How to piss of Putin and Russia even more than we already have

"IT IS one thing to see Russia’s hand in the disruption in eastern Ukraine, quite another to muster the strength to arm-wrestle it back. Europe says meekly that it will expand its list of Russian citizens subject to travel bans and asset freezes. America, which faces less economic blowback from sanctions, is showing more resolve.

Having targeted senior Kremlin figures, an oligarch and Vladimir Putin’s favourite bank in three earlier rounds of measures, America is preparing to add more of the president’s allies to the list. It has been reported that Igor Sechin, the president and chairman of Rosneft, a giant state-owned oil company, could join Gennady Timchenko, who has called being sanctioned “quite an honour” while admitting it has caused problems for Gunvor, the oil-trading firm he co-founded, because banks are “frightened”. The limited sanctions already in place are having a chilling effect on business in Russia (see page 64). A Treasury official points out that more capital has left Russia so far this year than in the whole of 2013, and that stocks, bonds and the rouble have all fallen. Now the White House has mooted targeting whole sectors, such as financial services and energy.

Finance is the obvious place to start because of the pre-eminence of the dollar, America’s central role in the clearing of cross-border bank and credit-card transactions, and the American-led globalisation of money-laundering compliance. These make America’s unilateral actions multilateral. “Russia is much more vulnerable in finance than we are. Putin knows this, which explains his attempts in recent years to reduce reliance on the dollar in international trade and banking,” says Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security adviser and author of “Treasury’s War”, a book about financial statecraft.”

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There isn’t really a word for how incredibly stupid of a move this would be by the White House. It is kind of like the USA is threatening to stab Russia, even though Russia has a gun. What were to happen, for instance, if Russia just decided they didn’t want to use the dollar anymore? We would look pretty fucking dumb. 

(Source: economist.com)


Heartbleed bug has me back posting on Tumblr because it won’t stop sending me emails about it

"BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government warned banks and other businesses on Friday to be on alert for hackers seeking to steal data exposed by the "Heartbleed" bug, as a German programmer took responsibility for the widespread security crisis.

On a website for advising critical infrastructure operators about emerging cyber threats, the Department of Homeland Security asked organizations to report any Heartbleed-related attacks, adding that hackers were attempting to exploit the bug in widely used OpenSSL code by scanning targeted networks.

Federal regulators also advised financial institutions to patch and test their systems to make sure they are safe.

OpenSSL is technology used to encrypt communications, including access to email, as well as websites of big Internet companies like Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Yahoo Inc.

The bug, which surfaced Monday, allows hackers to steal data without a trace. No organization has identified itself as a victim, yet security firms say they have seen well-known hacking groups scanning the Web in search of vulnerable networks.”

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Well well well Tumblr! What a way to get me back on here. Coerce me back into the blogging realm by threatening me with “major vulnerabilities”. Our pets heads falling off! 

Can I call bullshit when they say that the NSA and tech companies had no idea this was going on? What the fuck do these guys get paid to do? I imagine the majority of those folk sit in front of a computer all day and not one of them since the inception of the entire World Wide Web managed to say, “wow there’s a major fucking gaping security flaw permeating the entire Internet, we should probably do something about it!” 

Especially with the track record our federal government and its alphabet agencies have had recently, I will be surprised if any American with half a fucking brain believes what is spewed from their mouths in the coming days and weeks. That being said, I love the name and idea behind Heartbleed because it reminds me of some b-grade sci-fi thriller. 

P.S. Technically the heart is always bleeding, am I right or am I right? 

(Source: Yahoo!)


The most important issue concerning Americans: the economy

"Contrary to ongoing attempts by the administration to refocus the public’s attention on such focal points as guns, an imminent external cybersecurity threat (until it was revealed that the biggest cyber terrorist is the NSA itself), and climate change, the three still remain, pardon the pan, at the cold end of the spectrum when it comes to what issues most concern the US public. On the other end, for one decade and counting, the "top priority" for the US public was and continues to be "the economy", stupid."

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Had this poll taken into account the NFL playoffs or Miley Cyrus, the economy would probably be farther down the list. Even still, a round of applause for the American public getting something correct for once.

The “economy” affects lots of the other issues on the list. Citizen feel unsafe about the country, they buy guns. Companies maximizing profits without any regulations, creating climate change. The unemployed doing stupid shit and talking about it on Twitter, they get spied on by the NSA. Somehow the “economy” is the underlying factor to all the stupid shit you hear about in the news and the media.

The economy made us do it. Triple Evil.

(Source: zerohedge.com)


U.S. stocks performed ridiculously well in 2013 and it probably isn’t ending any time soon

"U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed 2013 at records, with the S&P 500 posting its largest annual jump in 16 years and the Dow its biggest gain in 18, after positive reports on consumer confidence and housing boosted sentiment on the final trading day of the year.

"It’s been a great year, if you look at it from what the prevailing sentiment was at the beginning of the year, it has surpassed even the most bullish of predictions. It’s the type of year you want to savor, there’s been a nice wealth effect that has warmed people’s portfolios," said Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager at Federated Investors."

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What a difference a year makes. December 21st 2012, here I am thinking the world is ending, turns out it the opposite is true! Stocks at all time highs, Americans so fucking happy, what an idiot I was for thinking the Hunger Games were gonna become real life.

My incredibly educated prediction for 2014: more of the same. The market will continue with the trend of record highs, and the average American will definitely suffer. But hey, Rome didn’t fall in a day, so I might as well keep my tinfoil hat on. 

(Source: cnbc.com)


Scientists investigating global warming in Antarctica get stuck in ice

"They went in search evidence of the world’s melting ice caps, but instead a team of climate scientists have been forced to abandon their mission … because the Antarctic ice is thicker than usual at this time of year.

The scientists have been stuck aboard the stricken MV Akademik Schokalskiy since Christmas Day, with repeated sea rescue attempts being abandoned as icebreaking ships failed to reach them.

Now that effort has been ditched, with experts admitting the ice is just too thick. Instead the crew have built an icy helipad, with plans afoot to rescue the 74-strong team by helicopter.”

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I’ll give the scientists the benefit of the doubt and assume they got stuck in the only rough patch of ice in all of Antarctica. Like, what are the odds of getting stuck in ice down there? It hasn’t been that cold down there recently, has it

(Source: Daily Mail)


The NSA can access your iPhone anywhere, anytime, for anything, and I am just not that surprised

"Following up on the latest stunning revelations released yesterday by German Spiegel which exposed the spy agency’s 50 page catalog of "backdoor penetration techniques”, today during a speech given by Jacob Applebaum (@ioerror) at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress, a new bombshell emerged: specifically the complete and detailed description of how the NSA bugs, remotely, your iPhone. The way the NSA accomplishes this is using software known as Dropout Jeep, which it describes as follows: “DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection.All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”“

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Secrets, secrets are no fun, secrets are for everyone! Everyone at the NSA, that is. What a fucking debacle this has turned out to be.

I really gave our government the benefit of the doubt (I can’t blame this administration that much as this has been going on for longer than a decade) but in all honesty how can any intelligent and well-informed citizen of this country think this is a good idea? It’s not like it has stopped any terrorist attacks or school shootings, so what is the reasoning? What the fuck is the Commander if Chief even doing right now to explain why this is going on? 

Apple is sure as fuck not free from criticism either. How do you create devices so incredibly easy to hack, manipulate, and monitor at any time? Clearly the (eye)Phone has been a 1984-esque creation without the majority of its users even realizing it. Then again, this may be the reason it was originally created and marketed so well in the first place; a top secret spy cam in your hand. Not so secret anymore, although.

image

P.S. I hope Steve Jobs had nothing to do with the implementation of this spying software as it would forever destroy his reputation in my mind

P.P.S. I always knew to a certain extent that the iPhone was an incredibly useful (but dangerous) tool and I am not surprised that various entities want to collect the information of all Americans 


Google Autocomplete is God

"In the late 1930s, as humans managed to launch yet another war that would fail to end all wars, H.G. Wells wrote a series of essays laying out a plan for a better world. Wells, a novelist, reformer and sometime historian, believed that technology could connect people in ways that had never before been possible, joining them in a network and uniting their wisdom into a kind of synaptic and singular mind. The structure Wells imagined would be, he declared, “a sort of mental clearinghouse for the mind, a depot where knowledge and ideas are received, sorted, summarized, digested, clarified, and compared.”

Wells’s “World Brain” would, sadly, remain unrealized in his lifetime. But the World Wide Web, built decades later on the foundations of the military-industrial Internet, was created for the express purpose of sharing ideas and connecting people around them—for building, essentially, a global mind of the sort envisioned by Wells. The web has since been organized (and, in some sense, humanized) by search engines operating under the assumption that information is, fundamentally, a means of connection.

Today, thanks to Google, the most dominant of those engines, we have a tool that taps into humanity’s hive mind better than anything Wells could have imagined. We have snapshots of the information people seek when there’s no barrier between them and their curiosity save for an open field and a flashing cursor. We have … Autocomplete.”

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This just adds to my hypothesis that Google is God. It is all-seeing, all-knowing, it is everywhere at once. What more proof do you need? I could care less about Barack Obama being a reptilian, I need to understand how and why Autocomplete knows what I want for lunch. 

P.S. If I could get Google implanted into my brain in the future and have AutoComplete finish my sentences, I would get in a lot less trouble.

P.P.S. JK I don’t want that but it’s probably accurate

(Source: politico.com)


the-wake-up:

inothernews:

 Inspectors checked train tracks Monday near where a passenger train derailed Sunday in the Bronx.  Four people were killed and more than 60 injured in the incident. (Photo: Peter Foley / EPA via The Wall Street Journal)

Just a couple days late! Keep up the good work fellas!

the-wake-up:

inothernews:

Inspectors checked train tracks Monday near where a passenger train derailed Sunday in the Bronx.  Four people were killed and more than 60 injured in the incident. (Photo: Peter Foley / EPA via The Wall Street Journal)

Just a couple days late! Keep up the good work fellas!


Majority of Americans don’t trust each other

"WASHINGTON (AP) - You can take our word for it. Americans don’t trust each other anymore.

We’re not talking about the loss of faith in big institutions such as the government, the church or Wall Street, which fluctuates with events. For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy - trust in the other fellow - has been quietly draining away.

These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.

Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say “you can’t be too careful” in dealing with people.”

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I must be in the minority. I still frequent movie theatres, shopping malls, sporting events, and in general find myself roaming around in public quite often. What the fuck America? I thought we were supposed to all get along

Fuck it. Let’s Purge

P.S. Never saw this movie but in the trailer it seems like no one trusts each other

P.P.S. I just looked up the ending of it and its perfect

(Source: apnews.myway.com)


Supposedly a lot of people in the USA are really angry

"NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Some are describing this as “America’s anger epidemic.” And there are a few reasons: uncertainty in the job market and the economy, working long hours — on average about one month more now than they did in the 1970s and with less vacation.

So if it seems like Americans are angrier these days it’s because we are.

What has you seeing red? Maybe it’s the traffic or the ups and downs of the stock market. For one guy seen on a viral video, he threw a tantrum over a city street trombone player. I guess he didn’t like the tune.

And of course, there are the celebrity meltdowns, like Alec Baldwin’s epic fail last week when he blew up at Fox 5 reporter Linda Schmidt.

Singer Chris Brown was also just ordered to spend three months in rehab after reading he threw a rock through his own mother’s car window.

Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a psychiatrist, said it is not all a coincidence. Americans really are angrier now than they’ve ever been before.

A recent study from the USA Today found 60 percent of Americans report feeling angry or irritable. That is up from 50 percent when a similar poll was taken in 2011.”

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'Merica at its finest. Everyone just hating each other and driving each other crazy. Running down the street knocking each other out. Congressmen filibustering and healthcare getting all sorts of fucked up. Even the goddamn hedge funds aren’t making any money. What in the world is this country coming too?

What we need is a day where everyone gets along. A day where we can all come together and celebrate our country. A day where we give thanks to what we have. 

Perfect timing. Just wait a couple more days America, you’ll be fine.


Barack and Bibi aren’t getting along (supposedly)

"BINYAMIN NETANYAHU, Israel’s prime minister, has reason to feel satisfied. Two weeks into his campaign against America’s “extraordinarily bad and dangerous deal” apparently in the offing with Iran over its nuclear programme, he is counting what he considers to be his successes. Leading American and European news channels have broadcast his interviews. The French president, François Hollande, who recently helped postpone a deal after a first round of talks between six world powers and Iran in Geneva, has beaten a path to his door. And now Mr Netanyahu is courting Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, ahead of another round. His ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, has encouraged Congress to tighten sanctions against Iran just as Mr Obama planned to ease them.

Some Israeli officials worry that Mr Netanyahu’s bullishness may prove costly. Hitherto Mr Netanyahu’s differences with Barack Obama were over the Palestinians or the Israeli leader’s backing of Mitt Romney for America’s presidency. But now, for the first time, graver differences over strategy in the region are flaring into the open. “We’re not talking about an ill-chosen phrase or statement,” says an Israeli official who fears American diplomatic retaliation. “We’re talking about a deep issue.”“

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Mark my words, Bibi will get what he really wants: a strike on Iran. Doesn’t matter how we do it. Doesn’t matter when we do it. He wants to obliterate them. Barack, for some reason, has his tail between his legs on an issue in the Middle East for once. Maybe its because we have to strategically get around blowing the country up without destroying the oil pipelines?

P.S. Why does the U.S. always just bend over and take it when Israel asks for something? Ugh

(Source: economist.com)


BREAKING: President Obama has “swag”

"In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded.

Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States “sings all the time.” She continued, “Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing.”

She also praised her husband. “[H]e has got a good voice.”“

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Well this evens the playing field. Forget the Obamacare website debacle, at least Barack is swaggy. Haven’t had this much swag in the Oval Office since this guy: 

Seriously though, when casting my ballot every four years, I analyze the presidential nominees solely on their swagger. If they lack coolness and style, they most certainly aren’t getting my vote. 

(Source: weeklystandard.com)


GOP : The Non-Agenda 2014 

"Last Thursday, a group of House Republicans filed into Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Capitol office suite and received a blank piece of paper labeled “Agenda 2014.”

The blank slate just about sums up where Republicans find themselves after a year marked by the first government shutdown in 17 years, futile efforts to repeal Obamacare and the inability to pass spending bills at the levels set by Republican leaders.

Cantor, a Virginia Republican who is in charge of the House floor and the legislation that reaches it, is beginning to lead a reimagining, of sorts, of GOP economic policy. The agenda could help show that the GOP can solve problems instead of only serve only as perpetual combatants with President Barack Obama.

Without much fanfare, House Republicans are crafting an election-year agenda that’s meant to target what they believe are the real economic issues facing middle-class Americans — and thereby attract the kind of voters that the GOP and Mitt Romney alienated in 2012. They hope the initiatives will help them hang onto the majority in 2014 and paint a more positive image of the party.”

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Moral of the story: Republicans are lost and divided as they have ever been over the past decade or so. I thought that maybe Cantor could get together with the Ted Cruz’s of the world and sit down and make a legitimate “agenda”, but clearly that is the opposite of what happened. Republicans will get their asses whipped in the 2014 midterm elections until someone decides to step up to the plate and put together a truly visionary ideal of what the GOP stands for in the present and future.

(Source: politico.com)


Bitcoin now over $500

"One day before the Senate’s digital currency hearing titled "Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies”, Bitcoin is largely oblivious to any potential regulatory threats, either at the legislative or the city level, where as reported previously the New York superintendent is in a rush to enforce BitLicenses on businesses that accept BitCoin, and moments ago crossed $500 for the first time ever. Instead, it appears that as we also reported previously, the Chinese Bitcoin craze has reached the parabolic threshold, going so far as making Bitcoin an acceptable payment for real estate, which means that while for the time being Bitcoin becomes the alternative inflation protection medium for hundreds of millions of Chinese, all bets on how high it can get are off.”

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I posted about Bitcoin about six months ago when it was at $95. How far we have come. It is starting to look like an interesting hedge against inflation of the U.S. dollar, and made the Winklevoss twins a couple of extra million bucks.

The U.S. Senate is set to talk about this infamous virtual currency tomorrow and I would surely assume that the federal government isn’t too pleased about its recent success. Look for laws and regulations to be put into place to penalize Bitcoin users and maintain the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. 


Superbugs are going to kill us all

"Drug-resistant "superbugs" represent one of the gravest threats in the history of medicine, leading experts have warned.

Routine operations could become deadly “in the very near future” as bacteria evolve to resist the drugs we use to combat them. This process could erase a century of medical advances, say government doctors in a special editorial in The Lancet health journal.

Although the looming threat of antibiotic, or anti-microbial, resistance has been known about for years, the new warning reflects growing concern that the NHS and other national health systems, already under pressure from ageing populations, will struggle to cope with the rising cost of caring for people in the “post-antibiotic era”.

In a stark reflection of the seriousness of the threat, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor John Watson, said: “I am concerned that in 20 years, if I go into hospital for a hip replacement, I could get an infection leading to major complications and possible death, simply because antibiotics no longer work as they do now.”“

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I might as well curl up into a ball and die. Just when I thought humanity was really getting better at curing diseases and making life heaven on earth, here come the mother fucking superbugs. The antibiotics I’m taking for my strep throat are going to end up killing me 10 years from now when I get a cold. Just wonderful.

P.S. The first thing I thought of when they said ‘superbug’ was this: 

(Source: independent.co.uk)



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