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NATO – NATO Vacancies

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO – NATO Vacancies
Sep 032015
 

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All Audit Building & Facility Management Conference Management Defence Engineering Executive Management Information & Document Management Information Communication Technology Linguistic Services Management and Operations Support Operations Political Affairs Public Relations Security All

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Everything you need to know about Bitcoin mining What is …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Everything you need to know about Bitcoin mining What is …
Sep 032015
 

Currently, based on (1) price per hash and (2) electrical efficiency the best Bitcoin miner options are:

Manufacturer

$474.97

$499.97

$33.87

Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchain. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place.

Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.

Bitcoin mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. Individual blocks must contain a proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.

The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees as well as a “subsidy” of newly created coins.

This both serves the purpose of disseminating new coins in a decentralized manner as well as motivating people to provide security for the system.

Bitcoin mining is so called because it resembles the mining of other commodities: it requires exertion and it slowly makes new currency available at a rate that resembles the rate at which commodities like gold are mined from the ground.

A proof of work is a piece of data which was difficult (costly, time-consuming) to produce so as to satisfy certain requirements. It must be trivial to check whether data satisfies said requirements.

Producing a proof of work can be a random process with low probability, so that a lot of trial and error is required on average before a valid proof of work is generated. Bitcoin uses the Hashcash proof of work.

Bitcoin mining a block is difficult because the SHA-256 hash of a block’s header must be lower than or equal to the target in order for the block to be accepted by the network.

This problem can be simplified for explanation purposes: The hash of a block must start with a certain number of zeros. The probability of calculating a hash that starts with many zeros is very low, therefore many attempts must be made. In order to generate a new hash each round, a nonce is incremented. See Proof of work for more information.

The Bitcoin mining network difficulty is the measure of how difficult it is to find a new block compared to the easiest it can ever be. It is recalculated every 2016 blocks to a value such that the previous 2016 blocks would have been generated in exactly two weeks had everyone been mining at this difficulty. This will yield, on average, one block every ten minutes.

As more miners join, the rate of block creation will go up. As the rate of block generation goes up, the difficulty rises to compensate which will push the rate of block creation back down. Any blocks released by malicious miners that do not meet the required difficulty target will simply be rejected by everyone on the network and thus will be worthless.

When a block is discovered, the discoverer may award themselves a certain number of bitcoins, which is agreed-upon by everyone in the network. Currently this bounty is 25 bitcoins; this value will halve every 210,000 blocks. See Controlled Currency Supply.

Additionally, the miner is awarded the fees paid by users sending transactions. The fee is an incentive for the miner to include the transaction in their block. In the future, as the number of new bitcoins miners are allowed to create in each block dwindles, the fees will make up a much more important percentage of mining income.

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Everything you need to know about Bitcoin mining What is …

Bitcoin – RationalWiki

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin – RationalWiki
Sep 032015
 

the best part about bitcoins is that you get to watch libertarians slowly discover why financial regulations exist to begin with

Bitcoin (code: BTC, XBT[2]) is an Internet-based digital currency and payment network; it uses strong cryptography to prevent users from duplicating money. Bitcoin’s independence from the control of governments, corporations, or other centralized entities tends to appeal to libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, and technophiles.[3] At the same time, it also does not enjoy the security and protection which those large bodies can ostensibly provide, making it a volatile and often insecure asset.

Bitcoin was first proposed by a person known only by the apparent pseudonym of “Satoshi Nakamoto” in late 2008, at the height of the banking crisis.[4] The identity of him/her/them has been a continuing source of intrigue.[5]

The currency is designed to employ lots of computers to process and record transactions. The solution to this is “mining,” in which Bitcoin users run software to do all the necessary work.[6] Every time someone successfully proves they performed this work, they receive bitcoins in return. This provides an incentive to keep the currency running, but also attracts a lot of prospectors and speculators looking for easy money, and scammers who consider them suitably exploitable suckers.[7]

The currency’s only practical use case is purchasing illicit goods (e.g., drugs) and services (e.g., murder-for-hire).[8][9] There has so far been no other use case for which it is superior to existing channels.

In 2014, the cryptocurrency began a sharp decline after a principal exchange, Mt. Gox, shut down following three months of blatant market manipulation.[10][11] It was later revealed that an undiscovered “leak” in the company’s bitcoin wallet had rendered them insolvent in 2012, and virtually penniless by 2014.[12] Essentially, Bitcoin’s astronomical rise was the direct result of meaningless trades with fake money.[13]

It’s like a house on fire with freshly baked cookies inside.

The notable bit about Bitcoin is that it is intended to be entirely decentralised. The blockchain, the cryptographically-authenticated public ledger of every Bitcoin transaction ever, is reconciled by agreement of over 50% of all miners an attempt at a practical solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem[wp] in computer science.[15]

There is no central bank backing Bitcoin; previous virtual currencies, such as E-Gold, Flooz, Beenz, Lindens, or WoW gold have always had an organisation behind them. This lack of a monetary authority means that, were governments to try to do something about it, they would not have a central point of attack.[16] Bitcoin therefore presents a rare sandbox/universe-in-a-jar scenario for observing market interactions in a free banking[wp] system, as Austrian schoolers have always wanted this time in the context of post-industrial economies.

You can buy actual stuff with bitcoins! Mostly internet services, geek toys, phone sex,[17] illegal drugs[18] and, of course, pre-used Bitcoin mining hardware.[19] And actually useful things like beer and pizza.[20][21] To allow payment with a high-volatility currency like Bitcoin, it is common for merchants to price their goods in the local standard currency, but receive payment via Bitcoin converted at current market rates.[22]

Bitcoin has no intrinsic value (i.e., has no use-value), similar to the US dollar,[23] and could be a general currency if 300 million people similarly behaved as though it was one, i.e., would do work in exchange for it.[24] Its biggest problem as an exchange medium is that it is not widely accepted, and that trading is thus very thin indeed.

There is also the matter of built-in deflation: there is a strictly limited possible number of bitcoins, and the processing power to mine new ones goes up as more miners join.[25] Also, if your wallet file is deleted, your bitcoins are gone for good.

“Babbage” at The Economist took it seriously and found it quite interesting,[26] but has muted his praise over time.[27] Other economists have criticized the idea (to the point of calling it a scam), citing inherent design problems.[28][29][30][31][32]Paul Krugman initially refrained from poking fun at the concept, but considered it a reimplementation of the gold standard, with the economic problems that implies;[33] he’s since judged it as effectively just another right-wing affinity fraud, in which big libertarians prey upon smaller ones.[34] Warren Buffett has called it a “mirage.”[35] About 25% of the European Central Bank’s report on “Virtual Currency Schemes” is about Bitcoin,[36] and both the European Banking Authority and US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have warned about major consumer protection issues.[37][38]

The trouble with re-implementing the gold standard in the 21st century is that financial attacks, just like cryptographic attacks, don’t get less effective with time if you apply attacks evolved in a hundred years of Red Queen’s race against regulation, then remove the regulation, the subeconomy in question is utterly defenseless. As one quant on Hacker News outlined:[39]

And we can now see this in practice: the $1200/BTC peak in late 2013 was caused by the market manipulation known as “painting the tape”;[40] Mt. Gox in particular appears to have suffered chronic tape-painting.[41] Note that the “free market” completely failed to deal with fraud in this environment: all other exchanges were tracking Mt. Gox’s blatantly skewed prices.

Bitcoin relies on distributed consensus: the blockchain is what a majority of mining capacity says it is. Since mining is the “core of the Bitcoin protocol,” there is the possibility of what is termed a “51% attack,” where miners could consolidate into a cartel to exceed 50% of the mining power (yes, a de facto monopoly) and so could unilaterally ratify the entire blockchain to do things like double-spending confirmed transactions and preventing any new transactions or just ones they don’t like from happening while they’re in control (though they cannot take other people’s coins).[42][43] But this was considered unlikely because Bitcoin enthusiasts were highly distributed individualists.

This worked quite well early on. However, proof-of-work algorithms benefit from economies of scale,[wp] which leads to centralization directly. So as mining became more difficult and demanded more specialized resources, single mining “pools” became a substantial fraction of Bitcoin’s network hashrate. In June 2014, mining pool GHash reached 51%, leading to calls to use decentralized pooling options.[44] In 2015, nine mining pools control 75% of the hashpower.[45]

Economically, it would be foolish for, e.g., GHash to just kick over the board because they could cornering the market in an insubstantial good is only worth it while people trust the value of the insubstantial good but the actual problem is that the group with 51% of all mining capacity will be able to “undermine the rules of the currency itself.”[46] GHash quickly backed down to under 50% and claims it wants to fix the deeper problem,[47] but the economic incentives of “selfish mining” remain.

Cornell researchers have identified many more subtle attacks one can make even with less than 50%,[48] and it is worth noting that GHash had previously conducted a “49% attack” (a “Finney attack”[49]) wherein a large miner double-spends coins, just not with certainty against a gambling site.[50] They blamed this on a rogue employee, but this in itself shows that individuals can be motivated to trash a whole system for temporary personal gain. Again, real financial systems have government regulation for this specific threat.

So who’s doing the maths? The answer is the most powerful distributed computing project in the world.[51] While other distributed computing systems are investigating protein folding or sifting through radiotelescope data for signs of intelligent communication from the stars, bitcoins are being generated by people running hashing algorithms to process transactions on a poorly-traded virtual currency.

But it’s long past the point where you can do any decent amount of processing on a standard desktop system (or, as some less-than-ethical Bitcoiners have, sneaking processing code into Javascript on web pages, or simply deploying a Trojan on someone’s Windows box). Bitcoin miners quickly moved to the GPUs of video cards, then field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) specifically programmed for the algorithm, and now mining is done on ASICs based on said FPGAs. There are even companies selling Bitcoin mining rigs; their frequently-sketchy workmanship wouldn’t endear them to IT pros or the FTC, but they’re still better than some of the firetrap rigs that Bitcoiners have put together for themselves.[52] The many bizarre and frankly stupid cooling schemes are usually good for a laugh as well, including one Darwin Award applicant who poured a bucket of liquid nitrogen on the floor next to his rig to cool it.[53]

The irony of all this is that once hardware and power costs are factored in, it’s hard to make a profit from Bitcoin mining. Many more-savvy Bitcoiners filch their power from someone else and don’t factor in the equipment cost at all.

Bitcoin is also an environmental disaster, using on the order of 24 gigawatt-hours a day, literally wasted on calculating hashes. For comparison, the entire nation of Ireland runs about 72 GWh a day average.[54][55] The network cost per transaction (of any size) is around $20 of electricity.[56] (Thus, Bitcoin runs on libertarians externalising their costs to others.[57]) If only they’d based it on protein folding.[58]

The cryptography is robust, so many highly vocal internet libertarians think this is all that is needed, because they don’t understand people, know very little about economics, and apparently nothing of how reliable financial computing infrastructures are built real banks tend to use mainframes in highly redundant configurations, not AWS virtual servers without backups and generally show terrifying navet and incompetence. This then bites them in the arse when they discover that running a Magic: The Gathering Online card exchange site is insufficient experience to securely run a currency exchange,[59] or discover they have no backups.[60] Many were sufficiently nave as to fall for, not just a Ponzi scheme, but a Ponzi scheme that had already been tried in EVE Online’s in-game currency.[61] There are also people who understand this level of computer science, but still keep their wallet.dat file in plain text on a Windows box, ready for reaping by malware or a DDoS.[62][63][64] This is the sort of thing that gets bitcoins called “Dunning-Krugerrands.”[65]

The decentralised nature attracts libertarian extremists (go read any Bitcoin forum for more wacko libertarianism than you ever thought possible). There are Bitcoin advocates who are not annoying Randroid fools, but the ones who are tend to drown out all the others. It is unsurprising, then, that some business writers have accused them of cultish behaviour;[46][66] some proponents are simply aghast that anyone might not consider it valuable for services rendered.[67]

One of the otherwise-saner advocates is Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, who has put all his savings into bitcoins.[68] Though, he also details its problems.[69] He is a big fan of Bitcoin not as a general currency, but as a pure medium of exchange, substituting for PayPal or credit cards and changing back into a more popular currency at each end as the Visa/Mastercard/PayPal oligopoly’s willingness to block recipients they, the American government or fundamentalists don’t like, starts to become a practical problem.

Andrew Napolitano from Fox Business Network supports Bitcoin as well. In a move that may make many of his fans cry, Ron Paul does not.[70]

There are multiple Bitcoin “banks,” but most of this seems to revolve around doing things with bitcoins,[71] leading to accusations of cargo cult economics. And scams. There are lots of scammers in the Bitcoin community, who are punished by the harshest method imaginable: getting a “scammer” tag on the BitcoinTalk.org forum.

There is a Bitcoin exchange hack or collapse approximately every month. Leaving any money exposed on a Bitcoin exchange is, statistically, a terrible idea.

One Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin-Central (now called Paymium), has achieved bank status in France.[72] Their aim is to supply an alternative to PayPal, and their central bank backing on balances only applies to accounts in euros rather than in bitcoins. On the other hand, other players in the Bitcoin field have had to suspend operations because US banks view companies involved with Bitcoin as too high risk to do business with,[73] or have had to suspend US dollar withdrawals for undisclosed reasons.[74]

Despite Western-oriented services being portrayed as synonymous with the Bitcoin “brand” Mt. Gox was still responsible for 90% of all Bitcoin transactions by the end of 2012,[75] so this isn’t entirely unwarranted Chinese exchanges actually overtook it in output before its collapse.[76] This presents another serious problem for the cryptocurrency moving forward: attempts by the US government to impose regulations post-Gox pale in comparison to recent pressure by Beijing to crack down on the Chinese market.[77] One incentive is off-the-books currency exchange: buy hardware and electricity in yuan, make it into bitcoins and sell the bitcoins for dollars.

In order to prop up the initial system, Bitcoin mining was designed to bribe early users with exponentially better rewards than latecomers could get for the same effort. To join the network at all, new users must give ever-increasing amounts of wealth to previous bitcoiners who are sitting around doing nothing. This effectively makes Bitcoin a pump-and-dump scheme wherein these early adopters, who have more bitcoins than anyone else ever will, hype it up so they can offload their bitcoins onto fools who think they’ll strike it rich as speculators. This means the system runs on opportunism, especially among people who like the idea of decentralized techno-money. This setup is defended as an acceptable trade-off and/or a fair reward for propping up the system.[79]

In the meantime, speculators and opportunists have remained Bitcoin’s main users: according to one 2012 study, only 22% of existing bitcoins were in circulation at all, there were a total of 75 active users/businesses with any kind of volume, one (unidentified) user owned a quarter of all bitcoins in existence, and one large owner was trying to hide their wealth accumulation by moving it around in thousands of smaller transactions.[80] Meanwhile, businesses, from family stores to multimillion-dollar corporations, have jumped onto Bitcoin to seem forward-looking and get a cut of the Bitcoin action.[81] But go on, dive in and get rich.

The real and overriding issue with Bitcoin is that it does practically nothing that isn’t already possible, while also introducing flaws of its own:

Whenever some of these objections are raised, the common Bitcoiner reply is to think about things from the merchant’s point of view that they pay less in fees (which isn’t necessarily true), or that they might get chargebacks (which can be defended against, and generally don’t happen to merchants who don’t actually scam people or rip them off). This ignores that most people don’t care, and the few that do see enough benefit and convenience from being able to get fraudulently taken money returned to them that it doesn’t actually bother them.

In practice, the only thing Bitcoin does better than conventional currencies and existing payment systems is to let libertarians buy illicit goods without having to go to the bad part of town and talk to minorities.

A number of copycat cryptocurrencies (“altcoins”) exist as a consequence of the Bitcoin experiment, only a few of which, such as Litecoin and Dogecoin, have achieved any notability. A few of these have significant distinctions from Bitcoin, such as Namecoin which is part of a decentralized “.bit” DNS project and Freicoin which incorporates demurrage to discourage speculative hoarding, but most of them are simple forks of the Bitcoin code. Since the media attention on Bitcoin in early 2013[91] a glut of such “coins” has flooded the market, with increasingly silly names like BBQcoin, Memecoin, Junkcoin, Sexcoin, and Shitcoin.[92] And don’t forget Coinye West.[93]

Dogecoin[94] gained some popularity on cuteness value and use for tipping on Reddit.[95] Unlike most altcoins, Dogecoin is slightly inflationary rather than deflationary.[96] Despite having similar get-rich hopes, Dogecoin fans are also notably less dickish than Bitcoin fans, though that’s not hard to achieve.

Many Bitcoin advocates really don’t like altcoins:[97] most of the value proposition of Bitcoin is the strictly limited quantity available, and they perceive altcoins as undermining their hodling, instead suggesting the way to resolve Bitcoin’s scaling problems without altcoins is with hypothetical add-ons such as sidechains.[98] (Though sidechain developers themselves are not so optimistic.[99]) They dismiss altcoins as scams (though they don’t regard the substantially-premined Bitcoin as one). However, there is no way for them to stop altcoins from being created.

To be fair, quite a lot of altcoins since the 2013 boom were blatant scams: make a coin, premine it, promise far-fetched features in BitcoinTalk’s altcoin forum,[100] get it onto an exchange, sell it for Bitcoins. USBCoin, for example, netted 150 BTC this way.[101] DafuqCoin compromised exchanges because nobody checked the code before running it.[102][103] And then there’s Ponzicoin, which, despite having Ponzi in the name, lasted a few months before being exposed, shockingly, as a Ponzi scheme. BitcoinTalk dealt with these coins firmly: it limited advertisement signature image dimensions.

In a gold rush, the money’s in selling shovels. Cash up front, please.

(Unless you’re Butterfly Labs, in which case the shovel-sellers are crooks too).

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Bitcoin – RationalWiki

Merchant Accounts Offshore – Offshore Banking, Bank …

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on Merchant Accounts Offshore – Offshore Banking, Bank …
Sep 012015
 

Liberty Enterprises offers a wide array of offshore and US domestic credit card and ACH/E-check merchant solutions. Our aim is to assist Internet business owners across the world to secure solid, secure credit card processing solutions with professional, reputable banks.

The merchant offshore and domestic banking sector can be confusing and overwhelming to the average businessman. With our experienced and highly skilled staff, our objective is to diminish the cloud of confusion that surrounds the merchant industry, and help your business take advantage of our many banking connections.

Studies show that Internet businesses that accept credit cards enjoy higher sales volumes.

It is important to remember that the offshore merchant processing sector in particular is expanding at an exponential rate, with great opportunities for Internet businesses to obtain solid, long term banking relationships. That being said, one needs to be very selective in determining which banks and processors to use. This is where our service comes to the forefront; we know all the key players and the groups to avoid.

ACH/E-checks should also be considered for your US customers, as this has also been shown to increase sales volume by as much as 20% of gross volume. We can of course provide ACH/E-check processing with reputable tier one US banks.

Our IBC incorporation product line will also enable you and your business to conduct all your high risk merchant processing activities in confidential private jurisdictions. Our exclusive offshore jurisdictions include Panama, Belize, BVI, the Seychelles and Cyprus IBCs.

Contact us today and start enjoying increased sales revenues with the use of your own offshore merchant account.

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Anonymous banking, offshore banking, anonymous offshore bank …

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on Anonymous banking, offshore banking, anonymous offshore bank …
Aug 302015
 

If you sincerely want to legally obtain personal and financial freedom from Big Brother – Point and Click below for our 450+ of asset and wealth protection offshore and privacy products and services – several of which are even FREE! Check our unique offers for yourself.

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The yearly maintenance costs for a Panamanian corporation (Nominee Directors, Resident Agent, Registered Office) is only US$300 payable by anniversary date of incorporation. The government fee of US$250 (Law 61 of December 26th of 2002) is payable within the semester of incorporation the year of incorporation and by anniversary date each year afterwards.

Upon receipt of your order please include three names in order of preference fort your structure. Once of which should be available. It takes 3-4 working days to create your structure.

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Anonymous banking, offshore banking, anonymous offshore bank …

Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering in Humans – Part 1

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering in Humans – Part 1
Aug 292015
 

The human body is not perfect. Some are created with inherent faults and others break down before their time. Science has the potential to make good these problems by altering how humans are made. This is genetic engineering, and this article looks at the pros and cons of the technology in humans

This is part one of a two-part series. Here I will look at a definition of genetic engineering and the pros of human genetic engineering. In part two the cons and the ethics of human genetic engineering are discussed.

Before weighing up the pros and cons of genetic engineering in humans, it’s worth taking the time to understand just what is meant by the idea. Simply put, it’s a way of manipulating our genes in such a way as to make our bodies better. This alteration of a genome could take place in the sperm and egg cells. This is known as germline gene therapy and would alter the traits that a child is born with. The changes would be inheritable and passed down through the generations. It is currently illegal in many countries.

The other way to change our genome is to swap our bad genes for good ones – in cells other than the sex cells. This is known as somatic cell gene therapy. This is where a functioning gene could be fired into our bodies on a viral vector to carry out the functions that a faulty gene is unable to. This technology is permitted, though it has enjoyed a very limited success rate so far (largely because it is technically very difficult). Nonetheless, it still holds out a great deal of promise.

There are many potential advantages to being able to alter the cells in our bodies genetically.

To make disease a thing of the past

Most people on the planet die of disease or have family members that do. Very few of us will just pop up to bed one night and gently close our eyes for the last time. Our genomes are not as robust as we would like them to be and genetic mutations either directly cause a disease such as Cystic fibrosis, or they contribute to it greatly i.e. Alzheimer’s. Or in the case of some conditions such as the heart disease Cardiomyopathy, genetic mutations can make our bodies more susceptible to attack from viruses or our own immune system. If the full benefits of gene therapy are ever realised we can replace the dud genes with correctly functioning copies.

To extend life spans

Having enjoyed life, most of us want to cling on to it for as long as possible. The genetic engineering of humans has the potential to greatly increase our life spans. Some estimates reckon that 100-150 years could be the norm. Of course gene therapy for a fatal condition will increase the lifespan of the patient but we’re also talking about genetic modifications of healthy people to give them a longer life. Once we fully understand the genetics of ageing it may be possible to slow down or reverse some of the cellular mechanisms that lead to our decline – for example by preventing telomeres at the ends of chromosomes from shortening. Telomere shortening is known to contribute to cell senescence.

Better pharmaceuticals

The knowledge gained by working out genetic solutions for the above could help with the design of better pharmaceutical products that are able to target specifically genetic mutations in each individual.

So What’s the Downside?

As deliriously exciting as some people believe genetic engineering to be – there are several downsides and ethical dilemmas. Click the link to read the cons.

This two part series explores some of the pros and cons of human genetic engineering.

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Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering in Humans – Part 1

Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 292015
 

Freedom is a novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and released on August 31, 2010.

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, and was ranked one of the best books of 2010 by several publications.

Freedom follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration.

Freedom opens with a short history of the Berglund family from the perspective of their nosy neighbors. The Berglunds are portrayed as the most ideal liberal middle-class family, and they are among the first families to move back into urban St. Paul, Minnesota, after years of white flight to the suburbs. Patty Berglund is an unusually young and pretty homemaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor; her husband Walter is a mild-mannered lawyer with strong environmentalist leanings.

They have one daughter, Jessica, and a son, Joey, who early on displays an independent streak and an interest in making money. Joey becomes sexually involved with a neighborhood teen named Connie and begins to rebel against his mother, going so far as to move in with Connie, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend Blake, making Patty and Walter increasingly unstable. After several unhappy years, the family relocates to Washington, D.C., abandoning the neighborhood and house they worked so hard to improve. Walter takes a job with an unorthodox environmental project, tied to big coal.

The second portion of the book takes the form of an autobiography of Patty Berglund, composed at the suggestion of her therapist. The autobiography tells of Patty’s youth as a star basketball player, and her increasing alienation from her artistically inclined parents and sisters. Instead of attending an East Coast elite college like her siblings, she gets a basketball scholarship to the University of Minnesota and adopts the life of the athlete. She meets an attractive but unattainable indie rock musician named Richard Katz, and his nerdy but kind roommate, Walter Berglund. After her basketball career-ending knee injury, Patty suddenly becomes desperate for male affection, and after failing to woo Richard, she settles down with Walter, who had been patiently courting her for more than a year. We learn that Patty retained her desire for Richard and eventually had a brief affair with him at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin.

The novel then jumps ahead to New York City in 2004 and shifts to the story of Walter and Patty’s friend Richard, who has finally succeeded in becoming a minor indie rock star in his middle age. His hit album Nameless Lake tells the story of his brief love affair with Patty at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin in Minnesota. Richard is uncomfortable with commercial success, throws away his new-found money, and returns to building roof decks for wealthy people in Manhattan. Walter calls him out of the blue to enlist his help as a celebrity spokesman for an environmental campaign. Walter has taken a job in Washington, D.C. working for a coal mining magnate who wants to strip mine a section of West Virginia forest before turning it into a songbird preserve of future environmental value. Walter hopes to use some of this project’s funding to hold a concert to combat overpopulation, the common factor behind all his environmental concerns, and he believes that Richard will be able to rally well-known musicians to his cause. Meanwhile, Walter’s marriage to Patty has been deteriorating steadily, and his pretty young assistant Lalitha has fallen deeply in love with him.

In parallel, the Berglunds’ estranged, Republican son Joey attempts to finance his college life at the University of Virginia by taking on a dubious subcontract to provide spare parts for outdated supply trucks during the Iraq War. While at college, he marries his childhood sweetheart but dares not tell his parents. After visiting his roommate’s family in the DC suburbs, he also pursues his friend’s beautiful sister Jenna and is exposed to her father’s Zionist, neoconservative politics. After months of pursuing Jenna, when she finally wants him to have sex with her, he cannot maintain an erection. Later he becomes conflicted after making $850,000 selling defective truck parts to military suppliers in Iraq. In the end Joey gives away the excess proceeds of his profiteering, reconciles with his parents, settles down with Connie, and moves into a sustainable coffee business with the help of his father Walter.

Now, Richard’s re-appearance destroys Walter and Patty’s weakening marriage. Richard tries to convince Patty to leave Walter, but she shows Richard the autobiography she wrote as “therapy”, trying to convince him that she’s still in love with Walter. Richard deliberately leaves the autobiography on Walter’s desk, and Walter reads Patty’s true thoughts. Walter kicks Patty out of the house, and she moves to Jersey City to be with Richard, but the relationship only lasts six months. Later, she moves to Brooklyn alone and takes a job at a private school, discovering her skill for teaching younger children. When Patty leaves him, Walter has a catharsis on live television, revealing his contempt for the displaced West Virginian families and his various commercial backers. Local rednecks respond by dragging him from the platform and beating him up. He is promptly fired by the environmental trust, but his TV debacle makes him a viral video hero to radical youth across the nation. He and his assistant Lalitha become lovers and continue their plans to combat overpopulation through a concert to rally young people in the hills of West Virginia. Lalitha is killed in a suspicious car accident a few days before the concert is due to take place. Shattered, and having lost both of the women who loved him, Walter retreats to his family’s lakeside vacation house back in Minnesota. He becomes known to a new street of neighbors as a cranky old recluse, obsessed with house cats killing birds nesting on his property.

After a few years living in Brooklyn, Patty’s father dies and she is forced to settle the fight that erupts within her family of spoiled bohemians as they attempt to split up the much-diminished family fortune. This experience helps Patty to mature. After a few years of living alone, she appraises the emptiness of her life and honestly faces her advancing age. She decides to hunt down Walter, the only man who had ever really loved her. She drives to the lakeside cabin in Minnesota, and despite his rage and confusion, he eventually agrees to take her back. The book ends in 2008 as they leave as a couple to return to Patty’s job in New York City, after turning their old lakeside vacation home into a cat-proof fenced bird sanctuary, named in memory of Lalitha.

After the critical acclaim and popular success of his third novel The Corrections in 2001, Franzen began work on his fourth full-length novel. When asked during an October 30, 2002 interview on Charlie Rose how far he was into writing the new novel, Franzen replied:

I’m about a year of frustration and confusion into it…Y’know, I’m kind of down at the bottom of the submerged iceberg peering up for the surface of the water…I don’t have doubt about my ability to write a good book, but I have lots of doubt about what it’s going to look like.[1]

Franzen went on to suggest that a basic story outline was in place, and that his writing of the new novel was like a “guerilla war” approaching different aspects of the novel (alluding to characters, dialogue, plot development etc.).[1] Franzen also agreed that he would avoid public appearances, saying that “…getting some work done is the vacation” from the promotional work surrounding The Corrections and How To Be Alone.[1]

An excerpt entitled “Good Neighbors” appeared in the June 8 and June 15, 2009 issues of The New Yorker.[2] The magazine published a second extract entitled “Agreeable” in the May 31, 2010 edition.[3]

On October 16, 2009, Franzen made an appearance alongside David Bezmozgis at the New Yorker Festival at the Cedar Lake Theatre to read a portion of his forthcoming novel.[4][5] Sam Allard, writing for North By Northwestern website covering the event, said that the “…material from his new (reportedly massive) novel” was “as buoyant and compelling as ever” and “marked by his familiar undercurrent of tragedy”.[5] Franzen read “an extended clip from the second chapter.”[5]

On March 12, 2010, details about the plot and content of Freedom were published in the Macmillan fall catalogue for 2010.[6]

In an interview with Dave Haslam on October 3, 2010 Franzen discussed why he had called the book Freedom:

The reason I slapped the word on the book proposal I sold three years ago without any clear idea of what kind of book it was going to be is that I wanted to write a book that would free me in some way. And I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom'; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.[7]

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, particularly for its writing and characterization. Shortly after the book’s release, the front cover of a TIME magazine issue showed a picture of Franzen above the words “Great American Novelist,” making him the first author to appear on the front cover in a decade.

Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times and Benjamin Alsup of Esquire believed it measured up to Franzen’s previous novel, The Corrections. Tanenhaus called it a “masterpiece of American fiction,” writing that it “[told] an engrossing story” and “[illuminated], through the steady radiance of its authors profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew.”[8] Alsup called it a great American novel. “[9] In The Millions, Garth Risk Hallberg argued that readers who enjoyed The Corrections would enjoy Freedom. He also wrote that they’re “likely to come away from this novel moved in harder-to-fathom waysand grateful for it.”[10] An editor for Publishers Weekly wrote that it stood apart from most modern fiction because “Franzen tries to account for his often stridently unlikable characters and find where they (and we) went wrong, arriving atincrediblygenuine hope.”[11]

Benjamin Secher of The Telegraph called Franzen one of America’s best living novelists, and Freedom the first great American novel of the “post-Obama era.”[12] In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones called him “a literary genius” and wrote that Freedom stood on “a different plane from other contemporary fiction.”[13]

Michiko Kakutani called the book “galvanic” and wrote that it showcased Franzen’s talent as a storyteller and “his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.” Kakutani also praised the novel’s characterization, going on to call it a “compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times.”[14]The Economist wrote that the novel contained “fully imagined characters in a powerful narrative.” The reviewer went on to say that it had “all its predecessor’s power and none of its faults.”[15]

Not all reviews were raving. Most lukewarm reviews praised the novel’s prose, but believed the author’s left-wing political stance was too obvious. Sam Anderson, in a review for New York magazine, thought the characterization was strong, but perceived the politics as sometimes too heavy-handed: “Franzen the crankmighty detester of Twitter, ATVs, and housing developments” occasionally “overpower[s] Franzen the artist […] but if crankiness is the motor that powers Franzen’s art, I’m perfectly willing to sit through some speeches.”[16]Ron Charles of The Washington Post also felt less favorably, remarking that it lacked the wit and “[freshness]” of The Corrections. Charles praised Franzen’s prose and called him “an extraordinary stylist,” but questioned how many readers would settle for good writing as “sufficient compensation for what is sometimes a misanthropic slog.”[17] In addition, Ruth Franklin of The New Republic believed the novel resembled a “soap opera” more than it did an epic, and that Franzen had forgotten “the greatest novels must […] offer […] profundity and pleasure.”[18]

Alexander Nazaryan criticized its familiarity in the New York Daily News remarking that the author “can write about a gentrifying family in St. Paul. Or maybe in St. Louis. But that’s about it. Nazaryan also didn’t believe Franzen was joking when he suggested “being doomed as a novelist never to do anything but stories of Midwestern families.”[19]Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio found the novel “[brilliant]” but not enjoyable, suggesting that “every line, every insight, seems covered with a light film of disdain. Franzen seems never to have met a normal, decent, struggling human being whom he didn’t want to make us feel ever so slightly superior to. His book just has too much brightness and not enough color.”[20]

Ross Douthat of First Things praised the “stretches of Freedom that read like a master class in how to write sympathetically about the kind of characters” with an abundance of freedom. Yet, Douthat concluded the novel was overlong, feeling the “impression that Franzen’s talents are being wasted on his characters.”[21]

Freedom won the John Gardner Fiction Award. Additionally, it was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The American Library Association also named it a notable fiction of the 2010 publishing year.

Oprah Winfrey made Freedom her first book club selection of 2010, saying, “this book is a masterpiece.”[22][23] US President Barack Obama called it “terrific” after reading it over the summer.[24]

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Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NATO Chief: Too Early to Say If Georgia Joins NATO

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO Chief: Too Early to Say If Georgia Joins NATO
Aug 272015
 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on a visit Thursday to Georgia that it is too early to tell whether the former Soviet republic will be invited to take the final step toward NATO membership.

NATO members voted in 2008 to accept Georgia as a member, but since then the South Caucasus nation has denied been entry into the Membership Action Plan, the last condition for membership.

NATO says Georgia must strengthen its institutions, step up justice reforms and fully respect the rule of law before it is accepted into the action plan. Tbilisi, however, claims that NATO is dragging its heels because of the frozen conflict in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Speaking at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center, Stoltenberg said Georgia already has “the necessary tools to continue to move toward membership.”

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the training facility would “in no way be directed against any of the neighboring countries,” an apparent attempt to assuage Russia’s fears about a NATO presence close to its border. Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over South Ossetia in 2008.

Moscow reacted angrily to the ceremony in Georgia, saying that the NATO presence would tip the balance in the region.

“We consider this move as a continuation of the provocative policy of the alliance aimed at expanding its geopolitical influence,” Russian Foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow. “Placing this NATO military facility in Georgia will become a substantial destabilizing factor for security in the region.”

Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report from Moscow.

Link:
NATO Chief: Too Early to Say If Georgia Joins NATO

Belize Offshore Company Formation

 Offshore Companies  Comments Off on Belize Offshore Company Formation
Aug 212015
 

Belize is a classic among the offshore tax havens. Few other offshore jurisdictions offer the range of benefits and features that Belize does. If a simple and efficient offshore solution is what You need, Belize is hard to beat.

Fidelity Overseas Ltd is a professional provider of offshore company registrations in Belize. We are physically located in Belize City and licenced by the Belize International Financial Services Commission. In terms of Belize offshore companies, we are the “producers” – not resellers. We are narrowly specialized in the offshore services of our home jurisdiction. Belize offshore company formations is what we do, and that`s what we are good at! This means competent service, quick turnaround and competitive fees.

Unlike many “web-only” sellers of offshore incorporations, we are a real, bricks-and-mortar firm on the ground, regulated and licenced by the Belize IFSC. This means that our senior members of staff have been thoroughly vetted for their competence and personal integrity. Under the terms of our financial services licence, our firm has met substantial capitalisation and quality control requirements.

Our services in Belize include:

We are part of the Fidelity Overseas / Fidelity Corporate Services group, having ground offices in several other reputable offshore financial centres. Through our group partners we can provide a unique blend of local expertise in conjunction with a global perspective on the offshore services industry.

This site provides a comprehensive insight into Belize offshore services. It includes detailed service descriptions, order procedures, legislation reviews and a facility to place an offshore incorporation order online.

Please contact us if you need more information on Belize offshore corporations and related services – we will be glad to assist You!

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Belize Offshore Company Formation

Tor Browser

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Tor Browser
Aug 152015
 

Download the file above, and save it somewhere, then double click on it. (1) Click “Run” then choose the installer’s language and click OK (2). Make sure you have at least 80MB of free disk space in the location you select. If you want to leave the bundle on the computer, saving it to the Desktop is a good choice. If you want to move it to a different computer or limit the traces you leave behind, save it to a USB disk.

Click Install (3) Wait until the installer finishes. This may take a few minutes to complete.

Once the installation is complete, click Finish to launch Tor Browser’s wizard.

Once you see Tor Browser’s wizard click Connect

Alternatively, you can launch Tor Browser by going to the folder Tor Browser which can be found at the location you saved the bundle at (Default: Desktop) and double click on the Start Tor Browser application.

Once Tor is ready, Tor Browser will automatically be opened. Only web pages visited through Tor Browser will be sent via Tor. Other web browsers such as Internet Explorer are not affected.

Once you are finished browsing, close any open Tor Browser windows by clicking on the (6). For privacy reasons, the list of web pages you visited and any cookies will be deleted.

To use the Tor Browser again, double click on the “Start Tor Browser” application.

Remember that Tor anonymizes the origin of your traffic, and it encrypts everything inside the Tor network, but it can’t encrypt your traffic between the Tor network and its final destination. If you are communicating sensitive information, you should use as much care as you would on the normal scary Internet use HTTPS or other end-to-end encryption and authentication.

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Tor Browser

Tor Browser – Whonix

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Tor Browser – Whonix
Aug 132015
 

It is recommended[1], that you use only Tor Browser for browsing the web in Whonix.

Tor Browser[2] is a fork[3] of the Mozilla Firefox[4] web browser, optimized[5] and designed[6] for anonymity, developed by The Tor Project[7]. Given Firefox’s popularity, many of you have probably used it before and its user interface is like any other modern web browser.

Here are a few things worth mentioning in the context of Whonix.

When you were to use other browsers than Tor Browser, your IP/DNS would still be protected by Whonix, but you wouldn’t profit from Tor Browser’s protocol level cleanup. Using other browsers would be pseudonymous rather than anonymous.

Tor Browser in comparison to other browsers is optimized for anonymity, it contains privacy enhancing patches[8] and add-ons[9]. There are no other browsers other than Tor Browser capable of protocol level cleanup. When you use Tor Browser, you will blend in and share the Fingerprint of other Tor Browser users, which is a good thing.

Using HTTPS instead of HTTP encrypts your communication while browsing the web.

All the data exchanged between your browser and the server you are visiting are encrypted. It prevents the Tor exit relay to eavesdrop on your communications.

HTTPS also includes mechanisms to authenticate the server you are communicating with. But those mechanisms can be flawed, as explained on our warning page.

For example, here is how the browser looks like when we try to log in an email account at lavabit.com[10], using their interface[11]:

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Tor Browser – Whonix

The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment …

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment …
Aug 132015
 

By John Paul Stevens April 11, 2014

Following the massacre of grammar-school children in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, high-powered weapons have been used to kill innocent victims in more senseless public incidents. Those killings, however, are only a fragment of the total harm caused by the misuse of firearms. Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents. Many of those deaths involve handguns.

The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators. Legislatures are in a far better position than judges to assess the wisdom of such rules and to evaluate the costs and benefits that rule changes can be expected to produce. It is those legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution placed limits on the powers of the new federal government. Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of the Second Amendment, which provides that a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated Militia.

When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.

In recent years two profoundly important changes in the law have occurred. In 2008, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects a civilians right to keep a handgun in his home for purposes of self-defense. And in 2010, by another vote of 5 to 4, the court decided in McDonald v. Chicago that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment limits the power of the city of Chicago to outlaw the possession of handguns by private citizens. I dissented in both of those cases and remain convinced that both decisions misinterpreted the law and were profoundly unwise. Public policies concerning gun control should be decided by the voters elected representatives, not by federal judges.

In my dissent in the McDonald case, I pointed out that the courts decision was unique in the extent to which the court had exacted a heavy toll in terms of state sovereignty. . . . Even apart from the States long history of firearms regulation and its location at the core of their police powers, this is a quintessential area in which federalism ought to be allowed to flourish without this Courts meddling. Whether or not we can assert a plausible constitutional basis for intervening, there are powerful reasons why we should not do so.

Across the Nation, States and localities vary significantly in the patterns and problems of gun violence they face, as well as in the traditions and cultures of lawful gun use. . . . The city of Chicago, for example, faces a pressing challenge in combating criminal street gangs. Most rural areas do not.

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The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment …

NATO – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 082015
 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, the Western Alliance, is a defence alliance. It was established in 1949, by the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, D.C., USA, on April 4, 1949. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium. Its other official name is the same name in French, Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN).

NATO has two official languages, English and French, defined in Article 14 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Its members in 1949 were: The United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey also joined.

When West Germany joined the organization on 9 May 1955 it was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time.[2] Indeed, the result was the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states as response to NATO.

After the Cold war in 1999 three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland joined the NATO. On 29 March 2004 seven more Northern European and Eastern European countries joined NATO: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and also Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Croatia and Albania received NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Republic of Macedonia received only conditional invitation because it was vetoed by Greece due to Republic of Macedonia’s name dispute with Greece.

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NATO – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nvidia Is About To Steal The Cryptocurrency Mining Crown …

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on Nvidia Is About To Steal The Cryptocurrency Mining Crown …
Aug 082015
 

Buried on the 17th page of Toms Hardwares GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card review is a simple benchmark result that will dramatically disrupt the landscape of cryptocurrency mining. In fact, its the kind of data that should send AMD back to the drawing board at least if they want to maintain their choke-hold on the mining hardware market.

Historically AMD has been the undisputed crowd favorite of miners looking to stock up on new forms of digital currency like Dogecoin and Litecoin. AMDs Radeon graphics cards possess a secret sauce that allows significantly more powerful compute capabilities, at least the kind required for Scrypt-based mining.

That is, untilNvidiareleased their new Maxwell architecture this week.

PNYs GTX 750 ti | Image Credit: PNY Technologies

As we learned from my introduction to the GTX 750 Ti,first-generation Maxwell cards exhibit a 35% peak performance boost per core and twice the performance per watt. They also blow Kepler hashrates out of the water. Based on what Im seeing with the 750 Ti, Nvidia is poised to embarrass AMD in the performance-per-watt race and thats a substantial factor when youre paying the inflated energy bills caused by mining.

Nvidia didnt breathe a word of Maxwells seriously improved hashing ability in their marketing copy or press briefings, but Toms Hardware discovered it, and Ive been able to replicate their findings with multiple 750 Ti cards from both Nvidia and PNY.

Hashrate using a reference 750 Ti 1GB card from Nvidia (Software: Cudaminer)

What youre looking at in the image above is a hashrate of about 242kh/s using Nvidias reference 750 Ti 1GB graphics card ($139). This is significant for several reasons. First, the 750 Ti is a 60Watt card and doesnt even require a PCI-E power connector. You could plug this card into a cheap box from HP or Dell with a 300W power supply and have power to spare. Second, the temperature never seems to breach 65 degrees Celsius, and it runs considerably quieter and cooler than the AMD 260x ($119), which achieves a peak hashrate of 206kh/s and consumes nearly 130Watts of power.

Hold on a minute! I can hear you saying. AMDs 260x is $20 cheaper than Nvidias entry-level 750 Ti! Thats true, but the nominal price difference quickly evaporates when you consider how the 750 Ti sips power, which matters in the long run. Additionally, Toms Hardware ran the same mining environment test with AMDs upcoming Radeon 265 ($149) and achieved a peak hashrate of 252kh/s and remember that the Radeon 265 is a 150Watt card.

For that same price of $149, heres what I pulled off with PNYs 750 Ti 2GB with a moderate (and stable) overclock:

Follow this link:
Nvidia Is About To Steal The Cryptocurrency Mining Crown …

Liberty House – 207 Photos – American (New) – Jersey City …

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty House – 207 Photos – American (New) – Jersey City …
Aug 082015
 

I was here last night for dinner, with 3 girlfriends. We made a reservation weeks prior, simply due to the fact that it’s the holiday season and we figured it would be busy!

Once we walked in, we were greeted by the hostess, she showed us to our table and gave us the drink menu. Within 5 minutes we were introduced to our waiter, he took our drink order, told us the specials and left us with menus.

Being that this was all of our first times here we order a little bit of everything. For starters, drinks, obviously the most important, 3 cosmos and an extra dirty martini, all super yummy, yet a tiny bit to strong. For appetizer we ordered the sushi special, which was average, I’ve had better sushi at a take out place. The sausage risotto, which had wayyyyyy to much blue cheese on it, the organic salad, just your plain old salad, and the calamari, which was actually perfectly cooked. For dinner, we ordered the hanger steak, short ribs and the cod special. Presentation was very nice portion size was decent, but in my opinion a little small considering the large price tag. Everything was fresh though! For dessert we ordered the apple strudel, which was alright, not the best I’ve had. All that for 4 people came to $238, my opinion, just a tad pricey!!!

The view is great, but, during the winter you can’t really sit outside and enjoy the view, and to be honest, I’m not paying for the view, I’m paying for the food!

Service was great! Our server was clearly knowledgeable of the food he was serving which is great!

All in all, I would come back! Maybe during the summer so I can enjoy the view!

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Liberty House – 207 Photos – American (New) – Jersey City …

Genetic engineering – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Genetic engineering – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 042015
 

Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology. It is therefore a set of technologies used to change the genetic makeup of cells, including the transfer of genes within and across species boundaries to produce improved or novel organisms. New DNA may be inserted in the host genome by first isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using molecular cloning methods to generate a DNA sequence, or by synthesizing the DNA, and then inserting this construct into the host organism. Genes may be removed, or “knocked out”, using a nuclease. Gene targeting is a different technique that uses homologous recombination to change an endogenous gene, and can be used to delete a gene, remove exons, add a gene, or introduce point mutations.

An organism that is generated through genetic engineering is considered to be a genetically modified organism (GMO). The first GMOs were bacteria generated in 1973 and GM mice in 1974. Insulin-producing bacteria were commercialized in 1982 and genetically modified food has been sold since 1994. Glofish, the first GMO designed as a pet, was first sold in the United States December in 2003.[1]

Genetic engineering techniques have been applied in numerous fields including research, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, and medicine. Enzymes used in laundry detergent and medicines such as insulin and human growth hormone are now manufactured in GM cells, experimental GM cell lines and GM animals such as mice or zebrafish are being used for research purposes, and genetically modified crops have been commercialized.

IUPAC definition

Process of inserting new genetic information into existing cells in order to modify a specific organism for the purpose of changing its characteristics.

Note: Adapted from ref.[2][3]

Genetic engineering alters the genetic make-up of an organism using techniques that remove heritable material or that introduce DNA prepared outside the organism either directly into the host or into a cell that is then fused or hybridized with the host.[4] This involves using recombinant nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) techniques to form new combinations of heritable genetic material followed by the incorporation of that material either indirectly through a vector system or directly through micro-injection, macro-injection and micro-encapsulation techniques.

Genetic engineering does not normally include traditional animal and plant breeding, in vitro fertilisation, induction of polyploidy, mutagenesis and cell fusion techniques that do not use recombinant nucleic acids or a genetically modified organism in the process.[4] However the European Commission has also defined genetic engineering broadly as including selective breeding and other means of artificial selection.[5]Cloning and stem cell research, although not considered genetic engineering,[6] are closely related and genetic engineering can be used within them.[7]Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline that takes genetic engineering a step further by introducing artificially synthesized material from raw materials into an organism.[8]

If genetic material from another species is added to the host, the resulting organism is called transgenic. If genetic material from the same species or a species that can naturally breed with the host is used the resulting organism is called cisgenic.[9] Genetic engineering can also be used to remove genetic material from the target organism, creating a gene knockout organism.[10] In Europe genetic modification is synonymous with genetic engineering while within the United States of America it can also refer to conventional breeding methods.[11][12] The Canadian regulatory system is based on whether a product has novel features regardless of method of origin. In other words, a product is regulated as genetically modified if it carries some trait not previously found in the species whether it was generated using traditional breeding methods (e.g., selective breeding, cell fusion, mutation breeding) or genetic engineering.[13][14][15] Within the scientific community, the term genetic engineering is not commonly used; more specific terms such as transgenic are preferred.

Plants, animals or micro organisms that have changed through genetic engineering are termed genetically modified organisms or GMOs.[16] Bacteria were the first organisms to be genetically modified. Plasmid DNA containing new genes can be inserted into the bacterial cell and the bacteria will then express those genes. These genes can code for medicines or enzymes that process food and other substrates.[17][18] Plants have been modified for insect protection, herbicide resistance, virus resistance, enhanced nutrition, tolerance to environmental pressures and the production of edible vaccines.[19] Most commercialised GMO’s are insect resistant and/or herbicide tolerant crop plants.[20] Genetically modified animals have been used for research, model animals and the production of agricultural or pharmaceutical products. They include animals with genes knocked out, increased susceptibility to disease, hormones for extra growth and the ability to express proteins in their milk.[21]

More:

Genetic engineering – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Official Site

 Astronomy  Comments Off on Astronomy Picture of the Day – Official Site
Jul 282015
 

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 July 28

Explanation: What’s happening over Bryce Canyon? Two different optical effects that were captured in one image taken earlier this month. Both effects needed to have the Sun situated directly behind the photographer. The nearest apparition was the common rainbow, created by sunlight streaming from the setting sun over the head of the photographer, and scattering from raindrops in front of the canyon. If you look closely, even a second rainbow appears above the first. More rare, and perhaps more striking, are the rays of light that emanate out from the horizon above the canyon. These are known as anticrepuscular rays and result from sunlight streaming though breaks in the clouds, around the sky, and converging at the point 180 degrees around from the Sun. Geometrically, this antisolar point must coincide with the exact center of the rainbows. Located in Utah, USA, Bryce Canyon itself contains a picturesque array of ancient sedimentary rock spires known as hoodoos.

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP) NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply. NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

Originally posted here:

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Official Site

Americas #1 Cryptocurrency: The Secret Currency …

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on Americas #1 Cryptocurrency: The Secret Currency …
Jul 242015
 

A sudden avalanche of folks have been asking about this pitch again, so I thought Id re-share and update my thoughts on something I wrote in the Friday File for the Irregulars back in October of 2013 so yes, this is getting a little old. Much of this is from that original note, or from my update back in January of 2014, though Ive gone through and updated my thoughts (and some of the numbers) a little bit.

From my quick glance, the core of the spiel from the Stansberry folks hasnt changed much for this Secret Currency since then, other than to call it the #1 Cryptocurrency now that that term has entered the popular lexicon (and indeed, the ad is not dramatically different than it was when I first covered similar ads of theirs five or six years ago).

The one thing thats particularly different in the last year or two is that they use the curiosity about Bitcoin to catch your attention

The ad back in 2013 started out as a warning about Bitcoin:

Urgent Message for U.S. Investors:

Do NOT buy Bitcoin until you watch this public message

This is the true story of alternative currencies in America the one you wont hear anywhere else. The story only wealthy families know. Please take five minutes to watch this message and avoid making a very costly Bitcoin mistake.

And then went on to compare Bitcoin to a host of past internet failures or value-destroyers like Webvan and Pets.com and Groupon, and then makes the argument that the secret currency does the same things Bitcoin does (provide some privacy, get away from the US dollar, etc.).

Which is sort of true I have some experience with both this secret currency and with Bitcoin, I tinkered with Bitcoin myself for a to see how it worked and whether it might be a viable alternative to using credit cards, and Im not all that impressed with how useful it might become at the moment though I still have maybe half a bit coin sitting in a wallet somewhere.

This is how they introduce the ad now:

See the rest here:
Americas #1 Cryptocurrency: The Secret Currency …

What is the Illuminati? | Illuminati Rex

 Illuminati  Comments Off on What is the Illuminati? | Illuminati Rex
Jul 222015
 

The term Illuminati has been used in numerous contexts and has been ascribed to a variety of individuals or groups. Originally chosen as a name by a 18th century European secret society, the modern Illuminati is a wholly different creature than the Bavarian Illuminati.

Today, Illuminati is commonly used as a blanket term to describe the power elite, a relatively small group of plutocrats who collectively own and rule our world.

The exact number of people making up this group and how much control and influence they have over worldly affairs is difficult to determine, but the existence of the ruling class itself is widely accepted on both ends of the political spectrum. This highly organized superclass works towards their own common interests whether they be for the betterment of society or not.

This shadowy group is at the core of all modern Illuminati conspiracy theories. The group resonates with what the Occupy movement, a grass root organization born in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, calls the One Percent. Christian fundamentalists and UFO profiteers often add their own twists, including the usual canards of Satan worship and blood sacrifices, making use of the term Illuminati ambiguous.

Well examine some of the most popular conspiracy theories surrounding the Illuminati and look at their similarities and their differences.

But first

The Bavarian Illuminati was a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776. Dismayed with the Jesuits dominance in Bavaria, Weishaupt founded the order to secretly spread the ideas of Enlightenment within the confines of a highly restrictive society without any freedoms of speech or religion. By 1785, the despotic Elector of Bavaria Karl Theodore had issued his first edict against the order eventually putting an end to the Bavarian Illuminati.

The modern use for the term Illuminati has little resemblance to Weishaupts Illuminati. Im presently putting together a Bavarian Illuminati comic book, Terry Melanson has written his excellent Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati and English translations of the Original documents of the Bavarian Illuminati are currently in the works.

The Illuminati is a highly secretive cabal which has been planning and directing world events from behind the scenes. Prominent members include Queen Elizabeth; most US Presidents including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George HW Bush and Bill Clinton; the Pope and the entire Vatican apparatus including the Supreme General if the Jesuits, the Black Pope. The Rothschild and Rockefeller dynasties always have a prevalent role in Illuminati conspiracy theories, sometimes as direct rivals, sometimes as partners in the enslavement of mankind.

The Illuminati is especially active in the music industry. Most popular singers have at one time or another been labeled as belonging to the Illuminati or being puppets of the Illuminati. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, Beyonc, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, the Beatles have all been accused of involvement with the Illuminati. (See Top 10 Illuminati Celebrities.)

Original post:
What is the Illuminati? | Illuminati Rex

Full featured SEO software tool: rankings, analytics …

 SEO  Comments Off on Full featured SEO software tool: rankings, analytics …
Jul 222015
 

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One of the best things about SEOprofiler is the way it combines so many effective and essential SEO tools into one convenient location. With SEOprofiler, the expert can get everything he needs without having to run all over the place and the beginner can be sure he isnt forgetting anything.

SEOprofiler is perfectly suited for managers, owners, and administrators of web sites who need to increase traffic to their sites. As far as SEO tools go, you would be hard pressed to find a more professional and more comprehensive one than SEOprofiler. We heartily give it a good four and a half stars out of five. Review on SEOsoftware.net

Thanks for creating a great backlink manager tool. I was just using the one on [competitor] and their tool is far more limited and cumbersome. It dawned on me as I got frustrated that I should try your option. And it’s about to save me hours of work. So thank you! Eddy Salomon, InternetMarketingSmarts.com

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Full featured SEO software tool: rankings, analytics …




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism