SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Apparently tourists to San Franciso are commonly asking the question “Am I in the bad part of town?” as the homelessness and drug problems are overwhelming the city.
Reader P. sent in this article on a new software that specializes in mapping the facial expressions and mouth movements of one video source onto a second target. We’ve seen software like this before, but the results would only pass a cursory review. Inspection of the video almost always reveals flaws that leads your brain into realizing that the video has been faked. This one is different though. Rather than using a single background frame from the second target, it uses a high count to render the render the video and the results are scary. With this video, you can literally have any person saying anything you want. The results are so good, I would expect face videos to become common place in the near future.
Google is a Monopoly
Google is more than just the 800 lb gorilla when it comes to several markets. Take search and advertising for example. Bing, Google’s closest competitor has only 2% of the market while Google has over 90%. Google also controls over 60% of the global Internet advertising revenue and one of the primary reasons others can’t compete is because they don’t have the user data Google has. There is even evidence that Android bypasses the user’s privacy settings and tracks location by using cell tower connections rather than GPS data. While it’s not the sole threat to privacy, it is one of the largest. For you own protection, you should avoid all things Google (Android, Chrome, Search, Docs, et cetera). Thanks to DSV for the link.
Reader A.B. sent in this interesting article about the South African Police Force (SAPS). it would appear that while the government uses the excuse of civilians losing their weapons (or having the stolen) as one of the prime reasons to push gun control, the SAPS suffer a loss rate that is almost 9 times higher than the civilians. Civilian losses are also recovered at a rate that is over 15% higher than SAPS weapons. This data only starts appearing when you normalize the losses to the normal “per 100,000” rates which are industry standard for statistics. While this data is strictly for the SAPS, I would love to see a similar study of law enforcement weapons in the United States as well.
Don’t Get Shot
The Price of Liberty blog has an interesting article on things to do to keep from getting shot. Some of them are very common sense like staying away from areas of greater risk and just stay in bed at 2 a.m. rather than roaming the streets of the cities. Even just staying out of really big cities drops the risk factor significantly in your favor. Others seem almost silly, but the statistics bear them out like “Don’t shoot yourself”. Some just make good sense like avoiding road rage scenarios and don’t buy or sell illegal drugs and stay out of gangs. Overall, it’s a good list to read and live by.
And you thought America went stupid crazy over sports… Apparently, Nigeria experienced a power grid meltdown on the first day of it’s World Cup campaign as the national team played Croatia. Granted, Nigeria’s power infrastructure is not as robust as America’s and is not oriented towards commercial manufacturing so it certainly doesn’t have the capacity for large fluctuations in power. But it does seem almost humorous that that many people turning their TVs on can crash the system. I do know that when an especially hot summer heat wave hits many parts of the United States, there are often rolling brownouts with occasional blackouts as the power grid struggles to keep up with the load of air conditioners. Thanks to G.P. for the link.
Bad Part of Town
San Fransisco used to be a major tourist destination, but a recent article by MSN is showing how the liberal governance policies and the expanding drug and homelessness problems are having a significant impact. While local residents see the trash and drug paraphernalia on the streets on a regular basis, tourists are often asking “Am I in the bad part of town?” The problem is so great that the city’s visitor bureau is struggling to come up with a good explanation for horrified tourists. The streets are filthy and the city just can’t keep up. Thanks to H.L. for the link.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!