AMD Releases Cryptocurrency Mining Driver, May Raise Vega Prices – ExtremeTech

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On the heels of its Vega launch last week, AMD has released a new driver for its GPUs that focuses on cryptocurrency mining. The new driver is supposed to make Vega faster when mining, though AMD also notes that the driver is provided as a beta level support driver which should be considered as is and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes.

AMD and Nvidia have taken different approaches to cryptocurrency during this latest cycle. Earlier this year, AMD reported that cryptocurrency might have driven a short-term spike in sales, but that the company did not include it in their future forecasts. AMD has said that it continues to monitor the cryptocurrency business, but that it has no plans for a major pivot. The driver being labeled as a beta as-is product certainly supports this analysis.

Nvidia, on the other hand, has a different take. Jen-Hsun Huang has told investors that Cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay. Over time, it will become quite large. It is very clear that new currencies will come to market. Its clear the GPU is fantastic at cryptography. The GPU is really quite well positioned.

This disparate take on mining may reflect certain realities both companies have faced. Back in 2011 2014, when Bitcoin and Litecoin mining were still being done on GPUs, AMD was the only company that really benefitedand at the same time, it didnt benefit much at all. GPU sales to gamers fell like a rock. By the time the cryptocurrency mining craze had pased, Nvidia had the GTX 980 and 970 ready to go. The window of opportunity for Hawaii had passed. Some of you may also recall that AMDs GPU prices simply blew through the roof, with an R9 280X, which should have been a $300 card based on AMDs MSRPs, actually selling for $489.

Nvidia, on the other hand, was locked out of this market altogether. During the same time frame, Kepler and even Maxwell were not a match for AMDs cryptocurrency performance. Now, with Ethereum and Pascal, Nvidias performance is much stronger. Thats likely part of the reason why the two companies see things differently. AMD got burned by this market once already, and Nvidia may feel that its stronger relationships with board partners or greater manufacturing capacity via contracts with TSMC will keep them in a leadership position in graphics.

ExtremeTech recommends that anyone interested in cryptocurrency mining approach the topic the same way you should approach gambling. If you want to take a shot and try to make some profit, feel freebut dont risk any funds you cant afford to lose. Cryptocurrency prices are famously volatile and you may not be able to count on sustained, long-term profits.

Theres a report from Overclock3D that we havent been able to confirm or debunk, claiming that AMDs GPU pricing of 449.99 in the UK ($499 in the US) was only for the launch. Overclockers UKs Gibbo writes:

Now the good and bad news, the good news is AMD are rebating early launch sales to allow us to hit 449.99 on the stand alone black card which has no games. This is a launch only price which AMD at present are saying will be withdrawn in the near future, when if it happens is unknown, but remember do not be shocked if the price jumps nearly 100 in a few days.

We have requested confirmation or explanation of this from AMD, but the company was not able to provide us with a response by the time this story went to press. We will update it when we have more information on the future of Vegas price. It also isnt clear that these price increases, if true, are a global shift or merely reflect UK pricing. And finally, theres the chance the the information given was simply incorrect. A $128.76 price increase on Vega would make it far too expensive to recommend, given its power consumption and performanceunless, of course, the GTX 1080 is kicked up into the stratosphere long-term as well.

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AMD Releases Cryptocurrency Mining Driver, May Raise Vega Prices – ExtremeTech

Could Cryptocurrencies Replace Cash? – Investopedia

Could Cryptocurrencies Replace Cash?
At the beginning of the cryptocurrency boom, Bitcoin seemed to be the unquestioned leader. Up until early this year, Bitcoin accounted for the vast majority of the industry's market capitalization; then, in a span of just weeks, Ethereum, Ripple, and
Zen Protocol is the next step for cryptocurrency smart-contractsTNW
Will the Bitcoin Fork Continue to Boost the Cryptocurrency's Value?
US Law Labels Cryptocurrency Illicit Finance TrendThe Merkle
The Market Mogul –Business Insider –Bitcoin News (press release)
all 109 news articles »

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Could Cryptocurrencies Replace Cash? – Investopedia

WikiLeaks – Vault 7: Projects

Today, June 15th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the CherryBlossom project of the CIA that was developed and implemented with the help of the US nonprofit Stanford Research Institute (SRI International).

CherryBlossom provides a means of monitoring the Internet activity of and performing software exploits on Targets of interest. In particular, CherryBlossom is focused on compromising wireless networking devices, such as wireless routers and access points (APs), to achieve these goals. Such Wi-Fi devices are commonly used as part of the Internet infrastructure in private homes, public spaces (bars, hotels or airports), small and medium sized companies as well as enterprise offices. Therefore these devices are the ideal spot for “Man-In-The-Middle” attacks, as they can easily monitor, control and manipulate the Internet traffic of connected users. By altering the data stream between the user and Internet services, the infected device can inject malicious content into the stream to exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system on the computer of the targeted user.

The wireless device itself is compromized by implanting a customized CherryBlossom firmware on it; some devices allow upgrading their firmware over a wireless link, so no physical access to the device is necessary for a successful infection. Once the new firmware on the device is flashed, the router or access point will become a so-called FlyTrap. A FlyTrap will beacon over the Internet to a Command & Control server referred to as the CherryTree. The beaconed information contains device status and security information that the CherryTree logs to a database. In response to this information, the CherryTree sends a Mission with operator-defined tasking. An operator can use CherryWeb, a browser-based user interface to view Flytrap status and security info, plan Mission tasking, view Mission-related data, and perform system administration tasks.

Missions may include tasking on Targets to monitor, actions/exploits to perform on a Target, and instructions on when and how to send the next beacon. Tasks for a Flytrap include (among others) the scan for email addresses, chat usernames, MAC addresses and VoIP numbers in passing network traffic to trigger additional actions, the copying of the full network traffic of a Target, the redirection of a Targets browser (e.g., to Windex for browser exploitation) or the proxying of a Targets network connections. FlyTrap can also setup VPN tunnels to a CherryBlossom-owned VPN server to give an operator access to clients on the Flytraps WLAN/LAN for further exploitation. When the Flytrap detects a Target, it will send an Alert to the CherryTree and commence any actions/exploits against the Target. The CherryTree logs Alerts to a database, and, potentially distributes Alert information to interested parties (via Catapult).

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WikiLeaks – Vault 7: Projects

WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During US Presidential Campaign – Foreign Policy

In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, according to chat messages and a source who provided the records.

WikiLeaks declined to publish a wide-ranging trove of documents at least 68 gigabytes of data that came from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, according to partial chat logs reviewed by Foreign Policy.

The logs, which were provided to FP, only included WikiLeakss side of the conversation.

As far as we recall these are already public, WikiLeaks wrote at the time.

WikiLeaks rejects all submissions that it cannot verify. WikiLeaks rejects submissions that have already been published elsewhere or which are likely to be considered insignificant. WikiLeaks has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin, the organization wrote in a Twitter direct message when contacted by FP about the Russian cache.

(The account is widely believed to be operated solely by Assange, the groups founder, but in a Twitter message to FP, the organization said it is maintained by staff.)

In 2014, the BBC and other news outletsreported on the cache, which revealed details about Russian military and intelligence involvement in Ukraine. However, the information from that hack was less than half the data that later became available in 2016, when Assange turned it down.

We had several leaks sent to Wikileaks, including the Russian hack. It would have exposed Russian activities and shown WikiLeaks was not controlled by Russian security services, the source who provided the messages wrote to FP. Many Wikileaks staff and volunteers or their families suffered at the hands of Russian corruption and cruelty, we were sure Wikileaks would release it. Assange gave excuse after excuse.

The Russian cache was eventually quietly published online elsewhere, to almost no attention or scrutiny.

In the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of potentially damaging emails about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign, information the U.S. intelligence community believes was hacked as part of a Kremlin-directed campaign. Assanges role in publishing the leaks sparked allegations that he was advancing a Russian-backed agenda.

Back in 2010, Assange vowed to publish documents on any institution that resisted oversight.

WikiLeaks in its early years published a broad scope of information, including emails belonging to Sarah Palin and Scientologists, phone records of Peruvian politicians, and inside information from surveillance companies. We dont have targets, Assange said at the time.

But by 2016, WikiLeaks had switched course, focusing almost exclusively on Clinton and her campaign.

Approached later that year by the same source about data from an American security company, WikiLeaks again turned down the leak. Is there an election angle? Were not doing anything until after the election unless its [sic] fast or election related, WikiLeaks wrote. We dont have the resources.

Anything not connected to the election would be diversionary, WikiLeaks wrote.

WikiLeaks schedules publications to maximize readership and reader engagement, WikiLeaks wrote in a Twitter message to FP. During distracting media events such as the Olympics or a high profile election, unrelated publications are sometimes delayed until the distraction passes but never are rejected for this reason.

WikiLeakss relationship with Russia started out as adversarial. In October 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks teased a massive dump of documents that would expose wrongdoing in the Kremlin, teaming up with a Russian news site for the rollout. We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen, Assange told a Russian newspaper.

We will publish these materials soon, he promised.

Russians are going to find out a lot of interesting facts about their country, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said at the time.

In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release documents from its cache provided by Chelsea Manning, which included cables from U.S. diplomats around the world, including Russia.

WikiLeaks partnered with the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, but only a handful of stories were published out of almost a quarter of a million files from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Novoya Gazeta paid for exclusive access to the documents, according to John Helmer, a foreign correspondent in Moscow writing for Business Insider.

WikiLeaks says there was no financial aspect to the publishing partnership with Novaya Gazeta, which did not respond to a request for comment. We do not have insight into the publication decisions of [Novaya Gazeta], WikiLeaks told FP.

Meanwhile, Assanges position on Russia was evolving. Assange in 2012 had his own show on the Kremlin-funded news network RT, and that same year, he produced episodes for the network where he interviewed opposition thinkers like Noam Chomsky and so-called cypherpunks.

Questions about Assanges links to Russia were raised last year, when the Daily Dot reported that WikiLeaks failed to publish documents that revealed a 2 billion euro transaction between the Syrian regime and a government-owned Russian bank in 2012. Details about the documents appear in leaked court records obtained by the Daily Dot, which were placed under seal by a Manhattan federal court.

A WikiLeaks spokesperson told the Daily Dotthat no emails were removed from what the organization published. The spokesperson also suggested the Daily Dot was pushing the Hillary Clinton campaigns neo-McCarthyist conspiracy theories about critical media.

Assange believes that U.S. officials hoping to damage his reputation leaked the court records, according to the messages provided to FP.

Theres a passing claim that the 500 pages comes from the US governments investigation into Wikileaks, one message from WikiLeaks reads. If true, the US government appears to be leaking data on the Wikileaks investigation, which fabricated or angled to help HRC. Huge story that everyone missed.

WikiLeaks again told FP that the story is false but did not elaborate.

When Novaya Gazeta reported in April 2016 on the 11.5 million documents known as the Panama Papers, which exposed how powerful figures worldwide hide their money overseas, Assange publicly criticized the work. He suggested that reporters had cherry-picked the documents to publish for optimal Putin bashing, North Korea bashing, sanctions bashing, etc. while giving Western figures a pass.

In fact, news outlets involved in publishing leaks reported on a number of Western figures, including then-British Prime Minister David Cameron.

For me it was a surprise that Mr. Assange was repeating the same excuse that our officials, even back in Soviet days, used to say that its all some conspiracy from abroad, Roman Shleynov, a Russian investigative reporter, said in an interview with the New York Times.

WikiLeaks says Assange didnt specifically challenge Novaya Gazeta or the other news outlets that worked on the Panama Papers, despite Assanges public statements to the contrary.

There should be more leaks from Russia, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former German spokesman for WikiLeaks, said in an interview with France 24 in March. He suggested that since WikiLeakss readers were mostly English-speaking, there wasnt enough demand.

By June 2016, Assange had threatened to dump files on Clinton that would be damaging to her campaign prospects. A month later, on July 22, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of emails out of the Democratic National Committee preceding the massive dumps in October of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

In late August 2016, when WikiLeakss Clinton disclosures were in full swing, Assange said he had information on Trump but that it wasnt worth publishing. (In a message to FP, WikiLeaks now says the organization received no original documents on the campaign that did not turn out to be already public.)

The problem with the Trump campaign, Assange said at the time, is its actually hard for us to publish much more controversial material than what comes out of Donald Trumps mouth every second day.

Photo credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty Images

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WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During US Presidential Campaign – Foreign Policy

Rundle: more bollocks broadcast about WikiLeaks – Crikey (registration)

Racing round the world this morning is a fresh shock horrorWikiLeaks story, which purports to show that even if the organisation isnt just a bunch of balalaika strumming Cossacks in the pay of Putin, it may as well be.

WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks of Russian Government During US Presidential Campaign the headline reads to a piece on the Foreign Policy site. Has the smoking AK-47 been found?

Well, no, as it turns out. The story is based on a leaked/hacked WikiLeaks chatlog concerning a 70-gigabyte trove of documents from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, which the story alleges the organisation refused to publish during the 2016 US election campaign. Foreign Policy only has the WikiLeaks side of the chatlog but thats enough to debunk the storys angle, for it includes the statement at the time by WikiLeaks that: As far as we recall these are already public. According to the story, the trove was published elsewhere, and gained little attention. Presumably because it was 70 gigabytes of turnip requisition forms. WikiLeaks has long stated that it doesnt republish material readily available elsewhere (save for its curated reference libraries such as the Plus D database).

So no story at all, but enough to make an evidence-free charge that WikiLeaks was suppressing information because it could have been seen as anti-Trump. In that respect its worth remembering what Foreign Policy is: the global in-house journal of a geopolitical power elite, founded by Samuel clash of civilisations Huntington in the early 70s, and now publishing a range of movers and shakers including, in 2011, Hillary Clinton herself, outlining the dream of Americas Pacific Century, the policy underlying the now-abandoned TPP. You wont find isolationists, anti-imperialists or other such voices in Foreign Policy. What you do get apparently, is pro-Hillary beat-ups of such low quality that they contradict themselves from the get-go.

Twenty-twentys looking good. Looking good for 2020. And another five seasons of Veep.

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Rundle: more bollocks broadcast about WikiLeaks – Crikey (registration)

Letters to the editor – 170816 – Aitkin Independent Age

Health care on life support

In the Aug. 2 edition of this paper, Thomas Olson of Mora wrote a letter entitled, Nolan working to fix health care. However, he fails to state one single thing Rep Nolan has done to fix the problem.

If he is so proud of Nolans work on the issue he should have listed a litany of those things our representative has done to fix the problem. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Nolan has done nothing and elections are getting closer. A little boost from an ardent supporter never hurts, even if its over a year before we go to the polls.

The way I see it is that Rick Nolan has done little if anything to prop up the 8th Congressional District in his three terms as our representative. I am sure I am not alone in that regard. On his/her best day, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is only one of 435 members and it is impossible to do anything without a majority acting in concert. Oh, thats right, the Democrats (both House and Senate) voted en masse against any repeal /replacement of the current mess.

I hold the cowardly Republicans just as guilty for not moving forward to provide a fix. They had seven years to come up with a replacement plan and as long they knew their plan would be vetoed they voted for it. Once they had the majority three Republicans (Murkowski, Collins and McCain) torpedoed it.

If bi-partisanship is what it takes to make changes then, so be it. But dont believe Rick Nolan has been going out on a limb to fix health care. The silence of his accomplishments has been deafening. He, like all the members of his caucus, march to Nancy Pelosis drum beat.

I dont think health care is dead yet, on life support but not dead. Lets hope our duly elected representatives can put party politics aside and do whats good for the country.

Pat Williams


The 57th annual Tamarack Hey Day held on the first Saturday in August has come and gone.

This year, as in many previous years, the day wrapped up with numerous people making a point of thanking me for putting on a fun-filled community event.

As president of the Tamarack Activities Club, I am recognized as the point person for the event. But it would be remiss of me to accept the appreciation of so many people without passing it along to those who really make the event happen.

Heres to the people going mostly unnoticed. To the people who lift and carry any number of heavy furnishings, equipment, embellishments. To the people who spend all day on their feet cooking and serving food in a concession stand, after they have spent several days making preparations.

And to the people who show up after their own work day to set up tents and carnival rides and fencing. And to the people who announce the parade and then spend the afternoon providing music for the crowd. And to the people who create floats or shine up vehicles to show off in the parade.

And to the people who drop what they are doing at the last minute to haul a load of sand, create a hay bale playground to provide fun for children or fix the electrical service.

Heres to the people who spend the day running games for others to play, and to announcers of prizes and events who are on the microphone for hours at a time. And to the people who share family photos and heirlooms for others to enjoy in the history tent.

And to the people who start the morning conducting a marathon and then provide a beanbag tournament and medallion hunt and end by picking up after others. To everyone who went out collecting prizes from hundreds of businesses. To sponsors.

To all the people who fill a spot, serve a need, solve a problem, create fun. To the mayor of Tamarack and city council members who worked for days to ensure a safe and attractive place to hold the event.

You did a great job!

Cheryl Meld


We recently received a mailing from the Aitkin County Health and Human Services. Page one tells how sensitive a childs brain is as it develops. Then pages four and five seem to contradict the first page, especially when it comes to mercury-based thimerosal in multi-dose vials of vaccines. If this mercury-based preservative is not harmful to a childs developing nervous system, then why are we warned to limit our consumption of tuna, etc.? Or why do they wear hazmat suits to clean up a broken curly-style lightbulb with a trace amount of mercury?

In doing some research, I checked the Pro-Con Vaccines website. It told of 1989 as the year Congress took away our right to sue for damages done by vaccines. Instead, now there is a fund to pay for those damages, but the number of claims denied is more than double the claims accepted.

So what can a parent or guardian do? First, find a doctor who really listens to you and your concerns. Second, insist vaccines used are single dose, not from multiple dose vials with thimerosal. Third, pray about it. Some years ago, my wife, Susan, and I were pondering whether to get a certain vaccine for our son. We prayed about it and the answer came clear as a bell!

Finally, the county brochure refers to herd immunity. Just as important is herd mentality, going the path of least resistance and following the crowd. Please remember this: whatever decision you make may have lifetime consequences.

Pastor Bill Sass


On President Obamas watch: millions more on food stamps; millions more on Medicaid; millions more on welfare; millions more in poverty; thousands of oppressive rules and regulations added, costing businesses billions annually, raising product costs; a slew of Executive Orders, many without required legislative approval; added 12,600 government employees last two weeks in office.

In his last weeks, Obama arbitrarily declassified thousands of sensitive documents, thus allowing them to be selectively leaked to the liberal media. In 2016, allowed in 100,000 illegal Syrians, unvetted. How many were ISIS-inclined? The Benghazi fiasco; North Koreas imminent threat largely ignored; $300 million ransom payment to Iran (counter to U.S. policy) and later an additional $150 billion. Some of that money has ostensibly found its way to Kim Jong Un. Released around 160 of 200 plus remaining Guantanamo Bay terrorist prisoners, one a Bin Laden guard. Two years later, 20 percent had returned to terrorism.

Special forces had Osama Bin Laden in their crosshairs (first encounter); Obama said no to outing him. Obama and Clinton gave Russias Putin 20 percent of the U.S. uranium stockpile in exchange for $145 million into the Clinton Foundation. Sold out Israel at the U.N. and spent taxpayer money to upset Netanyahus reelection. Israel is our staunchest ally and only democracy between Africa and Asia. Severely decimated the U.S. military capability. The stronger we are, the safer we are. Foreign policy abysmal, ie. Syria, North Korea, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan. In the latter two, he reduced troop count, increased it, reduced and each time telegraphing to the enemy numbers and when.

Disastrous Obamacare. You can keep your doctor and your plan. Lies. Premiums on average will go down $2,500 a month. They went up $2,500. And Obama raided the Medicare fund of billions to sustain Obamacare.

Obama and Clinton both told the media they had convinced Syrias Bashar Assad to destroy his chemical weapons. Not. April 2017 he chemically killed many more. President Trump immediately acted.

Economy, tepid. Two economic barometers are GDP: historically rises around three percent annually. Significantly lower under Obama. In late 2016, 1.4 percent. Dow-Jones average on election day was 17,200. Six months with Trump 22,000 plus and a million new jobs created.

The alleged Trump-Russia hacking issue the media and Democratic hierarchy have been hyperventilating over for months has no basis. Three months before the election, the three security agencies advised Obama that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee. Obama did nothing.

Outgoing presidents pardon incarcerated persons, typically 150-300. Obama pardoned nearly 2,000; many were lifers, in for murder. Pvt. Bradley Manning was serving 35 years for releasing 750,000 classified documents pardoned after seven years.

Now out of office, Obama is deeply involved with Organizing For Action. OFA is 30,000-strong and dedicated to stonewalling and disrupting everything the new administration tries to accomplish. President Obama was a micro-manager, frequently ignoring the advice of his cabinet and generals. Some of those generals are now speaking out.

Several of the items listed potentially impact our security.

Obama has done a monumental disservice to our country.

Jim Warneke


Most people appear to give little credibility to the idea of aliens in UFOs. Having followed this subject for decades, there is no doubt about such existences and the role they have played in bringing our civilization to its present state. You will not get any satisfaction from our government about this because a mandate by the defense part of government number 0463, I believe, makes it a federal crime for anyone in government to tell us about them, even if such government people have worked with aliens. For information as to what they are and how they are linked to Christianity, you can check out the Urantia Book (, which tells about it.

The concern at present is what happens if North Korea makes good on its intention to perhaps make targets in the USA. With our president, who has said he will take care of the matter maybe with nuclear bombs, the response is quite clear based on what has happened to other planets according to people who once were on such other planets. The story about the Koradorians seems to tell us what aliens do to mortal races who intend to destroy their environment due to conflicts.

What happened to the Koradorians was the Cold Death which was caused by space clouds of hydrogen put between their star Korena and the planet Korendor. This caused Korendor temperatures to go to minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 40 years. The result was the reduction of the planets population from six billion to 40,000. It was painful to start all over again.

If nuclear bombs on our planet are launched they will never likely reach their targets because aliens will stop them. Then, having lost our right to be on Earth, life will eventually start all over again on planet Earth, called Urantia by aliens.

Things are not right when our defense industry takes on the job of political intrigue as part if its role of defending the country. They kill people who disagree with them! They muzzle people in government by their mandate to say nothing about aliens. This kills our concept of freedom of speech because such freedom is worthless if you dont know what you are talking about. Our minds cannot conceive intelligent ideas about something it has no knowledge of.

Robert Newton


Are you one of the many farmers without an identified farm successor? Purdue University says thats around 75 percent and about half expect nonfamily members to take over. A gradual shift of responsibilities and ownership, plus an extended mentoring period, can help ensure the continued success of the farm business.

After checking out a candidates experience and references, a short trial period with paid labor can be a good step. This probationary period can help both of you assess how well you work together, how your daily priorities match up and how you deal with setbacks.

A phased transition plan can follow, based on the goals and capabilities of you and your successor. Responsibilities for farm decisions and management can be shifted gradually or by specific enterprises. Critical elements may be held for later, while new enterprises conceived by the new farmer could be her or his full responsibility and ownership right away.

A written transition plan can ensure that timing and responsibilities are clear. A five-year plan for major progress will tell you if it’s working.

A new farmer will benefit from your knowledge of your land and from your experience in the business. Remaining a minority partner or a mentor gives access to your valuable advice. However, there are no guarantees of the farm business surviving the transfer, or indeed, from any year to the next under your control. You have gained skills and have built a business to withstand financial, weather and market risks. But your successor will be operating in a world with a market and regulatory climate that differs from when you farmed. You have to be prepared to accept that decisions will be made that would not match yours.

The Center for Rural Affairs has resources for retiring and beginning farmers at

Wyatt Fraas

Center for Rural Affairs

Lyons, Neb.

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Letters to the editor – 170816 – Aitkin Independent Age

Linguist Noam Chomsky joins University of Arizona faculty – Arizona Daily Star

Renowned linguist Noam Chomsky is joining the University of Arizona faculty this fall and will begin teaching in the spring semester.

Having a scholar of Dr. Chomskys caliber on our campus presents a tremendous opportunity for our students, faculty and staff, and truly speaks to the greatness of this university, said UA President Robert Robbins in a prepared statement.

Chomsky, who has been a guest lecturer and teacher at the UA for about five years, will join the Department of Linguistics in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in a quarter-time appointment as a laureate professor, Robbins said.

He will also serve as an Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice.

Chomskys salary is $62,500 a year, all of which is funded by philanthropic donations, mostly from the Agnese Nelms Haury Program.

And while Chomsky is not a full-time faculty member, John Paul Jones III, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, expects him to have a full schedule, splitting his time between teaching and public events.

Chomsky is among the most cited scholars in history and has written more than 100 books.

He is considered the father of modern linguistics, and his work has influenced many fields, including cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, computer science, mathematics, childhood education and anthropology.

He is also a powerful voice on sociopolitical issues, including free speech, foreign policy, political engagement, environmental destruction and the rights of indigenous populations, among many other topics.

Hes been a figure on campus since 2012, Jones said. The first talk we had in Centennial Hall, 6,000 showed up for 2,500 seats. We had to scramble to find classrooms (for overflow).

Since then, hes visited Tucson often, including for A Conversation on Privacy, in which the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences invited Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, co-founding editor of the Intercept; Nuala OConnor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology; and Edward Snowden, who participated through Skype, to talk about the balance between government surveillance and individual rights.

He wouldnt have come here (permanently) if it hadnt been for the Linguistics Department, Jones said, not only referring to former students who are now at the UA, but the department is also intellectually engaged in the same questions that hes interested in.

Weve very much come to appreciate the intellectual environment and the lifestyle, Chomsky said in a statement. The linguistics department, which is excellent, happens to be full of former students of mine. In general, we felt that the UA would be a good place to work and think and interact with people we like and can work with.

Chomsky worked as a linguistics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 then as a professor emeritus.

Teaching undergraduates regularly again was also a big draw, Chomsky said. He hadnt taught undergrads for about 10 years until spring 2016, when he co-taught an elective course on politics and global issues with UA geography professor emeritus Marv Waterstone.

Half of the 500 people who signed for the course were undergraduate students. The other 250 were community members enrolled through the Humanities Seminars Program, Jones said.

I think about the students who are going to be sitting around a dinner table some day, Jones said. And someone will mention Noam Chomsky, and hell say, I took his class! and theyll say, Where? and theyll say, At the U of A.

Chomskys former students and departmental fellows who have also made the move to the UA were just part of his decision to call Tucson home.

We fell in love with Tucson the mountains, the desert, Chomsky said. Tucson has an atmosphere that is peaceful and manageable.

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Linguist Noam Chomsky joins University of Arizona faculty – Arizona Daily Star

The struggalo is real as radical ICP fans mobilize online – A.V. Club

If youve any interest in politics, rapping clowns, and/or the intersection of the two, youve probably heard by now that the National Mall has been double-booked on September 16, with the pro-Trump Mother of All Ralliespresumably named to honor the mothers who will be dropping protesters off at the marchset to collide with ICPs planned Juggalo March on Washington. The Juggalo march is in protest of the FBIs classification of ICP fans as a loosely organized hybrid gang, a label organizers say has unfairly cost Juggalos jobs and custody of their children, and encouraged police harassment of Juggalos.

Save for this one issue, ICP is not an explicitly political band, and there are some pro-Trump Juggalos. But the overlap between the Juggalo March and rabid Trumpies is likely to be minimal. Juggalos view their community as a loving family that accepts everyone just as they are, which is the opposite of what Nazi pricksor, as they prefer to be known, white nationalistsadvocate. And, in the unlikely venue of a Time magazine editorial on last years wave of creepy clown sightings, ICPs Violent J had this to say about the clowns in Washington:

These clowns threaten the very fabric on which our nation was supposedly founded uponand for some fing crazy-a reason, theyre getting away with it. From keystone-cop clowns shooting unarmed citizens, to racist clowns burning down Islamic centers or clowns in the NSA spying on us through our cell phones and laptops, America has turned into something far more terrifying than Insane Clown Posses Dark Carnival.

So perhaps it shouldnt be too much of a surprise that radical leftist Juggalos are mobilizing online in opposition to the Trump supporters who are giving clowns a bad name. One of those organizers runs a Twitter account called Struggalo Circus, a ragtag and messy coalition between radicals and juggalos which started in June with this tweet:

And distributed these Protesting 101 flyers at this years Gathering:

Well give that a whoop whoop. Struggalo Circus also has a Facebook group, and the feminist Juggalo group Lettes Respect has emerged to advocate for Juggalette rights. The rest of the Juggalo movement is less organized, but a quick search of the largest Juggalo March on Washington Facebook event turns up a number of left-leaning political posts, from the eloquentAll irony aside, Juggalos are true working class people suffering under the exploitive capitalist system and I would be proud to stand with yall against the rich elite class ruining our society and trashing our world. Can I get a whoop whoopto the more straightforward seems like theyre trying to lump us in with people spouting hate. We need to come in with a strong message of Juggalo Love.

Screenshot: Facebook

Screenshot: Facebook

This all goes down on September 16, when the M.O.A.R march is set to kick off at 11 a.m. at the Washington Monument, and the Juggalo March at noon at the Lincoln Memorial, according to Consequence Of Sound. Thats when well see if Juggalos truly are ready to, to quote ICPs 1992 song Your Rebel Flag, shit on a motherfuckin Rebel flag.

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The struggalo is real as radical ICP fans mobilize online – A.V. Club

The Government Is Seeking Information on Anti-Trump Website Visitors and People Are Concerned – POPSUGAR

If you weren’t already concerned enough with the abnormal trickle-down effects of the Donald Trump White House, there’s something else you should worry about: the government potentially tracking you down because you visited an anti-Trump website.

The United States Department of Justice is trying to obtain visitor logs and IP addresses of anyone who visited, a web resource for various resistance-based activities associated with January’s inauguration. The DOJ is hoping to get information on more than 1.3 million IP addresses connected to the website from Dreamhost, the company that hosts the J20 website, in the hopes of connecting them to more than 200 people arrested during inaugural protests.

News of the measure comes in advance of a hearing to be held this Friday by the Washington DC Superior Court one that could shape how the government gains access to supposedly private First Amendment-protected free speech via online interactions. The move has been denounced by many in the digital rights community: the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated “no plausible explanation exists” for such an overreaching measure and it is monitoring the situation; digital advocacy blog Popehat called the matter “chilling” as the administration carries “overt hostility to protesters;” net neutrality nonprofit Fight For the Future simply stated that the issue is “outrageous government overreach;” and the ACLU wrote that there is a “vast danger” in letting the government target political speech in this way.

The DOJ’s move appears to put many online dissenters in potential danger, and experts like Bennet Kelley, founder of the Internet Law Center, are concerned. Kelley believes people should be worried about the government requesting this kind of private data. “What’s striking about this request is that they’re seeking anyone who went to the site without limitation to day,” Kelley tells POPSUGAR, explaining that offered information on everything from the Women’s March to maps of inaugural events.

Kelley contrasts a sweeping request like this to a “vacuum cleaner search,” one that hones in on what information is needed instead of demanding it all, as the former “burdens free speech” by giving the DOJ too much information. As Dreamhost noted in a statement that resists the request and supports users, using a site like is protected by the First Amendment as a means to “exercise and express political speech.”

Yet this situation isn’t entirely surprising. As Kelley points out, the leading web platforms have seen increasing numbers of government requests which have been shared in public reports. Facebook alone saw a nine percent increase in requests for user account data in the latter half of 2016. Moreover, technology users are mostly not protecting themselves, ignoring Edward Snowden’s distrust of US cloud services as they risk NSA spying and rarely reading terms and conditions. People are not protecting their free speech accordingly and, as the situation proves, tech users should be more vigilant in their online interactions.

At the heart of the issue is protecting online anonymity. Akin to Apple’s opposing the unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, “Our success depends on our ability for people to feel secure on these platforms,” Kelley says. “[Anonymous speech] has a long history in our constitutional republic. It’s very highly regarded as a key element of speech.”

Beyond encrypting everything, people should feel empowered in another way: reach out to your congressperson and similar representatives to express concern. “If you are concerned about this, talk to your congressman or senator,” Kelley says. “Tell them you want to hold a hearing and that you want to restrict the Justice Department.”

Image Source: Getty / Drew Angerer

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The Government Is Seeking Information on Anti-Trump Website Visitors and People Are Concerned – POPSUGAR

Beginner’s guide to Windows 10 encryption – Windows Central

Windows Central
Beginner's guide to Windows 10 encryption
Windows Central
Encrypting a drive or a folder or a file generally means you have a single password that must be used in order to decrypt and access. Not only does this stop outside parties from hacking their way into your files, it also protects in the event that you

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Beginner’s guide to Windows 10 encryption – Windows Central