Photo by Symo0 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Crockford Files – June 2013

By John Crockford

GPS

“The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil and commercial users around the world. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gps)

According to news reports, DARPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA), an agency of the Department of Defense, and the University of Michigan have created a new system that works without satellites to determine position, time and direction, all contained within an eight-cubic-millimeter chip.

The tiny chip holds three gyroscopes, three accelerometers and an atomic clock, which together work as an autonomous navigation system to be used “in small-caliber ammunition or for monitoring people” (or both).

The Single Most Valuable Document in the History of the World Wide Web

Twenty years ago, researchers renounced the right to patent the World Wide Web. (www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/05/01/180255276/the-single-most-valuable-document-in-the-history-of-the-world-wide-web)

“We need to talk about Facebook”

“By using Facebook, activists do not just make their own communication, their opinion, their ‘likes,’ etc., transparent and available for processing. Instead—and we consider this far more important—they expose structures and individuals who themselves have little or nothing to do with Facebook. Facebook’s capability to search the net for relationships, similarities, etc., is difficult to comprehend for lay people.

“The chatter on Facebook reproduces political structures for the authorities and for companies. These can be searched, sorted and aggregated not just in order to obtain precise statements regarding social relations, key people, etc., but also in order to make predictions, from which regularities can be deduced. Next to mobile phones, Facebook is the most subtle, cheapest and best surveillance technology available.”

Recommended by the tech collective at RiseUp.net, this thought-provoking article can be read in its entirety at http://nadir.org/txt/We_need_to_talk_about_Facebook.html.

Free eBooks

“Socialists and war: two opposing trends.” The Crockford Files is giving away a free electronic copy (http://bit.ly/10lT3u2) of this excellent book from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. If interested, just send an e-mail message to info@johncrockford.com with “PSL” in the subject line on Tuesday, June 11, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The book will go to the person whose e-mail message (you must have “PSL” in the subject line to be considered) is the fifth to reach my inbox during that time frame. Please include your contact info in the body of the message.

Additional socialist-themed e-books and e-pamphlets (including PSL’s “Marxism 101”) are available free at the Pamphleteer (http://pamphleteer.org/).

*****

John Crockford, a self-described “geek with Luddite sympathies,” is an independent Web site designer and consultant. Contact him at info@johncrockford.com or follow the Crockford Files (@crockfordfiles) on Twitter (https://twitter.com/crockfordfiles).

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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