Saturday, 30 July 2016
All of the people...
The Daily Star ran a story to outrage its readers by suggesting that the navy is paying hundreds of millions of pounds to install palm-sized weapons aboard its diminished fleet. How the social media machine laughed! But the idea of a five-inch gun is not so ridiculous as it would seem. A Palo Alto firm has created an iPhone adaptation whereby you can turn your handset into a powerful sonic weapon capable of disabling an attacker at close range by temporarily disorientating them.
Right here, in the UK, you can walk into any Staples superstore and for a quite small fee, secretly 3D print whatever you like. Citing personal privacy, the company have installed self-service booths where you can just insert your design via a USB device and print whatever you wish with no fear of detection. A company spokesman said “We are happy to provide the service, but it is not for us to police what is being printed.” Amazon UK are openly selling a range of downloadable designs for 3D-printed weapons, undetectable to airport scans for £19.99 each.
Another story in this week’s round up is that Google has been secretly installing spyware into its popular Chrome browser. The software is capable of capturing audio and video via the microphone and webcam hardware installed in smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and even some smart TVs. As the software can also capture keystrokes, this puts Google in a position where it could harvest every aspect of your online life and sell ‘you’ on to a queue of waiting customers eager to acquire such information.
One such customer is a company based in Brussels from whom you can buy EU identities for a few thousand Euros. So an African migrant need no longer worry about making the dangerous journey to a new life of crime and welfare dependency in the west via unscrupulous people traffickers. He can now simply go online, pay the fee and the documents will be created for him. If you wonder why this organisation hasn’t been shut down by the authorities it is because its start-up was funded by and its operation is overseen by those same authorities. The solution, it seems, to Europe’s illegal immigrant problem is to make them ‘legal’ immigrants.
In other news, a secretly filmed meeting doing the rounds shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton behaving not so much as sworn enemies but as co-conspirators in a grand prank being played on the world. The film was captured on a smart phone about a week ago and although the sound quality is poor, Trump can clearly be seen suggesting that she refer to him as a ’volatile little man’ in her nomination acceptance speech. They both laugh. Meanwhile here at home a senior Foreign Office official is under investigation for leaking to the press the intention to quietly bury the Brexit referendum vote under a mountain of procedural complications.
Oh, what a tangled web...
If you do a search online you can find all of these stories and many more variations on such themes. Hell, you can create your very own and spread the rumours. But the one thing which may prove difficult for even the most diligent researcher is trying to disentangle the truth from the Gordian knot of lies, obfuscation, blind faith, ideology and simple misdirection that permeates The Information Age. As Abraham Lincoln might say today, you really can fool all of the people all of the time.