• 17 AUG 14

    Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg wants you to pay him to stalk you.

    From the SumofUs.org:

    In a breathtakingly creepy invasion of privacy, Facebook is forcing all smartphone users to install a new messaging app. The Android version of the app — and to a lesser extent the iPhone version as well — allows Facebook to access your phone camera and record audio, call and send messages without your permission, identify details about you and all your contacts, and send that info on to third parties.

    If you want to carry on sending and receiving messages through Facebook on your mobile phone you now have no choice but to install Facebook Messenger — and give the company access to a wealth of personal data stored on your phone.

    SNIP

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    • 17 AUG 14

    Microwave News on the CDC’s call for caution on cell phones

    From Louis Slesin, Editor of Microwave News:

    Excerpt

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention —CDC— has become the first U.S. health agency to call for precaution in the use of cell phones. “Along with many organizations worldwide, we recommend caution in cell phone use,” the CDC states on its Web site’s FAQ About Cell Phones and Your Health. It follows up with a call for more research to answer the unresolved cancer question. The recommendation was posted on the CDC’s Web site on or before, June 9. It passed mostly unnoticed until a few days ago when Joel Moskowitz, who writes a blog on Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, sent out a press release announcing the news. “I am pleased to see that the CDC, the lead public health action agency in the United States, is reassuming its leadership role by warning the public about this health risk,” he said in an interview with Microwave News. Moskowitz is the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

    SNIP

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    • 22 JUL 14

    CIndy Sage on Google Glass

    A reporter for the LA Times chronicled her experience trying out Google Glass around San Francisco.
    It’s in the on-line version of the article under Pros and Cons. I posted a comment (see at bottom).
    SNIP
    Tissue heating is a sign that a device is producing excessive levels of radiofrequency/microwave radiation and the battery-switching function is producing high ELF-EMF. She reported a hotspot at the temple, although the antenna is located behind the ear.
    SNIP

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    • 21 JUL 14

    Restaurant Watches Old Footage Of Customers And Uncovers A Shocking Truth.

    From EMR Updates: The Microwave Factor. The Newsletter of EMF Refugee, The International Coalition for an Electromagnetic Safe Planet (IC-ESP)

    A famous restaurant in NYC decided to hire a firm to figure out why they kept getting bad reviews. What this firm discovered is quite interesting. Below is a transcript that the restaurant posted on Craigslist after they discovered what it was…

    We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having been in business for many years, we noticed that although the number of customers we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was 10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even though we added more staff and cut back on the menu items…

    One of the most common complaints on review sites against us and many restaurants in the area is that the service was slow and/or they needed to wait a bit long for a table.

    We decided to hire a firm to help us solve this mystery, and naturally the first thing they blamed it on was that the employees need more training and that maybe the kitchen staff is just not up to the task of serving that many customers.

    SNIP

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    • 18 JUN 14

    Internet advertisement BORN FOR THE INTERNET BABY

    This You tube advertisement needs no introduction. Enjoy and/or be horrified!
    SNIP

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    • 12 JUN 14

    Australian school cancel’s childs enrollment after father raises concerns about Wi-Fi

    From Amand Wells

    School cancels my sons enrolment after I raise concerns about Wi-Fi

    We moved to the Sunshine Coast back in March 2013, primarily so our son, Bodhi, could have a Montessori education, something which was not on offer in Northern NSW. We immediately applied to enrol at a local Montessori school and enjoyed a pre-enrolment process including interviews with teachers, playgroups and class observations that lasted 15 months. Everything was going along very well and we were given every indication that there would be a position for Bodhi at the school. This all changed last week. During our second interview at the school, I asked what were the school’s plans regarding Wi-Fi at the new campus which is currently under construction. I explained my field of work and that I had concerns about the safety of Wi-Fi in classrooms particularly for younger kids. I also offered to do a short presentation on the subject if they were interested. I was told to write an email the schools business manager which I did (see below)
    SNIP

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    • 06 JUN 14

    Carl Sagan on the dangers of not questioning new technology

    A Science Icon Died 17 Years Ago. In his Last Interview, He Made A Warning That Gives Me Goosebumps.
    by Rajiv Narayan, upworthy.com

    Carl Sagan inspired a generation of scientists with his work in and out of the classroom. But he didn’t always present science with cheer. In this clip, he passionately defends science with a grave warning. It’s something we all need to hear.

    Extract from an Interview with Charlie Rose, 27 May 1996

    SNIP

    SNIP

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    • 05 JUN 14

    Wireless Communication and Precautionary Principle (Dariusz Leszczynski)

    From the blog of Dariusz Leszczynski, “Between A Rock And A Hard Place”:

    Today, the June/July 2014 issue of the Canadian ‘The Green Gazette’ published my article about the need for implementation of the Precautionary Principle in area of the wireless communication.

    NOTE: The story in ‘The Green Gazette’ is freely available from Dariusz Leszczynski’s site as well as a printable version of the article:

    SNIP

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    • 03 JUN 14

    Off Topic: Australia’s worst spending boondoggle in history: The US Joint Strike Fighter (updated)

    Recently the new Abbott government has given its approval for the purchase of 58 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) at a cost of $12.4 billion – making it the nation’s most expensive Defence asset. To quote in part from the ABC News,Thu 24 Apr 2014:

    Asked if he was worried taxpayers would question the cost of the program at a time his Government is warning of wide-ranging cuts, Mr Abbott responded: “I want to stress that this is money that has been put aside by government over the past decade or so to ensure that this purchase can responsibly be made.” “This is not new spending today. In the context of a tough budget, this is spending money that we need to spend that has been sensibly put aside in the past to ensure that our nation’s defences remain strong.” The extra aircraft will bring Australia’s total Joint Strike Fighter force to 72 aircraft, with the first of them to enter service in 2020.

    Read the full article, and view the video here

    Sorry Mr. Abbott but you have made a disastrous purchase. Your unquestioning faith in US fighter technology has blinded you, and your administration to serious deficiencies with this fighter plane which will go down in history as a design disaster, which is far inferior to its much cheaper Chinese counterpart. Read on…

    Read more →
    • 02 JUN 14

    Significant increase in nose-ear-throat cancers seen in Israel

    Translation from Iris Atzmon in Israel

    Excerpt

    By Doron Solomon

    The number of head, neck, and nose-ear-throat surgeries in Rambam were doubled within one year. According to the data of the nose-ear-throat department, the increase was registered mainly in oncology surgeries of the mouth, head and neck, larynx and children surgeries. Thyroid surgeries increased 380% during last year. Increase of 320% was in surgeries for removing tumors in the throat area (from 40 to 128 surgeries). Surgeries of the parotid gland tumors increased 260% in 2013. But the most impressive increase of all, is the increase of 1000% (from 5 to 49) in the number of head and neck surgeries. An additional increase was registered in the number of people treated in the nose-ear-throat department and head and neck surgeries, who arrived from central Israel.
    SNIP

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    • 10 APR 14

    Is Science Being Hidden from the Public?

    Eileen O’Connor, Director, Radiation Research Trust

    500 million citizens are relying on SCENIHR: Is Science Being Hidden from the Public?

    9 April 2014

    The European Commission in collaboration with the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) under the auspices of the EU Council Greek Presidency organised a major workshop in Athens on EMF electromagnetic fields and health effects with a focus on public awareness, conciliating scientific findings and uncertainties in policy making. The event took place on 27th & 28 March 2014 at Cotsen Hall, Athens, Greece and included presenters from various parties from the European Commission, WHO, public authorities, industry, operators, environmental and consumer associations and academia. The goal of the conference was to reach a common approach for the future in order to respond to public concerns about electromagnetic fields, to enhance information dissemination and discuss new studies and scientific evidence in relation to EMF, and to identify knowledge gaps needed for sound policy making. In this context, the new SCENIHR draft opinion on EMF and potential health effects was presented.
    SNIP

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    • 25 MAR 14

    U.S. Dept. of Interior attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife

    The Department of Interior charges that the FCC standards for cell phone radiation are outmoded and no longer applicable as they do not adequately protect wildlife.

    PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 24, 2014 – BERKELEY, Calif. — The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce that addresses the Interior Department’s concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife.

    The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a Federal agency with no expertise in health. The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers:
    SNIP

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    • 14 MAR 14

    Is wireless technology in Swedish schools adversely affecting the kids?

    The answer to that is yes according to a new paper by Olle Johansson. Here is an English translation:

    Excerpt

    Thanks to the so-called PISA* (OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment) survey, in Sweden we now know: student scores in maths, reading comprehension and natural sciences are plummeting. The results are prompting rage in Swedish schools. Something is wrong.

    The government response is to force all students to go through another school year. In addition, a series of panic measures has been initiated by the authorities. But do not expect schools to be given peace and quiet, so that they may be able to figure out how to get things to work while dismantling those gadgets and administrative ‘reins’ that do not.

    For years schools have undergone a multitude of changes and been given new assignments, including being forced to monitor more grade control data and using new and more administration. Some changes are good, some bad. Changes include an enormous amount of computerized teaching where students via their apps, mobile phones and tablets are
    supposed to gain new knowledge. Pedagogy innovators have deleted textbooks and pencils, blackboards and pointers, and instead replaced them with new wireless e-readers
    and cell phones. Academics, such as myself, have many times – usually completely unheard – raised a warning finger to the educational establishment.

    Today it is very difficult to be a teacher and take responsibility for teaching in the classroom where students’ cell phones are constantly ringing, text messages are being
    sent back and forth, and surfing the entire time online or playing games through iPhones and iPads. All this when students really should be working on their school assignments.
    In Sweden, there have been several cases where the teacher was reprimanded because he or she “violated the students’ privacy” after taking cell phones from students, while
    other teachers have been criticized for being too strict with students for not allowing them to do what they want during school hours.
    SNIP

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    • 13 MAR 14

    Employee Smartphone Usage, Sleep and Productivity

    From People Diagnostix:Optimising Performance

    Smartphones are ubiquitous in modern life. They are an essential tool for communication, information storage and retrieval as well as entertainment. Many organisations supply smartphones, as well as similar technology (e.g. tablet PCs and laptops) to their employees in order improve productivity. There is no argument that this technology can expedite employee responses to time critical events and allow faster responses to internal and external customer enquiries. With their mobility, smartphone technology can allow employees to work regardless of the venue, or the availability of a desk. But does this technology come at a cost?

    Smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep. They typically keep individuals mentally stimulated, encourage poor sleep hygiene and expose them to blue light emitted from their luminous screens. This blue light exposure is key. About 15 years ago researchers discovered a new photoreceptor in the eye, called Melanopsin. Many are familiar with the “rods and cones” that provide our visual capabilities, however melanopsin, which are sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range, has been discovered to have unique effect on sleep by suppressing melatonin production. Melatonin is a circadian hormone that induces sleepiness at night, assists with getting to sleep, and obtaining deep, restorative sleep. A decrease in melatonin production at night typically creates sleep disturbances, but has also been linked with increased risk for diabetes and obesity, as well as increased risk for more serious diseases, such as breast cancer. Recently there have been a number of studies further investigating the impact of night time technology use, melatonin suppression, and subsequent impacts on sleep and next day performance.

    SNIP

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    • 11 MAR 14

    SCENIHR criticised over its inept approval on dental amalgam.

    In May 2008 SCENIHR issued a report titled, Safety of Dental Amalgam and Alternative Dental Restoration Materials for Patients and Users. The report concluded, in part: “We conclude that dental health can be adequately ensured by both types of material. All the materials are considered safe to use and they are all associated with very low rates of local adverse effects with no evidence of systemic disease.”
    SNIP
    HOWEVER, this report has come under extreme criticism from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology – Europe (IAOMT), with its membership restricted to scientists, Medical doctors and dentists. The Scientific Advisory Committee of IAMOT issued a dissenting report on SCENIHR’s dismissing the toxic effects of mercury amalgams. SNIP. They concluded in part: “The SCENIHR report is best described as a Fishing Expedition rather than a scientific document; the omissions speak louder than the inclusions. The only logical interpretation is that the committee has selected data to support a predetermined conclusion as to the safety of dental amalgam.”
    SNIP
    And now the experts at SCENIHR are to give their opinion on the Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. According to Dariusz Leszczynski (last message) it is looking like SCENIHR is about to do another almighty spin and dare to call it science.

    Read more →
    • 10 MAR 14

    Dariusz Leszczynski: Very problematic SCENIHR Report

    From Dariusz Leszczynski’s blog Between A Rock and A Hard Place:

    I just finished reading the 2013 SCENIHR Report and got an overwhelming feeling of the utmost desperation. Evaluation of the scientific evidence is being distorted and SCENIHR provides an aura of “legitimacy” to this distortion. SCENIHR report has over 200 pages and it is not possible to mention all problems with it in this short blog. Here are few of the more grave problems with the SCENIHR report.

    Membership of the working group

    I do not know what procedure was applied when the membership of the working group of SCENIHR was assembled. What is clearly seen, is that the vast majority of scientists involved in the working group are known for the opinion that the current scientific evidence shows that RF exposures do not cause detrimental effects to human health. Such composition of the working group is, by itself, a reason for serious concern about possible bias in evaluation of the scientific evidence.

    SNIP

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    • 27 FEB 14

    Greenwashing the Smart Grid: simply call it the EcoGrid

    At the forthcoming Smart Grid Australia (SGA) Conference, Parliament House, Canberra, 5th March 2014, a presentation is to be given about the EcoGrid project. Clever move on part of the European spin doctors. Greens leader Christine Milne is keynote speaker at the conference and she will be sure to like the concept of an environmentally friendly EcoGrid. However there is no difference between the EcoGrid and the Smart Grid except for the spelling. Its called Greenwashing.

    Here is an excerpt from the conference web site.

    Read more →
    • 24 FEB 14

    The Controversy Manual (Recommended reading!)

    The controversy manual
    Brian Martin

    Brian Martin, The Controversy Manual (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2014), 465 pages. ISBN 978-1-291-67241-1

    This book is available as a free download, by courtesy of the publisher. Irene Publishing is a non-profit operation, committed to providing works relevant to grassroots social change. I do not receive royalties, and the publishers are not paid for their work. If you would like to contribute a few dollars to support this venture, click on this button.

    From the back cover

    Climate change, psychiatric drugs, genetically modified organisms, nuclear power, fluoridation, stem cell research – these are just a few of the hundreds of issues involving science and technology that are vigorously debated. If you care about an issue, how can you be more effective in arguing for your viewpoint and campaigning in support of it? The Controversy Manual offers practical advice for campaigners as well as plenty of information for people who want to better understand what’s happening and to be able to discuss the issues with friends.

    The Controversy Manual provides information for understanding controversies, arguing against opponents, getting your message out, and defending against attack. Whether experts are on your side or mostly on the side of opponents, you’ll find advice for being more effective. While not taking sides on individual controversies, the emphasis is on fostering fair and open debate and opposing those who use power and manipulation to get their way.
    SNIP

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    • 21 FEB 14

    Electricity privatisation in Australia: A record of failure

    Press release from the New South Wales Electrical Trade Union (ETU):

    New report lays bare electricity privatisation’s “record of failure”

    Posted on 20-2-2014

    Prominent Australian economist Professor John Quiggin has launched a scathing attack on energy sector privatisation, concluding that it has failed to deliver promised benefits for consumers. Professor Quiggin examined 20 years of pro-privatisation reform in his report, “Electricity Privatisation in Australia: A Record of Failure”, which included a detailed economic examination of the outcomes of power sales in Victoria and South Australia.His research has revealed that many of the claimed benefits of privatisation have not been supported, with key findings including:

    * price rises have been highest in States with privatised electricity networks;
    * customer dissatisfaction jumped, with complaints to the energy ombudsman in privatised States leaping from 500 to over 50,000 per annum;
    * resources have been diverted away from operational functions to management and marketing, resulting in higher costs and poorer service;
    * reliability has declined across a wide range of measures in Victoria;
    * promised increases to investment efficiency have not occurred;
    * real labour productivity has reduced as employment and training of tradespeople was gutted and numbers of managerial and sales staff exploded;
    * private owners are receiving unjustifiably high rates of return based on the low investment risk; and
    * consumers in privatised states bear the cost of approximately 10 per cent per annum interest on private owners’ debt, compared to substantially lower government borrowing
    costs of three per cent.

    SNIP

    Read more →
    • 11 FEB 14

    Conference: A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology

    A very interesting conference on the societal impacts of new technologies. Note mention of the Internet of Things which encompasses smart grids and smart meters. The huge controversy over heath impacts of wireless technology should be an essential topic for discussion at this meeting but deadline for submissions is 15 Feb. I see in the link provided mention is made of the need “for the identification of potential consequences of future developments.”
    Well worth keeping track of this conference, especially Sheila Jasanoff’s presentation…..

    Emerging ICT and Citizens’ Values: Anticipating and Responding to Challenges

    In this session, we consider the relationship between citizens’ values and emerging information and communication technologies (ICT). In particular, we consider how we can anticipate problems and proactively design social, technical and regulatory responses to them. Technologies such as wearable sensors, internet of things, social media, bio-banking and autonomous systems present several moments of design. The values that are intentionally and unintentionally ‘designed in’ to technologies achieve greater longevity and reach. As our lives are increasingly mediated by digital artefacts – to the extent that we live in a digital society and experience a digital culture – certain values, such as openness, can be amplified at the expense of others, such as privacy. Those technologies that achieve massive proliferation and normalisation profoundly affect the experience of contemporary life, for example by exaggerating our capacity to measure and remember events and adjusting the norms of our relationships with others over time and space. This capacity to transform the way we live, often in unpredictable ways, has been met with both delight and caution.
    SNIP

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