Going Dark: FBI scare tactic proved to be pure bunk


 

RT America | February 4, 2016

Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society just published a report entitled, Don’t Panic, which debunks the myth of the FBI’s latest scare tactic, Going Dark. The FBI is asseting that their inability to execute search orders is due to technology company’s crypto, and that this poses a great threat to our national security. The Resident breaks down what’s really going on with Going Dark. Follow The Resident at http://www.twitter.com/TheResident

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Planet Nine? Evidence Grows for Big Addition to Solar System


Jason Snell | Yahoo Tech | January 20, 2016

(Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

A decade ago Mike Brown helped get Pluto demoted from a “planet” to a mere “dwarf planet.” Now the astronomer and one of his CalTech colleagues may have plotted the orbit of a new ninth planet in our solar system, dramatically larger than Pluto and much, much farther away.

As described by Brown and fellow astronomer Konstantin Batygin Wednesday in the Astronomical Journal, this new planet would be roughly 10 times the size of the Earth and would take as much as 20,000 years to make a single orbit around the sun. Its theoretical size — between the size of the Earth and Neptune — is unlike any other body in our solar system, but fits into the most common size of exoplanets detected in other systems.

Astronomers have been hunting for an undiscovered “Planet X” for nearly two centuries, generally without success. The notable exception: Neptune’s presence in our solar system was predicted by observing irregularities in the orbit of Uranus — and then later proven by observation through telescopes. Brown and Batygin’s finding is similar, in that they’ve done the math that strongly suggests the presence of a large planet in an weird orbit way beyond Pluto. But until someone spots the planet with a telescope, it’s just a theory.

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The Threat of Animal Agriculture, GOP Climate Change Denial


Jane Goodall. (photo: Getty Images)
Jane Goodall. (photo: Getty Images)

 

ane Goodall is one of the world’s leading voices on the issue of climate change and protecting the environment. A renowned primatologist, Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. At the U.N. climate summit in Paris last month, Goodall talked Republican climate change denial, the link between diet and climate change, her hopes “to save the rainforests” from corruption and intensive farming, and how climate concerns drove her to be a vegetarian.


TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up today, we turn to a renowned scientist, one of the world’s leading voices on the issue of climate change and protecting the environment: Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist, best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. I had a chance to speak to her last month in Paris at the U.N. climate change summit.

JANE GOODALL: I’m here really to talk about the importance of saving the rainforest as a way of mitigating climate change, because I know more about that than many of the other issues, although I talk about all of them.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is it important to save the rainforest?

JANE GOODALL: Because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And as we cut them down and burn them, that CO2 is released back from the trees, the leaves and also from the forest soils. And about 50 percent of our tropical rainforests have already gone. They’re going at a tremendously fast rate. And even when they are protected in many countries, because of corruption, the power of the corporations, the worship of money and profit, the protection isn’t always saving the forest.

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Facebook’s New Policy Is Awesome, Especially For The Queer Community


James Michael Nichols | Huffington Post | December 16, 2015

Facebook announced important new steps going into effect on Tuesday towards ensuring greater protections for the privacy of users who, for a variety of reasons, use a name on the site that may differ from the name on their legal documentation.

The site came under fire in 2014 for forcing many individuals operating personal profiles under pseudonyms, stage names, or any name not matching their legal name to change their name on the site or risk having their profiles deactivated. As a result, many leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community spoke out about the policy. A representative of the social platform apologized several months later to those affected by the change.

Earlier this year, Facebook’s vice president of growth also published an open letter detailing the changes taking place on Tuesday. In a post, the networking site outlined their two key goals of allowing authentic identity.

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“It’s not me – it’s the robot!” – Lionel on AI’s use by military, Musk


 

RT America | December 14, 2015

Elon Musk is planning to make friendly artificial intelligence to work against evil AI. Legal and media analyst Lionel of Lionel Media posits that the military would be the ones to make robots that kill people. But would the $1 billion pledged by tech companies actually mean anything? Lionel says that technology which separates us from our enemies will only serve the Pentagon’s narrative that it’s better to use robots than humans in war.

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FAA announces drones must be registered with feds


 

RT America | December 14, 2015

Owners of small hobby drones must register their unmanned aerial vehicles with the US government beginning December 21, the FAA has announced. The registration form asks for your name, phone number, address and email address and a $5 fee. Operators are also required to keep their certificate while using the drone. Drones will also be required to display a unique registration number. RT’s Brigida Santos reports.

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Fracking Companies Have Been Getting Worse About Disclosing the Chemicals They Use


 

 

Natasha Geiling | ThinkProgress | Reader Supported News | November 27, 2015

ant to know what chemicals energy companies use in their hydraulic fracking operations? Turns out it’s getting harder and harder to answer that question.

According to a new study published in the journal Energy Policy, fracking companies have become less forthcoming since 2013 about the chemicals used in their operations, citing “the use of proprietary compounds” as grounds for limiting their disclosure.

The study, written by Harvard University researchers Kate Konschnik and Archana Dayalas as a follow-up to a similar analysis conducted in 2013, looked at more than 96,000 disclosures made between March 2011 and April 2015 on FracFocus, a hydraulic fracturing chemical registry. According to Inside Climate News, FracFocus was launched in 2011 as a tool for collecting voluntary disclosures from oil and gas companies, and was later adopted by more than 20 states in order to fulfill their chemical disclosure regulations.

But FracFocus’ ability to act as a proxy for state’s chemical disclosure regulations has been under fire for years. In the 2013 study, Koschnik argued that states were effectively giving up their oversight ability by directing oil and gas companies to FracFocus, and that the site failed to account for specific state-level requirements. By applying a “one-size-fits-all” approach to fracking chemicals, the study argued, FracFocus gave oil and gas companies too much leeway, allowing them to miss deadlines and withhold information.

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Following Shell, Another Oil Company Pulls Out of Arctic


A Chinook helicopter carries supplies to the stranded Kulluk oil drilling platform in January. (photo: SSgt. Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force)
A Chinook helicopter carries supplies to the stranded Kulluk oil drilling platform in January. (photo: SSgt. Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force)

 

Katie Herzog | Grist | Reader Supported News | November 20, 2015

ollowing in the wake of Shell’s decision to abandon its operations in the Arctic, another drilling company has announced that it will be pulling out of the region. In a statement, Norwegian oil company Statoil said:

The leases in the Chukchi Sea are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio, so the decision has been made to exit the leases and close the office in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out, but given the current outlook we could not support continued efforts to mature these opportunities,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil.

The decision means Statoil will exit 16 Statoil-operated leases, and its stake in 50 leases operated by ConocoPhillips, all in the Chukchi Sea. The leases were awarded in the 2008 lease sale in Alaska and expire in 2020.

While environmentalists applaud the decision, not everyone has their party hat on. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is pissed, and she’s directing her rage at one Barack H. Obama.

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Frankenfish: FDA approves GMO salmon despite fierce criticism


 

Food regulators have approved the first ever ‘GM animal,’ certifying genetically modified salmon as safe to eat. But many environmentalists and food safety advocates are already railing against the decision, as RT’s Brigida Santos reports.

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It’s Official: Oklahoma Experiences More Earthquakes Than Anywhere Else in the World


The aftermath of an earthquake in Oklahoma. (photo: Mark Martinez)
The aftermath of an earthquake in Oklahoma. (photo: Mark Martinez)

 

Lorraine Chow | EcoWatch | Reader Supported News | November 17, 2015

t’s official: Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world, according to a spokesman from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which oversees the Sooner State’s oil and gas industry.

“We have had 15 [earthquakes] in Medford since 5 o’clock Saturday morning,” said spokesman Matt Skinner on Nov. 9, according to the Enid News. “We’ve got an earthquake issue.”

“OCC has developed areas of interest, where earthquake clusters have occurred. A cluster is two earthquakes within a half mile of each other, with one measuring at least magnitude 3.2. Originally, they were three-mile circles, then six-mile circles. The circles grew in number and now encompass a very large area of Oklahoma—about 9,000 square miles in all, [Skinner] said,” reported the Enid News.

Scientists have linked this never-ending spate of tremors to the state’s drilling boom. The Oklahoma Geological Survey concluded that the injection of wastewater byproducts into deep underground disposal wells from fracking operations has triggered the seismic activity in Oklahoma.

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