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Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.
In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. Snowden says he gradually became disillusioned with the programs with which he was involved and that he tried to raise his ethical concerns through internal channels but was ignored. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.
On June 21, 2013, the United States Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, following which the Department of State revoked his passport. Two days later, he flew into Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where Russian authorities noted that his U.S. passport had been cancelled, and he was restricted to the airport terminal for over one month. Russia later granted Snowden the right of asylum with an initial visa for residence for one year, and repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020. In early 2016, he became the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization that states its purpose is to protect journalists from hacking and government surveillance.
On September 17, 2019, his memoir Permanent Record was published. On the first day of publication, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Snowden over publication of his memoir, alleging he had breached nondisclosure agreements signed with the U.S. federal government. Former The Guardian national security reporter Ewen MacAskill called the civil lawsuit a "huge mistake", noting that the "UK ban of Spycatcher 30 years ago created huge demand". The memoir was listed as no. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list that same day. In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on September 26, 2019, Snowden clarified he considers himself a "whistleblower" as opposed to a "leaker" as he considers "a leaker only distributes information for personal gain".
- "Senate IP linked to edits in Snowden's wikipedia page" | 2013-08-06 | 120 Upvotes 55 Comments
Sexagesimal (also known as base 60 or sexagenary) is a numeral system with sixty as its base. It originated with the ancient Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC, was passed down to the ancient Babylonians, and is still used—in a modified form—for measuring time, angles, and geographic coordinates.
The number 60, a superior highly composite number, has twelve factors, namely 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, and 60, of which 2, 3, and 5 are prime numbers. With so many factors, many fractions involving sexagesimal numbers are simplified. For example, one hour can be divided evenly into sections of 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 12 minutes, 10 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute. 60 is the smallest number that is divisible by every number from 1 to 6; that is, it is the lowest common multiple of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
- In this article, all sexagesimal digits are represented as decimal numbers, except where otherwise noted. For example, 10 means the number ten and 60 means the number sixty.
- "Sexagesimal" | 2020-10-31 | 31 Upvotes 10 Comments
Loglan is a constructed language originally designed for linguistic research, particularly for investigating the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis. The language was developed beginning in 1955 by Dr James Cooke Brown with the goal of making a language so different from natural languages that people learning it would think in a different way if the hypothesis were true. In 1960 Scientific American published an article introducing the language. Loglan is the first among, and the main inspiration for, the languages known as logical languages, which also includes Lojban.
Brown founded The Loglan Institute (TLI) to develop the language and other applications of it. He always considered the language an incomplete research project, and although he released many papers about its design, he continued to claim legal restrictions on its use. Because of this, a group of his followers later formed the Logical Language Group to create the language Lojban along the same principles, but with the intention to make it freely available and encourage its use as a real language.
Supporters of Lojban use the term Loglan as a generic term to refer to both their own language, and Brown's Loglan, referred to as "TLI Loglan" when in need of disambiguation. Although the non-trademarkability of the term Loglan was eventually upheld by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, many supporters and members of The Loglan Institute find this usage offensive, and reserve Loglan for the TLI version of the language.
- "Loglan – a predicate logic-based language for humans" | 2018-10-03 | 98 Upvotes 37 Comments
Namecoin (Symbol: ℕ or NMC) is a cryptocurrency originally forked from bitcoin software. It is based on the code of bitcoin and uses the same proof-of-work algorithm. Like bitcoin, it is limited to 21 million coins.
Namecoin can store data within its own blockchain transaction database. The original proposal for Namecoin called for Namecoin to insert data into bitcoin's blockchain directly. Anticipating scaling difficulties with this approach, a shared proof-of-work (POW) system was proposed to secure new cryptocurrencies with different use cases.
Namecoin's flagship use case is the censorship-resistant top level domain
.bit, which is functionally similar to
.net domains but is independent of ICANN, the main governing body for domain names.
- "Namecoin" | 2014-03-16 | 150 Upvotes 51 Comments
An email storm (also called a reply allpocalypse) is a sudden spike of "reply all" messages on an email distribution list, usually caused by a controversial or misdirected message. Such storms can start when even one member of the distribution list replies to the entire list at the same time in response to an instigating message. When other members respond, pleading for the cessation of messages, asking to be removed from the list, or adding vitriol to the discussion this triggers a chain reaction of email messages. The sheer load of traffic generated by these storms can render the email servers inoperative, similar to a distributed denial-of-service attack.
Some email viruses also have the capacity to create email storms by sending copies of themselves to an infected user's contacts, including distribution lists, infecting the contacts in turn.
- "Email Storm" | 2017-08-04 | 69 Upvotes 23 Comments
Intermarium (Polish: Międzymorze, Polish pronunciation: [mʲɛnd͡zɨˈmɔʐɛ]) was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning "Between-Seas".
Prospectively a federation of Central and Eastern European countries, the post-World War I Intermarium plan pursued by Polish leader and former political prisoner of the Russian Empire, Józef Piłsudski (1867–1935), sought to recruit to the proposed federation the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The Polish name Międzymorze (from między, "between"; and morze, "sea"), meaning "Between-Seas", was rendered into Latin as "Intermarium."
The proposed federation was meant to emulate the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, that, from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th, had united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Intermarium complemented Piłsudski's other geopolitical vision, Prometheism, whose goal was the dismemberment of the Russian Empire and that Empire's divestment of its territorial acquisitions.
Intermarium was, however, perceived by some Lithuanians as a threat to their newly established independence, and by some Ukrainians as a threat to their aspirations for independence, and while France backed the proposal, it was opposed by Russia and by most other Western powers. Within two decades of the failure of Piłsudski's grand scheme, all the countries that he had viewed as candidates for membership in the Intermarium federation had fallen to the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, except for Finland (which suffered some territorial losses in the 1939–40 Winter War with the Soviet Union).
Nutraloaf (also known as Meal Loaf, prison loaf, disciplinary loaf, food loaf, lockup loaf, confinement loaf, seg loaf, grue or special management meal) is a food served in prisons in the United States and formerly Canada to inmates who have misbehaved; for example, assaulting prison guards or fellow prisoners. It is similar to meatloaf in texture, but has a wider variety of ingredients. Prison loaf is usually bland, perhaps even unpleasant, but prison wardens argue that nutraloaf provides enough nutrition to keep prisoners healthy without requiring utensils to be issued.
- "Nutraloaf" | 2013-08-15 | 21 Upvotes 69 Comments
Witold's Report, also known as Pilecki's Report, is a report about the Auschwitz concentration camp written in 1943 by Witold Pilecki, a Polish military officer and agent of the Polish resistance. Pilecki volunteered in 1940 to be imprisoned in Auschwitz to organize a resistance movement and send out information about it. His was the first comprehensive record of a Holocaust death camp to be obtained by the Allies. He escaped from the camp in April 1943.
The report includes details about the gas chambers, "Selektion" and the sterilization experiments. It states that there were three crematoria in Auschwitz II able to cremate 8000 people daily.
Pilecki's Report preceded and complemented the Auschwitz Protocols, compiled from late 1943, which warned about the mass murder and other atrocities taking place inside the camp. The latter consists of the Polish Major's Report by Jerzy Tabeau, who escaped with Roman Cieliczko on 19 November 1943 and compiled a report between December 1943 and January 1944; the Vrba-Wetzler report; and the Rosin-Mordowicz report.
- "Pilecki's Report" | 2020-01-23 | 104 Upvotes 20 Comments