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Planes, guns and automobiles: 5 scariest hacking targets

© Louis Nastro / Eduardo Munoz / Michaela Rehle / Mike Blake / Reuters
Almost 5 billion non-communication devices - from watches to CT-scanners to airplanes - are connected to the internet worldwide, providing criminals, terrorists and governments with ever more opportunities to cause damage and sow chaos. Here are 5 of the most dangerous objects that can be hacked today.

Every electronic device in your household

© Esfandiar Khaleghi / YouTube
The 5 billion figure comes from Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, which says that more than 300 million cars and over 2,800 million consumer devices are already online. By 2020, the number of objects connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to top 25 billion - not an unrealistic estimate considering that many household appliances now come with rudimentary online functions.

"One of the things we're constantly seeing is functionality absolutely being considered first, and security implications not being considered at all," Ted Harrington, who is organizing an IoT "theme park" at DEF CON, a leading hacker conference in August, told tech site Informationweek.

Comment: Cyber attacks are escalating - how long before a 'national emergency' is declared? Several months ago Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency warned:
China and "probably one or two" other countries have the ability to invade and possibly shut down computer systems of U.S. power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies
Was last year's cyber attack on Sony Pictures 'priming' the American people for future attacks by a so-called "foreign government or entity"?


Telephone

Real men, real crimes: The underreported sexual abuse of boys

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© Les Haines, CC by 2.0
People associate childhood sexual abuse with girls yet boys suffer as well and their unwanted experiences have long-term effects, including depression and anxiety.
Imagine yourself 6 years old once again and then try and picture your former (tiny) self within the world.

At that very young age, Rick Goodwin was lured by a construction worker into a vacant house and sexually assaulted there. As his profile reads, Goodwin just "somehow knew that he could not tell his parents." He did, then, what he believed a boy is supposed to do and kept quiet, burying the hurt as deep as he could. Though he maintained good grades in school, he became involved with drugs, yet instead of an unchecked downward spiral, his drug use surprisingly led to epiphany: a college acid trip triggered memories of the abuse and from there he sought counseling. Today Goodwin is a therapist who runs the Men's Project, a free-standing clinic treating male survivors in Ottawa.

Far too automatically, people associate childhood sexual abuse with girls yet boys suffer as well. Quite possibly, they do so in greater numbers than you might expect.

Comment: Child Abuse, Most Goes Unreported: Study
Child Sexual Abuse: The Epidemic No One Talks About
Heartwrenching PSAs reveal how child sexual abuse hides in plain sight


Arrow Down

Your votes don't count: Politicians against labeling of GMO's were huge beneficiaries of BigAg donations

Want to know where the dirty money is which is helping to make GMO labeling illegal?

Shockingly, or perhaps not to the individuals who have been observing the biotech charade, house members who voted to keep the public from knowing what is in their food in the latest land-slide win for Big Food supporters of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (known to its critics as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act)) were paid three times as much as representatives who voted to give us the right to label or ban GMO foods.

It seems odd that the bill would float through Congress so easily with a 275 to 150 vote when so many Americans have expressed a wish to have their food labeled. The Center for Food safety says that 93% of Americans want their food labeled if it contains GM ingredients. And that is just one of many surveys showing similar results:

Comment: Anyone who still labors under the delusion that we live in a democracy where our elected officials listen to the desires of their constituents and have their best interests at heart, should take note. Most of these politicians have been bought by their corporate masters. It should be clear that we have to take responsibility for researching and avoiding these toxic 'foodstuffs' because corrupt officials don't have the capacity to care about the consequences to the rest of us.
  • Monsanto's GMO 'dream bill': Anti-labeling law passes House vote



Wolf

Normalized pathology: Study finds bullies have higher self esteem, social status, low rates of depression

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© Fotolia
Bullying behaviors are linked to higher self-esteem, social status, and a lower rate of depression, according to a new provocative study.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University observed a group of high school students finding that bullies had the highest self esteem, greatest social status, and were less likely to be depressed, as reported by National Post.

"Humans tend to try to establish a rank hierarchy," Jennifer Wong, a criminology professor who led the study, told the Post. "When you're in high school, it's a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways ... Bullying is a tool you can use to get there."

Wong notes that many anti-bullying initiatives try to change the behavior of bullies, but often don't work. This is likely because behavior is hard-wired and not learned, she says. Experts suggest that schools might expand competitive, supervised activities as an alternative outlet to channel dominating behavior.

The new study surveyed 135 teenagers from a Vancouver high school using a standard questionnaire. Questions included things like how often individuals were hit or shoved. Researchers then categorized the students into four groups: bully, bystander, victim, or victim-bully.

About 11 percent of the group was categorized as bullies and they scored highest on self-esteem, social status, and lowest on depression, according to study.

In a separate study, Tony Volk, a Brock University psychologist, found among 178 teenagers surveyed, bullies also were more sexually active.

Comment: We are heavily programmed by society and the media to accept this sort of behavior as normal.This ignorant article doesn't do much to bring attention to the social pain of being bullied and the physical, social and psychological effects on those being bullied. See: See also:

A Structural Theory of Narcissism and Psychopathy


Eye 1

British singer Morrissey sexually assaulted by TSA agent at San Francisco airport

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© CC BY-SA via wikipedia
British singer Morrissey, known for his outspoken views on topics ranging from animal rights to the British royal family, has accused a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer of sexually assaulting him earlier this week at a security checkpoint at the San Francisco International Airport.

In a blog post on the Morrissey fan site True to You, the former frontman of The Smiths described the encounter. He said the guard "stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles."

The singer said that up until the incident, "all was well" at the start of his journey from San Francisco to London on Monday, including at security. "No bleeps and nothing unusual," he wrote. The encounter with the guard happened at around 2:30 p.m, after he had passed through a full body scanner and before he collected his belongings from the trays at the security checkpoint. The officer began to grope the singer, Morrissey alleged, but "quickly moved away as an older 'airport security officer' approached."

Morrissey said the officer was identified as the TSA general manager on duty. Two British Airways Special Service staff members who were accompanying him were "horrified" by the incident, he wrote, and suggested he lodge a complaint with the TSA, which he did. When the officer in question was told he had just been accused of sexually groping a passenger, the officer said, "That's just your opinion," according to Morrissey.

"Apart from 'that's just your opinion,' he would not comment, even though, since the penis and testicles were mine and no one else's, then my opinion must surely have some meaning," Morrissey wrote. "But, of course, what the airport security officer was saying was: your opinion will never count in the eyes of the law."

Fire

'Unprecedented' inspection of 300 vaults planned after underground explosion affects 30,000 customers in Long Beach, California


Southern California Edison employees planned to "take an unprecedented step to inspect 300 vaults" Friday after a massive explosion that was caught on cellphone video caused some 30,000 customers to lose power just two weeks after a series of underground vault fires resulted in a three-day outage for some customers in the area.

About 260 customers remained without power Friday after a vault explosion Thursday afternoon near West 10th Street and Pine Avenue (map) impacted some 30,000 customers, officials said.

Cellphone video of the explosion showed smoke coming from the vault before it apparently blew up, sending flames into the air.

"We are going to take an unprecedented step to inspect 300 vaults today," Edison's Steve Conroy said Friday morning. "There'll be two-man crews and they're going to inspect those vaults to ensure they're safe and that they can perform the way they're supposed to, which is safe and reliably."

Comment: This is just the latest of an increasing number of underground explosions - with no sign of 'snow and salt', the typical combination attributed to such incidents!

There has also been a surge in wildfires recently, more apartment building explosions, more transformer explosions and even drinking well water in China so polluted that it caught fire!

Could some of these incidents be related to increased 'outgassing' as Earth 'opens up' from a build up of methane and other gases from deep below the planet's surface which is igniting, possibly sparked by the increase in atmospheric electric discharge events.

See: SOTT Exclusive: Solar System 'grounding':Transformer explosions and electrical anomalies


House

More young adults are living at home than during the recession

Young adults are living with their parents at greater rates than during the lowest point of the "Great Recession," even in the face of improved job prospects as the economy recovers, a new study finds.

The living arrangements of young adults seem to have come unhinged from labor market conditions, as they are becoming less likely to live on their own as the economy improves from the financial crisis. Five years into the economic recovery, full-time employment is up and wages are starting to rebound. But despite these improvements in the labor market, more millennials are living with their parents than they were during the worst period of the recession, according to a recent Pew Research report.


Comment: The fact is that many young people simply aren't able to be self-sustaining in the current economic climate. Most American households are significantly worse off than they were before the recession; incomes have fallen, wages have stagnated and student loan debt has soared. Those glowing unemployment numbers don't reflect a true picture of the labor market as many people are still struggling with extended periods of unemployment, and only 44 percent of people in the US are employed for more than 30 hours per week. To add to the uncertainty, a majority of people are now fearful of another economic downturn.


Stormtrooper

Sadistic cop shoots puppy in front of children, laughs about it, charges owner with a crime

© The Free Thought Project
Georgia- A tragic and insidious puppycide was reported this week in Clayton County when an officer callously and sadistically shot a puppy in front of children.

A family is grieving after witnessing Clayton County police officer Walter Dennard walk up to their five-month-old lab-pit mix and shoot it, claiming the puppy "lunged at him."

"He just shot the dog and stood there with no remorse, no regrets in front of her and her kids," neighbor Aijohli King told Channel 2 after she witnessed the shooting.

Claudette Terry was moving into her new home when officers stopped to harass her friend who was sitting in the driveway. As two officers were questioning Terry's friend, a third walked up and cowered in fear as a five-month-old puppy approached. He then pulled out his service weapon and fired without any regard for the children playing in the yard.

"My son opened the door the dog ran out and kind of stood by me where the other officers were," Terry explained. "He didn't bark, growl or anything."

When she heard the gunshot, Terry thought her son was shot by this cowardly officer.

"When the gun went off, my son went down in the yard crying. I looked thinking my son may have been shot," she said.

Neighbors who witnessed the shooting said the officer's account of the puppy lunging at him was not true.

Dollars

Greeks use bartering system for goods and services, the cashless way of the future

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© Image source: Telegraph
Residents of Greece are so strapped for cash that they have returned to a primitive barter economy.

Farmers, workers and even corporations have begun bartering because of a shortage of cash reminiscent of the Great Depression in the United States, Reuters reported.

"It's a nightmare," cotton farmer Mimis Tsakanikas told the news service. "I owe many people money now - gas stations and firms that service machinery. I have to go to the bank every single day, and the money I can take out is not enough."

Comment: Bartering for goods and services is what it may come down to in many countries.


Arrow Down

SOTT Exclusive: Reckless sanctions against Russia affect Dutch companies, farmers, and flower growers

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It's a dark day for tulip growers in Holland as Russia threats to ban flower imports from the country
"From the European Union (EU), there are four different sanctions regimes in place in connection with the embezzlement of Ukrainian state funds, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of eastern Ukraine. These sanctions have implications for businesses"
The above quote is a short introductory description to Russian sanctions that appears on the official website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The sanctions against Russia vary from an export ban on certain equipment, technology and services for deep water oil exploration and production in Russia, to capital market restrictions against several Russian state-owned companies in the defense sectors. As the description explains, these sanctions have been imposed on Russia due its alleged aggression and 'crossing the line' in Ukraine. The only problem with the rationale for sanctions against Russia is that they are baseless.

As one of Europe's most famous Professor Emeritus' in public and civil law, Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider, said:
"The self-determination of Crimean citizens can not be eliminated by treaties or the Ukrainian constitution. Crimea has, and had as autonomous republic, the right to choose their own path, even if it means separation from Ukraine. The help that Russia offered was legitimate and certainly no violation of international law."
Despite what warmongers in Washington and the EU would like the world to believe, there was no illegal annexation of Crimea, and it is the West itself that is guilty of the destabilisation of and conflict in eastern Ukraine. Yet, despite these facts, sanctions were imposed against Russia by the EU - which were recently extended until January 31, 2016. The fact that the sanctions amount to the EU shooting itself in the foot is apparently irrelevant to the EU power brokers because, after all, only ordinary Europeans will suffer. The Netherlands is no exception when it comes to its farmers and employers feeling the pressure as a result of this recklessness by the EU.

Before the sanctions, the Netherlands exported €1.5 billion worth of agricultural products to Russia, the most important products being flowers and plants, with a total export value of €390 million in 2013. The second most important export to Russia is milk products. In 2013, cheese, milk, butter, and eggs accounted for €301 million worth of Dutch exports. In third place are vegetables and fruit, with an export value of €184 million. All these exports have seen marked decreases as Russia imposed its own sanctions against the EU in August 2014. Russia has boycotted vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat, and fish from the Netherlands: bad news for the biggest exporter of fresh produce to Russia - and Russia's second-largest market after Germany.