CIA ‘Torture Psychologists’ Avoid Trial with Secret Settlement

August 18th, 2017

Via: AFP:

Two psychologists who helped design the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program settled a lawsuit Thursday by detainees alleging they were illegally tortured.

The secret settlement in the suit, brought on behalf of two living ex-detainees and one who died of hypothermia after brutal questioning in US custody, avoided what would have been the first public trial of the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on suspected Al-Qaeda members.

But it also allowed the two psychologists who supplied the CIA with “coercive” interrogation techniques, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, to maintain that they personally had nothing to do with the use of waterboarding, extreme stress positions and beatings on detainees.


Call from Tesla

August 17th, 2017

Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand.

I had a call from a Tesla energy specialist yesterday. She confirmed what we learned a few days ago about the Powerwall 2’s ability to island grid tied inverters for backup purposes.

She also said that Powerwall 2 demand is, “Extreme,” and far in excess of what they had projected. New Zealand won’t get any Powerwall 2 units until early 2018. There is hope that I will be able to sell Powerwalls to my solar customers—eventually. She said that independent vendors will be added in NZ, after a lengthy vetting process. That’s much more encouraging than the Vector-only option we have seen with Powerwalls in NZ so far.

I’ve been in contact with a Powerwall 2 user in Australia who thinks there are terminals and knockouts on the energy gateway for A/C input (besides the grid); provision for generator backup, in other words.

I asked the Tesla person about this, and she sort of stammered a bit, but eventually said that backup charging had not been completely worked out yet.

The fact that the charging power is already controllable with the Powerwall’s smartphone app leads be to believe that an announcement about backup charging could come soon. One would need to be able to change the charging power based on the size of one’s generator.

I mentioned that one of my solar customers has a 3 phase Enphase system and would be interested in a Powerwall 2. How does the Powerwall 2 deal with 3 phase?

Incredibly: 3 phase is supported out of the box.

Also, microinverters work fine in terms of islanding/backup. In fact, Tesla is using Enphase microinverters on the tiny house they’re towing around in Australia. Enphase has not really been usable off grid, and their own energy storage system has no backup capabilities at all. But with the Powerwall 2, it all works.

I mentioned the absurd fireproof box thing that’s coming, and she groaned. They’re aware of it. She thinks that, if it actually happens, they’ll have to show how it’s used around the rest of the world without safety issues. She said it was like trying to make changes in any other area where an established order refuses to yield to changes.

“There’s going to be pushback,” she said.

Yep.


Fleas Found to Carry the Plague in at Least 2 Arizona Counties

August 13th, 2017

Really?

In other news:

Imagine the coincidence…

A plague expert, with links to the DoD bioweapons milieu, is involved with a weird murder along with a foreign national, who happens to be from the same country where this happened several years ago:

Britain: Scientists Reconstruct Black Death Plague with Genetic Material Taken from Ancient Corpses Buried Under Royal Mint

Scientists Sequence Black Death Bacteria DNA

Via: CNBC:

Fleas have been found to carry the plague in at least two Arizona counties, a publication reported.

Fleas carrying the disease were detected most recently in Navajo county, according to a report by ABC News. The first case was first reported a week ago when officials in Coconino County found infected fleas on local prairie dogs.

Navajo county warned residents to be careful while hiking or in areas where there may be dead animals or fleas present, ABC said.

“Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals,” the Navajo County Health Department said, according to ABCNews. “The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.”


Confirmed: Grid Tie Inverter Continues to Generate Electricity During Grid Failure with Powerwall 2

August 13th, 2017

Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand.

Man, I’ve been waiting a long time to see this confirmed. Here it is!

Tesla remains silent on generator backup options, but I have no doubt that people are going to start rolling their own if Tesla doesn’t address it.

In any event, very special thanks to Scott Weston for posting this.

Oh yeah, I hope New Zealand’s retail electricity cartel takes a good long look at this.

Have a nice day! *Deep Chortling*

Via: YouTube:


WTF Is Happening in Charlottesville?

August 12th, 2017

Scroll down, check out the photo gallery!?

Via: Daily Mail:

At least one person is dead after a driver intentionally plowed into a group of anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, following violent clashes that erupted between white nationalists and activists on Saturday.

James Alex Fields Jr, of Maumee, Ohio, is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Video of the Dodge Challenger, which is registered to Fields, showed the driver accelerating into the crowd throwing bodies into the air as people scream before reversing at high speed.

The incident killed a 32-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released by authorities pending her family’s notification.

Fields was apprehended and arrested a few blocks away from the bloody scene.


“Is Alexa Spying On Us? We’re Too Busy to Care”

August 12th, 2017

Oblivion.

Via: McClatchy:

It’s an experience every computer or smart phone user has had. After downloading new software or an app, a window pops up with a legal agreement. At the bottom is an “I agree” button. One click, and it’s gone.

Most users have no clue what they’ve agreed to.

That single action can empower software developers to extract reams of personal information – such as contacts, location, and other private data – from the devices. They can then market the information.

Even as privacy erodes in the digital era, little outcry arises over the digital tracking and profiling of consumers. Only slight murmurs are heard on Capitol Hill.

But a handful of security researchers, lawyers and privacy watchdogs voice increasing concern that consumers might one day wake up in anger at the collection of data by software companies winning rights to do so through “end user license agreements,” also known as EULAs. One researcher says the data collection potentially poses a national security threat.

Gary Reback, a Palo Alto, California, antitrust lawyer who has tangled in legal battles with Google and Microsoft over data privacy issues, said data harvested from consumers has led companies to create individual profiles, often at a level of detail that even family members may not know.

“When an online profile is created of you, which you never really get to see, it’s not just kind of what you buy, it’s who you might vote for,” Reback said in a recent telephone interview.

An old saying goes that when a consumer gets a service or product for free, the consumer becomes the product. His or her profile becomes an item to be marketed.

“You may think your identity is, you look in the mirror and that’s what you see, but it’s really not. Your identity is what they’ve compiled,” Reback said. “That is kind of scary when you think about it. I just don’t think people think about it enough.”


Audits Show Lax Oversight by Wisconsin Agency Counting Foxconn Jobs

August 11th, 2017

From, Taiwan’s Foxconn, Assembler of iPhones, Considering Wisconsin Plant:

My guess is that the plant will be centered around robotic manufacturing and the thousands of workers thing is being thrown out there for political fodder to secure corporate welfare from the state.

And now…

Via: Reuters:

The Wisconsin agency tasked with holding Foxconn accountable for delivering up to 13,000 jobs in exchange for $1.5 billion in state payroll tax credits has a history of failing to verify job-creation claims and rewarding companies that fall short of quotas, according to state audits.

The deal to secure Foxconn’s proposed LCD screen plant announced late last month is one of the largest economic development agreements in U.S. history and counts President Donald Trump, who rode into office on promises of creating manufacturing jobs, as one of its proponents.

A May audit found the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) did not independently verify jobs numbers claimed by recipients of tax credits and posted inaccurate jobs figures online. Earlier such reports by the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau identified similar shortcomings in 2013 and 2015.

Some lawmakers expressed skepticism after the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislature Fiscal Bureau estimated it will take at least 25 years for the state to break even on its tax break even if Foxconn creates 13,000 jobs.

The payback period would grow longer if that many jobs do not materialize, the bureau found.


Trump Threatens Venezuela with Unspecified ‘Military Option’

August 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday threatened military intervention in Venezuela, a surprise escalation in Washington’s response to Venezuela’s political crisis.

Venezuela has appeared to slide toward a more volatile stage of unrest in recent days, with anti-government forces looting weapons from a military base after a new legislative body usurped the authority of the opposition-controlled congress

“The people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary,” Trump told reporters.


Guam: ‘Take Cover, Avoid Bomb Flash’

August 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

Guam posted emergency guidelines on Friday to help residents prepare for any potential nuclear attack after a threat from North Korea to fire missiles in the vicinity of the U.S. Pacific territory.

Pyongyang’s state-run KCNA news agency said on Thursday its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam as North Korea and the United States engaged in increasingly heated rhetoric this week over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

North Korea did not threaten Guam with a nuclear attack, but the crisis between Pyongyang and the United States has stirred fears that a nuclear conflict could break out in the region.

While the governor of Guam shrugged off the North’s missile warning and said there was no heightened threat, the government has issued a preparedness fact sheet.

In language that evoked the specter of nuclear conflict during the Cold War, the guidelines cover what to do before, during and after a nuclear attack.

“Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you,” it said. “Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.”


North Korea Warns of Nuclear War, Trump Says U.S. Is ‘Locked and Loaded’

August 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying what he called U.S. military solutions were “locked and loaded” as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

Russia, China and Germany expressed alarm at the escalating rhetoric from Pyongyang and Washington, while the Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would move ahead as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonize North Korea.

Trump, vacationing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, kept up the war of words on Twitter and again referenced North Korea’s leader. “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” he wrote. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”


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