Uncovering ECHELON, Nuclear Cheaters & Tech Unicorns: Aug 04, 2015

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Iran is Not Biggest Nuclear Cheater–Guess Who Is?
By Ryan McNamara
With arguments hot and heavy over whether Iran “can be trusted” not to lie about its nuclear intentions, there’s little effort to examine who has cheated the most in this deadly arena.

WHO

America’s Allies Want More From the US
According to Defense One, US allies really like it when American officials visit their capitals and bring military hardware with them. That’s exactly what Secretary of State John Kerry just did during a visit to the Gulf States. That’s what the US did with Egyptand Saudi Arabia. That’s what the US is doing in and around Ukraine. And that’s what the US wants to do in the Pacific. Ultimately, one man’s “ally” is another man’s“customer.”

Major Airlines Ban Big Game Trophies Amid Uproar Over Cecil Killing
The unprecedented reaction to Cecil’s death at the hands of Walter “The Killer Dentist” Palmer continues apace. Last week, the UN elevated wildlife crime to the level of drug and human trafficking. Yesterday, Zimbabwe accused another US hunter of killing a lion. And today Delta, American, and United airlines joined a growing ban against transporting “trophies” taken from animals.

Uncovering ECHELON: The Top-Secret NSA/GCHQ Program That Has Been Watching You Your Entire Life
Tech Crunch contextualizes recent revelations about government spying by reminding readers of ECHELON—a massive, intrusive spying program that predates smartphones, computer backdoors and deep state hackers by many decades. In fact, ECHELON has been around since the 1960s and its depth and breadth is detailed in a first-person account by long-time “spyhunter” Duncan Campbell.

WHAT

This Is Your “New Economy”: These 10 Startups Are Valued At $156 Billion On $4 Billion In Revenue
Unicorns” are tech companies with a valuation of a billion bucks or more (in some cases, a lot more). Those valuations are based only on fundraising. Pre-IPO marvels like Uber ($51b) and Airbnb ($26B) are at the heart of this “new economy.” Zero Hedgefeatures a chart that should give even the most bullish Unicorn herder a skeptical view of the long-term viability of this revenue-poor, valuation-high tech bubble.

WHY

Why Do We Sometimes Like To Smell Stinky Things?
A corpse flower named Trudy is attracting a lot of attention. The recently-bloomed biological curiosity is called a “corpse flower” because it attracts prey with the pungent odor of death. In spite of the offensive smell, however, Trudy is drawing crowds of curious onlookers. So, why are people subjecting themselves to the repugnant odor? It’s called “benign masochism.” It’s a safe way to train oneself to face a real threat in the future–without actually facing a real threat.

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