Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Futuristic handcuffs would administer shocks, drugs -

Futuristic handcuffs would administer shocks, drugs - 

Sometimes an invention comes along that makes you excited about the future.
For a long time, it seems that handcuffs have been stuck in the movies of old. They restrain you, but, odd for our interactive world, that's all they seem to do.
Might I tempt you toward futuristic handcuffs that will offer you a small involuntary judder?
I am grateful to Gizmodo for discovering that Patent Bolt has lucked upon a patent that offers bound(less) excitement.
For these are handcuffs that offer surprises. Indeed, they might make the idea of being tased, bro, not quite so bad.
The patent is called "Apparatus and System For Augmented Detainee Restraint."
The augmentations it offers are truly quite something. You see, these handcuffs are "configured to administer electrical shocks when certain predetermined conditions occur."
These shocks might be "activated by internal control systems or by external controllers that transmit activation signals to the restraining device."
This progressive tool is the brainchild of Scottsdale Inventions.


Twitter has started rolling out the option to download all your tweets -

Twitter has started rolling out the option to download all your tweets -


Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has promised in recent months that an option for users to download an archive of all the tweets from their accounts would be available this year. At least for some, this long-awaited feature has arrived – and we’ve had a play with the archive browsing tool.

The first report of the new option that we saw in the wild was from user @Psilosophy, who indicates where the option supposedly can be found for those who have it enabled – at the bottom of your Settings page.

Twitter user Navjot Singh also has the option available on one of his accounts and he has briefly blogged about the process, explaining:

“Twitter informs that they will mail you the download link when the archive is ready. Yes, its just like how Facebook’s archive system works. Once you get the mail and download it you will get a zip file with archive in html form. Extracting it (sic) and you will see all your tweets sorted in calendar format.”

Read more -

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' wrongly detained German citizen -

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' wrongly detained German citizen - 

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

"The grand chamber of the European court of human rights unanimously found that Mr el-Masri was subjected to forced disappearance, unlawful detention, extraordinary rendition outside any judicial process, and inhuman and degrading treatment," said James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

He described the judgment as "an authoritative condemnation of some of the most objectionable tactics employed in the post-9/11 war on terror". It should be a wake-up call for the Obama administration and US courts, he told the Guardian. For them to continue to avoid serious scrutiny of CIA activities was "simply unacceptable", he said.

Jamil Dakwar, of the American Civil Liberties Union, described the ruling as "a huge victory for justice and the rule of law".

The use of CIA interrogation methods widely denounced as torture during the Bush administration's "war on terror" also came under scrutiny in Congress on Thursday. The US Senate's select committee on intelligence was expected to vote on whether to approve a mammoth review it has undertaken into the controversial practices that included waterboarding, stress positions, forced nudity, beatings and sleep and sensory deprivation.

The report, that runs to almost 6,000 pages based on a three-year review of more than 6m pieces of information, is believed to conclude that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" adopted by the CIA during the Bush years did not produce any major breakthroughs in intelligence, contrary to previous claims. The committee, which is dominated by the Democrats, is likely to vote to approve the report, though opposition from the Republican members may prevent the report ever seeing the light of day.

The Strasbourg court said it found Masri's account of what happened to him "to be established beyond reasonable doubt" and that Macedonia had been "responsible for his torture and ill-treatment both in the country itself and after his transfer to the US authorities in the context of an extra-judicial 'rendition'".

In January 2004, Macedonian police took him to a hotel in Skopje, where he was kept locked in a room for 23 days and questioned in English, despite his limited proficiency in that language, about his alleged ties with terrorist organisations, the court said in its judgment. His requests to contact the German embassy were refused. At one point, when he said he intended to leave, he was threatened with being shot.

"Masri's treatment at Skopje airport at the hands of the CIA rendition team – being severely beaten, sodomised, shackled and hooded, and subjected to total sensory deprivation – had been carried out in the presence of state officials of [Macedonia] and within its jurisdiction," the court ruled.

It added: "Its government was consequently responsible for those acts performed by foreign officials. It had failed to submit any arguments explaining or justifying the degree of force used or the necessity of the invasive and potentially debasing measures. Those measures had been used with premeditation, the aim being to cause Mr Masri severe pain or suffering in order to obtain information. In the court's view, such treatment had amounted to torture, in violation of Article 3 [of the European human rights convention]."

In Afghanistan, Masri was incarcerated for more than four months in a small, dirty, dark concrete cell in a brick factory near the capital, Kabul, where he was repeatedly interrogated and was beaten, kicked and threatened. His repeated requests to meet with a representative of the German government were ignored, said the court.

Masri was released in April 2004. He was taken, blindfolded and handcuffed, by plane to Albania and subsequently to Germany, after the CIA admited he was wrongly detained. The Macedonian government, which the court ordered must pay Masri €60,000 (£49,000) in compensation, has denied involvement in kidnapping.

UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, described the ruling as "a key milestone in the long struggle to secure accountability of public officials implicated in human rights violations committed by the Bush administration CIA in its policy of secret detention, rendition and torture".

He said the US government must issue an apology for its "central role in a web of systematic crimes and human rights violations by the Bush-era CIA, and to pay voluntary compensation to Mr el-Masri".

Germany should ensure that the US officials involved in this case were now brought to trial.


Anonymous targets Westboro Baptist Church for planning Newtown picket -

Anonymous targets Westboro Baptist Church for planning Newtown picket - 

The infamous hacker group Anonymous has struck again.

On Sunday, it posted the names and addresses of members of the extremist Westboro Baptist Church after the hate group announced plans to picket Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people were gunned down Friday.

Anonymous posted the following two messages on Twitter on the weekend: "Dear WBC Site Admin, you should really work on securing your personal infos. Er, too late..."

Earlier, it tweeted: "It's so nice of #WBC to provide the internet with a list of their twitter handles.."

The list of the church members, which also includes email addresses and work numbers, can be easily accessed on sites like armywtfmoments.com.

At the bottom of a story that appeared on now.msn.com, one reader posted: "Good for you Anonymous....These are not people....They are sub-human trash....For them to target ANY of these innocent victims and their families, is just further proof of that....There should be a petition passed around to have people like this ARRESTED and PROCECUTED for planning and/or disrupting ANY funerals, vigils, etc.....If there is a hell, everyone associated with this 'church' would have a first-class ticket to it."

Media reports say that hours after the tragedy, the group's Shirley Phelps-Roper tweeted: "Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."

On its website, GodHatesFags.com, the organization states its mission is to conduct peaceful demonstrations against "soul-damning, nation-destroying filth."

In the past, the vicious anti-gay group has picketed the funerals of U.S. soldiers and AIDS victims as well as the funerals of those who were killed in a shooting in Arizona.

Anonymous is also petitioning the U.S. government to recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.

"Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation," the petition reads.