I was late to the game with Draw Something, knowing I can’t draw for toffee and convinced I didn’t want to waste my time playing trivial games. And besides, the iPhone screen is too small and I didn’t have an iPad.
Then I started playing and some of my friends were actually quite good!
Then I bought an iPad.
And then I got a stylus.
I saved a couple of my better drawings and I think now maybe I can share some of them.
According to this Wired story, The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center in Bluffdale, Utah, which will record and store all Internet communications, wholesale.
“Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.”
“Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering.”
Governments have been doing this sort of thing for decades (you’ve probably heard of ECHELON already), so the fact that this capability is being built isn’t such a surprise to me (I’m more surprised that it didn’t already exist). The article also focuses on how awful it is that the American government is performing domestic spying, which is against the Constitution (though the chief of the NSA denies the claim). Since Bush implemented the warrantless-wiretapping program, this also isn’t new news.
What interested me about the story was the quote regarding a cryptanalysis breakthrough:
“According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.” “
Now we have a breakthrough in crypto that could mean encryption is crackable, especially encryption used in the last decade. Put that with the following quotes about hoovering up pretty much all communications since 9/11, and it’s already too late to think about whether you should have sent that intimate email to your loved one:
“much of the older data stored by the NSA, including a great deal of what will be transferred to Bluffdale once the center is complete, is encrypted with more vulnerable ciphers. “Remember,” says the [unnamed] former intelligence official, “a lot of foreign government stuff we’ve never been able to break is 128 [bits] or less. Break all that and you’ll find out a lot more of what you didn’t know—stuff we’ve already stored—so there’s an enormous amount of information still in there.” “
” “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” [William Binney, a senior NSA crypto-mathematician] says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can. “
“Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.” “
So the US government will capture, decrypt and store all worldwide communications made over the Internet or phone.
Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.
What would George Orwell think about that?
And how long will it take a group like Anonymous to hack into it?
Now there’s a scary thought…
What are the odds that you exist, as you, today?
[ Via Visual.ly ]
The grabbing hands grab all they can…
The German language is relatively easy. To illustrate how simple it is, let’s study an example in German.
First, let’s get a German book, an excellent book, published by Dortmund, which shows the way of life of the Australian Indians, the Hotentotes (Hottentotten in German).
It says in the book, that the kangaroos (Beutelratten), are captured and put inside cages (Kotter), covered with a screen (Lattengitter) in order to protect them from insects.
These cages, in German, are called “cages covered with a screen” (Lattengitterkotter) and, when they hold a kangaroo, they are called “cages covered with a screen with a kangaroo” (Lattengitterkotterbeutelratten).
One day, the Hotentotes arrested an assassin (Attentäter), accused of having murdered the mother (Mutter) of a Hotentote, (Hottentottenmutter), who was the mother of a deaf/mute boy (Stottertrottel).
This woman, in German, is called a Hottentottenstottertrottelmutter and her assassin is called a Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäter.
In the book, the Indians captured the assassin, and since they didn’t have where to put him, they put him inside the cage for the kangaroo (Beutelrattenlattengitterkotter). But the assassin escaped. After they have searched for the assassin, a Hotentote soldier arrived at the tribe screaming:
– We captured the assassin (Attentäter)!
– Which Attentäter? – asked the Indian Chief.
– The Lattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentäter – says the soldier
– What?? The “assassin that was inside the cage for kangaroos covered with a screen”?? – asks the Indian Chief.
– Yes, it’s the Hottentottenstottertrottelmutteratentäter (assassin of the mother of a deaf/mute boy).
– Oh – says the Chief – you could have said from the beginning that you had captured the….
(the assassin of the hotentote mother of the deaf/mute boy that was inside the cage for kangaroos covered with a screen)
Now you’ve mastered reading comprehension, let’s move on to listening comprehension.
Like I said, German is easy!
“Weeklybeats is a 52 week long music project in which artists compose and publicly release 1 song a week for the entire year. Starting January 2nd 2012 GMT each participant will upload one finished composition per week. Any style of music or selection of instruments are welcomed and encouraged.”
Site with cover photos for your Facebook profile.
I can’t believe I only just found Pixel of Ink, a website offering links to free/cheap eBooks for the Kindle. The links point to amazon.com (as opposed to .co.uk, so other UK readers may need to adapt the links appropriately) and the site appears to be funded by the affiliate program.
It’s also worth noting the disclaimers:
Though free at time of posting, prices may change at any time. Please verify that the “Kindle Price” is $0.00. If you see a price for “Prime Members” or “read for free”, then the book is NOT free any longer.
Prices are subject to change without notice. For non-U.S. readers, Kindle content availability and pricing will vary.
Well worth a look if you have a Kindle!