Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Intel patents face recognition algorithm for phones.

Speaking of ubiquitous surveillance:

Face recognition for your phone or Google Glasses. Or drone, or random camera stuck to a wall, or whatever.

Intel recently filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new technology method of real-time facial detection using an image or video of the subject taken by a mobile device.

Intel Korea research engineer Wooju Ryu describes the face detection method in the U.S. Patent Application No. 20140341430, titled "Method and Device for Detecting Face, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Recording Medium for Executing the Method".

That's not all they're doing.

Intel continues to make a strong push into the biometric and wearable technology market through a series of developments and partnerships, such creating a new developer's platform for the Internet of Things, a sector that is closely related to wearable technology.

One gets the feeling that these keeners who toil in the bowels of Intel haven't given even a second's thought to what can happen if the Internet Of Things is being run by somebody mean. Smart people can be the dumbest bastards sometimes, it just kills me.

The Phantom

This is what permits are -really- for: Predation Policing.

The police in the state of Maryland seem to be pulling over people with out-of-state gun permits, looking for any excuse to bust them.

A year ago this New Year's Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.

The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis' Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)

Mr. Filippidis' case earned the support of Second Amendment advocates and subsequent apologies from the MDTA. But an internal police review concluded his stop and search were lawful and did not violate police protocols.

Those findings, however, have not satisfied other out-of-state gun owners, who worry that they, too, have been targeted for minor traffic stops in Maryland because they have concealed weapons permits. Their stories are accumulating.

John Tonnesen IV of Lake Worth, Florida, was pulled over and arrested after a search of his work truck — by the same officer who stopped Mr. Filippidis — turned up his .45-caliber Ruger, licensed in the state of Florida. He doesn't believe the stop was coincidental.

"It was unloaded and stuffed into a bag far from me," Mr. Tonnesen told The Times. "There's scanners in Maryland that scan every tag, and Florida is one of their target vehicles. They'll find whatever reason they can to pull you over."

MDTA denies it targets out-of-state gun owners and noted the review of Mr. Fillipides earlier traffic stop concluded the officers did nothing wrong.

Its like this. There's a license plate scanner on every cop car, bridge, toll booth etc. in Maryland on the interstate highways. These scanners note the passing of every car. The system notes things like route, state of origin, and what time the car was read. Given that info the system can establish things like average speed, if the guy is a lane hopper, if he's passing through or local, all kinds of things.

Lets assume the system is set up to red flag certain behaviors. Like speeding, or being out-of-state. So a guy is averaging 60mph instead of 55mph, he gets a red flag. If its an out-of-state plate, he gets two red flags.  Now if I'm a gun control freak, I can ask "does 2 Red Flag car owner have a gun permit or warrants/charges against him?"  Automated query goes out to the state of origin, in this case Florida. Maybe Florida's system has yes/no data on gun permits. So now the system has that data.

The system also knows where all the cop cars are. It can preferentially assign cop cars to go intercept any car it wants to. The more red flags on a car, the more likely the system will assign a cop car to go get that guy. Or the cop can ask the system to identify likely candidates for a traffic stop at his location, because he's trolling for tickets to make his quota. Either way, if he writes a gun charge he gets more brownie points than a plain vanilla speeding ticket.

Important tip, Mr. Policeman does not care about you. As far as he is concerned, you are a source of Brownie Points. That makes you food and he's a wolf. Its a predation model, not a service model. Got it?

All you "I've got nothing to fear, I've done nothing wrong" people out there, you should start being very goddamn afraid. Because maybe you've never done anything wrong in Ontario, or New York, or Florida, or East Moose Antler Alaska. But the mere possession of seemingly innocuous objects in one place is a felony in another. Oh, you have a gun permit in Florida? I'm going to search your shit right down to the paint because I can bust your redneck ass here in Maryland and get 16 Brownie Points. If I get 20,000 Brownie Points they make me a sergeant!

I hasten to add, this phenomenon is not restricted to guns. Did you change the emission controls on your car? Is it legal in whatever place you are in? They can TAKE YOUR CAR if it isn't, you know. Just take it. Bang. And if you registered that modification legally back home in East Moose Antler, there is a California license plate reader looking for you right now. And a New York one, and a Connecticut one, and a Nebraska one.... you get the picture.

Did you buy medical marijuana in Colorado? Did you buy cheese in North Dakota? Did you get married in Las Vegas? Do you own a particular kind of dog? Oh yeah, if you own a properly licensed "pit bull" and you're driving through Colorado, you could easily have the cops pull you over looking for that dog. If they find it they will TAKE THE DOG. Right now. Take it, impound it and put it down the same day.

The purpose of licenses and permits is not to protect the public, not to reduce crime, not even to create revenue. In the new predation policing model, the purpose of licenses and permits is to identify targets. Ubiquitous surveillance systems find you, vector enforcement onto your location and then the State takes your stuff and maybe your freedom. Not because you've ever done anything in your life to deserve it, but because they can. Pure and simple.

The Phantom

Sunday, December 28, 2014

And now, the annual "whinging about the younger generation" articles begin.

I'm sorry, I don't usually care at all about this type of thing, but this one is so egregiously wrong I have to make an example of it.

Young people in Britain have become a lost generation who can no longer mend gadgets and appliances because they have grown up in a disposable world, the professor giving this year's Royal Institution Christmas lectures has warned.

Oh. My ghod. Its the viewing with alarm of the Younger Generation again. The Younger Generation is the Disposable Generation. I'm 58, I've been hearing this exact same bollocks since I was the "younger generation" myself.

Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to 'just work' and have no idea what to do when things go wrong. Unlike previous generations who would 'make do and mend' now young people will just chuck out their faulty appliances and buy new ones. But Prof George claims that many broken or outdated gadgets could be fixed or repurposed with only a brief knowledge of engineering and electronics.

You mean like Boomers used to fix and re-purpose their own tube driven televisions and radios, washers/dryers/refrigerators/telephones? That's what the house had in it when I was a kid. Washer, dryer, fridge, TV, radio, telephone. When I was really little we just had a radio and a fridge, the washer was Mum in the laundry tubs and the dryer was some clothes pins. When the TV or the radio broke it was so high tech you couldn't fix it, you called The Man. He fixed it.
You mean like GenXers used to fix their own tape decks and Walkmans?
You mean like GenYers used to fix their own computers? Oh wait, they DO fix their own computers. And everything else that isn't a monolithic IC.

Somebody type "hackerspace" or "arduino" into google, mail it to f-ing Dr. Danielle George Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, and tell her to go pound it up her no-doubt ample fundament.


The Phantom.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Never mind, its Christmas!

Merry Christmas all!

Here's where it starts to get interesting, America.

Ratbags looking for something to do appear to be thinking about shooting uniforms. And if they're all thinking it, one of them will have poor enough impulse control to actually do it.

A Jacksonville firefighter was wounded Tuesday evening during an apparent drive-by shooting when someone opened fire at a fire truck refueling outside a firehouse on the city's Southside, sources tell First Coast News.

At some point, firefighters were pumping gas outside Station 28 near Southside Boulevard and Hogan Road when someone driving by apparently opened fire, Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, told FCN in a phone interview.

About five or six shots were fired, police said. In the wake of the shooting, authorities have placed fire stations across the city on high alert.

This is exactly what y'all were warned about waaaay back in 2008 when community organizer Barack Obama won the DemocRat Presidential nomination. All his community organizer constituency was emboldened by his nomination. They've been feeling their oats and getting frisky ever since. What they really want is to consolidate their power base by recreating the Rodney King riots in LA, except nation wide.

The reaction when White Hispanic George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death wasn't all they had hoped for, because:
  1. George Zimmerman wasn't technically a honkey and
  2. Little Trayyyyvon was shot while trying to fracture Zimmerman's skull on the sidewalk.
So they had to wait for a better opportunity. Michael Brown getting shot in Ferguson Missouri was that opportunity. Black kid shot by Real White Cop, perfect. Open the propaganda floodgates and let 'er rip. Result, riots. Yay! But not enough riots. Only on TV, not in every city. Have to try harder!

Now, having sown the wind, they get to reap the whirlwind. Al "The Mouth That Roared" Sharpton is backpedaling like Lance Armstrong on crack this week, trying to get away from the execution of the two police officers in New York City. He's going to have this firefighter's wounding to deal with as well.

But Obama and the community organizer constituency in the Federal bureaucracy are doubling down. They are full speed ahead with all their programs and propaganda. This is the result they wanted, and they want more. They are obviously going to throw Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to the media hounds while their steamroller insurrection moves inexorably forward.

Now do we all finally understand why podunk towns in Iowa need MRAP mine resistant trucks and why the Department of Education needs military weapons, body armor and vehicles? They're doing it deliberately, and planning ahead for when the shit really hits the fan.

I will now prophesy that the final straw will come when the National Food Stamp system has a "failure" and all those EBT cards stop working the same day. Some fool will declare open season on Whitey, probably on Twitter, and then the fun will really and truly start.

What the Official Plan is for after the big riots I have no clue. Most likely they haven't thought that far ahead, they're depending on Karl Marx to create the Worker's Paradise by magic.

Plan accordingly.

The Phantom

Friday, December 19, 2014

FBI is investigating Gamergate.

"Oh, that's so SEXIST! Somebody call the FBI!!!"

The tempest in a teapot which was GamerGate is now getting official attention from the FBI.
Rejecting a request for the FBI's files on #Gamergate and its affiliates, the bureau stated that, while they have responsive documents related to the loose coalition, those files are part of an ongoing investigation, and release "would interfere with law enforcement proceedings." Who or what is being investigated remains an open question.
A number of individuals, including Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu, have reported death threats after being targeted by Gamergate.
The response letter is a standard form letter from the FBI, generally used anytime there is a related open investigation on the subject in question.
This is an interesting development from a political perspective. For the FBI to get involved in something as stupid as GamerGate, aka name calling on Twitter, somebody important must have decided they want to make an example of the politically non-correct segment of the game industry.

The wiki article here.

An interestingly non-congruent to wiki article here. Seems like wiki has picked a side. FBI has picked the same side, most likely.

There is nothing the New Fascism will not try to bring under the Iron Thumb of Control.

The Phantom

We know they listen, this is how.

Big Brother's Big Ear.
German researchers reveal major "flaws" aka eavesdropping tools in cell phone security.

The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are the latest evidence of widespread insecurity on SS7, the global network that allows the world's cellular carriers to route calls, texts and other services to each other. Experts say it's increasingly clear that SS7, first designed in the 1980s, is riddled with serious vulnerabilities that undermine the privacy of the world's billions of cellular customers.
The flaws discovered by the German researchers are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes – such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower – that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network.
 So it isn't a bug, its a feature.
The researchers did not find evidence that their latest discoveries, which allow for the interception of calls and texts, have been marketed to governments on a widespread basis. But vulnerabilities publicly reported by security researchers often turn out to be tools long used by secretive intelligence services, such as the National Security Agency or Britain's GCHQ, but not revealed to the public.
"Many of the big intelligence agencies probably have teams that do nothing but SS7 research and exploitation," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the ACLU and an expert on surveillance technology. "They've likely sat on these things and quietly exploited them."
I'd go further and speculate that the big intelligence agencies ARRANGED this as far back as the 1970's, forward to today.

Just my tinfoil hat speculation.

The Phantom

IRS: "Stick 'em up, America!"

When Congress tells the IRS they get a budget cut this year, what does the IRS do?

In the recent budget deal, Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million to $10.9 billion — $1.5 billion less than the administration asked for. The IRS' budget has been reduced about $1 billion since 2010.

To elucidate, the Congress has reduced the IRS budget from ~$12.2 billion in 2010 to $10.9 billion in 2015. That's $1.2 billion reduction over five years. In other words, they got cut 10% in total at a rate of 2% per year.

2% per year. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Didn't your taxes go up two percent this year?

IRS response is to stage a stick up.

"People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do, … but there is no way we can say right now that that wont happen," Koskinen told reporters at a Thursday press conference on the upcoming tax season. ...
Koskinen says there is no more fat to cut at the IRS.

In other words: "No tax refunds for you, America. We've got your damn money, if you want it back you better bring these Republicans to heel. Back to work, slaves."

And people wonder why there's a Tea Party.

The Phantom

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sydney: The known, the unknown, and that which shall not be mentioned.

Well, it seems that Australia joins Canada in having Islamic nuts killing people for no reason. The Sidney Australia nut took 17 people hostage yesterday at around 10AM local time, the cops raided the place at just after 2am local time this morning in response to gunfire from inside the location.

40 sexual and indecent assault charges, conviction for sending offensive letters to families of deceased Australian soldiers, on bail with a murder charge pending, now he's a dead guy.

Details here.

There's a long list of things that the paper says are known and a shorter one of things that aren't. I won't reproduce that here, just go visit the link.

There are a few things conspicuously absent from the lists, however.

First, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot's behavior is interesting. From the paper:

This despite the fact that:
  • A black flag with an Islamic creed written on it in Arabic was displayed in the windows.
So the Lone Gunman obviously considered it an act of Islamic terrorism, but the Prime Minister... doesn't.  Interesting, yes? Stephen Harper decided the Ottawa Cenotaph shooting was terrorism and said so before they even got all of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's blood off the tile at the House of Commons.

Second, how does one lone nut take 17 people hostage? Answer, GUN CONTROL. Unmentioned in the paper anywhere, this is Australian gun control working as it was intended to do. 17 people can't be held against their will for almost 24 hours by just one guy unless their government has made them helpless first.

Third, not to be a Monday Morning quarterback or anything, but how many times do you have to shoot a guy before he's no longer a threat? Apparently a lot, given the number of muzzle flashes in the video from Sidney. Indeed, in Ottawa the Sergeant at Arms and his men shot Bibeau 12 times before he fell down, and new info indicates the guard on the front door managed to nail Bibeau one time as he ran through. Got him square, didn't seem to slow him at all. Pistols suck. Maybe consider switching to .308 hollow points for home defense.

Fourth and finally, just like Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in Canada, this gink Man Heron Monis was -extremely- well know to Australian police. They knew every damn thing about this guy down to how he likes his eggs in the morning. They couldn't possibly have had more intel on him. And yet, well known, under surveillance semi-coherent nutcase and out-on-bail criminal Monis was able to get himself a gun and a "machete", and then pull this suicide-by-cop standoff. In Canada the shooter Bibeau was part of a fricking RCMP outreach program that exists to try and talk these freak Mooselimb radicals out of doing anything crazy. Major fail, outreach dudes.

Plus the cherry on top, both of these situations happened in the capital cities of both countries where there's cops and frigging cameras all over town. A squirrel can't take a dump on the sidewalk without being photographed from at least three angles.

This proves two things I've been saying for years. Gun control doesn't control guns, much less crime. Ubiquitous surveillance by police doesn't deter criminals, much less terrorists.

Gun control and ubiquitous surveillance are there to control the populace, not to reduce threats against the populace. That's because as far as the police and the government generally are concerned, the populace IS the threat.

You are STUPID. You must be CONTROLLED. Now get back to work paying those taxes, serfs.

The Phantom

Thursday, December 04, 2014

What Thomas Sowell is too polite to say.

I spotted this on Drudge today.

Thomas Sowell, author of "Basic Economics," argued that increasing the number of foreign workers in the US "will keep down the wages of American workers" and that "you would have to get a psychiatrist" to explain the GOP's support for increased foreign labor on Thursday's "Laura Ingraham Show."
"The competition will keep down the wages of American workers, I mean, this is not a new principle. I mean this has been known for hundreds of years," he stated.
When asked why the GOP would support such a policy, he responded "you would have to get a psychiatrist or someone like that to explain that. There are cleaning women who say 'I don't do windows. I don't explain Republicans.'"

Well, Thomas Sowell is being polite in implying the Republicans are crazy. They're not crazy. They're selling America for a bowl of potage.

I think a decent accountant could explain exactly why the Republican leadership is supporting Obama's idiot immigration policies. Just let him alone in a small room with their tax returns and their donor lists for a couple hours, and he'd be able to lay it out for you.

Its the same reason Obama has the policy in the first place. Huge, gigantic, stupefying amounts of money are being made on the backs of illegal immigrants, and some of that titanic wad of cash rubs off on the politicians who let more illegals come in.

See, big industry doesn't want more legal workers. Because legal workers are expensive. There's regulations that make it prohibitive to hire any legal worker even at minimum wage.

They want to hire "contractors". The "contractor" then hires illegal workers, who do whatever the job is and save the big industry from having to follow the regulations.

That's why Obama's "amnesty" is such bullshit. Nobody is going to go for it. they'll stay illegal unless or until they get pinched by La Migra, THEN they'll take the amnesty.

The Phantom

Monday, December 01, 2014

What goes around, comes around.

Coming home to roost. Its a biiiig one!
In a shocking, simply shocking twist of fate, the journalist who published Ferguson ex-policeman Darren Wilson's home address has been calling the Chicago PD non-stop. Because some dastardly terrorist published HER address.

The New York Times journalist who published Darren Wilson's home address wants police protection and has been calling the police nonstop, has learned.
Julie Bosman "keeps calling the 020th District station complaining about people harassing and threatening her," our source told us. She's also "complaining about numerous food deliveries being sent to her residence."
Chicago police department sources alerted about the glaring double standard on Friday.
300lb chicken coming home to roost, huh Julie?

Wouldn't it be simply AWFUL if poor little innocent Julie Bosman had to quit her job and leave town because nassssty people kept threatening her? Like what's happening to Darren Wilson, for example? Oh the Humanity!

The Phantom

Oh look, Culture DOES matter.

Turns out, two tier justice and single parent families are worse for you than living in Nigeria.

Led by Dr. Kristen Mmari, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, the survey assessed health challenges faced by 2,400 15- to 19-year-olds from impoverished areas in Baltimore, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Ibadan and New Delhi, as well as their perceptions of their environments.

The researchers found many similarities—in all five cities, adolescents were exposed to unsanitary conditions, substance abuse and violence—but the differences between each area were especially compelling. Overall, teenagers in Baltimore and Johannesburg, despite being located in comparably wealthy countries, had far worse health outcomes and tended to perceive their communities more negatively.

Really? How terrible! Who did that to these poor children?

According to Mmari, one could point to a combination of environmental and social factors, including the exposure to violence and a lack of social support, which were found to be less prevalent in the three other cities.

Wait, Baltimore has less "social support" than Nigeria? How is that possible?

Adolescents in Baltimore and Johannesburg also had relatively lower levels of "social cohesion," a phrase used to describe the emotional support provided by one's family and neighbors. In Baltimore, many poor teens grow up in single-parent homes and have a father in prison, while those in Johannesburg tend to lose their parents to AIDS.

"In those cities, kids were much more likely to live in a one-parent household," Mmari says. (Or, as a youth in Baltimore described it, "The kids are being raised by themselves.") "Whereas in Delhi, most of these kids are still living in two-parent homes, so they are getting much more support."

Free welfare money and a general "if it feels right do it" culture is -worse- than living in the crappiest part of Nigeria or India where just getting food is a major challenge.

In other words, Liberals did it to them.

Like I've been saying, all cultures are not created equal.

The Phantom