NSA, KGB, Stasi – in Germany

Spy activities in Germany. By the NSA. Well, in fact the NSA [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency ] is collecting and monitoring all sorts of intelligence from private and corporate sectors, or from governments – home and foreign – for all sorts of purposes. For cross-purposes there are also the KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (Russian: Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ)) and Stasi (German’s Staatssicherheit), both old (after WWII and operating during the cold war) entities of which the Stasi is not operational any more. During the 1980s the NSA also uncovered American spy activity perpetrated by their own, for the KGB and the Stasi, in Germany.

[Unter anderem, der Schatz vom Teufelsberg; in der Spiegel Januar 2014.] Teufelsberg, Berlin. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teufelsberg ] where the NSA had been operational during the 1980s and employed a military analyst who then turned coat and spied for the KGB and for the Stasi.

Was haben wir hier ? eine grosse Aufregung unter den Deutschen ? That among others the NSA operates in Germany, where most Germans – and in particular the government – live under the perception that the United States are a friend of Germany. Looking at it from the other side of the coin, Germany likes to be a friend of the United States of America, after the war – that is WWII. Sounds to me like the story about the dog that gets kicked and then licks his master’s hands.

Mr. ‘Highlightly’ mal-adware

The Highlightly adware infection is designed specifically to make money. It generates web traffic, collects sales leads for other dubious sites, and will display advertisements and sponsored links within your web browser.
Highlightly it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.”

Basically stuff like this does not bother me a lot, nor do I pay any attention to it. But paying attention to it is just the point for whoever comes up with that type of dumb advertising strategy. Like “Ow, I cannot sell anything, my business is going broke, unless I dig deep into all those other Internet users’ systems to stick some virus into their operating system.” Did they order anything ? I do not think so. People order and buy what they want, but not what somebody tells them they want.

Retail business and restaurant business are the worst businesses to be in, unless an owner/operator of such type of business is very good and gets their business going and flourishing based on actually coming up with something new and special. But not some dumb stuff like that ‘highlightly virus’ thing which infects the entire Internet experience. Like for example some real dumb ass walking in the street with a big baton and hitting pedestrians on their head with the slogan: “Buy my stuff.” Who cares about your stuff, stuff it up yours.

TransCanada and Keystone XL

[ http://www.ec.ca/news/politics/keystone-xl-letter-from-canada-vows-ghg-emissions-cuts-1.2559585 ] – Globe & Mail Wed, March 5, 2014 on CANADA WRITES U.S. TO PUSH KEYSTONE.

Emissions cuts. Good one. What does a company like TransCanada knows about cuts to any pollution, or control and regulation of any dangerous pollution to humans ? or, in fact, how to treat their own employees humanely ?

Turn back the clock to the 1980s when this company still operated under the name TransCanada Pipelines/TCPL. The way I know this company is as a former employee, working as IT professional in their computer systems department. How else I know this company ? Through their irregular, asocial and inhumane tactics of treating their employees. Sending down from their Toronto Headquarters an ‘Enforcer’. To deal with most of us professionals following TCPL’s takeover of Maligne Resources, Calgary.

You think, this is so long ago that nobody should care about this anymore ? I do not think so. As the unprofessional way that employees got laid off has had resounding effects to their future lives. Financially and health wise. Because — during the 1980s TransCanada’s policy also included the permission of chain smoking inside the work place. And now with their fancy pipeline project, they dare to even mention the word emissions control.

What would interest me is, if there is anybody still alive who during that time was my co-worker, also exposed to 24/7 cigarette smoking by others close-by in those big open cubicle type work places ?

NOTE. On May 15, 2003, TransCanada Corporation received regulatory approvals to establish it as the parent company of TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Shareholders voted in favour of the change to the corporate structure of the company at the Annual and Special Meeting on April 25. For background on this issue, please see the letter to shareholders and Q&As from Board of Directors’ chairman, Dick Haskayne and chief executive officer, Hal Kvisle, as well as information included in the Management Proxy Circular.

Unions – Teachers – Strikes

[ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-teachers-to-take-strike-vote-in-early-march/article17085231/ ]

They are at it again. Impending teachers’ strike actions are threats against – not only the tax-paying public at large – but mainly against the children, who are again forced to teach themselves. Bargaining for more money (coming from tax payers) and for smaller class sizes (impossible with more and more children, and less and less buildings), is a threat and should be taken seriously. 

We as data processing and IT professionals had to work 24/7, and if under contracts often did not get paid for the full number of hours we put in. Did we strike ? Not very likely, given the circumstances: “If you do not work your full shift, you are out.”

What’s the problem with the teachers ? Why did they become teachers, knowing that they are on initially fixed pay, and knowing about the class sizes ? Also knowing that as a teacher you have a union standing behind you, you can strike, lay down your work, and sit down at ‘bargaining tables’. You also know, that you get a lengthy vacation (flying anywhere in summer, most of the seats in air planes are occupied by teachers), and best of all, that you can retire early on your pension. While we have to work till after complete ‘burn out’, and mostly do not get any pension. So, as a teacher, if you do not like being a teacher, but enjoy endless rounds of unionized bargaining and even strike actions, wouldn’t it be advisable to have a different occupation ? And find out, how hard we all have to work.