Google and Facebook are reportedly watching our every move online. It’s time to make them stop…

  • Google and Facebook’s impact on our privacy cannot be understated.
  • 76 percent of websites now contain hidden Google trackers, and 24 percent have hidden Facebook trackers, according to one study.
Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Google CEO Larry Page

Getty Images / David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Google CEO Larry Page

To make any real progress in advancing data privacy this year, we have to start doing something about Google and Facebook. Not doing so would be like trying to lose weight without changing your diet. Simply ineffective.

The impact these two companies have on our privacy cannot be understated. You may know that hidden trackers lurk on most websites you visit, soaking up your personal information.

What you may not realize, though, is 76 percent of websites now contain hidden Google trackers, and 24 percent have hidden Facebook trackers, according to the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project. The next highest is Twitter with 12 percent. It is likely that Google or Facebook are watching you on many sites you visit, in addition to tracking you when using their products.

As a result, these two companies have amassed huge data profiles on each person, which can include your interests, purchases, search, browsing and location history, and much more. They then make your sensitive data profile available for invasive targeted advertising that can follow you around the Internet.

This advertising system is designed to enable hyper-targeting, which has many unintended consequences, such as the ability for bad actors to use the system to influence the most susceptible or to exclude groups in a way that facilitates discrimination.

“These two companies have amassed huge data profiles on each person, which can include your interests, purchases, search, browsing and location history, and much more.”

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How the Queen was almost killed on the Royal Tour of New Zealand in 1981

How the Queen Was Almost Killed On Royal Tour Of New Zealand In 1981

“A new report reveals how the government of New Zealand attempted to conceal just how close a young man came to assassinating the Queen during a diplomatic trip to the country in 1981,” writes Alex Green in an article for The Daily Mail.

“As the Queen paraded in front of adoring crowds Christopher John Lewis, a 17-year-old local boy from Dunedin, took aim with a .22 rifle”. “The shot flew past her head.”

Lewis, who “had become obsessed with exterminating the Royal Family”, “had missed and aside from a brief moment of distraction the parade continued, the crowd unaware of what had just almost occurred,” reports the article.

“In the aftermath shamed New Zealand police launched a cover-up operation to disguise the seriousness of the event, a new investigation reveals.”

“You will never get a true file on that. It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on,” said former Dunedin police officer Tom Lewis.  “He revealed the teenager’s original statement was later destroyed in an official cover-up.”

“The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand… it was too politically hot to handle. I think the government took the view that he is a bit nutty and has had a hard upbringing, so it won’t be too harsh,” said Murray Hanan, the would-be killer’s former lawyer.

Lewis “charge was later downgraded to possession of a firearm in a public place and discharging it,” reports the article.

At the time police told “press the distinctive noise was just a council sign falling over” and later another narrative emerged when “they said someone had let off a fire cracker nearby.”

“Two years later the same teenager attempted to overpower a guard and escape from a psychiatric ward where he was being held in order to murder Prince Charles, who was visiting the country in April with the Princess Diana and their young son, William.”

“After the incident Lewis was sectioned and police found clippings of the Royal family in his grimy flat, as well as a detailed map of the Queen’s route that day.”

“And in 1995 when the Queen returned, the New Zealand government sent the man on a tax-payer funded holiday to the Great Barrier Reef to ensure he would not launch another attempt,” reports the article.

“Lewis later went on to kill himself in Mt Eden Prisons in Auckland in 1997 – at the age of just 33 – while awaiting the trial of a woman and the kidnapping of her child.”

Article Source: Daily Mail, Alex Green, January 13, 2018

Image Source: Youtube

Speed flyer Jamie Lee skims beauteous landscapes…

Speed Flyer Jamie Lee Skims Beauteous Landscapes

One of the world’s top speed flyers New Zealander Jamie Lee, 25, was recently filmed zooming down the hills surrounding Lake Wanaka just inches from the ground.

Taking off from a hilltop with a running jump, skydiving instructor Lee skirts just above the rocky ground for his entire three-minute flight, reaching speeds of 120kmph.

Lee shows off his impressive skills by weaving expertly through every small dip in the landscape.

But despite seeming inches from a crunching impact with the ground Lee says he feels “peaceful” when he flies.

Lee said: “It takes years of practice to learn to foot launch and fly these very small wings so close to the ground.

“I have been paragliding for over five years and I’ve been getting closer to the ground the more in tune with the wings I am.

“Sometimes I’ll brush the tops of the bushes when I choose to.

“When I’m flying I feel very peaceful. It’s a flowing state of consciousness and no other thoughts enter my mind.”

Original article by Bridie Pearson-Jones, Daily Mail, January 18, 2018

South island glaciers ‘massive melt-off’…

The Green World of Health and Wellbeing.

Scientists are concerned for their future after the heat.

Scientists are concerned for their future after the heat. Photo credit: Getty

Hot weather is having a big impact on New Zealand’s “water tower” glaciers

The high temperatures in the South Island are having a concerning effect on glaciers and ice fields, according to University of Otago researchers.

A research team has just returned from the ice fields – The Gardens of Eden and Allah – which straddle the Southern Alps and feeds major rivers such as the Rakaia and Rangitata in Canterbury and Whanganui.

Researchers say that these glaciers are our water towers and once the snow has melted glaciers help to sustain water flow to our rivers – episodes of hot weather such as the current one are causing changes that point to a concerning future.

“What we’re seeing from these current high temperatures is a massive melt-off of snow,” says Dr Pascal Sirguey, of the university’s surveying…

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Cloudy skies threatening NZ’s view of the super blue blood moon…


The rare celestial event is actually three separate moon events occurring simultaneously in one night. The last one happened 26 years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

New Zealand is about to experience its first super blue blood moon since 1866, but cloudy skies are threatening to ruin the view.

Just a day after Southland and parts of Otago were declared to be in drought, stormy weather is bearing down on the country and could spoil the Moon’s big night with clouds.

MetService suggested the best chance of seeing the rare eclipse might be in Gisborne and parts of Northland.

The awesome sight of a lunar eclipse over Auckland in April 2015. Alas, there’s a risk cloudy skies will obscure tonight’s blue supermoon eclipse in many parts of the country.

Main centres may struggle, however, with cloud expected around Auckland overnight and some high cloud – probably thick and significant – expected over Wellington and Christchurch.

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There are signs China considers the UK as a supplicant rather than equal…

Britain's China Challenge
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hand with British Prime Minister Theresa May, prior to their meeting, at the West Lake State House, in Hangzhou, China (Sept. 5, 2016).
Image Credit: Etienne Oliveau/Pool via AP

Britain’s China Challenge

It has been a long time coming. British Prime Minister Theresa May did visit China, very briefly, just after her elevation (she was appointed unopposed as David Cameron’s successor when potential competitors pulled out of the leadership race for the ruling Conservative Party in mid-2016). But this was to attend the G20, which happened to be convened in Hangzhou that year. Her trip to China from January 31 to February 1 will be her first purely bilateral visit.

She will go under very unique circumstances. Brexit is proceeding, but with all of the complexity and frustration that was suspected when the shock result of the June 2016 referendum became clear. The visit to China therefore is the first stab at scoping out what a post-EU Sino-U.K. relationship might look like. She cannot, of course, talk about free trade deals; that can’t happen till the United Kingdom finally leaves the Union. But she can at least set out a vision to her Chinese interlocutors, making it clear that the so-called Golden Era between the U.K. and China, announced during Xi’s visit to Britain in 2015, is still ongoing — it might be about to get even more golden.

May has some big challenges to face in achieving this. The fact that it has taken so long to get to China in the first place suggests complacency, even if there were many good reasons back home for her being so slow to get on a plane to Beijing. The Xi leadership is in the market for flattery, and hungry for status. A visit weeks after May was appointed might have carried a lot of weight with them. As it was, she spent most of that time reconsidering the Chinese equity investment in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, something that most had assumed was already approved.

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The Perfect Recipe for Unhappiness


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I called in sick to work this morning because I was putting in far too many hours and, to be honest, it was stomping all over the fire inside of me.

I’m not an overly-sensitive hipster type that believes in the importance of taking my inner child out on a play date, but sometimes I’m not sure if that’s actually such a bad idea.

As a matter of fact, lately I’ve been cautious any time I catch myself making decisions that are based primarily on appearing cool or manly. While this may net me less dates, it is helping me to return to a more honest version of myself.

It’s often humorous when something sounds so cliché to us that we are afraid to live it, or even put it into words, until we reach a point where we realize it is a cliché in language only. To say that we will finally attract what is right for us only when we learn to be our most authentic selves seems so pat and facile, yet what man can honestly say that he has reached this point in reality?

Even this week, I was trying to ingratiate myself with a woman that I just did not belong with, and it would’ve been like pouring a foundation on a bed of quicksand.

This is what I believe is referred to as living from the outside in. It is the perfect recipe for unhappiness because we wind up trying to manipulate our insides to match what we imagine is happening outside of ourselves. Everything that sounds like “I hope she likes me,” or “I hope I’m able to make rent this month,” or “I think the boss likes Jimmy better than me,” comes from this place.

The only way to create happiness is to do the opposite: to allow what is truly happening inside of ourselves to come out and exist without fear of reprisal. Which is, by the way, the reason I stopped going after the person I knew in my heart was all wrong for me. I even printed out a sign with a 100-point font that says, “Stop Looking!” and hung it where I will see it as soon as I open my eyes every morning.

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Seeds of Life – Control Seeds, Control Life

“When we invaded Iraq, we destroyed that seed bank and we destroyed the great ancient seeds that had been collected for the benefit of mankind.”

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“Monsanto owns a quarter of all the world’s seeds along with a handful of other companies who control around 60% of all the world’s seeds.”

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“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” – Henry Kissinger

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“I know it may seem small and insignificant, but it’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become. That’s not a seed, any more than you’re just a boy.” ― Dr. Seuss

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Employment law changes show the limits of reformism

International Socialists

1506152005447 Employers have “nothing to fear” from Labour’s proposals, Iain Lees Galloway assures them. That should be a worry for the rest of us.

by Martin Gregory

On 25 January the Labour-led government announced in outline its proposed changes to employment law. We will have to wait for the wording of a draft Bill in February to see the details and any devils lurking there.

If the reader detects a level of distrust on my part this will be in large measure due to the failure of the government to propose the removal the 90-day trial period, “fire at will”, law in respect of small employers of less than 20 workers. This is a slap in the face of workers becoming employed in small businesses. Small businesses employ 29 percent of the workforce and they are usually un-unionised and unscrupulous employers. Labour’s policy for the general election was to repeal the…

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Nutella drove the customers nutty…

A French grocery store offered a sale on the world-famous Nutella chocolate spread that was worth fighting for.

Intermarché advertized a 70 per cent discount on the price of a 950 grams (33.51 oz) jar, from €4,70 ($5,86) to €1,41 ($1,76), warning that the offer was only valid from Thursday to Sunday and that stock was limited.

Hundreds of customers made their way to stores across the country on Thursday to get their hands on the spread. In the town of Marles-les-Mines in northern France, hazelnut chocolate lovers caused traffic deadlock and police had to be called to manage the crowds. Local media reported that the entire Nutella stock was cleared out in under an hour.

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