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Authorities ‘use analytics tool that recognises sarcasm’

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 23:30 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


French company Spotter has developed an analytics tool that claims to be able to identify sarcastic comments posted online.

Spotter says its clients include the Home Office*, EU Commission and Dubai Courts…

“One of our clients is Air France. If someone has a delayed flight, they will tweet, ‘Thanks Air France for getting us into London two hours late’ – obviously they are not actually thanking them,” he said.

Well, if I was flying and got down safely, I’d be thanking someone sincerely. Flights into some airports get a round of applause on a safe landing. Is that sarcasm? Irony? I think they’re making this stuff up. Or do I?

* – British internal security.

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Brazil wants answers on US surveillance

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 23:23 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Brazil’s foreign minister has said his government is worried by a report that the United States has collected data on millions of telephone and email conversations in his country and promised to push for international protection of internet privacy.

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Sunday expressed “deep concern at the report that electronic and telephone communications of Brazilian citizens are being the object of espionage by organs of American intelligence.

“The Brazilian government has asked for clarifications” through the US Embassy in Brazil and Brazil’s embassy in Washington, he said.

The true reaction, just like other Americas countries,  is “They noticed us! They noticed us!” plus solemn pronouncements about how seriously they all take it.

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Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 19:55 by Paul Jay in category: Great Picture


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  1. zactly so…and you young people can read all of Orwell’s work for free!

  2. It’s journalism when we agree with it.

  3. @Rob – sometimes, but not relevant.

  4. Someone’s in charge of relevance at the Daily Irrelevant? Thanks. Didn’t know that.

  5. Rob, careful, I don’t have the sarcasm detector from that Spotter company mentioned above built-in yet.

  6. Neither do I, John. 🙂

  7. Do you think their thingy will choke on irony now we are discussing relevance?

Documents: Sweden Wiretapping Russia’s International Traffic For The NSA

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 16:01 by Paul Jay in category: News


The story begins with a reporter’s feature in 2005 about the secretive Swedish intelligence agency FRA, Försvarets Radioanstalt, translated loosely to National Defense Radio Establishment. The story of Echelon had just broke, and the reporter Martin Jönsson dug far below the dirty surface. One thing that comes across in this new context is this passage:

The NSA is the largest intelligence organization of the United States of America and of the world. […] The NSA is the center of the wiretapping network, where the FRA is also plays a part. The NSA is considerably larger than the CIA, and is targeted at signals intelligence. It operates planet-wide through wiretapping stations on the ground, on aircraft, on ships, and on satellites. Through an agreement from early Cold War days, there are close ties to the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. One of the common computer systems, Echelon, has erroneously come to be used synonymously with the entire surveillance network.

It’s also important to note just how deep the rabbit hole goes in the cooperation between the Swedish FRA and the U.S. NSA, and how questionable the real allegiance of the FRA is. A former Navy captain recalls when he had had FRA troops on board (part of the story):

“They had important information they didn’t share with the Swedish Defense. We were developing countermeasures against Soviet missiles to protect our ships. At that point, the FRA had detailed information about the missiles in question; information they had received from the Americans. They didn’t give it to the Navy, and that was to protect their source, the NSA. It was more important to protect the cooperation with the NSA than it was to protect Swedish lives and interests.”

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Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 14:20 by John Sinteur in category: awesome

Egypt of the past:

Egypt of the future:

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  1. Crikey! Kids around here are obsessing about cartoon characters…

Oy Vey

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 13:12 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich, a prominent orthodox Israeli rabbi, has issued a religious ruling declaring that medical marijuana is kosher.

In his statement, Zalmanovich said that a religious Jew may use marijuana if it is prescribed for pain or to treat symptoms, an assertion that makes smoking medical marijuana a religious commandment.

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  1. Surely it depends how you kill it?

  2. I don’t follow how saying you “may” smoke weed “makes” it “a religion commandment”. Commandments are things you MUST do.

  3. @Desiato: actually, for the Big Ones, 8 out of 10 are things you must NOT do.

US attempts to block Edward Snowden are ‘bolstering’ case for asylum

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 11:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


Attempts by the US to close down intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden’s asylum options are strengthening his case to seek a safe harbour outside of Russia, legal experts claim.

Snowden, who is believed to be in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, has received provisional offers of asylum from Nicaragua and Venezuela, and last night Bolivia also offered him sanctuary. He has applied to at least six other countries, says the Wikileaks organisation providing legal support.

Michael Bochenek, director of law and policy at Amnesty International, said the American government’s actions were bolstering Snowden’s case. He said claims that the US had sought to reroute the plane of Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, amid reports that the fugitive former analyst for the National Security Agency was on board, and suggestions that vice-president Joe Biden had phoned the Ecuadorean leader, Rafael Correa, to block asylum for Snowden, carried serious implications.

“Interfering with the right to seek asylum is a serious problem in international law,” Bochenek said. “It is further evidence that he [Snowden] has a well-founded fear of persecution. This will be relevant to any state when considering an application. International law says that somebody who fears persecution should not be returned to that country.”

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  1. Obama and his bunch of morons. A tarnished legacy!

NYO perform Anna Meredith’s HandsFree

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 11:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Doctor Recalls Abortion Complications Before Roe v. Wade

Posted on July 7th, 2013 at 9:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


I am a retired gynecologist, in my mid-80s. My early formal training in my specialty was spent in New York City, from 1948 to 1953, in two of the city’s large municipal hospitals.

There I saw and treated almost every complication of illegal abortion that one could conjure, done either by the patient herself or by an abortionist — often unknowing, unskilled and probably uncaring. Yet the patient never told us who did the work, or where and under what conditions it was performed. She was in dire need of our help to complete the process or, as frequently was the case, to correct what damage might have been done.

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  1. It is amazing how little people have learned about the damage caused to woman (and society) by bans on abortion. I guess the glare of the bright light of the “god voice” in their little brains clouds the other realities that abortion bans bring.