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North Charleston man facing federal charges over $.89 drink refill

(from wistv.com)

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC)

A North Charleston man was hit with a federal fine for refilling his drink without paying. The on-site construction worker says he didn’t know refills at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston came at a price, and Wednesday, during his lunch hour, he was slapped with federal charges.

The ticket was issued by the Federal Police Force at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston after Christopher Lewis refilled his soda without paying the $0.89. A hospital spokesperson called it a “theft of government property.”

“Every time I look at the ticket, it’s unbelievable to me,” says Lewis, who works construction. “I can’t fathom the fact that I made a $0.89 mistake that cost me $525.”

Lewis is now out of a job. According to a hospital spokesperson, signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons that refills aren’t free. Lewis says he never noticed the signs and admits he had refilled his drink without paying on other occasions. He says after he went back for seconds on Wednesday, a man who identified himself as the chief of police, stopped him.

“As I was filling my cup up, I turned to walk off and a fella grabbed me by the arm and asked me was I going to pay for that, and I told him I wasn’t aware that I had to pay for that.”

Lewis says he tried to pay the $0.89 right there, but wasn’t allowed to. He says he wasn’t given the chance to pay the cashier either.

“I never had an option to make right what I had done wrong.”

He says he was taken to a room, given the $525 ticket for shoplifting and told not to return to the property.

 

(keep reading at wistv.com)

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Republicans Hate Women

(from theguardian.com)

Last November, a new law went into effect in Texas: abortion clinics would now be required to have an agreement with a local hospital so that patients needing treatment could be transferred.

Now that sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Perhaps, until you consider the fact that it caused one-third of health centers to stop providing abortions. Women in the Rio Grande Valley now have to travel hundreds of miles (if they’re lucky enough to have the transportation and resources) to get access to a safe, legal abortion.

The Texas legislature has become an extreme example of new restrictions on abortion continuing to sweep statehouses in 2014, and the particulars buried by all those Wendy Davis profiles showcase a slick new tactic of the pro-life movement: a requirement for admitting privileges. At first glance, that kind of rule appears designed to protect women’s health – to have an abortion provider make an arrangement with a local hospital in case of an emergency seems harmless, even helpful.

But this law, like so many others in the works, also imposes all kinds of obstacles to providers and clinics actually gaining these privileges. The end result: abortion clinics are shutting down all across the country. And because the (often Evangelical) bill-crafting language is so deceptively reasonable and so effective at defusing public outrage, we might not even have noticed that our constitutional right to safe and legal abortions is being steadily eroded.

(keep reading at theguardian.com)

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Creationist Cosmos

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Bundy Ranch – What You’re Not Being Told

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Sources Inside The BLM and Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home

(from benswann.com)

Bunkerville, NEVADA, April 14, 2014– As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.”  Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

(keep reading at benswann.com)

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Christian Terrorist kills 3 in Kansas

(from chicagotribune.com)

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (Reuters) – The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers in the Kansas City area was scheduled to appear in court on Monday to face murder charges.

Police said it was too early to determine if Sunday’s killings were motivated by anti-Semitism, but a leading anti-hate group said the suspect was a former senior member of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan movement.

“We know it’s a vicious act of violence. Obviously two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption,” Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told a news conference.

The victims included a 14-year-old boy.

Authorities in Kansas identified the suspect as Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., 73.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said Cross was once the grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

(keep reading at chicagotribune.com)

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FEDS forced to surrender to American Citizens!

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Militias ‘mobilizing’ to support embattled Clark County rancher in clash with federal rangers

(from reviewjournal.com)

BUNKERVILLE — From near and wide, armed men are trickling toward Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where the rancher’s fight with the federal government has become a rallying cry for militia groups across the United States.

On Wednesday, that dispute teetered at the edge of deadly conflict, when Cliven Bundy’s family members and supporters scuffled with rangers from the Bureau of Land Management sent to protect the federal roundup of Bundy’s cattle on public land.

One of Bundy’s seven sons was shot with a stun gun, and Bundy’s sister was knocked to the ground; but no one was seriously hurt, and no arrests were made.

By late Wednesday, three militia members — two from Montana and one from Utah — had arrived at the ranch 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Other militia groups have inundated the Bundy household with calls and pledges to muster at the site. Their stated goal: to protect the Bundys from tyranny.

They say they are prepared for armed confrontation, but they insist they will not be the instigators if bloodshed happens.

———-

Mr. Bundy’s daughter Shiree Bundy Cox in a letter explains the feud from the family’s perspective:

“I have had people ask me to explain my dad’s stance on this BLM fight. Here it is in as simple of terms as I can explain it. There is so much to it, but here it s in a nut shell. My great grandpa bought the rights to the Bunkerville allotment back in 1887 around there. Then he sold them to my grandpa who then turned them over to my dad in 1972. These men bought and paid for their rights to the range and also built waters, fences and roads to assure the survival of their cattle, all with their own money, not with tax dollars. The rights to the land use are called preemptive rights. Some where down the line, to keep the cows from over grazing, came the Bureau of Land Management.

They were supposed to assist the ranchers in the management of their ranges while the ranchers paid a yearly allotment which was to be use to pay the BLM wages and to help with repairs and improvements of the ranches. My dad did pay his grazing fees for years to the BLM until they were no longer using his fees to help him and to improve. Instead they began using these monies against the ranchers. They bought all the rest of the ranchers in the area out with they’re own grazing fees. When they offered to buy my dad out for a penance he said no thanks and then fired them because they weren’t doing their job. He quit paying the BLM and tried giving his grazing fees to the county, which they turned down. So my dad just went on running his ranch and making his own improvements with his own equipment and his own money, not taxes.

In essence the BLM was managing my dad out of business. Well when buying him out didn’t work, they used the endangered species card. You’ve already heard about the desert tortoise. Well that didn’t work either, so then began the threats and the court orders, which my dad has proven to be unlawful for all these years. Now they’re desperate. It’s come down to buying the brand inspector off and threatening the County Sheriff. Everything their doing at this point is illegal and totally against the Constitution of the United States of America. Then there’s the issue of the cattle that are at this moment being stolen. See even if dad hasn’t paid them, those cattle belong to him, regardless of where they are they are my father’s property.

His herd has been part of that range for over a hundred years, long before the BLM even existed. Now the Feds think they can just come in and remove them and sell them without a legal brand inspection or without my dad’s signature on it. They think they can take them over two borders, which is illegal, ask any trucker. Then they plan to take them to the Richfield Auction and sell them. All this with our tax money. They have paid off the contract cowboys and the auction owner as well as the Nevada brand inspector with our tax dollars. See how slick they are? Well, this is it in a nut shell. Thanks”

———-

read more about this from these links:

freedomoutpost.com

beforeitsnews.com

 

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Tar Washing Ashore Shows Gulf Coast Not Back to Normal

Or, FUCK BP

(from livescience.com)

Florida’s Gulf Coast is renowned for its soft white beaches, balmy weather, and calm, clear waters. It’s also infamous for being a mecca of debris from oil-rig related tragedies, which until recently, were thought to have mostly finished their attack on Gulf-Coast beaches. But even after four years, trash from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is still washing ashore and devastating coastal environments and communities.

In February, a group from the Florida State Department of Environmental Protection discovered an 81-square-foot tar mat cruising the shallows off Pensacola beach. That’s 1,250 pounds of oily garbage that slithered across almost 200 miles of seabed, damaging environments and amassing sand and marine fragments.

This is only a tiny fraction of the 200 million gallons of oil that spewed into the ocean during the 2010 oil spill, devastating ecosystems throughout the Gulf and blackening the many coastal communities that rely on these waters for their livelihood. Over 1,000 miles of beaches and wetlands were oiled. Thousands of people suffered job losses at the expense of this avoidable tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of animals perished, including marine mammals, fish stocks, seabirds and sea turtles.

Today, scientists can still see effects of the oil spill on marine ecosystems and seemingly healthy marine life, such as heart defects in tuna and amberjack. And what’s more, Florida recently filed a lawsuit with BP over damages to the state’s natural resources. Along with a past economic lawsuit and $26 billion in Gulf restoration, BP certainly has had to own up for the environmental and human health disaster and will continue to do so: The claim holds BP responsible and liable for past and future costs concerning resources and cleanup. Perfect timing for that tar mat to set an example. [Dolphins Seen Swimming in 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill (Video)]

(keep reading at livescience.com)

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God Humor

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list of NSA/GCHQ capabilities and whistleblower statements

Its important to remember that Bulk Data Collection is just one aspect of the sprawling security state that he been revealed over the course of the Snowden leaks. Anyways, this list of NSA capabilities and whistleblower statements is important and might offer some insights into the reasons that actual reform of the NSA is unlikely to come from within. The NSA/GCHQ can…

  • Collect the domestic meta-data of both parties in a phone-call. Source
  • Set up fake internet cafes to steal data. Source
  • Has intercepted the phone calls of at least 35 world leaders, including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source
  • Can tap into the underwater fiber-optic cables that carry a majority of the world’s internet traffic. Source
  • Tracks communications within media institutions such as Al Jazeera. Source
  • Has ‘bugged’ the United Nations headquarters. Source
  • Has set up a financial database to track international banking and credit card transactions. Source
  • Collects and stores over 200 million domestic and foreign text messages each day. Source
  • Collects and has real-time access to browsing history, email, and social media activity. To gain access, an analyst simply needs to fill out an on-screen form with a broad justification for the search that is not reviewed by any court or NSA personnel. Source

“I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”. – Edward Snowden

  • Creates maps of the social networks of United States citizens. Source
  • Has access to smartphone app data. Source
  • Uses spies in embassies to collect data, often by setting up ‘listening stations’ on the roofs of buildings. Source
  • Uses fake LinkedIn profiles and other doctored web pages to secretly install surveillance software in unwitting companies and individuals. Source
  • Tracks reservations at upscale hotels. Source
  • Has intercepted the talking-points of world leaders before meetings with Barack Obama. Source
  • Can crack encryption codes on cellphones. Source
  • Has implanted software on over 100,000 computers worldwide allowing them to hack data without internet connection, using radio waves. Source
  • Has access to computers through fake wireless connections. Source
  • Monitors communications in online games such as World of Warcraft. Source
  • Intercepts shipping deliveries and install back-door devices allowing access.Source
  • Has direct access to the data centers of Google, Yahoo and other major companies. Source
  • Covertly and overtly infiltrate United States and foreign IT industries to weaken or gain access to encryption, often by collaborating with software companies and internet service providers themselves. They are also, according to an internal document, “responsible for identifying, recruiting and running covert agents in the global telecommunications industry.” Source
  • The use of “honey traps”, luring targets into compromising positions using sex.Source
  • The sharing of raw intelligence data with Israel. Only official U.S. communications are affected, and there are no legal limits on the use of the data from Israel.Source
  • Spies on porn habits of activists to discredit them. Source

Possibly the most shocking revelation was made on February 24, 2014. Internal documents show that the security state is attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with “extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction.” The documents revealed a top-secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Unit, or JTRIG. Two of the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in an effort to discredit a target, and to use social sciences such as psychology to manipulate online discourse and activism in order to generate a desirable outcome. The unit posts false information on the internet and falsely attributes it to someone else, pretend to be a ‘victim’ of a target they want to discredit, and posts negative information on various forums. In some instances, to discredit a target, JTRIG sends out ‘false flag’ emails to family and friends.

A revealing slide from the JTRIG presentation.

Read the whole JTRIG presentation by Greenwald, just do it. Here

Now, consider the words of former NSA employee turned whistleblower Russ Tice:

“Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial.

But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials.

They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups.

So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. And you know, when I said to [former MSNBC show host Keith] Olbermann, I said, my particular thing is high tech and you know, what’s going on is the other thing, which is the dragnet. The dragnet is what Mark Klein is talking about, the terrestrial dragnet. Well my specialty is outer space. I deal with satellites, and everything that goes in and out of space. I did my spying via space. So that’s how I found out about this… And remember we talked about that before, that I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on.

Now here’s the big one. I haven’t given you any names. This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with, with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, DC. That’s who they went after. And that’s the president of the United States now.” Russ Tice, NSA Whistleblower

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#NotABugSplat

A giant art installation targets predator drone operators

In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as ‘bug splats’, since viewing the body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed.

To challenge this insensitivity as well as raise awareness of civilian casualties, an artist collective installed a massive portrait facing up in the heavily bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly occur. Now, when viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face.

(keep reading at notabugsplat.com)

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Texas Bitcoin Conference

bitcoin-mascot-e1396358361308

bitcoin mascot

Austin, Texas is weird and at the Texas Bitcoin Conference, Bitcoin got a little weird. People from all over the world converged in Austin this past week to join in on the latest in the cryptosphere. The Conference was held at Circuit of the Americas, a race track appropriate for the Bitcoin world’s fast-paced nature. Mike Snow, the event organizer, made sure the conference was big just like Texas and he did a job well done. Speakers included Ravi Iyengar, Jeffrey Tucker, Andreas Antonopoulos, Anthony Gallippi, Dan Larimer and so many more too awesome to name.

The Conference was set with many firsts, the first bitcoin concert (bitcoincert), the first Lamborghini bought with bitcoins was at the conference and I took sight of the first bitcoin ATM in the United States located at HandleBar.

The Conference was divided into different subjects with general discussions, a track focused on women and the three main tracks: the merchant track, technical track and meta track.

(more…)

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Atlas 2.0 Trading Platform Announces Options on Bitcoin

atlas_logo

atlas_logo

Even though I was unable to find time to travel all the way to the U.S., I had the pleasure of watching Coinsummit’s live stream. Though the conference was focused on panels, there were a few company presentations. Only a couple really caught my attention in any meaningful way. One of these was Atlas ATS.

Their new platform, Atlas 2.0, is a Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol digital asset exchange claiming to be the first to announce options on Bitcoin. The exchange platform is ‘Wall Street grade’, and, besides options, it brings a high level of sophistication: trading major alt-coins, an array of advanced native order types for FIX API clients, derivative products, multi-sig transaction wallet, and a larger selection of advanced order types for clients using the FIX interface.

The Atlas 2.0 platform has been launched in Hong Kong and North America, where it has established the digital currency exchanges. The company is keen for the market to know that it has been deployed on a global, secure, and high precision private network. This network is exclusively managed under the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), a division of Perseus Telecom.

(more…)

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IRS Changes Course and Declares Bitcoin a Currency

irspic

IRS Changes Course and Declares Bitcoin a Currency

IRS Changes Course and Declares Bitcoin a Currency

In a stunning reversal of intent, the IRS today issued a statement admitting they got it wrong.

“After further review, and speaking to our consulting organization led by new Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, we’ve decided that bitcoin acts more like a currency after all.” This was greeted with celebration at multiple companies which have been taking a harsh stance on the IRS’s previous declarations.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne issued a statement from a “Freedom Rally” that “Although the IRS has been used as a dangerous weapon against the Libertarian movement and has repeatedly shown hostile actions without legal recourse for Americans, “Once in a while they get one right.”

Agents in Police jackets labeled with IRS were seen taking several leaders from the peaceful rally into custody. When asked about the actions, two agents who declined to reveal their names as they were not authorized to speak to the press only admitted, “Hey we just do what we’re told.”

(more…)

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Cowardly shooting dead of homeless camper sparks outrage against Albuquerque police

(from independent.co.uk)

Captured by a video camera on one of the officer’s helmets, the slaying by Albuquerque police of a homeless camper in the foothills outside the city two weeks ago apparently leaves room for interpretation. The city says it was justifiable self-defence. To others it looked like extra-judicial execution.

The grisly clip, which is still viewable for anyone with a strong stomach, has an awful power all of its own. But it has also become the tragic totem of a wave of civic anger directed at the city’s heavily militarised police department that on Sunday erupted into hours of unrest across the downtown area, leading to serial arrests and a plea for calm from the city’s mayor who said his streets had turned to “mayhem”.

For James Boyd, the fury comes too late. With a long history of mental problems and episodes of violence, he was challenged by three officers on 16 March for camping in an unauthorised area near the city limits. They woke him from sleeping. A three-hour stand-off ensued until, at dusk, he is heard telling the officers he is done arguing and was “going to walk” with them. That is where the episode might have ended.

Instead, as Mr Boyd gathers up his things, one of the officers shouts “Do it”. A flash-bang device is fired at his feet.  A startled Mr Boyd drops his bags and seems to take out a knife. He turns away from the officers, two of whom shoot multiple live rounds into his back. Mr Boyd falls, a dog is loosed to check he has been immobilised, the officers approach and cuff his wrists.

He was pronounced dead later in a city hospital.

The killing of Mr Boyd, who was 38, prompted more than the usual handwringing because it seemed less an isolated incident than a confirmation of a pattern.

(keep reading at independent.co.uk)

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CEO of Bitcoin Officially Bans China

(from coindesk.com)

Following rumours of China’s plans toban bank transfers to bitcoin exchanges, the CEO of Bitcoin™ has decided to ban China.

The decision was unanimously approved by Bitcoin’s shareholders, the Bitcoin Board of Directors, HaCkerz4BITZ and the Bitcoin Steering Board.

As of 8th April, bitcoin transfers to and from the Glorious People’s Republic of China will no longer by supported by the Bitcoin Network™. The decision will not affect the Republic of China (Taiwan) – unless it gets invaded in the meantime. It is unclear whether or not it will apply to Hong Kong, which is sort of part of China, but really it isn’t – you know?

(keep reading at coindesk.com)

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People’s Bank of China Bans April Fools Jokes

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0010dc53fa040835d0ed01[2]

Wu Zhengfu, a top-level official in the People’s Bank of China, has made a public announcement that April Fools day jokes are now officially banned in the country. A formal statement, now released on the PBoC website, states that “at this stage, all public informational and media institutions must not make statements of fraudulent comedy, directly or indirectly, on the day of April 1, nor act as a platform for individuals to write such statements, nor hyperlink to such statements, nor use April 1 as the day for whimsical announcements”. According to Zhengfu, the People’s Bank of China does not consider April fools’ day a threat to China’s cultural system, but it does cause risks of potentially destabilizing the government’s ability to effectively communicate its intent through blogs and news outlets.

“The concern is that it interferes with our attempts to explain to the public what is allowed and what is not,” Zhengfu says. “Just a few days ago, we were planning to announce on April 1 that we were going to ban Bitcoin. But we realized that the fact that the entire internet would treat it as a joke would have made it impossible for us to effectively do so. Now, we have to delay the Chinese Bitcoin community’s demise to what is essentially an American tax day.” On the positive side, however, Zhengfu notes that the CEO of Bitcoin Kal-El Al Gore has banned China, and hopes that the unfortuante timing decision by Gore will, at least for the time being, convince the Chinese and Bitcoin media that Gore’s move was a joke, giving the People’s Bank of China sufficient breathing room to convert its bitcoin reserves into doge.

Additionally, Zhengfu hopes that the elimination of April Fools day will improve the state of Chinese culture. “For too many years in the Western world, and increasingly the Chinese online sphere as well, there has been a consistent decline in the quality of jokes made on this day. What initially was, at least in part, actually good humor, has since declined into increasingly stupid announcements, poorly thought out jabs that have already been made the other 364 days of the year, and utterly predictable trolls. Hopefully Chinese citizens will find a more productive means of expressing themselves, and we will have more high quality and joyful humor for everyone.”

Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCChina, has taken the opportunity to express his disappointment at the continue disorganization and shenanigans of the Chinese state. “For over two years now my brother Charlie and I have been expertly positioning ourselves to deliver a credible Chinese, and cryptocurrency-based, alternative to the New World Order and the Rothschild family. You may recall that two years ago Coinbase was infilitrated by Fred Ehrsam, an agent from Goldman Sachs, and Charlie has been trying very hard to act as a triple-agent inside the organization and report to the Chinese government and myself on Fred’s attempts to centralize and subvert Coinbase and the Bitcoin ecosystem for the benefit of London and New York-based financial elites. Now, the sheer inability of the Chinese governmment to deliver a single accurate statement on the state of Bitcoin in China is a major reason why our plans have been delayed for so long. Arguably, the only reason we have been able to survive the regulatory uncertainty around Bitcoin at all is simply the fact that Charlie had the forethought to create Litecoin as an alternative.”

Additionally, Lee notes, the ruling made by the PBoC is very ambiguous, a strategy which is typical of the Chinese government. “Does ‘public informational and media institutions’ include ordinary citizens?” Lee asks, “or is it just specific to formal companies?” Furthermore, Lee points out that the PBoC is a regulatory agency specific to financial insitutions, so it may be interpreted that the statement applied only to banks, payment institutions and perhaps Bitcoin exchanges. And, finally, is “April 1″ just “April 1, 2014″ or does it apply to future days entitled “April 1″ as well? Lee is currently in talks with senior-level officials in the PBoC about these concerns, and will hopefully soon receive guidance on whether or not BTCChina is affected. If the exchange is covered by the guidelines, and if the comments expressed by Lee are genuine and part of an April Fools joke by himself (as opposed to being fake comments created as part of an April Fools joke by Bitcoin Magazine, or real comments about an actual new new world order on the part of Bobby and Charlie), Lee says, “then I am so screwed. Unless, of course, the PBoC banning April Fools jokes is part of the joke.”

Matt Mellon, lead spokesman for the original New World Order, declined to comment.

The post People’s Bank of China Bans April Fools Jokes appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin in Beta Longer than Gmail

bitcoin_construct_990_350

Ten years ago, on April Fool’s Day 2004, Google’s Gmail was released to the public as a beta product.

“Google Gets the Message, Launches Gmail. User Complaint About Existing Services Leads Google to Create Search-Based Webmail…Search is Number Two Online Activity – Email is Number One; ‘Heck, Yeah,’ Say Google Founders…Amidst rampant media speculation, Google Inc. today announced it is testing a preview release of Gmail…”

began the Press Release.

It would take another 5 years, 3 months and 6 days (or 1,923 days) on July 7th, 2009 before Gmail would be taken out of beta. Google announced “Google Apps is out of beta (yes, really)” that:

“We’re often asked why so many Google applications seem to be perpetually in beta. For example, Gmail has worn the beta tag more than five years. We realize this situation puzzles some people, particularly those who subscribe to the traditional definition of “beta” software as not being yet ready for prime time.”

While Google didn’t offer an explanation, Gmail’s beta moniker would come to no surprise to readers of Tim O’Reilly’s (O’Reilly Media) September 2005 post “What Is Web 2.0.” Tim explained in “End of the Software Release Cycle” that:

“Users must be treated as co-developers, in a reflection of open source development practices (even if the software in question is unlikely to be released under an open source license.) The open source dictum, ‘release early and release often’ in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, ‘the perpetual beta,’ in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s no accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, del.icio.us, and the like may be expected to bear a ‘Beta’ logo for years at a time.”

Jason E. Robbins also noted (PDF) in 2003’s “Making Sense of the Bazaar: Perspectives on Open Source and Free Software” that “open source projects need to release pre-1.0 versions in order to attract the volunteer staff needed to reach 1.0.”

(more…)

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Achtung.. Fertig.. Bitcoins! The first Skischool of the world to accept crypto currency.

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A wide range of different businesses have started accepting Bitcoin as a currency. After a lot of horeca, online webshops, it is also coming up in other innovative shops and services. Now it is even possible to pay with digital coins at great highs in the mountains. For example the Rojacherhütte, a mountain hut at 2718 m (8917 feet) in Austria made it possible to pay your stay there with Bitcoins. To be able to enjoy this, you have to walk a couple of hours up to a mountain first, as there is no normal road going up. Maybe a great goal to reach this place for a Bitcoin weekend out. A pity is, that you have to wait till June to try if internet works up there, as it is just open for guests in summer, due to the long term snow conditions in the Alps.

If you want to spent your Bitcoins on a place in the Alps during winter times and into the snow, you can go to Obertauern in Austria, to the first skischool of the world accepting a crypto currency. CSA Skischule Grillitsch & Partner made it since last month possible to pay ski and snowboard lessons with Bitcoins. Obertauern is one of the most beautiful winter sports areas in the Alps and just one hour’s drive away from Salzburg, the world famous birthplace of 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. According to coinmap.org there are already 36 points now in Austria where you can pay with Bitcoins, but just one skischool. So let’s get active!

(more…)

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FL Judge Rules Living Off The Grid To Be Illegal

(from exposingthetruth.co)

From starting home gardens, to collecting rainwater, there are many small and big ways that people have been making changes in their life, in an effort to save money, live more environmentally friendly, and to supply themselves with their daily needs. Unfortunately, one judge in Florida has intervened with one woman’s lifestyle of living “off the grid,” by deeming it illegal.

Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that the city’s codes allow the woman, Robin Speronis, to live without utility power, but she is still required to hook her home to the city’s water system. Her alternative source of power must be approved by the city as well, Eskin said.

Speronis has been fighting the city of Cape Coral since November, when a code enforcement officer tried to evict her from her home for living without utilities. She has her own solar panels, and collects rainwater. The city contends that Speronis violated the International Property Maintenance Code by relying on rain water instead of the city water system, and solar panels instead of the electric grid. Speronis said at the time that she didn’t have a refrigerator, oven, running water or electricity in her home. She also does most of her cooking on a propane camping stove, and her electronics run on solar-charged batteries.

Part of the conflict: she is required to hook up to the central water system, although officials acknowledge she does not have to use it. Speronis has stated that she hopes to win her case and set a precedent for others in her situation. Even more recently, a judge declared her lifestyle to be in violation of city code as well as the International Property Maintenance Code, she is looking to appeal.

(keep reading at exposingthetruth.co)

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400 TSA agents have been arrested for theft of passenger items while not one terrorist has been caught

(from rt.com)

A TSA agent convicted of stealing more than $800,000 worth of goods from travelers said this type of theft is “commonplace” among airport security. Almost 400 TSA officers have been fired for stealing from passengers since 2003.

Pythias Brown, a former Transportation Security Administration officer at Newark Liberty International Airport, spent four years stealing everything he could from luggage and security checkpoints, including clothing, laptops, cameras, Nintendo Wiis, video games and cash.

Speaking publicly for the first time after being released after three years in prison, Brown told ABC News that he used the X-ray scanners to locate the most valuable items to snatch.

“I could tell whether it was cameras or laptops or portable cameras or whatever kind of electronic was in the bag,” he said.

Brown often worked alone, screening luggage behind the ticket counters. He was frequently told the overhead surveillance cameras, installed to prevent theft, were not working.

“It was so easy,” he said. “I walked right out of the checkpoint with a Nintendo Wii in my hand. Nobody said a word.”

(keep reading at rt.com)

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Damning study blames BP oil spill for heart defects in fish

(from theverge.com)

Last December, scientists announced that dolphins in Louisiana were experiencing lung diseases and low birthrates in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that released more than 636 million liters of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Now, researchers have also found evidence of potentially lethal heart defects in two species of tuna and one species of amberjack — all economically important species for commercial fisheries.This news, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, comes less than a week after the announcement that BP will once again be allowed to explore the Gulf of Mexico for oil.

To study the effects of the BP oil disaster, scientists recreated the oceanic environment that yellowfin amberjack, yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna larvae would have encountered in 2010 in the lab. They did so by introducing the larvae to Deepwater Horizon oil samples at environmental conditions that matched those of the spill. Fish are extremely vulnerable during development, so studying fish larvae is the most direct way of demonstrating the effect of noxious compounds.

The researchers found that the fish exhibited a number of heart defects including slower heart rates, fluid accumulation, and arrhythmia — a condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat. In the areas where the oil concentrations were the highest, the oil would have caused the larvae to die of heart failure, says John Incardona, research toxicologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and co-author of the study. Fish larvae that were located further away probably survived, but if these heart defects mean that “they can’t swim as fast, so they are either going to get eaten or they won’t be able to eat enough,” he says. “That leads to reduced survival.”

(keep reading at theverge.com)

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