Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12755 on: May 20th, 2015, 08:52am »
GOOD MORNING Z & ALL OF OUR UFOCASEBOOKERS
Author: Andy Greenberg Date of Publication: 05.20.15.
Anti-NSA Pranksters Planted Tape Recorders Across New York and Published Your Conversations
A woman at a gym tells her friend she pays rent higher than $2,000 a month. An ex-Microsoft employee describes his work as an artist to a woman he’s interviewing to be his assistant—he makes paintings and body casts, as well as something to do with infrared light that’s hard to discern from his foreign accent. Another man describes his gay lover’s unusual sexual fetish, which involves engaging in fake fistfights, “like we were doing a scene from Batman Returns.”
These conversations—apparently real ones, whose participants had no knowledge an eavesdropper might be listening—were recorded and published by the NSA. Well, actually no, not the NSA, but an anonymous group of anti-NSA protestors claiming to be contractors of the intelligence agency and launching a new “pilot program” in New York City on its behalf. That spoof of a pilot program, as the prankster provocateurs describe and document it in videos on their website, involves planting micro-cassette recorders under tables and benches around New York city, retrieving the tapes and embedding the resulting audio on their website: Wearealwayslistening.com. (http://www.wearealwayslistening.com/
"Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying ‘I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?’ Citizens don’t seem to mind this monitoring, so we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror,” reads a message on the project’s website. “We’ve started with NYC as a pilot program, but hope to roll the initiative out all across The Homeland.”
Another page of the project’s website embeds the audio from five of those surreptitious recordings of New Yorkers’ conversations, including the ones described above. The group likely has many hours more of surveillance tape from the low-tech spy bugs they’ve scattered around the city.
The project’s creators have chosen to remain anonymous, no doubt in part to avoid the legal controversy surrounding secret recordings of private conversations under New York law. But they tipped off WIRED to their work in an encrypted email a day ahead of their project’s launch Wednesday. They say they’ve planted dozens of the microcassette recorders around New York over the last year. “The NSA employs many 3rd party contractors, [and] we consider ourselves to be contractors of this nature, albeit in a unpaid and unsanctioned capacity,” reads the email. “We can attest to the fact all people recorded are NOT actors and are not knowingly involved in the project in any way.”
That anonymous email was followed by an envelope sent to WIRED’s New York office containing a single page with the printed words “We’re listening as you read this,” along with the group’s website url. Inside the envelope was also one of the group’s tape recorders (without a tape) and a USB stick containing the video below, which shows one of the recorders being surreptitiously planted under a restaurant table, marked with the words “PROPERTY OF NSA.”
A link on the We Are Always Listening site makes clear the project’s larger political purpose: The word “Angry?” in the site’s menu connects to a page on the ACLU’s website that asks Americans to protest the renewal of Patriot Act, whose deadline looms on June 1. The ACLU page asks voters to petition Congress in particular to allow the 215 Section of the law to sunset, which would end the bulk collection of metadata about Americans’ communications, revealed in the first published leak of classified material by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Despite that link, ACLU spokesperson Stacy Sullivan tells WIRED that the group isn’t affiliated with the people behind the eavesdropping prank, though the ACLU did grant them permission to link to the group’s petition page. Sullivan wouldn’t say whether she knew the creators’ identities. The NSA didn’t immediately respond to WIRED’s request for comment.
The recordings posted to the site don’t name any of the eavesdropped speakers. But they do include the locations where the recordings were made, which could provide just enough information to identify some of those speakers. And regardless of anonymity, the prank is likely illegal: Secretly recording a conversation in New York requires the consent of at least one of the people recorded—a tape recorder planted under a table and retrieved later certainly doesn’t qualify.
Of the five recordings published on the project’s website so far, three of the recorders used to get them remain in place, and an untold number of others could still be planted around the city. So, careful what you say in public, New Yorkers—unless, of course, you have nothing to hide.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12756 on: May 20th, 2015, 08:56am »
What did the first snakes look like?
Date: May 19, 2015 Source: BioMed Central
The original snake ancestor was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.
The study, led by Yale University, USA, analyzed fossils, genes, and anatomy from 73 snake and lizard species, and suggests that snakes first evolved on land, not in the sea, which contributes to a longstanding debate. They most likely originated in the warm, forested ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere around 128 million years ago.
Snakes show incredible diversity, with over 3,400 living species found in a wide range of habitats, such as land, water and in trees. But little is known about where and when they evolved, and how their original ancestor looked and behaved.
Lead author Allison Hsiang said: "While snake origins have been debated for a long time, this is the first time these hypotheses have been tested thoroughly using cutting-edge methods. By analyzing the genes, fossils and anatomy of 73 different snake and lizard species, both living and extinct, we've managed to generate the first comprehensive reconstruction of what the ancestral snake was like."
By identifying similarities and differences between species, the team constructed a large family tree and illustrated the major characteristics that have played out throughout snake evolutionary history.
Their results suggest that snakes originated on land, rather than in water, during the middle Early Cretaceous period (around 128.5 million years ago), and most likely came from the ancient supercontinent of Laurasia. This period coincides with the rapid appearance of many species of mammals and birds on Earth.
The ancestral snake likely possessed a pair of tiny hindlimbs, and targeted soft-bodied vertebrate and invertebrate prey that were relatively large in size compared to prey targeted by lizards at the time. While the snake was not limited to eating very small animals, it had not yet developed the ability to manipulate prey much larger than itself by using constriction as a form of attack, as seen in modern Boa constrictors.
While many ancestral reptiles were most active during the daytime (diurnal), the ancestral snake is thought to have been nocturnal. Diurnal habits later returned around 50-45 million years ago with the appearance of Colubroidea -- the family of snakes that now make up over 85% of living snake species. As colder night time temperatures may have limited nocturnal activity, the researchers say that the success of Colubroidea may have been facilitated by the return of these diurnal habits.
The results suggest that the success of snakes in occupying a range of habitats over their evolutionary history is partly due to their skills as 'dispersers'. Snakes are estimated to be able to travel ranges up to 110,000 square kilometres, around 4.5 times larger than lizards. They are also able to inhabit environments that traditionally hinder the dispersal of terrestrial animals, having invaded aquatic habitats multiple times in their evolutionary history.
GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12761 on: May 21st, 2015, 11:07am »
KEWL ~ YOU'RE ROLLIN LIKE A TRUE GATOR WITH A MIND OF A SEMINOLE ~ I'M CURIOUS ~ AS I PLAY THE HAND DEALT ~ THAT TWO PAIR JACK HIGH ~ IS THERE SUCH THING AS A ONE EYED JACK OF DIAMONDS (TOTD ~ THOUGHT OF THE DAY)...