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May 02 2014

surveyork
07:21

February 02 2014

surveyork
19:16

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 jet developed cracks in testing of the fighter’s durability and wasn’t sufficiently reliable in training flights last year, the Pentagon’s chief tester found.

On-ground testing of the Air Force and Marine Corps versions of the fighter revealed “significant findings” of cracks on five occasions in fuselage bulkheads, flanges, stiffeners and engine mounts “that will require mitigation plans and may include redesigning parts and additional weight,” according to an annual report on major weapons by Michael Gilmore, director of operational testing.

Lockheed F-35 Develops Cracks, Pentagon’s Tester Finds - Bloomberg

January 26 2014

surveyork
18:37

January 19 2014

surveyork
13:59
0534 ef9f 500

The Largest Corporate Power Grab You’ve Never Heard Of

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive trade agreement between 12 countries on the Pacific Rim that could massively boost corporate power at the expense of our climate and environment, human and workers’ rights, sovereignty and democracy. We’re standing with millions of people across the world urging world leaders to publish the text of the TPP as it stands now, and reject efforts to fast-track this agreement in the United States Congress.

December 06 2013

surveyork
06:28
Under a new, extra-legal voluntary arrangement, Swedish telcos will turn over detailed call records, location data, and billing information to a wide variety of government agencies, including the tax authorities, police, and customs. The data will also include codes necessary to bypass Swedes' SIM PINs and covertly activate them over the air. Because this is a voluntary arrangement, there is no legal framework for it -- it wasn't the result of a law or act of Parliament. It's just a cozy arrangement between Sweden's carriers and the Swedish state.
Sweden's telcos hand over mass spying powers to police, tax authority, customs and other agencies - Boing Boing

December 02 2013

surveyork
03:29

One of the most controversial pieces of international law in recent years, the TPP is President Barack Obama’s signature Asia-Pacific economic project aimed at protecting American interests in the region. The current negotiations include twelve countries: the U.S., Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei. Over time, the U.S. hopes to expand TPP’s reach to incorporate all members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum — comprising roughly 40 percent of the world’s population, 55 percent of global GDP, and some of the world’s fastest growing economies. It is possible that South Korea, Thailand and even China might join the TPP in the future.

Since Wikileaks made the intellectual property (IP) chapter public, multiple organizations have provided extensive and detailed critiques. According to these analyses, the text demonstrates U.S. preference for increasing protections on existing copyrights and patents over balanced policies that promote global innovation, creativity and political freedom. The disclosures especially suggest the inordinate influence of the motion picture and pharmaceutical industries. In the first brief interview commenting on the leak, the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the proposal saying it is within the bounds of U.S. law. He happened to make this comment while touring Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles.

Further analysis of the IP chapter shows that it violates international consensus on several important issues. First, the U.S. is pushing provisions that conflict with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda, which requires that development concerns be a formal part of global IP policy. Second, the chapter also takes a controversial approach to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Declaration on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health. TRIPS sets the standards for intellectual property protection in the world today, which are binding on all members of WTO. The Doha Declaration affirms that TRIPS signatories should interpret and implement TRIPS in a manner supportive of their own rights to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all. Although the IP chapter makes explicit reference to the Doha Declaration, the IP chapter is designed to narrow its scope, thereby limiting access to medicines and restricting what governments can do to protect public health.

Third, U.S. proposals also contradict the current policy discussions on access to medicines and on research & development at the World Health Organization and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Fourth, the TPP chapter also jeopardizes the flexibilities guaranteed under fair use doctrine by pushing for strict enforcement of copyrights online. 

The significance of the leak

The secretly negotiated trade deal symbolizes the consolidation of a “forum shifting” — a strategy designed to establish an international norm while evading multilateral and more transparent international agreements on intellectual property and internet policy negotiations, and the rights they grant to the public sector.

In addition to reinforcing the secret environment normally preferred by private interests, the closed-door negotiation of TPP disregards broader international efforts, takes advantage of power imbalances against the developing world and limits citizens’ freedoms as internet users, patients and consumers. The current effort to rebrand the talks as “trade” and make the deals non-transparent also counters progress made through decades of cooperation between civil society organizations and governments to create room for public engagement on IP policy. 

November 14 2013

surveyork
23:14
surveyork
19:36

November 01 2013

surveyork
06:05

Drug companies and other organisations that carry out clinical trials are violating their ethical obligation to the people who take part by failing to publish the results, scientists will argue on Wednesday.

Almost one in three (29%) large clinical trials in the United States remain unpublished five years after they are finished, according to scientists writing in the British Medical Journal. Of those, 78% have no results at all in the public domain.

The scientists calculate about 250,000 people took part in the unpublished trials and have therefore been exposed to all the risks involved in research without the benefits to society they were led to believe would ensue. This "violates an ethical obligation that investigators have towards study participants", say Christopher Jones from the Department of Emergency Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, New Jersey, and colleagues. They call for additional safeguards "to ensure timely public dissemination of trial data."

October 09 2013

surveyork
08:12

The Citizens United decision lets corporations buy elections outright. Now the Supreme Court is preparing the worst sequel ever made.*

Dear Supreme Court: We're tired of corporations and billionaires wielding so much power over our elections. Don't give them even more outsized influence this year. Give the power back to us, the people.

September 30 2013

surveyork
08:04

September 19 2013

surveyork
18:43
Monsanto & Seed Patent Laws - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 09/12/13 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Aasif Mandvi learns that greedy farmers have threatened the livelihood of Monsanto's heroic patent attorneys.

June 28 2013

surveyork
14:20
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration and members of Congress are pressing India to curb its generic medication industry. The move comes at the behest of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, which have drowned out warnings from public health experts that inexpensive drugs from India are essential to providing life-saving treatments around the world.

April 30 2013

surveyork
22:37
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. 
Sign the Petition

April 08 2013

surveyork
19:13
Expect to see a lot fewer images of toxic sludge creeping through small communities, thanks to the hard work of ExxonMobil. The company could have used its prodigious resources to make its oil pipelines more secure, preventing town-destroying leaks like the one that hit Mayflower, Arkansas. But they figured out that it would be cheaper to just corrupt the local law to chase reporters out and get the FAA to establish a Temporary Flight Restriction zone over the spill. Problem solved!
ExxonMobil, FAA, Arkansas cops establish flight restriction zone, threaten reporters who try to document Mayflower, AR spill - Boing Boing

April 01 2013

surveyork
15:40

"Imperial society galaxy-wide is characterized by religious intolerance, superstition, xenophobia, militarism, and antiscience. Critical thinking is considered a waste of time. Ignorance of anything beyond one's place in society is common, and for many, desirable. Unquestioning obedience to authority is the greatest virtue. The Age of the Imperium is not an age of reason, but an age of superstition and ignorance. Above all, "it is an epoch of war, a grinding, unceasing war where mere survival is justly hailed as victory.""

[...]

"The Imperium commands the largest military in the galaxy, honed in millennia of almost constant war: at any time, there are numerous conflicts engaging Imperial forces, across the Imperium and beyond."

——————————————

Not sure if reading a description of a fictional, future empire or a pretty accurate description of the United States of America today. /FuturamaFry

January 16 2013

surveyork
01:48

Exploiting their patent on transgenic corn, soybean and cotton, Monsanto asserts an insidious control of those agricultural industries in the US, effectively squeezing out conventional farmers (those using non-transgenic seeds) and eliminating their capacity to viably participate and compete on the market. (Until the end of 2012, Monsanto was under investigation by the Department of Justice for violating anti-trust laws by practicing anticompetitive activities towards other biotech companies, but that investigation was quietly closed before the year's end.) 

The seemingly modest objective of the current lawsuit, OSGATA et al v Monsanto, originally filed in March 2011, is to acquire legal protection for organic and conventional farmers from Monsanto's aggressive prosecution of inadvertent patent infringements. But the implications of the suit are momentous. If the DC Court of Appeal reverses the dismissal, a process of discovery will be instigated that could unveil a reservoir of information, access to which Monsanto has withheld from public knowledge - both by not disclosing it and preventing independent research. 

January 08 2013

surveyork
15:55
The revolving door between the private sector and government bodies has been well established. Over the past few years in Britain, the media has occasionally shed light on the cosy and highly questionable links between the armaments industry and top people in the Ministry of Defence. In the US, many senior figures from the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) industry, especially Monsanto, have moved with ease to take up positions with the Food and Drug Administration. Writer and researcher William F Engdahl writes about a similar influence in Europe, noting the links between the GMO sector within the European Food Safety Authority. He states that over half of the scientists involved in the GMO panel which positively reviewed the Monsanto's study for GMO maize in 2009, leading to its EU-wide authorisation, had links with the biotech industry.
Blowing In The Wind: The Global Control Of Food, Countries And Populations By Colin Todhunter

January 07 2013

surveyork
16:22
McLeish’s story is the story of hundreds of thousands of people—perhaps more—whose lives are being invaded by the state. It is the story of a security and surveillance apparatus—overseen by the executive branch under Barack Obama—that has empowered the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to silence the voices and obstruct the activity of citizens who question corporate power.

January 02 2013

surveyork
03:26
When Monsanto revolutionized agriculture with a line of genetically engineered seeds, the promise was that the technology would lower herbicide use—because farmers would have to spray less. In fact, as Washington State University researcher Chuch Benbrook has shown, just the opposite happened.
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