Tag Archives: Apple

The surveillance state is even bigger, and scarier, than we thought.

It’s High Time We Abolished the Department of Homeland Security

It’s the path to national sanity.

The surveillance state is even bigger, and scarier, than we thought.

And, as a result, it’s time that we broke up the failed national security experiment known as the Department of Homeland Security. Returning to dozens of independent agencies will return internal checks-and-balances to within the Executive branch, and actually make us both safer and less likely to be the victims of government snooping overreach.

Last Wednesday, the  Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald revealed that the National Security Agency is secretly collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon users. The agency received authorization to track phone “metadata” over a 3 month period from a special court order issued in April.

We now also know that what the  Guardian uncovered is just the tip of the iceberg of an ongoing phone and internet records collection program that likely includes almost all major U.S. telecommunications companies.

President Obama – who promised the “most transparent administration ever” – now finds himself and his DHS at the center of yet another civil liberties controversy. That controversy has deepened in the wake of two reports published last night in both the Washington Post and the Guardian that outlined a different NSA snooping program – a data mining initiative code-named “PRISM.”

PRISM – which was created in 2007 during the Bush Administration – is almost certainly the most far-reaching surveillance program ever created. By reaching into the servers of 9 different major U.S. internet companies – including Facebook, Google and Apple – the NSA has access to millions of users’ personal data, including emails, chats and videos.

Although PRISM is supposed to only be used to gain information about “foreign individuals” suspected of terrorism – the very methods used to access such information inevitably suck up the private data of American citizens

As the  Washington Post pointed out:

“Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as “incidental,” and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect’s inbox or outbox is swept in.”

These startling revelations about American intelligence agencies raise a number of questions, the first being, of course, who’s the  Guardian‘s source?

Read more » AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/thom-hartmann-abolish-homeland-security

The 50 most innovative companies in the World: No Canadian companies on the list.

Traditional companies getting in on the innovation push

BY TAVIA GRANT

It’s not just Apple and Google. Auto makers, industrial companies and old-fashioned conglomerates are now some of the most innovative companies in the world.

Tech and telecom firms still dominate Boston Consulting Group’s annual ranking, to be released Thursday, taking seven of the top 10 spots. But turbulence in their sector means many – including Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion – have tumbled out of the global top-50 list while traditional companies such as General Motors and Siemens are gaining ground.

Innovation – or successfully creating value out of new ideas – is a big buzz word these days. It pays off, as the most innovative companies tend to see sustained, above-average returns. More executives are moving innovation higher up on their priority list to drive growth, especially given that most have completed cost cuts, and that mergers or acquisitions are too expensive.

“One of the big untapped value drivers is to dramatically increase rates of organic growth – and that leads to innovation,” Andrew Taylor, partner and manager director at Boston Consulting, said in an interview.

Canadian companies are notably absent from the top-50 list, after RIM tumbled out of the ranking. Innovation is a broader challenge in Canada; in its most-recent assessment, the Conference Board of Canada gave the country a “D” grade, saying Canada remains below average in its capacity to innovate. ….

Continue reading The 50 most innovative companies in the World: No Canadian companies on the list.

Kashmir: A troubled paradise

– As a child growing up after India’s partition, Kashmir to me was always a part of India. Only in middle school did I begin to realize that it was considered “disputed territory” by much of the world, the sentiment being especially fierce in neighboring Pakistan. The map of India that we studied in school showed Indian Kashmir as a larger territory than what was actually under Indian control. Parts of it in the north and the west were in reality, within China and Pakistan. The scenic northernmost state, a popular destination for summer tourism and the backdrop of many a puerile romantic song & dance number of made-in-Bombay movies, was not a very urgent topic of discussion for the general Indian public. Kashmir for most Indians, evoked benign, pretty images of apple, apricot and walnut orchards, chinar trees, shimmering lakes, snow capped mountains, houseboats, fine pashmina shawls, lacquered papier mache ornaments and the valley’s light skinned aloof inhabitants.

Later in my teen years I began to understand that Kashmir was not the placid paradise we had imagined as children. Its politics were complicated and its population sharply divided on the state’s rightful status – part of India, part of Pakistan or a wholly independent/ autonomous entity. The difference of opinion fell across religious lines. Kashmiri Hindus wished to remain with India and the majority Muslim population of the state did not. Even then, things were mostly quiet and free of turmoil. There were quite a few Kashmiri students in my school. Many had ancestral homes and relatives in Kashmir and they visited there regularly during summer breaks. Those friends were all Hindus. Come to think of it, I did not know a single Kashmiri Muslim on a personal level until I was in college. There were Muslim traders and merchants who came down to major Indian cities bearing expensive and much coveted Kashmiri merchandise such as saffron, dried fruit, nuts and embroidered woollens, but they did not reside in the plains permanently and their children did not attend our schools. The first Kashmiri Muslim I came to know well was Agha Shahid Ali, a graduate student a few years ahead of me in Delhi University who later became a lecturer of English at my college as also a poet of some renown. It was Ali who first revealed to me that most Kashmiri Muslims did not identify themselves as Indians and many felt a greater emotional and cultural allegiance with Pakistan. An equal number wanted an autonomous state with a very loose federation with India for economic reasons. The Indian government spent large sums of money to subsidize the state’s economy and prohibited non-Kashmiris from buying land there while also meddling in local politics. Kashmiris became increasingly suspicious of the central government’s motives and the rift with India widened both politically and culturally.

Despite tensions and uncertainties, Kashmir never experienced the sectarian violence that had racked the eastern and western wings of India around partition time. Even when India and Pakistan fought several wars over their disagreement surrounding the region, Kashmir itself remained relatively free of communal strife for many decades after India’s independence. The uneasy calm ended in the late 1980s and early ’90s when the Kashmir valley became a battle ground for armed insurgents trained in Pakistan and the Indian military forces. The conflict caused a communal rift among long time residents and resulted in a mass exodus (some say expulsion) of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes. Those tensions remain to this day laced with bitterness on both sides.

I had never visited Kashmir when I lived in India. By the time the political upheaval unfolded in the 1990s, I had already left and had been living abroad for a decade. Kashmir’s troubles and deteriorating political situation were not something I paid close attention to until the Kargil War erupted in 1999. It became clear then that Kashmir had become an intractable problem for India. I am still not sure how I feel about the situation. What can India gain by holding on to a territory whose residents do not want to be a part of India? Can India protect regions like Ladakh and Jammu in the vicinity which identify firmly with the rest of India? What would happen if India does decide to vacate the valley and stops spending money to placate the population and maintain the large presence of its armed forces? Would Kashmir valley remain “independent” or will some other country like China or Pakistan march in and establish control even closer to other Indian states? How does one balance the interests of Kashmiris and the rest of India? Is peace ever possible when the citizenry perceives the government as an “occupying force?” Most confusing of all, will Kashmiri Hindus be permitted go back to the homes they abandoned out of fear and panic? And even if it was possible, would they ever want to return to a place that had cut all ties to India? ….

Read more → Accidental Blogger

What is Insulin Resistance Syndrome (metabolic problem)?

If you have excess fat around your abdominal (apple shape tummy/ Bear belly), High blood pressure, High cholesterol, high triglycerides, and tendency to clot the blood and fatigue then you may have Insulin Resistance Syndrome (metabolic problem) or pre- diabetic condition or full blown diabetic.

The number one cause of aging is chronically elevated insulin levels. Too much insulin, a response to sugar/glucose or processed refine carbohydrates, stores extra glucose as fat. Excess insulin levels raise stress hormone cortisol and their elevated combination cause obesity, diabetese, decreased energy, poor health, dcreased mental focus and fatigue.

The following suggestions may help- Cut off sugar and sugar products, wheat, rice, corn, banana and potato products, Walk half an hour or exercise, reduce your weight and take vitamin B-complex,  Zinic 05 mg, Magnicium 10 mg, calcium 10 mg everyday or high potency multi-mineral supplements, eat yogurt early in the morning with a full glass of water, eat fresh washed leafy green and colorful vegetables and 8 to 10 glasses of crystel clean and fresh water every day.

Health tips!

Carrot + Ginger + Apple – Boost and cleanse our system.

Apple + Cucumber + Celery – Prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol, and improve stomach upset and headache.

Tomato + Carrot + Apple – Improve skin complexion and bad breath.

Bitter gourd + Apple + Milk – Avoid bad breath and reduce internal body heat.

Orange + Ginger + Cucumber + Apple + Cucumber + Kiwi – Improve Skin texture and moisture and reduce body heat.

Pineapple + Apple + Watermelon – To dispel excess salts, nourishes the bladder and kidney.

Pear – regulates sugar content.

Carrot + Apple + Pear + Mango – Clear body heat, counteracts toxicity, decreased blood pressure and fight oxidization.

Banana – Best source potassium.

Orange + Grape fruit + Watermelon + Milk – Rich in vitamin C + Vitamin B2 that increase cell activity and strengthen body immunity.

Papaya + Pineapple – Rich in vitamin C, E, Iron. Improve skin complexion and metabolism. Rich in digestive enzymes.

Banana + Pineapple + papya – Rich in vitamin with nutritious and prevent constipation.

An Apple a day, Keeps the doctor away

Some studies now indicate that apples can reduce the cholesterol and help the heart and arteries in several ways. Not only apples are the source of fiber but it has one particular type of fiber named pectin. Pectin is soluble fiber which helps to reduce the cholesterol. The apples are the source of flavonids and Quercetin, the antioxidant compounds that protect heart, kidneys and the body from the damage of free radicals and and other side effects.

Apples protect heart

Apple protect the heart by it’s flavonoids, antioxidant compunds that portect us from the damage of “bad” LDL cholesterol. The flavonoid which is present in large amount in apples called quercetin. Quercetin seems to be a major  antioxidant which protect the heart if we eat apple with it’s skin.