the Beginning” to be published on Tuesday that Google and Amazon are best placed to withstand the current economic downturn.
“We expect two players to continue to perform strongly, Google and Amazon,” Lindsay writes. “Both Google and Amazon.com are still racking up annual growth rates in the 30-40 percent range, with only a relatively modest slowdown in sight.”
Lindsay reiterates his previous positions that Yahoo eventually will be sold to Microsoft Corp and that Barry Diller’s IAC e-commerce conglomerate will go ahead in August with its five-way split-up, as planned. Continue reading »
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s newest book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto”, is number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list for May 18th, 2008. The ranking is yet another of the many successes Dr. Paul has had during his presidential candidacy spreading his message of personal freedom and constitutional government.
Upon its official release on April 30th, “The Revolution: A Manifesto” was the number one bestseller on Amazon.com and remains the number one bestseller in political books.
Source: Ron Paul 2008
Ron Paul’s loyal supporters helped him set campaign fundraising records and capture more delegates during his presidential run than some of his high-profile Republican rivals. They even managed to briefly shut down Nevada’s GOP convention earlier this month over a rules change controversy.
Now they’ve taken his latest book to the top of the Amazon.com bestseller list.
“The Revolution: A Manifesto”, released earlier this month, is currently No. 1 on the Web site’s list of top sellers, besting even Oprah’s latest Book Club selection.
“Despite a media blackout, this septuagenarian physician-turned-congressman sparked a movement that has attracted a legion of young, dedicated, enthusiastic supporters . . . a phenomenon that has amazed veteran political observers and made more than one political rival envious,” boasts the book’s product description, adding: “Candidates across America are already running as ‘Ron Paul Republicans.’”
April 30, 2008