The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)



Etiquette mavens say the book on manners must be rewritten, literally, to take into
account new technologies and social media (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)

A 2012 survey by Intel found that in several countries, a majority said they were put
off by "oversharing" of pictures and personal information on the
internet and smartphones (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Work begins on the world's first 3D-printed house

Zero waste, lower transport costs and recyclable materials – is 3D-printing the future of housebuilding? Dutch architects are putting the process to the test for the first time in Amsterdam

The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright in Amsterdam, Friday 28 March 2014

3D-printed house … The future of volume house-building, or a novelty technology
for temporary pavilions? Photograph: Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Treacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the future of house-building, if Dus Architects have their way.

On this small canal-side plot in the north of the city, dotted with twisting plastic columns and strange zig-zag building blocks, the architects have begun making what they say will be the world's first 3D-printed house.

“The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there,” says Hedwig Heinsman of Dus. “With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities.”

Working on site for three weeks, the architects have so far produced a 3m-high sample corner of their future house, printed as a single piece weighing 180kg. It is one of the building blocks that will be stacked up like Lego bricks over the next three years to form a 13-room complex, modelled on a traditional Dutch gabled canal house, but with hand-laid bricks replaced by a faceted plastic facade, scripted by computer software.

  
At the centre of the process is the KamerMaker, or Room Builder, a scaled-up version of an open-source home 3D-printer, developed with Dutch firm Ultimaker. It uses the same principle of extruding layers of molten plastic, only enlarged about 10 times, from printing desktop trinkets to chunks of buildings up to 2x2x3.5m high.

For a machine-made material, the samples have an intriguingly hand-made finish. In places, it looks like bunches of black spaghetti. There are lumps and bumps, knots and wiggles, seams where the print head appears to have paused or slipped, spurting out more black goo than expected.

“We're still perfecting the technology,” says Heinsman. The current material is a bio-plastic mix, usually used as an industrial adhesive, containing 75% plant oil and reinforced with microfibres. They have also produced tests with a translucent plastic and a wood fibre mix, like a liquid form of MDF that can later be sawn and sanded. “We will continue to test over the next three years, as the technology evolves,” she says. “With a second nozzle, you could print multiple materials simultaneously, with structure and insulation side by side.”


For now, these plastic blocks, which are printed with a honeycomb lattice within for reinforcement, are back-filled with lightweight concrete, for structural strength and insulation – which would make recycling the parts somewhat difficult.

“It's an experiment,” says Heinsman. “We called it the room maker, but it's also a conversation maker.” Over 2,000 people have already visited the site, from building contractors to coach-loads of architecture students, while even Barack Obama was shown the prototypes when he was in Amsterdam last week.

“This is only the beginning, but there could be endless possibilities, from printing functional solutions locally in slums and disaster areas, to high-end hotel rooms that are individually customised and printed in marble dust.”

Countour crafting … Researchers at the University of Southern California have
 been developing a technology that 'prints' quick-setting concrete from a
computer controlled gantry. Photograph: Contour Crafting

While Dus may be the first architects to start printing a full-scale house, they join a number of others who have been experimenting with printing at an architectural scale over the last few years. Since 2008, researchers at the University of Southern California have been developing a technology, known as contour crafting, that uses a computer-controlled gantry to print structures in quick-setting concrete, which they say is potentially capable of printing high-rise buildings, with the printer climbing the structure as it grows. Another Dutch architect, Janjaap Ruijssenaars, is working on a project to print a house shaped like a looping Mobius strip with the Italian-made D-Shape printer, which uses sand mixed with a binding agent to create a form of synthetic sandstone. So far, only a small pavilion-sized structure has been printed. This looks to be where the technology will remain for the time being: temporary novelty structures for exhibitions and events.

“One of my fantasies is printing in biodegradable materials for festivals,” says Heinsman. “You could print an outrageous tent structure, then after a couple of years and few rain showers it disappears.”

Six more 3D-printing innovations

Skull transplants

Increasingly used in dentistry and facial reconstruction, the world's first 3D-printed skull transplant was recently carried out in Utrecht hospital, replacing a 22-year-old's malformed skull with a plastic cranium.

Meat

Designer steaks maybe coming your way thanks to US start-up, Modern Meadow, which has printed artificial raw meat using a bioprinter. It doesn't come cheap, though – a printed hamburger costs around £200,000.

Guns

Developed by open source firm Defense Distributed, the plans for the Liberator handgun were released online last May, and downloaded over 100,000 times in two days, before the US Department of State had them removed. The Victoria & Albert Museum now has a copy of the gun in its permanent collection.

Fashion

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has brought 3D printing to the catwalk, with complex geometrical outfits made using a multi-material printer, and clothing customised to individual body scans.

Space

Nasa is planning to print satellite parts in orbit, and even build objects on the moon, while private firm Deep Space Industries has launched a project to print spacecraft parts using materials mined from asteroids in a “microgravity foundry”. Norman Foster has also been working with the European Space Agency to design a moon research base printed from lunar soil.

Sex toys

For that extra personalised touch, US adult novelty company, the New York Toy Collective, gives customers the chance to “scan your own”, while Makerlove offers open-source files for people to customise their toys before printing in the privacy of their own home.

Related Article:


Encryption Companies Rise as Anxiety Over Data Mounts

Jakarta Globe - AFP, John Biers, Mar 29, 2014

Investors are pumping millions of dollars into encryption as unease about
 data security drives a rising need for ways to keep unwanted eyes away
from personal and corporate information. (AFP Photo/Thomas Samson)

New York. Investors are pumping millions of dollars into encryption as unease about data security drives a rising need for ways to keep unwanted eyes away from personal and corporate information.

Major data breaches at Target and other retailers that have made data security a boardroom issue at companies large and small.

And stunning revelations of widespread snooping by US intelligence agencies have also rattled companies and the public.

For venture capital, that has opened up a new area of growth in the tech business.

In February, Google Ventures led a $25.5 million round of venture funding for Atlanta-based Ionic Security, a three-year old company that works in encryption, which scrambles data before it is shipped or stored.

Other encryption companies, including Toronto-based PerspecSys and San Jose, California-based CipherCloud, have announced major fundings.

The funding rush could hearken a “golden age” of encryption, as one expert puts it. But the industry also faces barriers to a tool that until recently was not a hot commodity.

Concerns about encryption range from practical challenges, such as the difficulty users have to search their encoded data, to government opposition towards encryption.

“People are afraid of it because they don’t understand it,” John Kindervag, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research But he called the wider use of encryption “inevitable, because there’s no other way to solve the problem.”

Kindervag said the industry is between one and two years away from “some big revolutions” in the field. “It just needs to happen.”

But Venky Ganesan, a managing director with venture capital firm Menlo Ventures, believes major advances are further off.

“Encryption slows down,” Ganesan said. “Just imagine if every room in your house was locked and you had to open and close it every time you go in. You would be frustrated.”

Another problem is “the government is sensitive,” said Ganesan.

“They don’t want encryption technology to be open so that anybody can use it, because their goal is to make sure they can always get access to the information.”

He said governments have frequently insisted that they be given a master key to decrypt files, Ganesan said.

Snowden seal of approval

The need for better encryption vaulted to the top of the tech industry’s agenda earlier this month by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who last year exposed the massive spying capabilities of the US National Security Agency.

Snowden urged industry leaders to make a “moral commitment” to safeguard customer data by integrating encryption into devices in a user-friendly way.

The NSA and foreign intelligence services are “setting fire to the future of the Internet,” Snowden said via video from Russia. “You guys are the firefighters and we need you to help fix things.”

Recent data security scandals underscore the new vulnerabilities as organizations process unprecedented amounts of data that are analyzed, shipped, stored in “the cloud” — offsite commercial servers — and accessed remotely by mobile technology.

It’s a far cry from the days when security focused on safeguarding a stolen laptop.

“It’s on every corporation’s and every government’s mind how they protect their data and their intellectual property,” said William Bowmer, a technology stock specialist at Barclays.

Wall Street appears ready to commit more money to security companies as well. Shares of FireEye, which reportedly alerted Target to breaches in its security network even though the company did not take action, have more than tripled from the September 2013 IPO price of $20.

Industry insiders see some encryption firms as possibilities for entering the market: Voltage Security, SafeNet, Protegrity and Vormetric Data Security.

Voltage chief executive Sathvik Krishnamurthy described the market for encryption as “thriving and growing” and said the perception of government opposition to encryption is outdated.

Encryption can be integrated into policies that incorporate the lessons of the Snowden revelations with the need to protect national security, Krishnamurthy said.

Spying by authorities “has been going on forever,” he said.

“In any society where you think you’ve had privacy, you’ve been grossly mistaken. It’s just a question of the degree to which you were clueless about Big Brother actually looking at everything you were doing.”

He called the NSA’s sweep of data “really over the top.”

“Did we have to spy on Angel Merkel’s emails? No.”

But the biggest problem with the NSA program was the lack of disclosure, Krishnamurthy said.

Disclosure by the government of its program “will normalize the line over which we would no longer cross,” he said. “If you have to answer for your actions, then you are more likely to be reasonable in your actions.”

 Agence France-Presse

Facebook buys UK maker of solar-powered drones to expand internet

Mark Zuckerberg has plans to expand broadband coverage using unmanned high-altitude aircraft, satellites and lasers

The Guardian, Juliette Garside, Friday 28 March 2014

Just 16% of Africa’s population used the internet last year, compared with
75% in Europe. Photograph: Yannick Tylle/Corbis

Facebook has bought a Somerset-based designer of solar-powered drones for $20m (£12m) as it goes head-to-head with Google in a high-altitude race to connect the world's most remote locations to the internet.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, has unveiled plans to beam broadband connections from the skies, using satellites, lasers and unmanned high-altitude aircraft designed by the 51-year old British engineer Andrew Cox.

His Ascenta consultancy will become part of Facebook's Internet.org not-for-profit venture, joining a team of scientists and engineers who formerly worked at Nasa and the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

Facebook is building its Connectivity Lab as a direct challenge to Google's Project Loon, which is launching high-altitude balloons over New Zealand and hopes to establish an uninterrupted internet signal around the 40th parallel of the Earth's southern hemisphere.

The race to put the first man on the Moon was led by the US and Russian governments, but today it is private companies – the cash-rich digital corporations of Silicon Valley – that are driving the sub-space race. The ambition is to connect the billions of people who currently have no access to the world wide web.

"In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we've been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky," Zuckerberg wrote on his blog. "Today, we're sharing some details of the work Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites … and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone."

With 1.3 billion users, Facebook has already reached a large number of the estimated 3 billion people who use the internet. Connecting the other 4 billion will hugely expand its potential user base.

In what the Internet.org website describes as "one of the greatest challenges of our generation", engineers are trying to solve the problem of beaming fast, responsive internet signals to and from the Earth's surface from heights of 20,000 metres.

Facebook is exploring the potential of two types of craft – satellites, which could be used in remote rural locations from the Highlands of Scotland to the Amazon basin, and drones, which would fly over suburban areas.

Yael Maguire, an Internet.org engineer, explained: "In suburban environments we are looking at a new type of plane architecture that flies at 20,000 metres, at the point where the winds are the lowest. It's above commercial airlines, it's even above the weather. They circle around and broadcast internet down but significantly closer than a satellite."

Invisible infrared laser beams, which can carry large amounts of information at high speeds across space using free-space optical communication technology (FSO), will connect the satellites to each other and to receivers on the surface of the Earth.

The plans may sound like science fiction, but Jon Excell, the editor of The Engineer, said the use of sub-space drones as an alternative to satellites was already a credible technology.

"A lot of people have looked at this area," he said. "Satellite launches are just phenomenally expensive. Solar-powered craft are a lot cheaper because you don't have to launch them into space. They are also much easier to maintain. Satellites stay in orbit until they stop working, but these craft can be brought back down and repaired if anything goes wrong."

Just 16% of Africa's population used the internet last year, compared with 75% in Europe, but the drones and balloons being sent into space could soon bring it to areas where individuals do not yet have electricity or computers. Even in areas where there are no masts, however, the mobile phone is nearly ubiquitous. One in five people already own a smartphone.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spying accusations as Turkey blocks YouTube

Deutsche Welle, 28 March 2014

The Turkish government has blocked YouTube and is outraged over the release of an official recording regarding national and international security questions. The fate of the perpetrators and the government are at stake.


First Twitter, now YouTube. The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said the move to was an "administrative measure." But only a few hours before the measure came into force, a rather provocative recording was posted on the site. According to the official view, the audio clip is one of the most flagrant among the many that anonymous opponents of the government have been leaking online over the last few months. It exposes the Islamic-conservative government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just before the municipal elections scheduled to take place on March 30.

The conversation that was leaked this time is between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and several heads of the intelligence service and the military. Participants of the conversation were apparently looking for a reason to go to war with Syria.

The recording could influence the
outcome of local elections
According to reports from the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, the Turkish foreign ministry has confirmed the authenticity of the recording and has explained that the conversation took place in the foreign ministry. The ministry also emphasized, however, that the contents of the recording were distorted.


"Monitoring such a meeting of a highly confidential nature which was held at a location such as the office of the foreign minister, where the most sensitive security issues of the state are discussed; and releasing these conversations to the public are a despicable attack, an act of espionage and a very serious crime against the national security of Turkey. This incident reveals the extent the threats of cyber and electronic attacks that Turkey encounters."

The statement called the perpetrators "enemies of our state" and said they would be identified and severely punished as soon as possible.

Erdogan, too, criticized the publication of the conversation during a campaign rally in eastern Turkey. "This is immoral, this is sleaze, this is shameful, this is dishonorable," he said of the leak.

'Desperate and depressing move'

The online community reacted vociferously to the YouTube restrictions. "What's missing in order to throw the country back into the Middle Ages? A block on Facebook? You might as well just turn off the electricity," a Facebook user ranted immediately after the measures blocking access to YouTube came into force. "Now Twitter and YouTube are blocked in Turkey. This is a total repression of freedom of speech," wrote another user.

EU Commissioner Neele Kroes, who is in charge of Europe's digital agenda, called the YouTube step "another desperate and depressing move in Turkey."

The Turkish radio and television supervisory board RTÜK banned several Turkish media outlets from spreading the video or communicating its contents. According to the newspaper Hürriyet, the Turkish federal prosecutor's office has already initiated investigations against those responsible for the video.

Measures taken too far

According to legal expert Bertan Tokuzlu, the recording gives the impression that the government wanted to make trouble internationally, in order to distract the public from internal problems. "If the government wanted to create a reason for war, that is absolutely not in keeping with international legal standards," says Tokuzlu.

The government blocked YouTube
just days after banning Twitter
But according to the legal expert, another aspect of the problem is at stake here. "This is a case of espionage. The alleged conversation took place in a secure location and it is on a very sensitive topic - the question of whether there should or should not be a war with Syria," he says. Tokuzlu added that the content of the conversation was clearly supposed to be released to the public in order to influence the results of this Sunday's (30.03.2014) local elections.

But blocking the whole YouTube site was never an appropriate solution, Tokuzlu maintains. "There is no reason to block entire sites. You could block individual accounts or videos; that would be legitimate in this sort of a case," he said. Tokuzlu also explained that blocking YouTube could not be compared with the move to block Twitter: "The Security Council in Turkey held an emergency meeting. Right after, YouTube was blocked. That shows how important this case is."

A serious crime

Tokuzlu also said that in Turkish criminal law, there is a chapter about state secrets and espionage. "Article 330 of the penal code could apply in the YouTube case. It concerns information that should be kept secret in the interest of the state as well as in the interest of national and international security. If that article is breached by means of political and military espionage, the perpetrator can expect lifelong detention. It's a very serious crime," the expert said.

The recording also mentions Turkish arms deliveries to Syrian opposition groups. "If that is the case and we have a war crime to deal with, then the public has a right to know this information, according to the European Court of Human Rights," Tokuzlu stressed, adding that the Turkish government's reaction to the publication of the conversation was very thin-skinned. "If the recording provides evidence of a war crime, then that might mean the government will be brought before a war crimes tribunal in the near future. That is a delicate subject."

Related Article:


Groningen scientists oppose shift to Google mail

DutchNews.nl, Friday 28 March 2014

Volkskrant/ANP
Scientists at Groningen University are opposed to the university’s plans to force them to communicate via Google.

They say their communications may not be safe in the hands of the American giant and want an alternative, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The university expects to save hundreds of thousands of euros with the shift to the Google cloud system. The move is part of the implementation of Google Apps for Education, a software service for education management.

Security

Eleven Dutch universities and hbo colleges have made the shift to Google over the past couple of years, the paper says. Addresses such as@student.uva.nl or @tilburguniversity.edu are also gmail addresses.

Groningen’s mathematics and natural science faculties say they have major objections to the plan and fear advantages – a larger capacity mailbox and good anti-hacking security – do not outweigh the concerns, which primarily come from private sector partners.

‘Our partners in the private sector and at the European Union do not want correspondence about research going through Google’s servers,' IT coordinator Ronald Zwaagstra, told the paper.

‘They are also worried about leaks affecting research which can be patented, as well as general privacy concerns,’ he said.

We're heading for a decentralized Internet, but will we get there by 2015?

Deutsche Welle, 27 March 2014

It was all talk in Singapore. But with the US withdrawing from ICANN, the body that governs the Internet, in 2015, doubt is rife. The world's digital community may not get a new "world stewardship" model in time.


It was hardly a surprise. People had been calling for it for ages. But when the US Department of Commerce finally announced it was planning to relinquish control of a vital part of ICANN - and with it, the Internet - by October 2015, the chatter really began.

The announcement has "electrified" this week's ICANN 49 meeting in Singapore.
"We're in a situation where the announcement was only made last week so we're into an interesting period of reflection," says Nigel Hickson, ICANN's vice president for global stakeholder engagement in Europe.

Hickson, who was at the meeting in Singapore, along with 2,000 other delegates, including academics, lawyers, business people, members of civil society and governments, says the timing of the US announcement is important.

But he also refers to the plans as a "proposed transition," which clearly hints at the mammoth task ahead. This is not only about "names and numbers" - it's time to talk about the future of the global governance of the Internet.

"Someone or something has got to run the Domain Name System (DNS)," says Hickson. "And if you're going to have a single open Internet, rather than lots of fragmented internets, you need a technical infrastructure that is managed in a way that it remains open."

While everyone's been talking about golobal governance, ICANN's
been rolling out new TLDs like .africa

So what's at stake

Specifically, the US is giving up its control of the IANA function. This involves the allocation of unique names and numbers for use in Internet protocols - domain names and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. IANA falls under ICANN's remit.

A non-profit organization, ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It takes care of Internet databases, it doles out generic Top Level Domain names [gTLDs], such as .com, .org, .berlin and .africa, and effectively governs the Internet under a contract with the US Department of Commerce.

If ICANN sounds like the sort of organization that is just too boring to know, think again.

It's said that, while it's never made use of this power, the US could, through its control of ICANN, make a website nameless and therefore make it disappear. It's the sort of thing you might hear about under dictatorships - that is, if the Web became a fragmented grouping of separate internets. But there are no known cases of the US ever having done this, and so it is seen as an arbiter and protector of the free Internet.

"There are some governments that would frankly like to control the Internet, so that you or I, or the people in that country, don't get to see everything they'd like to see," says Ryan Heath, spokesman for Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission responsible for Europe's Digital Agenda.

Some countries, often led by China and Russia, have pushed for the Domain Name System to become part of the United Nations' remit. They argue this on the basis of ensuring a country's "sovereignty" on the Net.

But it's not the sort of model that the European Union wants to see.

"No, definitely not," says Heath. "What we need is a decentralized system, where all countries and all people who use the Internet, can have a stake in how that's run. We're not saying that governments have no role in how the Internet is run, but the Internet grew as a space for democracy and freedom, and those values will need to be respected in future models of Internet governance."

The challenge is stopping individual governments from controlling
people's access to the Net

Real-time planning

There's no doubt that it will be difficult to design a new model for Internet governance, which includes government interests (but at arm's length), and incorporates business, social concerns and civil liberties for all of the world's Internet users - but that's the aim.

It is time, as ICANN's CEO Fadi Chehadé puts it, to move from a single state stewardship to a world stewardship.

"When ICANN was established, the United States had nearly 90 percent of the world's Internet users. Now it has 13 percent of the world's Internet users. So you can't have one country having 95 percent of the control anymore," agrees Heath.

The question is whether it will happen in time for the transfer.

"[The US] has strictly ruled out any single government, or group of governments, or a multinational government-led organization being in charge," says Dr Jörg Schweiger, CEO of DENIC, which administers Germany's own TLD .de.

"So this is really the tough part," says Schweiger, who was also at the Singapore meeting, "and this is why we are at first talking 'meta' before we talk about a concrete model to be designed by 2015. But if it doesn't happen in time, there may well be another assignment of the existing contract to the existing organization."

ICANN's Nigel Hickson makes the same concession.

"I think there's a degree of confidence that we'll have some sort of model by 2015," Hickson says, "and of course 2015 is not a hard-and-fast deadline, the current IANA contract finishes in 2015, but it can be extended."

Heath shares Hickson's confidence in a positive outcome, but he rejects the idea that this may be, as some have hoped, Europe's opportunity to step into the US's big boots.

"We have a series of conferences between now and then. And if they go well, then we will meet the deadline," says Heath. "And it is possible to have a system where governments are one of many voices in Internet governance - that's the system we've got now. The difference between now and hopefully 2016, is that instead of it being one government having a voice, everybody can have a voice."

Following the ICANN 49 meeting in Singapore, which ends this Thursday (27.03.2014), the next conference is NETmundial in Brazil and an Internet governance forum in September.

But don't hold your breath for an early outcome.

Related Articles:

US to relinquish key oversight role for Internet
Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission

‘The internet is a gift from God’ - Pope Francis

The Internet  - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20,2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

Vodafone turns smartphones into a direct debit card

DutchNews.nl, Thursday 27 March 2014

(NOS/ANP)
A number of retailers in the Netherlands have begun experimenting with a system to allow people to pay for goods and services using their smartphone.

The Vodafone Smartpas system is contact-free and works on the basis of a special NFC chip in the phone. Many phones already have the chip as standard but iPhone users need a special sticker which includes it to use the new payment system.

The system has been developed with Visa. Payment is made by holding the phone close to the pin terminal and a special pincode is needed for payments of over €25.

Many shops in railway stations are using the new system as is the Lidl supermarket and Ikea furniture store group, Vodafone said.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Russian officials dump iPads over spy fears

Google – AFP, 26 March 2014

A woman looks at an Apple iPad at one of the company's stores in Paris,
on December 20, 2013 (AFP/File, Patrick Kovarik)

Moscow — Russian government officials have swapped their iPads for Samsung tablets to ensure tighter security, the telecoms minister told news agencies on Wednesday.

Journalists spotted that ministers at a cabinet meeting were no longer using Apple tablets, and minister Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed the changeover "took place not so long ago."

He said the ministers' new Samsungs were "specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information."

"Some of the information at government meetings is confidential in nature and these devices fully meet these demands and have gone through the strictest system of certification."

Nikiforov denied that Russia was clamping down on US technology in response to Western sanctions imposed over its takeover of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

"We are not proposing any sanctions," he said.

But he did mention reading reports that "American special services... will significantly increase the volume of information they intercept (which) of course causes serious concern to many governmental clients."

"This obviously orientates Russian clients, primarily state ones, to be very choosy about their partners in IT," Nikiforov said.

He added that South Korean firms such as Samsung, along with Chinese ones, could be interesting to Russia in this respect.

Russia's then-president and now Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Silicon Valley in 2010 and received an iPhone as a gift from the late Steve Jobs, using it to send his first tweet.

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Archangel Michael: The Russia Ukraine debacle … is also truly about oil and gas and so there is a struggle about who is going to control what we would refer to as oil dollars. So there is this loose alignment which has been unusual between Russia and China – and we are talking about the power regime of China and not the [Chinese] Elders – so there is a reticence [on the part of Americans] to give all the oil buying power to that alliance – Russia, China.

Steve: Is Russia colluding with China to turn a blind eye to what China is doing in Zimbabwe? [China is building a military airbase.] (1)

AAM: Yes, but it is coming to an end because human beings are quite fed up.

There is significant … we can’t call it intervention … but can we call it attention? … that your star brothers and sisters are bringing to this entire situation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dutch hospital gives patient new plastic skull, made by 3D printer

DutchNews.nl, Wednesday 26 March 2014

The plastic skull was made with the help of a 3D printer: Photo: UMC Utrecht

A Dutch university hospital has successfully given a 22-year-old woman a plastic skull, made with the help of a 3D printer.

Utrecht University's UMC says the operation is a world first.

The woman needed the operation because her skull was becoming thicker, compressing her brain and damaging its function. Her cranium had become 5cm thick, while a normal skull is up to around 1.5cm.

Plastic

Her medical team, led by neurologist Ben Verweij, decided to replace her cranium with a plastic one, produced by a specialist Australian firm. The operation took 23 hours but was a complete success, the hospital says.

‘Implants used to be made by hand in the operating theatre using a sort of cement which was far from ideal,’ Verweij said. ‘Using 3D printing we can make one to the exact size. This not only has great cosmetic advantages, but patients’ brain function often recovers better than using the old method.’

The procedure took place three months ago but the woman has now gone back to work and is symptom free, Verweij said.

The hospital says the technique can be used with patients who have other bone problems or to help recovery after people have suffered serious skull injuries.

Other hospitals have placed skull implants successfully in patients but this is the first time a complete cranium has been replaced, the surgeon said.



Russia to launch its payment system in months, as disruption fears mount

RT.com, March 24, 2014

Universal electronic card (Image: Federal authorized organization
"Universal electronic card")

The move by international payment systems Visa and MasterCard to block their use in Russia has unnerved some Russian businesses. Meanwhile, Moscow says its own national payment system may become fully operative within months.

Last week MasterCard and Visa stopped servicing some Russian banks, which shows the Russian market remains the monopoly of international operators.

Although the payment systems resumed operations with Russia’s SMP Bank on Sunday, it is estimated clients withdrew about $111 million from their accounts in just two days.

After years of rhetoric over the need to launch a domestic payment system in Russia, it may become a reality soon.

“The payment system PRO 100 is technologically ready to provide national processing in the near future. We estimate it will take a couple of months, as key Russian banks, that account for more than 40 percent of the market, are already linked to the PRO 100 payment system,” Andrey Nesterov, director of corporate communications at the Universal Electronic Card told RT.

Launched as a pilot in 2010, the project Universal electronic card provides for settlements of government, municipal and commercial services via Internet and self-service machines. The card’s electronic banking application is based on the payment system ‘Universal electronic card’, which has a logo PRO 100.

Four Russian banks are technically ready to use the Russian payment system – Sberbank, Uralsib, AK BARS and Moscow Industrial Bank.

Obama: US must 'win back the trust of ordinary citizens' over data collection

President confirms plans to end NSA bulk telephone collection, and admits revelations have shaken faith in US intelligence

theguardian.comSpencer Ackerman in Washington and Julian Borger in The Hague, 25 March 2014

Barack Obama in The Hague. 'There's a tendency to be sceptical of government,
and to be sceptical of US intelligence services,' he said. Photograph: Sean Gallup/AP

Barack Obama confirmed on Tuesday that the US plans to end the National Security Agency's systematic collection of Americans’ telephone data, admitting that trust in country’s intelligence services had been shaken and pledging to address the concerns of privacy advocates.

Under plans to be put forward by the Obama administration in the next few days, the NSA would end the so-called bulk collection of telephone records, and instead would be required to seek a new kind of court order to search data held by telecommunications companies.

The proposals come nine months after the practice was first disclosed by the Guardian, based on leaks from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Obama conceded on Tuesday that the revelations had caused trust in the US to plunge around the world.

“We have got to win back the trust not just of governments, but, more importantly, of ordinary citizens. And that's not going to happen overnight, because there's a tendency to be sceptical of government and to be sceptical of the US intelligence services,” Obama said at a news conference in The Hague, where world leaders were meeting to discuss nuclear security.

Legislators in the House of Representatives unveiled a separate bill on Tuesday that would significantly curtail the practice of bulk collection but lower the legal standards for the collection of such information. The House proposal would not necessarily require a judge's prior approval to access phone or email data.

Neither the White House nor the House intelligence committee proposal would require telecommunications firms to keep such records any longer than the current 18-month maximum, a significant shift away from the five years during which they are currently held by NSA. The moves represent a significant overhaul of the secret mass collection practices of the past 13 years, as exposed by Snowden.

But under the White House proposals, the National Security Agency would still be able to gain access to the data from thousands of phone calls from a single court order. Phone companies would be required to provide phone records up to two "hops" – or degrees of separation – from a phone number suspected of wrongdoing.

Speaking in the Hague, Obama said he believed the reform proposals presented to him by the US intelligence agencies were "workable" and would "eliminate" the concerns of privacy campaigners. "I am confident that it allows us to do what is necessary in order to deal the threat of a terrorist attack but does so in a way that addresses people's concerns," he said.

Activists gave a cautious welcome to Obama's plans. Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote in an article for the Guardian: "The president is acknowledging that a surveillance program endorsed by all three branches of government, and in place for more than a decade, has not been able to survive public scrutiny. It's an acknowledgement that the intelligence agencies, the surveillance court and the intelligence committees struck a balance behind closed doors that could not be defended in public."

Obama will ask the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which gives legal oversight to the system, to approve the current bulk collection program for a final 90-day period as he attempts to implement his plan.

Attention will now be focused on how that can be achieved in Congress. In Washington on Tuesday, NSA allies Mike Rogers of Michigan and Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, of the House intelligence committee, published a bill which they claimed would end the bulk collection of Americans' phone records. But the government would be empowered, through a non-judicial order, to compel phone companies and internet service providers to turn over records of phone numbers or email addresses with a "reasonable articulable suspicion" of connection to terrorism or espionage, along with those contacted by that number or address, and all those contacted by those numbers or addresses.

Although that data can sprawl into the thousands of phone numbers and email addresses off a single order to the companies, Ruppersberger told reporters on Tuesday that their bill would represent "ending bulk collection".

Both said they were close to alignment with the White House's proposals, which Rogers and Ruppersberger said currently provide greater up-front judicial scrutiny on the data collection than their effort."We think the White House is now moving toward our position on this. We've been sharing text with them for the last few weeks," Rogers, the committee chairman, said.

There was a sense on Capitol Hill that consensus was growing around the House bill as a vehicle for Obama's proposals. Dianne Feinstien, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Obama's plan was "worthy effort". She said her committee would schedule a hearing to examine the president's proposals and the House bill.

Rogers and Ruppersberger forcefully rejected an alternative proposal, authored by GOP representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Democratic senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, which Ruppersberger said would make America "less safe." The Leahy-Sensenbrenner bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, permits the government to acquire data related to an "ongoing" terrorism investigation – the standard set out in the Patriot Act, which since 2006 the NSA has contended its bulk collection of Americans' phone data meets.

Leahy, the Senate judiciary committee chairman, welcomed Obama's plan to end collection of US phone records. "That is a key element of what I and others have outlined in the USA Freedom Act, and that is what the American people have been demanding," he said in a statement.

“I look forward to having meaningful consultation with the administration on these matters and reviewing its proposal to evaluate whether it sufficiently protects Americans’ privacy. In the meantime, the president could end bulk collection once and for all on Friday by not seeking reauthorisation of this program. Rather than postponing action any longer, I hope he chooses this path.”

Senator Mark Udall, the Colorado Democrat who has been a prominent critic of bulk surveillance, said he was "encouraged" by the president's plans. "The constitution is clear ... the ongoing bulk collections of Americans' call records is an unacceptable invasion of our privacy that doesn't make us safer and must be brought to an end," he said.

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