Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget, a casino in Las Vegas, became the nom de plume of the NSA's hack into cell phones using Angry Birds and other such diversions to do the deed. Click here to see the full report from the NY Times. 

Seen below is the real Golden Nugget. 

Interestingly enough, an open letter to government from leading cryptographic and information security experts, dated 1/24/2014, states, in no uncertain terms, the inherent dangers posed by unregulated surveillance to democracy and society, a situation that must be properly dealt with before it's too late.

Media reports since last June have revealed that the US government conducts domestic and international surveillance on a massive scale, that it engages in deliberate and covert weakening of Internet security standards, and that it pressures US technology companies to deploy backdoors and other data-collection features. As leading members of the US cryptography and information-security research communities, we deplore these practices and urge that they be changed.

Indiscriminate collection, storage, and processing of unprecedented amounts of personal information chill free speech and invite many types of abuse, ranging from mission creep to identity theft. These are not hypothetical problems; they have occurred many times in the past. Inserting backdoors, sabotaging standards, and tapping commercial data-center links provide bad actors, foreign and domestic, opportunities to exploit the resulting vulnerabilities.

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” 
― George Orwell, 1984

Monday, January 27, 2014

Late Fall

3 Days where the weather changed course to the max, became the driving engine for doing this video. Nature never disappoints. :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

This Must Be The Place :)

For some strange reason, the sound track to this very cool tech (Liquid Fun) reminds me of the catchy Talking Heads tune This Must Be the Place in Wall Street where Bud Fox is happily ensconced in his new pad with his new squeeze, Darien Taylor, courtesy Gorden Gekko. 

Oh for the fun of it all. Talking Heads should get back together as this tune just rocks 
as does the movie. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Land/The Sound - Winter 2014

The second cold snap is here and with it comes a short clip from yours truly showing 
how winter expresses itself in totally different fashion on land vs sea. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Pursuit Mode

Falcons are incredible predators as most people know. Combining falcons with minicams to show how sophisticated these birds are in hunting is something else all together. Click here to get detailed information on how truly innovative biologists accomplished this amazing bit of research. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On Reaching 1200 & The Polar Vortex

Cold does not describe how frigid conditions were in shooting this short video but the clarity of air, combined with the formation of delicate ice sculptures and fortitude of the seagulls and ducks residing in the sound, encouraged yours truly to go out and deal with the elements using an ancient 500mm Nikkor Reflex lens & Sony video camera to do the deed.

With this in mind, doing the video seems fitting rather then writing a blurb about tech & science as the tech used to record this clip is astounding (both old and new) given just how powerful digital has become circa 2014.

I also think reaching 1200 posts is fairly significant but not earth shattering as there's far too much grist in the mill to stop writing about such interesting subjects that warm the cockles of this old writer's heart. :)


Robert E.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Powerful Yet...

Powerful Yet..., is the feeling yours truly gets, not in questioning the extraordinary talent and visual aesthetic of Adam Magyar's astounding art but rather on how it unintentionally ties in with the notion of surveillance 24/7, where conformity of the public becomes the norm and control by the state becomes complete as seen by the past actions of Stasi in East Germany and the KGB in Soviet Russia and now, the NSA, with help from significant others, in the US. 

With this in mind, seen below is a sample of Magyar's amazing work, something Powerful Yet...
you flll in the words.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Wall Street Code & Then Some

A week ago, BRT posted a blurb about AI titled Start Point for the Terminator whereby new developments in cheap and powerful artificial muscles could give AI the mobility of a terminator while gathering knowledge about the real world. Included in the piece was a blurb on Our Final Invention, a brilliant book describing the inherent unknowability of AI and what it could mean to our very existence on planet earth. In the work, James Barat touches on the fact Wall Street, among significant others, i.e. DARPA, IBM, Google etc., ect. is one of the prime drivers on achieving AGI/ASI (Artificial General Intelligence/Artificial Super Intelligence) because it's all about the money and silicon brains, combined with high speed trading, is a quick recipe to make even more money no matter what the cost may be. 

In the documentary The Wall Street Code (seen above), documentary filmmaker Marije Meerman shows why Barrat's conjecture rings true. Watch the video to learn just how powerful and dangerous this tech truly is as explained by Haim Bodek, a quant and whistle blower, formerly of Goldman Sachs, telling all why the market is rigged & then some.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Snow Day

Snow Day, the sunny aftermath of Hercules, the perfect storm that impacted CT 
but not by too much save for the intense cold, is the subject of this short clip. Enjoy. 

Owning the Net

BRT has written several articles about Quantum Computers, the tech that will change everything relating to all things digital as said tech can actually replicate reality, an absolutely astounding fact that apparently escapes the NSA's concept of why such a system should be built as they intend to create one to, you guessed it, crack even more encryption codes in order to siphon in even more data but this time, without the limitations inherent to today's serial based computing technology.

In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.

In essence, the NSA's push to building a QC is all about Owning the Net.

Friday, January 03, 2014


The US is a laggard in web connect speed, a fact known by techies for quite some time. At least 14th place is not as bad as 37th in healthcare as compiled by Business Insider.

12 years ago, the World Health Organization released the World Health Report 2000. Inside the report there was an ambitious task — to rank the world's best healthcare systems.

The results became notorious — the US healthcare system came in 15th in overall performance, and first in overall expenditure per capita. That result meant that its overall ranking was 37th.

It gets better.

So controversial were the results that the WHO declined to rank countries in their World Health Report 2010, but the debate has raged on. In that same year, a report from the Commonwealth Fund ranked seven developed countries on their health care performance — the US came dead last.

Adding Fuel to the fire…

Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. This report—an update to three earlier editions—includes data from seven countries and incorporates patients' and physicians' survey results on care experiences and ratings on dimensions of care. Compared with six other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. 

But we already know this, right?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Two/Three Years - Tops

Two/three years, tops, before pot becomes legal country wide. 
Check out the Al Jazeera video to see why.

Within a week, buying weed will be like buying a 6 pack. Way to go Colorado. :)

500mm Nikkor Reflex - Old Glass Never Dies :)

Your's truly did this 2 minute clip as a very informal first test of an ancient 500mm Nikkor Reflex lens, a mirror driven environment identical in design principle to the Maksutov inspired Hubble telescope. The build and image quality of this old glass is astounding, something that will never go out of style in this age of cheap disposables incapable of standing the test of time. :)

A Maksutov telescope. 

Seen below is the elegant mirror/lens configuration used in both the 
Hubble and Nikkor to acquire images. Without question, mirror lenses rock. :)