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  • Earthling 7:25 pm on 30th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Framablog, honesty, lying, nobody reads terms of use, public moral crisis, terms of service, terms of use, terms of use didn't read, tlDR   

    ToS;DR, Fighting back against the biggest lie on the internet 

    ToS;DR or “Terms of Service;Didn’t Read” is a project aiming to make all these countless of terms of use agreements that we accept all the time more comprehensible. As things stand, we sign hundreds of these each year without reading them at all; or if we do read them, they may be long, dull, and in legalese so we can’t really understand them anyway.
    This is not just an issue of rights and awareness of what we are agreeing to, but also an issue of societal honesty; a society in which everyone must falsely agree to terms of use to benefit from what are becoming increasingly essential technologies and services is a society of liars. Most people don’t have time to read and understand all these terms of use even if they want to. So terms of use are a means by which dishonesty spreads from evil corporations to common people. Even honest people who otherwise never lie will partake in the great terms of use lie.
    ToS;DR is alleviating the public moral crisis by rating and summarizing terms of use agreements so we can understand what we are agreeing to and how nasty or nice it is with a reasonably small amount of time and effort.
    After a period of rest, ToS;DR has sparked up again thanks to phœnix, a new version of their tool that makes it easier to add new entries and allows the participation of one and all.
    There are many ways you can help, including donating on Opencollective. They may also need translators at some point. Coders who know JavaScript and Ruby on Rails are welcome to contribute on Github.
    Parts of this article were translated from Framablog. This article is free to share under the CC share-alike attribution license.

  • Earthling 1:12 am on 29th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ancient Chinese instruments, Archeology in China, , Chinese musical instruments, Qin Dynasty, Shimao Neolithic discovery, varangi   

    China: Scientists discover ancient musical instruments 

    Scientists have discovered ancient musical instruments in China. The age of the instruments is estimated at approximately 4,000 years. The expedition was conducted in Shaanxi Province, in the northwest part of the country, according to Actual News.
    The scientists found more than 20 ancient varangas during the excavations on a Neolithic site in Shimao. Each instrument was made from a bone having a length of 8-9 centimeters and a width of 1 centimeter. During the excavations, the researchers also found other artifacts, including items made of ceramics.
    Chinese varangi are mentioned in historical testimonies, which scientists attribute to the times of the Qin dynasty (221 BC). Instruments were used by some ethnic groups, not only in the Chinese Empire, but also in other countries of the world.
    Translated from gumilev-center.ru (http://www.gumilev-center.ru/v-kitae-obnaruzheny-drevnie-muzykalnye-instrumenty/)

  • Earthling 1:06 am on 28th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coral algae, Coral bleaching, Coral Reef Diseases, Dark Spots Disease, DSD, macroalgal growth, noaa, nuisance alga, RBD, Red-band disease, reef relief, White plagie, YBD, Yellow Blotch Disease   

    Coral Reef Diseases 

    By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey
    Coral reef diseases have been discovered since the 1970s in ever-increasing numbers and varieties around the world. They account for the destruction and death of many species of coral and entire coral reefs. Coral reef disease is attributed to global warming, climate change, and the pollution of the water around coral reefs.
    Coral cannot exist or thrive in nutrient-rich water caused by pollution or in waters that are too warm. Corals live in a complex symbiotic system that relies on exact water temperatures, photosynthesis from the sun, and the general health of all organisms within the coral reef ecosystem.
    The exact cause of these diseases is still being researched. Many are attributed to a bacterial agent, but evidence in most cases is inconclusive.
    Major coral reef diseases:
    Nuisance algae (macroalgal growth)
    Nuisance algae are affecting the endangered elkhorn and staghorn corals in Florida, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Croix. According to NOAA fisheries, the cause is the lack of herbivores and sea urchins, however Reef Relief claims NOAA has failed to include pollution of the waters, which is causing a high nutrient content; and water temperature. Corals do not thrive in nutrient dense waters caused by pollution or in waters that are too warm or too cold. Global warming, climate change, and pollution of the waters are the main causes for this disease and therefore the Center for Biological Diversity has filed a suit on the basis of this condition.
    Yellow blotch disease (YBD)
    YBD affects the star coral and brain coral. It was first spotted in 1994 and exists in the Florida Keys and the entire Caribbean. The exact cause is unknown at this time. Further research is necessary.
    White plague
    White plague was first discovered in 1977. There are three types – types I, II, and III. Tissue death is greatest in types II and III. Type I affects 10 coral species. Type II affects 33 species. Type III affects the largest reef building corals.
    White-band disease (WBD)
    WBD was first discovered in 1977. It affects the elkhorn and staghorn corals and is found in St. Croix, the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands, nine countries in the Indo-Pacific region, the Great Barrier Reef, and Indonesia. WBD is responsible for major changes in reef structure.”
    Red-band disease (RBD)
    There are two types of RBD. They affect massive plating, stony corals, and sea fans in the Caribbean.
    Dark Spots Disease (DSD)
    This coral disease was first spotted in the late 1990s. DSD is found in Colombia, the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, and the Western Atlantic. DSD affects massive reef-building coral, massive starlet coral, and blushing star coral.
    Coral Bleaching
    Bleaching has been known since the early 1900s, but has proliferated since the 1980s. It affects numerous species worldwide and was first discovered in 1972 in Belize and Florida. It is now known to affect 26 countries including Fiji, the Philippines, Australia, and Western Atlantic.
    Bleaching affects massive reef-building coral, stony coral, and sea fans. It affects 16 species in the Western Atlantic and 26 species in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific regions.
    Copyright © 2018 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey. Edited and used with her permission.

  • Earthling 11:29 pm on 27th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Evgeny Morozov, , , , Public domain of personal data, Public domain of personal information   

    Belarus: Evgeny Morozov and the "public domain" of personal information 

    In 2017, the Belorussian-American essayist Evgeny Morozov gave an interview for the podcast Soft Power, in which he gives an interesting summary of the rather iconoclastic views he defends on personal information. There, where digital activists emphasize the defense of privacy, Evgeny Morozov explains that the main issue is economic and the struggle with the digital giants (GAFAM and others) should be dealt with by considering personal information as a “public good” which will be taken from a “public domain.” He has already presented this idea in an article that appeared in the Guardian in December 2016, translated into French by Le Monde Diplomatique under the title “Pour un populisme numérique (de gauche)”.
    Here is what he said in his interview with Soft Power:
    “I defend this solution [of the public domain of personal information] because I don’t think one can regulate all the problems presented by Google, Facebook and others with the traditional tools of market regulation, that is, making them pay taxes and putting anti-trust laws in place […] The digital industry has the power to profoundly change all the other markets; it would be naïve to think that the information wouldn’t fundamentally rebuild the realms of health, transportation, education, etc. And also accelerate this process of automatization and data analysis, because it’s not all negative. There is nothing bad about cancers being detected faster thanks to data, but we shouldn’t do it by giving so much power to Silicon Valley companies that are held by a few billionaires.
    The main good that needs to be tackled is information. If you control information, you can develop artificial intelligence, which is not to say that private companies don’t have a role to play in that. One can certainly imagine how information could be in the public domainwhile companies make use of it by paying for a license. There are countries where land is dealt with like that. The land belongs to the State: you can’t own it, but you can rent it to cultivate it and make use of it.
    This system where information would be in the public domain would also have the advantage of truly democratizing innovation. Today, they would have us believe that innovation is within the reach of all, but this is untrue. You have four or five companies today that decide who can innovate and who can’t. For sure, you can develop a fun application in your garage, but you will never have the power to build automatic cars or invent a system that can detect cancer, because you don’t have access to the data.
    A system in which information belongs to the community allows one and all to take this information to do something with it. Even at the local level, at the neighborhood scale, in order to better focus public policies, I don’t see why all this information has to pass through a big company in the United States, who uses it to create artificial intelligence on a grand scale and make money.”
    There is much to say about these different propositions, but I would like to begin by highlighting the “epidermic” impression everyone must feel when they first hear the expression “public domain of personal information.” In intellectual property law, the public domain is the status when works reach the end of their period of exclusive ownership and thus become freely reusable (on condition of respecting moral rights), including commercial ends. Hence, talk of wanting to put personal information in a “public domain” is of such a nature as to evoke a certain unease, because it is unclear how personal information, which concerns the private lives and intimate affairs of individuals, could fall under such a generalized right of use. Yet Evgeny Morozov doesn’t really connect his propositions with this “metaphor” of the public domain of private property. Rather, what he describes resembles the system called “state-owned public domain,” which regulates goods owned by public persons. This system is applied notably to the usage of sidewalks and public places by businesses (temporary occupation of the public domain) while respecting certain conditions and paying a fee.
    Translated from a French article which can be found here.

  • Earthling 3:13 am on 27th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: administrative case, assassination of mother russia, attempt on russia, counterterror business, counterterrorism business, extremism, extremism in russia, izhevsk, larisa fefilova, Ministry of Justice, prosecutors, Покушение на Россию   

    Russia: Vigilantes help prosecutors disclose digital assassination attempts on Russia 

    Udmurt prosecutors, following notification from a vigilant citizen, initiated an administrative case against the Izhevsk woman Larisa Fefilova for her posting online of the film “Покушение на Россию” (“Attempt on Russia”).

    If you monitor the internet for the punishment of Russians for distributing “extremist materials” on the internet, search engines will bring up a huge number of cases where the Russians were in fact punished for their ignorance, not for their convictions. The reality is that books, songs, films, etc. are added to the Ministry of Justice’s list of extremist materials not only in the absence of any public discussion in society with the participation of experts, but also without proper coverage of such cases in the press. Of course, ordinary users of Runet are unlikely to specifically monitor the websites of prosecutors, courts and the Justice Ministry, checking: “Is the song I want to listen to banned, or how about this film I’d like to repost on my page?”
    The position of RosKomSvoboda on this issue remains unchanged — we are against the prohibition of any information, but even in the conditions of modern Russia one can not help noticing the obvious excesses of the authorities regarding the punishment of Russians for disseminating information that was “secretly” banned. The lack of awareness of users is very often abused by regional prosecutors, setting up a business for them, as happened with the Izhevsk woman Larisa Fefilova.
    In June 2018 it became known that in the city of Izhevsk, the Udmurt Republic, an administrative case under Art. 20.29 CAO (Distribution of Prohibited Materials) was started against a local resident L. Fefilova, who reportedly published a prohibited film on the social network VKontakte in March 2018, a film which is listed in the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
    Neither the press release, nor the official website of the court, reports which film is being spoken about. Actually, the general trend is quite towards “hushing up information about banned information”, so it’s no surprise that prosecutors will be able to continue to come across people who are simply not aware of the fact that with the repost of a media file their actions may fall under administrative or even criminal prosecution.
    RosKomSvoboda was able to contact Larisa Fefilova, who told us the circumstances of the case. According to her, she was punished for posting the film “Attempt on Russia”, which was added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials on March 20, 2018. As an offender, Larisa jokes, this is her first: “My type is a debut.” Previously, she did not take an active part in political activities, and attended “only as an observer” at protest rallies.
    The resident of Izhevsk finds her case typical, as many regional prosecutors are closing reporting on extremism, and “judging by how quickly and noisily the news spread, without PR from my side, the prosecutor’s office of the Udmurt Republic had to report urgently — the extremists were caught in Udmurtia”. The authorities, on the other hand, maintain that some “not indifferent” vigilantes drew attention to the “dangerous post”:
    “The summons was sent through the district police station. They say that the denunciation was written by some vigilant citizen who looked at my page.”
    Fefilova asserts that she only learned about the illegality of her actions from law enforcement agencies, and reposted the film on her VKontakte page without knowing about its inclusion on the list of extremist materials: “I posted it on March 23, 2018. As it turned out, only a couple of days previously, it was recognized as extremist.” Larisa received the court decision recently, and it is not known yet whether she will appeal.
    As we already noted above, the case of Larisa Fefilova is not unusual. Prosecutors set up whole “packages” of cases against citizens for disseminating prohibited information, without specifying in press releases what kind of information they are talking about. The same goes for the news on the court websites. Employees of the supervisory authorities are aware that most ordinary Russian users will not simply look for lists of prohibited information on the internet, and they abuse their ignorance, immediately starting a business thereby. For the accounts of prosecutors this is probably good, and they can point to these cases as signs of growing success in the fight against extremism. And then they can once again launch a horror story about the growth of extremism. However, if you carefully dissect each case, it will not be surprising if it turns out that extremism is growing along with the list of information that the authorities recognize as prohibited.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39820/
    Related article: In Kogalym, children used as vigilantes to search for extremist content online

  • Earthling 9:30 pm on 25th June 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Russian Central Bank orders banks to check the devices of customers 

    The Central Bank of Russia has now introduced a measure to analyze the parameters of customer devices in financial transactions, which they say will help in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
    According to the latest version of the Central Bank’s regulations, banks are now required to analyze the specific and unique settings and parameters of all devices through which customers transfer money, and assign IDs to these devices.
    If the identities of different clients coincide, the bank will have to consider them as clients with an increased level of risk, explains Natalya Pozdeeva, Managing Director for IT and Technologies of Absolut Bank.
    Meanwhile, the bank VTB noted that many banks are already using IT data to analyze customer actions: the Central Bank only officially formalized this practice.
    VTB also explained that it is unlikely that such innovations will somehow restrict the freedom of customers. On the contrary, banks will now be more careful about every transaction, especially in terms of their security.
    The Central Bank has previously ordered Russian banks to report on hacker attacks. Operators must report to the Bank of Russia how much money the attackers attempted to steal during the reporting period, and how much they managed to steal. One important statistic is the amount of stolen funds returned by the operator to their customers.
    Earlier, users on social networks published a screenshot which says that the three leading banks in Russia — Sberbank, VTB and Alfa Bank — are required to check the transfers of individuals. The screenshot also says that “the financial intelligence service is preparing for the FATF verification ». It is assumed that the analysis of past transactions will be carried out, especially daily activity.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39789/

  • Earthling 8:53 pm on 24th June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ECHR, European Court of Human Rights, , , , , , , , Telegram in Russia   

    Telegram has filed a second complaint with the ECHR 

    The messenger’s creators dispute its blocking by Russian authorities in response to Telegram’s failure to provide encryption keys.
    Representatives of the Telegram messenger filed a second complaint with the European Court of Human Rights concerning the messenger’s conflict with the Russian authorities. This time, the complaint concerns the decision of the Russian authorities to block the messenger, as was specified by Pavel Chikov, head of the Kazan-based human rights organization AGORA, in his Telegram channel.
    “As a result of restricting access to Telegram, the possibility of freely distributing and receiving information could be lost not only by the applicant, but also up to 15 million users, who may lose access to a secure internet communications service, as well as a huge archive of unique information that can not be obtained from other sources,” noted Pavel Chikov.
    He also said that in the near future a cassation appeal will be submitted to the presidium of the Moscow City Court, and if necessary, to the Supreme Court of Russia. “We will notify the Secretariat of the European Court of significant changes in the case, including the consideration of cassation complaints,” Chikov wrote.
    According to the lawyer, the messenger’s representative mention in their complaint that “besides the exchange of messages, Telegram provides the possibility of operating public Telegram channels, which are one of the few independent and free modes of information dissemination and exchange of views on socio-political issues.”
    Such a method, the lawyers note, allows the author or group of authors not only to share information with an unlimited number of persons with a minimum distance between the reader and content, but also to maintain anonymity.
    Lawyers also noted that in the course of blocking of Telegram, Roskomnadzor restricted access to hundreds of sites and services not connected with the messenger.
    Earlier, the ECHR registered another complaint by Telegram — a fine of 800,000 rubles for refusing to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt user messages. At the same time, in the Strasbourg court, the representatives of the messenger were offered to separately appeal the decision to block.
    In early April, the Tagansky District Court granted Roskomnadzor’s lawsuit for the immediate blocking of Telegram. This happened after the messenger refused to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt user messages. The messenger’s representatives abstained from attending court at the request of Telegram’s creator, Pavel Durov, in order “not to legitimize the frank farce by their presence.”
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39720/

  • Earthling 12:27 am on 23rd June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: augmented reality, books, books rock, Dmitry Zaruta, easy ten, easy ten app, ED Summit, ED summit Russia, gamification, gamification of education, virtual reality, vr, VR vs books   

    The book is better than the VR course 


    The “Gamification in Education” discussion

    In a speech at the international forum held in June, ED summit, the head of one of the world’s most famous applications for the study of English, Dmitry Zaruta, drew attention to the fact that the more game elements are introduced into education, the more the content is lost.
    “Conversion in mastering the material after reading a well-written book will be much higher than the conversion after completing an augmented or virtual reality course,” says Zaruta. “People are very fond of technology, despite the fact that what a person needs is content.”
    According to Dmitry, the technology is just a package that works on the “wow factor.” If there is no high-quality content inside, it loses its meaning and quickly gets boring: “When you put on VR glasses for the first time, the first 5-10 minutes you will learn a new experience. But in a day, two, three, if there is nothing interesting inside, you will not stay.”
    The whole point is how interesting and useful the content for device is, says Dmitry: “There [in content development is where] most of the resources of those engaged in education should be directed, and not in the development of new technologies without a base.”
    Dmitry Zaruta is the founder of the Easy Ten app for learning English with ten new words a day. Easy Ten has more than 1.5 million users. In 2014, it was recognized as the best new app for iOS users, and in 2015 it received the Choice of the Apple Editorial Board Award.
    Translated from Edutainme: http://www.edutainme.ru/post/kniga-luchshe-vr/

  • Earthling 12:57 am on 22nd June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avoid creepy targeted ads, Avoid data mining, Creepy privacy invaders, E-reputation, How not to get hacked, How to avoid spyware, , Internet privacy, Maintaining online reputation, , Protecting your data   

    How to protect one's identity and personal data? 

    dnieper_landscape_forest_house_ukraine-691410 (1).jpg
    Revolutionary for some, data mining, or the automated exploration of data, is a considerable technological breakthrough that benefits not only research but also civil society. For now, this process is not framed by any legal status. From a purchase on a site to your discussions on social networks, all your actions on the internet are monitored and collected. With the rise of corporate spyware and the internet of things, we are heading in the direction of our offline life being heavily monitored as well.
    Our data has become a resource that will soon be more important than oil.
    Data mining comes to know your tastes, your political opinions, your religious beliefs, your love life, and even your desires! Indeed, companies use our tracks on the web to profile us for marketing purposes, or even to produce TV series specially designed to meet the expectations of the audience (as in the case of House of Cards, the series produced by Netflix). Some years ago, the Target affair caused a stir in the United States. This company was able to predict the pregnancies of its customers and offer them adapted products, before they were pregnant or before the pregnancy was officially announced. Scary, isn’t it?
    Here are some ways we can protect our data and avoid the creepiness of governments and targeted ads:
    1) Surf in private mode, which among other things prevents other users of the computer from accessing your search history. To surf fully anonymously you can use Tor.
    2) Most search engines collect information about their users (keywords, IP address). Use confidential search engines that do not collect your data:

    • DuckDuckGo
    • Ixquick
    • Qwant
    • YaCy

    3) It is possible to guard against profiling by using modules that block cookies:

    • AdBlock for Chrome and Adblock Plus for Firefox
    • FlashBlock for Chrome or Firefox
    • Disconnect for Chrome or Firefox

    4) While many websites support secure connections, which are critical for your security and privacy, a number of sites do not activate it by default. To enable this security wherever possible, you can use HTTPS Everywhere.
    5) When possible, provide disposable email addresses when you leave your email address on a site.
    6) Do not divulge too much personal information on the internet. It is up to everyone to be vigilant on this point. Make sure you control your e-reputation by making an inventory of your presence on the web. Enhance your image by becoming active: create an online CV, set the confidentiality of your social networks…
    Besides mass-surveillance, there are other risks to your data.
    7) Avoid all viruses, spyware, and hacker attacks. These could compromise all of your data.
    8) Don’t let nosy or malicious people access your electronic devices. Keep them password-protected and encrypted.
    9) Don’t use unsecured wi-fi networks. If you do, use a VPN.
    10) When traveling, back up your data and wipe your phone if you do not want government creeps looking at your data and possibly keeping a copy.
    11) Use Linux. Especially avoid Windows 10, which is notorious for spying on its users. Qubes and Tails Linux have been endorsed by Mr. Snowden.
    12) Keep your operating systems and software updated. Reinstall frequently if you are paranoid.
    13) For maximum privacy, stay away from electronics. Turn them off when possible. Go somewhere where there is no internet access and bond with your ancestors who lived in such privacy that we hardly know anything about them.
    Translated from http://bibliotheque-blogs.unice.fr/neurones/2014/06/10/david-contre-goliath-comment-proteger-son-identite-et-ses-donnees-numeriques/
    With some original additions.

  • Earthling 5:08 pm on 21st June 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: banned meat, banned meat in Russia, beef, , , , Kukmorsky, Kukmorsky district, Kukmorsky district prosecutor, Kukmorsky prosecutor, offal, pork, , , , , Russian sanctions,   

    Russia: Prosecutors seek to block online information about forbidden meat 

    In Tatarstan, the local prosecutor’s office is seeking to block websites selling prohibited products from a number of countries to Russia.
    In the Kukmorsky District of the Republic of Tatarstan, the prosecutor’s office, while monitoring the internet for banned information, found two websites that contained information about direct imports of beef, pork and offal from a number of countries that Russia had imposed sanctions on.
    However, from the information published on the website of the Kukmorsky Prosecutor’s Office, it is not entirely clear from which countries the Russian users are offered to purchase beef, pork and offal. Although at first the prosecutors talk about Ukraine, South America and the EU, when they refer to the RF Government decree, it is already about North America:
    “In accordance with Clause 1 of the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation ‘On measures to implement the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of August 6, 2014 No. 560 On the Application of Special Economic Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation’, by December 31, 2018, the importation to the Russian Federation of agricultural products, raw materials and food products originating from the United States of America, the countries of the European Union, Canada, Australia, the Kingdom of Norway, Ukraine, the Republic of Albania, Montenegro Iceland, the Republic of Iceland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.”
    Perhaps the work of the prosecutors from Tatarstan was affected by the blocks by Roskomnadzor, which led to the malfunctioning of Google services, including geographic focus?
    In order to suppress unlawful activities, the district prosecutor requested the court to recognize this information as prohibited for distribution throughout the Russian Federation and to block the resources. The prosecutor’s request is currently under consideration, as reported on the website of the Kukmorsky Prosecutor’s Office.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39741/

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