The communications devices that we have been baited into using as a means to be within instant touch of our friends, associates, and the latest information, continue to be turned against us.
In addition to surveillance by the apps themselves offering a wealth of personal details to advertisers, smartphones have gained new capabilities to track a user’s location with incredible precision. This location data in turn is being used by law enforcement across the country in ways that should be troubling to civil liberties advocates.
Documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that cell service providers are not only willingly handing over all of your data to local police departments but they’re also charging an obscene amount of money for the information.
Now California has introduced a bill sponsored by the ACLU and EFF that proposes to limit the unbridled selling of this information by simply reinforcing current wiretap laws that demand a search warrant be issued before obtaining personal data. Naturally with big money at stake the wireless industry has vigorously opposed this legislation.
Three things should immediately jump out from the opposition to the California Location Act of 2012 (SB 1434).
1) Your data, calls, phone numbers, photos, electronic location, etc. are being turned over to authorities without a warrant;
2) Service providers are making money from this transaction when they vowed to never sell your data;
3) Your own local tax dollars are funding this warrantless breach into your privacy.
Welcome to our new lizard overlords: Study suggests alien worlds could be full of super-intelligent dinosaurs
Nasa’s Kepler telescope scans the skies for ‘habitable worlds’ – but an American chemist has suggested the whole project might be a terrible idea.
Ronald Breslow suggests that life-forms based on slightly different amino acids and sugars could take the form of huge, ferocious dinosaurs that have evolved to have human-like intelligence and technologies.
‘We would be better off not meeting them,’ says Breslow, who claims that it was a stroke of luck that an asteroid wiped out dinosaurs on earth, leaving the field clear for mammals such as humans.
A scientist has suggested that other planets could be populated by intelligent dinosaurs
Amino acid tryptophan: A scientists suggests that a tiny ‘tweak’ to such acids could mean life on other worlds evolved very differently
On other worlds, dinosaurs could have evolved into huge, intelligent warriors armed with hi-tech weaponry – but without losing their hunger for fresh meat.
‘Of course,’ Breslow says, ‘Showing that it could have happened this way is not the same as showing that it did. An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars.
‘Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth.
‘We would be better off not meeting them.’
In the report, noted scientist Ronald Breslow, Ph.D., discusses the century-old mystery of why the building blocks of terrestrial amino acids (which make up proteins), sugars, and the genetic materials DNA and RNA exist mainly in one orientation or shape.
There are two possible orientations, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way as hands.
In order for life to arise, proteins, for instance, must contain only one chiral form of amino acids, left or right.
‘Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth,’ says Breslow
With the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids in all life on Earth have the left-handed orientation.
Most sugars have a right-handed orientation. How did that so-called homochirality, the predominance of one chiral form, happen?
Breslow describes evidence supporting the idea that the unusual amino acids carried to a lifeless Earth by meteorites about 4 billion years ago set the pattern for normal amino acids with the L-geometry, the kind in terrestial proteins, and how those could lead to D-sugars of the kind in DNA.