Surveillance Society

“Regular people, not just impersonal, commercially motivated merchants or advertising networks, can exploit the online advertising ecosystem to extract private information about other people, such as people that they know or that live nearby,” reads the study, titled “Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget.” 1

The University of Washington researchers didn’t exploit a bug or loophole in mobile advertising networks so much as reimagine the motivation and resources of an ad buyer to show how those networks’ intentional tracking features allow relatively cheap, highly targeted spying…

…”If you want to make the point that advertising networks should be more concerned with privacy, the bogeyman you usually pull out is that big corporations know so much about you. But people don’t really care about that,” says University of Washington researcher Paul Vines. “But the potential person using this information isn’t some large corporation motivated by profits and constrained by potential lawsuits. It can be a person with relatively small amounts of money and very different motives.” 2

Surveillance Society

Show 2 footnotes

  1. The full paper is here.
  2. One thing that makes people put up with Apple’s closed system devices is their commitment to ‘differential privacy’; collecting data from the group, not the individual, as it were – see paper here. It appears we need more of that — not to mention a ton more usage of ad/script blockers by the masses.

Italy\’s Parallel Currency

There have been some amazing Italian inventions over the centuries. The newspaper. The pistol. The radio. The stock exchange. The motorway. And who could overlook those staples of modern life, jeans (originally from the French word for Genoa: genes) or the pizzeria.

Few other countries have contributed quite as much to creating the world we live in.

Right now, Italy could be on the brink of another major innovation. A parallel currency to run alongside the euro. It already had the backing of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the parties supporting it are steadily gaining ground in the polls.

Could it work? The mainstream economic establishment will no doubt heap scorn on the idea. And yet, in reality, a parallel currency could provide an elegant exit from the euro, maintaining some of the advantages of the single currency, while freeing the country from endless recession. If it ever gets off the ground, Italy could quickly become one of the most attractive economies in the world.

It is hard to find any words to describe Italy’s experiment with merging its currency with Germany, France and the rest of the eurozone other than “dismal failure.” Since it adopted the euro, Italy’s average annual growth rate has been zero, according to calculations by the Bruegel Institute. You read that correctly. Absolutely nothing, over almost two decades…

…Italy’s unemployment rate is a crippling 11%, the highest of Europe’s three biggest economies, and youth unemployment is a scary 35%. The national debt has climbed to a giddy 133% of gross domestic product, not because the government is especially extravagant, but because that’s what happens in a zero-growth economy.

Italy's Parallel Currency

The President\’s Enemies

The current president* 1 has ‘enemies’. 2 His new 2020 3 reelection video explicitly calls them out, blaming these ‘enemies’ for holding America back…

Jebus H. K-rist on a fucking pogo stick! Can you imagine the carnage were this overgrown infant to get his way? It doesn’t bear contemplation…

The President's Enemies

Show 3 footnotes

  1. I believe Charles Pierce has it exactly right.
  2. One supposes if by ‘enemies’ the president* means foes of fascists and dictators, he’s correct.
  3. The “rallies” the president* can’t seem to live without? Yeah, they’re actually fund raisers for his 2020 reelection bid. Yet another conflict of interest norm to which the president* seems unable to abide. Hell, were Nora to allow us to gamble we the type to place an occasional wager, we’d bet that the president* is out raising as much cash as he can, if only to make a profit off his whole failing administration before he’s tossed from office.

Clear Attacks on Democracy

It should be noted that there was another clear attack on democracy on yesterday.

A journalist, veteran reporter Dan Heyman, was arrested Tuesday for asking questions of a cabinet official. Heyman was attempting to ask questions of HHS secretary Tom Price concerning TrumpCare when he was arrested for “causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price,” the complaint stated.

Welcome to your New Neo-Confederate Kleptocracy. A place where asking questions is a crime and the FBI becomes a weapon to be used against OMP’s many enemies.

Wake up, people.

Clear Attacks on Democracy