America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one—except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers—would know how this was accomplished.
Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/how-google-could-rig-the-2016-election-121548.html#ixzz3jP3CnCZK
For years, the US pork industry has stood by the safety and efficacy of a controversial growth drug banned in nearly 200 countries. But now, thanks to Chinese regulations, the National Pork Board is quietly encouraging American pork producers to stop using it.
Ractopamine is a beta-agonist, a drug that changes animals’ metabolism so that they develop more muscle instead of fat. The result is a meat that is both leaner and, because muscle is heavier than fat, heavier. That translates into benefits for consumers looking to cut the fat in their diets, as well as producers, because hogs can get heavier on less food.
But ractopamine is far from a dream drug. “The drug has triggered more adverse reports in pigs than any other animal drug on the market,” Helena Bottemillerreported for the Food & Environment Reporting Network in 2012. Documented effects include “hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death.” The FDA said the data didn’t establish cause and effect, and the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board have both said the drug is safe. But health and animal-welfare advocates have been sounding the alarm for years, noting that its impacts on human health are largely unknown and that the approval from Codex, the World Health Organization’s international food safety body, is based on a single study of six men, one of whom had to drop out because he experienced negative health effects.
American farmers have to stop juicing their pigs to meet China’s food safety standards ‹ Reader — WordPress.com.
Google—or the many products and services now under the holding company Alphabet—provides the connecting tissue between US forces and Kurdish militias fighting against ISIS in war-torn Syria.
New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi writes from the battlefield that fighters are using Android-powered Samsung tablets and Google Earth to track their battle lines and coordinate close air support with the US military:
“Our comrades can see the enemy moving at the GPS address I just sent you,” [a Kurdish fighter] wrote in Arabic to a handler hundreds of miles away in a United States military operations room. Then he waited for the American warplanes to scream in. The strike that ensued soon after blasted a crater at exactly the coordinates provided by the Kurdish fighter. It left a circle of bodies, including one of an Islamic State fighter who died slumped over his AK-47.
How Google is fighting ISIS in Syria – Quartz.
When the courts ruled NSA domestic spying illegal last week, it was the plain fact of that surveillance that was most important. But it also means that whistleblower Ed Snowden, cast as a traitor and spy by his critics, is vindicated.
Remember when Canada seemed to exemplify a “nice” government?
Top secret documents from Edward Snowden’s cache have revealed Canada’s ambition to become a big player in the world of electronic spying. The leak comes just as the country plans to vote on a law that would give its cyber agencies more powers.
A confidential presentation by Canada’s intelligence agency Communications Security Establishment (CSE) dated 2011 was among the documents published jointly by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and The Intercept, the website of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald. In it, the counterpart of US National Security Agency (NSA) assures its Five Eyes allies – US, UK, Australia and New Zealand – that by 2015 it “will seek the authority to conduct a wide spectrum of Effects operations in support of our mandates.”