Who’s Been Snooping at Your Email?

There’s been loads in  the news recently about countries snooping on each other, it appears we’re all at it.  The UK Intelligence services at GCHQ hoovering up all the internet data that crosses the UK, Russians, Chinese and Israeli Intelligence all investing heavily in internet surveillance and the NSA in the US well spying on everyone including their own via Prism.

Many of us now feel that we have to use technology to protect ourselves,  a simple VPN can go a long way to blocking those who are spying on us.  They have other uses, for example to access region locked sites – watch this video – BBC News Streaming , for an example.

So it’s obviously quite understandable to start thinking about how much of our communications is so easily monitored. Our web traffic at least the majority of it, is I’m afraid very easily accessible by just about anyone in any position of power.  At every ISP a detailed list of the majority of your communication traffic is easily picked up.  The web’s favorite protocol – HTTP is unfortunately rather lacking in security features and as such web traffic is mostly transmitted in the clear.

So what about email? It’s still one of the most used messaging systems in the world, but how secure is email – read this report?  There are two main issues regarding the security of your average email –

1) It’s transported in clear text so everyone can read it.

2) The email is transmitted across the shared infrastructure of the internet.

It means that email is not private at all. Not only is is transmitted in a completely readable format with no encryption at all but this ’open letter’ is delivered by using a network of shared routers, servers and cabling.   Anyone at any point can tap into this data a little like GCHQ have tapped into the major fiber connections in the UK.

There are solutions that can make Outlook or Thunderbird a little more secure – one of the major improvements is to encrypt your messages.  This means that if done properly only the sender and the recipient would be able to decipher the contents.  Look for applications like Hushmail and programs like PGP to offer different solutions to this issue

James Williams

Author of RAI Streaming Estero

The US Road to Productivity – Does it Really Work

Employment finally seemed back on course during the very first couple of months of 2014. Then, without warning, job growth slowed to a creep, causing a shortage of over 2 million jobs from that predicted just annually past. Public emphasis turned to another index, productivity, to counteract that depressing performance. Individual worker output put together increased, by a total 12 percent, from 2000 to 2003.


As the Economic Policy Institute shows’ scrupulous research (09/08/04 Photo,), actual family income dropped, by 3 percent, over an identical interval. Compare this with the economical interval of 1947 – 1973 when actual family income and productivity moved in tandem, both doubling over those years.

What exactly does this imply?

Americans are working more and harder for less family income. As businesses downsize or don’t replace workers who retire or leave, fewer staff are left to deal with the workload. In fear of losing their particular jobs, they react by taking new obligations and new obligations and also the added work time. In a world where workers are tethered to their workplaces almost by blackberries, mobile phones, and notebooks, the standard equilibrium of work and residence has crumbled.

There’s a tendency to think that such pressures are merely surgical for the ambitious, career-obsessed, “Apprentice”-like, ladder climbers. Actually, the sixty-hour-plus workweek changes a considerable part of all salaried workers down to front line supervisory staff.

The American worker, surveys clearly show, is becoming over tired, overwhelmed, and fed up. Accessibility rates for outpatient mental health services grow steadily every year. A survey conducted by the BBC showed that Americans work longer hours and take fewer holidays than any European country, report is available on BBC website using this BBC iPlayer proxy. Family disruptions include domestic violence, divorce, mental child neglect, and increased estrangement. Health problems multiply, fueled by anxiety, exhaustion, as well as too little time for self-attention.

Where can we look for responses?

More critically, ourselves can speak up to ensure that the tax code as well as social legislation create similar priorities: to honor those businesses who staff satisfactorily and flexibly and supply their workers with advantages and resources. At exactly the same time, we should negatively affect businesses who pursue such actions as job outsourcing, retiering of job titles to prevent overtime prices, reliance on temporary (generally none-gained) work, as well as the quiet approval of third world production of their products under sordid circumstances, using child labor, and payment of slave wages.

Viewing the procedural and ethical issues of leading corporate figures mired in the legal system, Americans must begin to inquire whether equality and opportunity for all is a creed that is workable.

Additional reference on fast proxies – here.

Economy and social issues around the worldwww.cipec.org  is a collection of articles looking at economic, social and environmental issues. The contention of this website is that we live in an increasing interconnected world. It is by understanding these  connections that we are able to build better and better models of reality.

It is not always fruitful to look at things in isolation, even in purely scientific terms. Ever since schrodinger’s cat, it is has become apparent that context is vital. Even the fact that something is observed is enough to change the results of an experiment. When dealing with more complex things than possibly dead cats in a box it becomes more apparent that the way an experiment is set up, the way it is described, the bias of the observer are all condemning the results to subjectivity.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. The notion of immutable truth is a hang up from Platonic theory. Rather we have to look for correlations, versions of the truth, working truths, useful insights.

By looking at a range of issues from several stand points it is hoped that the reader will go away from www.cipec.org with food for thought and possibly new perspectives. Perhaps these new perspectives will nudge the reader to taking positive action about environmental issues, social problems, economic injustices.

If not then perhaps the reader would care to comment and by doing so make a valid contribution to the debates taking place on this site.

As said Anacharsis:

“Wise men argue cases, fools decide them.”

Using Daily Symbols to Escape the Grind

Life can be very difficult at times for most of us. Every day you will face new challenges that will push your sanity to the very edge. However, most of us will be able to cope relatively well with life’s curb balls. But in the good and bad times I find it necessary to use reminders of my personal set of beliefs and ideas that will get me through each day. This very idea was made famous by the movie “The Secret”. In the movie you are told to make a dream board that provides a symbol of what you want in life. These symbols of cars, houses, or even a happy family are supposed to motivate you through the hard time. While I don’t love the secret I do believe that everyone of us should use daily symbols to help motivate us.

The daily symbol I prefer to use is my CTR ring. This ring stands for choose the right. It tells me that with every life decision that I should choose the right versus wrong. And when I say choose the right it mainly means choose the decision whether hard or easy that a good moral person would choose. This every day symbol helps remind me of the path that I want to be on.

Now you can decide on any symbol or idea that you want to follow. Whether your goal is a brand new sports car or something else entirely it is up to you. The idea is that you focus on it every day and keep it in mind as you make the choices that may either direct you down the path or not. When you begin to follow this mind set you will be able to achieve great things.

Gun crime in the USA…

Once again with recent events the problem of gun crime in the United States has been highlighted to people around the world. The shootings in Connecticut have once again highlighted the issue of what should be done to prevent such tragedies in the country.

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While many point towards a blanket ban on firearms, it appears that the President pushing his vice-president Joe Biden to look in to the issue means that he will definitely be doing something to change the way the country looks at weapons in the coming weeks.

The way in which guns are enshrined in the constitution of the country makes it very unlikely that a ban will be enforced, however rules on mental health checks and the strength of the firearms seem likely.

Recently The Best Question asked if President Obama could make any dent in US gun crime. With many people around the world believing that this is unlikely, it would seem that the atrocities of the recent shootings in Connecticut are here to stay. While the President may be able to reduce the caliber of weapons available to citizens of the USA, whether this will cause a significant change in the amount of shootings seen on American soil remains to be seen. However, as a population, we should hope that it does.

Financial Responsibility Fosters Environmental Accountability

Holding members society responsible for their personal financial health is a great step forward toward holding them responsible for their environment’s health as well.  Advancing tools such as the amortization calculator should be at the forefront of environmental care outreach programs to members of society to help them get control of their finances.

BBC iplayer USA

Almost everyone has a loan on their house simply because it is so difficult to buy a home with cash. However, as we all know, paying off the mortgage can be really difficult. Most homeowners choose repayment plans that may extend to about 30 years just so that they can afford to make the monthly payments.

So what is amortization?
Think about it; when you take a loan, you aren’t just taking an amount from the banks. The bank is lending you the principle and then charging you an interest rate for the principle amount. That means you are being charged X amount for the house and the bank is charging Y amount as interest for the 30 years that you are taking to pay back the loan. Eventually, after 30 years, you are supposed to be paying off X+Y. However, different banks have different payment schedules. For example, the bank will initially cut only the interest payments or Y payments for the first ten years. They might then shift over to payments that will cut both X+Y payments. Ideally, at the time of taking the loan, you should find out exactly how the bank plans to reduce your loan. The bank should reduce your interest as well as the principal amount rather than just decreasing the interest rate. A portion of your monthly payment must go towards lowering your principal amount X and the rest should go towards lowering your interest amount Y. The percentage of division will depend on the bank. This will be to your benefit in the long run.

How do I find out my amortization schedule?
Ideally, the bank will provide you with the amortization schedule when you take a loan. Bank officials will and should explain the payment process to you and how they will cut payments over the next 30 years. However, we also suggest that you negotiate on the schedule and find out what other types of payment procedures are possible. If you have already taken a loan and want to find the amortization schedule, you can use online mortgage amortization calculator websites.

These websites have free online tools that you can use to find out how much you have paid off and how much you do have to pay, they are available in many countries but if you have trouble accessing them then you can try a high speed vpn to gain access. Each calculator will require details of your loans like the principal amount of the loan you have taken, the annual interest rate on the loan, the length of the loan process and the monthly interest rate on the loan. Some tables may also ask for the monthly payment that you are making on the loan and payment process that you have selected. These calculators have the amortization formula inbuilt into them and you will automatically get your amortization schedule provided you have put in the details correctly.

Please note that you should use reliable websites to find an accurate mortgage amortization calculator. Money and finance sites are ideal as they update their content regularly. However, we do suggest that you use online mortgage amortization calculator websites only as a guide.


Investing in children’s day care

Although many think that making an investment in the childcare industry is not an important element in their investment portfolio, experts have proven them wrong by establishing that it is just as important and active as any other investment that they make. People usually get the attractive outcome that they are looking for in the form of profitability and income when they acquire real estate as assets and this is not different in any way from the investment that they make in children’s day care. With a personal loan, one can take out a mini loan to invest in their offspring’s day care as the investment from a mini loan into daycare can pay off its dollar investment. For more information on the benefits of a personal loan, go here: http://minileningenbelgie.be/voordelen-van-een-persoonlijke-lening/
Many people have tough decisions to make when they invest in children’s day care because it is similar to the investment that they make in property, shares and even cash since they need to maximize their returns and minimize their risk by engaging the services of professional management firms. In addition, they need to participate actively in managing this investment.
Childcare center management companies such as Guardian provide simple advice to investors on effective business and asset management as well as assistance on how to manage and regulate their childcare institutions and hence it is advisable for them to consult before they consider the option of investing in children’s day care. These companies have useful information about current and future investment opportunities in childcare investment and in effect, they are able to provide support that is unique to each investor by tailoring their support to meet individual needs.