August 23, 2017
A popular weather app known for precise forecasts and storm warnings has been caught tracking users and sharing the location data with a third-party monetizing firm. RT America’s Marina Portnaya brings us the details.
August 23, 2017
A popular weather app known for precise forecasts and storm warnings has been caught tracking users and sharing the location data with a third-party monetizing firm. RT America’s Marina Portnaya brings us the details.
August 23, 2017
“Facebook is for old people,” I was told by a 17-year-old last week in San Francisco at the Startup Societies Summit.
He doesn’t use the social media platform. He’s right too. About half a million fewer teens aged 12-17 will use Facebook this year compared to last year.
Facebook depends on older people for its advertising revenue. But it needs to get users while they are young in order to keep them coming back to the social media website when they are older.
Facebook may be busy cooking up ways to attract the younger crowd, but they will inevitably fail at doing so. It is too late. If I am being told by a teenager that Facebook is for old people, the company probably suffers from an insurmountable branding problem among teens.
If parents are on Facebook, kids aren’t interested.
It’s not time to dig Facebook’s grave just yet.
Instagram is the preferred alternative to Facebook among youngsters. And Facebook owns Instagram.
But Facebook and Instagram are totally different platforms. On Instagram, you share pictures. Sure, you can write a caption and use some hashtags. And plenty of people still share memes. But it is not the personal information clearinghouse that Facebook is… or was.
Facebook is struggling with how to get people to share more personal things on their website. That was the main feature for a while, and probably what made Facebook popular. But now people are moving towards sharing more images, memes, and videos… things you can do on Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat.
Ironically Facebook’s attempts to compete with other platforms helped depersonalize it. The engagement which made it popular is in the process of evaporating.
…sharing of original, personal content on Facebook declined by 21% between mid-2014 and mid-2015, and by 15% between April 2015 and April 2016, according to the Information.
Facebook addressed this decline in the sharing of personal content as “context collapse.” As users’ networks ballooned and their feeds became crowded with an ever growing pool of links and multimedia content from brands, who could blame them for not sharing? What’s the point of writing on a friend’s Timeline or posting a status update when it won’t be seen?
For me, Facebook is basically just a directory. People I have met and want to network with are added as friends, and then if I need to contact them, I can always send them a Facebook message.
It is also considered necessary to have Facebook pages for businesses or websites. This just adds to the impersonal feeling. People are seeing Facebook as more of an advertising machine, and less as an online social club. They are seeing more news–sure sometimes with their friends’ terrible opinions thrown in–and less about how their friends are feeling.
Facebook needs to know how you are feeling… it is how they advertise to you.
And this highlights why owning Instagram might not be enough for Facebook’s business model. Yes, they will still be alive as a company. But being alive isn’t the same as being an advertising powerhouse.
The reason Facebook is such a good way to advertise is because of the data. They know your “likes” and dislikes. They know what time you are most likely to click, and when you just want to be shown a cute cat video.
In Zuckerberg’s quest for world domination, Instagram just cannot deliver.
Facebook is in the power game by manupulating emotions, and making you feel a certain way. Facebook actually performed a study which manipulated the emotions of over 600,000 users in January 2012. For a week, they showed some people only negative news and status updates, and others only positive stories.
What the targetted users went on to post corresponded with whether or not they were being shown negative or positive things. They even were more likely to post emotional status updates when shown friends’ emotional updates. When they were shown mundane, boring posts, they were more likely to refrain from posting at all.
Facebook basically demonstrated that they can shape your worldview based on the information they throw into your feed.
But Instagram is different. On Instagram, you don’t have “friends.” You can follow someone, and they can follow you back. But they don’t have to. You can have one way follows. And it isn’t that easy for the other person to tell if you follow them, except at the very beginning, or by tediously looking through their follow list.
Sure, Instagram could serve up, or withhold certain images. But it is easy to unfollow friends who are posting stupid political memes without them ever knowing. People want to see beautiful places, architecture, animals, and pictures of friends.
It is a photo platform. Most of the time I don’t even read the description. Most of the time I scroll right past an image with words on it. Yes, they are still going to advertise to me, but my brain immediately recognizes it as an advertisement. They can only go so far without taking me out of the experience. In Facebook, that is all part of the experience, and it is relatively seamless.
So is Facebook going the way of the dinosaurs?
Probably not anytime soon. But I would be surprised if their influence didn’t shrink significantly over the next decade. They are not immune to industry disruption.
Even mighty behemoths of companies are not as safe as they might think. Remember MySpace?
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
August 18, 2017
Never heard of Palantir? Well, if you’re a J.R.R. Tolkien- Lord of the Rings fan, or a fan of the movie adaptations of the fantasy trilogy, you’ll know what a “palantir” is: it is for all intents and purposes a crystal-ball that functions as a kind of communications device, allowing its users, presumably, to also see future actions.
It is also the name of a predictive program developed by Peter Thiel, and rapidly being sold to law enforcement agencies around the country, according to this article shared by Mr. R.R.T, and it’s well worth reading and pondering carefully:
As the article avers, the program brings to mind Philip K. Dick’s “Department of Pre-Crime” which figured in the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report:
Palantir, the CIA-backed startup, is Minority Report come true. It is all-powerful, yet no one knows it even exists. Palantir does not have an office, it has a “SCIF” on a back street in Palo Alto, California. SCIF stands for “sensitive compartmentalised information facility”. Palantir says its building “must be built to be resistant to attempts to access the information within. The network must be ‘airgapped’ from the public internet to prevent information leakage.”
Palantir’s defence systems include advanced biometrics and walls impenetrable to radio waves, phone signal or internet. Its data storage is blockchained: it cannot be accessed by merely sophisticated hacking, it requires digital pass codes held by dozens of independent parties, whose identities are themselves protected by blockchain.
Palantir watches everything you do and predicts what you will do next in order to stop it. As of 2013, its client list included the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Centre for Disease Control, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point and the IRS. Up to 50% of its business is with the public sector. In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture arm, was an early investor.
In Iraq, the Pentagon used Palantir software to track patterns in roadside bomb deployment and worked out garage-door openers were being used as remote detonators by predicting it.
Palantir allowed the marines to upload DNA samples from remote locations and tap into information gathered from years of collecting fingerprints and DNA evidence, the results returned almost immediately.
Of course, all of this calls to mind Dick’s “Department of Pre-Crime” and the dangers it presents, and the article itself mentions them:
However, when Cruise’s character begins to question the morality of what he is doing, his superiors detect a threat to the entire pre-crime programme. In order to get rid of him, Cruise is framed for a murder by altering the data of his thought history. In the final showdown with his boss, it is explained to Cruise that sometimes the numbers need to lie for the greater good of society.
Minority Report is set in 2054, but Palantir is putting pre-crime into operation now. The Los Angeles Police Department has used Palantir to predict who will commit a crime by swooping Minority Report-style on suspects. Palantir calls its work with the LAPD “improving situational awareness, and responding to crime in real time”.
Ok, so where’s the high octane speculation.
Well, today I don’t have one, but I do have a high octane prediction. Christ, according to the Gospels, once warned that all evil ultimately proceeds from the heart and mind of man. This is where it begins; the evil action begins not just in a thought or a temptation, but by the individual will holding it, so to speak, to the mind’s attention, and contemplating it. From God’s point of view, in other words, while the wilful attention to an evil action may not result in the action itself, nonetheless it is the same in God’s eyes as if it had. But from the practical development of moral theology, it was long recognized that, from the human point of view, the action itself was far worse than the mere act of wilful (and pleasurable) attention to it. (Apologies for compacting so much into so little space!) With this in mind, here is the high octane prediction: the use of such programs will be justified by those wanting to impose even more surveillance on society precisely by such “theological” and “moral” appeals; after all, if Christ warned about the heart and mind of the individual as the beginning of the process of an evil action, then the best way to nip it in the bud is to convict on the basis of that beginning, regardless of the end result. It will be “sold”, as it were, as a very “Christian” or “pious” or “religious” thing to do. Technology will thus be sold as a “solution” to the old problem of theodicy; technology, not grace, will perfect mankind. Everyone must conform in their thinking… it will be the new manifestation of the “social gospel”, a tempting apple in the eye of its advocates.
And that of course, completely misses the other part of the problem, but I’ll leave that for the reader to think about…
See you on the flip side…
Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.
August 17, 2017
Legal and media analyst Lionel explains how cell phone companies take advantage of their customers who never read the consent form about where the personal information goes, allowing the companies to track the users’ data.
Pay close attention to this one. It’s the future coming at you like a strong wind.
First, a bit of background. As my readers know, I’ve assembled conclusive proof that psychiatric diagnosis of mental disorders is a fraud. It’s pseudoscience. There are no defining lab tests. No definitive blood, saliva, hair, brain, genetic tests.
Instead, committees of psychiatrists meet and discuss arbitrary clusters of behaviors, group them and label them with “mental-disorder” names.
But diehards insist that one of the earliest and oldest disorders, schizophrenia, is the exception. That one is solid. That one isn’t pseudoscience. That one is the “gold standard.”
As fiercebiotech.com reports, “…Diagnosing schizophrenia relies on subjective methods…There is no single test for schizophrenia, so diagnosis typically involves observing symptoms and ruling out other potential causes for them…”
Want more? Fiercebiotech: “And while scientists have observed differences in brain scans of healthy people and those with schizophrenia…these are not currently used to diagnose the neurological disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).” Not used because the brain scans aren’t precise or definitive.
Same old, same old. Committees of psychiatrists “observe symptoms” (behaviors) and invent rules for diagnosis of schizophrenia.
As usual, the public is the last to know.
Now, there is a new project afoot that aims to change the non-objective diagnosis, using MRI images of the brain. IBM and the University of Alberta are working on it:
Fiercebiotech (see also this press release): “The team used machine learning to create a model that identifies schizophrenia based on connections in the brain, IBM said. The fMRI data was taken from different sites, using different machines, but the algorithm could differentiate between the patients with schizophrenia and without 74% of the time.”
No one is popping champagne corks. This was a small pilot study using 95 volunteers. Typically, these projects die out when larger studies are done, because the results aren’t specific enough.
That’s why NO brain tests, for ANY so-called mental disorder, are labeled definitive in the psychiatric bible, the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
However, the computer boys and medical pros keep trying—and here is where the Surveillance State enters the scene in an ugly way.
Fiercebiotech: “Mindstrong Health, cofounded by former NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health, a federal agency] chief Tom Insel, is working on technology that analyzes smartphone data to determine a person’s mental state. The company’s tech collects information on which words are used, or a person’s location when using certain apps, for example, and turns them into objective measures of brain function. The company recently raised $14 million…”
“Meanwhile, Boston-based Akili Interactive and Pfizer reported data last year showing that a video game-based diagnostic test could distinguish between people with and without brain amyloidosis, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. And PureTech’s Sonde Health is working on the analysis of ‘vocal biomarkers,’ or changes in nonlinguistic characteristics of a person’s voice, to indicate changes in health.”
To make a long story short: spy on everybody through their cell phones and computers, in order to diagnose them with ANY mental disorder.
The Surveillance State gets a new justification, and the psychiatric establishment gets to play Big Brother, “to protect us all” from mentally ill persons.
This research was kicked into a higher gear by Obama’s Brain Mapping Project, which he announced in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The Project is necessary, he claimed, to help prevent such future tragedies.
No, the Project is necessary to expand surveillance of the population, for the sake of control.
Psychiatric diagnosis, and the toxic drugging that follows, IS a form of control.
“Well, we have a red-flagged subject in Boston who’s been using key words in his cell phone calls, and the non-linguistic pauses and voice inflections indicate he’s demonstrating a schizoid pattern. According to outlined procedures, we need to step up surveillance on him, do a deep check on his financials, quietly interview a few of his friends and co-workers, determine his voting record, find out what groups he belongs to. He’s a college professor. He teaches American history. Do we have anything on how he interprets the Founding Fathers, the Constitution…oh look, he seems to be making statements about the need to return to limited central government…we’ve got a live one, guys. Get busy…”
Diagnose the prof with schizoid tendencies and put him on an anti-psychotic drug, which will sink him into a brain haze and slow down his motor reflexes, at minimum.
Psychiatry and the Surveillance State:
Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
July 17, 2017
READ THE NEWSLETTER: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=23274 Yes, the Canadian government has rolled out an app that gives you points for eating well and exercising and taking quizzes about the flu shot and other healthy activities! And everyone seems totally fine with this. Welcome to the future, everyone, because the totalitarian states of tomorrow will be more carrot then stick, and we will all be pigeons in a virtual Skinner box. What could go wrong?
July 14, 2017
SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=23211 Who controls the temperature datasets controls the past, and who controls the past controls the future. Welcome to the Orwellian world of temperature adjustments and climate alarmism. Sit up straight and buckle up tight, because this is consensus science as brought to you by Big Brother.
July 14, 2017
This article is not about fear. This article is about common sense.
Last week, we discussed the internet of things, and how smart devices could be used to literally know more about us than we know about ourselves.
This is not some distant future dystopia we are talking about. It is already happening.
A smart device in a home called the police during a domestic violence incident.
It appears to have been a reaction by the device to the abuser yelling at his girlfriend, “Did you call the sheriffs?” The device heard “Call the sheriffs,” and did so.
A SWAT team arrived at the home and after negotiating for hours, they were able to take Barros into custody. Police tell ABC News that the man’s girlfriend was injured but did not need to visit a hospital. The couple’s daughter was safe and unharmed.
“The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III said in a statement.
It’s hard to look at this as big brother ruining lives; after all, the guy was abusing his girlfriend in front of their daughter. Constant spying has entered the mainstream media as a good thing. Look at all the benefits of having nowhere to hide; the scum of the earth who abuse their girlfriends will be caught and locked up.
But there are a lot of crimes out there, and not all of them harm others. In fact, chances are we all break multiple laws on a daily basis. So if the government knows about every law you break, they could certainly choose to overlook them. If they also know however that you legally reduced your taxes to almost nothing, or that you have a legal foreign bank account, well then maybe they have some incentive to snag you.
Al Capone was never arrested for murder, racketeering, or selling alcohol. He was arrested for tax evasion. If they want you, they can find a way to get you. They have been doing it since Capone’s time.
What if it had been another illicit activity that was recorded by the smart device? What if it had been a victimless crime? Would the police have come if they heard people talking about growing 25 marijuana plants in the basement?
The media will point to the “success stories” of locking up the bad guys with this technology. They will not highlight the people who are nabbed for code violations, renting out a room illegally, or hate speech.
In some ways, this problem has an easy solution; simply do not use devices that will spy on you.
But in another sense, that is not so simple. Even most cell phones these days are constantly recording your conversations. Is the only solution becoming hermits?
Are we willing and able as consumers to demand that type of privacy? Comment with your thoughts on how you have dealt with this problem in your own life.
July 1, 2017
The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.
On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.
In the Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”
However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman’s ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence “assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents.
The reality of a more narrowly based Russia-gate assessment was admitted in May by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan in sworn congressional testimony.
Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.
Clapper further acknowledged that the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 assessment on alleged Russian hacking were “hand-picked” from the CIA, FBI and NSA.
Yet, as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did.
In the history of U.S. intelligence, we have seen how this selective approach has worked, such as the phoney determination of the Reagan administration pinning the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and other acts of terror on the Soviet Union.
CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates shepherded the desired findings through the process by putting the assessment under the control of pliable analysts and sidelining those who objected to this politicization of intelligence.
The point of enlisting the broader intelligence community – and incorporating dissents into a final report – is to guard against such “stove-piping” of intelligence that delivers the politically desired result but ultimately distorts reality.
Another painful example of politicized intelligence was President George W. Bush’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD that removed State Department and other dissents from the declassified version that was given to the public.
Since Clapper’s and Brennan’s testimony in May, the Times and other mainstream news outlets have avoided a direct contradiction of their earlier acceptance of the 17-intelligence-agencies canard by simply referring to a judgment by “the intelligence community.”
That finessing of their earlier errors has allowed Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats to continue referencing this fictional consensus without challenge, at least in the mainstream media.
For instance, on May 31 at a technology conference in California, Clinton referred to the Jan. 6 report, asserting that “Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get. They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election.”
The failure of the major news organizations to clarify this point about the 17 agencies may have contributed to Haberman’s mistake on June 25 as she simply repeated the groupthink that nearly all the Important People in Washington just knew to be true.
But the Times’ belated correction also underscores the growing sense that the U.S. mainstream media has joined in a political vendetta against Trump and has cast aside professional standards to the point of repeating false claims designed to denigrate him.
That, in turn, plays into Trump’s Twitter complaints that he and his administration are the targets of a “witch hunt” led by the “fake news” media, a grievance that appears to be energizing his supporters and could discredit whatever ongoing investigations eventually conclude.
June 30, 2017
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=23153
What do you get when you combine behavioural science with big data and use the new Frankenstein hybrid to better influence people’s thoughts, opinions and desires? Why, psychographics of course! Join James today as he delves into the murky world of billionaire hedge fund owners, creepy thought manipulators and the Trump campaign.