The United States Is No Longer A Democracy

A new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has confirmed what many Americans already believed, the USA is ruled by the rich and elite. The peer reviewed study researched 1,800 changes in United States policy from 1981 to 2002. It showed that affluent Americans and large special interest groups are responsible for almost all policy changes that occur. In fact, the study found that American majority opinion had little if any effect on actual changes.

When popular opinion disagrees with the corporate culture popular opinion always loses. The report itself reads:
 "When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."

Another problem the study found was that the American political system has a strong status quo bias. This means that things are always more likely to stay the same than change in the USA. We already live in a system where the rich are heavily favored. Unfortunately it is likely to stay that way. The researchers have concluded that the USA is a system of "biased pluralism" where the whims of the rich and powerful out-way the needs of the many. This study was done on policy from before the Citizens United Supreme Court case. Who knows how these trends were affected since then. One thing is clear, in America politics has gone on sale. 

Has The Heartbleed Security Bug Compromised Most of The Web?

A new security flaw known as Heartbleed may have compromised two-thirds of websites. If true this could be a major blow to security and privacy around globe. Heartbleed affects an internet protocol called OpenSSL. OpenSSL is used to protect user input that runs from a webpage to a server. It is the most widely used form of encryption on the web. Without functioning correctly data such as passwords, messages and personal info could be accessed.

Americans Now Believe Marijuana Significantly Less Harmful Than Alcohol

American opinions on marijuana have been evolving for a long time. A drug once seen as a serious danger to society has become innocuous in many peoples minds. A new study proves that the United States is on the fast tract to becoming a pro pot nation. The pew survey showed by 5 to 1 Americans believed alcohol was more harmful to health and society than marijuana.

Browser Extensions That Improve Your Security

Security and privacy can be elusive things on the internet, but even a little effort can greatly improve your ability to protect your data. Browser extensions are a great first step into improving your security. Also these extensions can improve your browser's performance.

HTTPS Everywhere

This software ensures that when you connect to a webpage you are doing so through HTTPS. The default on the web for the most part is unencrypted HTTP. Using this app lets you take any unsafe HTTP and rewrite requests for these sites in HTTPS, making your browsing more secure.

Ukraine In Flames

In Kiev, at this moment, there is still an ongoing bloody conflict between protesters and the military. This struggle has been happening for weeks now. In the past few days the violence has intensified. A few days ago the police attempted to flush the demonstrators out of the town square only to be met with growing opposition. The police's efforts failed miserably and set off a series of violent retaliations. A truce soon followed and was broken several hours later. The police have tried pushing the protesters out with tear gas, concussion grenades and some gunfire. The protesters fought back with Molotov cocktails, fireworks and guns of their own.

Adventure In Android 1 (CyanogenMod On Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1)

I wanted to put CyanogenMod on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for a long time, and I am very happy I finally got to do it. I put it off for a while in fear of ruining my warranty, but i figured if i can ROM it I can unROM it before needing any potential repairs. CyanogenMod is great, customizable, responsive and has a ton of features. It wasn't hard to install, then again it wasn't very easy either. To be frank, it took me a few attempts and some nervous moments where I thought I bricked my tablet. Despite all this it was totally worth it.

Big Media Mergers Will Break Our Society

Do you remember a few years back when Comcast acquired NBC? It wasn't that long ago. Well, apparently Comcast's veracious appetite for more corporate influence is insatiable. They have announced a take over of Time Warner Cable next. The merger would turn Comcast into a 30 million customer company. This is very troubling since surveys show that customers from both Comcast and Time Warner are already very unhappy with the service they receive. Last year, both were at the very bottom of the American Customer Satisfaction Index . If we learn from previous example of this we know that these acquisitions usually lead to a worse consumer experience.

Women and The Republican Party

Republicans often criticize the Left's use of the phrase "the war on women." They feel it unfairly depicts their objections to abortion, birth control, etc. Mike Huckabee is particularly vexed by this. Huckabee recently was a speaking fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics and used the opportunity to discuss his objections to the "war on women" meme.

Why Everyone Needs To Use Open Source

Okay. I know I have made the case for open source before, but trust me this time it's different. This is not an article about how cheap, reliable and secure open source software can be. There have been rumors and reports on the web for a long time that the NSA was approaching software makers attempting to negotiate a backdoor in its production. For those who do not know what a backdoor is, it's a hole in a software or hardware that allows third parties to manipulate and use data. There are increasing numbers of reports claiming that this is exactly what the NSA is doing.

Washington Isn't Disconnected They are Just Apathetic

Everyday we hear from talking heads on TV or on radio saying that Washington is disconnected. That maybe they are very well meaning and the only thing wrong with their decision making is that they simply do not know true America. Perhaps they are blissfully unaware of the growing wealth gap and the every-man's contempt with Washington as a whole. Well, that would be nice. Since the alternative is so horrible. I gotta admit the idea that most politicians in Washington are just authoritarian shills who we have no way of pressuring is a scary one. None the less I believe it to be true.