Daily Archives: June 4, 2017

Facebook, Twitter and Google face criticism following London attack

Financial Times 

Facebook, Twitter and Google face criticism following London attack

Why are tech companies being blamed by Theresa May?

https://www.ft.com/content/9654602a-493a-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89bEMBARGOED TO 0001 TUESDAY MAY 30  File photo dated 06/08/13 of a person using a laptop, as cyber crime and political upheaval are the two biggest financial crime risks facing banks over the next year, a report said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 30, 2017. A survey of 200 professionals across banking and asset management found 44% felt new criminal techniques, like cyber crime, posed the largest threat to firms. See PA story CITY Cyber. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire


Facebook, Google and Twitter all rushed to defend themselves on Sunday against criticism from Theresa May, the British prime minister, in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack.

Why are the tech companies facing pressure again?

A series of terrorist attacks in the UK, France and Germany has raised concerns over the way social media platforms monitor and take down extremist content.


It is not clear at this stage whether the three terrorists who perpetrated the attack on Saturday night were users or consumers of social media, but a third attack in as many months has increased the focus on long-running concerns.

The accusation that social media groups are failing to tackle terrorists was first made in 2014 when the intelligence and security committee of MPs criticised a US internet company — now known to be Facebook — for failing to pass on information that could have helped prevent the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by Islamist terrorists.

What are the issues?

Each platform faces different challenges — from regulating hate content circulating online to the way in which terrorist groups use end-to-end encrypted messaging services to communicate. There was speculation that the Westminister attacker, Khalid Masood, may have used encrypted messaging service WhatsApp to send a message before his rampage that resulted in the deaths of four people.

The tech groups say there is no single answer to the host of problems they face in policing millions of separate accounts and posts. On YouTube, for example, 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute.

“The idea that there can be one standard approach for the whole of the internet is not anywhere near to reality,” said an executive at one of the companies.


One of the biggest criticisms levelled against technology companies is that they only intervene when illegal or inappropriate content is flagged to them by users. Many politicians want to see the companies step up the levels of human intervention.

What are the tech groups doing?

All the big groups point to significant progress in the past three years. For example, Twitter says that between July and December 2016 more than 376,000 accounts were suspended for violations related to promotion of terrorism while YouTube says it terminates any account where they have reasonable belief that the account holder is an agent of a foreign terrorist organisation.

Facebook, meanwhile, insists that it uses a combination of technology and human analysis to thwart terrorists.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, said this year that artificial intelligence could “help provide a better approach.”

What about smaller ‘closed’ platforms such as Telegram?

Faced with tighter restrictions by the bigger companies, terrorists are changing their approach, said Professor Peter Neumann, an expert on terrorism at King’s College.

“Big social media platforms have cracked down on jihadist accounts, with the result that most jihadis are now using end-to-end encrypted messenger platforms such as Telegram. This has not solved the problem, just made it different,” Mr Neumann said.

This shift has led to fresh frustrations for politicians and the security services. Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, said recently: “There are some that simply won’t co-operate with us. One in particular causing major problems for us is Telegram.”

Google şi Twitter răspund acuzaţiilor lui May de complicitate la terorism


Google şi Twitter răspund acuzaţiilor lui May de complicitate la terorism


Giganţii în domeniul social media Google şi Twitter i-au răspuns duminică premierului britanic Theresa May, care a acuzat companiile IT că sunt complice la atacuri teroriste prin faptul că oferă opiniilor extremiste „spaţiul sigur de care au nevoie pentru a se reproduce”, relatează News.ro.

Theresa May / FOTO: Gulliver/Getty Images

Reprezentanţi ai celor două companii au emis comunicate, duminică, în care subliniază că lucrează la îmbunătăţirea tehnologieii în vederea identificării şi eliminării conţinuturilor neadecvate, inclusiv postări şi fişiere care au legătură cu terorismul.

„Continuăm să extindem utilizarea tehnologiei în cadrul unei abordări sistematice în vederea eliminării acestui tip de conţinut”, a declarat însărcinatul cu politica publică a Twitter în Marea Britanie Nick Pickles.

„Suntem hotărâţi să lucrăm în parteneriat cu Guvernul şi ONG-urile în abordarea acestor pobleme provocatoare şi complexe şi împărtăşim angajamentul Guvernului ca teroriştii să nu se exprime online”, au anunțat și reprezentanții Google.

Poliţia din Londra nu a spus ce rol – dacă a existat vreunul – au avut reţele de socializare sau informaţii de pe Internet în atentatul de sâmbătă noaptea din capitala britanică, soldat cu şapte morţi şi aproape 50 de răniţi.

Donald Trump is right to reject the Paris climate change treaty: It’s likely to be a costly failure


Hours before Donald Trump announced that the US would be quitting the Paris carbon-cutting treaty, UN Secretary General António Guterres took to the President’s preferred medium, Twitter, to declarethat climate action is “unstoppable”.

The clear message, reinforced by leaders from the European Union and China, is that the rest of the world will continue with the Paris Treaty without US involvement. Their resolve is quickly going to smash into three incontrovertible truths.

First, the Paris Treaty will be the most expensive global agreement in world history. Cutting emissions without affordable, effective replacements for fossil fuel means more expensive power and less economic growth.

Calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the global price tag of all the Paris Treaty promises –through slower GDP growth from higher energy costs – would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion…

Watch “Nicki Parrott The Look Of Love” on YouTube

Watch “#OneLoveManchester (Live)” on YouTube

Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.

Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.

Încă o seară liniștită şi înstelată…dar fără stele la Cetatea FĂGĂRAŞULUI 

Încă o seară liniștită şi înstelată…dar fără stele la Cetatea FĂGĂRAŞULUI

Andrea del Verrocchio(1435-1488)”Tobias and the Angel”(1470-1480)Egg tempera on poplarNational Gallery, London

List of converts to Christianity from Islam: thank you for leaving Satan’s rule!


Breaza, Cea mai frumoasă privelişte din Ţara Făgăraşului.

Breaza, Cea mai frumoasă privelişte din Ţara Făgăraşului.

Peace is always Beautiful

Peace is always Beautiful

Columna lui Traian: Rome, Italy 

Columna lui Traian: Rome, Italy

Desiderio da Settignano (1430 circa – 1464) – Santa Costanza detta La Bella Fiorentina, Louvre

Desiderio da Settignano (1430 circa – 1464) – Santa Costanza detta La Bella Fiorentina, Louvre

Today’s Holiday:Festival of the Sea

Today’s Holiday:
Festival of the Sea

The Festival of the Sea is based on the Icelandic tradition of Seamen’s Day, an occasion to honor all who make their living from the sea. It takes place annually, primarily in the city of Reykjavík. Traditionally, fishermen compete during the festival in swimming and rowing races and other tests of strength, including the popular tug-of-war. The festival also includes numerous cultural activities, parades, arts-and-crafts activities for kids, food fairs, and sailing competitions. Tourists come from far and wide to participate in the fun and to view boats and ships as they rest in the harbors. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:François Quesnay (1694)

Today’s Birthday:
François Quesnay (1694)

While serving as consulting physician to Louis XV at Versailles, Quesnay developed an interest in economics. In his 1758 Tableau économique, he described the relationship between the different economic classes of society and the flow of payments among them, and he developed the concept of economic balance used by many later economic analysts. An advocate of laissez-faire economics, he believed that all wealth originated with the land. What school of economics is he credited with founding? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:Jonathan Pollard Pleads Guilty to Espionage Charges (1986)

This Day in History:
Jonathan Pollard Pleads Guilty to Espionage Charges (1986)

After leaving graduate school in 1979, Pollard immediately began applying for intelligence positions, and landed one at the US Naval Investigative Service (NIS). In 1985, after he had attained a high level of clearance, coworkers noticed that he was accessing a huge number of documents for seemingly no reason. He was arrested and, the following year, pled guilty to selling secrets to Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison. What early clues nearly derailed his career before it started? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:L. Frank Baum

Quote of the Day:
L. Frank Baum

It is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day:Islamic Banking (not a religion but a political – economical ritual)

Article of the Day:
Islamic Banking

Islamic banking is a system of banking that is consistent with Islamic Sharia law. In particular, it prohibits usury—the collection and payment of interest—and investment in businesses considered unlawful. In the late 20th century, a number of Islamic banks were created to cater to the needs of the Muslim banking market. These institutions rely on the common Islamic concepts of profit sharing, safekeeping, joint venture, and leasing. How are these banks able to operate without charging interest? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day:land of plenty

Idiom of the Day:
land of plenty

A fictional or imagined utopian place where there is an abundance of everything needed to survive and flourish. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:disdainful

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Expressing extreme contempt.
Synonyms: contemptuous, insulting, scornful
Usage: She cast one disdainful look at Moody, without troubling herself to express her contempt in words.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

From Wikipedia:  Vincenz Priessnitz (de un vine numele de prijnița sau compresă) ( post dedicat unei prietene dragi care are nevoie de o compresă…)


Vincenz Priessnitz, also written Prießnitz (sometimes in German Vinzenz, in EnglishVincent, in Czech Vincenc; 4 October 1799 – 26 November 1851) was a peasant farmer in Gräfenberg, Austrian Silesia, who is generally considered the founder of modernhydrotherapy, which is used inalternative and orthodoxmedicine[citation needed]. Priessnitz stressed remedies such as suitable food, air, exercise, rest and water, over conventional medicine.He is thus also credited with laying the foundations of what became known as Nature Cure, although it has been noted that his main focus was on hydrotherapeutic techniques. The use of cold water as a curative is recorded in the works ofHippocrates and Galen, and techniques such as spas, bathing, and drinking were used by various physicians in Europe and the US through to the 18th century. The practice was becoming less prevalent entering the 19th century however, until Priessnitz revived the technique after having major success applying it on patients in his spa inGräfenberg (now Lázně Jeseník). Priessnitz’s name first became widely known in the English-speaking world through the publications and lecture tours of Captain R. T. Claridge in 1842 and 1843, after he had stayed at Grafenberg in 1841.However, Priessnitz was already a household name on the European continent, where Richard Metcalfe, in his 1898 biography, stated: “there are hundreds of establishments where the water-cure is carried out on the principles laid down by Priessnitz”.Indeed, Priessnitz’s fame became so widespread that his death was reported as far away as New Zealand.

Vincenz Priessnitz
Plaque in Poznań.
Chapel on the Vincenz Priessnitz vault, Gräfenberg Hill, Jeseník


Early life

Vincenz Priessnitz was born into a farmer’s family in the village of Gräfenberg (nowLázně Jeseník) near Frývaldov(now Jeseník) and baptized Vincenz Franz. His parents were among the first settlers of the village. When Vincenz was eight his father went blind and he had to help in the farm, especially after his elder brother died four years later. Once Vinzenz watched aroebuck with a wounded limb coming to a pond (or stream) to heal its wound. He healed his own finger injured during timber felling with water wraps (1814). He also relieved pain after spraining his wrist by applying wet bandages, which lessened the inflammation.

In 1816 he was injured more seriously when he broke his ribs in an accident with a cart and the doctor claimed it was fatal or at least crippling. Priessnitz refused to accept the doctor’s diagnosis, and over the next year, he healed after applying wet bandages to his chest and drinking large quantities of water. His recovery strengthened his conviction in the practice, and brought him local fame. Priessnitz began healing animals on his farm and in his village, and later began developing techniques and protocols for healing people. Different types of baths focused on healing different body parts and various afflictions, including paralysis, insanity and poisoning.Soon queues of people were coming to Gräfenberg, so in 1822 Vincenz decided to rebuild his father’s house, building part of it as a sanatorium and spa for his patients.

Practice at Gräfenberg

As Priessnitz’s experience grew, the procedures of his treatments became more precise and regular. To treat many diseases, he would wrap the patient in wet bandages and many layers of blankets to cause heavy perspiration from the heat. After several hours, the patient was then instructed to bathe in cold water, and also drink plenty of water. He believed that the rapid changes in temperature allowed the pores of the skin to open and evacuate bad substances in the blood. Another theory Priessnitz held was that the body tended towards health naturally. His treatments, which involved no drugs or herbal medicines, were designed then to help the body remove foreign matter from the body. The extreme conditions disturbs this matter, which prompts a bodily response. Priessnitz also required his patients to add strenuous exercise to their daily regimen, and sometimes required his patients to fast. The food served was bland and hard, and water was the only drink served. Cold water was sometimes added to the food to promote water intake, and patients were required to drink twelve glasses of water per day at a minimum, with some drinking as many as thirty glasses.

Before Priessnitz’s spa was built near his family house, Priessnitz mostly made house calls. As his popularity grew, Priessnitz limited his practice to his residence, and began expanding the Gräfenberg spa with lodgings, dining rooms, showers and bathhouses. Some patients lived in the spa for up to four years. He constructed several douches, which were heavy showers of cold water that flowed from nearby mountains. The water from these douches fell from up to 20 feet in the air, with a stream so strong that new patients were sometimes “flattened by the force of the stream.” Other baths were created for different body parts, such as eye baths, foot baths and head baths.

In 1826 he was invited toVienna to heal the Emperor´s brother Anton VictorGrand Master of the Teutonic Knights. This gave him a great reputation so many people from all over the country streamed into Gräfenberg.

Opponents and controversy

His “sponge washing” was not accepted by local doctors who accused him of being an impostor with no medical background. These early opponents brought Priessnitz to court several times, but he was acquitted each time, and inspections of his spa confirmed that water was the sole healing agent used in the facility. In 1838 Priessnitz was granted a permit to establish the spa he founded several years earlier. These high profile cases only served to expand his fame throughout Europe. As hydrotherapy became more widely accepted, his opponents became more concerned with his exact methods than the overall practice, finding Priessnitz’s treatments far too extreme and taxing on the body. The food offered at the spa was also notoriously bad-tasting and unhealthy. One visitor complained about being served “veal 10 days old.” Dr. Robert Hay Graham, who visited the Gräfenberg spa in October 1842, noted that Preissnitz did not keep any records of his patients, and that his practice was based on hunch and experience over any systematic approach. Graham suggested that Preissnitz’s treatment worked on one out of twenty people at best, and that a milder water-cure that was combined with other medicines would be preferable.


In 1839, 1500 patients arrived (among them one monarch, a duke and duchess, 22 princes and 149 counts and countesses) and 120 doctors to study the new therapy. A visit by Arch-Duke Franz Carl in October 1845 was greeted with an address extolling the virtues of Priessnitz and his methods, signed by 124 guests, from a variety of countries. The new spa house, built that year with 30 rooms, was called Castle and the next house was called New Spa House. In 1846 Priessnitz was awarded a medal by the Emperor.Various aristocratic patients did him reverence by erecting monuments in the spa town. Among the most famous guests was Nikolai Gogol who visited the spa twice (1839 and 1846).

In 1842, R. T. Claridgepublished The Cold Water Cure, its Principles, Theory, and Practice, which detailed Preissnitz’s treatments. Claridge was himself a patient of Preissnitz, and his book’s descriptions contain notes on the process of his own treatment at the spa, and the effectiveness of Preissnitz’s treatments on other patients with various diseases.

Preissnitz’s practice spread to the U.S. soon after becoming established in Europe, and several hydropathic medical schools and medical journals were created in the U.S. Some practitioners performed scientific experiments on the effects of known water-cures, and they developed new methods and theories about the field. The usage of extreme temperature was toned down to account for differences in patients’ age and condition. One notable theory that emerged was thatosmosis contributed to the healing effects of water. The skin was thought to act as a membrane, and impurities in the body would flow out into pure water applied by bandages and baths.

Priessnitz’s English biographer, Richard Metcalfe, notes that despite the fame of the Graefenberg setting, Priessnitz believed that the water-cure treatment was what provided his patients relief, not the locale.

That Priessnitz was of this opinion appears from the fact that after his fame had spread throughout Europe, and people came to Graefenberg from all quarters, he did not confine his practice of hydropathy to that healthy region, but visited and treated patients at their own homes in towns, where similar success attended his manipulations.
There are some who would stultify Priessnitz by making his saying, “Man muss Gebirge haben” (One must have mountains), to mean that he considered a mountainous region indispensable to the successful practice of hydropathy. But, as the facts stated above show, the whole career of Priessnitz gives the lie to such a notion.


Vincenz Priessnitz died in 1851. Newspapers of the day reported that on the morning of his death “Priessnitz was up, and stirring about at an early hour and complaining of the cold, and had wood brought in to make a large fire. His friends had for some time believed him to be suffering from dropsy in the chest, and at their earnest entreaty he consented to take a little medicine, exclaiming all the while, ‘it is no use.’ He would see no physician, but remained to the last true to his profession”. At about four o’clock in the afternoon, “he asked to be carried to bed, and upon being laid down he expired. Priessnitz’s wife Sofie died in 1854, and was buried in the family crypt in Gräfenberg, where Priessnitz also lay. They had nine children, comprising eight daughters and one son.The son, Vincent Paul Priessnitz, was born on 22 June 1847, and died on 30 June 1884, aged 37.[a]

France 24 :  Trump defends Muslim travel ban in wake of London terror attack

Trump defends Muslim travel ban in wake of London terror attack

As the UK reels from its third terrorist attack in as many months, President Donald Trump again argued in favour of his controversial Muslim travel ban.


Trump began tweeting about the incidents an hour or so after initial news reports that seven people (ten including the terrorists) had been killed in a terrorist attack in popular district of London on Saturday night. First, he retweeted a Drudge Reportitem about the attacks, then provided his own message about the travel ban.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” the Republican president tweeted.

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