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Technologically illiterate MP who masterminded UK porn blocker gets hacked, threatens reporter for writing about it

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 22:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Claire Perry is the UK Tory MP who architected David Cameron’s idiotic national porno firewall plan. Her website was hacked and defaced with pornographic gross-out/shock images. When Guido Fawkes, a reporter and blogger, wrote about it on his website, Perry took to Twitter to accuse him of “sponsoring” the hack, and publicly announced that she would be speaking to his editor at the Sun (Fawkes has a column with the tabloid) to punish him for writing about her embarrassment.

Perry is so technologically illiterate that she can’t tell the difference between writing about someone hacking your website and hacking itself. No wonder she’s credulous enough to believe the magic-beans-peddlers who promise her that they’ll keep porn off the British Internet — a feat that neither the Chinese nor the Iranian governments have managed.

Looks like a great moment to introduce Perry to the Streisand Effect…


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Comments:

  1. I wondered where this “No Porn Please, we’re British!” thing came from. Silly woman.

Twitter fakes real users’ tweets to promote ad platform

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 19:36 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

[Quote]:

What if one of the most powerful media companies in the world made words come out of its customers’ mouths to promote its new ad platform?

Twitter posted on its blog today about a new, wider release of an integration the company is doing with TV commercials. In the blog post is a shot of a new Twitter ads dashboard showing tweets from Twitter users raving about TV commercials.

The tweets look completely real, but SFGate discovered that while the Twitter users who are featured are real, their tweets are not. The users featured raving about TV commercials never said anything of the kind, and were unaware their profile pics and accounts were being presented in a post on Twitter’s blog sent out to hundreds of thousands via the @Twitterads Twitter account and retweeted to more than 1.5 million.

The users were not pleased when they saw these bogus tweets attributed to them for the first time – after the post went up.

“It’s disturbing and has no place,” says Neil Gottlieb, who was unaware the Twitter blog post featured a tweet with him saying, “What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!” Gottlieb who runs the medical animation company 3FX in Philadelphia said, “To use my image and fake a tweet is wrong and needs to be addressed.”


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  1. How bizarre. They could get almost anybody to actually say more-or-less anything on TV, by just asking.

Big pharma mobilising patients in battle over drugs trials data

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 16:24 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

The pharmaceutical industry has “mobilised” an army of patient groups to lobby against plans to force companies to publish secret documents on drugs trials.

Drugs companies publish only a fraction of their results and keep much of the information to themselves, but regulators want to ban the practice. If companies published all of their clinical trials data, independent scientists could reanalyse their results and check companies’ claims about the safety and efficacy of drugs.

Under proposals being thrashed out in Europe, drugs companies would be compelled to release all of their data, including results that show drugs do not work or cause dangerous side-effects.

While some companies have agreed to share data more freely, the industry has broadly resisted the moves. The latest strategy shows how patient groups – many of which receive some or all of their funding from drugs companies – have been brought into the battle.

The strategy was drawn up by two large trade groups, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and outlined in a memo to senior industry figures this month, according to an email seen by the Guardian.

The memo, from Richard Bergström, director general of EFPIA, went to directors and legal counsel at Roche, Merck, Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Novartis and many smaller companies. It was leaked by a drugs company employee.

The email describes a four-pronged campaign that starts with “mobilising patient groups to express concern about the risk to public health by non-scientific re-use of data”. Translated, that means patient groups go into bat for the industry by raising fears that if full results from drug trials are published, the information might be misinterpreted and cause a health scare.

The lobbying is targeted at Europe where the European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants to publish all of the clinical study reports that companies have filed, and where negotiations around the clinical trials directive could force drug companies to publish all clinical trial results in a public database.

“Some who oppose full disclosure of data fear that publishing the information could reveal trade secrets, put patient privacy at risk, and be distorted by scientists’ own conflicts of interest. While many of the concerns are valid, critics say they can be addressed, and that openness is far more important for patient safety.”

Tim Reed, of Health Action International, a group that has previously exposed the pharmaceutical industry’s financial links with patient groups, said: “It’s incredibly ironic that this is a transparency initiative and we’ve now got clear indications that the pharmaceutical industry is ready to use patient organisations to fight their corner.

“It underlines the fact that patient groups who are in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry will go into battle for them. There’s a hidden agenda here. The patient groups will say they think it’s a great idea to keep clinical trials data secret. Why would they do that? They would do that because they are fronts for the pharmaceutical industry.

“Patient groups get traction because they are assumed to represent the voice of the suffering. But industry uses them to say we’re not going to get innovative medicines if the industry is deterred from investing by having to be transparent about their clinical trials,” he added.

A recent review of medical research estimated that only half of all clinical trials were published in full, and that positive results were twice as likely to be published than negative ones.

A source in the European parliament, who is close to the negotiations over the clinical trials directive, said he had experienced intense lobbying from patient groups. “We’ve witnessed this sort of activity in recent months, and it’s a concern if the pharmaceutical industry is behind some of it. They are trying to weaken some of the transparency proposals and that’s clear from the amount of lobbying we’ve had,” he said.

The patient groups focus on the concern that if companies release all of their clinical trials data, the information might be misconstrued, or intentionally cherry-picked, and spark damaging health scares around certain drugs or vaccines.

“These aren’t completely unfounded concerns, but the risk already exists, and those things already happen. The answer is to have a responsible scientific community that can counteract the allegations and claims,” the source said.

Two other strands of the campaign include discussions with scientific associations about the risks of data sharing, and work with other businesses that are concerned about the release of trade secrets and confidential data. The final strand calls, in the long term, for a network of academics across Europe that can be called on to correct false interpretations of the data. “That is deemed to be happening in any case,” the memo concedes.

In response to queries from the Guardian, GSK said: “This is not something we are doing. One of the reasons we’re involved in this is we want more companies to move towards greater transparency. I don’t think it’s for us to be mobilising patient groups to campaign on a negative level.”

A Roche spokesperson said the company consulted patient groups to understand their concerns about clinical trials, but “to our knowledge Roche has not been involved in any EFPIA’s potential activity in mobilising patient groups to express concern about the risk to public health by non-scientific re-use of data”.

A Lilly spokesman said: “Lilly is committed to working with Europe-based patient advocacy organisations for the benefit of patients in a way that is true to the EFPIA code of practice and Lilly’s integrity in business policy.”

Individuals who received the memo at several other companies, including AstraZeneca and Novartis, did not respond.

Tracey Brown, director of the campaign group, Sense about Science, and co-founder of AllTrials, a campaign to get all clinical trials registered and all results reported, said: “We now have the prospect of really significant developments to end the secrecy and make clinical trial reporting a practical reality and, finally, some sound commitments from parts of industry.

“In this context, the industry associations’ strategy to get others to raise further spurious problems is backward. It should embarrass anyone associated with it. I would say to the individual companies that they should publicly distance themselves from any association with EFPIA and PhRMA’s strategy now,” she said.

The EFPIA told the Guardian it had been working with PhRMA on a “commitment to enhance sharing of clinical data” to researchers and the public, and intended to make an announcement this week.

“Knowing that some people want all data to be made available to everyone, EFPIA is engaging with stakeholders to share concerns with harmful ‘re-use’ of data. We will engage not only with patient groups, but also with the scientific community,” it said.

Matt Bennett, senior vice-president of PhRMA, said in a statement: “EMA’s proposed policies on clinical trial information raise numerous concerns for patients. We believe it is important to engage with all stakeholders in the clinical trial ecosystem, including the patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials, about the issue.

“If enacted, the proposals could risk patient privacy, lead to fewer clinical trials, and result in fewer new medicines to meet patient needs and improve health.”


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Athens County Woman Wants Possessions Back After Bank Tried To Repossess Wrong House

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 14:34 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons

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An Athens County woman is looking to get her belongings back after a bank incorrectly broke into her house and took them.

Katie Barnett says that the First National Bank in Wellston foreclosed on her house, even though it was not her bank.

“They repossessed my house on accident, thinking it was the house across the street,” Barnett said.

Barnett, who had been away from the house for about two weeks, said she had to crawl through the window of her own house in order to get in after she used her own key that did not work.

Some of the items in her house had been hauled away, others were sold, given away and trashed.

It turns out the bank sent someone to repossess the house located across the street from Barnett’s house, but by mistake broke into hers instead.

“They told me that the GPS led them to my house,” Barnett said. “My grass hadn’t been mowed and they just assumed.”

She called the McArthur Police about the incident, but weeks later, the chief announced the case was closed.

Barnett said that according to the bank president, this was the first time something like this has happened.

She presented him with an $18,000 estimate to replace the losses, but the president refused to pay.

Nice to have to police to help you when your stuff is nicked…. “Someone stole your home and all your shit? Sorry call back when you have a real crime to report, like someone smoking a joint.”


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Comments:

  1. I not only think she should sue the bank but also sue the police department for failure to act on a crime.

  2. I think they’re too big to sue now too. It would probably take her 5 years to get her money.

  3. Perhaps the only good thing about the legal system in the U.S. is that there are lots of hungry lawyers to help such people – for a price.

NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 14:28 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

[Quote]:

The NSA is a “supercomputing powerhouse” with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.

But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology.

“There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.


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Facts behind the headlines of the Marte Deborah Dalelv Dubai sex case

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 12:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

“Dubai imprisons Norwegian woman who reported rape” wrote USA Today. Other media outlets, from Europe to Australia, took the same theme. “Raped Norwegian woman jailed in Dubai” was typical.

But a closer examination reveals that even after yesterday’s decision to pardon Marte Dalelv, this remains a complex case filled with ambiguities and unanswered questions.

One thing, though, is clear – agreed on not just by the authorities and the police, but by the woman herself: legally, this was not a rape case.

The paper is owned by the Arab Emirites government,this story only reinforces that Dubai is not a tourist destination.


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  1. Perhaps her “friend” refused to wear a raincoat?

Google hosts fundraiser for climate change denying US senator

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 12:00 by John Sinteur in category: Google

[Quote]:

Google, which prides itself on building a “better web that is better for the environment”, is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged.

The lunch, at the company’s Washington office, will benefit the Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has made a career of dismissing climate change as a “hoax” on the Senate floor.

Proceeds of the 11 July lunch, priced at $250 to $2,500, will also go to the national Republican Senatorial Committee.

It’s the second show of support from Google for the anti-climate cause in recent weeks.


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Plug anti-PRISM solution raises half a million dollars in 9 days on Kickstarter

Posted on July 24th, 2013 at 11:55 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Plug, a product launched last week on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, raised more than half a million dollars in only 9 days. The small adaptor, engineered by US/french startup Cloud Guys Corporation, enables everyday users to transform their USB hard drives into a private, anti-PRISM file storage solution. It challenges the Cloud by unifying the memory of all consumer electronic devices.


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