“FireChat” sounds like a phony location-based sex line.
It’s not, it’s a messaging app for iOS.
We already have Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Snapchat etc, what makes FireChat different?
You can chat “off the grid”, even if there is no internet connection or mobile phone coverage.
How is that possible?
Instead of relying on a central server, it is based on peer-to-peer “mesh networking” and connects to nearby phones using Bluetooth and WiFi, with connectivity increasing as more people use it in an area.
(keep reading at independent.co.uk)
I just received this in the mail and will start using it soon. I may end up posting a review at some point. Seems solid for what it is (what I’ve read…)
Thousands of Hong Kong citizens protested across the city on Monday, blocking roads and prompting the closure of banks and schools, as they stepped up their calls for democracy.
Police attempts to use teargas to clear huge protests from Admiralty and Central in downtown Hong Kong late on Sunday backfired by spurring more people to take to the streets, with numbers peaking in the tens of thousands. Fresh protests sprang up in Causeway Bay and Mongkok, in Kowloon.
Parts of the financial hub, generally known for its orderliness, were paralysed by the demonstrators. The government announced on Monday morning that riot police had been taken off the streets as citizens “have mostly calmed down” and urged people to unblock roads and disperse.
Hong Kong enjoys considerable autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework and has long been promised universal suffrage for the election of the next chief executive in 2017. But protesters are furious that the rules announced by Beijing will impose such tight controls on candidates that a democrat could not even stand. They see the decision as part of a broader attempt to tighten controls on the region.
(keep reading at theguardian.com)
A Pennsylvania teenager faces up to two years behind bars after posting pictures to Facebook in which he simulates receiving oral sex from a statue of Jesus.
The unnamed 14-year-old says he posed with the statue, which sits outside a Christian organization in Everett, Pennsylvania, called Love in the Name of Christ, in late July. The pictures are being used as evidence that the teen may be guilty of desecrating an object of veneration.
A spokesperson for Love in the Name of Christ told MailOnline they did not press charges in the incident. Instead, the pictures were found by the district attorney’s office (who filed the charges) and forwarded them to the state police in Bedford, Pennsylvania. He was arrested and will be tried in juvenile court as early as October 3.
The Altoona Mirror reports that Bill Higgins, the Bedford County district attorney, posted the following to Facebook on Thursday:
“I guess I should take solace in the fact that the liberals are mad at me—again. As for this case, this troubled young man offended the sensibilities and morals of OUR community.… His actions constitute a violation of the law, and he will be prosecuted accordingly. If that tends to upset the ‘anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten-Commandments’ crowd, I make no apologies.”
(keep reading at newsweek.com)
Bill Higgins (Bedford County DA) contact info:
A new billboard in Topeka is going viral and getting national attention due to it’s message and location.
The Facebook page known as “The Facebook God” raised more than $80,000 to pay for a sign that says “God Loves Gays” located near 21st and Western in the capitol city.
The “Facebook God” page has more than 1,700,000 likes and used a popular online crowd funding website called indiegogo.com to generate funds for the message.
It’s no coincidence that the page chose Topeka to display their message because Topeka is home to an internationally known group of anti-gay protesters.
(keep reading at wibw.com)
I’ve developed a new open source P2P e-cash system called Bitcoin. It’s completely decentralized, with no central server or trusted parties, because everything is based on crypto proof instead of trust. Give it a try, or take a look at the screenshots and design paper:
Download Bitcoin v0.1 at http://www.bitcoin.org
The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.
A generation ago, multi-user time-sharing computer systems had a similar problem. Before strong encryption, users had to rely on password protection to secure their files, placing trust in the system administrator to keep their information private. Privacy could always be overridden by the admin based on his judgment call weighing the principle of privacy against other concerns, or at the behest of his superiors. Then strong encryption became available to the masses, and trust was no longer required. Data could be secured in a way that was physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what.
It’s time we had the same thing for money. With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless.
One of the fundamental building blocks for such a system is digital signatures. A digital coin contains the public key of its owner. To transfer it, the owner signs the coin together with the public key of the next owner. Anyone can check the signatures to verify the chain of ownership. It works well to secure ownership, but leaves one big problem unsolved: double-spending. Any owner could try to re-spend an already spent coin by signing it again to another owner. The usual solution is for a trusted company with a central database to check for double-spending, but that just gets back to the trust model. In its central position, the company can override the users, and the fees needed to support the company make micropayments impractical.
Bitcoin’s solution is to use a peer-to-peer network to check for double-spending. In a nutshell, the network works like a distributed timestamp server, stamping the first transaction to spend a coin. It takes advantage of the nature of information being easy to spread but hard to stifle. For details on how it works, see the design paper at http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
The result is a distributed system with no single point of failure. Users hold the crypto keys to their own money and transact directly with each other, with the help of the P2P network to check for double-spending.
Satoshi Nakamoto http://www.bitcoin.org
Would you like to pay for your morning coffee with your credit card or your bitcoin wallet?
If San Francisco-based start-up Shift Payments has its way, you’ll soon be able to switch from real money to digital currency when paying with a single card.
The company is beta testing 100 cards with friends and family members. It allows users to make purchases with accounts from Coinbase—a bitcoin exchange—and Ripple—a digital payment exchange protocol that can support real and digital currency.
While the card does not currently access bank or credit accounts (just bitcoin accounts for now), co-founder Meg Nakamura says Shift Payments is trying to make that happen soon.
“We are having conversations with U.S. banks to see if we can get them comfortable,” she said. “They are very, very interested. It’s just a timing issue. So we are building out the product with the partners we have right now.”
(keep reading at cnbc.com)
John Oliver nails it about the BS going on with police militarization and what’s happening in Ferguson
Israeli military fire hit a United Nations-run school in Gaza today, killing at least 20 people and injuring an estimated 90 people. The school under attack, called the Abu Hussein girls’ elementary school, is located in the densely-populated Jabaliya refugee camp.
The United Nations Relief Works and Agency (UNRWA), the group that serves Palestinian refugees, issued a stern statement placing the blame for the attack on the Israeli army.
“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced,” said UNRWA Secretary General Pierre Krähenbühl. “We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge.”
(keep reading at mondoweiss.net)
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
~Hermann Goering (during the Nuremberg Trials)
U.S. Only Country of 47 to Vote against Investigating Possible Human Rights Violations during Israeli Occupation of Gaza
The United States has once again demonstrated its steadfast loyalty to Israel, this time casting the lone “no” vote on a United Nations resolution authorizing an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Gaza.
American support for Israel has been tested during the recent military invasion of the Palestinian territory, which has seen hundreds of civilians—including many children—killed in the fighting.
But the Obama administration stuck by the Israeli government when Palestine called for a UN probe of reported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The resolution passed the UN Human Rights Council with 29 nations in favor and 17 abstentions. The only country to oppose the plan was the U.S.
In addition to condemning the “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” caused by Israeli military operations, the measure “condemned all violence against civilians wherever it occurred, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire.”
The resolution further calls for an immediate ceasefire, for Israel to immediately reopen the Gaza Strip, and for nations to provide humanitarian aide to the Palestinian people.
More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and thousands injured since the invasion began on July 7, along with 45 Israelis, according to news reports.
(keep reading at allgov.com)