masonic big brother is watching, but seniors don’t mind
from jeffrey kurz: Sensors keep track of just about everything Shirley Player does in her apartment, but she’s not worried that Big Brother is watching. Far from it. “I feel very safe with it... It’s nice to know you’re being watched.” Player is one of 68 residents of the Masonicare retirement community participating in a study that aims to determine whether keeping a technological eye on seniors can help them live longer independently in their own homes.
google seeking to cut net censorship deals
from steve & paul watson: Google Inc is lobbying internet providers and phone companies to establish a separate internet traffic lane in order to prioritize the search engine giant’s content, according to a leading report today. Google has for years been one of the loudest advocates of internet neutrality, the practice of giving all internet data traffic the same level of priority. However, the Wall Street Journal today reveals that the company, which now incorporates Youtube, wants to set up its own fast track on the web. The precedent this would set would be to allow companies to pay internet providers for preferential treatment. Smaller companies, businesses and websites could be left operating in the internet slow lane, unable to compete with the elite of the corporate world.
microsoft wants to get under your skin
from the register: Microsoft's HealthVault, the medical records database, is to be integrated with VeriMed's human-embedded RFID tags, allowing doctors to access the medical records of unconscious patients with a quick scan of the arm. VeriMed consists of an RFID tag that is embedded in the arm of a hopefully willing participant, and responds with a 16-digital identity code when queried at 134KHz. This code can then be used to identify the person through VeriChip's website, and will soon be able to link to their medical records as stored on Microsoft's HealthVault system. "VeriMed adds an exciting RFID-based option for HealthVault users trying to keep themselves and their families safe," says Sean Nolan, the chief architect for HealthVault, quoted in RFID Journal. If you're excited about the idea of being electronically indexed then this is probably the technology for you.
and from there, it just gets worse...
cheney admits detainee-abuse role
from consortium news: Vice President Dick Cheney said for the first time Monday that he helped get the “process cleared” for the brutal interrogation program of suspected terrorists. In an interview with ABC News, Cheney was matter-of-fact and unapologetic about the harsh techniques used against the detainees — including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning considered torture since the days of the Inquisition. “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the [Central Intelligence] Agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.”
feds say antiwar cd's included in 'suspicious packages' sent to nat'l guard
from ap: (Editor’s note: This stinks to high heaven of a COINTELPRO operation designed to make anti-war activists look like terrorists.) Suspicious packages have been sent to National Guard and Reserve facilities in 36 states, federal authorities said Wednesday. Initial reports from the Guard that one of the packages contained a powdery substance turned out to be incorrect, officials said. The 51 packages included anti-war compact discs and began arriving at locations around the country last Friday, said National Guard spokesman Mark Allen.
navy killer drone complete; 1st flight set for '09
(and more dead pakistanis will follow soon thereafter)
details emerge on failed nuke inspection
from danger room: It ain't easy for an Air Force unit to pass a nuclear inspection these days. Air Force Times has details on the flunked test that we first reported on Saturday. It sounds like paperwork issues blew the exam for the 90th Missile Wing. "Inspectors failed the 90th Missile Wing after discovering the maintenance group had not properly documented tests done to its missiles, even leaving some tests completely undocumented," the paper's Michael Hoffman reports. "An unsatisfactory grade on any portion of the NSI [nuclear surety inspection] fails the entire wing."
'war on terror' a generational conflict, bush says
from afp: The United States' "war on terror" will continue for many years to come, President George W. Bush said Wednesday in a speech on his national security legacy. Bush, who leaves office on January 20, compared the fight against terror to the Cold War of the post-World War II years. "Like the struggle against Communism during the Cold War, the struggle against terror will be a generational conflict," Bush told military officers at the US Army War College. That struggle is "one that will continue long beyond my presidency," Bush said.
iraq spokesman: US troops might be needed for another decade
from mcclatchy: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last month sold the Iraqi people on a security pact with the U.S. He called it a “withdrawal agreement” to end the presence of American forces in his country by the beginning of 2012. However, his top government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, undercut that claim this week when he said in Washington that the U.S. might be needed in Iraq for another 10 years. Al-Dabbagh’s statement reverberated with political leaders in Baghdad and renewed criticism of the deal.
the failed logic of supporting the troops
from global research: In the United States, a growing number of leftists are voicing their opposition to the Israeli occupation. They condemn the demolition of homes, the jailing of Palestinians without charge, and the confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements. They don't support the Israeli troops or their mission, nor do they give a free pass to those who are just "doing what they are told." Nonetheless, many of these same individuals support the US troops in Iraq. Dangerously, most Americans put forth the notion that the troops' intrinsic heroism provides them with the impunity to destroy any bogeymen who stand in their way, cultivating a code of silence that strongly discourages dissent. It is under this premise that we support our "brave" and "noble" soldiers: we know their stories well, they miss their families, they are "just like us," and we should respect their service. While one may comprehend the mindset of the troops, this understanding does not validate support for them. If the invasion of Iraq, the mission, and the occupation as stated policy are all wrong, then support for the armed forces carrying out the mission must also be wrong.
russian police arrest 150 at opposition protests
from afp: Russian authorities arrested Sunday at least 150 people taking part in opposition demonstrations in Moscow and St Petersburg organised by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, police said. Police spokesmen said about 90 people were detained in Moscow and 60 in St Petersburg for attempting to take part in unauthorised demonstrations.